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Richard Myers

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Welcome! Join With Us as We Read Daily The Desire of Ages
« on: September 12, 2000, 06:31:00 AM »








Welcome to our daily reading of The Desire of Ages!   We invite you to share your blessings as you are moved by the Spirit of God while beholding the loveliness of Jesus.

To post your thoughts, it is easy,     E-mail         administrator@remnant-online.com      and you can begin sharing how Jesus is blessing you as you behold His glory. "That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalm 26:7   



The book The Desire of Ages is the most beautiful portrayal of the life of Jesus that has ever been written. It is an inspired revelation of who God is. Next to the Bible it is the most important book ever written. Why? Because it reveals our God in a manner that God has directed. Jesus said "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Again he says, "I am in the Father, and the Father in me." "No man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." The character of God is everything to us. By beholding Him we become like Him. We want to know what is right and what is wrong. We want to be like Jesus. He has given us an opportunity to know Him. Shall we look upon Jesus?

All Christians come to know God in very personal ways. God reaches out to lost humanity in many different ways. From the earliest years of life He speaks to the mind of the little child through the Holy Spirit. In the darkest jungles of Africa, He speaks through the book of nature. In those lands where people are privileged to have books, and the freedom to print them, God speaks through the Bible.

The Lord Jesus sends His missionaries throughout the world teaching the precepts that are clearly laid out in His Book. In the last days of this earth's history we are told that He will pour out His Spirit upon His people. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy."

And what shall they dream, and what shall they see, and what shall they speak? Will not they speak of Him who gave all that we might live? Yes, they will speak of Jesus.

Following is the first of 87 topics that will be started, one for each chapter of the book. May the Lord bless all that read and all that post.

"His name shall be called Immanuel, . . . God with us." "The light of the knowledge of the glory of God" is seen "in the face of Jesus Christ." From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was "the image of God," the image of His greatness and majesty, "the outshining of His glory." It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God's love,--to be "God with us." Therefore it was prophesied of Him, "His name shall be called Immanuel."

This is to be our study now and throughout eternity. The love of God, that He would give us His Son. That He would allow His innocent Son to suffer the penalty of our Sins, that we might have a place with Him on His throne! The cost was infinite and yet so many refuse to accept this most precious gift, refuse to be changed into His likeness.

There is a most beautiful passage that explains not only the character of our God, but the character of those who know not Christ. "Now sin has marred God's perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf. The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud."

We too, may have this character. We may receive the same power that Jesus obtained from His Father to live an unselfish life. Satan has said over and over that God is not fair because He gave man His law that could not be obeyed. But, here in this first chapter we find the Biblical truth that we can obey God's law of love.

"Satan represents God's law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. 'In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren.' Heb. 2:17. If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was 'in all points tempted like as we are.' Heb. 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. He says, 'I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.' Ps. 40:8. As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God's law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God."


The power of God's love will be displayed in His church upon this earth. The character of Jesus will be revealed in His people.  Of His people God says, "They shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land. For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!" Zech. 9:16, 17. The exaltation of the redeemed will be an eternal testimony to God's mercy".





_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________






"God With Us"


 Listen to   "God With Us"

         



