Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles  (Read 7465 times)

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Dora

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The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« on: October 20, 2008, 09:09:47 PM »
At the Feast of Tabernacles

Listen to At the Feast of Tabernacles

 





     Three times a year the Jews were required to assemble at Jerusalem for religious purposes. Enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, Israel's invisible Leader had given the directions in regard to these gatherings. During the captivity of the Jews, they could not be observed; but when the people were restored to their own land, the observance of these memorials was once more begun. It was God's design that these anniversaries should call Him to the minds of the people. But with few exceptions, the priests and leaders of the nation had lost sight of this purpose. He who had ordained these national assemblies and understood their significance witnessed their perversion. 
     The Feast of Tabernacles was the closing gathering of the year. It was God's design that at this time the people should reflect on His goodness and mercy. The whole land had been under His guidance, receiving His blessing. Day and night His watchcare had continued. The sun and rain had caused the earth to produce her fruits. From the valleys and plains of Palestine the harvest had been gathered. The olive berries had been picked, and the precious oil stored in bottles. The palm had yielded her store. The purple clusters of the vine had been trodden in the wine press.
     The feast continued for seven days, and for its celebration the inhabitants of Palestine, with many from other lands, left their homes, and came to Jerusalem. From far and near the people came, bringing in their hands a token of rejoicing. Old and young, rich and poor, all brought some gift as a tribute of thanksgiving to Him who had crowned the year with His goodness, and made His paths drop fatness. Everything that could please the eye, and give expression to the universal joy, was brought from the woods; the city bore the appearance of a beautiful forest. 
     This feast was not only the harvest thanksgiving, but the memorial of God's protecting care over Israel in the wilderness. In commemoration of their tent life, the Israelites during the feast dwelt in booths or tabernacles of green boughs. These were erected in the streets, in the courts of the temple, or on the housetops. The hills and valleys surrounding Jerusalem were also dotted with these leafy dwellings, and seemed to be alive with people.
     With sacred song and thanksgiving the worshipers celebrated this occasion. A little before the feast was the Day of Atonement, when, after confession of their sins, the people were declared to be at peace with Heaven. Thus the way was prepared for the rejoicing of the feast. "O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever" (Psalm 106:1) rose triumphantly, while all kinds of music, mingled with shouts of hosanna, accompanied the united singing. The temple was the center of the universal joy. Here was the pomp of the sacrificial ceremonies. Here, ranged on either side of the white marble steps of the sacred building, the choir of Levites led the service of song. The multitude of worshipers, waving their branches of palm and myrtle, took up the strain, and echoed the chorus; and again the melody was caught up by voices near and afar off, till the encircling hills were vocal with praise. 
     At night the temple and its court blazed with artificial light. The music, the waving of palm branches, the glad hosannas, the great concourse of people, over whom the light streamed from the hanging lamps, the array of the priests, and the majesty of the ceremonies, combined to make a scene that deeply impressed the beholders. But the most impressive ceremony of the feast, one that called forth greatest rejoicing, was one commemorating an event in the wilderness sojourn.   
     At the first dawn of day, the priests sounded a long, shrill blast upon their silver trumpets, and the answering trumpets, and the glad shouts of the people from their booths, echoing over hill and valley, welcomed the festal day. Then the priest dipped from the flowing waters of the Kedron a flagon of water, and, lifting it on high, while the trumpets were sounding, he ascended the broad steps of the temple, keeping time with the music with slow and measured tread, chanting meanwhile, "Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem." Psalm 122:2.
     He bore the flagon to the altar, which occupied a central position in the court of the priests. Here were two silver basins, with a priest standing at each one. The flagon of water was poured into one, and a flagon of wine into the other; and the contents of both flowed into a pipe which communicated with the Kedron, and was conducted to the Dead Sea. This display of the consecrated water represented the fountain that at the command of God had gushed from the rock to quench the thirst of the children of Israel. Then the jubilant strains rang forth, "The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song;" "therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:2, 3.
     As the sons of Joseph made preparation to attend the Feast of Tabernacles, they saw that Christ made no movement signifying His intention of attending. They watched Him with anxiety. Since the healing at Bethesda He had not attended the national gatherings. To avoid useless conflict with the leaders at Jerusalem, He had restricted His labors to Galilee. His apparent neglect of the great religious assemblies, and the enmity manifested toward Him by the priests and rabbis, were a cause of perplexity to the people about Him, and even to His own disciples and His kindred. In His teachings He had dwelt upon the blessings of obedience to the law of God, and yet He Himself seemed to be indifferent to the service which had been divinely established. His mingling with publicans and others of ill repute, His disregard of the rabbinical observances, and the freedom with which He set aside the traditional requirements concerning the Sabbath, all seeming to place Him in antagonism to the religious authorities, excited much questioning. His brothers thought it a mistake for Him to alienate the great and learned men of the nation. They felt that these men must be in the right, and that Jesus was at fault in placing Himself in antagonism to them. But they had witnessed His blameless life, and though they did not rank themselves with His disciples, they had been deeply impressed by His works. His popularity in Galilee was gratifying to their ambition; they still hoped that He would give an evidence of His power which would lead the Pharisees to see that He was what He claimed to be. What if He were the Messiah, the Prince of Israel! They cherished this thought with proud satisfaction.
     So anxious were they about this that they urged Christ to go to Jerusalem. "Depart hence," they said, "and go into Judea, that Thy disciples also may see the works that Thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If Thou do these things, show Thyself to the world." The "if" expressed doubt and unbelief. They attributed cowardice and weakness to Him. If He knew that He was the Messiah, why this strange reserve and inaction? If He really possessed such power, why not go boldly to Jerusalem, and assert His claims? Why not perform in Jerusalem the wonderful works reported of Him in Galilee? Do not hide in secluded provinces, they said, and perform your mighty works for the benefit of ignorant peasants and fishermen. Present yourself at the capital, win the support of the priests and rulers, and unite the nation in establishing the new kingdom.
