TruthInvestigate

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

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The path of the just

“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18).

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto Him.
Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart. (Ps. 32:3-11).

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).

The path of the just:

His birth into the fallen, sinful, human race on a planet dominated by the wicked one, where he experiences

Sin, corruption, separation from God’s Spirit, fear, misery, loneliness, depression, the call of God, where he experiences

The righteousness of God, condemnation before the Law, wrestling and humbling and surrender to the Law, the need of a Saviour from sin, God immediately bringing the soul to Christ at the Cross, where he experiences

Self-sacrifice, propitiation, mercy, repentance, forgiveness, surrender to the goodness and love of God, conversion of the heart, justification, restoration to communion with God,
conversion of life to righteousness, sanctification, where he experiences

Restoration to community, gifts of the Spirit for service and witness, sealing, redemption, where he experiences

Eternity with God and His only begotten Son, and the whole family of heaven and earth.

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” (Rev. 21:22,23,24).

If You love me give me Your commandments

“The Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness.” (Mark 1:12).

During His growing and developing years in Nazareth Jesus had been blossoming and blooming through the eternal life coming from His Father, as a living root in dry, dead dirt. “He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” (Isa. 53:2). Compared to the sword-jangling and hard-hearted, beaten down by life people, all around Him, Jesus had righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. And He had been healing people by the healing power of love.

“Jesus was the healer of the body as well as of the soul. He was interested in every phase of suffering that came under His notice, and to every sufferer He brought relief, His kind words having a soothing balm. None could say that He had worked a miracle; but virtue—the healing power of love—went out from Him to the sick and distressed. Thus in an unobtrusive way He worked for the people from His very childhood. And this was why, after His public ministry began, so many heard Him gladly. 
     Yet through childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus walked alone. In His purity and His faithfulness, He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him.” Desire of Ages, p. 92.

But, now, newly baptized and having heard His Father address Him personally, “Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well please.” (Mark 1:11), a new power came upon Jesus. A new aggressiveness, a newly laid burden weighed upon Him. He was of age, and no longer a “stripling” (1Sam. 17:56) like David when he took down Goliath. In childhood and youth Jesus had already taken down many Goliath wicked spirits in high places. Now He was prepared to enter a larger stage. His age of 30 had begun the appointment of everyone dedicated to the service of Jehovah.

“All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers, from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Num. 4:46,47).

Ever after the time of Jesus’ new birth and dedication to His Father’s service at Jordan a new power took hold of Him. Without measure His virtue would go forth from Him, matching His gift of God’s measureless Spirit. That Spirit of His Father would drive the Son of God as never before. This gift from the God of peace was His greatest delight. Christ moved His Father’s heart; therefore, His Father filled Him with greater drive to please His Father in every thought, word, and act. But, God’s blessedness of infinite peace placed on His Son a greater duty. That love from the God of peace empowered the Son to boldly and confidently speak the plain, unvarnished truth. Thus, the Son of God was prepared to speak the truth in love, infinite truth in infinite love.

To a lesser degree this was the experience given to Ezekiel. “Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity.” (Eze. 1:1,2). Ezekiel’s dedication came when in vision he was given a scroll to eat. This time it was not God empowering His Son, but it was the Son empowering His son, Ezekiel, in his thirtieth year of life. Ezekiel had moved the heart of the Son, and the Son dedicated and drove His son to speak boldly and confidently the plain, unvarnished truth through Christ’s Spirit of peace and love.

“And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
And the Spirit entered into me when He spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard Him that spake unto me.
And He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against Me: they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day.
For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
And thou shalt speak My words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
And He spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
 Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll.
And He said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
And He said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them.
For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto Me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, all My words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.
And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
Then the Spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from His place.
I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
So the Spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.” (Eze. 2:1-3:14).

Driven by the power of God, Ezekiel was ordained, matured, enabled to speak with a voice he did not previously possess. Christ’s unencumbered Spirit uninvested of the personality of humanity spoke through Ezekiel, giving his voice authority. This is the same power that moved every spokesman. “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1Pet. 1:11). “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were movedG5342 by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet. 1:21). The Holy Ghost was the Spirit of Christ, moving or driving His human representatives. 

G5342 pherō to “bear” or carry (in a very wide application, literally and figuratively: be, bear, bring (forth) drive, be driven, endure, go on, move, rushing.

