Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished  (Read 7768 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2016, 06:49:35 AM »
I appreciate the character of God revealed in Christ from today's beautiful reading. I am thankful that God wins the great controversy by His love, by revealing His character, and not by compelling power. We can be thankful for God's long-suffering to us in giving us the opportunity to behold His character, that as we are drawn by His love, we are encouraged to surrender entirely, and be made new creatures!

God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan's government. The Lord's principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God's government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power.

What a God we serve, who uses truth and love as the prevailing power!
"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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2016, 11:21:52 AM »
Thanks pastor Sean for emphasizing God's goodness and love. We love Him because He first loved us. Truth and love are indeed the prevailing power in the end. And speaking of the end this chapter gives us a little better understanding of the great controversy.

 The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken.
     Yet Satan was not then destroyed. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed. And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve.   


This helps us better understand why bad things happen to good people and actually everyone else. Satan's character must be more fully revealed so the universe can be secured forever and affliction will not rise a second 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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2016, 08:40:03 AM »
Amen, Jim! We can begin to realize that even the "bad" things that God allows to the righteous are for their ultimate good. Jesus Himself, when suffering intensely, chose to only glorify the Father, and prayed for His murderers. What a powerful witness! It is when we suffer most intensely, and yet choose to give all glory to God and keep the attention upon His perfect character as we humbly obey God that we get to be a part of refuting the lies that Satan has perpetrated against the government of God. I am so thankful that we can abide in Jesus, bearing all the fruits of the Spirit without one missing--because He has made a way for us! Truly, "It is finished!!" Our part is believing and beholding and surrendering entirely as we cooperate continually with the loving work of the Holy Spirit!

The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion. 

Today you and I are developing character. Every thought, word, motive, and action needs to be kept continually under the Holy Spirit's constraint of infinite love if we are to have pure hearts and minds. We can do nothing good separated from Jesus. We need to realize that we are either becoming more like our Savior, or more like Satan. Let us behold Jesus and reflect His perfect, loving attributes--by grace we are saved through 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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2016, 09:05:16 AM »
Amen, Jim and Pastor Sean!  God wants a people who reflect His character. Like a photograph (film pictures), character is developed in the dark. The trials of life are God's workmen for building up strong characters. Jesus went through the same process. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh and fought the battles of life as each child of humanity must fight it. He learned obedience through the things He suffered. Always obedient, as He developed a stronger character, He could meet stronger battles. Finally His struggle concluded when on Calvary it was finished.

As we study the life of Christ each day, we learn lessons that help us in our daily battles. In this chapter we are given light that helps us to convey to God's church why it is that God allows great trials for "good" men, women, and children. We are told why it is that Satan is left alive, even after he tortured and murdered the Son of God. It is for our good and our salvation. And, not only for fallen humanity, but for the benefit of the universe.

It is so very sad that the world-wide Sabbath School lessons this quarter do not explain why it is that bad things happen to good people. It is not a mystery. The great controversy between Christ and Satan and how the law of God is involved is explained very clearly in this chapter. Yet, for a whole quarter in the study of Job there is nothing pointing to the real truth about Satan's lie that man cannot keep the law of God. Here are they that keep the law of God is not mentioned, yet it is the foundation of the great battle between good and evil. Man's character will not be changed when Jesus returns. No, the thief on the cross had to have a perfect character when he died on the cross, or else he would not be able to enter heaven.

Such a holy character can only be achieved by allowing the Holy Spirit to take possession of the whole heart. It must be cleansed from selfishness and sin. Having set forth the issue, let us read without comment the truth from today's chapter, It is Finished.

     In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner. 
     But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God. 
     Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19.
     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26.
     God's love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God's plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10.
     By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love.  {DA 762.4} 
     Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. Yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. 
     That the law which was spoken by God's own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside, is the claim which Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan's power. By substituting human law for God's law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, "He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand." Daniel 7:25. 
     Men will surely set up their laws to counterwork the laws of God. They will seek to compel the consciences of others, and in their zeal to enforce these laws they will oppress their fellow men. 
     The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion. 
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2017, 05:12:55 AM »
     Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. The archapostate had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles. They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion.
     It was a being of wonderful power and glory that had set himself against God. Of Lucifer the Lord says, "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty." Ezekiel 28:12. Lucifer had been the covering cherub. He had stood in the light of God's presence. He had been the highest of all created beings, and had been foremost in revealing God's purposes to the universe. After he had sinned, his power to deceive was the more deceptive, and the unveiling of his character was the more difficult, because of the exalted position he had held with the Father.


