“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, April 25, 2008

The graduation of F’s

The phases of the journey to the Father’s love.

Foreign to God’s love.
“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” (Eph. 2:12).

At the beginning of our travels toward God, we are oblivious to His love, much like the embryo is oblivious that it is growing and developing into a baby capable of entering the world. We walk through life, making the best of it. It’s hard because this world is designed to be loveless, but the human cannot function without love. We are made in God’s image. He is a communal person, and so are we. We don’t know the cause of our anxiety, that it comes from not knowing God’s love.

This life is only business. It’s professional. It’s cold. To love demands too much from us. To love one time commits us to perpetual relationships, which might cost way too much of us. So it’s easier to remain aloof. Except for a very small minority, the large populations of this world ignore most of the people around them. Nobody on this planet lovingly seeks what is best for everyone they meet.

All this because we haven’t known God’s love for us. How can we give what we haven’t received? It’s impossible. Even the churches are ignorant of God’s longing for them. Many pastors don’t know the depth of His love in order to be able to preach it. Sermons are only intellectual. They may be full of good gestures and good standards for teaching the people to be moral, but the love of Jesus is missing. Thepeople learn of right and wrong, but they have no power to obey because they don’t have love in response to Jesus’ love.

They don’t have a divine pattern to follow or to empower them. Though they profess the Bible, their Jesus is only a human, with only human love. They don’t comprehend a love composed of infinite justice and infinite mercy, a love institutionalized in the perpetual Law of God, love written in eternal stone by His own touch. Without there being a love over and above anything a human can make, there is no need for faith, nor for the true God. Thus, theirs is an inferior replica, a human fabrication of love and a false god.

The path to their Jesus’ love is not righteousness by faith. He who is forgiven much, loves much; but repentance is not the narrow gate to their love. They have not wrestled with sin; the Law of God, and their failure in keeping it, is not in their reckoning. In their sin and shame they do not need a loving Savior for His wonderful counselling. They have not fallen on the Stone and been shattered. “Their rock is not as our Rock.” (Deut. 32:31).

Thus, without faith, they never know the peace that passeth all understanding, and they always feel a deep-seated anxiety that even the greatest human love or psychology can’t resolve. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (Jn. 3:36).

But when anyone wants more than an empty, anxious life, the Holy Spirit then has opportunity to draw that person into a search for the great solution—a knowledge of our heavenly Father, His Law and His welcoming, infinite, perfect love as revealed through His Son.

Find God’s love—not an epiphany.
Through the leading on of the Comforter, we stumble upon a knowledge of God’s love. We discover its existence. How? Through the work of the Holy Spirit and the providence of God, someone makes it real to us for the first time, or, for the lack of a helping human hand, we discover it on our own. We barely begin to be able make out the love in God’s word to us. “Thou God seest me,” begins to become our new song as we compare the experience of Bible characters to ours, and apply the help and appropriate the mercy they received. (Gen. 16:13). And as we look more, His love begins to coalesce right before our eyes.

Fickle about God’s love.
But we keep forgetting about His love, even disbelieving it; and it temporarily alludes us. Like the disciple Peter kept falling out of remembrance of his Master’s deep love for him, so do we. We get busy with life’s work. We get swamped in one crisis after another. We may start the day relearning heaven’s love, but most of the day is filled with making bricks to build Egypt.

But, we’ve tasted of divine love and forgiveness and we feel miserable without keeping it foremost in our minds. We can’t function consistently without Jesus, and our obedience is in and out, mostly out. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17).

We Fantasize about our heavenly Friend.
Now His love is no longer a philosophy. It is real and we long for it all the time. We want no other subject for meditation than the love we have begun to discover through and through the Bible, a book which before this we believed to be the most boring thing in the world.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1,2).

We Focus.
We steadily try to fix our mind’s eye on the wonderful prize to be had. We squint to behold God’s love, all of it for me, yes, could it all be for me? Is He withholding Himself a little in case I act badly? Is my good behavior, at any time, the cause of His loving me, or my misbehavior the reason He must turn off His love?Understanding that His love is not based on our behavior, whatsoever, we are almost in full possession of a constant, continuous walk with the God of love. The love of Christ is constraining us.

“...That I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection.” (Phil. 3:8-10).

“Very pleasant hast Thou been unto me: Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” (2Sam. 1:26). Because we have become better aquainted with Him, if we lose Him and His love, we have learned to sufficiently confide in His love to realize that God’s mercy is ever flowing. We know enough to go right back and pick up the hope that basks in His fatherly care.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jn 1:9).

Finally Fixed.
From Foreigners to Fickled to Fixed. “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” (Ps. 57:7). Now we have arrived to where Enoch, Noah, and Abraham were. This is where David and Solomon lived, in the house of the Lord forever. (Ps. 23:6). We are satisfied to the core; nothing can disturb us again. Nothing makes us sad because Jesus makes us glad by His presence.

But this is not the end. It’s just the beginning.

We Favor Him.
He is our role model, we resemble Him—His loving attitude, actions and words. We copy His self-sacrificing love. We have an affinity for His special kind of all-encompassing love. All must be loved! No one is an exception! Now we can correctly represent Him and His love to others.

Followership through Fellowship.
We seek out and make disciples of others. We affiliate with fellow believers. The more the merrier! “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1Jn. 1:7).

A great Future of Felicities.
A huge celebration in end with all who we ever shared His love with. Imagine the glory of it all! We will hear Jesus say to us, “Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without?” “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Gen. 24:31;Matt. 25:21).

And in that rarified atmosphere of love we will find it to be true, that in heaven they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God. For any old human arrangement that we had here in this life, even within the deepest intimacy of marriage, will only detract from the glorious love known there. We will have no need of anything earthly when we are in the very presence of the God of infinitely pure love and His Son who left all that to allow us to enjoy it together with Them.

