Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--59--Priestly Plottings  (Read 12181 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2017, 08:28:31 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  If we would spend time each morning learning of Jesus, we would learn of Him, see His loveliness, and be transformed in character.

As I read this morning I saw something missed in past readings. We all remember that the Jews put to death the Son of God believing it better that one man die than the whole nation be destroyed because of His teaching. We also remember the Jews had fallen so low as to have sacrificed their children to Moloch. "And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood." Psalm 106:36-38.

So, this principle of idol worship appeared again three and a half years before the nation was forever cut off from God.

      In declaring that one man should die for the nation, Caiaphas indicated that he had some knowledge of the prophecies, although it was very limited. But John, in his account of this scene, takes up the prophecy, and shows its broad and deep significance. He says, "And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." How blindly did the haughty Caiaphas acknowledge the Saviour's mission!   
     On the lips of Caiaphas this most precious truth was turned into a lie. The policy he advocated was based on a principle borrowed from heathenism. Among the heathen, the dim consciousness that one was to die for the human race had led to the offering of human sacrifices. So Caiaphas proposed by the sacrifice of Jesus to save the guilty nation, not from transgression, but in transgression, that they might continue in sin. And by his reasoning he thought to silence the remonstrances of those who might dare to say that as yet nothing worthy of death had been found in Jesus.   


How sad that the chosen ones would put to death their Messiah, the Sent of God! It was true that Jesus had "had encouraged sinners to go directly to God as a merciful Father, and make known their wants. Thus, in their opinion, He had set aside the priesthood. He had refused to acknowledge the theology of the rabbinical schools. He had exposed the evil practices of the priests, and had irreparably hurt their influence. He had injured the effect of their maxims and traditions, declaring that though they strictly enforced the ritual law, they made void the law of God."

And for this, He must die. They believed and taught that man would be saved in His sin. How is it today? Do we have idols that are more important than Jesus? Are we sacrificing our children that we might have the things of this world? How different are we as a people than the Jews who wanted to follow their will instead of the will of God?

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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2017, 10:18:49 AM »
Thanks you Richard and pastor Sean for your thoughts this morning. As I read pastor Sean's post something stood out to me.

...we are fighting against God--the only one who can set us free from sin and the misery to which our own choices will lead us. We need Jesus continually.

For some it might take longer than others but some learn sooner than others. That is our own choices outside of Christ brings nothing but misery even though at every turn they are making choices that in their own mind are designed to bring them happiness. When one finally realizes this it's an eye opener and the heart is ready (or getting ready) to be receptive to surrendering their heart. Which is why in our daily dealings with people we need to be careful and make sure we are connected to Christ so that our own example and behavior isn't a stumbling block to them and better yet a good example. We can not read the mind nor the heart nor know what is going on in the lives of those we meet but we can brighten the corner where we are!
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2017, 04:00:05 AM »
Amen, Jim! We can only brighten the corner where we are if we are connected to the Vine, Jesus Christ! I love how patient Jesus is with us, and as I keep experiencing, every invitation to lay aside a habit or practice that I thought was for my good is actually an opportunity to receive a greater blessing from Jesus!

This past Sabbath, I chose to "come aside" and spend some quiet moments with Jesus in nature on the way back from the churches where I had preached. As I was reading in the book Ministry of Healing, I was reading page 471, paragraph 3: "The potter takes the clay and molds it according to his will. He kneads it and works it. He tears it apart and presses it together. He wets it and then dries it. He lets it lie for a while without touching it. When it is perfectly pliable, he continues the work of making of it a vessel. He forms it into shape and on the wheel trims and polishes it. He dries it in the sun and bakes it in the oven. Thus it becomes a vessel fit for use. So the great Master Worker desires to mold and fashion us. And as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we to be in His hands. We are not to try to do the work of the potter. Our part is to yield ourselves to be molded by the Master Worker." This reminded me of the Bible promise of Jeremiah 18:6, "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in Mine hand, O house of Israel." As I read the text, the Holy Spirit impressed me about my eating habits (trying to eat a third meal, but not always finding the best health from the practice): "Stop eating a third meal. Rest your organs." I obeyed God, having two meals now since Sabbath. I was amazed at what God did last night--since I had taken my last meal in the mid-afternoon, I was ready to rest by about 9pm, and then the Lord woke me up not long after 2am...and I was not tired! I am finding out more and more that when we try to reason our own experience over the plain teaching of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, that we are making things harder on ourselves. Ellen White did write, "The stomach must have careful attention. It must not be kept in continual operation. Give this misused and much-abused organ some peace and quiet and rest. After the stomach has done its work for one meal, do not crowd more work upon it before it has had a chance to rest and before a sufficient supply of gastric juice is provided by nature to care for more food. Five hours at least should elapse between each meal, and always bear in mind that if you would give it a trial, you would find that two meals are better than three."—Letter 73a, 1896 {CD 173.1}

