The Spirit of Submission

By John Thiel, mp3

Scripture Reading: Psalm 25:4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 

“Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on!

Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see,

The distant scene; one step enough for me.”

This is the expression of true submission. I would like to meditate on the ramification of the most recent studies. To be members of the church triumphant means to be without spot and wrinkle. To reach such a condition, we need to reflect upon Ephesians 5.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it for an objective. What was the objective? That He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of the word to present it as an unblemished company of people. His giving of Himself was designed to lead in that path. There is a kindred scripture in Titus. This wonderful grace of God in giving Jesus Christ and all that was meant in that was for this objective.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

The understanding that we are to receive is that He gave himself so that the giving of Himself would be a motivating power to redeem us from all iniquity to purify us and to make us zealous of good works. He gave Himself so that this grace may teach us to deny ungodliness. We want to explore the impact of His giving of himself. We have an understanding of what is meant in Him giving himself. We have an understanding of the atonement. He gave Himself to be one with us. This atonement needs to be absorbed in our human mind.

  In Christ were united the human and the divine. His mission was to reconcile God and man, to unite the finite with the infinite. This was the only way in which fallen men could be exalted through the merits of the blood of Christ to be partakers of the divine nature. Taking human nature fitted Christ to understand man’s trials and sorrows, and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. {2T 201.1}

The atonement of Jesus was one in which He took human nature so He could be fitted to understand our human sufferings and trials and sorrows and all our temptations.

Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not sympathize with man in his peculiar trials. {2T 201.1}

To be able to sympathise with us was what Christ’s trial was all about.

Christ condescended to take man’s nature and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted. {2T 201.1}

We know this, it is a wonderful declaration of our faith that we stand together on. It is so good to read but when it comes to application, I still feel there are difficulties.

Even doubts assailed the dying Son of God. He could not see through the portals of the tomb. Bright hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the tomb a conqueror and His Father’s acceptance of His sacrifice. The sin of the world, with all its terribleness, was felt to the utmost by the Son of God. The displeasure of the Father for sin, and its penalty, which is death, were all that He could realize through this amazing darkness. He was tempted to fear that sin was so offensive in the sight of His Father that He could not be reconciled to His Son. The fierce temptation that His own Father had forever left Him caused that piercing cry from the cross: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” {2T 209.3}

He was tempted to doubt like every one of us.

Christ felt much as sinners will feel when the vials of God’s wrath shall be poured out upon them. Black despair, like the pall of death, will gather about their guilty souls, and then they will realize to the fullest extent the sinfulness of sin. Salvation has been purchased for them by the suffering and death of the Son of God. It might be theirs, if they would accept of it willingly, gladly; but none are compelled to yield obedience to the law of God. {2T 210.1}

If they would accept this sacrifice willingly, what is connected with that? Obedience to the law of God. No one can force them to do this. Jesus was there so if they would accept this, it would have such an impact on their life they would be willingly accept the law of God.

He is not cheered with clear, bright rays of hope on the right hand nor on the left. All is enshrouded in oppressive gloom. {2T 210.2}

Do you know that experience? There is nothing you can look at that can give you joy.

Amid the awful darkness which is felt by sympathizing nature, the Redeemer drains the mysterious cup even to its dregs. Denied even bright hope and confidence in the triumph which will be His in the future, He cries with a loud voice: “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” He is acquainted with the character of His Father, with His justice, His mercy, and His great love, and in submission He drops into His hands. Amid the convulsions of nature are heard by the amazed spectators the dying words of the Man of Calvary. {2T 210.2}

   Nature sympathized with the suffering of its Author. The heaving earth, the rent rocks, proclaimed that it was the Son of God who died. There was a mighty earthquake. The veil of the temple was rent in twain. Terror seized the executioners and spectators as they beheld the sun veiled in darkness, and felt the earth shake beneath them, and saw and heard the rending of the rocks. The mocking and jeering of the chief priests and elders were hushed as Christ commended His spirit into the hands of His Father. The astonished throng began to withdraw and grope their way in the darkness to the city. {2T 211.1}

