Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin  (Read 7640 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2017, 04:53:26 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  Jesus did not promise the  paralytic spiritual help, he only told him to rise and walk. By faith the man did. If he had not exercised this faith, he would have lost his opportunity to be healed. If we lack faith, there is something we can do to increase our faith. Faith is trust in God. By knowing Him our faith will increase until we will trust Jesus with all we are and all we have.

     By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.


What amazing truth is revealed in this paragraph! We are told what we are before making a full surrender to Jesus and we then are told the power given to the repentant sinner who abides in Christ and Christ in him. Though my sins have been as scarlet, Jesus has cleansed them white a snow!
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2017, 06:29:10 AM »
When we read these chapters how can anyone be confused about the gospel. Each chapter builds upon another to paint the most glorious picture of what Christ does for us when we surrender to His will and walk day by day by faith in His word. This chapter points to the reason why there is confusion....

"The Jewish leaders had studied the teachings of the prophets concerning the kingdom of the Messiah; but they had done this, not with sincere desire to know the truth, but with the purpose of finding evidence to sustain their ambitious hopes. When Christ came in a manner contrary to their expectations, they would not receive Him; and in order to justify themselves, they tried to prove Him a deceiver."

It's interesting that in Jesus day the Jewish leaders had made the Sabbath a terrible burden. But we see just the opposite in our day. There's nothing that is unlawful. As long as you don't go to your paying job you are okay. You can take business calls on your cell phone while in church, you can go out to eat after church, you can go shopping even, over eat at potlucks of every unhealthy food you can think of except flesh food and even that I have seen served. The list goes on of things that are considered innocent Sabbath activities.

The devil doesn't care which side we are on as long as it's not the side of truth as you pointed out Richard in I think yesterdays comments.

Thankfully God's promises of redemption are the same no matter which side we are on. The question is; will we believe and accept them.

 
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2017, 06:54:28 AM »
Amen, Richard and Doreen. The "side" that we find ourselves by nature is the side of darkness, error, and unbelief. Christ knows our position, for He came to save us from the unbelief that shuts out His blessing. May we realize how much we are loved and also surrender to the powerful revelation of the loveliness of Jesus we are privileged to behold morning by morning. I appreciate that when we accept Christ's will in the stead of our own, we have assurance of His provision for that to which He calls us. The paralyzed man was made whole as he took Christ at His word. What a joy and privilege we have in being able to trust Christ with ALL the heart, for all His biddings enable us to do His will in union and communion with Him!

The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man.

Full surrender--that is faith--and it is activated and is to be working continually in the life by love!

"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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2017, 05:46:17 AM »
Jesus came to save us--but in order to do this, He had to taste our experience, know what we are suffering, and endure temptation. He overcame by the word of God--available to us--so that He can save us. How we respond to His saving work for us determines our destiny in the judgment now taking place in heaven. Jesus does not want to lose even one of us--but if we will not come to Him that we might have life, what more can He do? If we are unwilling to learn of Him, and we resist the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts to come to Christ, then even though God sent His Son to die for us and save us, it will be unavailing for us personally. We need to realize how much God is doing for us in Christ. That is why beholding the loveliness of Jesus is SO IMPORTANT--because our dull minds need a FRESH REVELATION of His love to encourage, invigorate, and inspire us to keep our eyes fixed upon Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. As we see our great sinfulness and need, let this be all the more encouragement to cleave to Jesus who alone can cleanse and renew us by imputing to us His righteousness, and imparting to us His "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), that not even by a thought would we choose to yield to temptation. He has promised to keep us from falling! Let us look continually to Him who is able to do what He promises in us as we abide in Him through a full-heart surrender. Jesus loves you so much! Let us love Him back by beholding that love, for love awakens love! This amazing love is God's grace that saves us when we in simple faith let it transform our hearts. Praise God for His love to us!

