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  1. 4 points
    Stan

    My New Project, check out the person on page 6

    First edition of the Magazine published in cooperation with the General Conference, Office of Adventist Mission and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. For information on subscribing to this please email MessengerSA@adventist.ca http://issues.adventistmessenger.ca/books/clae/
  2. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Lutherans & SDAS agree & Unite

    For the past several years a Lutheran congregation in in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, has owned a building in which a SDA congregation has also worshiped along with the Lutherans. On April 13, 2019, the SDAs assumed ownership of that building. As part of that process, the Lutheran congregation will continue to share in the use of the building. IOW, the building will continuer to be used by both groups for ministry. This agreement included the Minnesota Conference (SDA). For more detail, see the cited reference below. The above information came from: OUTLOOK, June 2019, pages 20 & 21.
  3. 3 points
    B/W Photodude

    Who's fooling who?

    "Rightly dividing" the word of God does not come even by careful reading of it. Which is why Paul stated in 2 Tim 3:7, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." I have met people that can recite long passages of Scripture and cannot even correctly verbalize the meaning of it. The Pharisees of Jesus's time on earth, were intently studying Scripture looking for the Messiah and did not even recognize Him walking among them. I suspect that the same is even true of EGW's writings. Those who reject the gift given thru her or are other wise critical of what we have been given thru her will not really understand it. So, I would be careful of dismissing things that you don't understand.
  4. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    Kevin is absolutely correct when he essentially tells us that in the time of Christ, Passover was observed differently according to the specific sect to which one subscribed. I may differ from my friend Gustave, as to which date I prefer. I may think that my choice is a better one. But, the bottom line is, as I understand it, none of the suggested dates can be determined to absolutely correct. Just as I may suggest that Gustave is wrong, so also may he say the same for my preferred date.
  5. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    Without getting into a discussion of the actual year that Christ died, there are two issues: 1) In the time of Christ, the Passover was celebrated on a couple of different dates by the different Jewish sects. I think. I should probably look more into this. 2) Hebrew culture in that time considered the phrase "three days and t here night" to fit the Friday to Sunday schedule. It is the same type of thing as if I were to say: It has been raining cats and dogs. Few would misunderstand me.
  6. 3 points
    R. G. White

    Variations in SDA Belief

    I appreciate your perspective. The state of the SDA Church today is indeed rather sorry, but I trust that God still has His plans for its purification.
  7. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    A chill coming in American culture

    I have just read the long comment as to what a proposed bill would actually do: * To force hospitals and physicians to do sex reassignment surgery against their will is simply false and a failure to understand the present health-care system. Hospitals may limit their services. Some hospitals do not do labor and delivery. Some hospitals do not have an Emergency department. All such is allowed. * I once lived in a culture where males and females freely went into the others bathroom. * I worked my way through the Seminary at Andrews University by cleaning bathrooms in the college. I quickly learned that the female college students were not going to stay out of the bathrooms when I was cleaning them. [NOTE: I normally did my bathroom cleaning in the evening after most classes were finished.] I got used to it. I did not bother the women and they did not bother me. * In commercial activities, one should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. IOW, if you are a photographer who takes wedding photographs, you should not be allowed to discriminate against same sex weddings. If however, you are a photographer who does not do wedding photographs, you should not be required to photograph any wedding.
  8. 3 points
    B/W Photodude

    Discussions to be Avoided

    Like all of us, sometimes I get shown "unpleasant things." Noting all the "kerfluffle" going on in the Dark Day thread, I open my Testimonies to continue my read and find this on page 424 of 3T. It may be interesting reading to read the whole section, but this is just a sample. Discussions to be Avoided You have loved to debate the truth and loved discussions; but these contests have been unfavorable to your forming a harmonious Christian character, for in this is a favorable opportunity for the exhibition of the very traits of character that you must overcome if you ever enter heaven. Discussions cannot always be avoided. In some cases the circumstances are such that of the two evils the choice must be made of the least, which is discussion. But whenever they can be avoided, they should be, for the result is seldom honoring to God. People who love to see opponents combat, may clamor for discussion. Others, who have a desire to hear the evidences on both sides, may urge discussion in all honesty of motive; but whenever discussions can be avoided, they should be. They generally strengthen combativeness and weaken that pure love and sacred sympathy which should ever exist in the hearts of Christians although they may differ in opinions. Discussions in this age of the world are not real evidences of earnest desire on the part of the people to investigate the truth, but come through the love of novelty and the excitement which generally attends discussions. God is seldom glorified or the truth advanced in these combats. Truth is too solemn, too momentous in its results, to make it a small matter whether it is received or rejected. To discuss truth for the sake of showing opponents the skill of the combatants is ever poor policy, for it does but very little to advance the truth. Opponents to the truth will show skill in misstating their opponent. They will make the most solemn, sacred truths the subject of ridicule. They will generally sport and deride precious, sacred truth, and place it in so false a light before the people that minds that are darkened by error and polluted by sin do not discern the motives and objects of these designing men in thus covering up and falsifying precious and important truth. Because of the men who engage in them, there are but few discussions that it is possible to conduct upon right principles. Sharp thrusts are too frequently given by both parties, personalities are indulged in, and frequently both parties descend to sarcasm and witticism. The love of souls is lost in the greater desire for the mastery. Prejudice, deep and bitter, is often the result of discussions. I have beheld angels grieved as the most precious jewels of truth have been brought before men utterly incapable of appreciating the evidences in favor of the truth. Their entire being was at war with the principles of truth; their natures were at enmity with it. Their object in discussing was not that they might get hold of the evidences of the truth themselves or that the people might have a fair understanding of our true position, but that they might confuse the understanding by placing the truth in a perverted light before the people. There are men who have educated themselves as combatants. It is their policy to misstate an opponent and to cover up clear arguments with dishonest quibbles. They have devoted their God-given powers to this dishonest work, for there is nothing in their hearts in harmony with the pure principles of truth. They seize any argument they can get with which to tear down the advocates of truth, when they themselves do not believe the things they urge against them. They bolster themselves up in their chosen position, irrespective of justice and truth. They do not consider that before them is the judgment, and that then their ill-gotten triumph, with all its disastrous results, will appear in its true character. Error, with all its deceptive policies, its windings and twistings and turnings to change the truth into a lie, will then appear in all its deformity. No victory will stand in the day of God, except that which truth, pure, elevated, sacred truth, shall win to the glory of God.
  9. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Variations in SDA Belief

