“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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Free-falling into faith

As kids, we used to play a game. One person would stand behind another and the front person would fall backward into the hands of the other person. The front person had to have full confidence in the one who was going to catch him.

The key was in knowing the person who would do the catching. If a boy or girl had a track record of being a practical joker, or doing hurtful things for the sake of attention, or was physically incapable of taking the weight of the friend in front, then they wouldn’t be trusted to catch. The one who was going to be caught would look the other in the eye to discern any bad motives lurking deep in his thoughts, and also get full verbal reassurance that that brother or sister or friend was not going to let him fall to the ground and hurt his body or his head. Then he would go ahead with the event. The person falling had to trust the person behind him, and in doing so felt the greatest thrill when falling through mid-air to a safe landing, all the while knowing the potential of being hurt. We had the greatest fun doing this.

I woke up yesterday morning with this thought in my head. “Seek ye first [the relationship with Jesus, and all things necessary will be] added unto thee,” taken from Matt. 6:33. If we will make our time with Him foremost and most important, then He will make sure we take care of the other things of lesser importance in this life. He will work in us. Do we trust Him to do that? You say, You mean He will take care of my job’s stressful items and worries if I give Him my most valuable time and energy and thoughts? Yes, that’s what we mean. You mean, He will handle my boss because I spent time with Him instead of giving my 110% to my work first thing in the morning? Yes, that’s what Jesus meant in Matthew 6:33.

If your boss is a Pharaoh, God can take care of him or her. Trust Him; Moses can tell you that He’s done it before. If your supervisor is a ranting and raving Nebuchadnezzar, God can handle him or her and end up subduing him; even converting him. If we give our utmost energy and time to the God of heaven, we can hear our managers and company presidents say with Nebuchadnezzar, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar [insert supervisor’s name] praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” (Dan. 4:37).

But the key is in spending more key time with Jesus than with job-related items. Whatever we invest more time into will become our priority—there’s no getting around this fundamental principle. Only In getting acquainted with Jesus, can we learn to trust Him; and this takes time. There is no other way. The heaviest investment of time must be with Him and Him-related activities—Bible study, prayer, the Christian witness and service.

We can make Jesus the priority and still go to work and do our jobs. But heaven and eternity must hold the highest rule. With every truly converted soul the relation to God and to eternal things will be the great topic of life. Great Controversy, p.463.

Our primary purpose for employment is to bring honor God in the effort to lead others to come to Him. We can do this through the thorough and timely completion of the tasks given to us. The Holy Spirit will give efficiency in our daily accomplishments. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 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. 1:1-3).

To do otherwise—to work for the sake of working, or to make money, or to move up the corporate ladder, or to earn a retirement, etc. is to make the direst of choices. We live in the the investigative judgment, the period of time preparing for the literal day of judgment—Christ’s second coming in power and glory. The parallel period in type was given to Moses in words that show a foreboding to all who do not take heed.

“Also 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.” (Lev. 23:27-31).

Our purpose at this heaven appointed period, is to seek out a full reliance on Jesus as our intercessor. That alone will prepare us to stand when He appears in the glory of His Father, “with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (2Thess. 1:7-9). To neglect this important preparation in deference to working to make more money and retire is to come up unsuited to receive an immortal crown, and will receive rejection by heaven. “For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.”

As we draw near to Jesus, He is able to draw near to us. And the fellowship with Him through His word and the Spirit will bring a peace and rest and health that the world will not comprehend—free from the worries and life-killing stresses of this captivity. We can live in Jesus’ presence, in continual communion with Him, our heart with His, breathing in His life-giving atmosphere. To opt for living apart from Him and turning to the grueling enslavement under the god of this world, is the greatest mistake, fraught with eternal ramifications.

But, it’s the greatest thrill to fall backwards into a friend’s arms. Likewise, it will be “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”—but well worth the temporary stress in every way. (Heb. 10:31).

This is illustrated in a vision to Ellen White.