"And God 'hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.' Because He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men; because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save,—because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 3}
"But Christ’s mission was not for judgment, but for salvation. 'God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.' John 3:17. And before the Sanhedrin Jesus declared, 'He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.' John 5:24, R. V." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 4}


Jesus saves! Jesus saves! And I choose to let Him save me in spite of my weakness and frailty, as I remember that He came to save, not condemn. Let His love melt your heart anew today! May you go forth to bless someone else today because you have Jesus abiding in your heart by faith! As long as He is within your heart, others will realize that the fruits of the Spirit are seen in your life without one missing--because He gives His Spirit to regenerate and renew us continually!
"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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2017, 10:05:46 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. Jesus saves! He saves us from ourselves and from Satan and the world. If we will learn of Him who gave all for us, that we might be transformed in character, we will have love, joy, and peace that passes all understanding. And, we can know which way to go, if we are trusting in Jesus fully.

 “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.” The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.


Amen! What joy and peace await all who will depend fully upon God!
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2018, 05:27:51 AM »
"The Sabbath is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. The law forbids secular labor on the rest day of the Lord; the toil that gains a livelihood must cease; no labor for worldly pleasure or profit is lawful upon that day; but as God ceased His labor of creating and rested upon the Sabbath and blessed it, so man is to leave the occupations of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds. The work of Christ in healing the sick was in perfect accord with the law. It honored the Sabbath."

God is so balanced, reasonable and fair in His requirements of us on the Sabbath. We spend a morning of healthful rest and worship in the study of God's word and the divine worship. The afternoon can be spent in holy deeds of visiting the sick, the lonely, shut-ins and when the days grow longer; walks in God's nature with fellow believers is such a blessing. Especially when it ends at a place where there can be a camp fire with singing, praying, stories and testimonies to close the Sabbath hours. The list of activities are endless. Jesus was the perfect example of what Sabbath observance is all about.

It was interesting to me to read how that the demands upon God are even greater upon the Sabbath than upon other days. His people on this day demand his special attention. More favors are asked of Him on this day than any other. Heaven's work never ceases. Like Jesus may we never tire of doing good.
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2018, 09:06:31 AM »
Amen, dear Sister! It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Sharing a testimony of our love for God, or sharing truth regarding who He is (His character) is a great joy. We never tire of doing so, but are greatly blessed!

I found great encouragement in this statement in today's reading:

By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.


This is not the experience of a Laodicean, who is blind to his real condition. This is the experience of one who knows he is condemned and knows not how to gain the victory over sin. Here we are told how to gain the victory, we are told "who" can deliver us from the body of death in which we are held captive.
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2018, 09:52:25 AM »
Such a beautiful promise. Romans 7 is brought out so clearly here yet many will not believe it. Jesus wants to free us from that prison of hopelessness. Why do so many want to struggle so? Is it that darling sin that we don't want to surrender? If so we will have a miserable spiritual experience.
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2018, 01:45:29 PM »
Amen, sister Dorine and Richard! I love how Jesus has given us the Sabbath and that He has also revealed the gospel in the way He deals with us to save us completely from sin! How do we come to a full surrender? We are to look and live, and by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, we are motivated to yield our sin-polluted hearts so Jesus can purify them and make them white as snow. I love how Jesus connects His power to restore life to us in the gospel with the resurrection power that raises the dead!

Bidding His hearers marvel not, Christ opened before them, in still wider view, the mystery of the future. "The hour cometh," He said, "in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done ill, unto the resurrection of judgment." John 5:28, 29, R. V. {The Desire of Ages, page 211, paragraph 1}

This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah's advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe. {The Desire of Ages, page 211, paragraph 2}


This stood out to me--that "self-will is blind." If we want our way and are unwilling to yield our will to Christ, we remain blind because the light that God sends to soften and win us to Him we resist, and choose our own way, which is a way of death. Let us look to Jesus and live, even as did the healed man in John 5!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2018, 05:26:38 AM »
But the Saviour saw one case of supreme wretchedness. It was that of a man who had been a helpless cripple for thirty-eight years. His disease was in a great degree the result of his own sin, and was looked upon as a judgment from God. Alone and friendless, feeling that he was shut out from God’s mercy, the sufferer had passed long years of misery.

It seems to me if there was ever an example of the loveliness of Christ's character this is it. Look at this, a man suffering because of his own choices and sinful choices at that draws the attention of our Savior and gives the cripple an opportunity to only walk again but to have salvation! No wonder He is called the friend of sinners. Christ demonstrates His love for the cripple and look at the response!. What a wonderful story. Often times satan will tempt people into sin and once they fall he will turn around and kick them while they are down, whispering in their ear there is no hope now. But we have a Savior who gives hope to the hopeless and health to the diseased. Is it any wonder we love Him?

