“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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Need of Consecration

“Dear brethren in the ministry: The old year, 1887, is nearly closed, and 1888 is about to be ushered in. What advancement have we made in the knowledge of Jesus Christ during the past year? Have we, as individual workers together with God, with deep earnestness reviewed the life of the past year? Have we thoughtfully, solemnly, and prayerfully taken in the situation as to our relation to God and to His work? As ambassadors for Christ shall we at this critical period of the history of the church, when the nations of the world are almost universally wavering between infidelity and idolatry, consider the signs of the times? Shall we hear the voice of God through His Word, giving warnings and appeals and commands, calling us to a new contest by a new and more thorough consecration of ourselves, of all our entrusted capabilities and powers? My brethren and sisters who are engaged in the solemn work of being the mouthpiece of God, be sure that the treasure house of the heart is pure and holy.”

Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 318

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

An email to a pastor friend in Uganda

  ...I need to write more blog posts, but am going through the manuscript again to see if it can be more tailored to the Protestants. I wrote to the Adventists the first time, like they are repeating the history of the Jews. But, I see the Protestants repeating the history of the northern kingdom of Israel, so the issues are similar but the audience is more distant to the original spirit of the Reformation. I know that the prosperity gospel is spreading widely around the world, as is the pentecostal movement. The world is getting desperate for some evidence that God hears them. But, nothing can satisfy the human heart except the evidence of the promises of God’s word and “the Spirit of His Son” (Gal. 4:6). Yet, Satan has made this world so chaotic that it is extremely difficult to get through the thick wall of his “fire and smoke and brimstone” (Rev. 9:18).
   Battling the fire, smoke, and brimstone is as difficult and challenging as a salmon to swim up a long river, with its rapids and water falls and fishermen and hungry bears. But, many salmon do make it home again, to the very spot where they grew up as little ones. They are badly beaten by rocks and bear claws, and chunks of their backs are missing by fish hooks. But though mutilated, they are home to complete the mission God put into their hearts to accomplish--birth another generation who will endure the same thing they did. Over and over again this is repeated. Year after year it has played out before our eyes to encourage us on to get to Jesus in the bosom of God.
  We need to have hearts open to Jesus. That is what the holy men and women and children of the Bible had. Some had a lot of openness, some less than others. But Jesus took all that they gave Him and He developed it like a person working the stock market to grow his investment. We are Jesus’ investment. We only come to Him to start with because He called us to repentance by His poured out Spirit. The “mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20) died in childbirth for our second birth. In His multiplied sorrows He named us Benoni “son of My sorrows” (Gen. 35:18), but His Father renamed us Benjamin “son of My right hand”. Our response is the gain that He makes on His invested capital, and little or much of our response is acceptable. Yet, He groans and travails together with His Father until the redemption of His purchased possession. Then They will have unlimited communion with the special race that was made especially in Their image.
  There is an abundance of scripture that testifies of Jesus, both in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in nature and in the experiences of life. If we can teach the people by examples and by encouragement to look in those huge resources for the limitless parallels to the gospel story, we will have a Mount Stanley full of Jesus and His Spirit, and a depth of knowing Him and a fullness of loving Him as deep and voluminous as Lake Victoria. Our peace will be “as a river, and [our] righteousness as the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:18).
  Brother, be bold and confident to compare the earthly things to the spiritual and heavenly things. Be expectant, listening, and open to whatever lessons will come of it. This is the resource from which Jesus pulled for most of His teachings. And so effective was this for revealing the glory of God that He found no privacy from the people who were dying to hear more, not even in a far country and in someone’s anonymous home. “And from thence He arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but He could not be hid.” (Mark 7:24). Yet, their great need never failed to awaken His greater sympathy. He was never too exhausted or hungry. And today He lives for nothing more than to make intercession for us.
  And “ye shall be named the [Priest] of the LORD: men shall call you the [Minister] of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast [yourself].” (Isa. 61:6).

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Revelation Chapter 4: In the Beginning, God

