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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Spiritual Formation, Meditative, Contemplative, Centering prayer

“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Prov. 28:9).

Spiritual Formation does just this. It subscribes only to the grace of God; but it discounts, dismisses, and ignores the Law of God. In an under-the-radar way it disallows God’s authority because it refuses to permit God to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2Tim. 4:2).

Thus, Spiritual Formation institutionalizes pride. Not surprisingly, Spiritual Formation has a long, proud history in spiritualism. Spiritualism likewise demolishes the authority of God and places a usurper on His throne. The occult and philosophy and theosophy teach their adherents to despise the Bible and the Law of God; yet they mention “God” in their manuals. The “God” they speak of, however, is another god which has stood up in Jehovah’s place. It has exalted itself above every previous form of deception, “for he shall magnify himself above all,” (Dan. 11:37) in the form of “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit.” (Rev. 11:7).

This subtle, little competitor for the Godhead is portrayed in the drama played out in the great controversy. “Out of one of them [the four cardinal bearings of the compass] came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.
And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.
Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.” (Dan. 8:9-12).

This other god has, from the beginning, proclaimed, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Is. 14:14). He comes bearing overtures of peace, but his is a peace empty of the Holy Spirit’s peace; it is void of “the very God of peace,” which is the only true, real, and enduring peace. (1Thess. 5:23;Rom. 5:1). Spiritual Formation’s peace is a peace void of humility and grace. It doesn’t come by wrestling with the Law of God because it doesn’t allow the Law of God to speak; and it never results in repentance, the heart and pride of man broken before God.

“Now we know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19). Spiritual Formation claims to be Christian and looks very Christian, but it is so in name only and bears no credible or durable fruits from the Spirit of God. The re-creative hand of God is not what makes the changes is the followers of Spiritual Formation; its fruits come from a different source. Therefore, anything from it that looks good cannot bear up under the pressures of real life difficulties. All of its righteousness is a mirage, a delusion. They warm themselves by their own sparks.

“To the Law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Is. 8:20). Israel was given a Law, at first through Moses. But as the Lord sent messengers to correct His people, their messages were eventually adopted into the growing cannon of God’s word to the world. Later, after 400 years of silence the apostles again picked up the burning torch of truth and their messages came into the holy cannon of Scripture and became part of the divine Law.

The same apostasy that Satan brought against Israel after their release from Babylon he resurrected, redoubling his efforts to affect the church of the Messiah with his poison, the “old wine” and leaven of the religious leaders which Jesus had warned His followers of. Today this wine of Babylon permeates the Protestant denominations, and their apostasy now threatens the Adventist church. (Lk. 5:39;Rev. 17:2).

The disallowing of the Law of God by Evangelicals is entering the Advent movement, and it is making its inroads through the new practice of Spiritual Formation, a program that originated in Catholicism and now pervades the denominations.

Spiritual Formation, Adventist style, claims to fill the mind with the Bible and even with the Spirit of Prophecy. It quotes from both. But the deadliness of it all is that none of the harsh language, none of the shock and stun of rebuke in the Bible and even with the Spirit of Prophecy are present. What we hear in Adventist Spiritual Formation, instead, is the bondage of self-psychoanalysis being performed. What we see is the wisdom of man, the attempt to bring peace to the heart, dodging the Law of God which first must bring the heart a sword. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34). “Now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Lk. 3:9).

Wherever the word of God has been faithfully preached, results have followed that attested its divine origin. The Spirit of God accompanied the message of His servants, and the word was with power. Sinners felt their consciences quickened. The “light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” illumined the secret chambers of their souls, and the hidden things of darkness were made manifest. Deep conviction took hold upon their minds and hearts. They were convinced of sin and of righteousness and of judgment to come. They had a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and felt the terror of appearing, in their guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. In anguish they cried out: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” As the cross of Calvary, with its infinite sacrifice for the sins of men, was revealed, they saw that nothing but the merits of Christ could suffice to atone for their transgressions; this alone could reconcile man to God. With faith and humility they accepted the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Through the blood of Jesus they had “remission of sins that are past.”

These souls brought forth fruit meet for repentance. They believed and were baptized, and rose to walk in newness of life—new creatures in Christ Jesus; not to fashion themselves according to the former lusts, but by the faith of the Son of God to follow in His steps, to reflect His character, and to purify themselves even as He is pure.
Great Controversy, p. 461.

Notice that these true revivals began with the presentation of the Law and the judgment bar of God? But, listen to what else this author writes.

Has not the same process been repeated in nearly every church calling itself Protestant? As the founders, those who possessed the true spirit of reform, pass away, their descendants come forward and “new-model the cause.” While blindly clinging to the creed of their fathers and refusing to accept any truth in advance of what they saw, the children of the reformers depart widely from their example of humility, self-denial, and renunciation of the world. Thus “the first simplicity disappears.” A worldly flood, flowing into the church, carries “with it its customs, practices, and idols.” Ibid., p. 385.

“Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (1Sam. 15:22,23). Here, we conclude that the Lord cannot accept acts of worship, public or private, if obedience to His expressed will is disregarded.

Spiritualism is rebellion and witchcraft, and rebellion is Satan’s mode to set aside the Law of God. Since Spiritual Formation works to pass over the sharp language of the Word of God, then it does as spiritualism and must be classed with the occult. Thus, through Spiritual Formation, spiritualism has made deep inroads into the denominations, and now is coming into our own.

