TruthInvestigate

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

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A person God turned around many times.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Lord of hosts rescued the perishing

Billy—I had nothing. I was nothing. My life was worth nothing. I was dead. I was dead inside.

Narrator—Billy Lynn wanted to die. His emptiness and desperation started when he was five [years old]. His dad walked out on the family.

Billy—I was lost. Basically, no identity. I was in search of my identity, and took a lot of blame upon myself for my father leaving.

Narrator—By his early teens he had spent years in juvenile detention for repeatedly running away from home.

Billy—I was raped and sodomized among other things of a torturous nature. And that was at the hands of the youth leaders that were supposed to be there to protect me. With all of those rapes brought more and more emptiness.

Narrator—When he wasn’t a “Juvie” he was on the streets. He learned he could sell his body for money.

Billy—I lived completely on survival mode. At the same time, very empty, lonely, lost, always looking for something to fill up the big black hole inside of me that never could be filled. As sex was almost 100% of my survival, and what I had to do to survive. I numbed my way from feeling anything. My self-worth at that time was so low that I believed I was a human toy for whomever wanted to fulfill a fantasy that they had.

Narrator—In his twenties he became a male escort. He also got involved in pornographic movies, and live sex shows.

Billy—Pornography business is nothing what it appears to be. It does nothing but dig a big, giant, deep black hole inside your soul. In order to get through that I started to use cocaine. And high doses of cocaine.

Narrator—He eventually traded cocaine for crack cocaine.

Billy—The first blast I did made me feel like I was the engine of the fastest train in the world. But each blast after that I went back a car, to eventually years later, I was the caboose. But in my mind, in the insanity of the drug and the addiction, I believe that if I got a better hit off of the pipe, if I just got some better dope, I could become the engine all over again. And that never happened.

Narrator—Billy spent his days and nights in his closet, smoking crack and abusing his body.

Billy—I cut myself. I rubbed my own blood on myself. I would stick pins and needles inside of the nerves of my teeth so I could feel something. And it was all about feeling something. Anything to draw blood and bring forth pain. Pain is better than nothing. I was numb. I was numb. I had no feeling of life.

Narrator—He lived in his closet for ten years, only coming out to sell his body for money to buy more crack.

Billy—This is where I was going to die. And no matter how much crack I smoked, how much alcohol I drank, I was going to do it until I died. Nothing worked, as far as suicide went. So I had made up my mind that I was going to just get at gun, and put it in my mouth, and pull the trigger. And I knew that would work.

Narrator—But before he could pull the trigger, he saw something that stopped him cold.

Billy—I had stopped looking at myself in the mirror because of such shame and guilt—a long time ago. And I happened to get a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I couldn’t see my eyes. And it did something to me, and in sheer desperation I said, “God, if You’re real, You’ve gotta save me right now because I can’t feel. In 1.2 seconds I’m going to pull this trigger and I’m going to die.

That’s when I felt the Spirit of God, and His right hand reached down inside of my soul and my heart, and touched me. And I felt a soft voice say, “Stand up.” And I stood up, and I looked in the mirror I could see my eyes again. And I could see color in my eyes. I could see color in my face. And I saw a light and a ray of hope that was much more powerful than any cocaine, much more powerful than any lust, much more powerful than anything in the world in which I lived.

Narrator—Billy was immediately changed. He cleared out his closet, and threw away his drugs. He bought a Bible, and spent the next year learning about the God who had saved him.

Billy—Nobody saved my life but Jesus Christ. Couldn’t explain it. Didn’t understand it. But, I knew that God was real. He was alive. And He just touched my heart. I never had hope before, and now I had hope. And I knew I was worth something. I knew that I had something that was better than what I had lived through for forty years.

Narrator—Billy is married and lives in Florida with his wife. He shares his experience with others who are desperate for a life-changing encounter with God.

Billy—Sometimes desperation is a wonderful gift. If you feel desperate because you got no place else to go, cry out to Jesus in desperation and He’ll meet you right where you’re at. If you do it with an open, sincere heart, He will hear you. He will hear your cry. He will answer your prayer. And He will come to your aid. Jesus Christ can set you free. He can take your life and give you the desires of your heart when you desire His heart. There’s nothing impossible for Jesus Christ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5DOcIYOWcE,  minute 1:44:17-1:51:18

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Precious promise from the Old Testament

“O LORD, Thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in Thy longsuffering: know that for Thy sake I have suffered rebuke.” (Jer. 15:15).

Precious promise? This doesn’t sound like a precious promise! Look again. Look more closely. Hidden in there is something very beautiful.

It’s the part that says, “Take me not away in Thy longsuffering”. What Jeremiah was saying was, “Don’t let me die because Your love for my murderers is so long-suffering!” “Don’t let me die because of Your love for sinners!”

Jesus’ long-suffering love for sinners that caused Him to send prophets to them! God’s long-suffering love for the whole world so deep that caused Him to send the dearly beloved of His soul! Jesus must punish the nation that had professed His Father’s name. But, He must give them yet another chance to see how evil they were by attempting to kill His messenger. Nothing but hands dripping with blood would awaken their hearts and minds to the delusion of Satan’s Ashtoreth and Baal masks.

Jesus was trying to save sinners. He was trying to give them eternal life. At the risk of Jeremiah’s life He must save the group. It would be scary to Jeremiah to face death, but Jesus knew He would resurrect him at the last day. That would be well worth the salvation of many in Israel. Despite their murderous leaders and people, there were many who feared the Lord and sought to please Him. To them He said,

“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 31:3).

Do we see the loving-kindness in Jesus toward filthy rotten, potential saints? Do we see His loving-kindness for us, today’s filthy rotten, potential saints? Are you filthy rotten? I am, as much as I hate being that way. My righteousness is filthy rotten. Will I let Jesus put me into His furnace of affliction for the sake of others’ salvation? Will we let Him put us into the same dangers that Jeremiah was put in because he spoiled the people’s fun by preaching the high standard, and the people hated him for that. In His loving-kindness and tender mercies Jesus sent Jeremiah to curb the apostasy in the church of his day. In His long-suffering He kept sending Jeremiah into one dangerous situation after another.

“Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Isa. 43:4).

Do we see the long-suffering of Jesus in the trials that we endure? Do we see the beauty of His holiness? “Take me not away in Thy longsuffering!” was pressed out of Jeremiah’s mouth in his own Gethsemane. He knew Jesus, that His mercy endureth forever. Like Jonah, Jeremiah feared that the mercy of Jesus would spare the evil-doers.

“Remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors,” is what most people think is the real man, Jeremiah. This is what Hollywood promotes, but not what the holy God or His holy prophets promoted.

“And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:9,10).

That prophecy shows the 900,000 Counter-Reformation Christians dying for the long-suffering God of wicked and carnal Christendom. “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev. 6:11). This tribulation was a foretaste of the future final great tribulation such as never was. It’s the one that the 144,000 will pass through.

