“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

My Photo
Location: United States

A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Needed afliction

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.” (Ps. 119:71).

We need affliction, even though we don’t like it. It comes because we deserve it, and never because we don’t deserve it. “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” (Prov. 26:2). Our God will dispense pain and trouble; but He will always blend it with mercy. “O LORD, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Hab. 3:2).

Yet, this punishment is not His preferred method to save us. To come unto Him, to trust under the shadow of His wings, to set at His feet and learn from His lips, “Thus saith the LORD,” and His, “Verily, verily I say unto you,” is the method He delights in. He wants us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through communion with His.

But He has the other alternative method of instruction,which He uses only when necesssary—the furnace of affliction. “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee.” (Jer. 2:19). As long as we want to remain His children, He wants to be our Father. He rejoices to give us of His goodness. But if we wander away and begin to hurt others and treat them like the devil does, then He is obligated to turn into what appears our enemy and He will work to drive the devil out of us.

“And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.” (Deut. 28:63). “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside Me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me:
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil [divine vengeance]: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa. 45:5-7).

This was the case with Israel, and it was written down to send a message to all succeeding generations who would choose Jehovah as their God. “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever.” (Isa. 30:8).

“This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD.” (Isa. 30:9). “To Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people,” “which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face.” (Rom. 10:21;Isa. 65:3).

“Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave My people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me, saith the LORD.
Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.
And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 9:2-6).

“How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken Me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife.
Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” (Jer. 5:7-9).
“A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30,31).

“Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not.” (Jer. 7:8, 9). “They built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into My mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” (Jer. 32:35).

“And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by My name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.” (Jer. 7:13-15). “Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the LORD: shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? …
And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant. …
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.” (Jer. 9:9,11,15,16).

“And he [the king of Babylon] shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper.” (Jer. 32:5). The brutal force of Nebuchadnezzar was discipline, due punishment. For Zedekiah to fight against it was to increase its severity. To submit was to have some mercy and save his nation. “He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.” (Jer. 21:9).

But, at least he would live. And to those who would fight against their due punishment, sure death would be theirs. Over one hundred years before, they had been warned because of continued lawlessness, “It was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Isa. 22:14). Now that sentence would finally be executed. All the weapons Judah could muster would not withstand the LORD’s judgments on them.

“Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.
And I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.” (Jer. 21:4-6).

They had not learned to surrender to Jehovah and His righteousness during years of peace; now they would have to learn surrender under extreme circumstances, to the king whom Jehovah had raised up to besiege and remove the degraded Jews from His holy land.

So it will be in the great final conflict of the controversy between righteousness and sin. While new life and light and power are descending from on high upon the disciples of Christ, a new life is springing up from beneath, and energizing the agencies of Satan. Intensity is taking possession of every earthly element. With a subtlety gained through centuries of conflict, the prince of evil works under a disguise. He appears clothed as an angel of light, and multitudes are “giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1. Desire of Ages, p. 257.

Today, here at the juncture of time and eternity, our LORD is raising up a great enemy against the people called by His name. Protestants are heading into a great time of tribulation; the plans are made against them, and even now being implemented. Transgression pervades and weakens the masses; laws to rein in freedom are being made and passed; we see the stage being set for great trouble on the Earth, even as the Jews saw the ramparts going up all around to besiege Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s day. Do we know that it is because we have grievously sinned against the Lord our God, because we have not gotten personally acquainted with Him?

An intensity such as never before was seen is taking possession of the world. In amusement, in moneymaking, in the contest for power, in the very struggle for existence, there is a terrible force that engrosses body and mind and soul. In the midst of this maddening rush, God is speaking. He bids us come apart and commune with Him. “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.
Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens they return to their work.
Education, p. 260.

“They bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me , saith the LORD.
Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.
And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 9:3-6).

Will we take God’s word to ourselves, the words we see from God through Jeremiah? Will we let scripture be profitable for our instruction and doctrine? Will we examine ourselves as the Jews should have done; will Protestants arraign ourselves before the Law of God at this late moment, as they should have been doing since America became a nation, to know if we personally know the Lord, and are circumcised “in the heart”? (Jer. 9:26). “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” (1Cor. 11:31).

Or will we, as Israel did, continue on the same course of stubborn resistance to admit our corruption, and reap the same desolation they reaped? Will ancient Israel’s history be repeated in America today, and we hear their judgment, “Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts”? (Isa. 22:14).

We may be religious; we may be faithful church-goers. So were the Jews.

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment….
Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom ; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah .
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
When ye come to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread My courts?
Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them.
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” (Isa. 1:4-6,10-15).

Won’t we do what they refused to do, and seek God for His convicting assessment of our corrupted characters? Will we apply His incriminating word to ourselves? Will we bear up under the strong language of the Spirit of Prophecy and hear, not the counsel of a mere woman, but the straight testimony of “the Faithful and True Witness” from heaven to the Laodicean church of God? (Rev. 3:14). And will we, by hearing the Lord’s real disposition toward our sinfulness, be led to true contrition and repentance?

