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The King of Kings => The Desire of Ages => Topic started by: Richard Myers on September 12, 2000, 07:39:00 AM

Title: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on September 12, 2000, 07:39:00 AM
God has a "chosen people" today and as we read this chapter we shall learn how God is dealing with us as He did with Israel of old.

The Chosen People


Listen to    The Chosen People 

 






    For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour's coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them "as a root out of a dry ground;" He had "no form nor comeliness;" and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Isaiah 53:2; John 1:11.
     Yet God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was in Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations. They were to reveal God to men. 
     In the call of Abraham the Lord had said, "I will bless thee; . . . and thou shalt be a blessing: . . . and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:2, 3. The same teaching was repeated through the prophets. Even after Israel had been wasted by war and captivity, the promise was theirs, "The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." Micah 5:7. Concerning the temple at Jerusalem, the Lord declared through Isaiah, "Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all peoples." Isaiah 56:7, R. V. 
     But the Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy. 
     Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation. 
     They were brought into subjection to Babylon, and scattered through the lands of the heathen. In affliction many renewed their faithfulness to His covenant. While they hung their harps upon the willows, and mourned for the holy temple that was laid waste, the light of truth shone out through them, and a knowledge of God was spread among the nations. The heathen systems of sacrifice were a perversion of the system that God had appointed; and many a sincere observer of heathen rites learned from the Hebrews the meaning of the service divinely ordained, and in faith grasped the promise of a Redeemer.   
     Many of the exiles suffered persecution. Not a few lost their lives because of their refusal to disregard the Sabbath and to observe the heathen festivals. As idolaters were roused to crush out the truth, the Lord brought His servants face to face with kings and rulers, that they and their people might receive the light. Time after time the greatest monarchs were led to proclaim the supremacy of the God whom their Hebrew captives worshiped.   
     By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. During the centuries that followed, they suffered from the oppression of heathen foes, until the conviction became fixed that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God. But with too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish. They rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness. They did not become the light of the world, but shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation to idolatry. In the instruction given through Moses, God had placed restrictions upon their association with idolaters; but this teaching had been misinterpreted. It was intended to prevent them from conforming to the practices of the heathen. But it was used to build up a wall of separation between Israel and all other nations. The Jews looked upon Jerusalem as their heaven, and they were actually jealous lest the Lord should show mercy to the Gentiles. 
     After the return from Babylon, much attention was given to religious instruction. All over the country, synagogues were erected, where the law was expounded by the priests and scribes. And schools were established, which, together with the arts and sciences, professed to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted. During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters. 
     As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy.
     With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law. 
     While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   
     At the time of the birth of Christ the nation was chafing under the rule of her foreign masters, and racked with internal strife. The Jews had been permitted to maintain the form of a separate government; but nothing could disguise the fact that they were under the Roman yoke, or reconcile them to the restriction of their power. The Romans claimed the right of appointing and removing the high priest, and the office was often secured by fraud, bribery, and even murder. Thus the priesthood became more and more corrupt. Yet the priests still possessed great power, and they employed it for selfish and mercenary ends. The people were subjected to their merciless demands, and were also heavily taxed by the Romans. This state of affairs caused widespread discontent. Popular outbreaks were frequent. Greed and violence, distrust and spiritual apathy, were eating out the very heart of the nation.
     Hatred of the Romans, and national and spiritual pride, led the Jews still to adhere rigorously to their forms of worship. The priests tried to maintain a reputation for sanctity by scrupulous attention to the ceremonies of religion. The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Kellee on September 13, 2000, 08:22:00 AM
This chapter was a little scary to read, actually.

(1) She starts off by saying that the Jewish people had been waiting for God for more than a thousand years. They rested their brightest hopes on the event. They enshrined His name in their temple services and household prayers. (Does this sound familiar?) And then when He came, they didn't know Him. They even had the Scriptures and they still didn't know Him. I think that is scary!

(2) God's purpose for Israel was to reveal His character to men. EGW says if they had been faithful, God could have accomplished His purpose through Israel's honor and exaltation. But honor and exaltation was what they were seeking, what they were focusing on. So they were not faithful, so God had to accomplish His purpose through Israel's continued adversity and humiliation. Interesting how God can accomplish the same purpose through either avenue.

(3) "Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God."

Then Satan charged that the law obviously could not be kept - and it could not, not the rabbinical law. But that wasn't God's law - they didn't have a proper perception of God's law...do we?

(4) "They did not become the light of the world, but shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation to idolatry." (Does that sound familiar?) "In the instruction given through Moses, God had placed restrictions upon their association with idolaters; but THIS TEACHING HAD BEEN MISINTERPRETED."

Gee, if they could misinterpret Scripture, why are we so sure we have it all right?

(5) "While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans."

Do we really long for the redemption from sin at the Second Coming? Or are we looking forward to deliverance from this world and God finally giving the wicked what they deserve! (speaking sarcastically, of course)

This is perhaps the most scary:

(6) "The people, in their darkness..., longed for the One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming."

And I really wonder if we're doing that again today. Are we overlooking Scriptures and misapplying others?? Of course, if you try to say that we are, what happens? People dig in their heels ("Pride obscured their vision") and insist we have always had The Truth and it shouldn't change now.

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Joan Rügemer on September 14, 2000, 03:52:00 AM
Chapter 2
"The Chosen People"

The Son of God came as Jesus and his people didn't receive him for 'why' he was sent.

Go had chosen Isreal to preserve among men the knowledge of His law and the shadow symbols of the coming Deliverer, as well as the prophecies of the coming Redeemer. The purpose of the chosen people was to reveal God to mankind.

These chosen people were of rebellious nature. Instead of being true toward..they departed from the commandments of God; instead of turning their backs on the worldly ways they followed the ways of heathen; instead of applying the warnings of the prophets to ther lives they ridiculed or killed them; each time some reformation happened they went back into apostasy. Then came the exile and the living of the chosen ones in the diaspora.

Affliction at times did help many of the chosen ones to renew their holy commitment of faithfulness to God's will. The percecutions caused many of the steadfast in the commands of God to give up their lives. Especially in the Sabbath question.

Oppression by Babylon brought the teaching thru the Godly chastizement to give up idols.
Oppression by heathen foes over centries long was a chastizement to bring them to learn that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God.

Over time instead of learning the law of giving...they got to be introverted with the gifts of God and got very ghetto-like in keeping the plan of salvation for themselves believing it was only to be applied to the chosen ones where were members and no outsider dare partate of the grace of God.

Departure among the chosen ones started up each time they got to bringing in heathen learned practices into their worship services. Love of God to the people became vague as the love for God from the people grew cold and instead the do's and don't became middle point of religious life. They got to a plateau of measuring their number of good deeds as justifying their right to godly inheritance and the evidence of holiness (which God did expect of them) while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy.

Discouragement nagged many who felt helpless to fulfill the churches requirements. Satan had manipulated the chosen ones to this point. He was out to bring the character of God into comtempt by instilling claims that the requirements of God were injust, and could not be obeyed.

In the long run the chosen ones were not interested so much on inner peace from a clean heart as from outward freedom from outward constraints or moral controls. They wanted to forster their own interpretation of outward 'freedom'.

The chosen ones of the Jewish times were seeking a Messiah to free them politically from the outward Roman restraints of oppressive rule. Because of lacking true spiritual insight the chosen ones misinterpreted scripures and twisted them to mean what they wanted them to mean. They ignored the proper portrayal in prophecy of the nature of humility of the coming Messiah and missapplied the timeframe of the prophecies of the 2nd coming of the Lord for being the 1st coming event.

-------------------------------------------

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Joan Rügemer on September 14, 2000, 03:55:00 AM

Each time we read the word 'chosen people' substitute it for the word 'Adventists' and get the feel of whether or not a parallel between 'them' of those times is just the same with 'us' of these times.


...Joan...

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: tami strand on September 16, 2000, 10:36:00 AM
Richard, from paragraph 5 we read this tiny sentence, that to me reveals so much and at the same time asks a profound question.

"If they had walked in the ways of OBEDIENCE, He would have made them "High above all nations...."

What is the "way of obedience"?

This makes me think of the response Jesus gave the lawyer in Lk 10 when asked about securing eternal life.

Jesus answered him,
"What is written in the law? how readest thou?" vs 26

The lawyer responded,
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbor as thy self." vs 27

Each one of us must answer the Lord, "What is written in the law? how readest thou?"

Tami

[This message has been edited by tami strand (edited 09-17-2000).]

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on August 30, 2002, 06:07:00 AM
Yes, Sister Tammy, "pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires."

Does God have a "chosen people" today?

Richard

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on September 02, 2002, 07:45:00 AM
And what selfish desires can we see today? I am reminded of Job's great trial. After he had lost his children and all earthly possessions, and after he had been afflicted from head to toe. His greatest trial was yet to come. Even Moses, like Job, was not beyond falling from grace and manifesting selfishness. When he took the glory to himself by striking the "Rock" he was not giving glory to God.

Job was tired and sick and lost his connection with Christ. When his three friends began to attack his doctrine and his character, it was more than humanity could endure while separated from divine power. Job manifested self-righteousness as he battled for respect in the eyes of his friends.

Is there a similar danger today within Christianity? Are the trials of a similar nature for some?

Richard

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: JimB on January 21, 2016, 07:11:59 PM
You can find the full chapter at the top of the page and if you wish to listen rather than read you can find it here  Desire of Ages (https://www.audioverse.org/english/audiobooks/books/264/the-desire-of-ages-steve-hamstra.html)

Here is something from chapter 2 that stood out to me.

With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law.
     While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour. 

In their effort and desire to please God they created harsh rules for themselves, proving satan to be the tyrant that he is. They found no rest because they had a misconception of God. There is another misconception today that one can have sin on their record and still be saved. A different form of tyranny but tyranny none the less. That a person is stuck in sin and has to bear it until Christ returns. But I much prefer to believe in this promise.

Mat_1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Being saved from our sins is what Jesus does best and desires for all. A lot of Christians want to think that this means that Christ will save us only from the consequence/s of sin but Jesus saves us from our sins not in our sins. In a later chapter she says this.

The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6. He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart.  {DA 328.5} 

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on January 21, 2016, 07:41:17 PM
Amen, Jim!

Imagine, the chosen people of God putting their Messiah to death!  How did it happen? They perverted the truth and turned it into a lie so much that the disciples at the time of Christ first advent did not know Lamb they were sacrificing represented Christ and His death for their sins.

"As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy."

They had no idea Christ came to cleanse their hearts, to give them new hearts. How is it today? Do we understand a Christian who has made a full surrender to Christ has a new heart?  Not many. It is actually verbally taught that one may be in a converted state and retain pride in the heart.    :(
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on April 21, 2016, 08:09:00 AM
Somehow I got a chapter ahead yesterday.  Let's pick up chapter 2, The Chosen People.

The history of the world is not very long, only 6,000 years.   Of that 6,000 years, Israel occupies the center 2,000 years. That is 1/3 of the earth's history. The Bible tell is Israel is ensample for those of us who the ends of the world has come upon. Then, we ought to learn from their experience that we not repeat their sins.

In fact, we have not been good students and have repeated many of their errors. They wandered in the wilderness on the way to the Promised land for 40 years. We have wandered for far longer.

