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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.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Does Jesus commit Himself to me?


“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:23-25).

I’ve been bad. Am I rejected? Does Jesus treat me as a publican and a sinner? Am I not still His dear child? Am I cut off from the joy of His presence? Or, is Jesus like the Pharisees of the gospels?

They mistreated their own flock. “This people who knoweth not the law are cursed.” (John 7:49).

“[The Pharisaical tribunal] answered and said unto [the man who was blind from birth], Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.” (John 9:34).

No, Jesus’ homemaking methods were very different from the Pharisees. They were like His brothers.

“His brothers felt that His influence went far to counteract theirs. He possessed a tact which none of them had, or desired to have. When they spoke harshly to poor, degraded beings, Jesus sought out these very ones, and spoke to them words of encouragement.  
 All this displeased His brothers. Being older than Jesus, they felt that He should be under their dictation. They charged Him with thinking Himself superior to them, and reproved Him for setting Himself above their teachers and the priests and rulers of the people. Often they threatened and tried to intimidate Him; but He passed on, making the Scriptures His guide.  
     Jesus loved His brothers, and treated them with unfailing kindness; but they were jealous of Him, and manifested the most decided unbelief and contempt. They could not understand His conduct..... He possessed a dignity and individuality wholly distinct from earthly pride and assumption; He did not strive for worldly greatness, and in even the lowliest position He was content. This angered His brothers. They could not account for His constant serenity under trial and deprivation.” Desire of Ages, p. 87.
     
“Jesus heard that [the Pharisaical tribunal] had cast … out [the man who was blind from birth]; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (John 9:35). Jesus never lost His propensity to mercy.

There needs to be rules. The family needs boundaries and structure. Leadership is required of every father and mother. Jesus’ family of disciples was the same way. But He set their boundaries by the instructions concerning the Law of the kingdom that He daily gave to His disciples.

“They joy before Thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For Thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.” (Isa. 9:3,4).

For the person who has been born again the ties that bind him to his “Mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20) fit him up to keep himself within the boundaries of the redemption relationship, but his heavenly Parent gives him breathing room when he makes mistakes. He has given his heart to Jesus. He has bowed before the love he sees in his Lord. He has the spirit of heaven that will no longer let him serve Satan. A covenant has been made, signed by love and surrender. Jesus developed in his heart the need for a Saviour from sin, from guilt, and from shame. He responded to his Saviour’s great mercy and tender kindness. Now, as with Abram, Jesus will be his shield and exceeding great reward.

“Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” (Ps. 91:14,15).

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29).

But this exalted privilege exists only because the child of Jesus’ love accepted all the punishment and discipline that came from his life of sin. He could blame no one but himself for his ruined life and the damage he caused others. He did not throw any blame on God or anyone around him. He took all the blame, all the shame, all the guilt. In the dark, without knowing where or when it would all end, he clung to the hope of love from above, looking for evidences of God’ mercy, searching word for precious promises.

“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).

“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of His correction: for whom the LORD loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Prov. 3:11,12).

In the dark he struggled, battling doubt, day after day, week after week, for months, for years, all the while his everlasting Father delighted in his faithfulness to patiently remain in the purifying and refining process.

“He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matt. 3:11). “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:3).

All the patient endurance paid off. In the end all doubts were resolved and faith shined forth in his mind. The Father brought him forth to the Mother of all living to be justified, to be reborn in His own image, and to grow into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

This exalted privilege resulted from the acceptance of accountability, which opened the door for “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7), “the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us.” (Eph. 2:7).

Now the new child of infinite love is at home in the bosom of his Mother of all living and God his Father. Like a baby joey riding in a kangaroo mother’s pouch, the new child of God “[rides] upon the high places of the earth” (Isa. 58:14). His big fear of heaven’s rejection is gone. All earthly fear is gone. He “[sits] together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6), by faith “delivered … from the power of darkness, and … translated … into the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son” (Col. 1:13), he abides “with [Him] in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

“Joy shall be in heaven” (Luke 15:7), “joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:10).

These “sons of God” (John 1:12) know the will of God. They know the sovereign and immutable Law of God intimately because they have surrendered to every aspect of it. The law is written in their heart and mind, and obedience is natural. Everything that is grievous to others comes easily to these new creations of Jesus. Like innocent children, they grow without worrying about growing. They look peculiar without knowing it or thinking about it. They have a wonderful zest and a happy zeal for life. They obey without a fuss, because Jesus, their Mother of all living, is always in their sights, on their thoughts, and prayers. They have perfect freedom in His perfect acceptance. “All things are lawful” (1Cor. 10:23). Everything they do is lawful because they love the Law and, consciously or subconsciously, they obey the Law. If they come short and sin against their brother or beloved Master, He corrects them in tender mercy. They respond to His tenderness and return to the happy life of obedience to Him. And Jesus gives them space to decide how to live. His boundaries always remain for His children, but the boundaries stretch with the growth in grace of each of His children. For the child of Christ, there is continually more space to think, to decide, and to act than there was the day before. This gives His children ownership, responsibility, individuality, creativity, freedom of expression—liberty. “Our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 2:4).

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; … by love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13).

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1).

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2Cor. 3:17).

But this breathing space, in which to think and grow, could only be given His children because they had patiently suffered the traumatic developmental years under the Father’s “the chastisement of [their] peace.” (Isa. 53:5).