We need to heed the admonition of David. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes.” (Ps. 119:71). “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” (Ps. 119:67). We need David’s humility and surrender to the Holy Spirit.

Daniel had foretold that in the Dark Ages, when God’s people would be in similar dangerous circumstances as the Jews were in Jeremiah’s day, it was “to try them, and to purge, and to make them white.” (Dan. 11:35). But the purification only came when, “some of them of understanding shall fall,” as Satan “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” (Dan. 7:21).

The troubles Christ sends is only for our good, to make us more like Him, to learn to lay down our strife, our personal self-defense, our weapons; and be humble and gentle like Jesus. We all are “by nature the children of wrath,” by inheritance ready to take up arms for self-preservation; our first birth is “in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” (Eph. 2:3). So, the Lord’s troubles put us to the test, over and over the same ground, if we will submit, for us to eventually to see our inborn hating and fighting nature which is so unlike Him, and which risks our eternal life with Him.

But it is also to remove the truly consummate rebels from among His people. Those who refuse to see their deficiency, but who will fight to the very end, will fight to their eternal death. “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matt. 26:52).

Protestants have had the Bible, and have professed to hold it as the basis for all doctrine. If they truly studied their Bibles, they should know all these things. Yet, we hear rumors today of Protestants taking up arms in preparation for the big trouble to come, to fight against the big trouble that is their due punishment. We have fallen away from obedience to God’s law and we know not the Lord; but they refuse to be corrected. The Lord has one word for them, “Though ye fight..., ye shall not prosper.” (Jer. 32:5).

It’s the same message that many Israelites heard when they refused the 40 year sentence to live out their lives and to die in the wilderness of Sinai for their continued rebellion. They decided to fight their way into Canaan rather than to accept the judgment of the LORD. And Moses’ word to them was, “Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.
Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.
For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.” (Num. 14:41-43).

“And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.” (Jer. 21:5). He had already given them generations of warning, which they dismissed altogether. Now there would attempt to prevent the divinely arranged retribution upon them.

“For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
Sanctify the LORD of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.
And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” (Isa. 8:11-15). “And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him.
Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.”
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:17,18,20).

The real war is a spiritual one. Are we learning to surrender to Jesus? Are we entering into a heart to heart covenant with Him that results in submission to His will? Are we being transformed by His righteousness which we see in Him?

Is the LORD putting His name in our forehead? “In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 23:6).

We are to strive to enter in at the strait gate. But this gate does not swing loosely on its hinges. It will not admit doubtful characters. We must now strive for eternal life with an intensity that is proportionate to the value of the prize before us. It is not money or lands or position, but the possession of a Christlike character, that will open to us the gates of Paradise. It is not dignity, it is not intellectual attainments, that will win for us the crown of immortality. Only the meek and lowly ones, who have made God their efficiency, will receive this gift. —Southern Watchman, April 16, 1903.

Receiving His righteousness is the great fight for today. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1Tim. 6:12). We are not to stockpile weapons in some vegan compound. We are not to wage war as in Waco, or to conspire to assassinate our enemies, as did Dietrich Bonheoffer. We are not to join in the fray, and die on the battlefield as did the Reformer Zwingli, who was so much more needed to lead the Reformation on through waters dangerous with unbelief and erroneous theology.

We are counseled to “weep between the porch and the altar.” (Joel 2:17). We are to take up the sword of conviction and of repentance. “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31). “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name.” (Ex. 15:3).

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2Cor. 10:4-6).
“First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:5).
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12).

“The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:12-13). Salvation is the prize to fight and wrestle for.

“Thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.
For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation: and Thy right hand hath holden me up, and Thy gentleness hath made me great.” (Ps. 18:28-35).

“Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph. 6:17-18).

But does fighting the fight of faith presuppose that we should not forewarn others of the coming trouble and give them its details? Are not the whole books of Habakkuk and Joel for describing the terrors of Babylon, to give the Jews one last motivation to return to Jehovah and His Law? And is not Revelation 9 and 13 for that purpose for us today?

What we’ve seen in 9/11 and in the behind the scenes history of America over the past 150 years are not conspiracy theories. They are real and true signs of the times. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (1Thess. 5:1-4). “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [holds him back] will [continue to restrain him], until he be taken out of the way.” (2Thess. 2:5-7).

Though He spent most of His time acquainting people with His Father and bringing them to trust in Him, Jesus also informed them to look for earthly events as signs that would herald His second coming and the end of the kingdom of sin. We are witnessing those signs today. Christ told us of them because He cares for us. He wants His children to have peace of mind when all who would not listen would be in turmoil, with “men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” (Lk. 21:26).

