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Wednesday: Regaining What Was Lost — 21 Comments

  1. The most significant loss resulting from the fall was the face-to-face communication with the creator. Our parents could no longer have direct, look one another in the eye conversations. We were diminished to seeing God through the noise created by sin. The real challenge is that sin's noise in not benign, it is actively aggressive, seeking to pervert our communication with God, by whatever means. Satan was the originator of "fake news" and for us at the end of the communication line, we have the task of sorting out the signal from the noise.

    I once heard education described as teaching students to be good "garbage detectors". (Actually the word used wasn't "garbage"; it was a good Australian word which got me into trouble last time I used it on Sabbath School Net, about 15 years ago. So I am avoiding the slap on the knuckles this time around.) This description is quite apt in todays information society where many folk use Google as their source of information. I have spent many years teaching student how to filter Google search results so they get reliable credible information. Often it is not easy because Google has a heavy commercial bias.

    In our spiritual journey, how do we sort out the sin "garbage" from the "signal" from God? We have our little pet sayings about "walking closer with God" and being "led by the Holy Spirit", but in the noisy secular environment how are these things put into practice?

    There are, for the committed Christian, three aspects to this.

    1. Read the Bible, of course
    2. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit
    3. Listen and interact with your community of believers

    I should add, be aware of our sinful tendency to read into any communication our own interpretation.

    And, given the importance of our task to spread the Gospel, we need to be mindful that we are often the "first providers" when it comes to introducing Jesus to others. There is no such thing as a passive transmitter in God's communication. We must be active transmitters.

    • On garbage....

      There is a Mahatma Gandhi quote that says, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”

      Sin is noisy, aggressive, interrupting, dirty feet running around in our minds. Filthy foot prints everywhere.

      A personal story… After five years of verbal abuse against me, keying my car, swearing, drunken parties, hearing loud angry conversations through my walls, the next-door neighbor in my duplex has finally been evicted. As I’m writing this, I have the front door and back door open and God’s cleansing wind is blowing through clearing out all of the hurtful history. I’ve been praying about this for five years along with my family and at church. I’m so very grateful for the peace in my home here today. Part of me also feels sadness that it seems I wasn’t able to be a better bearer of God’s light. Her sharp barbed attacks and threatening physical behaviors were so painful and frightening that I hid inside usually whenever she was outside. I kept praying that I’d have the courage to speak to her and listen to why she hated me so and bring about some healing. I tried to show her love through a Christmas card or raking her side of the lawn or never retaliating with unkind words, but the truth is that I’m still scared of her. I will keep praying for her, and praying that I’ll be so full of God‘s perfect love that this kind of aggressive trespassing by another won’t scare me anymore. (1 John 4:18)

      Sin sucks. It literally sucks the life out. Sin sucks among neighbors. Sin sucks in families and in marriages. Sin sucks at work. It can make us feel like shutting down, like hiding. Doesn’t matter whether it’s someone else’s sin or our own. Adam and Eve hid in the garden after they ate the fruit (Genesis 3:8). I think it’s appropriate that a snake was the form of the tempter because sin constricts the life out of us just like a boa constrictor would.

      Jesus said that he came “to proclaim freedom for the prisoners” and to “release the oppressed” Luke 4:18. Jesus also said, “the thief cometh naught but for to steal and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

      I agree, Maurice, that it’s with prayer, Bible study, prayerfully asking for help in following what the Bible says to do, meeting with other believers that we receive victory over sin. Only then will the “dirty feet” run away and not leave dirty footprints. The stinky “garbage” will be taken out and replaced with a pure clean heart. Instead of “sucking” from others we will be a mature part of Christ’s body bringing His life abundantly. Amen.

      • Thanks for sharing. You may have planted a seed in her life and gave her some accountability. But more importantly, when God allows those situations in our lives, think of the growth we gain. You can now share your experience to bless others.

  2. A friend recently pointed out to me that the promises to the overcomes of the seven churches in Revelations 2 & 3 are restoring all that was lost, the tree of life, crown of life, safe from second death, hidden manna, new name, authority over nations, the morning star, robe of white, name in Book of Life, be a pillar in the temple and have the name of God, His city, and Jesus' name written on you, and the right to sit on their throne with the Father and the Son.

