Speaker: Vasko Belovski
Who determines our destiny? And why are we born in the midst of a great controversy? In this message, we’re going to examine the great controversy as it is presented in Proverbs chapter nine and by the grace of God receive a better understanding of what it actually means to be born on probation.
To be born in the midst of two powers who are contending for our souls. It seems that many people misunderstand that as soon as sin entered into the world, Jesus stepped in to make provision so that everyone who comes upon this world can depend on him in the fight against the enemy. We should realize that our life period here on earth is still considered to be on probation and it is a period given to every individual to demonstrate what way of life they will choose, and what character they will form. Character isn’t something that we are born with, but rather it is something that we build. Something terrible happened in the garden of eden nearly 6000 years ago. But through the blood of the Lamb, the language was slain at the foundation of the world, humanity was able to be put back on probation, and everyone still have the ability to choose which master one would want to serve.
Notice this statement from the Spirit of Prophecy. Adam’s sin plunged the race into hopeless misery, but by the sacrifice of the Son of God, a second probation was granted to men. In the plan of redemption, a way of escape is provided for all who will avail themselves of it. God knew that it was impossible for men to overcome in his own strength, and he has provided help for him. How thankful we should be that a ways open for us by which we can have access to the Father. The gates are left ajar so the beams of light from the glory within, may shine upon those who will receive them. CTBH 15.3. We learned from this passage that God in Christ never left us behind without any help. The gates are left ajar wide open as the prophet said. They’re not closed. We have access to divinity at any time. It is a blessing for me to know this, and be able to share it with others. We have nothing to fear and our children have nothing to fear. The gates are wide open. And yet God is a fair God. He honors our individual freewill. We have the ability to choose him if we so decide. But we also have the freedom to choose the way of the enemy and become susceptible to our perverted faculties. God never forces himself upon others, because this is not the way of love. Can you force someone to love you back? Can I force my wife to love me? No, for Love is an expression of one’s free will. And since Love is in the character of God, he does not force anyone to receive him.
Bearing these thoughts in mind. Let us now go to Proverbs chapter nine, in order to understand what God declared through the wisest men that has ever lived. In order to better understand the chapter will first read through verses one through 12 and see what it is that they present, and then focus on the remainder of the passages. Here’s what Solomon declared, wisdom had built her house. She had hewn out her Seven Pillars. She had killed her beasts, she had mingled her wine, she had also furnish her table, she had set forth her maidens, she cried upon the highest places of the city, who so is simple let him turn in Heather, as for him that one is understanding. She said to him, Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine which I have mango, for sick the foolish and live and go in the way of understanding. He that reprove it as corner get it to himself shame and he that rebuke it wicked man, get it himself a block. reprove not a scorner this he Haiti rebuke A wise man and he will love the give instruction to a wise man and he will be at wiser teach adjustment and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me they shall be multiplied, and the years of their life shall be increased. if they’ll be wise, thou shall be wise for thyself. But if thou is cornice, thou alone shall bear
it. This is a very interesting passage, especially in light of Proverbs eight, which mainly discusses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God the garden in eternity. It is well understood that the language used here is in many parts of the book is allegorical in nature. Those who have accepted Christ as the only begotten Son of God are well aware that wisdom, especially as presented in the book of Proverbs, and particularly in chapter eight, refers to Christ. We’re given a confirmation of this in the book of First Corinthians. Notice what Paul says there, but other than which are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, First Corinthians 124. From this, we can see that wisdom in Proverbs nine, just as it is in Proverbs, chapter eight, refers to Christ. So what do we find in this proverb, we see wisdom presented as a woman, a queen, per se, who has built her house with Seven Pillars, she has killed her beasts and mingled her wine, she tells people come eat of the bread and drink of the wine which I have mingled. These few verses are a wonderful exposition of the gospel, and ministry of Christ, that we would be remiss if we do not examine them portion by portion. What is the house mentioned in the above verses referring to it is in reference to the century, or in other words to the Church of Christ. I say this because the Seven Pillars which are mentioned here, immediately remind us of a vision founding early writings, where a description of the heavenly temple is given.
It says there, this temple was supported by Seven Pillars, all of transparent gold set with pearls most glorious, Early Writings 19.1. From this passage, we can conclude that Christ is preparing an invitation for those that will accept the become part of his church, his family. But what took place in order for this invitation to be prepared? The killing of beasts. What beast is this in reference to? Ultimately, this is in reference to the Lamb that was slain at the foundation of the earth, which was prefigured by the slaying of the animals in the typical ceremonial system. Christ took upon himself the punishment the moment Adam sinned, so he could become the mediator between God and men, and extend his invitation of salvation. Consider this statement from inspiration.