I love it when God says, "Prove me," so to speak. I was thinking of what we read in our chapter today, and there were so many places where the Holy Spirit was able to speak to me because I actually TOOK TIME to read the chapter with a pen and my journal with a willing heart to hear what God was saying to me from the passage in John 11 and from the chapter. While spending over two hours in this reading along with the Scriptures around it may seem like a long time, it went so fast, and I enjoyed the experience with Jesus immensely. This "thoughtful hour" is the most exciting and rewarding part of the day!

I was blessed by this thought, as it encapsulates the life and experience of Jesus from Bethlehem to the point in which we now find Him, so desirous of reaching hearts that will not surrender:

"His life had been one of persecution and insult. Driven from Bethlehem by a jealous king, rejected by His own people at Nazareth, condemned to death without a cause at Jerusalem, Jesus, with His few faithful followers, found a temporary asylum in a strange city. He who was ever touched by human woe, who healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb, who fed the hungry and comforted the sorrowful, was driven from the people He had labored to save. He who walked upon the heaving billows, and by a word silenced their angry roaring, who cast out devils that in departing acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, who broke the slumbers of the dead, who held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom, was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected the light. {DA 541.4}

This is the terrible reality of the Laodicean condition--that rejection of light hardens the heart to the point that one may not respond to Christ. But if we will "come and see" for ourselves, and apply the light in regard to needing to spend this "thoughtful hour" with Jesus, He will also bless us with the experience of health reform, country living, and all the light that is FOR OUR GOOD!! I love Jesus and how personal He is, because His light is ALWAYS better than what we would choose for ourselves unaided by His perfect love and wisdom. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
"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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2017, 09:34:54 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. I too was impressed with this truth:

He who walked upon the heaving billows, and by a word silenced their angry roaring, who cast out devils that in departing acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, who broke the slumbers of the dead, who held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom, was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected the light. 


Jesus does all He can, then man must do something. Yet, many have no idea what they must do in order to have power to keep the law of God. Satan has so deceived the professing Christian church that many are just as deceived as were the Jews when Christ came to His own and His own knew Him not.  :(

Not only did not know Him, but the leadership put the Son of God to death. Why?

He had refused to acknowledge the theology of the rabbinical schools. He had exposed the evil practices of the priests, and had irreparably hurt their influence. He had injured the effect of their maxims and traditions, declaring that though they strictly enforced the ritual law, they made void the law of God.


So it was then, so it is today. Soon the professing Protestant world will react to those keeping the commandments of God in the very same way. And, even within God's church are those who will do the same for the very same reason. Are we walking with the foot soldiers that soon we shall be prepared to run with the chariots? Time is drawing to a close. Look up, for our redemption draweth nigh.
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2017, 05:58:51 AM »
He who walked upon the heaving billows, and by a word silenced their angry roaring, who cast out devils that in departing acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, who broke the slumbers of the dead, who held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom, was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected the light. 

I normally don't like to point the "negative" however, it is a lesson for us all. How sad that Christ was unable to reach some of the hearts because of prejudice and hatred.  :( We know this wasn't true of all the leadership (Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimathea) but like at the end of the world most did not choose to surrender their hearts. May this be a warning to everyone but also to leadership at every level in the church.
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2017, 06:00:36 AM »
On the one hand this chapter is very heartbreaking but on the other it shows the magnanimous spirit of our Redeemer that reaches out to every living soul.
"Jesus had now given three years of public labor to the world. His example of self-denial and disinterested benevolence was before them. His life of purity, of sufferings and devotion, was known to all. Yet this short period of three years was as long as the world could endure the presence of its Redeemer.

His life had been one of persecution and insult. Driven from Bethlehem by a jealous king, rejected by His own people at Nazareth, condemned to death without a cause at Jerusalem, Jesus, with His few faithful followers, found a temporary asylum in a strange city. He who was ever touched by human woe, who healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb, who fed the hungry and comforted the sorrowful, was driven from the people He had labored to save. He who walked upon the heaving billows, and by a word silenced their angry roaring, who cast out devils that in departing acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, who broke the slumbers of the dead, who held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom, was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected the light."

