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R Myers

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« on: April 25, 2001, 05:51:00 AM »
"It is Finished"


Listen to It is Finished.


 




     Christ did not yield up His life till He had accomplished the work which He came to do, and with His parting breath He exclaimed, "It is finished." John 19:30. The battle had been won. His right hand and His holy arm had gotten Him the victory. As a Conqueror He planted His banner on the eternal heights. Was there not joy among the angels? All heaven triumphed in the Saviour's victory. Satan was defeated, and knew that his kingdom was lost.   
     To the angels and the unfallen worlds the cry, "It is finished," had a deep significance. It was for them as well as for us that the great work of redemption had been accomplished. They with us share the fruits of Christ's victory.
     Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. The archapostate had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles. They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion.
     It was a being of wonderful power and glory that had set himself against God. Of Lucifer the Lord says, "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty." Ezekiel 28:12. Lucifer had been the covering cherub. He had stood in the light of God's presence. He had been the highest of all created beings, and had been foremost in revealing God's purposes to the universe. After he had sinned, his power to deceive was the more deceptive, and the unveiling of his character was the more difficult, because of the exalted position he had held with the Father.
     God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan's government. The Lord's principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God's government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power.
     It was God's purpose to place things on an eternal basis of security, and in the councils of heaven it was decided that time must be given for Satan to develop the principles which were the foundation of his system of government. He had claimed that these were superior to God's principles. Time was given for the working of Satan's principles, that they might be seen by the heavenly universe. 
     Satan led men into sin, and the plan of redemption was put in operation. For four thousand years, Christ was working for man's uplifting, and Satan for his ruin and degradation. And the heavenly universe beheld it all. 
     When Jesus came into the world, Satan's power was turned against Him. From the time when He appeared as a babe in Bethlehem, the usurper worked to bring about His destruction. In every possible way he sought to prevent Jesus from developing a perfect childhood, a faultless manhood, a holy ministry, and an unblemished sacrifice. But he was defeated. He could not lead Jesus into sin. He could not discourage Him, or drive Him from a work He had come on earth to do. From the desert to Calvary, the storm of Satan's wrath beat upon Him, but the more mercilessly it fell, the more firmly did the Son of God cling to the hand of His Father, and press on in the bloodstained path. All the efforts of Satan to oppress and overcome Him only brought out in a purer light His spotless character. 
     All heaven and the unfallen worlds had been witnesses to the controversy. With what intense interest did they follow the closing scenes of the conflict. They beheld the Saviour enter the garden of Gethsemane, His soul bowed down with the horror of a great darkness. They heard His bitter cry, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me." Matthew 26:39. As the Father's presence was withdrawn, they saw Him sorrowful with a bitterness of sorrow exceeding that of the last great struggle with death. The bloody sweat was forced from His pores, and fell in drops upon the ground. Thrice the prayer for deliverance was wrung from His lips. Heaven could no longer endure the sight, and a messenger of comfort was sent to the Son of God.   
     Heaven beheld the Victim betrayed into the hands of the murderous mob, and with mockery and violence hurried from one tribunal to another. It heard the sneers of His persecutors because of His lowly birth. It heard the denial with cursing and swearing by one of His best-loved disciples. It saw the frenzied work of Satan, and his power over the hearts of men. Oh, fearful scene! the Saviour seized at midnight in Gethsemane, dragged to and fro from palace to judgment hall, arraigned twice before the priests, twice before the Sanhedrin, twice before Pilate, and once before Herod, mocked, scourged, condemned, and led out to be crucified, bearing the heavy burden of the cross, amid the wailing of the daughters of Jerusalem and the jeering of the rabble.
     Heaven viewed with grief and amazement Christ hanging upon the cross, blood flowing from His wounded temples, and sweat tinged with blood standing upon His brow. From His hands and feet the blood fell, drop by drop, upon the rock drilled for the foot of the cross. The wounds made by the nails gaped as the weight of His body dragged upon His hands. His labored breath grew quick and deep, as His soul panted under the burden of the sins of the world. All heaven was filled with wonder when the prayer of Christ was offered in the midst of His terrible suffering,--"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34. Yet there stood men, formed in the image of God, joining to crush out the life of His only-begotten Son. What a sight for the heavenly universe!
