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Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« on: February 12, 2016, 08:44:38 PM »
"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"

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     Across the bright days of Christ's ministry in Galilee, one shadow lay. The people of Nazareth rejected Him. "Is not this the carpenter's son?" they said.
     During His childhood and youth, Jesus had worshiped among His brethren in the synagogue at Nazareth. Since the opening of His ministry He had been absent from them, but they had not been ignorant of what had befallen Him. As He again appeared among them, their interest and expectation were excited to the highest pitch. Here were the familiar forms and faces of those whom He had known from infancy. Here were His mother, His brothers and sisters, and all eyes were turned upon Him as He entered the synagogue upon the Sabbath day, and took His place among the worshipers. 
     In the regular service for the day, the elder read from the prophets, and exhorted the people still to hope for the Coming One, who would bring in a glorious reign, and banish all oppression. He sought to encourage his hearers by rehearsing the evidence that the Messiah's coming was near. He described the glory of His advent, keeping prominent the thought that He would appear at the head of armies to deliver Israel. 
     When a rabbi was present at the synagogue, he was expected to deliver the sermon, and any Israelite might give the reading from the prophets. Upon this Sabbath Jesus was requested to take part in the service. He "stood up to read. And there was delivered unto Him a roll of the prophet Isaiah." Luke 4:16, 17, R. V., margin. The scripture which He read was one that was understood as referring to the Messiah:

        "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
         Because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor;
         He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
         To preach deliverance to the captives,
         And recovering of sight to the blind,
         To set at liberty them that are bruised,
         To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." 

