How God Heals Disease

By John Thiel

The Lord steps in and restores when people think everything is lost. We are to walk with God by appreciating how to make the word of God the avenue by which we walk with Him. We take one text and ascertain the thought and then meditate on it until it becomes our own. Through that avenue we make our walk with God.

How has it been with you and walking with the Lord? It is the sense of God’s presence that actually is a prescription of our disease. Psalms 16 deals with the sense of God’s presence. Continue reading

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The London Olympic Stadium is 53 meters high. This blog had about 620 visitors in 2012. If every visitor were a meter, this blog would be 12 times taller than the Olympic Stadium – not too shabby.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Sabbath Sermons

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3


1 Corinthians 3:4 Charity suffereth long,

If love is brought to suffer, does it become quenched? No. It suffers long.

1 Corinthians [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,7 Beareth all things, believeth all things,

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Prone to Leave the God I Love


Prone to Leave the God I Love

Before David became king of Israel, he went through many hard and trying experiences. In these experiences, there’s much that’s instructive and there’s much we can learn from. Our aim is to learn from the experiences of David. David is mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 “the faith chapter.” He was a man of faith. The Lord honored David’s faith while giving him some great victories. Yet his faith was not always constant. There were times when David’s faith completely failed. We can learn from this because there’s times when that happens to us. David’s experiences were a mixture of these two things – sometimes faith and sometimes a lack of faith. From his experience we want to learn how to maintain a more constant faith because that’s what God was teaching him David or endeavoring to. Continue reading

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The heavenly physician and His hospital


Are you prepared to let God have His own way with you? When the admonition is to come and let us return unto the Lord, what has He done? Are you prepared to let Him do it?

Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

6:3 Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth.

Continue reading

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Disappointment vs Devastation

This is a post I wrote over at my personal blog back in November. I hope it brings you some encouragement.

Dealing with disappointment can be so painful.

I have had to deal with a lot of disappointment this year; it has been a series of rejections and painful experiences. There have been two major ones, but I dealt with them very differently.

The first major disappointment came in March. I had applied to do an internship with a church in Oxford; I and others who were involved had been so confident that I was going to get it. When I received my rejection it came as huge shock, and I very quickly crumbled. It didn’t help that at the same time my boyfriend had been accepted onto a similar course, so while my dream was falling apart, his were beginning to take shape. Kick in the teeth if ever there was one! I was desperate to leave where I lived, and begin living out all the things I had dreamed about. I tried to force every door open that I possibly could, but with 5 uni rejections, despite my grades, and no gap year course, it became quite clear God was telling me to finish my education properly. I had to stay put. I was not happy.

I became so bitter, shutting God and anyone else who wanted to encourage me out. I got  to the point where I wouldn’t let Sam talk about his course, I was too jealous and angry to even love and support him. I let the pain of disappointment take over my life, becoming very depressed, even to the point of thinking about suicide. Resentment and anger that God had not given me what I wanted stopped me from accepting the truth that I had a future ahead of me, that this wasn’t the end for me – merely the start!

The second major disappointment came today. In the summer I asked God to make it clear whether Oxford was the wrong path (the doors now seemed to be opening to apply to Oxford) and it seemed to become clear that it was the right thing, so I decided to step out in faith and go for it. Today I received my rejection. This time I didn’t break down; I don’t feel angry, I don’t feel bitter, I am not afraid. I feel completely peaceful, trusting that my plans are in the hands of the one who holds the world.

What is the difference? I think simply it is that for the first I put my hope in my plans; the second I was hopeful for my plans to succeed. I didn’t demand that God did things my way, guising it as ‘asking him for my desires’, but instead trusted him complete, whatever the outcome. Saying ‘not my will, but yours be done’ can one of the hardest prayers we say, often said through gritted teeth and clenched fists, but it is the difference between an undesired outcome being merely disappointing, not devasating.

We need to build our foundations on God’s promises, not on whether he has done what we have asked. This disappointment has been big, but it hasn’t shaken me because I trust God’s promises to me:

For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ (Jeremiah 29v11)

When you pass  through the waters I will be with you; and when I pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned…’ (Isaiah 43v2)

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; peresecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed’ (2 Corinthians 4v8).

If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory…’ (John 15v7)

These are truths that are true all the time, through our highs and lows, joys and disappointments; they don’t depend on our circumstances or how we feel. God means good for you always, it just doesn’t always feel good! If we put our hope in the promises of God, we won’t be shaken when the things we hope for do not come to pass.

Don’t forget that God does not make mistakes. Whatever door has been closed for you has been closed for a reason. I honestly believe that if God wanted me in Oxford then I would have got there, no bother. I also believe that if he didn’t, he would firmly shut the door. If something hasn’t happened for you, don’t get grumpy with God, complaining that he has done something wrong – he will open the right doors at the right time. (He has made everything beautiful in its time. Eccl 3v11)

I don’t have a clue what is happening next, but I have faith. ‘Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see’ (Hebrews 11v1). If I am completely honest, this total uncertainty is scary, but so exciting! I have so many options open to me, and I know that I am completely in the will of God, so whatever doors open, they will be the right ones. Because I have put my hope in His promises, I am not afraid of what will come any more, I know it will be the best for me.

If you are in a place right now, like I was, facing a disappointment that has devastated you, take hope in the fact that God works all things for the good! At Soul Survivor this year we studied Joseph (it spoke to me an incredible amount) and in Genesis 50v20 it says ‘you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good’.  He will bring you out of this, and he will heal you, just like he has with me. So much good has come out of this, I would go through it all again to gain all the wisdom, gifts and knowledge of God I have. I know he loves me (and I know he loves you too!) he desires to give us the best, only the best, and help us to become the absolute best we can be. Sometime we have to face disappointment for us to receive his best. Hold on, because whatever is breaking you is making you.

God’s ways are the best. Sometimes it takes some hard lessons to learn that, but put your trust in the promises of the one who created the universe and still knows how many hairs are on your head.

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Apologetics: Post Snippet for Skeptic Blog

So, I wrote this in response to a reasonable Atheist viewpoint that intelligent people can have a faith because they pick up patterns from their lives and mistakenly credit them for something otherly. It’s quite long, but should be spliced into two at some point for the blog that it is meant for.

Should We Doubt Faith? Playing Devil’s Advocate

So, you may think about what a Christian has to do on a blog such as this, and why someone like me would bother to even post on a Skeptic’s blog? It isn’t to Bible-bash; ironically it is to play Devil’s Advocate. This post is in regards to a previous entry which was titled ‘Faithful genius- a contradiction?’

