“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, February 27, 2015

The effect without a cause (sic)

“As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.” (Prov. 26:2,3).

The curse causeless shall not come. There is a reason for the troubles that come our way. There is no avoiding cause and effect. This is the simple truth of God’s creation. He built into every one of His great creations the law of cause and effect. Cause always leads to effect; nothing happens without a cause. Nothing is generated spontaneously; nothing comes into being out of thin air.

If we want to understand how something works, we can trust that the rules don’t change in the middle of our investigation. The rules are consistent; they always apply. That’s good news. There could be nothing worse than getting down to the verge of understanding a system, then Surprise! The rules changed and you have to start all over giving obeisance to two sets of rules! You took years to understand the first set of rules, and now you have to learn another.

The moral laws are as immutable as the mental and physical laws. Every law of nature affects us. To break the moral laws are as destructive to us as breaking the laws of physics. The need for grace is as unbreakable as the need for gravity; the law of integrity as unbendable as the law of inertia. The laws of health apply now and forever, just as much as do vehicular laws.

God allows us to break His moral laws, just so that we can know that they stand fast forever. We test them all the time, and discover that we cannot dismiss them. And the Lord is OK with this, for a while. But, eventually if we continue in sin, He must let us feel the pain. That’s when the troubles start.

We have the bad habit of giving people supernatural powers who are successful at obedience to God’s laws. Like they are Gods, like they never had any weaknesses. We don’t know the effort and struggles that they experienced while striving for obedience. So we assume that a period of up and down never occurred. We think they were born with a “supernatural health” gene, or a supernatural talent, intellect, unperverted appetite, or spirituality. They are nice to have around, but only as token gifts from a distant utopia somewhere. We appreciate their beauty and strength and aspiration and inspiration, but it does little for our motivation to follow suit.

We assume he was born with an especially large heart and lungs; yes, that’s why he wins all the races! (He never went to practice). She was born a genius (she never had to practice days on end); that’s why she plays the piano at the Kennedy Center. He has the “smart” gene; that’s why he’s a brainiac (he doesn’t have to study). She has the “skinny” gene, that’s why she’s age 50 and turning grey, but still looks 25 and stunning (she doesn’t have to curb her appetites).

Someone once cornered me and asked about my slender build. The person referred to my mother who was a small-framed person, and said that could explain my fitness. I didn’t think anything of it. Then, later I realized why the strange conversation happened. The person asking was a large person, and needed a reason to excuse the problem. If I had realized this I would have given the more accurate, bigger picture. My five siblings were all small framed like myself when we were kids, some skinnier than I was (my father had been a beanpole up into his twenties). But, now in our fifties, all my siblings (and our father) are over-weight. That’s because they didn’t learn about the health message like I did. Nor the gospel.

But, even obesity can be a blessing from the Lord. He always turns bad things into good. Good can come out of it for everyone who will admit his fault and turn away from it. Jesus will assist anyone who does this, even if it isn’t a full-fledge repentance. He will inspire such a person with all the good reasons and will-power to obey His Father’s laws. He will never do for him; but, He will always do in him.

A friend of mine just lost 75 pounds of extra blessings, not by surgery, but by exercise. She looks amazingly so much younger than when she was heavier! Hopefully, when such people see the benefits of obedience to physical laws, they will logically realize the great blessings in store for obedience to their Father’s moral laws, and find Him. “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11).

God will allow us go for a long time disobeying Him. He must let us go as long as we want to. He must. We are free moral agents; He made us that way. But, in our troubles and travesties, we must also choose to look up and admit, “I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.” (Job 33:27, 28).

“Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” (Job 33:24). “He shall pray unto God, and He will be favourable unto him: and he shall see His face with joy: for He will render unto man his righteousness.” (Job 33:26). “His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth” (Job 33:25). Just about every disease and unhealthy condition is reversible. Even cancer. And then, those survivors are happy witnesses of the dangers of disobedience to the laws of the Creator. “Fear God and give Him glory! For the hour of His judgment on your body will surely come!”

God has a strong stance toward our disobedience because He must keep the rest of His unfallen kingdom safe from sin and beyond any other future great controversies. He will let the wages of sin be death. He cannot alter the constitution of His eternal kingdom. Life must require obedience; death must attend all disobedience.

But, God isn’t an ogre who says, “If your hedonism makes you hell-bent, then so be it.” He doesn’t say, “If you want to drug yourself into oblivion, go right ahead.” “If you want to smoke your lungs into Swiss cheese, I could care less.” And certainly, Satan preaches those sermons in everyone’s ears. When disease ransacks their body, mind, and soul, then he leads them to blame God.

