“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, June 11, 2017

Living in repentance

“The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8).

“Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death.” (Isa. 53:12).

The preincarnate Son of God brought forth Adam after His Father’s spiritual image and Eve after His own spiritual image. Both were spiritual beings, devoid of sin and bursting with health and happiness. Yet, each would still need a terrible crisis to seal them in eternal loyalty to the character of the Godhead. Each must eternally combine their joy with sorrow. This could only come by way of an infinite loss to the soul through an infinite challenge of self. Eternal joy would come through eternal submission of the will to their Creator when faced with the machinations of the new great controversy’s master of deception.

In order to create this crisis Christ planted the prohibited tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That tree would be the battle ground for the terrible death of self-will to its uttermost depths. He wasn’t setting up the holy couple for failure, but rather gave and gave and gave to them. He gave them abundantly everything that could ask or think to ask; He gave them everything that would fill their memories with sufficient evidence of His care and tender love for them so that, under the horrible moment of choice to follow self or the great Giver of every good and perfect gift, they could still come through this baptism of fire hanging onto loyalty to God if by only barely a thread of faith in Him, but not even a thread of trusting self. Total self-abasement is God’s goal for Himself, His only begotten Prince, and Their children in heaven and earth. From the the baptism of fire onward they would be anointed children of God, never again touchable by temptation, and thus, by default, forever sentencing the deceiver to his eternal judgment. Forever their joy would mingle profound happiness and sympathy with appreciation for God and for the only Begotten of His bosom, “the dearly beloved of My soul” (Jer. 12:7). They would live in repentance for the knowledge of God, of His total regret and repentance, which they had gained, an eternal repentance that would eternally give share their hearts with its fraternal twin, eternal joy and eternal certainty of acceptance. “Weeping [would] endure for a night, but joy [would come] in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5).

If Eve had fled from the tempter, the horror of his words would have naturally remained forever in her memory, and she would have become a protector to her beloved Adam, she now owning greater emptiness of self-will, greater loyalty to the government of heaven, and deeper appreciation for the knowledge of the infinite self-abasement of her Creator who had ever remained light-years away from sin. The tempter having lost the element of surprise would have much jeopardized his advantage over Adam. Eve having warned her husband that the deceiver was in their home, Adam would use his powers as a perfect, holy creation to thwart every attempt by Satan to tempt him. Although Eve’s victory would make her to be the best one to discern the devil’s machinations, Adam would have other opportunities to catch the deceiver in his work of creating rebellion against the Creator, and each victory of Adam’s would have led to the next victory until he too would have experienced total death to self-will and fear of the deceitfulness of sin and rebellion. The holy pair would have been sealed together in victory over sin by having obtained God’s eternal repentance, His eternal fear for sin and His permanent loathing of it. That eternal, permanent, new reality of sin and the Father’s terrible ordeal would unite with his glory to God to form a greater king of Earth. The ordeal would create a granite law within Adam out of which he must forever suck the glory of his joy. “He made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock.” (Deut. 32:13).

After Eve failed in the face of the flattering serpent, she brought her arms full of the fruit of the forbidden tree. Collecting food and bringing it to Adam had been her great joy of being his wife, but this time she looked and acted without the godly self-control she had normally manifested. Her intoxicated countenance and body language told of her great apostasy. At a single glance Adam knew what she had done. And immediately he understood all the ramifications and his duty. She must cease to exist. Adam must incarcerate her, and his heart must die a thousand times. Despite all his mourning and weeping for her soon destruction, the Prince of heaven with His glorious angels would come to Earth on Sabbath. Then He would  learn of Eve’s apostasy and execute His judgment upon her.

But, this was the one who came from Adam’s womb. Of Eve he had declared, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Gen. 2:23). This was “the dearly beloved of [Adam’s] soul” (Jer. 12:7), and separation from her was a horrific weight upon the new deliberations of his mind that had never known a burden. The loss of his dearly beloved almost made him faint at the thought. As he remembered their wonderful time together his recollections brought him more bitterness and sadness than hope and happiness. No creation in such close proximity could love him like Eve. In her he had centered all the love and trust of his heart. Despite her obvious rebellion, as he looked upon her outward beauty, his love overlooked her inner corruption. Although king of Earth and its protector against all enemies, Adam became a respecter of persons. He excused Eve’s great transgression. He had no authority to alter the Law of the infinite Empire of God by commuting her punishment. He broke the Law of the kingdom by evading the deep, utter sorrow and repentance required of his own obedience to God and for his perfect sealing. Now, his only next choice must be to copy Eve and join her in rebellion.

Both Adam and Eve failed their baptism of fire and their golden opportunity for eternal repentance. Both caved to the tempter. Now the Godhead, the two beings who our first parents had represented, must do for their children what they had failed to do for themselves. Their Creators must die Their children’s death to self, thus showing them the way to eternal life. The fallen first parents must be infinitely humbled by the sight of their punished, beloved divine Parents with poured out souls and lifeless beings. Adam and Eve must pour out their own souls, pained with the pangs of total surrender as their Parents passed through the portals in order to save them from eternal death.

