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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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Monday, October 24, 2011

The Schoolmaster+the Sacrifice=the Salvation

“Jesus … said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.” (Jn. 19:30).

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. Great Controversy, p. 212.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that has fought to save a world like ours. Is this just an old tradition, threadbare and hoary with age? Is it just, as the title of the hymn says, and Old, Old Story? Is the gospel just another Aesop fable?

No. Millions, yes, billions of animal sacrifices have littered this world’s history. The mountain of their ashes sits a bulwark pointing to, not an ancient myth, but a very ancient truth—the promise of a Messiah who would propitiate our Creator Judge for the sins of the world. All the baby lambs and kid goats, the heifers and bullocks spoke of a coming divine Redeemer who was innocent, pure, humble, and faithful to the end.

Even the raucous swine and human sacrifices all point back to the original promise, though corrupted by false religion, altered by time, distance and the shielding which sin causes the light of truth.

God has used every road kill, every carrion in the vulture’s mouth, every animal victim killed by a hungry predator to testify to His plan of salvation. Through this, the Creator has preached the gospel to every soul under heaven. By murder or mortality, death has reigned in the human race from Adam to the present to remind mankind of the coming Redeemer and of the death that sin causes God.

The true tradition (2Thess. 2:15) from the Old Testament law and prophets, and from Christ and His apostles still lives on. But when it lost its living power to Israel and they had “broken the everlasting covenant,” (Is. 24:5) it became nothing more than a tattered script, a relic of bygone generations. They had disregarded the truth in God’s law, as He said, “they despised My judgments, and … their soul abhorred My statutes,” (Lev. 26:43) which led them to “break My covenant.” (vs. 15).

The knowledge that they had been given of the plan of salvation and of the war raging over their heads (2Sam. 14:14) became nothing more than wallpaper pasted to the dome in the sky. Once the gospel had dried up with the covenant, for six hundred years Israel received no life from it; and their eyes were not opened until the Son of God broke through that very dry wallpaper on His way to be incarnated here.

Today the New Testament gospel, “the everlasting gospel,” is our equivalent to their “everlasting covenant.” (Rev. 14:6;Is. 24:5). It’s the same thing, but amplified with more power to save from sin. But it has atrophied in the church just as it had in Israel, and due to the same causes. “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments.” (Dan. 9:5). “O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; …because of trespass …trespassed against Thee.” (vs. 7). “Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.
Yea, all [the churches] have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.” (vs. 10,11).

“The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7). Nevertheless, “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24). “Now we know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to … all the world.” (Rom. 3:19).

The Law stood to bring us guilt and shame and the promise of forgiveness to all who would allow it to condemn them and bring them to Christ for His reconciliation. But, just like ancient Israel, the church “despised My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My sabbaths they greatly polluted.” (Ez. 20:13). The church has even thought to abrogate His “times and laws.” (Dan. 7:25).

The purpose of the Law of God, as a strict schoolmaster, was “to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” But, by the church dispensing with the sharp rebukes and strong language of the Law they are receiving damnation to themselves. They have removed the sole means God has provided to cause us to wrestle with Christ as Jacob did, and through contact with the Son of God to create faith in us.

The Law is real, with uncontestable, real consequences in this life. The gospel is ethereal and spiritual and must have a container to reside in. That container is the Law of God. Without His Law we can have no concept of God or His grace for us. His Law undergirds His mercy; His grace beautifies His justice. To deny the Law of God in doctrine or to ignore it in the testimonies of this Earth’s last prophet, is to lose salvation. It means the truth of the Bible atrophies into wallpaper again. Avoiding the strait testimony of the Law then causes this world and worldly pursuits to deserve all of our attention, and thus heaven becomes a farce even while we profess to have faith. We blinded our eyes and shut our ears lest we be converted and healed.

And that wallpaper that hides heaven will remain in place until Jesus bursts through again like a thief in the night. Then the world will know that the Law and gospel were real, living documents, valid and current demands for our existence.

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