Spiritualism, which numbers its converts by hundreds of thousands, yea, by millions, which has made its way into scientific circles, which has invaded churches, and has found favor in legislative bodies, and even in the courts of kings—this mammoth deception is but a revival, in a new disguise, of the witchcraft condemned and prohibited of old. Ibid. p. 556.

Spiritual Formation has removed from the Spirit of Prophecy the reproving, rebuking, the exhorting with all long-suffering and doctrine, which Christ has given the Advent movement through the testimonies of our prophet. Spiritual Formation, as a look-alike to Righteousness by Faith, is new-modelling the Adventist judgment hour cause, the powerful three angels’ messages directed toward ourselves before we can give it to the world. Spiritual Formation, the omega of apostasy, accomplishes this not by outright invitations to Charismatic glossolalia and Pentecostalism, but, by hushed omission of correction, allowing only the nicer language of the Spirit of prophecy to preside; only the words of grace and mercy must have a voice. It does the same with the Bible quotations.

Yet Galatians 3:24 and 4:2 say that the Law, as a schoolmaster, a tutor and governor, even if sometimes harsh, is the heaven-ordained method to bring us to need a Savior from sin. Why would we need a Savior from sin if sin and God’s condemnation of it were never described to us in unmistakable language? We would never seek the Savior with all our heart. The deception of omitting all strong language, as seen in Spiritual Formation, is amazingly subtle! The Bible injunction speaks to us today, “It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law.” (Ps. 119:126).

The Law and testimonies of prophets stand as the strait gate, separating those who want with all their heart to know God loves them, from those who will not suffer through shame and guilt and condemnation to see love in God’s eyes.

“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:14). Its an age-old deception sneaking into the remnant church. “They zealously affect you, but not well.” (Gal. 4:17). “Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine….” (Is. 51:21). “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.” (Hos. 4:11). Those who have peddled lawlessness God has always called false prophets; but, Spiritual Formation seeks to heal the human woe without the Law bringing us to the need for a Savior, as Galatians 3:24 explains. Therefore, those peddling Spiritual Formation must also be seen as false prophets or false teachers. Anyone who teaches others to destroy or disregard or who introduces a new program which evades the least injunction of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, and will never enter there. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14).

“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Prov. 28:9). Spiritual Formation is an abomination to God. It is the last abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel and Jesus. Whoso readeth, let him understand.

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.” (Is. 8:16). The strong language of God’s Law is the mark of divine origin. “For 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.” (Heb. 4:12). The Law’s authority accepted into the mind brings the seal of divine approbation and results in bold and fearless sons of God whose forehead are “as an adamant harder than flint.” (Ez. 3:9).

Bold language makes up the very fiber of God’s word.

“But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me.” (Lk. 19:27).
“But when the king heard thereof, He was wroth: and He sent forth His armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” (Matt. 22:7).

“Thou hast shewed Thy people hard things: Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.” (Ps. 60:3). “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” “O foolish Galatians….” (Gal. 2:11;Gal. 3:1). “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Prov. 27:17).

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov. 27:6). In the Lord’s army, He encourages clashes of conscience and face-offs of righteousness. This, however, has only been authorized so long as the conflict is done in the purest of love.

The higher up in ranks a person finds himself in the Lord’s army the more influence he has to do wrong, and thus the stronger the language will be struck against him in order to turn him back into the path of holiness.

“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
And Nathan departed unto his house.” (2Sam. 12:7-15).

“And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burnt: and he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left alive, …
And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord; and such things have befallen me [the death of Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu]: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord?
And when Moses heard that, he was content.” (Lev. 10:16-20).

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” (Ps. 133).

But, strong language has always been characteristic by the true prophets and among the remnant people of God. Yet, even sharp disagreement has no ill effect on unity of Christ’s people; instead it brings them closer together under God. There is no closer unity than that which comes out of walking in the light of God’s Law. “If we walk in the light, as He [God] is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1Jn. 1:7).

“The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.
“Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (Jn. 6:52-57,60-63).

Certainly, there is strong language in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Yet when Christ spoke hard words to the multitude and they complained about it, He did not let up; but, rather, added to His hard stance. Christ is named, “the faithful and true witness,” “and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.” (Rev. 3:14;19:11).

After Christ’s bold and clear discourse in the wilderness, many of His followers left Him forever. We must believe that Jesus had good cause for His action here. He had been carrying many whose hearts were divided. So many professed to be His disciples, but were living for this world only. It was time to shed His church of them; and it’s always the high standard that divides the true disciple from the professed. This was an act of mercy and justice—as Paul would have put it, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” (Rom. 11:22).

The initial harshness of truth has always eventually separated the sheep from the goats, and turned fair-wind followers into enemies of the gospel. “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7).

Yet, during the lawless period of Adventism, many have joined our movement without a change of heart or renunciation of the world. Many have not been introduced to the Spirit of Prophecy and been trained up under the Lord’s high standard. Conversely, many have not heard the truth mingled with God’s love. Thus multitudes have never striven with the Spirit and overcome.

But those, who will fear God and give Him glory, will eskew Spiritual Formation and wrestle with God’s Law and His testimonies until they’ve fallen upon His grace and broken. They will hear His Spirit encourage their heart and will come forth sons and daughters of God, “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” (Song 6:10).

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