     These brothers of Jesus reasoned from the selfish motive so often found in the hearts of those ambitious for display. This spirit was the ruling spirit of the world. They were offended because, instead of seeking a temporal throne, Christ had declared Himself to be the bread of life. They were greatly disappointed when so many of His disciples forsook Him. They themselves turned from Him to escape the cross of acknowledging what His works revealed--that He was the Sent of God.  {DA 451.1}
     "Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for My time is not yet full come. When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee." His brothers had spoken to Him in a tone of authority, prescribing the course He should pursue. He cast their rebuke back to them, classing them not with His self-denying disciples, but with the world. "The world cannot hate you," He said, "but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil." The world does not hate those who are like it in spirit; it loves them as its own. 
     The world for Christ was not a place of ease and self-aggrandizement. He was not watching for an opportunity to seize its power and its glory. It held out no such prize for Him. It was the place into which His Father had sent Him. He had been given for the life of the world, to work out the great plan of redemption. He was accomplishing His work for the fallen race. But He was not to be presumptuous, not to rush into danger, not to hasten a crisis. Each event in His work had its appointed hour. He must wait patiently. He knew that He was to receive the world's hatred; He knew that His work would result in His death; but to prematurely expose Himself would not be the will of His Father.
     From Jerusalem the report of Christ's miracles had spread wherever the Jews were dispersed; and although for many months He had been absent from the feasts, the interest in Him had not abated. Many from all parts of the world had come up to the Feast of Tabernacles in the hope of seeing Him. At the beginning of the feast many inquiries were made for Him. The Pharisees and rulers looked for Him to come, hoping for an opportunity to condemn Him. They anxiously inquired, "Where is He?" but no one knew. The thought of Him was uppermost in all minds. Through fear of the priests and rulers, none dared acknowledge Him as the Messiah, but everywhere there was quiet yet earnest discussion concerning Him. Many defended Him as one sent from God, while others denounced Him as a deceiver of the people. 
     Meanwhile Jesus had quietly arrived at Jerusalem. He had chosen an unfrequented route by which to go, in order to avoid the travelers who were making their way to the city from all quarters. Had He joined any of the caravans that went up to the feast, public attention would have been attracted to Him on His entrance into the city, and a popular demonstration in His favor would have aroused the authorities against Him. It was to avoid this that He chose to make the journey alone.
     In the midst of the feast, when the excitement concerning Him was at its height, He entered the court of the temple in the presence of the multitude. Because of His absence from the feast, it had been urged that He dared not place Himself in the power of the priests and rulers. All were surprised at His presence. Every voice was hushed. All wondered at the dignity and courage of His bearing in the midst of powerful enemies who were thirsting for His life. 
     Standing thus, the center of attraction to that vast throng, Jesus addressed them as no man had ever done. His words showed a knowledge of the laws and institutions of Israel, of the sacrificial service and the teachings of the prophets, far exceeding that of the priests and rabbis. He broke through the barriers of formalism and tradition. The scenes of the future life seemed outspread before Him. As one who beheld the Unseen, He spoke of the earthly and the heavenly, the human and the divine, with positive authority. His words were most clear and convincing; and again, as at Capernaum, the people were astonished at His teaching; "for His word was with power." Luke 4:32. Under a variety of representations He warned His hearers of the calamity that would follow all who rejected the blessings He came to bring them. He had given them every possible proof that He came forth from God, and made every possible effort to bring them to repentance. He would not be rejected and murdered by His own nation if He could save them from the guilt of such a deed. 
     All wondered at His knowledge of the law and the prophecies; and the question passed from one to another, "How knoweth this Man letters, having never learned?" No one was regarded as qualified to be a religious teacher unless he had studied in the rabbinical schools, and both Jesus and John the Baptist had been represented as ignorant because they had not received this training. Those who heard them were astonished at their knowledge of the Scriptures, "having never learned." Of men they had not, truly; but the God of heaven was their teacher, and from Him they had received the highest kind of wisdom.
     As Jesus spoke in the temple court, the people were held spellbound. The very men who were the most violent against Him felt themselves powerless to do Him harm. For the time, all other interests were forgotten.
     Day after day He taught the people, until the last, "that great day of the feast." The morning of this day found the people wearied from the long season of festivity. Suddenly Jesus lifted up His voice, in tones that rang through the courts of the temple: 
     "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The condition of the people made this appeal very forcible. They had been engaged in a continued scene of pomp and festivity, their eyes had been dazzled with light and color, and their ears regaled with the richest music; but there had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not. Jesus invited them to come and drink of the fountain of life, of that which would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.
     The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, "Give me this water, that I thirst not." John 4:15.
     Jesus knew the wants of the soul. Pomp, riches, and honor cannot satisfy the heart. "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me." The rich, the poor, the high, the low, are alike welcome. He promises to relieve the burdened mind, to comfort the sorrowing, and to give hope to the despondent. Many of those who heard Jesus were mourners over disappointed hopes, many were nourishing a secret grief, many were seeking to satisfy their restless longing with the things of the world and the praise of men; but when all was gained, they found that they had toiled only to reach a broken cistern, from which they could not quench their thirst. Amid the glitter of the joyous scene they stood, dissatisfied and sad. That sudden cry, "If any man thirst," startled them from their sorrowful meditation, and as they listened to the words that followed, their minds kindled with a new hope. The Holy Spirit presented the symbol before them until they saw in it the offer of the priceless gift of salvation.
     The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Revelation 22:17; John 4:14.