Pherō gives the impression of power, such as speaking in powerful authority.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushingG5342 mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4).

“But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her driveG5342.” (Acts 27:14,15).

The maturity and empowerment that comes with the increased measure of God’s Spirit through His Son to the servant of God drives him or her to heights of self-denial and self-abnegation and self-abdication that they didn’t have before, and no one around them has had.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
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….
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:7-14).

They are made confident in Christ’s love and confident in His power; they trust in His promises. He is their surety to justify them before God. Jesus breathes “upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath [is] light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.” Early Writings, p. 55. The receivers of Christ’s Spirit represent the true Spirit in opposition to those who accept Satan’s spirit. “I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us Thy Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace.” Early Writings, p. 55, 56.

The recipients of the Spirit of God change from child to adult.
“Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” (Jer. 1:6).
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1Cor. 13:11). “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus…. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2Tim. 2:1,3).

Yet, as mothers of all living, they keep the warm friendliness of Jesus, the great Mother of all living. The law of kindness in His mouth is in their mouths. The tender plant in His heart is in theirs, “that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth.” (Ps. 144:12). Jeremiah’s lamentations show the young heart of Jesus in the prophet as he previewed the coming troubles upon the people he loved.

“Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jer. 9:1). Yet Jeremiah was empowered by Christ “according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” (Eph. 3:16).

“Behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.” (Jer. 1:18). Are kings powerful? Are princes powerful? Are priests powerful? Are the people powerful? Yes times four. All have the power to destroy. All have persecuting power. But, all the prophets had set their love upon Jesus. He says,

“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.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.” (Ps. 91:14-16).

Jeremiah needed the strength of Jesus’ tenderness and His power. He needed to see and know His justice and mercy. The leadership and people needed that also. They had all set their love upon a god by another name, Baalim. Baalim was not a loving lord. He was mean-spirited, abusive to children and women, and especially toward the servants of Elohim. Everyone soft-hearted was Baalim’s enemy, because Baalim was Satan and his hosts. Baalim was Beelzebub, Lord of the buzzing demons of schizophrenia and glossolalia and confusion.

Isaiah also knew Jesus’ empowerment.

“The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.” (Isa. 50:5-9).

“As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12,13).

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” (Ps. 127:3-5).

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:13,14).

When we are of full age in the gospel and experienced with God, then we desire hardships and challenges to our comfort zones. We crave to die to self. We are thankful for every difficulty, knowing that God permits them all for our continued development. Even though knowing that living godly in Christ means persecution, we follow in the steps of Him “who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” (1Pet. 2:22,23).

“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings.” Patriarchs and prophets, p. 34.



From the very beginning, the Son of God loved to serve. He was the great Helper. High and low He helped, even before leaving heaven for our salvation. The Son has always loved to serve His Father and Their family of heaven and earth. He has ever needed but one thing—the happiness of His Father and Their children. The great Mother of all living has set the precedent for all women. He has also created that propensity for motherhood in them all. From childhood to aged, they all love to help, please, serve, and nurture.

Will we be children, help-meets, servants, which naturally want to make everyone happy, and live under the strong, fatherly rulership of God? Or will we be great Sovereigns of our own little universe and end up ruled dogmatically by Satan?

“Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16). Her pangs in childbirth, which was a blessing in disguise, would ensure the faithful love and upbringing of her gaggle, her brood, her flock. Her husband’s power over her would add to her blessing by driving her to heights of self-sacrificing service unexperienced without her husband’s loving demands. Her self-abasement and servitude also imitates the ministering angels. “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.” (1Cor. 11:10).

Jesus’ greatest love was for His Father to rule over Him, to submit to His Father’s demands. This was especially revealed in Gethsemane, when the Almighty ruled over His Son in infinite wrath because of Their human children. And the Father’s expectations were satisfied in our Mother Mediator working as our Shield and Protector. His flesh as a veil transmitted the message from the Most High against our sin, but filtered out Divinity’s fatal high voltage. Thus the Son has been our access to justification and sanctification. The helper children of God, who have known the difficulties of walking in the steps of their Mother of all living, will desire the same power on their head from the angels and from their Commander, which the armies of the Lord know from God. The prayer to God from the mature children is the same prayer from the angelic hosts and their Commander, “Rule strongly over me.” “How love I Thy Law!”