God has always had a people who love Him and keep His commandments. At times this group has been very small. When God destroyed all living creatures off the face of the earth, except what was in the ark, there were only eight. Elijah thought himself to be the only one, but God said there were 7.000. On the other hand, God has called the nation of Israel His chosen people, yet they were largely Laodiceans, unconverted. What made Israel God's "chosen people" when most often they were disobedient and finally cut off?

This current chapter opens with an explanation as to what God had hoped for in Israel. So, it is today with His church. Sadly, we have not done much better than Israel of Old. We have brought much reproach upon God's name, His church, and His Word. But, unlike Israel, this church will not remain in a Laodicean condition. There will be revival and reformation, and His church will reveal His character to the world.

  Yet God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was in Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations. They were to reveal God to men.  pg 27. 

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on July 16, 2016, 10:39:54 AM
For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour’s coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them “as a root out of a dry ground;” He had “no form nor comeliness;” and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” Isaiah 53:2; John 1:11.

What a deception! That God's own people would not know Him! How could this have happened?

"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams." 1 Sam. 15:22. 

And from Isaiah:

1:11   To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 
 1:12   When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 
 1:13   Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 
 1:14   Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them]. 
 1:15   And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 
 1:16   Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 
 1:17   Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 
 1:18   Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

The loveliness of Jesus as revealed in the sanctuary and its services had been perverted by the priests. The nation of Israel, as a people, had been taught their sacrifices made them acceptable before God. While they were required, the blood of bulls and goats has no power to make anyone acceptable before God. Only His grace can transform the life of a sinner so that he or she is acceptable to God. Having lost sight of the meaning of the slain Lamb, the nation as a people were destitute of the Spirit. Thus, the chapter closes with this sad statement.

     The priesthood became more and more corrupt. Yet the priests still possessed great power, and they employed it for selfish and mercenary ends. The people were subjected to their merciless demands, and were also heavily taxed by the Romans. This state of affairs caused widespread discontent. Popular outbreaks were frequent. Greed and violence, distrust and spiritual apathy, were eating out the very heart of the nation.
     Hatred of the Romans, and national and spiritual pride, led the Jews still to adhere rigorously to their forms of worship. The priests tried to maintain a reputation for sanctity by scrupulous attention to the ceremonies of religion. The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on July 16, 2016, 06:13:09 PM
As I read this chapter I was thinking about how history repeats itself. It sounds like it is describing our day. How is God ever going to save us yet we know He is coming for a people that will reflect His character fully and vindicate His name.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 16, 2016, 06:33:52 PM
I appreciate your post, Richard! And sister Dorine--so wonderful to have you join us in this forum! While it may seem impossible for Jesus to ever have people who reflect His character fully, I am encouraged to know that He has provided the way for it to happen in our lives personally--by beholding the loveliness of Jesus daily in that "thoughtful hour" upon Christ's life, which Desire of Ages does so beautifully.

I love how good God is, and how merciful He is to us as a people. He clearly reveals the condition of the Jews at the time of Christ so we can take heed and learn, for Paul, writing under the Holy Spirit, said of Israel of old:

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11

"While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour." 

Parallels emerge here with the Laodicean condition of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If God reveals sin to us in our life, do we renounce it and confess it, realizing that sin separates us from Jesus? The Bible clearly teaches this:

Isaiah 59:2
"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."

Until we realize our continual need of Jesus, we find sin's allurements too strong. Jesus is the only one who can keep us, and it is by beholding Him that we are changed. I pray that we will not reject the living Savior today who is knocking on the doors of our hearts if we sin against Him. I pray that we will allow Him to abide in our hearts through a living-faith connection!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: JimB on October 11, 2016, 05:53:18 AM
By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. During the centuries that followed, they suffered from the oppression of heathen foes, until the conviction became fixed that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God. But with too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish. They rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness.

This reminded me of this text...

Matthew 15:8 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” .

Isaiah 29:13 “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

It is love that should motivate us. Not reward or punishment. We can not truly render obedience unless it comes from a heart full of love for Christ. And this is accomplished once we truly see our need of Christ and His righteousness and surrender all. Then we can say...

1 John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.” 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on October 11, 2016, 07:38:05 AM
Amen, Jim.  We do not follow Christ so we will gain heaven or escape hell, but because we love Him supremely. And, as you shared, it is because He first loved us! That we might remember this each day. It is the only way we may have power to overcome our evil fallen nature. We need Jesus so very much.

What caused the people to loose sight of the truth? They had the Sanctuary and its services.

     They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. 

How is it with God's chosen people today? Jesus speaks to us, the last of the seven churches in Revelation:

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 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. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 

He loves us, else He would not reprove us and remind us of His promises for His people. How can we keep Him in our thoughts continually?


Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 11, 2016, 08:39:26 AM
What a blessing to reflect upon your posts, Jim and Richard! I heartily say, "Amen!" And I appreciate the question you asked, Richard:

"How can we keep Him in our thoughts continually?"

No two people have the same experience, but the principle is always the same. We need to be ever in an attitude of prayer and allowing the mind and heart to appreciate the great love of God for us. It was in such an experience that Enoch walked with God. I am encouraged to think of a way that has immensely helped me in having my mind stayed upon Christ. Let me share:

In the morning, I first arise and pray, and read Scripture and The Desire of Ages. It has been a blessing to take statements from both of these sources, as well as other portions of the Spirit of Prophecy, and compose them into original songs. Then throughout the day I can listen to them, meditate upon them, and reflect upon Jesus' loveliness. But even in the midst of a business engagement, if I am involved with a person to whom I desire to reflect Christ, I need to heed the injunction in Isaiah 26:3: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee."

When driving, it is often easy to look at the billboards and advertisements, but why not look at the bigger picture? Look up at the beautiful sky and reflect on Psalm 19:1: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork."

We each have a unique character building experience--but the need we have is always the same--we need to behold the loveliness of Jesus each morning, and then throughout the day allow the mind to reflect upon and appreciate the goodness of God that has been revealed to us. As we spend this "thoughtful hour" with Jesus each day, our hearts and minds are being softened by divine influences!

I love how today's chapter makes apparent our need:

With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law. 
     While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   

These lessons are for us as well, and the deception that Satan has practiced upon those professing to look forward to the second coming of Christ is very similar. While it may not be "burdensome injunctions" that are leading so many to turn away from the genuine experience of continually abiding in Christ and having a righteous, perfect character, it is true that since many do not believe it is possible to obey God's law, that they have accepted a counterfeit version of righteousness by faith. They believe that Christ's character stands in the place of their character even while they sin. This is a great deception. When we sin a known sin, a separation is revealed between God and the soul. We have not eternal life when we choose another master than Christ, for such is the service of sin.

John 8:34 "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."

And in our time, while people are not desiring "deliverance from the Romans," many professed Seventh-day Adventist Christians may really be looking forward to the second coming mainly from selfish motives--the desire to escape the worldly oppression, the sickness, disease, and trials of this life. While it is true that the second coming will bring great deliverance, it will not be a glorious experience for those who have not received and experienced the transforming work of God's grace in the heart and life. Only with Jesus in the heart is one truly ready for the second coming--and such a preparation is to be made day by day by storing up the words of life into the mind and heart.

Let us pray that we ourselves and those in the Seventh-day Adventist Church will realize that unless we continually have the mind stayed upon Christ, refusing to allow our minds to wander from Him, that we separate from Jesus and revert back to a Laodicean condition. Such a condition is not ready for the second coming. But Jesus, in love and mercy, invites us to behold Him, be changed in character, and so crave His abiding presence that we can know immediately if we have separated from HIm--because only as we abide in Him will all the fruits of His Spirit be seen in our lives without one missing. If we choose to let the mind wander to a place where there is not His abiding love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, we can recognize the lack of these fruits as an invitation to repent, to invite Jesus to again indwell the heart, and to go forward in faith.

Oh, what a glorious loving God who has placed on record blessed lessons in light of Christ's first advent, that we may learn from them and be spiritually enriched by heeding our continual need to behold, abide in, and grow in Christ Jesus!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 06, 2017, 08:44:13 AM
Recently the Holy Spirit impressed me with a thought from this chapter that I had not seen in its significance:

Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation. 

It strikes me that there is a lesson for us as Seventh-day Adventists. If we will behold Jesus daily and spend that "thoughful hour" with Him, if we will follow the laws of health relative to temperance in eating, drinking, and sleeping, if we will choose to follow the mission entrusted to us in sharing the everlasting gospel with the world, God can bless us. But when we sin against God and reveal self rather than Christ, the last part of this paragraph comes into fulfillment: "But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." God will fulfill His purpose. Let us choose the way of faithfulness instead of rebellion and unbelief.

It strikes me that the choice lies with us. Which will we choose? Will we choose to spend time with Jesus daily and become more like Him in character? Or will we let this poor, dark speck of a world eclipse His loveliness so that we walk in blind unbelief and reject the plainest statements of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy? Each day we are forming character--we are choosing our eternal destiny by the thoughts, habits, patterns of life, and experiences we choose to engage in. But whatever our situation, and no matter how unchristlike and weak we are, if we will make an entire surrender to Jesus Christ now and let Him purify our hearts and minds by a living faith, He will imbue us with all of the fruits of His Spirit so that not one is missing (this is what it means to be a partaker of the divine nature!)--and then whether in blessing or adversity, we will be enabled to reflect Him and point souls to the only answer in the times in which we live: "Behold the Lamb of God!"
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on January 06, 2017, 10:21:33 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean.  It is very sad to see what Satan had done with Israel, and the success he has had today. The "great controversy" rages on. Satan continues his battle to make God appear as unjust. There were those who desired to keep God's law, but Satan had perverted the law so that it was impossible to keep it. He cares not which way he leads, as long as poor sinful man does not see the true character of our loving and just God.

With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law. 

Today, he is just as successful at getting many who profess to serve God to believe the law cannot be kept. He has two paths that lead away from the truth. Either we are saved in sin because we are sinful and cannot keep the law, or we must keep the law, but it is only outwardly, the heart cannot be cleansed.....until maybe the last generation. This is Phariseeism.

Our only hope is in Christ. And, as Pastor Sean has pointed out, we must have Jesus before we can keep the law. Our work is to first go to Jesus just as we are, poor, helpless, and sinful. As we behold His goodness we will be changed, converted. Then, we will keep the law to the degree we know it. Also, when the Spirit takes possession of the heart, then as the pastor said, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life. What a God we serve!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: colporteur on January 06, 2017, 11:07:09 AM

It makes me wonder today just how big of an impact we would have in the world if modern day Israel were walking with God as we should. Abortion clinics is not a good witness. While the reports from LL give the SDA health message good press our overall witness is someone negated. just think of the impact our people would make on the world were the overwhelming majority seriously following the health message and passionately following all the light we have. We have much more light than had ancient Israel.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on January 06, 2017, 12:22:34 PM
Yes, cp the church would give glory to God by reflecting His character. But, few are willing to spend a thoughtful hour a day learning of Jesus. So, we remain a church in a lost condition. We cannot do good unless we have Jesus in our hearts. It is a hard lesson to learn. We can do no good thing until we give Jesus our hearts.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: colporteur on January 06, 2017, 01:01:31 PM
Yes, cp the church would give glory to God by reflecting His character. But, few are willing to spend a thoughtful hour a day learning of Jesus. So, we remain a church in a lost condition. We cannot do good unless we have Jesus in our hearts. It is a hard lesson to learn. We can do no good thing until we give Jesus our hearts.

