God’s Workshop

By John Thiel

We have a wonderful comfort that although we are rough stones of the quarry, we have been taken inside God’s workshop. The beauty that is deep inside of every single one us is something worthy of Jesus to use for his glory. The rough stones look rough on the outside but inside there is a gem. That particular reality is expressed that there is something worthy put there that God wants to polish and purify.

Love Is a Tender Plant

Love is a tender plant, and it must be cultivated and cherished, and the roots of bitterness all have to be plucked up around it in order for it to have room to circulate, and then it will bring in under its influence all the powers of the mind, all the heart, so that we shall love God supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves. {OHC 173.5}

We already know that there is a precious quality in every human being. In the most wildest evil person there is something good. It is the light that comes into the world to light every man. The fact we have opened our hearts to the precious love of Jesus, it makes it more precious.

Isaiah 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

There is the precious divine nature inside of us and we want to believe that. We will examine the beauty inside of us and like the stone out of the quarry that doesn’t look like much on the outside, it is a beautiful gem on the inside after the removal of the roughness on the outside. What in reality are the roots of bitterness surrounding the precious love inside the heart and what does it mean to pluck them up? The rough stone from the quarry needs the hammer and the chisel and the grinding stone to bring out the gem. They are trials and the warning of God’s Word. To pull up the roots of bitterness, we need to understand what the roots of bitterness are.

Hebrews 12:15 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;

The roots of bitterness must be prevented and we are to be diligent so no root of bitterness springs up in spite of this wonderful grace. Diligence is required. There is a hint in Isaiah as to the bitterness that exists and surrounds the internal beauty.

Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul [delivered it] from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

This is a strong suggestion of what the bitterness is that when I need peace but instead of peace, bitterness. What has to be removed? Sins have something to do with bitterness. Where do we originate from? It was suggested that we come out of a quarry. What is the quarry? It is a hard stony place. That is where we originate from.

The Pit from Where We Were Digged

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

By nature the children of wrath. That is where we have come from. All of us. Being by nature these kinds of people, what did God do to these by nature children of wrath?

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

This divine nature is this beautiful gem inside of earthen vessels, inside of a rough exterior. The earthen vessel is that which our physiology, hormonal system and nature impulses that come. The flesh is the earthly part of us and that surrounds the glory that shines inside. He who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, God has planted a seed, a divine nature inside of the believer and it is in this earthen vessel. The divine love, the beautiful gem is surrounded by the earthiness and the sinful nature and roots of bitterness. Jesus himself suffered bitterly under these things as he partook with us of our sinful flesh. At the cross he suffered the bitterness of every thought that we suffer. Here is this ingredient that comes into every believer and the earthen vessel is identified in another place as a temple. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Deep inside my person is a new man created after God. As this is inside of me, I must do the following;

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Bitterness surrounds that which has been renewed in our heart. There is that which we have inherited, we have all been children of wrath and everything that we have inherited that is in us or surrounding the heart, the gem and the life of Jesus, that which surrounds that has to be continually plucked up. The rough external has to be chiselled off.

Wrath is the Roof of Bitterness

Remove all wrath and clamour and evil speaking. Are these the roots of bitterness?

He who opens his heart to the suggestions of the enemy, taking in evil surmisings, and cherishing jealousy, frequently misconstrues this evil-mindedness, calling it special foresight, discrimination, or discernment in detecting guilt and fathoming the evil motives of others. He considers that a precious gift has been vouchsafed to him; and he draws apart from the very brethren with whom he should be in harmony; he climbs upon the judgment seat, and shuts his heart against the one he supposes to be in error, as though he himself were above temptation. Jesus separates from him, and leaves him to walk in the sparks of his own kindling. {7BC 936.11}

Let no one among you glory any longer against the truth by declaring that this spirit is a necessary consequence of dealing faithfully with wrongdoers and of standing in defense of the truth. Such wisdom has many admirers, but it is very deceptive and harmful. It does not come from above, but is the fruit of an unregenerated heart. Its originator is Satan himself. Let no accuser of others credit himself with discernment; for in so doing he clothes the attributes of Satan with the garments of righteousness. I call upon you, my brethren, to purify the soul temple of all these things that defile; for they are roots of bitterness. {7BC 936.12}

Here is a clear description of what are the roots of bitterness. We have come from a background of being very experienced of the corruptions of the world and we become very sharp and discerning of the wrongs around us. That discerning experience we often associate with a good quality. This foresight that is often used with the concept of discerning can be error. When we cherish the surmising and the misconstruction of what other people do around us, this is what we carry over with us from the past. it is something that makes you feel bitter inside when you see someone doing or saying something. It is the root of bitterness springing up and surrounds the beautiful thing.

