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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sanctification without justification, an abomination

Why all the troubles on earth?
 
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:18).
 
We see a lot of trouble coming on the world. Peaceful societies are being overthrown and ravaged militarily, economically, morally, et cetera. Where does it all come from? The Bible has but one answer: Babylon.
 
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:1-6).
 
This Babylon was not born yesterday. It has had a very long history. Technically it began right after the flood under rebels Nimrod, Cush, and Ham. But, spiritually, “Babylon” began shortly after Adam and Eve left the garden.
 
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” (Gen. 4:1-5).
 
This is essentially the start of Babylon. And it has everything to do with the problem we covered in the preceding post—sanctification before justification, or rather, sanctification without justification.
 
Cain didn’t want to slay a lamb for his shortcomings and mistakes. He didn’t see the need for such a terrible sacrifice in his behalf. He “was alive without the law” (Rom. 7:9); according to his self-assessment, he wasn’t real bad. But, unlike Paul, Cain never allowed the commandment’s conviction to come into his conscience. And therefore sin never revived in him and rose above his internal radar screen that would have alerted Cain of his sinfulness and could have enabled him to begin the process of dying to self as Paul had.
 
Cain killed his own conscience—“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). It seems that all too often, the more massive the fallen intellect, the more discerning the fallen heart is to prevent the avenues which the Lord God uses to redeem us. The grace of Christ could have no effect on Cain because he would not acknowledge his sin and look upon a dying lamb, slain at his hands. Cain didn’t want justification with the Lord God who had evicted him and his family from paradise. He had a grudge against the Lord, and refused to let the Lord live it down. But, he did want to appraise himself better than how the Lord God thought of him, stronger in conscience than the Lord God had judged him. He wanted to be impervious to any arrow of shame and guilt. So, by downward step after downward step Cain made his bed in hell; nail by nail he nailed his own coffin shut.
 
Cain wanted to be perfected without the Lord God. He didn’t want any of the Lord’s assistance in anything. As far as Cain was concerned, the Lord God could be an agnostic God, who would do His creative deeds and leave His creation to itself. And, coming from a religious family (because that is all there was then), he wanted to be sanctified without being justified. He wanted peace with God without the Lord God’s requirement of repentance. Cain desired sanctification without justification.
 
In the Hebrew types, the sin offering involved a year old lamb. Once made guilty by the Law, that lamb justified the sinner as he, by faith, saw the Son of God laying down His life for the guilty one. As his knife robbed the life of the precious little animal, the heart of the sinner broke. Then repentance was forthcoming and the Spirit of the Lord entered in and redeemed his nature from sin. Then his name could be restored to the book of life.
 
Satan has mastered the science of keeping sinners from the sacrificed Lamb, from the brokenness, guilt, and shame that are so painful to the cold conscience, from the repentance that is so feared by the hardened heart that has no sympathy. Satan has perfected the art of removing men far from the redemption that comes through the everlasting covenant; and Cain was the devil’s first big prize. Evading his “returning” (repentance and justification with the Lord God), Cain could have no “rest”, “quietness”, “confidence”, “strength”. He could not “be saved” (Isa. 30:15). Rather, a horrible “root of bitterness springing up” (Heb. 12:15) troubled him, working emptiness and death not only into his conscience and heart, but also upon a whole future world.
 
From the time that he omitted the sacrificial lamb, Cain had no mercy and compassion for others. We were created to be dependent on God, who would be the great source of every good and perfect gift. Like the elder brother of the prodigal son in Christ’s parable, Cain had no love for his subordinate sibling who received the blessing of the Lord God and reflected His character.
 
In his massive pride and stubbornness, Cain conceived himself to be holy enough to act aright without being right, acting good without being good. His righteousness was a pretence because it didn’t come naturally from a heart that loved the Law of God. If he had loved the Law, then he would have obeyed the second great commandment. He would have sought reconciliation with Abel. And he never would have offered the fruit of the ground in place of an animal sacrifice, contrary to the command of the Lord God.
 
Not realizing his open rebellion, he was claiming to have the spiritual blessings of the Lord without self having died before receiving them. He claimed to have life without first having lost his old body of death. We see this in that he offered a peace offering without its preliminary sin offering.
 
In the Mosaic Law, there were two offerings related to the redemption of the sinner. But, one always preceded the other. The sin offering must be made before the peace offering was made, and the sin offering must be an animal sacrifice. This is because, as we noted earlier, it was the death of the baby lamb that broke the proud heart, the rebellious nature, the self-will, all of which had been created by the choice to sin. The ceremonial laws possessed a divine science for redeeming the hearts from rebellion. These laws alone could make the Israelites a kingdom of priests and a holy nation before the Lord. And if obeyed, those ceremonial laws would have accomplished this mighty endeavor. Whenever Israel became world renowned, it was due to the laws of the Lord.
 
The meal, or “meat” offering (see Leviticus 2:4), or minchah, was to be a thank offering for having received the forgiveness and blessing from heaven. No greater blessing can a human ever receive than acceptance again with God through His Spirit. The minchah was about thanksgiving instead of repentance, thankfulness that God gave repentance, saved and restored to the worshipper freedom and personal power, enabling him again to face friends and reconcile with foes, and with a new, clean, strong conscience, reassume his place in life.
 
