God’s Intimacy with Believing Sinners

20131006-160055.jpg

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Our focus has been upon the great love that God has for us. I wish to go over material that we have shared in the past.

I have observed over the years of ministry that what is written to Ezekiel about his ministry is very similar in today’s circumstances where God says that the people come as they do, hear you and say come and hear the word of the Lord. They come and hear and find you as a man that speaks like a beautiful song playing well on an instrument and they rejoice to hear. Their lips give much love but they do not do what you say. This is the case in this modern society in which we live. The actual full participation and action that the great love of God is calling for, is emotionally accepted but not practiced.

It is my prayer that we will spend time here to enlarge the material we know. Many times we go over the subjects that we know and say, I know all that now what is new? We need to go over the same material again and again until either we get tired and bored with the same repetition or we will change our practices that sin will be eradicated out of our life. This is so important for these last days. I make no excuses to repeat the things we have shared in the past but to give them in the purpose of admiration and contemplation that will change our life.

Even in the darkest hours we can trust the love of God. {SW, April 28, 1908 par. 8}

If I trust the love of God, how will it be revealed? Will I fold up and spit the dummy and get miserable and upset because things are not going so well, or am I going to so trust in the love of God that I will be in quiet rest at the most unpleasant circumstances?

The work of creation was a work of love; Ibid

We keep the Sabbath because we want to appreciate and admire God’s love in creation.

…but the Gift of God to save the guilty and ruined race, alone reveals the infinite depth of divine love and compassion. Ibid

If you want to know the deep compassionate, infinite love this is what we need to do:

Only as we contemplate the great plan of redemption, and the blessings that come to us through Christ, can we realize what that love means to us Ibid

The purpose of this study is that we will spend time to contemplate the things we know so that we can realise what the love actually means to us. This is what Jesus was appealing to the people He was preaching to.

John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

When you sit down to a meal, if you are a good sensible eater you will chew your food and enjoy it masticating it thoroughly instead of gulping it down. If you gulp your food down, you won’t get the full benefit from it. Most people gulp their spiritual food down. Jesus is saying stop to eat and drink my flesh and my blood, take time to masticate and to absorb.

The Word of God is to be brought into the very life. “I am that bread of life,” Christ declares. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:48, 53, 54, 63). Study the whole of the sixth chapter of John. Strive for your soul’s sake to understand it.–Letter 253, July 18, 1904, to a longtime Adventist in business in Battle Creek, Michigan. {UL 213.7}

Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this world to live a life free from spot or stain of sin, that human beings, by laying hold of divinity, might become partakers of the divine nature, thus escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. To those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour, the veil that conceals the glory of God from human discernment is drawn aside. With the eye of faith they behold eternal realities. {UL 213.6}

We need to behold eternal realities; we need to ingest the word of God for Jesus is that word. As we absorb that, we receive eternal life. That is the point. We must do it, not just know that we must do it. We must actually do it so that eternal life is ours. We are here doing it now, but we need to keep on reflecting and keeping this vision ever before us. It is introduced to our mind to see Jesus.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

In these Scriptures we behold details that we need to contemplate. There are details such as the suffering of death that Jesus went through. Why do we look at this detail? One is that it melts us but then it goes on to say that He wants to sanctify us and in sanctifying us through His wonderful life on earth being made a little lower than the angels, He sanctified Himself so that we might be sanctified by Him. He is not ashamed to call us brethren. As we contemplate this, it places us into a frame of mind and it brings to our appreciation the amazing condescension of God to me that I am responsible to respond to.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

What a thought of meditation. What sort of flesh did He partake of? The same. Why? So that the flesh with sin must die. We who are always subject to the fear of death, no matter how long you have come to appreciate truth, when it comes to a threat upon your own life, there is a certain fear that gathers over you. You are struggling to fight for life. That struggle for life is the struggle that Jesus met and died under so that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death that is the devil.

We do not like to be subject to something that strangles the life out of us. Whether it is physical or emotional. I want to live, I want to have a happy time, I want to be loved and I want to love somebody. All this kind of thing is entrenched in our natural being and we hate anything that interferes with that. It means death and we are afraid of it. Jesus came and met it so that as He went through that, He could actually achieve something for those who would contemplate it. If we will eat this, if we will meditate upon it, we will gain eternal life in reality, not just as a promise, not just some magical thing that is going to make us feel better. It must be actually engaged in.

