Tuesday: Sacrifice at Moriah
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Read Genesis 22:1–19. What did Abraham learn about sacrifice?

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

What was God’s purpose in this incredible challenge to Abraham’s faith? The patriarch’s life with God had always been accompanied by divine promises: the promise of land, of descendants, and of blessings; the promise of a son; and the promise that God would take care of Ishmael. Abraham sacrificed, but it was always in the light of some promise. However, in the situation described in Genesis 22, Abraham did not get any divine promise; instead, he was told to sacrifice the living promise, his son. Following through on God’s command, Abraham showed that God was more important to him than anything else.

“It was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption. No other test could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave His Son to a death of agony and shame.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 154.

Concerning the sacrifice, Abraham understood two essential principles. First, no one but God Himself can bring the true sacrifice and the means of salvation. It is the Lord who will, who must, provide. Abraham eternalizes this principle by naming the place, “YHWH Jireh,”which means “The-Lord-Will-Provide.” Second, the actual sacrifice is substitutional, one that saves Isaac’s life. The ram is offered “in the place of” Isaac (Gen. 22:13, NASB). That animal, which God provided, prefigures the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, on whom “the Lord has laid . . . the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6-7; Acts 8:32, NKJV).

What an astonishing surrender to God! Who can imagine what that experience must have been like for Abraham? Think about the last time that you had to reach out in sheer faith and do something that caused you a lot of anguish. What did you learn from your actions, and how well has the lesson stuck?

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Tuesday: Sacrifice at Moriah — 28 Comments

  1. As a child hearing this story of Abraham and Isaac was troubling--I saw it from the perspective of Isaac, the child, not Abraham, the adult. Years later, I have another layer of understanding of the good news of the gospel. As a sinner, I am under the threat of eternal death. The release from that impending death comes only from Christ's substitution for me. Isaac was indeed a "living sacrifice."

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  2. [Moderator's note: Please use your full name.]

    God promises to supply all our needs. Not just some. Not just one or two but ALL our needs. The very needs he knows about before we even ask. He wants us to ask to maintain our relationship with him , to open our heart and talk to him as a friend and our Heavenly Father. We serve a wonderful God who wants to give his children riches far beyond our wildest dreams. Just come to him in prayer. I do.

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  3. This event of Genesis 22 is the peak of Abraham’s life; it is in some ways the purpose for which all before it was but preparation. This was also a day, which, though so magnificently important in itself, was really but a shadow of things to come……a type.

    It should be noticed that this chapter is fully intertwined with the previous one. In Chapter 21, we saw Abraham being instructed to give up and send away the son he loved and had put all of his hope in, Ishmael. What seemed to Abraham as his first-born son, the heir to the promise, was suddenly to be sent away to an uncertain future. Then, as Ishmael is out in the desert and near death, Yahweh or His angel calls out from Heaven, and rescues the young man. A water well miraculously appears and Ishmael is saved.

    In this chapter, Abraham is now called on to give up his remaining son, Isaac; the son God considers to be the first-born, and by now, so does Abraham. The son who Yahweh specifically says is the promised-son is to be removed from Abraham, by Abraham’s own hand.

    We’re told in verse 1, that God was putting Abraham to the test. This is a piece of information that we have, that Abraham didn’t. This is important: because the reason for telling us in the initial sentence that “this is a test”, is so as we read about it we don’t fret and wonder if in some way Yahweh actually sanctions human sacrifice on some level. In other words, we know from the beginning that Isaac is going to survive.

    The Hebrew word used here for “burnt offering” is ‘Olah. ‘Olah doesn’t just mean “any kind of offering that is burned up on a fire”. Rather, ‘Olah is a specific KIND of burnt offering with a specific meaning.

    Now, at the time Abraham was given instructions to journey to Moriah, he and his family were in Be’er-Sheva. Be’er-Sheva was about 50 miles SSW of Jerusalem, bordering the Sinai Peninsula. So, it was a pretty good journey that lies ahead of him…..lots of time to think, and back out of the agonizing purpose of this trip.

