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R Myers

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The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« on: December 13, 2000, 05:00:00 AM »
"The Light of Life"


Listen to  "The Light of Life"

 






     "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." 
     When He spoke these words, Jesus was in the court of the temple specially connected with the services of the Feast of Tabernacles. In the center of this court rose two lofty standards, supporting lampstands of great size. After the evening sacrifice, all the lamps were kindled, shedding their light over Jerusalem. This ceremony was in commemoration of the pillar of light that guided Israel in the desert, and was also regarded as pointing to the coming of the Messiah. At evening when the lamps were lighted, the court was a scene of great rejoicing. Gray-haired men, the priests of the temple and the rulers of the people, united in the festive dances to the sound of instrumental music and the chants of the Levites. 
     In the illumination of Jerusalem, the people expressed their hope of the Messiah's coming to shed His light upon Israel. But to Jesus the scene had a wider meaning. As the radiant lamps of the temple lighted up all about them, so Christ, the source of spiritual light, illumines the darkness of the world. Yet the symbol was imperfect. That great light which His own hand had set in the heavens was a truer representation of the glory of His mission.
     It was morning; the sun had just risen above the Mount of Olives, and its rays fell with dazzling brightness on the marble palaces, and lighted up the gold of the temple walls, when Jesus, pointing to it, said, "I am the light of the world."
     By one who listened to these words, they were long afterward re-echoed in that sublime passage, "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not." "That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." John 1:4, 5, R. V., 9. And long after Jesus had ascended to heaven, Peter also, writing under the illumination of the divine Spirit, recalled the symbol Christ had used: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts." 2 Peter 1:19.
     In the manifestation of God to His people, light had ever been a symbol of His presence. At the creative word in the beginning, light had shone out of darkness. Light had been enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, leading the vast armies of Israel. Light blazed with awful grandeur about the Lord on Mount Sinai. Light rested over the mercy seat in the tabernacle. Light filled the temple of Solomon at its dedication. Light shone on the hills of Bethlehem when the angels brought the message of redemption to the watching shepherds.
     God is light; and in the words, "I am the light of the world," Christ declared His oneness with God, and His relation to the whole human family. It was He who at the beginning had caused "the light to shine out of darkness." 2 Corinthians 4:6. He is the light of sun and moon and star. He was the spiritual light that in symbol and type and prophecy had shone upon Israel. But not to the Jewish nation alone was the light given. As the sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon every soul. 
     "That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The world has had its great teachers, men of giant intellect and wonderful research, men whose utterances have stimulated thought, and opened to view vast fields of knowledge; and these men have been honored as guides and benefactors of their race. But there is One who stands higher than they. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." "No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." John 1:12, 18. We can trace the line of the world's great teachers as far back as human records extend; but the Light was before them. As the moon and the stars of the solar system shine by the reflected light of the sun, so, as far as their teaching is true, do the world's great thinkers reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Every gem of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the world. In these days we hear much about "higher education." The true "higher education" is that imparted by Him "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." Colossians 2:3; John 1:4. "He that followeth Me," said Jesus, "shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
     In the words, "I am the light of the world," Jesus declared Himself the Messiah. The aged Simeon, in the temple where Christ was now teaching, had spoken of Him as "a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." Luke 2:32. In these words he was applying to Him a prophecy familiar to all Israel. By the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Spirit had declared, "It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth." Isaiah 49:6, R. V. This prophecy was generally understood as spoken of the Messiah, and when Jesus said, "I am the light of the world," the people could not fail to recognize His claim to be the Promised One. 
     To the Pharisees and rulers this claim seemed an arrogant assumption. That a man like themselves should make such pretensions they could not tolerate. Seeming to ignore His words, they demanded, "Who art Thou?" They were bent upon forcing Him to declare Himself the Christ. His appearance and His work were so at variance with the expectations of the people, that, as His wily enemies believed, a direct announcement of Himself as the Messiah would cause Him to be rejected as an impostor.
     But to their question, "Who art Thou?" Jesus replied, "Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning." John 8:25, R.V. That which had been revealed in His words was revealed also in His character. He was the embodiment of the truths He taught. "I do nothing of Myself," He continued; "but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." He did not attempt to prove His Messianic claim, but showed His unity with God. If their minds had been open to God's love, they would have received Jesus.   
     Among His hearers many were drawn to Him in faith, and to them He said, "if ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 
     These words offended the Pharisees. The nation's long subjection to a foreign yoke, they disregarded, and angrily exclaimed, "We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free?" Jesus looked upon these men, the slaves of malice, whose thoughts were bent upon revenge, and sadly answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." They were in the worst kind of bondage,--ruled by the spirit of evil. 
     Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" sets us "free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2.
     In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God. 
     The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. "The truth shall make you free;" and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one's self,--to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is "the law of liberty." James 2:12. 
     The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. Jesus told them that this claim could be established only by doing the works of Abraham. The true children of Abraham would live, as he did, a life of obedience to God. They would not try to kill One who was speaking the truth that was given Him from God. In plotting against Christ, the rabbis were not doing the works of Abraham. A mere lineal descent from Abraham was of no value. Without a spiritual connection with him, which would be manifested in possessing the same spirit, and doing the same works, they were not his children.
     This principle bears with equal weight upon a question that has long agitated the Christian world,--the question of apostolic succession. Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles' spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession. This is what constitutes men the successors of the first teachers of the gospel.
     Jesus denied that the Jews were children of Abraham. He said, "Ye do the deeds of your father." In mockery they answered, "We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." These words, in allusion to the circumstances of His birth, were intended as a thrust against Christ in the presence of those who were beginning to believe on Him. Jesus gave no heed to the base insinuation, but said, "If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God."