We see the problems both in this church and in the Adventist church that unless we do this, we are constantly creating problems in the church. Are there problems in this church? Why? We are not daily, constantly, digesting it. We are looking at our human enactments, our human relationships and they predominate our judgments. We begin to enter into uncalled for engagements in our minds and in our conversations and in our communications one with another bereft of the strictness and rectitude that should govern our behaviour in the church toward one another. God is telling us, gaze upon Me, eat Me, participate with Me and this will stop.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

I share this wherever I go and the people think I am having a go at them. It happened in Kenya. The fact is, we must come to terms with the righteousness of Christ in reality. If we haven’t got it in its perfection, the Lord is still holding back those winds of strife until we have got it in practice in reality. We have something to drink, something to eat of, which is to be occupying our minds. For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin. Sin with its consequences was what Jesus ate, He supped with us. We like sin in the first place and then we don’t like the consequences. Jesus hated sin and He hated the consequences too and He was subject to it. Why? What was the purpose of it? That we might be made the righteousness of God in him. This is what Jesus did so that we might be made. God made Jesus to suffer with us so that we might be made the righteousness of Christ. This is ours to embrace and appreciate.

He clothed himself in our filthy garments, that we might wear the spotless robe of his righteousness, which was woven in the loom of heaven. {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 4}

This was our privilege.

CHRIST’S SUFFERING

He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself. {DA 755.1}

These are not just announcements; these are something to meditate about. These are something to take time to absorb. I pray God will help us to gaze, to ingest, to appreciate this detail so that the product of Christ’s righteousness might be formed within us that we can cease from the error of our ways.

As one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe. The Sinless One must feel the shame of sin. The peace lover must dwell with strife, the truth must abide with falsehood, purity with vileness. Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to His spirit. {DA 111.4}

There is a vast field of meditation. If I came to any one of you and expressed to you the sins I know you are doing and I would point out to you, look where this has lead and look what has happened here, how would you feel? Would you not feel shame? This is the work, the painful work of a minister of God. Sr White wanted to lay down her work as a messenger of God because it was too painful for her to unveil the sins of the people as God told her. She repulsed it so the Lord had to give her a vision of walking amongst people who were all blood-stained and wicked. As she was walking amongst them, their blood was coming upon her garment and she was trying to keep away from them. Then the Lord in the vision said, if you do not give the message that I give, the blood of these people are upon your garments. This is no soft easy-going kind of work that God gives to those whom He sends as messengers.

As these things are laid out open before us, the sinless one is to be presented before us in those demonstrations and revelations. The sinless one must feel the shame of sin. If He had to feel the shame of sin, must you? Absolutely. That is the part people don’t like about the gospel. They must feel the shame of sin. Jesus came to feel it with them. As we want peace, we don’t want to come to this mess.

We want to come to a church where there are no problems. You won’t find it here on earth until there is redemption through the process of the purification of the 144,000 rendering them victorious. But still they will have trouble until they see Jesus coming. The peace lover must dwell with strife. Don’t run away from a church that upholds the pure truth because strife is there. Jesus came among His own and suffered the strife of sinners. The truth must abide with falsehood, purity and vileness.

We see Jesus and we behold that He called us brethren and dwelt among us. The purpose was to sanctify us. He sanctified Himself so that we might be sanctified. Can you see how important it is to let these things percolate and operate in our minds? If you do this, you will find the answers to all of your predicaments. There is not a single thing that Jesus has not met that we meet and that we will find help through Him. Unless I eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood I will not succeed. That is what I have found. I have laboured long for souls hoping that the work of labour would eventually bring about the change. In some souls it just didn’t and I just had to persevere and persevere until gradually and slowly the people woke up to themselves that this is not on especially in God’s church.

Let us explore again the detail of Christ’s suffering. Let us re-read the actual scenes of Christ’s sufferings when He was made to be sin with us. We read this now to re-apply the word, to meditate, to ingest and to digest.

Psalm 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

We know this is the beautiful story of Jesus. He is the one of whom it was written in the volume. He is the one who had the law within His heart. As we gaze upon the story of redemption, the Lord installs into us His law and we love it. We know it to be right. We are contemplating here an important nourishment to help us in our situation by looking to Jesus.

The apostle Paul in Romans chapter 7 describes the very thing that God had done in his life.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Just as Jesus had said about Himself, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. But in this human experience on earth, there is something else that is in us, it’s the sinful flesh. Apostle Paul then shudders into realisation when he says:

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

This is the part that we keep on having to discover; our wretchedness in the light of knowing that those laws are good and right and I do meditate upon them. But there is something else there that keeps on doing the opposite to what I want. In Psalm 40 we will see the detail of Jesus speaking so powerfully in verses 7-10 saying, look this is Me. I love your law and I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart, I have declared it, I have preached it.

