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

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, October 31, 2014


“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30).
When we read verse 28 we need to stop for a while before reading on and getting offended. He says, Come and I will give you rest. “And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” (Mk. 6:31). We need to stop and savor Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful love.
“And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.” (Jn. 6:40).

Before Paul went out to preach the gospel, he spent time alone studying the Savior and talking with Him. “He fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?…
And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.…
And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.” (Acts 9:3,4,8,9,17-19).
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” (Gal. 1:15-17).
We need to rest, some more than others. We all need to see Jesus. But, some have been abused by the power of darkness more than others and need more doctoring by the Great Physician. We don’t put invalids to work. We fix them up, and when their health is restored then they gladly return to work of their own accord, leaping and running with their new lease on life. We don’t put infants to work. We give them time to grow. A 2-year old can do small tasks, and we should task them. But, a one day old or a one year old must continue to get lots of rest and love. All ages must get an abundance of love and attention and affection.
My wife was put to work at a very young age out of necessity because of poverty. But the servitude has left a permanent scar. Yes, she is a good worker and a strong worker. She learned how to work efficiently and put her mind into the work. But, her soul has been bruised; her love has been hurt. To this day she resents people who give her a duty. She sees in everyone who requires anything of her as those who only saw her as a slave, a machine. This is how she was mistreated as a child. There was no love for her because her parents had abandoned her and her siblings; and the world without loving, caring parents is a very cold, demanding world.
This is not what Jesus intended when He made His famous invitation for humanity to come to Him. Those who heard His many such invitations while He walked the earth saw the love exuding from His voice and body language. His Spirit which His Father had given Him without measure, reached their hearts in wave after wave of love, and continually drew them to Him and to His example.
“And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with Him,
And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance.
And when much people were gathered together, and were come to Him out of every city, He spake by a parable:
A sower went out to sow his seed…” (Lk. 8:1-5).
Here is the context of the parable of the sower. Notice the seed that fell on the stony soil.
“And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.” (Lk. 8:6). “Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.” (Matt. 13:5).

And hear Christ’s explanation. “He that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon [G2117 immediately, straightway] with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” (Matt. 13:20,21).
Such persons trust in their rightesouness and immediately run out into the foray of persecution. They have a little knowledge of Jesus, but have not His Spirit to equip them with the power to attend their message. The enemies don’t fall back, but rather rebound with greater fury and overwhelm the hard-hearted preachers. These disciples who went forth to witness for the Messiah had no spiritual root in their soul. They had no fortitude that comes with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, so that the wrath of Satan could run right off of the shield with which God covers them. They last awhile and look good, but sooner or later they get offended and fall away from the Savior of the world.
They wouldn’t abide in Him who called them out of darkness. They came to Him, but wouldn’t learn the rest He wanted to give them. They didn’t stay long enough to receive His sanctifying grace and truth. They ran away to do something great for God; but, they didn’t know God. They weren’t content with the simple things of fellowship, companionship, trust, growing in grace.

These were the things the Lord gave Adam and Eve before the troubles of sin inundated the world. Theirs was a very simple life. Love was the modus operandi of paradise. Christ, the second Adam, was no less simplistic. In that life of simplicity He found such a deep rest in fellowship with His Father that He had to do something with the energy He received from the rest.
Then He worked; and He worked hard. His work was so incessant, that His disciples thought He had become mentally imbalanced. “And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him: for they said, He is beside Himself.” (Mk. 3:21). “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).
And He gives us the secret to His power. “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.” (Jn. 14:10). “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.” (Jn. 17:21).
The work God gives us is a simple work. It is one where we first abide in Him, receiving the power of His love and wisdom. Then we go out from that holy sanctuary and simply speak the words and do the works that He gives us to say and do throughout the day. We are under His control, and protected by the armor provided by His providence and Spirit.
But, to go out to represent Him before He has sanctified us is to speak for His adversary and be a worker of iniquity. “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” (Jer. 23:21,22).
Satan controls them, and makes them represent himself. He makes them selfish and forceful, rather than selfless and gentle and reliant on God to convince people of truth. He leads them to misrepresent the God of righteousness and love, yet make it look and sound like Jehovah is the source of their ministry. They have much light and power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace.
“Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make My people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and He that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against Him.” (Mic. 3:5). These prophets were servants of Baal, but had convinced the people that they had the great power of Jehovah with them. Their work was actually a psychological service to Moloch; a work of satanically inspired anger and not of uplifting the victims of Satan.
“And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; who also eat the flesh of My people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.” (Mic. 3:1-3). “What mean ye that ye beat My people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Isa. 3:15). Working apart from God is essentially being a taskmaster in Egyptian slavery.
