TruthInvestigate

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

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No curse, plague, or disease without a cause

“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” (Prov. 26:2).

Its words like these that have led many today to dispense with the Old Testament. God’s mercy apparently is not evident, “Therefore,” say they, “it must be that that old God must have changed from a hate-monger into a God of love in the New Testament. Now everything is peace and love and joy in believing.” Nothing could be further from the truth or contradict the Lord’s plainest statements. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb. 13:8). “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Mal. 3:6).

“Concerning Thy testimonies, I have known of old that Thou hast founded them for ever.” (Ps. 119:152). “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2Tim. 2:19). “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).

So the words of Solomon are reputable. The curse causeless shall not come. In other words, they won’t come without a cause; if anything terrible happens, I must search my heart for my part in the cause. I am culpable. I need to take the trouble to Jesus for His forgiveness.

If we cannot be humbled by the consequences of our sins, how else can God reach us? If we look the other way when we read Proverbs 26:2 and refuse to apply it to our desperate circumstances then God’s hands are tied and He cannot deliver us from the curses we bring upon ourselves.

Cancer? Diabetes? Horrendous troubles happening to our children, our marriage, our relations in the work place, a financial bottomless pit? A nation with a perilous national debt? Et cetera. If we will not allow these to persuade us of our faultiness and great need of renewed consecration and obedience to God and His Law, then the problems will continue and compound. And if we persist in our stubbornness, then we will die in our sins.

This may be hard hitting but it is purely biblical and real life. Job was attacked by Satan. Without a cause? Yes, that is what Jesus said to Satan, but is that what He said to Job? No. Would the word of God contradict itself on this issue, or ever? There was a cause, and if the sin-loving multitude would read the last 10 chapters of Job and not just the first two, they would see that, though God called Job righteous, Job had a real character flaw, in need of a serious character adjustment. God will call all His children righteous when He is speaking to His enemies. This is what His justification is all about. But, let’s not think He won’t find need to reprimand us once we’ve put our trust in Him. Our Lord speaks well of us in the presence of His enemies, but when we’re alone then He instructs us in ways He sees fit.

The Holy spirit chastens me, convicts me; I sorrow for my particular sin and turn away from it; God accepts my repentance and flat forgives me, as if I had never committed that transgression of His law. He has justified Me and I am a new man, in the power of His love and forgiveness. This process happened repeatedly to David and He wrote about it.

“Blessed is He whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
I acknowledge my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” (Ps. 32:1-5).

Did this make David infallible from that day forward? No, we have plenty of evidence to the contrary. Some of David’s big troubles manifested themselves after He had ruminated on sin for some time. The longer He premeditated, the bigger they blew up when He finally acted out the sin of his daydreams.

This happened to Job. He was a righteous man. He fed the poor, defended the oppressed, brought home the homeless, visited the sick, and preached the word. He did all these good things, but He knew it. He got stuck in the very common trap of looking at all His goodness, compared to everyone else. His eyes were only partially on His Lord.

This began the competition over His soul between the spirit of evil and the Spirit of Christ. Satan made enough gains that he could legally claim Job. So he made good his advantage and boldly brought his case before the great Judge. Christ had to concede to Satan’s case over Job. There was no denying that Job had slowly departed from God by glorying in his good performance. This was being seen in the hearts and lives of his children and wife.

Job had become half-hearted, Laodicea. Job could say to the Lord, “Lord, Lord, have [I] not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22).

And the Lord’s answer could have been, “Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (vs. 23). This is always a hard thing for the God of love to tell someone and He always has tears in His voice. Nevertheless, the judgment must stand.

Thus Satan is quieted; the law of God stands, the sinner’s eyes are opened to his subconscious rebellion and need of a Saviour. But as we see from Job’s case, Satan becomes a pawn in the Lord’s hand to convict Job of his unknown offense. Other than trouble, nothing else in a nice way could the Holy Spirit use to get through to Job.

The Lord was wiser than Satan. The Lord could read the signals of love from Job’s heart to his Lord. Satan can’t detect these to their full extent. He judged Job wrongly which became evident after the torment Satan brought to Job. The Lord knew Job’s end from the beginning of his trial. In the end He had a humbled, healthy, happy, holy child of God. Without his tribulation, Job could not rear up a family correctly and lay their foundation in Christ.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him:
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” (Heb. 12:5-13).

“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).

“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” (Heb. 5:8,9).

“There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the Lord, a wicked counsellor.
Thus saith the Lord; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.
For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.…
Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” (Nah. 1:11-13,15).

The fourth example

The fourth example and unfortunate mistake comes from Dietrich Bonheoffer. Of powerful intellect and allegiance to right, he stood up against Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany with all the weight and machinery and wealth of Rome behind the dictator. Bonheoffer wrote pamphlets and books that should dissuade the honest followers of truth in Germany from joining the multitudes that were haling the Fuehrer for fear of his brutality.

During the pivotal years of Hitler’s rise, when the National Socialist (German: Nazionalsozialist) Workers’ party could have been prevented using peaceful, civil means, Hitler’s greatest opponent was found in this humble man. Politically, Communism presented the fiercest obstacle; but popularly, in the hearts of men, where the real battle lies for every dictator, the Protestant pastor swayed the people.

In Bonheoffer the principles of the Reformation and the original gospel bloomed in splendor, and perfumed every soul that received them. His exposé of the true meaning of carrying the cross of Christ and laying down the life for truth in the earth, still ring of purity and true Christianity.

But Bonheoffer decided upon a plan of action that controverted his teachings of self-sacrifice. For some reason he imbibed the idea that he needed to assist God in the overthrow of His earthly enemy. Bonheoffer masterminded an assassination of Adolf Hitler.

While he had preached, Hitler left him alone. He belonged to one of the elite families of Germany which afforded some protection for the reformer. And had he remained true to his work as teacher and exposer of the wicked regime that was sweeping upon the minds of his beloved German people, he would have exemplified just what he was bringing to the people from the word of God.

But Dietrich’s assassination attempt failed, and Hitler tried and hung him. Blood on Bonheoffer’s reputation soiled his great work for truth and the God of truth. This failed attempt to kill Hitler only added new life to the dictator’s extraordinary effort to take over the world for the Vatican, the Third Reich of Christendom. Eventually the Lord raised up the rough and tumble, unstoppable General George Patton to cease Hitler’s progress of preempting Satan’s domination of Earth before the Law of God could be sealed in the 144,000.

Today, in the shadow of 9/11 and the encroaching work of the last final dictatorship in America and of its oppressive imperialism around the world, the work of God’s people must entail and be limited to preaching of the gospel principles. Yes, in mercy to the world it needs to be warned of the coming great tribulation in the Vatican’s fourth attempt at world “Reich” under the guise and the power of post-Protestant, but now Christian America; yet the grace of Christ and His sacrifice must get priority billing.

That Christ never attacked the ruthless Roman government militarily or politically, nor Herod’s, gives us clear guidelines and direction for the work of the church today. When He was almost taken to fill the role as king of Israel’s armies, He forcibly disbanded the power-thirsty multitudes and separated even from His closest disciples for a night. In the meantime, He went up into a mountain to pour out His soul to God to help Him get through to them that His true mission was to conquer the hearts of mankind through His grace and love.

