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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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The secret to godliness—the blessed scourging

“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37).

Oh, how we love that promise! But, what does it really mean? If the real meaning of the first half were known, many would reject the whole package.

What is involved in the Father giving someone to Jesus? More than most know or want to know. It is the straight gate and narrow path that Jesus spoke of, and few there be that find it.

“Coming to Jesus” can seem so nebulous that many give up without ever learning how to do it. Yet, all over the world little children have learned how. Even some big baby Hueys have learned how. Let’s look at what is involved in coming to Jesus.

What do Acts 5:31, Isaiah 6:5-7, Genesis 32:25,26, Galatians 3:23,24, Proverbs 28:9, Jeremiah 31:2,3, Hebrews 12:6-8, Romans 3:19, Psalm 106:44, Judges 10:6-16, Isaiah 30:15-19, Psalm 106:42-45, John 6:37 have in common? When all the puzzle pieces are put together, what picture comes into view? A very beautiful picture, a wonderful mystery, indeed, the secret to godliness and happiness.

“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.” (Gal. 3:23,24).

The people of every church that says the Law of God was done away with at the cross cannot rightly understand Galatians 3:23,24. But, Matthew 5:17, Romans 3:31, and Romans 8:7 clearly indicate that the Law of God is eternal. God’s Law is in full force today, and perfectly cooperates with God’s Spirit. However, the Christian church today rejects the Law’s condemnation and therefore they see Galatians 3:23,24 as nothing except a lesson in history. They say that the Jews were under the Law for 1,500 years, and that during that time Jesus gave them horrible, dead works to live all their long lives. But, they say that when He came here He gave the Holy Ghost and grace to the church, and so we get to be free from Law, dead to the Law of God. Too bad for the Old Testament Jews. That is the Papal and Evangelical interpretation of Galatians 3:23,24. It is antinomianism, and pure anti-Semitism.

However, being under the Law God has demanded of “all the world” (Rom. 3:19). That is, being under “the curse of the Law” (Gal. 3:13, cf Gal. 4:5) is His first step in giving “the gift of God” (John 4:10).

“Now we know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19). This verse was Paul’s crescendo in the introduction of his treatise on the gospel of our salvation. He opened the good news of Christ with the bad news of God. Paul opened the good news of Mt. Calvary with the bad news of Mr. Sinai. There is no justification of sin with condemnation of sin. There can be no infinite repentance in the soul without infinite conviction from on high.

“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” (Heb. 12:6).

When we have endured His infinite scourging God dealeth with us as children. This was seen again and again by Old Testament Israel.

“And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not Him.
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.
And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.
Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed.
and the children of israel cried unto the lord, saying, we have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our god, and also served baalim.
And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines?
The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to Me, and I delivered you out of their hand.
Yet ye have forsaken Me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.
Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.
And the children of Israel said unto the Lord, We have sinned: do Thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto Thee; deliver us only, we pray Thee, this day.
And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the Lord: and His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.” (Judg. 10:6-16).

“Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
Many times did He deliver them; but they provoked Him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
Nevertheless He regarded their affliction, when He heard their cry:
And He remembered for them His covenant, and repented according to the multitude of His mercies.” (Ps. 106:42-45).

This is a recurring theme throughout sacred history. Israel chose to close their hearts to God’s condemning Law and to deliberately force Jehovah to leave them. Therefore, the Lord punished them by raising up unbeatable enemies to work repentance into Israel’s previously unwilling hearts. In the end they would return to Him with sorrow for sin, confession, humility; and He would return to them with forgiveness and complete restoration to His heart.

“This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the Law of the LORD:
Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us….
For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.
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.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee.” (Isa. 30:9-11,15-19).

The sword of the Lord leads to the grace of the Lord.

“For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it…. Therefore fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.” (Jer. 30:5-7,10).

“Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.
The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until He have done it, and until He have performed the intents of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.
At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.
Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 30:23-31:3).

We love to quote Jeremiah 31:3, but without its context we turn God’s love into love-sick sentimentalism, into a vain fantasy. Without its context, we have lost its true meaning. What prepared the people to be drawn by God’s loving-kindness, to find justification and grace, and be led to peace and rest? It was the sword of justice and punishment. The fear of God, humiliation, and shame before Him led them to see His goodness. And that led them to repentance.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:11).

But, on the other hand, many refuse the humbling correction of God. They will not surrender to the humbling.

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Heb. 12:7,8).

All who will not submit to God’s right to punish are none of His. All who will not admit that they deserve punishment cannot be His Son’s disciples. They are not of Elohim, but of Baalim. They are not born of God, but are of their father the devil. Their sins cannot be reproved; their idols must not be broken. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Prov. 28:9). Their thoughts are in constant warfare against Jehovah. Satan’s voice speaks in their prayers. Devils sing through their songs of worship. To God, their every action is abominable blasphemy. He doesn’t know them, despite all their abundant morality and religiosity. To Him their worship is whorship. And if they never surrender, which grows more difficult with every opportunity presented by His Spirit, then they end their probationary life unprepared for Judgment Day. They die lost for eternity. If only they once chose to feel the pain of being in God’s presence, His angels would be there instantly by their side as they were to Jesus in Gethsemane.

“And when [Jacob] saw that he prevailed not against [Jesus], He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with [Jesus].” (Gen. 32:25).

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jer. 30:7).
“For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.” (Jer. 29:10).
 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer. 31:31-33).

When a soul has suffered God’s scourging, surrendered to its claims; when he has resolved the humbling, and in hope has cried out for mercy, then the Father gives Christ to him for His provision of mercy. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.” (John 6:37).