     The principalities and powers of darkness were assembled around the cross, casting the hellish shadow of unbelief into the hearts of men. When the Lord created these beings to stand before His throne, they were beautiful and glorious. Their loveliness and holiness were in accordance with their exalted station. They were enriched with the wisdom of God, and girded with the panoply of heaven. They were Jehovah's ministers. But who could recognize in the fallen angels the glorious seraphim that once ministered in the heavenly courts? 
     Satanic agencies confederated with evil men in leading the people to believe Christ the chief of sinners, and to make Him the object of detestation. Those who mocked Christ as He hung upon the cross were imbued with the spirit of the first great rebel. He filled them with vile and loathsome speeches. He inspired their taunts. But by all this he gained nothing. 
     Could one sin have been found in Christ, had He in one particular yielded to Satan to escape the terrible torture, the enemy of God and man would have triumphed. Christ bowed His head and died, but He held fast His faith and His submission to God. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Revelation 12:10. 
     Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ's brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken. 
     Yet Satan was not then destroyed. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed. And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve.   
     In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner. 
     But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God. 
     Through Jesus, God's mercy was manifested to men; but mercy does not set aside justice. The law reveals the attributes of God's character, and not a jot or tittle of it could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition. God did not change His law, but He sacrificed Himself, in Christ, for man's redemption. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19. 
     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26. 
     God's love has been expressed in His justice no less than in His mercy. Justice is the foundation of His throne, and the fruit of His love. It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that the righteousness of God's law is an enemy to peace. But Christ shows that in God's plan they are indissolubly joined together; the one cannot exist without the other. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalm 85:10. 
     By His life and His death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous, and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love. 
     Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law was changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. Yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. 
     That the law which was spoken by God's own voice is faulty, that some specification has been set aside, is the claim which Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan's power. By substituting human law for God's law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared, "He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand." Daniel 7:25. 
     Men will surely set up their laws to counterwork the laws of God. They will seek to compel the consciences of others, and in their zeal to enforce these laws they will oppress their fellow men. 
     The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion. 
     Then the end will come. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people. Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off. Sin and sinners will perish, root and branch, (Malachi 4:1),--Satan the root, and his followers the branches. The word will be fulfilled to the prince of evil, "Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; . . . I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Then "the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be;" "they shall be as though they had not been." Ezekiel 28:6-19; Psalm 37:10; Obadiah 16. 
     This is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God. The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown. God is the fountain of life; and when one chooses the service of sin, he separates from God, and thus cuts himself off from life. He is "alienated from the life of God." Christ says, "All they that hate Me love death." Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 8:36. God gives them existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles. This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice. By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him place themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire. The glory of Him who is love will destroy them.
     At the beginning of the great controversy, the angels did not understand this. Had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin, they would have perished; but it would not have been apparent to heavenly beings that this was the inevitable result of sin. A doubt of God's goodness would have remained in their minds as evil seed, to produce its deadly fruit of sin and woe. 
     But not so when the great controversy shall be ended. Then, the plan of redemption having been completed, the character of God is revealed to all created intelligences. The precepts of His law are seen to be perfect and immutable. Then sin has made manifest its nature, Satan his character. Then the extermination of sin will vindicate God's love and establish His honor before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. 
     Well, then, might the angels rejoice as they looked upon the Saviour's cross; for though they did not then understand all, they knew that the destruction of sin and Satan was forever made certain, that the redemption of man was assured, and that the universe was made eternally secure. Christ Himself fully comprehended the results of the sacrifice made upon Calvary. To all these He looked forward when upon the cross He cried out, "It is finished."   

