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

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Be part of the big picture



“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1).

The great cloud of witnesses, which Paul referred to and that compasses us round, are the members of the hall of faith. They are everyone showcased in the preceding chapter, Hebrews 11.

“By faith Abel ….” (Heb. 11:4).
“By faith Enoch ….” (Heb. 11:5).
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Heb. 11:7).

“By faith Abraham….” (Heb. 11:8).
“Through faith also Sara ….” (Heb. 11:11).

“By faith Isaac ….” (Heb. 11:20).
“By faith Jacob ….” (Heb. 11:21).
“By faith Joseph….” (Heb. 11:22).

“By faith Moses.” (Heb. 11:23).
“By faith they [the new nation of Israel]….” (Heb. 11:29,30).

“By faith the harlot Rahab ….” (Heb. 11:31).
“Gedeon, and …Barak, and …Samson, and …Jephthae; …David also, and …Samuel, and … the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” (Heb. 11:32-34).

“Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” (Heb. 11:35).

“This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seethG2334 the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life” (John 6:40).

G2334 theōreō From a derivative of G2300 (perhaps by adverb of G3708); to be a spectator of, that is, discern, (literally, figuratively [experience] or intensively [acknowledge]). Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

https://www.picturemosaics.com/photomosaics/id/180

The stories of real people in the Old Testament are like today’s thumbnail photos of real people that make up the larger mosaic. The New Testament Gospels didn’t touch on every beautiful thumbnail pic of Christ in His life because He was directing us to the Old Testament for much of those miniature thumbnail pics. They all testified of Him, for the whole volume of the Book was written of Him. Jesus taught us that we can see Him by piecing together the photo mosaic of Himself that, through the power of His divine nature, those Bible individuals bore out in their lives and words. We see Him through them; for they testify of Him. Young Rebecca’s happy exertion to help and give water to others described the ever youthful heart of Jesus, the Servant of servants (see Genesis 24:18-28, 58). Go there and drink in all her inner beauty; it testified of Him. Drink in the Master, and the water of life that He offers to everyone reading His Book. In not only the male lambs, but also the females, we see Jesus as not only the greatest “Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), but also the greatest “Eve” (Gen. 3:20). Christ was “the desire of [God’s] eyes” (Eze. 24:16), and also “the desire of all [Their children]” (Hag. 2:7). His Father’s second self, the Son was “God blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. 9:5). The “gentleness [‘ānâvâh, modesty]” (Ps. 18:35) of His look and His love, which never did “behave itself unseemly” (1 Cor. 13:5), constrained His Father to command, “Let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb. 1:6). “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: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12). “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).

David’s love of obedient worship, his beholding Jesus’ face by faith (see Psalm 16:8, 11; 23:6), and giving Him thankful praise for His goodness as “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam. 23:1) showed us Jesus, the Son of David (see Psalm 63; Matthew 26:30). “Often He expressed the gladness of His heart by singing psalms and heavenly songs. Often the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised in praise and thanksgiving to God” The Desire of Ages, p. 73. The close, innocent fellowship between David and Jonathan (see 1 Samuel 18:1-4) speaks volumes of the sensitivity in the heart of Christ for everyone He ever met ― and that includes you and me as we watch Him. He meets us in His word through His Spirit. He has called us to the Bible. From His Father’s throne His heart resonates in ours as we love what we see saw in Him there. Our faith in His beauty and strength is accounted to us for righteousness.

The longer we read the Bible and see a larger picture developing from its varied personalities, the better picture of Jesus we see. It’s still not easy to see Him, but He is coming into focus.
  

Then add to those individuals of both Testaments Jesus, the God of the Bible from beginning to end. His magnificent love shows through much more clearly after seeing Him in all the Old Testament people of His tender care.

The rich, young ruler gives us a backward look to the pure, innocent, brotherly love between David and Jonathan when Jesus first met the princely candidate of discipleship.  Amazed at the beautiful power of His kingly love and forgetting his own lordliness, the rich ruler ran and fell at Jesus’ feet begging, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). “Jesus beholding him loved him” (Mark 10:21). It was a perfect millennium throwback to the scene with Jonathan and David. Believing it to be the last time they might see each other, “David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded” (1 Sam. 20:41). “Jesus beholding him loved him.” Jesus’ heart was knit with the ruler who became humbled by the children and mothers crowding around Him. But, Jesus’ heart was also thrust into the grave when the desperate ruler suddenly remembered a greater friend than Him. The ruler was so close to the kingdom, but would not enter in because of unbelief.

