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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« on: January 14, 2016, 07:58:55 PM »
Chap. 45 - The Foreshadowing of the Cross



       The work of Christ on earth was hastening to a close. Before Him, in vivid outline, lay the scenes whither His feet were tending. Even before He took humanity upon Him, He saw the whole length of the path He must travel in order to save that which was lost. Every pang that rent His heart, every insult that was heaped upon His head, every privation that He was called to endure, was open to His view before He laid aside His crown and royal robe, and stepped down from the throne, to clothe His divinity with humanity. The path from the manger to Calvary was all before His eyes. He knew the anguish that would come upon Him. He knew it all, and yet He said, "Lo, I come: in the volume of the Book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:7, 8. 
     Ever before Him He saw the result of His mission. His earthly life, so full of toil and self-sacrifice, was cheered by the prospect that He would not have all this travail for nought. By giving His life for the life of men, He would win back the world to its loyalty to God. Although the baptism of blood must first be received; although the sins of the world were to weigh upon His innocent soul; although the shadow of an unspeakable woe was upon Him; yet for the joy that was set before Him, He chose to endure the cross, and despised the shame.  {DA 410.2} 
     From the chosen companions of His ministry the scenes that lay before Him were as yet hidden; but the time was near when they must behold His agony. They must see Him whom they had loved and trusted, delivered into the hands of His enemies, and hung upon the cross of Calvary. Soon He must leave them to face the world without the comfort of His visible presence. He knew how bitter hate and unbelief would persecute them, and He desired to prepare them for their trials.  {DA 410.3} 
     Jesus and His disciples had now come into one of the towns about Caesarea Philippi. They were beyond the limits of Galilee, in a region where idolatry prevailed. Here the disciples were withdrawn from the controlling influence of Judaism, and brought into closer contact with the heathen worship. Around them were represented forms of superstition that existed in all parts of the world. Jesus desired that a view of these things might lead them to feel their responsibility to the heathen. During His stay in this region, He endeavored to withdraw from teaching the people, and to devote Himself more fully to His disciples.  {DA 411.1} 
     He was about to tell them of the suffering that awaited Him. But first He went away alone, and prayed that their hearts might be prepared to receive His words. Upon joining them, He did not at once communicate that which He desired to impart. Before doing this, He gave them an opportunity of confessing their faith in Him that they might be strengthened for the coming trial. He asked, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"  {DA 411.2} 
     Sadly the disciples were forced to acknowledge that Israel had failed to recognize their Messiah. Some indeed, when they saw His miracles, had declared Him to be the Son of David. The multitudes that had been fed at Bethsaida had desired to proclaim Him king of Israel. Many were ready to accept Him as a prophet; but they did not believe Him to be the Messiah.  {DA 411.3} 
     Jesus now put a second question, relating to the disciples themselves: "But whom say ye that I am?" Peter answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."  {DA 411.4} 
     From the first, Peter had believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Many others who had been convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist, and had accepted Christ, began to doubt as to John's mission when he was imprisoned and put to death; and they now doubted that Jesus was the Messiah, for whom they had looked so long. Many of the disciples who had ardently expected Jesus to take His place on David's throne left Him when they perceived that He had no such intention. But Peter and his companions turned not from their allegiance. The vacillating course of those who praised yesterday and condemned today did not destroy the faith of the true follower of the Saviour. Peter declared, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." He waited not for kingly honors to crown his Lord, but accepted Him in His humiliation.  {DA 411.5} 
     Peter had expressed the faith of the twelve. Yet the disciples were still far from understanding Christ's mission. The opposition and misrepresentation of the priests and rulers, while it could not turn them away from Christ, still caused them great perplexity. They did not see their way clearly. The influence of their early training, the teaching of the rabbis, the power of tradition, still intercepted their view of truth. From time to time precious rays of light from Jesus shone upon them, yet often they were like men groping among shadows. But on this day, before they were brought face to face with the great trial of their faith, the Holy Spirit rested upon them in power. For a little time their eyes were turned away from "the things which are seen," to behold "the things which are not seen." 2 Corinthians 4:18. Beneath the guise of humanity they discerned the glory of the Son of God.  {DA 412.1} 
     Jesus answered Peter, saying, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven."  {DA 412.2} 
     The truth which Peter had confessed is the foundation of the believer's faith. It is that which Christ Himself has declared to be eternal life. But the possession of this knowledge was no ground for self-glorification. Through no wisdom or goodness of his own had it been revealed to Peter. Never can humanity, of itself, attain to a knowledge of the divine. "It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?" Job 11:8. Only the spirit of adoption can reveal to us the deep things of God, which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man." "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him;" and the fact that Peter discerned the glory of Christ was an evidence that he had been "taught of God." Psalm 25:14; John 6:45. Ah, indeed, "blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee."  {DA 412.3}
