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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.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Surrender of the will for sanctification

I was listening to an Adventist preacher. This is part of what he said,

“Jesus was holy because He had the will of the Father in Him, and His will was the will of the Father. He had a surrendered will. He was a sacrifice to God. The power, what is this power I’m talking about? Hebrews chapter 10 verse 9. And I think some of you are already hitting the bottom line of this. I can see it in some of you already. We’re looking at Jesus as our example, aren’t we. He’s not just our substitute, He’s our example. And that’s another place the Christian world doesn’t want to go today. They know what it means if He’s the example [it would mean keeping the fourth commandment]. ‘Then said He, Lo, I come to’… struggle against sin. [The preacher spoke this last half the previous statement sarcastically, because so many people say that Jesus was just like us with a propensity to sin, and struggled with the temptation to sin like we do. But, Jesus had no propensity toward sin. “In Him is no sin.” (1Jn. 3:5). Jesus was and is “separate from sinners.” (Heb. 7:26). If Jesus were just like us He could not be our Mediator, our Propitiator before the infinitely holy God. The preacher continues…] It would be silly if it wasn’t so serious…. ‘I come to do Thy will’. That’s what Jesus came for. And He never wavered. ‘I come to do Thy will, O God.’ Verse 10. Well, He did it. He did the will of God no matter what it cost Him. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” If that will [in the mind of Christ that was] surrendered to the Father sanctified Him, then how are we sanctified? We just saw it here. By the same way. By receiving the will of the Father as my will. Is there something wrong with that? I hear a lot of people resisting that for some reason….”

But, I must insert something into the preacher’s line of thinking.

It is true that “that will surrendered to the Father sanctified Him [Jesus].” Jesus was sanctified by surrendering His will to His Father. But now that we know Jesus was sanctified by surrendering His will to His Father, we must ask, How did He surrender His will? That should be the obvious next question to the above statement. Was it by His own omnipotently divine willpower that Jesus surrendered His will to His infinite Father’s will? How did Jesus surrender His will so fully, even to obey His Father by giving up His eternal existence with His beloved Father, pouring out His soul in our damnation? How did Jesus surrender that much? It must be by being bathed in His Father’s infinite love. As John wrote it, “…the only begotten Son, …in the bosom of the Father.” (John 1:18).

The Father bathed His only begotten Son in His love. All the time. Jesus sanctified Himself for our sakes, perfecting Himself by being bathed in His Father’s love. And, we too can be surrendered by the same bathing in the love of Christ for us and be sanctified in that surrender. The preacher said, “By receiving the will of the Father as my will”. We can be sanctified to the Father’s will by being bathed in Jesus’ love and mercy as seen in His sacrifice, being cleansed by His blood.

It reminds me of when my son was an infant, 34 some years ago. I would get out our bassinet and put in it a couple inches of warm water. Then I would carefully lay Joseph down in the water, so that the water didn’t come up into his ears. He would lay in that nice, warm water smiling up at me, flapping his little arms and kicking his pudgy legs. He was happy to see me and happy to lay in that comfortable water.

Jesus was the same way with His Father. Every day, every moment He lived, He was, as it were, laid in the warm water of His Father’s love for Him. His Father’s love filled Jesus with happiness and love for His Father. In the warm environment of His Father’s love for Him, Jesus’ will was completely abandoned to His Father. He loved everything about His Father. He loved His Father’s perfect character, His immutable Law, even His Father’s powerful, indomitable will. Everything about the Father’s Law Jesus loved. And that condition of things went uninterrupted during Jesus’ whole life, from conception to crucifixion. By being bathed in His Father’s love He happily yielded to His Father’s will and happily sanctified Himself until He was sealed, as our example for being sanctified and sealed.

Therefore, we need to be bathed in Christ’s love, beholding Him until we are filled with all the fullness of God.

Too often we forget this part. We don’t go back far enough in the cause and effect of the gospel to portray the whole picture of the science of salvation. Without receiving the love of our only begotten Son of the Father, “who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20), and receiving the love of God, in our efforts to be sanctified we must always end up back in legalism, no matter how well the science of sanctification is described to us and no matter how correctly we understand sanctification. Without being possessed and overcome by the love of Jesus for our sinful race, as He was possessed by His Father’s love, we cannot be baptized by His fire and His holy Spirit.