All who have surrendered to the Law’s claims, they will naturally come to Jesus. Even though it can take time, sometimes years, to get through the humbling authority of the God of love; even though it may take time to see the goodness of God in His rebuke and spanking—time for Jesus to open their eyes to His Father’s goodness—they get through it all. Then they hear His promise, “And him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (Ibid.). They realize, “God, the Almighty, the final authority on justice, is offering His provision to help me!

Then nothing and nobody can stop the determination of the empowered soul to come to Jesus as his sin-pardoning Saviour. The soul happily overcomes the humbling in Judge and by the authoritative, gracious words he hears from the Spirit of Christ, his hope turns into faith and his faith receives Jesus’ promises of justification and he revels in his gift of the reconciled “Spirit of the Father”. He comes out the other side happy with the Father, settled in His Law, like he could never be before the humbling, and very tightly bound to the Son.

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” (Isa. 6:5-7).
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Vs.8).

Otherwise, without admitting the need for God’s humbling scourging we have no help from above; we ever remain under the loveless, dogmatic domain of the devil. There is no salvation without the Schoolmaster’s punishment from above, His strong conviction of sin. Without God’s infinite conviction of sin there can be no infinite repentance of sin. Without His sword that cuts both ways as a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, we remain ever wretched, miserable, blind, poor, blind and naked. Our repentance is abomination; our good works are dead works. We have no rest day and night, and the smoke of our torment ascendeth forever and ever. We can never be sealed by God because we crave the lawless, mark of the beast, which gives no love.

“Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31).

Acknowledging the Father’s justice in His infinite conviction of sin we receive an infinite need for an infinite Saviour from sin. We receive the bold faith to cry for His mercy. And in that faith we can hear and believe His mercy when He endows it. The new heart and His ever-present Spirit are witnesses to us that we are accepted in the Beloved.

All who haven’t surrendered their blunders to God’s lightning and thunderous condemnation of sin, will not come to Jesus. All who will not surrender to the humbling of the infinite God don’t get far enough into the process of redemption to need an infinite Jesus. Only the ones who have surrendered to God’s authority come to Jesus, and happily.

All who the Father gives to His Son are they who have submitted to His scourging, crying out for Jesus to accept them and love them. They come out of the scourging rebuke of God recognizing the goodness of God in its rightful humbling shame and guilt. They look back at the fearful but glorious experience, and they realize that all their suffering needed to happen in order for their sky-high self-will and rebellion to be reined in. They see that Jesus suffered the same in Gethsemane. They see that by His help have entered into His suffering and they are worthy to be called His brethren and His friends. In their deep joy, they see His deeper joy, His deepest joy. “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:7). They are at peace with God and with His strong ways. His cloud sits on their mercy seat and they reverently guard their new temple. They are at home in His constant presence and dwell in the house of the Lord forever. By His infinite power they are sealed in justification through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21).

By God’s infinite scourging they have become the powerful, happy sons of God. The blessed scourging is the secret of salvation, the mystery of godliness.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Casting out demons

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20).

In YouTube testimonies I’m hearing more and more of spiritual warfare. Here is one I heard recently, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjL9kQUT_Vg.
The above URL is about fasting and praying in order to cast out a demon that refuses to be cast out simply by the name of Jesus.

I believe this and similar sermons/testimonies are well meaning, but they miss the target. Too much emphasis is placed upon devils and not enough upon the written principles of truth. The extremely practical proverbs say, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” (Prov. 26:2).

Jesus is saying that the curse has a cause. And that cause comes from us, as the Proverbs 26:2 context reveals.

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.
As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.
As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.” (Prov. 25:28 -26:9).

Our wretched hearts being the cause of our spiritual problems is not a popular message. But there is the well-known words of Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” We have much difficulty knowing our own hearts. But our hearts are transparent to God on His throne and to His present Spirit.

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:13).
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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).

“O LORD, Thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, Thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
For Thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Ps. 139:1-13).

Up front our decision to face our Father’s scourging or not determines our outcome of who possesses us. In the end it will be better to suffer under His strong hand and have Him possess our reins than to evade His heavy guilt and have Satan possess our reins.

When the Father’s final authority of heaven and earth says we are guilty, we are guilty beyond measure. Let us surrender to His destruction of our flesh and trust Him to never overstep His power to convict. And that we are guilty are the first words out of His mouth.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom. 3:10-18).
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. 3:19).

Only partially is the cause of our troubles the demonic hosts. True, Satan is a real general of real satanic hosts. But, to say that we aren’t a factor in our lack of success against Satan is being self-deceptive. And by not bringing into the equation our need of constant conviction from the principles of God’s word implies that we have no responsibility in delivering our friends’ demonic oppression, or our own. It is a silent denial of biblical truth.

Paul said, “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” (Rom. 7:20,21). But, ultimately he didn’t attribute his problems to sin, but to himself. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24). Paul wasn’t dodging culpability by saying, “The devil made me do it.” He admitted to his wretchedness. He blamed himself for his body of death.

Isaiah made the same confession, which came from his humiliation and surrender, and which led to his commission as a prophet to the Jews.

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
And one cried unto another, and said, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD OF HOSTS: THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.” (Isa. 6:1-4).

“Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isa. 6:5).

“Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” (Isa. 6:6-8).

Now that we have established our responsibility for sin, let’s look in scripture at another aspect of spiritual oppression.

In the days of Paul, when a spreading movement of unconverted, unqualified people, young and old, who in the name of Jesus tried to cast out demons, the youth were met with the same resistance that is described in the YouTube spiritual warfare testimonies. And the young people of that day even faced someone else’s demonic warfare that turned against them.

