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

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A person God turned around many times.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Christ or Antichrist, that was the question


“Go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Jesus through those long hours of anguish when he sweat as it were great drops of blood; look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross; hear that despairing cry, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Look upon that wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all; “tempted like as we are,” he staked even his own eternal existence upon the issue of the conflict. Heaven itself was imperiled for our redemption. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Jesus would have yielded up his life, we may estimate the value of a soul.” General Conference Bulletin, December 1, 1895, Art. B, par. 23.

In Gethsemane Satan’s aim and hope was to weaken Jesus beyond His yearning to keep His Abba. Should He for a moment drop His guard, as David His father had at his moment of temptation, Satan was prepared to take the world’s Redeemer immediately to the furthest extent of depravity. The slightest opening would have allowed him an entering into the Lamb of God. The trespasser would then have immediately made Him a ravening wolf, the likes of which the world had never seen. Jesus would have become a worse tyrant than giant Nimrod. He would have ruled the world with harsher measures than it had been while under Caesar’s iron fist. He would have blasphemed God’s name worse than bacchanalian Belshazzar. Christ would have become Antichrist. Better than Satan had been able, Jesus would have brought down the hosts of heaven in a second apostasy. Then they would have sped to light-years afar and converted the worlds’ inhabitants to the new universal order. The master corrupter could already taste the infinite dismay and fury of the King.

Through the very Messiah from God Satan would own heaven and Earth. The genius from below would use all of his expertise in evil to combine all that he had accomplished in previous victims. Jesus would take on the antediluvian vitality that had indwelt Cain and Nimrod. He would call for twelve legions of angels and in explosive power come down off the cross, evaporating Romans and Jews. He would wield the heartless military might of Jehu and Joab. He would hoard the almighty avarice of Solomon and the rich, young ruler. He would treacherously connive as had Herodias and Judas, and be as bloody as Jezebel and Manasseh.

With armies far worse than the corrupted Hasmonean Jewish kings, and feeding and healing His wicked hosts en masse, He would drive to the ends of every continent a mutinous, raping horde of Jews with the rapidity of the pagan first king of the Greek Empire. As a high priest evangelizing for eternal damnation, all the kingdoms of the world would be His to control or destroy at will, for they would be Satan’s reward to Him. The war-loving adversary of peace would transform the Son of God into his favorite disciple, as he would also His people. He would use both to “devour the whole earth,… tread it down, and break it in pieces” (Dan. 7:23). Then Satan would tempt the great King of the universe in language of disguised sarcasm, “What will the Father do now? Destroy His only begotten Son, the Prince of heaven, in whom every angel’s love from the beginning has been infinitely fastened?”

This was Satan’s dream and that to which he bent his full artfulness and genius. To see a demonic grimace on the Son’s once peaceful and pure countenance was the darling design of the mastermind of corruption. The inveterate fiend’s brightest hopes would be to devour the Son, to the glory and gloating of the revenged cherub, and to the perfect dishonor and blushing of his Maker.

But, Jesus, in the midst of His terrible conflict against the devil’s machinations, with His Father’s presence totally blotted out, saw the full result of the infernal spirit’s wooing. At this all-important juncture in the great plan of salvation, He knew that the first infraction of His Father’s will would not end until all was lost.

So Jesus redoubled all that was within Him to remember what Satan did with His beloved David, when making the holy king a ravenous beast before the magnified, all engrossing view of Bathsheba and then turning him into an unconscionable maniac of intrigue and murder. He recalled the heights of soaring self-righteousness to which the cunning traitor took the loving Adam and Eve, running them from the righteous Judge while maintaining a satisfying justification for their crime.

Christ brought to mind the desolation of Saul before the medium of Endor, after His vessel of grace had known the holy gift of God’s Spirit, but relaxed his hold on God’s justice and mercy. Then receiving Satan’s spirit of ambition for his own tyrannical dynasty, he sought every opportunity to do Satans bidding by hunting down his son-in-law and, because they had aided David, murdering in cold blood the priests of the Lord, the saints of the Most High. Jesus compared the words of His spirit tempter to the demonic tone of Samuel’s impersonating specter that shook the kingly infidel to incurable confusion, and sent his demolished soul into war to meet his doom in utter depression and petrified hopelessness.

