Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus  (Read 7449 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2017, 08:05:47 AM »
I am so thankful that Jesus invites us to make a full-heart surrender and to be completely transformed. As we surrender to Him because we are attracted to Him by the loveliness of His character, we also, like Nicodemus, may come to read the Bible not to prove a point, but to have spiritual regeneration, that our souls may continually feed upon Jesus and have the experience of the "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) that keeps the flesh under (crucified with Christ) so His character is wrought out through us. The evidence of Christ's character being wrought out through us is that all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in our lives--not one is missing! I need Jesus every moment to do any good thing! We have no power apart from Him, and let us cling to Jesus so the Holy Spirit can fill us!

"Not through controversy and discussion is the soul enlightened. We must look and live. Nicodemus received the lesson, and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit." {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 2}
"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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2017, 08:16:25 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. Why we study the Bible has everything to do with what we learn.  Nicodemus did not appreciate heavenly things until he was converted. So it is with us today. We must be converted in order to have Spiritual discernment.

     Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission.


Imagine how shocked was this Pharisee. But, there was another part of Nicodemus that was searching for truth, even as was in a selfish condition. One does not have to be converted to understand that is a benefit to understanding truth.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2018, 07:03:35 AM »
"Since hearing Jesus, Nicodemus had anxiously studied the prophecies relating to the Messiah; and the more he searched, the stronger was his conviction that this was the One who was to come. With many others in Israel he had been greatly distressed by the profanation of the temple He was a witness of the scene when Jesus drove out the buyers and the sellers; he beheld the wonderful manifestation of divine power; he saw the Saviour receiving the poor and healing the sick; he saw their looks of joy, and heard their words of praise; and he could not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Sent of God."......But he struggled because....."He felt that he needed no change. Hence his surprise at the Saviour's words. He was irritated by their close application to himself. The pride of the Pharisee was struggling against the honest desire of the seeker after truth. He wondered that Christ should speak to him as He did, not respecting his position as ruler in Israel."



When our hearts are open to knowledge and truth the Holy Spirit convicts us and we are forced to make a decision for God, or for self and pride. Nicodemus because of what he studied and witnessed chose to accept Jesus knowing full well what that would mean to his position among the priests and rulers.

His story and experience gives me courage and commitment to stand for Jesus even if it goes against what others think and expect of me. By beholding we become changed just like Nicodemus.
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2018, 08:23:11 AM »
Amen, Sister Dorine. It is a blessing to have you back with us!!

What wonderful truths for a church that Jesus has called Laodicean. Nicodemus was a Laodicean. He was  not hot nor cold. So....Jesus would not enter into conversation with him. He began with a pointed rebuke, in love. Can you imagine telling a general conference president he needed to born again? This is what Jesus did with Nicodemus.

It would not be right to tell him he did not have life, that he ought to know the truth because of his position in the nation, and not tell him how to be converted. This chapter is "present truth." It would be good for all to prayerfully study the chapter. If the church were to do this, there would be a revival that would hasten the soon coming of Jesus.

God help us to not reject truth when it comes, no matter what the loss is for us personally. Nicodemus was irritated when Jesus spoke to him in such a pointed manner. But, the Holy Spirit was able to use the truth that he saw in Jesus to soften his heart. Jesus spoke with love and Nicodemus was convinced he was in the presence of the One John the Baptist had foretold.

We are told clearly that our nature is evil. The carnal mind is enmity against God. That is our condition when we come into the world. The fountain of the heart must be and can be purified. This change is brought about by the working of the Holy Spirit. What important truth is presented to Nicodemus that we must know to answer that all important question, what must I do, to be saved?
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2018, 08:42:22 AM »
May we come to Christ just as we are, so we may be truly converted by beholding Christ in His infinite loveliness!

Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to enter into life in the same way as the chief of sinners. Than Christ, “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon. {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 4}

How, then, are we to be saved? “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God.” Psalm 40:8. {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 5}


When Christ changes our hearts, we are made partakers of the divine nature, and all of the fruits of the Spirit will Be Seen in our lives without one missing! Praise God for the miraculous converting power of grace appropriated by faith!!
"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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2018, 01:35:00 PM »
Thank you, Pastor Sean. The most important question we can ask is answered so very simply in this chapter. It is a well kept secret that the mind gradually adapts itself to what it beholds. It is both an intellectual and a spiritual truth. We find it revealed in 2 Cor. 3:18. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord."

