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R Myers

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The Desire of Ages--55--Not With Outward Show
« on: February 11, 2001, 08:07:00 AM »
Chap. 55 - Not With Outward Show


Listen to  Not With Outward Show

 







     Some of the Pharisees had come to Jesus demanding "when the kingdom of God should come." More than three years had passed since John the Baptist gave the message that like a trumpet call had sounded through the land, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 3:2. And as yet these Pharisees saw no indication of the establishment of the kingdom. Many of those who rejected John, and at every step had opposed Jesus, were insinuating that His mission had failed. 
     Jesus answered, "The kingdom of God cometh not with outward show; [margin]: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." The kingdom of God begins in the heart. Look not here or there for manifestations of earthly power to mark its coming. 
     "The days will come," He said, turning to His disciples, "when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it." Because it is not attended by worldly pomp, you are in danger of failing to discern the glory of My mission. You do not realize how great is your present privilege in having among you, though veiled in humanity, Him who is the life and the light of men. The days will come when you will look back with longing upon the opportunities you now enjoy to walk and talk with the Son of God. Because of their selfishness and earthliness, even the disciples of Jesus could not comprehend the spiritual glory which He sought to reveal unto them. It was not until after Christ's ascension to His Father, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believers, that the disciples fully appreciated the Saviour's character and mission. After they had received the baptism of the Spirit, they began to realize that they had been in the very presence of the Lord of glory. As the sayings of Christ were brought to their remembrance, their minds were opened to comprehend the prophecies, and to understand the miracles which He had wrought. The wonders of His life passed before them, and they were as men awakened from a dream. They realized that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14. Christ had actually come from God to a sinful world to save the fallen sons and daughters of Adam. The disciples now seemed, to themselves, of much less importance than before they realized this. They never wearied of rehearsing His words and works. His lessons, which they had but dimly understood, now came to them as a fresh revelation. The Scriptures became to them a new book.   
     As the disciples searched the prophecies that testified of Christ, they were brought into fellowship with the Deity, and learned of Him who had ascended to heaven to complete the work He had begun on earth. They recognized the fact that in Him dwelt knowledge which no human being, unaided by divine agency, could comprehend. They needed the help of Him whom kings, prophets, and righteous men had foretold. With amazement they read and reread the prophetic delineations of His character and work. How dimly had they comprehended the prophetic scriptures! how slow they had been in taking in the great truths which testified of Christ! Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood the mystery of His incarnation, the dual character of His nature. Their eyes were holden, so that they did not fully recognize divinity in humanity. But after they were illuminated by the Holy Spirit, how they longed to see Him again, and to place themselves at His feet! How they wished that they might come to Him, and have Him explain the scriptures which they could not comprehend! How attentively would they listen to His words! What had Christ meant when He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now"? John 16:12. How eager they were to know it all! They grieved that their faith had been so feeble, that their ideas had been so wide of the mark, that they had so failed of comprehending the reality.   
     A herald had been sent from God to proclaim the coming of Christ, and to call the attention of the Jewish nation and of the world to His mission, that men might prepare for His reception. The wonderful personage whom John had announced had been among them for more than thirty years, and they had not really known Him as the One sent from God. Remorse took hold of the disciples because they had allowed the prevailing unbelief to leaven their opinions and becloud their understanding. The Light of this dark world had been shining amid its gloom, and they had failed to comprehend whence were its beams. They asked themselves why they had pursued a course that made it necessary for Christ to reprove them. They often repeated His conversations, and said, Why did we allow earthly considerations and the opposition of priests and rabbis to confuse our senses, so that we did not comprehend that a greater than Moses was among us, that One wiser than Solomon was instructing us? How dull were our ears! how feeble was our understanding!   
     Thomas would not believe until he had thrust his finger into the wound made by the Roman soldiers. Peter had denied Him in His humiliation and rejection. These painful remembrances came before them in distinct lines. They had been with Him, but they had not known or appreciated Him. But how these things now stirred their hearts as they recognized their unbelief!   
     As priests and rulers combined against them, and they were brought before councils and thrust into prison, the followers of Christ rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." Acts 5:41. They rejoiced to prove, before men and angels, that they recognized the glory of Christ, and chose to follow Him at the loss of all things. 
     It is as true now as in apostolic days, that without the illumination of the divine Spirit, humanity cannot discern the glory of Christ. The truth and the work of God are unappreciated by a world-loving and compromising Christianity. Not in the ways of ease, of earthly honor or worldly conformity, are the followers of the Master found. They are far in advance, in the paths of toil, and humiliation, and reproach, in the front of the battle "against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12, R. V. And now, as in Christ's day, they are misunderstood and reproached and oppressed by the priests and Pharisees of their time.   
     The kingdom of God comes not with outward show. The gospel of the grace of God, with its spirit of self-abnegation, can never be in harmony with the spirit of the world. The two principles are antagonistic. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14.   
     But today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. The establishment of such a kingdom is what the Jews desired in the days of Christ. They would have received Jesus, had He been willing to establish a temporal dominion, to enforce what they regarded as the laws of God, and to make them the expositors of His will and the agents of His authority. But He said, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. He would not accept the earthly throne. 
     The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,--extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.   
     Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.   
     When the apostle Paul began his ministry in Corinth, that populous, wealthy, and wicked city, polluted by the nameless vices of heathenism, he said, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2. Writing afterward to some of those who had been corrupted by the foulest sins, he could say, "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1:4. 
     Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20. 