How would you respond, Richard to someone who asks, " How do I know if I have Jesus in my heart."  Probably 95% of professed Christians would say they have Jesus in their hearts.   At least for SDAs you have already answered that question.... by being willing to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the like of Christ. The answer may be a little more difficult regarding a Methodist.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on January 06, 2017, 02:21:09 PM
Yes, for many it might not be easy to understand. But, is it easy for Laodiceans to understand? When so deceived, I think it may be hard to understand they do not have Jesus. The deceptions are as great today as they were for the Jews.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: JimB on April 03, 2017, 07:08:21 AM
After the return from Babylon, much attention was given to religious instruction. All over the country, synagogues were erected, where the law was expounded by the priests and scribes. And schools were established, which, together with the arts and sciences, professed to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted. During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters. 

There is a principle that has been brought forward many times in theses discussions of the DA and that is by beholding we become changed. We are told of the Israelites that while in captivity they were exposed to heathen ideas and customs and then brought them into their own teachings. And today we find a similar thing taking place. some of our people go to seminaries of other denominations and then in turn bring their ideas back to our schools and teach them to other students and so the ideas are given weight and their influence expanded. How much better off we would be if we'd be a lot more careful about where we get our education. Years, ago I was sitting in a church service and the pastor was speaking about doubt is a sin. The person next to me (who had gotten their education elsewhere) expressed his frustration with the sermon because as he said.... he had been taught to doubt everything. When it comes to educating ourselves, especially, in spiritual matters how much better we would be if we stuck to known inspired and pure sources.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on April 03, 2017, 07:17:37 AM
Amen, Jim!  God sends teachers, they do as you have done, point the people to Jesus and His Word, not to the wisdom of man. There is a reason why Israel misinterpreted Scripture, and we see the same today. They wanted to continue sinning. They were not willing to give up their idols. So it is today. We are "rich and increased with goods," but do not want to walk in that light.

We have much more light than had ancient Israel.

Yes, but we have done the same with the light as did they.

     They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. 

How many understand the message Jesus has spoken to us in Revelation, chapter three? It has been interpreted in a manner that twists the truth.

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 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. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 

If, as a people, we would spend  a thoughtful hour a day with Jesus, we would fall in love with Him and be converted. Some will and the church will see revival and reformation. But, many will not, and they will be sifted out. There is a separation taking place.




Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 03, 2017, 02:25:48 PM
If, as a people, we would spend  a thoughtful hour a day with Jesus, we would fall in love with Him and be converted. Some will and the church will see revival and reformation. But, many will not, and they will be sifted out. There is a separation taking place.

Amen, Richard! And the separation taking place is based on whether we will behold Jesus or other things. We are being changed continually to the image of Christ or Satan. There is no middle ground, and so it is in education. I appreciate also what Jim brought out--we need to go to inspired sources for our education if we desire to be exerting the influence upon this world that is after heaven's order.

     While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   

As I reflected upon the parallels to our day in the church, how many want to say the Holy Spirit is leading them, yet they have "no true conception of His mission." Those who are being led by the Holy Spirit into the unity for which Christ prayed are those who are submissive and teachable, and who realize that a revelation of the character of Christ is the mission of the Holy Spirit--to empower us to live obedient lives as Christ lived in humanity. What does that look like? All the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life without one missing--and when we have this experience, it will unify, revive, reform, and transform us. Only when we are connected to "the heavenly socket" (a phrase I heard in Sabbath School last Sabbath) are we able to do ANY GOOD THING. If we are connected with Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will understand our role and work, and be enabled to bear much fruit as His chosen people.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on June 29, 2017, 03:38:40 AM
This morning as I read this, I thought of Daniel, and how his love for Jesus and the light of his witness led to the conversion even of Nebuchadnezzar!

 Many of the exiles suffered persecution. Not a few lost their lives because of their refusal to disregard the Sabbath and to observe the heathen festivals. As idolaters were roused to crush out the truth, the Lord brought His servants face to face with kings and rulers, that they and their people might receive the light. Time after time the greatest monarchs were led to proclaim the supremacy of the God whom their Hebrew captives worshiped.

We can only give what we have. If we have Jesus in our hearts, then we can impart His love and light to bless others, even in the most trying circumstances.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: JimB on June 29, 2017, 04:29:06 AM
I noticed this in your comment pastor Sean.

 Time after time the greatest monarchs were led to proclaim the supremacy of the God whom their Hebrew captives worshiped.

Only in Heaven will we know the fullest of extent of their influence but it says time & time again kings were lead to God. It will be fascinating to see how many powerful rulers were humbled and accepted Christ as their Savior. Then I believe in the not too distant future similar things will happen to us. If we are faithful we will be witnesses in court and brought before powerful men and they will have to hear our testimony. Maybe even some like Nebuchadnezzar will submit their will and join God's army.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on September 24, 2017, 07:31:34 AM
Amen Jim. God has his Witnesses today as in the past. This is one reason why he leaves us here, that we would be an influence for good. I like the statement that Israel rendered outward obedience, but not from Love. We may render outward obedience, keeping the Commandments and paying tithes, and going to church, and doing good works, but if we have not love we are not his. On the other hand, if we would spend a thoughtful hour a day Contemplating the love of by beholding his glory we would be changed into his image from glory to glory even as by the spirit of God.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: JimB on September 24, 2017, 07:58:01 AM
Speaking of spending a thoughtful hour each day reminds me of the statement below....

After the return from Babylon, much attention was given to religious instruction. All over the country, synagogues were erected, where the law was expounded by the priests and scribes. And schools were established, which, together with the arts and sciences, professed to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted. During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters.

Here we see an example of the principle in 2 Cor. 3:18 but in the wrong way. By beholding the idolatry of the heathen they became changed in how they thought and in what they practiced and even after being brought out Babylon they taught and practiced some of these things. So how much better for us to behold the pure Christ and what He did for us on the cross.



Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 24, 2017, 07:08:43 PM
Amen, Richard and Jim! How we each need that motive of love that only Christ's presence can implant!

As the Jews looked forward to the first advent of Christ, so we live in the time when many are looking forward to the second advent of Christ. But there are many lessons to be learned as to how the Jews were unprepared for Jesus to come. It is not enough to profess faith, we must have a living faith that works by love, and this is available to all who open their hearts to the working of the Holy Spirit. In order to be ready for the second coming of Jesus, we need to let Him transform our characters. Such a transformation of character will be evidenced by all of the fruits of the Spirit being in our lives without one missing, gladly living up to all the light that is shining upon our path!

"For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour's coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them 'as a root out of a dry ground;' He had 'no form nor comeliness;' and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. 'He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.' Isa. 53:2; John 1:11." {The Desire of Ages, page 27, paragraph 1}

If we do not know Christ experientially by a full-heart surrender to Him moment-by-moment, then we will not know Jesus at His coming such that we will be prepared to be with Him for all eternity. Laodiceans who do not repent will not know Jesus when He returns. The preparation of heart and life is today, and each moment of each day--as we surrender our hearts to Christ and appreciate His loveliness. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, as we appreciate the loveliness of the character of Christ, and have continual communion with God, sin will become hateful to us and our lives will be lives of continual obedience.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on December 20, 2017, 06:19:59 AM
Amen. The key to salvation is knowing God intimately. By beholding His grace we are saved. We are transformed in character. We become partakers of God's divine nature while living in sinful flesh. But, Satan charged God with being unfair by requiring obedience to His law. So, today we hear throughout the Christian world that it is impossible to keep the law because we are fallen creatures. Such a lie. Such heresy! God is fair. Through grace we are empowered to keep the law to the degree we know it. Even more, we will manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit even if we do not know them, if we will surrender the entire heart to Christ.

       With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law. 

Notice how clever Satan is. He added multitude of exactions that were man made laws in an effort to bring reproach upon God and His law. How do we see the law? Is it impossible to love God and our neighbor? If we love them both, then we will not break any of the commandments. Think about it.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 20, 2017, 10:02:58 AM
Amen, Richard! Love is the fulfilling of law--not an abrogation of the Ten Commandments, but the motive that empowers us to keep each one to the extent that we know it as the heart is fully given to Jesus because He first loved us. As we contemplate the way the Jews twisted the beautiful truths God had given them before Jesus came, we again find our world steeped in darkness and misapprehension of His character (before Jesus comes the second time!) because the Scriptures that reveal the life of Christ are often misinterpreted, still causing people to distrust God because of false ideas of His character, such as the idea that God will burn people in hell without ending, when the Bible clearly reveals that the fires of hell will consume the wicked (Malachi 4:1). May we rightly represent Christ by having a vital connection with Him by living-faith surrender. Only in and through Him can all of the fruits of the Spirit be seen in our lives without missing through experiencing the joy of beholding His matchless charms, the loveliness of Jesus!

"As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy." {The Desire of Ages, page 29, paragraph 2}

We need hearts filled with humility and sincerity--and Christ imparts these heavenly attributes when we invite Him in to abide in our hearts by faith!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on March 17, 2018, 03:42:34 AM
Jesus loves to bless His children. He loves to have us praising Him for His abundant mercies towards us, and to reveal in our lives the exceeding blessedness of righteousness by faith! When we have Jesus abiding in our hearts, we will long to impart to others what we have seen and heard and known of the loveliness of Jesus! I love His matchless charms and how when we are daily spending a "thoughtful hour" upon His life and lessons, communing with Him in prayer as we are brought into fellowship with the mind of the infinite, we are truly being transformed. Such transformed lives will be the blessing God desires this world to see--lives that reveal Christ to a world that is soon to perish. May we let His glory be our joy today!

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.' 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2}

God will fulfill His purpose. But are you willing to be humble and teachable so that He can reveal His character through your honor and exaltation (through abiding in Christ bearing all of the fruits of the Spirit)? The other choice is to be vacillating in unfaithfulness, which means that adversity and humiliation are necessary for God to fulfill His purpose through you. Let us learn the lesson Israel struggled to learn and failed to learn in putting Jesus to death. Let us learn to appreciate the infinite sacrifice made for us, surrender fully to Christ moment-by-moment, and allow God's grace and glory to bring praise to His name.

Abraham is mentioned in chapter 2 of the Desire of Ages. God wants to bless us like He did Abraham. But how did Abraham reveal faithfulness so God could bless him? It was in his home:

"A well-ordered Christian household is a powerful argument in favor of the reality of the Christian religion--an argument that the infidel cannot gainsay. All can see that there is an influence at work in the family that affects the children, and that the God of Abraham is with them. If the homes of professed Christians had a right religious mold, they would exert a mighty influence for good. They would indeed be the 'light of the world.' The God of heaven speaks to every faithful parent in the words addressed to Abraham: 'I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.'" {Patriarchs and Prophets, page 144, paragraph 3}

May every home that names the name of Christ be such a powerful witness in these last days--a witness that God can bless so many thousands can be converted in a day--tracing their first convictions to literature, online ministries, or beholding the godly impress of a well-ordered family! Praise God!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on March 17, 2018, 07:08:48 AM
Amen Pastor Sean. Beholding Jesus does change the motives of the heart and the behaviour. He is proving it in my own life. It's interesting how the closer you come to Jesus the more you see your own deficiencies and yet at the same time recognize that He is day by day changing your own desires. What a friend we have in Jesus!

"The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires."

As God's people look for the coming of our Saviour the second time, we too are in danger of studying God's word without spiritual insight?  May we daily surrender our hearts of pride and self importance so that we will study the scriptures with a pure heart and spiritual insight. We have no time to waste on our own intellectual ideas that prevent the Holy Spirit from teaching us the things we need to know and understand to be ready for Christ's second appearance.

