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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.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Simplicity

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2Cor. 11:3).

The burdens this world requires are often the greatest encumbrances to surrendering to God’s love.

There are many whose hearts are aching under a load of care because they seek to reach the world’s standard. They have chosen its service, accepted its perplexities, adopted its customs. Thus their character is marred, and their life made a weariness.… The continual worry is wearing out the life forces. Our Lord desires them to lay aside this yoke of bondage. He invites them to accept His yoke; He says, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” He bids them seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and His promise is that all things needful to them for this life shall be added. Worry is blind, and cannot discern the future; but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every difficulty He has His way prepared to bring relief. Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet. DA p.330.

The history, the science, the philosophy behind why my organization does what it does; the emblematics, the medals, the ribbons, the robes and wigs and epaulettes, the distortions forced upon the human body; the methods, the practices, certain ways that have always been done since the early mists of time immemorial; the taboos, the hush-hush, the social improprieties that horrify the initiated; the exaggerated, the unnatural usages and expressions; the status, the prestige, the fame and infamy; laws, complicated tax codes, lawyer-speak; difficult webpages, complex computer gliches, technology.

Life today is by no means simple, and its complexity presents an immediate assault on the soul’s knowledge of God, shunting faith to ground, and captivating the mind to this world. Babylon is alive and well. We were warned of all this. “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark.” (Matt. 24:37,38). “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot;... they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded.” (Lk. 17:28).

When Christ came to the earth,…life had become false and artificial. Ed p. 75.

Christ dispensed with all things superficial and a world designed by Satan to exalt man. His life was simple and pure. He wore a durable one-piece garment, with an outer blanket and sandals for necessity. His life was no less basic, without “where to lay His head,” nowhere to call home. He often slept under the trees or directly under the stars. His favorite church to teach of His Father was the great outdoors. His musical instrument was His melodious voice and clear words. His life harked back to Eden, because He was the second Adam.

He had no fear of thieves; what did He have to steal? A few pence? He had laid up His treasure in heaven where thieves could not break through and steal. No one cared for His life of simplicity, so marauders never bothered Him and His disciples. He ate from the edges of the farmed fields, as He had originally ordained through Moses. So free was He from man-made regulations, that people thought He was John the Baptist who had lived wholly off the meager fare of the wild edibles of the desert.

Christ’s message and movement was likewise simple—Put forth you greatest effort to serve and obey God; secondarily, serve your neighbor and your nation’s government. He saw no conflict here; the two were one, and easy to understand and obey. This one principle was the simple out-working of the whole law and prophets.

In His teaching were embraced the things of time and the things of eternity—things seen, in their relation to things unseen, the passing incidents of common life and the solemn issues of the life to come.
The things of this life He placed in their true relation, as subordinate to those of eternal interest; but He did not ignore their importance. He taught that Heaven and earth are linked together, and that a knowledge of divine truth prepares man better to perform the duties of daily life.
Ed p. 82.

The Spirit of God on David expressed this same principle of simplicity. He served the Lord, therefore all the façade of Saul’s armor could only diminish what great things the Lord was about to do to Goliath through only a sling and a stone.

Jonathan left the discouraged armies of Israel to fight the enemy with nothing more than his trusted armor bearer and one sword. And God proved Himself willing to protect and fight for Jonathan. Because his faith was, “there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few,” he went forth having a clear conscience, trusting the Almighty. (1Sam. 14:6). And earthquakes began overthrowing the army of the enemy.

His original organization of the Israelite nation portrayed His simplistic character. Governed by the patriarchs and elder advisors, each tribe and family had great freedom and contentedness to live their private lives. They could adhere to the statutes given them from God and He promised to bring peace and prosperity to all their borders.

He would raise up judges to lead them into battle; and then the fighting ended, the judge would retire to his inheritance and disappear from the public eye. He demanded no payment; no praise or adoration; no taxes to support him and a standing army. Every able-bodied man was expected to defend the nation and return to his possession and then regular civilian life following the conflict. The God of Israel would even use hornets, diseases, and other unseen critters to protect them.

The only taxes paid were in the form of the sacred tithe, which was owed to God for His governorship and His invisible but invincible protection. This tax He happily bequeathed all to the tribe of Levi, the families of which received no earthly inheritance. The Lord was their portion; and to Him they spent their time and labor, learning of Him and teaching the nation of His holy character.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were humble patriarch farmers, yet kings bowed before them and made treaties with them for fear of them. Unencumbered by nationalism and customs of the surrounding peoples, Israel was free to roam and govern itself, setting the example of righteous governance to the nations in which they lived. “Lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” (Num. 23:9). And people from all around would look at the simple life, religion, and government of Israel and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great?” (Deut. 4:6-8).

Christ and His people extended into a world of complicated and confused by Satan the perfection of simplicity which existed before sin entered the world. Eden was the archetype of the simple life. Then, in that perfect world so long ago, no human statutes governed or policed. No taxation or tolls, no covetous trade or idolatrous commerce existed. No national boundaries or enemy territory, no danger or terror concerned the holy couple. No careers for Adam and Eve to stress over, no corporate ladders to climb, no retirement account or stock market fund that might dry up, no fear of layoffs or dismissals for poor performance, no competition or dog-eat-dog one-up-manship. No gossip, no offenses, no fear of rejection or loss of faith in one another.

Theirs was the simple life with living vines to make up their humble house. The quiet life of gardening was theirs and easy scratching of the earth was all that was necessary to prepare it to bring forth its abundant gifts for their subsistence. No limitations existed for them except for the one prohibition of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Beauty and joy, love and constant praise filled their waking hours, and blessed sleep was theirs every night; and perfect innocence and holiness robed them in thick glory.

One day soon paradise will be restored to this special world. The emergency institution of marriage will again be dissolved, for in the resurrection and translation we will no more need that. Matt. 22:30;1Cor. 7:1,8,32. We will be no more husbands and wives, but princely and priestly brothers and sisters, reigning on earth. Rev. 5:10. We will have one thing on our mind—the Lamb and the One who sits on the throne. “They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:4).

Eternity will be boiled down to just a few basic things, and forever we will simply walk in the light of His glory.

“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people….
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.” (Is. 65:17-23).

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth…but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:22-27).

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