Why is it still so much of a secret in the church? Why do we have so many false gospels being taught in the church? Also, notice that in this chapter we are told by Jesus that we are evil by nature when we come into the world. We come in need of a transformation of nature and character. In order to accomplish this, we each have been given a time of probation to learn of God's love for us. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating this love, for beholding it we shall become transformed. What a wonderful God we serve, and what power He has to help us overcome our evil flesh!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2018, 05:43:03 AM »
No doubt some may wonder why this chapter remains always stickied. It is because the most important question that we can ask and answer is "what must I do to be saved?" In this chapter there is no need to add commentary. If one is seeking truth, and has asked for the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to read this chapter and not find the answer. It is repeated in simple terms over and over.

Nicodemus was being drawn to Christ. As the Saviour explained to him concerning the new birth, he longed to have this change wrought in himself. By what means could it be accomplished? Jesus answered the unspoken question: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

When called into the ministry, there were a number of things I was instructed to teach. One of them was to point our people to this chapter and John chapter three. Nicodemus, a ruler in Israel entered the garden a lost man, a Laodicean who thought himself rich and increased with goods. He left the garden no longer a Laodicean. He understood his humiliating condition and what he must do in order to be converted.

This is why we spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus. We love Him and want to maintain that experience which will bring honor and glory to the One who gave all that we might live. Each day finds us looking upon Jesus that we might be reminded of how much it cost for our salvation. We know that one day this forum will be the most popular of all we present here at the Remnant Online. We rejoice every time another Seventh-day Adventist joins with us in sharing what Jesus is revealing as they read along with us. This truly is the most exciting place to be.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2018, 07:04:36 AM »
"Not through controversy and discussion is the soul enlightened. We must look and live. Nicodemus received the lesson, and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit."

We learned in this chapter that it is not enough to have a desire to know truth. We must act upon that desire as Nicodemus finally did in searching the scriptures to know Jesus and come to the point of submission to the Holy Spirit. Something we are to do each day if we want to have that abiding connection with Jesus.
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2018, 08:02:31 AM »
Amen, Richard, and Amen, Sister Dorine!

The important truth for this time is how to be converted. From that experience flows a receptivity to the distinctive present truth, but unless converted, any further light cannot be rightly appropriated. There are so many false ideas about what that means affecting so many. I was a victim of false gospels, having been influenced at one point in ways that made it very difficult to understand some of the plainest Scriptures (I grew up nondenominational, and I know that a "once-saved, always saved" theology makes it hard to realize that it is possible to lapse out of conversion, and there is need to know how to have a sustained conversion, which is abiding in Christ). I praise God that He sent His Son to speak the truth to us!

Jesus loves us too much to be silent. This chapter in The Desire of Ages (Chapter 17, "Nicodemus") is so clear that anyone who truly desires to be saved in God's appointed way can be enabled to see their incredible need coupled with the incredible grace of Jesus! What matchless loveliness of character we see in Jesus!!!

"The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leaves and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God,—a patient, protracted process." {The Desire of Ages, page 172, paragraph 3}

It was a phenomenal blessing to be able to have my devotions this morning with others at the Philadelphia Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. As we read this chapter, this paragraph was dwelt upon with clarity and power. Souls were becoming aware of how they could be saved, and by spending this "thoughtful hour" with Christ, were being drawn to see their continual need of Jesus and of what it truly means to be converted--fully surrendered gladly because we behold Jesus' loveliness and see our need. God is faithful!
"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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2018, 08:06:10 AM »
We must act upon that desire as Nicodetmus finally did in searching the scriptures to know Jesus and come to the point of submission to the Holy Spirit. Something we are to do each day if we want to have that abiding connection with Jesus.

Interesting thought Dorine, we are told that thousands will die outside of Christ while desiring to be a Christian. Why? Because they do not act and decide today that today is the day of salvation wholly submit to Christ.