Search my heart anew dear God and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on June 12, 2018, 04:55:10 AM
May we experience a genuine, sustained revival and reformation in contrast to what Israel as a nation experienced.

“But the Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy.” – {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 1}

How can we have a genuine, sustained revival? By learning our continual need of Jesus!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on June 12, 2018, 06:21:26 AM
Amen! If we understood that one little sin reveals a separation between us and God, we would spend more time in prayer and study. We would spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, and thus be converted daily. When we understand that when we sin we support Satan's charge that God's law cannot be kept by fallen man or heavenly angels.

     With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law. 

And so it is today with God's church. Many do not see the need to not sin. Many have been taught they do not lose their salvation (justification) when they sin a known sin. Satan again points to God's remnant church and says "Even Seventh-day Adventists do not keep the law even though they profess to be the church that keeps the commandments and the faith of Jesus."

This will  change. God's remnant church will see revival and reformation. It is a promise. His grace can transform a Laodicean church. The light is shining brighter. God is pouring out His glory upon His church today. Let us receive it.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 07, 2018, 05:51:24 AM
We need Jesus in our hearts moment-by-moment to keep us from sin and to enable us to rightly understand the teaching of His service, the exceedingly beautiful loveliness of His character as revealed in His word. As the Israelites lost sight of God's character, as their sins separated them from God, what God desired to reveal to them became dim and unattractive. Like attracts like, like appreciates like. God Himself is the great reward, but as sin hardens the character, depraves the will, and causes the soul to desire the things of earth rather than heavenly things, what God desires to communicate is lost sight of. He Himself is not seen as attractive (as He really is!). Thus we need this "thoughtful hour" beholding Jesus. We need a heart change each day! May we learn the lesson as God's people today and cherish the spiritual lessons that are only made vibrant and clear as we surrender fully to the Savior who, by His Spirit, will consume sin from our lives as we cooperate with Him.

"As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy." {The Desire of Ages, page 29, paragraph 2}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on September 07, 2018, 09:48:15 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean!   It is the heart Christ wants, all of it. The only way we can give it to Him is to be reminded of the cost of our salvation. By beholding His grace we are transformed in heart and mind. What about obedience? Tithing, eating, dressing, working? If there is no obedience, then the heart has not been given to Christ and the Holy Spirit is on the outside wanting in. Obedience which is selfish is not the fruit of self sacrificing love. When we love Jesus with the whole heart, then we shall obey all that we know to be asked of us. Our happiness and prosperity is dependent upon our obedience from the heart.

   By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. During the centuries that followed, they suffered from the oppression of heathen foes, until the conviction became fixed that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God. But with too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish. They rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness. They did not become the light of the world, but shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation to idolatry.

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 03, 2018, 04:30:17 AM
It will happen. Jesus will come again. His everlasting gospel will be proclaimed throughout the world by living witnesses before He returns. But will His purpose be accomplished through the honor and exaltation of His people as they are true to Him, or through adversity and humiliation because of unfaithfulness? We can learn a precious lesson from the experience of the Jewish people in regard to how God's purpose was fulfilled:

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.' 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.' 'The nations which shall hear all these statutes' shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2} 

God gives opportunities; we form the character through receiving the grace of God. Christ's loveliness is what motivates us to grow in character--and we are in deep need of His divine grace. Make no other human being your pattern--behold Christ in His purity, His faithfulness, His majesty and meekness. By beholding Christ's character we see that true honor and exaltation is nobility of character, not worldly greatness. God desires us to be living witnesses of what His grace has done for us personally and individually!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on December 03, 2018, 05:56:51 AM

"Many of the exiles suffered persecution. Not a few lost their lives because of their refusal to disregard the Sabbath and to observe the heathen festivals. As idolaters were roused to crush out the truth, the Lord brought His servants face to face with kings and rulers, that they and their people might receive the light. Time after time the greatest monarchs were led to proclaim the supremacy of the God whom their Hebrew captives worshiped." 

Praise God for His faithful few who throughout history endured hardship, rejection and even death rather than compromise truth. What a thrill it will be when in heaven someone might say to us; "It is because of your faithfulness to the God of the universe that I am here."

I marvel over and over at the long suffering and mercy of our God. I want to be a candle burning brightly to those around me that are in darkness. As the Holy Spirit finds individuals scattered about the globe that are open to His infilling, many candles will burn together to light up the whole world and Jesus will come.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on December 03, 2018, 07:40:22 AM
Amen and amen!  We have purpose in life. As I read this morning, I continue to appreciate the reason why we were given this wonderful revelation of God and His plan of redemption and security for the universe. The Bible tells us that Israel of Old is an ensample (example) for those whom the end of the world has come. Who is that? It is us. What lessons are we to learn from today's reading? Sadly, when we compare yesterday's chapter with today's, we are not seeing to a great degree the same thing. Why not? Because fallen man has been deceived and needs to see there is a working from below that wants to keep him from seeing the truth that brings restoration of character to those who learn of God and the plan He has put in place.

If we listen to Peter shortly before he died, we will better understand why God presented to us today's chapter. This is from 2 Peter.

 1:14   Knowing that shortly I must put off [this] my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. 
 1:15   Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. 
 1:16   For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 
 1:17   For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 
 1:18   And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 
 1:19   We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 
 1:20   Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 
 1:21   For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost. 
 
Chapter 2

 2:1   But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 
 2:2   And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 
 2:3   And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 
 2:4   For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 
 2:5   And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 
 2:6   And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [them] with an overthrow, making [them] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 
 2:7   And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 
 2:8   (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;) 
 2:9   The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 

I feel the same burden as did Peter. Keep these things in remembrance so that your faith remains strong and Satan's effort to deceive will not deprive you of your prize. The very same deceptions work today as they did then. It is rare to find those who are truly converted and understand the power of grace to transform the character, at conversion. Israel perverted the truth and set up a system whereby they thought keeping their system of laws would save them. But, they did not understand that it was Christ the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world that would save them. Thus when Jesus came to His own. His own knew Him not.

What would be the situation if Jesus came today? How many would be prepared to live in heaven? Today's reading is presented in hopes that we as a people might understandrist our continual need of grace in order to do any good thing. It was written that we might consider what happened to Israel that we might seek after God with the whole heart, that we might love Him supremely and escape the corruption that is in the world, and has come into His church. We need Jesus' grace that we might be cleansed of sin, that we might prove the righteousness of Christ to a world soon to perish. We are not to follow in the path of Israel.

 "With too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish. They rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness. They did not become the light of the world..."

We are here speaking of God's "chosen people." Why does this have meaning to us today? Because we know we are God's chosen people. For what reason did God choose a people? Israel was to reveal God's character not only to the nations of the world, but to the watching universe. Where they failed, the Seventh-day Adventist Church will not fail. But, we have not rightly represented God's character yet. As a people we have been walking in the footsteps of ancient Israel. We have spent more than 40 years wandering in the wilderness. But, the good news is that the gospel of grace is being proclaimed from within modern day Israel. Not only this, but I just listened to a teaching on the seven trumpets of Revelation wherein the teacher is presenting truth that also had been greatly perverted. What a blessing to see that the Book of Daniel which was sealed unto the time of the end is being understand and taught within God's church today. The Jews did not seek to be set free from sin.

    While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin.

Is that our desire, to be set free from sin? If so, then we are wanting to accomplish the mission which has been entrusted to His chosen people today. There are many today who are beginning to realize the gospel of grace was given that sinners might be transformed into saints.

And, we also see that there are those who are discovering the truth that the health message we have been given is indeed the "right arm" of the gospel and is being used to reach a lost world. Jesus is coming soon and within His chosen people are those who are studying to show themselves approved of God. As a city is named for the river upon which it is built, so it is with God's church. There is a direct connection between the truths it proclaims and its connection with God. The leading edge of truth is God's method of leading His people into His fold. It is with this mind that today's reading was given to His end time church, God's chosen people.





Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on February 27, 2019, 08:14:11 PM
Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation.

Could it be that God's people in the last days will be like the unfaithful of Israel and God's purposes will be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation?? God's message to the church of Laodicea, the church of our generation is...." I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" Revelation 3:15-17) 

"Hatred of the Romans, and national and spiritual pride, led the Jews still to adhere rigorously to their forms of worship. The priests tried to maintain a reputation for sanctity by scrupulous attention to the ceremonies of religion. The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires."
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[b]Hopefully we will bow in humble adoration to Jesus [/b] with a willing spirit and honest heart confess our great need and desire of Jesus, entreating Him to pour out the Holy Spirit upon us, so that we will not be bound up with our own selfish ambitions to the point that we have no time or desire to share in the giving of the last warning message to the world.  "Take the World - But give me Jesus" --- let this be our prayer. [/color][/b][/u] Jesus is still waiting for a people who will surrender ALL.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on February 28, 2019, 07:32:11 AM
Amen, Beacon! A full surrender is the only response of faith that Jesus can truly accept. But many feel they lack faith, and then they stay away from God. We must look to Christ uplifted on Calvary to obtain the faith that He offers us! By receiving His word, by receiving the loveliness of Jesus as the fresh revelation of God's grace to us, we can experience true conversion and He will reveal in our experience all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing!

"As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy." {The Desire of Ages, page 29, paragraph 2}

This really hit me today about how when the Jews departed from God, they multiplied their own requirements. And it is also true now. If we separate from Jesus, there is a yearning longing for Him that can never be satisfied until we know Him by a personal experience of surrender to be our righteousness. But Christ offers us His life in place of our own, and He will work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure! The great need we have is to behold Christ continually and to turn away from man-made standards (or even our own man-made standards) and trust entirely to Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on February 28, 2019, 08:08:33 AM
Amen Pastor Sean and Beacon!  This chapter is not a great revelation of Christ as are so many. As is usual, we are given warnings. Yes, this was written for our benefit. How so? We are walking in the path of Israel of Old. Cannot we see the truth? Brother Beacon sees. The Laodicean message applies to God's church today. But, unlike Israel, we shall see revival and reformation. It is a promise as read in Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37.  A key to that revival is a correct understanding of the issues set before the church. How has Satan been so successful with Israel and the Christian churches which took her place?

     With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law.
     While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   

As it was then, so it is today. How many are not seeking to be delivered from sin, but are seeking salvation some other way? Thus the way is being prepared to reject the Savior.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on May 25, 2019, 08:12:10 PM
God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was in Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations. They were to reveal God to men. "And yet at His coming they knew Him not...He came unto His own and His own received Him not. Isaiah 53:2 & John 1:11 

I borrowed the following previous quote from Pastor Sean because he expressed my thoughts so well.

