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Thursday: The Climax of the Gospel — 13 Comments

  1. In my view, with very few exceptions, Thursday's lesson is an excellent summary of the quarter's lessons and that of the entire biblical counsel to us.

    I just would like to add one observation concerning the faith of demons. We tend to think of their faith as merely an intellectual faith. I disagree, I think they really do have faith but it is the wrong faith. The classical definition of faith is found in Heb 11:1 but is qualified in Heb 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:6 NKJV). It is the last part that is the difference for both the good and the evil angels believe that he is but the devil doesn't believe that God is a rewarder. The devil's faith says that God is a destroyer and a punisher and he believes that with all his heart.

    That kind of belief can be seen in two instances in the Gospels. The first one is in healing the man in the synagogue with an unclean spirit who said, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!" (Lk. 4:34 NKJV). The second took place with the demoniacs living among the tombs of Gergesenes (Matt. 8:28) where they said, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" (Matt. 8:29 NKJV). Ever since Satan's rebellion in Heaven that has been his continued concept of God. And that concept is diametrically opposed to the definition of faith we are given to live by (Hab 2:4).

    • Good one Tyler. There is a pragmatism associated with faith that we often overlook. The list of Hebrews 11 point out that each person went out and acted on their faith to do things that were relevant at the time. This was not the kind of faith that was intellectual assent or wishful thinking about something in the future. It was an "act now" kind of faith.

  2. I think by associating Jesus with their destruction the demons demonstrated their knowledge about Jesus, his authority and power relative to their fate. The demons know what their end is and also know that they have been given time, which is limited, to cause havoc. To them they know who really God is, His teaching and faith. However, they're working to decieve many who will share their known fate with their twisted demonic faith.

    • There is a great danger to call faith as demon's faith. Faith is a gift from God; "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Hebrews 11: 6).

      Therefore faith cannot be associated with believe, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." (James 2:9); because, "faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1).

      Faith gives hope and assurance, it brings joy and love, because faith is given us by the Holy Spirit to trust in the word of God. This is why Paul wrote two whole chapters in the Bible just emphasising Faith; Romans 4 and Hebrews 11.

      Demons don't have faith; they knew nothing about faith for they knew and have seen God. Faith is given us by the Spirit of God to assure us of the God we have not seen or touch. "For we live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7). "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (Romans 8: 24,25).

      We must be careful with how we use the scriptures, for; "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

      • Vula, you have said it well in my opinion. I brought this out in our SS class today. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. If this is true would not this gift be the proper type? For those who would
        reason that what we do with that gift is important. I would agree, but that is not the issue. The issue is how faith is defined or classified in different minds. The disciples were with Jesus for 3+ years, and had ample opportunity to see first hand most all the miracles that Jesus performed, and what did Jesus say was their problem? "O ye of little faith". Amounts less than the size of a mustard seed. How accurate is our evaluation and definition of adequate faith? This gift of the Holy spirit plus God's grace is the basis for our salvation.

  3. I agree with Tyler that the demons' faith is not just intellectual, but very real. The difference that their faith leads them to fear because it seals their destruction, so they tremble and work hard to deceive as many as possible in order to break God's heart! Their faith is demonstrated by their works. Our faith seals our salvation and results in hope, and loving obedient service to
    our Lord. Because of our faith we delight to cooperate with God in reaching others sharing the hope of salvation!

    • The devils faith is real alright. But it is just intellectual. It agrees with the facts about God - Who He is. What He is capable of. Just the facts!
      But the kind of faith that Hebrews speaks of is both intellectual and relational. In other words- it is saving faith.
      Bro Tyler, what is 'wrong faith?' Those two words don't seem to belong together. Please explain a little more.

      • A good honest question, Norma. Some examples that I think illustrate wrong faith:
        1. Having a faith that says if I work hard enough at being a good Christian then God will let me into Heaven.
        2. Having a faith that says that God died for everyone therefore it doesn't matter what I do, I will be in Heaven regardless.
        3. Having a faith that says that God hates me and because of that I am going to hell no matter what I do or think therefore I should live like there is no tomorrow while I can.
        4. Having a faith that believes that God puts His stamp of approval on His people destroying those that don't believe as they do.
        5. Having a faith that says that we don't really die, we just go into a different kind of existence and eventually become gods.

        • Brother Tyler

          I don't believe that there is such term as wrong faith, because faith is "sure of what you do not see and confident of what you do not yet have."