Like the angels who excel in strength, the mature children of humanity yearn to come under Christ’s power. They happily accept His invitation, “If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as My mouth: let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.” (Jer. 15:19).

His spiritual power dominates their will, their conscience, and their thoughts. They see in themselves the utter corruption of sin. Yet, it is always their choice whether or not they will live under His dominion. As Daniel experienced,

“Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude.
And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.” (Dan. 10:5-17).

The sons of God follow their Master in His burden bearing. “I beseech thee, shew me Thy glory.” (Ex. 33:18). “Rule over me strongly! Drive me! Let me know Your burden.”

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5).

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind… and … within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:6, 8).

“Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.
Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of Thy countenance.
In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” (Ps. 89:13-16).

“The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love—service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.
     So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies.” Patriarchs and prophets, p. 33, 34.

Total surrender means total happiness. We were made to be loved. And we were made to serve. We were made to love acceptance and need acceptance, or we die slowly. Because he was tempted to think that he could rule without his uppermost service to God, Adam died. “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” (Gen. 5:5). Adam believed he could be God.

We can’t handle being the person at the top. The divine nature of God loves to sacrifice Himself for the health and happiness of His children. He is driven to lay down His life for His creation. But His creation doesn’t have that drive apart from Him. We need to have someone else above us. We are happier looking up at another than looking down over everyone. Even Jesus, the great Mother of all living, the greatest of servants, the great Help of helpers, preferred to look up to His Father than be the one looking down over everyone. His constant prayer to His Father was, “Rule strongly over Me.”

“From His earliest years [Jesus] was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as He studied plant life and animal life. Continually He was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life.” Desire of Ages, p. 70.

Only God can endure the unique position of having no one to look up to. No doubt He also would dearky love to have the privilege of depending on someone higher, but it doesn’t exist for Him. The buck stops at Him, and it is lonely at the top. “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me.” (Isa. 63:3).

What Jesus suffered as King of earthly kings in Gethsemane—all the loneliness of being top ruler over His Earth, and therefore being fully responsible for our redemption—all the same aloneness that the Father has suffered infinitely more over the universe and during His great controversy. But, He gave His Helpmeet the privilege of tasting it, and knowing its utter emptiness and gravity. From eternity past, perfectly immaculate, unerring, and total responsibility for the protection of everything good is what had always filled the mind of the one great Sovereign. No one knew, or wanted to know, or could handle knowing, the pressures of those duties that come with being the Sovereign. The closest person to knowing His burden was His only begotten Son. But, even the Son who dwelled in the bosom of the great Sovereign and stood before His powerful rulership, wouldn’t know the fullest duty as owner of the topmost position until Gethsemane to Golgotha. After His victory at the cross God received His Son with great rejoicing and honor because He had another who now knew His burdens.

“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” (Matt. 11:27).

We have had our chance to be the top dog, to need no one to look up to and to serve. We have accepted Satan’s new way of life, of being the receiver of all service and of serving self. But, the wages of that has been death. That new regime, which we were not created to hold, has meant death to us, to everyone around us, to our societies surrounding us, and to our world at large.

Creatures cannot be Creators. Only the Creator is the self-existent One. We aren’t self-existent, therefore there exists in each of us a need for help from the One who created us.

“As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12).

And when we receive the quickening Spirit of Him who created us, we are born of Him; we are Boanerges.

“And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach,… and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and He surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder.” (Mark 3:14,15,17).

But, while we receive power as sons of thunder, we “let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind [we] let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Phil. 2:3).

Friday, February 17, 2017

Infinite love and our Justification, an email

Hi Daniel,
...
Grace from God is an amazing thing. We don’t give grace like God gives infinite grace. He and His Son went to the nth degree to provide for every sin, Their forgiveness toward sinners, and for assurance to us of that forgiveness. It was infinite condemnation and infinite mercy that met together at Gethsemane and Golgotha. Knowing the care and love His Son had for the human race, God knew He could unload more than He needed to cover for the pardon of this world’s sins. Infinite wrath against our transgressions forced the infinite surety from Jesus; infinite condemnation amplified Jesus’ already eternally desperate need to keep us. God was driving the provisions for our redemption; and the infinitely close tie that the Son had with His Father was more than able to drink all the bitter cup of His substitution for us in damnation. He was the great red heifer, bloated and bloody all over before He left the garden. And God was suffering in His Son’s  waves of infinite agony in our damnation, and thus God was reconciling the world to Himself through His Son. Jesus, the Mother of all living, died in hard labor, for joy that many sons would come into the new world of faith and eternal life.
 
