“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Howbeit, not all

“For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.” (Heb. 3:16).

“Not all” “did provoke”. Blessed thought! Boon to health! Not everyone rebelled! Not everyone lived for this world. Some walked by faith. It’s the bad news that so much fills the Bible and so much saddens the hearts of God’s chosen. Yet, now and then, we get to witness obedience and humility. And our spirits are refreshed. How much more relief must the angel’s find, all in whom “is joy” “over one sinner that repenteth.” (Lk. 15:10). And, infinitely more so must the hearts of Father and Son rejoice.

True, much of inspiration dwells upon the times of disobedience and disciplinarian consequences. More often than not we read of Satan’s victories and the horrors upon God’s people that resulted by the devil’s revenge on God through His people. It’s this seeming endless saga that discourages people from reading the Bible or uniting with God’s movement on earth. Sacred history doesn’t look very sacred and holy and successful to the unbeliever. The prospects look pretty dismal and grim.

“Howbeit not all” did that. Not all have “charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:22). Sacred history has its success stories! Noah, Lamech, Methuselah, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, etc. etc. Ruth and Boaz, Obed, Jesse, David, Jonathan, Samuel, Jehoiada, Jehoshaphat, Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, and the prophets who were holy men moved by God, all create a glorious panoply of starry hosts against the reigning darkness. Faithful, a great cloud banding the night sky, creating a long, connected history of God’s successful work of arresting the destruction of the deceiver against Him and His children. The lost river often has become lost from sight, but it always came up again.

It was heaven’s work of ultimate, inevitable success that led to Paul’s conclusion of predestination—not an arbitrarily predestining of destiny as believed by a Protestant Reformer, but a revival of primitive godliness, a movement to restore the true image of Christ in human hearts and lives, “the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19).

The sacred histories plainly showed the evidence of a faithful remnant ever existing amid the moral declension into which Satan had led the majority. God has always had His faithful representatives. Though few in number, they always planted the standard of heaven on earth like the American soldiers on Iowa Jima, and the young Republic’s thirteen stars and stripes flying boldly amidst the bombs bursting all around to hit it and to knock it out.

An undercurrent of repentance and conversion, humiliation and love, has sanctified the whole unregenerate human race and watered it. “Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” (Isa. 8:18).

At times it might be lost from sight; but, sooner or later the Creator and Redeemer brings it to light again—proof to humanity that that lost river was there all along, simply not visible; and proof to God’s faithful care to mercifully and continuously seed earth with His redemption. Even without a leader, and marred by every man doing “that which was right in his own eyes” (Jdg. 21:25), a “remnant” (Isa. 10:22) would continue. That “very small remnant,” (Isa. 1:9) has preserved Earth in the cosmos, keeping this planet from its complete blotting out of existence by divine retribution.

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:31-34).

“It [the law] was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19).

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” (1Pet. 2:9).

Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day. Christ’s Object Lesson, p. 332.

“And again, I will put my trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me.” (Heb. 2:13). “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Heb. 2:11).

The Son of God has been the instrumentality to keep that predestined group alive and well throughout the ages of this great controversy. He is our arm of strength. “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isa. 53:1). “O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee: be Thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.” (Isa. 33:2). “Or let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” (Isa. 27:5,6).

Jesus reincarnate, Jesus among us, Jesus ascended and glorified has kept His movement from its inevitable desolation were it not for His involvement. Never once, throughout the battle against His adversary, has He ever misjudged or overstepped the line He drew in the sand for Satan. His children have accepted His correction and instructions being sanctified by faith in His truth and grace. Close by His side, the mutual choice has been His virtue in their spirit, guiding and purifying them. Their bond results in His shamelessly calling them brethren, and delivering “them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage…. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb. 2:15,18).

The river of life may go underground, but it always surfaces again. “This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob. Selah.” (Ps. 24:6).

“Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” (Isa. 51:11).

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom. 11:26,27).


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