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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, January 27, 2016

Spirituality

“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 24:32).
 
There is only one way to be spiritual—that is to be humbled into the dust.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” (Jas. 4:10). We cannot humble ourselves. All we can do is accept the invitation from the Lord to come unto Him and rest. We cannot humble ourselves, but we can come to Someone who will do what we cannot do for ourselves. He will humble us. Humiliation is the essence of spirituality. Humbled, we are at rest.
 
Many people today talk about being spiritual. The New Age Christianity is about spirituality. But, it denies the power thereof—it refuses the power of humiliation. It denies the Law of God which rebukes iniquity and transgression and sin—the whole gamut. The New Age will not be reproved and corrected and humbled. Rejection of reproof is the essence of the great controversy with Lucifer and it is the foundation of Babylon.
 
“And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen… How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” (Rev. 18:2,7).
 
The church of Babylon has determined in her heart to never be humbled or to know repentance. Such is the condition of every human heart in today’s world population of 7 billion. We don’t like to be humbled. Being humbled is very politically incorrect. To hurt self-esteem is very politically incorrect. And it is also ecclesiastically incorrect—even in the church of God being humbled is unacceptable, which is why the pulpits of today do not do it.
 
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2Tim. 4:2-5).
 
We want to be spiritual, but without going through the strait gate of God’s humiliation. The Spirit of truth speaks out against sin; and the essence of sin is pride. The proud, self-sufficient heart plagues humanity. The Spirit of God must humble the soul before that soul can be settled and happy. Without His rightful humiliation, we have no joy or peace with Him.
 
When we were children, didn’t our parents humble us with a spanking? We were put in our place. But, at that age, we were more innocent. We weren’t sinless or we would never have allowed the idea that self must have its own way. But, God created us to love, and we loved our parents and we knew our parents loved us. So we could accept the blow to our pride when we got too big for our britches. Then, after the spanking, and after the pain subsided, we went back to loving and being nice.
 
“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?” (Heb. 12:9).
 
But, with age grew a more deeply settled preservation of self. Seeds of pride that we were born with, and which our parents noticed, were undeveloped and trainable like a sapling can be bent, and we reaped the rewards of correction, training, goodness, and happiness. But, over time other seeds of pride grew up that our parents didn’t see. Its impossible for parents to keep up with the plague of pride that explodes from every soul born into our sinful human race. That job can only be handled by the almighty God, but we are all alienated from Him. So, the perfuse weeds of pride overtook the garden of our hearts and minds.
 
Only One who came forth into this world from a human womb had His fallen nature constantly challenged and the seeds of self willingly destroyed. That was the Son of God, born of a woman, and born under the curse of the Law. Jesus was the spotless lamb of God from the time of conception. He was sinless not because of His mother, but because of His Father. Through His Father He was born with the divine nature, a nature that hated pride and sin.
 
Jesus had genuine spirituality from the point of conception onward. John and the prophets had genuine spirituality from the time of birth, but they were conceived in sin and forever were sinners. But their sinfulness was covered by the ministry of Him who  perfectly represented the Almighty, and who had His own divine nature to give His servants, the prophets.
 
The prophets weren’t perfect because they had perfection innately, naturally. They had the divine nature as a gift from Jesus. That which permitted the prophets to speak for God, the divine nature, continually kept them humbled. And the words of truth that they continually heard from the burdened heart of Jesus kept their fallen nature from rising up and controlling them. Thus, Satan was kept away from them and his temptations had no effect on the prophets and kings, and the patriarchs and apostles. Self was kept at bay, so long as they accepted the word of God’s holiness, and loved it. As Jeremiah said,
 
“The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1:4,15). But, that pure spirit was a gift without which Jeremiah would have been as depraved as the rest of the people. And he stayed saved by returning to the word of the Lord and walking in communion with Him.
 
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jer. 15:16). “It is of the LORDs mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22,23). He was converted before he was born, and loved the words of the holy God. But, those words were high as heaven, and Jeremiah had to admit his unworthiness. Every day he had to bow before the infinitely high standard and “[submit]…unto the righteousness of God.” (Rom. 10:3). Jeremiah had to be reconverted every day to “the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning [him].” (1Thess. 5:18).

Jesus alone needed no reconversion every day, because He never left His Father. All He needed was a renewal of His already perfect Spirit which He never lost day by day or night by night. But, no one other than Jesus is holy so that renewal is all that he needs. We all need the daily regeneration, the humbling, repentance, and reconversion in order to have the Spirit of Christ restored to us. “According to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” (Tit. 3:5). The Spirit of God can be renewed every morning, but only if we are humbled again every morning as we stand before the powerful word of God and let it disturb our soul and resurrect it from the dead, morning by morning and all through the day.
 
Isaiah speaks of the same requirement of a prophet that began for him at a later age in life.
 
“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” (Isa. 6:5-7).
 
But, one anointing was not enough.
 
