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Sunday: The Tree of Life — 17 Comments

  1. The final question in today's lesson hilights that it is how we actually live our everyday activities and interactions that express whether we are genuinely choosing God's Way or not. This emphasis aligns well with the verse that Maurice is rightly passionate about drawing our attention to:

    "A new understanding of Moses' command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you – freely, not from a sense of obligation, but from a renewed heart of true regard and concern for one another, genuinely loving others more than yourself. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, because you will practice my methods and principles of selfless love for one another." (John 13:34,35 - The Remedy)

    Amen!(31)
    • Dear Brother,
      I admire your understanding of the true Gospel. However, many of our people are not following the Shema (Letov Lak) for their own good,alas!

      Amen!(1)
    • Thanks, Phil. It seems to me that the Remedy paraphrase misses a key point and thus blunts the force of John 13:34. Christ was not merely providing "a new understanding of Moses' command." He truly gave a "new commandment" - one that Moses could not have given, nor could the Lord Himself give it before Christ lived His life self-sacrificing love on this planet.

      Christ was/is the full revelation of the character of God as far as we humans can understand it. He was the One all the prophecies and symbols given to God's people from Adam to Christ's time anticipated. And after that revelation of self-giving, self-sacrificing love, Christ could give a truly "new commandment": "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you" John 13:34 ESV

      The full force of that "new commandment" could not be realized until the crucifixion demonstrated that Christ truly loved us to the point of sacrificing His own life on our behalf.

      Amen!(20)
      • Hi Inge

        Thanks for your input. I found 1 John 2:7,8 (within the context of 1 John 2 and wider) an interesting contemplation as I was considering what you are proposing and what The Remedy is suggesting...

        I also found myself considering Moses offer to lay down his life for the Israelites (Exodus 32:30-32).

        Amen!(13)
      • Well said Inge. Adam, the federal head of the natural human beings, procured for his seed sin, unrighteousness and death through his disobedience. His seed partake of his nature. They are born in his likeness (Gen 5:2; Rom 3:10-18).
        He was a type of the Christ (last Adam) who was coming (Rom 5:14). Christ is the federal head of the Spiritual human beings (1 Cor 15:22,45-49; Eph 1:22,23). His seed partake of His nature (Isa 53:10; Rom 5:14-21).
        “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.“ (1 Jn 3:16,23,24). Every believer is begotten of the Holy Spirit (becoming sons and daughters, heirs) who pours out the Love of God in their hearts who are therefor able to love as God loves, being willing to give their lives for one another.

        Amen!(3)
  2. The lesson starts out with "None of us asked to be here, did we? We didn't choose to come into existence." I'd like to take this one step further. I had someone say to me that, "I never asked to be born with a sinful nature. God isn't fair, as I'm headed for hell now, if I don't accept Him."

    I did have an answer, but not sure if it was a good answer. So I'm curious how others would have answered. I won't give my explanation and muddle up this issue. What say you.

    Amen!(6)
    • I see satan's mudding of the waters(doctrines of God's word) to be the true issue of the question posed to you. Satan's false doctrines being accepted as God's doctrine has turned many from choosing life, thereby making this present life a living hell for themselves and those in their sphere.

      Amen!(5)
    • It's Satan's way to put blame on God for everything bad that happens. However, God gave man a free choice. The choice that Adam and Eve made brings to their offspring the same sin nature that they took on. It's naturally inherited. We all still have a choice of life or death, sin or righteousness.
      God never left us or he wouldn't have been available as one of the choices to make. Adam was born without sin against the Almighty but chose to sin against Him. As their offspring, we naturally inherit the same sinful nature they chose, but we can choose God's way. This is so because God's wrath could be satisfied through His Son who chose to take our place and endure the fullness of His Father's wrath against the sins we commit. God has always been available as a choice from the beginning.

      Amen!(7)
    • Hi Brother Alfred,
      Very inspiring question, and I look forward to reading your answer to your friend as well.

      My answer, to tell your friend, is that unfortunately, even though we did not ask to be born into this world, we are all now a "puns" in a "chess" called "Good and Evil"; we can either choose to be on The Lord's side, or we can choose to be on satan's side, there is no in-between.

      Also, tell your friend that the scriptures says, in Matthew 25:41, "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:'". This means that hell, or what people refer to as the lake of fire, was prepared for the devil, and his angels. It was not prepared for us, none of us have to go there. We can choose Life (as Moses was advising the children of Israel to do in our lesson), through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave up "everything" for us. Hell, or the lake of fire, was never designed (prepared) for us to receive that punishment, the second death; but if we choose to be on satan's side, then we are going there with him. Many pastors and evangelist use this analogy to "put the fear of the lake of fire" in people's heart, to help them to choose the Lord's side. But there's so much more to it all, that's what Moses long sermon 33 chapters (even though I know it's one big chapter or speech) is all about.