Psalm 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

What is He meeting?

Psalm 40:12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

Did you know this is to be your and my experience? We are not just reading something that we must know, we are reading something that we must know by experience that my sinfulness that is strangling the life out of me when I know I should be doing these kind of things.

I shall not commit adultery for one thing, is this easy? Some people ridicule the adulteress but be honest, there are situations in our life that Jesus said a man just has to look at a woman and he has committed adultery already. When a woman looks at a man and wishes that he was her husband because she’s not happy with hers. She might even have lost hers and looks wistfully upon another woman’s husband, she has no right to even look upon or gaze upon him with yearning desire. That is breaking the law, it is contrary to God’s holiness. Yet I see these things amongst us and we think we love the law.

It is time to examine ourselves very closely on every aspect whether it be that or whether it be coveting, which is nothing else but spending money that is not mine. How many of us have done that? I want something which is not really rightful for me to be able to purchase but I do it and I go into debt. That is the result of coveting. We want to meet all these things as they are in their reality. I have to live within my means and I have to confess before the Lord that I have failed Him here, have mercy upon me, I need a change. It is a horrible thing to think that I am stealing when I am using money that is not mine. We can cover many other subjects in the same way.

If you contemplate the sufferings of Christ, “my sins are more than the hair of my head”, how can I keep on thinking I am doing fine thank you very much and I am better than the other person? It doesn’t fit. There would be no such problem in the church if we would be ingesting the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us ingest Him further. As we look at this, we gaze upon it and He says, this is too much, my heart fails me. Why was His heart failing? The sins are more than the hair of His head.

Psalm 69:1 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. 2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Psalm 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

He is speaking the language of you and me in our misery. He is not only speaking the language in a make-believe story, He is actually experiencing the dilemma of my experience of wanting to keep the law but I am overwhelmed with the sinful flesh and it won’t let me alone, I am drowning in it. I am doing the exact opposite to what my heart tells me. Jesus died because of that.

THE OLD AND NEW COVENANT IN EXPERIENCE

It is the old covenant in which we have promised to keep the law but having failed by doing the very opposite to what I promised at my baptism that Jesus died for. Jesus died to redeem the sins that were done under the old covenant. He has gone to release me if I will meditate. The cry of anguish because these sins separated me from the joy of communion with the Father, those very sins that I separated myself by, Jesus met in Psalm 22.

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou [art] holy, [O thou] that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I [am] a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

How do you feel? We are reproached by human beings when they see our sins. Have you ever reproached somebody in your heart because look what they are doing? A reproach of men and despised of the people was Jesus. As Jesus was hanging on the cross and He took all these things upon Himself and suffered as somebody who has been despised and who feels completely bereft of the precious comfort of the one whom He loves, (the Father) He cries, why O God have you forsaken me? He turns around to us and says, can you appreciate what I am doing for you? As you gaze upon the broken law and the shame of your mistakes and errors and you feel completely tempted to give up or to justify yourself by some kind of argument that you are capable of to make things look right, Jesus is standing there saying, is it nothing to you what I have done? We see Jesus made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.

Lamentations 1:12 [Is it] nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted [me] in the day of his fierce anger

Jesus suffered the fierce anger of God in order that He could take His anger off you and place it onto Christ so that He could show you His love. He did it by sending His Son and inflicting Him with the fierce wrath that He has against sin. Are you masticating? Take this in as you look at your own experience to measure up with the law and realise how far off the mark you are. We feel completely bereft. Here is the wonderful thing that Jesus is saying. Is it nothing to you who are feeling like this? Break out of it, I am here to help you.

Lamentations 1:13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate [and] faint all the day. 4 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand: they are wreathed, [and] come up upon my neck: he hath made my strength to fall, the Lord hath delivered me into [their] hands, [from whom] I am not able to rise up.

As a human being, Jesus was not able to rise up. He could have done it in His divine nature but He laid it aside for our sake. He needed someone who could help Him and He is crying there in Psalms, Lord, where are you? I need you. That is what the sinner cries out in their bereft condition. You need to embrace this individually. Don’t worry about anybody else, just look at your own case.