Isaiah 61

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2018, 07:32:37 AM »
Amen Jim. Grace is powerful to the pulling down of strongholds! What a Savior!

Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.


Romans 7 is the story of Paul when he did not know Jesus as Savior. But he did know he was lost and could not lead a holy life as he was. When he discovered Christ, he was set free from the law of sin which was in his flesh! What a miracle! One that we may experience daily!!!
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2018, 08:37:24 AM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! Jim, your post deeply touched me, as I think of the loveliness of Jesus--our Savior seeking out those who have been most self-indulgent in sin, whose lives are ruined by their own evil habits, whom He tenderly pardons and restores. Jesus is so gracious to us, and His manner of dealing with the paralytic is a testimony of what He will do in us by His grace as we yield our lives entirely to Him!

"Jesus repelled the charge of blasphemy. My authority, He said, for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God. 'The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.' The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will." {The Desire of Ages, page 208, paragraph 2}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2018, 05:31:30 AM »
What was the relationship between Christ and the leaders of the Jews?

Both by His words and by His works of mercy He was breaking the oppressive power of the old traditions and man-made commandments, and presenting the love of God in its exhaustless fullness.

In one of the earliest prophecies of Christ it is written, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” Genesis 49:10. The people were gathering to Christ. The sympathetic hearts of the multitude accepted lessons of love and benevolence in preference to the rigid ceremonies required by the priests. If the priests and rabbis had not interposed, His teaching would have wrought such a reformation as this world has never witnessed. But in order to maintain their own power, these leaders determined to break down the influence of Jesus. His arraignment before the Sanhedrin, and an open condemnation of His teachings, would aid in effecting this; for the people still had great reverence for their religious leaders. Whoever dared to condemn the rabbinical requirements, or attempt to lighten the burdens they had brought upon the people, was regarded as guilty, not only of blasphemy, but of treason. On this ground the rabbis hoped to excite suspicion of Christ. They represented Him as trying to overthrow the established customs, thus causing division among the people, and preparing the way for complete subjugation by the Romans.

But the plans which these rabbis were working so zealously to fulfill originated in another council than that of the Sanhedrin. After Satan had failed to overcome Christ in the wilderness, he combined his forces to oppose Him in His ministry, and if possible to thwart His work. What he could not accomplish by direct, personal effort, he determined to effect by strategy. No sooner had he withdrawn from the conflict in the wilderness than in council with his confederate angels he matured his plans for still further blinding the minds of the Jewish people, that they might not recognize their Redeemer. He planned to work through his human agencies in the religious world, by imbuing them with his own enmity against the champion of truth. He would lead them to reject Christ and to make His life as bitter as possible, hoping to discourage Him in His mission. And the leaders in Israel became instruments of Satan in warring against the Saviour. Jesus had come to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” He was not to lessen its dignity, but to exalt it. The scripture says, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth.” Isaiah 42:21, 4. He had come to free the Sabbath from those burdensome requirements that had made it a curse instead of a blessing.

For this reason He had chosen the Sabbath upon which to perform the act of healing at Bethesda. He could have healed the sick man as well on any other day of the week; or He might simply have cured him, without bidding him bear away his bed. But this would not have given Him the opportunity He desired. A wise purpose underlay every act of Christ’s life on earth. Everything He did was important in itself and in its teaching. Among the afflicted ones at the pool He selected the worst case upon whom to exercise His healing power, and bade the man carry his bed through the city in order to publish the great work that had been wrought upon him. This would raise the question of what it was lawful to do on the Sabbath, and would open the way for Him to denounce the restrictions of the Jews in regard to the Lord’s day, and to declare their traditions void.


Jesus did not allow the perversion of the truth without attempting to correct the lies Satan had  brought into Israel. In our reading today, we find that Jesus had brought the matter of the Sabbath before the leaders in Israel by healing on the Sabbath and telling the one healed to pick up his bed and carry it away. There is a similar work that needs to be done today. The gospel message has been perverted and the loveliness of Jesus has been hidden. Many think they are saved when in fact they are miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked.

