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Living by Faith (ภาษาไทย)

Living by Faith (English)

 

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6 Ways to Love (6 วิธีรัก)

“I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I loved you.” (John 13:34)
“เราจะให้คำสั่งใหม่กับพวกคุณ คือให้รักซึ่งกันและกัน พวกคุณต้องรักกันเหมือนกับที่เรารักคุณ” (ยอห์น 13:34 ERV-TH)

6 Ways to Love (According to the Word of God):
6 วิธีรัก (ตามพระวจนะของพระเจ้า):

1.) Exercise good listening skills. Listen well when people are speaking to you. Do not interrupt. Do not ignore them. Consider whether the advice given is good. Do not gossip/do not say evil things about others.
๑.) พัฒนาทักษะการฟังที่ดี คือ ตั้งใจฟังเมื่อมีคนพูดคุยกับคุณ อย่าขัดจังหวะการพูดของเขา อย่าทำเป็นไม่สนใจ และพิจารณาดูว่าคำแนะนำที่คุณให้นั้นดีหรือไม่ อย่านินทาหรือพูดสิ่งไม่ดีเกี่ยวกับเขา

Some people like to do things their own way, and they get upset when people give them advice. Fools don’t want to learn from others. They only want to tell their own ideas. Do something evil, and people will hate you. Do something shameful, and they will have no respect for you. Words from wise people are like water bubbling up from a deep well—the well of wisdom. You must be fair in judging others. It is wrong to favor the guilty and rob the innocent of justice.
คนไม่เอาเพื่อนทำตามอำเภอใจ ต่อต้านหลักปฏิบัติที่ดีทุกอย่าง คนโง่ไม่ชอบฟังคำชี้แนะ แต่ชอบคุยฟุ้งเรื่องของตน การดูหมิ่นมากับความชั่ว และความอัปยศมากับความอับอาย ถ้อยคำของคนเราเป็นเหมือนน้ำลึก น้ำพุแห่งปัญญาเป็นสายน้ำเชี่ยวกราก การเข้าข้างคนชั่วเป็นเรื่องไม่ดี และการไม่ให้ความยุติธรรมแก่ผู้บริสุทธิ์ก็ไม่ดีเช่นกัน

Fools say things to start arguments. They are just asking for a beating. Fools hurt themselves when they speak. Their own words trap them.
ริมฝีปากของคนโง่ก่อให้เกิดการวิวาท ปากของเขาเชิญชวนการโบยตี ปากของคนโง่ทำให้ตนเองพินาศ
ริมฝีปากของเขาเป็นกับดักชีวิตของตน

A proud person will soon be ruined, but a humble person will be honored. Let people finish speaking before you try to answer them. That way you will not embarrass yourself and look foolish. A good attitude will support you when you are sick, but if you give up, nothing can help.
ใจของคนย่อมหยิ่งผยองก่อนที่เขาจะล้มลง แต่ความถ่อมใจนำหน้าเกียรติยศ คนที่ตอบก่อนฟัง ก็โง่เขลาและขายหน้า กำลังใจทำให้ยืนหยัดได้แม้ในยามเจ็บป่วย แต่เมื่อใจแหลกสลายใครจะทนได้

Wise people want to learn more, so they listen closely to gain knowledge.
ใจของคนฉลาดขวนขวายหาความรู้ และหูของปราชญ์เสาะหามัน

The first person to speak always seems right until someone comes and asks the right questions.
ผู้ที่ให้การก่อนดูเหมือนเป็นฝ่ายถูก จนกระทั่งอีกฝ่ายเข้ามาสอบทานเขา

An insulted brother is harder to win back than a city with strong walls. Arguments separate people like the strong bars of a palace gate.
การไกล่เกลี่ยพี่น้องที่บาดหมางกันยากยิ่งกว่าการยึดเมืองป้อมปราการ ความขัดแย้งของพวกเขาจะขวางกั้นเจ้าเหมือนดาลที่ปิดประตูป้อมไว้

(Proverbs 18: 1-7, 12-15, 17 & 19)
(สุภาษิต 18:1-7, 12-15, 17 & 19 TNCV)

2.) Willingly give without argument or complaint. Give from a sincere heart.
๒.) เต็มใจที่จะให้โดยไม่โต้แย้งหรือบ่นว่า ให้ด้วยใจจริง

Some people are greedy and never have enough. Good people are generous and have plenty.(Proverbs 21:26)
เขาอยากได้โน่นอยากได้นี่อยู่วันยังค่ำ แต่คนชอบธรรมเอื้อเฟื้อเผื่อแผ่ (สุภาษิต 21: 26, TNCV)

Each one of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You should not give if it makes you unhappy or if you feel forced to give. God loves those who are happy to give. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
ละคนควรจะให้ตามที่ตั้งใจไว้ ไม่ใช่ให้ด้วยความเสียใจหรือถูกบังคับ เพราะพระเจ้ารักคนที่ให้ด้วยใจที่ชื่นชมยินดี (2 โครินธ์ 9:7 ERV-TH)

Do everything you possibly can for those who need help. If your neighbor needs something you have, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow.” Give it to him immediately.
(Proverbs 3: 27 & 28)
อย่าหน่วงเหนี่ยวสิ่งดีไว้จากผู้ที่สมควรได้รับ เมื่ออยู่ในอำนาจของเจ้าที่จะจัดการได้ อย่าพูดกับเพื่อนบ้านว่า “กลับมาพรุ่งนี้แล้วกัน แล้วฉันจะให้” ในเมื่อเจ้าสามารถให้ได้ทันที (สุภาษิต 3: 27 &28 TNCV)

If you have two shirts, share with someone who does not have one. If you have food, share that too. (Luke 3: 11)
คนที่มีเสื้อสองตัวก็แบ่งตัวหนึ่งให้กับคนที่ไม่มีใส่ และคนที่มีอาหารก็ให้ทำแบบเดียวกัน (ลูกา 3:11 ERV-TH)

