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

My Photo
Name:
Location: United States

A person God turned around many times.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Amorality


 “But Jesus said unto him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Matt. 8:22).

The problem God has with the self-sufficient is not that they are bad people. If they knew themselves to be bad, then God could reach them; at least “some of them.” (Rom. 11:14).  At least, then He could call them “to repentance.” (Matt. 9:13). Many are called and some are chosen (Matt. 20:16). But, “they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev. 17:14). “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14). Salvation is nothing to be sought out lightly; but, if we are ever to be saved at last, we must “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (Heb. 3:6). This constant, daily seeking must be ongoing until the end of life. Paul attested to this in the last letter he wrote before his execution, not stating until his last day, that his crown of righteousness was now laid up for him. “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2Tim. 4:6-8).

The standard is very high. “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’” Desire of Ages, p. 311. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8,9). “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matt. 9:13), sacrifice brought forth to God that does not spring from conviction, confession and repentance, is abhorrent to God. It is repentance that needs “to be repented of.” (2Cor. 7:10). He wants to spew it out of His mouth. (See Revelation 3:16).
 
“Except the LORD build [a character that bears the divine credentials], they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the [heart barred against sin], the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved [rest in Jesus].” (Ps. 127:12).

Without guilt and being “put … to shame” (Jdg. 18:7) our pride cannot be silenced of its clamoring for the supremacy of our soul. We can never create guilt or put ourselves to shame—real threatening shame. True shame and remorse and repentance must come from without. And that is God’s jurisdiction. He is our schoolmaster, through His Law and by His Spirit, both which He uses to bring us to need a savior from sin. Then He brings us to His Son who takes over to show us His mercy and then to give it to us by His Spirit.

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24).
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Rom. 8:9). “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:4).
“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (Jn. 6:37).

But, “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Ps. 1:4-6).

The amoral have no need for a savior.

“For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.
They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.
And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?” (Ps. 73:4-11).

They believe themselves to be good enough and bound for eternal life; yet Jesus declares to them, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matt. 6:34). Therefore, the Lord will “despise their image.” (Ps. 73:20). “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa. 64:6). On the contrary, “Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” (Ps. 2:12).

In all the self-righteousness of the amoral, they stand aloof from the Law of God and will not look at it. Satan has convinced them that it is an evil document and to disdain it. He tells them that if they must read it, for popularity’s sake, they must never take it seriously. They are fully convinced that the Bible is a book of fairy tales, nothing to regard with all the heart and mind; nothing to fear. Satan as brought his favored earthly agency to bear against God’s written word; they have cast it to the ground and triumphantly trampled it. Thus, the devil can create his own church, a church of formalism, routines, and refined convocations of proud hearts. “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My soul hateth: they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them.” (Isa. 1:13,14).

“Measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves” (2Cor. 10:12), their parties of glamor, applause of human achievement, and reciprocations of congratulations gather on the roof tops like “the children of pride” (Job 41:34) on Dagon’s temple, which Samson destroyed, both it and them.

Amorality insults God more than immorality. Immorality shows its ugly head and brings with it disease and death. It causes the plagues of the Lord that can humble the proud human heart which is naturally bequeathed at birth to every child of Adam. The immoral have hope of salvation; they feel the wrong they do. It affects their loved ones, love that can awaken them to call out to the unknown God with hearts perfect toward Him. This is why the thieves and prostitutes came to Jesus.

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.” (Matt. 9:10).

But, the amoral have no need for God or Jesus or salvation. A converted heart, reborn after the God of justice and mercy, law and race, they flee from. They profess Christianity but cannot call themselves a Christian or have a testimony to share of how Jesus won their heart and life back from Satan and temptation. They are not just before God, nor have His power to separate from this world or its god. Therefore God calls them the wicked. And what says, is.

Amorality is of the greatest offense to God. When it sees Him drawing His lost children to His heart, the proud self-sufficient amoralist murmurs, “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” (Matt. 9:11). “Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor.” (Mk.14:4,5). It boasts, “I fear not God, nor regard man.” (Lk. 18:4). At godly self-sacrificing love, the peeved amoralist scoffs, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” (Matt. 27:42).