During that dark night He did not pray His Father to remove them from the stern discipline of being lost in a midnight storm at sea. Then, after sufficient labor and fear was instilled in those fishermen, He went to them to seal His lesson deeply within their psyches and hearts, that His kingdom was not of this world and that it would operate free of ambition, intrigue, and self-exaltation. He also taught them anew their own humiliation and their constant need to rely on Him for the successful navigation of the church, as His chosen leaders.

Christ selected for His closest circle of friends men of every background and makeup. Simon, the Canaanite, was an avowed zealot, a “Neo-con” by today’s colloquialism. Judas Iscariot has been thought to subscribe to the zealot mindset, since his name, Iscariot, may refer to a scarab or a dagger. Many Jews followed the rabbinical false interpretations of the Messianic promises to Israel, which described great victories to the nation and world dominion when Messiach would come. Yet, their proud hearts caused them to overlook that those promises were only effective if “their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity.” (Lev. 26:41).

Only Jesus knew that those promises, which He had inspired the prophets to write, could only be fulfilled when His people were sufficiently humbled by the pagan empires’ captivity which His providence had brought against them.

“If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me;
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:40-42).

“Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jer. 29:12-14).

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chron. 7:14).

Yet the nation had not wholeheartedly received the message of John the Baptist, and God would not fight for them. As were the Maccabees, the Jewish people were operating on their own wisdom and righteousness, totally apart from God, especially when they fully and wholeheartedly rejected and killed their Messiah, the Son of God. But His chosen disciples led forth His people to the victory of the truth of God.

Nary a sword did the apostles carry, except for the word of God which is “sharper than any twoedged sword.” (Heb. 4:12). The law, sealed in their soul and expressed in every word and deed, struck fear in the consciences of the wicked everywhere they turned. The prophecy of them was, “If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” (Rev. 11:5). The Lord was their “shield, and…exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1).

Their watchwords were, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:17,18). “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” (1Tim. 5:22). “We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Act 6:4).

The apostles were the New Testament earthly high priests of the church. And “every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God…who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” (Heb. 5:1,2). They followed Christ, who “though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” (Heb. 5:8,9).

As fathers, they restored the Hebrew faith of Abraham and the leadership of the twelve elders of ancient Israel. They were never to join with other unmerciful Jehu’s and Elijah’s—(that is, before Elijah learned the lesson of the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit); nor did they partner up with violent belligerents like Barabbas and Theudas. They understood that “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (Jas. 1:20). They remembered the night before their Master’s sacrifice, when they were still in the old mindset of fighting among themselves and fighting against their enemies. “They said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said unto them, It is enough.” (Lk 22:38). (Which was to say, Don’t think to trust in swords.) For “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.” (Ps. 127:1,2).

Let the crude, faithless world do as the work of providence leads them in the way of militant national defense. But His church must have no part in that, not even remotely. “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.” (1Thess. 5:22,23). And let the Church of Rome be sufficiently humbled for all their intrigue and forcing the hand of God in Satan’s work on earth. Let the word of God stop them in their blood drenched path, “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Islam not the enemy

Here we are at the tenth anniversary of 911 and its a Sunday—the vast majority of Americans will be mourning the loss of American life on American soil. It will be a day of remembering the details of a horrendous outrageous, outlandish attack by a desperate enemy.

But who is the enemy? “Terrorism! Islamic terrorism!” we hear ringing from every police radio, every microphone in Congress, every pulpit of our houses of worship and the White House. And of all days to have a day of silent contemplation and prayer, it is Sunday. How convenient! Did Satan look ten years ahead when He decided which day to move forward with His demonic scheme of moving Americans to give up their Constitution? The devil has genius we don’t begin to grasp.

How many sermons across our fair land will speak of the dangers of Islam? How many will preach that Americans should trust implicitly in their government’s efforts to eradicate Islamic terrorism by tightening our belts and giving up more of our civil freedoms contained on our Bill of Rights.

Yet how few are aware of the truth of 911! The percentage of Americans is small who have been enabled to see that 911 was orchestrated by Rome through her Jesuits dressed as White House leaders, CIA and FBI operatives; top military brass and soldiers, and even congress-men and -women. And the U.S. Supreme Court has done nothing to counter it.

The USA Patriot Act depletes Americans of their self-defense against a tyrannical government. Icobod—our glory has departed. Our White House urged it upon Congress and Congress accepted it for us. Now we are lost. We are doomed to captivity in every form Rome can think of. Satan has God’s people just where He wants them; and they know nothing about it. The Protestants left their God generations ago and He has left them in the hands of the god the chose—the god of this world.

The Lord has had to give us up to our sworn adversary. We have sold ourselves to our new master. “Thus saith the Lord, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.” (Is. 50:1). “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.” (Hos. 4:1-2). “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: He that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
For our transgressions are multiplied before Thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
Yea, truth faileth; and He that departeth from evil maketh Himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment.” (Is. 59:1-15).

“O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against Thee.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him;
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 Israel 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.
And He hath confirmed His words, which He spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth.
Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth: for we obeyed not His voice.” (Dan. 9:8-14). “But if ye will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments;
And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant:
I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.” (Lev. 26:14-16). “And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of My covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and IIIIIIII ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. IIIIIIII
And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation…
And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.” (Lev. 26: 19,25,31,33,37-39).

The Lord’s promise to us is: “And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God.” (Lev. 26:44). Protestants have a great hope in their merciful God.

But His promise has conditions which we must fulfill. “If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me;
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised My judgments, and because their soul abhorred My statutes.” (Lev. 26:40-43).

Then He will give us the rest of His promises. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.
And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” (Ez. 36:25-31).

“Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” (Is. 51:11). But that rejoicing will forever be a humble joy. “Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.” (Ez. 36:32-35).


The fourth example and unfortunate mistake comes from Dietrich Bonheoffer. Of powerful intellect and allegiance to right, he stood up against Hitler’s regime in Germany with all the weight and machinery and wealth of Rome behind the dictator. Bonheoffer wrote pamphlets and books that should dissuade the honest follower of truth in Germany from joining the multitudes that were haling the Fuehrer for fear of his brutality.

During the pivotal years of Hitler’s rise, when Nazism could have been prevented using peaceful, civil means, Hitler’s greatest opponent was found in this humble man. Politically, Communism presented the fiercest obstacle; but popularly, in the hearts of men, where the real battle lies for every dictator, the protestant pastor swayed the people.

In Bonheoffer the principles of the Reformation and the original gospel bloomed in splendor, and perfumed every soul that received them. His exposé of the true meaning of carrying the cross of Christ and laying down the life for truth in the earth, still ring of truth and the purest Christianity.

But Bonheoffer decided upon a plan of action that controverted his teachings of self-sacrifice. For some reason he imbibed the idea that he needed to assist God in the overthrow of His earthly enemy. So this mighty preacher masterminded an assassination of Adolf Hitler.

While he had preached, Hitler left him alone. He belonged to one of the elite families of Germany which afforded some protection for the reformer. And had he remained true to his work as teacher and exposer of the wicked regime that was sweeping upon the minds of his beloved German people, he would have exemplified just what he was bringing to the people from the word of God.

