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Jesus is our Savior and perfect Pattern! The humility of His life is an invitation for us to dispense with outward show and cultivate what God truly values: holiness of heart, purity of life and consistency purpose for His glory. The only way we can have this experience is through a complete, continual surrender of the entire heart to Jesus Christ, so that He can fill us with the Holy Spirit!

“Because their understanding was darkened by selfish prejudice, they could not harmonize the power of Christ’s convicting words with the humility of His life. They did not appreciate the fact that real greatness can dispense with outward show. This Man’s poverty seemed wholly inconsistent with His claim to be the Messiah. They questioned, If He was what He claimed to be, why was He so unpretending? If He was satisfied to be without the force of arms, what would become of their nation? How could the power and glory so long anticipated bring the nations as subjects to the city of the Jews? Had not the priests taught that Israel was to bear rule over all the earth? and could it be possible that the great religious teachers were in error?” {The Desire of Ages, page 242, paragraph 3}

“But it was not simply the absence of outward glory in His life that led the Jews to reject Jesus. He was the embodiment of purity, and they were impure. He dwelt among men an example of spotless integrity. His blameless life flashed light upon their hearts. His sincerity revealed their insincerity. It made manifest the hollowness of their pretentious piety, and discovered iniquity to them in its odious character. Such a light was unwelcome.” {The Desire of Ages, page 243, paragraph 1}

Let us learn from the records of the past in Jesus‘ experience with the Jewish people. Let us open our hearts to all God desires to give us!
"If they ( The Children of Israel ) had honestly searched the Scriptures, bringing their theories to the test of God's word, Jesus need not have wept over their impenitence. He need not have declared, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Luke 13:35. They might have been acquainted with the evidence of His Messiahship, and the calamity that laid their proud city in ruins might have been averted. But the minds of the Jews had become narrowed by their unreasoning bigotry. The lessons of Christ revealed their deficiencies of character, and demanded repentance."

"If they accepted His teachings, their practices must be changed, and their cherished hopes relinquished. In order to be honored by Heaven, they must sacrifice the honor of men. If they obeyed the words of this new rabbi, they must go contrary to the opinions of the great thinkers and teachers of the time."
"Truth was unpopular in Christ's day. It is unpopular in our day. It has been unpopular ever since Satan first gave man a disrelish for it by presenting fables that lead to self-exaltation."

Do we not today meet theories and doctrines that have no foundation in the word of God? Men cling as tenaciously to them as did the Jews to their traditions.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--23--The Kingdom of God is at Hand
« Last post by Beacon on May 26, 2020, 08:53:36 AM »
"As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth."


Each day we are making choices that reveal our true priorities! Do we choose Jesus first? It is by beholding Him in His loveliness that we come to accept His imputed righteousness and allow Him to work out in us His imparted righteousness that brings all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing in our lives! Let us choose what is spiritual and eternal over the things that are quickly passing away! During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become evident how rapidly life as we know it can change. May we allow this season of preparation for the coming of Christ to help our focus be on His word, prayer, and the witness that will always result from the union and communion of soul that comes as we surrender unreservedly to Christ!

"The Jews misinterpreted and misapplied the word of God, and they knew not the time of their visitation. The years of the ministry of Christ and His apostles,—the precious last years of grace to the chosen people,—they spent in plotting the destruction of the Lord’s messengers. Earthly ambitions absorbed them, and the offer of the spiritual kingdom came to them in vain. So today the kingdom of this world absorbs men’s thoughts, and they take no note of the rapidly fulfilling prophecies and the tokens of the swift-coming kingdom of God." {The Desire of Ages, page 235, paragraph 2}

Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming! Let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us today how we may be about our Father's business and do the will of God thoroughly and faithfully, so that others will receive the everlasting gospel of His grace that has power to transform sinners into saints!
Coronavirus Pandemic 2019 / Re: Coronavirus
« Last post by Marelis on May 26, 2020, 04:24:15 AM »
It is good to discuss these matters. Yes, life is about risks, Wally and Richard. Lockdown has been the wake up call we needed and has afforded us the opportunity to be faced with scenarios we may not have needed to previously encountered or thought about. We were probably all stunned for some weeks. In any case, we've had a situation forced upon us in which we have had our liberties removed literally overnight, including no church attendance, severely restricted movement, no visitations. What surprised me was that I barely heard a murmur or complaint about the changes. We all obeyed and did as we were told. We didn't dare break any rules. Even if it was to avoid the hefty fines. All of which must make us do some serious soul-searching regarding:

- what is church going to look like hereafter?
- who and what is the church?
- loyalty to church organisation vs connecting more with like-minded individuals and small groups on the same wavelength
- when churches re-open...under what conditions are we willing to or called to meet inside a building designated a church? Are we willing sign in with all our personal details? Or with a ticket? Or if it involves cleaning on the Sabbath between services?
- the need to evangelise our churches, especially where there is apostasy
- being obedient to state regulations vs a higher calling to evangelise and give the final warning
- knowing when it is time for God's people to disseminate into the 'wilderness'

Let's discuss!
Amen, Brother Beacon, Sister Dorine, and Brother Richard! What unity we find in beholding the loveliness of Jesus and surrendering our whole heart to Him!

When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him by union and communion with Him in constant prayer, meditation upon His word, and sharing what Christ has done and is doing for us accompanied by the living witness of the Holy Spirit who manifests through us all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, we not only obey the law of God from a heart and mind renewed by divine grace, but we also consider it a privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ and to be led in the specific path His providence assigns us!

"God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. 'Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.' Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor." {The Desire of Ages, page 224, paragraph 5}

Those who will be martyred right before Jesus comes and suffer deeply, those who will go through fierce and fiery persecution because they refuse to renounce the pure faith of the Bible and violate the fourth commandment enjoining worship and rest on the seventh day Sabbath, and those who will live through the time of Jacob's trouble and be translated without seeing death will all know the joy of fellowship with Christ in suffering by a personal experience. Today we face trials that God allows for our good in the development of character and the opportunity to be a living witness of His grace in every situation. "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). Strength is always available in every situation through the only way to remain uncontaminated by the world, the flesh and the devil in each temptation: total surrender of the heart to "the Way" (John 14:6), Christ Jesus!

Every blessing is a trial, for it is a test as to whether we will use it for the glory of God; every trial is a blessing, for in the unique experience gained in that time, the Holy Spirit desires to teach us precious lessons of trust and obedience that better prepare us for greater trials to come. We need not fear for the future if we choose to keep our eyes steadfastly upon Jesus Christ and Him crucified, "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). This very experience--the faith of Jesus--He offers us today as we surrender unreservedly to His will being wrought out in our lives!
Amen Sister Dorine!! What a blessing to share Jesus with those who want to hear.

What is the most weighty trust and highest honor God can give to you and me? This chapter illustrates this in the life and suffering of John the Baptist.

  To many minds a deep mystery surrounds the fate of John the Baptist. They question why he should have been left to languish and die in prison. The mystery of this dark providence our human vision cannot penetrate; but it can never shake our confidence in God when we remember that John was but a sharer in the sufferings of Christ. All who follow Christ will wear the crown of sacrifice. They will surely be misunderstood by selfish men, and will be made a mark for the fierce assaults of Satan. It is this principle of self-sacrifice that his kingdom is established to destroy, and he will war against it wherever manifested.

Have you experienced this? If so, look up for your redemption draweth nigh.

As Brother Beacon has shared:

God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. "Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.

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.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--22--Imprisonment and Death of John
« Last post by Dorine on May 25, 2020, 04:02:06 AM »
"The witness borne of him after his death, by those who had heard his testimony to Jesus, was, "John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this Man were true." John 10:41. It was not given to John to call down fire from heaven, or to raise the dead, as Elijah did, nor to wield Moses' rod of power in the name of God. He was sent to herald the Saviour's advent, and to call upon the people to prepare for His coming. So faithfully did he fulfill his mission, that as the people recalled what he had taught them of Jesus, they could say, "All things that John spake of this Man were true." Such witness to Christ every disciple of the Master is called upon to bear."

We may feel that we have not accomplished great things in the work of God as we would like but the story of John is very uplifting and encouraging. We are to be witnesses to Christ just as John was. If God chooses to use us in a miraculous way that is wonderful but if He chooses to use us in a very humble work as John then there is no greater privilege than to lead souls to Christ. That in itself is a miracle.
The Desire of Ages / Re: The Desire of Ages--21--Bethesda and the Sandhedrin
« Last 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."
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