No, the Father does care, but He cannot lower the standard. He cannot tailor the laws of His immense kingdom to our perverted natures on miniscule planet Earth. He cannot be gracious toward any insolence toward His Law. He must hold the difficult place of infinite Judge. The Law can never change. It is not organic; it is not situational; it is immutable. Never murder! Never steal! Never commit fornication! Never lie! Never covet! Always reverence your parents! Forever keep My Sabbath holy! “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” (1Pet. 2:17). Your created human body is My rightful temple! He that sins against his body I will destroy in the end. “Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” (Lev. 19:2).

But, we can find comfort in His forbearance. Our Father gives us time to figure out our dilemmas. He makes it very simple, in that His laws never change. He also sends us His agents. We bump into friends and strangers who can teach us what He could have taught us if we had been able to trust His wisdom. And He is very nice about this. Have you ever had to leave it up to another person to explain something or give help to someone you know because they didn’t trust your explanation? It’s very humbling and disappointing. Obviously, a rift had occurred that you didn’t know existed until that moment.

I needed to teach my wife to drive our clutch pick-up truck. We didn’t have another vehicle and she had only learned to drive with an automatic transmission car. So, I patiently tried and tried to teach her, but she couldn’t learn. Then, my supervisor offered to teach her. She learned in two hours from him what I couldn’t teach her in two weeks. She had a mental block toward me. I represented a threat or someone untrustworthy or in some way unworthy of her. She couldn’t bring herself to try to learn from me. We had a personality conflict in a way I didn’t realize. I must not have been the perfect husband, protector, and provider. I needed to address this in myself and to fix it. God has been very gracious by showing me this and giving me time to work it out in my character.

Jesus has gone through the same with me. He could much more quickly and easily speak directly into my conscience. That is the way He originally intended my development. But, that method rarely works because sin has blunted my spiritual perceptions. He and I have a rift, as sad as it is to say it, and I can’t trust His wisdom. Yet He, not put away, though His feelings hurt, sends many others of my own make and model to declare the lessons they learned from the same disobedience that I’m suffering under. They tell me that they are so much better off after changing their minds to obey the Law instead of continuing in disobedience. I am inspired by them to do what I’ve been fighting Jesus about. He ever so graciously blesses my every effort in obedience, even though I jilted Him every time He tried to teach me.

His laws never change and His forbearance is everlasting.

“Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.” (2Cor. 2:14).

“Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 15:57). 

“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift.” (2Cor. 9:15).

Thursday, February 26, 2015


We often wish we had more faith. But how much is enough? Jesus said we don’t need much in terms of quantity. The disciples plied Jesus about this. “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” (Luke 17:5,6).

In this definition Jesus was saying that we don’t need a lot of faith to move mountains. That’s because our faith doesn’t do the work of moving mountains. God does the lifting and heaving; the mountain obeys God, not puny us. So, if we only have a little faith, that is enough. And, that’s a relief. If I thought I had to do the work of removing a mountain of sin from my chest, then I would have to do a lot of emotional, neurological grunting. It might even lead to a stroke. Trust me, Ive tried.

Is this what causes strokes? It makes me wonder. We know that if we break one commandment we broke them all. Then, if we break one of the 8 laws of health, we get disease. Right? Yes, that’s right. And how many people do we know who have eaten right, drank their daily 8 glasses of ultra-purified water, got their 15 minutes of daily sunlight, ran or walked their 7-10 miles each week, got their 7-9 hours of sleep, abstained from everything bad and were careful of everything good, and still got cancer? It happens. Why? Because maybe they failed in the eighth of the 8 doctors—Trust in divine power. Faith.

I used to think that trust in divine power meant trusting God to heal me when I finally get sick or am on my death bed. But, over the years I’ve realized that trust in divine power goes way beyond healing from sickness. It includes healing, but it also more likely means a preventive measure. As an ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure, so is trusting Jesus all the time worth much more than waiting to trust Him until all is almost lost.

What does it mean to trust Jesus? It means to trust Him as a friend, to know Him to be a friend. If I know that He was a friend alike to disciple, leper, and even Pharisee, then I can have a mustard grain seed of faith that He would be my friend also. And, to God, who is trying to save us all, thats enough for starters.

For many years after being rescued from my life of sin and misery, I still had a misconception of Jesus. One day, the Spirit of the Lord gave me a thought: The love of God. That’s all it was. But as I thought about it, that phrase which seemed to be drilled into my psyche by millions of sermons had lost all realness to me. It was just another nebulous Bible cliché. I knew the God who saved me; that much had been the power that kept me faithful to Him in all of my troubles since returning to Him. But, in the Bible, where was this faithful Person?

