“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.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The holy, the righteous, the unjust, and the filthy

“He that is unjustG91, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthyG4510, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteousG1344, let him be righteous still: and he that is holyG37, let him be holy still.” (Rev. 22:11).
G4510 rhupoō “to become dirty”
G91 adikeoō “hurt, injure, be an offender, be unjust”
G1344 dikaiō “just, righteous”
G37 hagiazō “sanctified, be holy”
For many years I wondered why this verse was written like it was. Why the four groups? Why the apparent repetitiveness? Was there a deeper meaning to it? Then as I looked closer at the whole book of Revelation the Lord began to show me why there are four groups.
I had run from the Lord for 13 years. It was a dry and thirsty land that my heart and life had become. Finally, when life was unbearable I sought the Lord with my whole heart, and He brought me to Himself.
“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jer. 29:10-14).
I’m glad my captivity didn’t have to be 70 years. Thirteen years was bad enough living without my Shield and exceeding great Reward.
When I surrendered to the Lord He gave me a strong love for the Bible. I had learned the hard way that cursed is the man who trusts in man and blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah. Now His word was my great love. Nothing else made sense. Everything else glorified man. The Bible became an oasis in my dry and thirsty land.
I read and read. I studied and grappled over the hardest book in the world to understand. But it was making sense, for the first time in my life. First, the major prophets, then the minor prophets, then Paul and the other apostles and gospel writers. It all fit together nicely like a beautiful puzzle. Finally, the Spirit of the Lord led me to the prophecies of Daniel, and it made sense after having read everything else. Then lastly, Revelation.
In Revelation the Spirit showed me a new way of looking at the book. I saw that chapters 4 through 11 were the basic storyline, chronological and brief; and the second half of the book comprised chapters that needed to be brought into the basic storyline to give it detail.
When the seventh seal opened (Rev. 8:1-5) there is a heavenly sanctuary scene with our High Priest Jesus as an Angel at the golden altar of incense, preparing to go into the Most Holy Place. But, instead of going in to cleanse the sanctuary, He takes His censor, with its heaping double portion of burning incense as Aaron got on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:12), and the Angel throws it down to the earth. The first trumpet immediately blows, and on earth the contents of the censor and His blood come falling from the heavens.
This first trumpet begins a trial for the people of God at that time—the post-Puritanical Protestants—in preparation for sealing a predestinated 144,000 and for desolating the apostatized of the larger group. By the end of the first four trumpets the worst among the Protestant denominations have rejected the Millerite movement (first trumpet), they have rejected the Sabbath and the whole Law (second trumpet), they have therefore received the star called wormwood, Satan with his embittering presence (third trumpet), and their light has extinguished (fourth trumpet).
Then, the fifth trumpet sounds and Satan is loosed upon Protestantism, especially the Protestants inhabiting “the earth” (Rev. 8:13), or Protestant America. “The earth” is the land that swallowed up the flood of persecution which the great red dragon spewed out of his mouth to carry away the church in the wilderness (Rev. 12:15,16), as America became the Protestant refuge from papal persecution. “The earth” is also the home of the second Beast of Revelation 13, which heals the deadly wound of the first beast which had blasphemed God and sought to take His place in the world (Rev. 13:11-16).
So, once the denominations have been cut off from God the three woes pronounced upon “the inhabiters of the earth” (Rev. 8:13) are warnings to the Puritanical Protestants, who survived the Counter-Reformation and who had been living in a paradise that Providence used to protect them from the dragon and from the beast, both of which sought to destroy obedience to God’ word.
Once the fifth trumpet sounds, the spirit of the dragon and millions of devouring Jesuit agents are loosed from the prison which the Reformation had interred them. By then the churches have gone spiritually dead and dark, worldly and hard-hearted toward their Reformation fathers’ God. Now, those devouring locusts are sent by God to drive the Protestants from their fence-sitting and toward a whole-hearted service to God or to Satan. The locusts devour the spiritual health of every Protestant, except for those Protestants genuinely seeking God with the whole heart.
“And it was commanded them [the locusts] that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 9:4).
The demon-driven locusts are given five prophetic months to spiritually and mentally torment (Rev. 9:5), and when that time is finished, as the sixth trumpet blows, every tree, shrub, and blade of grass has been tried, the “small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” (Rev. 13:16). Protestantism is non-existent, except for the 144,000 who have wandered 150 years through a difficult wilderness full of tormenting wrath and enemy armies, Baalpeor corruption and satanic sophistries.
There are four groups at this point in the unfinished storyline: 1) the 144,000 still green and alive and being sealed; 2) the Protestant Americans whose consciences have been tormented to the point that their faith is “killed” (Rev. 9:18) by the locusts; 3) “the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands” (Rev. 9:20); and 4) “the sea” (Rev. 10:3) which the 144,000 must evangelize, all “kindreds and tongues and nations” (Rev. 11:9), “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6). The sea is the non-Protestants in the world, all the billions of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, Sikhs, Catholic peoples, etc.
These four groups make up the four classes listed in Revelation 22:11, which in the end become fixed in their final spiritual condition. The Greek words for the “unjust” and the “righteous” show them to be opposites of the same root word, G1349 dikē, meaning that both words refer to justification or the lack thereof. The Greek root relates to their being justified, their reconciliation with God being the first step in their walk to heaven. This interpretation indicates all who are not at the extremes of the final battle for and against the vindication of God’s character. These “righteous” and “unjust”, less zealous ones situated on either side of the line of salvation help us decipher who are the “filthy” and “holy”, the ones most dedicated to the forces of good or of evil who most perfectly reveal the animosity between Christ and Satan.