But, shortly after that great disappointment, through a similar scenario the Father sent great joy to His Son’s patiently enduring heart. We can say that we see Jesus treating rich Zacchaeus the same as He did to that 20-something born into wealth. Jesus stopped the multitude directly under the desperate, childlike little man that was driven up a tree to “see Jesus who he was” (Luke 19:3). Zacchaeus didn’t worry about what the multitude thought of his apparent immaturity, for he was dying for acceptance from the Messiah. “Jesus beholding him loved him.” And Christ’s acceptance thrilled the convicted tax collector to no end. Now Zacchaeus delighted to do what Jesus had asked of the young ruler ― release his death grip on his wealth.

Jesus, beholding the world sunken in the consequences of its depravity, still loved the world; and that’s an understatement. Why else would 5,000 men and their families, suffer hunger, thirst, and exhaustion to hear Him teach? Why else would He die in hard labor for the second birth of the whole world? When we see Jesus’ loving-kindness toward them, our hungry faith grasps that He is still loving and kind. He is loving and kind to us, too. Under His tender care we have a joy which the world can’t take away. Our response to Jesus will be Jonathan’s to David. “Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David” (1 Sam. 19:2). “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:1). And the love of Christ will knit our soul with His, by His love to us and His faithfulness to His Father’s Law.

We see Jesus in all His holy ones, because they were His workmanship; they were His handiwork. The work declares its maker; and the house gives glory to the builder/owner of the house (see Hebrews 3:3-6). This is not allegorizing the scripture, spiritualizing it away, or interpreting it in other ways than historically/literally. It is obeying the command of Jesus to search Him out in every word of historic, literal people and nations (see John 5:39). It’s letting the Holy Writ draw a picture of its Author in ever increasingly defined lines. Yes, there are important lessons there for character building. But, the greatest lesson of all in the Bible is to know Him who was the fullness of the Godhead manifested. “This is life eternal”, said Jesus (see John 17:3). All find happiness and peace who see the collage of Jesus in the “mighty and holy people” (Dan. 8:24) of the Old and New Testament. All who witness His living, moving photo mosaic rest in His gracious righteousness given to His people written of; and they repent. Like Abraham, all who see Jesus and behold His righteousness find the illusive fountain of life; they discover salvation and freedom and life. They receive righteousness by faith by Jesus. (See Romans 4:1; John 6:40; 15:7, 8; 4:14; Psalm 42:2; 16:8-11.) Jesus says,

“Whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.” (Prov. 8:35).
“In His favour is life.” (Ps. 30:5).

His prophets were the brightest stars in His inspired mosaic. They pointed us to Jesus through their testimonies. Therefore, it is our privilege to plug Him into their messages to the people that came from Him.

We also see Jesus in His precepts spoken from His prophets. His doctrine was simply the outgrowth of Himself. He exemplified everything He taught, for He was not a hypocrite. But, we must search through both the Old and New Laws to find Jesus in His whole doctrine (see Isaiah 42:4), for He is in the Book from “In the beginning God…. Let us make man” to “our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 22:21). He is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible, the beginning and end of it (see Revelation 1:11). As a child, He drank in every word of the scriptures; which is how He could live out every word that He had personally handwritten into the Law of God. Humbled by the beautiful example of His loving acceptance toward the outcast and downtrodden, and His profound, authoritative expression of His Father’s Law, new life surges in our conscience and we receive power to imitate Him. “The Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10). His Father’s Law becomes our delight. Jesus, through His written word, has interceded and reconciled us to God.

“Jesus was joyful because He walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful.
But His delight was in His Father’s Law; and in His Law did He meditate day and night.
Jesus was a tree planted by the rivers of water, and brought forth fruit in His season; His leaf also did not wither; and whatsoever He did prospered.
The ungodly and demons were not so: but were the chaff which His Spirit drove away.
Therefore the ungodly could not stand before His judgments, nor the devils in the congregation of His disciples.
For the LORD knew the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly perished.” (See Psalm 1.)

