“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, June 23, 2017

“Can this be religion? Am I not mistaken?”

“While bowed at the altar with others who were seeking the Lord, all the language of my heart was: ‘Help, Jesus, save me or I perish! I will never cease to entreat till my prayer is heard and my sins forgiven!’ I felt my needy, helpless condition as never before. As I knelt and prayed, suddenly my burden left me, and my heart was light. At first a feeling of alarm came over me, and I tried to resume my load of distress. It seemed to me that I had no right to feel joyous and happy. But Jesus seemed very near to me; I felt able to come to Him with all my griefs, misfortunes, and trials, even as the needy ones came to Him for relief when He was upon earth. There was a surety in my heart that He understood my peculiar trials and sympathized with me. I can never forget this precious assurance of the pitying tenderness of Jesus toward one so unworthy of His notice. I learned more of the divine character of Christ in that short period when bowed among the praying ones than ever before. One of the mothers in Israel came to me and said: “Dear child, have you found Jesus?” I was about to answer, “Yes,” when she exclaimed: “Indeed you have, His peace is with you, I see it in your face!” Again and again I said to myself: “Can this be religion? Am I not mistaken?” It seemed too much for me to claim, too exalted a privilege. Though too timid to openly confess it, I felt that the Saviour had blessed me and pardoned my sins.” Testimonies for the church, vol. 1, pg. 17.

“Can this be religion? Am I not mistaken?” will be the confessions of multitudes before and during the Latter Rain. They had known only a code of ethics or a form of religion, but they had not known the experience and the power from above, even if some had professed to have experiential religion. Some had been in the last day true religion, but had not surrendered to the Person behind the true religion. They were schooled in what the Spirit of Prophecy described as true religion. They had outwardly conformed to that aspect of the inspired counsels’ high standard; they had gone through the motions, and therefore they believed that they had experiential religion. They were as schooled in the requirements of true religion as the above twelve year old girl who thought she was right with God. She had been brought up as a Christian. She had learned many Christian values. Her sense of missionary work had been woven into her religious life; she and her mother had sewed clothing for missions. She knew and loved all the hymns. She studied her Bible and knew it well. Yet, when true religion came, she didn’t recognize it. She had not known Jesus personally; and His rest that remaineth for the people of God had been eluding her.

In God’s mercy, many folks who are fully devoted to religion often receive many chances to meet Him. He sees their true condition today. He reads the chastisement of their peace that comes from separation from His Spirit. He knows our hearts, our natural rebellion, and our unbelief. If He were to deny us all the many opportunities for surrender, who would be saved? None would surrender, none would be converted without His continual call of mercy. Yet, despite His many opportunities to know Him, how few have surrendered to Jesus! Its the sad rhetorical answer from Jesus in Luke 13:23-30.

The incentive He uses to draw us is loaded with beautiful, relevant promises. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:10). But, how few have experienced true religion of “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17), as young Ellen finally did? Jesus strives with His church, yet most will not surrender. Their unwillingness to enter into a full view of Jesus, His loving-kindness and His perfect righteousness, will make it impossible for the majority to survive Jacob’s troubles. Many will enter into the great time of trouble believing they are prepared. Yet, they will not have surrendered all that is within them. They will not have fallen on the Rock and been broken, and therefore will not have given themselves fully to the service of God.

Up to the final moments while peacetime remains in the world, they will complain about His temporal and spiritual scourging that He brings for His purpose in their purification. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?” (Heb. 12:6,7). They will fight the “chastisement of our peace” (Isa. 53:5), which was the same mental oppression that young Ellen suffered, and which our holy Schoolmaster Father of all, deems necessary for all of us in order to receive His eternal crown of life. Whether religious or irreligious, rich or poor, famous or not, elite or commoner, free or bond, the standard arrogant attitude to the Father’s convictions is, “my life may not be good enough for You, but its good enough for me.”

But, the Schoolmaster’s answer to their arrogance is, “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye [illegitimate], and not sons.” (Heb. 12:8). No one justified and born of the Spirit would deny the Father is continued punishment for their sanctification.

How does the Schoolmaster chasten us spiritually? Through His Law: its painful description of righteousness and its condemnation of our sins. But, if sinners disdain His uncomfortable convictions and evade His Law, then He sends them His providential consequences for breaking His Law, “receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Rom. 1:27). Without His chastisement of our peace and consequences for our sins, no one would ever need a Saviour—a Saviour from sin. If they won’t let Jesus be their Saviour from sin, then He will be no Saviour at all. But, Satan loves to give us his religion without our sins being the condition for “salvation”. It was called Ashtoreth worship and Diana worship “whom all Asia and the world worshippeth”. (Acts 19:27). Today it is called Mary worship, the Mass, mysticism, and Spiritual Formation, after which the whole religious world hastens. In all of these false religions the common denominator is coming into God’s presence without His strong convictions of their horrific sins and without His Son as their only, mighty Mediator between the Almighty Judge and them.

