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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--50--Among Snares
« Last post by JimB on Today at 05:53:27 AM »
Amen my friends! Praying alone with God and honest study of the Bible would bring a life that is honorable even if the duties in life are "only" humble duties.

...then those words of hope fell upon her ear, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." Her heart was melted, and she cast herself at the feet of Jesus, sobbing out her grateful love, and with bitter tears confessing her sins.   
     This was to her the beginning of a new life, a life of purity and peace, devoted to the service of God. In the uplifting of this fallen soul, Jesus performed a greater miracle than in healing the most grievous physical disease; He cured the spiritual malady which is unto death everlasting. This penitent woman became one of His most steadfast followers. With self-sacrificing love and devotion she repaid His forgiving mercy.
   

I won't pretend to know exactly why or how this woman got into this situation. I realize it was a setup but beyond that we don't know much and this got me to thinking. Unfortunately sometimes we have to be put in hard places to understand who we are without Christ in our life. This woman was brought to a hard place and believed she was facing death. She then with the power Christ's grace was able to crucify the old man.  Not everyone who surrenders their life to Christ has such experiences but for some hitting rock bottom is the only thing that will wake them up. But we can praise the Lord for even that because they like this woman with Christ in their heart can turn their life around.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--50--Among Snares
« Last post by Richard Myers on Today at 05:37:04 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. If we would learn of Him who gave all for us, we would love Him supremely.

Once again I am greatly impressed that like the faithful Bereans, we need to take what we hear in the church, and compare it with the Bible. There is much false doctrine being taught. This is God's church, and He has faithful teachers. But, faithful or not, we are to know for ourselves what is truth. The true teacher sent of God will point people to the Bible and to Jesus.

 Many are deceived today in the same way as were the Jews. Religious teachers read the Bible in the light of their own understanding and traditions; and the people do not search the Scriptures for themselves, and judge for themselves as to what is truth; but they yield up their judgment, and commit their souls to their leaders. The preaching and teaching of His word is one of the means that God has ordained for diffusing light; but we must bring every man's teaching to the test of Scripture. Whoever will prayerfully study the Bible, desiring to know the truth, that he may obey it, will receive divine enlightenment. He will understand the Scriptures. "If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching." John 7:17, R. V.   
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Yes, amen, Richard! There is no limit to what it means to be transformed into His image, because God is infinite in love, and we have ever-more to experience in Him--but our great need today and always is that full-heart surrender so we are truly, thoroughly converted. Apart from a true heart conversion, all the knowledge of God will not save us. What little (or much) we know of Jesus, we are to surrender our hearts to in joyous praise and thanksgiving to Him who so loved us, and by making that surrender of our will, we are enabled to do the deeds of omnipotence (good works that are wrought by the Holy Spirit revealing all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing). What a privilege and a gift from heaven we have in Jesus!!!

I love how God turns everything that Satan does for evil into a purpose for good to them that love Him. Jesus loved the Father, and even His being smitten by Satan is used to bring glory to the Father, expose Satan for the murderer and liar he is, and bring the living water to each thirsty soul who will but come to this "thoughtful hour" beholding Jesus in full-heart surrender and drink deep of the wells of salvation! What a privilege and a joy it is behold the loveliness of Jesus again this morning! I love Jesus and I love how He transforms us to only desire more of Him when we have truly been converted and tasted how good the living water is from His bruised side!

"The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, 'Give me this water, that I thirst not.' John 4:15." {The Desire of Ages, page 454, paragraph 1}

I choose to let my heart be thrilled anew!!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Last post by Richard Myers on August 15, 2017, 05:30:58 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean! As we behold God's grace and love, we are transformed into His image.

I was impressed this morning that many in the church have not experienced the peace that passes understanding on a daily basis. As the Jews were so prone to place ceremony above true worship, they had become like actors in a play, without the fruits of the Spirit. So it is today when we are not intimately connected with Christ.

  "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The condition of the people made this appeal very forcible. They had been engaged in a continued scene of pomp and festivity, their eyes had been dazzled with light and color, and their ears regaled with the richest music; but there had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not. Jesus invited them to come and drink of the fountain of life, of that which would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.
     The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, "Give me this water, that I thirst not." John 4:15.


