Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--84--"Peace Be Unto You"  (Read 19381 times)

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Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« on: April 12, 2016, 06:45:08 AM »
"Peace Be Unto You"



Listen to "Peace Be Unto You"


 



     On reaching Jerusalem the two disciples enter at the eastern gate, which is open at night on festal occasions. The houses are dark and silent, but the travelers make their way through the narrow streets by the light of the rising moon. They go to the upper chamber where Jesus spent the hours of the last evening before His death. Here they know that their brethren are to be found. Late as it is, they know that the disciples will not sleep till they learn for a certainty what has become of the body of their Lord. They find the door of the chamber securely barred. They knock for admission, but no answer comes. All is still. Then they give their names. The door is carefully unbarred, they enter, and Another, unseen, enters with them. Then the door is again fastened, to keep out spies.   
     The travelers find all in surprised excitement. The voices of those in the room break out into thanksgiving and praise, saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." Then the two travelers, panting with the haste with which they have made their journey, tell the wondrous story of how Jesus has appeared to them. They have just ended, and some are saying that they cannot believe it, for it is too good to be true, when behold, another Person stands before them. Every eye is fastened upon the stranger. No one has knocked for entrance. No footstep has been heard. The disciples are startled, and wonder what it means. Then they hear a voice which is no other than the voice of their Master. Clear and distinct the words fall from His lips, "Peace be unto you."
     "But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet." 
     They beheld the hands and feet marred by the cruel nails. They recognized His voice, like no other they had ever heard. "And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them." "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." Faith and joy took the place of unbelief, and with feelings which no words could express they acknowledged their risen Saviour. 
     At the birth of Jesus the angel announced, Peace on earth, and good will to men. And now at His first appearance to the disciples after His resurrection, the Saviour addressed them with the blessed words, "Peace be unto you." Jesus is ever ready to speak peace to souls that are burdened with doubts and fears. He waits for us to open the door of the heart to Him, and say, Abide with us. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20.
     The resurrection of Jesus was a type of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The countenance of the risen Saviour, His manner, His speech, were all familiar to His disciples. As Jesus arose from the dead, so those who sleep in Him are to rise again. We shall know our friends, even as the disciples knew Jesus. They may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured, in this mortal life, and they rise in perfect health and symmetry; yet in the glorified body their identity will be perfectly preserved. Then shall we know even as also we are known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. In the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, we shall recognize the lineaments of those we love.
     When Jesus met with His disciples, He reminded them of the words He had spoken to them before His death, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalm concerning Him. "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things."
     The disciples began to realize the nature and extent of their work. They were to proclaim to the world the wonderful truths which Christ had entrusted to them. The events of His life, His death and resurrection, the prophecies that pointed to these events, the sacredness of the law of God, the mysteries of the plan of salvation, the power of Jesus for the remission of sins,--to all these things they were witnesses, and they were to make them known to the world. They were to proclaim the gospel of peace and salvation through repentance and the power of the Saviour.   
     "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." The Holy Spirit was not yet fully manifested; for Christ had not yet been glorified. The more abundant impartation of the Spirit did not take place till after Christ's ascension. Not until this was received could the disciples fulfill the commission to preach the gospel to the world. But the Spirit was now given for a special purpose. Before the disciples could fulfill their official duties in connection with the church, Christ breathed His Spirit upon them. He was committing to them a most sacred trust, and He desired to impress them with the fact that without the Holy Spirit this work could not be accomplished. 
     The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church.
     "Whosesoever sins ye remit," said Christ, "they are remitted; . . . and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." Christ here gives no liberty for any man to pass judgment upon others. In the Sermon on the Mount He forbade this. It is the prerogative of God. But on the church in its organized capacity He places a responsibility for the individual members. Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. "Reprove, rebuke, exhort," the Lord says, "with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2. Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God's word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself. 