Jesus told us this would arise within the church before His coming. “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:48-51).
I have to conclude that this condition in the church happens because those church leaders no longer find rest in Jesus. Could Spiritual Formation have anything to do with this? Yes.
The Jews who Christ represented as having a stony heart probably were not as settled in the work of Satan as were the demon-controlled priests and prophets of Baal. But they had been tormented by Satan, and false religion from their leaders was all that they had heard until Jesus came with a revival of the true religion that He had given to the ancient Hebrews. And they failed to recognize their need to unlearn much before they could receive the true message of Christ.
We must be careful to prejudge those in the audience of Christ who heard His powerful words and saw His powerful gestures and felt His powerful appeals. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1).
Yet, we can recognize that in many suffering people today Satan has left his mark upon their soul, and they need special attention. They need to take it upon themselves to put themselves in the presence of Christ’s truth and then let His grace wash away their stony-heartedness. I know this, because my heart still has many stones in it, that cause me to resist the redemptive love of God and the work of His love toward others. As the stones from deep in the Earth’s mantle make their way to the surface in cold winters, so do I find stones constantly arising in my heart. This won’t stop in me until the sealing, if I am faithful to abide in Christ and let Him do His works in Me.
The more fully we come to Christ and surrender our hard hearts to His never-ending love, then the more fully we take His yoke upon ourselves, as He commanded. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:29,30).
When we have searched His word and His face for His grace and love and patiently waited for His salvation; when we have truly come to Jesus and surrendered to Him; then we find in His yoke of burden bearing a school, a delightful school. We learn of Him while we do His works. Peter declares,
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2Pet. 1:5-9).
No better way to rivet the knowledge of Christ’s love in our minds and characters is to give the love and tenderness and forgiveness to others that we get from Him. The precious promises He speaks to our hearing we speak to others and see the same wonderful effect those promises had on the poor souls of Christs day. Memorizing Bible texts is only good if we share them with others at the appropriate time.
This is how Isaiah became a very wise, learned man. “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” (Isa. 50:4).
Jesus will make us wise also, as we join Him as students in His school, yoking up together with Him. The yoke was a way, not only of getting more power for digging up the fields, but also for training a young ox by coupling them with an older, more experienced ox. Likewise, as we do the works of Jesus, we must remember that He is at our side keeping us by His strength and guidance.
No wiser, smarter, more intelligent, rational, settled, happy people are there than those who know Jesus and work together with Him. And no sooner do we come to Christ than there is born in us a desire to make known to others the precious friend we have found in Jesus.
They waited patiently for Him to remove their stoniness and give them a heart of flesh. Now, their sun shines brighter and the roses blush redder. Their heart and mind are at rest, their nerves are calmed, and their health springs forth speedily. The soul is no longer easily provoked, for it is founded upon a Rock.
Through His precious promises He will fortify our minds, He will keep us in perfect peace, and give us the divine nature. “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (Jer. 31:25).
The Redeemer has saved another twisted and withered sinner, and comforted the weary soul. He has made him wise unto salvation, the only cure for this age of technology and human wisdom and forgetfulness of God. He who winneth souls is very wise.
“Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor. 1:30).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Gnosticism through the ages

Gnosticism, throughout the millennia has come in many forms.
I have taken some information from Does any of this sound recognizable in our modern setting?
Some of its followers have been exclusive, hidden away in privacy. One group “repudiated social and moral norms and were often highly promiscuous. However, this promiscuity was more like the ‘free love’ of the 1960s. It was frequently accompanied by drug use, was intended to spread love and community, and, above all, was aimed at being a conduit to a higher plane, to spiritual emancipation and communion with the higher self.
“If they succeeded in linking to their higher self, they would be filled with spiritual, mystical understanding—gnosis itself—that would reveal the true nature of existence. Acting through their higher self, part of the divine order, they would no longer be capable of sinning. They would be truly free of the constraints and travails of the world. For this reason, they were called Eleutherians—from the Greek word for ‘free’.”
Another group, the Hesychasts were “an offshoot of the Illuminati that appeared in Macedonia in the Byzantine Empire in the 14th Century. Their activities were centred on the monastic community at Mount Athos (‘Holy Mountain’). The Hesychasts were mystics who endeavoured to see a vision of the light of the True God. They regarded this contemplation as the highest goal of humanity, taking them as close as possible to the divine order, bringing them into the company of the divine spark, their higher self. In this way they could become united with God. This experience could be described as ‘unio mystica’ (mystical union), the ecstatic feeling of being one with God.”