“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:13-17).

Will we fight and avenge ourselves of our adversaries in the time of trouble ahead? Or will we cry to the Lord such as our Counter-Reformation forefathers did? Will we look unto Jesus and His long-suffering, and remain faithful by that look? Will we know Jesus like the prophets knew Him—“merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” (Ex. 34:6,7)?

Do we see the merciful God who Jeremiah saw? Do we say what Jeremiah said, “O LORD…Thy longsuffering!”

Friday, September 21, 2018

A response to a YouTube video

Is Your Church Practicing New Age? | with Steven Bancarz | CT 040
Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead bodily. It’s much easier to know the Son of God than to know God because the Son [graciously] manifested Himself to us in a body that we have and are. But the Father cannot be known to the human except through His only begotten Son.

That’s the “formula” that the Father created for us and for all the hosts of heaven to know Him. “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” (Matt. 11:25-27).

God the Father is beyond our greatest conceptions. “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things... For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring.” (Acts 17:23-25,28).

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.” (1Cor. 8:6). The ultimate relation to God the Father, and the only real actions we can take to have faith in Him, is to obey His Law. His Law is a formula, but forces us to treat Him and His intelligent creation as tangible and personal. If we will obey His Law, He has a means by which He can give us faith, a new heart to know Him, and a new spirit--the long sought peace. But, as Romans 7 shows we don’t find it naturally enjoyable to obey His Law, the Law of His house.

Yet, we must patiently seek Him for forgiveness and power to obey Him so that He can make His was into our heart and mind. Then He will be the Lord our God, the Person behind the voice that spoke to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1Sam. 15:22,23).

The gospel is the only way God can make His way into our souls. When we see His Law of love, we recognize that it is reasonable. Everyone needs to be loved. Who can argue against that? None of us because we are made in His image and love is an obvious requirement for life. Without love everything falls apart for our existence and the continuation of the family and society.

Our Father’s Law of love is the solution to all the problems of each human being. But, as we attempt to obey all that is needed to love perfectly, we find another law in us that wars against, which God calls “sin”. Sin is self. Self-preservation, self justification, self-exaltation, self-love, etc. Rather, love is self-sacrificing, self-denying, self-forgetful. Even modern psychology exalts sin by exalting self. But Bible psychology, the divine psychology, turns the fallen human away from self-focus, self-interest, the search to be “as gods” (Gen. 3:5), which Satan has propagated so successfully, the world round.

Romans chapter 7 and 8 lay out for us the only path to salvation--reconciliation with the Creator. After failing miserably at loving God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves, we cry out with Paul, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24). This humbled cry places the heart and mind open to the Spirit of God to enter our thinking. We are teachable because we are humbled at our failures and inabilities. Our conscience is still aching and throbbing with distress, but our cry reached all the way to the ear of the Most High.

That’s when we receive from Him the vision of His beloved Son, made in our form, a spotless, flawless human perfected in body, mind, and soul, and suffering our damnation. There is nothing more immaculate than the ashes of a spotless heifer. His achievement and example destroy our “being as gods” hopes, and fully lays our pride in the dust of death. We are transformed in a moment and made accessible to the gift of God—His restored presence and power. Out of that experience our lives gradually change into a beautiful thing, “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear”, which “are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Mark 4:28; Luke 8:15).

The New Age and every other religion do not offer this. All they can offer can make the fallen heart and mind feel good and proud with the most ancient lie, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5). But in the end, [they give only] misery, disease, and death. “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:17).


“Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish.” (Isa. 44:24,25).

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A program that should open our eyes

“And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40).

The following Christian show is not scripted at all. Its completely ad lib. Neither Ashley, the husband, nor Carlie, his wife and mother of their three little ones, look straight at the camera like often is the case as the script scrolls along and is read by other program hosts. Rather, Ashley and Carlie are often looking at each other, talking to each other. They are natural and they talk like they are at home. They aren’t politically correct. All they want to be is spiritually correct, doctrinally correct, right before God. But every second of their half-hour shows is packed with Bible precepts and promises, concepts and practical steps, common phrases mingled with scripture that create a powerful, faith-building message. So, here is the first half of a video I watched on YouTube.

Ashley—I’m excited. I’m excited!

Carlie—I’m expecting!...

Ashley—What are you expecting? is the question I have for you. You are full of dangerous expectations? Did you know that? You could be. You should be. This is called “Dangerous Expectations!” I’m looking forward to this teaching. I’ve never heard it before. So Carlie’s going to be teaching on this. This is called, “Dangerous Expectations”. So, what does that mean?

Carlie—Well, basically I was meditating on this. Because I meet a lot of people in ministry that “the hope deferred has made the heart sick.” [She refres to the verse, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” (Prov. 13:12).]  You know, they’ve been going through a challenge or a trial for a long time. And you know what? We start all these things all gung-ho, expecting the best. But when nothing changes, it kind of gets old. And there’s a lot of people out there that are just beaten up. They’re just down; they’re downcast. It’s almost like they go through the motions of having people pray for them, especially if you’re talking about a chronic sickness, or something. But any situation that’s really gone on for a long time—and there have been people that will pray for them and they’ll speak good things about their situation—but nothing changes. And the Lord showed me part of that is because their expectations start to take kind of a little bit of a nose dive.

Ashley—They start to wear out. Their expectation [starts to wear out].

Carlie—Yeah. The constant struggle can get really old for people. So I just really want to spend a little bit of time encouraging you. Is that OK? You know? Because when we understand the power of who is living on the inside of us.… You know in the scriptures it says you have to stir yourself up [She refers to 2 Timothy 1:6]. Right? You stir yourself up. You have to stir yourself up. You build yourself up in your most holy faith. And iron sharpens iron. And testimonies are one way we can encourage each other with the things of God that raises our expectation to where our faith becomes active in our life.

Ashley—Amen.

Carlie—And when we start to recognize the power of God inside of us in all of His glory, the whole of the kingdom of heaven that is living on the inside of us, we become to enter that place of dangerous expectations. In other words, we become to do some serous damage to the kingdom of the enemy.

Ashley—That’s good.

Carlie—The kingdom of darkness.

Ashley—That’s good.

Carlie—It’s time to start taking back some of the ground that the enemy has stolen from us.

Ashley—Amen. That’s good. Now about testimonies. From home we’d love to hear about your testimonies. You know, your testimonies will encourage other people to step out in faith and receive the promises of God. So you can go to our website. It’s called TerradezMinistries.com, TerradezMinistries.com. Go to our website and hit the contact button ad leave your testimony. And your questions for us. We love hearing your testimonies. We love hearing your questions. And for going to our website we have a free Confession Card. You sign up right there we’ll give you our Confession Card from Carlie. It’s got powerful scriptures about who you are in Christ. This will really help your expectations. This will really build your expectations….