The troubles of the first six trumpets our heavenly High Priest Jesus sends in the effort to make atonement for His Adventist family, as Aaron was to make atonement for his family before making atonement for everyone else. Out of the Protestant movement Christ has drawn His Advent movement, while every Protestant was being devoured by the locusts except for those who He was sealing. Even among the Adventists, the tormenting and devouring is taking place during our own end-time Baalpeor apostasy.
So, during the five months, Christ, before His Most Holy Father, separated out with His mighty cleaver of truth—the Spirit of Prophecy books—all among Protestant America who loved God with all their heart enough to obey Him with all their heart. They were genuine in their hearts; and the rest of the Protestants were rejected. More than enough time and torment was given for them to need the God of heaven, but they never surrendered to Him. They never fell on the Stone and were broken. They never chastised and afflicted their souls during the investigative judgment period when the world was changing rapidly for the worse. They never fasted from the good life in order to regain their bearings and to reassess their standing before God while Protestantism was departing further from the Reformation and degrading, finally returning to Mother Rome. They were “killed” (Rev. 9:18)—their faith, conscience, and salvation robbed from the churched Protestants, the Neo-Evangelicals. They join with Protestantism’s enemy to persecute the Protestant Adventists. These receive the mark of the beast in their forehead; they are the “filthy” of Rev. 22:11.
But, not all the non-Adventist Protestants were “killed” by the locust plagues (Rev. 9:20). The hated atheists and hedonistic marginalized unchurched Protestant Americans, who rejected the grace-only modern Ashtoreth, and whose hearts and consciences the locusts could not “kill”, were not fully alienated from the Law. But neither were they converted to God and His Law, therefore they would need their own test to judge who would serve the Lord or the devil. The standard “very small remnant” of them would find the narrow gate and be saved, but most would follow the wide road to destruction, along with those whose consciences were “killed” by Spiritual Formation. The sifting and shaking would send the majority of “the rest of the men” not killed by the locust plagues to ally with the desolated hearts among the spiritualized, churched Evangelical Protestants who determinedly calumniate and persecute the 144,000. The majority of the atheistic and hedonistic idolaters join those Evangelicals not because these idolaters are given to the religious fanaticism of the Evangelicals due to Spiritual Formation, but the idolaters join the religious group in order to keep their bank accounts, their retirements, due to the new religio-political global government and its violently enforced laws that threaten all non-compliance. They also turn a blind eye to the persecutions for fear of Gestapo-like repercussions. The idolaters never felt their need of forgiveness from heaven; they never received faith and the Spirit, because their hearts were determinedly attached to this world. They are controlled by satanic hosts, but they are not devil-possessed to the degree of the spiritualized Evangelicals. They are not converted and justified before God. These receive the mark in their right hand. They are the “unjust” of Rev. 22:11.

