Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 13 “THE ‘TENTH’ WAY OF ESCAPE: COUNT TO TEN”

May 29, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 13


When suddenly and sorely confronted with “the temptation that doth so easily besets you”—maybe to compromise and temporarily set aside conviction for convenience or temporal safety; duty and virtue for profit; violate conscience for any indulgence; sacrifice dignity and honor for viral fame, etc., it varies from person to person, yet there are those that are indeed “common to man,” but whatever it is—breathe” first by literally counting one to ten.

To the uninitiated, this starts as a conscious, disciplined effort until it becomes a subconscious habit. This alone affords you a “pause” buffer to think instead of instantly reacting compulsively and impulsively.

But greater and more effective than this is spiritual enlightenment on the meaning and importance of the number ten. The desired developed habit will be additionally-armored spiritually, empowered to “count the cost” (Luke 14: 25-35) and to discern with intelligent faith.

Here’s how and why. In Biblical numerology, ten is the number of completeness, completion, and comprehensiveness. Here are but two yet vital examples:
1. The Law of Ten Commandments which “God’s thought made audible,” readable, understandable, and applicable to all mankind. “Ten precepts, brief, comprehensive and authoritative, cover the duty of man to God and His fellow man; and all based upon the great fundamental principle of love. [Luke 10:26; Deut. 6: 4, 5; Lev. 19: 8].
In the Ten Commandments these principles are carried out in detail, and made applicable to the condition and circumstances of man.”

 “The Ten holy precepts spoken by Christ upon Sinai’s Mount were the revelation of the character of God, and made known to the world the fact that He had jurisdiction over the whole human heritage. The Law of Ten precepts of the greatest love that can be presented to man is the VOICE of God from heaven speaking to the soul in PROMISE, This do [obey] and you will not come under the dominion and control of Satan.” (Ibid, 1BC 1105). 

 “The law of God is the standard by which the CHARACTERS AND LIVES of men will be tested in the JUDGMENT. Says the wise man: ‘Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil.’ Eccl. 12: 13, 14, A.V.” Ibid, GC, 1911 ed., 482). 

 2. The Parabolic-Prophecy of the Ten Wise and Foolish Virgins. See Matt. 25: 1-13, KJV.      In the Bible the woman is a symbol of the church (virgins) and the Bridegroom, Christ. 
 “In the parable, all ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps, and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the CHURCH that lives just BEFORE Christ’s second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard of the message of Christ’s near approach, and CONFIDENTLY expect His appearing. BUT as in the parable, SO IT IS NOW. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the CRY is made, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,’ MANY ARE UNREADY. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are DESTITUTE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.” (Ibid, COL 408).  

Now you know how and why “counting one to ten” as one of the “ways of escape” when tempted and tried is not merely to “breathe and buy time,” but to bring instant recall of the awesomely solemn truths that should make any and all of Satan’s fiercest temptations to “lose their sting.”’

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 12 “THE ‘NINTH’ WAY OF ESCAPE. ASCEND HIGHER ON THE WINGS OF SONG”

May 22, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 12


  “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but  understanding that the will of the Lord is. . . . Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord.” Eph. 5: 15-17, 19, KJV. 

 “By faith that  works by love” (Gal. 5:6), refocus your whole attention instantly to the Savior and Example of the Model Man. Whatever the circumstances surrounding you, firmly and steadfastly focus the eye of your MIND by the enabling grace imparted by the Holy Spirit, on this all-powerful truth: Jesus Christ, the incarnated Creator and “second Adam,” was “in ALL POINTS tempted like as WE are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4: 15).

 Thus indeed, “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is COMMON TO MAN” (1 Cor. 10:13). Again, “Though He were a Son [of God] yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect [by suffering temptation, steadfastly resisting, never yielding nor compromising, not even in thought], He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him [by following His example].” Heb. 5:8, 9. It is in this special sense and setting that He is “the Author and Finisher” of “the faith once delivered to the saints, “ who, in “patience, keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12). 

