MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
January 31, 2024
GOD’S TEST REVEALS THE TRUTH AND EXPOSES SATAN’S DECEPTIONS AND LIES
During His ultra-brief yet fully-finished, three and-a-half year mission and work on earth as the prophesied “seed of the woman” who would “bruise the head of the serpent” (Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4), Christ the Messiah, when replying to the accusations of the Pharisees and Jews against Him, also identified Satan and his character and works in these solemn words:
“Why do you not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My word. Ye are of your father the DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and ABODE NOT in truth, because there is NO TRUTH in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a LIAR, and the FATHER of it.” John 8: 43, 44, KJV. (Read the whole chapter for broader and proper context).
The first of all tests was administered by the Creator to the last and crowning act of His creative wisdom and power. Man was the only creature He made “in His own image and likeness.” This was because man, first named Adam, was divinely designed to be the Creator’s vicegerent on planet earth “and all that was in it,” was specifically created for him in six literal working days to be his kingdom. He was “to subdue and have DOMINION” over all the lesser creatures. (Gen. 1: 28, 26-31).
As the Creator’s designated vicegerent to eventually fully embody and reflect the glory of the character-image of the God “to the world, man, and angels,” man was created, formed from the pure dust of the ground in Eden by the Creator’s hands into a fully-formed man, not an infant, an intelligent, free moral agent, endowed with a conscience and a will, the God-endowed freedom, liberty, and power to choose intelligently, voluntarily, and willingly—the governing power in the nature of man.
At his creation man was sinlessly pure and perfectly innocent, yet had an undeveloped character slated to be developed by a simple test of obedience, activating his inherent power to choose intellectually and spiritually. (Note: “The thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character”).
The transcript of God’s character—His law embodying His eternal and universal precepts and principles of love, wisdom, mercy, righteousness, and justice were written into their yet-sinless and uncorrupted hearts and minds.
God Creator’s first test was so simple as for a child to understand, as clear and distinct as day is to night, yet so all-encompassing in its divine diagnostic and prescriptive comprehensiveness that its results and consequences were instant, stark, and irreversible. At stake were God’s glory and man’s eternal interests. Awaiting to be revealed at the epochal moment in time were the great still-unknowns: the mystery of iniquity and the mystery of godliness. The destiny of man and the earth was to be decided by that first simple test in Eden.
And that test, the test of the ages administered in perfect love, wisdom, mercy, righteousness, and justice of Desire of Ages, who is the “same yesterday, today, and forever,” is still the the same simple test of OBEDIENCE—that obedience that is “constrained only by love;” driven only by the “fear” to offend the awesome God of love and mercy, and “to crucify Him afresh and put Him to open shame every time we sin;” that is produced by the divine “enmity” against “the world, the flesh, and the devil;” that springs from a longing desire to enter into that eternal covenant relationship of the church triumphant-bride with Christ the Bridegroom.
The first test of the Creator to the creature, then after the fall, the Savior to the sinner, the Redeemer to the redeemed, and finally the Bridegroom to the bride-to-be, contains the sum and substance of the everlasting covenant of God’s law, stated simply in Christ’s words : “If you love Me, keep [do, obey] My commandments” (John 14:15).
Thus, “the only question asked in the Judgment is, have they kept My Commandments.” So how much do you really love God in Christ through the Holy Spirit? There is only evidence and proof where God’s infallible Word is concerned. Any other is a deception and a lie.
To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.