Be careful! When you do something good, don’t do it in front of others so that they will see you. If you do that, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to those who are poor, don’t announce that you are giving. Don’t be like the hypocrites. When they are in the synagogues and on the streets, they blow trumpets before they give so that people will see them. They want everyone to praise them. The truth is, that’s all the reward they will get. So when you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know what you are doing. Your giving should be done in private. Your Father can see what is done in private, and he will reward you. (Matthew 6: 1-4)
ระวังให้ดี อย่าทำความดีเพื่ออวดคนอื่น เพราะคุณจะไม่ได้รับรางวัลจากพระเจ้าของคุณที่อยู่บนสวรรค์ เวลาที่คุณช่วยเหลือคนจน ก็อย่าไปทำเหมือนกับไอ้พวกนักแสดง ที่ชอบเป่าแตรในที่ประชุม หรือตามท้องถนนเพื่อให้คนมาดูและชมเชยเขา เพราะจริงๆแล้ว เราจะบอกให้รู้ว่า พวกเขาก็ได้รับคำชมนั้นเป็นรางวัลไปเรียบร้อยแล้ว แต่เมื่อช่วยเหลือคนจน ก็อย่าให้มือซ้ายรู้ว่ามือขวาทำอะไร ดังนั้น เมื่อคุณช่วยเหลือคนจน ก็ให้ทำเป็นความลับ และพระบิดาของคุณผู้เห็นสิ่งที่คุณทำเป็นความลับนี้ ก็จะให้รางวัลกับคุณ (มัทธิว 6:1-4 ERV-TH)

3.) Always pray for the people that you love. Never give up.
๓.) อธิษฐานเผื่อคนที่คุณรักอย่างสม่ำเสมอโดยไม่หยุดหย่อน

(You should also pray for your enemies and anyone who asks for you to pray for them. Everyone needs God’s blessing.)
(คุณควรอธิษฐานเผื่อศัตรูของคุณด้วยเช่นกันและสำหรับทุกคนที่ขอให้คุณอธิษฐานเผื่อหรือผู้ที่ต้องการคำอธิษฐาน)

Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. (1 Corinthians 13: 7)
ความรักปกป้องคุ้มครองเสมอ ไว้วางใจเสมอ มีความหวังอยู่เสมอและอดทนบากบั่นอยู่เสมอ (1 โครินธ์ 13:7 TNCV)

And as for me, I would never stop praying for you. If I stopped praying for you, I would be sinning against the Lord. I will continue to teach you the right way to live a good life. (1 Samuel 12:23)
ส่วนข้าพเจ้านั้นขออย่าให้ข้าพเจ้าทำบาปต่อองค์พระผู้เป็นเจ้า ด้วยการหยุดอธิษฐานเพื่อท่าน ข้าพเจ้าจะยังคงสั่งสอนแนวทางอันดีงามและถูกต้องแก่ท่าน (1 ซามูเอล 12:23 TNCV)

Never stop praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
จงอธิษฐานอยู่เสมอ (1 เธสะโลนิกา 5:17 TNCV)

4.) Think carefully before answering. Be considerate and gentle (if possible) in your response. Be polite. Try to  avoid an argument, if possible. It may be possible to be gentle even if you have to be firm.
๔.) คิดอย่างรอบคอบก่อนที่จะตอบ ตอบอย่างมีน้ำใจ อ่อนโยน สุภาพ พยายามหลีกเลี่ยงการทะเลาะวิวาทกันถ้าเป็นไปได้ เราสามารถอ่อนโยนได้ถึงแม้ว่าเราต้องมีความหนักแน่นมั่นคงในบางสิ่ง

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.
Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. (1 Corinthians 13: 4, 5)
ความรักย่อมอดทนนาน ความรักคือความเมตตา ไม่อิจฉา ไม่อวดตัว ไม่หยิ่งผยอง
ไม่หยาบคาย ไม่เห็นแก่ตัว ไม่ฉุนเฉียว ไม่จดจำความผิด (1 โครินธ์ 13:4-5 TNCV)

It is better to have nothing but a dry piece of bread to eat in peace than a whole house full of food with everyone arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)
เศษเสี้ยวอาหารที่เย็นชืดพร้อมกับความสงบสุข ดีกว่าบ้านที่มีงานฉลองกันเต็มที่ พร้อมกับการทะเลาะวิวาท (สุภาษิต 17:1 TNCV)

A gentle answer makes anger disappear, but a rough answer makes it grow. (Proverbs 15:1)
คำตอบอ่อนหวานช่วยระงับความโกรธ แต่ถ้อยคำเผ็ดร้อนยั่วโทสะ (สุภาษิต 15:1 TNCV)

5.) Tell the truth.
๕.) พูดความจริง

Then we will no longer be like babies. We will not be people who are always changing like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to deceive us—those who make clever plans and use every kind of trick to fool others into following the wrong way. No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. (Ephesians 4: 14, 15)
เมื่อนั้นเราจะไม่เป็นทารกอีกต่อไป ถูกกระแสซัดไปซัดมา ถูกพัดไปทางโน้นทางนี้โดยลมปากแห่งคำสอนและโดยกลลวงอันฉ้อฉลแยบยลของมนุษย์ แต่โดยการพูดความจริงด้วยความรัก เราจะเติบโตขึ้นในทุกสิ่งสู่พระองค์ผู้เป็นศีรษะคือพระคริสต์ (เอเฟซัส 4:14-15 TNCV)

A public correction is better than hidden love. Trustworthy are the bruises of a friend; excessive are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:5 & 6 CEB)
ตักเตือนอย่างเปิดเผย ยังดีกว่าซ่อนคำเตือนไว้ด้วยความรัก บาดแผลที่เพื่อนทำก็ยังน่าเชื่อถือ แต่จูบของศัตรูก็พร่ำเพรื่อไม่จริงใจ (สุภาษิต 27: 5 & 6 TNCV)

You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:32)
พวกคุณจะรู้จักความจริงและความจริงจะทำให้พวกคุณเป็นอิสระ (ยอห์น 8:32 ERV-TH)

The Lord says, “I don’t want evil people to die. I want them to change their lives so that they can live! I correct and punish the people I love. So show that nothing is more important to you than living right. Change your hearts and lives.”
พระยาห์เวห์องค์เจ้าชีวิตประกาศว่า เราพึงพอใจในความตายของคนชั่วร้ายหรือ? เราไม่ยินดีมากกว่าหรือเมื่อเขาหันจากทางชั่วของตนและมีชีวิตอยู่? เราว่ากล่าวและตีสอนผู้ที่เรารัก ดังนั้นจงกระตือรือร้นและกลับใจใหม่

(Ezekiel 18: 23; Revelation 3:19 -See also 2 Thessalonians 2 to understand this passage)
(เอเสเคียล 18:23; วิวรณ์ 3:19 TNCV -ถ้าคุณอยากจะเข้าใจอ่าน2 เธสะโลนิกา 2