     Their works testified of their relationship to him who was a liar and a murderer. "Ye are of your father the devil," said Jesus, "and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. . . . Because I say the truth, ye believe Me not." John 8:44, 45, R. V. The fact that Jesus spoke the truth, and that with certainty, was why He was not received by the Jewish leaders. It was the truth that offended these self-righteous men. The truth exposed the fallacy of error; it condemned their teaching and practice, and it was unwelcome. They would rather close their eyes to the truth than humble themselves to confess that they had been in error. They did not love the truth. They did not desire it, even though it was truth.
     "Which of you convicteth [Revised Version] Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?" Day by day for three years His enemies had been following Christ, trying to find some stain in His character. Satan and all the confederacy of evil had been seeking to overcome Him; but they had found nothing in Him by which to gain an advantage. Even the devils were forced to confess, "Thou art the Holy One of God." Mark 1:24. Jesus lived the law in the sight of heaven, in the sight of unfallen worlds, and in the sight of sinful men. Before angels, men, and demons, He had spoken, unchallenged, words that from any other lips would have been blasphemy: "I do always those things that please Him."
     The fact that although they could find no sin in Christ the Jews would not receive Him proved that they themselves had no connection with God. They did not recognize His voice in the message of His Son. They thought themselves passing judgment on Christ; but in rejecting Him they were pronouncing sentence upon themselves. "He that is of God," said Jesus, "heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
     The lesson is true for all time. Many a man who delights to quibble, to criticize, seeking for something to question in the word of God, thinks that he is thereby giving evidence of independence of thought, and mental acuteness. He supposes that he is sitting in judgment on the Bible, when in truth he is judging himself. He makes it manifest that he is incapable of appreciating truths that originate in heaven, and that compass eternity. In presence of the great mountain of God's righteousness, his spirit is not awed. He busies himself with hunting for sticks and straws, and in this betrays a narrow and earthly nature, a heart that is fast losing its capacity to appreciate God. He whose heart has responded to the divine touch will be seeking for that which will increase his knowledge of God, and will refine and elevate the character. As a flower turns to the sun, that the bright rays may touch it with tints of beauty, so will the soul turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven's light may beautify the character with the graces of the character of Christ. 
     Jesus continued, drawing a sharp contrast between the position of the Jews and that of Abraham: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad."
     Abraham had greatly desired to see the promised Saviour. He offered up the most earnest prayer that before his death he might behold the Messiah. And he saw Christ. A supernatural light was given him, and he acknowledged Christ's divine character. He saw His day, and was glad. He was given a view of the divine sacrifice for sin. Of this sacrifice he had an illustration in his own experience. The command came to him, "Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, . . . and offer him . . . for a burnt offering." Genesis 22:2. Upon the altar of sacrifice he laid the son of promise, the son in whom his hopes were centered. Then as he waited beside the altar with knife upraised to obey God, he heard a voice from heaven saying, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from Me." Genesis 22:12. This terrible ordeal was imposed upon Abraham that he might see the day of Christ, and realize the great love of God for the world, so great that to raise it from its degradation, He gave His only-begotten Son to a most shameful death. 
     Abraham learned of God the greatest lesson ever given to mortal. His prayer that he might see Christ before he should die was answered. He saw Christ; he saw all that mortal can see, and live. By making an entire surrender, he was able to understand the vision of Christ, which had been given him. He was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make.
     Abraham's experience answered the question: "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" Micah 6:6, 7. In the words of Abraham, "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering," (Genesis 22:8 ), and in God's provision of a sacrifice instead of Isaac, it was declared that no man could make expiation for himself. The pagan system of sacrifice was wholly unacceptable to God. No father was to offer up his son or his daughter for a sin offering. The Son of God alone can bear the guilt of the world. 
     Through his own suffering, Abraham was enabled to behold the Saviour's mission of sacrifice. But Israel would not understand that which was so unwelcome to their proud hearts. Christ's words concerning Abraham conveyed to His hearers no deep significance. The Pharisees saw in them only fresh ground for caviling. They retorted with a sneer, as if they would prove Jesus to be a madman, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?" 
     With solemn dignity Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM." 
     Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, "whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity." Micah 5:2, margin.
     Again the priests and rabbis cried out against Jesus as a blasphemer. His claim to be one with God had before stirred them to take His life, and a few months later they plainly declared, "For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God." John 10:33. Because He was, and avowed Himself to be, the Son of God, they were bent on destroying Him. Now many of the people, siding with the priests and rabbis, took up stones to cast at Him. "But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
     The Light was shining in darkness; but "the darkness apprehended it not." John 1:5, R. V. 
     "As Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. . . . When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing."   
     It was generally believed by the Jews that sin is punished in this life. Every affliction was regarded as the penalty of some wrongdoing, either of the sufferer himself or of his parents. It is true that all suffering results from the transgression of God's law, but this truth had become perverted. Satan, the author of sin and all its results, had led men to look upon disease and death as proceeding from God,--as punishment arbitrarily inflicted on account of sin. Hence one upon whom some great affliction or calamity had fallen had the additional burden of being regarded as a great sinner.
     Thus the way was prepared for the Jews to reject Jesus. He who "hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" was looked upon by the Jews as "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted;" and they hid their faces from Him. Isaiah 53:4, 3. 
     God had given a lesson designed to prevent this. The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. But Israel did not understand the lesson. The same error for which God had reproved the friends of Job was repeated by the Jews in their rejection of Christ. 
     The belief of the Jews in regard to the relation of sin and suffering was held by Christ's disciples. While Jesus corrected their error, He did not explain the cause of the man's affliction, but told them what would be the result. Because of it the works of God would be made manifest. "As long as I am in the world," He said, "I am the light of the world." Then having anointed the eyes of the blind man, He sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam, and the man's sight was restored. Thus Jesus answered the question of the disciples in a practical way, as He usually answered questions put to Him from curiosity. The disciples were not called upon to discuss the question as to who had sinned or had not sinned, but to understand the power and mercy of God in giving sight to the blind. It was evident that there was no healing virtue in the clay, or in the pool wherein the blind man was sent to wash, but that the virtue was in Christ.
     The Pharisees could not but be astonished at the cure. Yet they were more than ever filled with hatred; for the miracle had been performed on the Sabbath day.