    Morwenna, I will attempt to again responds to your question as to the central beliefs that are required to be considered as Seventh-day Adventist: * The central issue here is that the individual congregation decides who is a SDA member. The SDA denomination does not have a centralized authority that makes this decision. This decision is not made by SDA Clergy. It is made by the local congregation. * In actual fact, some SDA members believe that the decision as to member ship should be based upon compliance with the so-called 28 Fundamentals. These people may not want to allow any difference on even one of the 28. Others may be willing to allow some differences. This position, in my opinion is wrong. The intention of the people who wrote the so-called 28 was NOT to make it a test of fellowship. Those who believe that it should be such, are essentially making it a creed. This is wrong. * My practice, over many years of ministry is to see the so-call 13 statements in the Baptismal Covenant as being the basis for joining the SDA Church. Even this allows for some freedom and differences in understanding. Those 13 are not clear and explicit in every detail. It should be noted while this use of the 13, is not a statement of reasons for removal from membership. * In actual practice today, some SDA clergy and individual congregations admit people into SDA membership more freely that would be indicted by this 13. Morwenna, the bottom line is that a definitive answer to your question can not be given that applies to every congregation in the SDA Church.
  10. 3 points
    rudywoofs (Pam)

    Variations in SDA Belief

    In my opinion, there is NO particular "percentage" of held beliefs that one must have to consider one's self a Seventh-day Adventist. Some SDAs (even ministers) *do* drink alcoholic beverages, and fully believe they are doing nothing wrong. Some work on the Sabbath when they feel there is a need. Some don't pay tithe. Most don't smoke, but yet are overweight potluck gluttons. There are SDAs who are blackguards in private life, and pillars of the SDA denomination in public. The SDA church isn't a club for perfect people, though some would like it to be. There are all flavors of Adventists, representative of some of the worst of humanity, as well as some of the best. If an Adventist is fully convinced in his or her own mind that his or her chosen behaviors or morality is wholly acceptable to God, then who am I to gossip or condemn? I am not of the opinion that 100% of the doctrines need to be perfected in a person before he or she is considered eligible for baptism and membership. Everyone is a work in progress. Is God going to be judging people by whether or not they smoke, dance, eat pork, wear jewelry, etc? Maybe. I dunno. Kinda reminds me of the adage that says, "Don't judge someone just because they sin differently than you" .....
  11. 3 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Variations in SDA Belief

    Morewnna has asked about the following: I will respond later. Her question related to SDA membership, not election to office. In specifically responding, I will place my comments directly under the question, in brackets [ ] and with my initials. It should be noted that the so-called 27/28/29 Fundamental Beliefs were never intended to establish the boundaries of Adventism. There are 13 beliefs required for baptism. But, those have some slack as to membership. In any case, it is the individual congregation that decides. Is it permissible to drink alcohol, and still be a SDA? [As I have posted, a recent research world-wide study has suggested that about 9% of SDA members do drink some amount of beverage alcohol. So, yes, there are SDAs who remain members and do drink some alcohol--GM.] What about eating a pepperoni pizza? Would that be a disqualification? [ I can only say that such would be quite rare--GM. Working on the Sabbath (even in a non-medical field, but perhaps in a support staff position)? Automatic excommunication? [We believe that there is necessary work that must be done on the Sabbath. That decision is left to the individual. Necessary work is not limited to the medical field. SDAS serve as police, prison guards, and much more. Most jobs today do require some sort of support staff. the decision is between the person and God--GM.] Disbelief in Trinitarianism? {There are a few SDA members today who do not believe in the Trinity. If they wish to live in peace with us, they can generally do so--GM.] Belief in transubstantiation? [I have never heard of this being a membership issue--GM.] Belief in infant baptism? [SDA clergy are unlikely to baptize an infant. The parents can believe as they wish--GM.] Multiple wives? [There are places in this world where men have multiple wives. This is an issue about which the SDA denomination has struggles. I do not believe that it has a good answer. However, a man with multiple wives may not be allowed to become a SDA member. NOTE: IF you are personally involved in such a situation, I suggest that you discuss it in depth with SDA clergy--GM. Why else would you be interested in asking such a question?] Disbelief in Ellen White's prophet status? [Many people are confused as to what is meant by stating that we believe that EGW as a prophet. In any case, officially you do not have to believe that EGW was a prophet-- GM.]
  12. 2 points
    Kevin H

    Lutherans & SDAS agree & Unite

    Mrs. White had issues with the idea of her being an inspired interpreter of scripture. She saw her ministry as making application of the message of the Bible, of pointing out neglected portions of scripture, and to point out what was a part of the ancient culture and thus on the minds of the Bible writers and their audience as they wrote and heard and thought about scripture, but which is not a part of our culture and we would not think about had she not told it to us: the issues of the Great Controversy. But when it comes to Biblical interpretation and exegesis she tells us that is OUR job NOT hers. She even seems a bit envious of us and bewildered that people wanted her to interpret scripture. When asked to she would either ignore the request or tell the requester that this is their job not hers. When she heard people using her writings to interpret scripture she wrote things like "My writings are not to be used in answering questions such as 'what is the meaning of the daily?'"
  13. 2 points
    Kevin H