He heartlessly berates the new disciples of Christ. “They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.” (Jn. 9:34). The amoralist arrogantly spews out nothing but self during its interpretation of the reality that Providence is wisely creating to cleanse His movement and shake His enemies out of it. “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” (Jn. 11:49-50). “Their tongue walketh through the earth.” (Ps. 73:9).

“Therefore He hath poured upon him the fury of His anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.” (Isa. 42:25). The amoralists, after generations of spurning God’s Law and searing their own and their children’s consciences to the divine precepts, feel no compunction to persecute God’s people in the name of God. Thus, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (Jn. 16:2). “They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens.”

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2Tim. 3:1-5).

“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 9:23,24).

“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. 6:28-30). There’s nothing more He could do for them. They committed the unpardonable sin. They deceived themselves and allowed others to deceive them. He must cut them off, regardless of the infinite pain it causes His heart.

“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Rev. 14:10,11).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hebrews chapter twelve

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3  For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Heb 12:4  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Heb 12:12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
Heb 12:13  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Heb 12:18  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
Heb 12:19  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
Heb 12:20  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
Heb 12:21  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
Heb 12:22  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Heb 12:27  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Heb 12:28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Heb 12:29  For our God is a consuming fire.

God’s love is a consuming fire. His love consumes our self-sufficiency, if we look at His love. The writer of Hebrews (WoH) was saying to those Christian Jews, How could you not but yearn to have the same relationship your victorious ancestors had with Jehovah, as seen in Hebrews chapter 11? The Hebrew converts were seeing a whole new view of their people’s history through the eyes of faith which the WoH gave them. They were again “made partakers of the Holy Ghost” (Heb. 6:4) as he represented the all-star cast in the Hall of Faith illustrating that cast by the beautiful Milky Way decorated with thousands of stars in the night sky.

Let there be no encumbrances or stumblingblocks. Let us lay aside every sin that besets us from having that perfect faith and rest of your fathers. Get ready for Jesus to return when He appears “the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:28). We must look at Jesus who bent all of His energy to reveal the secret to spiritual success; that is, true heart obedience to God’s will that came out in His life. Let us behold His patience and we will learn of Him.

“Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” We don’t start our redemption and have Jesus finish it. Nor do we let Him start it and then we take over and finish it. Jesus must begin it and end it. It’s Jesus at the start, at the end, and every step of the way. “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6). As we behold His suffering and His patience through it all, we will become changed into His likeness.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Cor. 3:18). “Looking unto Jesus … who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Heb. 12:2-4). They needed to be reminded the cost to Father and Son that our redemption required of Them.

“And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.
And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.
And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with Me one hour?
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.
And He came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” (Matt. 26:37-44).
“And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Lk. 22:44). By the time Jesus left the Garden of Gethsemane He was bloody all over. Before being flogged to just short of death, He was already what symbolized His appearance in type as the red heifer—the great, unique sacrifice that was red all over (see Num. 19).

The Jewish Christians didn’t know the real meaning of agonizing over the presence of sin and striving against temptation. Do we today? We will—that is, all who will know the power of faith and the gift of agape love to overcome sin, which is “righteousness by faith” (Gal. 5:5) or “the righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:13).

All who will learn the true experience of godliness will pass through the similar experience of their Lord in Gethsemane. They will receive the power of the sons of God to wrestle against Satan and to overcome his temptations. They will have the experience that Paul had, and Moses and David and all the prophets and champions of faith listed and not listed in the Old Testament, that small remnant that passed down through the corridors of time, the seed of Eve in whom the Spirit of God put the wisdom to recognize temptation and a hatred for it. This great cloud of witnesses, most of whom did not make the headlines of the world’s presses, were like Joseph and Mary who were heirs to the throne of Israel; they went unnoticed and unhonored, though they were just, justified by faith and rulers in God’s estimation.

