“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Infinite love and our Justification, an email

Hi Daniel,
Grace from God is an amazing thing. We don’t give grace like God gives infinite grace. He and His Son went to the nth degree to provide for every sin, Their forgiveness toward sinners, and for assurance to us of that forgiveness. It was infinite condemnation and infinite mercy that met together at Gethsemane and Golgotha. Knowing the care and love His Son had for the human race, God knew He could unload more than He needed to cover for the pardon of this world’s sins. Infinite wrath against our transgressions forced the infinite surety from Jesus; infinite condemnation amplified Jesus’ already eternally desperate need to keep us. God was driving the provisions for our redemption; and the infinitely close tie that the Son had with His Father was more than able to drink all the bitter cup of His substitution for us in damnation. He was the great red heifer, bloated and bloody all over before He left the garden. And God was suffering in His Son’s  waves of infinite agony in our damnation, and thus God was reconciling the world to Himself through His Son. Jesus, the Mother of all living, died in hard labor, for joy that many sons would come into the new world of faith and eternal life.
Because of all that, if we are broken with Jesus’ broken spirit, soul, and body, then the Father immediately sees us as He sees His dear Son. Our union with His Son changes the Father’s disposition toward us. God was doing to His Son the only thing that could change His own disposition. Nothing less than the infinite loss of the Father’s own Son in the Son’s infinite destruction by the cross related providences from the Father and by His lightning rod spiritual warfare upon His beloved Son could move the immutable will of God toward fallen man. And the Son, knowing this, was more than willing to take the risk of eternal loss, and go through with the spiritual trauma of death in His child birth. As it is written of Jesus,
And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it (1Sam. 4:20).
And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni [“son of my sorrow”]: but his father called him Benjamin [“son of my right hand”].
And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem (Gen. 35:16-19).
To Jesus, whose vision of a redeemed race was fading as His physical strength and consciousness faded, we were the children of His sorrow. But, to the Father we were the new children of His infinite favor in His Son’s magnificent sacrifice of self. He can never forget what His Son did to save us and to make Him able to justly change His disposition toward a rebellious world. We were born again in Bethlehem from the self-sacrificing Mother of all living by His hard labor until death overtook His sympathies and loving care for us in His second Bethlehem of Ephratah [“fruitful”]. “Of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the Highest Himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” (Ps. 87:5,6). And our witness to the world will be the same, “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.” (Vs. 4).
Now, as Jesus in life had never done anything wrong and in death only loved us to the very end, God sees us in the identically same light as He sees His Son who perfectly demonstrated to the universe their Father’s infinite self-sacrifice. He sees us dying in surrender under His scourging condemnation of our sins; He sees us, like His Son, never having done any wrong. When He justifies us, we have done no wrong. Deuteronomy 25:1 says that a judge can only justify the righteous, and can never justify the wicked. For God to justify you upon your surrender to His Law and your repentance before the crucifixion of His Son, you must have been righteous and not wicked. When God accounted your surrender and repentance as faith and righteousness, then He could declare you righteous. Your surrender before the Law’s demands of righteousness and your repentance before the cross’s demands of mercy met the conditions for your justification. No one can be justified who was not righteous, and God accounted you righteous. He cannot justify anyone who is wicked. So, when He forgave you, He looked at His Son, and simultaneously at your contrite heart seeking His acceptance, and God saw in you a son who is as perfect as His only Begotten. Your union with His Beloved changed God’s disposition toward your wretched past. You have attached yourself to His Son, and God knows you are in the best hands, because He made His Son the perfect Mediator when He challenged His Son’s love for you to the nth degree.
Beautiful gospel!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor?
Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen (Rom. 11:34-36).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Abiding: “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places”

