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Church in Crises

Church in Crises

 

Back to Basics Series

Book 1

Finding the foundation of true faith

 

@ smashword.com 2016

All rights reserved

 

By M.F.Malyon

 

Table of contents

Dedication

Time of crises

Searching through the desert sands

A power beyond the present

 

Dedication

In a special way, this series of books is dedicated to my best friend. Lizzy is a silent, withdrawn person who does not enjoy the limelight, though it would be a great injustice to proceed without thanking her for the pillar of strength she has been to me. The last year of my life has been nothing but a shadow of the perilous times awaiting those of us who hold on to our precious faith. I believe that God wishes to work through each and everyone of us, like my amazing friend has worked in my life – thank you. When you met me, I was a train wreck. Today I write, once more, to the glory of our God, because He used you!

As the first book in the series, I would like to dedicate the reason for my faith to the lady who birthed my relationship with God. My grandmother, Franci Bezuidenhout, was more than a legend – she was real. With the influence of Lizzy and my late grandmother, I shall live to find in You, my precious Father, a new tomorrow that will never seize…

 

Time of crises

Is modern Christianity missing something? Many people believe we are. What fuels this discontent? Is there something bigger than mere salvation? What does God really want from us? How do if into the bigger picture?

In 1883 a popular Christian writer stuns the world with the following statement: “…Had Adventists after the great disappointment in 1844 held fast their faith and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward…. It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed…. For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.”—Evangelism, 695, 696 (1883).

Could this be true? Is it possible that God is waiting for mankind? What are the chances that the single most important event in the history of mankind could be influenced by you?

To correctly answer this question, we will need to look at the evidence given to support this argument. While it might be easy to use our own reasoning, scripture clearly teaches that it is dangerous to trust in our own understanding, KJV Jeremiah 17:5-9 “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”  KJV Proverbs 3:5-8 It is therefore the purpose of this book to look beyond the arguments of man and seek within the written word of God the answers to the definition of true Christianity.

The writer in question is using Old Testament theology as platform for her accusations against the present day church. What we should be asking is: Are we like ancient Israel? In what way could we possibly be hindering God’s purposes? Are we ready for the second coming?

She further states: “Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.”—The Desire of Ages, 633, 634 (1898). There can be no question; at least some members of christianity believe that God’s people are in deep trouble. This alone is enough to investigate the matter further. Anything that might influence my eternal wellbeing is important to me.

Let us go back to ancient Israel to review the events in question.

 

Searching through the desert sands

Pain is the common language spoken by all of mankind. Suffering has become the face of planet earth. Throughout the desert dry dunes of time and space, history resounds to hear the empty cries of nations, people and families united to know the sting of pain. People are searching for hope. More than ever before, we need the presence of a living God. Mankind needs a Saviour.

Do you feel broken, small, hurt or incapable of meeting the social standards? Has the demands and pressures of life marooned your dreams on the isles of despair? Has the pain and suffering of this life destroyed you? Perhaps you are frantically searching for an escape. The good news is, there is hope!

The history of God’s chosen people reveals this hope like in a powerful way. Listen to the following passage, Deuteronomium 7:7-10, “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations…” You see, God’s people were the incarnation of suffering; the personification of hopelessness. Within the history of Israel lies written the horror tale of sin’s results. They reveal the depth of senseless existence, despondency and suffering that this world brings. Israel was a nation of slaves, chosen to reveal the power of One that could reach into the darkest nightmares and bring about stability, hope and reassurance. That is right, history bears testimony to a power that eclipsed the darkness and breathed into the evil world of emptiness the fragrant touch of Divine love! Through them, heaven wanted you to see what God can do for you. He knows your sorrows and your fears. Trust Him, He can make a difference in your world today!

Through His interaction with this slave nation, God was yearning to reach out and touch the hearts of all mankind. Throughout time and space, His call resounds. There is no one beyond His reach. Nothing is impossible to Him before whom we bow. Yes, He could have steered events to lead Israel into the riches, prominence and power that would glorify His mighty name. Divine power could have kept them from the touch of slavery and degradation, but He didn’t… Infinite wisdom wrote the annals of history in a way that would bring hope to the hopeless and inspire the weak with the knowledge that God cares. He was yearning to touch the hearts and minds of every individual that would ever know the horror touch of sin’s icy grip. Love desired the depth of misery that plagued the birth of Israel to witness to the power of the hope that you and I can enjoy today! Through this mighty display of supernatural power, God dreamt of stilling your fears and igniting the passionate dreams of eternal life within your heart. This is why we read, Gen 22:18, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