I actually agreed with this article- up to a point. There is something about having a belief, a faith, or lack of a faith, which turns a switch on or off inside of us- not necessarily changing our being but changing how we view and interact with the world all together.

I also believe that having a way to deal and explain away patterns into a worldview is generally a key way to predominately survive, as it (usually) forms something within us which reacts in a very useful way to our surroundings and the intricacies of our very lives. I also agree that a smarter person with faith does not necessarily have a clear view of the world around them, just a better way of explaining it than others.

I see all of these patterns time and time again in the people around me- whether they have a faith or not. It is the issue of this explanation in regards to faith as a whole that I am going about questioning. So, how do I go about questioning about a theory that I see and believe in the world around me day by day? It is simple- expanding the horizon of such a statement predominately to explain away the notion of faith has its flaws.

I say this because there are many things I have seen which I have no control over; things which can only be rationally explained through a Theistic viewpoint. This may sound crazy, but some things which happen to be deemed irrational and unexplainable from a Skeptical viewpoint can be a lot easier to explain and digest from a Theistic viewpoint.

Here are two examples for you to discuss. Both are from my life and/or very closely linked to me- as it is a lot better to use first hand examples rather than ‘stories’ and ‘tales’ which have been passed around to me by other people.

The first one is quite a recent one. I was at a prayer meeting before an outreach day, and the group of Christians there decided to pray for me (as you do at a Christian gathering) .Don’t worry, it gets interesting! Just to note that most of these people praying for me had never met me before, with the exception of one who had briefly met me a few days before.

They started giving ‘words of knowledge’ to me that they could not have known about at all. Now a word of knowledge is when someone says something into another person’s life that they couldn’t have known about due to (what I believe) to be divine intervention.

This isn’t your rosy and hazy ‘you’ll be rich next year’ kind of word that you hear a guy dressed in a white suit on the TV say. It’s usually a lot more direct and blunt, more like ‘I feel like God told me that you just broke up with your girlfriend yesterday after expressing a lack of commitment to marriage, and your mother is bitter about it because she thought that she was the one. Do you want me to pray about it?’

These Christians at the prayer meeting started saying:

“all my life I have felt like I never fit in anywhere, floating around various ideals and career ambitions trying to belong. I have tried so hard to actually fit in somewhere that I have wedged myself into an identity and a ‘box’ which isn’t actually me at all,”

They gave me the metaphor of being a toddler with a square shape, trying to hammer it into a circle hole and actually getting it stuck there. They then went on to say that:

“I haven’t felt like I have belonged where I am this year, even surrounded by like-minded people with similar ambitions such as myself,”

They explained to me that this was because:

“The purpose of this year was to wrench myself out of this box I had made for myself, and for me to be placed into where I am meant to be for the future,” (the square shaped hole so to speak).

Little did they know that I had felt dissatisfaction in such a way all my life, even now. This year, I am on a gap year Christian course which involves full time voluntary work, which I had felt led to. Last year I was a full time Music Manager, and eventual dropout student of the same subject. The fact that they even had the thought about me spending my whole life trying to put myself into a box and never really ever fitting in anywhere genuinely surprised me.

I had given them no incline about this at all, and they had no idea who I was as a person- let alone my past (which involved a lot of uncertainty and rather swift movements from one thing to the next thing, more recently with me getting enveloped with Music- especially on the management side of things).

Now, this was just one ‘word’ that they had for me. In the space of ten minutes, they had rattled about 8 in total to me, all of which were completely spot on and true and/or linked on from a previous word I had been given.

A few days later, after I had begun to rationalise the seemingly impossible and thinking ‘maybe it was just me exaggerating’, I had three more words from three separate people. All these words either all matched up directly with something which had been said before, or something which had been said at least a few months before (that they could not know about!).

An example of the latter involves a teenager mumbling the words to me of the second half of a Bible verse, of which the first half has been ingrained into my mind after consistently entering into my thoughts in a way I can’t rationally explain. Interesting.

Now, before I sound like I am crazy and need to go and seek counselling as soon as I finish typing, let me remind you that these words came from people who didn’t know me; or matching words which came from various other people with no collusion, or (as in the example above) from someone I have never met before about something I have never shared about to anyone.

If you want any more direct examples of words that I have stated that I had, please ask me and I shall make sure I get back to you with them. And if you want me to give you a word out of curiosity, feel free to ask- I don’t mind doing so (risky I know, but you have nothing to lose if my beliefs fall down).

My point is, the only rational viewpoint I can give for this without a Theistic viewpoint is that I’m in The Truman Show. To me, that sounds irrational.

Whereas from my Theistic Christian viewpoint I can explain it like this: God is real and can speak to people whenever he wants to. He can also give people words to give to other people, which they wouldn’t know from any other source, or give people information about other people, which they wouldn’t know from any other source. Also, that this happens all the time in circles which conveniently happen to involve Christians.

You see, something irrational and inherently unlikely/ impossible, such as this scenario, can sometimes be easily explained and reasoned from a Theistic viewpoint. Does that make it necessarily right? No, it does not. But let me give you another example to discuss.

In the summer of last year, I was helping out with some community work- just your usual DIY/ Gardening work. Out of nowhere, an incline to go to a conference in the summer just popped into my mind. This was unusual, as I had no desire to go to this conference. It was a predominately Christian conference which, at the time, I felt I had no use going to.

What made this incline even more unusual is that it came with an ‘irrational’ conviction. This conviction was so strong that I would have walked to the conference if I had to- 200 miles away from my home. This for me, as a relatively reasonable and decisive person, came to me as quite a shock.

It was as if something or someone had reached into my brain to plant this strange idea and strong conviction as I was away gardening. Unsurprisingly, I booked myself in for the conference in anticipation- may be something supernatural was trying to give me a tell-tale ‘sign’ of what was important and where I needed to go.

Funnily enough, I wasn’t disappointed. Now before you play any cards of ‘hype’ or ‘emotion’ against me, I was completely level headed and calm; with only a sense of anticipation and curiosity of what was to happen next.

To summarise, I came back from the conference a different person. I wasn’t brainwashed or poked by some crazy Charismatic Christian, the change was deeper than that. What I found was this sense of longing and compulsion that I could not explain. Everything which was said seemed to be said straight at me, to the point of challenging almost every single aspect of my selfish personality and motive.

To top that off, I felt compelled to get prayer for every single one of these issues that came up; I didn’t even feel like praying! Even when I was going to get prayer, I just felt myself groaning as I had to leave my seat and deal with some random problem I wasn’t even thinking about, time and time again. Even when I got prayer, most of the time I felt almost nothing- I didn’t cry, or get emotional, or have a sudden change of heart. All I had as a constant was this deep sense of peace.