These last words in this chapter present such love for a world of hate that it causes me to search deeper into my own life to see if there is anything that even subtlety hints at a spirit working against my Saviour.
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2017, 06:13:01 AM »
Amen!   As the chapter opened we see why it was that the leadership of the church hated Jesus.

  The Pharisees believed in the resurrection, and they could not but see that this miracle was an evidence that the Messiah was among them. But they had ever opposed Christ's work. From the first they had hated Him because He had exposed their hypocritical pretensions. He had torn aside the cloak of rigorous rites under which their moral deformity was hidden. The pure religion that He taught had condemned their hollow professions of piety. They thirsted to be revenged upon Him for His pointed rebukes. They had tried to provoke Him to say or do something that would give them occasion to condemn Him. Several times they had attempted to stone Him, but He had quietly withdrawn, and they had lost sight of Him.   
     The miracles He performed on the Sabbath were all for the relief of the afflicted, but the Pharisees had sought to condemn Him as a Sabbathbreaker. They had tried to arouse the Herodians against Him. They represented that He was seeking to set up a rival kingdom, and consulted with them how to destroy Him. To excite the Romans against Him, they had represented Him as trying to subvert their authority. They had tried every pretext to cut Him off from influencing the people. But so far their attempts had been foiled. The multitudes who witnessed His works of mercy and heard His pure and holy teachings knew that these were not the deeds and words of a Sabbathbreaker or blasphemer. Even the officers sent by the Pharisees had been so influenced by His words that they could not lay hands on Him. In desperation the Jews had finally passed an edict that any man who professed faith in Jesus should be cast out of the synagogue.   


So it will be today. Jesus is full of love for the sinner. He was about doing His Father's business, healing the sick and forgiving the repentant. So we are seeking the lost who are open to truth. If we live the truth, we shall be the object of Satan's intense hatred. But, Christ will lift us above the great trials to come. If He be for us, who can be against us!
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2017, 07:06:06 AM »
Amen, Richard!

What a privilege to see Jesus' character clearly revealed all His life, and how He continued to minister even when opposed by enemies. We are to follow Christ's example by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!

 His life had been one of persecution and insult. Driven from Bethlehem by a jealous king, rejected by His own people at Nazareth, condemned to death without a cause at Jerusalem, Jesus, with His few faithful followers, found a temporary asylum in a strange city. He who was ever touched by human woe, who healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb, who fed the hungry and comforted the sorrowful, was driven from the people He had labored to save. He who walked upon the heaving billows, and by a word silenced their angry roaring, who cast out devils that in departing acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, who broke the slumbers of the dead, who held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom, was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected the light.

Our woes we can bring to Jesus--He is touched by all we go through and will give us grace and strength to bear the day's trials when we are connected to Him!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2017, 04:48:52 AM »
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, and it was unmistakably clear that Jesus had power over death as the Son of God, those who had been resisting the light of truth became united in their plots to put Jesus to death. I was struck by the similarity to the last days just before us. As God's people unmistakably reveal the loveliness of the character of Jesus testifying that the divine nature is at work in and through them by faith, persecution will be again kindled against God's people. "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). We need not fear this, for Jesus imparts and imputes to us His righteousness to us as long as we are abiding in Him, and we have His Spirit reigning in our hearts, for "perfect love casteth out fear" 1 John 4:18. I appreciate that Jesus has pioneered the way before us, and when we see how the Sanhedrin council consented to put Jesus to death, we can realize that such movements are just before us prophetically with similar parallels. Let us look to Jesus so that we are not fearful, but faithful!

"Satan told them that in order to maintain their authority, they must put Jesus to death. This counsel they followed. The fact that they might lose the power they then exercised, was, they thought, sufficient reason for coming to some decision. With the exception of a few who dared not speak their minds, the Sanhedrin received the words of Caiaphas as the words of God. Relief came to the council; the discord ceased. They resolved to put Christ to death at the first favorable opportunity. In rejecting the proof of the divinity of Jesus, these priests and rulers had locked themselves in impenetrable darkness. They had come wholly under the sway of Satan, to be hurried by him over the brink of eternal ruin. Yet such was their deception that they were well pleased with themselves. They regarded themselves as patriots, who were seeking the nation's salvation." {The Desire of Ages, page 541, paragraph 1}