The feelings of peace and love from familiar spirits are exactly what Jehovah had expressly forbade the Israelites.
“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.”(Lev. 19:31). “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” (Lev. 20:6). “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living [instead of] to the dead?” (Isa. 8:19).
Another, “the Alumbrados (also known as Aluminados)—the Spanish chapter of the Illuminati in the 15th and 16th centuries. Ignatius of Loyola was a senior member of the Alumbrados, assigned the task of infiltrating the Catholic Church with a new group modelled on a non-military version of the Knights Templar. The group he founded was the Jesuit Order.
“The Alumbrados recruited a number of ‘Conversos’—Jews who had been forced by the Spanish authorities to convert to Christianity if they wanted to remain in the country or even simply to stay alive. Many of these were well versed in the teachings of the Kabbalah. ‘Moriscos’ (forced Moorish converts) were also recruited. The Illuminati have always been happy to take new members from different traditions, provided those people are not wedded to the mainstream ‘religions’. The Conversos and Moriscos were usually those who were already uncomfortable with their original religions, though they had no fondness for Christianity, simply converting for convenience rather than through any conviction.
“Like the Hesychasts, the Alumbrados sought to achieve a state of perfection that would allow them to experience a vision of God; a direct transcendental encounter with the divine. At that point, when they had received the ‘light’, they would be able to communicate directly with their higher self.”
Still another, the “Jesuit order (The Society of Jesus) was established by the Illuminati as another attempt (following the Templars) to infiltrate Catholicism and seize power from within. Like the Knights Templar, they were known as ‘Soldiers of Christ’, though they were not a military order.”
The efforts of all of these groups has been to attain enlightenment without submission to the Law of God. They would not allow the Spirit of truth to strive against them and eventually bring them to the holy God. Standing before the Law by reading the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy from Ellen White and studying its principles of human treatment and service to God, always cause revulsion in us toward righteousness because of our sin nature. But, ultimately, if we let patience have her perfect work and continue to allow the truth of righteousness to boil away our rebellion, we will come forth as gold. We finally surrender to God and to His grinding and scourging of our conscience. When we surrender to His power, He shows us a Savior in His Son. “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). “Blessed are all they that wait for Him.” (Isa. 30:18).
This is the beautiful, eternal truth of the word of God that Satan has sought to snuff out, throughout all ages through all of his religions. Real salvation is so simple; and automatically from the outset employs the heaven/earth connection that immediately creates faith. And the end product is a justified soul, freed of the powerful torment that, through His Spirit, God brings to bear against every fallen son of Adam. Such a soul is filled with the strength to live by God’s high standard, His Law. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:22).
But, the soul whom Satan has emboldened to get to God without going through His Savior Son spends his days working hard for peace, but never to the satisfying of his soul or flesh. Satan will not permit them to be humbled and convicted by God’s Law in order to find peace. “The end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling.” (1Tim. 1:5,6).
Only in the Bible is the real salvation. So full of counterfeits is the world, that only to a single man, Abraham, could God speak and draw upon his heart. So much confusion had Satan already created in the young earth after the flood. We see many ancient and still existent secret groups adding to the pantheon of different roads to salvation. Their main goal is to spare themselves of God’s scourging truth. But, in the vain attempt to have some reprieve from the grinding of the Spirit of truth from God, they all end in bondage to Satan, with a tormented “vain jangling”, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13), “vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecc. 1:14), the peeping and muttering of glossolalia. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25).
Avoiding repentance before the grinding Spirit of truth must ever and always send the sinners to accept one of the thousand mystery religions, whose secret methods to salvation lead no higher than to the “higher self”, “the divine spark”. This higher self is the voice of Satan, who from the beginning has sought to lead us to himself through the promise of illumination apart from simple childlike obedience to God’s commands. “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5). But, the only way to discern between good and evil is heart service to the Creator.
The common people who sympathize with those that suffer, and work to bring them relief, are obtaining the knowledge of God and finding real happiness. Without studying theology or any formal education, they pick up on the signals from heaven by showing mercy to the poor and by uplifting the downtrodden. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (Jas. 1:27).
“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2Pet. 1:3-11).
But, the higher self and the divine spark are the workshop of Satan to evade service to others and to serve only self. They also blaspheme the salvation of our fallen nature through God’s Son by seeking holiness from an assumed holy first birth, whence comes the god-likeness within. This system is the very foundation of spiritualism and the occult. The higher self and the divine spark are the familiar spirit heard in the silence of Spiritual Formation. “Thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” (Isa. 29:4).
