“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.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dying daily

“And He saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow.” (Luke 19:22).
“For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:17).
“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.” (Mal. 3:2,3).
“Renunciation of Self. I thank the Lord this morning for His keeping power. I awake very early, unable to sleep. During the past night my mind has been greatly burdened. I am charged to bear to those in Los Angeles and all who shall assemble in these meetings who minister in word and doctrine, the message that they need to be reconverted, for they do not understand the philosophy of the genuine missionary work that should be done by those who are acquainted with present truth. In the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters of John, God’s will is plainly outlined before them. It is their privilege to understandingly watch unto prayer, [and] believe that God means just what He says. The Lord charges them to stand faithfully, to believe every verse in these chapters, and to live them out before their brother ministers.  
     To every one God has given His work. Not all have the same line of work, but all are to be workers together with God, laboring in perfect unity and love with one another, bearing fruit to the glory of God. God’s servants are branches of the true Vine, and they should produce the best quality of fruit. They are distinct branches, but they draw their sustenance from one Source-- the parent stock, Christ Jesus.
     Those who work for God are daily to empty the heart of self, that they may be cleansed of their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. They are to depend wholly upon Him who taught as never man taught. Unless the soul temple is daily emptied of self, and prepared for the reception of the Holy Spirit, self will rule the entire being. The words and acts will be tarnished with selfishness. Christ will not appear in the life. There will be seen a self-confidence that is wholly inappropriate.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, p. 168.
“No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work. Then the language of the soul will be, Lord, take my heart; for I cannot give it. It is Thy property. Keep it pure, for I cannot keep it for Thee. Save me in spite of myself, my weak, unchristlike self. Mold me, fashion me, raise me into a pure and holy atmosphere, where the rich current of Thy love can flow through my soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 159.
In Sabbath school yesterday the question was raised, “What does dying to self actually look like? What does it mean?” One answer offered from the class likened dying to self and sanctification to eating an onion. You peal it off layer by layer. Likewise, the Lord will peal away our sinfulness layer by layer, deeper and deeper. That sounds correct. Except that we must ask, do we have the drive that pleases God in the process of our sanctification? Do we have faith, the faith of Jesus? Do we mosey along in our sanctification “work of a lifetime”? Or do we run at our personal Goliaths like David did whirling his sling with his one smooth bullet? Do we say with Paul the following?
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil. 3:8-10).
 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Phil. 3:13-15).
“Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.” (Luke 13:24,25).
“I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50).
“The high calling of God in Christ Jesus”, “that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Do we strive like that to have our layers of sin pealed off of our soul, and purged from our spirit? Are we truly dying to self? Are we keeping up to speed with the pealing, as God desires? Are we striving to cooperate with Him for the death to our self? Are we striving to see Jesus die to self in Gethsemane and on the Cross? Filled with the presence of sin while He was in the garden, and without His Father to wash it all away in His usual nightly flood of tears, the Son of God was further punished by God on the cross for having sinful flesh and punished by us for having no beauty in Him that we should desire Him.
Jesus’ faith was true dying to self. Jesus’ death to self is the standard. “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Heb. 12:4). Not my death or yours, not our neighbor’s effort to die to self, but the Son’s death of His every fleshly want is the standard. We need to repent of our dying to self. Historically, the effort of God’s people to cooperate with Him for their death has been a dismal enterprise. With a few exceptions, it has ended in their total desolation and rejection.
“Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach.
Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens.
We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.
We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us.
Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest.
We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.
Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand.
We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness.
Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.
They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah.
Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honoured.
They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood.
The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their musick.
The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.
The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!
For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim.” (Lam. 5:1-17).

“For the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan. 9:27).

Are we Adventists, who are the people of God, “the remnant of His heritage” (Mic. 7:18), taking His commandments seriously? Are we afflicting our souls for the investigative judgment? Are we purifying ourselves, as John called for and Ellen White seconded?

“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).
“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.
“Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator-- individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen. Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men strong to think and to act, men who are masters and not slaves of circumstances, men who possess breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions.
     Such an education provides more than mental discipline; it provides more than physical training. It strengthens the character, so that truth and uprightness are not sacrificed to selfish desire or worldly ambition. It fortifies the mind against evil. Instead of some master passion becoming a power to destroy, every motive and desire are brought into conformity to the great principles of right. As the perfection of His character is dwelt upon, the mind is renewed, and the soul is re-created in the image of God.
     What education can be higher than this? What can equal it in value?
     ‘It cannot be gotten for gold,
     Neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
     It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir,
     With the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
     The gold and the crystal cannot equal it
     And the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
     No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls:
     For the price of wisdom is above rubies.’ Job 28:15-18.  
     Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness--godlikeness--is the goal to be reached. Before the student there is opened a path of continual progress. He has an object to achieve, a standard to attain, that includes everything good, and pure, and noble. He will advance as fast and as far as possible in every branch of true knowledge. But his efforts will be directed to objects as much higher than mere selfish and temporal interests as the heavens are higher than the earth.
     He who co-operates with the divine purpose in imparting to the youth a knowledge of God, and molding the character into harmony with His, does a high and noble work. As he awakens a desire to reach God’s ideal, he presents an education that is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe; an education that cannot be completed in this life, but that will be continued in the life to come; an education that secures to the successful student his passport from the preparatory school of earth to the higher grade, the school above.” Education, p. 17-19.
“And thou, O Tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” (Mic. 4:8). “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14).
Are we really dying to self? Are we really striving to enter into the gates of the city?


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