However, not everyone surrenders to the chastisement. Most seek to medicate their conscience by shifting the blame, and avoiding the shame and guilt and pain. They may tell lies to evade imputation of sin. They may scoff at a sin and laugh it off. They rationalize; they justify. They might accept the sedative substances offered them to forget their troubles, and thus never fall broken before the Saviour. The fallen human heart is a genius to invent any action to avoid the pricks of a convicted conscience. Multitudes of these folks are churched, and may profess to be children of God, but they have never fallen on the Stone and been broken. Whatever the method(s) chosen, “they do not come to the point of yielding the will to God.” Steps to Christ, p. 47. Yet, they believe they are saved and are convinced that they possess the liberty of the sons of God.

And many pastors, who also have never surrendered to the Father’s chastisement, confirm the damnation from their flocks’ self-deception. And the “people love to have it so.” (Jer. 5:31). The people follow their leaders right into the bottomless pit. Old temptations continually harass them all. Vice and addictions haunt them. The withdrawal from these should have happened quickly with the Spirit’s power. But because they never received of God “the Spirit of His Son into [their] hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6), they receive no new heart and mind and conscience, and none of His grace to overcome sin.

“Desires for goodness and holiness are right as far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians.” Steps to Christ, p. 47.

Jesus cannot give anyone peace who has never committed himself to His Spirit. Through His Spirit Jesus always works with everyone to fall and surrender to Him. He is “set for the fall and rising again of many.” (Luke 2:34). He graciously extends His appeal to everyone.

“The righteousness of God without the law is manifested… which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all … for there is no difference.” (Rom. 3:21,22).

But, His redemption, His peace and liberty, His power in their behalf, His grace to save, is only “upon all them that believe” (Rom 3:22). The Lord Jesus sits perched and in turmoil, ready to bless the whole world. Yet He cannot reward anyone if they will not surrender their will to His Father’s immutable moral law. But when they do surrender, they immediately receive all of heaven in one gift—reconciliation with God and constant companionship with His Representative, the Spirit of His Prince. That gift is Himself. A new creature, a child of joy and life, is what the distrusting, careless, alienated and miserable souls are missing who stubbornly resist God’s strong convictions from the claims of His will, His holy, just, and good Law. If only they will choose to wrestle with the commandment, then every blessing would be theirs.

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: from which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1Tim. 1:5-7).

Multitudes, multitudes of unsurrendered souls don’t trust in Jesus and love everything about Him. They therefore continually offend God and His wrath abides on them.

“The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:35,36).

The exalted privilege of redemption is never theirs. These are the ones that Jesus cannot commit Himself to. They were never His. He never knew them.   

They cannot enter through the gates into the city of God because if they did another great rebellion would take place in heaven. They formed a character that never submitted to the Law of God. They are enemies with God. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7). They never humbled themselves and sorrowed for their sins. They never received the new heart and new spirit that could allow God to trust them throughout eternity. It’s only reasonable that the great prerequisite for entrance to heaven must be the experience of their surrender to His wrath while hoping in His mercy. The Father cannot and will not go through another great controversy, with all of its death and suffering to His Son and to all of His children and angelic hosts.

Let us go to the Law. Let us accept the punishment for our iniquities. Let us feel the pain of conviction. Let us know the grinding of the Stone until we break. Let us give in to God and be enabled to receive His Son, and life eternal. Otherwise we will be among the billions who are resurrected from the second death and will willingly bow and surrender to Jesus’ tender mercy, only when it’s too late. Every delusion that blinded our minds from sin completely removed, we will stand before the true beauty of holiness and self-sacrificing love as it is in Jesus, and, with the great deceiver and all who he deceived, we will then fall on our face.

“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).

But that surrender and service to Christ and the Father won’t be tested and washed from sin. It will not be counted for righteousness. Therefore, we will perish in our eternal destruction.

God forbid! May it never happen to us!

The powerful law of conviction

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2).

What is this law? It comes from Christ. It brings with it the Spirit of life. It can make us free from the law of sin and death. But what is that law? What is it like to have it? I believe in the Old Testament we have some examples of that “law”. A law can be more than words engraved in a slab of stone. A law can be more than a list of dos and don’ts. A law means power, literally, literally the power of God unto salvation. We see this law, the power of God in Jeremiah and Balaam.

We say that gravity is a law. If you jump up and you will come back to earth. The landing can hurt, depending on how high you got before returning. That demonstrates the power of a law. I weigh X number of pounds because of a law. That law is power, power to keep me earth-bound. So much power is in the law of gravity that to overcome that law Apollo Saturn V used 947,459 gallons of fuels and the Space Shuttle used 1.1 million pounds (550 tons) of solid rocket fuel to overcome the power of gravity. That is a lot of power in the rockets to create an equal and opposite power of gravity. I believe that kind of power gives us an object lesson for the power of God unto our salvation. The gravity of His holiness will keep us from falling into sin. The power of His presence abiding in us will keep us abiding in Him.

There are other laws. Fear is a law. Nothing takes control of the mind like fear does. For many self-indulgence is a law over the mind. For others greed and covetousness and envy are a law. But, the most enjoyable law is disinterested, self-sacrificing love. “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death.” (Song 8:6).

Laws are the message that Paul was putting forth in his Romans 7 wrestling. He wanted the good and holy law to control him, but another law possessed his reins.

“If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom. 7:16-23).

Then Paul finds a third law besides a captivity to the law of death and a captivity to the law of righteousness. Jesus, the Law of love incarnate, fulfills the Law of holiness and righteousness and goodness. It’s the sight of Jesus that delivers us from our bodies’ laws of death. Beholding Him will grab us and turn us “into another man” (1Sam. 10:6). “The Law of Thy mouth” (Ps. 119:72) will eject the devil from us. Through faith in His words He will rule over the affairs of our mind. They are all precious promises. Thus, the power of Jesus will overcome the power of Satan.

“Many times did He deliver them… He regarded their affliction, when He heard their cry.” (Ps. 106:43,44).

“Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And He smote His enemies in the hinder parts: He put them to a perpetual reproach.” (Ps. 78:65,66).

The Spirit of life from the crucified only-begotten Son of God will douse Satan’s law of self-preservation and pride. The pouring out of His soul unto eternal death will make our obedience to righteousness possible. Our Saviour’s commandment will take control, as His Father’s commandment always took control of Him.

“For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.” (John 12:49,50).

Jesus spoke for His Father. Christ was the premier prophet, the Prophet of prophets. He exemplified in His life all that He had required of His servants, the Old Testament prophets. Under the power of the control of the pre-incarnate Christ the prophets spoke the will of His Father. “Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and … thou shalt be as My mouth.” (Jer. 15:19). That is the power that He gives everyone who comes to Him, who is begotten of Him, and who abides with Him. Jeremiah, as with all the prophets, found themselves dwelling so fully in Christ, “Abide in Me...” (John 15:4) and living under the power of Christ, “... and I in you” (John 15:4), that their primary focus was not on the world outside. Their attention was on living under Jesus’ gaze. The prophets had the privilege given the holy pair in Eden. It was only after leaving Christ to eat of the forbidden tree that “they then for the first time turned their attention to the external.” Story of Redemption, p. 38. But, all their life prior to that day their attention had remained completely forgetful of self. Likewise the prophets, the holy men of God.

Case in point, Jeremiah. He was completely oblivious of the danger that his office of prophet put upon him. “The Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then Thou shewedst me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.” (Jer. 11:18,19).

“As many as received Him, to them gave He power [G1849, exousia, “ability”, “privilege”, “force”, “capacity”, competency, freedom, or “mastery”, “superhuman”, “potentate”, “token of control”, “delegated influence”, “authority”] 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).

With Christ in the heart, and the meekness, hope, and confidence in Christ that He brings when His Spirit takes control, the child of God receives a full rest and release from all concerns for self. The promise, “I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1) is believed and rings true in their souls. That rest and release brings freedom to express all the thought of God to the sinner. God’s total disgust for sin comes through and men are boundened to hear of their standing before the Most High.

The Father’s “commandment is life everlasting”.  “The testimony of Jesus” endows the child of God with perfect discernment and delight. When the Spirit of Jesus enters, He “brings life and immortality to light” (2Tim. 1:10). “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures for ever more.” (Ps. 16:11).

We also see the powerful law of Christ’s word in His work of creation.

God said, Let there be light: and there was light….
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so….
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so….
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind….
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also….
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind….
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so….
And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Gen. 1:3,6,7,9,11,12,14-16,20,21,24,26,27).

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth….  For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Ps. 33:6,9).
“Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto then, they stand up together.” (Isa. 48:13).

We see the power of Christ upon Balaam.

“And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.” (Num. 22:38).

“And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever He sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place. And God met Balaam: and he said unto Him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram. And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.” (Num. 23:3-5).

“And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.
And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.
How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
For from the top of the rocks I see Him, and from the hills I behold Him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the Righteous, and let my last end be like His!” (Num. 23:6-10).

“And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether. And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?” (Num. 23:11,12).

“And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.
And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?
And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?
Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.” (Num. 23:16-24).

“And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?” (Num. 23:25,26).

“He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: how goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!” (Num. 24:4,5).

“He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” (Num. 24:16,17).

We learn from Balaam’s experience that when Jesus takes control we lose control, we lose the controls of self. The flesh of a man cannot overpower the Spirit of the Creator. This is exactly what Paul needed, and ever afterward wanted.

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 7:25).

The power of trusting in God’s promise takes control of God’s children and sanctifies their heart and mind. “The righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:13) comes through the promised power from the Most High, the Spirit of the Promised One. “Sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:14), faith in His promise seals His power in us, “that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Gal. 3:22). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2). The new power to obey the word of God witnessed to the believers that they were sons of God. Thus, all condemnation and fear ceased.

“The righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:13), “the righteousness of God without the law… Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom. 3:21,22), “the righteousness of the faith” (Rom. 4:11), “the gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17), “the righteousness of One … upon all men unto justification of life” (Rom. 5:18), “righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13), “the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3) is the law that takes over our nature and lives in us to will and do of His good pleasure. “The righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3) is the same powerful source as the will of God. “By the which will we are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:10).

“...That I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil. 3:9,10).

We must give obedience to the Law, but our righteousness can’t come from the Law. It comes from the power of Christ provided “unto all”, but being “upon” only “all them that believe.” (Rom. 3:22). Only through faith might “the righteousness of the law ... be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:4). But, what exactly is faith? Faith sees “the offering of the body of Jesus” (Heb. 10:10), grasps that His offering was for the penetent one, and receives such a desire to serve God that faith is empowered to do all the will of God. It says, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do Thy will, O God.” (Heb. 10:7). “I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy Law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8). Faith works. Otherwise, we don’t have Jesus’ Spirit, which is His power. And we are none of His.

Through His justifying forgiveness there is no condemnation, but rather peace with God. Looking to Jesus provides us the shield from the wrath of God. Thus Christ’s life and acceptance and power of righteousness makes us able to obey God. And, thus God is satisfied. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”, that is, “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:1,9). It is in His Spirit that we have His power. Being in the Spirit we obey and can speak for Him.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:9,10).

“For we through the Spirit [of Christ] wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Gal. 5:5).

And the promised Seed, “which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16), would create a whole generation, “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1Pet. 2:9), “the seed [that] should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19). “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure.” (Rom. 4:16).

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22.23). The Spirit is the powerful law of life in Christ Jesus.

