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

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Protestantism taken captive by Babylon

 These two sayings go together.
 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.” (Psa. 53:1).

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jer. 17:5).

Then there is a third verse as their corollary.

 “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.” (Psa. 2:4,5).

The Lord blesses and the Lord takes away. He sets up nations and empires and puts them down again. All this because, once He has blessed them due to their obedience to His commandments, they listen to the tempter, and take the credit for all of God’s gifts and achievements.

When they were small in their own eyes, they were happy to know that the God of heaven loved to provide for them. They saw His loving-kindness and mercy on their grievous weakness and corruption. They saw the excellence in modesty and humility and temperance. Self-centeredness was warred against. Their hearts were subdued and their families were more or less calmed by mutual grace. Fathers and mothers gave honor to one another “as being heirs together of the grace of life.” The tribe or village was “of one mind, having compassion one of another,” loving “as brethren, … pitiful, … courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that …. thereunto [they were] called, that [they] should inherit a blessing.” (1Pet. 3:7-9).

Then, the arch-destroyer leads the prosperous nation to stop thanking God for all of His mercies. Before long, a generation arises that never knew the former holy, humble fathers. The blessings of God continue to roll in because He loves to send His sunshine and rain upon all. But, He not only loves to be merciful, He also loves to be just. He loves to see judgment in the earth, and He knows that His blessings will be counted as the product of that foolish generation’s great wisdom and innate worthiness.

Even if they don’t say there is no God of heaven, they still believe it. Their sterile, lawless lives demonstrate their rank unbelief which rises before God as an unsavory sacrifice to themselves. Therefore He lets His gift-giving abound so that that generation may know that they are but men. They become drunk with success and materialism, and imperialistic dreams take possession of them; they live in a stupor as the luxuries and wealth flow in from the world around them, which they have enslaved.

“Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.” (Jer. 25:27).

The fear of God is forever stricken from their minds. As Nineveh humbled itself before God at the preaching of the prophet Jonah, but which a century later had to be totally annihilated for its mad aggression against God and man, each nation that has followed the same course has been destroyed.

We see this in the Persian and Greek empires. Yet, because they refrained from taking the glory of God to the fullest extent, an extreme such as Babylon did, “they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” (Dan. 7:12). But Babylon, because it so allowed Satan to control it and to fully instill in it rebellion against God and oppression of the world, was so totally destroyed that nothing was left of it, forever. This is a message for our generation.

“Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD.
I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.
The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
That I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.” (Isa. 14:21-25). 

“This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.” (Zeph. 2:1).

“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.
And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.” (Isa. 13:19-22).

Satan is again let loose and on the rampage, as he did through Babylon. This is why Babylon is seen in prophecy at the very end of time, making a stand against Christ when He returns. Mysterious and wicked, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5) has returned and has taken the whole world into its snare.

Multitudes are deceived with regard to Babylon’s intentions. Its terrorism mimics the past marauding of the Assyrians and Chaldeans.

“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.
They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.
They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.
And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.” (Hab. 1:5-10).

“This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.
For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isa. 14:26,27).

“Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against His people, and He hath stretched forth His hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.
And He will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:
None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:
Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:
Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.
And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.” (Isa. 5:25-30).

Why this plague? “Because they despised My judgments, and because their soul abhorred My statutes.” (Lev. 26:43).

“Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and He shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until He have destroyed thee.” (Deut. 28:47,48).

“I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men.” (Deut. 32:26). “And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass.” (Lev.26:19). “The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until He have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.” (Deut. 28:21).
“And shall consume the glory of His forest, and of His fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.
And the rest of the trees of His forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.” (Isa.10:18-23). 

“For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?...
Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant.
Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.” (Isa. 14:27-31).

“And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when He held up His right hand and His left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that 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).

Just exactly as the prophets cried out concerning the coming desolating powers of multiple empires robbing the earth of faith and godliness—Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, we have seen a replica desolating power, “that bitter and hasty nation,” taking control of humanity, dismantling constitutional democratic principles and eroding the restrictions and the freedoms of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Satan has made war against God’s people ever since the days when the Lord freed him to do so in 1849 which began the 5th and 6th trumpets. When the Protestant peoples fully rejected the Bible, then it could be said of them, “They despised My judgments, and…their soul abhorred My statutes.” Because they rejected the biblical truth that Jesus was coming in judgment in 1844, then Satan was permitted to destroy their beautiful and holy construct, the United States Constitution.