Now that may sound all nice and cosy, but up to that point I had found it nigh on impossible to find peace in anything I did. I spent every day restless; looking for ways to just get on with life and enjoy myself as much as I can. Now, I had been raised in a relatively churched background- from an early teenager I had to go to church as my family became Christians around me (my dad is a Biologist who was a strong Skeptic/ Atheist but that’s a story for another day).

But it didn’t really seem that important to me. If I’m honest, I didn’t really care too much at the time if there was a God who died for me or not- I had a life to live, and I was going to stick with that.

It did mean that the idea of a God didn’t shock me or surprise me, but just the notion that something or someone may have been potentially reaching out and beckoning me into a new or better life amazed me.

What little did I know then through all the sessions, lacking in any inward emotion and outward spiritual signs, that I came out the other end a changed man. I suddenly had more of a heart to care and tend for other people, as well leaving some of my past restless insecurities behind me, and I haven’t relapsed from that to this very day.

When I came back from the conference, I had one or two people come up to me after a week or two directly asking me how, when and why I had changed suddenly. I also had many people commenting on a ‘new you’ or stating how I seemed ‘different’. Funnily enough, I also came out the other end a fervent Christian, and it seems all I really did was just show up at the right place at the right time.

Now, both of these cases (in my opinion) would be incredibly hard to rationalise and to explain from a Skeptical/ Atheistic viewpoint. Feel free to challenge me on that one. But it seems to be rather easy to rationalise and understand these cases from a Theistic viewpoint.

And, contrary to any typical Christian stereotypes, there isn’t much from a typical Skeptic’s worldview which can’t be rationalised and explained within a typical Christian Theistic viewpoint. (There are many Christians which see evolution as no problem to their belief system, and MANY MORE who don’t think the Earth is 6000 years old!)

To summarise- is a Theistic viewpoint necessarily something to be doubted? The problem I see with faith being explained away as adapting to patterns around us (which in its basic essence is what the original theory is based upon) is that not everything seems to be within the confines of finite rule and law.

I have given an example or two which, in my humble opinion, seem to be nigh on impossible to explain and/or rationalise without the notion of a faith or a Theistic belief. There are many more similar occurrences I could highlight from my own life and other people’s lives around me (not necessarily all Christian to note) that cannot be fully explained or rationalised without a basic notion or foundation of faith behind it. Without a foundation of faith, some things just don’t add up/

Feel free to challenge or question anything I have said, and feel free to point out anything which might change/ deter my views on this.

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The River of Life

There are a large number of subjects that come out of the subject of the sanctuary and as we look at these subjects, they continue to expand in their subject matter. Each point and truth becomes broader and wider. The sanctuary in heaven which God built and not man, unfolds truths that get deeper and deeper.

Ezekiel 47:1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house [stood toward] the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south [side] of the altar.

 47:2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

 47:3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters [were] to the ankles.

 47:4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters [were] to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters [were] to the loins.

 47:5 Afterward he measured a thousand; [and it was] a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

 47:6 And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen [this]? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.

 47:7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river [were] very many trees on the one side and on the other.

 47:8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: [which being] brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.

 47:9 And it shall come to pass, [that] every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.

Here is the sanctuary and from under the door of the sanctuary comes forth flowing water which as it proceeds becomes deeper and deeper until it flows in great depth into the sea.

Ezekiel 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

The Water of Life

Where des the water proceed out of? The sanctuary which has things flowing out of it. Here in symbol are waters that flow out of the sanctuary. The heavenly sanctuary pours forth a living stream;

Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In the heavenly sanctuary from Gods throne proceeds a river of water of life. This is the river of Ezekiel 47. The waters are issued to the east country and to the desert and sea and the waters that they run into it are healed. A great multitude of fish that live in these waters, shall be healed and everything shall live where the river comes to. From Gods throne proceed waters for healing. The trees growing by the side of the river are benefited so they produce fruit and the leaves for medicine. This is a picture of healing that comes from the sanctuary. All who drink deeply taking hold of Gods outpouring from His throne and Gods ways in the sanctuary, find healing.

Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.

From the Lord proceeds healing, He is the Lord that healeth, comfort is found.

Deuteronomy 7:15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all [them] that hate thee.

What is God saying here? I will take away from thee all sickness. Notice the condition mentioned if we will take hold of all Gods ways. The ways that come from the sanctuary if we heed and obey them, if we give them diligent attention, the Lord can heal us from all our diseases.

Psalms 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, [bless] his holy name.

 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

We want to take God’s Word as it reads. God has said to us that we should not be careless about this and not to forget it because if we do we will probably not find healing. The fountain of healing comes from the throne in the sanctuary. It comes from God and the lamb and the product of what comes from Him is healing. The water starts off from the throne and it runs and gets deeper and deeper.

Zechariah 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

A fountain for the healing of the nations of sins and impurities.

Christ came as the Great Physician to heal the wounds that sin has made in the human family; {6T 227.2}

There is a fountain opened to the house of David for sin and uncleanness to heal the wounds of sin. Disease comes as a consequence of sin.

…and His Spirit, working through His servants, imparts to sin-sick, suffering human beings a mighty healing power that is efficacious for the body and the soul. “In that day,” says the Scriptures, “there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1. The waters of this fountain contain medicinal properties that will heal both physical and spiritual infirmities. {6T 227.2}

God’s way of healing relates to that which proceeds from his throne. On the earth made new is a living stream that runs from the throne in reality but there is something else for us to study as to what proceeds from His throne. Jesus said to the woman at the well that He who would drink of the water would become a living stream. It relates to His Word. His Word is the living water. The sanctuary in heaven and the earthly sanctuary had a message to convey in reference to this healing water.

Leviticus 13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying,

 13:2 When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh [like] the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:

 13:3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and [when] the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight [be] deeper than the skin of his flesh, it [is] a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.

14:4 Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive [and] clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:

 14:5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:

 14:6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird [that was] killed over the running water:

 14:7 And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

 14:8 And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days.

This is another symbolic picture in reference to sin, uncleanness and disease.

The wonderful symbol of the living bird dipped in the blood of the bird slain and then set free to its joyous life, is to us the symbol of the atonement. There were death and life blended, presenting to the searcher for truth the hidden treasure, the union of the pardoning blood with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer. The bird slain was over living water; that flowing stream was a symbol of the ever flowing, ever cleansing efficacy of the blood of Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the fountain that was open for Judah and Jerusalem, wherein they may wash and be clean from every stain of sin. We are to have free access to the atoning blood of Christ. {1BC 1111.4}

Here is the message symbolised from the sanctuary, the flowing stream and the blood of Jesus and then the freedom of the bird free to fly.