Jesus comforts us with a preview of the tribulation, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matt. 24:6-8).
“What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” (Mk. 13:37). And no doubt, as Jesus did, Paul had the same motive as his Lord when he foretold world events to his flock.

So, we should faithfully relay to others current developments leading to the revealing of the Son of Perdition today. But with that bad news we need to as faithfully link it with the only truly good news, repeating the lessons of faith, of Jesus and His love.

Christ the Good Shepherd. Christ the True Vine. Christ, the Light of the World, the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. Christ, the Son of God in human flesh, one with us. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn. 5:12).

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.
Brethren, pray for us.
Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.” (1Thess. 5:5-26).

Soon grievous troubles will rise among the nations—trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes. As never before we need to press together, serving Him who has prepared His throne in the heavens and whose kingdom ruleth over all. God has not forsaken His people, and our strength lies in not forsaking Him.
The judgments of God are in the land. The wars and rumors of wars, the destruction by fire and flood, say clearly that the time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to lose. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfillment.
Soon strife among the nations will break out with an intensity that we do not now anticipate. The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place, that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.
A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of Heaven is now to be used in working for those perishing in ignorance. There must be no delay. The truth must be proclaimed in the dark places of the earth. . . . A great work is to be done, and to those who know the truth for this time, this work has been entrusted.
In the last scenes of this earth’s history, war will rage. There will be pestilence, plague, and famine. The waters of the deep will overflow their boundaries. Property and life will be destroyed by fire and flood. We should be preparing for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for them that love Him. There is a rest from earth’s conflict.
Maranatha, p. 174.

The enemy is working with an increasing intensity, and the powers of darkness are uniting with evil men to form a confederacy against the people of God. Shall we be able to meet every assault of the enemy with the sword of the Spirit? Can we follow the example of our Lord at every step, and when tempted to disloyalty to God, say, “It is written.” Our adversary is acquainted with the Bible, and he knows that if you are to stand his fierce assaults of temptation, you will have to wear the armor of Christ’s righteousness. We are not safe in placing ourselves on the ground of the enemy, we must keep our feet in the way that is cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, that we may not be as false lights along the shore. The Saviour has commanded, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” You should never rest until you know how to win souls to Christ, and give all the praise and honor and glory to God for your success.
Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may lift us up.
Signs of the Times, April 4, 1892 par. 7,8.

Opposition is the portion of all whom God employs to make an advance move in his work by presenting truth specially applicable to their time. The controversy between Christ and Satan is to increase in intensity to the close of this earth’s history. Those who dare to present truths that are not in harmony with the popular churches and with the world, will thereby become the objects of slander, reproach, and falsehood. Many who at first but partially unite with scoffers, finally lend themselves fully to Satan, to oppose and overthrow what God would build up. Signs of the Times, June 21, 1883 par. 12.

“I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” (Jn. 9:4). “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Lk. 21:28).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Christ's voice of authority

“Because they received not the love of the truth, …but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess. 2:12).

Truth is an intangible that manifests itself in the heart and mind, and then in the character. But, more often than not, truth is manifested in what we didn’t do right, rather than in what we do right. This is a sad fact of life in a world of sin.

Joy-filled exhortation of righteousness was experienced by the servants of Solomon.

“Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.” (1Ki. 10:8,9).

To the disciples of Christ, a Greater than Solomon revealed the beauty of holiness.

“They joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” “This shall be with burning and fuel of fire.” (Isa. 9: 3,5). “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?” (Lk. 24:32).

But, rather than wonderful teaching attending their correction, too often God’s children have heard rebuke attending it. Correction is a necessary part of existence, and joy-filled exhortation is full of correction; but this is easy correction, as joy makes everything light and easy.

But if an individual chooses not to participate in the exhortation and receive the correction under blessed circumstances and a new life, then that individual will have to face correction under less favorable circumstances—sin, failure, reproof, and then finally correction. They didn’t have the will to do right in good, easier times; but they have the will to do right in hard, difficult conditions.

In either case, we must be corrected; if we will follow the Master Teacher, discipline will be a requirement. Without discipline there is no development and growth; and without development there is no life. Correction and growth and life are beautiful; while pride, degradation, and death are horrible.

But sin has interrupted this beautiful gift of improvement from our Creator. Pride, stubbornness, and rebellion refuse to be corrected. They refuse to admit weakness or error. Sin has a strange infatuation with self. It has lost sight of the glory of God’s character of love and cannot be consoled by His forgetfulness of self, nor have faith in His righteousness. Sin looks only to self, to serve it and to please it; its fondest hopes and desires gravitate on self; sin and depravity is being stuck on self.

Sin cannot be humbled; it cannot receive reproof. “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Jn. 3:20,21).

We, from the highest to the lowest, are in need of correction and the humbling. What can Jesus teach us unless He first humbles us in order to make us teachable?