The sin offering need not continuely call to repent over the sin that had been atoned for. Christ died once. Moses was to strike the Rock once. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.” (Heb. 9:28). The sinner need not sacrifice an animal over and over again and repeatedly repent for the same sin. Later, he would return for another animal sacrifice, but not for the same sin. That sin was atoned for by the first animal’s death.
 
“Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire… burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required.” (Ps. 40:6).
 
A multitude of Lamb sacrifices and repentances for even the most heinous sin makes it appear to the world that Christ’s offering is insufficient to forgive anyone of his greatest failures. So, Satan works to remove faith in Christ’s merciful death in order to make His people multiply their repentance. This prevents all the redemption of Christ’s cross, and all the victories through Christ’s Spirit. Here many follow the inner voice of unbelief and remain disabled by their sinful past, their evil unbelief tormenting them by an unrelenting conscience, making them unwitting preachers of unbelief, and bringing dishonor instead of powerful honor to their Redeemer. And Satan exults. This is what Daniel 8:11 shows.
 
Simple faith will come out of simple heeding the Spirit and the Law of God, and being brought to conviction of sin. That simple faith, built upon the promises of God, will be able to believe God when He forgives sin. Faith in God’s mercy will be built upon a life of dependence and communion with Him. Upon forgiveness, trusting hearts will be filled with thankfulness and the desire to offer praise to God for His goodness. This was the purpose and effect of the minchah.
 
But, the minchah assumes that the animal sin offering was made, which brought the guilty sinner to repentance. The minchah cannot atone for sin and bring any sinner to repentance; only the sacrificed sin offering can cause repentance. Cain did not conform to the will of God because he did not offer a lamb sin sacrifice. He went straight to the minchah and pretended to praise God for salvation without humbling and repentance for sin, a salvation that can never happen without repentance. Christ’s salvation causes the exaltation of His people among men. We reign as kings and pastors. But without the first work of the humiliation of our heart through the offering of the Lamb, any exaltation becomes dangerous indeed. God’s humiliation of the heart through repentance is the only preventive for self-exaltation. Not a single soul among us is safe to be exalted in the world who has not first been humbled by the Spirit of truth. This has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout history, sacred history and secular. Every abomination in the world has resulted from exaltation without humiliation, a supposed justification which led to a supposed sanctification, Satan promoting these self-righteous ones to high places among the moral elite.
 
Because the Spirit of God cannot bless the heart that is not broken by the Lamb, that heart suffers under the wrath of God. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36). That wrath is caused by the departure of the Spirit of God and by the entrance of the spirit of Satan. And, over time, the chastisement of peace grows more and more within the servant of Satan. That root of bitterness, that gall and wormwood, slowly kills all life in the heart and mind of the godless worshipper.
 
Eventually, the misery is so great and the soul is so dead, that seeing others more miserable and more tortured is all that can satisfy and bring some stimulation to the dead heart and mind. Degrading others, abusing them for their mistakes and shortcomings, corrupting them, hurting them, heapinf calumny upon their reputations, et cetera, are all that give pleasure to the deadened souls of those who have turned away from the Law of God, which brings us to need a Saviour from sin.
 
“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known.” (Rom. 3:13-17).
 
Without peace with God, without humiliation and vulnerability and trusting in God’s loving care, the children of men are doomed to a world of havoc. No sensual substitute will satisfy the loss of God’s Spirit that abides in a converted heart.
 
Sanctification that disregards humiliation and justification is a false sanctification that ends in spiritual fornication and abomination. “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev. 17:5). Satan has the heart because God doesn’t. Repentance would have opened the soul for the entrance of God’s Spirit. But, the peace offering without its prerequisite sin offering closes the heart to God. Therefore Satan enters the heart and fights to ensure that he retains his new victim.
 
So Cain exalted himself by the disregard of the sin offering, and he offered peace offerings only. Cain’s became a religion of peace offerings only. Once he had set aside the sin offering, it never returned to his worship. He had broken the everlasting covenant. He became the first high priest of false worship. He is the father of all occult worship. And, a worship void of the sacrifice by a substitutionary sin offering led to another kind of sacrifice to satisfy the suffocating soul—human sacrifices.
 
“Cain…was of that wicked one, and slew his brother.” (1Jn. 3:12). His brother became the first human sacrifice—pleasing to Satan because it destroyed the substitutionary sacrifice and redemption through Christ. It damned the one who conducted the human sacrifice, and it needlessly silenced the voice and influence of the innocent one being sacrificed. The destruction of God’s creation is just as Satan would have it.
 
This is why Cain slew Abel. It is also why the woman who rides the beast drinks from a cup full of martyrs’ blood. And it all has resulted from avoiding the Law, its conviction of sin, and repentance. “For she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” (Rev. 18:7).
 
Avoiding sorrow for sin by evading the Law and the Lamb, and then going on to sanctification, leads to murder. A dead, unrepentant heart leads to desolation and destruction, conquest of multitudes and their captivity; it leads to the enslavement of self and then of others.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sanctification the work of a lifetime

“Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 65.

There are a few common Ellen G. Whiteisms that remained strong through the decades after her passing. And this was one of them.

“The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a beautiful figure of Christian growth. As in nature, so in grace; there can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the development of the Christian life. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God’s purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be continual advancement. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. As our opportunities multiply, our experience will enlarge, and our knowledge increase. We shall become strong to bear responsibility, and our maturity will be in proportion to our privileges.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 65.

Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ. Wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble, intermittent efforts. It is only by long, persevering effort, sore discipline, and stern conflict, that we shall overcome. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience. 
     None of the apostles and prophets ever claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived the nearest to God, men who would sacrifice life itself rather than knowingly commit a wrong act, men whom God has honored with divine light and power, have confessed the sinfulness of their nature. They have put no confidence in the flesh, have claimed no righteousness of their own, but have trusted wholly in the righteousness of Christ.”  Acts of the Apostles, p. 560,561.

“The ten virgins all claim to be Christians, but five are true and five are false. All have a name, a call, a lamp, and all claim to be doing God service. All apparently watch for His appearing. All started apparently prepared, but five were wanting. Five were found surprised, dismayed, without oil, outside the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. There are many who cry peace, peace, when there is no peace. This is the most perilous belief for the human soul to entertain. Christ speaks to all who bear His name, who claim to be His followers, to eat His flesh and drink His blood, else they can have no part with Him. Be not like the foolish virgins, who take for granted that the promises of God are theirs, while they do not live as Christ has enjoined upon them. Christ teaches us that profession is nothing. ‘He that will come after Me,’ He says, ‘let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me’ [Luke 9:23].
     Let no one take for granted that he is saved. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. Said Christ, ‘Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven’ [Matthew 5:19, 20].” Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 274,275.

But, today we don’t quote these things anymore. It is a privileged few who hear the old paths and remember the way the Lord led us in our past history. Many, many have abandoned the narrow way and fallen in line with the apostate churches. Many Adventists don’t even make an attempt to overcome their character flaws, as if Jesus and His Day of Judgment were not just around the corner. Many are claiming that we will be dealing with our old sins up to the day that Jesus returns. This, my friends, is a grievous error and a deadly hope. And it is very unbiblical.

Victory over sin, is it biblical? Overcoming, is it true? Maybe the Bible had it wrong. (I’m being facetious.) Those frail, fallible men must have misunderstood the science of salvation. Maybe they weren’t “holy men of God…moved by the Holy Ghost” (2Pet. 1:21). Maybe the Bible itself is worthless, as most people think today. The professed people of God and the world thought this same way 2,000 years ago, but all who were humbled by the punishment of Jehovah came to change their minds. This should give us hope if we change our minds and should cause us to expect another great outpouring of God’s Spirit of truth.

If victory over sin isn’t possible, then that would throw new light on the old Ellen Whiteism, “Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.” (I’m still being facetious.) It could mean that I can work and work and work to overcome a flaw or a temptation or a self-indulgence, and if I die without ever having the victory over that flaw or temptation or self-indulgence, then Jesus will still smile on me and give me my eternal reward with Him and with the other saints. Because, even if I died in my sin, at least during my whole life long I was working at overcoming. I tried to have the victory. It’s the thought that counts, anyway. (Enough with being facetious.)

This is not the picture we get from the Spirit of Prophecy or the Bible. Sanctification and victory over sin are not only possible, they are mandatory for obtaining heaven. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Rev. 3:21).

But, before God ever judged anyone for lack of sanctification He always called him first to be justified. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:1-3).

But, to all who reject the requirements of justification, and thus turn away from being made the sons of God, He says, “If you haven’t made a “covenant with Me by sacrifice” don’t “declare My statutes” or “take My covenant in thy mouth.” (Ps. 50:5,16). If we will not sacrifice pride, if He can’t humble our pride in the dust, then He says, “thou hast no part with Me.” (John 13:8). We must submit to His Law and break under His grace; we must submit to God’s only strategy to save us from ourselves.

Paul wrote, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16).

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:12-14).

Paul is giving to the Gentile and Jewish believers the key to victory over sin.  “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey...”, yielding to the love of God in Christ. Yielding speaks of surrender, submission. “I yield my will to You.” “I submit myself to You.” “I surrender to You.”

“Desires for goodness and holiness are right as far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They do not come to the point of yielding the will to God. They do not now choose to be Christians.” Steps to Christ, p. 47. This statement is the experience of Paul that runs from Romans 7:25 to the end of Romans 8.

“For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the Law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:5, 6). These words from Paul sit as a follow-on to, and an introductory explanation of, his Romans 6 encouragement for overcoming sin, quoted above. And they are a preview of Paul’s own Romans 7 struggles and his powerful Romans 8 victory.

As a preliminary of his wrestling, Paul first introduces his Romans 7:15-20 drama as a continuation of Romans 6. These verses bridge the Romans 6 admonitions of getting sanctified with the glories of the Romans 8 reconciliation with God and walking with Jesus. But, what happened in between those two chapters? We see another Jacob in Paul, who had been oblivious to his sinfulness, then struggled and wrestled with a standard that was infinitely higher than his own, and finally became desperate to have the beauty that he saw in the excellent, perfectly selfless character of Christ. It was in complete helplessness and hopelessness in himself that Paul had yielded, surrendered, submitted, subjected his will to the Law of God and the Spirit of Christ. Upon surrender he gave all authority to God in Christ; he gave glory to God. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Ps. 50:23).