This we must regard as the most precious privilege, the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man. And how little is made of this great gift! How deep, how wide and continuous is this stream! To every soul thirsting after holiness there is repose, there is rest, there is the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, and then the holy, happy, peaceful walk and precious communion with Christ. Then, oh, then, can we intelligently say with John, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world” (Letter 87, 1894). {1BC 1111.4}

Do you see what is available to us? We are to embrace and believe the beautiful flow of saving truth from the sanctuary. It has to do with believing and taking hold of and drinking the beautiful holiness imparted to us through Jesus Christ. Are you thirsting for holiness in the beautiful clear water of life that we can drink, wash and believe in? As we are imbued with truth we sometimes concentrate on the negatives and sinfulness of our life and we do not concentrate on the part that we are released by.

Yes we are sinful and abhor ourselves but no matter how leprous and sinful we are, if we plunge into that river, there is healing and the Lord can heal us from all our sickness. We must plunge into that and believe and enjoy it otherwise it doesn’t happen. The symbolism of the sanctuary is for us to embrace and understand in reality. For us to find healing as the leper had to in symbol in the New Testament reality, where are we to go when we are ill and sick?

James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

Here is the New Testament display of the Old Testament symbolism. We are to call the priest and the elders of the church to pray over us but this praying is continued.

James 5:16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

What is connected if you diligently heed the counsel of the Lord and we obey all his directions so that we will be healed from all our sickness? Our faults and sins need to be repented of. Not healed by magical prayer, but by following Gods instructions. As we embrace the message of Christ our righteousness and bathe our soul in this river of life, the Lord said we do not need to remain ill both spiritually and bodily. Our illness is healed but I must plunge into that healing water.

The God of Ekron

There is an example of failing to go to the Lord for healing in the Old Testament. There was a king of Israel who went for healing to the God of Ekron and not to the Lord. He went there for a prognosis and for an answer to heal. A prognosis is where the doctor tells you the length of time for your disease.

2 Kings 1:2 And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that [was] in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baalzebub the God of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.

 1:3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, [Is it] not because [there is] not a God in Israel, [that] ye go to inquire of Baalzebub the God of Ekron?

He went where? He went to the Gods of Baal. If God says I am the one that healeth thee, I am the doctor and I can heal you of all your sins and diseases, what is the lesson for us?

Ahaziah sent his servants to inquire of Baal-zebub, at Ekron; but instead of a message from the idol, he heard the awful denunciation from the God of Israel: “Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.” It was Christ that bade Elijah speak these words to the apostate king. Jehovah Immanuel had cause to be greatly displeased at Ahaziah’s impiety. What had Christ not done to win the hearts of sinners and to inspire them with unwavering confidence in Himself? For ages He had visited His people with manifestations of the most condescending kindness and unexampled love. From the times of the patriarchs He had shown how His “delights were with the sons of men.” He had been a very present help to all who sought Him in sincerity. {5T 195.3}

This is packed with what is to occupy our mind when we are not well. That we will repose in the utter joy and comfort in the healing that comes from God as Jesus has shed His blood and we may enjoy a total relief from all stresses within ourselves. God has given so much evidence.

“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them.” Yet Israel had revolted from God and turned for help to the Lord’s worst enemy. {5T 195.3}

The Hebrews were the only nation favored with a knowledge of the true God. When the king of Israel sent to inquire of a pagan oracle, he proclaimed to the heathen that he had more confidence in their idols than in the God of his people, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In the same manner do those who profess to have a knowledge of God’s word dishonor Him when they turn from the Source of strength and wisdom to ask help or counsel from the powers of darkness. If God’s wrath was kindled by such a course on the part of a wicked, idolatrous king, how can He regard a similar course pursued by those who profess to be His servants? {5T 196.1}

Why is it that men are so unwilling to trust Him who created man, and who can by a touch, a word, a look, heal all manner of disease? Who is more worthy of our confidence than the One who made so great a sacrifice for our redemption? Our Lord has given us definite instruction through the apostle James as to our duty in case of sickness. When human help fails, God will be the helper of His people. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” If the professed followers of Christ would, with purity of heart, exercise as much faith in the promises of God as they repose in satanic agencies, they would realize in soul and body the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. {5T 196.2}

There is a power of healing as we embrace the water of God’s Word to our soul and do whatever God’s Word declares and let Him have us totally for His healing work. The Israelites did not turn anymore to the Lord and went to the physicians of Ekron. The statements in Testimonies Volume 5 are in reference to consulting spiritualist physicians. Today they are rampant. They use methods of the occult. Drugs come from the occult. The doctors of today have the Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates was a Greek pagan worshipper. He was a physician and he is the one who even the doctors of today are making their oath upon.

This is all connected. For us to find healing, if we turn to the drug world of the doctors we are turning to the God of Ekron. We follow a careful path as we continue to proceed. Our safety for healing of our diseases is in following all Gods directions. They are found not only in mind healing form the Word of God but His counsels as gained form the sanctuary practised by true Godly physicians.

 The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people. {GC 423.1}

It opened to view the river, a whole system of truth.

Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church. {GC 424.4}

From the time of the exposition of the sanctuary message as it unlocked the confusion of the early Advent believers in 1844 that there was a heavenly sanctuary and Jesus moving from the holy to the most holy and all it embraced, it laid out all the duties of Gods people to be ready for Jesus to come. What was given for all who were under the sanctuary message the true Adventist people back there?

Ezekiel’s Vision

 Such a river of life and healing God designs that, by His power working through them, our sanitariums shall be. {6T 228.1}

This was the river of life and healing in Ezekiel 47 that God designed to take place through those duties revealed to the Adventists at that time.

 Our sanitariums are to show forth to the world the benevolence of heaven; and though Christ’s visible presence is not discerned in the building, yet the workers may claim the promise: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {6T 228.2}

The establishment of these health centres were based upon Gods direction and related to that river that went deeper and deeper and healed all it touched. This opens to us the true understanding and balance of what we are going to be benefitted by. Everything that God wants to benefit us by is so that we can go along the path the pioneers had established in their methods of healing work.

The Remedies of God Verses the Remedies of Ekron

There are many ways of practicing the healing art, but there is only one way that Heaven approves. God’s remedies are the simple agencies of nature that will not tax or debilitate the system through their powerful properties. Pure air and water, cleanliness, a proper diet, purity of life, and a firm trust in God are remedies for the want of which thousands are dying; Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 443 (1885). {2SM 287.3}

Can you see the river of water? It is the instruction that comes from God that the healing properties he has put into activity will heal us as those rivers of water that are written of in Ezekiel.