Is it easy for Jesus to hurt our pride? No, in all our pain He is pained. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”( Isa. 63:9). Look at the youthful Samuel and behold the character of our Savior and High Priest in Samuel’s lowliness, meekness, and loving-kindness.

Samuel was filled with fear and amazement at the thought of having so terrible a message committed to him [from God against Eli, his surrogate grandfather, and high priest and judge of the nation]. In the morning he went about his duties as usual, but with a heavy burden upon his young heart. The Lord had not commanded him to reveal the fearful denunciation, hence he remained silent, avoiding, as far as possible, the presence of Eli. He trembled, lest some question should compel him to declare the divine judgments against one whom he loved and reverenced. Eli was confident that the message foretold some great calamity to him and his house. He called Samuel, and charged him to relate faithfully what the Lord had revealed. The youth obeyed, and the aged man bowed in humble submission to the appalling sentence. Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 582.

Even though it crucifies Christ to see us suffer under reproof and punishment, yet He must be just like His Father and uphold the law of His Father’s kingdom. He must, and He will. But He carries a heavy burden, as He brings out of His heart the weighty work of blending divine mercy and justice upon every sinner.

He feels our pains. He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” (Heb. 4:15). He knows our suffering, because He felt it all on the cross. There, He experienced what it is like to be a sinner reaping divine instruction and discipline.

He knows how crucifying it is for His wayward children to humble themselves and receive the powerful language of rebuke. They are His children whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren, because they follow Him in death to self and resurrection to new life.

We hear Paul sigh this in deepest desires. “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil. 3:10,11). “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20). “I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” (1Cor. 15:31).

Paul isn’t tooting his own spiritual horn. He’s revealing his own private life, a life that has faced the convicting, burning presence of Christ and had his own self-centeredness boiled away. Paul bared his soul before his friendly and not-so-friendly followers because humility reigned in him with Jesus present; and also so that we today could know what Christ’s true standard is, to be naked and open, without hypocrisy and insincerity.

Satan loves the environment of stubborn rebellion against God. He is the “king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34). The more populous his kingdom of pride, the more extensive the comfortability for him. His final wish is to walk up and down over the whole earth, gloating over the coldness, selfishness, and ignorance, to ensure that iniquity abounds, and thus see “the love of many … wax cold.” (Matt. 24:12).

And what a subtle insult this brings at God as he “blaspheme[s] His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven”! (Rev. 13:6).

But Christ perseveres in bringing up His children out of the morass and slime of Satan’s kingdom. His people respond to His mercy-filled reproofs, a little here and a little there, greater and deeper, until He can come in with full force and purge them of sin and willfulness and pride.

Simultaneously, those who steadfastly follow Satan and refuse the mercy-filled reproofs and exhortations of the Prince of heaven, finally arrive at the point of full force rebuke, and they fail out of it. They receive the mark of the beast and eternal doom. “Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” So, they are brought to one last test: Will they destroy God’s people to silence His voice to their conscience. “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. 2:10-12).

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt. 25:46).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pingo and Me

How can you not love a face like Pingo’s?

Pingo still fights his robe of righteousness when I put it on him, though he submits to it when it’s finally on. Even if he doesn’t have the dexterity, the least he can do is bring it to me and stand still long enough for me to easily slip it on him. When will he lose his wildness? When will he initiate my job of putting it on him?

Not this side of eternity.

Most of the time he does what I tell him, and he is slowly getting better at it. But he loves to run with me and go places together with me. He lives to know that I love him. And that’s good enough for me.

When will I ever be always ready to receive Christ’s robe of righteousness? When will I initiate His donning me with His character?

Not this side of eternity.

But I want to run with Him more and work together with Him in His work to save. I hope my obedience is getting better, so that I can know Him better.

I want to see the Child of God and be convicted by the life and love I see in Him. “This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Jn. 6:40).

Wherefore didst thou marvel? (Rev. 17:7)

Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be. She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?

The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.

History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: ‘“I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.’” --John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff ‘“that it is lawful for him to depose emperors’” and ‘“that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.’” --Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17.

And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.

God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.
Great Controversy, p. 580-581, Ellen G. White, 1911.

“What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” (Mk. 13:37).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Kept from falling

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 24).

“Everyone is corruptible.” Satan loves to prove this true. Doesn’t he? When I was in the Navy I heard this sentiment often. “New meat!” was a saying to a new recruit who had just joined our crew. He was going to be trained and hardened. Boot camp wasn’t enough to train a recruit, or to turn a boy into a real man. It took actually going to sea and standing long watches, fighting real casualties, enduring the rigors of sea life.

But woven into that training normally meant retraining the recruit’s morals, lowering his morals, corrupting his conscience. Being able to defend your country against aggressors with a clean conscience was George Washington’s dream. But over the centuries, the moral condition of the home, the church, and society have declined, and these are the resources from which our soldiers and sailors come. So, while the policy still remains for our military to be moral and upstanding, the reality is that they get corrupted when they join.