Carlie—Amen. Will raise your faith...

Ashley—…in the promises of God. TerradezMinistries.com, we’d love to hear from you.

Carlie—Amen. You know we need to be armed with expectations. We need to be built up on the word of God. So when we’re squeezed in a crisis out comes a scripture, out comes a response. Because the word of God really is our attack plan, is what it is. It says we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Amen? By what Jesus has done on the cross, and by what we are prepared to say about that. So what do I mean by Dangerous Expectations? I want to look at something here. You know, one of the ways we can build our expectations is to develop a spiritual sight.

Ashley—Hmm.

Carlie—Many people don’t understand that we have a spiritual sight as well as a physical sight with our natural eyes. So developing a spiritual sight, what do I mean by that? Well if we are going to expect something good, imagine when you were a kid and Christmas was coming, right? And it gets to be the first of December. I don’t know about you, but in my house we had an Advent calendar.

Ashley—Oh, yeah.

Carlie—And there was a little window for every day leading up to Christmas day. You open the little door, and the really good calendars had a piece of chocolate inside them.

Ashley—What I learned as a little kid is that you could undo the bottom of it, slide the tray out, take all the chocolate out of it, slide the tray back in again, without opening any of the windows.

Carlie—So you’re going to eat all the chocolate on Day One.

Ashley—It drove my sister crazy because you’d open the door and there’d be no chocolate there. And you’d go, “Oh there must a fault with this one, my chocolate must be missing.”

Carlie—Yeah, a huh, a huh.

Ashley—And you’d open the other doors and the chocolate was in there.

Carlie—But when you’d do that Day Two it wasn’t nearly as exciting then, was it?

Ashley—No.

Carlie—Right?

Ashley—But that was building expectation for the countdown for Christmas day. Right?

Carlie—Right.

Ashley—I used to love Christmas.

Carlie—And you can just feel the…

Ashley—I still love Christmas.

Carlie—Yeah. Amen. As little kids—we know it's not about the presents. Ok?—But, its fun. We should celebrate. We should give presents. It’s fun. So as a kid going through Advent season, I just remember my expectation building, building and building and building until it got to Christmas day. And by the time it got to Christmas day I couldn’t sleep. You know, I was expecting something good. It’s going to be awesome. We’re going to celebrate. We’re going to talk about Jesus. We’re going to have great food. We’re going to have presents. It’s going to be a day of fun and laughter and excitement. There was a great expectation that built each day, and part of that was because, I beginning probably in July—knowing kids—looking forward to Christmas, and I was already visualizing it. I was excited for Christmas before it happened. Even before I was born again, you know, I didn’t really know about Jesus, as a little girl. But I was excited about the tree. I was excited about lots of different things, about family coming around, about a time for everyone coming together, about eating a big meal around a big table. But I was picturing it inside of me. I was visualizing it and I was picturing something, and my imagination was kicking in. And imagination is so closely linked to our expectation. You know some of you have heard my testimony about this. But, for many years I suffered with epilepsy, for well over a decade. And at one point I had so many seizures that it actually caused some brain damage in my brain. I was in a wheelchair, I was 18 years old and I was in a wheelchair. And basically I had very little feeling from the waist down. But you know, when the doctor gave me that report, “We don’t know if you’re ever going to walk again…” I’m 18 years old. I’ve got my whole life ahead of me. And yet I’m stuck with brain damage and I’m in a wheelchair. And I’d been born again by that point about a year. And you know, I didn’t really know the scriptures in depth. I didn’t have a really great understanding of faith. I didn’t understand the power of my words. Nobody had ever talked to me about the power of my imagination. But something, when that doctor gave me that report, didn’t sit right with me on the inside. Well I know in the natural world you can think, “Well you know, you just…you just wanted to be in denial.  You just didn’t want to think about it. You just wanted to pretend like it wasn’t happening.” No, was very aware of what was happening. I just wasn’t going to identify with that as being part of my future.

Ashley—So you chose not to embrace that bad report.

Carlie—Exactly. And you know, it’s so crucial that we establish ourselves in the truth of God’s word and God’s plan for our life. Because when these storms come we’ll be able to see our way through to the other side of the storm. Sometimes it’s hard in the middle of the storm to see our way out of it. But if we have a picture of what it looks like on the other side it’s easier for our expectation to reach there. It’s easier to see the other shore if we’ve seen it in our minds first. And you know, our youth group, in about three months time, was planning to climb a mountain. It was…we were going to the Lake District in England, a beautiful part of the country. And we were going to be doing all kinds of outdoor activities, and canoeing and cycling and mountain climbing. And I really wanted to go. I paid for my trip. I was planning on it. I was excited. I had a great expectation about that retreat. And to me a wheelchair wasn’t going to stop me. But it wasn’t going to go with me. I don’t know, you could call this just sheer stubbornness. I don’t know, Right? But I just set my faith, in three months time I’m climbing that mountain. God told me to go and I’m going. I could do everything that God showed me I could do. It was God’s idea for me to go and I’m going to follow through. And this diagnosis is not going to move me away from that. See, God had given me a picture of me climbing that mountain. And that is what was on the inside of me. And I think that so often we get, we just get stuck in that storm. We get stuck looking at what our day to day natural situation is. You know. And it’s a reality. It’s a truth. But we can’t let it become the truth above this truth [picking up her Bible].

Ashley—Amen.

Carlie—And that’s just crucial. So, I started praying, I’m like, all, again, about not really understanding about faith or anything to do with it. But I had a relationship with the Lord. I spoke to Jesus and He spoke to me. That was my simple faith. And I just figured if I was broken, then [if] God made me, He’d know how to fix me.

Ashley—Simple doctrine.

Carlie— Simple doctrine. Right? I didn’t think of all the reasons it wasn’t going to work for me. It was just good, simple doctrine. And so I didn’t know how this was going to work. “I need a three months’ plan, Jesus. Right? I need a three month’s plan of how to get out of a wheelchair.” And you know what? He just said, “You just believe Me for what you can believe Me for right now, and a little bit more. Just believe Me today for where you’re at right now, and a little bit more.” And I feel like this is a word for somebody. You’ve been stuck where you’re at for such a long time, you don’t even know what being well looks like. You don’t even know what being out of poverty looks like. You might not be able to see the whole picture all the way to the finish line. But if you can believe God for just a baby step, just take baby step after baby step after baby step, He’ll show you a plan of how to get where you need to be. And so as I sat in my wheelchair, as clear as day, I remember the Lord just showing me, “If you can stand, walking starts with standing.” And so I pushed myself up. I waited until no one was in the house. And I pushed myself up on the arms of my wheelchair so I could get myself in a standing position, just by bearing my weight on my arms. And then it suddenly occurred to me, “If I can speak to my legs, and I can move one step, I can move two steps, right? And if I can move two steps, that’s two steps further than it was when I sat back in that wheelchair, just a minute ago. If I can move two steps, I can move ten steps.”

