Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness  (Read 24688 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2017, 06:49:46 AM »
Amen, cp. Let us be about the work which God has called us each to do. We continue to pray for those who you have been planting Seed with.  Join with us as we read from this most beautiful revelation of Christ.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2018, 02:47:31 AM »
I love how in our early years character is being established. I am so thankful for a praying, Christian mother, and for how I had the privilege of being homeschooled and getting to learn precious lessons of the Bible from my early years. As I reflect on the experience of John the Baptist, I am thankful that in early years a victorious Christian experience can be established that will bear a rich harvest both in this life, and in the life to come!

"In the time of John the Baptist, greed for riches, and the love of luxury and display had become widespread. Sensuous pleasures, feasting and drinking, were causing physical disease and degeneracy, benumbing the spiritual perceptions, and lessening the sensibility to sin. John was to stand as a reformer. By his abstemious life and plain dress he was to rebuke the excesses of his time. Hence the directions given to the parents of John,--a lesson of temperance by an angel from the throne of heaven." {The Desire of Ages, page 100, paragraph 5}
     "In childhood and youth the character is most impressible. The power of self-control should then be acquired. By the fireside and at the family board influences are exerted whose results are as enduring as eternity. More than any natural endowment, the habits established in early years decide whether a man will be victorious or vanquished in the battle of life. Youth is the sowing time. It determines the character of the harvest, for this life and for the life to come." {The Desire of Ages, page 101, paragraph 1}

I choose to be victorious in the Christian life, to continue to build upon the good constitution and habits God helped me to form in my early years, and to allow the Holy Spirit to remove from my life any habits that are not going to transfer to the higher school of the courts above. Remember that in all you do, you are forming character. Let us look continually to Jesus, as did John the Baptist, for by beholding Jesus' loveliness, we shall be changed into His image, and shall be enabled in some degree--more fully each day--to go forth to bless others with the shedding forth of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives without one missing as we continually learn more of the beauty and perfection of the law of God that is our delight to obey in 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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2018, 07:12:44 AM »
"The message that God had given him (John) to bear was designed to startle them from their lethargy, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. Before the seed of the gospel could find lodgment, the soil of the heart must be broken up. Before they would seek healing from Jesus, they must be awakened to their danger from the wounds of sin.
     God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, "What must I do to be saved?" Then the hand that has humbled in the dust, lifts up the penitent. The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, "What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?"


We desperately need more John the Baptists to arise. We are asleep and comfortable in our sins. Not just comfortable but blatantly proud of our 'smartness' Almost everyday I am shocked at the happenings among our people around me locally. It is happening so fast.  The only positive thing it does for me is to bring me to my knees, searching and pleading with God to purge any such evil that I may be blind to in my life.  The devil tempts me with feelings towards others that are not in harmony with the Spirit of God. That's where spending time with Jesus dispels those thoughts and helps me see others through His eyes.

The humbling God does is not out of impatience or retaliation but a deep yearning to save us.

"Then the hand that has humbled in the dust, lifts up the penitent. The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, "What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?" 

What a wonderful Saviour. I want to be just like Him. My morning song means even more to me this morning....

Search me O God, and know my heart today,
Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts, I pray;
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.
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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2018, 08:23:02 AM »
Amen dear sister. But, there are not many like you. To the contrary, most would rather not hear of their sins, nor the sins of the church. Better to just talk about love. John did not take into consideration the fact that the message to repent would be rejected by many. It was what God had put on his heart. While many, especially in church leadership, hated the message John preached, there were many others interested in truth and came to be baptized.

What is the message we are to give today in the church? It is the same as John was given.