Revelation Chapter 4 gives the setting for the great events to be revealed until the end of chapter 11. In the beginning, even before time, the Revelation 4 theme opens with the Father eternally sitting on His throne. Before Him are the seven Spirits of God, similar to the seven angels lighting the seven churches. In Revelation chapter 1, Christ held seven stars in His right hand (see Revelation 1:16), just as the earthly tabernacle had the seven candlesticks on the right side of the Holy Place, as one faces out the veil of the Holy Place. Gold bands Jesus’ chest like a breastplate reflecting the spotless purity that filled His heart, and His feet have the appearance of fine brass, just as the earthly tabernacle had items of pure gold inside the sanctuary and the courtyard items were made of brass. The brightness of Christ’s face disabled John, and His eyes shone even brighter, just as the glorious shekinah in the Most Holy Place would mean mortal death without a cloud of incense to obscure it. Here we can see through shadowy types that John saw Christ embodying the earthly sanctuary and its courtyard. The sanctuary is Jesus (see Hebrews 10:20; Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4); the Son of God is the plan of salvation. Jesus is “greater than the temple” (Matt. 12:6), even “as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house” (Heb. 3:3, cf Zech. 6:13).
Before the Father John sees shining lamps of fire ― “the seven Spirits of God” (Rev. 4:5) ― representative of the whole infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal Spirit of God. John sees seven Spirits not because there are literally multiple Holy Spirits, but because the numeral seven in Hebrew thought represented fullness to the fullest extent of divine and holy things. Seven quantifies the epitome of infinity in power, “the utmost bound of the everlasting hills” (Gen. 49:26) in the way of holiness. The seven Spirits are “the eternal Spirit” (Heb. 9:14), the Father’s Spirit without measure given to His Son (see John 3:34; Revelation 3:1), “the power of the Highest” (Luke 1:35, cf Matt. 28:18), “even his eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20). Those brilliant lamps of fire sat between “him that sat on the throne…that liveth for ever and ever” (Rev. 4:10) and “a sea of glass like unto crystal” (Rev. 4:6).
An insight here from my Bible teacher, Pastor James Ayars, is that the seven Spirits describe seven attributes of Christ, six specific and one all-encompassing. “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” (Isa. 11:2). The description “seven spirits” represents every attribute of the Father, all of which He immeasurably displayed through His Son (see Hebrews 1:3).
This very first scene of heaven is a peaceful one. The heart of God was happy and jubilant, as was His kingdom of peace that surrounded Him like a sea (see Ezekiel 28:2), settled and undisturbed, sitting below and stretching out before “the holy mountain of God” (Eze. 28:14, cf Isa. 11:9; 65:25). His “peace [had] been as a river,” like waters “that go softly”, “and [His] righteousness as the waves of the sea” (Isa. 48:18; Isa. 8:6, cf Gen. 2:10). Neither did any member of that sea “hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain”; but the kingdom was “full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9, cf Isa. 65:25). This vast, pacific ocean contrasts with the Revelation chapter 15 scene of the sea mingled with fire, when God’s full wrath against sin is stirred up and He is about to begin His final plagues. Yet, in His judgments God will keep His people stable and they will retain the peace of the glass sea (see Revelation 15:2-4).
We can see at this time represented by chapter 4, that the perfect peace of God reigned in His presence and throughout His kingdom of grace and truth. This calm picture also helps us peer into the mind and heart of the Prince of Peace. Like Father, like Son; with either it could be said that it was heaven to be in His presence and multitudes were happy to serve Him.
“In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage” The Desire of Ages, p. 330. Christ was united with His Father and a counsel of peace was between Them both. Thus, nothing could disturb Him. Hidden with Christ in God, we, too, can have the same invincible peace (see Psalm 16:9; Colossians 3:1-3; Philippians 4:7).
Enveloping Their awesome glory were four orders of created beings, each representing aspects of character of the Godhead: a lion, dreaded and courageous; a calf, lowly and self-sacrificing; a man, omniscient and noble; and a flying eagle, ever-existent and omnipresent. Like the camp of Israel in the wilderness, laid out by tribe in ever-widening rings, the hosts of heavenly orders surrounding the throne of God were full of eyes (see Ezekiel 1:18), all happily riveted on the great Center. Like the spiral galaxies in deep space with their streams of glowing light encircling each great nucleus, the hosts of heavenly beings reverently sought a closer proximity to the sanctuary of the Creator’s presence.
David instituted twenty-four priests to officiate in the tabernacle under the supervision of high priests Zadok and Ahimelech (see 1 Chronicles 24:3-9) to ensure that Israel would never be without an intercessor. Likewise, John saw that circumscribing the immediate presence of God sat twenty-four elders, angel ministers for incessant intercession for the inhabited worlds, over whom Lucifer ranked highest (see Ezekiel 28:13, 14; Ex. 28:15-21).
Cherubim appeared to Ezekiel as a living altar of incense (see Ezekiel 1:6-13, 17) and a living chariot-like ark of the covenant, all moved by whirlwind clouds of heaven (see Ezekiel 9:3; 10:2, 6-13; Daniel 7:9, 13). A cloud of witnesses following the Lamb wherever He went, all were praising the Lord of hosts. From deepest appreciation, they blessed the Father without ceasing. The innumerable hosts knew only perfect trust and obedience to their Father, and all worked together in perfect unity.
The immediate throne area that John witnessed was a place of intense lightning and thunder, and ten thousand times ten thousand voices, just as Isaiah and Ezekiel also had seen and heard. (See Isaiah 6:1-4; Ezekiel 1:13, 22, 24, cf Daniel 7:9.) Lightning-like, blinding excellence shrouded the great white throne of Him from whose sight the stars fled away. Yet, in that intense, high volume environment, happiness filled the quiet God of serenity and strength. He dwelt in a purity which none could approach except the angels that guarded His majestic selflessness. “That temple, filled with the glory of the eternal throne, where seraphim, its shining guardians, veil their faces in adoration, could find, in the most magnificent structure ever reared by human hands, but a faint reflection of its vastness and glory” The Great Controversy, p. 414.
And the billions upon billions of heavenly beings never ceasing, found rest in exulting His worthiness, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8). No earthly orchestra, no human chorus can ever compete with that of heaven. And as the four orders gave glory and honor and thanks to Him that dwelt on the mount, who had lived for ever and ever, their thanksgiving compelled the twenty-four elders to gladly fall down before the Creator. They cast their brilliant crowns before the throne, crying out, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). What a beautiful scene of endless happiness in our Father’s house!
The subject of their praise concerned the Father, His creative power and wisdom, and His pleasure to create. Throughout this scene, we see God’s love in His creative ability; the beauty of creation alone encompassed His praises. Make note that no mention was made of the lamb of God. Note also that the heavenly hosts made no mention of the glories of redemption, which would later be all for which they could praise the Father and the lamb throughout eternity. In the next chapter we will see why this should be.
Nevertheless, as wonderful as the purity and blissful trust of heaven had been in the timeless past, it all came to a sad end. Beginning at chapter 5, a sudden change comes over the happy scene that had so pleased John’s wondering eyes.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Another blogger's testimony