At length we came to a large chasm, at which our path ended. There was nothing now to guide the feet, nothing upon which to rest them. Our whole reliance must be upon the cords, which had increased in size, until they were as large as our bodies. Here we were for a time thrown into perplexity and distress. We inquired in fearful whispers, “To what is the cord attached?” My husband was just before me. Large drops of sweat were falling from his brow, the veins in his neck and temples were increased to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never felt before. A fearful struggle was before us. Should we fail here, all the difficulties of our journey had been experienced for naught.
Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a beautiful field of green grass, about six inches high. I could not see the sun, but bright, soft beams of light, resembling fine gold and silver, were resting upon this field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare in beauty and glory with this field. But could we succeed in reaching it? was the anxious inquiry. Should the cord break, we must perish.
Again, in whispered anguish, the words were breathed, “What holds the cord?” For a moment we hesitated to venture. Then we exclaimed: “Our only hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our dependence all the difficult way. It will not fail us now.” Still we were hesitating and distressed. The words were then spoken: “God holds the cord. We need not fear.” These words were repeated by those behind us, accompanied with: “He will not fail us now. He has brought us thus far in safety.”
My husband then swung himself over the fearful abyss into the beautiful field beyond. I immediately followed. And oh, what a sense of relief and gratitude to God we felt! I heard voices raised in triumphant praise to God. I was happy, perfectly happy.
Life Sketches, p. 192,193.

It’s scary to wholly rely on Jesus, but we must learn to do it. And we will find full trust in His faithfulness to be the greatest thrill ever. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Another email to a good friend


I just returned from down south. If I remember correctly, there will be no Ezekiel study until Jan. 8. Is that correct? I’m reading my emails since I had no access to them since Tuesday.

I understand your torment, as you call it. I’ve been there and done that. I was reading about it in Revelation 14:10,11 today. “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night.”

Would that describe your experience pretty closely? This was to be a warning to the world similar to what John wrote in his gospel. “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). Same writer, same language, same thought. Revelation is not only very figurative, but also very gospel oriented. It gives us a new paradigm on what worshiping the beast is all about.

I see it as being about choosing someone else to look to other than the Jesus who called us to come to Him for rest. His gracious friendship alone can calm our nerves and soften our hearts. He wants to be our best friend, a friend forever. Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” Jesus wasn’t trying to slay Job, Satan was. But Job was forcing Jesus to let Satan harrass him. It was Job’s fault that the traumatic experience happened to him. Jesus boasted about Job to Satan even though Job was not perfectly perfect, in the same way Jesus commended Nathanael as an Israelite indeed in whom was no guile. Yet after the crucifixion Nathanael was ready to give up the whole Messiah thing as a big mistake and turn to fishing for a career with Peter and the others. (Jn. 21:2,3).

Jesus loves to call us better than what we are. “God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (Rom. 4:17). It is Their joy to be gracious, both Father and Son. (If you’ve see the Son you’ve seen the Father. The Son is the express image of the Father in character.) And I have a hunch, D_____, Jesus would do the same to you. He tells Satan, “Do you see My servant D_____, an Israelite indeed in whom in no guile?” Satan says, “You’ve got to be kidding? D____ L_____?” Jesus answers, “Yes, D_____, My servant. He is faithful in everything he does, because he seeks My approval and yearns for My love.” So Satan says, “Let me at him and we’ll see if he is all that faithful!” Jesus says, “I warn you, you’ll have egg all over your face. But, go ahead! Just don’t end his life. He is very precious to Me.”

And as with Job it will be seen with you, my beloved brother, “that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (Jas. 5:11). Just wait, and wait on Him. Sit at His feet like Mary did. Ask Him to reveal His kind spirit and you will slowly begin to perceive it in all His dealings. It has taken me a long time, but as I see His love in everything He did, I find the long wait was well worth it all. There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus.

There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!
None else could heal all our souls’ diseases:
No, not one! no, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide ‘til the day is done:
There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!

No friend like Him is so high and holy,
No, not one! no, not one!
And yet no friend is so meek and lowly,
No, not one! no, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide ‘til the day is done:
There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!

There’s not an hour that He is not near us,
No, not one! no, not one!
No night so dark, but His love can cheer us,
No, not one! no, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide ‘til the day is done:
There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!

Did ever saint find this Friend forsake him?
No, not one! no, not one!
Or sinner find that He would not take him?
No, not one! no, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide ‘til the day is done:
There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!

Was e’er a gift like the Savior given?
No, not one! no, not one!
Will He refuse us the bliss of heaven?
No, not one! no, not one!

Jesus knows all about our struggles;
He will guide ‘til the day is done:
There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:
No, not one! no, not one!

Love you, brother,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fear His Commands

“While [Peter] yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” (Matt. 17:5).

