“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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What happened to Elder Venden's powerful work?

When I came to God it was not through the cross, but through the Law. That is, not specifically the Law, but through the consequences to disobeying it. Therefore, when I gave up and surrendered, I wasn’t surrendering in the gospel, i.e. giving up on my sins. I was giving up the struggle against the pressure the Holy Spirit put upon my conscience. Life had become unbearable. My faults overwhelmed me in the Navy, in my marriage, with my kids, in my heart, in my standing with my roommate, Ron. Then Seinfeld added to the burden until I turned off the TV for good. But, I still had my dependable car to get my mind off of my horrible life, until I slid out of control on black ice, flipped it on its roof, and broke the windshield. For three days I was dependent on a Navy friend until we could tow the car to his place, bend out the corner brace that formed the side of the windshield, and put in another windshield. But, during those three days, the Lord tripped me over His stumbligblock and I broke.

Once broken, I was so glad to be back with God again that I chose to stay broken. I didn’t care what anyone thought of me, I was going to stay God’s property.  The world was no longer my home; heaven was mine. The Bible was my new portal to Jesus, and it was making perfect sense and answering all of my questions and encouraging me with its promises. I still didn’t understand the cross. I remember Elder Venden referring to the friendly arms of the cross on a lonely hill, but that wasn’t part of my surrender experience. Could that come later?

Has my experience so far been all that the Lord wants me have so far? Is it the John the Baptist experience or involving only the Law and surrender to the Law.  Maybe my strong experience with the "Law only" has given me only John’s baptism and not Christ’s.
But, could this be in keeping with the Early Rain, when first God sent John and his Law-based message and fear of God-based message. This aroused the nation to a secondary kind of repentance, but not the primary kind that would come after Christ was crucified. But only the ones to benefit from Christ’s crucifixion were the ones who responded to John’s ministry. Thus, first those disciples had a Law based conversion, and then later, a grace based conversion that sealed them.

Now we must wrestle with the Law and loyalty to it. “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, To redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Gal. 4:3-5).

    Wherever the word of God has been faithfully preached, results have followed that attested its divine origin. The Spirit of God accompanied the message of His servants, and the word was with power. Sinners felt their consciences quickened. The “light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” illumined the secret chambers of their souls, and the hidden things of darkness were made manifest. Deep conviction took hold upon their minds and hearts. They were convinced of sin and of righteousness and of judgment to come. They had a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and felt the terror of appearing, in their guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. In anguish they cried out: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” GC 461.

But, then, in accordance with the format explained by Mrs. White, once people have resounded to the condemnation of the Law, the cross is raised.

As the cross of Calvary, with its infinite sacrifice for the sins of men, was revealed, they saw that nothing but the merits of Christ could suffice to atone for their transgressions; this alone could reconcile man to God. With faith and humility they accepted the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Through the blood of Jesus they had “remission of sins that are past.”  Ibid.

This is not at all what we saw with Elder Venden. He immediately raised the cross. Was this right to do? He received a huge response. Dry hearts were hungry for his message. We ate the wheat and not the chaff, as Mrs. White had counselled preaching should be. The water of life was flowing. But, was it the Latter Rain? If so, what happened to it? Why did it die away?

Did it die because it didn’t follow the divine format explained in Modern Revivals? John was sent to Israel after they had spent 600 years in captivity and 500 years in silence from the Lord. Their religion was no longer the original Hebrew religion, but Judaism—a look-alike that resembled the Hebrew religion, but really was Babylonian. (See Mal. 3:11-13.)

Therefore, God raised up John because his father could teach him the scriptures instead of human philosophy and thus he could reintroduce the original Hebrew religion, full of reproof and holy living.

He [John] saw his people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins. He longed to rouse them to a holier life. The message that God had given him to bear was designed to startle them from their lethargy, and cause them to tremble because of their great wickedness. Before the seed of the gospel could find lodgment, the soil of the heart must be broken up. Before they would seek healing from Jesus, they must be awakened to their danger from the wounds of sin.  DA 103.

And what of today in the Advent movement? Has the original religion given through Ellen White come to its demise? Do we hear the voice of reproof and holy counsel sounding throughout our churches? Hasn’t Spiritual Formation spread around the ranks? Certainly, Spiritual Formation was not Elder Venden’s message. But neither was John’s his message.

Was that the failure of his great revival of righteousness by faith? Did he need a John the Baptist to arouse the people out of their apathy before the heard the beautiful message from Jesus through Elder Venden?