Upon this theme it is sin to be calm and unimpassioned. The scenes of Calvary call for the deepest emotion. Upon this subject you will be excusable if you manifest enthusiasm. That Christ, so excellent, so innocent, should suffer such a painful death, bearing the weight of the sins of the world, our thoughts and imaginations can never fully comprehend. The length, the breadth, the height, the depth, of such amazing love we cannot fathom. The contemplation of the matchless depths of a Saviour’s love should fill the mind, touch and melt the soul, refine and elevate the affections, and completely transform the whole character. {2T 212.3}

Do you need a character transformation? He gave himself for the purpose that we would meditate on that so it would produce an unblemished people. This is for us to contemplate. This is what we need as sinners so it will melt our hard hearts.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Considering at what an immense cost our salvation has been purchased, what will be the fate of those who neglect so great salvation? {2T 213.1}

How often Christians fall into this neglect to consider the immense cost, the total suffering of Jesus.

What will be the punishment of those who profess to be followers of Christ, yet fail to bow in humble obedience to the claims of their Redeemer, and who do not take the cross as humble disciples of Christ and follow Him from the manger to Calvary? s{2T 213.1}

Did you notice something important? A connection of the willing acceptance of Jesus Christ in His atonement would mean obedience to the commandments. What are these claims; the claims of their redeemer? The quick answer comes when I ask such a question, it means keeping the Ten Commandments. That would be the fruit of bowing to His claims. What is the bowing to His claims? What is he trying to do in giving Himself to you and me in such atonement? He is trying to claim something.

Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

What is His claim? He claims our heart. Has He not sought to break into our sin hardened hearts? Is this not why He gave himself? We are sinners and the only thing that makes us feel sorry for our sins without Christ is the consequence of those sins and that kind of breaking is like Esau’s breaking. There is no salvation in that. We need to be broken and we need to give Him our heart and the only way we can is to break into our sin darkened hearts with this amazing picture of Christs total giving himself. In a condition of abject hopelessness that we meet, as we look to Jesus we can see what was it that caused him to go through such horror. It was to demonstrate to me the horror I am going to go through. That is the future of every human being that is going to receive the viols of God’s wrath. He received the wrath of God that I must experience and He says I want your heart. What does that mean? Before He can write His laws in our heart, He needs to have our heart. He needs to do something else to bring about His desire to save us in keeping his law.

Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].

Can you see the connection of this scripture with Ephesians 5 and Titus 2? He gave himself so that He might purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. I have given you my Son to experience your depravity and as you contemplate the unfathomable detail of this, I am at work sprinkling your conscious. I am working with you to take away all your idols. I am at work to give you a new heart and I am at work to put my spirit within you. This is what I’m doing with Jesus Christ. If you are going to contemplate him, this is going to happen to you. That hard stony heart will be totally taken away and in its place a soft heart of flesh and Gods spirit will then be able to keep its judgements within us. Notice I must receive the heart of flesh and then I can keep the commandments.

That is what Jesus gave himself for. That he could break my heart. That by beholding him my proud self-assertive heart beholds a total submission in its creator. Not only does our creator die there, but now as our high priest with quivering lips he pleads give me your heart, surrender with me your entire self. Look at me, this is what I want you to do, what I did. When you become fully aware of your undone condition by my work upon your heart, look at me. This is how I’m going to sprinkle your conscious from all your evil works. How I’m going to achieve to give you a new heart. The person with the natural fascination for self-assertiveness, the natural inclination for pressing my own will ahead which is entrenched in me, it stands and watches what Jesus is doing with me and with quivering lips appealing to my heart, will you look at me? Don’t look away, look at me. I want your heart. What is left for a heart that keeps on looking to Jesus like that? What is left to do? I give up, I yield if I stop and look long enough. What then when the heart has totally embraced this picture, this total atonement with me. When it has entirely become captivated by it and the heart gives over as it’s been drawn so powerfully, what will be the language of the heart?