_________________________________________________ _______________________________________________



This is one of my very favorite chapters in the Desire of Ages.  Every time I read it, I feel like I have been there and witnessed what happened.  It is intriguing to me all of the work that went into the preparations for this feast, which came just a little after the Day of Atonement, and what the symbolism was supposed to be that went into all the preparations.  And, as we know the Day of Atonement is in progress right now, then the next and last feast of all, the Feast of Tabernacles, will soon occur in its' antitypical form.

 It was a happy time, when the harvest was over, and God's people were to "tabernacle" in booths to celebrate with sacred song and thanksgiving the confession and forgiveness of their sins, and they were declared to be at peace with Heaven.
There had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not.

Are we in danger of going through a round of ceremonies, yet there is nothing there to satisfy the spirit?  They had just commemorated the most impressive ceremony with pouring the water and wine into silver basins and the contents flowed into a pipe into the Kedron, and then into the Dead Sea.  Tihis 'represented the fountain that at the command of God had gushed from the rock to quench the thirst of the children of Israel.'

At a later date, the night before Jesus was crucified, "He went forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron (Kidron) where was a garden into which He entered, and His disciples. Jn.18:1.  So, it was near the brook where the water and wine had been emptied, symbolizing Jesus, the water of life, that He was taken captive, then tortured, and crucified, spilling out blood and water from His rent side, offering salvation to you and me.

Dora

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages------49-----At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 12:13:14 PM »
...we know the Day of Atonement is in progress right now, then the next and last feast of all, the Feast of Tabernacles, will soon occur in its' antitypical form.

Amen!! And we do not have to wait to rejoice......we can rejoice today when Christ is in our hearts. We then have that peace that passes understanding.

Quote
The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Rev. 22:17; John 4:14.
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--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 04:55:36 AM »
I appreciate this beautiful paragraph. My soul cries out in response to Jesus, "More of Thee"

Jesus knew the wants of the soul. Pomp, riches, and honor cannot satisfy the heart. "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me." The rich, the poor, the high, the low, are alike welcome. He promises to relieve the burdened mind, to comfort the sorrowing, and to give hope to the despondent. Many of those who heard Jesus were mourners over disappointed hopes, many were nourishing a secret grief, many were seeking to satisfy their restless longing with the things of the world and the praise of men; but when all was gained, they found that they had toiled only to reach a broken cistern, from which they could not quench their thirst. Amid the glitter of the joyous scene they stood, dissatisfied and sad. That sudden cry, "If any man thirst," startled them from their sorrowful meditation, and as they listened to the words that followed, their minds kindled with a new hope. The Holy Spirit presented the symbol before them until they saw in it the offer of the priceless gift of salvation.

We are all thirsty--but like those who often eat a snack instead of drinking water, the devil tries to get us to satisfy our longing with other than Jesus--but only He, by His Holy Spirit and His loving words, can truly satisfy! Jesus is coming again!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 05:58:09 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!!

Jesus is coming soon!!   Are we drinking of the water of life? Where do we go to find this water? Can it truly cleanse us from sin? So many important questions.

Today, in the church, we find many drinking from broken cisterns when they could be drinking from the pure fountain of truth sitting right in front of us. When Jesus says "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me," what does He mean? How can we today come unto Jesus?

   The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Revelation 22:17; John 4:14.

