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The King of Kings => The Desire of Ages => Topic started by: wigina on August 08, 2013, 02:14:45 AM

Title: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: wigina on August 08, 2013, 02:14:45 AM
Chapter 21—Bethesda and the Sanhedrin


Listen to   Bethesda and the Sanhedrin

         



“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.”
At certain seasons the waters of this pool were agitated, and it was commonly believed that this was the result of supernatural power, and that whoever first after the troubling of the pool stepped into the waters, would be healed of whatever disease he had. Hundreds of sufferers visited the place; but so great was the crowd when the water was troubled that they rushed forward, trampling underfoot men, women, and children, weaker than themselves. Many could not get near the pool. Many who had succeeded in reaching it died upon its brink. Shelters had been erected about the place, that the sick might be protected from the heat by day and the chilliness of the night. There were some who spent the night in these porches, creeping to the edge of the pool day after day, in the vain hope of relief.
Jesus was again at Jerusalem. Walking alone, in apparent meditation and prayer, He came to the pool. He saw the wretched sufferers watching for that which they supposed to be their only chance of cure. He longed to exercise His healing power, and make every sufferer whole. But it was the Sabbath day. Multitudes were going to the temple for worship, and He knew that such an act of healing would so excite the prejudice of the Jews as to cut short His work.
But the Saviour saw one case of supreme wretchedness. It was that of a man who had been a helpless cripple for thirty-eight years. His disease was in a great degree the result of his own sin, and was looked upon as a judgment from God. Alone and friendless, feeling that he was shut out from God’s mercy, the sufferer had passed long years of misery. At the time when it was expected that the waters would be troubled, those who pitied his helplessness would bear him to the porches. But at the favored moment he had no one to help him in. He had seen the rippling of the water, but had never been able to get farther than the edge of the pool. Others stronger than he would plunge in before him. He could not contend successfully with the selfish, scrambling crowd. His persistent efforts toward the one object, and his anxiety and continual disappointment, were fast wearing away the remnant of his strength.
The sick man was lying on his mat, and occasionally lifting his head to gaze at the pool, when a tender, compassionate face bent over him, and the words, “Wilt thou be made whole?” arrested his attention. Hope came to his heart. He felt that in some way he was to have help. But the glow of encouragement soon faded. He remembered how often he had tried to reach the pool, and now he had little prospect of living till it should again be troubled. He turned away wearily, saying, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”
Jesus does not ask this sufferer to exercise faith in Him. He simply says, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” But the man’s faith takes hold upon that word. Every nerve and muscle thrills with new life, and healthful action comes to his crippled limbs. Without question he sets his will to obey the command of Christ, and all his muscles respond to his will. Springing to his feet, he finds himself an active man.
Jesus had given him no assurance of divine help. The man might have stopped to doubt, and lost his one chance of healing. But he believed Christ’s word, and in acting upon it he received strength.
Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.
The restored paralytic stooped to take up his bed, which was only a rug and a blanket, and as he straightened himself again with a sense of delight, he looked around for his Deliverer; but Jesus was lost in the crowd. The man feared that he would not know Him if he should see Him again. As he hurried on his way with firm, free step, praising God and rejoicing in his new-found strength, he met several of the Pharisees, and immediately told them of his cure. He was surprised at the coldness with which they listened to his story.
With lowering brows they interrupted him, asking why he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath day. They sternly reminded him that it was not lawful to bear burdens on the Lord’s day. In his joy the man had forgotten that it was the Sabbath; yet he felt no condemnation for obeying the command of One who had such power from God. He answered boldly, “He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.” They asked who it was that had done this, but he could not tell. These rulers knew well that only One had shown Himself able to perform this miracle; but they wished for direct proof that it was Jesus, that they might condemn Him as a Sabbath-breaker. In their judgment He had not only broken the law in healing the sick man on the Sabbath, but had committed sacrilege in bidding him bear away his bed.
The Jews had so perverted the law that they made it a yoke of bondage. Their meaningless requirements had become a byword among other nations. Especially was the Sabbath hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honorable. The scribes and Pharisees had made its observance an intolerable burden. A Jew was not allowed to kindle a fire nor even to light a candle on the Sabbath. As a consequence the people were dependent upon the Gentiles for many services which their rules forbade them to do for themselves. They did not reflect that if these acts were sinful, those who employed others to perform them were as guilty as if they had done the work themselves. They thought that salvation was restricted to the Jews, and that the condition of all others, being already hopeless, could be made no worse. But God has given no commandments which cannot be obeyed by all. His laws sanction no unreasonable or selfish restrictions.
In the temple Jesus met the man who had been healed. He had come to bring a sin offering and also a thank offering for the great mercy he had received. Finding him among the worshipers, Jesus made Himself known, with the warning words, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
The healed man was overjoyed at meeting his Deliverer. Ignorant of the enmity toward Jesus, he told the Pharisees who had questioned him, that this was He who had performed the cure. “Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.”

Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin to answer the charge of Sabbathbreaking. Had the Jews at this time been an independent nation, such a charge would have served their purpose for putting Him to death. This their subjection to the Romans prevented. The Jews had not the power to inflict capital punishment, and the accusations brought against Christ would have no weight in a Roman court. There were other objects, however, which they hoped to secure. Notwithstanding their efforts to counteract His work, Christ was gaining, even in Jerusalem, an influence over the people greater than their own. Multitudes who were not interested in the harangues of the rabbis were attracted by His teaching. They could understand His words, and their hearts were warmed and comforted. He spoke of God, not as an avenging judge, but as a tender father, and He revealed the image of God as mirrored in Himself. His words were like balm to the wounded spirit. Both by His words and by His works of mercy He was breaking the oppressive power of the old traditions and man-made commandments, and presenting the love of God in its exhaustless fullness.
In one of the earliest prophecies of Christ it is written, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” Genesis 49:10. The people were gathering to Christ. The sympathetic hearts of the multitude accepted lessons of love and benevolence in preference to the rigid ceremonies required by the priests. If the priests and rabbis had not interposed, His teaching would have wrought such a reformation as this world has never witnessed. But in order to maintain their own power, these leaders determined to break down the influence of Jesus. His arraignment before the Sanhedrin, and an open condemnation of His teachings, would aid in effecting this; for the people still had great reverence for their religious leaders. Whoever dared to condemn the rabbinical requirements, or attempt to lighten the burdens they had brought upon the people, was regarded as guilty, not only of blasphemy, but of treason. On this ground the rabbis hoped to excite suspicion of Christ. They represented Him as trying to overthrow the established customs, thus causing division among the people, and preparing the way for complete subjugation by the Romans.
But the plans which these rabbis were working so zealously to fulfill originated in another council than that of the Sanhedrin. After Satan had failed to overcome Christ in the wilderness, he combined his forces to oppose Him in His ministry, and if possible to thwart His work. What he could not accomplish by direct, personal effort, he determined to effect by strategy. No sooner had he withdrawn from the conflict in the wilderness than in council with his confederate angels he matured his plans for still further blinding the minds of the Jewish people, that they might not recognize their Redeemer. He planned to work through his human agencies in the religious world, by imbuing them with his own enmity against the champion of truth. He would lead them to reject Christ and to make His life as bitter as possible, hoping to discourage Him in His mission. And the leaders in Israel became instruments of Satan in warring against the Saviour.
Jesus had come to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” He was not to lessen its dignity, but to exalt it. The scripture says, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth.” Isaiah 42:21, 4. He had come to free the Sabbath from those burdensome requirements that had made it a curse instead of a blessing.
For this reason He had chosen the Sabbath upon which to perform the act of healing at Bethesda. He could have healed the sick man as well on any other day of the week; or He might simply have cured him, without bidding him bear away his bed. But this would not have given Him the opportunity He desired. A wise purpose underlay every act of Christ’s life on earth. Everything He did was important in itself and in its teaching. Among the afflicted ones at the pool He selected the worst case upon whom to exercise His healing power, and bade the man carry his bed through the city in order to publish the great work that had been wrought upon him. This would raise the question of what it was lawful to do on the Sabbath, and would open the way for Him to denounce the restrictions of the Jews in regard to the Lord’s day, and to declare their traditions void.
Jesus stated to them that the work of relieving the afflicted was in harmony with the Sabbath law. It was in harmony with the work of God’s angels, who are ever descending and ascending between heaven and earth to minister to suffering humanity. Jesus declared, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” All days are God’s, in which to carry out His plans for the human race. If the Jews’ interpretation of the law was correct, then Jehovah was at fault, whose work has quickened and upheld every living thing since first He laid the foundations of the earth; then He who pronounced His work good, and instituted the Sabbath to commemorate its completion, must put a period to His labor, and stop the never-ending routine of the universe.
Should God forbid the sun to perform its office upon the Sabbath, cut off its genial rays from warming the earth and nourishing vegetation? Must the system of worlds stand still through that holy day? Should He command the brooks to stay from watering the fields and forests, and bid the waves of the sea still their ceaseless ebbing and flowing? Must the wheat and corn stop growing, and the ripening cluster defer its purple bloom? Must the trees and flowers put forth no bud nor blossom on the Sabbath?
In such a case, men would miss the fruits of the earth, and the blessings that make life desirable. Nature must continue her unvarying course. God could not for a moment stay His hand, or man would faint and die. And man also has a work to perform on this day. The necessities of life must be attended to, the sick must be cared for, the wants of the needy must be supplied. He will not be held guiltless who neglects to relieve suffering on the Sabbath. God’s holy rest day was made for man, and acts of mercy are in perfect harmony with its intent. God does not desire His creatures to suffer an hour’s pain that may be relieved upon the Sabbath or any other day.
The demands upon God are even greater upon the Sabbath than upon other days. His people then leave their usual employment, and spend the time in meditation and worship. They ask more favors of Him on the Sabbath than upon other days. They demand His special attention. They crave His choicest blessings. God does not wait for the Sabbath to pass before He grants these requests. Heaven’s work never ceases, and men should never rest from doing good. The Sabbath is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. The law forbids secular labor on the rest day of the Lord; the toil that gains a livelihood must cease; no labor for worldly pleasure or profit is lawful upon that day; but as God ceased His labor of creating, and rested upon the Sabbath and blessed it, so man is to leave the occupations of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds. The work of Christ in healing the sick was in perfect accord with the law. It honored the Sabbath.
Jesus claimed equal rights with God in doing a work equally sacred, and of the same character with that which engaged the Father in heaven. But the Pharisees were still more incensed. He had not only broken the law, according to their understanding, but in calling God “His own Father” had declared Himself equal with God. John 5:18, R. V.
The whole nation of the Jews called God their Father, therefore they would not have been so enraged if Christ had represented Himself as standing in the same relation to God. But they accused Him of blasphemy, showing that they understood Him as making this claim in the highest sense.
These adversaries of Christ had no arguments with which to meet the truths He brought home to their consciences. They could only cite their customs and traditions, and these seemed weak and vapid when compared with the arguments Jesus had drawn from the word of God and the unceasing round of nature. Had the rabbis felt any desire to receive light, they would have been convinced that Jesus spoke the truth. But they evaded the points He made concerning the Sabbath, and sought to stir up anger against Him because He claimed to be equal with God. The fury of the rulers knew no bounds. Had they not feared the people, the priests and rabbis would have slain Jesus on the spot. But the popular sentiment in His favor was strong. Many recognized in Jesus the friend who had healed their diseases and comforted their sorrows, and they justified His healing of the sufferer at Bethesda. So for the time the leaders were obliged to restrain their hatred.
Jesus repelled the charge of blasphemy. My authority, He said, for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God. “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.” The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.
When Moses was about to build the sanctuary as a dwelling place for God, he was directed to make all things according to the pattern shown him in the mount. Moses was full of zeal to do God’s work; the most talented, skillful men were at hand to carry out his suggestions. Yet he was not to make a bell, a pomegranate, a tassel, a fringe, a curtain, or any vessel of the sanctuary, except according to the pattern shown him. God called him into the mount, and revealed to him the heavenly things. The Lord covered him with His own glory, that he might see the pattern, and according to it all things were made. So to Israel, whom He desired to make His dwelling place, He had revealed His glorious ideal of character. The pattern was shown them in the mount when the law was given from Sinai, and when the Lord passed by before Moses and proclaimed, “The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6, 7.
Israel had chosen their own ways. They had not builded according to the pattern; but Christ, the true temple for God’s indwelling, molded every detail of His earthly life in harmony with God’s ideal. He said, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Psalm 40:8. So our characters are to be builded “for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22. And we are to “make all things according to the pattern,” even Him who “suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” Hebrews 8:5; 1 Peter 2:21.
The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man.
The Saviour continued: “What things soever He [the Father] doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.... As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” The Sadducees held that there would be no resurrection of the body; but Jesus tells them that one of the greatest works of His Father is raising the dead, and that He Himself has power to do the same work. “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead. Christ declares that even now the power which gives life to the dead is among them, and they are to behold its manifestation. This same resurrection power is that which gives life to the soul “dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1. That spirit of life in Christ Jesus, “the power of His resurrection,” sets men “free from the law of sin and death.” Philippians 3:10; Romans 8:2. The dominion of evil is broken, and through faith the soul is kept from sin. He who opens his heart to the Spirit of Christ becomes a partaker of that mighty power which shall bring forth his body from the grave.
The humble Nazarene asserts His real nobility. He rises above humanity, throws off the guise of sin and shame, and stands revealed, the Honored of the angels, the Son of God, One with the Creator of the universe. His hearers are spellbound. No man has ever spoken words like His, or borne himself with such a kingly majesty. His utterances are clear and plain, fully declaring His mission, and the duty of the world. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.... For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.”
The priests and rulers had set themselves up as judges to condemn Christ’s work, but He declared Himself their judge, and the judge of all the earth. The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race. He was the Redeemer before as after His incarnation. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. He has given light and life to all, and according to the measure of light given, each is to be judged. And He who has given the light, He who has followed the soul with tenderest entreaty, seeking to win it from sin to holiness, is in one its advocate and judge. From the opening of the great controversy in heaven, Satan has maintained his cause through deception; and Christ has been working to unveil his schemes and to break his power. It is He who has encountered the deceiver, and who through all the ages has been seeking to wrest the captives from his grasp, who will pass judgment upon every soul.
And God “hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” Because He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men; because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save,—because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment.
But Christ’s mission was not for judgment, but for salvation. “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17. And before the Sanhedrin Jesus declared, “He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.” John 5:24, R. V.
Bidding His hearers marvel not, Christ opened before them, in still wider view, the mystery of the future. “The hour cometh,” He said, “in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done ill, unto the resurrection of judgment.” John 5:28, 29, R. V.
This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah’s advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe.
The time, the place, the occasion, the intensity of feeling that pervaded the assembly, all combined to make the words of Jesus before the Sanhedrin the more impressive. The highest religious authorities of the nation were seeking the life of Him who declared Himself the restorer of Israel. The Lord of the Sabbath was arraigned before an earthly tribunal to answer the charge of breaking the Sabbath law. When He so fearlessly declared His mission, His judges looked upon Him with astonishment and rage; but His words were unanswerable. They could not condemn Him. He denied the right of the priests and rabbis to question Him, or to interfere with His work. They were invested with no such authority. Their claims were based upon their own pride and arrogance. He refused to plead guilty of their charges, or to be catechized by them.
Instead of apologizing for the act of which they complained, or explaining His purpose in doing it, Jesus turned upon the rulers, and the accused became the accuser. He rebuked them for the hardness of their hearts, and their ignorance of the Scriptures. He declared that they had rejected the word of God, inasmuch as they had rejected Him whom God had sent. “Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me.” John 5:39, R. V.
In every page, whether history, or precept, or prophecy, the Old Testament Scriptures are irradiated with the glory of the Son of God. So far as it was of divine institution, the entire system of Judaism was a compacted prophecy of the gospel. To Christ “give all the prophets witness.” Acts 10:43. From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven’s glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession. In every sacrifice Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt.
The Jews had the Scriptures in their possession, and supposed that in their mere outward knowledge of the word they had eternal life. But Jesus said, “Ye have not His word abiding in you.” Having rejected Christ in His word, they rejected Him in person. “Ye will not come to Me,” He said, “that ye might have life.”
The Jewish leaders had studied the teachings of the prophets concerning the kingdom of the Messiah; but they had done this, not with a sincere desire to know the truth, but with the purpose of finding evidence to sustain their ambitious hopes. When Christ came in a manner contrary to their expectations, they would not receive Him; and in order to justify themselves, they tried to prove Him a deceiver. When once they had set their feet in this path, it was easy for Satan to strengthen their opposition to Christ. The very words that should have been received as evidence of His divinity were interpreted against Him. Thus they turned the truth of God into a lie, and the more directly the Saviour spoke to them in His works of mercy, the more determined they were in resisting the light.
Jesus said, “I receive not honor from men.” It was not the influence of the Sanhedrin, it was not their sanction He desired. He could receive no honor from their approbation. He was invested with the honor and authority of Heaven. Had He desired it, angels would have come to do Him homage; the Father would again have testified to His divinity. But for their own sake, for the sake of the nation whose leaders they were, He desired the Jewish rulers to discern His character, and receive the blessings He came to bring them.
“I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Jesus came by the authority of God, bearing His image, fulfilling His word, and seeking His glory; yet He was not accepted by the leaders in Israel; but when others should come, assuming the character of Christ, but actuated by their own will and seeking their own glory, they would be received. And why? Because he who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions. But the teaching of Christ did not coincide with their ideas. It was spiritual, and demanded the sacrifice of self; therefore they would not receive it. They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger.
Is not the same thing repeated in our day? Are there not many, even religious leaders, who are hardening their hearts against the Holy Spirit, making it impossible for them to recognize the voice of God? Are they not rejecting the word of God, that they may keep their own traditions?
“Had ye believed Moses,” said Jesus, “ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” It was Christ who had spoken to Israel through Moses. If they had listened to the divine voice that spoke through their great leader, they would have recognized it in the teachings of Christ. Had they believed Moses, they would have believed Him of whom Moses wrote.
Jesus knew that the priests and rabbis were determined to take His life; yet He clearly explained to them His unity with the Father, and His relation to the world. They saw that their opposition to Him was without excuse, yet their murderous hatred was not quenched. Fear seized them as they witnessed the convincing power that attended His ministry; but they resisted His appeals, and locked themselves in darkness.
They had signally failed to subvert the authority of Jesus or to alienate the respect and attention of the people, many of whom were convicted by His words. The rulers themselves had felt deep condemnation as He had pressed their guilt home upon their consciences; yet this only made them the more bitter against Him. They were determined to take His life. They sent messengers all over the country to warn the people against Jesus as an impostor. Spies were sent to watch Him, and report what He said and did. The precious Saviour was now most surely standing under the shadow of the cross.


END..............


