Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"  (Read 5954 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2016, 07:25:35 AM »
Praise the Lord, Richard, that we have such an assurance of what God can and will do in all who yield themselves to Him unreservedly!

It was a blessing to see that God has ever been seeking to communicate to us about His work of redemption. But we see His character most clearly revealed in Jesus, who came to give the truth to us by condescending to take humanity upon Himself:

Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The Messenger of the covenant must speak. His voice must be heard in His own temple. Christ must come to utter words which should be clearly and definitely understood. He, the author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man's utterance, which had made it of no effect. The principles of God's government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men.   

Christ designs that we shall understand our continual need of Him abiding in our hearts, that we shall appreciate the infinite sacrifice made for us, and by beholding His character, be changed!
"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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2016, 04:22:56 PM »
The inhabitants of other worlds wholly expected God to destroy the earth! But instead ... He sent His Son to save it! Praise the Lord for His mercy!

Mimi, I was reading back over the old posts and saw this. It's amazing that this little world, an atom in the universe, has God's special attention. I'm reminded of David saying..."what is man that thou art mindful of him?" The rest of the universe has a vested interest in what happens here. Yes, they are not fallen but even their security is tied up in the results of this drama that is on display before whole cosmos.
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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2017, 03:42:58 AM »
Praise the Lord, Richard, that we have such an assurance of what God can and will do in all who yield themselves to Him unreservedly!

It was a blessing to see that God has ever been seeking to communicate to us about His work of redemption. But we see His character most clearly revealed in Jesus, who came to give the truth to us by condescending to take humanity upon Himself:

Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The Messenger of the covenant must speak. His voice must be heard in His own temple. Christ must come to utter words which should be clearly and definitely understood. He, the author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man's utterance, which had made it of no effect. The principles of God's government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men.   

Christ designs that we shall understand our continual need of Him abiding in our hearts, that we shall appreciate the infinite sacrifice made for us, and by beholding His character, be changed!

Amen, Pastor Sean! I too, was impressed with this truth. So it was then, so it is today. The perversion of the gospel truth must be swept away that God's people and the world will have a clear understanding of the plan of salvation, the power of grace to transform sinners into saints.

The inhabitants of other worlds wholly expected God to destroy the earth! But instead ... He sent His Son to save it! Praise the Lord for His mercy!

Mimi, I was reading back over the old posts and saw this. It's amazing that this little world, an atom in the universe, has God's special attention. I'm reminded of David saying..."what is man that thou art mindful of him?" The rest of the universe has a vested interest in what happens here. Yes, they are not fallen but even their security is tied up in the results of this drama that is on display before the whole cosmos.

Amen, Jim. A lesson that is too often overlooked. There is a reason why God allows iniquity to exist. We and the universe must understand the results of sin, that it will cease to exist by the choice of men and angels.

Our understanding of our continual need of Jesus is not understood as it should  be.

    Sin had become a science, and vice was consecrated as a part of religion. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart, and the hostility of man was most violent against heaven. It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world. 


Evil is allowed to exist that we might understand "that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted." We must be reconciled with Him. We must be transformed in character. Too many think they have eternal life when self is still alive. The heart must be cleansed and sin overcome. The power of grace has been hidden so that our need of of a Savior is not seen.

But, a solution has been provided at great cost. When the fullness of time came when the Jewish nation had lost sight of the need for the Lamb to be slain, God sent His Son to reveal His love and their need. So it is today. The professing Christian churches have perverted the gospel truth. The world has come into God's church also.

    Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled.
     Satan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker.


As it was then, so it is today. One language is commonly understood among all nations. We have access into people's homes around the world. The fullness of time has come once again.

     None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory.   

As we behold the loveliness of Jesus each day, we will be changed in character. He will make us a reflection of Himself. It is a promise. "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." 2 Cor. 3:18. 
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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2017, 06:50:05 AM »
I am so thankful that God did not destroy us all here on this sin-darkened earth. I am thankful for Jesus this Sabbath day!

With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth. And if God should do this, Satan was ready to carry out his plan for securing to himself the allegiance of heavenly beings. He had declared that the principles of God's government make forgiveness impossible. Had the world been destroyed, he would have claimed that his accusations were proved true. He was ready to cast blame upon God, and to spread his rebellion to the worlds above. But instead of destroying the world, God sent His Son to save it. Though corruption and defiance might be seen in every part of the alien province, a way for its recovery was provided. At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace. Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled.