We are so prone to use a pitch fork; this is good for that person, that’s a good little piece for that person, meanwhile it’s missing me. Our responsibility is to use a rake, that everything we hear and everything we study, everything we are gaining from the pulpit is raked to me. I am the one that is applied to here, not somebody else. As we practice our meditation along that path, we will find that listening to God’s voice and appreciating it and acting on it, the problems begin to melt away.

As Jesus was suffering like that and God had brought Jesus to that position, it was wreathed, it was brought into His own Son’s experience so that we can see the man Christ Jesus writhing in anguish and pain. God was in Christ. The Father Himself was writhing with His Son. The Father can very well say to you, is it nothing to you? Look at the sacrifice I have made, not only have I given My own Son for you to behold, but I have given Myself.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

The trespasses of the world were placed upon His Son so that they could be taken off me and while Jesus was going through His anguish of the transgressions that He described, the Father was there. I am sharing this with you not merely to know it, but to actually meditate and contemplate this.

In that thick darkness God’s presence was hidden. He makes darkness His pavilion, and conceals His glory from human eyes. God and His holy angels were beside the cross. The Father was with His Son. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence. He trod the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with Him. {DA 753.4}

Yet the Father was there; meditate on this. The Father is right there in the sufferings of the sins of His Son which were our sins. What does that mean then? The Father is right there with you and me in our sins. He is there but we cannot see Him and because we can’t see Him when we are overwhelmed because of our depraved shameful thing. We think it is too bad and we hate anybody pointing that out to us. How easy do you find it to admit to somebody whom God has sent to you? I still have a job to do with some of our believers here to actually come to them and say, I know what the Lord has shown me about you. Unless you see it without me coming to you, I am going to have to be a servant of God and touch you. I have been very patient and very long-suffering not to do that because I have waited and hoped that the changes in your life would take place without me telling you. I am still very reluctant to come directly to the point of individuals, but that is my duty according to what I read in God’s word. I am hoping I don’t have to do it.

As the word of God comes to you, you can come to the word of God and say, all right I give over. I am a shameful, hopeless, wretched sinner and I will lay myself open to the Lord and I will suffer with Him and I will remember that Jesus and God are right there with me instead of trying to shield myself. God is saying, I am here to reconcile you in your sin so that you can let them go totally, so that I give you the ministry of reconciliation.

Our human sense does not acknowledge naturally that God can be there right there in the midst of the most horrifying sense of my guilt because I feel separated from God, but Jesus demonstrates this.

But this great sacrifice was not made in order to create in the Father’s heart a love for man, not to make Him willing to save. No, no! “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” John 3:16. The Father loves us, not because of the great propitiation, but He provided the propitiation because He loves us {SC 13.2}

This is the way the world thinks that His heart has to be won by sacrifice. No, He provided the sacrifice because His heart is toward us.

Christ was the medium through which He could pour out His infinite love upon a fallen world. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. God suffered with His Son. In the agony of Gethsemane, the death of Calvary, the heart of Infinite Love paid the price of our redemption. Ibid

Jesus said, “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again.” John 10:17. That is, “My Father has so loved you that He even loves Me more for giving My life to redeem you. In becoming your Substitute and Surety, by surrendering My life, by taking your liabilities, your transgressions, I am endeared to My Father; for by My sacrifice, God can be just, and yet the Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.” {SC 14.1}

God loves the sinner and He demonstrates His personal love for the sinner in showing us His activity upon the sinner Jesus Christ. I repeat, the sinner according to that He was numbered with the transgressors, not that He sinned. Many people take me much further than what is actually meant. Jesus never sinned, but He felt exactly the same as the sinner, He was numbered with the transgressors. As Jesus suffers with us, the Father is endeared toward Him because He says, I have found a ransom for these sinners whom I love.

Let us go a little deeper now as we meditate. To the human view as it is to the view of each other as human beings, when we see somebody suffering under his sin like we see Jesus suffering, there comes a point in time where Jesus says, my God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me? We see people who feel that they are forsaken and we even look at them and say, see, the Lord has forsaken him. Have you ever done that? When you see the sin of another person, especially someone who is very close to you and say, he is lost the Father has forsaken him.

Many who believed on Him heard His despairing cry. Hope left them. If God had forsaken Jesus, in what could His followers trust? {DA 754.3}

Let that sink in and see how that affects your relationship with your fellow man. Only as we contemplate the great plan of redemption and the blessings that come to us through Christ can we realise what that love really means. To contemplate this reality, to let it sink in, the only people who are going to be lost are the people who won’t let it sink in and be affected to change.

