Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"  (Read 20190 times)

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R Myers

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The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« on: April 12, 2001, 04:54:00 AM »
"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"



Listen to  "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"


 




     Looking upon His disciples with divine love and with the tenderest sympathy, Christ said, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him." Judas had left the upper chamber, and Christ was alone with the eleven. He was about to speak of His approaching separation from them; but before doing this He pointed to the great object of His mission. It was this that He kept ever before Him. It was His joy that all His humiliation and suffering would glorify the Father's name. To this He first directs the thoughts of His disciples.   
     Then addressing them by the endearing term, "Little children," He said, "Yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you." 
     The disciples could not rejoice when they heard this. Fear fell upon them. They pressed close about the Saviour. Their Master and Lord, their beloved Teacher and Friend, He was dearer to them than life. To Him they had looked for help in all their difficulties, for comfort in their sorrows and disappointments. Now He was to leave them, a lonely, dependent company. Dark were the forebodings that filled their hearts. 
     But the Saviour's words to them were full of hope. He knew that they were to be assailed by the enemy, and that Satan's craft is most successful against those who are depressed by difficulties. Therefore He pointed them away from "the things which are seen," to "the things which are not seen." 2 Corinthians 4:18. From earthly exile He turned their thoughts to the heavenly home.
     "Let not your heart be troubled," He said; "ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." For your sake I came into the world. I am working in your behalf. When I go away, I shall still work earnestly for you. I came into the world to reveal Myself to you, that you might believe. I go to the Father to co-operate with Him in your behalf. The object of Christ's departure was the opposite of what the disciples feared. It did not mean a final separation. He was going to prepare a place for them, that He might come again, and receive them unto Himself. While He was building mansions for them, they were to build characters after the divine similitude. 
     Still the disciples were perplexed. Thomas, always troubled by doubts, said, "Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him." 
     There are not many ways to heaven. Each one may not choose his own way. Christ says, "I am the way: . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." Since the first gospel sermon was preached, when in Eden it was declared that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, Christ had been uplifted as the way, the truth, and the life. He was the way when Adam lived, when Abel presented to God the blood of the slain lamb, representing the blood of the Redeemer. Christ was the way by which patriarchs and prophets were saved. He is the way by which alone we can have access to God.
     "If ye had known Me," Christ said, "ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him." But not yet did the disciples understand. "Lord, show us the Father," exclaimed Philip, "and it sufficeth us."
     Amazed at his dullness of comprehension, Christ asked with pained surprise, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip?" Is it possible that you do not see the Father in the works He does through Me? Do you not believe that I came to testify of the Father? "How sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." Christ had not ceased to be God when He became man. Though He had humbled Himself to humanity, the Godhead was still His own. Christ alone could represent the Father to humanity, and this representation the disciples had been privileged to behold for over three years.
     "Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake." Their faith might safely rest on the evidence given in Christ's works, works that no man, of himself, ever had done, or ever could do. Christ's work testified to His divinity. Through Him the Father had been revealed. 
     If the disciples believed this vital connection between the Father and the Son, their faith would not forsake them when they saw Christ's suffering and death to save a perishing world. Christ was seeking to lead them from their low condition of faith to the experience they might receive if they truly realized what He was,--God in human flesh. He desired them to see that their faith must lead up to God, and be anchored there. How earnestly and perseveringly our compassionate Saviour sought to prepare His disciples for the storm of temptation that was soon to beat upon them. He would have them hid with Him in God. 
     As Christ was speaking these words, the glory of God was shining from His countenance, and all present felt a sacred awe as they listened with rapt attention to His words. Their hearts were more decidedly drawn to Him; and as they were drawn to Christ in greater love, they were drawn to one another. They felt that heaven was very near, and that the words to which they listened were a message to them from their heavenly Father. 
     "Verily, verily, I say unto you," Christ continued, "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also." The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.
     "And greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." By this Christ did not mean that the disciples' work would be of a more exalted character than His, but that it would have greater extent. He did not refer merely to miracle working, but to all that would take place under the working of the Holy Spirit. 
     After the Lord's ascension, the disciples realized the fulfillment of His promise. The scenes of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ were a living reality to them. They saw that the prophecies had been literally fulfilled. They searched the Scriptures, and accepted their teaching with a faith and assurance unknown before. They knew that the divine Teacher was all that He had claimed to be. As they told their experience, and exalted the love of God, men's hearts were melted and subdued, and multitudes believed on Jesus.
     The Saviour's promise to His disciples is a promise to His church to the end of time. God did not design that His wonderful plan to redeem men should achieve only insignificant results. All who will go to work, trusting not in what they themselves can do, but in what God can do for and through them, will certainly realize the fulfillment of His promise. "Greater works than these shall ye do," He declares; "because I go unto My Father."
     As yet the disciples were unacquainted with the Saviour's unlimited resources and power. He said to them, "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name." John 16:24. He explained that the secret of their success would be in asking for strength and grace in His name. He would be present before the Father to make request for them. The prayer of the humble suppliant He presents as His own desire in that soul's behalf. Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven. It may not be fluently expressed; but if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the sanctuary where Jesus ministers, and He will present it to the Father without one awkward, stammering word, beautiful and fragrant with the incense of His own perfection. 
     The path of sincerity and integrity is not a path free from obstruction, but in every difficulty we are to see a call to prayer. There is no one living who has any power that he has not received from God, and the source whence it comes is open to the weakest human being. "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name," said Jesus, "that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it." 
     "In My name," Christ bade His disciples pray. In Christ's name His followers are to stand before God. Through the value of the sacrifice made for them, they are of value in the Lord's sight. Because of the imputed righteousness of Christ they are accounted precious. For Christ's sake the Lord pardons those that fear Him. He does not see in them the vileness of the sinner. He recognizes in them the likeness of His Son, in whom they believe.
     The Lord is disappointed when His people place a low estimate upon themselves. He desires His chosen heritage to value themselves according to the price He has placed upon them. God wanted them, else He would not have sent His Son on such an expensive errand to redeem them. He has a use for them, and He is well pleased when they make the very highest demands upon Him, that they may glorify His name. They may expect large things if they have faith in His promises.
     But to pray in Christ's name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour's promise is given on condition. "If ye love Me," He says, "keep My commandments." He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience.
     All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.
     As Christ lived the law in humanity, so we may do if we will take hold of the Strong for strength. But we are not to place the responsibility of our duty upon others, and wait for them to tell us what to do. We cannot depend for counsel upon humanity. The Lord will teach us our duty just as willingly as He will teach somebody else. If we come to Him in faith, He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. Whatever was given to Christ--the "all things" to supply the need of fallen men--was given to Him as the head and representative of humanity. And "whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." 1 John 3:22.
     Before offering Himself as the sacrificial victim, Christ sought for the most essential and complete gift to bestow upon His followers, a gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of grace. "I will pray the Father," He said, "and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; 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. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you." John 14:16-18, margin. 
     Before this the Spirit had been in the world; from the very beginning of the work of redemption He had been moving upon men's hearts. But while Christ was on earth, the disciples had desired no other helper. Not until they were deprived of His presence would they feel their need of the Spirit, and then He would come.
     The Holy Spirit is Christ's representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high. 
     "He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him." Jesus read the future of His disciples. He saw one brought to the scaffold, one to the cross, one to exile among the lonely rocks of the sea, others to persecution and death. He encouraged them with the promise that in every trial He would be with them. That promise has lost none of its force. The Lord knows all about His faithful servants who for His sake are lying in prison or who are banished to lonely islands. He comforts them with His own presence. When for the truth's sake the believer stands at the bar of unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side. All the reproaches that fall upon him, fall upon Christ. Christ is condemned over again in the person of His disciple. When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with His love. When one suffers death for His sake, Christ says, "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, . . . and have the keys of hell and of death." Revelation 1:18. The life that is sacrificed for Me is preserved unto eternal glory.
     At all times and in all places, in all sorrows and in all afflictions, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone, the Comforter will be sent in answer to the prayer of faith. Circumstances may separate us from every earthly friend; but no circumstance, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always at our right hand to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. 
     The disciples still failed to understand Christ's words in their spiritual sense, and again He explained His meaning. By the Spirit, He said, He would manifest Himself to them. "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things." No more will you say, I cannot comprehend. No longer will you see through a glass, darkly. You shall "be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." Ephesians 3:18, 19. 
     The disciples were to bear witness to the life and work of Christ. Through their word He was to speak to all the people on the face of the earth. But in the humiliation and death of Christ they were to suffer great trial and disappointment. That after this experience their word might be accurate, Jesus promised that the Comforter should "bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
     "I have yet many things to say unto you," He continued, "but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you." Jesus had opened before His disciples a vast tract of truth. But it was most difficult for them to keep His lessons distinct from the traditions and maxims of the scribes and Pharisees. They had been educated to accept the teaching of the rabbis as the voice of God, and it still held a power over their minds, and molded their sentiments. Earthly ideas, temporal things, still had a large place in their thoughts. They did not understand the spiritual nature of Christ's kingdom, though He had so often explained it to them. Their minds had become confused. They did not comprehend the value of the scriptures Christ presented. Many of His lessons seemed almost lost upon them. Jesus saw that they did not lay hold of the real meaning of His words. He compassionately promised that the Holy Spirit should recall these sayings to their minds. And He had left unsaid many things that could not be comprehended by the disciples. These also would be opened to them by the Spirit. The Spirit was to quicken their understanding, that they might have an appreciation of heavenly things. "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come," said Jesus, "He will guide you into all truth."
     The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth." His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.
     In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church. 
     Of the Spirit Jesus said, "He shall glorify Me." The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of His love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His grace to the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people. 
     "When He [the Spirit of truth] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles. Then the testimony of their enemies was, "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine." Acts 5:28. 
     Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people "to will and to do of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive. 
     In His discourse to the disciples, Jesus made no mournful allusion to His own sufferings and death. His last legacy to them was a legacy of peace. He said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
     Before leaving the upper chamber, the Saviour led His disciples in a song of praise. His voice was heard, not in the strains of some mournful lament, but in the joyful notes of the Passover hallel:


     "O praise the Lord, all ye nations:
     Praise Him, all ye people.
     For His merciful kindness is great toward us:
     And the truth of the Lord endureth forever.
     Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 117.

     After the hymn, they went out. Through the crowded streets they made their way, passing out of the city gate toward the Mount of Olives. Slowly they proceeded, each busy with his own thoughts. As they began to descend toward the mount, Jesus said, in a tone of deepest sadness, "All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad." Matthew 26:31. The disciples listened in sorrow and amazement. They remembered how in the synagogue at Capernaum, when Christ spoke of Himself as the bread of life, many had been offended, and had turned away from Him. But the twelve had not shown themselves unfaithful. Peter, speaking for his brethren, had then declared his loyalty to Christ. Then the Saviour had said, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" John 6:70. In the upper chamber Jesus said that one of the twelve would betray Him, and that Peter would deny Him. But now His words include them all. 
     Now Peter's voice is heard vehemently protesting, "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I." In the upper chamber he had declared, "I will lay down my life for Thy sake." Jesus had warned him that he would that very night deny his Saviour. Now Christ repeats the warning: "Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice." But Peter only "spake the more vehemently, If I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee in anywise. Likewise also said they all." Mark 14:29, 30, 31. In their self-confidence they denied the repeated statement of Him who knew. They were unprepared for the test; when temptation should overtake them, they would understand their own weakness.
     When Peter said he would follow his Lord to prison and to death, he meant it, every word of it; but he did not know himself. Hidden in his heart were elements of evil that circumstances would fan into life. Unless he was made conscious of his danger, these would prove his eternal ruin. The Saviour saw in him a self-love and assurance that would overbear even his love for Christ. Much of infirmity, of unmortified sin, carelessness of spirit, unsanctified temper, heedlessness in entering into temptation, had been revealed in his experience. Christ's solemn warning was a call to heart searching. Peter needed to distrust himself, and to have a deeper faith in Christ. Had he in humility received the warning, he would have appealed to the Shepherd of the flock to keep His sheep. When on the Sea of Galilee he was about to sink, he cried, "Lord, save me." Matthew 14:30. Then the hand of Christ was outstretched to grasp his hand. So now if he had cried to Jesus, Save me from myself, he would have been kept. But Peter felt that he was distrusted, and he thought it cruel. He was already offended, and he became more persistent in his self-confidence. 
     Jesus looks with compassion on His disciples. He cannot save them from the trial, but He does not leave them comfortless. He assures them that He is to break the fetters of the tomb, and that His love for them will not fail. "After I am risen again," He says, "I will go before you into Galilee." Matthew 26:32. Before the denial, they have the assurance of forgiveness. After His death and resurrection, they knew that they were forgiven, and were dear to the heart of Christ.
     Jesus and the disciples were on the way to Gethsemane, at the foot of Mount Olivet, a retired spot which He had often visited for meditation and prayer. The Saviour had been explaining to His disciples His mission to the world, and the spiritual relation to Him which they were to sustain. Now He illustrates the lesson. The moon is shining bright, and reveals to Him a flourishing grapevine. Drawing the attention of the disciples to it, He employs it as a symbol.
     "I am the true Vine," He says. Instead of choosing the graceful palm, the lofty cedar, or the strong oak, Jesus takes the vine with its clinging tendrils to represent Himself. The palm tree, the cedar, and the oak stand alone. They require no support. But the vine entwines about the trellis, and thus climbs heavenward. So Christ in His humanity was dependent upon divine power. "I can of Mine own self do nothing," He declared. John 5:30.
     "I am the true Vine." The Jews had always regarded the vine as the most noble of plants, and a type of all that was powerful, excellent, and fruitful. Israel had been represented as a vine which God had planted in the Promised Land. The Jews based their hope of salvation on the fact of their connection with Israel. But Jesus says, I am the real Vine. Think not that through a connection with Israel you may become partakers of the life of God, and inheritors of His promise. Through Me alone is spiritual life received.
     "I am the true Vine, and My Father is the husbandman." On the hills of Palestine our heavenly Father had planted this goodly Vine, and He Himself was the husbandman. Many were attracted by the beauty of this Vine, and declared its heavenly origin. But to the leaders in Israel it appeared as a root out of a dry ground. They took the plant, and bruised it, and trampled it under their unholy feet. Their thought was to destroy it forever. But the heavenly Husbandman never lost sight of His plant. After men thought they had killed it, He took it, and replanted it on the other side of the wall. The vine stock was to be no longer visible. It was hidden from the rude assaults of men. But the branches of the Vine hung over the wall. They were to represent the Vine. Through them grafts might still be united to the Vine. From them fruit has been obtained. There has been a harvest which the passers-by have plucked. 
     "I am the Vine, ye are the branches," Christ said to His disciples. Though He was about to be removed from them, their spiritual union with Him was to be unchanged. The connection of the branch with the vine, He said, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, it grows into the vine stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul dead in trespasses and sins receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. The sinner unites his weakness to Christ's strength, his emptiness to Christ's fullness, his frailty to Christ's enduring might. Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our humanity has touched divinity. Thus through the agency of the Holy Spirit man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is accepted in the Beloved.
     This union with Christ, once formed, must be maintained. Christ said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me." This is no casual touch, no off-and-on connection. The branch becomes a part of the living vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the root to the branches is unobstructed and constant. Separated from the vine, the branch cannot live. No more, said Jesus, can you live apart from Me. The life you have received from Me can be preserved only by continual communion. Without Me you cannot overcome one sin, or resist one temptation. 
     "Abide in Me, and I in you." Abiding in Christ means a constant receiving of His Spirit, a life of unreserved surrender to His service. The channel of communication must be open continually between man and his God. As the vine branch constantly draws the sap from the living vine, so are we to cling to Jesus, and receive from Him by faith the strength and perfection of His own character. 
     The root sends its nourishment through the branch to the outermost twig. So Christ communicates the current of spiritual strength to every believer. So long as the soul is united to Christ, there is no danger that it will wither or decay. 
     The life of the vine will be manifest in fragrant fruit on the branches. "He that abideth in Me," said Jesus, "and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." 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. 
     "My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away." While the graft is outwardly united with the vine, there may be no vital connection. Then there will be no growth or fruitfulness. So there may be an apparent connection with Christ without a real union with Him by faith. A profession of religion places men in the church, but the character and conduct show whether they are in connection with Christ. If they bear no fruit, they are false branches. Their separation from Christ involves a ruin as complete as that represented by the dead branch. "If a man abide not in Me," said Christ, "he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
