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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--61--Zacchaeus
« on: March 19, 2016, 04:16:13 PM »
Chap. 61 - Zacchaeus



Listen to Zacchaeus

 








     On the way to Jerusalem "Jesus entered and passed through Jericho." A few miles from the Jordan, on the western edge of the valley that here spread out into a plain, the city lay in the midst of tropic verdure and luxuriance of beauty. With its palm trees and rich gardens watered by living springs, it gleamed like an emerald in the setting of limestone hills and desolate ravines that interposed between Jerusalem and the city of the plain. 
     Many caravans on their way to the feast passed through Jericho. Their arrival was always a festive season, but now a deeper interest stirred the people. It was known that the Galilean Rabbi who had so lately brought Lazarus to life was in the throng; and though whispers were rife as to the plottings of the priests, the multitudes were eager to do Him homage. 
     Jericho was one of the cities anciently set apart for the priests, and at this time large numbers of priests had their residence there. But the city had also a population of a widely different character. It was a great center of traffic, and Roman officials and soldiers, with strangers from different quarters, were found there, while the collection of customs made it the home of many publicans.   
     "The chief among the publicans," Zacchaeus, was a Jew, and detested by his countrymen. His rank and wealth were the reward of a calling they abhorred, and which was regarded as another name for injustice and extortion. Yet the wealthy customs officer was not altogether the hardened man of the world that he seemed. Beneath the appearance of worldliness and pride was a heart susceptible to divine influences. Zacchaeus had heard of Jesus. The report of One who had borne Himself with kindness and courtesy toward the proscribed classes had spread far and wide. In this chief of the publicans was awakened a longing for a better life. Only a few miles from Jericho, John the Baptist had preached at the Jordan, and Zacchaeus had heard of the call to repentance. The instruction to the publicans, "Exact no more than that which is appointed you" (Luke 3:13), though outwardly disregarded, had impressed his mind. He knew the Scriptures, and was convicted that his practice was wrong. Now, hearing the words reported to have come from the Great Teacher, he felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him; was not one of the new Teacher's most trusted disciples a publican? Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged. 
     Already he had begun thus to retrace his steps, when the news sounded through Jericho that Jesus was entering the town. Zacchaeus determined to see Him. He was beginning to realize how bitter are the fruits of sin, and how difficult the path of him who tries to return from a course of wrong. To be misunderstood, to be met with suspicion and distrust in the effort to correct his errors, was hard to bear. The chief publican longed to look upon the face of Him whose words had brought hope to his heart.
     The streets were crowded, and Zacchaeus, who was small of stature, could see nothing over the heads of the people. None would give way for him; so, running a little in advance of the multitude, to where a wide-branching fig tree hung over the way, the rich tax collector climbed to a seat among the boughs, whence he could survey the procession as it passed below. The crowd comes near, it is going by, and Zacchaeus scans with eager eyes to discern the one figure he longs to see. 
     Above the clamor of priests and rabbis and the shouts of welcome from the multitude, that unuttered desire of the chief publican spoke to the heart of Jesus. Suddenly, just beneath the fig tree, a group halts, the company before and behind come to a standstill, and One looks upward whose glance seems to read the soul. Almost doubting his senses,the man in the tree hears the words, "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house."   
     The multitude give way, and Zacchaeus, walking as in a dream, leads the way toward his own home. But the rabbis look on with scowling faces, and murmur in discontent and scorn, "that He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner."
     Zacchaeus had been overwhelmed, amazed, and silenced at the love and condescension of Christ in stooping to him, so unworthy. Now love and loyalty to his new-found Master unseal his lips. He will make public his confession and his repentance. 
     In the presence of the multitude, "Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 