As it turned out, I never ran across the God of love in the Bible! I never really met Him there. In my ignorance of Jesus, all I saw in the Bible was a cold, controlling God to the Israelites who had hardened His own heart, and an argumentative know-it-all Son who bullied the rabbis and Pharisees because He was the Anointed One who knew the Old Testament infinitely better than they did. He knew the Bible better because He knew its Author.  And the Author was His Father. Actually, Jesus was the Author through His Father. So, He couldn’t lose any debate with the religious leaders; and He didn’t lose any. He was the hero all the time, almost fictional. So, I had some good theology down pat, but I also had some bad theology. My theology which seemed so airtight was not satisfying. The reality is that my theology had many holes; and it still has an infinite number of holes, though the Lord has plugged some of them.

One day I decided to write down every instance in the Bible where Jesus demonstrated that He loved. I didnt bother with the Spirit of Prophecy because I wanted to go to the source. So, in the Bible I could only come up with 2 places. John 6:37 and Matthew 11:28-30. The many other places didn’t convince me that He really meant love when He said it. For instance, Revelation 3:19. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” That just didn’t seem like love. You love me, so that gives You permission to criticize me and command me to repent? What kind of friend does that? I could never confess my doubts as the adult Sabbath School teacher (!), but, I remained somewhat standoff-ish to Jesus.

How about Isaiah 1:18-20. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isa. 1:18-20).

So many times I had heard a preacher quote verse 18 and it sounded real good. Then when I went to look at it for myself to be sure it was true, I made the mistake of reading on. That really blew it for me. Devoured with a sword because I won’t be willingly obedient? What kind of love is that? Is that really mercy? Reasonable? How could anyone accept that kind of invitation to “Come unto Me”? Lord, You sound like a monster!

Obviously, my faith was floundering. Like a fish out of water, I was gasping for hope. And my happiness factor registered 1 on a good day. Instead of rejoicing with the God of love, I struggled under a God of wrath. And this is what the Bible said happens in my case. “He that believeth on [trusts in] the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not [doesnt trust] the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

I couldn’t bring myself to trust Jesus, which left me out in the cold with respect to my Savior, and under the heat with respect to God. Until we open our heart to Jesus, we are standing in the presence of the Almighty God without an intercessor. I disturbingly found the Bible to be true on this doctrine. But, seeing that the Bible was right on this idea gave me some faith! And hope.

So I ventured out on a journey to find this God of love and the proof that He truly is love. This world had proven itself unloving, therefore living for this life was not an option. I was surrounded by enemies because I needed to be loved, and they couldn’t do that. Whether work, marriage, even church, no one could love me after they knew me for a while. I couldn’t change myself, so I was doomed to a life without love. That was my incentive to search for the God of love. It helped to have a working knowledge of the Bible. I knew that in Him I moved and lived and that He wasn’t very far away from every one of us.

It took many years, but over time I began to realize that when the Bible says that I’m a destitute sinner, it is telling the truth. Over and over the unloving reaction I got from people toward my unloving actions and words shouted to me that again the Bible was true when it summed up my condition. I needed a savior from sin. I was a sinner, and that fact humbled me some, enough to rethink my resistance to Bible verses that sounded detrimental to my hope. Good sounding or bad sounding, it was true. I deserved to be devoured with the sword.

Looking heavenward from the corner of my eye of faith, I acknowledged Jesus’ right to rebuke me and warn me. It wasn’t the warm and cozy kind of love that I had yearned for, but I knew that it was coming from a faithful friend. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov. 27:6). In a roundabout way, Jesus had proven Himself as my friend. And maybe the long, patient route to Him was the only one that could be the longest enduring. I’ve since come to see that that long, circuitous path to Jesus is the only way. It is within God’s science of salvation.

“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:22-24).

“Now the end [the goal] of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5).

I more fully understood the first part of my original hope, when Jesus promised “him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37). That is, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me. I saw that the Law of condemnation is God’s Law and tool to bring us to His Son, our friend. Through His Law God gives us to His Son. As much as we need a friend in Jesus, we must come to Him humbly, or we won’t come to Him at all. There are many look-alike Christs, as Baalim was a look-alike Elohim. Satan has deployed many imposter Fathers and Sons, many Gods.