Therefore, the only Begotten who, from eternity, had happily dwelt in the bosom of His Father, must supervise the redemption of His beloved Adam and Adam’s race. From His home with the Father, He must suffer His Father’s pangs of death caused by the presence of sin in His kingdom. The Son must personally witness the miserable unhappiness and continuous propensity to fall to temptation that plagued Adam and his race. Exponentially would sin and misery multiply on the special planet that the Father and Son had given the universe to represent Themselves and Their heavenly home. The joy of heaven was clothed with sackcloth. All heaven suffered with the Father and Son. Lucifer won the first battle, although he knew greater battles would need to be fought in order to win the war. Yet, as wise a general as he was, the covering cherub underestimated the wisdom of love and the transforming power of repentance and death to self.

Nevertheless, even though the Son could witness the sorrow of His Father and the misery of His earthly children, the eternal depths of Marianas repentance in the Father His Son must also know. He was His Father’s helpmeet, and He could only help His Father through His infinite doldrums by allowing His Father to communicate upon His Son the vast reservoir of pain that plagued His soul. The Son must know all of His Father’s sorrows; he must let His Father unload upon Him all of His turmoil. The Minister of the King must know a greater divine grief than His divine soul could receive only by supervising man’s redemption from His throne in heaven. His intercession between God and man had been at a distance from the problem. Now He must witness the ravages of sin close up, in a human body, from a human perspective, living in a human world. All life from His eternal joy must be gutted from Him, and then His Father could have One who He could commune with and unburden His load of infinite sorrow. Together they would go down into the death. Together They would stretch the powers of their divine selflessness. Together, They would beat the devil and his human shield of God’s fallen but beloved children.

“I am poured out like water…: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and My tongue cleaveth to My jaws; and Thou hast brought Me into the dust of death.” (Ps. 22:14,15).

More than lead His Father into mercy and repentance for man’s part in the great controversy, Christ’s baptism of fire would also draw the children of Adam into their own baptism of fire, to know the repentance of the Father and to be sealed in His government of righteousness.

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3,4), that is,“the spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zech. 12:10).

“They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zech. 12:10).

The children’s baptism of fire would give them a long struggle under condemnation and shame, and a deep thirst that would lead to their baptism of water. Weeping in hopelessness and sorrow most assuredly would accompany the prenatal soul of each during the long night in “his long home” (Ecc. 12:5), but joy would follow that his untested, unhumbled soul could never possess. The “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) that Jesus would give him, the promised Spirit of deep supplication and grace, would complement the residual humility caused by his long night of tears. To his dry, tortured heart would be fulfilled the promise, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39).

His soul would forever be “crucified with Christ: nevertheless [he would] live; yet not [himself], but Christ [would live] in [him]: and the life which [he] now [lived] in the flesh [he would] live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved [him], and gave Himself for [him]” (Gal. 2:20). “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in [his] body. For [he] which [lives is] alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in [his] mortal flesh.” (2Cor. 4:10,11).

Though He were a Son” (Heb. 5:7), yet Christ Himself must know a greater than infinite loss of self. Even the Son of God must subject Himself to a greater infinite repentance, than His natural-born divinity had given Him. But, unlike any creature, the only begotten Son of God looked forward to His coming battle with self, saying, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12:50). Therefore, Jesus “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:7,8).

And Jesus was desirous to receive the utter loss of self and to lead the way for the privilege to be taken by His human children. They must know their own infinite repentance in order to know the “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Learning the death of Christ through their own Gethsemane of sorrow for their sins, by greatly, sincerely fearing that they had committed the unpardonable sin, with its eternal separation from God, would give them a permanent mark of repentance on their forehead, a permanent loyalty to their Father in heaven, and a permanent “peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).. The seal of God “[would] keep [their] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7), “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9).

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:10,11). “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons” (Heb. 12:7). “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” (Heb. 12:6).

Thus, their reconciliation with God would be firm and sure. And in that atoning reunion with the Father would come His blessed Spirit restored in the soul. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:1,2).

Together, the abiding repentance would accompany the abiding Spirit of peace and grace. The grace would not be cheap as Satan’s children would have it. It would be bought at an infinite price, not only from the Redeemers but also from the receivers. They would take part in divine, self-sacrificing love through the work of a permanent repentance woven with their previous gift of a permanent happiness. In a three-fold union the Father “who only hath immortality” (1Tim. 6:16), and “the Mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20) who “was brought forth” “and came from God” (Prov. 8:24; John 8:42, cf Gen. 2:21,22;), They would bring forth Their redeemed, “firstborn” “seed” (Matt. 1:25; Gal. 3:19, cf 1Jn. 3:9), made in the image of Jesus.

Thus Jesus would be “able to keep [them] from falling, and to present [them] faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). And the Father would be eternally struck under His great loss of children, but at peace with those faithful ones who He saved, and eternally satisfied that sin would never arise the second time.

“One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought.” Great Controversy, p. 674.

And the Father, silent and invisibly scarred by the mighty confrontation of Satan, will no doubt be stronger and better in His infinite memory that alone will remember the long, bitter conflict.

“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. one pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” Great Controversy, p. 678.


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