     But there is a brighter side to the picture. "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted." Let this thought be kept uppermost. In labor for the erring, let every eye be directed to Christ. Let the shepherds have a tender care for the flock of the Lord's pasture. Let them speak to the erring of the forgiving mercy of the Saviour. Let them encourage the sinner to repent, and believe in Him who can pardon. Let them declare, on the authority of God's word, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. All who repent have the assurance, "He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:19.
     Let the repentance of the sinner be accepted by the church with grateful hearts. Let the repenting one be led out from the darkness of unbelief into the light of faith and righteousness. Let his trembling hand be placed in the loving hand of Jesus. Such a remission is ratified in heaven.
     Only in this sense has the church power to absolve the sinner. Remission of sins can be obtained only through the merits of Christ. To no man, to no body of men, is given power to free the soul from guilt. Christ charged His disciples to preach the remission of sins in His name among all nations; but they themselves were not empowered to remove one stain of sin. The name of Jesus is the only "name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.
     When Jesus first met the disciples in the upper chamber, Thomas was not with them. He heard the reports of the others, and received abundant proof that Jesus had risen; but gloom and unbelief filled his heart. As he heard the disciples tell of the wonderful manifestations of the risen Saviour, it only plunged him in deeper despair. If Jesus had really risen from the dead, there could be no further hope of a literal earthly kingdom. And it wounded his vanity to think that his Master should reveal Himself to all the disciples except him. He was determined not to believe, and for a whole week he brooded over his wretchedness, which seemed all the darker in contrast with the hope and faith of his brethren. 
     During this time he repeatedly declared, "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe." He would not see through the eyes of his brethren, or exercise faith which was dependent upon their testimony. He ardently loved his Lord, but he had allowed jealousy and unbelief to take possession of his mind and heart.
     A number of the disciples now made the familiar upper chamber their temporary home, and at evening all except Thomas gathered here. One evening Thomas determined to meet with the others. Notwithstanding his unbelief, he had a faint hope that the good news was true. While the disciples were taking their evening meal, they talked of the evidences which Christ had given them in the prophecies. "Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you."   
     Turning to Thomas He said, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." These words showed that He was acquainted with the thoughts and words of Thomas. The doubting disciple knew that none of his companions had seen Jesus for a week. They could not have told the Master of his unbelief. He recognized the One before him as his Lord. He had no desire for further proof. His heart leaped for joy, and he cast himself at the feet of Jesus crying, "My Lord and my God." 
     Jesus accepted his acknowledgment, but gently reproved his unbelief: "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." The faith of Thomas would have been more pleasing to Christ if he had been willing to believe upon the testimony of his brethren. Should the world now follow the example of Thomas, no one would believe unto salvation; for all who receive Christ must do so through the testimony of others. 
     Many who are given to doubt excuse themselves by saying that if they had the evidence which Thomas had from his companions, they would believe. They do not realize that they have not only that evidence, but much more. Many who, like Thomas, wait for all cause of doubt to be removed, will never realize their desire. They gradually become confirmed in unbelief. Those who educate themselves to look on the dark side, and murmur and complain, know not what they do. They are sowing the seeds of doubt, and they will have a harvest of doubt to reap. At a time when faith and confidence are most essential, many will thus find themselves powerless to hope and believe. 
     In His treatment of Thomas, Jesus gave a lesson for His followers. His example shows how we should treat those whose faith is weak, and who make their doubts prominent. Jesus did not overwhelm Thomas with reproach, nor did He enter into controversy with him. He revealed Himself to the doubting one. Thomas had been most unreasonable in dictating the conditions of his faith, but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers. Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy. It is rather put upon self-defense, and finds new support and excuse. But let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, "My Lord and my 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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2016, 05:48:37 AM »
     In His treatment of Thomas, Jesus gave a lesson for His followers. His example shows how we should treat those whose faith is weak, and who make their doubts prominent. Jesus did not overwhelm Thomas with reproach, nor did He enter into controversy with him. He revealed Himself to the doubting one. Thomas had been most unreasonable in dictating the conditions of his faith, but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers. Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy. It is rather put upon self-defense, and finds new support and excuse. But let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, "My Lord and my God." 