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    The Lord could have come err this. May I recommend the chapter in the SDA Bible Commentary "The Role of Israel in Old Testament History." This is a very important article we were encouraged to read in Academy, but at college it was required reading with a paper for every semester you took a Bible class (which meant that religion and theology students had to do it every semester).We have been so influenced by Fundamentalists that has such a narrow view of inspiration that we miss a lot of the message of the Bible. There are three ways we find the Bible used by other Bible writers and prophets. The first is exegesis, or it's immediate context including how God was giving that generation either the chance to finish the work (by spreading the Gospel) or to prepare things so that a generation or two later could have finished and the Lord could have set up the kingdom. For example we have in Isaiah 7 God trying to encourage the king to trust in him. He was worried about two kings. Isaiah gave a promise of a child. Matthew said that this was a prediction of Jesus. But it sounds a little crazy for Isaiah to say to the king "I know you are worried about these two kings, but in about 500 years a child will be born and before he knows right from wrong those two kings will no longer be an issue, so all you need to do is trust God and wait 500 years." Isaiah was talking about a child born in his day (but even so he was applying the child of promise that was given to Abraham, and which we can reapply to Jesus). There is a second principle of analogy, applying the principles to another similar situation. This is what Matthew is doing. This is what we do when we apply Daniel 8:14 to 1844, or when Ezekiel applies it to the end of time (and describing the end of time to how it could have ended had Jesus been accepted). Or even those involved in producing the book of Daniel to move it from the end of Babylonian about 2300 days later to applying it to the 70 weeks of years. A third way we find the Bible writers and Mrs. White using scripture is a homiletical or linguistic application. Where it is not the immediate context of exegesis or a reapplication to a similar situation, but where the words still fit. (an example is Mrs. White saying that we are preaching the law the law the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboah. ) Deuteronomy 4 predicted that the exile could have been the last days. The original setting of the 2300 days was about 2300 literal days from the end of Babylon. Daniel 9 re-applies it to the 70 week of years prophecy. Ezekiel has a 2310 day prophecy that shows how it could have been fulfilled when Jesus came. Yes, there could still be another application, but the evening-morning points to the cycles that we find in Leviticus, and 1844 was the fulfillment of the day-year application.
  14. 2 points
    Kevin H

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    Hi JoeMo: You are correct that Daniel 8:14 does not say "Day but "evening-morning." But may I say that this does NOT suggest a reference to the sacrifices and be equivalent to 1,150 days, but is actually a stronger argument for the Adventist application than if it did use the word "day". First of all, the term for the sacrifice is NOT "evening-morning", but a very technical "morning and evening". I actually read in a couple of commentaries that support the 1150 days that the author of Daniel was clearly Dyslexic because he meant to write "mornings and evenings" but he switched around the words "morning"and the word "evening" and he forgot to include the word "and" but that we have to be careful to recognize his dyslexia and not read the text as it stands but to change the text to what he meant to say. However, others recognizing that the term "evenings-morning" is very similar to the "evenings and mornings" of Genesis 1 and is thus related to the daily cycle, but that it is also emphasis to the daily cycle and should be compared to the weekly cycles that we find in Leviticus 23 and in the book of Deuteronomy. In Leviticus 23 a Hebrew week is 6 days and the weekly Sabbath, 6 months and either Passover or Yom Kippur, 6 years and the Sabbatical year, and 6 Sabbatical years and the Jubilee. Thus an evening-morning is a reference to the daily cycle of this and can be a literal day, month, year or sabbatical year. However Daniel is based on Deuteronomy which does not have the Jubilee as it is in Leviticus. Everything that happens in the Jubilee in Leviticus occurs in the Sabbatical year of Deuteronomy, thus while it can relate to the Jubilee it would not allow for 2300 sabbatical years. Anyway, another reason why we can say that it should not be 1150 days is by looking at the text. The vision was given in the 3rd year of Belshazzar. Now it was not until the 20th century that we learned that Belshazzar was indeed a real person. The 1150 days comes from the theory that Daniel did not exist and the book was written to deal with the issue of Antiochus Epiphanes and the wrong but wishful thinking that he would only have power for 1150 days. (they see the 2300 days as too long, the 1150 days are actually too short, but fit a little bit better than the 2300, and they can point out that it was only wishful thinking.) But now we know that Belshazzar was indeed a real person and we know what years he ruled. Now we only have the year to go by, but if you start with the third year of Belshazzar and add 1150 literal days to it you come to a year of business as usual. However if you start with the third year of Belshazzar and add 2300 days to it you come to the year that includes Medio-Persia approaching Babylon, Behshazzar's feast, and the early days of the Medio-Persia empire. Also, if you hold the early date of the exodus, Yom Kippur 1844 ends a cycle of 7 Sabbatical years and the start of a Jubilee. And what was happening on the earth at this time was that the Rosetta stone had recently been translated opening up ancient languages, and Edward Robinson just completed his first trip to the Holy Land and had just published his book of the trip. This was the first serious study in Bible Geography which opened the door to Biblical Geography and archaeology, it was the dawning of the age of exegesis. A time where we get to investigate the pages of scripture like never before.
  15. 2 points
    JoeMo

