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Posts Tagged ‘Character of God’

Last week I spoke of my conversion—for a purpose. I wanted to establish the vital necessity of really knowing God, the outgrowth of which is obedience. Satan has engineered an attitude where any time we speak of obedience, confusion breaks out, and someone is sure to raise the specter of legalism. I wanted to fully establish that, when I speak of obedience I am not speaking of legalism. I do know the difference and practice righteousness by faith. We’ll talk more about that in another blog.

However, whether we practice rxf or legalism there is still something about obeying God that needs to be emphasized, and we so seldom hear about it any more. But it is of vital importance to our life today.

If we, knowing truth from error, do not obey God, the time will come when He will have to let us go. If the character of God message teaches anything, it teaches this. Brothers and sisters, we must put our sins away. We know what they are. The sin of having anything in our life ahead of God. The sin of ignoring our neighbor’s best interest. If we wish to break these commandments down further, the first four commandments support the first item, and the second six support the second. In all the Bible has He made anything more clear? Yet who speaks about it today? Is it not the most loving thing we can do to warn the world of the catastrophe that awaits somewhere down the line, if we continue with our indifferent attitude toward sin? How often did Jesus say, “Go and sin no more, lest a worst thing come upon you”?

No message has ever been given that spells out the future in such alarming terms as this message. Yes, it is a wonderful, heartwarming message. God doesn’t “steal, kill . . . [or] destroy.” He will never, never, never, never hurt us.

But there is a great controversy going on. God has committed Himself to the terms of the conflict. If man’s behavior aligns him on the side of Satan, the time will come when God will have to back off and let him go. This brings unbearable sorrow to the heart of God. We cannot measure nor plumb the depths of this sorrow. It is a sorrow we can but faintly understand. But God will be true to His word. He will honor our free will. He will release us into the hand of our chosen master. Humans get the master they choose to obey.

For this reason I believe Satan has intimidated us about speaking of the need for obedience. He likes–looks forward to—the release.

Oh, I know the difference, so don’t email me about it. I know that when Jesus comes into our heart, the heart changes. Suddenly, what use to attract us attracts us no more. Jesus lives out His righteous ways in us.

But there is a progression in our Christian walk. God reads the heart. He knows if we have committed to obedience or not. Whether our growth toward God is through legalism or true rxf, the character of God message tells us that we need to devote some thought and energy to this question: Have I put my sins away?

 Anything else going on in the church today must take a sobering second place to this question.

The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.org

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Please forgive the delay in getting this out to you. CreateSpace has a rule—a good one—that a book can’t be sold until a proof copy is ordered, reviewed, and if it is okay, a button is clicked to say the book can be sold. We had gone through this exercise once,  but I guess we got in a hurry, thus when it came back I saw items in the proof that needed to be changed, so we went through the  exercise again. This time I feel that you have waited long enough, the book is probably okay, and in view of the money I sent for Express Mail (It’s overdue), I went ahead and clicked the Approved -for-Sale button. So I guess, this version is it.

1. Some may already know, but for those who don’t, it is with the deepest regret that I inform you of the death of Graham Maxwell on November 28, 2010. You can go here www.pineknoll.org to watch his funeral services. Never this side of eternity can we correctly assess his contribution to Adventism and to the world. The old soldier rests now, awaiting the call of the Life Giver.

2. Chapter 12 of the Second Edition of Light Through the Darkness: A Vindication of God is completed and uploaded on CreateSpace.com. It can be accessed through my site, www.BeholdYourGod.info. We now have a “cutting edge” chapter in “Light . . . “ on the fate of the lost (by popular demand). Kevin Straub, editor of As He Is, helped me with this portion of the writing, and it contains “new light.”

Now, I am not a “new light wonk,” as attested by my resistance to his ideas, but, amazingly, while we were still in the writing stage God showed us the texts in Scripture that supported his ideas. Kevin based his knowledge on Spirit of Prophecy. He had a struggle communicating his ideas without being able to use her writings, and I would have no Spirit of Prophecy in the book. So you can see we had problems, until the Lord showed us, in the course of writing the chapter, that we were on the right track. Praise His name!

More on this next time.

3. Remember that you can also obtain my book on righteousness by faith, The Language of Heaven, Unconquerable Power For Your Life, which tells how to live the Christian life, from www.BeholdYourGod.info. Some have expressed  that this book gives them great hope that they can overcome. It doesn’t argue the history. It doesn’t argue anything. Just tells how to live victoriously in Jesus.

4. If you have read The Language of Heaven and/or Light Through the Darkness and are so disposed, you can leave a testimonial for each book you have read on www.Amazon.com on the page for each book.

5. Finally, the DVD set gives advanced prophecy pertaining to the two times of trouble, both little and great. Since it is based on both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, I have put it on what I call my “Adventist” website, www.AdventistApocalypse.com. It is self-authenticating and needs no advertisement. There is also a book that goes with it.

6. Keep in mind that you can get Spirit of Prophecy on the main topics of Light Through the Darkness and The Language of Heaven by accessing my Adventist site, www.AdventistApocalypse.com and scrolling down.