Jesus was so kind with Thomas. Like coming to this earth to save us, Christ didn't have to meet Thomas' demands but in His mercy He revealed Himself to him. However, if we would follow Thomas' example today we would be in trouble. Let's cultivate an attitude of belief and the harvest in the end will be more than we expected!
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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2016, 05:16:37 AM »
Amen, Jim! There is no excuse for "unbelief". God has given us evidence of His love, grace, and power. The Bible is full of encouragement. We can trust God and His Word. There is no reason to doubt what He has said. But, we need to learn of Him before we can trust Him with all we have and all we are. Then we shall have peace that passes all understanding. This is His desire.

 "Peace be unto you." Jesus is ever ready to speak peace to souls that are burdened with doubts and fears. He waits for us to open the door of the heart to Him, and say, Abide with us. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20.


He means this!! No matter where we have been, and what we have done, Jesus stands at the door of the heart wanting in. If we open the door, He will come in!!  How do we get to the place where we can open the door? Behold Jesus, especially the closing scenes of His life. Sadly, whoever is reading this probably understands or they would not be here. But, for the multitude who are not here, they need to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. Then, by beholding His glory, His character, they will become like Him, in character. It is an intellectual and a spiritual truth that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to what it is accustomed to behold (2 Cor. 3:18). Many do not see their continual need of Jesus. It is by spending time with Him that we learn of Him and can trust Him. This is the key that allows the heart to be opened completely to Him.
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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2016, 07:02:59 AM »
Amen! Amen! It is so simple, yet it is our choice to experience--and what a wonderful experience of peace (and ALL the fruits of the Spirit) will flow in our lives as we live by faith upon Jesus because we are beholding His loveliness!

I was moved by the last paragraph in this beautiful chapter today:

 In His treatment of Thomas, Jesus gave a lesson for His followers. His example shows how we should treat those whose faith is weak, and who make their doubts prominent. Jesus did not overwhelm Thomas with reproach, nor did He enter into controversy with him. He revealed Himself to the doubting one. Thomas had been most unreasonable in dictating the conditions of his faith, but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers. Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy. It is rather put upon self-defense, and finds new support and excuse. But let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, "My Lord and my God." 

When problems or difficulties arise in the church, the solution each needs is to behold Jesus--and not just chant his name, but to spend time in contemplation and prayerful meditation upon His character.

As a pastor in working with people, this truth has been an encouragement to me. As I have opportunity to help people to learn to spend time with Jesus and behold His character, as the truths of God's word and the Spirit of Prophecy are shared, I can trust that the Holy Spirit is able to do a work that I can never do (it is a work of heart). The simple key is "Look and live!" and "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In thus beholding, an entire transformation of character is possible--yea, more than this, is PROMISED because that is what God's grace will do in every soul who does not resist Him and cooperates with the divine agencies made available to us in the plan of salvation! 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}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2016, 06:04:23 AM »
Amen!  Many do not understand the power of grace. Here we see a prophet explaining it. This is why Jesus said "I am the Bread of Life." Grace is the transforming power. "Let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, 'My Lord and my God.'"  If we will behold Jesus uplifted upon the cross, if we will look then we may live.

Forgiveness and salvation come from Christ, but God's justice is never set aside.

"Reprove, rebuke, exhort," the Lord says, "with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2. Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God's word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself. 


In Christ, Christ is in our heart. He empowers us through the Spirit to manifest the fruits of His Spirit, not one is missing. Those who manifest the works of the flesh do not have Christ, thus do not have life. We must help the church understand the power of God's love to change us when we are converted and maintain our connection with Christ. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:12."

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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2016, 07:00:59 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need Jesus abiding in our hearts continually to have the blessed experience of eternal life--even now, while we are still in a world of sin and suffering, it is possible to be filled with the joy of His presence!

Yet if by sin we grieve the Lord, we find in our chapter today Christ's call to the heart to open and receive Him as an abiding guest:

 At the birth of Jesus the angel announced, Peace on earth, and good will to men. And now at His first appearance to the disciples after His resurrection, the Saviour addressed them with the blessed words, "Peace be unto you." Jesus is ever ready to speak peace to souls that are burdened with doubts and fears. He waits for us to open the door of the heart to Him, and say, Abide with us. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20.

Christ does not force our will--He calls to us and gives us the choice as to whether we want Him abiding in our hearts through a living faith experience that will be revealed in all of the fruits of the Spirit (peace is surely one of these, for there is no peace for the wicked). Not one of these fruits can be missing when we have Jesus abiding in our hearts! So when Christ offered the disciples His peace, He was offering them Himself!

Ephesians 2:14, "For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between 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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2017, 07:14:48 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean! How important we understand our conversion is in our hands. Jesus is doing His part. He waits for us to open the door of the heart to Him, and say, Abide with us. He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20.