What a privilege we have to be a part of the story and receive God's grace in Chirst--and to be the heirs with Christ of a world that will be made new. We get to see salvation's plan as the last parts of the great controversy come to a close! Let us look continually to Jesus!
"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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2017, 05:47:52 AM »
Let us appreciate the light that shines from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, even as we realize that God has been ever seeking to communicate with those outside of the covenant people to draw them to Himself:

Outside of the Jewish nation there were men who foretold the appearance of a divine instructor. These men were seeking for truth, and to them the Spirit of Inspiration was imparted. One after another, like stars in the darkened heavens, such teachers had arisen. Their words of prophecy had kindled hope in the hearts of thousands of the Gentile world. 
"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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2017, 05:51:33 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. Who are we that Christ should suffer and die for us!! What love!! What grace!

What is grace? It is that love that draws the sinner to Him and purifies the soul. Our memory verse in this week's Sabbath School lesson mentions this purification of the soul by the Holy Spirit. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1 Peter 1:22 We see here a cooperation between the Spirit and man. Without the aid of the Spirit, it is impossible for man to be changed or even to repent.

  Sin had become a science, and vice was consecrated as a part of religion. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart, and the hostility of man was most violent against heaven. It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world. 

With the coming of Christ a wave of grace was poured out over the Earth. Not all would accept it, but those who did were transformed in character.

     None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory. 


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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2017, 05:26:49 AM »
God's glory is seen in His unspeakable gift--Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who would come to die and make a way not only for us to be saved, but for the character of God to be vindicated throughout the universe in the revelation of Christ and His manifestation in the lives of His people. What grace!

With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth. And if God should do this, Satan was ready to carry out his plan for securing to himself the allegiance of heavenly beings. He had declared that the principles of God's government make forgiveness impossible. Had the world been destroyed, he would have claimed that his accusations were proved true. He was ready to cast blame upon God, and to spread his rebellion to the worlds above. But instead of destroying the world, God sent His Son to save it. Though corruption and defiance might be seen in every part of the alien province, a way for its recovery was provided. At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace. Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled.

I reflect upon the "intense interest" that the unfallen worlds have in what is happening in our earth right now. They long to see the character of Christ revealed in us--that we may be prepared to live in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. We can be holy and abiding in Christ right now, but we need to go through the necessary sufferings that we may be able to bear greater trials. Look to Jesus and live! By beholding, we are to be changed--and we will be as we surrender to the marvelous revelation of the loveliness of Jesus we see in God giving His Son to bear our sin to transform us into His lovely image. Praise the Lord!
"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}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2017, 07:50:17 AM »
Thank you Pastor Sean for your thoughts on this chapter. I am so uplifted this morning after being reminded of how very much God loves each one.

Satan is doing all in his power to prove that God is a liar, unfair and unjust but God has given the ultimate gift of His Son to prove otherwise and with our daily invitation resides in our hearts through the Holy Spirit to change us into His image. Satan says it's impossible but God says..."All things are possible with me". 

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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2017, 08:52:26 AM »
Amen, Dorine!  Satan's lies have taken hold in professing Christianity. How very sad. The "great controversy"  is seen all around us. Why has he been so successful in God's church? Why was he so successful with Israel? He goes after the teachers and hits at the very foundation of the gospel truth. If he can get the teachers to present a false gospel, then he will be able to get his lies into the minds of all who listen to the "priests". Then, he sets the priests up as the authority of truth.

But, the Bible tells us we are each individually responsible for knowing what is truth. How many lack Bibles? Then, let us study them. Let us learn of Jesus that we might love Him because He first loved us.

The time was full back then, and so it is today. So many are so very deceived by false teachers that they have excuses to put off the soon coming of Jesus, even though reared in His church. Today, English is as was Greek when Jesus came the first time. The pope has stood in the Congress of the United States. America is no longer a Protestant nation. The end is near, yet we hear this dribble about grace not having power to keep one from temptation, and Jesus may not come for a thousand years. These lies are not without influence and they did not originate in the minds of fallible humans. Satan is so very clever. But, where sin abounds, grace does much more.

