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Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« on: January 08, 2001, 06:47:00 AM »
The Last Journey From Galilee


Listen to The Last Journey From Galilee

 






     As the close of His ministry drew near, there was a change in Christ's manner of labor. Heretofore He had sought to shun excitement and publicity. He had refused the homage of the people, and had passed quickly from place to place when the popular enthusiasm in His favor seemed kindling beyond control. Again and again He had commanded that none should declare Him to be the Christ. 
     At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles His journey to Jerusalem was made swiftly and secretly. When urged by His brothers to present Himself publicly as the Messiah, His answer was, "My time is not yet come." John 7:6. He made His way to Jerusalem unobserved, and entered the city unannounced, and unhonored by the multitude. But not so with His last journey. He had left Jerusalem for a season because of the malice of the priests and rabbis. But He now set out to return, traveling in the most public manner, by a circuitous route, and preceded by such an announcement of His coming as He had never made before. He was going forward to the scene of His great sacrifice, and to this the attention of the people must be directed. 
     "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." John 3:14. As the eyes of all Israel had been directed to the uplifted serpent, the symbol appointed for their healing, so all eyes must be drawn to Christ, the sacrifice that brought salvation to the lost world.
     It was a false conception of the Messiah's work, and a lack of faith in the divine character of Jesus, that had led His brothers to urge Him to present Himself publicly to the people at the Feast of Tabernacles. Now, in a spirit akin to this, the disciples would have prevented Him from making the journey to Jerusalem. They remembered His words concerning what was to befall Him there, they knew the deadly hostility of the religious leaders, and they would fain have dissuaded their Master from going thither.
     To the heart of Christ it was a bitter task to press His way against the fears, disappointment, and unbelief of His beloved disciples. It was hard to lead them forward to the anguish and despair that awaited them at Jerusalem. And Satan was at hand to press his temptations upon the Son of man. Why should He now go to Jerusalem, to certain death? All around Him were souls hungering for the bread of life. On every hand were suffering ones waiting for His word of healing. The work to be wrought by the gospel of His grace was but just begun. And He was full of the vigor of manhood's prime. Why not go forward to the vast fields of the world with the words of His grace, the touch of His healing power? Why not take to Himself the joy of giving light and gladness to those darkened and sorrowing millions? Why leave the harvest gathering to His disciples, so weak in faith, so dull of understanding, so slow to act? Why face death now, and leave the work in its infancy? The foe who in the wilderness had confronted Christ assailed Him now with fierce and subtle temptations. Had Jesus yielded for a moment, had He changed His course in the least particular to save Himself, Satan's agencies would have triumphed, and the world would have been lost.
     But Jesus had "steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." The one law of His life was the Father's will. In the visit to the temple in His boyhood, He had said to Mary, "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" Luke 2:49. At Cana, when Mary desired Him to reveal His miraculous power, His answer was, "Mine hour is not yet come." John 2:4. With the same words He replied to His brothers when they urged Him to go to the feast. But in God's great plan the hour had been appointed for the offering of Himself for the sins of men, and that hour was soon to strike. He would not fail nor falter. His steps are turned toward Jerusalem, where His foes have long plotted to take His life; now He will lay it down. He set His face steadfastly to go to persecution, denial, rejection, condemnation, and death. 
     And He "sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him." But the people refused to receive Him, because He was on His way to Jerusalem. This they interpreted as meaning that Christ showed a preference for the Jews, whom they hated with intense bitterness. Had He come to restore the temple and worship upon Mount Gerizim, they would gladly have received Him; but He was going to Jerusalem, and they would show Him no hospitality. Little did they realize that they were turning from their doors the best gift of heaven. Jesus invited men to receive Him, He asked favors at their hands, that He might come near to them, to bestow the richest blessings. For every favor manifested toward Him, He requited a more precious grace. But all was lost to the Samaritans because of their prejudice and bigotry.   
     James and John, Christ's messengers, were greatly annoyed at the insult shown to their Lord. They were filled with indignation because He had been so rudely treated by the Samaritans whom He was honoring by His presence. They had recently been with Him on the mount of transfiguration, and had seen Him glorified by God, and honored by Moses and Elijah. This manifest dishonor on the part of the Samaritans, should not, they thought, be passed over without marked punishment. 
     Coming to Christ, they reported to Him the words of the people, telling Him that they had even refused to give Him a night's lodging. They thought that a grievous wrong had been done Him, and seeing Mount Carmel in the distance, where Elijah had slain the false prophets, they said, "Wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?" They were surprised to see that Jesus was pained by their words, and still more surprised as His rebuke fell upon their ears, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And He went to another village.
     It is no part of Christ's mission to compel men to receive Him. It is Satan, and men actuated by his spirit, that seek to compel the conscience. Under a pretense of zeal for righteousness, men who are confederate with evil angels bring suffering upon their fellow men, in order to convert them to their ideas of religion; but Christ is ever showing mercy, ever seeking to win by the revealing of His love. He can admit no rival in the soul, nor accept of partial service; but He desires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love. There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas. 
     Every human being, in body, soul, and spirit, is the property of God. Christ died to redeem all. Nothing can be more offensive to God than for men, through religious bigotry, to bring suffering upon those who are the purchase of the Saviour's blood. 