As the woman at the well said "Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not," we too may ask of Jesus for this water of life. And if we do, will He not reveal it? Where can we find this water of life, this pure fountain opened before us?
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--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 06:05:46 AM »
"Where can we find this water of life, this pure fountain opened before us?"  Many do not see their need, and even those who understand their need, have no idea how to obtain this "water of life." In today's reading, just as Jesus told Nicodemus how to obtain eternal life, we too are told.

    The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, "Give me this water, that I thirst not." John 4:15.

In this most beautiful book we are reading every day, are presented "Christ's words." Ellen White sets Jesus at the center of all she presents. We hear the Words Jesus spoke. We are presented with such a clear revelation of His character that we fall in love with Him each day....and by beholding Him we are reconverted each day. Every day, we may drink from this pure fountain opened unto us! Such a blessing!! Come and taste!
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--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 06:43:58 AM »

In this most beautiful book we are reading every day, are presented "Christ's words." Ellen White sets Jesus at the center of all she presents. We hear the Words Jesus spoke. We are presented with such a clear revelation of His character that we fall in love with Him each day....and by beholding Him we are reconverted each day. Every day, we may drink from this pure fountain opened unto us! Such a blessing!! Come and taste!

Richard, as I was reflecting upon your statement that in spending this time beholding the loveliness of Jesus that we are "reconverted each day," my thoughts turned to the fact that this may confuse some. When we go to bed each night, if we have prayed and confessed every known sin to Jesus, and we have allowed our hearts to remain with Him in peace through the night, we can say with he Psalmist: "I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me" (Psalm 3:5). We see in Scripture the joyous possibility of being in a continually converted state. The only reason we would fall out of that converted state is that we would allow our minds to wander from Christ, and to become absorbed in self. We see the four-fold attack that the devil seeks to bring against us to cause us to separate from drinking of the water of life, found only in Christ by the Holy Sprit:

"When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan's constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life's cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections—to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices. Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. We should not make self the center and indulge anxiety and fear as to whether we shall be saved. All this turns the soul away from the Source of our strength. Commit the keeping of your soul to God, and trust in Him. Talk and think of Jesus. Let self be lost in Him. Put away all doubt; dismiss your fears. Say with the apostle Paul, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you. {SC 71.2}
When Christ took human nature upon Him, He bound humanity to Himself by a tie of love that can never be broken by any power save the choice of man himself. Satan will constantly present allurements to induce us to break this tie—to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray, that nothing may entice us to choose another master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus, we are safe. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand. In constantly beholding Him, we “are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. {SC 72.1}


These above paragraphs have immensely helped me in my Christian character building experience, and in learning how to experience a continually sustained conversion.

When Richard speaks of being "reconverted each day" this does not mean that it was necessary to fall out of conversion the day, the night, or even the moments before we come to again behold the loveliness of Jesus in gladly spending a "thoughtful hour" in contemplation of the lovely life of Christ. But if we do not spend the time in beholding Jesus, just like it was for the disciples who were told by Christ before entering the garden of Gethsemane that they needed to watch and pray, we find that a neglect to behold Him prepares the way for separating from Him, for we can do no good thing apart from Christ.

The illustration of living water is a very fitting emblem for the soul's continual need of Christ by the Spirit. A drink of water yesterday is not enough for today. A drink of water this morning is not enough for this afternoon. The soul must continually be surrendered to Christ, receiving the heavenly blessing of the living water that is to spring forth from within when the heart has been renewed by divine grace. I love how when we understand that conversion is a state of living connection with Christ by an entire surrender of the soul to Him, that we can realize that it is possible not only to be converted each day (and stay converted at all times by abiding in Him), but it is also possible to fall out of a converted state.

When the soul falls out of the converted state by separating from Christ by grieving away the Holy Spirit from the heart (for "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Romans 8:9), we need to realize the long-suffering mercy of our God. He has given each of us a period of probation. That probation remains open even when the soul has sinned, and we praise the Lord that the moment a person sins and no longer has the Holy Spirit abiding in the heart, that in that very moment the Holy Spirit is very active to draw the soul back into a converted state, as we see in Revelation 3:20:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).

We see from today's reading the need we have of drinking of the water of life--continually:

"If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The condition of the people made this appeal very forcible. They had been engaged in a continued scene of pomp and festivity, their eyes had been dazzled with light and color, and their ears regaled with the richest music; but there had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not. Jesus invited them to come and drink of the fountain of life, of that which would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.

If we seek to meet the soul's need through the systems and provisions that this world alone can offer, we will never be satisfied. But when beholding Jesus Christ and Him crucified we surrender our hearts to Christ, and drink of His life by meditating upon His life and His words, we will continue to find satisfaction, lasting joy, and an experience of the divine nature, for when we live by faith upon Jesus, the evidence that His Spirit resides in our hearts is that all the fruits of the Spirit will be seen the life--not one will be missing! I choose this experience today. How about you?
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2016, 06:35:16 AM »
All wondered at His knowledge of the law and the prophecies; and the question passed from one to another, "How knoweth this Man letters, having never learned?" No one was regarded as qualified to be a religious teacher unless he had studied in the rabbinical schools, and both Jesus and John the Baptist had been represented as ignorant because they had not received this training. Those who heard them were astonished at their knowledge of the Scriptures, "having never learned." Of men they had not, truly; but the God of heaven was their teacher, and from Him they had received the highest kind of wisdom.