All who have sought His Spirit must be “fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Rom. 4:21). The following promise belongs to the messenger of Christ, “To him will I give power [exousia, authority] over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father.” (Rev. 2:26,27). “That … even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:21).

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2). Overcome by Him, stunned by His conviction, frozen in our tracks and being “caught up into paradise”, is the inheritance to the saints in light. Hearing “unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2Cor. 12:4), and clearly speaking those words that are humanly incomprehensible and unutterable--“This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the LORD.” (Isa. 54:17).

“And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the Angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
And I went unto the angel, and said unto Him, Give me the little book. And He said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
And I took the little book out of the Angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” (Rev. 10:8-11).

The above last verse makes John represent God’s witnesses which had been plagued by a wicked Church during the Dark Ages. “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” (Rev. 11:4, cf Zech. 4:14). Those witnesses lived by the power of God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6). Today that wicked Church, via its fifth trumpet and sixth locust plagues, has been given authority from God to have its revenge on God’s church.

Yet God always gets the last word to the wicked one: “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” (Job 38:11). And to His humbled and sealed church He will say, “I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things [daring things against God] . Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.” (Joel 2:20,21).

By following after the Spirit, and through Him standing before His Father, the 144,000 will be empowered to boldly say to the Church, “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” (1Ki. 17:1).

The power of God unto salvation, “the power of the Highest” (Luke 1:35), is the seal of God in the forehead. The hearts and mouths and lives of the 144,000 will be circumspect. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal. 4:6). Their hearts will be perfect toward the Lamb because they follow after the Spirit of the Lamb, which has “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6). And so will their lives be perfect.

“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:4,5).

With the power of the angels on their heads, and the testimonies in their hearts, they will pour forth the straight truth, and the truth will have effect.

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.
     I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.  
     Said the angel, ‘List ye!’ Soon I heard a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard, seeming to be full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy.  
     The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks. Evil angels still pressed around them, but could have no power over them.  
     I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’
     Great power was with these chosen ones. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was turned to the wicked, or unbelievers. They were all astir. The zeal and power with the people of God had aroused and enraged them. Confusion, confusion, was on every side. I saw measures taken against the company who had the light and power of God. Darkness thickened around them; yet they stood firm, approved of God, and trusting in Him. I saw them perplexed; next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Day and night their cry ceased not: ‘Thy will, O God, be done! If it can glorify Thy name, make a way of escape for Thy people! Deliver us from the heathen around about us. They have appointed us unto death; but Thine arm can bring salvation.’ These are all the words which I can bring to mind. All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance.” Early Writings, p. 270-272.

“They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31).

The fire and smoke and brimstone torments from the fifth and sixth trumpet locust plagues will be healed by the strong Spirit of truth, the powerful law of conviction.

“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” (Joel 2:23-29).

Saturday, November 18, 2017

What is justification about? What really happened at the cross?

“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Gen. 22:2).

The adult Sabbath School quarterly said,

“Christ, having died, died once and for all, but He is now alive forevermore. So the Christian who is baptized has died to sin once and for all and should never again come under its dominion. Of course, as any baptized Christian knows, sin doesn’t just automatically disappear from our lives once we come up out of the water. Not being ruled by sin isn’t the same as nt having to struggle with it.”

But, I say, Wait a minute! Should or should not sin bring us under its dominion when we have died to sin once and for all, or should sin not be able to bring us under its dominion when we have died to it?

The quarterly just back peddled from its opening statement, “the Christian who is baptized has died to sin once and for all and should never again come under its dominion”. Would Paul have said that? Is that what he is saying in Romans 6 through 8? Is that doctrine the cure for sin? Do we want to be cured? Are we like those people in the apostolic church? Could we die for what Jesus did for us, as they were martyred for what He did for them? Is not Laodicea completely different from Ephesus before it lost its first love? Protestantism today are apples, and the people who huddled around Paul and the apostles were oranges—a completely different set of people. They were a peculiar people, a holy generation, and the woman who fled from the dragon into the wilderness. Let us never forget what the church started as and what it is today—even after we have heard the message to Laodicea. The message can convict us of our great sinfulness before God, but it cannot redeem us from our sinfulness.

We need John the Baptist’s very unpopular message, and it will come.

“Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance…” (Matt. 3:2-8).

John got his message from the last message from God to Israel.
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matt. 3:11,12).

 “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD of hosts.
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” (Mal. 3:1-7).

John’s message was not one of grace. It had hope, but it was filled with warning to the people of God for the great judgment what would come with the appearance of the Messiah. It would not be a nice day in the park. It was a super serious message of the great Judge making His final sentence upon an insolent people who dared to answer the Creator as if He were an equal, “Wherein shall we return?”

No one of Protestantism is like the apostolic church, and cannot lay claim to its blessings of justification! Instead we are more like the Jews before John stood up—almost. I say almost because, like they had, we have not yet suffered the first troubles of the coming overthrow of our world protected by God through Protestantism and the Protestant Constitution of America. But, we are on the verge of it. We are soon to see another Roman Imperator (“dictatorship”) that will finally bring us to need the God we have rejected and forgotten. When that condition arrives in America and the rest of the world shortly afterward, then we will be suffering under the Roman oppression that the Jews suffered under, and the Lord will then raise up His John the Baptist to call for repentance. Then He will have an Adventist people who are humbled and ready to hear His Law given from Ellen White. They will hear the high, high standard that they have avoided with all their heart. Some of the Adventists and Protestants will sorrow for sin and hate their total neglect of all that the Spirit of Prophecy laid out for them to be purified and ready to stand on the day of Jesus’ return. The gospel will mean something to the genuinely convicted hearers of the final version of the Law of God given to Ellen White.