     "And every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth [pruneth] it, that it may bring forth more fruit." From the chosen twelve who had followed Jesus, one as a withered branch was about to be taken away; the rest were to pass under the pruning knife of bitter trial. Jesus with solemn tenderness explained the purpose of the husbandman. The pruning will cause pain, but it is the Father who applies the knife. He works with no wanton hand or indifferent heart. There are branches trailing upon the ground; these must be cut loose from the earthly supports to which their tendrils are fastening. They are to reach heavenward, and find their support in God. The excessive foliage that draws away the life current from the fruit must be pruned off. The overgrowth must be cut out, to give room for the healing beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The husbandman prunes away the harmful growth, that the fruit may be richer and more abundant.
     "Herein is My Father glorified," said Jesus, "that ye bear much fruit." God desires to manifest through you the holiness, the benevolence, the compassion, of His own character. Yet the Saviour does not bid the disciples labor to bear fruit. He tells them to abide in Him. "If ye abide in Me," He says, "and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." It is through the word that Christ abides in His followers. This is the same vital union that is represented by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The words of Christ are spirit and life. Receiving them, you receive the life of the Vine. You live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4. The life of Christ in you produces the same fruits as in Him. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ. 
     In this last meeting with His disciples, the great desire which Christ expressed for them was that they might love one another as He had loved them. Again and again He spoke of this. "These things I command you," He said repeatedly, "that ye love one another." His very first injunction when alone with them in the upper chamber was, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." To the disciples this commandment was new; for they had not loved one another as Christ had loved them. He saw that new ideas and impulses must control them; that new principles must be practiced by them; through His life and death they were to receive a new conception of love. The command to love one another had a new meaning in the light of His self-sacrifice. The whole work of grace is one continual service of love, of self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. During every hour of Christ's sojourn upon the earth, the love of God was flowing from Him in irrepressible streams. All who are imbued with His Spirit will love as He loved. The very principle that actuated Christ will actuate them in all their dealing one with another. 
     This love is the evidence of their discipleship. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples," said Jesus, "if ye have love one to another." When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart. 
     This love, manifested in the church, will surely stir the wrath of Satan. Christ did not mark out for His disciples an easy path. "If the world hate you," He said, "ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me." The gospel is to be carried forward by aggressive warfare, in the midst of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering. But those who do this work are only following in their Master's steps. 
     As the world's Redeemer, Christ was constantly confronted with apparent failure. He, the messenger of mercy to our world, seemed to do little of the work He longed to do in uplifting and saving. Satanic influences were constantly working to oppose His way. But He would not be discouraged. Through the prophecy of Isaiah He declares, "I have labored in vain, I have spent My strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely My judgment is with the Lord, and My work with My God. . . . Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength." It is to Christ that the promise is given, "Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhorreth; . . . thus saith the Lord: . . . I will preserve Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that Thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. . . . They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them." Isaiah 49:4, 5, 7-10.
     Upon this word Jesus rested, and He gave Satan no advantage. When the last steps of Christ's humiliation were to be taken, when the deepest sorrow was closing about His soul, He said to His disciples, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." "The prince of this world is judged." Now shall he be cast out. John 14:30; 16:11; 12:31. With prophetic eye Christ traced the scenes to take place in His last great conflict. He knew that when He should exclaim, "It is finished," all heaven would triumph. His ear caught the distant music and the shouts of victory in the heavenly courts. He knew that the knell of Satan's empire would then be sounded, and the name of Christ would be heralded from world to world throughout the universe. 
     Christ rejoiced that He could do more for His followers than they could ask or think. He spoke with assurance, knowing that an almighty decree had been given before the world was made. He knew that truth, armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, would conquer in the contest with evil; and that the bloodstained banner would wave triumphantly over His followers. He knew that the life of His trusting disciples would be like His, a series of uninterrupted victories, not seen to be such here, but recognized as such in the great hereafter. 
     "These things I have spoken unto you," He said, "that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." Christ did not fail, neither was He discouraged, and His followers are to manifest a faith of the same enduring nature. They are to live as He lived, and work as He worked, because they depend on Him as the great Master Worker. Courage, energy, and perseverance they must possess. Though apparent impossibilities obstruct their way, by His grace they are to go forward. Instead of deploring difficulties, they are called upon to surmount them. They are to despair of nothing, and to hope for everything. With the golden chain of His matchless love Christ has bound them to the throne of God. It is His purpose that the highest influence in the universe, emanating from the source of all power, shall be theirs. They are to have power to resist evil, power that neither earth, nor death, nor hell can master, power that will enable them to overcome as Christ overcame.
     Christ designs that heaven's order, heaven's plan of government, heaven's divine harmony, shall be represented in His church on earth. Thus in His people He is glorified. Through them the Sun of Righteousness will shine in undimmed luster to the world. Christ has given to His church ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. He has bestowed upon His people capabilities and blessings that they may represent His own sufficiency. The church, endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depositary, in which the riches of His mercy, His grace, and His love, are to appear in full and final display. Christ looks upon His people in their purity and perfection, as the reward of His humiliation, and the supplement of His glory,--Christ, the great Center, from whom radiates all glory. 
     With strong, hopeful words the Saviour ended His instruction. Then He poured out the burden of His soul in prayer for His disciples. Lifting His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent."
     Christ had finished the work that was given Him to do. He had glorified God on the earth. He had manifested the Father's name. He had gathered out those who were to continue His work among men. And He said, "I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are." "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; . . . I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me."
     Thus in the language of one who has divine authority, Christ gives His elect church into the Father's arms. As a consecrated high priest He intercedes for His people. As a faithful shepherd He gathers His flock under the shadow of the Almighty, in the strong and sure refuge. For Him there waits the last battle with Satan, and He goes forth to meet it. 



