Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star  (Read 17216 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2016, 08:00:13 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  How very sad that the ones who had been entrusted with the sacred oracles of God would not rejoice at the coming of their King. As I was studying today's lesson, a particular thought continued to come to mind. What was it that the priests and rulers were resisting? And what was it that the magi were following? And what was the condition of the rulers hearts, and what was the condition of the magi's hearts? What do we see the results to be?  Do we know if the magi were converted? Why did the magi bring gifts? When finding the new born King, what was the motive for giving the gifts?

As we read through today's chapter, we find the answers to each of these questions.  And, they relate directly to what Pastor Sean has concluded. It is an important truth that we behold as we read: "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." This we will do if our hearts are fully given to Him. This is the result of a true conversion.
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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2016, 11:58:45 AM »
I have many favorite chapters in the Desire of Ages and this is one of them. Here is something that always encourages me.

  "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.

We as a people, probably not on purpose, have a tendency sometimes to think that the Lord doesn't work with those outside of our denomination much less the "heathen". Reminds me of how the religious leaders were acting in this chapter. However, look at these supposedly heathen men. It says here that they gave their hearts to Him! He who was only a baby at the time. If you were there can you imagine yourself giving your heart to a baby. Especially one born in such unfavorable circumstances. Only by the guidance of the Spirit were these men able to do such a thing. Then with grateful hearts they gave the best they had.

By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2017, 05:40:17 AM »
I love this chapter, and how Jesus is revealed at work in the lives of the magi. They had responded to the Holy Spirit's prompting to come and worship Jesus from a faraway land. They really believed that a King had been born, and they offered gifts that were appropriate for the King! What a privilege we have--even more than they did--to have the accumulated light of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to be able to see Jesus in all His loveliness, and to offer Him our hearts, our lives, our talents--all that we have and our is His, but we get to surrender and experience the joy of divine cooperation of Him working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure!

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. 

There is no compulsion in the religion of Christ. We give because He gave first. We love because He loved first. Our gifts, our love, will not equal the pattern, but they are to be in the same spirit--the spirit of self-sacrificing love that led our Father to give His Son, and took the risk of sending Him to our world.

Early this morning the Holy Spirit put the thought from chapter 13 of The Desire of Ages in my mind:

Never can the cost of our redemption be realized until the redeemed shall stand with the Redeemer before the throne of God. Then as the glories of the eternal home burst upon our enraptured senses we shall remember that Jesus left all this for us, that He not only became an exile from the heavenly courts, but for us took the risk of failure and eternal loss. Then we shall cast our crowns at His feet, and raise the song, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." Rev. 5:12. {DA 131.2}

Some time ago the Lord helped me to put the paragraph into song, and as I meditated upon it, it caused me to realize that whatever we can do for Christ (as He works in us by His Spirit) still does not compare to how great a gift we have received in Jesus, and the fact that we will not be able to fully grasp the risk that was taken for us--the cost of our redemption--until we are with Him before the throne. Marvel and wonder! The magi's gift was fitting, for it was their best! Let us give our best to the Master today! Only by beholding Him are we changed to see and appreciate the great gift given us in Jesus!
"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 #23 on: January 10, 2017, 07:11:00 AM »
I love this chapter, and how Jesus is revealed at work in the lives of the magi. They had responded to the Holy Spirit's prompting to come and worship Jesus from a faraway land. They really believed that a King had been born, and they offered gifts that were appropriate for the King! What a privilege we have--even more than they did--to have the accumulated light of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to be able to see Jesus in all His loveliness, and to offer Him our hearts, our lives, our talents--all that we have and our is His, but we get to surrender and experience the joy of divine cooperation of Him working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure!

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. 

Amen, Pastor Sean!  How much have we been given!!  Our knowledge of God is so much greater. Yet, we do not value it as we should. The privilege we have been given!! It is ours to see the King come in His glory. He would have come long ago if we had done that which was entrusted to us. Here is the truth.