The 144,000 who were sifted from among the world body of Protestantism and Adventism were justified by the torment of the Jesuit locusts. “The chastisement of [their] peace” (Is. 53:5,  cf John 3:36) that came from living in an atheistic world drove them to the Saviour, who led them down into the waters of humiliation and surrender; and He blessed them there. They reconsecrated themselves to the holy Testimony of Jesus that He had given to them through Ellen White, and they finally took up the special work of purification that Jesus called for in this investigative judgment. With a new spirit, the Law written in their heart and mind, the message that the prophet bore made them holy. They will perfectly reproduce the character of Jesus. They obey the command to preach the three angel’s messages to the unchurched Protestants and the non-Protestant world. They are the “holy” of Rev. 22:11.
The “sea” (Rev. 10:3), all the billions of the heathen world, are tested when the 144,000, who, purified by the truth, preach the everlasting gospel of the kingdom to all the world for a witness to every nation. The opposition to the gospel by the world populations’ will sift out all of the billions of unconverted souls except the needy ones sprinkled among nations. They strongly feel their need of God’s help, and the refreshing from His presence heals their hearts. They accept the appeals from the God who they have been seeking. He justifies them and gives them His Spirit of adoption. But, because the end is so near, they have no time to get sanctified. Like the thief on the cross, if they had had the time they would have become as sanctified as their sealed evangelists, the 144,000. The sealing preparation of the sea’s remnant is not the result of their sanctification but only of their justification because that is all that they have time to accomplish. They didn’t have much time and access to truth from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, as the 144,000 had. But, they are faithful to all the light of which Jesus has convicted them. Therefore, God accepts their honest work to come to Him with grateful hearts and their earnest effort to imitate Him to the best of their newly endowed ability, even while suffering from the dangers of their ignorant and persecuting peoples, tongues, and nations. They do not perfectly duplicate the character of Jesus, as the 144,000 perfectly reflect Him, even for many at the cost of their lives. But the Father deems their true heart and faithfulness safe to bring to His home. They are justified, but not sanctified—not holy and purified in all respects—but safe to redeem. They are the “just” of Rev. 22:11.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Philippians working out their own salvation

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.” (Phil. 2:12-17). 

My salvation is my duty; your salvation is yours. It is no one else’s. Our place before the eternal throne is our responsibility—not the pastor’s, not the elder’s, not our parents’, not a mentor’s, not a prayer team’s. It is not even our prophet’s. Cursed is everyone who trusts in a man to do their own personal work of seeking God. We can and need to pray for others to find the Lord; but, no one can seek God for another. No one can receive faith for another.  

The above people can give guidance; and we need to choose people who can give us advice from their experience and wisdom. We have a prophet, Ellen White, who has spoken for Jesus. Jesus spoke to her and she faithfully relayed His high standard to all who would listen. But, beyond what others can teach us, our salvation depends on our acting upon what we have heard and read from Jesus, the Fountainhead of the river of the water of life.

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This work is of the utmost gravity. Many today say that fear of God has no place in the walk of grace. That is the devil-speak. We are not only to fear but to tremble when it comes to our salvation. Because we are cooperating with God, “the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth” (Gen. 14:19) and standing before His most holy Law. We are uniting with the Judge of all the earth. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.” (Rev. 4:8). “Holy and reverend is His name.” (Ps. 111:9).

Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Paul fell on their faces before Him. Every creature falls prostrate and trembles before the Creator of heaven and earth when they come before Him. 

Even one of His angels can cause this effect. “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” (Matt. 28:3-4). 

The New Testament is full of the fear of the Lord. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (1Tim. 5:20). 

Jesus Himself was full of the fear of His Father. That fear is what allowed His Father to keep Him strong against Satan.

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears:
But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.
And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa. 11:1-5). 

The devil fears God and trembles (James 2:19) before Him, and the last thing Satan wants is for the children of Jesus to possess His fear of the Lord and for them to let His righteousness gird their loins and His faithfulness to God gird their minds. 

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; …wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph. 6:14-16). 

It is true that there is not fear in love. “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.” (1Jn. 4:18). But, that fear is the fear of man, fear of mortal death, being too afraid to trust God after all that He has given us to win our hearts back to Him. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Heb. 13:5,6). 

