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Happy Sabbath To All

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!

The Sabbath calls our thoughts to nature, and brings us into communion with the Creator. In the song of the bird, the sighing of the trees, and the music of the sea, we still may hear His voice who talked with Adam in Eden in the cool of the day. And as we behold His power in nature we find comfort, for the word that created all things is that which speaks life to the soul. He "who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6.  {DA 281.4}  
     
It was this thought that awoke the song,--

                "Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work;
                 I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.
                 O Lord, how great are Thy works!
                 And Thy thoughts are very deep."
                                                 Psalm 92:4, 5.  {DA 282.1}

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Elmshaven, St. Helena, May 10, 1902. Sabbath morning. I awoke at half past three. I thank my heavenly Father for rest and sleep. I want my heart stayed upon God today. Good is the Lord and greatly to be praised. Yes, the birds are singing their songs of thanksgiving to God their Creator. One songster commences his song of praise and another unites his musical talent of song with his mate; then there are other voices of praise that join the choir, and they fill my office room with their cheerful, happy music.--Ms 221, 1902.

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On the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Genesis 2:2, 3 {ML 140.1}

 

God reserved the seventh day as a period of rest for man, for the good of man as well as for His own glory. He saw that the wants of man required a day of rest from toil and care, that his health and life would be endangered without a period of relaxation from the labor and anxiety of the six days.  {ML 140.2}  
The Sabbath of the Lord is to be made a blessing to us and to our children. . . . They can be pointed to the blooming flowers and the opening buds, the lofty trees and beautiful spires of grass, and taught that God made all these in six days, and rested on the seventh day, and hallowed it. Thus the parents may bind up their lessons of instruction to their children, so that when these children look upon the things of nature, they will call to mind the great Creator of them all. Their thoughts will be carried up to nature's God--back to the creation of our world, when the foundation of the Sabbath was laid, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.  {ML 140.3}  
Happy is the family who can go to the place of worship on the Sabbath as Jesus and His disciples went to the synagogue--across the fields, along the shores of the lake, or through the groves.  {ML 140.4}  
 The Sabbath bids us behold in His created works the glory of the Creator. And it is because He desired us to do this that Jesus bound up His precious lessons with the beauty of natural things. On the holy rest day, above all other days, we should study the messages that God has written for us in nature. We should study the Saviour's parables where He spoke them, in the fields and groves, under the open sky, among the grass and flowers. As we come close to the heart of nature, Christ makes His presence real to us and speaks to our hearts of His peace and love.  {ML 140.5}

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All

Sancti Spiritus In Corde Meo

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Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;(1 Tim 4:1)

Nature Exalted Above Nature's God.--No [one] can ever truly excel in knowledge and influence unless [they] are connected with the God of wisdom and power. . . . All the philosophies of human nature have led to confusion and shame when God has not been recognized as all in all{7BC 906.11}

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(I photographed this Swainson's Hawk last night, calling out to his mate at sunset)

The most profound intellects of the world, when not enlightened by God's Word, become bewildered and lost while trying to investigate the matters of science and revelation. The Creator and His works are beyond finite comprehension, and men conclude that because they cannot explain the works and ways of God from natural causes, the Bible history is not reliable. Many are so intent upon excluding God from the exercise of sovereign will and power in the established order of the universe, that they demean man, the noblest of His creatures. The theories and speculations of philosophy would make us believe that man has come by slow degrees, not merely from a savage state, but from the very lowest form of the brute creation. They destroy man's dignity because they will not admit God's miraculous power.  {7BC 906.12}

God has illuminated human intellects, and poured a flood of light on the world through discoveries in art and science. But those who view these from a merely human standpoint will most assuredly come to wrong conclusions.The thorns of error, skepticism, and infidelity are disguised by being covered with the garments of philosophy and science. Satan has devised this ingenious manner of winning souls away from the living God, away from the truth and religion. He exalts nature above nature's Creator (MS 4, 1882).  {7BC 906.13}

Beware of Human Sophistries.--The natural stubbornness of the human heart resists the light of truth. Its natural pride of opinion leads to independence of judgment and a clinging to human ideas and philosophy.There is with some a constant danger of becoming unsettled in the faith by the desire for originality. They wish to find some new and strange truth to present, to have a new message to bring to the people; but such a desire is a snare of the enemy to captivate the mind and lead away from the truth.  {7BC 906.14}

In our experience we shall see one and another start up with new theories in regard to what is truth, and, irrespective of what the influence of the advocacy of such theories may be on the mind of the hearers, they will launch out into the work of advocating their ideas, even though these teachings may be in opposition to the belief that has called out Seventh-day Adventists from the world, and made them what they are. The Lord would have those who understand the reasons for their faith rest in their belief of that which they have been convinced is truth, and not be turned from the faith by the presentation of human sophistries. . . . [Col 2:8 quoted] (RH Aug. 19, 1909).  {7BC 906.15}

Falsehood Mingled With Truth.--As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error. We need to make every effort to keep the way of the Lord. We must in no case turn from His guidance to put our trust in man. The Lord's angels are appointed to keep strict watch over those who put their faith in the Lord, and these angels are to be our special help in every time of need. Every day we are to come to the Lord with full assurance of faith, and to look to Him for wisdom. .. . Those who are guided by the Word of the Lord will discern with certainty between falsehood and truth, between sin and righteousness (MS 43, 1907).  {7BC 907.1}

FURTHER STUDY: Col 2:8 1 Tim 4:1; 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 2:14-18; 2 Tim 2:23-26; (see also EGW on 1 John 2:18).

