“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, February 24, 2017

If You love me give me Your commandments

“The Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness.” (Mark 1:12).

During His growing and developing years in Nazareth Jesus had been blossoming and blooming through the eternal life coming from His Father, as a living root in dry, dead dirt. “He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” (Isa. 53:2). Compared to the sword-jangling and hard-hearted, beaten down by life people, all around Him, Jesus had righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And He had been healing people by the healing power of love.

“Jesus was the healer of the body as well as of the soul. He was interested in every phase of suffering that came under His notice, and to every sufferer He brought relief, His kind words having a soothing balm. None could say that He had worked a miracle; but virtue—the healing power of love—went out from Him to the sick and distressed. Thus in an unobtrusive way He worked for the people from His very childhood. And this was why, after His public ministry began, so many heard Him gladly. 
     Yet through childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus walked alone. In His purity and His faithfulness, He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.” Desire of Ages, p. 92.

But, now, newly baptized and having heard His Father address Him personally, “Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well please.” (Mark 1:11), a new power came upon Jesus. A new aggressiveness, a newly laid burden weighed upon Him. He was of age, and no longer a “stripling” (1Sam. 17:56) like David when he took down Goliath. In childhood and youth Jesus had already taken down many Goliath wicked spirits in high places. Now He was prepared to enter a larger stage. His age of 30 had begun the appointment of everyone dedicated to the service of Jehovah.

“All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers, from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Num. 4:46,47).

Ever after the time of Jesus’ new birth and dedication to His Father’s service at Jordan a new power took hold of Him. Without measure His virtue would go forth from Him, matching His gift of God’s measureless Spirit. That Spirit of His Father would drive the Son of God as never before. This gift from the God of peace was His greatest delight. Christ moved His Father’s heart; therefore, His Father filled Him with greater drive to please His Father in every thought, word, and act. But, God’s blessedness of infinite peace placed on His Son a greater duty. That love from the God of peace empowered the Son to boldly and confidently speak the plain, unvarnished truth. Thus, the Son of God was prepared to speak the truth in love, infinite truth in infinite love.

To a lesser degree this was the experience given to Ezekiel. “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity.” (Eze. 1:1,2). Ezekiel’s dedication came when in vision he was given a scroll to eat. This time it was not God empowering His Son, but it was the Son empowering His son, Ezekiel, in his thirtieth year of life. Ezekiel had moved the heart of the Son, and the Son dedicated and drove His son to speak boldly and confidently the plain, unvarnished truth through Christ’s Spirit of peace and love.

“And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
And the Spirit entered into me when He spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard Him that spake unto me.
And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me: they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day.
For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
And thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
And He spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
 Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll.
And He said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
And He said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them.
For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto Me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, all My words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.
And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
Then the Spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from His place.
I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
So the Spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.” (Eze. 2:1-3:14).

Driven by the power of God, Ezekiel was ordained, matured, enabled to speak with a voice he did not previously possess. Christ’s unencumbered Spirit uninvested of the personality of humanity spoke through Ezekiel, giving his voice authority. This is the same power that moved every spokesman. “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1Pet. 1:11). “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were movedG5342 by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet. 1:21). The Holy Ghost was the Spirit of Christ, moving or driving His human representatives. 

G5342 pherō to “bear” or carry (in a very wide application, literally and figuratively: be, bear, bring (forth) drive, be driven, endure, go on, move, rushing.

Pherō gives the impression of power, such as speaking in powerful authority.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushingG5342 mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4).

“But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her driveG5342.” (Acts 27:14,15).

The maturity and empowerment that comes with the increased measure of God’s Spirit through His Son to the servant of God drives him or her to heights of self-denial and self-abnegation and self-abdication that they didn’t have before, and no one around them has had.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death….
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:7-14).

They are made confident in Christ’s love and confident in His power; they trust in His promises. He is their surety to justify them before God. Jesus breathes “upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath [is] light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.” Early Writings, p. 55. The receivers of Christ’s Spirit represent the true Spirit in opposition to those who accept Satan’s spirit. “I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us Thy Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace.” Early Writings, p. 55, 56.

The recipients of the Spirit of God change from child to adult.
“Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” (Jer. 1:6).
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Cor. 13:11). “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2Tim. 2:1,3).

Yet, as mothers of all living, they keep the warm friendliness of Jesus, the great Mother of all living. The law of kindness in His mouth is in their mouths. The tender plant in His heart is in theirs, “that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth.” (Ps. 144:12). Jeremiah’s lamentations show the young heart of Jesus in the prophet as he previewed the coming troubles upon the people he loved.

“Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer. 9:1). Yet Jeremiah was empowered by Christ “according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” (Eph. 3:16).

“Behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.” (Jer. 1:18). Are kings powerful? Are princes powerful? Are priests powerful? Are the people powerful? Yes times four. All have the power to destroy. All have persecuting power. But, all the prophets had set their love upon Jesus. He says,

“Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.” (Ps. 91:14-16).

Jeremiah needed the strength of Jesus’ tenderness and His power. He needed to see and know His justice and mercy. The leadership and people needed that also. They had all set their love upon a god by another name, Baalim. Baalim was not a loving lord. He was mean-spirited, abusive to children and women, and especially toward the servants of Elohim. Everyone soft-hearted was Baalim’s enemy, because Baalim was Satan and his hosts. Baalim was Beelzebub, Lord of the buzzing demons of schizophrenia and glossolalia and confusion.

Isaiah also knew Jesus’ empowerment.

“The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.” (Isa. 50:5-9).