An email

Hi S_____,

I was thinking of you and J_____ a couple days ago and was going to email you then, but got caught up in everything. I am glad to hear the good update. Is that J______’s first? A son. A baby always adds a new dimension to life. Having kids is the oldest thing in the world, but it still always takes us by surprise. And I’m glad it does. I don’t know anyone who has it so all together that a new life doesn’t upset the apple cart. Good for them, those little, tiny whippersnappers! ...

I believe we are in the middle of the great delusion, spoken of by Paul, before Jesus returns. If the devil can’t convince us, he’ll work to confuse us. He’s got this whole country mixed up. I overheard a movie about a hospital that my brother in law was watching last night. I guess it was a comedy, but the vulgarity was perfuse and the foolishness was overwhelming. This is the diet that next generation feeds their minds on? No wonder straight, wholesome Bible truth has no appeal to them.

But I feel very strongly about one redeeming thing. That is that in all that foolery a seed of anxiety begins to grow bigger and bigger. This is because love is the only thing that keeps the human mind and body functioning, and there is no love coming out of the theatres and TVs. Zero love, absolute zero. We are in God’s image and that means we must be loved.

We were created foreigners to a cold life without love. Fun doesn’t substitute for love and acceptance and forgiveness, chemicals whether legal or illegal don’t substitute, sex or nature scenes or relaxation methods or diversions don’t do it. So that anxiety for not being loved, even with all the excitement and suspense that Hollywood throws at them, will eventually, in the determined soul, overthrow the perceived goodies of the foolishness and fun industries.

I see Satan busy at work, using the machinery he has inspired men to invent, playing our psyches like puppet strings to get people to do and feel what he wants. Almost all are oblivious to the source of their anxiety, and many are unwilling to give up the cause of their internal pain.

Love and trust. Those two will win in the end. Aren’t you glad for that? I want to be on the winning side and start getting ready by learning more and more about God’s love. Nothing else works in this life. Not money, love makes the world go around. It is what the whole world has lacked all this time. I believe it will fix all the world’s problems. Its the only solution for the deepest addictions, and G_____’s only hope. And before Jesus comes, it will be preached loudly and clearly, and poured out on everyone who believes.

Those will be exciting times.

I’m in the middle of writing a post on my blog about love. I’ll send it to you when I finish, if you like.

Take care, little B___.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

God’s omniscience

God knoweth about. The far reaches of His vast universe are all known. When a moon is in danger of loosing momentum around some planet in the cosmos, He speeds it up as needed to keep it aloft. If the inhabitants peopling a world anywhere need anything, He provides for them. His angelic hosts are on demand to help communicate and maybe even fix issues within His kingdom.

God knoweth where. He comprehends it all, not only His universe, incomprehensible to the strongest human mind, but beyond the bounds of His created universe, the endless, endless, endless, more unfathomable and bewildering, infinity of vast empty space.

God knoweth how. He understands inertia, He invented it. He understands gravity, He designed it. He understands earth-bound physics, quantum physics, and the physics that describes the laws of space greater still than what quantum physics can pin down. He understands the atomic world, the sub-atomic world, the sub- sub-atomic, the sub- sub- sub- sub-...(ad nauseum). He knows how it all works. He made it all.

God knoweth when. He is prophetic, He foresees, He foreknows, He predestinates. He sees down the corridor of time. He nailed down the order of empires following Daniel’s day and then the rise of the Papacy which would devour the earth and break it in pieces, and stamp the resistant left-overs into the ground. He remembers back up the corridor of the past. We catch a small glimpse of this in our ability to never forget anything we have experienced.

God knoweth why. He has known from infinity past the effects of sin. He knows the in-workings of self-centeredness, the whole foundation of sin. To forestall this He taught us that the first shall be last, and that to lose sight of self is to keep it. He sees the trouble that self-serving always and inevitably brings on. He knows sin intimately without ever coming close to it, because He created the laws governing all His created works. He knows what works for the maintenance of His creation; therefore He knows what doesn’t work.

He foreknew a rebellion and the need for a plan to rescue His much loved creation. He made His children free and happy, because that provided the greatest bulwark against degradation. His kingdom was designed for perpetuity. He does everything only once; and it’s all built to last.

But freedom of choice means there must be a possibility to rebel. In a kingdom without borders and border patrol or any kind of self-protection or self-preservation, God left Himself and His dominion vulnerable. But this is the way He chose it to be.

If there was a possibility of rebellion, then at some point it would happen; thus the need for a plan for such a contingency.

The rebellion did happen. God’s contingency plan went into effect. It worked perfectly, and its outworking will forever blossom and bloom. Everything God does is perfect, yet imperfect. His works are all a work in progress, continually unfolding, yet impeccably pure and infinitely wise every step of the way.

If God knoweth about, where, how, when, and why, then we can certainly trust Him here and now in the most intimate way with all our personal troubles. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Deserving our blessings

With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. –Great Controversy, p. 463

We deserve everything we get.

Two great postulates form the above conclusion: 1) We have a right to every blessing we get, and 2) Every curse is a blessing.

On what basis do we deserve our blessings? Because we were born; we are all children of God by creation. And God don’t make trash. God has high expectations of us all. Every soul conceived in this life is bound for eternal life with Him. Everyone should be there. He should be able to welcome tens of billions of Adam’s children. The fanfare should be out of this world!

Imagine the infinite joy of God to see all His human family with Him for eternity, to have them safely under His wings and to cause them to trust under His jealous protection. Our God is a God of love. Love is all He can do. We are royalty because He loves us and because we were born royalty. We were born royalty because He wanted us created.

The moment Adam was formed by the hands of the Son of God, Adam was special, more special than the highest angel. Not more intelligent, not stronger, not more talented, than the angels; but more delicate, more self-depricating, special. For the least are greatest in God’s sight.

In the garden, before sin, Adam deserved everything God had given him because he was made in God’s image, and God deserves the best. As long as Adam and his progeny retain the image of God, his whole family on earth are royalty and deserve the best.

We own a unique and amazing world. Despite the incursion of sin’s curse, the infinite variety of animal and plant species and their make-up offers unending study by Adam’s children forever—a picture of God and His unnumbered solar systems and quasars and nebulae and galaxies that fill His vast universe.