     Jesus continued: "I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The word Peter signifies a stone,--a rolling stone. Peter was not the rock upon which the church was founded. The gates of hell did prevail against him when he denied his Lord with cursing and swearing. The church was built upon One against whom the gates of hell could not prevail.  {DA 412.4} 
     Centuries before the Saviour's advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel's salvation. The psalmist had sung of "the Rock of my strength." Isaiah had written, "Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation." Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 62:7; Isaiah 28:16. Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, "If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house." 1 Peter 2:3-5, R. V.  {DA 413.1}
     "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11. "Upon this rock," said Jesus, "I will build My church." In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock. That Rock is Himself,--His own body, for us broken and bruised. Against the church built upon this foundation, the gates of hell shall not prevail.  {DA 413.2} 
     How feeble the church appeared when Christ spoke these words! There was only a handful of believers, against whom all the power of demons and evil men would be directed; yet the followers of Christ were not to fear. Built upon the Rock of their strength, they could not be overthrown.  {DA 413.3} 
     For six thousand years, faith has builded upon Christ. For six thousand years the floods and tempests of satanic wrath have beaten upon the Rock of our salvation; but it stands unmoved.  {DA 413.4} 
     Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the church's faith, and Jesus now honored him as the representative of the whole body of believers. He said, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  {DA 413.5} 
     "The keys of the kingdom of heaven" are the words of Christ. All the words of Holy Scripture are His, and are here included. These words have power to open and to shut heaven. They declare the conditions upon which men are received or rejected. Thus the work of those who preach God's word is a savor of life unto life or of death unto death. Theirs is a mission weighted with eternal results.  {DA 413.6} 
     The Saviour did not commit the work of the gospel to Peter individually. At a later time, repeating the words that were spoken to Peter, He applied them directly to the church. And the same in substance was spoken also to the twelve as representatives of the body of believers. If Jesus had delegated any special authority to one of the disciples above the others, we should not find them so often contending as to who should be the greatest. They would have submitted to the wish of their Master, and honored the one whom He had chosen.  {DA 414.1} 
     Instead of appointing one to be their head, Christ said to the disciples, "Be not ye called Rabbi;" "neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." Matthew 23:8, 10.  {DA 414.2} 
     "The head of every man is Christ." God, who put all things under the Saviour's feet, "gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22, 23. The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and what they shall do. This claim God does not sanction. The Saviour declares, "All ye are brethren." All are exposed to temptation, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of faith is the living presence of Christ in the church. Upon this the weakest may depend, and those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make Christ their efficiency. "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm." The Lord "is the Rock, His work is perfect." "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him." Jeremiah 17:5; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 2:12.  {DA 414.3}
     After Peter's confession, Jesus charged the disciples to tell no man that He was the Christ. This charge was given because of the determined opposition of the scribes and Pharisees. More than this, the people, and even the disciples, had so false a conception of the Messiah that a public announcement of Him would give them no true idea of His character or His work. But day by day He was revealing Himself to them as the Saviour, and thus He desired to give them a true conception of Him as the Messiah.   
     The disciples still expected Christ to reign as a temporal prince. Although He had so long concealed His design, they believed that He would not always remain in poverty and obscurity; the time was near when He would establish His kingdom. That the hatred of the priests and rabbis would never be overcome, that Christ would be rejected by His own nation, condemned as a deceiver, and crucified as a malefactor,--such a thought the disciples had never entertained. But the hour of the power of darkness was drawing on, and Jesus must open to His disciples the conflict before them. He was sad as He anticipated the trial.  {DA 415.1}
     Hitherto He had refrained from making known to them anything relative to His sufferings and death. In His conversation with Nicodemus He had said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14, 15. But the disciples did not hear this, and had they heard, would not have understood. But now they have been with Jesus, listening to His words, beholding His works, until, notwithstanding the humility of His surroundings, and the opposition of priests and people, they can join in the testimony of Peter, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Now the time has come for the veil that hides the future to be withdrawn. "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."  {DA 415.2} 
     Speechless with grief and amazement, the disciples listened. Christ had accepted Peter's acknowledgment of Him as the Son of God; and now His words pointing to His suffering and death seemed incomprehensible. Peter could not keep silent. He laid hold upon his Master, as if to draw Him back from His impending doom, exclaiming, "Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee."  {DA 415.3} 