     "And He arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto Him again; and, as He was wont, He taught them again." Mark 10:1. 
     A considerable part of the closing months of Christ's ministry was spent in Perea, the province on "the farther side of Jordan" from Judea. Here the multitude thronged His steps, as in His early ministry in Galilee, and much of His former teaching was repeated. 
     As He had sent out the twelve, so He "appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself was about to come." Luke 10:1, R. V. These disciples had been for some time with Him, in training for their work. When the twelve were sent out on their first separate mission, other disciples accompanied Jesus in His journey through Galilee. Thus they had the privilege of intimate association with Him, and direct personal instruction. Now this larger number also were to go forth on a separate mission. 
     The directions to the seventy were similar to those that had been given to the twelve; but the command to the twelve, not to enter into any city of the Gentiles or of the Samaritans, was not given to the seventy. Though Christ had just been repulsed by the Samaritans, His love toward them was unchanged. When the seventy went forth in His name, they visited, first of all, the cities of Samaria.
     The Saviour's own visit to Samaria, and later, the commendation of the good Samaritan, and the grateful joy of that leper, a Samaritan, who alone of the ten returned to give thanks to Christ, were full of significance to the disciples. The lesson sank deep into their hearts. In His commission to them, just before His ascension, Jesus mentioned Samaria with Jerusalem and Judea as the places where they were first to preach the gospel. This commission His teaching had prepared them to fulfill. When in their Master's name they went to Samaria, they found the people ready to receive them. The Samaritans had heard of Christ's words of commendation and His works of mercy for men of their nation. They saw that, notwithstanding their rude treatment of Him, He had only thoughts of love toward them, and their hearts were won. After His ascension they welcomed the Saviour's messengers, and the disciples gathered a precious harvest from among those who had once been their bitterest enemies. "A bruised reed shall He not break, and the dimly burning flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth." "And in His name shall the Gentiles trust." Isaiah 42:3, margin; Matthew 12:21. 
     In sending out the seventy, Jesus bade them, as He had bidden the twelve, not to urge their presence where they were unwelcome. "Into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not," He said, "go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." They were not to do this from motives of resentment or through wounded dignity, but to show how grievous a thing it is to refuse the Lord's message or His messengers. To reject the Lord's servants is to reject Christ Himself.
     "I say unto you," Jesus added, "that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city." Then His mind reverted to the Galilean towns where so much of His ministry had been spent. In deeply sorrowful accents He exclaimed, "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell." 
     To those busy towns about the Sea of Galilee, heaven's richest blessings had been freely offered. Day after day the Prince of life had gone in and out among them. The glory of God, which prophets and kings had longed to see, had shone upon the multitudes that thronged the Saviour's steps. Yet they had refused the heavenly Gift. 
     With a great show of prudence the rabbis had warned the people against receiving the new doctrines taught by this new teacher; for His theories and practices were contrary to the teachings of the fathers. The people gave credence to what the priests and Pharisees taught, in place of seeking to understand the word of God for themselves. They honored the priests and rulers instead of honoring God, and rejected the truth that they might keep their own traditions. Many had been impressed and almost persuaded; but they did not act upon their convictions, and were not reckoned on the side of Christ. Satan presented his temptations, until the light appeared as darkness. Thus many rejected the truth that would have proved the saving of the soul. 
     The True Witness says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." Revelation 3:20. Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth. 
     Like the apostles, the seventy had received supernatural endowments as a seal of their mission. When their work was completed, they returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name." Jesus answered, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
     The scenes of the past and the future were presented to the mind of Jesus. He beheld Lucifer as he was first cast out from the heavenly places. He looked forward to the scenes of His own agony, when before all the worlds the character of the deceiver should be unveiled. He heard the cry, "It is finished" (John 19:30), announcing that the redemption of the lost race was forever made certain, that heaven was made eternally secure against the accusations, the deceptions, the pretensions, that Satan would instigate. 
     Beyond the cross of Calvary, with its agony and shame, Jesus looked forward to the great final day, when the prince of the power of the air will meet his destruction in the earth so long marred by his rebellion. Jesus beheld the work of evil forever ended, and the peace of God filling heaven and earth. 
     Henceforward Christ's followers were to look upon Satan as a conquered foe. Upon the cross, Jesus was to gain the victory for them; that victory He desired them to accept as their own. "Behold," He said, "I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
     The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper. 
     There are Christians who think and speak altogether too much about the power of Satan. They think of their adversary, they pray about him, they talk about him, and he looms up greater and greater in their imagination. It is true that Satan is a powerful being; but, thank God, we have a mighty Saviour, who cast out the evil one from heaven. Satan is pleased when we magnify his power. Why not talk of Jesus? Why not magnify His power and His love?
     The rainbow of promise encircling the throne on high is an everlasting testimony that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. It testifies to the universe that God will never forsake His people in their struggle with evil. It is an assurance to us of strength and protection as long as the throne itself shall endure.
