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

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Superficiality

“Let love be without dissimulationG505.” (Rom. 12:9).

G505 anupokritos From G1 (as a negative participle) and a presumed derivative of G5371; undissembled, that is, sincere: - without…(hypocrisy), unfeigned.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” (1Pet. 1:22).

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” (1Tim. 1:5).

“By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned.” (2Cor. 6:6).

The superficial character, the fake, the put-on, rends the pure heart of God. It slays the Lamb. The superficial offends the hosts that inhabit the government of eternal truth. And it causes the children of men to destroy one another.

What form of rebellion does not arise from the lack of genuine love? All rebellion ascends from that bottomless pit. But to be truly loved is the cradle out of which springs the only truly good people. Other than genuine love there can be no other force for good that moves hearts made in the image of the God of love. What are humans without constantly receiving sincere love? We become animals. We tear down everything good. All we need in order to do Satan’s bidding is to grow up without experiencing tenderness and affection. Doesn’t the mastermind of evil know this?

“And it [Satan behind the little horn] waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice [the redeeming power of the cross] was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary [His ministration of His Father’s redeeming, reconciled love] was cast down.” (Dan. 8:10,11).

Doesn’t Satan, the most subtle of all intelligent creation, know what happens when heartfelt love is not administered to Earth-bound sinners, which were made especially to represent the corporeal embodiment of the Creators’ character of acceptance and kindness? Of course Satan knows this, and that is why he does everything to substitute a look-alike empty of real affection and a gracious love that “endureth for ever” (Ps. 107:1). Therefore, wouldn’t it also be true that that mastermind of evil would very subtly remove the children of God from such everlasting love that ever flows from the heart of God? Wouldn’t the destroyer let the only source of justification and sanctification slowly become absent in the world, and even in the church? Wouldn’t he insert doctrine that makes some other need more important than the need for love? Wouldn’t Lucifer use something very legitimate, besides the very foundation of human sanity and happiness, to have the highest priority in the church? Wouldn’t the deceiver use obedience? Wouldn’t he use duty and good works?

“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” (Dan. 8:24).

“Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” (Dan. 7:23).

Wouldn’t the devilish one use the Law of God absent of the gospel of God, which shows the love of God, the goodness of God? Wouldn’t he hide the infinitely rich kindness of God that His apostolic messenger exulted in: “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:7). Yes, the son of perdition would hide love so that God’s children would become dysfunctional by a faked, superficial love.

Superficial love, ugh. What a plague!

“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. 5:20).

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matt. 23:27,28).

Living without love, what a blight to the human mind and body and soul! But, true, real love, what a boon to whole person health!

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim. 1:7).

What power for good judgment and discernment comes from love! What calm for rest and health for brain and nerves! What balance for moderation, adding to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, for “charity suffereth long, and is kind”! Without love we have no willpower to do right or go in the right direction. We cannot hear truth unless it comes packaged in love. Soundness of mind comes with love. Jesus was doing that during His developing years before He started His ministry of miracles.

“Jesus was the healer of the body as well as of the soul. He was interested in every phase of suffering that came under His notice, and to every sufferer He brought relief, His kind words having a soothing balm. None could say that He had worked a miracle; but virtue—the healing power of love—went out from Him to the sick and distressed. Thus in an unobtrusive way He worked for the people from His very childhood. And this was why, after His public ministry began, so many heard Him gladly.” Desire of Ages, p. 92.
 
Even demoniacs lost their mental soundness because they received no love; and Jesus healed them with love.

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” (Eph. 4:14,15).

We can accept any amount of reproof from Jesus, from angels, from people when we are certain that they love us. It is so true, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” (1Jn. 5:3). When we know God loves us, then obeying His commandments is easy and light work. Even obeying this world’s authorities comes easy.

“Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee.” (Ps. 63:3).

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts.
I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
And I will delight myself in Thy commandments, which I have loved.
My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in Thy statutes.” (Ps. 119:45-48).

Remembering Him will be natural and constant because the easiest thing in the world for someone to remember is the one who loves him.

“Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee.
Thus will I bless Thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips:
When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches.
Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth me.” (Ps. 63:3-8).

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” (Ps. 103:2-4).

When we see the lovingkindness of God we always remember Him in His requirements. Thy Law is no longer just the Law.

“O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” (Ps. 119:97).

Righteousness by keeping the Law comes from a disposition that the beloved of God hate with a passion because they don’t see love there.

“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.” (Gal. 2:19).

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Gal. 2:21).

“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.” (Gal. 2:20).

And what do we get when we try harder and harder to get obedience right without experiencing the love of God? We get the fake, we get pretence, we get empty play-acting, which is what the Roman “hypocrites” did for a living—they used a stage to create a reality. Could the church’s pulpit and platform be a similar stage, for a similar production?

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Rev. 2:2-4).

Yes, faking it has always been a temptation.

“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev. 2:5).

Was Jesus sincere about His threat? He was as real as the fact that He did remove their light to the world. Over time their works remained brightly beaming, but their souls were left tormented in an empty void, until all who continued their empty performances relieved their tortured souls by avarice, ambition, and murder. All this wickedness came from the problem that Paul addressed in the early church.

“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?... They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.” (Gal. 4:9,17). All that the unredeemed heart can produce is effect, an imitation, a feeling, a fraud. And to make up for the lack of redeeming power, zeal is poured on, “light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace” Early Writings, p. 56. Fanatical presentation of dead requirements might look good, but to all who have received the love of God, zealous feelings amount to nothing. Zealous feeling is all that Satan can implant in the soul. A church fallen away could only fall further and further away from the only source of strength in Jesus. “Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children.” Early Writings, p. 56.

Thus, the post-apostolic church’s love of money, the love of the world, the love of praise from others became the root of all evil. But, those roots of evil had even deeper root hairs in their loss of God’s love, His Spirit of grace and supplication. How these deceived, sleeping, corrupted religious leaders differed from Moses’ pure, simple, innocent yearning to have a deeper knowledge God’s love! And notice the rest that comes with that love!

“And Moses said unto the LORD, See, Thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and Thou hast not let me know whom Thou wilt send with me. Yet Thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in My sight.
Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found grace in Thy sight, shew me now Thy way, that I may know Thee, that I may find grace in Thy sight: and consider that this nation is Thy people.
And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
And he said unto Him, If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
For wherein shall it be known here that I and Thy people have found grace in Thy sight? Is it not in that Thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in My sight, and I know thee by name.
And he said, I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory.
And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Ex. 33:12-19).

Let’s fight to comprehend the simplicity of genuine love. Under the fullness of love’s sanctifying power our flesh will rest in hope and we will love the Father’s Law. We will happily keep His commandments, “which if a man do, he shall even live in them” (Eze. 20:11). “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy [rearguard].” (Isa. 58:8). And, “Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isa. 58:14).

We can live off of that love, as Moses needed no food for forty days while living in the presence Jehovah who is love. And as Jesus, who in a body like ours, has for 2,000 years needed no earthly source of joy or food because He has had His Father’s infinite, full, perfect love. For He said, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” (Matt. 26:29). And as the prophets who needed no air to breathe while they were bathed in the light of heaven, so we need nothing else than the blessed love of Jesus in order to do all that He requires, and to be His children of peace and glory.

Let’s say No to pretence and superficiality, especially to superficial love. Let’s say Yes to the real thing, “the things of God” (1 Cor. 2:10). Let’s “let love be without dissimulation.” (Rom. 12:9).

“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. 16:11). “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Ps. 16:9).

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