Thursday, July 28, 2016

God's law immutable--in depth end-time-events study: Part 1

Part 1

GC chapter 25—God’s law immutable

            What we are going over in this particular study involves a lot of the subjects we have already studied some on, such as the studies of the law (Ten Commandments), the Sanctuary, the Heavenly Sanctuary, and the Prophecies concerning the beasts of Rev 13. Additional subjects involved in this study also include the Three Angels Message, and the Judgement. Each of these subjects are very fascinating, intertwined together, and applicable to our time.
            The majority of Quotes compiled herein are from the Great Controversy, Chapter 25 (God’s law immutable), and Prophets and Kings. I would recommend the reading of the first chapter/introduction to PK, as well as the whole of GC chapter 25 in personal study.

“The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.” Revelation 11:19. The ark of God's testament is in the holy of holies, the second apartment of the sanctuary. In the ministration of the earthly tabernacle, which served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” this apartment was opened only upon the great Day of Atonement for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Therefore the announcement that the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of His testament was seen points to the opening of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 as Christ entered there to perform the closing work of the atonement. Those who by faith followed their great High Priest as He entered upon His ministry in the most holy place, beheld the ark of His testament. As they had studied the subject of the sanctuary they had come to understand the Saviour's change of ministration, and they saw that He was now officiating before the ark of God, pleading His blood in behalf of sinners. {GC 433.1}

            The events that took place in 1844, though known as a great disappointment, are a significant part of history and of the church. We know that 1844 marked the beginning of the “end Time,” and the beginning of Jesus ministry in the Most Holy place of the Heavenly Sanctuary (This we know by studying the 2300 day and 70 weeks prophecies). Though, because of a misunderstanding in the studying of the 2300 day prophecy by the people in 1844, the time was a disappointment. But there remained a number of people, a small number, who continued seeking after the truth and found greater light and truth involved with the Sanctuary message:

“The ark in the tabernacle on earth contained the two tables of stone, upon which were inscribed the precepts of the law of God. The ark was merely a receptacle for the tables of the law, and the presence of these divine precepts gave to it its value and sacredness. When the temple of God was opened in heaven, the ark of His testament was seen. Within the holy of holies, in the sanctuary in heaven, the divine law is sacredly enshrined—the law that was spoken by God Himself amid the thunders of Sinai and written with His own finger on the tables of stone. {GC 433.2}
The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript. Those who arrived at an understanding of this important point were thus led to see the sacred, unchanging character of the divine law. They saw, as never before, the force of the Saviour's words: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.” Matthew 5:18. The law of God, being a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, must forever endure, “as a faithful witness in heaven.” Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or tittle has been changed. Says the psalmist: “Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” “All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever.” Psalm 119:89; 111:7, 8. {GC 434.1}

            The sincere one’s who continued studying and seeking after the truth after the awful great disappointment started to see the law of God in a different light, and it was showed them it’s great and everlasting importance.

In the very bosom of the Decalogue is the fourth commandment, as it was first proclaimed: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11. {GC 434.2}
            As was mentioned earlier, the law, written in stone by God’s hand, in the Ark of the Covenant in the literal Tabernacle among Israel, was just a transcript—a written or printed version of God’s law patterned precisely after the original law of God in Heaven. During the time following the beginning of the early Christian church started by the Apostles, 313 AD to be more precise, a change took place under the hand of Constantine. A new religion was created, and it was created to replace the true and pure form of Christianity. That “new” religion manifested into the Roman church (Catholicism). From that time forward, the Roman Church has taken that Transcript of God’s law and has changed it—predominantly the fourth commandment. The true Christians lost sight of the Original transcript of God’s law and began following after the changed version after Catholicism. There followed a time of awful spiritual conflict and darkness for many years afterward. For this reason, the “early” Christian church has kept Sunday worship, rather than God’s 7th Day Sabbath, all the way up into our time. (Note: God’s has always had a people that did keep the Correct Sabbath all through history through—the true law was preserved by His providence).
            However, in 1844 the truth of God’s law and that blasphemous change was uncovered to those few members of the Christian church who kept seeking truth. By the Holy Spirit, these truth seekers were converted into the truth and began making repair to that which had been broken for more than a 1000 years.
The Spirit of God impressed the hearts of those students of His word. The conviction was urged upon them that they had ignorantly transgressed this precept by disregarding the Creator's rest day. They began to examine the reasons for observing the first day of the week instead of the day which God had sanctified. They could find no evidence in the Scriptures that the fourth commandment had been abolished, or that the Sabbath had been changed; the blessing which first hallowed the seventh day had never been removed. They had been honestly seeking to know and to do God's will; now, as they saw themselves transgressors of His law, sorrow filled their hearts, and they manifested their loyalty to God by keeping His Sabbath holy. {GC 434.3}