God the Father is high and lifted up, the embodiment of exactness, the archetype of virtue, the quintessence of excellence. “Behold, He putteth no trust in His saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight.” (Job 15:15). Any iota of less than transcendent perfection is unacceptable to His nature, from whose face the earth and the heaven flee away, and there is found no place for them. Rev. 20:11. Even the angelic hosts fail of the high standards He demands. Within His council only one can endure, His only Son. His Son is He who reveals the innermost thoughts and burdens of the authoritative King. The Son is “the Word”—God’s thoughts made audible. He alone can endure the intensity of earnestness and yearning and wrath of God toward any infinitesimally small less-than-infinite perfect action or thing. Only He is perfectly acceptable to the consummate holy One; only the royal Son of God, who came from the eternally existent One and shares in His glory and was brought up with Him, pleases Him well; and all of creation through the Son.(PP 37;Prov. 8:30)

The royal Son of God bears up under and shoulders all the burden of His Father “who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (Is. 9:6;1Tim. 6:15,16). The Son serves the Father with perfect sympathy and loyalty, and the Father honors His Son; and within that Council of Two, surrounded by the Spirit of peace, is shared preeminently unparalleled justice and mercy. The form of mercy from the Father burns so intensely that His creatures would evaporate from it. Like the powerful covalent bond within each atom of matter, the splitting apart of which creates weapons of mass destruction, the intensity of His mercy is tremendously bound with justice and righteousness and wrath toward imperfection.

The Son alone could it please “the Father to bruise.” (Is. 53:10). His Son alone could He put to infinite grief for our propitiation. The Son alone can be the Anointed One. The Son alone could drink of the full wrath of God to its dregs to satisfy perfect righteousness demanded by the consummate King. No one else could endure it perfectly to the satisfaction of Him who is all in all. In the Son’s pre-incarnate form, His children extol, “Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Most Mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty. And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:3-7). Yet, even in His magnificent majesty, “who being the brightness of [God’s] glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power,” Christ declared, “My Father is greater than I.” (Heb. 1:3;Jn. 14:28). “There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:17). And on the cross He beseeched Him, “My God, My God.” (Matt. 27:46).

Only His Son can mediate between the King and His creatures. And this mediation the Father allows, indeed established, because of the fleeting nature of existence in His creation before His presence. Before Him, even the most powerful covering cherub would be like a vapor “that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (Jas. 4:14).

God speaks only commands in shattering thunder and lightning. One angel caused a whole contingent of Roman soldiers to fall like dead men. One angel destroyed 185,000 of the armies of Assyria. How much more infinitely could the Creator of every angel destroy every angel and start over again for their ineptitude before Him if it were not for His infinite compassion and mercy? Rebel Earth, still worse, proves a new revelation of the bottomless depth of His infinite grace; but a grace which must be proffered through a qualified and holy Arbitrator, who can transform it down for our comprehension and make it usable for our sanctification.

The towering Chief of all speaks in commandments only. No other but “Michael…, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people” can bear up under such divine scrutiny and pulverizing communications from the Most Holy throne. (Dan. 12:1). Through being enveloped in the sheer magnitude of His Father’s infinite demands could Christ declare of Himself that “Him hath God the Father sealed.” (Jn. 6:27). His Father’s thunder and glory, His boldness and repenting for the existence of sin, His infinite hatred for sin but His infinite love for the sinners, entombed righteousness into the heart of His Son.

But, the distinction between Them is seen in Daniel’s vision. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire….I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.” (Dan. 7:9,13).

Thus, only the Son of man can take the Father’s heat and translate it into a form bearable by His creatures. He alone can be our propitiation, our intercessor, the ransom of a filthy race, wholly unacceptable to the righteous Jehovah. “The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.” But, “there is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Hab. 2:20;Rom. 3:18).

Being in the express image of His Father’s person, the pre-incarnate Son came in His Father’s name and represented His Father in the same commanding form. “God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage…. And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Ex. 20:1,2, 18,19).

“Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather Me the people together, and I will make them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” (Deut. 4:10). “Ye shall do My judgments, and keep Mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 18:4). “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2). Throughout Leviticus, in the numerous repetitions of the booming reminders, “I am the Lord,” “I am the Lord your God,” associated with His commands, we hear the power of His Father in heaven.

Fear is appropriate before such a superior Master; and nothing has changed in that regard. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Eph. 4:21). “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” (1Cor. 7:19) NASB. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecc. 12:13). Commandments and fear cooperate in a most intimate way. Humility and fear are the proper response to a command of authority. And peace and love are most healthful and exquisite byproducts of humble obedience. Therefore, for our benefit and happiness God commends His commands, threatening wrath behind the promising, subdued truth and grace of His Mediator sent to us.