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Before the little trouble, we will be performing miracles, in fact the miracles performed by the health reform will be called and the power by which we forbid people to eat flesh, which may be the only food available at the time will be questioned. Are we ray to stand before the Sanhedrin?
The time of terrible is coming, let us watch for the times. Let us speak boldly of the hour of his grace. For the Lord comes quickly with His grace and whomsoever wishes will have it. Otherwise eternal nonexistence awaits!
It is amazing how the looted gives us precious truths! Adam and Eve were already eating the body of Christ

Genesis 2:9: 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Jesus is life!
Now that the Son of God is the word, and the word of God is law, how difficult is it to discern that all will be judged by the law? For Jesus says
John 5:22-24: 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
"I need thee, every hour my Lord so that I may sit with you at the judgement. Sanctify me Lord all the days of my life. Help me to recognize you and sanctify myself daily so that I may remain in your presence Lord. The body is weak but thou art strong. Teach me dependence on you always, my Master and my king.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Mimi on August 08, 2013, 04:31:31 AM
Seventh day adventists are flocking to evangelical gatherings to see miracles performed! This is alarming and yet not so for the great physician so it happen and admonished them, the then adventists, "except ye see signs and wonders! Beware what spirit of healing you ascribe to. For these will be the downfall of many.


Yes, Wigina, it is a horrible reality. My second thought is we are also seen rushing to "Christian" bookstores to purchase Babylon's books, as if we do not have more than we need to know the way, even after having been given a modern-day prophet shedding light on what has already been revealed. It is a bad state of affairs and growing worse.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: wigina on August 08, 2013, 10:08:25 AM
Bonnke was here to months ago and its amazing! How they would know how much greater than the one they were flocking to! How they make the angels mourn by neglecting the truth.instead of giving him the truth.....
But the Lord saw all these and showed the prophet Ezekiel and sister white to write!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on August 08, 2013, 08:13:06 PM
This chapter answers a question that some have regarding Romans chapter seven. Many mistakenly believe Romans seven is the Christian experience. It is commonly taught that Paul was speaking of his post conversion experience. But, that would contradict all else he wrote and the rest of Scripture. In Christ we know how to keep the law. Paul said he kept his body (his flesh) under lest he be a castaway (1 Cor. 9:27).  Saul prayed a prayer that reveals his inability to keep the law and his ignorance of who could help him out of his miserable life where the sin was in his flesh. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24.

Listen to the truth about that verse. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, "Wilt thou be made whole?" He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is "dead in trespasses." Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin. DA 203.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Mimi on August 08, 2013, 08:27:06 PM
Amen! It is very plain.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: JimB on August 10, 2013, 10:04:18 AM
Truth may hurt and cut sometimes but it's also hopeful and encouraging! :)
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Mimi on August 10, 2013, 12:41:49 PM
Yes, it is. That He is the Refiner is also comforting.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on February 09, 2016, 11:12:34 AM
Have you ever wondered why so many false teachers are gladly accepted by the church? And, so many teachers sent of God are not accepted by the multitude? Listen to the Words of Jesus, and the explanation given. It is nicely laid out in this chapter.

“I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Jesus came by the authority of God, bearing His image, fulfilling His word, and seeking His glory; yet He was not accepted by the leaders in Israel; but when others should come, assuming the character of Christ, but actuated by their own will and seeking their own glory, they would be received. And why? Because he who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions. But the teaching of Christ did not coincide with their ideas. It was spiritual, and demanded the sacrifice of self; therefore they would not receive it. They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger.
Is not the same thing repeated in our day? Are there not many, even religious leaders, who are hardening their hearts against the Holy Spirit, making it impossible for them to recognize the voice of God? Are they not rejecting the word of God, that they may keep their own traditions?
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: JimB on May 09, 2016, 04:47:38 AM
He longed to exercise His healing power, and make every sufferer whole. But it was the Sabbath day. Multitudes were going to the temple for worship, and He knew that such an act of healing would so excite the prejudice of the Jews as to cut short His work. {DA 201.3}

I realize that is just a small little thought out of this whole chapter but I really love this statement as it shows our Savior's heart. It says that Christ longed to make every sufferer whole. This is His heart. So many have a misconception of what God is like but here we have a clear example of what He is really like. Such love!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 09, 2016, 07:30:02 AM
I know there are many who look forward to the coming of Jesus, when sin and death are at an end, and all suffering is over. But some have the idea that at the coming of Christ, Jesus will remove their bad temper, their intemperance, or the sins they now cherish. But this is a deception. The same power that will resurrect people from death is the same power NOW available to the soul who surrenders entirely to Jesus Christ--the victory over sin is now--the full deliverance from temptation/suffering transpires at the second coming. These following words are so powerful:

"Christ declares that even now the power which gives life to the dead is among them, and they are to behold its manifestation. This same resurrection power is that which gives life to the soul 'dead in trespasses and sins.' Ephesians 2:1. That spirit of life in Christ Jesus, 'the power of His resurrection,' sets men 'free from the law of sin and death.' Philippians 3:10; Romans 8:2. The dominion of evil is broken, and through faith the soul is kept from sin. He who opens his heart to the Spirit of Christ becomes a partaker of that mighty power which shall bring forth his body from the grave." {DA 209.3}

May we take courage today in being partakers of the divine nature--and trusting His promise that through faith we are kept from sin. This is why in Patriarchs and Prophets it is so clear also that "Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith" {PP 657.2}.

May we take to heart the broad assurance of this promise to be kept from sin amid the temptations we face: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Praise God for His power to heal, uphold, forgive, and keep the weakest of His children from falling as they abide in Him, allowing Him to fill them with all the fruits of the Spirit!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on May 09, 2016, 07:59:56 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean!  What a God we serve!  Satan is so very clever with his deceptions, but God has made provision for all who want to be changed, all who want to see an end to sin and suffering.  It is the power of Christ that gives the victory over self. We still have time to learn to cling to Him.

What a blessing to read of how God is leading others who love Him and spend that thoughtful hour a day learning of Him who gave all for us while we were yet sinners. The Holy Spirit leads each of us personally, opening up the truth we need to see today. It is so very revealing to notice what each one is seeing. Out of all in this chapter, I so much appreciate what both Sean and Jim have shared. How important that we understand what both have seen.  Does Jesus love us?  :)  Yes, He does. "He longed to exercise His healing power, and make every sufferer whole." That includes you and me.  Praise God!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on August 04, 2016, 08:22:29 AM
The simple truth about our continual need of Jesus and His divine guidance have a powerful impact upon our lives, as we see Jesus in this wonderful chapter.

The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man. {DA 209.2}

May we choose the path of surrender, so God can do in us what He so desires!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on August 04, 2016, 09:50:51 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean. In our reading today, we find that Paul did not know that he needed to make a full surrender, and he was in excruciating pain has he tried to keep the law of God without Christ.

There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin.

There are many who say that Romans seven is the Christian experience after conversion. But here inspiration tells us that when Paul (Saul) cried out, O wretched Man that I am, it was when he was striving to be a Christian and did not know how to be one. He was a captive to the law of sin and death. He had departed from his Laodicean condition and knew he was condemned.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 30, 2016, 06:45:36 AM
Praise the Lord! I am so thankful for your post, Richard! I heartily say, Amen!!! With such clarity we see the gospel when we allow the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to interpret itself without the chaff of man's utterance, when we lay all of our preconceived ideas down and allow Christ to teach us in sincerity! I am so thankful that Paul did respond to the gospel of God's grace and was thoroughly converted! Praise the Lord! He realized his continual need of a Savior, and found deliverance from the power of his flesh, even though he would continue to retain a fallen nature until the resurrection of his body. May we also remember our continual need of Jesus in light of this chapter!

Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin to answer the charge of Sabbathbreaking. Had the Jews at this time been an independent nation, such a charge would have served their purpose for putting Him to death. This their subjection to the Romans prevented. The Jews had not the power to inflict capital punishment, and the accusations brought against Christ would have no weight in a Roman court. There were other objects, however, which they hoped to secure. Notwithstanding their efforts to counteract His work, Christ was gaining, even in Jerusalem, an influence over the people greater than their own. Multitudes who were not interested in the harangues of the rabbis were attracted by His teaching. They could understand His words, and their hearts were warmed and comforted. He spoke of God, not as an avenging judge, but as a tender father, and He revealed the image of God as mirrored in Himself. His words were like balm to the wounded spirit. Both by His words and by His works of mercy He was breaking the oppressive power of the old traditions and man-made commandments, and presenting the love of God in its exhaustless fullness. {DA 204.4}

I absolutely love the picture of God we see in Christ--it is this revelation of the loveliness of Jesus (which is a perfect revelation of the loveliness of our heavenly Father) that draws us to God in true repentance, and can transform a sinner into a saint, enabled by divine grace and abiding in Christ to be kept from sin and temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit! When the Holy Spirit fills the life, sinful thoughts and feelings are put away, and Christ imbues us with all of the fruits of His Spirit so that not one is missing!!! Hallelujah!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on October 30, 2016, 07:26:17 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean.  By beholding the grace of God, we are transformed into His image, character.

     “What things soever He the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.... As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” The Sadducees held that there would be no resurrection of the body; but Jesus tells them that one of the greatest works of His Father is raising the dead, and that He Himself has power to do the same work. “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead. Christ declares that even now the power which gives life to the dead is among them, and they are to behold its manifestation. This same resurrection power is that which gives life to the soul “dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1. That spirit of life in Christ Jesus, “the power of His resurrection,” sets men “free from the law of sin and death.” Philippians 3:10; Romans 8:2. The dominion of evil is broken, and through faith the soul is kept from sin. He who opens his heart to the Spirit of Christ becomes a partaker of that mighty power which shall bring forth his body from the grave.

Amen!  We may have this power today if we will make a full surrender of our will to His. What a miracle!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 30, 2016, 07:30:19 PM
Amen, Richard! And as we experience the divine miracle of His transforming grace in our own hearts, others can see that the gospel is a living reality! That is why God callus upon us to be His witnesses! Praise the Lord!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 25, 2017, 06:56:28 AM
I so appreciate the revelation of the character of God in Christ we see here, and how Christ, revealing the Father, was at work to seek and save, to heal and restore! Praise God for the loveliness of Jesus we can behold, and by beholding, He is changing us to have that same character! We will rejoice to ever bless others, and to uplift them as God works in and through us!