Spiritual Formation is Gnosticism in Christian clothing. It was the worship of Baal in a Hebrew setting. Every brand of salvation separate from the reproof, correction, and scourging instruction of the Law of love, is the same one world religion of the god of this world. And all the other brands of salvation lead only to death—a living death for its worshipful votives and destruction to everyone who stands in the way of their search for more illumination. “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:13,14).
Jesus is our salvation. A God from without comes to us because we have nothing within to recommend to our Creator.
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears:
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.
And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa. 11:1-5).
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10). Conviction, surrender to the omnipotence and omniscience of God, and accepting His humbling makes our mind and soul teachable. This is the fear of the Lord and the beginning of wisdom. This was the faith of Christ, and the pattern He left us. We should aim for the highest standard, not the lowest. This high standard was and is in the Son of God.
Jesus had the holy fear of His Lord. Though He was the Son of God, Christ requested nothing different for Himself than the whole requirements of His Father. And because He was divine, His humbling needed to be infinitely greater than ours. Yet, He accepted it all. “Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Heb. 5:7,8).
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was 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. 2:5-8).
Therefore, in the Son of God is true redemption from the pall of death which sin has brought onto the human race. All of the boasting of every group seeking release from the grip of sin must fall at the feet of Jesus. Every soul must receive peace from Christ. The love and acceptance of God can be recognized only through submission to His Son’s love. The Son’s love is true education; the Son’s self-sacrificing love is true wisdom.
“Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor. 1:30). “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1Cor. 1:24).
Everyone must come to God through Christ, taking His promise of infinite and eternal life through His infinite and eternal destruction on the cross in their place and accepting His example to die with Him, their self to be utterly crucified with His.
Jesus, the “the Prince of princes” (Dan. 8:25), from eternity was always the Servant of servants, whether to the hosts of heaven or to His Father.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Sell that ye have, and give alms [to the poor]; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately.
Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when He cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” (Luk. 12:32-37).
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.” (Matt. 4:23-25).
Love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies.” (1Cor. 13:7,8). Jesus was all of this to everyone He ever met. This is what the people saw in Him. This was His power from God to save. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” (2Cor. 5:19).
It was the love in the Son of David, a man after the Lord’s own heart. It was through the same love and friendship, like that of His forebear, that Jesus brought to the people a knowledge of God. “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” (1Sam. 18:1-4). Jesus loved humanity as His own soul; our soul was knit with His. So He gave and gave and gave.
Do you want everlasting life in this lifetime? We will never find it in the devil’s many “illuminated” paths to godship. We will not find it in knowledge of things and earthly stuff. Curiosity of technology or history, expressions of self in the arts, or even finding self in esoteric religion will not bring salvation from sin and the deliverance from the death pall. An illuminated mind does not satisfy the suffering heart and soul. Only love will provide the escape from the cares of this world. Divine love, gracious love, was a love that came a long way from home to receive us to itself and spare us from eternal judgment.
“And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Jn. 6:40).
The Law and the Gospel is illumination. The humbling and power to obey is salvation.
“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.…
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.
He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.
But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn. 1:4,5,9-13).
“This is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”(1Pet. 1:25).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Paul challenging the exaltation of Peter, James, and John

[This post is not meant to be critical or derogatory toward Peter, James, and John. But, I believe it is an accurate illustration of how easy it is for the gospel to slip away. As Paul wrote to the Jewish Christians, “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.” (Heb. 2:1).]
Gal 2:1  Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
Gal 2:2  And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputationG1380, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
Gal 2:3  But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
Gal 2:4  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Paul wisely went privately to Peter, James, and John to get their conference and to keep away from false leaders who would desire to create havoc in the church, sowing discord among the brethren.

Gal 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Not under the false brethren did Paul and Barnabas and Titus subject themselves, but they suffered under the condescension of Peter, James, and John. And that for many hours. Paul was a new-comer, not of the original twelve who walked with the Messiah. Paul was an outsider. He had also been a feared, terrorizing persecutor. But, after proving himself trustworthy for fourteen years, he should have been welcomed into the apostolic GC. He and his helpers were like Jones and Waggoner at the Minneapolis general conference of 1888. They were accepted out of cordiality; but they remained looked down upon. Paul and company were viewed as Gentile sympathizers, easier goers with the gross behavior of the heathen. They were treated as Gentiles, not true blue-blooded, hard-liner descendents of Abraham and the righteous laws of Moses.
Strong’s G1380 δοκέω dokeō
“Be accounted”, “(of own) please (-ure)”, “be of reputation”, “seem (good)”, “suppose”, “think”, “trow.”

