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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, February 14, 2012

Disciplining the saints

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Rom. 3:10).

God’s children have access to a power that can keep them from falling into self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. The gift of the Holy Spirit comes from Christ and brings the faith of Jesus, and in that faith a profound peace that provides the atmosphere for receiving His robe of righteousness. But that robe only covers, it does not replace our fallen nature; it covers an inherited and perpetual, natural sinfulness that will always exist, and more often than we like will call to us to reinstate its supremacy over the robe of Christ’s righteousness, until we are changed at Christ’s return—the glorious blessed hope. But until then, self will always present a contention with the Spirit of God.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” “Jesus.” (Rom. 7:18,19,24,25). Christ’s righteousness is able to keep us from falling and help us grow in grace; but, no sooner do we leave Him, than we fall prey to sin. When it comes to righteousness, without Him we can do nothing.

Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So you may say, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Steps to Christ, p. 62.

Everyone of us will probably need some disciplining by “tutors and governors” along the narrow path to eternal life. “The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” (Gal. 4:1,2). But who are the “tutors and governors” that give the discipline? God has His representatives to do this; but so does Satan. Then how can we know the difference between God’s and Satan’s people so that we can “refuse the evil, and choose the good”? (Is. 7:15).

Christ’s servants are convicting; and their power is in their heaven-born words. Satan’s servants have no conviction, they flee from convicting truth and love; therefore their power consists of abusive force. Lacking love for the erring they resort to their hatred and anger. Yet, they believe they are doing the work of the Lord. “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. … Because they have not known the Father, nor Me.” (Jn. 16:2,3). Their “God” is really Baal, or Satan. The have the Mark of the beast in their forehead, as the devil’s attributes are all that they can manifest.

Satan has convinced them that God has entrusted them with divine retribution. They have been so long without knowing the grace of Christ that they have no mercy to mingle with their “truth” and “justice.” They have blindly overlooked scriptures that condemn their spirit. “He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (Jas. 2:13). “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. 5:7). “For 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).

“Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art His disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.
We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this Fellow, we know not from whence He is.
The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence He is, and yet He hath opened mine eyes.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth.
Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.
If this man were not of God, He could do nothing.
They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.” (Jn. 9:28-34).

Although the Pharisees thought so highly of themselves, they were really in a worse condition than the ones they despised. The publicans were less bigoted and self-sufficient, and thus were more open to the influence of truth. Jesus said to the rabbis, “Go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.” Thus He showed that while they claimed to expound the word of God, they were wholly ignorant of its spirit. Desire of Ages p. 275.

The modern Pharisees take up the work of condemning sin, but they only condemn the sinner. To profess obedience to the letter, but break the spirit, is to be disloyal to God’s kingdom. Thus, they hate sinners but love sin which they pretend to detest. They break the last six commandments in the effort to enforce the first four.

This is how the Man of Sin became so dreadful and persecuting. In his eyes we see stolid indifference toward sinners or saints. We see determination to stamp out heresy without an erg of warmth in the heart, destroying truth that Satan dubbed heresy. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Is. 5:20). Satan has control of those who have lost mercy and has deluded them.

To the apostolic church when it was slipping away, it was written, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev. 2:4,5). After centuries of backsliding, the church kept up the outward works, but completely lost the first works of friendship building with Jesus and thus became a persecuting power. Later He had to say, “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” (vs. 19). So, the Lord removed the Church’s candlestick out of his place.

These unloving, merciless agents of Satan often have a fair front. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matt. 7:15). They use the law and the high standard from the same spirit that the murderer has in his revenge. Satan controls both murderer and Pharisee in the same cord of vanity. They both bruise and destroy, rather than save. They are quick to call down the fire of God to burn up their enemies; they do not recognize their harbored satanic spirit. They pride themselves when their force, control, and wrath bring success.

“Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jer. 14:14). These prophets wrought great wickedness. “For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 6:13-15).

“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.” (Jer. 23:21). “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.…
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption.” (2Pet. 2:2,17-19).

They “have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.” (1Tim. 1:6-8). And they are misguided. But they hear not the words of the law, neither are sanctified by the truths, that are barbs of conviction aimed at them. “What mean ye that ye beat My people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.” (Is. 3:15). They do like their master who “ruled the nations in anger,” “who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke.” (Is. 14:6).

Despite their confidence in a job well-done, Christ disowns them because they are doing the work of the enemy. “Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:23). “I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity.” (Lk. 13:27). They made the Law Satan’s tool to strengthen sin, rather than God’s tool to release from sin its captives. “If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me.” (Deut. 32:41).

Being the workers of iniquity, the Pharisees are the sorcerers who deceive and lead people into sin and into Satan’s power. “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Mal. 3:5).

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.” (Is. 11:1,3,4).