As part of his “unnumbered schemes,” Satan’s temptations come in all forms, including provocations. One powerful “way of escape” this is to immediately sing to yourself, (paying less attention to whether you are in tune) the “songs of Zion,” or “heavenly Canaan,” which may be actual Psalms or “old time religion” hymns, or more modern songs with scripturally-sound lyrics, set in music that will not grieve the Holy Spirit and your guardian angel. Note:

“When others are impatient, fretful, and complaining because self is not subdued, begin to sing some of the songs of Zion. While Christ was working at the carpenter’s bench [in Nazareth, proverbial for wickedness], others would sometimes surround Him, trying to cause Him to be impatient; but He would begin SINGING some of the beautiful Psalms, and before they realized what they were doing, they had joined with Him in singing, influenced, as it were, by the power of the Holy Spirit which was there.” E. G. White, Sons & Daughters (devotional), p. 88.

For more examples, Christ often sang Psalms 66 and 68, both composed by David (3BC 1148; 4T 533). David composed 2 Samuel 22 while being hunted by King Saul (4SG-a 93). David composed Psalm 3 in darkest trial when he fled from Absalom, his own son. (PP 741-2; Ed 165). Psalm 46, composed by David (Ed 165; PK 203), was sung by the godly Protestant Reformer, upon receiving discouraging news (LS 258). The popular Psalm 91, is entitled “The Shield of Omnipotence” (8T 120), etc. Read them all, and if you possess the talent, compose
your own melody so you can sing them to yourself, and maybe share them with others.

If we are truly “preparing” to be with Jesus “wherever He is” in “the place He went to prepare for us” (John 14:1-3), we should be singing the “songs of Canaan and heavenly Zion” now during our antitypical journey in this wilderness of sin, if we would finally cross the antitypical Jordan river into the heavenly promised land of eternity.

If we are planning to join the grand song of victory of the eternally-redeemed, assisted by the angelic choir, we must first be overcomers here on earth, “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Pet. 1:4) by “the way of escape” of heavenly music and song! As “by constantly beholding one becomes changed into that image, so does by constantly singing and listening! “Choose ye this day” for tomorrow is not given!

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 11 “THE “EIGHTH” WAY OF ESCAPE: DUE DILIGENCE, NOT SINFUL NEGLIGENCE”

May 15, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 11


 “Therefore we must give the MORE EARNEST HEED to the things which we have HEARD lest AT ANY TIME we should let them SLIP. For if the word spoken by angels were steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward: HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE, IF WE NEGLECT SO GREAT SALVATION; which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him; God also bearing them witness—-both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost (Spirit)—according to His will?” Heb. 2: 3, 4, K.J. V. (All emphasis mine). 

What is the definitive and more nuanced meaning of salvation?
“Christ declares Himself to be ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ [John 14:6]. The way to heaven is represented as a narrow path, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. But truth [never error or compromise] illuminates this path at every step. . . . SALVATION means to us COMPLETE SURRENDER OF SOUL, BODY, AND SPIRIT.

Because of the unruly elements of our nature our passions often gain the mastery. THE ONLY HOPE of the sinner is to CEASE FROM SIN. Thus his will [power of choice as a free moral agent] will be in HARMONY with the will of Christ. His soul will be brought into FELLOWSHIP with God.” -E.G. White, Manuscript 73, May 11, 1899 (all emphasis and bracketed words mine).

In his must-read book, The Book of Hebrews, Review & Herald, 1948, M. L. Andresen wrote:
“The more earnest heed.’ Christ never preached for the sole purpose of imparting information. Wonderful as are the truths He revealed, His preaching had a deeper purpose than that of enriching the mind. He wanted to move men into action; He wanted them to give heed to what He said; He wanted them to be ‘DOERS and not forgetful hearers of the Word.’ [James 1:22].

This is also the intent of the apostle [Paul, writer of Hebrews]. He warns the CHURCH to give more earnest heed to what they have heard [as in, ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.’]. He intimates that they are not entirely heedless; but he desires them to give MORE earnest heed to ‘the things which belonged to their peace’ [Luke 19: 42]. They had already the knowledge they needed. They knew what to do. But they were NOT living up to the light they had. They must be STIRRED into action.” pp. 80, 81.

More than we realize, there will be so much less reason, occasion, stress, anxiety, and desperation to seek “a way of escape” from many a sticky situation if only we judiciously avoid getting entangled at the outset.

This “way of escape” is preemptive, thus preventive. Then, not only “avoid”but run away from the deadly sin of presumption, the counterfeit of faith, like the plague!

