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

My Photo
Name:
Location: United States

A person God turned around many times.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dead works and works of righteousness—what is the difference?

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the Law [its power of guilt and our reaction in sin] by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” (Rom. 7:4,5).

This goes along with Paul’s statement, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor. 15:56,57).

“Now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:6). The slain body of Christ delivers us from the Law and “dead works” (Heb. 6:1), “the motions of sins”. We are no longer married to the Law, a law, an impersonal force, but to Christ, the living God who risked His eternal life for us and also loves righteousness. “And I gave them My statutes, and shewed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” (Eze. 20:11,12).

“Convinced of the necessity of holiness of heart, as well as correctness of outward deportment, they [the Wesleys] set out in earnest upon a new life. By the most diligent and prayerful efforts they endeavored to subdue the evils of the natural heart. They lived a life of self-denial, charity, and humiliation, observing with great rigor and exactness every measure which they thought could be helpful to them in obtaining what they most desired—that holiness which could secure the favor of God. But they did not obtain the object which they sought. In vain were their endeavors to free themselves from the condemnation of sin or to break its power. It was the same struggle which Luther had experienced in his cell at Erfurt. It was the same question which had tortured his soul—‘How should man be just before God?’ Job 9:2.” Great Controversy, p. 254.
   
“When Charles Wesley at one time fell ill, and anticipated that death was approaching, he was asked upon what he rested his hope of eternal life. His answer was: ‘I have used my best endeavors to serve God.’ As the friend who had put the question seemed not to be fully satisfied with his answer, Wesley thought: ‘What! are not my endeavors a sufficient ground of hope? Would he rob me of my endeavors? I have nothing else to trust to.’—John Whitehead, Life of the Rev. Charles Wesley, page 102. Such was the dense darkness that had settled down on the church, hiding the atonement, robbing Christ of His glory, and turning the minds of men from their only hope of salvation--the blood of the crucified Redeemer.” Great Controversy, p. 253.
   
“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone.” (Rom. 9:30-32).

“Present truth churches” are striving for self-denial, charity, holiness, striving to prepare for standing before God without a Mediator, to perfectly reproducing the character of Jesus so that He can come and claim us as His own. As it is written,

“Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 69.

Yet, what are we actually reproducing?  We are perfectly reproducing the history of the Jews—we have not attained to the character of Jesus, as it is written. “Wherefore?” “Because [we] sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For [we] stumbled at that stumblingstone; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom. 9:32,33).
G4102 pistis From G3982; persuasion that is credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: -assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:19).
G570 apistia From G571; faithlessness, that is (negatively) disbelief (want of Christian fiath), or (positively) unfaithfulness (disobedience): -unbelief

Pistis and apistia are antonyms, the “a” prefixing apistia giving the reverse meaning of pistis. Unbelief is the opposite of faith, therefore unbelief in Christ means to be devoid of faith in Christ, as “atheism” is the total absence of faith in “theos”, God—“theism”.

But, the unbelievers tried. They tried hard to protect present truth. They were striving hard for holiness. They were working hard at preparing to stand before God without a Mediator. They were eeking out the perfect reproduction of Jesus’ character in order for Him to come and claim them as His own.

But, alas, just like the Wesleys, convinced of the necessity of holiness of heart, as well as correctness of outward deportment, the Present Truthers set out in earnest upon a new life. By the most diligent and prayerful efforts they endeavor to subdue the evils of the natural heart. They live a life of self-denial, charity, and humiliation, observing with great rigor and exactness every measure which they think could be helpful to them in obtaining what they most desire—that holiness which can secure the favor of God. But they do not obtain the object which they seek. In vain have been their endeavors to free themselves from the condemnation of sin or to break its power.

What are they missing? What is the difference between the protectors of Present Truth and the apostles?

Have they bowed their souls before the Most High God, before whom every mouth is stopped and all the world is made guilty? Have they been prostrated in their shame and horror for dishonoring God before unbelievers? Have they desired to be blotted out of existence for the exceeding sinfulness of their sins?

Then, have they hoped in the mercy of Christ? And then, have they sought His face for signs of acceptance? Have they yearned for that union with Him that would give them the wisdom and righteousness and sanctification that could keep them from falling back into gross foolishness and self-centeredness?

Have they been a soul petrified before God when their sins come to mind? Has the word of God been to them “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow” (Heb. 4:12)? Has it been the living word of God—“a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”, the power of the Highest—the power of God unto salvation? Or has the word of God only been lifeless, Christless words and dead letters that they turn into “dead works” (Heb. 9:14)?