6.) Try to resolve conflicts one-to-one if possible, only bringing in witnesses if necessary (after trying to resolve the conflict one-on-one or if doing so was not possible). Whatever the outcome (good or bad), forgive.
๖.) พยายามแก้ไขปัญหาความขัดแย้งแบบหนึ่งต่อหนึ่งถ้าเป็นไปได้ หรือนำผู้เป็นพยานไปด้วยในกรณีที่จำเป็น (หลังจากพยายามที่จะแก้ปัญหาความขัดแย้งแบบหนึ่งต่อหนึ่งหรือหลังจากการทำแบบนั้นไม่เป็นผล) ไม่ว่าผลจะออกมาเป็นอย่างไร (ดีหรือไม่ดี) ก็ให้อภัยซึ่งกันและกัน

If your brother or sister in God’s family does something wrong, go and tell them what they did wrong. Do this when you are alone with them. If they listen to you, then you have helped them to be your brother or sister again. (Matthew 18:15)
ถ้าพี่น้องทำบาปต่อคุณ ก็ให้ไปชี้แจงความผิดของเขาตัวต่อตัว ถ้าเขาฟัง คุณก็ได้เขากลับมาเป็นพี่น้องอีก (มัทธิว 18:15 ERV-TH)

But if they refuse to listen, go to them again and take one or two people with you. Then there will be two or three people who will be able to tell all that happened. (Matthew 18:16)
แต่ถ้าเขาไม่ยอมฟัง ก็ให้พาอีกคนหรือสองคนไปหาเขาด้วยกัน เพื่อจะได้มีพยานรู้เห็นสองหรือสามคน (มัทธิว 18:16 ERV-TH)

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
เปโตรก็เข้ามาถามพระเยซูว่า “อาจารย์ครับ เมื่อพี่น้องทำบาปต่อผม ผมควรจะอภัยให้กี่ครั้งดีครับ สักเจ็ดครั้งเลย จะดีไหมครับ”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
พระเยซูตอบว่า “ใครบอกว่าแค่เจ็ดครั้ง ต้องเป็นเจ็ดสิบเจ็ดครั้ง”

(Matthew 18: 21 & 22 NKJV)
(มัทธิว 18:21 & 22 ERV-TH)

Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits.
(ความรัก) ไม่หยาบคาย ไม่เห็นแก่ตัว ไม่ฉุนเฉียว ไม่จดจำความผิด ความรักไม่ปีติยินดีในความชั่ว แต่ชื่นชมยินดีในความจริง ความรักปกป้องคุ้มครองเสมอ ไว้วางใจเสมอ มีความหวังอยู่เสมอและอดทนบากบั่นอยู่เสมอ

(1 Corinthians 13: 5-7)
(1 โครินธ์ 13:5-7 TNCV)

Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ. Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us. We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of Christ. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger. I mean that while we were God’s enemies, he made friends with us through his Son’s death. And the fact that we are now God’s friends makes it even more certain that he will save us through his Son’s life. (Ephesians 4:32, Romans 5: 8-10)
จงเมตตาและสงสาร เห็นใจกันและกัน ให้อภัยต่อกันเหมือนที่พระเจ้าทรงอภัยแก่ท่านในพระคริสต์ พระเจ้าได้แสดงความรักต่อเรา โดยยอมส่งพระคริสต์มาตายเพื่อเรา ทั้งๆที่เรายังเป็นคนบาปอยู่ ตอนนี้พระเจ้ายอมรับเราแล้วเพราะเลือดของพระคริสต์ ยิ่งกว่านั้นเราจะรอดพ้นจากความโกรธของพระเจ้าเพราะพระคริสต์อย่างแน่นอน ขนาดตอนที่เราเป็นศัตรูกับพระเจ้า ความตายของพระบุตรยังทำให้เรากลับมาคืนดีกับพระเจ้าได้เลย แล้วตอนนี้เราได้กลับมาคืนดีกับพระเจ้าแล้ว ดังนั้นชีวิตของพระบุตรจะต้องทำให้เราได้รับความรอดอย่างแน่นอน
(เอเฟซัส 4:32 TNCV; โรม 5:8-10 ERV-TH)

You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But God, the same God our fathers had, raised Jesus up from death. God has sent his special servant Jesus. He sent him to you first. He sent him to bless you by causing each of you to turn away from your evil ways. (Acts 5: 30, 3: 26)
พระเยซูซึ่งพวกท่านประหารโดยแขวนไว้ที่ต้นไม้นั้นพระเจ้าของบรรพบุรุษของเราได้ทรงให้เป็นขึ้นจากตาย เมื่อพระเจ้าทรงยกผู้รับใช้ของพระองค์ขึ้นมาแล้วก็ทรงส่งพระองค์มายังพวกท่านก่อนเพื่ออวยพรท่านโดยทำให้แต่ละคนหันจากวิถีชั่วของตน (กิจการของอัครทูต 5:30, 3:26 TNCV)

Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world. He did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. People who believe in God’s Son are not judged guilty. But people who do not believe are already judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. They are judged by this fact: The light has come into the world. But they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things. Everyone who does evil hates the light. They will not come to the light, because the light will show all the bad things they have done. But anyone who follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that whatever they have done was done through God. (John 3:16-21)
เพราะว่าพระเจ้าทรงรักโลกจนได้ประทานพระบุตรองค์เดียวของพระองค์ เพื่อทุกคนที่เชื่อในพระบุตรนั้นจะไม่พินาศแต่มีชีวิตนิรันดร์ เพราะพระเจ้าไม่ได้ทรงส่งพระบุตรของพระองค์มาในโลกเพื่อพิพากษาลงโทษโลก แต่เพื่อช่วยโลกให้รอดโดยทางพระบุตรนั้น ผู้ใดที่เชื่อในพระองค์ก็ไม่ถูกพิพากษา แต่ผู้ใดที่ไม่เชื่อก็ถูกพิพากษาอยู่แล้ว เพราะเขาไม่เชื่อในพระนามของพระบุตรองค์เดียวของพระเจ้า คำตัดสินเป็นดังนี้คือ ความสว่างได้เข้ามาในโลก แต่มนุษย์รักความมืดแทนที่จะรักความสว่าง เพราะการกระทำของพวกเขาชั่วร้าย ทุกคนที่ทำชั่วก็เกลียดความสว่าง และจะไม่เข้ามาในความสว่างเพราะกลัวว่าการกระทำของตนจะถูกเปิดโปง แต่ผู้ใดที่มีชีวิตอยู่โดยความจริงย่อมมาสู่ความสว่าง เพื่อให้เห็นชัดเจนว่าสิ่งที่ตนทำนั้นได้ทำไปโดยพึ่งพระเจ้า (ยอห์น 3:16-21 TNCV)