I find this interesting. While I don't necessarily have a problem with people earning a degree but some want to make this a requirement to be a pastor. Just a few weeks ago I read where Mrs. White said that the canvassing work was a good field for young men to gain experience before entering into the office of a pastor.

Also years ago in another state I was attending a Sabbath School where a seminary student was leading out in the lesson study. I don't remember now what the topic was but I remember an elderly saint speaking up and making her voice heard on a particular point. At the end of class the seminary student asked her how she knew what she knew on that particular point without knowing Hebrew. She turned to the young man said something like.... "sonny, the Holy Spirit" taught me.
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--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 08:07:09 AM »
Amen, Jim.  Here is a statement concerning the real "higher education."

    They were humble and unlearned men, those fishers of Galilee; but Christ, the light of the world, was abundantly able to qualify them for the position for which He had chosen them. The Saviour did not despise education; for when controlled by the love of God, and devoted to His service, intellectual culture is a blessing. But He passed by the wise men of His time, because they were so self-confident that they could not sympathize with suffering humanity, and become colaborers with the Man of Nazareth. In their bigotry they scorned to be taught by Christ. The Lord Jesus seeks the co-operation of those who will become unobstructed channels for the communication of His grace. The first thing to be learned by all who would become workers together with God is the lesson of self-distrust; then they are prepared to have imparted to them the character of Christ. This is not to be gained through education in the most scientific schools. It is the fruit of wisdom that is obtained from the divine Teacher alone. 
     Jesus chose unlearned fishermen because they had not been schooled in the traditions and erroneous customs of their time. They were men of native ability, and they were humble and teachable,--men whom He could educate for His work. In the common walks of life there is many a man patiently treading the round of daily toil, unconscious that he possesses powers which, if called into action, would raise him to an equality with the world's most honored men. The touch of a skillful hand is needed to arouse those dormant faculties. It was such men that Jesus called to be His colaborers; and He gave them the advantage of association with Himself. Never had the world's great men such a teacher. When the disciples came forth from the Saviour's training, they were no longer ignorant and uncultured. They had become like Him in mind and character, and men took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus. 
     It is not the highest work of education to communicate knowledge merely, but to impart that vitalizing energy which is received through the contact of mind with mind, and soul with soul. It is only life that can beget life.  Desire of Ages, pg 250.


The world and its education is unfitting men and women to become co-laborers with God. We are thankful for the Michigan Conference which does not require this type of education for ordination, but seeks out those who have truly been called of God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 08:21:56 AM »

We see from today's reading the need we have of drinking of the water of life--continually:

"If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The condition of the people made this appeal very forcible. They had been engaged in a continued scene of pomp and festivity, their eyes had been dazzled with light and color, and their ears regaled with the richest music; but there had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not. Jesus invited them to come and drink of the fountain of life, of that which would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.

If we seek to meet the soul's need through the systems and provisions that this world alone can offer, we will never be satisfied. But when beholding Jesus Christ and Him crucified we surrender our hearts to Christ, and drink of His life by meditating upon His life and His words, we will continue to find satisfaction, lasting joy, and an experience of the divine nature, for when we live by faith upon Jesus, the evidence that His Spirit resides in our hearts is that all the fruits of the Spirit will be seen the life--not one will be missing! I choose this experience today. How about you?

Amen, Pastor Sean!  That "Living Water" which Jesus speaks of is His character which He wants to impart to us. It is the Spirit of God that wants to indwell our hearts and then that "Living Water" will flow from us to others. It is life itself.  I like the story of the woman at the well who received that "Living Water". And, I love to read in the Book of Job where Elihu had that "Living Water" and was about to burst if He did not let it out.  "For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly [is] as wine [which] hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer." Job 32:18   -20.The Word's of God are not to be kept within, but are to be shared that others might receive the blessings of God. The Word of God was made flesh. Jesus is that Manna which came down from heaven. It is that which leads to everlasting life. Elihu knew that Job needed help, that he was separated from Christ. He could not remain quiet and watch his friend suffer outside of Jesus. The Spirit of God constrained him to speak.

Today, Jesus wants to take possession of our hearts, that the Spirit may be revealed in our lives also. We may be filled with all of His fruits. What an offer!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2016, 08:56:46 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need Jesus continually, and we find that living water by beholding Him, and surrendering to what He reveals to us of Himself!

