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by Ellet J Waggoner

(First published in “The Signs of the Times”,  May 19, 1887)

This petition cannot well be considered apart from that which immediately follows it: “but deliver us from evil.” Both together form a fitting climax to this wonderful prayer, for they indicate, if used understandingly, the soul’s desire for purity of heart.
There are two senses in which the word tempted is used in the Bible. The apostle says: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” James 1:2. Again he says: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Verse 14. Now it is evident that the apostle would not exhort men to count it a joyful thing to be drawn away of their own lust, and enticed into sin; therefore the temptation of the second verse is different from that of the fourteenth.

The temptation of the second verse is that which is successfully met, and which leaves the individual stronger than ever. It is the trying of faith. In Eph. 6:16 we learn that faith is the shield by which the darts of the wicked may be quenched. The office of a shield is to protect the person. If a missle is received upon the shield, the person at whom it was aimed receives no injury; he does not feel it. The temptations, then, which work patience, and which strengthen, are those which meet with no response in our own hearts, but which are instantly repelled.

The other temptations are those which are entertained in the heart. The sin presents itself, and the mind goes out towards it, and longs for it. It may be that the overt act is never committed, but since “the thought of foolishness is sin” (Prov. 24:9), the one who only in imagination does the sinful act is in the sight of God accounted guilty. Such temptations as those are natural to every human being, “for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts.”

The petition “lead us not into temptation,” must be understood as meaning, “suffer us not to fall into temptation;” and it must also be understood as referring to the second class of temptations,—those which proceed from within. The reason is (1) that we are not to ask freedom from trials, but rather to count them a blessing, and (2) that God cannot and does not lead people into sin. The prayer, then, is “suffer us not to fall into foolish and hurtful lust, but deliver us (keep us back) from evil.”

This cannot mean that God will not allow a man to act out the evil that is in him, for that would be impossible; if evil is in the heart, it must show itself, and we are expressly told that at one time God left a man to do what his heart prompted him to do. The man was Hezekiah. After he had been healed, the Babylonian ambassadors came to congratulate, and he showed them all the treasures of his kingdom. 2 Kings 20:12, 13. This action was prompted by pride. 2 Chron. 32:24, 25. The historian, speaking of this, says: “Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.” 2 Chron. 32:31. We must therefore conclude that the petition “lead us not into temptation” does not mean that God is to interpose his mighty power to miraculously preserve us from the wickedness that is in our own hearts.

There can be, then, but one conclusion, and that is that the prayer implies a renunciation and hatred of sin, and a desire to have the heart cleansed from it, and to be strengthened against allowing it to pass the shield of faith, and gain access to the heart. This is the only way that temptations can be instantly repelled, since, as we have read, evil thoughts are natural to the human heart.
It was to effect this that Christ came into the earth. It is not enough that we be freed from the guilt of sin,—from past transgressions,—but we must be freed from the love of sin. Paul says that Christ “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” Gal. 1:1. This “present evil world” does not mean the physical creation, but “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” 1 John 2:16. Again we read that he “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14.

This is what God wants to do for us; it is what we are to ask him to do for us, for he will not do it against our will. What is there to hinder his doing it? Nothing, if we offer the prayer in all sincerity, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We cannot cleanse ourselves from the defilement of sin, however much we may desire to be freed from it (Prov. 20:9); but if we do earnestly desire to be kept from sin, God will work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil 2:13), and that will be to make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is good. Heb. 13:21.

But while this is in one sense a passive state, in that it is an entire yielding of self to God, it is by no means a state of inactivity. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” Luke 13:24. There is to be a constant watchfulness against the insidious assaults of the enemy. A reaching out after God implies a drawing away from sin.

This part of the Lord’s prayer cannot be uttered from the heart, except of him who with the psalmist can say, “I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love.” And this cannot be done until the individual realizes that fellowship with God is the only thing to be desired,-that the loving-kindness of God is better than life. Every man in the world will have just what he wants. If he loves the pleasures of sin, he will be left to its lusting enjoyment; but if his heart and his soul cry out after God, the promise is that he shall be filled. W.