     Peter loved his Lord; but Jesus did not commend him for thus manifesting the desire to shield Him from suffering. Peter's words were not such as would be a help and solace to Jesus in the great trial before Him. They were not in harmony with God's purpose of grace toward a lost world, nor with the lesson of self-sacrifice that Jesus had come to teach by His own example. Peter did not desire to see the cross in the work of Christ. The impression which his words would make was directly opposed to that which Christ desired to make on the minds of His followers, and the Saviour was moved to utter one of the sternest rebukes that ever fell from His lips: "Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offense unto Me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."  {DA 415.4} 
     Satan was trying to discourage Jesus, and turn Him from His mission; and Peter, in his blind love, was giving voice to the temptation. The prince of evil was the author of the thought. His instigation was behind that impulsive appeal. In the wilderness, Satan had offered Christ the dominion of the world on condition of forsaking the path of humiliation and sacrifice. Now he was presenting the same temptation to the disciple of Christ. He was seeking to fix Peter's gaze upon the earthly glory, that he might not behold the cross to which Jesus desired to turn his eyes. And through Peter, Satan was again pressing the temptation upon Jesus. But the Saviour heeded it not; His thought was for His disciple. Satan had interposed between Peter and his Master, that the heart of the disciple might not be touched at the vision of Christ's humiliation for him. The words of Christ were spoken, not to Peter, but to the one who was trying to separate him from his Redeemer. "Get thee behind Me, Satan." No longer interpose between Me and My erring servant. Let Me come face to face with Peter, that I may reveal to him the mystery of My love.  {DA 416.1} 
     It was to Peter a bitter lesson, and one which he learned but slowly, that the path of Christ on earth lay through agony and humiliation. The disciple shrank from fellowship with his Lord in suffering. But in the heat of the furnace fire he was to learn its blessing. Long afterward, when his active form was bowed with the burden of years and labors, he wrote, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12, 13.  {DA 416.2} 
     Jesus now explained to His disciples that His own life of self-abnegation was an example of what theirs should be. Calling about Him, with the disciples, the people who had been lingering near, He said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." The cross was associated with the power of Rome. It was the instrument of the most cruel and humiliating form of death. The lowest criminals were required to bear the cross to the place of execution; and often as it was about to be laid upon their shoulders, they resisted with desperate violence, until they were overpowered, and the instrument of torture was bound upon them. But Jesus bade His followers take up the cross and bear it after Him. To the disciples His words, though dimly comprehended, pointed to their submission to the most bitter humiliation,--submission even unto death for the sake of Christ. No more complete self-surrender could the Saviour's words have pictured. But all this He had accepted for them. Jesus did not count heaven a place to be desired while we were lost. He left the heavenly courts for a life of reproach and insult, and a death of shame. He who was rich in heaven's priceless treasure, became poor, that through His poverty we might be rich. We are to follow in the path He trod.  {DA 416.3} 
     Love for souls for whom Christ died means crucifixion of self. He who is a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost. The Christian is ever to realize that he has consecrated himself to God, and that in character he is to reveal Christ to the world. The self-sacrifice, the sympathy, the love, manifested in the life of Christ are to reappear in the life of the worker for God.  {DA 417.1} 
     "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." Selfishness is death. No organ of the body could live should it confine its service to itself. The heart, failing to send its lifeblood to the hand and the head, would quickly lose its power. As our lifeblood, so is the love of Christ diffused through every part of His mystical body. We are members one of another, and the soul that refuses to impart will perish. And "what is a man profited," said Jesus, "if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"  {DA 417.2} 
     Beyond the poverty and humiliation of the present, He pointed the disciples to His coming in glory, not in the splendor of an earthly throne, but with the glory of God and the hosts of heaven. And then, He said, "He shall reward every man according to his works." Then for their encouragement He gave the promise, "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom." But the disciples did not comprehend His words. The glory seemed far away. Their eyes were fixed upon the nearer view, the earthly life of poverty, humiliation, and suffering. Must their glowing expectations of the Messiah's kingdom be relinquished? Were they not to see their Lord exalted to the throne of David? Could it be that Christ was to live a humble, homeless wanderer, to be despised, rejected, and put to death? Sadness oppressed their hearts, for they loved their Master. Doubt also harassed their minds, for it seemed incomprehensible that the Son of God should be subjected to such cruel humiliation. They questioned why He should voluntarily go to Jerusalem to meet the treatment which He had told them He was there to receive. How could He resign Himself to such a fate, and leave them in greater darkness than that in which they were groping before He revealed Himself to them?  {DA 417.3} 
     In the region of Caesarea Philippi, Christ was out of the reach of Herod and Caiaphas, the disciples reasoned. He had nothing to fear from the hatred of the Jews or from the power of the Romans. Why not work there, at a distance from the Pharisees? Why need He give Himself up to death? If He was to die, how was it that His kingdom was to be established so firmly that the gates of hell should not prevail against it? To the disciples this was indeed a mystery.   
     They were even now journeying along the shores of the Sea of Galilee toward the city where all their hopes were to be crushed. They dared not remonstrate with Christ, but they talked together in low, sorrowful tones in regard to what the future would be. Even amid their questionings they clung to the thought that some unforeseen circumstance might avert the doom which seemed to await their Lord. Thus they sorrowed and doubted, hoped and feared, for six long, gloomy days.   