Satan has come down with great power, the work in the children of men, but in Christ’s strength, we can stand against him. The instant men accepted the temptations of Satan, and did the very thing God had said he should not do. Christ, the Son of God stood between the living and the dead, saying, Let the punishment fall on me. I will stand in man’s place, he shall have another chance. And when human beings choose to follow Adams example, the Savior still invites them, come unto me, oh, ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. But if man refuses to yoke up with Christ, if he refuses to learn of the great teacher, he cannot receive God’s protection. (Letter 22 1900.12). Do we see this clearly, God’s protection and His Holy Spirit are available to all who are willing to yoke up with Christ. We cannot live a life of righteousness without Christ. But in order to achieve this, we still need the desire to choose it. And Proverbs chapter nine helps us to understand this.
See, Christ was able to set his table because his blood was shed for the remission of sin. He made the provision for all of us and set us free to choose which master we would serve. And we learn if you continue invitation in verse five. It says there whoso is simple let him turn in hither. I want us to explore the word simple, and its significance. What does it mean to be simple? The Hebrew word used in this verse is pithy. And it is an adjective that is used a lot in Psalms and Proverbs to signify literal simplicity. It is this very simplicity that Christ requires of us when we approach him and seek to understand his ways. We have to come to Christ with an open heart, and without any preconceived ideas. We ought to be ready to believe on everything he says. The simplicity mentioned here may cause us to think of the following words of Christ when He said, verily I say unto you, except a be converted and become as little children. He shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. But are we ready to become as simple as a little child Are we ready to hear the voice of Christ and trust him as a child trust his mother. Those earliest years in the life of a child plays such a huge role in the development of character, because it is a dark fairy time when children are more susceptible the guidance. This is why God requires of us to be his little children. And we’re at the ask of him, to give us strength to search for humility of heart, and loneliness, because this simplicity is essential in our spiritual growth. In verse five, Christ continues with his invitation, Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine which I have Mangle. The bread and wine that we are to eat and drink of here are the body and blood of Christ, which reminds us of the Lord’s Supper, and his sacrifice for the sins of the world. When Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, a plan of salvation was put into place, which allowed for him to be forgiven, and continue to walk in righteousness. God made it possible for Adam to continue to be united with divinity. Christ stepped in and became the mediator for mankind. However, it was still Adams decision whether he would accept the gift, repent and partake of the invitation or not. Thus it is for each one of us, and anyone who has ever lived.
As we read earlier, when human beings choose to follow Adam’s example, the Savior still invites them. God’s mercy endures forever. It is for this reason that john declared my little children these things right I am to you that he said not any Manson we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. First john to verse one. These were the words offered to humanity from the moment Adam and Eve fell. see God in Christ knew very well, that sin would wreck terrible havoc, but Glory to the Father and the Son for never leaving us behind and for providing a way of escape. Nevertheless, the way of escape still requires our cooperation. Back in Proverbs nine, we read, for sake the foolish and live and go in the way of understanding the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding, for by me they they shall be multiplied, and the years of the life shall be increased. Proverbs 9:6,10,11.
In order for us to live, we are to forsake the foolish, but who are the foolish? This proverb gives us a comparison between Christ and Satan, between righteousness and sin? If wisdom is what leads the righteousness, then the foolish must be those who are living in sin, or that which leads the sin. We see this confirmed in First Corinthians chapter one, verse 18. It says there for the preaching of the cross, Easter them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God. Jesus asks us to forsake the path of sin. And Paul continues this thought process just a few chapters later in the same book, be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship had the righteousness with unrighteousness and what communion had light with darkness, First Corinthians 6:14. And in First Corinthians 5:17, we read, all things are passed away, behold, all things are become you were to forsake sin if we’re to live eternally, for it is sin that causes death. We see this clearly presented in Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Eternal life is a gift of God, but acceptance is necessary. We have to choose to partake of the supper that the Lord has prepared for us. The first 12 verses of Proverbs nine demonstrate this twice. Jesus Christ is the only way and life unto righteousness. I am the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6.