  3. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the words of their testimony; and they love not their lives unto the death.
    Rev 12:11

    Regaining What Was Lost
    What a loving Creator, Savior, Redeemer. Human choose to sin, sin brought separation and ultimate death, Jesus promised in Gen 3:15 that he will come and settle the sin problem forever and forever, and vindicate his name and character. He promised hope to my fore parents. The Cross. That old rugged cross which speaks volume to the sin sick world. There is power in the cross of Jesus. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that he is Lord. All might appear to be lost but Jesus blood had regain more than before.

    Solution to sin is the cross and the death of Jesus that was promised to my fore parents. Encourage men to look to Jesus.
    Lets get personal, how do we deal with sin in our daily lives?

    I was looking at the photos chosen for today and yesterday, at first site they appear just like any other photo. When I clicked and enlarge the photo they read- thou shalt not steal. Ex 20:15 was it coincident to me, to us? The photos worried me.
    We are told the thief comes to steal....but Jesus came to give life. He that committed sin is of the Devil. John 10:10; 1 John 3:8.
    For two months a certain bill was lower than normal. Actually they were about the lowest they can get. I was wondering and got puzzled. How can you be using something and the bill is still so low. Is the meter not working? or not being read because of the Covid. Is it a miracle? or Am I stealing? My conscious was worrying me so I asked another person about their bill and how much they are paying. So they explained to me it has being low for sometime and that is normal and not to worry. I felt better that I am not stealing. Stealing is a sin just as bad as breaking any other commandment, sin is sin. I need to live above sin in all its forms.

    • Lyn, don't worry, we are not stealing the pictures, we have an arrangement with Goodsalt. You will note there our picture is not crossed out.
      When you click on the picture you are taken to the Goodsalt web site, if someone uses the picture from the website with out an arrangement with Goodsalt it would be stealing.

  4. The picture chosen for today’s lesson illustration brilliantly illustrates the inherent nature and results of (True) Life under beneficent self-giving vs ‘life’ under self-seeking. The former reflects experiential-knowledge of good, the latter reflects experiential-knowledge of evil.

  5. I am not particularly fond of gardening though the wife and I have been at it for most of our 53 years of marriage. An eternity of gardening is not very appealing to me. Eve was told not eat of the tree. As her mind opened up could she have wanted something more challenging than gardening?

    • No, I don't think that life in Eden lacked challenge and interest for Eve. In fact, I believe she was lured on to wander in the garden to explore all its fascinating possibilities.

      Beyond that, your comment made me chuckle. I suppose I am blessed to have inherited "love gardening" genes through my mother from my dear grandmother. (She spent so much time in the garden that the house often descended into chaos, and my mom vowed *not* to be like her! And she wasn't. My mom became a fanatical housekeeper.)

      At any rate, I want to challenge you a bit. For starters, why do you garden? Do you garden just to grow food and save money?

      I believe Adam and Eve gardened to create a variation of beauty that they imagined. Additionally, "They held converse with leaf and flower and tree, gathering from each the secrets of its life. With every living creature, from the mighty leviathan that playeth among the waters, to the insect mote that floats in the sunbeam, Adam was familiar. He had given to each its name, and he was acquainted with the nature and habits of all. " Education, p. 207(I can't believe that was left out of the first lesson!!)

      Did you know that the life underneath your feet is every bit as diverse and grand as the life on top of the crust of the earth and the vast expanse of space? In fact, the study of the life in the soil is one of the current frontiers of science. But Adam and Eve were constantly discovering more of it in the Garden.

      If you just tilled the ground, planted utilitarian seeds and fertilized to make them grow, you missed the most challenging and interesting part of gardening, as far as I'm concerned. 😉 (You must live where gardening is easy? 🙂 )

      I am constantly learning. We moved to a completely new area of my continent of North America - new things to grow, new times to grow familiar plants and, yes, new pests! I am learning how to aid the delicate balance of nature that keeps the ground fertile and pests in check. (I am gardening without poisons, and, yes, it is a challenge.) My knowledge of the "secrets of its life" in reference to plants and the creatures that inhabit the garden and the soil beneath it regretfully has to come from a combination of books (and Youtube!) and trial and error.