But Dietrich’s assassination attempt failed, and Hitler tried and hung him. Blood on Bonheoffer’s reputation soiled his great work for truth and the God of truth. This failed attempt to kill Hitler only added new life to the dictator’s extraordinary effort to take over the world for the Vatican. Eventually the Lord raised up the rough and tumble, unstoppable General George Patton to stop Hitler’s progress of preempting Satan’s domination of Earth before the Law of God could be sealed in the 144,000.

Today, in the shadow of 9/11 and the encroaching work of the last final dictatorship in America and of oppressive imperialism spreading around the world, the work of God’s people must entail and be limited to preaching of the gospel principles.

That Christ never attacked the ruthless Roman government militarily or politically, nor Herod’s, gives us clear guidelines and direction for the work of the church today. When He was almost forcibly taken to fill the role as king of Israel’s armies, He verbally disbanded the power-thirsty multitudes and separated from His closest disciples for a night. In the meantime, He went up into a mountain to pour out His soul to God to help Him get through to them that His true mission was to conquer the hearts of mankind through grace and love.

During that dark night He did not pray His Father to remove His disciples from the stern discipline of being lost in a midnight storm at sea. Then after sufficient labor and fear was instilled in those fishermen, He went to them to seal His lesson deeply within their psyches and hearts, that His kingdom was not of this world and that it would operate free of ambition, intrigue, and self-exaltation. He also taught them anew their own humiliation and their constant need to rely on Him for the successful navigation of the church, as His chosen representatives.

Christ selected for His closest circle of friends men of every background and makeup. Simon, the Canaanite, was an avowed zealot, a “Neo-con” by today’s colloquialism. Judas Iscariot has been thought to subscribe to the zealot mindset, since his name, Iscariot, refers to a scarab or a dagger. Many Jews followed the rabbinical false interpretations of the promises to Israel, which described great victories to the nation and world dominion; but the part they missed was that all those promises would come only if, according to Moses, “their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity.” (Lev. 26:41).

In that day, Jesus’ meekness caused constant conflict with the religious leaders and only He knew that those promises, which He had inspired the prophets to write, could only be fulfilled when His people were sufficiently humbled by the pagan empires’ captivity which His providence had brought against them.

“If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me;
And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:40-42).

“Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jer. 29:12-14).

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chron. 7:14).

Yet the nation had not wholeheartedly received the message of John the Baptist, and God would not fight for them. As had been the Maccabees, the Jewish people were operating on their own, totally apart from God, especially so after they fully and wholeheartedly rejected and killed their Messiah, the Son of God. But His chosen disciples led forth His people to the victory of the truth of God.

Nary a sword did the apostles carry, except for the word of God which is “sharper than any twoedged sword.” (Heb. 4:12). The law, sealed in their soul and expressed in every word and deed, struck fear in the consciences of the wicked everywhere they turned. According to the prophecy, “If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.” (Rev. 11:5). The Lord was their “shield, and…exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1).

Their watchword was, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:17,18). “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” (1Tim. 5:22). “We will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Act 6:4).

The apostles were the New Testament earthly high priests of the church. And “every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God…who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” (Heb. 5:1,2). They followed Christ, who “though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” (Heb. 5:8,9). And, through His example, they were made perfect in weakness.

As fathers to the church, they restored the Hebrew faith of Abraham and the leadership of the twelve elders of ancient Israel. They were never to join with other unmerciful Jehu’s and Elijah’s (before he learned the lesson of the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit); nor did they partner up with violent belligerents like Barabbas and Theudas. “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (Jas. 1:20). They remembered the night before their Master’s sacrifice, when they were still in the old mindset of fighting among themselves and fighting against their enemies. “They said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said unto them, It is enough.” (Lk 22:38). (Which was to say, Don’t think to trust in swords.) For “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.” (Ps. 127:1,2).

Let the crude, faithless world do as the work of providence leads them in the way of militant national defense. But His church must have no part in that, not even remotely. “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.” (1Thess. 5:22,23). And let the Church of Rome be sufficiently humbled for all their intrigue and forcing the hand of God in Satan’s work on earth. Let the word of God stop them in their blood drenched path, “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Three examples of using holy things for common use

Three examples will prove instructive in their results from not cooperating with God in His work of advancing His kingdom and fighting the devil and his earthly organizations when that work is the Lord’s and that battle belongs to Him and Him alone.

1) Israel had fallen far away again after Samson had subdued the Philistines and now the sea peoples arose to destroy the people of God. Due to apathy and outright mockery for the God who had delivered them from Egyptian bondage and the contempt of the services of His covenant by the wicked priests Hophni and Phineas’, the people lost faith and turned away from the sacrificial service given by the Lord God in Eden and expanded into a beautiful system by Moses. “Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord; men abhorred the offering of the Lord.” (1Sam. 2:17).

Yet, despite this departure from God, when the armies of Philistia amassed against the Hebrews, and Israel’s men gathered to defend themselves, Hophni and Phineas, brought forth the ark of the covenant to go with the Israelite armies. God could not fight for Israel because their hearts were not right and because it was wrong to use the holy thing in the war against God’s enemy. If God would fight, He would use common items to shed blood, not sanctified ones. For God is primarily a God of mercy and His holy things must ever remain without association with death and human blood. Thus, the priests of the Lord fell in the battle and the ark was taken, at a total loss to Israel.

2) King Josiah had been very faithful to all the light that he had. Even without instruction from the scriptures, he feared the testimony of Jeremiah and moved quickly to institute reforms among the nation, overthrowing the pagan religion that had destroyed Israel’s knowledge of the true God and faith in Him, without which it is impossible to please Him.

The Assyrian empire was waning, but Babylon was rising in power and Jeremiah warned Josiah that soon-coming Babylonian destruction for nationwide apostasy would sweep away Israel in divine retribution. Josiah had made great progress in laying a foundation for the repentance and conversion of many hearts, when Pharaoh Necho appeared to pass through Israel on his way to fight against Assyria in Carchemish.

Josiah, without seeking counsel of Jeremiah or directly from the Lord, attempted to fight against the king of Egypt who also wore the hat of the high priest of Egyptian paganism. “But he sent ambassadors to [Josiah], saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy thee not.” (2Chron. 35:21).

The warning off of Pharaoh did nothing to reverse Josiah’s mindset and operating on his own human wisdom. “The Lord is…longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish.” (2Pet. 3:9). Nevertheless, the king’s insistence to fight without God’s direction and blessing resulted in his death.

“And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.
His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.” (2Chron. 35:23,24).

This was a huge loss for the nation which had just begun to take hold of his reforms and to accept their importance. The love of God had begun to spring up again as a new thing, and their attachment of Josiah was deep and strong. His passing would also affect the reformation of Judah in a negative way, now that no champion for holiness was available to stand in his place. His sons had no interest in the Lord God and His righteous laws. The former apostasy prior to King Josiah rapidly returned and the people quickly regressed into the previous pagan practices. Jeremiah’s warnings and instruction from the Lord were rejected. Soon afterward Babylon destroyed the nation.

3) The preaching of Martin Luther made haste to Switzerland where a humble and holy priest accepted the reformed faith and ran with it. Swiss Ulrich Zwingli attained such a hold on the truth of the Bible and his mind so penetrated the gospel that his grasp of God’s word exceeded Luther’s. Zwingli and his assistant Oecolampadius formed a tight bond that the papist priests could not gainsay even as Luther and Melanchthon formed an unassailable team in Germany.