Many believe that the Old Testament God was heartless and cruel. They see the New Testament God as Someone different, someone kind and caring. The story of the Old Testament is no different to the New Testament. The two do not contradict each other. No, they converge to culminate upon Golgotha…

Think about it, a living God comes down to earth in person! He chooses to lead His people through a barren, hostile desert. Every single day, they are fed through the power of His care. Heaven ignites their darkest nights with a blazing pillar of fire, designed to portray the heart of a God that could calm your fiercest storms. The scorching desert heat was softened by the gentle touch of a pillar of cloud. Do you dream of finding the comfort and assurance that such love can bring today? Would you like the passionate touch of the cooling breeze that lead those arrid slaves through the desert dunes of despair? This is the dream Christ wanted to bring you upon the cross. It’s not merely about eternal life. A God dying is much bigger than my wellbeing. He died to show you that He is dying on the inside, dying to hold your hand and be with you. Yes, everything in the story of the Exodus testified to a power that would one day die to breathe the fibre of His being into your heart again. This was what life was designed to be. The living kiss of God lives within His presence! Christianity today is missing the power of His presence in our daily lives.

Listen to the way scripture recalls this passionate scene, Gen 19:4, “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” This is also the way in which God would like to lead modern Israel to our heavenly home. He is yearning to carry you upon eagles’ wings. God dreams of igniting your nightmares with a pillar of fire! This is why scripture says, Isaiah 4:5-6, “And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Can you imagine a world where the presence of God could accompany you throughout every moment of your life? Would you enjoy the assurance of a flaming pillar of surety, resting upon your home today? According to scripture, you can find that security and stability. Walking with the King of the universe can ensure you a Divine friendship! Our God is a personal God that knows your every need! It is written, Matt 6:28-33, “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven,shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Imagine being adorned like the lilies of the field. You can come into the presence of the Artist who dreamt them into being. In fact, He is crazy about you!

Now compare the grandeur of God’s awe to the empty reasoning of modern theology…

We have reduced the greatest love story ever written, to nothing more than an escape from death. Preachers today only focus on the cross. Eternal life has become our God. At best, divinity has become a galactic Santa Clause, who daily receives our wish lists and requests. The personality of the most inspiring Being ever seen, has vanished once again from the minds of mankind. Only emptiness and confusion remain, where hope and serenity once abounded. We have become nothing but living dust, and will return into empty abyss once we reach the end of our empty rat race, unless we find Him!

Fortunately, God foresaw the dangers of our ways.

Deut 4:9-12, “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice…”

God’s answer to your needs today is simple – remember who I am! His majestic name should still the storms within your night. Nothing can defile the warming comfort of His presence. Faith will yield the surety of a new tomorrow in the heart stayed upon His tender care. Your thoughts are the weapons through which this battle can be won. Stay your mind upon His gracious care, and heaven will reach into your heart and set you free.

Sadly, Israel never understood. All the children of Israel heard was the promise of a better land. They never looked beyond the promises and demands. As we do today, they focused on the rewards, they yearned to survive. Motivated by the promises of God, we try in vain to appease the heart of passion. Instead of looking at His love, I try to see what I can profit from His existence. In search of reward, the greatest treasure of all time is lost. Mankind needs to learn to search for the unseen. I need to search for the heart of God.

Could this be what the Bible writers meant when they told us to search for God?

Listen to the following verses from Hebrews 4:11, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Have we been working so hard to find salvation that we have missed the reward that salvation dreams to bring? Could it be that God desired the actions, thoughts and ideas of His children, to be motivated solely by His greatness? Would our lives today become a shadow of the grandeur that only God can bring, if we learn to fully trust within His name?

The same writer wrote, “He has put it in our power, through cooperation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end.” —Education, 264 (1903). {LDE 39.5} He wants to be the end of your nightmares today!

 

A power beyond the present

“The fear of God, the sense of His goodness, His holiness, will circulate through every institution. An atmosphere of love and peace will pervade every department. Every word spoken, every work performed, will have an influence that corresponds to the influence of heaven. Christ will abide in humanity, and humanity will abide in Christ. In all the work will appear not the character of finite men, but the character of the infinite God. The divine influence imparted by holy angels will impress the minds brought in contact with the workers, and from these workers a fragrant influence will go forth to all who choose to inhale it. The goodly fabric of character wrought through divine power will receive light and glory from heaven, and will stand out before the world as a witness, pointing to the throne of the living God.