Paul’s five times repeated useage of G1380 in his letter to the Galatians indicates a rebuke to a potential tower of Babel being built in Jerusalem at that time, the fifth useage being, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Gal 6:3). Depending on reputation before people and country-club ethics was an alarming departure from the even playing field that Christ put in the church was a root and that would quickly grow all the way to heaven, contesting and shaking its fist in the face of Michael, the Lord Sabaoth, the Prince of heaven (see Dan. 8:10,11; Rev. 13:5,6).
Gal 2:6  But of these who seemedG1380 to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemedG1380 to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

Paul is saying that the three pillars of the church, the humanly exalted Peter, James, and John, added nothing to Paul’s authority simply due to their reputation among the people or their status as original disciples of Christ. Paul came by revelation, and status or  reputation are no match for revelation. Paul’s mission was to stop their Babylonian Judaizing of the gospel.
Gal 2:7  But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
Gal 2:8  (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)
Paul is granting to the pillars that God has worked with them. But, he also adds that God accepts no man’s person; He never applauds a man or reverences a man. His creatures are His servants and He alone should be exalted and praised. Solomon ran into this same problem and fell into oblivion. The gospel Solomon had preached and the church he had raised up died out because he accepted the people’s praise of himself. This same danger existed by the saints’ praising the great work that God had accomplished in the three pillars. It had been pastor appreciation month after month, year after year. Therefore, God sent Paul to put an end to the exaltation of a human or of a cadre, a “holy” human heavenly trio.
Gal 2:9  And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemedG1380 to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Gal 2:10  Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
Paul here is telling the Galatian believers that he forbore with the pillars courteously yet respectfully in public, all the while that he was appalled at their hypocrisy.
Gal 2:11  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Gal 2:12  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Gal 2:13  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
I believe this last verse is where we get the idiom, “got carried away with…” The lack of consecration and scriptural guidance was so pervasive at the top, and the power of influence by the pillars was so thick, that even Paul’s assistant got caught up in the hypocrisy! Paul was furious with them over this! He put a stop to it immediately, no matter if he was a nobody in the capital church. He had gone there by the power of God, and, by comparison, the power of men would be like a house made of straw before a tempest.
Obviously Jesus, from the heavenly holy place, sent His servant to correct a real problem in His other servants, just like He sent His Old Testament prophets.
“And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” (2Sam. 12:7-12).
“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.” (1Ki. 18:17-20).
“And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1Ki 22:24  But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; and say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you.” (1Ki. 22:19-28).
The exaltation of men has been Satan’s number one tool to destroy the work of God in the earth. And this same danger is the Lord’s main object of observation and examination. This is how Satan eventually destroyed the church—the exaltation of the bishop of Rome. Riding on the back of Peter’s popularity, the church fathers rode to the top of humanism, using human perceptions of greatness instead of God’s definition of greatness, which is smallness, self-sacrificing love. Instead of coming to grasp reputation and applause, Christ came despising that.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was 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. 2:5-8).
How did Paul reveal the root of the problem with Peter, James, and John? The gospel and justification by faith.
Gal 2:14  But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Gal 2:15  We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Gal 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Now Paul infers their abandoning the gospel that Christ gave them and making Christ appear to be the progenitor and teacher of, and inspiration behind, their hypocrisy that was following after humanistic Judaism.
Gal 2:17  But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Gal 2:18  For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
To the big three everything was becoming a pretense, and the church was blindly following right behind them! The real experience of the Spirit was fading away. Only the truth of justification by faith was the antidote for this emergency. And a big dose of this Paul gave them, just like a prophet would. Dogmatically, dictatorially, authoritatively, disciplinarian-like, the apostle to the Gentiles, who had returned from battling with the all the hosts of darkness, toughened in the truth and strong in faith, rebuked all of the General Conference men, and reiterated the true foundation of the life in Christ. Paul was the Lord’s internal affairs officer. And like David before Nathan, they all recognized the voice of God in their former little brother. They repented and humbled themselves before God and Paul.
Gal 2:19  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Thank the Lord for a prophet and the power of rebuke! And thank the Lord for His forbearance, and justification and restoration through faith in His loving self-sacrifice.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jeremiah 30 and 31, my commentary

Jer 30:1  The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer 30:2  Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.
A book represented the archiving of the following essential words. These were words that must never be forgotten. As important as Isaiah’s similar command and following message, “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever.” (Isa. 30:8).
Jer 30:3  For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
The days referred to here are the full conquest of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar. The 1st of three conquests had already happened and the Jews lost King Jehoiachin and much of the talent and leadership of Judah. The preceding chapter records Jeremiah’s counsel for the Jews to plan for a long stay in captivity. This divine revelation they rejected and planned to punish Jeremiah for speaking ill of their hopes to be delivered and returned to Jerusalem promptly.