Then the gospel set forth by Paul will make sense to them. They will see what The Desire of Ages was saying about the Son of God. They will be crucified with Christ. They will truly die to sin with Him. Victory over their sins will happen because they will have a will that is newly empowered and motivated by true repentance and a real justification. And the true obedience will shine in its brilliance next to the tarnished righteousness, the slag refuse of the refining process. All who will not come under the purifying exposure of their sins by the blinding presentation of the Law will be rejected. Period. The decidely rebellious will hear their judgment, “They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.” (Jer. 6:28-30). And all who will accept the humbling deliberation of the high standard, which will be spoken in the fatherly tones of John, and will surrender to the shame will receive the repentance and the faith for justification. They will be present before the Lord when the Latter Rain comes. They will stand “before the God of the earth.” (Rev. 11:4).

John had “plucked away” “the wicked”. The mighty cleaver of truth separated “the precious from the vile.” (Jer. 15:19). He remained faithful to his calling, “Thou shalt be as My mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.” (jer. 15:19). Using the last prophet Malachi, John exposed “the sorcerers” (Mal. 3:5) when he revealed the “Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matt. 3:7) by calling them “generation of vipers” (Matt. 3:7). “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matt. 3:7). The religious leadership weren’t fleeing anything, as john said with the tone of serious sarcasm. They had no faith in the scriptures or they wouldn’t have led a life that utterly refused the reality of the Messiah’s coming judgment. They were the very ones who were “the adulterers, … false swearers, and … those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 3:5). The message of Malachi filled John with straight speaking as it drove him to speak for the Father who had forewarned, “I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers.”

“Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It was only after John’s message was given, and it was accepted or rejected, that God began His Son’s ministry of mercy and peace for everyone who did accept John’s message. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” (Matt. 3:12,13).

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins.” (Isa. 40:1,2).

So, before we should ever hear the message of Christ’s grace for us we must be reintroduced to the wrath of God against sin. Then we must see His wrath diverted from our whole world and poured upon His beloved Son. It’s like a father who sees the obvious signs of rebellion from his ten-year-old and must pull off his belt and whip his son for the open rejection of the rules of the home. To protect the spread of rebellion to the other children the father must make an open show of his hatred of the son’s flagrant disregard of the family structure. The father has already given many heart-felt warnings. He has sat his son down and explained why the rules are important. But, all that was rejected; and now the judgment upon his son must be executed, or everything the father has professed to enforce will be utterly swept away as words that had meant nothing.

The father musters the whole family, mother and siblings, to witness the punishment that transgression leads to, and for them to know the real intent of the father’s mind toward insulence. The first stroke of the whipping wakes up the son to the true disposition of his father, but the whipping has not yet shown the son how deeply into rebellion his mischief has taken him. Two more strokes leave the son’s insolence and pride shaking like a leaf, but the father’s wrath is not yet satisfied. The father’s hand raises again to smite the sin in his son, but at this point the mother falls on her son to protect him from the heavy belt. Yet the beatings continue—now upon the mother. As much as the father loves his dear wife, he knows the depth of rebellion that still remains in the ten-year-old.

The older siblings are horrified but fear to stop their father. The mother suffers sorely, but can take the beatings from the father that would permanently damage the son. When the father is satisfied that the weeping son has felt the blows from the whip that his mother took for him, then the father stops. The ten-year old is sobbing, and siblings are weeping aloud. But, now all are ready to hear the message from their endeared father. “From now on, everyone will ensure that this never has to happen again. Everyone present will make sure Johnny turns from the direction into which he was going, and that he will remain humbled and fearing the life of crime to which he was heading. Everyone in this family has the duty to raise up Johnny in the life of goodness and obedience to law. Mother, what you did was exactly what Jesus did for us and you will be duly rewarded.”

Johnny now sees the wrath of his father like he never before did. He physically felt the first three strikes of the whip. He knows the pain they inflicted. And the rest of the whipping that his mother took for him he also felt—not personally, but through his mother—through her self-sacrificing love. This is the first time Johnny knew the depth of self-sacrifice that his mother had always been giving him. Her love has changed his disposition toward her. He saw something he never before realized in his mommy. He saw her loving kindness and her tender mercies. He also saw the mind of his dad toward justice. What he won’t know until much later is that what his father did to him greatly hurt his father and forced him to do what he almost couldn’t do.

Johnny’s mind now is changed toward life. Reality is different. A whole new paradigm reigns in his thinking. The father and mother reunite, although the mother must reconcile the real anger of her husband that she even never knew existed. But she is assured of his continued love for her and her original love survived the demonstration of justice. Her fervor for her husband sailed through the situation and was confirmed in the final result—a son who learned a lesson deeply and firmly, a lesson what nothing short of justice could open him to.

When we see the pounding that the Son of God, our “Mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20), has taken for us in Gethsemane and on Golgotha, then we will be delivered from our life of insolence and Laodicean disposition toward God’s Law. Jesus threw Himself between the great Judge and us, His beloved children. We have all received the first strokes through “the chastisement of our peace” from our hearts being separated from the blessedness of God’s Spirit, and from life’s “stripes” and bruises due to our transgressions.” (Isa. 53:5). But Jesus shielded us from the thunders of Sinai and its deadly bolts of lightning. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isa. 53:5).

To all who have gone to “the place, which is called Calvary” (Luke 23:33), and realized what really happened there 2,000 years ago will be crucified with Christ. All that He took in our behalf they will painfully feel. The floggings, every backhand, every shaming and silent thunders of condemnation from God, His withdrawal of life, the torture of the spikes through the Son’s wrists and Achilles tendons, the infinite separation from His God, His feared Father and His beloved Judge, we must witness. The sight of infinite justice and infinite mercy can alone give us death to sin and cause us to stop sinning.

