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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.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The casting down of Protestant America

"The iniquity of the Amorites is ... full."

What do we see in this generation? We see Americans living oblivious of their Creator, Protector, and Provider. We see them living only for this world.  Their thoughts are not on God or on His Bible. We see Americans living on His holy land that has flown with milk and honey, freedom and joy, all without a single look heavenward in gratefulness to the Giver of it all.

And we act like we deserve all of these privileges, like we are entitled to the rights and liberties of our Jehovah-inspired U.S. Constitution. But we have one party after another in honor of Satan. We watch hour after hour of TV in honor of Satan---for certainly it can't be in reverence to, or in fear of, the holy God of the Protestant Reformation.

We go to game after game. We play game after game. We spend our days completely unmindful of our Maker. We are going about in total atheism, looking for the next thrill or for something to laugh at. "The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." (Gen. 15:16). Amorites, Canaanites, is exactly what Americans have become.

Read Leviticus 18:3-29. This land is about to spew us out. The iniquity of the Americans is just about full. What evil have we not committed? Assassination, regicide, empire-building with it's side effect of enslaving the world. We have torn down the ancient moral landmarks of the patriarchs and are soon to replace them with a new world order, a new world where anything goes. Complete perversion, complete brutality for the powerful.  Complete hopelessness for the powerless.

That is when Jesus will come in a day that the wicked look not for Him. Leviticus 18:21 speak s to that day. When the Satan-driven new world takes the children of God for human sacrifices to "God", that will be the day the real Jesus appears to rid the universe of the wicked persecutors.

"And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellence, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." (Isa. 13:19).

Friday, April 03, 2020

Michael comes in importunate prayer


“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a Man above upon it.” (Eze. 1:26).

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1,2).


God takes a long time to rescue us from difficult circumstances and interpersonal conflicts.

We believe we shouldn’t have to endure them any longer. We can’t easily conclude that they are for our sanctification. Our motives aren’t pure. Our lives are not faultless. We are to some degree complicit in the conflicts. “They have sinned” is the adversaries’ rightful claim for abusing God’s people. “All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.” (Jer. 50:7). That was true of God’s people anciently. Could it be just as true of God’s people today?

We have only seen the leading edge of the storm front. It will “purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:3). There is grievous purifying still to come that will “make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” (Isa. 13:12). “But who may abide the day of His coming? Who shall stand when He appeareth?” (Mal. 3:3).

“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.” (Rev. 7:13-15).


Why do bad things happen to good people? Because “none is good, save one, that is, God.” (Luke 18:19).


“There is none righteous, no, not one: 

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10-12).


But,“consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 

Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: 

For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” (Heb. 12:3-6).


As much as we might deny it, we are all gone out of the way. We are all become unprofitable. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:18). But, we are not there. Not yet.


We need our curses of the Law. We need our plagues, as they really are good and perfect gifts sent from the Father of glory in whom is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. And in the end Christ will have a group that has been chastened and scourged, humbled and purified.


Alarmed and quickened by fear, the elect virgins awaiting their Lord awoke. During peacetime, their concerns of judgment day didn’t cause their conscience much a do. But now, in God’s mercy, signs of the times are raising their ugly heads. They have opened the Testimonies for the Church. They have stood before the perfect Law of liberty via the only reputable prophet, who was the only modern mediator of the investigative judgment covenant with God. The ten virgins have finally gotten down to the Bridegroom’s business. 

They have admitted to their flaws and deformations of character. They have accepted the barbed arrows of conviction from the prophets of the Lord. The scalpel sharp, two-edged word of God has cut both ways deeply into the intents and motives of their hearts, and exposed their every defilement. All their comeliness has been turned into corruption. But, what to do with all these vile and disgusting traits that are as putrid as bile?

Their countenances pale, and marked with deep anxiety, have expressed their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness has been on their countenances; large drops of perspiration have fallen from their foreheads. They have confessed and cried out for deliverance from their exceedingly sinful, rotting characters. The straight razor with a sealing edge, that straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans, has had its effect upon the heart of the receivers, and led them to exalt the standard to themselves and to cry out in deep repentance. With strong faith and agonizing cries have they pled with God. And they obtain the victory.