 

Edited by The Wanderer
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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!

Our Duty to the Sick.

At the time of this writing; plans are in place for a forum member to visit and pray with my wife & I. This is exactly the kind of thing that Stan has always prayed for with all of the many opportunities of online ministry.    
 

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1161. We shall find the footprints of Jesus by the sick-bed, by the side of suffering humanity, in the hovels of the poverty stricken and distressed. We may walk in these footsteps, comforting the suffering, speaking words of hope and comfort to the despondent. Doing as Jesus did when he was upon earth, we shall walk in his blessed steps.--R. and H., 1896, No. 23.  {HL 278.1}

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1162. When the sick and wretched applied to the Saviour for help, he first relieved the poor, suffering body before he attempted to administer to the darkened mind. When the present misery of the supplicant was removed, his thoughts could better be directed into the channel of light and truth.--S. of T., 1889, No. 2.  {HL 278.2}  
     
1163. When he sent out his disciples, he commissioned them to heal the sick as well as to preach the gospel. When he sent forth the seventy, he commanded them to heal the sick, and next to preach that the kingdom of God had come nigh unto them. Their physical health was to be first cared for, in order that the way might be prepared for their minds to be reached by those truths which the apostles were to preach. The Saviour of the world devoted more time and labor to healing the afflicted of their maladies than to preaching. His last injunction to his apostles, his representatives upon the earth, was to lay hands on the sick that they might recover. When the Master shall come, he will commend those who have visited the sick and relieved the necessities of the afflicted.--T., V. IV, p. 225.  {HL 278.3}  

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When heavenly intelligences see those who claim to be sons and daughters of God putting forth Christlike efforts to help the erring, manifesting a tender, sympathetic spirit for the repentant and the fallen, angels press close to them, and bring to their remembrance the very words that will soothe and uplift the soul. . . . Jesus has given his precious life, his personal attention, to the least of God's little ones; and the angels that excel in strength encamp round about them that fear God. Then let us be on our guard, and never permit one contemptuous thought to occupy the mind in regard to one of the little ones of God. We should look after the erring with solicitude, and speak encouraging words to the fallen, and fear lest by some unwise action we shall turn them away from the pitying Saviour. . . . There is a large, a very large number of straying and lost sheep that have perished in the wild deserts of sin, simply because no one went after them to search for them and to bring them back to the fold. Jesus uses the illustration of a lost sheep to show the need of seeking after those who have wandered from him; for a sheep once lost will never find its way back to the fold without help. It must be sought for, it must be carried back to the fold.--R. and H., 1896, No. 26.  {HL 277.1} 

 

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!

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These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. (Judges 1:12, NIV)

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The earth was clothed with beautiful verdure, while myriads of fragrant flowers of every variety and hue sprang up in rich profusion around them. Everything was tastefully and gloriously arranged. In the midst of the garden stood the tree of life, the glory of which surpassed all other trees. Its fruit looked like apples of gold and silver, and was to perpetuate immortality. The leaves contained healing properties.  {1SP 26.1}

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"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression: for thou shalt not fear: and from terror: for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. . . . No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 54:11-17.  {RH, July 1, 1915 par. 7}

  

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Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. "Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners" (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.  {RH, July 1, 1915 par. 8}

    

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The darkest hour of the church's struggle with the powers of evil, is that which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust in God need fear; for "when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall," God will be to his church "a refuge from the storm." Isaiah 25:4.  {RH, July 1, 1915 par. 9}  

 

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In that day the righteous only are promised deliverance. "The sinners in Zion are afraid," the prophet declares; "fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." Isaiah 33:14-16.  {RH, July 1, 1915 par. 10} 

 

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!!

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Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (John 4:35)

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Perhaps the disciples had been talking together about the coming harvest. Or perhaps it was a common proverb among the Jews, “Four months between seed time and harvest.” At any rate, the Lord Jesus again used the physical fact of harvest to teach a spiritual lesson. The disciples should not think that harvest time was still in the distance. They could not afford to spend their lives in quest of food and clothing, with the thought that God's work could be done later on. They must realize that the fields were already white for harvest.The fields here, of course, refer to the world. At the very moment when the Lord spoke these words, He was in the midst of a harvest field containing the souls of Samaritan men and women. He was telling the disciples that a great work of in-gathering lay before them, and that they should give themselves to it immediately and diligently.