  Jesus knew the wants of the soul. Pomp, riches, and honor cannot satisfy the heart. "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me." The rich, the poor, the high, the low, are alike welcome. He promises to relieve the burdened mind, to comfort the sorrowing, and to give hope to the despondent. Many of those who heard Jesus were mourners over disappointed hopes, many were nourishing a secret grief, many were seeking to satisfy their restless longing with the things of the world and the praise of men; but when all was gained, they found that they had toiled only to reach a broken cistern, from which they could not quench their thirst. Amid the glitter of the joyous scene they stood, dissatisfied and sad. That sudden cry, "If any man thirst," startled them from their sorrowful meditation, and as they listened to the words that followed, their minds kindled with a new hope. The Holy Spirit presented the symbol before them until they saw in it the offer of the priceless gift of salvation.

It is by the Holy Spirit that we are connected to Christ--let us continue this vital union by a living faith manifest in all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing! Then we can go forth to offer this gift to others by a life of unreserved surrender to God's will!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2017, 06:01:29 AM »
Why do so many refuse salvation? They have been deceived about the glitter of the world. The things of this world are idols valued more than Christ. Jesus understands and in today's reading we find Him reaching out to those who have grown tired of the things of this world.

    Jesus knew the wants of the soul. Pomp, riches, and honor cannot satisfy the heart. "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me." The rich, the poor, the high, the low, are alike welcome. He promises to relieve the burdened mind, to comfort the sorrowing, and to give hope to the despondent. Many of those who heard Jesus were mourners over disappointed hopes, many were nourishing a secret grief, many were seeking to satisfy their restless longing with the things of the world and the praise of men; but when all was gained, they found that they had toiled only to reach a broken cistern, from which they could not quench their thirst. Amid the glitter of the joyous scene they stood, dissatisfied and sad. That sudden cry, "If any man thirst," startled them from their sorrowful meditation, and as they listened to the words that followed, their minds kindled with a new hope. The Holy Spirit presented the symbol before them until they saw in it the offer of the priceless gift of salvation.

It is so very sad that so many do not take time to learn of Jesus. If they did, they too would see the reality of the broken cisterns of this world that do not satisfy the longing of the heart. Jesus has been so very faithful to stand at the door of the heart and continue His call to the lost.

    The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Revelation 22:17; John 4:14.
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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2017, 07:59:15 AM »
Amen, Richard! Oh, how we need to drink of the living water found only in Jesus, for when He abides in us, we find indeed that the things of this world do not satisfy!

Amid the glitter of the joyous scene they stood, dissatisfied and sad. That sudden cry, "If any man thirst," startled them from their sorrowful meditation, and as they listened to the words that followed, their minds kindled with a new hope. The Holy Spirit presented the symbol before them until they saw in it the offer of the priceless gift of salvation.

This reminded me of how many are attending churches or going to entertainment that does not make plain the need of an entire surrender to Christ and the necessity of beholding the loveliness of Jesus to be changed in character. There are many who even try to act happy, but they cannot fake the fact that their souls are not at rest. Only in Christ can we find rest of soul. Let us experience that rest in Christ today and invite others to see His loveliness through us--the fruits of the Spirit manifest without one missing!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 04:05:04 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  Only in Christ do we find rest for the weary soul,. and only in Christ do we have Spiritual discernment. An important truth appears in today's reading.

     All wondered at His knowledge of the law and the prophecies; and the question passed from one to another, "How knoweth this Man letters, having never learned?" No one was regarded as qualified to be a religious teacher unless he had studied in the rabbinical schools, and both Jesus and John the Baptist had been represented as ignorant because they had not received this training. Those who heard them were astonished at their knowledge of the Scriptures, "having never learned." Of men they had not, truly; but the God of heaven was their teacher, and from Him they had received the highest kind of wisdom.


So it is today. Often, but not always, the "rabbinical schools" of today unfit their students for not only ministry, but for the world to come. The teachings of God are mingled with the teachings of man. Rebellion is fomented. And, the "traditions" begin early in the teachings of the culture of "Adventism" to our children in "Adventist" education.

David experienced this, and testifies to the difference between the wisdom of man and the Word of God.

 119:98   Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they [are] ever with me. 
 119:99   I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation. 
 119:100   I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. 
 119:101   I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. 
 119:102   I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. 
 119:103   How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey to my mouth! 
 119:104   Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 
 119:105   NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 
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--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 12:41:43 PM »
Amen, Richard! What a privilege we have to come to Christ in His word, the Holy Bible, and behold the beauty of His character directly in The Desire of Ages unadulterated by any traditions of man. When we realize what a treasure we have in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, we shall desire to meditate upon His promises continually, that in our social gatherings for church, prayer meeting, and in our association with one another, we shall readily speak of His blessings to us PERSONALLY!

 The Feast of Tabernacles was the closing gathering of the year. It was God's design that at this time the people should reflect on His goodness and mercy. The whole land had been under His guidance, receiving His blessing. Day and night His watchcare had continued. The sun and rain had caused the earth to produce her fruits. From the valleys and plains of Palestine the harvest had been gathered. The olive berries had been picked, and the precious oil stored in bottles. The palm had yielded her store. The purple clusters of the vine had been trodden in the wine press.