I picture a line of Jesus's, all looking more or less the same. But, only one in the middle is the true Jesus. Multitudes get off the bus and head for the true Jesus, but just before getting to Him, almost everyone takes a detour to a “Jesus” next to the real Jesus. Or, they head for an obvious imposter down closer to the ends of the lineup. But, they all begin heading for the one, true Jesus. This must be very hurtful to Him.

If we’ve not been humbled by the Law of God, by His condemnation of sin, then we can never have the correct need for a Savior. The only real Savior is a savior from sin. Without the curse of the Law causing our heads to burn with fire and brimstone, having no rest because of the smoke of our torment, we cannot ever come to Jesus—that is, to the true Jesus. It’s only those who submit to the condemnation of the Law that can receive the faith that takes captivity captive to the very throne of grace. They may feel completely unworthy to go to Jesus, yet desperation drives them there. Whisked into His presence by grief and need, they bring their argument to Jesus, and their cry wakes up a God who is pleased with such a child. Without faith it is impossible to please Him; and need creates such acceptable faith, because it is humbled faith. The heart has been humbled. The soul has been poured out. Crucified with His Son, they are heard. He gives that person the blessing which they sought from Him. “And He blessed him there.” (Gen. 32:29).

Since learning this, the whole Bible has come to life. I understand it now because I’ve accepted its basic premise of surrender to the condemnation of sin and then surrender to the Savior from sin. Let the Law grind until you fall on it and break, and then you can see more clearly the cross of Him who has taken the brunt of my pride and coldness which have crucified His heart afresh day after day.

It didn’t take much faith to go all the way to repentance and move the Almighty. On my part it took need and humbled desperation. Whatever faith came out of that moved a mountain. All of my presumptuous grunting to move God would never get me into His presence. It would not be faith. It would be only work, my work, some kind of high blood pressure thing that I thought I needed to do in order to get God’s ear. Certainly, it would be detrimental to my neurological and physiological health.

The answer was the Law; it was the Bible’s strange, lawful, strict, stern affront to sin. What I needed I didn’t think I needed. Condemnation didn’t seem to be a remedy for my emotional pain. If God were an earthly psychologist, He would get a class action lawsuit by a world of traumatized sinners. Yet, His wrath is just what we all need. We need the humbling, the stumbling over His firmness and authority to rebuke our sinful condition. He is our Father. Doesn’t every father correct and instruct?

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him:
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” (Heb. 12:5-12).

Maybe it seems unfathomable to come to Christ under these conditions. But, I can assure you, it is the only way to know Jesus to be the Friend who never leaves or forsakes, and the Physician who never lost a case. His science is real science. Let’s surrender to it, and to Him.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jesus, El Capitan

We have a Cornerstone that we must fall on. As His Father’s representative, Jesus is a Prince, the Lawgiver and our Law enforcement Officer. Jesus will not break or budge; we must budge and break ―an impossible work for sinners to accomplish. We must be broken beyond any hope of our repairing ourselves, and then He will bind us up. He that loses his life will find his life. As His Father’s designated intercessor, Jesus is our Saviour and merciful Messiah and Advocate, our great Physician who never lost a case. Our stumbling Stone is set for the fall and rising again of many in Protestantism (see Luke 2:34).

Like Paul described in Romans 7, many have already cooperated with Jesus by standing before His piercing testimony until their sins have become exceedingly sinful. Now, what they need is tenderness and peace; and each humbled one qualifies for it. Therefore, Jesus will cooperate with them to get His peace by bringing them to surrender to His mercy. “He that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain” (Isa. 57:13).

They can receive His surrender by looking at Jesus, studying Him, thoroughly searching out the Law and grace which He displays in Himself from every page of the Volume that He wrote for us. We can also find Him in the books of nature, working with our hands, and our experiences of life. We further develop this cooperation with Jesus by serving with Him; that is, helping others to have confidence in His promises, by undoing their heavy burdens, and letting the oppressed go free. Only thus can His Spirit lead us to abandon our angry fighting from hearts naturally filled with scorpion poison (see Ephesians 2:3; Romans 3:13, 14; 2 Peter 1:5-8).

When the Spirit helps us see Jesus in the written page, then will our “light break forth as the morning” (Isa. 58:8). We must see Jesus and then righteousness will appear wonderful and doable.

This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life (John 6:40).

We would see Jesus (John 12:21).

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him (Ps. 34:8).

Search the scriptures; …they are they which testify of Me (John 5:39).