But Zwingli and Oecolampadius proved themselves superior to Luther and Melanchthon when the two teams met to join forces against Rome. Every doctrine was discussed and harmony reigned between them as the structures binding them to the Romish church fell away one by one and their joyful deliverance from the shackles of Satan’s errors loomed on the horizon like the bright, dawning sun.

But just as full accord was about to be reached, the subject of the Mass and the dogma of Transubstantiation was dealt with. An impasse came as Zwingli sought with all his heart and soul to cut off the corrupting influence of this falsehood from the Reformation he had so loved and hoped in. But Luther’s loyalty to Rome would not budge on the Mass; he refused to leave this sacred cow. So even of the Reformation champion extraordinaire it was true, “Babylon …made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (Rev. 14:8).

So Zwingli went on to fight the full truth alone. Yet, he also unwittingly retained another tradition of Rome, that men should fight bloody wars for God. So he united with the armies of the Swiss Reformation, as their chaplain. He could not remain home, knowing they were fighting without his encouragement. The army would never have allowed him to take part in the battles, had they but heeded the counsel of scripture, “Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.” (2Sam. 21:17).

But father Zwingli went with them, as a holy protection in a common capacity; and he was slain on the battlefield. Thus, Switzerland lost their great champion for the truth; and Protestantism lost its chief of the office of internal affairs. They lost a heart for God like none other on the earth, and a man whose mind was keen and discerning, who loved the people and the cause of God. Oecolampadius was unable to carry the dangerous work of God, being alone, especially under the stress of losing his close friend and associate. The Protestant work and influence in Switzerland suffered, and eventually Rome regained every step of progress Zwingli had accomplished by faith and prayer and study of the Bible.

What a loss! Such a beautiful and strong character sacrificed unnecessarily to practices contrary to God’s will! And what a faltering of the cause of God as His Reformation work suffered its ultimate demise! “How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!” (2Sam. 1:27).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Email

Hello brother,

I was fearing that either you were afraid to communicate of maybe were off in a distant land doing evangelism. I am happy to hear from you.

Here, Paul’s letter to the Galatians is very hollow. Yes, we claim to be past the Law and under grace, but, even among the faithful, the Law never had its full impact as it should have. What we must have is the experience of Jesus’ condemnation, and most have never felt the real wrath and force of His testimony, the Spirit of Prophecy. When the Law, as given in its most recent edition through EGW, is studied and wrestled with, and then surrender to God is given from the Holy Spirit, then both Law and our warfare against it bring in faith to the wrestler. And only then is grace very precious and obedience real. He that is forgiven much loveth much, and he that loveth much obeyeth much.

But, sadly, many have never cared about the SOP and give it any attention. If they read it at all, it was only a cursory reading. This is seen in the small effect it has had on the lifestyles of the SDAs in the western world. If the life is no different from the non-SDA peers, if the interest in spiritual things cannot be mustered, then there is no evidence that the Law ever was wrestled with. And if there is no effort to exalt the goodness and personableness of Jesus, beyond just pat phrases, then there is no evidence that grace was ever reach out for and obtained.

In other words, what I keep hearing around me makes me vomit. :( It makes me want to cry. It also alarms me. If the above description of having received Jesus is the criteria for surviving the great shaking, then many, many will be lost. Multitudes are walking in darkness.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m being too strict. But then I read some things from EGW and I hear the same requirements from her. I’m not perfect, not by a long shot. But I see a large section of deceived people who are fully convinced they are saved when they haven’t done the first works.

So, the study of the letter to the Galatians is doing us no good. Last Sabbath I sensed this false hope in grace and tried to explain the broad definition of the Law: i.e. the whole Old and New Testaments, the SOP, even the consequences of our sins. But, all I heard was, “Why are you talking about the Law in our salvation, when salvation is based on grace only?”

I hear from these people no different from what I hear from Baptists and other fallen Protestant denominations. Its a cheap grace. Cheap SDA grace comes as the result of disregarding the SOP, especially in regard to its aspects of spirituality. Only when the soul has been prostrated by the strong, authoritative language of Jesus through EGW and it spends time struggling for the love of God, that grace appears glorious.

This concept comes through again and again in the OT promises of the major and minor prophets. After their captivity they would return with everlasting joy upon their heads--and only after years of captivity. You suffered condemnation for years. I have also. Others I know are still suffering, some soon to come out of the darkness into the glorious light.

Only those who suffer under God’s condemnation will appreciate the grace of God and really love Jesus. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.” (Jn. 6:37). This must be the watchword of true RBF. “All that the Father giveth Me [through His Law] shall come to Me [for reconciliation and justification].”

Thus, the utterly essential part that accepting and heeding the Law plays in our salvation. Only after years of wrestling with Him who said He was “this Stone”, and finally coming to Him would He say, “And him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” No one else qualifies!!!

God raised up four pagan and brutal empires for 600 years to finally get it through to His people that they were under His condemnation. When life got really bad (because His Law could no longer communicate His anger and disfavor with them) and devil possession was everywhere, did the people finally humble themselves before His prophet when John began preaching. But many still would not listen because they had not felt the pinch of God’s curses. The prostitutes and publicans, the poor and the lepers had felt the pricks of heaven through the misery of life, and they willingly bowed in confession under the condemnation of God. They received the Messiah and “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” (Jn. 1:12).

This is what we have to look forward to again. But the curse of God must be confessed to.

“And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.” (Lev. 26:39-43).

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chron. 7:14).

“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jer. 29:13,14).

Love you brother,
David

Cain and Abel, pt. 3

The high Sabbath arrived. The great test of truth would now be manifested, “the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Rev. 3:10). It meant a cleansing of the true church of God, a sifting of the rebels.

Cain had advertised a better form of religion; Abel maintained the original faith given by the Lord God. The contest would determine who was right, and who was wrong; those following Abel, who could continue as before and be scrutinized and further purged by God, and those who were under the influence of Cain and would receive open rebuke from heaven itself.

This day was judgment day; both groups would be judged. The Cainite camp had gloried in its numbers and influence over the children of Adam. The much fewer followers of Abel would be delivered from the oppression of the Cainites.

It was a day like that on Mount Carmel. Both high priests of their respective claims presented before the Lord their respective offerings: Cain, with his clean, glorious vegetables, nuts, grains, and fruits; and Abel with the gory death of a once happy, innocent, spotless, baby lamb of a year old.

Heaven’s fire fell, but not on Cain’s altar as he had so arrogantly boasted that it would. When silence once again settled after the roar from God’s throne, Abel was exonerated and Cain visibly convicted of false worship. The sentence from heaven was more than Cain could bear. Although Abel and his disciples retreated from the altars with everlasting songs in their hearts, their lack of vindictiveness only stirred Cain to greater fury.

A day came that the two heads of religion met in a field of the primitive Earth. Cain remonstrated with Abel in biting tones and undue recriminations. Abel humbly and gently turned the remonstrances back on Cain and in love appealed to his brother to surrender to the God who answered by fire, and who is love. He strove to mitigate his beloved friend’s undue anger toward his Creator in heaven, as he sought to reconcile his brother’s misapprehensions of his heavenly Father. He worked to convince Cain that their parents were greatly concerned with his blatant dodging the redemptive effect from the blood of the coming Lamb of God and his disturbing disregard for God’s express commandment to sacrifice a lamb.

