Jesus Won the Deed to Your Destiny!

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I am Writing today from the Beautiful Tampa Bay area. 

 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made uskings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:6-10 NKJV

Remember when Jesus told Mary at the tomb that He had to go to His Father? I imagine this scene happening then. Because of sin, no one could open the seal or the dead or title to the destiny of the earth’s inhabitants. But Jesus the lamb, on the cross bought back the title to the earth and forever changed every man’s destiny if they will allow.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 NKJV

On the cross Jesus undid all the damage Adam caused! Adam made us all sinners and Jesus saved us all! Unfortunately many will refuse this gift-but it has been given to all men! I have heard people say in order to receive it you must accept it. That is not true. Years ago, working for UPS I would deliver packages that some people sent back. They did not accept them, but they had still been delivered to them just the same. They rejected the package after having received it. On the Cross, according to Romans 5:19 everyone who was made a sinner by Adam was saved by Jesus! Please don’t throw this package away! Jesus, on the cross has forever changed your destiny!  At the cross Jesus won the title and deed to your destiny!

He Grew the Tree He Knew Would be Used to Make the Old Rugged Cross

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I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Around a hundred years ago, when I was a teenager, a country singer by the name of Barbara Mandrell, sang, “He grew the tree that He knew would be used to make the old rugged cross.” The song brought out, that even at creation Jesus was planning our redemption. This song could not be any truer.

In Genesis 2:17 God says, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” We all know Adam and Eve did not die the day they ate of the forbidden fruit. Man has been trying to make excuses for God ever since.

Some say, well they began to die. However that is not what God said. He did not say you will begin to die the day you eat of the fruit. He said you will die in the day you eat of the fruit. Others say, they died spiritually that day. I don’t even know what the means! Sounds profound enough, I guess, but what does it mean? Besides, God did not say you will die spiritually the day you eat of the fruit. He said you will die – drop dead the day you eat of it. So what kept Adam and Eve from dropping dead the day they ate of the fruit?

Instead of trying to make up weak excuses for God, let’s let God’s Word explain itself. He does not need any help from us to get out of this so-called jam. We find the answer at the other end of the Bible. Revelation 13:8 tells us Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. There is our answer! God did not need us bailing Him out by making up our own theories about beginning to die or dying spiritually that day. Revelation 13:8 lets us know that Jesus’ death on the cross had already taken effect. God calls things that are not yet, as though they already were. Just like I can cut and paste, as I am writing this post on Microsoft Word, God can cut and paste through time and eternity and put the cross at the foundation of the world.

Jesus is truly the Savior of the whole world, as His sacrifice sustains not only the believer but the unbeliever as well. Adam and Eve were not believers; they were running from God. But they still had their breath that day because of the cross of Christ and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “and in thee [Abraham’s Seed which was Christ] shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Notice God said all families will be “blessed,” or benefit from the cross. That includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, and atheists. They all benefit the same way Adam and Eve did.

The reason Adam and Eve did not drop dead the same day they ate the fruit was because Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and His death had already taken effect. The reason we do not drop dead the same day we sin, is because of the cross of Christ as well. Believer and unbeliever benefit from the cross. This is what John was talking about in 1 John 2:2. He writes, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” John was writing to believers when he said not only for ours, the believers, but the whole world! An inspired writer, 1,800 years after John, echoes the same sentiments. “To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf.” – Ellen White, Desire of Ages, page 660.

Every breath we breathe is brought to us courtesy of the cross. People curse God with the very breath that He died to give them!

This idea of Jesus beginning our redemption even at creation runs all through the Bible. In the following references italics are supplied.

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” Ephesians 1:4

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” Titus 1:2

Yes! Jesus created the tree He knew would be used to make the old rugged cross. Even at creation He was beginning our redemption. He died to give us probationary time. Not a probationary time to see if God will accept us – He already has accepted us from the foundation of the world – but time to see if we will accept Jesus and His life-changing love.

If we choose to accept His love, Jesus tells us in John 11:26, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” Sure, we may fall asleep like Lazarus did, but God will not abandon us in the grave. We will not experience the death and God abandonment that Jesus experienced for us on the cross when He cried out, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!”

The cross echoes throughout time and space from every corner of eternity, telling us God is love! The Gospel begins at creation.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.

The Scapegoat in The Sanctuary

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I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

There is a song I remember singing a hundred years ago, when I was a teenager. It went something like this, “I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe.” Beautiful song, but not exactly theologically correct if you want to get technical. And no, I do not like to get technical and I guess it may be theologically correct in one way, but in another way, it’s not. You see, fact is, I can pay the debt that I owe myself. Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death. I can pay for and atone for my sins all by myself with no help from Jesus, by dying. I am eternally grateful though, that Jesus did paid that debt for me! Because fact is, I could not pay the debt and live.

Satan, on the other hand, will have to pay the debt and atone for his sins himself.

