Conformed To Transformed

By John Thiel

We will focus on the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we need to appropriate for ourselves. This is a practical subject – appropriation. Not just studying the righteousness of Jesus Christ but how to appropriate it.

Isaiah 42:19 Who [is] blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger [that] I sent? who [is] blind as [he that is] perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? 20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.

What is this talking about? Those who are perfect are blind? The servant of the Lord is blind? He sees but sees not? He opens his ears and hears not? This is quite an interesting subject to meditate about especially in reference to the appropriation of the righteousness of Christ.

How To Identify Blindness

What kind of blindness is this? It is a blindness that will not allow our eyes to contemplate evil. It will not allow our eyes to rest upon iniquity. It will not grasp the things of sight and lose eternity out of its reckoning. . . . We want to see aright, we want to see as God sees; for Satan is constantly trying to convert the things our eyes rest upon in order that we may see through his medium. . . . {OHC 334.2}

Here the Lord is speaking in reference to his servants who are to be blind to the things that Satan places before our minds eye. While we see it, we are not to be in a state of mind that it actually penetrates our thoughts. You see but you don’t see. Satan is placing things before our eyes whether it be the scenes around us or the news items, the billboards. As you walk through the streets, the nakedness about you. Those are things you can see and pay attention to or you just see and walk past. There are little items where Satan really works hard to imprint upon our consciousness. This is the part I desire to reflect upon that we will know how we can actually overcome these things that may have already imprinted themselves upon our mind. What we see once has our affected our memory bank, what these cameras, these two eyes have taken in and actually recorded in our memory bank of our brain and are the things that will play back to us in certain moments. These are the things that over the past of our life we have not been very careful with. They have affected our minds. As a consequence, we are suffering on this planet because we have paid attention to things that are around us that are not correct. They have affected us. There are many texts that flood to mind;

Isaiah 33:14 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?

33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

33:16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence [shall be] the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters [shall be] sure.

33:17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

What blindness is this talking about as we read in 19 and 20? He that sees, sees and hears not. There are so many things in these last days that are so desperately evil. Whether they be immorality, murder, bloodshed, war, the terrible catastrophes, shocking scenes. If we permit those scenes whether we hear them on the radio or news, it implants itself upon the memory bank if we listen with heart. God’s servant doesn’t do that. He is blind. He sees but he sees not. He hears but he hears not. Because we have permitted things that are not right, we have permitted them to enter upon our computer screen, upon the hard drive of the computer in our brain and heart.  As this has affected us, it affects our character. We have not been shielding ourselves from these inroads of corruption. It affects our characters.

All defects of character originate in the heart. Pride, vanity, evil temper, and covetousness proceed from the carnal heart unrenewed by the grace of Christ. If the heart is refined, softened, and ennobled, the words and actions will testify to the fact. When the soul has been entirely surrendered to God, there will be a firm reliance upon His promises, and earnest prayer and determined effort to control the words and actions. {OHC 336.4}

What is being stated here is our defects of character. Do you have them? Do you struggle against defects of character? Where do they come from? They come and originate in the heart which is full of pride, vanity, evil temper and covetousness from this carnal heart. We know the scripture well in Romans 12 that while this has been embedded in us from what we have seen and heard in the past.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

What has been embedded in our mind? We have to be fully consciousness to the fact that we have not closed our eyes and ears. As a consequence our natural carnal heart will spue back what has been recorded. This is a natural reality. Reason from cause to effect. To be Gods servants, to erase these memory pictures, to erase these defective influences upon my character, requires appropriating Christ’s righteousness as we have been affected by these negativities.

But if they will listen to those who will address them and try to lead their thoughts away from God and their eternal interests, then their whole senses are perverted by that which their eyes rest upon. Jesus says, “If . . . thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” Matt. 6:22, 23. {OHC 334.3}

Here is the reason for the darkness because our eye has not always been single. If we listen to those who address us and by Satan’s influence and turn our thoughts away from God, our whole senses are perverted by that which our eyes rest upon. It makes a difference to what we give our mind and souls to feed upon.

It makes every difference what we give our minds and souls to feed upon. We can let our minds dwell upon romance and castle-building, and what will it do for us? It will ruin us, soul and body. . . . We want to have that power that will enable us to close our eyes to scenes that are not elevating, that are not ennobling, that will not purify and refine us; and to keep our ears closed to everything that is forbidden in God’s Word. He forbids us to imagine evil, to speak evil, and even to think evil. . . . {OHC 334.4}

As we are meditating, we can see what we have done in the past. Have you memories of romance and castle building? Occupying your mind with the menial things of this corrupt planet? They have been dragging us down to ruin soul and body. My servant that is perfect will be blind. We are now longer to be conformed but transformed by the renewing of our mind. What shall we do to be transformed instead of conformed?

Many are sensible of their great deficiency, and they read, and pray, and resolve, and yet make no progress. They seem to be powerless to resist temptation. The reason is, they do not go deep enough. They do not seek for a thorough conversion of the soul, that the streams which issue from it may be pure, and the deportment may testify that Christ reigns within. {OHC 336.4}

I need to be transformed. I’m praying and pleading with God. Have you been through those experiences where you can’t seem to get rid of those negativities in your personal character? Why? We do not go deep enough. If I’m not getting rid of these defects, I need to go deeper. I need to appropriate the righteousness of Christ because what we saw and heard our carnal heart was developed.