If the Schoolmaster—God, and His great Representative, His Law—has desolated us, then He brings us to Christ to be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24). No one can be sanctified and prepared for Christ’s return who is not presently justified. And no one can be justified who has not fallen on his face and received the gift of deep repentance. And no one has deeply repented who has not experienced the abject fear and conviction of sin from the Schoolmaster. They are humbled into the dust, fully humbled and speechless. “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” (Job 40:4). “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6). “Now I … praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.” (Dan. 4:37).

They are dead to the Law and alive unto their Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Son of the Highest.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified….
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Gal. 2:16,19-21).

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor” (Gal. 2:17,18), and “sin is the transgression of the Law.” (1Jn. 3:4).

Are we back to the beginning of a big circle? Which is our salvation—the grace of Christ or the Law of God? Should our focus be justification or sanctification? We can only know the answer to that dilemma if we start with an honest disposition toward the Law, between a conviction of sin in our conscience and the great Judge of all the earth. The experience of honesty with the Law and conviction of sin in our conscience will end in the sure truth. We must trust ourselves in the hands of the Father and Son to be fair in Their judgment of us. We must trust Them to take everything into account. We must trust Them, if They will, to err on the side of mercy. If it is our first go at it, total conviction and repentance feels like a real shot in the dark. “If I subject myself to God's condemnation of my sin, will He find my sin unpardonable? Will He find me unacceptable, unable to be reconciled with?” All we can do is enter into our chamber and see that we have a right “before the face of the most High.” (Lam. 3:35).

“Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” (Isa. 26:20).

“For the Lord will not cast off for ever:
But through He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.
For He doeth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth,
To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
To subvert a man in his cause the Lord approveth not.
Who is he that said, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” (Lam. 3:31-37).

“It is God that justifieth. Who is he that comdemneth?” (Rom. 8:33,34).

But, when we have been pummeled into the dust by this world, then there is no other option than God and His judgment. We have to go for it, even with all of its potential liabilities—abject humiliation and total surrender and dependence on God’s mercy.

“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. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. When they begin to praise and exalt God all the day long, then by beholding they are becoming changed into the same image. What is regeneration? -- It is revealing to man what is his own real nature, that in himself he is worthless.” E. G. White. Recopied Nov. 22, 1896. Special Testimony, A09, p. 62.

When there is no human who will forgive us for all the wrongs that we’ve done, only God is left to help us. And it is a fair assumption that He will make the situation more dreadfully revealing than any human or earthly institution ever could. We will see our nothingness, our unprofitableness and worthlessness, and will want to be blotted out of existence. But, He will make us feel like nothing because our seeing our own nothingness, which means seeing ourselves as we really are, will bring us a more wonderful blessing than the world could ever give us. He will give us perfect freedom from bondage by His free Spirit. He promises the greatest rewards for obedience to His call to humiliation and admission of our unworthiness. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Law of righteousness is the power of God

“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).

In Paul’s description of the Law of God he isn’t portraying only a list of dos and don’ts for a good grade in Bible class. He isn’t describing a scientific or spiritual treatise of all the aspects of some law in legal-ese. Paul is being extremely practical by stating it simply with the best clarification he can muster. This he does as he forges new territory into the workings of the human psyche regarding the effect of the mystery of sin/Satan, and the effect of the mystery of divine holiness, upon the human will.

To Paul, law has immutable authority; law has omnipresent dominion and everlasting power. “Know ye not, brethren,… how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?” (Rom. 7:1). “The Law” is law and has influence; it has power to guilt, to shame, to control. It is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). “Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.” (Rom. 7:8-11).

Here we see two opposing laws—sin and righteousness, Satan using his sword of sin and God using His sword of righteousness, “the Law”.

The immutable law of gravity is the classic example of the immutable, omnipresent power of laws. Gravity can be boiled down into a formula of relationship between force and matter. F = Gm1m2/r2 (Gravitational Force equals a Gravity constant times the mass of two objects multiplied, divided by the square of their distance from each other). But, gravity is obviously more than words and math. It is more than an intellectual pursuit. It is a real force that creates collisions and beautiful swaths of gigantic artistry in the cosmos, as well as on Earth. Likewise, the law of sin and the law of righteousness are not simply formulas of words written by apostles, theologians, and pastors. Rather, the laws of sin and righteousness are the foundational forces in relationships of all forms, personal, interpersonal, family, human society, reaching all the way to the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, the best interpretation of Romans 8:2 comes by relating the law of sin to the force that sin puts upon the human soul, upon the human mind and heart. We can do the same for the Law of God. By substituting for “law” the word “power”, as in “power of God”, “power of righteousness”, “power of sin and death” we can begin to open our understanding to what the spiritual forces are all about. We see the power in the soul that is behind the true Law of God, and if the Law of God isn't an active principle in the soul to cut through the self-orientation and to bring to light the hidden things of darkness, then sin is the active principle in the soul.

