Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour  (Read 17362 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2016, 09:16:59 AM »
This chapter contains truth that has moved me more than anything I have ever read or heard in my life. If after prayerfully reading this chapter, you have not seen grace, then pray more and read it again. It is appropriate that this chapter comes up on God's Sabbath Day. It is an amazing thing to be able to say this after reading the chapters Gethsemane, Calvary, and It is Finished daily for over three months. The blessings each day were great, but did not compare to what I saw when I began reading from the beginning of the book and reached this chapter. I look forwarded to sharing my testimony later today. May God grant to each of you reading this chapter an extra measure of His Spirit that you might be moved by His grace.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6537
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2016, 05:21:44 PM »
We can grasp so little of what it meant for Jesus to stoop and then only as God can reveal it to us. Since we can only grasp a little of heaven we can only grasp a little of what it meant for Christ to leave it and come down and take upon Himself humanity.

We through experience know of the depths of sin. Though we know something of our Savior and His glory we haven't seen the half of it yet. Only a little. We will far better appreciate what Jesus has done when we, through experience, physically enter heaven, and are able to better realize what He left and what He would have left forever for us, if it were required of Him. Maybe only then will we really understand the love of Christ.

And maybe then, as the pages of eternity keep turning through timelessness, as we come continually closer to entering into a knowledge of the relationship between the Father and the Son we will continue to learn the depths of the sacrifice of Christ for a sinful race.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2016, 09:29:11 PM »
Amen, cp.  When by God's grace we get to heaven, we will then understand how much Christ gave up for us a little better than we do now. But, this chapter reveals the love that our heavenly Father has for us in a manner that is so very amazing!  So amazing that the prophet of God said "Wonder O heaven, and be astonished O Earth!" Let's take a look at what would cause such a powerful statement.  We begin three paragraphs from the end of the chapter.

     The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.
     Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
     The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!


As I said, I had been reading Gethsemane, Calvary, and It is Finished for my devotions daily for three months. Over and over I read about the closing scenes of the life of Christ. Over over I was blessed more and more. We are told it would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each  day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes. And, by beholding His glory we will be changed into the same image (character).  It is true. Finally the Holy Spirit impressed me I needed to begin again at the start of the book. I did. And, I was being blessed, but not like I had been when reading those three chapters. As I began reading at the end of this chapter "the story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" I could not understand why this was being said. I believed it to be true, but how could it be in light of the other statement about spending a thoughtful hour contemplating, especially the closing scenes? Now, I read that in Bethlehem is hidden "the wisdom and knowledge of God". The knowledge of God is everything to us. It is where Satan has deceived the world and even 1/3 of the angels who fell. And, rather than at the cross, we find the "depth of the riches" about God at the beginning of Christ's life in Bethlehem!

I knew both statements to be truth, but I could not reconcile them, especially after having been so greatly blessed by spending that time contemplating His life at its end. My mind was racing looking for an answer as I continued reading these three last paragraphs. As I read, I acknowledged what I was reading was true, but it did not answer my concern. Then I got to this part: "Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners." I had read this many times, but had not considered what was being said. The point was being forcefully made that Satan HATED Christ. OK, that was being seen more clearly, but it still did not address my concern.

Then came this: "Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity." Oh.....never really spent time contemplating these two thoughts together. Satan really HATED Christ, and God let His innocent Son come to this planet where this evil being who hated Christ ruled...and He came not only as a helpless babe, but in the likeness of sinful flesh! Whoa.... never thought about that. But, I still don't see it clearly yet.  My mind is zeroed in, but nothing to take away from the importance of the closing scenes.  Then my heart sank:  "He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss."

Now, I see! Never had I understood what I had read so many times before. Our heavenly Father understood what He was doing when after three times of being asked by Jesus if He could be our surety, His Father said yes. Don't think it was easy for God to say yes. It was not. It involved quite a risk. Now, just in case I questioned what I read, God inspired the prophet to say it again in a way that would remove any question about what was written.

The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!