“O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” (Is. 48:18). “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.” (Jn. 15:10).

“Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1Jn. 2:3,4). “ For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” (1Jn. 5:3). “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12). “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14). “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (Rom. 2:13).

Until the day comes that ends the great controversy with sin, nothing will change in our relation to God’s commanding Law. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:17). “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7).

It will be in deferring, bowing to the lawful orders of God and His messengers, the prophets, that we, like His Son, will be sealed. This humble deference to higher authority Christ will increasingly develop in His people until He can come in a power that will seal them forever as He is sealed by His Father’s infinite Law. Then we will be completely His own, and redeemed at our translation “when He shall appear.” And then “we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” (1Jn. 3:2).

Friday, December 19, 2008

The devil on God's throne

“Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.” (Job 22:21).

“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” (Jn. 17:3). If we don’t spend the time getting to know the only true God, Satan will move into God’s place very quickly, alter our way of understanding God’s character, and then inspire us to worship him in God’s place. “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” (Deut. 32:17).

“There be Gods many, and Lords many.” (1Cor. 8:5). Referring to Baal, which means—Lord; and Baalim, meaning—Lords. They are called Lords, but they really are the satanic hosts in sheep’s clothing.

“But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” (1Cor. 10:20). They thought they were sacrificing to the Creator, fellowshipping with the true God; so Paul emphatically stated that this was not so. They were fellowshipping with devils; and since the conniving devils know zero love, those who associate with them are unsuspectingly sucked dry of love and life, and have the worst passions brought out in them. This is why the name of Yahweh was so important throughout the Old Testment. To worship Yahweh meant a whole different kind of worship than Baal worship. It was a solemn, yet joyous occasion to come before the Holy One. A Father’s love was there. A Father’s grace as well as His high standard of righteousness.

This misunderstanding of the only true God pervaded the world in Job’s day. The deceived world substituted the devil and his coworkers into God’s place. Great, powerful phenomena were naturally assumed to come from God.

“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that [Job] hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord. And there was a day … there came also another [servant], and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them....” (Job 1:12,13,16). Satan had made use of the Lord’s natural elements for his own end and everyone believed it was the work of God. Even Job was taken in Satan’s imitation of God.

To sit in God’s place is to receive the utmost honor, affection, fear and praise. “[The son of perdition] who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped..., as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2Thess. 2:3,4).

The real escape from Satan’s great deception comes in knowing God through Jesus. To know God means spending the time soaking in His life-giving word to a dying world. He has revealed His deepest self through the Bible. We must get with Him there in its pages every day and talk to Him about it when we don’t understand something we’ve read. We must use His Book to us for communication, instead of simply for information. When we know His character of love up close and personally, we will have a true understanding of the confusing events happening around us and find in that knowledge His divine love and righteousness. The meaningful relationship makes us open to the Spirit’s guiding and makes us candidates for His promise of being locked into companionship with the God of love. This is the desire of all nations. But to neglect the meaningful relationship and the intimate knowing of Jesus is to step into Satan’s ground. He will woo us so unsuspectingly deep into his territory. And before we know it, it takes much effort to get back to Jesus, with Satan’s helpers continually standing by to resist us. In many cases, the fallen soul never returns and is lost in the oblivion of an endless and famished pursuit of happiness.

Multitudes in that lost group will die bogged down in religion. “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:22,23). Doesn’t this beg the question, How could this ever happen? It seems impossible; yet Jesus says it will occur. Shouldn’t we daily ask ourselves in all honesty, “Lord, is it I?” (Matt. 26:22).

“But [Paul and the apostles] have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2Cor. 4:2-4).

“Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Gen. 3:1). Here is a prime example of how Satan can work his spells. Was it God the Father who forbade the tree of knowledge of good and evil? No, it was the Lord God—the Son of God, who said it. (Gen. 2:16,17). “It was God,” that distant and mysterious personage whom the first couple did not know personally, “who gave a command.” Thus said the serpent in partially hidden language. Only he knew the psychological effects that framing the description of a distant God would effect. Christ, the One who had spent precious time with them, whose name they would have recognized and loved and who would have evoked immediate abhorrence of disobedience, must be covered in distraction by the tempter. The commandment suddenly seemed dogmatic and arbitrary under the influence of the self-assured, soft voice of this dazzling new friend. So while Eve was being moved off of her sure foundation that her Savior and Friend actually gave the command, Satan was wrapping her in his sophistry.