     "And He closed the roll, and gave it back to the attendant: . . . and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on Him. . . . And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of His mouth." Luke 4:20-22, R. V., margin. 
     Jesus stood before the people as a living expositor of the prophecies concerning Himself. Explaining the words He had read, He spoke of the Messiah as a reliever of the oppressed, a liberator of captives, a healer of the afflicted, restoring sight to the blind, and revealing to the world the light of truth. His impressive manner and the wonderful import of His words thrilled the hearers with a power they had never felt before. The tide of divine influence broke every barrier down; like Moses, they beheld the Invisible. As their hearts were moved upon by the Holy Spirit, they responded with fervent amens and praises to the Lord. 
     But when Jesus announced, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears," they were suddenly recalled to think of themselves, and of the claims of Him who had been addressing them. They, Israelites, children of Abraham, had been represented as in bondage. They had been addressed as prisoners to be delivered from the power of evil; as in darkness, and needing the light of truth. Their pride was offended, and their fears were roused. The words of Jesus indicated that His work for them was to be altogether different from what they desired. Their deeds might be investigated too closely. Notwithstanding their exactness in outward ceremonies, they shrank from inspection by those clear, searching eyes.
     Who is this Jesus? they questioned. He who had claimed for Himself the glory of the Messiah was the son of a carpenter, and had worked at His trade with His father Joseph. They had seen Him toiling up and down the hills, they were acquainted with His brothers and sisters, and knew His life and labors. They had seen Him develop from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood. Although His life had been spotless, they would not believe that He was the Promised One. 
     What a contrast between His teaching in regard to the new kingdom and that which they had heard from their elder! Jesus had said nothing of delivering them from the Romans. They had heard of His miracles, and had hoped that His power would be exercised for their advantage, but they had seen no indication of such purpose. 
     As they opened the door to doubt, their hearts became so much the harder for having been momentarily softened. Satan was determined that blind eyes should not that day be opened, nor souls bound in slavery be set at liberty. With intense energy he worked to fasten them in unbelief. They made no account of the sign already given, when they had been stirred by the conviction that it was their Redeemer who addressed them.   
     But Jesus now gave them an evidence of His divinity by revealing their secret thoughts. "He said unto them, Doubtless ye will say unto Me this parable, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in Thine own country. And He said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is acceptable in his own country. But of a truth I say unto you, There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman, the Syrian." Luke 4:23-27, R. V. 
     By this relation of events in the lives of the prophets, Jesus met the questionings of His hearers. The servants whom God had chosen for a special work were not allowed to labor for a hardhearted and unbelieving people. But those who had hearts to feel and faith to believe were especially favored with evidences of His power through the prophets. In the days of Elijah, Israel had departed from God. They clung to their sins, and rejected the warnings of the Spirit through the Lord's messengers. Thus they cut themselves off from the channel by which God's blessing could come to them. The Lord passed by the homes of Israel, and found a refuge for His servant in a heathen land, with a woman who did not belong to the chosen people. But this woman was favored because she had followed the light she had received, and her heart was open to the greater light that God sent her through His prophet. 
     It was for the same reason that in Elisha's time the lepers of Israel were passed by. But Naaman, a heathen nobleman, had been faithful to his convictions of right, and had felt his great need of help. He was in a condition to receive the gifts of God's grace. He was not only cleansed from his leprosy, but blessed with a knowledge of the true God. 
     Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession. 
     The words of Jesus to His hearers in the synagogue struck at the root of their self-righteousness, pressing home upon them the bitter truth that they had departed from God and forfeited their claim to be His people. Every word cut like a knife as their real condition was set before them. They now scorned the faith with which Jesus had at first inspired them. They would not admit that He who had sprung from poverty and lowliness was other than a common man. 
     Their unbelief bred malice. Satan controlled them, and in wrath they cried out against the Saviour. They had turned from Him whose mission it was to heal and restore; now they manifested the attributes of the destroyer. 
     When Jesus referred to the blessings given to the Gentiles, the fierce national pride of His hearers was aroused, and His words were drowned in a tumult of voices. These people had prided themselves on keeping the law; but now that their prejudices were offended, they were ready to commit murder. The assembly broke up, and laying hands upon Jesus, they thrust Him from the synagogue, and out of the city. All seemed eager for His destruction. They hurried Him to the brow of a precipice, intending to cast Him down headlong. Shouts and maledictions filled the air. Some were casting stones at Him, when suddenly He disappeared from among them. The heavenly messengers who had been by His side in the synagogue were with Him in the midst of that maddened throng. They shut Him in from His enemies, and conducted Him to a place of safety. 
     So angels protected Lot, and led him out safely from the midst of Sodom. So they protected Elisha in the little mountain city. When the encircling hills were filled with the horses and chariots of the king of Syria, and the great host of his armed men, Elisha beheld the nearer hill slopes covered with the armies of God,--horses and chariots of fire round about the servant of the Lord.   
     So, in all ages, angels have been near to Christ's faithful followers. The vast confederacy of evil is arrayed against all who would overcome; but Christ would have us look to the things which are not seen, to the armies of heaven encamped about all who love God, to deliver them. From what dangers, seen and unseen, we have been preserved through the interposition of the angels, we shall never know, until in the light of eternity we see the providences of God. Then we shall know that the whole family of heaven was interested in the family here below, and that messengers from the throne of God attended our steps from day to day. 
     When Jesus in the synagogue read from the prophecy, He stopped short of the final specification concerning the Messiah's work. Having read the words, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," He omitted the phrase, "and the day of vengeance of our God." Isaiah 61:2. This was just as much truth as was the first of the prophecy, and by His silence Jesus did not deny the truth. But this last expression was that upon which His hearers delighted to dwell, and which they were desirous of fulfilling. They denounced judgments against the heathen, not discerning that their own guilt was even greater than that of others. They themselves were in deepest need of the mercy they were so ready to deny to the heathen. That day in the synagogue, when Jesus stood among them, was their opportunity to accept the call of Heaven. He who "delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18) would fain have saved them from the ruin which their sins were inviting. 
     Not without one more call to repentance could He give them up. Toward the close of His ministry in Galilee, He again visited the home of His childhood. Since His rejection there, the fame of His preaching and His miracles had filled the land. None now could deny that He possessed more than human power. The people of Nazareth knew that He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by Satan. About them were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house; for He had passed through them, and healed all their sick. The mercy revealed in every act of His life testified to His divine anointing. 
     Again as they listened to His words the Nazarenes were moved by the Divine Spirit. But even now they would not admit that this Man, who had been brought up among them, was other or greater than themselves. Still there rankled the bitter memory that while He had claimed for Himself to be the Promised One, He had really denied them a place with Israel; for He had shown them to be less worthy of God's favor than a heathen man and woman. Hence though they questioned, "Whence hath this Man this wisdom, and these mighty works?" they would not receive Him as the Christ of God. Because of their unbelief, the Saviour could not work many miracles among them. Only a few hearts were open to His blessing, and reluctantly He departed, never to return. 
     Unbelief, having once been cherished, continued to control the men of Nazareth. So it controlled the Sanhedrin and the nation. With priests and people, the first rejection of the demonstration of the Holy Spirit's power was the beginning of the end. In order to prove that their first resistance was right, they continued ever after to cavil at the words of Christ. Their rejection of the Spirit culminated in the cross of Calvary, in the destruction of their city, in the scattering of the nation to the winds of heaven. 
     Oh, how Christ longed to open to Israel the precious treasures of the truth! But such was their spiritual blindness that it was impossible to reveal to them the truths relating to His kingdom. They clung to their creed and their useless ceremonies when the truth of Heaven awaited their acceptance. They spent their money for chaff and husks, when the bread of life was within their reach. Why did they not go to the word of God, and search diligently to know whether they were in error? The Old Testament Scriptures stated plainly every detail of Christ's ministry, and again and again He quoted from the prophets, and declared, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." If they had honestly searched the Scriptures, bringing their theories to the test of God's word, Jesus need not have wept over their impenitence. He need not have declared, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Luke 13:35. They might have been acquainted with the evidence of His Messiahship, and the calamity that laid their proud city in ruins might have been averted. But the minds of the Jews had become narrowed by their unreasoning bigotry. The lessons of Christ revealed their deficiencies of character, and demanded repentance. If they accepted His teachings, their practices must be changed, and their cherished hopes relinquished. In order to be honored by Heaven, they must sacrifice the honor of men. If they obeyed the words of this new rabbi, they must go contrary to the opinions of the great thinkers and teachers of the time. 
     Truth was unpopular in Christ's day. It is unpopular in our day. It has been unpopular ever since Satan first gave man a disrelish for it by presenting fables that lead to self-exaltation. Do we not today meet theories and doctrines that have no foundation in the word of God? Men cling as tenaciously to them as did the Jews to their traditions. 
     The Jewish leaders were filled with spiritual pride. Their desire for the glorification of self manifested itself even in the service of the sanctuary. They loved the highest seats in the synagogue. They loved greetings in the market places, and were gratified with the sound of their titles on the lips of men. As real piety declined, they became more jealous for their traditions and ceremonies.
     Because their understanding was darkened by selfish prejudice, they could not harmonize the power of Christ's convicting words with the humility of His life. They did not appreciate the fact that real greatness can dispense with outward show. This Man's poverty seemed wholly inconsistent with His claim to be the Messiah. They questioned, If He was what He claimed to be, why was He so unpretending? If He was satisfied to be without the force of arms, what would become of their nation? How could the power and glory so long anticipated bring the nations as subjects to the city of the Jews? Had not the priests taught that Israel was to bear rule over all the earth? and could it be possible that the great religious teachers were in error? 
     But it was not simply the absence of outward glory in His life that led the Jews to reject Jesus. He was the embodiment of purity, and they were impure. He dwelt among men an example of spotless integrity. His blameless life flashed light upon their hearts. His sincerity revealed their insincerity. It made manifest the hollowness of their pretentious piety, and discovered iniquity to them in its odious character. Such a light was unwelcome.  {DA 243.1} 
     If Christ had called attention to the Pharisees, and had extolled their learning and piety, they would have hailed Him with joy. But when He spoke of the kingdom of heaven as a dispensation of mercy for all mankind, He was presenting a phase of religion they would not tolerate. Their own example and teaching had never been such as to make the service of God seem desirable. When they saw Jesus giving attention to the very ones they hated and repulsed, it stirred up the worst passions of their proud hearts. Notwithstanding their boast that under the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" (Revelation 5:5), Israel should be exalted to pre-eminence over all nations, they could have borne the disappointment of their ambitious hopes better than they could bear Christ's reproof of their sins, and the reproach they felt even from the presence of His purity.
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 08:56:24 PM »
Sadly, this is "present truth".  God's church will go through. There will be revival and reformation. But, not all in the church will yield to the Spirit, and thus will not participate in the preparations for the soon coming of Christ.

