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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« on: February 11, 2016, 04:40:27 AM »
Chapter 23—“The Kingdom of God Is at Hand”


Listen to    “The Kingdom of God Is at Hand”


         


“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14, 15.
The Messiah’s coming had been first announced in Judea. In the temple at Jerusalem the birth of the forerunner had been foretold to Zacharias as he ministered before the altar. On the hills of Bethlehem the angels had proclaimed the birth of Jesus. To Jerusalem the magi had come in search of Him. In the temple Simeon and Anna had testified to His divinity. “Jerusalem, and all Judea” had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist; and the deputation from the Sanhedrin, with the multitude, had heard his testimony concerning Jesus. In Judea, Christ had received His first disciples. Here much of His early ministry had been spent. The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin,—His Sonship to the Eternal.
If the leaders in Israel had received Christ, He would have honored them as His messengers to carry the gospel to the world. To them first was given the opportunity to become heralds of the kingdom and grace of God. But Israel knew not the time of her visitation. The jealousy and distrust of the Jewish leaders had ripened into open hatred, and the hearts of the people were turned away from Jesus.
The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ’s message and was bent upon His death; therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who should carry the gospel to all nations.
As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.
The people of Galilee were despised by the rabbis of Jerusalem as rude and unlearned, yet they presented a more favorable field for the Saviour’s work. They were more earnest and sincere; less under the control of bigotry; their minds were more open for the reception of truth. In going to Galilee, Jesus was not seeking seclusion or isolation. The province was at this time the home of a crowded population, with a much larger admixture of people of other nations than was found in Judea.
As Jesus traveled through Galilee, teaching and healing, multitudes flocked to Him from the cities and villages. Many came even from Judea and the adjoining provinces. Often He was obliged to hide Himself from the people. The enthusiasm ran so high that it was necessary to take precautions lest the Roman authorities should be aroused to fear an insurrection. Never before had there been such a period as this for the world. Heaven was brought down to men. Hungering and thirsting souls that had waited long for the redemption of Israel now feasted upon the grace of a merciful Saviour.
The burden of Christ’s preaching was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Thus the gospel message, as given by the Saviour Himself, was based on the prophecies. The “time” which He declared to be fulfilled was the period made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. “Seventy weeks,” said the angel, “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.” Daniel 9:24. A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. A starting point for this period is given: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks,” sixty-nine weeks, or four hundred and eighty-three years. Daniel 9:25. The commandment to restore and build Jerusalem, as completed by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus (see Ezra 6:14; 7:1, 9, margin), went into effect in the autumn of B. C. 457. From this time four hundred and eighty-three years extend to the autumn of A. D. 27. According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A. D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. “The time is fulfilled.”
Then, said the angel, “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven years].” For seven years after the Saviour entered on His ministry, the gospel was to be preached especially to the Jews; for three and a half years by Christ Himself; and afterward by the apostles. “In the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” Daniel 9:27. In the spring of A. D. 31, Christ the true sacrifice was offered on Calvary. Then the veil of the temple was rent in twain, showing that the sacredness and significance of the sacrificial service had departed. The time had come for the earthly sacrifice and oblation to cease.
The one week—seven years—ended in A. D. 34. Then by the stoning of Stephen the Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel; the disciples who were scattered abroad by persecution “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4); and shortly after, Saul the persecutor was converted, and became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.
The time of Christ’s coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” Matthew 24:15. After His resurrection He explained to the disciples in “all the prophets” “the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. The Saviour had spoken through all the prophets. “The Spirit of Christ which was in them” “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11.
It was Gabriel, the angel next in rank to the Son of God, who came with the divine message to Daniel. It was Gabriel, “His angel,” whom Christ sent to open the future to the beloved John; and a blessing is pronounced on those who read and hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things written therein. Revelation 1:3.
“The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets.” While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Amos 3:7; Deuteronomy 29:29. God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures.
As the message of Christ’s first advent announced the kingdom of His grace, so the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. And the second message, like the first, is based on the prophecies. The words of the angel to Daniel relating to the last days were to be understood in the time of the end. At that time, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:4, 10. The Saviour Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:31, 34, 36.
We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord’s coming in glory as near at hand.
The Jews misinterpreted and misapplied the word of God, and they knew not the time of their visitation. The years of the ministry of Christ and His apostles,—the precious last years of grace to the chosen people,—they spent in plotting the destruction of the Lord’s messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them, and the offer of the spiritual kingdom came to them in vain. So today the kingdom of this world absorbs men’s thoughts, and they take no note of the rapidly fulfilling prophecies and the tokens of the swift-coming kingdom of God.
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” While we are not to know the hour of our Lord’s return, we may know when it is near. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6.
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 08:40:51 PM »
Notice the words of Jesus: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:14, 15. He links repent with the gospel. How many today want nothing to do with "repent"?  To most professing Christians the gospel of grace has nothing to do with repentance. "Only believe" and be saved. It is an amazing truth that there are ordained ministers who teach that one need not repent in order to be justified. Some teach that the free gift of justification is given to all before they repent. And others believe one may sin and retain their justification without repenting. Amazing!
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2016, 07:31:41 AM »
As I reflect upon your post, Richard, it is amazing how many "gospels" so-called are floating in the midst of the professedly Christian world--but more of concern is how false "gospels" as you described are even leavening those within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It seems that the carnal heart is always looking for another way to find assurance of salvation rather than coming to full surrender, repentance, and renunciation of sin which leads to a constant abiding in/depending upon Christ. And yet sin, being the great evil that it is, will ultimately destroy us if retained--justification is conditional upon one's full surrender to Jesus Christ, and allowing Him to give us a new heart filled with the Holy Spirit--so that not one of the fruits of the Spirit is missing! As I read this chapter this morning, the following paragraph stood out:

"The Jews misinterpreted and misapplied the word of God, and they knew not the time of their visitation. The years of the ministry of Christ and His apostles,—the precious last years of grace to the chosen people,—they spent in plotting the destruction of the Lord’s messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them, and the offer of the spiritual kingdom came to them in vain. So today the kingdom of this world absorbs men’s thoughts, and they take no note of the rapidly fulfilling prophecies and the tokens of the swift-coming kingdom of God." {DA 235.2}

It is one thing to believe a false gospel, but another error is that some who may have understood the gospel have allowed their minds to be turned from Jesus by the absorbing interests of this world. I am reminded of how foolish this is by the words of counsel in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, page 118:

"Let not the attraction be to this poor, dark speck of a world, but let it be upward to God, glory, and heaven. Let not the care and perplexity of farms here engross your mind, but you can safely be wrapped up in contemplating Abraham's farm. We are heirs to that immortal inheritance. Wean your affections from earth, and dwell upon heavenly things." {1T 118.1}

Worldliness is a case of poor vision! This world is so small in comparison to what God has in store for us--and the greater joy of covenant relation with Him! It is as we fully value the gospel of His grace, as we experience a daily death to self, and as we abide in Christ, that we can truly allow our affections to be where Paul counseled us to place them:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:1-2).
"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}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2016, 05:29:54 AM »
The Saviour Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:31, 34, 36. {DA 234.4}
We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord’s coming in glory as near at hand. {DA 235.1}


If there ever was a time when these words rang true it is now! The return of our Lord is very near! Are we ready to see our Loving Savior return surrounded by clouds of angels? Let us continue to look upon Him and grow more like Him and surrender our will so we will not be destroyed by the brightness of His coming.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2016, 06:49:04 AM »
Amen! Let us watch and be ready by abiding in Christ!

Let us study  the prophetic Scriptures to see Jesus as the One altogether lovely, the One who holds all destinies in His hands:

"The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants and prophets.” While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God,” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” Amos 3:7; Deuteronomy 29:29. God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures. {DA 234.3}


As we see prophecy fulfilling around us, let us behold Jesus continually, and find strength through communion with God in His word!
"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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 08:41:12 AM »
Amen and amen!