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 10 “THE ‘SEVENTH’ WAY OF ESCAPE: YOUR HOLY CALLING AND SACRED STATUS”

May 8, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – Part 10


By nature, man acts out what or who he thinks he is; or what others think and say he is to them, which underwrites performative actions and deeds. Now if the mind and heart are yet “carnal,” though the person professes and “has the form of godliness,” the corresponding “works of the flesh (Gal. 5: 19-21) will reveal the real person.

Often, it is in unforeseen crises, emergency situation, a fiery trial, or fierce temptation that both of either hidden or unknown moral character defects, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities are brought to light.

By the same metrics, yet on the opposite end, it is also by the expert witness of the nine “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22, 23), that an unpretentious genuine follower of Christ is revealed. Indeed, as Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” But it takes time, patience, and dedicated effort to nurture it to maturity before it finally bears its fruits. Trees are a symbol of man in the Bible.

Even if one has fully committed his life and dedicated all his means to following Christ and the cause of the “present, testing truths” for these last days, he is never beyond temptation! Hence Paul warned, “Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10: 12).

Let all who have already accepted Christ and “patiently keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12), constantly bear the following in mind and safeguard its high, noble, and sacred distinction and honor by not yielding to any and all temptations by grace and gallant resistance. (All emphasis and bracketed words mine):

 “But ye are CHOSEN generation, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, a PECULIAR people; that ye should show for the praises of Him who has CALLED you out of darkness [of ignorance, sin, worldliness, carnality] into His MARVELOUS LIGHT.” 1 Pet. 2: 9, A.V. 

Remember: You are much more than any and all classes of earthly royalty and monarchy. If you are truly “dead to sin and alive in Christ,” then you are in fact and truth, Chosen, Royal, Holy, and Peculiar—according to the infallible, omniscient, and omnipotent Word of God, not the fallible, finite wisdom of fallen, sinful mortals!

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all NMF.

Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – No. 9 “THE SIXTH ‘WAY OF ESCAPE’ FOR ALL TEMPTED, FALLEN SINNERS: PRAYER”

May 1, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – No. 9


But there is much more involved in the divine science of this particular prayer “escape.” When carefully and prayerfully studied, correctly understood, and faithfully applied, it becomes indispensable
to all who would “experience the victory in Christ Jesus,”
victoriously “overcoming even as Christ,” by example, overcame all temptations by which all men are tempted by.”

With solemn delight, I am sharing herewith excerpts rich with Scripture that explain and magnify so precisely on this prayer “escape” provision, from
the inspired pen of Ellen G. White, in her book, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 460. She wrote (all emphasis mine):

“Keep thy heart with all diligence,’ is the counsel of the wise man; ‘for out of it are the issues of life.’ As man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 4: 23; 23:37). The heart must be renewed by divine grace, or it will be in vain to seek for the purity of life. He who attempts to build up a noble, virtuous character independent of the grace of Christ, is building his house upon the shifting sand.

IN THE FIERCE STORMS OF TEMPTATION, DAVID’S PRAYER should be the petition of every soul: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ (Ps. 51:10). And having partaken of the heavenly gift, we are to go on unto perfection, being ‘kept by the power of God, through FAITH.’ (1 Pet. 1:5).

 “Yet we have a WORK TO DO TO RESIST TEMPTATION. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices must GUARD WELL the avenues of the soul; they must AVOID reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest IMPURE thoughts. The MIND should not be left to WANDER at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest. [flooding the social media and internet today]. ‘Girding up the loins of your MIND,’ says the apostle Peter, ‘be sober, . . . not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts [carnal desires] in your ignorance; but like as He which called you is HOLY, be ye YOURSELVES also holy IN ALL MANNER OF LIVING.’ (1 Pet. 1:13-15, R.V.). 

 “Says Paul, ‘Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise [worthy], THINK on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8). 

THIS WILL REQUIRE PRAYER AND UNCEASING WATCHFULNESS. We must be aided by the ABIDING INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT [not the influencers of the world], which will attract the MIND UPWARD, and HABITUATE it to dwell on pure and holy things. And we must give DILIGENT STUDY to the word of God. ‘Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy Word.’ ‘Thy Word,’ says the psalmist, ‘have I his in mine heart, that I might NOT SIN against Thee.’ (Ps. 119: 9, 11).”

