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Thursday: Salvation to Our God and the Lamb — 12 Comments

  1. Today’s lesson asks the question:

    How can we live a life of sanctification in active preparation for eternity and yet not suffer from the pitfalls of perfectionism and fanatical holiness?

    I like to remind myself that sanctification is not being sanctimonious and boasting that we are on the high moral ground. We sometime give the impression that if we guard the edges of the Sabbath, wear a tie to church, and have raw-oat and kale smoothies for breakfast we are somehow more sanctified than the great unwashed multitude. It makes enlightening reading to see how non-Adventists perceive us.

    Ellen White lived in our community for some time in the 1890s and she was known by the non-Adventists not as a prophet but as the woman who was willing get her hands dirty helping people in need. I think that she understood the true meaning of being “blameless and without fault”. It has something to do with building relationships with people.

    The sanctified are not afraid to work in the real world building friendships. Jesus went to parties, listened to the requests of gentiles, went fishing with his mates, and was criticised for mixing with publicans and sinners. Peter in his sermon to Cornelius describes Jesus as:

    … how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38

    When we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, living the sanctified life, we will be getting our hands dirty, helping other people, and won’t have time to adopt a sanctimonious air.

    Amen!(56)
    • Spot on Maurice...

      Speaking of the time immediately leading up to the second coming as referred to by Jesus parable of the Bridegroom and the wise and unwise virgins, Ellen White emphasises the primary work of Christians to both live a sanctified life themselves and treat others in harmony with sanctified living. The basic meaning of sanctified life and living is a life that is different to the ways of the world because it is a life that is based upon and characterised by self-renouncing love rather than self-exalting/indulging.

      "Practical work will have far more effect than mere sermonizing. We are to give food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and shelter to the homeless. And we are called to do more than this. The wants of the soul, only the love of Christ can satisfy. If Christ is abiding in us, our hearts will be full of divine sympathy. The sealed fountains of earnest, Christlike love will be unsealed". (COL 417)

      See also Isa 58:6-11 which parallels John 4:14.

      Amen!(7)
    • Hi Maurice,
      Sorry but I need to correct one simple point - Ellen White lived in our community for some time in the 1880’s, not 1980!

      Thank you for your very insightful posts, as you bring out very salient and relevant points.

      Amen!(0)
      • Thanks for catching that one. It was the 1890s. Interesting that when I attended Avondale College in the 1960s there were several old retired ministers living in the area who were kids at the time she was living here and remembered her riding around the district in her buggy. My denominational history teacher had several stories of her helping the locals.

        Amen!(3)
  2. Who are the 144,000?

    1. Are they the only one that will be saved?
    - No. After the 144,000, John saw a great multitude that nobody could count. Rev 7:9.

    2. What is their mission?
    - To proclaim the gospel to every creature before the second coming.

    3. Will they be the only ones proclaiming the good news?
    - were the 12 apostles the only ones preaching?
    - No. Luke 10:1. Jesus sent the seventy and at Pentecost they were 120.

    4. Are they the ordained preachers?
    - Jesus selected the 12 from the laity but not From the priesthood?
    Majority of them will be lay preachers.

    5. Can we know exactly who is among the 144000?
    - These are spiritual Israelites in the whole world and only God knows who is among them.

    6. How many are they?
    - Are numbers in revelation literal or symbolic?
    -will there be 12 doors in the new Jerusalem and 12 foundations?
    - will the tree of life produce 12 types of fruits?

    7. Who are they?
    - They are a special group with a special mission of preparing the people for the second coming of Christ. They have a special name, they sing a special song and they have a special relationship with the lamb.

    Amen!(17)
  3. How do we develop a character like Jesus? have a love of the truth? Spread the Good News? Go around doing good?
    Some who study temperaments which are foundational to character believe the four living creatures around the throne represent the four main types of temprements. Many believe they represent different aspects of Jesus' character. In people we find each has one of them as their dominant temprements and a little of the others. How is this helpful? Because we are not all the same how we will be developing different aspects of Jesus' character. Some are abstract thinkers others concrete doers. Some are introverts and others are extroverts.
    The lesson provids the ideal, what are some practical steps?
    Spend time getting to know Jesus by letting his Word reveal His character, spend time sharing your thoughts with Him, many have found writing it down in a journal helpful to crystalize them. This is the personal side in addition study the Word to understand the Principles of Life by which the Triune Lord and His Universe live
    Then allow all this to be reflected to others through your unique temprement and character.