Jesus is the answer to all of our perplexities and difficulties in life. In Him is the water of everlasting life! If we would daily drink from this Fountain, we would never thirst and there would be an outflowing of this living Water that would attract others.
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--48--Who Is the Greatest?
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on August 14, 2017, 09:08:32 AM »
Amen, Richard! May we today experience what it means to have Jesus in our hearts so we can humbly help others:

Before honor is humility. To fill a high place before men, Heaven chooses the worker who, like John the Baptist, takes a lowly place before God. The most childlike disciple is the most efficient in labor for God. The heavenly intelligences can co-operate with him who is seeking, not to exalt self, but to save souls. He who feels most deeply his need of divine aid will plead for it; and the Holy Spirit will give unto him glimpses of Jesus that will strengthen and uplift the soul. From communion with Christ he will go forth to work for those who are perishing in their sins. He is anointed for his mission; and he succeeds where many of the learned and intellectually wise would fail. {The Desire of Ages, page 436, paragraph 3}

While it is natural (the our fallen nature) to be selfish, it is supernatural (through conversion) to be selfless. We are not called to live the Christian life in the power of the flesh, but having surrendered fully to Christ, we are to live by the supernatural "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) through continually abiding in Christ! The effect of such union and communion with Christ is nothing short of a miracle--a consistent life in Christ reveals His loveliness and purity--yes, even all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--48--Who Is the Greatest?
« Last post by Richard Myers on August 14, 2017, 06:18:47 AM »
What shall we say? We are to teach the gospel. What if another gospel comes into the church, which it has, shall we not object? What was said of the Nicolaitanes? "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." Rev 2:6. Why is it so important to point out false doctrines, even to name those who teach it? We see here in today's reading why.

     When Christ and the disciples were alone in the house, while Peter was gone to the sea, Jesus called the others to Him, and asked, “What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?” The presence of Jesus, and His question, put the matter in an entirely different light from that in which it had appeared to them while they were contending by the way. Shame and self-condemnation kept them silent. Jesus had told them that He was to die for their sake, and their selfish ambition was in painful contrast to His unselfish love.

     When Jesus told them that He was to be put to death and to rise again, He was trying to draw them into conversation in regard to the great test of their faith. Had they been ready to receive what He desired to make known to them, they would have been saved bitter anguish and despair. His words would have brought consolation in the hour of bereavement and disappointment. But although He had spoken so plainly of what awaited Him, His mention of the fact that He was soon to go to Jerusalem again kindled their hope that the kingdom was about to be set up. This had led to questioning as to who should fill the highest offices.


Did they not hear Jesus? Why did they not listen? Because they had been so deceived about the character of their Messiah and His work. They had been misled. They did not even know the Lamb had to die, and when Jesus told them He was going to die, it went in one ear and out the other. So it is today with many in the church. They do not hear when the gospel is explained. They believe they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, even though Jesus tells them to repent. The Holy Spirit is knocking on the door of the heart, but it is not heard. 

But, this will change. Many will yield to the Spirit and be converted or re-converted when they study the Laodicean message. It will bring about a revival and reformation in the church. But, while many will be converted, many will rise up against it and they will be sifted out of God's church. Let us strive to hear that "still small voice" speaking to us of His great love. And, while we must contend with false teachers, we must keep our focus on Jesus as Pastor Sean has pointed out. For it by beholding His grace that we are daily transformed in character (2 Cor. 3:18).
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--47--Ministry
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on August 13, 2017, 09:35:28 AM »
Amen, Richard!

We can never perish as long as we recognize our need and come to Jesus, the only one who can supply our need, so we can have saving faith that connects us with heaven and gives us power to obey God through a full heart surrender! When we have Jesus, there is no limit to what He can do in and through us by His Spirit!!

  In a brief space of time the favored disciples have beheld the extreme of glory and of humiliation. They have seen humanity as transfigured into the image of God, and as debased into the likeness of Satan. From the mountain where He has talked with the heavenly messengers, and has been proclaimed the Son of God by the voice from the radiant glory, they have seen Jesus descend to meet that most distressing and revolting spectacle, the maniac boy, with distorted countenance, gnashing his teeth in spasms of agony that no human power could relieve. And this mighty Redeemer, who but a few hours before stood glorified before His wondering disciples, stoops to lift the victim of Satan from the earth where he is wallowing, and in health of mind and body restores him to his father and his home. {The Desire of Ages, page 429, paragraph 2}

I so appreciate that what we see of Jesus is a picture of what our lives are to be and will be when we have saving faith in Him. While it is not now that we are transfigured with glory (which happens when Jesus comes again and gives us glorified bodies), we do have the opportunity to experience deep communion with our Heavenly Father through earnest prayer "in the mount" as it were, and to then go forth to seek and save the lost as Christ bids us in His infinite love. For some reason it really struck me today that Jesus' glorified humanity is a promise of what we are to receive through Him. And Jesus ministry effectiveness is also a promise--because while we now suffer and encounter those who are being attacked by Satan, we can glory in tribulations also by abiding in Jesus! What a blessing to behold the loveliness of Jesus and to let Him work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure!
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Bread of Life / Re: A Thought For Today
« Last post by Richard Myers on August 13, 2017, 05:28:36 AM »
Real Righteousness

  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27

One of Satan’s most successful deceptions is to lead men to claim salvation, while at the same time they are living in disobedience to God’s commandments. These are described by Jesus as those who will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?”