…yet these remedies are going out of date because their skillful use requires work that the people do not appreciate. Fresh air, exercise, pure water, and clean, sweet premises are within the reach of all with but little expense; but drugs are expensive, both in the outlay of means and in the effect produced upon the system.–Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 443 (1885). {2SM 287.3}

Here is the river of life which in today’s society people don’t go to. It is no different. That which Adventists should have been doing with their sanitariums has been totally perverted with the drugs and all their practises today. They are going back to the God of Ekron. There are few institutions that can be the river of life as per Ezekiel. We have to learn quickly how to do these things so the Lord can do the rest. In the sanitariums at that time there were physicians and surgeons. Some think that if God will heal me, I don’t have to worry about such a thing as an operation. They will even die where God could have helped them through an operation.

It is our privilege to use every God-appointed means in correspondence with our faith, and then trust in God, when we have urged the promise. If there is need of a surgical operation, and the physician is willing to undertake the case, it is not a denial of faith to have the operation performed. After the patient has committed his will to the will of God, let him trust, drawing nigh to the Great Physician, the Mighty Healer, and giving himself up in perfect trust. {2SM 284.4}

That applies to every measure of Gods healing to follow God’s directive and Gods appointed means.

The Lord will honor his faith in the very manner He sees is for His own name’s glory. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3, 4).–Manuscript 67, 1899 (General Manuscript). {2SM 284.4}

In a critical operation the angels are there.

Who has been by your side as you have performed these critical operations? Who has kept you calm and self-possessed in the crisis, giving you quick, sharp discernment, clear eyesight, steady nerves, and skillful precision? The Lord Jesus has sent His angel to your side to tell you what to do. A hand has been laid upon your hand. Jesus, and not you, has guided the movements of your instrument. At times you have realized this, and a wonderful calmness has come over you. You dared not hurry, and yet you worked rapidly, knowing that there was not a moment to lose. The Lord has greatly blessed you.– Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 187, 188 (To the medical superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, 1899). {2SM 285.1}

It is in Gods order if an operation is needed that He will direct the hands of a surgeon. That is part of all of Gods order.

-Before performing a critical operation, let the physician ask for the aid of the Great Physician. Let him assure the suffering one that God can bring him safely through the ordeal, that in all times of distress He is a sure refuge for those who trust in Him. –Ministry of Healing, p. 118 (1905). {2SM 284.2}

  The Saviour is present in the sickroom, in the operating room; and His power for His name’s glory accomplishes great things.–Manuscript 159, 1899 (Manuscript, “The Privileges and Duties of a Christian Physician”). {2SM 284.3}

This is the testimony of Jesus in reference to the balanced appreciation of Gods flowing healing methods. We read it plainly that it had to do with fresh air and pure water and with the elements of total trust in the Lord and such things as cleanliness. When disease takes a course where it needs to be treated with other things like natural herbs, vitamins and minerals, this is all in Gods order. If there is something very serious that needs an operation, it’s sometimes necessary. It is all in Gods order. We have a very important understanding to be gained as some say no I just want Jesus and the elders to heal me and I’m just going to rely on that because Jesus did it and I believe He can do the same thing today.

 The way in which Christ worked was to preach the Word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way, for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought. {2SM 54.2}

  For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing, combined with the teaching of the Word. Sanitariums are to be established, and with these institutions are to be connected workers who will carry forward genuine medical missionary work. Thus a guarding influence is thrown around those who come to the sanitariums for treatment. {2SM 54.3}

  This is the provision the Lord has made whereby gospel medical missionary work is to be done for many souls.–Letter 53, 1904. {2SM 54.4}

This is the miracle working activities of Gods people in the last days through the avenues of the river of life, the instruction that God gives and He instructs us what to do. He gives us the messages of truth that help us trust Him implicitly. There are diseases that He will take away through natural cures and if need be in a crisis through operations. The fountain of life is all embracing. It has to do with drinking deeply and trusting what the Lord has communicated to us and plunging ourselves into that Word and basking in it and letting it bubble forth inside of us to benefit others.

The Woman at the Well

Jesus was speaking to the Samaritan woman at David’s well.

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Here is an understanding why the river that comes from under His throne gets deeper and deeper. All the people who take hold of that water, their own selves become a fountain and as the fountain comes from all believers of God, the river gets deeper and deeper.

  Wonderful is the work which God designs to accomplish through His servants, that His name may be glorified. God made Joseph a fountain of life to the Egyptian nation. Through Joseph the life of that whole people was preserved. Through Daniel God saved the life of all the wise men of Babylon. And these deliverances were as object lessons; they illustrated to the people the spiritual blessings offered them through connection with the God whom Joseph and Daniel worshiped. So through His people today God desires to bring blessings to the world. Every worker in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of humanity. As he receives from the Saviour grace to impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life. {6T 227.2}

Christ came as the great physician and He works through His servants.

Christ came as the Great Physician to heal the wounds that sin has made in the human family; and His Spirit, working through His servants, imparts to sin-sick, suffering human beings a mighty healing power that is efficacious for the body and the soul. “In that day,” says the Scriptures, “there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1. The waters of this fountain contain medicinal properties that will heal both physical and spiritual infirmities. {6T 227.2}

In the world there are many who are sick from their stressed out life. The truth as it is in Jesus is meant to take away this stress to bring the people into joy, calmness and peace. The beautiful repose found in these messages as we are released from these stresses and we rely on God’s instructions, He will heal us from our disease. There is no disease He won’t heal us from. I ask myself many times over, why something hasn’t healed when God has promised? Do you know why? We don’t repose entirely, we still carry stress.

The gospel of Jesus, the beautiful picture of those birds is to communicate to us that we can fly as a free as a bird and we don’t need to be under stress anymore and we are to give over and the Lord will heal us of all our stress related diseases. As we have the physical consequences of stress, we use the natural remedies for the diseases that have so heavily entrenched themselves upon us. We need some extra help. God grant us that we use we can pick up on this beautiful story of Ezekiel 37 and pick up every Word that comes from the sanctuary so we will be free from the diseases around us in Egypt.

Amen.

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Part 8: A Cloud of Witnesess

When I was a young boy, my head was filled with stories. Whenever I listened to my grandfather Alberto, he would always tell me tales of knights and castles, kings and crusades and all manner of things that a little boy would be thrilled by. Yet, amongst all of the crusaders, the kings and popes and monarchs, he would always tell me the tale of one small band of raiders who then returned home and became Counts and noblemen.

My Nonno (The name I call my Italian grandfather) told me tales of the Avagliano family, and thus told me tales of my past.

