Will Ye Also Go Away?

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By John Thiel

Couched within the natural heart of every human being there is a disposition to flee unpleasant experiences. It’s right inside of every one of us. It is lovely to be part of a church while there is harmony with my expectations, but come hardship, come trials, come imperfections, it is in our hearts to seek for greener hills.

As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith. {6T 400.3}

Sister White is addressing the reality of the natural heart and it is trials and difficulties. One pretext or another will cause souls to leave the body of Christ, to leave Jesus Christ. Such is the story of those who were part of Jesus Christ back there and of what seventy of them did.

John 6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

He had just told them that you must eat my flesh and drink my blood. He just told them that the path you are following with Jesus is a path that you didn’t quite expect.

John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard [this], said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 [What] and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Even the disciples were severely tested whether they would continue to be with Jesus when it came to the cross. Judas finally denied Him totally as so did Peter but he repented. But that which is couched in every natural heart is severely tested when we follow Jesus Christ. The disciples had a wonderful dream of Jesus being the ruler of the Jewish nation and they would conquer all the nations around them. They would then be in this beautiful euphoria of an earthly kingdom that Jesus is ruler over but that was not to be.therefore seventy left from that stage.

To be a true disciple of Jesus entails much more than comfortable church membership, much more. Here Paul is writing to a member of the church of Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

Endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ. This is in fact what it means to be a member of God’s church. Jesus asks us as He asked the seventy, will you also go away in the light of difference of what your expectations were? Ask a professed Christian, would you forsake Jesus? No! I would never forsake Jesus says a professed Christian. Examine how to ensure such a positive assertion. I wouldn’t think to forsake Jesus! How do I know? How can I be sure that I will not be among the seventy when it is couched in my heart, in my natural heart, that when it gets tough, I would rather be somewhere where it’s sweet and lovely?

Consider the following quote and apply this statement honestly to your heart. This is referring to the concept of would I forsake Jesus?

It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. {DA 324.1}

That is our first point of consideration, would I forsake Jesus? I wouldn’t think of doing it but you don’t need to deliberately choose to forsake Him. I only have to neglect to ally myself to the kingdom of light.

He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him. He cannot communicate that which he has not received. The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession. {DA 357.2}

I profess to be a follower of Jesus, I profess to love Him, but a spirit contrary to the Spirit of Christ would deny Him.

Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them. And “whosoever shall deny Me before men,” He says, “him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.” {DA 357.2}

We don’t have to deliberately say, I’m not going to follow Jesus.

We offer insult to the Prince of life, and put Him to shame before the synagogue of Satan and before the heavenly universe when we refuse to listen to His delegated messengers, and instead listen to the agents of Satan, who would draw the soul away from Christ. {DA 324.3}

To examine where we stand under the application of these quotes, we first need to secure our assurance of our true affiliation with Jesus Christ. Because as we read these things, the heart sinks a bit doesn’t it? When we see how sinful we are and we think, how many times have I done the very thing that I have been reading here? Therefore before we go into the depths of what we have been reading, let us examine our affiliation with Jesus. Affiliation? Atonement? The true disciple is the one who is written of in the following scripture. I referred to the natural heart.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

That’s the natural man but:

1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Here the true disciple is speaking about us and he says, the natural man is the thing I reject but I live in the Spirit in the spiritual realm and in the spiritual realm I must have the mind of Jesus. We have the mind of Christ. What does that mean? What does it mean to have the mind of Jesus and to be a true disciple? Here is the affiliation that we may have if we have the mind of Jesus:

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

What is that mind?

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We have the mind of Christ says the apostle. The true disciple has the mind of Christ. What is that? He has a mind that would regard the rejection of every reputation, I care not. That’s the mind of Christ, I care not about my reputation.

Philippians 2:7 [He] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

How does the mind of Jesus in the likeness of men continue?

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death

To really make it a punch line, it says:

Philippians 2:8 …even the death of the cross.