Jesus taught us that we can see Him by piecing together the collage of Himself which Old Testament individuals bore out in their lives through His divine nature. We see Him through them; for they testify of Him (see John 5:39). Rebecca’s happy exertion to help and give water to others described Jesus, the Servant of servants (see Genesis 24:18-28, 58). Go there and drink in all her beauty; it testified of Him. Drink in Jesus and the water of life that He gives. David’s love of obedient worship and thankful praise to God’s goodness showed us Jesus, the Son of David (see Psalm 63). The Gospels didn’t touch on every beautiful snapshot into Christ’s life because His Spirit was directing us to the Old Testament for them. They all testify of Him.

The pure, close union between David and Jonathan (see 1 Samuel 18:1-4) speaks volumes of the pure intimacy between the heart of Christ and everyone He ever met that includes you and me. The rich, young ruler gives a backward look to David and Jonathan when Jesus first met the princely candidate for discipleship. “Jesus beholding him loved him” (Mark 10:21). It was a perfect millennium throwback to the scene with David, (meaning, the beloved), and Jonathan (meaning, Jehovah given). The last time they would see each other, “David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded” (1 Sam. 20:41). “Jesus beholding him loved him.” Jesus’ heart was knit with this young man; but, His heart was also thrust into the grave when the ruler suddenly lost his great yearning to be a friend. If we see Jesus with faith, in His presence will be exceeding joy, and our response will be that of Jonathan. “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:1). “Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David” (1 Sam. 19:2). Jehovah having given us to the beloved Desire of all nations (see John 6:37), He will become our great delight and will show us the right path to life.

Moses’ intercession and love for a hard-hearted people who hated him, describes our heavenly High Priest (see Exodus 14:11-13; 15:24, 25; 16:1-3, 8; 17:1-4; 31:18; 32:5, 6, 11-14, 30-32; Numbers 11:1-3; 12:1, 9-13; 14:1-5, 10, 11-20; 16:1-5, 41-48; 20:1-11). And, Christ’s steadfast obedience was like Moses’, but infinitely greater (see Deuteronomy 18:18; Numbers 12:7; Hebrews 3:1-3). Elisha’s initial humbling of Naaman before his healing and conversion and his later gracious treatment toward Naaman prefigured the great Physician. Thus, with a new heart to have no interest in idolatry, in a pagan temple Naaman could be of service as a missionary to his beloved master (see 2 Kings 5:10-19, cf Isaiah 11:4, 5). Elisha there showed us the wisdom and the Holy Spirit power of our generous Lawgiver and Lord, Jesus.

Solomon’s depth of understanding foreshadowed the Master Teacher and the revival that sprung up around Him. “He spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom” (1 Ki. 4:32-34, cf Matt. 13:34). “The queen of the south…came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Matt. 12:42).

Jonah’s amazingly effective preaching mimicked the even more superior preaching of Christ. “The men of Nineveh…repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here” (Matt. 12:41). The physical strength and lightning quick agility of Samson speaks of One spiritually more agile and stronger than Samson was physically, who could intercept every wily trap of Satan and throw around the whole host of wickedness hip and thigh, overcoming their storms and death. We also see Jesus in every little lamb with upward looking eyes longing for attention, and tight mouth yearning to be kissed. The loving animals were a shadow of Jesus and of His good things to come (see Isaiah 53:2, 7; Hebrews 10:1).

We see Jesus in them all, because they were His workmanship. The work declares its maker; and the house gives glory to the builder/owner of the house (see Hebrews 3:3-6). Everyone finds happiness and peace who see the collage of Jesus in the Old and New Testament, and they rest in His gracious righteousness. They find salvation, the illusive fountain of life. (See John 6:40; 15:7, 8; 4:14; Psalm 42:2; 16:8-11.)

For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD (Prov. 8:35).

But, they must search through both the Old and New Laws (see Isaiah 42:4) to find Him, for He is everywhere in the Book. He ever lived out every word that He put in the Law of God. Humbled by His beautiful example and His profound, authoritative expression of the Law, new life surges in their conscience and they receive power to imitate Him. His Father’s Law becomes their delight. Jesus’ life and death have reconciled them to God.

Joyful was Jesus because He walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful.
But His delight was in His Father’s Law; and in His Law did He meditate day and night.
Jesus was like a tree planted by the rivers of water, and brought forth fruit in His season; His leaf also did not wither; and whatsoever He did prospered.
The ungodly and demons were not so: but were like the chaff which His Spirit drove away.
Therefore the ungodly could not stand before His judgments, nor the devils in the congregation of His disciples.
For the LORD knew the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly perished.