“I am joyful because I walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful.
But My delight is in My Father’s Law; and in His Law do I meditate day and night.
I am like a tree planted by the rivers of water, and bring forth My fruit in its season; My leaf also does not wither; and whatsoever I do prospers.
The ungodly and demons are not so: but are like the chaff which My Father’s Spirit drives away.
Therefore the ungodly cannot stand before My judgments, nor devils in the congregation of My disciples.
For I know the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (See Psalm 1.)

“Jesus suffered long, and still was kind.
Jesus envied not.
Jesus exalted not Himself; He was not puffed up.
He did not behave Himself unseemly, He sought not His own.
Jesus was not easily provoked, He thought no evil.
He rejoiced not in iniquity, but rejoiced in the truth;
He bore every burden, believed every sorrowing soul, hoped for every sinner, endured every accusation and discrediting.
Jesus never failed.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.)

“As our High Priest, Jesus suffers long with our resistance toward Him, and He still is kind….
Jesus is not easily provoked; He thinks no evil of His children.
He rejoices not in our iniquity, but rejoices in our conviction of the truth;
He bears our every infirmity, believes our every repenting sorrow, hopes in our redemption, endures every one of our sins and shortcomings.
Jesus never fails.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.)

Yes, it is charity that does the above, as the Bible so teaches. We have a duty to love. However, the truth is the most beautiful as it is witnessed in Jesus. We cannot truly have charity without the inspiration that seeing Jesus gives us ― not only by His confirming treatment of others, but also by His expression of these wonderful actions to me as I read of them. If it hasn’t yet become natural for me to automatically see Jesus in His Law, I must intentionally put Him there. I must plug in His name everywhere in the Bible, for it all testifies of Him. Otherwise, I greatly limit the resource of His Spirit and severely hamper my ability to know Him. I must keep His commandment to search the Book of Himself that He wrote upon Hebrew hearts who would be “read of all men” (2 Cor. 3:2, cf Deut. 4:6). I must search the Word, His face and His heart. My heart and mind will open to new life when I see Him who so wisely used the lives and words of redeemed people to reveal Himself. It was their great privilege for Him to entrust His self-revelation to them. And we glean from that that He desires to entrust us with the same, if we will take His yoke upon ourselves as they did who went before us. That they without us should not be made perfect.

“Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.… And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.… And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him.” (Luke 24:25, 27, 31).

Each of the living stars in Christ’s great cloud mosaic individually demonstrated a small piece of His whole character. Only as they are put together do they begin to reveal Him; yet the full detail remains to be seen. The last generation before His return will add much to His living photo mosaic, yet He will always be greater than the sum of them all put together.

Like Zacchaeus, we need to know who Jesus is. What makes Him so different? Yes, what planet did He come from? What makes Him tick? And, like Zacchaeus, in order to find Him out we need to go to all lengths and stretch all of our powers to their limits.

The truth from the character of Christ is seen by those truths inculcated into His servants.

“Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” (Ps. 2:11,12).

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.
O fear the LORD, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him.” (Ps. 34:8,9).
“The LORD redeemeth the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.” (Ps. 34:22).

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” (Ps. 91:2).

“Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent His angel, and delivered His servants that trusted in Him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” (Dan. 3:28).

 “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Gen. 18:18).

By seeing the people of God we see their antitype in Christ. “And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen. 21:12).

In Abraham, Isaac, and in Jacob was Jesus seed called. In their family and family name was salvation for the world. As all of the descendants of Israel glorified their fathers, so have all the truly justified and sanctified children of God illuminated His character of truth and grace to the world. Even down to the very last days of the old covenant with the Abraham, Isaac, and in Jacob arrangement, the salvation of the world depended on their place in that old covenant mosaic.

 “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22).

In the new covenant the true, a much fuller picture comes into view.

 

Jesus was the one who Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob represented as head of the body. In Him, in His body, in His family, in the loyalties and expectations for His family member, under His house rules, the children of God would find their salvation. In Christ became the new hope of salvation. In Him we find our thumbnail places that form His greater person, his kingdom.

 “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2Cor. 5:21).

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.” (1Cor. 8:6).

In the Old Testament, the place of salvation found in Abraham, Isaac, and in Jacob as a lesson book, an elementary, fundamental structured foundation that would teach our darkened world the greater, more abstract truth of salvation in Christ. After the world’s many millennia learning under that first regime, humanity was ready to move forward into the new dispensation under the new covenant. That new covenant brought with it new privileges, new responsibilities, and new dangers from a jealous dragon. Now we could have the knowledge gained from the former millennia to have faith to live directly in Christ without the old instructive framework of Israel. Faith is based on evidence, and we had four thousands years of evidence behind us to guide our faith in the Messiah Jesus in His heavenly sanctuary. Our faith could anchor in Him as he officiated his sacrifice there. Thus, we could continue to receive of His sanctifying grace and flash forth His glory, greater than they could during His more structured schoolhouse.

