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Thursday: Jesus – Our Only Mediator — 15 Comments

  1. The papacy lost the plot when, in representing God, they used control and persecution as their methodology. They wanted power and glory and were quite willing to use force to achieve it. This is a direct antithesis of the character of God and his law of selfless love. Unfortunately, this is the picture of God that many non-Christians have of Christianity, and reject it on that basis.

    There is an interesting little conversation between Phillip and Jesus recorded by John:

    Philip said, “Sir, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.”
    Jesus replied, “Don’t you even yet know who I am, Philip, even after all this time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say are not my own but are from my Father who lives in me. And he does his work through me. John 14:8-10TLB

    Jesus described the Father by his work, and in doing so showed how we should represent God to others. Jesus could have zapped his enemies with lightning bolts but that is not how a representative of God works. He worked with love and compassion, not power, glory and control.

    • Maurice – I agree with your statement that ‘we should represent God to others with love and compassion, not power, glory and control.’ The passage of Scripture you used to highlight His ‘work’, though, refers to a different type of ‘work’.

      I understand these works to be the miracles performed by Jesus as He went through the country side healing the sick and performing outright miraculous interventions of restoration of the living soul to spiritual as well as physical health, even raising the dead, which He gives as evidence of His Sonship in that His Father works in/through Him.

      John 10:24-38 provides an additional example of the type of ‘works’ through which the Son of God’s identity is confirmed. I think it is important to know that Jesus’ deity as the Son of God was rejected because the Jews did not comprehend the miraculous works resulting from the Oneness of the Father and Son in Spirit and Power.

      Verse 37-38 states: ”If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” - proving His Sonship.

      I consider ‘believe the [miraculous] works’ to be understood as evidence that the Father’s power resides in Jesus because He is in Jesus and Jesus, therefore, is His Son. These specific ‘works’ ought to be taken as proving the Sonship of Jesus Christ. They do not refer to the ‘works’ done in the life of the believer, though all of our ‘good works’ are founded on the Love the Father has for His children.

      • Hi, Brigitte. For all the value I see in your comment, I think it misses a point that, to my mind, is best expressed in the lyrics of Michael Card.

        Your most awesome work was done
        Through the frailty of Your Son

        Christ's supreme self-sacrifice at Calvary is the greatest work ever accomplished!

  2. The lesson seems focused on warning us about the Roman Catholic Church. Historically/prophetically speaking, I understand the role it played. I for one am not so sure the Catholic Church will ever rise to that level of influence again. It is waning while progressive globalism powered by worship of "Mother Nature"/the environment is gaining control of commerce. Mankind thinks they are in control and if they convince enough people that our planet Earth can be destroyed by our actions (or lack there of) alone, they have a powerful tool to control the masses.

    • Hi, Jim. I'm old enough to remember when global Communism was the bogeyman. Now it's "save the earth" globalism, at least in conservative, reactionary circles. It's a convenient way to justify opposition to letting environmental responsibility cost us anything. But Bible prophecy has never failed to be fulfilled.

      The lesson's focus is that of the books of Daniel and Revelation, as I read them, and as Bible students have been studying them for centuries. And it's not about a human conspiracy to control the masses for the benefit of the few. It's a satanic plot to blot the true worship of Jehovah from the face of the earth. In other words, it's all about Jesus and His kingdom. The issues are spiritual.

      • That's an interesting point. Let's call it the politics of prophetic interpretation. Every decade or two there is a new bogeyman to beware of. Failing that, people go back to Rome, the antichrist backstop.

        I agree that we should almost drop the political interpretations and focus on the spiritual issues. Rome is the Adventist bureaucracy whenever it become oppressive, or fails to side with the poor, or tries to clean house. We all personally have these tendencies, and need to recognize that what we see wrong in others is really our wishes writ large. Projection is a universal human tendency and none of us is exempt.

      • Trouble with that comparison, this bogeyman is not going away. My comment is not an invitation to abuse our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation. The best deceptions are always cloaked in good intentions.

        • I guess not everyone is aware of this. Communism didn't appear to be going away either. The collapse of the USSR was sudden and unexpected, but Seventh-day Adventists already knew that Communism wasn't one of the beasts in Revelation 13.