The problem with most Adventists, post-Reformation Protestants, and modern Evangelicals in victory over sin has been that most of us had “desires for goodness and holiness”, but not the deathly, desperate “desires for goodness and holiness” that Paul had in Romans 7:24. We didn’t want to go that far; we didn’t want to seem fanatical, emotionally unbalanced, foolish. And therefore, we didn’t have justification; we were not justified. We stopped before we ever started on the road to victory. Our work-of-a-lifetime sanctification never left the launch pad. We never came to the place where the Reformers were while they struggled to have peace under the papacy of Medieval Europe. Those people grew more and more desperate in the dense religious darkness; until with the Bible made understandable, like a slingshot, their previous desperation sent them high into the light of heaven. It was the same for the Jews who accepted the Messiah. After centuries of learning, hearing, and following the humanism of Babylon through the Mishnah, they were dying for living bread. Only they could accept the call of God to be justified and be received by Him. Then only those children of Abraham could have sanctification through the Son. And they considered it a privilege to be given a lifetime to become more and more like their Messiah Jesus, their Intercessor Michael in the Holy Place standing for His true childlike people.

This desperation we see in Jacob. He had desired to serve Jehovah like Abraham and Isaac had. But, his life was so full of sin and character flaws that God had a tough time to catch Jacob’s heart and to legally give His blessings to Jacob. As much as He wanted to give them He had to refrain until the time came that Jacob would yield himself to His father’s God. In the interim, He took full advantage of every opening of Jacob’s yearning heavenward to inform him that He loved him.

But, God did for Jacob what Jacob was unable to do for himself, that is come to surrender. And the same God is able to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves… that is, yield to Him.  “What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 456.

Yielding is what Jacob finally did at the brook Jabbok. After a long life of living apart from God, and reaping the whirlwind, providence finally brought Jacob to the place where he could surrender his self-will in exchange for an eternal union with the God of his fathers. Jacob was ready, made ready by the troubles from the world of sin that he had created for himself. He had come to the point of admitting to his huge sins and Jesus deemed him ready for justification and reconciliation with Him.

So, Jacob yielded. He got the Lord’s affection and His promise to forever stay with His prodigal son. After a life of trouble, this is all that Jacob had come to desire. Everything in this world he now considered dung. Being justified by faith he had peace with God, and even while in great physical pain his mind was bright and at rest. “The sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.” (Gen. 32:31). All nature sang and around him rang the wonders of God’s love. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12).

His pain was excruciating, but it was acceptable. Not a murmur escaped his lips, but only thanksgiving to the Lord, and kindness and humility to all around. Israel’s every nerve of his being was troubled, but he was not distressed; his back side wrenched in agony, but he was not in despair; his body was persecuted, but he was no more forsaken; his pride was cast down, but his joy was not destroyed; from that day onward he would always bear “about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in [his] body.” (2Cor. 4:8-10).

After the long night of wrestling with God, Jacob’s pride was extracted from his conscience, especially as the day began to dawn when his femur was extracted from his hip. Giving up our earthly reputation and hopes is like our pulling teeth. In the court of our own mind we like to believe that self has been a good boy.

It was by Jacob’s yielding and surrendering that he got his new name, Israel, meaning “he who wrestles with God and overcomes.” Yielding is never easy for the sinner. In fact it is impossible without the wrestling with God. Yielding could only receive the will’s recruitment into action as Jacob received the blessing from God and the evidence that God had patiently loved him, and always would.

Now Israel could be sanctified. Now, and not before this could his holy work of a lifetime begin. Before Israel’s justification he couldn’t be sanctified. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7). To try sanctification before being justified is getting the cart before the horse. It just doesn’t work. It not only ends in failure for righteousness, but even gives victory for wickedness, ending in global chaos and perdition.

Yet that is just where Satan has put billions of people ever since Cain did this. He has led them to believe that they were surrendered and yielded and in good standing with God, though without ever struggling and stressing with God. Then Satan lets these moralist “Christians” loose to conquer the realm of sanctification. Satan drives his unconverted subjects to be moral and ethical because he knows that they will only be so on the outside, but that they will believe they are sanctified in the heart. The new heart is always a mystery to everyone born in this world. No one knows what it is until he has fought to have God’s love with all his heart. But, Satan’s leading the unrepentant toward sanctification has led to much ascetic torment and gloom, disillusionment (confusion of face), and eternal loss. Eventually their ineptitude to receive God’s blessing and the resulting chastisement of their peace becomes so intense that their only satisfaction has been to torment others. This has resulted in physical abuse and abuses of all kinds within marriages, families, societies, etc. Child sacrifices came out of this. Constant warfare and war-related torture, Inquisitions and concentration camps have been the result. All the “abominations of the earth” (Rev. 17:5) have sprung from this very small germ—sanctification without justification.
 
But, justification and the gift of God’s Spirit cause our sanctification; the power of the Spirit upon our spirit empowers our will to do the things of humiliation and repentance before God for our past life of sin. These are the hard, shamed, detested things that we couldn’t or wouldn’t do before conversion.

“No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. If we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace. If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good we shall have something to tell. Like Philip when he found the Saviour, we shall invite others into His presence. We shall seek to present to them the attractions of Christ and the unseen realities of the world to come. There will be an intensity of desire to follow in the path that Jesus trod. There will be an earnest longing that those around us may ‘behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29.” Steps to Christ, p. 78.

The yielding that Jesus had to His Father’s will is within the reach of every fallen son and daughter of Adam. No one need be hopeless concerning salvation. All can have peace with God through the justifying power of Christ. They can have the same peace with God that Jesus had. They will then have His same avocation to do God’s will because Jesus has given them His avocation for holiness. Therefore, everyone who submits to reconciliation with God will have the sanctified life, the true sanctification that exceeds “the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.” (Matt. 5:20).