Because of all that, if we are broken with Jesus’ broken spirit, soul, and body, then the Father immediately sees us as He sees His dear Son. Our union with His Son changes the Father’s disposition toward us. God was doing to His Son the only thing that could change His own disposition. Nothing less than the infinite loss of the Father’s own Son in the Son’s infinite destruction by the cross related providences from the Father and by His lightning rod spiritual warfare upon His beloved Son could move the immutable will of God toward fallen man. And the Son, knowing this, was more than willing to take the risk of eternal loss, and go through with the spiritual trauma of death in His child birth. As it is written of Jesus,
 
And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it (1Sam. 4:20).
 
And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour.
And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.
And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni [“son of my sorrow”]: but his father called him Benjamin [“son of my right hand”].
And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem (Gen. 35:16-19).
 
To Jesus, whose vision of a redeemed race was fading as His physical strength and consciousness faded, we were the children of His sorrow. But, to the Father we were the new children of His infinite favor in His Son’s magnificent sacrifice of self. He can never forget what His Son did to save us and to make Him able to justly change His disposition toward a rebellious world. We were born again in Bethlehem from the self-sacrificing Mother of all living by His hard labor until death overtook His sympathies and loving care for us in His second Bethlehem of Ephratah [“fruitful”]. “Of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the Highest Himself shall establish her. The LORD shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” (Ps. 87:5,6). And our witness to the world will be the same, “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.” (Vs. 4).
 
Now, as Jesus in life had never done anything wrong and in death only loved us to the very end, God sees us in the identically same light as He sees His Son who perfectly demonstrated to the universe their Father’s infinite self-sacrifice. He sees us dying in surrender under His scourging condemnation of our sins; He sees us, like His Son, never having done any wrong. When He justifies us, we have done no wrong. Deuteronomy 25:1 says that a judge can only justify the righteous, and can never justify the wicked. For God to justify you upon your surrender to His Law and your repentance before the crucifixion of His Son, you must have been righteous and not wicked. When God accounted your surrender and repentance as faith and righteousness, then He could declare you righteous. Your surrender before the Law’s demands of righteousness and your repentance before the cross’s demands of mercy met the conditions for your justification. No one can be justified who was not righteous, and God accounted you righteous. He cannot justify anyone who is wicked. So, when He forgave you, He looked at His Son, and simultaneously at your contrite heart seeking His acceptance, and God saw in you a son who is as perfect as His only Begotten. Your union with His Beloved changed God’s disposition toward your wretched past. You have attached yourself to His Son, and God knows you are in the best hands, because He made His Son the perfect Mediator when He challenged His Son’s love for you to the nth degree.
 
Beautiful gospel!
 
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor?
Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen (Rom. 11:34-36).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

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

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

Friday, February 10, 2017

Salvation from God's Law before salvation from Christ's grace

Hi Daniel,

…But what I see the truest protection from that is a Law-based gospel. Its the condemnation of sin by the Law that keeps us needing a Saviour from sin. Condemnation of sin is very real and up-close. That is why the Old Testament was built upon Law. The Law created the only true hedge against the prevailing spiritualism that surrounded Israel. And the Law is our only protection from the spiritualism that is around us today in the atheism, the false science of the scientific community, the unbiblical doctrines that lead to Rome, the partying and celebration of everything under the sun, etc. The Law gave Israel the only true access to Jehovah through great need―the great need for forgiveness and acceptance upon surrender to the Law. That only true surrender could only happen by the work of Christ as their pride wrestled with conviction and rebuke. For all who surrendered to the Schoolmaster He immediately authorized the mercy of Christ, and the Israelite received the promise of the Spirit. The Spirit that the converted Israelite received was Jesus Himself, who would give them a new heart and a new spirit―a spirit that resonated with His Spirit, “the Lord our righteousness”, or as Jones and Waggoner rephrased it, “Christ our righteousness”.

