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Friday: Further Thought ~ The Fall — 20 Comments

  1. The Seventh-day Adventist is a pretty impressive structure. We have fine conference offices, impressive churches, well-recognised tertiary education institutions, a large parochial school system, hospitals, health food factories and so on. Not only that, we have a highly structured belief system, built on the foundations of the protestant reformation, developed through the thoughts and study of the early church workers, held together with the glue of the Spirit of Prophecy. It is a towering edifice of theology. Go to any conference session from the local conference through to the general conference and you will hear stories of our successes and strengths.

    The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? Dan 4:30KJV

    How much does it take to shake a rigid structure with "I" or "We" at the centre? Apparently not much.

    While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. Dan 4:31KJV

    There is a serious danger of failing when we put out trust in what we have built or learned or developed.

    Having grown up in New Zealand, I am very much aware of earthquakes. When an earthquake hits, even buildings that have been built with strong materials but are built rigidly often fail. Buildings that are built out of flexible materials usually survive.

    I do not want to dismantle the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I think it has a valuable and important function. But we need to carefully evaluate our structures to determine what is important and where our focus should be.

    • My understanding from scripture regarding your mention of "the Spirit of Prophesy is simply " A witness to Jesus in scripture, That he is the Christ, and everything points to HIM and his work of the Father's reconciliation to his own divine nature and his new creation. 2 Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 1:19-20

      Revelation 19:10 (CSB) Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers and sisters who hold firmly to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, because the WITNESS TO Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

  2. Something to consider for those who are interested. In today's quotation from Patriarchs and Prophets, two views of the cause of the Flood are mentioned:

    *) there were those who "denied the existence of God and attributed the Flood to the operation of natural causes", and then there were
    *) those who "believed in a Supreme Being, and that it was He who had destroyed the antediluvian world; and their hearts, like that of Cain, rose up in rebellion against Him."

    Reading further in the following paragraphs in Patriarchs and Prophets, it is presented that both of these above groups had hearts that were self-seeking and in rebellion against God.

    "The Babel builders had indulged the spirit of murmuring against God. Instead of gratefully remembering His mercy to Adam and His gracious covenant with Noah, they had complained of His severity in expelling the first pair from Eden and destroying the world by a flood. But while they murmured against God as arbitrary and severe, they were accepting the rule of the cruelest of tyrants" (ie, Satan). (Patriarchs and Prophets 120.3)

    The notion of God as "arbitrary and severe" is elsewhere mentioned by Ellen White as the intentional misportrayal of God's nature and character by Satan.

    "From the beginning it has been Satan's studied plan to cause men to forget God, that he might secure them to himself. Hence he has sought to misrepresent the character of God, to lead men to cherish a false conception of Him. The Creator has been presented to their minds as clothed with the attributes of the prince of evil himself,—as arbitrary, severe, and unforgiving,—that He might be feared, shunned, and even hated by men. Satan hoped to so confuse the minds of those whom he had deceived that they would put God out of their knowledge. Then he would obliterate the divine image in man and impress his own likeness upon the soul; he would imbue men with his own spirit and make them captives according to his will." (5T 738.1)
    5T 738.1

    In light of the above, was Ellen White proposing that those who viewed the flood as the work of "a Supreme Being, and that it was He who had destroyed the antediluvian world" somehow had an accurate view of what had taken place even though they were under the influence of Satan who was mis-portraying God to them as "arbitrary and severe"? Or was the truth of the Flood a third alternative that was not accurately perceived by either of the two above-mentioned groups due to their distorted perceptions under Satan?

    • My understanding is that those who believed that a Supreme Being was responsible for the destruction of the antediluvian world were correct in that regard. The evidence would not allow them to deny the existence of God. Indeed, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims the work of his hands." However, the reality of God's power under the influence of the Father of Lies did not lead them to God but away from him. How could a loving God destroy an entire generation of men, women, and children? Many of us still struggle with how God chooses to use or not to use his power when we see the ravages of war, poverty, injustice, and sickness. Reading parts of the Bible where God himself instructs the killing of entire nations including children is uncomfortable to read. So, when he can't get us to accept full error, the devil mixes truth with error. Yes, God is real, but he isn't worthy of our worship. The truth is the third alternative. God is all-powerful. And God is also all love, and all-merciful. Even when we don't understand, we can trust his heart. Only faith can help us to do that.