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)
จงเชื่อในองค์พระเยซูเจ้า แล้วท่านจะได้รับความรอด (กิจการของอัครทูต 16:31 TNCV)

Perhaps you are not yet ready to believe. You don’t know yet who Jesus is. You don’t want to make a decision based on limited information. Please give Him a chance. Study His word and see what He can do for you, for He says:
บางทีคุณอาจจะยังไม่พร้อมที่จะเชื่อ หรือคุณยังไม่รู้ว่าพระเยซูคือใคร คุณไม่ต้องการที่จะตัดสินใจบนพื้นฐานของข้อมูลที่จำกัด โปรดให้โอกาสแก่พระองค์ โดยศึกษาพระคำของพระองค์และลองดูว่าพระองค์จะทำอะไรเพื่อคุณบ้าง เพราะพระองค์ได้ตรัสไว้อย่างนั้น:

“You carefully study the Scriptures. You think that they give you eternal life. These same Scriptures tell about me!” (John 5:39)
ท่านขยันศึกษา พระคัมภีร์เพราะท่านคิดว่าโดยพระคัมภีร์ท่านจะได้ชีวิตนิรันดร์ พระธรรมเหล่านั้นคือพระคัมภีร์ที่เป็นพยานเกี่ยวกับเรา (ยอห์น 5:39 TNCV)

Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. Those things were written so that we could have hope. That hope comes from the patience and encouragement that the Scriptures give us. (Romans 15: 4)

ทุกอย่างที่เขียนไว้ในพระคัมภีร์ในสมัยก่อนนั้น ก็เขียนไว้เพื่อสั่งสอนเรา เพื่อว่าในขณะที่เราอดทนและได้รับกำลังใจจากพระคัมภีร์ เราจะได้ยึดมั่นในความหวังที่เรามี (โรม 15: 4 ERV-TH)

I think English texts from the Bible (unless otherwise cited) are from the ERV (Easy to Read Version).

Together 2016?

” When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.” (Testimonies for the Church, volume 5 p. 451)

Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed!

The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments.

Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility put forth for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the “church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err ” (John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, book 3, century II, part 2, chapter 2, section 9, note 17), how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages?

The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution. (The Great Controversy, “Liberty of Conscience Threatened” pp.  563 & 564)

Isaiah Ministries Scriptural Evidence Against Together 2016

“Nothing else than the kingdom of Babylon and of very Antichrist. For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were God? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.” (Martin Luther, First Principles, pp. 196-197)

Read (or listen to) The Great Controversy Online

“He (the antichrist) will be revealed and come to naught before the last day, so that every man shall comprehend and recognize that the pope is the real, true antichrist and not the vicar of Christ … Therefore those who consider the pope and his bishops as Christian shepherds and bishops are deeply in error, but even more are those who believe the the Turk (ISLAM) is the antichrist. Because the Turk (ISLAM) rules outside of the church and does not sit in the holy place, nor does he seek to bear the name of Christ, but is an open antagonist of Christ and His church. This does not need to be revealed, but it is clear and evident because he persecutes Christians openly and not as the pope does, secretly under the form of Godliness.” (Nicolaus Von Amsdorf, Furnemliche und gewisse Zeichen, sig.A2r.,v.)

Who did the reformers believe was the anti-Christ?

“And we ask you, brethren, in regard to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him, that ye be not quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled, neither through spirit, neither through word, neither through letters as through us, as that the day of Christ hath arrived;  let not any one deceive you in any manner, because — if the falling away may not come first, and the man of sin be revealed — the son of the destruction,  who is opposing and is raising himself up above all called God or worshipped, so that he in the sanctuary of God as God hath sat down, shewing himself off that he is God — [the day doth not come].  Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, these things I said to you? and now, what is keeping down ye have known, for his being revealed in his own time,  for the secret of the lawlessness doth already work, only he who is keeping down now [will hinder] — till he may be out of the way,  and then shall be revealed the Lawless One, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the manifestation of his presence,  [him,] whose presence is according to the working of the Adversary, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders,  and in all deceitfulness of the unrighteousness in those perishing, because the love of the truth they did not receive for their being saved,  and because of this shall God send to them a working of delusion, for their believing the lie, that they may be judged — all who did not believe the truth, but were well pleased in the unrighteousness.

And we — we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, that God did choose you from the beginning to salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, to which He did call you through our good news, to the acquiring of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ;  so, then, brethren, stand ye fast, and hold the deliverances that ye were taught, whether through word, whether through our letter; and may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and our God and Father, who did love us, and did give comfort age-during, and good hope in grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” (2nd Thessalonians 2, YLT)

Fox’s Book of Martyrs

“Though it be admitted that Rome was once the mother of all Churches, yet from the time when it began to be the seat of Antichrist it has ceased to be what it was before. Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt .. I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol.3, p.149)

Rekindle the Reformation!!!

Picture Courtesy of Adam4d (no affiliation)

Why This Waste?

While his enemies were plotting to destroy Him, Yeshua was eating with His disciples in the house of Simon, a pharisee whom He had healed from Leprosy, and who had become one of His followers. They were in Bethany, where Yeshua’s friends Mary, Martha and their recently resurrected brother Lazarus lived. Mary believed Yeshua’s teachings that He would be killed. In her sorrow and love for her Master, she went out and spent a year’s worth of wages on one pound of precious, sweet-smelling perfume to anoint His body with. This was a great sacrifice to her, but worth every coin and every drop for her beloved Master.

But, something gave Mary hope that her Master was to triumph after all. So she brought this perfume to the feast to honor her Lord. In love and devotion, she poured the perfume on His head and feet, and then, weeping, wiped His feet with her hair.