As Pastor Sean has pointed out, with intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched what was happening in this world, so they are today. Many think God is going to sweep away His disobedient gainsaying church. But, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy says otherwise. And, as in our Sabbath School lesson this week, we cannot even say that the worst of those in rebellion cannot be saved. Woe unto erring man who thinks he knows so much. God is going to bring about a revival and reformation in God's church. He is indeed going to sweep away something. Sin. He is going to pour out clean water upon His filthy church and cleanse it from all sin. And, those who will not allow their hearts to be cleansed will be swept out of His organized church. But, we may look upon the promise of the power of grace to change our lives in a radical manner each and every day.

     Satan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory. 


Thank you for sharing dear Sister!  Your influence is important.

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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2017, 05:42:40 AM »
I find it interesting that the Lord doesn't leave the world in the dark when He is about to do something that affects them.

Outside of the Jewish nation there were men who foretold the appearance of a divine instructor. These men were seeking for truth, and to them the Spirit of Inspiration was imparted. One after another, like stars in the darkened heavens, such teachers had arisen. Their words of prophecy had kindled hope in the hearts of thousands of the Gentile world

This reminds me of all the prophetic activity in the years just prior to 1844. It wasn't just William Miller who had a message for the world. There were "William Millers" even in the Eskimos.

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2017, 07:23:49 AM »
Amen, Jim! Jesus is preparing many souls to accept the light of truth as He is about to return. I was impressed this morning in reading The Desire of Ages, chapter 3 afresh that the only way to rightly interpret the prophecies is to live the light from them.

Jesus Himself said this about what He did: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:17). The only way we can know the truth is to put into practice what we know. I know that it is well for me (and each of us) to spend a "thoughtful hour" with Jesus and fall in love with Him afresh in order to do any good thing. I need Him abiding in my heart through His Spirit, so I can continue to appreciate His loveliness through the day amid all the responsibilities of life and ministry God has for me.

"For hundreds of years the Scriptures had been translated into the Greek language, then widely spoken throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews were scattered everywhere, and their expectation of the Messiah's coming was to some extent shared by the Gentiles. Among those whom the Jews styled heathen were men who had a better understanding of the Scripture prophecies concerning the Messiah than had the teachers in Israel. There were some who hoped for His coming as a deliverer from sin. Philosophers endeavored to study into the mystery of the Hebrew economy. But the bigotry of the Jews hindered the spread of the light. Intent on maintaining the separation between themselves and other nations, they were unwilling to impart the knowledge they still possessed concerning the symbolic service. The true Interpreter must come. The One whom all these types prefigured must explain their significance." {The Desire of Ages, page 33, paragraph 2}

The One to come then was Jesus. Now, by the Holy Spirit, He wants to reproduce His character in His people before He returns the second time. When He returns in power and glory, it will be too late to learn of Him. Now is when we are to form character, for by beholding we become changed. Jesus wants to reveal His character through you today. The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are to be unfolded, not in a dry form, but by those who are living the light of Christ in their hearts by faith. We need Jesus continually!

Please pray as today begins Unlock Revelation meetings in all three churches where I pastor, and I pray that you will find a location near you (about 100 sites are across Michigan and some surrounding states)!

Go to unlockrevelation.com or call (844) 250-4000.
"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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2017, 10:25:16 PM »
Amen Jim and Pastor Sean.  Jesus speaks to humanity in many ways. The three wise men had access to the prophecies pointing to the  coming of Jesus. Because they were open to truth, God gave them more light in the heavens. So it is today. I just enjoyed fellowship with a Christian of another denomination who is the son of a witch doctor. He described three powerful events that led him away from worshiping idols to worshiping the God of heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. God loves us and will not leave us ignorant of Himself and His ways.

It was not good enough for Christ to come and suffer for our sins, He the author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man's utterance, which had made it of no effect. The principles of God's government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men.

He is still doing this. He is speaking through nature, the humanity, through His Word, and through the Spirit. The plan of salvation has been perverted so that many believe they are saved when in fact they are like Nicodemus when he came to Jesus in the Garden under cover of darkness. There is much to be gained by studying that conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus. It can be found in the third chapter of the Book of John. It can also be read or listened to by going to the top of the page in this topic. There you will find the chapter entitled Nicodemus. It is of such importance that we leave it there in hopes that all will study it carefully.