However, some of these virgins would not go to the investigative judgment’s prophet. 
The foolish virgins would not “participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud.” Early Writings, p. 270.1.

“At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” (Dan. 12:1).

“I saw another mighty Angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire: 

And He had in His hand a little book open: and He set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth, 

And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 

And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices,

And the Angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven, 

And sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: 

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished.” (Rev. 10:1-7).


Said in another way, “When He shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” (Dan. 12:7).


As our prophetic proxy, John plays the 144,000’s part in arising from their fifth trumpet stupor and sixth trumpet desolation to give the Loud Cry of the Latter Rain.

“And I went unto the Angel, and said unto Him, Give me the little book. And He said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. 

And I took the little book out of the Angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. 

And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” (Rev. 10:9-11).


“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. 

And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 

And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” (Rev. 14:1-3).


They receive their three angels’ recommissioning. They have accepted the exalted standard and have bowed their pride and repented in deep sorrow. Interpersonal conflicts have all disappeared. Now they can avenge all disobedience because their obedience is fulfilled. They must pour forth the straight truth and exalt the standard before the people of God before they can preach the full gospel for a witness to all nations one final time. “I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect.” Early Writings, p. 271.2. Then many sprinkled around the globe will say, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). And “a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.” Great Controversy, p. 612.2.

“From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous.” (Isa. 24:16).

But the multitudes, nations, tongues, and peoples will be angry, especially the vile king of the north, who is Satan, the Beast, and his puppet, the false prophet, all three combined. The 144,000 will have a song to sing until their fiery furnace when with almost superhuman power the wicked forces of deception turn against them a WWIII. The sweetness of the everlasting gospel will turn sour in the backlash.

“But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.” (Isa. 24:16).
“And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” (Dan. 12:1).


They must pass through their own Gethsemane, which their Master passed through. It is the time of Jacob’s troubles. “A tall, commanding angel...said, ‘They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.’” Early Writings, p. 272.2.

They have survived the persecution such as never was. They have endured the blasts of  Beast and false prophet retinues, and they have held on to the truth. They have drunk of their Lord’s Gethsemane cup. They have kept “the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12). Here has been the secret of the saints’ patience. They have kept the faith and therefore know that they have a crown of righteousness that the righteous Judge will give them on the day of His long looked-for appearing.


Then they will sing another song, as if on the far side of the Red Sea. Probation has closed and they have obtained the victory over sin and the tempter.


“I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints. 

Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev. 15:2-4).


“Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon the company, who, a short time before, were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked! All marks of care and weariness were gone, and health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men; they could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company were changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory. And the graves were opened, and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying, “Victory over death and the grave”; and together with the living saints they were caught up to meet their Lord in the air, while rich, musical shouts of glory and victory were upon every immortal tongue.” Early Writings, p. 272.3.

“It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” (Isa. 25:9).


“And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Dan. 12:1).


And the whole process leading to Christ’s return all started with the adversaries we face in our present life, importunate prayer today for patience, our admission to culpability in today’s interpersonal conflicts, with the pardon and justification, and with new heart and new spirit all of which we receive through His grace today. Heretofore we have disregarded the end-time prophet, Ellen G. White. We have done the same to our messenger from the Lord as the Israelites and Jews did to theirs.

“The LORD hath sent unto you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. 

They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: 

And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke Me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. 

Yet ye have not hearkened unto Me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. 

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard My words, 

Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. 

Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. 

And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 

And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.” (Jer. 25:4-12).


At the beginning of our sanctification Jesus could do nothing until we owned up to our part in our vile condition. And any progress we made then were amplified by the first waves of end-time trouble. Now, fully consecrated to eternal service to the holy God, we are no longer His enemies, in any respect. Jesus can deliver us at His coming in power and great glory.

“See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand. 

For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. 

If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and will reward them that hate Me. 

I will make Mine arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. 

Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.” (Deut. 32:39-43).


“Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7,8).

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

The making of the 144,000 prophets


“I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” (Isa. 13:12).

“But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:2,3).

“I was pointed down to the time when the third angel’s message was closing. The power of God had rested upon His people; they had accomplished their work and were prepared for the trying hour before them. They had received the latter rain, or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and the living testimony had been revived.” Early Writings, p. 279.1.

