“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, November 11, 2015

Aaron and Moses, Peter and Paul

Peter and Paul were New Testament examples of the Old Testament Aaron and Moses. It seems clear to me that the light from heaven through Moses that laid the foundation for ancient Israel, was the same light received by Paul for the apostolic church. Both Moses and Paul were solidly connected to Jesus and fiercely loyal to the instructions each was given from above. They may appear to conflict with each other, but this is not at all the case. The reality is that both taught the mercy, grace, and tender love of God.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” (Num. 6:22-27).
“For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?” (Deut. 4:7).
“For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.” (Deut. 32:9).
“Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Gal. 1:3; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:2; Phil. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1Thess. 1:1; 2Thess. 1:2).
“The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” (Rom. 2:4).
“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Rom. 9:16).
“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (1Tim. 1:14).
“As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:16).
And both taught the justice, truth, and righteousness of God.
 “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deut. 30:15-20).
“And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” (Ex. 32:19).
“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1Cor. 5:1-5).
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid.” (Rom. 3:31).
Both taught the futility of depending on the good works of the flesh or presuming upon the unmerited favor of God. Neither taught that the people could presumptuously be buddy-buddy with God, but must fear Him.
“Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is He which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire He shall destroy them, and He shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.
Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.” (Deut. 9:3-6).
“Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD.
Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you.” (Deut. 9:7,8).
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7,8).
“Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” (Rom. 11:22).
“And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2Cor. 10:6).
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:10-23).
 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.…
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Gal. 2:16,19-21).
Yet, despite their strong language against sin, both had a tender regard for the people given to them. And we see their deep love reflected back from the people.
“So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.” (Deut. 34:5-8).
 “And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him,
Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.” (Acts 20:36-38).
Aaron and Peter were also beloved of the people.
“And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.
And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.
And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.” (Num. 20:27-29).
“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5).
But, Aaron and Peter had behavioral issues. They tended to forget their need for dependence. They slipped into relying on their own appearance and speaking ability and popularity. And so sometimes they had to get rebuked and corrected. But, their love for Jesus and His representative, Moses and Paul, kept them humble and teachable until they got it right.
It seems that Aaron and Peter were given to us as teaching tools for the grace of God and His justification and sanctification. They were walking lessons of justification by faith. They were a billboard with big letters that said, “I’ve been justified again and am being sanctified!”
Could it be that Moses and Paul were given to us as teaching tools for the righteousness of God and His glorification? They were walking lessons of perfection by faith. Their billboard said with big letters, “I’ve been glorified, and you better watch out what you do or say!”
Aaron and Peter could represent the forbearance of God and His continued work upon the soul; while Moses and Paul represent the result of God’s grace, a finished work in the soul. The first illustrated a work in progress, and the second a finished product.
Because Aaron and Peter needed more mercy, they were given the role of high priest for the Old and New  Covenant churches. This office was perfectly suited for them, not only because it continually reminded them of what they kept forgetting—that they had needed the mercy of God for their weaker vessel—but, also their continued humiliation made them effective comforters and servants of the people who also needed God’s mercy. Aaron and Peter acted as mother over the children of God.
And Moses and Paul were given the role of dynamo prophet. This office was perfectly suited for them because their extreme sanctification was challenged every day as they stood before the Lord in behalf of the people, and provided the avenue for the Lord to speak to His people. Thus, Moses and Paul acted as father over the children of God.
Jesus has needed both ministries, and the world has needed to see both phases of redemption. We need to know the goal to be reached as God’s Spirit works in us, as seen in Moses and Paul. But, lest we get discouraged, He has given us demonstrations of His willingness to work with us until we reach His desired condition in the character, as seen in Aaron and Peter. Knowing His gracious nature is not enough. We need to have the high standard displayed before our eyes, or we will become complacent and presumptuous.
But, neither is it enough to know only the righteousness of God, as with Moses and Paul. God doesn’t want people to think that being well-behaved without a heart for Him is what His kingdom is about. He doesn’t want automatons, robots mechanically going about doing a perfect job. And if we don’t see our littleness compared to His greatness, and keep needing grace, we’ll never keep needing a great, gracious Saviour. Without acknowledging grace, love would disappear from the kingdom. So God keeps showing us our lack and our need for improvement, and His children keep being humbled and repentant, and receiving forgiveness and acceptance.
Through both mercy (Aaron and Peter) and justice (Moses and Paul), grace (Aaron and Peter) and truth (Moses and Paul), goodness (Aaron and Peter) and severity (Moses and Paul), God keeps His children safe from temptation and sin. They are happy and healthy, spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Moses and Paul represented fathers, and ultimately God, the Father. And Aaron and Peter represented mothers, and ultimately the only-begotten Son, the Word of God. “And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (Ex. 7:1).
Today, the emphasis in the churches is grace, which is wrong. After a century since Sr. White’s passing, no longer is the emphasis on perfection. While Jesus has always had both ministries for His people to take part in, each ministry had a different emphasis depending on the time in relation to Judgment Day. In the Old Testament, some things that were allowed during most of the era were no longer acceptable at the end.
On Sinai, the Lord was coming to appear before the people. It was Judgment Day for the nation, so a special work of purification was required.
“And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.” (Ex. 19:14,15).
The Messiah was coming in Malachi’s message. It was Judgment Day.
“Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1-5).
At the time of the end, another Judgment Day would come when Jesus was appear in power and great glory.
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev. 1:7).
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7).
Therefore, the ordinary things allowed in the past would not be allowed in preparing for Judgment Day.
“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded.” (Luke 17:27,28). All of these ordinary pursuits are appropriate, except when the King comes for judgment.
Going into captivity required a long-term need of housing and meeting of earthly needs.
“For therefore He sent unto us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is long: build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.” (Jer. 29:28).
But, when it was time to come out, to remain captives in a foreign land by continuing to build and plant was blasphemy to God. Out of the millions in captivity, only about 50,000 left their homes in Babylon and returned to the land of promise. The ones who remained later faced the threat of extinction by Haman the Agagite.
Employment and rejoicing in the Lord were commanded of the Lord.
“And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.” (Ex. 20:9).
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.” (Deut. 12:7).
But, at the end of the ceremonial year, those things were forbidden, because it was Judgment Day.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” (Lev. 23:26-32).
During the 1810 years after the New Covenant liberties came, the church was to rejoice before the Lord.
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Phil 4:4).
“Rejoice evermore.” (1Thess. 5:16).
And the church was to rejoice in the work of their hands.
 “Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2Thess. 3:8-14).
But, after 1844, that would change. We’ve been in the investigative judgment period. This is no time to celebrate, but to afflict our souls. Closing events have been on many minds since 1844, and the celebration that was allowed before this preliminary period to judgment day, must be put off until after Judgment Day. Everyone who will disregard the approaching Judgment Day is showing disregard to the Judge presiding over that Judgment day, Jesus Himself. And whoever disregards Jesus, disregards His Father, the King, also.
“That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” (John 5:23).
During this time, we need to go beyond the provisions for mercy upon our sins granted us during the first 1810 years of the church age. In the time of the end, from 1844 onward, we must be striving for the blotting out of our sins. We must strive to be among the 144,000, who will look like an army of Pauls and Moses’ and Noahs—preachers of righteousness. Righteousness, perfection, the special work of purification is in order, just as it was in all previous investigative judgment periods before the world-wide flood, at the base of Sinai, and during the period before Messiah came the first time.
Especially so is this the biggest of all investigative judgment periods, since the end of the great controversy draws near.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig” (Luke 21:25-29).