     Jesus added, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Rejoice not in the possession of power, lest you lose sight of your dependence upon God. Be careful lest self-sufficiency come in, and you work in your own strength, rather than in the spirit and strength of your Master. Self is ever ready to take the credit if any measure of success attends the work. Self is flattered and exalted, and the impression is not made upon other minds that God is all and in all. The apostle Paul says, "When I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10. When we have a realization of our weakness, we learn to depend upon a power not inherent. Nothing can take so strong a hold on the heart as the abiding sense of our responsibility to God. Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ. We are to come in touch with God, then we shall be imbued with His Holy Spirit, that enables us to come in touch with our fellow men. Then rejoice that through Christ you have become connected with God, members of the heavenly family. While you look higher than yourself, you will have a continual sense of the weakness of humanity. The less you cherish self, the more distinct and full will be your comprehension of the excellence of your Saviour. The more closely you connect yourself with the source of light and power, the greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater power will be yours to work for God. Rejoice that you are one with God, one with Christ, and with the whole family of heaven. 
     As the seventy listened to the words of Christ, the Holy Spirit was impressing their minds with living realities, and writing truth upon the tablets of the soul. Though multitudes surrounded them, they were as though shut in with God.
     Knowing that they had caught the inspiration of the hour, Jesus "rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me of My Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father, and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him."
     The honored men of the world, the so-called great and wise men, with all their boasted wisdom, could not comprehend the character of Christ. They judged Him from outward appearance, from the humiliation that came upon Him as a human being. But to fishermen and publicans it had been given to see the Invisible. Even the disciples failed of understanding all that Jesus desired to reveal to them; but from time to time, as they surrendered themselves to the Holy Spirit's power, their minds were illuminated. They realized that the mighty God, clad in the garb of humanity, was among them. Jesus rejoiced that though this knowledge was not possessed by the wise and prudent, it had been revealed to these humble men. Often as He had presented the Old Testament Scriptures, and showed their application to Himself and His work of atonement, they had been awakened by His Spirit, and lifted into a heavenly atmosphere. Of the spiritual truths spoken by the prophets they had a clearer understanding than had the original writers themselves. Hereafter they would read the Old Testament Scriptures, not as the doctrines of the scribes and Pharisees, not as the utterances of wise men who were dead, but as a new revelation from God. They beheld Him "whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:17.
     The only way in which we can gain a more perfect apprehension of truth is by keeping the heart tender and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. The soul must be cleansed from vanity and pride, and vacated of all that has held it in possession, and Christ must be enthroned within. Human science is too limited to comprehend the atonement. The plan of redemption is so far-reaching that philosophy cannot explain it. It will ever remain a mystery that the most profound reasoning cannot fathom. The science of salvation cannot be explained; but it can be known by experience. Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour.   
     Full of instruction were the lessons which Christ taught as He slowly made His way from Galilee toward Jerusalem. Eagerly the people listened to His words. In Perea as in Galilee the people were less under the control of Jewish bigotry than in Judea, and His teaching found a response in their hearts. 
     During these last months of His ministry, many of Christ's parables were spoken. The priests and rabbis pursued Him with ever-increasing bitterness, and His warnings to them He veiled in symbols. They could not mistake His meaning, yet they could find in His words nothing on which to ground an accusation against Him. In the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, the self-sufficient prayer, "God, I thank Thee that I am not as the rest of men," stood out in sharp contrast to the penitent's plea, "Be merciful to me the sinner." Luke 18:11, 13, R. V., margin. Thus Christ rebuked the hypocrisy of the Jews. And under the figures of the barren fig tree and the great supper He foretold the doom about to fall upon the impenitent nation. Those who had scornfully rejected the invitation to the gospel feast heard His warning words: "I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper." Luke 14:24. 
     Very precious was the instruction given to the disciples. The parable of the importunate widow and the friend asking for bread at midnight gave new force to His words, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Luke 11:9. And often their wavering faith was strengthened by the memory that Christ had said, "Shall not God do justice for His elect, which cry to Him day and night, and He is long-suffering over them? I say unto you, that He will do them justice speedily." Luke 18:7, 8, R. V., margin. 
     The beautiful parable of the lost sheep Christ repeated. And He carried its lesson still farther, as He told of the lost piece of silver and the prodigal son. The force of these lessons the disciples could not then fully appreciate; but after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as they saw the ingathering of the Gentiles and the envious anger of the Jews, they better understood the lesson of the prodigal son, and could enter into the joy of Christ's words, "It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad;" "for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found." Luke 15:32, 24. And as they went out in their Master's name, facing reproach and poverty and persecution, they often strengthened their hearts by repeating His injunction, spoken on this last journey, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Luke 12:32-34. 
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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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2001, 05:37:00 AM »
It is interesting to note that just a little over half way through this book on the life of Christ we find the writings to be on the last days of Christ's life. There is a lesson to learn from this.  :)