Then the work will move forward with solidity and double strength. A new efficiency will be imparted to the workers in every line. Men will learn of the reconciliation from iniquity which the Messiah has brought in through His sacrifice. The last message of warning and salvation will be given with mighty power. The earth will be lightened with the glory of God, and it will be ours to witness the soon coming, in power and glory, of our Lord and Saviour.”—Letter 58, 1902. MM 184.6- 185.1

Throughout scripture prophecy predicts something of unprecedented power. It is written, KJV Habakkuk 2:14 “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” KJV Isaiah 40: 3-5

The value of something special is only as high as the price the owner sets upon it. Unless I make time to enjoy the warmth of the sunlight, it will be little more than a source of light to me. However, when I look beyond my planet and learn about the effort, energy and wisdom that make its warming rays flow through the cold space night, sunlight becomes a mighty shadow of the One who formed it to touch your heart! Heaven is dependant upon fulfilment. Joy demands gratitude. Eternal life craves for the heart to find within the actions of God, the reason for existence. Unless I am moved by the inspiring grandeur of the gift called life, eternal life will become little more than a senseless echo of the meaningless void driving our empty world today. Beyond my need to escape the darkness of this light deprived world of horror, I need to learn to appreciate the touch of the hope that alone can reignite the starlight splendour in my darkest night.

Often times I hear people say, “Why do you make such a big deal about things? The cross is all that really matters.” In modern theology, the cross itself has become a little more than an idol, capable of stilling our darkest fears with a mere emotional sense of reason attached to it. Only when I realise who God is, does the notion of His death on my behalf become the power that solidifies the ground beneath my feet. It’s not the act that saves us, but the One paying the price. Only when I find the God who died for me, will His death mean life to me.

Unfortunately salvation has become a cheap ticket to a cosmic lottery. If we are right, we win eternal life.

Heaven has golden streets, the promised land had many promising features too. Imagine living in a flying city. When we look at the technology that defines life as we know it, we are brought to the sobering realization of just how amazing that world of wonder can truly be. Sub molecular machines dwarf the human intellect, showing us in no uncertain terms what God is capable of. Space is revealing to mankind engineering feats that string together galactic clusters. Now imagine the marvels of a city designed by such wisdom. Yes, heaven will be amazing. Then I pause and think of something beyond the value of technology and treasures.

God will be there! The essence of heaven is not the wonder of its beauty. Heaven is the result of God’s great love. This is why Christ Himself said, John 17:3 “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent…”

Can you imagine speaking to the One that coloured the sunset hues? Reality bares witness of a Being beyond the limitations of our imagination. He is truly divine. Within the power that moves super galactic clusters lives a heart tender enough to weave into the living fibber of a butterfly’s wings, the most inspiring patterns ever seen. Friends we are missing the very essence of what life was meant to be. In the words of scripture, Jer 4:22-23 “For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.”

See friend, life itself means nothing in the void left by the absence of this life enabling gift. His love is everything. It defines the colour, texture, fragrance, taste and inspiration that was to realise everything of value. Through Him, the simple bird songs become an orchestra directed by heaven. He wrote those songs to speak colour into the opening scenes of your new day. Through the passion invested in every moment of your existance, you can find the very essence of heaven itself.

You see dear friend, its not that we have failed God. In many ways, we are yet to truly find Him. We are still on earth because we have no idea what true faith was designed to be. Listen to the words of God Himself, Exo 33:20 “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”

Friends, in God’s words, it is impossible to look into His glorified face. If we are awaiting the second coming, we need to survive His presence. There is only one way of doing that. Beyond the insecurities caused by my sins and short comings looms a fear of His majestic grandeur. Unless you and I can come to the place where the comfort of His presence can out way the darkness of this world, we would run from His presence in terror.

This is why He has not returned yet. Listen to the way scripture foretells of the greatest event ever to take place, Rev 6:15-17 “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

Many Christians are trying to overcome. While this is very important, they do it for all the wrong reasons. We are trying to earn salvation where we should be enjoying the care and wisdom of God. Listen to the following, Deuteronomium 6:24 “And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day…” This is why David could say, psalm 119:96-103 “I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies is my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Friends, only when everything you believe unite to testify of the life sized hope that lives in the heart of God, can His dreams colour your life and give you a new tomorrow. Perhaps scripture says it best when it says, 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

When we search for this glory of God, we will hasten His coming,  as it is written, “It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” —Christ’s Object Lessons, 69 (1900).

 


Church in Crises

Within the heart of God lives a vibrant power that can and should transform your life. You weren’t meant to be alone. God designed you to walk with Him, to enjoy divine love and find within the essence of worship a life beyond mere survival. Come find the meaning of His name in your life today!

  • ISBN: 9781311612625
  • Author: Michael Malyon
  • Published: 2016-03-26 11:20:06
  • Words: 4383
Church in Crises Church in Crises