TruthInvestigate

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

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sealing

 “Bind up the testimony, seal the Law among My disciples.” (Isa. 8:16).

  The question asked during the Saviour’s ministry, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” does not indicate that Jesus was unable to read, but merely that He had not received a rabbinical education. John 7:15. Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. Apart from the unholy ways of the world, He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature. He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man. From His earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as He studied plant life and animal life. Continually He was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life.

     Thus to Jesus the significance of the word and the works of God was unfolded, as He was trying to understand the reason of things. Heavenly beings were His attendants, and the culture of holy thoughts and communings was His. From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth.

     Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out after God. While the spirit is awed, the soul is invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His works. Communion with God through prayer develops the mental and moral faculties, and the spiritual powers strengthen as we cultivate thoughts upon spiritual things. Desire of Ages, p. 70.

God’s work to us contains many sayings that are “hard to be understood.” (2Pet. 3:16).  Most of the scripture is easy to understand; but some parts require the plain scriptures to interlock and form an explanation for those that are difficult. This is how Jesus learned the Bible. “Make Me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works.” (Psa. 119:27). “I have more understanding than all My teachers: for Thy testimonies are My meditation.” (vs. 99).

Thus, “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.
And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa 11:2-5). “I will open My mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.” (Psa. 78:2).

Then the student finds one difficulty resolved pointing to the resolution for another difficult scripture, the deeper thoughts of God to man creating a line of stepping stones and guide posts, the path of the just. “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:19,18).

The above verse, Isaiah 8:16 sounds very cryptic, yet highly urgent, especially given its context. That means that we must understand it ASAP. Yet, because it is cryptic, comprehending it could take time. That being the case, we must not delay to search out its meaning. To delay could land us in the circumstances spoken of by David. “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when Thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto Him.” (Psa. 32:6). When the life is in chaos, then the soul will be too busy in the survival mode to seek God’s help. Therefore we need to seek God early, as a youth, and to train the youth of today to see the foolishness and vanity of this world.

Psalms 32:6 also speaks to the final days of humanity that hasten toward us. Its message is, “Don’t wait until later to have the Law sealed in your heart.” This is what the five foolish virgins did and found out too late that they were deficient. They evidently had taken too long to resolve the issue of God’s Law that is so unappetizing to the perverted human heart, in order to be ready for the Bridegroom’s coming; they had not feared God and made extra preparation in their character just in the case of a miscalculation in their timing of His coming.

How do we seal the Law of God in our hearts? Is this even our work, or is it God’s work? If it is His work, do we have a part to play, a responsibility, ownership in our salvation?

It certainly is God’s work, and that’s good news. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10).  “But now, O LORD, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.” (Isa. 64:8).

The Lord is very bold. “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.” (Rom. 3:27,28).

 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
” (Rom. 11:6).
But what can we do to be saved? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” (Jn. 6:29). We first must trust God that He wants to save us, and then we must let Him save us. Jesus said, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed.” (Jn. 6:27). If God sealed Jesus in perpetual trust and obedience, can’t He seal us, too? That is the promise of Revelation. “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:3).

But Jesus goes further.  “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.…
All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.…
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.
As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.
This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” (Jn. 6:35,37,53-58). “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (vs. 63).

What does all this mean? It means that if we will put forth the effort to come to Jesus and spend time with Him every morning and evening, learning of Him, then we have given God the tools with which He will put His laws in our hearts and minds. This is the science of salvation. And it contains wonderful certainty.

It marks out our part in salvation as plain as day, it’s very easy to comprehend our duty; and it’s very doable. As we purposely meet with Jesus in His words and in prayer, and look for opportunities throughout the day to help others learn what we’ve see in Jesus, we are opening our hearts on the level that we can, and the Spirit of God will do His part at the deeper levels that we have no control over, where the roots of sin live. By our choice to come to Jesus, to eat of His life and to drink of His death for us, we have given God permission to enter us and change our thinking and our nature.

To save man is God’s ongoing effort. “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction.” (Job 33: 14-16). In the stillness of the night, when the deepest parts of the brain are rested, when lowered are the poisoned ideas and lies of Satan which he instills to create our stubbornness and resistance, God knows that then, at the end of our deepest sleep, is the time to reach us. Yet Satan can so tie up the mind with the cares of this life, with a constant buzz of the previous day’s trauma and drama, with the CD player or the television playing all night, so that the mind never rests, and thus, God cannot reach the soul, “that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man,” that that He might keep “back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” (vs. 17,18).

But, in the brain that is so saturated by the things of this world, the mind is never breached by the Spirit of God and the heart remains unbroken and unsaved. And the natural curse of sin, our pride, is never washed away by the Spirit of truth and Comforter.

We can only be sealed as God’s instruction is surgically worked into us and then the entry point closed up and sealed. Once sealed it is almost impossible to be removed. There have been people who have tried for many years trying to purge the conscience of lessons they happily received in childhood, but, which disturb their present course of life. That isn’t to say that those lessons are completely impossible to be removed. But almost impossible, which makes it very easy for the Christian to obey them and the obedience of them is very fluent and natural, and full of peace and love. Without the entrance of God’s word, obedience is very hard work and then really not obtained and acceptable to God. Only the truth that is sealed in us can we obey according to God’s will. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psa. 119:130).

But, God does nothing to circumvent our freedom of choice, even if we beg Him to. If we want victory over hurting people we care for, especially the God who has loved us with an everlasting love, we must choose to expose ourselves to the light which He has provided. “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Jn. 3:20,21).

The sealing that Isaiah spoke of was for his day, but it is for ours, as well. And it will become of the utmost importance in the soon-coming storm and chaos, confusion and perdition. All who have not responded to God’s first work of calling and inviting us to come to Him, will lose out on the other steps of their sanctification and settling into Jesus’ character, of being sealed by His Law and word of truth. But those who will strive to be sealed, who place themselves where God can reach them—while we are still in the lull before the storm—will know the surrender, the submission, the sweet peace that the world cannot give, and be preparing for the coming storm whose fury will know no bounds.

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