Lesson 8 – Connection with Heaven and God’s Church

////Lesson 8 – Connection with Heaven and God’s Church
Lesson 8 – Connection with Heaven and God’s Church2016-11-27T17:37:03+00:00

Sabbath, August 25, 2007

“Shall we accept the help needed? Shall we enter the blood-stained path that our Saviour trod? Heaven has been opened before us. Christ has been ac­cepted by the Father, and if we will comply we can be accepted also. The plan of salvation has been laid for the human race and they need not be discouraged. Help has been laid on one that is mighty to save.” –Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, p. 109.

Becoming Members Of God’s Church

1. Through what particular channel does the Lord reveal His will to humanity?
1 Timothy 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

“The church of Christ, every individual disciple of the Master, is heav­en’s appointed channel for the revelation of God to men.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p 40.

“I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organized body through whom He will work.” –Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 17.

“The Redeemer of the world does not sanction the experience and exercise in religious matters independent of His organized and acknowledged church, where He has a church.

“Many have the idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and their experience independent of Christ’s acknowledged body in the world. But this is condemned by Jesus Christ in His teachings and in the examples of facts given to us for our instruction.” –Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, p. 130.

2. How is it possible for a repentant sinner to become a part of this visible channel of light?
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Acts 2:41, 47 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls… Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

“By hearing the message of truth, men and women are led to accept the Sabbath and to unite with the church by baptism.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 196.

“Very close and sacred is the relation between Christ and His church–He the bridegroom, and the church the bride; He the head, and the church the body. Connection with Christ, then, involves connection with His church.” –Education, p. 268.

Born Of The Spirit

3. Why and how does Satan attempt to discourage people from passing through the doorway of baptism into the church?
2 Corinthians 4:3, 4  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
John 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.

“It is his

[Satan’s] studied effort to lead professed Christians just as far from heaven’s arrangement as he can; therefore he deceives even the pro­fessed people of God and makes them believe that order and discipline are enemies to spirituality; that the only safety for them is to let each pursue his own course, and to remain especially distinct from bodies of Christians who are united and are laboring to establish discipline and harmony of action. All the efforts made to establish this are considered dangerous, a restriction of rightful liberty, and hence are feared as popery. These de­ceived souls consider it a virtue to boast of their freedom to think and act independently. They will not take any man’s say so. They are amenable to no man. It was and now is Satan’s special work to lead men to feel that it is God’s order to strike out for themselves and choose their own order independent of their brethren.” –Evangelism, p. 318.

4. Does baptism assure one of salvation?
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

“It is the grace of Christ that gives life to the soul. Apart from Christ, baptism, like any other service, is a worthless form. ‘He that believeth not the Son shall not see life.’ ” –The Desire of Ages, p. 181.

“Salvation is not to be baptized, not to have our names upon the church books, not to preach the truth. But it is a living union with Jesus Christ to be renewed in heart, doing the works of Christ in faith and labor of love, in patience, meekness, and hope. Every soul united to Christ will be a living missionary to all around him.” –Evangelism, p. 319.

Dealing With Problems In The Church

5. When a newly baptized member enters the family of God, what can he often see within the body of believers?
Ephesians 4:25-32
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

“Some people seem to think that upon entering the church they will have their expectations fulfilled, and meet only with those who are pure and perfect. They are zealous in their faith, and when they see faults in church members, they say, ‘We left the world in order to have no associa­tion with evil characters, but the evil is here also;’ and they ask, as did the servants in the parable, ‘From whence then hath it tares?’ But we need not be thus disappointed, for the Lord has not warranted us in coming to the conclusion that the church is perfect…

“Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world that is polluted and demoralized by sin. The church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counseled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows His supreme regard.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 47, 49.

6. Although the remnant church is enfeebled and defective, how can believers rise above the problems and be in con­stant contact with Heaven?
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

“Christ connects man in his weakness and helplessness with the source of infinite power.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 184.

“No man, woman, or youth can attain to Christian perfection and ne­glect the study of the word of God. By carefully and closely searching His word we shall obey the injunction of Christ, ‘Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.’ This search enables the student to observe closely the divine Model, for they testify of Christ. The Pattern must be inspected often and closely in order to imitate it. As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself defects of character; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees he cannot be a follower without a very great change in his life. Still he studies, with a desire to be like his great Exem­plar; he catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master; by beholding he becomes changed. ‘Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.’…” –Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 17.

The Connection Between Heaven And Earth

7. What beautiful picture presents to the world Jesus, the Sav­iour?
Genesis 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
John 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

“Christ is the ladder….

“The ladder is the medium of communication between God and man. Through the mystic ladder the gospel was preached to Jacob. As the ladder stretched from earth, reaching to the highest heavens, and the glory of God was seen above the ladder, so Christ in His divine nature reached immen­sity and was one with the Father. As the ladder, though its top penetrated into heaven, had its base upon the earth, so Christ, though God, clothed His divinity with humanity and was in the world ‘found in fashion as a man’. (Philippians 2:8). The ladder would be useless if it rested not on the earth or if it reached not to the heavens.” –Our High Calling, p. 66.

8. What happens when the Christian fully relies on the “Lad­der” to connect him or her to heaven?
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 677.

Conclusion

“There is but one church in the world who are at the present time standing in the breach, and making up the hedge, building up the old waste places; and for any man to call the attention of the world and other churches to this church, denouncing her as Babylon, is to do a work in harmony with him who is the ac­cuser of the brethren.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 50.

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