Yes, those who claim to be saved have a great deal to say about being saved by the blood of Jesus, but their sanctification is not through the truth as it is in Jesus. While claiming to believe in Him, and apparently doing wonderful works in His name, they ignore His Father’s law and serve as agents of the great adversary of souls to carry forward the work which he began in Eden, that of making plausible excuses for not obeying God implicitly. Their work of leading men to dishonor God by ignoring His law will one day be unfolded before them with its true results.

The conditions of eternal life are made so plain in God’s Word that none need err, unless they choose error rather than truth because their unsanctified souls love the darkness rather than the light.

The lawyer who came to Christ with the question, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” thought to catch Christ, but Jesus laid the burden back upon the lawyer. “What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Then said Christ, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” ( Luke 10:25-28). These words meet the individual cases of all. Are we willing to comply with the conditions? Will we obey God and keep His commandments? Will we be doers of the Word and not hearers only? God’s law is as immutable and unchangeable as His character. Whatever men may say or do to make it void does not change its claims or release them from their obligation to obey.

We need divine enlightenment daily; we should pray as did David, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.”  Psalm 119:18. God will have a people upon the earth who will vindicate His honor by having respect to all of His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous, not a yoke of bondage. David prayed in his day, “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law.” Psalm 119:126.

Not one of us can afford to dishonor God by living in transgression of His law. To neglect the Bible and give ourselves up to the pursuit of worldly treasure is a loss which is beyond estimate. Eternity alone will reveal the great sacrifice made by many to secure worldly honor and worldly advantages, at the loss of the soul, the loss of eternal riches. They might have had that life which measures with the life of God; for Jesus died to bring the blessings and treasures of heaven within their reach, that they might not be accounted poor and wretched and miserable in the high estimate of eternity.

While we are to be in harmony with God’s law, we are not saved by the works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured. But we cannot possibly keep the commandments of God without the regenerating grace of Christ. Jesus alone can cleanse us from all sin. He does not save us by law, neither will He save us in disobedience to law.

Our love to Christ will be in proportion to the depth of our conviction of sin, and by the law is the knowledge of sin. But as we see ourselves, let us look away to Jesus, who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity. By faith take hold of the merits of Christ, and the soul-cleansing blood will be applied. The more clearly we see the evils and perils to which we have been exposed, the more grateful shall we be for deliverance through Christ. The gospel of Christ does not give men license to break the law, for it was through transgression that the floodgates of woe were opened upon our world.
 
Today sin is the same malignant thing that it was in the time of Adam. The gospel does not promise the favor of God to anyone who in impenitence breaks His law. The depravity of the human heart, the guilt of transgression, the ruin of sin, are all made plain by the cross where Christ has made for us a way of escape.

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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--47--Ministry
« Last post by Richard Myers on August 13, 2017, 05:01:27 AM »
Can we cast out demons? Why could the disciples not cast out the evil spirit?

    They must be emptied of self, and be filled with the Spirit and power of God. Earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith--faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work--can alone avail to bring men the Holy Spirit's aid in the battle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in high places.


This is true for any good work we want to do. We are evil by nature and do no good thing until filled with the Holy Spirit. Then we become partakers of God's divine nature.

There were two issues of faith involved in the inability to cast out this demon. One was the lack of faith on the part of the disciples, the other was the lack of faith of the father. When he recognized it was going to cost him his son, he cried out "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." When we pray this prayer, God hears it.

    It is faith that connects us with heaven, and brings us strength for coping with the powers of darkness. In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong. But many feel that they lack faith, and therefore they remain away from Christ. Let these souls, in their helpless unworthiness, cast themselves upon the mercy of their compassionate Saviour. Look not to self, but to Christ. He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the word of God. Then grasp His promise, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief." You can never perish while you do this--never. 
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This week's lesson is entitled From Slaves to Heirs. Having studied the first four chapters of Galatians, when is it that we go From Slaves to Heirs? When Christ paid the price for our redemption are we delivered from our slavery?
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