    To Consider

    Sometimes when people ask if I'm a Christian, I ask them what do you mean by Christian?" After they respond (frequently in a denominational manner), I say "yeah, a little bit". That tends to arouse their curiosity and leads to me telling them that I believe what I read in the Bible with as little denominational bias as possible. Then (sometimes) we can have a Bible-based discussion rather than a debate or argument.
  16. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    * Gustave has correctly cited EGW's statement. She did believe that Christ was crucified in the Spring of 31 AD. * The 33 AD date that Gustave proposes has been a popular date that goes back to the 13th century and was proposed by Roger Bacon. It is a date often found in the margins of the KJV Bibles. * This 33 AD date is based in part upon the assumption that the Jewish calendar of the 1st century AD was exactly the same as the revised version that has come to us today. * As I understand it, this assumption has some conflicts with what we know about the a needed coordination with a Babylonian cycle at that time and also with the Elephantine papyri. * An AD 30 date has been popular among some Christians today. However, this date would not have had a Friday Passover with a Nisan date in April. * Gustave has some support for his proposed Nisan date in 31 AD. But, it is not conclusive, in my opinion. * A major problem is that actually a date can not be conclusively established by either astronomical or calendrical data. * One of the issues is that we can not be positive as to the exact boundaries of the lunar calendar system used by the 1st century Jews. * Some SDAs will consider their understanding of the prophecy of the 2300 days to be a factor to be considered in the date of the crucifixion. This is circular reasoning. Further, in my opinion, this view is based upon one understanding of the 2300 days when in actual fact that 2300 day prophecy may allow for some additional understandings. IOW, I am not going to tie the "midst of the week" to a rigid, concrete specified number of days. If I were to say that I will telephone you in the middle of next week, that might mean Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. It would not be limited to Wednesday. * The bottom line, in my opinion is: The exact date for the crucifixion can not be determined with certainty. All proposed dates are based upon some assumptions/conjectures. This is not an issue of salvation. No important Biblical doctrine is based upon a determination of the exact date for the crucifixion of Christ. NOTE: This is an exceedingly complex issue. There is much that can be said that I have not posted due to space limitations.
  17. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Ask Quora

    As many of you know, I participate in Quora, an International Internet question and answer site. The majority of the questions asked there are valid questions. However, the following is an example of a question and answer given today: Q: How many feet are in 20 square feet? R: Count the number of bilegged people standing in the 20 square feet and multiply by 2.
  18. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    I disagree. Programmed obedience is not obedience at all - it's either slavery or a computer program. Love and obedience must always a free-choice option if we are indeed made in the image of our Creator. I don't want to be an immortal robot. If I have no sense of self, what do I have a sense of? satan thinks that the only way to truly express free will is through rebellion. God thinks the only way to truly express free will is by voluntarily putting aside self out of love for Him and those around us. Some think satan was trying to prove to Jesus that He didn't even have a free will. He dared Jesus to jump off of a high precipice to commit suicide. satan claimed that God's angels would immediately intervene to ensure that Jesus would NOT kill Himself. satan ultimately lost that debate.
  19. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Who's fooling who?

    To subtract 457 from the 2300 figure to obtain a date of 1843 is a common mistake that is made by people who do not understand the BC/AD dating system that we have today. That actual data obtained by such is not 1843. Ignorance of the issue involved here can not be excused as a technical issue that should only be expected to be known by scholars. This issue has been published so widely that we can expect that everyone who comments on this date would be aware of the issue and make the appropriate adjustment to the date obtained. The actual date is 1844. The adjustment that is required to be made is due to the fact that there is not a "zero year" that exists between a BC and an AD date. The following website is one place where one can become informed as to this issue. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_zero NOTE: My comment here is NOT focused on HCH. He has quoted from people who have used the 1843 date as well as the 1844 date.
  20. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    There is a problem with the post above that APL made a few posts back: Many SDAs, who present that argument in doing so engage in circular reasoning.
  21. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    Seventh-day Adventist scholars have generally believed that the exact date for the crucifixion of Christ can not be absolutely determined. * They have ruled out a date founded in ancient tradition of 29 CE (AD) * They have generally held that the crucifixion probably occurred during either 30 CE, or 31 CE or 33 CE. * As early as the 13th century, the crucifixion was thought to have occurred in 33 CE. Today, this is a minority view. The evidence is considered strong for a rejection of this view. Part of the reason for the rejection of this is that it was based upon what we now believe to be a faulty understanding of the Jewish calendar. There are also other reasons for rejecting t his date. * CE 30 has probably been the most common current belief as to the crucifixion. But, this date is based upon some assumptions that are rejected by some scholars. * CE 31 has more generally been accepted as the date for the crucifixion by SDA scholars. * However, the data is not conclusive. The actual date can not be established from what we know about the lunar-calendar system of the Jews. My personal position is: 1) We do not conclusively know. 2) I am comfortable with and date in the 30 - 33 range. 3) This is not an important issue that matters. 4) In my personal ministry I lean toward the 31 date.
  22. 2 points
    B/W Photodude

    Who's fooling who?

    Regarding the 18lb. Bible- J. N. Loughborough wrote in his book "The Great Second Advent movement"of the holding up of this Bible. What we have missed about this story is that it was an attempt by "unbelievers" Robbins and Sargent to prove that Sister Ellen's visions were of the devil. The belief at the time was that placing a Bible on someone in a vision from the devil would break the spell. I photographed the pages rather than typing them all out. The visions were also discussed: https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/652.86 And were part of this book: https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/652/info A Youtube video also dramatizes the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_CAQD11kBk
  23. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    When Was Jesus Crucified?

    It does not add up as we understand it. I can refer you to 5SDABC, 1980 edition, pages 248 through 251, which provides an extensive discussion of this issue. I Do not think that I could give a good summation of what it says there in a post here.
  24. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    If we lose our free will, we will cease to be the sentient divine imagers that we were created to be. Without our free will, we are simply robots fueled by vegeburger and broccoli. If we are "programmed" to love, trust and obey, are we really voluntarily following God?
  25. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    We are all responsible individually for how we relate to God. It is not the responsibility of a denomination to instruct us how to do so. It's obvious to me that different people and cultures relate to scripture differently. If this were not so, there would not be thousands of Christian denominations. For me, Adventism come closest to how I want to relate to God. For my siblings, it is still Catholicism. For my daughter and her husband, it's Calvary Chapel. Although I won't say a rosary, I have no problem otherwise worshiping with any of them. I would continue to attend an SDA Church even if I was disfellowshipped.
  26. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    I agree with this. I would also add that in this life we should learn the Heavenly Family business as well as the Family values - part of which is unconditional love, trust, and dependence on our Creator. I disagree with this. We will have a free will throughout eternity. IMHO, we are born sinners in this age - we are genetically predisposed to sin. We sin because we are sinners; we are not sinners because we sin. Part of our rebirth in the spirit will be to have a genetic predisposal to NOT sin. We will have the free will to sin or not sin; but the saved will never choose to sin. Just my opinion.
  27. 2 points
    B/W Photodude

    Who's fooling who?