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14,15). 

“Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” (Ps. 2:11). That gives a balanced concept of worship and sanctification.

As children fear their loving fathers, so must we fear our loving God. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.” (Ps. 103:13). 

We must fear the Lord, even as we love Him; otherwise, we will lose our soberness and fall prey to the devil. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pet. 5:8). Satan knows that he can devour only the weak and inattentive. We must sleep not, but be whole-hearted toward the Son. To love Jesus with all our heart means to be about His Father’s business with all our heart as Jesus was whole-hearted toward His Father’s business. 

Paul exemplified for the Philippian Christians what he meant by working out our salvation with fear and trembling. 

“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.” (Phil. 3:8). Remaining on the path to eternity with Jesus was very serious business to Paul. The great apostle had seen and read in scripture of so many who had shipwrecked along the way to heaven. Once saved not necessarily always saved, and Paul knew it. “We become partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14). So Paul allowed nothing and no one to become an idol to him. He feared and obeyed the first and second commandments: he had no other gods before the one true God; and he would not bow his heart and mind to worship any man or anything that man has made. Worship means supreme love and loyalty. Worshipping anyone or anything more than God is blasphemy.

We all must follow Paul’s example as he followed Christ’s example of excellence. Idolatry is pervasive in these last days. Jesus warned us, “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). All who cry for help to the great Judge of all the earth Jesus gladly rewards. They have been in great need, and He gives them the desires of their heart, “after that ye have suffered a while.” (1Pet. 5:10). “Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?” (Luke 18:7). But, when great, desperate need has ground self out of them and they patiently keep His commandments while waiting before Him, then He pours His Spirit upon them and their cup runneth over. He has tried them and they come forth as gold. They faithfully sought His help and He comes through for them. He is a shield and exceeding great reward “to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality.” (Rom. 2:7; Gen. 15:1). 

Self-denial, renunciation of service to earthly things or people above service to God, attend all who take seriously the heaven to win and the hell to shun. And He happily shares our service to Him with those around us. Service to God first and then service to those beside us are our protection from the deceptions of Satan.

There is a real adversary in the world, whose armies subtly woo Christians away from their everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Paul was fully aware of the demons’ subtleties and smooth whisperings. The stimulating foods and sweet desserts, the fine fashions and pride, all dilute our need and appreciation for the Father and Son. Ambition and success, even religious success, rob us of Their Spirit. “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law” (Phil. 3:6), Paul said he had exceeded all his peers. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” (Phil. 3:7). 

Do we have idols, objects of our love and praise that cause us to fall into sin? Will we “count them but dung, that [we] may win Christ” (Phil. 3:8)? We must! Or we will fail at Christ’s return! Aren’t all those competitors of the God of love nothing but putrid refuse, repulsive and revolting? “Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.” (Isa. 30:22). 

Righteousness and obedience to the Law and will of God are not bondage if we repent of our idolatry and renounce it in order to win Jesus. Knowing Jesus and His Father better must be the only motive for our obedience, otherwise our dress, our diet, et cetera, are all filthy rags. We will be walking naked and heaven will see our shame. Our own righteousness is self-righteousness; and it will be drudgery, true bondage. All who create their own clean heart and develop their own righteous life are not under grace because they are not striving to have the Son and to trust in His gracious righteousness. 

“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; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil. 3:9-11). 

“Whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25). This is how we work out our own salvation—for Jesus’ sake. To know Him, to have fellowship with His sufferings, losing everything in the world that has been the source of our life will give us a clear need to have Jesus as our source of life. The beauty of His grace and truth will come into view and His voice will be heard in our heart and mind. He continually added to His faith virtue, and to His virtue knowledge, and to His knowledge temperance, to His temperance patience, and to His patience godliness, to His godliness brotherly kindness, and to His brotherly kindness love.

“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ…. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2Pet. 1:8,11). 

As we give up all to meet Jesus, losing the things and people that we have used to provide us a spark of life, Jesus will be the doorway through which the Father can send the riches of His glorious eternal Spirit. 

“In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.” Desire of Ages, p. 466. 

If we have fallen at His feet for His forgiveness and received His Spirit of reconciliation, then we will continue on the upward path by throwing out everything “that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2Cor. 10:5). 

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6), “for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13).