"Let us pray that we ourselves and those in the Seventh-day Adventist Church will realize that unless we continually have the mind stayed upon Christ, refusing to allow our minds to wander from Him, that we separate from Jesus and revert back to a Laodicean condition. Such a condition is not ready for the second coming. But Jesus, in love and mercy, invites us to behold Him, be changed in character, and so crave His abiding presence that we can know immediately if we have separated from HIm--because only as we abide in Him will all the fruits of His Spirit be seen in our lives without one missing. If we choose to let the mind wander to a place where there is not His abiding love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, we can recognize the lack of these fruits as an invitation to repent, to invite Jesus to again indwell the heart, and to go forward in faith.[/b]

" The work that Christ did on this earth His followers are to do. With the power and efficiency brought by the Holy Spirit they are to carry forward His plan for the restoration of the divine image in humanity. The Lord will do great thing for them when they work under the Holy Spirits guidance. But they must place their entire dependence on God. Manuscript 13 June , 1902 " God's People to be Light Bearers" 65
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 26, 2019, 06:10:59 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon! The precious time I have been enjoying this morning with Jesus only continues to cause me to want to share of our continual need of Jesus to do any good thing. The beautiful reality of the gospel is that when you truly understand it (that God in His grace changes sinners into saints, renewing the heart and mind from selfishness to holiness, imbuing us with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing, and enabling us supernaturally to live up to all the light He has revealed, while He patiently gives each of us a period of probation in which to form character), Jesus can help you to see if you are experiencing it (the gospel of His grace) by allowing us to examine whether all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in our lives without one missing and whether we are willingly obeying His revealed will. If we lack His Spirit, or are in known neglect of duty, our very "wretched" condition is surely a knock of His Spirit upon the heart's door so we can surrender our will FULLY and have Christ re-convert us out of a Laodicean state.

As I think of God as a wonderful Father, I realize that He desires us to be happy and holy, and that just as many parents will say, "Lord, save my children, no matter what it takes," the first preference of a parent is for the child to be happy, peaceful and obedient rather than rebellious and stubborn, and having to learn "the hard way." So it is with Christ. He loves us too much to let us blindly and deceptively go down to ruin without warning. He calls us to repentance when we are walking in the wrong way (and even when we are in the path of life, as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our repentance will be ever deepening!). I love how God wanted to do great things with Israel, and I am encouraged to trust that God is willing to fulfill His purposes of blessing through our lives as we surrender unreservedly to His will--His perfect will!!

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.' 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2}

Do we want to make it hard on Jesus? He would prefer to work through His remnant Seventh-day Adventist Church through His people's honor and exaltation, but when His people are unfaithful, He will still accomplish His purpose through their adversity and humiliation. Yet we live in the time of the latter rain, and God's Seventh-day Adventist Church will see revival and reformation. May we help hasten that revival and reformation by living in harmony with all the light we have received from Jesus, daily spending time contemplating the life of Christ (because He first loved us, and so we are filled with His Spirit) and then may we go forth to bless others that they may see Jesus has living witnesses on this poor, dark speck of world that is soon to perish! Jesus is coming soon and OH HOW HE LONGS to make us like Him in mind and character so we may be ready for Him to come and meet Him in the clouds--along with the rich harvest of souls who have been won to Christ in connection with our heartfelt prayers, labors of love, and willing obedience to go where God leads the way!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on May 26, 2019, 09:22:37 AM
Amen Brother Beacon and Pastor Sean!  For those reading with us daily, it ought to be understood by now that we hear the same message over and over. What is our mission in life, and what was the mission of Christ? Sadly, like the Jews, many Christians do not understand, including many Seventh-day Adventists who have been deceived and do not understand why Christ came and what Christ wants from His church.

The road to heaven is not wide. It is a straight and narrow pathway that leads to eternal life in a world where there is no sorrow and no death. There will be no sin ever again. How can this be when God's creatures have free will? Lucifer sinned and he was holy and perfect when God created him. God has promised sin will never arise again when this demonstration called the "great controversy" between Christ and Satan is completed. It will be seen by the universe that the power of grace on this Earth has kept from sin even the weakest of the weak after 6,000 years of degradation. Therefore, holy and undefiled beings can surely be kept from sin. They have seen the results of sin and the power of God's love to keep all safe.

So then, what is the mission for you and me, and what was the mission of Christ?

      While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   

For those who do not seek deliverance from sin, the way is being prepared for the continued rejection of Christ. Until we love the Lord our God with the "whole heart" we are rejecting His rule over us. We will not give Jesus all we are and all we have. To follow Christ is to allow the Holy Spirit to take possession of the heart and then as partakers of His divine nature, we reveal the character of God. By beholding Jesus we are daily transformed into His image (character). We will not give the whole heart to Christ until we trust Him with all we have. And, we will not trust Him with all we have until we truly know Him intimately. The all important question is "what must I do to be saved?" We must spend time getting to know Jesus. We will only love Him supremely when we know how much He loves us. We love Him because He first loved us. We are saved by grace, but we must see that grace daily. We must allow that grace into the heart. Then we shall reveal every one of the fruits of the Spirit, not one will be missing. This is why we live, to allow Jesus to receive the reward for all He has suffered. We are to become, reflectors of His character. His mission was to reveal the character of God.

     "His name shall be called Immanuel, . . . God with us." "The light of the knowledge of the glory of God" is seen "in the face of Jesus Christ." From the days of eternity the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was "the image of God," the image of His greatness and majesty, "the outshining of His glory." It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God's love,--to be "God with us." Therefore it was prophesied of Him, "His name shall be called Immanuel." By coming to dwell with us, Jesus was to reveal God both to men and to angels. Desire of Ages, chapter one.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on November 12, 2019, 07:08:55 PM
" God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was in Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations. They were to reveal God to men.

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

In this last paragraph we find the message that Jesus invites us to share. It is a message of GREAT HOPE that millions of people around the world and in our own neighborhoods and churches need to hear. We can not do this in and of ourselves but only as we surrender to Jesus and kneel at the foot of the cross because we cannot give what we do not have.

"The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6. He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart. "

I invite "You" to Accept the Challenge of Faithful Discipleship to the Church & to the World?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on November 13, 2019, 06:00:07 AM
For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour's coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them "as a root out of a dry ground;" He had "no form nor comeliness;" and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Isaiah 53:2; John 1:11.

This is such a shocking and unbelievable introduction to our chapter today. As I ponder the condition of the church today I wonder; are we any different. Then I read on....
Yet God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was to Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations. They were to reveal God to men.

God still has a chosen people such as we are but God is working on hearts to bring each one that will, into a saving relationship with Him that we may spread the good news of salvation to all men. Then when His character is revealed in the lives of His people and every ear has heard the gospel message He will  come and receive His own to Himself. Praise God for His mercy, grace, long suffering. I shutter to think of where we would be without His grace.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on November 13, 2019, 07:38:40 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon and Sister Dorine!

We need Jesus continually, and without Him we can do no good thing. May we ever feel our dependence upon Him that He may save us from the mistakes that the Jewish people made at the time of Christ's first advent. Without a saving faith surrender to Christ by His grace, we will inevitably degenerate in character instead of being elevated, refined, and transformed into the image of Christ. That is His great promise and purpose for us in all He does--that He may reveal Himself through us to a universe that is waiting to see in final and full display God's character reproduced in the weakest of the weak who have learned to trust entirely to Christ as their strength!

 "As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy." {The Desire of Ages, page 29, paragraph 2}

May we learn to glory only in the cross, and not depend upon things we try to do to commend ourselves to God. Christ is our sufficiency. May we allow Christ to live out His life of perfect obedience in us as we learn of Him, allowing Him to manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing in our lives. The desire He has for us will be realized as we learn of Him day by day, and trust wholly to His grace to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure by His Spirit.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on November 13, 2019, 11:39:55 AM
Amen, amen, and amen! God has a plan and it is centered in His chosen people. Israel of old failed Him. Today, modern day Israel has failed Him. But, not all remain in a Laodicean condition. When God sent a prophet into the world in our day, there are some who treasure the light given. '
What does God want from His people? What was the issue in heaven, and what is the issue on this Earth from the fall till today?

   With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law.
     While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   

The issue remains the same, to reveal to this world and the universe that God is not only fair, but great. He is both just and merciful. His law is good and just what we need. But, Satan has lied and deceived not only angels, but man. And, not just man, but those who He has chosen to rightly represent His character. Those chosen ones are to be witnesses that God is not unfair, His law can be kept. But, we cannot keep His law from our hearts until our hearts have been cleansed and renewed. Has not God promised to give us new hearts cleansed from sin?

    "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:26. 

Amen! When we love God with the whole heart, then the Holy Spirit takes possession of it and brings with Him power to keep the law (statutes and judgments) of God.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on February 08, 2020, 03:25:27 AM
God will fulfill His mission, but how it will be accomplished depends in a great degree on how you and I respond to His loving claims upon us. If we are willing to spend a "thoughtful hour" upon the life of Christ and become like Him in mind and character, then He can accomplish His purpose through our honor and exaltation since we realize the glory goes to Him, and not to ourselves. All of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing are seen in the lives of His converted instrumentalities. But if we depart from Jesus and only maintain a formal profession while living in sin in any of its deceptive forms, by the works of the flesh (see Galatians 5:19-21) we deny Him in character, and God in love will work to accomplish His purpose through our adversity and humiliation--seeking to lead us to repentance and to help those around us see that the truth we claim to profess is true even if we are not living up to its claims. Oh, how Jesus longs to have us willing to be made willing to be fully transformed into His image! As we learn of Him, we do find that our highest delight is in doing His service and living to bless others!!

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.' 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.' 'The nations which shall hear all these statutes' shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2}

We do not obey for God to bless us (for that would still be selfish), but we truly obey as the fruit of love (the selfless motive implanted by Christ). If we come to spend time with Jesus, He works a miracle in our hearts--He fills us with His Spirit and we desire to obey Him, because we have become like Him in mind and character. The more we become like Him, the less we will see to esteem in ourselves and the more we shall praise Him for His goodness and mercy that by His grace He could save a wretch like you or me, and make us a repentant child of His to be an instrument of love in His hands! May God be glorified!! Happy Sabbath!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on February 08, 2020, 06:01:56 AM
While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.    .......They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires.

Has it changed? Today the pendulum swings from strict burdensome rules to 'do what's right in your own eye's' but the end result will be the same. God is allowing heresy to come into our midst to shake us and wake us out of the slumber we are in. We may believe truth but when challenged if we can not give a reason for our beliefs we need to take serious inventory of our spiritual condition. God is so loving and kind. Even in adversity we see His love. He is bringing us back to the bible as the foundation of everything we need to know and understand for our salvation.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on February 08, 2020, 07:59:19 AM
Amen Sister Dorine.  I too was impressed with this statement of truth.

     They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires.

The chapter closed with this, revealing how important this subject is to us today. Why? Because as you say, it applies to the church today. Many interpret Scripture in accordance with their selfish desires. Romans 7 comes to mind. Why do so many want to teach this is Paul's experience after he was converted. Because it is their experience. They do not believe God refuses to save us in  our sin because they know  not how to obtain the power to resist temptations to sin. Thus, they believe they are converted when they are not. They do that which they ought not, and do not do that which they ought. They believe they cannot keep the law of God because evil is in them. They are half right. They are evil by nature, but that is not an excuse to sin. God has provided a remedy for sin in His Son at a very high price. If we will learn of Him, and give our hearts fully to Him, He shall live within us making us partakers of His divine nature, thus empowering us to keep the law of God, all of it as far as we know it. And, when the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart, when converted, He shall bring with Him all of the fruits of the Spirit, not one will be missing. And, we shall be given spiritual eyesight to understand what we need to know for the present day. What a God we serve!! And, what wonderful gift we have been given in Desire of Ages!

Have a blessed Sabbath Day to all who are reading with us!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on February 08, 2020, 01:49:09 PM
"Satan hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law..While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour."

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

Could it be that God's people in the last days will be like the unfaithful of Israel and God's purposes will be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation?? God's message to the church of Laodicea, the church of our generation is....

