Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign  (Read 5521 times)

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JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2018, 06:18:54 AM »
Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Christ, asking for a sign from heaven. When in the days of Joshua Israel went out to battle with the Canaanites at Bethhoron, the sun had stood still at the leader's command until victory was gained; and many similar wonders had been manifest in their history. Some such sign was demanded of Jesus. But these signs were not what the Jews needed. No mere external evidence could benefit them. What they needed was not intellectual enlightenment, but spiritual renovation. 
It's interesting that they ask for a miracle as evidence yet Christ's miracles that He had worked before this didn't change their heart. As a matter of fact later in the same chapter we are told that these miracles were an offense to them, yet they still asked for another one. Hypocrisy at it's highest I'd say.  Then later on in Christ's ministry even Lazarus being raised from the dead didn't convince them. What these men needed was to submit to the wooing of the Holy Spirit instead of fighting against Him.

Now fast forward today. How many stories have you heard where people make some kind of promise to God if He'll only get them out of a tight situation. Our good and Loving Savior works a miracle for them and as soon as pressure is relieved they "forget" what Jesus did for them. Miracles do not automatically produce true believing Christians.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2018, 06:25:45 AM »
Amen, Jim. It is the heart that Jesus wants. Until we understand this, it it hard to know what we must do in order to be saved (transformed).

Sister Dorine has shared a truth brought in the reading today. There is no greater sin than "unbelief." The devils believe, do they not? Yet, they are filled with "unbelief" also. How about the disciples when Jesus wanted to feed the people, who was filled with unbelief even though they knew He could feed them all?

He called upon His disciples to give them food. Again the disciples revealed their unbelief. At Bethsaida they had seen how, with Christ's blessing, their little store availed for the feeding of the multitude; yet they did not now bring forward their all, trusting His power to multiply it for the hungry crowds. Moreover, those whom He fed at Bethsaida were Jews; these were Gentiles and heathen. Jewish prejudice was still strong in the hearts of the disciples, and they answered Jesus, "Whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?" But obedient to His word they brought Him what they had,--seven loaves and two fishes.


Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief is my prayer every day. Take it away dear Lord! There is no greater evidence of separation from God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2018, 08:27:37 AM »
Amen! Jesus has the power to take away our unbelief if we come to Him with a sincere desire to be wholly transformed. He turns no struggling one away. Whatever your struggles today, come to Jesus as you are. Invite Him to take away all fear and unbelief that would keep your heart from trusting fully in Him, and having Him manifest through you His character (all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing in harmony with the law of God to the extent that a person knows it). Trust in God. He is able to keep that which you commit to Him--surrender all, and you will experience the joy of a continual conversion, a continual growth in His grace!

"When the message of truth is presented in our day, there are many who, like the Jews, cry, Show us a sign. Work us a miracle. Christ wrought no miracle at the demand of the Pharisees. He wrought no miracle in the wilderness in answer to Satan's insinuations. He does not impart to us power to vindicate ourselves or to satisfy the demands of unbelief and pride. But the gospel is not without a sign of its divine origin. Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, 'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.' Ezekiel 36:26. The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son.  {The Desire of Ages, page 407, paragraph 1}

We need to be rescued from ourselves--constantly. There is nothing good in us by nature, and we need the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to give us new, pure hearts that walk in the light of Christ's righteousness! Jesus is a complete Savior!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2018, 04:27:09 AM »
We are living in the last days. People are wanting signs and wonders. But the greatest sign of God's miraculous power is how He can convert us from being selfish in heart to having a new heart that is imbued with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing. A consistent life in Christ truly is a great miracle. Christ lived this life in the Father's will, and He invites us, through partaking of His faith by His promises, to also become living miracles to the world around us--this is made possible by the divine nature. This glorifies God!

    "That which led the Jews to reject the Saviour's work was the highest evidence of His divine character. The greatest significance of His miracles is seen in the fact that they were for the blessing of humanity. The highest evidence that He came from God is that His life revealed the character of God. He did the works and spoke the words of God. Such a life is the greatest of all miracles."   {The Desire of Ages, page 406, paragraph 5}

The character we form through the grace of Christ gives evidence of who reigns on our hearts. Jesus will live in every heart that is fully surrendered to Him, and He will manifest forth His loveliness through us. What a miracle! "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion" (Isaiah 8:18). Christ in you will manifest the same character as when He walked this earth--and while He is ministering for us in heaven as our High Priest in the Sanctuary, we can constantly have union and communion with Him by the Holy Spirit! What a miracle! Praise God!!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2018, 07:19:02 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  Many in the world want to see supernatural events. They think they can obtain supernatural things from within. Others long to inhabit Mars. They think that man can accomplish what seems impossible through their effort and with enough money. But, what is impossible with man is for a sinner to befd transformed into a saint. This is the great miracle that only God can do with the cooperation of man. It is only possible through God's grace being allowed into the heart.

The Bible tells us from Genesis to Revelation that this is the work of Christ, to change the character of fallen humanity, one sinner at a time. It is the joy of Christ and it is to be our joy also.

     Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Ezekiel 36:26. The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son. 

This one paragraph, such a simple truth, is all that is needed to open blind eyes to the false gospels that come from our presses and from out pulpits. "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." This is what happens in the heart and life of the "baby" Christian who gives the whole heart to Christ. When the Spirit takes possession of the heart, then all of the fruits of His Spirit will be seen in the life, not one will be missing. What a miracle!! Yet, so many reject this simple and foundational truth.

Today is the day of salvation. Today, resist not the drawing of Christ. Today, allow the grace of God to enter your heart. Then Living Water will fill you with His love. Let revival and reformation begin in your church through you, then the end can come. Jesus is patiently waiting for us to reveal His character so the controversy over His character will be settled forever more.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2018, 05:25:14 AM »
Every miracle that Christ performed was a sign of His divinity. He was doing the very work that had been foretold of the Messiah; but to the Pharisees these works of mercy were a positive offense. The Jewish leaders looked with heartless indifference on human suffering. In many cases their selfishness and oppression had caused the affliction that Christ relieved. Thus His miracles were to them a reproach.
     That which led the Jews to reject the Saviour's work was the highest evidence of His divine character. The greatest significance of His miracles is seen in the fact that they were for the blessing of humanity. The highest evidence that He came from God is that His life revealed the character of God. He did the works and spoke the words of God. Such a life is the greatest of all miracles.
 

It's sad and interesting that the religious leaders of Christ's time were offended by the miracles. It's almost as if they hated the results of the miracles so much that they couldn't see that what happened was a miracle. No wonder Christ refused to give them a sign. They didn't need a miracle as they'd just hate Him more what they needed was to have their eyes and ears opened to spiritual things. May the good Lord have mercy on us that we would be willing to have our eyes and ears and hearts open to Spiritual things so we can be taught in the ways of the Lord!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2018, 06:14:02 AM »
"Among the followers of our Lord today, as of old, how widespread is this subtle, deceptive sin! How often our service to Christ, our communion with one another, is marred by the secret desire to exalt self! How ready the thought of self-gratulation, and the longing for human approval! It is the love of self, the desire for an easier way than God has appointed that leads to the substitution of human theories and traditions for the divine precepts. To His own disciples the warning words of Christ are spoken, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees."

The religion of Christ is sincerity itself. Zeal for God's glory is the motive implanted by the Holy Spirit; and only the effectual working of the Spirit can implant this motive. Only the power of God can banish self-seeking and hypocrisy. This change is the sign of His working."


How much plainer can this truth be made. This is my prayer for my life one day at a time.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2018, 06:45:03 AM »
Amen, Jim and Dorine!

The change by which become children of God, even the new birth, is the miracle that Christ most longs to effect in each of us moment-by-moment. But when the light that would lead to this is consistently rejected, no matter how strong a sign one may desire, further light may be powerless to change the current of the heart that is bent on its own way. We need to look and live. Looking unto Jesus, no matter how hard the heart may be, if we will take one earnest look at the cross and realize the greatest miracle of all--the love of God for a race that did not love Him--we will be willing for self to be humbled, and a new nature implanted, even the divine nature!

"When the message of truth is presented in our day, there are many who, like the Jews, cry, Show us a sign. Work us a miracle. Christ wrought no miracle at the demand of the Pharisees. He wrought no miracle in the wilderness in answer to Satan's insinuations. He does not impart to us power to vindicate ourselves or to satisfy the demands of unbelief and pride. But the gospel is not without a sign of its divine origin. Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, 'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.' Ezekiel 36:26. The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son."  {The Desire of Ages, page 407, paragraph 1}


May we today live a miraculous life--a life surrendered continually to Jesus that bears the fruit of His character--love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and temperance. There is not one of these traits missing when the Holy Spirit abides in us! What a miracle this is in spite of our weak, fallen flesh! That is how God is glorified, that His strength (His divine nature) is made perfect in our weakness.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2018, 08:03:17 AM »
Amen and amen!  We are evil by nature and do no good thing unless we are born again of the Spirit. The Jews asked for a sign. What more could they be shown than the perfection of character seen in Christ! There is something greater, the perfection of character revealed in you and me! That is the greatest of all miracles! We have it in our power to flee to Christ and accept divine power to be transformed. We are to witness this great miracle each day. What a blessing Jesus offers us today!

    That which led the Jews to reject the Saviour's work was the highest evidence of His divine character. The greatest significance of His miracles is seen in the fact that they were for the blessing of humanity. The highest evidence that He came from God is that His life revealed the character of God. He did the works and spoke the words of God. Such a life is the greatest of all miracles.

