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Mimi

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The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« on: July 19, 2007, 09:04:00 AM »
The Dedication


Listen to  The Dedication

 






     About forty days after the birth of Christ, Joseph and Mary took Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, and to offer sacrifice. This was according to the Jewish law, and as man's substitute Christ must conform to the law in every particular. He had already been subjected to the rite of circumcision, as a pledge of His obedience to the law. 
     As an offering for the mother, the law required a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. But the law provided that if the parents were too poor to bring a lamb, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering, might be accepted. 
     The offerings presented to the Lord were to be without blemish. These offerings represented Christ, and from this it is evident that Jesus Himself was free from physical deformity. He was the "lamb without blemish and without spot." 1 Peter 1:19. His physical structure was not marred by any defect; His body was strong and healthy. And throughout His lifetime He lived in conformity to nature's laws. Physically as well as spiritually, He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws. 
     The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner. This gift was to be acknowledged in every household by the consecration of the first-born son. He was to be devoted to the priesthood, as a representative of Christ among men.   
     In the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the dedication of the first-born was again commanded. While the children of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians, the Lord directed Moses to go to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and say, "Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, even My first-born: and I say unto thee, Let My son go, that he may serve Me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy first-born." Exodus 4:22, 23. 
     Moses delivered his message; but the proud king's answer was, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go." Exodus 5:2. The Lord worked for His people by signs and wonders, sending terrible judgments upon Pharaoh. At length the destroying angel was bidden to slay the first-born of man and beast among the Egyptians. That the Israelites might be spared, they were directed to place upon their doorposts the blood of a slain lamb. Every house was to be marked, that when the angel came on his mission of death, he might pass over the homes of the Israelites. 
     After sending this judgment upon Egypt, the Lord said to Moses, "Sanctify unto Me all the first-born, . . . both of man and of beast: it is Mine;" "for on the day that I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto Me all the first-born in Israel, both man and beast: Mine shall they be: I am the Lord." Exodus 13:2; Numbers 3:13. After the tabernacle service was established, the Lord chose the tribe of Levi in the place of the first-born of all Israel to minister in the sanctuary. But the first-born were still to be regarded as the Lord's, and were to be bought back by a ransom. 
     Thus the law for the presentation of the first-born was made particularly significant. While it was a memorial of the Lord's wonderful deliverance of the children of Israel, it prefigured a greater deliverance, to be wrought out by the only-begotten Son of God. As the blood sprinkled on the doorposts had saved the first-born of Israel, so the blood of Christ has power to save the world. 
     What meaning then was attached to Christ's presentation! But the priest did not see through the veil; he did not read the mystery beyond. The presentation of infants was a common scene. Day after day the priest received the redemption money as the babes were presented to the Lord. Day after day he went through the routine of his work, giving little heed to the parents or children, unless he saw some indication of the wealth or high rank of the parents. Joseph and Mary were poor; and when they came with their child, the priests saw only a man and woman dressed as Galileans, and in the humblest garments. There was nothing in their appearance to attract attention, and they presented only the offering made by the poorer classes. 
     The priest went through the ceremony of his official work. He took the child in his arms, and held it up before the altar. After handing it back to its mother, he inscribed the name "Jesus" on the roll of the first-born. Little did he think, as the babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. The priest did not think that this babe was the One of whom Moses had written, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you." Acts 3:22. He did not think that this babe was He whose glory Moses had asked to see. But One greater than Moses lay in the priest's arms; and when he enrolled the child's name, he was enrolling the name of One who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. That name was to be its death warrant; for the system of sacrifices and offerings was waxing old; the type had almost reached its antitype, the shadow its substance. 
     The Shekinah had departed from the sanctuary, but in the Child of Bethlehem was veiled the glory before which angels bow. This unconscious babe was the promised seed, to whom the first altar at the gate of Eden pointed. This was Shiloh, the peace giver. It was He who declared Himself to Moses as the I AM. It was He who in the pillar of cloud and of fire had been the guide of Israel. This was He whom seers had long foretold. He was the Desire of all nations, the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star. The name of that helpless little babe, inscribed in the roll of Israel, declaring Him our brother, was the hope of fallen humanity. The child for whom the redemption money had been paid was He who was to pay the ransom for the sins of the whole world. He was the true "high priest over the house of God," the head of "an unchangeable priesthood," the intercessor at "the right hand of the Majesty on high." Hebrews 10:21; 7:24; 1:3. 
     Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. In the temple the Son of God was dedicated to the work He had come to do. The priest looked upon Him as he would upon any other child. But though he neither saw nor felt anything unusual, God's act in giving His Son to the world was acknowledged. This occasion did not pass without some recognition of Christ. "There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ." 