" I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" Revelation 3:15-17)
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on May 05, 2020, 05:32:02 AM
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

We see God's tremendous love for His people in the discipline He must deliver. How hurtful it must have been for Him. For every promise of God there is a condition. Repentance and faithfulness is required. Not just in words but in spirit from the heart. Then transformation will be realized. The fruit of the Spirit will be manifested without one missing. May we be wide awake, watching, praying, studying and sharing. Preparing to meet our God that is soon to appear. What a blessing to be revitalized each morning as we spend these precious moments with Jesus.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on May 05, 2020, 06:57:03 AM
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

Could it be that God's people in the last days will be like the unfaithful of Israel and God's purposes will be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation?? God's message to the church of Laodicea, the church of our generation is....

Luke 13:34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, AND YE WOULD NOT"!

This is a very, very sad commentary of Rejection. Rejection of God's Amazing Grace, Forgiveness, Rejection of that which would have provided For "ALL" their Earthly Challenges and Eternal Provisions. Are we any different today? Will we hear Jesus say WELL DONE or DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU??

" I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" Revelation 3:15-17)

The Good News is...The Door of Mercy & Forgiveness is still Open but as we see the unfolding of events in our world today telling us that we are fast nearing the End of Time for planet earth - Let take a personal spiritual inventory and make sure that our relationship with Jesus is what it should be. Jesus has paid a tremendous price for our redemption. How sad it would be if we continue to reject His Love!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 05, 2020, 09:02:01 AM
Praise the Lord, Sister Dorine and Brother Beacon!

God loves to bless His people and He DEFINITELY prefers to accomplish His divine plan through us by blessing us if we are willing and obedient! Let us look unto Jesus who can work all things together for good, and trust Him in all the experiences of life. As we yield the whole heart to Jesus, we find the joy of true conversion and are filled with the Holy Spirit so not one of the fruits of the Spirit is missing in our lives as we walk in the path of obedience and blessing Jesus has planned for us!

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.' 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.' 'The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on July 31, 2020, 05:59:48 AM

As I compare the condition of God's people at His first coming with what we see before His second coming I am reminded of this bible verse from the last book of the bible. This is my prayer for myself, my family and God's church today.

(Rev 3:18)  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Here is a quote from the book Faith and Works that makes it clear.

..."We thank God that there are souls who realize that they are in need of something which they do not possess--gold of faith and love, white raiment of Christ's righteousness, eyesalve of spiritual discernment. If you possess these precious gifts, the temple of the human soul will not be like a desecrated shrine.....now is the day of gracious opportunity and privilege."
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 31, 2020, 07:15:44 AM
Amen, Sister Dorine!! What a precious privilege it is to partake of the gospel remedy in Christ and to walk in the path He has chosen for us!

May we allow Jesus to enter into our hearts today, to abide there on a moment-by-moment basis. Only He can give us the true faithfulness that we need, and He invites us by beholding His loveliness to cooperate with Him in the most blessed experience--winning souls to see them enjoy eternal blessedness in reflecting His divine image!

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.' 'The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2}  

Let us choose faithfulness. Yielding our sinful hearts to Christ, He gives us a new one imbued with His character traits without one missing! As one of the fruits of the Spirit, faithfulness can only come from a living union and communion with Christ. As we acknowledge our continual need of Jesus, He will lead us in the path that is best both now and for all of eternity!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on August 01, 2020, 08:45:53 AM
"While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour...They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision...

They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires.
"


Could it be that we also are in the same danger?

God's Word says in Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 26, 2020, 05:04:18 AM
There are so many deceptions around us and we need Jesus continually! Only in Him can we find rest and true obedience. At the time Jesus was about to come the first time, this was the experience of so many who desired to obey God:

"With all their minute and burdensome injunctions, it was an impossibility to keep the law. Those who desired to serve God, and who tried to observe the rabbinical precepts, toiled under a heavy burden. They could find no rest from the accusings of a troubled conscience. Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law." {The Desire of Ages, page 29, paragraph 3}

Satan is an accuser. It is possible to obey God as we abide in Jesus who first loved us. He invites us to lay aside the yoke of bondage of human tradition and accept the law of God as it is seen in His life, and which He will live out in us. As we live by faith upon the Son of God, Christ will manifest through us all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! This is the true yoke Christ gives us:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30). Let us yoke up with Jesus as He comes in glory the second time SO SOON!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on October 26, 2020, 05:29:08 AM
"For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour's coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them "as a root out of a dry ground;" He had "no form nor comeliness;" and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Isaiah 53:2; John 1:11

How could this happen? Why did they not know Him even though their brightest hopes rested upon this event? It's hard to believe they could be so blind not to recognize the very One they sang about, studied about, prayed about, waited for. Then we read this...

"But the Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy."

Many today are following in their footsteps; looking for worldly praise and honour, willing to disregard the commandments of God. Their preconceived ideas are so ingrained in their minds that they are incapable without the aid of the Holy Spirit to discern right from wrong. May the Lord somehow wake his people up so that we will see revival and reformation in the church. That revival starts with me/you. My/your witness will touch someone else and it will spread until the church is on fire for Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on October 26, 2020, 06:13:10 AM
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor."

'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.'
'The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6
.

But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation. "


Praise God...He does not give up on us and in His love I believe He allows us to experience adversity and humiliation in it's many and various forms. Why? Because the door of mercy is still open! Yes there is still time to admit...

" I've wandered far away from God, but now I'm coming home."

To all who are reading this post today, I plead with you to join with me in rededicating our lives to Jesus.


 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on October 26, 2020, 12:39:11 PM
Amen Brother Beacon!  So it is with us, if we are not obedient (because we do not abide in Christ and He in us) then God will allow or cause adversity in our lives (because He loves us).

Amen Sister Dorine!  We need and will see revival and reformation in our church, God's church. He has promised it. It is up to us to let that revival begin in us.

There are so many deceptions around us and we need Jesus continually! Only in Him can we find rest and true obedience.

"Thus Satan worked to discourage the people, to lower their conception of the character of God, and to bring the faith of Israel into contempt. He hoped to establish the claim put forth when he rebelled in heaven,--that the requirements of God were unjust, and could not be obeyed. Even Israel, he declared, did not keep the law."  

Amen Pastor Sean. Satan's attack on the character of God involves our conversion. In the beginning in heaven Satan made  charges against God, that He was requiring the angels to follow His government, when it was not necessary because they could rule themselves. So He attacks God today saying that He requires obedience from us when we cannot keep His laws. Until we learn to abide in Christ continually we shall continue to support Satan's charges against God that we cannot keep His laws.

Today there are two groups in the church, those who teach and believe we do not have to keep the law perfectly and are saved in their sin. The second teaching is that we must keep the law in order to enter heaven, but they to not love the Lord with all their heart, thus they keep the law they believe, for selfish reasons. In fact they are not keeping the law as God requires, from the heart.

    By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. During the centuries that followed, they suffered from the oppression of heathen foes, until the conviction became fixed that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God. But with too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish.

Then there is the third group that in fact love God with the whole heart and thus are empowered by the Holy Spirit to manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit and to the degree they understand God's laws, they keep them. How did they come to the point of obeying God? They spent time beholding Him, thus they knew they could trust Him with all they are  and all they have. By beholding His glory (His character) they were changed into the same image (character) by the Holy Spirit. (See 2 Cor. 3:18). It is a promise that will not fail. Our part in our conversion is to spend time daily contemplating the life of Jesus, especially the closing scenes that portray the grace of God more than anything else. We are save by His grace, not by our obedience. The obedience is given to all who become partakers of God's divine nature. (See 2 Peter 1:4).

As I finished that last paragraph, I was reminded there is a fourth group that is growing. The Laodicean does not know he is in a lost condition, he is blind to his spiritual need and thus his spiritual condition. But, this fourth group is not blind to their condition. They know they must keep God's law, and they know they are not. They do not have the power to do so. Like Saul in Romans 7, they do not know how to be converted, or they are unwilling to follow the light given regarding how to be converted. It is the greatest battle ever fought. Giving up self and trusting in God is not an easy thing. It requires time and effort getting to know God. We must drink His blood and eat His flesh if we want to be converted. We must feed upon the Manna which came down from heaven. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Why? Because the Word is a revelation of the character of our God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us that we might know Him. We will love God when we know of His great love for us.

It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. But, many will not. This is why some reflect the character of God and others do not. Today is the day of salvation! Let today be the day when we decide to set apart time to be with Jesus that we might get to know Him, that we might love Him with the whole heart. Then the heart, thought it be as scarlet will be cleansed as while as snow. Then the world will know there is a God in heaven because we will sanctified in their presence (See Ezekiel 36:22-37).
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on January 19, 2021, 08:33:03 PM
"..The Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness.."

"From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan,they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression.

Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy.
 
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor."
 "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6.


But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

Today You & I have a choice to be like Israel of old or, to be Obedient and bring Honor and Glory to our God. --- Which Will It Be?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on January 20, 2021, 10:29:15 AM
Amen Brother Beacon. We each can choose to obey or not. As a church we will suffer until we as a people are converted.

     But the Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy. 

We have not learned from the experience of Israel, and are walking in their path following the ways of the world.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Philip T on January 21, 2021, 07:12:45 AM
  After the return from Babylon, much attention was given to religious instruction. All over the country, synagogues were erected, where the law was expounded by the priests and scribes. And schools were established, which, together with the arts and sciences, professed to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted. During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters.

We as a people(church), need to guard against this happening in our places of education, lest through them it creeps into the church through the leaders that come out of them. Compromise is never acceptable to God. From the time I left the church in the early 1970's to the time I returned in the early 2010. I was surprised by some of the changes in the church's stance, one was wedding rings being accepted, and other subtle changes. I know love for God is important; however, that is reflected in our obedience to God out of our love for what he has done for us. We need to be on guard to not allow the world to corrupt our love and understanding of God and his word.
Thus the importance for devotional time every morning and evening. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 21, 2021, 11:21:03 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon, Brother Richard, and Brother Philip!

May we choose to learn from Israel's experience and choose God's ideal for our lives by beholding His true character, following His word, and surrendering unreservedly to Him in the experience of true conversion whereby all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing, so that He may accomplish His purpose through bringing His people into honor and exaltation rather than adversity and humiliation.

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.' 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.' 'The nations which shall hear all these statutes' shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2} 

We can learn from history, or we will tend to repeat it. May the experience of where those before us fell short of God's ideal not discourage us, but lead us to prayerfully watch for His will through His word and do what He has called us to do by being lights in this dark world that is soon to perish. Oh, what longsuffering love we see in the character of God, but He longs to have us cooperate with Him in His purposes and plans to bless the world with a revelation of His true character!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on April 17, 2021, 08:02:21 PM
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

Could it be that God's people in the last days will be like the unfaithful of Israel and God's purposes will be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation?? God's message to the church of Laodicea, the church of our generation is....

Luke 13:34 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, AND YE WOULD NOT"!


This is a very, very sad commentary of Rejection. Rejection of God's Amazing Grace, Forgiveness, Rejection of that which would have provided For "ALL" their Earthly Challenges and Eternal Provisions. Are we any different today?

Will we hear Jesus say WELL DONE or DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU??



" Jesus said..I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" Revelation 3:15-17)


The Good News is...The Door of Mercy & Forgiveness is still Open at this time but, as we see the unfolding of events in our world today telling us that we are fast nearing the End of Time for planet earth - Let take a personal spiritual inventory and make sure that our relationship with Jesus is what it should be.