    That doesn't work well in the flow of a thread, especially when you start quoting someone they will want to know the response. Also not really friendly to put the burden on someone else to ignore and/or move around one's bad behavior. The first response could have been followed by a "sorry, I misinterpreted what you said." then we could be all done.
  28. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    Just because SDA evangelists have been preaching it for over 150 years doesn't make it true. The sea beast isn't "obviously" the papacy; although I will concede it might be). Concerning the "deadly wound" which was healed, another alternative could the Ottoman Empire (aka the Islamic Caliphate) which was officially dissolved in the 1920's; and seems to be roaring back in the same areas it ruled for over 1,000 years; and seems to be spreading all over the world faster than any other religion. Muslims will outnumber Christians by 2050 by birth rate alone; earlier with conversions. It's deadly wound is healed as well. IMHO, it is time for Christians to quit criticizing and attacking each other and unite under our common beliefs in Christ an Creator, the Son of God, and Savior. If we continue to fight each other instead of on the increasing hostile acts against Christian in general that are rapidly developing all over the world (including in North America and Western Europe), we will be overwhelmed in the end times. In fact, scripture says the church will be overwhelmed: “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. (Dan. 8:23-25) "The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them." (Rev .13:6-7) SDA's will not be the only ones saved in the end times; and the Sabbath will not be the major end-time issue.
  29. 2 points
    pierrepaul

    Variations in SDA Belief

    I would agree. I would also suggest that the persecutor of the saints might again change identity before earth's history closes.
  30. 2 points
    B/W Photodude

    Variations in SDA Belief

    I found I had an easier time having Sabbaths off when I did not work for SDA institutions. Can you imagine asking your superviser at Loma Linda for the Sabbath off? When I worked at one non-Adventist hospital where we had self-scheduling, I maybe had to work one Sabbath a year! Another one once amonth. Actually, the Bible does not actually prohibit polygamy. You just cannot be a leader of the church with more than one wife. This becomes an issue if you are doing missionary work in a country where polygamy exists. Would you really ask the man to cut loose some of his wives who have made their lives with him and his family? Maybe you could make a case for no more wives.
  31. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Who's fooling who?

    The White Estate has the Bible that it is said that EGW held above her head. It has been weighed at 18 1/2 pounds. That is less than the 3 gallons of milk that HCH says is the minimum that the Bible weighs. It is far less than the 40 pounds that has been alleged to be its weight. What this demonstrates is that even if there is some truth in this myth, there is also error. The story that we have today can not be depended upon.
  32. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Who's fooling who?

    A myth, as I use the term may be either true or false. A myth should not be considered automaticly to be false. The following quote is part of that myth that surrounds Adventism and Ellen White. It should be pointed out that truth is not established by a miracle. A miracle may have a source that is not from God. On this basis, one should not base their belief in something on an alleged miracle. Some Seventh-day Adventist historians today, believe that this story of EGW and the Bible is not substantiated. IOW, we can not be certain that it actually happened. Perhaps it did happen. But, perhaps it did not happen. Therefore, I will suggest that we should take with caution any suggestion that it did happen. But, if it did, so what? That would not establish that God was the source.
  33. 2 points
    stinsonmarri

    Who's fooling who?

    Joe: I miss this and you are correct, there are Blacks who hate and are dangerous as well. But, in defense of black folks hatred is mainly because of how we have been treated. However, that does not justify hurting or killing anyone! That's what happened to me, and I only hurt my own people. Even using the N-word was bringing my people and myself down as well! Nothing good comes from hatred and the best example is Satan hating HIS CREATOR because HE wanted HIS CREATOR to make HIM equal with HIS SON! I am mortified over the words "picnic over grill?" I have never heard of such in my life! That got me friend. There are times when people will get angry over the stupidest things for no reason. I have been saying picnic all of my life and will continue to do so! You know ignorance is bliss and that's with all people, nation and tongues brother. I get on by black folks for some of their ridiculous reasons to blame everything on European or White people. You have to do your part in society yourself, no one is better than the other period! Yes, I stand up for the wrong and the untrue history about Ham's children, and I also stand up for the justice of Japheth children who die so I can be free! I will never forget that and none of us should! Love is colorful and is spreads joy to all. I think of people as I do flowers or fruit, even the different shades of the sky! We are a rainbow of love and that is where I stand and to be truthful to everyone! Oh! I wish I could have come to your picnic! Blessings!
  34. 2 points
    phkrause

    Too Close for Comfort

    Marty Mittleman was coming back from his nephew’s bar mitzvah party where he may have had a few too many l’chaims and he rear-ended the car in front of him. Being that he was a lawyer, Marty got out of his car, walked over to the driver of the other car and said, "Boy, are you in trouble! I'm a lawyer!" The driver looked out his window and said, "I’m not so sure about that. I'm a judge."
  35. 2 points
    pierrepaul