Does the lack of a John the Baptist mean that Elder Venden wasn’t supposed to give his message? That doesn’t seem likely at all, given the power it had and the truth it exalted. His was a balanced ministry. He never disparaged Ellen White, but based his message on her, and the Bible. His insights into many issues were phenomenal. Surely the Lord was in his work. I saw it with my own eyes and ears. He came to CUC for the fall week of prayer the one semester I was there. How thankful I have been ever since. Over the years I have not been able to forget the deep sense of Jesus’ love in the stories from the gospel accounts and through the deliverance from the fight of sin. What a gift from God; what a boon to my spirits. I would just sit in my seat after the crowds of lively students filed out, and I would sit in the silence as long as I could before racing to my next class. I wanted to try to remember and relive everything I had heard from that previous sermon and not lose the hope and peace that came to my exhausted soul. I did this after each of the five sermons.

I felt like I experienced in Elder Venden’s messages that of which Mrs. White wrote.

Another who participated in the movement testified: “It produced everywhere the most deep searching of heart and humiliation of soul before the God of high heaven. It caused a weaning of affections from the things of this world, a healing of controversies and animosities, a confession of wrongs, a breaking down before God, and penitent, brokenhearted supplications to Him for pardon and acceptance. It caused self-abasement and prostration of soul, such as we never before witnessed. As God by Joel commanded, when the great day of God should be at hand, it produced a rending of hearts and not of garments, and a turning unto the Lord with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. As God said by Zechariah, a spirit of grace and supplication was poured out upon His children; they looked to Him whom they had pierced, there was a great mourning in the land, . . . and those who were looking for the Lord afflicted their souls before Him.”--Bliss, in Advent Shield and Review, vol. I, p. 271 (January, 1845).

     Of all the great religious movements since the days of the apostles, none have been more free from human imperfection and the wiles of Satan than was that of the autumn of 1844. Even now, after the lapse of many years, all who shared in that movement and who have stood firm upon the platform of truth still feel the holy influence of that blessed work and bear witness that it was of God. GC 401.

One thing that caught my attention was that all the lively students were mostly laughing at Elder Venden’s funny quips more than seaching their souls and glorifying Jesus. For many years my conviction has been that here is the reason that the effect which Elder Venden made on CUC wore off so quickly.

What we needed was a startling, stern messenger like John the Baptist to precede the message of righteousness by faith by Jesus. And that message is promised.

      I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.       I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.  
     Said the angel, “List ye!” Soon I heard a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard, seeming to be full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, “Look ye!” My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy.  EW 270.

Now the 144,000 Ellen White sees in vision are ready to preach the last gospel message to the world, for a witness to all nations. They preached the 3rd angel’s message in verity, they preached righteousness by faith by Jesus that they heard from Elder Venden. Now it takes hold.

     I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, “It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.”
     Great power was with these chosen ones. Said the angel, “Look ye!” My attention was turned to the wicked, or unbelievers. They were all astir. The zeal and power with the people of God had aroused and enraged them. Confusion, confusion, was on every side. I saw measures taken against the company who had the light and power of God. Darkness thickened around them; yet they stood firm, approved of God, and trusting in Him. I saw them perplexed; next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Day and night their cry ceased not: “Thy will, O God, be done! If it can glorify Thy name, make a way of escape for Thy people! Deliver us from the heathen around about us. They have appointed us unto death; but Thine arm can bring salvation.” These are all the words which I can bring to mind. All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance.  EW 272.

I heard a famous SDA televangelist once ask, “Why does the Adventist church create so many legalistic extremists? Why the criticism and harsh fingerpointing?” I’ve seen Adventists who felt like their duty was to correct everyone around them and bring them up to the mark of the Spirit of Prophecy. But, they lacked all grace. Their hearts were cold and angry. It would be much to their chagrin that if they had really looked closely and honestly at the Spirit of Prophecy that they were preaching, they would have seen how closely they fit the description of the rejecters of God’s convicting light.

I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, “Father, give us Thy Spirit.” Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children.  EW 56.

They were the ones Jesus spoke of. “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:48-51).

It’s quite possible that the reason the Lord sent Elder Venden was to help prepare a balanced John the Baptist movement within Adventism. Now a base is formed from which the Lord can raise up the Baptists who will precede the final gospel preaching. Then will be fulfilled the end of Ellen White’s vision.

Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon the company, who, a short time before, were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked! All marks of care and weariness were gone, and health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men; they could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company were changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory. And the graves were opened, and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying, “Victory over death and the grave”; and together with the living saints they were caught up to meet their Lord in the air, while rich, musical shouts of glory and victory were upon every immortal tongue. EW 272.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Truth and mercy for Job

“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.” (Prov. 3:3).

I was strict about people’s treatment of convicting truth, but I don’t want to sound mean. “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” (Prov. 16:6). Both by truth and mercy sin is removed from the heart, not by truth alone. It was truth and grace that Jesus used to awaken Israel to spirituality. So I want to offer some mercy, not to compensate or weaken the truth, but to strengthen it.

First of all, Job was under terrific physical agony when he said what he did. If I had been tormented like Job had been I may have justified myself also. But, in spite of it all, he did say some things of faith that came out of his sanctification.

“Then Job answered and said,
Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
Oh that I knew where I might find Him! that I might come even to His seat!
I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know the words which He would answer me, and understand what He would say unto me.
Will He plead against me with His great power? No; but He would put strength in me.
There the righteous might dispute with Him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him:
On the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him:
But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:1-10).

We hear the pathos of a heart searching for God and yearning to have Him. We gather that Job was going through a Gethsemane experience; he was following his Master in the shadow of his own cross. His faith was being tested. We will all go through our Gethsemane experiences. But, will we come through it victoriously? There will be smaller scale Gethsemanes that lead up to the worst one. (See Ps. 19:13). Are we preparing for that worst temptation by overcoming in the smaller ones? “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” (Luke 16:10). Any failures in the lesser tests jeopardizes the final Gethsemane; and certainly a failure in the last one would cause great distress and dishonor to God who uses Gethsemanes to prove Satan wrong, who said that God’s children are no better than any sinner when faced with temptation, that God doesn’t have what it takes to keep us from falling to temptation, and that His Law is impossibly sever and demanding.

Job had a heart for Jesus; but he still had something inhibiting that perfect relationship. That unChristlikeness would be the inevitable undoing of Job’s growing faith in God if it were not dealt with. Every sin that we don’t overcome will overcome us. Any fault, persistently cherished, will eventually completely neutralize the whole power of the grace of Christ. The only way for Jesus to deal with Job’s flaw was through trouble that would bring it to the fore. Thus, the furnace of affliction. But, Job was offended at the process. Job had the privilege to succeed in his Gethsemane like his Master did, and then to glorify God. He had the honor to go through a test similar to Abraham’s and see Christ’s day (See Jn. 8:56).

God is not above His own Law. He submits to it because His laws are best and result in a perfectly healthy and happy kingdom of peace. Neither could He deny Satan his claim on Job because of Job’s self-pitying character trait. To the extent that we are less than 100% connected to God, Satan can take his opportunity to reclaim us completely. And he does this work so subtly that the human eye, not anointed with Christ’s Spirit and ever soberly examining himself to know that he is in the faith, cannot discern Satan’s devices.

For our benefit and hope of salvation God intervenes to halt the insinuating destruction of His arch enemy and the enemy of His beloved children. He cannot bend the rules of lawful captivity by Satan, but He can be present and He oversees the deadly efforts of the devil to ensure that he doesn’t break the rules of free choice. God cannot prevent the lawful work of deception and torment by Satan for his prey, because the prey has chosen to insist on holding onto a flaw that separates him from God. But God can use the torment to teach him to let go of the character flaw and to choose to move closer and to trust deeper in his Lord and Friend.

The test by Satan, which God oversees, creates a time of wrestling in the soul. But, will that one move toward God or away from Him? Will he recognize that the work is of the enemy and not from God? Will he see God’s mercy in the tragedy of it all to soften the stubborn resistance against his Maker? Or will he be offended, and God lose another soul?

If Jesus had not come on strongly, the issue would have remained under Job’s radar. He wouldn’t have recognized that his character flaw caused all the strife, or perceived the work of Satan with whom he was cooperating. This leads directly to the issue of our own self-justifications against God’s laws. On those points of obedience we are being tested—especially in this last day Investigative Judgment. Satan is reigning supreme today because the church has neglected the straight testimony to keep the issues of the devil’s inroads in the public eye of God’s people, so that he remains exposed and above their radar.