In Christ was the new membership. In Him. In Him were found all the blessings of God. The people of God were circumcised of the Old Testament and

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; 
Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will:
That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:3-14).

“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.” (Phil. 3:8,9).

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him:
Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power:
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.” (Col. 2:5-12).

“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2Thess. 1:12).

 “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.
He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked….
Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” (1Jn. 2:4-6,8,9).

“But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him. And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” (1Jn. 2:27,28).

“Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him…. 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. 3:6,9).

“And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” (1Jn. 3:24).

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.
Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1Jn. 4:9-16).

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1Jn. 5:20).

The more we identify with the holy people of old, folks whose pride was laid in the dust, folks who were humbled and desolated and pardoned and converted, the more we see Jesus. And the more we see the meek and lowly One, the more we will be humbled and desolated and pardoned and converted.

As we read of their victory over sin and Satan we eat the flesh of the very Son of God. We see Jesus. And as we see their brokenness for backsliding we drink His blood; we see His open shame and death before His Father. We know Jesus.

“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” (John 6:56,57).
As the holy and mighty people made up His handiwork, so that their lives painted a picture of Him, so did paint a picture of His Father, whose handiwork could be seen in His Son.

“If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.” (John 10:37,38).
His saints can say the same thing to the devil and his earthly compatriots. And one day, when we fully represent Christ, so that no facet of His character is marred by our failures, He will be glorified in us.

“Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.” (John 13:31,32).
And He will immediately glorify us by returning to take us to Himself. The refreshing from the presence of the Lord will have been our daily experience while he fixed Himself in us and fixed our place in His great cloud of witnesses. We learned to abide in him and have His precepts and lessons never leave our faculty of choice.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:5-7).

He will come because His people of the last and greatest generation on Earth will have perfectly reproduced His character in their own. They honored Him and now He will honor them. Their glory will replicate the brilliance of the stars of heaven.

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan. 12:3).
By His children Jesus will be seen in all of His exquisite beauty.

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” (Ps. 90:17).

All His people will forever show His beauty of holiness. He will inhabit His larger self, as He lives and moves among them and inhabits their praise.


“Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.” (Ps. 110:3).

The longer we study the mosaic, keeping in mind the need for a bigger picture, the clearer that bigger picture of Jesus will become to us. Backing away from the actual biblical personalities, connecting the individuals together for the purpose of seeing Jesus and His workings in them, we better understand Him. We better conceptualize His character. His Spirit controls our spirits. We become more like Him. By beholding His mosaic in His servants throughout the eons, some burning brighter than others, connecting the dots, slowly the great cloud of witnesses point to their Maker. They form His picture. Will you join them in the spiritual Milky Way of Hebrews 11? Will I? Will we be “a burning and a shining light” (John 5:35), joined with the Bible characters who have gone before us, all together pointing the world to see Jesus in us all?

“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men…. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should … have everlasting life.” (John 1:4,6).

Friday, August 11, 2017

Grace and Law; and lawless grace

“Make the heart of this people fatH8082 [‘spoiled with grease’], and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” (Isa. 6:10).

“For this people’s heart is waxed grossG3975 [‘callous, stupefied’], and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt. 13:15).

If the Lord is commanding to make His people’s heart ruined and blind and deafened, then who was He commanding to ruin them? Isn’t it the same scenario as the vision of Micaiah? There the Lord permitted the deceiver to do what he always wants to do—destroy.

“He said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left.
And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And He said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.” (1Ki. 22:19-23).

The end of the strong delusion sent to King Ahab was death, because the wages of sin is death.

“And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot.” (1Ki. 22:34,35).

Ahab had not cared about the Law of his fathers’ God; and he married a heathen idolater of Ashtoreth, Queen of heaven and Mother of all the gods. In the end, early death was the result for both the king and his queen. But, death is not what the Lord of life really desires. “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4). Death is His strange act.

But, even though Christ loves to give us life, the life from Christ must come by His Father’s method, under His Father’s approved conditions. The Son of God is ready and willing to give us grace and peace; however, He will never skirt the truth component of love required of His Father. Grace + Truth = Divine love.