Joan

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2001, 09:30:00 AM »
Desire of Ages
Chapter 79
"It is Finished"


If I were to have been created as an angel, my name would have been Chaya. My best friend among the angels would have had the name Yasdash. The telling of the mysterious celestial events would have sounded between the two celestial beings something like this.....

"Whatever is going on between Lucifer and the shar of seraphim around the throne ?" voiced Yasdash. "They're departing from our divine realm ! "

Chaya who only posssessed vague understanding of it all did the best in explaining.
" The glorious Lucifer was contesting the authority of our Almighty Sovereign. That what was expressed is called sin. When we so do as Lucifer it leads to being alienated from the life of our Almighty. A controversy has ensued.The Archangel would eventually have been consumed with fire because of the effects of sin. Now Lucifer has been given a planet with the created humans to rule over. Let's look into the annal pages of events to see what we need to know about the flow of events."

The two cherubs looked into all happenings with great interest. Being a bit in confusion that the one who so dazzled them in appearance of light and doing powerful deeds could be apart from them now, they looked intently, as this one now referred to as Satan, began to afflict humans with bodily disease and spiritual corruption. The angels had not understood fully the nature of Satan's rebellion. They had never been exposed to deception before and as they looked into the annals of human existance, slowly, slowly, understanding was budding in their minds.

They saw how the nature of Satan was to compel and coerce. The compelling power of force was the underlying principle of the evil kingdom. They saw how suggestive tantilizing-to-the-flesh offers were being deceptively used on humans to lure them away out of their stance of fulfilling the judicial legislation established as conduct by Yahweh. They themselves heard the argument of Lucifer that the law of Yahweh "could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned." Knowing only truth and not being of learned experience in distinguishing what a lie is, these two angels accepted at face value what Lucifer had said but still didn't believe it completely. They both remember the angel of Light also saying "Every sin must meet its punishment, and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. "

The angels looked into the annals and watched as men did not resist temptation, fell to sin and then Satan exulted. Bit for bit the false propaganda about the character of God circulated among the humans that God was unjust, would not show mercy when one sinned, and would exclude the human race from His presence forever because of having sinned. Time and again it was funneled into them that the Law of God could not be obeyed continually. "It had been Satan's purpose to divorce mercy from truth and justice. He sought to prove that rightoueousness of God's law is an enemy to peace." Satan went even so far to claim that mercy destroys justice. So any substitute offering for the sin of mankind would be abrogating the immutable law of The One and Only God. Such lies and deception was a part of his nature.

In the annuals of time records the angels saw how Satan's kingdom so influenced men to set up laws of their own making to counterwork the laws of God. The EvilOne was training the minds of mankind to believe that the laws of God are faulty and not possible to be followed in all details by human natures. Humans learn at an early stage that if a person breaks obedience to one law of God then one is guilty of having been disobedient to all the laws of God. This stands as truth. The consequence is separation from the fellowhsip of His presence. So in the course of time men have set up laws of their own and with them compelled the consciences of others to a zeal of enforcing these surrogate laws to be the moral measure of the standard of living. They started to build up in their own imaginations that they could appease the mysterious enigma of the far-distance God by bringing Him good moral deeds to earn meritious favor to their account. For them the thinking was that good deeds could out-balance bad deeds or law tresspasses, to win the right for divine blessings and eternal life after death. This was the fruit of alliegance to Satan.

Chaya and Yadash observe how the Logos of Yahweh arises to leave for the chosen mission the divine counsel agreed upon. They see how on earth in the circumstances of His birth as a human, that Satan's power was out to kill him. They followed with intense interest how Lucifer's agents sought to prevent a normal childhood and entrance into public life. They saw as the usurper worked on the pride of life, lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh of the incarnated Logos, who at the same time was 'Jesus' the man, to subcumb to obeying the force of evil there in the desert trail of faith. Time and again over the next few years he used every trick in his book to discourage Him from the work that Jesus came to do on earth.

Slowly, slowly, by observation, seeing the contrasts, and coming to conclusions, the angels grew into the knowledge of the mystery of God's goodness and the Devil's evil. They saw how the begotton Son of the Father would do nothing except the will of the Father revealed to Him in the scriptures and in prayer. How He would use a 'thus it is written' to resist temptation to sin.
The angels were viewing how God was in the Christ who showed that the authority of the divine rests in the power within goodness, mercy and love. All what Jesus did was to uplift man from oppression, set demoned possessed free from bondage of evil rule, break the fetters of mourning by bringing back the dead, release the prisoned souls from the body of sickness, and to set the minds free to believe truth again. The greatest miracle was the cleansing of the soul from the burden of guilt that sin had heaped upon each of those who came for healing to Him.