     "His name shall be called Immanuel, . . . God with us." "The light of the knowledge of the glory of God" is seen "in the face of Jesus Christ." From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was "the image of God," the image of His greatness and majesty, "the outshining of His glory." It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God's love,--to be "God with us." Therefore it was prophesied of Him, "His name shall be called Immanuel."
     By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,--God's thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, "I have declared unto them Thy name,"--"merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,"--"that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them." But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given. Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God's wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which "angels desire to look," and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which "seeketh not her own" has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto. 
     In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. "His strength setteth fast the mountains." "The sea is His, and He made it." Psalm 65:6; 95:5. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father's love.   
     Now sin has marred God's perfect work, yet that handwriting remains. Even now all created things declare the glory of His excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf. The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.
     The angels of glory find their joy in giving,--giving love and tireless watchcare to souls that are fallen and unholy. Heavenly beings woo the hearts of men; they bring to this dark world light from the courts above; by gentle and patient ministry they move upon the human spirit, to bring the lost into a fellowship with Christ which is even closer than they themselves can know. 
     But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus. Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give. "I do nothing of Myself," said Christ; "the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father." "I seek not Mine own glory," but the glory of Him that sent Me. John 8:28; 6:57; 8:50; 7:18. In these words is set forth the great principle which is the law of life for the universe. All things Christ received from God, but He took to give. So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings: through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus through Christ the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life.
     In heaven itself this law was broken. Sin originated in self-seeking. Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in heaven. He sought to gain control of heavenly beings, to draw them away from their Creator, and to win their homage to himself. Therefore he misrepresented God, attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation. With his own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men. He led them to doubt the word of God, and to distrust His goodness. Because God is a God of justice and terrible majesty, Satan caused them to look upon Him as severe and unforgiving. Thus he drew men to join him in rebellion against God, and the night of woe settled down upon the world. 
     The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan's deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world's dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, "with healing in His wings." Malachi 4:2. 
     The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of "the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal." Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God's throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. 
     Lucifer had said, "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; . . . I will be like the Most High." Isaiah 14:13, 14. But Christ, "being in the form of God, counted it not a thing to be grasped to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men." Philippians 2:6, 7, R. V., margin.
     This was a voluntary sacrifice. Jesus might have remained at the Father's side. He might have retained the glory of heaven, and the homage of the angels. But He chose to give back the scepter into the Father's hands, and to step down from the throne of the universe, that He might bring light to the benighted, and life to the perishing. 
     Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, "Lo, I come." "Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. . . . Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God." Hebrews 10:5-7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, "A body hast Thou prepared Me." Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity,--the invisible glory in the visible human form.
     This great purpose had been shadowed forth in types and symbols. The burning bush, in which Christ appeared to Moses, revealed God. The symbol chosen for the representation of the Deity was a lowly shrub, that seemingly had no attractions. This enshrined the Infinite. The all-merciful God shrouded His glory in a most humble type, that Moses could look upon it and live. So in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, God communicated with Israel, revealing to men His will, and imparting to them His grace. God's glory was subdued, and His majesty veiled, that the weak vision of finite men might behold it. So Christ was to come in "the body of our humiliation" (Philippians 3:21, R. V.), "in the likeness of men." In the eyes of the world He possessed no beauty that they should desire Him; yet He was the incarnate God, the light of heaven and earth. His glory was veiled, His greatness and majesty were hidden, that He might draw near to sorrowful, tempted men.   
     God commanded Moses for Israel, "Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" (Exodus 25:8 ), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life. "The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the Only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth." John 1:14, R. V., margin. 
     Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour's life on earth, we see
 "God with us."
     Satan represents God's law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death. Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. "In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren." Hebrews 2:17. If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was "in all points tempted like as we are." Hebrews 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. He says, "I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:8. As He went about doing good, and healing all who were afflicted by Satan, He made plain to men the character of God's law and the nature of His service. His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God. 
     By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey. It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, "I AM THAT I AM. . . . Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." Exodus 3:14. This was the pledge of Israel's deliverance. So when He came "in the likeness of men," He declared Himself the I AM. The Child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God "manifest in the flesh." 1 Timothy 3:16. And to us He says: "I AM the Good Shepherd." "I AM the living Bread." "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life." "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." John 10:11; 6:51; 14:6; Matthew 28:18. I AM the assurance of every promise. I AM; be not afraid. "God with us" is the surety of our deliverance from sin, the assurance of our power to obey the law of heaven. 
     In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation. "Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:8. As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest, so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him." Isaiah 53:5.
     Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. "With His stripes we are healed." 
     By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son." John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder." God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the "Son of man" who shares the throne of the universe. It is the "Son of man" whose name shall be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. The I AM is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both. He who is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," is not ashamed to call us brethren. Hebrews 7:26;  2:11. In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love. 
     Of His people God says, "They shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land. For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!" Zechariah 9:16, 17. The exaltation of the redeemed will be an eternal testimony to God's mercy. "In the ages to come," He will "show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." "To the intent that . . . unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known . . . the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 2:7; 3:10, 11, R. V. 
     Through Christ's redeeming work the government of God stands justified. The Omnipotent One is made known as the God of love. Satan's charges are refuted, and his character unveiled. Rebellion can never again arise. Sin can never again enter the universe. Through eternal ages all are secure from apostasy. By love's self-sacrifice, the inhabitants of earth and heaven are bound to their Creator in bonds of indissoluble union. 
     The work of redemption will be complete. In the place where sin abounded, God's grace much more abounds. The earth itself, the very field that Satan claims as his, is to be not only ransomed but exalted. Our little world, under the curse of sin the one dark blot in His glorious creation, will be honored above all other worlds in the universe of God. Here, where the Son of God tabernacled in humanity; where the King of glory lived and suffered and died,--here, when He shall make all things new, the tabernacle of God shall be with men, "and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." And through endless ages as the redeemed walk in the light of the Lord, they will praise Him for His unspeakable Gift,--