7. Plans are under way to put up both Light Through the Darkness and The Language of Heaven on www.authorsden.com, where they will receive more exposure.

8. I have been invited to do an encore guest appearance on “Conversations With Cyrus Webb” on Tuesday, April 12, at 6:30 MST on www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive to listen live. To listen to the recording go to www.conversationsliveradio.com.

I will be among the guest speakers at the annual Frontiers of Faith gathering in Wisconsin the weekend of April 29 and 30. For more information contact John Schneider, John.Schneider@hud.gov, (262) 889-4293. The web address for Camp Wakonda is http://www.wakonda.org/Camp_Wakonda/Home.html.

9. This is a page from my blog, which I update once a week on Wednesdays. I am sending it, as a courtesy, to my mailing list and inviting all to sign up to have my blog delivered into their email inbox once a week. It will be so much easier to stay in touch that way. You will find this blog at www.yonargi.wordpress.com.

10. Plans are still in my head for a video blog sermon series to direct traffic into www.BeholdYourGod.info, as this one is designed to direct traffic into www.AdventistApocalypse.com. It should teach the doctrines of Adventism—the law and law keeping, state of the dead, antichrist, etc.— making the character of God the center. I have been told that one individual has already made such a sermon series, but I have not yet had time to pursue it. That is still in process. I have been told that my site is first in SEO for the words “behold your God,” but I want a great deal more traffic. (The web administrator’s lament!)

11. If you know of someone who would like to be kept informed of events as they occur, please direct them as follows: Adventists to www.yonargi.wordpress.com (Have them sign up to have this blog delivered into their inbox.) and non-Adventists to the new video blog when it is up. I’ll let you know.

We’re doing all that we can to prepare and open up the way for the Lord’s appearing. Please pray for us and for others who are engaged in a similar endeavor—http://www.heavenlysanctuary.com, www.truthinJesus.com and many others. May we do what Scripture decrees, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:1).

 

The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.com

 

 

 

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I awoke this morning to the beauty of two feet of snow on the ground, a glorious winter wonderland.

The new Chapter 12 to Light Through the Darkness is (semi)complete. I have sent it out for final review and hope I don’t have to work on it [much] again. It was a very difficult chapter to write. When one begins to write, it is usually because strong opinions are driving you, but in this case the strongest opinion I had was that we do not put Christ’s dying of mental anguish in the central place it should hold in our doctrine of eternal loss, because His dying on the cross camouflaged it. And I wanted to show how that concept greatly strengthened our position on the character of God. Let me give you a few examples of what I didn’t put in:

1. The issue of Satan’s desiring to demonstrate the superiority of his government system over God’s, even though this issue explains so many things. This explains the great controversy’s breaking out in the first place, but I chose to leave it out, since it doesn’t tell specifically how the lost die or address any character of God issues. (I may put it in, if I can think of how to say it in brief form, with meaning.)

2. I left out anything having to do with the variable burning, because I don’t understand it myself. (Unless sin is like nouns—things that have weight and take up space. Remember the enormous amount of work that went into the eradication of sin in the Sanctuary. Why should this be, if sin only exists in the memory? In that case the one who had the most sin would burn the longest.) But I left it out, because it is a foreign idea to non-Adventists; I wanted them to feel as comfortable as possible with the book. But, mostly, I left it out because I don’t understand it myself. I only know, because of the great weight of evidence on the side of God’s noninvolvement in destroying, that it is a natural phenomenon.

3. I didn’t put anything about input from the last generation in this mix. When the wicked are raised, where are the lost of the last (our) generation?  They should be able to tell the lost that it was hopeless, that the being standing before them and pretending to be Christ is simply an imposter, because they have been through this before. How can Satan fool them, since they should know better?

As reasons for the way the Bible expresses that God destroys, I want to add something that I read in Greg Boyd’s blog, that in the ancient past everything that happened within the realm was expressed as though done by the king himself. In that case all of the attribution to God of the ability or the will to destroy would come from this writing convention. I am seeking a footnote for this idea, so if you have one, please send it to me. I found an email address on Greg Boyd’s website, thought I could get it from him, but he said he didn’t really monitor that email. It was, therefore, a long shot, and I haven’t heard back from him.

Closely related is another reason for attributing everything to God. He takes the blame for everything that occurs in His realm. When things go wrong, He takes the blame, as he took the blame on Calvary, showing His great maturity and sense of responsibility in the great controversy. I want to expand this point.

We expect the new version will be out the first of the year; it will be available through www.BeholdYourGod.info from CreateSpace. It is my hope that this volume will be a worthwhile tribute to God and a valuable resource for those who teach the character of God message.