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

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 08:05:15 PM »
This is a most amazing statement to me.

Jesus did not count heaven a place to be desired while we were lost. He left the heavenly courts for a life of reproach and insult, and a death of shame. He who was rich in heaven's priceless treasure, became poor, that through His poverty we might be rich. We are to follow in the path He trod.  {DA 416.3} 

The place where He could commune with His Father face to face and interact with angels who praise His glorious name He did not desire while we were lost. Amazing!
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 05:01:38 AM »
    He was about to tell them of the suffering that awaited Him. But first He went away alone, and prayed that their hearts might be prepared to receive His words. Upon joining them, He did not at once communicate that which He desired to impart. Before doing this, He gave them an opportunity of confessing their faith in Him that they might be strengthened for the coming trial. He asked, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"  {DA 411.2} 
     
. But on this day, before they were brought face to face with the great trial of their faith, the Holy Spirit rested upon them in power. For a little time their eyes were turned away from "the things which are seen," to behold "the things which are not seen." 2 Corinthians 4:18. Beneath the guise of humanity they discerned the glory of the Son of God.  {DA 412.1}   

I thought this was interesting. Jesus separates Himself to pray for them so they might understand better and then He receives the answer to His prayer. "For a little while their eyes were turned away from the things which are seen..."
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 08:14:54 AM »
Yes, Jim, it is interesting and very important what we are being told. Many do not understand very well what justification or conversion is. When Jesus told Nicodemus he must be born again, Nicodemus was shocked. We like Nicodemus, need to understand what it means to be born again. If we say the "sinners prayer" are we born again? And if so, are we then saved no matter how we live? When were the disciples converted? Before the cross,  before Pentecost? When Jesus said to Peter "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren", was he not converted? Had he never been converted?

It is helpful to know when the disciples were converted in understanding when we are converted. What you have quoted here gives us an insight into not only what it means to be converted, but how it happens. Let's look closer at what was taking place almost 2,000 years ago.

It is also helpful to understand where we are in the book. There are 87 chapters, we are on 45. We have just crossed the midpoint of the book. It is written in chronological order. Has anyone noticed most of the book reveals Jesus' formal ministry? Notice now, that with half the book remaining, we are nearing the end of His life. "Foreshadowing the Cross" begins the account of the last days before the crucifixion of our Lord. "The work of Christ on earth was hastening to a close." The disciples did not understand Jesus had to die in order for them to enter heaven. And, when He hung on the cross, they still did not understand He was the Lamb that Israel had been slaughtering for almost 2,000 years.

Peter knew who Jesus was. "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." But, the devils believe and tremble. Knowing Jesus is the Son of God does not mean we are in a converted state. After being with Jesus constantly, we would think they would know Jesus had to die, but He had not been able to get through the error which had been taught by the teachers and rulers of the nation. He now began to try that they might be prepared for their great trial.

    He was about to tell them of the suffering that awaited Him. But first He went away alone, and prayed that their hearts might be prepared to receive His words. Upon joining them, He did not at once communicate that which He desired to impart. Before doing this, He gave them an opportunity of confessing their faith in Him that they might be strengthened for the coming trial.

Jesus understood the work of the Holy Spirit in teaching truth. It is the Spirit that opens our minds and hearts to the truth. Jim pointed this out. So, it ought to be with us when we want others to know truth. Do we pray first before we go to the person? We may be teachers, but it is really the Holy Spirit that is the Teacher. We are only instruments in God's hands to carry His Words. Here we see God in the flesh praying for the Holy Spirit to open hearts for the reception of a truth that is not wanted.

    But on this day, before they were brought face to face with the great trial of their faith, the Holy Spirit rested upon them in power. For a little time their eyes were turned away from "the things which are seen," to behold "the things which are not seen." 2 Corinthians 4:18. Beneath the guise of humanity they discerned the glory of the Son of God.  {DA 412.1}   

I believe the great trial of their faith to be the death of their friend and Savior. As Jim has pointed out, in response to the prayer of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is given in great measure to them. Thus, their eyes are opened to behold the Truth of the glory of Christ. The time was ready for Jesus to begin to reveal to His disciples that He must suffer and die. Continue reading in this important chapter to see how hard it was to teach even His disciples after they had been so indoctrinated with false doctrine.

There is a lesson here for the church of God today, not the least of which is the need for the working of the Holy Spirit. There is a reason why we are still wandering in the wilderness for over a hundred and fifty years. The Holy Spirit was working in 1888, yet the simple truth of the gospel was rejected. And when it is understood, as it was after the cross, then Jesus will do what He did for His disciples after the cross. This will open the door for the Latter Rain to fall.
     
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 06:32:47 AM »
When were the disciples converted? Before the cross,  before Pentecost? When Jesus said to Peter "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren", was he not converted? Had he never been converted?