_________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ __



"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3.   Much is made of faith. With many it is a deception. If we had "saving" faith, then we would believe. And, if we believed we would obey. There is no greater sin than "unbelief".

There are two kinds of trouble in this world. One is the kind that we get into when we are outside of Christ and the other is the trial that is allowed to come when we are abiding in Christ. This most precious chapter deals with the latter. Abiding in Christ, we can have peace that passes understanding when anything comes, for God's is using the trial for our good and His glory. 

Dugald T Lewis MD

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2001, 07:11:00 AM »
In the third paragraph of that chapter, the Lord's Messenger said;

"Satan's craft is most successful against those who are depressed by difficulties."

How very true!

DTL


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2001, 06:31:00 AM »
Yes, Dr. Dugald, as we read of the experience of Moses we find that a whole nation gave him  difficulties day after day. In Christ He glorified the Saviour for over forty  years, until one day he wandered away and sinned. Job is another perfect example of what you say.  Job was perfect before the Lord for many years, then under the difficulties of his trials he let go of Jesus. We can learn from these two examples. We need Jesus moment by moment. If they could fall, then how much more us who have not the experience they had.

While we acknowledge our weakness, we also make no excuse for sin. There is none, even in the most trying circumstances. We have been given a Saviour who will be our strength in all of our times of need. He has promised that in Him we shall not be tempted beyond what we can bear.   Having made a strong point for God's power, let me add that if we sin, Jesus does not forget about us. He stands at the door knocking, wanting back in.   :)  He will bring us to repentance if we will come to Him. He calls, we must respond. It is a beautiful plan, this plan of salvation. It was very expensive indeed and as we contemplate the cost, we are working out our own salvation.
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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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2001, 03:10:00 PM »
Desire of Ages
Chapter 73
"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"

However did Jesus survive mentally the incorporeal attacks on his soul during his ministry? Teens are making suicide attempts just for sheer perspectiveless outlook on life or when their lover leaves them. Depression is up to an all time high this year even within lives of those who seemingly 'have everything'. What was the pivoting strengths of mind that held Jesus sane? E.White writes : "It was this that He kept ever before Him. It was His joy that all His humiliation and suffering would glorify the Father's name."