That last sentence jumped out at me: "They regarded themselves as patriots, who were seeking the nation's salvation." Will this not be repeated? When natural disasters increase and a cause is sought, there will be a little company who refuse to compromise with the church-state alliance (which will enforce the observance of the first day of the week in a national Sunday law). The "patriotic" church-state alliance will purport to help get everyone "back to God," but with it will come persecution against those who will not yield to violate one commandment of the Law of God. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10). While the faithful few will hold fast to Jesus, the majority will see them as troublers. This has happened before! “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17). As the Elijah message of our day calls people to repent, those who hold faithful to Christ will be regarded as troublers, and the ultimate consequence will be a final death decree against those who refuse to yield to break one precept of God's holy law because they love Jesus with all the heart. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

Revelation 13:15-17 details this last-day scenario:  "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."


However, such persecution will simply be the outworking of Satan's hatred against God's people by those who have been so deceived by consistently rejecting the light of truth. Let us yield today to all the light that shines upon our path and willingly surrender fully to Jesus, so that by a living faith in Him, He will reveal all of the fruits of His Spirit in and through us. The crisis ahead need not shake this experience, but only reveal the depth of the faith walk that we can each develop through appreciating Christ's character and being in communion with God at all times. 
"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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2017, 07:03:07 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  The trials ahead will not only "reveal the depth of the faith walk" we have, but will, as we abide in Christ, develop that faith ever stronger. This knowledge helps us to glory in our tribulation.

The priests feared the loss of their "authority."  What authority did God give to them? Was their authority greater than Jesus'? Was their authority greater than John the Baptist's? The position they held did indeed have authority. Kings were not allowed into the temple. Only the high priest was allowed into the Most Holy Place. The question of authority of pastors is today an issue in the church. Some now teach that all are kings and priests in their effort to make women leaders over men.  There is truth in this, but it does not do away with the organized church and it structure given to us by God. Elders in the church are charged with the spiritual well being of the local church. The pastor is to train the church leaders. Who has authority to select leaders? Who has authority to select new members? Who has the authority to make spiritual and business decisions in the church? It appears that the priests in Israel took more to themselves than God had given them.

The idea that they feared the loss of their authority to the Son of God is very revealing as to who they were fighting against. They were responsible for the destruction of a whole nation.

   The Sanhedrin feared, however, to take rash measures against Jesus, lest the people should become incensed, and the violence meditated toward Him should fall upon themselves. On this account the council delayed to execute the sentence they had pronounced. The Saviour understood the plotting of the priests. He knew that they longed to remove Him, and that their purpose would soon be accomplished. But it was not His place to hasten the crisis, and He withdrew from that region, taking the disciples with Him. Thus by His own example Jesus again enforced the instruction He had given to the disciples, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another." Matthew 10:23. There was a wide field in which to work for the salvation of souls; and unless loyalty to Him required it, the Lord's servants were not to imperil their lives.   


In order to provide a "safe" church for the multitude seeking truth, there will be a cleansing of the church. False shepherds will be removed when persecution comes upon the church. Let all who are tempted to discouragement understand that God knows the situation in His church and has made provision to bring about a revival and reformation in it. There will be a shaking and it will be brought about by the truth. It will separate the faithful from the unfaithful.

The authority given to church leaders by election is so that heresy is not brought into the church. There is a heavy responsibility resting upon church leaders. Many do not realize what will come upon them if they are not faithful when accepting these religious responsibilities. Let us pray for the pastors in God's church. It is hard for a church to rise above the spirituality of their pastor. What a solemn thought for all pastors to consider.
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2018, 05:31:47 AM »
Jesus had now given three years of public labor to the world. His example of self-denial and disinterested benevolence was before them. His life of purity, of suffering and devotion, was known to all. Yet this short period of three years was as long as the world could endure the presence of its Redeemer.

I remember years ago as I heard the phrase "disinterested benevolence" and when I heard the phrase the people talking about made it sound like a good thing (it is... let me explain). In my mind this did not sound like a good thing at all. This phrase left me confused for a very long time until at some point a light went on inside my head and I realized that being disinterested meant that there wasn't an ulterior motive in being kind to someone. People without Christ in the heart are usually kind to others only because they wish to receive kindness in return but this is not the case with Christ. We know this to be true since He died for His enemies. I'm only pointing this out this morning thinking that there might be someone else who might find the phrase a little confusing.
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2018, 06:31:00 AM »
Thank you for pointing that out Jim. I hadn't picked that up but yes it is so true. That's what I love about coming together such as this because many times the Holy Spirit speaks to each one differently and when we share what He reveals to us it brings fresh uplifting thoughts to the group.