 “But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Ps. 1:2,3).
This is an amazing subject: the abiding. Abiding in Christ, so that He becomes our teacher. His Spirit putting a word in our minds, guiding us in our lessons of life. How wonderful; how amazing! We can be learned and informed. We can be educated, but not like the world is educated. They learn from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They are trained in the union of truth and falsehoods. But, what Jesus offers is the true education of truth alone. We can be educated with holy education, His education, whose instructor was God, His Father.
“The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor.
     The question asked during the Saviour’s ministry, ‘How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?’ does not indicate that Jesus was unable to read, but merely that He had not received a rabbinical education. John 7:15. Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. Apart from the unholy ways of the world, He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature. He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man. From His earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as He studied plant life and animal life. Continually He was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life.
     Thus to Jesus the significance of the word and the works of God was unfolded, as He was trying to understand the reason of things. Heavenly beings were His attendants, and the culture of holy thoughts and communings was His. From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth.” Desire of Ages, p. 70.
But, how can I have His education? How can I get to the Master Teacher who lives in the heavenly sanctuary? And how can I rate to be included as His disciple? I’m not special. I’m a real failure in the subject of holiness and intelligence. My memory is weak; my tenacity to master a subject is feeble; my disposition toward intellectuals is rebellious. My pride makes me unteachable because I think I know everything already. I possess inherited and cultivated habits and paradigms that resist being taught and changed. I am hopelessly stupid.
But, Jesus comes to me with the offer, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:28,29).
He will give me an education in resting. I will end up with a degree in resting. And in that rest I will learn from the best Teacher this world has ever known.
“Of [God] are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor. 1:30). What a strategy for education! What a goal to reach. Wow! This is an education of the highest degree, an education that tends toward God and ends in heaven! The diploma is conferred upon us by the great Administrator of omniscience, the great God and King Himself! Our graduation ceremony will be held in the heavenly courts! Yet, our course mandates continuing education beyond our graduation—continuing education in wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, forever as we walk on the earth made new and as we fly to far-flung galaxies.
Don’t let the nightmare happen to me that is happening to the foolish virgins who are procrastinating this true education. “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” (Matt. 25:9). Procrastinating today will soon make it too late to be educated in the only true curriculum, through the Spirit of truth.
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” (Matt. 25:6-10).
So, how do I get started? Where do I sign on the dotted line? I need this education now. I should have had it years ago. This free world and peacetime have only a few months left before the big upheavals that will fulfill prophecy. I must learn to be holy and settled in the truth in a short time, which I could have learned gradually. My truancy may be my eternal undoing. Please give me the accelerated curriculum. Please teach me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. I need to master them quickly.
Here is your simple yet comprehensive curriculum outline for your Master’s degree in Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption (M. Wrsr.):
“The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Wherefore the Law was our Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:22-27).
Education plan:
I                       Conviction of sin
II                     Wrestling under difficulty, darkness, hopelessness,
yearning to be accepted of God
III                    God’s approval of the student’s surrender to His Law
IV                    Christ’s gift of full surrender, repentance, conversion, justification
V                     Graduation
VI                    Internship
VII                  Job placement, evangelism
VIII                 Continuing education
I  Conviction of sin
“The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”
When we begin our course under the Master we must begin humbly. Without a humble mind we can’t learn a single spiritual thing. But, no one is born with a humble mind, therefore the Master must humble our minds. We must be humbled by the knowledge of our lack. Our education will be a holistic education, one that encompasses heart, mind, soul, and body. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1Tim. 4:8).
The conviction of sin is the first step in your humbling and learning. Only the Spirit of truth can convict you of sin that is so magnified as to help you see ourselves as God sees you—exceedingly sinful. In the heart of Jesus this is a terrible ordeal, nevertheless He knows it must take place if you are to receive any education in the degree of Master of Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption (M. Wrsr.) He is your Teacher, Tutor, and Guidance Counselor, who personally administers your course material. But His Father and God, the Schoolmaster, the Governor, the President, oversees the whole operation of your educational plan. As painful to the heart of your Teacher Jesus as your convictions of sin are, He will never deviate from the requirements of His Principle Father.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29).
The law of kindness will always be in His mouth, but never expect Him to be deterred from your humbling and conviction of sin. A word of precaution from the President of this education institution, concerning His approved Master Teacher:
“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him. But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” (Ex. 23:20-22).
“The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:6,7).
II  Wrestling under difficulty, darkness, hopelessness, yearning to be accepted of God
“But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.”
You will be required to struggle and surrender to the high standards of the moral Law. “The law worketh wrath” (Rom. 4:15), and this the Master and His Father Governor know and anticipate. Resolving your inner rebellion toward the Governor’s infinitely great goodness will take time. But, be patient with this process. As the school manual states:
“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Ps. 32:4,5).
“And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.” (Isa. 30:18).
So during this phase of your education in blessedness and holiness, expect depression and fear of the unpardonable sin, and much sorrow for your sins. But, be of good cheer, He has left you the promise, “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31). There is much hope if you will patiently endure these first works. Until you fully submit to the righteousness of God, you cannot go on unto perfection—knowing the only true God, the Spirit of truth, and His only begotten Son. Knowing Their experience in dealing with you and your sins, will be your wisdom and yourgift of life eternal.
III  God’s approval of the student’s surrender to His Law
“Wherefore the Law was our Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.”
Once you have surrendered to the President’s model of character requirements, then He will authorize His Son, your Teacher, to bless you with His grace and truth. Your wrestling and surrender to the Law of the education institution have developed faith in your heart. That faith is full of appreciation for the Law of the President, and delight in meditating on it and praying to Him. That faith is full of loyalty to the President’s Law and is perfectly open to its inculcation into your heart and mind. You are worthy to receive the intimate knowledge of His Son’s poured out soul in your behalf. Your faith and tenacity to be accepted by God have prepared your soul for this greater, more revealing knowledge.