It is helpful to know when the disciples were converted in understanding when we are converted.

I've heard from the pulpit many different ideas on this. I've heard that Peter wasn't converted until he cried bitterly after denying Christ. I've heard others say it wasn't until after the cross that they were converted. But I've also heard that they were converted before the cross. To me this seems true since Jesus at the supper table the night before His crucifixion said to them that not all of them were clean. Were they converted before this? I don't know but if you have a different understanding you have perked my ears.

It is also helpful to understand where we are in the book. There are 87 chapters, we are on 45. We have just crossed the midpoint of the book. It is written in chronological order. Has anyone noticed most of the book reveals Jesus' formal ministry? Notice now, that with half the book remaining, we are nearing the end of His life.

A friend and I were talking about this a few weeks ago. How much of the book the Desire of Ages and how much of the 4 gospels are spent on Christ's last 6 months or so. Somewhere around half. To me this shows what is most important.
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 09:00:45 AM »
They were all converted, except for Judas prior to the cross. We do not believe in once saved always saved, but many believe in a version of it. They do not understand we are dependent upon Christ to do any good thing. We must be fully surrendered to be in a converted state. Many believe once one is converted, he remains converted even when he separates from Christ.

A good example of what really happens can be seen on that last night before Christ's death. You have pointed us to one example, that of Jesus saying they did not need to be re-bapized, for they had been cleansed prior to their feet being washed. But, when they came into the upper room that night, self was alive in each of them. They were all vying for the highest place and none would humble themselves to wash each others feet, nor the feet of their Savior. Jesus understood their condition, and He knew only grace can bring a clean out of an unclean thing. So, He revealed grace to each of them and their hearts yielded fully to it. They each were willing to concede to the others the highest place. This is what it means to be born again of His Spirit.

Now, if we understand this, then we may gain additional understanding from studying what happened the rest of the night. While they had yielded to grace, all except Judas, this does not mean they remained yielded to the Spirit. We do not believe in once converted, always converted. None of them understood their continual need of Christ in order to withstand the smallest temptation. And, they were going to face the greatest trial they had ever faced, the murder of the Son of God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2016, 08:24:52 AM »
This chapter is a very good study on conversion. We have looked at the sad situation when the disciples walked in to the upper room, all full of self. Then through the grace of Christ, all except Judas were converted (re-converted).  As this chapter opens, it reveals the great burden on the heart of Christ, to reveal to His disciples that He must die. They had been so deceived, they could not believe what Jesus told them. Peter fell for the voice speaking to him from below and tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross. Prior to disclosing this to His disciples, Jesus went away to pray  that the Holy Spirit would prepare their hearts for this hard message. This is so important, for we see the connection very clearly as to the importance the Holy Spirit plays in the understanding of truth and the preparation of the heart for its reception.

Prior to telling them of His death, He made an effort to strengthen their faith in Him by asking whom they thought He was. Unlike many others who after the death of John the Baptist, doubted Jesus to be the Messiah, His disciples acknowledged Jesus as the Son of the living God. What they did not know, nor did they want to know, that the life of Christ was one of self-sacrifice. Neither did they want to know that this is the path of all who follow Christ. It is a hard lesson to learn, but one that proves to be a great blessing to all who will make a full surrender to Jesus. It truly "is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35.
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2016, 09:24:44 PM »
I meditated upon this chapter today, and was blessed to fellowship with Richard over the phone as we reflected on this chapter and the beautiful truths of the cross of Christ. I find amazing the last paragraph:

They were even now journeying along the shores of the Sea of Galilee toward the city where all their hopes were to be crushed. They dared not remonstrate with Christ, but they talked together in low, sorrowful tones in regard to what the future would be. Even amid their questionings they clung to the thought that some unforeseen circumstance might avert the doom which seemed to await their Lord. Thus they sorrowed and doubted, hoped and feared, for six long, gloomy days.  {DA 418.2} 

The disciples still did not understand that Jesus was going to die--else they would not have hoped in heart that the central truth of His mission would be averted.

There is a similar deception at work today in the larger Christian church, which has even affected Seventh-day Adventists--and that is the error that it is impossible to overcome sin. None can overcome in His own strength--for apart from Christ we can do no good thing. But as we behold the loveliness of Jesus, we are being changed continually, and the Holy Spirit is able to continually fill us with all the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing. But because of a false gospel (the idea that Jesus will come, and then change us to enjoy the things of heaven), there have been many who are contentedly in a lost condition because they see not their continual need of Jesus. And to continually walk with Jesus is to continually bear the cross--the same cross He bore in humanity--and that is that divine power accessible to us through the creative word of God is much more powerful than the clamors of the flesh. Christ overcame to enable us to overcome through the grace that He received! Hallelujah! Truth is far more beautiful than error!