     The neighbors of the young man, and those who knew him before in his blindness, said, "Is not this he that sat and begged?" They looked upon him with doubt; for when his eyes were opened, his countenance was changed and brightened, and he appeared like another man. From one to another the question passed. Some said, "This is he;" others, "He is like him." But he who had received the great blessing settled the question by saying, "I am he." He then told them of Jesus, and by what means he had been healed, and they inquired, "Where is He? He said, I know not." 
     Then they brought him before a council of the Pharisees. Again the man was asked how he had received his sight. "He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because He keepeth not the Sabbath day." The Pharisees hoped to make Jesus out to be a sinner, and therefore not the Messiah. They knew not that it was He who had made the Sabbath and knew all its obligation, who had healed the blind man. They appeared wonderfully zealous for the observance of the Sabbath, yet were planning murder on that very day. But many were greatly moved at hearing of this miracle, and were convicted that He who had opened the eyes of the blind was more than a common man. In answer to the charge that Jesus was a sinner because He kept not the Sabbath day, they said, "How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?" 
     Again the rabbis appealed to the blind man, "What sayest thou of Him, that He hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet." The Pharisees then asserted that he had not been born blind and received his sight. They called for his parents, and asked them, saying, "Is this your son, who ye say was born blind?"
     There was the man himself, declaring that he had been blind, and had had his sight restored; but the Pharisees would rather deny the evidence of their own senses than admit that they were in error. So powerful is prejudice, so distorting is Pharisaical righteousness.
     The Pharisees had one hope left, and that was to intimidate the man's parents. With apparent sincerity they asked, "How then doth he now see?" The parents feared to compromise themselves; for it had been declared that whoever should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ should be "put out of the synagogue;" that is, should be excluded from the synagogue for thirty days. During this time no child could be circumcised nor dead be lamented in the offender's home. The sentence was regarded as a great calamity; and if it failed to produce repentance, a far heavier penalty followed. The great work wrought for their son had brought conviction to the parents, yet they answered, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself." Thus they shifted all responsibility from themselves to their son; for they dared not confess Christ. 
     The dilemma in which the Pharisees were placed, their questioning and prejudice, their unbelief in the facts of the case, were opening the eyes of the multitude, especially of the common people. Jesus had frequently wrought His miracles in the open street, and His work was always of a character to relieve suffering. The question in many minds was, Would God do such mighty works through an impostor, as the Pharisees insisted that Jesus was? The controversy was becoming very earnest on both sides.
     The Pharisees saw that they were giving publicity to the work done by Jesus. They could not deny the miracle. The blind man was filled with joy and gratitude; he beheld the wondrous things of nature, and was filled with delight at the beauty of earth and sky. He freely related his experience, and again they tried to silence him, saying, "Give God the praise: we know that this Man is a sinner." That is, Do not say again that this Man gave you sight; it is God who has done this.
     The blind man answered, "Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." 
     Then they questioned again, "What did He to thee? how opened He thine eyes?" With many words they tried to confuse him, so that he might think himself deluded. Satan and his evil angels were on the side of the Pharisees, and united their energies and subtlety with man's reasoning in order to counteract the influence of Christ. They blunted the convictions that were deepening in many minds. Angels of God were also on the ground to strengthen the man who had had his sight restored.
     The Pharisees did not realize that they had to deal with any other than the uneducated man who had been born blind; they knew not Him with whom they were in controversy. Divine light shone into the chambers of the blind man's soul. As these hypocrites tried to make him disbelieve, God helped him to show, by the vigor and pointedness of his replies, that he was not to be ensnared. He answered, "I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be His disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art His disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence He is." 
     The Lord Jesus knew the ordeal through which the man was passing, and He gave him grace and utterance, so that he became a witness for Christ. He answered the Pharisees in words that were a cutting rebuke to his questioners. They claimed to be the expositors of Scripture, the religious guides of the nation; and yet here was One performing miracles, and they were confessedly ignorant as to the source of His power, and as to His character and claims. "Why herein is a marvelous thing," said the man, "that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshiper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this Man were not of God, He could do nothing."
     The man had met his inquisitors on their own ground. His reasoning was unanswerable. The Pharisees were astonished, and they held their peace,--spellbound before his pointed, determined words. For a few moments there was silence. Then the frowning priests and rabbis gathered about them their robes, as though they feared contamination from contact with him; they shook off the dust from their feet, and hurled denunciations against him,--"Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?" And they excommunicated him. 
     Jesus heard what had been done; and finding him soon after, He said, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"
     For the first time the blind man looked upon the face of his Restorer. Before the council he had seen his parents troubled and perplexed; he had looked upon the frowning faces of the rabbis; now his eyes rested upon the loving, peaceful countenance of Jesus. Already, at great cost to himself, he had acknowledged Him as a delegate of divine power; now a higher revelation was granted him.
     To the Saviour's question, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" the blind man replied by asking, "Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?" And Jesus said, "Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee." The man cast himself at the Saviour's feet in worship. Not only had his natural sight been restored, but the eyes of his understanding had been opened. Christ had been revealed to his soul, and he received Him as the Sent of God.
     A group of Pharisees had gathered near, and the sight of them brought to the mind of Jesus the contrast ever manifest in the effect of His words and works. He said, "For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind." Christ had come to open the blind eyes, to give light to them that sit in darkness. He had declared Himself to be the light of the world, and the miracle just performed was in attestation of His mission. The people who beheld the Saviour at His advent were favored with a fuller manifestation of the divine presence than the world had ever enjoyed before. The knowledge of God was revealed more perfectly. But in this very revelation, judgment was passing upon men. Their character was tested, their destiny determined.
     The manifestation of divine power that had given to the blind man both natural and spiritual sight had left the Pharisees in yet deeper darkness. Some of His hearers, feeling that Christ's words applied to them, inquired, "Are we blind also?" Jesus answered, "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin." If God had made it impossible for you to see the truth, your ignorance would involve no guilt. "But now ye say, We see." You believe yourselves able to see, and reject the means through which alone you could receive sight. To all who realized their need, Christ came with infinite help. But the Pharisees would confess no need; they refused to come to Christ, and hence they were left in blindness,--a blindness for which they were themselves guilty. Jesus said, "Your sin remaineth." 


Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages---51---The Light of Life
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2001, 05:37:00 AM »
"Among His hearers many were drawn to him in faith, and to them He said, 'if ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'"

By God's grace, we may walk in the light as He is in the light. It is amazing that so many can be so deceived as to believe that if they don't "continue" in His word they are still "free". A great deception has come upon modern "Israel".  As Sister Joan has pointed out, there remain Pharisees in this our day. Our faith is strengthened as we remember many of the disciples of Christ that were converted after His crucifixion had been His enemies before. Let us pray for those that are causing us so many difficulties. It may be they will become as Saul, steadfast in the faith.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dugald T Lewis MD

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The Desire of Ages---51---The Light of Life
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2001, 10:06:00 AM »
We should always be praying; Lord keep us humble and faithful. AMEN!

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 05:31:18 AM »
Do you want to be encouraged? Do you want to be free? Then take to heart this...

Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" sets us "free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2.
     In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.
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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 06:07:26 AM »
Amen, Jim!   If we would spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the character of our God, we would be converted daily. What a most wonderful gift we have been given in Christ, and what a wonderful revelation this book is of His character. If we would prayerfully read it each day the mystery of Christianity would be uncovered. Such simple straightforward truth about our need of Christ continually. And the power that comes with His Spirit.

"the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God."