I had my answer and fell on my knees asking my heavenly Father for forgiveness for having sinned after coming to a knowledge of His love. Before I could get the words out of my mouth, the answer came back "I forgive you." That caused me to fall on my face, and to ask again for forgiveness. Before I could get the words out of my mouth, the answer came again, "I forgive you".  I was still to high and attempted to push my face into the floor asking again for forgiveness, and again came the words "I forgive you". Grace is more than a word, it is the transforming power that changes a sinner into a saint.

It is interesting to see how God leads in our lives. He used my reading this most wonderful book to reveal not just the life of Christ, but to reveal how much He loves me by pointing out how much it hurt Him to watch His innocent Son suffer, and how a great a risk had been taken, that might have resulted in His Son being eternally separated from Him. Yes, no wonder the prophet would exclaim "wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!"
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 6537
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2016, 07:01:34 AM »
Yes, Richard, and had the mission failed what then ? What if Jesus had at a week moment Jesus _______. How would that be resolved ?   And then , even if there was no risk, (and there was) imagine the pain of the Father just knowing that Jesus could not see past the cross to where it promised Him coming through successful. Even this part of the sacrifice alone would be crushing. We have so much to learn as we are able to enter more and more into the eternal.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2016, 08:53:31 AM »
Amen, cp.    One does not have to be a parent in order to feel the pain our heavenly Father felt. But, to be a father and to consider that desire to protect your child enables one to know a little of what God thought about and felt as His Son entered this world where Satan claimed dominion. And to think, He was a helpless babe subject to human weakness!! Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!!


     Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and the world that God created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die. I saw the lovely Jesus, and beheld an expression of sympathy and sorrow upon his countenance. Soon I saw him approach the exceeding bright light which enshrouded the Father. Said my accompanying angel, He is in close converse with his Father. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with his Father. Three times he was shut in by the glorious light about the Father, and the third time he came from the Father, his person could be seen. His countenance was calm, free from all perplexity and trouble, and shone with benevolence and loveliness, such as words cannot express. He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon. That through the merits of his blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life. 
     At first the angels could not rejoice, for their commander concealed nothing from them, but opened before them the plan of salvation. Jesus told them that he would stand between the wrath of his Father and guilty man, that he would bear iniquity and scorn, and but few would receive him as the Son of God. Nearly all would hate and reject him. He would leave all his glory in heaven, appear upon earth as a man, humble himself as a man, become acquainted by his own experience with the various temptations with which man would be beset, that he might know how to succor those who should be tempted; and that finally, after his mission as a teacher should be accomplished, he would be delivered into the hands of men, and endure almost every cruelty and suffering that Satan and his angels could inspire wicked men to inflict; that he should die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner; that he should suffer dreadful hours of agony, which even angels could not look upon, but would vail their faces from the sight. Not merely agony of body would he suffer; but mental agony, that with which bodily suffering could in no wise be compared. The weight of the sins of the whole world would be upon him. He told them he would die and rise again the third day, and should ascend to his Father to intercede for wayward, guilty man. 
     The angels prostrated themselves before him. They offered their lives. Jesus said to them that he should by his death save many; that the life of an angel could not pay the debt. His life alone could be accepted of his Father as a ransom for man.
     Jesus also told them that they should have a part to act, to be with him, and at different times strengthen him. That he should take man's fallen nature, and his strength would not be even equal with theirs. And they should be witnesses of his humiliation and great sufferings. And as they should witness his sufferings, and the hate of men towards him, they would be stirred with the deepest emotions, and through their love for him, would wish to rescue, and deliver him from his murderers; but that they must not interfere to prevent anything they should behold; and that they should act a part in his resurrection; that the plan of salvation was devised, and his Father had accepted the plan.   
     With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels, and informed them that hereafter those whom he should redeem would be with him, and ever dwell with him; and that by his death he should ransom many, and destroy him who had the power of death. And his Father would give him the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, and he should possess it forever and ever. Satan and sinners should be destroyed, never more to disturb heaven, or the purified, new earth. Jesus bid the heavenly host be reconciled to the plan that his Father accepted, and rejoice that fallen man could be exalted again through his death, to obtain favor with God and enjoy heaven.
     Then joy, inexpressible joy, filled heaven. And the heavenly host sung a song of praise and adoration. They touched their harps and sung a note higher than they had done before, for the great mercy and condescension of God in yielding up his dearly Beloved to die for a race of rebels. Praise and adoration were poured forth for the self-denial and sacrifice of Jesus; that he would consent to leave the bosom of his Father, and choose a life of suffering and anguish, and die an ignominious death to give life to others. 
     Said the angel, Think ye that the Father yielded up his dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no. It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give his beloved Son to die for them. Angels were so interested for man's salvation that there could be found among them those who would yield their glory, and give their life for perishing man. But, said my accompanying angel, That would avail nothing. The transgression was so great that an angel's life would not pay the debt. Nothing but the death and intercessions of his Son would pay the debt, and save lost man from hopeless sorrow and misery.  1SG 26. 


