Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star  (Read 17223 times)

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Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« on: July 28, 2007, 05:22:00 PM »
"We Have Seen His Star"

Listen to  "We Have Seen His Star"

 






     "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him." 
     The wise men from the East were philosophers. They belonged to a large and influential class that included men of noble birth, and comprised much of the wealth and learning of their nation. Among these were many who imposed on the credulity of the people. Others were upright men who studied the indications of Providence in nature, and who were honored for their integrity and wisdom. Of this character were the wise men who came to Jesus. 
     The light of God is ever shining amid the darkness of heathenism. As these magi studied the starry heavens, and sought to fathom the mystery hidden in their bright paths, they beheld the glory of the Creator. Seeking clearer knowledge, they turned to the Hebrew Scriptures. In their own land were treasured prophetic writings that predicted the coming of a divine teacher. Balaam belonged to the magicians, though at one time a prophet of God; by the Holy Spirit he had foretold the prosperity of Israel and the appearing of the Messiah; and his prophecies had been handed down by tradition from century to century. But in the Old Testament the Saviour's advent was more clearly revealed. The magi learned with joy that His coming was near, and that the whole world was to be filled with a knowledge of the glory of the Lord. 
     The wise men had seen a mysterious light in the heavens upon that night when the glory of God flooded the hills of Bethlehem. As the light faded, a luminous star appeared, and lingered in the sky. It was not a fixed star nor a planet, and the phenomenon excited the keenest interest. That star was a distant company of shining angels, but of this the wise men were ignorant. Yet they were impressed that the star was of special import to them. They consulted priests and philosophers, and searched the scrolls of the ancient records. The prophecy of Balaam had declared, "There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel." Numbers 24:17. Could this strange star have been sent as a harbinger of the Promised One? The magi had welcomed the light of heaven-sent truth; now it was shed upon them in brighter rays. Through dreams they were instructed to go in search of the newborn Prince.
     As by faith Abraham went forth at the call of God, "not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8 ) ; as by faith Israel followed the pillar of cloud to the Promised Land, so did these Gentiles go forth to find the promised Saviour. The Eastern country abounded in precious things, and the magi did not set out empty-handed. It was the custom to offer presents as an act of homage to princes or other personages of rank, and the richest gifts the land afforded were borne as an offering to Him in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed. It was necessary to journey by night in order to keep the star in view; but the travelers beguiled the hours by repeating traditional sayings and prophetic utterances concerning the One they sought. At every pause for rest they searched the prophecies; and the conviction deepened that they were divinely guided. While they had the star before them as an outward sign, they had also the inward evidence of the Holy Spirit, which was impressing their hearts, and inspiring them with hope. The journey, though long, was a happy one to them. 
     They have reached the land of Israel, and are descending the Mount of Olives, with Jerusalem in sight, when, lo, the star that has guided them all the weary way rests above the temple, and after a season fades from their view. With eager steps they press onward, confidently expecting the Messiah's birth to be the joyful burden of every tongue. But their inquiries are in vain. Entering the holy city, they repair to the temple. To their amazement they find none who seem to have a knowledge of the newborn king. Their questions call forth no expressions of joy, but rather of surprise and fear, not unmingled with contempt. 
     The priests are rehearsing traditions. They extol their religion and their own piety, while they denounce the Greeks and Romans as heathen, and sinners above others. The wise men are not idolaters, and in the sight of God they stand far higher than do these, His professed worshipers; yet they are looked upon by the Jews as heathen. Even among the appointed guardians of the Holy Oracles their eager questionings touch no chord of sympathy. 
     The arrival of the magi was quickly noised throughout Jerusalem. Their strange errand created an excitement among the people, which penetrated to the palace of King Herod. The wily Edomite was aroused at the intimation of a possible rival. Countless murders had stained his pathway to the throne. Being of alien blood, he was hated by the people over whom he ruled. His only security was the favor of Rome. But this new Prince had a higher claim. He was born to the kingdom. 
     Herod suspected the priests of plotting with the strangers to excite a popular tumult and unseat him from the throne. He concealed his mistrust, however, determined to thwart their schemes by superior cunning. Summoning the chief priests and the scribes, he questioned them as to the teaching of their sacred books in regard to the place of the Messiah's birth. 
     This inquiry from the usurper of the throne, and made at the request of strangers, stung the pride of the Jewish teachers. The indifference with which they turned to the rolls of prophecy enraged the jealous tyrant. He thought them trying to conceal their knowledge of the matter. With an authority they dared not disregard, he commanded them to make close search, and to declare the birthplace of their expected King. "And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet,


