The Art of Living

Today there are 100s of gurus teaching human philosophies and wisdom as art of living. I have even read lot of them. The last such author whom I read is Robin Sharma. I have all his books in my library.

But there is one book which I read and found to be divinely inspired and superior to all the other books is Help in Daily Living by Ellen White inspired by the Spirit of God.

If you really want to learn The Art and science of Living I recommend this book.

Few of my favourite quotes from this book

Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet. HDL 21.

Man can shape circumstances, but circumstances should not be allowed to shape the man. We should seize upon circumstances as instruments by which to work. We are to master them, but should not permit them to master us. HDL 45.

The faithful discharge of today’s duties is the best preparation for tomorrow’s trials. Do not gather together all tomorrow’s liabilities and cares and add them to the burden of today. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34. HDL 21.

Often our plans fail that God’s plans for us may succeed. HDL 12.

often He who understands us better than we understand ourselves refuses to permit us selfishly to seek the gratification of our own ambition. HDL 12

The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian. HDL 8

Christ in His life on earth made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will. As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps. HDL 18

God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co – workers with Him. HDL 19.

Godhead study 7: Holy Ghost – a person or power

The identity of Holy Ghost is challenged by the non trinitarians claiming that He is force or presence of God.

There are lot of unambiguous evidence in scriptures which proves that Holy Spirit is a person very much as the Father and Son.

Three strongest statements on the belief of three person Godhead are below:

Go ye therefore, and teach j all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost Mat 28:19

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion i of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 2 Cor 13:14

For there are three that bear record b in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:7 (some Bible translations from corrupted manuscripts do not have it. These manuscripts are rejected by early church as corrupted)

Some other verses which are very much unambiguous in proving the person of Holy Ghost.

Evidence 1:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13,14 (Emphasis by me)

Holy Spirit….

a) doesn’t speak of Himself
b) Hears
c) speaks
d) glorify another person
e) receives from someone

These qualities show that Holy Ghost is a person not power or presence.

Evidence 2:

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:8

He reproves the world

Evidence 3

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30

He can be grieved

Evidence 4

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, d that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16

He is another comforter like Jesus. The Greek word used for ‘another’ means another being of same kind or species.

Evidence 5

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Rom 8:26

He intercedes on behalf of humans. A power or presence cannot speak on behalf of somebody.

Evidence 6

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Acts 5:3

He can be lied to. Can you lie to a power or presence.

Evidence 7

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing h to every man severally as he will. 1 Cor 12:11

Holy Spirit has His own will.

Evidence 8

He directs and instructs men

Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. Acts 8:29

While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Acts 10:19

Godhead study 6: Jesus the Almighty God

Key text: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Rev 1:8

Christ is the Lord who was, who is and who is going to come; Christ is talking here not the Father as watch tower society teaches.

Jesus and His Omnipresence:

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. John 1: 45-49

Jesus could see Nathaniel even though He was physically present somewhere else in His body.

Please note: Christ during His incarnation limited His Almighty nature and used it only at the will of His Father.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Mat 18:20

Jesus can be present everywhere and hence He promises to be present when people gather in His name.

Jesus and His Omniscience:

But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:24, 25

Bible says Jesus knows everything.

And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, Luke 9:47 (marginal)

Jesus and His Omnipotence:

…and by him all things consist. Col 1: 17 (marginal)

.. upholding all things by the word of his power.. Heb 1:3 (marginal)

Bible says everything in the universe functions by the power of Christ.

Ellen White on Cricket and Football

Who invented sports and games?

Satan has devised a multitude of ways in which to keep men from serving God. He has invented sports and games. R&H SEP 10, 1901

Why Ellen White did not want students to see cricket?

And while men were playing the game of cricket, and others were watching the game, Satan was playing the game of life for their souls. Therefore we decided to locate our school where the students would not see cricket matches or horse races. We are just where God wants us to be, and many conversions have taken place in this school. AUCR July 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 19

What happens when we watch cricket or football?

On one occasion a view of these things was presented before me. The students were playing games of tennis and cricket matches. Then I saw an expression of the character of those amusements. It was presented to me as a species of idolatry, like the idols of the nations. The were more than visible spectators on the ground; Satan and his angels were at work on human minds, making his impressions. Ms 32, 1900

What makes Satan delighted?

The public feeling is that manual labor is degrading, yet men may exert themselves as much as they choose at cricket, baseball, or in pugilistic contests, without being regarded as degraded. Satan is delighted when he sees human beings using their physical and mental powers in that which does not educate, which is not useful, which does not help them to be a blessing to those who need their help. While the youth are becoming expert in games that are of no real value to themselves or to others, Satan is playing the game of life for their souls, taking from them the talents that God has given them, and placing in their stead his own evil attributes. It is his effort to lead men to ignore God. CT 274

To what satan uses his power to gain his object?

How much time is spent by intelligent human beings in horse racing, cricket matches, and ball playing! But will indulgence in these sports give men a desire to know truth and righteousness? Will it keep God in their thoughts? Will it lead them to inquire, How is it with my soul? All the powers of Satan are set in operation to hold the attention to frivolous amusements, and he is gaining his object. He is interposing his devisings between God and the soul. Ms96-1899.17

What is the characteristics of these games?

Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling. AH 500.