It was not easy for God to put into place the plan of salvation, but out of love for us while we were yet sinners and in order to assure sin would perish and the universe would one day be at peace, He agreed with Jesus to do it. Three times Jesus pleaded with Him!!! Prayerfully meditate on this.
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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2016, 10:58:19 AM »
We are saved by grace through faith. Wonder O heavens and be astonished at the grace revealed in this revelation of grace!
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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2016, 07:02:48 AM »
     The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.
     Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
     The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!

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

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2251
  • Following the Lamb
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2016, 07:25:52 AM »
I love this chapter and how Jesus is willing to pour His love and love and light on the thirsty! I thirst for Jesus!


     God declares, "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground." "Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness." Isaiah 44:3; Psalm 112:4. To those who are seeking for light, and who accept it with gladness, the bright rays from the throne of God will shine. 
     
"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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2016, 06:30:14 AM »
I wonder if many who have read this statement, understand why it is so true?  " It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones."

It is often quoted. Well, I often quote it, maybe in some parts of the world, it is not often quoted. But, I think the Holy Spirit has made sure that Seventh-day Adventists from around the world have heard it, because it is of such great importance. Those who study their Bibles have heard the principle put forward in a number of ways. Those who study the Spirit of Prophecy have read it in The Desire of Ages and in other works.
 
Why is it so important? Let's read it in context.

     It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.   
     As we associate together, we may be a blessing to one another. If we are Christ's, our sweetest thoughts will be of Him. We shall love to talk of Him; and as we speak to one another of His love, our hearts will be softened by divine influences. Beholding the beauty of His character, we shall be "changed into the same image from glory to glory." 2 Corinthians 3:18.  DA 83.


Keeping this in mind, what would cause a modern day prophet of God to utter these words:

"Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!


Are they not profound? That even the heavens would be astonished? What was revealed that such a statement would proceed from the mouth of the prophet? It is found in today's reading. The chapter closes with it. May our eyes be opened, as a people, to this most wonderful and astonishing truth.

   The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.
     Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
     The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!


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

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2251
  • Following the Lamb
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2016, 07:08:25 AM »
Amen, Richard! Those last three paragraphs the Lord has helped me to compose into songs, and I am in the process of memorizing them. I find myself more and more reflecting upon those very words. They reveal the love of our Heavenly Father--the risk that He took in sending Jesus to our dark, sin-infested world where Satan claims dominion. Yet you and I, and all who profess the name of Christ and even call ourselves Seventh-day Adventists will not experience this amazing love if we do not choose to behold it. I am reminded of the situation in the wilderness when the Israelites were being bitten by serpents, on account of their sin and murmuring. God raised up a remedy in that uplifted serpent, which represents Jesus. But only those who looked were made whole. Life can only come through beholding, contemplating, appreciating, fully surrendering, and continually being connected to Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. When such a connection is thus formed, it is to be continued by a living faith, a faith that is revealed in all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing. As I read this chapter again today, I am reminded how deeply I need Jesus. Our need is great, but God's love is so infinite! Let us behold it and also wonder!