The angels became even more clearly the naked contrast of how evil Evil is as the anguish of struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane with Satan's forces contra the Will of God bore down on the soul of the man Christ praying. They looked on as the ugliness shown forth in the rulers of men with the arrest, mockery, torture, disrespect, the rantings of the murderous mob, the sneers of the persecutors, and the hideous method of crucifixion. They saw who was behind all the unjust, inhumane suffering that Jesus as the Christ went through and they marveled. It was the moments of darkness as God turned his back on the sin bearing opfer that appalled them the most. The horror of realizing just where the administration of Lucifer leads to dried up every possible sympathy the faithful angels had for him. The Creator Logos as man Jesus cried out "it is finished" and gave up His spirit. From that time on Satan was banned from heaven to appear before the thone for accusing the saints of God.

The angels had become a very important insight to the government of God, the administration of Satan and now the angels were to witness the outworking of the plan of salvation on the living. Over the hundreds of years since the crucifixion the offer of the infilling of the Holy Spirit of God, to reign in the hearts of believers for the purpose of glorifying the name of God, began in a special way. Humans now were calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus the Christ for forgiveness of sin, for power to overcome the wiles of the devil's temptations, for strength to endure hardships and trials. They were calling upon the name of the Lord for having prayers answered for themselves and others. And in prayer they were hearing the voice of the Lord for wisdom and leading in the tasks of life while applying the gifts they had for the purposes of helping others. By staying in connection to the Divine, people were walking in obedience to the law of God without sinning. If perchance they did sin, they were quick to ask for the forgiving blood of the Lamb to cleanse them from the sin.

They got up from prayer and walked on as overcomers in the name of the Lamb.

~~~
Joan
~~~


Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2001, 11:10:00 AM »
Yes, Sister Joan, this chapter says it all. We see and understand the "great controversy" between Christ and Satan very clearly. The controversy is over the character of God, or His law.  We must not hurry through these last chapters that reveal the last moments of our Saviour's life. There is too much to move over quickly.

Jesus suffered at the hands of Satan through the people of this earth, including His disciples. It is painful to recount the experience, but then it ought to be. Death is a painful thing. We seem to take it for granted, but God does not, and we ought not. It is unnatural and contrary to God's desires for us.

The offering of a lamb for one's sins was God's idea. He wanted us to know how much He loves us, and He wanted us to allow His pain to reach down into our hearts. To reach down to the degree that we would become "new creatures" in Christ Jesus. These last chapters replace the sinner having to kill the "lamb", for in them we see that we have already killed the "Lamb".

When the sinner brought the lamb to the temple, he killed it. Have you ever wondered about how it would feel to kill an innocent lamb? Think on this for a minute. Would it make you sick at heart? Yes, it would. Then contemplate the last Words of Jesus "It is finished...."  Think on what killed Him and why? Was it not my sins, and your sins that crushed out the life of Jesus? Yes, my sins on top of the worlds sins. Now, if killing a lamb would be so painful, think on killing the Saviour.  This is the lesson we are to learn by looking at the cross and the lesson the Israelite was to learn by killing the lamb which represented Jesus.

If we would understand this, we would understand how offensive is sin in the eyes of God. We would begin to recognize how bad sin really is, yes the "little" sins, too. Satan, today, would have us believe that we cannot cease to sin, that since we live in fallen flesh we must sin, and that if we sin it is part of the Christian experience. He points to Romans chapter 7 and 8:1 in the NIV as proof. He says "you are under grace!" so there is no condemnation for sin.

Yes, the controversy rages and most will fail at receiving the precious gift that cost so much. Many will think they are rich and increased with goods because they have named Jesus as their Saviour, but they believe a lie. They have not the Spirit of Christ, for if they did, they would manifest the works of Christ. They would not do that which they know to be wrong. They would do that which they know to right. If Jesus is their great joy in life and they lose their connection and sin, they will see and understand what that particular sin did to Jesus as He cried out "It is finished". As they realize what they have done and know that Jesus is the Lamb that they killed, they will receive the gift of repentance for their sin and will be justified before God.