But in a rage of much pent up resentment toward his brother’s perceived insolence Satan drove his victim to rush upon his unsuspecting brother and to forever silence his quiet reproofs. Abel had been great because he had so humbled self into the dust through obedience to the covenant of redeeming grace and truth. His giant character came from his lowliness and loving-kindness. A great man lost his life that day.

Cain, with blood on his hands, was not repentant. He could not say to himself, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” In his satiated pride and wrath he simply sought to ignore the act. No one had witnessed the murder, except maybe God. But Cain was a self-made atheist. Satan had eclipse the Creator in his lost soul, and Cain had gobbled up all that Satan had pushed on him.

A last effort was made by the voice of the Lord God to bring him to admission of guilt. But the true Cain comes out after all of his self-righteous pretense at the altar. By his own lips he condemned himself. Even defending his actions to the Lord God, he said with a Freudian slip of sarcasm, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

But while he wouldn’t mourn his sin, he did bewail his punishment. Unrepentant and stiff-necked toward God to the end, he left the presence of the Lord God never to speak to God again. He convinced one of his sibling followers to be his wife, thus perpetuating his ill mindset toward law and justice. His soul utterly empty of peace and devoid of God, and his heart full of pride and self sufficiency, he turned fully to sensual pleasures.

Satan has always found it most desirous to use a human medium to deceive others, and thus multitudes, nations, tongues and peoples. As he had used Eve to fell Adam, he had Cain fell the whole antediluvian world. Quickly did Cain influence his progeny to the sins of murder and uncontrolled passion and every other expression of his unregenerate heart, until wickedness pervaded the inhabited world.

Rapidly did Cain’s descendents multiply, so that many generations had appeared in the camp of the lawless before the next champions of faith and obedience after Abel were born: Seth and his son Enos, when the race was 130 and 235 years old. Adam and Eve continued to lead their lineage into brokenness and redemption through the death of the lamb.

All the while Cain’s descendants used a form of godliness but never knew the loss of self and conversion and reclamation by the Holy Spirit until violence more and more covered the land. The wickedness of man reached its point of divine retribution. Eventually, the dwindling faithful Adamites slowly joined the joy-riding Cainites, until, except for a very small remnant of true worshippers of the Creator, the whole world followed after the progenitor of idolatry and the grossest evil.

Cain and Abel, pt. 2

Love to God possessed the second-begotten of the first Adam and made him the first-begotten of the second Adam.

Abel, the second child of Eve, resembled his mother in many ways. He inherited her mothering tendency and her deprecating nature, forever instilled in her since that fateful last day in the Garden. While her fallen nature also found its expression in Abel, the redeemed mind of Eve, being the “the weaker vessel,” as well resided in her younger son. (1Pet. 3:7).

Compared to his older, presidential brother, Abel was a runt, and like Jacob, “a plain man, dwelling in tents.” (Gen. 25:27). Nothing in Abel seemed to outwardly present greatness or majesty. All this God had given to Cain, being the crown prince. While Cain walked about in dignity, Abel was content to stay in his mother’s company. There he found society, comfort and affection.

The mothering of Abel trained him to love sheep. His tenderness could be accepted by the sheep under his care. Soon he developed his own herds and found them to give him his greatest joy. The Holy Spirit daily molded a Christ-like character into Abel, as he involved himself in the guidance and protection of his flocks. He named each of his woolly followers, and he knew each by its particular personality and character.

But a cloud tinged his joy. That cloud was God’s requirement that a lamb be slain upon any conviction of sin. Killing one of his precious lambs was a terrible ordeal to Abel. He wrestled days and nights before performing this horrifying requirement. But he obeyed; and each time he saw more clearly that his sinfulness caused the chastisement of God’s peace. Without the lamb slain he would never realize this or be humbled by the knowledge of it. So he accepted the divine mandate.

Cain had a strong sense of outward right and wrong. He had a great keenness toward justice; but that keenness was self-centered. Abel’s disposition was for justice mixed with mercy. This character resulted from the transforming power of the animal sacrifice and the brokenness it forced upon Abel’s naturally hard heart. Through his brokenness and humbling, he saw the necessity and beauty of justice. But he also saw the wonders of God’s mercy.

As Abel’s heart grew softer and increasingly pliable by the Spirit of God, his brother’s heart grew more troubled and intolerant. Love, joy and peace began to spread abroad in the soul of the younger brother, while hate, discontent and murmuring took hold in the elder. Week by week, month by month, the two fathers of contrary heritages diverged until they bore no resemblance.

Cain looked upon Abel’s self-deprecating nature as weakness, and the elder brother treated with disdain his younger’s tendency to give what Cain saw as unwarranted grace. Cain expected his sibling to act as his lieutenant, his second-hand man, in the leadership of all their growing population of brothers and sisters. A strong, inflexible arm must bear sway to keep sin from running out of control among their siblings and their future children, as Cain believed. But Abel failed in this form of judicial strength. He could not be of any support to a government Cain saw necessary to defend against transgression.

This grieved Cain greatly, so he attempted by insult and mockery to correct and mold his subordinate. Abel bore up under the often blast of open aggression and masked innuendos. He understood his brother’s mindset of leadership, but his career in herding sheep wouldn’t allow him to copy Cain’s harshness, which Abel viewed as cruelty. He loved his sheep and died with each one he was required to sacrifice.

This mingling of justice with mercy clashed with Cain’s methods. In every act of his brother he heard reproof. Somehow he knew Abel was right, but refused to admit to it. Daily he felt corrected and humbled by his younger brother who should keep his place of subordination as God had ordained it, and submit to the will of his older brother.

But the Spirit of God had full control of Abel’s heart and mind, and the love of Christ constrained him to resemble the Lord God in the dispensation of discipline. However, the spirit of Satan had possession of Cain’s heart and mind, and spiteful dissembling controlled this first-begotten of the first Adam.

As Cain departed from the Law of God, he sought out inventions that would satisfy his unreclaimed, unregenerate nature. What he desired was worship which excluded the convicting power of the lamb sacrificed in innocence and helplessness. He desired a religion that would forget about God, but pass as one that remembers Him. He desired a form of godliness but denied the power thereof.

Naturally he would look to the successes of his own hand. A farmer faithfully following in his father’s footsteps, his abundant and beautiful fruit would replace the disagreeable bloody service passed down from his parents. This system, newly come up, which his father knew not, would be a novel substitute and would spread in popularity to the burgeoning race. Cain would be hailed as a creative inventor and great benefactor and progenitor throughout all the earth.

His pride swelled, his frame already flushed with exaltation and applause, he prepared to unveil his new invention at the annual sacrifice quickly approaching.

Cain and Abel, pt. 1

Cain, in the perfection of second generation from Adam, possessed a strong body and mind. He could likewise have attained strength of soul and character had he not chosen to harbor resentment for a difficult life of expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Past the cherubim at its gate, he could see the perfection of beauty and a heavenly atmosphere and environ within. But they were forever thrust out.