So today, the Lord says to those of us who are believers, “Lift up your eyes, and look at the fields.” As we spend time contemplating the great needs of the world, the Lord will lay on our hearts a burden for the lost souls around us. Then it will be up to us to go forth for Him, seeking to bring in the sheaves of ripened grain.As Jesus still sat at the well side, He looked over the fields of grain that were spread out before Him, their tender green touched by the golden sunlight. Pointing His disciples to the scene, He employed it as a symbol:

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"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." And as He spoke, He looked on the groups that were coming to the well. It was four months to the time for harvesting the grain, but here was a harvest ready for the reaper.  {DA 191.4}

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He that reapeth," He said, "receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth."

Here Christ points out the sacred service owed to God by those who receive the gospel. They are to be His living agencies. He requires their individual service. And whether we sow or reap, we are working for God. One scatters the seed; another gathers in the harvest; and both the sower and the reaper receive wages. They rejoice together in the reward of their labor.  {DA 191.5}  

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!

The Mystery of the Incarnation

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Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isa 7:14)

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The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. When we approach this subject, we would do well to heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where on thou standest is holy ground." We should come to this study with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ is a fruitful field, which will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth.--The Youth’s Instructor, Oct. 13, 1898. {7ABC 443.1}

The only plan that could be devised to save the human race was that which called for the incarnation, humiliation, and crucifixion of the Son of God, the Majesty of heaven. After the plan of salvation was devised, Satan could have no ground upon which to found his suggestion that God, because so great, could care nothing for so insignificant a creature as man.--The Signs of the Times, Jan. 20, 1890. {7ABC 443.2}
 
In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind cannot comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and god became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in humanity, we look upon God, and see in Him the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person.--The Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896. {7ABC 443.3}

As the worker studies the life of Christ, and the character of His mission is dwelt upon, each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last.--Gospel Workers, p. 251. {7ABC 444.1}

That God should thus be manifest in the flesh is indeed a mystery; and without the help of the holy spirit we cannot hope to comprehend this subject. The most humbling lesson that man has to learn is the nothingness of human wisdom, and the folly of trying, by his own unaided efforts, to find out God.--The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906. {7ABC 444.2}

Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; the two natures were mysteriously blended in one person--the man Christ Jesus. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. . . . {7ABC 444.3}

This is a great mystery, a mystery that will not be fully, completely understood in all its greatness until the translation of the redeemed shall take place. Then the power and greatness and efficacy of the gift of God to man will be understood. But the enemy is determined that this gift shall be so mystified that it will become as nothingness.--The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1113. {7ABC 444.4}

We cannot explain the great mystery of the plan of redemption. Jesus took upon himself humanity, that He might reach humanity; but we cannot explain how divinity was clothed with humanity. An angel would not have known how to sympathize with fallen man, but Christ came to the world and suffered all our temptations, and carried all our griefs.--The Review and Herald, Oct. 1, 1889. {7ABC 444.5}
 
When one who has wandered far in sin seeks to return to God, he will encounter criticism and distrust. There are those who will doubt whether his repentance is genuine, or will whisper, "He has no stability; I do not believe that he will hold out." These persons are doing not the work of God but the work of Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren. Through their criticisms the wicked one hopes to discourage that soul, and to drive him still farther from hope and from God. Let the repenting sinner contemplate the rejoicing in heaven over the return of the one that was lost. Let him rest in the love of God and in no case be disheartened by the scorn and suspicion of the Pharisees.  {COL 190.2}

God For Us: For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Heb 9:24)

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God With Us: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.(Mat 1:23)

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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The Wanderer

I forgot to mention: the animal in the post above is a Marmott that i photographed in the mountains earlier this week. :)

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phkrause
On 9/14/2018 at 11:50 PM, The Wanderer said:

I forgot to mention: the animal in the post above is a Marmott that i photographed in the mountains earlier this week. :)

LOL, was just thinking it was a squirrel!! But on a closer look I guess not. :rollingsmile:

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!

The Bible's authority for faith and practice rises from its origin. Its writers viewed the Bible as distinct from other literature. They referred to it as "Holy Scriptures" (Rom 1:2), "sacred writings" (2 Tim 3:15, RSV), and the "oracles of God" (Rom 3:2; Heb 5:12).

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The uniqueness of the Scriptures is based on their origin and source. The Bible writers claimed they did not originate their messages but received them from divine sources. It was through divine revelation that they were able "to see" the truths they passed on (see Isa 1:1; Amos 1:1; Micah 1:1; Hab 1:1; Jer 38:21).

These writers pointed to the Holy Spirit as the one who communicated through the prophets to the people (Neh 9:30; cf. Zech 7:12). David said, "The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue" (2 Sam 23:2). Ezekiel wrote, "the Spirit entered me," "the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me," "the Spirit took me up" (Ezekiel 2:2; Eze 11:5; Eze 11:24). And Micah testified, "I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord" (Micah 3:8).