We see the same hatred today towards truth. It will get worse and become far more intense for any that are willing to stand and be heard. But the example of Jesus will give us strength to hold fast to what we know to be right. Job 13:15 says: "Though He slay me yet will I trust Him. but I will maintain mine own ways before Him." That strength is given only when it is needed and not before. We live by faith, not by sight or feeling, always trusting in His promises. If we are on the Lord's side who can be against us? That is why it is so important for us to be fully surrendered each and every moment.

"He who was ever touched by human woe, who healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb, who fed the hungry and comforted the sorrowful, was driven from the people He had labored to save. He who walked upon the heaving billows, and by a word silenced their angry roaring, who cast out devils that in departing acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, who broke the slumbers of the dead, who held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom, was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected the light."

The last sentence is a hard one to read. But that is the inevitable result of persistent rejection of truth.
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2018, 07:23:08 AM »
Sister Dorine, that paragraph is amazing. That Jesus could reveal such powerful truth and have it rejected speaks to the fallen nature of man and what happens if we do not respond to His love. Do we not see the same today, both in and out of the church? We are nearing the very end of the great controversy between good and evil. Such powerful truth has been revealed to us whom the ends of the world have come upon. Let us learn from the example of Israel. Let us learn of Him who gave all that we might live. Lord I believe, take away my unbelief. Take my heart for I can't give it.

Over the years, I have been trying to work out a timeline for the last three and a half years of Christ's life. In this chapter we have an important statement that helps us identify where we are. Chapter 59 places us with just one half of a year left in the life of Christ.  The third of our book deals with 1.5% of His life. Which brings to mind that it would be good to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the last scenes. We often encourage our friends, and even our enemies to spend time each day reading this most wonderful account of the life of Jesus, especially the closing chapters, such as Gethsemane, Calvary, and It is Finished.

Thank you, Jim for quoting that portion of the chapter. I was going to do so also. "Jesus had now given three years of public labor to the world. His example of self-denial and disinterested benevolence was before them. His life of purity, of suffering and devotion, was known to all. Yet this short period of three years was as long as the world could endure the presence of its Redeemer."   
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2018, 09:28:25 AM »
  Such unity is taking place! The paragraph Jim quoted, the one Richard quoted, and the one I also was moved by is touching our hearts with Jesus' loveliness:

"Jesus had now given three years of public labor to the world. His example of self-denial and disinterested benevolence was before them. His life of purity, of suffering and devotion, was known to all. Yet this short period of three years was as long as the world could endure the presence of its Redeemer." {The Desire of Ages, page 541, paragraph 3}

Jesus' experience will happen again to His followers; all who are truly converted already reveal His character, which is all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing in the life that follows all the light known and understood--but among those who live through the very closing scenes of earth's history, it will be seen that the mature revelation of Christ through the time of trouble will not be tolerated by a wicked, unbelieving world. The death decree will be serious and universal, but God will interpose, and the story we read in the life of Jesus will not result in His final generation's demise, but in their translation to heaven without seeing death. Probation is soon to close. Well would it be for us to contemplate the life of Christ each day, sharing of His grace, and encouraging others to make the most of our every opportunity to know Him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. We need Jesus continually! Praise God for His infinite love for 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}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2018, 03:32:42 AM »
God is love. Love requires freedom. God created us with a capacity, even after sin, for reason and enlightened conscience to help us to discern the truth as it is in Jesus. We can yield to the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit, and allow God's will to be fulfilled in us by cooperating with Jesus, or we can, like the priests and rulers, stubbornly refuse heaven-sent light. As they plotted the death of Christ, they fulfilled the will of Satan, but so entrenched themselves in rejection of past revelations of light that they could actually persuade themselves that they were patriots for the nation. These scenes will repeat in some degree with the persecution that will befall God's people who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus in the last days. But we can see in the life of Jesus how to meet persecution, how to walk and live with God amid adversity. God is faithful to bring us through our trials with a firmer faith and a richer experience!