We must die with Jesus, and we must die with the Father, the Judge who dwells alone in His position of Law enforcement. Maybe the scenario of Johnny and his father doesn’t sound realistic or lifelike, and I’m not recommending it to any father. But it is what happened at the cross, and we must know this. The wrath of God toward our sins is destructive and must remove sin from His kingdom, His house, His family.

The angels, our elder siblings, looked with horror upon the Golgotha event. They never expected such anger heaped from the beloved Father upon the Son of His bosom. The Son of God who took our eternal death even found it to be worse than anticipated. But His fidelity toward His Father never once failed, and His self-sacrificing love for the children of His hand never flagged.

When we know God and the Son of His bosom like it is our privilege to know Them, then we will receive the will that overthrows our sins. We will suddenly have a new mind for obedience to righteousness, and obedience will be easy. But, then we just exercise our will to keep the Law that has been made easy for us. To not choose to obey at this point, after receiving the heart to obey, is to obviate and obliterate the new gift of a righteous heart and mind. It is to frustrate the grace of God toward us. Disobedience stanches His reconciled Spirit toward us.

Therefore we have the following admonition:

    Many are inquiring, “How am I to make the surrender of myself to God?” You desire to give yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life of sin. Your promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand. You cannot control your thoughts, your impulses, your affections. The knowledge of your broken promises and forfeited pledges weakens your confidence in your own sincerity, and causes you to feel that God cannot accept you; but you need not despair. What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him. Steps to Christ, p. 47.

But, before anyone can do any of that they must witness the cross event and receive the power that comes with the infinite justice of God toward sin and the infinite mercy of Christ while under the infinite justice:

As your conscience has been quickened by the Holy Spirit, you have seen something of the evil of sin, of its power, its guilt, its woe; and you look upon it with abhorrence. You feel that sin has separated you from God, that you are in bondage to the power of evil. The more you struggle to escape, the more you realize your helplessness. Your motives are impure; your heart is unclean. You see that your life has been filled with selfishness and sin. You long to be forgiven, to be cleansed, to be set free. Harmony with God, likeness to Him--what can you do to obtain it?  
     It is peace that you need--Heaven’s forgiveness and peace and love in the soul. Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot procure it, wisdom cannot attain to it; you can never hope, by your own efforts, to secure it. But God offers it to you as a gift, “without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1. It is yours if you will but reach out your hand and grasp it. The Lord says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Ezekiel 36:26.
     You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God. Now go to Him, and ask that He will wash away your sins and give you a new heart. Then believe that He does this because He has promised. This is the lesson which Jesus taught while He was on earth, that the gift which God promises us, we must believe we do receive, and it is ours. Jesus healed the people of their diseases when they had faith in His power; He helped them in the things which they could see, thus inspiring them with confidence in Him concerning things which they could not see--leading them to believe in His power to forgive sins. This He plainly stated in the healing of the man sick with palsy: “That ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” Matthew 9:6. So also John the evangelist says, speaking of the miracles of Christ, “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” John 20:31. Steps to Christ, p. 49.
   
Then once we have the grace of God upon us, then and only then can we exercise our will for the accomplishment of righteousness.

    Desires for goodness and holiness are right as far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They do not come to the point of yielding the will to God. They do not now choose to be Christians. 

     Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in your life. By yielding up your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power that is above all principalities and powers. You will have strength from above to hold you steadfast, and thus through constant surrender to God you will be enabled to live the new life, even the life of faith.  Steps to Christ, p. 48.

Friday, November 10, 2017

I now have Apolutrosis

I have to let everyone know that I contracted apolutrosis. I was sick for a long time, and finally found out about apolutrosis. I got it in a hospital full of really sick people.

Apolutrosis is a Greek word loosely defined as, “the infusion of the best sort of grace”, i.e. “redemption”.

“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…” (Eph. 1:5-7).

Apolutrosis is to be “enlightened, and [to] have tasted of the heavenly gift, and [be] made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and [to] have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.” (Heb. 6:4,5).

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:29-31).

“And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains: and Mine elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me…. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” (Isa. 65:9,10,18).

G629 apolutrōsis From a compound of G575 and G3083; (the act) ransom in full, that is, (figuratively) riddance, or (specifically) Christian salvation: - deliverance, redemption.

The apolutrōsis from Jesus is what caused Saul such tremendous joy in song.

“After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:
And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee….
And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.
And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?
And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?
And when he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.” (1Sam. 10:5-7,9-13).

Christ’s apolutrōsis is what caused David such joy among the worshipers of Jehovah.

“I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.” (Ps. 42:4).

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” (Ps. 23:6).

Apolutrōsis, the best sort of grace from Jesus, is what caused David such thankfulness when Jesus forgave him all his sinfulness.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Ps. 32:1,2).

Apolutrōsis is what allowed David to be open to all discipline from His Adonay. “Clean”, “whiter than snow”, “joy and gladness”, “all mine iniquities [blotted out]”, “a right spirit within me”, “Thy presence”, “Thy holy Spirit”, “the joy of Thy salvation”, “Thy free spirit”, “my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise”.

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of Thy righteousness.
O Lord, open Thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise.” (Ps. 51:7-15).

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb. 8:12).

“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?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:6-11).

Apolutrōsis from Jesus is what allowed Paul to suffer any amount of persecution from sinners who he was seeking to save.

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (1Tim. 1:12-14).

“In labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness…. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” (2Cor. 11:23-25,28).

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” (2Cor. 4:7-10).

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Phil. 3:8-11).