Psalm 25:4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

I am yielding whatever it is that is your way, I give in. I will no longer in a cranked hold give into my own way and will. Teach me thy paths whatever it is so I will be without spot or wrinkle.

Psalms 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

I can’t help but say you’ve got me, I’m yours. I’m totally resigned to anything you tell me. Let’s appreciate how difficult this is and how we have been affected from the last services I took and I shared with you in the testimonies of Jesus in the books that were written for those who once believed. In those books would be written the minutiae of life. As we have studied in the past in our appreciations of the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy, what did it declare about us that we need to actually fully say alright Lord, you are showing me?

The youth of today are a sure index to the future of society; and as we view them, what can we hope for that future? The majority are fond of amusement and averse to work. They have but little self-control and become excited and angry on the slightest occasion. Very many in every age and station of life are without principle or conscience; and with their idle, spendthrift habits they are rushing into vice and are corrupting society, until our world is becoming a second Sodom. If the appetites and passions were under the control of reason and religion, society would present a widely different aspect. {CG 440.5}

We are the great grandchildren of that youth. How far down are we? What does it say? They are fond of amusement, they are spendthrifts. They rush into vice. With such an entrenched condition upon us, look at the youth of her time;

Children need watchful care and guidance as never before, for Satan is striving to gain the control of their minds and hearts and to drive out the Spirit of God. The fearful state of the youth of this age constitutes one of the strongest signs that we are living in the last days, but the ruin of many may be traced directly to the wrong management of the parents. The spirit of murmuring against reproof has been taking root and is bearing its fruit of insubordination. While the parents are not pleased with the characters their children are developing, they fail to see the errors that make them what they are. {CG 176.3}

What was the spirit? It was the spirit that was taking root in which there was a murmuring against reproof. When someone comes to reprove you, what is the natural reaction in every one of us? That which was rooted in great grandparents when it’s meant to be thank you. We don’t like being told what to do and this is our problem and we had better wake up to it as Jesus is telling us this.

Murmuring against Reproof

  Oh, if mothers would only work with wisdom, with calmness and determination, to train and subdue the carnal tempers of their children, what an amount of sin would be nipped in the bud, and what a host of church trials would be saved! Many souls will be eternally lost because of the neglect of parents to properly discipline their children, and to teach them submission to authority in their youth. {CG 176.2}

What? Submission to authority. This has been entrenched and enrooted into the system so that Frank Sinatra, who is of the old generation sang the song I’ll do it my way. That was the resistant mentality that had entrenched itself back then. It is in our system. If I were to come to you today in the name of the Lord saying, brother, sister, receive this counsel, what would come up inside of you? You have no idea how hard it is for the servant of God to help the church, it is extremely hard. Here is our problem and Jesus is declaring it. What was Jesus call in giving Himself for the atonement? Here is the example of Jesus.

Isaiah 50:4 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. 5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.

I look back when the times when I turned away and my heart bleeds for having done it as I haven’t followed my Jesus. Jesus didn’t turn away in rebellious reaction to what He was being instructed. This is why Jesus could make such a profound statement in John. Jesus had total submission when God instructed him.

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus when he said unto them, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself but what he see’s the Father do. For what things soever he doeth these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 5:30 I can of my own self do nothing. As I hear I judge and my judgement is just.

Jesus is saying – I know what I’m saying is true as I’m not seeking my own will but the will of the Father who hath sent me. Here lies the identification of total submission that Jesus claims upon you and me so that we might be saved. He wants to show me, look how I have submitted to my Father and as I have. It was hard because I was in touch with your nature. I was born with the same nature you are born with. It was a nature of the flesh and as I came to the cross, I experienced you entirely.

So utterly was He emptied of Himself that He made no schemes and plans. He lived accepting God’s plans for Him, and the Father day by day unfolded His plans. If Jesus was so wholly dependent, and declared, “Whatsoever I see the Father do, that I do,” how much more should human agents depend upon God for constant instruction, so that their lives might be the simple working out of God’s plans! . . . {HP 147.3}

God showed Him his duties. When He was a carpenter, He knew He had to do a job. Our condition of insubordination, it becomes reflected in our church relations. The insubordination that the children developed is in the church. The churches are full of individuals that are insubordinate. We have learnt that we are insubordinate but when it comes to our self, we like the idea that no one is to rule over me and there is to be no lordship in the church. While we don’t agree with lordship in the church, what am I doing in my own life?