Now this nation no longer bears the peaceful “two horns like a lamb” (Rev. 13:11), our Republicanism and Protestantism. Rather, we are fully owned and operated by Babylon, and it is now happening as was formerly spoken of us, “he spake as a dragon”—that is, the Devil, and Satan.” (Rev. 13:11;12:9). The wars and rumor of wars will continue into a deafening crescendo. That crescendo will be the roaring drunkenness of despotic perdition of a unified mankind.
“Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?” (Jer. 2:21). We willingly abandoned the Law of God, why should we merit the wonderful Constitution He gave our honorable forefathers?

Atheism and secularism have taken this whole world into its delusion. Even the best of the human race are captivated. We are drunken with our past successes and filled with ambitions and lusts for the future. Therefore, God has allowed us to repudiate the covenant He gave this world in Protestantism and Republican Democracy. Through a series of world wars and more recent “emergencies,” all of which have been choreographed by the Chaldeans and carried out by Babylonians that have permeated the highest levels of our government and military, denominations and financial organizations, media and science, the Protestant peoples to whom God gave this land of milk and honey are quickly giving up their land and freedoms. God is scattering the power of His holy people.

They have sold their soul. They have denied the holy message from heaven, codified in the holy Bible, written by holy men of God moved by the Holy Ghost and preserved by others who laid down their lives so that we can have it. When He said that we are corrupted by sin, the past two or three generations have bitten into the ancient lie that says that we are basically good. When He has proven Himself as Creator of nature, these generations have disallowed God and His existence, especially so have these latest generations.

Far, far from the God of their forefathers have they fallen away. Who are we now to claim, “God bless America”? The message to both Protestant Evangelicals and boastful American skeptics alike, is, “For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord GOD.” (Jer. 2:22).

They have been drinking wildly at the wine of Babylon, and are daring God to overthrow them. “Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods He hath broken unto the ground.” (Isa. 21:9). “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Isa. 13:19).

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1Thess. 5:2,3).

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
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.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2Pet. 3:3-10).

“Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you.
Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded;
But ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me:
For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
They would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof.
Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” (Prov. 1:20-33). 

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?
Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken Me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken Me, and have not kept My law;
and ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto Me:
Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.” (Jer. 16:9-13).

 The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ.-- R. and H., 1890, No. 7
Satan's snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people.--T., No. 31, p. 156.  HL 280. 

     Satan's snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people. Lightness, vanity, love of ease and pleasure, selfishness, and impurity are increasing among us. There is need now of men who are firm and fearless in declaring the whole counsel of God; men who will not sleep as do others, but watch and be sober. Knowing as I do the great lack of holiness and power with our ministers, I am deeply pained to see the efforts for self-exaltation. If they could but see Jesus as He is, and themselves as they are, so weak, so inefficient, so unlike their Master, they would say: If my name may be written in the obscurest part of the book of life, it is enough for me, so unworthy am I of His notice.  Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 160.
“In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:
For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.
Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
And they rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
For He rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.
For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
Until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.”
“With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, Him shall ye fear, and Him shall ye worship, and to Him shall ye do sacrifice.
And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which He wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.
And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.
But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and He shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.” (2Ki. 17:6-23,35-40).

The Lord has almost fully accomplished to scatter the power of His holy people. To completed that scattering or shaking, all we need now is one more 911 and Waco; and it is just around the corner.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Second email

    Faith and Works in Salvation--1878.-- All your good works cannot save you; but it is nevertheless impossible for you to be saved without good works. Every sacrifice made for Christ will be for your eternal gain.--The Review and Herald, March 21, 1878.
     Trust in Christ Essential--1879.--Christ has been loved by you, although your faith has sometimes been feeble and your prospects confused. But Jesus is your Saviour. He does not save you because you are perfect, but because you need Him and in your imperfection have trusted in Him. Jesus loves you, my precious child. You may sing, “Under the shadow of Thy throne Still may we dwell secure; Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.”--Letter 46, 1879.
     Works of Righteousness Weighed in the Judgment-- 1881.--Ministers sometimes tell the people that they have nothing to do but believe; that Jesus has done it all, and their own works are nothing. But the Word of God plainly states that in the Judgment the scales will be balanced accurately, and the decisions will be based on the evidence adduced.
     One man becomes ruler of ten cities, another of five, another of two, each man receiving exactly in proportion to the improvement he has made on the talents entrusted to his keeping. Our efforts in works of righteousness, in our own behalf and for the salvation of souls, will have a decided influence on our recompense.--The Review and Herald, Oct. 25, 1881.
     Ellen White’s Only Hope in Christ--1881.--In my recent bereavement, I have had a near view of eternity. I have, as it were, been brought before the great white throne, and have seen my life as it will there appear. I can find nothing of which to boast, no merit that I can plead.    
“Unworthy, unworthy of the least of Thy favors, O my God,” is my cry. My only hope is in a crucified and risen Saviour. I claim the merits of the blood of Christ. Jesus will save to the uttermost all who put their trust in Him.--The Review and Herald, Nov. 1, 1881.
     Strive for Perfection of Character--1882.--We can never see our Lord in peace, unless our souls are spotless. We must bear the perfect image of Christ. Every thought must be brought into subjection to the will of Christ. As expressed by the great apostle, we must come “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” We shall never attain to this condition without earnest effort. We must strive daily against outward evil and inward sin, if we would reach the perfection of Christian character.--The Review and Herald, May 30, 1882. Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 147, 348.