     God had called the son of Zacharias to a great work, the greatest ever committed to men. In order to accomplish this work, he must have the Lord to work with him. And the Spirit of God would be with him if he heeded the instruction of the angel.
     John was to go forth as Jehovah's messenger, to bring to men the light of God. He must give a new direction to their thoughts. He must impress them with the holiness of God's requirements, and their need of His perfect righteousness. Such a messenger must be holy. He must be a temple for the indwelling Spirit of God. In order to fulfill his mission, he must have a sound physical constitution, and mental and spiritual strength. Therefore it would be necessary for him to control the appetites and passions. He must be able so to control all his powers that he could stand among men as unmoved by surrounding circumstances as the rocks and mountains of the wilderness.
     In the time of John the Baptist, greed for riches, and the love of luxury and display had become widespread. Sensuous pleasures, feasting and drinking, were causing physical disease and degeneracy, benumbing the spiritual perceptions, and lessening the sensibility to sin. John was to stand as a reformer. By his abstemious life and plain dress he was to rebuke the excesses of his time. Hence the directions given to the parents of John,--a lesson of temperance by an angel from the throne of heaven......
     As a prophet, John was "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." In preparing the way for Christ's first advent, he was a representative of those who are to prepare a people for our Lord's second coming. The world is given to self-indulgence. Errors and fables abound. Satan's snares for destroying souls are multiplied. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God's word. For this reason temperance finds its place in the work of preparation for Christ's second coming. 


The message has been more refined than John's, and tells those who need to repent, what to do. From the Book of Revelation:

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 


This message has been given to the church in the past, but met with failure. It did not bring about a church wide revival and reformation, but when it is given today, it will.

The message to the Laodiceans has not accomplished that zealous repentance among God’s people which I expected to see, and my perplexity of mind has been great. Disease seemed to make continual progress upon me, and I thought that I must lie down in the grave. I had no desire to live, therefore I could not take hold of faith and pray for my recovery. Often when I retired to rest at night I realized that I was in danger of losing my breath before morning. In this state I fainted at midnight. Brethren Andrews and Loughborough were sent for, and earnest petitions were offered to God in my behalf. The depression, the heavy weight, was lifted from my aching heart, and I was taken off in vision, and shown the things which I now present before you. 

I saw that Satan had been trying to drive me to discouragement and despair, to make me desire death rather than life. I was shown that it was not God’s will that I should now cease from the work and lie down in the grave; for then the enemies of our faith would triumph, and the hearts of God’s children would be made sad. I saw that I should often feel anguish of spirit, and should suffer much; yet I had the promise that those around me would encourage and help me, that my courage and strength might not fail while I was so fiercely buffeted by the devil.
 
I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God’s people at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts. But God has given the message time to do its work. The heart must be purified from sins which have so long shut out Jesus. This fearful message will do its work. When it was first presented, it led to close examination of heart. Sins were confessed, and the people of God were stirred everywhere. Nearly all believed that this message would end in the loud cry of the third angel. But as they failed to see the powerful work accomplished in a short time, many lost the effect of the message. I saw that this message would not accomplish its work in a few short months. It is designed to arouse the people of God, to discover to them their backslidings, and to lead to zealous repentance, that they may be favored with the presence of Jesus, and be fitted for the loud cry of the third angel. As this message affected the heart, it led to deep humility before God. Angels were sent in every direction to prepare unbelieving hearts for the truth. The cause of God began to rise, and His people were acquainted with their position. If the counsel of the True Witness had been fully heeded, God would have wrought for His people in greater power. Yet the efforts made since the message has been given, have been blessed of God, and many souls have been brought from error and darkness to rejoice in the truth.

God will prove His people. Jesus bears patiently with them, and does not spew them out of His mouth in a moment. Said the angel: “God is weighing His people.” If the message had been of as short duration as many of us supposed, there would have been no time for them to develop character. Many moved from feeling, not from principle and faith, and this solemn, fearful message stirred them. It wrought upon their feelings, and excited their fears, but did not accomplish the work which God designed that it should. God reads the heart. Lest His people should be deceived in regard to themselves, He gives them time for the excitement to wear off, and then proves them to see if they will obey the counsel of the True Witness.

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: “God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.” Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus.

Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: “They are joined to their idols, let them alone,” and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. Vol 1, Testimonies for the Church, pg 187.



