Saturday, May 9, 2015

Six pages of quotations from one of the foremost writers on Christ's redemption, Ellen. G. White.
These quotes strike a powerful balance that exalts Christ's work and give us courage in times of struggle. Click the following link to view or download the article. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Go on to Perfection! Hebrews 6:1

Let us go on to perfection! Hebrews 6:1
(1Pe 5:10)  And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered a little while, shall himself perfect, stablish, strengthen you. The subject of perfection is about one of the most dangerous things to write on if one wants to preserve a good reputation in laodicean Christianity. On the one side Satan heaps contempt and ridicule among the established theologians regarding it. On the other hand he piles unstable fanatics to espouse false representations of what it entails, so that they add fuel to the fire of contempt in those conventionalist and ecumenical haters of the doctrine. All said Satan is evidently terrified of its proper attention which scripture apologetically gives to its importance. Since most in the modern church are fair weather Christians only, they are equally as negative regarding its value as a goal to pursue. They heap unto themselves false teachers to tickle their itching ears and lead themselves to conclude that one may be perfect enough to be a halfway Christian, trusting that Christ will make up for the other half by and by. Another class teaches that their imperfections will simply melt away, effortlessly, as they look to Jesus, but they ill define what looking to Jesus really means. Looking at Jesus is no casual sentimental pastime. It will truly lead to a certain agony of spirit when one sees the desperate condition of the soul. At that point the sinner will be willing to endure hardship in order to crucify the affections and lusts which have hitherto consumed the life of the mere lukewarm professor. A life and death struggle ensues. True beholding will lead to true penitence and true striving against all evil habits, even through painful effort and self sacrifice.1Peter 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. What is this perfection that Christ alone achieved and alone is able to minister? That we shall look into next!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mysterious Melchizadek?

Christ, "an high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek". Hebrews 6:20. What mysterious priesthood is this? There are cultic religions and spiritualistic societies that will use this text to suggest that they are the remnant of some ancient secret rite. The devil loves to lead the human mind into idle speculation and specious deceptions. Yet all Paul is doing here is using a priesthood that preceeded  the levitical order to show the hebrews the falsity in their notion that the levitical order was an eternal and perfectable system. It was only a temporary shadow as were all of its feasts and ceremonies. The levitical system had been perverted by the Jews to represent the idea that sinful man could earn the merit of God by works of sacrifice. Melchizadek was a pre-levitical priest under the covenant of promise that pre-existed the siniatic covenant. For this purpose Melchizadek is selected by Paul to represent a priest who is such by faith. He has no levitical lineage to recommend him to God. Whoever is priest by faith shall be priest with Christ for etenity.The Hebrews had no record of his parents who ofcourse would not have been hebrews either. Such a people did not exist yet. In this light Paul shows that God has ways of working and appointing that are not based on the merits of Jewish flesh or lineage or established by a carnal commandment. Jesus is the great high priest of mankind after the order of Melchizadek in the sense that they both ministered by a greater authority than fleshy genetic succession. The hebrew Christians were evidently still holding on to a focus on the Jerusalem temple and its now empty levitical types and shadows (see Collosians 2:14-18, Ephesians 2:14-16). The book of acts relays the fact that they were still observing temple ritual and even Paul aquiesed to some degree in order to show respect to his brethren. The book of Hebrews was penned after Paul's arrest in the temple. In Romans 14 Paul explains his position. The Jewish festivals were not to be made a test of faith or a subject of contention during that transition period. But the observance of the temple rites and its priesthood were about to be made impossible in a few short years revealing that the true heavenly sanctuary was already in session. God in His kindness was trying to prepare the dull of hearing to look to the heavenly temple and priesthood before their earthly idol was crushed by pagan Rome. Hebrews is that book that was to aid their transition to the real ministry above. There is evidence that the people understood. The jewish Christians are reported to have escaped the destruction of Jerusalem by heeding the words of Jesus in Matthew 24. We must also heed the word. Another greater destruction awaits the world today.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hebrews dull of hearing....are we repeating the same error?