  As you can see, Mrs. White had a whole different approach to the science of salvation than Elder Venden took. They are not contradictory, but complimentary. They sound at odds with one another, but are no less in unity than Paul and Moses, who sounded miles apart, so that even the Protestant denominations concluded that they could not co-exist and “Moses had to go. He was only for the Jews. Now we can really rejoice in living without the Law! Yipee!”

  Not to treat this too lightly, I’ve often heard this sentiment, and also that SDAs are a cult because they want to keep the Law. But, the Law is still in effect. This is easily deduced by seeing what happens when the Law is disregarded—the results are lawlessness, unChristlikeness, disease, and death. This was the very thing the Advent movement was raised by God to fight against. We were to call people out of this. The laws of morality are just as binding as the natural laws. Jump off the Golden Gate Bridge and you die. Disregard the moral Law, which is holy and just and good, and you end up with a society like the world was before the flood and ready for the Lord to destroy it. Introduce foreign substances into the body and cancer appears.

  Just because God makes provision for faith and grace doesn’t change the consequences to disobedience one iota. He can only save from disease and death through obedience or the willingness to be changed, which leads to conversion and to a new life of obedience to the moral and natural laws. So, the consequences of disobedience bark at us and nip at our heals and chase us in order to give us a need of a Savior. We search high and low for Him, and if we really need Him, we will find Him when we have searched for Him with all of our heart. And when we get to Him, we hide behind Him and grow to be like Him because He teaches us. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal 3:24).

  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Is he the God of the [self-righteous] Jews only? is He not also of the [unrighteous] Gentiles ? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 
Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Rom. 3:24-31).

  So, justification/conversion/the new-birth, leads us to establish obedience to God.
  Mrs. White said things like: “Sinful man can find hope and righteousness only in God, and no human being is righteous any longer than he has faith in God and maintains a vital connection with Him.” She understood the essentiality of faith as the means to receive power to obey.

  Yet, she was inspired to keep the ramifications of disobedience before our minds because Christ knew the deceitfulness of the sinful human heart and its desperate wickedness. He knew that the only way for us to have genuine conversion, the real article, we must be put under duress and be shocked out of moral apathy and into spiritual awakeness. He lets us get swamped in trouble and fear, if only our hearts will open to Him and we will abandon our pride and stubborn resistance to His example. Then the Holy Spirit is sent to change our heart and nature, and to leave peace.
  Your brother,

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hi C_____

  Elder Venden has said that keeping the law won’t save me but it will keep me out of jail. In other words, being a law abiding Christian may help me avoid the consequences of sin in this world but it doesn’t make me a child of God. This is an important understanding because the world is full of moral people who will lose out on eternity. The church is full of them also. The Latter Rain will reclaim many in the churches who believed that their moral, upstanding life equated to salvation and guaranteed acceptance with God. But many, very many will not want a kind of acceptance that calls for total surrender to God, down to the deepest issues of the heart. They will cling to an external religion only. That is acceptable to the world, which they love more than God.

 How does this relate to smoking and its cessation? To give up smoking, or surrendering the cigarette, is no different from surrendering any other sin—lying, cheating, not returning a tithe, etc.  It’s all sin. And to do like the world in making New Year resolutions or behavior modification or setting a drop dead date for cessation and taking a week’s running start to get the psychological momentum up for the misery involved in nicotine withdrawals, is all righteousness by works, that is,  righteousness by our own works. (Boy, I probably just blew a big hole in your plans.)

