TruthInvestigate

“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, March 14, 2013

Son of peace

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn. 5:12 ).
 
Peace and happiness, wisdom and prosperity, where does it reside? How can we have the disposition that produces these fruits? Buddha sought out this question. He spent his lifetime searching out the spring of happiness, the fountain of youth. And so have countless other philosophers and gurus, pastors and priests, Pharisees and rabbis.
 
“Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.
The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.
The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.
Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.
Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears.” (Job 28:13-22).
 
What are the head waters of the river of life? Can we be specific and nail it down? Can we find it in Buddha whose sculpture of rotund laughter seeks to bless a billion homes? By beholding we become changed; but can an image put into us the power to transform our nature? The Bible says no. “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight.” (Ecc. 1:14,15).
 
“They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” (Ps. 115:5-8).
 
It takes the living God who created us. Only the infinite One can change the natural bent of our character. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake…. But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” (Ps. 115:1).
 
But, even He is powerless if we choose not to be changed. We must want to be changed before He will provide the power to change. King Saul and others are examples of hearts God changed with only the minimum desire on their part. (1Sam. 10:6,9;Matt. 13:20). That minimum effort to know God was enough to receive the initial glory of God’s Spirit, but giving the relationship with God no further effort proved the loss of that initial glory and even their damnation. (1Chron. 10:13,14;Matt. 13:21;Heb. 10:38,39).
 
How do we cooperate with God in our salvation? Paul earnestly contends that we must cooperate. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12,13).

Our salvation is a joint effort. We must take ownership of our title to eternal life; we must take responsibility and hold ourselves accountable for our redemption. This is what Saul failed to do. He lost his faith and, in this busy life as king, he did not strive to get it back.
 
Dwelling in the deepest faith and surrender is like the egg that floats down the fallopian tube. The unfertilized egg is a loose clump of proteins and molecules so loose that it must be attended by nursing cells holding it together. The stance of faith and surrender keep us held in the palm of God’s hand; yet, it is like dandelion seed where only one tiny puff of daily affairs sends it flying away. So, how do we hang on to genuine faith?
 
There are many brands of fake faith, many imitations. What brings true rest and peace is “faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5). We’ve looked at the entirety of 1Timothy 1:5 in previous posts, that God’s Law and the fire of His condemnation brings us to faith. But now I want to look even deeper into this spiritual reality and phenomenon.
 
We see a common thread in some of the most outstanding individuals of sacred history—Abraham, Rebecca, Moses, Ruth, David, Abigail, Daniel, Mary, Paul, Phebe, Aquila, Priscilla, John, Mary Magdalene, and at the center and standing head and shoulders above them all, Jesus the son of God. All the different attributes of these godly folks, Rebecca’s willingness to serve, Daniel’s excellent spirit, Abraham and Moses’ friendship with God, all converge at the experience of Christ that gives us the head waters of the river of life, the fountain of youth. “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant.” (Is. 53:2).
 
The intimate, vulnerable phase of Christ’s development reveals the foundation of His Father’s preparation for His role as our Master Teacher, exemplar, substitutionary sacrifice and propitiation. This tender condition must have been the foundation for all the other greats that populate the living word of God. Christ never lost His tenderness; His mercy exuded all of His words and acts. The early life of David and the later lives of Moses and Abraham as shepherds brought them face to face with tenderness as they were in constant contact with tender lambs and kid goats.
 
Jacob expressed the mercy of such an occupation. “And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.” (Gen. 33:13,14).
 
The tender plant is where we need to be. The infant, the toddler, the child, the youth lacking self-confidence don’t accomplish great things. In fact, of themselves they accomplish nothing. Overdrive them and they die. To lead them on softly is a must. We must be tender plants of God’s if He is going to work His salvation into us. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” (Jas. 4:10). We must be stripped of our proud facades.
 