"As the close of His ministry drew near, there was a change in Christ's manner of labor. Heretofore He had sought to shun excitement and publicity. He had refused the homage of the people, and had passed quickly from place to place when the popular enthusiasm in His favor seemed kindling beyond control. Again and again He had commanded that none should declare Him to be the Christ."

But, now His attitude has changed. "'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.' John 3:14. As the eyes of all Israel had been directed to the uplifted serpent, the symbol appointed for their healing, so all eyes must be drawn to Christ, the sacrifice that brought salvation to the lost world."

There are times in the Christians life that it is dark and the trials are "bitter".  Do we accept these trials and thank God for them, or do we murmur and complain?

Do we have examples in the life of Jesus of such trials? Yes, we do. "To the heart of Christ it was a bitter task to press His way against the fears, disappointment, and unbelief of His beloved disciples. It was hard to lead them forward to the anguish and despair that awaited them at Jerusalem."

It will sometimes be our closest friends that will cause us such a "bitter" trial, yet the Lord allows it for a purpose. The sooner we realize that Jesus is in control and that all things will work for good to those who love Him, the sooner we can "glory in our tribulation."
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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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2001, 02:33:00 PM »
"'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.' John 3:14. As the eyes of all Israel had been directed to the uplifted serpent, the symbol appointed for their healing, so all eyes must be drawn to Christ, the sacrifice that brought salvation to the lost world."

This history of Israel was also spoken of by Christ to Nicodemus. It is most important for us today, also.  Jesus wanted all to see Him enduring shame and punishment, the innocent for the guilty. As we behold the same, we understand the great love that God has for us.  "Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ. We are to come in touch with God, then we shall be imbued with His Holy Spirit, that enables us to come in touch with our fellow men. Then rejoice that through Christ you have become connected with God, members of the heavenly family. While you look higher than yourself, you will have a continual sense of the weakness of humanity. The less you cherish self, the more distinct and full will be your comprehension of the excellence of your Saviour. The more closely you connect yourself with the source of light and power, the greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater power will be yours to work for God. Rejoice that you are one with God, one with Christ, and with the whole family of heaven."

By beholding Jesus we become changed into His image.  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan Rügemer

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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2001, 12:46:00 PM »
Desire of Ages
Chapter 53
The last Journey from Galilee

There’s a phrase Jesus used twice showing his sensitivity to the time element of his mission. Or let us say, the event element of the crucifixion that he knew was part of his mission. The phrase "My time is not yet come" he used to his earthly mother at Cana feast and to his earthly brothers at the Feast of Tabernacles. Each party was challenging him to make His "outing" of power. He knew that if too much of His true position was known the religious antagonists would do something radical in a shorter time to eliminate Him. So he kept moving about and avoiding unnecessary provocations thus prolonging his teaching ministry among his disciples. That was important. He was preparing them for their future pastoral tasks. Then when Pentecost power did come they would be mentally better equipt with spiritual knowledge.

I figure that the talks with Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration were strengthening talks about his coming crucifixion. Shortly thereafter it is written that Jesus "steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." So at His last feast of Tabernacles just before His crucifixion Passover, He seemed to know the time of the Father will had come.

The Samaritans got wind of Jesus' plan for heading directly to Jerusalem. They refused lodgings for Him and His disciples based upon their hardhearted biases and prejudices for thinking that He should not be so partial to the Jews of Jerusalem temple and instead give them a bit of honor at their place of worship in Mount Gerizim where their temple worship was. No wonder that the Arab-Israeli’s peace talks of today get all bogged down because the US president can’t let all the diplomatic nuances fed or satisfied of both sides equally.

Many of us get hot under the collar with a wish to call down instant-heavenly-fire of punishment when the opposition gets too blasphemous, slanderous, rejecting or ridiculing the fundemental SDA beliefs. Jesus had shown the disciples who had then the same reactional feelings we display today as having another spirit when approaching enemies.They were plainly ticked off about the Samaritans reaction to their Rabbi Jesus. His reaction was to rebuke them and teach that His constant goal with anyone, even his enemies, was to save them and not to punish them with instant condemnation.