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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2018, 09:04:37 AM »

I choose to be victorious in the Christian life, to continue to build upon the good constitution and habits God helped me to form in my early years, and to allow the Holy Spirit to remove from my life any habits that are not going to transfer to the higher school of the courts above. Remember that in all you do, you are forming character. Let us look continually to Jesus, as did John the Baptist, for by beholding Jesus' loveliness, we shall be changed into His image, and shall be enabled in some degree--more fully each day--to go forth to bless others with the shedding forth of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives without one missing as we continually learn more of the beauty and perfection of the law of God that is our delight to obey in Christ!

Amen, Pastor Sean! Many do not realize how much our habits have to do with our physical and mental health. The light that God has given to His people through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy is such a great blessing to all who take heed. We are to be His witnesses in this world which is soon to perish.
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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2018, 05:17:52 AM »
"And now also," said the prophet, "the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God's law, they were not His people.         

 All who became the subjects of Christ's kingdom, he said, would give evidence of faith and repentance. Kindness, honesty, and fidelity would be seen in their lives. They would minister to the needy, and bring their offerings to God. They would shield the defenseless, and give an example of virtue and compassion. So the followers of Christ will give evidence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. In the daily life, justice, mercy, and the love of God will be seen. Otherwise they are like the chaff that is given to the fire.


These are serious thoughts to ponder. I want to be a faithful tree that is laden with a bountiful supply of fruit for Jesus. His requirements are so plain and if we are struggling with any of them He has promised to provide that which we lack if we will just surrender and allow Him to work in our lives.  I am reminded again of a Saviour that shows His deep love for us through both His mercy and His justice.
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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2018, 06:52:39 AM »
Amen, Dorine! Solemn lessons cause us to look to the Savior's grace and power to restore us to His moral image!

We have no power--of ourselves--to do any good thing. This is no excuse for sin. Rather, it is to cause us to see our need of a Savior, who will impute and impart His righteousness to us, so we can be enabled through living faith in Him to do what God calls us to do--that which, of ourselves, is impossible. When we know God as it is our privilege to truly know Him, His life of obedience is wrought out in us. God's part is infinitely great--He has all the power in the universe to save us--but our part--the yielding of the will to Him--is essential if His power is to be wrought in us. Spiritual life is the evidence that Christ lives in us, and I am thankful for how much God loves us, so that He can transform our character, and manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit in and through us!

"The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham, and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget. In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness."  {The Desire of Ages, page 98, paragraph 3}
"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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2018, 07:11:32 AM »
Amen, Sister Dorine and Pastor Sean!  These are serious thoughts that many have misunderstood or rejected. The requirements to enter heaven are not hard to understand. We must be changed, transformed in character before we are safe to enter heaven. The road is narrow and steep, but all may attain to this perfection of character.

 As a prophet, John was "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." In preparing the way for Christ's first advent, he was a representative of those who are to prepare a people for our Lord's second coming. The world is given to self-indulgence. Errors and fables abound. Satan's snares for destroying souls are multiplied. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God's word. For this reason temperance finds its place in the work of preparation for Christ's second coming.


In and of ourselves we cannot obtain this self-control over the flesh. We must have Jesus abiding in the heart to do so. And this we have been promised if we will learn of Him who gave all that we might live. "It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness."

What a blessing to see Sister Ann's post yesterday!
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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2018, 03:02:34 AM »
Jesus is coming again very soon! Before He returns, He prepares a people who reveal His character (all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in their lives, not one is missing, as they gladly obey all the light they know and understand of God's law), and who, like John the Baptist, prepare the way before Him. We are called to a worldwide proclamation of the coming of Jesus, whereas John was to announce the message to Israel to prepare for the Messiah. We will either be changed from glory to glory, from character to character at this time by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, and thus be prepared for the full revelation at His second coming, or, if we are continuing in sin, we are preparing a character that will be destroyed when Jesus returns. "The light of the glory of God, which imparts life to the righteous, will slay the wicked." {The Desire of Ages, page 108, paragraph 0} We are given freedom of will to choose whom we will serve, and what our experience will be when Jesus returns in power and great glory. Are you willing to be made willing? I choose Jesus, and I pray you will too!

