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Friday: Further Thought ~ From North and South to the Beautiful Land — 12 Comments

  1. We are coming to the end of this series of lessons on Daniel and it has been an interesting time for those of us who have taken the time to check some of the history that we have always associated with the prophecies. I believe that there is some merit in re-examining the dates and rationale for our beliefs. One thing that I have discovered from my reading is that history is much more complicated than we are led to believe if our only source of information is the narrative that the church provides us with. I am not saying that the Church has got it wrong, but we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t check the history books for ourselves.

    It is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that Ellen White read quite widely as she penned books such as “The Great Controversy” and maybe we should be following her example. In the 130 years, or so, since she was an active writer, more historical evidence has been discovered and made available. We should not ignore this information.

    I want to come back to an issue that is very close to my heart. Many Adventists maintain that a resurgent Papacy is part of the end-time scenario based on what we read in Daniel. Be that as it may, I observe that presently the Papacy is on its knees with the revelation of widespread sexual abuse and a consistent effort to cover it up by moving the perpetrators and silencing the victims. In Australia this has resulted in Cardinal George Pell, one of the most powerful men in the Catholic hierarchy being jailed. Roman Catholic congregations are reeling from these investigations. I think that this is a God-sent opportunity for us to show love to the folk in these congregations. They do not need to be told about the evil of the papacy; the press and media are taking great delight to point out the failings of the church. They do need love and support and to be shown a better way. They need friends who can show them compassion and understanding without condemnation. Do we share them with the presence of Jesus when we talk to them?

    How many Roman Catholic friends do we have? Now is the time for compassionate Christianity.

    Amen!(36)
    • I am in total agreement! We have a group that gathers every Friday evening and have been studying the book of Daniel in preparation for the book of Revelation. One question I have had for years is "Does the church have a position yet on Daniel 11:40-45?"

      The answer I kept getting is no we don't. We do have a few brave souls that have attempted to make sense of those verses such as Ivor Myers, Tim Roosenberg, William Shea and Stephen Haskell.

      Well I came across a study by Steven Bohr on the book of Daniel. After all these years finally someone has come up with the answer.

      Apparently at the time that Uriah Smith wrote "Daniel and Revelation" the church had believed the king of the North was the papacy. Uriah basically said no, it is Turkey. James White took exception to his position and a controversy started. Mrs. White suggested he, James back off. She addressed the whole issue herself without coming out in direct conflict with Uriah Smith.

      Her answer to the conflict is found in chapters 38 and 39 in the book "The Great Controversy!"

      Chapter 39 starts off with this statement:

      "And at that time shall Michael stand up." Daniel 12:1! He, Steven Bohr is convinced, and so am I, that statement points us back to the last 10 verses of Daniel 11 both in Scripture and in her writings. Chapter 38 is her detailed explanation of Daniel 11:35-45! Chapter 39 Daniel chapter 12!

      Read them for yourselves! I believe she got it right! We've had the answer all these years and most did not know it!

      Amen!(10)
  2. 1 Corinthians 13:2

    What if I have the gift of being able to interpret prophecy perfectly so that I understand all mysteries and all knowledge?

    And what if I even go on to have such faith in God (based on the fulfilment of prophecy) that I can in fact move 'mountains'?

    Is it possible that I could have all this - and at the same time actually be missing the most important thing - love towards others?

    Paul believed that unless love was the foundational motivation and core drive of all we are and do, then all we are and do would amount to nothing as it would not be advancing the Kingdom of God.

    The books of Daniel and Revelation are prophecy cornerstones. But consider the depth of love displayed by the two men to whom these prophecies were revealed and entrusted. Could their deep love for others be the reason they were graced with receiving direct communication from heaven?

    And what is the underpinning message that runs through Daniel and Revelation? The Kingdom of self-seeking and coercion will raise its ugly head throughout history and will be embraced by many. But it is the Kingdom of self-sacrificing love alone that will endure.

