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Wednesday: Those Who follow the Lamb — 8 Comments

  1. The title of today's lesson is, "Those who follow the Lamb" but the bulk of the discussion is about identifying the beast. However, the lamb is mentioned and a scripture is given:

    These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.
    And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. Rev 14:4,5 KJV

    This is of course a partial description of the 144,000. We have had various interpretations of this passage over the years from very literal to symbolic. I don't want to get involved in all the symbolism, but there is one bit that stands out and is pertinent to this discussion:

    These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth

    Sooner, rather than later, we need to come to terms with what it means to follow Jesus. It needs to be a personal commitment, not just a mental assent, or an "I'm a Seventh-day Adventist" assertion. It is easy to be a "follower of Jesus" on Sabbath when you are sitting in a pew listening to great singing and hearing powerful sermons. But, what about Wednesday afternoon when you are tired and you are asked to help your grandson do his maths homework?

    My point is, "following" Jesus now is often a whole lot of little things, but that is where and when the "following" really begins. And if we skip on the practice now, how do we think our following will hold up when the going gets tough?

    Being saved is a lot more about the present than we like to think.

  2. It's a mystery at the same time that it may seem too plainly exposed to me, and you. In the mercy of a Greater Force, if we look around and wait patiently, opening our minds to faith, we'll see God working individually in every aspect we let Him do. It's best to work on and strengthen our weak points for later battles. We should remember that all we have is today and the Hope in our loving Father, which Son promised to come back and rescue us for eternity.

  3. To follow the Lamb wherever He leads is a commitment, not a feeling.

    At a marriage retreat it was emphasized: "Love is a principle, not a feeling". Quite a few objected to that definition, but it was explained that feelings are fleeting, feelings can deceive us. Many times, people are moved and filled with feelings of love and think that will conquer all, only to find out the reality of life has a way of taking feelings down. When circumstances leave one with no "feel good" solutions, the love feeling only too often disappears.

    Real love is not based on the feelings, nice as those feelings may be at times; real love is based on choice, decision, and commitment.

    Those choices and commitment at times must operate when feelings don't want to take that route.

    Love in action, following the Lamb wherever He leads, occurs when we make a deliberate decision to do so. That decision is to place our will entirely under the will of the Lamb and do what His Word and the Holy Spirit ask us to do, whether or not we are moved by a sensation or feeling of love at the time.

    Then the question is asked, "Is love fake, if it is motivated by duty?" It could be fake, but it could also be the move toward a more perfect love.

    A person with perfect love to God will always have perfect delight in doing God’s will. But we are not perfect! We are in a battle with sin. Satan and sin corrupt our wills so that we feel disinclinations to do the right and loving thing. And that is reality. Jesus said,

    “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself” (Matthew 16:24).

    Denying self is not a natural reaction. It is a choice.

    In this world of sin, love must be more than a feeling; self-denial will always be a part of the duty of love.

    When the worldly laws ask us, under threat of painful consequences, to deny our Creator God, it won't "feel good" to resist.
    But if true love has caused us to fully commit ourselves to follow the Lamb, we will resist out of duty based on love.

    • Hi, Ulrike. I have no doubt that are making a valid point that love is a principle, and cannot be based on mere fleeting feelings. However, I sense that you may be missing something when you place so much emphasis on duty. Frankly, it's Ellen White who has helped clue me in to this, although it should probably be intuitive, so I'll quote her.

      "True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. On the contrary, it is calm and deep in its nature. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding." The Adventist Home, page 51

      As I understand this language, we love someone, not just because we have decided to do so, nor because we are duty bound, but rather because we see some character qualities in this person that we can truly admire.

      With a husband or wife, we may have to deliberately overlook some less-than-admirable traits, while keeping our focus on his or her virtues, in order to maintain love, but when it comes to our love for God, there is no such difficulty. So, it seems to me that, when we maybe don't feel like doing what we know is pleasing to Him, we should do it anyway, remembering just how wonderful He truly is, and not merely out of a sense of duty.

      • Yes, God's love and character is awesome and perfect!

        It's not God's love or character that is imperfect, it is our love and character that is imperfect.

        Very true, it is God's love that draws us to Him and changes us. It's because He first loved us, that we respond in love. But our love is imperfect.
        Self love can over ride our love for God, and yes, when we don't feel like doing what we know He wants us to do, we should do it anyway, we should recognize this resistance is due to our imperfect love for Him.

        First we need to make that choice--yes, because we are drawn to Him and His love and what He's done to redeem us, -- we make the choice that even when we don't feel like doing what we know He wants us to do, we will yield our own will to His will and follow Him. Yes, that is drawing on, and growing a much deeper love than the emotional love many depend on.

        Those who follow the Lamb where ever He leads have made a conscious, deep commitment to do just that. And yes, He takes our imperfect love and works to perfect it in us.

        The lessons point out the opposition Satan mounts to keep us from doing that, for Satan will try to confuse our whole idea about love. Millions will be deceived because they think their imperfect love will enable them to make the right choice.

  4. I found the last question for today rather interesting. Sitting here in my dining room right now, studying my Sabbath School lesson, I have no way of knowing that. What I do know, as Maurice pointed out, it’s the following the Lamb wherever He goes part, that is just as important now, maybe even more so, as it will be in the future. If I’m not following Him today, in my day to day life, what makes me think I will suddenly start when the pressure to conform starts in?

  5. Is it really Satan working through pagan Rome and the Roman Empire – are they not manifestations of his power and synonymous in the application of his purpose? These powers are manifested through those who refuse to accept the authority of the true God; nothing good can come through them. With God’s permission, are these earthly powers not being used to bring an end to that which exalts itself above the authority of God? Can anything good come from them? Matt.7:16-20; 12:33.

    As the lesson points out, no one can remain neutral, everyone participates in one way or another in furthering the process of moving the time toward the new earth and heaven. Does our house rest on God’s solid foundation of Salvation by Faith, or will it be tossed into the sea when the waives of great challenges wash over that which is build by faith?

    No compromise is possible, no way to avoid the rising tide of challenges to our faith. Will we remain committed to our faith and love God in spite of the persecution awaiting the faithful? All that is left is to continue to re-enforce the foundation of our faith, to know the Lord and Savior in whom we have believed, and to trust that He will remain faithful in all circumstances! 1Cor.10:12-14.


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