Jesus has been our Mediator from the foundation of the world. He alone can perfectly declare the Father, and He alone, our Creator in whose image we are, knows how to perfectly bring out of us the deepest love and peace. He is the bread of life, typified by the table of unleavened showbread (situated on the north side of the tabernacle.) But Satan wants that coveted place, and in his genius knows that is the true strategic office. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” (Is. 14:13). The seat of explaining the Infinite One, the mysterious God of love, is the most important position in the entire universe. It’s the way to the tree of life. Whoever controls that access point controls the whole world. The whole world seeks that access to peace, and those who break from the self-indulgence pushed on the world by the adversary will find surely Him. Everyone else will sink deeper and deeper into his intoxicating spell.

Jesus is that true access. “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (Jn. 14:6). “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19-22). He has the key code for entrance: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:24,25). Here is where the true God resides—in self-denial and self-sacrificing love. This is His assured territory which Satan can never accept to enter, nor would he ever desire to overthrow it. The enemy must alter the self-denial into self-service. And his professed heavenly religion will reflect this. Self will be given free rein to weave itself in.

This condition was seen in the pure religion of Christ’s redemption during the Dark Ages when the Papacy controlled Christendom. Beginning slightly deverging from the truth, it ultimately became a full-glown worship of self, all the while claiming to be the humblest service to Jesus. “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Dan. 11:36,37).

The real Jesus stood for His Father’s Law of self-sacrificing love. In the light of His righteousness and trusting friendship those who look receive a power that transforms proud, self-centered hearts into humbled, self-forgetful hearts. But how many are hoodwinked into the wrong Jesus because of the love for self-indulgence! Repentance through renunciation of self, for the purpose of keeping the relationship with Jesus, is unknown by the sin-loving multitudes. Ellen White had a dream following the Great Disappointment, when the Son of God left the Holy Place and entered the Most Holy to cleanse it and to prepare for judgment. She explained what happened to the Protestant denominations when they rejected the preaching of Jesus’ Second Advent. Mrs. White relates:

There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father. On the hem of His garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray, “My Father, give us Thy Spirit.” Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.
I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, “Father, give us Thy Spirit.” Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children.
Early Writings, p. 55.

The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Premier, President, and Pope

As I look back on my experience with God, I see a big picture. Thirty years ago, the Lord brought me through a time of great anxiety and then relieved that pain with love, the love from a friend and the love of God. I found through peace with Him.

That was an amazing time of my life, and especially so since I was greatly impressionable and felt a deep need for love as do most adolescents. But something apparently bigger than some small-time revival in an insignificant white clapboard church, went into effect.

The Lord laid the foundation for the Latter Rain for me and some others there. And not long afterward a few seemingly unrelated world events took place that would slowly move the whole world into a new direction.

Our youth group ended in a great disappointment for me and the others in 1976, the very year John Paul came to the throne of the Vatican. Three months later he would be dead and his successor named, the renowned John Paul II. The next 30 years would see this man take the Vatican to unprecedented heights of power and world-wide popularity.

The book, Keys of This Blood, relates that it was an amazing turn of events that landed Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1980 and Mikhail Gorbachev in the Moscow mansion soon afterward. I don’t know if this was providential or set up by the devil and the Vatican.

Nevertheless, the framework was set up for the Papa of Christendom and President of the U.S. to take down the Premier of the U.S.S.R. This was done economically and popularly; economically through an arms race with Washington that bankrupted Moscow, and popularly through Polish Solidarity. Overnight, the communist/atheist juggernaut bowed to the overpowering Catholic/Protestant duo.

A conquered Russia, Phase One was complete. The first orchestration of controlling the world by the Papacy was successful. That was the late 1980’s. Next to come, Phase Two—the conquering of America. In the early 1990’s the stock market began to rise precipitously. Shooting higher and higher, from the Dow/Jones 3,000 points to 4,000 to 5,000, and 6,000. When it reached 7,000 the U.S.A. Today asked, “Are we skating on thin ice?” On it climbed upward, 8,000 and 9,000, then all the way to 12,000. A stretch of 3 times its original value had been attained over a short time. This was certainly unheard of.

Where did the money come from to flood the world markets such as it did in the ‘90’s? This is a most interesting question. And then, more interesting, when the market gained everyone’s full trust, and everyone had gotten on the elevator for a ride to assured wealth and prestige, and billions and trillions in currency of real employee income, from around the world, was funneled into the market, it all suddenly disappeared in 2008! Magic! Where did it all go? Investments have always been risky; but this was the loss of even non-risk assets.