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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2017, 01:56:07 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need to be converted daily, and learn our continual need of Jesus. As the fullness of the time had come for Jesus to be born, so we find ourselves in a world now that is ripe for His second coming. Why does He tarry?

"The message of salvation is communicated to men through human agencies. But the Jews had sought to make a monopoly of the truth which is eternal life. They had hoarded the living manna, and it had turned to corruption. The religion which they tried to shut up to themselves became an offense. They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction." {The Desire of Ages, page 36, paragraph 1}

God chooses to use human agencies to share the gospel of His grace. He longs for instruments through whom He can work. That was His desire for the Jewish nation, and it is again His desire for His last-day people, the Seventh-day Adventist Church which, though in a Laodicean condition, will see revival and reformation. If we do not surrender ourselves fully to Jesus so He can cleanse us from sin and give us a new heart and mind filled with the supernatural power of "the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), then we, too, will become agents for the destruction of the world. We can do nothing good of ourselves. We are utterly dependent, moment-by-moment, upon the power of His divine grace to not only change the heart from selfishness (the works of the flesh) to love (all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing), but to keep filling us with the power of His Spirit to be able to rightly reflect Jesus to a world that is soon to perish. Our part, though small, is to choose to "behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:29), to spend this "thoughtful hour" {The Desire of Ages, page 83, paragraph 4} in contemplation of the life of Christ that we may be changed into His image from "glory to glory," from character to character (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I have a testimony. Today I am about to begin a journey toward Phoenix, Arizona, where from December 25-27, 2017, "Your Best Pathway to Health" will be offering free health care and compassionate service to anyone who comes. Lord willing, they are hoping to help between 7,000 to 8,000 people. There are many refugees from Congo in the Phoenix area, and God has providentially arranged that the Democratic Republic of the Congo will also have a simultaneous event there to minister to souls from the home country! Praise the Lord!! Please pray that many souls will experience God's grace in such a way that they will be truly converted and prepared for Jesus to come.

 If we are fully surrendered to Jesus, He will use us as "saviours" that "shall come up on mount Zion" (Obadiah 21), whereby the world may see the glory of God in His character wrought out in and through His people that are living as did Jesus, to bless others. I have volunteered to serve as a chaplain and to get to minister to the precious souls that the Lord brings to the event. Please pray that God's character will be revealed in a way that souls will be saved to the glory of His grace! The coming of Christ need not be delayed any longer by sinful unbelief on the part of God's people. Truly, now is the time to see our great need of Jesus and to "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee" (Isaiah 60:1). May God's character be vindicated before an onlooking universe that has waited long to see what the power of grace can do to save the most sinful to the uttermost. God will be glorified in His people! Jesus is coming again! We can hasten it as we cooperate with Him today in our sphere of influence! Praise the Lord!!
"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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2017, 06:47:59 AM »
Amen pastor Sean! and I pray that you'll have safe travels. This morning while reading I was drawn to the last paragraph.

Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory

Which in turn reminded me of this text.

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

God only wants to raise us up to our full potential in Him. So many run from Him not knowing His true character. So it's our job to demonstrate through our lives to the rest of the world what Jesus is really like. So that they also will be attracted to the One who is altogether lovely.

By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #34 on: December 23, 2017, 07:35:04 AM »
For a long while now I've wondered about something after reading this chapter many times. From the description we get it appears that the people on earth had sunk awfully low. About as low as it could get without satan having complete control. So I'm wondering did the influence of Christ and all His disciples through the ages arrest the plunge downward and lift up the world to a point that it was at a "better spot" than it was before Christ came and now we are sinking back down very close to Noah's and Lot's time?
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2018, 06:03:00 AM »
"Through heathenism, Satan had for ages turned men away from God; but he won his great triumph in perverting the faith of Israel. By contemplating and worshiping their own conceptions, the heathen had lost a knowledge of God, and had become more and more corrupt. So it was with Israel. The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion. Satan had implanted this principle. Wherever it is held, men have no barrier against sin." {The Desire of Ages, page 35, paragraph 2}