The President will not be the one to bless you. He will delegate that to His most precious Son, your Teacher, your Propitiation who laid down His life for you. The Propitiation poured out His most precious soul to give you the high privilege of uniting with Him for your privately taught higher education. You didn’t deserve His eternal death for your eternal life, His infinite loss for your infinite gain. But, He loved you and gave Himself for you; and He calls you, “the dearly beloved of My soul.” (Jer. 12:7). As it is written, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (Gen. 22:8).
The President/Principal stands for justice and for the high standard. Although His goodness exceeds the heavens, He will only manifest His goodness through His provision for your Teacher’s blessing. His infinite goodness will come to you wrapped up in Jesus. Yet, your Teacher will never give you His grace without maintaining His high standard of truth that originates from His Father, the Principal.
Never think that you can presume upon your Teacher’s grace to discard His consecration to truth and to His Father’s justice. Your Teacher’s suffering under His God’s hot revulsion of your sinfulness, your Teacher’s multiplied sorrows under the Almighty’s condemnation and rejection, guaranteed your Master’s infinite fidelity to the Principal’s high standards in your curriculum. So, always be thankful for the goodness of the Principal expressed to you in the lovingkindness of His approved Teacher.
Only under this regimen of grace and truth, mercy and justice, will you excel in all your areas of study toward your degree, Master of Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption (M. Wrsr.). And, since this degree of study was your choice and you desperately desired to have this degree, then you will find its tough regimen delightfully doable. Said your Master Teacher, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:30). “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2Tim. 2:3).
IV  Christ’s gift of full surrender, repentance, conversion, justification
“Wherefore the Law was our Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
Because at this point in your curriculum you have surrendered to the Law and to the death of the Prince of heaven due to your insolence and rebellion against your Master and contrariness to the Law of the President, then the President is just to rewrite your past. You are justified and a certified student in the school of God. You are a saint in God’s estimation and greatly beloved in the eyes of your Teacher. “The soul of [your Master Teacher is] knit with [your soul], and [your Teacher loves you] as His own soul.” (1Sam. 18:1). Justification gives you a boon to health, both physically and mentally and spiritually. God has given you a rare gift—a new heart to know Him. It will open your heart to truth and make you susceptible to increasing truth and grace. By God’s gift of a heart and spirit made in His bosom, you have sucked honey from the stone Law, and olive oil from the flinty Law. Praise ye the Lord. His knowledge enters your heart and intellect in voluminous quantities and with deep quality.
V  Graduation
“But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
You have completed the school of Christ, and it is time to graduate. Repentance has been the final result of all that you’ve learned. That repentance is founded upon the Law of God and the cross of Christ. Faith in and great need for God through His Son have been the modus operandi for your new repentant heart and humbled soul. But, you’ve just begun the greater education that you will receive on the job.
Justice and truth have never been discarded in your elite education, by either President or Teacher of your institution, and therefore, the Law will remain the foundation of your faith in Their mercy and grace. If you will maintain your love for the Law of love, and your fidelity to its justice and truth, then you will continue in your fellowship with the Father and the Son.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32).
“We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14).
VI  Internship
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
You will face many temptations. Satan will attempt to rob you of your special education. He will attempt to lead you to indulge self, to make self the center of your work, your life, even making self the center of your worship of the Principal. But, remember that the eyes of the Lord run throughout the whole earth, showing Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward Him, and increasingly silent to those who are losing their first love. God, the great Judge, who upholds His Law in justice, and who dispensed mercy through His Son, will never be a respecter of persons to His graduates. But, we have come to love surrender to the Law; we have come to love the humbling and the prospect for further humbling. So we love the great Judge for the hard position He must hold. With the angelic hosts that surround His throne, all our eyes are directed to Him, our Father in heaven.
But, He will be by your side while you hold His ways of utmost importance. If you fall to temptations and sin against Him, and if you quickly return to His Son for His pardon and acceptance, then faith His Son and repentance through Him God will count as perfect loyalty, and He will resume your internship for His glory. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16). “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever.” (Ps. 103:8,9).
You have experienced repentance. Always use that faculty and never eschew it.
VII  Job placement, evangelism
 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Your blessing from the presence of the Lord will land you in many opportunities. Whatever your hand finds to do, you will have the energy from above to do it with all your might. In whatever occupation that your Master gives you, primary must be the exaltation of His glory, and secondary must be the exaltation of your employer. If your Master remains at the forefront of your thoughts and will, then He will prosper your work and defend you. Love Him with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. And love your neighbors, family, employers as yourself. Never reverse this priority and put the Lord secondary to your employers, “lest I confound thee before them” (Jer. 1:17), as in your hearing your Teacher taught you during your course work.
VIII  Continuing education
“As you have therefore received the Lord Jesus Christ, so walk ye in Him.” (Col. 2:6).
Having received a knowledge of infinite grace and truth, as His continuing student, be given to it. Consume it, and let it consume you. Make your Master your meditation throughout all your days, “entering into His rest” (Heb. 4:1). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:1,2). “Sanctify the LORD of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary.” (Isa. 8:13,14). Abide in Him, walking in His high standard of love. “He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” (Isa. 57:2).
“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18). Walking in the light, as God sheds the light through His Son, you will have fellowship with the Godhead and others, and the blood of Jesus will cleanse you of all sin. Keener your conscience will grow, and stronger your sense of zeal for the righteousness of the God of love.
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jn. 3:9).
Deeper and fuller your communion with the Spirit of truth will grow as you draw nearer and nearer to His Son. More and more constant your meditation. You will be like Enoch who often escaped the hard-hearted and violent cities to the solitude of the wilderness to commune with his Maker. “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years… And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5:22,24).
Your testimony will be:
“The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot.
I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.…
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ps. 16:5-9,11).
“The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” (Ps. 16:6).