          My main point is that there is no use in getting overly excited about our own interpretation of current events, and how we think things may transpire. As I see it, God's purposes will be accomplished, even through the activities of the enemy, and things will unfold as prophesied, to the extent that the future has even been revealed to us. I don't believe that speculation will help with our preparation. Only the extra oil in our vessels will suffice. (Matthew 25:4) And that's all about knowing Jesus, and relying on Him.

          It seems to me that God has intimated some of what we are going to be facing, in order to give us an idea as to what kind of people we need to be, by His grace. (2 Peter 3:11) And a part of that consists in looking for the best in others, including those who are trying to "save the planet."

    • Why does it have to be either/or? I think it can be both/and. It does appear that environmentalism could play a factor in uniting the world. But I think the Catholic Church could use these environmental factors in enforcing a false day of worship (for the good of the planet, of course). We shouldn't be too certain about all the details, but I wouldn't count any power out.

      • Amen to this. However, Revelation talks about destroying those that destroy the earth. But even here I believe it means that God plans to destroy those that plan to destroy His People mainly.

  3. That “anti-“ can also be understood to mean “in the place of” is new to me, but it explains perfectly the reason for the rivalry between the Son of God, who became our Lord and Savior, and Lucifer, His son who fell from His Grace. The rivalry over preeminence between the forces fostering alligiance to God and those instigating rebellion are evident throughout the Scriptures.

    But the Father never permitted any authority and power to be taken away from His faithful Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The focus of the heavenly struggle has been over who would be allowed to direct the destiny of the living souls – mankind. The victorious hosts of the Son of God fighting against Lucifer cost him and all his hosts their place in heaven.

    As they roam the earth to instigate rebellion against God wherever they can find a willing participant, they highten their efforts to deceive the nations. Their efforts are to establish the influence of Lucifer, the dragon, 'in place of' the true Christ Jesus as the authority which shapes mankind's destiny.

    Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the true and faithful Son of Man and God, is the only legitimate authority to hold this sacred right to intercede for us, asking His Father to accept the believer as having his life in Him and His Righteousness. Is it any wonder that Lucifer, the one "in place of Christ", invests all his efforts to confuse mankind to know "in whom the power to forgive sins is vested?"

  4. I do wish that the lesson used more modern sources to quote. Both sources are over 100 years old. I'm not saying that the Catholic church has "really" changed, but using old sources makes it look like we're ignoring evidence.

  5. I think today's lesson is about Christ our Mediator.
    Why is this an important point?
    And why is the fact an earthly power usurped that ministry of Christ, also an important point?

    What is a mediator?
    A mediator's work is to bring two parties at odds with one another back together.
    The human race broke their connection with God by their sin and rebellion against God's kingdom. Without a Mediator, they faced eternal death, with no hope.

    Nothing we could do on our own would be sufficient to mediate between ourselves and God. No amount of good works or law-keeping makes us righteous enough to stand before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16).

    Without a mediator salvation from our sin is impossible. Yet there is hope!

    “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
    Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
    Hebrews 7:25-27 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

    Meanwhile, here on earth a system rose to cast down the place of God's sanctuary back to this earth (Daniel 8:11-12) They reinstated the daily sacrificial system (a bloodless one) called the mass. Which drew people's minds away from the daily ministry of Christ in heaven, and claimed the work for themselves. Forgiveness came by the word of the earthly priest, not the cleansing blood of Jesus!
    This system is still in operation today.
    This was the biggest reason Luther rose up and nailed 95 thesis to the door of the Wittenberg church.

    We can come directly to Christ for forgiveness and cleansing, earthly powers do not have the authority or the power to forgive or cleanse anyone, because they are themselves sinful human beings.

    When persecution comes, this is extremely important to remember. Earthly tribunals may condemn a person to "hell" for not following certain religious mandates, but they don't have the power to do that. Our appeal is to a higher court!

    One of the promises of the investigative judgment is that Christ vindicates His saints,(Dan.7:22) no matter what earthly courts or powers may have decreed.

  6. Both warring parties use human agencies to fulfill their wishes.
    Jesus uses his church and faithful members to spread his message of salvation and warning of end times. Satan uses the apostate churches to do his bidding of destruction. Satan loves to use the climate change scare to bolster his supporters to enforce laws that limit freedom of choice.

    So while there is a true spiritual aspect There is just as truly a personal and physical conflict that we need to be aware of.

  7. Wow, what a word such as blasphemy. Blasphemy is what we do when we don't listen to the voice of Love, but not love as the world translates, the perfect and desirable Love of God for us!


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