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The King of Kings => The Desire of Ages => Topic started by: Richard Myers on February 08, 2016, 05:38:18 AM

Title: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on February 08, 2016, 05:38:18 AM
"Except Ye See Signs and Wonders"


Listen to "Except Ye See Signs and Wonders"

           



     The Galileans who returned from the Passover brought back the report of the wonderful works of Jesus. The judgment passed upon His acts by the dignitaries at Jerusalem opened His way in Galilee. Many of the people lamented the abuse of the temple and the greed and arrogance of the priests. They hoped that this Man, who had put the rulers to flight, might be the looked-for Deliverer. Now tidings had come that seemed to confirm their brightest anticipations. It was reported that the prophet had declared Himself to be the Messiah.   
     But the people of Nazareth did not believe on Him. For this reason, Jesus did not visit Nazareth on His way to Cana. The Saviour declared to His disciples that a prophet has no honor in his own country. Men estimate character by that which they themselves are capable of appreciating. The narrow and worldly-minded judged of Christ by His humble birth, His lowly garb, and daily toil. They could not appreciate the purity of that spirit upon which was no stain of sin. 
     The news of Christ's return to Cana soon spread throughout Galilee, bringing hope to the suffering and distressed. In Capernaum the tidings attracted the attention of a Jewish nobleman who was an officer in the king's service. A son of the officer was suffering from what seemed to be an incurable disease. Physicians had given him up to die; but when the father heard of Jesus, he determined to seek help from Him. The child was very low, and, it was feared, might not live till his return; yet the nobleman felt that he must present the case in person. He hoped that a father's prayers might awaken the sympathy of the Great Physician. 
     On reaching Cana he found a throng surrounding Jesus. With an anxious heart he pressed through to the Saviour's presence. His faith faltered when he saw only a plainly dressed man, dusty and worn with travel. He doubted that this Person could do what he had come to ask of Him; yet he secured an interview with Jesus, told his errand, and besought the Saviour to accompany him to his home. But already his sorrow was known to Jesus. Before the officer had left his home, the Saviour had beheld his affliction.   
     But He knew also that the father had, in his own mind, made conditions concerning his belief in Jesus. Unless his petition should be granted, he would not receive Him as the Messiah. While the officer waited in an agony of suspense, Jesus said, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." 
     Notwithstanding all the evidence that Jesus was the Christ, the petitioner had determined to make his belief in Him conditional on the granting of his own request. The Saviour contrasted this questioning unbelief with the simple faith of the Samaritans, who asked for no miracle or sign. His word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their hearts. Christ was pained that His own people, to whom the Sacred Oracles had been committed, should fail to hear the voice of God speaking to them in His Son. 
     Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation, and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation. They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace.   
     Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26. 
     Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. 
     At the same hour the watchers beside the dying child in the home at Capernaum beheld a sudden and mysterious change. The shadow of death was lifted from the sufferer's face. The flush of fever gave place to the soft glow of returning health. The dim eyes brightened with intelligence, and strength returned to the feeble, emaciated frame. No signs of his malady lingered about the child. His burning flesh had become soft and moist, and he sank into a quiet sleep. The fever had left him in the very heat of the day. The family were amazed, and great was the rejoicing.   
     Cana was not so far from Capernaum but that the officer might have reached his home on the evening after his interview with Jesus; but he did not hasten on the homeward journey. It was not until the next morning that he reached Capernaum. What a homecoming was that! When he went to find Jesus, his heart was heavy with sorrow. The sunshine seemed cruel to him, the songs of the birds a mockery. How different his feelings now! All nature wears a new aspect. He sees with new eyes. As he journeys in the quiet of the early morning, all nature seems to be praising God with him. While he is still some distance from his own dwelling, servants come out to meet him, anxious to relieve the suspense they are sure he must feel. He shows no surprise at the news they bring, but with a depth of interest they cannot know he asks at what hour the child began to mend. They answer, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." At the very moment when the father's faith grasped the assurance, "Thy son liveth," divine love touched the dying child.
     The father hurries on to greet his son. He clasps him to his heart as one restored from the dead, and thanks God again and again for this wonderful restoration.
     The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry.   
     He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love. 
     The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us "exceeding abundantly," "according to the riches of His glory," and "the working of His mighty power." Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on February 08, 2016, 06:03:43 AM
There is an important lesson for us learn from the wonderful truth here presented.  What does conversion, the new birth, have to do with the desire of this nobleman that his son be healed? Is the request selfish or unselfish? What is it that causes us to turn to Jesus before we are converted? Is the heart evil or good before the new birth? What must we do in order to be saved?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on May 08, 2016, 08:05:34 AM
Here is a thought that will cause many to consider the condition of the heart. Is it possible for the heart to be cleansed? If so, at the end of life, or today?

The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love. 

There is much to study in this simple statement.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 08, 2016, 09:10:28 AM
I noticed your poignant questions in a previous post, Richard, and will here take them up:

You asked, "What does conversion, the new birth, have to do with the desire of this nobleman that his son be healed?" Examining the chapter, it becomes clear in the context of Scripture that this nobleman came to Christ unconverted, and not having experienced the new birth. The Holy Spirit was striving with him, though. The man came to Christ to seek healing for his son--but would not believe in Jesus as the Messiah unless his request was granted. Hence, his faith was not the kind of faith the Bible speaks of in relation to salvation, but a degree of faith as to Jesus' power to heal.

You also asked, "Is the request selfish or unselfish?" This is simple--"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). All we can do apart from Jesus is polluted by sin and selfishness. It can be nothing but that--yet Christ draws upon the selfish heart to long for something greater....and the nobleman was experiencing that striving with His heart by the work of the Holy Spirit.

You then asked, "What is it that causes us to turn to Jesus before we are converted?" Before conversion, we are not fully aware of our sinfulness, and we turn to Christ because "the goodness of God" leads us "to repentance" (Romans 2:4).  It is God's leading more than our own power--but the soul submits to this leading, even in its selfish state. That process/experience is the greatest miracle accomplished by divine power (grace): it is the transformation of an enemy of God into a saint. The person whose heart was once selfish and evil receives a new heart through the agency of the Holy Spirit. A new being is begotten in the sight of God. Wondrous love!

Also, you asked, "Is the heart evil or good before the new birth?" This is simple from Scripture, and in the Spirit of Prophecy, many texts are linked together in this powerful paragraph: "By nature the heart is evil, and “who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” Job 14:4. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Romans 8:7; Matthew 15:19. The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit." {DA 172.1}.