Their sanctification will not be groundless, but will be founded upon acceptance with God through surrender, submission, and repentance to Him, which Jesus gave them because they did not have it in themselves to create surrender to God and His Law. They will receive a natural avocation to order their words and actions in accordance with the Law of God. Their thoughts and words will be of Jesus, and their life will follow suit accordingly. They have a new heart and will, and their behavior complies with their will in doing God’s will.

Victory over sin, is it biblical? Overcoming, is it possible? “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me: and to him that ordereth his [way] aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Ps. 50:23). But, we must not put the cart before the horse; we must not put the life before the heart.

Justification must be before sanctification. Surrender to the Law of God before living subject to the Law of God. Repentance to God before obedience. A new heart before the new life. Conversion of heart before conversion of the life.

“Desires for goodness and holiness are right as far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They do not come to the point of yielding the will to God. They do not now choose to be Christians.  
     Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in your life. By yielding up your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power that is above all principalities and powers. You will have strength from above to hold you steadfast, and thus through constant surrender to God you will be enabled to live the new life, even the life of faith.” Steps to Christ, p. 48.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The science of biblically claiming Bible promises, part 2

I have known many people who claim promises without coming into subjection to the preceding condition, which starts with submitting to the warfare from God for disregarding His broken law. God’s warfare comes in many forms, and is usually the outworking of our sinful choice. Either the consequences come in the form of disease, or a lifetime together with an un-Christlike, unloving person in marriage, or living in jail for 20 years, or being hooked on a substance, etc. Our deliverance from the “curse of the law” or the curse for breaking the law begins when we finally accept the consequences for our disobedience or disregard of the law, whether we did it purposely or ignorantly. Once we accept and surrender to our consequences, the Spirit of God begins to bring us to faith, justification, deliverance and healing (see Galatians 3:23-25).

We can only claim the promise by accepting our guilt and shame, acknowledging our law-breaking as the cause of the consequences, and seeking Jesus for help to overcome our law-breaking. Otherwise, we are really claiming an imaginary promise, a self-constructed promise that God never made. God never gives His promises without stipulating His  jealous (loving) warfare and our ultimate surrender to His warfare and goodness. His promises have always been contingent on our surrender and faith in Him as Father and Deliverer. Being humbled and submitting to the warfare of God are the first step to deliverance. To shirk this first step is to never receive God’s help. Period. Here the vast majority of the world sits today.

God is good enough to send the rain and the sunshine on the just and the unjust. But, the finer, eternal gifts of His saving acceptance and joy in His Holy Ghost must be reserved for those who go the extra mile with Him. We see this all through the Bible. It is the everlasting gospel. God wants children that are responsible to duty, children who are humbled. He needs to fill His kingdom with humbled and loving, law-keeping children. The meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. He will not throughout eternity endure our expressions of His adversaries from hell. He shouldn’t have to suffer with Satan's presence through all eternity, and we shouldn’t expect it from Him.

But, today we hear the opposite in Protestantism, and even in Adventism. On the right hand and the left, we see the multitudes claiming promises without adhering to the promises’ conditions, all of which begin with humiliation and surrender to God’s warfare against us, repentance and justification. This not only goes uncorrected by pastors, but it is encouraged. Even the leadership does it. Being humbled and accepting the punishment of our iniquities is the last thing the sinful heart wants. It’s a humanity-wide problem. All around this globe, the human heart will not be subject to that kind of treatment, even though our humiliation is the only antidote for the pride ravaging our lives, which is caused by our sinful condition, and is daily fomented by Satan. But, should the world’s issue be in the church? Shouldn’t the church know to accept “the punishment of their iniquity” (Lev. 26:41) as the first condition of restoration with God?
Correction, reproof, instruction in the character of Christ is our only hope.
 
To claim the promises and to celebrate without the humbling, the surrender, the repentance, the breaking, is presumption. And presumption is basic blasphemy and spiritualism. It is all Satan’s sneaky way to make people live their whole lifetimes thinking that they are right with God, and then die lost souls.
 
In the Protestant churches today the celebration movement is dodging their responsibility for their sins. They are dodging the acknowledgment of the first works of falling on the Stone, yet claiming salvation. It is a full fledge apostasy away from the Reformation. And in the Advent movement it is a form of rejecting the investigative judgment. To dodge the wrestling with heaven is to lose eternal life, and to open the door to spiritualism. Today’s Spiritual Formation and celebration are no different from all the ancient religions of the world. And they all are based on the same premise—that a sinner can shake his fist at God’s authority to make war against his sin, and he can still have eternal life. This is basic presumption and blasphemy. Isn’t blaspheming God the essence of spiritualism? “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” (Rev. 13:6). Isn’t this the essence of every false religion? Isn’t it the human problem with rebellion? There is a strong link between this blasphemy and the warning of the third angel’s message. It comes through loud and clear from the Old and New Testaments.
 
“Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood; and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: the Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven.” (Deut. 29:18-20).

The curse of the law is our schoolmaster that prompts us to need a Saviour from sin. No imaginary, dreamy prayer to God will obviate His requirement to bow in sorrow for sin. Even though the work of repentance lacks glamor and glory, it is the only path to our humility and our true, eternal happiness. God knows this and our ultimate happiness, and His, is why He requires the first works.

“Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.” (Mic. 7:18-20).

Notice that Micah’s promise of pardon is for “the remnant of His heritage”. It’s not for everyone. Only the remnant are the ones who didn’t abandon God because of His judgment against their sins. The rebels were first taken away (see Num. 25:9; 26:64,65; Matt. 13:41-42; 24:39-41; Luke 17:34-37). The remnant stayed in God’s judgment upon their sin and remained seeking God for His acceptance. They are the only ones who received the promised blessing of pardon because they alone patiently sought Him with all their heart. That kind of faithfulness and meekness are what God wants in His kingdom.

“At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people. Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.” (Jer 31:1-4).

Again, the promise of restoration with dancing and joy comes to those who were left over from the sword’s destruction after Nebuchadnezzar besieged and attacked. Nebuchadnezzar was punishment from the Lord. The Lord raised him up to punish His people, and told Jeremiah to relay to the Jews that to fight Nebuchadnezzar was to reject God’s authority to punish them for their accepting the occult, human-sacrificing religion of Baal and Ashtoreth. Many times Jeremiah warned them not to fight. They were to be humbled and to surrender; but, they thought they could fight or escape the punishment, with King Zedekiah following suit. Only those who accepted the warfare against them and surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar found grace and received rest in their souls. They alone fell on the Stone, their hearts and self-will broken. That was all the Lord desired from Israel. It was those who surrendered to His will that He loved with an everlasting love. Them He drew with lovingkingdness. The rest hated Him and He would not let them continue in His land. “I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper.” (Luke 14:24).


Here is another example of a promise that often is trusted in without complying with its conditions.
 
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:
If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever.
Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.” (Jer. 31:31-39).
 
Jews and Christians alike claim the promise of an unchangeable blessing from heaven upon Israel or the church. Yet, the above promise is contingent on the Lord putting His Law in the hearts of the whole nation or church, as He did with the apostolic church. Do we see that happening in Israel today? Maybe to a very small remnant. How about in the churches? They have abrogated the Law. They have abrogated God’s authority to condemn; they illegitimately claim Romans 8:1. But if “the commandment, which was ordained to life,” they don’t find “to be unto death” (Rom. 7:10), then they haven’t been through Paul’s struggles to please God, and they have no right to the altar of Christ’s body on the cross which Paul found in Romans 7:25. Therefore, they have no right to Romans 8:1. The gate is narrow—it is a very restricting gate—as high as heaven is above the earth, leaving outside all who will not make a covenant with God by self-sacrifice.
 
The requirement of self-sacrifice before the God of Law in no way diminishes His love to bless His children. It in no way destroys God’s joy that is bound in His precious promises. But, it does distinguish His humbled children from the “children in whom is no faith.” (Deut. 32:20), to whom He says,
 
“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.” (Deut. 32:21).
 
And,
 
“In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.” (Jer. 31:29,30).
 
The warfare of the Lord is His effort of love. Though painful for us as it was with Jacob, by no better way can we learn that our Lord cares for us. His warfare is weighted with eternal ramifications. It is filled with peace that passes all understanding; but it can also potentially go southbound for those who choose to stop short of the glory of God. So, let's accept His warfare, and receive all the blessing that comes with it!

The Lord wants humbled people. They are the only ones who love their neighbor as themselves and the Lord first and foremost. That is what His kingdom is about. The proud and unrepentant will never see the kingdom of heaven. The childlike will inherit the promises. The meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in its abundance of peace.
 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The science of biblically claiming Bible promises, part 1

“Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old” (Mic. 7:18-20).
 
There are many precious promises in the Bible. And Peter said that by them we become partakers of the divine nature—we receive the Spirit (see 2 Peter 1:4). But, historically most of Christendom has had a problem with actually receiving the proclaimed benefits in each promise. This has left multitudes disillusioned, with “confusion of faces” (Dan. 9:7). It has given many a sad countenance, and made them the object of rebuke from the podium, “Let’s have some smiles, here! It doesn’t hurt to smile! How can we show the people that we have the truth when we come to church with frowns! Put on a happy face!” No doubt joy in the Lord is our strength, and the world will know that we are Christ’s disciples by our happiness. But, beating a dead horse accomplishes nothing, except condemnation for the one doing the beating and possible his destruction by a merciful God (see Matthew 24:48-51).
 
What has caused the sadness? That is the question that the Great Physician would have asked.
 
“I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” (Rev. 2:24-26). Jesus came to give us rest, not to add to our burdens. And He still comes for that purpose.
 
So, how can we dispel confusion and sadness of faces? What is the science of promise-claiming which leads to the divine nature—salvation? Well, there are two parts to this science, and it is a science, a very profound one. The two parts are the “bad-spel” and the “gospel”—that is, the bad tidings and the good tidings. What are the good tidings? Forgiveness of sins; grace beyond degree; a Saviour who become one of us and took our place in Judgment Day. What are the bad tidings? “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2Tim. 4:2-4).

The bad news for everyone is the rebuke of their sins. And there are no exceptions—for all have fallen under sin. And the exposure, and shame and guilt and sorrow that come with that exposure, make us angry. We don’t want to hear it!  We want no Law! “The law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom. 4:15). If there is no Law, no sin can be imputed to us! Great! So we pass a law that there be no Law! “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” (Rom. 7:9-11). “I was minding my own business, having a grand old time in life when the Law—(or the consequences to ignoring the Law)—butted in and ruined my grand old time!” As the truth grinds on us we wrestle to be free from the humiliation and accountability that come from the searching eye of God.
 