Jesus has paid a tremendous price for our redemption. How sad it would be if we continue to reject His Love!! Today if you hear His voice calling you, won't you come home? Time is running out and soon probation's door of opportunity will close.


Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling—
  Calling for you and for me;
Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching—
  Watching for you and for me!
    
Come home! come home!
  Ye who are weary, come home!
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
    Calling, O sinner, come home!




Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on April 18, 2021, 06:04:26 AM
"After the return from Babylon, much attention was given to religious instruction. All over the country, synagogues were erected, where the law was expounded by the priests and scribes. And schools were established, which, together with the arts and sciences, professed to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted. During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters."

I am continually amazed at the grace and longsuffering of our God. Have we learned anything from the experiences of God's people of long ago? Don't we see much of the same indifference to God's law today? Idolatry is rampant and hearts are cold and heartless. But it won't always be. Revival and reformation is coming and the closing events will have a glorious end on this earth. But it's not the end for God's people; a forever home in heaven awaits those who have their eyes fixed on Jesus and who have been transformed into God's character.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Philip T on April 18, 2021, 08:14:49 AM
  By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. During the centuries that followed, they suffered from the oppression of heathen foes, until the conviction became fixed that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God. But with too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish. They rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness. They did not become the light of the world, but shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation to idolatry. In the instruction given through Moses, God had placed restrictions upon their association with idolaters; but this teaching had been misinterpreted. It was intended to prevent them from conforming to the practices of the heathen. But it was used to build up a wall of separation between Israel and all other nations. The Jews looked upon Jerusalem as their heaven, and they were actually jealous lest the Lord should show mercy to the Gentiles.

The love of God was not present in many of the Jewish people, the strived to keep the law for their own purposes, and wanted to keep the truth of God and its blessing to them so they shut themselves in by building walls around themselves and the Gentiles. Do we do the same, keeping the knowledge of enlightenment to ourselves once converted, using excuses to justify our practice, it frightened to step out, I need to learn more. God equips those he chooses, so as his disciples, we need to share Jesus with all around us.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 18, 2021, 08:44:30 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon, Sister Dorine, and Brother Philip!

Will we choose to be true to God? If our eyes are kept fixed upon the loveliness of Jesus and we remember how God has led us in our past history and His teaching, we have nothing to fear for the future. Let us not forget what God has done for us, and let us realize that we need Jesus abiding in the heart by an affectionate surrender of the will to Him which encompasses the whole heart and mind, thus supernaturally producing in the soul all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing which is in harmony with God's law of love! When God's love fills the soul, we do not ask for the lowest standard, but seek to walk in faithfulness to the glory and honor of God. 

Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation. 

As you choose to surrender to God, remember that no matter how far you have fallen, if you truly repent, confess your sins, and look in simple faith to Jesus as the foot of the cross, Jesus will restore you to His image and complete His plan to sanctify you into His image. The Israelites chose "the hard way" and many of them apostatized from the true faith that acknowledged a continual need of God's grace, but we can choose the yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:28-30) and let Him lead us in the path of revival and reformation by receiving the message to the Laodicean church (Revelation 3:14-22). As we thus apply this counsel by spending a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ, letting each point be imagined and contemplated (especially the closing scenes), Jesus clothes us with His white raiment of righteousness, eye salve of spiritual discernment of our continual need of Him to do any good thing, and gold tried in the fire composed of faith working by love to purify the soul! What a privilege it is to be a witness of Christ!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on April 18, 2021, 01:11:04 PM
Amen Pastor Sean!  If we take time to study Israel, we would recognize God's hand in all that happened. So it is today. God wants us to be His witnesses, good not evil. But, the church backslid shortly after its organization, and remains in a Laodicean condition. For those who have been mistaught, read in Rev. three what Jesus says. Don't go to others for an interpretation. If you do, there is a good chance you will be taught error.

Brother Beacon asks "Could it be that God's people in the last days will be like the unfaithful of Israel and God's purposes will be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation??"  I believe both personally and corporately, God does the same as He did with Israel, it is either exaltation or adversity and humiliation. We get to choose.

After reading today's lesson, I thought about the message of God's love in this chapter, and decided that was no the intent, yet Sister Dorine found it.  Yes, God's mercy is surely extended till there is no more God can do. Let none teach that God has turned His back on modern day "Israel." He has not. If we remember there were a couple of buildings burned to the ground. God loves us and wants to exalt us if we will allow Him to take possession of the heart, the whole heart.

Brother Philip asks if we do the same as Israel did, keeping the truth to ourselves?  Yes, Brother Philip, the Laodicean remains selfish. So, I doubt that many were converted when baptized. They remain alive to self and for selfish reasons do not take time to help lead others to Christ.

"...the Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy." 

You would think we would have learned by now. But, after 2,000 years, man has become more dumb and needs more help. Jesus stands at the door of the heart asking for entrance that He might help. He has not changed, it is humanity that has. It is today as it was just before the great flood when God destroyed every living human except what was in the ark. Today, there are multitudes who shall be saved. They are seeking truth, but we have not been very good at finding them. Let us seek Jesus and ask for wisdom and grace to do His work.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 14, 2021, 03:50:55 AM
We have a lot to do with how our lives turn out. As we learn of Christ and respond to His providential leading, He desires to bless us and fulfill His plans in our lives in the ideal way of blessings us to be a blessing. But if we are unfaithful, God will still fulfill His purpose--but it will come about through adversity and humiliation. May we choose to look to Jesus and live, surrendering the whole heart to Him in affectionate obedience as all of the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives without one missing as we choose to be in constant union and communion with God. Only in Christ can God's purpose for us be fulfilled. Let us truly abide in Him today!

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor.' 'All people of the earth,' said Moses, 'shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.' 'The nations which shall hear all these statutes' shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation." {The Desire of Ages, page 28, paragraph 2} 

As we look away from our weak, fallen souls and realize we have a divine-human Savior who perfectly navigated the human experience without sin, when we face temptation to be unfaithful, we can rejoice that God knows exactly what we need when we need it, and He will lead us in His perfect will and way. Look to Jesus to be both the author and finisher of the faith experience that you need to abide in Him in true readiness for His return!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on July 14, 2021, 04:37:41 AM
"At the time of the birth of Christ the nation was chafing under the rule of her foreign masters, and racked with internal strife. The Jews had been permitted to maintain the form of a separate government; but nothing could disguise the fact that they were under the Roman yoke, or reconcile them to the restriction of their power. The Romans claimed the right of appointing and removing the high priest, and the office was often secured by fraud, bribery, and even murder. Thus the priesthood became more and more corrupt. Yet the priests still possessed great power, and they employed it for selfish and mercenary ends. The people were subjected to their merciless demands, and were also heavily taxed by the Romans. This state of affairs caused widespread discontent.Popular outbreaks were frequent. Greed and violence, distrust and spiritual apathy, were eating out the very heart of the nation."

What a sad state of affairs that Jesus was born into. But what a bright light He was to the world right from His infancy. Evil surrounded Him yet He never allowed that to influence His own life or His love for all people. That's why this book is so precious as it expounds in more detail on what the bible says. We too live in a corrupt world and the devil has infiltrated the church to lead souls astray. We are God's ambassadors to follow in the steps of Jesus to show all that what the devil says about God is false and that God's word is truth.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on July 14, 2021, 05:23:06 AM
" God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was in Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations."

"They were to reveal God to men."

"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor. "

"But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

In this last paragraph we find the message that Jesus invites us to share. It is a message of GREAT HOPE that millions of people around the world and in our own neighborhoods and churches need to hear. We can not do this in and of ourselves but only as we surrender to Jesus and kneel at the foot of the cross because we cannot give what we do not have.

"The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6. He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart. "

I invite "You" once again to Accept the Challenge of Faithful Discipleship to the Church & to the World.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Philip T on July 14, 2021, 08:28:35 AM

    For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour's coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them "as a root out of a dry ground;" He had "no form nor comeliness;" and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Isaiah 53:2; John 1:11.
     Yet God had chosen Israel. He had called them to preserve among men the knowledge of His law, and of the symbols and prophecies that pointed to the Saviour. He desired them to be as wells of salvation to the world. What Abraham was in the land of his sojourn, what Joseph was in Egypt, and Daniel in the courts of Babylon, the Hebrew people were to be among the nations. They were to reveal God to men.


These paragraphs serve as a warning to us today, after 1000 years Israel did not recognize Jesus when he came due to misunderstanding of the prophetic promises from the prophets under unction of the Holy Spirit. They were to be spreaders and seed planters of the plan of salvation, ye through there lack of knowledge of Jesus of whom the symbols of prophecy pointed they did not recieve him, as the second advent comes closer and closer are we spending time getting to know them and see Jesus in them so we will be ready accept Him at his second coming. We need to spend time under the unction of the Holy Spirit in study of the prophecies of God seeing Jesus in them.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on July 14, 2021, 10:51:18 PM
"While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour...They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision...

They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires.
"


This was my thought on today's reading. Many think of self and salvation, but do not consider the mission of Jesus which extends past my salvation.

Could it be that we also are in the same danger?

God's Word says in Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on October 08, 2021, 05:26:37 PM
"Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs."

"Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. "

For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour's life on earth, we see "God with us."


"Satan represents God's law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. "

"The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death."

Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences. "In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren." Heb. 2:17. If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us

Is it not AMAZING!!  How Jesus came willing and paid the penalty for our sinfull rebellion so that we if Willing to confess and forsake our sin may have Eternal Peace, Love and Joy!!

  THANK YOU JESUS                                             THANK YOU JESUS                                                                           THANK YOU JESUS                                        
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on October 09, 2021, 09:14:03 AM
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

This is why we should rejoice in adversity because it shows us that God is seeking our attention and desires our hearts that He may cleanse and transform us into His character. None of us have arrived yet. We all are in need of the transforming power of Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on October 10, 2021, 08:35:00 PM
Amen!  We must maintain our full heart surrender to Christ every day every minute if we want to glorify our Savior! What is the lesson for us today? what was the main theme being presented?  I don't often quote a lot, but I think the last three paragraphs emphasize what we are to understand as it applies to us today.

  While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   
     At the time of the birth of Christ the nation was chafing under the rule of her foreign masters, and racked with internal strife. The Jews had been permitted to maintain the form of a separate government; but nothing could disguise the fact that they were under the Roman yoke, or reconcile them to the restriction of their power. The Romans claimed the right of appointing and removing the high priest, and the office was often secured by fraud, bribery, and even murder. Thus the priesthood became more and more corrupt. Yet the priests still possessed great power, and they employed it for selfish and mercenary ends. The people were subjected to their merciless demands, and were also heavily taxed by the Romans. This state of affairs caused widespread discontent. Popular outbreaks were frequent. Greed and violence, distrust and spiritual apathy, were eating out the very heart of the nation.
     Hatred of the Romans, and national and spiritual pride, led the Jews still to adhere rigorously to their forms of worship. The priests tried to maintain a reputation for sanctity by scrupulous attention to the ceremonies of religion. The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. 

How often to we come in contact with those who interpret Scripture in accordance with their selfish desires? No need to comment on what was written. We just need to understand this chapter was written for our benefit. These were the "chosen people" as we are God's chosen people. It guarantees nothing to individuals because they are in the church.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on January 03, 2022, 08:40:52 PM
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation."

"If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor."

"But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

"The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. "

"But the Sinless One has taken our place. "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6."