I also appreciated your second, more recent post from today. The statement to which you refer, Richard, is indeed a stark indictment upon the selfish, unrenewed heart. The human heart is so liable to self-deception, and only those who constantly see their need of Jesus, and cling to Him continually, will be kept from the unhallowed effects of self-love and the works of the flesh.

There are many in the church today that are in just such a spiritual condition as was the nobleman. Of them, the Laodicean message is fully applicable:

"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; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue 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: 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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. 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." (Revelation 3:14-21).

If Jesus is on the outside of the heart seeking entrance, then He is not abiding in the heart, and the heart is still unregenerate and selfish. But the moment a soul makes a complete surrender and allows Christ entrance, the heart is made new, Jesus transforms the nature, and one becomes a partaker of the divine nature through faith.

Selfishness can so blind a person that they may not even realize the evil of seeking Christ for merely personal, selfish gain. Jesus knows all about this--He turns no self-seeking one away, but seeks to lead us to see our need of His grace to change the heart, so that the very reason for which we came to Him may be cleansed away. Thus, instead our petitions (from the renewed heart) are coming to Him as the expression of grateful love and trust, not of putting God to the test (as was the case of the nobleman in initially seeking Christ, who made conditions of accepting Christ upon the granting of his own request).

Earlier in the chapter, Ellen White makes clear that the nobleman's degree of faith was much akin to others in Israel:

"Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation, and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation. They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace."   

Reading this statement can remind us clearly of the spiritual condition of many within the Seventh-day Adventist church. Jesus is calling for repentance, for revival, reformation, and true conversion. We can praise the Lord that the very trials that seem to indicate that God has forsaken us can be the very means for allowing a person to see the evil of the unregenerate heart (whether they have their name on the church books is not the issue--the issue is whether one is abiding in Christ and experiencing the new birth each day, for the apostle Paul said, "I die daily" (1 Corinthians 15:31)--the evidence of the new birth is simple--all the fruits of the Spirit are seen in the life, and not one is missing. Like light containing every hue of the spectrum, for "God is light" (1 John 1:5) , it is impossible for the light of His presence to remain hidden if the heart is truly made new by His presence. Hallelujah! The Christian life is an easy yoke so long as we are allied to the power of omnipotence through divine grace!

Clearly, not seeing one's need is itself a lost condition. So we have something very deep going on in this short chapter--the fact that Christ does something to heal the child, but ultimately seeks to lead the nobleman to see His need of a pure heart. It is not enough to have a mere "degree of faith"--but once the soul makes a COMPLETE SURRENDER, it can truly be said that "when we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing" {DA 676.4}--and that is the experience of the new heart.

Thankfully, the story of the nobleman ends in true conversion:

"The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry."

Hence why today we can praise God for the trials He allows--if we are unconverted, it can help lead us to see the evil of our hearts and our need of true conversion; if we are converted, the trials can be the means of allowing Christ to more fully refine us in His image. And if we are converted, but in the trial we fall out of conversion by indulging in murmuring, distrust, fear, repining, or any other of the works of the flesh, we can be brought by the Holy Spirit to conversion again (be re-justified). In confession of our sin and despair of all self-dependence, we are enabled to enter into a deeper repentance, as through the experience we come to realize more fully our need to stay close to Jesus and abide in Him. Look and live!

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on May 09, 2016, 01:56:05 PM
Amen, Pastor Sean.

This lesson Christ laid before us is very instructive. First, we are told the nobleman was unconverted and his motive was selfish. Pastor Sean has pointed out the verse that equates this with an evil heart. The unrenewed heart is" deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." This is not the heart of a converted Christian which many say it is. A converted Christian's heart is holy because he is a partaker of God's divine nature. The Holy Spirit is indwelling the heart. How was the man converted? How was his heart cleansed and made new? We are told. My comments in navy.

     Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; (but not saving faith) for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation (which he did not possess), and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace (we are saved by grace) of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation (they were Laodicean). They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace (they were Laodicean, lost, and did not know it. The same condition applies to the church today).   
     Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. (In a moment he saw his heart was evil) He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. (he is convicted of sin, but that does not cleanse the heart) His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26.   Like Jacob, he clung to Christ knowing He was who He said He was, the Son of God.

This is so very revealing to a people who need to understand the gospel and what it means to be converted daily. The man approached Jesus feeling very good, just as had Nicodemus. But, when he understood he was playing a dangerous game, he understood it might cost his son's life. He was convicted of his selfishness. He then turned to Jesus with his whole heart knowing Jesus could heal him. We are told that he now trusted Jesus with all of his heart. He held nothing back, but laid it all on the line. This is what it means to be in a converted state. It comes when we know God to be God and see His divine grace. He loved Jesus with his whole heart  because knew at that moment, Jesus loved him, as unworthy as he was.

If only more of our brothers and sisters would take time to behold our loving Savior each day, we would see a rapid revival and reformation in the church. One cannot remain apart from Christ when he sees such great love.

It is such a blessing to be able to share what Jesus is revealing to each of us. I am not a prophet, but I believe we will see this forum on the Desire of Ages grow rapidly as each of us share with others our great need of spending that thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Christ, and the great blessings that come when we do.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on August 03, 2016, 06:01:04 AM
I am so thankful for this chapter, and as I have come to understand the connection of the fruits of the Spirit (not one being missing in the renewed heart), when I read the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, I get excited when I see one or two of them pop up, because that is evidence that the others MUST be there if the one or two is truly genuine! We see this in the nobleman's experience:

Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. 

If the peace and joy are truly from Jesus and abiding in the heart, then there will also be love, peace, long-suffering, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance! When we have Jesus in the heart, He comes with all of His divine nature! The fruits of the Spirit ARE the manifestation of the divine nature in the life of the surrendered believer in Jesus! Hallelujah! May your life today in Him be fruitful in a saving faith working by love (and all the fruits of the Spirit without one missing!).
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on August 03, 2016, 08:12:16 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean!  This chapter is for a Laodicean people. It would be good for all to prayerfully read it. For one who remains in a Laodicean condition needs first to see their need of Jesus. That means they need to see their selfishness. Before self can be conquered, we must see we are in bondage to it. Then, we will understand we have  no power to escape the corruption in our flesh. It is only through an entire surrender to Jesus that we can resist the temptations that come through the flesh. 