Friday, February 10, 2017

Salvation from God's Law before salvation from Christ's grace

Hi Daniel,

…But what I see the truest protection from that is a Law-based gospel. Its the condemnation of sin by the Law that keeps us needing a Saviour from sin. Condemnation of sin is very real and up-close. That is why the Old Testament was built upon Law. The Law created the only true hedge against the prevailing spiritualism that surrounded Israel. And the Law is our only protection from the spiritualism that is around us today in the atheism, the false science of the scientific community, the unbiblical doctrines that lead to Rome, the partying and celebration of everything under the sun, etc. The Law gave Israel the only true access to Jehovah through great need―the great need for forgiveness and acceptance upon surrender to the Law. That only true surrender could only happen by the work of Christ as their pride wrestled with conviction and rebuke. For all who surrendered to the Schoolmaster He immediately authorized the mercy of Christ, and the Israelite received the promise of the Spirit. The Spirit that the converted Israelite received was Jesus Himself, who would give them a new heart and a new spirit―a spirit that resonated with His Spirit, “the Lord our righteousness”, or as Jones and Waggoner rephrased it, “Christ our righteousness”.

David was the perfect example of that, and so were all the prophets and the later apostles. They all sucked honey from the stone Law and they sucked olive oil from the flinty Law (see Deuteronomy 32:13). That is the only method to have the salvation of the Lord, even today―with exception to one other method, which is essentially the same. That is, to avoid the condemnation of the Law until the consequences of its evasion lead the sinner to ultimately surrender to the Law. Then the above process picks back up again and the Schoolmaster immediately authorized His High Priest Son to intercede with His Spirit, the “Spirit of His Son” (Gal. 4:6).

All who abrogate the Law, either blatantly through church doctrine and dogma or privately in their own volition, shoot themselves in the foot. They can never have the salvation of Jesus through His Spirit. They can never know peace with God. If the pride is never demolished by the scourging of the Schoolmaster’s Law, then the religious person is illegitimate. He is not a son. Jesus said, “Except I wash thee not (demolish your pride by washing your nastiness), you have no part with Me.”

The Law attacks our pride, and if we never bow before the Schoolmaster and keep bowing, then we die in our fallen, corrupting pride. It’s amazing how much torment we will take the keep from bowing to rebuke and condemnation from our Father. Even if it was never explained to us what the torment is about, by nature we should cry out to “somebody up there” for help. And many do. As there are no atheists in foxholes, neither are we atheists when under tremendous stress or anxiety or need.

“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.” (Ps. 103:13). The fear of the Lord must assume that we trembled before His condemnation of sin. They can never know the blessedness of His Spirit who never accept His denunciation of sin. If He can’t correct them, He can’t protect them from Satan. But if they bow before His rebuke, then He is just to bring them to Christ who will justify them. All who fear before Him as their Father, have His acceptance under law and they know perfect freedom. He becomes their everlasting Father who automatically gives them everlasting life.

To deny Him His authority to condemn sin leads the whole world (religious or secular, they are all the descendants of Adam) to celebrate an imaginary salvation. They live under their own law and self-justifying works, not God’s Law and His justification. Their works are not the fruit of the Spirit, the righteousness of God. They can’t claim the Lord our righteousness. Wrestling with His reproving Law never brought them into close contact with the Perpetrator of the humbling. They never received faith by the evidences that came from that close contact with the Forgiver and Giver of our righteousness. They are not saved, despite all their abundant profession, and despite all their multitudinous celebrations and worship-fests, evangelism, fastings, and prayers. They are in rebellion because they rebel against the very first work of bowing before the Law and its condemnation of sin. They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. They are reprobate silver (slag).

Relieved at the acceptance from God, resulting in happily living under His Law, is the only tell-tale sign of those who are the true sons of God. Only they have received a Saviour from sin, and who were born not of the flesh or of man, but of the Almighty God. They don’t run from the adversary’s Goliaths, the fearless sons of God run at their Goliaths with a single smooth stone. With the Lion of Judah roaring behind them, one little word from a little sons of God fells the big, bad ogres.
Sabbath blessings brother,