"The servants whom God had chosen for a special work were not allowed to labor for a hardhearted and unbelieving people. But those who had hearts to feel and faith to believe were especially favored with evidences of His power through the prophets. In the days of Elijah, Israel had departed from God. They clung to their sins, and rejected the warnings of the Spirit through the Lord's messengers. Thus they cut themselves off from the channel by which God's blessing could come to them. The Lord passed by the homes of Israel, and found a refuge for His servant in a heathen land, with a woman who did not belong to the chosen people. But this woman was favored because she had followed the light she had received, and her heart was open to the greater light that God sent her through His prophet."
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 05:17:16 AM »

     The people of Nazareth knew that He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by Satan. About them were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house; for He had passed through them, and healed all their sick. The mercy revealed in every act of His life testified to His divine anointing.

What a thought! Can you imagine? Not a sick person in a whole village. What a testament to Christ's love. Just the opposite of satan who enjoys sickness, disease, and suffering. No wonder she said it testified to His divine anointing.
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2016, 07:02:54 AM »
I really appreciate that thought, Jim--indeed, Jesus revealed His divine character by the works the Father had Him do. It is amazing that the very divine character that led Christ to heal and restore also led those who were actuated by self to reject Him. I was moved by this thought:

"Because their understanding was darkened by selfish prejudice, they could not harmonize the power of Christ's convicting words with the humility of His life. They did not appreciate the fact that real greatness can dispense with outward show. This Man's poverty seemed wholly inconsistent with His claim to be the Messiah. They questioned, If He was what He claimed to be, why was He so unpretending? If He was satisfied to be without the force of arms, what would become of their nation? How could the power and glory so long anticipated bring the nations as subjects to the city of the Jews? Had not the priests taught that Israel was to bear rule over all the earth? and could it be possible that the great religious teachers were in error?" {DA 242.3}

It is so encouraging that we, who follow in Christ's steps, need not have "outward show"--but can have something far greater--the experience of being made partakers of the divine nature, and allowing Christ to work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Then through a living-faith connection with our Savior, He will manifest Himself by His Spirit's abiding presence, and all the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life--not one will be missing. Christ revealed the most essential greatness--humble dependence upon God in all He did, and we can do the same through the grace that He received for us! Hallelujah!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2016, 08:19:43 AM »
Amen and amen!!

Imagine God wanting to heal everyone!!! He does. Then why do we not today see whole cities healed?

Let's pick it up where Pastor Sean left off.