Let us pray that God will save us and each of His people from the terrible sin of indifference and unbelief, from rejecting the strongest rays of light that have ever been shining:

With amazement the heavenly messengers beheld the indifference of that people whom God had called to communicate to the world the light of sacred truth. The Jewish nation had been preserved as a witness that Christ was to be born of the seed of Abraham and of David's line; yet they knew not that His coming was now at hand. In the temple the morning and the evening sacrifice daily pointed to the Lamb of God; yet even here was no preparation to receive Him. The priests and teachers of the nation knew not that the greatest event of the ages was about to take place. They rehearsed their meaningless prayers, and performed the rites of worship to be seen by men, but in their strife for riches and worldly honor they were not prepared for the revelation of the Messiah. The same indifference pervaded the land of Israel. Hearts selfish and world-engrossed were untouched by the joy that thrilled all heaven. Only a few were longing to behold the Unseen. To these heaven's embassy was sent. 

As we unitedly behold the loveliness of Jesus, we too can seek God and earnestly desire heaven's aid in beholding and being transformed by Jesus. He can help us not just to spend the "thoughtful hour" to start our day, but He can help us by His Spirit to keep from letting our mind wander away from Him, and thus sin against Him by separating from Him. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray--that we will never choose another master, for we are always free to do this. I find that the four-fold attack on our thought-life is a helpful reminder of where the great controversy rages in our own lives, and how much we need to have the heart filled, softened, and continually subdued by Jesus' abiding presence.

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan's constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life's cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections—to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices. Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. We should not make self the center and indulge anxiety and fear as to whether we shall be saved. All this turns the soul away from the Source of our strength. Commit the keeping of your soul to God, and trust in Him. Talk and think of Jesus. Let self be lost in Him. Put away all doubt; dismiss your fears. Say with the apostle Paul, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you. {SC 71.2}

And we realize that it is sinful to allow our mind to wander away from Jesus, for this leads to a separation of the soul from Christ, and only when we are connected to Christ do we have life!

In our association with one another, we should take heed lest we forget Jesus, and pass along unmindful that He is not with us. When we become absorbed in worldly things so that we have no thought for Him in whom our hope of eternal life is centered, we separate ourselves from Jesus and from the heavenly angels. These holy beings cannot remain where the Saviour's presence is not desired, and His absence is not marked. This is why discouragement so often exists among the professed followers of Christ. {DA 83.2}

If we are separated from Jesus, then we need to respond to the counsel of the True Witness, and realize our sinful neglect and open the heart's door to Christ anew:

Revelation 3
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.


Let us always have Jesus in the heart! And if He is not in our hearts, let us quickly respond to His loving entreaty to repent and invite Him in again! He does not come to us in a spirit of condemnation, but of heart-breaking love that abhors the thought of us being separated from Him even for a moment! Let us see the great controversy from God's perspective--He is more earnestly desiring to be connected with us than we are, and it is by relying upon, appreciating, and responding continually to this love that we can experience character transformation and victory in Jesus!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7447
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2016, 05:39:10 PM »
Keeping this in mind, what would cause a modern day prophet of God to utter these words:

"Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!


Are they not profound? That even the heavens would be astonished? What was revealed that such a statement would proceed from the mouth of the prophet? It is found in today's reading. The chapter closes with it. May our eyes be opened, as a people, to this most wonderful and astonishing truth.

   The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.