What is the example of Christ?

I cannot find an instance in the life of Christ where he devoted time to play and amusement. He was the great Educator for the present and the future life. I have not been able to find one instance where he educated his disciples to engage in amusement of football or pugilistic games, to obtain physical exercise, or in theatrical performances; and yet Christ was our pattern in all things. SpTed 191

Other quotes on this subject:

What force of powers is put into your games of football and your other inventions after the way of the Gentiles – exercises which bless no one! Just put the same powers into exercise in doing useful labor, and would not your record be more pleasing to meet in the great day of God? FE 229

At the horse races and football matches, which are attended by thousands and thousands of people, lives for which Christ shed his blood are thrown away. What will become of the souls of the men and boys whose lives are thus extinguished? Will they be counted worthy of the redemption which Christ died to secure for them? RH June 13, 1907

I had sent to Battle Creek to Professor Prescott, and to all our schools, in regard to the amusement question in match games and football. The light was given me that these things were not having an influence to help the students in the perfection of Christian character or in scholastic perfection. The dean of the English church came in to have teeth filled, and we had to suspend operations. Ms87-1893.

Godhead Study 5: Commonly Misunderstood Verses

a) First Born

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature (KJV)

The preposition ‘of’ suggests that Jesus is a created being. But we need to understand that the preposition is not there in the original Greek and was supplemented to complete the sentence.

Some translations render the word ‘over’ instead of ‘of’.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. NIV

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation NLT

How do we know that we should use over not of?

We have seen in lesson 4 that Bible is very clear on that Jesus is not a created being. Check my website for lesson 4 in case you missed it.

The word firstborn means the one who is having preminence.

And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: Exo 4:22

Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. Psalms 89: 27

Someone can be made into firstborn!

b) Begotten

Another misunderstood phrase is Jesus was begotten. In lesson 4 we saw that Bible is very clear that Jesus coexisting with Father since eternity.

Now we understand the term begotten.

Paul says he had begotten son.

I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Philemon 1:10

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1 Cor 4: 15

We can spiritually begot someone.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Heb 11:17

Isaac is called Abraham’s only begotten son though he had 7 other sons.

How do we know Jesus was spiritually begotten for a purpose.

Bible tells us why Jesus is called begotten son. Read this carefully. You will Jesus is called begotten son for a reason.

God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Acts 13:33

Jesus was begotten as son for the plan of salvation. The word begotten was fulfilled when Jesus was resurrected. Please read the above verse again.

In Psalms 2 we see the below sequence

v1-3, we see man’s sin. Humanity’s rebellion against God and Messiah (here Anointed)

v7-12, God declares His plan for humanity i.e., Jesus is begotten as son., higher than the kings of the earth. Psalms 89: 27

(All Emphasis on Bible Verses are by me)

Godhead Study 4: Was Jesus created or literally begotten?

Some Christians teach that Jesus was the first created being. Some Christians teach that Father alone existed in the beginning and Jesus was literally begotten by the Father into a new being.

Does Bible support those views?

Isa 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. (Emphasis by me)

The Old Testament God repeatedly claims that He is the first and He is the last. God created all things and nothing existed before God, hence He claims to be the first. Similarly everything is sustained by God. After Him there will be nothing hence He claims to be the last.

God alone can claim that He is first and last

In New Testament we see Jesus also making the same claim!

Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive (Emphasize by me)

Jesus also repeatedly claims in New Testament that He is the first and last.

If God created Jesus or literally begot Jesus then Jesus cannot be First; at the maximum Jesus can be second.

By claiming to be first and the last just like God of the old testament, Jesus tells us that He co-existed with God from eternity without any beginning.

Let us see another verse which makes it very clear.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

It says all created things are created by Jesus. There is no created thing which is not created by Jesus. Logically it means Father did not create anything without Jesus; also logically Jesus is not a created being.

Godhead Study 3: Is Jesus God?

We need to understand that the word god is not a name of a person but it is title given to a person like King or President.

God is also name given to a being who possesses these things omniscient, omnipresent and omnipresence. To make it clearer, it is name of a species like man, lion or tiger.

Let us see the below three verses which helps us understand the term ‘god’.

Who, being in the *form of God*, thought it not robbery to be *equal with God* Phi 2:6

We see two things, Jesus is equal with a person called God (title of a particular individual) and Jesus is in the form of God (species of an individual).

In the beginning was the Word, and the *Word was with God*, and the *Word was God*. John 1:1

Jesus was with God (title of particular individual) and Jesus was (also) God (species of an individual belong to).

What is this title of an individual and species of an individual! Let us see the below verse which helps us to understand.

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them(mankind – species); and blessed them, and called their (notices the plurality) name Adam (name of the species both man and woman), in the day when they were created. Gen 5:1,2 (the words in brackets are mine)

Adam (which means man in Hebrew) is title of a person and also name of the species mankind.

Example:

Man – title of a person
Man – name of the species ( man and woman are collectively called man)

Lion – title of a male lion
Lion – name of the species (both lion and lioness are collectively called with their species name i.e., lion)

In summary the title God belongs to Father alone. But Jesus is also god not in title but as a being (He is not an angelic being or any other created being). Jesus is a self existing being just like the Father who has no beginning and end (we will see this in the next lesson)

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Rev 1:8

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6