            "And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah,
             Art in nowise least among the princes of Judah:
             For out of thee shall come forth a governor,
             Which shall be shepherd of My people Israel."
                                                        R. V. 
     Herod now invited the magi to a private interview. A tempest of wrath and fear was raging in his heart, but he preserved a calm exterior, and received the strangers courteously. He inquired at what time the star had appeared, and professed to hail with joy the intimation of the birth of Christ. He bade his visitors, "Search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also." So saying, he dismissed them to go on their way to Bethlehem. 
     The priests and elders of Jerusalem were not as ignorant concerning the birth of Christ as they pretended. The report of the angels' visit to the shepherds had been brought to Jerusalem, but the rabbis had treated it as unworthy of their notice. They themselves might have found Jesus, and might have been ready to lead the magi to His birthplace; but instead of this, the wise men came to call their attention to the birth of the Messiah. "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" they said; "for we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him." 
     Now pride and envy closed the door against the light. If the reports brought by the shepherds and the wise men were credited, they would place the priests and rabbis in a most unenviable position, disproving their claim to be the exponents of the truth of God. These learned teachers would not stoop to be instructed by those whom they termed heathen. It could not be, they said, that God had passed them by, to communicate with ignorant shepherds or uncircumcised Gentiles. They determined to show their contempt for the reports that were exciting King Herod and all Jerusalem. They would not even go to Bethlehem to see whether these things were so. And they led the people to regard the interest in Jesus as a fanatical excitement. Here began the rejection of Christ by the priests and rabbis. From this point their pride and stubbornness grew into a settled hatred of the Saviour. While God was opening the door to the Gentiles, the Jewish leaders were closing the door to themselves.
     The wise men departed alone from Jerusalem. The shadows of night were falling as they left the gates, but to their great joy they again saw the star, and were directed to Bethlehem. They had received no such intimation of the lowly estate of Jesus as was given to the shepherds. After the long journey they had been disappointed by the indifference of the Jewish leaders, and had left Jerusalem less confident than when they entered the city. At Bethlehem they found no royal guard stationed to protect the newborn King. None of the world's honored men were in attendance. Jesus was cradled in a manger. His parents, uneducated peasants, were His only guardians. Could this be He of whom it was written, that He should "raise up the tribes of Jacob," and "restore the preserved of Israel;" that He should be "a light to the Gentiles," and for "salvation unto the end of the earth"? Isaiah 49:6. 
     "When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him." Beneath the lowly guise of Jesus, they recognized the presence of Divinity. They gave their hearts to Him as their Saviour, and then poured out their gifts,--"gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." What a faith was theirs! It might have been said of the wise men from the East, as afterward of the Roman centurion, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Matthew 8:10.
     The wise men had not penetrated Herod's design toward Jesus. When the object of their journey was accomplished, they prepared to return to Jerusalem, intending to acquaint him with their success. But in a dream they received a divine message to hold no further communication with him. Avoiding Jerusalem, they set out for their own country by another route.  {DA 64.1} 
     In like manner Joseph received warning to flee into Egypt with Mary and the child. And the angel said, "Be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him." Joseph obeyed without delay, setting out on the journey by night for greater security. 
     Through the wise men, God had called the attention of the Jewish nation to the birth of His Son. Their inquiries in Jerusalem, the popular interest excited, and even the jealousy of Herod, which compelled the attention of the priests and rabbis, directed minds to the prophecies concerning the Messiah, and to the great event that had just taken place. 
     Satan was bent on shutting out the divine light from the world, and he used his utmost cunning to destroy the Saviour. But He who never slumbers nor sleeps was watching over His beloved Son. He who had rained manna from heaven for Israel and had fed Elijah in the time of famine provided in a heathen land a refuge for Mary and the child Jesus. And through the gifts of the magi from a heathen country, the Lord supplied the means for the journey into Egypt and the sojourn in a land of strangers. 
     The magi had been among the first to welcome the Redeemer. Their gift was the first that was laid at His feet. And through that gift, what privilege of ministry was theirs! The offering from the heart that loves, God delights to honor, giving it highest efficiency in service for Him. If we have given our hearts to Jesus, we also shall bring our gifts to Him. Our gold and silver, our most precious earthly possessions, our highest mental and spiritual endowments, will be freely devoted to Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us. 
     Herod in Jerusalem impatiently awaited the return of the wise men. As time passed, and they did not appear, his suspicions were roused. The unwillingness of the rabbis to point out the Messiah's birthplace seemed to indicate that they had penetrated his design, and that the magi had purposely avoided him. He was maddened at the thought. Craft had failed, but there was left the resort to force. He would make an example of this child-king. Those haughty Jews should see what they might expect in their attempts to place a monarch on the throne.
     Soldiers were at once sent to Bethlehem, with orders to put to death all the children of two years and under. The quiet homes of the city of David witnessed those scenes of horror that, six hundred years before, had been opened to the prophet. "In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." 
     This calamity the Jews had brought upon themselves. If they had been walking in faithfulness and humility before God, He would in a signal manner have made the wrath of the king harmless to them. But they had separated themselves from God by their sins, and had rejected the Holy Spirit, which was their only shield. They had not studied the Scriptures with a desire to conform to the will of God. They had searched for prophecies which could be interpreted to exalt themselves, and to show how God despised all other nations. It was their proud boast that the Messiah was to come as a king, conquering His enemies, and treading down the heathen in His wrath. Thus they had excited the hatred of their rulers. Through their misrepresentation of Christ's mission, Satan had purposed to compass the destruction of the Saviour; but instead of this, it returned upon their own heads. 
     This act of cruelty was one of the last that darkened the reign of Herod. Soon after the slaughter of the innocents, he was himself compelled to yield to that doom which none can turn aside. He died a fearful death. 
     Joseph, who was still in Egypt, was now bidden by an angel of God to return to the land of Israel. Regarding Jesus as the heir of David's throne, Joseph desired to make his home in Bethlehem; but learning that Archelaus reigned in Judea in his father's stead, he feared that the father's designs against Christ might be carried out by the son. Of all the sons of Herod, Archelaus most resembled him in character. Already his succession to the government had been marked by a tumult in Jerusalem, and the slaughter of thousands of Jews by the Roman guards.
     Again Joseph was directed to a place of safety. He returned to Nazareth, his former home, and here for nearly thirty years Jesus dwelt, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." Galilee was under the control of a son of Herod, but it had a much larger admixture of foreign inhabitants than Judea.Thus there was less interest in matters relating especially to the Jews, and the claims of Jesus would be less likely to excite the jealousy of those in power. 
     Such was the Saviour's reception when He came to the earth. There seemed to be no place of rest or safety for the infant Redeemer. God could not trust His beloved Son with men, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation. He commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save.