Jesus stated to them that the work of relieving the afflicted was in harmony with the Sabbath law. It was in harmony with the work of God’s angels, who are ever descending and ascending between heaven and earth to minister to suffering humanity. Jesus declared, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” All days are God’s, in which to carry out His plans for the human race. If the Jews’ interpretation of the law was correct, then Jehovah was at fault, whose work has quickened and upheld every living thing since first He laid the foundations of the earth; then He who pronounced His work good, and instituted the Sabbath to commemorate its completion, must put a period to His labor, and stop the never-ending routine of the universe.

I love Jesus, and how can we not be excited as we see His character more fully each day! Thank God for how the Sabbath, revealed in Christ, is a beautiful day to seek to bless others, as does Jehovah Himself! Praise the Lord!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on January 25, 2017, 11:05:35 PM
Amen, Pastor Sean. Jesus came "to heal and restore!" He would heal us all if we would cease resisting His drawing love! If we would learn of Him, we would indeed become transformed in character.

      The paralytic believed Christ’s word, and in acting upon it he received strength. Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.

We learn here that it is a great deception to think when Saul cried out "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of this death?" that he was converted. No, he was not. It was his prayer when he discovered thag he was held captive by the law of sin and death. He was bound by the chains of sin. He had no idea he needed a Savior and that Christ was His Savior. He did not learn this until he was blinded by the glory of Christ on the road to Damascus. All who wish to know the truth that they may walk in it, will discern the truth about Romans seven and eight if they will prayerfully read the two chapters again in the light of this paragraph I have quoted from today's reading. It would also be helpful to read John 3 in the light of the chapter entitled Nicodemus which is stickied at the top of this page.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on April 22, 2017, 05:17:40 AM
For what purpose was the healing at Bethesda? A Laodicean people had been deceived about the mission of Christ. The leaders had perverted the truth and were intent on putting to death the Son of God. The truth was contrary to their tradition. Jesus healed paralytic so that the people could better understand the fourth commandment did not forbid doing works of mercy on the Sabbath Day.

The gospel message had been so perverted, the people did not know the Lamb had to die. Where then was grace?

      In every page, whether history, or precept, or prophecy, the Old Testament Scriptures are irradiated with the glory of the Son of God. So far as it was of divine institution, the entire system of Judaism was a compacted prophecy of the gospel. To Christ “give all the prophets witness.” Acts 10:43. From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven’s glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession. In every sacrifice Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt.

     The Jews had the Scriptures in their possession, and supposed that in their mere outward knowledge of the word they had eternal life. But Jesus said, “Ye have not His word abiding in you.” Having rejected Christ in His word, they rejected Him in person. “Ye will not come to Me,” He said, “that ye might have life.”

Could this be true in our day?

     He who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions. But the teaching of Christ did not coincide with their ideas. It was spiritual, and demanded the sacrifice of self; therefore they would not receive it. They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger.

     Is not the same thing repeated in our day? Are there not many, even religious leaders, who are hardening their hearts against the Holy Spirit, making it impossible for them to recognize the voice of God? Are they not rejecting the word of God, that they may keep their own traditions?

All who are truly converted will be keeping the commandments of God, not the traditions of the church. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 22, 2017, 05:49:25 AM
Amen, Richard! We need a living-Christ experience in our hearts that we may rightly appreciate the Sabbath! How appropriate that our reading today falls on this blessed Sabbath!

I was moved to see the impotent man's experience of healing and how it relates to us and the right use of the will:

But the man’s faith takes hold upon that word. Every nerve and muscle thrills with new life, and healthful action comes to his crippled limbs. Without question he sets his will to obey the command of Christ, and all his muscles respond to his will. Springing to his feet, he finds himself an active man.

Christ does not force the will; but as we behold the loveliness of Jesus and see that He offers us something better than we would choose for ourselves, as we respond to His invitation and put our will not he side of Christ, as we act upon His word we receive strength to live a new life of faith--a life filled with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing, rather than a life crippled by the flesh and the works of sin. Praise God that we can "walk by faith" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

I was reading this morning also in Luke 17 where Jesus talked about having faith as a grain of mustard seed. I saw a connection. The smaller the seed, the more amazing the principle--the germinating principle--because it is like that with faith. We must SURRENDER to Christ for His faith to be active in love in our lives. Surrender all to Christ, and you will be made whole!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on July 18, 2017, 04:53:26 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean!  Jesus did not promise the  paralytic spiritual help, he only told him to rise and walk. By faith the man did. If he had not exercised this faith, he would have lost his opportunity to be healed. If we lack faith, there is something we can do to increase our faith. Faith is trust in God. By knowing Him our faith will increase until we will trust Jesus with all we are and all we have.

     By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.  

What amazing truth is revealed in this paragraph! We are told what we are before making a full surrender to Jesus and we then are told the power given to the repentant sinner who abides in Christ and Christ in him. Though my sins have been as scarlet, Jesus has cleansed them white a snow!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on July 18, 2017, 06:29:10 AM
When we read these chapters how can anyone be confused about the gospel. Each chapter builds upon another to paint the most glorious picture of what Christ does for us when we surrender to His will and walk day by day by faith in His word. This chapter points to the reason why there is confusion....

"The Jewish leaders had studied the teachings of the prophets concerning the kingdom of the Messiah; but they had done this, not with sincere desire to know the truth, but with the purpose of finding evidence to sustain their ambitious hopes. When Christ came in a manner contrary to their expectations, they would not receive Him; and in order to justify themselves, they tried to prove Him a deceiver."

It's interesting that in Jesus day the Jewish leaders had made the Sabbath a terrible burden. But we see just the opposite in our day. There's nothing that is unlawful. As long as you don't go to your paying job you are okay. You can take business calls on your cell phone while in church, you can go out to eat after church, you can go shopping even, over eat at potlucks of every unhealthy food you can think of except flesh food and even that I have seen served. The list goes on of things that are considered innocent Sabbath activities.

The devil doesn't care which side we are on as long as it's not the side of truth as you pointed out Richard in I think yesterdays comments.

Thankfully God's promises of redemption are the same no matter which side we are on. The question is; will we believe and accept them.

 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 18, 2017, 06:54:28 AM
Amen, Richard and Doreen. The "side" that we find ourselves by nature is the side of darkness, error, and unbelief. Christ knows our position, for He came to save us from the unbelief that shuts out His blessing. May we realize how much we are loved and also surrender to the powerful revelation of the loveliness of Jesus we are privileged to behold morning by morning. I appreciate that when we accept Christ's will in the stead of our own, we have assurance of His provision for that to which He calls us. The paralyzed man was made whole as he took Christ at His word. What a joy and privilege we have in being able to trust Christ with ALL the heart, for all His biddings enable us to do His will in union and communion with Him!

The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man.

Full surrender--that is faith--and it is activated and is to be working continually in the life by love!

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on October 13, 2017, 05:46:17 AM
Jesus came to save us--but in order to do this, He had to taste our experience, know what we are suffering, and endure temptation. He overcame by the word of God--available to us--so that He can save us. How we respond to His saving work for us determines our destiny in the judgment now taking place in heaven. Jesus does not want to lose even one of us--but if we will not come to Him that we might have life, what more can He do? If we are unwilling to learn of Him, and we resist the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts to come to Christ, then even though God sent His Son to die for us and save us, it will be unavailing for us personally. We need to realize how much God is doing for us in Christ. That is why beholding the loveliness of Jesus is SO IMPORTANT--because our dull minds need a FRESH REVELATION of His love to encourage, invigorate, and inspire us to keep our eyes fixed upon Him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. As we see our great sinfulness and need, let this be all the more encouragement to cleave to Jesus who alone can cleanse and renew us by imputing to us His righteousness, and imparting to us His "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), that not even by a thought would we choose to yield to temptation. He has promised to keep us from falling! Let us look continually to Him who is able to do what He promises in us as we abide in Him through a full-heart surrender. Jesus loves you so much! Let us love Him back by beholding that love, for love awakens love! This amazing love is God's grace that saves us when we in simple faith let it transform our hearts. Praise God for His love to us!

"And God 'hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.' Because He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men; because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save,—because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 3}
"But Christ’s mission was not for judgment, but for salvation. 'God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.' John 3:17. And before the Sanhedrin Jesus declared, 'He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.' John 5:24, R. V." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 4}

Jesus saves! Jesus saves! And I choose to let Him save me in spite of my weakness and frailty, as I remember that He came to save, not condemn. Let His love melt your heart anew today! May you go forth to bless someone else today because you have Jesus abiding in your heart by faith! As long as He is within your heart, others will realize that the fruits of the Spirit are seen in your life without one missing--because He gives His Spirit to regenerate and renew us continually!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on October 13, 2017, 10:05:46 AM
Amen, Pastor Sean. Jesus saves! He saves us from ourselves and from Satan and the world. If we will learn of Him who gave all for us, that we might be transformed in character, we will have love, joy, and peace that passes all understanding. And, we can know which way to go, if we are trusting in Jesus fully.

 “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.” The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.

Amen! What joy and peace await all who will depend fully upon God!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on January 08, 2018, 05:27:51 AM
"The Sabbath is not intended to be a period of useless inactivity. The law forbids secular labor on the rest day of the Lord; the toil that gains a livelihood must cease; no labor for worldly pleasure or profit is lawful upon that day; but as God ceased His labor of creating and rested upon the Sabbath and blessed it, so man is to leave the occupations of his daily life, and devote those sacred hours to healthful rest, to worship, and to holy deeds. The work of Christ in healing the sick was in perfect accord with the law. It honored the Sabbath."