I was baptized Lutheran yet went to a Baptist church until the age of 12 or so. God was not something that interested me until age 38. It is a long story but for about 4-5 years, starting in 2006 or so, I searched through all religion looking for answers. I tried understanding what each religion believed in and what made sense to me. I stumbled upon many strange findings throughout my journey only to come back to what I was taught to believe at a very early age. Religion was not something that was important in my family’s upbringing. I was baptized and I did go to Church but it wasn’t something my parents stressed the importance of. I now believe it is important to teach what I know yet I also know that teaching does not make somebody believe. We must have our eyes opened. Some people will have their eyes opened wide, some not so much, and some won’t have them opened at all.
“To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:18).
I will save you all the biblical references in this statement about me as you will one day get them out of me in talking or reading my posts. Now back to my journey.
It may be hard to believe but while searching for answers I kept hearing a voice in my head. In fact, that statement makes me tear up writing it as I remember the voice and how stern but softly it was spoken. It kept saying “Keep Looking, Keep Looking”. I opened up article after article on the Internet trying to find God and trying to find answers that would give me Faith in Christ. I wanted so bad to believe in something, as death seemed hopeless to me. I started asking friends and family about Christ and trying so hard to believe in what they were telling me but I had no luck. I would just revert back to my same ole’ non-believing self. There was just something about the message I wasn’t getting yet I kept hearing the voice over and over and over again every time I would start to look for answers. I was on the computer early in the morning on April 1st, 2011. It was about 3am and something finally clicked. I was reading something about the crucifixion and got this overwhelming feeling inside that was telling me what I was reading has more to it. There was a man that I never have met that gave HIS life for all of humanity, as HE knew we couldn’t have salvation without HIM showing us The Way. Then I started thinking about how there was somebody long ago that horrible things happened to and HE died for the cause; never demanding anything more than believing in The Way and following The Commands. A man, that they called Yeshua. I then started looking deeper. That morning at 3am, the voice in my head said, “You found it”. I was so relieved to get this voice out of my head that I told everyone I knew about it. My friend Jim thought it was an April fool’s joke. Little did I know that the voice never goes away. It just changes it’s message.
This started my journey on April 1st, 2011. That is the day I picked up a Bible and started to study it. To that point I hadn’t stepped foot in a Church for over 26 years nor ever once read any part of the Bible. As I searched through the scriptures I started learning things. I would get excited and start telling all my Christian friends and family about them only to find out they were never taught that nor did they believe what I said was in the Bible. This started bothering me so I started to dig a little deeper. I came across so many things that the Bible says not to do that the Church teaches are okay to do so I made it a mission to find the TRUTH.
As I was off of work one day, my lawn guy (and now close friend) Doug stopped to talk after he was done cutting the lawn. He was an acquaintance of mine and we talked occasionally about God when he would come by to cut the lawn. He said “I know you recently came into belief in God but let me ask you something. How many animals did Noah take on the Ark?” I replied “2 of every kind, that was easy, I remember that from Sunday school”. He then said “Wrong, he took 7 clean of every kind a male and his mate and 2 unclean of every kind a male and his mate”. At that point I realized I was about 2 months into studying the Bible and I was already had been misled years before when taught only 2 of every kind went onto the Ark. From that point I regrouped and started to dig into the Bible deeper and found his answer to be correct.
“Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate.” (Genesis 7:2).
From that point forward I have “TESTED EVERYTHING” I am either told or taught by someone against the scriptures to make sure it is true. In the Bible the Bereans did the same thing.
“The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonia; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:10-11).
I am far from a scholar. I have no seminary training. I have just been led by HIM to find the TRUTH. I don’t have a degree nor did I even own a Bible until 2011. I have found that most of what is believed is man-centered tradition and the mainstream Church is failing us. We need to get back to the days when the Church taught from the Bible and not from some theologian’s doctrine that has been incorporated into the teachings over the last 2000 years. I now study word translations to prevent from getting the wrong message. Some things have been changed in our Bibles and other things have been tampered with. I am on a mission to uncover them as best as I can. I don’t have enough time in my life to do what I want to do but I can at least do some of it in hope of transforming what is being taught. I want to change Christianity back to the days when Paul was writing letters to correct the Churches. I want Christians to be united as one without doctrines getting in the way of that unity. I want to be remembered as a husband, father, and friend that helped spread The Gospel of Christ to those that did not know about it and help eliminate man’s doctrine from those that do know about it. My job is to make sure my family knows the Gospel so they can learn how to be saved. My calling is to uncover the misguided teachings in today’s Christianity and make sure my family and friends know the TRUTH. It isn’t an option to just be quiet and go along in life knowing the TRUTH and not teaching it to my family and friends. I won’t let them down and this is how it all started.
My comment:
I agree that it’s exciting to find others who have come to truly trust the Bible. My testimony is a little longer than yours, not with a voice leading me like the star over Bethlehem; but I was guided by providences. When I did come back to the Lord after being far gone for 13 years―by that I mean when the Lord took me back―all I could think of was having a Bible. That was my big, silent thought, “Oh, if I only had a Bible!” And a voice spoke in my mind very clearly in that little attic, “It’s right behind you.” And, without even wondering where that voice came from, I turned around and in the bookcase right behind me was a Bible. I took it and opened to 2 Timothy 1 and began my past 20 year love of the Bible. I have studied and read and meditated on it to this day! This morning I was thinking about all the accusations and discrediting of parts of the Bible and of the whole Bible. So many accusing voices have gone silent when they learned more about what they were accusing. I am now to the point of saying that no matter what I hear against God’s word to never get disturbed about any of it. It will be all resolved in time. Every last difficulty. No one will understand the Bible unless they approach it with the gift of faith from Jesus. People rail and complain against the Bible because they are ignorant of the circumstances that existed when the different parts were written. Like the children of Israel, who complained about everything God did for them, and died in the wilderness, all the modern murmurers are going to die in this world, and never enter the heavenly Canaan. The laws of diet given to the Israelites in the wilderness were for all time. Science is slowly come up to speed with diet and health; but, they won’t be fully correct until they come 100% in line with the Bible. It has been the true followers of Christ and His word who have had the best health and quality of life since the beginning of time. During the Bubonic plague the survivors were the Jews because they still obeyed the laws of cleanliness that the Lord gave Moses to give them. The truth is that every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of glory, who changes not. And He sees it correct to give the truth to this fallen world of sinners in written form via a third person like us, just another regular, struggling human messenger who was inspired by God, like Moses was. This initial humbling tends to sift out all the Naamans who believe they merit a more heavenly teacher than the written instructions of God through men. Some of those Naamans rethink their pride and return to the written word of God. And we happily welcome them home!
 Blessings, brother.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The end of America: A bitter administration under Baal and then Ashtoreth’s rule by decree