So everyone is corruptible, and you see it every day. But what does this say about the power of God? God claims He can keep us from falling. Who is right, God or Satan? Who is proving his power to be reality? What are we seeing of this in our own lives?

God made man to prove that His Law could be obeyed. Lucifer’s claim was that no one could obey another’s will perfectly. “We’re all unique; we’re our own person. God is the only one who can obey God perfectly. But we’re all good, so we should just be ourselves and everything will work out fine.”

But Adam and Eve from day one, obeyed God perfectly. Perfectly impartial, with no predisposition to prove anyone right or wrong, they were perfectly happy to obey God’s will. Totally unbiased as to the great controversy in heaven, they were found naturally being holy and full of gratitude for having the privilege to wake up each day and to be alive and to live holy lives. Love for their Creator filled their whole being, as did love for perfect righteousness. No one taught them to love God and be like Him; they were not propagandized or brain-washed. They were not infected with sin, and therefore naturally loved their Creator and displayed everything love does. God won the debate over obedience and showed Satan that love had been missing from his heart all along.

But, regardless, and not to be undone, all Lucifer had to do was to introduce a temptation, and if Adam and Eve accepted it, then to him that was sufficient to show that they were corruptible, even in their, as he saw it, “alleged” state of perfection. Satan doesn’t care how good God can make a person; his argument is that all of God’s intelligent creations are temptable, corruptible. We can cry “foul play!” on Satan’s part all we want, but he does have a point. If God’s creation today is perfect then it should be untemptable; and if their Creator is perfect also, then He should know how to, and have the power to, keep them from falling under temptation.

How can we argue with that? It’s a fair statement. Did God make Adam and Eve beyond temptation? Or are His creations so fragile in the face of temptation that all it takes is to tempt a soul saved by grace to be unholy, and they immediately gravitate from godliness to ungodliness? This is what’s at stake in the great confrontation between Christ and Satan. This is what is to be proven in the grand finale here at the last days. Is God’s salvation strong or weak? Even under fire? You and I get to prove that our Father’s salvation is stronger than all the firepower Satan can muster. Are you getting ready?

Am I patient with you only until you’ve laid on me the last straw? Or can I be patient with you no matter what you do, or say to me or about me to others, or no matter how much you beat me to a pulp, i.e. Christ’s crucifixion? We get to prove this in the coming tribulation. How long can I go hungry and thirsty before I reach “Hate hour”, as one mom called it because that’s how her children got when it was past time to eat? Are we good under bad circumstances? Or does our resolve immediately begin to flag even if our outer appearance maintains a semblance of fortitude; and its downhill the rest of the way until our power to be good completely folds under sin and lash out at our tormenter?

So what’s the answer to Satan’s argument about temptation and his charge against God’s expectation of His creation to obey Him perfectly? Is it true we cannot face a tempter without caving in to temptation? Is God’s word true that we can actually keep us from falling?

Yes, God is true and Satan the consummate liar. Jesus proved in Himself that God can keep a typical human from falling under temptation. Not by His own power did He face the tempter, but by God’s power. His divinity was hidden; His own divine power He had laid aside. And certainly, Satan would have immediately thrown the flag if Christ had laid hold of His own inherent divinity in the battle against temptation.

“The prince of this world … hath nothing in Me.” (Jn. 14:30).
Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. … Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble. Great Controversy, p. 623.

Through faith in the written word of God Christ overcame Satan in the wilderness and at every step of the way. From birth to death Satan couldn’t get in to His mind to tempt Him. Jesus kept up a constant vigilance against Satan through communion with God. He understood God’s promises, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” (Is. 26:3). Through continual union and communion with His Father, His Father’s words and principles kept His mind and will focused on righteousness.

“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” (Is. 7:14 15). Jesus never tasted the intoxication of sin; therefore He had an immunity to its allure.

“Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
Who is blind, but My Servant? or deaf, as My Messenger that I sent? who is blind as He that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s Servant?
Seeing many things, but Thou observest not; opening the ears, but He heareth not.
The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the Law, and make it honourable….
Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?” (Is. 42:18-21,23).

Jesus’ immersion into God’s word rendered Him immune to Satan. Even when starving for 40 days we hear Him living off of His Father’s words. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4). We look into the mind of Christ and see the Bible being implicitly believed and perfectly applied to life. That is why Satan could not tempt the Son of God.

Through His Father, Christ was incorruptible, beyond temptation, untemptable. Likewise, we through Jesus. Through His infinite, divine birthright, He was perfectly worthy of His Father’s acceptance; and through reliance on Jesus and His love, the Father willingly calls His Son’s uncorrupted birthright ours. Through Christ’s redemption God gives us a better birthright than Adam in Eden could have offered.