Ashley—Just a little bit.

Carlie—Just a little bit more. Just start where you’re at. Bite size amount is all it takes.

Ashley—You can eat a whole elephant one bite at a time.

Carlie—One bite at a time. And before I knew it I had taken ten steps. I’d reached the front door. So I opened the front door and I looked all the way down the long hallway in our house. I looked all the way back down that hallway at the wheelchair at the end of the hallway, and I thought, “I’m not going back. I mean, I’ve come this far. I’m not going back to get into the wheelchair. That’s not part of my identity. That’s not who I am. I’ve got a mountain to climb. I’ve got places to go.” Amen? And so, just that stubbornness that faith just rose up inside of me. And I opened the front door, and I decided, and remembered actually I that my friends were playing tennis about two miles down the road at the community tennis courts there. And this is before cell phones, so I couldn’t phone anyone. And so I figured, “Well, I’m just going to walk there.” Right? “I couldn’t walk two steps just a minute ago. So why can’t I walk two miles? I’ve already seen the impossible. So why don’t I believe for the whole elephant.” Right? So I just carried on walking, and I arrived at the tennis courts. And I got the tennis court and my friends were like, “What are you doing?” “I’ve come to play tennis!” And I probably played my worst game of tennis my whole life. But you know what? Two hours earlier I was in a wheelchair. Three months later I climbed a mountain. You know, and that, people might think, “That’s an amazing gift of faith.” No. That’s taking one step at a time. And having a confident expectation and a picture of where I wanted to be. And not giving up, not letting go. If we can just get that down on the inside of us, you know, expectation is the key to seeing the power of God flowing through our lives, to have an expectation of good. God has got good things for us, right? If we can just take our minds away from what we’re seeing with our five senses to where God is taking us to be, that’s the first step towards getting there. So I want to look at something. This is Matthew 13:58. Let’s look at this real quick.

Ashley—Matthew 13:58.

Carlie—Mmm hmm, [she is leafing through her Bible.] Matthew 13:58. All right. This is talking about Jesus. “Now He could not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” So this is talking about a particular town where He couldn’t, where He couldn’t do many mighty works because of the people’s unbelief. And what we take from this is: How we are going to believe [that] we are going to receive from God is directly linked to how the power of God plays out in our life.

Ashley—Was that like Jesus said, “As you…as your faith…”

Carlie—I think it’s Matthew 9:29. It says, “According to your faith let it be unto you.”

Ashley—That’s right, “According to your faith let it be done to you.”

Carlie—Right.

Ashley—It says, how we believe we can…it’s almost like it’s up to us if we want to receive, how we want to receive the harvest. If we receive it instantly, if we receive it gradually, how we receive it. Right?

Carlie—Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, in this is Matthew 8:13. “Jesus said to the centurion, Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you. And his servant was healed that same hour.” “Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” In other words, how we are going to receive from the Lord is how we receive. So, can you see yourself in a different situation to where you are at today? You know if we believe, like in the area of healing for example, if we believe we are going to receive healing gradually, we are going to receive gradually. Because that’s what we give God to work with….

That is half of the video. It’s address is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCVAJ8a3xsI. This ministry is built upon the same principle that we hear from the servant of the Lord.

“From the simple Bible account of how Jesus healed the sick, we may learn something about how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Let us turn to the story of the paralytic at Bethesda. The poor sufferer was helpless; he had not used his limbs for thirty-eight years. Yet Jesus bade him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ The sick man might have said, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will obey Thy word.’ But, no, he believed Christ’s word, believed that he was made whole, and he made the effort at once; he willed to walk, and he did walk. He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the power. He was made whole.” Steps to Christ, p. 50.

This all by itself is an amazing thought. But, there is even more to the act of healing. Love and promises from the highest authority in the universe.

“The Current of Life-giving Energy. —The power of love was in all Christ’s healing, and only by partaking of that love, through faith, can we be instruments for His work. If we neglect to link ourselves in divine connection with Christ, that current of life-giving energy cannot flow in rich streams from us to the people.--DA 825 (1898).” Mind, Character, and Personality, p. 761.
  
“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.

It was the draw of hope in Jesus’ mercy and love that led the leper to be within sight of Jesus. And then it was the sight of Him healing and the visual of people healed, that completely possessed the mind of the leper, and made the leper’s desire for healing irrepressible, his determination as firm as iron, and his footsteps unstoppable. That downtrodden man became wise unto salvation, as he became blind to the world around the Messiah. All he could see was the Messiah and himself being made whole.
 
“The leper is guided to the Saviour. Jesus is teaching beside the lake, and the people are gathered about Him. Standing afar off, the leper catches a few words from the Saviour’s lips. He sees Him laying His hands upon the sick. He sees the lame, the blind, the paralytic, and those dying of various maladies rise up in health, praising God for their deliverance. Faith strengthens in his heart. He draws nearer and yet nearer to the gathered throng. The restrictions laid upon him, the safety of the people, and the fear with which all men regard him are forgotten. He thinks only of the blessed hope of healing.
     He is a loathsome spectacle. The disease has made frightful inroads, and his decaying body is horrible to look upon. At sight of him the people fall back in terror. They crowd upon one another in their eagerness to escape from contact with him. Some try to prevent him from approaching Jesus, but in vain. He neither sees nor hears them. Their expressions of loathing are lost upon him. He sees only the Son of God. He hears only the voice that speaks life to the dying. Pressing to Jesus, he casts himself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.’   
     Jesus replied, ‘I will; be thou made clean,’ and laid His hand upon him. Matthew 8:3, R. V.  
     Immediately a change passed over the leper. His flesh became healthy, the nerves sensitive, the muscles firm. The rough, scaly surface peculiar to leprosy disappeared, and a soft glow, like that upon the skin of a healthy child, took its place.” Desire of Ages, p. 263.

Today there are many ministries for physical healing. We see and hear of them all over the television. It draws in the masses, and their money. We are rightly hesitant to believe in healing. That’s because we are in the investigative judgment of the last days. There are many delusions taking the world by surprise. But, on the other hand there are many souls that need to be saved from those delusions. And we also know that during the Latter Rain “miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers.”

“Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” Great Controversy, p. 612.
    
Notice that in much or most of Ellen White’s counsel on healing, she links physical healing with spiritual healing, forgiveness, pardon, justification, salvation. “…The helpless paralytic is healed! the guilty sinner is pardoned!...”

The following is the larger context of a paragraph quoted above.