"In the time of John the Baptist, Christ was about to appear as the revealer of the character of God. His very presence would make manifest to men their sin. Only as they were willing to be purged from sin could they enter into fellowship with Him. Only the pure in heart could abide in His presence." {The Desire of Ages, page 108, paragraph 1}

Jesus is willing to transform all who come unto Him in their weakness, sinfulness, and helplessness. When we acknowledge our continual need of Jesus to abide in the heart to make and keep it pure, there is no limit to what He can do in and through us! Let Him live out His life in you as you cooperate with 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}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2018, 12:40:19 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  The love of Jesus will soften, subdue, and save the sinner if he will allow this grace into his heart. As we continue to study the inspired Word, we shall learn better how to lead sinners to Christ. In today's lesson we have a great truth revealed that will correct error that has come into the church.

Love, love, love is said to be the cure. This is true. We are saved by grace. But, what of Jude?

 1:21   Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 
 1:22   And of some have compassion, making a difference: 
 1:23   And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 
 1:24   Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 
 1:25   To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen. 


Amen! What is this being saved by "fear"?  Fear cannot save, it is grace that saves. John understood what was necessary in some cases. He did not let the sinner live in peace unaware of what was coming if he rejected God's mercy. Love, love, love has been used to keep sinners deceived. God's love will not save any who do not allow it into their hearts. Selfish love is not the love that saves. Self must die and we must be transformed into saints that truly love the unrepentant sinner, the ones who hurt us.

How does John go about reaching those who believed they were rich and increased with goods?

    He saw his people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins. He longed to rouse them to a holier life. The message that God had given him to bear was designed to startle them from their lethargy, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. Before the seed of the gospel could find lodgment, the soil of the heart must be broken up. Before they would seek healing from Jesus, they must be awakened to their danger from the wounds of sin.
     God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, "What must I do to be saved?" Then the hand that has humbled in the dust, lifts up the penitent. The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, "What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?"   


God is the same today as He was then. So we see that there is need at times to awaken the sleeping sinner with a message that will startle the soul. But, it must be given in love for the sinner. Thus the saint is seen to be different from the Pharisee.

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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2018, 04:46:19 AM »
Has God so arranged circumstances in your life that you have a lot of quiet time to be with Him, to hear His voice, to know His character, and to be prepared for His soon return? If so, learn the lessons in the solitude He gives you, and from time to time go forth to mingle with people following Christ's method of healing, teaching and preaching the good news! But maybe you find yourself living in a very busy, crowded area. Maybe there is no quiet place or time for you to find with God. Then God invites you to pray that He will open the way for you to have that quiet time with Him. The counsel to move out of the cities has been true for over 100 years; the call to give the gospel to the cities has also been sounding for over 100 years. So how do we blend and harmonize these statements? The cities are to be worked from outposts, but not by having God's people dwell in the midst of the noise, sin and vice. We need to individually seek the Lord to know His will, so we can go forth with a holy character (through Christ's righteousness that we receive as an actual experience--pardon for sin by His blood and the imbuing of our lives with all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing as we joyfully obey every ray of light He has revealed to us from His law). John the Baptist's life and character is set forth as an example of what God's people will be in the days just before Jesus comes. Let us cherish and practice the light, that others may be inspired to follow where Christ leads the way, for Jesus is coming very very soon!!

"It was a lonely region where he found his home, in the midst of barren hills, wild ravines, and rocky caves. But it was his choice to forgo the enjoyments and luxuries of life for the stern discipline of the wilderness. Here his surroundings were favorable to habits of simplicity and self-denial. Uninterrupted by the clamor of the world, he could here study the lessons of nature, of revelation, and of Providence. The words of the angel to Zacharias had been often repeated to John by his God-fearing parents. From childhood his mission had been kept before him, and he had accepted the holy trust. To him the solitude of the desert was a welcome escape from society in which suspicion, unbelief, and impurity had become well-nigh all-pervading. He distrusted his own power to withstand temptation, and shrank from constant contact with sin, lest he should lose the sense of its exceeding sinfulness." {The Desire of Ages, page 101, paragraph 4}