I am joyful because I walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful.
But My delight is in My Father’s Law; and in His Law do I meditate day and night.
I am like a tree planted by the rivers of water, and bring forth My fruit in its season; My leaf also does not wither; and whatsoever I do prospers.
The ungodly and demons are not so: but are like the chaff which My Spirit drives away.
Therefore the ungodly cannot stand before My judgments, nor the devils in the congregation of My disciples.
For I know the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (See Psalm 1.)

Jesus suffered long, and still was kind.
Jesus envied not.
Jesus exalted not Himself, He was not puffed up.
He did not behave Himself unseemly, He sought not His own.
Jesus was not easily provoked, He thought no evil.
He rejoiced not in iniquity, but rejoiced in the truth;
He bore every burden, believed every sorrowing soul, hoped for every sinner, endured every one of our sins and shortcomings.
Jesus never failed.

As our High Priest, Jesus suffers long, and still is kind.
Jesus envies not.
Jesus exalts not Himself, He is not puffed up.
He does not behave Himself unseemly, He seeks not His own.
Jesus is not easily provoked, He thinks no evil.
He rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
He bears every burden, believes every sorrowing soul, hopes for every sinner, endures every one of our sins and shortcomings.
Jesus never fails.  (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.)

Yes, it is charity that does the above, as Paul so taught. We have a duty to love. However, we cannot truly love without the inspiration that seeing Jesus gives us ―not only by His confirming treatment of others, but also by His expression of these wonderful actions to me as I read of them. If it hasn’t yet become natural for me to see Jesus in His Law, I must put Him there. For it all testifies of Him. Otherwise, I greatly limit the resource of His life and severely hamper my ability to know Him. I must keep His commandment to search the Book that He wrote of Himself; I must search the Word who is God. Our hearts and minds will open to new life when we seek Him who used the scriptures to reveal Himself.

Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.… And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.… And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:25, 27, 31, 32).

Beholding Jesus calms me and His example of the Law converts me. But, without resting in this vision of Jesus, obedience to righteousness would be self-inspired; it would be my own work, and I can never drum up the motivation to get it right. This is the cause of Laodicea’s malaise, which afflicts Christendom today. Self-made obedience, because Jesus is not seen currently drives the church into darkness. Forced righteousness always leads to sure, automatic violence “because the law worketh wrath” (Rom. 4:15). “Until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matt. 11:12). However, getting the vision of Jesus will free us from our bondage and lack of peace with God, and give us the Latter Rain of His Spirit.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31, 32).

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst…. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever (John 6:35, 56-58).

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on He, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37, 38).

Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure Testimonies to Ministers, p. 91.

Jesus must win my heart to His life, otherwise the Law will remain only my lifeless, mundane, exhausting duty. The beauty of holiness is the epitome of drudgery if the Spirit of truth as it is in Jesus does not do it all to me, for me, in me personally. I must be standing in the crowds; I must be the recipient of His virtue, joining in the experience of those folks in the long ago. The Law is the cause of anger beyond all others, which only adds to my hopeless dilemma, if Jesus does not minister to me, as He did to the other needy people that I see all through the written word.

I [my self-dependence, my performance to do good] was alive without the law once but when the commandment came, sin [natural rebellion] revived, and I [my self-dependence, my performance to do good] died.
And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
For sin [rebellion], taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me [my self-dependence, my performance to do good]… (Rom. 7:9-11, 18).

I must put Jesus in His Law; I must see Him in every requirement of the Bible. Letters and laws and rules alone for right and wrong cannot provide enough motivation. They fail because we can’t hear any voice inflection and intonation that would indicate powerful love and kindness toward us. We don’t naturally know God and His written words don’t remind us of His love for us. And our fallen natures don’t naturally assume that the Judge is loving and kind.

Where there is no vision, the people perish (Prov. 29:18).

What we need is the Spirit of the Law which comes with seeing Christ in the Law ―the truth as it is in Jesus. In my own sinful nature, I cannot stand before God’s convicting righteousness, because my fallen nature is utterly belligerent toward an infinitely higher standard than my own, no matter Who or Where it came from.

For many years already, the strong convictions from the Law of God have shamed and humbled me. But, now as I read the Bible, Jesus offers me the unmerited privilege to be in the crowd that followed Him or David or Elisha or John the Baptist, and to experience the joy of the reprieve of simply witnessing Christ’s real, loving righteousness and love from Himself, or seen in His faithful servants. Through the divine wisdom of His gospel, Jesus has invited me to be a spectator, yes, a third party, safely watching on so that He can win my trust. As His little one, He doesn’t immediately put me to working on obeying the Law. I am looking unto Jesus and being befriended and changed into the same image; I am coming to Jesus and He is giving me rest. True obedience comes through the trust He builds in me by His Spirit in His Law. Satan knows this, so he gets me busy trying to do what the Law says without first getting that bond with Jesus as my Friend and Example.

