Saturday, December 19, 2009

"The Second Generation: Admonitions"

"The Second Generation: Admonitions"

Sabbath Afternoon: The questions posed in the last paragraph are especially appropriate for those of us who attempt to study the "most precious [1888] message." We recognize that some of our forefathers made some bad mistakes. Are we ready to "take up the mantle" now given to us? Are we ready to cross over Jordan and posses the Promised Land?

Sunday: The land (wealth) was generously provided by God and fairly divided among the families. The lesson for me is: Am I sharing the wealth God has so generously provided for me? Am I witnessing the gospel I have been privileged to receive?

The principle of gender equality is significant in the world's culture of that time. The fact that it was established as a statute speaks to our day. We especially as a people claim to be Abraham's true descendants. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:26-29).

The 1888 message certainly promotes true liberty in all areas.

Monday: The gospel principle of biblical solidarity is brought to light in this section. "And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him" (Heb. 7:9, 10; see also Gen. 17:8). "And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25:23; see also Rom. 9:10-12).

A number of nations were poised on the eastern side of the Jordan River. Abraham's descendants through Ishmael, Isaac, and Keturah were there as well as the descendants of Jacob, Esau, and Lot. We can see the all-inclusive nature of the gospel invitation. Any of these nations could have acknowledged the God of Abraham and joined with Israel in inheriting the Promised Land.

Tuesday: "The Sacrificial System Reaffirmed" the extreme high cost of our salvation in the shed blood of Jesus and its eternal efficacy. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God" (Rom. 5:1). God, through His Son loved us, died for us, and reconciled us when we were without strength, ungodly, sinners, and His enemies.

Romans 5 also tells us that through Jesus Christ we have received the gift of grace. In addition, we have received the free gift of justification. But it does not stop there. It goes on to say: when we receive the "abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, [we] shall reign [with] in Jesus Christ." Verse 18 emphasizes the universality of God's love by saying: "by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."

As a bonus, verse 19 assures us that we will experience the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Wednesday: This section opens the door to a discussion of the core gospel teaching of God's Everlasting Covenant or Promise. It also brings along a teaching of the "Old Covenant." I want to share an Ellen White quotation here just in case some have not seen it. "Night before last I was shown that evidences in regard to the covenants were clear and convincing. Yourself, Brother Dan Jones, Brother Porter, and others are spending your investigative powers for naught to produce a position on the covenants to vary from the position that Brother [E. J.] Waggoner has presented. …You have turned from plain light because you were afraid that the law question in Galatians would have to be accepted" (Letter 59, to Uriah Smith, March 8, 1890; The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 604).

Space limitations will not allow a detailed study of the Covenant Question here in this Insight. There has been a lot of material written by highly qualified writers. I recommend you to those sources. It is my opinion that one must start their study by investigating what E. J. Waggoner has written, and then go on from there.

I will remind you of this: God's Everlasting Covenant is His Promise. His word will come to pass because it has creative power in it. The Old Covenant is based on man's word or promise. Keep this in mind and don't make promises you know you cannot keep. If you make a mistake, go on your knees and God will forgive you just like He did the people in our lesson study.

Thursday: Perhaps there is a lesson for those who feel they know and have accepted that "most precious message" given in 1888. We have an obligation to go to the forefront of the "battle" to spread the gospel to the world.

Friday: Again this speaks to the heart of the controversy surrounding the 1888 message in the 21st century. We must not forget our history because we are repeating it. In addition there is a concerted effort to re-write our history by (so called) historians.

May God bless each of us as we stand on the border of the "Promised Land!"

--J. B. Jablonski