    • Further to my comment below, about when God acts within his creation with Judgement, it's based on sins full measure and/or total corruption, or major deviation of his plans for immortal sons from clay pots.
      It may be the latter, that gives credence to the opinion that bad Angels left their dwelling place, prior to the flood, Jude 1:6-7, Genesis 6:2-7 and were intermingling with the human genome. Definitely not God's plan.

      In Christ brother,
      I have enjoyed your videos on YouTube the *picture of God* very enlightening !
      Have you written any books ?

      • Hi Larry

        In answer to your question, no I haven't written any books.

        And thanks for your ongoing input on this forum as a fellow contributor.

        In relation to your reference to God acting within His creation with Judgment, what do you see as the 'nature' of God's form of judgment being described when you read passages such as 1 Corinthians 4:5; John 3:18-19; John 5:22; John 8:15-16?

        • First off, did you read my comment below, that God only acts in judgement in mortal creation (before it ends/transformed), based on the fullness of sin, and/or fullness of corruption, Matthew 23:32-36, Genesis 15:16, Revelation 17:3-6, Jonah 4:9-11, before the *final judgement* at the *end* of the millennium. Revelation 20:11-15

          As regards Jesus as Son of Man/Son of God and heir of the New Creation, his unity in the Father's foreknowledge in times everlasting, and solar time, of the final judgement and birth of immortal Sons is available to him at any time. I believe the Father is in timelessness and his Word and Spirit that proceed from him move in eternal times and solar time. Psalms 33:6, Isaiah 55:11. Genesis 1:2

          In Christ 🙏

        • The *nature* of Jesus Judgment in the scriptures you quoted is based on the foreknowledge of the divine nature in the Godhead.

  3. Noah lived after the flood for 350 years and Shem for 500 years so I believe that they shared the truth of the character of the LORD with everyone who lived in the plains of Shinar.

    I believe that the LORD caused the Flood and the confusion at the Tower of Babel to prevent the people who worshipped and served Satan (knowingly or unknowingly thinking they were themselves wise) to destroy the righteous people so that Satan would have complete control of the whole world

    Ellen White agreed that it was the LORD who caused the Flood.
    Patriarchs and Prophets pg 92.1

    Peter who was one of Jesus' closest disciples confirms that it was the LORD who caused the Flood. 2Peter 2:5; 2Peter 3:2-7

    Just because some of the people had combined truth with error in their understanding does not mean that others had not received the truth.
    The truth had been handed down from Adam through 10 generations to Noah and Shem and then through another 10 generations to Abraham and the children of Israel.

  4. There are many examples of God's Justice being employed ONLY when SIN was fully matured and the subject had NO redeeming qualities.
    Matthew 23:32-36, Genesis 15:16, Revelation 17:3-6, Jonah 4:9-11

    Our Father is Allways consistant with his divine nature, qualities and attributes. 2 Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 1:19-20

    Shalom 🙏

  5. Jesus was, is, and always will be "The Way, The Truth, and The Life." Yet, Noah, nor Shem, nor Abraham, nor Jacob, nor Moses, nor David, nor the Old Testament prophets, knew Jesus the way the 12 Apostles or the Apostle Paul or even EGW knew Jesus. But here we are now, over 100 years since EGW was around. But there are counsels in the writings of EGW that the SDA Church still does not follow or go along with. So is Jesus waiting for us to come in line with those counsels of EGW so that He can then come again? I doubt it! The bottom line is that God is Love and perfect patience etc. and etc. and He (Jesus) will come just like the Apostle Paul said in the Book of Hebrews, "He that will come will come and will not tarry."

  6. Looking back over this week's lessons about the Flood and its consequences, I ask: "If we look through the 'short-distance' part of our 'glasses', wanting to 'see' what happened because of the Flood, but not also include the 'far-distant' portion to adjust that what we see to explain fallen man still ‘being alive’, then what will this do to our perception regarding 'true Life'?

    Man is first and foremost a spiritual being – a living soul. Everything man does boils down to its spiritual aspect and the impact his choices have on himself, others, and things around him.
    I think that anything man does to elevate the importance of his life here on earth without considering the impact it has on his Eternal Life is literally 'missing the mark'.

    When man truely understands what it means that the Creator made man - designed man in His Image, manifesting Himself in man -, then he will understand that there is no place for man to exist – live - except within His Creator, his heavenly Father

  7. Just a quick comment and thought on this week's lesson. It makes me feel that knowledge has increases so much that we are at a point of reaching heaven, just like in times of Tower of Babel. The holidays that we will be taking to spend on other planets(the solar systems)

  8. Typically, I think of "division" as a bad thing. A going from unity to disunity. Jesus spoke of division in this destructive sense in Matthew 12:25-26. Paul, too, warns against division in 1 Corinthians 1:10.