  Elder Venden didn’t say not to do what it takes to stay out of jail. And in your case I’m not telling you not to do whatever it takes to prevent lung cancer or emphysema. But, I will say that if the Holy Spirit, the power of the Highest hasn’t totally removed your desire to smoke, then you don’t have the true gift of God in that victory. And the true victory over sins will leave Jesus all through our thinking, perfusively thankful to Him who alone could do such a miracle as remove the desire. The soul will be running on a perpetual high. In new ways at each victory of His in us the Son of God will be born in us. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luk. 1:35).

  Bear this in mind. It’s something to really think about and to pray about and to strive over. One of the reasons the Lord brought Israel into trouble so many times was to teach them about this thing of total dependence, which is so evasive to the sinner.

  “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.
And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee.
And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isa. 30:15-21).

  This total surrender is not an easy thing to obtain. This is why so few are ever saved. But, the Lord has brought you out of much trouble and intends to continue that program for you. And He will do that through delivering you from the dangers of sin as you continue to keep close to Him and make yourself available to His Spirit. That is the key to true smoking cessation. In the meantime, you can try to stop and hold your breath for a month, drinking lots of water to flush out the nicotine, walking and willing yourself to stay away from those cancer sticks. I’m not stopping you from that because I don’t want you languishing in a hospital full of cancer or without the strength to breathe or the inability for your lungs to remove oxygen from the air and dying of oxygen deprivation.

  But, if that horror is what it would take for you to experience the deepest surrender to Jesus and pure trust in Him, such as happens when we are totally going under the waves and billows of death, I’d be the happiest.

  G____, my good friend in Georgia, a previous heavy smoker and drinker, ended up in our church because she saw her sister die of some gruesome disease. But at the last moment, just before passing away, her sister sat her devastated body up in bed, reached up her bony arms to heaven and cried out to the hospital room ceiling, “Jesus, I’m coming to you!” Her sister did what was impossible for her body to do, and that demonstration of faith glorified the Lord and blew my friend away. Like Saul of Tarsus after witnessing the total surrender of Stephen at his stoning, G_____ couldn’t shake that scene from your mind, and finally gave in to it.

  If you are too late to survive the consequences of sin and end up caught in the grip of a horrible cancer and you die of cancer, but your total helplessness has taught you total surrender, then you will die in perfect peace and your faith may save C____ and your mother and M___. This is what Christ went through on the cross, and why His Father had Him go through that experience. It is the very identical experience of all who come to Him. They must be at the very tipity-tip end of their own resources. They must know total and complete lack of self-controlled self-control. That’s what Jesus had on the cross, especially at the last moments as He sunk into shock and unconsciousness, but clinging to surrender to God and His love and righteousness. His Father had taken away from His Son the sense of His presence, which was everything—everything—to the Son of God. Secondarily, Christ’s love for humanity was uppermost in His being. His self was forgotten; no attention did Jesus place on His own survival or He would have called to His Father for the twelve legions of angels to come and take Him home.

  But He wanted to go through what we go through, to demonstrate for our sake that He personally knows what we go through. He also wanted us to know that He has always experienced the dying and death that it takes to bring us to surrender, even if we can’t conceive that His sorrow for the existence of sin and its oppression of His children has crucified Him and His Father since sin’s very inception. And our desperate reaching out to God in the darkness of sin and death He also experienced, not only at the pouring out of His soul when He offered Himself up, but throughout His life, every day the presence of sin reinforced His desperate connecting with His Father. What He had every day from His conception, we often only have a few times in life when we are in desperate circumstances. But as we look to the driven heart of Jesus to have intimate association with His Father, we are driven to have the same.

  Conversely, if we missed that total surrender and faith, even if we survived a cancer or successfully overcame the cancer stick by conventional human methods, we lost everything, everything. And this Satan is banking on. He knows the sinner’s drive to save self from death. And he knows that we will give up salvation for that. And in the tenuous reception of salvation, the devil uses many sidetracks to prevent any sinner from getting the gift of God. That gift comes through total surrender and trust, and even accepting a human method to overcome sin will usurp the work of God, in which He often uses through tragedy, to finally bring us to the real victory.

  Fight the good fight of faith, strive to get with Jesus for His total salvation package: His removal of the guilt of our sin, His power over our sin, and, one day, His removing us from the presence of sin; and don’t let anything, even modern humanistic behavior modification steal your salvation from you.