"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}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2016, 06:43:00 AM »
Jesus came to His own and His own knew Him not!  How very sad that Satan had deceived a whole nation to the point they would not only reject their Messiah, but would put Him to death. The eleven disciples who had spent 3 1/2 years with Jesus wandered in and out of conversion. As they yielded to the Holy Spirit, they were converted, but as we see them being showered with grace as Jesus washed their feet, even then the power of grace was short-lived.  After being reconverted at that time, how long was it before they fled from Jesus, leaving Him alone while being persecuted? They will soon return to Jerusalem for the last time with Jesus. He is attempting to prepare them for His death, but they want no part of it.

     That the hatred of the priests and rabbis would never be overcome, that Christ would be rejected by His own nation, condemned as a deceiver, and crucified as a malefactor,--such a thought the disciples had never entertained. But the hour of the power of darkness was drawing on, and Jesus must open to His disciples the conflict before them. He was sad as He anticipated the trial. 
     Hitherto He had refrained from making known to them anything relative to His sufferings and death. In His conversation with Nicodemus He had said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14, 15. But the disciples did not hear this, and had they heard, would not have understood. But now they have been with Jesus, listening to His words, beholding His works, until, notwithstanding the humility of His surroundings, and the opposition of priests and people, they can join in the testimony of Peter, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Now the time has come for the veil that hides the future to be withdrawn. "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."   
     Speechless with grief and amazement, the disciples listened. Christ had accepted Peter's acknowledgment of Him as the Son of God; and now His words pointing to His suffering and death seemed incomprehensible. Peter could not keep silent. He laid hold upon his Master, as if to draw Him back from His impending doom, exclaiming, "Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee." 
     Peter loved his Lord; but Jesus did not commend him for thus manifesting the desire to shield Him from suffering. Peter's words were not such as would be a help and solace to Jesus in the great trial before Him. They were not in harmony with God's purpose of grace toward a lost world, nor with the lesson of self-sacrifice that Jesus had come to teach by His own example. Peter did not desire to see the cross in the work of Christ. The impression which his words would make was directly opposed to that which Christ desired to make on the minds of His followers, and the Saviour was moved to utter one of the sternest rebukes that ever fell from His lips: "Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offense unto Me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."   


Thus we see the power of deception. Satan had led Israel to such a point that even His disciples did not know, and did not want to know, the Lamb must die. Today Satan has succeeded in the same manner in deceiving the people of God in regards to the gospel message. His people believe like the Jews of old, they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, but know not that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Many will not recover from this great deception, but multitudes will. It is left with each of us to flee to Christ that we might receive grace in order to understand. He is pouring out His grace upon His church.

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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 08:37:57 AM »
Amen, Richard! One thing we see in Jesus' lovely character is His earnest prayer to the Father in behalf of His disciples. The very truths Jesus needed to utter must be preceded by much earnest prayer. The truths God has for His messengers today to utter must be preceded by much prayer. Let us behold and follow Jesus:

"He was about to tell them of the suffering that awaited Him. But first He went away alone, and prayed that their hearts might be prepared to receive His words." {DA 411.2}

While much truth can be uttered, let us remember this truth, which emerged a few chapters before in The Desire of Ages:

"Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good." {DA 362.2}

"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2016, 05:38:03 AM »
It was to Peter a bitter lesson, and one which he learned but slowly, that the path of Christ on earth lay through agony and humiliation. The disciple shrank from fellowship with his Lord in suffering. But in the heat of the furnace fire he was to learn its blessing. Long afterward, when his active form was bowed with the burden of years and labors, he wrote, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12, 13.  {DA 416.2} 

I have wondered about this before. Peter was smart enough to see if that if his Lord was made to suffer how would His disciples escape suffering? So although on the surface it looks like Peter is looking to protect Christ, Peter was really trying to protect himself. Maybe he was also genuinely concerned for Christ also but Peter's motives were more about himself it appears.

It's interesting to see this in Peter, he speaks out here first, he also speaks out first and claims he'll betray Christ. She said it was a bitter lesson for him to learn and he had to learn it more than one time. I'm not saying that I think I'm better than Peter but only that I hope that with my dull mind that I learn my needed lessons the first time around.
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2016, 06:55:22 AM »
Amen, Jim! We need to learn the lessons as Christ gives them to us--but our only safety is in Jesus! I think you meant when you said, in reference to Peter, "he also speaks out first and claims he'll betray Christ" that you likely meant to add the word "never" between "he'll betray"--but I knew what you meant. Indeed, we need to let self be completely surrendered, or else we are liable to do what Peter did, and think ourselves wiser than Christ. Christ is our only wisdom; we need Him constantly.

