“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.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Abiding: “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places”

 “But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Ps. 1:2,3).
This is an amazing subject: the abiding. Abiding in Christ, so that He becomes our teacher. His Spirit putting a word in our minds, guiding us in our lessons of life. How wonderful; how amazing! We can be learned and informed. We can be educated, but not like the world is educated. They learn from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They are trained in the union of truth and falsehoods. But, what Jesus offers is the true education of truth alone. We can be educated with holy education, His education, whose instructor was God, His Father.
“The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor.
     The question asked during the Saviour’s ministry, ‘How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?’ does not indicate that Jesus was unable to read, but merely that He had not received a rabbinical education. John 7:15. Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. Apart from the unholy ways of the world, He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature. He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man. From His earliest years He 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.
     Thus to Jesus the significance of the word and the works of God was unfolded, as He was trying to understand the reason of things. Heavenly beings were His attendants, and the culture of holy thoughts and communings was His. From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth.” Desire of Ages, p. 70.
But, how can I have His education? How can I get to the Master Teacher who lives in the heavenly sanctuary? And how can I rate to be included as His disciple? I’m not special. I’m a real failure in the subject of holiness and intelligence. My memory is weak; my tenacity to master a subject is feeble; my disposition toward intellectuals is rebellious. My pride makes me unteachable because I think I know everything already. I possess inherited and cultivated habits and paradigms that resist being taught and changed. I am hopelessly stupid.
But, Jesus comes to me with the offer, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:28,29).
He will give me an education in resting. I will end up with a degree in resting. And in that rest I will learn from the best Teacher this world has ever known.
“Of [God] are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor. 1:30). What a strategy for education! What a goal to reach. Wow! This is an education of the highest degree, an education that tends toward God and ends in heaven! The diploma is conferred upon us by the great Administrator of omniscience, the great God and King Himself! Our graduation ceremony will be held in the heavenly courts! Yet, our course mandates continuing education beyond our graduation—continuing education in wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, forever as we walk on the earth made new and as we fly to far-flung galaxies.
Don’t let the nightmare happen to me that is happening to the foolish virgins who are procrastinating this true education. “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” (Matt. 25:9). Procrastinating today will soon make it too late to be educated in the only true curriculum, through the Spirit of truth.
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” (Matt. 25:6-10).
So, how do I get started? Where do I sign on the dotted line? I need this education now. I should have had it years ago. This free world and peacetime have only a few months left before the big upheavals that will fulfill prophecy. I must learn to be holy and settled in the truth in a short time, which I could have learned gradually. My truancy may be my eternal undoing. Please give me the accelerated curriculum. Please teach me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. I need to master them quickly.
Here is your simple yet comprehensive curriculum outline for your Master’s degree in Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption (M. Wrsr.):
“The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Wherefore the Law was our Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:22-27).
Education plan:
I                       Conviction of sin
II                     Wrestling under difficulty, darkness, hopelessness,
yearning to be accepted of God
III                    God’s approval of the student’s surrender to His Law
IV                    Christ’s gift of full surrender, repentance, conversion, justification
V                     Graduation
VI                    Internship
VII                  Job placement, evangelism
VIII                 Continuing education
I  Conviction of sin
“The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”
When we begin our course under the Master we must begin humbly. Without a humble mind we can’t learn a single spiritual thing. But, no one is born with a humble mind, therefore the Master must humble our minds. We must be humbled by the knowledge of our lack. Our education will be a holistic education, one that encompasses heart, mind, soul, and body. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1Tim. 4:8).
The conviction of sin is the first step in your humbling and learning. Only the Spirit of truth can convict you of sin that is so magnified as to help you see ourselves as God sees you—exceedingly sinful. In the heart of Jesus this is a terrible ordeal, nevertheless He knows it must take place if you are to receive any education in the degree of Master of Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption (M. Wrsr.) He is your Teacher, Tutor, and Guidance Counselor, who personally administers your course material. But His Father and God, the Schoolmaster, the Governor, the President, oversees the whole operation of your educational plan. As painful to the heart of your Teacher Jesus as your convictions of sin are, He will never deviate from the requirements of His Principle Father.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29).