As we each form character every day by the thoughts we allow in our minds, the feelings we encourage, and the choices we make, let us learn of Christ in such humility and that we find in Him everything we need. John's choice to forgo life's enjoyments and luxuries is also a beautiful witness to us of how much more highly he valued his mission than anything else in this world. To a higher mission and a more significant time you and I find ourselves on the stage of action. We are living in a time more degenerate, more sinful, and more in need of a revelation of the character of Christ, at a time when every decision being made is to be settled for eternity. After John the Baptist died, there were still some who may have initially rejected his message who came to repentance at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. But once God sends the final latter rain and loud cry message, once the fruition of His character is manifest in His people, every decision that is made for or against Christ will be irreversible. The seven last plagues are about to poured out on this sinful world as a manifestation of His wrath against sin--and that will happen before Jesus comes. We are deeply in need of repentance. Spending time with Jesus this morning keenly awakened me anew to how much I need to grow in Him, to receive and cooperate with the gift of zealous repentance.

Jesus is waiting patiently for us to reveal His character, for a continual cooperation with Him so we are living with the earnestness and zeal that is appropriate in the time in which we live. Jesus has been ministering as our High Priest in heaven since He ascended in AD 31, but since 1844, He has been doing His final work of judgement in the Most Holy Place, as the prophetic period brought to view in Daniel 8:14 reveals. We are living in that time of judgment, when the life case of every one who has ever professed Jesus as Lord and Savior is brought to view as to whether their lives were/are in harmony with the truth they professed to believe. Only by grace are we saved through faith, but if we are not saved, it is because we have rejected the grace that was able to save us and give us, in Christ, victory over sin in our lives. Many have professed to accept Christ, but have been unwilling to overcome the sins that so easily beset them. These will we weighed in the balances and found wanting. The truths that cluster in the work of the sanctuary show us how God removes sin from the sinner and cleanses the universe from the reproach it has brought upon His character and government. The cross of Calvary was the fulfillment of the work of the Savior/Sacrifice in shedding His blood to save us, but now He is applying the benefits of His blood to utterly remove even the record of the forgiven sins of His repentant, overcoming people. When you and I are in heaven, there will be no remembrance of the sins we once committed, because they will have been blotted from existence!

When we truly understand how clearly the plan of salvation reveals the steps in conversion, we will ever want to reveal the faith of Jesus which is manifest in the keeping of all of the commandments of God, including the fourth commandment relating to the seventh day Sabbath. Jesus is coming soon, but the message He sent to prepare us for His coming is to do its faithful work. I choose to cooperate with Christ, and learn of Him to be ready. How about you?
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #51 on: December 11, 2018, 05:49:04 AM »
But as John saw the people turning to him, he sought every opportunity of directing their faith to Him who was to come.

For many popularity would have been a huge temptation, yet John wasn't looking to himself he was looking at Christ so that is who he pointed people to. I pray that we all follow this example.
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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #52 on: December 11, 2018, 11:32:44 AM »
Amen Jim. God has teachers. They point the world and the church to Jesus Christ, not the arm of flesh.

I have been sick. Visited with some friends after church and noticed a little cough. By the time I got to bed I realized I had picked up something and by morning I had a fever. Forgot what it is like to be sick. :)   It is not fun. It also reminded me that we are not where we ought to be. God would have in our churches men and women who practice medical ministry. After many years of using natural remedies, I long for the day when we can find those who know how to care for the sick God's way.

This morning I moved past the most exciting part of the chapter to share something that Pastor Sean touched on.


When we truly understand how clearly the plan of salvation reveals the steps in conversion, we will ever want to reveal the faith of Jesus which is manifest in the keeping of all of the commandments of God...

     The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham, and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget. In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness. 


No, we would not forget that we are incapable of doing any good thing, or would we?  In today's reading we find the steps to conversion. How is it that we learn that we can do no good thing in and of ourselves? Jesus tells us that we need to be born again. Don't we know that we inherit a fallen nature from Adam and must be converted, born of the Spirit?

