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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Last post by Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 26, 2022, 06:33:55 AM »
Amen, Brother Beacon and Brother Philip!!

Let us remember how Jesus was received on earth and let it comfort us if we are not always received favorably when Christ lives in us. He was persecuted because His life revealed the love of God, and as the love of God flows from our hearts that are truly converted in Christ in complete surrender, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be manifest in our lives without one missing! God will empower us to obey God even if our life is threatened with death! Let us be faithful to the end by abiding in Jesus' love and keeping uppermost in our mind His grace and love to us!

"Such was the Saviour's reception when He came to the earth. There seemed to be no place of rest or safety for the infant Redeemer. God could not trust His beloved Son with men, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation. He commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save." {The Desire of Ages, page 67, paragraph 2}

Jesus is coming soon and we can rejoice in His goodness to us to save us from sin and prepare a heavenly mansion for each of us! Even if this earth does not provide the kind of rest or safety we would desire, we have Jesus as an Example as one who passed through this life without sin because He kept trusting His Father at each step. Let our Heavenly Father lead each day and you will experience the victory of Jesus!!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--5--The Dedication
« Last post by Richard Myers on September 25, 2022, 08:34:11 PM »
Amen Brother Beacon!! God loves us, else why would He take the risk of losing His innocent Son!!!

     "That the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." In the light of the Saviour's life, the hearts of all, even from the Creator to the prince of darkness, are revealed. Satan has represented God as selfish and oppressive, as claiming all, and giving nothing, as requiring the service of His creatures for His own glory, and making no sacrifice for their good. But the gift of Christ reveals the Father's heart. It testifies that the thoughts of God toward us are "thoughts of peace, and not of evil." Jeremiah 29:11. It declares that while God's hatred of sin is as strong as death, His love for the sinner is stronger than death. Having undertaken our redemption, He will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift. The whole treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them all into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him that there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me. 


He allows Him to suffer and us also, for our good and His glory!!
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--7--As a Child
« Last post by Beacon on September 25, 2022, 08:03:04 PM »
"Jesus was placed where His character would be tested."


"It was necessary for Him to be constantly on guard in order to preserve His purity."

"He was subject to all the conflicts which we have to meet, that He might be an example to us in childhood, youth, and manhood.
"

"He lived among the wicked inhabitants of Nazareth."

"This fact is a rebuke to those who think themselves dependent upon place, fortune, or prosperity, in order to live a blameless life."

"Temptation, poverty, adversity, is the very discipline needed to develop purity and firmness."

"The positiveness and energy, the solidity and strength of character, manifested in Christ are to be developed in us, through the same discipline that He endured."


"And the grace that He received is for us."

What a wonderful precious promise is in the last sentence above. Let us look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. Jesus is our example. Are "WE" willing to follow His example???

==============================

1
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
  In the light of His glory and grace.
2
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conqu’rors we are!
3
His Word shall not fail you, He promised;
Believe Him and all will be well;
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Lyrics & Music:Helen Howarth Lemmel (1863-1961)
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Last post by Beacon on September 25, 2022, 09:44:17 AM »
The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Reply #90 on: Today at 12:07:50 AM »


"The Eastern country abounded in precious things, and the magi did not set out empty-handed."

"It was the custom to offer presents as an act of homage to princes or other personages of rank, and the richest gifts the land afforded were borne as an offering to Him in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed "

"It was necessary to journey by night in order to keep the star in view; but the travelers beguiled the hours by repeating traditional sayings and prophetic utterances concerning the One they sought."

"At every pause for rest they searched the prophecies."

"The conviction deepened that they were divinely guided."

"While they had the star before them as an outward sign, they had also the inward evidence of the Holy Spirit, which was impressing their hearts, and inspiring them with hope."

"The journey, though long, was a happy one to them."


Can we say the same thing about our journey. Are we as focused as they were?? Is our desire the same as their's??

==================================


1
Fairest Lord Jesus!
  Ruler of all nature!
O Thou of God and man the Son!
  Thee will I cherish,
  Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown!
2
Fair are the meadows
  Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
  Jesus is fairer,
  Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing!
3
Fair is the sunshine,
  Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
  Jesus shines brighter,
  Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels heav’n can boast!
4
All fairest beauty,
  Heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
  None can be nearer,
  Fairer, or dearer,
Than Thou my Savior art to me.

Lyrics:German (17th Century)
Music:Schleisische Volkslieder (1842)
45
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Last post by Philip T on September 25, 2022, 08:47:47 AM »
  • Soldiers were at once sent to Bethlehem, with orders to put to death all the children of two years and under. The quiet homes of the city of David witnessed those scenes of horror that, six hundred years before, had been opened to the prophet. "In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."
          This calamity the Jews had brought upon themselves. If they had been walking in faithfulness and humility before God, He would in a signal manner have made the wrath of the king harmless to them. But they had separated themselves from God by their sins, and had rejected the Holy Spirit, which was their only shield.They had not studied the Scriptures with a desire to conform to the will of God. They had searched for prophecies which could be interpreted to exalt themselves, and to show how God despised all other nations. It was their proud boast that the Messiah was to come as a king, conquering His enemies, and treading down the heathen in His wrath. Thus they had excited the hatred of their rulers. Through their misrepresentation of Christ's mission, Satan had purposed to compass the destruction of the Saviour; but instead of this, it returned upon their own heads.

