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

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Joy in the Holy Ghost

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 15:13).
 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 14:17).
“And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8).
 “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” (Phil. 4:1).

We can have the proper diet, drink the eight glasses of pure water, breathe the fresh air, get the sunlight; we can exercise and rest, and abstain from unhealthful practices. We can have the perfect lifestyle and glory in our physical health like the Pharisee in the parable because of his fasting; but if we fail in the last law of health—trust in divine power—we will get cancer and die. Without the trusting God, our efforts to be healthy and happy are all for nothing. If anyone keeps all the commandments except one, he breaks them all.

Faith is the basis for health; trusting God is the foundation, the starting point. Yet, multitudes attempt to extend their life spans without faith in a Friend in the heavens. Maybe some fortunate ones, who have inherited a strong constitution, can have longevity without a relationship with Jesus. But quantity of years doesn’t necessarily equate to quality of life. Happiness still eludes them.

Peace and joy, rest and happiness: this truly is the elixir of life. It will be what the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit is about, because the Holy Ghost is about joy and peace—joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. In God is the only place for joy and peace.

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psa. 16:9-11). So, let us dwell in Him.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22). This merry heart comes not from a chemical ingested or injected, a powerful drug made by man. That results not in joy, but in sorrow. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 16:25). “With a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.”
(Prov. 29:9).

Neither does this true joy come from a heart empty of God, even though the religious person goes to church or the agnostic tries to be moral. Without the experience of falling on the stone Law of Jesus and letting the natural pride break into pieces, approaching the joy that attends the sanctification of the Spirit is attempting impossibility. No joy comes from avoiding the difficulties and trauma of the new birth. Facing the Law of God and all of its thunder and lightning, its condemnation and wrath, is the strait gate and narrow way to life, which few ever find, because they dont want the thunder. But, when it is found, the grand finale is fireworks of joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Lk. 15:10). And there is rest in our soul. “The end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5). What more could one ask for?! Our Creator and Father gives us the best! There is no other path to real happiness.

After decades of punishment for rampant apostasy from God’s Law, the Jews returned to their old land and started over again. They now had ears to hear truth what their fathers, for so many generations, had never before been able to hear, and the Lord gave them an amazing teaching priest in Ezra who would explain the Bible after the leaders read from it. “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.” (Neh. 8:8-12).

A corporate surrender swept through the small nation, and confession of sins spontaneously sprang from the hearts of the people. Then they sealed their reconciliation with the signing of a vow of obedience to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord their God. “Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.” (Neh. 12:43).

The true merry heart is the heart surrendered to the mighty hand of God and the long arm of His Law. It doesn’t come cheap; the cost is great—total self-sacrifice of the heart to God. It comes through no man-made gimmick. The medicine which salvation offers comes only from the presence of God in the soul, His heart vibrating with ours. The false religions of the world have no relation with their Creator, and thus, receive no life from Him.

And they have no knowledge of how to get to the Life-giver. Therefore they teach ideas that simple laughter, devoid of God, will cause good health; and multitudes believe it. It might bring some health because God rewards obedience of any degree, but these health concepts are severely limited, and so is God’s blessing on them. True healing and happiness come when faith in the operation of God has opened the way for Him to resolve all of life’s troubles; and, then He is in charge. Then we can rest; then we can have joy and health.

One day I was running on a bike path and ahead of me was a man walking briskly who, from a distance, sounded schizophrenic. I could hear his frenetic laughing, “Hohohohoho Hahahahaha Hehehehehe Hahahahaha….”  As I gained on him he continued his repeated mechanically chuckling. Very strange, I thought. After I passed him I remembered Proverbs 17:22 (A merry heart doeth good…). As I thought about the verse, I realized that there must be a discipline out there that teaches a connection between laughing and health. Scientific studies have shown that there is some truth to laughter and well-being. This man, being oriental, probably was following the advice of an ancient oriental physician.

I’ve even heard of churches in America that base their worship service on laughing. The pastor’s sermons must be comprised of a lot of jokes and quips and funny stories. Righteousness By Hilarity. This kind of worship lies close to the celebration style of worship. But however good and beneficial it looks, salvation by hilarity and celebration is a mistake—and a big one, especially in the Investigative Judgment of the antitypical Day of Atonement in which we live today. It’s a diversion from the true joy and peace that God wants to give us after we have come into the presence of His Law and our pride has shrivelled up and been laid in the dust. Any rejoicing is empty if that proud beast is not killed. “Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.” (Prov. 14:13).

The only way to real joy and happiness is to fear God and glorify Him in obedience to His laws, wrestling with Him in our resistance to obedience, but recognizing that the hour of His judgment has come. True joy only comes through God’s justification of sinners when He accepts our repentance and brokenness, and forgives us. Peace comes from God’s acceptance. While the unregenerated man is rejected, he can have only resentment toward God; and all the right living and lifestyle will never compensate for the lack of right relationship with God, as he wallows in his resentment of Him. Salvation by anything else than reconciliation with God will never avoid the diseases he will contract because he can’t avoid the deleterious effects of the deep resentment growling in his soul, grinding away at his nervous system and rapidly eroding his lifespan, undoing all that diet and exercise and lifestyle gain for him. Despite all the good he tries to accomplish in the way of health, without reconciliation to God he is climbing up the down escalator.

But, the true Christian, the one who has reconciled with God will be freed from the plague of resenting. The Spirit of God will remove all resentment upon reconciliation with Him.

Peace with God and joy in His Spirit is the true spring of happiness. David said, “All my springs are in Thee.” (Psa. 87:7). Jesus said, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (Jn. 4:14). “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (Jn. 7:37,38). Paul said it another way. “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2Cor. 3:17).

True happiness and life and liberty come from the Lord. If only Thomas Jefferson had been a Christian, I'm sure he would have framed the opening statements of the declaration of independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”

In God alone lies the source of the happiness of all creation. America soon will finish its experiment with happiness apart from Christs righteousness; and it will prove that the pursuit of happiness evades them at every step. Like the nation of Israel of old that tried to arrive at the joy promised by spiritualism, this last generation of Protestantism, the people God gave the world for a blessing, will never know peace and joy. “They shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.” (Isa. 8:22).

But, those who sorrow for the results of living apart from God will join in the last triumphant repentance and revival. The joy of the Lord will be their strength. On His church, He says, “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zech. 12:10).

“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.…
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” (Zech. 13:1,6,9).

“Therefore will I save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey....
And I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My Servant [Christ]; He shall feed them, and He shall be their shepherd.
And I the LORD will be their God, and My Servant [Christ] a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.
And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.” (Eze. 34:22-25).


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