    In verse 6, we are told that upon reaching Mt. Moriah, Abraham put the wood for the altar fire on the back of Isaac….the very wood that become the means of his death and burning up…and, that he would haul it up the hill to the place of the altar. This is a perfect parallel to Yahshua being required to bear upon his back the wooden cross that would become the means of his death…a sacrificial death.

    In verse 7, what was likely a very uneasy silence was broken when Isaac finally asked the obvious: “Father, where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” This was no naive question from an innocent child; the ancient Jewish writings say that Isaac was 37 years old at this time; Josephus, who lived at the time of Christ, says that Isaac was something over 25 years old at this point in the scriptures. Isaac was a fully mature man. So, somewhere in between the ages of 25-37 likely lies the reality……30 ish is probably the best we can do. But, for sure, Isaac was no child!

    As we see Abraham being instructed to offer up his son, Isaac, as a burnt offering, a sacrifice, we can only wonder what was going through Abraham’s mind. Yet, this command of God to sacrifice Isaac would not have seemed strange; because human sacrifice to a god was part of the normal worship practices of his Canaanite neighbors. As Isaac was being bound, he became silent; he knew full well what was about to happen to him. He didn’t fight the situation, he didn’t demand his rights or an explanation or wonder out loud: “why me?”

    And, of course, neither did the one that Isaac prefigured, the Messiah, offer up resistance or attempt to bypass the sacrificial death that only the promised son could accomplish.

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    • Very intetesting insights, however we should not forget that the Text indicates that God provided Himself the sacrifice.... The ram "for" Isaac, the Lamb, Jesus, for us all!

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  4. Am impressed with the way Abraham readily surrenders his only son with whom God was to fulfil His promises to him. Am equaly challenged how I have committed His gifts to me to serve Him, i.e. time and talent more importantly the gift of life

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  5. Although God instructed Abraham to offer up his son as a sacrifice, Abraham was essentially offering up himself as the sacrifice. It is interesting to note how he willingly returned to God what matters most to him - his prized possession. He could not anticipate the birth of another offspring. Seemingly, God was taking back the gift that he gave him. At times, don't we feel like God is asking us for too much, leaving us empty or poor? Isaac is amazing, although God did not ask him directly to be the SACRIFICE, he willingly consented to his dad's instruction. He could have questioned his dad, or sought a second opinion from the men who were not so far away. God is choosing his representatives for various sacrifices, are we willing and compliant? Please note how generous God is after Abraham passed the test. He really wants to reward us for our faithfulness, but we must PROVE our faithfulness

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  6. Sacrifice is not neccessarily about giving out of the abundance that we have but rather given out the little that you have or what you don't have. When Abraham was giving out Isaac, he was giving all that he had to God. God knew of this therefore He said “Take now thy son, thy ONLY SON…” I this acted prophecy, God revealed how He gave His all to mankind. In the sacrifice of Jesus, God gave out all heaven. Just as Isaac carried the wood upon which he was to be sacrificed, so did Jesus carried the cross on which He was crucified. And as he(Isaac) yielded himself in obedience to his father to be sacrificed, so did Christ yielded Himself unto His Father's will even unto the death on the cross. Hence His prayer, “if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it,thy will be done” oh that we may immitate His example of a TRUE sacrifice. Gud morning

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    • Abraham led a life of sacrifice from the day God called him away from his family to live a life in tents. Over and over God tested Abraham's faith through various sacrifices. Abraham is an example to me of someone who suffered from their mistakes yet ended up holding onto their faith through thick and thin.

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  7. Abraham was a very close to God and God made him a very important prophet, and required a lot more from him than others. I believe it's the same with us.
    If our faith isn't tested, then it can't be known if we are truly believing in God and trusting in Him alone. It's not likely that many of us will have to come to the point of proving ourselves faithful to the extent that Abraham was tested; however, it seems anyone who truly wants to do the will of God and be used by Him for whatever purpose He intends must go through some testing to prove themselves able. It also seems to me that the more important the work, the greater the tests are to prepare us for it. This is what came to my mind as I was reading this day's lesson.

