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Sunday: Opposition Begins — 7 Comments

  1. The help of Samaritans was a serious temptation for the Jews given the position of their weakness.
    They were in great need of help. Any help would help further the cause of rebuilding the temple and the wall of Jerusalem.
    What would have been the compromise.
    To the Samaritans, Yahweh was one of many powerful gods. Their idolatry of the Samaritans represented a grave danger.
    Israel had been exiled for seventy years because of their idolatry. This was a dangerous partnership for the returned exiles..
    The Jews would have lost their identity as the people called by God.
    The ten tribes of Israel had lost their identity due to intermarriage now the last two tribes of Israel faced the possible extinction through this partnership.
    By erasing the identity of the Jews, satan would have triumphed and thus reducing the possibility of the Messiah coming in the genealogy of Judah.
    The Jews wanted to protect the purity of their religion and themselves by not allowing to be commingled with the Samaritans.

    When Adventists stand against the ecumenical movement of Christian faith, we would be labeled as hypocrites and rebels.
    However truth cannot be compromised; therefore, even facing opposition we are to hold fast to the revealed word of God and worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

  2. Helping one another should help build social skills, yet maybe self sufficiency is needed to help one feel good as well.

  3. We need to be careful how we apply the lesson for today, and probably the rest of the week as well. I have seen this episode used as an excuse to promote a separatist, exclusive church with little contact with others. And I don't think that sits well with the notion that we have to go into all the world, preaching the Gospel.

    What is the lesson that we should take away with us. I think we need to be careful in our dealings with others. We need to make sure that our principles are not compromised On top of that we need to ensure that we can distinguish between what is a principle what is something we just think is a good idea.

    I have worked for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the whole of my life. At the same time, I have had to attend secular universities to obtain professional training and do my research. The experience has given me an insight into the problem of being a Christian in a world that is best described as post-religious. ?To be fair, I have been treated well by my unchurched colleagues and many of them are my friends. While most of them cannot understand why I cannot attend a seminar or workshop on Sabbath, they accept it. And for my part, I do not feel the need to aggressively oppose their secular beliefs. Discussions do occur and while I won't say I have managed to convert any of them, they at least understand where I am coming from. Further, the fact that I do not drink, is always appreciated when it comes to choosing a designated driver.

    As we study this lesson on opposition it is important for us to recognise that not every one that disagrees with us is in opposition to us. We need to navigate the minefield of interaction so that we can still effectively live the Gospel. The post exilic Israelites needed to retain control over their rebuilding task but still had the commission to be a witness to the nations around them.


    If a prostitute offers to build the church, should we accept this type of money?

    What about money from corrupt politicians ,should the church accept it?

    What about money from preachers who cheat their members to give to be blessed, should we take it?

    Did the disciples take Anania's money?

    If the world and all in it
    is the lord' s, is it wrong to take money or to get any kind of help from our muslim brothers?

    If the money used to build a church comes from fraudsters and criminals, will that building be considered clean?

    Is it ok to preach against how the money to build st Peter's Bassilica was gained ?

    ....if the devil offers to build a church,should we allow him?

    • These are thought provoking questions and opinions vary. My personal opinion is that is that Jesus did not ask the woman where she got the money to bathe his feet with the expensive perfume. It seemed her heart was more the focus than the gift, itself.

      We had a situation in our news some years ago in which a woman was alleged to have embezzled the money she shared with her church. In that case, the money was not considered clean and had to be returned.

  5. The devil would never offer to build a church that opposes his goals.
    We have church members who are in good standing and God has blessed them financially. However when they give money, they expect to have everything go their way. If things don’t they manipulate or threaten to withhold their money from church projects.
    We don’t have to look outside the church walls for corrupt giving. Only in our hearts.

    • Hi Amy, you are so right. This is what I have been saying since the first lesson of this Quarterly. This message in this quarterly is not talking about the ways (or sins) of the world; the message of Ezra and Nehemiah is a message to God's people, and God's remnant church. It's focus is to show us how to become better leaders, to be willing to be led by the Holy Spirit. Please go back and read the Introduction to this quarterly.

      Ezra and Nehemiah are saying to us, "it's not them that need to rebuild God's Temple, it's us." Or to us today, they are saying "it's not them that need to be better leaders, it's us". We always want to say, "they, they, they", when we should be saying, "we, we, we"; let's take the focus off the sins of the world, and redirect our focus on cleansing the church of God, "us".

      In my opinion, God is giving us these lessons, about building and rebuilding our characters, in order to prepare us to be the best Leaders we can be in the Final Crisis. It would be a shame if we miss the point, and we are not ready when the Final Crisis comes. Let's wake up and prepare ourselves to finish God's work.

      Be Blessed everyone!


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