I was moved by the following simple statement today:

For six thousand years, faith has builded upon Christ. For six thousand years the floods and tempests of satanic wrath have beaten upon the Rock of our salvation; but it stands unmoved.  {DA 413.4} 

There is no change in the faith we are to exercise. The same gospel of Christ has ever saved us, and it always calls for an entire surrender, and always invites us to partake of the divine nature (which means we will face suffering, but in Christ we rejoice!). I am thankful for the unchanging character of the gospel, and that we can point continually to Jesus together and our constant need of Him!
"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}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 09:21:28 AM »
 amen and amen! "The Christian is ever to realize that he has consecrated himself to God, and that in character he is to reveal Christ to the world."

Jim, how do these lessons apply to our Sabbath school lesson this quarter?
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2016, 08:19:24 PM »
Jim, how do these lessons apply to our Sabbath school lesson this quarter?

The way I see it is that suffering and trials have a purpose. These are the means that expose our weaknesses and rough spots so they can be polished out. Without this most of us wouldn't know we had a problem. Job seems to have suffered than most people but I think that might be because his character development was further along but that is just a theory.
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2017, 06:46:23 AM »
Today's reading was such a blessing--suffering and the cross were before Jesus, and He wanted to have His disciples firmly grounded in His identity as Messiah. But that understanding could not come from man--it was a work of the Holy Spirit to guide and confirm them in truth. May we be open to the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth, and to reveal all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing!

The truth which Peter had confessed is the foundation of the believer's faith. It is that which Christ Himself has declared to be eternal life. But the possession of this knowledge was no ground for self-glorification. Through no wisdom or goodness of his own had it been revealed to Peter. Never can humanity, of itself, attain to a knowledge of the divine. "It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?" Job 11:8. Only the spirit of adoption can reveal to us the deep things of God, which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man." "God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him;" and the fact that Peter discerned the glory of Christ was an evidence that he had been "taught of God." Psalm 25:14; John 6:45. Ah, indeed, "blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee."  {DA 412.3}

What we have learned of Jesus, whatever it is, may we remain humble and teachable! Only is this possible if Jesus is upon the throne of the heart!
"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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2017, 08:33:42 AM »
Amen!  It is the power of God that opens our mind to the truth that saves and transforms the life. It it the Holy Spirit that opens the understanding to the loveliness of Jesus and leads us to hate sin and love God supremely.

     From the first, Peter had believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Many others who had been convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist, and had accepted Christ, began to doubt as to John's mission when he was imprisoned and put to death; and they now doubted that Jesus was the Messiah, for whom they had looked so long. Many of the disciples who had ardently expected Jesus to take His place on David's throne left Him when they perceived that He had no such intention. But Peter and his companions turned not from their allegiance. The vacillating course of those who praised yesterday and condemned today did not destroy the faith of the true follower of the Saviour. Peter declared, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." He waited not for kingly honors to crown his Lord, but accepted Him in His humiliation.   
     Peter had expressed the faith of the twelve. Yet the disciples were still far from understanding Christ's mission. The opposition and misrepresentation of the priests and rulers, while it could not turn them away from Christ, still caused them great perplexity. They did not see their way clearly. The influence of their early training, the teaching of the rabbis, the power of tradition, still intercepted their view of truth. From time to time precious rays of light from Jesus shone upon them, yet often they were like men groping among shadows. But on this day, before they were brought face to face with the great trial of their faith, the Holy Spirit rested upon them in power. For a little time their eyes were turned away from "the things which are seen," to behold "the things which are not seen." 2 Corinthians 4:18. Beneath the guise of humanity they discerned the glory of the Son of God. 


Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the things which are unseen, for they are eternal. All we see with our human eyes will disappear. By beholding the glory of God, His character, we will be changed into His image (character) by the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2017, 04:34:50 AM »
     Peter had expressed the faith of the twelve. Yet the disciples were still far from understanding Christ's mission. The opposition and misrepresentation of the priests and rulers, while it could not turn them away from Christ, still caused them great perplexity. They did not see their way clearly. The influence of their early training, the teaching of the rabbis, the power of tradition, still intercepted their view of truth. From time to time precious rays of light from Jesus shone upon them, yet often they were like men groping among shadows. But on this day, before they were brought face to face with the great trial of their faith, the Holy Spirit rested upon them in power. For a little time their eyes were turned away from "the things which are seen," to behold "the things which are not seen." 2 Corinthians 4:18. Beneath the guise of humanity they discerned the glory of the Son of God.   

 What is the significance of this statement? Let's look at this first: "....the Holy Spirit rested upon them in power." Why did this happen? What does it mean? It was not because of their prayers that He came upon them, it was in answer to the prayer of Jesus. Do we have power with God to bring about such a thing in the lives of others?  For what purpose did the Holy Spirit come with power?  What is the office of the Holy Spirit? So many questions, so few answers. Are we any different than was Israel of Old? Yes, revival and reformation will come to God's church today. It is a promise, even though all will not yield to the power of the Spirit.
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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2017, 07:52:56 AM »
Amen, Richard! You asked some excellent questions, which I will here prayerfully take up (I will put what you stated in green, for clarity):

 What is the significance of this statement? Let's look at this first: "....the Holy Spirit rested upon them in power."

