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

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rich promises for the poor in spirit

“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called.
For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by Me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.” (Is. 54:1-17).

These were promises to Israel after God would punish them in Assyria and Babylon. The book of Isaiah is full of both forecasts of the punishment and then of the windfall of blessings that would come to those who saw justice and mercy in the punishment and repented.

“Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.
There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.
These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God.
Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that My people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and My name continually every day is blasphemed.
Therefore My people shall know My name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak: behold, it is I.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.
Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.
For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.” (Is. 51:17-52:12).

These promises were for the people who returned with Zerubabel and Joshua the High Priest and Zechariah and Haggai the prophets. Then was the even greater revival under Nehemiah and Ezra, “the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven.” (Ezra 7:21).

But the great event of captivity did not end with Babylon. Rather it would span five more centuries and three more pagan empires ruling over them, drawing the Jews away from the great revival under Ezra and Nehemiah, corrupting them and dominating the world. Isaiah’s warning and promises foretold all this.

“And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.
And He said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.
Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose thee.
Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.
And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted.
But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.
Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.
Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.
For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.
The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.
Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up Mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up My standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” (Is. 49:5-26).

“And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then said I, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.” (Is. 6:9-13).

“And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.
And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him.
Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.
And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first He lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Is. 8:14-9:7).

These last verses are quoted by Matthew, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.…
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them.
And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.” (Matt. 4:14-25). And Matthew applied them to the marvelous revival of John and Christ.

We can say that Paul finished the revival by bringing the gospel to the Gentiles. He quotes Isaiah 52:7 when speaking of the Early Rain of the Holy Spirit and the missionary work resulting from it. “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom. 10:12-15). Glad tidings means gospel.

And there is another application to Isaiah’s dual message. It has apocalyptic aspects also; it is for our day.

“My righteousness is near; My salvation is gone forth, and Mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon Me, and on Mine arm shall they trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but My salvation shall be for ever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished.
Hearken unto Me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but My righteousness shall be for ever, and My salvation from generation to generation.
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?
Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
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. 51:5-11).

“The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
Lift you up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
I have commanded My sanctified ones, I have also called My mighty ones for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness.
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land.
Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.
And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.” (Is. 13:1-14).

In light of this, these prophecies of Daniel are very significant.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Dan. 9:24).

While Satan would contest every inch of Christ’s advance in redeeming a race of people from sin, the promise is that the vision of Satan’s continuous harassment and devouring of God’s people during the Christian era-would end with the final end of sin. For the next 2,500 years there would be warfare between Christ and Satan with the rise of the “vile person” of Daniel 11:21 and the adversary’s establishment of the abomination of desolation. “But tidings out of the east and out of the north” would bring and end to Satan’s unyielding domination. (Dan. 11:44).

The key to receiving the last revival is revealed in Dan. 12:5-7. Again the question is asked, “how long?” And the answer comes, “It shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when He shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” (Dan. 12:7).

Laying verses 6 and 7 over Rev. 10:5-7 we see that Daniel’s visions of the great controversy—the mystery of God—would end at the sounding of the 7th trumpet in Rev. 11:15. Just preceding this we see the Latter Rain revival in verses 11-13 that follows another conquest and subjugation by Satan over God’s people.

But notice what Daniel heard. “When he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” (Dan. 12:7). This scattering of our power is the key to our reception of the Latter Rain. It’s all in God’s hands and He is doing it now while we live in this modern Babylon and it will intensify as Christian America continues to grow more and more oppressive around the world and increasingly dictatorial to its own people.

When we have nothing left in ourselves to depend on and all of our own power to fight our sins and the tempter is finally cleansed and Christ alone is our strength, then He will have His church fully looking to His righteousness and reflecting His character perfectly.

It’s the same scenario that has played out through the ages, each time Christ raising the bar for the sanctification of His people with Moses, David, Ezra, and finally the Son of God Himself.

In Ellen White’s Review and Herald, January 12, 1869 vision of the Adventists on the path to the holy city, she saw the intense pressure that full dependence on God caused His people.

My husband was just before me. The large drops of sweat were falling from his brow. The veins in his neck and temples were increased to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never felt before. A fearful struggle was before us. If we failed here, all the difficulties of our journey had been experienced for naught. Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a beautiful field of green grass, about six inches high. I could not see the sun, but bright, soft beams of light, resembling fine gold and silver, were resting on this field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare in beauty and glory with this field.
But could we succeed in reaching it? was the anxious inquiry. Should the cord break, we must perish. Again, in whispered anguish, the words were breathed, “What holds this cord?” For a moment we hesitated to venture. Then we exclaimed, “Our only hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our dependence all the difficult way. It will not fail us now.” Still we were hesitating and distressed. The words were then spoken, “God holds the cord. We need not fear.” These words were then repeated by those behind us, accompanied with, “He will not fail us now. He has brought us thus far safely.”


That describes the good work that the scattering of our power will produce on us. When it is over we will rest in an eternal Sabbath. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Heb. 4:9-11). We will know Christ’s example, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth.” (Jn. 5:19,20). “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:4,5).

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