There is a mighty principle spoken of time and again in the writing's of Ellen White. It is a Biblical principle and can be found in 2 Corinthians 3:18. This verse illustrates what happens when we recall what happened at Calvary. On the cross we see God reconciling the world unto Himself through the suffering and death of His innocent Son. We see Him doing this for those that are still sinners, for you and for me and we become changed. We become partakers of the "divine nature."

Satan could not benefit from the death of Christ for he already understood the character of God. He lived in the light of His glory. "But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry.The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God."

This is why we want to stop in our reading of each chapter and look at Christ on the cross. There is no higher place that we can be, than to be here at the foot of the cross. There is much to consider and much that can be shared. We have only just touched the surface of what we have read in Gethsemane, Calvary, and It is Finished. Let us ponder the many lessons that we may learn.

Richard

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

Kellee

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2001, 09:42:00 AM »
What was it that was accomplished for the "unfallen worlds"?
========================================

The same thing that was accomplished for us...the complete and total revelation of God's character. The truth which sets us right with Him and keeps the universe secure forever.


Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2001, 10:15:00 PM »
Amen, Sister Kellee, amen!!

God turned His wrath upon His innocent Son out of love for us, while we were yet sinners! Jesus took upon Himself our punishment and by His stripes we are healed! The angels in heaven then knew how loving God really is and they then knew how wicked Satan really is. They knew the results of sin. Never again would the angels in heaven question God's motives or Satan's motives. They now have a revelation of both that is forever sufficient to keep them loyal. It is left for us to see and to choose whom we shall serve.

Good to have your input, Sister Kellee. It is good to find common ground with you. I believe we have much of it.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Joan

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2001, 12:49:00 AM »

 ;D (((Kellee)))  ;D


Happiness is big in me seeing you again  :)

your Joan


Dugald T Lewis MD

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2001, 08:22:00 AM »
Great to see you with us again Kellee.

Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2001, 05:54:00 AM »
At a time when few understand the claims of the "broken law", it is our privilege to know the end of the story. When it is finished, the "great controversy" will reveal the power of God's grace to transform a whole church, a nation carved "without hands". "Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion."

God will vindicate His law. There will remain no opportunity for forgiveness. The sanctuary in heaven will be closed. Jesus will no longer intercede for guilty man. Then, Jesus will come for His church who fully reflect His character.  Such a promise!

Richard

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

Richard Myers

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2003, 11:04:00 AM »
A thought to contemplate by us today as we near the end of the "great controversy", Satan claimed his principles of government were superior to God's. So...."Time was given for the working of Satan's principles, that they might be seen by the heavenly universe."

We, too, must choose whom we shall serve. We must clearly distinguish between God's principles and Satan's. Have we enough evidence to choose or must we wait a little longer?

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

Kevin Hellerud

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The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2003, 12:27:00 AM »
This is one of Mrs. White's core chapters, with very little color in Walter Rea's coloring of Mrs. White's use of sources.

I can bearly begin to comment on the importance and imensity of the message of this one chapter. This chapter, "The Orgin of Evil" in PP "Why was sin permitted" in GC, appear to be what Mrs. White was talking about when she was focusing on what visions do and don't do for her, and what it seems to be what Mrs. White would have seen to have been her three most important writings. These three chapters are the core of her thought and message.

sin is limited to this planet, it is being watched by the entire universe which suffers with us.

Had Jesus not died, God would not have called Enoch, Moses and Elijah and have them face a celestral fireing squad because Jesus did not die in their place, but the whole universe would have fallen into utter chaos and been distroyed.

Jesus bore sin from the very begining, even before it arrose, and even more so when he came to earth, especially durring the wilderness temptation and the garden of Gethesmanie through the cross so that it would not kill us, and by us I mean the whole universe, not just humans.