God is so balanced, reasonable and fair in His requirements of us on the Sabbath. We spend a morning of healthful rest and worship in the study of God's word and the divine worship. The afternoon can be spent in holy deeds of visiting the sick, the lonely, shut-ins and when the days grow longer; walks in God's nature with fellow believers is such a blessing. Especially when it ends at a place where there can be a camp fire with singing, praying, stories and testimonies to close the Sabbath hours. The list of activities are endless. Jesus was the perfect example of what Sabbath observance is all about.

It was interesting to me to read how that the demands upon God are even greater upon the Sabbath than upon other days. His people on this day demand his special attention. More favors are asked of Him on this day than any other. Heaven's work never ceases. Like Jesus may we never tire of doing good.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on January 08, 2018, 09:06:31 AM
Amen, dear Sister! It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Sharing a testimony of our love for God, or sharing truth regarding who He is (His character) is a great joy. We never tire of doing so, but are greatly blessed!

I found great encouragement in this statement in today's reading:

By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.

This is not the experience of a Laodicean, who is blind to his real condition. This is the experience of one who knows he is condemned and knows not how to gain the victory over sin. Here we are told how to gain the victory, we are told "who" can deliver us from the body of death in which we are held captive.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on January 08, 2018, 09:52:25 AM
Such a beautiful promise. Romans 7 is brought out so clearly here yet many will not believe it. Jesus wants to free us from that prison of hopelessness. Why do so many want to struggle so? Is it that darling sin that we don't want to surrender? If so we will have a miserable spiritual experience.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on January 08, 2018, 01:45:29 PM
Amen, sister Dorine and Richard! I love how Jesus has given us the Sabbath and that He has also revealed the gospel in the way He deals with us to save us completely from sin! How do we come to a full surrender? We are to look and live, and by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, we are motivated to yield our sin-polluted hearts so Jesus can purify them and make them white as snow. I love how Jesus connects His power to restore life to us in the gospel with the resurrection power that raises the dead!

Bidding His hearers marvel not, Christ opened before them, in still wider view, the mystery of the future. "The hour cometh," He said, "in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done ill, unto the resurrection of judgment." John 5:28, 29, R. V. {The Desire of Ages, page 211, paragraph 1}

This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah's advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe. {The Desire of Ages, page 211, paragraph 2}

This stood out to me--that "self-will is blind." If we want our way and are unwilling to yield our will to Christ, we remain blind because the light that God sends to soften and win us to Him we resist, and choose our own way, which is a way of death. Let us look to Jesus and live, even as did the healed man in John 5!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: JimB on April 05, 2018, 05:26:38 AM
But the Saviour saw one case of supreme wretchedness. It was that of a man who had been a helpless cripple for thirty-eight years. His disease was in a great degree the result of his own sin, and was looked upon as a judgment from God. Alone and friendless, feeling that he was shut out from God’s mercy, the sufferer had passed long years of misery.

It seems to me if there was ever an example of the loveliness of Christ's character this is it. Look at this, a man suffering because of his own choices and sinful choices at that draws the attention of our Savior and gives the cripple an opportunity to only walk again but to have salvation! No wonder He is called the friend of sinners. Christ demonstrates His love for the cripple and look at the response!. What a wonderful story. Often times satan will tempt people into sin and once they fall he will turn around and kick them while they are down, whispering in their ear there is no hope now. But we have a Savior who gives hope to the hopeless and health to the diseased. Is it any wonder we love Him?

Isaiah 61

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on April 05, 2018, 07:32:37 AM
Amen Jim. Grace is powerful to the pulling down of strongholds! What a Savior!

Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.

Romans 7 is the story of Paul when he did not know Jesus as Savior. But he did know he was lost and could not lead a holy life as he was. When he discovered Christ, he was set free from the law of sin which was in his flesh! What a miracle! One that we may experience daily!!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on April 05, 2018, 08:37:24 AM
Amen, Jim and Richard! Jim, your post deeply touched me, as I think of the loveliness of Jesus--our Savior seeking out those who have been most self-indulgent in sin, whose lives are ruined by their own evil habits, whom He tenderly pardons and restores. Jesus is so gracious to us, and His manner of dealing with the paralytic is a testimony of what He will do in us by His grace as we yield our lives entirely to Him!

"Jesus repelled the charge of blasphemy. My authority, He said, for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God. 'The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.' The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will." {The Desire of Ages, page 208, paragraph 2}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on July 01, 2018, 05:31:30 AM
What was the relationship between Christ and the leaders of the Jews?

Both by His words and by His works of mercy He was breaking the oppressive power of the old traditions and man-made commandments, and presenting the love of God in its exhaustless fullness.

In one of the earliest prophecies of Christ it is written, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.” Genesis 49:10. The people were gathering to Christ. The sympathetic hearts of the multitude accepted lessons of love and benevolence in preference to the rigid ceremonies required by the priests. If the priests and rabbis had not interposed, His teaching would have wrought such a reformation as this world has never witnessed. But in order to maintain their own power, these leaders determined to break down the influence of Jesus. His arraignment before the Sanhedrin, and an open condemnation of His teachings, would aid in effecting this; for the people still had great reverence for their religious leaders. Whoever dared to condemn the rabbinical requirements, or attempt to lighten the burdens they had brought upon the people, was regarded as guilty, not only of blasphemy, but of treason. On this ground the rabbis hoped to excite suspicion of Christ. They represented Him as trying to overthrow the established customs, thus causing division among the people, and preparing the way for complete subjugation by the Romans.

But the plans which these rabbis were working so zealously to fulfill originated in another council than that of the Sanhedrin. After Satan had failed to overcome Christ in the wilderness, he combined his forces to oppose Him in His ministry, and if possible to thwart His work. What he could not accomplish by direct, personal effort, he determined to effect by strategy. No sooner had he withdrawn from the conflict in the wilderness than in council with his confederate angels he matured his plans for still further blinding the minds of the Jewish people, that they might not recognize their Redeemer. He planned to work through his human agencies in the religious world, by imbuing them with his own enmity against the champion of truth. He would lead them to reject Christ and to make His life as bitter as possible, hoping to discourage Him in His mission. And the leaders in Israel became instruments of Satan in warring against the Saviour. Jesus had come to “magnify the law, and make it honorable.” He was not to lessen its dignity, but to exalt it. The scripture says, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth.” Isaiah 42:21, 4. He had come to free the Sabbath from those burdensome requirements that had made it a curse instead of a blessing.

For this reason He had chosen the Sabbath upon which to perform the act of healing at Bethesda. He could have healed the sick man as well on any other day of the week; or He might simply have cured him, without bidding him bear away his bed. But this would not have given Him the opportunity He desired. A wise purpose underlay every act of Christ’s life on earth. Everything He did was important in itself and in its teaching. Among the afflicted ones at the pool He selected the worst case upon whom to exercise His healing power, and bade the man carry his bed through the city in order to publish the great work that had been wrought upon him. This would raise the question of what it was lawful to do on the Sabbath, and would open the way for Him to denounce the restrictions of the Jews in regard to the Lord’s day, and to declare their traditions void.

Jesus did not allow the perversion of the truth without attempting to correct the lies Satan had  brought into Israel. In our reading today, we find that Jesus had brought the matter of the Sabbath before the leaders in Israel by healing on the Sabbath and telling the one healed to pick up his bed and carry it away. There is a similar work that needs to be done today. The gospel message has been perverted and the loveliness of Jesus has been hidden. Many think they are saved when in fact they are miserable, wretched, poor, blind, and naked.

There is no love, joy, and peace without a full surrender of the heart to Christ. When we learn of Jesus and His grace, we shall be filled with the Holy Ghost and desire to share His love with those who know not of His loveliness. Let us reflect His character to a world soon to perish that we may hasten the soon coming of Jesus!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on July 01, 2018, 05:42:27 AM
We have discussed this false teaching in the past, but I am impressed that we ought to point out again that many of those who hold positions of trust in God's church have perverted the gospel truth by teaching that Romans chapter seven is the converted Christian experience. In today's reading we see otherwise.

By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.

Here we see that when one sees he is lost and has no power to resist sin, he does not have salvation. "Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24."

Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on July 01, 2018, 05:48:46 AM
Amen, Richard! Jesus exemplified what true Sabbath keeping entailed by how He interacted with the paralyzed-then-healed man, and in calling the man to bear away his bed, Jesus was showing that the unnecessary restrictions the Jews had placed around the Sabbath were human attempts to add to what God had said in the commandment to abstain from work. If it was work to carry a bed, then in the Jews' minds it was also work to light a candle. This was what led them to employ Gentiles to do things for them on Sabbath--but they thought that was okay since the Gentiles were already hopelessly lost. Hence, the Jews did not fulfill their purpose of blessing the world with the light of salvation, for they themselves lived in the darkness of error and tradition, rather than in the sunlight of God's word and truth. All of these ideas revealed that the Jews did not really know or love God, and that the manifestation of love and consistent application to the simple teaching of Scripture as seen in Jesus was an unwelcome rebuke to their traditions. Christ's every act was a call to repentance.

Again, Amen, as Romans 7 reveals the wretchedness of one who knows truth and feels conviction, but has no power to perform that which is good (such a one is in an unconverted state). This is where each sinful, hopeless soul must come to terms with the power of Christ (grace) to renew the heart--knowing right does not give the fallen nature power to do right from pure motives. The power to have a new heart and mind, and to live with a new nature comes from Jesus, and only when there is an entire surrender to Christ, so the Holy Spirit comes to abide in the heart by faith, will there be consistent power to do good from a pure heart fervently. The full surrender makes one partaker of the divine nature, thus keeping the fallen flesh crucified, no matter how strongly one may be tempted. The evidence that one walks in such an experience of conversion is revealed by the life's witness of all of the fruits of the Spirit being manifest, as the soul gladly lives up to all the light of the law of God they know.

