Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus  (Read 30128 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #60 on: November 10, 2020, 07:13:37 AM »
With God all things are possible! By complete surrender to Jesus on a moment-by-moment basis we can enjoy the experience in our souls whereby God supernaturally brings forth love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and temperance! By grace through faith we may be partakers of the divine nature by receiving the exceedingly great and precious promises of God's holy word! What a privilege! Let us go forth to bless others as we abide in Jesus!

"It is impossible for finite minds to comprehend the work of redemption. Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realizes that it is a divine reality. The beginning of redemption we may know here through a personal experience. Its results reach through the eternal ages." {The Desire of Ages, page 173, paragraph 2}

While we may not fully realize the value of the gift offered us in Christ, let us CHOOSE HIM today and help others choose 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}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #61 on: November 10, 2020, 09:57:54 PM »
What a joy to once again read this chapter! We leave this chapter stickied at the top continually, that others may realize the value we receive when we read it. Jesus presents the gospel of grace in simple terms that a child May understand. Not only then is the deception scene, but we also see how it is that we can be converted. It's not good enough to see our lost condition, but God does not leave it without wisdom and Grace to be converted. Jesus clearly reveals to Nicodemus what he must do in order to be transformed in nature. As Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness even so must the son of man be lifted up that we might look and live.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #62 on: November 11, 2020, 05:40:15 AM »
"Since hearing Jesus, Nicodemus had anxiously studied the prophecies relating to the Messiah; and the more he searched, the stronger was his conviction that this was the One who was to come. With many others in Israel he had been greatly distressed by the profanation of the temple. He was a witness of the scene when Jesus drove out the buyers and the sellers; he beheld the wonderful manifestation of divine power; he saw the Saviour receiving the poor and healing the sick; he saw their looks of joy, and heard their words of praise; and he could not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Sent of God."

If all the priests and rulers had done what Nicodemus had done in going to the scriptures in search of truth what a different story we would be reading. What a lesson for our church today and for us individually. When we go to scripture it should be with a teachable heart to know truth. If we search scripture to support our own thinking we will be led astray.  Christ has not left us in darkness. There is no reason to be confused or in error. In His mercy He patiently knocks on the hearts door, longingly waiting for the door to open.  Thank you Jesus for not giving up on 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

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2021, 06:13:13 AM »
This is a good question, followed by a biblical answer:

"How, then, are we to be saved? 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, 'I delight to do Thy will, O my God.' Psalm 40:8." {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 5}

Are we willing to let God do the miracle in our hearts that must take place? We must look and live. Look away from self in our helpless unworthiness and believe that He does save the uttermost all who come unto God by Him! Let us continually pray that we will look to Jesus and live, turn resolutely from ALL sin that crucified Christ, and become like Him in mind and character so that all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing as we go forth to obey the law of God from an intelligent appreciation of the loveliness of Jesus' character!
"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}

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2021, 06:23:21 AM »
"When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife..

..Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven..

..No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God."

The invitation from Jesus is still available to all who are willing to come. God's Word says in Matthew 7:7...Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Won't you come today without delay...Jesus allows U-Turns and will receive you with open arms rejoicing in your decision.
Look up and listen for the shout.

Philip T

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #65 on: February 05, 2021, 07:12:31 AM »
Not through controversy and discussion is the soul enlightened. We must look and live. Nicodemus received the lesson, and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

There are thousands today who need to learn the same truth that was taught to Nicodemus by the uplifted serpent. They depend on their obedience to the law of God to commend them to His favor. When they are bidden to look to Jesus, and believe that He saves them solely through His grace, they exclaim, “How can these things be?”


Studying the scripture is not enough, we need to study to show our selves approved unto God. Reading and studying just to know the scriptures to discuss them is not how change happens within us. We need to study scripture with an earnest heart, with prayer looking for spiritual life for our souls. This is a nugget of truth we should bury in our hearts and minds, and put to use when praying and studying God's word. It is something to pray for.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2021, 07:46:15 AM »
What a joy to read the thoughts as you all share your understanding of this most important chapter! God has a people who love Him with the whole heart and that people is growing in number even though we see them not with our human eyes. But, we do see a small group right here who are reading along with us.

Yesterday morning I was impressed with something I have not shared before.


While Jesus was speaking, some gleams of truth penetrated the ruler’s mind. The softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit impressed his heart. Yet he did not fully understand the Saviour’s words. He was not so much impressed by the necessity of the new birth as by the manner of its accomplishment. He said wonderingly, “How can these things be?”

“Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?” Jesus asked. Surely one entrusted with the religious instruction of the people should not be ignorant of truths so important. His words conveyed the lesson that instead of feeling irritated over the plain words of truth, Nicodemus should have had a very humble opinion of himself, because of his spiritual ignorance. Yet Christ spoke with such solemn dignity, and both look and tone expressed such earnest love, that Nicodemus was not offended as he realized his humiliating condition.