Jesus personally and unequivocally cursed “the ground…for man’s sake” (Gen. 8:21). “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Every curse is a blessing? Was it hard for the Son of God to curse Adam and make the ground difficult to grow food? Yes, hard work is a blessing in disguise. Every curse of a loving God is really a blessing for those He loves. And He loves us all.

All God’s curses, blessings? Even death? “…In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground”? Yes, even death. Murder? War? Disease? Abuse? Yes, all blessings. Was there angst in the heart of the Lord God that day? Yes, He who had already experienced it all the moment Adam fell knew how bad it would be. But our God “is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.” (Mk. 12:27). By His power to create and to resurrect Adam, “he being dead yet speaketh.” (Heb. 11:4). And the same promise holds for us, too. Thus, He can punish with love.

Is it hard for a father to punish his little boy the very first time? Away with the idea that a loving father’s first spanking is taking revenge on his son. We need to rethink God’s character if we believe He doles out punishment tyrannically. It’s always hard for a loving human father to punish his children, but he must for his child’s sake. If we being evil know how to do good for our children, how much more our Father in heaven when He executes judgment?

We deserve everything we get, both blessings and curses, and all curses are blessings in disguise. Because, by redemption we have the right to be saved; and by creation we deserve only the best. And God is quick to give both.

In conclusion, we have the right to be loved by an infinitely loving God.

“For the Lord will not cast off for ever:
But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.
For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth,
To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,
To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.” (Lam. 3:31-36).

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Marks of the Beast

The Protestants. Protestantism renounced the Ten Commandments when the Adventists began to preach the seventh day Sabbath. The popular Protestant denominations had already denounced the preaching of a literal, personal, visible second advent of Christ. Thus when a subgroup of the Adventists started preaching that the time of God’s judgment had begun and a solemn time of divine investigation was in progress, they exalted the 4th commandment in a special way. It had been trampled upon by Satan and his church, and it was high time to return God’s day of worship to its rightful place in the church of Christ.

The evangelical denominations realized that they were in a real difficult position. They still professed to be a valid part of the great Reformation. One of the Reformation’s three pillars of faith was, “The Bible and the Bible only.” Yet now a failure was uncovered, and it was a major failing, putting them in association with Rome—Sunday worship. They had already dampened the voice of conscience in a big way by denouncing Christ’s second coming and casting out the Adventists from the varied Protestant denominations. Because worldliness and self-exaltation had moved into the churches, the Holy Spirit wasn’t able to influence them as He had their fathers in the Reformation. The message of the coming kingdom of God was the providentially issued test of their loyalty to heaven, and in their rejection of it they failed the big test.

When Sunday/seventh-day Sabbath worship became an issue, the churches fought against that light as well. They sought out any way to shut out the light. Since they professed obedience to the Bible, and they weren’t going to let those Adventist fanatics expose them publicly, to keep up their profession, they began to refigure their original position regarding the Law of God. They had had only three choices: 1) agree and bow to the Adventists’ new truth and admit to the evident leading of God among the SDAs; 2) reject the Bible like the Church of Rome had done; 3) keep the Bible, but twist and contort it to suit their stance on the false day of worship.

They picked choice #3. Already a theology had been floating around that at Christ’s death the Ten Commandments were abolished at the cross, along with the ceremonial laws given to ancient Israel. Suddenly, this idea appeared to the Protestants to be absolutely true. And it served them perfectly well. They could save face by not bowing to the Seventh-day Adventists, and they could keep their Bible, too!

Everything seemed to go well, until the truth about Sunday sacredness came to light. “The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed...the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” Canon and Tradition, p. 263.

"The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] church." Monsignor Louis Segur,Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today (1868), p. 213.

But the protestant ball was already rolling enough to get over the Sabbath stumbling block and keep going. Who was that insignificant group, the Seventh-day Adventists, anyway? They wouldn’t amount to anything and their distinctive doctrines wouldn’t either. All the great, innumerable Protestants were keeping Sunday, and as it appeared, unmolested they always would.

So the Ten Commandments were believed abolished. But what about the other nine valid commandments beside the 4th? Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not commit adultery, and all the rest. Regardless of the Evangelicals’ claim that love fulfills the Law, the denominations had committed a grave error. They thought to revoke the authority of the infinite God of heaven, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

They were able to keep their Bible, but they lost the power of God’s authority. By removing God’s law they removed an essential tool of the Holy Spirit. Without the authority of the Law, the Bible lost its power to reform. For them, the Reformation had ended.

Paul explained how important the law was to conversion. “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.” (Gal. 3:23,24).

The Law had played an indispensable role in bringing the soul to justification and conversion to God. Without the weight of the Law grinding, the soul never can realize, through the supernatural force of the Holy Spirit, the power to lay hold on to God and His promise of acceptance and adoption through Christ.

Seldom does anyone realize their desperate sinfulness and need of grace. This is especially so, when the churches assume that everyone attending and paying tithe or giving an offering and professing to love God must have made everything right with Him. It’s a big assumption that if a person carries a Bible around and even reads it, that that person has a vital, saving connection with God.

Worse, when that assumption is built right into the basic fibers of the churches’ theology, we have a recipe for certain damnation. Everyone in the church believes he or she is following God, yet without the weightiness of the powerful voice of Mt. Sinai thundering from the Ten Commandments, how can a person be driven to Christ for His justifying intercession? According to the apostle Paul, this is a major piece of the formula for salvation.

Now, without permitting the Holy Spirit His authority in the Law because the churches have abolished the Law, when the denominations teach the high standard of Christ as written in the gospels and the epistles of Paul, where is the power to keep that standard? Without the Law there is nothing driving anyone to Christ, thus there is no real justification, and thus, no power to keep the high standard.

Without the power of God working within through the Holy Spirit, all attempts to keep righteousness has nothing more than a human origin. Any works of righteousness without the Holy Spirit are righteousness by works. Righteousness by faith does not exist for those who have abolished God’s Law, because it takes the Holy Spirit carefully wielding the great Law of God for the faith of Jesus to be generated in the sinner. This is the issue brought out in the 3rd chapter of Galatians.