Here is the true reception of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We look at how Jesus became at one with us and went right down into the dregs of our sinful experience never sinning. Being so pure yet being so condemned and guilty,and full of rejection from His Father that He felt and He was prepared to go through with that. Let this mind be in you. This is the true disciple.

When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. {DA 324.1}

Satan cannot succeed to impregnate them. Doesn’t that give us comfort? Let this mind be in you. Let the powerful imprint of the atonement of Jesus penetrate into the very depths of your heart and let it take hold of our hearts and do this unnatural, this supernatural thing of changing our heart and of bringing a supernatural element into the human nature. This is the divine nature that is ours to receive. We may receive that divine nature by receiving this amazing mind of Jesus. What He did, the details of what it means, that as a man He humbled Himself even more, even to the death of the cross. As you explore the cross that Jesus suffered, not just hanging on there with the nails in His hands, not just the thorns upon His brow, Oh many people weep about that but they won’t weep about the other sufferings that they have no knowledge of, that they don’t even believe.
What did Jesus suffer at the cross? Sister White writes that His physical pain was hardly felt because He felt the terrible burden of sni. So severe was the pain that the physical pain was hardly felt. Very few explore this. If Jesus did that for us, if that was His mind, we need to pick up on it if we’re going to be true disciples.

We have the mind of Christ

Then comes this last little point about the incomplete reception because we are making sure that we want to be the ones who really receive Jesus and His mind and are the true disciples.

Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. {DA 324.1}

Let this mind be in you. Make a complete surrender. Have the mind of Jesus. If we don’t, we can never resist self-love, self-indulgence and temptation to sin.

We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end. {DA 324.1}

I thank God for the pure message of the atonement which keeps on penetrating until Jesus’ mind is fortified. May it be our experience as we gaze upon this beautiful Jesus. I do not wish to examine these previous quotes without this powerful picture in our mind. Otherwise we would give up. Will you also go away?

We offer insult to the Prince of life, and put Him to shame before the synagogue of Satan and before the heavenly universe when we refuse to listen to His delegated messengers, and instead listen to the agents of Satan, who would draw the soul away from Christ. {DA 324.3}

This is one way of walking from Jesus by refusing to listen to the delegated messengers that Jesus sends us.

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? {DA 212.4}

The Pharisees did not receive the real Jesus but when somebody would assume the character of Christ but be actuated by their own will and seeking their own glory, the Pharisees would receive them. Why?

Because he who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. {DA 212.4}

It is always greener under the ministry that cushions my personal self-exaltation. I love to be there. But to be under the ministry which does not appeal to my desire for self-exaltation and does the exact opposite, I become very upset in my natural heart.

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. {DA 212.4}

I was just told recently that I was regarded as the voice of a stranger. It is very fascinating. What was the reason? Because the things I proclaim didn’t fit well with the person who was listening. Jesus spoke and only the people who open their hearts to the mind of Jesus will enjoy Jesus. If they open their mind to their own opinion and their own selfisms, they will not like what He says they will walk away as the seventy did.

“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. {DA 213.2}

We offer insult to the Prince of life, and put Him to shame before the synagogue of Satan and before the heavenly universe when we refuse to listen to His delegated messengers, {DA 324.3}

Was Moses a delegated messenger? Yes. They didn’t listen to Him, and therefore they rejected Christ. That scenario continues through to our time. That’s how we can walk away from Jesus.

Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, {DA 357.2}

What did Jesus say?

Matthew 25:40 …Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren,

What?

Matthew 25:40 …ye have done [it] unto me.

We need the mind of Jesus to be activated within us intelligently and we will not walk away from Him, because we make these decisions contrary to this.
Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, {DA 357.2}
How do I deny Jesus by foolish talking? I have a different spirit. Foolish talking is not of Jesus, is it?

by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, {DA 357.2}

Hasn’t the Lord placed upon our shoulders duties to fulfil? It’s just a bit too much of a burden. No, I’ll go for the easier way. I am walking away from Jesus.

by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. {DA 357.2}

If you go into a place which is not where God wants you to go, what will you leave behind? The Spirit of prophecy says that you will leave the angels behind. You will leave Jesus behind. You are walking away from Him.