    In the midst of the current COVID-19 reality and the social and personal impacts that are unfolding/unraveling, now more than ever is the time to put John 13:35 into action in how we relate to and treat everyone we encounter today.

    And now is the time for each and everyone of us to pray like Daniel did (Daniel 9:4-19).

    Amen!(18)
  3. Be thou. my guide oh Holy Spirit.

    Question 1. How can we be sensitive to the feelings of others.......yet not compromise the Bible teaching.

    We are living in terrible times but how can we as Christians show love and care to those of our house hold of faith. If we don’t, others will and those in the faith will be led away and astray.
    This story is about an old woman who once attended my church but died. My husband went to visit her one Sunday morning, he saw her was dressed and waiting, he thought she was confused so he let her knew the day was Sunday and not Saturday. She said she was aware but someone usually take her to church on Sunday. He was confused. She told him she once attended Sunday church, then she started attending church on sabbath but when she got sick it was the people from the Sunday church who took care of her/ visited her. So she thought it’s ok to go with them to church on Sunday.

    I had wanted to say something to her but my spouse said not to. She was aware which day was the sabbath.
    When Marin Luther leave the RC church he condemned the teaching but took many of the relics along with him and formed the Lutheran church. Do we have any relics and teaching in our SDA that he condemned?
    Let the church be guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Amen!(6)
  4. Sister White in todays lesson answers so well the unidentified power of Wednesdays lesson. Yes I too have seen in the news, main stream and not so mainstream, in multiple areas of the world the hiarchy of the modern papacy being arrested or told to resign for atrocities to humanity. I have friends in the Catholic Church, and I too would hope and pray that they can see the rich current of Christ love flowing through my soul. May I prove I have been with Jesus who is all my righteousness. Thus I avoid insults and condemnation. I don't have to bring up the faults to show my disagreement with Rome, unless put on the spot.
    Our love and obidience to Christ is in our hearts. God is still having the 4 Angels hold back the winds of strife, so that we may be instruments in His hands.

    Amen!(4)
  5. The first discussion question above deserves our solemn consideration. What is more important: people's feelings or their eternal welfare?

    John the baptist gave very pointed, but never rude, messages due to the vital importance of our individual choices. Most in his day followed the leaders, who themselves were mostly headed toward perdition and their final desolation according to Daniel's prophecy. They knew not the time of their visitation and proceeded to reject, condemn, and execute their only True Hope in this life and the life to come.

    The Roman power is clearly indicated in prophecy and called the "abomination of desolation" due to its deceptive manner of leading millions to eternal ruin under the guise of being a "Christian" church, the vicar of Christ. If we have received Jesus as our Savior, will we love our fellow man enough to alert them to their eternal danger in believing a lie? Yes, Truth doesn't need to offend, but most will be offended as Cain was offended by "righteous Abel", and as the leaders of Judea were offended by the meek and lowly Lamb of God who came to save.

    We must study how to share the truth in the most uplifting way possible, but to remain politely "silent" is seen by God as the greatest offense toward Him. Consider prayerfully the solemn words of the wise man in Proverbs 24:11,12. Will not the "faith of our fathers" give us genuine love to save those who would otherwise perish?

    Our manners need the subduing grace of the Holy Spirit, along with the boldness to give the clear warning shown in Revelation 14.

    Amen!(10)
  6. Initially Adam & Eve were created with characters or temperaments like the LORD, however His Word recognizes that now most people have one dominant temperament, either guardian, artisan, idealist or rationalist and accordingly the Holy Spirit gives different spiritual gifts. 1Cor 12:12-31
    1Co 12:27-28  And you are the body of Christ, and members in part.  28  And God set some in the church, firstly, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers, then works of power, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of languages.

    This is why I am disturbed when people seem to be dictating to others saying "you are studying doctrine too much, you must go out and help people" or the other way round. If I have been given the gift of "helps" don't tell me to go out and "teach". Each must develop the gift they have been given, however as a group hopefully we will have enough different parts to make up a whole body.