So He gave us an example not to use force when we begin to pursuade people to change their minds about something. We are going to face members of our church who go overboard in zeal for righteousness. These persons will exert many compelling words to forster a compulsion of conscience in the listeners to be for something or violently against something. Jesus is different. He wants people to respond to His love. He wants voluntary service of the sacrifical loving kind from us. Oh, love that will not let me go...I rest my weary soul in Thee....I give Thee back the life I owe...That in Thine ocean depths its flow...May richer, fuller be (G.Matheson,1882)

"There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas."

Just before his triumphal entry into Jerusalem for his last fatal Passover, He spent time in the east bank area of the Jordan. There it was that he sent out 70 of faithful followers who tagged along with the roaming Evangelist and his band. These went out two by two. They visited the towns of Gentiles and Samaritans. They were under instruction not to force issues and if they sensed they weren’t welcomed, they were to shake the dust off and go elsewheres.

No resentment was to linger in the hearts of missionaries when rejection occurs. Just concern that the next attempt for the Spirit of Jesus knocking at the heart's door of the person will again go unheeded and then the disposition to receive truth gets weaker and weaker on the following times.  

"Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning the truth."

A point of great importance is given, in my opinion, by E.White as she warns us not to give too much glory to Satan when giving a personal report,testimony or praying. We much catch ourselves and notice if we are telling more about the evil Satan has done in our lives through us, or through others toward us. Perhaps we unconsciously use a paranoiac sentence repeative-habit of drawing attention to the power of Satan in the world around us and what all he has done on evil accomplishments. Let’s make it a point to 'not' magnify Satan’s power but to magnify the Lord Jesus' power and His love.

Prayer :
Oh, my God of love and justice, I approach You in the mighty authority of Your son Jesus our Christ. I praise You and honor You for taking care of our personal needs. But especially I praise and thank You for revealing us more of the beauty of Jesus through this servant Ellen White. Please, I pray, let all the readers be illumined with their own personal revelation of what it meant for the God of creation to be clothed with humanity of the sort that He himself created. That our hearts be tender in listening to the voice of Thine leading us into the will of the Father. May we be prepared to submit our will to Yours and then be filled with the Holy Spirit to grow in the grace and knowledge of You and Your kingdom's purposes. Teach us more of the humble walk. Plant in us a spirit of repentance. Lead us into the spirit of penitance. Guard us in temptation that we see the door out of it. Cleanse our souls from the secret sins. Rid out of us the pride and vanity seeking for worldly acclaim. May the beauty of Your preciousness be seen in us for the encourgement of others wanting truth and closeness to You. And please work in us a work of grace to seek the treasures of heaven so our hearts will be in tune with Your heart. Thank You Jesus, Amen.

~~~
Joan
~~~


Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2001, 05:57:00 PM »
Amen
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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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2001, 04:21:00 AM »
The Publicans love those who love them. We are to love those who do not love us. If we have the Spirit of Jesus indwelling the heart, then we have this love towards our neighbor, even if the neighbor is "unlovable".  :)

Richard

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

Joan Rügemer

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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2001, 04:48:00 AM »
Actually in my home neighborhood situation I have three neighbors who are literally unloving in their selfish ways as it came to number of shared contacts with them. I have been very careful in staying in this 'love your enemy' attitude by not talking badly about them to others, by friendly smiling and nodding or raising hand to them when they drive by in car or walk their dog pass the house. But going out of my way to get a conversation going with them has stopped. Inviting them in to a meal has not taken place. I am still defensive because of their evil malicious talk about Alf and me so I have decided not to provoke them or give them more private information about us for them to use in a twisted way where lies are spread and slander is furthered.
joan

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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2001, 11:57:00 AM »
Read this chapter for my devotions this morning and was blessed.  :)

Sister Joan, maybe one of them will get sick and you can practice your new health skills, doing ministry as Jesus did.  :)  It is a blessing to know that God does not want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy the evil ones. Who knows, they may become Christians and be responsible for leading many to Christ.  :)  "For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

"Christ is ever showing mercy, ever seeking to win by the revealing of His love. He can admit no rival in the soul, nor accept of partial service; but He dsires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love."

Richard

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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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2001, 11:51:00 PM »
Hi Richard  :)

This chapter is strong counsel on how to live the Christian life without vengeance. Jesus offers us a condition of heart where our emotions and thoughts do not go anymore along lines of destruction. To be humiliated by another into a subordinate position is defeat of pride within us. When our enemy says words to the effect of bashing our innermost being we instinctively react with defence. Bashing our enemy back is the inherant destructive force we all have in us.

It is best that we stay at the low point of humiliation from the start so that there's no bumps and bruises when we are pushed by the enemy. We don't have far to fall  :)

Tit for tat...you do to me so I do to you. As little kids we reacted exclusively on this principle during playtime. When this pattern is not broken in behaviour we carry it over into adulthood.

Now we as adult children of our heavenly King have received new behavioral instructions. Respond in love to the aggressor. Bless him. Do not curse him. Pray for him. Care for him.