The disciples murmured amongst each other. John recorded that Judas (who was soon to betray his Master) asked, “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” (John 12:5, KJV)

Likewise, the disciples seemed to condemn Mary in their hearts, asking, “Why this waste?” (Matthew 26:8, NKJV)

“Why this waste?” The disciples were not all unified in their reason for asking this. Judas, the false disciple and traitor, condemned Mary (and indirectly condemned Yeshua, whom he professed to serve) by bringing up the use to which the cost of the perfume could have been spent, seeing the perfume being poured out upon the Lord as wasted. The other disciples may have agreed with Judas’ proposed intentions, thinking about all the good use the money could be put to in benefit of others. Perhaps, calling to mind their Master’s call to the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions and give to the poor (See Matthew 19:21), and knowing how their Master cared for the poor, even to the point that those who did not help them were condemned (see 25:31-46), they even believed or reasoned in their hearts that Judas’  concern was in harmony with their Master’s will and teachings.

But, though Judas wanted to stuff his own pockets, the Lord did not right then and there call out out His unfaithful disciple’s sin. Instead, He left that to be discovered later, and  called their attention to an even greater, more important point. Even if Judas’ expressed concern had been born from true and perfect motives, there was something more important that the disciples did not yet understand.

“Why trouble ye the woman?” (Matthew 26:10 [first part], KJV) He asked, “for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” (Matthew 26: 10 [last part]-13, KJV) 

John’s record of his Master’s response is shorter, leaving the point to stand out more clearly. The Lord explained that Mary had kept the ointment for His burial, and that they would always have the poor among them, but that He would not always be with them in person. (See John 12: 7, 8)

If only the disciples realized what they were saying when they complained about Mary and her “waste”. Why did they see this gift, given in pure love, this act of true devotion, as wasted, and condemn Mary as though she had poured it on the ground? Did they not value their Master? Of course they did (except for Judas). They loved and appreciated their Master, too, but they did not yet understand what was going to take place, nor the significance of the act. Perhaps Mary herself did not understand either. Nor could they read Mary’s heart, as Yeshua could. This gift was given with pure motives, and pure intentions, by a woman who truly wished to honor her Master, and it encouraged Him.

This is that same Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet some time before, listening to Him teach as her sister, Martha, busied herself around the house. Martha was busy working to serve the Lord and His disciples and her (or were they His?) guests. Mary was listening to her Master and learning from Him. Martha seemed to think that Mary was being lazy, not thoughtful or considerate of her needs or maybe Martha saw her sister as wasting time, when she should have been helping her to serve.

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10: 40, NIV) Martha complained.

Did Martha expect that the Lord would agree to her, and send Mary to help? Didn’t Martha ask in faith for this help?

But the Lord responded, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NKJV)

Martha wasn’t necessarily wrong in preparing for and serving the Lord actively. Actually, God’s people are supposed to “serve one another” (See Galatians 5:13) and to work to save souls (See Mark 16:15), but she was wrong in believing that her sister should serve in the same way that she was, at the same time that she was serving. In this passage, the Lord did not directly tell Martha that she needed to sit down and listen to Him teach also. There is no record in this passage that He directly (though what He said to her can be seen as an indirect invitation) invited Martha to leave her work and join her sister. No, what He told Martha was that she was “worried and upset about many things” (Luke 10:41 [last part], NIV), but that her sister, Mary, had chosen what was needed. What Mary needed to do at that point was to sit and listen to Christ. Did Martha join her sister at Jesus’ feet, or did she keep serving in the way that she was (perhaps with less complaint)? The Bible doesn’t indicate which choice Martha made. What it did say was that Mary had made the right choice. No, Mary might not have been helping her sister in her work, actively serving the Lord, but she was not wasting time either. She was learning from the Master.

sMar1242Dore_TheWidow_sMite

Whether it is time, resources, or money, nothing given to God is ever wasted. When a poor widow cast her two mites into the donation box at the temple, Yeshua commended her to His disciples (See Luke 21:1-4) . This widow had so little that perhaps some, if they had noticed and knew the poverty in which this woman lived, would have considered those two coins wasted. Perhaps those mites could have been spent on a little some bread to fill her grumbling stomach, but what good would those two mites do in the donation box? What significance would they have amongst or in comparison to the huge offerings given by the rich? But no, Yeshua knew that she had given all that she had, and that it would not be wasted. Not only does every coin add up, but the widow had given everything from a pure heart and pure motives. These would be registered in the book of Heaven, and her deed has been registered in the book of Luke also. About two thousand years later, her story is still being re-told to encourage thousands to give their all to God, and to know that God reads their hearts and appreciates what they give to Him if they give from pure motives, from the heart, in love, no matter how small and insignificant their offering may seem to them or (especially) to others, that God is pleased with them, because He knows that they have given their all.

rMat1419Dore_ChristFeedingTheMultitude

When a young boy gave his lunch, five loaves of bread and two small fish, the disciples thought that they and Yeshua might be able to share the meal and each have a little, or that at least their Master might be able to eat something. Maybe the boy was giving this food in faith, believing that he too would be fed, that Yeshua would share a little with him. Maybe he had already eaten and was giving what he had left. Maybe he was giving in faith believing that Yeshua could multiply them and feed everyone. Or, maybe this boy thought he was making a sacrifice, giving the only food that he had to eat. The Bible doesn’t specify the boy’s thoughts or motives, but he gave them. The child’s offering of food was not only not wasted, but the Lord multiplied that small offering abundantly, so that not only were over five thousand people fed (there were five thousand men plus women and children), but twelve baskets of leftover pieces. God not only multiplied the offering, providing extra blessings, but re-affirmed His disciples that nothing should be wasted, not even the leftovers, by telling them to “gather up the fragments” (See John 6:1-14).

Even in the parable of the ten talents, the unfaithful steward’s talent, which was given back to the master upon his return, was not wasted. In this parable, the master represents God (more specifically, he may represent Yeshua Himself), and the unfaithful stewards represent God’s servants (or even more broadly, all those whom God has given talents and resources to, which is everyone). Two stewards, who had been given more than the one, traded and invested their talents, and their talents were doubled. The unfaithful steward was given only one talent. Perhaps he was lazy, or perhaps he really thought that he had so little that there was nothing he could do with it, and in fear of losing it he put it in a safe place. The unfaithful steward was punished for hiding the talent rather than trying to use it. To the unfaithful steward, this talent was wasted, but in God’s service, it was not. Though the unfaithful steward was cast out and did not get to take part in the joy of his Master and the faithful stewards, his talent, at his master’s command was taken from him and given to the steward that had been given the most (See Matthew 25:14-30), because that steward had proven himself faithful in using and multiplying what he had been entrusted with.