_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________



Selfishness is evil and it makes it very difficult to understand the character of our God. The Holy Spirit is needed to reveal the dual character of the nature of Christ. God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh is a mystery that God desires we should all comprehend. Our desires before we know God is for the things of this world. It was the purpose of Jesus to reveal the unseen world and to transform our natures in our sinful flesh.     

"...today in the religious world there are multitudes who, as they believe, are working for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ as an earthly and temporal dominion. They desire to make our Lord the ruler of the kingdoms of this world, the ruler in its courts and camps, its legislative halls, its palaces and market places. They expect Him to rule through legal enactments, enforced by human authority. Since Christ is not now here in person, they themselves will undertake to act in His stead, to execute the laws of His kingdom. The establishment of such a kingdom is what the Jews desired in the days of Christ. They would have received Jesus, had He been willing to establish a temporal dominion, to enforce what they regarded as the laws of God, and to make them the expositors of His will and the agents of His authority. But He said, 'My kingdom is not of this world.' John 18:36. He would not accept the earthly throne."

Joan Rügemer

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The Desire of Ages--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2001, 08:31:00 AM »
Desire of Ages
Chapter 55
Not With Outward Show

Have you ever wondered what Jesus actually preached ?
He preached nothing other than the good news of the kingdom of God   :)
He spoke to all he met after his resurrection only about the things of the kingdom of God for forty days until His ascension.

He taught that if we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, every thing else we need for living will be given us. He casted out devils by the Spirit of God thereby proving that the kingdom of God has come to us. Being persecuted for preaching the gospel of the kingdom is an indication that the kingdom of God has come to that place. He emphasized that rich persons have it real hard getting into the kingdom of God, but repenting extortionists and harlots get in more easily. He cautioned in an analogy to get rid of the offending 'member of one’s body' if it hinders one being accepted eternally in the kingdom of God. He laid great stress on bringing children into the kingdom of God. The attitude of a child’s trust and quickness to forgive are the hallmarks of one who is able to receive the kingdom of God. He proclaimed that the kingdom of God was for the poor. Time and again it is stated that healing the sick and preaching the kingdom of God go hand in hand. From the north, east, west, south shall be people coming into membership of the kingdom of God. For those giving up for the kingdom of God his house, marriage partner, parents, children, or brethern, will receive manifold recompensation. Jesus strongly said that no one can even see the kingdom of God unless he is born again of the Spirit of God and of baptism water.