Jesus in his kindness and care gave wonderful mental health words to his followers which apply to us as today's followers, "Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me. ......I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am there ye may be also." It is a fasinating thought that Jesus left earth and is in heaven building mansions for us. And He left us here a wonderful legacy for good mental health, too.  He said "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it not be afraid. In the world ye shall have tribulation, be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. "

A very strong point of carefully caring for the emotional future of his followers is to brace them for what lays ahead. He didn't give blow for blow detail, but enough outline to stable them so that their fantasies wouldn't run wild in the darkness of not knowing. Prophecy of His coming death was given a number of times. Prophecy of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and how to handle themselves during the phases of it were given them. Prophecy of the falling away from faith by church members and also how the apostasy would open door and window for all sorts of false teachers. His warnings about the false prophets coming were explict. He told them about the false Messiahs popping up with their 'flags' of come-follow-me. His warnings to don't even go to check them out was stern. YES, our Jesus fathers us with loving care for our mental health by giving us E.White as a needed prophet for today's Satanic attacks on the church in this era. Reading her Great Controversy book has stabilized a lot of us in understanding these last days before the second coming of our Lord. Great is our God! Jesus be praised that God is taking care of us who love Him.

The purpose of the Lord Jesus was to come to this world to display the Glory of God. He was God come in human flesh. He came to lift up man to a restored position from which he had fallen. He exhibited powers and character qualities that we might have when we exercise faith in Him. It all is dependant upon whether we possess the same subjection to God as He has. What was wonderful about Jesus is that he never lied to anyone. There is probably no one living, even up till their death, which hasn't lied to some one on some occasion about something either in a big awful black way or in a light grey coloring. But our Jesus was pure truth and never was a lie in Him. Everything that Jesus predicted was found to be true as it's fulfillment came. There are a few items that we of the end-times will experience that too will prove so true that when we meet Him we will also have our faith again strengthen in the fact that Jesus never lied.

What was exciting in it's faith strengthening values was that after the ressurrection the puzzle pieces of past prophecies, pertaining to the Messiah coming, were so clearly understood finally by the disciples that Jesus indeed was the Messiah lamb of God promised as well as the Messiah king. It was just a matter of waiting up the timezone for each phase to take place. He is indeed coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords ! But just for the meantime we all have to hang on in there and 'wait-up'.

What does keep us in connection since the Ascension of our Messiah is the presence of the Holy Spirit that is not 'body-bound' like Jesus was. A fasinating networking can be achieved now in the invisible kingdom of God between us and the heavenlies. It doesn't matter where we are physically, the inbuilt 'modem' abiding in us links us up with the Almighty. The prayer of faith is the codeword. The secret of our sucess depends on keeping the lines up and running. In our prayers we are opening up to receive unlimited resources and power to do that which God can do through us. With God nothing is impossible. The condition is that it must run along His will.

"Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven."  "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name I will do it. Greater works than these whall he do, because I go unto My Father. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."  (thank you, Jesus, for all these words of truth you spoke for us as encouragement. I pray for my brothers and sisters in faith that we all seriously will apply the principle of what you want us to do. To pray to you. For everything. In season and out of season. But always in faith. So let it be. )

A lot of us are not keeping the commandments of God rightly in our private lives. We have watered down the holy expectations. We put then a low estimation upon ourselves thinking we shouldn't go to God in prayer asking for something. We sort of at times ask others to intercede for us when the going gets hot, fearing that our inadequacies are not allowing us to enter the holy presence of the Almighty God we worship but fear. There's a wrong attitude here. It is to be corrected only if we accept the habit of first confessing any sin that has broken our trustful relationship to Jesus and then accepting the forgiveness by forgiving ourselves as well. We then ask in trust for His strength to overcome when we need to resist again the temptation that we fall prey to so easily. Try to picture His wanting intensely to be in communion with us more than we want to be with Him in communion. Try to picture Him speaking to us to allow Him to put the armor of faith, word of God, salvation, truth, righteousness, and the gospel of peace on us. But our will has to be in cooperation with His doing.

It's imperative to understand the Vine and we-are-the-branches analogy. We'll be pruned of the dead leaves, unnecessary outshoots and non-producing elements in our lives. It's all going to seem like a pretty bad trail that stirs us to want to break out and run away.  What helps is to keep saying that all these trials are necessary for our character development so that the beams of the Sun of righteousness fall better on us to produce more fruit that is richer and more abundant. Let's each one of us pray that we not be broken off from the Vine because of unforgiveness, or unbelief in Bible statements or SOP.  It would be awful to have been part of the Vine and then cast off to wither. Such branches will be gathered for the fires of destruction. That happens to branches which do not bear fruit. They bluff with a lot of religious leaves but are not of use for the things of God. The whole fig tree was cursed back there outside of Jerusalem for giving false impressions. So the phony believer branches that are bluffing true discipleship will get the same treatment. There is apparantly a connection to the Vine without real union to him as a possiblity of religious life. The character and conduct of such show that they do not know Christ.   For those bearing fruit it is the result of abiding in the Vine properly. These are those 'eating His flesh and drinking His blood'.


[This message has been edited by Joan (edited 04-14-2001).]


Joan

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2001, 03:12:00 PM »
The price God has placed upon us was shown in sending Jesus in proxy as atonement provider. Had He not loved us with such a father's love He would not have made the sacrifice for us. Now it is true that the condition of fellowship in harmony comes when we show our love back to Jesus by keeping His commandments. But one thing is not to be overlooked that "He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience." This is why we must be moment for moment seeing the face of our Jesus to listen to His voice on matters. He wants to so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims that the process grows when a point is reach as our minds and hearts are so conformed to His will that when obeying Him we shall be carrying out what appears as our own impulses, plans and goals. This takes place when in us is the attitude of consent to being obedient to each revealed point in the will of God. Yielding to sin breaks down that holy balance between us and the divine. "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight." 1 John 3:22

Jesus so identifies with you, true believer, that he is going to so stand beside you whenever something happens to you. This identifying with you goes so far that when hurts or threats happen it's actually happening to Him. In every trail he will be with you. If you go to prison for His sake He is there with you. He will comfort you with His presence. When you have your court case, He is there with you. When they get nasty with reproaches and attacks then visualize that these are falling on Jesus who is there to carry the brunt of them. When it looks black, bleak and threatening, then pray the prayer of faith because the Jesus who loves you will comfort you and keep you through the dark valley. When you ask, then the Comforter will give you insight when looking through the darkess of the glass of life, which will help you to comprehend the breadth, length, depth and height of the love of Christ for you. It will take your breath away because it's reality goes beyond knowledge.