     As Simeon enters the temple, he sees a family presenting their first-born son before the priest. Their appearance bespeaks poverty; but Simeon understands the warnings of the Spirit, and he is deeply impressed that the infant being presented to the Lord is the Consolation of Israel, the One he has longed to see. To the astonished priest, Simeon appears like a man enraptured. The child has been returned to Mary, and he takes it in his arms and presents it to God, while a joy that he has never before felt enters his soul. As he lifts the infant Saviour toward heaven, he says, "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." 
     The spirit of prophecy was upon this man of God, and while Joseph and Mary stood by, wondering at his words, he blessed them, and said unto Mary, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." 
     Anna also, a prophetess, came in and confirmed Simeon's testimony concerning Christ. As Simeon spoke, her face lighted up with the glory of God, and she poured out her heartfelt thanks that she had been permitted to behold Christ the Lord. 
     These humble worshipers had not studied the prophecies in vain. But those who held positions as rulers and priests in Israel, though they too had before them the precious utterances of prophecy, were not walking in the way of the Lord, and their eyes were not open to behold the Light of life. 
     So it is still. Events upon which the attention of all heaven is centered are undiscerned, their very occurrence is unnoticed, by religious leaders, and worshipers in the house of God. Men acknowledge Christ in history, while they turn away from the living Christ. Christ in His word calling to self-sacrifice, in the poor and suffering who plead for relief, in the righteous cause that involves poverty and toil and reproach, is no more readily received today than He was eighteen hundred years ago.
     Mary pondered the broad and far-reaching prophecy of Simeon. As she looked upon the child in her arms, and recalled the words spoken by the shepherds of Bethlehem, she was full of grateful joy and bright hope. Simeon's words called to her mind the prophetic utterances of Isaiah: "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. . . . And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins." "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. . . . For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 11:1-5; 9:2-6. 
     Yet Mary did not understand Christ's mission. Simeon had prophesied of Him as a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as a glory to Israel. Thus the angels had announced the Saviour's birth as tidings of joy to all peoples. God was seeking to correct the narrow, Jewish conception of the Messiah's work. He desired men to behold Him, not merely as the deliverer of Israel, but as the Redeemer of the world. But many years must pass before even the mother of Jesus would understand His mission. 
     Mary looked forward to the Messiah's reign on David's throne, but she saw not the baptism of suffering by which it must be won. Through Simeon it is revealed that the Messiah is to have no unobstructed passage through the world. In the words to Mary, "A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also," God in His tender mercy gives to the mother of Jesus an intimation of the anguish that already for His sake she had begun to bear. 
     "Behold," Simeon had said, "this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against." They must fall who would rise again. We must fall upon the Rock and be broken before we can be uplifted in Christ. Self must be dethroned, pride must be humbled, if we would know the glory of the spiritual kingdom. The Jews would not accept the honor that is reached through humiliation. Therefore they would not receive their Redeemer. He was a sign that was spoken against.   
     "That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." In the light of the Saviour's life, the hearts of all, even from the Creator to the prince of darkness, are revealed. Satan has represented God as selfish and oppressive, as claiming all, and giving nothing, as requiring the service of His creatures for His own glory, and making no sacrifice for their good. But the gift of Christ reveals the Father's heart. It testifies that the thoughts of God toward us are "thoughts of peace, and not of evil." Jeremiah 29:11. It declares that while God's hatred of sin is as strong as death, His love for the sinner is stronger than death. Having undertaken our redemption, He will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift. The whole treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them all into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him that there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me. 
     At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation. Christ had lived only to comfort and bless, and in putting Him to death, Satan manifested the malignity of his hatred against God. He made it evident that the real purpose of his rebellion was to dethrone God, and to destroy Him through whom the love of God was shown.   
     By the life and the death of Christ, the thoughts of men also are brought to view. From the manger to the cross, the life of Jesus was a call to self-surrender, and to fellowship in suffering. It unveiled the purposes of men. Jesus came with the truth of heaven, and all who were listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit were drawn to Him. The worshipers of self belonged to Satan's kingdom. In their attitude toward Christ, all would show on which side they stood. And thus everyone passes judgment on himself. 
     In the day of final judgment, every lost soul will understand the nature of his own rejection of truth. The cross will be presented, and its real bearing will be seen by every mind that has been blinded by transgression. Before the vision of Calvary with its mysterious Victim, sinners will stand condemned. Every lying excuse will be swept away. Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil. It will be demonstrated that the divine decrees are not accessory to sin. There was no defect in God's government, no cause for disaffection. When the thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed, both the loyal and the rebellious will unite in declaring, "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? . . . for Thy judgments are made manifest." Revelation 15:3, 4. 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2007, 12:01:00 PM »
Amen!  How can one read such truth and not be changed!!  History will be repeated.
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 05:04:00 PM »
"At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation. Christ had lived only to comfort and bless, and in putting Him to death, Satan manifested the malignity of his hatred against God. He made it evident that the real purpose of his rebellion was to dethrone God, and to destroy Him through whom the love of God was shown."