Many people have already seen the predictions of Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton in the popular cartoon, The Simpsons. In one episode during the year 2000, Secretary of Treasury Milhouse under President Lisa playing Mrs. Clinton, shows a graph of the America’s economy in ruins following Mr. Trump’s administration. This has many deeply concerned because of other predictions from the cartoon that have come true.

My interpretation of this must relate to what Christ foretold of the future. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matt. 24:14-16).

Protestant America is the only and final levee against a hostile tidal wave of Vatican power. Before the end of America’s protection from the Vatican, the Latter Rain, which is the call of the fourth angel to come out of Babylon, will take place. Once every soul has decided for service to the God of love or service to Satan; once each is for the Protestant religion of faith and the Bible or spiritualism, the New Age, and Spiritual Formation, then the end will come. That end will begin with the setting up of the abomination of desolation.

In Revelation 13:1-10 we see two beasts representing this abomination of desolation. The first beast, the Roman Papacy, had ten horns and reigned for 1,260 years during the Dark Ages, from 538 to 1798 AD. But the attempt to captivate the world by Satan, the Great Red Dragon, was stalled by Protestant America, the second beast of Revelation 13:11-18, which Jesus raised up in 1794 to begin its role as global obstacle to Satan’s earthly kingdom of the Papacy (Vatican). But, according to the prophecy, Protestant America, the second beast with two peaceful horns of a lamb, changes its loyalty from peace with God to the very occult wickedness that it began to fight against.

There we are today. Protestant America, the second beast, has betrayed the God of love who established Protestant America to protect the world from the old despot from the Dark Ages. The denominations have severed their ties of the past, and are uniting again with their old enemy from the days of terror. They believe the kindly faces of the Vatican, even though the Vatican has changed none of its rebellion against the Bible’s clear requirements. Even the name Vatican descends from the most archaic times of ancient Rome and its Vatican Hill of wild, raging prophesying.

One dictionary gives this breakdown of the word vatic:

vat·ic \ ‘vad·ik\ adj [L vates seer, prophet + E – ic; akin to OIr fāith seer, poet, OE wōth voice, song, poetry, wōd mad, raging, OHG wuot frenzy, madness, ON ōthr, n., song, poetry, ōthr, adj., frantic, mad, Goth woths possessed] : of, relating to, or characteristic of a prophet : prophetical, oracular

On October 31 of this year the Lutheran Church will sign a peace accord with the Church of Rome. Already Protestant America is corrupted beyond fixing. However, to return to the adversarial power that the God of heaven protected us from is to kick our heavenly Father.

We have repeated the history of Israel:

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.” (Deut. 32:11-18).

What can we expect next? After we have established the reunion with the high priest of paganism in the nation called by God’s name, what can we expect from Him who has been so good to us? What will He have to say when His faithful children who choose to remain true to His one biblical, holy religion of Protestantism are called terrorists and persecuted with imprisonment, torture, and death? What will God do?

“And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.” (Deut. 32:19-25).

This must describe the last plagues, not only upon America, but upon every nation. The whole world will follow after the Vatican and worship Satan by worshiping the Pope and his pagan religion. “All the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Rev 13:3,4).

“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” The Great Controversy, p. 445.

“…Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period in her history. The Protestant churches are in great darkness, or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution, and to undo all that Protestantism has done. Catholicism is gaining ground upon every side. See the increasing number of her churches and chapels in Protestant countries. Look at the popularity of her colleges and seminaries in America, so widely patronized by Protestants. Look at the growth of ritualism in England and the frequent defections to the ranks of the Catholics. These things should awaken the anxiety of all who prize the pure principles of the gospel.” The Great Controversy, p. 565.

“Protestants have tampered with and patronized popery; they have made compromises and concessions which papists themselves are surprised to see and fail to understand. Men are closing their eyes to the real character of Romanism and the dangers to be apprehended from her supremacy. The people need to be aroused to resist the advances of this most dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty….” The Great Controversy, p. 566.

“It is Satan’s constant effort to misrepresent the character of God, the nature of sin, and the real issues at stake in the great controversy. His sophistry lessens the obligation of the divine law and gives men license to sin. At the same time he causes them to cherish false conceptions of God so that they regard Him with fear and hate rather than with love. The cruelty inherent in his own character is attributed to the Creator; it is embodied in systems of religion and expressed in modes of worship. Thus the minds of men are blinded, and Satan secures them as his agents to war against God. By perverted conceptions of the divine attributes, heathen nations were led to believe human sacrifices necessary to secure the favor of Deity; and horrible cruelties have been perpetrated under the various forms of idolatry.” The Great Controversy, p. 569.