Besides the simile of the mustard seed and leaven to give a good idea of how the kingdom of God starts small but grows to immense proportions, he did give one strict warning to wanne-be Christians. Jesus said that nobody starting to plough in the kingdom of God, who gets turning his head back to the old ways with yearning to do and participate in those worldly things of the
past, is fit for the kingdom of God. The person can not serve two masters, either it be mammon or it is to be Christ.
---------

Paul and the other Apostles were preaching just along the same lines that Jesus used. The emphasis was on the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Paul and Barnabas exhorted the people to continue in the faith telling them that we enter the kingdom of God through much tribulation. In a certain phrase of Paul’s mission journey’s he went into synagogues and spoke boldy of things concerning the kingdom of God. Paul taught that the kingdom of God is not partying up with eating lots of meat and drinkings but has to do with
righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. He taught that the kingdom of God is not set-up alone for preaching but for the display of power in lives. Then Paul gave a list of all which will not inherit the kingdom of God if they stay the way they are and keep on practicing the sin they do :
The unrighteous, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate(applied here to morals when it denotes those who give themselves up to a soft, luxurious and indolent way of living, making self-indulgence the grand object of life. They can endure no hardship and practise no self-denial in the cause of duty to God),sodomists, theives, covetous persons, drunkards, revilers (slandering others, openly or secretly, tale bearing, backbiting, spreading scandalous reports),or
extortioners.

We all know that flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God so no one who thinks that growing up a SDA, or of other denomination for that matter, will fit the bill be part of the kingdom of God at default. That is erronous works-righteousness thinking.
Those that do such things like being envious, murdering, getting drunk revelling
or such like will not inherit the kingdom of God either.

(The above was just a study for today,next comes the actual chapter meditation)

~~~
Joan
~~~

[This message has been edited by Joan Rügemer (edited 02-11-2001).]


Joan Rügemer

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The Desire of Ages--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2001, 08:38:00 AM »
Chapter 55 continued....

It doesn’t seem like a day went by in the three years of Jesus’ ministry where either a Priest, Sadducee, Rabbi, hired spy or the big boys of the Pharisees themself weren’t hounding Jesus to trip Him up. This time one of the big boys came up to him demanding to know when the ‘kingdom of God’ was to come.

Spiritually speaking, from insider insight, we all know that Satan was down right franticly being active to squealch any bit of the kingdom of God getting set-up in the domain of ‘his’ kingdom on earth. The baby killings at the time of Jesus’ birth, the slander propogated behind the backs of the holy parents implying that the ‘holy circumstances’ of Mary not be so virginhaft as told, the fight to overcome Jesus through the lust of the eyes, pride of life and lust of the flesh while in the desert of temptation. Besides the whole constant Pharisee or clergy opposition time and again. Lucifer was hotly defending his territory.

Now the men in charge wanted to have an answer about the kingdom of God.
How could our Lord make plausible spiritual realities to carnal minds like those of the opposition? How could he make clear to them that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” ,“the kingdom comes not with outward show” but that the “kingdom is within you”? Only the baptism by the Holy Spirit can heal such blindness and deafness of understanding. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know then, because they are spiritually discerned.”

EGW touches now on a point of great controversy among the Christian community of SDA as well as of the other denominations. The issue is : How active are Christians to be in politics with having the laws of God’s kingdom as their platform ? On this page, in this chapter, there is no example to follow from Jesus as to personal involvement in changing a corrupt and oppressive government. He had the stuff to do so but didn’t to so at that time. The crying abuses we are seeing today in our government of extortion, misuse of power, intolerance, cruelty or immorality of the staff was in Jesus’ day of ruling powers as well.

I know the American Christian Colilition is working for establishment of an earthly temporal government based on the teachings of Christ. They take it so well-meaning, believing that it is possible through legislation for getting the morals of people cleaned up. They are striving for the same which motivated the disciples with great impatience. The hope of a Christ ruling on earth. The people of today as the disciples of then (think of Judas) are trying to force the hand of the Lord before His time.

Some way or other we sure aren’t paying proper attention to the words of Jesus as he said “My kingdom is not of this world.” We are not taking Him seriously. His example showed that He attempted no civil reforms, made no campaign against national abuses, didn’t loose a word speaking bad about the national enemies, or play any terrorist games. He did not interfer with administration of those in power but kept aloof from the ruling government. Then, as well as now, Jesus wasn’t aiming to get control of courts or councils or legislative assemblies.

He knew that the remedy for the ills of bad governing of a land lie not in merely using human resources and external measures to get things cleaned up. He thought more radically than that. “To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.” “..but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit” will come in a righteous government.