"His life had been one of persecution and insult. Driven from Bethlehem by a jealous king, rejected by His own people at Nazareth, condemned to death without a cause at Jerusalem, Jesus, with His few faithful followers, found a temporary asylum in a strange city. He who was ever touched by human woe, who healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb, who fed the hungry and comforted the sorrowful, was driven from the people He had labored to save. He who walked upon the heaving billows, and by a word silenced their angry roaring, who cast out devils that in departing acknowledged Him to be the Son of God, who broke the slumbers of the dead, who held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom, was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected the light." {The Desire of Ages, page 541, paragraph 4}

I choose to yield to the beautiful revelation of the loveliness of Jesus character, so He can live out His life in me with all of the fruits of His Spirit. How about you? 
"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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2018, 08:11:40 AM »
In light of our discussion last Friday, I too was impressed with this paragraph, that God cannot force conversion. It is a choice we have to make to surrender our evil hearts to Christ. How can selfish hearts be surrendered? By beholding the grace of God in allowing His innocent Son to come to this dark spot in the universe as a helpless babe in the likeness of sinful flesh, to suffer and die for us while we were yet sinners! And all of this at the risk of failure and eternal loss. This will transform sinners into saints if they will continue to behold such love, for love begets love. By beholding  we become changed. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18. 
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2018, 05:35:56 AM »
Well indeed it is for us to contemplate the scenes of the life of Jesus daily, especially the closing scenes that culminate at the cross of Calvary. Even for those who were plotting the death of Christ, the scenes of His life brought strong conviction from the Holy Spirit that Jesus was the Son of God. The evidence is abundant. But the evil heart of unbelief does not need more evidence. What is needed is a submission of the will to Christ, so that the revelation of His life will bring transformation of character to the soul. Apart from a full surrender to Christ, no matter how much we know about God will not save us. We are to look and live, yielding fully to Him. The priests and rulers who plotted against Jesus were convicted, but unrepentant. Let us pray today, "Lord, I am willing to be made willing." Contemplating God's love for us in Christ, allowing that love into the heart through an entire heart surrender, we will be changed and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, becoming partakers of the divine nature!

"In this council, assembled to plan the death of Christ, the Witness was present who heard the boastful words of Nebuchadnezzar, who witnessed the idolatrous feast of Belshazzar, who was present when Christ in Nazareth announced Himself the Anointed One. This Witness was now impressing the rulers with the work they were doing. Events in the life of Christ rose up before them with a distinctness that alarmed them. They remembered the scene in the temple, when Jesus, then a child of twelve, stood before the learned doctors of the law, asking them questions at which they wondered. The miracle just performed bore witness that Jesus was none other than the Son of God. In their true significance, the Old Testament Scriptures regarding Christ flashed before their minds. Perplexed and troubled, the rulers asked, 'What do we?' There was a division in the council. Under the impression of the Holy Spirit, the priests and rulers could not banish the conviction that they were fighting against God." {The Desire of Ages, page 539, paragraph 2}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2018, 05:56:29 AM »
I noticed something this morning I had not in the past. In looking back over past posts, I found Jim had tied things together nicely two years ago and Pastor Sean a couple of months ago. A truth is seen more clearly in the opening paragraph with this statement: "It was a demonstration of divine power sufficient to convince every mind that was under the control of reason and enlightened conscience."

That mighty miracle was the crowning evidence offered by God to men that He had sent His Son into the world for their salvation. It was a demonstration of divine power sufficient to convince every mind that was under the control of reason and enlightened conscience. Many who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus were led to believe on Jesus. But the hatred of the priests against Him was intensified. They had rejected all lesser evidence of His divinity, and they were only enraged at this new miracle. The dead had been raised in the full light of day, and before a crowd of witnesses. No artifice could explain away such evidence. For this very reason the enmity of the priests grew deadlier. They were more than ever determined to put a stop to Christ's work.

Christ said that though one rise from the grave it would not change their mind and here we have the evidence of the truth of His statement. It was the crowning act yet it did no good for the priests. Why? Unbelief! The worst of all sins. It blinds and dulls our senses. How often I've prayed "...Lord I believe, help my unbelief!!"

Jim understood that no matter how enlightened the conscience, if the heart has been seared by rejection of truth, then though one be raised from the dead, it would do not good to persuade one to accept the truth. Pastor Sean explains even more:

God created us with a capacity, even after sin, for reason and enlightened conscience to help us to discern the truth as it is in Jesus. We can yield to the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit, and allow God's will to be fulfilled in us by cooperating with Jesus, or we can, like the priests and rulers, stubbornly refuse heaven-sent light. As they plotted the death of Christ, they fulfilled the will of Satan, but so entrenched themselves in rejection of past revelations of light that they could actually persuade themselves that they were patriots for the nation.

