“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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Great Wall of Grace

Wow, brother Daniel,

I never imagined all that happened to you. I identify with your early Sabbath School experience. My youth leader who Jesus sent just for me was my first real Sabbath School teacher and mentor. I look back on those years fondly, even today. At that age, it had such an impact on my future life, as I see it did for you as well.

I still want to visit Dr. F______ again, but I haven’t had the opportunity. He lives 4 hours from where I worked and that’s a long drive Sabbath morning! I know because I visited him before emailing you that first time.

I never would have met you were it not for going to a campmeeting in 2005. There I met some beautiful SDAs and one was from F________, VA, where Dr. F______ lives and had been a member for so many years. He had been a pillar in the church and preached many, many Sabbaths, probably was the head elder/lay pastor all those years.

That person I met at the campmeeting told me the shocking news that Dr. F______ had left the church and asked if I could talk to him. This request came because we had listened to a wonderful meeting on Jesus and we were talking together about it in awe of the wonderful love of God. When she told me she was from F________, I asked about Dr. F______.

It saddens me that he left the church. But I feel the reason is because Jesus is not preached. As I continue to study the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, I keep running into a brick wall, high and thick. Its the wall of God’s grace. This wall lies directly between us in a world of sin and the heavenly land of promise that we all want so desperately.

We have ignored this obstacle and have all been trying to get to the promised experience of victory which is the prerequisite for the literal entrance into the promised land. And we have kept smashing into that wall, completely oblivious to it. It’s like we are blind to it. I don’t even think we know what grace is, not even our pastors. We aren’t alone. Even the Sunday pastors don’t know what it is either, even though they try to preach it.

Jesus said if we don’t fall on that wall, it would grind on us until we would go lunatic. That is what the third angel’s message is all about. Without Jesus’ grace, we can’t function. The smoke of our torment ascends up continually before the angels and the Lamb and we have no rest day nor night. This is what happened to Dr. F______. And it’s happening to the whole world who refuse to fall in repentance at Jesus’ feet. I believe this is also what the investigative judgment is all about. We pass or fail in that judgment based on whether or not we go to Jesus for repentance and forgiveness. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”(Acts 5: 30,31).

The gospel call is more important today that ever. Christ’s current ministry in the Most Holy Place of God’s sanctuary in heaven means that the convicting power of the Holy Spirit will be especially strong in these last days and will result in a church that must become most holy, in preparation for the coming of the King of the universe in executive power.

On the other side of the coin, Satan’s hosts are loosed from perdition for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, like a cloud of locusts that darken the Sun of righteousness. (Rev. 9:1,15). A great delusion has gone forth like a plague, and to refuse repentance and reconciliation with heaven is to accept service to a very mean and satanic enemy of God.

We don’t know how far the satanic hosts will take us when we turn away from the precious light from God. The book about D.M. Canright I wrote you about really struck me concerning this. Like Ellen White forewarned him, his light surely went out in obscurity. There was only weeping and gnashing of teeth for him and utter hopelessness. I fear the same for Dr. F______.

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb. 6:4-6). My only hope is that Dr. F_____ has really never tasted of God’s grace and the power of the world to come and turned it down.

Like Sr. White once wrote, “I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable.” That is a solemn thought. Really heavy. Really final. “Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jude 13).

But to close with a lighter note. “And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matt. 9:11-13).

I need a Physician, really bad. How about you, brother? His knife is sharp, and to save the life He must cut out the diseased parts, butHe will only give as much pain as is necessary and not a bit more. In fact, the razor sharpness of the scalpel helps lessen the pain. And looking to His mangled hands makes it much easier to accept the Doctor’s little affliction which is but for a moment.

Blessings beloved,

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mormon missionaries

Hello S_____,

Thanks for the quote. The former president (of the Latter Day Saints) couldn’t be more correct.

I met with some Mormon missionaries last week in my Adventist church. Interesting and informative. I have talked one-on-one before, and also with three while just walking down the street. The first visit by one missionary abruptly ended when he left the house after I told him I was an SDA and had a few questions. The three parted company very nicely, since I was walking my dog and they were going somewhere else. (I have always introduced myself as a kind of half-brother to Mormons.)

But I had never really had a chance to question them and give an answer for what I believed the Bible says. This time I would have the chance. They had given me some texts to read before their visit, which I did read, plus some more. I wrote down a page full of notes.

Of course, some of my disagreements were not new to them, so they had ready answers for those. Others I think they hadn’t heard before, i.e. America in prophecy and the current effort to unite church and state. One issue, they actually brought up. I guess they thought I would present it, so they would pre-empt me. I wasn’t going to bring it up, although I had read it in the Book of Mormon before they came.

It said to the effect that sin was meant to be; that God foresaw it and even expected it; and that we wouldn’t be happy if our first parents hadn’t disobeyed God. The missionaries said Adam and Eve were innocent but not happy. To be truly fulfilled, sin and rebellion had to happen. They compared it to being in prison and appreciating freedom more in prison than before the incarceration.

I wonder what Satan thinks about that idea. It seems it could give him hope. Nobody has rebelled and spit in God’s face quite like he has. No one has raked the great King across the coals and nailed Him to a cross like the arch-deceiver. I guess the devil can be happy.

I couldn’t think of a good answer during the visit. But that night, I understood what it was all about. I was reminded of not the way we view experiences of life, but of the Bible and the way it describes what befell people who had fallen under temptation. Obviously a prisoner wants freedom more than the free person does, but that’s because our fallen nature takes every good thing for granted so quickly. The Bible gives the true picture of rebellion against God and the subsequent service to Satan.

King Solomon and his son Rehoboam not only lost their relationship with God, but led untold multitudes down a terrible road that ended in the destruction of their nation. Jeroboam fared no better. He died a lost man, and the 10 northern tribes, which followed him, were scattered to the four winds because of his and their apostasy.

Its true, Solomon eventually repented and was reconciled with the Lord, but he was a ruined man and the glory that made his kingdom such a wonder to the world was in irreparable spiritual shambles. Nobody loved him anymore; the spirituality his father David had bequeathed to him and to the nation never returned. They fell further and further away, one generation after another. Does that sound familiar to the history of Protestantism and Protestant America?

Many other Bible characters who fell away from Yahweh suffered the same fate. In the Bible, no one who ever departed from the Lord ever benefited from it, beginning with Cain all the way down to the Christian church which became the great whore of Revelation. “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.” (Rev. 18:2).

A cursed life is promised for anyone who departs from the Lord. “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jer. 17:5). This even went for David, Moses, Samson, Balaam, etc., etc. Not even the Bible heroes escaped the punishment from the Lord for disobedience, because God is no respecter of persons.

After 1,000 years and suffering double for all their disobedience, Israel heard God’s word through John the Baptist that their punishment was finally over. “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Is. 40:1-3).

S_____, sorry for the sermon! I hope you enjoyed it! :)
Happy Sabbath.