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

A Word version is also available here. (more…)

Wholehearted Christians

By John Thiel, mp3

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

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

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

Your Participation in the Personal Sealing Work

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture reading: Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

This is a very personal message; it is not just a general subject, it is me and you. It is something that we need to understand so that in what we have studied in reference to the twelve tribes we may not only see ourselves in those tribes, but that we might actually engage in the purification exercises that are required to be among the 144,000, rather than just know about them. We need to be engaged in the sealing work. As we read in Revelation 7, these 144,000 come out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. We want to really understand this as we are to participate in this purification. Washing our robes in the blood of the Lamb, what does this really mean in practice? Read the rest of this entry

13. The Sealing of the 144,000 – Overview

By John Thiel, The Characteristics of the Twelve Tribes of the 144,000 Conference, study 13, mp3

The sealing of the 144,000 tribe by tribe has been our meditation and our study for many hours. We have appreciated that ever since the work of the third angel who was the sealing angel, after 1844-1848, the sealing of the 144,000 has been taking place. And here we are today, my generation is the fourth generation from that time; and even at that time there were other generations that were part of that scene; so that makes it even five generations ago. The sealing of the 144,000 has been going on for that long. And like the twelve sons of Jacob, the people ever since 1848 were given a lifetime to perfect their characters so that they could be sealed among the 144,000. As we studied the sons of Jacob, we saw that they came to a position where they were so totally humbled, and their characters were so totally winnowed through the experiences, that they came even to the point of the death of their father, after all that had taken place in Egypt with Joseph, and you can see their utter humiliation and dependence on the mercy of God here expressed: Read the rest of this entry

12. The Tribe of Benjamin

By John Thiel, The Characteristics of the Twelve Tribes of the 144,000 Conference, study 12, mp3

Scripture reading: Deuteronomy 33:12 [And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

To be among the 144,000 does not mean perfection at first. The perfection that they are described as having is the end-result of a purification process after which they are declared as perfect and sinless. Read the rest of this entry

11. The Tribe of Joseph

By John Thiel, The Characteristics of the Twelve Tribes of the 144,000 Conference, study 11, mp3

Scripture reading: Psalm 105:16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread. 17 He sent a man before them, [even] Joseph, [who] was sold for a servant: 18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: 19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. 

We are exploring the precious lessons that are taught in reference to the children of Jacob, as they pertain to the sealing of the 144,000. As we have seen, of those tribes of the 144,000, Dan and Ephraim are missing. We now understand why. In this study we are now looking at those words:

Revelation 7:8 … Of the tribe of Joseph [were] sealed twelve thousand. Read the rest of this entry

10. The Tribe of Zebulon

By John Thiel, The Characteristics of the Twelve Tribes of the 144,000 Conference, study 10, mp3

Genesis 30:19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. 20 And Leah said, God hath endued me [with] a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.

What kind of effect was upon Zebulon as he was born to this family feud conflict? Rachel was Jacob’s favourite wife, and obviously he must have spent more time with her than with Leah. It was Rachel who gave to Leah the right to sleep with her husband as a trade-off, as we saw in the story of Issachar. Then Leah again conceived and bare Jacob the sixth son, and she now thought, Surely Jacob will dwell with me. Obviously he mustn’t have been dwelling with her very much. They were in different tents, and he was there for Leah, but he was there for Rachel more than for Leah; but now that she had given birth to this son, she said, Surely he will now dwell with me. Read the rest of this entry

9. The Tribe of Issachar

By John Thiel, The Characteristics of the Twelve Tribes of the 144,000 Conference, study 9, mp3

Among the many negative influences because of the dysfunctional circumstances of the family of Jacob, with those multiple mothers and the conflict that was being generated because of envy and the yearning for the love of their husband, we see such a vast display of things that are so contrary to God’s ways. It is just unbelievable. These men of God, like Jacob, demonstrate at first something that doesn’t make much sense, but as we keep on reading we can see how much it actually applies to the issues of life in our own experiences. Read the rest of this entry

8. The Tribe of Levi

By John Thiel, The Characteristics of the Twelve Tribes of the 144,000 Conference, study 8, mp3

We are learning that the 144,000 are without sin, without fault, and undefiled. This is how they are described in Revelation. They are like that, not because they started like that, not because they were always like that, but in that they were purified out of horrifying corruptions. This is vividly revealed in the tribe of Levi. And phenomenally this purification in reference to the tribe of Levi is expressed in the book of Malachi:

Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit [as] a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.  Read the rest of this entry