Yes, Jim, the signs are all around us. God has given us much to warn us of His soon return, and what will happen to those who reject His great love. The seven trumpets in Revelation have been warnings of what will happen to those who are a part of false religion. The trumpets warn ahead of time, as Pastor Sean pointed out. Jesus reveals to us the future events through prophecy. Consider the three trumpets that are called "woes". The third woe is sounding. Both a promise of the second coming being near at hand, and a warning, as the trumpets are, of the punishment coming, and even now is falling, upon false religion. The first and second woes, the fifth and sixth trumpets, warned Eastern Rome of her pending fate at the hands of Islam. And, who is it that is being warned today? And, how is it that this false religion, Babylon will be punished? The Bible tells us so very clearly. Let the wise study that they may understand. And, while doing so, recognize Satan has prepared many deceptions for God's people.  The kingdom of God is surely at hand!
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 07:44:39 AM »
In our reading today we see how important prophecy is in helping us to see clearly that Jesus is assuredly the Christ. We are not basing our faith upon a mere supposition, but strong biblical evidence. And yet prophecy, if not studied that one might see the loveliness of Jesus and surrender entirely to Him, will not bring the needed transformation of character that can only come when one, beholding the love of God in Christ, chooses to "repent...and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).

The time of Christ’s coming, His anointing by the Holy Spirit, His death, and the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles, were definitely pointed out. It was the privilege of the Jewish people to understand these prophecies, and to recognize their fulfillment in the mission of Jesus. Christ urged upon His disciples the importance of prophetic study. Referring to the prophecy given to Daniel in regard to their time, He said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” Matthew 24:15. After His resurrection He explained to the disciples in “all the prophets” “the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. The Saviour had spoken through all the prophets. “The Spirit of Christ which was in them” “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:11. {DA 234.1}

I love how clearly this paragraph reveals that prophetic study is to lead to beholding Christ, understanding His character, and making use of the great privilege of being able to follow Him continually! May we have Christ abiding in the heart continually, that as we study the prophecies that reveal Jesus to us, we will be more like our Savior.
"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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 07:48:04 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. The sufferings of Jesus awaken in us that love which only can come from above!

     In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.

Portions of this statement apply to us who are in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. But, the last sentence does not. We may have to leave a local church, but not the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It will see revival and reformation. Read Ezekiel 36 and 37, and 1T the section on the Laodicean church.

Having contended for the faith with many who have called the church Babylon, I have never seen this statement used against the church. Why? Because those who have been deceived about the church do not spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. The Book we are reading now is foreign to them. They rather spend their time seeking out statements from the Spirit of Prophecy they can use in their effort to draw away others. They do word searches rather than reading in context. Therefore, they do not find this statement. It does not contain the words they generally use to search.

As we study seeking to know God, our eyes are opened to much truth that answers our daily needs. Most of all we received a fresh revelation of the character of our God. This in turns causes us to fall on our face in repentance for what our sins have done to the One who has given all for us!!
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 07:46:54 AM »
      The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ’s message and was bent upon His death; therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who should carry the gospel to all nations.
     
     As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.


 Today, the time is almost fulfilled, the "kingdom of God is at hand." There is an important lesson for us in this reading. But, some will interpret it in a wrong manner. What is the lesson for us and what is the danger?
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2017, 09:29:50 AM »
The lesson for us in this chapter is that we need to study and apply the word of God to our own lives--and we do this by studying the prophecies to behold the loveliness of Jesus and to know Him with all the heart and mind, so that He can reveal His character in and through us. The chapter reveals the warning clearly:

The Jews misinterpreted and misapplied the word of God, and they knew not the time of their visitation. The years of the ministry of Christ and His apostles,—the precious last years of grace to the chosen people,—they spent in plotting the destruction of the Lord’s messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them, and the offer of the spiritual kingdom came to them in vain. So today the kingdom of this world absorbs men’s thoughts, and they take no note of the rapidly fulfilling prophecies and the tokens of the swift-coming kingdom of God.