I'm not here trying to talk up satan's power for he is a defeated foe but is it any wonder that we need to be always found abiding in Christ? If even the angels didn't truly understand until satan murdered Christ his true character. Then we are told that satan's power to deceived was more after he sinned. Is it any wonder that we are told... "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." However, if we are found in Christ He will guide us and not let us be deceived. We have a wonderful and merciful Savior!!
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2017, 07:12:41 AM »
Amen, Jim!!  It is true, we do not war against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. On the other hand, the hardest battle we shall ever fight is against self. Our only hope is to be found abiding in Christ. Then, we shall be more than overcomers!

    Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19.
     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26. 


Amen! In and of ourselves, we have nothing good, but Jesus desires to impart to us the perfection of His character. If we will allow Him to take control of the heart, He will cleanse it and write His law upon it. Then, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we will reflect our Lord and Savior! What a miracle!!!

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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2017, 09:00:16 AM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! What a powerful revelation of the character of God we see in this chapter in contrast to that of Satan. I am so thankful for Jesus!

 But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God.

All of us have been affected by the deceptions of Satan--but praise God that as we behold Christ, as we gain a knowledge of His love, we are drawn back to God. There is hope for us, while for Satan there is no more of His character that God can reveal to save Him. This should give us a humble realization that the more light we have received, the more we need to prayerfully walk in humility, abiding in Christ, because it is His love that draws us to Him. How sad it is that the angels who had the privilege of beholding Christ chose to listen to deception. We need to be in constant union and communion with Christ by faith that our hearts and minds may be ever more filled with His character.
"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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2017, 05:32:11 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. We ought to learn from the fall of the angels. If they could be deceived, is it possible Seventh-day Adventists could be similarly deceived? Yes, Jesus says that we as a people have been. It is the Laodicean message. The good news is that we will see revival and reformation in the church. The message will do its appointed work.

What does "It is Finished" mean? What was finished?  It is such an important subject that we must answer it as it is in today's reading.

     The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed. And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve.   
     In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner.
     But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God.
     Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19.
     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26.
     God's love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God's plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10.
     By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love.
     Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. Yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. 


The great deception today is that the truth here revealed has been set aside by many teachers in God's church. "Man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts." Man is not saved by obedience to the law, but he will not be saved if he does not obey the law. We are saved by grace, not by obedience. But, when the heart is fully surrendered to Christ, then obedience will be the result. If one sins a known sin, it reveals there is a separation between God and man. Being separate from God there is no eternal life.

     When one chooses the service of sin, he separates from God, and thus cuts himself off from life. He is "alienated from the life of God." Christ says, "All they that hate Me love death." Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 8:36. God gives them existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles. This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice. By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him place themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire. The glory of Him who is love will destroy them.
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2017, 07:12:10 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need the truth in this chapter as it clearly unveils the deceptions plaguing God's people if they are not abiding in Christ, converted, surrendered moment-by-moment, bearing all the fruits of the Spirit without one missing in a life of Christ's obedience wrought in the life. I love this precious truth:

But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God. 

There is a thought that emerges from this--as we come to know of the loveliness of Jesus, we need to realize how much more dangerous sin is in our lives. If we are reading of God's love, beholding the character of Christ, and yet we still let our minds wander from Jesus or sin a known sin, how perilous a condition we experience in fear and condemnation if we will not surrender to Him fully. Let us not harden our hearts against any ray of divine light--let us open wide the soul to receive the softening, transforming work of grace. God's character did not keep Lucifer from sin. Yes, we are in a different position than Lucifer, but if all the light God sent us in the Bible and this beautiful revelation of Jesus in The Desire of Ages fails to reach our hearts because we cling to sin, what more can He do? You may be reading this and have been struggling with sin--whatever the difficulty, trust His grace is powerful enough to give you a hatred for sin because His loveliness attracts!!

Remember this promise from a few chapters ago:

All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us. – {DA 668.3}

This is to be our experience, that by continually beholding Christ we shall continually reveal Him, that instead of sin shall be revealed His perfect righteousness--right-doing by faith active in self-sacrificing love!!! As we experience this, we are a marvel to the onlooking universe and those around us--we become the testimony by the power of grace that has been needed to finish the great controversy! What a privilege and a responsibility to those who have received this great love and light!!!!! By obtaining this experience, Christ's return can be hastened!!!!!!!

"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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2017, 05:04:37 AM »
I love how gracious and merciful God is in dealing with us as sinners, for He draws us to Himself by His love and makes it possible for us to be perfect overcomes as we behold the loveliness of Jesus! What grace! Hallelujah!

"But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God." {The Desire of Ages, page 761, paragraph 5}
"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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2017, 09:25:51 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. This chapter contains much instruction. What a blessing to know that when it was finished, Christ had won the victory not only for all of humanity, but for the unfallen worlds!

But, deceptions abound and the church remains in a Laodicean condition brought about by false gospels in the church. In today's reading are truths that will help those seeking to serve God move onto solid ground.