    Our story this week reminds me that sometimes division is God-initiated, however. And when God divides I see that He does it as a creative act.

    For example, let's look at Earth's Creation week: God divided light from darkness (Gen. 1:4 KJV), divided the water above from the water below (Gen. 1:6-7 KJV), divided the bodies of water from the dry land (Gen 1:9-10 KJV), divided the day from the night (Gen. 1:14 KJV), divided the woman from the man (Gen. 2:21-23 KJV), divided the man from his parents (Gen. 2:24 KJV), divided the holy Sabbath from the other days (Gen. 2:3; Ex. 20:8,11).

    God divided the nation of Israel out from all the other nations as part of His creative plan of redemption (Deut. 32:8-9;
    Is. 59:2,20).

    Look at God's Hand in reproduction. In humans, about 12 hours after conception a fertilized egg cell begins to split. It continues dividing until at about 30 hours after conception there are two cells where there had been one. Fifteen hours after becoming 2 cells, those 2 cells have also split so that there are now 4 cells. At the end of 3 days after conception, the original fertilized cell has become 16 cells (with a special identifying name of "mulberry"). These cells that will form the human embryo continue to divide as they get carried toward the uterus. By the time of implantation in the uterine lining (about 12 days after conception), that original cell has divided into hundreds of cells. A new human life is formed out of division. All of these cells will receive messages from the brain to work together to form one unified human body.

    I find this encouraging. Division is not always bad. Sometimes God wants to divide us to start something new. He may ask us to separate out from a job, or a relationship, or a home, or so many other things (Luke 14:26; Matt. 19:21; Luke 9:62).
    We need to follow God's call to "split" when He asks us to. I don't really like change too much and I'm grateful that there is at least one division that God will never ask us to make. God will never ask us to separate ourselves from Him and He will never separate Himself from us! (Rom. 8:38-39)

  9. I am pondering God's own words in Gen 11:6 "After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!" (NLT).
    God wouldn't have to "confuse [them] with different languages" if it wasn't true that mankind could accomplish anything together (as long as they cooperated-- "... united, and they all speak the same language"). It boggles the mind!

  10. Yes, Ester P.
    Imagine that! The God of peace saved us from the enemy's confusion by descending to us, on Earth!
    Our Creator yearns to help us postpone evil in our lives. He allows dispersion, in order to facilitate our redemption. The two are interrelated, you know.

    As our son, Ryan, shared during Family Worship, this week, "While we grow and embrace change, we must be mindful that God remains supreme above all. We must hold His promises as true and sacred."

    Let us, like the prodigal son, run to our Heavenly Father, who has already paid the debt we owe, if we have forgiven and confessed.
    Let us, like Abraham, endorse the name of Christ our Supreme Saviour by the lives we live.
    John 5:30, 6:38-39; Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 15:28

    Thank you, for this unique opportunity to share.

  11. Defiance:
    An excellent description of the builders of the Tower of Babel, thank you Curtis and the "Hit the Mark" panel.

    What is Defiance - an open or bold resistance to/or disregard for authority/opposition/power.

    After the Flood the LORD said - Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth - and He promised that He would never again send a flood to destroy all life.

    They distrusted His promise and disrespected His plan for the world. They were openly defiant and mocked God's statement : Let us make man in our own image : and they said let us make a tower that reaches to the heavens, we will make a name for ourselves and rule the world.

    The LORD has a plan for us : You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to be His very own and to proclaim the wonderful deeds of the one who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

    What is your response? Defiance or Acceptance?
    As for me and my household we join Paul in determining our response - I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    • Amen to this, Shirley Debeer, but unless we learn to also do what Paul said just before "Pressing toward the mark...," which was to not only not claim to have attained to perfection but also "forget what was behind." Many of us cannot seem to forget the past and we go on with issues of depression, anger, of our past and seem to also need medications for this and then there is also those who claim to be in line with the keeping of the letter of the law to perfection and go on looking down and condemning those who we feel are not where we are in our perfect obedience etc, and etc, but are not truly "pressing toward the mark of the high calling in Jesus," because we cannot forget the negative past or stop looking at our "perfect obedience."

  12. Thank-you Shirley,I listened to Brother Hall group too. I really liked Darins comment "Noah allowed himself to be separated from God for an instant. It was in that separation where the devil took advantage of him. Good lesson for us, never let ourselves be separated from God, for even an instant"


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