Hyperbole probably adequately describes much of what I have been told, but it doesn’t matter; the boy who was enthralled by the noble, glorious past of his ancestors has become a man who desires to be worthy of it. In the end, I know that my ancestors – the former counts of Salerno before the declaration of the Republic of Italy in the 40’s – are not the shining spectres that I was brought up to see them as, but it doesn’t matter; every person who has ever lived bar one has been flawed, falling short of what they could be. Those men and women are my past, and a spur to live as well as I can in the future.

The writers of Hebrews understood this, for he wrote;

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
– Hebrews 12:1-2

When this verse is quoted, it is often – and rightly – associated with the here and now; as Christians, we need the spur of other Christians around us, encouraging us to run this race and keep the faith. But the writer of Hebrews had another, equally true, meaning in mind, which the context makes clear. In the chapter preceding these verses, he speaks of faith and the great heroes of faith that had gone before them; of Abraham and Abel, Moses and Gideon and Samuel and many others.

The men and women of the bible continue to inspire us with their faith today, whenever we read their stories in scripture. But we are incredibly lucky, because we have many more stories now than the writer of Hebrews did; almost two thousand years have passed, and in that time we have collated the thoughts, beliefs, hopes and fears, sufferings, trials and deaths of countless millions of people who held their faith in Christ. We can find them in books, in stories, in their writings, even in liturgies and prayers, traditions and precepts.

I have included tradition and liturgies here intentionally, because these things were birthed from people’s beliefs; what some people deride as “religion” – usually when they talk of “dusty and old” prayers and liturgies and writings we have from the last two thousand years of Christianity – are in fact there to spur us on. But tradition need not be old or dusty; even now, we are making traditions and things our spiritual descendants in the faith will have to hand. Tradition can be lively, can be timely and – ultimately – can inspire.

These men and women who have filled our history books, suffered and died for their faith. Many of them were mocked, many more tortured, many died for Christ. Yet, through all of this, their faith remained intact, even stronger than it was before, even in the face of death. These men and women deserve remembrance; their stories can help us through even the darkest times, because they convey a deep truth; Christ is worth giving up everything for, and He is worth even the harshest of punishments.

Their stories, and all they have left behind, are an inspiration for us as Christians today, to live all the more for Christ.And that is what I feel the writer of Hebrews is getting at; we have a cloud of witnesses, both past and present, there to encourage us, to cheer us on, to show us how they did it, to inspire us to do great things.

I know that these spiritual ancestors of ours are not perfect; no one bar one has ever been so. They will have been flawed, sinful humans, just like the rest of us, but their faith none the less inspires, and their stories none the less enthrals. Knowing of these glorious examples in our past has made me desire and strive to run this race worthily, to keep the faith and live it well. If you have not done so, I commend looking up the stories our faith has to share, the prayers and liturgies that have grown over the years.

Because the men and women who lived through those stories, who breathed those prayers and grew our traditions for us, who suffered and died for what they – and we – hold true…they are our past, where we have come from, as it were. My hope and prayer is that they are also a spur for us to love Christ, run the race and keep the faith in the future.

Posted in History, Jesus, When All is Not Bright and Beautiful: Suffering, Christians and the Bible | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding True Fulfilment in a Relationship with God


We want to be able to survive through the future and many people are losing their love. It is a love so filled with the beauty of the glory of the Lord that it is willing. There are all sorts of things in the world today that make you sad. One thing today is family dysfunction. There is global disaster where ever you look. There are many social disappointments even in the church. When we have looked for something to satisfy our selfish desires we become disappointed. Your own desires of relationships don’t work out as hoped. The wars in the world destroy natural and social events. There is a great amount of social insecurity. Where do these things come from? What is the source of these disasters and disappointments? The curse causeless does not come.

Cause to Effect

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Men being lovers of their own selves is the cause of the misery. Here is the cause that brings the curse. You can trace all our problems along this path. If you wonder why things aren’t working out as you would like, here is your answer. Why are these perilous times coming? Lovers of their own selves, it’s a cause for problems. They are covetous. These are the beginnings of strife and problems.

2 Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Have you ever been accused for something you didn’t do? It means you are falsely accused. People today also can’t control themselves. Instead of rejoicing in the goodness of people, they despise them.

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

These people are at the same time following a form of godliness. Here is the grand swell of final day madness we have to meet. What you sow you shall also have to reap. Is there anything that can help you to be happy in all that when things don’t go your way? Is there anything that can give you joy? Is there much to be enjoying now? How can you find anything encouraging? Jesus gives us a beautiful introduction in regards to the joy possible when you head into negativity. We are looking for something that is going to bring me true comfort and joy. It looks so hopeless, I can’t find it. As we think about this and try to understand, where is it going to come from? Jesus comes in with a beautiful instruction. If you wonder why things aren’t working out as you would like, here is the answer. What a man soweth he shall also reap. You can’t just say be happy. I have to have something intelligent to make me happy.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

This is an answer opposite to what we think can bring joy. The thing that makes people happy today is to go shopping. Jesus says the exact opposite. Take no thought for what you shall eat, drink and put on. If you are looking for something to lift you, something to fill you with internal joy, don’t look for it where most people look for in what you shall eat, drink or put on. Life is more than that.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Here we have the guidelines. Jesus says if you want to find true joy and fulfilment to be able to survive through all these dark patches, here is where you will find it. Seeking first the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

Why do you think that clothing is going to make you happy?

Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Jesus directs your mind to somebody who looked for happiness who had far more wealth than us and he was never satisfied.

Does Shopping Make You Happy?

What is the case today with society? People say go shopping and today and there are so many clothing shops and they are full of clothes for people to go and spend money to make themselves feel good about the clothing they put on. Jesus says why do you take thought about clothing? Look at lilies of the field. If you think clothing is going to make you happy, look at Solomon. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Jesus points us to Solomon who had all the wealth in the world who could dress himself up and find fulfilment in his beautiful garments and Jesus says the lilies are dressed better than that. Would you like to have all the money Solomon had to dress yourself and lift up your spirit? What did Jesus say about Solomon? In all his glory he was not as attractive as the lilies.

Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?

Clothing is ridiculous to look upon to make yourself look good. Look at Solomon and what he tried to tell us after he had all that. God wants to bless us with something far greater than the joy of display of look at me, I feel really good about myself. He points us to Solomon. What is there that he was pointing at? Why does he mention Solomon? Because Solomon became a preacher who came to show us the futility of all that glory. Jesus pointed to Solomon as the one we can learn from.

Ecclesiastes 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all [is] vanity.