                    Immanuel, "God with us."
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Kellee

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2000, 08:22:00 AM »
(1) God has always revealed His glory in humble ways. ie, the burning bush, Jesus...
Is that just so we can behold Him in our sinful state, or might we be wrong in assuming He'll throw off all humble-ness at the Second Coming?

(2) "He [Jesus] exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God."

This really leapt out to me since I have been thinking about righteousness by faith. We usually point to Jesus as proof that, as humans, we can overcome sin. But Jesus, Himself, did not overcome sin on His own - even He relied on His own connection with God! I thought that was a neat idea.

(3) Satan wants to ruin us through sin "but in Christ, we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen."

That statement still amazes me!

(4) "In the place where sin abounds, God's grace much more abounds."

It really is hard to be lost. I think you have to be quite literally hell-bent on destruction.


Richard Myers

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2000, 08:53:00 AM »
Sister Kellee, "Many are called, but few are chosen." The road to heaven is straight, narrow, and steep. No one, not one, can get there even if they have the strength of Samson without the supernatural power of God. Having made that very plain, as it is in the Bible, I want to express the other side. There is no excuse for sin, not one. It is sin that will keep us out of heaven. God has provided a remedy for our hopeless condition, Jesus Christ. If we will learn of Him, we will love Him and therein is the power to keep the law of God. 

Sister Kelley, I appreciate what you have said about Jesus overcoming in the power given Him from His Father. Even though He was God, He was fully man and did not use His power to overcome sin. He is our example because He used power that is available to us. One of the reasons so many will be lost is that they believe a lie. They believe they can go to heaven without overcoming sin. They do not believe they need the power of God continually to overcome. Most think they are going to get their holy character when they get to heaven. What a deception! Today is the day we are to allow Jesus into our hearts that we might have His character and therefore be fit for heaven.mYou hit the nail right on the head!  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan Rügemer

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2000, 03:48:00 AM »

Is it unitedly agreed up among us that the word 'sin' may at all times be substituted for the word rebellion ?

If rebellion is accepted as adequate theologically to describe the separation of a person from God, then is it a 'general' condition of the heart that the word sin/rebellion has as the meaning? In contrast to the single acts of sining or rebelling ?

Is somebody saying that a single act of sin after a true conversion and baptism causes one to loose the sealing of the Holy Spirit for being resurrected when Jesus comes in the clouds ?

I have always hold to the mental state of mind that my general bondage to rebellion was broken as I committed my heart/mind/soul Jesus. Now in my state of living in Santification days, He is working with me to clean up the residue of habit to single acts of spontaneously sinning. But I have always accepted my growth at each month of the year as being 'perfect' for that season of maturing because my eyes were on Jesus. My impulse to certain acts of rebellion has lessened with maturing. I am even more so to say 'perfect' in my life style now over as for twenty years ago. But if I had died 20 years ago as a true follower of Jesus though young in the faith, I am convinced that the spirit of God was so sealed in me dispite of my immaturities and proness to hurting others or whatever in sin acts then, that I still would have been of those in the resurrection of the righteous which is yet to take place. So my level of holiness may have been then different than now but I believe I would have still been accepted for the heavenly trip.

All of the above is based on the trust in the adequecy of the righteousness of Christ which is/was covering me because the blood of Christ covers for the future sins as well as the present. Not in my santification status in regard to elements of rebellion in me.

Joan


tami strand

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2000, 10:58:00 PM »
Richard, I would like to share one of my favorite paragraphs from this chapter.

"It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal seperation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken."

Tami


Kellee

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2000, 12:41:00 AM »
Tami,

Thanks for quoting that paragraph - it is still one of my most favorites from the whole book! Doesn't the power of God just amaze you?