The remaining Jews still believed that the Lord was happy with them and that He would save those who had been taken captive. Therefore, Jehovah whom they had offended by committing whoredom in Baal, had just begun to punish them. Somehow He must convince them of their grievous wrong by worshiping Satan and his devils. Thus, Jeremiah’s message was of a 70 year captivity. But, what we learn more from Joel was that it would actually span 4 pagan conquering nations.
 “Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.” (Joel 1:2-4).
Fours waves of voracious pagan conquerors would overwhelm Israel and rape them of every gift from Jehovah, including the Hebrew religion from Abraham, Moses, David, and the prophets. Thus, Jeremiah’s message really encompassed 6 centuries. This will become clearer as we continue with chapter 30 and 31.
Jer 30:4  And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
Jer 30:5  For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
Jer 30:6  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
Jer 30:7  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble.
The tolerance of God had come to its limit. Mercy would no longer restrain justice. Their presumption had caused a high dam of potential wrath, which must now be released with a deluge of death. The high God of truth will not restrain His just punishment forever. Even if He waits a long time to execute His promised judgments, He “will by no means clear the guilty.” (Ex. 34:7).
“Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come.” (2Pet. 3:8-10).
Jer 30:7  But he shall be saved out of it.
This was the same message of surrender to Israel through Isaiah, which also was to be recorded for posterity. “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:… For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Isa. 30:8, 15). Jeremiah’s message took the representation of childbirth. The bold-face pride and arrogance would turn to stark fear and paleness at the sight of King Nebuchadnezzar’s unstoppable Babylonian armies, who was known to roast his enemies in his brick kilns. Intestinal fortitude would vanish at the presence of the ravenous hordes, and their insides would feel like they were giving birth.
But, as it was for the 10 northern tribes, the only way to be saved was in surrender to the control of God. Yet, surrender didn’t come natural to them, so they continued on in self-dependence and in self-exalting, lawless Baal worship, “…ye would not”. Therefore, Jehovah must punish them for their departure from their Creator, and for the national repudiation of every principle of God’s Law. Iniquity had run rampant, and the poor, weak, foreigners, and aged were getting abused by the rich, politically networked, and x-geners.
This was the same response to Isaiah’s call to surrender self. They wouldn’t have anything to do with it, even though surrender to God was the sign of a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. This is because they had set their sights on the world’s standard, and no one else of the nations ever surrendered self to God’s rebukes and punishments. It just wasn’t cool.
“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.
And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.” (Isa. 30:15-18).
Their sins had reached unto heaven and God had remembered their wickedness. Yet, He loved them and would use this as an opportunity to teach surrender. Now 100 years later, Jeremiah’s message from the Lord was that whoever would fight against their heaven-sent ministers of punishment would die in the battle. But, whoever would give up and accept their punishment from providence would live and serve a lifetime of servitude. They would learn service to others and self-forgetfulness; but they would learn it the hard way.
“For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.” (Jer. 20:4, 5).
“Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city [to defend it] shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans [and to their captivity] shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.” (Jer. 38:2).
“Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city. And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.” (Jer. 21:4, 5).
Then, once humbled and having learned to bow their pride, the Lord would release them to freedom. But, dying to self is the all-time lesson of life. It’s the great principle that Jesus perpetuated. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25). Through their punishing captivity Judah would learn surrender of the heart and receive salvation. “He shall be saved out of it.”
This may be how Paul arrived at his doctrine, “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” (1Tim. 2:14, 15). While the men would learn surrender of the soul in the traumas of battle, through the trauma and trial of childbirth, the women would learn surrender to their Creator. The Jews, having departed from their Lord, would find a sure loss of control and will in the face of the juggernaut Babylonian armies. They must surrender or die. The men must, as it were, give birth and be saved in “childbearing”. Then, salvation could be found through surrender of the soul, and only through surrender.
But, the God of love attached His promise for their surrender with His threat toward their continued self-worship. Just as quickly as the punishment came for apostasy to Baal would likewise come His restoration and rewards for obedience to Him and His Law.
Jer 30:8  For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
Jer 30:9  But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
Their liberation would come because they successfully learned to serve the true God of peace and truth. “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. 9:24).
David their king was not the reincarnation of David the son of Jesse. Jehovah often spoke in parables, as it is written, “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them.” (Matt. 13:34). “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, …Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matt. 13:10-13).
Jesus quoted Isaiah as already have judged Israel a century before He spoke to Jeremiah. “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt. 13:14, 15).