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – No. 7 “THE FOURTH ‘WAY OF ESCAPE’ FOR ALL TEMPTED, FALLEN SINNERS”

April 17, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – No. 7


 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried [by the temptation], he shall receive the crown of life [or ‘the crown that is eternal life’], which the Lord has promised to them that love Him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, NEITHER tempteth He any man. BUT every man is tempted, WHEN he is drawn away by his OWN LUST and [thereby] enticed. THEN when lust hath CONCEIVED, it bringeth forth SIN: and sin, when it is FINISHED, bringeth forth DEATH.” James 1:12-15, KJV. (All emphasis and bracketed words mine). 

I class this as the fourth “way of escape,” not as a matter of divine chronology or order of importance but because it makes spiritual practical sense, following the first three cited previously.

It is clear here that the apostle describes a process at work, not an instantaneously automatic occurrence, but traceable from cause to effect. The sinful act is the result of several factors and steps. Honestly recognizing, spiritually discerning, and weighing each, intellectually and spiritually, affords the tempted one to pause and “nip it at the bud” preventing it from deteriorating further in the process. Indeed, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.”

It is as, “Stop, first look left than right before crossing the street.” Or “count the cost” if you really can afford it, or actually need it. Is worth all the risk. That momentary pause to reflect, can be the difference between life and death. As has been said, one moment’s indiscretion, a lifetime of shame and regret! Impulsive-compulsive behavior is intemperance and lack of personal discipline and self-control.

So how does the tempted one “endure,” not yield and succumb to the temptation? Endure by resistance. By what means? By God’s empowering grace. Here’s what the same apostle teaches us:

 “Do you think that the Scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. SUBMIT yourselves therefore to God. RESIST [by grace] the devil, and he will FLEE from you. Draw NEAR to God, and He will draw near to you. CLEANSE your hands, ye sinners; PURIFY your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep [for your sins, pride, stubborness, and double-mindedness]: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. HUMBLE yourselves in the sight of the Lord [not before man], and HE SHALL LIFT YOU UP.” James 4: 5-10. 

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series- No. 6: THE THIRD ‘WAY OF ESCAPE’

April 10, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series- No. 6


“Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” Exo. 25:8, 9, KJV. (Read chapters 25-31 for more complete picture).

The first of four earthly ones was any tent or temporary dwelling place, but especially the tabernacle erected by Moses at Mt.Sinai, God’s sacred earthly dwelling place and the center of the Hebrew (ancient Israel) worship for more than four centuries. Under the first and last theocracy God was Israel’s direct Supreme Ruler, and in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle abode the visible glory symbolic of Divine Presence (Exo. 25:22; 40:34, 35), at times called the “Shekinah” glory, which is a Rabbinical, not Biblical term.

In the promised land, king David was privy to the purpose and meaning of the sanctuary and all its systems and services. God gave him all the specifications on how and what it would be built with—but forbade him from actually doing if for he had “bloody hands” as a man of war. It was his son Solomon “the wise man” whom God entrusted with this sacred task and project.

This temple, most often referred to as Solomon’s Temple was constructed on what was formerly called Mt. Moriah, scene of the offering of Isaac by Abraham. Hence, David could and did write, “Thy WAY, O God, is in the SANCTUARY” (Ps. 77:13).

Going back to the beginning:
“It was difficult for man, surrounded by sin, to understand these wonderful truths [embodied in the first promise and prophecy of Gen. 3:15]. The rays of light [of the gospel truth] which shone from the heavenly sanctuary upon the [very first] simple sacrifices [offered by Adam, Abel, Seth, etc.], were so obscured by doubt and sin, that God, in His great love and mercy, had an EARTHLY SANCTUARY built after the divine pattern [in heaven], and PRIESTS were [divinely] appointed [not people-elected], who served unto the EXAMPLE AND SHADOW of heavenly things.’ (Heb. 8:5). This was done that the man’s FAITH might lay hold of the fact that IN HEAVEN there is a SANCTUARY whose SERVICES are for the REDEMPTION of [fallen, sinful] mankind.