I was moved by the simplicity and power by which Jesus healed the man who had been paralyzed.

When God speaks to us, the safest course is to immediately respond. We see this in the life of the man who had been paralyzed for 38 years (see John 5). He responded immediately to Christ's words. Grace moved the heart of the man to respond, and by grace through faith He was restored soul and body in acting upon the word of Christ!

"Jesus had given him no assurance of divine help. The man might have stopped to doubt, and lost his one chance of healing. But he believed Christ’s word, and in acting upon it he received strength." {The Desire of Ages, page 203, paragraph 1}

It is in this very way that we can experience forgiveness and healing in our souls. We are not to wait until we "feel" whole to know Christ forgives us. He has promised! "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). We can stand by faith upon His promises, and by beholding His loveliness of character, our hearts are motivated in a full-heart surrender to allow Him to work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure, for it is His will that we be sanctified, becoming like Him in mind and character. 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 26, 2018, 03:59:29 AM
God is way more than fair. We are treated far better than we deserve. And so God's plan in sending Jesus to our dark little world as a helpless baby to live a perfect life and die as our sacrifice was not to condemn, but to save the world. But because He knows each of our life cases with perfect mercy and justice, Christ is the judge and we can thank God that it will be in harmony with His character. Let us receive the revelation of the loveliness of Jesus that we may have Him effectually win us from sin to holiness in this probationary life, so when Jesus returns, we may meet Him in peace because by living faith we already experience the divine nature--all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing living in harmony with His law of love!

"The priests and rulers had set themselves up as judges to condemn Christ’s work, but He declared Himself their judge, and the judge of all the earth. The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race. He was the Redeemer before as after His incarnation. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. He has given light and life to all, and according to the measure of light given, each is to be judged. And He who has given the light, He who has followed the soul with tenderest entreaty, seeking to win it from sin to holiness, is in one its advocate and judge. From the opening of the great controversy in heaven, Satan has maintained his cause through deception; and Christ has been working to unveil his schemes and to break his power. It is He who has encountered the deceiver, and who through all the ages has been seeking to wrest the captives from his grasp, who will pass judgment upon every soul." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 2}
"And God 'hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.' Because He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men; because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save,—because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment." {The Desire of Ages, page 210, paragraph 2}

What good news! May we receive Christ by a living faith continually and help others discover in Jesus the One whose power can set them free from the dregs of sin which Jesus already drank and died from on the cross (our sin, not His), so He can offer us the cup of divine blessing (His righteousness, not ours)! And as we drink of His righteousness by faith, as His life becomes inwrought with our own through the Holy Spirit, we are one with Him and can gladly come into the presence of God who has the power to save us to the uttermost! Hallelujah!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 22, 2018, 04:24:21 AM
After Jesus heals the palsied man in John 5, a controversy about what is lawful on the Sabbath comes to the surface, and it is apparent that Jesus is simply living out the Father's will, doing what He sees the Father do in blessing and upholding life. What struck me this morning is how when we choose our own will in opposition to the will of God, we are deliberately choosing blindness. May we yield our wills unreservedly to Christ so we may receive the eyesalve of the Holy Spirit to discern our continual need of Jesus, and by beholding His exceedingly beautiful loveliness and perfection of character, be changed into His image from glory to glory, from one degree of discerning His will to the next!

"This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah’s advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe." {The Desire of Ages, page 211, paragraph 2}

I choose to yield my will to Christ so He can help me see life and people the way He sees them. May we experience the joy of having Jesus violate our own ways and will (of the flesh) so we may have His ways and will (by the divine nature--manifest with all the fruits of the Spirit so not one is missing!). And the great miracle is that by beholding Christ, we come to so have an identification with Him that we desire His will above our own, and His will becomes inwrought with our experience as we continually learn more of His grace, for by grace we are saved. Grace is more than a word--it is God's miraculous power to change sinners into saints, and to enable us to desire that which without Him we once hated. The greatest miracle is a consistent life in Christ, and Jesus built His entire life after the pattern the Father showed Him, offering us His character as an infinite gift--to both atone for our sins (by living a perfect life and dying as our Sacrifice--His imputed righteousness) and to build up our character after His image (His imparted righteousness)! Hallelujah! 
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on December 22, 2018, 05:45:35 AM
"So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will."

Of all the profound statements I have underlined in this chapter, this one stood out to me this morning. It caused me to reflect on my own life. Are all my plans for each day directed by the Holy Spirit? Do I hurry into the day with plans I've manufactured? Do I just let the day happen without asking God for His direction? Or at the start of each new day do I invite Christ to guide my life for that day?

It is good for us to examine our own hearts as we read about the life of Jesus. I am so thankful for His example that is shown in this book. It establishes standards by which we may know if we are truly connected to Jesus.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Beacon on December 22, 2018, 02:50:53 PM
He who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions. But the teaching of Christ did not coincide with their ideas. It was spiritual, and demanded the sacrifice of self; therefore they would not receive it. They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger.

 Is not the same thing repeated in our day? Are there not many, even religious leaders, who are hardening their hearts against the Holy Spirit, making it impossible for them to recognize the voice of God? Are they not rejecting the word of God, that they may keep their own traditions?

We must make sure that we are not seeking our own glory in anything we say or do while trying to uplift Jesus to our family, friends and other contacts. There is no place for anything among God's remnant people that leads to self glory  Pride is what caused Lucifer to have no ability to confess his wrong course of action. This in turn caused him and 1/3rd of the angels in heaven to be cast out of heaven to this planet where untold misery, pain and suffering, has taken place over the centuries of time as he imparted this same attitude into the hearts of all who would listen to him.  This same pride, caused the Jewish leaders to reject Jesus and led to His crucifixion. My prayer is that we all may be willing to say to Jesus...."Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" and with the same spirit which leads to eternal life. Not "I" but Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Beacon on March 19, 2019, 04:43:21 AM
"Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin."

To all who need healing, Jesus says to us..." Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." That rest is both Spiritual and Physical and is available to " ALL " who will come to Jesus. Jesus said. " Ask and Ye shall receive. "

"Let the desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength."

Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on March 19, 2019, 05:42:25 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon!

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). We do not see the will of God in a tangible way, but we grasp it by His word, and "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). So in order for us to know and do God's will, we need to spend time in the unseen reality of God's word. As we behold the loveliness of Jesus BY FAITH (for we do not seem His physical person before us now), we are learning to have our affections, desires, and aspirations elevated heavenward and to look continually to the One who knows the way that is best for us. It may look totally out of the ordinary of what men expect. Jesus did not come in a manner as to dazzle men's desire for worldly greatness; He came in poverty and humility, and yet His character revealed such kingly majesty, His words were the outflow of the divine, that none who were sensible to the leading of the Holy Spirit could fail to hear God speaking to them in Jesus. So now it is still. As you and I open our Bibles, we can listen to JESUS speaking to us PERSONALLY and INDIVIDUALLY! And I am so grateful that our willing surrender to God enables Him to convert us (so He produces in us all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing as we gladly obey all of the light of His holy law that we know), and we are better enabled to win souls for His glory, which is our joy! We get to be vitally connected with heaven to do a work that is unique to our strength and capacity for God's glory! Cleave and cling to Jesus and praise Him all the more!!

"The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man." {The Desire of Ages, page 209, paragraph 2}

Are you willing today to be fully surrendered to God's will as He reveals it? If so, you are in for the greatest adventure and joy of your life!!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on March 19, 2019, 06:36:54 AM
"The sick man was lying on his mat, and occasionally lifting his head to gaze at the pool, when a tender, compassionate face bent over him, and the words, “Wilt thou be made whole?” arrested his attention. Hope came to his heart. He felt that in some way he was to have help. But the glow of encouragement soon faded. He remembered how often he had tried to reach the pool, and now he had little prospect of living till it should again be troubled. He turned away wearily, saying, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.” Jesus does not ask this sufferer to exercise faith in Him. He simply says, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” But the man’s faith takes hold upon that word. Every nerve and muscle thrills with new life, and healthful action comes to his crippled limbs. Without question he sets his will to obey the command of Christ, and all his muscles respond to his will. Springing to his feet, he finds himself an active man."

This picture stirs my heart this morning. The more I read of Jesus the more love is germinated in my own heart for Him and others. He is teaching me patience, compassion and mercy every day. My make up leans more towards 'justice' and Jesus is bringing me into balance with Him.

This poor crippled man was suffering mainly because of his own sin. Jesus knew this but His heart was so touched by the condition of this man that He could not just pass by. It's interesting to me that Jesus did not ask if he had faith. Is it because Jesus knowing his heart knew that this man had all the faith needed for Jesus to heal him?

I've often wondered if Jesus were living today would he be considered by some a 'street person'? Would he be walking our towns, villages and cities in Jeans and a T-shirt? Is Jesus real to us? If He knocked on our door today would we welcome Him inside or would we make Him wait outside until we put things in order. Or would we let Him in at all? He wants to come in just as we are. He will treat us just like He treated the crippled man by the pool. He will love us, tenderly care for us and most importantly heal us from our sins.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Beacon on June 13, 2019, 06:40:43 PM
"By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace."

God's word says in 2 Samuel 22:7 In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. God yearns for each of His children to come and find peace and healing. Do not let the enemy tell you that you have gone to far....that you are too evil. Remember the thief on the cross....When he reached out to Jesus, Jesus said. " I promise you today, you will be with me in paradise." This is why Jesus came---To set us free from sin and give us the power to live a Holy Life. There is no guarantee we will be here tomorrow. Death may come unexpectedly. Satan wants you to think there is no need to hurry. Please don't listen to him...Come as you are...Come today... experience the forgiveness and peace that Jesus wants you to have. 