David was the perfect example of that, and so were all the prophets and the later apostles. They all sucked honey from the stone Law and they sucked olive oil from the flinty Law (see Deuteronomy 32:13). That is the only method to have the salvation of the Lord, even today―with exception to one other method, which is essentially the same. That is, to avoid the condemnation of the Law until the consequences of its evasion lead the sinner to ultimately surrender to the Law. Then the above process picks back up again and the Schoolmaster immediately authorized His High Priest Son to intercede with His Spirit, the “Spirit of His Son” (Gal. 4:6).

All who abrogate the Law, either blatantly through church doctrine and dogma or privately in their own volition, shoot themselves in the foot. They can never have the salvation of Jesus through His Spirit. They can never know peace with God. If the pride is never demolished by the scourging of the Schoolmaster’s Law, then the religious person is illegitimate. He is not a son. Jesus said, “Except I wash thee not (demolish your pride by washing your nastiness), you have no part with Me.”

The Law attacks our pride, and if we never bow before the Schoolmaster and keep bowing, then we die in our fallen, corrupting pride. It’s amazing how much torment we will take the keep from bowing to rebuke and condemnation from our Father. Even if it was never explained to us what the torment is about, by nature we should cry out to “somebody up there” for help. And many do. As there are no atheists in foxholes, neither are we atheists when under tremendous stress or anxiety or need.

“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.” (Ps. 103:13). The fear of the Lord must assume that we trembled before His condemnation of sin. They can never know the blessedness of His Spirit who never accept His denunciation of sin. If He can’t correct them, He can’t protect them from Satan. But if they bow before His rebuke, then He is just to bring them to Christ who will justify them. All who fear before Him as their Father, have His acceptance under law and they know perfect freedom. He becomes their everlasting Father who automatically gives them everlasting life.

To deny Him His authority to condemn sin leads the whole world (religious or secular, they are all the descendants of Adam) to celebrate an imaginary salvation. They live under their own law and self-justifying works, not God’s Law and His justification. Their works are not the fruit of the Spirit, the righteousness of God. They can’t claim the Lord our righteousness. Wrestling with His reproving Law never brought them into close contact with the Perpetrator of the humbling. They never received faith by the evidences that came from that close contact with the Forgiver and Giver of our righteousness. They are not saved, despite all their abundant profession, and despite all their multitudinous celebrations and worship-fests, evangelism, fastings, and prayers. They are in rebellion because they rebel against the very first work of bowing before the Law and its condemnation of sin. They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. They are reprobate silver (slag).

Relieved at the acceptance from God, resulting in happily living under His Law, is the only tell-tale sign of those who are the true sons of God. Only they have received a Saviour from sin, and who were born not of the flesh or of man, but of the Almighty God. They don’t run from the adversary’s Goliaths, the fearless sons of God run at their Goliaths with a single smooth stone. With the Lion of Judah roaring behind them, one little word from a little sons of God fells the big, bad ogres.
 
Sabbath blessings brother,

David

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The big picture

We need the big picture. We need to know that God is leading us. We need to have certainty of salvation. We need to realize that we are living at stupendous times. Once we have these we need to keep them ever before us. This is the big picture, the true guiding light.
 
The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His Word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages, and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.
 
Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour’s prophecy of the events to precede His coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…. Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
 
The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place,that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis. Prophets and Kings, pp. 536, 537.
 
It’s so easy to get consumed with the day-to-day cares and forget the big picture. Are we seeing the collapse of Protestantism all around us? Has the Bible lost all of its truth and power to save the hearts of men? To reveal the deceptions of Satan?
 
“Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Rev. 18:2,3).
 
Are we seeing a world growing in atheism, being increasingly corrupted by the false prophet from Babylon, and living without a knowledge of the goodness of God, therefore unable to control their anger?
 
“The nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:18).
 
Aren’t the nations angry because the God of love is hidden from their sight? Isn’t He unknown to them because they have accepted the life of atheistic idolatry and self-indulgence? Aren’t we seeing a world that has completely forgotten that there will be a day of judgment? Aren’t they growing increasingly oblivious or arrogantly opposed to such a concept? Isn’t the world so disbelieving in the Almighty that everything moral is relative, that there aren’t moral absolutes from their Creator? Isn’t the world hardening in its atheistic ways and thinking, and strengthening its influences and draw upon a dwindling core of faithful to the old path wherein is the good way and rest for our souls?
 