But the Communion service was not to be a season of sorrowing. This was not its purpose. As the Lord’s disciples gather about His table, they are not to remember and lament their shortcomings. They are not to dwell upon their past religious experience, whether that experience has been elevating or depressing. They are not to recall the differences between them and their brethren. The preparatory service has embraced all this. The self-examination, the confession of sin, the reconciling of differences, has all been done. Now they come to meet with Christ. They are not to stand in the shadow of the cross, but in its saving light. They are to open the soul to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. With hearts cleansed by Christ’s most precious blood, in full consciousness of His presence, although unseen, they are to hear His words, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” John 14:27. {DA 659.1}

Our experience has created this annoyance that has permitted to take force within us. When Jesus was on earth he came to purify the temple courts.

The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,–from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul. ” {DA 161.1}

No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. But He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.” Revelation 3:20. DA 162.1}

The roots are to be plucked up by his presence. Our Lord and Saviour alone can do the work to pluck out these elements. We can’t get rid of them, we are trying to stop being so unpleasant in nature and we are trying to be a loving and lovable Christian and they are crowding the beautiful plant of love and preventing it from expanding. To remove them is the work of Jesus. Jesus alone can remove them but how? That is the part that we need to understand. We can’t wait for something magical to happen. How can Jesus remove them as he comes within?

If we have in any manner defrauded or injured our brother, we should make restitution. If we have unwittingly borne false witness, if we have misstated his words, if we have injured his influence in any way, we should go to the ones with whom we have conversed about him, and take back all our injurious misstatements. {MB 59.1}

If matters of difficulty between brethren were not laid open before others, but frankly spoken of between themselves in the spirit of Christian love, how much evil might be prevented! How many roots of bitterness whereby many are

defiled would be destroyed, and how closely and tenderly might the followers of Christ be united in His love! {MB 59.2}

Here is the counsel to God’s people. In the roots of bitterness that have had their effect of injuring each other, born false witness, misstated others words and have injured others, we need to pull those roots out. Go to the people we have misquoted and misjudged and take back all our injurious statements. Those elements that we carry with us from our past which we have exercised, the love of Jesus doesn’t agree with that. A person I had hoped for had beautiful gems inside but when I crossed that person’s path, they began to sware at me and I couldn’t believe my ears. That happens because of the past. That can only be uprooted by the person saying sorry and confessing to Jesus. When I have hurt someone by my old ways of experience, that is to be uprooted by going to those damaged by it and going to the one we have falsely dealt with.

Go to your brother against whom you have had feelings of enmity, and say, “I want all variance to cease.” God has said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Take your brother right by the hand, and ask him to forgive you. It will not hurt you to get down on your knees, if necessary to do so. {RH, August 14, 1888 par. 14}

The roots of bitterness won’t come out just because I look to Jesus, I have to get them plucked out and they are only plucked out when we do what is written.

Get all the roots of bitterness out of the way. Have all these feelings blotted out by hearty confession one to another. {RH, August 14, 1888 par. 14}

These feelings must be removed or they spring up again. They must be plucked out.

Do not be satisfied with a sort of general confession. Come right to the point. Let the blood of Jesus cancel your wrongs in the Book of Life. You want to be set free, that you may perfect holiness in the fear to God. {RH, August 14, 1888 par. 14}

God’s Word takes away the mystic thought that I have roots of bitterness and I say Lord please remove them out of my heart. They are still there. You can say them as long as you like if you don’t practise God’s word. Brother, sister I’m sorry, I’ve communicated with you negative feelings. Not general confession but real confession. Straight to the point. Next time it wants to arise, it is immediately dealt with as it’s already been verbalised. When you go to physiatrists in the world they tell you all this. When I trained as a nurse the teacher said these things are in the psychiatrist hospital but they don’t have Jesus. It is all external counsels they try to put into place. May God help us to identify in ourselves things that we can feel are bitterness arising in me. Let the roots of bitterness be confessed. Approach those people who are hurting under what we said and did so it can be removed from us and them.

Amen.

Posted on August 6, 2010, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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