Do we walk in faith and humility with Jesus having surrendered all to Him. Do we spend time in the scriptures and is prayer every day with the thirst for Knowledge without preconceived ideas that would deceive us in the understanding of what we read. We need to live our lives in total surrender to God, so the Holy Spirit can move on our minds, inspire us and bring us to true understanding of God's word.[/list]
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The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--6--We Have Seen His Star
« Last post by Beacon on September 24, 2022, 08:07:50 PM »
"The Eastern country abounded in precious things, and the magi did not set out empty-handed."

"It was the custom to offer presents as an act of homage to princes or other personages of rank, and the richest gifts the land afforded were borne as an offering to Him in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed "

"It was necessary to journey by night in order to keep the star in view; but the travelers beguiled the hours by repeating traditional sayings and prophetic utterances concerning the One they sought."


"At every pause for rest they searched the prophecies."

"The conviction deepened that they were divinely guided."


"While they had the star before them as an outward sign, they had also the inward evidence of the Holy Spirit, which was impressing their hearts, and inspiring them with hope."

"The journey, though long, was a happy one to them."

Can we say the same thing about our journey. Are we as focused as they were?? Is our desire the same as their's??

==================================


1
Fairest Lord Jesus!
  Ruler of all nature!
O Thou of God and man the Son!
  Thee will I cherish,
  Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown!
2
Fair are the meadows
  Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
  Jesus is fairer,
  Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing!
3
Fair is the sunshine,
  Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
  Jesus shines brighter,
  Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels heav’n can boast!
4
All fairest beauty,
  Heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
  None can be nearer,
  Fairer, or dearer,
Than Thou my Savior art to me.

Lyrics:German (17th Century)
Music:Schleisische Volkslieder (1842)
47
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Last post by Dorine on September 24, 2022, 06:30:14 AM »
"Heaven and earth are no wider apart today than when shepherds listened to the angels' song. Humanity is still as much the object of heaven's solicitude as when common men of common occupations met angels at noonday, and talked with the heavenly messengers in the vineyards and the fields. To us in the common walks of life, heaven may be very near. Angels from the courts above will attend the steps of those who come and go at God's command."

Amen. 
48
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--4--Unto You a Saviour
« Last post by Richard Myers on September 24, 2022, 06:22:19 AM »
When God asked Abraham to sacrifice His son, there was never a closer test brought to man, except for One. When I first read it, I did not understand why God would ask a father to kill his son. When He revealed to me why, it was the most beautiful truth I had ever known. God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, but God would not stop from sacrificing His Son. The pain that Abraham felt as he began to bring the knife down was but a little view of the pain in our heavenly Father's heart when watching His innocent Son suffer when coming to this one dark spot in the universe. The pain that God felt was not for a moment, but from eternity past when He understood that the day would come when He risked losing His Son for eternity.

Those Words found in Genesis, are no longer the most beautiful words I have ever read. In today's reading we find that truth opened up to a greater view of just how much God suffered until He heard those last Words of Jesus "It is finished." What are these most beautiful Words that reveal how much our heavenly Father suffered, and thus how much He loves us? Here they are. They reveal the great risk God took:

   The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden "the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God." Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour's sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and self-sufficiency stand rebuked in His presence. Yet this was but the beginning of His wonderful condescension. It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.
     Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
     The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life's peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan's power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. "Herein is love." Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth!


Yes, wonder O heavens and be astonished O earth!!  Herein is the love that transforms sinners into saints. It is love that we do not deserve. It is the grace whereby we are saved. It would be well to contemplate what we see here on a daily basis that we forget not how much God loves us. As we want to protect our dear one, so did our heavenly Father want to shield His Son from the evil in this world, but He did not. Jesus fought the battle as each of us must fight it. He could have sinned, but He did not. It is was the knowledge of His Father's character that carried Him through the greatest test ever to come to man and God. He trusted in His Father. So it is with us. We may have the same success as did Jesus if we will learn of Them who love us ever so much.

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor.  DA 756.
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Thursday          September 29
The Spread of Unbelief

Read Revelation 12.

 12:1   And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 
 12:2   And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 
 12:3   And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 
 12:4   And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 
 12:5   And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne. 
 12:6   And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days. 
 12:7   And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 
 12:8   And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 
 12:9   And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 
 12:10   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. 
 12:11   And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 
 12:12   Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 
 12:13   And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child]. 
 12:14   And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 
 12:15   And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 
 12:16   And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 
 12:17   And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 
 


What does this chapter teach about the spread of the rebellion in heaven to the earth?

That sin was spread to the Earth.