“You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God. Now go to Him, and ask that He will wash away your sins and give you a new heart. Then believe that He does this because He has promised. This is the lesson which Jesus taught while He was on earth, that the gift which God promises us, we must believe we do receive, and it is ours. Jesus healed the people of their diseases when they had faith in His power; He helped them in the things which they could see, thus inspiring them with confidence in Him concerning things which they could not see--leading them to believe in His power to forgive sins. This He plainly stated in the healing of the man sick with palsy: ‘That ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.’ Matthew 9:6. So also John the evangelist says, speaking of the miracles of Christ, ‘These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.’ John 20:31.  
     From the simple Bible account of how Jesus healed the sick, we may learn something about how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Let us turn to the story of the paralytic at Bethesda. The poor sufferer was helpless; he had not used his limbs for thirty-eight years. Yet Jesus bade him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ The sick man might have said, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will obey Thy word.’ But, no, he believed Christ’s word, believed that he was made whole, and he made the effort at once; he willed to walk, and he did walk. He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the power. He was made whole.
     In like manner you are a sinner. You cannot atone for your past sins; you cannot change your heart and make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins and give yourself to God. You will to serve Him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If you believe the promise,--believe that you are forgiven and cleansed,--God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it.  
     Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, ‘I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.’” Steps to Christ, p. 49-51.

Mrs. White never veered from the plan laid out for our full restoration into the image of God. She followed right along with the Bible.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.” (Ps. 103:1-3).

And David goes even further into prosperity.

“Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (vs. 4,5).

I don’t believe in prosperity gospel preaching. But, I realize that Jesus has much to provide for our happiness in Him, and if we turn down His blessings we may stumble into Satan’s control. His benefits create in our hearts a hedge of protection so long as we remain humbled at the sight of the Law-loving Son of God, whose natural body and soul He had perfected in all respects, the spotless Lamb of God. So, when we talk about miracles and healing, my recommendation is that we not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let us incorporate the details of Carlie’s healing and her lessons learned, into Mrs. White’s statements in the Spirit of Prophecy.

“Now, in words that fell like music on the sufferer’s ear, the Saviour said, ‘Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.’  
     The burden of despair rolls from the sick man’s soul; the peace of forgiveness rests upon his spirit, and shines out upon his countenance. His physical pain is gone, and his whole being is transformed. The helpless paralytic is healed! the guilty sinner is pardoned!  
     In simple faith he accepted the words of Jesus as the boon of new life. He urged no further request, but lay in blissful silence, too happy for words. The light of heaven irradiated his countenance, and the people looked with awe upon the scene.” Desire of Ages, p. 268.

“Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” (Isa. 27:5).

“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2Pet. 1:3,4).

“And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” (Matt. 8:13). When Jesus said this, He was giving this humbled centurion the priceless privilege of the sons of God, the status of a creation of God, and even the liberties of the first and highest creation made in the very image of God. Jesus was restoring to the centurion the status of Adam in the Garden—royalty, nobility, “the image and glory of God.” (1 Cor. 11:7). We lost that from God, and have since continued to lose it in our thinking. But, Adam’s kind of thinking Jesus brought back. When beholding Him we are convicted of sin and humbled. And when we submit to the conviction and humbling, and come to the Saviour for the help that only He can give us, then we receive His glorious mind, one that thinks high and holy and noble things, the things of God.

The true principles of psychology are found in the Holy Scriptures. Man knows not his own value. He acts according to his unconverted temperament of character because he does not look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of his faith. He who comes to Jesus, he who believes on Him and makes Him his Example, realizes the meaning of the words “To them gave He power to become the sons of God.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, p. 10.

“In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.  
     The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. ‘The truth shall make you free;’ and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self,--to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is ‘the law of liberty.’ James 2:12.” Desire of Ages, p.  466.

When we look at Jesus, the spotless One who was one with mankind, then we receive the vision without which the people perish. We receive the spiritual sight of what we can be through the power of God that is in Christ. We receive the expectations that are higher than the heavens, higher than the highest human thought. We can be pardoned and justified. We can be healed. We have the great expectations of the sons of God.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Urinating on Christianity

“Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall [cause them to] offend.” (Ps. 119:165).

“For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” (1Pet. 3:10).

I watched a beautiful testimony by Carlie Terradez and her healing of epilepsy. Her faith allowed Jesus to heal her after her life being totally incapacitated by collapses without any warning, falling down stairs, falling in grocery stores, etc. She was a mother of three little children and needed a babysitter for herself. Then Jesus spoke to her at a Bible study where the leader said, “We’re just going to spend a couple of minutes just being quiet, just listening to the holy Spirit.” And she said, “And on the inside of me when I got real quiet I just heard the Lord. I didn’t know it was the Lord immediately, but I heard this voice on the inside of me, and I knew it wasn’t coming from me. And it said, ‘Carlie, this epilepsy, you haven’t ever let Me in on it. You can be healed from this, in two weeks time if you choose to be.’ He said, ‘Its just like a switch. You can flick it off. You can just turn epilepsy off when you are ready to.’ She said, ‘Wow. That’s pretty huge.’ And then that scripture from Deuteronomy came to me. And it was just like, ‘I have set before you life and death. Choose life.’ It’s like the God of the universe has put the power in my hands to choose life over something that’s controlled me all these years. Man, that just blew me away. I was like, ‘I can’t tell anyone. They’re just going to think I’m loopy.’ So I kept it to myself. That period of two weeks, the Lord just showed me—He showed me in the word, He showed me in my heart, He showed me in my dreams, how much of that epilepsy had become a part of me, and that my life had just adapted around being sick. He just started to show me what it would be like to be well. What would it be like not be ruled by doctors’ appointments and drugs and ‘safe areas’, you know, and managing a disease. What would it be like? And so over that period of two weeks the Lord just changed my heart. He showed me that I was special because I was His child, and that He had plans and purposes for my life that I couldn’t achieve if I was sick.”

So, a lady from the Bible study laid her hands on Carlie and said, “Be healed in the name of Jesus.” And Carlie says, “I knew. I just knew because I knew because I knew. That was it. It was done. I was healed. And on the inside of me, in my mind’s eye, I just flicked that switch. I just turned epilepsy off. I just chose life in that moment. And I went home, and I was so excited. And my husband was there, and he said, ‘How was your day, Honey?’ And I said, ‘It was awesome. I was healed of epilepsy today!’ And he said, ‘Well. You’re going to die and leave me with three children, aren’t you.’ And I said, ‘Well, I wasn’t planning on it.’ But we came from a background where this just didn’t happen. It just seemed too good to be true, too good to be true. And it didn’t go down very well either when I told him I was going to stop taking my medication. That kind of freaked him out a bit, you know, because, like I said, within 15 or 30 minutes of me being late taking my medication I would be having seizures. Well hours had passed without me taking my medication and I still hadn’t had any seizures. And slowly by slowly he started to see, ‘Well, hang on a minute, something really did happen to you.’ But, I tell you that was eleven years ago and I’ve never had another seizure. I’ve never had any of the medication anymore. I quit taking everything in that moment because I was so utterly convinced that the Lord had spoken to me. I just drew that line in the sand. I just picked up that stone and killed that Goliath and he wasn’t going to be resurrected. So that was the end of epilepsy forever.”