So the mainline evangelical churches have fallen, and as organizations are no longer usable by God. Conversely, because of their lawless theology, they are working contrary to the Holy Spirit. They are under the control of God’s adversary, for those who are not with Him are against Him. Satan has subtle sway of those organizations. Yet there are many thousands of honest, faithful people still part of them, who will one day follow the voice of the Spirit of God, in search for a genuine relationship with God, true power to obey His Law, and victory over the devil; and they will come out of the confusion and join a cleaned up, revitalized Seventh-day Adventism.

In spite of their profession of sanctification and salvation, their religion is salvation by works. It’s a religion without a genuine relationship with Jesus because they abolished the only thing that will bring them to Him. That makes theirs a religion of legalism, even if it has a smiling face and a high profession of Bible truth. The Protestants, because of their legalism, will receive the mark of the beast in the hand.

The Church of Rome. This organization never has professed “the Bible and the Bible only.” In fact, they have burned many Bibles. According to the Catholic Church, Bible interpretation belongs to the Magisterium of the Church; the Church reserves the sole right to understand and interpret the Bible. The Christian world, including the Protestant Catholics, must accept as a diet of truth only what Rome has poisoned.

So the big thrust of Rome isn’t the Bible. Rather, its gift to the religious world is spiritualistic make-believe, clothed in Christianity. The Church of Rome is not Christianity—rather, paganism with a Christianized look and feel. Without the solidity of the Bible, spiritual religion is worthless. When evidence of scripture is not required for faith, that faith is nothing but empty feeling. The intellect is feared by Rome, thus is excused from Romish worship; the emphasis there is placed solely on emotion. Satan knows the human psyche very well. He knows just what formula will ruin us.

The Church appeals to the little boy and girl that it says is inside of each one of us. Rome offers a touchy-feely religion. When I was in the Navy, one day Catholic chaplains gave our command some religious training. They told us that we all needed to get in touch with that little boy inside of us. We politely waited for them to finish and leave and then we left in pure disgust! They were talking to Navy men! Men!

The prophet described spiritualism to do exactly the same as what we hear from Rome. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:14;8:11). “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many.” (Dan. 8:25).

How can worshipers in Catholicism be calm and manly and of a sound mind, when Mary does not wield the sword of the prophets? How can they overcome the world when they are empty of the Spirit of truth? How can they ever fear no man when they have never bowed low before the King of kings?

Mary stands as the medium for pure blissful worship, without a single word from God or meditation upon His Law. Ignoring convicting truth, yet daring to worship God anyway, the church provides insulting, impudent, imperious worship! To those vain worshipers Christ says, “When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” (Is. 1:15). “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”

Thus this presumptuous religion will receive the Mark of the Beast in the forehead.

The Law of God and His prophets are used by the Spirit of God to give the atheistic, fallen human race authentic, transforming faith in the living God, which is the faith of Jesus that plucks up deeply rooted sin and throws it into the depths of a sea of shame and self-loathing. This is true religion. It is to worship God in spirit and in truth. For such the Father seeketh to worship Him. It receives the Seal of God in the forehead.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Living off of first love

It is said that newlyweds can’t live off love; somebody has to go out and make money. So the husband or even the wife as well, goes out into the workforce. But for so many folks, after a few years, the honeymoon is over, the first love wanes and disappears, the marriage crumbles into ruins. Often they divorce, even within two years. America has reached a point where over half of all marriages end in divorce. Where did we go wrong?

I believe the downward trek began at the very beginning of the path taken after the wedding. The couples accepted that first false assumption that “You can’t live off love.” This is a mistaken notion because it subconsciously kills the first love they had together. It says, “Forget about the relationship and keeping it alive. Get out there and get busy at work! Or if you were already making money, now you have to make more money!” But what is more important, loving or surviving? Loving! Surviving will happen, give love the predominance! If love is there, survival will result naturally. But the opposite is not true.

It’s true there are duties and responsibilities that go with keeping the flame of love alive and bringing sustenance into the home to feed, to clothe, to financially prepare for a future family, to keep a roof overhead, ect.; however, the method of getting those items is often destructive to the marriage. How so?

The modern place of employment works contrary to happiness in the home. The private sector does not exist to keep the family unit loving and happy. The business world exists upon the foundation of stiff competition, commercial conquest and takeovers, one company feverishly working to keep its piece of the economic pie, while undercutting another similar company and taking its share. The world of commerce, government, or military do not function from love.

Thus the spirit of competition and “dog eat dog” daily experienced makes its way into the work place and from there into the home life. The parents, unable to shed the influence of the backstabbing and suspicion and covetousness and outright undermining of marriage by co-workers, bring it home in their thoughts and attitudes and fears, and then release it all within the family that was theirs to protect from those very things. Relationship and love cannot exist in that kind of hostile environment. I know, I’ve been there.

The marriage and family unit were destroyed because the husband did not go to work simply to make ends meet, faithfully working at a humble employment and being loyal to conserve the company’s resources, seeing its upbuilding into a stronger force within the commercial world. In an effort to give his family the best as the world defines the “good life,” he sold himself into slavery. He gave himself to the taskmaster who cares nothing about love, and every crack of the whip beat the vitality of his love for his wife out of him a little more each day. A simpler home and lifestyle without the requirements of becoming a slave would have kept the father’s effort and strength focused on his wife and she on him, and the children on them both.

His thoughts would have remained on her, and her concerns would have been centered in him. Their honeymoon would have become a perpetual, happy life together, with their next two or three generations loving to crowd them and spend time and events together. Because love encircled the home, every visit by family could have been a special occasion; and the customary birthdays and anniversaries could have become large, important events.

The affect of that home would have been felt far and near. Neighbors, distant friends, relatives, businesses, government and police force, all would thank God for the preserving influence love had on their neighborhood, community, and beyond.

The principles of a loving family overlay identically those for a thriving church. Centuries ago, to the growing apostolic church the great husband-King said to His bride, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev. 2:4,5).