      Do you have curiosity about God's creation? If not, check your lifestyle to see why not. (Regular consumption of the world's propaganda tends to dull our senses toward God's creation.) Of course, this curiosity can take many forms, not just gardening, and God has prepared an eternity for His beloved that will fulfill all the "desires of your heart" - providing we are in the habit of delighting ourselves in the Lord. Psalm 37:4 (Maurice has a special interest in birds. Others love horses, dogs, cats, whales, skunks, etc. Some study astronomy, some go snorkeling, others hike, bike, climb mountains, etc. etc. It would be nice if our readers could share what part of God's creation particularly interests them. 🙂 )

  6. There is a knowledge of good which is distinct from the knowledge of evil. To know the difference between them it is important to start with God's Law (Ex 20:1-17) because we know that evil or sin is breaking God's law (1 John 3:4). Jesus further gave us information of discerning the evil that we can have by explaining that breaking of God's law begins in the heart (Mt 5:27, 28). When the Bible uses the word heart many times it is referring to our thoughts (Mt 9:4).

  7. Knowledge has always a price! It can look free, but it has a cost. We will all pay for the knowledge we dig for. And life is the ultimate price! We were created with this distinct characteristics from all living beings in this planet, we can reason! Unfortunately, our knowledge limitations have led us to the wrong choices and we are definetely going to crash! Our only hope is in the sacrifice of Jesus for us! Misteriously, some may choose Love and live eternally!

  8. I propose to see God’s classroom as a virtual classroom. The connection between the teacher/instructor and the student is via the Holy Spirit’s established and empowered ‘internet’.
    The lesson writer states: “Through prayer, service, and studying His Word, we can draw closer to our God as did Adam and Eve in Eden.” Unless we see these acts as they ‘effect’ our relationship with God, they sound like we are doing something akin to ‘works’ in order to draw close to our God.
    I propose instead to draw closer to him through applied Faith and Trust in God’s living Word.

    God’s unwavering Love, our (God inspired)Faith, Trust, Submission, Obedience – these are the same active agents who, by their ‘conditioned’ absence, caused the ‘disconnection’ of man from the free-flowing unity with their Father; by re-installing this ‘program’ (computer language) it pre-configures (meets requirements) and leads to the re-connection with the Father - the source of all life.
    The essence of God’s Gospel as conveyed by His Son Jesus to mankind is – have *Faith in the saving Power of His Word*! Remain, live in His Word, His Light, His Way (instructions) and it will be life(being in His Presence) – discount it, distrust it, ignore it and you will be on your own(the ‘snake’s’ presence), which leads to death.
    It is the same message the first parents were given in the Garden. God’s message is focused on Trust – before Trust/Faith can be established there has to be ‘Believe’. Jesus’ actions do not matter to the person who does not believe that God exists or that His teachings are relevant to his/her life.

    When reading Scripture, there are always ‘operational’ words standing out from others. 2Peter1:2-11 – points out in verse 2,3,4: “(2)Grace and peace be multiplied unto you ‘THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND OF JESUS OUR LORD’. (3)ACCORDING as his DIVINE POWER hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, TROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM THAT HATH CALLED US TO GLORY AND VIRTUE:” (4)Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious PROMISES, THAT BY THESE YE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, HAVING ESCAPED THE CORRUPTION THAT IS IN THE WORLD THROUGH LUST.”
    This *knowledge* is *of Him*; it is Jesus Christ’s knowledge not our knowledge about Jesus Christ through which we are blessed and saved! His knowledge is the Father’s Message, passed on to us by the Faith of Jesus; the Father’s live-saving Word to us.

