“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, July 17, 2015

“Grace, grace”, Satan’s favorite theme

Satan loves to preach grace without Law because sin costs him no pain. The “Grace only” theme means that God must perpetually pay by agonizing at the sight of our sins while probation remains open a little longer for the human race.  Without respite God’s agonizing must continue under the “Grace only” regime because He is never permitted to manifest His judgments in order to awaken His human race to its injustices, its rank rebellion toward Him, and its proud disobedience to His laws.
Sin causes God infinite agony—the agony in Christ at Gethsemane. “And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Heb. 12:4). Here we see God in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. You see Jesus, you see the Father.
Satan loves the perverted, lawless environment of “Grace only” because the resulting unbounded sins cost him nothing, and even reward him with tremendous unholy pleasure and the satisfaction of knowing God’s suffering.  It is God who pays for everything in the great Grace give-away. He is the only one who loves righteousness and hates wickedness. While His children live in sin because of “Grace only”, our Father suffers and pays all the costs of the lawless “Grace only” blasphemy. But, why should the Father suffer alone? Why shouldn’t His children suffer with Him because of their sins? Isn’t that the way it works among the closest families on earth?
The lawless grace giveaway prevents God from ever giving His beloved race any hatred of and sorrow for sin. God loves His heaven-ordained grace, which flows from His eternal fountain of infinite love, for it brings His special human race redemptive power to overcome sin. He graciously looks down the road of time and all who strive to have victory over sin and self-indulgence He treats as fully victorious. From His grace He gives them His Spirit of consolation and hope, His blessing to Abraham, the father of faith. Victorious redemption means that He will eventually get relief from seeing His redeemed children cease from sin, His children’s sins being that which cause so much terror to family, friends, and strangers around them. “They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into My mind.” (Jer. 19:5, cf Jer. 32:35).

It’s the end of sin that gives God rest. In opposition to Satan’s gospel of lawless grace, God’s ending transgression of His Law is His purpose for grace. His great longing is not simply to freely give grace to His children who feel nothing toward His plight of suffering under their breaking His commandments; but to cause the cessation of sin and then to justify us of all our evil past. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness.” (Dan. 9:24).
Therefore, as a Father, He unabashedly mixes His judgments with His mercy, both His justice and mercy working toward the eventual end of our “iniquity and transgression and sin.” (Ex. 34:7). “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.” (Num. 14:18).
But, this doesn’t mean that He enjoys bringing His retribution upon sinners. He doesn’t punish because He loves to punish. His eternal message to the world has been, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” (Eze. 33:11).
God doesn’t enjoy bringing His retribution upon sinners; but after He has exhausted the words of His powerful appeals spoken through the prophets, words of reproof, instruction, and warning, words from prophets who a rebellious world finally persecutes and kills, then He follows through with all the tragedy and death that He has promised His erascable children. His words of warning are never idle threats. Aren’t His judgments upon nations and the most grievous of sinners no different from the punishments from the billion desperate fathers in the families around the world? “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever. He hath no dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” (Ps. 103:9-11). We aren’t worthy of the least of His mercies. For no other reason does He visit His people with judgment than that His retributive acts can cause sin to cease and their hearts to be free again to love Him and those around them. His visitations of justice (always mixed with mercy) are meant to cleanse and liberate and bring happiness in the earth. And the prospect of judgment strikes the fear of God and conviction into the heart. Therefore, His judgments are a good thingholy and just and good. They lead the sinner to need a Saviour from sin, in order to escape the coming wrath. Therefore, from a heart full of love, God sends warning after warning before He sends His punishments. He knows the mischievous hearts which He is trying to bring to repentance. His strong words and powerful dealings with mankind come from a heart flowing with wise love. Even after the voice of prophets has ceased, His heart appeals of love still echo even to the last seconds before His judgments fall, “Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” But, by then no one can listen.
While His threats are not idle and they sound determinedly unreversable, and He sends them in abundance and with much graphic description, yet He still holds out His merciful appeals and the possibility of rescinding His decision. Listen to His pathos from the past,
I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
Give glory to the LORD your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive….” (Jer. 13:9-21).
And, later after many warnings, mercy was still offered if only they could open their ears to hear the love of God.
“For I have set My face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the LORD;
O house of David, thus saith the LORD; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest My fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the LORD; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?
But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.” (Jer. 21:10-14).
He knows what the devils wants to do to His people when they serve His enemy. He is only thinking of the happiness and welfare of His children. “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me: for I will not hear thee. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. Do they provoke Me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?” (Jer. 7:16-19).
The devil makes it look like God wants “Grace only.” However, the idea that God loves “Grace only” can’t be farther from the truth. God and His only begotten Son together agonize over sin. He hates sin and seeks the removal of its existence. But, Satan revels in “Grace only” because it leads to our continuance in sin. So, the devil makes it look like “Grace only” comes from God. And we think, “How can it be otherwise from a God of love?” Yet, the discerning mind will see the demonic deception behind “Grace only”. God loves righteousness, and He understands the failings of those who fear Him and who seek His help for victory over their idolatry.  To them is gracious. To those who have a sense of humbled fear toward God He will forgive not only one sin, but all their past.
Jesus is the perfect blend of justice and mercy, and Jesus is the express image of His Father. His divine love is the balanced disposition of Law and grace. He is “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).
In vision, David saw Jesus. He beheld the wonderful, gracious ways of Christ. “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.” (Ps. 45:2). 
But, then David went on to describe the other disposition of the Son.
“Gird thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty.
And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.
Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee.
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:3-7).
Jesus was the perfect balance of truth and grace. His love made the balance.
“Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” (Ps. 85:9-11).
Grace wasn’t all that Jesus was about. Like frozen hydrogen destroys tissue as much as does a flame of fire, likewise grace without truth, or mercy without justice, is unbalanced and very destructive. When Jesus gave grace, He also expected justice and a righteous response from the recipients of His blessings. Thus, through His actions, as in His teaching, Jesus was full of grace and truth.
“One of [the lepers], when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,… And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” (Luke 17:15,17). It was right and just for all the healed lepers to repay their Benefactor with gratitude for the new gift of health.
At another time “Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?” (Luke 8:45). Then, even though she came forth trembling in terror, He called out the woman who had received His healing virtue. It was just and right for her to testify that God had healed her, lest her blessing turn into a curse. Jesus was justly thinking of God who had healed her, and He was mercifully thinking of her salvation.
After delivering Israel from permanent enslavement, Jesus thundered from Mt. Sinai, “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:2,3). The children of Israel were under permanent obligation to their new Deliverer and Lord. This was only right and just. “Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive.” (Ps. 68:18). And Christ, their new Master, would take good care of them and make them the happiest people on earth. But, they must obey Him. They must live under eternal obligation. This was only just; but it also meant only good.
When Jesus came to heal and to teach about grace, He also taught the Law, even raising the bar on the Law.
“And, behold, they brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Matt. 9:2).
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. 5:3-7).