Daily we must open the door and invite Jesus to take possession of the whole heart, not part of it. He will only come in when we surrender all to Him. There is no greater sin than "unbelief". Doubting God and His promises reveal a distrust in God. A Laodicean is full of "unbelief". How do we meet such doubters? Argument will seldom work in our attempts to lead one to Jesus.

Let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, "My Lord and my God." 
It is by beholding the loveliness of Jesus that we are transformed in nature (conversion). While we retain our evil flesh, when Jesus takes possession of the heart, it is cleansed and we have the mind of Christ which is able to keep the body (flesh) under (1Cor. 9:27).

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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2017, 12:41:51 PM »
Amen, Richard! As God's people come to grasp this truth they will find encouragement in their Christian experience, for they will realize that at the moment they make that full surrender to Jesus, they are now given a new heart that need not yield in thought to the fallen flesh! The divine nature is so powerful to keep us! Our part is continuing beholding Jesus' loveliness! What a joy and privilege!

     Turning to Thomas He said, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." These words showed that He was acquainted with the thoughts and words of Thomas. The doubting disciple knew that none of his companions had seen Jesus for a week. They could not have told the Master of his unbelief. He recognized the One before him as his Lord. He had no desire for further proof. His heart leaped for joy, and he cast himself at the feet of Jesus crying, "My Lord and my God." 

Let us pray that we will recognize Jesus in our time of reading the Bible the Spirit of Prophecy--and so beautifully revealed here in The Desire of Ages! I am so thankful that as I reflected upon this chapter today, and as I reflect upon the gospel commission given to reach the world, Christ was able to transform imperfect men, like "doubting Thomas" to become an effective disciple who carried the gospel where the Lord sent him! Let us rejoice that Jesus is powerful by HIs grace to make us full of faith as we behold Him and make a full-heart surrender!
"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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 05:37:57 AM »
But there is a brighter side to the picture. "Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted." Let this thought be kept uppermost. In labor for the erring, let every eye be directed to Christ. Let the shepherds have a tender care for the flock of the Lord's pasture. Let them speak to the erring of the forgiving mercy of the Saviour. Let them encourage the sinner to repent, and believe in Him who can pardon. Let them declare, on the authority of God's word, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. All who repent have the assurance, "He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:19.
    Let the repentance of the sinner be accepted by the church with grateful hearts. Let the repenting one be led out from the darkness of unbelief into the light of faith and righteousness. Let his trembling hand be placed in the loving hand of Jesus. Such a remission is ratified in heaven. 


This reminds me of a situation I was aware of many years ago. There was a member who a couple of times before seemed to get serious about a relationship with Christ only to fall away not long after. A few years passed and he again came back to the church. He was rebaptized but not without people verbally rolling their eyes since all knew his pattern. 

About this same time this was happening I read SOP counsel about almost this exact situation and she said the congregation should be rejoicing and not rehashing the sinners pattern. I found out later that he was under much pressure at home. This was likely the cause of his falling away in the past. It's not an excuse but an explanation. This time around he stood firm and he paid the price for it in a hard way and this time he has been a solid contributing member ever since.

All of this reminds me of how many time Jesus had to free Mary of demons. How much patience do we have with weak and vacillating people? How much patience did Christ have.

I know I've probably wandered a bit from the intended topic but think it does apply. Let us all be like Christ towards the erring.
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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 06:33:04 AM »
Amen, Jim.  We cannot know what is going on in the hearts of others. We may discern they are outside of Christ, but we do not know the circumstances. It may they are either just about finished, or just about ready to fall on their knees in repentance. Jesus is our example. There are many different circumstances we must deal with, and some we just leave alone. Only God can reveal what we are to do and when we are to do it.

A good example is how Jesus dealt with Saul of Tarsus. And, how Ananias would have dealt with him.

 9:10   And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord. 
 9:11   And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 
 9:12   And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 
 9:13   Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 
 9:14   And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 
 9:15   But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 


Many had been praying for Saul beginning with Stephen. What a lesson for us today! Even those who are in deep rebellion might be saved! Why even the adulterous murderer King David was saved! Which brings up another example of how to deal with those who have strayed far away from Jesus. What did the prophet say to David?