I have a theory. Everything involving world events has been orchestrated by the devil, the mastermind of masterminds, subtle and devious, and bitterly hateful like we can never comprehend. He has his human counterpart, a man leading other men who have sold themselves completely to Satan’s will. This organization has permeated to every powerful entity and organization in the world. They all have one mind, that is to dominate a world of slaves. Their one leader organization is a religious one, innocent-looking and the least suspected, the Vatican.

The devil controls the vast assets of the world, through the Pope. Satan has always worked best in ignorance and moral darkness, in slavery by the poor and avarice of the wealthy. It is his work to centralize political and economic power. The amassing of financial power and monopolies by the economic giants parallels the strengthening of political might by a united Europe, a soon-to-be united North America, as well as African, South American and Australasian unions.

God accomplished a great work through giving us the Bible, with its principles of self-government and holiness, and then using this country to spread those principles around the globe. Protestant America formed a healthy and strong middle class through the freedom to establish small businesses. This worked against a revival of the Papacy because the millions of Ma and Pa businesses were too unwieldy and fostered dissent against big business and big government, and it would too easily lead to the discomfiture of a centralization of power.

The governing powers of the world’s economy needed to be pared down and concentrated into a smaller group of monopolies that could be more easily disciplined into loyalty to the aims of the Papacy, in order for it to succeed at such a monumental achievement as world control.

This has largely finished, and the finalizing touches are in effect as I write. Preparation for this was set and done after the U.S.S.R. was drained of its economic power. The Jesuits had already arisen to the boards of major corporate giants and many more from that priestly order were on the corporate escalators on the way to the top to increase the concentration of them or to replace the old guard as time elapsed. These men would be 100% loyal to the orders of their General, as if giving virtual world wealth to the Vatican, even though Vatican ledgers might indicate only a small amount. With John Paul’s blessing and their General’s command, large volumes of wealth could be infused into the markets, thus stimulating the world economy and attracting investment moneys that could flow upward from the hopeful money-conscious multitudes, entrusted into the hands of a fair stock market. Thus, the Jesuits lured world wealth into a common money-making venture.

Then, when immeasurable wealth had flooded in and the world populace was trained to depend on the stock exchanges and to believe that “credit” and debt were essential to post-modern life, the General could command his soldiers of Jesus to pull their wealth out of the market, all at one time. Since they were the only ones informed of the plan, the unwary populace lost their retirement nest eggs as it all ended up in the accounts of the super-wealthy corporations led by these soldiers of Jesus. And to complete the downfall of the Protestant American obstacle to the Papacy, the debt-saddled U.S. Government was coaxed into pouring the last of its capital, ear-marked for national infrastructure, into the whirlpool of the hellish bottomless pit of history’s biggest heist. This was facilitated by Jesuit governmental leaders. Thus, in the end of all this, and that soon, nothing will be left of the old Protestant America that enforced liberty around the world. Under the command of the woman who rides the beast, the new America will enforce enslavement and ruthless cruelty to that end.

The devil is a genius who makes all the intelligence of us mortals vanish into insignificance. He is behind all of this orchestration of the financial crisis and has trained his loyalists in his secrets methods.

So, all which has occurred over the past 9 months has been orchestrated by the Vatican. Indeed, all that has led up to this over the past 30 years has been orchestrated and manipulated. As it was written long ago, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess. 2:8-12).

This generation shall see the overthrow of the present world empire and the transformation and re-establishment of it to the status of “eldest son of the church,” the chief secular arm of the next theocratic empire. As it was written, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth [America]; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast [the Papacy] before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed…. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast [the revived neo-Papacy], that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Rev. 13:14,15).

But, in spite of all the devil’s successes toward the re-establishment of the Papacy and its Inquisition, God has been preparing a people to represent Him and His character perfectly. And when He has them fully ready to stand for Him, then He will let loose a lot of trouble onto a soon to be very wicked world, and then come to deliver and receive His own to Himself. “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess. 4:17).