Love you, sister,

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I looked for love

“Just coming to Christ—apart from growing in Him—involves a process. The first step is a desire for something better. We may not even recognize this desire as having anything to do with God. We may simply desire a better car or better job or better grade point average. But God has placed within each heart a reaching out for something more.
  The second step in coming to Christ is to gain a knowledge of what it is that’s better. Through the Scripture, through the testimony of other Christians, through the working of the Holy Spirit upon the heart, we learn of the plan of salvation, God’s answer to the emptiness of the human heart.
  The third step in coming to Christ is the conviction that we are sinners. We are convicted of our condition—not merely of sinful behavior. As we gain a knowledge of God’s love, we realize how little we have valued it. We recognize that we have lived independently of Him. We see our desperate condition and realize our need of His salvation.
  The fourth step in coming to Christ is the realization that we are helpless to do anything at all about our condition. Young people especially may teeter for years between steps 3 and 4, recognizing that they are sinners, but not yet admitting that they cannot help themselves out of their condition.
  Finally, we come to the end of our resources. When we see our helplessness, there is only one thing left to do. Give up. It’s spelled S-U-R-R-E-N-D-E-R. As we have already noticed, we cannot bring ourselves to the point of giving up. But when God has brought us there, we ourselves make the choice to give up to Him.” Morris Venden, 95 Theses, p. 91, 92.

“God doesn’t expect us to repent before we come to Christ; indeed, it would be impossible for us to do that. We come to Christ first, and then He gives us repentance. ‘It was taught by the Jews that before God’s love is extended to the sinner, he must first repent. In their view, repentance is a work by which man earns the favor of Heaven. And it was this thought that led the Pharisees to exclaim in astonishment and anger, “This Man receiveth sinners.” According to their ideas He should permit none to approach Him but those who had repented. But in the parable of the lost sheep, Christ teaches that salvation does not come through our seeking after God but through God’s seeking after us. “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way.” Rom. 3:11, 12. We do not repent in order that God may love us, but He reveals to us His love in order that we may repent.’—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 189.
  So after we come to Christ, we come to realize the deadly character of sin by beholding His love for us, and thus become willing to accept His gift of repentance.
  Repentance is not something we do, even though it’s something we do! Repentance is not our work; it is God’s work for us. But it does come before forgiveness. And if repentance precedes forgiveness, then repentance also precedes justification. ‘Whom Christ pardons, He first makes penitent.’—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 7. Acts 2:38 is clear that repentance must take place before forgiveness. ‘Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.’
  Sometimes people question the value of becoming so meticulous in trying to isolate and list in order each event in coming to Christ for salvation. It certainly isn’t so you can have a list and then check off each item as you proceed and know what to do next! But the enemy of God and man has a steady supply of misunderstandings along the way. And these can bring a barrier between us and God. If we think we are to work on righteousness or faith or surrender or repentance or obedience or any of the other gifts that God is offering to give us freely, we can miss coming to Him. And coming to Him is the only way to receive His gifts.” Ibid., p. 101,102.

I would add to Morris Venden’s clear explanation of God’s method of saving man—that the greatest gift of God is the knowledge of His love for us. So we can rephrase that last statement to say, “If we think we are to work on righteousness or faith or surrender or repentance or obedience or any of the other gifts that God is offering to give us freely, then we can miss seeing His love. And His love is the only way to receive Him.”

Is this how Jesus had such power to overcome the devil? He did not work on His righteousness or His sealing, but only to get with His Father and stay with His Father. And on the cross, the separation from His Father is what truly crucified His heart and killed Him.

Such a provision for our conversion and sanctification can only come from infinite love. So let’s go to the cross and look for love. Let’s go to the Bible and look for love in all of God’s dealing with Israel, both good and bad, in His blessings and His discipline. Let’s look for love in the Law as revealed in the yearning and broken hearts of the prophets and in the same from the Lord Himself on Sinai. The love is there.

Let’s dig for that undiminished love as for a hidden treasure. For love—ever growing divine love—is the greatest, loftiest, most powerful, wisest thing we could ever seek after. And for love, he that seeketh findeth.

I looked for love in the red rose so small,
I looked for love in the green tree so tall;
But the red rose had its thorns,
and the green tree was a cross,
and my searching for love was a total loss.

I looked for love in a friendly face so true,
I looked for love in a creed I once knew;
Well, my friend just called me friend,
and he said, “I’m searching too,”
and the creed only told me what I couldn’t do.

Then one day I heard the story of love like I’d never known.
How God gave His Son to save me and wanted me for His own. His own, His very own.

And now I know what it means to belong,
not lost in a crowd,
swept along by the throng.
But to Him who gave His life,
Every longing to fulfill,
And I know that He loves me and He always will.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The epistle of God

 We have the epistles of Paul and Peter and John, of Jude, James and the writer Hebrews. And we could say that the prophets of the Old Testament also wrote epistles, many throughout the span of their ministries.