Some of us are still carrying around this man-made mold of thinking that we need to do some good meritious deeds before we can make ourselves acceptable enough to approach God in prayer asking for help. Wrong it is to think we can impress God with doing good to get something, or be entitled rightly to receive something. We need to turn and look from the right angle of perception when we come to God in prayer. Only through the merits of Jesus may we approach the throne. That is why we have been taught to pray in His name. It is only the imputed righteousness of Christ's attribute of the person praying, who had accepted fully in faith the vicarious death of Him for his sins, that is the approach that any of us dare use to the heavenly throne when praying.

An interesting, when not appalling, tendency is to be seen in this last hundred years of the ....let's call them the halleluja-bunch.... whose compulsive witnessing to being filled with the Holy Spirit can be at times misleading. Some mind-set causes them to get rather bold in giving commands to Him in prayer for getting things done on earth and in particular in the circles they are active in. By disregarding protocol of polite mannerism when addressing the heavenlies, the said 'hallelujah-bunch' individually do not surrender their soul to be guided and control by the divine agency but rather talk about Christ, talk about the Holy Spirit, as objects to be used to further their own little kingdoms. The obvious goal is to 'use' the Holy Spirit to get things done. They have a sort of commanding the Lord or H.Spirit or God to do this and do that. They have it all figured out just what is to get changed and they call upon the source of power which can really change things. More in tones of impertinence than in faith. They are in a sad illusion of managing all things around them instead of surrendering in submission to be guided and controlled by the divine usage for working the works of His good pleasure through us.

We are going to come to crossroads in our life presenting us with apparent impossibilities which seem to obstruct our way. By His grace in faith we step forward. Courage, energy and perseverance will be given us when we pray in the name of Jesus to overcome. Instead of deploring the difficulities we are to surmount them through His authority. We are not to despair but to hope for everything. We have access to our Saviour who is suffient in giving us power to resist evil so we can overcome as Christ overcame.

~~~
Joan
~~~

[This message has been edited by Joan (edited 04-15-2001).]


Wendy

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2001, 03:42:00 PM »
I need to read in the King of Kings forum more frequently, there are a lot of blessings waiting here.  :)

------------------
WendyL ~ Maranatha!:)

WendyL ~ Maranatha!:)

Joan

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2001, 11:40:00 PM »

 :) That's a pretty good revelation, Wendy.
Very good plan  :)

Joan


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2001, 03:37:00 AM »
Welcome, Sister Wendy.  :) We have more lurkers than posters, so please join in the posting.  This book is a gift from heaven that we might be changed by beholding the glory of God through the life of Jesus Christ.

Sister Joan, yes, the fruit of an abiding Christ is obedience to everything known, AND this in the the Spirit of love. If we have not His Spirit we need to know why. We need to come back to Jesus and confess our sin whatever it might be. Here is where many fail. They believe that by having believed, or having confessed in the past, they may allow their communion with Christ to fail and still retain eternal life. No, the backslider does not retain eternal life.

Now, this poses a question that many have answered in the wrong way. It would have been easy to have brought this question up much earlier, but then the learning process would have been altered and many of the blessings lost. Here is the question: If I die just after sinning, before I have the opportunity to confess my sin, when I have been living an obedient life through the grace of Christ, will I get to go to heaven? Or, since the wages of sin is death will I be excluded? And, let's call my sin a sin that was not willful or pre-meditated.

What shall we say? It appears we have a dilemma. This very question has been used over and over to do away with a correct understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. How shall we respond?
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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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2001, 12:05:00 AM »
Quote : "And, let's call my sin a sin that was not willful or pre-meditated."

That is what many believers do have a hassle with. The immaturities from reactions of the flesh, those moments of interaction with others when the protocol rules of behaviour are not rightly known and someone get's unconsciously hurt without the believer knowing about it. And think of all those sins of omission. Still....the believer is of willing heart to do the master's bidding, to be what God wants him to be. His mind-set is heavenward.

But the tresspass has occured.

Quote : "What shall we say? It appears we have a dilemma. How shall we respond?"

Joan


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2001, 06:38:00 AM »
Sister Joan, I think we are on two different thought patterns. You said "when the protocol rules of behaviour are not rightly known and someone get's unconsciously hurt without the believer knowing about it. And think of all those sins of omission. Still....the believer is of willing heart to do the master's bidding, to be what God wants him to be. His mind-set is heavenward."   

This is not a description of what I am talking about. Let me give you an example that is clear. Moses loved God and kept His commandments for many years. The Bible says he was faithful in "all the house of the Lord." When he sinned, God took his life.  Let us look at his sin.  He was angry with God's people and took the glory to himself when he struck the Rock. Was his mind "heavenward"? No.

My dear sister, we are making progress. You said "when the protocol rules of behaviour are not rightly known" Did Moses know the "protocol rules of behaviour"?  Yes, he did. Prior to this he proclaimed, "blot my name out of the books of heaven". So, what we have here is a true description of what I have been discussing and what many professing Christians have been blinded to. Moses sin was not "willful". It was not premeditated or high-handed. Yet, his heart was not heavenward. His heart was selfish and he was not thinking of God, but himself. He had lost sight of Jesus. We cannot serve two masters and at the time he struck the rock, he was not serving God, even though he had for over 40 years.

