Sabbath School Lessons 2018 (First Half) – The Conflict Within

Click here for a printable copy of our Sabbath School Lesson for the first half of 2018:

ssl 2018 first half – the conflict within

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Easy to Be Entreated

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Jesus said:

John 17:3 …this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

The Knowledge of God

It is the quest of each one of us to have eternal life. And the words of Jesus give us direction. He says, If you want eternal life, this is life eternal – to know God, and to know Jesus Christ whom He has sent. To know Him. We want now to get to know Him more closely than we have known Him so far, that thus each one of us may come nearer to eternal life; because we want eternal life, and it is found only in the knowledge of God. How much do we know of Him, how much more do we need to know, and how much closer do we need to come to eternal life? The knowledge of God can be found through the revelation of Him in His word. God is here identified: Read the rest of this entry

The Shepherd of the Flock

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.

According to the Scriptures, Jesus is the Shepherd of the everlasting covenant. And the qualities of this shepherd touch us, because He cares for His flock. We are His sheep and have all gone astray; we have turned everyone to our own way. But as our Shepherd He reaches out for the sheep that has gone astray, and He does not treat it in a harsh manner because it has gone astray. He takes it into His bosom, and comforts it, and carries it home. We want to continue this meditation on the Shepherd of the flock.

He will behave toward us like a shepherd dealing with those who have been bruised and scattered, as we see in Isaiah 40:11. The picture of the flock that has gone into disarray and has been scattered is clearly dealt with in the book of Ezekiel. Because the sheep have been scattered across the hills, He has to step in as a faithful shepherd to bring them all together. Read the rest of this entry

The Shepherd of the Everlasting Covenant

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Wandering Sheep

God has likened His people to sheep. Do you like the idea that you and I are sheep? What do we know of sheep? They need to be fenced in, or they need a shepherd, someone that they can follow. The quality of a sheep is that it will follow the shepherd. We are living today in a time when sheep are fenced and sheep are driven by dogs and motorbikes and such like, and the sheep are jostled and pushed about. Or you see them in the big trucks with the legs sticking out, all uncomfortable. The lesson to be learned from sheep is very difficult to pick up today, because we don’t see them with shepherds. But Jesus was giving a story of a shepherd with his sheep as an object lesson for us. Read the rest of this entry

How Readest Thou?

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

How difficult it is today in the time in which we live to find assurance from the Bible. We are surrounded by an atmosphere of Bible interpretation instead of Bible reading. In this message we want to deal with the subject of how we read the Bible. Jesus had that problem in His day as well. When confronted by the theologians of His day, the priests of the very church regarding which He had said, Salvation is of the Jews; those priests of the Jews came to Him with all kinds of different questions, and it is phenomenal to learn from Him how to deal with all the questions of today. Read the rest of this entry

How to Enter into Peace

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

We know that there is a region of peace, but how to enter it is a subject that should capture our attention. We live today in the last days of this earth’s history and these are the conditions that surround us:

Hearts Failing

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Read the rest of this entry

God’s Dealing with the Divorced

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what [this] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

A Foundation Already Laid

Our purpose as a people is to stand true to the truths once unfolded to the Advent people. What we want to stand by and uphold is contained in the following words:

The enemy is seeking to divert the minds of our brethren and sisters from the work of preparing a people to stand in these last days. His sophistries are designed to lead minds away from the perils and duties of the hour. They estimate as nothing the light that Christ came from heaven to give to John for His people. They teach that the scenes just before us are not of sufficient importance to receive special attention. They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin and rob the people of God of their past experience, giving them instead a false science. {8T 296.2} Read the rest of this entry

I Change Not

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Malachi 3:6 For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

We want to explore and meditate and contemplate the consequences of our commitment and our relationship with God, and the condition with which we are surrounded at this present time that prompt our great need to respond to Him.

We live today in a time of religious insecurity. There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. There is a variety of different Christian teachings around us, virgins without number. And when God says, My dove, my undefiled is but one; it is a difficulty thing in today’s atmosphere to really get our minds absolutely clear. There are churches that surround us, authorities that are claiming to be God’s people and that are making people feel responsible to submit to their doctrines. Even in our relationship with individuals around us we have insecurity. People are changing, changing for the worse all around us. What was once a law has been changed today into a different law. There is a critical research at this moment in regards to the law on same sex marriages. There used to be a firm decision in the past on this subject; but today they are changing. This is just an extreme case, but there are so many areas of our life that have been placed into a state on insecurity because people and situations change; and we need a security, something that doesn’t change, something that gives us an assurance that if I am going to cling to that, it is not going to leave me high and dry, but will sustain me for my intelligent mind that has been given to me of God, to be able to rest itself and know that this is a firm platform, that this is secure, and I am not in a state of flux anymore. Read the rest of this entry