 “And ye have forgotten the exhortation….” (Heb. 12:5). The admonitions of their ancient scriptures were not a collection of sanctimonious sayings that they should forget the inspired and holy word of God.

“[Moses] said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.” (Deut. 32:46,47).

If Moses had lived in Paul’s day, he would have changed nothing of his message to the Jewish Christians. The new sophisticated world of the violent and self-indulgent Roman Empire changed nothing of the eternal principles of truth and goodness that established the eternal foundation of the eternal kingdom of heaven. Paganism’s seductive government was a delusion, though it was pervasive; all the previous admonitions and statutes of right and wrong still applied as if written yesterday, and they would be relevant forever.

“If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deut. 30:10-20).

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son….” (Heb. 12:5). The law, though hard to the core, has mercy and love mixed into it. The promises of parental guardianship that the Spirit of Christ mingled with stone-hard requirements were understood by Israelites who did the same to their children. The Lord needed to be demanding and unbending on the standards of holiness and His lessons of right and wrong in order to keep up a flagging national tendency to mistreat each other and to mistreat God after all that He did for them continually. But, He also knew that the Israelites had their own family related demands and unbreakable requirements that living in a society brings, so they should not be surprised that the Lord their God would not also have demands and immutable laws for the house of Israel. He appealed to them as children, beloved children in whom He delighted.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” (Heb. 12:5,6). This last quotation comes from Proverbs, which originally did not sound so harsh. “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of His correction: for whom the LORD loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom He delighteth.” (Prov. 3:11,12).

The writer of Hebrews (WoH) was quoting the Septuagint. “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: for whom the Lord loves, He rebukes, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

If the WoH was Paul, he could speak so boldly because he knew what being scourged was. “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.” (2Cor. 1:8-10).
 
“In labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” (2Cor. 11:23-28).
 
And Jesus Messiah the Lord of lords and Prince of princes, who inspired this epistle to the Jews, knew the experience of being “made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used” (Heb. 10:33). Providentially placed in the poorest of castes, He experienced “the spoiling of your goods” (Heb. 10:34) by being spent of what little life offered. In life and in death, He endured “such contradiction of sinners against Himself” (Heb. 12:3) as no victim of circumstances ever knew. Because all that He has suffered as the lowest among us, He has all authority to trumpet the truth. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:… And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” (Jn. 5:22,27).

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” (Heb. 12:7-10). The hardships and tragedies that life brings us comes from above; for though Satan is the cause of them all, nothing can hurt God’s children unless it passes His all-wise and loving approval. He must use trouble to keep us sober and alerted to our weakened natures and propensities to sin.

Therefore, He has always taken responsibility to trouble and tragedies, even saying that He brought them. “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.” (Deut. 32:39). “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa. 45:7). In this respect, He scourges His children. But we deserve it.

“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. 32:40,43).
 
“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.” (Deut. 32:35). This warning and all the other warnings made no impression on the twelve tribes because they would not read them, until the messages of Isaiah came with renewed force only a few years before the northern kingdom was removed from the Lord’s presence forever.
 
“For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.” (Isa. 10:22,23). This same language was applied to the southern kingdom of Judah in the message from Daniel. “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan. 9:26,27).

We need the hard sayings of the word of God that is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). Even if it “worketh wrath” (Rom. 4:15), the word of God is better than the lawlessness of Satan’s kingdom, and the dull, apathetic humanism and impossibility of humbling and sorrow for sin that comes without a strict standard of a loving father. “Where no law is, there is no transgression” (Rom. 4:15). Even if sin is not imputed, there being no law to impute and condemn sin, the horrific affects upon the soul remain“death reigned” (Rom. 5:13,14). Where there is no perceived transgression there is no humbling and repentance and resulting health-giving peace-filled resolution to life; therefore, a pall of spiritual, emotional, psychological, moral death reigns.

The word of God, His Law, chastens us, but the Lord is chastising us only for our good, “for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.”