     "And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham." 
     When the rich young ruler had turned away from Jesus, the disciples had marveled at their Master's saying, "How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" They had exclaimed one to another, "Who then can be saved?" Now they had a demonstration of the truth of Christ's words, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Mark 10:24, 26; Luke 18:27. They saw how, through the grace of God, a rich man could enter into the kingdom.
     Before Zacchaeus had looked upon the face of Christ, he had begun the work that made him manifest as a true penitent. Before being accused by man, he had confessed his sin. He had yielded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and had begun to carry out the teaching of the words written for ancient Israel as well as for ourselves. The Lord had said long before, "If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase." "Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God." Leviticus 25:35-37, 17. These words had been spoken by Christ Himself when He was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, and the very first response of Zacchaeus to the love of Christ was in manifesting compassion toward the poor and suffering.   
     Among the publicans there was a confederacy, so that they could oppress the people, and sustain one another in their fraudulent practices. In their extortion they were but carrying out what had become an almost universal custom. Even the priests and rabbis who despised them were guilty of enriching themselves by dishonest practices under cover of their sacred calling. But no sooner did Zacchaeus yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit than he cast aside every practice contrary to integrity.   
     No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.   
     The Christian in his business life is to represent to the world the manner in which our Lord would conduct business enterprises. In every transaction he is to make it manifest that God is his teacher. "Holiness unto the Lord" is to be written upon daybooks and ledgers, on deeds, receipts, and bills of exchange. Those who profess to be followers of Christ, and who deal in an unrighteous manner, are bearing false witness against the character of a holy, just, and merciful God. Every converted soul will, like Zacchaeus, signalize the entrance of Christ into his heart by an abandonment of the unrighteous practices that have marked his life. Like the chief publican, he will give proof of his sincerity by making restitution. The Lord says, "If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; . . . none of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: . . . He shall surely live." Ezekiel 33:15, 16. 
     If we have injured others through any unjust business transaction, if we have overreached in trade, or defrauded any man, even though it be within the pale of the law, we should confess our wrong, and make restitution as far as lies in our power. It is right for us to restore not only that which we have taken, but all that it would have accumulated if put to a right and wise use during the time it has been in our possession.   
     To Zacchaeus the Saviour said, "This day is salvation come to this house." Not only was Zacchaeus himself blessed, but all his household with him. Christ went to his home to give him lessons of truth, and to instruct his household in the things of the kingdom. They had been shut out from the synagogues by the contempt of rabbis and worshipers; but now, the most favored household in all Jericho, they gathered in their own home about the divine Teacher, and heard for themselves the words of life. 
     It is when Christ is received as a personal Saviour that salvation comes to the soul. Zacchaeus had received Jesus, not merely as a passing guest in his home, but as One to abide in the soul temple. The scribes and Pharisees accused him as a sinner, they murmured against Christ for becoming his guest, but the Lord recognized him as a son of Abraham. For "they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham." Galatians 3:7.   
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 05:27:41 AM »
When the rich young ruler had turned away from Jesus, the disciples had marveled at their Master's saying, "How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" They had exclaimed one to another, "Who then can be saved?" Now they had a demonstration of the truth of Christ's words, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Mark 10:24, 26; Luke 18:27. They saw how, through the grace of God, a rich man could enter into the kingdom.