They love their idols and appetites and human gods. They hate conviction and they hate the gospel message that they are not worthy to go straight into Almighty God’s infinitely holy presence. They can’t accept being to blame for their flaws and sinfulness. Their pride won’t allow them to live under any shame and guilt. No one can point a finger of accusation at them—not even God. “Who are You to judge Me?” They hate knowing that they are judged by God, because they don’t know the love of God and the ever-ready mercy of His Son for them. Therefore, they can’t trust Them with Their diagnosis of their sin disease or Their regimen of obedience to righteousness with help from above for their recovery from sin. They utterly resist the calling of God’s Spirit.

But, for all who could not allow their conscience to be blinded by self-indulgence of whatever variety, the “Spirit of God” (Rom. 8:9) can weigh in on the soul, as it did for young Miss Harmon. And in their soul’s distress and agony, they will be driven to the Saviour. The Schoolmaster Father of all, uses His Law as His front, through which He creates in His children a superhuman need for mercy. From His superhuman chastisement of peace they wrestle with surrendering their will to the will of God. But even after they surrender their self-will, they still have yet to surrender their heart. They search for the only One who can save them from the condemning will of God found in His Law, and they find their Mighty Helper—“the body of Christ” (Rom. 7:4), Christ and Him crucified. They receive His  spiritual insight to comprehend that it was their exceeding sinfulness that caused the suffering until death of the beautiful, only-begotten Son of God. Their heart is broken as they surrender to His mercy and self-sacrifice. They are now justified by their humbling and by the surrender of the heart.

“Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24). They have cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24). And the remedy came from “God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:25). “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). They have been born again. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal. 4:6). Finally, they have the long sought “Spirit of His Son”; they have “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9) and peace with God. “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 [them] free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:1,2).

Now they love to obey God, as Mahana loved to obey and please Johnny Lingo. “For this is the love of God, that [they] keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1Jn. 5:3,4). With the crucified, drooping, and expired body of His Son ever invading their satisfying memories, and the Spirit of His resurrected and ministering Son motivation them, they now love to do the will of God that they had for so long wrestled with. “By [whose will, as codified in His Law,] we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb. 10:10). “That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Heb. 10:10).

And they look back on the long, traumatic chastisement of their peace, and are grateful for His merciful scourging, as with Ellen’s new heart and spirit, and in her new life, which she penned it so precisely and beautifully:

“There was a beautiful pink flower in the garden called the rose of Sharon. I remember approaching it and touching the delicate petals reverently; they seemed to possess a sacredness in my eyes. My heart overflowed with tenderness and love for these beautiful creations of God. I could see divine perfection in the flowers that adorned the earth. God tended them, and His all-seeing eye was upon them. He had made them and called them good. “Ah,” thought I, “if He so loves and cares for the flowers that He has decked with beauty, how much more tenderly will He guard the children who are formed in His image.” 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.” Ibid., p. 19. A new capacity to know and love God spread throughout her whole heart.

Abundance of church work does not constitute or create surrender and conversion. Many have built up their eternal home without a correct foundation. That foundation must be God’s condemnation and our affliction, and then Christ’s humbling our heart and His justification, both His humbling and justification working together to result in peace with God and a new heart to obey Him. That true foundational, abbreviated version is in the profound promise of Christ, “whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken.” (Matt. 21:44). The foundation of salvation is “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21). They become “the temple of the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 6:19), “which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Heb. 8:2).

They must see themselves as “exceeding sinful” before they will need the brazen Serpent hanging on the pole. They must tremble at believing that they have committed the unpardonable sin a thousand times. Them only can Christ forgive and “purge [their] conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14). “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3).

What does the Lord mean by “dead works”? He means an outward, formal religion; a Christless, Spiritless, loveless religion. He means being warm on the outside, but cold on the inside. It means loving “the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43). Acting happy on the outside, but inwardly being a ravenous wolf, a salivating predator toward the children of God. Clean outwardly but polluted inwardly. Looking good and going through the motions for the benefit of human acceptance and influence and power. He means pleasing men “that ye might affect them” (Gal. 4:17), serving and perpetuating the sinner’s unbelief and self-sufficiency, assisting and being an accomplice to their natural lack of fidelity to the living God and in their ultimate damnation. “[Jesus] said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15). On the contrary, Paul said, “Do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10)

“Dead works” are not the same as obedient works of the Law. Jesus didn’t come to destroy the Law or the Old Testament. The problem with “dead works” is that they are good works but they come from a dead heart. Dead works are not genuine heart service to God for His pleasure, but sevice for men and for self-pleasure.