Why did God allow Satan to live? Why did God permit His innocent to come to earth at the risk of  losing Him? Here we have found the answer. A demonstration of both the love of God and the result of sin. At the cross, all witnessed the great love that God has for the sinner as well as the unfallen angels. Not only the love of God was seen, but also was manifested the result of sin. Satan, in view of the unfallen angels and the whole of creation killed the innocent Son of God. This is where sin leads.

Knowing the unfathomable love of God and the results of rebellion against God's law the whole universe is able to choose whom they will serve. The choice is not hard for those who have never fallen. But, it remains for us sinners to learn of God's love and to choose. We, too, must find our lesson at the foot of the cross. By beholding this unmatched love that God has for us while we are yet sinners, we shall become changed into His image from glory to glory(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.

Mimi

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2007, 05:26:00 PM »
In these few paragraphs, it is interesting to read of Mary's reaction to Simeon's and Anna's words regarding her baby.

The Holy Spirit had visited her before conception. He also visited Joseph. Yet, they could not fully comprehend their baby's mission. She recalled the prophecies and still she was not sure.

Bless her!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 10:05:45 PM »
....everyone passes judgment on himself.
     In the day of final judgment, every lost soul will understand the nature of his own rejection of truth. The cross will be presented, and its real bearing will be seen by every mind that has been blinded by transgression. Before the vision of Calvary with its mysterious Victim, sinners will stand condemned. Every lying excuse will be swept away. Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil. It will be demonstrated that the divine decrees are not accessory to sin. There was no defect in God's government, no cause for disaffection. When the thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed, both the loyal and the rebellious will unite in declaring, "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? . . . for Thy judgments are made manifest." Revelation 15:3, 4. 
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2016, 07:52:19 PM »
I love how good God is: "No truth essential to our salvation is withheld..." (DA 57.1). I love this book!
"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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2016, 07:53:34 PM »
Amen!
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2016, 07:57:44 PM »
Hallelujah! If we share the loveliness of Jesus--the loud cry can sound! Jesus desires us to lift Him up so high that we can, like Jonathan to David and John the Baptist in relation with Jesus, rise "to the height of self-abnegation." God is faithful! We need Jesus constantly! "The whole treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save." (DA 57.1). I am so excited about sharing Jesus with others--and letting them realize that they need Jesus constantly in order to be able to bear the fruits of the Spirit. Because 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! Hallelujah!
"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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2016, 06:22:27 AM »
Amen!!  Such love!!  And, opened before us in this chapter is revealed that God has emptied heaven to provide for our salvation. As we read yesterday, He risked His Son that we might be saved. Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!!

And, even Satan, his evil angels, and all of the lost, with the redeemed will acknowledge the Truth! There is no excuse for sin! God provided a remedy that we all might be saved from sinning. That we might be transformed in character by beholding such love!

"That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." In the light of the Saviour's life, the hearts of all, even from the Creator to the prince of darkness, are revealed. Satan has represented God as selfish and oppressive, as claiming all, and giving nothing, as requiring the service of His creatures for His own glory, and making no sacrifice for their good. But the gift of Christ reveals the Father's heart. It testifies that the thoughts of God toward us are "thoughts of peace, and not of evil." Jeremiah 29:11. It declares that while God's hatred of sin is as strong as death, His love for the sinner is stronger than death. Having undertaken our redemption, He will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift. The whole treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them all into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him that there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me.