The first 12 verses of Proverbs nine are a clear depiction of the plan of salvation and the invitation of the gospel. Christ is ever there working through the messengers of the gospel, and the Holy Spirit to invite people to partake of this gift. No righteousness can be found outside of him, and those that seek to find it elsewhere will fail to obtain wisdom. We need to choose him and as the lyrics of a famous hymn go, to trust and obey. The Bible says in verse 11, for by me they shall be multiplied, and the years of the life shall be increased. I dare say that this passage is not only in reference to the moral life that we live up on this earth, for the days of the righteous shall be increased to eternity, where to look for the bitter promise of a life that goes beyond this temporary world, and trust that God will deliver upon his words
The reward of the gospel is so beautiful, that one might wonder why everyone wouldn’t choose it. But as we look around, we see that this is not the only way opened to them. Adam sin brought many consequences, and allowed Satan increased access to contend for our souls. Righteousness is not the only option available to us. We live in the midst of a great controversy between good and evil. These two options are available in this world, and every individual plays a role in the building up of either of two kingdoms, the kingdom of this world, and the kingdom of the world to come, which is a kingdom of righteousness. We heard what Christ had to offer. But as we continue in this proverb, we’ll see that the tempter is just as diligent in seducing souls into the paths of sin.
Proverbs nine continues, a foolish woman is clamorous she simple and knoweth nothing. For she sit at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, to call passengers who go right on their ways: whoso is simple, let him turn in hither, and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, stolen waters are sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
We see here a foolish woman that is glamorous or boisterous, noisy, as it might also be translated. She’s continually chasing people with her enticement. And isn’t this the way of sin? Are the carnal loss or sensual pleasures of this world presented in this very way? They most certainly are. This glamorous woman is sitting at the door of her house, which is in the high places of the city. It is the riches and the kingdoms of this world that Satan regularly uses to seduce men into sin. What did he tell Christ in the wilderness? Again, the devil taken him up onto an exceedingly high mountain, and show him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, and say them to him. All these things we like give the if that will fall down and worship Me, Matthew 4:8-9. It seems as if sin brings a reward. Nevertheless, this so called reward ends up only being an illusion. As this proverb says, stolen waters are sweet. And bread eat in secret is pleasant, but he knoweth not that her guests are in the depths of hell. The Bible is very clear, the wages of sin is death, as shown in Romans 6:23. Unrighteousness will bring nothing else but death. The guests who partake of what the glamorous woman has to offer are not only on the way to hell, but they are already in the depths of hell, under the power of Satan, and led captive by him. Unforgiven sin leads the ruin, and it is the bottomless pit. Everyone who partakes of sin becomes the servant of sin, and is under the rulership of Satan.
Notice how greatly this is presented in john chapter eight. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committed sin is the servant of sin. In Proverbs nine Solomon presented was the way of life for every human being that comes into this world. Because of the plan of salvation. We’re able to choose our master and decide for ourselves who it is that we want to follow. When Solomon penned these words, he was inspired by Christ. And this same line of thinking was repeated by Paul in the epistle to the Roman Church. It says there, likewise reckon he also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but a life unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that he should obey it in the lusts there have neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness under sin, but yield yourselves unto God, knowing not that to whom he yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom you obey, whether us unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness, Romans 6:11-13, 16.
Paul’s writings here align perfectly with the thoughts of Proverbs nine, we’re given the option of choosing whom to yield ourselves to, if I yield myself to Christ, and obedience or a Solomon describe the wisdom, I shall become a servant and the righteousness in life. But if I choose that path of sin, or what the clamorous woman has to offer, I will automatically become a servant of sin. See, the key phrase in this passage is the word ill. It means the surrender or submit oneself to another. Are we ready to submit the Christ, day by day, hour by hour? Or shall we obey the lusts of our mortal bodies, and become captives by Satan’s temptations? This is a freewill choice that every one of us has to make. Christ can never force me to submit myself on to him. It is my own choosing. In order to summarize everything we have discussed thus far, will now turn to the words of Christ himself, who clearly presented that the way of righteousness and unrighteousness is based on our personal, individual choice. In the book of Matthew, the sixth chapter, Jesus shares with us the importance of laying up our treasure in heaven, and choosing God as our master. It says there, lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust death corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, the light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light, but if thine eye be evil, the whole body shall be full of darkness.