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 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.” (Matt. 5:17-19).

Jesus didn’t come to destroy the Law from Sinai; but He did come to destroy what the religious rulers had done to the Law. “They say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (Matt. 23:3,4). “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.” (Matt. 5:20).

We are not made right before God through some great Christian work. This was the very issue that Christ and His apostles battled in the New Testament, as well as it being the prophets’ key issue of the Old Testament. Baal worship was a system of atheistic humanism as much as was the Judaism developed in Babylonian captivity, and in the current Protestantism (and often in Adventism) today.

What we need is true religion, today in the calm before the Latter Rain storm and its by-product in the great time of trouble. We need the scourging of the Spirit of Prophecy writings, and then see Jesus uplifted as our only hope for righteousness by faith. We need heart conversion, to experience faith that comes from hearing Jesus’ precepts and seeing His person, and which also leads back to Jesus. Then beholding Jesus through His Father’s Law, we stand on a mighty Rock and are safe from deception. We will truly have that gift of God about which Ellen ruminated, “Can this be religion? Am I not mistaken?”

But, to everyone else the genuine conversion and sealing will appear as a mistake, an intoxication, and part of the false revival and strong delusion. Looking at the beauty of flowers and trees, as in a heavenly daze? The children of God, seeing the original Edenic glory of God upon His creation, will be assumed by frightened friends and family to have schizophrenia or a bipolar disorder. To everyone not experiencing Jesus’ true religion, it will be a scary excitement, an unaccountable power, of which they have never tasted. But it is strange to them only because their pride and unbelief never allowed them to enter into the spiritual oppression from God, and His gifts of surrender and salvation.

The controversy between the children of God moved by the new power so strange to their atheistic brethren is heard from the similar troubles that David suffered from his fellow Israelites. “My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?” (Ps. 42:3). But all who like Ellen do suffer in the spirit and flesh, and enter into God’s call to holiness, will know that it is authentically of God. These 144,000 will see Jesus through faith in His Spirit and will receive a power to do the whole will of God. They have been “enlightened, …have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost.” (Heb. 6:4). They “have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.” (vs. 5). Setting aside all humanly devised requirements and doctrinal constructs, they will live unto God. They will serve God through His Law by the Spirit of His Son. But all who make void the Law of God will never taste of the Spirit of life of the Christ Jesus in the Law and in the cross, the seven Spirits of God through the “Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes” (Rev. 5:6).

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.… For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:16,19,20).

“I through the Law am dead to the Law”. What will the 144,000 experience in regard to this death to the Law? What did Paul mean? Does it mean that the Law of God told Paul that he didn’t have to keep the Law of God anymore? Does it mean that God says that we don’t have to obey Him anymore? If that were correct, wouldn’t it be comparable to Christ’s statement, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matt. 12:25)? In the Torah you’ll never find a commandment to disregard the Torah. Neither will you find it in the New or Old Testament “gospel ” (Heb. 4:2). Rather, just the opposite:

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deut. 30:15-20).

“And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.” (Deut. 8:19). Moses’ warning against worshiping other gods was the same as Paul’s. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Gal. 3:1). “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that we have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8,9). 

Did the Lord invest Moses with authority? Very much so. Every principle of righteousness in the Law and allegiance to the Lord Jesus would continue for 1,500 years, and then continue its effectiveness in the church. The difference between the old and new covenants is that all the symbolic ceremonial laws were fulfilled in Jesus, as a “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14).

But the principles of the Law’s righteousness are eternal, principles which Paul jealously guarded and perpetuated.

Did the Lord invest Paul with greater authority than Moses? In Galatians 2:16-20 did Paul destroy everything Jesus had given Moses to bless the world? No, Paul and Moses were invested with equal authority to provide, promote, and preserve “the everlasting covenant” (Isa. 24:5), the “everlasting gospel” (Rev. 14:6, cf Rom. 1:16). Jesus used both to end the dead works of atheism and paganism, among the Gentile world, and within His professed people.