Those of us who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, who have been cleansed from sin of the soul, who have been made justified by the authority of Jesus the Christ, and who are sanctified unto the Lord by the Spririt of our God know the power which was given to become the sons of God by the will of God. This godly power has regenerated our hearts to make us new creatures in Christ our Lord. WE then become ambassadors for Christ after being reconciled to God. Our main goal is now to say daily “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I , but Christ liveth in me.”
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN US!

~~~
Joan
~~~


Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2001, 05:41:00 AM »
Amen, Sister Joan.

Sabbath, I heard a church member say Jesus never argued with people. I hear this often from people who seem to not want to hear what the Bible says. How could anyone say Jesus never argued? How could anyone read the gospels and make such a statement.  Jesus was continually having to defend the truth. He never allowed truth to languish upon His lips. He was not a coward.

Caution is needed at this point, for many will take this as license to introduce arguments and this I don't see Jesus doing most of the time. He spoke the truth in love and did so to those that were looking for truth. This is a subject that deserves some study that we might rightly understand the example that Jesus gave.

When others come to us with an understanding of Scripture that differs with ours, do we rise up against it, or do we compare it with Scripture? Will it be said of us, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now"?  Let us prepare our hearts that Jesus may teach us today.  :)

Richard

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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 04:51:16 AM »
The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,--extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.

Maybe if more people in the church understood this there would be more time spent preaching and sharing the word rather spending time promoting current social issues.
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2016, 07:27:01 AM »
The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,--extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.

Maybe if more people in the church understood this there would be more time spent preaching and sharing the word rather spending time promoting current social issues.

Yes, Jim. The understanding must comprehend this point: "the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart." Unless the heart is made new, holy, cleansed from sin and selfishness, the individual is still serving Satan and sin. Even if a godly Christian were elected President of the United States, that in and of itself would not change society. It is the heart that is evil by nature and must be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to make a real change in the motives of behavior.

Until we are born again of His Spirit (John 3) we can do nothing good (from the heart). Here is what Saul found out about his keeping the law on the outside: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:18-21, 23,24.

Only Christ can set us free from the law of sin and death which is in our flesh and keeps us in bondage to sin. It is when the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart that it is "regenerated" and then He writes His law upon it. Then we are partakers of His divine nature and escape the corruption not only in the world, but which is in our flesh. As Paul said "I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Cor. 9:27.

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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2016, 07:30:43 AM »
The closing paragraph is so very important for the church today.

Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20.

In whatever country we live, we see serious problems in society and in government. We long to have righteous laws and representatives. But, God's kingdom is not of this world. We stay here after we are converted that the world might know Jesus by our witness of His character. We know that in and of ourselves we cannot be a witness of Christ, for there is no good thing in us apart from God. But, if we will learn of Christ and surrender our will to His will, then He will come into our hearts and empower repentant sinners to live His life, to manifest all of the fruits of His Spirit. Then, being dead to self, I can say "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." We must maintain our connection with Christ in order to continue to witness His character to a world soon to perish. Without being partakers of His divine nature it is impossible to be His ambassadors. Fully surrendered to Him, then we will be faithful ambassadors.
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2016, 06:04:30 AM »
Many in Israel wanted the "kingdom of God" to deal with the corruption of Rome. But, the real problem was not with Rome, but with the rulers within the religion. They had perverted the gospel of grace. They were worse than Rome because they had been entrusted with the sacred oracles of God and had misrepresented the One who was to suffer and die for their sins. And, they were the ones who after Pilot had washed his hands in an attempt to show the innocence of Jesus, demanded his murder.

And, how is it today with those charged with the leadership of God's church? Has the gospel of Christ been perverted in a similar manner? It has. What are some of the errors that keep God's church in its Laodicean condition? The major effort by Satan has been to pervert the truth that we must be converted, we must be born again of His Spirit, we must become partakers of His divine nature before we can do any good thing. The "everlasting gospel" given in Genesis 3:15 has been lost sight of....or worse has been twisted to lead many to believe the whole world was justified when God spoke the words He would put enmity between Satan and the woman, between his seed and her seed. Such a lie. That covenant was the promise to write His law into our hearts IF we would accept the free Gift. If man does not make a full surrender, he is not justified and does not have eternal life. Man comes into this world in need of reconciliation with God, no matter who teaches otherwise. We need to be converted before we have life.

     Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.   
     When the apostle Paul began his ministry in Corinth, that populous, wealthy, and wicked city, polluted by the nameless vices of heathenism, he said, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2. Writing afterward to some of those who had been corrupted by the foulest sins, he could say, "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1:4. 

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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2016, 08:18:56 AM »


And, how is it today with those charged with the leadership of God's church? Has the gospel of Christ been perverted in a similar manner? It has. What are some of the errors that keep God's church in its Laodicean condition? The major effort by Satan has been to pervert the truth that we must be converted, we must be born again of His Spirit, we must become partakers of His divine nature before we can do any good thing. The "everlasting gospel" given in Genesis 3:15 has been lost sight of....or worse has been twisted to lead many to believe the whole world was justified when God spoke the words He would put enmity between Satan and the woman, between his seed and her seed. Such a lie. That covenant was the promise to write His law into our hearts IF we would accept the free Gift. If man does not make a full surrender, he is not justified and does not have eternal life. Man comes into this world in need of reconciliation with God, no matter who teaches otherwise. We need to be converted before we have life.

Amen, Richard! We are in constant need of Jesus Christ. The evidence of a soul born again and converted, living by faith on the Son of God, is that the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life; not one will be missing.

I appreciated the gems of truth in this chapter--as we can see in the following paragraph:

The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart. – {DA 509.3}

As a pastor it is a blessing to be silent on political questions that cause agitation, to see how Jesus ministered to deal with the root need. Each Seventh-day Adventist Christian is to point people of all walks of life and views to the only enduring remedy: Jesus Christ abiding in the heart that is to be continually fully surrendered to Him.
"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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2016, 07:44:26 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  The solution does not lie with government agencies. As citizens of our countries we have responsibilities and at times we need to speak up, but the real problem is the human heart.

     Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.   
     When the apostle Paul began his ministry in Corinth, that populous, wealthy, and wicked city, polluted by the nameless vices of heathenism, he said, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2. Writing afterward to some of those who had been corrupted by the foulest sins, he could say, "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1:4.
     Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20. 
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2016, 08:06:44 AM »
Amen!

We need the heart changed by Christ to experience God's kingdom!

Jesus answered, "The kingdom of God cometh not with outward show; [margin]: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." The kingdom of God begins in the heart. Look not here or there for manifestations of earthly power to mark its coming. 
"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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2016, 05:46:15 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!

Humanity has not changed, neither has the gospel of grace. Paul understood and points us to our continual need to be reconciled to God.

      Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20. 
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2016, 05:21:23 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need that conversion (death to self by beholding and surrendering fully to God by experiencing the loveliness of Jesus) daily! I appreciate how our chapter today showed how much was lost by the disciples not realizing all that Christ was to them. May we appreciate Jesus and keep our focus upon Him! And may we see how this is to be accomplished in our lives:

    Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God.  

We need to feed upon God's word, for it is Spirit and life to us. We need to read it and meditate upon it that we may have God's thoughts become our own by memorization, communion, and earnest prayer. Let us fill our whole heart with the words of the Bible! May we internalize what God is speaking to us today of Jesus in His word and come from our seasons of communion with Him strengthened to continue that talking to God through the whole day, that not even for a moment will we separate from our lovely Friend, Jesus! When we realize how great our need is for this experience, and we depend upon and behold Jesus constantly, we need not fear the future--we can go forth to face duty and trial upheld by the divine nature that His Spirit implants in us by a living, active faith manifest in all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! Praise the Lord!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2016, 05:34:35 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!  "The kingdom of God begins in the heart." The implanting of Christ's nature in a fallen human being is the greatest miracle God can do. Yet, so many doubt it can be done. Many argue against it. Yet, it is a reality for all will make a full surrender to Christ.

Rather than make a full surrender, giving the whole heart to God, we find many in the name of Christ participating in the political process believing that changing laws will hasten the coming of Christ. This, Jesus did not do. He followed a much different process. He wanted the hearts of those for whom He suffered and died.

   Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20. 


Amen!  To be reconciled to God is to be born again of His Spirit. To be born again is to become a partaker of God's divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). How can this be. By following the principle revealed in 2 Cor. 3:18. It is an intellectual and a Spiritual truth that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to that which it is accustomed to love and reverence. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, for it is a promise that if we do, we will become infused with the nature of our God. Miracle of all miracles!
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 05:31:07 AM »
Let us keep pressing onward, upward through Jesus, and by beholding the loveliness of His character, we will be enabled daily, continually by constant union and communion of the renewed heart and mind with Him (where the kingdom of God begins), that we may keep in step with the advance leading of God's Spirit.