Nothing given to God is ever wasted, even when it is mis-used. When Judas betrayed his Master, he sold Him for the price of a slave, thirty pieces of silver. It is possible that the silver that was used to buy Yeshua was taken from funds that were donated to the temple, the priests, or the rulers–from some form of offering or perhaps even the tithe. Even though the money that was possibly given to God was mis-used by people who should have been serving Him for selfish and horrifying evil purposes (to kill their Creator and their only Hope of freedom from sin and their only Way to  eternal life), it was still used to carry out God’s purpose and intentions of performing the ultimate sacrifice of His son, which was necessary for our survival (and eternal destiny, if we wish to be saved), but Judas, who accused Mary of wasting the oil, performed the ultimate waste. In selling his Master for 30 pieces of silver, he was selling his salvation. Judas traded eternal life in paradise with his Master for a measly thirty coins that he threw away before taking his own life. The money that he sold his soul for was no good to him, and was, as far as Judas was concerned, wasted (See Matthew 26:14-16, 27:3-6), though it was used to buy a potter’s field to bury the dead (and therefore still used and not fully wasted, it was wasted as far as Judas was concerned, and so was his life, except that his story lives on as a warning to us all, but in Judas’ case the lesson was wasted).

Though it can be wasted by the people who misuse it, and people who should have benefitted from it can be denied because of this misuse, nothing given to God is ever wasted. To withhold or steal from God for our own selfish purposes is waste, and to turn our backs on our Master, and betray our Lord, and sell our souls to the devil, whatever the price, is a waste. Why this waste?

Have you been wasteful? Give Him whatever you have left. As Him for wisdom as to what He would have you to do with what you still have. Ask Him to help you to redeem the wasted time, and show you what to do with it. Then, do something for the Lord.

Even if you have sold your soul to the devil, it’s not too late. God is able, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace…” (Ephesians 1:7, KJV)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9, KJV)

You see, you have no authority to sell yourself to the devil. “You do not belong to yourself.” (1st Corinthians 6:19 [last part], NLT) You belong to Christ and God the Father, who created you (See John 1: 1-4, 14), and who bought you back again after the human race sold themselves to the devil by partaking of forbidden fruit and continuing in sin (See Genesis 3). You were redeemed by a price (See 1st Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23), which is the blood of Christ, the Son of God, and the Creator (See 1st John 3:16, John 3:16 and 1st Peter 1:18).  It’s not too late to turn back to Christ, and he can rescue you.

But, He is alive. “Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25, World English Bible)

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)

“But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” (Romans 6:22, NASB)

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

But, you have to believe (See John 3:14-21, or John 3:16 and 18 for short).

Other Sources: Matthew 26, John 6, John 12, The Desire of Ages “The Feast at Simon’s House”, Art by Gustave Doré (public domain, from my understanding, though please correct me if I am mistaken, and I will remove it) found here.

 

The Linen Girdle-Will you run or will you rejoice?

I almost missed the sermon this morning—not because I wasn’t there, but because it was in Thai. Thankfully, a young woman asked if I needed a translation and invited me to sit beside her. As the speaker spoke, she converted his words into a language which I could understand—English. Oh! How powerful it was! I feel compelled to share it with you. But this is mostly in my own words, and my understanding on what the speaker was communicating.

If the Lord came today. Would you be ready?

Jeremiah was a prophet, called in his youth, pre-destined before birth to be the Lord’s messenger, who lived to lived to see Jerusalem conquered by her enemies, sent to warn His people beforehand. Before the city was taken captive, God called Jeremiah to warn, instruct, and rebuke the people through preaching and acting out parables. (See the book of Jeremiah, particularly chapter 1 for more details on Jeremiah’s life and calling.)

On one occasion, the Lord told Jeremiah to buy a linen belt and to tie it around his loins. The prophet went to the market to buy the girdle, an then put it on as the Lord had instructed him. After an unstated and unindicated period of time, the Lord told Jeremiah to take the belt down to the Euphrates river and hide it in the hole of a rock. Obediently, Jeremiah went down to the river, found a rock with a hole in it, stuffed the belt inside, and left. A long, but unspecified length of time went by before the Lord reminded Jeremiah about the belt. He told the prophet to go and retrieve the girdle from the hole in which he had hid it.

Jeremiah went to look for the girdle. He found the place where he had hid the belt, but it was buried and he had to dig it out. When he finally pulled the girdle out from the hole, it was so badly damaged that it was no longer useful for anything. Then, the Lord said to him, “After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah…that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.” (See Jeremiah 13: 1-11)

Israel and Judah were God’s chosen people, but they had turned their backs on Him to worship idols instead. Now, He called them evil. They were once close to him, as though strapped to His waist, but now they were so ruined by idolatry that they were no longer fit to be called His people. Because they were worshipping other gods, they lost sight of the true God, and no longer had a saving relationship with Him. They did not know the true God.

One day, God is going to come to take His people back to Him, to bring them to His kingdom. In that time, it was revealed to His disciple, John, that “the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:15-17)

On the last day, when Christ returns, people who have turned their backs on God to worship idols, whether idols of stone, or idols of wood, idols of money or of fame or material possessions, will run and try,in vain, to hide from the Lord of Glory. They will be filled with terror, knowing that they are not ready to meet Him and that their destruction is near. They will pray to their gods to cause the rocks to fall on them, to hide them from the true God, but God’s true people, those who know Him, and who worship Him, who trust Him, and who love Him, will look forward to His coming with joy. They will be excited and happy when He comes. (See Titus 2:13)

In order to be ready when He comes, we have to know the true God (See Matthew 7:23). We have to be close to Him. We cannot do this if we are worshipping other gods. Yes, these idols can be made of wood, or gold, or stone, or can be celebrities or even invisible spirits, but we can end up making idols out of other things—money, work, food, houses (See Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13), family, friends (See Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14: 26), opinions or our own reasoning and/or wisdom (See Proverbs 14:12 and 1st Corinthians 3:19) fiction or fantasy (See Revelation 22:15), entertainment or fame(See Hebrews 11:24-26) or even traditions in our church that do not meet God’s standards, or even forms or ceremonies that can be in harmony with Scripture, if we are doing it in order to be saved, and lacking in love (See Matthew 23:23). Anything that occupies the mind more than God has become our god, or our idol. If we look to these things for help, we are not trusting in God as we should. While we should use many of these things for survival and for God’s glory, they are gifts from God, and it is in God whom we should trust, putting Him above all these things. We should not let these things occupy our time so much that they take away time that could be spent drawing nearer to God, and learning from Him. (See Matthew 6:31-32, Matthew 16:26 and Mark 8:36)

In order to be ready, we need to have that relationship with God. We need to spend time in His Word, praying to Him, and trusting Him. And, we need to love Him. If we love and trust, we will also obey, as Jeremiah did, even when the Lord asked him to do strange things that may not have made much since, until they were explained to him, but Jeremiah trusted God, and he obeyed. When we have this relationship with God, trusting in Him for salvation, and truly believe and love Him (which is key to a relationship) will lead to obedience, then we will be ready when He comes, and we will look forward to His coming. (See Matthew 26:41, Luke 21:36, Mark 14:38, 1st Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22, Matthew 11:29, John 14:15 and 23, John 5:39, Revelation 14:12, and Hebrews 11.)