Thus Romans 7:22 through 8:4 read,

“For I delight in the [power] of God after the inward man:
But I see another [power] in my members, warring against the [power] of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the [power] of sin which is in my members.…
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
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 [power] of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the [power] of sin and death.
For what the [power of righteousness] could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the [power of righteousness] might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 7:22,23,25-8:4).

The powerful old man is dead through the power of repentance and the almighty “power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14), “the power of the Highest” (Luke 1:35), “Power” (Matt. 26:64) Himself, and we are freed from the old power of sin, enabling us to obey God's powerful right hand of His righteousness. “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” (Isa. 27:5)

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A comment to a YouTube convert's study on the Bride of Christ New Jerusalem

My comment to the theologizing by a new convert to Jesus. Its wonderful to hear them studying the Bible, even if their conclusions differ from ours. If the Lord is with them, He can corrected their ideas. And if we are with Him, we can have a part in that. “What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in [error], or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Phil. 1:18).

~~~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK0ftU7T4LQ

The New Jerusalem is 12,000 furlongs (on each side?), according to Revelation 21:16. According to Wikipedia, “The English first used the furlong in the 9th century or before”. And according to Britannica.com, “Furlong, old English unit of length, based on the length of an average plowed furrow (hence “furrow-long,” or furlong) in the English open- or common-field system. Each furrow ran the length of a 40 × 4-rod acre, or 660 modern feet.” That equals 1/8 of a mile. 12,000/8= 1500 miles. If the 12,000 furlongs means each side, then 1500 miles X 1500 miles=2,250,000 square miles. According to Wikipedia, “Contiguous United States - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contiguous_United_States Together, the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. occupy a combined area of 3,119,884.69 square miles”.

So, New Jerusalem’s 2,250,000 square miles/ U.S. 3,119,884.69 square miles=0.72118. The ratio, 0.72118 would make New Jerusalem more than 2/3 (0.667) and almost 3/4 (0.75) the size of the lower 48 states of America.

But, if the 12,000 furlongs are the total 4 sides of the New Jerusalem, then the size of each side is 12,000/4=3,000 furlongs. And 3,000/8 (furlongs)=375 miles on each side, which would make the New Jerusalem 140,625 square miles. The city’s 140,625 square miles /U.S. 3,119,884.69 square miles =0.0450737, a ratio which would make New Jerusalem less than 1/20th the size of the lower 48 United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Montana is 147,040 square miles, which is the state closest to the size of New Jerusalem if its area is assumed this way. And maybe to get an easier conception of New Jerusalem’s size, New Mexico, which is pretty much square but a little smaller, is 121,590 square miles. That is still a big city.

A third option for the New Jerusalem is to assume our second option, but add a short statement given to John. “...according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.” (vs. 17). This shows a distinction between the measurement of a man and an angel. There are five “ifs” that go with this option. 1) If Adam was created a little lower than the angels, according to Psalm 8:5, and 2) if Adam was a giant as everyone was in the antediluvian world, according to Genesis 6:4 and lived for almost 1,000 years, and 3) if giant Adam stood 15 feet tall (I’m guessing), then 4) maybe the angels stand 20 feet tall. And 4) if symmetry remains the same for all of God’s intelligent creations, then this could affect sizes of the New Jerusalem. For instance, the immediate context of verse 17 is the height of the city’s walls, being 144 cubits tall (“according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel”. But, being that the angel stood approximately 3.333 times taller than a six foot man, and using 3.333 times the forearm for a cubit (18 inches), then the height of the city’s walls will be more like 720 feet high.

Shouldn't this change the overall area of the city in order to keep the wall height-city area proportional? If we multiply the 375 mile sides by 3.333 we get 1,250 miles on each side, which gives us a New Jerusalem area of 1,562,500 square miles, which divided by U.S. lower 48 states area 3,119,884.69 square miles=0.5008. That would mean a New Jerusalem city half the size of contiguous America.

If we use the first option, then the larger angelic measuring length would give us 25,000,027 square miles, which is 8 times the size of America’s lower 48 states. When we look away from our tiny world, we see that everything is tremendously huge. We shouldn’t limit what God has in store, when that the incomprehensible universe of galaxies and nebulae is His creation, and beyond His created universe is limitless empty space that makes me tremble when I think about it for a few minutes (which is all that I can take).

In short, we have amazing things coming when the Father, “Him that sat on the throne” (Rev. 4:9), transfers His seat of government to this sin-tormented world where the greatest controversy the universe was ever dealt with. “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1Cor. 2:9). It’s such amazing grace that our fallen but redeemed race is privileged to be the center of the universe, who crucified the very Prince of heaven and have caused His heart such grievous agony, as a Lamb slain since the foundation of the world.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Why the Adventist reticence to YouTube testimonies?

“…the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment. And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness, it sustained Him.” (Isa. 59:15,16).