We see so very clearly that Jesus rebuked Nicodemus not just once, but continued to tell Him how far removed he was from heaven. What we do not see in what is written is the "look and tone expressed." We read here what that looked like, it revealed Jesus' earnest love for this proud leader. Because the Holy Spirit was working on his heart, and because he understood the love of Jesus for him, "Nicodemus was not offended" even though he realized his humiliating condition.

What is the lesson for us today?   As a Laodicean people, we are in need of strong rebuke. We find that strong rebuke in the third chapter of the Book of Revelation in Jesus speaking directly to His church today. But, He not only strongly rebukes His church, He also encourages us to be converted and how it is that we can "repent."  Let us add to these words the "look and tone" of His message to us as a people so we shall not be offended over our humiliating condition as a people. Does the message apply to us, as an individual? His look and tone if we could see and hear Him would reveal His "earnest love" for us. It is this love for us while yet sinners that is the grace that saves us. It would be well to behold that grace by spending a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus especially the closing scenes. For then it was that we see Him being beaten and hung on a tree. It is by contemplating these stripes He suffered  on my account that I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).  This is the message we have been given to take to the world, it is the first angel's message, the gospel 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.

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #67 on: May 03, 2021, 04:46:02 AM »
"The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour."

"Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul."

"The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ,"

"I delight to do Thy will, O my God.' Psalm 40:8."
Look up and listen for the shout.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #68 on: May 03, 2021, 06:11:37 AM »
Amen dear brother Beacon! This is the gospel message, the power Grace to cleanse the heart and mind, this is perfection that God speaks of. We leave this chapter stickied, it is always near the top so that our people may understand what a Laodicean is, and how to be converted. Jesus rebuked Nicodemus strongly, but with love for him that could be seen. He did not leave Nicodemus without an understanding of what our part is. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up. It is by beholding God's love, his grace, that we are transformed into his image, converted. 2nd Corinthians 3:18 tells us this. By beholding his glory, his character, we are changed into His Image, character. It Is by The Working of the spirit.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #69 on: May 03, 2021, 06:37:22 AM »
"While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven. No one sees the hand that lifts the burden, or beholds the light descend from the courts above. The blessing comes when by faith the soul surrenders itself to God. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God."

And I can rest in the peace that comes from knowing Jesus and knowing that I can trust Him to work out His pleasure in my life. I can rejoice in the knowledge and experience He has given me and fearlessly share it with a world searching for a better way but doesn't know where to find it.
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

Philip T

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2021, 06:45:45 AM »
  [size=12pt]But Jesus was acquainted with the soil into which He cast the seed. The words spoken at night to one listener in the lonely mountain were not lost. For a time Nicodemus did not publicly acknowledge Christ, but he watched His life, and pondered His teachings. In the Sanhedrin council he repeatedly thwarted the schemes of the priests to destroy Him. When at last Jesus was lifted up on the cross, Nicodemus remembered the teaching upon Olivet: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The light from that secret interview illumined the cross upon Calvary, and Nicodemus saw in Jesus the world’s Redeemer.

After the Lord’s ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world’s goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus.[/size]


What a lesson for us is found here, Jesus planted the seed in a fertile soil, it did not immediately draw forth fruit. The seed slowly grew, as Nicodemus studied God's word, and prayed. The Holy Spirit was at work.  Sanctification was happening in his life, and when he was needed, he had matured and he stepped boldly into the fray caring for Jesus body, then the church with his wealth and position, surrendering all to his Savior.  We plant seeds we do not see or think will mature, but with the continued wooing of the Holy Spirit they do.  As Jesus planted seed and it matured later so are we to be labors for God.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #71 on: May 03, 2021, 08:25:56 AM »
Praise the Lord for these posts all have shared!

The question so important to all of us may be asked:

"How, then, are we to be saved? 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,' so the Son of man has been lifted up, and everyone who has been deceived and bitten by the serpent may look and live. 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' John 1:29. The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in the mind and heart, and we can say with Christ, 'I delight to do Thy will, O my God.' Psalm 40:8." {The Desire of Ages, page 175, paragraph 5} 

As we surrender all to Jesus in true repentance for our sins leading to confession of our sins and allowing Christ's blood to cleanse us, He imbues us with all of the fruits of the Spirit and we gladly follow in the path that He has for our lives in obedience to His law of love. Only as we look and live and in humble, surrendered faith may we grow more like Jesus and remember that He will not fail the soul that surrenders fully to Him.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2021, 08:38:44 AM »
It is informative that Jesus was acquainted with the soil into which He cast the seed.