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The big picture

We need the big picture. We need to know that God is leading us. We need to have certainty of salvation. We need to realize that we are living at stupendous times. Once we have these we need to keep them ever before us. This is the big picture, the true guiding light.
The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His Word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages, and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.
Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour’s prophecy of the events to precede His coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…. Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place,that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis. Prophets and Kings, pp. 536, 537.
It’s so easy to get consumed with the day-to-day cares and forget the big picture. Are we seeing the collapse of Protestantism all around us? Has the Bible lost all of its truth and power to save the hearts of men? To reveal the deceptions of Satan?
“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Rev. 18:2,3).
Are we seeing a world growing in atheism, being increasingly corrupted by the false prophet from Babylon, and living without a knowledge of the goodness of God, therefore unable to control their anger?
“The nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:18).
Aren’t the nations angry because the God of love is hidden from their sight? Isn’t He unknown to them because they have accepted the life of atheistic idolatry and self-indulgence? Aren’t we seeing a world that has completely forgotten that there will be a day of judgment? Aren’t they growing increasingly oblivious or arrogantly opposed to such a concept? Isn’t the world so disbelieving in the Almighty that everything moral is relative, that there aren’t moral absolutes from their Creator? Isn’t the world hardening in its atheistic ways and thinking, and strengthening its influences and draw upon a dwindling core of faithful to the old path wherein is the good way and rest for our souls?
We must inquire of our souls and seek diligently to know, Are we becoming foolish virgins, less inclined to love the word of God and the cleansing that it gives us? Is our fullness of joy still in the things of God, so that our reserve of oil remains full, along with the present lamp in our hearts? Are we stockpiling His admonitions, just in case? Just in case the coming troubles take longer than we want to believe they will? We must afflict our souls and ask ourselves, Can I live like this internet connected, finance connected world is not on the verge of a stupendous crisis? Will I go to work just to pay the bills, like Babylon does? Or just to save up for some future dream of “the good life”, like the Sodomites did? Remember Lot’s wife. Remember Sodom. Remember Belshazzar. Remember the Babylonians. Remember their religious celebrations and partying the night of their destruction.
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30).
We need a guiding light. We need the very presence of Jesus, for Him to keep reminding us of the times in which we live. We need to be part of the purposes of God so that we can have the earnest for the high standard that pleases Him. This is what Jesus did for the father of the Old Testament holy prophets and people.
“The Lord knew the evil influences that would surround Jacob, and the perils to which he would be exposed. In mercy He opened up the future before the repentant fugitive, that he might understand the divine purpose with reference to himself, and be prepared to resist the temptations that would surely come to him when alone amid idolaters and scheming men. There would be ever before him the high standard at which he must aim; and the knowledge that through him the purpose of God was reaching its accomplishment, would constantly prompt him to faithfulness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 184.
Because of Jacob’s vision from heaven, “there would be ever before him the high standard at which he must aim; and the knowledge that through him the purpose of God was reaching its accomplishment, would constantly prompt him to faithfulness.” Jacob needed to “understand the divine purpose with reference to himself, and be prepared to resist the temptations that would surely come to him when alone amid idolaters and scheming men.”
Do we recognize a divine purpose with reference to ourselves? Is God for us? Is our confidence in God? Can we say with certainty,
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).
Does this verse apply to us? Haven’t we set our love on Jesus? Can we sense that God has been for us, and still is? How do we answer that question? Have we made many mistakes? Grievous mistakes? Seeming unpardonable mistakes? Nonetheless, have we sought God’s face anyway, just in case He will hear us? Will we ask Him for a little blessing, “If that is all we deserve from You?” Will we recite His promises, and let them encourage us find the courage to look upward to Him because His promises say that His mercy endureth forever?