     Before Zacchaeus had looked upon the face of Christ, he had begun the work that made him manifest as a true penitent. Before being accused by man, he had confessed his sin. He had yielded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and had begun to carry out the teaching of the words written for ancient Israel as well as for ourselves. The Lord had said long before, "If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase." "Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God." Leviticus 25:35-37, 17. These words had been spoken by Christ Himself when He was enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, and the very first response of Zacchaeus to the love of Christ was in manifesting compassion toward the poor and suffering.

     No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.   

Earlier I said that this the counter story to the chapter about Rich Young Ruler. And indeed it is. But we see a vastly different character in Zacchseus. Even before he saw Christ he was returning what he stole and was willingly returning what he had stolen. How different from the rich young ruler who refused to sell his goods to gain fellowship with Chirst. Indeed with Christ all things are possible!
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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 10:37:08 AM »
Amen, Jim. And you identified the truth that reveals the difference between the two men. One was converted, the other was not. And, you quoted a truth that manny professing Christians do not believe.

No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.   


What happens when one is fully surrendered to Christ? There is a radical transformation of character. The life is changed. "wholeness for God" is "holiness". What happened when one is converted? "It is the entire surrender of heart and life".  When we have multiple "gospels" being preached from our pulpits and published on our presses, is it any wonder few understand what it means to be a converted Christian. Is this why Paul said "There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:7-9.

What was it that caused Zacchaeus to be converted? What led him to repent?  The answer to this question is just what a Laodicean church needs to understand. Jesus tells us as a people to "repent". How can we come to this converted state?

"The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance."  Romans 2:4.
He must have truly seen how good Jesus is. Is there more we can know about repentance?  "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." 2 Corinthians 7:10. There is a false repentance such as Judas manifested when he understood he sold the Son of God for thirty pieces of silver. He understood what this was going to cost him. His repentance was because he was sorry for what he was going to receive. He was not sorry for wanting to place Jesus on the throne so he himself would have a high place. The godly sorrow spoken of in this verse is a sorrow for what our sins do to Christ, a sorrow that reaches into the heart and causes it to cease resisting such a great love.

When this grace is allowed into the heart, we see the transformation of character in the life immediately. Zacchaeus did not have to wait 10 years, one year, one month, one week, or one day. His life revealed he was a new creature when he made the decision to follow Christ. Why? Because his heart was changed from carnal to holiness. His heart was cleansed from sin, his motives became pure and holy. He did what was right because it was right, not because he was going to get something. He was born of the Spirit of God and became a partaker of God's divine nature. When the Spirit came into his heart, He brought with Him all of the fruits of His Spirit. Zacchaeus manifested love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Not one of these fruits were missing.

Christ promises us this experience today if we will make a full surrender of our sin polluted 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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 07:07:43 AM »
We need Jesus constantly. An entire surrender is seen in Zacchaeus' life--we also may experience a new heart, mind, and life by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!

I appreciate this paragraph from today's reading:

 No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.   

Jesus changes the heart at conversion by coming to indwell us with His Holy Spirit. Such an experience of living by faith on Jesus is manifest in all the fruits of the Spirit being seen in the life--not one will be missing!
"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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2016, 07:37:16 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  I wonder what many believe "the entire surrender of heart and life" mean? It appears that many do not understand it means a radical transformation of character when we do it. What do we call this radical transformation of character?

When a modern day prophet walked this Earth and was in the church, she understood Satan had been successful at deceiving the teachers, ordained ministers in the church, as to what it means to be converted.

   The minds of many are clouded with unbelief because those who unite with the church as the chosen of God do not reveal the virtues that are the fruits of the Spirit. Joining the church is not a sure evidence that a man has joined himself to Christ. The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ. 
     Thousands who claim to be religious are not Christians. Paul was very strict in carrying out his religion, but he was not a Christian until Christ revealed Himself to him and talked with him, showing him that he was persecuting his Master in the person of His saints. Then Paul was converted. He became one of the sect he had despised and hated; and for his love of Christ he received the same cruel treatment that he had once cooperated with others in giving. 
     The churches have an abundance of the religion and zeal that Paul had. Many persecute those who differ from them in religious matters. But no true Christian will persecute one who conscientiously differs from him in faith. Those who try to force the consciences of their fellowmen do it because Christ is not abiding in their hearts. They do not realize that they have the attributes of Satan, but he delights to make them his instruments to bear witness against God's chosen ones. They strive to make them observe rites that have no foundation in the Word of God. When these persecutors have the Spirit of Christ, they will hear and receive the words of Christ "Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm" (1 Chronicles 16:22). Christ and Him crucified will absorb the whole soul.   
     [Colossians 3:12-17, 23-25, quoted.]
     What does God require? Perfection, nothing less than perfection. But if we would be perfect, we must put no confidence in self. Daily we must know and understand that self is not to be trusted. We need to grasp God's promises with firm faith. We need to ask for the Holy Spirit with a full realization of our own helplessness. Then when the Holy Spirit works we shall not give self the glory. The Holy Spirit will graciously take the heart into His keeping, bringing to it all the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. We shall be kept by the power of God through faith. 
     When we are daily under the control of God's Spirit, we shall be commandment-keeping people. We may show to the world that obedience to God's commands brings its own reward, even in this life, and in the future life eternal blessedness. Notwithstanding our profession of faith, the Lord by whom our actions are weighed, sees but an imperfect representation of Christ. He has declared that such a condition of things cannot glorify Him.  12MR 52.