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  8. In the story of Abraham's faith is shown the great sacrifice God the Father made by giving his only son as the atoning sacrifice. I am very thankful for that sacrifice.

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  9. Abraham was a man of faith,he govern his household after him in his faith in the Lord. Thats the reason why God could have counted on him to deliver without any doubt.Isaac on the otherhand believed in his fahter words that God will provide a Lamb for himself.

    Abraham learned that being faithful to God and God will be faithful to us. Song said be not dismay what here betide, God will take care of you.

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  10. The whole story of Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his only son, the "living promise," puzzles me quite a bit for many reasons. The greatest of the puzzles is why Abraham was asked to violate every principle and command God ever gave His people concerning such things. With the command against murder and all that God said against the barbarism of human sacrifice especially the Baal worship of the Canaanites why would God command this apparent reversal of Divine directive? Traditionally we have always had our simplistic answers but I wonder just how simple it really is.

    First Ellen White in the quote given in the lesson uses the word "permitted." That word is almost completely out of harmony with the context of a Divine command. When God commands that a person do something He is not giving permission - He is ordering it. Because of this I am wondering if this whole episode is yet another one of Satan's cute little challenges to God like he did with Job (Job 1:11-12). If this was so, then not only did Satan lose another challenge but God turned the whole thing around for good (Rom 8:28) not only for Abraham and Isaac but for generations later that would hear and read about the event and connect it to the Lamb of God.

    Not only that but it would not be the only time in Scripture where God is said to do something when He only gave permission for it to happen. Of course Job is an obvious example but there are other very good examples such as the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Some verses say that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Ex 8:15,32; Ex 9:34; 1 Sam 6:6) while others say that God hardened his heart (Ex 4:21; Ex 10:1). The question is, is God in the business of pushing people into hell. I thought that God's main desire was to save people (1 Tim 2:3-4; 1 Jn 2:2) not burn them. If so then how could God cause Pharaoh to sin (James 1:13).

    Furthermore, we could rightly ask if God tests people. Testing comes in two forms the first being to find out something that is unknown. The second is to stress someone in an attempt to cause failure. If God knows the end from the beginning (Isa 46:9-10) and knows the very hairs on our head (Lk 12:6-7) does He not already know everything about a person? So why the necessity to test and why would He want to stress His people when, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (Jn. 10:10 NKJV). May I therefore suggest that testing comes from creatures with limited knowledge and not from God. In this case possibly from Satan with God's permission.

    Another question I have concerns why Abraham obeyed a command that was so contradictory to what God commanded in the first place. Perhaps an answer is in understanding that Abraham was not as strong a person as we generally think he was. On that point we need to remember the times when he folded concerning Sara.

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    • Tyler, if we take the Bible as it clearly reads and take Ellen White similarly, there is no contradiction.

      Both say that God commanded Abraham to offer up his only son, who was not only the fulfillment of a promise but also the key to the fulfillment of further promises.

      Ellen White uses the word "permitted" only in reference to Abraham's suffering because He did not realize that God Himself would provide the sacrifice - even though Abraham would use this prophetic statement in answer to Isaac's question. She did not say that God "permitted" Abraham to offer up Isaac.

      As you have pointed out, God's command was utterly inexplicable. It went against all that Abraham knew about God. He surely know of God's abhorrence of human sacrifice in the nations around him.

      And yet, Abraham knew it was God who gave this command. In other words, he knew God so well that he recognized His voice without a doubt. Surely, if there had been any doubt in his mind, he would surely not have done something that went so diametrically contrary to all he hoped for, wished and wanted. (Perhaps this demonstrates the weakness of a theoretical knowledge of God. Abraham knew God so personally and intimately that he recognized His voice. Do we?) Abraham's decision to obey was an agonizing one. It seems he did not even tell Sarah, possibly fearing that she might deter him.

