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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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Got humbled?

No one likes to be humbled. But, everyone claims to be humble! How does a person get humbled? By birth? By studying about humility in psyche class? No, you get humble by being humbled. But, everyone avoids being humbled like the plague.

More and more, its becoming clear, that we claim humility just so we don’t have to be humbled!! “You can’t humble me—I’m already humble!” This is what St. Job did. His pride wouldn’t bow to his three friends, who were trying to set him straight, but who weren’t under the control of the Spirit of God. So they were as proud as he was. But then Elihu began to speak, who was empowered by the God’s Spirit; yet Job still could not bring himself to admit any wrong. He refused to be humbled.

The Lord finally backed up His servant Elihu. Speaking to Job, He said, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me.” (Job. 38:2,3).
“Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Then Job answered the Lord, and said,
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto Me.
Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (Job 40:2,7,8).

Notice, the Lord’s words, “Wilt thou also disannul My judgment?” The trouble that came on Job was the Lord’s decision and one made from good judgment. It was not to be criticized or complained about. This was similar to the route which the Lord took Israel through to get to Canaan. And what did they do the whole time? Grumble and complain, and make the Lord very angry. Yet, the things they went through were just what they needed for preparation to fight the battles that would come in order to get possession of the land. We have big battle ahead in the time of trouble such as never was. Will we accept our difficulties and hardships, and be humbled and brought near to God by them, in preparation for the times ahead?

Elihu was commissioned by the Lord to put Job in his place. And he faithfully performed his divine task. We know this, because in the end the Lord reproved Job and his three friends; but He didn’t reprove Elihu. Job was exonerated not because he was perfect and upright, but because he had worked at seeking God before the troubles came, and finally he repented and accepted his humbling.

We are the happiest when humbled. When the trouble is past, the blood, sweat, and tears are all behind, the relief and purification that happened are greatly appreciated. It’s a process of edification that we cannot do for ourselves. The pain is greater than we would ever dare to assume upon ourselves, so it must be facilitated by God. We can’t baptized ourselves or crucify ourselves; someone else must do this to us. But afterward, we thank Him to the nth  degree. We can be obedient and faithful to Him, and we are happy, happy, very happy. We are the happiest children in the earth!

 But, we are not humbled until we stop fighting the humbling. When pride no longer holds sway, our hearts are clean of self, and our minds and bodies thrill with new life. The terrible burden of sin is from pride. And if we aren’t happy, what are we? Miserable!

“Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood.” (Rom. 3:13-15;16-18).

So, if we are miserable today, we can know—if we want to know—where our problem lies. The Bible points us the remedy. The remedy is to accept the reproofs, strong as they may be. We must hold ourselves accountable and learn from the consequences. Admit to playing God and to being above reproof. Stop justifying self and pitying self.

“God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” (Jas. 4:6-10).

But, we fight the humbling. We can do this through anger—shaking a fist at God, cursing others in His name, openly dishonoring Him at every turn, griping and complaining about the lot He sends us.

Another way to fight God is by laughing. We used to laugh after Mom gave us a spanking. It wasn’t easy to keep a straight face, because our behind was stinging; but we did it. Pride did it; pride can do the seeming impossible because it is powered by the supernatural. And we can fight God by acting like His consequences to our sin didn’t hurt. We laugh in His face. But, really its Satan vicariously laughing in God’s faceus, the puppets, and the devil, the puppeteer. Our laughter is a sophisticated, cynical mockery.

We see this a lot today. In the partying, the comedy shows, the circus, the joking each other. There’s no time to get serious about sin. But, the Lord’s answer is, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7,8).

This laughing at God is even seen in the celebration churches. Here in the investigative judgment before our judgment day at Christ’s return, we should be fearing before God. As it was written, “On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.” (Lev. 23:27). And, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7).

But, today we see celebration church, one after another popping up. It’s the Beast religious power, the Queen of heaven, which refuses to afflict its soul. “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. 2:15). “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” (Rev. 18:7).

Speaking of Israel under the Lord’s discipline to shake the nation from Baal’s spell: “Therefore He hath poured upon him the fury of His anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.” (Is. 42:25). The beast refuses to be punished because his pride won’t let him. “He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34).

Another method to fight God’s humbling is the logic/philosophical method. We can simply say, “I know people who obey every law of God, and they still get sick. In other words, I don’t have to obey; I can just go on living however I want. The consequences of my sins are totally arbitrary from God and I have no control over them. My conscience will never shame me or make me admit to any wrong doing. I will never repent.”

Finally, we can use faulted theology. “I don’t have to keep the health laws of the old covenant because we are in the new covenant now.”

But whichever of these approaches one uses to deny God His authority places Him on a level of equality with humans. And Satan is behind it all. Says the prophecy of him, “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. 8:25).

“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” (Rev. 13:5). He would dare to “change times and laws.” (Dan. 7:25). This is the essence of the great controversy, which has continued on earth as the theater of the universe. But after showing centuries of mercy God has an answer to every soul that refuses to bow his pride. “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.” (Ps. 50:21,22).

Everyone who persists in forgetting God and His law through their individual religions will reap the sure rewards of disobedience. “And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord God of hosts.” (Is. 22:14).
Of them Jesus sorrowfully says, “Ye … shall die in your sins.” (Jn. 8:21). “I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.”(Jer. 21:5). “The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.” (Lam. 5:15).

I see so many people read the first two chapters of Job, and stop there being left with the false impression that God will be arbitrary in His dealings with us. It seems the whole world believes that Job was more righteous than God. They praise his patience, and never see his flaws because they don’t go on to read the whole drama. Then they have a reason to excuse their fatal lifestyles.

But, the book of Job was the first book of the Bible written. It is the key to understanding the rest of the Bible; and if we misunderstand Job, then we miss the thrust of the rest of the Bible.

When I hear people use the justifications listed above, especially that we get disease for no cause of our own, I cringe. It makes me want to tell them, “You are playing Russian roulette. Your future diseases are all on you. By despising God’s laws, you’ve cut yourself off from God; so, now you are on your own.” I see so many overweight people who would be so well-proportioned and beautiful/handsome if they wouldn’t eat fat and grease, like the Lord forbade. “It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.” (Lev. 3:17).

But, to everyone who in their diseased condition, will agree that God is sovereign and His laws are right, everyone who “is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word,” “unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” (Mal. 4:2;Is. 66:2).

The humbled one “shall pray unto God, and He will be favourable unto him: and he shall see His face with joy: for He will render unto man His righteousness.
He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.” (Job 33:26-28).
“His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:” (vs. 25).

“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.” (Jer. 31:13).

They will gladly testify with NEBUCHADNEZZAR, “THE GREAT”, All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?…
Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” (Dan. 4:35,27).

The Lord Jesus sets before us life and death, obedience or disobedience. To most He will end up saying, “But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me.” (Lk.19:27). Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezek. 33:11).

“From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.
And the Lord hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.
They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:
And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke Me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.
Yet ye have not hearkened unto Me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.
Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because ye have not heard My words,
Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jer 25:3-11).

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