    Also we need to realize that when we are interacting with others that they will probably be at a different stage of their spiritual journey to yourself, we cant feed a baby meat, they need milk and the other way round - don't give a mature adult baby food. Ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit to know what part of the message does that person need to hear.
    Heb 5:12-14  For indeed because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again what are the first principles of the oracles of God. And you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food.  13  For everyone partaking of milk is unskillful in the Word of Righteousness, for he is an infant.  14  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, even those who because of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

    Amen!(3)
  7. Well I took Daniel Shannon’s advice and read chapter 38 in The Great Controversy, wow, what a message for us right now. I only had time for 38, but will have to read 39 this evening. This solidified my thoughts that even though the historical facts are important for us, the bottom line, being the war that is going on for our souls, is the most important thing to understand. By studying scripture, and then looking back at history, I can see how scripture cannot be ignored. I also can see that by reading scripture, I see the paths my life needs to follow, that I must live victorious and changed life. When people look at me, do they see what living a Christ like life looks like? Do I reflect the Jesus I claim to know? For me, what I have taken away from this study of Daniel so far, is that my focus must be knowing God, and living my life in a way that others will know who I belong to.

    Amen!(5)
  8. Be thou my guide, helper, councilor, and friend Holy Spirit.

    Sis Shirley I do agree with you. The Bible spoke about different gifts given to the church members for different reasons. The Bible even list some of the gifts. One might be verse in teaching but not in government. One might be in helping but not in something else. But the bottom line is: 1 Cor 12:7. To profit withal. I repeat, To profit withal. Not within. What does profit withal means?
    Do some people using their spiritual gifts to profit within?
    The Bible says love covers all sins, but what does that means? Does it means because I love people, family, friends and I know they are doing wrong I will not say anything to them or do anything/nothing?
    As God people we have to pray for spiritual eyes and wisdom from God how to live this life we are called to live.
    My personal experience. We have a little store room where we normally purchase food and stock up, we usually leave it open. Anyone can come and take what they need it doesn’t bother us. We will go and buy more when and if needed. Now with the Corona diseases we stock up even more but we placed a lock on the door. What does placing a lock on the door means? This kept bothering me, the lock on the door.
    The Bible says Matt 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Is this verse being fulfilled in my very own life.
    Love is not love until it is being tested. 1Cor 13: 1-13.

    Happy Sabbath to all, Jesus is love. We, most of the world now are worshiping from our homes.

    Amen!(1)
    • Lyn, I understand 1Cor 12:7 to mean that spiritual gifts are given for us to share the good news and love of Jesus with others, inside and outside our community of faith. Eph 4:11-16
      You ask can one use a spiritual gift for oneself, I say if an ability that was initially given by the Holy Spirit is used for your own benefit then it could no longer be considered a spiritual gift. For example if one is given the gift of preaching but uses it to accumulate wealth for oneself then it is a misuse of God's gift. Another example is the gift of languages which is to spread the Good News to others not to develop one's own spirituality.

      Amen!(1)
    • Lyn, you are right 1Peter 4:8 says "love covers a multitude of sins" but what does it mean?
      Ps 32:1-2; Ps 85:2; Rom 4:7-8 tells us that sins being 'covered' means they are forgiven, like decaying matter is buried.

      So love forgives others what they have done against us, as God forgives us our sins. 1Cor 13:4-7, Matt 6:12, Matt 6:14-15.

      James 5:19-20 also explains that "he who turns a sinner from the error of his ways will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins"
      So it also means that in love, gently we can share the truth, 1Pet 3:15.

      Paul in Eph 4:32 sums up what Peter meant in 1Pet 4:8, "be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you"

      Amen!(1)
  9. It's important to note that in further thought we are reminded that "no church within the limits of romish jurisdiction was long left undisturbed in the enjoyment of freedom of conscience." Great controversy, p.62

    Amen!(1)

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