He speaks in a very disheartened manner. Everything is in vain and it is full of self-glory but it is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 1:12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

He was the wisest of all the kings and he used his wisdom to seek to understand. Solomon saw it all and he had all the wealth in the world. You can take good counsel from Solomon. Look at his description of it. He was someone who could have anything he wanted.

Ecclesiastes
1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all [things] that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.

If you want to find lasting value when everything falls down around you that you can still have joy, listen to Solomon because he said, I have had it all, I have had everything, I have seen all works done under the sun. All the nations came to him as he had something better than them and he said whatever I have had was vexation of spirit. He was pointing to what man is looking to for fulfilment and he said don’t, it’s all vexation.

Ecclesiastes 2:1 I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also [is] vanity.

That’s what people say, lets laugh and crack some jokes.

Ecclesiastes 2:2 I said of laughter, [It is] mad: and of mirth, What doeth it?

When he was laughing when something was stirring his spirit of mirth, he said it was mad. When people crack jokes and have something to laugh about, it is stupid, its mad. Solomon tried to make people laugh.

Ecclesiastes 2:3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what [was] that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.

Most people when they drink they lose their wisdom but Solomon said I will drink wisely and think carefully about it. They say go be merry, drink and sing. Even though he would drink and get tipsy, he would still think about it rather than be blind about it. What was he trying to find out? The good. We want to find the good, the things of nature to enjoy and he was looking at it in all others places. What did he find?

Ecclesiastes 2:4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

2:5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all [kind of] fruits:

2:6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:

What else did he do? He built big houses. He made big dams and all sorts of things to enjoy himself. He looked for true satisfaction in all these things. Is there anything of lasting value in all of this?

Ecclesiastes 2:7 I got [me] servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

He was greater than all the kings before him. He had more than they had.

Ecclesiastes
2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, [as] musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

Solomon must have got his wealth from vast areas way out of his reach. He was gathering gold and silver from the Americas it has been suggested. That together with the laughter and drinking, he was exploring it all.

Ecclesiastes 2:9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. As he was going through all these pleasures, his wisdom was operating in himself looking for the real meaning.

2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

He rejoiced in all he was doing.

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all [was] vanity and vexation of spirit, and [there was] no profit under the sun.

When God made the world he looked at everything He made and He said it was very good. Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived and he looked for happiness in every channel and said, all is vanity. There was not another person on earth that had as much as he had. He was rejoicing himself in all his labour but as he looked back what has he declared?

Ecclesiastes 217 Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun [is] grievous unto me: for all [is] vanity and vexation of spirit.

We are not as wealthy as Solomon and while we’re enjoying the things we do, it was just pittance to him. I am trying to find joy and happiness in my pittance and I have to labour to get it. He didn’t have to work that hard. He had servants to do it for him. After he had the lot and trying to find it, he looks back at it all and he says I hate it, there is nothing in it me for me. According to intelligent rational, Jesus identified what Solomon was trying to say. He said, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Then when you have that, the other things are not vanity, they will be added unto you but the kingdom of God and His righteousness is what Jesus was pointing to and true fulfilment. The king is telling us that if you think you are going to get joy pursuing these things, you will end up like him. There is lots of laughter and happiness for a while but if you ask some young people today they say they hate life. According to the intelligent being Solomon was, was there any worthwhile pursuit? Jesus says, what did Solomon say? I looked at all things and I hated life.

Jesus says if you never have the things you want, you will have internal companionship and joy. Why is this so? What is it? What is in the kingdom of heaven that is much better than all the wealth that people exercise to find that joy? What is there in the kingdom of heaven? The following scripture connects us with the verse about the lilies that were dressed better than Solomon and his earthly array. If you we are looking for external beauty, it is all going to wither away, it is of no value.

1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

All these other things wither. The glory of Solomon while he was in the prime of his glory was all sweet but then it withered. It doesn’t give you lasting joy. What does? That which does not pass away, the word of the Lord that endures forever. If you want something that will last forever and will keep you joyful all the time, it is the word of God which deals with the kingdom of heaven. There is something that intelligently lets you know that there is a joy worthy of pursuing. That is something that does not pass away. The glory of God doesn’t pass away.

1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

The word of God abides forever and he who does the word of God abides forever. Why? There is something in the word that regenerates continually. It never dies. I can testify I have now studied the word of God since the age of 12 and I have continued to enlarge it through till now and I’ve gone over the same subjects again and again and they get more bright and joyful. There is no withering. They say children get toys and they grow tired of them. That is what Solomon did. He had plenty of toys and grew tired of them. Many men today have toys. Here is something that never loses glamour, the joy of something that never goes dry.

Even if you live in a tent for the rest of your life, it is joy. Why would you want to come and live in the bush; because you are close to the heart of God in nature. Nature has a tongue. There is joy in the most unhappy circumstances that surrounds us in the world today, there is still a joy. It is found in doing the will of God. That is where the bubbly joy comes from. It is something that never withers. It’s real and true. If you are connected with the word that abides forever, you have that true satisfaction. There is something in the word that causes you to have light. You may be with Jesus like Judas was, but you need to do more than just being with the light. You need to walk with it. The everlasting benefit found in an experience of the knowledge of the word is a relationship. The word of God abides forever and he that does the will of God abides forever.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

What is the eternal joy and value? It is has to do with knowing God. Not just having something to thrill you with lovely clothing and an attractive experience but the internal experience of knowing God. All the others can be added but you are not looking at them. There is nothing wrong with having nice clothing but the wrong is that you want to gain happiness by clothing. That is the problem. Jesus didn’t denounce Solomon for being well dressed. He said in all his dress there was something he was missing out on. There is something to know that will give you eternal joy and that is to know God. This kind of joy is similar to the joy of marriage that people are looking for. When a couple have real joy together in a marital fellowship, the Bible clarifies that as knowing someone for it says, Adam knew Eve. This is the knowledge to know God in an intimate entwinement which is lasting value. That is not vanity. That is an eternal joy to know God and Jesus Christ. Look at what it means to know him.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

What is it that we know when we know God? It is love. Is this not what everyone is looking for? All society around us is craving for love. They look for it in somebody giving them lovely clothes and in affections from someone and yet they are shattered as they are looking for it as they can’t find true love but when you know God, what do you know? God is love. It is not just God who tells you about love, He is love itself and if you want to have true love, you must come to know God and you will cHme to know God and dwell in love. That is what love is. God and a knowledge of Him. Why is the knowledge of God and doing the will of God everlasting life? Love never fails, it is eternal, it never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Just to know intellectual things and to know Jesus as Judas knew Him, he knew Him quite closely, he was looking at Jesus according to his perspective and he was lost. You can have all knowledge of prophecy and be very smug about the knowledge you have and teach everybody everything but all that is of a character of Solomon’s great knowledge and wisdom. He was wise, but did he find true satisfaction in all his wisdom? What did he need? Love. He was looking for it with how many wives and concubines? Fascinating isn’t it. There is something for us individually to pursue and find. That’s why Jesus says if you find me, you will find happiness. We have been looking for Him and we could feel Him in nature around us. You can sense something in nature around you that is true inward joy and satisfaction. It is in nature that has a voice and communicates these things. To know Hhim is to experience the intimacy of true love which only he is the source of.

