Archive for March, 2014

Reference : Desire of Ages 174-177 [Chapter 17- Nicodemus (part 3) – (John 3:1-22)]

 

The Jews which Jesus’ presence drove out of the temple, as Jesus was teaching Nicodemus, were in need of change; “a new moral birth, a cleansing from sin, and a renewing of knowledge and holiness.” [DA 174.1]

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Ezekiel 36:26,27 (KJV)

Nicodemus was now beginning to understand what Jesus was telling him; just obeying the law outwardly could not entitle anyone to enter the kingdom of heaven. We need not to miss the inward change, by focusing on the outward obedience. We ought to desire to have that inward transformation as Nicodemus longed for.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:14,15 (KJV)

Jesus was trying to get across the message “LOOK AND LIVE”. Just as with Moses when God directed him to make the brazen serpent and told them to look toward it to live which was just a symbol because the serpent in itself wasn’t able to do anything. Jesus was pointing to Himself as One made “in likeness of sinful flesh” [DA 175.1] was to be the people’s/our redeemer. We are to do the same; looking to Jesus and believe only He can save us.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12 (KJV)

…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29 (KJV)

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8 (KJV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (KJV)

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31 (KJV)

Reference : Desire of Ages 171-173 [Chapter 17- Nicodemus (part 2) – (John 3:1-22)]

 

Nicodemus sought to have a discussion with Jesus but Jesus only had one thing in mind and that was to lay bare the foundation principles of truth. As He spoke to Nicodemus, He made it clear that he doesn’t need to have his curiosity satisfied but that he needed to have a new heart. Nicodemus believed that because he was born an Israelite and due to his good works and work in the temple, he was sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He, like some of us, believe that because we are working in the church and doing good deeds, that we are covered. Jesus, however, was revealing to him and to us that more than our deeds are needed to enter. He said “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3 KJV).” Jesus was trying to teach Nicodemus that a Christian’s life was to be a transformed, which can only be done by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 (KJV)

Jesus used the wind to illustrate how the Spirit works; that even though we may not be able to pin point it in itself, it can be seen and felt. The work of the Spirit is revealed in all the actions of them that have felt it. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. The Spirit of God is able to transform lives once we prepare our hearts, after feeling the Spirit, and surrendering ourselves to Jesus. The Spirit works on the heart over time convicting us. We then ought to study and seek more truth as we are convicted.

Reference : John 3:1-22; Desire of Ages 167,168  [Chapter 17- Nicodemus (part 1)]

Nicodemus, though having a high status in the Jewish nation, was attracted to Jesus. The lessons that Jesus taught touched his heart and he desired to learn more. Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was moved by the Spirit of God. After receiving some truth from Jesus, Nicodemus was driven to find more and sought after it as he studied the Word of God. His conviction that Jesus was the One who was to come grew stronger as he searched. After hearing Jesus and seeing Him in action, Nicodemus was convicted of truth and grew a desire to get more truth; which led to his desire to meet Jesus.

That’s an awesome lesson for us as Christians; both as disciples and those being discipled. As Christians, after receiving some light/truth, we ought to search for more and seek after it. Which would lead us to seek the giver of that light. We should seek to meet Him. We should seek to know Him. All in order to receive more light; which leads us to be better disciples. As we live our lives, we ought to share that light we’ve received in all we do that others may have an opportunity to get a taste of the light. That would allow the Spirit to work on convicting them and leading them to seek more.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that as we study Your Word, we will be drawn closer to Jesus and that Your Spirit will grant us greater understanding as truth is revealed to us, through Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

Reference : Desire of Ages 164-166 [Chapter 16- In His Temple (part 4) – (John 2:13-25)]