    Variations in SDA Belief

    The following is from my personal experience. Since SDA membership is a local congregation matter, practice varies from congregation to congregation. Alcohol - I know of no congregation that disfellowshipped members for alcohol consumption. But they would be excluded from leadership positions. I suppose though, were a member to be "in your face" about it, such as ordering wine at the restaurant with other members, bringing beer to the church-family picnic or pouring a scotch for oneself during a pastoral visit, the congregation would likely take disciplinary action. I wouldn't recommend bringing one's own fermented wine to communion. Working on the Sabbath - again likely this would exclude one from leadership positions, but I doubt the church body would be moved to disfellowship. But if one is being disruptive, such as taking business calls on sabbath and loudly discussing and negotiating business matters on the phone during the Sabbath fellowship luncheon, the congregation may take action. I wouldn't recommend passing out business cards and advertisements in the church lobby after the service. Trinitarianism - no one cares if you keep your views to yourself. But if you're disrupting sabbath school with anti-trinitarian views, and if during sabbath afternoon fellowship you won't shut up about arianism or whatever one's pet theory is, the congregation may take action. Transsubstantiation - if you keep your beliefs to yourself, no one will care. If, during communion you yell out "hoc est corpus meum", the congregation may take action. Infant baptism - if you baptize your baby at home, no one will really care. But if during a baby dedication you rush to the front of the church to sprinkle the baby with water before the deacons can intercept you and wrestle you to the ground, the congregation may take action. Multiple wives - sex, divorce, adultery, etc. are about the only things that I've seen resulting in a disfellowshipping. I believe few congregations in North America would countenance polygamy. EGW - I've known many SDAs who don't acknowledge EGW as a prophet. As long as they don't disrupt sabbath school class or pester people with their pet theories, no one cares.
  36. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    I don't think that the SDA church was a false movement at all - any more than I think the Protestant Reformation was a false movement. Martin Luther was a beer-swilling Jew hater; yet, he is considered the originator of the protestant reformation (and rightly so). One sign of the end is that knowledge will increase; and IMHO that includes spiritual knowledge. The establishment of the SDA Church was just one more step in the progression of God's people. But ... as in all religions that reach "critical mass", the church has become a business rather than an outreach; so solvency is as or more important than keeping up with the signs of the times.
  37. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    Also, are we ready for Jesus to come, whatever the actual scenario turns out to be? Are we faithful to believe that God is in control even if we are not? If we truly love and believe in/depend on our Lord Jesus, His Spirit will guide us into all truth. Currently, I could be mistaken, you could be mistaken, or we both could be mistaken. We may not be "uniform" in our personal beliefs, but we are "united in our search for the Way, the Truth, and the Light.
  38. 2 points
    R. G. White

    Variations in SDA Belief

    Yes and no. No one is born a Christian. It is true that, at my initial conversion at 28 years of age, I had some basic background knowledge that may have been a far greater benefit than I realised. However, I am as dependent as anyone else on the Holy Spirit to teach me knowledge, and on the church community to be a check on my independence and a sounding board for my ideas. My understanding is that the historicist approach was always the Protestant one, and that preterism and futurism (neither of which makes any sense to me, as they tend to cut one loose from any objective means of testing ideas) were invented by the counter-reformation. I'm afraid that your perceptions of which religion is currently the biggest threat are just that -- perceptions. Isn't the Bible supposed to be our safeguard against deception? But how can it serve that function unless we stay with correct methods of interpretation? Separating the 70th week from the first 69 strikes me as entirely impossible and illegitimate. If your motive is to think better about our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, I suppose that's laudable. However, I believe that a sincere Muslim might also be equally accepted by God. In fact, so-called Islamophobia seems to be presently doing more evil to humanity than Islam itself (here we go with perceptions again -- this time mine), even though the 7 trumpets prophecy is not at all kind to that false religion. I see no evidence of genuine repentance on the part of the papacy as such, so what makes you think it has really changed?
  39. 2 points
    Bravus

    A chill coming in American culture

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Trevor. My perspective is not especially formed by the fact that I live on the Gold Coast. I've lived here for 7 years, but before that, in reverse chronological order: Brisbane, Australia - 6 years Edmonton, Canada - 5 years Perth, Australia - 6 years Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea - 2 years Sydney, Australia - 1 year Melbourne, Australia - 3 years Cooranbong, Australia - 20 years Sydney, Australia - 6 years Including the excluded is right everywhere, not just in the Gold Coast.
  40. 2 points
    R. G. White

    Establishing the Law: Romans 3:31

    Ron Amnsn had just said: "It was the pre-incarnate Jesus that taught the Israelites the Old Testament instructions and statutes found in the Law of Moses, including the Decalogue." Jesus' gospel teachings included the Sermon of the Mount, in which He not only upheld His own Ten Words from the Old Testament, but enlightened His hearers as the breadth and depth of their meaning and application. The effect of the gospel is not to make people more careless in regard to the moral requirements of the Ten Words. Rather, it has the effect of creating in the heart a love for that law, in all of its implications, and a natural desire to honour God by living out its principles.
  41. 2 points
    Gregory Matthews

    Zero Converts?

    See: https://www.adventistreview.org/not-a-single-convert This story will tug at your heart strings.
  42. 2 points
    Bravus

    A chill coming in American culture

    How did Jesus treat Samaritans who 'worshiped wrong', lepers who were believed to be cursed by God, the lame man at the Pool of Siloam likewise (the disciples' 'who sinned?' question and His answer), the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, prostitutes and publicans?
  43. 2 points
    stinsonmarri

    Males & Lust

    Thank you, Pastor, for showing that man also need to be responsible for lusting. I truly agree that the reading made excellent points. Both male and female have to check themselves for the lust they have in their mind, instead of blaming it on others! Happy Sabbath!
  44. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Males & Lust

    I'm grateful ( not that grateful) that old age has pretty much removed that temptation from me. I still appreciate a beautiful woman; but appreciation is as far as it goes.
  45. 2 points
    B/W Photodude

    A chill coming in American culture

    I see so much approval of evil under the guise of "love." I think that is very wrong. Problem with that kind of behavior is that is emboldens others in their evildoing and help guarantee their trip to perdition. Those participating in it will be held accountable.
  46. 2 points
    james423