“But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:10

The scapegoat is cast into the wilderness to atone for sin. The scapegoat represents Satan who, after the cleansing of the sanctuary and investigative judgment, has now been blamed for the sin problem. The guilt and responsibility for sin is placed upon the scapegoat who goes off to the wilderness. This represents Satan, after the literal investigative judgment, spending a thousand years after the Second Coming here on earth, as it lies wasted and barren. After a thousand years of considering his great idea to rebel against God’s government and start his own, he will then realize it was not such a great idea after all.

Still, many have trouble with the scapegoat representing Satan. The Seventh-day Adventist church is unique in believing Satan is the scapegoat. Other denominations ask how can Satan bear our sin? Good question! Fact is, he does not bear our sin, he bears his own sin. He shares our guilt when he tempts us to sin. While Jesus died for our guilt, He did not die for Satan’s guilt, so it is still placed upon Satan. Others point out that the word “atonement” is used. How can Satan atone for our sins? Again, he does not atone for our sins, he atones for his own sin by dying an eternal death. You see, often it is said Jesus died for our sins because we could not atone for our own sins, but this is not true. We can atone for our own sins by dying an eternal death. The wages of sin is death and we can pay those wages in full if we so choose. We can atone for our own sin if we want. Satan atones for his own sin and shared guilt in our sins by being the scapegoat sent off to die an eternal death (Revelation 20). The universe will no longer blame God for the sin problem. Ironically, when the sin problem has been done away with, the only trace of sin will be the nail scars in Jesus’ hands. Thus, the only Person who will bear eternally the result of sin will be the only Person who was totally innocent.

The perfect Lamb of God is my Savior for all eternity! Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” My Savior does not live so that He can force angels and humanity to worship Him and sing His praises. He does not live so that He can be a tyrant and boss everybody around. Once the sanctuary is cleansed, and guilt is put in its proper place, it will be seen that the Son of God lives to make intercession for sinners. We will be able to look as far in the past as eternity goes and as far into the future as eternity goes, and see that Jesus lives for one reason; to be our Savior!

You can study this week’s SS lesson here. You can download the SS lessons to your phone here.

Glimpses of Grace; Cain and Abel

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  Genesis 4:3-5

Cain represents those who want to be saved by their own works and by creating their own method of worship. Cain presented his works to God, but our works will never save us. Abel represents those who put their faith, not in their own works, but in the Lamb of God. Cain represents those who think they worship any way and any day they want to work out and make holy on their own. Abel represents those who observe the Bible Sabbath and cease from their works and rest their faith in the Lamb of God for their salvation.

If man had always kept the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, there never would have been an atheist or an infidel in the world. Through the fourth commandment, the attention of men is called to the power of the infinite hand that placed the stars in the firmament. If they had obeyed this commandment, they would have worshiped God, as they looked at the sun that rules the day, and the moon which rules the night. Everything in nature,–the tints and coloring that he has given to every opening bud and every blooming flower, the lofty tree, the grass that clothes the earth in its green mantle, would have spoken to the soul, bidding us to remember God and the commandment in which he says that he created all these in six days and rested on the seventh day, and hallowed the Sabbath day which he had made. He blessed man, and gave the Sabbath to him to be observed as a memorial of his creative power. But Satan has come in, and shown himself the decided enemy of man, and he seeks to make of none effect the work of God, and get in every conceivable thing of human origination, to hide God and his glory from our sight. The man of sin, it is declared in Daniel, “shall think to change times and laws,” And is not this very work done now? Is he not seeking to change times and laws?  {RH, April 15, 1890 par. 11} 

     He cannot do this, because God’s holy law is as unchangeable as his throne, and is from everlasting to everlasting. Christ has said, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” But the question of Sabbath and Sunday observance is to be agitated everywhere, and  the deceptions of Satan will flood the world. The man of sin has instituted a spurious sabbath, and the Protestant world has taken this child of the papacy and cradled and nurtured it. Satan means to make all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of the fornication of Babylon. Men are binding themselves together in bonds of union to show their disloyalty to the God of heaven. The first day of the week is to be exalted and presented to all for observance. Shall we be partakers of this cup of abomination? Shall we bow to the authorities of earth and despise God? The powers of darkness have been gathering their forces to bring this crisis about in the world, so that the man of sin may exalt himself above God. God does not force the conscience of any man, but the powers of darkness have been trying to compel the  consciences of men ever since Abel fell under the murderous blow from the hand of pitiless Cain because Abel’s works were righteous and his own were sinful. God had respect unto the offering of Abel, but he had no respect for Cain’s offering, and this made Cain very angry, and the Lord said, “Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” God was not at fault that Cain’s offering was not respected. It was valueless because it was destitute of the thing that gave it virtue, and that was the blood that was to be shed for the sins of the world,–the blood of Jesus Christ.  {RH, April 15, 1890 par. 12}