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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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Spiritual Formation and the mark of the Beast

Dear Pastor ______,
 
I hope you have time to read everything on this email.
 
In case you don’t remember me, we met recently at the close of the Potomac Conference Campmeeting. I wanted to talk with you about the dangers of Spiritual Formation, but you were tied up in closing down the gymnasium. I didn’t think the conversation would be long, but maybe it could have been. I’m not sure what you meant by a good and a bad form of Spiritual Formation, but, I’m glad we postponed the conversation because at that time I didn’t have authoritative sources to quote.
 
I hesitate to say anything on this subject because it could sound like I am attacking you or the Potomac Conference for promoting Spiritual Formation. It isn’t attack, but fear for you and many others who are being trained in Spiritual Formation. Jesus said that no man comes to His Father but through Him. Jesus also said that everyone who turns away from hearing the condemning Law of God, that his prayer is an abomination to God (Prov. 28:9). He said that as a father pities his children, so His Father pities those who fear Him. In other words, by evading the condemnation of the Law (or, the “quick, and powerful,” (Heb. 4:12) and sharp testimony of the living prophets), we cannot come to the Father for peace.
 
Not being able to come directly to God is an affront to the fallen human heart. Therefore the sin-loving multitudes of the world seek a god who will permit them to stand before the Father, just as they are. But, this is a great offense to God. He provided for His Son to stand before Him in our place because we are an offense to Him, and He made the provision that we can come before the Son, just as we are. This is what we see demonstrated in Old Testament sanctuary system; and this also is what the the pagan nations didn’t have. They didn’t have a knowledge of God’s will to grind on their conscience; and they then attempted to approach Him anywhere, anyway they chose. But, in order to spend eternity with those who will accept His humbling, the Father gives the needed thunder and lightning against their sinfulness that will cause them to tremble at their sins. Then, when they have been grinded upon long enough, He gives them the knowledge of Jesus who comforts their humbled, trembling souls.
 
They that be whole need not a Physician, but they that are sick. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. But, we cannot know our sinfulness without the Father’s revelation of His offenseHis grinding. Therefore, we cannot need a Saviour from sin without His Father’s grinding. We feel perfectly alive and well without the Law until the commandment comes, but, when it comes we begin the wrestling that leads us to despair of our goodness and to repent of our self-sufficiency. This two phase work alone can result in our humbling and surrender, but only if we continue in the fires of condemnation, seeking to get a clearer view of the mercy of Jesus. When the possibility of His mercy comes to our thoughts, we cry, “Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mark 10:47). Over time, Jesus makes His way into our trust and the Spirit of truth, the Comforter, leads us to repentance. By our faith we are made whole. We are a brand plucked from the fire and justified by that faith which came through the striving to know Jesus, a knowledge of Him that could only be had under the hot wrath of His Father. 
 
This is the one and only and eternal biblical method and science of salvation. If the Schoolmaster has been grinding our souls to powder, we should be ever so thankful and consider it an immense honor. We are being called! The Most High is giving us His attention! If our striving against Him is the only atmosphere in which He can claim our hearts, He will most assuredly make use of whatever environment we give Him.
 
Whether in the church or out of it, as many as stay in the Schoolmaster’s crucible He will give to Jesus; and Jesus will not cast them away, no matter how much grinding they need. Those who submit to His Father’s grinding are extra special to Him. They are His sheep and they hear His voice. Under the Schoolmaster, they have experienced Jesus’ darkness and depression in Gethsemane. He is touched with the feelings of their infirmities. They remained under divine wrath until God was done boiling away their pride and rebellion. They have wrestled with Jesus; they know Him. Only they have followed the Lamb whithersoever He went. He will duly reward them with eternal life. And He rewards no one else—because they would not endure the wrath of God against sin, which gave them the need for a Saviour from sin. The masses never find this strait gate because they aren’t willing to stay in the crucible until He pulls them out. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1Pet. 5:10).
 
The world seeks peace some other way than staying under the Schoolmaster’s Law. They have bailed out of the crucible which was divinely tailored for their victory over their sinful nature. Satan is behind this, who offers a substitute religion and counterfeit method of salvation, one that dismisses the condemnation of God. This method is made to look perfectly valid and even biblical; all the while it is an abomination to God—the abomination that makes desolate. But, despite its thousands of disguises, the common denominator is that they all deny God His authority to condemn sin. The substitute religion cannot hear His rebuke; it bristles and grinds at correction; therefore it offers a way to God without His rebuke and condemnation of sin; and it is grabbed up by the vast majority.
 