          Faith is a result of knowledge and trusting, fully confident of what you hope for; "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do." (James 1: 6-8).

          Faith leaves no room to question, its an open door to greater peace and blessings. Wherever there is questions, then there is no knowledge, no faith, no God....

  4. It is important to know that there is a difference between having faith in Jesus, and having the faith of Jesus. Jesus had so much faith in His Father that when he had something Great to do, He would at times spend the night in prayer talking with his Dad! After talking with Him, He was fresh and ready to go to His assignment for the day, this could be found somewhere in the Desire of Ages. He was confident to succeed because He understood the LOVE and POWER OF His Father, He spent time with Him! And look where He is today! He is coming to get us soon, and very soon, hold on till he comes. be faithful to the end and he will give us a crown of life

    Jesus knew he had help from above to carryout His mission. He is our example. He wants us to have the same faith He has in the Father. Rev 14:12, here are the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and the FAITH OF JESUS" we can all things through Christ... the same privilege we have, is the same given to those of old.

    • "faith of Jesus."

      Why was Jesus faithful to God? Why did Jesus keep God's law without fail? Was Jesus trying to earn Heaven? Was Jesus afraid of God's wrath?

      No, Jesus kept God's commandments out of love for and trust in His Father. And so it should be with us.

      Consequently, I would suggest changing the following statement in the lesson:

      "True religion demands both faith and obedience."


      "True religion demands faith which, out of love for God, results in obedience."

      This is the faith of Jesus.

  5. In Revelation 18: a most glorious revelation was given to John: "After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendour." (Revelation 18:1).

    The introduction of this Angel is different from all other Angels before him as this one, is glorious and has great authority. This Angel represents the preaching of the Gospel in this last days. Two characteristics of this Gospel message differs from all that had gone before.

    Firstly, the truth of this Gospel illumines the whole world; secondly, the message demonstrates the Authority of God. So what is this Glory that illumines the whole world; "For in the Gospel the Righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17).

    What is the Righteousness of God; "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:25,26).

    What is the Authority of God; "But I want you to know that the Son of Man has Authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Mark 2: 10). Through the Life of Christ; "His Divine Power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2Peter 1:3,4).

    The Everlasting Gospel is, God the Father Himself became One with His Son to break every forces that held mankind enslaved, destroyed the records of all the sins that condemned us through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, and brought us into His Most Holy presence, through Jesus Christ resurrection.

    Here in the Holy Place of God's House, (His Church), Christ is appealing to all He saved, that He may remove from us the garment of sin which we wore when we were slaves, so He may put on us His garment of Righteousness. When we are willing to accept His appeal and "when you believed, you were marked in Him with a Seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.

    This garment of Jesus Righteousness is the Light that illumines the whole world. In Revelation 19: the apostle John was shown a most magnificent sight; "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

    Christ Bride is to be adorned her Wedding Garment, the righteous deeds of the Saints. This is the Climax of the Gospel; "Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9).

    You have been invited; let the Holy Spirit reserve your sit...

  6. Pragmatism needs a definition for many of us: Now I believe it is an approach that assesses the truth of meaning of theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application. Without using a Bible dictionary I believe this comes the closest to Maurice's context of the word.
    Have faith in God, have faith in God my friends. Now there is nothing that I can see in this statement that implies, if I have enough faith in God I have will make it to heaven. Rather I have faith in God to claim my exalted privileges. I walk humbly with God, making no proud boasts of perfection of character, but in simple faith claim every promise in the word of God; I am for the obedient, not for the transgressors of God’s law. I simply believe the testimony of God, and have entire dependence on him, all possibility of self-glory and pride is removed. I am indeed saved by faith, not by a passive faith, but by the faith which works by love, and purifies the soul. The hand of Christ can reach the most extreme sinner, and bring him back from transgression to obedience; but no Christianity is so lofty that it can soar above the requirements of God’s holy law. This would be beyond Christ’s power to help, it would be outside of his teachings and his example; for he says, I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love, and all who follow Christ will render obedience to God’s holy law.
    Have faith in God my friends have faith in God.

    The only thing we can do is have faith that one's faith in God is genuine. Whether or not that their faith is genuine or not is between God and them, not for us to judge. We may see them sin and loose faith in their faith in God. That sin may be between them and GOD and we are not privy to their confession to God. Now we may see them repeatedly sin, again let us walk humbly with God, making no proud boasts of perfection of character. But in simple faith claiming every promise of the word of God.


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