     When the message of truth is presented in our day, there are many who, like the Jews, cry, Show us a sign. Work us a miracle. Christ wrought no miracle at the demand of the Pharisees. He wrought no miracle in the wilderness in answer to Satan's insinuations. He does not impart to us power to vindicate ourselves or to satisfy the demands of unbelief and pride. But the gospel is not without a sign of its divine origin. Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Ezek. 36:26. The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2018, 05:13:15 AM »
The human condition, apart from Christ, is the disease of self-seeking. Nothing can cure it apart from the grace of Christ. Well for us to behold the infinite loveliness of Jesus and let His love (grace) transform our hearts so we come to hate sin and love His will, for the converted soul is delivered from the corruption that is in the world through lust (self-seeking) because the soul is made a partaker of the divine nature!

  "The hypocrisy of the Pharisees was the product of self-seeking. The glorification of themselves was the object of their lives. It was this that led them to pervert and misapply the Scriptures, and blinded them to the purpose of Christ's mission. This subtle evil even the disciples of Christ were in danger of cherishing. Those who classed themselves with the followers of Jesus, but who had not left all in order to become His disciples, were influenced in a great degree by the reasoning of the Pharisees. They were often vacillating between faith and unbelief, and they did not discern the treasures of wisdom hidden in Christ. Even the disciples, though outwardly they had left all for Jesus' sake, had not in heart ceased to seek great things for themselves. It was this spirit that prompted the strife as to who should be greatest. It was this that came between them and Christ, making them so little in sympathy with His mission of self-sacrifice, so slow to comprehend the mystery of redemption. As leaven, if left to complete its work, will cause corruption and decay, so does the self-seeking spirit, cherished, work the defilement and ruin of the soul." {The Desire of Ages, page 409, paragraph 1}

I love how Jesus changes our hearts and makes us new in Him! Let us live an abiding, victorious life in Him today!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2018, 05:40:48 AM »
Amen, pastor Sean.

When the faith we accept destroys selfishness and pretense, when it leads us to seek God's glory and not our own, we may know that it is of the right order.

I was reading last night the Psalms and I was reminded that our life is just a vapor at best compared to God and eternity. In the end it's only God's glory that matters. Let's seek Him while can be found as He is the rewarder those who diligently seek Him!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2018, 06:26:36 AM »
The following is a quote from Jim I believe at the end of todays reading. I've posted it again because they were the exact thoughts I had this morning as I meditated on what the Holy Spirit was impressing me with. My heart overflows this morning with love and gratitude to God for His long suffering and patience and for revealing to me things in my own life that remind me that I have not 'arrived' yet. Each day there will be new revelations and new victories when we daily surrender self to Him.
============================================================

I read this a few days ago and all I could think of was if the disciples were like this while in the very physical presence of Christ, I wonder how many times my own deficiencies have kept me from growing and understanding the things I should.

Their lack of faith and spiritual insight had often led them to similar misconception of His words. Now Jesus reproved them for thinking that He who had fed thousands with a few fishes and barley loaves could in that solemn warning have referred merely to temporal food. There was danger that the crafty reasoning of the Pharisees and the Sadducees would leaven His disciples with unbelief, causing them to think lightly of the works of Christ. 

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--44-The True Sign
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2018, 09:21:18 AM »
What a joy to read how God is leading a people to know Him and serve Him! Let us pray for the Lord to send more workers into His church, for the harvest field is white.

Many years ago I was afflicted with a condition that I was having difficulty overcoming. I thought I might die. Dr. Agatha was giving me instruction, but it was not working. When I almost passed out from giving myself hot and cold treatments in the shower, I realized I needed someone to help me with the treatments. God provided a medical missionary who was trained and the first treatment, a full hot and cold treatment with heat packs turned the tide. As I was thanking God, I asked Him to finish the healing miraculously. The Spirit revealed to me I had already seen the greatest miracle of all, the conversion of my heart so that I would not follow the ways of the world, but trust in His divine counsel and healing.

In today's reading we find the same revelation, that a new heart is the greatest of all miracles.

    When the message of truth is presented in our day, there are many who, like the Jews, cry, Show us a sign. Work us a miracle. Christ wrought no miracle at the demand of the Pharisees. He wrought no miracle in the wilderness in answer to Satan's insinuations. He does not impart to us power to vindicate ourselves or to satisfy the demands of unbelief and pride. But the gospel is not without a sign of its divine origin. Is it not a miracle that we can break from the bondage of Satan? Enmity against Satan is not natural to the human heart; it is implanted by the grace of God. When one who has been controlled by a stubborn, wayward will is set free, and yields himself wholeheartedly to the drawing of God's heavenly agencies, a miracle is wrought; so also when a man who has been under strong delusion comes to understand moral truth. Every time a soul is converted, and learns to love God and keep His commandments, the promise of God is fulfilled, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Ezekiel 36:26. The change in human hearts, the transformation of human characters, is a miracle that reveals an ever-living Saviour, working to rescue souls. A consistent life in Christ is a great miracle. In the preaching of the word of God, the sign that should be manifest now and always is the presence of the Holy Spirit, to make the word a regenerating power to those that hear. This is God's witness before the world to the divine mission of His Son. 


I was not asking for a sign as were the Jews, but I had already been given a sign, so I needed no other. We ought to appreciate the miracle Christ works every day in our lives when we die daily to self.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.