We must inquire of our souls and seek diligently to know, Are we becoming foolish virgins, less inclined to love the word of God and the cleansing that it gives us? Is our fullness of joy still in the things of God, so that our reserve of oil remains full, along with the present lamp in our hearts? Are we stockpiling His admonitions, just in case? Just in case the coming troubles take longer than we want to believe they will? We must afflict our souls and ask ourselves, Can I live like this internet connected, finance connected world is not on the verge of a stupendous crisis? Will I go to work just to pay the bills, like Babylon does? Or just to save up for some future dream of “the good life”, like the Sodomites did? Remember Lot’s wife. Remember Sodom. Remember Belshazzar. Remember the Babylonians. Remember their religious celebrations and partying the night of their destruction.
 
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30).
 
We need a guiding light. We need the very presence of Jesus, for Him to keep reminding us of the times in which we live. We need to be part of the purposes of God so that we can have the earnest for the high standard that pleases Him. This is what Jesus did for the father of the Old Testament holy prophets and people.
 
“The Lord knew the evil influences that would surround Jacob, and the perils to which he would be exposed. In mercy He opened up the future before the repentant fugitive, that he might understand the divine purpose with reference to himself, and be prepared to resist the temptations that would surely come to him when alone amid idolaters and scheming men. There would be ever before him the high standard at which he must aim; and the knowledge that through him the purpose of God was reaching its accomplishment, would constantly prompt him to faithfulness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 184.
 
Because of Jacob’s vision from heaven, “there would be ever before him the high standard at which he must aim; and the knowledge that through him the purpose of God was reaching its accomplishment, would constantly prompt him to faithfulness.” Jacob needed to “understand the divine purpose with reference to himself, and be prepared to resist the temptations that would surely come to him when alone amid idolaters and scheming men.”
 
Do we recognize a divine purpose with reference to ourselves? Is God for us? Is our confidence in God? Can we say with certainty,
 
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).
 
Does this verse apply to us? Haven’t we set our love on Jesus? Can we sense that God has been for us, and still is? How do we answer that question? Have we made many mistakes? Grievous mistakes? Seeming unpardonable mistakes? Nonetheless, have we sought God’s face anyway, just in case He will hear us? Will we ask Him for a little blessing, “If that is all we deserve from You?” Will we recite His promises, and let them encourage us find the courage to look upward to Him because His promises say that His mercy endureth forever?

In shame and humiliation, has our prayer been to God, “Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11)? In spite of our status before the Law of God, has our tenacious prayer been, “I also … will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the King, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Est. 4:16)? Have we found when we did that, that “nevertheless I live” (Gal. 2:20)? Because of persistent faith we live in His sight. Importunate prayer makes strong, robust sons of God.
 
Are we examining ourselves lest saving faith silently slips away and we mysteriously become reprobate? Am I asking myself, Do I still have peace with God? Have I left Him for the trinkets and tasty treats of this world? How recent is my sense of God’s acceptance by His grace and a renewed hope in Jesus? Can I say once again, Does God have a plan for me? Am I in that plan? Am I diligently keeping myself open to Him? Am I remaining unburdened regarding, and unattached to, the world so that Jesus can use me? Is my status with the world so ready to detach from it that I could leave it all for the gospel’s sake at a moment’s notice? Have we surrendered all, so we have nothing to lose, especially our peace with God?
 
Such a dedication to God doesn’t imply being super-religious, fanatical, cloistered away from the world, or so woefully paralyzed by last day events that I am not able to come to Jesus, as my Comforter. But, it does mean being shamed and vulnerable before God and His Law. Then it means the Father taking me to Jesus and me choosing to stay with m Master, according to Galatians 3:24. It means learning of Jesus without forgetting the stupendous times in which we live. It means desiring to share the good things I’ve learned about the goodness of my Friend and having a ready answer to others concerning the hope that lies within me. It means remembering that the final message to the world is the utmost concern today. The qualifications for giving that final message are the biggest reason to keep studying the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. It means overcoming self and appetites. It means gathering up precious promises in scripture, in nature, in experiences of life. It means doing whatever the Spirit of the Lord brings to mind for o preparing to see Jesus’ soon “coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:30).
 