The New Testament recognized the role of the Holy Spirit in the writing of the Old Testament. Jesus said that David was inspired by the Holy Spirit (Mar 12:36). Paul believed that the Holy Spirit spoke "through Isaiah" (Act 28:25). Peter revealed that the Holy Spirit guided all the prophets, not just a few (1 Peter 1:10-11; 2 Peter dsea1:21). At times the writer faded completely into the background, and only the real author, the Holy Spirit, was acknowledged: "The Holy Spirit says. " "By this the Holy Spirit indicates. . (Heb 3:7; Heb 9:8, RSV).

The New Testament writers recognized the Holy Spirit as the source of their own messages also. Paul explained, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith" (1 Tim 4:1). John spoke of being "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" (Rev 1:10). And Jesus commissioned His apostles through the agency of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2; cf. Eph 3:3-5).

So God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, has revealed Himself through the Holy Scriptures. He wrote them, not with His hands, but with other hands, about forty pairs, over a period of more than 1500 years. And since God the Holy Spirit inspired the writers, God, then, is its author.

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!!

Prophecy Of Revelation 17

Just like some who once said "shall Christ come out of Galilee?" (John 7:41), so too do we have many who have turned the prophecies into something never once intended by scripture!

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The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.(Rev 17:8-11)

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The beast of which the angel here speaks is evidently the scarlet-colored beast. A wild beast, like the one thus introduced, is the symbol of an oppressive and persecuting power. While the Beast power as a nation had a long, interrupted existence, it passed through certain phases during which this symbol would not be applicable to it, and during which time the beast, in such prophecies as the present, might be said not to be, or not to exist.

Thus the Beast power in its pagan form was a persecuting power in its relation to the people of God, during which time it constituted the beast that was. But when the empire was nominally converted to Christianity, there was a transition from paganism to another phase of religion falsely called Christian. During a brief period, while this transition was going on, it lost its ferocious and persecuting character, and then it could be said of the beast that it was not. As time passed, it developed into the entity that this text is referring to, and again assumed its bloodthirsty and oppressive character.

Perhaps, the last verse in Rev 17 would be the best way to describe this terrible, persecuting and murderous power?

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And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. (Rev 17:18)

IMHO, the most important thing to keep in mind during all of this turmoil can be found in places like Isa 61:11:

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations. Isa_61:11.  {TDG 12.1}

The living oracles of God, "It is written," are the leaves of the tree of life, which human beings are to eat in order to gain spiritual life. As we eat the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, they become unto us eternal life. "The words that I speak unto you," He said, "they are spirit, and they are life" (Joh_6:63). The restoring, vital current from Christ heals the wounds that sin has made.

"What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear;

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer."  {TDG 12.2}

Whatever course others pursue, we are individually to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Why?--Because it is God that worketh in us, to will and to do of His good pleasure. Yes, for His own name's glory, He works upon the minds and hearts of human beings, who are of great value in His sight, if they will allow Him to work.  {TDG 12.3}

When mankind fell, God commenced to work to defeat the plans of Satan. God works in man. "Ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building" (1Co_3:9). In the beginning the Lord enjoined upon man the cultivation of the earth. This work was made much harder because of the transgression of the law of God. By transgressing, man worked against his own present and eternal good. The earth was cursed because through disobedience man gave Satan opportunity to sow in the human heart the seeds of evil. The ground that in the beginning produced only good began to produce tares, and their growth called for continual warfare.  {TDG 12.4}

The cultivation of the soil is a school in which [we can all] learn spiritual lessons. As we cultivate the soil, we may see reflected as in a mirror the work of God upon the human soul. Divine culture brings perfection. If in connection with God the work is carried forward, the human agent, through Christ, will day by day gain victory and honor in the battle. Through the grace given, he will overcome, and will be placed on vantage ground.--Letter 5, Jan. 4, 1900, to Brother Colcord.  {TDG 12.5}

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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Happy Sabbath To All!!

Reflections On Thanksgiving/Gratitude

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My prayer this morning is most earnest and importunate, that in the Christian warfare we shall not fail nor be discouraged. "There is light above," a Voice says to me, and in response I withdraw my eyes from the earthly and the discouraging and look to the heavenly, praying earnestly that God's people may more distinctly and forcibly realize the dignity that our heavenly Father has conferred upon us in calling us to represent before the world, in sinful flesh, His goodness and mercy. Upon us, as well as upon the unthankful and the unholy, He pours unnumbered blessings. We are to express our thankfulness to Him that we are accepted as workers to cooperate with the Lord Jesus Christ.  {MM 255.2}

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If the brethren and sisters were in the place they should be, they would not be at a loss to find something to say in honor of Jesus, who hung upon Calvary's cross for their sins. If they would cherish more of a realizing sense of the condescension of God in giving His only beloved Son to die a sacrifice for our sins and transgressions, and of the sufferings and anguish of Jesus to make a way of escape for guilty man, that he might receive pardon and live, they would be more ready to extol and magnify Jesus. They could not hold their peace, but with thankfulness and gratitude would talk of His glory and tell of His power. And blessings from God would rest upon them by so doing. Even if the same story were repeated, God would be glorified. The angel showed me those who ceased not day nor night to cry, "Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty." "Continued repetition," said the angel, "yet God is glorified by it." Although we may tell the same story over and over, it honors God, and shows that we are not unmindful of His goodness and mercies to us.  {EW 115.3}  