In the last days of the apostle John, the Christian church had lost its honeymoon, and that first love experience is still a lost institution to the bride of Christ. We should not wait for the whole of Christendom to renew its ties to Jesus. We must begin that return journey individually, meeting others on the same path, joining with them, and knowing the joy of fellowship and the inspiration to endure, through camaraderie as we travel along together.

Let us fill our thoughts with God’s thoughts made audible, that which flows from the written word of God. There we will find faith expressed in the living God, Christ’s direct appeal and counsel for His children, the record of successes of those before us who followed the Lord’s wise counsels and the failures by others who disobeyed Him.

If we live off of Jesus’ love, He will ensure our safe passage through this life. There will be duties and responsibilities to keep our relationship with Him alive—i.e. Christian service and witnessing, obedience to His will and heeding the words of prophet and apostle. But that work must not act at counter purposes with living off love with Jesus or we would see the same ill effect we saw with the hostile workplace on the family. With God, we must live off love. Let nothing wedge itself between the soul and its friendly Saviour—not even the “work of the Lord” or obedience to the eternal Law. In everything we do for God, let all our good works of obedience have one and only one motiveto build up a heavenly union with Him.

To obey just for the sake of obeying is not only not good enough, it is positively evil. It becomes the strength of sin. It is inspired by the author of “dog eat dog” and ambition and suspicion. Obedience, just to please the Law, leads God’s people to consume each other and it destroys the purpose of God in giving us His Law and counsels. In all our works of righteousness let us have one purpose—to restore and maintain a relationship with the Lord Jesus and to extend that relationship with everyone we meet. A relationship with God is the great promise of His covenant to His children. Once we have it, then we can obey all His commandments. The Law and good behavior and obedience to authority only ever work within the context of relationship. The obedience to a relationship and the voice of authority are the dual power of God unto salvation.

If we go through life living off divine love, even in an occupation that might serve this world’s kingdom, if we walk in communion with heaven so that even our constant “conversation is in heaven,” let us not be afraid of tripping at our earthly related affairs. We are promised, “He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Ps. 91:11,12).

Let us take comfort that the Lord wants to fill all our thoughts, and give us an awareness and obervation and clear mind that we could never have without Him close by. “Blessed is the man,” whose “delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” “Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that...speaketh the truth in his heart.”

“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.... At Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ps. 10:4;1:1,2;15:1,2;16:8-11). God wants all our thoughts, our all meditation, all our communion and fellowship. “A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan.” Desire of Ages, p. 324.

The Lord gave the warning and the promise, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33). This statement only makes sense in the context of this unobstructed communion and union with Jesus through His word.

Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name.

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The redemption and propitiation of Christ

The beautiful words of the reformer, Lefevre:

“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.” — D'Aubigne, London ed., b. 12, ch. 2.

Such beautiful contrasts in the gift of Himself to us. The Innocent is condemned and the criminal goes free. The Glory is overwhelmed in darkness and we who knew nothing but confusion of face can be clothed with glory.

“He was made to be sin for us who knew no sin.”

“By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities….He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

All the formulas and rites of Catholicism can never do what the propitiation of Jesus will do for the soul. Christ’s sacrifice alone satisfied the infinite God. He learned what only His Father knew concerning sin. He peered into its depths; He entered into that realm, though it chilled His hardy constitution and soul to the furthest degree. None but He would see the full extent of sin and not be drawn into it’s glamour; none but He feel its horror. No one has known temptation such as the Son of God.

He stood face to face with Satan there in the presence of the knowledge of sin and rebellion. He met the devil on the same grounds upon which perfect Lucifer had fallen. His propitiation was enough to save Satan except that the arch-deceiver can never desire salvation. Only Christ has felt the desperate hopelessness and bleak emptiness that is known by the devil himself. Only Jesus has been there and returned.

He who loved no sin was made to be sin. That bitter cup He drank to its dregs. The agony of the final judgment rested on Him, the smoke of His torment ascended up for ever and ever and He had no rest day nor night. He has tasted the utter hatred of God for selfishness and the blackness of complete separation from His Father because of sin. There is no sinfulness possible in the worst of us for which He has not made atonement; there is no inherited or cultivated tendency to evil for which He cannot justify and bring us back into favor with God.

And He bore that recoiling until it drained the life out of Him whose divine nature had kept His human nature youthful and constantly revitalized. That precious “tender plant” (Is. 53:2), continually in the presence of His Father, was crushed. All this because of the sin we unceasingly wallow in, it being one with our human nature. We demonstrate our reprobate contumacy and ignorance and contempt of Him as we daily join with the Jews and Romans in casting upon Him our insults in His hour of greatest pain and need. “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Is. 53:4).

After all that the Father’s great adversary had tried to do by tempting the Son to lash out in self-righteous indignation, the tomb received the Most Holy, unsullied by the least taint of selfishness. Our contempt heaped upon Him at the instigation of Satan, He descended into death bearing only love and sorrow for us in His heart, He thus reconciling heaven and earth. For the fallen race, the object of His deepest love, He had only yearning and forgiveness. Till the last moment of consciousness, how to pierce our hardened hearts with the glory of His Father was all He could think of.

Thus death could not retain Him. Satan, the ruler of death, could lay no claim on Jesus. He had no right to keep Him. The heavenly court convinced, the great Judge satisfied, he who had power over death must relinquish his hold on his prisoner. One word from Gabriel, his ancient counterpart, and life was restored to the incarnate Son of God. He ascended to His Father in that divine-human form, a sign of the greatest battle of all eternity; in that battered and bruised soul and frame will forever show the seal of victory of the power of the faith of Jesus and the righteousness of God. All “to declare His righteousness.”

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” Revelation 21:1. The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away. No eternally burning hell will keep before the ransomed the fearful consequences of sin.
One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought.