            These diligent and faithful ones took hold of this truth in its entirety and diligently went about to obey what they knew as truth—this birthed the Seventh day Adventist Christians again.

“Many and earnest were the efforts made to overthrow their faith. None could fail to see that if the earthly sanctuary was a figure or pattern of the heavenly, the law deposited in the ark on earth was an exact transcript of the law in the ark in heaven; and that an acceptance of the truth concerning the heavenly sanctuary involved an acknowledgment of the claims of God's law and the obligation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Here was the secret of the bitter and determined opposition to the harmonious exposition of the Scriptures that revealed the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. Men sought to close the door which God had opened, and to open the door which He had closed. But “He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth,” had declared: “Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” Revelation 3:7, 8. Christ had opened the door, or ministration, of the most holy place, light was shining from that open door of the sanctuary in heaven, and the fourth commandment was shown to be included in the law which is there enshrined; what God had established, no man could overthrow. {GC 435.1}
                And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (Joh_8:32).” Amen?
The truth surely breaks the chains of Bondage. As the truth of the Sabbath brought joy and rejoicing to the Early Adventist Pioneers, so it can continue to bring joy unto those who are willing to hear it today. Yet, we see clearly, that there is evident retaliation against the true Sabbath—even amongst Christians. The true Sabbath is truth, and it is becoming more and more critical in these last days as we shall see further on in this study.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Sinners need for Christ

“The sinners need of Christ”

What is the definition of a sinner?

A person who transgresses against divine law by committing an immoral act or actions.

What is a sinner according to scripture?

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

So, if all have sinned, and 1 John 3:4  defines sin as: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Then we are all sinners, are we not? But, as Romans 3:24 says, we may all be “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” therefore, we are all in need of Christ, Amen? We each, individually, need His saving grace.

To understand further our need of Christ, and all sinners need, we can go and look at how man was created to be, and how mankind has been deteriorated because of sin—the transgression of God’s divine law.

Let’s begin in the beginning.

Gen 1:26,27

So, God created Man in HIS Image, to have dominion over all the earth, and everything in and on the earth.

In Genesis 2:7 we read how God created Man.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Note: How was man created?
Formed from the dust of the ground
How was the rest of creation made?
God spake, and it was.

God created everything by speaking, and it was made except for Man. God purposed to form man in the Image of God with an intellect, a conscience and a well-balanced mind. He took time to form man with His own hands; the creation of man was intimate with God, thus men and women were created to have that close communion with God.

Ellen White says in Steps to Christ,

“Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobedience, his powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened through transgression that it was impossible for him, in his own strength, to resist the power of evil. He was made captive by Satan, and would have remained so forever had not God specially interposed. It was the tempter's purpose to thwart the divine plan in man's creation, and fill the earth with woe and desolation. And he would point to all this evil as the result of God's work in creating man.” Steps to Christ ~ 17.1

So, when God created Man, did He create them to be evil? Did God create Evil?
No, of course not. It is Satan's purpose to discredit creation as evil that is the result of God's work in creating—God did not create suffering or evil, but Lucifer, and other supreme beings created by God, made a conscious decision to do wrong—that is, they chose to rebel and violate God’s divine law, and sinned entered.
But God specially interposed.

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” Steps to Christ  (18).