Personally, I am geared with all the typical vengeful, emotional reactions just like one would expect from a hot-tempered tempermental woman. But over time as I learned the secret of abiding in the vine, the fluid of God's love narcotizes my wild feelings and the principle of truth rules.

In the moments that the neighbor enemy throws words and actions of hate, jealousy or destruction my way the truths of agape love takes over. In time this gets developed into a habit pattern after many trials. I see in me a state of being 'lifted up on eagles wings' and being able to view more objectively. My strong attachments to the material thing that was damaged is lessened and I relax. My knowing that I am promised far exceedingly better rewards on the new earth makes loosing the material substance through the destructive way of my neighbour enemy of less importance.

Richard, that was so sweet of you to suggest I could be of counseling help in health problems for my neighbor. Yes, that is a very good subject to bind the neighbour's interest in conversation to oneself. But here where I am, the three men who are my enemies are oddfellows. Each live alone in his own small bungalow. One's divorced, one's widower, one's never married. All of them over 55. Each eccentric and full of quickness to misunderstandings. For the sake of decor I avoid standing in the road talking with them when they take their dogs for walks. My ways of friendliness gets misinterpretated by one of the others and dirty talk starts. I've gone through that mill before and am wiser for the experience.

Yes, the best is to pray for my neighbors. Life is short, and they may through other connections besides me, come to knowledge of the forgiveness and righteousness from God.

Joan


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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2001, 11:47:00 AM »
Yes, dear sister, you are right.   :)  I misunderstood and thought they were women. But, we get the lesson from our reading. In Christ we are not looking for vengeance, but rather for some manner in which we may reveal Jesus.  By not retaliating, you have done this.  Jesus will hear your prayers for them.

Richard

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

Joan

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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2001, 04:40:00 AM »

The Lord be praised when his Children do not retaliate when their enemies rise up and hurt them. It is hard to overcome wrong habits but it is not impossible with a God who makes all things possible according to his will and good pleasure.

Sometimes even the marriage partner becomes one's enemy. There are so many believers going into 'Christian SDA' marriages full of hope, plans and expectations. But certain forces of darkness come and the own partner starts percecuting oneself. That's when these teachings of words and example of Jesus in dealing with others will be the only way to stay stable in the will of God when it comes to not retaliating but bearing in patience.

Joan


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The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2001, 09:11:00 PM »
Dear Joan,

The advice you have stated is excellent counsel. Leave our enemies in God's hands for He knows best.

Love your enemies. Pray for them that hurt you. When a man's ways please the Lord, even the enemies will be at peace with them.

I agree with Brother Richard that using the health message is an excellent way of reaching out meaningfully.

Sincerely
Dugald


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Re: The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2016, 07:57:07 AM »
There is so much of importance in this chapter.

As we have pointed out, Jesus has been attempting to reveal He is soon to die at the hands of the leaders. But, none want to believe this. They have been taught otherwise, and the roots of error are not letting go. How many in Israel understood the lambs being sacrificed represented the Son of God? Even John the Baptist did not understand. He did not know Jesus was the Lamb to be slain. Now, Jesus is changing His methods of work. He wants the nation to know He is about to be offered as the Sacrifice for the sins of the world. Some caught on a little, but not really. John cried out "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world" without understanding He must die in order to take away our sins.

Jesus is attempting to direct their eyes to His death upon the cross.

"'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.' John 3:14. As the eyes of all Israel had been directed to the uplifted serpent, the symbol appointed for their healing, so all eyes must be drawn to Christ, the sacrifice that brought salvation to the lost world."

This history of Israel was also spoken of by Christ to Nicodemus. It is most important for us today, also.  Jesus wanted all to see Him enduring shame and punishment, the innocent for the guilty. As we behold the same, we understand the great love that God has for us.  "Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ. We are to come in touch with God, then we shall be imbued with His Holy Spirit, that enables us to come in touch with our fellow men. Then rejoice that through Christ you have become connected with God, members of the heavenly family. While you look higher than yourself, you will have a continual sense of the weakness of humanity. The less you cherish self, the more distinct and full will be your comprehension of the excellence of your Saviour. The more closely you connect yourself with the source of light and power, the greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater power will be yours to work for God. Rejoice that you are one with God, one with Christ, and with the whole family of heaven."

By beholding Jesus we become changed into His image.  :)

Both of these truths are stated in today's reading. We, just as much as Israel need to understand these truths. We do not see our continual need of Christ, we do not understand that it is by beholding Jesus daily uplifted on the cross that our minds are transformed, that we "die daily" to self and sin. As a people we need to be converted from our Laodicean condition so we can prepare for what is coming upon the world. It is no longer soon coming, it is here now. The US president, an anti-Bible, anti Constitution president, and the pope have agreed to battle climate change. In this effort both the pope and the extreme left of the world will work towards making one day a week free from work. Then "mother earth" can rest from the assaults of man. There is a move to make Sunday that one day.