And not Jesus alone, but the whole trinity. Sin sepperates from God. I understand hell fire (and this chapter is one of my key texts) to be God's cleansing character of love. For those of us who yeald to the drawing power of the Holy Spirit, God's pressence is heaven.

I understand the lost as seeing Jesus as their deepest desire, but they have always fought against the drawing power of the Holy Spirit, and that it has become their nature to resist this drawing love and beauty. I understand the Bible and Mrs. White to teach that they want to come, but refuse. Jesus is their deepest desire, but they fear that God will get them for their sins so they hold back (or as Jesus put it in John 3: They refuse to come to the light for fear of their deeds being exposed, while those who do come, [instead of finding a condeming God] find that their works change into the works of God.)

This conflect between wanting to come and refusing, and having distroyed their ability to yeald to the power of God's love, ends up killing them. I believe that Calvin was right in his view of irristible grace. His problem is that he believed in an importal soul. In this chapter Mrs. White unites Calvinism and Arminianism/Methodism. Grace is indeed irristible, but if someone chooses to try to resist irristible grace, it can't be done and thus they can no longer exist.

So with the members of the trinity. Jesus wanted to be with the Father and Spirit. The Father and the Spirit wanted to be with Jesus. But they all resisted subbmitting to their deepest desire, but not because they formed a habbit of resisting the work of the Holy Spirit. It was not natural for the members of the trinity to resist the grace between themselves. It was not because Jesus feared what God would do (in fact Mrs. White points out that Jesus bearly felt the pain of the cross because of the pain of sepperation from the Father. Here she is pointing that nothing is worst than being sepperated from God.) Jesus refused to come to the Father and the Spirit, and the Father and the Spirit refused to come to Jesus because they loved us, and knew that if sin did not sepperate them from each other, that it would sepeprate us from God and kill us (and again what I mean by "us" is every created being).

The garden and the cross show us what sin would do to us if the trinity did not interviene and take it upon themselves. The resurection tells us that if we choose to come to God, all the sins of the world can not keep him away from embracing us.

[This message has been edited by Kevin Hellerud (edited 05-06-2003).]



JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2014, 05:17:14 AM »
And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve.  {DA 761.3} 

With certain books it seems that no matter how many time one reads the book you see something different. This morning the following sentence stood out to me. We must be really dull in our understanding. We are told earlier in the same chapter that when satan murdered Christ on the cross that, that was the deciding factor for the unfallen worlds and angels. Yet here in this sentence we are told that satan continues for our (man's) good. In my small brain it would seem that Christ's death would be enough for us also.

I don't totally understand this other than I'll accept it and I'm making an educated guess that it has something to do with securing the universe for ever from sin.
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2014, 11:13:14 PM »
Sin reveals  that we do not hate it enough.  Therefore, Satan is left in this world that we might clearly see the results of OUR sin. Think for a moment where you have seen the work of Satan and hated it. Well....because of our fallen nature, we need to learn to hate sin. Hating sin does not insure we will not do it. When we learn to hate it, then we must flee to Christ to be changed, to be given a new heart that has power to obey.
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 05:04:24 PM »
Thanks Richard, this makes sense to me. It's easy to the hate the sin of others but we are usually more tolerant of our own personal sins.
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2014, 07:06:10 PM »
Yes, so Satan is left here that we might see what sin really is, I mean the real picture of sin. How much do we hate it? Enough to fall on our faces and plead with God for victory over it?
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 04:12:51 PM »
Yes, so Satan is left here that we might see what sin really is, I mean the real picture of sin. How much do we hate it? Enough to fall on our faces and plead with God for victory over it?

This is from a different chapter but I thought about this passage today during Sabbath School today and shared it there but I thought of this conversation and thought it appropriate.

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.  {DA 668.3}
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Greg Goodchild

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Re: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2014, 09:02:32 AM »
And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve.  {DA 761.3} 

With certain books it seems that no matter how many time one reads the book you see something different. This morning the following sentence stood out to me. We must be really dull in our understanding. We are told earlier in the same chapter that when satan murdered Christ on the cross that, that was the deciding factor for the unfallen worlds and angels. Yet here in this sentence we are told that satan continues for our (man's) good. In my small brain it would seem that Christ's death would be enough for us also.