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:11). Punishment and discipline look messy and undesirable until the end result arrives.  When the Lord’s children finally come around, [“if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end” (Heb. 3:14)], then our hearts are settled and at rest, we are meek and beautiful. After the dust settles, and putting righteousness into us was like wrestling an alligator, the Lord is no worse for the wear; we are.

Wrestling with us doesn’t make Him sweat at all; all He has to do is give us a love tap on our posterior like we do our toddlers, and our pride is down for the count. Then we know that He is greater than we are, and His will is supreme. Then we are comforted and happy. We cling to Him as our Lord and Master, our Abba; and now we can do the things that He says, humbled and grateful for His victory over our out-of-control self. “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5). Now, we can be like Jesus. The God of peace sanctifies us wholly (1Thess. 5:23). “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (Jas. 3:18).

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” (Heb. 12:12-13). Nothing brings life and health to us like peace and rest! Peace with God and peace with our brethren and neighbors. Peace with God and surrender to His chastisement will give new vigor to our minds and hearts, our flagging arms, and knocking legs. God’s grace imbues us with power to become the sons of God, to straighten our paths for our direct blessing and as examples to others to help them get their blessings also. In this divinely inspired construct miracles happen, the sick are healed body and mind and soul, and God is glorified.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14). “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (Jas. 2:13). “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Rom. 12:18). God doesn’t call us to self-imposed abuse or martyrdom. But, we can lay down our wants and even needs in order to win the heart of those who have never had the privilege of witnessing self-sacrifice and experiencing the benefits of grace. “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.” (Ps. 69:4).
 
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Heb. 12:15).  The WoH alludes to the Lord’s counsel through Moses and connects spiritualism to missing out on the heavenly gift of grace from God.

“Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst.” (Deut. 29:18,19).

Gall and wormwood were very bitter. The root of bitterness comes from our natural first birth, being separated from God and his perfect peace and happiness. Only His grace can mitigate that bitterness, Satan’s chastisement of our peace. “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5). Seeing the Messiah absorb all of our venom and wretchedness and evil upon Himself daily as He ministered to the graceless during His life, and especially so on the cross, will give us the same grace He gave the people when He was here. Out of His infinite love came His grace; and out of the sinner’s acceptance of His grace comes his comprehension of Christ’s divine love. If we have partaken of His ministry, we should seek to minister to others; for the whole world is suffering under the loveless, graceless bondage of Satan.

The root of bitterness springs up into thorns and thistles.

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” (Heb. 6:4-8). This very thing happened to the ten tribes of ancient Israel.
 
“What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant: and He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” (Isa. 5:4-7).

 “The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.…
And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.” (Isa. 7:17-24).

“For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh.” (Heb. 12:18-25).

Here the WoH is once again, urging the Jewish Christians to remain faithful to the truth newly revealed from heaven. Judaism was a sinking ship, a ghost ship that was dead in the water. It was decayed and waxed old. The time was now to circumcise the old covenant, so corrupted with bland humanistic paganism and with their thorny and caustic characters, and to bring forth the new.

The original old covenant had done its job, to put the fear of God in the people. Now that that had happened in a very small remnant, God could open to them the rich treasure of His spiritual blessings. As Paul wrote, “If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.” (Rom. 11:14).

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” (Isa. 40:1-9).

“For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:25-29).

The WoH reiterates some of his earlier warnings.

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:26-31).

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.” (Heb. 2:1-3).

“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” (Heb. 4:1).

This is the good gospel and the present truth. To refuse it is to despise it, and to despise the One who gave it, because He gave the message by giving up his own eternal life first. How can we neglect so great salvation?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Man, the corporeal image of the invisible, eternal God

“And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26).
The human race is special specie in the universe. Satan knows this and despises this fact with all of his being. Therefore, the master deceiver has sought to blot the image of God from humanity in all respects. Yet, he has failed and will ultimately perish before he ever fulfills his great dream.

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:21-22).

Our Creator has safeguarded His special creation from Satan’s destruction by beginning every object of His creative power and wisdom from scratch. True, Satan can manipulate creation after God has made it. But, he has a huge job to keep the beauty of the Creator down since God’s newest creations are ever coming forth from nothing. The buds that bloom, the pupa that become insects, the egg that grows into the human, all begin from pure and clean atoms. Satan can corrupt them all after their creation, but he cannot touch the atoms and their components.

