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

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dear Y,

Now that I’ve gotten away and can think more clearly, I realize the issues at stake for you. Call this my opinion, the opinion of an ignorant layman, if you want. But, it involves my knowledge of the Bible and my own experience of how God has worked for me.
 
I’ve seen your fighting spirit and have heard your justification of that as God-given and Constitution-given. But, as you must admit, it is not being blessed by the Spirit. Your fighting stems from not having peace with God. It isn’t God who is at fault that you don’t have peace; rather, it is your failing. The fighting and unrest come because you prevent the Lord from doing His work in you.
 
“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).
 
I’ve asked you to read Isaiah 30:15-18 and I’m not sure if you ever did, or understood its application to your situation. It was a message to both northern and southern kingdoms of Israel, a people who were in the same circumstance as you. They had lost the ability to cooperate with God, yet they took into their own hands the work of saving themselves. This is what the world has always done. The Israelites were copying the customs of the surrounding nations caught up in proud, lawless, emotion-only religion because long before they had lost Noah’s humbling, correcting, law-based religion in their hearts. So they were without surrender to the Spirit of truth, which left them wide open to the power of Satan, who led the two houses of Israel into moral collapse and national ruin. Therefore, Jesus dropped His protection for Israel and raised up armies from which the Israelites could not save themselves. In the end, they would be humbled and He would be exalted.
 
First, He brought in the Assyrians, then the Babylonians. The Israelites were going to learn the lesson of surrender and submission, even if it killed them, literally. They were going to have to take the punishment that He needed to give them for their restoration and rehabilitation to His covenant given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The fathers had joined in a covenant with the holy God of heaven, yet their descendents were going after wicked Satan. Israel’s apostasy was all spelled out for them in the warnings of Moses, and they all had access to know those warnings. They still had His name, and He was going to ensure their proper representation of Him to a weakened, needy world. The anger and pride in God’s people, which was encouraged by the gods of the nations, must be dealt with by using those very nations, who were filled to overflowing with satanic cruelty and pride.
 
“And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.
Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.
For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.
And I will utter My judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.” (Jer. 1:13-16).
 
“He that abideth in this city [to defend it] shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.” (Jer. 21:9).
 
“Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city 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.… Then said Jeremiah unto Zedekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon’s princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house.… Jeremiah said, They [the Jews’ armies] shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.” (Jer. 38:2,17,20).
 
“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).
 
Those who lived would lose everything, be abused, greatly mistreated, and humbled as slaves; but, at least they would finally learn surrender and humility. In the case of the Jews, and likewise of the northern tribes in the days of Isaiah, they chose to fight. And the results were dire.
 
“In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it. And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up.” “And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain. But the Chaldeans’ army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him.” (Jer. 39:1,2,4,5). They slew his sons in his presence and then put out his eyes, his dying sons being his last visual memories.
 
They had opportunity to learn a lesson no different than what Jesus had given their father Jacob to learn the night of his fighting. The difference was that their father did surrender. He took the beating and clung to Jesus. Jacob was finally broken. The beatings of life had not produced the full humbling, which left him still fighting to save himself, and fighting to justify his self-dependent life. But, he got what he deserved and needed because Jesus is fair like that. And after Jacob surrendered, he was at peace with God. Though he limped for the rest of his life, he was finally happy. His self-focus was knocked out of him. As Israel left his battleground a victor over himself, “the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.” (Gen. 32:31). He got the blessing of the Spirit he wanted all his life, and his soul was comforted, at rest, and satisfied.
 
Brother, without peace with God the sanctification you so deeply desire will never be complete. What you need, as every human being needs, is to have your hip knocked out of joint by the touch of your Master’s hand. That’s what you should pray for. Pain, incredible, excruciating pain. A total crucifixion of self, a death to self daily. You need a trouble so horrific, towering so high above you like a 90 foot tsunami that you give up and stop fighting; then you will be at peace. Then His blessing will transform your heart. You need to be stopped in your tracks because you know you are outdone. That spanking of a lifetime will knock out of your heart all your misconceptions of God’s tender mercies. And all the self-pity and self-comfort methods you’ve used to replace God’s pity and comfort will leave too. All of your idols of opinion will flee away, as will the devil and his harassments.

Then you will be a fully humbled child of God; and you will have the patience that gives possession of soul. You will love the Spirit of Prophecy, its view of the Bible and the Law of God. You will humbly take your place before the high standard which Ellen White relayed from Jesus to the Advent movement. You will no longer be a partial member of the Advent movement, but whole-hearted. You will become a powerhouse of faith and a champion of Law and grace. Peace with God, which you so covet, will be yours forever. No man will be able to take it away because no man gave it to you. Jesus, the Lord God of Israel, gave it to you. And all of His promises will be Yea, Yea in your heart forever.
 
But, you need to fall on “this Stone” and be completely broken. Until you are completely broken you will retain the anger that plagues you. “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Eph. 2:3). Brother, you are not yet fully broken, as indicated by your continued desire to fight against God and man. Not until you are broken into itsy-bitsy pieces will you be done with fighting. Jesus needs to break you down like a firearm that is cleaned and oiled. When you let Him break you down completely then He will put you back together again—without crud, and anointed. He will grow you up from a pure beginning, like a sapling is that free from disease because it grew from nothing except pure molecules and proteins and the vacuum of space.
 