We may say that we understand the coming of Jesus to be soon, but we are not ready for HIs coming on a moment-by-moment basis unless we are daily abiding in Him, and having our affections, thoughts, and purposes stayed upon Him. Unless we are in continual communion with God by a living faith, we are not ready for Jesus to come, no matter how much we may know intellectually about the word of God. The word of God reveals Jesus to us, and we need to be in fully surrendered to Him so that He can continue to teach us our duty! Praise God for Jesus who calls us to repentance, and we see that a message is applied for our time as well to repent:

Revelation 3
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
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.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.


Unless Christ is in the heart, as revealed by all of the fruits of the Spirit being in the life without one missing, then we are not ready for Jesus to come. Daily He has trials for us to help us be fitted for greater trials--let us bear them joyfully!
"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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2017, 04:44:00 AM »
I love how willing God is to use us--the key is whether we are willing to be used by Him, and taught by Him! Had the leaders accepted the light that was shining from the very Scriptures they treasured, they would have beheld the loveliness of Jesus irradiating the Scriptures, and He could have used them to bless the world. How is it today? May we each humble our hearts and let Jesus teach us from His word as morning by morning we commune with Him in this much-needed "thoughtful hour"!

If the leaders in Israel had received Christ, He would have honored them as His messengers to carry the gospel to the world. To them first was given the opportunity to become heralds of the kingdom and grace of God. But Israel knew not the time of her visitation. The jealousy and distrust of the Jewish leaders had ripened into open hatred, and the hearts of the people were turned away from Jesus.
The Sanhedrin had rejected Christ’s message and was bent upon His death; therefore Jesus departed from Jerusalem, from the priests, the temple, the religious leaders, the people who had been instructed in the law, and turned to another class to proclaim His message, and to gather out those who should carry the gospel to all nations.


Let us receive the precious gospel message of His grace and proclaim His loveliness to the world! Such a revelation is attended with power and conviction through the Holy Spirit's anointing as we see the rapidly fulfilling prophecies all around us!
"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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 03:48:58 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. I too was impressed with the sadness of the rejection of the gospel message being proclaimed by Christ. The message continued and is most important to us today.

     As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.


While this is present truth for those in other denominations, and may be true for many in their home church in our denomination, it is not true for God's church. There will be no other church to go to. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the last church, it is the seventh of the churches mentioned in Revelation. And, it is in a Laodicean condition, but will not remain in this lost condition.

Are we "listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented"? If not, then we need to be converted so that we will follow the truth where ever it leads. Our wisdom will lead to death if we follow it. Praise God for Jesus!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 05:31:07 AM »
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:14, 15.
The Messiah’s coming had been first announced in Judea. In the temple at Jerusalem the birth of the forerunner had been foretold to Zacharias as he ministered before the altar. On the hills of Bethlehem the angels had proclaimed the birth of Jesus. To Jerusalem the magi had come in search of Him. In the temple Simeon and Anna had testified to His divinity. “Jerusalem, and all Judea” had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist; and the deputation from the Sanhedrin, with the multitude, had heard his testimony concerning Jesus. In Judea, Christ had received His first disciples. Here much of His early ministry had been spent. The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin,—His Sonship to the Eternal.


Here in just one simple paragraph is listed all the obvious signs of who Christ was to anyone who was honest and searching. Let us not be found like the religious leaders of the day fighting to keep our influence and power and obstructing the gospel. Instead let's fall on the one true Rock and be broken so this can be said of us...

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” While we are not to know the hour of our Lord’s return, we may know when it is near. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2017, 06:27:23 AM »
 I am so inspired by our reading today. As I recommit my life to Jesus this morning I am so thankful for the warnings and promises God has revealed through inspiration.