“As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12,13).

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Ps. 127:3-5).

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:13,14).

When we are of full age in the gospel and experienced with God, then we desire hardships and challenges to our comfort zones. We crave to die to self. We are thankful for every difficulty, knowing that God permits them all for our continued development. Even though knowing that living godly in Christ means persecution, we follow in the steps of Him “who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” (1Pet. 2:22,23).

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings.” Patriarchs and prophets, p. 34.

From the very beginning, the Son of God loved to serve. He was the great Helper. High and low He helped, even before leaving heaven for our salvation. The Son has always loved to serve His Father and Their family of heaven and earth. He has ever needed but one thing—the happiness of His Father and Their children. The great Mother of all living has set the precedent for all women. He has also created that propensity for motherhood in them all. From childhood to aged, they all love to help, please, serve, and nurture.

Will we be children, help-meets, servants, which naturally want to make everyone happy, and live under the strong, fatherly rulership of God? Or will we be great Sovereigns of our own little universe and end up ruled dogmatically by Satan?

“Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16). Her pangs in childbirth, which was a blessing in disguise, would ensure the faithful love and upbringing of her gaggle, her brood, her flock. Her husband’s power over her would add to her blessing by driving her to heights of self-sacrificing service unexperienced without her husband’s loving demands. Her self-abasement and servitude also imitates the ministering angels. “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” (1Cor. 11:10).

Jesus’ greatest love was for His Father to rule over Him, to submit to His Father’s demands. This was especially revealed in Gethsemane, when the Almighty ruled over His Son in infinite wrath because of Their human children. And the Father’s expectations were satisfied in our Mother Mediator working as our Shield and Protector. His flesh as a veil transmitted the message from the Most High against our sin, but filtered out Divinity’s fatal high voltage. Thus the Son has been our access to justification and sanctification. The helper children of God, who have known the difficulties of walking in the steps of their Mother of all living, will desire the same power on their head from the angels and from their Commander, which the armies of the Lord know from God. The prayer to God from the mature children is the same prayer from the angelic hosts and their Commander, “Rule strongly over me.” “How love I Thy Law!”

Like the angels who excel in strength, the mature children of humanity yearn to come under Christ’s power. They happily accept His invitation, “If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as My mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.” (Jer. 15:19).

His spiritual power dominates their will, their conscience, and their thoughts. They see in themselves the utter corruption of sin. Yet, it is always their choice whether or not they will live under His dominion. As Daniel experienced,

“Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude.
And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.” (Dan. 10:5-17).

The sons of God follow their Master in His burden bearing. “I beseech thee, shew me Thy glory.” (Ex. 33:18). “Rule over me strongly! Drive me! Let me know Your burden.”

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5).

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind… and … within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:6, 8).

“Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.
Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy countenance.
In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” (Ps. 89:13-16).

“The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.
     So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies.” Patriarchs and prophets, p. 33, 34.

Total surrender means total happiness. We were made to be loved. And we were made to serve. We were made to love acceptance and need acceptance, or we die slowly. Because he was tempted to think that he could rule without his uppermost service to God, Adam died. “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” (Gen. 5:5). Adam believed he could be God.

We can’t handle being the person at the top. The divine nature of God loves to sacrifice Himself for the health and happiness of His children. He is driven to lay down His life for His creation. But His creation doesn’t have that drive apart from Him. We need to have someone else above us. We are happier looking up at another than looking down over everyone. Even Jesus, the great Mother of all living, the greatest of servants, the great Help of helpers, preferred to look up to His Father than be the one looking down over everyone. His constant prayer to His Father was, “Rule strongly over Me.”

“From His earliest years [Jesus] was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as He studied plant life and animal life. Continually He was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life.” Desire of Ages, p. 70.

Only God can endure the unique position of having no one to look up to. No doubt He also would dearky love to have the privilege of depending on someone higher, but it doesn’t exist for Him. The buck stops at Him, and it is lonely at the top. “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me.” (Isa. 63:3).

What Jesus suffered as King of earthly kings in Gethsemane—all the loneliness of being top ruler over His Earth, and therefore being fully responsible for our redemption—all the same aloneness that the Father has suffered infinitely more over the universe and during His great controversy. But, He gave His Helpmeet the privilege of tasting it, and knowing its utter emptiness and gravity. From eternity past, perfectly immaculate, unerring, and total responsibility for the protection of everything good is what had always filled the mind of the one great Sovereign. No one knew, or wanted to know, or could handle knowing, the pressures of those duties that come with being the Sovereign. The closest person to knowing His burden was His only begotten Son. But, even the Son who dwelled in the bosom of the great Sovereign and stood before His powerful rulership, wouldn’t know the fullest duty as owner of the topmost position until Gethsemane to Golgotha. After His victory at the cross God received His Son with great rejoicing and honor because He had another who now knew His burdens.

“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” (Matt. 11:27).

We have had our chance to be the top dog, to need no one to look up to and to serve. We have accepted Satan’s new way of life, of being the receiver of all service and of serving self. But, the wages of that has been death. That new regime, which we were not created to hold, has meant death to us, to everyone around us, to our societies surrounding us, and to our world at large.

Creatures cannot be Creators. Only the Creator is the self-existent One. We aren’t self-existent, therefore there exists in each of us a need for help from the One who created us.

“As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12).

And when we receive the quickening Spirit of Him who created us, we are born of Him; we are Boanerges.

“And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach,… and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and He surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder.” (Mark 3:14,15,17).

But, while we receive power as sons of thunder, we “let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind [we] let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Phil. 2:3).


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