The Lord chooses His people in the furnace of affliction. And He promises to make them more precious than fine gold. Thus, in difficulty and tragedy and loss, He seals in them the love and righteousness that they had when they first believed, some as babes in innocence. But others when they first cuddled in fear under the shadow of His wings in complete surrender and relief, resurrected from a mountain of sin and guilt, sorrow and shame, into certainty of salvation.

This we see the most descriptive model of this with Samuel. First; he was reared by Hannah who longed for, prayed for, wept over a baby until God heard her and opened her womb. It was her persecution troubles that purified her motives and determination to raise her babe in strict obedience to the Law of Jehovah. The heart-breaking moment of separation in the presence of high priest Eli intensified the long-time, anticipated and growing, pain of their self-sacrificial gift to God. Both mother and 5 year old suffered together, at the parting and distantly. But, Israel got the strong, loyal leadership that it needed. Who else could have arranged this genius salvation but Providence?

We see Abraham also longing for a son until the childless patriarch was ready to exemplify such a perfect father figure that his faithfulness would perpetuate for 2,000 years. Thus, Isaac was a beloved child surrounded by very protecting and instructing parents in a home that knew only happiness, comfort, quietude, and divinely originated love. Later, sealed on Mount Carmel he, with his beloved father, saw Messiah’s day. Thus, after Abraham’s passing, Isaac would bring the remnant Hebrew race into prominence before of the Canaanites and Pharaohs. And thus, a knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He would send would be spread at the very crossroads of ancient civilization.

There was Jacob, wanting children, but especially from the woman he first loved and, in his heart, first married. But, not until many years passed did the son of his yearning come forth, Joseph. Then came the unexpected separation and eternal loss to both. Both had been less than perfectly representative of the Father and Son, as the Godhead require of those who profess to serve and represent Them. But, although their lives were slowly slipping into the snare of Satan, Providence permitted sibling hatred to go unrestricted, which their father and his beloved son to some degree had fomented, to split up the two, and to give them divine discipline from His righteous right hand. It was then that all the parental love that had been instilled in Joseph and the divine grace that he had received and bathed in, would be put to the test and sealed in him. Caged and passing his homestead from so great a distance that any calls for rescue would be futile, in total surrender to the God who had been his confidante, he determined to let the cards fall where they may, and learn lessons of life that his God had been trying to teach him. Strict fidelity, which he had learned at home, was honed to perfection in many areas of character than he had ever faced as a teen in his parents’ tent. While separated from his great father and the mother he might never see again, the names he gave his sons express the surrendered heart-wrenching and lonely walk, that took him higher and higher in responsibility while guarding against constant temptations of every specie. “Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Gen. 41:51,52).

Then there was Manoah, whose wife was also barren. Every woman of ancient times yearned to have children. In those dark days of the Hebrews this was the only couple who could produce the muscles to forcibly enough persuade the Philistines to leave Israel. It took some divine doings to get their son on the same page as Jehovah was on, but he got there. A man of strong body and lightning-quick reflexes and mind, yet Samson’s spirituality limped along. Maybe it was super-strong hormones that competed with undeveloped consecration, which the Lord had to work around. But, with sufficient punishment Samson recovered and rehabilitated, sealed in obedience just in time for the final completion of his mission. Samson took the hard road to the sealing and patient endurance, but thankfully the Lord’s grace was sufficient. The Lord’s strength in a praying sinner was made perfect regardless of Samson’s weakness.