      God had spoken, and He didn't reply to Abraham's questionings (which he surely must have sent God's way).

      Abraham had failed several times in his life. Twice he had passed off his wife as his "sister" - which was only partly true, since she was his half-sister, but, more importantly, she was his wife. And he lied by hiding that important fact. He did it because he did not trust God to protect him and his wife but took the initiative to protect himself.

      Now, in his old age, God not only confronted him with a direct test, but God also taught him an important lesson that neither he nor his offspring would ever forget: God Himself would provide the sacrifice. Among God's people, the offering of sacrifices was not to appease an angry God (see Lilliane's post, "God's Hands" ), but each offering was a figure of the Messiah to come - the sacrifice that God Himself would provide. While others offer sacrifices to an angry deity, our Creator God offers up Himself as a sacrifice!

      God had a lot at stake in Abraham. He was to be the father of the "faithful" in this world. He had failed before. Now He gave Him a chance to redeem the failures and demonstrate the kind of faith it takes to be of the "faithful" who will inherit the heavenly Kingdom.

      (We can find a key to Abraham's thinking process in Hebrews 11:17-19 which indicates that Abraham reconciled God's promise and His command with the thought that God was able to raise up Isaac even from the dead and thus fulfill His promise. It makes shivers run up and down my spine when I try to imagine it.)

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      • Inge,
        Yours is a reasonable response, making some helpful and important points. However there may be lingering questions arising from Tyler's post.

        How do we practically apply lessons from Abraham's experience as it relates to having a conviction to do something clearly contrary to previously revealed truth/principle/doctrine? It may not be a test of offering human sacrifice, but could be extreme and involve or affect others. We generally use the Bible to test the spirit, but the revealed Word (even oral)at the time would have advised Abraham to second guess or dismiss the voice of God. How safe is it to listen to the sure 'voice' when it defies established principle and reason? Does God understand if we decline the test in such a case, or if we feel close enough to God shall we put principle on hold? One way to phrase the question is which is greater, experience or "Thus saith the Lord" (written Word), and when might there be an exception?

        This was a most severe test in more ways than one. All of Heaven was in wonder and admiration at Abraham's faith and unwavering obedience, perhaps only exceeded in amazement by the sacrifice of God's Son. Maybe in Heaven there will be further light shed on what happened at Moriah.

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        • Hi Hugh,
          Thank you for your thoughtful response. Yours are pertinent questions.
          It seems to me that we cannot ignore Abraham's experience while establishing guide lines of our own. After all, this experience was also recorded for our guidance and admonition.
          Some more questions arise in my mind:
          Did Abraham have advantages we don't have?
          Do we have advantages Abraham didn't have?
          How does the difference in situation affect us?
          Does written Scripture totally take the place of God's voice to the individual?
          Is it ever safe to ignore the compelling voice we recognize as God's - whether or not our peers agree with us?
          Is it possible to misinterpret the written word and thus go contrary to the actual will of God? Can we look to history for the answer?
          What is the role of the community of faith in recognizing the voice of God?
          And, finally, when there seems to be a conflict between Scripture and what we personally recognize as the compelling voice of God, how do we determine whether that voice is really from God or some other source?
          It seems to me you probably have more thoughts on the question. Please share them.

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        • Hugh, I think you make an extremely important point! We can rightly ask, "How are we to know God's voice from any other?" To me it is simple, "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20 NKJV) which is a very old, established understanding among Adventists and something that is stressed in every evangelistic series. That is how we have consistently defined what truth is and how we are to know truth from error.

          Jesus told His disciples, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:15-16 NKJV). It is by the end result of knowing the Bible that shows up in a person's life and if, "A little leaven leavens the whole lump" (Gal. 5:9 NKJV; 1 Cor 5:6) then the slightest deviation from truth will show up sooner or later, usually in a person's attitude and how they handle and relate to scripture.