"Could it be possible that the great religious teachers were in error? But it was not simply the absence of outward glory in His life that led the Jews to reject Jesus. He was the embodiment of purity, and they were impure. He dwelt among men an example of spotless integrity. His blameless life flashed light upon their hearts. His sincerity revealed their insincerity. It made manifest the hollowness of their pretentious piety, and discovered iniquity to them in its odious character. Such a light was unwelcome."


There is always great resistance in most churches to believe the "great religious teachers" could be in error. Why? Because their is great pressure within the system to just believe what is being taught by those who have "authority."  In our church, it is a cultural belief only the pastors ought to reprove sin. And many in the church are not faithful Bereans comparing what is taught to the Bible. Many continue to drink from polluted fountains when we have before us a pure Fountain of Truth.

God sends teachers to help us. But, the true teacher sent of God will point us to Jesus and His Word, not to other men as we continually see in our quarterly lessons. We don't see the lesson pointing us to the Bible teaching of Elder Wilson, and that is good. But, we do see the lessons pointing us to the "experts" in the world who are often in fallen churches who reject much truth.

And when the truth is taught, what is often the result?  "His sincerity revealed their insincerity. It made manifest the hollowness of their pretentious piety, and discovered iniquity to them in its odious character. Such a light was unwelcome." How do we appreciate truth that reveals our sins? Do we then go to God for forgiveness and to be cleansed from it? Or do we resent the one who is living the truth and reveals we are not? What does the Bible say about appreciating those who reprove our sins?

If we are not appreciative to know of our sins, what is the problem and how can it be changed?
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2016, 06:07:19 AM »
We can only be thankful that Jesus shows us our sins as we see His loveliness and believe in HIs power to change us from sinners to saints. A converted Christian will be willing to be reproved, instructed, and taught. The stony, unconverted heart resists light because it reveals the darkness of sin. We cannot make our hearts new, but we can consent to Christ's work to transform us. This is spoken of as the new birth. We need such an experience daily, and it needs to be continually maintained by a living faith that works by love.

I appreciated how this chapter revealed the principles at work in the judgment of character:

Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession. 

Let us pray that God will help us make the best use of the light we have and be willing to accept further light as it shines upon 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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 08:51:54 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.

"Our standing before God."
It would be easy to gloss over this statement, but it would be at our own loss. The statement means whether or not we have eternal life. Are we justified? Are we in a saved condition? Are we in a converted condition? Are we reconciled to God? Or we could say, are we in a lost state? Many are in a Laodicean condition which means they are in a lost standing before God. They are in an unconverted standing or state.  What is the significance of this sad situation? What are we told was the consequence to Israel? The church at Nazareth which Jesus attended until He began His formal ministry was in a Laodicean condition. When Jesus, after 30 years of constraining His reproofs in this church, finally told them their standing before God, how did they respond? How do Laodiceans in our day respond to this truth?

     "'There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman, the Syrian.' Luke 4:23-27, R. V.
     By this relation of events in the lives of the prophets, Jesus met the questionings of His hearers. The servants whom God had chosen for a special work were not allowed to labor for a hardhearted and unbelieving people. But those who had hearts to feel and faith to believe were especially favored with evidences of His power through the prophets. In the days of Elijah, Israel had departed from God. They clung to their sins, and rejected the warnings of the Spirit through the Lord's messengers. Thus they cut themselves off from the channel by which God's blessing could come to them. The Lord passed by the homes of Israel, and found a refuge for His servant in a heathen land, with a woman who did not belong to the chosen people. But this woman was favored because she had followed the light she had received, and her heart was open to the greater light that God sent her through His prophet.
     It was for the same reason that in Elisha's time the lepers of Israel were passed by. But Naaman, a heathen nobleman, had been faithful to his convictions of right, and had felt his great need of help. He was in a condition to receive the gifts of God's grace. He was not only cleansed from his leprosy, but blessed with a knowledge of the true God."


What is God doing in the world today? Would He follow the same principles? Would He pass by hardhearted church members and go into the world to those with hearts open to the truth? Has He been doing this? How would we know? One way is to find those who are truly manifesting the fruits of His Spirit, then listen to their testimony. That will reveal how God is working. When you discover who it is that is teaching the gospel of grace, where did God find them? In the church or in the world?

We do not go into the world to hear the truth, but we go into the world to find those who are open to the truth. And, if they respond, they come into the church. And, if they continue to walk in the light of God's love and grace, He continues to bless them with more light, and their character reflects more and more the character of Christ. Those in the church who are opposed to the truth they have already been given,  will not receive more light, and they will be moving into darkness rather than light.

It is not too late for many in the church to change their standing before God. Is this not what Jesus speaks to us as a people? He tells us our standing is such that our probation as individuals is about to be closed. "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 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." Rev 3:16,17.

And He also encourages us to repent and offers the solution to our lost state. "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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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." Rev. 3:18-20. 

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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 07:31:43 AM »
As in the days when Jesus came to His own and His own knew Him not, so it is today, many do not understand God looks upon the heart. None will enter heaven save they which be born again of the Spirit. The heart must be purified. The whole heart, not half, not three quarters, not 99%, but all the heart must be surrendered to Christ. That which is born of the flesh is evil and cannot enter heaven.

    Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession. 


When we are truly in a converted state, then Christ is in the heart. If Christ possess the heart, then we become partakers of His divine nature and are then given power to escape the lust in the flesh. If we do not walk in the light given, then we are not abiding in Christ and He in us.

    We are living amid the perils of the last days, and we should guard every avenue by which Satan can approach us with his temptations. A fatal delusion seizes those who have had great light and precious opportunities, but who have not walked in the light nor improved the opportunities which God has given them. Darkness comes upon them; and they fail to make Christ their strength, and fall an easy prey to the snares of the deceiver. A mere assent to the truth will never save a soul from death. We must be sanctified through the truth; every defect of character must be overcome, or it will overcome us and become a controlling power for evil. 
     Cultivate whatever in your character is in harmony with the character of Christ. Cherish those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report; but put away whatever is unlike our Redeemer. Selfishness is cherished to an extent that few realize; guard against it at all times and in all
places. Do not excuse yourself in any error. If you have one objectionable trait, which you find it difficult to subdue, do not talk of your weakness as something that others must bear with. Do not soothe your conscience with the thought that you cannot overcome the peculiarities that deform your character, nor listen to Satan's suggestion that they are not very grievous. There is no way by which you may be saved in sin. Every soul that gains eternal life must be like Christ, “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” [Hebrews 7:26.] The followers of Christ must shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  GW92 445.


God's grace is powerful. If we will allow it into the heart, it will purify the soul (heart).

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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 10:45:46 AM »
Amen, Richard! And praise the Lord, Jesus can give us victory over every objectionable trait of character through His divine grace! May we learn from today's reading how important it is to receive the light as God sends it:

Jesus stood before the people as a living expositor of the prophecies concerning Himself. Explaining the words He had read, He spoke of the Messiah as a reliever of the oppressed, a liberator of captives, a healer of the afflicted, restoring sight to the blind, and revealing to the world the light of truth. His impressive manner and the wonderful import of His words thrilled the hearers with a power they had never felt before. The tide of divine influence broke every barrier down; like Moses, they beheld the Invisible. As their hearts were moved upon by the Holy Spirit, they responded with fervent amens and praises to the Lord. 


This was good--but when the condition came that Jesus came to save THEM from sin--which they did not want to think applied to them, they were ready to commit murder. Oh, how quickly the tide can turn...and how deeply we need Jesus continually in our hearts. God wants not only to give us the joy of receiving HIs message, but applying that message to our hearts. The people of Nazareth were in a Laodicean condition, and needed to repent, to have Christ abiding in the heart through a living faith. So it is today. We need Jesus abiding in the heart in order to do any good thing.

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.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


Unless we do respond, we also, like those who rejected Christ at Nazareth, will seal our probation without Christ in the heart because we neglect to respond to His loving, knocking appeals to our hearts to make an entire surrender. Apart from entire surrender, there can be no conversion, no new birth. And when the surrender is made, Christ indwells the heart by His Spirit, making it fully new, and giving us all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing. Such is the gift available to every repentant soul; such is God's earnest desire to supply each of us with Himself! Praise God for His loving work upon our hearts!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2017, 04:28:34 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. It is dangerous to resist the Spirit. He brings truth that He knows we need, and we reject it? This is what happened to the people in Nazareth and this is what led to the murder of Christ by the Jews. Pride keeps sinners from admitting they are wrong when they have resisted the truth. What a lesson for us!

    Again as they listened to His words the Nazarenes were moved by the Divine Spirit. But even now they would not admit that this Man, who had been brought up among them, was other or greater than themselves. Still there rankled the bitter memory that while He had claimed for Himself to be the Promised One, He had really denied them a place with Israel; for He had shown them to be less worthy of God's favor than a heathen man and woman. Hence though they questioned, "Whence hath this Man this wisdom, and these mighty works?" they would not receive Him as the Christ of God. Because of their unbelief, the Saviour could not work many miracles among them. Only a few hearts were open to His blessing, and reluctantly He departed, never to return.
     Unbelief, having once been cherished, continued to control the men of Nazareth. So it controlled the Sanhedrin and the nation. With priests and people, the first rejection of the demonstration of the Holy Spirit's power was the beginning of the end. In order to prove that their first resistance was right, they continued ever after to cavil at the words of Christ. Their rejection of the Spirit culminated in the cross of Calvary, in the destruction of their city, in the scattering of the nation to the winds of heaven. 
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2017, 06:23:04 AM »
So true, Richard. God sends light that is for our best--God is selfless, and He has our best interest at heart. Our part is to behold the loveliness of Jesus, and seeing our great need of Him, to surrender all the heart to Him for Him to cleanse and purify. But if we do not consent to that, then Satan will overpower us. We need a Savior! But the people in Nazareth wanted a Savior that had not been promised, and thus, they wanted to put Christ to death. To such lengths does humanity go when it is under the control of the evil one. Let us realize our continual need of Jesus, for He has the power to keep us from sin!