“The Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” While “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God.” “those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” God has given these things to us, and His blessing will attend the reverent, prayerful study of the prophetic scriptures.

Although His coming will be as a thief in the night to those who are not ready; it will not be so with those who are studying the scriptures and have surrendered their lives to God. He has given us abundant evidence that His second advent is near.

The chapter ends with this important message, “Therefore let us not sleep, as do other; but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thess. 5:4-6.

No wonder Satan does everything in his power to distract us. He knows that there is a drawing power in prayer and bible study and if he can keep us so busy doing even good things we will not have or take the time to spend vital quality time with God. 
 
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2017, 11:25:42 AM »

[/i][/b]No wonder Satan does everything in his power to distract us. He knows that there is a drawing power in prayer and bible study and if he can keep us so busy doing even good things we will not have or take the time to spend vital quality time with God.

I appreciated the thought that Dorine shared, and I heartily agree in how wonderful the drawing power of God is through prayer and Bible study--especially when we seek to behold the loveliness of Jesus and know Him in mind and character by a personal experience. This has become more and more my consuming, absorbing passion--I want to be like Jesus. I want to commune with Him, enjoy Him, fellowship in His sweetness. I marvel that God gives us an invitation in His word such as this: "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." (James 4:8). We get to be as close to Jesus as we choose to be--by how much time we spend with Him beholding His character and having Him work through us in ministry, because "The heart that rests most fully upon Christ will be most earnest and active in labor for Him" {SC 71.1}.

Amen, as to what you shared, Jim! I was also moved by the same paragraph!

The Messiah’s coming had been first announced in Judea. In the temple at Jerusalem the birth of the forerunner had been foretold to Zacharias as he ministered before the altar. On the hills of Bethlehem the angels had proclaimed the birth of Jesus. To Jerusalem the magi had come in search of Him. In the temple Simeon and Anna had testified to His divinity. “Jerusalem, and all Judea” had listened to the preaching of John the Baptist; and the deputation from the Sanhedrin, with the multitude, had heard his testimony concerning Jesus. In Judea, Christ had received His first disciples. Here much of His early ministry had been spent. The flashing forth of His divinity in the cleansing of the temple, His miracles of healing, and the lessons of divine truth that fell from His lips, all proclaimed that which after the healing at Bethesda He had declared before the Sanhedrin,—His Sonship to the Eternal.

Significantly grasped and appreciated, this second paragraph of today's reading is a wonderful encapsulation up to this point in His life and ministry of His loveliness--His character and mission--that will draw all who will come in God's way. I love Jesus and I pray that you will be blessed in beholding 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}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2017, 02:41:34 AM »
Jesus is coming VERY SOON! Let us watch unto prayer and behold the loveliness of Jesus, that we may EXPERIENTIALLY be ready to enter into the kingdom of glory because by faith we have allowed Christ to transform us now through the kingdom of grace, the working of His Holy Spirit within our hearts to transform us to be holy, for He says, "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). Only with Him abiding in us, revealing all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, are we enabled to live holy lives, and He will also encourage us to rightly divide the Scriptures so we can know that the coming of Christ is NEAR, even at the doors!

"As the message of Christ’s first advent announced the kingdom of His grace, so the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. And the second message, like the first, is based on the prophecies. The words of the angel to Daniel relating to the last days were to be understood in the time of the end. At that time, 'many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.' 'The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.' Daniel 12:4, 10. The Saviour Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, 'When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.' 'And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.' 'Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.' Luke 21:31, 34, 36. {The Desire of Ages, page 234, paragraph 4}
We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord’s coming in glory as near at hand. {The Desire of Ages, page 235, paragraph 1}