Jesus wants to help us today, just as He helped the nobleman see his evil heart.

    He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love. 

We must renounce our selfishness. It is only possible through His grace. And, fortunately, His grace is as thick around us as the air we breathe. How do we receive it? By beholding the loveliness of Jesus. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ.  Well....I am preaching to the choir. Those who are not here, may not hear the counsel. But, those who are reading in this topic, are beholding the loveliness of Jesus and will be blessed. It is a spiritual and an intellectual truth that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to that which it spends time seeing. If we spend time each day with Jesus, beholding His great love, we shall  be transformed in character. His character will become ours. It is a Bible promise!

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 29, 2016, 07:07:36 AM
Amen, Richard! What a blessing we get to experience by beholding Jesus! Truly, our need is great, but so is His grace and power to change the heart and make it pure and holy! What a gift He bestows!

 The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry.   

May we realize that our "trials mean benefit" {MB 11.3}, that not only ourselves, but those around us may see the power of God's grace and give their hearts to Jesus fully! Trials that lead to conversions are indeed great blessings! When we do give the heart fully to Christ to cleanse and purify, He fills us with all of the fruits of His Spirit--not one will be missing! Praise the Lord!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on October 29, 2016, 09:04:01 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean! What meaneth this:  "Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family"?  As the pastor has said, at conversion there is a new life, old things are passed away, and each of the fruits of His Spirit are seen in the life, not one is missing. Jesus tells us that unless this happens we shall not see the kingdom of God. We must have the heart purified as happens at a true conversion from sinner to saint. "Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8   .
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: JimB on January 24, 2017, 05:33:09 AM
Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer.

What a precious promise I see in this. She said the "Savior cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him,..."  This is what we need to learn to do. For nobleman, however, something else needed to happen for him to get to that point. He needed to see his need and lack, so like the nobleman we need to understand our need. Then we can reach out in faith like he did. Below it's stated better than I can.

Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 24, 2017, 05:36:37 AM
Amen, Jim! Jesus was drawing the nobleman to see that he needed conversion, a change of heart, a faith that was willing to believe without placing selfish conditions upon God, but accepted the Messiah as the Savior from sin!

Conversion is the result of a long, protracted process of wooing by the Holy Spirit. The nobleman was being drawn, and Jesus wanted him to experience not just physical healing for his son, but the healing of the soul--the conversion that can only take place when we make an entire surrender to God of heart and mind so He can purify us and make us holy, bearing the fruits of the Spirit without one missing. When we have Jesus in the heart, we have the blessing we need most!

The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us "exceeding abundantly," "according to the riches of His glory," and "the working of His mighty power." Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19.

The most important promises we find in GOd's word relate to His ability to make us new creatures, to give us a hatred for sin, and to give us a new heart. A few promises that we can ask God to fulfill in our lives today:

Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

We can ask God to give us a hatred for sin--and this comes as Christ abides in the heart!

Ezekiel 36:26 "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."

He will give us a new heart--not when we make terms with God or only partially surrender, but when realizing our weakness and sinfulness, we come to Him just as we are and accept Him to take our old, stony hearts and give us new hearts that reveal His character. He is able to do this! What a miracle!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on January 24, 2017, 06:52:14 AM
Amen and amen!  It is amazing how a short chapter like this one can awaken to us the most important truth we can hope to learn, our need of Jesus and His desire and ability to fulfill it. As we read this story it reveals much. For me, it says that there is much I will lose when I cease to hold onto Christ. We may wish to excuse our lapses of clinging to Jesus, but today we see that what God wants is for us to plead with Jesus to grant us our petitions. This means that God will bring us to points where we must trust Him with all the heart when we cannot see with our human eyes. This is not some idle lesson, but one of life, eternal life.

Also was presented a truth that we seldom hear being preached, the motive for coming to Jesus before one is converted. Since we can do no good thing until we receive a new cleansed heart, how is it that any come to Christ? What brought this father to Jesus in the first place? Why have we gone to Jesus so very often before and after conversion? Is not for something we desire? And, when our hearts are carnal is that desire we seek not selfish? It must be if we are not born of the Spirit.

The motive is what reveals the truth. When converted, the motive is pure and holy. When we do not make a full surrender to Jesus, then self is in control and the motives are selfish. Is this not a frightening thought? That when seeking God's help, we could be doing it from a selfish motive, in which case we are in great danger of not having our prayer answered. But, the point that I see being made is that before conversion, the sinner is seeking help for a selfish reason, and that is not bad, but good. If it were not for my selfishness, I would have not come to Christ. Fleeing to Christ for a selfish reason enables Jesus to get our attention. There are no atheists in foxholes when the bombs begin to fall. It is then that Jesus can reveal to us our selfishness and our great need  of Him.

     Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation, and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation. They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace.   

There is anther truth revealed here that many either have not seen or refuse to believe. That which draws us to Christ in the first place is a measure of faith that He may be able to grant our petition. This does not come from a converted heart, but is given to all men prior to conversion. "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3. This leads us to Christ, but what we need is more faith, we need "saving faith." We must believe Jesus with the whole heart, not 90% as some believe. The whole heart must be given to Him. We must believe He is who He says He is, and His promises are ours. Jesus tells us the first great commandment that so many forget or reject: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Mark 12:30.

And to complete the lesson of salvation we then ask "what must I do to receive this "saving faith"? What does Scripture say? "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. Why? Because before we can trust Jesus with the whole heart, mind, and soul, we must know Him. The Word is a revelation of Christ. As we spend a thoughtful hour each day, what is it we are seeking to know? Or better yet, who is it we are seeking to know? Well....if we have the right gospel, we are spending our time contemplating the life of Christ, for it is by beholding Him, that we are transformed into His character (2 Cor. 3:18). He is to be at the center of our lives, our words, and our thoughts.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: JimB on April 21, 2017, 05:09:47 AM
But the people of Nazareth did not believe on Him. For this reason, Jesus did not visit Nazareth on His way to Cana. The Saviour declared to His disciples that a prophet has no honor in his own country. Men estimate character by that which they themselves are capable of appreciating. The narrow and worldly-minded judged of Christ by His humble birth, His lowly garb, and daily toil. They could not appreciate the purity of that spirit upon which was no stain of sin.

....