This does not need translation, but for those who are barely understanding spiritual things, let me comment. "The powers of the soul" is speaking of the powers of the individual to do good, to keep the commandments of God. "Are imbued with the divine energy." The repentant sinner is given (imparted, not imputed) power from God. "Of the Holy Spirit." The energy or power given to the human comes from the Holy Spirit when He comes into the heart. "And they obey the dictates of the will." And they (the repentant sinner) obey the dictates of the will."  The human with the power of the Holy Spirit will obey the desire of the repentant sinner. There has been a misunderstanding about the correct choice of the will. We cannot will our way to heaven. Man does not have it in his power to keep the commandments of God apart from Christ no matter how much he wills it. But, when fully surrendered to Christ, he is given power then to follow his will to do good.

What man can do apart from Christ is learn of Him who gave all for us. We can choose to learn of God. In so doing, we will see the grace that brings the transformation from sinner to saint. It is the revelation of grace accepted into the heart that allows the Holy Spirit to take possession of the heart bringing with Him the power being spoken of in this statement. "In fulfilling the will of God." When we surrender our will to the will of Christ, then the power to obey is imparted to the repentant sinner through the Holy Spirit when He comes into the heart. Then the desire to do the will of God is empowered to do the will of God.

Romans seven is an example of the sinner who sees he is condemned, he wants to do good, but has no power to do good. He wills to do good, but without a knowledge of Christ and a full surrender to Him, his will is not able to do good. But, when he gains a knowledge of a Savior, when he sees His grace, then the heart can be renewed in the likeness of Christ. Then when he invites the Savior into his heart, the Holy Spirit will take possession of the heart and brings with Him the power to obey from the heart the commandments of God. The repentant sinner's will is the same as the will of God to the degree he knows God's will. Contrary to what is being taught in this week's Sabbath School lesson, man is not only imputed with the righteousness of Christ, but at conversion the righteousness of Christ (His character) is "imparted" (given to) the repentant sinner. As long as the connection is maintained between Christ and the human the power to do the will of God remains in the repentant sinner.

Thus, the Bible now makes sense when we read "whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." 1 John 3:9,10.

In order to see this clearly, we understand we must be born of God daily. Paul said "I die daily."  We must maintain our connection with Christ if we wish to do His will. This translates into the truth that we need Christ continually in order to do any good thing. In other words, we are evil by nature and without Christ we are at enmity with God and righteousness. This is why we hear in the very beginning after sin the promise known as the "everlasting covenant".  "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.  This enmity man does not have by nature. A fallen nature is aligned with sin and Satan. The promise is a conditional promise based on the need to make a full surrender of man's will to the will of God. When man learns of the great love of God for him while is yet a sinner, then that grace melts the heart and the soul gladly surrenders itself to Christ. Then "the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God." Then, there is given to man "enmity" against sin and Satan. The law of God is then written in the heart of the repentant sinner. Man is set free from  law of sin and death which held the sinner in bondage to sin.

What a glorious promise is the everlasting covenant! What a God we serve!!


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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 05:19:50 AM »
The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. But Israel did not understand the lesson. The same error for which God had reproved the friends of Job was repeated by the Jews in their rejection of Christ. 

     The belief of the Jews in regard to the relation of sin and suffering was held by Christ's disciples. While Jesus corrected their error, He did not explain the cause of the man's affliction, but told them what would be the result.
 
      Jesus had frequently wrought His miracles in the open street, and His work was always of a character to relieve suffering.

The subject of suffering and why it continues can be hard for some to grasp. Many unbelievers want to blame God for all the sickness, suffering, disease, and even natural disasters, calling them acts of God. The devil to some degree has definitely been able to twist the character of God in the minds of people. But we know better. We have a God who is merciful, compassionate, long suffering, and loving. We love Him because He first loved us!
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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 06:17:39 AM »
Jim, I appreciate the thoughts about suffering. I know that God helped me with Job's story to know it was not God who caused the death of my parents. An enemy (Satan) was the root cause.

I also appreciated this paragraph from the reading today:

     To the Saviour's question, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" the blind man replied by asking, "Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?" And Jesus said, "Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee." The man cast himself at the Saviour's feet in worship. Not only had his natural sight been restored, but the eyes of his understanding had been opened. Christ had been revealed to his soul, and he received Him as the Sent of God.

I so appreciate Jesus being able to give me spiritual understanding. He is the remedy and solution to the blindness of Laodicea as revealed in Revelion 3:14-21. We need Jesus constantly!
"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}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 10:47:07 AM »
Amen and amen!!   Many sorrow over difficulties in life and over their sins. But, in this reading today we find that it is not God's desire for us to suffer as many do.

Jim understands the solution when he said

We have a God who is merciful, compassionate, long suffering, and loving. We love Him because He first loved us!

Jim has seen the the love of Jesus. He knows God is merciful and long-suffering. And, pastor Sean understands the solution when he posted


    Not only had his natural sight been restored, but the eyes of his understanding had been opened. Christ had been revealed to his soul, and he received Him as the Sent of God.

I so appreciate Jesus being able to give me spiritual understanding. He is the remedy and solution to the blindness of Laodicea as revealed in Revelion 3:14-21.

Both have zeroed in on our need of seeing Jesus, of knowing Jesus. 

     Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" sets us "free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2.
     In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God. 