_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ ___



The wise men from the East were philosophers. They belonged to a large and influential class that included men of noble birth, and comprised much of the wealth and learning of their nation. Among these were many who imposed on the credulity of the people. Others were upright men who studied the indications of Providence in nature, and who were honored for their integrity and wisdom. Of this character were the wise men who came to Jesus.

The light of God is ever shining amid the darkness of heathenism. As these magi studied the starry heavens, and sought to fathom the mystery hidden in their bright paths, they beheld the glory of the Creator. Seeking clearer knowledge, they turned to the Hebrew Scriptures. In their own land were treasured prophetic writings that predicted the coming of a divine teacher. Balaam belonged to the magicians, though at one time a prophet of God; by the Holy Spirit he had foretold the prosperity of Israel and the appearing of the Messiah; and his prophecies had been handed down by tradition from century to century. But in the Old Testament the Saviour's advent was more clearly revealed. The magi learned with joy that His coming was near, and that the whole world was to be filled with a knowledge of the glory of the Lord.

Imagine!!! That God's chosen people were asleep, but men from the East were seeking to know Him whom was drawing them!! And to them was granted the honor of seeing God in the flesh!!!  How is it with us today? Are we wanting to see Jesus? Are our thoughts of Him and our conversation about Him who gave all for us? Are we searching the Scriptures and setting aside things to prepare for His soon coming?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 03:29:00 PM »
The wise men had seen a mysterious light in the heavens upon that night when the glory of God flooded the hills of Bethlehem. As the light faded, a luminous star appeared, and lingered in the sky. It was not a fixed star nor a planet, and the phenomenon excited the keenest interest. That star was a distant company of shining angels, but of this the wise men were ignorant. Yet they were impressed that the star was of special import to them. They consulted priests and philosophers, and searched the scrolls of the ancient records. The prophecy of Balaam had declared, "There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel." Num. 24:17. Could this strange star have been sent as a harbinger of the Promised One? The magi had welcomed the light of heaven-sent truth; now it was shed upon them in brighter rays. Through dreams they were instructed to go in search of the newborn Prince.  

    As by faith Abraham went forth at the call of God, "not knowing whither he went" (Heb. 11:8); as by faith Israel followed the pillar of cloud to the Promised Land, so did these Gentiles go forth to find the promised Saviour. The Eastern country abounded in precious things, and the magi did not set out empty-handed. It was the custom to offer presents as an act of homage to princes or other personages of rank, and the richest gifts the land afforded were borne as an offering to Him in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed. It was necessary to journey by night in order to keep the star in view; but the travelers beguiled the hours by repeating traditional sayings and prophetic utterances concerning the One they sought. At every pause for rest they searched the prophecies; and the conviction deepened that they were divinely guided. While they had the star before them as an outward sign, they had also the inward evidence of the Holy Spirit, which was impressing their hearts, and inspiring them with hope. The journey, though long, was a happy one to them.  