In shame and humiliation, has our prayer been to God, “Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11)? In spite of our status before the Law of God, has our tenacious prayer been, “I also … will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the King, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Est. 4:16)? Have we found when we did that, that “nevertheless I live” (Gal. 2:20)? Because of persistent faith we live in His sight. Importunate prayer makes strong, robust sons of God.
Are we examining ourselves lest saving faith silently slips away and we mysteriously become reprobate? Am I asking myself, Do I still have peace with God? Have I left Him for the trinkets and tasty treats of this world? How recent is my sense of God’s acceptance by His grace and a renewed hope in Jesus? Can I say once again, Does God have a plan for me? Am I in that plan? Am I diligently keeping myself open to Him? Am I remaining unburdened regarding, and unattached to, the world so that Jesus can use me? Is my status with the world so ready to detach from it that I could leave it all for the gospel’s sake at a moment’s notice? Have we surrendered all, so we have nothing to lose, especially our peace with God?
Such a dedication to God doesn’t imply being super-religious, fanatical, cloistered away from the world, or so woefully paralyzed by last day events that I am not able to come to Jesus, as my Comforter. But, it does mean being shamed and vulnerable before God and His Law. Then it means the Father taking me to Jesus and me choosing to stay with m Master, according to Galatians 3:24. It means learning of Jesus without forgetting the stupendous times in which we live. It means desiring to share the good things I’ve learned about the goodness of my Friend and having a ready answer to others concerning the hope that lies within me. It means remembering that the final message to the world is the utmost concern today. The qualifications for giving that final message are the biggest reason to keep studying the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. It means overcoming self and appetites. It means gathering up precious promises in scripture, in nature, in experiences of life. It means doing whatever the Spirit of the Lord brings to mind for o preparing to see Jesus’ soon “coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:30).
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:1-3).
“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” Great Controversy, p. 425.
“Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.’ John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.  
     It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.” Great Controversy, p. 623.
It means staying alert to the times and getting ready to meet Jesus face to face.
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” (1Jn. 3:4-6).
“Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” (Mark 13:35-37).
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.” (Matt. 24:30).
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev. 1:7).
Will we stand when He comes, and say, This is our God? Or, will we run away from Him with the careless world? Won’t our choice be as difficult as Christ’s choice was in Gethsemane? Yes.“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:15-17).
Are we being humbled? Are we letting either the Law of God or the lessons of life lay our pride in the dust? “What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 456. Is our uncircumcised heart being humbled? Are we being justified? Born again? Having Christ’s peace and power?
“From the hour when he received the birthright, Jacob was weighed down with self-condemnation. He had sinned against his father, his brother, his own soul, and against God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 180.
“Yet it was with a deeply troubled heart that Jacob set out on his lonely journey. With only his staff in his hand he must travel hundreds of miles through a country inhabited by wild, roving tribes. In his remorse and timidity he sought to avoid men, lest he should be traced by his angry brother. He feared that he had lost forever the blessing that God had purposed to give him; and Satan was at hand to press temptations upon him.  
     The evening of the second day found him far away from his father’s tents. He felt that he was an outcast, and he knew that all this trouble had been brought upon him by his own wrong course. The darkness of despair pressed upon his soul, and he hardly dared to pray. But he was so utterly lonely that he felt the need of protection from God as he had never felt it before. With weeping and deep humiliation he confessed his sin, and entreated for some evidence that he was not utterly forsaken. Still his burdened heart found no relief. He had lost all confidence in himself, and he feared that the God of his fathers had cast him off.
     But God did not forsake Jacob. His mercy was still extended to His erring, distrustful servant. The Lord compassionately revealed just what Jacob needed--a Saviour. He had sinned, but his heart was filled with gratitude as he saw revealed a way by which he could be restored to the favor of God.
    Wearied with his journey, the wanderer lay down upon the ground, with a stone for his pillow. As he slept he beheld a ladder, bright and shining, whose base rested upon the earth, while the top reached to heaven. Upon this ladder angels were ascending and descending; above it was the Lord of glory, and from the heavens His voice was heard: ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.’ The land whereon he lay as an exile and fugitive was promised to him and to his posterity, with the assurance, ‘In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ This promise had been given to Abraham and to Isaac, and now it was renewed to Jacob. Then in special regard to his present loneliness and distress, the words of comfort and encouragement were spoken: ‘Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 183.
“In mercy [the Lord] opened up the future before the repentant fugitive, that he might understand the divine purpose with reference to himself, and be prepared to resist the temptations that would surely come to him when alone amid idolaters and scheming men. There would be ever before him the high standard at which he must aim; and the knowledge that through him the purpose of God was reaching its accomplishment, would constantly prompt him to faithfulness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 184.
Do we have Jacob’s experience of conviction of sin, and his deep repentance? Do we have the faithful result of that in his certainty of salvation? Has the Lord done for us what He did for His repentant child and opened up our eyes to the near future and its difficult time of troubles, and its temptations to leave the only true God and join in with the merriment of the one false god who has lifted himself up to be equal with the Godhead? Shouldn’t we have the certainty of salvation that Jacob had? Yes, all scripture is profitable for doctrine. We must have that kind of certainty, we must fortify our minds with the truths of God’s word or we cannot be one of the 144,000, and we will fail out of the hard test ahead of us. He will bring upon the world a first time of trouble to punish us for our neglect toward His high, high standard counsels in the Spirit of Prophecy. But, it will all be for our benefit, as a last chance for Him to finalize His preparation of the last generation who do stand with Him on Mt. Zion during that final trial.
“And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:39-42).
By the strong work and counsels of the faithful and reproving Witness of Jesus, and by our strong confidence in His mercy for us we will see an army of angels travelling up to and down from Mt. Zion where sits the Son of Man on the right hand of Power. By faith we will “come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” (Heb. 12:22).
Won’t we strive to be among the 144,000?

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Jesus has suffered long and is still kind

“Said unto them, Ye have brought this Man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those things whereof ye accuse Him:
No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.
I will therefore chastise Him, and release Him.
(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas:
(Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
But they cried, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him.
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath He done? I have found no cause of death in Him: I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go.
And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.” (Luke 23:14-23).
“Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas:…
Crucify Him, crucify Him….
And they were instant [quickly retorting and demanding] with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed….” (Luke 23:18,21,23).
Who was perverting the people? Who was perverting justice? This conviction was crossing Pilate’s mind. Certainly the leaders were perverting the law. Surely they were shedding innocent blood. And this was no ordinary man. “He answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.” (Matt. 27:14).
Did the holy religious leaders not know or remember their own law, the Law of Moses?
“If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in His ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.” (Deut. 19:9-13).
“They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.” (Ps. 94:21).
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit.” (Prov. 1:10-12).
Yet, Jesus, the Lord God of Israel, the Prince of peace, suffered under their raging.
“And there were also two other, malefactors, led with Him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:32-34).