The law of kindness will always be in His mouth, but never expect Him to be deterred from your humbling and conviction of sin. A word of precaution from the President of this education institution, concerning His approved Master Teacher:
“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him. But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” (Ex. 23:20-22).
“The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:6,7).
II  Wrestling under difficulty, darkness, hopelessness, yearning to be accepted of God
“But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.”
You will be required to struggle and surrender to the high standards of the moral Law. “The law worketh wrath” (Rom. 4:15), and this the Master and His Father Governor know and anticipate. Resolving your inner rebellion toward the Governor’s infinitely great goodness will take time. But, be patient with this process. As the school manual states:
“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (Ps. 32:4,5).
“And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.” (Isa. 30:18).
So during this phase of your education in blessedness and holiness, expect depression and fear of the unpardonable sin, and much sorrow for your sins. But, be of good cheer, He has left you the promise, “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31). There is much hope if you will patiently endure these first works. Until you fully submit to the righteousness of God, you cannot go on unto perfection—knowing the only true God, the Spirit of truth, and His only begotten Son. Knowing Their experience in dealing with you and your sins, will be your wisdom and yourgift of life eternal.
III  God’s approval of the student’s surrender to His Law
“Wherefore the Law was our Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.”
Once you have surrendered to the President’s model of character requirements, then He will authorize His Son, your Teacher, to bless you with His grace and truth. Your wrestling and surrender to the Law of the education institution have developed faith in your heart. That faith is full of appreciation for the Law of the President, and delight in meditating on it and praying to Him. That faith is full of loyalty to the President’s Law and is perfectly open to its inculcation into your heart and mind. You are worthy to receive the intimate knowledge of His Son’s poured out soul in your behalf. Your faith and tenacity to be accepted by God have prepared your soul for this greater, more revealing knowledge.
The President will not be the one to bless you. He will delegate that to His most precious Son, your Teacher, your Propitiation who laid down His life for you. The Propitiation poured out His most precious soul to give you the high privilege of uniting with Him for your privately taught higher education. You didn’t deserve His eternal death for your eternal life, His infinite loss for your infinite gain. But, He loved you and gave Himself for you; and He calls you, “the dearly beloved of My soul.” (Jer. 12:7). As it is written, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (Gen. 22:8).
The President/Principal stands for justice and for the high standard. Although His goodness exceeds the heavens, He will only manifest His goodness through His provision for your Teacher’s blessing. His infinite goodness will come to you wrapped up in Jesus. Yet, your Teacher will never give you His grace without maintaining His high standard of truth that originates from His Father, the Principal.
Never think that you can presume upon your Teacher’s grace to discard His consecration to truth and to His Father’s justice. Your Teacher’s suffering under His God’s hot revulsion of your sinfulness, your Teacher’s multiplied sorrows under the Almighty’s condemnation and rejection, guaranteed your Master’s infinite fidelity to the Principal’s high standards in your curriculum. So, always be thankful for the goodness of the Principal expressed to you in the lovingkindness of His approved Teacher.
Only under this regimen of grace and truth, mercy and justice, will you excel in all your areas of study toward your degree, Master of Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption (M. Wrsr.). And, since this degree of study was your choice and you desperately desired to have this degree, then you will find its tough regimen delightfully doable. Said your Master Teacher, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:30). “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2Tim. 2:3).