The Lord can do nothing toward the recovery of man until, convinced of his own weakness, and stripped of all self-sufficiency, he yields himself to the control of God. Then he can receive the gift that God is waiting to bestow. From the soul that feels his need, nothing is withheld. He has unrestricted access to Him in whom all fullness dwells. “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.” Isaiah 57:15.  Desire of Ages, p. 300.
 
What great achievements have we really made? All the applause of the world ends in the cesspool of the celebrities. All the celebration of religions ends in the same. What we need in religion is a good spanking to reset our pride. We need our clocks cleaned. We need to see stars, and be stopped in our tracks. 1 Timothy 1:5 needs to be implemented.
 
And in the end we will be quiet, happy, humbled. “Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still.” (Jer. 31:20). Let’s deny our hopes to be great and recognized and applauded. Let’s decline the invitation of Satan and the world to come down to their level. “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Is. 2:22).
 
Let’s be simple. Let’s be unlearned and untrained, so that God can get a word in edge-wise and train us up in the way He knows we should go. Let’s even be a fool. Let’s not make ourselves into anything. Let’s let God make us into something.
 
“Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?…
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1Cor. 1:20,27). “When I am weak, then am I strong. I am become a fool in glorying.” (2Cor. 12:10,11).
 
This doesn’t mean we must be spoon-fed by anyone. But, it does mean we must be spoon-fed by Jesus; and that, everyday of our lives. “This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the LORD.” (Is. 54:17).
 
This concept drove imperial Rome to bring down all the retribution it could upon the early Christians. It will likely do the same today. Satan led the Romans to live for the pity of Venus and Diana and Mary, but he couldn’t dare let God’s children receive the same from Him.
 
Let’s be servants in order for God to make us His ambassadors. Let’s be His little people, abiding “under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91:1), “leaning on Jesus’ bosom” (Jn. 13:23), that he might be able to “raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” (Hos. 6:2). “But 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).
 
This is how Jesus did it and He became the most well balanced and whole person that ever lived. And other heroes listed above only confirmed that we can have their same experience.
 
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10). “But now, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.” (Is. 64:8). “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Is. 30:15).
 
Let’s accept the humbling of God’s Law so that we can be tender plants, apt for the molding of God’s Spirit and His angels.
 
“Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thane eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD that thy children shall come again to their own border.
I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the LORD my God.
Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.” (Jer. 31:15-19).
 
“And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, saith the LORD.” (Verse 14).
 
“But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?...
God understandeth the way thereof, and He knoweth the place thereof.” (Job 28:12,23).

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The evil to come

“To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him;
Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.
Yea, all Israel have transgressed Thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey Thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him.
And He hath confirmed His words, which He spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth.
Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all His works which He doeth: for we obeyed not His voice.” (Dan. 9:9-14).

An evil is coming, a great evil, a powerful army of evil. The atrocities of Hitler and his determination to dominate the world for Satan should have given us a foretaste of the final evil. Rather, that celebrate his failure, we should have trembled, knowing that Satan is an indefatigable enemy of freedom and of a human race that yet bears some of the image of God’s character. We should have bowed before the holy and righteous God and pled for His protection from Satan’s sure return to accomplish what he failed at 68 years ago.

But, what did we do? What did Protestant America do? They immediately took the glory to themselves for winning the war and forgot the mighty deliverance God gave His people. As a nation, America had completely lost all acknowledgement of the God of its Reformation fathers; and that was the last straw. Their hearts were not turned wholly to Him. And neither were those who especially had a knowledge of Him, of His requirements, and of their special work in these last days. They, of all people, should have redoubled their concentration on the Spirit of Prophecy and obtained Christ’s robe of righteousness in order to be prepared for the Latter Rain and His second coming.

Did we not know that we are under special obligation to strive for Christ's character? If we had read the Great Controversy we would have learned that:

Says the prophet: “Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2, 3. Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.

     When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing. “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” Malachi 3:4. Then the church which our Lord at His coming is to receive to Himself will be a “glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Ephesians 5:27. Then she will look “forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” Song of Solomon 6:10. Great Controversy, p. 425.