Moses was laid to rest so that then and today, none could say, "even Moses sinned." The wages of sin is death and Moses stood as an example of God. When he sinned, even though it was not willful, the lesson of obedience was in danger of not being misunderstood. All who desire to understand the lesson to be learned from God laying Moses to rest may understand. The lesson is precisely what many misunderstand. The "little" sins reveal that we are not connected to the Vine. They reveal that we have not His Spirit. "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."  "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Rom. 8:9,13. It is a simple lesson that need not discourage the weakest of us, for Christ is the Strong One. It is not our power, but His. We just need to clearly understand that we cannot live without Him. We need to firmly express the truth. There is no excuse for sin. When we sin, we come back to the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to take our hearts for we cannot give them. We confess that we "believe" and ask Jesus to take away our "unbelief". There is no greater sin than "unbelief".  This is where we have misunderstood. We believe that we may be filled with "unbelief" as was Moses that fateful day, and still be connected to Christ. No, we must believe with ALL the heart, not just part of it.

Jesus stands with His hand out, calling us to Him. We must be quick to see when we are separated from Him. Then we may receive the blessings He desires to give. Then we may be filled with love for those who are our enemies. Then, by rightly representing His character we may be His reward.
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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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2001, 01:56:00 AM »

Thank you for choosing Moses as the mainstay of illustrating this problem of abiding in Christ in full obedience. I respond very favorably to learning any lesson about God's character when using bible entities or stories.

Being well aware that the shortsightedness of understanding the dimensions of God will always be a handicap, I confess that none of us can ever get to the stage of fully explaining away the mysteries of unexplainable secrets pertaining to our Creator. There is so much truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation.

As I read the Moses story for the first time decades ago I knew he had been told to strike the rock once. This Moses did and the water flowed. Then later in desert travels they came to a point of thirst again and God told Moses to just 'speak' to the rock chosen for this coming miracle. There are decrees of God not based upon plain reason in itself but upon the will of God alone. These decrees most always have to do with a shadow and type of Jesus Christ in his office and efficacy. I understand you as you said Moses was looking to himself as he struck the rock twice. The folk had really ticked him off for being so unbelieving, demanding and rebellious. He probably didn't love them much at that moment and felt they weren't worthy of getting a water-miracle again from God. Perhaps Moses' anger led him to think of himself as the source of the answer by exerting his power alone in striking the rock in expectation that God would heed 'his will' that water should gush forth.

Being a nobody I will not contest that the discipline of God on Moses denying him entry into the promise land was to unfair in proportion to the act. Moses did not loose his child-status in the kingdom of God neither did he get his name blotted out of the book of life. He didn't die right off either. It might have had direct relation to the mercy of God that he didn't. But he lost his hope of the priveledge of entering into the promised land on earth. Moses will be on the new Earth, nevertheless.  

I just know that the lesson of revealing the requirements of salvation by faith and not of works of the flesh needed to be presented in pure exactness as this 'speaking-to-the-rock' commandment of God to Moses meant. There is no shadow of turning when it comes to the will of God. The hitting it twice in anger was a work of the flesh that dare not be rewarded with water or ignored by not letting him experience some consequence for the wrong act.

Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no shadow of turning in his character. He is not a man that He should lie or repent of mistakes. His old covenant with His people is of the same substance in the new coventant with his now people just that the visual has changed. Jesus is the Christ of all O.T. shadows which now absorbs all those rituals that pointed to Him.

The Pentateuch theme is strongly concerned with the subject of obedience, unclean-clean, and theocracy. To get the balance of what is governing in the post-Calvary body of believers takes a different slant in outward practice but the basics are just the same as what then our God required spiritually of his folk of the O.T.    

My inner desire is to live a healthy walk in light of God's requirement for me.  To walk in self-deception because of wrong thinking and then reap the result of having my name blotted out of the book of life without warning is for me an unbelievably horrible notion. The fairness of God shows with each in that all have sinned and when the H.Spirit convicts them of the wrong doing they stand before the decision of repentance. But most react with self-justifying the act. In the years of making apologies for the sins one have committed, the person begins to believe a lie that what they did wasn't in fact a sin in the eyes of God but a result of situation ethics. God is understanding and merciful, now isn't He ? If there are any traces of such self-deception in me, I pray God to reveal it to me.

~~~
Joan
~~~


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2001, 04:27:00 AM »
Sister Joan, I believe your idea of God blotting our names out of His book when we sin may be in error. I may be wrong, but it is my unederstanding that both the sins and our names would be blotted out in the judgment that is now taking place. I don't think they get blotted out every time we sin.

The issue we are discussing is very basic. What is required that we possess eternal life. May we "possess" eternal life today? Yes, we may. The conditions are that we love God with ALL the heart and our neighbor as ourself. "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deut. 6:5.   "And He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. " Luke 10:27,28.   When we do not love God supremely and our neighbor as ourself, we do not possess eternal life.

Moses is a good example of this, because it is so clear that he was selfish when he struck the Rock. He did not love God supremely and he did not love his neighbor as himself. He sinned and God took his life to teach the people a lesson. Why did God allow Moses not only to go to heaven, but did so soon after he died? Because he repented of his selfishness. Moses knew and loved God and when the Holy Spirit quietly spoke to Moses concerning his sin, Moses quickly repented. We must keep our doctrine in line with the Bible.  "Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth."  Eze. 33:12. 1:9  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." 1 John 3:9.

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:4-9.     

We need not be in confusion over the things that God has revealed, for they are for us to know. Taken in context the Word of God is sharper than a two edged sword. We cannot serve two masters, we either abide in Christ and through the Holy Spirit have power to obey Jesus, or we are not in Christ and have no power to obey as we see when Moses struck the Rock, Christ Jesus. We see the same when Peter fell into the water and when he denied Jesus.

When we confess our sins, and we are truly sorry for what they have done to Christ, we may believe by faith that Christ has forgiven our sins and we possess eternal life. It is not good to use the term "saved" in the way the "evangelicals" do, because it may lead to us believing we are "saved" for longer than when we love Jesus supremely. I hope this makes more plain the Bible truth that denies eternal life to the sinner in his sins.