IV  Christ’s gift of full surrender, repentance, conversion, justification
“Wherefore the Law was our Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
Because at this point in your curriculum you have surrendered to the Law and to the death of the Prince of heaven due to your insolence and rebellion against your Master and contrariness to the Law of the President, then the President is just to rewrite your past. You are justified and a certified student in the school of God. You are a saint in God’s estimation and greatly beloved in the eyes of your Teacher. “The soul of [your Master Teacher is] knit with [your soul], and [your Teacher loves you] as His own soul.” (1Sam. 18:1). Justification gives you a boon to health, both physically and mentally and spiritually. God has given you a rare gift—a new heart to know Him. It will open your heart to truth and make you susceptible to increasing truth and grace. By God’s gift of a heart and spirit made in His bosom, you have sucked honey from the stone Law, and olive oil from the flinty Law. Praise ye the Lord. His knowledge enters your heart and intellect in voluminous quantities and with deep quality.
V  Graduation
“But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
You have completed the school of Christ, and it is time to graduate. Repentance has been the final result of all that you’ve learned. That repentance is founded upon the Law of God and the cross of Christ. Faith in and great need for God through His Son have been the modus operandi for your new repentant heart and humbled soul. But, you’ve just begun the greater education that you will receive on the job.
Justice and truth have never been discarded in your elite education, by either President or Teacher of your institution, and therefore, the Law will remain the foundation of your faith in Their mercy and grace. If you will maintain your love for the Law of love, and your fidelity to its justice and truth, then you will continue in your fellowship with the Father and the Son.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32).
“We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14).
VI  Internship
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
You will face many temptations. Satan will attempt to rob you of your special education. He will attempt to lead you to indulge self, to make self the center of your work, your life, even making self the center of your worship of the Principal. But, remember that the eyes of the Lord run throughout the whole earth, showing Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward Him, and increasingly silent to those who are losing their first love. God, the great Judge, who upholds His Law in justice, and who dispensed mercy through His Son, will never be a respecter of persons to His graduates. But, we have come to love surrender to the Law; we have come to love the humbling and the prospect for further humbling. So we love the great Judge for the hard position He must hold. With the angelic hosts that surround His throne, all our eyes are directed to Him, our Father in heaven.
But, He will be by your side while you hold His ways of utmost importance. If you fall to temptations and sin against Him, and if you quickly return to His Son for His pardon and acceptance, then faith His Son and repentance through Him God will count as perfect loyalty, and He will resume your internship for His glory. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16). “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever.” (Ps. 103:8,9).
You have experienced repentance. Always use that faculty and never eschew it.
VII  Job placement, evangelism
 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Your blessing from the presence of the Lord will land you in many opportunities. Whatever your hand finds to do, you will have the energy from above to do it with all your might. In whatever occupation that your Master gives you, primary must be the exaltation of His glory, and secondary must be the exaltation of your employer. If your Master remains at the forefront of your thoughts and will, then He will prosper your work and defend you. Love Him with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. And love your neighbors, family, employers as yourself. Never reverse this priority and put the Lord secondary to your employers, “lest I confound thee before them” (Jer. 1:17), as in your hearing your Teacher taught you during your course work.
VIII  Continuing education
“As you have therefore received the Lord Jesus Christ, so walk ye in Him.” (Col. 2:6).
Having received a knowledge of infinite grace and truth, as His continuing student, be given to it. Consume it, and let it consume you. Make your Master your meditation throughout all your days, “entering into His rest” (Heb. 4:1). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:1,2). “Sanctify the LORD of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary.” (Isa. 8:13,14). Abide in Him, walking in His high standard of love. “He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” (Isa. 57:2).
“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18). Walking in the light, as God sheds the light through His Son, you will have fellowship with the Godhead and others, and the blood of Jesus will cleanse you of all sin. Keener your conscience will grow, and stronger your sense of zeal for the righteousness of the God of love.
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1Jn. 3:9).
Deeper and fuller your communion with the Spirit of truth will grow as you draw nearer and nearer to His Son. More and more constant your meditation. You will be like Enoch who often escaped the hard-hearted and violent cities to the solitude of the wilderness to commune with his Maker. “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years… And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5:22,24).
Your testimony will be:
“The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot.
I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.…
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ps. 16:5-9,11).
“The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” (Ps. 16:6).


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