All their higher education could not stop them from breaking the Law of God. This is because Satan was wiser than they could ever be, and more deceptive and controlling than they could ever withstand. Their intellect gave them power over the people, but not the insight to realize that God was watching their wickedness. What they needed was faith and love, and they would have overcome this great sin.
We are all “by nature the children of wrath.” (Eph. 2:3). Who was perverting the Law and slaying the Lamb of God? We were! You and I! Every one of us, religious and irreligious alike!
“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” Steps to Christ, p. 18.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways.” (Rom. 3:10-16).
But, Jesus let our rage beat upon Himself. If only we could see ourselves guilty and in need of God’s grace. “For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself.” (Heb. 12:3). If we should refuse this opportunity to repent, nothing will save us.
“But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against Me. Because thy rage against Me and thy tumult is come up into Mine ears, therefore I will put My hook in thy nose, and My bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.” (2Ki. 19:27,28).
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Ps. 2:1).
Those religious instigators of national murder against the Son of the Highest will be raised to see Jesus coming in all His power and glory. Yet to the people He sent His apostles and church to open the eyes and ears of all who regretted their treatment of the great Healer of all disease and the Champion of all the downtrodden. Many priests repented. His love for them was unchanged. His mercy endured forever.
Jesus suffered long and yet was kind. Jesus suffers long and still is kind. Jesus will always suffer long and be kind. He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb. 13:8).
Today we are using Paul’s description of love.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth.” (1Cor. 13:4-8).
Jesus suffered long, and was kind; Jesus envied not; He vaunteth not Himself, He was not puffed up,
He did not behave Himself unseemly, He sought not His own, He was not easily provoked, He never thought evil toward anyone;
Jesus rejoiced not in iniquity, but He rejoiced in the truth;
He bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things.
Jesus never failed.

We substituted the name of Jesus for charity. How do we know we are allowed to make this substitution? Isn’t that changing the Word of God? No, Jesus told us to do this. He authorized the substitution. This is His commandment.