          In order to understand the principle involved I default to Ellen White in her explanation of what happen during the three temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness:

          There came to the Saviour, as if in answer to His prayers, one in the guise of an angel from heaven. He claimed to have a commission from God to declare that Christ's fast was at an end. As God had sent an angel to stay the hand of Abraham from offering Isaac, so, satisfied with Christ's willingness to enter the bloodstained path, the Father had sent an angel to deliver Him; this was the message brought to Jesus. The Saviour was faint from hunger, He was craving for food, when Satan came suddenly upon Him. Pointing to the stones which strewed the desert, and which had the appearance of loaves, the tempter said, "If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."
          Though he appears as an angel of light, these first words betray his character. "If Thou be the Son of God." Here is the insinuation of distrust. Should Jesus do what Satan suggests, it would be an acceptance of the doubt. (Desire of Ages, p 118.2)

          She then goes on to connect what happened in the Garden of Eden to Christ's first temptation. What she describes is a perfect example of what Paul told the Corinthian church, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:13-14 NKJV).

          Our faith is not to dependant on the sound of a voice which can be easily mimicked but upon the sure word of the Bible. We are to know more than just a few memorized verses - we are to come to the point of knowing the tenor of Scripture such that we can detect the slightest deviation from it and the principles of God's government to the finest detail. "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand" (Matt. 24:24-25 NKJV). "Even the elect" means the best of the best among us. That is the level of temptation we will eventually face and we will not be able to do so with the meager bit of understanding we have. It is not just the words that are involved in this either but also the way they are presented even to the inflexion of speech which often reveals the attitude behind what is said for in the second temptation Satan used scripture but the way it was handled was not in accordance with the rest of the Bible, it was not according to the intention of its context.

          Jesus met Satan with the words of Scripture. "It is written," He said. In every temptation the weapon of His warfare was the word of God. Satan demanded of Christ a miracle as a sign of His divinity. But that which is greater than all miracles, a firm reliance upon a "Thus saith the Lord," was a sign that could not be controverted. So long as Christ held to this position, the tempter could gain no advantage. (Desire of Ages, p 120.1)

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      • I believe this story is more an object lesson for everyone besides Abraham (including us) than it was a "test" for Abraham. God knows our hearts and He surely knew Abraham's heart. Thus, God knew that Abraham was faithful and He didn't need to "test" Abraham to find that out. Just as Jesus, by example, demonstrated to everyone (then and now) what a righteous life looks like and how it can be achieved, so too did Abraham's "test" demonstrate true, unquestioning faith in and obedience to our Creator.

        The story of Job is the same. God knew Job's heart and was not rolling the dice (so to speak) in hope that Job would be faithful. Job's and Abraham's experiences were not "lessons" for them so much as they were lessons for us.

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    • From the Great Controversy perspective, one of the accusations that Satan makes against God is that He (God) is arbitrary, needlessly testing His creatures through commandments that do not make sense (i.e. Eden's law against the forbidden fruit, and the Sabbath commandment).

      God answers this accusation through Abraham's scenario. The loyalty of God's followers does not depend on the presence or lack of arbitrariness in His commandments. Abraham obeyed even when he did not understand because of his faith. He had the evidence of God's prior working in his life and also had the promise of God's continued blessing to make him the father of many nations.

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    • So why did God "test" Abraham, as the Bible so clearly tells us?

      I strongly recommend clicking on the link to Patriarchs and Prophets in the lesson above. It provides the context for the quote given in the lesson. And, among other things, it tells us that Satan had accused Abraham before the angels and before God as being unworthy of God's covenant. God desired to demonstrate the loyalty of His servant before the universe.

      But God "tests" us too

      For whose sake? Yes, He knows the condition of our characters, but even school tests, rightly used, are a learning tool. Certainly when God "tests" someone, He has some greater object in mind. This kind of "test" is usually like the "test" to muscles in running or weight lifting. By being "tested," muscles grow stronger. The same is true of our faith: It grows stronger only as it is tested, and we choose to obey.