Later Carlie’s newborn baby, until she was age 3, had a stomach problem and was constantly having trouble eating. Her weight was always below the healthy minimum specification, and by a miracle Carlie stumbled upon a tape of a recorded sermon by a pastor in Colorado whose ministry specialized in biblical healing. Eventually she and her husband took their child to a meeting the pastor was having in England, which is where they lived. He prayed over their little toddler and she was healed after three long years of crying. She became a very energetic, happy little girl, full of life and joy.

As I listened to her testimonies I remembered a famous Adventist paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 3:18, “By beholding we become changed.” And there is another well-known verse, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18). And another verse that has become dear to me, “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40). And what Jesus said to blind Bartemaeus, to the woman with the bleeding condition, and to the one grateful leper, (and I get the impression that it was a common lesson that Jesus gave the people), “Thy faith hath made thee whole”.

Often I’ve realized that when we “see”, when we conceptualize by faith, we receive power from God that changes us. We don’t have creative power. We can’t heal ourselves. We lost that in Eden. But, when faith lays hold of God’s word, then He acts with power, “to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2Chron. 16:9).

“You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God. Now go to Him, and ask that He will wash away your sins and give you a new heart. Then believe that He does this because He has promised. This is the lesson which Jesus taught while He was on earth, that the gift which God promises us, we must believe we do receive, and it is ours. Jesus healed the people of their diseases when they had faith in His power; He helped them in the things which they could see, thus inspiring them with confidence in Him concerning things which they could not see--leading them to believe in His power to forgive sins. This He plainly stated in the healing of the man sick with palsy: ‘That ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.’ Matthew 9:6. So also John the evangelist says, speaking of the miracles of Christ, ‘These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.’ John 20:31.  
     From the simple Bible account of how Jesus healed the sick, we may learn something about how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Let us turn to the story of the paralytic at Bethesda. The poor sufferer was helpless; he had not used his limbs for thirty-eight years. Yet Jesus bade him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ The sick man might have said, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will obey Thy word.’ But, no, he believed Christ's word, believed that he was made whole, and he made the effort at once; he willed to walk, and he did walk. He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the power. He was made whole.” Steps to Christ, p. 49,50.
    
Carlie’s experience is what Ellen White was talking about. I keep hearing people in the church tell me to be suspicious of these YouTube testimonies. But then I also keep having the Lord show me in the Bible that the Gentiles were healed by God when His chosen people weren’t being healed. The chosen people chose to have no faith in Him.

So, now to what I originally intended, as the title of this post says. But, first I wanted to begin with my appreciation and love for Carlie and her husband, their serious faith in Jesus. They now have their own ministry to encourage and teach people, making them intelligent about how they can be healed, according to the word of God. But, coming of late out of the world and its crudeness, their language still needs some sanctification. And Carlie said something that I am hearing more and more from people around me. It is a word that I consider to be more than just a crude, unChristlike word. And I have to write it, even though I don’t like to. That word is, “Pee”.

Carlie was answering a question from a call-in to their show. And she answered it by using an experience of a doctor who was diagnosing her with diabetes and needed a urine sample. Then she used the crude word for urine. Being that it is a Christian show I was offended and saddened. I understand everyone doesn’t have the same convictions I have. I also understand that many bad habits are ingrained in the world and not even considered to be bad until the Lord brings it to the growing Christian’s attention. But, something needs to be said about using this word, especially at a venue that desires to bring glory to God’s name.

The problem I see with that crude form of the actual medical term, urine, or urinating, is that the cruder word seems to be more connected to the act, and therefore having a genital association, and thus leaving a graphic sexual connotation in the mind of the speaker and hearers. It provokes the Lord to anger no less than did the Jews’ nude idol in the very temple of the Lord.

“And He put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
Then said He unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from My sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.” (Eze. 8:3-6).

“For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of His glory.
The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.” (Isa. 3:8-11).

When we study the history of Israel’s neighboring Canaanite religion and its fertility rites, we see that the Lord hated it very much. The base, sexual nature of the false religions connected the worshipers to the occult and led to self-indulgence, satanic control, and every other evil. Sexuality that Jesus created us to have in the purest way as the most precious blessing, Satan has twisted and contorted and poisoned with his spirit of rebellion. It is what we hear all around us in the unconverted world with the same wicked results that the Cananites had. And the Lord destroyed them for it. What does that say about the nations today? What does it say about Protestant America? It says that the world is ripe for His retribution, starting with Protestant America.

When the world’s mannerisms come into the church and its functions, then we see Babylonian ways being woven into the service to the holy God. This has been Christianity’s plague for 2,000 years. Look at the religious art during the Dark Ages. It is nothing but pornography and ancient classical license. The paintings that are posing to represent the holy people of the Bible are really paintings of ugly Bacchian parties, and more sophisticated and classy, but no less wretched, cocktail conversations. Such talented artwork was really paintings portraying mythical pagan gods and demigods.

The slang word for urine/urinating, which I call into question, is a new insurgent into Protestant America so that the ethical conversations can bring in accepted sexual subtleties without any outcry against it. Satanic angels are insinuating into Protestant minds the corrupting sexual indications that, since the beginning, have brought every culture and people and nation to ruin. We are seeing Protestant America following the history of debauched 1920s Weimar Germany, and are soon to repeat Germany’s great depression and world war. America is going too far, and its punishment from heaven is b bound fall upon it soon.

Let us see what real holiness is by beholding the Lamb of God dying on His cross, receiving the spiritual lightning and thunder from a holy and offended almighty Sovereign. And then let Isaiah’s cry of repentance be ours. “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).

Friday, September 14, 2018

The blessedness of surrender by the power of the Almighty

“Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.” (John 15:16).

No one can of themselves surrender. The blessedness of surrender and  liberty can come only by a work that preceded it. That work is a specific science and that science is specified in the Bible, the whole counsel of God. We must go to the Bible to understand the divine examples of surrender and incomprehensible healing and peace. Otherwise, to disdain the counsel of God, without heeding His warning us away from idolatrous food and habits of life, and without living in self-denial, is to find it illusive to have surrender and peace with God. Jesus must strongly rule over us instead of the Satan’s rulership before we can be justified by God and victorious over the devil.

“Unto the woman [the Lord God] said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16).

If we want God’s gifts of surrender and peace we must invest in it. We have a part to play in His blessed surrender. And then when the conditions are right and the time arrives for God to give it, we must receive it. We can still, at that point, turn it down.

But, we are the weaker vessels compared to God. We, in our rebellious, belligerent state, need a lot of His help us give Him love and honor. We need to be converted; our lives need a desperate change like women who are desperately trapped in the delivery of a child.