Am I willing to be submissive to authority, submissive to counsel and advice? That is the question. While the church is not to dictate and control me, I am to submit to the control of the church. Or like a wife is to be submissive to her husband, she doesn’t turn around and say don’t lord it over me. None of that is of Christ, as a church member there is to be a submission. The person who is in authority is not to act as lord over them. That is the understanding of Christ. Our condition of our insubordination is going to have to be met in Gods church where He is leading to bring them to the church triumphant. We must go to the testimony of Jesus to show us what His observation of what our predicament is.

Teach your children to honor you, because the law of God lays this duty upon children. If you allow your children to lightly esteem your wishes and pay no regard to the laws of the household, you are winking at sin; you are permitting the devil to work as he will; and the same insubordination, want of reverence, and love of self will be carried with them even into the religious life and into the church. And the beginning of all this evil is charged in the books of heaven to the neglect of the parents. {CG 87.5}

They received their rebuke in Sr White’s time and we are the children and what is our condition? Their insubordination and want of reverence is carried in the church and the church has problems because of that.

Many youth who have but little experience, push themselves forward, manifest no reverence for age or office, and take offense if counseled or reproved.. {RH, November 13, 1883 par. 12}

 Your combativeness is large, and you stand braced, prepared to rebut everything where you have a chance. You do not labor to see how near you can make your ideas and views harmonize with those of others, but you stand all ready to differ if there is a possible chance for you to do so. This injures your own soul, retards your spiritual advancement, and not only grieves and wounds those who would be your sincere friends, but sometimes disgusts them, so that your society is not agreeable and pleasant, but annoying. It is as natural as your breath for you to consider the views and opinions of others inferior to yours. You often greatly err here, for you have not all that wisdom and knowledge for which you give yourself credit. You often set your opinions up above men and women who have had many more years of experience than yourself, and who are far better qualified to direct and give words of wise judgment than yourself. {2T 163.1}

Those who have had many years of experience more than the youth, we can look and say they are faulty. I smile to myself when I hear the young people giving counsel.

But you have not seen these disagreeable besetments, and therefore have not realized the ill and bitter fruit they have produced. You have long indulged a spirit of contention, of war. Your peculiar turn of mind leads you to exult in opposites. {2T 163.1}

Is this the condition of modern society today? It is rampant isn’t it? Moses was given instruction to build the sanctuary. God said make sure you do it exactly as was shown to thee in the mount.

Although Moses was full of zeal to do God’s work, and he could have the most skillful, talented men to carry out any suggestions he should make, he must not make a single thing, a bell, a pomegranate, a tassel, or a fringe, or a curtain, or any vessel except according to the pattern showed to him as God’s ideal. {HP 147.2}

Remember the dress of the priest? It had to be precisely as God has shown him. It had to be the same pattern shown to him in the mount.

Our Own Way

Our own way must be overcome. No such song as ‘I’ll Do it My Way’.

 Our own way must be overcome. Pride, self-sufficiency, must be crucified and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. . . . Did Jesus Christ, the Majesty of heaven, have His way? Behold Him in travail of soul in Gethsemane, praying to His Father. What forces these blood drops of agony from His holy brow? Oh, the sins of the whole world are upon Him! It was separation from the Father’s love that forced from His pale and quivering lips the cry, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). Three times was the prayer offered, but followed by “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). This must be our attitude–Not my will, but Thine, O God, be done. This is true conversion. {HP 147.4}

Are we converted or do we still need some more converting? The counsel of true converting in the answer to true submission and subordination is given. Here is the counsel of the spirit of submission that is in the heart that has truly been affected by the atonement.