The promises to Jeremiah were long range and in coded language. They spoke of the church and the Early Rain of the Holy Spirit. “David their king, whom I will raise up unto them” was the Branch, the Messiah, whom Jeremiah had already announced that God would raise up. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer. 23:5, 6). Today’s Jewish rabbis expect a resurrection of King David, which they have misunderstood because they rejected the Messiah when He came 2,000 years ago for the redemption of the transgression that were under the old covenant.
“David”, the man after the Lord’s own heart, was Jesus, the son of David. Here is the first of many promises to ancient Israel that are more correctly fulfilled in what Paul called the New Testament “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), the church of Christ. So, while these promises comforted the hearts of ancient Judah, as the Lord intended, their final fulfillment would not come to pass to the Jews, as God had really desired. But, they could not enter into His rest because of full acceptance to the lawless spiritualistic worship of Baal and its fruit of determined unbelief toward Jehovah. Therefore, He would eventually have to “cast away his people” Israel who He didn’t know (Rom. 11:2). He would cut off the nation, but save “some of them” (Rom. 11:14). He would not have to lose them all, because a remnant would surrender and return to Him in repentance. “And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.” (Lev. 26:44). His mercy would still endure with those who would surrender their heart.
Jer 30:10  Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.
But, while the Lord could not give Jeremiah’s people the true rewards that He wanted, He stayed with them and worked with them. Yet, the promises of justice and later blessing more truly ended when the apostles led the new Israel, and the same punishing situation among the Jews that ended in the Early Rain of the Holy Spirit would repeat again with Protestantism in the Latter Rain. The church would again go into captivity for 1,260 years, and afterwards pass through 500 years of probation, a period concluding with the Advent movement. But, just as the Jews’ deeper captivity continued down through the inter-Testamental period until John the Baptist stood up to announce the Messiah, so would a captivity to correct the deeper rebellion continue during the investigative judgment upon the Sunday denominations and the sabbatarian Adventists. And it will close with the yet future Midnight Cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” (Matt. 25:6). So, all of Jeremiah’s words apply to modern Adventists as well as the ancient Jews.

We have this statement, “I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable.” Selected Messages, bk. 2 p. 393. In the Old Testament we see that because genuine rebellion was incurable, death must come and clear out the rebels, sparing those who would give in to God’s standard. During this investigative judgment period, whole generations have passed away for the same reason. But, in the end God will have a generation, chosen and faithful, “the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19).

Jer 30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
Jer 30:12  For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.
Jer 30:13  There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.
Jer 30:14  All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.
Jer 30:15  Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
What has the Advent movement done to merit such an application from Jeremiah? Haven’t we done better than the people of God in the Old Testament? No, we haven’t.
     “I am filled with sadness when I think of our condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.
     “The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt, and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from His word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us.” Testimonies for the church, vol. 5, p. 217.
Are we doing better than in the days of our Adventist forefathers? Look at the current chasing after Spiritual Formation like swift domedaries. “How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways” (Jer. 2:23). But, the Lord will finish His investigative judgment with His last church. To Adventism He gives the great promises of old, the promise of deliverance from the delusions of Babylon.
Jer 30:16  Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.
This is the verse quoted in Revelation to be claimed by the persecuted church of the wilderness. “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Rev. 13:10).
Jer 30:17  For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
The persecuted Waldensian of the Dark Ages was called a “heretic”. The Church of Rome has called the Adventists of the investigated judgment a “cult”. If that doesn’t get up the ire of Christendom against them, the faithful Adventists will be called “terrorists”. But, they will regain the glorious crown of righteousness, and the restored manifested acceptance of God when they wake up from the spell Babylon has put on them (see Matt. 25:6,7).
Jer 30:18  Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.
Jer 30:19  And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
Jer 30:20  Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.
Jer 30:21  And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD.
Jer 30:22  And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
The church of the investigative judgment, though Laodicean, will come alive again as it was when Philadelphia described it. It will be rebuilt upon its old platform, with new truths in old framework. The revival will bustle with new life, as thousands are converted in a day and join those being sealed in the Advent movement. Babylon will fall and will no more serve themselves upon the Adventist rebels.
But, until that glorious time, we are greatly deserving of retribution for our refusal to obey our Lord in His heavenly Most Holy Place. Our punishment is due.
Jer 30:23  Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.
Jer 30:24  The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.
Jer 31:1  At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
Jer 31:2  Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
To reiterate, before the crown comes the cross. We must learn the lessons of sanctification and turn away from this idolatrous world. “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” The Great Controversy, p. 425. And then “He will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” (Hos. 6:2).
Jer 31:3  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Jer 31:4  Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.
Jer 31:5  Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things.
