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Monday: Before the Judgment Seat — 23 Comments

  1. Here's a perfect example of one judging a brother or sister. When Jesus was about to heal a man (or restore him/her to good health) here come some church members looking on whether or not Jesus was going to grant this individual deliverance (Salvation) on Sabbath.

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  2. If the writter says Romans 14:12 means we are not our brothers keepers...what then does being "our brothers keepers mean?" As this is what our faith always teaches. Someone elaborate this please.

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    • The writer used that statement in a specific context to let us understand that we are responsible for our individuals deeds and actions but not that of others. Therefore we will give individual account of our lives on earth before the throne of Christ. The biblical fact and command still remains that we
      are brothers keeper but a brother cannot account or be responsible for the deeds of others before the Lord.

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      • The expression "brother's keeper" comes from the story of Cain. It had nothing to do with Cain needing to correct Abel. Cain had killed Abel, and was avoiding taking responsibility for his own actions. Being our brother's keeper is about showing love, not judgement.

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  3. You are not your brothers keeper because no one can save anyone else it is based on each persons individual choice.
    We are called to present the gospel to the people. The choice of accepting Christ and living the transformed is in the part of the believer. Each one us will be judged according to the choice that they have made.

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    • My brother's keeper: definition: brother's keeper, Am I my. A saying from the Bible's story of Cain and Abel. ... Cain answered, “I know not; am I my brother's keeper?” Genesis 4:9 Note : Cain's words have come to symbolize people's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the welfare of their fellows — their “brothers” in the extended sense of the term.
      http://www.dictionary.com/browse/brother-s-keeper--am-i-my
      In this context, we sure are. We are responsible for sharing God's Word so that all may have access to Eternal Life. If we are responsible for the loss of a soul, we imitate Cain. This applies first to our brothers and sisters within our Church and then outward to the ends of the earth. Blessings always

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  4. I'v a question about sola scriptura (bible alone) as our standard of faith. Where do we put our church manual which can be reviewed after every 5 yrs? They dont review the bible. There are many things in the church manual which can be voted and the majority of the votes will make that issue a standard of faith yet the bible can never be reviewed. Please help with love not emotion.

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    • Jason, we will be judged by the Bible, not the church manual. The church manual is a helpful guide in church procedures, but it is not inspired. Thank you for bringing this up, as I have heard people in church board meetings mention the manual as though it were the Bible, thinking it had be followed to the very letter. The purpose of the manual is not to replace the thinking of the local pastor or church board or to replace the conscience of the individual.

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      • William, i wonder whether the whole of our church worldwide holds your view or not. I say so because even in my own church where i worship, the church manual has been a rather divisive than unifying tool, on many occasions leading to protracted conflicts which even end up dividing the church. We follow this book to the letter, sometimes against clearly conscientious means which would be highly beneficial to every one. It is as though our thinking is simply based on the church manual than any thing else, how i wish this notion could change so that our leaders act in a loving manner rather than stick to the manual so rigidly as to disadvantage erring members of the church.

        (3)
      • The view that the church manual is not inspired is quite a matter to reflect with much prayer. Jesus promised to send the Helper(Holy Spirit) to inspire His followers in every aspect of their christian. Before the church manual is voted into use, lots prayers are offered seeking for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit was not limited to the Bible times only. I will be indeed worried if my life and other believers is not inspired by the Holy Spirit. What hope do I have that I will overcome this sinful life?

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        • Thanks Mwambi for giving me opportunity to clarify. It may be inspired for its purpose, which is to give order to operations, but it was not inspired beyond its purpose like the Bible or even Spirit of Prophecy. As your last sentence says, other believers can be inspired by the Holy Spirit, and if that is so, which I believe it is, the local leaders are the most inspired for leading their local congregations.

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    • I concur with William. The Church Manual is not a "standard of faith" but a working manual for an organization. I have a digital camera and it is a complex bit of machinery it comes with an instruction manual and it is useful to read it at times to get the best out of my camera. Interesting the camera manual has nothing about how to be a creative photographer. I happen to know some people who know their camera manuals well but take technically correct, but dull uninspiring photos.

      Likewise, the church manual deals with the technical aspects of running a church, it is not a manual on how to be saved.

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    • Our founding fathers, and Ellen White are quite clear on this. The church manual (or any other procedural document) should never be regarded as the last word on anything. As has been stated, it is a useful tool for organization, but it can and is abused. Some feel they have a better connection with God than anyone else and thus have the right to control others. Such tend to use the Church Manual to leverage their perspective and force it on others. As has been mentioned, this does not produce unity, but division.