Some have no tact at wise management of worldly matters. They lack the necessary qualifications, and Satan takes advantage of them. When this is the case, such should not remain in ignorance of their task. They should be humble enough to counsel with their brethren, in whose judgment they can have confidence, before they carry out plans. I was directed to this text: “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” Some are not humble enough to let those who have judgment calculate for them until they have followed their own plans, and have involved themselves in difficulties. Then they see the necessity of having the counsel and judgment of their brethren; but how much heavier the burden then than at first. Brethren should not go to law if it can be possibly avoided; for they thus give the enemy great advantage to entangle and perplex them. It would be better to make a settlement at some loss. {CCh 85.2}

After having done my silly mistakes I then go to my brethren instead of avoiding this. The Lord showed this man where he followed the exact order of His counsel and of His parents. When you followed them, look how smoothly your path was. When you followed my counsel look how smooth it was. It hurts. Those who are in the church with less of years of experience, follow the counsel of Jesus. This is the testimony of Jesus.

   The truth was reforming your life and character, and you were gaining the confidence of the brethren; but Satan saw that he was losing you, and therefore he increased his efforts to entangle you in his wily snare and has succeeded wonderfully. The weakness of your nature, hitherto undiscovered, is now developed. You do not see your condition, although it is very apparent to others. Light does not come to a man who makes no effort to obtain it. When you saw that your brethren and sisters were grieved with your course, then it was time for you to stop and consider what you were doing, to pray much, and to counsel with men of experience in the church and gratefully accept their advice. {5T 107.1}

   “But,” say you, “should I follow the judgment of the brethren independent of my own feelings?” I answer: The church is God’s delegated authority upon earth. Christ has said: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” There is altogether too little respect paid to the opinion of members of the same church. It is the want of deference for the opinions of the church that causes so much trouble among brethren. The eyes of the church may be able to discern in its individual members that which the erring may not see. A few persons may be as blind as the one in error, but the majority of the church is a power which should control its individual members. {5T 107.2}

Can you see the balance? I don’t like to be controlled by the church but I am to be if the church functions according to the statements of God’s word.

The apostle Peter says: “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” {5T 107.3}

You should learn to take hold of Christ while connected with persons of broad experience with whom they may counsel and advise.  CE Oct 1 1898

To be under the counsel of Jesus doesn’t disengage me from the counsel of those of higher experience, it belongs together.

The presidents of the several Conferences should seek wisdom of God, and should counsel with men of experience, and they should then work for the general good of the cause of God. {RH, April 22, 1884 par. 3}

We are to counsel with men of experience.

Make it a careful study how to discharge your duties. Counsel with those of experience. Seek counsel of God in his word; {ST, May 4, 1888 par. 9}

Our spirit that motivates us in life that is to prepare us to enter heaven and to be part of the church triumphant is it to be the spirit that Jesus generated in the atonement.

The spirit of submission that Christ manifested in offering up His prayer before God is the spirit that is acceptable to God. Let the soul feel its need, its helplessness, its nothingness; let all its energies be called forth in an earnest desire for help, and help will come. . . . Let faith pierce the darkness. Walk with God in the dark as well as in the light, repeating the words, “He is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23). Through the trial of our faith we shall be trained to trust in God. {HP 89.4}

As we seek for counsel, we seek for those who have had experience with God.

Well was it for the children of men that the angel’s errand was not to notify the Saviour that his thrice-repeated prayer, Let this cup pass from me, had been granted. Then indeed might the disciples have slept on, locked in the slumber of hopeless despair. But the angel was sent from Heaven to support the Redeemer in drinking the cup that was presented him. The language of his prayer was now changed; in the spirit of submission he prayed: “If this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” A heavenly serenity now rested upon the Saviour’s pale and blood-stained face. {3SP 101.2}

Jesus went through the struggle that you and I have to go through and when He cried I can’t do this, this is too hard to submit myself to, the angel came and strengthened Him and said your prayer for release is not available, I’ve come to help. The language of His prayer now changed. How many times we will have to do this in our daily walk with God and the help we require for us to be part of the church triumphant. May God help us that we can hasten his coming.


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Posted on 11/10/2011, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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