Monday, December 08, 2008


Hi C_____,

It was good to see you and talk for the few seconds we could. What you read from Morris Venden will be a lot more of the good stuff you like from Romans 7. When I went to CUC he came and gave the fall Week of Prayer. It was full of goooooooooooooooood stuff! I mean it. I wish you could have been there. Oh, it was so full of the forgiveness and acceptance and grace of Jesus. And better than that, he opened to us the truth about Righteousness by Faith—that it is based on forgiveness and a friendship with Jesus. I believe he’s the one who coined the household word, “relationship with Jesus,” which spread around the Adventist pulpits and then went out into the evangelical churches. Unfortunately, the phrase lost its power when the others couldn’t bring to it the evidence from the scripture that Elder Venden gave it. He preached that what people call the unpardonable sin, if repented of, is forgivable too! You will see that in the little book I gave you. The time and effort spent on getting a meaningful relationship with Jesus is the entire basis of the Christian life. It’s not how much I can accomplish for Jesus. Its not how much sin I can overcome, how many souls I can get into the kingdom, how much I can get this little light of mine to shine, etc. Everything about the foundation of being a child of God has to do with getting with Him. All the other stuff will come, the overcoming, the souls saved, the shining witness for Jesus—because it will be a natural outgrowth of getting with God our Savior.

But there is some work we must do. The gospel isn’t all about being lazy and irresponsible. Starting and maintaining a relationship with Jesus is like (please excuse the taboo example) the love-making two spouses do in bed. If one just lays there and expects the other one to do all the work, it won’t last long. Jesus expect us to do a lot of work, but its in the area of getting to know Him through studying about Him in His word, through talking to Him and unburdening ourselves on Him, and though helping others know how good He really is.

D____ believes that God has been good to him, but that Jesus has been a tyrant. I get the privilege of learning what has been upsetting him, pleading with the Lord to help D____ see Him differently, and sharing with D____ what I’ve learned about Jesus. And I am finding that almost everyone I meet has some hang-up about Jesus. But this shouldn’t surprise us. The devil has been working overtime to obscure the preciousness of Jesus, who was the greatest revelation of the God of love, ever. Elder Venden calls our part the “3 tangibles.” You will read about that in the book.

As far as the pastor goes, you don’t need to rush it to update him. Just go on living out what Jesus puts into you, and sooner or later the pastor will know it.

The more the glory of Jesus’ love brightens the dark corners of your mind and soothes your soul with His grace and peace, the more and more silent those voices will get until they will disappear. Satan doesn’t own us outright. He only does temporarily by default of our choice when we don’t choose our rightful owner, our Creator. But Satan uses such force in his bold methods that he makes us think he is the rightful owner and that it’s useless to seek outside assistance. What does the Lord have to say about Satan’s braggadocio? “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” (Is. 49:24,25). Pretty soon, all of Satan’s imps (including all his impish humanistic psychologists) will be running from you because the Holy Spirit will have your mind and heart and will. “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” (Rom. 16:20). As you see more and more clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus.

See you sister.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Answering to the highest power

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:1-3).

Did the Lord God say not to have any other gods? No, He didn’t. He allows for company at the top of our priorities. He allows for human leadership and guidance. He doesn’t sweep away every other position of authority over us. He isn’t stingy with authority. He isn’t a dictator. He can afford to be fair.

“Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” (Ex. 22:28).
“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” (Ps. 82:6). Obviously, the Hebrew idiom, “gods,” spoke of people in leadership positions.

But He did expect the people to keep Him high above all the other leaders. No one else had delivered them from certain death at the Red Sea. No one else had freed them from generations of future enslavement. No one else did the mighty works, supernatural calamities, on such a grand scale. No one else gave them the message, as He lovingly phrased it, “I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.” (Ex. 19:4).

But did they heed His command? Didn’t they replace Him as the most important person in their life? Who do we listen to? We have our bosses. We have our policemen. We have our government leaders and the Internal Revenue Service.

Have they taken a position before the God who saved us from sin? When it comes time to talk to Him, do our friends compete and successfully steal our time away from Him? When its time in the morning to meet with Him, does our employers voice pop into our head or the work for the day rudely interrupt that quiet communion our God yearns to have with us? When the opportunity arises for us to confess to our peers and friends and family our loyalty and thankfulness to Jesus, does our loyalty toward them trump God and silence our confession of Him? Do these beloved people cause our faith to vanish and zip our lips?

Does food, entertainment, or worldly wants and even needs take a higher consideration than does time spent to maintain a relationship with the Lord Jesus?

Do our most beloved on earth, our children, our friends, our family, our spouse, hold a more favored place in our hearts than God, so that the Sabbath day is filled with them and not Him?

Will we hear Him say one day, “I never knew you?”

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” “Thou shalt love no one more than Me.” “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.”

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Another email

This is very good news (a baptism), brother. There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons whose proud hearts need no repentance.

