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

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The third part

“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.…
And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” (Rev. 8:7-9,11,12).
 “And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” (Rev. 9:15).
“And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (Rev. 12:4).

The language of Revelation is highly proverbial and figurative. To understand the prophetic use of “third” we must look back in previous scripture.

Revelation chapter 5 describes three groups that could not open the tightly sealed book in the Father’s right hand. They were: “No man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth.” (Rev. 5:3). In the context of the chapter we learn that the sacrifice of His beloved Son alone could open the book. Then, what was the book? It was God’s character on trial.

Thus, we can understand the message of verse 3, that unfallen angels and inhabitants of the other worlds (Heb. 1:2) were represented by those in heaven, the human race which had fallen into sin “in part” (Rom. 8:20;11:25) was represented by those on earth, and the unredeemable hosts of darkness (2Pet. 2:4,19-21;1Jn. 3:2 Jude 11-13;Jas. 2:19) were represented by those under the earth.

We see the same object lesson in the three sons of Noah. Shem followed the righteous laws of his father with his whole heart; Japheth did not follow his father so faithfully, but was redeemable; but Ham was so adamantly rebellious to truth and grace that he inspired his children to restart the old apostasy that had corrupted and destroyed the antediluvian world. And we still see its effects today millenniums later. However, Japheth’s descendents, though confused between Shem’s and Ham’s kingdoms, would “dwell in the tents of Shem,” (Gen. 9:27) the Spirit of God judging them to be not beyond hope.

So, the scriptural “third” is in the series of faithfulness to the truth and is defined as the proudest, the wicked and lost, the worst of the three. While Daniel states that some of the holy angels and men fell from righteousness (Dan. 8:10) (and I realize the word “some” is supplied in this verse, yet the meaning of “some” is the intent in the original language), yet, Revelation states that Satan cast “the third part” of them out of heaven, not to accurately enumerate the fallen hosts from heaven, but to judge them as wicked and ruthless toward the love and goodness of God. And, incidentally, Daniel’s vision is about more than an apostasy in heaven that Satan superintended, but also of one on Earth within Christianity, which involved men—not 33% of the church, but the majority, as is always the case in apostasies from truth.

This division of the world is also viewed as the product of the stance in regard to God. Paul said, “With the mind I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Rom. 7:25). Here lie the two extremes of Shem and Ham; and previously Paul had described the middle condition of Japheth, “That which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not....
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:15-18,24). The third or worst condition of the heart Paul described in the letter to the Romans, and the same characterized the apostasy of Ham, Cush and Nimrod. They led the world to forget the Law of God and to let the flesh rule their appetites. They willingly opened the door of their souls wide to Satan and to his satanic hosts. Soon they became completely overcome by self-indulgence and violence, and complete demon-possession. From their evil influence imperialism, enslavement, and war have spread around the inhabited globe.

The Lord has used the descendents of the holy kingdom of Shem, Abraham, David, and Paul and his followers to check the spread of Ham’s satanic empire, but this has never completely vanquished the feverish lust for world domination which the kingdom of darkness feeds on. God also placed the Protestant Reformation to do just this, but the last vestige of Protestantism is about to fall; and the ever-surging forces of Satan are about to re-emerge and spread onto the world stage.

The “third” of three conditions is also seen in the character of decision making. We can do wrong unconsciously, sub-consciously, or consciously. God’s people do wrong even though they are converted and are determined to keep God’s commandments. They have peace with God and walk with Him as the disciples walked with their Master. But Christ’s disciples took years to overcome the contest of who would be greatest in the new kingdom they expected the Messiah to set up. They love their Lord, but still had these evil traits, these instilled traditions of the fathers, still rooted in their characters that were not yet removed by Christ’s Spirit.

Satan’s followers do wrong consciously, premeditatedly. They willingly choose to hate goodness and everyone who is good. The fruits of the Spirit appear ugly to them and loathsome. They love to be trained in the science of torturing and murdering everyone who makes them feel guilty. Satan motivates them like puppets.

Then, there is the great mixt multitude in the middle of the bell curve who are sitting on the fence and who mourn their teetering back and forth between sin and death, righteousness and life. They see the destruction they cause their loved ones, but don’t know how to stop it; neither are they willing to put their finger on the exact cause of their evil actions. They have not surrendered to God, so that His Spirit can empower them to hate sin and boldly call their sin by its right name, and put the finger on their evil motives

They do wrong subconsciously; the inclinations of the carnal life controlling them against their will, and oftentimes much to their chagrin. They do not unite their heart wholly to God or His word, but neither do they fall head over heels for Satan’s kingdom of lust and revenge. They want to do right, they want a clean conscience; but, those who never surrender to the love of God in Christ, over the course of a lifetime, tend more and more to carelessness of goodness. Church members in this group, who know intellectually what God requires, eventually abandon His requirements and lessons, viewing them as morals to fairy tales and fables; and they die without faith, never having been justified and adopted into the family of God, because they never surrendered to Christ and received of His grace through a faith relationship with Him.

They are lost, but not the worst of the three groups. And they will have their reward; they will suffer Judgment day, but not the worst punishment. “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). “That servant, which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luk. 12:47,48). The unconscionable, the worst, the third, are really the vast majority who are too busy to get to know God, to see that He isn’t what the Satan portrays Him to be; thus they never lose their fear to fall into the hands of God, and remain all their life afraid to trust Him with their hearts. “All the world wondered after the beast.” (Rev. 13:3). Through terrorism or inducements, Satan convinces the middle group to never obey God or to fear Him.

Some, however, will respond to the appeals of the Spirit and will leave their comfortable, humanistic, natural condition, and join with those of the holy line. Those who feebly fall on the Stone and are broken are the few, the very small remnant, who find the restrictive gate their heavenly Parent made for their protection, and they keep on the narrow way that leads to life, everlasting life. They are part of the kingdom of the Almighty, adopted into His redeemed family. “The saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” (Dan.7:18).

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