He will come soon! God is pouring out His Spirit upon His church. Not all want to hear it, nor receive it, but for the ones who will serve God as did the Magi, with all of the heart, He will work through you just as surely as He worked through the Magi. The Holy Spirit is roaming the earth seeking whom He can use. There is a shortage. The harvest field is white, let us pray that the Lord will send more workers into His vineyard in this the eleventh hour.
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 #24 on: April 07, 2017, 06:48:10 AM »
What a precious revelation of the humble glory of Jesus is seen in this chapter! Even in His manger resting place, His divinity was discerned by those whose hearts were open to the Holy Spirit's leading:

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.


As we behold Jesus who came to this world in the humblest way, let us remember that His Divinity was with Him in His entire sojourn on earth--though it was veiled so we could behold Him and not be destroyed by His presence. I am so thankful for Jesus who has come to take up residence in another manger so to speak--He comes to live in our hearts! Our lives may seem a tangle, and we may feel unworthy for Him to come to us, but He does not ask us to make our lives better before we accept Him. We must come to Him and invite Him in just as we are, and He will work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, giving us a pure heart and mind, as He imparts all of the fruits of His Spirit to us--and not one will be missing! Then others will see that the divine nature is at work in us--for we have been with Jesus!!
"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 #25 on: April 07, 2017, 08:02:23 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  This ties in with this week's Sabbath School lesson. What was really a blessing was to see the author of our lesson not skip over 1 Peter 1:22. "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." Here is his statement.

What crucial point is he making here about what it means to be a Christian? Peter’s starting point is that Christians are already purified (“Seeing ye have purified . . .”), and are living in obedience to the truth (1 Pet. 1:22). The verb “purify” or “cleanse” is closely related to the words holy and holiness, which link back to what Peter wrote a few verses earlier (1 Pet. 1:15). Through their commitment to Jesus, and through their baptism (compare 1 Pet. 3:21, 22). Christians have purified themselves by setting themselves aside for God, and they do this by obeying the truth.

What a blessing!! Grace does have power. When we behold it and allow it into the heart, we are converted.....every day! It takes faith to believe what we read about our God. And this is what impressed me this morning.

     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.


So it is with all who give up self and follow Christ. We know not where we are going in this world, but by faith we know we are ultimately going to a better place. And, the promise of heaven is not the motivation for obeying Christ. It is His love that attracts us and keeps us. We are not only seeing prophecies being fulfilled, but we know in whom we trust and have an inward evidence of the Holy Spirit which continues to open our minds to the truth as it is in Jesus. What a blessing!! This is our prayer for all we have an experience with and even those whom we do not know, but who God has put upon our hearts. We are nearing the end. These last moments of this Earth's history is so very precious. Multitudes of souls will be rescued from perdition. Let us not waste a moment of time.
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 #26 on: July 03, 2017, 05:18:28 AM »
Again, I was impressed with this truth:

     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.


So it will be with all who welcome the truth sent from heaven. Do we really appreciate the truth that condemns? The truth that reveals the love of God, the grace that transforms and saves? If we do, God will pour out more light that we might be witnesses of His love and power.
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 #27 on: July 03, 2017, 05:24:31 AM »
Amen, Richard! Greater light will shine upon the hearts that accept it with gladness!

I love how this chapter reveals the way the Holy Spirit was leading the wise men from the east to come to worship Jesus. What strikes me today is something I don't know I had ever seen before--the angels led the wise men to the professed expositors of truth in Jerusalem, not bypassing the organized faith of Israel, but when the light was not cherished by the leaders, God still led the wise men to see Jesus in Bethlehem.

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 angels led them to Jerusalem. God wanted the light to be accepted there, but when human agencies fail, He still leads those who are receptive onward by supernatural means (an angelic convoy) if necessary:

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.


We are in the last days of earth's history. This story is repeating in the lives of many who have only a faint knowledge of who Jesus is. Many Muslims are turning to seek for greater light and want to know the truth of the Messiah. We have an opportunity to reveal Jesus to them in our characters, to be able to open to them the truths of Scripture, and to help them to see that God does have a "people of the book" who love Jesus and want to see Him come soon. Will you let God use you as His witness today? We can be a blessing wherever we are if we have Jesus in our hearts, but without Him it is impossible to be a blessing to others, for only the love of Christ has the power to change hearts by the impartation of the Holy Spirit.
"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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2017, 05:00:37 AM »
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.