One last thought. When Adam sinned, he was removed from the garden so that he could not eat from the tree of life. To do so would allow a sinner to possess eternal life. God knew Adam would repent, but that was not good enough to give him eternal life. Adam must learn his need of a Saviour and allow Christ to indwell his heart, then he would possess eternal life for just as long as he would maintain this relationship. As Jesus said "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." John 15:4. 
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--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2001, 11:21:00 AM »
Let those who are today suffering, contemplate the Words of Jesus, "let not your heart be troubled."  What is it that can disturb our peace with Jesus? Satan will wring the hearts of many here on this earth, but this is no reason for our faith to fail. We must keep our focus on Jesus.

In the Testimonies forum, I have given a short glimpse into some of my past trials. I want to testify that Jesus is my Rock and my Fortress. How can I know this? Because when the world is turned upside down and those that mean the most to you are being hurt and their characters being influenced away from Christ, I can have peace knowing the my redeemer liveth. It is real to those who will abide in Christ. Nothing can disturb their peace. Yes, it will be painful, and there will be consequences, but as the Scripture says "ALL things work together for good to those who love the Lord."

When we strike back at those who hurt us, it is evidence that we have lost our connection with Christ. We have lost our peace. Then we need to flee back to the Saviour. He is calling and will comfort us. Read this most beautiful chapter today if you are in the midst of great trial. You will find comfort and rest! You will then pray for those who have hurt you so much.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

DavidTBattler

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2001, 11:40:00 PM »
I had no idea this thread existed until tonight!  I am excited to see it.  Just today, in Sabbath School, I started a new class.

We will be going through the Bible, book by book; and there will be a special emphasis on HOW to study the Scriptures.

For the first quarter of this class, I decided that we should do an overview of the life of Christ, from the Bible, and using the book Desire Of Ages.  The idea is to show the role of the SOP in sound Bible study practice.  Then, tonight, after this first class, I see this thread!  There has to be something going on there!   :)

Here is a short exerpt from the first lesson we started today, and it is very pertinent to the theme of "Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled:"

"Does your soul, at times, feel barren and unsatisfied?  

God has designed us to have a longing in our inner heart, that would lead to the One alone, who is able to satisfy such a longing...Haggai calls Jesus "the Desire of all nations,"  (2:7), and so, we may well call Him, "The Desire Of All Ages."

This book, Desire Of Ages sets forth Jesus Christ as the One in whom every longing may be satisfied.

One of the promises I have grown to know and love, and depend upon, is found in Jo.8:32; and this book Desire Of Ages, sums up the impact this passage has had for me: "The means by which we can overcome the wicked one is that by which Christ overcame - the power of the Word.

God does not control our minds without our consent; but if we desire to know and to do His will, His promises will be ours..."Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free."  "If anyone willeth to do His will, they shall know of the teaching.  (Jo.8:32, 7:17).  Through faith in these promises, every person may be delivered from the snares of error, and the control of sin."  (DA 258, 259).

God's special promise to His church today is that "I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts."  (Haagai 2:7).

------------------
"...We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved..."  (Acts 15:11).

Your brother in Christ

David T. Battler


Dugald T Lewis MD

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2001, 07:40:00 PM »
"It was His joy that all His humiliation and suffering would glorify the Father's name"

Through such experiences, we learn to be like Jesus.

DTL


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2001, 09:52:00 PM »
Amen, my dear brother. Wisdom that only comes through Christian experience. At times the Lord allows darkness to surround us, but by faith we look to Jesus, our ever present helper. Heaven is cheap enough whatever the price. We are His best witnesses when we suffer adversity and remain in His hand. It is unnatural and a demonstration of the power of God's grace. The world takes notice of those that have been with Jesus, and so do those whom we love. God is working in mighty ways to answer our prayers for those closest to us as we suffer affliction with great peace in our heart.

In order to be this witness, it sometimes takes a few falls to come to understand that we need Jesus continually. This chapter says it all! As we abide in Jesus, we shall be given power. The Father is the husbandman and makes no needless cuts. Such a thought!  :) What a Friend we have in our heavenly Father! He does indeed love us.

May we keep our eyes upon Jesus, that we will be a blessing to Him who gave so much for us.

Happy Sabbath, Dr. Dugald, Brother DB, Sister Joan and all who take an interest in this humble thread on the life of our dear Saviour.

Richard

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

Gary K

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2001, 09:37:00 AM »
There is a small three letter word in the title to this chapter that to me has great significance.  Let, it means to allow.  Allow your hearts to not be troubled.  Do you see the promise in this?  So many times we read the words but don't contemplate them.  I don't know how many times I had read this quotation from the book of John before the usage of the word let hit me.

Jesus didn't say, don't allow your hearts to be troubled.  He said, allow your heart not to be troubled.  A very significant difference in meaning.  He said, Pardon me, allow Me to do this for you.  Let Me do this for you.  Allow Me.


Joan

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2001, 12:50:00 AM »
Gary,

That's so right of you to bring this important point of truth, which Jesus used to touched his listeners with, up to the forefront. LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROULBLED !
ye believe in God, believe also in me.

This topic thought is going to be opened in Social Hall more fully, but it is good enough to say even here that though we all are beset with troubles from within and troubles from without the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep our hearts and minds from not going crazy with fear or terror.

Joan


Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2001, 06:06:00 AM »
Jesus is the power. His grace received into the heart produces this peace that passes all understanding in the midst of the storm. When we understand and have this grace in our hearts, the peace is even greater. We know we are a part of the great plan that God is working.  Good thought, Brother Gary. If we will come to Jesus, we may have this experience.  :)
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--73--"Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled"
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2001, 01:02:00 PM »
In the midst of great trial, God seeks us to look to him, not to man. It may be necessary to get counsel or to seek aid in reproving a brother or sister, but we are to look to God as the answer to our difficulty. It is by His Spirit the difficulty will be made right. It is not possible to have this peace as we rest in Christ unless we abide in Him. If we abide in Him then we will obey Him. He will hear our prayers if.....  "But to pray in Christ's name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works. The Saviour's promise is given on condition. "If ye love Me," He says, "keep My commandments." He saves men, not in sin, but from sin; and those who love Him will show their love by obedience.

"All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us."

This is quite a statement. Well worth meditating upon and studying. It is easy to read over or to reject, but both would prove a loss.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.