Having preached in two of the churches where I serve as a pastor this Sabbath, it was a real blessing to open up the time as I preached to give those present an opportunity to share testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness in their lives. I was SO GRATEFUL that in BOTH CHURCHES a number of people were willing to share--and as they gave expression of their gratitude to God, it refreshed both the speaker and the listeners. We need more testimonies in our churches, more sharing of how God is real to us, and of His tender love towards us in EVERY BLESSING we receive! All good things have come to us from the Father through Christ, and it is the Holy Spirit who awakens us to see His love and grace with clarity leading to conviction, conversion, and continued consecration to God and His service! Praise the Lord!!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2017, 05:30:58 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean! As we behold God's grace and love, we are transformed into His image.

I was impressed this morning that many in the church have not experienced the peace that passes understanding on a daily basis. As the Jews were so prone to place ceremony above true worship, they had become like actors in a play, without the fruits of the Spirit. So it is today when we are not intimately connected with Christ.

  "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." The condition of the people made this appeal very forcible. They had been engaged in a continued scene of pomp and festivity, their eyes had been dazzled with light and color, and their ears regaled with the richest music; but there had been nothing in all this round of ceremonies to meet the wants of the spirit, nothing to satisfy the thirst of the soul for that which perishes not. Jesus invited them to come and drink of the fountain of life, of that which would be in them a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.
     The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, "Give me this water, that I thirst not." John 4:15.


Jesus is the answer to all of our perplexities and difficulties in life. In Him is the water of everlasting life! If we would daily drink from this Fountain, we would never thirst and there would be an outflowing of this living Water that would attract others.
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--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2017, 05:35:13 AM »
Yes, amen, Richard! There is no limit to what it means to be transformed into His image, because God is infinite in love, and we have ever-more to experience in Him--but our great need today and always is that full-heart surrender so we are truly, thoroughly converted. Apart from a true heart conversion, all the knowledge of God will not save us. What little (or much) we know of Jesus, we are to surrender our hearts to in joyous praise and thanksgiving to Him who so loved us, and by making that surrender of our will, we are enabled to do the deeds of omnipotence (good works that are wrought by the Holy Spirit revealing all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing). What a privilege and a gift from heaven we have in Jesus!!!

I love how God turns everything that Satan does for evil into a purpose for good to them that love Him. Jesus loved the Father, and even His being smitten by Satan is used to bring glory to the Father, expose Satan for the murderer and liar he is, and bring the living water to each thirsty soul who will but come to this "thoughtful hour" beholding Jesus in full-heart surrender and drink deep of the wells of salvation! What a privilege and a joy it is behold the loveliness of Jesus again this morning! I love Jesus and I love how He transforms us to only desire more of Him when we have truly been converted and tasted how good the living water is from His bruised side!

"The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, 'Give me this water, that I thirst not.' John 4:15." {The Desire of Ages, page 454, paragraph 1}

I choose to let my heart be thrilled anew!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2017, 05:13:20 AM »
The world for Christ was not a place of ease and self-aggrandizement. He was not watching for an opportunity to seize its power and its glory. It held out no such prize for Him. It was the place into which His Father had sent Him. He had been given for the life of the world, to work out the great plan of redemption. He was accomplishing His work for the fallen race. But He was not to be presumptuous, not to rush into danger, not to hasten a crisis. Each event in His work had its appointed hour. He must wait patiently. He knew that He was to receive the world's hatred; He knew that His work would result in His death; but to prematurely expose Himself would not be the will of His Father.

To me this confirms what Solomon said and that is there is a time and place for everything. I know that in the past there probably have been times where I've been in my own thoughts a little critical of different people at different times who didn't seem to stand up in a situation the way I thought they should. I now know differently in that sometimes its best to be quiet or to seemingly back down. The book is full of so much truth. I just love it and all that it tells me about Jesus.
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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2017, 05:51:08 AM »
Amen, Jim! And how can we know when we are to act, and when we are to be silent? We need Jesus continually! We have no wisdom of ourselves, and we must be in continual communion with Him by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was simply doing His Father's will, and that was why He had to wait to go up to the feast. We are to wait upon God and act in His appointed time and way.

I love the invitation of Jesus that sounds forth from this part of John 7:37-39:

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"


The living water we need today is the renewing power of the Holy Spirit in heart and mind, who will continually give us a fresh experience with Jesus and cause us to understand His will as we seek Him with all of the heart. We must depend upon the sacrifice of Christ to forgive and atone for our sins, His blood shed for us, and we need the living water of the Holy Spirit to imbue us, to renew us so our lives will reveal through connection with the divine nature all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. What a privilege to have such a wonderful Savior, and to have the comfort and presence of the Holy Spirit abiding in our souls when we surrender all! I am thankful our heavenly Father loves us and gives us all we need to soon see Him in glory, as we get foretastes of heaven each day that we spend this "thoughtful hour" on the life of Jesus, for by beholding we are being changed!