After Eve and all her daughters have submitted to love and honor their husbands; after their husbands have worked together with them in the women’s natural desire to please and be accepted by their spouses, then the women have prepared themselves for that biggest test of surrender—childbirth. In the pangs of delivering a child, which simulate the pangs of death, each woman learns surrender of her will because the situation of bringing a child into the world inescapably demands surrender. Either be subject to the simulated pangs of death, and strive to give birth; or die under the true pangs of death.

No one prefers to die than to surrender and live. Thus women have the high privilege of learning the most precious lesson of life. And they have a strong incentive to surrender many more times to that overmastering pain—they will hold the blessed child of their dreams. A blessed baby through blessed surrender.

Jesus, too, for the love that He had for us and the strong desire for our redemption, passed through a mother’s pangs of death, not simulated death but literal. Yet His was not only a literal death, but a literal eternal death. Passing through infinite death the Son of God was “made an high priest for ever.” (Heb. 6:20). He must be made qualified by His Father. Thus having passed through the second death for our second birth, as the infinite “Mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20) He was qualified to raise up a redeemed race that would satisfy His Father. The Father must qualify His only begotten Help-meet to raise us up in His image. Our redemption was ultimately the Father’s doing, and the Son’s response was to be infinitely humbled into the dust for our eternal sake.

In the Father’s making for Himself a satisfactory High Priest, Jesus found no glory for Himself. It was a most egregious experience that He suffered, rather than a self-exalting one. But, it has resulted in our surrender to the whole will of God. Through His surrender under the almighty condemnation of God, we can surrender under similar almighty condemnation.

“So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made an High Priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son, to day have I begotten Thee.
As He saith also in another place, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared;
Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered;
And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;
Called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5:5-10).

The responsibilities of High Priest brought no self-exalted glory to Christ. All the glory was the Father’s. God gloried in His Son’s infinite surrender to shame and rejection. The Son’s infinite abasement, accepted and treasured, pleased the Father beyond measure, as the perfect example for all of Their children. Therefore, by His faultless sacrifice, He could present Him a faultless High Priest between man and God.

“And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another Priest, who is made [a High Priest], not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” (Heb. 7:15,16).

“He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25). His endless ministry for our upbringing into permanent perfection creates the fountain of His Spirit upon all who have accepted God’s election for grace. Their children see the overwhelming spiritual trauma by which God assisted His only Begotten, their Mother of all living, to give in to the eternal plan of salvation by the Son’s self-sacrifice. The supernal love of Christ was obedience to the Father’s Law, and the ultimate self-sacrifice was the eternal loss of His Father’s acceptance. It took three attempts to surrender to eternally losing His Father and two failures of it for Jesus to finally accept the eternal plan to forever lose His Father and His infinite excellence. But the juggernaut justice of God against rebellion and debilitating, defiling sin, which chastised Christ’s peace, helped Him surrender the third time.

Like mothers caught in childbirth and learning surrender to it, the Son of God found Himself caught in infinite justice upon sin and sinners. This meant that the Son must surrender to the Almighty’s juggernaut justice, suffering infinite damnation from His Father and an apparent eternal separation from His beloved God of Law. Or, the Son must be left literally eternally put away and cut off by failing in the Father’s plan of saving Their most precious race. Jesus surrendered to the assistance that came from His Father’s juggernaut power that so strongly ruled over Him. For His sake His Father brought all power to bear against Him. And the Son ultimately gave in to the agonies of damnation for our child-birth and our child-rearing that would so infinitely please the Father. “Being made perfect, [Jesus] became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” (Heb. 5:9).

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. ― D’Aubigne, London ed., b. 12, ch. 2. The Great Controversy, p. 212.

Will we look at Their day and be convinced of our hard-heartedness? Will we also accept the Father’s chastisement of our peace and submit to our Mother’s example of submission to His Father’s overwhelming chastisement? Will we also surrender to the juggernaut will of God and know “the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom. 8:21)? Will His “Law of liberty” (Jas. 1:25; 2:12) result in His Spirit of liberty? Will we also surrender to God’s will by the help of His almighty juggernaut of terrible anxiety through Christ’s burnt-to-ash, immaculate will?

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Cor. 3:17,18).

“Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.
     The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. ‘The truth shall make you free;’ and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self,--to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is ‘the law of liberty.’ James 2:12.” Desire of Ages, p. 466.

“Humble [surrender] yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (1Pet. 5:6).

“Submit [surrender] yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.… Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.” (Jas. 4:7,9,10).

Thus as we “draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to [us].” (Jas. 4:8). Admitting that we are sinners as Christ accepted our infinite blame, while we “cleanse [our] hands”, we “purify [our] hearts]”, and we cease to be “double minded” (Jas. 4:8) toward God’s inviolable justice and Christ’s merciful kindness.

By the power of the Most High God over-shadowing her Mary received surrender even before suffering child-birth. She surrendered to that terrible holiness, and in the fear of God found power to accept the long lifetime of humiliation associated with apparent illegitimacy. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38). “For God my Saviour, I will become pregnant with the Messiah before marriage and live my whole life under the condemnation of society? Bring it on!” Her self-will was swallowed up in God’s will. By the mighty power of God He inspired her to surrender to His will, and His powerful Spirit qualified her with the needed spirit to cooperate with Him in raising up His Holy Child in love and cheerful happiness.

“The infant will also be affected by the condition of the mother’s mind. If she is unhappy, easily agitated, irritable, giving vent to outbursts of passion, the nourishment the infant receives from its mother will be inflamed, often producing colic, spasms, and in some instances causing convulsions and fits.  
     The character also of the child is more or less affected by the nature of the nourishment received from the mother. How important then that the mother, while nursing her infant, should preserve a happy state of mind, having the perfect control of her own spirit. By thus doing, the food of the child is not injured, and the calm, self-possessed course the mother pursues in the treatment of her child has very much to do in molding the mind of the infant. If it is nervous and easily agitated, the mother’s careful, unhurried manner will have a soothing and correcting influence, and the health of the infant can be very much improved.
     The more quiet and simple the life of the child, the more favorable it will be to both physical and mental development. At all times the mother should endeavor to be quiet, calm, and self-possessed.” Adventist Home, p. 260, 261.