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:12,13).
 
We fight the Great Cleaver of truth until we make a choice and go one of two ways. We decide that God and His truth are unfair in calling us desperately “corrupted” (Gen. 6:12) and “wretched” (Rom. 7:24) and “wicked” (Jer. 17:9); or, we will submit and agree that we are all of that and worse. We admit to self that the “chastisement of our peace” (Isa. 53:5) is a necessary mercy, and that we really deserve eternal extinction for our shameful past.
 
If we decide that God is unfair, and we endthen that ends up with the LORD saying, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” (Gen. 6:3). He can only go so far to save us if we will not surrender our self-will and welcome His work of humbling our pride in order to save us in His eternal kingdom.
 
But, if we see the goodness of God and His fairness in all of His necessary pruning, and we choose to remain a “brand” in “the fire” (Zech. 3:2), then we immediately find the hewing of the Great Cleaver doable as He immediately begins mollifying our wounds with His Spirit of comfort. We are passing through our Gethsemane and Golgotha with our Saviour. We are beginning to walk in His steps. Follow this concept in the beautiful words from The Desire of Ages:
 
“The words fall tremblingly from the pale lips of Jesus, ‘O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’
     Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice.… He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He has left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission. He will become the propitiation of a race that has willed to sin. His prayer now breathes only submission: ‘If this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done.’  
     Having made the decision, He fell dying to the ground from which He had partially risen. Where now were His disciples, to place their hands tenderly beneath the head of their fainting Master, and bathe that brow, marred indeed more than the sons of men? The Saviour trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.…
     Christ’s agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. He came forth calm and serene. A heavenly peace rested upon His bloodstained face. He had borne that which no human being could ever bear; for He had tasted the sufferings of death for every man.” Desire of Ages, p. 690-694.
 
Only those who stay in the spiritual chaos of their own Gethsemane until Jesus delivers them become partakers of His divine nature. Only to them are the promises truly precious and have power to deliver the surrendered ones from the power of sin’s corruption. Jesus in the Garden exemplified and paved the way for each of us in our wrestling under the severe eye of God, as Jesus wrestled under His Father’s infinite severity. The levels of severity between our struggle and Jesus’ struggle are hardly comparable. But, the experience is identical, by which He is able to bring all of His children to glory.

“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings... Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and glood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had power of death, that is, the devil.... Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb. 2:10,14,17,18)
 
This science is often overlooked by sinners who are desperate to be “blessed”. They don’t want the bad news. They don’t want to hear about it. Yet, the Lord will refrain from His good promises until they have surrendered to His bad news, if they will.
 
In the most precious of all precious promises, notice this science of “bad-spel” and “gospel”:
 
“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.” (Isa. 40:1,2).
 
Notice who receives the comfort from their God. All who have suffered under His warfare until He has accomplished it. Their iniquity is pardoned because they have received of the Lord’s hand double for all their sins. But, are we willing to go the full distance “under the law” (Gal. 4:5), or more accurately, under “the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13)? Upon this question divides those who “find” (Matt. 7:14, cf 16:25) the strait gate and narrow way to life, and those who remain on the wide road that eventually goes over the slippery slope to destruction.
 
Do you like the words, “iniquity…pardoned”, and “speak comfortably…and cry unto her”? Do you like the sound of “My people” and “your God”? Wow, I sure do! What an incentive to remain under His surgical strikes! What an incentive to have a testimony that ends with “I received of the Lord’s hand double for all my sins!” When 12-year-old Ellen Harmon finished the warfare from heaven, her testimony was essentially just that.
 
“I repeated softly to myself: ‘I am a child of God, His loving care is around me. I will be obedient and in no way displease Him, but will praise His dear name and love Him always.’ My life appeared to me in a different light. The affliction that had darkened my childhood seemed to have been dealt me in mercy for my good, to turn my heart away from the world and its unsatisfying pleasures, and incline it toward the enduring attractions of heaven.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 19.
 
She finally had peace with God and she received the power to become a daughter of God. Is that what you want? There is only one way to have it—the straight gate to life, the furnace of affliction, the condemnation of your sins. Many believe they would make great martyrs in the end; but they don’t concede the battle of wills to the Lord before His Law and His Testimonies. Yet, our concession to the transcript of His character is but the first step—albeit the big first step—to the blood-stained path to heaven.
 
Will we accept the grief and discomfort, the brokenness and feeling of hopelessness before a holy God that comes with facing our sins and confessing them to Him? Will we accept His warfare until He has given us double for all our sins? Has His providence put us into situations that cost us tears and patience, heartache and angst? Will we accept the consequences for our past willfulness, and patiently endure like the saints of the Bible: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, to name a few? If we will, we will find ourselves being personally molded by the Great Potter whose very hands touched lepers and children and blind and impotent folk of the past. And He knows that it takes water to fashion us; and the water that He will give us will be a well of water springing up to everlasting life.
 
He will work us and put His testimony and song into our mouth. Will we stay under His molding providences and learn to see Him in it all? Will we then claim His promises after He has accomplished to scatter the power of His people?
 
“And I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people.
Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of His fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.
There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.
These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.
Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.” (Isa. 51:16-52:3).
 
