Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished  (Read 4780 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 His 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 His 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 His 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}