I don't totally understand this other than I'll accept it and I'm making an educated guess that it has something to do with securing the universe for ever from sin.

This is one of the amazing quotations in Desire of Ages. Angels and mankind still did not see the depths of sin and God must allow things to further unfold so that we can see it and grasp the amazing depths to which God would go to save us and secure the universe. A mystery to be unfolded to all who want to see and know.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2016, 04:33:07 AM »
But even as a sinner, man was in a different position from that of Satan. Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory. To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love. Understanding the character of God, knowing His goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him. But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character he might be drawn back to God. 
     
     The law requires righteousness,--a righteous life, a perfect character; and this man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of God's holy law. But Christ, coming to the earth as man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These He offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. His life stands for the life of men. Thus they have remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. More than this, Christ imbues men with the attributes of God. He builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in Christ. God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Romans 3:26. 

Thank the Lord there is a way out of this nasty old world. In the first paragraph we find that our hope lies in beholding His character. No wonder it's so important to spend a thoughtful hour reading about Christ's life and especially the closing scenes. When we do this and we surrender our will then Christ makes us like Him. Yes praise the Lord that He forgives us but this last paragraph says He does more than this but imbues us with His attributes. Do you wish to be more like Christ and have love for the unlovely even when going through tough times yourself? Well then behold the character of Christ and ask the Lord through the Holy Spirit to show you more and abide in Christ.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--79--It is Finished
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2016, 05:11:09 AM »
I want to share something that in the past had perplexed me and I know that other people have thought this also because I've heard it said and seen in writing more than once. Some don't like the idea of an Investigative Judgment. I think it's because some see it as arbitrary. Especially for those are living. The way we teach it comes across as though God is drawing names from a hat and if your name comes up and you're not ready...well... too bad for you.

However, our God is not like that. He is not arbitrary nor randomly drawing names from some mythical hat. God does not seal our fate we do. Take a look at this from today's reading.

The warfare against God's law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.

It says that every character will be fully developed. In other words it's by our choices every day that make the decision of loyalty or rebellion. We have the choice in how our character is developed. I remember when I saw this for the first time. It was a relief to better understand.

We have a lovely Savior not wishing that any will perish and will do all He can to save us but we have to make the choice to fully surrender. Then He'll take the reins and guide our life and you'll see that we do not serve a capricious God but a wonderfully merciful God who only desires the best for you.
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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2016, 07:05:33 AM »
Amen, Jim!   God is not arbitrary ever.  His ways are GOOD!   He loves us and has provided us with all that we need to be transformed into His image that we might be fit for heaven and witnesses for Him on this Earth. You are right. There are always two ditches on both sides of the road of truth. On one side is an arbitrary god ready to stamp out our lives, on the other is a "loving" god who will let unrepentant sinners into heaven. Satan does not care which way we choose, he wins and we lose out.

The truth is just as you have shared. We are given a period of probation in which we can learn of His character and by so doing fall in love with Him. It is through a knowledge of God that we learn of His grace, which is the only power that can transform a sinner into a saint. What keeps one from being born again of His Spirit? Failure to behold His grace, continually. Some may be converted and fail to maintain the connection. But, most are never converted, for they have been deceived about what it means to be a Christian. They believe they are "rich and increased with goods." They do not know they are "miserable, wretched, and poor, blind, and naked." Therefore they remain dead in sins. Many have been taught they may sin and retain their justification (salvation), but this is not true. Committing a known sin reveals a separation between man and God. But, if one has been walking in the light of God's love and grace, that does not mean he cannot be reconverted. Character is not determined by an occasional good deed or evil deed, but by the trend of the life. When Moses manifested pride and anger, he was not abiding in Christ, nor was the Spirit of Christ abiding in him. He did not have eternal life without Christ in his heart. But, his character was such that his repentance was quick and deep. Thus, when he repented, even though God took his life, he was raised from the grave.