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17). You want to serve God, but He requires a service empty of all self. “No flesh should glory in His presence.” (1Cor. 1:29). Self—the flesh—doesn’t readily give up its dominion over the mind. The fight for and against selflessness leaves the soul in a lurch and in confusion of face. We want God, but through our sin-oriented self the devil can resist the perfect submission that God requires.  The lurch is like a stalling car engine that wants to run but that cannot overcome the resistance. We want to do good, but we don’t do it. We want to eschew evil, but we do the evil. Without the power of God to kill self’s control of our own righteousness, we struggle on, exhausted and unsatisfied and without hope, tormented. Our sanctification is not forthcoming.
 
There are two ways to have victory over our natural penchant to fight and resist selflessness.
 
1) We can go to the Law of God (the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy), let it humble us, shame us, and relatively quickly boil away our pride, and motivate us to cry out to Jesus for His acceptance and justification (Gal. 4:6; 3:19,23,24). We lose all control of our circumstances to His providences. Our Satan-controlled self trembles before the new Schoolmaster we have chosen because He is so much greater than we are. Self-control is no longer in our control; but we are as it were in a hurricane of trouble and anguish and confusion, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Self-flagellation compares nothing to this flogging. But, in the end of that total loss of control, we come forth as gold.
 
Or, 2) we can choose to avoid that humbling, shaming, guilting work of God’s Law. But, then we reap a much longer, drawn out lesson from the consequences for remaining away from the conviction of the Spirit of truth. In the second case, we will need to face terrible failures, pains, and the horror of great darkness because we have blinded ourselves to the Spirit of truth, which will also be our ultimate Comforter if we surrender. Nevertheless, by our avoiding the Law of God, surrender is not usually the choice made by the wrestler with God (take King Saul and Judas Iscariot, for examples). The decision to go the long, hard, circuitous route to surrender to God’s will does not guarantee surrender. And our sanctification will suffer and be delayed. Our chosen path will involve much more torment than the choice to go to the Law, because our choice to leave the Law gives Satan’s greater access to us.
 
“Wherefore I poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:
And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them….
And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.
And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.” (Eze. 36:18,19,23-35).
 
But, in spite of our final surrender in the end, if our ultimate choice is to surrender, we will have dragged out the victory into a long, exhausting experience of withdrawals from sin until we finally do crumble in a heap filled with submission to God. Ours will be the admission that God’s will, as given in His Law (and His Bible and His Spirit of Prophecy) must endure forever. We will be saved, although we might not have all of the blessings of life, that is, all our body parts, earthly possessions, a family, or even freedom. But, at least we will know that God always wins, one way or the other.
 
The question is, Will we win with Him? Will we choose to lose everything, even the controls of our life, in order to become sons of God? Either route will require this humbling admission. In the end, will we choose to lay everything on the altar, even intellectual property, self-respect, and praise of peers, in order to have the praise of God? Will we open our death grip on all our idols in order to reign with the Godhead which suffered the loss of everything for us, so that we could sit next to “Him that sitteth upon the throne, and…the Lamb for ever and ever”? (Rev. 5:13). Will we join Jesus in His Gethsemane? Will we hope in Him during our agony and exhaustion?
 
“Again the Son of God was seized with superhuman agony, and fainting and exhausted, He staggered back to the place of His former struggle. His suffering was even greater than before. As the agony of soul came upon Him, ‘His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ The cypress and palm trees were the silent witnesses of His anguish. From their leafy branches dropped heavy dew upon His stricken form, as if nature wept over its Author wrestling alone with the powers of darkness.”  The Desire of Ages, p. 689.
                                                                                            
“Christ’s agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. He came forth calm and serene. A heavenly peace rested upon His bloodstained face. He had borne that which no human being could ever bear; for He had tasted the sufferings of death for every man.”  The Desire of Ages, p. 694.
 
After our surrender to the cross we will know to not fight God. When we finally submit and humble ourselves, God alone will be honored. “As it is written, That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.” (Rom. 3:4).
 
Brother, for years you’ve been in the middle of your Gethsemane. Your Gethsemane has been unhealthfully too prolonged. Please, in earnest go to the Spirit of Prophecy and Righteousness by Faith in order to get all the way through Gethsemane. You have been where Jesus was in His when He said to His disciples, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” (Matt. 26:38).
 
Do as Jesus did. “And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt…. O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.” (Matt. 26:39,42). Read the whole chapter of Desire of Ages entitled, “Gethsamane”.
 
If you will suffer before the grinding Law of God while seeking for Jesus’ acceptance as, alone in Gethsemane, He sought for His Father’s acceptance; and, if you will let “all [His] waves and [His] billows” (Ps. 42:7) go over you as He also endured that night, then you too will receive “the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of [your] salvation” (Ps. 24:5). God will count you as a joint-heir because you laid self down as Jesus did. He will call you a son, as He does His divine Son. You will have what David had, “Yet the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” (Ps. 42:8).
 
If you will be baptized with a baptism of fire like Jesus was baptized, if you will be planted together with Him in the likeness of His death, then God will raise you up in the likeness of His resurrection. “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal [body] by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Rom. 8:11). You will reign with Him in this life and in the life to come. If you will not let go of Him until He gives you a new nature, then the Lord will bless you with twice as much as He let Satan take away. You will be through the long night of the soul.
 
“Then Job answered the LORD, and said,… Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.…
Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
He had also seven sons and three daughters.
And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.” (Job 42:1,6,11-15).
 
We will see perfectly eye to eye because we will have gone through the same process. Look away from the things of this earth and look for Jesus. Turn away from vain deceit of human philosophy and turn to the Bible, God’s everlasting truth and His psychology. Study the holy principles of God’s Law in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, rather than the tradition of men or the faulty traditions of your elders. Jesus will be to you the light that lightens every new man that cometh into the world.
 
“And 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.
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.
And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” (Isa. 4).

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