“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.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The emptiness of God

What does the Bible speak regarding the self-denying God? I looked for God emptying Himself in my handy, little electronic Bible verse finder made by Franklin. There is no verse in the KJV that says God emptied Himself. But is there a way to find this out? Yes, and its legal—the method isn’t fancy footwork.

Isaiah said of Israel’s God, “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.” (Is. 63:9). This explains how Christ can execute judgment on sinners and discipline His saints—because He has endured all judgment upon Himself, as one of us. He has felt the pain of Hell, and the Father has also. “And [the Father] hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” (Jn. 5:27).

Although no man was available for His support on the cross, Christ did not suffer alone. “God was in Christ,” suffering our punishment with Him, and thus “reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2Cor. 5:19). All the agony of the Son was a revelation of the Father’s agony not only that day, but His Father’s agony since sin began. Not only that, but the whole great controversy reveals the hardship on the Creator as a prisoner of unfallen angelic hosts and created beings who, though holy, fall short of His yearning for infinitely perfect perfection. “Behold, He putteth no trust in His saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight.” (Job 15:15).

Yet, even though God was with His Son, Christ felt alone, suffering wracking Him in every human aspect. This reveals how alone our heavenly Father has felt, carrying the weight of sin wholly upon Himself, and being without His human race as fully part of His family. Any one of us who feels alone or has ever felt alone can know that their heavenly Father has been there in the extreme, and is there with them. Anyone who has died alone without a human ear to hear their cries for help has One who has experienced that, and He does hear in mercy and empathy. They are being crucified with God. And because they follow in His footsteps He will reward them and everyone who in faith keeps the heart surrendered to God, even to that last moment of loneliness. Christ can forgive and convert even to the last seconds of life because He passed that way before and now can “execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” (Jn. 5:27).

He emptied Himself for us. “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.” (2Cor. 4:15). “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” (Matt. 26:42). No self-will when looking at death—eternal death, as only He could comprehend it. He was revealing God’s pain from sin in general and our sin in particular, and its infinite cost in His agony.

Our punishments and especially the eternal destruction of the finally impenitent reflect the punishment Christ received on the cross, since He must experience punishment before He has the authority to punish. The pain of Christ’s punishment also reflected His Father’s pain from the presence of sin and imperfection in His creation, as we read above. These statements being true, then the punishments which the Lord sends us reflect the pains that God has suffered; the emptiness He has felt because of sin reflect in His promises of punishment on His people, the sheep of His pasture.

In geometry, we learned of the Transitive property of equality, which goes like this: If A=B, and B=C, then A=C. If our sufferings are felt by Christ (Is. 63:9), and His suffering was felt by His Father (2Cor. 5:19), then we can get an idea of what the Father has suffered by equating our sufferings to His. He will never give us what we haven’t already given Him; what He has suffered from us we all must know, either mixed with mercy, or unmixed with mercy and of pure justice.

Rather than simply looking at our suffering at His hand, let’s take a look at what God has suffered at our hand. So, reading about God’s judgments on our sins will give us a better understanding of the judgments our sins have had on Him.

Using Scripture let’s peer into the devastation of sin on the heart of our great God.

“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.” (Is. 24:1). But from the spiritual Transitive property of equality we see that God’s heart was empty and laid waste, turning upside down and being scattered abroad in sympathy for the havoc sin caused His children.

“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.” (Is. 24:3). Because of our sin, God’s heart was utterly emptied and utterly robbed of joy and comfort in the peace and safety of His creation.

“For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and He will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.” (Is. 32:6). Wickedness and selfishness blasted God’s soul with emptiness and thirst.

“And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their Heads.
Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their Heads.” (Jer. 14:3,4). God was ashamed and confounded and wanted to cover His Head, His heart was destitute from sorrow as dry ground is chapped from no rain.

“As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” (Is. 3:12). The children God loves are His oppressors. Love has become His greatest cause of frustration and grief.

“What mean ye that ye beat My people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.” (Is. 3:15). We have beat God’s heart to pieces and ground His poor face.

“And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” (Is. 13:8,9). Pangs and sorrows took hold of God as a woman that travails. His embarrassed face was as flames; our sin was cruel and full of wrath upon Him, and laid Him desolate. It destroyed Him.

“For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” (Is. 13:10). Our Father’s soul has been darkened to blackness since sin began.

“And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Is. 13:11). He has been punished, ceased because of our iniquities, and He is laid low because of our pride and arrogance.

“I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” (Is. 13:12). But all the agony which God has endured has made Him so much more precious to His redeemed remnant and angelic hosts. Satan thought God had lost by dying, but God won the controversy.

“Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.” (Is. 13:13). Our sin shook God to His foundations and made Him remove Himself from His place at the center of focus, as He stepped aside and let His Son manage the government’s affairs until sin and tempter could be put under His feet.

“And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.” (Is. 13:14). Since the beginning, sinners chased their Creator like a hunter chases to kill a deer. Sin turned Him away from His adoring angelic hosts and He fled to the deepest recesses of His Heart.

“Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.” (Is. 13:15). His heart was thrust through by our sinfulness, and He fell by the sword of our rebellion.

“Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.” (Is. 13:16). His heavenly hosts and, most of all, His beloved Son were dashed to pieces before His eyes, His temple was spoiled and His holy Spirit was raped.

“Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.” (Is. 13:18). God’s was dashed to pieces and our sin had no pity on Him or spared Him from grief.

“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Is. 13:19). He was overthrown and burned by fire and brimstone. But soon the controversy of sin will end and all that looked glorious and beautiful to His people will be seen in its true ugliness and horror. Then He will destroy sin and its destructive ability, and God will be avenged of this mysterious oppressor.

“It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.” (Is. 13:20). Sin caused God to never be able to inhabit His soul; He could not settle down in rest to pitch the tabernacle of His peace, nor gather His rebellious children about Him.

“But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.” (Is. 13:21). Satan and His hosts took God’s place as king of universe and partied with His holy things, and took advantage of His meekness.

“And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.” (Is. 13:22). The devil roared out of Zion and the great red Dragon exulted in God’s pleasant places. But the end of the devil’s tenancy in God’s temple will soon end.

“Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are My tents spoiled, and My curtains in a moment.” (Jer. 4:20). Destruction upon destruction have afflicted God. His whole dominion has been spoiled by sin. Suddenly this came upon Him and upon His sinless kingdom of peace.

“How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?” (Jer. 4:21). He felt, how long shall this great controversy go on? Can I bear up under its torture until the end?

Initially, in all His judgments God sounds like a supernatural ogre. But when we see, just as with loving earthly parents, how much God has already agonized before ever punishing any of His human children, then we can gratefully accept His discipline and punishment. And isn’t it true, that we didn’t appreciate our earthly parents’ discipline until we could understand how much pain our misbehavior caused them? Usually, ourselves becoming parents convinced us and most effectively taught us what our Dads and Moms went through because of us.

Likewise, when we finally submit to His Law and discipline, and surrender to His love, we receive a new ability to shepherd others into knowing Him. Then we become spiritual caregivers, and we can realize a burden for souls; and then we wrestle and suffer with them, especially when we must instruct and maybe even reprove them.

On the authority of Isaiah 63:9, John. 5:27, and 2 Corinthians 5:19 we can go through every verse in the Bible and graphically experience what God has suffered at our hand, and continues to suffer as long as we sin. And we will find a rich union with our Father in heaven. We can go into the Most Holy Place of His heavenly palace through what Christ and His Holy Spirit have shown us, and learn from the whole Bible much, much more than just what we see from a cursory look at just the few verses from Gethsemane to “It Is Finished!”

If you desire to read more of what I’ve deciphered from the Old Testament, then read on. Otherwise, I encourage you to go to the Bible yourself and do your own deciphering of the code, going by the Transitive property of equality and Isaiah 63:9, John. 5:27, and 2 Corinthians 5:19. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Now you have a powerful tool; go for it and enjoy!

More examples follow:

“For My people is foolish, they have not known Me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” (Jer. 4:22). He couldn’t stand the sight of the foolishness of Satan and his hosts and of Adam’s children. They had completely given themselves over to reckless abandonment of truth and goodness. But He still considered Adam’s children His children. And He will until the close of their probation and the day to judge them.

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the Heavens, and they had no light.” (Jer. 4:23). God was distraught, and He had no light in His soul.

“I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.” (Jer. 4:24). He trembled in sorrow and moved greatly.

“I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.” (Jer. 4:25). There was silence in Heaven. God and His Spirit were fled.

“I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger.” (Jer. 4:26). God’s fruit for Heaven was a wilderness and His law was broken down by the fierce anger of our sin and of Satan.

“For thus hath the Lord said, the whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.” (Jer. 4:27). Our Father was desolated, yet because of His Son’s righteousness, not to His full end. He was “troubled on every side, yet not distressed.” “He was perplexed, but not in despair;”
God was “persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” His soul always bore under the death that sin causes, that the love and joy of His beloved Son might be made manifest in His Heart.
God was forever delivered unto death because of us, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in His Father.
So then death worked in the Godhead, but life in us. (2Cor. 4:8-12).


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