“From time to time precious rays of light from Jesus shone upon them, yet often they were like men groping among shadows.” DA439

This reminds me of Keith Green’s Song, “Asleep in the Light.” He says, The world is sleeping in the dark that the church just can’t fight, ’cause it’s asleep in the light.” 

It’s too easy to wag my finger in condescending disappointment at how others are so dim to the light shining from Jesus. But there is enough of that going on already. I’m going to propose another view–this experience of receiving precious rays of light while acting like men groping in the shadows is normal. There are specific reasons why they are groping–but these only point to a dysfunction of nature that we can’t do anything about. It’s a nature that is cursed,  and I don’t wish anyone to remain in darkness, but it’s normal that many Christians are in darkness. Does it make them lost? Were the disciples lost? They gave up all to follow Jesus. These first Christians were often as men groping in the darkness, why should the system be different for us? Certainly understanding the 2300 day prophecy, the seventh-day Sabbath, and that the dead sleep until Jesus comes doesn’t change our faulty nature.

Never can humanity of itself attain to a knowledge of the divine. … Only the spirit of adoption can reveal to us the deep things of God.” DA439

Carefully consider these thoughts. Never… Only… these superlatives show there is only one way out of normal human spiritual darkness. Do you believe in miracles? A change in nature is the only way out. Thanks to Jesus who revealed to Nicodemus that we can’t even see the kingdom of heaven unless we are born again. Born from the darkness of a preoccupation with self. Born to be a spiritual man, not our own; raised from the dead in Christ.

“Love for souls for whom Christ died means crucifixion of self. … Selfishness is death.” DA445

That last statement keep coming home to my mind. How often my prayers focus only on myself! How often my time and money is spent to satisfy myself! I know this is normal, but God didn’t call us out of our normal human darkness to bumble around in the light. The disciples found it eventually, not of their own knowledge, but by the power of adoption, miraculous change, and a completely different focus that only God can create. I will pray for this continued change.

Chapter 44: The True Sign

November 29, 2007

“What they (the pharisees) needed was not intellectual enlightenment, but spiritual renovation.” DA430

How focused have we been on intellectual knowledge to get us somewhere spiritually? Some may call this knowledge “present truth.” While clearly no amount of knowledge can guarantee conversion, it seems that knowledge can tip the scales toward or away from conversion. Not all knowledge is equally valuable, and there are many very religious people promoting their superior variety of intellectual enlightenment. Just recently I encountered a man who was very excited about the 144,000 whom God needs to reach perfection in order to vindicate His saving work.  This teaching presumes that conversion hinges on attainment of a few to guarantee that perfection may be had by all who believe come resurrection day. I assert that conversion hinges on the attainment of One. This idea of the righteousness by faith is knowledge also, and it started an avalanche of conversion in my life. Maybe the greatest of all miracles–a converted life–come in stages. I’ve felt a tremor of the change God has in mind and it shakes me still today.

“The highest evidence that He (Jesus) came from God is that His life revealed the character of God. Such a life is the greatest of all miracles.” DA431

Regardless of the details of how conversion works and the role knowledge plays, I can say with surity that miraculous conversion is possible and available now through Christ. I am against all knowledge (religious teaching) leading away from such a miracle as a changed person.

This chapter was loaded with applications for our lives today, but I’ll hold back commentary for now and ask you: how do we apply these quotes to life today?

1. “The birth of a son to Zacharias, like the birth of the child of Abraham, and that of Mary, was to teach a great spiritual truth, a truth that we are slow to learn and ready to forget. In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul. It was through faith that the child of promise was given. It is through faith that spiritual life is begotten, and we are enabled to do the works of righteousness.” DA88

2. “In preparing the way for Christ’s first advent, he [John the Baptist] was a representative of those who are to prepare a people for our Lord’s second coming. The world is given to self-indulgence. … Self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God’s word.” DA91

3. “God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. … The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God to deepen the sense of need and prompt the cry, “What must I do to be saved?” Then the hand that has humbled in the dust lifts up the penitent. The voice that has rebuked sin, and put to shame pride and ambition, inquires with tenderest sympathy, “What do you want Me to do for you?” DA94

4. “How often we misinterpret God’s blessings, and flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us! God cannot do for us that which He longs to do. His gifts are used to increase our self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.” DA96.

What are the practical applications of these pointed passages? Are they prophetic of our time?