 On reaching Cana he found a throng surrounding Jesus. With an anxious heart he pressed through to the Saviour's presence. His faith faltered when he saw only a plainly dressed man, dusty and worn with travel. He doubted that this Person could do what he had come to ask of Him;

Under similar circumstances of the nobleman's life I'm not pretending to say that I'd be much better off but I would hope that I would be. How differently does God judge the person versus the world. There is another example of this in the Old Testament.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

We can not judge the heart like God can however we can treat people with respect and love no matter their circumstances. It may be that some poor man or woman struggling on the poverty stricken streets of Calcutta has a more noble character than those educated in the church.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:




Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 21, 2017, 05:42:26 AM
Amen, Jim! God measures us not by the amount of light we have received, but the use we make of what we have. Those who know less of God but respond to the light He shines on them through nature, providence, and a limited understanding of the Bible may stand nearer to God than those who have had great light, but have not walked in it. Light is a blessing--as it is applied!

I appreciated the persistence of the nobleman, and we see a picture of how grace triumphed in his experience over unbelief:

   Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. 

Do we trust Christ to redeem us from OUR SIN? Do we trust Christ to cleans OUR HEARTS? Unbelief shuts Jesus out, or puts conditions upon belief. We must come to Christ just as we are, and surrender all as the loveliness of Jesus is unfolded to us!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on April 21, 2017, 08:14:01 PM
Amen, Jim and Pastor Sean.  These truths are needful in our day. Why is it that so many do not hear the voice of God speaking through His Word? Why is a sign needful when we have the Holy Spirit calling continually?

His word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their hearts. Christ was pained that His own people, to whom the Sacred Oracles had been committed, should fail to hear the voice of God speaking to them in His Son. 

Grace surrounds us, yet it is not sought out. Why not? As a people, we do not see our need of it.  :(
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: JimB on July 17, 2017, 04:52:17 AM
This might seem a little odd but this morning I'm going to start my comment with a quote from a different chapter. I do this because the title of today's chapter caught my attention this morning.... Except Ye See Signs and Wonders

The religious leaders of the day wanted miracles as proof and yet as the story goes on we discover that not even a person rising from the dead is "proof" enough to convince them. They even accuse Christ of working miracles through satan. So now I ask the leading question... is there something better than miracles? The answer is yes and we find it in the previous chapter called "The Temptation". Here it is..

 But that which is greater than all miracles, a firm reliance upon a “Thus saith the Lord,” was a sign that could not be controverted. So long as Christ held to this position, the tempter could gain no advantage. {DA 120.1}

A firm reliance on the Word of God is greater than miracles. What a thought. Such a simple thing is greater than witnessing the supernatural? How can this be? It's because miracles don't change people character but the Word of God does.

In this chapter Christ in His great mercy still performs the miracle sought not to prove who He is but because of who He is and the belief of the one asking for the miracle.

 Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26.
     Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. 

What a gracious God we serve. Christ didn't immediately answer the request because to do so would have left the man in the same state he was before. But Christ wanted something more. He desired salvation for this man. So Christ in His mercy bared the soul of the man and then the man saw his own great need and in faith reached out to Christ and Christ delivered.

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 17, 2017, 06:24:55 AM
Amen, Jim! We are selfish by nature and will be unable to truly seek Christ from selfless motives until we are converted (fully surrendered). God knows this about us. He knows that the fear of punishment (the reality of a hell to shun) and the desire for reward (heaven, or in the case of the nobleman, the desired healing of his son). But even though these are realities, Christ desires to cleanse the heart from the very motives that often lead us to seek him when we are in an unconverted state. Isn't God amazing? He knows us so well, and yet He sets up a plan of redemption intended to draw the selfish (unconverted--for even we are in need of blessings from God), so that they may be converted (and only then can they seek God from pure, undefiled motives because Christ has regenerated the heart). And for the Laodicean, one who has great light and yet does not realize that his or her heart is selfish because they are not beholding the loveliness of Jesus in full surrender, they are in need of the very thing our chapter described today:

  He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love.

The natural, evil, unbelieving heart must be yielded fully to Christ, cleansed and made new, so we can in purity "trust ourselves wholly to His love"--it is not natural to trust God on His conditions, and we are liable of seeking God from impure motives if we do not recognize our CONTINUAL NEED of Jesus to abide in the heart and make us new--moment-by-moment!!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on July 17, 2017, 09:09:54 AM
Amen and amen!!   

     Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish.

Let us look again at an important truth that has been perverted, not by liberals, but by many who call themselves "conservatives." In an effort to battle against the great deception that we are saved (retain our justification) when sinning, they have opened a new door whereby sin is sanctioned.

We are evil by nature. We come into this world evil by nature and can do no good thing until converted. Thus, our selfish motives lead us to find a way to come out from under the condemnation we are under when we in our fallen nature have sinned. The law is our schoolmaster to point us to Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life. He is the only answer. When we make a full surrender of the evil heart that is wicked by nature, Jesus will give us a new heart and a new Spirit. The flesh remains evil, but not the heart. Take a look again at the quote Pastor Sean has shared from today's lesson: "He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace."

We do not make our hearts evil,  we come into the world separated from God with a fallen nature that is selfish and can do no good thing. How can anyone believing in the Bible believe anything else? Especially those who have been entrusted with the writings of a modern day prophet. As Pastor Sean has pointed out, we need to learn of God so we can trust Him with the whole heart. What happens when we make a full surrender to the One who has proved His love for us? We are given a "new heart". Don't let anyone decive you on this point. The new heart is a new heart that Jesus has cleansed as white as snow even though it was unholy and filthy. Even though as sins be as scarlet, Jesus will forgive us and cleanse us. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin...   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:7,9. Read again, Ezekiel 36:26. This is the new heart. What does this mean? Read Ezekiel 36:27.

It is interesting that Satan has taken positions on both sides of this truth. He cares not what we believe as long as we do not accept the truth. Look at his lies. A man does not come into the world evil by nature. His heart is not evil. He can live without sin before conversion. Amazing!!

And how about this:  A man when fully surrendered to Jesus does not have a pure heart cleansed from all sin. There are still unknown sins. Only the 144,000 will know all, so they only will have pure hearts. This includes pride. Here the lie is seen to be a lie. No one who has pride in their heart will enter heaven, thus all who are truly converted will have their hearts cleansed of all pride. It is not left hidden in the heart fully surrendered to Christ. Satan has coupled this with the fact that when an unknown sin is seen, there is then given a period of time to overcome that sin while retaining salvation (justification). This contributes greatly to the church remaining in a Laodicean condition, for those who believe such a heresy believe they are "rich and increased with goods, but know not they are miserable, and wretched, and poor, and  blind, and naked."