So then with the mind [the delight in the Law of God after the inward man] I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh [my strength, self-will, my will-power] the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 7:25-8:2).

Thus, a fly on the wall, I am not threatened by His high, moral standard, as the fellowship of the love and mercy which I see in Him toward others like me, shields me from the condemnation of the requirement of His actions. I am the recipient of His earthly ministry by proxy, which acts as a giant rock overshadowing the hot condemnation from the Law which His Father wisely brings against the crowd’s sinfulness, and eventually, as He does imperceptibly and gently, against mine also. The Lord Jesus, my advocate, my protector, who comes to me through the written accounts of His love for everyone, is being my authorized defense from the fiery darts of the Father’s destructive holiness which stands determinedly opposed to sin and sinners. I can come into the Father’s presence through His Law if I have the Spirit of His Son representing Him to me. Jesus has become my shield and exceeding great reward. And I can trust the Son to represent me to His Father and broker my forgiveness and acceptance with God.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh [my strength, my rebellious self-will, my will-power], God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh [His flesh imbued with His Father’s righteousness]… (Rom. 8:3).

He who is the fullness of the Godhead manifested came here to demonstrate before our eyes all the love that His Father’s Law requires. Then, by beholding His gentle and careful way of speaking the truth we can be changed. Instead of looking at a requirement, we see the Author of the requirement in the requirement. We see One who is not pure requirement and business, but also communion, sympathy, and someone who will pray for me as He prayed for others then. Looking at a person, we see someone who we know understands us, a friend who cares about us. Our thinking becomes Jesus-centered instead of requirement-centered, which is self-centered. It becomes outward-centered rather than inward-centered. Our change enables us to look into Christ’s convicting Bible, thankful to Him and loving His wisdom and mercy to a weakened race by designing the Bible stories such that He could use the lives of others to tabernacle in our hearts. The Bible stories are the depositories of His loving presence that lives in His requirements; those recipients of His grace contained the balanced and sound example of His statutes. Their victories, which were the gift of Jesus, become ours.

All this blessedness through the Spirit of the Word rather than a long, abstract list of dos and don’ts, which too often are hit or miss guesswork by us and highly subjectively interpreted. Before the Son of God came, humanity didn’t have the new advantage that attended Him. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:13-18).

If we will see in Him such a mercy and truth antidote for sin, then we will never fear to stand before the Law as we read it in light of Jesus, whether it be the Law throughout the Bible or throughout the Spirit of prophecy. With Jesus in our sights, we will rejoice to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me (Ps. 63:8).

His goodness and mercy will lead us to continued repentance and faith in Him; we will have a life of continual obedience. We will have obtained strength from His strength, and faith from His faith, who is the greatest authority on earth. Thus, “of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). Following this rule, we are receiving life from His Spirit, His presence, in His Law, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. Liberty from Christ in the Law makes us free from the sin and death of the Law without Him. This is the faith of the saints, and their victory. Here are they that keep the faith of Jesus and the commandments of God.

…that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh [my moral prowess to interpret the Law and my will-power to keep it], but after the Spirit [Jesus’ powerful image in my heart] (Rom. 8:4).

He that keepeth the law, happy is he (Prov. 29:18).

So long as I keep putting Jesus into the precepts of His scriptures and seeing Him there, He will continually minister to me by His Spirit from His heavenly sanctuary. And as love for Jesus increasingly dawns upon my soul, His Spirit will lead me on to the mounting benefits of a sanctified life (see Proverbs 4:18). I will consistently want to keep His commandments, and happily. The warfare with temptation is under the dominion of One stronger than the devil.

I will sing unto the LORD, for He hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath He thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation (Ex. 15:1, 2).

In this vision of Christ, He will wash away my filth with the sea of tears that He inspires. The power of His Spirit will be initiating my decision to do as He did. My rebellious barriers drop more and more as His principles efficiently enter my conscience.

Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me (Ps. 40:7, 8).

My will blends into His, like the toddler who watches everything its parent does (see John 5:19). As we see Jesus living out the Law and the Spirit of Prophecy, the sight of His right doing, in love for His Father and for us, brings calm to our unrest. We have a peace that passes all comprehension. The Law of love comes alive with pure goodness as we can see Jesus in the Law everywhere, and because He has liberated us from our own works to keep it. Then we repair our souls at the fountain of the holy Bible; we hang our helpless souls on Him.