“She hath glorified herself, …for she saith in her heart, I…shall see no sorrow.” (Rev. 18:7). False religion is all about pride and subtle rebellion against God. Her character is the mirror image of her mentor, the Dragon. “Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:33,34). Because it refuses to hear reproof and instruction in righteousness, the whole world follows after the Beast. “Great is” (Acts 19:28) the whore of Babylon “whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.” (vs. 27).
 
Pastor ______, as you know, today the Vatican is on the move. It has returned to life and power and to an ever expanding, all-encompassing Ecumenism. The papacy is ready to be re-established by Evangelical America. The Vatican is the mother of abominations in the earth. She is the cause of tremendous upheaval in the world, in preparation to her grand entrance as the world’s saviour. And the whole ecumenized world will fall in line to serve and to placate the Beast. Should it be a surprise that she is using her deceptive powers within the SDA church?
 
We know that a shaking is coming. Could the worldliness in the Advent Movement, which is causing such a departure from the original fervor after the Great Disappointment, be opening the door for the Great Shaking? Wouldn’t Satan corrupt our hearts with the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches before he conquers us with a strong delusion? His prophets are innumerable and have become the spiritual teachers of the denominations. We must test these spirits to know if they are of God, for many antichrists are gone out into the world. “And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all His prophets. And He said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.” (1Ki. 22:21,22).
 
Maybe you’ve already read the following things, but I feel the need to share them with you. Below are excerpts from History of the Reformation. D’Aubigné’s amazing comparison/contrast between Luther and Loyola sheds great light on the Spiritual Formation that Ignatius (Inigo, his Spanish name) Loyola developed.

Both were seeking for reconciliation with God, and longed to have the assurance in their hearts.”
“Inigo, instead of feeling that his remorse was sent to drive him to the foot of the cross, persuaded himself that these inward reproaches proceeded not from God, but from the devil; and he resolved never more to think of his sins, to erase them from him memory, and bury them in eternal oblivion. Luther turned towards Christ, Loyola only fell back upon himself. HRSCV3 354.4
Visions came erelong to confirm Inigo in the conviction at which he had arrived. His own resolves had become a substitute for the grace of the Lord; his own imaginings supplied the place of God’s Word. He had looked upon the voice of God in his conscience as the voice of the devil; and accordingly the remainder of his history represents him as given up to the inspirations of the spirit of darkness. HRSCV3 354.5
One day Loyola met an old woman, as Luther in the hour of his trial was visited by an old man. But the Spanish woman, instead of proclaiming remission of sins to the penitent of Manresa, predicted visitations from Jesus. Such was the Christianity to which Loyola, like the prophet of Zwickau, had recourse. Inigo did not seek truth in the Holy Scriptures; but imagined in their place immediate communication with the world of spirits. He soon lived entirely in ecstasies and contemplation. HRSCV3 354.6”
 
Pastor ______, please see the vast differences between the foundations of both champions’ world renowned works, and recognize the similarities to the new Adventist style Spiritual Formation in contrast with our old “To the Law and to the testimony”. The second has the righteous curse of the Law against our sins; and the first evades the Law’s curse against sin. The second brings us under the condemning Law for our reconciliation with God through Jesus, and the other avoids condemnation at all cost, leading away from Jesus and to eventual damnation.
 
“Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: the LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven…. And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath.” (Deut. 29:18-20, 23).
 
This is the Old Testament third angel’s message against those who receive the mark of the Beast. The smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever because they worshiped the gods and received the mark of the Beast. Their salvation was only emotion; their knowledge of Jesus was only imagined. They never stayed under the Law as Moses gave it until Jesus could come into full focus, and then He could redeem them from the constant curse of the Law. They failed out of salvation when they bailed out of the Father’s crucible. They never received faith in Jesus because they left the Father’s purifying process until faith could come forth. They fled from the curse of the Law straight into the arms of Lucifer, who cuddled and pitied them. But, their comforter turned out to be their destroyer.“The kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov. 27:6). “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” (Jer. 6:14).
 
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36). Trust in the Son comes only to those who stay under the powerful conviction of God. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (1Pet. 5:6).
 
David

1 Comments:

Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

Dear David,
I want to thank you so much for this post about spritual formation. I was taking it lightly but you blog and the email I got from you made my days deal. I have read it over and over. I am so worried that our church are likely to with those teaching which definately are catholic.
we need to pray

7/20/2015 8:20 AM  

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