    They have reached the land of Israel, and are descending the Mount of Olives, with Jerusalem in sight, when, lo, the star that has guided them all the weary way rests above the temple, and after a season fades from their view. With eager steps they press onward, confidently expecting the Messiah's birth to be the joyful burden of every tongue. But their                                                                         inquiries are in vain. Entering the holy city, they repair to the temple. To their amazement they find none who seem to have a knowledge of the newborn king. Their questions call forth no expressions of joy, but rather of surprise and fear, not unmingled with contempt.  

    The priests are rehearsing traditions. They extol their religion and their own piety, while they denounce the Greeks and Romans as heathen, and sinners above others. The wise men are not idolaters, and in the sight of God they stand far higher than do these, His professed worshipers; yet they are looked upon by the Jews as heathen. Even among the appointed guardians of the Holy Oracles their eager questionings touch no chord of sympathy.  

    The arrival of the magi was quickly noised throughout Jerusalem. Their strange errand created an excitement among the people, which penetrated to the palace of King Herod. The wily Edomite was aroused at the intimation of a possible rival. Countless murders had stained his pathway to the throne. Being of alien blood, he was hated by the people over whom he ruled. His only security was the favor of Rome. But this new Prince had a higher claim. He was born to the kingdom.  

    Herod suspected the priests of plotting with the strangers to excite a popular tumult and unseat him from the throne. He concealed his mistrust, however, determined to thwart their schemes by superior cunning. Summoning the chief priests and the scribes, he questioned                                                                         them as to the teaching of their sacred books in regard to the place of the Messiah's birth.  

    This inquiry from the usurper of the throne, and made at the request of strangers, stung the pride of the Jewish teachers. The indifference with which they turned to the rolls of prophecy enraged the jealous tyrant. He thought them trying to conceal their knowledge of the matter. With an authority they dared not disregard, he commanded them to make close search, and to declare the birthplace of their expected King. "And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet,


"And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Art in nowise least among the princes of Judah:
For out of thee shall come forth a governor,
Which shall be shepherd of My people Israel."
                                                       R. V.
62

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 05:06:00 PM »
And God will continue work according to the same principle. Jews who are Jews in name only will be passed over and they will indeed create difficulties.

[This message has been edited by Richard Myers (edited 08-05-2007).]

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2007, 01:14:00 PM »
Relatively few Jews were looking for His appearance. We see a portion of the Gentiles were awake to the fact that the Messiah was to be born and were thus led by the angelic host in the form of a star.

Anna, the prophetess and Simeon, just and devout, were waiting. There were only a few "waiting and watching." And the Scriptures were given to the Jews for a light unto the world, yet they were busy with other things.

What a lesson for us this very day! Pray and watch!

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2007, 06:29:00 PM »
Amen! If  we do not watch and pray, we shall be like the disciples the night they betrayed their Master. They were doing His work.....they thought.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2007, 04:53:00 AM »
Herod now invited the magi to a private interview. A tempest of wrath and fear was raging in his heart, but he preserved a calm exterior, and received the strangers courteously. He inquired at what time the star had appeared, and professed to hail with joy the intimation of the birth of Christ. He bade his visitors, "Search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also." So saying, he dismissed them to go on their way to Bethlehem.  

    The priests and elders of Jerusalem were not as ignorant concerning the birth of Christ as they pretended. The report of the angels' visit to the shepherds had been brought to Jerusalem, but the rabbis had treated it as unworthy of their notice. They themselves might have found Jesus, and might have been ready to lead the magi to His birthplace; but instead of this, the wise men came to call their attention to the birth of the Messiah. "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" they said; "for we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him."  

    Now pride and envy closed the door against the light. If the reports brought by the shepherds and the wise men were credited, they would place the priests and rabbis in a most unenviable position, disproving their claim to be the exponents of the truth of God. These learned teachers would not stoop to be instructed by those whom they termed heathen. It could not be, they said, that God had passed them by, to communicate                                                                          with ignorant shepherds or uncircumcised Gentiles. They determined to show their contempt for the reports that were exciting King Herod and all Jerusalem. They would not even go to Bethlehem to see whether these things were so. And they led the people to regard the interest in Jesus as a fanatical excitement. Here began the rejection of Christ by the priests and rabbis. From this point their pride and stubbornness grew into a settled hatred of the Saviour. While God was opening the door to the Gentiles, the Jewish leaders were closing the door to themselves.  

    The wise men departed alone from Jerusalem. The shadows of night were falling as they left the gates, but to their great joy they again saw the star, and were directed to Bethlehem. They had received no such intimation of the lowly estate of Jesus as was given to the shepherds. After the long journey they had been disappointed by the indifference of the Jewish leaders, and had left Jerusalem less confident than when they entered the city. At Bethlehem they found no royal guard stationed to protect the newborn King. None of the world's honored men were in attendance. Jesus was cradled in a manger. His parents, uneducated peasants, were His only guardians. Could this be He of whom it was written, that He should "raise up the tribes of Jacob," and "restore the preserved of Israel;" that He should be "a light to the Gentiles," and for "salvation unto the end of the earth"? Isa. 49:6.  