Great Controversy, p. 674.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Invested by God

When God has invested much into training up a disciple He does it to make that person a minister. No one can be a witness unless God made them one. It took much painstaking work and earnest effort on God’s part. He foresaw them, and then worked to bring them to repentance since He predestined them to be conformed into His image. Justified by faith He then continued to suffer patiently with their slowly developing faith and sanctification.

Finally He gets them to the condition of full surrender and He has them sealed and glorified in a faith that never departs from communion and full trust. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1Jn. 5:4). “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2Pet. 1:4). “In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” (Eph. 1:13).“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out.” (Rev. 3:12).

Thus when God has invested so many years in the education of His elect, He doesn’t just let that graduate take up just any occupation. Peter, in Gethsemane on crucifixion night, successfully passed through the difficult realization of his truly weak condition, and then during the following three days, more mental torture. But when the previous three years with Jesus appeared to have proven a farce to Simon and he decided to go back to fishing for fish instead of for men, the providence of God kept every fish out his net. God couldn’t let Peter get comfortable back in his old employment when He saw great promise of a soon completed job with Peter’s conscience, conversion, and character. During this disappointing day without fish, Peter had time to do nothing but think back on Jesus and those wonderful times with his heaven-sent Friend, as the one to whom John the Baptist had pointed out, and to ponder Jesus’ wonderful works and words of mercy and truth. Surely, the dead time was torture to his restless mind.

Finally, Jesus gave Peter a choice by miraculously permitting a huge net-full of fish to be caught, as a test for Peter. The disciple could return to his old employment or return to the work of God. Then Christ confirmed Peter in the ministry with three repeated questions.

“Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?” (Jesus was referring to the large catch of fish.) “He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love Thee.” “He saith unto him, Feed My lambs.” (Jn. 21:15). Christ needed Peter to launch the Christian church. This was no time to be launching fishing boats.

Likewise, James White was prevented from common employment.

“My husband left the railroad, and with his ax went into the woods to chop cordwood. With a continual pain in his side, he worked from early morning till dark to earn about fifty cents a day. He was prevented from sleeping nights by severe pain. … One day when our provisions were gone, my husband went to his employer to get money or provisions. It was a stormy day, and he walked three miles and back in the rain. He brought home on his back a bag of provisions tied in different compartments, having in this manner passed through the village of Brunswick, where he had often lectured. As he entered the house, very weary, my heart sank within me. My first feelings were that God had forsaken us. I said to my husband: “Have we come to this? Has the Lord left us?” I could not restrain my tears, … At this time I was shown that the Lord had been trying us for our good, and to prepare us to labor for others; that He had been stirring up our nest, lest we should settle down at ease. Our work was to labor for souls; if we had been prospered, home would be so pleasant that we would be unwilling to leave it; trials had been permitted to come upon us to prepare us for the still greater conflicts that we would meet in our travels.” 1Testimonies, p. 82,83.

Any parent, spending a vast amount of resources on the child’s higher education, would be understandably upset, if, after graduation, the child decided to discard the career provided by that degree, and become a ditch digger or burger flipper. But this is the same thing as the person who finally learns full submission to Christ and His righteousness and complete surrender to His love, to then treat it as an unholy thing and walk away from full consecration to the Lord’s work.

This the Lord doesn’t allow. Paul admitted his situation: “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” (1Cor. 9:16,17).

Similarly, Elisha didn’t even turn back to bid his parents good-bye when Elijah called him as his replacement. “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.” (1Ki. 19:19-21).

Today we live in the anti-typical Day of Atonement. We are awaiting the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who serves the Lord must realize that more is required of His servants than has been in ages past. God is calling people to fulfill a special role in preparing the world for His coming. An investigative judgment is finishing its proceedings in heaven so that He can come with His reward for His saints. “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. 425:1.

A special work of sanctification is in effect, a work that will open the lines of communication with heaven, and make us His chosen spokespersons. We must not take His name or this work in vain.

In the typical Day of Atonement, God made very rigid requirements for ancient Israel. “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” (Lev. 23:27-32).

Three times the people were told to afflict their souls and to rest from common work at the last day of the year. What should this say to us today in the anti-typical Day of Atonement? We are standing on the brim of a cliff; we are at the end of the world. Jesus is soon to come. Judgment day will attend Him. How are we spending our days? Are we just working to advance in the kingdom of this world? Is our focus on becoming wealthy (or financially comfortable)? Are we playing the lottery; do we hope in the stock market? Are we planning to get rich quick?

Everyone who did not afflict his soul on this day of judgment for the nation was “cut off” from the congregation. How would that translate to modern day? If we are busying ourselves in this life, preoccupied with its luxuries and privileges, then we are cut off from eternal life; we fail in the investigative judgment in the court of heaven, a judgment which is fast coming to a close.

Is God arbitrary for cutting off those who don’t take His judgment seriously? No, He has given an exorbitant amount of time for His people to take eternity seriously. They may submerge themselves in a quickly passing kingdom of this world, if they choose; or they may realize the great danger and flee the illusions this world offers.

Let us take obedience and loyalty to heaven seriously. Before it is too late, let’s avail ourselves to God. Let’s determine to obey Him and let Him train us and fit us up to correctly represent Him and to have a burden for the salvation of others. He will teach us to trust in Him. He will bring us in close and personally speak to us.

Then we can take part in the long-awaited Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit, a time of trouble, such as never was, and then finally, the Earth-shattering return of our Savior.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nature, God's domain

Faith rests on evidence, not display, proof, or demonstration. The scientific skeptics require demonstration, since science says reality must be repeatable in a controlled environment, for the purpose of analysis. But God says, “I will work whether or not man sees or comprehends what I do.” He will not wait for us to understand.

Because science cannot recreate God or some part of His substance in their laboratories, they choose to disallow His existence. Even to mention the possibility of God is the height of absurdity. They want to be fully in control, yet, without faith they are slaves to the great mastermind of this world, who prevents them from seeing reality correctly. They do not understand or recognize his influence over them, but his is the same influence that, for a thousand years, drove people to destroy dissenters of the papacy, all the while believing they were doing good and in full control of their senses and intelligence.