“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16).

The unqualified, unconverted hearts and souls in these unbelieving Jews and in the demon-possessed man caused the curse of demonic oppression. It was the spiritual condition of them all. It was everyone’s resistance to the gospel and to the high standard of the Law of God and the cross of Christ and that enabled the devils to control the Jews, high and low, rich and poor, free and bond, sophisticated and commoner. But it was the faith of Abraham, being restored to the church mixed with the word of God that is the victory over every weakness, every flaw, every ill, which includes satanic oppression and possession.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2Cor. 10:3-6).

The problem is a spiritual one; therefore the solution is also a spiritual one. Perverted imaginations, the exaltation of self, thoughts not trained in obedience to Christ—these are the opportunities for the devils’ spiritual control of even the best member of humanity. Fix the perversions through the instruction in righteousness, and the devils flee.

What we all need, and what the people during Christ’s ministry received, was the powerful conviction of sin. “Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth, but always in love. He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity; but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, which refused to receive Him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with the tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save.” Steps to Christ, p. 12.
  
And many received Him and His Law. “Behold My servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench: He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law.” (Isa. 42:1-4).

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people.” (Heb. 8:10). “A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.” (Eze. 36:26,37).

By a new heart and Spirit, the Law written in that new heart and mind, the kingdom of darkness will find nothing in them to take advantage of. “The Messiah the Prince” (Dan. 9:25) who lived by every word of God said, “the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” (John 14:30). Jesus’ victory over the devil is to be the experience of everyone who inherits the kingdom of God. They will have the fear of God that delivers them from the god of this world. They will receive a love of truth from the word of God that “is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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).

By giving scripture the right sense Jesus, His prophets, and His apostles, spoke the pure, unvarnished truth, and their demonic enemies fell back. It is still as it too often was anciently, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?” (Eze. 34:2). “Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.” (2Chron. 15:3). All through the ages, whenever the people of God left the purity and holiness taught in the laws and statutes given them from heaven, they had no barrier against the forces of Satan and sin. Devil possession became invasive and all-pervasive.

“And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:
And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you.
Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.
But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found of them.
And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries.
And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.” (2Chron. 15:1-6).

“Through heathenism, Satan had for ages turned men away from God; but he won his great triumph in perverting the faith of Israel. By contemplating and worshiping their own conceptions, the heathen had lost a knowledge of God, and had become more and more corrupt. So it was with Israel. The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion; 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.

“Fear God and give glory unto Him” (Rev. 14:6) comprises the hedge of protection from the demonic entities today and that will have full reign in the future when “darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people” (Isa. 60:2). No other power on earth will keep the powers of darkness at bay.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8). “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (vs. 7). “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6). This is the antidote to the evil presence of devils in us and in our friends.

The holy, spiritual realm work in the human conscience through holy truth; and the fallen spirit realm in the wicked, seared conscience through unholy error. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7). This is the only true key to deliverance, and without it everyone falls under the control of sin and Satan’s hosts. Lead people to the Schoolmaster and His great innumerable omnipotent definitions of sin, so that the carnal mind can say, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).

Unless the Schoolmaster scourges us of sin He cannot bring us to Christ to be justified by faith. Once the self-justifications have ceased, every mouth stopped, and the soul made guilty before the Schoolmaster, then we run to His Son who will never turn away humbled, contrite children. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37). Then lead them to Christ and His equally great mercy in behalf of convicted, humbled, repentant sinners, and sin and Satan cannot abide in them. The justified, redeemed soul is so vigilant against sin that it is too caustic an environment for the strongest demon to dwell in.

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1Jn. 5:12).
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).
“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).
 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 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. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1Jn. 3:8-10).

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1Pet. 1:23).

“When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you?... It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:61,63).

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Laying down the life

“And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might.” (Jdg. 16:30).

I awoke under the curse of the Law, but very happy to know that Jesus took the time to commune with me. In His presence is fullness of joy. The thought was of the first principle, the very essence, of His kingdom, and how I wasn’t fitting that principle. That principle is self-sacrificing, self-denying love.

Then came to mind the verse, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).

I had miserably failed at that yesterday. My friend, who is stuck in the New Age, needed me to clean up the insulation and plaster that had fallen in from the attic and cover the 4 foot diameter hole in her dining room ceiling. I had worked all day cutting Azek trim, which left me with nasty Azek dust in my hair, on my face and arms, and on my grimy clothes. I was tired and grungey. The Sabbath was coming on. I so much needed a bath and a restful Friday evening with Jesus. I wanted to please my friend by quickly doing her favor, and then end the work week looking unto Jesus. I wanted to see the week end in a blaze of glory in the heart of my friend by an uncomfortable labor of love, and for the greater glory of the Jesus that the New Age doesn’t know. And then I wanted to be alone with my heavenly Friend, while relishing the grand finale of the work week—a blessing and happiness in the heart of my earthly friend.

As I drove to her house anticipating victory, Bible verses of mercy and love floated around in my head, and I appreciated that communion with Jesus. But I was grimy and tired, and growing increasingly less inclined to lay down my life for my friend. Yes, I remembered about pulling an ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath; everyone knows that one. I could profane the Sabbath and still be guiltless, as Jesus said of the Hebrew priests. I know the Bible pretty good—but, too often only intellectually. Too often I don’t see the truth and the truth as it is in the Son.