    "When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him." Beneath the lowly guise of Jesus, they recognized the presence of Divinity. They gave their hearts to Him as their Saviour, and then poured out their gifts,--"gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." What a faith was theirs!
                                                                           
It might have been said of the wise men from the East, as afterward of the Roman centurion, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Matt. 8:10.
   
The wise men had not penetrated Herod's design toward Jesus. When the object of their journey was accomplished, they prepared to return to Jerusalem, intending to acquaint him with their success. But in a dream they received a divine message to hold no further communication with him. Avoiding Jerusalem, they set out for their own country by another route.

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2007, 08:21:00 AM »
It might have been said of the wise men from the East, as afterward of the Roman centurion, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Matt. 8:10.


God forbid that it could be said again today!

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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2007, 01:56:00 PM »
It can't be said.  "Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus!"
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Liane H

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 09:12:00 AM »
 "When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him." Beneath the lowly guise of Jesus, they recognized the presence of Divinity. They gave their hearts to Him as their Saviour, and then poured out their gifts,--'gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.' What a faith was theirs!"

It ever amazes me how even through darkness the light shines so clear even to men such as these. "They fell down and worshiped Him?

This is powerful and shows that every person walking on this earth can do the same thing. No matter where they are in their lives and how little faith they have they can still fall down and worship Him.

It is such a horror to see the very people of God scheming evil against the Son of Righteousness, but three men knowing nothing of these things fell down and worshiped Him.  A little baby at that!  

The angels that guided them with the Star was bringing light to their minds through the power of the Holy Spirit. They knew something powerful was about to happen and they followed that Star.

There is so much we can learn and still need to learn and each day God brings us to a place where God wants us to be and only if we behold Christ can that be done.

------------------
Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 07:00:00 AM »
Amen!

"Herod in Jerusalem impatiently awaited the return of the wise men. As time passed, and they did not appear, his suspicions were roused. The unwillingness of the rabbis to point out the Messiah's birthplace seemed to indicate that they had penetrated his design, and that the magi had purposely avoided him. He was maddened at the thought. Craft had failed, but there was left the resort to force. He would make an example of this child-king. Those haughty Jews should see what they might expect in their attempts to place a monarch on the throne.  

    Soldiers were at once sent to Bethlehem, with orders to put to death all the children of two years and under. The quiet homes of the city of David witnessed those scenes of horror that, six hundred years before, had been opened to the prophet. 'In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.'  
 
   This calamity the Jews had brought upon themselves. If they had been walking in faithfulness and humility before God, He would in a signal manner have made the wrath of the king harmless to them. But they had separated themselves from God by their sins, and had rejected the Holy Spirit, which was their only shield. They had not studied the Scriptures with a desire to conform to the will of God."

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

R Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2000, 07:36:00 PM »
     Such was the Saviour's reception when He came to the earth. There seemed to be no place of rest or safety for the infant Redeemer. God could not trust His beloved Son with men, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation. He commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save.

How very sad!

 "The magi had welcomed the light of heaven-sent truth; now it was shed upon them in brighter rays. Through dreams they were instructed to go in search of the newborn Prince."

There are always some who appreciate the light of truth. How much do we?

Kellee

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2000, 08:26:00 AM »
(1) At first, this chapter seemed to move backwards in the storyline instead of forwards. Jesus was 5 weeks old in the last chapter and had already been dedicated in the temple. But then as the chapter progressed, it was evident (of course) that Mary and Joseph stayed in Bethlehem for a long time. Long enough for the wise men to make their journey and find Him.
Where did they stay while they were in Bethlehem? The chapter says the wise men found Him in a manger - were they still in the barn after all this time? How did they get food and clothing? What was going on during that time?

(2) "The wise men from the East were philosophers. They belonged to a large and influential class, that included men of noble birth."

God loves irony - He's probably a fantastic story writer. In the first few weeks of Jesus' life, He has kings coming to meet the King of kings - a baby!

(3) "The light of God is ever shining amid the darkness of heathenism."

Again, more evidence that God is working in all places with all people at all times. God can use other religions to draw His children to Him. God can use women pastors to draw His children to Him. God can use contemporary Christian music to draw His children to Him.

If God is working in the midst of heathenism, He is working everywhere! I should not flatter myself that I do anything for God - I don't do anything for Him - He does everything through me. He is already all places in the world - He just invites us to join Him there.

(4) "A luminous star appeared...That star was a distant company of shining angels."

Not much to say about this - I just like that concept. I wonder how many things we see up in space, and we think we know what they are. But maybe....they're something else!

(5) "It was necessary to journey by night in order to keep the star in view."