If therefore the light that is in the be darkness, how great is that darkness, no man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 16:19-24. Jesus is here using the example of possessions in order to illustrate the battle between light and darkness. And our decision to unite with either master. Jesus says, I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Christ is the lie that our eyes need to behold. And as Paul says in Second Corinthians, but we all with open face, beholding is in a class, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory, to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. In order for us to have a good eye and for our body to be filled with goodness, we ought to be holding light. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Unfortunately, the exact opposite holds true as well. If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. No one can have two masters, we there have God through Christ as our master, or we have sin and the originator of sin as our master. It was Christ speaking through his servant john, that declared, in this the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil, Whosoever do with not righteousness, is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother (1 John 3:10). Every servant has a master, in today’s world, the word servant carries a negative connotation. But when we look at what the Scriptures present, we see that to be a servant of righteousness, brings life and joy. Isn’t it beautiful? To know that God has orchestrated a plan of salvation through which he has given every human being, the few will choose their master, everyone has sinned because of their own choosing, and neither God nor our ancestors are to be blamed for our choices in life. Nevertheless, even those who have sin have been given another chance. We need to acknowledge our faults and take responsibility for every word, thought or deed we have ever committed. We have further confirmation of these very points in the writings of sister White. She was entirely on par with the Bible, and it could not be otherwise for it is the same source that inspired both sets of writings.
Thus, it would be important at this time to hear what she had to share on this subject. We’ll start with a passage that was published in the Signs of the Times back on November 3, 1881. Despite the many sovereigns to whom men profess allegiance, all mankind are serving one of two masters, the prince of light or the prince of darkness. Samuel served the former, the sons of Eli, the latter. The characters of these persons standing out in such striking contrast, present the two great parties into which the world has been divided since the fall of Adam. The servants of Christ and the servants of Satan. God has ordained that with families and nations or with individuals, virtue is the basis of happiness, vice, the foundation of woe and misery. In all the history of the nations wherever righteousness has been cherished, union peace and prosperity result. Where greed, selfishness and irreligion reign, weakness, degeneracy and corruption follow.
We further read also, it is he Christ that love this and so love this that he offered his life is a living sacrifice the bear the sins of a guilty world, that man should have a second probation, that man should be tested and proved, and try to see whether he will stand under the bloodstain banner of princey manual, or whether he will choose to stand under the banner of the prince of darkness. MS.43A 1894.3.
Do you notice what is being outlined here? Every man comes into this world to be tested to be proved whether he or she would choose Christ or the way of the enemy. She further states Christ speaks of the church over which Satan resides is the synagogue of Satan. Its members are the children of disobedience. There are those who choose the sin who labored to make void the holy law of God. It is Satan’s work the mingle evil with good and to remove the distinction between good and evil. Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good, who is members will not willingly tolerate wrongdoing, but will expel it from the heart and life Review and Herald December 4, 1900 paragraph six. These statements show us that probation is the period during which we are to be proved and tested regarding which master will serve the servants of sin will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, for a day have chosen to be under the banner of the prince of darkness and have never sought repentance.
See, the plan of salvation was putting the place in such a way that for as long as our individual probation continues, we have the opportunity to choose either of the two masters. This is why we know that one save does not mean always saved and vice versa. A sinner might turn from his wicked way to moral and a righteous person may choose to forsake the good or the way of righteousness and go back to sin. However, we’re not to confuse probation with conversion. No one is born with a predefined character. character is something we built and is based on the daily choices we make on their life in unity with Christ can form a character for eternity. By beholding we become changed. Everyone partakes of the battle between good and evil, between Christ and His angels. And the devil and his angels are only short in this battle is to remain surrender to the leadership of the prince of light. He’s to sit on the throne of our hearts and through grace to mold and shape our characters for eternity.
Do you hear Christ knocking on the door of your heart? Do you realize that nothing else but the Son of God can strengthen and sustain you in the battle against evil? My appeal to you is that you surrendered to Him and trust in Him every hour of every day. May proverbs nine be a lesson to each and every one of us so that we can fully understand the battle between good and evil. These great controversy which has been around for longer than 6000 years, and made all of us trust in Christ for his our only hope and surety. If you want to invite Jesus into your heart, I want to invite you to kneel down with me so we can petition him in a word of prayer.
Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, we are so thankful for the plan of salvation that you have put together so that we do not have to face the enemy on our own. Lord, we’re thankful for the provision of giving us your only begotten Son, whose blood and death are sufficient to cleanse us from all iniquity. Lord, we pray that you help us to understand the fullness of Have your grace. Help us to understand that we can rely on you and trust in you. So we can build characters in the battle against evil. And Lord, we pray that you remind us of the fact that there’s nothing we can do on our own. I pray that you will bless everyone who is seeking you with an open heart. Lord, help us to surrender to the guidance of your son. Help us to unite ourselves in righteousness, and finish the word that is given to us, which is the demonstrate to this perishing world the glory or your beloved character of love. We thank You, Lord, and we surrender everything to you and pray and ask all of this in the name of your beloved Son Jesus Christ. To whom be glory now and forevermore. Amen.