Wholehearted Christians

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it [unto] the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

What does it mean to be wholehearted Christians? We want to contemplate the position we hold as Christians, as Seventh-day Adventists, and what it involves for such people to be wholehearted. While we were away, during one weekend we were at a relative’s place, and we spent time with her. She attends a church in New South Wales which is known as a conservative Seventh-day Adventist church. We went there, and yes, we did find it conservative; not so mind-blowing to the system; and there was a preacher there who presented the subject of wholeheartedness. And as I was listening to it, my heart was touched; but at the same time it left me with a sense of generalisation of wholeheartedness. So I desired to search into it more deeply and really appreciate what wholehearted Seventh-day Adventism is all about. And of course, it leaves me with no alternative but to share with you how the Lord touched my heart in the research of this. Read the rest of this entry

Comfort in the Storm

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Isaiah 51:12 I, [even] I, [am] he that comforteth you: who [art] thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man [that] shall die, and of the son of man [which] shall be made [as] grass;

Jesus has said, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Many different thoughts come into play in these words, and the one we would like to examine is in reference to the perplexities and heartaches and negatives that are falling upon this planet in these last days, and which include us too; because we are living on Satan’s enchanted ground, and God is warning us as to what to expect and He is not stopping the negatives from happening to us, but He is providing us with strength to meet them, a comfort. The Lord Jesus must be with me; He must be my rock so that I can battle through those negatives that come our way. Read the rest of this entry

Salvation Unto Obedience

By John Thiel, mp3, pdf

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:1 Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart. 3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

Jesus says, Come to Me, and I will give you rest. Week by week we gather together to drink from the fountain the water of life. This is the invitation of the Bible to us. This is why we gather, so that we might not only drink at home, but drink from where the Lord has said we should be – we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We are to drink of His word together, and He will be there to bless in His presence with us. Read the rest of this entry

God’s Church the Place to Change

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

You must be born again – these are the words which Jesus expressed to a leader in the Jewish church at that time. This man was a worshipper of the true God; he had been established in the faith of the Jewish church, concerning which Jesus Himself said to the woman at Samaria, Salvation is of the Jews. He had a personality and a character that had been established over years; he was brought up in the Jewish faith. And Jesus came to him and he found it very difficult to understand at first, but finally it dawned upon him. Jesus was actually trying to tell him something. What was He trying to tell him by saying, You must be born again? The way you are at this present time, you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven. This is what He was saying. You must change; you must start all over again. You must be born afresh. Start from scratch, start from the very beginning of a little baby being born Read the rest of this entry

What Is Righteousness By Faith?

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: Hebrews 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We want to consider an experience, and it is to be researched not merely as a subject of theory, but as something in which our experience is brought into focus. This experience is described in the words of Apostle Paul:

Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Read the rest of this entry

Where is God’s Church Today?

By John Thiel, mp3

What is the position we find ourselves in in the religious world today? Here is the story of the predicament that we are in in these times:

Song of Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

In the Bible a woman is a symbol of the church. We read here that there are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number. In this bewildering circumstance of multiple churches, all of them claiming to be the Christian church of God, claiming to be the followers of Jesus but all having contradictory positions on different subjects, if we are going to be the sheep that follow Jesus the Shepherd, with all the folds that present themselves we find a bewilderment. Where is it? Read the rest of this entry

Can We Come To Know Ourselves?

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: Daniel 11:35 And [some] of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make [them] white, [even] to the time of the end: because [it is] yet for a time appointed.

The message to God’s people in this last period of Laodicea is a message that needs to be heeded like the message that Jonah gave to the king and people of Nineveh. There was a message to them telling them that God would do something, and they repented with all their hearts. And as a consequence, that which God was going to do against Nineveh was postponed because of their confession and admittance of their sin. In principle the message to Laodicea is exactly the same. Jesus is here speaking to the angel of the church, the ministers: Read the rest of this entry

God Supplies What He Requires

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: Micah 6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

God requires something of us. He calls us to be the people who understand the word of God, who study it carefully so that we can give an answer for our faith in meekness, patience, and kindness; not with a debating spirit. These are huge challenges, because it is so natural for us to become judgmental over people who don’t understand as we do; and we forget many times that we have had a long period of time of preparation ourselves and that these people haven’t had it like that; so we become impatient with them because they don’t seem to get it.

God requires of us to do justly, and to love mercy. Don’t we have to exercise mercy toward people? He requires of us to be merciful, and to walk humbly with our God, so that, as we walk with Him, we don’t look back, like Peter did when he was walking on the water towards Christ. He looked back to his fellow disciples, saying in a way, Look, I’m walking on the water; and when he looked back he went down. It is only as we humbly look to Jesus that we can walk. Read the rest of this entry