Jim, I appreciate your comments. There is one miracle that happens after we behold the loveliness of Jesus that is the greatest of all miracles that is very persuasive.  That Jesus can cleanse my heart as white as snow and transform my character so I can do the things I ought to do and not do the things I ought not do. The greatest battle we shall even fight is the battle with self. Thy only way we can that battle, that is a daily matter, is to make Jesus our Rock, our Sanctuary, and our Fortress!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 12, 2017, 06:34:00 AM
I am so thankful for the power of the gospel to take the degree of faith that God gives each of us to help us come to the point of fully-surrendered SAVING FAITH, for His word declares, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3). The measure of faith God gives us needs to be brought in contact with the loveliness of Jesus, because if faith is like a car, love is like the gasoline, and prayer is the key to ignite the experience! When we are initially drawn to God, we come as we are--sinful, selfish, and with impure hearts. But when we really believe God's promises are FOR US, and allow Him to cleanse our heats from sin because we truly believe in His love unto salvation, then we have a greater blessing than just being promised heaven or a physical healing. The nobleman in John 4 wanted his son healed in order to know if Christ was the Messiah; Christ wanted him to believe because He was the Messiah, not to prove it. I am thankful that Jesus' loveliness has the power to draw selfish hearts to Him, so that we can be truly converted, and the unconverted evil heart of unbelief can be crucified with Christ, transformed by divine grace, and made pure by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who fills us with all of the fruits of God's character: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance! Not one of these fruits of the Spirit will be missing as long as we abide in Christ by saving faith!

"He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 3}

If the reason we are seeking Jesus is from a selfish motive, that does not mean we should stay away from Christ. No! No! We can do nothing of ourselves, we must come to Christ just as we are--but as we come, we are to acknowledge His cleansing grace by surrendering our will to Him, in trusting faith asking Him to give us selfless, pure hearts renewed by divine grace. God will do this for all, for His word shows us the power of saving faith:

"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8-9).   

Faith does purify the heart when we allow the Holy Spirit to come into us and make us new creatures in Christ Jesus. Let us praise God for the simplicity and power of the gospel to transform the selfish, unconverted heart into a selfless, converted heart! We are truly saved by grace through faith as we yield continually to Jesus! Grace is more than a word--it is to effect an experience in us as we behold Jesus in His loveliness!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on October 12, 2017, 07:48:49 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean. I like your object lesson. If love fuels the faith, then we need more of that love. Where can we find this love? It surrounds us as thick as the air we breathe. It is called grace. As Pastor Sean has said, we need to behold His grace. All around us is His grace. All that He has made is for us. We do not deserve one bit of it. He provides for all of our needs.  The sun, the rain, the pure air, the food we eat. All comes from the hand of God. Angels that excel in strength are at our hand to help us, to protect us. to answer our prayers in the very best way they can. Faith is fueled by this love (grace, the highest form of love). That is why the Bible says "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." The Word is a revelation of this love. The Word was made flesh. Yes, the Word is a revelation of Christ, and God is love. So, by spending a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ, we are obtaining that fuel that makes our faith a saving faith that produces good works.

To every person is given a degree of faith, a "measure of faith." But, this is not saving faith. Our faith must grow. It must reach the point where we trust God with all we are and all we have. Until this happens, we do not love God enough to overcome our selfishness. It is only when the whole heart is given fully to Christ that we have eternal life and can claim the promises of God which include the promise we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. When we make a fully surrender because we have saving faith, then we become a partaker of God's divine nature because the Holy Spirit has taken possession of the heart. He purifies that carnal heart and makes it as white as snow! What a miracle!!

     Notwithstanding all the evidence that Jesus was the Christ, the petitioner had determined to make his belief in Him conditional on the granting of his own request. The Saviour contrasted this questioning unbelief with the simple faith of the Samaritans, who asked for no miracle or sign. His word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their hearts. Christ was pained that His own people, to whom the Sacred Oracles had been committed, should fail to hear the voice of God speaking to them in His Son.
     Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith.

It is this "degree of faith" that is given to every man. All are without excuse for not using that small amount of faith to reach out and learn of Him who gave all that we might live. What a God we serve!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on January 07, 2018, 08:29:23 AM
     Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26. 

We are saved by grace through faith. The evangelicals say, just believe. What we see here, is saving faith. We must believe with a whole heart not part of it. We must love the Lord thy God with all of my heart not part of it.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 07, 2018, 10:21:27 AM
Amen, Richard!!

When we give the whole heart to Jesus, He has the power to transform our sufferings to bring other souls to Jesus!

The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ’s personal ministry. – {DA 200.2}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 04, 2018, 04:37:14 AM
God answers prayer, but we are to trust His character as the highest evidence of our acceptance with Him, not mere circumstantial experiences. May we have an ever-deepening trust in God by surrendering fully to Him moment-by-moment!

 "The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us 'exceeding abundantly,' 'according to the riches of His glory,' and 'the working of His mighty power.' Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 4}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on June 30, 2018, 03:01:44 AM
Where alone can true peace and joy be found? They are only found in Christ, and He imputes and imparts His righteousness to all who are fully surrendered to Him, who experience conversion. The story of the nobleman in John 4 presents a beautiful picture of how we are converted. We initially come to Christ (before conversion) in a selfish way, for that is how our natural hearts are by nature--evil and selfish (see Jeremiah 17:9). But by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, and seeing that He reads our hearts with such tender love, we can be converted (a new heart He gives us: see Ezekiel 36:26), the fruit of which is that all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in the converted, renewed heart and mind--not one will be missing. When in the Bible a person is described as receiving peace of joy, gentleness or any of the fruits of the Spirit, to truly possess one in its purity and completeness will bring all the others in its train, for it is impossible to have Christ in you and not also have His character. Christ in the law is seen, for we will gladly follow all the light of the law of God we know when our hearts are fully yielded to Jesus! What a joy to see how the nobleman moved from merely desiring the healing of his son, to allowing Christ's grace to redeem him from sin! May we give Christ full access to our hearts today in full surrender, that His love, joy and peace (along with all the other fruits of His Spirit) may be wrought out in us today!

"Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. 'Go thy way,' He said; 'thy son liveth.' The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer." {The Desire of Ages, page 198, paragraph 5}

 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on June 30, 2018, 09:20:17 AM
Amen Pastor Sean. I too was impressed with the truth that when we are unconverted, we often turn to Jesus because of a selfish need. When we turn to Him, and behold His loveliness, we see His grace and if it is allowed into the heart, we are converted.

He who blessed the nobleman at Capernium is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some Earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in his love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing then we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love.

We see here that the carnal heart (unconverted) is evil by nature. We come into the world with an evil heart that needs to be converted. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, we must be born again of the Spirit. It is by grace that we are saved. That grace surrounds us, but it must be taken into the heart in order to be born again. Love begets love. If we would spend a thoughtful hour a day learning of Him who gave all for us while we were yet sinners, we would by His stripes be healed.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: JimB on September 25, 2018, 07:46:21 AM
The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it.

This reminds me of a story I heard just last evening. The story went something like this (shortened for length). One day a son went to his father (who was also a pastor) and asked his father for a bike. The father said ok son you're old enough, I'll buy you a bike on my way home tomorrow. Then boy pressed his father again can it be blue? and his father replied in the affirmative. Then the boy went flying out the door and started shouting to the neighborhood kids and telling them that he has a new bike and that it's blue. So the kids asked to see it, oh he said I won't have it until tomorrow afternoon. The point was the son needed nothing more from his father but to hear the words and he trusted his father to follow through with what he promised him.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on September 25, 2018, 08:04:03 AM
Amen Jim! Saving faith is  trusting  God with all we have   and all  we are. There is no greater sin than "unbelief." Why then do we not believe what God says? There are conditions to having God answer prayer. Maybe we know we have not met the  conditions? 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 25, 2018, 09:22:34 AM
Jesus sees the whole picture--and what is in every heart. Jesus knew that the nobleman who initially came with a faith based on conditions would come to full surrender, and that Christ would be able to have him and his family as living witnesses in an area where He would be doing much more ministry. We can be encouraged to know that as Jesus saves us, He also plans to reveal more of Himself to us so we and our families may be living witnesses for Him!

"The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 2}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 21, 2018, 06:37:12 AM
God answers prayer--but the way in which He answers prayer is always for our best good, and in His perfect timing. When the nobleman came to Christ desiring that his son be healed, in his own mind the nobleman was making conditions of belief as to whether Jesus really was the Messiah. If Jesus did heal his son, then he would believe. But when we come to Christ, let us remember that He reads our thoughts and hearts like an open book. He knows what we need. We can be fully honest with Jesus and say we are struggling to believe (if that is where we are really at), but we are to remember that He wants to do more than we ask. The physical blessings are not nearly as important as the faith-deepening experience that is gained by realizing His love, and trusting fully to His grace to renew our hearts from any selfish motives, so that we can be like Him in mind and character--fully trusting that He will do what is best in His perfect time and way! The way Jesus handled the situation did not just heal the son of the nobleman--it helped the nobleman and his whole family come to conversion and a full trust in Jesus as the Messiah! That trial was truly sanctified for a wonderful purpose!

     "The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us 'exceeding abundantly,' 'according to the riches of His glory,' and 'the working of His mighty power.' Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 4}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Dorine on December 21, 2018, 02:55:45 PM
"He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love."

What a loving Saviour we serve. He knows what is best for our eternal good. While we may think that our motives are good He sees the selfishness attached to our requests. He then goes to work to bring us to a realization of our true condition. How I love the statement; "The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need."
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Beacon on March 18, 2019, 04:55:51 AM
"Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26.

" Oh for Grace to trust Him more!! - What great examples we find in the study of His Word - They are placed there for us to know that our faith is well placed in Him who said...." ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH" Mathew 28:18. By " FAITH" that power is available to ALL OF US who will CRY OUT - LORD I BELIEVE ---HELP THOU MY UNBELIEF!
 

"Like Jacob he prevailedThe Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. "

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on March 18, 2019, 07:26:03 AM
Amen Brother Beacon.  Grace causes us to search our hearts to see if there be any evil thing hidden there. Grace brings it to light if we want to know it. It is an interesting fact that until converted we can do no good thing. And when we are converted, we do no evil thing from the heart.

An important truth is revealed into today's reading.

     Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation, and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation. They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace.   
     Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish.

So it always is until we make a full heart surrender to Christ. We are evil by nature and do no good thing. Here we see what happens to convert the sinner into a saint. Jesus does not turn away the sinner because he is selfish, but rather He is drawing sinners to Himself. "If I be lifted up, I will draw all unto me."
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on March 18, 2019, 07:36:24 AM
Amen, Brothers Beacon and Richard!

Grace from Jesus reached the heart of the nobleman, and Christ was able to perform a miracle for his son in the same way that He works miracles today--by His divine word. As we cling to the promises of God and trust not to self, to circumstances, or to our own feelings, we can rely upon what He has promised and trust His word to bring us the "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4) so we are not left to struggle in our fallen flesh without the power to live above its clamors. I am so thankful for Jesus and His word today!

 "Notwithstanding all the evidence that Jesus was the Christ, the petitioner had determined to make his belief in Him conditional on the granting of his own request. The Saviour contrasted this questioning unbelief with the simple faith of the Samaritans, who asked for no miracle or sign. His word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their hearts. Christ was pained that His own people, to whom the Sacred Oracles had been committed, should fail to hear the voice of God speaking to them in His Son." {The Desire of Ages, page 198, paragraph 2}

If we want the evidence of Christ's divinity, we have it in His word. We need not wait for a certain miracle we may desire, or a certain situation to be resolved. We can come for the greatest of all blessings--the word of God's power to transform our hearts by grace as we trust in simple faith that God will do what He promises and that He loves us!   
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Dorine on March 18, 2019, 09:55:27 AM
"Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation, and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation. They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace."