    Verse 4 contains the conditional statement: ‘That by these ye MIGHT be partakers of the divine nature..”. Establishing our new nature still depends on applying Trust and Faith in His Word(working out our own Salvation with fear and trembling Phil.2:12).
    We are in the same position that our first parents found themselves in. Their nature was divine before the separation from the Father; we are promised to be able/might be partakers of the divine nature again by the Faith of the living Word of God – Jesus the Christ.
    How? – By trusting the living Word of God which is God’s love expressed through the Holy Spirit in the form of Jesus the Christ; loving God with all our heart, mind and being and in return being so enabled to express this new nature in our remaining life her on earth to the Honor and Glory of the Father. Grace and peace come only through the PERSONALLY APPLIED KNOWLEDGE of the KNOWLEDGE OF God and Jesus our Lord.

    ‘Regaining what was lost’: Applied TRUST/FAITH of the FATHER was pivotal at the Beginning, was lost/disconnected by man’s distrust, and was re-introduced/reconnected as the TRUST/FAITH of JESUS which remains pivotal to MAINTAIN our relationship with God until the End.

    • Brigitte, I hear what you are saying but I keep asking myself, what is the practical application. I seem to get the impression that you are concerned that some of us will substitute good works for the faith of Jesus. Maybe I am wrong. My take on good works is that they arise out of the faith of Jesus. That is what the relationship does to you.

      The Holy Spirit enables us to share the Gospel; It does not share the Gospel for us.

      John provides us with a quote from Jesus:

      Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
      He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16: 13,14 KJV

      I think the Holy Spirit uses us to reach others. In so doing, it may impress us with the need to share the Gospel by doing good works that ultimately lift up Jesus to others and glorify God.

      Right at the beginning of last quarter's lesson study on "Making Friends for God" we read:

      Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matt 5:16 KJV

      That isn't a mechanism for salvation. It is a communication of the Gospel that saves. That is what the secular world needs to hear.

      • Hi Maurice – as always, I appreciate your comments. You ask yourself “what is the practical application”? Are you asking what is the practical application of Trust/Faith/Love? The last sentence of my comment’s first paragraph states: ‘I propose instead to draw closer to him through APPLIED Faith and Trust in God’s LIVING Word”, which is the Father’s message contained in Jesus’ Gospel.
        Yes, I am concerned that some will stop short with just ‘doing’ the ‘good works’ without recognizing that the spiritual ‘effect’ on the other person is the operational part of the action and is accounted for in the ‘Book of Life’.

        1Cor.13 – (v.13) “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity(love)!” Because God’s ‘law of righteousness’ designed for all created living beings is based in His Love, when our actions arise from the Love the Father provided when He loves us first, these loving acts will then carry the imprint of the Spirit of the Love of the Father/Creator/God unto Salvation.

        The Faith of Jesus is God’s Word of Light and Life which we call the Gospel. When we walk in its Light, we walk in the Way of the Father of Light which is Love; walking implies action through applied faith in the Father who gave us the Way of Life.
        Yes, we share the Gospel message though actions empowered and motivated by the Holy Spirit of God.
        Matt.5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men …”. I am curious to know the grammatical definition of ‘your’ light in the original writings. We do not have light in our'self'; it must then be referring to The Light of the Love of God. Maybe this was missed in the translation. I would rather it saying: “Let HIS Light so shine before men …”!
        In my opinion, applied Love/Faith/Trust is the ‘mechanism’ OF (the process of) salvation and also the observable communication between God and man.

        • The Greek of Matt 5:16 has "Hymon" which translates as "your". It is used twice; with "light" and with "good works". I do not have a problem with that. If we look at the light metaphor, it is powered by oil in biblical times - we are merely the one who keeps the light and trims the lamps so that it shines brightly. If you want a bit more sybolism, the Bible often uses oil as a symbol for the Holy Spirit. It is the real power of the light. But we do have the choice of hiding the light or showing it. You could make a modern metaphor out of electricity if you like.

          • Thank you very much for doing the research, Maurice - Yes, 'I' can understand that we are called to 'maintain' the physical lamp (which is us), which containes the oil (the Holy Spirit). This quarter's lessons are for us to 'learn'(understand/be instructed) about the MESSAGE of the Scriptures; which is really applicable for every lesson.