A little too strong for many, but we are too late in the drama to ignore the truth. But some, like Zacchaeus, are seeking for the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. It is for them we share this today.
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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 05:53:17 AM »
Richard, I am so thankful that you shared this quote from Manuscript Releases, Volume 12, page 52. It brings me great encouragement. I receive encouragement when I read in inspiration that God knew the situation that would plague the church (unconverted professors of Christ), and yet as I read today's chapter, I am again amazed at the miracle of divine grace to change the life!

But we hear the word "grace" used so much that it seems that it has lost its deep, powerful meaning. We are told that we are "saved by grace, through faith" (Ephesians Chapter two, verse eight). . Grace is God's unmerited favor--unearned, undeserved. And in the life and experience of Zacchaeus, we see a powerful picture of the grace of God manifest in Christ to transform the life of a guilty sinner and make him into a saint. What did Zacchaeus deserve? He deserved to be arraigned before a just, holy God as a thief and extortioner--he deserved to die the second death on account of his sins. But Jesus comes to hm not to condemn, but to save! We live in a world filled with intensely heinous sin, and many people are deeply entrenched in such sins that is seems hard for them to believe that God could ever save them.

I have felt like one of these people--I know how messed up my life was and how living apart from Christ (even in a religious home) was like a living hell. There is no peace or lasting joy in sin and the so called "pleasures" of the world. But having sinned as I did, the amazing reality that Christ saves me from myself melts my heart! I am so amazed that God chooses to take me, weak and helpless though I be in the flesh, and then transform me by grace into a man after His heart. Miracle of miracles! And by continually beholding Jesus, I am ever aware of my sinfulness in the flesh, but rejoicing in the gift of a new heart and mind that is kept pure and holy by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. This is my story! This is my song! And yet this is what God wants to do for every person born in this world--He desires them to experience the new birth!

Here is where the good news of grace lies--Jesus did not come to save the "righteous" (those who think themselves righteous apart from a full surrender to Christ), but sinners--that is, those who sense their deep need! And one can only realize their need when they see God in HIs glory and holiness who gave His law, a law which cannot be changed to meet man in his guilty condition. But wondrous love! God sacrificed Himself in Christ to save us from the condemnation of the law, and to transform the heart by His Holy Spirit! Such an experience is the greatest miracle! This is a miracle that is manifest in all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing in the life of a truly converted Christian who abides in Christ by faith.

Zacchaeus had been overwhelmed, amazed, and silenced at the love and condescension of Christ in stooping to him, so unworthy. Now love and loyalty to his new-found Master unseal his lips. He will make public his confession and his repentance. {DA 554.2}

Here is grace! Zacchaeus realized he was so unworthy--but the love of Jesus melted his heart! I pray that each of us will continue to realize that all Jesus has done, is doing, and ever will do for us is totally undeserved--simply because He loves us with unfathomable love. This simple and infinitely profound truth--of the love of God--is worth meditating upon, singing about, and studying both now and for all eternity!