The communing in my head was going south rapidly. I began to remember how she subtly dumped this request on me without asking if I was able to do it, how she gave me a bag of veggies (as a reward) before she informed me that she wanted me to do this job. Not exactly above board (but love was in her heart somewhere). She didn’t consider me and my needs. ME, of all people! You don’t do that to me! I deserve better! I deserve better! And the devil beat that drum and dribbled that ball in my head as long as he could, once again driving me down court for yet another two points for self and the devil. My selfishness reminds me of something an angry little four-year-old kept sometimes cried out, “What about me?! What about me?!” At least that little girl was honest. “Surely they are My people, children that will not lie.” (Isa. 63:8). “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth” (Zeph. 3:13). “So He was their Saviour” (Isa. 63:8).

I allowed into my thoughts that my friend needed to learn patient endurance. She needed to suffer for Christ’s sake, (then I wouldn’t have to be patientlyoh so patiently—enduring her situation and suffering her issues and bearing her burdens, which is a despicable, gross idea.)  I thought, “Let her New Age personalities help her.” Being God-sized, I claimed for my wounds the scripture, “And He shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.” (Deut. 32:37,38). (The pope spoke the truth, albeit unwittingly, that the word of God is a dangerous book when possessed by the wrong spirit, holding the truth in unrighteousness.) “What about me?!” had taken me over. I deserve better! The longer I entertained that thought, the more I was being filled with regret that I had partially agreed to cover the hole. I was no better than the heathen.

She had told me about plastic bags for holding the attic debris. I found the plastic in my friend’s crowded basement, but couldn’t find the tape that she had described. As soon as I couldn’t find the tape that she described I realized I was caught in a quagmire that would take me more than an hour to get out of. Her disorganized life was going to drag this 15 minute victory into the Sabbath hours and I would not get into bath and bed before 10 pm. Ugghhhhh!

Patient endurance was out of the picture. The morning’s vision was gone from me. Jesus laying down His life was far from my mind. How could mercy enter into my heart while self was eclipsing my merciful Saviour? It never can happen. No man can serve two masters—especially two diametrically opposed masters—the beautiful Son of God and ugly, selfish self. So, when the box tape—that is, Scotch tape—didn’t stick to the plaster ceiling longer than a second, I gave up trying to help my friend. The day was over. The sun was sinking. My friend was just going to have to live in her disaster-ridden dining room until early Sunday morning, which I texted her was when I would return to cover the hole. By the time she called me to say she would be home in 40 minutes to get me the tape, I had already made my escape. Homeward bound! Victory for self!

Sad state of affairs. Pitiful! Christian? Where was the Spirit of Christ? In my heart? Couldn’t be.

“LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, Thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before Thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.” (Ps. 39:4,5).

Therefore, at 3:23 a.m. I awoke under the Law. Thankfully, as many as Jesus rebukes and chastens He loves. “And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (1Tim. 1:14). And His Spirit gave me a Bible study as I came to. He shall be called, Wonderful! Peace-giving! Life-giving! Surely,

“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.” (Lam. 3:22-25).

I saw the self-sacrifice of Jesus. I saw that the principle of self-sacrifice was the basis of His every thought and energy. That principle was the key point of His every lesson to His disciples. I saw that if I am to be a disciple, I must learn this lesson, I must own this principle. Laying down the life will one day mean prison, torture, death for the gospel. Martyrdom won’t be a stranger to the 144,000 and the great multitude of their followers out of Babylon.

“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days [years]: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10).

Am I getting ready for Christ’s return? Am I really, if I am not learning to lay down my life? How can I be a martyr for Jesus if I can’t overcome self-pity in the simplest tests today? How can I lay down my life literally, if I am not striving to the utmost every second of every day to lay aside my comforts and convenience for service to others? It won’t happen. If I am not suffering now, I won’t suffer then. If I am not putting self down today, why should I think I will put self down in the future? If I can’t pass easy tests, how can I pass the ultimate test—facing the prospect of death?

Laying down His life is what Jesus thought about every day. This was His daily bread. The shadow of the cross affected His life ever after age 12 when He was wandering in the temple and realized that He was the Lamb of God. “For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on Me.” (Rom. 15:3). Jesus “pleased not Himself” is an understatement if ever there was one. He never pleased self. He always pleased His Father. He feared to not please His Father. Not until His Father gave the permission to eat did Jesus eat. Not until His Father gave the OK to rest from His hard labors did Jesus rest, as a carpenter, as a neighbor, as a lamb before her guilt-laden, shame-ridden penitent owner. “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7). Ever ministering, ever serving, ever laying down His life, ever doing so quietly, until He bowed His head and let the full destruction of Judgment Day fall upon Him. And thus, as a greater than Samson, He slew more devils in His death than He did in His life (see John 5:39).

I saw again with clearest sight that self-sacrifice is the whole purpose for receiving the promised Spirit. [Truly, “every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him,” “hath everlasting life.” (John 6:40,47)] The peace that passeth all understanding wasn’t used by Paul to indulge in, but so that he could use it to lay down his life for the uncircumcised Gentiles, the heathen outcasts of heaven.

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13). If ye live to save yourself ye will die. But, if ye through the Spirit do kill the selfish, self-pleasing habits, ye shall live.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14).

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:16-18).

Paul was Christ’s best representative in the church. The apostle was driven to the ends of the earth, constantly facing death. He pushed the envelope of safety and dependence on God to the utmost, trusting Christ and knowing that he was pushing the principle of self-sacrifice, the principle of heaven, expanding the knowledge of God among the descendants of Adam.

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15).

“And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.… I have fought with beasts at Ephesus.” (1Cor. 15:30-32).