Isn't it funny how the light always shines brightest in the darkness? I'm not sure we should fancy ourselves that we have all "the light" or "the truth." There may be those living in or surrounded by darkness that have a much better view of "the light" than us!

(6) "While they had the star before them as an outward sign, they had also the inward evidence of the Holy Spirit, which was impressing their hearts."

Isn't it wonderful how God leads? We never have to take "a leap of faith." He abounds in signs and evidence, convicting our hearts through that evidence and the Holy Spirit. He makes it so easy for us to trust Him!

(7) "The priests are rehearsing traditions. They extol their religion and their own piety, while they denounce the Greeks and Romans as heathen."

These are some words that really hit close to home! Satan just loves to get our attention anyplace other than God. Even if we're doing "good" things. If the priests had been as concerned about knowing God as they were about their own pious image, they could have known God while He was here.

(8) "He [Herod] concealed his mistrust, however, determined to thwart their schemes by superior cunning."

Isn't it interesting, that Herod, even while trying to be "clever," was simply fulfilling that which God said would happen? God certainly does know our hearts.

(9) "The report of the angels' visit to the shepherds had been brought to Jerusalem, but the rabbis had treated it as unworthy of their notice."

Even with their proud, pious attitudes, God is trying to include them! They are, after all, still His people, and He must have wanted them to be as excited as Heaven was. So maybe they are unwilling to receive the angels' first news, so God sends it to the shepherds. And now He sends the report of the angels' visit to them, so they might still have a chance to respond. And again, they drop the ball. How frustrating!

(10) "Now pride and envy closed the door against the light. If the reports brought by the shepherds and the wise men were credited, they would place the priests and rabbis in a most unenviable position, disproving their claim to be the exponents of the truth of God."

First of all, the priests made this bogus claim to be the exponents of the truth of God. This cannot be, because when God sent Someone to reveal the truth about Himself, whom did He send? Why Himself, of course. Only God can reveal God perfectly.

Our church has made similar claims, if not outright, in attitude, that we are the "Remnant Church" and claim to be the sole exponents of the truth of God. While it is true that we can hold certain truths about God, we should never feel that we know everything. It is our job not to bring "The Truth," but to lead those to the One who is The Truth! And He reveals it to them. Boy, wouldn't that change our evangelistic series!

After the priests made the bogus claim, as we've seen above, God was still in the process of working with them, wanting them to come to an understanding of the truth about Himself. But what happened? They were too proud to, perhaps, admit that they'd made false claims and acted in ways they shouldn't when all along they were wrong about God. So instead of accepting the light, they shut the door.

(11) "At Bethlehem they found no royal guard stationed to protect the new-born King."

Well, at least none that they could see.

(12) "Through the wise men, God had called the attention of the Jewish nation to the birth of His Son."

Again, God uses those who are willing and have open hearts to light, not those who claimed to have THE TRUTH.

(13) "And through the gifts of the magi from a heathen country, the Lord supplied the means for the journey into Egypt."

This suggests that both Mary and Joseph were poor and wouldn't have had enough to make such a journey. Yet, such a journey was necessary. And God provided the means. He gives us everything we need at just the right time! To those who are open to Him, God pours out all the blessings of Heaven and provides for each of our needs, satisfying all of our heart's desires.

(14) "The unwillingness of the rabbis to point out the Messiah's birthplace seemed to indicate that they had penetrated his [Herod's] design...He was maddened at the thought."

Shortly after this, all the little boys under 2 were killed. And to think that the religious leaders, in their proud arrogance, contributed to this decision of Herod's. Their indifference to God led to the slaughter of the innocents. Frightening.

(15) "They had searched for prophecies which could be interpreted to exalt themselves, and to show how God despised all other nations. It was their proud boast that the Messiah was to come as a king, conquering His enemies, and treading down the heathen in His wrath."

Gee, this doesn't sound at all like our description of His Second Advent, does it? It sounds a little too dangerously close, I'll say. Yes, God will come with glory the Second time, but is there something we're really not understanding? Do we teach proudly that He will come like a King (seen those pictures of Him on a throne descending on a cloud?) and conquer His enemies and tread down the heathen with wrath?? What's wrong with this picture? And the scarier thing is, the rabbis came to this conclusion from reading the Scriptures!

(16) "He [God] commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save."

In the other chapter, we brought up the subject of dependence upon unreliable humans. Even with angels commissioned to Jesus' protection, just think of the marvel of what it meant for Him to come here and be born. He went through all the stages of development in Mary's womb, and He exchanged His God-knowledge (the all-knowing, omnipotent, etc. etc.) for a human brain.

Now, human brains are certainly a marvelous creation, but must be infinitely less than being God, and especially once those brains have been damaged by sin for 4,000 years. And yet He took one. He went through the entire process of learning language, learning one of our human languages. His head bobbled around on His shoulders, needing support from Mary. He drooled. He pulled Mary's hair.