“Women Should Be Qualified to Become Mothers.-- Women have need of great patience before they are qualified to become mothers. God has ordained that they shall be fitted for this work. The work of the mother becomes infinite through her connection with Christ. It is beyond understanding. Woman’s office is sacred. The presence of Jesus is needed in the home; for the mother’s ministries of love may shape the home into a Bethel. The husband and the wife are to co-operate. What a world we would have if all mothers would consecrate themselves on the altar of God, and would consecrate their offspring to God, both before and after its birth!  
     Importance of Prenatal Influences.--The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but heaven does not so regard it. The message sent by an angel of God, and twice given in the most solemn manner, shows it to be deserving of our most careful thought.
     In the words spoken to the Hebrew mother [the wife of Manoah], God speaks to all mothers in every age. ‘Let her beware,’ the angel said; ‘all that I commanded her let her observe.’ The well-being of the child will be affected by the habits of the mother. Her appetites and passions are to be controlled by principle. There is something for her to shun, something for her to work against, if she fulfills God’s purpose for her in giving her a child.
     The world is full of snares for the feet of the young. Multitudes are attracted by a life of selfish and sensual pleasure. They cannot discern the hidden dangers or the fearful ending of the path that seems to them the way of happiness. Through the indulgence of appetite and passion, their energies are wasted, and millions are ruined for this world and for the world to come. Parents should remember that their children must encounter these temptations. Even before the birth of the child, the preparation should begin that will enable it to fight successfully the battle against evil.  
     If before the birth of her child she is self-indulgent, if she is selfish, impatient, and exacting, these traits will be reflected in the disposition of the child. Thus many children have received as a birthright almost unconquerable tendencies to evil.
     But if the mother unswervingly adheres to right principles, if she is temperate and self-denying, if she is kind, gentle, and unselfish, she may give her child these same precious traits of character.” Adventist Home, p. 255, 256.

Mary’s rare, cheerful surrender that God developed in her by His the overwhelming will transmitted humbled surrender and cheerfulness into her egg. The Father’s perfect love of the infinite righteousness combining with Mary’s willing surrender to humiliation, even cheerful surrender, her holy Babe inherited, to give Him the same happy surrender of His earthly forefather, David.

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

“He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Ps. 40:3).

“A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
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;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Ps. 103:1-5).

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power.
Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Ps. 150).

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The psychology of sin

“O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise Him, all ye people.
For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” (Ps. 117:1,2).

“The sting of death is [because of] sin; and the strength of sin is [because of] the law.” (1Cor. 15:56).

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

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Ps. 85:10).

What do all of these texts say? Put them all together and they give us the secret to life and success. Mercy and truth are the perfect combination for man’s reclamation from rebellion. Merciful kindness and truth.

God holds us accountable. He sends us necessary reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. “In the day that I lifted up Mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of His eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” (Eze. 20:6,7). But we balk at them. We say, “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.” (Isa 30:16).

I know of someone who is very belligerent when corrected. This seems to be a humanity wide problem. Why does this happen? Why do we hate to be corrected and reproved? Prophets have been killed for rightfully correcting and reproving. Even when Abel lovingly advised Cain in the way of blessing, he still died at the hands of his brother. What’s going on here?

Years ago I went to a church where the pastor quit his job and ran from the ministry. It was a rather large church, his first large congregation. And the seismic tectonic pressures among certain people overwhelmed him. One person in particular was very self-centered and that caused reactions in the whole group. She believed she was following the Bible. She had been a church member for decades. She could not see that she was wrong in anything she did. She was always in the right. She could not have her vision corrected. She could not humble herself and be corrected even by the pastor.

How does this happen in the human being? What makes a person deny the truth about his faults and flaws? What is the psychology of sin? And more importantly, what is the psychology of righteousness?

Truth without mercy is sin and death. Truth without mercy creates rebellion and denial and every other element of sin. Man, no matter how smart and talented, has a distaste for rebuke. He cannot endure the humiliation of reproof unless he perceives that it is said in love. Unless spoken kindly and dealt gently, correction is utterly impossible for the human to accept. I’ve seen two people yelling at each other because of a problem, each accusing the other, and neither hearing their accusation. Each laid the blame on the other. Both believed he was in the right.

So how do we fix their problem? How has God fixed the same problem that plagues humanity?

By shewing us kindness. “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).

First He gave fallen, stubborn, rebellious mankind the sacrificial system. The descendants of Adam around the world could see what their sins were doing to others. Their sins were killing everyone around them.

“Your hands are full of blood.” (Isa. 1:15).

They were to look at the innocent lambs and be humbled. But Cain couldn’t be hit by conviction because his offering shewed no kindness in its death. Flora expresses no pain and death. Only fauna expresses the wages of sin. By his offering to God Cain’s proud self-sufficiency couldn’t be slain. Self couldn’t be abased and then swallowed up in God’s love. Therefore the Lord rejected it.

This is the condition of the whole world. They don’t get loved. No one has laid down their life for them. No one has pitied them. No one has suffered their indiscretions and loved them anyway. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Heb. 12:15).

They have not known grace, even from their parents. Therefore they never experienced the high privilege of hearing the voice of divine grace or seeing its counterpart among the people nearest and dearest to them; and satanic hosts are always on hand to accentuate the root of bitterness that grows out of that “gall of bitterness, and…bond of iniquity.” (Acts 8:23). They can’t trust in God’s omnipotent kindness and therefore refuse to admit to any of their wrongs. And they grow increasingly vile through the years.

“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.” (Rom. 3:13).

None of us can hear God if we can’t trust in His goodness. No one can obey Him like He wants unless He is sharing His Spirit of peace with theirs, their spirit of anger entangling with His Spirit of supplication.

“I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints.” (Ps. 85:8).

But this kind of union can only come when we’ve seen the mercy of God in His Son. Before any one of us can be like Him our hearts must melt under the merciful kindness of God. Our wars will not cease without the total abasement of our pride. But unless we have an infinitely faithful friend we utterly oppose humiliation.

And that is exactly how God fixed our sin problem. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a Man lay down His life for His friends.” (John 15:13).

Our murderous ways can be stifled only by the Son of God dying at our hand, Him looking up at us in pity and love in our theocide stabbing thrusts.

“And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face.” (Luke 22:60-64).

And only by our will dying at others’ oppressions, while treating at them in mercy, will they ever be able to stifle their murderous ways. We can and must hold them accountable for their oppressive ways, but only while simultaneously holding out to them our loving-kindness. “In principle firm as a rock, [Jesus’] life revealed the grace of unselfish courtesy” The Desire of Ages, p. 68.

The world holds each other accountable. Accountability is the foundation of God’s throne. But, the world doesn’t know the mercy of the omnipotent One. So, the best of the human race must force themselves to accept criticism, constructive or destructive. But they don’t and can’t love correction. They can only force themselves to comply. “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).

But, the kingdom of God is a kingdom of God’s love. He has an infinite supply of love and power and resources. He will recreate us to love correction, criticism, and discipline, just like He does. We will be subject to the Law of His God.

If we will go to the cross upon which our loving Saviour hung from the beginning of creation, then we will have the fortitude to stand before discipline, whether it comes from God or man. When our hearts are sealed by the love and Law of God, then we will be able to stand before the perfect One. Even in this life, we will bear up under His constant expectation of perfection, and we will be patient with those who are less perfect than we.

Our focus will be trusting a Friend who is infinitely perfect, and we will see love in His looks upon us and everyone else. He will be the sun in our sky. The Law by itself, without its Author will cease to exist. Only the Law with its Author will exist and be followed. And sin and death, rebellion and stubborn denial, will flee away. Forever, “even for ever and ever.” (Dan 7:18).

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