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

And he could not do all that he did without the vision of Jesus’ self-sacrifice every instant plastered on the forefront of his brain, sealed in his thinking, branded upon the stained glass window of his soul. “For he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Heb. 11:27). Christ crucified was Paul’s constant message to the world, and his constant pattern of life.

“God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8).
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom. 5:6).

The self-sacrificing Son of God consumed this man who had been given a new heart and spirit. He believed that if a person was not presently laying down his life, then he didn’t have the Spirit of God. Such a person wasn’t saved and under grace, and under the power and protection of God. Such a person was reprobate or going toward apostasy, and needed rebuke.

“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.” (Gal. 2:11,12).

“I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise…. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:14,16).

“Scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” (Rom. 5:7).

The gospel was Paul’s gospel. It was his clothing and daily fare. His message was all that encompassed his life, and the message that Christ on His throne desired His children to be.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Rom. 12:1-3).

“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:6-21).

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A YouTube testimony comment

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:7-12).

There are many testimonies about sleep paralysis and night terrors, and they are all connected with attacks by shadowing demons. My neighbor confessed to me that he had been attacked one night and felt a dark being right over him. He could only cry out the name of Jesus. The experience was a horrific.

The devils are real. Like you said that so much that is within us is passed off as junk, but which over time reveals itself to have definite purpose for its creation. We were created in God's image, in His infinite spiritual image that man cannot comprehend. Even with all of man's collective scientific studies over the eons, we will never understand everything that our Creator put into the human being. We are amazing creations. We have something that the animal kingdom doesn't have, and that is the ability to commune with our spiritual Creator, His spiritual Son, and Their spiritual hosts. But, many of those spiritual hosts have rebelled and are trying to distort the image of God in the human so that they can take pleasure in communing with us and turning us into evil beings like they are. They are cut off from the Father of life and happiness, and they want us to have the misery they suffer. Not only does that bring them great pleasure, but they know that it gets total revenge on our heavenly Parents who suffer because of our misery under the new overlords that we have chosen. I hope this makes sense to you. Like you promised, “I am open to everything.” So I hope you don't dismiss the Bible's explanation for your demonic attacks. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to leave no stone unturned for the solution to your problems. Amanda, I promise you your answer will come from your Creator.

To watch her testimony it is here,
Sleep paralysis / shadow beings and my experience

Here is another similar testimony,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuEI5UnVQX4

Friday, May 18, 2018

History being repeated?

“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.” (Gal. 3:23,24).

“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever.” (Isa. 30:8).

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done.” (Ecc. 1:9).

Many, who don’t want to come under the Law as a Schoolmaster, treat Galatians 3 as only a lesson in biblical ancient history. It doesn’t apply to them or to anyone since Christ came! It applies only to the Jews who rejected the Schoolmaster in their apostolic generation. Thus many today feel safe from the Galatians 3:23, 24 message of the Law’s condemnation of sin, the Law’s rebukes and warnings. But, everything Jesus wrote in the Bible is forever. The writings of scripture are eternally sacred principles.

Knowing this, have we Adventists fallen into a similar trap with the visions recorded by Ellen White in Early Writings? Isn’t all that she wrote then to be feared by us today, as we are making the second pass through the same enchantments, which then filled Protestants, and now seems to fill Adventists? We are now in the final time of strong delusion. Everywhere around us is enchanted ground full of temptations. Every SDA must realize the dangers that surround them in our foggy, dimmed, dusky world that has been stripped of the Bible’s light to give awareness of the end of time. Every SDA must realize that they are prime targets of Satan and of his satanic wrath and cunning. Yet we are willingly being swept off our feet by the television, the cinema, internet, magazines all of which celebrate people and cause a pervasive forgetfulness of God. Papists and satanic angels love to see such an apostasy. Then, after living enchanted by the world, we bring all of that into our worship services and Sabbath Schools. The lack of conversion is ubiquitous. “I saw…total darkness… no connection between them and Jesus”.
  

The Advent Movement Illustrated

     I saw a number of companies that seemed to be bound together by cords. Many in these companies were in total darkness; their eyes were directed downward to the earth, and there seemed to be no connection between them and Jesus. But scattered through these different companies were persons whose countenances looked light, and whose eyes were raised to heaven. Beams of light from Jesus, like rays from the sun, were imparted to them. An angel bade me look carefully, and I saw an angel watching over every one of those who had a ray of light, while evil angels surrounded those who were in darkness. I heard the voice of an angel cry, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” 

     A glorious light then rested down upon these companies, to enlighten all who would receive it. Some of those who were in darkness received the light and rejoiced. Others resisted the light from heaven, saying that it was sent to lead them astray. The light passed away from them, and they were left in darkness. Those who had received the light from Jesus joyfully cherished the increase of precious light which was shed upon them. Their faces beamed with holy joy, while their gaze was directed upward to Jesus with intense interest, and their voices were heard in harmony with the voice of the angel, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” As they raised this cry, I saw those who were in darkness thrusting them with side and with shoulder. Then many who cherished the sacred light, broke the cords which confined them and stood out separated from those companies. As they were doing this, men belonging to the different companies and revered by them passed through, some with pleasing words, and others with wrathful looks and threatening gestures, and fastened the cords which were weakening. These men were constantly saying, “God is with us. We stand in the light. We have the truth.” I inquired who these men were, and was told that they were ministers and leading men who had rejected the light themselves, and were unwilling that others should receive it. 