By this relation of events in the lives of the prophets, Jesus met the questionings of His hearers. The servants whom God had chosen for a special work were not allowed to labor for a hardhearted and unbelieving people. But those who had hearts to feel and faith to believe were especially favored with evidences of His power through the prophets. In the days of Elijah, Israel had departed from God. They clung to their sins, and rejected the warnings of the Spirit through the Lord's messengers. Thus they cut themselves off from the channel by which God's blessing could come to them. The Lord passed by the homes of Israel, and found a refuge for His servant in a heathen land, with a woman who did not belong to the chosen people. But this woman was favored because she had followed the light she had received, and her heart was open to the greater light that God sent her through His prophet. 

God can raise up hearts that are willing to receive greater light--even if they are not part of the "chosen" people of God. What a lesson to learn. If we are not following in the light as Christ brings it to us, He may pass us by and use instrumentalities that have had less light, but have been willing to use the light they had available. Let us pray that we may ever be receptive, willing hearers who will put into action the beautiful revelation of God's character we see in Jesus! Let us invite others also to "come and see" and to believe that God gives us light that we may impart it to others!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2017, 02:04:41 PM »
Thanks pastor Sean and Richard for your thoughts on this. It appears that they knew in their heads who they were dealing with but their unbelief and pride lead them even further astray. How sad. It's another example of how just knowing truth is not enough. Just like how some smokers will continue to smoke knowing what caused their lung cancer or emphysema.

It also appears, however, that they were not even very good evangelists for their own cause.

But when He spoke of the kingdom of heaven as a dispensation of mercy for all mankind, He was presenting a phase of religion they would not tolerate. Their own example and teaching had never been such as to make the service of God seem desirable. When they saw Jesus giving attention to the very ones they hated and repulsed, it stirred up the worst passions of their proud hearts.

And that in turns reminds of this from chapter 2...

Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt.  {DA 29.3}

Who would ever want to work and live under such a system? In this the great deceiver shows himself to be the tyrant that he is.
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2017, 05:14:50 AM »
Amen, Jim! The system of religion that Satan seeks to propagate is indeed a burden, because it either leads a person to believe they must do some good thing to earn salvation (salvation by works) or that they can be saved in their sins (which is so destructive because of the way sin leads to death and misery). It is amazing how many still entertain false conceptions of the religion of Christ, and I am reminded by the thought that you shared of a statement in Steps to Christ:

"Satan ever seeks to make the religious life one of gloom. He desires it to appear toilsome and difficult; and when the Christian presents in his own life this view of religion, he is, through his unbelief, seconding the falsehood of Satan" {SC 116.2}.

Jesus came to set the people free from such false conceptions of God and the religion that leads to God, of which He Himself was the Way, the Truth, and the Life!

The chapter we read today is significant because it not only encapsulates the experience Christ had at Nazareth at the beginning of His ministry, but it brings it back again toward the close of His ministry. So long-suffering is the Savior who sought to save the very souls in His hometown.

Not without one more call to repentance could He give them up. Toward the close of His ministry in Galilee, He again visited the home of His childhood. Since His rejection there, the fame of His preaching and His miracles had filled the land. None now could deny that He possessed more than human power. The people of Nazareth knew that He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by Satan. About them were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house; for He had passed through them, and healed all their sick. The mercy revealed in every act of His life testified to His divine anointing.
     Again as they listened to His words the Nazarenes were moved by the Divine Spirit. But even now they would not admit that this Man, who had been brought up among them, was other or greater than themselves. Still there rankled the bitter memory that while He had claimed for Himself to be the Promised One, He had really denied them a place with Israel; for He had shown them to be less worthy of God's favor than a heathen man and woman. Hence though they questioned, "Whence hath this Man this wisdom, and these mighty works?" they would not receive Him as the Christ of God. Because of their unbelief, the Saviour could not work many miracles among them. Only a few hearts were open to His blessing, and reluctantly He departed, never to return. 


Reflecting upon this, it is clear that just because a person or group of people sense the moving of the Spirit does not mean that they will yield to His influence and be converted. Many times those whose hearts have been deeply moved resist the light, and become some of the bitterest enemies of God and His truth. May we learn the lesson--when Jesus sends us light, may we open our hearts to follow His will in a full-heart surrender, so that in true conversion we may be enabled to receive the blessings He has for us, and in turn be a blessing to others.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2017, 06:44:33 AM »
Amen, Jim and Pastor Sean!  If there was one thing Satan has been successful at, it is perverting the character of our God. He attempts to hide from the world the power of love, God's grace to empower sinful man to love his enemy. The power of grace will transform the character when allowed into the heart. Without bringing grace into the heart, life is a pain. We may think we are happy, but we are not. And, if we discover we do not have life because we are not walking in the light, then life becomes an agony. Listen to the Apostle Paul (Saul) when he discovered he was not keeping the law of God from the heart, and did not know how he could (he thought Jesus and imposter). "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:23,24.

Saul wanted to do good, but did not know he needed a Savior. Such a deception. He was a captive to the sin that reigned in his flesh.