God gives His vengeance for no man to wield. No angel or man can be trusted with divine vengeance. But Satan thirsts for it, so he designs a system of earthly intolerance, centralizing power so that he can have unrestricted dispensation of his satanic wrath. He convinces men that he is God and that his wrath is necessary for the cleansing of sinners. This horrific situation of the Dark Ages is coming together again even now, the Image of the Beast, the reinstatement of the Son of Perdition, in the resurgence of the Inquisitions of the past. All who have never bowed to Christ’s mercy and God’s love will be swept up in a satanic intolerance when the judgments of God begin to fall. False Christs and false prophets will be everywhere, and increasing as the world falls apart and the devils convince humanity that the cause of nature’s upheavals comes from the heretical Sabbath keepers whose peacefulness is a “savour of life unto life,” which they see not as the divine nature, but, in their stark fears and perplexity and delusion, they see a “savour of death unto death.” (2Cor. 2:16).

These Jehu’s of today prefigure the final wicked in the earth. They have not removed the beam in their own eye—the lack of conversion and surrender to the love of Christ. Therefore they have no mercy when working with others to remove the dust speck from their eye. They have refused to wrestle with God in faith and receive His blessing, therefore they don’t know God, and they only know to wrestle with flesh and blood.

The true prophets are persecuted. “Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee?” (1Ki. 22:2). But, the false prophets are rewarded. “Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1Ki. 18:19).

“Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.
Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.” (Jer.38:4-6).

The Pharisee gets upset at people who don’t behave according to his standard.
“Verily I say unto you,…But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:47-51).

Even Moses became a Pharisee during a lapse of abiding in Christ.
“And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as He commanded him.
And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.” (Num. 20:9-11). “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:19).

In the near future, the established church will be a madhouse, a unified world confederated against God and this Holy Spirit. It will be a habitation of devils, every mind the abode of demons, every fiber of their being captive to the will of the enemy of enemies. Religion, the gift of God, will be wrested from the Father and harnessed by the spirit of darkness and then great religion will end up the hold of every foul spirit, a prison that never frees its wretched victims. Vanity and vexation will be their inescapable enslavement. But the religious confederacy will be only a thinly veiled mask for satanic intolerance which will pervade the hearts of the world that despised the gospel’s offer of peace through surrender to God’s law and grace.

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My spirit.” (Joel 2:28,29).

God will have people authorized to reprove the sin of the world. “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” (2Chron. 20:20).

Jesus has His designated spokespersons whom He has sanctified, and made humble and loving. “And he [Zedekiah] did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord.
And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” (2Chron. 36:12,15,16). “He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.” (2Chron. 24:19).

But His future prophets will have struggled and overcome sin, for the end of the world will have made itself evident to the entire race. There will be no mistaking the disfavor of the Creator. In that time Judgment Day will be a rapidly approaching reality. Every face will gather paleness, every soul will be shaken. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:2,3). A special work of purification will have been their work, as they will have surrendered to God’s Law and grace and will see what no one else could see―the rapidly approaching day of judgment. Now, purified with the character of Christ perfectly reproduced in them, the Holy Spirit places upon them the unpleasant duty of warning the foul church of its lost condition. Hearts of tenderest pity will firmly rebuke the ruined world of religionists, a terrible ordeal for these servants of God, but a task forcibly laid on them by Spirit. They must obey the commission. And Jesus helps them with His Spirit of Prophecy.

Likewise, multitudes of false prophets and Pharisees will come out of the woodwork, exerting great effort to force people to be good and to behave, in order to save the false prophets and Pharisees and the whole world.

“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Rev. 18:2,3).

Their pity will stem from their memories of the painful process they endured while denying sinful practices which was like cutting off a hand or a foot. Only the cross of Christ and the grace streaming from it was their guiding light through that crucifying experience. They know the blessed reward of following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, and they dare not spare not their voices to show people their sins, to call sin by its right name, and to call His remnant out of the world-wide system of sin. Their humility and pitying tenderness and powerful testimony for the truth will catch the ear of many who have sunken into iniquity but yearn for deliverance. Scattered throughout the wicked world religion, they will heed the call to come out of Babylon. An innumerable multitude will stand with the 144,000, who “shall shine as the brightness of the firmament” and “as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan. 12:3). “The Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Is. 60:2). The love of God, His powerful truth and grace, has prevailed.

“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.” (Is. 49:24,25).

For many years I’ve spoken without grace to others. But while I could be vehement against others, I would run and hide when others were vehement toward me. But the Lord has been gracious to me and is teaching me to be gentler; and I want to pass that graciousness on to others who are also caught in this son-of-thunder-“burn-them-all-up” syndrome.

The scriptures give us the true mind and heart which God develops in His servants.
“And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt Thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:23-25).

Despite all that the people did to mock and abuse the prophets, the prophets still loved the people, even to the point of death.
“How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!” (Lam. 4:1,2).

Isaiah said, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Is. 50:6).

Jeremiah said, “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.” (Lam. 3:27-30).

Ezekiel said, “And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?” (Ez. 9:8).

After years of carrying the heavy burden of rebuke and very little good news for them, Jeremiah finally heard a good promise of God’s restoration of His humbled people, “I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (Jer. 31:25). Jeremiah had a good night sleep with that precious promise of love from the Lord concerning a future for the people Jeremiah loved but who didn’t love him. “Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.” (vs. 26).


“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.51:9-11).

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