Let us see our need of this, and the effort being made moment by moment that we might be saved! What a God we serve!!!
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2016, 06:53:46 AM »
I was moved by the same paragraph today, and even got to share a portion of it with the staff here at Camp Sagola where I am serving as a counselor:

That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." In the light of the Saviour's life, the hearts of all, even from the Creator to the prince of darkness, are revealed. Satan has represented God as selfish and oppressive, as claiming all, and giving nothing, as requiring the service of His creatures for His own glory, and making no sacrifice for their good. But the gift of Christ reveals the Father's heart. It testifies that the thoughts of God toward us are "thoughts of peace, and not of evil." Jeremiah 29:11. It declares that while God's hatred of sin is as strong as death, His love for the sinner is stronger than death. Having undertaken our redemption, He will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift. The whole treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them all into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him that there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me. 

So true!
"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}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2016, 04:53:56 AM »
...."When the thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed, both the loyal and the rebellious will unite in declaring. "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name?...for Thy judgments are made manifest."

Even though both groups are saying the same thing the motives of each group are entirely different.

Those that have been loyal are responding with hearts of obedience and love for their Creator and Saviour. They know what it means to fall upon the Rock and be broken. Self has been taken off it's throne and pride has been humbled. Not by some arbitrary force but because they have been drawn by God's love in complete surrender.

The rebellious ones are responding not from hearts of true repentance but because of the scenes of Calvary that will be presented.  They can find no excuse for the choices they have made but there is no change of heart, no surrender, no love for the One who went to Calvary for them. Their surrender is a surrender of defeat. They finally admit to the truth because the truth is laid out for everyone to see and understand.

Which group will I be found in? Only if I am faithful in my daily walk with Jesus will I be found in the group that is loyal to Him. I can not live under a heavy burden of guilt for "yesterday" (unless there is something that has not been confessed) Nor can I live in "tomorrow". God gives me the strength for right "now" as moment by moment through out the day I walk with Him. 

God has made it so easy for us. Why do we make it so complicated by our desire to be in charge?
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2016, 06:44:16 AM »
Amen, Sister Doreen!! God has done all that we might know of His love. "Why do we make it so complicated by our desire to be in charge?"  Man has been deceived about the Father's love. If we would spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, we would learn of His love for us. And, once converted, we need to be reminded of His great love. Again, if we would take time to behold that love, we would be changed into the same character by the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18)!

Each chapter we read is so very beautiful and full of Truth! Here is an example of what Sister Doreen stated about making things hard.

     But those who held positions as rulers and priests in Israel, though they too had before them the precious utterances of prophecy, were not walking in the way of the Lord, and their eyes were not open to behold the Light of life.
     So it is still. Events upon which the attention of all heaven is centered are undiscerned, their very occurrence is unnoticed, by religious leaders, and worshipers in the house of God. Men acknowledge Christ in history, while they turn away from the living Christ. Christ in His word calling to self-sacrifice, in the poor and suffering who plead for relief, in the righteous cause that involves poverty and toil and reproach, is no more readily received today than He was eighteen hundred years ago.


How many are ready to glory in their trials? Why not? Because they have not seen the glory of the Lord, they have not beheld the loveliness of Jesus. Thus, the church remains in a Laodicean condition when they could be rejoicing as they contemplate the soon coming of Jesus. Soon, very soon "the cross will be presented, and its real bearing will be seen by every mind that has been blinded by transgression. Before the vision of Calvary with its mysterious Victim, sinners will stand condemned. Every lying excuse will be swept away. Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. Men will see what their choice has been. Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil.

We do not have to wait until then. We may understand what happened at the cross now. We do not have to wait. The glory shining from the cross is open to our study now. And, if we would make this our study that we might know God, we would be transformed into His image from glory unto glory. It is a promise!!
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2016, 09:07:35 AM »
Amen, sister Doreen and brother Richard! Following Christ is simple if we are continually dependent upon the grace He gives us. No, that does not mean that we will not face trials--rather, we will thank God that He allows them for our ultimate good and for our character to be more like Christ as we abide in Him. Let us remember that the strength we need comes from Christ, and that we are dependent upon Him.

But I marvel in today's reading that Christ became a dependent, helpless child--a little babe to be dedicated! All that needed to be done in accordance with the law had to be done FOR Him, for He did not exercise divine power in His own behalf in His life. Mary and Joseph were obedient and loyal Israelites, and they faithfully performed their part. I love how Simeon and Anna got to see Jesus and they were rejoicing in the knowledge of their Redeemer! So we also may rejoice in Jesus, with even more light than they had of His divine character!

  The spirit of prophecy was upon this man of God, and while Joseph and Mary stood by, wondering at his words, he blessed them, and said unto Mary, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." 
     Anna also, a prophetess, came in and confirmed Simeon's testimony concerning Christ. As Simeon spoke, her face lighted up with the glory of God, and she poured out her heartfelt thanks that she had been permitted to behold Christ the Lord. 
     These humble worshipers had not studied the prophecies in vain. But those who held positions as rulers and priests in Israel, though they too had before them the precious utterances of prophecy, were not walking in the way of the Lord, and their eyes were not open to behold the Light of life. 