Even with all the rest of the science of salvation spelled out for us in the Spirit of Prophecy, without seeing the love of Jesus we can’t enter into His salvation. We only have John’s baptism, John’s salvation. Of course, we know about the baptism of fire and Holy Ghost, because it was already made a requirement 2,000 year ago when the believers responded with it to Paul. “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.” (Acts 19:2,3).

By knowing of this baptism doesn’t mean we’ve experienced it. Assenting to our need of it doesn’t mean we have had that baptism. Assenting to our need means that we only have intellectual knowledge of it, and not experiential knowledge of actually receiving it. In terms of salvation, an intellectual knowledge of it alone it worthless. After all the wealth and abundance of knowledge that we have on the subject of sanctification, we may come up short because we never knew Jesus. And we all know what that means in the end. It means His sad words, “I never knew you.” This is why I keep looking at the YouTube testimonies.

Those YouTube witnesses, even without any of the deeper training in the science of salvation, such as Adventists have in the Spirit of Prophecy, those non-Adventists who have sought Jesus until He revealed Himself to them in spiritual power, truly know Jesus and suddenly want to study the Bible. They can articulate a knowledge of the science of salvation that parallels Ellen White’s articulation of salvation. Their articulation of salvation rivals the best Adventist theologian, even surpassing most of us because most of us have become satisfied to have the intellectual knowledge, and not anything more. When Ellen White wrote of John, that “He saw his people deceived, self-satisfied, and asleep in their sins”, Desire of Ages, p. 103, she was not only referring to the Jews, but also to the Adventists of the final time before the Latter Rain.

We need to see the Son, as blinding as that may be. “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). We need to hear the high standard that describes Jesus that will cause our natural born pride and self-sufficiency to tremble. We need our blinded self-assessment to be obliterated by conviction of the mighty hand of God, baptized in His condemnation. “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).

And He can teach us His high standard even if we are avoiding the condemnation of the high standard. He can use the consequences to teach us. “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that My fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Jer. 2:19). This is the route taken by the YouTube testifiers. But as you have seen, it resulted in the true salvation that the Bible teaches. Those people have received Jesus, and they know Him, even better than so many church goers who only have an intellectual knowledge of salvation, “ninety and nine [out of a hundred] just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7). But, but, but!!!!! Lord!!!! You walked among us and ate with us! Open up the kingdom to us, Your buddies!

“Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets.
But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity.
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.” (Luke 13:26-30).

Adventists awaiting the Latter Rain, take notice and beware! YouTube is showing us that the Lord is doing a work that is preparing many non-Adventists for the Latter Rain. This great work is going on even without the Adventists knowing it or recognizing it, or calling it any great importance. Even many Adventists are cursing it as part of the false revival that is infecting the Protestant world. But, no! Their fruits of the Spirit declare that these YouTube witnesses are true, real, and valid newborns into the kingdom and are being primed for the Latter Rain, to be among the 144,000, even taking the places of so many Adventists who are merely wishing and hoping to give the Loud Cry of the latter Rain. The New Age, the drug addictions, the atheism, the dark world of the occult, was too much for the YouTube witnesses, and they surrendered to divine love. They needed Jesus; they sought Him out; they cried out for Him; and He answered them in power. They fell on the Stone and were broken, and He drew them to Himself and bathed them in His love.

Has this been the experience of the clean-cut Adventists, huddled among themselves? Has it been an answer from heaven in powerful justification and new birth? Have we come out of our Laodicea yet? We need to open our eyes and quake in our boots. The reality of Matthew 25:8-12 is silently making its way into our midst! We Adventists must wake up to this, or be lost forever. Now, while the final desolations of post-9/11 world are forestalled (see Revelation 7:1,2), we need to be horribly afraid.

“Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge My might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isa. 33:13,14). “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but My people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jer. 2:11-13).

We Adventists need to fall on the Stone, be broken, and then be bathed in the love of the Saviour. Then we can take our stand next to the non-Adventists who are also broken and bathed in Jesus’ love.

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