But, will the children of Adam submit to the truth? Or, will they fail of Christ’s grace that comes combined with the truth that He must speak. Then will they discard the whole truth and grace because the stark truth component is all they see in Christ’s dealings with sinners? Have they closed their eyes to the grace component that David always saw in Jesus? And therefore, have they thus opened the way for Satan to cut them off from the Lord of grace and truth? Will they cut themselves off from the Lord of divine love, Jehovah and His begotten Son both of whom are “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”, but “will by no means clear the guilty” (Ex. 34:6,7)?

Ahab, Jezebel, and almost everyone in Israel preferred to leave the eternal love of Jehovah because they couldn’t stomach the truth component of divine love that He lived and loved and required His people to live. They didn’t want His love if they had to have His truth. They preferred the selfishness and self-indulgence promoted by Jezebel’s Baal and Ashtoreth devils. They preferred empty lust over the fullness of being infinitely loved, which is the greatest need naturally within everyone made in God’s image.

Being loved was David’s chief need, first from his earthly father, and later from God and from everyone around him. David would endure the truth from the God of love, if that meant he could remain in the love of Christ, “my Lord” (Ps. 110:1). In the end he could say, “O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” (Ps. 119:97). “He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Ps. 23:3).

Paul was the same way. He simply could not cut off the God of truth if that meant losing God’s approval and losing the love of Christ, “our Lord” (Rom. 7:25). Paul’s need for divine acceptance drove him to endure the throes and trauma from the guilt and shame brought on him by the divine Law. And in the end Paul was surrendered to the reality of his personal wretchedness and natural filthiness, and he settled in justification and in his heavenly Parents’ love and acceptance (see Romans 7:25).

As love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, so do grace and truth, mercy and justice go together.

God and His only begotten Son cannot separate these two polar opposites. Grace and truth, mercy and justice are opposites; yet they cannot be separated in the Godhead’s mind. Justice always being dealt with mercy; mercy always being dealt with justice. Truth always dealt with grace; grace always dealt with truth. It’s easy to accept justice with mercy mingled. But mercy mingled with justice? The blinding light of mercy mingled with justice makes the natural heart cry, “No. Please no!” It’s easy to accept truth with grace; but, it’s not so easy to accept grace with truth. Will we suffer long under the blinding ramifications before we surrender to this divine structure of love?

What does it mean to give grace without truth? It means to never require obedience to what is right before giving grace. It means that grace will come, uninhibited forever, whether or not the one receiving grace wants to treat others good. It means that justice will never come for wrong choices, but is all that will ever mercy. Therefore, grace and mercy are not predicated on any conditions. The heart that receives such unconditional “grace” and “mercy” is permitted to presume upon its gracious benefactor, whether the benefactor is a man or God Himself. If the police gives me a warning citation for speeding instead of handing me the ticket that I deserve, then grace without truth means I can immediately forget the warning and go right back to speeding again. “Oh, happy day!” exults the natural man inside our rebellious hearts. But, then the Spirit helps us realize that if everyone could thus treat that govern the highways, then the highways would no longer be safe for anyone. Truth must prevail, justice must remain in force.

Grace without truth, mercy without justice, equals lawlessness, also known as, “perdition” (2Thess. 2:3). It means that there does not exist any punishment for sin. It means everyone can hurt others with impunity; they can do whatever is right in their own eyes. No fear of God, no fear of Judgment Day. It ends with a world where everyone gets away with every injustice because they have no fear of getting caught and being brought to justice for any act of wrong-doing, whether criminal or civil. This has been the environment that the false prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth have always created.

“I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.” (Jer. 23:14,15).

And this is the very world that is coming soon when this Protestant nation will sign the peace treaty with the Church of Rome, and accept the proposals of Catholicism and its Ashtoreth Mary, Queen of Heaven, Mother of God, and Mediatrix of God.

The Protestant denominations have rejected their holy Bible and their hearts have been made fat and hardened. Therefore, God has sent this strong delusion. The Protestants may seem ever so righteous, and ever so sincere and humble to return their love to the Beast of the Dark Ages. But, it only reveals that, along with their hardened hearts, their eyes are blinded and their ears are uncircumcised. They are unconverted. They have become hardened against the truth of God’s word, and they cannot receive any if His grace. Secretly, “none doth return from his wickedness”; therefore is “profaneness gone forth into all the land.” The Protestant Evangelicalism has cast off the Law and justice and truth of God, and He has cut them off from His grace. He has given them over to the machinations of Satan and into the hands of their persecutors from the Dark Ages.

“Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be [judged] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess. 2:8-12).


Will we join the world in its lawlessness? Or, will we surrender to the high standard of the Spirit of Prophecy and be justified and sanctified by the truth and grace of Jesus?

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Voice became visible

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).

The Voice from the beginning.

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him.” (Gen. 12:1-4).

It was enough for Abram to hear the voice of his fathers’ God speak to someone who was not a great man. The God about whom Abram had heard so much from his grandfather or great-grandfather came to this man harassed  by a severe emptiness. He had a perpetual sadness for never having a son of his dreams, and a happy family. His beloved wife, Sarai could not bare him children. Now the very God of his fathers was promising to bless him with that son of his dreams, and also give him a place to raise his child apart from the world’s hard-hearted and ungodly influences.

The love of Abram for the Voice gave greater ability to commune with this extraordinary man whose father was an idolater from a suburb of occult Babylon. Increasingly Jesus opened up to Abram, even calling him by name. And responding in kind, the needy heart of this man increasingly opened to Jesus.

“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.” (Gen. 12:7,8).

At times, the Voice appeared in a vision to Abram.

“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1).

“And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This (servant Eliezer) shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. And He said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” (Gen. 15:4-7).

On a special occasion, the Voice coalesced into a human form for the benefit of Abram’s encouragement to endure the wait for his promised son.

“And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground…” (Gen. 18:1,2).

The Voice also came personally with precious communings to other anointed ones.



“Moses said unto the LORD, See, Thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Yet Thou hast said, I know thee by name, and Thou hast also found grace in My sight. Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, shew me now Thy way, that I may know Thee, and I may find grace in Thy sight: and consider that this natio is Thy people. And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and Thy people have found grace in Thy sight? is it not in that Thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that though has spoken: for thou has found grace in My sight and I know thee by name.” (Ex. 33:12-17).

“And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him, then he heard the Voice of One speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto Him.” (Num. 7:89).

“And He said, Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live.” (Ex. 33:20). Sometimes in a vision would these privileged persons stand before the pre-incarnate Christ (see Jeremiah 15:19). But, most often His voice in their spirit was His key means of communication.

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small Voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a Voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” (1Ki. 19:12,13).

Since the Voice, and not a spectacular demonstration, was what most had, the Voice more than satisfactory to them.

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” (Ps. 34:4-8).

The Voice came only to those had been striving to hear a word of loving kindness and tender mercies from heaven.

“Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will He be favourable no more?
Is His mercy clean gone for ever? doth His promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.
And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.
I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.
I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings.” (Ps. 77:7-12).

In a rare event, the Person behind the Voice appeared in a vision before the leaders of Israel prior to their new covenant with Him.

“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: and they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in His clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He laid not His hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” (Ex. 24:9-11).

Abraham and others saw visions of Jesus. But, in comparison the visions were far from the reality of day by day walking in His physical presence. If they could not see His person, they must discern Him by His working, and glean from His actions something upon which to hang their faith. His promised gifts through their own obedience to His Law also painted a picture of Him by which they could trust Him. As wonderful as it was for Abraham and the prophets to hear Michael’s Voice, a greater manifestation of the Prince was yet to come to this world. The Voice must become visible and tangible. His incarnation into human form would be more wonderful to fallen children of Adam than His manifestation to the leaders of Israel on Mount Sinai.

As the seventy elders of Israel had experienced, again the twelve disciples ate and drank before the Prince of heaven. Michael, who God had anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows, walked and talked with men. Him who had walked beside Adam and Eve again walked as a man in the world of His making. The joy of His free Spirit residing with the spirit of Adam, who was the pinnacle creation of the intelligent universe, was again experienced by God the Father. The second Adam found every moment of owning a human body fulfilling the same princely pleasure and sacred joy that He had had while in His pre-incarnate, Spirit form from eternity past.

“Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for ever.
Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty.
And in Thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things.
Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the King’s enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee.
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:2-7).

Unto us the precious Son of all heaven was given. The only begotten Son of the Most High came to again link earth and heaven.

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: Thou hast the dew of Thy youth.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Ps. 110:3,4).