Little by little, Cain allowed the spirit of antichrist to steal a path into him, and that resentment grew into a smoldering animosity toward God’s wise discipline. He became blinded to any mercy in God’s justice. Satan, subtle and insinuating, came to possess Cain and mold his emotions and passions like a polished puppeteer.

As second from Adam, he had his father’s nobility and grandeur of appearance. He was heir to the throne of elder and high priest of Earth. At Adam’s passing, Cain would become king of humanity and of all that this world contained and produced. In his strength of intellect, he had a powerful discernment. His intuition far exceeded ours today. But that strong mind unbalanced without a strong soul and character impelled him into the strongest apostate against God.

This first and greatest human rebel saw in the sacrifice of the lamb, much clearer than we can see it, an implied rebuke to his fallen nature. Deep in his subconscience Cain set up a barrier as the master deceiver worked his hints into the chemistry of Cain’s conceptions. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).

Without recognizing the mechanism of temptation, though he had been trained up in his parents’ first failure, Cain subconsciously acted on the insinuations of the deceiver by rejecting the divine appeals built into the offer of grace through the burnt sacrifice. The pull on the heart, the laying of self into the dust, the final surrender to God—this heir of Adam saw it all afar off. He knew where the burnt offering would take him to conversion and humility. But inwardly, long before the redemption of his soul could take place, he cut off the holy process before he could be caught up in its constraints.

Satan had perverted Cain’s thinking and he viewed humility and conversion as a thing not to be desired. The evil one distorted the image in Cain’s thoughts, obscuring the joy in submitting to the love and Law of God. His mind was incapable of imagining any beauty in holiness. The devil did to Cain as he has done to all of Cain’s spiritual children ever since. “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt. 13:14,15). “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2Cor. 4:3,4).

Cain’s spiritual children are Satan’s, “Cain, who was of that wicked one.” (1Jn. 3:12). The devil “beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34).

They are all doomed to eternal death. Why? Because they do the works of their father, Cain. Knowing the end of grace, that it contains obligations toward repentance and humiliation and perpetual servitude to their Redeemer, they dodge it altogether by avoiding the pure, dying Sacrifice on the altar. Perhaps, being the more alert, smarter, brighter, and quicker to perceive than some of us, they can evade the traps and the stumbling stones God lays before them to lead them to repentance.

So, they remain whole, never broken; therefore they can never be called by the Son of God. The appeal of God’s offering of His Son is invisible to them; they sense it not by any inner detection system. Assisted by Satan they have made themselves impregnable to the assaults of the Holy Spirit. Their system of spiritualism makes Christ the great enemy. What delusion! They have deceived themselves! If they are lost in the end it is because they sought to be lost. If they receive eternal damnation, it is only that they desired eternal separation from God. They purposefully avoided God’s greatest gift in a change of heart—and oh, what a mighty gift to begin a life of goodness, happiness, and prosperity! They turn down the gift of the Holy Spirit; thus, they are fully unworthy of all else that God wants to give them.

The mystery of iniquity contradicts all true intelligence, all the while keeping its slaves in the safekeeping of man’s wisdom! Like an adulterous woman boundedly determined to lose her family and home and society because she wants to destroy her husband who loves her and them, and to play around with life; so is the irrationale of God’s rebels. Satan has them in his grip, whom God has cut off from grace and peace.

All who will harbor persistent resistance to the voice of the Holy Spirit built into the word of God and in His epoch act of sacrifice for us, are too smart for their own good!

The arch enemy of God is infuriated at Him and sealed in a blind rampage against Him, and against everything and everyone associated with Him, which is the whole human race. Through Christ’s infinite sacrifice for the human race, no other creation can better appreciate God’s love and respond in kind. Therefore, they are the special object of Satan’s cunning and revenge. No one is safe, especially those who let Him make them the most closely into His image.

“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1Cor. 1:17-31).

“Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”

Not only did He teach the truth, but He was the truth. It was this that gave His teaching power. Education, p. 78.

I encourage you to do your own substitutions.

Pro 3:1 God’s Son forgot not His Father’s Law; but let His heart keep His God’s commandments:
Pro 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, did they add to Him.
Pro 3:3 He let not mercy and truth forsake Him: He bound them about His neck; He wrote them upon the table of His heart:
Pro 3:4 So did He find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Lk. 2:52)
Pro 3:5 He trusted in His Father with all His heart; and leaned not unto His own understanding. “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, 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.” (Jn. 5:19).
Pro 3:6 In all His ways He acknowledged His God, and He directed His beloved Servant’s paths. “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” (Jn. 5:20).
Pro 3:7 He was not wise in His own eyes: He feared the Lord, and departed from evil.
Pro 3:8 It was health to His stomach, and life and strength to His body.
Pro 3:9 He honoured His Father with His substance, and with the firstfruits of all His increase:
Pro 3:10 So were His barns filled with plenty, and His presses bursted out with new wine.
Pro 3:11 His Son despised not the chastening of His Father; neither did He weary of His King’s correction:
Pro 3:12 For He Father loved Him and corrected Him; even a Father the Son in whom He delighted. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Heb. 5:8).
Pro 3:13 Happy was this Man that found wisdom, and this young Man that got understanding. “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” (Lk. 10:21).
Pro 3:14 Christ’s merchandise of wisdom was better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33).
Pro 3:15 His Father’s character was more precious to Him than rubies: and all the things He could desire were not to be compared unto knowing God. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mat 16:26).
Pro 3:16 Length of days were in the knowledge of His Father; as were riches and honour. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” (Is. 55:1-3).
Pro 3:17 Jesus’ precepts were ways of pleasantness, and all His paths were peace. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (Is. 55:12,13).
Pro 3:18 His words were a tree of life to them that layed hold upon them: and happy was every one that retaineth them. “He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,” “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord , and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of [My Father], that He might be glorified.” (Matt. 5:2;Is. 61:1-3).
Pro 3:19 Christ by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.
Pro 3:20 By His Father’s knowledge He saw that the depths were broken up, and the clouds dropped down the dew.
Pro 3:21 His Son, let not them depart from His eyes: He kept sound wisdom and discretion:
Pro 3:22 So shall they were life unto His soul, and grace to His neck.
Pro 3:23 Thus He walked in His Father’s way safely, and His foot did not stumble.
Pro 3:24 When He lied down, He did not get afraid: yea, He laid down, and His sleep shall be sweet.
Pro 3:25 He was not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it came.
Pro 3:26 For the Lord was His confidence, and kept His foot from being taken.
Pro 3:27 Jesus withheld not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of His hand to do it.
Pro 3:28 He said not unto His neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when He had it by Him.
Pro 3:29 He devised not evil against His neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by Him.
Pro 3:30 Jesus strove not with a man without cause, if he had done Him no harm.
Pro 3:31 He envied not the oppressor, and chose none of his ways.
Pro 3:32 For the froward was abomination to His Father: but His Father’s secret is with His righteous.
Pro 3:33 The curse of His Father was in the house of the wicked: but He blessed the habitation of the just.
Pro 3:34 Surely His Daddy scorned the scorners: but He giveth grace unto the lowly.
Pro 3:35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

“Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”

“Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” Matt. 12:42

Not only did He teach the truth, but He was the truth. It was this that gave His teaching power. Education, p. 78.