But the Saviour did not meet argument with argument. Raising His hand with solemn, quiet dignity, He pressed the truth home with greater assurance, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus knew that Christ here referred to water baptism and the renewing of the heart by the Spirit of God. He was convinced that he was in the presence of the One whom John the Baptist had foretold.
While having conversations with those who disagree with the truth, this is a reminder to me that we need not answer every objection that they put forward. Just keep presenting the truth.
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2018, 05:21:12 AM »
Since hearing Jesus, Nicodemus had anxiously studied the prophecies relating to the Messiah; and the more he searched, the stronger was his conviction that this was the One who was to come. With many others in Israel he had been greatly distressed by the profanation of the temple. He was a witness of the scene when Jesus drove out the buyers and the sellers; he beheld the wonderful manifestation of divine power; he saw the Saviour receiving the poor and healing the sick; he saw their looks of joy, and heard their words of praise; and he could not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Sent of God.

Our Savior draws people to Himself through the revelation of His character. Although He was not rich nor came from nobility and apparently according to scripture there wasn't anything physically that would draw your attention and yet people flocked to Christ why? Here is what she said about Nicodemus two paragraphs earlier.

Though rich, learned, and honored, he had been strangely attracted by the humble Nazarene. The lessons that had fallen from the Saviour’s lips had greatly impressed him, and he desired to learn more of these wonderful truths.

Nicodemus recognized there was something different about this Christ and desired to know more. He was "strangely" attracted to Jesus. Yet even today it is still the same Jesus told us that if we lift Him up like the serpent was in the wilderness people of every kindred, nation, and tribe will be drawn to Him. Paul said to the Corinthians that he was determined to preach only Christ and Him crucified. Why because it will draw and convert those who are longing for a better way and desire something different.
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2018, 05:41:05 AM »
Amen, Jim! I love how God clearly reveals to us how we are to be saved, and what steps are to be taken in order for us to be converted. John 3:1-17, in which Nicodemus is clearly brought to see His need of being born again, reveals to us that through beholding Christ uplifted on the cross, beholding His matchless loveliness of character, we are drawn to Him. As we respond to the drawing of the Holy Spirit and surrender the whole heart to Him, the Holy Spirit creates a new being in the image of God--filled with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing. Before conversion we live in the fallen nature and are controlled by selfishness; after conversion we are adopted into the heavenly family, made partakers of the divine nature, and can, by continual union and communion with Christ, resist the clamors of the fallen nature by constantly looking unto Jesus!

"How, then, are we to be saved? 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, 'I delight to do Thy will, O my God.' Psalm 40:8." {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 5}

I love how the paragraph above from The Desire of Ages beautifully connects with a paragraph from another beautiful book on how to be saved--Steps to Christ. Notice this from page 27, paragraph 2 of that book:

"The sinner may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist he will be drawn to Jesus; a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance for his sins, which have caused the sufferings of God's dear Son."

I choose to look and live, to respond and not resist the Holy Spirit's gracious drawing and leading! Let us go forth to bring, with utmost grace and tenderness, one more soul to the foot of the cross, that they too may have their hearts renewed by grace, so one more be adopted into the heavenly family! Let us like Jesus be sensitive, through the Holy Spirit's leading, to notice those souls who are seekers for truth, so that we may cooperate with God in helping them understand what it means to be saved (converted, fully surrendered). This is why we are still here on earth after conversion--to glorify God and save souls through copartnership with Christ!
"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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2018, 09:27:48 PM »
Amen and amen! It is impossible to not understand the power of grace when we prayerfully read this wonderful chapter.

 When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.

It is impossible for finite minds to comprehend the work of redemption. Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realizes that it is a divine reality. The beginning of redemption we may know here through a personal experience. Its results reach through the eternal ages.
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2018, 02:26:28 AM »
If I was to ask you "How are you saved?" What would you answer? And more pressing, "Are you experiencing salvation even now?" We need to know where our souls are with God. We are living in the most solemn time in earth's history. Christ is completing His final work of judgment in behalf of those who have professed His name, and He is about to come as King in glory with all His holy angels. But He tarries. Jesus sees how many have been left to wander at random as multiple gospels and different opinions cause confusion. He waits for you and me to clearly understand and reveal the gospel of His grace in our lives. Our great need of understanding the gospel is seen in how clearly Christ presented it to Nicodemus.