Jesus had His own epistles which He dictated to the gospel writers via His Holy Ghost sent down from the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.

And God has given us an epistle, also. That epistle is the grandest of all epistles and the most concise—the Ten Commandment Law of God.

“And God spake all these words, saying, ‘THOU SHALT NOT…. THOU SHALT NOT…. THOU SHALT NOT….’” (Exo. 20:1-17).

The epistles of the prophets and apostles are full of warning and encouragements, truth and grace—depending on the audience, appropriately tailored to meet their need. To Israel, to the Romans, the Corinthians and Galatians, and Philemon, we hear more truth than grace. To the Ephesians and Philippians, the Colossians and the Thessalonians, and Israel in David’s day, we hear more grace than truth. The men of God discharged their role as mediators to help the people to know God and His will.

Jesus Himself, became the Son of man like the mediating prophets, full of grace and truth, the consummate Mediator between God and man.

But, when God spoke He didn’t come with grace and encouragement and mediation for man. He had no mediation to offer because He was the One who needed mediation, in order to spare sinners their due retribution. He spoke very sparingly of any promises and was non-committal in saving anyone. It was, “You will come up to My standard (or else).” He spoke in terms of pure authority, not to serve, but to be served.

Why should God speak like this, unbending, uncompromising, roaring His words deeply into the consciences of this ignorant world? “Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2). Why must He communicate this way?

“With the merciful Thou wilt shew Thyself merciful; with an upright man Thou wilt shew Thyself upright;
With the pure Thou wilt shew Thyself pure; and with the froward Thou wilt shew Thyself froward.
For Thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.” (Psa. 18:25-27).

God is to be feared. He doesn’t need to be pandered to. He doesn’t need our self-righteousness or self-manufactured worship. We need Him to save us from sin, not the other way around. Every act of true acceptable goodness never originates from us, but from Him. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights.” (Jas. 1:17).

We need to “Fear God, and give glory to Him.” (Rev. 14:7). We should “honour all men,” and “love the brotherhood.” But we must “Fear God.” (1Pet. 2:17).
“Fear God.” (Gen. 42:18).
“Fear God.” (Exo. 18:21).
“Fear God.” (Job 1:9).
“Fear God.” (Psa. 66:16).
“Fear God.” (Ecc. 8:12).
“Fear God.” (Ecc. 12:13).
“Fear God.” (Luk. 23:40).
“Fear God.” (Acts 13:16).

There can be no confusion who is the subject and who is the LORD; who desperately needs the help from whom. Therefore, when God, the all powerful Judge and King, speaks ex cathedra, He minces no words, He beats around no bush, not even a burning bush. In God’s epistle He is telling us that we are not His equal, not His peer. Our disposition is to submit to Him. We are His creatures, and His rebellious creatures at that, sinners whom He hopes to salvage from sin.

His unspoken message is that He is in charge; He will destroy sin and any sinner who comes to the end of life never having relinquishing his hold on self. Make no mistake, let there be no loopholes, no genius manipulator of His intent, no ingenious excuses for disobedience to His rule of righteousness. “Thou shalt not sin!” And He made sinlessness sound very doable. And a requirement.

That’s a lot to ask of sinners, but God was not asking. He was commanding. He wasn’t recommending, soliciting our loyalty, or suggesting anything. “You will do this, and you will do that, and that’s all I have to say.” “And by the tone of My thunders and My lightnings and the melting of magma flowing down from My mountain, hopefully you will comprehend My perfect expectations. Otherwise, you are doomed.”

Between each command He allowed His great orders to roll through the land and to echo back from the hilltops of the surrounding terrain. And, when He was finished relating His great epistle, and all of Israel—including the great Korahs, Dathans, and Abirams—were on the ground with heads covered and eyes and ears tightly shut, then He went silent because He had no commentary to make—just pure requirement and threat, clear as crystal—“Just do what I said.”

This is the language of our Creator, the Ancient of days. These are His thoughts, His will, His infinite desire. Perfection and nothing less. We will listen, or die. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8,9).

Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godlinessgodlikenessis the goal to be reached. Education, p. 18.

Christ has ever been God’s spokesperson, to reveal the austerity and suffocating expectations of the Father’s infinite yearning for perfection in heart, mind, soul, and behavior, and for His infinite suffering from beholding imperfection, even among the angelic hosts and unfallen worlds. Christ has always mingled that austere divine expectation with grace, never to lessen His Father’s need of infinite perfection, but to make it doable, over time. Grace has been the God-given provision for the means and vehicle to grow to God’s perfection.