The fall of Lucifer was not a simple clash of conflicting ideas. Revelation 12 tells us that a major war broke out in heaven between Lucifer and his angels on one side and Christ and His angels on the other. In this passage, Lucifer is called “the great dragon,” the “serpent of old,” “the Devil and Satan,” and “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:9, 10, NKJV). Christ is referred to as “Michael” (Rev. 12:7), which means “who is like God.”

Based on the allusion to “Michael the archangel” (Jude 9), some interpreters believe that He is only an angelic being. But in the book of Daniel, each major vision culminates with Christ and His everlasting kingdom — as the stone cut out without hands (Dan. 2:34, 45), as the Son of man (Dan. 7:13), as the Prince of the host and the Prince of princes (Dan. 8:11, 25), and as Michael the great prince (Dan. 12:1). So, as the Angel of the Lord is the Lord Himself (Exod. 3:1-6, Acts 7:30-33, etc.), Michael must be the same Divine Person, i.e., Christ Himself.

Revelation 12 provided a general overview of this ongoing controversy, which 1. began in heaven with the rebellion of Lucifer and one-third of the heavenly angels, 2. culminated with Christ’s decisive victory at the cross, and 3. still continues against God’s end-time remnant people.

Reflecting on the beginning of this controversy, Ellen G. White explains that “God in His great mercy bore long with Lucifer. He was not immediately degraded from his exalted station when he first indulged the spirit of discontent, nor even when he began to present his false claims before the loyal angels. Long was he retained in heaven. Again and again he was offered pardon on condition of repentance and submission.” — Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 495, 496.

We do not know how long that war lasted in the heavenly realms. Regardless of its intensity and time span, the most important aspect of the whole struggle was that Satan and his angels “were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven” (Rev. 12:8, NRSV; see also Luke 10:18). The problem, of course, was that they came here, to the earth.

What are ways in which we can see the reality of this battle being played out on earth? What is our only hope to overcome our enemy in this battle?

The answer is always the same, we need to love the Lord our God with half of the heart, or all of the heart holding nothing back?  Yes, the answer is always very simple. How is it that we can love the Lord our God with all of the heart? By spending time with Him. We need to die daily. We need to keep the "body" under lest we be castaways. By beholding the loveliness of Jesus we shall be transformed into His image (character).

50
Wednesday          September 28
The Price of Pride

Within Scripture, one can see two major predominant themes or motifs that are competing with each other. One is the theme of Salem, Mount Zion, Jerusalem, and the New Jerusalem, which represents God’s kingdom. The other is the theme of Babel and Babylon, which stands for Satan’s counterfeit domain. Several times God called His people out of pagan Babylon to serve Him in the Promised Land.

For example, Abram (later Abraham) was asked to move from Ur of the Chaldees to the land of Canaan (Gen. 11:31-12:9). At the end of their long exile, the Jews left Babylon and returned to Jerusalem (Ezra 2). And in the book of Revelation, God’s people are called out of end-time Babylon (Rev. 18:4) to abide with Him eventually on Mount Zion and the New Jerusalem (Rev. 14:1; Rev. 21:1-3, 10).

Read Isaiah 14:12-15.

 14:12   How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 
 14:13   For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 
 14:14   I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 
 14:15   Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 


What far-reaching consequences did Lucifer’s pride while in heaven bring to the universe and to this world?

He brought sin, he "didst weaken the nations."

In the Bible, the city of Babylon stands for a power in direct opposition to God and His kingdom; and the king of Babylon (with special allusion to Nebuchadnezzar) becomes a symbol of pride and arrogance. God had revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon was only the gold head of the great image of successive empires (Dan. 2:37, 38). Challenging God’s revelation, the king made an image entirely of gold — a symbol that his kingdom would last forever — and even required everyone to worship it (Daniel 3). As in the case of the king of Tyre (Ezek. 28:12-19), the king of Babylon also became a symbol of Lucifer.

Isaiah 14:3-11 describes the fall of the haughty and oppressive king of Babylon. Then, Isaiah 14:12-15 moves from the historical realm to the heavenly courts and highlights that a similar proud and arrogant spirit generated the original fall of Lucifer. The text explains that Lucifer planned to exalt his throne above all heavenly hosts and make himself “like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14). This was the beginning of a new and hostile situation in which God’s altruistic love and cooperation would be challenged by Lucifer’s selfishness and competition. The enemy was not afraid of accusing God of what he himself was and of spreading his lies to other angels. Here are the mysterious origins of evil in the universe.

Why is it so easy to become proud and boastful of either our positions or achievements, or both?

Because we are fallen evil creatures aligned with Satan and sin. But, there is good news in Gen. 3:15. God has promised to give us a hatred for Satan and sin and a love for Him which will bring eternal life!


How does keeping the cross before us prevent us from falling into such a trap?

By beholding Jesus with stripes the stripes that belong to each of us, we are transformed into His image (character-2 Cor. 3:18). It would be very well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes where we behold His great grace.
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