When a Christian takes his eyes off of Christ and sins, he ought not be discouraged. No, Christ is standing at the door calling him back to repentance. By taking in His grace, he is brought back into connection with Christ and thus the Spirit takes possession of the heart. It is this character that turns to Christ continually that we want to form. It must become a habit of total dependence.

The character is formed, to a great extent, in early years. The habits then established have more influence than any natural endowment, in making them either giants or dwarfs in intellect; for the very best talents may, through wrong habits, become warped and enfeebled. The earlier in life one contracts hurtful habits, the more firmly will they hold their victim in slavery, and the more certainly will they lower his standard of spirituality. On the other hand, if correct and virtuous habits are formed in youth, they will generally mark the course of the possessor through life. In most cases, it will be found that those who in later life reverence God and honor the right, learned that lesson before there was time for the world to stamp its image of sin upon the soul. Those of mature age are generally as insensible to new impressions as is the hardened rock; but youth is impressible. Youth is the time to acquire knowledge for daily practice through life; a right character may then be easily formed. It is the time to establish good habits, to gain and to hold the power of self-control. Youth is the sowing time, and the seed sown determines the harvest, both for this life and the life to come.  CH 112.

Many of us did not form such a character when young. That makes life more difficult, but where sin abounds grace does much more abound. Those who stand closest to Christ in heaven will be those who overcame much. They love much because they have been forgiven much.

     God calls upon those who claim to be delegated to bear the truth to the world, to show in all places, both high and low, in public life and in the bypaths of private life, that they are in connection with God, that Christianity has done a noble work for them, that they are holier, happier than those who do not acknowledge their allegiance to God's commandments. God demands nothing less of every one of His followers than that they reveal Christ's character to the world in their individual life, and that they bear testimony by precept and example that it is not in vain that Christ has suffered and died, that the image of God might be restored in them through His redeeming grace. 
     God is represented as weighing all men, their words, their deeds, their motives, that which determines character. "The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed." "Men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." "Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just." "All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits." Important lessons are suggested to us in these scriptures. There is not a thought or motive in the heart that God is not acquainted with. He sees all as clearly as if it stood out registered in living characters, and He weighs individual motives and actions. TM 438.


The investigative judgment of an individual does not happen until the character is developed, the time of probation is over. Then, the character is compared to the law of God. It is a high standard where the books of heaven are opened to see what the character was like at that time. The words, deeds, thoughts, and motives are written down so there is no error in knowing if the heart was fully surrendered, if Christ had possession of it. If Christ was ruler, then the character would reveal it. Jim is absolutely correct, God is not arbitrary. A correct understanding of the investigative judgment is one doctrine Satan has perverted so that many remain deceived about what it means to be converted.

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--79--It is Finished
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2016, 07:48:57 AM »
I was blessed by your post this morning Richard, and this chapter again points us to eternal realities where they must be centered to be clearly understood: the cross of Christ.

The following paragraph reveals the simple truth of the gospel that can be found in 1 John 5:12: "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

This is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God. The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown. God is the fountain of life; and when one chooses the service of sin, he separates from God, and thus cuts himself off from life. He is "alienated from the life of God." Christ says, "All they that hate Me love death." Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 8:36. God gives them existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles. This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice. By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him place themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire. The glory of Him who is love will destroy them. {DA 764.1}


This paragraph calls the period of probation "existence for a time"--and that is not the same thing as having Christ, the Life, abiding in the heart. We see many people in our world who are breathing, but they are not in the Life, for they have not accepted the Gift, Christ, to abide in the heart and make it fully pure when completely surrendered to Him.

All may look and live--and each morning that we spend time with Jesus and contemplate His lovely character, we are sowing--sowing that which will bear fruit, even all the fruits of the Spirit to be seen in the life without one missing when we are fully surrendered, living by faith on the Son of God.

I choose to put myself, my life, in harmony with God by accepting the sacrifice provided at Calvary. I pray that you will make that choice today, and maintain the choice by a living-faith connection with Jesus. For apart from Him, we have no life--no power to do good, and yet in Him, there is nothing impossible for the weakest soul who relies upon God's omnipotent power revealed in infinite love! Rejoice in 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}