      Moses is trying to tell the people, as he tried to told him 39 years earlier (same message in the Garden of Eden), it's all about God wanting to commune with His creation, with his people. He had the angels to commune with, but for whatever reason, He choose to create us (humans) too, in order that we may have a personal relationship with our God. Personally, I can't wait to meet all three members of the Godhead, to talk with them. Sometimes, I'm late getting to church (as we all are, too many obstacles), but when we all get to Heaven, I'm going to be the first person at the door of the sanctuary each Sabbath, waiting to talk directly with Jesus. I have a lot of questions, but I think by the time I get there, I would not care about those questions anymore.

      That's my answer.
      Be Blessed.

      Ps. We here in the Sabbath school blog, knew that "Hell" is the grave, or hades; but I do understand that the masses do know that.

      Amen!(5)
    • Indeed, Alfred, your friend's question could be extended to "Why did God create our world at all? (and by inference, is He responsible for all this chaos in the first place?)
      I have at times questioned this myself, and usually we hear the answer that God felt lonely and wanted someone else to love.

      Firstly, that God gave all the heavenly hosts a choice to serve Him is an outworking of His fairness.
      God created mankind on the earth as a people and place which had never seen sin and evil. Also an act of God's fairness.
      Here he confined the Evil One. An act of God's mercy to all the other heavenly realms by restricting sin to one realm. Also an amazing act of God's grace to give Satan a chance to prove his claims.
      God allowed Himself to go on trial before the universe. An amazing act of humility and grace.
      The entire universe have conclusive and undisputable evidence of the outcome of choosing Satan. God's act of justice.
      In essence, God's act of creating our world was an act of GRACE . What an amazing God!

      Amen!(1)
  3. The issue is about choose life or death:

    > Moses is simply showing the us that the good reasons that the way of life is the right choice, and he urges us to make that choice.

    > The solemnity of this appeal is-as in the ancient covenant treaties-supported by witnesses who guarantee the validity of the covenant. In this instance, the witnesses are cosmic-"heavens and earth"-as if the fate, the salvation of the world , was at stake. If Israel fails to make the right choice, the whole project of the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of the world, is compromised.

    The questions:

    1). Why does God want us to choose?

    2). Why is theology alone, the knowledge of the truth, not enough for salvation?

    Amen!(9)
    • Frederick, here are my answers:

      1. I believe God wants us to choose, rather than His choosing for us, because He loves us and wants us to love Him. If we did not have a choice, we would not be showing love, because love comes from free will. Otherwise it is just an outward appearance and not a heart change.

      2. Knowledge without action is dead. If knowledge does not cause you to change, you are worse off than if you didn't know. Consider a student who goes to college and completes their degree, but then goes off to a totally different career path; what good does their knowledge bring them?

      Amen!(4)
  4. To prepare the people to move in the right direction in the covenant treaty, Moses uses two arguments:

    1). First, he stipulates that all of God's conditional promises are articulated in the conjunctions "if" ('im) or "when" (ki):

    "when all these come upon you......and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice" (Deut. 30:1, 2, NKJV);

    "if you obey the voice of the LORD your God to keep His commandments; and if you turn to the LORD with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deut. 30:10, NKJV); compare Deut. 30:17).

    2). Second, Moses assures the people that keeping God's commandment is not beyond their reach: "It is not heaven.....but the word is very nigh unto thee" (Deut. 30: 12-14).

    Amen!(8)
  5. If Christ is the gospel and was slain from the foundation of the world, the this was not a "new commandment". God was revealing his plan, His self-sacrificing love, from the time man was created or really before then as He did not cast Lucifer out of heaven immediately. Otherwise, the Israelites.could claim that they should be excused when disobedient.

    Amen!(3)
    • Why do you suppose Christ called it a "new commandment" when it was not actually new? (John 13:34)

      Do you see any difference between Christ's reference to one of the two "great commandments" given through Moses (Matt 22:39) and the "new commandment"?

      I believe even the angels learned more about the character of God through Christ's sacrifice on Calvary than they understood before. Christ gave His "new commandment" in light of the sacrifice He was about to offer. The "new commandment" could not have been given before with the same meaning.

      Amen!(8)

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