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” (Matt. 24:32,33).
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:30).
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:2,3).
Now is come into play the words of Paul.
“I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1Cor. 7:26-31).
And the admonition of John.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1Jn. 2:15-17).
It should be absurd to live for this world at this time of earth’s history. Making money just to make money is suicidal, in view of eternity. The money is all going to go away. A new empire is arising. This old world is getting older and increasingly ready for destruction. “That which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb. 8:13).
“Says the prophet: ‘Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.’ Malachi 3:2, 3. Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.
     When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing. ‘Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.’ Malachi 3:4. Then the church which our Lord at His coming is to receive to Himself will be a ‘glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Ephesians 5:27. Then she will look ‘forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.’ Song of Solomon 6:10.” Great Controversy, p. 425.
“Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.’ John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.  
     It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God's providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.” Great Controversy, p. 623.
 “Those who exercise but little faith now, are in the greatest danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the decree to compel the conscience. And even if they endure the test they will be plunged into deeper distress and anguish in the time of trouble, because they have never made it a habit to trust in God. The lessons of faith which they have neglected they will be forced to learn under a terrible pressure of discouragement.  
     We should now acquaint ourselves with God by proving His promises. Angels record every prayer that is earnest and sincere. We should rather dispense with selfish gratifications than neglect communion with God. The deepest poverty, the greatest self-denial, with His approval, is better than riches, honors, ease, and friendship without it. We must take time to pray. If we allow our minds to be absorbed by worldly interests, the Lord may give us time by removing from us our idols of gold, of houses, or of fertile lands.” Great Controversy, p. 622.
Heeding the Spirit of Prophecy and mortifying the flesh through the Spirit, watching and waiting in holy solemnities should be our focus today. Refusing Spiritual Formation and celebration worship and having parties must necessarily cohabitate today’s focus in the investigative judgment. Sobriety against every form of appetite, and distaining intoxicating physical foods and spiritual doctrines must be our choice today. Thus, in the way of perfection, we will become more and more like Moses and Paul; and, in the way of character flaws, we will become less like Aaron and Peter. And, thus will we receive the love of the truth through abiding in Him who is the truth and who is love. His Spirit and Law will give us a sound mind without fear, and our minds will be fortified to endure the last great crisis; and we will stand when Jesus returns.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us.” (1Jn. 4:16-19).


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