This happened to the early church, and it is happening again—Jesus is stepping in personally the save the modern Gentiles, publicans, and sinners. During the past century, if we, His Remnant church, had kept truth and grace uplifted, interceding between God and souls who have been involved in witchcraft, atheism, drug abuse, gender confusion, New Age Satanism, the occult, etc., Christ would need not have gotten directly involved. Nevertheless, although Jesus is now directly involved He has not put us out of His great commission. We should expect Him to make a way open for us, to get us up to speed with His salvation so that we can help His angels finish the work of this gospel of the kingdom. Our stance toward the lawless children of creation should be that of the apostles.

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter.” (Acts 10:1-5).

The Jewish Christians weren’t evangelizing the unclean Gentiles. Rather, their focus was on the clean Jews. In the minds of the Jewish Christians, the Gentiles were beyond conviction, guilt, repentance, and salvation. Therefore, to preempt the impenetrable Jewish prejudices, Jesus sent Peter a vision.

“And [Peter] saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.” (Acts 10:11-16).

Peter understood the message from heaven. He went with Cornelius’ men and the first thing Peter said to the group gathered to hear him teach the gospel was, “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation”—for us, the apostate Protestant denominations—“but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.… of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation”—or denomination—“he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” (Acts 10:28,34,35).

And later, as Peter testified to that awesome demonstration of God’s blessing on those Gentiles, he told the church, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:15-18).

“But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us;
And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.…
For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.…
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:5-11,21,24,29).

We, Adventists, are repeating the history of the Jews, exactly as the Spirit of Christ told our prophet that we would repeat their history. I believe we have interpreted the high standard wrongly in many things because we didn’t have humbled, circumcised hearts when interpreting the Spirit of Prophecy. I believe that is the reason it has been so difficult to interest Adventists to watch the YouTube testimonies. Below are listed 1) some of the Adventist self-justifications for discounting the YouTube testifiers, and 2) some contrasting words of scripture:

The Adventist reply against born-again rock musician, Alice Cooper: “But he still has long hair.” (I.e., “He still has the old look of devil possession. We don’t see a transformation of life. He must still be devil possessed.”)

But the Bible defends these non-SDA Gentiles,

“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? [or, Why?] Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that Stumblingstone.” (Rom. 9:30-32).

“Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.” (Deut. 10:15-18).

The Adventist defense against ex-atheists, ex-porn addicts who Christ pursued and delivered: “They will bring bad influences into the church.”

But the Bible says of them,

“We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Phil. 3:3).

“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” (Rom. 7:4-6).

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.…
For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.…
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.…
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:6,10-13, 16-20,22).

Ex-New Agers won by the love of Jesus: “But they speak in glossolalia, they keep Sunday, they love praise music. They prophesy.” “They are part of the counterfeit revival.”

There needs to be a redefinition of the Corinthian prophesying. It wasn’t pagan hysteria and glossolalia. They weren’t doing as the modern Pentecostal and Charismatic Evangelicals do today. The Corinthians, “called…saints” (1Cor. 1:5), were doing the same as the prophets who were coming down from the hill of God in the days of Saul, when Samuel commanded him to join them. They were praising and rejoicing in the goodness and mercy and love of God, “with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp” (1Sam. 10:5). That is what we hear from the YouTube praises. That was the Corinthians’ prophesying. As those Israelites came down from dwelling in the presence of Jesus, their faith and testimonies to the gentleness and mercy of Christ triggered the new heart that God had given Saul, and he prophesied with them in the same spirit of joy and peace with God. Later Saul’s new spirit and heart inspired the same in others. “And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.” (1Sam. 10:26).

David was a prophet (Acts 2:29,30), yet his prophecies were psalms—songs of praise to the Lord God who he rejoiced in above all else. That was the prophesying that Saul heard and made, and that prophesying was what the Corinthian believers had that could cause an unbelieving visitor to be convicted by all the evidence of God’s character heard from the consecrated Corinthian hearts and flowing gladly from consecrated lips. “And so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Cor. 14:25).

This is the true, biblical prophesying, which is wholly unrelated to the corrupted imaginary prophecies practiced by the modern Charismatic prophets. “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:31). As in Jeremiah’s day, couldn’t the current glossolalia also be a pagan corruption of true, biblical speaking in tongues, preaching “the wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11)? But that isn’t what we hear from the YouTube testifimonies. We hear the wonderful works of God and earnest entreaties to others still enslaved by Satan. Does this characterize the Adventist praise and testimonies? Some of the YouTube testifiers do practice the pagan corruption of the truth. And they need to learn the truth from Acts 2. And their honest souls will learn it, eventually.