Let us pray, "Prepare me, O God, to stand in this time with courage from communion with You and an intelligent, heartfelt appreciation of the character of Christ." Jesus saves! And Jesus is soon to return in power and great glory!
"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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2017, 02:51:18 PM »
Amen, pastor Sean. Jesus is coming soon!  There are those who may not argue and say he is not, but they will object when we say He is coming soon. They will repeat what has been heard for over a hundred years. Many have said He is coming soon, and He has not come. They by their words deny the soon coming of Jesus. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, wars and rumors of wars tell us His coming is near, He is even at the doors!! Why has He not come? Because we have not taken the gospel message to the world. Why not?  Because Satan has stolen a march on the church. It remains in a Laodicean condition. Many in the church believe they are rich and increased with good, but know not they are miserable, and wretched, poor, blind, and naked. This is a lost condition, therefore Jesus says "repent."

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2018, 06:17:46 AM »
Do you really believe that Jesus is about to come in the clouds of glory, that all things on this earth are about to be destroyed, and that the righteous are about to go with Jesus to heaven, while the wicked will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming? When Jesus first came, so few truly believed with the WHOLE heart as to renounce all and follow Him. Today Jesus invites you and me to surrender the whole heart for Him to make it pure and holy, the abiding place for His Spirit so that the fruits of the Spirit without one missing are revealed in and through us to bless others and testify that Jesus Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by Him. Let us live in true faith today--sharing with others as we have opportunity to point people to Jesus.

Just last night I met a lady named Kathy who was trying to move in Northern Washington, and I was on my way to see some dear Christian friends in Northern Washington. She needed help finding a road, and I was able to call my friends for help to find it, and she was very grateful. Then I was able to pray with her and share a copy of The Desire of Ages with her. I pray that God will be with her and prepare her and her family for Jesus' return. As we behold Jesus' loveliness, He is preparing us for His soon return as we cooperate with the light that shines upon our path. Pray for divine appointments as God leads your way today!

As the message of Christ’s first advent announced the kingdom of His grace, so the message of His second advent announces the kingdom of His glory. And the second message, like the first, is based on the prophecies. The words of the angel to Daniel relating to the last days were to be understood in the time of the end. At that time, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:4, 10. The Saviour Himself has given signs of His coming, and He says, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:31, 34, 36. {The Desire of Ages, page 234, paragraph 4}
We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord’s coming in glory as near at hand. {The Desire of Ages, page 235, paragraph 1}


Jesus is coming soon! Let us live in all the light that shines to His glory today! Others are waiting to see Christ in you, the hope of glory!
"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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2018, 07:53:55 AM »
"We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord's coming in glory as near at hand."

Do I hunger and thirst after righteousness? Do I put God first in my life each day? Am I spending quality time each day with Jesus? Do I have a form of religion but deny the power? Am I asking God for opportunities to share Him with others? Am I deliberate in searching for the lost? If Jesus were to take me to live with Him as I am today would I be happy there? So many questions I ask myself this morning.

"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Rev. 22:20.

Father God, I submit my life once again to you. May my life be a reflection of yours today that others may see Jesus in me. Amen.
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--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2018, 08:48:25 AM »
Amen and amen!! Jesus is coming. The prophecies which point to His coming in glory are being fulfilled right in front of our eyes!! There is one thing left before Jesus can come. We have failed in our appointed mission, but by God's grace we shall take the gospel to a world soon to perish.

This morning I noted that the conversion of Saul (Paul) was only a short period of time after the stoning of Stephen.  This is interesting because it was the Spirit working on Saul when Stephen was stoned that hastened his conversion. We have a powerful lesson before us as to the influence of our words when we forgive those who despitefully use us, as was the situation when Stephen  spoke these words as he was being murdered: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." Acts 7:60. What a joy it will be to see the look on Stephen's face when he sees Saul in heaven!

The one week—seven years—ended in A. D. 34. Then by the stoning of Stephen the Jews finally sealed their rejection of the gospel; the disciples who were scattered abroad by persecution “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4); and shortly after, Saul the persecutor was converted, and became Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles.


That grace is ours to testify to before a world soon to perish. How much greater is our work here in these days immediately preceding our Lord's soon coming!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.