     I saw those who cherished the light looking upward with ardent desire, expecting Jesus to come and take them to Himself. Soon a cloud passed over them, and their faces were sorrowful. I inquired the cause of this cloud and was shown that it was their disappointment. The time when they expected their Saviour had passed, and Jesus had not come. As discouragement settled upon the waiting ones, the ministers and leading men whom I had before noticed, rejoiced, and all those who had rejected the light triumphed greatly, while Satan and his evil angels also exulted. 

     Then I heard the voice of another angel saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen!” A light shone upon those desponding ones, and with ardent desires for His appearing, they again fixed their eyes upon Jesus. I saw a number of angels conversing with the one who had cried, “Babylon is fallen,” and these united with him in the cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” The musical voices of these angels seemed to reach everywhere. An exceedingly bright and glorious light shone around those who had cherished the light which had been imparted to them. Their faces shone with excellent glory, and they united with the angels in the cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.” As they harmoniously raised the cry among the different companies, those who rejected the light pushed them and with angry looks scorned and derided them. But angels of God wafted their wings over the persecuted ones, while Satan and his angels were seeking to press their darkness around them, to lead them to reject the light from heaven.

     Then I heard a voice saying to those who had been pushed and derided, “Come out from among them, and touch not the unclean.” In obedience to this voice, a large number broke the cords which bound them, and leaving the companies that were in darkness, joined those who had previously gained their freedom, and joyfully united their voices with them. I heard the voice of earnest, agonizing prayer from a few who still remained with the companies that were in darkness. The ministers and leading men were passing around in these different companies, fastening the cords more firmly; but still I heard this voice of earnest prayer. Then I saw those who had been praying reach out their hands for help toward the united company who were free, rejoicing in God. The answer from them, as they earnestly looked to heaven, and pointed upward, was, “Come out from among them, and be separate.” I saw individuals struggling for freedom, and at last they broke the cords that bound them. They resisted the efforts which were made to fasten the cords tighter and refused to heed the repeated assertions: “God is with us.” “We have the truth with us.”

     Persons were continually leaving the companies that were in darkness and joining the free company, who appeared to be in an open field raised above the earth. Their gaze was directed upward, the glory of God rested upon them, and they joyfully shouted His praise. They were closely united and seemed to be wrapped in the light of heaven. Around this company were some who came under the influence of the light, but who were not particularly united to the company. All who cherished the light shed upon them were gazing upward with intense interest, and Jesus looked upon them with sweet approbation. They expected Him to come and longed for His appearing. They did not cast one lingering look to earth. But again a cloud settled upon the waiting ones, and I saw them turn their weary eyes downward. I inquired the cause of this change. Said my accompanying angel, “They are again disappointed in their expectations. Jesus cannot yet come to earth. They must endure greater trials for His sake. They must give up errors and traditions received from men and turn wholly to God and His Word. They must be purified, made white, and tried. Those who endure that bitter trial will obtain an eternal victory.” Early Writings, p. 240-243.
   
I saw that as the Jews crucified Jesus, so the nominal churches had crucified these messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the way into the most holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there. Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left; and Satan, pleased with the deception, assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, working with his power, his signs and lying wonders, to fasten them in his snare. Some he deceives in one way, and some in another. He has different delusions prepared to affect different minds. Some look with horror upon one deception, while they readily receive another. Satan deceives some with Spiritualism. He also comes as an angel of light and spreads his influence over the land by means of false reformations. The churches are elated, and consider that God is working marvelously for them, when it is the work of another spirit. The excitement will die away and leave the world and the church in a worse condition than before.


     I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant. Early Writings, p. 260.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Dominated by grace

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14).
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” (Rom. 6:15).

This verse has caused many to reject the Law of God as something that is opposed to grace. They desire to be without control, with a will free to do whatever it desires. In their doctrine, in their mind, if they want to murder that doesn’t change their standing before God—because they are under His good graces. Once saved, always saved. They have believed in Jesus as the Saviour. Now and forever their name is written in the book of life. This, of course, is preposterous, and unbiblical. If in the civil life they were to live the same way they think in the religious life, how long would they last before spending life in federal prison and taken off the roles of a good citizen? They believe that they can perjure themselves, they can steal, they can murder, they can commit adultery, sell drugs, and still be listed on the heavenly records. But, the click of the federal marshal’s handcuffs, the rap of the federal judge’s gavel, and the horrible sounds of the rugged, steel door of bars going shut, will probably awaken them out of their delusion. Likewise, the day Jesus says to them, “I know not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity.”

That is not at all the true experience of living under grace. Living under grace means being dominated by the power of God unto salvation. It means having a whole new Master and Lord. He takes “captivity captive” (Ps. 68:18; Eph. 4:8). They are under a new Slavemaster, as Paul put it, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord….” (Eph. 4:1). And he wrote,

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”(Phil. 2:5-8).

“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?” (Rom. 6:16).

Romans 6:16 declares most clearly that even after the new birth, even after surrendering—yielding—to the Law of the Schoolmaster and the mercy of Christ, if we are under grace we must continue to yield to the Law—forever. The big difference will be that the Law won’t be a schoolmaster anymore, but the best guide a person could ever wish for. Jesus said it this way:

“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).

A continual choice must be made to remain yielded to the mercy of Jesus, and to His Lordship, Him as Master. They believed on Him, and yet He left the promise of free will conditional. “If ye continue in My word…” Paul again makes salvation conditional upon perfect faithfulness to the end of the discipleship period. “For we are madeG1096 partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” (Heb. 3:14). The word, “made” “made partakers” is the same as “become” in “become the sons of God”.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to becomeG1096 the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).