It is as true now as in apostolic days, that without the illumination of the divine Spirit, humanity cannot discern the glory of Christ. The truth and the work of God are unappreciated by a world-loving and compromising Christianity. Not in the ways of ease, of earthly honor or worldly conformity, are the followers of the Master found. They are far in advance, in the paths of toil, and humiliation, and reproach, in the front of the battle "against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12, R. V. And now, as in Christ's day, they are misunderstood and reproached and oppressed by the priests and Pharisees of their time.   

Let us rejoice that we are enabled through Jesus to experience His sufferings! What a privilege and weighty trust! Oh, what a glorious joy it is to glory in our tribulations as we share testimony of what He has done in our lives! I am thankful that today I am given an opportunity to testify in a 20-25 minute devotional of how Jesus has led in my life at the Michigan Conference Executive Committee meeting. God led me from being broken, depressed, and sad over losing my mom and dad, having bouts with manic-depression (bipolar) and being on drug medication to be able to have full healing of mind, and to experience the gospel of His grace as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian! I am so so so so so thankful that Jesus is the "author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2)--and that the praise belongs to Him!

Whenever we share our experience of the grace of God, others cannot help but be blessed if they are open to the Holy Spirit's loving voice! May God be glorified in all our experiences this day--wherever He leads the way!! Truly, the kingdom of God is within you--and will be manifested in the fruits of the Spirit being seen in the life without one missing!
"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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2017, 06:40:30 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean!  God is so very good!!  It is the Holy Spirit that not only opens our minds to the truth, but as we witness for Him, He illuminates the minds of others as to the character, glory, of God. I have been praying that the Spirit will open minds at your meetings, and will continue to water the seeds planted with the leaders in the Michigan conference. Many are wanting to please God. We are thankful for the Michigan conference and your influence in it.

I too was impressed with the paragraph you shared this morning. I begin with the paragraph preceding it.

     As priests and rulers combined against them, and they were brought before councils and thrust into prison, the followers of Christ rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." Acts 5:41. They rejoiced to prove, before men and angels, that they recognized the glory of Christ, and chose to follow Him at the loss of all things.
     It is as true now as in apostolic days, that without the illumination of the divine Spirit, humanity cannot discern the glory of Christ. The truth and the work of God are unappreciated by a world-loving and compromising Christianity. Not in the ways of ease, of earthly honor or worldly conformity, are the followers of the Master found. They are far in advance, in the paths of toil, and humiliation, and reproach, in the front of the battle "against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12, R. V. And now, as in Christ's day, they are misunderstood and reproached and oppressed by the priests and Pharisees of their time. 


As we daily behold the revelation of the glory of Christ in this most beautiful Book, we can't help but want to share it. We continue to pray that others will join us our daily reading. By  beholding His glory, we become more and more like that which we are beholding. What a privilege!
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2017, 05:29:57 AM »
As the disciples searched the prophecies that testified of Christ, they were brought into fellowship with the Deity, and learned of Him who had ascended to heaven to complete the work He had begun on earth. They recognized the fact that in Him dwelt knowledge which no human being, unaided by divine agency, could comprehend. They needed the help of Him whom kings, prophets, and righteous men had foretold. With amazement they read and reread the prophetic delineations of His character and work. How dimly had they comprehended the prophetic scriptures! how slow they had been in taking in the great truths which testified of Christ! Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood the mystery of His incarnation, the dual character of His nature. Their eyes were holden, so that they did not fully recognize divinity in humanity. But after they were illuminated by the Holy Spirit, how they longed to see Him again, and to place themselves at His feet! How they wished that they might come to Him, and have Him explain the scriptures which they could not comprehend! How attentively would they listen to His words! What had Christ meant when He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now"? John 16:12. How eager they were to know it all! They grieved that their faith had been so feeble, that their ideas had been so wide of the mark, that they had so failed of comprehending the reality.   