Once again, the people of God needed strong leadership. Zacharias, now of late age, hearing that his elderly Elizabeth would have a son who would preach in the power of Elijah, and knowing his time was short, took this special bundle of joy from heaven, taught him to disregard the worldliness of Israel, and raised him in the fear of God and His Law. Then when John’s beloved parents were laid to rest, everything that was dutifully instilled in his heart and mind in his youth, must be put to the test. He must press forward flying solo without the earlier combination divine-human inspiration, and living only off of guidance from heaven. For years, living in the harsh wilderness galvanized the lessons he had learned at his parents’ knees and from his own hungry study of the scriptures. He paid special attention to the message of Isaiah and the final prophet, Malachi. Then the final test came with his short office as prophet in order to prepare the Jews for their coming Messiah. He got the call to begin his ministry when he learned that a pagan king sat on the throne of Israel compared to the promise that the scepter would not depart from Israel until Shiloh would come. “A Roman ruler sat in the palace upon Mount Zion. By the sure word of the Lord, already the Christ was born”! Desire of Ages, p. 103. John was launched on his mission under the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Christ’s disciples were another example of early training turned to full bloom of experience. Like His “children” (Mark 10:24; Luke 5:34; 6:35; John 13:33; 21:5), in whom He had invested all His teachings and future earthly work, the twelve had a full curriculum load for a short course on the ministry. Much exhausting travel, study of scriptures and creation, apostleship internship courses, metaphor and analogy comprehension, training in object lessons, training in parable making, fasting and prayer, communion with the fullness of the Godhead manifested, all of which Jesus entrusted to these practical men, most with no formal education. The only advantage that they had was that they had less to unlearn than the religious leaders. But, soon enough the Master Teacher must leave them. And soon enough they must operate without His blessed visible presence and His musical voice heard in hope-filled conversations and grateful songs to His Father. Tried in the fire of the crucifixion, alone they must travel the great distances accompanied by His voice behind them, saying, “Turn to the right or to the left”, and “Go here”, “Don’t go there”.

Lastly there was God, the Father, who, like Abraham, had to wait a long time until He could bring forth His first born Son. In the long ago prior to the angelic hosts, the King trained up His Heir in the plan of salvation, that, when He was put to the test in Gethsemane and on Golgotha, He would not depart from the way He should go. There, in that hill garden, so very alone, not only alone among humanity, but alone in the universe, unearthly sorrow made Him sense the pall of death within. He could no longer walk, death hit Him with such dizzying depression that He could only fall on His face. Stricken to the ground, His soul empty and dark and silent, He must muster all the momentum that He had gained from 3 ½ years of the Spirit of His Father without measure. All that momentum would be tried to the extreme when all the measureless fullness of God left Him in a spiritual destitution without measure, and dropped Him into a cave-dark bottomless pit, falling, tumbling forever and ever. No other child leader-in-training had to endure the rigors of post-graduate work that the Co-creator must endure under the almighty condemning power of the Ever-existent One. “Him that sat on the throne,… Him that liveth for ever and ever” who “created all things”, and for whose “pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:10) poured thunderous, scathing wrath upon His beloved rather than pour it on His beloved human race.

I WILL SCATTER [HIM] AS WITH AN EAST WIND BEFORE THE ENEMY; I WILL SHEW [HIM] THE BACK, AND NOT THE FACE, IN THE DAY OF [HIS] CALAMITY.

Before the first Roman whip with steel and bone woven into it ripped His flesh, the spiritual plagues left Him laid open. “From the sole of [His] foot even unto [His] head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Isa. 1:6).

“GET”
“THEE”
“BEHIND”
“ME!”

 “WHAT MEAN YE THAT YE BEAT MY PEOPLE TO PIECES, AND GRIND THE FACES OF THE POOR? SAITH THE LORD GOD OF HOSTS. 
MOREOVER THE LORD SAITH, BECAUSE [YOU] ARE HAUGHTY, AND WALK WITH STRETCHED FORTH NECKS AND WANTON EYES, WALKING AND MINCING AS [YOU] GO, AND MAKING A TINKLING WITH [YOUR] FEET: 
THEREFORE THE LORD WILL SMITE WITH A SCAB THE CROWN OF THE HEAD OF [THIS SON OF MINE], AND THE LORD WILL DISCOVER [HIS] SECRET PARTS. 
IN THAT DAY THE LORD WILL TAKE AWAY THE BRAVERY OF [HIS] TINKLING ORNAMENTS ABOUT [HIS] FEET, AND [HIS] CAULS, AND [HIS] ROUND TIRES LIKE THE MOON, 
THE CHAINS, AND THE BRACELETS, AND THE MUFFLERS, 
THE BONNETS, AND THE ORNAMENTS OF THE LEGS, AND THE HEADBANDS, AND THE TABLETS, AND THE EARRINGS, 
THE RINGS, AND NOSE JEWELS, 
THE CHANGEABLE SUITS OF APPAREL, AND THE MANTLES, AND THE WIMPLES, AND THE CRISPING PINS, 
THE GLASSES, AND THE FINE LINEN, AND THE HOODS, AND THE VAILS. 
AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT INSTEAD OF SWEET SMELL THERE SHALL BE STINK; AND INSTEAD OF A GIRDLE A RENT; AND INSTEAD OF WELL SET HAIR BALDNESS; AND INSTEAD OF A STOMACHER A GIRDING OF SACKCLOTH; AND BURNING INSTEAD OF BEAUTY. 
[YOU] SHALL FALL BY THE SWORD, AND … IN THE WAR.” (Isa. 3:15-25, cf John 5:39). 