This is where the people of God make so many mistakes. They do not express thankfulness for the great gift of God's love and grace. Selfishness must be expelled from the soul. The heart must be purified from all envy, all evil surmising. Believers must constantly receive and impart the love of God. Then unbelievers will say of them, "They have been with Jesus, and learned of Him. They are living in intimate companionship with Christ, who is love." The world has keenness of perception, and will take knowledge to some purpose of those who sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. The character of God's human agencies must be a transcript of the character of their Saviour. . . .  {MM 46.1}
 
To Link Up with Brethren

I write this to you, my dear brother, in the hope of helping you. You are in an unsettled state of mind, and are tempted to do a strange work which God has not appointed you to do. None of us are to strike out alone; we are to link up with our brethren, and pull together, and God will give us influence and self-control. We are to draw near to God, that He may draw near to us.  {MM 46.2}  
     
No one can gain completeness in Christ, who, having the means of gaining a deeper experience in the things of God, fails to realize that every ray of heavenly light, every jot of blessing, is given to him to give to all who come within the sphere of his influence. If we are qualifying ourselves to live in heaven, we are daily drawing nearer and nearer to our Redeemer. We are to represent Christ in every phase of character.  {MM 46.3}

 

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The Wanderer

Happy Sabbath To All!

Would You Like To Be Followed By Mercy Wherever You Go?

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Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalms 23:6, AKJV)

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Believe it or not, I have actually experienced mercy on this forum; which leads me to the timely topic, (mercy is always timely) of heavenly mercy. The Twenty-Third Psalm is probably the best-loved poem in all literature. Whether sung to the lively beat of hymns; or during a Sabbath School program, it has a charm that is perennial and a message that is deathless. "Blessed is the day," wrote an old theologian, "when Psalm 23 was born!"

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J. R. Littleproud's outline is hard to improve upon:

The secret of a happy life—every need supplied.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."

The secret of a happy death—every fear removed.

"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for You are with me."

The secret of a happy eternity—every desire fulfilled.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

 

God's Goodness and Mercy Inspire Courage

Christ has given us no assurance that to attain to perfection of character is an easy matter. It is a conflict, a battle and a march, day by day. It is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of heaven. In order to share with Christ in His glory we must share in His suffering. . . . He has overcome for us. Shall we, then, be timid and cowardly because of the trials that we meet as we advance? . . .  {SD 198.2}

When we have a deeper appreciation of the mercy and loving-kindness of God, we shall praise Him, instead of complaining. We shall talk of the loving watchcare of the Lord, of the tender compassion of the Good Shepherd. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like a clear, flowing stream, will come from God's truly believing ones. They will say, "Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." . . .  {SD 198.3}

Why not awake the voice of spiritual song in the days of our pilgrimage? . . . We need to study God's Word, to meditate and pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the notes of thanksgiving sung by the heavenly choir around the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assembly of the saints. Little disappointments and difficulties will be lost sight of.  {SD 198.4}

The Lord is our helper. . . .No one ever trusted God in vain. He never disappoints those who put their dependence on Him. If we would only do the work that the Lord would have us do, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, our hearts would become sacred harps, every chord of which would send forth praise and thanksgiving to the One sent by God to take away the sin of the world. {SD 198.5}

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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Happy Sabbath To All!

"Leaves Of Autumn"

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We see His love and care in the rich fields of autumn, and His smile in the glad sunshine. His hand has made the castle-like rocks and the towering mountains. The lofty trees grow at His command; He has spread earth's green velvet carpet and dotted it with shrubs and flowers.  {CT 185.1}  

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The same creative energy that brought the world into existence is still exerted in upholding the universe and continuing the operations of nature. The hand of God guides the planets in their orderly march through the heavens. It is not because of inherent power that year by year the earth continues her motion round the sun and produces her bounties. The word of God controls the elements. He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth. He makes the valleys fruitful and "grass to grow upon the mountains;" Psalm 147:8. It is through His power that vegetation flourishes, that the leaves appear and the flowers bloom.  {CT 185.3}

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Songs on Journeys to Jerusalem--The journey to Jerusalem [when Jewish families attended the feasts], in the simple, patriarchal style, amidst the beauty of the springtime, the richness of midsummer, or the ripened glory of autumn, was a delight. With offerings of gratitude they came, from the man of white hairs to the little child, to meet with God in His holy habitation. As they journeyed, the experiences of the past, the stories that both old and young still love so well, were recounted to the Hebrew children. The songs that had cheered the wilderness wandering were sung. God's commandments were chanted, and, bound up with the blessed influences of nature and of kindly human association, they were forever fixed in the memory of many a child and youth.--Ed 42.  {VSS 454.2}   

 

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Happy Sabbath To All!

