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

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A person God turned around many times.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A new righteousness by works

“Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” (Isa. 50:10).

This promise says, that even if we are in darkness and without the sense that God loves us; even if we are without peace and without God; if we will fear the Lord, obey the voice of His prophet, if we choose to trust in Jesus and rely upon our God, then God can reach us with His Spirit of life. His grace will keep us tuned into His voice.

But if I don’t have the Spirit of life and peace, and then I seek another resource for peace, then Satan will give it to me. I have turned away from the only true source of life and my alternative is the deceiver, who offers a look-alike to peace. “By peace shall [he] destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes.” (Dan. 8:25). “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” (Isa. 50:11).

“For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jer. 2:13). We cannot simultaneously serve the two masters. No sooner do we end our service to the Lamb of God than Satan moves in as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, looking and sounding like Jesus.

But, the peace, the hope, the conviction that runs like fire through our brain and nerves while relying on Christ becomes sparks when waiting on Satan. The devil’s effort toward the subjugation of the disciples of Christ have been untiring. His evangelism of the one false religion has been indefatigable. Since Eve sought to lead Adam into her new found source of life and purpose, Lucifer’s prophets have ever been.

“The prophet even unto the priest…have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:13,14). When we turn our ears away from God’s Law—even though it is overpowering—we have also turned away from the fountain of living waters. We must expect and accept the divine Law to overwhelm us as creatures, sinful creatures, at that. We can stand before God through His word and expect to face someone far greater than us. His presence represented by His character in His Law will naturally make us bow—that is, our pride must bow as we recognize His infinite purity and grace.

But, if our pride will not bow, then it forces us to flee God’s Law, His character and His will. Now we are on Satan’s enchanted ground; we have chosen our delusion. We will live without being reproved and corrected. We have determined to not let anyone tell us what to do.

If we stay in God’s presence despite the discomfort to our pride; if we sense that no one else has the words of life and we trust Him enough to refresh us again, then we will patiently await His breaking through to us again as He had done initially. He got through our carnal worldliness and healed our torment. His love and grace were “with burning and fuel of fire.” (Isa. 9:5). We had tasted and seen that the Lord is good. So, on and on we trudged, seeking Him to regain His blessing.

We stumbled upon Him again as He made good use of our earnest search for His goodness. Our great need and determination to know His acceptance were the permissions He required for His removing the barriers which Satan put up to prevent us from getting to the Savior.

So, we found Him again who speaks truth and grace and we reveled in His goodness. We repent and beg Him to keep us with Him forever. His renewing of our covenant with Him strengthens the bond with Him and more readily makes Him available on a more constant basis. If we lose our hold on His character, angels can now more easily and quickly lead us to Christ again because we also can beseech Him for His presence.

Slowly the glory of His character of justice and mercy grows brighter and brighter to us and our ability to obey Him and copy Him becomes more consistent and filled with His likeness. We keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.

Everyone who refuses to initially bow their pride does not share in the beauty of holiness. But Satan presents to them another religion which they immediately accept. It looks like the true religion—it has the trappings of spirituality and morality and piety—but its fruits are paper thin. It cannot stand in judgment. Reproof, correction, and instruction it cannot bear. It has no love for truth and grace because it turned away from the Savior when they chose to dodge God’s Law.

They must live by the sparks of their own making and live without rest. Their tormented souls spend their days in misery, and in the end fall into the grave in sorrow. This is the fruit of the one false religion. Whether it were Cain's false worship, or Baal and Ashtoreth, or Jupiter and Venus, or the medieval Jesus and the Mother of God, the one false religion has always been simply a falsification of the one true religion of the Bible. The fraud was close enough to the truth for the condemnation despising devotee to rationalize his delusion. It was worship, but the wrong worship. The God of Law and grace was not its focus. Faith, and conversion of heart and life, did not characterize its fruit.

Without a new heart toward God and His Law, the false worship must resort to a faked, emotional worship, an animated service with a display of tears or an imitation joy.

Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that He regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.” (Mal. 2:11-13).

Behind all the profuse expressions, an empty soul is desolated with the absence of true rest and peace. “Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.” (Isa. 57:10). They have no rest day and night because they have chosen to serve a sinister, heartless master who “ruled the nations in anger” and “who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke.” (Isa. 14:6).

The Lord knoweth them that are His and them that are not. Righteousness by their own works, their own resources, the imagination of their own unconverted heart only makes Him angry. “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).

He sees past the outward display. He is not fooled despite Satan’s mockery of Him through His wayward children. So He waits and allows the miserable consequences from Satan to teach some of them to return to Him. He lays out before them every stumbling stone that the great controversy will allow Him. But, beyond that He cannot go to save them and spare them Satan’s chastisement of their peace. They must awaken to their great need of a better master. The must humble themselves and acknowledge their mistake.

To them He has already delineated the path to life.

“If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against Me, and that also they have walked contrary unto Me; and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:40-42).

The few who do humble themselves are so relieved and never again forgetful of the torment they suffered that they ever remain careful to stay with the Savior. Their obedience to God and His Law is genuine. O how they love His Law, and it is their meditation through all their days.

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