12:1   And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 
 12:2   The rich [man] had exceeding many flocks and herds: 
 12:3   But the poor [man] had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 
 12:4   And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 
 12:5   And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, [As] the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this [thing] shall surely die: 
 12:6   And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 
 12:7   And Nathan said to David, Thou [art] the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 
 12:8   And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 
 12:9   Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife [to be] thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 
 12:10   Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 
 12:11   Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give [them] unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 
 12:12   For thou didst [it] secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 


And what was the response?

 12:13   And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 
 12:14   Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also [that is] born unto thee shall surely die. 


Human wisdom will fail us, but if we will go to the Author of our faith, He will give us wisdom to know just what to do and when to do it.

As I read this morning, I saw something, that I had not considered in the past. When did Jesus ascend to His Father. Remember when He told Mary to not touch Him?

I was impressed with this portion of our reading also:

     The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church.
     "Whosesoever sins ye remit," said Christ, "they are remitted; . . . and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." Christ here gives no liberty for any man to pass judgment upon others. In the Sermon on the Mount He forbade this. It is the prerogative of God. But on the church in its organized capacity He places a responsibility for the individual members. Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. "Reprove, rebuke, exhort," the Lord says, "with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2. Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God's word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself. 


As Nathan dealt with David, so is the church to deal with those who hold high positions in the church and not filled with the Spirit of God. We have delayed the coming of Christ for far too long. At our feet is the guilt of two world wars and many others that need never have happened if we had been faithful to God.

There is a separation taking place in the church. Let none be surprised. It was prophesied. And, let none who profess to be Christians be lacking in love for their enemies. It is the evidence of the Holy Ghost in the 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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2017, 01:15:17 PM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! What a wonderful God we serve, and how beautiful is Christ's dealing with erring Thomas!

I was impressed with the sequence of events in this chapter following yesterday's reading that I do not know I had appreciated before:

  On reaching Jerusalem the two disciples enter at the eastern gate, which is open at night on festal occasions. The houses are dark and silent, but the travelers make their way through the narrow streets by the light of the rising moon. They go to the upper chamber where Jesus spent the hours of the last evening before His death. Here they know that their brethren are to be found. Late as it is, they know that the disciples will not sleep till they learn for a certainty what has become of the body of their Lord. They find the door of the chamber securely barred. They knock for admission, but no answer comes. All is still. Then they give their names. The door is carefully unbarred, they enter, and Another, unseen, enters with them. Then the door is again fastened, to keep out spies.   
     The travelers find all in surprised excitement. The voices of those in the room break out into thanksgiving and praise, saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." Then the two travelers, panting with the haste with which they have made their journey, tell the wondrous story of how Jesus has appeared to them. They have just ended, and some are saying that they cannot believe it, for it is too good to be true, when behold, another Person stands before them. Every eye is fastened upon the stranger. No one has knocked for entrance. No footstep has been heard. The disciples are startled, and wonder what it means. Then they hear a voice which is no other than the voice of their Master. Clear and distinct the words fall from His lips, "Peace be unto you."


We just were so blessed learning about Jesus' burning-heart Bible study with the two disciples on their journey to Emmaus, but what strikes me is that THEY DO NOT KEEP IT TO THEMSELVES! Their clear understanding of Jesus from prophecy, their experience of the risen Lord, is something so wondrous that they must share with the other disciples. It also causes me to wonder how many other disciples were closely associated with Christ outside of the twelve (who became eleven after Judas' defection). We know the 70 were sent out...I look forward to meeting these disciples in heaven and hearing more of the story--from their own lips!
"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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2017, 06:17:42 AM »
I love how Jesus reveals Himself to us in His peace! His presence kindles our faith and gives us joy and success in the greatness of the work before us!

The disciples began to realize the nature and extent of their work. They were to proclaim to the world the wonderful truths which Christ had entrusted to them. The events of His life, His death and resurrection, the prophecies that pointed to these events, the sacredness of the law of God, the mysteries of the plan of salvation, the power of Jesus for the remission of sins,--to all these things they were witnesses, and they were to make them known to the world. They were to proclaim the gospel of peace and salvation through repentance and the power of the Saviour.   
"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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2017, 07:03:01 AM »
I like your thought pastor Sean. He gives us peace and then work to do. But he doesn't stop there. He also gives us the ability to do the work He calls anyone to.