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Acts 2:4-11).

“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church….
Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord.
Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1Cor. 14:4,19-25).

The YouTube converts need some instruction on our distinctive doctrines. They shouldn’t be neglected. Actually, because they have the anointing which applies their hearts to wisdom the YouTube converts are more open to truth than the 99 righteous Sunday-goers who need no repentance. “The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” (1Jn. 2:27). And, on that note, they are also more open to truth than many Sabbath-keepers who feel no need for repentance, and who don’t have the anointing. These converts have been humbled and justified. For many among us, their standing before God is better than ours. If we don’t have a religion of the heart’s conversion, we cannot escape the inborn lure of temptations. “The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; and it had now become the principle of the Jewish religion. Satan had implanted this principle. Wherever it is held, men have no barrier against sin.” Desire of Ages, p. 35.
   
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim. 3:16,17). This is the YouTube converts’ big need. And they are hungering for it.

Of the ex-witches saved by the grace of Christ: “They are suspicious. We should keep them at arm’s length and keep them away from our children.”

But, the Bible says about these strangers and foreigners,

“Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 22:21).

“Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 23:9).

“And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” (Lev. 19:33,34).

The Sunday denominations have ostracized us and branded us as a cult? We’ve been treated badly. So why shouldn’t we treat these new-born Christians that we long to be treated? That is what they yearn for.

“Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut. 10:19).

Of ex-gays delivered from that galling yoke: “They aren’t just like us.”

To that the Bible says,

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles.” (Gal. 2:14,15).

To ex-drug addicts and ex-porn addicts whose weapons of warfare against self were mighty through God to the pulling down of their strongholds of sin: “They can’t be part of us until they are completely cleaned up.”

“The last shall be first, and the first last.” (Matt. 20:15,16).

“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matt. 21:43).

“In that ye have brought into My sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary, to pollute it, even My house, when ye offer My bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken My covenant because of all your abominations.
And ye have not kept the charge of Mine holy things: but ye have set keepers of My charge in My sanctuary for yourselves.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into My sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.” (Eze. 44:7-9).

The strangers and uncircumcised the Lord GOD referred to here were pedigreed, Levitical priests, priests who were “the people of the LORD” (Numb. 16:41) but whose hearts were serving Baal, the King of heaven, and Ashtoreth, the Queen. The “sorcerers and…the adulterers” (Mal. 3:5) were not the crude people, but the refined, proud, adulterous religious leadership. On Judgment Day the first became the last, and the last became first.

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.” (Jer. 9:25,26).

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.…
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:21,22,27,28).

“Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled…. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:18,20).

“Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written…. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom. 2:22-24,28,29).

Paul was not ashamed of the ex-occult of his day, the ex-gender confused, and ex-drug addicts, or bashful about their membership in the family of God. “Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.” (Rom. 11:13).

And neither was our Creator ashamed of His children. “And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto Him the elders of the Jews, beseeching Him that He would come and heal his servant.... Then Jesus went with them. And when He was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying unto Him, Lord, trouble not Thyself: for I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter under my roof.” (Luke 7:3-6).

Of all the ex-whatevers now happy in Jesus: “Maybe the Jesuits are behind all these YouTube testimonies. Maybe its just another deception.”

But, the scriptures says of them,

“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Phil. 1:18).

“To the strangers scattered throughout...elect according to the foreknoweledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ...
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:…
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1Pet. 1:7-10,13-19).

So, let us learn the lesson from the Jerusalem conference in the days of Peter and Paul. Let us apply the basic requirements for the Gentiles to these YouTube ex-slaves to sin who Jesus has set free and given to them His Spirit to love the Bible, and who love to study it in order to know the God who saved them from Satan. Let us see the beautiful psychology of salvation that took the Gentiles from the basic introductory requirements in salvation to “sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus”. And let us follow suit for our own sanctification and obedience through the sprinkling of Christ’s blood. Let us emulate their hearts’ consecration to the God who Rose the Muslim called “Love”. Let us relive the experience of the Presence who with the one liner, “I am your God who loves you”, instantly won the mind and melted the heart of Shayne the atheist, who was entrenched in empty philosophy.

“And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
Act 15:28  For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:1-29).

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph. 2:13-22).