“The Roman Catholic Church, uniting the forms of paganism and Christianity, and, like paganism, misrepresenting the character of God, has resorted to practices no less cruel and revolting. In the days of Rome’s supremacy there were instruments of torture to compel assent to her doctrines. There was the stake for those who would not concede to her claims. There were massacres on a scale that will never be known until revealed in the judgment. Dignitaries of the church studied, under Satan their master, to invent means to cause the greatest possible torture and not end the life of the victim. In many cases the infernal process was repeated to the utmost limit of human endurance, until nature gave up the struggle, and the sufferer hailed death as a sweet release.  

Such was the fate of Rome’s opponents. For her adherents she had the discipline of the scourge, of famishing hunger, of bodily austerities in every conceivable, heart-sickening form. To secure the favor of Heaven, penitents violated the laws of God by violating the laws of nature. They were taught to sunder the ties which He has formed to bless and gladden man’s earthly sojourn. The churchyard contains millions of victims who spent their lives in vain endeavors to subdue their natural affections, to repress, as offensive to God, every thought and feeling of sympathy with their fellow creatures…. The Great Controversy, p. 569.

“And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.

God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.” The Great Controversy, p. 581.

Therefore, based on much evidence from various authors of history and from Bible prophecy, I conclude that Donald Trump will make life so unbearable for Protestant Americans that by the end of one term—if it lasts 4 years—they will hail his nicer, motherly successor, Hillary Clinton. Then we will see a new Constitution put in place to protect against the hard-line austerity measures of Mr. Trump. Simultaneously, the previous and dug-in union of all denominations to the mother Church will instate a religious cure to a church-disillusioned, gun-wielding, and crumbling nation that must use enforcement of church attendance by Sunday legislation.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Messenger of the covenant, the Baptist, the Apostle, the Judgment

“But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I sendG649 My messengerG32, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee.” (Luke 7:26,27).

G32 aggelosangelos” from aggellō (probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication a pastor: -angel, messenger.

G71 agō A primary verb; properly to lead; by implication to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specifically) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce: -be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.

G34 agelē From G71 (compare G32); a drove: -herd.

G2097 euaggelizo From G2095 and G32; to announce good news (“evangelize”) especially the gospel: -declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).

G2095 eu Neuter of a primary word eus (good); (adverbially) well: -good, well (done).

G652 apostolos From G649; a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially the commissioner of Christ (“apostle”), (with miraculous powers): -apostle, messenger, he that is sent.

In other words, John the Baptist and the disciples (later turned apostles), were all the messengers of the Lord, the angels of the Lord; they were all like their Lord, the great Angel of the Lord. They were sent by their Lord, as He was sent by His Father to turn away the curse of the Law and give the message of Well Done to His people who had accepted the punishment of their iniquities by four overlording Empires. Christ had been sent by God, His Father! The Messiah had come! “Who is blind, but My Servant? or deaf, as My MessengerH4397 that I sentH7971? who is blind as He that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s Servant?” (Isa. 42:19).

H4397 mal‘âk From an unused root meaning to dispatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically of God, that is, an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher): -ambassador, angel, king, messenger.

The last book of the Old Testament, MalachiH4401, is really not the name of a prophet, but of the subject matter—that before the great a terrible day of the Lord God would send His fully vested Messenger.

H4401 mal‘âkîy From the same as H4397; ministrative; Malaki, a prophet: -Malachi.

“Behold, I will send My messengerH4397, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the MessengerH4397 of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 3:1).

We could call it the very first version of the three angels’ messages. “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” (Rev. 14:6,7). We could rename Revelation into “Malachi, Part II”. The last message of the Old Testament would be the same warning about Judgment Day that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd angels’ messages proclaim in the last message of the New Testament. Who would be able to stand on the Lord’s side with Moses like the tribe of Levi did in the apostasy at Mt. Sinai?

“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.
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Mal. 3:2-6).

Of interest is the connection between the heavenly Messenger and the Law of God. An earlier part of the Old Testament’s Judgment Day message said, “Ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that My covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was afraid before My name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messengerH4397 [mal’âk] of the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 2:4-7). The claims of the Law are always restored before the Lord comes close for judgment.

This “messenger of the Lord” is key throughout the whole tenor of Malachi.

John the Baptist was the special son of Levi, who was the ancient messenger of the Lord. John was the ambassador/apostle (“he that is sent”) [G652 apostolos of God] to prepare the way before His Son, Messiah the Prince. Therefore, John the Baptist was more than a prophet. John was Levi resurrected from the dead works and from the atrophied memory banks of the nation. Thus, of all the prophets that had been sent to revive the Law and the memory of Levi, not a greater prophet than John had arisen. The time had come—the accomplishment of the 600 year punishment of Israel’s sins and the time to comfort and redeem the captive Israelites, as it was written in Isaiah 40:1,2. “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.”

Israel’s national deliverance, “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness” (Dan. 9:24), would be amplified in a larger victory over the adversary of all time. The Jews’ Day of Judgment prefigured a larger Day of Judgment for the whole human race,  involving everyone from the fall of Adam and Eve to the world living at the Second Advent of the Son of God. The Messenger’s judgment was time to fulfill the plan of salvation.