But the Spirit was now given for a special purpose. Before the disciples could fulfill their official duties in connection with the church, Christ breathed His Spirit upon them. He was committing to them a most sacred trust, and He desired to impress them with the fact that without the Holy Spirit this work could not be accomplished. 


He calls and entrusts us but He also enable us to follow Him and do His bidding. Without the Spirit we can do nothing. And if we recognize that we are lacking the Spirit, He desires to give us the Spirit more than we desire to give nice gifts to our friends and family. We have a very very generous Lord.
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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2017, 08:20:40 AM »
Amen and amen!!

Oh that we would realize the nature and extent of the work entrusted to us as a people! We are to proclaim to the world the wonderful truths which Christ had entrusted to them and to us. The events of His life, His death and resurrection, the prophecies that pointed to these events, the sacredness of the law of God, the mysteries of the plan of salvation, the power of Jesus for the remission of sins.

And, Jim, you are so right. We need the Holy Spirit in order to do this. Without an entire surrender to Jesus, we shall not be able to do the work given to us. We have delayed the soon coming of Jesus.

   The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church.


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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 05:54:33 AM »
As we seek to understand the power of the gospel, today's reading helps us greatly. It leaves no doubt as to the fact grace has the power to keep from sin, and that grace is revealed in all who are in a converted state. If we have not the Holy Spirit, we are none of His (Romans 8:9 ).

     The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church.
     "Whosesoever sins ye remit," said Christ, "they are remitted; . . . and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." Christ here gives no liberty for any man to pass judgment upon others. In the Sermon on the Mount He forbade this. It is the prerogative of God. But on the church in its organized capacity He places a responsibility for the individual members. Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. "Reprove, rebuke, exhort," the Lord says, "with all long-suffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2. Deal faithfully with wrongdoing. Warn every soul that is in danger. Leave none to deceive themselves. Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. "They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God's word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself. 


Jesus wants us to have the Holy Spirit. He stands at the door of the heart seeking entrance.
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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 05:57:53 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need the Holy Spirit in the heart or we can do no good thing. He is the one who convicts us of sin and points us to an uplifted Savior!

The work that Jesus has entrusted to us in these last days is vast, and we can only effectually do His will as we surrender fully to Him and realize our continual need of His grace and His Spirit to work in our hearts!

   The disciples began to realize the nature and extent of their work. They were to proclaim to the world the wonderful truths which Christ had entrusted to them. The events of His life, His death and resurrection, the prophecies that pointed to these events, the sacredness of the law of God, the mysteries of the plan of salvation, the power of Jesus for the remission of sins,--to all these things they were witnesses, and they were to make them known to the world. They were to proclaim the gospel of peace and salvation through repentance and the power of the Saviour.   {The Desire of Ages, page 805, paragraph 1}

Let us continue to uplift Jesus higher and higher, and lose sight of self in grateful, heart devotion to our Savior! Jesus is all in all, and only as we are "all in" for Him can He use us to bless a world lying in wickedness and misapprehension of His character. Our world needs a fresh revelation of the simple truth of the everlasting gospel. The gospel of His grace--real righteousness by real faith--will bring sinners to repentance and transform them to be continuous partakers of the divine nature. Praise the Lord that He loves us with such love to give us such a blessing in knowing 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}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2017, 05:09:45 AM »
Turning to Thomas He said, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." These words showed that He was acquainted with the thoughts and words of Thomas. The doubting disciple knew that none of his companions had seen Jesus for a week. They could not have told the Master of his unbelief. He recognized the One before him as his Lord. He had no desire for further proof. His heart leaped for joy, and he cast himself at the feet of Jesus crying, "My Lord and my God."
     Jesus accepted his acknowledgment, but gently reproved his unbelief: "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." The faith of Thomas would have been more pleasing to Christ if he had been willing to believe upon the testimony of his brethren. Should the world now follow the example of Thomas, no one would believe unto salvation; for all who receive Christ must do so through the testimony of others.