      For me, a literally glowing illustration of this is the incident of the friends of Daniel being cast into the fiery furnace and walking with Christ Himself as told in Daniel 3, particularly Daniel 3:23-24.

      If they had compromised by bending down to buckle their sandals while everyone else bowed to the image, their faith would have grown weaker. But by putting their lives on the line, God gave them an experience that surely strengthened their faith even further.

      Yes, indeed, God tests us. Even if it Satan that throws people into a fiery furnace, God allows it, and therefore, He is responsible for the testing. Because He is sovereign, we can take comfort in the fact that He will not allow us to be tested or tempted beyond what we are able to endure (1 Cor 10:13) Even if the test appears to be beyond what we can endure, we have the assurance that He always makes a way of escape.

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      • Inge,
        Firstly, thanks for your insightful contribution. Secondly, Tyler’s second post in the string is recommended reading.

        I do not have sure answers to most, if not all of the questions raised. These are matters to be prayerfully considered given the relevance to this end time generation of believers. That said only total connection with the One who is able to keep us from falling will ensure we never err on these points.

        If one is unquestionably certain about the firmness of his/her connection with God he/she may wish to proceed with the ‘contradictory voice’ if and when it is heard. However given the abundance of warning in scripture and EGW writings concerning end time deceptions, including the “strong, almost overmastering delusion,” Satan’s personation of Christ (GC p. 64), it seems better to err, if we must, on the side of scripture, and let God judge the intent of the heart.

        It appears Abraham gave God much opportunity to correct the instruction in case there was some mistake on Abraham's part, and/or to relieve the burden of the trial, by putting the matter again and again to God. Undoubtedly God’s subsequent silence on the matter factored into his decision to go forward until the voice spoke again. Abraham’s circumstances were a little different from ours and Jehovah made sure then Satan could not counterfeit certain things, including the voice of the Lord. I am not sure the remnant church has that same guarantee, given its situation in time. What we have are generous warnings, not to be lightly regarded. At a time when miracles, wonders, answers to prayers and deep impressions are to form the centerpiece of the enemy’s strategy to deceive the elect, if it were possible, we dare not trust our senses and experience above the ‘Sure Word.’

        The quote below gives a pertinent perspective

        Darkness Before Dawn, Page 42
        “Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.”

        Keep close to the Savior!

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        • Hugh, I believe the pertinent phrase in the quote you referenced is "the love of the truth." I believe that's as different from an intellectual understanding of the words of Scripture and their nuances as the difference between the disciples who loved Jesus and the Pharisees who were extremely well versed in the promises of the Messiah.

          It seems to me that the Pharisees studied the Scriptures and dedicated themselves to keeping them to perfection - making rules to ensure that they would not break the law of God in the slightest. But listen to what Christ said to them, "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39 NKJV) In all their study of the nuances of Scripture, they still missed the most important point: All Scripture testifies of Christ, and they were in the process of rejecting Him. In fact, in spite of their detailed knowledge of the Scriptures, they crucified Him of whom the Scriptures testified?

          Is it possible for us today to repeat the same mistake? If so, how can we prevent this from happening to us?

          Is it possible to be so intent in "knowing" the Scriptures (and even obeying them) to ensure our salvation, that we miss out on living out the life of Christ in this world?

          Is Bible study always profitable, or can it be harmful?

          How can we make sure that we hear the voice of God through the Bible? Or is it automatic?

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        • Inge, you asked, "Is it possible to be so intent in "knowing" the Scriptures (and even obeying them) to ensure our salvation, that we miss out on living out the life of Christ in this world?
          Is Bible study always profitable, or can it be harmful?"

          Possibly, but since the scriptures speak of Christ and is the main way we have to know what He is like as a model for us to follow it is then imperative that we know the Bible. If we neglect the Bible then we are neglecting to see the image that transforms us (2 Cor 3:18).

