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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, January 11, 2011

War of words

The Bible is written for all I.Q.’s and ages. Parts of it can be understood by the toddler, parts are for the pre-adolescent, parts for the teenager and young adult. To the precocious and dull alike it speaks and challenges the thinking. Even to the elders and theologians it offers a true test of the wit and beckons their ruminations and meditations. It truly is a book of life.

The Bible not only tests our intellect, but also our faith. As we looked at a week ago, some actions it writes of are questionable to a narrow view of morality, i.e. a prophet lying for God. But it speaks of many other apparent conflicts with the Ten Commandments, as we looked at a month ago. Can we trust the Bible to be a true moral compass? Notwithstanding its difficult parts, the student of the Bible will come away from a broad study of its rich treasure holding it to his breast as the true word of God, the only trustworthy thing in this world.

The Holy Writ sharpens our morality by setting it on a higher plane. It moves us from an immature, black and white code of judgment and conduct to a deeper, fuller wisdom with an x-ray vision of what constitutes sin. But with that deeper discernment the Bible grows love in its disciples, so that that wisdom, allied with love for God and man, will find truth and seek to surround sin with truth as its neutralizing agent, rather than seek excuses for sin.

All the study of Scriptures will avail no truth without the Holy Spirit present in the mind of the investigator. It was the Spirit of God who gave the prophets the cipher to scramble its message in riddle and parable and it takes the Holy Ghost to unscramble those messages. All the mental power a man has will not decipher the difficulties of the word of God, nor unearth the divine keys that unlock its mysteries. Without the Spirit of truth, the big picture which tells so much gets lost in the Bible’s minutiae.

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.” (Ps. 19:7). The real power of the Bible is two-fold: 1) to give us a knowledge of God that will promote righteousness in our heart and life; 2) and to give the ability to discern Satan’s clever craftiness and to escape his traps and temptations.

Sang the psalmist, “I will open My mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.” (Ps. 78:2). “Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:
Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of My heart shall be of understanding.
I will incline Mine ear to a parable: I will open My dark saying upon the harp.” (Ps. 49:1-4).

The Strong’s concordance describes the word “dark saying or sayings”: Heb. chı̂ydâh (khee-daw’) H2420 From H2330; a puzzle; hence a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim: - dark sentence or speech, hard question, proverb, riddle.
Also: -allegory, hidden things, intrigue; scorn (asking of a riddle as a game could imply scorn and ridicule toward the person asked).

The poet speaks of dark sayings and then commences to describe the end of those who use their wealth only on themselves, and that there is no life after death for them, but they perish forever like the beast. But the righteous, the unselfish, will be redeemed one day. “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for He shall receive me. Selah.” (Ps. 49:15).

Of course, that doesn’t happen until the great resurrection day, for even David had not ascended to heaven, by the time of the apostles. “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.... For David is not ascended into the heavens.” (Acts 2:29,34). Nevertheless, the selfish wicked will “perish, and leave their wealth to others.” (Ps. 49:10). So, the mysterious issue of death is made clear in God’s word to us.

Not alone do holy men moved by the Holy Ghost speak of mysteries. The enemy of God does this also. Speaking of Satan in yet another veiled allegory, “Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.” (Ez. 28:3). And Daniel explains how Satan uses his immense intellect. It is to guide his human agents, the high priest of spiritualism to control the world under a guise of truth. “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” (Dan 8:23).

The Hebrew word used here for “dark sentences” is the same for “dark sayings” used above from Psalm 49. In other words, Satan will use his own deceptive dictionary to cipher his language. The history of paganism reveals a complex system of meanings for certain objects, and names that yield an underground message to those who were initiated and understood it all. The ability to comprehend the code, the riddles, the parables welcomed the intern into higher and higher levels of brotherhood within secret societies.

Those secretive groups have changed names and faces over the millennia, but the greatest feat in this respect occurred when the system of Mithraism, the official religion of Imperial Rome, adopted Christianity for a host, during the falling away of the church. 2Thess. 2:3. This is what the vision of Daniel’s 8th chapter was about.

What made the absorption of paganism into the religion of Christ trump all other systems of paganism was what it accomplished. “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: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes.” (Dan. 8:25). “Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.” (Dan. 8:11). “And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the Prince of the covenant.” (Dan. 11:22).

When Christ, “Messiah the Prince” (Dan. 9:25), ascended after accomplishing our redemption, He went before His Father in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. Heb. 8:1-6. More than simply raising from the dead, He ascended to do a work. That work is described in verse 10, that is, to convert the heart of all who would need God’s forgiveness for sin and then to cleanse their heart and life by the washing of His Law, His Gospel. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people.”

But by the commingling of Bible and pagan religions, Christ’s work in His Father’s presence was essentially supplanted by rituals and sacraments of Catholicism, which can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

The conviction of truth and grace found in the Bible was replaced by liturgies and fables of saints which had replaced the old Roman gods. The high holy days of Easter and Christmas replaced the worship of the conception and birth of Tammuz or Nimrod, Jr. All the carnal pleasures and emotional substitutes of false religion were kept alive by these very ancient high days and were looked forward to all year. No room was left in their hearts for the gospel.

The Bible was hidden and the ministry of Christ obscured and lost upon the minds of provincial Christendom. But at the end of 1,260 years the high priest of false Christianity would come to its end in 1798 and then in 1844 the sanctuary which it had trampled would be cleansed, as new light from heaven would break through the mists of the Dark Ages upon the ministry of Christ and a special work of purification of character He would administered in the sanctuary’s Most Holy Place.

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.

Now is the time to study the Bible more than ever. More light is to shine from the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. The Bible is to be opened for us to peruse in pleasure. Our only protection against the coming “strong delusion” will be found in a love for God and His word.

Now is the time to study the Bible. Now is the time for the Spirit of God to reveal His Son to us, so that He can change us into His image. Then the Investigative Judgment can end with a group of people who are ridden of the insidious nature of rebellion and sin, and who perfectly duplicate the character of Jesus, and He can come again to claim them as His own.

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