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Thursday: The Lord’s Supremacy in History — 10 Comments

  1. Many of us put on tinted glasses when we look into the past. Depending on our persuasion, we either yearn for the "good old days" or we don't want to go there for fear of finding skeletons in the closet. Our modern world lives very much for the present and to a large extent consider those of us who look to the past or think of the future as fanatics and nutters.

    Even in our Seventh-day Adventist Church, many members are quite unaware of much of our historical context. We know about Ellen White of course but most of us have little perception about her other than she wrote a lot of books.

    The problem we face is that we have several cute quotes like,

    We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history. Ellen White - a number of books

    ... and we trot this out fairly frequently. But we fail to read our history, or worse, we read our history with sanitised rose-tinted glasses.

    Deep down I have a real fear for the future of the Seventh-day Adventist Church because I think we are largely ignoring the forge of our history. Our history reads like the history of the Israelites with periods with hills and hollows of spiritual experience. We can be proud of some and hang our heads in shame at others.

    Why is this important? Aren't we supposed to have a personal relationship with Jesus and that is what matters? The issue is that we are not isolated individuals. Much of our spiritual experience takes place within the context of our interaction with people of like faith and it is in this same context we either grow or wither spiritually.

    This last year I have taken the time to read Dr Gil Valentine's book, "W W Prescott. Forgotten Giant of Adventism's Second Generation" This is a great introduction to the era that included the passing of Ellen White and the church coming to terms with the diversity of doctrinal understanding. I admit to having a personal interest in this book. Gil Valentine is a fellow New Zealander and I have worked with him at Avondale University. He is a careful and sympathetic historian. Secondly, W W Prescott was the president of Avondale in the early 1920s when my wife's Grandfather was a student. He remembered Prescott with a lot of respect.

    This book provides a rich insight into the way the church developed during this period and I will leave it to the reader to appreciate the Lord's leading in the past.

    • Yes, thank-you Maurice for the link. We should all read history of our church. Elder Prescot was a very good example of a peacemaker, it appears he was given flak. I came to understand that there were many people with open arms surounding Ellen White when she was hussled off to Astralia. Possibly, even visiting New Zealand or New Zealanders visiting Her in Australia. There is a proud heritage in Australia. It is good to remember the Goodness of God.

  2. What if God said of me, "She is joined to her idols, let her alone." (Hosea 4:17)? That would be the most horrible thing possible that could happen. Ps.135:15-18 reminds me that I become alike whatever is #1 in my heart and mind and time. God works in my thoughts and affections to replace whatever I foolishly put into that #1 spot, with Himself. If I am in a life flow that is harmful and numbing my conscience, He works to prod me onto the correct path. One of my favorite things Jesus told someone is when He kindly asked Saul, "Why do you kick against the pricks? (Acts 9:5; 26:14 KJV)... Why do you push back against My warnings?...Why are you resisting my authority and injuring yourself and others?....Why do you prefer an uneasy state of mind?....Why do you spend yourself on things that don't satisfy?" (Is.55:1-2) God's Words are meant to prod me to stop fighting Him (Ecc.12:11), and when that doesn't work, I would rather God break my bones (Ps.51:8) or that I get some cuffs from His kind Hand of grace (Gen.32:25), than to continue on a blind pathway of pride and rebellion.

  3. The defination of Idols is anything or personal situations that are prioritize above God.

    Part of the question for today was Why might idolatry be easier to do than we realize?

    At some point when there was an issue of worshiping Idols. Elijah called a congregation gethering in the presence of the Prophets of Baal and asked the people, how long are you Going to halt between two opinions (1st King 18:21). He did not say why have you forsaken God. In other words the people did not forsake God but instituted and additional belief system in case God does not show up. But God says you shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3)

    Back to the question Why might idolatry be easier to do than we realize? We might be having two opinions where we asking God for direction whilst smulteneosly planning our own retaliation. In other words it is easy for us to worship God but at the same time he doesn't not inform the other areas of our lifes. That's how idolatry might be easier to do than we imagine.

    We serve a God who can supply all our need. He doesn't have to refer us to anybody. He is the God who can keep us through the seasons of life. He doesn't not have to outsource his grace. For God to be a jealous God is actually good for us. The thing that I love about God is that his not only demanding our full devotion - he give us his full attention.

  4. Here is a definition on the net, "Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc."

    Anything that I value more than the Creator is idolatry; even a problem can become an "idol." Let's place all our limitations and challenges before God because He has the right solution.

  5. Psalms 80
    God's people were were lost sheep they were telling God what to do, or if you prefer asking God to lead them out of evil, as You Oh Lord led us out of Egypt.

    Restore us oh God, cause your face to shine. Psalm 80:3. In contrast, "lead us not into temptation." Matthew 6:13

    Maybe lead us out(not into temptation) of temptation is exemplified by the one out of a hundred lost sheep. Christ rescued the lost sheep, yes carried him out of the bulrushes.
    Luke 15:4.

    Maybe it is, keep us from falling into temptation. "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
    I Corinthians 10:13 NKJV

    Maybe it is, "He leads, us into paths of righteousness for His name sake." Psalm 23:4.

    Last think on this, "then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
    II Peter 2:9 NKJV

    Could deliver mean led us out of temptation?

    I hope no one is confused, remember the Holy Spirit guides us to truth as we are reading the Bible. Desire of Ages page 617. May I add, if we ask. Luke 11:13.

      • We used to have a tool to move comments around but sadly it is no longer available. We will leave the comment here with the note that it applied to yesterday and know that our readers will understand.

  6. How else could man know its true God but that it is told to them by direct testimony throughout history? Peoples in all parts of the world received teachings from wise sages, and their followers established a religion to continuously observe their teachings. Some are still viable to this day.

    I considered that all the diverse religions reflect on the steady progress God made to reveal to humanity who the only true God Almighty is. Our generation received the last revelation through His Son Jesus Christ; there will be no need for another teacher.

    Again, man enshrined 'Truth' in the form of a religious movement, but the Supreme God's revealed Living Word’s containing spiritual Truth is directly conveyed to each individual believer's heart and mind through faith.

    Though God shared His Truth with the people of Israel first, it was always meant to spread into all the world. God’s Truth is universally applicable as all mankind springs from the Creator God’s hands and can perceive His Truth independently through the Holy Spirit.

    Brown or yellow, black or white – we are all his children formed by His inspiration and given the ability to know our Maker. Jesus’ coming ended the long journey of religious history which God used to help mankind to know Who its Maker is. We are the blessed generation who knows that their will be no other god following the One we worship and submit our lives to.

    God created man to have fellowship with him. I consider this fellowship to be available for mankind yet to be born to inhabit the new earth. Human, from it's inception, was destined to inherit eternal life; the Lord’s Supreme Will planed it this way!

  7. The Psalmist indicates that Idols and "Idolatry" are made by humans and are made of Silver and of Gold etc. The Psalmist also contrasts this to the True God who not only made the Universe but also all life including humans and made humans in His Image. Idolatry is still a very huge thing today for humans to worship instead of to the Creator Himself to the point that humans have come to the point of claiming that all living things, including humans, took "millions and millions of years to make themselves." This to me is the "Ultimate Idolatry," not to mention the "Idolatry of serving ourselves." Seventh Day Adventists are not immune to this type of "Idolatry" either, when they ignore "Inspired Counsel," for living healthfully etc. and etc.


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