Some may think me slow because of my comment but it's ok. I've read these paragraphs many of times before. I've even stopped to ponder them before. I've realized that people believe the testimony of others who excitedly tell what the Lord has done for them and how He is the one altogether lovely. However, it wasn't until this morning as I was thinking that even the Bible is nothing but the testimony of others who we must believe. If we had to see in order to believe, as she said, we'd be in sorry shape. Just another example of how we live by faith and not by sight (or feeling). We have a long suffering Savior. Praise the Lord!
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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2017, 05:39:52 AM »
Amen, Jim. The Bible is our main source of light. Nature is God's second Book. The Bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. They possessed the inward working of the Holy Spirit. Why do we   believe? The Holy Spirit has revealed these testimonies are logical. Written by different men over many years, they fit together to tell the story of the character of our God and the plan of salvation. We are told "come let us reason together." The Word is a revelation of Christ.

As we read this morning, we must believe it is truth. Why do we believe it to be truth? Because the Holy Spirit has revealed the testimonies are in harmony with the revelations found in Scripture.

   Turning to Thomas He said, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing." These words showed that He was acquainted with the thoughts and words of Thomas. The doubting disciple knew that none of his companions had seen Jesus for a week. They could not have told the Master of his unbelief. He recognized the One before him as his Lord. He had no desire for further proof. His heart leaped for joy, and he cast himself at the feet of Jesus crying, "My Lord and my God." 


Thomas already had proof, he had no reason to doubt the testimony of others who he knew to be honest when it agreed with the Words already spoken by Christ. They all had been told Jesus would arise after three days. So we see "unbelief" today, as teachers of truth are not believed. Why? Because of unbelief. The truth runs counter to what they want to believe.  :(  But, the love of Jesus, as revealed by the Word and seen in the lives of those who love Him supremely, is accepted into hearts fully surrendered to Him. They believe on the testimony of others who have given evidence of conversion. Come let us all who love Jesus supremely, reason together. There is safety in a multitude of counselors who are walking in the Spirit.
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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2017, 05:45:36 AM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! A true testimony will always be in harmony with the word of God! We come to faith in Christ by accepting the testimony of others upon the foundation of the word of God--but then, having made a full-heart surrender to Christ, the Holy Spirit takes possession of our hearts, and we are filled with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing, and we know for a surety that Jesus lives, for He lives in our hearts! We come to faith by believing what we have heard and learned of Christ, but He personally reveals Himself to us by a living-faith experience that may even transcend the faith of the one who led us to the Savior. Maybe it was a parent or friend that introduced you to Jesus--but your faith walk with Jesus can be so personal and intimate that it can go beyond the experience that person had. How important it is that we not let our minds dwell on the doubting side, but accept every ray of light from our lovely Savior!

I praise God for how Jesus dealt with Thomas in the upper room after He was risen, for we also are to help others come to a saving faith--by revealing Jesus to them in word, in testimony, and in character!

"In His treatment of Thomas, Jesus gave a lesson for His followers. His example shows how we should treat those whose faith is weak, and who make their doubts prominent. Jesus did not overwhelm Thomas with reproach, nor did He enter into controversy with him. He revealed Himself to the doubting one. Thomas had been most unreasonable in dictating the conditions of his faith, but Jesus, by His generous love and consideration, broke down all the barriers. Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy. It is rather put upon self-defense, and finds new support and excuse. But let Jesus, in His love and mercy, be revealed as the crucified Saviour, and from many once unwilling lips will be heard the acknowledgment of Thomas, 'My Lord and my God.'" {The Desire of Ages, page 808, paragraph 1}
"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--84--"Peace Be Unto You"
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2018, 05:56:55 AM »
May we uplift Jesus today before all around us, as it is Christ revealed who has the power to change hearts and lives, giving us the power of true conversion—a full surrender wherein all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in our lives without one missing. Thomas was brought to repentance from being unbelieving—and what joy came to Him as he did!

“Turning to Thomas He said, ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing.’ These words showed that He was acquainted with the thoughts and words of Thomas. The doubting disciple knew that none of his companions had seen Jesus for a week. They could not have told the Master of his unbelief. He recognized the One before him as his Lord. He had no desire for further proof. His heart leaped for joy, and he cast himself at the feet of Jesus crying, ‘My Lord and my God.’ – {The Desire of Ages, page 807, paragraph 3}

Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. If we truly have one in its genuineness, we will have all the others: love, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, goodness, faith, and temperance. What a wonderful Savior we have who gives us fruitful lives as we yield fully to the revelation of His loveliness!
"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}