By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. He was the Word of God,--God's thought made audible. In His prayer for His disciples He says, "I have declared unto them Thy name,"--"merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,"--"that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them." But not alone for His earthborn children was this revelation given. Our little world is the lesson book of the universe. God's wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which "angels desire to look," and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which "seeketh not her own" has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.{DA 19.2}
"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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 06:16:53 AM »
Amen!!

     No sooner did Zacchaeus yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit than he cast aside every practice contrary to integrity.   
     No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.   


Grace is powerful. It is the transforming power. When we behold God's grace in allowing His innocent Son to come to this dark spot in the universe, to suffer and die for us while were yet sinners, it reaches into the heart and brings about a new creature in Christ Jesus. The promise to place "enmity" into the heart of man is then fulfilled. This is called conversion. No conversion is true unless the character of Christ is implanted into the mind. Not one unconfessed and unforsaken sin is covered by the righteousness of Christ. God's law is written upon the heart and mind. What a miracle in the life of Zacchaeus! What a miracle Christ desires to give each of us today!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: The Desire of Ages--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 08:38:19 AM »
Zacchaeus humbled himself, took action, and became proactive in an effort to see Jesus. Had He not, he may have been pushed aside by the crowd and never connected with Christ. Do we place ourselves in circumstances that will allow us to see Jesus above the crowd ? How much effort do we put forth to see Jesus ?
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2016, 05:21:49 AM »
Amen, cp.  And how often do we have to behold Jesus? And, what happens to our connection with Him when we do not put forth an effort to spend time with Him? I fear many of us do not understand our continual need for Jesus, and how it is that we connect with Him.

Thanks for sharing. It will be an encouragement to many to spend a thoughtful hour a day with Jesus.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 08:01:20 AM »
Satan has been planning for 6,000 years to deceive those who live in our day. To a great degree he has succeeded. A Laodicean church believes it is rich and has salvation, but does not know what it means to be righteous, or if it is even possible to be righteous, much less a requirement to enter heaven.

In today's reading we find a statement so clear, so straight, that few will accept it.

     No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles 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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 09:11:33 AM »
Amen, Richard! That statement makes clear that Christ is calling for a heart-and-life surrender, so that the person is entirely transformed by His grace! This grace has power to make sinners into saints, to make rich men realize their soul poverty and experience the new birth. The disciples got to see how powerful God's grace is in Zacchaeus' life:

     When the rich young ruler had turned away from Jesus, the disciples had marveled at their Master's saying, "How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!" They had exclaimed one to another, "Who then can be saved?" Now they had a demonstration of the truth of Christ's words, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Mark 10:24, 26; Luke 18:27. They saw how, through the grace of God, a rich man could enter into the kingdom.

So it is today. We may not feel ourselves rich in earthly goods (or we may)--but whoever we are, we need Jesus! It is impossible for man to change himself entirely, to have a new heart and nature. The rich young ruler, who stifled the invitation of Jesus to his soul showed that. But the needed new heart and divine nature is implanted by the Holy Spirit as we behold and surrender entirely to Jesus! Let us "look and live" that we may ever experience the grace of God that still works miracles of transformed character! Praise the Lord that Zacchaeus was not only saved as a testimony to his own household, but as a witness to Christ's disciples who needed to realize that God's grace would do the work in hearts and lives that yielded to Christ!
"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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 01:15:26 AM »
What a beautiful revelation of God's love in Christ towards sinners! What a beautiful picture of HOW POWERFUL the grace of God is, to be able to transform a rich man who was unjust in his deal to find in Christ the greatest weal! Oh, praise the Lord for His wonderful condescension--not just to Zacchaeus, but to you and me, for He has the power to cleanse and transform us from our sinful state to one of continual abiding, revealing true repentance and sincerity itself in the manifestation of all of the fruits of the Spirit being in the life without one missing!

     No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.  