Look at the problem of sin - who could imagine anything worse than a split right down the middle of God's universe? And of course, God did not wish for us to sin. But once we had, He said, Okay now I'm going to take your mistake and bring such a marvelous blessing from it that we'll be closer than we ever could have before.

What kind of God is this, anyway??

If He can take a major problem like sin and bring something glorious out of it, I am assured that He can take all of my petty, stupid mistakes and turn them around for His glory! What a God!


R Myers

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2000, 10:34:00 AM »
Sister Tami, the passage you have chosen is indeed amazing in it's revelation. These chapters are full of significance and even after reading them over and over for many years, I still learn more each time.

Your post is, I believe, heaven inspired to answer both Sister Kellee and the post just previous by Sister Joan. At issue in this great controversy between Christ and Satan is the "righteousness of Christ". Satan has been successful in great measure at blinding the eyes of humanity to the loveliness and the power of our God, which can both be summed up in one Word, grace.

Satan has charged God with being unfair in asking humanity to obey His law. He says it cannot be obeyed. Yet, in this beautiful book, over and over again it is stated that we can obey, in Christ. We are told that Jesus is our example in that He received power from above to obey and this same power is available to us.

Why is it we do not obey? What is the significance of our sins? Are we going to heaven if we continue in sin? How can we know the answer to these questions? Can we know? Will we trust in human wisdom or will we seek wisdom from above?<P>How many sins does it take to show that one is separated from God? Shall I be my own judge? Or shall we go to the Word to find out what are the conditions of eternal life? There are some ideas that have taken root and now must be addressed. We war not against flesh and blood, but rather against a foe that has had 6,000 years to sharpen his skill at deception. Only the power of God through the Word and the Holy Spirit can meet this challenge to truth.

Sister Tami, this passage you have chosen is an answer to his charge against the power of God's grace. Let us look at it. "It was Satan's purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen."

>Satan wants us to be eternally separated from God.  Has he been successful?  Well, we can see the world and say, yes, but what of God's people?  We look at Revelation chapter three and have to say, "yes" also. Is there hope in that the situation will change? Yes, the solution to our "lost" condition is given. Before we will seek a solution, we must first see we are lost. <P>Some may say, "The condition applies to the church, not me."  Fine, it may well be, but if it is so, then you will understand the message and know when you are in Christ and when you are not. Abiding in Christ we have eternal life and when not in Christ we do not have eternal life. "in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen."  The key words, "IN CHRIST".

This is not a whole study, The Desire of Ages is. My reply to the question, "What does it mean to be IN CHRIST?" is this. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9. This is not my answer, but God's reply. Condemnation remains for all who sin a sin that they know is sin. Guilt brings death. If there is no guilt, then there is no knowledge of sin. If there is guilt, then go to Jesus and He will remove the guilt and more than this He will grant you grace to continue in His Spirit, and thus  "in Christ" we have eternal life. We do not believe in "once saved always saved", it is un-Biblical. We must abide in Christ to retain eternal life. The "monstrous teaching" within the church is that when one sins he does not have to be rejustified. This is a pointed teaching and is un-Biblical.

Listen to the conversation between Christ and a lawyer. "And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, 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. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live." The heart with Christ in it brings forth good fruit, it cannot bring forth evil fruit (known sin).  Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. Let us abide in Christ that we might have love one for another. This is eternal life. It is simple, don't eat one bite from what God has said not to eat and you will live. The soul that sinneth shall surely die. The Lord will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear IF we will abide in Him. It is a promise. We must go to Jesus just as we are and He will not only forgive us, but He  cleanse us from all of our unrighteousness. As we behold His love, His goodness, we shall become like Him. This we may do each morning as we read The Desire of Ages.

Joan Rügemer

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2000, 11:35:00 AM »
<<<We do not believe in "once saved always saved", it is un-Biblical. We must abide in Christ to retain eternal life. The "monstrous teaching" within the church is that when one sins he does not have to be rejustified. This is a pointed teaching and is un-Biblical.>>>

Yes, I believed this even as I moved and worshiped among non-adventist churches. The Spirit taught me this early in my abiding in Christ.

So one must know the 'law' in it's entirety to have the knowledge of what is sin ? Most of us are not read up on the Law of God when we become new believers. We sin and are not aware of having broken the law. I know that Romans gives witness to the law in the hearts of the heathen being a witness for or against them.

Have we new in Christ lost our justification before God because of our immaturities being lived out in the new walk of faith ?