In mercy to people their self-justifications need to be revealed to them and their eyes need to be opened. For the sake of their eternal reward they must hear the unvarnished truth in obvious love. Those who have an honest love for Jesus will come forth as gold. Those who have been pretending to love God will see their pretense and have opportunity to return to Him. And many will be converted and rejoice in their new found Friend. But sadly, most will be offended and become the fiercest enemies of God and His people. Satan will claim them 100% and then he will fill them with his venom.

But the Lord will look upon His disciples who serve Him with their whole heart in the closing scenes of Earth’s history when danger and tests surround them. He will not remove them from this terrible time of trouble, but will draw closer and closer to them through it all. And this is what Jesus did for Job.

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18:7,8).

“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. 11:4,5).

“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” (Isa. 43:1-3).

“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” (Isa. 49:24,25). 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sinners often condemn God

“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 40:7,8).

The Lord was not play acting that He was angry; Job had it coming. By justifying himself Job was condemning God. Although it became clear for Job later, even though he wouldn’t learn from the three men the Lord had sent to him to heighten his pride, he did however, listen (and tremble) when Jesus got involved. As Amos said it, “The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8). We learn when God talks.

Solomon later articulated the lesson of Job. “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” (Prov. 26:2). For each of our problems there is a cause. And if there is a cause, there is a correction that cures. If we want to fix our plagues, physical or spiritual, we need to seek out what we are doing wrong. Here was Job’s shortcoming; he justified his life.

“So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu...: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.” (Job 32:1,2).

We either justify Christ for our troubles, confess to Him our wrong, seek His forgiveness, and worship Him through changing our course and aligning our lives with His perfection; or we justify ourselves, worship self, and go on with our old life. And, then die in our sins. As it was written, “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.” (Isa. 22:14).

Many times I’ve heard it said, “It doesn’t matter that I follow health principles, healthy people get cancer anyway.” And just the other day I heard, “So-and-so are overweight but they are vegans, so it must be that their obesity is genetic.” No doubt genetics plays into everything, but I’ve visited So-and-so and they may not consume milk and eggs, but they do a lot of deep frying. “The curse causeless shall not come.” Sin, as the Hebrew language defines it, literally means, “missing the mark.” Did God miss the mark when He inspired Solomon to write this lesson? Did God sin? Or did He hit the nail on the head? Is God a liar? Is He omniscient, as we say? Is His word true or false? It is true. Then, if the word of God is true, let’s believe it and heed it.

I may sound overly forceful here. But I have a mentor, Elihu. Elihu got angry because of this issue. By Job’s refusal to accept any blame, he automatically blamed God who had brought the curse on Job for his enlightenment. If Job had done nothing wrong, how could the Lord tell Him the words in our opening verse? Our Lord is holy and balanced. He doesn’t change and is definitely not given to fits of rage. Job had fallen to the temptation to condemn God.

So when we think we’ve been faithful or have obeyed what God has said in the Bible, yet we don’t see our plague go away and then we give up the work of obedience, then it is that we broadcast to the whole world that the Bible was wrong—and to the whole on looking universe that God had it wrong. He didn’t know my case. He wasn’t speaking to me specifically when He condemned my actions. He was talking to the other guy. Like the song by Don Francisco goes, “Everybody else but me! Everybody else but me! He was talking to the hypocrite and the Pharisee! Everybody else but me!”
When we take what we read and put it into practice and it blows up in our face—who do we blame? If we were pagan, we would say that blind forces are to blame. But, God says we have to blame someone. Somebody must be held accountable. And He won’t let us cheat His system and blame our parents, our environment, our genes, or the devil. We have to blame God or ourselves.

Do we say, “I had it right, therefore God was wrong? So I’ll abandon His principles of life and fly by the seat of my pants on this issue?” Or will we be surrendered to God’s love and humbly say, “Let God be right, and every man wrong. I must not have understood what God was saying, and I’ll go back to the drawing board to take another look at my understanding of what He said.” Obedience to God hinges on this. The whole great controversy between Christ and Satan began from this and will be resolved by a people who accept accountability to their own faultiness, and seek God for truth humbly.

“Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.… Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?” (Rom. 3:4,5). Let every man be a liar before God is untrue; or, Is God unrighteous for taking vengeance on sin? Which is our basic assumption? Are we wiser than God? Are we so naturally good that we can trust ourselves to understand righteousness the first time we read it? The Protestant Reformation ended in stalemate over this issue. The Papal Magisterium said, “The human race is all basically good—we don’t need God or deep repentance to Him; penance to a priest will suffice.” (This is the basic hallmark of every pagan religion.) “The Protestants, going by the Bible, said, No, we are sinful to the core.” The Bible was unarguable on this. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10). We need repentance or we will die. Admission of and confession to sinfulness has been in the forefront of God’s message to man from the beginning of the Bible, and the great source of peace with God and complete health.