The Holy One of God summoned to His thoughts the downfall of His once faithful servant Balaam; He remembered the dizzying heights of ambition that Satan had inspired in His beautiful Solomon, His child of peace. He revisited His disciple Gehazi, and also the man that was His fellow, Judas Iscariot who He had sought so hard to befriend. He saw in all four their original desire to serve God, but also the lust common among them that permitted the devils to lead all of them into the work of iniquity. He considered Cain and Nimrod, the PhD students of Satan’s philosophy, and the enterprises he inspired them to begin that would perpetuate until His second coming. He contemplated the apostasy of Israelite kings Jeroboam, Jehu, and Ahab. He studied the calculating and treacherous mortal Queens of heaven—Delilah, Jezebel, Athaliah, and Herodias. He pondered how far Satan brought Judah’s kings Asa and Manasseh and Zedekiah, to rule in transgression of law. They had been enlightened; they had tasted of the good word of God. They had been trained to be trees of righteousness; yet the desolator felled them hard.

He reflected on the prophecies of Daniel, that a whole generation of redeemed, apostolic Christians would lose their first love and become the greatest menace that the world would ever know even until the end of time. They would become the enemy of Christ, the abomination of desolation, because they would accept Apollyon’s charming invitation to substitute love of the world for their love to Him and His Father. They would find an acceptable status in the wretched Roman Empire rather than being approved of God. The heights to which they had attained in the things of God and the deep rest that they had had in Christ during the Early Rain, when they would lose their great light and their first love, would send them equally deep into the depths of spiritualism. They would partake of all its torment and permanent restlessness, and its end, the murderous crusades and Inquisitions to destroy the still faithful church in the wilderness.

And, more than that, He knew that He would most assuredly become more horrific than them all, should He for even a nano-second lose His loyalty to His Father who now seemed completely blotted from His conscience. He knew that every scripture example of wickedness was all testifying of Him. If He were to give in now, the Just One would do more wickedness than the whole evil world put together. His developed strength of mind and willpower would have created a despot like none had ever seen.

For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him (John 3:34,35).

Heaven had never seen a human achieve in body and mind, all in which He and His Father had cooperated together, through His Father’s Spirit without measure. The heavenly agencies had never before been able to help any son of man to develop, to the maximum extent, every capacity of his faculties and every capability of his body, into the very powers of the redeemed, eternal world.

Albeit, if He were to give in to the hellish tempter trying to force an entrance into His heart, these powers would be used against God and His heaven to make a gigantic ogre, a bullying international aggressor. His perfected power over minds, always previously used for leading hearts to surrender to His Father, would be utilized to shepherd them to Himself, the utmost wicked high priest of Baal. The voracious beast that David had turned into would pale in comparison before the catastrophic terror of the new abominable Son of David.

In the black darkness the Son of God trembled before these real possibilities. Alone He must fight this hand-to-hand combat. Alone, He must fend off the unscrupulous fiend who, in the musical voice of a devoted friend, whispered to His mind flattering promises, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:6). None like the god of this world could weave such a finely spun half-truth.

But, interrupting his communiqués came another horrific wave of wrath from above. “And being in an agony”, “His sweat … as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground”, “He prayed more earnestly” (Luke 22:44). Refortified in His strained exertions to drink the cup of His Father’s wrath, scriptures floated up to cognition within His mind that He had been constantly fortifying since the dawning of His intelligence.

Thou wilt keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because He trusteth in Thee (Isa. 26:3).

Or let Him take hold of My strength, that He may make peace with Me; and He shall make peace with Me (Isa. 27:5).

Blessed is the Man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 
But His delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law doth He meditate day and night. 
And He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth His fruit in His season; His leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever He doeth shall prosper (Psa. 1:1-3). 

Psalm 22 came back, each line, each syllable, each promising hope of which He again carefully searched and pored over down to its mighty crescendo.

I will declare Thy name unto My brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee. 
Ye that fear the LORD, praise Him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him; and fear Him, all ye the seed of Israel. 
For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from Him; but when He cried unto Him, He heard. 
My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation: I will pay My vows before them that fear Him. 
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek Him: your heart shall live for ever. 
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. 
For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and He is the Governor among the nations. 
All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him: and none can keep alive his own soul. 
A seed shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. 
They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, [what] He hath done… [It is finished!] (Psa. 22:22-31).

No! He would shut the door to the devils voice within His God-forsaken mind. No, He would never become a tyrannical Antichrist in heaven and the Earth. No, He would never embarrass and dismay His beloved Father. He would resist the devil.

O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done! (Matt. 26:42).

Yes! He would drink the cup from His Father, to the very last dreg. He would pour out His soul and surrender up His life.

He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isa. 53:11,12). 

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: 
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11).

For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:15,16). 

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament (Heb. 7:22).

made an High Priest for ever…. (Heb. 6:20).

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (Heb. 4:14).

For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour [comfort and encourage] them that are tempted (Heb. 2:18).

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