     Truth was unpopular in Christ's day. It is unpopular in our day. It has been unpopular ever since Satan first gave man a disrelish for it by presenting fables that lead to self-exaltation. Do we not today meet theories and doctrines that have no foundation in the word of God? Men cling as tenaciously to them as did the Jews to their traditions.
     The Jewish leaders were filled with spiritual pride. Their desire for the glorification of self manifested itself even in the service of the sanctuary. They loved the highest seats in the synagogue. They loved greetings in the market places, and were gratified with the sound of their titles on the lips of men. As real piety declined, they became more jealous for their traditions and ceremonies.


We need not remain in darkness. If we would study the Bible to know God, we would see His great love for us while were yet sinners and be converted.

     Oh, how Christ longed to open to Israel the precious treasures of the truth! But such was their spiritual blindness that it was impossible to reveal to them the truths relating to His kingdom. They clung to their creed and their useless ceremonies when the truth of Heaven awaited their acceptance. They spent their money for chaff and husks, when the bread of life was within their reach. Why did they not go to the word of God, and search diligently to know whether they were in error? The Old Testament Scriptures stated plainly every detail of Christ's ministry, and again and again He quoted from the prophets, and declared, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." If they had honestly searched the Scriptures, bringing their theories to the test of God's word, Jesus need not have wept over their impenitence. He need not have declared, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Luke 13:35. They might have been acquainted with the evidence of His Messiahship, and the calamity that laid their proud city in ruins might have been averted. But the minds of the Jews had become narrowed by their unreasoning bigotry. The lessons of Christ revealed their deficiencies of character, and demanded repentance. If they accepted His teachings, their practices must be changed, and their cherished hopes relinquished. In order to be honored by Heaven, they must sacrifice the honor of men. If they obeyed the words of this new rabbi, they must go contrary to the opinions of the great thinkers and teachers of the time. 


Is there spiritual blindness in the church in our day? Has Jesus pointed this out?

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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2017, 05:26:01 AM »
Jesus stood before the people as a living expositor of the prophecies concerning Himself. Explaining the words He had read, He spoke of the Messiah as a reliever of the oppressed, a liberator of captives, a healer of the afflicted, restoring sight to the blind, and revealing to the world the light of truth. His impressive manner and the wonderful import of His words thrilled the hearers with a power they had never felt before. The tide of divine influence broke every barrier down; like Moses, they beheld the Invisible. As their hearts were moved upon by the Holy Spirit, they responded with fervent amens and praises to the Lord.
     But when Jesus announced, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears," they were suddenly recalled to think of themselves, and of the claims of Him who had been addressing them. They, Israelites, children of Abraham, had been represented as in bondage. They had been addressed as prisoners to be delivered from the power of evil; as in darkness, and needing the light of truth. Their pride was offended, and their fears were roused. The words of Jesus indicated that His work for them was to be altogether different from what they desired. Their deeds might be investigated too closely. Notwithstanding their exactness in outward ceremonies, they shrank from inspection by those clear, searching eyes.


How fast they had a change of heart. One moment agreeing and praising God as their hearts were moved and then the next moment they heard something that stirred their pride up and they went to hating Christ. This reminds me of what we were told about Judas in the chapter with his name. Judus' heart was also moved as Christ washed his feet but then other thoughts filled his mind and he walked out from the presence of the Lord and did his dirty deed.

No wonder pride is hated so much in the Bible. Let's be found abiding Christ in and He in us so that pride will be extinguished from our hearts. Then we can help others do the same.

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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2017, 06:59:55 AM »
Amen, Jim! Powerful gospel truth is revealed in our reading today--and we come to realize that the gospel means that ALL OF US are in bondage to sin unless Christ has FULL POSSESSION of the heart moment-by-moment!

I was reflecting on the character of Christ revealed at the beginning of our chapter today:

During His childhood and youth, Jesus had worshiped among His brethren in the synagogue at Nazareth. Since the opening of His ministry He had been absent from them, but they had not been ignorant of what had befallen Him. As He again appeared among them, their interest and expectation were excited to the highest pitch. Here were the familiar forms and faces of those whom He had known from infancy. Here were His mother, His brothers and sisters, and all eyes were turned upon Him as He entered the synagogue upon the Sabbath day, and took His place among the worshipers.

You can just imagine how much it reminds us of coming to our "home church" where "everyone knows us" and that we are expected to just go along with the "Adventist culture" so to speak. But while Jesus bore long with them (for thirty years!!), He could not forever remain silent. There is a time to wait in patience and live by example, and then there is a time to speak. Jesus could not remain silent, even though His life was imperiled as we find in our reading today. Are we willing to speak the truth in love about the Laodicean condition of us as a people, that we need to repent, and live up to the light we have by beholding the loveliness of Jesus for a "thoughtful hour" each day? Are we willing to live the truth when it is unpopular? Only if CHrist is abiding in our hearts will we be able to resist the Adventist culture that is so pulling in the direction of the flesh, and live in the light of heaven, which is made possible by the "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
"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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2017, 08:44:00 PM »
Amen, Jim and Pastor Sean! What a revelation!  Jesus spoke words this day He had never spoken before. Why not? We find the answer in His Words to His disciples: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." John 16:12.