Despite Satan's work to destroy mankind, God Specially interposed. Even though that which He created rebelled against Him, He still provided a way of escape from the wages of sin:

Rom 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

This brings us to the Plan of Salvation, What is the plan of Salvation?

Instead of abandoning us in this world with our sin or destroying this world and everything in it, God made a plan to bring hope to the world, a plan that could give human kind the hope of everlasting life if we so choose it. Sin is like a disease that has swept across the earth, destroying and deteriorating everything that it contacts; we can see this earth and all its contents scarred by sin, with disease and death all around. But God made a plan of salvation to save the people of the world from sin—and from the wages of sin.

The earthly sanctuary that was in Israel has a representation of the plan of Salvation:

Remember what the lamb represents?

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," John the Baptist said as he saw Jesus coming towards him (John 1:29). 
It is without a doubt who the Lamb of God is—Jesus is the Lamb of God, our Savior, the one who was innocent and holy, yet who took our reproach and sins upon Himself to pay the price of sin on our behalf. The whole illustration of the Ceremonies and furnishings of the sanctuary shadow the events of the cross—the whole of the plan of Salvation is focused around Christ as our Savior. That is why the message of the sanctuary is so important, both for new converts and those who have long been converted. Yet this topic, this illustration of hope and inspiration, is rarely taught in our churches today. Other denominations avoid the subject viewing it as holding little meaning, but even now our congregations are being deprived of the subject of the Sanctuary, and of the subject of Salvation. We must not forget who our Savior is and why, which is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Steps to Christ:
“But in vain are men's dreams of progress, in vain all efforts for the uplifting of humanity, if they neglect the one Source of hope and help for the fallen race. "Every good gift and every perfect gift" (James 1:17) is from God. There is no true excellence of character apart from Him. And the only way to God is Christ. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6.

We must recognize the true nature of sin in order to comprehend our essential need for Christ. Those who feel they may continue on in sin, in violation to God’s divine commandments, do NOT realize their true need for a Savior, and are thus perishing.
The true nature of sin should be recognized and abhorred by those seeking to live up to the light that they know. There should be a constant persevering attempt to overcome sin, for that is what Christ taught us, and which we can do only through Him.
Only through Jesus Christ can we be freed from the bondage of sin in this life, and be able to pass into that new life in Christ.

“The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Saviour’s life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings,--all are enlisted in behalf of man's redemption.

            They are all there where we cannot see them, but they are all there working to help us. The whole hosts of heaven are ready and willing to assist us in fighting against the flesh—to help us conquer sin and worldliness. It is up to us to accept their aid—to surrender ourselves to God and dedicate to doing His will.
Oh, let us contemplate the amazing sacrifice that has been made for us! Let us try to appreciate the labor and energy that Heaven is expending to reclaim the lost, and bring them back to the Father's house. Motives stronger, and agencies more powerful, could never be brought into operation; the exceeding rewards for right-doing, the enjoyment of heaven, the society of the angels, the communion and love of God and His Son, the elevation and extension of all our powers throughout eternal ages—are these not mighty incentives and encouragements to urge us to give the heart's loving service to our Creator and Redeemer?

Once the sinner has made that conscious decision, in humble and contrite heart, to forsake the service of Satan and continuance in sin, then the peace of God and with the hosts of heaven we can be united with in the struggle against sin.

“And, on the other hand, the judgments of God pronounced against sin, the inevitable retribution, the degradation of our character, and the final destruction, are presented in God's word to warn us against the service of Satan.
Shall we not regard the mercy of God? What more could He do? Let us place ourselves in right relation to Him who has loved us with amazing love. Let us avail ourselves of the means provided for us that we may be transformed into His likeness, and be restored to fellowship with the ministering angels, to harmony and communion with the Father and the Son.

1Ti 2:3-6
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

            It is God’s desire that all would be saved, that all would come to Him, and that all would receive Christ as their Redeemer. The only thing holding the sinner back from this gift of eternal life is their own choice. My prayer and hope is that each of us would recognize our need for a Savior, and that we would each make that conscious, mental, and physical decision to accept Christ of whom we are in need of. And in our daily lives, I hope that we would also teach others their need for Christ as well.