Just because somebody has sinned dreadfully against me, that does not mean that person is lost. When somebody sins, they are not lost. The only reason why people are lost is because they reject the beautiful love of Jesus Christ and the Father through Him. We can forgive others as we are forgiven. When we fail to forgive others, we are rejecting the love of God for me. Let that sink in because we must stop looking at each other and saying, this person is too bad, or that person is too bad. Yes, they have sinned but so have I.

If I wouldn’t know this beautiful message, I wouldn’t even be preaching because I would be too ashamed to share with you what I am sharing when I consider myself but I thank God that I can share God’s word with you because of this beautiful reality. I am redeemed because I hang on as Jacob did, I will not let you go unless you bless me. The Lord blesses you when you do that. You can break the fetters, you can go on rejoicing in the power of the word and you can stop hurting other people. You can stop interfering in other people’s lives because you think that maybe there is something that you can do, this is nonsense, only Jesus can. We often get involved with one another outside of Jesus and that is dangerous because we start to get endangered in each other’s affections for one another that is not in Jesus Christ.

Our call is to meditate upon these amazing things. As we see Jesus crying out, my God why hast Thou forsaken me, the appreciation of those who were watching must be a reality of our own meditation. If we don’t know that God was there in that dreadful hour with Jesus, when we meet our dreadful hour, the mind activity is that the Lord has forsaken me. If the Lord has forsaken me I have no hope. That is what they thought that Jesus had no hope because He cried out, why hast Thou forsaken me? In this reality of Jesus crying that out, lodged the very salvation of the sinner.

No deeper intimacy with the sinner could God come in than through His Son in that situation. God was right there intimately connected with His Son suffering with His Son as His Son suffered to show us that when we suffer under the guilt of your sin, you don’t need to feel bereft as the Father says, I am right here. If that is the case with my sin, how is it with my brother’s and sister’s sin? The only way that we can actually feel that a soul has been separated good and proper is that he has stopped opening his heart to these things. When they have stopped doing that and they have pulled away then we have to let them go.

That is what I have shared many times from God’s word. We are to let those go who reject but those who haven’t rejected, we are never to let them go. Here lies the deep intimacy of God with the sinner when he is totally feeling absolute hopelessness. God in Jesus Christ is there. What did His Son do in that dreadful moment of having lost the sense of the presence of God? He did this for the purpose so that we will do it. We must do this. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and do (keep) the faith of Jesus.

Suddenly the gloom lifted from the cross, and in clear, trumpetlike tones, that seemed to resound throughout creation, Jesus cried, “It is finished.” “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” A light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun. He then bowed His head upon His breast, and died. {DA 756.2}

What happened? Why was there a sudden light out of the darkness?

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. {DA 756.3}

In other words there was not a single dreg left in the woe that He came to touch.

In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. Ibid

Can you recall times in your life when the Lord loved you and shared with you the comforting messages and you thought this is lovely, it‘s beautiful here, that’s why I’m in this church. You came here because you said, there is hope here. What have you felt since then? There is hope here in the darkness?

He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. Ibid

That is the faith of Christ, to reach through the darkness and remember God’s mercy; to reach through the darkness and appreciate that God’s mercy is such that although I am a hopeless sinner I look at Jesus and there the Father listens to the cry of His Son and His Son remembers God’s mercy. What was the memory?

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Whom does God despise? The proud, but a broken and a contrite heart. O God, thou wilt not despise. There was Jesus hanging there, my God why hast Thou forsaken me? As He was battling through the horrifying experiences from Gethsemane to the cross, as He was overwhelmed with the sense of His broken, hopeless condition, He remembered God’s mercy to David’s horrible, corrupt sin. (Psalms51).

David hung onto God in the knowledge that God would not despise a broken heart when it has sinned miserably. Jesus, as He suffers every one of our sins breaks out of it and says, “You don’t despise me, it is finished, I have broken through the barrier. Into Your hand I commend my spirit.” Light shone all around Him and He died. He trusted. In the darkest hour we can trust in the love of God. Whatever our dark hour is, we can trust Him as did Jesus.

Every one of us who beholds this and eats the flesh and drink the blood finds the answer to their own discouragements. It is the discouragements that cause us to say, what is the use, I may as well ravage myself here or there. That is the thing that God says we don’t have to do. Give over totally and submit yourself to the sanctifying influences of this wonderful truth. When Jesus gave over, He died in the horrible pit. By faith He relied upon His Lord.