It is just incredible to think of all the things that babies do, how they are different from adult humans, and to think that Jesus passed through each one of those things. Usually, we just think of Him as Jesus the Man as if He were born grown up. But what dependence it took to come here, and what patience it must have taken for God and the angels to watch as He grew up, playing with the other children in the neighborhood, doing chores around the house, watching Joseph in the carpenter's shop, until He was old enough to understand who He was.

What patience! What fun and what horror to watch. This must have been better than any soap opera we'll ever see. Instead of being "The Truman Show," maybe all Heaven gathered to watch the daily edition of "The Human Show."  ;D


tami strand

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2000, 05:03:00 PM »
Herod fearing the child-king,

"Soldiers were at once sent out to Bethlehem, with orders to put to death all the children of two years and under. The quiet homes of the city of David witnessed those scenes of horror that, six hundred years before, had been opened to the prophet.
"In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they were not."

This calamity the Jews had brought upon themselves. If they had been walking in faithfulness and humility before God, He would in a signal manner have made the wrath of the king harmless to them.

But they had seperated themselves from God by their sins, and had rejected the Holy Spirit, which was their only shield.
THEY HAD NOT STUDIED THE SCRIPTURES WITH A DESIRE TO CONFORM TO THE WILL OF GOD."
(emphasis mine)

Tami



Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2016, 08:46:19 AM »
The previous posts are not chronological. For some reason the 2000 posts are after the ones made in 2007.

Herod fearing the child-king, "Soldiers were at once sent out to Bethlehem, with orders to put to death all the children of two years and under. The quiet homes of the city of David witnessed those scenes of horror that, six hundred years before, had been opened to the prophet. "In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they were not."This calamity the Jews had brought upon themselves. If they had been walking in faithfulness and humility before God, He would in a signal manner have made the wrath of the king harmless to them. But they had seperated themselves from God by their sins, and had rejected the Holy Spirit, which was their only shield. THEY HAD NOT STUDIED THE SCRIPTURES WITH A DESIRE TO CONFORM TO THE WILL OF GOD."

Why would someone study without a desire to follow the will of God?  Did the Magi want to know God's will? Did they want to follow God's will? Do you and I study to not only know God's will, but to do it?
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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2016, 08:01:27 AM »
I love how God moves upon hearts to love Him, and how it is our privilege to respond to the love in Christ (His matchless grace) that makes transformation of character possible. So encouraging it is to sing these words: "The offering from the heart that loves, God delights to honor, giving it highest efficiency in service for Him. If we have given our hearts to Jesus, we also shall bring our gifts to Him. Our gold and silver, our most precious earthly possessions, our highest mental and spiritual endowments, will be freely devoted to Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us." {DA 65.2} I have been singing this statement for some weeks now, and the more I meditate upon it, I am moved to also think of the offering of Mary Magdalene, whose offering--as an expression of character--was beautiful to Christ: "Christ delighted in the earnest desire of Mary to do the will of her Lord. He accepted the wealth of pure affection which His disciples did not, would not, understand. The desire that Mary had to do this service for her Lord was of more value to Christ than all the precious ointment in the world, because it expressed her appreciation of the world's Redeemer. It was the love of Christ that constrained her. The matchless excellence of the character of Christ filled her soul. That ointment was a symbol of the heart of the giver. It was the outward demonstration of a love fed by heavenly streams until it overflowed." {DA 564.5} What moves me to joy this morning of the new week is the realization that "the gifts of Jesus are ever fresh and new. The feast that He provides for the soul never fails to give satisfaction and joy. Each new gift increases the capacity of the receiver to appreciate and enjoy the blessings of the Lord. He gives grace for grace. There can be no failure of supply. If you abide in Him, the fact that you receive a rich gift today insures the reception of a richer gift tomorrow." {DA 148.3} The more time I spend meditating upon Jesus, praying to Him in humble, trusting faith, and seeing His glorious, infinite love, the more I realize that every gift He gives me the opportunity to offer is but a small reflection of the love that He first poured out for me--and each of--upon the cross of Calvary. Truly it can be said, "The difficulty of overcoming will be lessened in proportion as the heart is sanctified by the grace of Christ." {Youth Instructor, September 7, 1893, paragraph 10}. Truly, Jesus is stating the truth to the one who abides--perseveres--amid trial and conflict this side of heaven: "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28). I love Jesus--because He first loved me and poured out Himself for me and died in my place. I feel like I am on the border of a vast, shoreless ocean of infinite love, the song of which I am just beginning to sing.  :)
"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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2016, 07:05:04 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. Love begets love. It is His love that draws our hearts to Him.

There was something I read this morning that caused me to wonder if there is not a similar situation in the church today. If it is so, then we need to be very careful in what we do.