Are you thirsty for more of Jesus? He offers Himself to you freely! Come and learn of Him! He loves you, and calls you as you are to come!

"The cry of Christ to the thirsty soul is still going forth, and it appeals to us with even greater power than to those who heard it in the temple on that last day of the feast. The fountain is open for all. The weary and exhausted ones are offered the refreshing draught of eternal life. Jesus is still crying, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.' 'Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.' 'Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.' Rev. 22:17; John 4:14." {The Desire of Ages, page 454, paragraph 3}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2018, 05:33:55 AM »
As Jesus spoke in the temple court, the people were held spellbound. The very men who were the most violent against Him felt themselves powerless to do Him harm. For the time, all other interests were forgotten.

This morning when I read this I got to thinking. In earth's last moments when there is still time for people to decide for Christ and you and I called to stand before the rulers of government I can't help but wonder if the reactions of the people will be similar. With the Holy Spirit guiding our minds and words we can be like Christ and Paul who stood before government leaders and confidently and boldly declare the message that Christ has given us in that moment.

Mark 13:10-12

10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--49--At the Feast of Tabernacles
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2018, 09:38:41 AM »
Amen, Jim! The Holy Spirit is the one who impresses truth upon the heart as Christ is lifted up! We have an incredible privilege--a privilege which we even now scarcely comprehend--of being able to be witnesses for the God who created all things and who works all things together for our good.

I was deeply moved this morning as I reflected upon the sufferings of Christ in connection with the inestimable privilege that we have to suffer for His sake. We don't even now fully appreciate the experience God is giving us, because our finite minds are incapable of fully grasping all that God is to us and how He has been so good to us--but we can make a beginning, and in that beginning we start the life eternal by surrendering fully to the almost overpowering revelation of the loveliness of Jesus. If we are not being drawn to Him, it is because we are not beholding Him, or, if beholding Him, we are cherishing sin that erects a barrier between us and the selfless love of God (so that we do not realize or grasp how good and loving He really is, and always will be).

Do you realize that where you have been wounded and bruised by sin is the very place out of which Christ's healing flows as you yield fully to Him, and He abides in you?

"The priest had that morning performed the ceremony which commemorated the smiting of the rock in the wilderness. That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ's words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, 'Give me this water, that I thirst not.' John 4:15." {The Desire of Ages, page 454, paragraph 1}

Last night I had the privilege of being on a prayer line for medical ministry, and there are a group of people that call in and pray and share together as we read through the book Medical Ministry. One of the young ladies on the line had shared about her brother having bipolar/schizophrenia, and I was able to share with her how God has completely healed me from bipolar (for seven years it has been by His grace that I walk in Christ's healing). As I was sharing with her and anticipating getting to share with her brother as God opens the door, I was given the incredible experiential realization that where I have suffered most keenly in the past is the greatest gift God could give me, for from the wounds that I have experienced Christ is able to work through me to allow His healing grace, His healing love, to flow to others. It is nothing less than the greatest miracle and the most weighty trust God could allow us to pass through. When you and I suffer for being Christians, and even when we suffer in this world on account of mistreatment, poor heredity, and other effects of sin, we need to trust God MORE AND MORE that He only allows in our lives what can ultimately work for good--not for ourselves merely, but to the glory of His grace, that others may be blessed.

Satan's intention in the great controversy has been to dethrone God and cause pain by setting himself up as first. He thought to destroy Christ in smiting Him at the cross--but it is from Christ's death that flows the healing streams of His blood (forgiveness--true justification by faith) and water (transformational washing, the renewing and imbuing of our hearts with His word by the Holy Spirit), so that we can in turn allow those very healing remedies to flow through us where we have been wounded. Satan takes risks each time he tries to hurt you. The risk is that you or I will either come to trust in Christ (or, if we are already converted during the experience of suffering, continue to abide in Christ) and in this very way the intended suffering or affliction will actually allow God through you to bless more souls, save more souls, and give you a closer, more intimate union and communion with Him. Satan is losing the war even as he amps up his final attempt to destroy God's faithful people who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12). We know that "the final movements will be rapid ones" {Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, page 11, paragraph 2}. In other words, as God pours out His Spirit upon those who are receiving this experiential transformation of character by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, Satan is also setting up his agencies to try to oppose it by misrepresenting the character of God and causing suffering to God's people. Do not fear, but keep rejoicing in God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. Just as Christ's sufferings brought salvation to the world, so Christ's work in and through us will give a final revelation to the onlooking universe of the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ to effect in our life and character all of the fruits of the Spirit, without one missing (which, while this starts at the moment of conversion, it will become a fully "ripe" experience in those who are alive through the time of trouble such as never was, and are translated to heaven without seeing death). Remember that the sufferings you are experiencing right now are only allowed for good and God's glory, and that you need not for a moment disbelieve the goodness of God, which leads us to repentance. Faith is the victory in Jesus!

Romans 5:1-5
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.


How good has God been to you? What is your testimony? What sufferings have you experienced that have proved to be such a blessing as you abide in Christ?
"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}