Both conditions of being born again and being made partaker of Christ will continue if we keep our confidence in Jesus steadfastly to the very end. Otherwise, all bets are off. And that’s only fair for Jesus. He deserves our lifetime of love.

“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.” (Rom. 6:11,12).

But, not to end this post on the negative, there are those who do hold the beginning of their confidence stedfast unto the end. Such a person was Shayne. I transcribed his beautiful testimony on another post at the following address,

And you can hear his testimony at, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK5zDfD4XdM

Below, what I want to showcase is how he analyzes and describes the effect of the power of grace upon his heart and mind, and its lasting effects. His scientific analysis glorifies his Saviour and shows that nature and revelation alike declare the glory of God.

Notice these key statements: “My whole being responded in a way that is very hard to explain. In a moment my life was given meaning and value. In that moment I knew I was created to be a home for this incredible, loving God. From that moment, I knew that life was serving this amazing God. There was now no other option.”

“I was suddenly struck by how luminescent the room had become and everything in it. I raised myself up on my elbow to look at the wall and why it was so bright. The very next moment, from a position about half a meter behind me on my left-hand side, I heard a voice loud enough for anyone in that room to have heard, ‘I am your God who loves you.’

My whole being responded in a way that is very hard to explain. In a moment my life was given meaning and value. In that moment I knew I was created to be a home for this incredible, loving God. From that moment, I knew that life was serving this amazing God. There was now no other option.

Everything then returned to normal. The whole event was probably no longer than a few minutes. The room was again a normal hotel room. Except I was left a different person, on my way to becoming a new creation.

After saying my first prayer, the day proceeded as normal. The meeting I had for work went smoothly, and was more successful than I expected. On returning home, I went through the house throwing out all the material that was unhealthy for my young faith. I also threw out all my books on philosophy, especially those which conflicted with my young relationship with Jesus. I avoided all the places and people that may have placed my young faith at risk. The people that I had wronged in some way, I sought out and apologized for my sinful behavior. I became a regular member of the Bible study group with my wife. And immersed myself in scripture, and attended any course that would help me gain a better understanding how I might best serve my loving God.

Not long after, I prayed for a sound, spiritual mentor. And within a few days I met one of the most enthusiastic of Jesus’ followers, who had a recognized gift for teaching.

In summary, I can say that the one most important aspect I can recall [of that motel room experience] was God’s absolute majesty and holiness. I remained motionless, as there was no possibility I would turn around and look to see who had spoken. There was a sense, there was an authority, in the room; and I would only do what I was given permission to do.”

“My whole being responded in a way that is very hard to explain. In a moment my life was given meaning and value. In that moment I knew I was created to be a home for this incredible, loving God. From that moment, I knew that life was serving this amazing God. There was now no other option.” An amazing statement.

Look at the words Shayne used. Obviously, as a believer in existentialism Shayne’s mind had never found meaning and value in life. Meaning and value came with the presence of Christ, a new Master to whom Shayne at that moment chose to bow his will. Another thing that came with the presence of Christ was the knowledge that he was created to be a home for God—if he so chose to believe that this supernatural Being was the God of the Bible, and if he so chose to serve this “incredible, loving” supernatural Being. And Shayne did just that—he chose that “incredible, loving” supernatural Being to be his Master forever. The love that came with the presence of Christ was so incredible that Shayne felt compelled to need it.

Just such value and purpose, and incredible love was experienced by Saul of Gibeah. All that he could do was revel in it and be transformed into a new creature.

“And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.
And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1Sam. 10:9-11).

Even after departing from such a wonderful state in later years, and gaining Satan’s presence at the loss of Christ’s wonderful presence, when Jesus chose to come into Saul’s apostatized heart again all the same meaning and purpose and joy in the Holy Ghost returned as in former years.

“And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.
Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.
And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?” (1Sam. 19:20-24).

The affect was so pronounced that Saul could only revel in it once again. Choosing to have the incredible love of God was not irresistible, but once having it, the fruits were irresistible. Therefore, after the presence of Christ left him again because he couldn’t choose to keep it and “devilish” (Jas. 3:15) “bitter envying and strife in [his heart] (Jas. 3:14), he turned back to his old ways of seeking the murder of David.

Jesus’ presence was so full of obvious love that it was as Rose, a new convert from Islam called Him, “Love”. His love for her was tactile. Before she learned that “God is love”, she had already met the God she named, “Love”. Shayne met the same God of love and He is love to everyone who meets Him in their great need.

Another statement from Shayne was of “God’s absolute majesty and holiness”. “There was a sense, there was an authority, in the room.” Notice that Christ has authority when He comes to present His grace and love to a sinner. His love is not a thrill or an emotional high. It comes with authority that means it is an everlasting principle that must be accepted and forever adhered to. But, when it comes to being loved and having new meaning and value, the incentives to forever accepting and adhering to its conditions are light and easy to receive. The accountability to the relationship that comes with relationship is understood to come together. As beings made in God’s image, this is a given, logical.

And under that choice Shayne remained saved “unto the end” (Heb. 3:14). Love and authority together, mercy and justice, are the power of God unto salvation. Not a single preposterous thought ever enters Christ’s newborns that they can leave the authority of God and still retain the meaning and value in life that came with the acceptance from the only “incredible, loving God”. No false prophet can ever convince them otherwise.

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” (1Jn. 2:27).

The last thing I want to bring into this amazing work, the work of salvation is that it was Christ that came to Shayne that night, not another.

“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:11). It was not a third person of a trinity of Gods that brings new life and purpose to His regenerated children. It was the only begotten Son of God. It is Jesus! They are brought to life “through Jesus Christ our Lord”. “God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:26).