The unbelieving Jews failed to accept the healing insult to their natural humanity that the sacrifice and priesthood of Christ administered. They distorted the sanctuary imagery to convey the idea that fallen man could contibute to his own atonement. Laodicea also struggles to accept the full revelation of their own wretchedness. It is also done by refusing the fuller light of what Christ's high priesthood unfolds. The message of justification by faith is not truly accepted until all human glory is laid in the dust and Christ and His work in the believer alone shines forth in resplendeth and unique glory. A reading of Hebrews 2 and Romans 8:3 reveals that Christ had to take our sinful flesh upon Himself and unite it with divine nature so that its sinful lack might be counteracted.The reason that Christ had to take sinful flesh is to make a perfected way for us, who were otherwise entombed in that flesh. He took it so that we might be set free into righteouness. This is what Paul's description of our High Priest expounds. To fault it or to fail to believe any part of it is to diminish true justification by faith. It is indeed to be dull of hearing and to be blind, naked, and wretched. Yet I am told by my brethern today that the subject of Christ's assuming sinful flesh is of little importance and is too "hard" for people to hear??? Where have we run upon that expression before.....too hard to hear.....dull of hearing? Christ took our nature fallen but was not corrupted. The weakess of the humanity He took on was linked to His divine nature in the same way that we may now be linked to His divine nature. The justified shall live righteously by faith. Detract either from Christ divinity or from His real likeness to us in this flesh and you destroy your own relationship with that saving faith. Let us not be dull of hearing the declaration of the most precious message of Christ's perfect qualifications for us!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An high priest....of whom we have many things to say!

 "An high priest....... of whom we have many things to say." Hebrews 5:10, 11.
Paul is again emphasizing the need of this advanced light regarding the purpose and function of Christ high priesthood and the goal of justification by faith. The rest of verse 11 contains a rebuke to the Hebrew Christians. That which Paul is trying to teach is "hard to be uttered, seeing ye (the hebrews) are dull of hearing." The deeper truth is difficult to teach, and meets resistence because of spiritual dullness of the hearers affected by generations of corrupting and ignoring the Word of God. They did this while thinking they were the proud favorites of God with an advanced understanding. One gets the sense here that Paul has a harder task presenting the deeper gospel revelation to the hebrews than to gentiles. These statements bear a troubling likeness to Jesus' estimation of the last day church of Revelation called Laodicea. To better understand what Laodicea's blindness entails we can look at what Judah's and Israel's deafness was.
Literal Israel had advanced light revealed in the sanctuary imagery. From the passover to the day of atonement, near the end of the levitical temple year, they had a clear explanation of the gospel and its intended outcome. The passover prefigured the offering of the Messiah at Calvary for the human race so that helpless mankind could be united with divine aid through the act of His atonement. The day of atonement however prefigured the final judgment and rapping up of the infilling of the kingdom of Christ by those who availed of that aid. It involved a picture of their vindication by examination of fruits, or works wrought by faith. Romans 2:13 sets forth this scene. Those who have been justified by faith go on to bear the fruits of faith. But a mere profession of faith, without its natural outcome, proves that supposed faith to be no faith at all. Only the doers of God's law will be justified in the judgment. But only those justified by faith in the work of Christ, who acknowledge that their own natural works fail the standard of God, will be able to show works of righteousness wrought in them by Christ. The sins of their flesh lie crucified with the old man. The blood of Christ has pardoned and transformed them. There is a test for those who claim Christ. Only those who wear the wedding garment will enter the wedding. He who has the Son has life. "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die but if through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh ye shall live." Romans 8:13. This can only happen if one accepts the real priesthood of Christ. But with many there is a longing for a salvation that meets the carnal desire to continue in sin. So with the Jews, they favored a manmade standard and so tried to immortalize the shadow priesthood and earthly temple in order to try to claim a mere manmade atonement. More on this next time. We shall also see Laodicea's danger of repeating the mistake by failing to believe in the true priesthood of Christ in all it entails.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Christ's Humanity Perfected continued! Heb. 5

