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“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.

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).

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