There is no love, joy, and peace without a full surrender of the heart to Christ. When we learn of Jesus and His grace, we shall be filled with the Holy Ghost and desire to share His love with those who know not of His loveliness. Let us reflect His character to a world soon to perish that we may hasten the soon coming of Jesus!
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2018, 05:42:27 AM »
We have discussed this false teaching in the past, but I am impressed that we ought to point out again that many of those who hold positions of trust in God's church have perverted the gospel truth by teaching that Romans chapter seven is the converted Christian experience. In today's reading we see otherwise.

By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.


Here we see that when one sees he is lost and has no power to resist sin, he does not have salvation. "Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24."

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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2018, 05:48:46 AM »
Amen, Richard! Jesus exemplified what true Sabbath keeping entailed by how He interacted with the paralyzed-then-healed man, and in calling the man to bear away his bed, Jesus was showing that the unnecessary restrictions the Jews had placed around the Sabbath were human attempts to add to what God had said in the commandment to abstain from work. If it was work to carry a bed, then in the Jews' minds it was also work to light a candle. This was what led them to employ Gentiles to do things for them on Sabbath--but they thought that was okay since the Gentiles were already hopelessly lost. Hence, the Jews did not fulfill their purpose of blessing the world with the light of salvation, for they themselves lived in the darkness of error and tradition, rather than in the sunlight of God's word and truth. All of these ideas revealed that the Jews did not really know or love God, and that the manifestation of love and consistent application to the simple teaching of Scripture as seen in Jesus was an unwelcome rebuke to their traditions. Christ's every act was a call to repentance.

Again, Amen, as Romans 7 reveals the wretchedness of one who knows truth and feels conviction, but has no power to perform that which is good (such a one is in an unconverted state). This is where each sinful, hopeless soul must come to terms with the power of Christ (grace) to renew the heart--knowing right does not give the fallen nature power to do right from pure motives. The power to have a new heart and mind, and to live with a new nature comes from Jesus, and only when there is an entire surrender to Christ, so the Holy Spirit comes to abide in the heart by faith, will there be consistent power to do good from a pure heart fervently. The full surrender makes one partaker of the divine nature, thus keeping the fallen flesh crucified, no matter how strongly one may be tempted. The evidence that one walks in such an experience of conversion is revealed by the life's witness of all of the fruits of the Spirit being manifest, as the soul gladly lives up to all the light of the law of God they know.

I was moved by the simplicity and power by which Jesus healed the man who had been paralyzed.

When God speaks to us, the safest course is to immediately respond. We see this in the life of the man who had been paralyzed for 38 years (see John 5). He responded immediately to Christ's words. Grace moved the heart of the man to respond, and by grace through faith He was restored soul and body in acting upon the word of Christ!

"Jesus had given him no assurance of divine help. The man might have stopped to doubt, and lost his one chance of healing. But he believed Christ’s word, and in acting upon it he received strength." {The Desire of Ages, page 203, paragraph 1}


It is in this very way that we can experience forgiveness and healing in our souls. We are not to wait until we "feel" whole to know Christ forgives us. He has promised! "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). We can stand by faith upon His promises, and by beholding His loveliness of character, our hearts are motivated in a full-heart surrender to allow Him to work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure, for it is His will that we be sanctified, becoming like Him in mind and 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}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2018, 03:59:29 AM »
God is way more than fair. We are treated far better than we deserve. And so God's plan in sending Jesus to our dark little world as a helpless baby to live a perfect life and die as our sacrifice was not to condemn, but to save the world. But because He knows each of our life cases with perfect mercy and justice, Christ is the judge and we can thank God that it will be in harmony with His character. Let us receive the revelation of the loveliness of Jesus that we may have Him effectually win us from sin to holiness in this probationary life, so when Jesus returns, we may meet Him in peace because by living faith we already experience the divine nature--all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing living in harmony with His law of love!

