Thursday, April 03, 2008

These new lessons are rich in Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy worthy of prayer and study throughout this new Spring Quarter.

Make a choice at the beginning as you open the Lesson Book that you will respond to the wooing of the Holy Spirit when He appeals to you to read the Word that is the heart of the Lessons themselves.

The Bible is the Book that the Lord intends we shall not only read faithfully, but mark it in ways that the accompanying Holy Spirit may indicate to us, so that your Bible becomes a personal book to you, reminding you of precious moments you have enjoyed alone with Jesus. From time to time you will find statements that you can clip and paste in the blank pages at the back of your Bible.

Thus your personal Bible will be one like nobody else’s—it will be a part of you. The Word will become “flesh” in you—a miracle related to what John 1:14 describes, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten [Son] of the Father)”!

Here’s the Lord’s faithful promise that can never fail of being fulfilled: “Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you. I will make known My words unto you” (Prov. 1:23).

At the beginning we want to remember that we are living in the “time of the end” of Daniel 12:4, when the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 24 is being fulfilled all around us: “There shall arise false Christs, ... and shall show great signs and wonders” (vs. 24). All that professes to be “Jesus” is not necessarily the Jesus of the Bible.

For example, there is the “Jesus” worshipped by nearly a billion, who was born of a “Virgin Mary” the Bible knows nothing of, through the popular dogma of “the Immaculate Conception.” This man-made dogma declares that when she was an embryo in the womb of her mother, she was miraculously “exempt” from inheriting the same common human nature that all other fellow human beings possess—inherited from the fallen Adam. Thus she was separated from us.

That man-made “dogma” declares that since Mary herself did not partake of our common humanity, therefore her Son (Jesus) likewise was not a true human as we all are. He could not have been tempted “like as we” are. Thus He is a stranger to us; He belongs in our stained glass Cathedral windows.

“What’s the difference?” someone may ask.

If the Roman Catholic dogma is true, there is no way that God can have a people in the last days who will be ready to meet Jesus at His second coming; for if Jesus never “overcame” as they must, they too will not “overcome” and the plan of salvation will fail in its latest hour.

But Revelation 14 tells us that “144,000” will follow Christ, “the Lamb,” wherever He goes; in their mouth will be “no guile” for they will be “without fault before the throne of God” (vss. 1-5; literal or symbolic number is not the issue now). This accomplishment will be through the faith of Jesus, the true Christ of the Bible.

Welcome to a new series of 13 Bible lessons about Him!

Robert J. Wieland


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