But Jesus was acquainted with the soil into which He cast the seed. The words spoken at night to one listener in the lonely mountain were not lost. For a time Nicodemus did not publicly acknowledge Christ, but he watched His life, and pondered His teachings. In the Sanhedrin council he repeatedly thwarted the schemes of the priests to destroy Him. When at last Jesus was lifted up on the cross, Nicodemus remembered the teaching upon Olivet: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The light from that secret interview illumined the cross upon Calvary, and Nicodemus saw in Jesus the world’s Redeemer.

As we go about spreading seed, we need to be seeking those who like Nicodemus are seeking truth.
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #73 on: July 28, 2021, 10:21:48 PM »
Amen!!  Let us accept the lesson presented in this important chapter. Nicodemus was in a Laodicean condition, thinking he was rich and increased with goods, not knowing he was miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked. Not only did Jesus rebuke his condition, but He revealed what would transform him and bring to him everlasting life. Compare this with the solution Jesus reveals after His rebuke to His church today (Rev. chapter 3).
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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #74 on: July 29, 2021, 04:41:54 AM »
God's plans are infinite, and as we behold Jesus, yield fully to Him, and become truly converted so all of the fruits of the Spirit will be manifest in our life, we experience a mystery that will reach throughout eternity--starting now!!

It is impossible for finite minds to comprehend the work of redemption. Its mystery exceeds human knowledge; yet he who passes from death to life realizes that it is a divine reality. The beginning of redemption we may know here through a personal experience. Its results reach through the eternal ages.

May your day be a foretaste of heaven by having Jesus constantly in your heart by a living faith surrender to His will!
"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--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #75 on: July 29, 2021, 05:16:50 AM »
After the Lord’s ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world’s goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus.

What an inspiring revelation of the amazing transformation that comes by beholding Christ. When we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit without resisting and open the mind and heart to learn more; the power of God works in us to draw us into a relationship like Nicodemus had. It's a mystery we cannot explain but praise God we can experience it and like Nicodemus as long as we maintain that relationship with Jesus we will be as firm as a rock and our faith will not falter no matter what trial or persecution comes to us. 
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

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #76 on: July 29, 2021, 07:13:08 AM »
"When at last Jesus was lifted up on the cross, Nicodemus remembered the teaching upon Olivet: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

"The light from that secret interview illumined the cross upon Calvary, and Nicodemus saw in Jesus the world’s Redeemer."

The gospel seeds that we sow at this time may not seem to take hold. But the story of Nicodemus shows us that we should never give up praying for those who seems to show no interest after hearing the gospel story. So let us learn from these examples and keep praying that all those who have heard the gospel story will come to a FULL SURRENDER and become "ACTIVE" Laboring Laborer's in God's vast harvest field. Jesus said in..

Luke 10:2 King James Version
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.


The question is --- Are You / Am I willing to be an active "LABORING LABORER FOR JESUS" ?
Look up and listen for the shout.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #77 on: July 29, 2021, 08:38:13 AM »
Amen Brother Beacon!  It ought not be a mystery as to how we are saved, converted.  If we would look, we would live.  Another truth that is important and helps us along the way is understanding that conversion is a point in time, but it will not come without a response to the wooing of the Holy Spirit which is a patient protracted process. Yes, sanctification is also a protracted process, but it is after conversion which is a point in time. Yes, we need to die daily, but conversion is a point in time when the heart is fully surrendered to God. Then, being sanctified we will continue to learn of God's ways and develop a stronger character. This process after the conversion process is the work of a lifetime and is perfect at each stage. All of the fruits come at conversion and in the sanctification process the fruit becomes more abundant. That is, we become more patient, more loving, more kind. God allows the trials to grow in strength in the same manner that one lifting weights will grow stronger as the weights are increased.


     The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leaves and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God,—a patient, protracted process.
[/b]
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Philip T

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #78 on: July 29, 2021, 09:15:21 AM »
     Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission.

This is quite a paragraph to consider it is not knowledge of God alone that we need, we need spiritual transformation of the heart and mind, then we can turn knowledge to God's wisdom and walk the path of sanctification as we seen Nicodemus did growing until he came boldly to front for his Lord and Savior.  God has a plan for everyone of his followers, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to convict and surrender to Jesus through faith. That is the only way to the Kingdom of God.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--17--Nicodemus
« Reply #79 on: July 29, 2021, 09:52:04 PM »
It is interesting what you say, Brother Philip. Jesus would not enter into the subject that Nicodemus wanted. We need to be converted so that we can appreciate spiritual things. It is grace that we need to behold that transforms sinners into saints. We are saved by grace. As we learn of God, we see His unmerited favor and this is what renews the heart.  The requirement for heaven is to love the Lord our with the whole heart. We will love Him when we see Him who first loved us. 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.