"How, then, are we to be saved? 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, 'I delight to do Thy will, O my God.' Psalm 40:8." {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 5}

Amen! This is present truth for this time! We need a conversion every day, and the evidence of this conversion is that we gladly follow the law written in mind and heart as all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in our lives without one missing! May you not only understand the gospel as a theory, but live it through a beautiful experience of beholding the loveliness of Jesus morning by morning by spending a thoughtful hour contemplating the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes! This is our great need, and from it flows every other capacity for doing good, for by beholding Jesus we are changed and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us by the miracle of conversion, which is the fruit of understanding the gospel!


"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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2018, 05:36:31 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  The most important question that must be answered by all who profess to love God is "what must I do to be saved?" Here we see the question and the answer. This is why this chapter is always "stickied" and kept at the top of this forum. When I was called into the ministry it was made plain that this question and answer and this chapter was the burden God put on my heart to share with the church and the world.

But this morning God impressed me to point out that there is a natural bent to reject this message of love. We come into this world in fallen flesh. Jesus points this out in his opening remarks to Nicodemus. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. We must be born again of the Spirit in order to be fit for heaven. Yet, we hear it being taught by conservatives in the church that this is not true. That when we come into the world we are in a neutral position. Don't believe it. Believe Christ. We must be born again. In our fallen nature we are evil and need to be reconciled with God in order to do any good thing for the right reason. Our hearts must be cleansed from sin before we can love with all the heart.

This sets the stage to answer why it is that this message of love from God can  be rejected. Not only rejected, but with hatred toward those who present it. The chapter opens with a revelation of this animus towards Christ.

Christ’s exercise of authority in the cleansing of the temple had roused the determined hatred of the priests and rulers. They feared the power of this stranger. Such boldness on the part of an obscure Galilean was not to be tolerated. They were bent on putting an end to His work.


When the truth was revealed by Jesus, it came from one who was not part of the power structure that controlled the religion of that day. Thus, the leaders feared the power that Christ revealed when he presented the truth that had been perverted by the leadership. In other words, they were losing their power because they were presenting not the truth, but lies.

How do we feel when we are shown to be wrong? If we don't want to know we are wrong, then what does that say about our love of the truth and our love for God? What Jesus stirred up was not something new in Israel. It was a perverse nation thathad  been rejecting light for many years. And, when God sent prophets to correct the situation, it often led to violence towards those presenting the truth.

    They remembered how prophets had been slain for rebuking the sins of the leaders in Israel.


Has human nature changed? Has fallen flesh become gentle and kind? No, it is only the laws of the land that help to keep the violence down. But, we know from Bible prophecy that the "beast" is about to speak as a dragon and those who love God supremely will be hurt and killed. And when the number of dead is reached, then probation will close and those living saints will go through a time of trouble such as never was. It will be the "religious" ones that persecute God's children.

But, with Israel it was God's chosen nation that was persecuting those who God had sent with a message to correct the error (lies) that had been coming out of the mouths of the leaders in the nation. The gospel message of salvation by grace had been perverted. Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus under cover of darkness? Because he feared the leadership of the church if they discovered his visit with Jesus.

    And should his visit come to the knowledge of the Sanhedrin, it would draw upon him their scorn and denunciation.


We see clearly the risk that is present when God sends messengers to correct false doctrine in His church or even in other churches. But, is there a risk when the false doctrine takes hold in the organization? Did Israel suffer on account of having perverted God's truth? Yes, they did very much so.

     They knew that the bondage of the Jews to a heathen nation was the result of their stubbornness in rejecting reproofs from God. They feared that in plotting against Jesus the priests and rulers were following in the steps of their fathers, and would bring fresh calamities upon the nation.


Has God changed? Does His church today suffer from rejecting reproofs? Yes, it does. There have been great calamities within our church because reproof was rejected. We remember the loss of the Review and Herald when they rejected reproof. We recall the loss of the Battle Creek Sanitarium when Kellogg and other leaders rejected reproof from God's prophet. The greatest loss suffered by God's church today happened when the message sent in 1888 was rejected by the leadership of God's church. Jesus was ready to come and the latter rain had begun to fall. The rejection of the latter rain led to modern day "Israel" wandering in the desert for 130 years. And, the continued rejection of truth has created the greatest crisis in the church's history. Three divisions within the church are in rebellion against, God, His Word, and His church.