Joan


Kellee

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2000, 12:03:00 PM »
Richard,

Thank you for your post. It was so interesting to see a new perspective on that passage! I had never once looked at it and seen Obedience to the Law. I have always looked at it from relationship. In dealing with the sin problem, we see a clearer picture of God than has ever been revealed in all the history of the universe; thus, we're closer to Him than we would be if we had never sinned.

But it was neat to see a different perspective.


Richard Myers

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2000, 12:56:00 PM »
Sister Joan,  no matter what we believe, we know that God is not only merciful, but just. He bends over backwards to save us. We know this as we read in this beautiful book; we see how far He went to save us.

I anticipated that some would not take into consideration that God judges our heart, not our outward actions. "This is not my answer, but God's reply. Condemnation remains for all who sin a sin that they know is sin." Those that are not willfully ignorant of the Sabbath truth will not be judged guilty of breaking the fourth commandment. "To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

If I understand you correctly, this should answer your concern. If you are going beyond this to the committing of known sin, then we have to say that even if the sin is not willful, nor premeditated, it still is sin and produces guilt and reveals a separation from God. This is not bad news even though it requires re-justification, or for those that are unfamiliar with the term, it requires confession and repentance in order attain to eternal life. Without repentance there is no forgiveness of our (known) sin. It is not bad news, because for those of us who love Jesus, we can return to Him confessing our sins and we have the promise of His forgiveness and cleansing power. Why should we be discouraged? We should not, rather we should see how weak we are and learn from our sin as Peter did when he was young in the faith.

We trust too much in ourselves when we are new in the faith and do not see our constant need of Jesus.  Jesus does not forsake us, He continues to knock on the door of the heart wanting back IN. We must acknowledge the correct understanding that He is not IN the heart when we do known sin and come quickly back to Him. This is His desire.  :)

I pray this helps to clarify our continual need of the Spirit of Jesus Christ IN our hearts that we might do His will (law as we know it)and retain eternal life.
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: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2000, 01:40:00 PM »
Sister Kellee, it is exciting to learn with others. As the Holy Spirit impresses our minds we are moved greatly. As we realize that He talks to others, we long to learn what they have been shown. It requires a death to self in order to appreciate what others are learning, or else self gets in the way. It is our natural heritage. That is not to make an excuse, but rather to acknowledge my great need of a total surrender moment by moment in order to receive His spiritual lessons.

You say "In dealing with the sin problem, we see a clearer picture of God than has ever been revealed in all the history of the universe; thus, we're closer to Him than we would be if we had never sinned."

Let's look a little closer at the "why".  I see two things happening.  Jesus bound Himself to humanity and did not take on the nature of angels who never fell. This makes Him one of us, who are in Christ. Also,  we who are IN Christ, have seen His love for us who have wounded Him. Angels receive no unmerited favor as we do. They cannot know of His love as we do. Those who have been forgiven much,love much. This is the sense that I see as being so very important, for this is what produces the new heart. Because we are so guilty and because we have been forgiven so much, we love so much. This binds us together with our Savior and our God in a relationship more intimate than the angels have with our Savior. They are not jealous, for they are Holy. They, like us who have sinned but now are abiding in Christ, find their great joy in giving.

It is the personal knowledge of my sins and the cost to my Savior to be forgiven that binds me personally to Him, closer than the angels that have never fallen.  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Kellee

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2000, 02:14:00 PM »
Richard,

After reading over your previous post, I think I agree with a lot of what you said. However, I also think that the quoted statement is true of the angels as well as us.

If Jesus also died for sinless angels, then part of what happened at the cross must also have been a demonstration of the truth about God (because the angels didn't really understand His character even though they lived with Him). The whole universe has been drawn closer to God as a result of sin, at least this is how I understand these passages from EGW and the Bible.


Joan Rügemer

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2000, 01:35:00 AM »
I have no recollection ever reading that the unfallen angels who stayed true to their first estate ever needed a Saviour or one to atone for their sin. They never rebelled.

May I also add that I have never read any theory or teaching that states that the atonement of Christ will be taken in claim by the Devil and his fallen angels to cleanse them from their sin of rebellion.

Joan

[This message has been edited by Joan Rügemer (edited 09-18-2000).]