And in the Bible’s first book, Job, the Spirit of God set the right direction for the rest of His divine communications to fallen man―i.e. We are wrong; God is right. We have a problem; He has the solution. But Satan refuses to let his kingdom be treated that way. So he imbues his subjects with rebellion against God’s beginning assumption and to institutionalize pride in their doctrines, which say that God is meaner than we are; we are right to say He is wrong.

“And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Rom. 7:10-12). Paul’s approach to the truth of God was, “If the Law overcomes me and condemns me, then GOOD! I need that. Let God be true. My discomfiture means that the Law of God is proven holy and just and good. Just because I couldn’t  or didn’t obey it doesn’t mean it’s bad and wrong and unsuitable for my case. It means that I have a deep seated problem that I can’t fix. It means I have to throw myself at God’s mercy and plead for His help.” This is faith and prepares the heart for justification before God. It can accept future tribulation because it has learned to face of the Law’s accusations, which lead to beautiful surrender to God. But that picture is abominable to Satan and his kingdom.

Our temptation to rebel against God being right all the time is the reason why the road to destruction is so wide that 99.9% of the world goes down it and why so few even consider the narrow path to life. It’s also why the whole world follows the Beast in the end. (See Revelation 13:3.) Everything to salvation and damnation hinges on Job’s issue. Will I be proud and spit in God’s face? Or will I finally back down and humbly seek His grace? Will I surrender to the huge mountain of evidence and ask God for help to fix my lifestyle, which is to blame for all of the troubles I’m experiencing? Will I blame myself or God? The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast teeter on our surrender to or fist-shaking at heaven.

In algebra our math teacher taught us that if the problem check ended with 0=0, or 2=2, etc., then we solved the math problem correctly. We got that answer by taking our solution and substituting it for the variable in the equation in order to check our answer. If the check ended up 1=2, then we solved the math problem wrong. Therefore, a 1=2 meant we needed to go back and solve the equation again, and recheck our solution. If our check still didn’t end up equal, then we needed to keep going back to resolve the math problem until we got an equality.

The same principle holds true for our sanctification. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime because of its many variables and our oft misunderstandings. But, we’ll never get it right if we justify our wrong solutions, pretending they are correct. In the business world that would get a person fired from his job; in the eternal realities, we miss out on an eternity with heaven’s loving and excellent Jesus. So, we must humbly accept our mistakes and keep coming back to Jesus for His forgiveness.

Let’s trust Jesus and humble ourselves before Him. Let’s never condemn God, but, do like Paul,
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:10-14).

We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. And do not forget the words of Christ, “The Father Himself loveth you.” John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. Pray more fervently; believe more fully. As we come to distrust our own power, let us trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise Him who is the health of our countenance. Steps to Christ, p. 64.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Accused of being chemically imbalanced

These days it seems everyone has some physical ailment. With the advent of technology, especially so in the medical field, now everyone has some reason to take a pill. Many take a handful of pills. Is this the picture the Lord meant for His people?
So, in an age when Americans are somewhat a nation of hypochondria, thrown on them because science has uncovered a plethora of causes for disease—long before any disease manifests itself, diseases that the body following the 8 laws of health disposes of, we will probably come under the scrutiny of the world. Your slightest problem they will magnify to justify their own reckless lifestyle. In this age, any slight out of range in blood test results can cause friends and family to raise the cry to go to the pharmacy and take some pills! Or go under the surgeon’s knife! Instead of healing disease the truest, longest, and most tried method, the one that succeeds—healing disease from the inside out.

This age-old method has always worked. Much of the third world has the food that heals, rough, high fiber food in the form our Creator made it; but they have need of the pure water. Other places have the exercise, but not the food. Much of the first world has the food and pure water, but not the fresh air. Here in America we have it all, but refuse to exercise. In all cases, disease claims lives earlier than was necessary. But, this is no fault of the Lord’s first 7 of the 8 laws of health—Fresh air, Pure water, Sunlight, Proper diet, Exercise, Rest, Abstinence. The 8th law of health would bring a great boon to the whole world—Trust in divine power—peace with God, the absence of stress and the killer anxiety.
So, if you’ve been diagnosed with any health failing, first be honest and admit to failure in one of the 8 laws of health. It’s true, we inherit the propensity to certain diseases. But, many tests have proven that those genetic propensities remain not “turned on”, so that they fail to materialize when we follow the 8 laws of health. In other words, our Creator protects everyone who respects His laws. Next, take your case to the Master Physician. Acknowledge that He always prefers to heal through our obedience to the laws of health He established than to perform miracles, though if we’ve been honest with Him, He will come through for us, if He deems it best.