If He comes today, would you be ready?

But He’s not here yet. You still have some time to get ready, but don’t delay, because even if the Lord would not come today, nor tomorrow, nor this week, nor this year, nor this decade, we may not even have another hour. Don’t delay, but turn to God, and if you are already His, renew your commitment daily, hourly, even now. Prepare, and ask God, and He will prepare you, but you must cooperate with Him.

(See Luke 12:20, 1st Corinthians 15:31, 1st John 1:9, John 4: 10  and 14, Galatians 2:20, 1st John 4:8, Galatians 5: 22 and 23, and John 14.)

Disclaimer: Most of these extra verses were added for confirmation and study purposes, along with many comments and the brief history of Jeremiah, as this is my understanding of the sermon, and not a word-for-word manuscript. Picture is by Sweet Publishing and was downloaded from Distant Shores Media, used by permission through the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Bible text was taken from the King James Version, unless accidentally copied from other versions (If you notice that any of it was copied from another version, please contact me, and you can do so via commenting, and I will try to fix it. Thank you.)

 

A Fair Chance to Choose? Yes, God is Fair…

I have sinned. Without thoroughly reading myself to see what ideas were presented, I became excited about some studies, created a website for a friend, and posted those studies online. The site is not mine, so I am not sure whether it would be right for me to hack in and take them down. I realized only too late that I had posted error for all the world (that has access) to see.

What was the error? That God will do something so that everyone who is now living and has ever lived will have a fair chance to choose whether or not they will follow Him. This error encourages prayer for the dead, and suggests that God may, before Christ returns, resurrect everyone who has ever lived on the earth, or else do something else in order to show them the truth and give them a fair chance to choose. Why is it dangerous? Because a great deception is coming in which it may seem as though such a thing is happening. It’s also dangerous because it is an error. It’s not true. It’s a corrupted view of God’s justice and fairness. God is fair. That is the truth, but God does not need to do this in order to prove His fairness.

It seems that the author of the error just could not accept these words written by God’s messenger, Ellen G. White “Every year millions upon millions of human souls are passing into eternity unwarned and unsaved.” (COL 373.4) The author believed that God would simply not allow this to be, and would do something so that those unwarned people could still receive a warning and choose from themselves. Instead, God has taken them and their situation and their knowledge into consideration. He has already done something for them, and will judge them fairly.

First, it seems necessary to put that troubling quote into context:

“Every year millions upon millions of human souls are passing into eternity unwarned and unsaved. From hour to hour in our varied life opportunities to reach and save souls are opened to us. These opportunities are continually coming and going. God desires us to make the most of them. Days, weeks, and months are passing; we have one day, one week, one month less in which to do our work. A few more years at the longest, and the voice which we cannot refuse to answer will be heard saying, “Give an account of thy stewardship.”

Christ calls upon every one to consider. Make an honest reckoning. Put into one scale Jesus, which means eternal treasure, life, truth, heaven, and the joy of Christ in souls redeemed; put into the other every attraction the world can offer. Into one scale put the loss of your own soul, and the souls of those whom you might have been instrumental in saving; into the other, for yourself and for them, a life that measures with the life of God. Weigh for time and for eternity. While you are thus engaged, Christ speaks: “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.  {COL 373.4 & 374.1}

That quote is a warning to us. God has already called and is calling us, those who know the truth, to share the truth and warn others. If we do not share the truth, then our own souls are in jeopardy, and so are theirs. We are to warn these people so that they will have a fair chance to choose. If we do not—whether or not we honestly believe that God will take care of those who had not yet been warned—our own souls are in danger of being lost eternally. We must choose to warn the unsaved.

Ezekiel:

18:20     The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

18:21    But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 

18:22    All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

18:23    Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and  not that he should return from his ways, and live?

18:24    But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

18:25    Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?

18:26    When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.

18:27    Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

18:28    Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

18:29    Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

18:30    Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.

18:31    Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

18:32    For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn [yourselves], and live ye.

God judges everyone according to his ways, according to what he or she says and does. God judges even those who do not have the privileges that His chosen had, to learn the truth for themselves. Yet, God has chosen many to warn those who are lost. God, through Ezekiel, also discusses what will happen to them if they are warned (in consideration of whether or not they repent), whether they are not warned, and what will happen to His watchmen depending on whether he is a good watchman.

3:17        Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

3:18       When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

3:19       Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 

3:20       Again, When a righteous [man] doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

3:21       Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous [man], that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul. 

Here God is requiring that his watchman even warn the righteous that turns away from his righteousness and sins. Even though the righteous person might have known better, and chose to sin, God still requires His watchman to warn that person. If the sinners are left unwarned, they die in their sin, but the watchman is held responsible for not giving the warning, because God has already called them to give a warning (whether they acknowledge their calling or not).

Even if one does not have a written law, there is still a moral code. One can see others fall in sin, and see the consequences, and learn from their actions. They can learn from their own actions, too. When they sin, and God desires to warn them (though it may be that nobody is around and they do not have His commandments nor His gospel available to them) He will send His Holy Spirit to convict their conscience.

“Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment. Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man [is] great upon him.” (Ecclesiastes 8:5 & 6) “And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this [is] also vanity.” (10)

Paul explains in Romans:

1:16        For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1:17       For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

1:18       For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

1:19       Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed [it] unto them. 

1:20       For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

1:21       Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

1:22       Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

1:23       And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

1:24       Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

1:25       Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

1:26       For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

1:27       And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

1:28       And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

1:29       Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

1:30       Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

1:31       Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

1:32       Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

 

2:1         Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

2:2         But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

2:3         And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

2:4         Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

2:5         But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

2:6         Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

2:7         To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

2:8         But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

2:9         Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

2:10       But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

2:11       For there is no respect of persons with God.