They may deny Him by conforming to the world, {DA 357.2}

How do we conform to the world? In many different ways. If we raise the subject of dress, you see people bristling because they like the ways of the world, the natural heart. But that together with all the other ways of the world, whether it be music, whether it be the things we eat, the pleasures that we engage in, he who loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. We walk away from Jesus.

…by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. {DA 357.2}

Why do we deny Christ if we borrow trouble and dwell in darkness? Because I absolutely don’t believe that Jesus is there in my problems. So I carry them on my own. I walk away from Jesus. I’m all miserable and complaining because I haven’t got Jesus with me in the negative experiences that I’m going through. I am walking away from Him. Everything we are reading here has to do with our hearts. We may still remain in the church, but at heart we may be denying Him. What will ultimately take place? Remember the seventy were walking with Jesus but at heart it was different and Jesus said there that He already knew from the beginning who it was that was unbelieving. He knew the revelation of their hearts. They departed from Him. Anybody that follows after me, it is given him of my Father.

If I do this in my heart although I am with God’s church at this present time, ultimately I will depart from His body. I will be like the seventy. Because within Christ’s church, the true Jesus becomes a constant irritation to those who are at heart occupied with their personal opinions with the love of self, the love of pursuing their own responses. They are continually irritated by Jesus’ mind. But if you have the mind of Jesus, is there an irritation? Not at all. If I feel discomforted by messages that unveil areas of my indulgence, as my indulgent practices are brought face to face before me under the message of Jesus Christ, shall I like the seventy depart from the body of Christ? Shall I leave to join a church that is more liberal? That’s what people do. They go to a church that has ministers in it that appeal to the desire for self-exaltation, a church that flatters my pride by sanctioning my cherished opinions and traditions. We can go there. There are plenty of those churches out there. There are many churches that in one way or another proclaim a different Jesus to the real one.

Our Day

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;

Where did that word “endure” appear in another text?

2 Timothy 2:3 …endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

They will not endure the doctrine that makes them have to endure hardness. But what will they do?

2 Timothy 2:3 but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

God leaves us to our own choices. We have choices but those choices will be made according to the natural condition of our hearts. If my heart has not received the supernatural imprint, then although I’m able to speak and teach well, to know all the words of truth, even though I’m able to convey the beautiful prophecies and have all those things, but I do not have the meekness and the unselfishness of Jesus Christ, I will walk away from Him.

Jesus stands with His arms open and a tearful voice, will you also go away? Jesus who made Himself of no reputation, He was obedient even to the death of the cross, with tearful voice He says, I want your companionship. Why did He go to the obedience of the cross? He didn’t have to did He? He denied Himself so that sinners, decrepit individuals that we are, could find their way back to the heart of the Father.

Jesus says, will you also leave me in my efforts to be at one with you in the misery that you will experience about me but which you may experience with me to come out from that misery? Will you leave me? It’s so simple isn’t it? If we leave Him, where will we end? Exactly where the Jews ended. In the misery of the destruction of Jerusalem. When this world is going to be destroyed, we will simply be in the same situation with our sins. But don’t worry about that so much. There are no scare tactics in God’s word while it looks like it.

Jesus stands there. He has tears and anguish for whom? For me. As I have to meet the discomforts of selflessness of being corrected and directed to a different way of dress, eating and drinking, whatever it is, if I am being oppressed against my comforts, won’t I let the attraction of Jesus’ discomforts cause me to come near the heart of God instead of running away?

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.
There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where we our Saviour meet,
Near to the heart of God.
There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

A place of full release where all is joy and peace. Not to the natural heart, not to those who are looking for self-opinionated comfort. Not at all. There is no peace there. It is for those who accept the invitation of Jesus, don’t leave me. I have come to become at one with you. Will you run away from that? That is the calling power of the gospel.

May God grant us not to walk away and hurt the heart of Jesus.

Amen.

Posted on February 17, 2014, in Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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