Christ says... "to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne"...but note now the next words.... "even as I overcame". Rev. 3:21.
Christ did not have to enter the likness of our sinful mind and thoughts to say this. He never yeilded to sin as we have. But He did have to begin with the weakness we begin with and show us how to hold to the stength He made available through His own heavenly nature. As long as His humanity remained obedient He could be strengthened from the divine resource He himself had made possible. The Father above governed the rules of the great contest and so it was to Him the Son made continual appeal to provide the power His humanity required. But note that Christ Himself is our manna. It had to be all of Christ own resource that was used. He is the bread that came down. It was His divine sustinance, governed by the Father, that He himself was helped with. Thus the servant of the Lord writes...*"Thus Christ gave to humanity an existence out of Himself". 1 SM 250. The intricacy of it remains a mystery to us. But we can better understand that Christ is our manna in both the human and divine aspects.
Christ suffered deeply in the buffetting which Satan showered His humanity with in desparate efforts to cause the human will of Christ to loosen His hold on His Father's will. Had He yeilded but once then our hope would be in vain. Satan finally stood in shocked disbelief that the humanity he had weakened for millennia could display such perfect righteousness without one single failure. It was a mystery to him. Now he knew his battle was lost. Divinty and humanity had found a place in Christ to crush his power. God had shown, through the divine human union in Christ, that His love was sufficcient to counteract Satan's best efforts to degrade mankind. All may enter this union through Jesus free gift alone. We cannot deserve it but we may accept the great unmerited mercy in contrition of soul.
Oh sin scarred soul! What objection could you speak to a God such as this? Does it not melt away every supposed complaint? What woundrous love is this for my soul! God has shown Himself to you as a migthy friend ready to rescue! Repent of your calous heart. Will you not embrace your Father forever? Rejoice oh lowly are greatly beloved by the Sovreign of creation!

* Quote referenced above "By his obedience to all the commandments of God, Christ wrought out a redemption for man. This was not done by going out of himself to another, but by taking humanity into himself. Thus Christ gave to humanity an existence out of himself. To bring humanity into Christ, to bring the fallen race into oneness with divinity, is the work of redemption. "Christ took human nature that men might be one with him as he is one with the Father, that God may love man as he loves his only begotten Son, that men may be partakers of the divine nature, and be complete in him.
The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only begotten Son of God, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine-human nature of Christ." 1SM 250.3

Thursday, October 2, 2014

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation. Heb. 5:9.

  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation. Heb. 5:9.

This is a strange thought to many. Was Christ not born perfect? The made perfect in this text refers to His endurance in the trials. The evidence of scripture is that Christ was born into a humanity that needed to be perfected in order to be permitted to be our salvation. In the blending of heavenly nature with our sin damaged nature it remained to be seen if that humanity would remain subordinate to the divine graft. This does not mean that Christ started out sinful and graduated to sinlessness. What it does mean is that His humanity had to be continually and willfully surrendered to His own divine nature in order to restrain the mind from yeilding to natural passions in any sinful transgression of principle. This was a far greater trial than that which Adam faced in his unfallen humanity. In his edenic state Adam did not have to continually battle the impulses for self gratification that fallen impulse presents. Satan had not gained continual acess to trouble the mind. But after sin the deciever gained  greater acess to the lower nature. It was into this trial Christ descended to fit weakened humanity for the battle. Christ says... "to him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne"...but note now the next words.... "even as I overcame". Rev. 3:21 Christ did not have to enter the likness of our sinful mind and thoughts to say this. He never yeilded to sin as we have. But He did have to begin with the weakness we begin with and show us how to hold to the stength He made available through His own heavenly nature. How can we neglect so great salvation?...let the heart weep for joy! We will continue the amazing story of Christ condescension in our next blog.