Apolutrōsis is what allowed all the people of the Lord to keep their faith against the flood of persecution that they endured.

“… 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. 11:35-38).

Apolutrōsis is what will give all the saved their songs forever and ever.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed form the earth.” (Rev. 14:1-3).

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:9-17).

“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:11-13).

“Ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Rom. 8:23).

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:
And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” (Rev. 22:1-4).

“As the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” (Isa. 65:22).

Apolutrōsis ! Amen. The Reformation lives.

I got the disease! Now I gotta tell somebody.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYwNwTqI-y4

Friday, November 03, 2017

The law of conviction

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2).

What is this law? It comes from Christ. It brings with it the Spirit of life. It can make us free from the law of sin and death. But what is that law? What is it like to have it? I believe in the Old Testament we have some examples of that “law”. A law can be more than words engraved in a slab of stone. A law can be more than a list of dos and don’ts. A law means power, literally, literally the power of God unto salvation. We see this law, the power of God in Jeremiah and Balaam.

We say that gravity is a law. If you jump up and you will come back to earth. The landing can hurt, depending on how high you got before returning. That demonstrates the power of a law. I weigh X number of pounds because of a law. That law is power, power to keep me earth-bound. So much power is in the law of gravity that to overcome that law Apollo Saturn V used 947,459 gallons of fuels and the Space Shuttle used 1.1 million pounds (550 tons) of solid rocket fuel to overcome the power of gravity. That is a lot of power in the rockets to create an equal and opposite power of gravity. I believe that kind of power gives us an object lesson for the power of God unto our salvation. The gravity of His holiness will keep us from falling into sin. The power of His presence abiding in us will keep us abiding in Him.

There are other laws. Fear is a law. Nothing takes control of the mind like fear does. For many self-indulgence is a law over the mind. For others greed and covetousness and envy are a law. But, the most enjoyable law is disinterested, self-sacrificing love. “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death.” (Song 8:6).

Laws are the message that Paul was putting forth in his Romans 7 wrestling. He wanted the good and holy law to control him, but another law possessed his reins.

“If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom. 7:16-23).

Then Paul finds a third law besides a captivity to the law of death and a captivity to the law of righteousness. Jesus, the Law of love incarnate, fulfills the Law of holiness and righteousness and goodness. It’s the sight of Jesus that delivers us from our bodies’ laws of death. Beholding Him will grab us and turn us “into another man” (1Sam. 10:6). “The Law of Thy mouth” (Ps. 119:72) will eject the devil from us. Through faith in His words He will rule over the affairs of our mind. They are all precious promises. Thus, the power of Jesus will overcome the power of Satan.

“Many times did He deliver them… He regarded their affliction, when He heard their cry.” (Ps. 106:43,44).

“Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And He smote His enemies in the hinder parts: He put them to a perpetual reproach.” (Ps. 78:65,66).

The Spirit of life from the crucified only-begotten Son of God will douse Satan’s law of self-preservation and pride. The pouring out of His soul unto eternal death will make our obedience to righteousness possible. Our Saviour’s commandment will take control, as His Father’s commandment always took control of Him.

“For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.” (John 12:49,50).

Jesus spoke for His Father. Christ was the premier prophet, the Prophet of prophets. He exemplified in His life all that He had required of His servants, the Old Testament prophets. Under the power of the control of the pre-incarnate Christ the prophets spoke the will of His Father. “Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and … thou shalt be as My mouth.” (Jer. 15:19). That is the power that He gives everyone who comes to Him, who is begotten of Him, and who abides with Him. Jeremiah, as with all the prophets, found themselves dwelling so fully in Christ, “Abide in Me...” (John 15:4) and living under the power of Christ, “... and I in you” (John 15:4), that their primary focus was not on the world outside. Their attention was on living under Jesus’ gaze. The prophets had the privilege given the holy pair in Eden. It was only after leaving Christ to eat of the forbidden tree that “they then for the first time turned their attention to the external.” Story of Redemption, p. 38. But, all their life prior to that day their attention had remained completely forgetful of self. Likewise the prophets, the holy men of God.

Case in point, Jeremiah. He was completely oblivious of the danger that his office of prophet put upon him. “The Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then Thou shewedst me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.” (Jer. 11:18,19).

“As many as received Him, to them gave He power [G1849, exousia, “ability”, “privilege”, “force”, “capacity”, competency, freedom, or “mastery”, “superhuman”, “potentate”, “token of control”, “delegated influence”, “authority”] 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).

With Christ in the heart, and the meekness, hope, and confidence in Christ that He brings when His Spirit takes control, the child of God receives a full rest and release from all concerns for self. The promise, “I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1) is believed and rings true in their souls. That rest and release brings freedom to express all the thought of God to the sinner. God’s total disgust for sin comes through and men are boundened to hear of their standing before the Most High.

The Father’s “commandment is life everlasting”.  “The testimony of Jesus” endows the child of God with perfect discernment and delight. When the Spirit of Jesus enters, He “brings life and immortality to light” (2Tim. 1:10). “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures for ever more.” (Ps. 16:11).

We also see the powerful law of Christ’s word in His work of creation.

God said, Let there be light: and there was light….
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so….
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so….
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind….
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also….
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind….
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so….
And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Gen. 1:3,6,7,9,11,12,14-16,20,21,24,26,27).

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth….  For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Ps. 33:6,9).
“Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto then, they stand up together.” (Isa. 48:13).

We see the power of Christ upon Balaam.

“And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.” (Num. 22:38).

“And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever He sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place. And God met Balaam: and he said unto Him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram. And the LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.” (Num. 23:3-5).

