May 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
New Church Life (May-June) 2016 just published an article submitted by me. Their introduction to it is:
The Rev. William H. Clifford offers a theory that the Lord’s redemption is accomplished through a series borne out in the way the revelation is revealed to us in the successive volumes of the Writings – through the subjugation of the hells, the ordering of the heavens, and the establishment of a new church. (Page 254)
Here is the link to the magazine:
May 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
Psalm 32: 2 says:
Blessed is the man
whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit. (NIV)
In the True Christian Religion, paragraph 278 we learn that the spiritual meaning of this verse is:
The Lord is merciful to those who do evil.”
The Lord who is pure Divine love is, of course, merciful to everyone — the evil as well as the good. But not everyone, as strange as it may seem, wants the Lord’s mercy. To receive the Lord’s mercy, there must no deceit.
The Psalmist says that his sins were forgiven:
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD”—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin. (Ps. 32: 5; NIV)
By acknowledging his sins, by not covering up his iniquity, by confessing his transgression the Psalmist removed deceitfulness from his spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge our sins, cover up our iniquities, and keep silent about our transgressions, we deceive ourselves into think that our evils are good. There is nothing wrong with them. And so we remain in them.
We cannot deceive the Lord. He knows the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We can deceive ourselves, and perhaps others, but not the Lord.
If we remove our deceitfulness, the Lord’s mercy can flow into us, and He can reform and regenerate us. We must not only acknowledge our sins and confess our transgressions, we must also stop doing them. The Lord said to the woman taken in adultery, “Go and sin no more.”
If our acknowledgment of our sins and the confession of our transgression is of the lips only they are not genuine. There is still deceit in us, for we are saying one thing and doing another.
It is not enough that our words and our actions agree. Our heart must also be in them. As long as we lust, and hate, and lie, and steal in our hearts (even though we do not actually do them), we are deceiving ourselves.
The Lord can not change our loves, our desires, our lusts in a moment. For they are the only life we know. But as we continue and persist in examining ourselves and shunning our evils as sins against the Lord, He can and will remove those evil loves and desires. He will purify our hearts and remove all deceitfulness. His mercy will reign over us. Not in an instance, but “little by little.”