Even as a babe Christ was drawing men's hearts towards Him, their Savior. Yet, it's sad that it wasn't the church leaders of the day that recognized Jesus but "heathen" from a distant land. These so called heathen apparently even had their heart changed. One doesn't naturally give unselfishly extravagant gifts out of the "goodness" of his or her heart. They were humbled and grateful that the Savior had appeared and wanted and naturally demonstrated what was in their hearts with gifts. Not appease an angry God but show their gratitude.
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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2017, 06:48:21 AM »
Amen, Jim. There is a radical transformation of character when one loves God supremely. When that new birth has not been experienced, then man remains selfish. He may give good gifts, but the heart does so for selfish purposes. Herod was very nice to the magi when they first appeared, but in his heart was anger.

     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. 


As nice as he appeared, he was planning the death of Christ. He was a tool in the hand of Satan. So are all who have not fully surrendered to Christ. On the other hand "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."
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 #30 on: September 28, 2017, 12:49:32 PM »
Amen, Jim and Richard! When Jesus has the whole heart, He has all of us--all that we have and are is consecrated to Him because love begets love! To know God is to love Him, and yet we see how our world has treated Jesus. Our openness to receive Jesus brings Him joy, and thrills all heaven when we are gladly following His will because of the constraint of love!

Herod tried to kill Jesus, and the Jewish leaders would not even go to see where He was born. Christ was facing the wrath of the devil both through unregenerate leaders and unconsecrated religionists. So those who yield to Christ meet with the ire of Satan. We are not to fear, though, but rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory that Jesus is with us by His Spirit, and that the same angelic protection that He had we may also have through faith in Him!

"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 Desire of Ages, page 67, paragraph 2}



What love! What infinite condescension!
"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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2017, 07:37:24 AM »
I am so thankful that God sent His Son to be born for us, and that He sent the magi to go in search of Him. May we seek Jesus wholeheartedly and yield fully to Him, so that He can work in and through us today. The evidence that He is abiding in us is that all of the fruits of His Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing, and we will gladly give all we have and are to Him--for all has come from Him! We can appreciate the gifts of the magi and give our best to Jesus--most of all, He wants all of our hearts!

"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." {The Desire of Ages, page 60, paragraph 2} 
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2017, 10:09:43 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. I was also impressed with this truth this morning.

     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.


One does not have to be a Christian to be led by God. It is important that we understand that God gives dreams, presents signs in this world, has given us Scripture, and most important, that the third Person of the godhead, the Holy Spirit speaks to us through our minds. And, when we realize it is God that is leading us, what joy fills our hearts!!.

God wants us to recognized the "still small voice" that speaks to us.
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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2018, 05:28:50 AM »
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. 

I always enjoy this chapter. These wise men with a lot less to go on than the Jewish people follow a star for who knows how many countless miles to worship the King of the universe. These men who have only vague prophecies (compared to the Jews) follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and make aware the people of Jerusalem something that they should have already been celebrating. This goes to show us just what the Holy Spirit can do with people if they will allow themselves to be influenced by Him. May the Lord be leading in each of our own lives.
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--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2018, 06:08:03 AM »
Amen, Jim. I was impressed with the very same thought this morning.

     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. 


"They found none who seem to have a knowledge of the newborn king." Amazing! And they are met with contempt. So it is often today when we speak of His soon coming. But, when we study the Bible and hear that "still small voice" speaking to us, we know in whom we believe!    Jesus is coming soon! And, unlike Israel, God is going to bring revival and reformation to His church. We are not outside of the church, but we are within. Evidence that the revival and reformation has already begun.  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2018, 06:45:36 AM »
"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."

This is what pride and self-seeking will do to anyone who harbors it. Here we see the steps it takes until the heart is so hardened and full of hate that it is impossible for the love of God to penetrate.