Jesus holds  back much that He may reach us. There is a time that God knows when it is best to speak certain truths to us. Jesus was the same as He also was, but this day it was time to reprove His church. So it is with us. We too, must at times not speak the truth. We know we are not to cast pearls before swine. But, so too, are we to take care as to how much light we given to even those who are converted, especially the newly converted. Jesus does not unload everything on us and neither ought we to others.

But, there comes a time when we must speak if we truly love the blind. The condition of Israel was similar as our spiritual condition as a people is today.

     Oh, how Christ longed to open to Israel the precious treasures of the truth! But such was their spiritual blindness that it was impossible to reveal to them the truths relating to His kingdom. They clung to their creed and their useless ceremonies when the truth of Heaven awaited their acceptance. They spent their money for chaff and husks, when the bread of life was within their reach. Why did they not go to the word of God, and search diligently to know whether they were in error? The Old Testament Scriptures stated plainly every detail of Christ's ministry, and again and again He quoted from the prophets, and declared, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." If they had honestly searched the Scriptures, bringing their theories to the test of God's word, Jesus need not have wept over their impenitence. He need not have declared, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Luke 13:35. They might have been acquainted with the evidence of His Messiahship, and the calamity that laid their proud city in ruins might have been averted. But the minds of the Jews had become narrowed by their unreasoning bigotry. The lessons of Christ revealed their deficiencies of character, and demanded repentance. If they accepted His teachings, their practices must be changed, and their cherished hopes relinquished. In order to be honored by Heaven, they must sacrifice the honor of men. If they obeyed the words of this new rabbi, they must go contrary to the opinions of the great thinkers and teachers of the time. 




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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2017, 05:41:27 AM »
So, in all ages, angels have been near to Christ's faithful followers. The vast confederacy of evil is arrayed against all who would overcome; but Christ would have us look to the things which are not seen, to the armies of heaven encamped about all who love God, to deliver them. From what dangers, seen and unseen, we have been preserved through the interposition of the angels, we shall never know, until in the light of eternity we see the providences of God. Then we shall know that the whole family of heaven was interested in the family here below, and that messengers from the throne of God attended our steps from day to day.

The Lord is indeed good to us. I've been in at least one situation where I believe that angels intervened in favor of my safety. Reminds me of the following verse...


Psalm 34:7-8

7 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2017, 07:13:17 AM »
Amen Jim. What a powerful truth! The things which we see are temporal and will pass away but the things which we do not see are eternal. May God help us to look beyond what we can see with our eyes.
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--24--"Is Not This the Carpenter's Son?"
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2017, 08:06:11 AM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! Angels are with us--and how it pleases them as we acknowledge Jesus! May we cherish their guardianship and assistance in all we do today. We need not be afraid for God will direct the path of all who humbly rely on Him for guidance and grace.

In reflecting on Luke 4:16-30, it really is remarkable how Christ longed to save His people, but they would not come to Him for life. They trusted to themselves. May we cultivate through communion with God and an appreciation of the character of Christ the sense of our continual need of His guidance and grace. We need heavenly light to illuminate our path; we cannot trust to ourselves--we must trust completely in Jesus for everything by the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Oh, how Christ longed to open to Israel the precious treasures of the truth! But such was their spiritual blindness that it was impossible to reveal to them the truths relating to His kingdom. They clung to their creed and their useless ceremonies when the truth of Heaven awaited their acceptance. They spent their money for chaff and husks, when the bread of life was within their reach. Why did they not go to the word of God, and search diligently to know whether they were in error? The Old Testament Scriptures stated plainly every detail of Christ's ministry, and again and again He quoted from the prophets, and declared, 'This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.' If they had honestly searched the Scriptures, bringing their theories to the test of God's word, Jesus need not have wept over their impenitence. He need not have declared, 'Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.' Luke 13:35. They might have been acquainted with the evidence of His Messiahship, and the calamity that laid their proud city in ruins might have been averted. But the minds of the Jews had become narrowed by their unreasoning bigotry. The lessons of Christ revealed their deficiencies of character, and demanded repentance. If they accepted His teachings, their practices must be changed, and their cherished hopes relinquished. In order to be honored by Heaven, they must sacrifice the honor of men. If they obeyed the words of this new rabbi, they must go contrary to the opinions of the great thinkers and teachers of the time." {The Desire of Ages, page 241, paragraph 4}

By daily beholding the loveliness of Jesus, and realizing we need Him reigning in our heart to do any good thing, let us not be like Israel in the time of Christ, when they would not surrender to Him. Let us realize that we are called, through Christ, to go against the prevailing errors of the times in which we live, and to rest solely upon a "Thus saith the Lord." His word is our only secure safeguard. And that word we can only understand as we plead for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and willingly follow all that He reveals to us! What a joy that we can do all things through Him when we allow Him to have our will, our heart, and our mind. Self-surrender is the substance of Christ's teachings!
"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}