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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, October 18, 2013

Another preface to Hebrews chapter 12, the disciple whom Jesus loved

“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” (Jn. 13:23). They were situated in a circle which is customary in the orient. Each lay on his side with his elbow on a pillow when reclined, his head in the circle and his feet setting outside the circle, and his neighbor’s head close to his torso. Nothing erotic corrupted this ancient tradition, but pure brotherly union was its purpose.

Over the past three years, John had snuggled his way into Jesus’ heart to a degree that none of the others had done, because none of the others were so young and needy of the perfect elder brother or father figure, and neither were the others adolescents, which thrive on love and acceptance. Andrew was probably the only other adolescent, and loved to please Jesus in everything. Nevertheless, John—John had the natural drive to have as deep a friendship that a person could give. Like David to his father Jesse and like Rachel and Joseph to Jacob, John would take the love from any individual who would offer it, and keep taking it as long as they kept offering it. He could never get enough of love, because that is how young people are.

He wouldn’t just give hugs, he would take them. And he took Jesus’ heart as Jesus took his. Caleb had full hope to take the land of Canaan, saying, “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it…. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” (Num. 13:30;14:9). Likewise, did John charge the heart of Christ. And he found in doing so that when it comes to love, Jesus drops all defenses. His love is food that most people know nothing of, and we have no need to fear that He won’t accept our needy soul. John found in Jesus a never-ending resource for love, fatherly friendship and guidance.

Abiding in that bond, no reproof from Jesus could ever offend John. “[He] openeth [His] mouth with wisdom; and in [His] tongue is the law of kindness.” (Prov. 31:26). The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” (Ps. 119:72). “Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Ps. 119:165).

“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.” (Isa. 11:4). With the words of His mouth Jesus slew those who hated Him, but to all the poor in spirit whose hearts ached for His help and His approbation, He was always readily available. By the faith relationship John had, all of Christ’s correction he interpreted simply as more love from Jesus. Thus, he aligned himself with Jesus, and God’s Law became his law.

This is righteousness by faith by Jesus. It is Christ infusing His divine character into our fallen nature by using His secret weapon against Satan—love and trust. Faith means trust and relationship; therefore, righteousness by faith means righteousness by relationship; it means relationship leading to obedience to God’s Law, which is victory over the sin that so easily besets us—through loving friendship with Jesus, a Jesus driven to uphold the Law of righteousness and love.

And the deeper the friendship with Jesus, the greater victory over sin. This is the 3rd angel’s message in verity; it is the sealing message of Revelation 7:3. But, everyone who dodges this heavenly thrust, as Judas did, will receive Satan’s character, the bitter mark of the beast.

The one receives the peace of heaven because love and the obedience that is born out of tight quarters with Jesus makes us right before God. Reconciled and justified, abiding in love and the perfect acceptance and the perfect welcome of Christ, hatred and temptation cannot enter. All the old hostilities and resident anger cannot co-habit the heart when the Spirit controls the soul through the peace that results from the relationship with the Prince of paradise.

The other receives the torment of Revelation 9:4 and 14:9-11 because the human mind, which naturally responds to love in the deepest way, finds in the devil nothing but chilling, loveless, graceless labor—even if that work has a religious, sanctimonious air to it. The restlessness of the Mark comes to everyone who chooses not to have the rest and peace from a relationship with Jesus. There is no rest apart from the Prince of Peace.

“When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain;
And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.
For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid Me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.
I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isa. 57:13-21).

John had love-filled, Christ-filled religious training. The pharisaical Jewish religious leaders had empty, loveless, Christless religion, which Satan deluded them to believe was correct religion. John had what David had with the Lord his God, and which caused him to meditate and pray in the early mornings.

“I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
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.” (Ps. 16:7-11).

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
I will praise Thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto Thee among the nations.
For Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the clouds.
Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let Thy glory be above all the earth.” (Ps. 57:7-11).

On a daily basis, David’s heart of love exploded with thanksgiving. “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” (Ps. 103:1-4).

The image of God in David grew up and towered over King Saul’s puny, if not completely atrophied, love for God. And their obedience to God’s will (or the lack thereof) followed in hot pursuit.

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.
Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee.
Thus will I bless Thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips:
When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches.
Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me.
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.” (Ps. 63).

Paul, Moses, Abraham, Daniel, and other captains of relationship, men and women who were greatly beloved of Jesus, also knew “the love of God [that] is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom 5:5). They all beseeched Jesus to show His merciful and holy glory.

Yet, towering above them all was the Lord God Himself who had inspired them to love. The souls of John and David et al that only Jesus could satiate manifested the divine relationship, though theirs be only a shadow of that love binding the divine Pair. The relationship all the redeemed prophets and apostles had with Jesus, Jesus had with God. The unique, infinite love between Father and Son no two creatures have ever had; none ever had a bond so unbreakable and tight as Christ and His Father. What we hear from the others in the Bible serve to give us an idea of what the Godhead have never ceased to have from eternity; but the testimonials of righteousness by faith from patriarchs and prophets, and kings and apostles, are only a shadow of heavenly things. And the angelic hosts have loved what they saw in the Godhead, and have swarmed around Their throne like honey bees to praise Them and like hornets to jealously protect Them. The counsel of peace was ever between the Father and Son; God gave not “the Spirit by measure unto Him” (Jn. 3:34), and the God of peace sanctified His Son wholly.

“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee:
As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.
I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.
I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word.…
That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one:
I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.
Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me.
And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (Jn. 17:1-6,21-26).

As the divine Heir to the heavenly throne, Jesus received all power and authority through righteousness by relationship.

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.…
For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself;
And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” (Jn. 5:19-22,26,27). “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.… and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28:18,20).

Infinite obedience shone out in His life because infinite love for His Father was spread abroad in His heart. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.
The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord at Thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath.
He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries.
He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall He lift up the head.” (Ps. 110).

Teenager Ellen White wrote,

I have tried to bring back a good report and a few grapes from the heavenly Canaan, for which many would stone me, as the congregation bade stone Caleb and Joshua for their report. (Numbers 14:10). But I declare to you, my brethren and sisters in the Lord, it is a goodly land, and we are well able to go up and possess it. Early Writings, p. 13.

The Messiah the Prince was the Son whom the Father loved and pure loyalty to His Father’s love and will behooved Him to be made of no reputation, and to take “upon Him the form of a servant, and [be] made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:7,8).

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and love of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His love past finding out! It’s a goodly love. Let us fear nothing, but go up at once and take it!

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