The heart of Jesus for this nobleman is such an inspiration to me today. No matter how Jesus gets our attention He is ever ready to supply our need according to His will and much more than we even ask for. Why do we at times try to find answers ourselves before consulting the One who has all the answers?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Beacon on June 12, 2019, 06:54:39 PM
 "The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us 'exceeding abundantly,' 'according to the riches of His glory,' and 'the working of His mighty power.' Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19." {The Desire of Ages, page 200.}

"The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 2}[/b][/u]

This coming Sabbath Day it will be my privilege to share God's word with the remnant at Middleton, Nova Scotia, Canada and before doing so I will be praying and claiming the promises of God's Word as pointed out in the above paragraphs and that the message and not the messenger will be uplifted and that the hearts and minds of this congregation will be drawn closer to our Wonderful Councilor and Guide, Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour. Where ever you are on planet earth I wish each of you a very Blessed Sabbath Day when it begins this evening.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on June 13, 2019, 02:43:19 AM
Praise the Lord, Brother Beacon, for how God answers prayer and how we can share with others of His word!

It is so freeing to pray and believe that God will answer in the best way, and not put Him to the test to PROVE if He loves us, for the proof of God's love and goodness is eternally sure--in what He did for us on Calvary's cross!

"The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us 'exceeding abundantly,' 'according to the riches of His glory," and "the working of His mighty power.' Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 4}

God hears us when we pray, and we can trust Him to answer in the way that He knows best because He SO LOVED US that He sent Jesus to earth to be born as a helpless babe at the risk of failure and eternal loss, to live a perfect life by faith, and to die as our Sacrifice, rising with power over death that He gives to us! What love God has for us!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Beacon on September 05, 2019, 04:10:14 PM
"He who blessed the nobleman at Capernium is just as desirous of blessing us. But... like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some Earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in his love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing then we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love."

Our great need is to be able to see and love Jesus with complete faith and trust that when we are totally surrendered to Him, He will provide that which is best and for our eternal good. Sometimes His answer to our perceived needs and wants is " YES " Sometimes " WAIT " and Sometime " NO"  I love the words to this song from the church hymnal # 326  Open My Eyes...It's a prayer type song of total surrender and that's what what it's all about in our spiritual journey. 


326 – Open My Eyes That I May See

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 wavenotes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit Divine!

3
Open my mouth, and let me bear
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart, and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit Divine!


Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Dorine on September 06, 2019, 05:56:10 AM
  The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us "exceeding abundantly," "according to the riches of His glory," and "the working of His mighty power." Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19.

What a precious Saviour we serve. This was a very hard lesson for me to learn but praise God He never gave up. Grasping hold of His grace by faith will we see His promises fulfilled in our lives. It's an awful experience to feel that your prayers go no higher than the ceiling. Christ wants us to know Him as the compassionate friend that He is; yearning to do for us much more than we could ever imagine.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on September 06, 2019, 06:14:40 AM
Amen brother Beacon and Sister Dorine. When we know God as it is our privilege to know him, we will love him supremely. When we love him supremely, then we will trust him with all we have and all we are. This is conversion. In order for us to take this time with Jesus, we need to see our need. Most of humanity has no idea that they need a Savior in order to do any good thing. They do not see their deplorable condition, especially if they are in a church. The false teaching has led most of professing Christianity to believe they are "saved" just as they are.

The Laodicean message is applicable to most of Christianity. It most importantly is directed to God's church today. The message tells us that we are blind to our need. It is a deadly blindness that will lead to everlasting death unless the individual awakens to see his condition and follows the counsel given by Jesus in the Laodicean message. When Jesus says "repent" He means for us to see our sins and realize we are not in a converted state, but believe we are.

"Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation, and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation. They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace.

Yes, not only does the Laodicean condition apply to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it also applied to the Jews when Jesus came to His own and His own knew Him not. Even though the disciples did not understand the Lamb had to die, they spent enough time with Jesus that they loved Him supremely at times prior to the cross. It was the cross that revealed to them their great need of God's grace. When they did not believe Jesus to be their Messiah, they discovered how blind they had been. It was God in the flesh who they had the privilege of being with for 3 1/2 years. They did not treat Jesus as they ought to have. And, they deserted Him in the hour of His great need. Quite a revelation of their selfishness and unbelief. Do we see our continual need of Jesus in order to do any good thing? There are teachings in our church that lead us to believe we do not need Jesus every moment of every day in order to have salvation.

Our only hope is in seeing we are evil by nature and need Jesus all the time in order that self will remain dead. We will not receive holy flesh until Jesus comes. We live in fallen flesh and need to be partakers in the divine nature in order to keep that fallen flesh from acting out the sin that it loves. If we love Jesus supremely and look unto Him continually, then we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear, it is a promise to all who remain in a converted state, abiding in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 06, 2019, 09:21:18 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon, Sister Dorine and Brother Richard!

As we learn of Christ, we can appreciate the evidence of His divine character--His word! This is such an anchor for us, for it is by receiving the promises of God that we become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4)! We see in God's word the loveliness of Jesus' character, and the sight of Him attracts us to Him, motivating us to surrender all to Him who gave all for us!

"His word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their hearts." {The Desire of Ages, page 198, paragraph 2}

This will be our experience, too, through abiding in Christ. Christ, living in you and me by His word, desires to speak to others of His grace. The word of God is our link to a new nature that lifts us above the clamors of our fallen nature. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Beacon on November 30, 2019, 04:44:44 PM
The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. "

"The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry."

I felt very impressed with the statement that:  "The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need." Do we recognize our great need to the point that  "we" cling to Jesus" with that same earnestness?

If Not - Why Not?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 01, 2019, 12:44:29 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon! We need Jesus continually to do any good thing! What a Savior we have who can change hearts!!

Our hearts are the issue when it comes to what God wants to do for us. He knows that by nature we are selfish and that we have no power of ourselves to change that--but He offers us a remedy in Jesus. Christ, coming in humanity and being tempted in all points like as we are has lived a perfectly unselfish life amid trial and tribulation, and offers us His heart of faith working by love as the new heart experience of the gospel. Will we allow Christ to do the heart surgery on us morning by morning, and moment-by-moment?

We could compare the time in the morning spending a "thoughtful hour" on the life of Jesus as the heart transplant in which we behold His loveliness of character and surrender all the heart to Him to purify and cleanse from all selfishness by His grace; then we are to abide in Him in a moment-by-moment walk of faith with the ongoing realization of His love much like how our hearts pulse out the blood to every part of the body. Let us allow Christ to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure so that we may serve Him imbued with all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, for this is the fruit of true conversion to Christ! Then we gladly obey the law of God from hearts renewed with unselfish love!

"Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, 'I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.' Genesis 32:26." {The Desire of Ages, page 198, paragraph 4}

Jesus longs for us to SEE and REALIZE our deep need of Him (and vacillating faith indicates a great need!) so we may become transformed into His glorious image, His selfless character, from one degree of perfection to the next! "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).   
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on December 01, 2019, 08:29:23 AM
Amen Pastor Sean. There is no greater sin than unbelief. The nobleman was selfish and Jesus helped him to see it. The trials in our life often what causes to stop and contemplate the reality of who we are and our need of God. The nobleman realized that his son's life was at stake, and he realized that his selfishness what's going to keep him from being healed. How is it that he could all of a sudden have faith to not only have his son healed, but for himself to obtain salvation? He had enough evidence to know that Jesus was the Messiah. But in his ignorance he judged Jesus based on how He appeared.

     Notwithstanding all the evidence that Jesus was the Christ, the petitioner had determined to make his belief in Him conditional on the granting of his own request. The Saviour contrasted this questioning unbelief with the simple faith of the Samaritans, who asked for no miracle or sign. His word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their hearts. Christ was pained that His own people, to whom the Sacred Oracles had been committed, should fail to hear the voice of God speaking to them in His Son. 

And so it is today, we have been entrusted with God's sacred oracles and yet so many fail to hear Him speaking the words of life. So many have before them the evidence of the power of Christ to transform their lives, but they allow selfishness to stand between them and God.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on February 26, 2020, 03:05:27 AM
Everything Jesus does in our lives prepares for the next blessing He has in store. In passing through the trial of the affliction with the nobleman's son, and how Jesus miraculously healed him, bringing that whole family to saving faith, we see that God works all things together for our good. Let us rejoice in Christ and appreciate what He is able to do to turn our trials into triumph!

"The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 2}

As we yield the whole heart to Christ today so He can abide in us and bring forth all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, we can rejoice in His love and seek to bless others with the testimony of what He has done in our lives!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Dorine on February 26, 2020, 04:45:12 AM
"He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love."

This statement should give us great confidence in our Saviour and strengthen our faith in Him. We are not left in the dark as to why we must wait at times for the answer to our prayers. If we compare ourselves to other's we will not see the selfishness that resides in our hearts. But as we look to Jesus He reveals to us our true condition so that we will confess our great need of Him and by faith believe what He says and follow. The more I learn of Him the more joy and gratitude fills my soul.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on February 26, 2020, 06:02:30 AM
Amen Pastor Sean and Sister Dorine. When  we know Jesus as it is our privilege, we will trust Him to answer our prayers in the best possible way. Our faith does not depend upon what Jesus does, but what He has done. We have seen His character and we love and trust Him with the whole heart. Signs and wonders are not necessary for those who love Him supremely. We know that "all" things work for our good and His glory as we abide in Him

But, how about before we knew Him, before we trusted with all we have and all we are? A selfish heart seeks God that we might be receive from Him. That is how selfish man is converted. We can do no good thing before conversion, but we can seek God for selfish reasons that lead to conversion when we see our evil hearts and His grace towards us.

     He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love. 

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Beacon on May 22, 2020, 08:27:20 PM
"The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. " "The nobleman longed to know more of Christ. As he afterward heard His teaching, he and all his household became disciples. Their affliction was sanctified to the conversion of the entire family. Tidings of the miracle spread; and in Capernaum, where so many of His mighty works were performed, the way was prepared for Christ's personal ministry."

"When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered."

God will do for us "exceeding abundantly," "according to the riches of His glory," and "the working of His mighty power." Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19.

Like the words of the song says, " "Trust and Obey, For there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey."

Happy Sabbath my Brothers and Sisters in Jesus!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 23, 2020, 04:22:54 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon! Happy Sabbath to all!

May we today know by a personal experience the blessedness of entrusting our souls entirely into the divine hands of Jesus who can shape and adjust everything perfectly in our lives! We can invite Him into our hearts to renew them by His grace, accept His will for us, and allow Him to reveal the miracle of His converting grace whereby we are enabled to seek and serve Him from all selfless motives as we realize the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit can do for us more than we ask or think because of the merits of Christ's shed blood! When we have an abiding faith experience in Christ, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be evident in our lives without one trait of the divine nature missing!

"The nobleman wanted to see the fulfillment of his prayer before he should believe; but he had to accept the word of Jesus that his request was heard and the blessing granted. This lesson we also have to learn. Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most. When we have learned to do this, we shall know that our prayers are answered. God will do for us 'exceeding abundantly,' 'according to the riches of His glory,' and 'the working of His mighty power.' Ephesians 3:20, 16; 1:19." {The Desire of Ages, page 200, paragraph 4} 

Let us trust God to guide us this day in a moment-by-moment adventure of union and communion with Christ! As we allow Him to bless and guide in the way that He knows to be best, we can let His perfect love cast out fear, and His strength be made manifestly perfect in our weakness!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Dorine on May 23, 2020, 05:30:31 AM
    "But He knew also that the father had, in his own mind, made conditions concerning his belief in Jesus. Unless his petition should be granted, he would not receive Him as the Messiah. While the officer waited in an agony of suspense, Jesus said, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."    

 ........Like a flash of light, the Saviour's words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, "Sir, come down ere my child die." His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." Genesis 32:26.      Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." "

How many souls will be lost because of the times I have doubted. A most solemn and dreadful thought. Our lives are an open book before God. He wants to bless us abundantly more than we could ever imagine but He needs our hearts to be open to HIm so that He may come in and fill us with His love and sanctifying power. At the same time the blessings we receive are extended to others along our way. When I have prayed the prayer of Jacob God has blessed me with such sweet peace. It is not a two second prayer. It may extend for hours just as it did for Jacob. He will not disappoint. All is well because God has answered the prayer according to His will. What a marvelous, merciful God we serve.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--20--Except Ye See Signs and Wonders
Post by: Richard Myers on May 23, 2020, 09:14:33 AM
Again, God reveals to us not only how selfish is the carnal heart of man, but that He loves us anyway. The man came because he wanted something from Jesus. So it is with all who are not converted. We are selfish. God did not come to save those who had no need, but to save the lost.

  Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. "Go thy way," He said; "thy son liveth." The nobleman left the Saviour's presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer. 

We all have sinned and are in continuous need of a Savior in order to do any good thing. Lord take my heart for I cannot give it. I believe, take away all of my wretched miserable unbelief! What a God we love and serve! Have a blessed Sabbath dear friends!