Why does a Laodicean church have no barrier against sin? Why do some teach that God's people will sin until Jesus comes again? Because excuses are made for sin, many false gospels are circulated, and many are taught that as long as they "believe" that they are saved, when such a belief is not the biblical kind of faith working by love to purify the soul. These deceptions are addressed here, as there is a striking parallel to the Jewish nation as Christ was coming on the scene of history, as the people were in a Laodicean (unconverted) state. They had great light available, but failing to walk in that light, it became darkness. The people trusted to man, and were not looking to the inspired well from which to draw water (the Scriptures). Such is the condition of many Seventh-day Adventists. Jesus weeps and pleads that we would repent, and turn fully to Him. Yet while we cannot save ourselves, we have a part--a small part--and that is that we must choose to behold Jesus in His infinite loveliness of character, and cooperate with the transformation that the Holy Spirit will work in us. This is a work of grace--it is an unmerited gift, something we do not earn, but it will cost us our sin and self-righteousness. What is that transformation the Holy Spirit effects? It is conversion, it is the reception of a new heart and a new mind that is imbued with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing such that the converted child of God willingly obeys all the light of His law known at that point of experience. We know this to be true from the Bible, for love is God's character, and Jesus said, "If ye love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). As long as each ray of light is cherished, accepted, and practiced as the development of character continues, Jesus' promise remains true: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). This perfection of character, begun at conversion and signified by all of the fruits of the Spirit present in the life, will continue until full maturity, even the sealed experience of the 144,000. But mark this--all truly converted Christians were perfect at their stage of development, even though they did not live in the final scenes of earth's history when the 144,000 are sealed and translated as a corporate witness of Christ's power to fully mature His character in the lives of the most degenerate specimens of humanity. What grace! The universe marvels!!

But as the Jews departed from God, their faith grew dim, and the power of God's love that keeps changing us was kept out of their experience. The remedy to the deplorable condition of sin and self-righteousness is beholding Christ. That is why it would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating Jesus' life, especially the closing scenes, tracing His experience from the manger to Calvary. As I have been doing this, I have been so invigorated by His love, and inspired to realize the high calling God has for us in Christ Jesus.

Again the world has reached the fullness of time inasmuch as the sealing is taking place, and Jesus is about to return in power and glory. Let us learn of Him each day that we may receive from Christ fresh grace to impart the heavenly light and inspiration that will help others choose Christ today with a whole-heart surrender! I choose to surrender fully to Christ, how about you?   
"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}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2018, 07:15:07 AM »
Thank you Pastor Sean. You present the solution to our condition in such a simple and beautiful way. No matter how often we read these chapters, we are given new insight into God's character. The following paragraph was highlighted in my book but I don't ever remember reading it before.

 "With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth. And if God should do this, Satan was ready to carry out his plan for securing to himself the allegiance of heavenly beings. He had declared that the principles of God's government make forgiveness impossible. Had the world been destroyed, he would have claimed that his accusations were proved true. He was ready to cast blame upon God, and to spread his rebellion to the worlds above. But instead of destroying the world, God sent His Son to save it. Though corruption and defiance might be seen in every part of the alien province, a way for its recovery was provided. At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace. Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled."

No matter how perverse man became God was continually revealing His mercy and justice toward them. Jesus was about to come into the world at it's lowest state. What this paragraph pointed out to me was the fact that the only alternative would be the destruction of the world. This was part of the devils plan. He would then have another go at putting doubts into the minds of the inhabitants of heaven and unfallen worlds. It was this fact that startled me today.

But God's next move was the one that prevented Satan's plan to be realized and made a way of escape for us all so that sin will never raise it's ugly head again. He came to this sin sick world as our brother, friend and redeemer, proving to the universe that Satan's accusations were utterly false.

With all that God has revealed through His word and His life there will be no excuse to grab hold of if we are clinging to the false theories that pervade today. Especially the one that says we will be sinning until Jesus comes. Satan must really celebrate with that one. But God has a people that will not fall for that lie or any other that Satan is deceiving so many with.

I praise God for his love, mercy and long suffering. We are going to see Him very soon. What a joy that puts within my heart today.