Jer 31:6  For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.
Jer 31:7  For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.
This foretells of the tremendous evangelism that will occur before Jesus returns in power and glory. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. 24:14).
“In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” (Isa. 4:2-4).
Jer 31:8  Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
Jer 31:9  They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Ephraim was the leading tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel. As a second application of the literal apostatized northern tribes strewn around the world by Assyria, Ephraim or “Israel” symbolizes the Protestant churches who departed from the God of the Bible. They kept the holy name of the Reformation, but went off into spiritual darkness. But, many among the Sunday denominations too will be saved through the tribulation that has come to them for leaving God and His commandments. Distant Protestants, like the far away islands of the sea, will desire obedience to the seventh-day Sabbath and will return to the whole will of God.
Jer 31:10  Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
Jer 31:11  For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
The Adventist 144,000 served them the truth of God’s grace and truth, and multitudes will respond. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 7:9-12). “And so all Israel shall be saved.” (Rom. 11:26).
Jer 31:12  Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
Jer 31:13  Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
Jer 31:14  And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.
Great will be that day! But, before that celebration must come a reminder of the just punishment for their disobedience to glorify God, and ours. Then, comes the promise of an end with hope.
Here is another evidence that the fulfillment did not come until Jesus ministered to Israel. Jesus claimed for the church a similar promise from Isaiah to Israel. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” (Isa. 61:1-4).
Jer 31:15  Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Jer 31:16  Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
Jer 31:17  And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
Jer 31:18  I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.
Jer 31:19  Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
Before the great revival of Israel in the apostolic church, the Jews must be devastated by Babylon and the next 3 pagan empires. The Babylonian siege upon the Jews of Jeremiah’s  day would result in the loss of much life, poetically seen as Rachel weeping when she looks upon Jerusalem’s destruction. But, such drastic measures from heaven would bring about God’s desired result, repentance.

True repentance is sorrow for sin and turning away from it. “Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.” (Isa. 30:22). It involves a hatred of sin and a sorrow for what it has done to the heart of God. This kind of change in a man is what turns the Lord back to him in immediate, full forgiveness.
Jer 31:20  Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.
Jer 31:21  Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.
Virgin daughter? After all of her adultery with Baal and filthy Ashtoreth? After teaching the people of the Lord to be filthy? Yes, the whole nation would repent (that is, the remnant of Israel, the church), the whole nation (the chosen generation) would be delivered from Babylonian idolatry. Jehovah would see them as virgin, as never having sinned against Him. This kind of mercy is just like the language to the rebellious Corinthians. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called…saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” (1Cor. 1:2). “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1Cor. 6:11).
Many similar rebels will unite with the Advent movement, who have come out of atheism, hedonism, the gay life, prostitution, drugs. These will be called saints when they bow to the powerful sight of Jesus and His love, seen in His grace and truth, His mercy and justice.
Jer 31:22  How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
Isaiah explains the meaning of this new thing. The rebellious fathers’ descendents, “them that are escaped of Israel” (Isa. 4:2), will serve the true God and surround Jesus. “In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” (Isa. 4:1). Those who would come away from captivity would be soundly converted and would fix their hope in Jesus.
Jer 31:23  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.
Jer 31:24  And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.
Jer 31:25  For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.
The Lord’s blessings can’t get any better than satiation. This does not mean indulgence. It means that the desolate hearts that served Satan and could never find rest, now know abundant rest of heart and mind, and can finally enjoy the simple pleasures that flow from the hand of God. Jesus is the same Lord of the Old Testament as He is of the New. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt.11:28, 29).
Jer 31:26  Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.
After all the many months and years of Jeremiah’s sorrowful reproving, he finally got some rest of soul. He saw his people get rest and comfort, and this brought the same to the prophet of Jehovah.
Jer 31:27  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.
Jer 31:28  And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.
Jer 31:29  In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.
Jer 31:30  But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
Out of the loss of freedom and a grieving heart, and only out of those terrible ordeals, a new heart and character could be given to the virgin daughter of Israel.
Jer 31:31  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:
Jer 31:32  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:
Jer 31:33  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.
Jer 31:34  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.
This is another connection to Paul’s understanding that the church was meant in these promises. To him, the primary fulfillment of this was the Early Rain of the Spirit of God. “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when 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 when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:8-12).
Jer 31:35  Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
Jer 31:36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
Jer 31:37  Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
Jer 31:38  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
Jer 31:39  And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.
Jer 31:40  And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.
This, again, is not fulfilled until the church, and beyond to the heavenly capital of God.
“For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” (Isa. 54:1-3, 6-14).
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” (Rev. 21:2-4, 18-21).