The gorgeous displays of color and grandeur of the flora and fauna, the amazing members of the mammal, fish, and insect kingdoms, the powerful forces of weather and the inanimate items and aspects of Earth, all must be stopped and wiped away before God can cease from being glorified. And since they all come from nothing, they will ever plague the devil and stoke his vehement wrath. And God will carry on glorified.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
Who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds His chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
Who maketh His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire:
Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
At Thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of Thy thunder they hasted away.
They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which Thou hast founded for them.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which He hath planted;
Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
O LORD, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches.
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom Thou hast made to play therein.
These wait all upon Thee; that Thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
That Thou givest them they gather: Thou openest Thine hand, they are filled with good.
Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled: Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
Thou sendest forth Thy spirit, they are created: and Thou renewest the face of the earth.
The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in His works.
He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: He toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.” (Ps. 104:1-35).

Let Satan be consumed in the “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41). He has sought to destroy the beauty of holiness that our Creator instilled in the Earth. His efforts have been to understand the chemistry of nature and to alter the foundation of matter. If he can achieve that, then he can warp God’s works at their beginnings before they have the chance to glorify their Maker.

The devil knows the intricacies of the DNA and has poisoned its molecules. That powerful machine is responsible to the incalculable variety and commonalty among minor and major routines built into the species of flora and fauna; and that machine can be altered. Cancers are nothing more than manipulated and damaged chromosomes.

Two prominent features of cancer cells are abnormal numbers of chromosomes (aneuploidy) and large-scale structural rearrangements of chromosomes. These chromosome aberrations are caused by genomic instabilities inherent to most cancers. Aneuploidy arises through chromosomal instability (CIN) by the persistent loss and gain of whole chromosomes. Chromosomal rearrangements occur through chromosome structure instability (CSI) as a consequence of improper repair of DNA damage. (Taken from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21190130.)

At its lowest levels nature can be destroyed since the mastermind of evil has instructed evil men to disobey the laws of God. Now, before children can grow to choose love and duty to man, and heart-felt obedience to the righteousness of God, they are damaged, their minds impaired, their souls cut off from their Savior and friend. Self-indulgence has been Satan’s grandest scheme and most successful tool to remake this God’s most prized possession, the human race. Through self-indulgence the destroyer leads man to ruin both his sanctuary world and his own spiritual connection to His heavenly Parent. He leads man to destroy himself.

“Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1Cor. 6:19). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1Cor. 3:16,17).

Damaging and destroying our bodies inhibits our ability to connect with our Creator and receive the spiritual life that He intended to match the physical life. The physical, as great a gift as it is, is only made to support the greater life, the relationship with our Creator. His greatest desire is communion. Heart to heart fellowship with His “whole family in heaven and earth” (Eph. 3:15) is what He lives for, face to face communication.

Especially so does this apply to humanity. Adam was made like God. While the plant and animal kingdoms were spoken into existence, Adam was personally and lovingly molded into existence. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” (1Jn. 1:1). Adam was a type of Christ; Christ was the second Adam. As the apostles had seen Jesus with their eyes and touched Him with their hands, so did Jesus to their first father. The Son of God shaped His precious child, looked into his still closed eyes, calmly but anxiously awaiting the endless life of companionship He would have with this unique creation.

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7). “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” (Gen. 5:1,2).

His body imitated by time and matter the infinite, omnipotent Son of God. “His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude.” (Dan. 10:6). “His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters… and His countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” (Rev. 1:14,16).

And, in His divine spirit body, the pre-incarnate Son of God imitated His Father, the great invisible King, “Him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:14). “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.” (Dan. 7:9).

When forming Adam and Eve, His glory He represented by their hair. Hair is lovely as a covering. “A woman hav[ing] long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” (1Cor. 11:14,15). As God and His Son and the angelic forces were decorated with glory flowing from their heads. “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
” (Eze. 28: ), so the Son made His own son and His son’s sister/wife to flow with hair. “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” (1Cor. 11:10).