Apart from the context of the whole book, this usage of “messenger” in Malachi 3:1 is confusing because it reuses the title of messenger for both John, “the messenger of Jesus”, and Jesus, “the Messenger of the covenant”. But, the double title makes sense when we see that John was a sub-apostle and sub-priest under the greatest “ApostleG652 and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus”, who His Father anointed with “the oil of gladness above [His] fellows.” (Heb. 3:1; 1:9). Christ was one among His fellows, yet His fellows knew He was above them. As the Son of God, they knew He had come out from the bosom of His Father and had been sent as God’s foremost Apostle, and Messenger of the covenant. “For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me…. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one…. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:8,22,26). Jesus’ apostles “are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.” (2Cor. 8:23).

When the Messiah came, He brought again the great revival of Elijah and Elisha, His revival being reinforced by John the Baptist on His left, and Paul and the other apostles on His right, according to a timeline.

John the Baptist was an apostle as much as Paul and the gospel ministers were apostles. And the apostles were prophets as much as Joh was. But, just as with Elisha following up Elijah with a greater reformation, the gospel work covered a greater area and brought forward a greater and more glorious gift to the world than John did. Just as Jesus was sent by His Father to this world, and the apostles were sent by Jesus throughout Israel, the reception of the apostles and the Son of God determined which souls received God Himself. “He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.” (Matt. 10:40). This chain of apostleship also explains the chain of inspiration.

“And I fell at his feet to worship him [Gabriel]. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10).

The testimony of Jesus, which we always associate with the gift of prophecy, was not only given to prophets and apostles, but also to angels. In Revelation 19:10 we hear the apostle John being told by Gabriel that he was a fellowservant of the human prophets. Gabriel, an angelic messenger who Daniel called a “man” (Dan. 9:21; 10:18), was a fellow messenger of the human messengers, an angel associate with men.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” (Rev. 1:1,2).

Present truth originated from God to His Son to Gabriel to John to the church. This is the chain of inspiration and also the chain of command. It is also the chain of messengers of the Lord, the chain of apostleship. Under God they are all fellows, the sheep under the under-shepherds, the under-shepherding prophets a little lower than the angels, and the angel ministering spirits lower than the divine Son of God, the Word of God, the great Spirit of truth who God would send to give His testimony to the apostles, so that they could bear witness to the world (see John 15:26,27; 14:18,19). The Spirit of truth comes from the Father through His only Son begotten of God from the days of eternity, to His angel. 

Then Gabriel and his angelic hosts pass it on to their human counterparts the prophets. And finally, the prophets pass it to other messenger sons of men who, down through the ages, the prophets inspire, marshal, and send out. All are given the power of the Highest to give the strait testimony like Elijah gave it, and are protected from the poison of Satan’s hosts and men. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.” (2Chron. 16:9). “He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven.” “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Dan. 4:35; Heb. 1:14).

Surrounded by His prophets and teachers and messengers and apostles of both Old and New Testaments, Christ is like fearsome Mt. Rainier with its sky-scraping fellow mountains that sit around it. They are humbled by Rainier’s towering height, yet meekly surrendered to its message of greatness to the world. Not only does Christ’s greatness of divine justice and mercy surpass all His angelic and human fellows, but so does His oil of joy stand head and shoulders above these His fellows.

Who will abide the day of the Messenger’s coming? Who will stand when the strait testimony of the True and Faithful Witness reappeareth? Who will be found merciful and unselfish, the character of Christ which “rejoiceth against judgment” (Jas. 2:13)?

Beautiful testimony of an ex-atheist

I posted this testimony six years ago and felt impressed to post it again. This time at the end of the testimony I made a few comments on phrases that jumped out at me.
How this devout Atheist for 20 years went from hardcore skepticism to hardcore worship of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Testimony of A Former Atheist, A.S.A. Jones

I was a devout atheist for over twenty years. In July of 1998, I finally managed to see the biblical truths that had managed to elude me. The following is an account of how I went from hardcore skepticism to hardcore worship of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Rational thought replaces the God of my youth
I was raised a Roman Catholic in a home where the name of Jesus Christ and God was never mentioned. I was encouraged to attend catechism and church every weekend, but the concept of God was never made completely real to me. I entertained the notion as any child would, but I just wasn’t into the imaginary friend scene and by the time I was thirteen, I had concluded that God was merely a vicious adult version of the Easter bunny. I abandoned the lie, informed my upset parents that I would no longer be attending church, and began seeking truth.
In the absence of a religious belief to answer life’s questions, I turned my mental energy to science. Science had an awesome track record of solving many problems and its resulting technology had provided tangible benefits to all of mankind. Science was the answer! I reasoned that if we could educate our populations and continue to make advances in medicine, agriculture and energy production, we would one day have the mythical Eden as our reality.
I threw myself into my studies, determined to become a scientific messiah who would one day deliver people from the bondage of disease. At the age of sixteen, my IQ and my grades made me eligible for my high school’s early release program and I began my studies in biology and chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh.

Rational thought replaces my compassion for others

I graduated from college with high honors and my prized science degree, but I had lost any motivation to apply that knowledge. I recalled staring at a swarming mass of termites one sunny day, thinking that, from a comparative distance, there was little difference between them and us. I smashed a few dozen with my shoe and ground them into the dirt. What did it matter if these died? What did it matter if they all died? People died every day. The end result would always be death for both the individuals and, eventually, the species.
Humanity had become nothing more to me than an organized network of molecules and enzymes. I viewed people as mere organisms going through their daily routines of metabolizing nutrients and expelling wastes, ovulating their eggs and ejaculating their semen. I knew the psychology of humans almost as well as their anatomies. The hidden things that pulled them this way and that were very evident to me. They were like guinea pigs, only more predictable, and my chief form of entertainment was to see how skillfully I could manipulate them. I knew that I was supposed to care about them, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. If mankind’s goal was to alleviate its own suffering, a bullet to the head was more efficient and made more sense in my thinking than screwing around with medication or disease control.
What was the point of prolonging any one life? What difference did it make if a girl didn’t live to marry or her mother live to see it? Of what value were temporary emotional experiences? They were simply the biochemistry of the brain reacting to sensory input and, upon that individual’s death, any remaining memory of that experience would be thrown away along with the person who had experienced it. My extreme point of view had reduced people into throwaway metabolic units; I had become as cold and indifferent as the logic that I exalted.
If my education would benefit anyone, it would benefit me. I passed up an offer of a low paying research position for a secure and higher paying job in a chemistry lab. My brain rotted there for 40 hours a week for 10 years.