But now the next question. Can we get there where Jesus was? Can He get us there? Can we have the same connection with divine power that Jesus had in His human flesh? Can we unite with Him like He united with His Father? He has told us, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28:18). Is His “all power” reliable power? As we behold His union with His Father, the Holy Spirit will put in us Christ’s same love for righteousness and enmity, animosity, against sin that He gained from His beloved Father.

Are we warmed by His touch when we read of Him touching people when He walked among us? Can He touch us through the scriptures as His Father touched Him through them? Can we joy in His grace and truth as He rejoiced in His Father’s mercy and justice? Can we say, “My Lord works like this, and so I do, too,” like Christ said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (Jn. 5:17). Can we say, “I don’t have the strength to do anything good, except as I watch Jesus love others and me,” like He said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth.” (Jn. 5:19,20).

When we are following Christ like that, the tempter will have to flee and he will take his temptations with him. “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man.” (Jas. 1:13). And with God surrounding us like a wall, we will be free from temptation and He will keep us from falling.


WWII German atrocities—here is how it began there and then, and how it has begun again, here and now:

Germany was historically a bold, well-organized, industrious people, and they were the first to courageously declare for Protestantism. In the protest of the German princes the Roman yoke was broken and Germany walked away free to prosper and to proliferate freedom to the rest of Europe.

They were the first to deny Satan power in their government; therefore they would be the first under attack by Satan to be reclaimed into his dominion. While God gave them prosperity, the enemy of souls let them prosper under liberty, but all the while leading them to focus on the luxuries of this world. Soon convenience and ease accomplished its damning work, as the German Protestants slipped unwittingly into a spiritual slumber, their eyes closed and their ears shut.

They repeated the same old story from the past:
“And there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:
And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.
And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.” (Ju. 2:10-14).

Life was good in liberated Germany; why should they bother with the religion of their fathers? Why put a lot of faith and love in the Bible which their forefathers had suffered so much persecution to give them? So, they got caught up in Lucifer’s strong delusion, and they lost Christ’s protective benediction. What they wouldn’t read in their Bibles, as a warning just for them, became the very pronouncement of their destruction.

“And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then said I, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, and the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.” (Is. 6:9-12).

Soon the wondrous freedom and prosperity, which Satan had showered upon them without any sacrifice from them, came to an abrupt end. A war to control Europe failed and Germany was forced to pay war reparations. Then Satan led chosen men to throw the world economy into a shambles by crashing the stock market in 1929, just months after the Church of Rome returned to power through the reacquisition of the Vatican. This plunged Germany into a worse economic collapse than solely its enormous debt to its WWI victims.

The Germans had forgotten God centuries before. They had become indulgent to carnal things even though keeping up a moral and largely Protestant front. Now in economic chaos, they had no barrier against temptation and sin. When Herr Hitler rose up, screaming and pounding his rhetoric, the German people fell right in behind him. Some resisted and paid the ultimate price of death, as their forefathers had when dissenting against the Roman Hierarchy during ages past. But the masses quickly gave up any resistance and hailed their new leader, just as the masses had to the brutal church Hierarchy during the Roman Dark Ages.

Adolf Hitler did the work of Rome; he flattered the nation that they were a master race. They were gods, and no earthly power could touch them; no tribunal would ever try them. This has ever been the hypnotic policy of Rome. As gods they were above the laws of the land, above natural law, above retribution against atrocities toward humanity. As long as the German people stopped thinking and would trust fully in the Fuehrer and his leading men, they could commit unthinkable crimes with impunity.

So fully manipulated was this nation that they tried to conquer the world through continuous force, viciously and brutally applied. They had a power behind them: Rome, which collected the wealth lost to world in 1929, and was financing the war effort, along with the booty which German soldiers gathered from their fallen foes: human remains, and gold and silver from teeth broken out of open but speechless mouths, victims of ruthless Nazi barbarism.

In Habakkuk the Lord describes an enemy of ancient Israel that sounds eerily similar to the powerful and savage armies of the Third Reich.

“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.
They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.
They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.
And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it….
They take up all of them with the angle [fishhook], they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.
Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?...
Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.
For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?” (Hab. 1:5-10,15-17; 2:9-13).

In Joel the same is spoken of.

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.
Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:
Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:1-11).

We see it again from the mouth of the prophet Elisha.

“I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.” (2Ki. 8:12).

And in the Psalms.

“O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” (Ps. 137:8,9).

But the context of Habakkuk speaks of the marauding Chaldeans of Babylon. Yet Habakkuk’s prophecy is also apocalyptic as we see Revelation evoking the name of Babylon, as Christ’s last enemy of salvation when He comes in power and glory. Revelation’s description of Christ’s return is based on Habakkuk’s. (Rev. 18,19;Hab. 3:2-16).