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” (1Jn. 3:1-3).
 
“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” Great Controversy, p. 425.
 
“Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.’ John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.  
     It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.” Great Controversy, p. 623.
 
It means staying alert to the times and getting ready to meet Jesus face to face.
 
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.” (1Jn. 3:4-6).
 
“Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” (Mark 13:35-37).
 
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.” (Matt. 24:30).
 
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev. 1:7).
 
Will we stand when He comes, and say, This is our God? Or, will we run away from Him with the careless world? Won’t our choice be as difficult as Christ’s choice was in Gethsemane? Yes.“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:15-17).
 
Are we being humbled? Are we letting either the Law of God or the lessons of life lay our pride in the dust? “What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself.” Testimonies to Ministers, p. 456. Is our uncircumcised heart being humbled? Are we being justified? Born again? Having Christ’s peace and power?
 
“From the hour when he received the birthright, Jacob was weighed down with self-condemnation. He had sinned against his father, his brother, his own soul, and against God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 180.
 
“Yet it was with a deeply troubled heart that Jacob set out on his lonely journey. With only his staff in his hand he must travel hundreds of miles through a country inhabited by wild, roving tribes. In his remorse and timidity he sought to avoid men, lest he should be traced by his angry brother. He feared that he had lost forever the blessing that God had purposed to give him; and Satan was at hand to press temptations upon him.  
     The evening of the second day found him far away from his father’s tents. He felt that he was an outcast, and he knew that all this trouble had been brought upon him by his own wrong course. The darkness of despair pressed upon his soul, and he hardly dared to pray. But he was so utterly lonely that he felt the need of protection from God as he had never felt it before. With weeping and deep humiliation he confessed his sin, and entreated for some evidence that he was not utterly forsaken. Still his burdened heart found no relief. He had lost all confidence in himself, and he feared that the God of his fathers had cast him off.
     But God did not forsake Jacob. His mercy was still extended to His erring, distrustful servant. The Lord compassionately revealed just what Jacob needed--a Saviour. He had sinned, but his heart was filled with gratitude as he saw revealed a way by which he could be restored to the favor of God.
    Wearied with his journey, the wanderer lay down upon the ground, with a stone for his pillow. As he slept he beheld a ladder, bright and shining, whose base rested upon the earth, while the top reached to heaven. Upon this ladder angels were ascending and descending; above it was the Lord of glory, and from the heavens His voice was heard: ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.’ The land whereon he lay as an exile and fugitive was promised to him and to his posterity, with the assurance, ‘In thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ This promise had been given to Abraham and to Isaac, and now it was renewed to Jacob. Then in special regard to his present loneliness and distress, the words of comfort and encouragement were spoken: ‘Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.’” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 183.
 
“In mercy [the Lord] opened up the future before the repentant fugitive, that he might understand the divine purpose with reference to himself, and be prepared to resist the temptations that would surely come to him when alone amid idolaters and scheming men. There would be ever before him the high standard at which he must aim; and the knowledge that through him the purpose of God was reaching its accomplishment, would constantly prompt him to faithfulness.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 184.
 
Do we have Jacob’s experience of conviction of sin, and his deep repentance? Do we have the faithful result of that in his certainty of salvation? Has the Lord done for us what He did for His repentant child and opened up our eyes to the near future and its difficult time of troubles, and its temptations to leave the only true God and join in with the merriment of the one false god who has lifted himself up to be equal with the Godhead? Shouldn’t we have the certainty of salvation that Jacob had? Yes, all scripture is profitable for doctrine. We must have that kind of certainty, we must fortify our minds with the truths of God’s word or we cannot be one of the 144,000, and we will fail out of the hard test ahead of us. He will bring upon the world a first time of trouble to punish us for our neglect toward His high, high standard counsels in the Spirit of Prophecy. But, it will all be for our benefit, as a last chance for Him to finalize His preparation of the last generation who do stand with Him on Mt. Zion during that final trial.
 
“And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them. If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; and that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:39-42).
 
By the strong work and counsels of the faithful and reproving Witness of Jesus, and by our strong confidence in His mercy for us we will see an army of angels travelling up to and down from Mt. Zion where sits the Son of Man on the right hand of Power. By faith we will “come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” (Heb. 12:22).
 
Won’t we strive to be among the 144,000?