Jesus was happy and undefiled, because He walked in the law of His LORD.
He was joyful because He kept His Father’s testimonies, and sought His Father with His whole heart.
He did no iniquity: He walked in His Father’s ways.
Jesus prayed, “Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently.
O that My ways were directed to keep Thy statutes!
Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Thy commandments.
I will praise Thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Thy righteous judgments.
I will keep Thy statutes: O forsake Me not utterly.”

Jesus’ Father was the LORD His God, who kept Him out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage to sin.
Jesus had no other elohim before His Elohim.
Jesus did not make for Himself any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: He did not bow down Himself to them, nor serve them.
Jesus did not take the name of Jehovah His God in vain; for His Father would not have held Him guiltless if He had ever taken His name in vain.
Jesus remembered the Sabbath day, and kept it holy. Six days did He labor, and do all His work: but the seventh day was the Sabbath of Jehovah His God: in it He did not do any work, neither He, nor His disciples, nor the multitudes that followed Him.
Jesus honored Joseph and Mary: that His days might be long upon the land which Jehovah His Father gave Him.
Jesus did not kill.
He did not commit adultery.
He did not steal.
Jesus did not bear false witness against His neighbor.
He did not covet anyone’s house, anyone’s wife, nor their wealth, nor their material things and possessions, nor anything that was His neighbor’s.

Christ loved God His Father with all His heart, and with all His soul, and with all His might.
And the scriptures were always in His heart:
He taught them diligently to His disciples, and spoke of them when they sat in a house, and when they walked by the way, and before they laid down, and when they rose up.
And He bound them for a sign upon His hand, and they were as frontlets between His eyes.

Jesus did no unrighteousness in judgment: He did not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness did He judge His neighbor. He never went up and down as a talebearer among His people: neither did He stand against the blood of His neighbor: His Father was Jehovah. Jesus loved everyone too much to allow their sin to destroy them: so, in every case He spoke the truth in love. He did not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of His people, but He loved them as Himself: He never forgot the holiness of Jehovah His Father.

On the cross, Jesus felt like a worm, and not a man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that saw Him laughed Him to scorn: they shot out their lip, they shook their head, saying,
He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him.
But, Jesus prayed to His Father, “Thou art He that took Me out of the womb: Thou didst make Me hope when I was upon My mother’s breasts.
I was cast upon Thee from the womb: Thou art My God from My mother’s belly.
Be not far from Me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
Powerful people encompass Me: hateful priests and Pharisees have beset Me round.
They gape upon Me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and My tongue cleaveth to My jaws; and Thou hast brought Me into the dust of death.
For dogs have compassed Me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed Me: they pierced My hands and My feet.
I can see all My bones: they look and stare upon Me.
They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.
But be not Thou far from Me , O LORD: O My strength, haste Thee to help Me.
Deliver My soul from the sword; My soul from the power of the dog.
Save Me from the lion’s mouth: for Thou hast heard Me from the horns of the unicorns.
I will declare Thy name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.
Ye that fear My Father, praise Him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and fear Him, all ye the seed of Israel.
For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from Him; but when He cried unto Him, He heard.
My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation: I will pay My vows before them that fear Him.”
1) Psalm 119:1-8  2) Exodus 20:2-17  3) Deuteronomy 6:5-8  4) Leviticus 19:15-18  5) Psalm 22:6-25.

In mercy to us Christ has given us everything we need to love Him. By His Spirit, we are enabled to answer and accomplish the question, “WWJD?” And, just what would Jesus do? He would do His Father’s Law; Jesus would exemplify the goodness that He requires from His children. WWJD? “A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth…and the isles shall wait for His Law” (Isa. 42:3, 4).

What do we see when we look at Jesus? The stone hard Law of God residing in warm human flesh. We see a person perfected in all respects, holy and just and good. He was the righteousness of His God incorporated in man, God justified in the flesh. Together with God and with no need for an intercessor, Jesus has cooperated in the work of perfection, His Father being His only teacher. He is not only sealed in His forehead, He is sealed from the crown of His head to the soles of His feet. As solid as the great El Capitan, like a boulder broken off of a Mt. Everest, has He ever been secure and obedient to His Father. And we can partake of His moral strength by having our conscience and will justified, sanctified, and petrified in loyalty to God and to His commandments “by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning” (Isa. 4:4). By the Spirit of Christ in His words, we can be sealed by His same conviction, which comes from seeing the Anointed One.