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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2018, 10:00:47 AM »
Amen dear sister! What a joy it is to to know God, to know of his character of justice and mercy. The great controversy theme ought to be kept forever before our minds. It is an interesting and sad thought that Satan is so very clever. We see that when Jesus came to His own, His own knew Him not. They put their Messiah To death. But, as amazing as this is, it was not Satan's greatest victory. Let us not forget how close he came to destroying the whole world.

In Noah's day, man had become so wicked that God repented of having made man. He destroyed every living thing off the face of this Earth, except for 8 human beings. What is different today? Not much! Are we not told that just before the second coming of Jesus, that the world would be as it was in the days of Noah. So it is today, good is called evil, and evil is called good. God's chosen people today are is just as deceived as was Israel when Jesus walked on this Earth. What's the difference today? God has promised to bring revival and reformation to His people today.

Through the prophet Ezekiel we find:

 36:22  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

36:23  And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

36:24  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

36:25  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

36:26  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.

36:27  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.


God is pouring out His Spirit upon His church. The gospel message is being proclaimed. The Word of God will not return void. Clean water will cleanse a Laodicean church! The fullness of the time has come.
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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2018, 02:45:13 AM »
I have a living hope in Jesus. He has answered the prayers of my aunt, who for many years prayed for me to become a Seventh-day Adventist when I was raised outside of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She prayed that I would attend Pacific Union College. I did in 2005, until 2009, and in 2007 I became a Seventh-day Adventist. In 2011, I started attending Andrews University, and my aunt prayed also that I would become a pastor in the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. That came to fruition on June 1, 2015. Her love, her prayers, and her support have been a great blessing to me in my life. She passed away yesterday evening. I share this because as I look at so many in our world today, they do not have hope if they lose their loved one. They do not know the hope that is in Jesus.

"At this time the systems of heathenism were losing their hold upon the people. Men were weary of pageant and fable. They longed for a religion that could satisfy the heart. While the light of truth seemed to have departed from among men, there were souls who were looking for light, and who were filled with perplexity and sorrow. They were thirsting for a knowledge of the living God, for some assurance of a life beyond the grave." {The Desire of Ages, page 32, paragraph 3)

I have assurance of a life beyond the grave. But so many in our world do not have hope. Many even in the Seventh-day Adventist Church are relying upon a supposed hope in Christ without the actual transformation of character that is effectually wrought by grace bringing us into harmony with His divine law by causing us to be partakers of the divine nature. Last night (June 12) around 10:15pm Aunt Lillian, who at 83 has prayed for me with such love and fervor for the 31 years of my life, went to sleep in Jesus. She breathed her last, but as the news came to me, Jesus gave me special grace to pass through this experience knowing that He is the one who has heard my hunger and thirst for God and revealed that to me in Jesus. Outside of the Bible, The Desire of Ages is my favorite book as it so clearly reveals Jesus to me. As I spent this early morning time with Jesus--and He woke me up before 3am today knowing that I would need a special measure of His grace to face this day--I praise Him that He loves us so much so as to bring people into our lives who interceded for us, who have a living hope in Jesus, and who can point us in the direction of heaven. Today would also have been my parents' 47th wedding anniversary, and even though I lost them in death when I was 12 (my dad died in 2000) and 15 (my mom died in 2002), I feel more deeply loved and close to God than ever. He has brought me into the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists--which is a true family where love and respect for one another is cultivated. I feel like God's arms of love are wrapped around me at this time, even though my aunt was very dear and close to me. God heals our hearts and gives us peace as we pass through times like these. May the hope we experience in Christ move us forward by His grace to go forth and bless others with the hope whereof we are made partakers. I look forward with joyful anticipation to the resurrection morning. Truly, the "fullness of the time" of the second coming is very very soon!!!
"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--3--"The Fullness of the Time"
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2018, 05:05:49 AM »
Amen! pastor Sean.  When we believe we do not have to mourn like those do who don't believe and have no hope. The Lord indeed will give you a special measure of grace to endure the loss of our aunt.

Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory.

What a statement. Christ who became sin for us and who has loved us from the beginning desires to fashion in us a Christ-like character. He lifts us up while the devil tries to tear us down and discourage us. Through His power if we will submit we will become partakers of divine nature. Who then in turn lift others up and point them towards Christ.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}