The "great controversy" between Christ and Satan contains the truth that will reveal Satan's success in deceiving the church today. The issues revolve around the character of God and His law and His justice. Satan has accused God of being unfair. He says that God is not merciful in giving man a law he cannot keep. Then, he says if he pardons guilty man, then He is not just. Satan has attempted to separate justice from mercy. But, God in sending His Son to suffer for our sins has eternally established both His justice and mercy and indissolubly joined them.

     God's love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God's plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10.
     By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love.
     Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. Yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it.


Now, notice what this means to us today. Satan has taken one side of this and brought it into God's church so that the predominate teaching in Europe, North America, and Australia is that Christ stands in our place in the judgment, that His righteousness covers our sins, past, present, and future. No, His righteousness will not cover one unconfessed or unforsaken sin. God transforms our character at conversion and imparts His righteousness to all who will give Him the whole heart.

     Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19.
     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26.
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2017, 05:54:07 AM »
As I reflect on Jesus' triumphant shout, "It is finished" (John 19:30) from the cross, I praise God that what Jesus has revealed is sufficient to complete the great controversy as Satan implicates himself by his heinous character, and those who look to Jesus and live experience the greatest of all miracles--conversion--a change of standing before God through a change of heart, mind, and character by the blood of Christ (imputed righteousness) and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to make the heart and mind clean and holy (imparted righteousness--all of the fruits of the Spirit in the life without one missing). Satan hates the fact that this is happening, and has put forth a last-ditch deception to get the world to reject the cross's deep meaning--the power of self-sacrificing love's ability to reproduce itself in fallen, sinful humanity that is repentant and willing to come and learn of Jesus!

"By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love."  {The Desire of Ages, page 762, paragraph 4}
     "Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. Yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and Satan."  {The Desire of Ages, page 762, paragraph 5}

As I was turning the second of these profound statements into song, I was so invigorated to know that God understands JUST what we need, and spending this time with Jesus each day is JUST WHAT WE NEED to be settled into the truth as it is in Jesus, so we will not be moved, because His love changes our hearts, and we are no longer sympathetic with sin and the devil who is behind it. I choose Jesus by a full-heart surrender, 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}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2017, 04:26:14 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  As we begin to understand the gospel and its power, we then better understand our continual need of Jesus. It is by grace we are saved, transformed from sinner to saint. This is a foreign thought to many who have eaten from the deceptions Satan has brought into God's church. Saints are in heaven, not on Earth. But, this lie will not continue to keep the church in darkness. Most have heard something of the truth presented in today's reading. The "great controversy" between Christ and Satan involves these two issues. Satan has attempted to pervert in the minds of men the character of our God. He is both merciful and just. He does not set aside either, but revealed both at the cross.

     Heaven viewed with grief and amazement Christ hanging upon the cross, blood flowing from His wounded temples, and sweat tinged with blood standing upon His brow. From His hands and feet the blood fell, drop by drop, upon the rock drilled for the foot of the cross. The wounds made by the nails gaped as the weight of His body dragged upon His hands. His labored breath grew quick and deep, as His soul panted under the burden of the sins of the world. All heaven was filled with wonder when the prayer of Christ was offered in the midst of His terrible suffering,--"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."


What do we see here? We see justice and we see mercy. They met at the cross. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm  85:10   

  In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner. 


The law can be obeyed when we allow Jesus to have the whole heart. How do we give the whole heart to Christ? It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the grace of Christ revealed when Jesus hung on the cross, taking the stripes that we deserve. This is grace. This is the power that causes a sinner to repent. This is the way we gladly surrender the whole heart to Christ. When we do this, the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart, bringing with Him all of the fruits of the Spirit. Then we have love, joy, and peace that passes all understanding! What a blessing Christ offers to all who will behold Him as He cried out "it is finished."
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2018, 01:46:58 AM »
Jesus reveals to us how we can be completely restored to the character of God that has been lost through sin. As we behold and appreciate His infinite loveliness, our hearts are drawn to Him. Confessing our sin and helplessness, we are given forgiveness of our past sins and simultaneously made partakers of "the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). The attributes of the divine nature are the fruits of the Spirit, not one can be missing as God's character, the garment of His righteousness, is perfect and whole. Christ knows we have nothing of ourselves to offer Him except our sin-polluted hearts. But coming to Him in complete surrender, we are enabled to become transformed by the greatest miracle the universe can behold--the miracle of grace making us like the God against whom we have sinned. It was my sin, it was your sin, that caused Jesus to die. But be of courage--it was for your sin that He lived a perfect life (so you can have that life wrought in you) and He died your death so you can die to self and sin once and for all! Hallelujah!