Him who before had been only a Voice to the soul, albeit a Voice full of precepts and promises, now visibly and tangibly and filled with the happiness of Eden, expressed His ancient scriptures in the hearing of common people. The holy prophets had ceased, but sinners could hear the Voice. In all who had been striving to hear a comforting word from heaven there would be no misunderstanding. The beauty of the Lord our God was in their spirits. Before their privileged minds’ eyes the glory of Eden again rested upon all created works, as it had for Adam and Eve.

“Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; … and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.” (Ps. 65:11-13).

The Voice was made visible and real. “The desire of all nations” (Hag. 2:7), the Desire of all ages, had come. Physical vocal chords communicated with physical eardrums. Not only those with spiritual ears could hear Him; everyone, even Gentiles could hear His magnificent truth and His merciful beckoning.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” (1Jn. 1:1).

The Word of life appeared to represent His Voice in person. More perfectly than ever did truth and life perfume the Earth, and enter the faith of this world’s children of men. “Thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness.” (Ps. 65:11,12). Moment by moment, day by day, month after month, year after year, the Voice continued with fallen mankind, bringing it blessing at every turn.

“And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and He healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.” (Matt. 15:30,31).

They “were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” (Mark 7:37).

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.
And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.
And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” (Luke 8:43-48).

The greater experience with Michael the Prince augmented a new, even better covenant with Adam’s race. Yet, many didn’t see anything good in the visible Prince of heaven. “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” (Isa. 53:2).

His continual plea was to believe His convicting words of truth and to see that He was the Prince of heaven sent from His Father to bless the world.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11). “To Him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:3-5).

“With righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.” (Isa. 11:4). His perfect balance of justice and mercy should have awakened every heart to fear and trust Him, and to welcome His Spirit into theirs.

Nevertheless, despite widespread unbelief finally the marred visage of the good Shepherd, who had always laid down His life for His sheep, made the fullest confirmation that He was the Voice that had been calling to the sons of men since the beginning.

“As many were astonied at Thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.” (Isa. 52:14).

The glory of the silent Voice streamed from the cross. And as many as would receive Him the same souls would become His voice to the sons of men.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Cor. 4:6).

“God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him”, “who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.” (John 3:34; Heb. 9:14).

As “the voice of [Abel’s] blood crieth unto Me from the ground”, so the Spirit of Christ’s blood will cry out to us and “purge [our] conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Gen. 4:10; Heb. 9:14).

The Voice made visible has been exalted and broadcasted to the world more than at any other time of humanity’s history. “God…hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” (Phil. 2:9).

“I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6).

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1Tim. 3:16).

Thursday, August 03, 2017

True wealth, the riches of full assurance

“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:2).

Assurance, the certainty of receiving God’s love, is the bedrock of salvation and of prosperity in this world. Assurance that comes from knowing that the alienated sinner is now the Father’s reconciled child gives the soul a power that puts him head and shoulders above the people around him. He is “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6)!

“I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2). “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.” (Heb. 6:14). Serving the Creator as His beloved children brings the people of God an abiding joy, hope, and freedom of mind and heart that exalts them in the earth. They have the happiness and power of Daniel that sanctified him, and that continually exuded from his character as a blessing to all. “I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.” (Dan. 5:14).

Assurance replaces hopelessness; the two are polar opposites. True power and riches come out of receiving God’s assurance. Assurance does not come from power and riches. Assurance is the gift of God. And it comes with bowing to His goodness and righteousness, and receiving Him into our trust.

“[God] hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised…from the dead [that Man whom He hath ordained].” (Acts 17:31).

Assurance and peace, the soul, is all about having hope. “Thou didst make me hope.” (Ps. 22:9). When the human is hopeless his mind and heart are unsettled. He has no power; his defense is departed. He has no soul. And if the human has no soul and yet has wealth, wealth will mean nothing to him. This is because true riches come from within. True riches are in the soul, not in the bank account. True riches are “full assurance” in the heart that Jesus makes new.

There are people who commit suicide because of their wealth. For them the life of self-indulgence and pretense sucked all meaning from life. They encouraged themselves in their social status and friendships among other celebrities, until life no longer had purpose. Pretending to be happy from financial security was a big lie. Their prestige made them hopeless because there is no love in prestige. They had no confidants, and received no love that forgives them and opens its arms to the most wretched untouchables.