Then, surrender to God. Fear God and surrender to Him. Surrender to His power and authority over His children. There is no better time than in trouble! Don’t think He’s mad at you or that that’s why He gave you a disease! Preposterous! We bring on our diseases! And don’t think you’re too terrible and that you’ll wait to surrender until you’ve lived a better life. Do that and you spoiled His perfect opportunity to turn your heart back to Him.

Fall on the Stone and break. Surrender to God and to His laws, to immediately begin to heed all that you know about His expectations of you. Seek Him for more light on the general subject of health and holiness. The Bible is full of good information. And so is the internet.

If you need advice, seek someone who has a warm heart for Jesus, a spiritual medical professional. I will inform you that many women have run to the scalpel when they heard they had breast cancer, when their body had been dealing with the cancer already for a decade. There was no reason to run into surgery without thinking or praying. Or changing their unhealthful lifestyle. A three day fast and then introducing green, leafy vegetables would be a good first choice, which would have immediately begun fighting every toxin in their body causing the disease, and it would have cleared their mind for the Master Physician to give His direction and healing peace.
Lastly, don’t open up your private life to anyone and everyone. This can easily happen in simple conversation with friends or acquaintances. But, let’s be discretionary. There’s a reason your health information is confidential. No one needs to know your health information except those who have learned advice. Too many people feel self-important enough that they freely give their medical opinions. I don’t mean to be one of those folks, but I do appeal to the scriptures, “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” (Jer. 6:16).

Today, it seems everyone has a thyroid problem. Since the thyroid is a gland that controls a whole lot of bodily functions, the street doctors will likely begin to suspect incorrect causes of yet another victim of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Some of this disorder’s rarest effects are mental. If you happen to be a believer in the Bible, and your confidant is atheistic, you might already guess what they could think—that your thyroid is the cause of your imfamous disorder, that is your deep faith in God and His word.
You likely will be accused of a chemical imbalance that has sent you into the craziness for believing Jesus will come again! You might be accosted as a maniac by people whose vicious stance against the Spirit of God skews their otherwise good counsel. But, thankfully we have written testimony of others accused of mania because of faith, including the Prince of peace, Himself. So, below are some scriptures to fall back on when accused of a Bible manifestation because of a supposed chemical imbalance. Don’t let them look at your tongue or fingernails! And don’t be surprised if they stare into your eyes to see some wildness buzzing around in your head. J
Let the deceiver continue to ruin the world, but you keep on the path of righteousness and love. Let not the demise of this old world be your demise. Remember that in the end both the Lord’s camp and Satan’s will be viewing each other as deluded. Will you be confused then? If you fear that could happen, then take this good advice, “The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1Pet. 5:10). He will seal those who are settled into the truth. Let that be you by a continuous lifestyle of Bible study, prayer, service to others, and sharing with others the beautiful views of Jesus’ love that come out of the first three. Even if Satan calls that self-brainwashing, remember the utmost important example of Jesus, “But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4).
Blessings, brothers and sisters.

“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.
Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?” (Jn. 18:37,38).
 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…
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:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Rom. 1:18-22,28-32).
“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
That Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.” (Acts 26:22-32).
 “And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside Himself….” (Mk. 3:20,21).
“They said, He [Jesus] hath an unclean spirit.” (Mk. 3:30).
“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord.
It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?” (Matt. 10:21-29).
 “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes….
 “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.…
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
While He yet talked to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood without, desiring to speak with Him.
Then one said unto Him, Behold, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with Thee.
But He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is My mother? and who are My brethren?
And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matt. 12:14,15,24-37,43-50).
 “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matt. 5:11,12).
“And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me: they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day.
For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
And thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.” (Eze. 2:3-8).
“And there shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
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.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious.” (Isa. 11:1-10).
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.
When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Eze. 3:17-21).
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Then the LORD put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth.
See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten My word to perform it.
And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
And I will utter My judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.
Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.” (Jer. 1:5-19).
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 10:34-39).
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (Matt. 24:6-10).
“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” (Mic. 7:5-7).

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jer. 6:16).