He continued, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven….
Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matt. 5:17-22).
“Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28).
“Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” (Matt. 5:39-42).
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48).
Jesus came to exemplify and reveal more than grace. He came to magnify the Law also.
“He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His Law…. The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the Law, and make it honourable.” (Isa. 42:4,21).
But, Jesus’ faithfulness to both Law and grace is explosive to Satan’s kingdom of lawlessness. So, from the beginning the evil one has sought to remake the Son of God, just like himself, into a “Grace only” Christ, . But, the true Jesus of the Bible is different from all the goddesses entitled, “Queen of heaven” (Jer. 7:18), “the great [goddess]…whom all Asia and the world worshippeth” (Acts 19:27), the “Great Queen of Heaven …Hail, Full of Grace and Purity…”, whose pornographic fornications that dared to pose as purity were but the corruption of the last vestige of the image of God in humanity. From the most ancient times, and continuing to this day, this personification of the boldest of bald-faced lying doctrines that God wants to give grace to the exclusion of obedience to His Law, has been simply the cunning craftiness and psychological sleight of hand ruse upon the slaves and souls of men. That lawless goddess ruling over the pristine hosts of heaven, who has only so-called “grace” to offer, is but the greatest counterfeit of Christ, the true heavenly sovereign. “Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” (Jer. 23:24). “If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine.” (Ex. 19:5). The Queen of heaven’s domain is pristine points of light in the cosmos, but Christ’s domain is over filthy hearts and lothesome lives that He came to touch and clean through the uncleanness of His crucifixion; His kingdom is for the untouchables who the Queen of heaven and her priests don’t want cleaned lest the redeemed make the Queen and her ministers look ugly. The stars fill her crown; the cross is His crown. She demurely demands a throne over the highest earthly king; He desires the honest, simple obedience from hearts set on fire by His love.
“Grace, grace, only grace!” decries the competing goddess Queen of heaven. But, the true sovereign Jesus goes far beyond that wide road to perdition. He never divides His truth and His grace, and thus He establishes both. “[Does grace] then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, [grace] establish[es] the Law.” (Rom. 3:31). As every kite needs a tail, so every gift of grace needs the Law. Also does every requirement of the Law need the gift of grace; and the grace shines out from the Law. “He made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock.” (Deut. 32:13). “The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2). As every tale needs a kite in order to soar high, so does God’s Law use His grace to take us to heaven. Our redemption requires both of God’s Law and grace “[to deliver] us from the power of darkness, and [to translate] us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” (Col. 1:13). Even today, God’s Law and grace “[raise] us up together, and [make] us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6).


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