2:12       For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 

2:13       (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

2:14       For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 

2:15       Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 

2:16       In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Paul wrote that men do not have an excuse. Being warned is not an excuse. God works on the heart of men. This work is a mystery, but He does it. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20) God reveals Himself through nature (His creation), and through the Holy Spirit. He convicts conscience. Men also judge each other, so they must have a moral code or a sense of right or wrong. God knows and considers all these things. All these things are taken into consideration in the judgment. Being unwarned is not an excuse.

It is not wise to declare statements as truth that the Bible does not confirm as truth, especially if Scripture contradicts these so-called truths, which are not true, no matter how bad we want it to be true. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” (Proverbs 28:26)

Do not grieve away God’s Spirit by insisting that your view or your way is the way it must be, nor by insisting that your own thoughts are truth, nor by arguing against Scripture, God’s Word.

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matthew 12:31)

Your thoughts are not inspired by God’s Holy Spirit if they are not in harmony with Scripture. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)

If it was true that God must give everyone a fair chance to choose, even those who are already dead, in order to be fair and just,  (whether or not He had already given them that chance, which the statement that He will give them a chance suggests He had not), then wouldn’t it have simply been easier for God to have worked some mighty miracle for them while they were still alive? “But he” (Christ) “answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:” (Matthew 12:39)

“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) Christ has been around witnessing the acts of His creation, and working with His creation to bring them to repentance of His sins long before He set foot on the Earth as a human being. He knows everything, and His judgment is fair already.

10:1        Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

10:2       But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

10:3       To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

10:4       And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

10:5       And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

10:6       This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

10:7       Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

10:8       All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

10:9       I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10:10    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

10:11    I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

10:12    But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

10:13    The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

10:14    I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine.

10:15    As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

10:16    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

10:17    Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

10:18    No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

10:19    There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

10:20    And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

10:21    Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

10:22    And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

10:23    And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

10:24    Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

10:25    Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

10:26    But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

10:27    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

10:28    And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 

10:29    My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand.

10:30    I and [my] Father are one.

(Found in the book of John.)

Jesus calls His sheep, and they follow Him. He does the work that must be done, and holds accountable for lost souls that had not been warned those whom He sent to warn and invite into His fold. Even so, even without a human messenger or the written word, the Holy Spirit can plead with each individual.

And God knows all, “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”  (Isaiah 46:10) He will do what is best.

As for you who are reading this—have you given your heart to Christ? Fall on your knees and plead with Him for His Holy Spirit to guide you, convict you, to turn you from sins. Plead for His love, His mercy, that He will fill you and change you, that He will create in you a clean heart (Psalms 51:10). “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13) Don’t delay any longer. Turn to Christ. Only He can save you, for “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3: 16 & 17) (18 and 19 contain a warning that you should read if you are doubting and unbelieving.)

God loves you enough to die for you (1st John 3:16). Turn to Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

Will everyone have a fair chance to choose? The living, yes (at least I believe so, and believe that there is evidence, but that may require another study or more text. But, the dead are dead. “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-7)

This post was not intended to downplay nor to disprove righteousness by faith, for it is impossible for us to obtain salvation ourselves, through our own works, but salvation is possible through God and Christ alone (See Luke 18: 27) (though this does not mean that we will not have  good works to do, for the Bible disproves that also), but it is to reveal and help you to understand that this life is the only chance we get in which to choose. God will judge fairly those who were not warned, but we only have one life. Not only must we choose for ourselves, but we must warn others, for this life is the only chance that they will receive also.

More by Ellen G. White on the subject:

Better than all the friendship of the world is the friendship of Christ’s redeemed. Better than a title to the noblest palace on earth is a title to the mansions our Lord has gone to prepare. And better than all the words of earthly praise will be the Saviour’s words to His faithful servants, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34.  {COL 374.3}

To those who have squandered His goods, Christ still gives opportunity to secure lasting riches. He says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” “Provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” Luke 6:38; 12:33. “Charge them that are rich in this world, . . . that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19.  {COL 374.4}

Then let your property go beforehand to heaven. Lay up your treasures beside the throne of God. Make sure your title to the unsearchable riches of Christ. “Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles.” R.V.  {COL 375.1}

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. At every revival of God’s work the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested. {DD 36.2}

The enemy is preparing to deceive the whole world by his miracle-working power. He will assume to personate the angels of light, to personate Jesus Christ. Every one who teaches the truth for this time is to preach the Word. Those who cling to the Word will not throw open the doors for Satan by making unguarded statements in reference to prophesying or to dreams and visions. To a greater or less degree false manifestations have been coming in, here and there, since 1844, after the time when we looked for the second coming of Christ. . . . We shall have them more and more, and like faithful sentinels we must be on guard. Letters are coming to me from many persons concerning visions which they have had and feel it their duty to relate. May the Lord help His servants to be cautious.  {2SM 21.4}

When the Lord has a genuine channel of light, there are always plenty of counterfeits. Satan will surely enter any door thrown open for him. He will give messages of truth mingling with the truth ideas of his own, prepared to mislead souls, to draw the mind to human beings and their sayings, and prevent it from holding firmly to a “Thus saith the Lord.” In God’s dealings with His people, all is quiet; with those who trust in Him, all is calm and unpretending. There will be simple, true, earnest believers in the Bible, and there will be doers of the Word as well as hearers. There will be sound, earnest, sensible waiting upon God.–Letter 102, 1894.  {2SM 22.1}

Note: Bible texts are from the King James Version of the Bible, most  (almost all) emphasis mine. This post was not intended to disprove nor to downplay righteousness by faith, but as an explanation on the state of the dead and that our focus must be on the living. This post is not for the purpose of putting down the author of the study which contained the dangerous and unBiblical idea, but to reveal the truth and warn those who might be deceived by anyone claiming this (or any) false ideas. Be careful to compare anything and everything with Scripture. Featured picture is from Visual Bible Alive, copyrighted to V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers (neither are affiliated with Give me Him.

The Truth and Living Water

The fourth chapter of John—one of the key passages for the Sabbath school lesson of August 15-21, 2015—contains the story of Jesus’s testimony to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Jesus sat at the well while His disciples went into the city to buy food. Around noon, when the sun was high in the sky and the heat must have been intense, the woman came out to draw water, and Jesus asked her for a drink. She asked how he—being a Jew—would ask her— Samaritan woman—for a drink, since Jews and Samaritans had little to do with each other (obviously they did not have nothing to do with each other, or the disciples wouldn’t have gone into their city to buy anything).

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