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” (John 5:39). Since Jesus is love, then we can put Him in every mention of love. “God is love” makes no sense if we haven’t seen His divine love in action. So let’s watch Jesus. Let’s search Him out, leaving no stone unturned.
Search. Not search, as in “we search”, “you all search”, “they search”. Not searches, as in “he searches”, “she searches”, “so-and-so searches”. Search, as in a command. Do it.
So search the scriptures! Search there for Jesus! Let nothing and nobody get in the way!!! Your eternal life today and forever depends on this one effort! You’ve struck hands with the devil all your life and have come up empty, sick, and hopeless. “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, My son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of [the devil]; go, humble thyself, and make sure [the devil]. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself [from the covenant with the cunning high priest of familiar spirits] as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” (Prov. 6:2-5).
We have a treasure trove of knowledge of Jesus throughout the scriptures, Old Testament and New Testament. It’s all there for the finding and taking. Don’t be detracted or derailed from this exciting safari. It’s all there for the claiming ownership of. Will you lay claim to the knowledge of the God of love revealed in the Son of His love? Will you stake your claim on this gold mine?
We can safely assume that all the love that the Lord of love revealed in the past is for us. All the people in sacred history are showcased for our sakes, here in the 21st century. All the milk and honey, mercy and love that He gave them during Bible times are milk and honey and mercy and love for us. Assuming is not always a wrong action. But, we must also assume that for love to be love, mercy must come with justice. Mercy without justice, lawless grace is not right, and cannot be allowed to exist. Similarly, justice without mercy is not fair, bullying and dictatorial treatment have nothing to do with mercy, and should never be.
For a father and mother to truly love they must protect their children from the failings and mistakes of their other children within the home. The parents must keep watchful eye on their older, influential leaders among the brood who can endanger the younger, easily-influenced children. Likewise our God of love, and the beloved Son of His bosom. They keep constant tabs on us. Aren’t you glad for that? I am. I want Their attention and love the idea of Their involvement. I feel much cozier knowing that They maintain justice in the world. Love! I love love, don’t you love love! I love to be loved! And I want to learn better how to love others more?
Jesus came to Earth loving. From eternity, kindness is all He could do and wanted to do. That’s all His Father could ever do. And, rest assured that that is all Jesus will ever do. Justice and mercy mixed, precept and promise, Law and love combining, full of truth and grace. From everlasting His Father trained up Jesus in the way of love, and when He was grown He could not depart from it. In all of His “goings forth…from of old, from the days of eternity” (Mic. 5:2, margin) love and unity were His work. For that result in us Jesus constantly groaned within His Spirit. We can be loving only because we are His workmanship. We love because He first loved us. His Spirit mated with the prophet’s spirit, and our spirit mates with the prophet’s spirit. Therefore, we mate with Jesus. When we are born again and receive a new heart, we are in sync with the message of love that we hear from His prophet. We live synchronized with the Lord God of heaven; and we are synchronized with His Law. Our souls vibrate in harmony with His soul. Therefore, we hear the voice of Jesus through the fatherly messages from the prophets, because our new conscience is like an antenna that detects the Spirit of the Son that moved the prophets to write. We yearn for more of Jesus’ love and guidance, as the prophets yearned for Him. We search the scriptures and find Him. Thus, we are soul-mates with Christ and with all of His prophetic children.
Do you want to know eternal love? To know that “the LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy”? To know that “He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever” (Ps. 103:8,9)? Do you want to hear love and see it? Do you desire to experience it? Then, go to the Bible, and see that all the fatherly and motherly love there was written for you. It all testifies of Jesus and you.
When a leper desperately wanted healing and heard of Jesus, he naturally assumed that Jesus could heal him too! That was reasonable, don’t you think? Faith is rational. So, he asked around and made his way to where he was told Jesus was. As soon as he caught sight of Jesus, he forgot all the rules that applied to lepers. He had spent all his years of leprosy crying out to people, “Unclean! Unclean!” There was no healing for people with his problems. So hopelessly, he spent his days shut out of regular life, forever warning people away from himself with, “Unclean! Unclean!” He was well grounded in the duties of the lepers. But, all these duties he forgot as soon as his heart’s desire caught that first glimpse of the great Healer. Suddenly, the whole world disappeared. All the people no longer existed, and neither did their safety. He walked right up to the multitudes surrounding Jesus.
They fell back in fear and shock! The leper walked right through the crowds, on his way to Jesus. The leper didn’t hear the screams; he paid no mind to their shouts and curses. One thing was on his mind; one thing filled his imagination. That was the soon moment when he would be healed. Jesus healing him was a given. It was a done deal. It was going to happen. Because Jesus never fails. This was faith operating from great need.
“In the region of Christ’s ministry, there were many of these sufferers, and the news of His work reached them, kindling a gleam of hope. But since the days of Elisha the prophet, such a thing had never been known as the cleansing of one upon whom this disease had fastened. They dared not expect Jesus to do for them what He had never done for any man. There was one, however, in whose heart faith began to spring up. Yet the man knew not how to reach Jesus. Debarred as he was from contact with his fellow men, how could he present himself to the Healer? And he questioned if Christ would heal him. Would He stoop to notice one believed to be suffering under the judgment of God? Would He not, like the Pharisees, and even the physicians, pronounce a curse upon him, and warn him to flee from the haunts of men? He thought of all that had been told him of Jesus. Not one who had sought His help had been turned away. The wretched man determined to find the Saviour. Though shut out from the cities, it might be that he could cross His path in some byway along the mountain roads, or find Him as He was teaching outside the towns. The difficulties were great, but this was his only hope.
     The leper is guided to the Saviour. Jesus is teaching beside the lake, and the people are gathered about Him. Standing afar off, the leper catches a few words from the Saviour’s lips. He sees Him laying His hands upon the sick. He sees the lame, the blind, the paralytic, and those dying of various maladies rise up in health, praising God for their deliverance. Faith strengthens in his heart. He draws nearer and yet nearer to the gathered throng. The restrictions laid upon him, the safety of the people, and the fear with which all men regard him are forgotten. He thinks only of the blessed hope of healing.
     He is a loathsome spectacle. The disease has made frightful inroads, and his decaying body is horrible to look upon. At sight of him the people fall back in terror. They crowd upon one another in their eagerness to escape from contact with him. Some try to prevent him from approaching Jesus, but in vain. He neither sees nor hears them. Their expressions of loathing are lost upon him. He sees only the Son of God. He hears only the voice that speaks life to the dying. Pressing to Jesus, he casts himself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.’” Desire of Ages, p. 263.
“‘Sir, if you want to, you can make me clean.’  Jesus reached out and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he answered. ‘Be clean!’ At once the man was healed of his disease.” (Matt. 8:2,3, Good News Bible).
Strong faith. Not the right quantity, but the right quality of faith was moving the man to break all the social rules. The next minute he would have no disease to worry about its prohibitions. Like Bartimaeas throwing away his old, filthy rags because he knew he would never again associate with them anymore, so did this leper his old life of filth and slow dying. It was already past; for the Healer would not turn him away. Just a tiny mustard seed quantity of good quality faith moved his mountain of suffering. The kind of faith without which it is impossible to please God gave the unclean man his deliverance. Now he was free, and he broadcasted his testimony to the whole region.
Do we have leprosy? Aren’t our hearts leprous? Only Jesus can heal us. Only His precepts and promises bring us the needed balm of Gilead.
“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Isa. 1:4-6).
Let’s come clean. Let’s go to Jesus just as we are. We know our malady of sin. We know, like the leper, that sin has made deep inroads into our being. We cannot change ourselves. Culture, education, willpower, all these are helpless to cleanse us from our captivity to sin. We need a power from above and outside of us. Nothing in this world has worked and can work to make us clean. But, Jesus will not only cleanse our hearts and lives, but He will cleanse our past. We are the most despicable, horrific cases any human has ever met. Nevertheless, Jesus will take us into His confidence and recreate us into His princely image. And when He is finished with us, we are “clean every whit” (John 13:10). Past and present are completely new, and the future looks bright and filled with hope. And we remain recreated so long as we keep coming to our Creator. If we slip up and find ourselves separated from Him, then we must immediately return to Him without entertaining doubt that He may not accept us again, and we must unburden our guilt and sorrow and shame upon Him.  Jesus “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1Cor. 13:7). Christ will never fail us.
He declared, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37).
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” (Rom. 8:29,30).
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Rom. 8:33,34).
Once humbled and repentant and compliant again under Jesus’ care, don’t let the accuser of the brethren prevent you from continually coming to Jesus and staying with Him. Your past is already dealt with. It is passed. In the mind and heart of the Sovereign of the universe, your past is forever in the past. No one can contest the King, not even the devil.

It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?