This is what Paul says later in Romans chapter 8.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He [God the Father] that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Rom. 8:9-11). The Father will quicken us, not by a delegated third God, but by Himself, His Spirit, His own Spirit.

The Spirit, being in the Spirit is having Christ in us, by His Father’s power. “Ye … yourselves … [are] dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 6:11). The Spirit is Christ, His Spirit from His reconciled Father, Christ’s presence as God’s Representative. “He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by HisG848 Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Rom. 8:11).

G848 hautou Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation): - her (own), (of) him (-self), his (own), of it, thee, their (own), them (-selves), they.

God quickens our mortal bodies by sending us His Son.

As in: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His ownG848 blood”. (Rev. 1:5). As it was Christ’s own blood that was shed for us, and not another’s, so it is God’s own Spirit that dwells in us, and not another.

The Spirit is God’s own Spirit, not another person’s or another person. He gives Himself to us through His Son. “The Spirit” is “His Spirit”, “the Spirit of the Lord” (1Sam. 11:6), “the Spirit of God” (1Sam. 19:23; 10:10; 11:6), and “the Spirit of His Son” (Gal. 4:6).

It’s the same Spirit that God gave His only begotten Son to perform His mission here.

“For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.” (John 3:34,35). And as many as receive the Son of God, receive God and His reconciled Spirit.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

“That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1Tim. 6:14-16), “that God may be all in all.”(1Cor. 15:28).

The Father alone “hath immortality…. Amen.” (1Tim. 6:16). In time the divine Son of God will show that His almighty Father is the blessed and only Potentate. By the Son’s perfect representation of His Father’s justice during the Old Testament and by the Son’s perfect representation of His Father’s mercy at Gethsemane and Golgotha, when He met all the wrath that His Father could bring upon Him with equal mercy upon a world of sinners, Christ showed Himself equal with His Father, even while sitting at His right hand (a place of honor and subjection). Yet, the Father was forever greater and existing before He brought forth His first, and only begotten Son.

 “The self-existent One” statements from Patriarchs and Prophets, Desire of Ages, and Great Controversy.

“The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng—‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ (Revelation 5:11), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 36.
    
“Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship. Man is forbidden to give to any other object the first place in his affections or his service. Whatever we cherish that tends to lessen our love for God or to interfere with the service due Him, of that do we make a god.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 305.

“Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.’ Micah 5:2, margin.” Desire of Ages, p. 469.

“He ‘shall sit and rule upon His throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne.’ Not now ‘upon the throne of His glory;’ the kingdom of glory has not yet been ushered in. Not until His work as a mediator shall be ended will God ‘give unto Him the throne of His father David,’ a kingdom of which ‘there shall be no end.’ Luke 1:32, 33. As a priest, Christ is now set down with the Father in His throne. Revelation 3:21. Upon the throne with the eternal, self-existent One is He who ‘hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows’.” Great Controversy, p. 416.
 
There is no conflict between the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible. Ellen White exalts Christ to be Jehovah, but as subservient, as Jehovah’s Son. Christ’s subservience to His Father in no way diminishes Christ’s deity and Godhead. It never diminishes His eternal status, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Mic. 5:2). But, the greater Father, who only hath immortality, was first. Whenever He begot His Son in eternity past, the Father had already existed from eternity. It is all incomprehensible, yet simple. It is not so incomprehensible that we have to wrap it up in mystery, as in the mystery of a Trinity, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev. 17:5).

The Trinity minimizes the Father’s sole status as the almighty One. “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:8-11).

In the same Revelation language of “Lord” and “O Lord God Almighty” as the Father, “He shall reign for ever and ever”.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.” (Rev. 11:15-17).

Thou” (singular) and not “Ye” or “You” (plural), “Him [(singular)] that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever”, “Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come”, speak to only one Person, the Father, “God the Judge of all” (Heb. 12:23), who is “a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29).

“Which in His [our Lord Jesus Christ] times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1Tim. 6:15), His Lord, “My God” (Ps. 22:1), “God the Father” (John 6:27, cf Gal. 1:1,3; Eph. 6:23; Phil. 2:11; 1Thess. 1:1; 2Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4; 1Pet. 1:2; 2Pet. 1:17; 2Jn. 1:3; Jud. 1:1), “God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Rev. 1:6).

Together, “God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (2Tim. 1:2), They both make up the deity, the Godhead. And there is no third person, no other included in that sacred premises whom They say, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” (Ex. 3:5).

But, God’s eternal life, His regenerating life, His incredible love comes to us through His only authorized Representative, His only begotten Son, the Prototokos (G4416).

The only begotten, divine Son who is “Jesus Christ…the first begottenG4416 of the dead” (Rev. 1:5), “the firstbornG4416, [whose church is] … written in heaven” (Heb. 12:23), “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstbornG4416 of every creature” (Col. 1:15), “the firstbornG4416 among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29), is also, “the firstbegottenG4416” (Heb. 1:6) who God incarnated into human flesh. “A body hast Thou prepared Me.” (Heb. 10:5).

Together, They are exalted to equal glory. God’s full authority stands behind the grace of Christ.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:5-11).

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.…
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.…
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1Jn. 5:11-13, 16-18, 20).

But, the Father is the ultimate authority.

“For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1Cor. 15:27,28).

“Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen” (Rom. 9:5). “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” (Heb. 7:7). The Son of God is infinitely great; but God the Father is the greatest.

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!
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. 11:32-36).

Amen! And, Amen!