Who objects to this? None, but a very few. The end is coming soon.
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--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2016, 09:47:44 AM »
How many in Israel understood the lambs being sacrificed represented the Son of God? Even John the Baptist did not understand. He did not know Jesus was the Lamb to be slain.

I don't think this is what you wanted to stress in your post  and it is not a new thought for me that the people of Israel and even the disciples, and John the Baptist did not realize that Jesus had to die. They were expecting a conquering Messiah. That is fairly easy to see and understand. However, this thought process, for me, never transferred until now that they did not realize that the lamb they sacrificed every time they committed a sin represented their Messiah. As if killing some animal could somehow cover their sins or that they were like the surrounding nations and simply appeasing an angry god. This kind of thinking could easily cause one to grow callous and blind.

Indeed how blind they were! Don't misunderstand me. I'm not pointing fingers at them because I know there have been things in my own life that I have been blind to and wished I understood long ago. It's easier for me to see now how sin causes blindness and dullness of mind. In some ways I have a greater sympathy for them since much of their blindness came from the religious leadership and not thinking for themselves.

Sin causes blindness and dullness of mind making it easier to commit another sin without even seeing it or realizing it which in turn causes more blindness. Thus a steep and slippery slope is created. The end result makes me shutter to think about. To be honest I've understood this but it's easier this morning for me to see why,  in the thought that they didn't understand who the lamb they were killing represented.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2016, 10:09:09 AM »
Jim, it is an amazing thing to consider that Satan may have repeated what he did to Israel, with us. They did not know they needed a living connection with their Savior. They did not even know they needed a Savior. The lesson was supposed to be learned every time they slaughtered a lamb. Satan had succeeded in perverting the very teaching designed to melt their hearts. They were to see by their sins they had put to death the Son of God, every time they killed a lamb, or a dove, or a bullock.

So, how does that apply to us today? How has Satan attempted to pervert what we have to lead us to see our continual need of a living connection with Christ. Are the John the Baptists of today just as blind to such an important subject as the need for a Savior?

I think so. If the teaching were not perverted, then we would not be in a Laodicean condition. There would be revival and reformation in the church as people would spend that thoughtful hour with Jesus each day. But, few understand they need to be changed daily. The truth of what it means to be converted has been perverted. Many believe they will receive a new character when Jesus comes. How many think they can walk on water disconnected from God? How believe they do not have to keep the commandments of God in order to enter heaven? How many have been taught that is a "works religion"?

When the prophet was alive and in the church, what a blessing. The church has a direct line of information coming from heaven. So, what was the condition of the church then? How does that compare with today? Here is what the prophet said about the church in her day. "The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ (MS 148, 1897).  {6BC 1075.7}  It is much worse in our day.

We are blessed to know the church will be revived and reformed, even though not all will accept the rule of Jesus in their lives. Many will be separated from the church, but many more will come in. Let us spend that time with Jesus that by beholding His grace, we will be transformed daily into His image from glory unto glory (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.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 06:12:24 AM »
In our last reading of this chapter, I asked about the possibility that the church might be as blind as was Israel regarding our continual need of a Savior to do any good thing. The modern day prophet points out where the power to obtain the connection with our Savior is hidden. "'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.' John 3:14. As the eyes of all Israel had been directed to the uplifted serpent, the symbol appointed for their healing, so all eyes must be drawn to Christ, the sacrifice that brought salvation to the lost world."

We all ought to understand why this symbol was appointed for their healing, and how it relates to what is appointed for our healing (conversion). Where do we find our healing? And why is it so?
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--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 08:29:07 AM »
In regard to your question, Richard, our only hope of healing is found in beholding the loveliness of Jesus--seeing our great need, and surrendering fully to Christ our righteousness.

I appreciated this quote from today's reading:
     The only way in which we can gain a more perfect apprehension of truth is by keeping the heart tender and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. The soul must be cleansed from vanity and pride, and vacated of all that has held it in possession, and Christ must be enthroned within. Human science is too limited to comprehend the atonement. The plan of redemption is so far-reaching that philosophy cannot explain it. It will ever remain a mystery that the most profound reasoning cannot fathom. The science of salvation cannot be explained; but it can be known by experience. Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour.   .   

Look to Jesus continually! Live!
"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--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2016, 03:19:01 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!!  Jesus told Nicodemus to consider what Moses had done over a thousand years before. He held up a brass serpent, and told the people that had been bitten by the snakes, if they would look upon it they would live. The serpent represents Satan and sin. All have been bitten by sin, all will die unless they are changed. How is it we can be converted from sinners into saints? We must look upon Jesus uplifted up the cross. He was made sin for us, the brass serpent represented Him on the cross. It is by beholding Jesus uplifted on the cross, taking our sins upon Himself, that we are saved. We must look up and live.