Richard, I don't remember exactly when it was (2 or 3 years ago) this paragraph struck me with much greater force than ever before. I saw it a way that I had not seen it before. What wondrous love Christ has for us and the whole world. I remember sitting there and thinking. Bethlehem...hmmm...an exhuastless theme? Then I began to see it and I still think there much more to be seen by me. Once a year we might here a sermon about Christ's birth and that is it. That Christ would leave His heavenly and peaceful home, take on humanity at it's lowest, be born in a stall with animals with His life being threatened even as a babe is hard for me to grasp. I use to pass over this paragraph without much thought but not anymore, not ever. It is an exhaustless theme!!. Sounds like the topic of salvation and how we will be studying that for eternity but our salvation includes His birth.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2016, 07:27:47 AM »
Amen, Jim! And we have great opportunity today, Christmas Day, to tell the story we read here in this chapter. What an opportunity! What a story!! That our heavenly Father would let His innocent Son come into this world where Satan claims dominion, a helpless babe subject to human weakness to fight the battle of life as each child of humanity must fight it at the risk of failure and eternal loss!!! Wonder O heavens and be astonish O Earth!!!!
 
Don't have time to read about our Father's love. Here is a narration of the chapter that you may listen to, and share with others.        Unto You a Saviour
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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2017, 06:48:39 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  This is such a simple truth, but then so was the sacrificial Lamb a simple truth.  But, look what happened to the people to whom the Lamb had been entrusted. They murdered Him.  There is a lesson here for us, as a people. While Israel murdered the Son of God, who was it that carried the message of salvation to the rest of the world? Was it not a remnant of Israel? It was. So it will be today. But, it will be different. Israel was cut off as a people. The seventh church of revelation will not be cut off. What is the difference?

God will use His last day church as a polishing stone to perfect a people who will stand as a bright shining stone in the midst of a grossly dark world.....without an Intercessor. In order to have such character, one must be polished over and over. We can look at last quarter's Sabbath School lesson and see an example of such "polishing" in the life of Job. The lesson is not lost on us when we see who it was that Satan used to buffet Job. So it will be in our day, our greatest enemies will come from within the church.

We know the end of the story. God has power to reform the church. He did not choose to do so with Israel, but He will do so with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. There will be a shaking in the church, and the tares will be shaken out. The truth will do the work of separating. It will be a painful ordeal, but it will take place. "And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.....I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." Ezekiel 36:23,25. These are promises for modern Israel.

The "clean water" will cleanse the church, but not all will accept the grace offered. Many are being called, but few will choose to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Christ. They do not know Jesus and they do not want to make the sacrifices to get to know Him. The idols are more cherished than the Savior. But, there will be a remnant within the Laodicean Church that will want Jesus more than life itself. In this chapter we will find out that our heavenly Father suffered also. "Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no." It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His darling Son to die for them." Early Writings, pg 127.

By reading this current chapter we discover why our heavenly Father suffered when He allowed His innocent Son to come to this dark world where Satan claimed dominion, as a helpless babe subject to the weakness of humanity, to fight the battle of life as each of us have to, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. Wonder O heavens and be astonished O Earth!!! Herein is the grace that transforms sinners into saints! For it is by beholding such love that we are changed into the same character as our God.

     The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.
     Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
     The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! 


If your selfish heart is not broken, and you are not converted, then prayerfully re-read these three paragraphs. Jesus is speaking to you, He is knocking on the door of your heart. Give Him another chance to come in.



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

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2251
  • Following the Lamb
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2017, 08:04:42 AM »
Amen, Richard! And once we let Jesus come in to abide in our hearts by an entire surrender, we will find our greatest delight in meditating upon the infinite love of God as did Enoch. It is not complicated truth that God's remnant people need--no--it is an experience of knowing His character so well that we see sin in its hideousness in contrast to the loveliness of Jesus. We need an experience like that of Enoch, and we can be encouraged that the truths revealed in this precious chapter are at the very root of what we need to have abiding in our hearts by a living faith!