Rational thought turns from science to philosophy

Science had done nothing to answer the questions that raged in my head. Why should I care? How much should I care? Should I care at all? What is my purpose in life? Is there a purpose? How can I love people? Should I love people? Which people should I love? How can I forgive people? Should I forgive people? Have I done what is right? Have I done what is wrong? Is there a right or a wrong?
I turned to philosophy. I started with Jean-Paul Sartre’s "Being and Nothingness". This man had won a Nobel Prize for basically taking white and logically demonstrating how it was really black. I tried several other atheist philosophers who tried to assign meaning to a life created by chance and I decided that they were all full of crap. If our life is the result of randomness and chance, it is meaningless, no matter how we try to convince ourselves otherwise.
That was fine with me. I was prepared to live my life by this truth and discovered that the prospect of a life without meaning can be a very freeing experience. I set out to take advantage of moral relativism and effectively destroyed any of my remaining conscience. Friends, let me tell you, I fell far, far away, but I didn’t know it. I busied myself with one diversion after another, trying to fill my life with meaningless activity in order to forget how meaningless it was. In my desperation, I grew self-righteous and indignant. I was secretly envious of the morons who seemed blissfully unaware of their own meaninglessness. I wanted to shake them awake and get them to see how worthless their lives really were.

My philosophy turns anti-Christian

The worst idiots were the Christians. I hated them because, in their ignorance of naturalism, they failed to see that there was no reason for the rest of the world to believe in their god, live by their standards or give a damn about what they had to say, yet there they were, acting as if they had a copyright on truth. Their pretentiousness sickened me, despite my being equally pretentious toward them. After all, I was justified in my pretentiousness! At least I could give logical reasons for not believing in the supernatural. I would challenge them to give reasons for believing in something that couldn’t be seen and they would reply, "You can’t see the wind but it’s there." I would then try to explain to them that wind was created by differences in pressure and that there was plenty of scientific proof for the existence of wind but none for their god. Even the most intelligent Christians I knew had a difficult time articulating their reason for faith.
Most of the explanations I heard rested on the Bible’s authority. "The Bible says... the Bible says... the Bible says." Who cared what the Bible said? I certainly didn’t. "It’s all a bunch of made up, superstitious baloney. Can’t you see?" and I would then go into pagan origins, etc., and try to demonstrate that Jesus was a manufactured myth. I ended up knowing the Bible inside and out just to be able to debate against it.
My anti-Christian arguments became my ultimate diversion to a hopeless life. I learned that religious debate wasn’t as much about truth as it was about language and presentation. I began seeing flaws in my own logic while trying to demonstrate certain instances of Biblical errancy, but that didn’t keep me on the bench. To justify my desire to destroy Christianity, I had to find reasons to discredit it. I railed against its hypocrisy, the behavior of its followers, the wars fought in its name and I questioned the motives of its bloody god and the religion’s effective outcome. In short, I began seeing it as the supreme evil, despite the fact that my own view of moral relativism did not permit a logical defense of the concept of evil.

The paradox of Biblical jabberwocky

One night, I was very tired and alone in my study. I didn’t reach, as I usually did, for a book of religious argument. I grabbed Lewis Carroll’s "Through The Looking Glass", plopped myself down in a comfy chair and sleepily began reading. I skimmed through the pages and stopped at Humpty Dumpty’s explanation of ‘Jabberwocky’ to Alice. A thought occurred to me that if I were to read ‘Jabberwocky’ the same way I read the bible, it wouldn’t make any sense at all. I put Carroll’s book aside, folded my hands and stared at the wall, lost in thought.
The Bible didn’t make sense to me. But why did it make sense to others? What were they seeing that I didn’t? Did they so desperately want there to be a God that they had deluded themselves into thinking that there was one? It was New Year’s Day, 1998. I made a resolution to read the entire Bible again, only this time I was going to read it as I would poetry or fiction, and not as a proposal of fact.
In the months that followed, I kept my resolution and I began noticing a change in my way of interpreting the Bible. Intellectually, I found that my mind could logically accept two very different interpretations of almost everything I was reading. One interpretation of any verse or passage would render the whole story as nonsensical. But the other interpretation allowed the whole story to make sense.
If my mind was capable of accepting interpretations that allowed the whole book to make sense, then what was it in me that wanted it not to make sense? This book was reading me as surely as I was reading it. Every time I found fault with its god, I ended up finding a fault of my own. What was I doing when I condemned this god for commanding Moses to kill? Was I arrogantly making my morality superior to that of the being who allegedly authored all of morality? Was I condemning the actions of an entire nation, which was trapped in a kill or be killed situation? What was it in me that wanted to express outrage at Jesus Christ for telling me that I had to give away everything to be considered worthy to follow him? Was it my own selfishness?
For weeks, I was on a high, the type of high that comes about by feeling that one is on the edge of making some sort of profound discovery. I wasn’t sure what I was discovering but my perception of this world was changing. In July, I read these words of Jesus Christ, understanding them for the first time after having read them for years; "Who do you say I am?"