What a blessing that we have the Spirit of Prophecy to reveal to us Jesus right here every day as we read The Desire of Ages! What a blessing that we get to have our faces also lit up with the glory (character) of God as we contemplate His marvelous love, the matchless charms of His life. I appreciate that God has ever had witnesses of those who love and appreciate Jesus. You and I can be like Anna and Simeon, and by our testimony of faith in Jesus and who He is to us, others can be greatly encouraged and blessed!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2017, 06:58:54 AM »
In our beautiful reading today we see that we need the Holy Spirit to be able to appreciate and discern the beauty and loveliness of Jesus, as it was for Simeon:

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. In the temple the Son of God was dedicated to the work He had come to do. The priest looked upon Him as he would upon any other child. But though he neither saw nor felt anything unusual, God's act in giving His Son to the world was acknowledged. This occasion did not pass without some recognition of Christ. "There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

What a privilege was afforded to Simeon! But God is no respecter of persons--He would have gladly revealed this truth to the priest in the temple--had the priest been walking in the light of truth. Let us pray that we may be sensitive to the voice of God's Holy Spirit revealing Jesus to us in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Let us see Jesus and exalt Him to others!
"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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2017, 07:55:03 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. We may be converted daily if we will see Jesus. As it was with Simeon and Anna, they understood because they wanted to see Jesus, so it may be with all who seek to see Jesus. When we see Him, we shall then have a standard that we may measure our own character by. Then, we shall understand who we are apart from Christ. Then, we shall fall upon the Rock and be broken. Then Christ can change us. The heart will be cleansed of pride.

"Behold," Simeon had said, "this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against." They must fall who would rise again. We must fall upon the Rock and be broken before we can be uplifted in Christ. Self must be dethroned, pride must be humbled, if we would know the glory of the spiritual kingdom. The Jews would not accept the honor that is reached through humiliation. Therefore they would not receive their Redeemer. He was a sign that was spoken against.    
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2017, 05:56:36 AM »
Yet Mary did not understand Christ's mission. Simeon had prophesied of Him as a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as a glory to Israel. Thus the angels had announced the Saviour's birth as tidings of joy to all peoples. God was seeking to correct the narrow, Jewish conception of the Messiah's work. He desired men to behold Him, not merely as the deliverer of Israel, but as the Redeemer of the world. But many years must pass before even the mother of Jesus would understand His mission. 

My last few recent comments seem for some reason to be focused on education. Here is another example of why proper education is important. Even Mary, the mother of Christ, although willing to bear the burden, didn't understand Christ's mission. While she as a woman probably didn't attend school she was still educated in the ways of religion and tradition. This just shows how hard it is to let go when something has been taught to you from childhood. Reminds me of this verse...

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

At the same time it also shows God's mercy and patience in working with us. Leading us on little by little. Not revealing too much as to discourage us but enough that we can handle. We are told it took Mary many years to learn the lesson. I know God's mercy towards me of not understanding things that I should have understood years ago. We have a gracious and merciful God!
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2017, 08:00:19 AM »
Amen, Jim!  What a merciful Savior!  When we misunderstand truth, religious truth, it colors our attitude towards God. When Mary's Son hung on the cross, she lost faith in Him as the Messiah. Why? Because she did not understand Him to be her Savior. Why? Because the gospel truth had been perverted. Grace was not understood to be necessary for salvation. The Lamb did not need to die in order for man to be saved.

It is interesting, Jim, that I was moved to comment on the very same paragraph that you quoted. I so much appreciate hearing truth come from the lips of others. It adds to our understanding. My thought did not go to the mercy of God, but of the parallel between then and today in regards to the lack of understanding based upon the false teachings within the professing Protestant churches, including our own. Grace is everything, but Satan has perverted the teaching so that the power of grace is not understood. Man thinks he is just fine the way he is. There is no need to behold Jesus daily so that we may see His grace and be saved.....continually.

Speaking of Anna and Simeon "These humble worshipers had not studied the prophecies in vain. But those who held positions as rulers and priests in Israel, though they too had before them the precious utterances of prophecy, were not walking in the way of the Lord, and their eyes were not open to behold the Light of life.
     So it is still. Events upon which the attention of all heaven is centered are undiscerned, their very occurrence is unnoticed, by religious leaders, and worshipers in the house of God. Men acknowledge Christ in history, while they turn away from the living Christ. Christ in His word calling to self-sacrifice, in the poor and suffering who plead for relief, in the righteous cause that involves poverty and toil and reproach, is no more readily received today than He was eighteen hundred years ago."