Of Enoch it is written that he lived sixty-five years, and begat a son. After that he walked with God three hundred years. During these earlier years Enoch had loved and feared God and had kept His commandments. He was one of the holy line, the preservers of the true faith, the progenitors of the promised seed. From the lips of Adam he had learned the dark story of the Fall, and the cheering one of God's grace as seen in the promise; and he relied upon the Redeemer to come. But after the birth of his first son, Enoch reached a higher experience; he was drawn into a closer relationship with God. He realized more fully his own obligations and responsibility as a son of God. And as he saw the child's love for its father, its simple trust in his protection; as he felt the deep, yearning tenderness of his own heart for that first-born son, he learned a precious lesson of the wonderful love of God to men in the gift of His Son, and the confidence which the children of God may repose in their heavenly Father. The infinite, unfathomable love of God through Christ became the subject of his meditations day and night; and with all the fervor of his soul he sought to reveal that love to the people among whom he dwelt.{PP 84.3}

I love the unity that is expressed in the Spirit of Prophecy--it is SO CLEARLY INSPIRED OF GOD!!! Enoch's own experience actually confirms what we just read in our chapter today in The Desire of Ages! The human father's heart yearns for his son--but how much more did the heart of our Heavenly Father yearn over His Son, Jesus, and contemplate the risk of sending Him to our sin-darkened earth! I marvel at the way in which Christ came--yet this infinite love is an exhaustless theme for us to behold and experience in our characters!

The King of glory stooped low to take humanity. Rude and forbidding were His earthly surroundings. His glory was veiled, that the majesty of His outward form might not become an object of attraction. He shunned all outward display. Riches, worldly honor, and human greatness can never save a soul from death; Jesus purposed that no attraction of an earthly nature should call men to His side. Only the beauty of heavenly truth must draw those who would follow Him. The character of the Messiah had long been foretold in prophecy, and He desired men to accept Him upon the testimony of the word of God. {DA 43.1}

The beauty of heavenly truth does draw us as we behold and contemplate the unfathomable, infinite sacrifice made to save us. Our minds have been affected by about six thousand years of sin, and yet God in His great mercy has given you and me an opportunity to behold this love so clearly revealed that our experience may be one that will bring us to sit with Him upon His throne! Do we even begin to realize the privilege (and responsibility) afforded us? Oh! Hallelujah! God loves us! Marvel in it! Contemplate it! Sing it! Speak of it! Share Jesus by falling more deeply in love with Him! And as we have seen from our reading today, God would have us to appreciate this gift--this is the essential preparation for the school above, where this theme will continue to be our mediation and study, our science and our song, for ALL ETERNITY!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7447
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2017, 05:37:57 AM »
At these words, visions of glory fill the minds of the listening shepherds. The Deliverer has come to Israel! Power, exaltation, triumph, are associated with His coming. But the angel must prepare them to recognize their Saviour in poverty and humiliation. "This shall be a sign unto you," he says; "Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." 

    The heavenly messenger had quieted their fears. He had told them how to find Jesus. With tender regard for their human weakness, he had given them time to become accustomed to the divine radiance. Then the joy and glory could no longer be hidden. The whole plain was lighted up with the bright shining of the hosts of God. Earth was hushed, and heaven stooped to listen to the song,--

"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, good will toward men." 


I've often wondered what it would have been like to be one of the shepherds that evening. What gladness must have filled their hearts. While they had to be taught how to find Christ their hearts must have been more receptive. Again, God reveals Himself not to the rich, famous, and highly educated but to the poorer class and probably not as well educated. I'm reminded how often Christ in His ministry pointed out the difference in faith between the Israelites and the "heathen" that actually believed. Nothing necessarily wrong with money and education but unless we are carefully guarding our hearts they could lead us down a wrong path.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 42422
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2017, 07:21:50 AM »
Amen, Jim. It seems the more we have, the more God has blessed, the more difficult it is to see who we are apart from Christ. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." Matt. 19:23.  Look at America, Western Europe, and Australia. And, those who have been given great light, as a people they do not feel their continual need of Christ.

But, Jesus knows it all and has made provision even for the rich man. The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. It was not only the poor shepherds that were greatly blessed, but the wealthy men from the East also. Why? What did they see that so many do not see today? And, what is it about the beginning of Christ's life on Earth that is so very important that we read, in it is "hidden the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God? It is the nature of Christ and the love of God that is hidden in story of Bethlehem. How could a rich man not fall on his face when understanding the risk God took in allowing His innocent Son to come to this sin darkened blot in the universe, a helpless babe subject to the weakness of humanity? The rich man need only take a few moments to understand who he is and who God is.