Through the goodness of God we have been surrounded with innumerable blessings. There are tokens of His love on every hand. Nature seems to be rejoicing before us. The beautiful things in heaven and earth express the love and favor of the Lord of hosts toward the inhabitants of the world. The sunshine and the rain fall on the evil and the good. The hills and seas and plains are all speaking eloquently to the soul of man of the Creator’s love. It is God who brings the bud to bloom, the flower to fruit, and it is He who supplies our daily needs. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s notice. Our minds should go up in gratitude and adoration to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. {TMK 145.2}

When you are cold and you sit in the sun, you can feel the warmth of Gods love. That is a love token from God. That is God’s love and also letting rain fall on the evil and good. Are you looking for love? Just go and explore it. What is the colour blue a representation of? Christs righteousness and the law. Look up, what is enveloping us? It is Christ’s righteousness. It is right around the planet. Christ’s righteousness is enveloping us, the creators love. As you look at a bud that is opening up into a beautiful flower that is a demonstration of God’s love. Go to a peach tree and pick the fruit and eat it, it is a token of God’s love. You want to get to know God? Communicate with Him through nature and the word and you will experience God surrounding you. You want to be embraced? You want to have an emotional time? Go to God, it is there. He will embrace you.

We should teach our children to consider the works of God. They should be instructed on His love and the provision He has made for their salvation. Lead them to give their young hearts as a grateful offering, fragrant with love, to Him who has died for them. Point out the attractive loveliness of the earth, and tell them of the world that is to come that shall never know the blight of sin and death, where the face of nature will no more wear the shadow of the curse. Lead their young minds to contemplate the glories of the reward that awaits the children of God. Cultivate their imaginative powers by picturing the splendor of the new earth and the city of God; and when they are charmed with the prospect, tell them it will be more glorious than their brightest imagination can portray. . . . {TMK 145.3}

God is trying to instruct children as they get older so they don’t make the same foolish decisions Solomon did. As we get along in life we think, what am I pursuing here? We are looking for love and there is only one source. At the moment this earth has the blight of sin and death. The blue is the righteousness of Christ and the green in nature is life. As you look, you see plenty of death but from the death comes life and so the life of God is continually exercising itself to renew from death. It is all around us the knowledge of God by experience. We are looking to the time where there will be a new heavens and earth where there is no more blight of death. Take time to think and contemplate. There is much written about the city of God and the new earth. Is there a true satisfaction in pursuing the world?

The poet and the naturalist have many things to say about nature, but it is the Christian who enjoys the beauty of the earth with the highest appreciation, because he recognizes his Father’s handiwork and perceives His love in flower and shrub and tree. No one can fully appreciate the significance of hill and vale, river and sea, who does not look upon them as an expression of the love of God to man. {TMK 145.4}

This is what it means to know God and this love that you see in nature. If a fire goes through, you see trees and they are black and then new life shoots out of them. No matter what destructive forces there are, the power of God over rules. If you are really listening and opening your mind, you yearn for that and you pursue that. As you work through the day, it is something worthwhile earning money for so you can spend your time in Gods kingdom. It will supply you because there is only one thing that you want, the kingdom of God and his righteousness because you do need food and garments but only for one purpose, you are pursing this higher thing. Here is this hope. The knowledge of God that you gained as a living engagement is a knowledge of an intimacy like marriage. Marital intimacy is only symbol of this higher thing. People who have had a marriage torn apart are looking for love but there is something that is more powerful than a marriage partner.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

The unity that exists in marriage is a symbol of the unity that exists of the Godhead and the people that enter into communion with that love. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is love. We may be part of that.

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

What’s that? The glory that God gave Jesus the Godhead glory.

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

The love that exists between Father and Son is the love, the glory which Jesus wants us to be in.

This request of Christ has no limit to its fulness. He desires that his followers shall reveal to the world his spirit of unity and love. But before this unity can exist among them, there must be a genuine renovation of every heart; there must be a vital connection with God; the character must be formed after the divine similitude. {RH, November 3, 1896 par. 3}

It is real, it is lasting, it is infinite. There is no time where there is an end to it. There must be a vital connection with God. This is what we have been trying to get hold of, a vital connection with God. Each one must get it for themselves. As much as I have been trying my utmost to help my listeners to get hold of it, I can’t give it to you. There is a propriety of Christianity that has a love that is deeper than what we crave for with human beings, it is only in Christ. We must find it for ourselves. What did the five wise virgins say? We can’t give it to you, you have to get it for yourself.

John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

God is love and he that dwells in love, dwells in God and God in him. In this we see that once you discover what we are trying to pursue in sensing God’s closeness in nature and understanding it through the word, you will find such pleasure, such inward fulfilment, that you will never look for pleasure and fulfilment anywhere else. You won’t go shopping to find clothing for pleasure. You will only go there to cover yourself according to Gods counsel (dress reform). You won’t go in the shops to satisfy your appetite apart from buying food to live. In some people’s sense of loneliness when they have found true harmony with God, you will find what is recorded here;

Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.

That is fulfilment when you are in the presence of God. You are not looking for a mansion to find satisfaction, you can live in a hovel, you can be happy as you are dwelling in love in God and that is all you are looking for and that is what will satisfy you. In His presence there is joy and fulfilment forever more. This is an intelligent pleasure that is higher than the pleasure that Solomon was trying to build on. In the light of all this, if any of us are still hanging onto the remnants of our earthly fleshy natures, we will be in danger of missing out on this. This world passes away but this will never pass away he who keeps Gods will.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

If you want that love, you can’t share it with the other love, it doesn’t work. Why?

2:16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh [Babylonish garments], and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Doing the love of God is the will of God and if you have any segments, even little relics that the world provides for your flesh in terms of satisfaction, the love of the Father is not there. You are wasting your money and attention on that. We have these beautiful communication links in nature and we are to look at that. You can take pleasure in that, it is God’s gift and the products of that. The flowers, green grass, the fruit on the trees are all a connective link to the love of God. You have the light, you are in the light, walk in it. Make it practically yours.

Amen.

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