The "great controversy" rages on, and is soon to close. But, many are being led away from the underlying principles of the battle. A good example was the teaching to the world church in the Sabbath School lessons on Job. It was far removed from the truth regarding the "great controversy." Even though the subject was brought up, it was not set on the foundation of truth. The suffering of Job was not discerned to be for his good. It was not seen that the controversy was revealed in the perfection of Job's moral character as revealed in the first chapter; A keeping of the law by fallen man which Satan said was not possible, thus Satan charged God as being unfair. Job's perfection revealed Satan to be a liar. The deception did not end with that being mis-taught. Satan continues his lie in defining sin. When Job was self righteous, as God said, Satan continues to teach that Job did not sin. Such deceptions, and they often are not discerned.  :(

As man lives day by day, the common duties of life wear away his opportunity to regain a character which would fit him for heaven. He does not discern the fulfilling of prophecies which point to the soon coming of Christ. Religious leaders fail to see the need to spend a thoughtful hour a day feeding upon the Manna which came down from heaven. There is no spiritual life without partaking of the "Bread of Life."  Grace is not given for tomorrow. We must come to the foot of the cross daily if we want to win in the battle of life.
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--5--The Dedication
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2017, 09:02:55 AM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! We need true education that begins at the foot of the cross--we need to behold the loveliness of Jesus, discern our great need of His divine help, and accept His grace to form perfect characters that may be fitted for heaven.

 Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. In the temple the Son of God was dedicated to the work He had come to do. The priest looked upon Him as he would upon any other child. But though he neither saw nor felt anything unusual, God's act in giving His Son to the world was acknowledged. This occasion did not pass without some recognition of Christ. "There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ." 

We need our spiritual vision to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit to even discern and appreciate the blessing to be had here in The Desire of Ages. How many do not see how special this book is, or how precious Jesus is as revealed in these chapters of His character? By beholding we become changed. If we chiefly value earthly good, money, power, or fame (as many of the Jews did at the time of Christ), then the lowly Jesus will not immediately attract our attention. But if we choose to behold Him and realize how much He loves us, and come to see the things of this life in proper perspective (as insignificant, small, and worthless without Jesus), then we can rejoice that God calls us to behold Him and become like Him in character. Let us pray that we may more fully appreciate all that Jesus is to us today, and speak to Him throughout the day that He would help us to discern spiritual things and the nature of what is taking place around us in God's plan for our good.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2017, 05:45:57 AM »
This thought was just so amazing to me this morning--what condescension on the part of Christ!

 The priest went through the ceremony of his official work. He took the child in his arms, and held it up before the altar. After handing it back to its mother, he inscribed the name "Jesus" on the roll of the first-born. Little did he think, as the babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. The priest did not think that this babe was the One of whom Moses had written, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you." Acts 3:22. He did not think that this babe was He whose glory Moses had asked to see. But One greater than Moses lay in the priest's arms; and when he enrolled the child's name, he was enrolling the name of One who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. That name was to be its death warrant; for the system of sacrifices and offerings was waxing old; the type had almost reached its antitype, the shadow its substance. 

This unconscious babe was the King of Kings! What an infinite sacrifice! What a risk our Heavenly Father took in entrusting Him to Joseph and Mary, and to come and suffer and die for us! What wondrous love is this! I am amazed as I think of how heaven must have viewed this--and since we have as it were a "front row" seat to the events that took place through reading The Desire of Ages, my earnest heart desire is to love Jesus more for all that He has done for me, and to let that love flow to others today and always! I choose to be "all in" for Jesus by surrendering my heart and life to Him anew today!
"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}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2017, 09:24:15 AM »
There are revelations in these chapters that at times leave you speechless. I just want to bask in the warm embrace of the "Matchless Charms of Christ".

Thank you for your testimony of what our Saviour means to you Pastor Sean. It has a way of strengthening my faith and commitment in Him also. 

I can't help but reflect today on the statement in this chapter that says..."We must fall upon the Rock and be broken before we can be uplifted in Christ. Self must be dethroned, pride must be humbled, if we would know the glory of the spiritual kingdom."...."From the manger to the cross the life of Jesus was a call to self-surrender and to fellowship in suffering."

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14