Pro 2:1 The Son of God, received His Father’s words, and hid His commandments with Him;
Pro 2:2 So that He inclined His ear unto wisdom, and applied His heart to understanding;
Pro 2:3 Yea, He cried after knowledge, and lifted up His voice for understanding;
Pro 2:4 He sought her as silver, and searched for her as for hid treasures;
Pro 2:5 Thus did He understand the fear of the Lord, and found the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6 For His Father gave wisdom: out of His mouth came knowledge and understanding.
Pro 2:7 He layed up sound wisdom for His righteous Son: He was a buckler to His Son who walked uprightly.
Pro 2:8 He kept the paths of judgment, and preserved the way of His precious Saint.
Pro 2:9 Then the Son understood righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
Pro 2:10 When wisdom entered into His heart, and knowledge was pleasant unto His soul;
Pro 2:11 Discretion preserved Him, understanding kept Him:
Pro 2:12 And delivered Him from the way of the evil man, from the religious leaders who spoke froward things;
Pro 2:13 Who left the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
Pro 2:14 Who rejoiced to do evil, and delighted in the frowardness of the wicked;
Pro 2:15 Whose ways were crooked, and they froward in their paths:
Pro 2:16 And delivered Him from the strange god, even from the devil which flattered with his words;
Pro 2:17 Which forsook the guide of his youth, and forgot the covenant of his God.
Pro 2:18 For his house inclined unto second death, and his paths unto the twice dead.
Pro 2:19 None that go unto him returned again, neither took they hold of the paths of eternal life.
Pro 2:20 But Christ walked in the way of good men, and kept the paths of the righteous.
Pro 2:21 For His upright soul dwells in the eternal land, and His perfect heart forever remains in heaven.
Pro 2:22 But the wicked spirits shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

“Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” Matt. 12:42.

Not only did He teach the truth, but He was the truth. It was this that gave His teaching power. Education, p. 78.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Jn. 1:1). Since the whole Old Testament was a revelation of the Son of God, why shouldn’t we substitute Christ into every verse of the holy Writ? It’s His word, and every letter, every expression describes their divine Author. We will be pleasantly surprised at the new views we receive of Jesus, the holy, loving, divine Son of God.

Join me in Proverbs as we begin this gigantic enterprise.

Pro 1:1 The proverbs concerning Jesus the son of David, King of Israel;
Pro 1:2 How He knew wisdom and instruction; perceived the words of understanding;
Pro 1:3 Received the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
Pro 1:4 Gave subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
Pro 1:5 Jesus was wise and listened, and increased learning; He became a man of understanding that attained unto wise counsels:
Pro 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of His Father, and His deep sayings.
Pro 1:7 His fear of His Father was the beginning of His knowledge: but the religious leaders despised wisdom and instruction.
Pro 1:8 The Son heard the instruction of His Father, and forsook not the law of the Holy Spirit:
Pro 1:9 And they were ornaments of grace unto His head, and chains about His neck.
Pro 1:10 Satan and his workers of iniquity enticed God’s Son, but He consented not.
Pro 1:11 They said, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
Pro 1:12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
Pro 1:13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
Pro 1:14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse.
Pro 1:15 But the Son of God walked not in the way with them; He refrained His foot from their path:
Pro 1:16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
Pro 1:17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
Pro 1:18 They layed wait for their own destruction; they lurked privily and lost their own eternal life.
Pro 1:19 So was the ways of every one that was greedy of gain; which took away the eternal life of the owners thereof.
Pro 1:20 Christ’s wisdom cried without; He uttered His voice in the streets:
Pro 1:21 He cried in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city He uttered His words, saying,
Pro 1:22 How long, ye sin-loving rabbis, will ye love to grind the faces of the poor in spirit? How long will the scribes delight to prevent the people from hearing beautiful truth, and Pharisees to hate love?
Pro 1:23 Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you.
Pro 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no priest regarded;
Pro 1:25 But ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof:
Pro 1:26 I also will scorn you at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Pro 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Pro 1:28 Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me:
Pro 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
Pro 1:30 They would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof.
Pro 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Pro 1:32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
Pro 1:33 But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Email on Romans 9

Hi David,
I think I understand Romans 7 now after several days of study, but now I’m stuck on Romans 9. In it, Paul talks about predestination. Are we predestined to be children of God? He says we are predestined to be called, but it sounds like we are predestined to be redeemed. I understand about walking in the spirit and that God knows all so he would know who would answer the call, but some more information that’s biblical would help. Hope you are having a happy sabbath and talk to you soon. You know where to find me!
C______


Hi C______,
What helped me in this chapter was the two verses: “What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory...” (Vs. 22,23).

Notice, that Paul’s example of predestining and foreknowledge, etc. really falls into the category of His ability to know us to the very core, way deeper than we’ll ever know ourselves or Satan can know us.

In Paul’s example above, Pharoah’s heart was being hardened by God, but his heart had been hardening for a long time before the Lord openly did anything about it. In other words, by the time Christ got involved with the king, the king had already shown himself to God as someone who would never surrender to God’s love or submit to His authority—not even in a million years of grace. Even if no one else saw Pharoah’s condition, his Creator and Redeemer had read every dark spot.

Peter wrote, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Pet. 3:8,9).

And He treated Pharoah with all the grace He treats us with. But Pharoah turned it all down and heckled God. King Saul did the same thing. Judas and Balaam and so many others have also.

On the contrary, those who have responded to God’s work in the heart, He foreknew all along that they would. Those who come to know God and fall away, He foresees also. “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb. 10:38,39).

The third plot of ground that grew only weeds was good ground at one time and received the seed or word of God, into their heart. “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matt. 13:22). God saw these people, too. But He works with them anyway, until for the last time they shake their fist at His following them to call them back. King Saul, Balaam, and the rest did this until they no longer heard the call of the Holy Spirit.

Basically, I just want to say that when God decides to put someone to the big test and harden their heart, He never does it arbitrarily. He has gone much further with each case than any of the lost ever deserve. But there comes a point when every effort to get their attention results only in their deepening resentment of Him and spirituality and holiness. If they have had no interest in Him, not even to seek to repair a broken relationship that continually weighs them down and brings on the worst depressions, so that their only other recourse is to curse their conscience and give God the finger with all their heart, then, and only then, Satan has such a hold on them that nothing more can God do for them. He casts them away forever.

Its a sad thing, as EGW said it, “a terrible ordeal; nevertheless it must take place.”
Love,
David

Death for life, Pt. 1

A woman contracted the disease, called Leukemia. After a couple of bouts with it her kidneys were damaged permanently. Her driven nature, her strong mind and memory, her natural selfish and unforgiving propensity were the cause of the disease that reeked havoc on her body, together with her unbelief in God’s revealed health message which resulted in her accepting chemotherapy.

So she ended up on kidney dialysis. During hospital stays she received visitation by church members and eventually one of her visitors agreed to drive her to her dialysis appointments three times a week. Each trip there and home again provided opportunity to converse.

A friendship deepened, a kinship developed, and they prayed together constantly to God for healing or for a kidney transplant. For days and weeks their prayers ascended in faith and hope. And the young woman began to sense a change happening in her somewhat resistant nature. Her sometime caustic moods softened and she allowed the Holy Spirit to do His work in her heart.