Not for a moment are humans safe to think they are in complete control of themselves. In this world and in our fallen condition, we live in the territory of one who claims spiritual and temporal dominion of every one of Earth’s inhabitants. The only other option is to be under God’s control. Nevertheless, we are not our own, as much as some might hate to hear it.

Science promises to solve all of this world’s problems. It has staked its claim to be sole proprietor of life’s solutions. It does that as well as Nebuchadnezzar’s Chaldean advisors could repeat and resolve the dilemma nightmare of their king. That pragmatic sovereign saw right through their fraudulent profession. Many scientists are honest, well-meaning folks. It’s the organization’s stance which speaks so proudly, and which the truly honest people will leave as they become convinced of all the heaven-daring braggadocio that their community is guilty of.

God dispenses His grace because that is the nature of His love. It is God’s grace that allows the skeptic to continue to deny their Creator’s existence. The Lord gives them this freedom because truth can afford to be fair. He knows that through the study of His works some scientists will come to recognize a power and intelligence that is far beyond anything human science could ever measure or formulize or that random chaos could ever create. No sooner will they conclude that than they will then defer to faith and fall on their faces thunderstruck, for they will see that all along in their study of nature they were on holy ground and knew it not.

Must we be able to measure or analyze a subject before accepting it as indeed true or real? It may look responsible and energetic and honest to say “Yes” to the previous question, but it is dishonest and irresponsible if we don’t take all the evidence into account. We must use all our faculties with all the evidence in order to arrive at correct conclusions to the reality of our universe and world.

By this I mean, we each have more than just intellectual faculties, we also have spiritual, “as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Rom. 12:3). We have spiritual ears and eyes, through which the Holy Spirit can speak to us through the medium of His written word, through nature, and through the experiences in the life. But here is where the atheist stops short. To the atheist, spiritual eyes see only imaginary things and spiritual ears hear only nonsense and fables. Yet our spiritual nature is a reality we cannot deny.

The dog sees not the electronic dog leash that prohibits him from running outside his yard. But his master has attached a special collar around his neck which knows how far away the dog is from an electronic device in the yard. The dog knows not that the device exists, he neither sees the communication between collar and device, nor comprehends why he gets a stabbing electrical shock when he stands there, and there, and there in the yard. But soon the dog realizes he better not go where he gets the pain, and if he ever forgets he receives a friendly reminder.

Every human has a spiritual electronic leash, whether or not we accept it as fact. When we get too far from God, when we are separated from Him and His love, a sub-conscious internal alarm sounds off, an anxiety begins to stab us in the chest. Nerves send the alarm to every part of our body and the rising stress soon is felt in brain and muscles and bones. Rarely does the human discover why his body is in turmoil. Usually he never finds genuine relief except through temporary fixes—drugs, alcohol, over-eating—some self-indulgence to deaden the pain.

The fool hath said in his heart that there is no God. Let the atheist die of cancer because he cannot find the cure for his anxiety and heightened nervous system. Let his children run amuck from hyperactivity and drugs because they never knew the calming affect of love, that is, pure, divine, self-sacrificing love. Let the whole modern Babylonian society of today fall and crumble to dust because they have forgotten the God who blessed them beyond measure and by whose grace they are still shielded from worse disaster.
I don’t say “Let all this happen” because I am attempting to bring down a curse on the atheistic world. I say it because they are bringing this curse upon themselves. To deny their divine Benefactor doesn’t change the fact that He is and rewards all who diligently seek Him. His laws will be glorified whether through the curses on them who deny them or through the blessings on all those who obey them.
“We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” (2Cor. 13:8).

“… His truth is marching on.”

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My friends, the ex-Christian atheists

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I wish that myself could be accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to he flesh: who are ex-Christians; to whom pertained the great Reformation, and the glory, and the gospel of justification and sanctification, and the promise of Christ’s soon coming.

Recently I stumbled onto a website designed by an ex-Christian as a place for other ex-Christians to harbor resentment toward Christianity. Their new stance is diametrically opposed to their old faith, i.e. the theory of evolution instead of creation, cynicism in lieu of faith in God, the abundant use of the invective vice calm pure language.

One of the major stumbling blocks for them is the supernatural. Since it represents the work of the spiritual world, which they despise, it must be denied and proven false. Science provides a handy tool for that. In its plethora of theories continually brought forth over the past 200 years since the French Revolution and the “Age of Reason,” the atheist can find a shopper’s delight in the scientific community’s tightly knitted arguments which they have worked to make it all fit together in the best way possible.

But those arguments in this network of scientific guesswork never fit together perfectly. New discoveries must be washed of all evidence that might prove anything in the Bible account or that might disprove any of their other major theories and cause the dismantling of the structure that the scientific community has worked on so perseveringly for so many years.

Truly disturbing is the attitude of these ex-Christians toward those they call, “Xtians.” Their bitterness toward Xtians is freely expressed. But I can somewhat excuse their bitterness—it stems from their outrage toward erroneous church teachings on Hell. Like a nineteenth century author wrote the following.

Satan is seeking to overcome men today, as he overcame our first parents, by shaking their confidence in their Creator and leading them to doubt the wisdom of His government and the justice of His laws. Satan and his emissaries represent God as even worse than themselves, in order to justify their own malignity and rebellion. The great deceiver endeavors to shift his own horrible cruelty of character upon our heavenly Father, that he may cause himself to appear as one greatly wronged by his expulsion from heaven because he would not submit to so unjust a governor. He presents before the world the liberty which they may enjoy under his mild sway, in contrast with the bondage imposed by the stern decrees of Jehovah. Thus he succeeds in luring souls away from their allegiance to God.

How repugnant to every emotion of love and mercy, and even to our sense of justice, is the doctrine that the wicked dead are tormented with fire and brimstone in an eternally burning hell; that for the sins of a brief earthly life they are to suffer torture as long as God shall live. Yet this doctrine has been widely taught and is still embodied in many of the creeds of Christendom. Said a learned doctor of divinity: “The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. When they see others who are of the same nature and born under the same circumstances, plunged in such misery, and they so distinguished, it will make them sensible of how happy they are.” Another used these words: “While the decree of reprobation is eternally executing on the vessels of wrath, the smoke of their torment will be eternally ascending in view of the vessels of mercy, who, instead of taking the part of these miserable objects, will say, Amen, Alleluia! praise ye the Lord!” Great Controversy, p. 534,535.