][u]Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled.[/u] Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.[/u
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on June 14, 2019, 02:03:04 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon! Today is the day of salvation and it is as we surrender our will unreservedly to Christ that we experience the joy of salvation, in which we are brought into harmony with God so that like Christ, we may do our Father's will! While by nature we are sinners, by redemption we become partakers of the divine nature, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness by faith inasmuch as Christ has pioneered the way for us to have His experience become ours! What a God we serve! He is not just merely interested in getting us IN to heaven someday, but today He desires us to be LIKE HIM in mind and character, receiving new thoughts and feelings from Him by grace through faith as we behold the loveliness of Jesus! The miracle is that He changes us so that we truly come to desire His will over our own, and we also come to experience that His will IS OUR WILL as long as we are abiding in Christ!! Such an experience is always fruitful, bearing all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing because Christ the hope of glory is enshrined in the soul! Let us experience oneness with God like Jesus did today and let Him lead the way all the way to when we see Jesus come in the clouds of glory--and spending eternity with Him!

"Jesus repelled the charge of blasphemy. My authority, He said, for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God. 'The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.' The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will." {The Desire of Ages, page 208, paragraph 2} 

God has plans for you today. Are you willing to let Him plan for you and unfold His will for your life step by step? This is heart work--trusting that God loves us and means to do us good! God does not always give us directions for tomorrow, but He will lead us in the way that we would choose if we could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose we are fulfilling as co-workers with Himself!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on June 14, 2019, 08:13:14 PM
Brother Beacon, do you realize what that statement means to the church? There are so very many who argue that Romans 7 is Paul writing about his experience after he was converted. In other words, the converted Christian does what he ought not, and does not do what he ought to. Romans 7:15, 19.  Not only does that go against Scripture, but it does not harmonize with what you just quoted. She was writing about those who strive to keep the law but cannot I guess many don't mind that because they think they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing even though they cannot keep the law. Again, they believe they are converted while sinning just as Romans 7 they say tells us. But, in Romans 7 Paul makes it abundantly clear that he was in bondage to sin, striving to keep the law that he could not, because he did not have a Savior helping him. He was beside himself because he knew he was condemned (Romans 7:9). In the end he consented to anything to be delivered from his bondage to sin. He prayed a prayer to God. "O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of this death." He did not know Jesus as Savior, so it was impossible for him to find power to overcome his own fallen nature since it was Jesus that not only was the answer, but was patiently waiting for the Pharisee of Pharisees to learn of his need of help from outside of himself so He could answer his prayers. Jesus did not wait after Saul prayed that prayer. There was no reason to.

Let all who are not sure about Romans 7, read again the statement Brother Beacon quoted.

"By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Beacon on September 06, 2019, 05:21:33 PM
"He who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions. But the teaching of Christ did not coincide with their ideas. It was spiritual, and demanded the sacrifice of self; therefore they would not receive it. They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger."

Is not the same thing repeated in our day? Are there not many, even religious leaders, who are hardening their hearts against the Holy Spirit, making it impossible for them to recognize the voice of God? Are they not rejecting the word of God, that they may keep their own traditions?


We must make sure that we are not seeking our own glory in anything we say or do while trying to uplift Jesus to our family, friends and other contacts. There is no place for anything among God's remnant people that leads to self glory  Pride is what caused Lucifer to have no ability to confess his wrong course of action. This in turn caused him and 1/3rd of the angels in heaven to be cast out of heaven to this planet where untold misery, pain and suffering, has taken place over the centuries of time as he imparted this same attitude into the hearts of all who would listen to him.  This same pride, caused the Jewish leaders to reject Jesus and led to His crucifixion. My prayer is that we all may be willing to say to Jesus...."Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" and with the same spirit which leads to eternal life. Not "I" but Christ.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on September 07, 2019, 04:19:22 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon!

Happy Sabbath to all this wonderful day, in which Christ delights to heal and restore us to His image as we rest in Him!

I appreciated reading John 5 this morning in connection with the palsied man who was healed and enabled to walk! Jesus is speaking to us, too!!

"Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?' Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, 'Wilt thou be made whole?' He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is 'dead in trespasses.' Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin." {The Desire of Ages, page 203, paragraph 2}

Jesus promises to deliver us as we yield to Him the whole heart! There is no limit to what He can do with us! He alone sees the full possibilities of what sinners transformed by His grace into saints can be both now and for eternity! As we invite Christ to do this work in and through us by a full surrender to Him, the supernatural divine nature is wrought out in our lives revealing all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! Gladly we obey all of the light of God's law that has been revealed to us, as we grow in grace and reveal His glory more fully each day, for by beholding Christ in His loveliness, we are being changed into His image! What a restoration! What a miracle!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on September 07, 2019, 05:09:31 PM
Amen Pastor Sean and Brother Beacon!  If we will take Jesus at His Word, we will be saved. There is no excuse for "unbelief."

As I read your posts I was impressed with Saul before his conversion. He was not acquainted with God. He did not hear that still small voice telling him he was a condemned sinner. When he called for the stoning of Stephen, and saw his face shining as that of an angel, he had opportunity to know himself condemned. But, he resisted the Spirit. Jesus did not give up on him. He continued to speak to him through His disciples that Saul was persecuting. He heard them praying for him. When Stephen revealed God's grace by saying "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge," (Acts 7:60) Saul was perplexed. But, he again did not understand that still small voice telling him he was a sinner condemned. When Saul could take it no longer and submitted to the truth of his condemnation, he prayed this prayer: "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

This is a prayer of an unconverted sinner who has seen his condemnation has failed at keeping the law of God from the heart. When a sinner comes to this point, God does not put off answering the prayer for deliverance from sin. Jesus answered that prayer on the road to Damascus.

 There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.

Yes, Romans 7 is not the converted Christian, but it was the experience of Saul before he was converted. He was captive to the law of sin and death. Those who teach that Romans 7 is the Christian experience misunderstand and by teaching this lead sinners to believe they are saved in sin. That they do what they ought not do and do not do what they ought to do.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Beacon on December 01, 2019, 01:35:10 PM
 "There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, "Wilt thou be made whole?" He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled."

Those who say that it is IMPOSSIBLE to obey the requirements of God are echoing the charge of Satan. But God never requires anything of us that isn't possible with His Power Abiding in our heart and mind.  It only becomes impossible when we refuse to give our ALL to Jesus!! We must be wiling to surrender our CHERISHED sins --- Then and only then will we be enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to Live Totally For Jesus

"Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is "dead in trespasses." Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin."
[/u]
[ In Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE..”[/u]
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on December 02, 2019, 04:45:24 AM
Amen Brother Beacon. We are evil by Nature and can do no good thing until we're born again from above. When we are born again of the spirit we are filled with the spirit and will manifest all the fruits of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Being truly converted, we walk in the light as Jesus is in the light.

If we want to put our will on the side of Christ, we need to be able to trust him with all we are and all we have. In order to do that we need to know him in order to trust him. And how is it that we get this saving faith? Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word. The word is a revelation of Christ. The word was made flesh. We need to drink his blood and eat his flesh. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. If we could spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating The Life of Christ especially the closing scenes, by beholding him we would be changed into his image.

Then when truly converted, we shall trust and depend upon Jesus as He depended upon His father.

Jesus repelled the charge of blasphemy. My authority, He said, for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I co-operate with God. “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do.” The priests and rabbis were taking the Son of God to task for the very work He had been sent into the world to do. By their sins they had separated themselves from God, and in their pride were moving independently of Him. They felt sufficient in themselves for all things, and realized no need of a higher wisdom to direct their acts. But the Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on December 02, 2019, 09:05:18 AM
......Christ declares that even now the power which gives life to the dead is among them, and they are to behold its manifestation. This same resurrection power is that which gives life to the soul “dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1. That spirit of life in Christ Jesus, “the power of His resurrection,” sets men “free from the law of sin and death.” Philippians 3:10; Romans 8:2. The dominion of evil is broken, and through faith the soul is kept from sin. He who opens his heart to the Spirit of Christ becomes a partaker of that mighty power which shall bring forth his body from the grave.

What wondrous news to meditate upon this day. As we connect our hearts in full surrender to God we then become partakers of His power that will raise us from the dead at His coming. That same power frees us from the penalty of sin and transforms us into His character. I can think of no better news for it is only by the grace of God this is made possible.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on December 02, 2019, 10:56:30 AM
Amen, Brother Beacon, Brother Richard and Sister Dorine!

As we meditate upon the way Christ healed through His word, we also may receive that same word to uplift us and transform us into His image! The guilty paralytic was transformed and healed by simply TRUSTING WHAT CHRIST SAID TO HIM! So simple, so profound, and so encouraging for us to take God at His word no matter how we may feel about it, or what our circumstances may be!

"Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?' Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, 'Wilt thou be made whole?' He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is 'dead in trespasses.' Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin." {The Desire of Ages, page 203, paragraph 2} 

The goodness of God leads us to repentance, and as we see His loveliness in contrast with our sinfulness, we become willing to have the entire transformation wrought in our lives by which we become partakers of the divine nature, being filled with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing! Being set free from sin means true, affectionate obedience to the will of God as revealed in the law of God!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on February 27, 2020, 05:29:05 AM
"The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man."