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The days of the voice of the 7th angel of revelation are upon us. Revelation 10:7 says that when he “begins to sound”, the Mystery of God “should be be finished”! What is this mystery? When will it be finished? Find out as Paul Chapman presents, “Finishing The Mystery of God”. Genre: Christian. Presented 13 July, 2013 in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Download: Finishing The Mystery of God by Paul Chapman (mp3 audio)

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Lets Go to Passover

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The Truth about Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. Why is He Coming, what happens when He comes, and why the Rapture is not what you think it is. Presented 25 February, 2012, Brisbane, Australia.

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My Beloved Son: Another Look at the Godhead – The Darling Son of God. This presentation looks at the Biblical use of “agapetos” (Beloved, Darling) and its connection with “monogenes” (Only Begotten), demonstrating that “only begotten” means more than you think. Presented by Paul Chapman, February 19, 2011.

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BIBLE STUDY: Prepared by Paul Chapman

1. What invitation does Jesus give to all?

Matt 11:28

(KJV) Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

2. Who came to Jesus at night with an important question on his mind?

John 3:1

(KJV) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3. According to Jesus, what must a person be before they can see the kingdom of heaven?

John 3:3

(KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. {again: or, from above}

4. How did Jesus explain this truth further to Nicodemus?

John 3:4

(KJV) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 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. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

5. The term “flesh”, figuratively speaking, denotes human nature or the natural heart. What is the condition of the natural heart, apart from divine influence, and What did Jesus mean in His words to Nicodemus?

Jere 17:9

(KJV) The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?

“Jesus continued: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” By nature the heart is evil, and “who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Rom. 8:7; Matt. 15:19. The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.” Desire of Ages, 172.

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of beaviour, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.

“The Saviour said, “Except a man be born from above,” unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.”John 3:3, margin.” Steps to Christ, 18.

 

John 1:14

(KJV) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

6. What is the great object of the gospel message?

Acts 3:25

(KJV) Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 

7. How would we be turned from our iniquities?

Ezek 36:26

(KJV) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]

Ezek 14:3-5

Psal 51:10

(KJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. {right: or, constant}

 

8. How did God create the worlds?

Gene 1:1

(KJV) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Note: “God”, “the Spirit of God”, and “God said”

God spoke and the Spirit moved. Compare:

Psalm 33:6

(KJV) By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

 

9. Who is the Word of God?

John 1:1

(KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14

(KJV) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

10. What parallel is there between the creation of our world and the spiritual re-creation of our souls in God’s image?

2Cor 4:6

(KJV) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. {hath: Gr. is he who hath} (compare Gen 1:3.)

God speaks to us through His written word and the Spirit moves upon our hearts.

 

11. By what are we born again?

1Pet 1:23

(KJV) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Born of the Spirit by the Word.

James 1:18

John 16:13

 

12. How can these things be?

John 3:7

(KJV) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. {again: or, from above} 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

“The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leKJVes and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God,–a patient, protracted process.” Desire of Ages, 172.

 

13. What theme does God use to draw souls to Him?

John 12:32

(KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.

John 3:14

(KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but hKJVe eternal life.

 

14. What did John the Baptist command his hearers to behold?

John 1:29

(KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. {taketh away: or, beareth}

 

15. As we behold, what takes place?

2Cor 3:18

(KJV) 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. {by the…: or, of the Lord the Spirit}

“As the sinner, drawn by the power of Christ, approaches the uplifted cross, and prostrates himself before it, there is a new creation. A new heart is given him. He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. Holiness finds that it has nothing more to require. God Himself is “the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”Rom. 3:26. And “whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Rom. 8:30. ” Christ Object Lessons, 163.

 

16. When we experience such a change in our life in what alone will we glory?

Gala 6:14

(KJV) But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. {by whom: or, whereby}

 

17. When will we find the Lord as our Saviour?

Jere 29:13

(KJV) And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 

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“Only Begotten Son”.  What does this mean?  Much confusion is created with this expression in Seventh-day Adventist circles.  Some say it is only a title, others that it refers to the human nature of Christ, others say it refers to the divine nature of Christ–that He was literally begotten of the Father in eternity past.  So what is the answer?  Sermon presented by Paul Chapman, 5th February, 2011, Sunshine Coast, Australia.

PS. At times you will hear a high frequency buzz from an unknown external source interfering with the PA system. Please accept my apologies in advance for the audio quality.

 

 

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