Where Satan can’t convince away from God’s word, he will confuse the issues. If he can’t prevent the irresistible attraction of the dispensation of divine mercy on sinners and justice on sin, he works to create a false interpretation on God’s word, inspiring religious leaders and trusted theologians to inspire hatred toward our Creator through misrepresentations of His character by misinterpreting His words.

An example of this comes from one of many bloggers on the anti-Christian website, this one authored by a 29-year-old ex-Christian, Jacolyn:

After about 15 months in Japan, I came back to Australia for a short visit for my cousin’s wedding. While I was back in Australia, I attended church; the pastor preached a very awful, awful sermon about hell. He actually said, "People often say to me, ‘If God loves people, how can he send them to hell?’" His response was, "God sends people to hell BEACAUSE He loves us so much!" That made absolutely NO sense to me whatsoever!

But again this made me confront hell in my mind and again I got depressed, and I went back to Japan depressed. In Japan I would often walk passed funerals of old Japanese people -- most of them probably not Christian, as Japan is only about one percent Christian. As I walked past these funerals, my mind was in turmoil, my faith was in turmoil, and I was thinking, "How is it possible that that Japanese person who just died is now in hell for all eternity? That's just not acceptable!”Let me just stop and say here that the one thing that stopped me from turning away from Christianity was a complete and paralyzing fear of me going to hell.

Finally I overcame my fear of hell and have decided to leave Christianity. I don't fear hell anymore, and I don't get depressed about others going to hell either.There is some stuff I miss of course: the church family, hope in heaven, believing that there is a God out there looking after me. But those things are not enough to make me believe again. The thought of hell is just absolutely unbelievable to me. (Italics supplied)

The ex-Christians’ war is not against God, but a straw man of God their sub-conscience has erected to do battle against. The sad thing is that their bitterness stems from the insults of intelligence and conscience which pour forth from their churches which claim to speak for the truth. The skeptics blame our Father in heaven for the confusion of Babylon which Satan has stirred up. And while much of the world is becoming anti-Christian because of the outlandish errors broadcasted by the denominations, Satan exults at his genius and success of his work of deception.

It becomes very difficult to reach out to those who have truly worked hard to remain faithful to God. They tried their best to reconcile the erroneous doctrines of the Bible taught to them with any sense of truth and personal integrity, and they just could not succeed. They met with too many pastors who swore that the church’s teaching was what the Bible said. So the honest Christian, with more moral fiber than their pastors, throw the whole business out—faith, the Bible, and Jesus—fully intending not only to never return, but to fight, tooth and nail, against faith with every ounce of energy they have.

Many of them leave the church, yet find it a hard thing to leave their faith in a God of heaven. Once they involve with other belligerent ex-Christians they are pulled into an inescapable vortex of doubt and dark atheism which purports to have all the answers. Such was the case with Jacolyn, although she would deny it now. Those who enter the sphere of atheism are on the ground of Satan, who jealously guards his ranks, especially his newest accessions.

If they left the Bible with reservations and fear, then they have a fighting chance to be drawn back by the Holy Spirit. But those who put religion behind them, fully determined to enjoy the pleasures of sin which the church hypocritically forbade, become the fiercest opponents of truth. Nothing can be said that will change their minds—not the soundest explanations, the warmest entreaties, the mildest rebukes. Anything and everything said to them they will twist and turn around to give the worst sentiments. Satan has control of their minds and they cannot accept help from above.

They become like the hardened path in the parable upon which the seed of truth fell. The crows swooped down and immediately ate them up, not allowing even a moment to pass for the seed to take root. The devils work in the background to revive old memories and sentiments buried deep in the subconscious, boh of which control their reasoning powers and distort the pure word of God if they read it or hear it spoken.

Seeing how successful Satan has been in the popular protestant churches, let us be ever so careful how we represent God and His word in our church and in the world. Let our words be seasoned with salt; let us have peace one with another, not only among the true followers of Jesus, but with the unbelieving and atheistic. In the process, we will save our own soul, and possibly be used by God to help pierce the dense darkness enveloping others.

“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated. Full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Trouble on the horizon

This comic appeared on, an anti-Christianity blog, on April 1st.

It pains me to show this insulting comic. But in all seriousness, it indicates that we are on the verge of a storm. If the words are too small or blurred, if you dare read it, just click on the picture for enlargement.

“The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Dan. 12: 10.

It’s not that the anti-Christian sentiments can’t be forgiven. “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt. 12:31-32).

We don’t know the heart of the comic writer. He could enter the kingdom before I do. I may never enter. Today, he could probably care less about his relation to eternity. But that can change. Everything is subject to change when the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit begins.

Another concern here is what will happen as these kinds of cartoons make the headlines among the denominations? Certainly, an uproar will ensue. It should be no surprise if the Fundamentalist Christians go on the offense.

The worst trouble in this scenario is that Bible prophecy says that the Protestants will invite the Papacy to re-establish itself again, and here in America. All that those politically established and seasoned denominations need is enough fire-power to leverage the White House into more talks with the Vatican. The next crisis will be a crumbling society beyond human repair. The next war will be on immorality as a pretext against anti-Christian behavior, sentiments, and fundamentalist power underminement.

As it was 2,000 years ago, it will happen again. As the pagan element of the Roman empire fought against the burgeoning population of a apostatizing Christianity, but could not prevail, so will a Christian world overcome atheistic secularism today. Just as the papal empire arose from the foundations of pagan Rome and thus eclipsed and replaced in the power positions of Roman politics, so are the Evangelical Fundamentalists already quickly filling important places within all three branches of the U.S. government.

All that the religio-politically powerful elite need today is a moral crisis in our country. And the anti-Christian forces are giving it to them.