“The prophet Jeremiah grasped this great truth, and exclaimed, ‘A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.’ (Jer. 17:12). David knew of God’s dwelling place in heaven [the ‘Father’s house,’ John 13:1-3, and when writing for the generations to come, he said, ‘He (God) had looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth.’ (Ps. 102:19). 

The faithful ones have always understood that when they sought God with ALL THE HEART, their PRAYER came up to His holy dwelling-place, even unto heaven.’ (2 Chron. 30: 27).”
S. Haskell, The Cross and Its Shadow, pp. 21, 22, Facsimile Reproduction, Printed by Review & Herald Publishing Asso., 1914. (All emphasis and bracketed words mine)

Review 1 Cor. 10:13 again with these added light that should strengthen, resolve, as it increases intelligent faith in God and the ways of escape He has made that all may successfully bear and endure, not yield to any and all of Satan’s deceptions and temptations!

Until next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

Mid-week Manna

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – No. 5: THE FIRST AND SECOND ‘WAYS OF ESCAPE’ SUMMARY

April 3, 2024

The Law of God and the Cross of Christ Series – No. 5


The first “way of escape” God provided for our first parents and all their children, mankind itself, was the divine “enmity” He immediately “put” between Satan disguised as a serpent, the first of all spiritualistic mediums thereafter, between the woman Eve, the mother of mankind and their respective “seed.”

This enmity had no existence prior and neither were Adam and Eve originally designed and made from the dust of the ground (never from “spirit”) physically or especially spiritually, programmed or wired so to speak with this one-off function and power, or even a special gift” as “a way of escape.”

The word itself “escape,” meaning “to break free or flee from,” “unshackle,” gives the transformed yet finite and mortal (no longer carnal) SPIRITUAL MIND of the true follower of Christ and diligent student of the Word some idea of this great “mystery of iniquity” in stark contrast to the “great mystery of godliness” as was and is manifest in the incarnated Creator Christ Jesus.

Hence the absolute indispensability of a genuine and full conversion of the sinner previously possessing a “carnal mind,” being “transformed by the renewing of that mind” into “the mind of Christ” (Rom. 12:2, 1; Phil. 2:5-2). Only such a mind can “discern spiritual things,” and “set their affections on things above” that are eternal, not temporal in value. (Col. 3:2; 2 Cor. 4:18). Paul reminds all: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be.” (Rom. 8: 6-8).

The second “way of escape” God provided for man after the fall in Eden was intentionally both visceral and instructional, divinely-designed by its shock value to emphasize the exceeding sinfulness of sin and thereby cherish hatred towards it—-the killing and shedding of its blood of the very first yearling male lamb as a burnt offering on the first stone altar, set up just outside the gates of the garden of Eden.

If revealed to the fallen father and mother of mankind that indeed “sin is the transgression of the law” and that its “wages is death.” That the only hope the transgressor has is not “to do away with the law” but for someone pure and innocent of any sin to volunteer to take the place of the guilty and condemned one as his substitute and surety.

This is the only living-sacrifice, ransom and redemption price demanded by God’s immutable law of righteousness that had been transgressed: the life of the transgressor. Nothing else or less could suffice or could take its place as the only acceptable atoning sacrifice. It was only then that indeed “the law was to be magnified and made honorable” by the Law giver himself. (Isa. 32:21).

It was this first of all typical animal sacrifices, especially and specifically the lamb, in contrast to the other specified clean animals such as goats, bullocks, and doves. All were types or “shadows” of the great Antitypical Lamb of God who would offer Himself four thousand years later at Calvary’s Cross!

At this pivotal point in the plan of redemption type would meet antitype, shadow its substance when all the system of sacrifices and the system of the priesthood, instituted by Christ himself under the ceremonial law governing them, would be “nailed to the cross” with Christ.

The GOSPEL IN SYMBOLS—-with the law of Ten Commandments originally written with God’s finger on two tables of stone secreted within the ark of the covenant/testament/testimony that stood alone in the most holy apartment of the earthly tabernacle/ sanctuary on earth, that was always set in the midst of the encampment of Israel and preceded them in all their travels—-as taught in the Old Testament of the Mosaic-Levitical dispensation to and through ancient Israel as a nation—-would then transition to the GOSPEL IN CHRIST through the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Church of the Christian Era till Christ returns in His second advent.

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.