The grace of Christ has always been complimentary to God and His Law, never destructive to it. But His grace has always also been the provision of God Himself, who understands that perfection must require growth; even as patience and grace, which facilitate perfection, are attributes that originate in Him. But by no means does His provision of grace clear the presumer upon His goodness, nor allow for any excuse for sin.

We can be thankful for God’s method in the Ten Commandments, and His form of speech. He speaks, and does not converse. He expects no discussion with Him concerning anything He says. It’s not a two way conversation. If we desire to come before Him, we must go through His Son. Through His Son’s mediation—and only through communion and conversation with His Son—we can glean the love that flows from our great Father’s heart and from His overwhelming Ten Commandments, even as the angels who live in His powerful presence and love to crowd Him.

We can suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flint; we can drink from the brook that flows from His Law of stone and be fed with the heritage of Jacob our father. For the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Disconcerting consternation and aloneness

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Gen. 2:18). The animal kingdom reveals the innermost thoughts and feelings of its Creator. Sociability, companionship, identification, union and communion describe the binding element that gives each creature peace and health and power.

“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.” (Isa. 49:15). The animal kingdom has the need for trusting relationship, but even it has its limitations. To the extent that brain power and programming can produce that need, the animals do imitate the character of God; yet, in this the human far exceeds them.

The human has faculties that barely waken in the beast. Spirituality, communion with God, the soul that longs for His acceptance and the acceptance of other humans are the special gift of God that separates man from the animal kingdom. Their need for togetherness is somewhat hardwired into their instincts, but man’s need is wireless, linked with, and controlled by, heaven.

“God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Rom. 12:3). Categorically, across the board, man is created to love and trust. It’s in our design. We are much more than a soup of amino acids and electrical current. We were designed to love, to return love to our Maker who loves us.

But God has an adversary, and hence we have an adversary. That enemy so wretchedly fumes at the beauty of God’s creation that he must continually destroy it. Love must cease to exist. Trust must go. Peace cannot pervade the land or permeate families and other groups that bind man together for various purposes. Governments of liberty must be transformed into governments of tyranny and enslavement of the masses. Body, mind, and soul must be straight-jacketed into the torment of a living death.

“Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matt. 24:12). Disobedience to God and His will is the only way Satan can control us and waste our beautiful communion between hearts. The temptation to please self, though so vastly inferior to the love to please others and God, has an appeal which the devil amplifies and fills the minds that are empty of the concept of righteousness. Though unhealthy and unwholesome, the cheap thrill of iniquity has an attraction for our already weakened tendency. And Satan is quick and prepared to woo the soul away from its blessed rest in its Creator.

But what is the result? Separation from God. The enemy of the soul conjures up a state of happiness, excitement, and future glory, and convinces the mind of his prey that his method of existence is superior, but the reality is aloneness. The loss of God cannot be masked completely by the glitz and trinkets attending self-indulgence. The God of peace no longer presides and the disconcertedness cannot be denied forever. Soon it grows into anxiety, worry, paranoia, enervation, disease, and finally, death.

“Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17). This process devised by Satan has had amazing success. “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” (Dan. 8:24). “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” (Rev. 17:6).

Disobedience to God lands us right into Satan’s possession and to the degree that we disobey God, to that degree we are under Satan’s control. He has no holy love to offer and keeps his captives in a graceless, unloved state that bottles up stress and magnifies the call of self-pleasure. The wretchedness already residing in our fallen natures had no access to the redemption of Christ’s sacrifice and that wretchedness builds up in the mind. The out-of-spec concentration of sin exponentially accumulates, and so does the stress levels. The loathing of sin, the misery attending aloneness from God, and the resulting lovelessness cannot remain undealt with.

“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.” (Jer. 23:15). “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.” (Isa. 51:20,21).

“Thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.” (Deut. 28:34). Now that the soul is separated from God and the devil has laid his trap for total perdition that unenviable one has to make a big decision. Will he sell his soul, relinquishing any remnant hope in God for relief, and accept substances the devil lays before it which offer an intoxication to silence the nagging vexation of aloneness? Or will he fear total separation from God and hold on until God spares him the vanity and vexation of spirit?

“Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;
And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst.” (Deut. 29:18,19).