Zacchaeus had true love (and all the other fruits) when He accepted Christ into His soul temple! He received the gift of true repentance that will ALWAYS work reformation as long as the soul remains connected to Christ, the Vine! We can have this experience as well! Praise the Lord!!!!
"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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2017, 05:24:13 AM »
Pastor Sean, your quoted part contains the phrase... No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. In the Bible we have a couple of examples (maybe more) of false repentance. I think of Esau who was only sorry that he lost his blessing. He was more worried about the blessing than pleasing the blessing Giver. Then there was Judas who confessed his sin but only because he was fearful of the future judgment the results that would come his way.

May the Lord grant all who read true repentance and a sorrow that we've hurt our lovely Savior. He is the author of all true repentance.


Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2017, 07:30:56 AM »
Amen and amen!!

Reformation is possible, even for one such as Zacchaeus. We all may be transformed in character if we will learn of Jesus. It is a revelation of the loveliness of Jesus that brings about genuine repentance. "No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven."

Yet, do we not hear from professing Christian pulpits that wich is contrary to this truth? Why? Why do we hear that the righteousness of Christ covers unconfessed and unforsaken sin? Because false gospels are ubiquitous in professing Christian pulpits and in the schools of "higher education" that educate professing Christian pastors. The flock has been taught that they may sin a known sin and still have Christ and salvation. Well, it is no wonder many do not read Desire of Ages every day, or even every other day. It contradicts not only the false gospel they believe, but their own experience.

If we were to see what Zacchaeus saw, a revelation of the love of God for us while we were yet sinners, we too would be given a repentance not to be repented of. For it is the goodness of God that leads to repentance. It is godly sorrow for what our sins have done to Christ that brings about true repentance. It would indeed be good to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus that we might know Him and be reconciled to Him. It is a promise. "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.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2017, 05:32:43 AM »
Only a few miles from Jericho, John the Baptist had preached at the Jordan, and Zacchaeus had heard of the call to repentance. The instruction to the publicans, "Exact no more than that which is appointed you" (Luke 3:13), though outwardly disregarded, had impressed his mind. He knew the Scriptures, and was convicted that his practice was wrong. Now, hearing the words reported to have come from the Great Teacher, he felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him; was not one of the new Teacher's most trusted disciples a publican? Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged.

I love this part. He knew he was a sinner yet hope was kindled in his heart! Zaccheaeus at this early stage recognized Jesus as a friend of sinners. He recognized that Christ came not to condemn but save. It's as though Zacchaeus had read this counsel.

Will you not without delay place yourself in right relation to God? Will you not say, "I will give my will to Jesus, and I will do it now," and from this moment be wholly on the Lord's side? Disregard custom and the strong clamoring of appetite and passion. Give Satan no chance to say: "You are a wretched hypocrite." Close the door so that Satan will not thus accuse and dishearten you. Say, "I will believe, I do believe that God is my helper," and you will find that you are triumphant in God. By steadfastly keeping the will on the Lord's side, every emotion will be brought into captivity to the will of Jesus. You will then find your feet on solid rock. It will take, at times, every particle of will power which you possess; but it is God that is working for you, and you will come forth from the molding process a vessel unto honor.  {5T 514.1}
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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2017, 06:13:09 AM »
Amen, Amen, Amen, Jim!! I love that point you brought out about conviction mingled with hope, and the statement from Testimonies, Volume 5. What a blessing that was to read this morning!

I was moved by how Zacchaeus was able to read the counsel and follow Jesus in every area of life. This part brought my thoughts to how Zacchaeus could "dare to be a Daniel"!

    The Christian in his business life is to represent to the world the manner in which our Lord would conduct business enterprises. In every transaction he is to make it manifest that God is his teacher. "Holiness unto the Lord" is to be written upon daybooks and ledgers, on deeds, receipts, and bills of exchange. Those who profess to be followers of Christ, and who deal in an unrighteous manner, are bearing false witness against the character of a holy, just, and merciful God. Every converted soul will, like Zacchaeus, signalize the entrance of Christ into his heart by an abandonment of the unrighteous practices that have marked his life. Like the chief publican, he will give proof of his sincerity by making restitution. The Lord says, "If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; . . . none of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: . . . He shall surely live." Ezekiel 33:15, 16. 