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

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2016, 07:52:00 AM »
Amen and amen!!


Who is Jesus? He is the "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. He is also our Brother, our Fortress, the Rock of Salvation, He is the "living Water", our Savior, and in today's reading we see Him as the Light of the world, the "light of life."

Did it not thrill your heart to read about the Feast of Tabernacles. "As Jesus spoke in the temple court, the people were held spellbound. The very men who were the most violent against Him felt themselves powerless to do Him harm. For the time, all other interests were forgotten. 
     Day after day He taught the people, until the last, "that great day of the feast." The morning of this day found the people wearied from the long season of festivity. Suddenly Jesus lifted up His voice, in tones that rang through the courts of the temple: 
     "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The condition of the people made this appeal very forcible. They had been engaged in a continued scene of pomp and festivity, their eyes had been dazzled with light and color, and their ears regaled with the richest music; but there had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not. Jesus invited them to come and drink of the fountain of life, of that which would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.  DA 453. 


And today we read:

   "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
     When He spoke these words, Jesus was in the court of the temple specially connected with the services of the Feast of Tabernacles. In the center of this court rose two lofty standards, supporting lampstands of great size. After the evening sacrifice, all the lamps were kindled, shedding their light over Jerusalem. This ceremony was in commemoration of the pillar of light that guided Israel in the desert, and was also regarded as pointing to the coming of the Messiah. At evening when the lamps were lighted, the court was a scene of great rejoicing. Gray-haired men, the priests of the temple and the rulers of the people, united in the festive dances to the sound of instrumental music and the chants of the Levites.
     In the illumination of Jerusalem, the people expressed their hope of the Messiah's coming to shed His light upon Israel. But to Jesus the scene had a wider meaning. As the radiant lamps of the temple lighted up all about them, so Christ, the source of spiritual light, illumines the darkness of the world. Yet the symbol was imperfect. That great light which His own hand had set in the heavens was a truer representation of the glory of His mission.
     It was morning; the sun had just risen above the Mount of Olives, and its rays fell with dazzling brightness on the marble palaces, and lighted up the gold of the temple walls, when Jesus, pointing to it, said, "I am the light of the world."
     By one who listened to these words, they were long afterward re-echoed in that sublime passage, "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not." "That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." John 1:4, 5, R. V., 9. And long after Jesus had ascended to heaven, Peter also, writing under the illumination of the divine Spirit, recalled the symbol Christ had used: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts." 2 Peter 1:19.


How many ways has God revealed Himself to us? And for what purpose? That we might know Him, that we might be able to see Him who is the Light of the world. By beholding Him we shall be transformed into His likeness (character). It is a promise. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2016, 08:19:51 AM »
I love how clearly we can know if we have eternal life by having Christ:

Without a spiritual connection with him, which would be manifested in possessing the same spirit, and doing the same works, they were not his children. {DA 466.6}

We need God's Spirit in our hearts to bf God's children, abiding, converted, surrendered.
"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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016, 07:08:43 AM »
Christ does not leave even he weakest child who has become a true child of God to do battle with the devil and the world. Are you a babe in Christ? Take heart as you have a special place in God's heart and every watchful eye.

The Pharisees did not realize that they had to deal with any other than the uneducated man who had been born blind; they knew not Him with whom they were in controversy. Divine light shone into the chambers of the blind man's soul. As these hypocrites tried to make him disbelieve, God helped him to show, by the vigor and pointedness of his replies, that he was not to be ensnared. He answered, "I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be His disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art His disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence He is."
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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2016, 07:41:58 AM »
Amen, Jim! Let us praise God as we realize how much He has done to save us and give us His wisdom in Christ when we are facing persecution for our faith, as the man who was healed was facing as he expressed faith in Christ!

I was moved today by the reference to Job in our chapter today:

God had given a lesson designed to prevent this. The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. But Israel did not understand the lesson. The same error for which God had reproved the friends of Job was repeated by the Jews in their rejection of Christ. 

It strikes me that this is still true. There are many who do not understand the lessons from the book of Job, and see that Job sinned as well when he murmured and complained. Thank God, though, that He is patient with us to help us to see the gospel in its simplicity and clarity! God saves us from sin, and when we have been uplifted from sin and its hold on our lives, we are enabled to bear fruit (the fruits of the Spirit without one missing) to the glory of God--especially when we are suffering. God desires us to glorify Him whether we are sick or well, whether we have lost a loved one or whether all of our family is alive. When we have a faith that rests solely upon the goodness of God and His promises, in the midst of our adversity we will be able to glorify Him and help to seal the universe from sin ever rising again. Truly, then, we can see that suffering and pain are overruled by God for purposes of mercy!

