“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.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Email to a brother

Hello brother,
I thought about our conversation on the phone. This is the text I referred to. I know you are familiar with it, but I want to emphasize that last little note.

“And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
But He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” (Lk. 9:54-56).

It says that Jesus rebuked them, but, we don’t necessarily need to read into that rebuke the thunders of Satan. Christ was disappointed in their response after all that He had tried to teach them in His example of lowliness and childlikeness. He had to set things straight. But He was really rebuking Satan who was speaking through them, as he did through Peter in Matthew 16:22,23. Satan was trying to use the people Jesus loved the most, like he did to Adam through Eve, to steer Him away from the cross. Jesus had to rebuke them, as He had to reprove Israel in the OT, for their own good and to ensure a straight path to our redemption. In the end He could tell them, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” (Jn. 14:30).

So, He rebuked His friends, but in a loving way. And after stating the rebuke, that was all He needed to do. So, “they went to another village.” It was as simple as that. No railing. No curses. No accusations or blame or condemnation. He shamed them a little, and no more. Like Paul said, “For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner.” (2Cor. 7:8,9). Paul repented that he made them repent!!!! But when he saw that they had turned around, he rejoiced! It must have hurt Jesus to hurt His disciples. But He was so infinitely pure and determined to reveal His Father, that He would never let His pity for us stop Him from saying what needed to be said. Thus it was written, He shall be called the mighty God.

It was in mercy that He wouldn’t back down from speaking the truth. But all His strong language was blended with mercy. Even all through the Old Testament. To believe Jesus is otherwise is to put Him in the class of the “proud” and “brute beasts.”

“He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings.” (1Tim. 6:4).

“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” (1Pet. 3:9).

“Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed.” (2Pet. 2:10-12).

“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil He disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” (Jude 9).

Notice that last rebuke to the devil was not a railing accusation. It was spoken with calm authority. But in doing that He heaped tremendous fury on Satan, who is constantly trying to pull Jesus off the platform of truth. “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:20,21). Isn’t Christ under the same law we are? Then He would follow the same example of humility and gentleness. And if He would be gentle yet firm with Satan, He will be infinitely more that way to us.

He will never carelessly rail on His disciples. And, D_____, you are one of His favorites. He encircles you with the arms of His love. You are “one of these little ones which believe in Me,” which “Jesus called ... unto Him, and set him in the midst.” No, you may not feel like that, but, as His ambassador, I can assure you that the great God looks on you like that. Stop seeing yourself from man’s viewpoint, and start looking from God’s view. It’s a much nicer and more protected position to look from.

But even though He died to save the whole world, His provision does us no good unless we believe His love and grace are for us. Otherwise, we are open season with the devil who posed as God when he burned up Job’s sheep. (Job 1:16). We take hook, line, and sinker Satan’s amazing ability to look and sound like God. There is no doubt Satan can spin a real good line. “...and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel?” “He shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise,” (Rev. 17:6,7;Dan. 8:24). Satan and his favorite agent on earth even looked golden to the great prophets. But those representations referred to the success Satan would have with the Roman Papacy.

Let’s not be fooled by Satan’s imitation of Jesus. Let’s see Jesus’ tenderness which will always give Him away as the Anointed One, for “He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant.” Jesus is obligated to uphold His Father’s law, but He is always tender-hearted. He is full of grace and truth.

“The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” But His truth and holding the rebels guilty is never done in rage or railing. His justice is always dispensed with mercy. He is touched with the feelings of your infirmities. Believe in His mercy and lovingkindness for you, even for D_____ L_____. :)

Satan is the one described as untouched with our feelings. “The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.

He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.

The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.” (Is. 14:5-7).

Love you a lot, brother,


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