What a privilege this brings into everyday life--to do ALL UNTO THE LORD, Our Lord Jesus who died for us and is still seeking to save and restore us to His moral image! Hallelujah! Jesus saves when we give the WHOLE HEART to Him!! Then He will indwell us by His Spirit and make us like Him in mind and character--all of the fruits of the Spirit in the life without one missing as we obey all the light known to 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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2017, 07:18:37 AM »
Amen, Jim and Pastor Sean.

Yet, there are many today who read the story of Zacchaeus and do not understand why it was that Zacchaeus was moved while others are not. First, he had heard of the teachings of Jesus. But, many may hear about Jesus, but are not converted. Why? There is a clue in that Jesus did not enter into the politics of the time. Rome was not a nice place. Yet, Jesus remained silent about their wrongs. He knew the solution had to do with hearts. He sought out those who were open to the truth, those who hearts had not been closed. It was heart work with Christ, so it will be with all who are fully surrendered to Him. They will seek out the lost whose hearts are open to truth. It is not our job to convince, but to witness and share.

 "The chief among the publicans," Zacchaeus, was a Jew, and detested by his countrymen. His rank and wealth were the reward of a calling they abhorred, and which was regarded as another name for injustice and extortion. Yet the wealthy customs officer was not altogether the hardened man of the world that he seemed. Beneath the appearance of worldliness and pride was a heart susceptible to divine influences.

And since we cannot know the heart, we will be surprised that some who are hated by the world, will respond to the love 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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2017, 04:06:13 AM »
I love Jesus with all my heart as I behold Him and surrender all to Him! What a wonderful Savior! He is able to save the rich and the poor who will but realize their need as they come in contact with His infinite purity! Amazingly today I learned that Zacchaeus as a name means "clean, pure," and it speaks to me that God orchestrated events such that he had that name before he ever met Jesus, but which was but a pledge of what His heart would become when he surrendered fully to Jesus! So it may be in your heart by a full surrender! A clean, pure heart is a great miracle of grace from Jesus!! Praise the Lord!!

"No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven." {The Desire of Ages, page 555, paragraph 6}
"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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2017, 07:33:35 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  For those who hold this paragraph to be truth, it ought to keep them from the great deception that one is in a "saved" condition, having eternal life, when they have not repented of a known sin, no matter why they sinned.

I am always impressed with this simple truth that so many do not understand. When one surrenders the whole heart, then the "righteousness of Christ" is imparted to the repentant sinner and as long as he remains fully surrendered (reconciled), he will not sin. Has this not been the promise made in the Word?  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13.

Zacchaeus, when converted, was transformed radically in character just then, not at the end of his life. So it will be with all who are truly converted when beholding the grace of Christ.
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--61--Zacchaeus
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2017, 04:09:22 AM »
Jesus loves you and is inviting you to an experience with Him in which He can implant in you His divine nature. Jesus loves to transform sinful human beings into repentant, transformed saints whose hearts and minds are aglow with His love and a genuine concern for others. Unselfishness is the very essence of the gospel experience, and it is received into the heart by grace through faith. We behold the loveliness of Jesus and by beholding we are changed. We yield all to Him, and He gives us a new heart and mind that He fills with His Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, and meekness are all of the fruits that come into the heart at conversion and they will all be there and remain there as long as we are connected to Christ by an abiding faith surrender to Him moment-by-moment. Communion with God and appreciating Christ's character causes sin to become hateful to us. Let us look to Jesus and live, and remember what happened to Zacchaeus, whose life was changed by Jesus:

Luke 19:8-10
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

  "No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven." {The Desire of Ages, page 555, paragraph 6}   
"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}