This Sabbath's message will take a different turn than what you are likely expecting. Having friends and loved ones who have or are struggling with addiction is on my heart this Sabbath. I offer the following in consideration of:

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But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Heb 13:16)

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But to do good and to communicate - These are continual sacrifices which God requires, and which will spring from a sense of God’s love in Christ Jesus. Praise to God for his unspeakable gift, and acts of kindness to men for God’s sake. No reliance, even on the infinitely meritorious sacrifice of Christ, can be acceptable in the sight of God if a man have not love and charity towards his neighbor. Praise, prayer, and thanksgiving to God, with works of charity and mercy to mankind, are the sacrifices which every genuine follower of Christ must offer: and they are the proofs that a man belongs to Christ; and he who does not bear these fruits gives full evidence, whatever his creed may be, that he is no Christian. (Adam Clarke Bible Commentary re Heb 13)

 

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Happy Sabbath To All!

Unity Is Good And Pleasant!

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Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  (Psalms 133:1)

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Nothing so manifestly weakens a church as disunion and strife. Nothing so wars against Christ and the truth as this spirit. . . .  {ML 276.4}

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Look for Ring-necked pheasants on agricultural land and old fields—especially fields that are interspersed with grass ditches, hedges, marshes, woodland borders, and brushy groves. These birds also occur in an impressive range of habitats: in Hawaii, for example, they can be found from sea level to a 11,000 feet elevation. They can live in forests, grasslands, and deserts. Despite this versatility, Ring-necked Pheasants do gravitate to particular kinds of habitat for specific activities. Typically, they roost in trees or dense shrubs in spring and summer and in forested wetlands, farm fields and weedy areas in fall. For early season nesting, they seek cover along grassy roadsides, fence lines, ditches, and wetlands. As the season progresses and vegetation grows taller and denser, they shift their nesting activity to fields of hay, particularly alfalfa.

When I saw this beautiful DIVERSE creature, of course, the first thing I noticed was all the amazing and intricate displays of color!  Its almost as if God had designed it just so that we could see that "diversity" comes in many different colors.

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The strength of God's people lies in their union with him through his only begotten Son, and their union with one another. There are no two leaves of a tree precisely alike; neither do all minds run in the same direction. But while this is so, there may be unity in diversity. Christ is our root, and all who are grafted into this root will bear the fruit which Christ bore. They will reveal the fragrance of his character in the talent of speech, in the cultivation of hospitality, of kindness, of Christian courtesy and heavenly politeness. Look at the flowers in a carpet, and notice the different colored threads. All are not pink, all are not green, all are not blue. A variety of colors are woven together to perfect the pattern. So it is in the design of God. He has a purpose in placing us where we must learn to live as individuals. We are not all fitted to do the same kind of work, but each man's work is designed by God to help make up his plan.  {RH, July 4, 1899 par. 1}  

Christian unity is a mighty agency. It tells in a powerful manner that those who possess it are children of God. It has an irresistible influence upon the world, showing that man in his humanity may be a partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to be one with our fellow men and with Christ, and in Christ one with God. Then of us can be spoken the words, "Ye are complete in Him."  {ML 276.2}

The bird pictured above is a Juvenile, Male, Ring-Necked Pheasant, and with the splendor of all that color; he does look complete, even though he is not yet an adult. I wonder: Is this one of the many ways we could learn about God through "the things He has made,"  and how Unity is His middle name; and the foundation of our  Gospel message. Just as in the many different shades and colors:

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In the plan of redemption a place is allotted to every soul. To each man is given his work. No one can be a member of Christ's body and yet be inactive. . . . The work of God's people may and will be varied, but one Spirit is the mover in it all. All the work done for the Master is to be connected with the great whole. The workers are to labor together in concert, each one controlled by divine power, putting forth undivided effort to draw those around them to Christ. All must move like parts of a well-adjusted machinery, each part dependent on the other part, yet standing distinct in action. And each one is to take the place assigned him and do the work appointed him. God calls upon the members of His church to receive the Holy Spirit, to come together in unity and brotherly sympathy, to bind their interests together in love.  {ML 276.3}

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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Happy Sabbath To All!

In this devotional; we will be considering, not just "what is truth;" but what to do with truth, once we discover it:

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Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. (John 18:38)

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"Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth'" Pilate asked this question, but apparently left before he received the answer. Pilate wanted to assure himself that Jesus was no threat to the Roman government. He did this. He then tried to have Jesus released as was a custom of the Jews of that day during the Passover season (cf. John 18:39; Mat27:15). John is writing, as Luke did, to show that Christianity was no threat to the Roman Empire (i.e., John 18:38 b; John 19:4; Luke 23:4; Luke 23:14; Luke 23:22).

Sometimes, we can be so "heavenly-minded" with the Truth; that we become NO Earthly good.

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Every honest soul who accepts the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will see and understand his duty in time. But it will take time for some. It is not a subject to be driven and forced upon those newly come to the truth, but this subject will work like leaven; the process will be slow and quiet, but it will do its work, if our ministering brethren will not be too fast and defeat the purpose of God.  {Ev 374.2}  

Those who have long looked upon this subject see it quite clearly and think all others should see it just as they do. They do not consider that with some newly come to the faith this matter looks like denying all their former religious experience. But in time they will come to regard the matter differently. As the truth is constantly unfolding to their minds, they will see advanced steps to be taken; new light will flash upon their pathway; God's Spirit will work upon their minds, if men will not interfere and seek to drive them to the positions which they think are truth.  {Ev 374.3}  

 We can have something fresh to think of all the time. We have held communion with God as we have tried to understand the high privilege of being one with Christ. I am so thankful for the Word of God. I thank the Lord with heart and soul and voice. We have no need to be led astray. We have no need to seek for something new and strange from the lips of human beings. We have a science that is above all human science. Many will grasp false science, teaching it as truth. But we need not be led astray. God wants us to cherish the truth in the simplicity in which we have received it from Christ. (to be concluded)  {RH, July 13, 1905 par. 16}  

 Individuals who will strike out upon some new light and some new truth, independent of the body, are pursuing a course directly contrary to the word of God. If they have any influence over others, it is to disaffect them and lead them away from the watchcare, counsel, and strength of the body. And the very ones who claim sanctification, have in their hearts insubordination, pride, envy, jealousy, and evil surmising of their brethren. They sit as judges upon the life and character of their brethren. These are the fruits generally to be found growing upon the tree of false sanctification. This class have graduated. They suppose they have come to the knowledge of the truth. If they attend camp-meetings, they will think they are so far ahead of the servants of God who labor in the meetings that they cannot learn anything, therefore the word or message of instruction God gives his servants for the people is not for them.

They will generally be found drawing one or two away, holding them in conversation, imparting to them the great light they suppose they have; and thus some are deprived of hearing the message of God to the people. These self deceived men are drawing away souls from the body, scattering from Christ, and bringing in dissension and division. Individual experience is set above the authority of the church, and their example leads others whom they deceive to regard lightly the voice of counsel and admonition of the church. This course has worked the ruin of very many souls in every age of the world. As children in the family of God we need the wisdom and experience of matured Christians to direct, to encourage, and to defend us in times of danger, and to lead on to constant growth in grace, and to seek daily attainments in the knowledge of the truth and true holiness.  {ST, October 23, 1879 par. 8}

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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Happy Sabbath To All!

The Second Remnant Speaking For Jesus

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“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” (Isaiah 11:11)

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The great prophet Isaiah lived during the time when the 10 tribes of Israel were being carried into captivity by the Assyrians, and about a hundred years before his own nation of Judah would be carried into exile by the Babylonians. Yet, in one of the most remarkable prophecies of the Bible (Isaiah 44:28–45:6), Isaiah promised that his people would someday return and build Jerusalem and its temple again. Furthermore, he even named the future emperor of Persia (the nation that would succeed Assyria and Babylonia as the dominant world power), calling him Cyrus. This great king fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about 175 years after it was given (note Ezra 1:1-4).

But Isaiah not only prophesied this first return from exile, as noted in the key verse above; he foresaw that, in the distant future, God would also “set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.” The context of this passage is nothing less than the glorious future time of Messiah’s reign over all the earth (Isaiah 11:9-10). The outcasts of Israel and Judah would return home, not only from the nations of the Middle East, which will evidently be active enemies of Israel again in that future day (note that Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, and Hamath were the ancient names of the nations now identified as Upper Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, respectively), but even from “the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12). Isaiah thus predicted an even greater exile and worldwide homecoming long beyond that of the Babylonian captivity. Such information could have come only from God Himself. HMM

 

Edited by The Wanderer

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Happy Sabbath To All:

What Is God Like?

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If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jer 12:5)

Perhaps embedded in this text is contained one of Jeremiah's "confessions," a self-revelation of the prophet's own struggles to cope with God's actions. Perhaps, this can lead us into contemplation and hope as we today face a similar prospect? Ar ethings better, or worse now than they were back in Jeremiah's time?

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For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10

Who among us would deny mercy unto themselves?

Whatever happened to our sense of mercy?

Why have we become so far removed from mercy?

We've forgotten what it can do for us. and most of all, what mercy can do for others. Of all the human attributes to have lost contact with, it's an odious crime to have misplaced mercy, or to have refused to give/accept it. Where there is no mercy, our experience becomes languid and peace will be stigma, all in the name of "justice;" or worse yet - truth is "fallen in the streets".

Mercy is the one response that everyone seeks; but few want to give. Not one among us would deny it to ourselves if we thought we needed it. And yet we consistently deny it to our brothers, sisters and neighbors. Why? "I'm right and you are "wrong" is all we hear, and there is little difference now between the church and the world on this very important point of Christian practice.

I cant find any sermons online about mercy, and have not personally heard one in years. Of course, sometimes when we hear talk of mercy; its almost always for us personally, and not for others. Schools of "higher learning" don't include it in their curriculums. Many churches advocate mercy, while they are double-quick to brandish the sword. Especially the weaponized doctrinal sword, and a presumptive angle about THAT being "straight testimony."

The media has declared an ethics war on war on mercy. The hard line is followed, neighbors watching neighbors, the ax must fall. People must "pay" the price for their "actions" and thats it in most minds today. A quick look into the litigations going on in your local courts, or splayed online may very well reflect this cry for justice, and the tortuous ways it is being used to put stigma and disgust on mercy. Revenge and paying "the price" is glamorized by BIG MEDIA and the cries for mercy drowned out by the explosions of gunpowder and internet-magnified public shaming, making some of us not much different than medieval practices of the 1400s, where they were put into the stocks and subjected to people literally throwing rotten fruits and vegetables at them. The whole thing stinks and festers long after its done.

"Justice" sells movie tickets and boosts TV ratings, and enhances "online presence." It seems that "justice" sells the most advertising and creates exponentially, more advertising revenue. But have you noticed? They cannot find a way to commoditize mercy, at least, not yet.  There is no safety, even at church. Abusive, doctrinal regimes of the churches play out almost daily with anyone who does not "have the truth;" making vile mockery of what we preach.

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The leaders of the opposing factions at times unite to plunder and torture their targeted victims, and time and again they attack "the other side", and cut them down without mercy. Even the sanctity of the temple could not restrain their horrible ferocity. The worshipers were stricken down before the altar, and the sanctuary was polluted with the bodies of the slain. Yet in their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God's own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even while Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God. To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries. But Israel had spurned the divine protection, and now she had no defense. Unhappy Jerusalem! rent by internal dissensions, the blood of her children slain by one another's hands crimsoning her streets, while alien armies beat down her fortifications and slew her men of war!  {GC88 29.1}

Like-wise; we have no defense when we spurn God's mercy.

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All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. The Jews experienced the truth of his words of warning, “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” [Matthew 7:2.]  {GC88 30.1}

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We are not to think of God only as a judge and to forget Him as our loving Father. Nothing can do our souls greater harm than this, for our whole spiritual life will be molded by our conceptions of God's character. . . . {TMK 262.2}  

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Now let us improve the precious opportunities to become acquainted with our heavenly Father, who "so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish. . . ." Wondrous love that God, the infinite God, has made it our privilege to approach Him by the name of Father! No earthly parent could plead more earnestly with an erring child than He who made us pleads with the transgressor. No human, loving interest has ever followed the impenitent with such tender invitations. {TMK 262.3}  

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His word is pledged. The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but His kindness shall not depart from His people, neither shall the covenant of His peace be removed. His voice is heard, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). "With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee" (Isaiah 54:8). How amazing is this love, that God condescends to remove all cause for doubt and questioning from human fears and weakness and takes hold of the trembling hand reached up to Him in faith; and He helps us to trust Him by multiplied assurances and securities. He has made us a binding agreement upon condition of our obedience, and He comes to meet us in our own understanding of things. We think that a pledge or promise from our fellow men, if recorded, still needs a guarantee. Jesus has met all these peculiar fears, and He has confirmed His promise with an oath: "Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: . . ." What more could our Lord do to strengthen our faith in His promises?  {TMK 262.4)

A Tender, Merciful Father

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Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Psalm 103:13. {TMK 263.1}

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Our God should be regarded as a tender, merciful father. The service of God should not be looked upon as a heart-saddening, distressing exercise. It should be a pleasure to worship the Lord and to take part in His work. As the people of God meditate upon the plan of salvation their hearts will be melted in love and gratitude.  {TMK 263.2}  

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God would not have His children, for whom so great a salvation has been provided, act as though He were a hard, exacting taskmaster. He is their best friend, and when they worship Him, He expects to be with them to bless and comfort them and fill their hearts with joy and love. The Lord desires His children to take comfort in His service, and to find more pleasure than hardship in His work. The Lord desires that those who come to worship Him shall carry away with them precious thoughts of His care and love that they may be cheered in all the employments of daily life, that they may have grace to deal honestly and faithfully in all things. . . .  {TMK 263.3}  

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We dishonor God when we think of Him only as a judge ready to pass sentence upon us, and forget that He is a loving Father. The whole spiritual life is molded by our conceptions of God, and if we cherish erroneous views of His character, our souls will sustain injury. We should see in God one who yearns toward the children of men, longing to do them good. . . . All through the Scriptures, God is represented as one who calls, woos by His tender love, the hearts of His erring children. No earthly parent could be as patient with the faults and mistakes of their children as is God with those He seeks to save. No one could plead more tenderly with the transgressor. No human lips ever poured out more tender entreaty to the wanderer than does He. O shall we not love God, and show our love by humble obedience? Let us have a care for our thoughts, our experiences, our attitude toward God, for all His promises arebut the breathings of unutterable love.  {TMK 263.4}

Edited by The Wanderer

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