Let us escape this living death of loneliness and separation from our Father and Creator. Let us accept His Spirit that provides that access to our Father’s love. We must abide in Him and His words must abide in us. Then He can wash our minds and bring us to peace and health and life in abundance.

“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. 5:23).

“Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
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.” (Eze. 36:22-26).

Friday, October 05, 2012

Robbing the cross of Christ

“For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” (Is. 61:8).

God does not like to be robbed of our humble praise. Yet, all we can manufacture is worship void of selfless praise to God. We do not have it within ourselves to offer pure sacrifices of joy.

God must break us down and rebuild us from the ground floor. In order for us to be workable to God, He must take charge of the work in us, beginning in our heart. He says, “I will direct their work in truth.” (Vs. 8).

Had the people of the Lord given themselves to the sacrifices of God, studying the dying lowly baby animals, they would have inherited a nature as meek and lowly as their God. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” (Ps. 51:17). It wasn’t the death of innocent animals that God wanted, but the opening of the ears and the hardened hearts of sinful men, women, and youth, and the eternal enslavement of their heart to God. “Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; mine ears hast Thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required.” (Ps. 40:6).

Yet, even of all the nations of earth, the performance of the very clearest demonstration of the redemptive work of God Israel missed its thrust. The pride was to be broken, but they could not allow that. The goodness of God should have baptized them in repentance, but they did not desire repentance. They missed that privileged knowledge, they missed the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They missed eternal life and they inherited the character of Cain. “Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall.” (Jer. 23:15).

As Cain set himself up for damnation by evading the sacrificial lamb commanded by the Lord God in the garden, he robbed God of a broken and contrite spirit in his heart; he robbed God of a place to dwell within him. So, Satan came in and dwelled, and Cain’s last case was worse than when he first despised God’s covenant and ventured to alter the divine requirements. Thus Cain was led to murder his own brother because Abel dared to love God and receive the willingness obey Him.

“But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.” (Is. 42:22). All their miserable emptiness and corrupt living they brought upon themselves through their unbelief and unwillingness to attend to the ancient, heaven-ordained sacrifices of God.

But they had assistance in their destruction. Satan has ever been ready to offer them his idolatrous wares, while promising them great benefits. Their being filled full with this world’s pleasures prevented a filling of love for holy things by the Spirit of the Lord. They destroyed themselves, with Satan’s facilitating. “He shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes.” (Dan. 8:24,25).

The devil craftily offers us what we crave in our fallen natures. If we choose not to seek God for help, our natures will lead us to easily focus on the god of this world. He will rob us of righteousness and desolate our knowledge of God.

Unless we are drawn to God through His Lamb, our focus will be on this world and all that is in it. We will be robbed of peace in God and He will be robbed of our love and sanctification. “And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision.” (Dan. 11:14). As it was so often was with the Moabites and Ammonites toward Israel, often our closest of kin and friends draw us away from our focus on eternal things, which robs us of the blessings that heaven wants to give us.

But if we will determine to look at the dying Lamb of God, the anointed One, the Messiah, He will “finish the transgression” and “make an end of sins;” He will “make reconciliation for iniquity” and “bring in everlasting righteousness;” He will “seal up the vision and prophecy” and “anoint the most Holy” in our hearts. (Dan. 9:24).

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me.” (Mal. 3:8). “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” “And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends.” (Zech. 13:1,6).

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Is. 61:10). “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).

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Accepting the will and blessings of God

“Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” (Is. 50:10,11).

I drove up to the line of vehicles waiting to turn left onto Prosperity Avenue. A pretty road passing through nicely wooded areas, Prosperity Avenue has rolling hills that give a roller coaster effect. Just ahead of my car sat a sleek, new, black Camaro that seemed like it was going 100 mph, though setting still. Surely it could accelerate from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds, and it looked like the driver planned to make the most of this residential country road.

But, directly ahead of the carefree Camaro sat a large, reaking garbage truck. The big undesirable landfill-on-wheels must have been heaping full, since it labored to climb the first little hill as we turned to begin our adventure, the trash heap leaking as it began bouncing along.

The whole view, throughout that scenic drive, was filled with nothing but the large back end of a drab and incredibly smelly rolling trash compactor! The hills which the Camaro and I looked forward to flying over quickly and easily we ended up climbing slowly and laboriously, behind a big, ugly, and horrific garbage hauler! :(

This experience forced the Camaro and me to give up our treasured hopes of roller coasters and wind. Our self-wills were forced to go limp and to laugh at it all, to just let go and concede victory to the detestable trash truck…and to our Master Teacher’s wonderful providence. :)