      There's an old adage that says "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". This applies not only to dictators, but the temptation is very strong among church leaders (and even members at the local level). The Bible clearly addresses this. While it strongly encourages organization and order, it also clearly states the concept of the "priesthood of all believers" which is antithetical to the notion of hierarchical power.

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  5. If your brother have a need and you are in a position to help and choose not to then you will have to answer to God. No brother can answer for you, you on your own. If you had helped the brother you would have been his keeper.

    I hope this helps to explain.

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  6. We once had a pastor who, like my father, had been raised in the Roman Church. The pastor recalled a sabbath after his family joined the Seventh-day Adventist organization when they left literature at every door in one neighborhood. Afterward, his brother said, “At least they have been warned.”

    The pastor said he later realized the flaw in that thinking. Even if every one of those pieces of literature were to be read, each person’s point of need is different.

    It is true that adventists have been commissioned to warn the world but the warning is of such nature that there are prerequisites without which the warning cannot be understood.

    We live in a culture (U.S.) where the story of Bethlehem has been told so many times, it is easy to assume everyone knows what it means. Not everyone does. How much do your neighbors understand about the implications of that story? How much do they understand about how the ancient prophecies were fulfilled by the event that occured in Bethlehem? How much do they understand about the nature of the kingdom of him whose birth was different than that of any other person ever born of a woman?

    That is just one of the many aspects of the gospel that people need to understand FIRST so the “warning” won’t be misunderstood to mean that we think we are saved by our decisions or so it won’t be misunderstood to mean that we think we will be saved by our sabbath keeping.

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    • Roger thank you so much for your comment! What you shared has been my concern for sometime. First of all there has to be more to sharing Jesus than just throwing literature or facts at people. Second, we need to minister to their needs and not our agenda of getting them into "our church." Fact is, God may not be leading them into our church. He may have other plans for them.

      "Christ was not exclusive, and He had given special offense to the Pharisees by departing in this respect from their rigid rules. He found the domain of religion fenced in by high walls of seclusion, as too sacred a matter for everyday life. These walls of partition He overthrew. In His contact with men He did not ask, What is your creed? To what church do you belong? He exercised His helping power in behalf of all who needed help." -Desire of Ages, Page 86.

      In Luke 2 the Shepherds were not warned, they were invited. They were ministered to with reconciling love. Yes, there is a judgment going on, but the purpose of the Day of Atonement or judgment is to make reconciliation, not just to throw books at people and tell them they have been warned!

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  7. The author of this lesson again indicates that this section of Romans is not about diet but about meats sacrificed to idols. So what about Romans 14:17? This verse very clearly indicates to me that it is not what we eat that determines our saving relationship with God but just simply how we relate by faith to his promises in his son Jesus.

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  8. Maybe in the Apostle Pauls' day there was a very real issue about "Meats offered to idols," and this was probably a real problem with the Jewish converts to Christianity. And the Apostle Paul indicates how in reality and how via faith in Jesus the fact that any food and even flesh foods that have been offered to idols really does not render that food unhealthy to the eater of it nor does it create a rift of Gods' ability to save anyone who chooses to eat that food. I guess that at least in this country we do not have to worry about food or flesh that is offered to idols. But there is an idea with some super conservative SDA's that those who continue to include flesh in their diet will be excluded by God from being translated without experiencing death before Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven. But I challenge those SDA's with this thought and this question: Why would God be different with the diet of those just before Jesus returns than he was with His Prophet Elijah where God fed this prophet via His ravens with flesh twice a day before translating this Prophet without dying and takes him to heaven just before feeding him flesh daily and twice a day? Elijah did not choose this meat (flesh,) diet for himself, God used his "ravens," to bring His Prophet this diet that included flesh, then translates His Prophet to heaven without dying.

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    • Pete, when you say, "this country" please specify which country. When I write my blog posts, and comments I have to keep in mind people are reading from all over the world, so I must be specific. 😊

      By the way, our blogserver for SSNET is in England. We have volunteers like myself working for the site from various continents. 😊

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    • The key to understanding Romans 14 is:

      But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

      Paul is encouraging us to work out some things for ourselves and that ultimately we have to give an account for that to God. But we should not judge one another or make stumbling blocks for others.

      A fair bit of the conversation on this thread has been about how Seventh-day Adventists ought to behave. And isn't that what Paul is asking us to avoid?

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