Does fire and brimstone have a part in conversion? Once we see what is in store for the unrepentant sinner, and we see we are sinners and cannot do any good thing (Romans 7)then we look for a Savior. John understood this and his message startled the Laodiceans.

    He saw his people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins. He longed to rouse them to a holier life. The message that God had given him to bear was designed to startle them from their lethargy, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. Before the seed of the gospel could find lodgment, the soil of the heart must be broken up. Before they would seek healing from Jesus, they must be awakened to their danger from the wounds of sin.
     God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, "What must I do to be saved?" Then the hand that has humbled in the dust, lifts up the penitent. The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, "What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?"   


The Laodicean must be awakened to his lost condition. Fire and brimstone has not disappeared from Scripture. The fires of hell do not burn for eternity, but they do burn until every sin is vanquished. Deceptions have come into the church allowing our people to think themselves rich and increased with goods, but not knowing they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Some will be saved by love, others will need fire and brimstone first. "And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 22,23. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2019, 08:05:05 PM »
"To sin, wherever found, “our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29. In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. Jacob, after his night of wrestling with the Angel, exclaimed, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32:30. Jacob had been guilty of a great sin in his conduct toward Esau; but he had repented. His transgression had been forgiven, and his sin purged; therefore he could endure the revelation of God’s presence. But wherever men came before God while willfully cherishing evil, they were destroyed. At the second advent of Christ the wicked shall be consumed “with the Spirit of His mouth,” and destroyed “with the brightness of His coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8. The light of the glory of God, which imparts life to the righteous, will slay the wicked. {DA 107.4}"

As I read this chapter once again I felt a strong impression by the Holy Spirit asking me....Beacon, " You love to sing that song " All to Jesus I Surrender...All to Him I freely give..., but then as I listened to that still small voice, I started to realize that there was a need for a deeper, much deeper surrender, more purging was needed! A huge wave filled with the tender love of Jesus flowed through my mind as more things came to my attention and I looked deeper and deeper into my personal life. Then my prayer became more honest and I thanked Jesus for being so patient with me. My prayer became...Take my life and let it be fully consecrated Lord to Thee "

"In the time of John the Baptist, Christ was about to appear as the revealer of the character of God. His very presence would make manifest to men their sin. Only as they were willing to be purged from sin could they enter into fellowship with Him. Only the pure in heart could abide in His presence. {DA 108.1}"


I want to encourage you to join with me and pray this prayer...." Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God;and renew a right spirit within me.Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.Ps. 51:9-11 Only then when we fully surrender to Jesus and be forgiven and be covered with His Righteousness will we be ready to witness for Him and be ready to meet Him.
Look up and listen for the shout.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2019, 07:48:27 AM »
Amen Beacon!  Many think because they are in God's church, they are God's people. But, in today's reading we discover this is not true unless they reflect the character of Christ. Now, this presents a serious problem for many teachers in God's church, does it not?
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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2019, 09:35:53 AM »
"He (John) looked upon the King in His beauty, and self was forgotten. He beheld the majesty of holiness, and felt himself to be inefficient and unworthy. He was ready to go forth as Heaven's messenger, unawed by the human, because he had looked upon the Divine."

This will be our experience also. As we read about the life of Jesus and dwell upon each point we will see Him in all His glory and we will see our sinful natures as they really are. Unworthy though we are, He in His great love for each one has given His life to rescue us from sin. We then realize that love does cast out all  fear. Our strength is in Jesus. "He could stand erect and fearless in the presence of earthly monarchs, because he had bowed low before the King of kings."
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--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2019, 10:23:00 AM »
Amen, Beacon, Richard, and Dorine!

The problem you mentioned, Richard, invites those who are teachers to point people to the inspired source of truth--the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy--so that their character (and those who receive their message) will reveal Christ, helping souls to overcome the errors of false gospels that distort the power of grace to make men and women holy instruments of righteousness. John the Baptist's life bears witness of the power of grace to cleanse and transform character making sinners into saints who live by God's word!

Let us truly believe what God says to us and express faith no matter how impossible of fulfillment what He says may seem. God's word is self-fulfilling, and He loves it when we trust God and thank Him for what He promises! We glorify God by abiding in Christ through a full-heart surrender so His word is fulfilled in us!