    Lesson 9 - Times of Loss

    Overall Question: How can God help us through times of loss? Memory Text: Philippians 3:8 New International Version What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ Sunday – Loss of Health Mark 5:22-24 God’s Word Translation 2 A synagogue leader named Jairus also arrived. When he saw Jesus, he quickly bowed down in front of him. 23 He begged Jesus, “My little daughter is dying. Come, lay your hands on her so that she may get well and live.” 24 Jesus went with the man. A huge crowd followed Jesus and pressed him on every side. Mark 5:35-43 God’s Word Translation 35 While Jesus was still speaking to her, some people came from the synagogue leader’s home. They told the synagogue leader, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36 When Jesus overheard what they said, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid! Just believe.” 37 Jesus allowed no one to go with him except Peter and the two brothers James and John. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a noisy crowd there. People were crying and sobbing loudly. 39 When he came into the house, he asked them, “Why are you making so much noise and crying? The child isn’t dead. She’s just sleeping.” 40 They laughed at him. So he made all of them go outside. Then he took the child’s father, mother, and his three disciples and went to the child. 41 Jesus took the child’s hand and said to her, “Talitha, koum!” which means, “Little girl, I’m telling you to get up!” 42 The girl got up at once and started to walk. (She was twelve years old.) They were astonished. 43 Jesus ordered them not to let anyone know about this. He also told them to give the little girl something to eat. Matthew 15:22-28 Common English Bible 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 23 But he didn’t respond to her at all. His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.” 24 Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.” 25 But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.” 26 He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.” 28 Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed. Luke 4:38 Contemporary English Version 38 Jesus left the meeting place and went to Simon’s home. When Jesus got there, he was told that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a high fever. John 4:46-54 Modern English Version 46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick in Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him, pleading that He would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” 49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your son lives.” And the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 While he was going down, his servants met him and told him, “Your son lives!” 52 When he inquired of them the hour when he began to heal, they answered, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 Then the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” So he and his whole household believed. 54 This was the second sign that Jesus did when He had come from Judea to Galilee. Monday – Loss of Trust 1 Peter 5:6-7 New Living Translation 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 John 4:18 New Century Version Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears. James 5:16 Good News Translation So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect. Matthew 6:14-15 Easy-to-Read Version 14 Yes, if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, then your Father in heaven will also forgive your wrongs. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, then your Father in heaven will not forgive the wrongs you do. Tuesday – Loss of Trust, Continued a. Genesis 37:17-28 Contemporary English Version 17 “They’re not here anymore,” the man replied. “I overheard them say they were going to Dothan.” Joseph left and found his brothers in Dothan. 18 But before he got there, they saw him coming and made plans to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Look, here comes the hero of those dreams! 20 Let’s kill him and throw him into a pit and say that some wild animal ate him. Then we’ll see what happens to those dreams.” 21 Reuben heard this and tried to protect Joseph from them. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22 “Don’t murder him or even harm him. Just throw him into a dry well out here in the desert.” Reuben planned to rescue Joseph later and take him back to his father. 23 When Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his fancy coat 24 and threw him into a dry well. 25 As Joseph’s brothers sat down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with all kinds of spices that they were taking to Egypt. 26 So Judah said, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his body? 27 Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not harm him. After all, he is our brother.” And the others agreed. 28 When the Midianite merchants came by, Joseph’s brothers took him out of the well, and for twenty pieces of silver they sold him to the Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt. b. 2 Samuel 13:1-22 New International Reader’s Version Some time later, David’s son Amnon fell in love with Tamar. She was the beautiful sister of Absalom. He was another one of David’s sons. 2 Amnon wanted his sister Tamar so much that it made him sick. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do what he wanted with her. 3 Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very clever man. 4 He asked Amnon, “You are the king’s son, aren’t you? So why do you look so worn out every morning? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon answered, “I’m in love with Tamar. She’s the sister of my brother Absalom.” 5 “Go to bed,” Jonadab said. “Pretend to be sick. Your father will come to see you. When he does, tell him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food right here in front of me where I can watch her. Then she can feed it to me.’ ” 6 So Amnon went to bed. He pretended to be sick. The king came to see him. Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come here. I want to watch her make some special bread. Then she can feed it to me.” 7 David sent a message to Tamar at the palace. He said, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house. Prepare some food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon. He was lying in bed. She got some dough and mixed it. She shaped the bread right there in front of him. And she baked it. 9 Then she took the bread out of the pan and served it to him. But he refused to eat it. “Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10 Then he said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom. Please feed it to me.” So Tamar picked up the bread she had prepared. She brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 She took it to him so he could eat it. But he grabbed her. He said, “My sister, come to bed with me.” 12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! An evil thing like that should never be done in Israel! Don’t do it! 13 What about me? How could I ever get rid of my shame? And what about you? You would be as foolish as any evil person in Israel. Please speak to the king. He won’t keep me from marrying you.” 14 But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was. So he raped her. 15 Then Amnon hated Tamar very much. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her before. He said to her, “Get up! Get out!” 16 “No!” she said to him. “Don’t send me away. That would be worse than what you have already done to me.” But he refused to listen to her. 17 He sent for his personal servant. He said, “Get this woman out of my sight. Lock the door behind her.” 18 So his servant threw her out. Then he locked the door behind her. Tamar was wearing a beautiful robe. It was the kind of robe the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19 She put ashes on her head. She tore the beautiful robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away. She was weeping out loud as she went. 20 When her brother Absalom saw her, he spoke to her. He said, “Has Amnon, that brother of yours, forced you to go to bed with him? My sister, don’t let it upset you. Don’t let it bother you. He’s your brother.” After that, Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house. She was very lonely. 21 King David heard about everything that had happened. So he became very angry. 22 And Absalom never said a word of any kind to Amnon. He hated Amnon because he had brought shame on his sister Tamar. c. 2 Kings 16:3 New Living Translation Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire.[a] In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 2 Kings 17:17 New English Translation 17 They passed their sons and daughters through the fire, and practiced divination and omen reading. They committed themselves to doing evil in the sight of the Lord and made him angry. 2 Kings 21:6 English Standard Version And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. Wednesday – Loss of Freedom Luke 16:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible No household slave can be the slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t be slaves to both God and money. Romans 6:16 Easy-to-Read Version Surely you know that you become the slaves of whatever you give yourselves to. Anything or anyone you follow will be your master. You can follow sin, or you can obey God. Following sin brings spiritual death, but obeying God makes you right with him. James 1:13-15 New Life Version 13 When you are tempted to do wrong, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God cannot be tempted. He will never tempt anyone. 14 A man is tempted to do wrong when he lets himself be led by what his bad thoughts tell him to do. 15 When he does what his bad thoughts tell him to do, he sins. When sin completes its work, it brings death. 1 John 2:16 Good News Translation Everything that belongs to the world—what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of—none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world. Thursday – Loss of Life 1 Corinthians 15:26 New Century Version The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. Romans 8:31-39 The Living Bible 31 What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has forgiven us and given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? Will Christ? No! For he is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us there in heaven. 35 Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us? 36 No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; 37 but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. 38 For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, 39 or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us. Revelation 21:4 Holman Christian Standard Bible He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. 1 Corinthians 15:52-57 New International Version 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  47. 2 points
    Bravus