Why did this happen? What does it mean? It was not because of their prayers that He came upon them, it was in answer to the prayer of Jesus.


I agree--Jesus prayers made the Holy Spirit available to the disciples who were struggling to comprehend the spiritual reality of the kingdom Jesus came to establish. Though they did not fully comprehend His mission, they were enabled, as Peter confessed the faith of the disciples, that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, the Messiah.

Do we have power with God to bring about such a thing in the lives of others? 

Yes! The prayers of Christ are to be our prayers for others! We are to follow our great Exemplar in prayer and believe that God hears us!

For what purpose did the Holy Spirit come with power? 

The Holy Spirit came with power to reveal the sufferings of Christ. And so He does today--He wants to reveal to us the real joy of fellowship with Christ in His sufferings, which is the "most weighty trust, and the highest honor" {DA 224.5}. My thoughts were turned to how Peter DID LEARN the lesson in time, once he realized his own weakness and continual need of Jesus:

It was to Peter a bitter lesson, and one which he learned but slowly, that the path of Christ on earth lay through agony and humiliation. The disciple shrank from fellowship with his Lord in suffering. But in the heat of the furnace fire he was to learn its blessing. Long afterward, when his active form was bowed with the burden of years and labors, he wrote, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12, 13.  {DA 416.2} 

This intersects with some of the lesson study in the Sabbath School--we need to realize the blessing of suffering and the cross, rather than try to avoid it. While we do not seek out suffering for its sake, we seek to abide in Jesus, and to follow where He leads--which is a cross, and which does include suffering. We rejoice not merely because of the suffering, but because of the experience we come to have with Christ IN OUR SUFFERINGS! Paul the apostle made this clear:


Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.


What is the office of the Holy Spirit?

I will let an inspired writer answer:

The Holy Spirit exalts and glorifies the Saviour. It is his office to present Christ, the purity of his righteousness, and the great salvation that we have through him. Jesus says, “He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” [John 16:14.] The Spirit of truth is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. How must God esteem the human race, since he gave his Son to die for them, and appoints his Spirit to be man's teacher and continual guide. {CE 59.2}

May we more fully realize our CONTINUAL NEED of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to reveal Jesus to us in His glory, suffering, and righteousness. Let us rejoice that God desires us to be one with Him in mind and character today! What a joy to see the cross in its glory, as Jesus is lifted up! Revival and reformation come to us as we experience His divine work in our lives and continually respond to His work in and through us to exalt Christ and live in full consecration and surrender to His service!


 
"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}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2017, 06:16:56 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  Often we either do not understand or we forget the work of the Holy Spirit. Without His work, none would understand the gospel of grace and His power to transform the life.

   He desired to prepare them for their trials.

He first prayed for His disciples, that the Holy Spirit would rest upon them. If we would pray for others before speaking with them, would we be more successful?

Jesus had not before attempted to show them He was going to suffer and die. Why not? Why did Peter try to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem? Why did Jesus have to tell Satan to get behind Him? Why did Peter reject what the Son of God had told them? Some in the church think doctrine not important. False doctrine had led Peter to resist the gospel truth. False doctrine allowed Saul the Persecutor to put to death Stephen and other followers of Jesus. The Word (doctrine) was made flesh and dwelt among man. Doctrine is truth. It is a revelation of the character of our God. The law is often brought into ill repute by some who preach we are under grace, not law. But, the law is a transcript of the character of God. Why the confusion?

Satan had so deceived God's people that they put to death His dear Son. He has had another 2,000 years to plan for deceiving God's people today. Where has he concentrated his work of deception? Are we so deceived as were His disciples that we reject the gospel itself? Satan was so successful at perverting the gospel that when Jesus hung on the cross, even the mother of Jesus did not think Jesus to be the Messiah. Such a deception that those who were closest to Jesus lost faith in Him.

In order to keep from being deceived, we must be born again of His Spirit. Jesus has warned us that we are in great danger as a people, just as were the Jews as we have read in today's chapter.

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 


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--45--The Foreshadowing of the Cross
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2017, 06:23:41 AM »
I am so thankful for how we can learn what it means to really bear the cross abiding in Christ!!

Love for souls for whom Christ died means crucifixion of self. He who is a child of God should henceforth look upon himself as a link in the chain let down to save the world, one with Christ in His plan of mercy, going forth with Him to seek and save the lost. The Christian is ever to realize that he has consecrated himself to God, and that in character he is to reveal Christ to the world. The self-sacrifice, the sympathy, the love, manifested in the life of Christ are to reappear in the life of the worker for God.  {DA 417.1} 
"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}