"Zacharias well knew how to Abraham in his old age a child was given because he believed Him faithful who had promised. But for a moment the aged priest turns his thought to the weakness of humanity. He forgets that what God has promised, He is able to perform. What a contrast between this unbelief and the sweet, childlike faith of Mary, the maiden of Nazareth, whose answer to the angel's wonderful announcement was, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word'! Luke 1:38." {The Desire of Ages, page 98, paragraph 2}

What a joy God's word brings to us!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Beacon

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2019, 09:48:26 AM »
"In the time of John the Baptist, greed for riches, and the love of luxury and display had become widespread. Sensuous pleasures, feasting and drinking, were causing physical disease and degeneracy, benumbing the spiritual perceptions, and lessening the sensibility to sin. John was to stand as a reformer. By his abstemious life and plain dress he was to rebuke the excesses of his time."

Today God has blessed His end time church with messages of Love- Warnings & Rebukes through His chosen messenger Ellen G. White. Our probationary time is fast closing as Jesus prepares to return for those who have listened to these messages and laid their live open to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Sadly we are told that the number of those ready to meet Jesus may be as low as 1 in 20 that now claim to be members in good standing in the Seventh-day Adventist church.

"As a chosen messenger of God, John was "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." In preparing the way for Christ's first advent, he was a representative of those who are to prepare a people for our Lord's second coming. The world is given to self-indulgence. Errors and fables abound. Satan's snares for destroying souls are multiplied. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God's word. For this reason temperance finds its place in the work of preparation for Christ's second coming."

God's call to us today is the same as recorded in...Ezekiel 18:31 "Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" and "Ezekiel 33:11"  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Jesus has done all He can do to save us...In Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me"[/u]
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What will be our response today while the door of mercy is still open? The devil wants us to believe that we have plenty of time left to come to Jesus but as we listen to the news of the world and see the sad state of the church, we know that this is a lie---Satan wants us to wait until our probation closes and it's too late. Please don't delay, come today and Praise Jesus for the great plan of salvation, surrender all to Him and He will forgive you and by the  power His transforming grace prepare you for full membership as a citizen of Heaven and the New Earth[/b].
Look up and listen for the shout.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--10--The Voice in the Wilderness
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2019, 03:54:46 AM »
Amen, Brother Beacon!

May we learn of our continual need of Jesus to do any good thing, and like in the miracle of the birth of John the Baptist to the aged couple Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth, may we realize that God will fulfill His word in all who humbly submit to His grace and power to do the work! We are incapable of doing any good thing apart from Christ, but He is willing to transform us by divine grace, renew our hearts and minds to be filled with all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, and enable us to walk in holiness before Him. Let us respond to the great love He has for us and cooperate with His earnest desire to prepare us for His coming!

"The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham, and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget. In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness." {The Desire of Ages, page 98, paragraph 3}

As we learn of Christ today in humility and learn to be still and know that He is God, we can rejoice in the evidence of His power that throughout the Bible are testimonies of God using weak, erring people because His grace can transform any of us--if we will but surrender all to Him--so He can fulfill His good purpose! Let us trust Christ fully 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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!
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 01:07:52 PM »
Amen Brother Beacon and Pastor Sean! It was these two thoughts that impressed me this morning also.

Zacharias had been praying for the coming of coming of Christ, for he knew the time was right. How did he know this, and what has that to do with us today? Daniel had prophesied the time, and Zacharias knew the interpretation of Daniel's prophecy. So it is today. We do not know the time nor the hour, but we have been given great light that tells us the time is very near. Are we praying as did Zacharias?

  To the question of Zacharias, the angel said, "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings." Five hundred years before, Gabriel had made known to Daniel the prophetic period which was to extend to the coming of Christ. The knowledge that the end of this period was near had moved Zacharias to pray for the Messiah's advent. Now the very messenger through whom the prophecy was given had come to announce its fulfillment. 

That very same angel is somewhere speaking to someone today. Is that someone you?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.