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, January 17, 2013

Deceiving self

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jer. 17:9,10).

Christ stunned the disciples with the incomprehensible statement. “It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them [the idolatrous religious leadership and multitudes] it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt. 13:11-15).

The Jews had eyes to see and ears that could hear if they had so chosen. But according to Jesus, they could subconsciously foresee an end of accepting what they witnessed—conversion. In Jesus’ words: “Their eyes they have closed.” (Matt. 13:15). This positive action of willful sin reverberates into the other problem areas: that is, their hearts and ears they purposely, intentionally, premeditatively, consciously caused to wax gross and dull. How could this happen? We peer into this issue by the words Jehovah-Jesus told Moses, and which Moses put into song.

It’s a searching question that will always remain a mystery—why would they not want to be holy with childlike trust and joy, children of the heavenly King? Why would they not want these spiritual blessings that would manifest every other temporal blessing in their train? And, why would they jeopardize their eternal happiness for ultimate eternal destruction with the devil and his hordes?

They knew conversion would be the result of conviction as they would come to understand the corrupt condition of their hearts and minds. They would loathe themselves and sorrow and sigh to their heavenly Father for the horrendous condition of their souls. They knew their hearts and lives would necessarily change, and become holy and childlike. But, Satan had inculcated enough hatred toward God that he had a hold on their hearts and mind, so that he could keep them from loving the sight of goodness and love. Mystery of iniquity!

Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Desire of Ages, p. 466.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I have made with them.
Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?
And I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.
For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke Me, and break My covenant.” (Deut. 31:16-20).

We see the elements of their departure in the song of Moses. “So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange God with him.
He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and He made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they Him to anger.
They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” (Deut. 32:12-17).

Their warning is very instructive to us today. “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.
Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command thee this day:
Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that He might humble thee, and that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.” (Deut. 8:10-17).

“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matt. 6:34).

It was idolatry in the most hidden sense that started the Jews’ departure from God which snow-balled into God’s many rejections of them. Abundance and prosperity caused them to forget God and led to their downfall, which, after many deliverances from idolatry, finally culminated in their permanent rejection. “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” “…That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 21:42-44;23:35-38).

The religious leaders sought every opportunity to discredit the Messiah in the minds of the people, to bend every effort to trap Him and finally to successfully kill Him. “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:31). The end had come and what could Israel do to avoid the desolation that God would bring upon them from the Roman legions? Like King Saul who envied David because the Lord was with David, the Jews had received the spirit of Satan as they increasingly hated the goodness of God’s Son.  “As Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” (1Jn. 3:12).

“If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2Cor. 4:3,4). In the context of Christ’s statement, the lost willingly let Satan blind them to any beauty in holiness and obedience to God. And, all through history, this has happened to the religious elite as much as to the rabble-rousing, hedonistic heathens.

God is not at all arbitrary when He judges the lost. They lost themselves; they deceived themselves. God does not pick on the wicked. He tries to save them within the constraints of the great controversy and with regard to their privilege of free choice. The saved get no extra advantage over the lost, as Jesus got no advantage over the scribes and Pharisees. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Heb. 5:8).

No one gets preferential treatment; God is no respecter of persons―not even to His Son; and Christ happily would have it no other way. His Father’s will must pervade every individual on earth, every creature in the universe, including Himself. No one can be above the Law. The principles which Christ lived and died by while incarnated, and even prior to His human existence, was, “As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” (Num. 14:21).

But the willingness of the lost to be careless with the fear of God or to imbibe the temptations of the wily devil, versus all those who fear to tamper with temptation or to intentionally step one foot outside God’s express will, makes all the difference in the end. To the unsuspecting, sin-loving multitude, the love of sin is a long train of events that lead to eternal destruction. Paul delineates them.

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful.” (Rom. 1:21a).  The first step downward was in the health of their faith and spirituality when they would not acknowledge God for all of His benefits. They failed to recognize His hand of blessing, the sunshine and rain, the blooms and blossoms, and even the thorns and thistles of life. The tangible things that point to a real God went unimproved by ungrateful hearts, especially the redemptive experience of the daily sacrifices. The seeds of sin abiding in every child of fallen Adam sprang up, starving to be nurtured by discontent. Thus, Christs injunction to His leaders to watch carefully over their flock for signs of repeating the actions that caused the demise of Noah’s original world government. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Heb. 12:15). They became immune to Gods grace in all that they experienced in life, even though it continually settled upon them like dew upon the mown grain.

Satan created a system of religion close in appearance to God’s Hebrew religion in order to entertain the pride of the fallen nature, a subtle religion that could never arouse the need for grace. Thus, the people “became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom. 1:21b). This counterfeit gospel looked holy, where they used their own emotions to propitiate God, a religion of emotion which contained not an iota of repentance and was wholly rejected by a holy God. Yet they pretended to be blessed and continued their celebration of Christianized spiritualism.

Then, their degradations manifested in a deep intellectual knowledge, another pretence of being blessed.  “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Vs. 22).

This vain philosophical religion looked lofty and sophisticated, but was only a thin veil to cover the burgeoning storm of lust that grew up from the seeds of their unredeemed fallen natures.

“And [they] changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” (Vs. 23-31).

This judgment came upon Israel because they would not make themselves available to the Spirit of God by opening their eyes and ears to His word, and by not denying the world equal time and attention. Simply by the apportioning their attention, not giving their Creator the highest priority and seeking Him so that they could obey the first and foremost commandment, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might,” they lost the pearl of great price. (Deut. 6:5.)

If they had sought first the kingdom of God, as David had done, they would have received the ability to heed Abrahams commission to bless the world. Promise and prophecy would have been fulfilled in them to broadcast the gospel to the world, rather than, as it happened, through the apostolic church.

“And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.…
And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.” (Isa. 61:5,6,9).

“And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.…
Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.…
And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee.
Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious.
The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified.
A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.” (Isa. 60:3,5,6,10-22).

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” (Isa 1:19).

“Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up Mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up My standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.” (Isa. 49:22,23).

The church also failed at this, in the fullest sense, just as Israel did. But, in the end, when God has a people sealed and perfectly obedient to His will, both Gentiles and Jews, then all these things will be fulfilled.
“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isa. 58:14).

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