"The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can 'be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.' Romans 3:26."  {The Desire of Ages, page 762.2}

This truth is clearly taught throughout the Bible. Justice and mercy are perfectly united in Christ. Christ is revealed in the Law, and the Law is revealing Christ. We need Jesus moment-by-moment, and He has made Himself abundantly available to save us to the uttermost! Praise God!

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). Does it seem impossible for you to be saved? Look away from your weak self and look to Jesus! He came to save!! And He is very good at doing that when we allow Him to have all of our heart and mind, so He can imbue us with His Spirit, giving us a new heart and mind! What a miracle!!!
"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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2018, 03:16:28 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean! It is a simple truth, yet the greatest of all miracles. Oh, that the church would awaken to the blessings Christ wants to pour out upon her, no, is pouring out upon her. Yet, so many will not come to Jesus just as they are. What does it mean to "come to Jesus"? It means to spend time with Him, to learn of Him, to eat His flesh and drink His blood. He is the Manna which came down from Heaven. If we would spend that thoughtful hour a day with Him, we would receive this great blessing! We would have love, joy, and peace that passes all understanding!

There is in today's reading, a most important truth that many who call themselves Christians do not understand. We, as a people have been given the answer to a question that if not answered properly, keeps many away from the Bible and its Author. Why do bad things happen to "good" people? Why was John boiled in oil? Why was John the Baptist beheaded?

     Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve. In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner.
     But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God.
     Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19. 


It is the love of God that sinners must come to know if they are to be saved. Poor fallible erring man is so far removed from the holiness in which he was created that we forget what we have seen. We need to feed upon Jesus daily to remember what great things God has done and is doing.

The chapter closes with the answer to the question as to why Satan and sin still exist in the world. Why "bad" things happen to "good" people, why God allows it. I am going to quote this answer so that all who are reading may understand how important it is.

    The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.
     Then the end will come. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people. Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off. Sin and sinners will perish, root and branch, (Malachi 4:1),--Satan the root, and his followers the branches. The word will be fulfilled to the prince of evil, "Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; . . . I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Then "the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be;" "they shall be as though they had not been." Ezekiel 28:6-19; Psalm 37:10; Obadiah 16.
     This is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God. The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown. God is the fountain of life; and when one chooses the service of sin, he separates from God, and thus cuts himself off from life. He is "alienated from the life of God." Christ says, "All they that hate Me love death." Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 8:36. God gives them existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles. This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice. By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him place themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire. The glory of Him who is love will destroy them.
     At the beginning of the great controversy, the angels did not understand this. Had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin, they would have perished; but it would not have been apparent to heavenly beings that this was the inevitable result of sin. A doubt of God's goodness would have remained in their minds as evil seed, to produce its deadly fruit of sin and woe.
     But not so when the great controversy shall be ended. Then, the plan of redemption having been completed, the character of God is revealed to all created intelligences. The precepts of His law are seen to be perfect and immutable. Then sin has made manifest its nature, Satan his character. Then the extermination of sin will vindicate God's love and establish His honor before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law.
     Well, then, might the angels rejoice as they looked upon the Saviour's cross; for though they did not then understand all, they knew that the destruction of sin and Satan was forever made certain, that the redemption of man was assured, and that the universe was made eternally secure. Christ Himself fully comprehended the results of the sacrifice made upon Calvary. To all these He looked forward when upon the cross He cried out, "It is finished."   
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #35 on: March 07, 2018, 06:37:13 AM »
Pastor Sean and Richard, you have shared such beautiful principles for our salvation from our reading today. It does not take a 'higher education' degree to reveal these truths to us. In fact 'higher education' seems to be making salvation more confusing, and superficial. Error is considered truth and truth error.

It is impossible to live the life of Christ and be able to discern truth from error if we are not spending time each day beholding Him through bible study and prayer. There is also one more component to that and it is sharing with others what God has done for us. There is nothing more spiritually uplifting and encouraging. As we take we must give.

The very last paragraph has a very important promise. There was a time when I wondered if sin could ever rise again and now I know.....

....."Well, then, might the angels rejoice as they looked upon the Saviour's cross; for though they did not then understand all, they knew that the destruction of sin and Satan was forever made certain, that the redemption of man was assured, and that the universe was made eternally secure."

Praise God.
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2018, 06:49:47 AM »
Amen, dear Sister Dorine.  This is the answer that the world needs to hear. They and most professing Christians do not know why an omnipotent God allows bad things to happen to good people. Why was Satan allowed to live? So that sin will never arise again! Christ died for more than our salvation, He suffered and died that sin might be forever vanquished! What a thought!! What a God that can leave His creatures with free will and then promise none will ever sin!!!!

It is indeed our responsibility to share this truth with a world soon to perish. The character of God is the issue. He is both merciful and just. Satan is a liar and will be seen to be such as the world comes to its final battle between Satan and God, between good and evil, between the righteous and the wicked.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.