    A chill coming in American culture

    When Christians are scared that they will no longer be able to treat some human beings as inferior, they should be scared. The world is becoming more fair. Christians should be leading progress, not fighting it. Jesus went out of his way to include the excluded.
  48. 2 points
    GHansen

    Herman Wouk

    Wouk's This is my God was highly recommended by the Jewish Chaplain at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. He said it was an excellent explanation of the Jewish religion. Interesting that Wouk started Talmud studies instead of Torah studies. At Cedars, the chaplain, Levi Meier, studied the Torah, which he knew mostly by heart, in Hebrew; consequently, when one would refer to a Torah passage in English, he would translate it back into Hebrew, so he could locate it. Isaac Singer's books are also an excellent source of insights into Judaism, especially "In my Father's Court".
  49. 2 points
    JoeMo

    Variations in SDA Belief

    In my understanding (and I may be wrong), the fundamentals are provided as a guideline for what SDA's believe rather than a mandatory creed. The Fundamentals have changed significantly over the history of the SDA Church. For example, the Fundies did not previously contain an item specifically addressing the Trinity. That being said, there are certain Biblical principles embedded in the Fundies (e.g., the Sabbath, Jesus as Savior, salvation by grace, the physical return of Jesus) that people do need to accept. I ain't no pastor; so I won't be assessing anyone's baptismal qualifications in the near future.
  50. 2 points
    Green Cochoa

    The “sons of God” in Gen 6:1-4: Angels or Humans?

    Samie, I know not whether taking time to respond here will be profitable. You may be fully entrenched in your opinion and unwilling to look at any other possible manner of interpretation. I will say this: I will not spend long debating on this. FIRSTLY Most of what you included in evidence above is true and correct. We differ simply in interpretations. Similarly, biologists look at the same evidence and come up with opposite conclusions regarding the origin of life. So as pertains to the evidence, I largely agree with you. As regards your conclusions, we differ. I will make an attempt at explaining how the evidence can be interpreted in another way, supported by some additional evidences. EVIDENCES REGARDING "SONS OF GOD" Adam was called "the son of God." He was said to be made in God's image and likeness. Seth was made in Adam's likeness, not God's, according to Genesis 5:3. John 1:12 tells us "as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God." The distinction of being a "son of God" is granted to those who are in the image of His character. The Bible would not call fallen angels "sons of God" and yet call the righteous by the same term. So, even if angels could copulate with humans and procreate, it could not have been the fallen ones who are called "sons of God." Jesus Himself refers to the Jewish leaders as being children of the devil, the father of lies, in contrast to their thinking that they were children of God. And again, if angels could copulate with mankind, it would be nonsense to reason that heavenly angels had corrupted men to the point of bringing upon themselves God's wrath. Where we may agree regarding some of your evidences above is that some of those "daughters of men" may have descended from Seth. Essentially, the term speaks of the worldly-minded, which largely were of the line of Cain in those days but I would make no attempt to limit it strictly to such as if I were there to know. Any godless woman would have been a "daughter of men." OTHER BIBLICAL EXAMPLES Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6, KJV) Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. (Job 2:1, KJV) Clearly, Satan was not classed as a "son of God," for he gets express mention of being "also" among them. That distinction would have been unnecessary had he been one of them. Furthermore... When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7, KJV) ...this text does not refer to demons. THE CLEAREST BIBLE DEFINITION For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14, KJV) ANYONE CAN BE But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12, KJV) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:15, KJV) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1, KJV) REGARDING "GIANTS" This term is not related to race, nor stature. It is not related particularly to Cain, nor to Seth, nor does it refer to angels particularly. The Bible itself provides a definition for its usage of the word, using parallel speech (parallelism). There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4, KJV) The three highlighted terms in the above are used in parallel. One way of thinking of them would be almost as "celebrities" in the sense of "stars." Gesenius alludes they are fallen, rebels, apostates. (See http://www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5303&t=KJV.) Consider also the parallels elsewhere: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: (Numbers 16:2, KJV) Obviously, those "men of renown" were "famous" and were apostate rebels, later consumed by fire from the Lord. The "giants" (rebels) of Noah's day all perished in the Flood on account of their crimes. MY CONCLUSIONS The "sons of God" are the righteous. The "giants," the "men of renown," are the worldly rebels who have made a name for themselves. The "daughters of men" are the unvirtuous women of the world. How do you know? We can only be certain of the fact that Noah and his sons had descended from Seth. We cannot know for sure whom the sons married.
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