Have the remnant worked out their salvation with fear and trembling? Have they not rather done as the Protestants? Have they not sought to be just like those whose organizations which have followed the wicked one? Now, today the majority of Protestants are far from faith in the Lord, whether in the churches or out in the secular world.

The remnant of Protestantism have made a token effort to study God’s word, to seek God with all their heart for the power of His Holy Spirit to obtain a Christlike character. They quickly forgot about the desolations of the earthly power pointed out by prophecy, which backed Hitler and has vowed its revenge on Protestantism and Protestantism’s host nation and refuge, the United States. The Advent people forgot the work of Rome to destroy America since its birth. Despite all that Jesus sent us through His servant, Ellen White, who made plain to us the wicked history of the apostate church, we lost sight of it as the enemy of righteousness, and we focused on this world and the good life it promised. We also forgot that the Protestant denominations had left God and were under the powerful influence of His foe; and we made them our example and copied their forbidden practices and spirit, which they received from Rome.
 
We would do well to pray the prayer of Ezra.

“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to Thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in His holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken Thy commandments,
Which Thou hast commanded by Thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.
Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.
And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that Thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this;
Should we again break Thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not Thou be angry with us till Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?
O LORD God of Israel, Thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before Thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before Thee because of this.” (Ezra 9:6-15).

Those who joined with Ezra “trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away.” (Ezek. 9:4). Do we have the slightest concept of the trouble that is coming? Do we know how brutal God’s enemy and his earthly operatives are? Do we understand their ruthless intrigues and wiliness to root out all opposition and dissent from the Lord’s servants? Do we tremble before the words of God that “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” (Dan. 12:1). We will soon see. All the fortifications are being set up around us already in preparation for that tribulation time. Are we observant of these things? Do they make us tremble?

Daniel 12:7 sits in the context of final events. Therefore, it is a last day act of God—a merciful act that alone will shake up His people and awaken some of them from the spells of Satan which they have imbibed. “I heard the Man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when He held up His right hand and His left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when He shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” (Dan. 12:7). 1798 passed and now we can expect the finale of the “scattering”. Are you ready for this scattering of your power, your freedoms, your self-sufficiency?

The desolations to come will see scenes like happened in Germany when Hitler rose to power—strong men in brown shirts publically beating outspoken opponents of the Nazi regime, punching them to their death as though it were for the good of the country, killing with impunity. No one could stop these men because everyone had lost their Protestant courage. They also feared becoming the object of the brownshirts’ rage. So they stood around and watched. This paints a picture of what is coming to every country in the world, and don’t think America will be spared the scourge.

Riots will be violently overthrown by the nations’ militaries and police forces. Chaos and havoc will reign until Satan has his dictators ruling the world. No one will be able to defend himself because the new global regime removed the right to bear arms.

How could all this happen? God, where are you? These will be the questions on many minds.

“Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto My words, nor to My law, but rejected it.
To what purpose cometh there to Me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto Me.
Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.
We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.
O daughter of My people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among My people, that thou mayest know and try their way.
They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.” (Jer. 6:19-30).

And God will answer with silence. His silence will loudly command His people to go back to the Bible and hear His written counsel given to them centuries ago.

Before the time of trouble, we wouldn’t “sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezek. 9:4). But some will during it.

“But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they Him to anger.
They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new Gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
And when the LORD saw it, He abhorred them, because of the provoking of His sons, and of His daughters.
And He said, I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend Mine arrows upon them.
They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:...
For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:
Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
Is not this laid up in store with Me, and sealed up among My treasures?
To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
For the LORD shall judge His people, and repent Himself for His servants, when He seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.
And He shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,
Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand.
For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.
If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me.
I will make Mine arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.
Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: for He will avenge the blood of HIs servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.” (Deut. 32:15-43).

God will never destroy His holy people, those who have put their trust in Him with their whole heart and received His Spirit to keep His commandments and are sealed in the book of life.

“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.
And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” (Isa. 49:24-26).

“At that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Dan. 12:1).