    Amen!(7)
    • I appreciate that comment. Some (especially melancholics) seem to think we are all created the same, and if we don't relate to God and church the same way they do it must be because we are bad or at least not converted. But God made us each different parts of the body. Consider that of the twelve disciples half of them are not mentioned after Christ's ascension. In fact the rest of the new testament focuses on Peter and Paul almost to the exclusion of the others. Does that mean they didn't do their job? No, it means that what God wanted them to do wasn't in the limelight the same way. The deacon who shovels snow from the sidewalk so people can come to church is just as much doing God's will as the preacher.

      Amen!(1)
  4. EG White once said:

    “It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as: Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand? This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question.” Selected Messages, volume 1, p. 174

    “Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand. And let us do all that we can to help others to gain heaven.” Review and Herald, March 9, 1905

    The actual number 144,000 appears only twice in the Bible—Revelation 7:1-8 and Revelation 14:1-5 but the concept appears in two other places in Revelation.
    Revelation seems to have four portraits of the 144,000 each with its own particular emphasis:
    1. Revelation 7:1-8: Emphasis on the sealing of the 144,000 for their protection during the time of trouble and at the second coming followed by the jubilatory singing after victory has been gained (Revelation 7:9-17).
    2. Revelation 14:1-5: Emphasis on the character of the 144,000.
    3. Revelation 15:2-4: Emphasis on the victory of the 144,000 over the beast, his image and his mark.
    4. Revelation 19:1-8: Emphasis on the jubilatory singing of the 144,000 because the harlot has been judged and God’s people have been avenged.

    But is the concept threaded in the rest of scripture? Indeed it is. There are also many other places in Scripture where this group is described although the specific number is not used:
     The biography of Enoch
     The biography of Elijah
     Ezekiel 9:1-6 (forms the sealing backdrop for Revelation 7:1-8)
     Joel 2:1-8 and chapter 3
     Psalm 15
     Psalm 24:3-6
     Daniel 3
     Daniel 6
     Exodus 14-15
     Exodus 34:28-35 with Hebrews 12:14-29
     Zechariah 3
     Malachi 3:1-5
     Isaiah 33:12-17

    The literal Greek rendering of the number is not “one hundred and forty four thousand” (as if emphasizing the conglomerate group), but rather “one hundred and forty four thousands” (with the emphasis on 144 groups of one thousand each). The intensified multiple of the number 12 (which is the number of God’s people in all ages--actually 12 x 12 x 1000) would seem to emphasize that this group is composed of the true Israel of God who live at the end of world history.

    The word for “thousand” (eleph) does not refer precisely to one thousand persons but can mean “family” or “tribe” (Micah 5:2; I Samuel 23:23; I Samuel 10:19). Ellen White also uses the word “thousand” to describe those who are faithful to God among the Israelites.

    Revelation 7 is a parenthesis in the sixth seal and therefore the people who are sealed must live at some point in the period between the beginning and the ending of the sixth seal. For this reason the great multitude cannot be the redeemed from all ages.

    Amen!(6)
  5. There is no other way to be saved but to hide in Christ! Nothing that we do is good enough to justify our nature. Jesus is the answer to all this conflict.

    Amen!(4)
  6. The Romans 3:19-24 text is important to remember in light of the Biblical historic figures brought up earlier in the lesson. These biblical icons all had one thing in common like Abraham, they believed God and it was reckoned to them as righteousness. Their belief was evident in their action even to the point Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son or that Job defended God throughout his ordeal. They reflected God’s character in that they followed Him through their personal ups and downs, missteps and fears but always kept clinging to Him and His promises. They were not perfect people but they were faithful people.

    Amen!(5)
  7. There is only ONE WAY to be "Blameless Before God:" Do what the repentant Thief did at the cross---accept Jesus' blood and righteousness in place of OUR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. This is very, very clear from 1 Jn. 1:9, Is. 1:16,17,18; 1 Jn. 2:1,2; Is. 55:6,7; Psalm 40:6-12, etc. and etc.

    Amen!(3)

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