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently…

Here is the patience of the saints.

Psalm 40:1 …for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, [and] established my goings. 3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth,

It is a song that nobody can sing unless he has been down there.

Psalm 40:3 [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed [is] that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

How meaningful that Scripture is.

If Satan sees that he is in danger of losing one soul, he will exert himself to the utmost to keep that one. And when the individual is aroused to his danger, and, with distress and fervor, looks to Jesus for strength, Satan fears that he will lose a captive, and he calls a reinforcement of his angels to hedge in the poor soul, and form a wall of darkness around him, that heaven’s light may not reach him. {HP 253.4}

Satan wants our destruction. If he knows that what I am sharing with you is going to break you out of the darkness, he will put reinforcements there, he will surround you. Be assured as you go home today that you will be surrounded by extra darkness and it is imperative that in this darkness you remember what we are meditating on here.

But if the one in danger perseveres, and in his helplessness casts himself upon the merits of the blood of Christ, our Saviour listens to the earnest prayer of faith, and sends a reinforcement of those angels that excel in strength to deliver him. Satan cannot endure to have his powerful rival appealed to, for he fears and trembles before His strength and majesty. At the sound of fervent prayer, Satan’s whole host trembles. . . . And when angels, all-powerful, clothed with the armory of heaven, come to the help of the fainting, pursued soul, Satan and his host fall back. . . . The great Commander in heaven and earth has limited Satan’s power. {HP 253.5}
Around every tempted soul there are angels of God, ready to lift up the standard of righteousness, if the tempted one will only show a spirit of resistance to evil. Each may be an overcomer. Christ has in our behalf withstood the fiercest temptations of the enemy. {HP 253.6}

The 144,000 will be conquerors in this understanding. Can you see why there is only 144,000? Who does it today? Who even understands this message? Satan has kept the Adventists and all Christendom in the conflict of what is truth long enough so that they discuss and discuss and never come to the practice of the message that will save them. It is the knowledge of the word of God; it is eating and drinking His word in truth that will give us the victory as we have just done now. You can see how imperative it is that we actually let this be our contemplation in every given situation of our life. Engage together with Jesus and remember that He is our high priest right now.

I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Isaiah 54:10. {DA 483.1}

As we meditate on the reality of our high priest in heaven right now pleading my case remembering that He is in intimate relationship with me because He is the great I Am as my high priest, He is the great I Am as well. What does that mean? Right now He still feels what I have described to you through this meditation. It is still present tense to Him. He is looking down with desire upon you, is it nothing to you? Please turn away from your ways to My ways. If I will in the darkest hour look to Him and let Him inflow His angelic help into my battles, as I look upon Him and see Him clothed with my filthy rags and He appeals to me, look, is it nothing to you? God has made Me to be sin for you so that you might be made the righteousness of God in Me.

BEING PART OF THE CHURCH TRIUMPHANT

Do you and I today in the last vestige of opportunity in the Laodicean call, do you see what Jesus is doing in Revelation chapter 3?

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:

What is He waiting for?

Revelation 3:20 if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

You will conquer together with Me, if you will engage together with Me in My struggles so that you can conquer as I did:

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

This is the call, this is our message. This is imperative that we don’t just know that it is so lovely, but that we go and do it. He has by-passed the angel’s messages here. The third angel’s message, the fourth angel’s message was so beautiful in its revelations to us but He goes beyond that and there is a voice from heaven that says, come out of her my people. This is the last call. He says if any man open his heart to Me I will sup with him. This may be our joy and experience because He is going to have a church triumphant.

The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant.– Letter 32, 1892. {Ev 707.1}

The life of Christ was a life charged with a divine message of the love of God, and He longed intensely to impart this love to others in rich measure. Compassion beamed from His countenance, and His conduct was characterized by grace, humility, truth, and love. Every member of His church militant must manifest the same qualities, if He would join the church triumphant. {FE 179.3}

As you open your heart personally to Him, then you will demonstrate the same to all around you. There will be no more envy or jealousy among the brethren. There will be no more pointing the finger, there will be no more holding each other to ransom as it were. There will be perfect loving kindness toward my sinful brothers and sisters. Do you want to be part of the church triumphant? Here is the answer; here is the call. May God help us to respond with the submission that Jesus responded to His Father with is my prayer.

Amen

Posted on October 6, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The book of Ezekiel ~especially chapters 37 on, are very relevant to our days! Exceptional John!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: