Post Number: 492
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 11:11 am: || |
What I am going to share now is not 'new' news to many people here.
What I hope to share is a process of letting God teach me (us).
My personal scripture foundations for the process are:
Mt 11:28-30 -- Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. LET ME TEACH YOU, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
And 1 John 2:27NLT -- But you have received the Holy Spirit,[a] and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit[b] teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.
When I started reading & rereading through the Bible (in 2006) I vowed that I would let scripture interpret scripture (a principle I was taught in school) & use no other 'helps' -- commentaries or writers. I also knew & believed that the Holy Spirit gives understanding of spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:10-14). If what I had been taught & always believed was different from what I found in scripture, I vowed that scripture wins.
Whatever anyone else believes, writes or says, all would go back to the scriptures for confirmation or refutation. I wanted to be like the Bereans of Acts 17:11 NLT -- And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
Today I was reading in John & got stopped with this verse:
John 6:27 "Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
It was this phrase 'ON HIM God the Father has SET HIS SEAL' which did it. My thoughts wondered, what did God the Father set on the Son of Man? what was the SEAL?
I remembered back to John 1:33 where John said "I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ "
The next thought was the verse in Ephesians 4:30 -- "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were SEALED for the day of redemption."
There it is, for me, personally discovered. The Holy Spirit is the seal by which we are sealed for redemption, when we believe on Jesus -- which is clarified in the scripture which follows in the passage in John 6:28-29 -- Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
The entire new testament is about sharing the good news of the gospel, people believing in Jesus, & receiving the Holy Spirit. THAT is the FOCUS of the gospel -- believe on Jesus, & receive the Holy Spirit.
The scriptures are alive for me! I understand things which used to baffle me! It's an adventure! It draws me in, to desire to read the Word, eager to find what will be opened to my understanding. I am learning to follow the lead of God, the Holy Spirit, as he teaches me. This is a process that takes time, years even. That's ok.
While I am sharing 'proof texts' if you will, I found them in my trips through the entire bible, in context. I am absolutely sure & certain of what I believe & why. It's the 'discovery method' of teaching!
Try it --- you'll LIKE IT!
Post Number: 493
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 11:17 am: || |
The above post is the 'Amplified' version (wordy me). After I posted this in another group, my friend posted this version (pithy & pointed) on her personal page:
Are people "sealed" by Sabbath observance or the Holy Spirit? Consider these verses:
"And do not grieve **the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed** for the day of redemption" Eph. 4:30, NKJV.
"'Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because **God the Father has set His seal on Him**'” John 6:27.
"And John bore witness, saying, 'I saw **the Spirit** descending from heaven like a dove, and He **remained upon Him.** I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God” John 1:32-34.
Thank you to my friend for sharing these verses from John, which help connect the dots with Eph. 4:30 that it is the Holy Spirit who seals believers, not observance of the Sabbath.
Post Number: 2892
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 12:23 pm: || |
While the specific doctrine of the Holy Spirit being the Seal of our salvation isn't an issue for me within what you posted there are several other basic things that you spoke of that I have been wrestling with. One is of my personal family needs since I have retired on a very limited income with sometimes overwhelming medical expenses. The other is the commentary that I’ve been a part of for almost five years now. It is an exhausting chore to be forever ‘chasing the rabbit’ in and out of one doctrinal hole into and out of the next from quarter to quarter. For one thing, I far far prefer to study epistle by epistle instead of jumping all over the place only to do it again the next time around.
Your reliance upon the indwelling leading of the Holy Spirit really speaks to my heart.
Post Number: 494
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 1:35 pm: || |
I love that Phil! God personalized it for you.
I like the maxim: Take what you can use, & dump the rest.
Post Number: 3170
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 2:35 pm: || |
Another place it talks about that is Ephesians 1:13-14
"In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
Phil; Adventists cannot preach through a book of the Bible verse by verse like Evangelical pastors do. In order to keep their people deceived, they have to jump all over the place like a mad rabbit.
Post Number: 2893
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 4:08 pm: || |
Asurprise, I have no illusions about Adventist being willing or even understanding the need to study Scripture in context book by book. I’m just saying I’m more than a little weary of confronting Quarterly material where this is done.
Post Number: 14549
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 5:59 pm: || |
Rita, thank you. I agree; the Scriptures really are amazing when I allow the Holy Spirit to show me what they mean. I believe that what you said really addresses the trap so many formers end up falling into after they leave Adventism: the trap of finding a new pet "teacher" who becomes their go-to interpreter, and often those teachers bring their own skews to the mix.
None of us has perfect vision, but the Holy Spirit makes sense of the entire Scriptures. Reality is far clearer when I rely on His teaching me.
Phil, I completely understand what you are saying. That commentary stuff really is horrific. At the same time, I find that I'm articulating and even learning things as I plod on with them. Sigh. It's unbelievable how muddled they are.
I am praying for God's provision for you. I am so, so sorry for what you are facing.
Post Number: 2894
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 8:10 pm: || |
Thanks for your understanding.
Post Number: 496
|Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013 - 8:55 pm: || |
***** I believe that what you said really addresses the trap so many formers end up falling into after they leave Adventism: the trap of finding a new pet "teacher" who becomes their go-to interpreter, and often those teachers bring their own skews to the mix. *******
That's it Colleen! You articulated something that has concerned me too. If we don't read the Bible for ourselves, we are at the mercy of what another human being says God says. It's just another voice -- so was the voice of the serpent in the garden. These other teachers may never have read through the entire Bible themselves either. It is not the norm for pastors, theologians, seminarians, much less the person in the pew, to read the entire Bible; it's the exception.
And even after leaving sdaism, & egws writings, we still read other authors more than we read what God says in His book. We neglect His Word. HIS is the Living Word, HIS are the words of LIFE.
Reading all the other words, rather than God's Word -- is it any different than this? in the OT God cries out 'why do you cry out to 'gods' you make with your own hands, from metal, stone, or wood? You take a log & make a piece of furniture, & a latrine, & then with the rest you carve an idol, cover it with gold, call it a 'god', & bow down to it. Why do you not come to Me? See all that I have done for you? What other 'god' has done anything for you?!!'
We have ONE teacher, & that is Jesus, our Lord. We may hear all those other voices, but the Word is our final & ultimate answer. I decided to believe that God means what He says, so I took Him at His word -- that He would teach me & the Holy Spirit would give understanding.
Post Number: 14554
|Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 12:30 pm: || |
Amen. I agree, Rita.
Post Number: 14555
|Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 12:37 pm: || |
Now, I do believe, as Ephesians 4 clarifies, that God gives teachers to the church. For example, I have experienced Dale Ratzlaff as a teacher God used to open the new covenant to me. I have also experienced Gary Inrig, our pastor for the past 15 years, as an expository teacher who has taught me to read Scripture literally and to see how it is connected to itself throughout the Testaments and various authors. It is not random.
Ultimately, however, as Gary himself has said, do not accept what the teacher says; go read the Bible and discover for yourself what God says. Be a Berean, as you said, Rita!
Post Number: 1170
|Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 2:14 pm: || |
I agree with you regarding teachers of the "Word" that GOD has given to each of
us, just when we needed them most!
The teachers who come to my mind, for me, were, and continue to be:
Greg Laurie(Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, Ca.) beginning in 1996,
the place where I experienced the Holy Spirit's Presence in a very real way~
My beginning of a new life in "CHRIST" and studying Scripture literally,
'verse by verse' line by line'~
My Pastor at this present time, Bob Kopney, (Calvary Chapel East Anaheim, Anaheim, Ca.)
And I must not forget Chuck Smith, (Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, CA.!)
There are many others, such as Dale Ratzlaff,& J. Mark Martin, whose background
as "Formers" have contributed greatly to my maturing in CHRIST~
I am Thankful and Blessed!
Post Number: 10052
|Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 2:15 pm: || |
I am so glad that the SDA pastor challenged our Bible class, Dec 2003, to read the NT with no other help. I read everything in context. Now, almost 10 years later, when I am at church or at a Bible study at church some one will mention something, from the Bible, and I will remember, yes, that is what I learned 10 years ago with God and the Holy Spirit as my teachers. What an AWESOME GOD we have that teaches us personally. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Post Number: 2037
|Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 9:59 am: || |
Colleen, I have to strongly second your comments about the role of teachers. Biblical teachers are a God-given promise and gift. I have seen too many that are unwilling to listen to any teachers, because of their past experiences. I believe that this may place a burden to their growth. I'm certainly not suggesting blindly following any teacher. But the best teachers are ones who challenge you to examine things in a different way. We have much to unlearn, those challenges can be an important help in that process.
Post Number: 2038
|Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 10:03 am: || |
Phil, I hear you. It is emotionally and spiritually draining to respond month after month to the heresy presented. I have changed how I am writing, after seeing some of the articles that others have written. Rather than trying to respond to every SDA error and twist presented, I am trying to focus on what the true message of the subject or passage really is. I spend a lot less time combing through the lesson and I don't end up feeling as spiritually drained.
Post Number: 14626
|Posted on Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - 1:36 pm: || |
Yes, Rick...me too.
I just have to share this...we received an email this week from a woman who married an Adventist but who is going to church with him and is teaching a class, even though I'm not at all sure she's officially Adventist. She uses the BibleStudiesforAdventists.com website.
She asked if we have commentary on the four-booklet set of studies they have now produced for New Believers Classes. (Yes, they have that...special "quarterly" booklets for new "believers"...sigh.)
We actually have purchased the set but have not yet gotten any commentary written...but we intend to. It's always a bit amazing to me that we get emails letting us know people are using the site. It's hard and slogging work, but people are using it! Praise God!