Kellee

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2000, 02:41:00 AM »
Joan,

You're right. God did not have to die to atone for the sin of angels (who did not sin). But sinless angels still needed the cross. Why?

"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell with him [Christ] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Colossians 1:20

Wait a minute...reconcile things in heaven?? Were things out of order in heavenly places? Apparently so. The angels still had questions over the charges that Satan had brought, and they needed just as much the revelation of God's character as we did.

Check out these passages too:

"...to put all things in heaven and on earth together under one head." Ephesians 1:10

"...the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms..." Ephesians 3:10

Even in the third chapter of DOA, we see that the angels did not understand the character of God. The fullness of time to them meant that God was going to rise up and sweep away everyone on the face of the earth. They thought He was a killer! And then Jesus came... and their own view of God was forever changed.

This will become more clear when we reach the chapters on the cross...I can't say it as well as Ellen did!  ;D


Elder John Thurber

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2000, 05:20:00 AM »
I would just like to thank you Richard and others for the clearity of the truth. In this thread. I will make more comments later if it is still going when I get back from my trip. I have been out of touch with all going on for some time but I love the study of the DA.
What a price Christ paid for us. When sin first entered the Angels stoped their singing in heaven, for they could not see a way to rectify the sin problem. But as soon as the story of redemption was announced in heaven all of heaven began to sing again. Praise the Lord. Friend John

Richard Myers

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2000, 08:18:00 PM »
Pastor John, we will miss you and yes, we will keep this thread going until Jesus comes back! It is a promise.  There are nuggets of gold still buried here!  :)  I know that when we mine together we will turn up more than when I do it by myself!   :)

We await your return.

Richard

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: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2000, 08:27:00 PM »
Sister Kellee, I want to agree with you, but I want to say that the language could be improved upon, I think.  "Reconcile" has a very important meaning in our religion. It is more than understanding God's character better, it is a condition of the heart. It means to be one with God. The angels who never fell do not need to be "reconciled" to God. 

You are absolutely correct in saying the cross was crucial to the understanding of the character of God for the angels as well as for man.  It was an angel of unsurpassed beauty and intelligence that first fell. What is to stop one of the holy angels today from doing as Lucifer did?  The revelation of the love of God as seen at the cross. The grace of God extended to selfish man is for the purpose of keeping holy angels holy for eternity, as well as keeping you and I holy today. The blood of Jesus has keeping power for angels and fallen man! Some will argue, but it does not change this beautiful truth. :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Kellee

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2000, 11:01:00 PM »
"It was an angel of unsurpassed beauty and intelligence that first fell. What is to stop one of the holy angels today from doing as Lucifer did? The revelation of the love of God as seen at the cross."

Richard, what can I say? When you're right, you're REALLY right!!  ;D


Richard Myers

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2000, 07:00:00 AM »
Sister Kellee, I take it you agree with this thought. :)

We are all erring humans capable of being wrong and therefore we ought to stay close to Jesus and listen to what others bring to us from the Bible. We ought to pray carefully over our study to see if we misunderstand what we have believed on a particular point. The consequences of being wrong fall upon our Lord. Many run with a message that never came from God and it does great harm. Souls are influenced away from the truth.

My dear sister, if you believe I have stated something that is opposed to the truth, then since I have broadcast what I believe to be the gospel widely, it would be important that you attempt to show me my error. I will spend the time with you.  If you care to do so privately that is fine, but since my teaching has been public for many years, it would be good for all to see the error so that it could be correct in their minds also.

Speaking in such public forums as TRO, opens one to a lot of criticism. This is the nature of teaching the truth. My admonition to all that study with me has always been to take what I say and compare it with the Bible. If you find there is something that is not correct, then let's take a look. Don't believe it because I said it. If you do, then you will believe someone else who comes with error. Always make certain it is true according to your own study.

It is good to see we are in agreement on this most important subject of the power of God's grace to keep one from sinning.  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Kellee

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Re: Read Online The Desire of Ages--1--God With Us
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2000, 08:40:00 AM »
Dear Richard,

I would not pretend to know the fundamentals of your beliefs - honestly, I have not read that widely on this forum. A few sections here and there...

My intent in posting here is not to "preach" or to try to point out where others are in "error." I just want to share what God is saying to me as I read each morning.

If we happen to agree on things, wonderful! May God be praised! If we disagree on some things, that's alright with me.  ;D