“[YOU DO NOT] UNDERSTAND, [YOU DO NOT] SEEK AFTER GOD. 
[YOU] ARE ALL GONE OUT OF THE WAY, [YOU] ARE TOGETHER BECOME UNPROFITABLE; [YOU DO NO] GOOD, NO, NOT [ANY]. 
[YOUR] THROAT IS AN OPEN SEPULCHRE; WITH [YOUR] TONGUE [YOU] HAVE USED DECEIT; THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER [YOUR] LIPS: 
WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS: 
[YOUR] FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD: 
DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN [YOUR] WAYS: 
AND THE WAY OF PEACE HAVE [YOU] NOT KNOWN: 
THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE [YOUR] EYES. (Rom. 3:11-18).

[YOU] ARE [A] GRIEVOUS REVOLTER, WALKING WITH SLANDERS: [YOU] ARE BRASS AND IRON; [YOU] ARE ALL CORRUPTERS. THE BELLOWS ARE BURNED, THE LEAD IS CONSUMED OF THE FIRE; THE FOUNDER MELTETH IN VAIN: FOR [YOUR] WICKED[NESS IS] NOT PLUCKED AWAY. REPROBATE SILVER SHALL MEN CALL [YOU], BECAUSE THE LORD HATH REJECTED [YOU]. (Jer. 6:28-30).

On and on through the night the divine retribution was delivered.

“It pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 
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. 53:10-12).

But, He tread the winepress of the wrath of God alone, and of the people there was none with Him. His earlier eternal training and a Father of infinite love, got Him through our damnation.

All of these examples were raised in Christian homes by godly, God-fearing, holy, converted parents. Each desperate parent infused love and holiness into their sons and daughters. They taught them the way of the Lord. Years together, children holding communion surrounded by the security of their parents’ unreserved love.

For them all this was so. But, infinitely, infinitely more so was communion open and freely unreserved for the divine Son of God. No one else had it as good as our Lord Jesus Christ. “God is love; and He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in Him.” (1Jn. 4:16). “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?…. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me.” (John 14:10,11). No one else came forth from the bosom of Parental love without measure.

Nevertheless, for them all, the Son not excepted, the parents left them bereaved, and that forced them into a new phase of life. They must now all tread the winepress alone. The beloved of their soul had separated from them. The parent left them to walk by faith and no longer by sight. What about us? Are we getting ready to walk by faith without the steady hand of other tangible companions?

Vain words in this investigative judgment time

“But I say unto you, That every idleG692 [‘useless’] word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matt. 12:36,37).

Idle words are useless words because they make no advancement toward holiness and godliness. They are only chit-chat. They only twiddle the thumbs and waste the precious investigative judgment preparation for the executive judgment on the day Jesus returns.

Idle words advance toward the world; they love the things of the world. They they love the prince of this world, are bored with holy things, are interested in the things of Satan, and copy his satanic ways, to whom Christ denounced, “…thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:23). That means everything in the carnal heart is only evil continually, as it was in the antediluvian world. The natural heart evades the things of God, “judgment, mercy, and faith.” (Matt. 23:23). Idle words, vacant of glory to the natural mans Creator, are all that arise in his heart, and thus all that flow out of his mouth. “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 9:24).

“Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 
They speak vanityH7723 [‘desolating’, ‘ruin’, ‘guile’, ‘idolatry’, ‘uselessness’] every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 
The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.” (Psa. 12:1-3).