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:… All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.” (Num. 6:2,5). As long as Nazarites remained covenanted with the Lord’s, their hair was to remain uncut.

The stronger the composition of hair, the longer it remains intact before crumbling at it end, disappearing from sight. This ingenious design duplicates the glory streaming from God, which diminishes with distance. Like the rays of the sun, the hair from Adam ran out to an end that could not be visibly recognized. Thus, Adam could be a recreation of his Maker, mimicking His glory with corporeal materials. In Adam’s shining earthy material he wore his Master’s spirit, angelic brilliance.

Adam’s and Eve’s eyes represented even more beauty than the rest of their glowing countenance and body. The Son of God fashioned His children’s eyebrows and eyelashes to not only accomplish a practical protection from their earthly environmental dust and sunlight, but also to represent the greater light than the noonday sun which shone like lightning from His eyes and from that of His God and Father.

As His heavenly body was as the color of burnished brass, He made their bodies from clay, and called their name, Adam, earthy.

“The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1Cor. 15:47-49).

So GodH430 createdH1254 (H853) manH120 in his own image,H6754 in the imageH6754 of GodH430 createdH1254 he him; maleH2145 and femaleH5347 createdH1254 he them.” (Gen. 1:27).

Hebrew אָדָם ‘âdâm means “ruddy,” “red,” “from the ground or earth,” [or, by extension, “land” (Gen. 1:1)].

By this again Adam and Eve could praise God and love each other as they saw one another’s resemblance to their beloved Maker. And later, when the Son would introduce them to procreation, their joy and glory would be multiplied again and again throughout eternity by beholding the beauty of holiness from their Creator and His Father as seen in the children that came forth from them.

“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit.” (1Cor. 15:45). Adam naturally possessed the remarkable faculty to commune with his Creator. His joy outshined his wife’s. He inherited this ability upon resuscitation when Jesus breathed into Adam’s nostrils His Holy Spirit. Upon breathing into the holy couple, He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. The breath of life itself, as necessary for corporeal existence, was representative of the spiritual life from Christ implanted in Adam’s soul. Purity and simplicity comprised the character mold Jesus designed for Adam and his life mate. Adam was a walking, talking, rejoicing, vulnerable, corporeal spirit. He did not have a soul; he was a soul.

“Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, Even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.” (1Cor. 11:11,12). Both Adam and Eve were individual souls. But, they both also were one soul, as Christ made them spiritually one in marriage and “blessed them, and called their name Adam.” (Gen. 5:2). Then both their names were “Adam” and in a special sense they thought alike. Their hearts controlled their minds; love bound their plans and desires together. Today, this wonderful arrangement of love still plies its art to keep peace in earth.

Yet, the man Adam was not to be worshiped. He could only be what he was made to be. The Originator of this glorious soul walking the earth was the real object of worship—the One who planted Adam in his beautiful paradise. Christ was not a living soul, but the one who created living beings. The Life-giver was a quickening spirit. None but the Son could originate the spark of life, either mortal or spiritual. One look of His indignation struck tonic conviction into Adam. Another look of tenderness struck lowliness and rest in the heart of earth’s first mortal.

“Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD” (Jer. 23:24), “who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power Everlasting. Amen.” (1Tim. 6:15,16). And He has given His Son to do the same.

As the Son of God fills the universe, He gave Adam the authority to fill all of earth.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over Every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Gen. 1:27-31).

As God oversees His universe, and His Son governs it, so Adam traversed his new home, uniting its several corporeal plant, animal, bird, fish, insect, weather, metal and mineral, kingdoms under the wings of his magnanimous love and manhood. The biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics of his planet were his constant study. Husbandry was his love, family matters and priesthood his great joy, and personal communion with God his life. His days and nights were filled with all the fullness of his Creator.

Reliving the glory of Eden, David said, “the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” (Ps. 42:8). Let us all often go back there, too.

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!