Satan has done much to hide from man the loveliness of Jesus and the plan of salvation. He had deceived Israel to the degree that it was hard for the disciples to be converted since they did not know Jesus had to die on account of their sins. They did not see their continual need of Jesus in order to have power to resist temptation. So it is today, Satan has likewise deceived the church. As a people we are in need of being converted.

Many have been taught the disciples were not converted until after the cross, but this is not so. All had been baptized and ordained. Except for Judas, they had all been converted. But, like many today, they did not remain in a converted state. They wandered in and out of conversion. We see that was the case the last night before Jesus was murdered, before He offered Himself as our Sacrifice. They came into the upper room full of self, but left converted. How long did this last? Not very long. Peter even denied His Lord that very night, and then was reconverted in the Garden.

Many overlook that in today's reading, we are told they wandered in and out of conversion. "From time to time" they would surrender themselves to God.

     Even the disciples failed of understanding all that Jesus desired to reveal to them; but from time to time, as they surrendered themselves to the Holy Spirit's power, their minds were illuminated. They realized that the mighty God, clad in the garb of humanity, was among them. Jesus rejoiced that though this knowledge was not possessed by the wise and prudent, it had been revealed to these humble men.
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--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2016, 07:16:46 AM »
Amen, Richard! But Jesus desires for us something better--an experience of continual surrender and conversion. With Christ abiding in the heart, this is possible.

I was deeply blessed and encouraged by this paragraph of promise and encouragement in today's reading:

The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper. 

I choose to look to Jesus 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}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--53--The Last Journey From Galilee
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2016, 04:56:23 AM »
Amen! When temptations come, and they will daily, look past them to Jesus. Without Him we shall fail. But, with Jesus in the heart, we cannot fail. His grace is powerful to keep us from sin. And, to give us joy amid the trials, both great and small.

The disciples wandered in and out of conversion. As they submitted to the Holy Spirit, they had power, but they did not understand their continual need of Jesus, they did not even understand it is the suffering and death of Christ that brings salvation. Such a deception!

     It was a false conception of the Messiah's work, and a lack of faith in the divine character of Jesus, that had led His brothers to urge Him to present Himself publicly to the people at the Feast of Tabernacles. Now, in a spirit akin to this, the disciples would have prevented Him from making the journey to Jerusalem. They remembered His words concerning what was to befall Him there, they knew the deadly hostility of the religious leaders, and they would fain have dissuaded their Master from going thither.

Today, the deception is just as great. The light is shining brightly all around us. Just as Jesus was with the disciples and they often knew Him not to be God, so it is today. The Holy Spirit is continually pointing to Jesus and wanting us to know He is here to help us in our trials. But, we do not understand any more, as a people, than did His disciples. We think we can walk on water without giving the whole heart to Jesus. Or, worse, many do not think they have to "walk in water." They don't believe grace will transform their lives at conversion. It is true, being recreated in the image of God is a far greater miracle than walking on water. But, the point being made is that too many do not see the need to be transformed, to be converted daily. Yet, Paul said, "I die daily."

On the other hand there are many like the Apostle Paul before he was converted on the road to Damascus who have come to see the wages of one sin is indeed death, and they long to be set free from the law of sin and death which is in their flesh. As hard as they try, they cannot overcome. Why not? Because they fail of having a Savior who has possession of the heart. They do not trust Jesus with everything. They are holding back something they value more than Jesus.

The question then comes "Who will deliver me from the body of this death?" The answer is Jesus. But, He has not delivered me from self and sin. Why not? Because we do not love Him with all the heart. How can we love Him with all we are and all we have? It is revealed in today's lesson.

 "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." John 3:14. As the eyes of all Israel had been directed to the uplifted serpent, the symbol appointed for their healing, so all eyes must be drawn to Christ, the sacrifice that brought salvation to the lost world.


Jesus was lifted up, and He is drawing all men unto Himself. If we did not resist His drawing we all would be saved. The lesson of the uplifted serpent is the most valuable lesson we can learn. Many think by reading the writing of church father's they can obtain salvation, but it is not so. If we want to be free from self and sin, we must go to Jesus. We must learn of Him who gave all for us. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour day contemplating the life of Christ. For it is by beholding we become changed. Go back and read the lesson given in the wilderness when Moses lifted up the brazen serpent. Jesus pointed a Laodicean, Nicodemus, to this lesson when He told him he must be converted in order to enter heaven.

If we will spend time each day getting to know out Savior, we shall be transformed into His character, and be set free from the law of sin and death which is in our flesh. 2 Corinthians 3:18 is a great secret that Satan has kept from modern day Israel, just as he kept it from the Jews when their Messiah came to them and they knew Him not. It is a promise that you and I may claim if we will give up some of our valuable time and spend it with Jesus.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.