The opening warning of this post from Jesus against idle, vain words come from the context of speaking against conviction of sin.

“Wherefore I say unto you, … the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And … but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt. 12:31,32).

Christ was a faithful reprover of sin. When sin is lovingly called by its right name, then arises the golden opportunity for sin to become exceedingly sinful, seen as it is—criminal. Then comes the need for an exceeding great Saviour from exceedingly sinful sin, Jesus Christ the righteous one. The glorious result is deep repentance, specific repentance from the sinner, and powerful forgiveness of sin and just justification from the Saviour. Out of the justification comes a new spirit, a new heart, a new creation, reconciliation with God, peace with God, life, the gift of God—a new life!

At first, the conviction of sin is offensive since it is highly damning. But it’s the goodness of God! The scourging of the soul is from His goodness because it leads us to repentance and saves us from self-destruction and from destroying our loved ones and acquaintances. He points out faults to save families from dissolving, society from collapsing, the nation from being brought to nothing. And He is not a respecter of persons—from highest to lowest, top to bottom, rich and poor, elderly and toddler and everyone in between, statesman and citizenall get His notices of guilt and shame.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:12,13).

And all who humble themselves by acknowledging the Judge’s exceeding guilting and shaming will be lifted up. For the last shall be first, and the humbled shall be exalted!

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: 
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. 
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? 
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. 
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:5-11).

In the end, such recipients of God’s grace have been “enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come.” (Heb. 6:4,5).

What greater is there for which to ask?

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).

Christ is our Comforter, the “Wonderful, Counselor” (Isa. 6:9) to all generations. It was in love that Jesus convicted them of sin, or sent a spiritual, loving person, like Elihu to Job, or Nathan to David, to bring about the conviction and repentance and peace. Jesus originally set up His kingdom like that. Not out of revenge or bitterness toward the one who is hurting others, himself, and God, but out of mercy he speaks to the erring one.

“Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (Lev. 19:17,18).

This is what Lord Michael desired from all of Israel. This is how they could remain under His blessings. He would give them a system of self-government. He would have them police each other. With justice and mercy, through the truth as it is in the Lord their God, they would carefully remind each other of His grace and truth.

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1).

And if the trespasser won’t hear his brother or neighbor’s good counsel, then the brother should seek out another spiritual person or two for approaching the erring one, “that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matt. 18:16). Not peer pressure or group threat, but the opinion from a quorum may be more believable than from an individual.

“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.
 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exo. 19:3-6).

But, because the fallen human nature despises having their sin called by its right name, since it hates to be corrected and to repent, and to change long held habits and routines, it seeks out rationalizations for its sins. It looks to a human source of ethics and morality. That source may be another book besides the authoritative word of God. It might rely on the scandalous media, or man’s opinions, his socially accepted/ politically correct notions. It may be a religious leader, clerical or lay leader or a friend. These human counselors, who are accessory to the same crime, will agree with the convicted person regarding his sinful practice. And worse, they will have a humanistic or a theological way of twisting truth. They will flatter the sinner so that the sin no longer is exceeding sinful. His oppression remains, and the oppressed receive no help. The one who was on the verge of receiving heaven’s blessing of eternal life ends up dying in his sins.

Therefore, they receive this warning from the Almighty.With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver My people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” (Eze. 13:22,23).

It’s from this context that Jesus warned the Pharisees and religious leaders. “Wherefore I say unto you, … the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And … but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. ” (Matt. 12:31,32). There is no forgiveness for anyone who finds anyone who destroys the Law. Suppressing the power of the Law’s convictions is the unpardonable sin.

Vain words, vanity, words that are not pure, “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matt. 12:36). We must be ever engaging our conscience in our every thought and decision, word and action, and seeking to lead others to do the same. God and His kingdom must be in all our thoughts. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matt. 12:34).

“Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 
They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 
The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: 
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? 
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. 
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. 
The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” (Psa. 12:1-8).

“For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth. 
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. 
His ways are always grievous; Thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. 
He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. 
His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity. 
He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. 
He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net. 
He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones. 
He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: He hideth His face; He will never see it.” (Psa. 10:3-11).