The priests and rulers refused to accept that Jesus was sent by God, even though He had given convincing evidence of His character when He healed the weak and sick in the temple. They still proceeded to ask for a sign of which Jesus told them “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Neither they or Jesus’ disciples understood exactly what He meant because Jesus didn’t intend for them to receive that light/truth at that point as they weren’t prepared for it or was it the time for His plan to be in order. That light as time passed and Jesus died became clear and to many it would be “conclusive evidence of His divinity.” Because of our spiritual darkness, just as the disciples were initially, we don’t fully understood the lessons Jesus have for us to learn at any given time. It would take subsequent events to make clear these lessons and brighten the light. We aren’t going to understand everything right away, if at all; sometimes Jesus desires us to see more and experience more before the truth is revealed to us. This is something that we should wait on because we expect that if we study the Word of God we should get it the same time and understand the lessons to be learnt. Everything that Jesus did and said while He was on earth was to point to greater things.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV)

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 

 

Reference : Desire of Ages 161-163 [Chapter 16- In His Temple (part 3) – (John 2:13-25)]

Jesus’ presence cleansed the temple and He announced His mission as Messiah. We are all to understand that we are temples of God and we are to allow Christ’s presence in. His presence can cleanse us of that ‘unholy traffic’; sin. The temple in Jerusalem is to serve as a continual witness to us. His grace is what makes our temples His again. Jesus came to cleanse. He came to chase away “earthly desires, the selfish lusts and the evil habits” that corrupt our temples.

1 Corinthians 3:16,17 (KJV)

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

We ought to understand none of us can cleanse our hearts ourselves and that we need Jesus to do that. Only He is able. He is willing and waiting, but He will not force Himself in. We have to give Him permission.

Revelation  3:20 (KJV)

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.

Micah 7:19

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Christ’s presence was able to reveal the sin in the priests’ actions. “They realized… their position as hypocrites and robbers.” Allowing Jesus into our temples, gives Him the chance to point out and convict us of our sins. It also gives Him the chance to cleanse and heal us as He did the poor that remained in the temple. “When the last spark of hope seemed to be dead, Christ healed them.”

Reference : Desire of Ages 156-158 [Chapter 16- In His Temple (part 2) – (John 2:13-25)]

 

“…wherever God manifests His presence, the place is holy.” The priests found themselves in a position where they were blinded by their own personal gain that they lost fact of what they were to be doing. They weren’t able to see the needs of the people and thus not being able to show sympathy or compassion for the people. Christ came to the temple and saw that all the things done in His temple were perverted and were no longer being done for the purpose they were first intended and thus missing what they were pointing to. He saw that Spiritual worship was fast disappearing. Christ was able to see how all that was happening in the temple will play out for His people in the future; where the rulers and priests “will turn the needy from their right, and forbid that the gospel shall be preached to the poor.” He also sees how the love of God will be hidden from sinners. As Christ would have stood there in the court of the temple and take everything in, His presence hushed the activity in the court and everyone stopped and acknowledged His presence. They all now felt/saw all the wrong they were doing as they felt His divinity searching them all. They felt as though they were being  judged. No one questioned His authority as He overthrew the tables. They all felt His presence. Christ’s presence was able to clear the temple of unholy traffic and brought solemnity to the temple. Christ’s presence is able to bring a calm, even in our lives as long as we allow Him to come in. We have to be weary of what we do with our bodies. We are to allow our temples to be pure so that they can be used to do God’s work.

My Journal- Day 2

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Journal
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Reference : John 2:13-25; Desire of Ages 154,155 [Chapter 16- In His Temple (part 1)]

The story of Jesus going up to Jerusalem for the Passover and seeing all the confusion serves as a warning for us not to get too tied up in anything that we miss the purpose. Everything we do is an act of worship as were the acts of devotion the people came to Jerusalem to perform. However, the people got lost, they wandered and the true purpose lost. Greed and extortion became part of the proceedings. Christ was disgusted and He overthrew the tables and chased the people  out of His Father’s house. He desires that we not misuse anything or anyone for our personal gain. Respect is due for what is God’s. He would want all of us to treat everything that is God’s as though they belong to a king, as they do.