    We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.
     Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
     The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!


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

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2251
  • Following the Lamb
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2017, 08:29:25 AM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! And I was also contemplating the fact this morning that while those who lived at that time saw the physical manifestation of Christ, we are reading and rejoicing in an UNSEEN REALITY that we are coming to know by experience to be true:

With amazement the heavenly messengers beheld the indifference of that people whom God had called to communicate to the world the light of sacred truth. The Jewish nation had been preserved as a witness that Christ was to be born of the seed of Abraham and of David's line; yet they knew not that His coming was now at hand. In the temple the morning and the evening sacrifice daily pointed to the Lamb of God; yet even here was no preparation to receive Him. The priests and teachers of the nation knew not that the greatest event of the ages was about to take place. They rehearsed their meaningless prayers, and performed the rites of worship to be seen by men, but in their strife for riches and worldly honor they were not prepared for the revelation of the Messiah. The same indifference pervaded the land of Israel. Hearts selfish and world-engrossed were untouched by the joy that thrilled all heaven. Only a few were longing to behold the Unseen. To these heaven's embassy was sent. 

The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme of the Unseen--God's incredible, infinite love! As we behold the Unseen glory of God in the revelation of His character in giving His Son to face such a risk on our dark earth, let us realize that heaven's embassy has been sent--and that we have such a precious revelation of the character of God in Desire of Ages that we can be excited about and share with those who are looking for the seen things of this world to satisfy, when only Christ in our hearts can give us true joy and all the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! This is the joy of the Unseen taking up residence in our hearts!
"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

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2251
  • Following the Lamb
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2017, 03:42:21 AM »
One thing that stood out to me today from this beautiful revelation of the loveliness of Jesus is how He was to draw hearts to Himself:

The King of glory stooped low to take humanity. Rude and forbidding were His earthly surroundings. His glory was veiled, that the majesty of His outward form might not become an object of attraction. He shunned all outward display. Riches, worldly honor, and human greatness can never save a soul from death; Jesus purposed that no attraction of an earthly nature should call men to His side. Only the beauty of heavenly truth must draw those who would follow Him. The character of the Messiah had long been foretold in prophecy, and He desired men to accept Him upon the testimony of the word of God. 

One thing I really love about our forum here as we join and rejoice in beholding the character of God and the loveliness of Jesus together is that we are letting the very thing Jesus used to draw souls to Himself draw us and others--we are glorying in His grace and magnifying His truth. What a gift God has given us in His Son, Jesus! Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!!!
"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

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2237
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2017, 06:02:09 AM »
There are so many thoughts running through my head as I read this thrilling chapter.
  • As a mother myself I couldn't help but imagine what it must have been like for a humble earthly Mother to give birth, hold and nurse the Son of God, King of the Universe, our Saviour and Redeemer. What a privilege, what a responsibility, what an intimate experience. How much of it did she really comprehend I wonder.
  • The leaders in Israel could have shared in the joy of Jesus' birth if they had been searching the scriptures for truth but instead they were searching the scriptures to satisfy their selfish desires and were given no part in announcing this glorious occasion.
  • Then we are reminded that heaven is no further away today than when the shepherds heard the angels song. I had to really ponder this one. In our humanity it doesn't always seem to be so.
  • Then this statement brought such courage to my heart. "God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss....To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones."
I have numberless blessings to thank Him for this Sabbath morning.
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

JimB

  • Servant
  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 7447
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2017, 06:10:21 AM »
Dorine, I really like all of the points you brought out. There are so many in each chapter but I too have always stopped and wondered at the last one you pointed out. Jesus did not come as an adult but as a babe meeting all the perils that other human babies have to meet. Heaven really did take a risk. A risk for who? For each one of us! Amazing!

Pastor Sean, I also enjoyed you thought. We find Christ lovely but not because of His riches nor because of physical beauty but because of His character. Who He is! And this makes us in turn desire to be like Him! We truly have a wonderful Savior.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}