"The priests and rulers had set themselves up as judges to condemn Christ’s work, but He declared Himself their judge, and the judge of all the earth. The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race. He was the Redeemer before as after His incarnation. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. He has given light and life to all, and according to the measure of light given, each is to be judged. And He who has given the light, He who has followed the soul with tenderest entreaty, seeking to win it from sin to holiness, is in one its advocate and judge. From the opening of the great controversy in heaven, Satan has maintained his cause through deception; and Christ has been working to unveil his schemes and to break his power. It is He who has encountered the deceiver, and who through all the ages has been seeking to wrest the captives from his grasp, who will pass judgment upon every soul." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 2}
"And God 'hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.' Because He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men; because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save,—because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 2}


What good news! May we receive Christ by a living faith continually and help others discover in Jesus the One whose power can set them free from the dregs of sin which Jesus already drank and died from on the cross (our sin, not His), so He can offer us the cup of divine blessing (His righteousness, not ours)! And as we drink of His righteousness by faith, as His life becomes inwrought with our own through the Holy Spirit, we are one with Him and can gladly come into the presence of God who has the power to save us to the uttermost! 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}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2018, 04:24:21 AM »
After Jesus heals the palsied man in John 5, a controversy about what is lawful on the Sabbath comes to the surface, and it is apparent that Jesus is simply living out the Father's will, doing what He sees the Father do in blessing and upholding life. What struck me this morning is how when we choose our own will in opposition to the will of God, we are deliberately choosing blindness. May we yield our wills unreservedly to Christ so we may receive the eyesalve of the Holy Spirit to discern our continual need of Jesus, and by beholding His exceedingly beautiful loveliness and perfection of character, be changed into His image from glory to glory, from one degree of discerning His will to the next!

"This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah’s advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe." {The Desire of Ages, page 211, paragraph 2}


I choose to yield my will to Christ so He can help me see life and people the way He sees them. May we experience the joy of having Jesus violate our own ways and will (of the flesh) so we may have His ways and will (by the divine nature--manifest with all the fruits of the Spirit so not one is missing!). And the great miracle is that by beholding Christ, we come to so have an identification with Him that we desire His will above our own, and His will becomes inwrought with our experience as we continually learn more of His grace, for by grace we are saved. Grace is more than a word--it is God's miraculous power to change sinners into saints, and to enable us to desire that which without Him we once hated. The greatest miracle is a consistent life in Christ, and Jesus built His entire life after the pattern the Father showed Him, offering us His character as an infinite gift--to both atone for our sins (by living a perfect life and dying as our Sacrifice--His imputed righteousness) and to build up our character after His image (His imparted righteousness)! 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}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2018, 05:45:35 AM »
"So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will."

Of all the profound statements I have underlined in this chapter, this one stood out to me this morning. It caused me to reflect on my own life. Are all my plans for each day directed by the Holy Spirit? Do I hurry into the day with plans I've manufactured? Do I just let the day happen without asking God for His direction? Or at the start of each new day do I invite Christ to guide my life for that day?

It is good for us to examine our own hearts as we read about the life of Jesus. I am so thankful for His example that is shown in this book. It establishes standards by which we may know if we are truly connected to Jesus.
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--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2018, 02:50:53 PM »
He who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions. But the teaching of Christ did not coincide with their ideas. It was spiritual, and demanded the sacrifice of self; therefore they would not receive it. They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger.

 Is not the same thing repeated in our day? Are there not many, even religious leaders, who are hardening their hearts against the Holy Spirit, making it impossible for them to recognize the voice of God? Are they not rejecting the word of God, that they may keep their own traditions?

We must make sure that we are not seeking our own glory in anything we say or do while trying to uplift Jesus to our family, friends and other contacts. There is no place for anything among God's remnant people that leads to self glory  Pride is what caused Lucifer to have no ability to confess his wrong course of action. This in turn caused him and 1/3rd of the angels in heaven to be cast out of heaven to this planet where untold misery, pain and suffering, has taken place over the centuries of time as he imparted this same attitude into the hearts of all who would listen to him.  This same pride, caused the Jewish leaders to reject Jesus and led to His crucifixion. My prayer is that we all may be willing to say to Jesus...."Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" and with the same spirit which leads to eternal life. Not "I" but Christ.
Look up and listen for the shout.

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2019, 04:43:21 AM »
"Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin."

To all who need healing, Jesus says to us..." Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." That rest is both Spiritual and Physical and is available to " ALL " who will come to Jesus. Jesus said. " Ask and Ye shall receive. "

"Let the desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength."

Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled!!
Look up and listen for the shout.