"He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest."

"The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear."

"He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart. "

Will we today accept His wonderful offer and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to be a True Witness in 2022 ?

The following expresses what I want my life to be in 2022 Will You Join with me?


Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,

2
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,

3
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,

4
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,

5
Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,

6
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Lyrics:Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)
Music:Henri Abraham Cesar Malan (1787-1864)


Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on January 04, 2022, 09:41:48 PM
Amen Brother Beacon!! We want to give all we have and all we are to our Savior!!

 For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour's coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them "as a root out of a dry ground;" He had "no form nor comeliness;" and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Isaiah 53:2; John 1:11.

How could this be? It is important for us to understand. We have been walking in the of Israel.

   They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on March 31, 2022, 08:10:43 PM
"In every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour's life on earth...

We see "God with us."

"Satan represents God's law of love as a law of selfishness.

"He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts. "


"The fall of our first parents, with all the woe that has resulted, he charges upon the Creator, leading men to look upon God as the author of sin, and suffering, and death."

"Jesus was to unveil this deception. "

"As one of us He was to give an example of obedience."

"For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences."


"In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren." Heb. 2:17.

Sometimes in our earthly journey we are tempted to become discouraged and give up, but when we look at our Saviour and see what He went through to secure a place for us in His Eternal Kingdom how thankful we should be to know that He has walked through the valley of the shadow of death and came forth victorious. This is His Promise to Each One of Us....


Psalm 23 King James Version, says...

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on April 01, 2022, 05:19:39 AM
  "After the return from Babylon, much attention was given to religious instruction. All over the country, synagogues were erected, where the law was expounded by the priests and scribes. And schools were established, which, together with the arts and sciences, professed to teach the principles of righteousness. But these agencies became corrupted. During the captivity, many of the people had received heathen ideas and customs, and these were brought into their religious service. In many things they conformed to the practices of idolaters."

As I read this portion of our reading I couldn't help but reflect on where we are today in comparison to the children of Israel. (same problem, different issues) We need to be praying for revival and reformation in our own lives as well as for God's church. God's true remnant will be as a lighthouse on a dark stormy night warning those in peril and guiding them to safety found in an abiding relationship with Jesus.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 01, 2022, 01:02:56 PM
Amen, Brother Beacon and Sister Dorine!

Praise the Lord for God's grace and His promise to send Jesus the second time! We can learn some major parallels in prophetic application by studying the experience of God's people at the time of Christ's first coming and comparing it to God's people today. May we seek redemption from sin so we can be ready to meet Jesus when He returns in power and great glory, rather than merely desiring to be free from the trials and troubles of the world in which we live. As we realize the true import and meaning of the Scriptures, we can surrender the whole heart to Jesus so He can manifest through us all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing as we gladly obey all the light of His revealed truth given to us!

"While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour." {The Desire of Ages, page 29, paragraph 4}   

May we not be tricked into preparing for the wrong Messiah by having our hopes set in the wrong direction. Before Christ's actual coming in power and glory with all of His holy angels, the devil will counterfeit Christ's coming on the earth (but he will not be able to counterfeit its manner, for the devil will not be found coming from heaven with all the angels). The devil, appearing like Christ on the earth in harmony with the world's powers that enforced the mark of the beast will be seeking to unite the world in acceptance of the false Sabbath, Sunday, in opposition to the plain teaching of Scripture that the seventh day of the week, from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, is the true Sabbath that has never been changed and is still God's sign of rest and worship in Christ. Only a living faith surrender in Christ is enough to prepare us for what is coming on this earth before Jesus returns the second time!! 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on April 01, 2022, 07:11:00 PM
Amen Pastor Sean!  As I read this morning, I saw little good in this chapter. But, I did find some. While Israel brought reproach upon God, His Word, and His church, there was some good being done. There were some, despite the corruption of the gospel message. Today's reading is a warning to modern day Israel who as Sister Dorine has pointed out, shares many of the wrongs done in ancient Israel. But, she has seen what we can take away from our lesson today. At first I did not see it, but in reality she saw what I saw.

  Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation. If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor." "All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6. But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation.
     They were brought into subjection to Babylon, and scattered through the lands of the heathen. In affliction many renewed their faithfulness to His covenant. While they hung their harps upon the willows, and mourned for the holy temple that was laid waste, the light of truth shone out through them, and a knowledge of God was spread among the nations. The heathen systems of sacrifice were a perversion of the system that God had appointed; and many a sincere observer of heathen rites learned from the Hebrews the meaning of the service divinely ordained, and in faith grasped the promise of a Redeemer.   

Some were converted when God disciplined them through adversity and humiliation. The "light of truth shone out through them, and a knowledge of God was spread among the nations." And so it is in our day. If we will seek wisdom from God and not man, He will teach us as He did the few in Israel. Revival and reformation will come to all who will give up their pride and all that they are and all that they have.

Have a blessed Sabbath dear friends. Jesus is coming soon!!

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on June 26, 2022, 08:00:44 PM
"At the time of the birth of Christ the nation was chafing under the rule of her foreign masters, and racked with internal strife."

"The Jews had been permitted to maintain the form of a separate government; but nothing could disguise the fact that they were under the Roman yoke, or reconcile them to the restriction of their power."

"Yet the priests still possessed great power, and they employed it for selfish and mercenary ends. The people were subjected to their merciless demands, and were also heavily taxed by the Romans."

"This state of affairs caused widespread discontent."

"Popular outbreaks were frequent. Greed and violence, distrust and spiritual apathy, were eating out the very heart of the nation."

"The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel."

"They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight."

"Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming."

"Pride obscured their vision."

"They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires."

As I read the last 4 sentences I couldn't help but wonder if "WE" aren't somewhat in the same Spiritual Condition? As we once again begin to re-read The Desire of Ages I believe it's time for me to do a deep introspection into my life and I invite you to do the same. God Bless You.

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

"Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
    Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
    Spirit Divine!
2
Open my ears that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
3
Open my mouth and let me bear
Tidings of mercy everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
4
Open my mind that I may read
More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
Only for light from Thee I plead."

Lyrics:Clara H. Scott
Music:Clara H. Scott


 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on June 27, 2022, 09:42:40 PM
Yes, dear Brother Beacon!  I too could not remain quiet about this truth.

    Hatred of the Romans, and national and spiritual pride, led the Jews still to adhere rigorously to their forms of worship. The priests tried to maintain a reputation for sanctity by scrupulous attention to the ceremonies of religion. The people, in their darkness and oppression, and the rulers, thirsting for power, longed for the coming of One who would vanquish their enemies and restore the kingdom to Israel. They had studied the prophecies, but without spiritual insight. Thus they overlooked those scriptures that point to the humiliation of Christ's first advent, and misapplied those that speak of the glory of His second coming. Pride obscured their vision. They interpreted prophecy in accordance with their selfish desires. 

My thought brought out that the sin and ruin of a nation (Israel) was due to their religious leaders. What was the problem? Pride. Self was alive in many of the leaders, they needed to be born again of the Spirit. They were rich and increased with goods, but knew not they were miserable, wretched, poor, blind and naked. Oh that we might not forget the God we love.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Beacon on September 20, 2022, 08:31:24 PM
"Had Israel been true to God, He could have accomplished His purpose through their honor and exaltation."

"If they had walked in the ways of obedience, He would have made them "high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor."

"All people of the earth," said Moses, "shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." "The nations which shall hear all these statutes" shall say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." Deuteronomy 26:19;  28:10; Deuteronomy 4:6."

"But because of their unfaithfulness, God's purpose could be wrought out only through continued adversity and humiliation."

Is there a correlation between this reading and what we see in the church of our generation??

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

1
Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
    Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
    Spirit Divine!
2
Open my ears that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
3
Open my mouth and let me bear
Tidings of mercy everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
4
Open my mind that I may read
More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
Only for light from Thee I plead.

Lyrics & Music : Clara H. Scott

 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Dorine on September 21, 2022, 05:20:29 AM
"By the Babylonish captivity the Israelites were effectually cured of the worship of graven images. During the centuries that followed, they suffered from the oppression of heathen foes, until the conviction became fixed that their prosperity depended upon their obedience to the law of God. But with too many of the people obedience was not prompted by love. The motive was selfish. They rendered outward service to God as the means of attaining to national greatness. They did not become the light of the world, but shut themselves away from the world in order to escape temptation to idolatry. In the instruction given through Moses, God had placed restrictions upon their association with idolaters; but this teaching had been misinterpreted. It was intended to prevent them from conforming to the practices of the heathen. But it was used to build up a wall of separation between Israel and all other nations. The Jews looked upon Jerusalem as their heaven, and they were actually jealous lest the Lord should show mercy to the Gentiles."

Oh the patience and forbearance of our precious Saviour. He will never leave or forsake those who are abiding in Him. The church may appear as if it's about to fall but we have the promise that God will take a remnant through to the end. Those who do not have a personal relationship with Him will be sifted out. At the same time many more will pour in. We need to be praying daily and working for our loved ones that are not united with Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Philip T on September 21, 2022, 10:34:09 AM
  While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   

The Jews were not ready for Christs 1st Advent, they did not understand His mission when he came, they were not seeking redemption from sin. Are we today in the same category, not understanding Jesus last commission to his disciples, are we content in living our lives half converted to Jesus? Will we be ready when He comes in the clouds of glory at His 2nd Advent. or will we like the Jewish nation be so busy with our own plans and lives we have no room for Him. I pray we are not in that state.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 22, 2022, 06:27:13 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon, Sister Dorine, and Brother Philip!

Don't lose it. If you have known the pardoning love of Christ and chosen Christ and His loveliness, do not let other things come in between you and Jesus and separate you from knowing His love by a personal experience of His grace through faith changing you into His image! By surrendering the whole heart to Him and giving Jesus our will back to Him, He has power and grace to fill us with His Spirit so not one of the fruits of the Spirit will be missing in our lives as we grow in His grace to be more like Him!

"As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy." {The Desire of Ages, page 29, paragraph 2}

Jesus can help us guard against the mistakes the Jews made on the verge of Christ's first coming as we are very very near HIS SECOND COMING!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--2--The Chosen People
Post by: Richard Myers on September 22, 2022, 11:02:43 AM

The Jews were not ready for Christs 1st Advent, they did not understand His mission when he came, they were not seeking redemption from sin. Are we today in the same category, not understanding Jesus last commission to his disciples, are we content in living our lives half converted to Jesus?

Amen Brother Philip! My thoughts also. Israel is an ensample for those whom the end of the world is come, us. We have delayed His coming by our not understanding His mission to transform His people into His image (2 Cor. 3:18).

    While the Jews desired the advent of the Messiah, they had no true conception of His mission. They did not seek redemption from sin, but deliverance from the Romans. They looked for the Messiah to come as a conqueror, to break the oppressor's power, and exalt Israel to universal dominion. Thus the way was prepared for them to reject the Saviour.   

Many have been taught that they are saved in their sin. That is to say that when one sins, he does not need to be brought to repentance in order to have eternal life. One of our ministers teaches this: "The monstrous teaching in the Seventh-day Adventist Church is that when one sins, he must be re-justified." It is a common teaching in the Seventh-day Adventist Church as it is in Babylon. God's grace is powerful enough to cleanse His church from sin. Not all we be cleansed, but He will have a church that will cease to sin so that He can finish cleansing the heavenly Sanctuary and say "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:11,12. 

Let us hasten that day!!