There is a deeper truth involved that many have not understood. How about the un-enlightened conscience? What it that and why is this important? What is the "conscience"? It is the ability to discern right from wrong. Can man discern right from wrong when the conscience is not enlightened? Before Adam sinned he knew right from wrong. After Adam sinned he still knew right from wrong. The fallen nature did not remove the conscience from man. The higher powers of the mind, reason, intellect, and conscience remained in mankind. This is important to understand, especially in these last days when the "omega of apostasy" is at work in the church.

Adam did not lose the ability to know right from wrong, he was still very intelligent, and had the ability to reason things out. What happened then to Adam? He no longer could do any good thing being separated from God. He was evil by nature and his only hope was in being reconciled to God (a new birth). He must be born again of the Spirit in order to have power to keep the body (flesh) under. An "enlightened" conscience is when the Holy Spirit brings increased understanding that makes it impossible not to understand where one stands in regard to sin. We read in today's chapter that the leaders in Israel had so rejected truth that even with an enlightened conscience they would not accept the Son of God, even though they knew He was the Son of God.   
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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2018, 03:13:53 AM »
The wisdom of this world is foolishness in comparison to the exceeding wisdom that is in Christ. The council the Jews held in regard to putting Him to death was thought to be a wise step, but they made that step while resisting the Holy Spirit. Any step we ever take in which we are resisting known light or are unwilling to receive further light is an evidence that we are not converted and that the Spirit of God is pleading with us not to continue in a path that will, if uncorrected, lead to eternal death. John's gospel highlights what was taking place:

"And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death" (John 11:49-53). 

"On the lips of Caiaphas this most precious truth was turned into a lie. The policy he advocated was based on a principle borrowed from heathenism. Among the heathen, the dim consciousness that one was to die for the human race had led to the offering of human sacrifices. So Caiaphas proposed by the sacrifice of Jesus to save the guilty nation, not from transgression, but in transgression, that they might continue in sin. And by his reasoning he thought to silence the remonstrances of those who might dare to say that as yet nothing worthy of death had been found in Jesus." {The Desire of Ages, page 540, paragraph 2}

There are striking parallels to the council regarding Christ's death and the closing moments of earth's history when a death decree will be enacted against God's people, who, though their characters reflect Christ, are misjudged and sentenced to die. And it is for the same underlying reason as to why Christ was condemned--the idea that if they are put out of the way it will "save" the nation(s) that are experiencing serious calamities (for it is thought that these are coming because of the violation of the sanctity of Sunday, which is not a day of worship, but has been set up as such). Christ was violating the Jews' traditions by His strict obedience to God's law of love; God's people in the end time will be condemned for their strict obedience to God's law of love as well. Read the way that Revelation depicts this coming death decree: "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:15-17).

But like Christ's life that was sacrificed to save the world, the seed of Christ who serve Him will be delivered, and instead of dying, those who live through the time of trouble will be translated, offering a testimony that will vindicate God's character before the universe. What the devil and those confederate with him intend for evil God ALWAYS OVERRIDES for good! Let us also follow Jesus' example as the death decree is still future--let us go about doing good, mingling with people as those who truly desire their benefit and welfare, minister to their needs, win their confidence, and then invite them to follow the Savior who loves us with a love that is infinite!
"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--59--Priestly Plottings
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2018, 08:57:57 AM »
Jesus had now given three years of public labor to the world. His example of self-denial and disinterested benevolence was before them. His life of purity, of suffering and devotion, was known to all. Yet this short period of three years was as long as the world could endure the presence of its Redeemer.   

This thought occurred to me that if God's church was following in His footsteps we'd be in the kingdom before this.  We have parleyed with the world so long that barely any difference is seen between them and the remnant. But that is about to change.  God will have a people that will call a halt to their lukewarmness and in repentance will answer the call of "Who is on the Lords's side?" That's the side I want to be on each day.

If we truly love God and want to go home like we say we do, we will live the life of Jesus. Then the world will not endure our presence. The shaking will take place, persecution will arise, many will die for their faith while others linger in hovels or in caves, and desolate places but taken care of by the Holy Spirit. May we remain faithful and true, enduring to the end. We will never be alone. God promises to never leave us or forsake us even though at times it may 'feel' like He has. By faith we believe His promise.
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