Paul quoted the Old Testament endlessly, resetting the ancient Hebrew religion back to its original service to the one true Godhead of Father and Son. But, the Jews had become so accustomed to corrupted religion that they couldn’t recognize in Paul’s doctrine the original religion of the Mosaic Law and Jehovah’s teaching prophets. God’s religion has always been one of immutable grace and truth, justice and mercy.

“If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” (Deut. 30:10-14).

(Paul’s version of Deuteronomy 30:10-14.)
“But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” (Rom. 10:6-8).

The Mosaic Law of the Lord first required a relationship with the Lawgiver, and then obedience to Him. Obedience with a faith relationship with Jesus, such as David had, has always been the only acceptable obedience to God. David wasn’t the only one in the Old Testament to have the gospel, but he saw it more clearly than anyone else during that time. “Without faith it is impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6). Only the obedience from faith and love, which David surely had, could ever please God and end in true, whole-hearted obedience, and in heaven-bestowed success and prosperity. “And he [who meditates on the Law of the Lord day and night] 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. 1:3). “I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, They Law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8).

Paul and Moses fought for the same goal: Christlikeness, being filled with trust in and love for His “grace and truth” (John 1:14).

“For Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in Thy truth.” (Ps. 26:3).

“I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.
Withhold not thou Thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth continually preserve me.” (Ps. 40:10,11).

“For Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the clouds.” (Ps. 57:10).

“Lord, where are Thy former lovingkindnesses, which Thou swarest unto David in Thy truth?” (Ps. 89:49).

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.” (Ps. 115:1).

“I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name.” (Ps. 138:2).

“For Christ is the end [“result”, the “goal”] of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom. 10:4). Jesus must be our focus, but if the condemning call of God has brought us to Christ for His merciful justification, then the Law of God will forever be riding in the background and ever making its way into our life. This was Christ’s message also. “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15).

Faith and obedience to His Law are perfectly compatible and forever inseparable.

The Son of David knew the union of grace and truth, faith and Law better than David did. As the temple veils had red threads woven in and out of blue threads, resulting in purple fabric, Christ’s teaching wove the two polar opposites of mercy and justice, lovingkindness and truth, into one beautifully attractive message for the people to His love.

“Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. … He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles [the distant people] shall wait for His law.” (Isa. 42:1,3,4).

“The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” (vs. 21).

Christ was prophesied to exalt the Law of God and cleanse it from all the human tradition with which Judaism had corrupted it. And the distant people would flock to His law and religion. He would create in them a heart to obey Him.

“And I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart.” (Jer. 24:7). But that gift of God would not come without hardship and affliction, chastisement of peace and scourging, that is, depending on each individual’s rebellion. “And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.” (Jer. 24:9,10).

But, the end of the Lord’s extreme measures come as a blessing. “We … have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (Jas. 5:11). Some of whom God is calling are looking heavenward, wistfully praying for peace of heart and mind. They will be heard when their prayers are free of self-justification. “Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them?” (Luke 18:8).

Some of whom God has called today are at the beginning their narrow, somewhat lonely sojourn with the light of justification shining brightly behind them and just a single gleam of the hardly conceivable, full victory down at the end of a long tunnel. Others are in the middle of their tunnel, with their first justification shining somewhat dimmer, the eternal day ahead of them shines brighter on their path. And still others, as they near the end of their “long home” (Ecc. 12:5), “a light … shineth in a dark place,… the day [dawns], and the day star [arises] in [their] hearts” (2Pet. 1:19). The justified see their path growing confidently into a perfect day, “as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.” (Ps. 19:5). They can say without hesitancy, “The LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him” (Isa. 30:18)!

Just as “the LORD turned the captivity of Job” (Job 42:10) after Job’s mouth was stopped and he abhorred himself like Paul did in Romans 7:24 (see Job 40:4,5; 42:6), once the modern Israel of Christ is humbled and dependent on their Lord, then He turns around their captivity.

“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).

Once the dust of His anger has settled, then His church understands His protective, jealous, and unselfish love for them. Thus, they are His workmanship. Through His punishing affliction, He created in them a cleansed heart to know Him.

“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.” (Jer. 31:33,34).

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:10-12).

“And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 31:28).

“And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.
And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.” (Eze. 36:23-29).

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness. And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks. For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (Jer. 31:23-25).

And the relieved prophet, poor anxious Jeremiah, once more spoke for His expectant Lord, “Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.” (Jer. 31:26).

This reward may speak of the earth made new, or a foretaste of it in this life. But, either way, it only comes to those who repented of unbelief and sin, and discovered the true, Law and grace religion not to be repented of—and not a mistake, as did that beautiful young woman, Ellen Gould Harmon.


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