What a contrast as you pointed out Jim in those whose hearts are yearning for truth. It's a breath of fresh air to read of the magi's experience compared to the stuffy, stale, loveless, and rigid condition of the priests and rulers.

Satan was relentless in his efforts to destroy Jesus from the first moment He entered this world. He failed in that plan so now he is seeing how many of God's people he can destroy hoping to prove God's commandments are impossible to keep. I'm so glad we know the end of the story. He will fail here too but not without taking many with him. We all have a choice to make.  I want no part of Satan's plan but to vindicate the character of God by a daily surrender of my life to Him.
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

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2018, 03:14:26 AM »
Many in our world are groping in error and darkness, but God has abundant light to shine upon us--no matter what our background--if we humbly open our hearts to His word and how it reveals the loveliness of Jesus to us! May we be like the wise men from the east who diligently sought for light--because they were responding to the work of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts. When they beheld Him, they discerned His divinity and surrendered their whole hearts to Him! We may also have an experience continually with Jesus as we day by day spend a "thoughtful hour" upon the life of Christ and appreciate all He is to us!

"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 Desire of Ages, page 59, paragraph 3}

Look to Jesus for a clearer revelation of Himself! He longs to impart more to us! More light and glory is being shed forth from each diligent search to know Him in whom our hope of eternal life is centered! A full surrender is the key to conversion, and the power of grace will make us new creatures bearing all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! We can enjoy the living connection with heaven that God intended for all humanity to enjoy, which sin interrupted, and which is restored through union and communion with Christ!   
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2018, 06:22:52 AM »
  "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."


My Jesus came to this hateful world to face the cruelty He did to save as many as would believe and follow Him. Such love I do not understand but I'm so thankful to Him for it. With each reading of this wonderful book I am experiencing a deeper understanding of what God has done and is doing for me. May our hearts be open to the Holy Spirit as we live for Him today.
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

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2018, 09:13:19 AM »
Amen, Sister Dorine! Love is awakened by love, and the more we behold the love of Christ, the more we are changed! As we meditate upon the life of Jesus, we can ever keep in mind that it was the Father who is suffering to see His beloved Son treated with such indifference and apathy. Have you ever given a gift to someone, only to have it unappreciated and unrecognized? The Father is suffering keenly in the early years of the life of Jesus. Jesus is too young as a little Child to comprehend how He is being rejected and misunderstood in His infancy, but the Father felt it all. How it must pierce our Father's heart to see the people whom He had chosen to carry the light of His glory to a fallen world so absorbed in their own ideas and interests that they would not even go to see if the birth of Jesus was so! I pray that my heart will not grieve our Father, but be ever open to receive what He came to give me in Christ--a new heart and mind renewed by the power of the blood of Jesus and the influence of the Holy Spirit who fills us with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing as long as we have a living surrender to Him in full faith!

"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 Desire of Ages, page 67, paragraph 2}

And all that the Father endured in seeing His son despised and rejected, all that Christ endured in coming to our world, and all that the Holy Spirit endures in seeking to awaken souls to see such love is because of God's character. The love of God is so great that it cannot be explained, but we can come to know it by a personal experience as we yield the whole heart to Him today!
"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 #39 on: September 11, 2018, 11:00:19 PM »
How very sad that the world and the church was attempting to put to death the Son  of God!! Imagine that our heavenly Father would allow His innocent Son  to come to this dark spot in the universe,   a helpless babe subject to the weakness of humanity at the risk  of losing Him for eternity!!

Is there a lesson for us to  learn  from  this? How could  those who were  God's chosen people  behave as did the priests? What was going on in their  minds?

     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.


So it is  today.  Those who believe they are "rich and increased with  goods" do not have the truth,  the simple truth that grace transforms sinners into saints. They are too proud to admit that "Gentiles" have been brought into the church and understand the simplicity of the gospel of grace. There are a  multitude  in the world who when they hear of the love of God, they will  learn of Him who gave all that guilty man may be saved. By beholding His character they will be cleansed from their selfish hearts and give testimony of the power of grace to empower the worst sinner to keep the commandments 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.