Let us remember the promise:

Nahum 1:9 "What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time."
"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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2016, 08:37:19 AM »
I like your quote, Jim. I had not noticed the supernatural power given to the man as he was being attacked by Satan.  God is willing to do the same for all who are fully surrendered to Him.   He was certainly given boldness in his response!  :)

Pastor Sean, is it not interesting how what we read each day in this most beautiful book, has so much help for our daily living. And, here we find help for our Sabbath School lessons. :)    Yes, we suffer like the Jews did in not understanding why bad things happen to "good" people. It is sad since the answer is given in so many places in such simple ways. Yes, it is so that sin shall never arise again in the whole universe. What a plan! Only the mind of God could devise such a plan where all would retain their freedom to choose. There will be no compulsion to follow God, but all will willingly follow the one who had demonstrated His great love for each of His created beings. It is just amazing!!

I was moved when I read this:

     Jesus looked upon these men, the slaves of malice, whose thoughts were bent upon revenge, and sadly answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." They were in the worst kind of bondage,--ruled by the spirit of evil.
     Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" sets us "free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2.
     In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.
     The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. "The truth shall make you free;" and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one's self,--to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is "the law of liberty." James 2:12. 


There are some very sincere who believe man may exist in a "neutral" position, but here we see the truth confirmed, there is no "neutral" position. We either are serving God or Satan. Our fallen nature can only  be overcome when we are filled with the Spirit of God. Then we are a partaker of God's divine nature and are given power to keep the body (flesh) under control. We live in fallen flesh, but it is not an excuse for sin. Christ has provided a remedy at great expense. If we will come to Jesus just as we are, then we will be set free from the law of sin and death which is in our flesh. The greatest of all miracles!!  Amen!!!
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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2017, 05:52:32 AM »
I was so moved by how clear, powerful, and encouraging this statement is in regard to how the divine-human cooperation must take place for the soul to be converted. Many think God will do for them what He has left it with the soul to do. We need to behold Jesus, and seeing our great need, cry out for His power by the Holy Spirit so that the soul is imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, so that the powers of the soul obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling God's will for us to be changed and become partakers of the divine nature!

  In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.

There is much to meditate upon here, and if God's professed people better understood this truth, it would greatly help them in having victory in their lives, and a sustained conversion. The Holy Spirit draws us, but we need to see and rely upon His power so that the faculties God has given us are put to the right use. Let us look and live, beholding Jesus, "the Light of life"!!
"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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2017, 06:50:57 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. 

This reading today, was a blessing as they all are. In it we find two messages. First, the love and power of God was clearly revealed. The power given to sinful man comes when the soul surrenders to the grace of God. Abraham saw it when he offered up his son.

And, then we see how Christ dealt with the Pharisees who had been given great light and rejected it. The character manifested by Jesus is the same character He gives to repentant sinners. Of course the strength of that character is not the same. Christ is not just like us. He is God we are not. He carried the sins of the world, we cannot carry our own.

Jesus is the light of the world. He has entrusted to His church great light. Let us by His grace walk in that light that we be not as the Pharisees. It will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, than for those who have had great light and not walked in it.

I was blessed by this account of the blind man whom Jesus healed.

     "Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us?" And they excommunicated him.
     Jesus heard what had been done; and finding him soon after, He said, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"
     For the first time the blind man looked upon the face of his Restorer. Before the council he had seen his parents troubled and perplexed; he had looked upon the frowning faces of the rabbis; now his eyes rested upon the loving, peaceful countenance of Jesus. Already, at great cost to himself, he had acknowledged Him as a delegate of divine power; now a higher revelation was granted him.
     To the Saviour's question, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" the blind man replied by asking, "Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?" And Jesus said, "Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee." The man cast himself at the Saviour's feet in worship. Not only had his natural sight been restored, but the eyes of his understanding had been opened. Christ had been revealed to his soul, and he received Him as the Sent 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.

ejclark

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2017, 05:25:38 PM »
I was so moved by how clear, powerful, and encouraging this statement is in regard to how the divine-human cooperation must take place for the soul to be converted. Many think God will do for them what He has left it with the soul to do. We need to behold Jesus, and seeing our great need, cry out for His power by the Holy Spirit so that the soul is imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, so that the powers of the soul obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling God's will for us to be changed and become partakers of the divine nature!

  In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.

