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Thursday: The Continuing Battle — 23 Comments

  1. Scripture does not explicitly state when Lucifer moved past the point of no return, that is committed the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31-32). This though is reasonable to believe, as the messenger of the Lord (EGW) indicated, that angels pleaded with Lucifer to review his resistance and recant.

    Still Lucifer had committed himself to the cause of unseating Christ and being equal with God. With his agenda set he found it near impossible to entertain reasonable arguments (Obadiah 1:3). Clear as it might be no truth that might encourage a renunciation of his plan could he afford to accept; for then he might have to change course and hurt the pride he nursed from infancy through maturity.

    Many believers may frown at this, but such an attitude is more widespread than is apparent among all Christians, including the remnant. Saints get caught up in a belief, committed to an agenda, or locked into a way of life and so they despise even clear truth which they might otherwise acknowledge, but sense that it could work against their current course.

    When there is much emotional investment and a deep sense of pride in what one believes even logical arguments might not make a difference. People often cannot bear the thought of changing course if they think it will bruise their reputation or make them look weak. So they opt to save face.

    Pride will keep many out of the kingdom of Heaven (Proverbs 16:18). In fact everyone, unless already perfect has to contend with some measure of pride. Believers may deny it or deal with it. The continuing battle with self is the war to be won in this life (Micah 6:8). Lean on Christ and count every decision based on genuine humility as a victory (Matthew 5:5).

    • Could we say that taking the yoke of Christ, and learning of Him who is meek and lowly of heart, is the remedy for pride? When doing this we will gladly take up our cross (to crucify our pride) and follow Him.

  2. The planet earth is marked for tribulation and stupendous crisis. Why is the justice of God in the light of human suffering? Why would He let Satan fall in the planet earth when there are other planets where he could as well be thrown?

    • Simeon, Satan was invited in by Adam, Eve, and anyone who has sinned against God (all of us!). God did not cast Satan here arbitrarily, but gives us the choice of whom we will serve. It's safe to say that the majority choose to not serve God.

      The short version is this: Satan has worked to enter every other world, but was accepted here and remains welcome. This will change soon.

      • Yes. This world became the only planet the fallen angels could inhabit. There was an occasion when a group of fallen angels appealed to Jesus not to cast them "out into the deep." (Lk 8:31)

        I suggest that "the deep" was not a reference to the ocean, but rather, to space (inter-stellar, inter-galactic, space). There was effectively no-where else for them to go. The appeal was, "Do not command us to go there..."

        • Stewart, keep in mind that these angels know that the day of their destruction is coming where they will be "cast" into the "deep pit" of eternal death. They knew that Jesus was also their former leader Michael, and that He is also God, who will one day execute the sentence against all who have left God's rule for self-rule and finally the justice to be executed on all who have rebelled. As with any self-condemned criminal, they knew what they deserved and yet remain reluctant to face it. They attributed their own deformed character to the Son of God, expecting his reaction to be as theirs would be, and knew He would be fair in executing justice on the spot.

          At least it seems possible to me that this was their fear.

          • Thank you Robert. In the opening part of your post, are you suggesting that when the angels "besought Him that He would not command them to go out into the deep" (Lk 8:31 KJV), that the angels were really saying, "do not kill us", "do not cast us into the deep pit of eternal death"?

          • Stewart, that is the understanding that I have presently. They already have access to this world by the choice of many sinners, and Jesus command with the power of heaven behind it made them realize He had full authority to do as He willed. I believe their wickedness has perverted their judgment and they cannot comprehend the mercy of God. It seems they feared the worst. But that's just my opinion as I read it.

          • Ok, thank you again for your reply. I think we may have to agree to disagree on what the angels meant when they said, 'Command us not to go out into the deep'.

            But I think we could agree that if Jesus HAD COMMANDED THEM to go out into the deep, they would have done so. They may have gone with cries and shrieks, but they would have been subject to Him.

  3. Please help me. On many occasions am seeing Sarah doubting and bringing trouble in Abraham's family. You all remember whatever happened. And about the son Isaac she actually doubted when God told her that she wd have a son. And now she is included in the cloud of witnesses. I don't understand that. Please help.

    • Yes, Sarah was a fallible person. She doubted. She caused trouble for her husband by suggesting that he take her slave as wife so he could have a son. But thank God she is included in the hall of faith! Thankfully, the hall of faith is filled with sinful people. Otherwise, who could be included? All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. These people are there to encourage us. No matter what we have done, we can have faith that our lives can be saved and changed and used for God's glory. Be joyful for that!

    • Sarah remains a witness by the very fact she conceived Isaac through Abraham. Her experience is the witness, not her former doubting, which was reversed when she realized she was going to have a child in her old age! Can you imagine it?
      Her experience is a strong witness to the power of God to fulfill His Word.

    • Sarah isn't the only one who failed to trust God. Abraham repeatedly passed her off as only his sister, rather than his wife, because he failed to trust God - i.e. doubted His power to protect Him.

      But both Sarah and Abraham grew in faith and trust, as we can also grow. The chapter of the faithful is made up of sinful, erring people who learned to trust God until their faith could not be shaken.

  4. Praise God for Thursday's lesson.It gives hope to us that despite our faults if we repent God will keep faith with us.If He did it for them why will He not do it for us today? The crux of the matter is our surrender to the Almighty as they also did in time past. May the Spirit help us to surrender completely to Him.Amen

  5. I do not believe that those named are the cloud of witnesses.Those are all heroes of faith .Paul is now likening the christian walk as a race with encouraging spectators,these may beall those who are the first fruits ,apart from moses and enoch,we do not know if the others are in the first fruit number,so let us not twist the meaning,cause it can lead us into adoctrine which is incorrect about the state of the dead.We also have the witness of the Godhead ,the angels and the beings from other unfallen worlds.

    • You may be reading a little too much into the author's words. The lives of the forerunners of faith gave witness or testified to the goodness and faithfulness of God. We are surrounded by these testimonies of faith as we read and understand the Bible. I don't believe the author ever intended to suggest that the dead are watching us.
      I also agree with you that there are other unfallen beings that are watching this cosmic battle, great contorvercy play out.
      To God Be The Glory

    • We cannot take this as they are alive and "witnessing" at this very moment. The Bible even uses inanimate objects as witnesses. Songs, stones, the book of the law, heaven and earth - all these were also to witness for God. In this particular instance, it is their faith that has witnessed for God throughout the ages and will continue throughout eternity. Hopefully, we will be included in that witness even after we are gone.

    • Allison, may I share a short thought from Mrs. White?

      She asks, "Who are the witnesses?" And she goes on to say, "They are those spoken of in the previous chapter [Hebrews 11]... There are other witnesses. All about us are those who are watching us closely, to see how we who profess a belief in the truth conduct ourselves." (7Bible Comments p.934.)

      So it would appear that the cloud of witnesses is composed of some that are living and of some that are dead.

  6. The cloud of witnesses gives us hope that we too can make it even though we may have our struggles. They surely gave me hope as I read the scriptures.

  7. The words "may have been defeated" are misleading. Satan was SURELY defeated at Calvary. There is no question, no technicality allowing for a possibility. Don't let "may have" slip like poison into your conscience.


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