            Yes, I am concerned that many Christians have not fully understood the two, greatly differing, applications of the words 'your light', attributing it to their 'obedient actions' instead of to the 'oil/spirit' within them; if they see 'your light' as coming from themselves because of their actions, they want to engage in as many good causes and works they can find so with to accumulate favor with God (demonstrating obedience) and possibly not doing them in the power of the Spirit of Love within them.

            Matt.25:1-13 speaks to the vessel vs. the oil clearly in the context of describing the Kingdom of God. Those who live in His Kingdom keep their lamps trimmed and ready for the Bridegroom's arrival.
            The diligent 'behavior/disposition' -faith/love/trust - of the believer, the activly so expressed DESIRE to maintaine the lamp(so keep the oil(Holy Spirit) in oneselves, is what makes it possible for the oil to be present in the first place(always having enough oil) to do its work - give its Holy Light by actions based on His Word of Love (applying the Gospel message wich is love expressed in action).

            In my opinion, our CHARGE is to diligently maintain the 'operational part', KEEP BEING THE LAMP FOR THE OIL; a lamp not ready cannot be filled by the Holy Spirit; the lamp does not function well, only burns dimly, or at its worse - our neglect causes it to go out.
            If we neglect its upkeep, do not keep it burning contineously, (allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us always), these who behave in such a manner are in danger not to able to enter into the 'wedding hall' when the bridegroom comes.
            The parables of the talents and of the owner of the house assigning the care of his estate to his servants is to this same effect. They all are about living faithfully in the Kingdom of God - His Spiritual Kingdom awaiting His return.

            For the Christian, living in God's Kingdom is not just 'merely' working to maintain its vessel, it is the ESSENTIAL part of our Salvation to diligently assure that the lamp(our'self') is maintained and always ready to be the vessel WHICH the Holy Spirit's Light can manifest its marvelous work of God's Love through - for our sake as well as others.

          • Hi Brigitte.

            "The Faith of Jesus is God’s Word of Light and Life which we call the Gospel"

            When I hear that kind of stuff in a sermon or evangelistic series, I always wonder "what does that even mean?" and "does the speaker even know what that is supposed to mean?"

            "The faith of Jesus" (Galatians 2:16 KJV) is literally interpreted as "the faithfulness of Jesus." We are saved by His faithfulness, not ours.

            Otherwise, our faith becomes another form of works that we add to what Jesus already did for us and we cannot get from God by our works what He has already given us by free grace.

            "It’s important to remember that faith itself doesn’t add to justification, as if faith were meritorious in and of itself. Faith is, instead, the means by which we take hold of Christ and His works in our behalf. We are not justified on the basis of our faith but on the basis of Christ’s faithfulness for us, which we claim for ourselves through faith." (https://ssnet.org/blog/tuesday-the-basis-of-our-justification/).

            So, what exactly is Christ's faithfulness? His life, (eternal) death, and resurrection of Jesus. He alone was faithful, even unto death. THAT is what saves us and we claim THAT by faith.

            "Who can fathom the suffering of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He felt to its fullest extent the weight of the sin of the world? So keenly did He feel the sinfulness of sin that for a moment the cup trembled in His hand, and all heaven heard the agonizing cry, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). The omnipotent God suffered with His Son.

            The angels of heaven sympathized with their loved Commander. Gladly would they have broken their ranks and gone to His assistance. But this was not God's plan. Our Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him."

            .—Manuscript 66, July 28, 1901, “Fragments: Work in the South.”

  9. Though face to face communion with our Creator is no longer possible in this life, God has given us all we need in order to know Him and discern His “good, acceptable, and perfect” will. This knowledge provides refuge, brings obedience, and perfect peace. We have the privilege today of being taught of the Lord if we will seek Him with all our heart(Jer 29:13). The pure in heart "shall SEE God".

    We must believe and claim God's “exceeding great and precious promises” by meeting the conditions He has set forth in them. (e.g. John 8:31,32)


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