There is much to meditate upon here, and if God's professed people better understood this truth, it would greatly help them in having victory in their lives, and a sustained conversion. The Holy Spirit draws us, but we need to see and rely upon His power so that the faculties God has given us are put to the right use. Let us look and live, beholding Jesus, "the Light of life"!!
Amen!
I love this quote and have it saved with a few more that say something very similar.
Quote
The work of gaining salvation is one of copartnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness.  {AA 482.2} 
Quote
Your energies are required to co-operate with God. Without this, if it were possible to force upon you with a hundredfold greater intensity the influences of the Spirit of God, it would not make you a Christian, a fit subject for heaven. The stronghold of Satan would not be broken. There must be the willing and the doing on the part of the receiver. There must be an action, represented as coming out from the world and being separate. There must be a doing of the words of Christ. The soul must be emptied of self, that Christ may pour his Spirit into the vacuum. Christ must be chosen as the heavenly guest. The will must be placed on the side of God's will. Then there is a new heart, and new, holy resolves. It is Jesus enthroned in the soul that makes every action easy in his service.-- S. of T., 1891, No. 8.  {HL 304.5}
Quote
Always the Lord gives the human agent his work. Here is the divine and the human cooperation. There is the man working in obedience to divine light given. If Saul had said, Lord, I am not at all inclined to follow Your specified directions to work out my own salvation, then should the Lord have let ten times the light shine upon Saul, it would have been useless.  {2MCP 757.1} 
     It is man's work to cooperate with the divine. And it is the very hardest, sternest conflict which comes with the purpose and hour of great resolve and decision of the human to incline the will and way to God's will and God's way, relying upon the gracious influences which accompanied him all his life long. The man must do the work of inclining--"For it is God which worketh in you [us] both to will and to do" (Philippians 2:13). The character will determine the nature of the resolve and the action. The doing is not in accordance with the feeling or the inclination but with the known will of our Father which is in heaven. Follow and obey the leadings of the Holy Spirit.--Lt 135, 1898.  {2MCP 757.2} 
Quote
Thus actions repeated form habits, habits form character, and by the character our destiny for time and for eternity is decided.  {COL 356.2} 
I'm not sure why....I have an idea but I'm not completely sure.....but these quotes give me so much comfort in God, Christ, Their power, our connection, and His promise to deliver me from sin when I do the part He asks me to do.

God is so good and I am so unjustly blessed. Only in Christ.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2017, 06:49:30 AM »
Amen, ej!  There is peace in the truth, but no peace in a lie. The truths presented in these statements help to clarify what it means to be a converted Christian. In these inspired statements we find pure unadulterated truth.

Let me point out one truth you have quoted that is very important to help those who believe they are rich and increased with goods, but are not.

     The soul must be emptied of self, that Christ may pour his Spirit into the vacuum. Christ must be chosen as the heavenly guest. The will must be placed on the side of God's will. Then there is a new heart, and new, holy resolves. It is Jesus enthroned in the soul that makes every action easy in his service."


Many believe themselves to be converted when the soul is not emptied of self. Yet, it is impossible to be converted until the heart is purified from selfishness. The heart must be emptied of self and filled with the Holy Spirit before we have salvation. And, even then, this condition must be maintained. When Moses struck the Rock, he had lost his connection with Christ and did not have eternal life. The soul was not emptied of self at all. He was not filled with the Holy Spirit. He was doing the work of Satan when he manifested anger and pride.

What is our part in this work? We must learn of Christ. We must drink His blood and eat His flesh. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. We must behold grace that it might come into the heart because we trust Jesus with the whole heart. We love Him supremely. It is impossible to have saving faith in God when we do not trust Him with all we are and all we have.

Thank you for sharing, ej.  Please continue to share as we behold Jesus daily in our personal effort to learn of Him and to trust Him. By  beholding Him we are transformed into the character you have presented in your quotes (2 Cor. 3:18).
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2017, 03:13:55 AM »
As we see the evil in this world today, we are amazed that so many reject truth and hate God. The institutions of higher education are often hell holes of lies.

    Every gem of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the world. In these days we hear much about "higher education." The true "higher education" is that imparted by Him "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." Colossians 2:3; John 1:4. "He that followeth Me," said Jesus, "shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! If we will learn of Him, we shall be transformed in character!  The wisdom of man is foolishness, but the wisdom of God brings life out of death!
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--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2017, 04:20:11 AM »
Amen, Richard! Yet even amid the places of "higher education" there are souls who may be longing for something better than this world can give, and if they will but recognize their need, and come to Christ, they will receive an education that is "higher than the highest human thought can reach" {Education 18.3} that Christ alone can impart.

May we see our need by beholding the loveliness of Jesus today:

 The manifestation of divine power that had given to the blind man both natural and spiritual sight had left the Pharisees in yet deeper darkness. Some of His hearers, feeling that Christ's words applied to them, inquired, "Are we blind also?" Jesus answered, "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin." If God had made it impossible for you to see the truth, your ignorance would involve no guilt. "But now ye say, We see." You believe yourselves able to see, and reject the means through which alone you could receive sight. To all who realized their need, Christ came with infinite help. But the Pharisees would confess no need; they refused to come to Christ, and hence they were left in blindness,--a blindness for which they were themselves guilty. Jesus said, "Your sin remaineth." 

Infinite help--YES! WE NEED IT! Only as our eyes are fixed upon Christ will we be enabled to continually confess the sinfulness of our nature (our utter inability to do any good thing of ourselves apart from Christ) and rejoice in His grace to impart to us His divine nature that keeps us from sinning the smallest sin as long as we have surrendered fully to Him. Praise God for such a Savior!!
"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}

colporteur

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Re: The Desire of Ages--51--The Light of Life
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2017, 05:29:45 AM »
As we see the evil in this world today, we are amazed that so many reject truth and hate God. The institutions of higher education are often hell holes of lies. [quote

La Sierra University is slated to have a former Black Panther member to speak there.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.