Will we accept the only help that really works to give us faith, and change our hearts and lives? And in the end will we be a partaker of the divine nature? Or, will we, with the rest of the world, skirt the bad-news first step to salvation, and end up beyond help from the Spirit of Jesus? Will we accept the biblical science of claiming the Lord’s promises? Or will I pretend that I have His promises, and then get involved in celebrating nothingness, “the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst” (Deut. 29:19)?
 
“The end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1Tim. 1:5-7).
 
“Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses My servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Josh. 1:6-9).

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

A sad, distressing email


Another thing, brother. Speculating on the future is a risky practice, and one not recommended. But, in order to solve any problem assumptions must be made. There has to be a starting point. So we start with some assumptions and keep adding information from known laws and historical scenarios as we work the problem. Ideally, over time we arrive at an accurate solution. The assumptions may come from biblical rules, such as “history repeats itself”. This is a fact that EGW told us would happen at the end. Biblical history is what she was speaking of, as in the book, Education, she wrote:

“The Bible is the most ancient and the most comprehensive history that men possess. It came fresh from the fountain of eternal truth, and throughout the ages a divine hand has preserved its purity. It lights up the far-distant past, where human research in vain seeks to penetrate. In God’s word only do we behold the power that laid the foundations of the earth and that stretched out the heavens. Here only do we find an authentic account of the origin of nations. Here only is given a history of our race unsullied by human pride or prejudice.  {Ed 173.1} 
     In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and prowess of man. The shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, behind, above, and through all the play and counterplay of human interests and power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.”  {Ed 173.2} 

    It could be said that the god of this world also plays a big part in shaping history. I opened my book with this quote from Testimonies to Ministers:

“Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men.  {TM 116.1} 
     We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth. . . .  {TM 116.2} 
     Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated. . . . We, with all our religious advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know.”  {TM 116.3} 

   Using dates to pinpoint soon-to-be fulfilled prophecy is always dangerous because, as A____ said, it holds the whole time table, and, if I put this into my book it would hold the whole book, in jeopardy if the events don’t take place on the dates I assign. So a lot of precaution must go into using the dates. But, as I said, I must begin with assumptions and continue from there. Many of the new ideas of my book (on Revelation chapters 4 through 11) began from assumptions and they developed as I saw the picture more clearly. I call them assumptions because I wasn’t confident in my interpretations of scripture. But, as time went on, and as I read and reread scripture and they made more sense, I had to move many of the interpretations of prophecy from assumptions to what I believe to be sure future events.

   For now, the whole idea of using the 7 year Secret Rapture scenario seems very plausible to be put into orchestrated action if the general Evangelical public is more and more firmly sold on the falsehood. Deception through ignorance of truth is what Satan loves because he has no other option if he will lead the people of the Lord away from their God. We live in a world of evidence that creates faith in our Creator, and our world is filled with truth to lead us in the way of God’s blessings. Satan can’t undo all that God has put into His creation―although he is working hard at it―so he must work extra hard to warp minds and seduce hearts. Sin has made us especially susceptible to his warping the truth to lies by one or several, of many avenues through the temptations of self-indulgence, self-exaltation, self-justification, etc.

   If the devil has worked so hard for almost 500 years to foist the 7 year Secret Rapture upon Protestantism, why would he not use it to open the way for his impersonation of Jesus’ second coming as the “as the crowning act in the great drama of deception” Great Controversy, p. 624? At first the 7 year prophecy was used only to take the finger of accusation away from the papacy as the beast of Revelation 13. But, lately it has been used to create a new eschatology. And, as Shawn Boonstra wrote in his book, The Appearing, the 7 year Secret Rapture scenario sets up the whole Evangelical world for the impersonation of Jesus’ return. This is because in the scenario’s second return of “Jesus”, He is supposed to come―not to destroy the world “and the works that are therein” (2 Pet. 3:10), the infrastructure of his global civilization―but to set up a millennium of peace.

    On that note, J____, would you please email me and my friend D_____ the four paintings and some of their close-up shots that you and M_____ took at the Denver airport? I want to look more closely at them. D____, you need to see these paintings of a new world that is most assuredly coming to create a purported millennium of peace and happiness. It will be a world without God and without His Bible that defines sin and interprets happiness only as freedom from sin through the power of Protestantism’s God of justification and sanctification. It will be a world where the Jehovah-given institutions of family and His religion will be non-existent. It will be a world where the ancient cultures, which came out of Babylon, and their pagan, Christless, loveless, lifestyle will regain ascendency in the world through Catholicism and the Ecumenism of every apostate, Lawless, pagan religion and culture in the world, all under the auspices and control of the Vatican, the United Nations, and a powerful, global Gestapo regime.

  Satan will have―at least figuratively for “one hour” (Rev. 17:11), in other words, possibly much longer than two literal weeks―what he has dreamed of having since Babel. He will have a whole world under his most powerful delusion of all time, living a life of peace without God, a carnival world of supposed happiness while free from their Creator.

 

David

I emailed J____ and D_____ to say that I found a website with the paintings.

http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/sinister-sites-the-denver-international-airport/

We need to pray to Jesus and study His scriptures. “None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searthing test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Are our feet planted on the rock of God’s immutable word? Are we prepared to stand firm in defense of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus?” Great Controversy, p. 593.

It is high time for the Loud Cry and Latter Rain.