Her recked body remained, but a kinder, patient side that she was striving for began to spread abroad in her heart and to choke out the inherited, inbred selfishness. Her talk was more of Jesus and of the Bible, and her life mirrored more of her Friend in the heavens. Her prayers grew less about her kidneys and more about His character imparted to her. “Strength and honour [were] her clothing…. She opene[d] her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [was] the law of kindness.” (Prov. 31:25, 26).

Then one day as her driver friend returned from a weekend trip to West Virginia, an oncoming car drifted into his lane, and to dodge a head-on collision, he had to veer off into the front yard of a house along the highway. His car lost control and he ran into a telephone pole.

He suffered a brain concussion and a broken neck, and lay in a coma for three weeks. When he returned to consciousness he was paralyzed from the neck down. His doctors told him that, based on history, he would never walk again.

As he lay in bed day after day, the idea was born and grew bigger and brighter, that he had no use for both of his good kidneys and that he should donate one to his Leukemia-damaged friend. The tests showed that her body would accept his kidney, and preparations were made to perform the surgery.

Over the months of his coma and post-coma home care, his friend’s health gradually deteriorated as her body was not able to process food, and her weight dropped into the 80s and 70s. Now her heart and thin frame could not support unassisted mobilization, and her situation was desperate. She had suffered long and so had her faith. But, as much consciousness as she could muster, so much faith in Christ supplied her thoughts and words.

Now her delicate body must have a kidney before the potential for cardiac arrest would prevent the kidney transplant. The transplant was a miraculous success. Her body repaired, her strength renewed, her faith was confirmed. She saw fulfilled the scripture,

“Then the Lord is gracious unto [her], and saith, Deliver [her] from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
[Her] flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: [she] shall return to the days of [her] youth:
[She] shall pray unto God, and He will be favourable unto [her]: and [she] shall see His face with joy: for He will render unto man His righteousness.
He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.” (Job 33:24-28).

But that is not all. Daily, as she returns to life, and as she visits her benefactor often in his home, paralyzed but contented in her restoration, she increasingly comprehends the great sacrifice he made for her. She also realizes that his car wreck was God’s providential answer to their prayer.

Her friend must lose his life for her to gain hers. He must willingly submit to the all-wise, divine solution which is to reveal justice and mercy. There can be no mercy in His universe without justice being meted out—no true grace without pain and suffering, no salvation from sin without a substitutionary sacrifice.
                                                               
Now she suffers with her donor. Grief and shock daily overcome her. She wishes that the obligation due him could be resolved and that her disease wracked body could return. But her flush of health is permanent now. There is no going back. She must live a life imprisoned to the heavy responsibility to her deliverer. There is no shaking the new reality, and more and more fully her pride and self-centeredness suffer in the intensely suffocating environment of grace.

Daily she learns of salvation. Daily she is crucified with Christ, and never can be released from Him. Daily she become like Him.

Death for life, Pt. 2

The woman looked young again. Her bloated face lost the water retention and her body resumed its normally filled-out, beautiful petiteness. But within her heart raged an austerity that nothing except love could console. Each visit to her true friend and life saver perpetuated the pervasive void of self-exaltation and self-indulgence. She was emptied of self and this divinely-made program ensured that she would not fall again into selfishness.

Then, one day as the man lay meditating on the goodness of God and on His word, the urge came to wiggle his big toe. So he bent his will to do that and, to his great joy, he could see the sheet move. When his wife came in to speak to him, he showed her his toe. Hope sprang up in her and they rejoiced together.

A year later he was hobbling stiffly between furniture and doorways and his wife was taking him on walks outdoors. Within two years he was moving about weakly but fully functionally. By the third year he returned to his work.

Now nothing could break the bond between the young healed woman and the older healed man, especially after their suffering had ended. They had passed through a difficulty together. Forever would they be bound. She might relocate to the other end of the world, but her natural born pride would remain stanched. As also would his.

The purpose for all of God’s plans is the end product of “charity out of a pure heart.” (1Tim. 1:5). Since the beginning, Providence has used tragedy to break through the concrete-like barrier that man has had toward God and His righteousness. “Death Reigned” (Rom. 5:14) has been God’s subtle and all-wise antidote to shock and transform man’s haughty and hardened disposition.

What we need more than life and health is death to our self- sufficiency. We need this salvation today and will throughout eternity. Our health and life depend on humility and the willingness to forget self, to forgive our enemies, to give and be spent on others.

This is righteousness; this is God’s righteousness, His character and His will for creation. His righteousness is born of love for His creatures; His righteousness and love, His justice and mercy, always flow out of Him together, blended homogenously. Only sinful man, of all the creatures in this world, operates on the aberrant policy of “me first and foremost.”

We could never have escaped this self-directed, self-destructive mindset, built into us by inheritance unless we might see by inescapable revelation the suffering that our sinful mindset brings to God. Only when we are forced to look upon the pains He has endured—and even more so, the pains He has suffered to save us—does our love of sin, love of pride, flee from us.

We must peer into the blinding conviction of the price that God has paid to have mercy toward us in our faultiness and arrogant destruction to those around us. Our faults and short-comings slay Him. He could have performed our duties infinitely perfectly, yet He must endure with our grievous imperfection; and on top of all that, our arrogance and insolence in the face of His offer of forgiveness and acceptance, is almost more that He can bear. So He has appealed to advocacy in His Son. None other than the Son, and not even His imperfect holy angels can settle the Father’s pain and wrath toward our sinfulness.

But He endures the pain; He sacrifices self because that’s what righteousness is and righteousness is what the Father loves to do and to see. There is no self-sacrifice without pain. There can be no grace without the sacrifice of self; therefore, there is no grace without feeling the pangs of death. When one trespasses another, someone must die; it’s the eternal law. Either the trespasser dies, which would execute justice; or the victim dies, which, though sad as it is, deals grace to the trespasser. But a death will take place. It must. Either we, the victimizer, die or God, the sinner’s Victim, dies.

God’s grace, “grace that will cover all my sin,” as we sing it, comes at a great cost to Him. We need to never forget this. Though it comes freely from God, it does not come free from Him. He freely gives it to us, oh yes, He loves to give it; but it comes heavy with cost to His soul. As Christ rejoiced to suffer while hanging on the cross, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2), so does God love to be gracious, even in the eternal living death that He suffers in the presence of sin.

This makes the angelic hosts surrounding the throne sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Lk. 2:14;Rev. 5:13).

Thus, the placement of a High Priest and a sanctuary. That we might comprehend the depth of our sin and the atrocity of our killing God’s Spirit in comparison to His holiness and purity and accepting our wrath toward Him; that we might conceptualize the price of His death in order for Him to legally, and in propriety, accomplish our forgiveness and reconciliation to Him, the heavenly sanctuary triage unit was put in place.

The Law that was given “because of transgressions,” (Gal. 3:19) has always stood as the herald of God’s pain in contradistinction to the degeneracy of the man who is willing to see that that Law is the door into grace if said sinner would look into it and continue therein. Then he could sense the pain of God; then he would be crucified with God and be counted worthy of justification. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” (Ps. 103:13). Through the sanctuary and the Law, God “might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26).

God has forewarned, that He “will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” And, “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me.” (Ex. 34:7;20:5).

But He will be “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,” “shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.” (Ex. 34:6,7;20:6).