“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.” (Isa. 50:4,5).
 
When we are freed from self’s love of self-exaltation, self-centeredness, self-indulgence, self-preservation, etc. then we are the happiest that we can ever be. We can be like Jesus who never once exalted self or served self. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself.” (Rom. 15:1-3).
 
And there has not been a man since Adam left the garden who was happier than the Son of God. Jesus under the curse of the Law was even happier than Adam in the garden. Adam’s divine nature was lesser and weaker than Christ’s, which caused His virtue to bring the dead souls of the people to life. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1Cor. 15:45).
 
We see how Jesus stood head and shoulders above the hosts of heaven in His humble happiness. 
“Thou art fairer than the children of men:
grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.
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 Kings 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. 45:2-7).
 
He was happier than the highest angel because, like His Father, He was more empty of self than anyone from intelligent creation. Michael was His name, Mikha “who is like”, and El “God”. “Who is like God” was just like His Father.
 
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.” (John 5:19-21).
 
No one was emptier of self than God; and His attribute of infinite selflessness manifested itself in His only Begotten. The only begotten Son alone could pay the price for a fallen world—a massive enterprise that will forever bring the highest happiness to the whole kingdom of God in heaven and earth. Among men, only the Son could go infinitely low; only this Man could trust in God to assist Him to fully empty Himself of self.
 
What hath God wrought! By permitting sin to destroy the Father’s image in Adam and his race, so that we were completely the vulgar and disgusting off-scouring of the universe, the Father revealed a continued favor and acceptance for His greatest creation by His faith that our seed of faith and love would sprout which He had breathed into humanity at creation. Then, the Father emptied Himself of all but love, and, through His unique, most beloved, and only begotten Son, laid down His own life for a grossly selfish race.
 
“Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11). “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isa. 53:11,12).
 
But, Satan has a counterfeit for the emptiness of self, the spirituality that God offers. Satan’s New Age spirituality is full of self. The humiliation of self is never dealt with, never addressed, or even considered. The humbling of self is avoided at all cost by everyone in the New Age movement and by their ancient leader. And the lack of humbling will result in total confusion, every man against each other. “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” (Rev. 18:2).
 
Spirituality without humility is a pretense and a fraud. It is blasphemy. The harmony that Christ gave His church becomes cacaphony. It ends in total chaos because the unrefrained weakness of selfishness trespasses the needs of everyone around. Without self restrained, no one loves or serves others. It’s every man for himself. Self is given free reign, and love cannot exist. This will be the condition of the world in the end. Uncontested pride will be the reason that “darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people” (Isa. 60:2).
 
But, heeding the call to come out of that horrific captivity is why God’s children will have light and happiness. “...but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Vs. 2).
 
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Rom. 15:1).
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2).
 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:9,10).
“For every man shall bear his own burden.” (Gal. 6:5).
“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” (Gal. 6:3).
 
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the [earthly] mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12).
“So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God…. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:21,33,34).
 
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law….
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13:8-10,12-14).
 
All the glory of the apostolic church will be seen in the last church of God. And, likewise, all the darkness of spiritualism will be seen outside the church at the end. The distinction will be so marked as to leave all rejecters of God’s humbling without excuse. All who will not permit their pride to be humbled into the dust, who will have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2Tim. 3:5), will have chosen their delusions.
 
They will have accepted the self-pleasing promises of peace without the humiliation that comes from the Law of God. Satan, the high priest of familiar spirits, will find an everlasting habitation in the souls who for so long warred against reproof and correction that they exclude themselves from eternal life. They will convince themselves that meekness and righteousness are the great curse of life and they will have judged themselves fully opposed to the kingdom of humility. They permitted the deceiver to delude them beyond hope. The repeated rejection of the Spirit of truth by rejecting His reproofs of sin, will leave them without a trace desire for truth. They sold themselves to the lawless demon world. Satan and his spirit hosts stole their hearts from their Creator and Redeemer. The rejectors of humiliation will reap their eternal reward—eternal destruction.
 
The first step in salvation and damnation is the choice to accept or to reject the rebukes and corrections that come our way. The reproofs from the Bible come through sacred history and subtle parable form, and are the nicest means of correction. Or, we may hear the sharper, harsher, and more direct reproofs from the unsanctified world which come due to the consequence for disdaining the Bible’s gentler reproofs. But, whether we hear  the Bible or not, the decision of our final judgment will come by ultimately accepting rebuke and correction and being humbled by them, or rejecting the corrections and retaining our pride. Our salvation or damnation is not arbitrarily decided by God, but by the outworking of our own decisions over the course of 70, 80, 90, or 100 years of life. With exception of a minute minority who flee the proud group for the humble, or vice versa, by the end of life we have fully made up our mind to serve the God of self-forgetfulness, or not. And, no matter the age, even the centenarians who finally accept the humbling at the end of life are little lambs in God’s sight.
 
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32).
 
 
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Ps. 1).

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