Therefore, according to scripture, we can expect Babylon to raise its head one last time. The coming time of trouble will outdo the Hitler and Mussolini and Hirohito reigns of terror in the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s. The final Armageddon will be a tribulation exceeding all that ever came before. Matthew 24:21. Are the American people ready? Is America prepared to be the next atrocious empire to finally conquer the world and to perpetrate the greatest of all crimes against humanity, collected from centuries of gruesome practice by Satan’s human instrumentalies?

America has fallen into the same downward spiral Germany experienced. America, the final home of Protestantism, went further in the direction of truth and liberty than did Germany, the origin of the Reformation. Therefore, America must be the next and ultimate stage for a world dictatorship and Papal restoration—because you don’t damage Rome with a near-fatal wound, as America's republican democracy and Protestantism has, especially throught the Advent movement, without feeling her full wrath when she recuperates. Revelation 13:14. Protestantism almost destroyed the Papacy, the Papacy of the period which Protestants have called the Dark Ages when the freedoms of speech and press and peaceful assembly were repressed, but the same period which Rome calls the Renaissance, the resurrection of Imperial Roman glory, from A.D. 538-1798.

Protestants could have finished off, metaphorically speaking, the enemy of world peace as David did Goliath. But we did as the children of Israel, following Joshua’s death, who grew tired and ended the war waged to rid the land of satanic religion and tyrannical governments.

And because they grew apathetic, the Israelites found that the same grotesque human atrocities taught and perpetrated on the helpless and ignorant Hittites of Canaan were later perpetuated on Israelite citizenry and children by their own Israelite leaders and powerfully wealthy elite until God vomited them out, too, from the land as the Canaanites had been. Leviticus 18:24-30; 2Kings 17:7-22; Jeremiah 19:3-9. Unless you wage a constant war against tyranny in all its forms, it will rise up again and conquer you.

Like post-Joshua Israel, American Protestantism forsook the Great Reformation in regaining the lost truth of the apostolic church and breaking completely free of Rome. Instead, they looked upon the rich natural resources and the immeasurable expanses of real estate in their new land flowing with milk and honey, and they ended the fight against the Papal enemy of truth. They had lost their fervor for the Bible long before, and now the Lord was losing His authority and ability to command them. They had ceased to hold the vision of their Reformer fathers, the vision of God’s love embedded in His commandments. Like Israel, Protestant America ceased to give its people equal protection under the law, and provide them with spirituality and freedom. Habakkuk 1:3,4.

Christ, writing through His apostle, had expressed to us, “Out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.” (2Cor. 2:4). The law and its afflicting and grievous language ceased to declare Christ’s abundant fatherly love, and ceased to make sense to the Protestant Americans. They looked for another source of love—in a gospel without law. This was granted to them shortly after 1844 when they had rejected the Biblical truth of Christ’s literal, personal Second Coming in power to destroy this sinful world with all its natural resources and land which these American Protestants had begun to idolize and indulge.

Next they rejected more doctrinal reforms against erroneous biblically-sounding ideas, reforms which would have cut off Americans from loyalty to Rome who had originated the falsehoods: an eternal burning hell; the idea of immortality of the soul, with its loose spirits of the dead opening access into spiritualism; the Earth as the only sanctuary of God, hence the need for a pope, a vicar of Christ, rather than a heavenly High Priest who was at that time cleansing His sanctuary in an investigative judgment before His promised return; a pagan diet of poisonous flesh food, corrupting alcoholic drinks, and use of narcotics, which only destroy the body temple of God and open the mind to the voice of Satan; the false man-made Sabbath instead of the Lord’s true day in the 4th Commandment.

The Protestants rejected these and were finally prepared to reject the Law of God; thus, the unbiblical notion that Christ at His death ended the authority of His own Father’s Law. This notion, which already had floated around for decades, snagged the Protestant leaders as they looked around for an out against the new Sabbatarian Advent movement that arose in 1844 preaching the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments. The seventh-day Sabbath was not a new doctrine; it has been taught and kept continuously since the apostles of Christ and, even the Lord Himself kept it in letter and spirit.

Now, by the end of the 1840’s, Protestantism in America was ready to follow the path of its demise previously witnessed in the Protestant nations of Europe which fell one by one to Catholicism and eventually to the scourge of Fascism which would usher in the return of the old Papacy. That attempt to control the world by the Vatican in WWII, which America prevented, will soon be attempted again by America, this time successfully, because there is not now today another powerful Protestant force to apprehend the powerful, apostatized United States.

America has fallen into the trap laid by Satan to indulge itself on our prosperity and luxury, and is wallowing in its own vomit. It has no connection with its divine Protector who graciously fought for us in WWII. We have wantonly indulged the abundant gifts of creation with no thankfulness and no repentance to the Creator for all His goodness to us, except for a sham penitence and gratitude in the churches. “And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto Me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 3:10).