     Now pride and envy closed the door against the light. If the reports brought by the shepherds and the wise men were credited, they would place the priests and rabbis in a most unenviable position, disproving their claim to be the exponents of the truth of God. These learned teachers would not stoop to be instructed by those whom they termed heathen. It could not be, they said, that God had passed them by, to communicate with ignorant shepherds or uncircumcised Gentiles. They determined to show their contempt for the reports that were exciting King Herod and all Jerusalem. They would not even go to Bethlehem to see whether these things were so. And they led the people to regard the interest in Jesus as a fanatical excitement. Here began the rejection of Christ by the priests and rabbis. From this point their pride and stubbornness grew into a settled hatred of the Saviour. While God was opening the door to the Gentiles, the Jewish leaders were closing the door to themselves.


Sadly, this does apply to some in the church. God will go into the world and find "Gentiles" whom He can teach. He will bring them into His church, and they will be called "fanatical" when they share the truth given to them by God.

Our people understand there will be great danger coming from outside the church, but few understand the hatred that will come from within when the pride of "bright lights" is wounded when they discern they have been passed by. But, we can know that many who have failed to discern the signs of the times will be converted and help to finish the work. And, God has faithful leaders in His church today. Not all have been so greatly deceived they do not discern the working of the Holy Spirit and the great gift given to the church through the Spirit of Prophecy.

We have been told there will be a "shaking" in the church. That when this happens many will be sifted out of the church, but many more are waiting to come in. We are so blessed to have been told of what is just in front of us. Let us walk in the light as Jesus is in the light. Then, we will be an encouragement to all who are looking unto Jesus.
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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2016, 11:36:02 AM »
I love this chapter and find encouragement from the fact that God always has hearts open to receive Jesus. I open my heart to Him anew and pray that we can encourage those coming from other faiths to the light. I was reminded of the many Muslims who are receiving the light of present truth--often being reached by dreams while Seventh-day Adventists who have great light but are not walking in it can be passed by. Let us arise and shine by abiding in Christ!

  The light of God is ever shining amid the darkness of heathenism. As these magi studied the starry heavens, and sought to fathom the mystery hidden in their bright paths, they beheld the glory of the Creator. Seeking clearer knowledge, they turned to the Hebrew Scriptures. In their own land were treasured prophetic writings that predicted the coming of a divine teacher. Balaam belonged to the magicians, though at one time a prophet of God; by the Holy Spirit he had foretold the prosperity of Israel and the appearing of the Messiah; and his prophecies had been handed down by tradition from century to century. But in the Old Testament the Saviour's advent was more clearly revealed. The magi learned with joy that His coming was near, and that the whole world was to be filled with a knowledge of the glory of 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}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2016, 07:27:50 AM »
......Such was the Saviour's reception when He came to the earth. There seemed to be no place of rest or safety for the infant Redeemer. God could not trust His beloved Son with men, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation. He commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save.
How can human minds comprehend such love! It's a mystery beyond my imagination or understanding.
Just as mysterious to me is the fact that God's people whom He trusted so much information and blessings to were/are so blind.
Father in heaven; in the name of Jesus, please open our eyes to the messages you have for us in these writings. Many times we read but do not see. May we search with all our hearts so that you can add to our understanding. Not just for knowledge but for your service in vindicating your character and saving souls for Your kingdom. Put a hunger and thirst within our hearts to know you as you want us to know you. Amen
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2016, 07:41:28 AM »
Amen, Sister Dorine.  Can we imagine the heart of our heavenly Father as He allowed His Son to come to this dark spot in the universe where Satan claimed dominion. He allowed Him to come as a baby subject to the weakness of humanity to fight the battle of life as we must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss! Such love!!! O that we might better understand this great love!
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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2016, 06:47:35 AM »
I was blessed this morning to see how God loves us so much, and how to get the truth out about Jesus, He always has ways!

Now pride and envy closed the door against the light. If the reports brought by the shepherds and the wise men were credited, they would place the priests and rabbis in a most unenviable position, disproving their claim to be the exponents of the truth of God. These learned teachers would not stoop to be instructed by those whom they termed heathen. It could not be, they said, that God had passed them by, to communicate with ignorant shepherds or uncircumcised Gentiles. They determined to show their contempt for the reports that were exciting King Herod and all Jerusalem. They would not even go to Bethlehem to see whether these things were so. And they led the people to regard the interest in Jesus as a fanatical excitement. Here began the rejection of Christ by the priests and rabbis. From this point their pride and stubbornness grew into a settled hatred of the Saviour. While God was opening the door to the Gentiles, the Jewish leaders were closing the door to themselves. {DA 62.5}

Profession is not enough--we need a continual openness to the light of heaven as God sends it. The truth as it is in Jesus--beheld, transforming us, and making us like Jesus--this is our constant need!!
"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}