I see it!

What I had to say about who Christ was, said more about me than it did about Him.
At this moment, I saw it. I saw what the truth of the Bible was! And I was humbled. More than humbled, I was broken. The truth wasn’t about cud chewing bunnies or how much precipitation fell during Noah’s flood. It was the truth about human nature and our efforts to rise above it! It was the truth about human spirit being led by divine spirit! It was the truth about each of us, imperfect in our love for one another, needing to be made complete by the perfect love of God! The truth was about how one man, without sin, had died for us so that we could live! The truth of the Bible was and is JESUS CHRIST!
The moment I was made aware of my despicable nature, I realized that Jesus had died for me. I never had recognized sin and, therefore, thought that Christ had died for nothing. But this man was able to see the horrible nature present in all of humanity and yet he had sacrificed himself to save us from ourselves. In a very real sense, my sinful nature had caused the death of an innocent man. I never believed in hell prior to this, but one of my first thoughts, after seeing how hellish a person that I was, was that I deserved to be in it.

A new creature

I had been a fool. I had paraded around, thinking myself to be the sophisticate, oblivious to the trail of toilet paper clinging to my shoe. For the first time in my life, I became aware of my soul and how dirty it was when the light of Christ fell upon it. My accusing finger turned around and pointed right back at me. I sucked! Christianity wasn’t what was wrong with the world! A lack of education wasn’t what was wrong with the world! I was what was wrong with the world. I began praying for forgiveness to a god whose existence I had thought was intellectually indefensible. But He was very, very real. Within days, almost every viewpoint I had once so loudly announced, changed. I could no longer justify my advocacy of abortion, homosexuality or pre-marital sex because I recognized these options for what they were, that being selfishness. I couldn’t enjoy television because much of what it offered was an offense to the god I had discovered. But the most astounding change that took place in me was that I was freed from my cold indifference in matters of the heart. My atheistic philosophy had allowed me to lose my compassion for others. I no longer had the ability to love anyone, not even myself. I had become apathetic to life itself. For years, I had been dead, but because I continued to walk and talk, I didn’t know it. But now, I was born again and the spirit that was in me, which had allowed me to understand spiritual things, connected with the glorious and perfect higher consciousness of Jesus Christ. He restored my heart and my conscience. Christians speak of this as a veil being lifted, but, for me, it was more like the iron curtain was being torn down. For the first time in my life, I was seeing the world as it really was. I no longer saw people as a sum of their components or this life as a meaningless exercise, but I now saw both as something more valid than my rational thought had allowed. I had spent most of my years examining life, crouched over and focused on the microscope of logic, incapable of seeing the Big Picture that was going on around me.
The more I emptied myself of myself, the clearer the truth became. It had been my own selfish sin that had kept me from seeing it before. Jesus Christ became my God and my grand obsession, and for many months, I spent hours with my mind locked in meditation, trying to connect with Him in a more tangible way. I wasn’t disappointed. There is a point that one can reach in prayer where there is nothing at all left of oneself, and it is in that moment that God makes Himself known.
For me, Biblical truth wasn’t verified through historical accuracy, inerrancy or reliability of the Gospels, because my initial assumptions didn’t include these things. I saw divine inspiration in the actual content of the words attributed to Jesus Christ. The fact that I, or anyone, was capable of understanding spiritual matters became my evidence for the soul.
Learning the things of the spirit dramatically changed my attitude and my outlook on life. It wasn’t that the information available to me had changed, but that my perception had changed and as a result, I was changed. I was dead, but Christ woke me up! He saved me from my selfish self and I have given myself to Him because I am thankful for that which He has given me and hopeful for that which He has promised.
My anti-Christian arguments became my ultimate diversion to a hopeless life.” When the human is empty of faith and love it needs an outlet either intellectually or physically. It needs something to consume the mind and distract the soul from its misery, “the chastisement of our peace” (Isa. 53:5).
 Jesus Christ…restored my heart and my conscience.” How can anyone argue with that? They may try, but experiential religion is impervious to arguments against it. “Who is he that condemneth?” It is God that justifieth.” (Rom. 8:34,33). The highest authority in the universe has let A.S.A know that the past sinfulness is not recognizable by all heaven. If God says you are forgiven, no one can argue against Him.
The more I emptied myself of myself, the clearer the truth became.” “There is a point that one can reach in prayer where there is nothing at all left of oneself, and it is in that moment that God makes Himself known.” Isn’t it so true that the more cleansed Christ makes us, the less and less murky morality gets and the more efficiently we can see and accept higher standards, and obey the Law of God? His Spirit makes our moral and spiritual development all possible.
I saw divine inspiration in the actual content of the words attributed to Jesus Christ.” I was His words, "Who do you say I am?" that spoke directly to A.S.A. Jesus spoke to A.S.A. straight out of the Bible.
Christianity wasn’t what was wrong with the world! A lack of education wasn’t what was wrong with the world! I was what was wrong with the world.” Humbled and teachable.
The moment I was made aware of my despicable nature, I realized that Jesus had died for me.” Amazing divine psychology! Only when our sinfulness appears exceeding sinful do we need a Saviour, that is, a Saviour from sin. And a Saviour from sin is the only real Saviour. If Christ cannot be a Saviour from sin, He’ll be no Saviour at all.
It wasn’t that the information available to me had changed, but that my perception had changed and as a result, I was changed.” We change when our misconceptions of God and of His requirements change.