The Spirit of God had sent light through Waggoner and Jones in 1888, what happened to them? How were they treated by church leadership? Their message was rejected, but that was not good enough. Their characters were attacked. They were turned away from God and lost their salvation. Church leadership played a part in the destruction of these two men.

The Lord has raised up Brother Jones and Brother Waggoner to proclaim a message to the world to prepare a people to stand in the day of God. The world is suffering the need of additional light to come to them upon the Scriptures,—additional proclamation of the principles of purity, lowliness, faith, and the righteousness of Christ. This is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Many will be moved and humbled. After a time they will drink of the waters of life. Jesus proclaimed Himself the bread of life: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51.

Jesus knew every soul that believed not, for Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who believed not and who would betray him. Many of the disciples walked away from Christ and no more believed on Him. We need not be surprised if the same experience should be realized in our day. If they went away from Christ at His words spoken to them, there will be those who claim to believe the third angel’s message—even men who have been long in the faith—who will be offended at His words that shall come through His delegated human agents.

If the light had been plainly, decidedly acted upon, those men who have followed their own finite wisdom would have decided to come over on the Lord’s side or have been separated from the cause of work of God. Oh, what shall I say? What can I say? Such men are bringing in false theories and principles and converting Elder Olsen to voice their unjust plans and methods, which are bringing the curse of God upon our institutions.  1888 1815.


And so it is today. The curse of God is upon many of our institutions, for they are not walking in the light God has so graciously sent. And how shall the messengers of God be treated today? And how shall they respond? Not as Job did to those who persecuted him. Not as did Waggoner and Jones, but, as did John the Baptist, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Abel, Ellen White, and our best example our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In all ages Satan has persecuted the people of God. He has tortured them and put them to death, but in dying they became conquerors. They bore witness to the power of One mightier than Satan. Wicked men may torture and kill the body, but they cannot touch the life that is hid with Christ in God. They can incarcerate men and women in prison walls, but they cannot bind the spirit. Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The believers in Christ, hated and persecuted by the world, are educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. On earth they walk in narrow paths; they are purified in the furnace of affliction.

They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2018, 06:10:32 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean and Richard. You have spoken all that my heart embraces this morning. What could I add? It's a great blessing to read these chapters each day. Nothing has been withheld from us that is vital to our salvation. BUT......

"Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to enter into life in the same way as the chief of sinners. Than Christ, "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon.
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

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2019, 10:01:35 PM »
"Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to enter into life in the same way as the chief of sinners. Than Christ, “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon."

How amazing and precious is this account of Nicodemus as he encounters Jesus. With great wisdom that comes only from a living connection with His heavenly Father Jesus drew him closer and closer until by the power of the Holy Spirit Nicodemus sees his true spiritual state.

"How, then, are we to be saved? “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God.” Psalm 40:8. "[/b]
Look up and listen for the shout.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #37 on: March 15, 2019, 06:12:49 AM »
Amen, Brother Beacon!

Afresh this morning my heart has been moved and blessed by Jesus' divine grace that changes me! Grace is God's unmerited favor to change sinners into saints, to recreate us into His image! And to contemplate the reality that it is by looking to Jesus constantly with the eye of faith, I desire to ever abide in Him so He will produce all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing in my life and the lives of all who are converted and abiding in Him by grace through faith!

"There are thousands today who need to learn the same truth that was taught to Nicodemus by the uplifted serpent. They depend on their obedience to the law of God to commend them to His favor. When they are bidden to look to Jesus, and believe that He saves them solely through His grace, they exclaim, 'How can these things be?'" {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 3}

While the question may be asked "How?" the answer is always the same--we need Jesus continually! Apart from Him I perish and wither, but abiding in Him I enjoy love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance that become even more abundant each step of the way heavenward! What incredible love we find in Jesus! Let us praise Him continually!


"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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2019, 09:20:00 AM »
"After the Lord’s ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world’s goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus."


Having the knowledge of truth does not bring about the dramatic change that we see in Nicodemus. If we do not come to an understanding and acceptance of how we are saved we will never find rest and peace and most sadly a home in heaven. We may think we are serving the Lord when in reality we are self deceived. I love how Jesus interacts with Nicodemus. So patient, gentle and loving. So many lessons for us to learn from.
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