The prestigious life is a very lonely life. The life of applause and recognition by men is a curse. Everyone who goes there will not know peace.

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” (Jer. 17:5-8).

All who depart from the God of love and the God of confidences love death. “They [love] the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43) and the wages for that bondage is death. Neither money, nor the love of it, make the world go around. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1Jn. 2:15). God and the love of God are the power that makes the world go around. Only by leaning on Him and the assurances of His love can we be kept from the trap of leaning safely and securely on money and worldly prosperity.

“Thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. 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. 8:18,19).

Our Father in heaven gives us the health-giving, genuine love that we need to enjoy prosperity and to safely hold wealth. Through His covenant with our hearts and bodies He will keep us happy and well. This was always a hard lesson for Israel to learn from “the only true God” (John 17:3) who wanted their love. Idolatry, worshiping this world kept their focus. Their full attention constantly turned away from the God of heaven, and toward self-made, worldly wealth, sometimes referred to as “unrighteous” wealth.

“If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (Luke 16:11).

The people of Israel kept forgetting where worldly wealth really comes from. It comes from a heart made Jesus has made new, and that loves the word of God and obeys Him.

“Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways….
 Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria.
Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.” (Jer. 2:32,33,36,37).

They forgot the true fountain of life—the only true God and His sure mercy. The god of this world had no mercy for them, and taught them to treat each other without mercy.

“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” (Isa. 55:2,3).

The loving kindness and tender mercies of Jesus, what else really is there to this life? Without His sure mercies existence loses all purpose. “What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).

Christ is the only true foundation with His building blocks of faith and love. It has ever been His voice crying out to the multitudes focused on simply making a living. They have had no time to serve their Maker and Provider for every need.

“Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built.
Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes….
Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.” (Hag. 1:2-6,9).

The Jews had no time to serve their King. This is why He took away the northern kingdom of Israel. They forgot their LORD days without number. Now the Jews also were forgetting Him. But, when He would take away from them all the good life, they would turn to Him again. Again they would receive His blessing to Abraham.

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isa. 32:17).

Wealth doesn’t bring peace. Peace—the true riches, brings health and wealth. “The love of Christ” (Eph. 3:19) in the soul brings the soul “the faith of Christ” (Gal. 2:16). The faith of Christ brings to the soul “My peace” (John 14:27); and Christ’s peace brings “His rest” (Heb. 4:1, cf Ex. 33:14). Finally, His rest brings healing and health to nerve and brain.

“If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” (Ex. 15:26).

According to Isaiah 32:17 the product of righteousness is peace, which is quiet assurance. And righteousness is love. All the Law of righteousness hangs on love. When His love heals us we can heal others like Jesus healed many even before He was baptized. We may heal them through love and faith, which brings peace, and that peace which brings rest, and that rest which brings healing and health.

“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.” Desire of Ages, p. 92.
    
True righteousness brings quietness and assurance. It brings life. All of this speaks of Christ the King of righteousness. When He comes into the soul righteousness comes in with Him, and deadly self-indulgence leaves. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:10). “I am the LORD that healeth thee.” There’s not enough room in our soul temple for both Jesus and the devil. If we have sought Jesus in repentance and He has heard our cry, then the devil has to get out of town before sundown.

Rather than coveting earthly wealth, we must “covet earnestly the best gifts” (1Cor. 12:31), “faith, hope, charity”, “the greatest of these…charity.” (1Cor. 13:13). Jesus does offer worldly wealth, but not before His heavenly wealth of faith, hope, and charity. He knows how mischievous our fallen nature is. “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim. 6:10). So for our sakes, before offering us earthly riches He settles us into holiness and godliness as He did with Abraham, lest we settle into selfishness and greediness. “That, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Heb. 10:36).

Jesus has been the Voice of wisdom who has sought to reason with us, first laying the foundation of redemption: the assurance of His warm heart toward us and our abiding under His wings. And then the new life of faithful stewardship automatically follows. Jesus is the Spirit who has ever offered us true riches. What a mistake we have made to wonder after the wealth of this wicked world!

“Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
Unto you, O men, I call; and My voice is to the sons of man.
O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of My lips shall be right things.
For My mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to My lips.
All the words of My mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
Receive My instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Counsel is Mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
By Me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
By Me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.
Riches and honour are with Me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and My revenue than choice silver.
I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
That I may cause those that love Me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” (Prov. 8:1-21).