What do you think of the Sabbath School lesson this week? Isn’t it powerful? Jesus’ mental suffering came from bearing the burden of sin that someone does who has no one higher to cast it on. I see that, even as the mighty Son of God whose hatred of sin was as grievous as His Father’s, He had never had to face it alone. He always had His Father’s bosom to weep on, His Father had forever been His relief. From eternity past, He always had always given His grief to His Father. He had hung on His Father. He had emptied His soul to His God, and His Father had always been comforted in comforting His precious Son.

Now, He was all alone. His Father was carefully separating Himself as He was treating Christ as sin, for our sake. The Father was unburdening Himself of His full hatred upon the universe-wide sin problem. The Father and Son worked together to bring a full end of sin, while saving as many children of Adam as They could.

Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply, as to a little child,
For I am weak and weary, and helpless and defiled.

Tell me the story slowly, that I may take it in,
That wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin.
Tell me the story often, for I forget so soon;
The early dew of morning has passed away at noon.

Tell me the story softly, with earnest tones and grave;
Remember I’m the sinner whom Jesus came to save.
Tell me the story always, if you would really be,
In any time of trouble, a comforter to me.

Tell me the same old story when you have cause to fear
That this world’s empty glory is costing me too dear.
Yes, and when that world’s glory is dawning on my soul,
Tell me the old, old story: “Christ Jesus makes thee whole.”

Tell me the old, old story, tell me the old, old story,
Tell me the old, old story, of Jesus and His love.

Take care, my brother.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Babylon and grace--an email

Hi C____,

Why is it hard to come together with the Lord’s people? Is it because they aren’t His people? C____, you aren’t the only one who feels this way toward church-going. And I’ve been there before. I’ve tried to analyze my thinking during that time and this is what I’ve come up with.

Babylon is interpreted, “the gate of the gods.” Basically, “almost heaven.” Isn’t that what church purports to be? But Moses interpreted the name of Babylon to be “confusion.” And we know in the end the church which is destroyed is called Babylon again. So the church in the end is full of confusion. From what? and has some of that confusion made its way into the Advent movement? Is it ever written that pagan worship came into Israel’s worship? Yes, many times. So should we be surprised if it happens again to us, “the Israel of God”? (Gal. 6:16).

What’s the obvious result of the confusion in the last Babylon? “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). Does that describe Fairfax SDA? Well, not entirely. But I believe we’re getting there. That would be one reason it would be hard to come there. Another big reason is that the grace of God is not being preached and taught much. God’s grace is the very center of Christianity, and its being ignored. I know in my case, I have a hard time seeing it in the Bible. I have to dig and search and pray in order to uncover it, or rather to have the scales fall off my eyes. Other people might be having the same issue. Some people may not even know they are supposed to do all that, and don’t even bother with grace.

If you’re like me, and I think you and I are very much alike, love and forgiveness and grace are the only reason to live. Communion and fellowship are the very purpose of religion. Paul made such a case of this when he continually pounded the Jews’ exaltation of the law above the promise of God’s love for them. We’ve fallen away from that. This, I believe, is the most basic reason the church is so laborious to so many people. Paul wrote, “If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” (Gal. 3:21). But the Law and everything else without grace robs us of life.

This is not to say that the Law is bad. “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Rom. 7:12). God’s law is demanding. It puts a demand on us. It demands righteousness and obedience and perfect worship and praise. And we need demands. An atomic energy electric plant without a demand would be an atomic bomb. But the resistance of the Law, which gives us strength by using our spiritual muscles can only work if we’ve eaten and been filled with something good before the demands are placed upon us. Thus, the good and important effect of a demanding law breaks down if the gospel of God’s grace hasn’t been previously accepted and allowed to strengthen our trust in a loving God of grace. Thus, we need the promises God Himself gave us with an oath on top of them. “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever.” (Heb. 6:17-20).

C____, what I’ve written here is not just theology. It is life or death. It is real life stuff. It is the very essence of hope just to get through each working day, and to get in close with Jesus and His people when they meet together. His promise to be gracious to us is an anchor to our soul. And I feel sorry for so many people who don’t have this anchor, outside of the church and inside. It must be our work to be anchored in His grace and then to help others get anchored in it.

I’ve got to go, C____, but be encouraged and go to God and ask Him to show you His gracious love for all His sinful children. A knowledge of His character will give you plenty of reason to join with your brothers and sisters and even to face the outside world. His grace toward you will bolster you up and make you give grace to everyone you meet. And that will be a new train of thinking to so many people you meet. Receiving limitless grace and love from you will be a new experience to everyone. But you will love to do it because you will have seen the limitless grace and love of God toward you.