          To me the answer to your questions is, that depends on how we do it. If we keep the phrase you highlighted in mind (the love of the truth) then the following text becomes true:

          All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NKJV)

          The problem with Pharisees wasn't how much scripture they knew but how they related to it. In their case they simply believed what they wanted to believe and tossed out everything else or misinterpreted it to suit their belief. I think in some instances that is our problem also.

          I would like to suggest reading two articles from Ministry Magazine which form a two part series titled, "Dealing with doctrinal issues in the church" by Paul S. Ratsara and Richard M. Davidson. The links to the site are as follows Part 1 and Part 2. Even though I don't agree with everything they say I can most certainly agree with the vast majority of it.

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      • I think that sometimes we make issues when there really isn't one. This is partly because we try and think of everything in the Bible from a modern Seventh-day Adventist perspective. We need to remember that Abraham was living in a different culture and his interaction with God was in student/teacher mode. Abraham was learning to follow God's leading. The Mt Moriah incident was not really about God asking Abrahan to sacrifice his son (I have my own theories on that one which I won't muddy the water with here) The important point was that Abraham followed God's leading when He provided a substitute. That is a recurring theme in the Bible. For a person, coming out of a culture where human sacrifice was more-or-less accepted, following God's leading here was a great leap of faith. And just maybe there is a lesson in that for us who live in the post-modern era where we have our own battles with the status quo and leaps of faith! Now that is a bit enigmatic isn't it!

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      • Inge,

        I appreciate the reminder that "He will not allow us to be tested or tempted beyond what we are able to endure (1 Cor 10:13) Even if the test appears to be beyond what we can endure, we have the assurance that He always makes a way of escape."
        It seems like God doesn't let up on me, and gives me lots of hardships, and I think a reason is to keep claiming His promises and remember He is in control. Thanks!

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  11. Now brethren, knowing what asacrifice is, apart from tithes and thanks offering, what else do you give in return to our Lord, either for the sake of blessings of a good job, children, and good friends? l love 'JOB' just have alook at Job chapter one and see why he offered a sacrifice, we think that having taken out 10% of our gatherings that now we have obeyed the command,yes ofcouse but then have you thanked God for making you healthy,giving you a honest partner, making you a good boss and honest? Our God owns the copyright of all that we have. We are asking how have we stolen? We are as equal as robbers of banks, bring to the Lord your offerings in Joy because He has blessed you,thanks and God bless you all.

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  12. God would not bring this lesson to us if it was not meant for our admonition in our faith walk with Him.
    We must not bring human interpretation(theories from the schools of men) to unlock the mistry of God's supposedly 'command' to Abraham to offer his only son as a sacrifice. Important lessons have been drawn this lesson and let ask the Holy Spirit to interpret it for us where we seem to have a cloudy of doubt. God would not bring a lesson to his people that would end them up with a lot of suppositions than realities. God's desire and will is have the people He died for to receive salvation and will not bring lessons that will lead them to perdition, save the human interpretations.
    I believer where the Bible and spirit of prophecy is silent in certain areas, let us not begin to add or subtract. Whatever revelation God has brought before us is good enough to see us through the pearl gates of heaven if we take Him at His Word.

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  13. Leave all and follow Christ is the concept I am getting from abrahams story. He didnt object to God's call to offer a sacrifice which was a very hard thing to do. He counted himself useless but God be on high, he never said "but lord" all he did was to follow what God commanded him. Sister White in the book Christ Object Lesson page 8 is saying we are hard as the rock because we dont leave all and follow Christ. If we leave all, and say I will do as God has said many souls would be brought to God. Abraham never negotiated with his wife if he had to sacrifice Isaac or not but he purposed in his heart to put God first. If we would hav faith as abraham we would be real vessels for God.

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  14. Abraham passed his test and had 100 % marks. We are not the same as them the only thing that God want from us is our hearts. And He also want us to have faith and believe that whatever we ask in His name He will definately do it for us. Oh Lord give me Abraham`s faith.

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