By beholding we become changed. Let us look to Jesus and consider the loveliness of His character, and by beholding we shall become changed into the same likeness. {OHC 334.5}

In Romans, transformed. We were conformed by the things we saw and heard. They developed our brain and heart normalities or worldly norms. They developed our characters. Now we are to be transformed by shutting our eyes and ears and turning them to the loveliness of Christ’s character. This is quite a deliberate effort. We are surrounded by things that have corrupted us. We can’t get out of it, its in our brain and psyche. Its imprinted upon our soul and body. There is a way we can be transformed of how we got it in the first place by the bad bit. But now we go deeper by applying our minds affections. You recall Jesus speaking to the Pharisees saying you see and see not. They read the bible but they have exactly what the unfaithful servant has to do with the world. They hear the studies of Gods work and its all lovely but it doesn’t go deep. We need to look and go deep. More deeply. Then our defects will be changed because by beholding our defects developed. By beholding, our defects will be erased. We will now look at what we must spend time looking at. The transforming images.

If they are weak in virtue and purity of thoughts and acts, they can obtain help from the Friend of the helpless. Jesus is acquainted with all the weaknesses of human nature, and if entreated, will give strength to overcome the most powerful temptations. All can obtain this strength if they seek for it in humility. {OHC 337.4

We have a friend we can get help from him. Every person who is struggling, I know everyone of us is struggling on some point. Whether in the lower or higher ebbs, we are all struggling against temptations. If we are not gaining victories its because we’re not going deep enough. We are to look at Jesus on the cross until you feel its glory and see its power. If you keep going deeper, Jesus is acquainted with our temptations and weaknesses of our human nature. How was he acquainted with it? He was a child, he was a youth, he was an adult. He went right through the whole gamut of human experience in human sinful flesh. Satan was at him trying to stir him. He was there stirring. Jesus was acquainted with every weakness that we are struggling with. As we go deep enough to behold his struggles, you will become fascinated. You see someone being maligned and evil treated, you hear all the corruptions and evils, well look at Jesus at all the corruptions that happened to him and consider deeply why he is going through that. As you turn away from the other things to the imagery of Jesus and let your mind be occupied, something will transpire in your mind. As you pray earnestly, you will be able to imprint upon your heart memory the picture of Jesus in living reality. As those things are imprinted upon your mind, as the other memories come, a power is given to you to see and see not and hear what God wants you to pick up. That will change us.

But many have not an intelligent understanding of the truth as it is in Jesus. The mind is feasted upon sensational stories. They live in an unreal world, and are unfitted for the practical duties of life.  {CTBH 123.1}

All those beautiful pictures of Christs experience on earth as he tackled the evil of the human nature, as you occupy your mind with this fast field of meditation and you fill your mind with all those pictures, when someone is in a romantic world and they think about all they saw and heard and it plays up in their mind and it comes part of their affections, you don’t anymore. You let your mind occupy the imagination that Jesus has put in there. That is the appropriation. The truth. They tell us in the world around us that world is what you make it in your brain. If you occupy yourself in your own imagination, that will be your world. I would rather occupy myself in a world that is real than in imaginary. They are living in a world that is going to pass away. We know soon the world is going to be destroyed and everything they have built up is all going to melt away. What you want to occupy your mind with is truth that will not pass away. The truth that is in Jesus.

When the truth is presented to the understanding, and exerts its sanctifying power upon the heart, the sins which once reigned in the heart will be put away, that Jesus may occupy the soul-temple. {ST, February 18, 1886 par. 9}

If you strip yourselves of every hindrance to progress in the Christian life, your minds will be worked by the Holy Spirit, and you will become fishers of men. {CT 548.2}

Then you will see they are in the ocean of mans corruption. You will see them floating around and as you have answers, you will reach out. It is an adventure. It will occupy your life. This is the most wonderful adventure you can ever have. This is an adventure that goes uphill. With the thoughts of the realities of Jesus Christ, his deep atonement, his deep acquaintance with you and me in memories hall, guess what will happen?

Let us look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord has done to comfort us and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. Let us keep fresh in our memory all the tender mercies that God has shown us–the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed–thus strengthening ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage. OHC 135.5}

If you haven’t got this you won’t survive.

The things we ourselves have experienced of the blessings of God through His gracious promises we may hang in memory’s halls, and whether rich or poor, learned or illiterate, we may look and may consider these tokens of God’s love. {OHC 135.2}

Those tokens of love of Gods intervention of Jesus Christ.

Every token of God’s care and goodness and mercy should be hung as imperishable mementos in memory’s halls. God would have His love, His promises, written upon the tablets of the mind. Guard the precious revealing of God that not a letter shall become obliterated or dimmed. {OHC 135.2}

We’ve got to go deeper and put these pictures in memories hall. Appropriating the righteousness of Jesus means to shut our eyes and ears to the scenes of corruption around us. This means we don’t listen eagerly to all the ugly things out in the world, we don’t watch television. We fill our mind with the beautiful things God has given us. Occupy your mind, fill the soul temple, this will change our character. The moment we pay attention to negativities of things around you, you are taking your mind of Jesus. You don’t have to worry about the transformation as you will be looking to the things of Jesus. May God help us to enlarge of everything of Gods love.

Amen.

Posted on September 6, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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