When I surrender my heart to Jesus He becomes my Life Saver, my Anchor, my Rock, my Ship, my lighthouse, my fog horn of warning and on and on I could go. I live by the sea and can relate to the objects I see there. I love His promise to guide us and give us what we need to fulfill His plan for our lives when we surrender our will to Him. I praise Him today for His unfailing love. What a chapter this is. I have it 'starred' and heavily underlined because it speaks to me in a very direct and special way. Christ laid His life down for me. By His grace I will live my life for Him.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on February 27, 2020, 06:50:20 AM
Amen Sister Dorine. At last night's prayer meeting the question was asked as to what the will is. My response was it is our free will to choose whom we shall serve. We cannot be saved by our will. We see that in Romans seven where Saul willed to obey, but could not no matter how hard he tried. Then what do we do with our will? We will to overcome our selfishness by going to God. We must first understand that evil dwells in us and we have to find an answer outside of ourselves. Saul (Paul) did not understand there was a Savior, so he finally came to the point where he surrendered his will to God in hopes that God could help him. In answer to his prayer and his giving up his way, Jesus appeared to Him as the Savior from self and sin.

There is always so much in each chapter we read. Today, the bulk of the lesson has to do with how Jesus was persecuted and what was His response. We need to learn from this lesson. Too many believe they are just fine sitting back and letting false teachers continue misleading the church. Jesus is our example of how to deal with such things. There are times when we need to speak up and call sin sin. We need first to make sure the beam is out of our own eye so we do it in the right way.

     The highest religious authorities of the nation were seeking the life of Him who declared Himself the restorer of Israel. The Lord of the Sabbath was arraigned before an earthly tribunal to answer the charge of breaking the Sabbath law. When He so fearlessly declared His mission, His judges looked upon Him with astonishment and rage; but His words were unanswerable. They could not condemn Him. He denied the right of the priests and rabbis to question Him, or to interfere with His work. They were invested with no such authority. Their claims were based upon their own pride and arrogance. He refused to plead guilty of their charges, or to be catechized by them.
Instead of apologizing for the act of which they complained, or explaining His purpose in doing it, Jesus turned upon the rulers, and the accused became the accuser. He rebuked them for the hardness of their hearts, and their ignorance of the Scriptures. He declared that they had rejected the word of God, inasmuch as they had rejected Him whom God had sent. “Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me.” John 5:39, R. V.

Jesus knew what would happen when he healed the man at Bethesda, but it was His purpose to expose the false teaching on the Sabbath and the false teachers who were leading the God's people astray. So it is today. The gospel message has been so perverted that Laodiceans do not even understand what it means to be in a Laodicean condition and that it applies to God's church today. Thus, it is hard for revival to begin. What shall we do when we hear a false gospel being preached from the pulpit and printed on our presses? It would be good to spend a thoughtful hour beholding Jesus, then ask Him what to do.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on February 27, 2020, 07:38:26 AM
Amen, Sister Dorine and Brother Richard!

We need Jesus continually to do any good thing, and when we realize how helpless we are in ourselves, we will readily accept the divine power of His grace to raise us to walk by faith in Him!

"Through the same faith we may receive spiritual healing. By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?' Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, 'Wilt thou be made whole?' He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is 'dead in trespasses.' Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin." {The Desire of Ages, page 203, paragraph 2}

Let us walk in Christ's freedom!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Beacon on February 27, 2020, 10:29:31 AM
"The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, 'Wilt thou be made whole?' He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is 'dead in trespasses.

Ephesians 2:1.says, "He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin." & in Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

The message of the Old and New Testament is one and the same.....Revelation 3:20 says.... "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."

Imagine receiving an invitation from the Lord of Lords of all the universe to come and join with Him in Life Everlasting! No more war, sorrow, sickness and viruses or famine, no more death and sadness, no more crime and injustices. I encourage you to join with me by saying "YES" to JESUS.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Pastor Sean Brizendine on May 24, 2020, 10:19:42 AM
Every day we have a simple choice to make--will I surrender my life completely to Christ for Him to direct me, or will I choose my own way? It is not necessary to deliberately choose our own way--for by neglecting Christ, His word and prayer, we surely slide right back into the old ways of sin and self (our fallen nature is like water running downhill). Apart from a living connection with Christ in a moment-by-moment surrender, we are incapable of doing any good thing (think of the divine nature we receive in conversion as the power that God gives the salmon to swim upstream!). But when the whole heart is yielded to Jesus and we gladly go where He sends us, His purposes will be wrought out in our lives as living witnesses as He manifests through us all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing in true affectionate obedience!! What a privilege it is to know that we can be a part of God's plan today!!

"The words of Christ teach that we should regard ourselves as inseparably bound to our Father in heaven. Whatever our position, we are dependent upon God, who holds all destinies in His hands. He has appointed us our work, and has endowed us with faculties and means for that work. So long as we surrender the will to God, and trust in His strength and wisdom, we shall be guided in safe paths, to fulfill our appointed part in His great plan. But the one who depends upon his own wisdom and power is separating himself from God. Instead of working in unison with Christ, he is fulfilling the purpose of the enemy of God and man." {The Desire of Ages, page 209, paragraph 2}

There is no "neutral" position in the universe. We are either fulfilling God's will for our lives, or we are hindering God's plan by fulfilling Satan's plans that coincide with our natural selfishness. Let us learn of Christ daily and cling to Jesus who has promised to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure when we have invited Him to reign supreme in our hearts!
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Beacon on May 24, 2020, 10:55:37 AM
"The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, 'Wilt thou be made whole?' He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of "Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is 'dead in trespasses.' Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin."

Those who say that it is IMPOSSIBLE to obey the requirements of God are echoing the charge of Satan. But God never requires anything of us that isn't possible with His Power Abiding in our heart and mind.  It only becomes impossible when we refuse to give our ALL to Jesus!! We must be wiling to surrender our CHERISHED sins --- Then and only then will we be enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit to Live Totally For Jesus.

"So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will."

HAVE FAITH DEAR FRIENDS, IN GOD - FOR WITH HIM "ALL THINGS" ARE POSSIBLE.
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Lena on May 24, 2020, 11:19:07 PM
Pastor Sean's comment made me think of this.

Some may say, Why is this message sounded so constantly in our ears? It is because you do not thoroughly repent. You do not live in Christ and have Christ abiding in you. When one idol is expelled from the soul, Satan has another prepared to supply its place. Unless you make an entire consecration to Christ and live in communion with Him, unless you make Him your Counselor, you will find that your heart, open to evil thoughts, is easily diverted from the service of God to the service of self. { 1SM 107.5}
At times you may have a desire to repent. But unless you decidedly reform and put into practice the truths you have learned, unless you have an active, working faith, a faith that is constantly increasing in strength, your repentance is as the morning dew. It will give no permanent relief to the soul. A repentance caused by a spasmodic exercise of the feelings is a repentance that needs to be repented of; for it is delusive. A violent exercise of the feelings, which does not produce in you the peaceable fruits of righteousness, leaves you in a worse state than you were in before. { 1SM 108.1}
Every day the tempter will be on your track with some delusive, plausible excuse for your self-serving, your self-pleasing, and you will fall back into your old practices, neglecting the work of serving God, by which you would gain hope and comfort and assurance. { 1SM 108.2}
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Dorine on May 25, 2020, 03:45:27 AM
Thank you Lena. These are gems to keep us reminded of how weak we are and how much we need Jesus every moment of every day. This statement especially jumped out at me. " A repentance caused by a spasmodic exercise of the feelings is a repentance that needs to be repented of; for it is delusive."
Title: Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
Post by: Richard Myers on May 25, 2020, 05:39:09 AM

Some may say, Why is this message sounded so constantly in our ears? It is because you do not thoroughly repent.

Thank you for sharing, Sister Lena. This is so important to understand. What message? The gospel message, and for our church, God's church, the Laodicean message of rebuke and encouragement. Why the Laodicean message, because it applies to the church today. What is the response? Some would do to those who share it what Israel did to Isaiah. But, revival is coming. Jesus is pouring out clean water upon His church today. The Spirit has power to make dead dry bones live. Not all will live, many will be sifted out.


Telling someone they must obey does not work. Unless converted they cannot obey from the heart. We must learn of Jesus and by beholding His character we shall be transformed in character (2 Cor 3:18).

The Jews had the Scriptures in their possession, and supposed that in their mere outward knowledge of the word they had eternal life. But Jesus said, “Ye have not His word abiding in you.” Having rejected Christ in His word, they rejected Him in person. “Ye will not come to Me,” He said, “that ye might have life.”

The Jewish leaders had studied the teachings of the prophets concerning the kingdom of the Messiah; but they had done this, not with a sincere desire to know the truth, but with the purpose of finding evidence to sustain their ambitious hopes. When Christ came in a manner contrary to their expectations, they would not receive Him; and in order to justify themselves, they tried to prove Him a deceiver. When once they had set their feet in this path, it was easy for Satan to strengthen their opposition to Christ. The very words that should have been received as evidence of His divinity were interpreted against Him. Thus they turned the truth of God into a lie, and the more directly the Saviour spoke to them in His works of mercy, the more determined they were in resisting the light.
Jesus said, “I receive not honor from men.” It was not the influence of the Sanhedrin, it was not their sanction He desired. He could receive no honor from their approbation. He was invested with the honor and authority of Heaven. Had He desired it, angels would have come to do Him homage; the Father would again have testified to His divinity. But for their own sake, for the sake of the nation whose leaders they were, He desired the Jewish rulers to discern His character, and receive the blessings He came to bring them.

“I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Jesus came by the authority of God, bearing His image, fulfilling His word, and seeking His glory; yet He was not accepted by the leaders in Israel; but when others should come, assuming the character of Christ, but actuated by their own will and seeking their own glory, they would be received. And why? Because he who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions. But the teaching of Christ did not coincide with their ideas. It was spiritual, and demanded the sacrifice of self; therefore they would not receive it. They were not acquainted with God, and to them His voice through Christ was the voice of a stranger.