“And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.
And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.
How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
For from the top of the rocks I see Him, and from the hills I behold Him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the Righteous, and let my last end be like His!” (Num. 23:6-10).

“And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether. And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the LORD hath put in my mouth?” (Num. 23:11,12).

“And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.
And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the LORD spoken?
And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?
Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.” (Num. 23:16-24).

“And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?” (Num. 23:25,26).

“He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: how goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel!” (Num. 24:4,5).

“He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” (Num. 24:16,17).

We learn from Balaam’s experience that when Jesus takes control we lose control, we lose the controls of self. The flesh of a man cannot overpower the Spirit of the Creator. This is exactly what Paul needed, and ever afterward wanted.

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 7:25).

The power of trusting in God’s promise takes control of God’s children and sanctifies their heart and mind. “The righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:13) comes through the promised power from the Most High, the Spirit of the Promised One. “Sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:14), faith in His promise seals His power in us, “that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” (Gal. 3:22). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2). The new power to obey the word of God witnessed to the believers that they were sons of God. Thus, all condemnation and fear ceased.

“The righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:13), “the righteousness of God without the law… Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Rom. 3:21,22), “the righteousness of the faith” (Rom. 4:11), “the gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17), “the righteousness of One … upon all men unto justification of life” (Rom. 5:18), “righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13), “the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3) is the law that takes over our nature and lives in us to will and do of His good pleasure. “The righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3) is the same powerful source as the will of God. “By the which will we are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:10).

“...That I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil. 3:9,10).

We must give obedience to the Law, but our righteousness can’t come from the Law. It comes from the power of Christ provided “unto all”, but being “upon” only “all them that believe.” (Rom. 3:22). Only through faith might “the righteousness of the law ... be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:4). But, what exactly is faith? Faith sees “the offering of the body of Jesus” (Heb. 10:10), grasps that His offering was for the penetent one, and receives such a desire to serve God that faith is empowered to do all the will of God. It says, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do Thy will, O God.” (Heb. 10:7). “I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy Law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8). Faith works. Otherwise, we don’t have Jesus’ Spirit, which is His power. And we are none of His.

Through His justifying forgiveness there is no condemnation, but rather peace with God. Looking to Jesus provides us the shield from the wrath of God. Thus Christ’s life and acceptance and power of righteousness makes us able to obey God. And, thus God is satisfied. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”, that is, “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:1,9). It is in His Spirit that we have His power. Being in the Spirit we obey and can speak for Him.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom. 8:9,10).

“For we through the Spirit [of Christ] wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Gal. 5:5).

And the promised Seed, “which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16), would create a whole generation, “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1Pet. 2:9), “the seed [that] should come to whom the promise was made.” (Gal. 3:19). “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure.” (Rom. 4:16).

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22.23). The Spirit is the powerful law of life in Christ Jesus.

All who have sought His Spirit must be “fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Rom. 4:21). The following promise belongs to the messenger of Christ, “To him will I give power [exousia, authority] over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father.” (Rev. 2:26,27). “That … even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:21).

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2). Overcome by Him, stunned by His conviction, frozen in our tracks and being “caught up into paradise”, is the inheritance to the saints in light. Hearing “unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2Cor. 12:4), and clearly speaking those words that are humanly incomprehensible and unutterable--“This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the LORD.” (Isa. 54:17).

“And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the Angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
And I went unto the angel, and said unto Him, Give me the little book. And He said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
And I took the little book out of the Angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” (Rev. 10:8-11).

The above last verse makes John represent God’s witnesses which had been plagued by a wicked Church during the Dark Ages. “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” (Rev. 11:4, cf Zech. 4:14). Those witnesses lived by the power of God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6). Today that wicked Church, via its fifth trumpet and sixth locust plagues, has been given authority from God to have its revenge on God’s church.

Yet God always gets the last word to the wicked one: “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” (Job 38:11). And to His humbled and sealed church He will say, “I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things [daring things against God] . Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.” (Joel 2:20,21).

By following after the Spirit, and through Him standing before His Father, the 144,000 will be empowered to boldly say to the Church, “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” (1Ki. 17:1).

The power of God unto salvation, “the power of the Highest” (Luke 1:35), is the seal of God in the forehead. The hearts and mouths and lives of the 144,000 will be circumspect. “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal. 4:6). Their hearts will be perfect toward the Lamb because they follow after the Spirit of the Lamb, which has “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” (Rev. 5:6). And so will their lives be perfect.

“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” (Rev. 14:4,5).

With the power of the angels on their heads, and the testimonies in their hearts, they will pour forth the straight truth, and the truth will have effect.

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.
     I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.  
     Said the angel, ‘List ye!’ Soon I heard a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard, seeming to be full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured, the agonizing struggle they had passed through. Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy.  
     The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks. Evil angels still pressed around them, but could have no power over them.  
     I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’
     Great power was with these chosen ones. Said the angel, ‘Look ye!’ My attention was turned to the wicked, or unbelievers. They were all astir. The zeal and power with the people of God had aroused and enraged them. Confusion, confusion, was on every side. I saw measures taken against the company who had the light and power of God. Darkness thickened around them; yet they stood firm, approved of God, and trusting in Him. I saw them perplexed; next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Day and night their cry ceased not: ‘Thy will, O God, be done! If it can glorify Thy name, make a way of escape for Thy people! Deliver us from the heathen around about us. They have appointed us unto death; but Thine arm can bring salvation.’ These are all the words which I can bring to mind. All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance.” Early Writings, p. 270-272.

“They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31).

The fire and smoke and brimstone torments from the fifth and sixth trumpet locust plagues will be healed by the strong Spirit of truth, the powerful law of conviction.

“Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” (Joel 2:23-29).