According to this passage, what was it that brought them into fellowship with Deity? It was studying the scriptures that testified of Christ! And today it can be the same for us. Whether we study the prophecies of the 1st coming or the 2nd they are all about Christ! Studying the prophecies concerning the 1st  with lend to faith and confidence in the prophecies concerning Christ's soon 2nd return to earth. We may not know the day nor the hour but we can know that our Savior will return very soon. And if we are studying of Him from scriptures our hearts will burn with hope to share with others.

The other part I bolded I heard a pastor once say that he thought these were the saddest words in the Bible. How much further along in our understandings would we be if the disciples had been ready to hear what Christ wanted to share with them. I think sometimes we look back at the mistakes of the disciples and are tempted to think we wouldn't be like them but I'm sure there are times for me personally that Christ wished He could reveal to me but couldn't because of my dull mind. It's a sad thought actually but just like He didn't give up on the disciples He doesn't give up on me or you. The more read about His life the more we will be like Him!!
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2017, 07:12:01 AM »
Amen, Jim! By reading Christ's words and applying them to our lives, as we daily spend this "thoughtful hour" with Him, we come to more fully understand His character and reflect His loveliness to others! May we ever be taught of His Spirit so we can receive and then give what we have received. May we build up the spiritual kingdom and keep our focus on Christ!

    Now, as in Christ's day, the work of God's kingdom lies not with those who are clamoring for recognition and support by earthly rulers and human laws, but with those who are declaring to the people in His name those spiritual truths that will work in the receivers the experience of Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20. Then they will labor as did Paul for the benefit of men. He said, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20. 

Let us live to make others happy in the knowledge of Jesus, and to come near people as did Christ to benefit them, that their hearts may be softened to receive light from heaven!
"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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2017, 08:20:38 AM »
Amen Jim and Pastor Sean!  Oh how much we miss by not believing with the whole heart that Jesus is either in the heart or standing at the door knocking. He is just as real today as He was when He could not reveal what He wanted to to His disciples. He longs to open our minds to the great blessing He offers.

     Why did we allow earthly considerations and the opposition of priests and rabbis to confuse our senses, so that we did not comprehend that a greater than Moses was among us, that One wiser than Solomon was instructing us? How dull were our ears! how feeble was our understanding!   


Yes, as Jim said, our minds have been dulled by sin, the sin of those before us and our own. But, God has given so much light that will clear the mind and open our eyes to His presence, and our continual need of Him. What a blessing to be in harmony with my brothers who are wanting this experience. We pray for others to read along with us....and by beholding become transformed in our very nature! Minds have so dulled that few understand the power of grace to truly make us partakers of God's divine nature.

     Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind.

It was the same power that worked through Jesus. He had a dual nature.

     Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood the mystery of His incarnation, the dual character of His nature. Their eyes were holden, so that they did not fully recognize divinity in humanity.

He was God and He was man. We are not God, but we may partake of His nature, thus we too may have a dual nature. We retain our fallen nature until the second coming. But, there is no excuse for sin when we have the Holy Spirit abiding in the heart. He empowers us to keep the law of God despite our fallen flesh. As Paul taught. We keep the body (flesh) under that we be not castaways.  "But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Cor. 9:27.
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--55--Not With Outward Show
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2017, 05:55:13 AM »
What does it mean to be a Christian? What is conversion? It is a radical transformation of character that comes when the heart is fully given to Christ and the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart. The old man is dead.

     As priests and rulers combined against them, and they were brought before councils and thrust into prison, the followers of Christ rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." Acts 5:41. They rejoiced to prove, before men and angels, that they recognized the glory of Christ, and chose to follow Him at the loss of all things.
     It is as true now as in apostolic days, that without the illumination of the divine Spirit, humanity cannot discern the glory of Christ. The truth and the work of God are unappreciated by a world-loving and compromising Christianity. Not in the ways of ease, of earthly honor or worldly conformity, are the followers of the Master found. They are far in advance, in the paths of toil, and humiliation, and reproach, in the front of the battle "against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12, R. V. And now, as in Christ's day, they are misunderstood and reproached and oppressed by the priests and Pharisees of their time.   
     The kingdom of God comes not with outward show. The gospel of the grace of God, with its spirit of self-abnegation, can never be in harmony with the spirit of the world. The two principles are antagonistic. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.