The Bloggery
http://www.AdventistApocalypse.com

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“I will destroy you” is presented as the final word on God’s character, that this aspect of God’s character is self-evident. But wisdom requires that we not be taken in. We must refer to Ezekiel 28 and take in the full measure of everything that chapter says. When we read “I will destroy you,” we must ask:

2. How does God destroy? When God says, “I will destroy you,” turns out He is speaking of Satan, under the symbol of the king of Tyre, and Ezekiel 28 is one of the most eloquent Biblical chapters that describes Christ’s nemesis. Besides “I will destroy you,” here is what it says:

I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas” (vss. 7, 8 )

Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised in the hand of strangers” (v. 10).

I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee . . . .never shalt thou be any more” (vss. 18, 19).

As it turns out, five verses in that chapter expand on and tell how “I will destroy you.” It might be worth mentioning, too, that the entire verse says, “I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire” (v. 16), mentioning that He will not allow him access to the “sea of glass, as it were mingled with fire” (Rev. 15:2) that exists in His glorious kingdom.

Therefore we can see that taking one small text or part of a text and concealing the rest will never yield full light on any Biblical question. We must take in everything on that topic.

But one thing does concern me. We know that any heavenly light that is rejected results in loss of the soul. “From those who have rejected truth the light of God has departed” (Ms. 32, 1886). It grieves me deeply that the individual(s) who wrote this book have thus made a very firm commitment to error, have led others into error, and they will be lost. None of us can accept that we could be lost. This is particularly true for leaders. Can he/they “man up” and stand before the people and confess that they have been wrong? It is a very humbling experience and very difficult to do. But if they will be saved, they cannot become the enemy of light that God would have shine on the people.

Now, I told you that you would have an assignment with this blog. Here it is.

In your Bible reading, anyplace in the Bible, keep the facts that you have read here uppermost in your mind. You will find statements that seem just as clear as “I will destroy you.” When you find such statements, look at the context. Find those texts that tell “HOW” God will accomplish this task. You’ll find them everywhere. We just read right over them in days past; now look for them. I predict great joy for you, as you come to understand God’s character and learn that “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”

The Bloggery
http://www.BeholdYourGod.info/sda

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I have not read the work written counter to the message of God’s loving character, but I have heard the author holding forth on TV. He gave as one of his most conclusive arguments to support the traditional view, Ezekiel 28:16:  “I [God] will destroy you.” Everyone seemed to agree, on that TV show that day, that this was a conclusive argument, and nothing could change it. God here claims to destroy, so how can we say He didn’t??

However, let us look again at the words, “I [God] will destroy you,” and see what we shall see.

1.  God sees and describes Himself as doing that which He could have prevented (and He DOES NOT). He says He DOES it. A good and easily understood example is 2 Thessalonians 2:11: “And for this cause God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Does anyone believe that God is in the business of deceiving people, making them believe a lie? No. But we can believe that He doesn’t prevent them from believing a lie, if they are determined to receive it. (Does this include believing that He kills?)

Another Biblical example of this occurs in Judges 9:23: “Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem.” Why is God sending an evil spirit? He isn’t.  He is only declining to prevent an evil spirit from doing this work.

And what does that do to our statement: “I [God] will destroy you”? If it doesn’t match Christ’s character, we are justified in wondering how he did it. Did He simply not intervene to prevent it?

Next time we’ll take up part 2, which will require some sleuthing in the Bible on your part to see what we are saying. And during our next session, we will continue asking, “How did He destroy.”

And BTW, take a look at the picture associate with this blog. Could you make it out at first glance? No? You had to look deeper, didn’t you, to see the beautiful picture of clouds in the moonlight shining over a darkened forest. Maybe understanding God’s character requires a deeper look.

The Bloggery
http://www.BeholdYourGod.info/sda

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When Steve Wohlberg and Dr. Lewis (hereinafter “Wohlberg”) publicized their book disputing the character of God message on Friday, February 26, 2010, they made no references to such inspired quotations as:

At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving it is power. His character is to be made known [It wasn’t known before?]. . . . Those who wait for the bridegroom’s coming are to say to the people, ‘Behold your God.” The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of his character of love” (COL 415).

[BTW, why was this illustrious group of men doing commercial business on Sabbath??]

Jim Gilly thrust the phrase “strange work” into the discussion. Why didn’t someone pick up on it? You will find a likely answer in the Adventist Supplement to Light Through the Darkness: A Vindication of God, available on my web site, http://www.BeholdYourGod.info/sda.

We should “count it all joy,” brethren and sisters, that the denomination has seen fit to publish this book supporting the traditional view of God. It just means that our number is increasing and appearing as a significant threat. (After all, there must be a reason the Lord hasn’t come before now.)

If you read Wohlberg’s book on the traditional side of the question (you already know that side), in fairness, why not read my book, too, on the other side of the question.

As a friend of the message reminded me the other day, the counterfeit comes up first. Then, when the truth comes up–that great and wonderful new light sparkling in the prism of heaven–it explodes onto the scene with all the richness and beauty with which God has invested it. “[Christ] does not destroy. He improves whatever He touches.” (1SM 118) And it will be as soothing balm on the souls of men and women who have been injured by the view of Wohlberg & Co.

The Bloggery
http://www.BeholdYourGod.info/sda

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