We have dismissed His Law. We got hooked on television. Its senseless, unnatural, unholy entertainment has weakened the natural, rugged, pioneering sensibilities we developed during our hard, colonial days. We are ripe for due punishment, fattened up for the slaughter. And we did it to ourselves. We have no one else to blame. Not God, not the devil, not even modern-day Babylon―“for God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will.” (Rev. 17:17). We must blame ourselves for indulging this world, and despising faith and obedience to the Bible. Christ is lifting His protection, and the enemy is fast coming in.

Americans are prepared for the next and final assault on human freedoms and truth. As the prophecy listed, God is sending this scourge on us for discipline and correction. And He means business. “The Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”

Since 9/11 this last totalitarian coupe has already routed laws through Congress and passed them which will legally open the door to subjugating America to a martial law ruled by Presidential decree, to fascism, and to social cleansing. Quickly on the heels of this new regime will come the next ruthless Papacy which will jealously guard and defend itself against all its foes. It will make sure it never again loses the power and wealth of oligarchy and world control. And, with its military and civilian armies, America will have the throne as chief of thugs.

“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.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Rev. 18:2,3).

Friday, March 04, 2011

His spring of life in His Father

“As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all My springs are in Thee.” (Ps. 87:7). These words of the pre-incarnate Son of God were His eternal love song to His Father. All of Jesus’ springs were in His Father. This we see most clearly in Gethsemane and on the cross when His Father “left Him, to try Him, that He might know all that was in His heart.” (2Chron. 32:31). All that Christ had ever done to test and try humanity, the Father did to His Son. All of Christ’s therapeutic stretching and pulling to get the kinks of sin out of man’s nature during the Old Testament, and later in the New Dispensation, the Son of God subjected Himself to by His Father in order “to fulfil all righteousness.” (Matt 3:15).

How could the Son of God discipline His prize possession without Himself first suffering under the same discipline? He is one in heart, mind, and soul with His redeemed race. He feels their every pain; He sorrows with all their sorrow. “A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” He loves us with all the strength of His soul and He glories in those who love Him with all that is within them. (Is. 53:3).

His heart is knitted together with the heart of His people. “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (1Sam. 18:1). We may, and we must, appropriate each word of scripture for ourselves. It was all written for us to hope in God for. His every word is for us to vicariously live through. “All scripture…is profitable…for instruction in righteousness.” (2Tim. 3:16).

Then upon the authority of God’s word let’s rewrite sacred history! “And it came to pass, when you had made an end of speaking unto God, that the soul of Christ was knit with your soul, and Jesus loved you as His own soul.” (1Sam. 18:1).

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.” (Col 2:2). “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” (Jn. 17:21). “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph. 4:4-6).

As seen in the closing prayer of His life’s ministry, hearts knitted together was Christ’s chief burden to accomplish in His followers. “The glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” (Jn. 17:22,23). “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17). “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15).

Christ had a union with God that never ended. Whether eating or working, in carpentry or ministry, whether awake or sleeping, His connection with His Father was unbroken, His inner joy and peace in trusting ever present. He grew up as a tender plant “in the sunlight of His Father’s countenance,” Desire of Ages, p. 68. Butter and honey did He eat every day of His life, that He might know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good. Is. 7:15. God trained up His Son in perfection of heart and character, His well-beloved rejoicing in His Father’s voice through the scriptures and happily submitting to even the harshest lessons of life. All the hardship and trials of childhood and youth developed in Him fortitude and patient endurance to such infinite depth, that when He was grown He could not depart from it while continually dogged by the Pharisees, or even when terrorized by Satan on the cross.

He retained the flower of His youth, that tenderness and merciful kindness which He saw in His Father through the Bible and while in prayer. Like His great King, Jesus would stand for truth and law, and notwithstanding, like His God, He would only ever wound the transgressor in order to heal it from sin. He saw “the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:11). This was forever the purpose of the Man of Nazareth; and it is His purpose today, as Prince and Savior, to create in us repentance and then to provide us forgiveness.

“This Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel.” (Lk. 2:3,4). He is “a stone of stumbling” and “a rock of offence”—but also “a sanctuary”—for us. (Is. 8:14). “Jesus saith unto them,… Whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matt. 21:42,44). So Satan is permitted to grind us to powder until we come to Jesus.

Christ was broken for us. He has led the way to God. “This is My body, which is broken for you.” (1Cor. 11:24). “His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men:” (is. 52:14).

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” (Is. 53:4,5). Forever He wears His broken body as a lamb that has been slain, even til the day He returns. “And His brightness was as the light; He had [rays of light] coming out of His hand: and there was the hiding of His power.” (Hab. 3:4).

“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Crucified with Christ’s crucifixion, “the prisoner of the Lord.” (Phil. 3:10;Eph. 4:1).