Friday, September 28, 2012

God Expresses His Love Towards Us by the Secrets He Reveals to Us

I don't know how common it is in the Church of God for members to have emotional doubts come into their minds about God's love towards them because of trials or unanswered prayers. I'm not going to take a poll. I am sure thoughts of doubt about God's love pop into the minds of some members because we are human and still have human nature, and Satan wants us to doubt God's love, and he pumps doubts into our minds. Some of us have to fight those doubts.

Maybe we go through many prolonged trials we don't understand, we beg God over and over for deliverance, but the trials only get worse, not better. Maybe we pray, and after we pray things get worse rather than better.

Perhaps God is testing our faith that way. "Do you really believe me?", He asks. "Do you really trust Me, even contrary to physical evidence?" Perhaps He is toughening us to prepare us for persecution to come.

We can remind ourselves of the trials of men in the Bible who went through long and severe trials, men like David and Joseph. Especially consider Joseph. After he interpreted the dreams of two of his fellow prisoners, he may have thought, "now I will be saved," but for two more years nothing happened (Genesis 40:1-23, 41:1). How discouraged he could have become, but he remained faithful to God.

But there is another way, other than answered prayers and deliverance from trials, that God uses to express His love towards us.

As we observe Trumpets, Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, we hear sermons on the meaning of those days and thus learn, or are reminded of, God's great plan of salvation for mankind. We thus know the future. We know what God has done, is doing, and will do, and we know WHY! But for us to understand these things requires that God opens the mind of each and every one of us to accept the truth.

These things are hidden from almost everyone on earth. They can study the Holy Days all their lives and never figure it out or even believe it when we explain it to them. God has allowed Satan to blind them. Not one of the uncalled people of this world is stronger than Satan and able to resist his deceptions.

Yet God has revealed these secrets to us, not just as a group, but to each one of us individually (1 Corinthians 2:7-16). If you understand God's plan as illustrated by the Holy Days and Feast, it is only because God has opened your mind to understand.

What a gift!

It is an act and an expression of love towards us when God shares His secret knowledge with us.

It is like when we tell things and share our thoughts with our closest friends that we would never reveal to others. We tell our deepest thoughts sometimes to those we love because we want to share ourselves with them and because we long for them to know us and understand us. That is a part of love.

When God opens your mind to share His secrets with you, to share His innermost thoughts, plans, and purposes, He is letting you know these things because He loves you and wants to share Himself with you. He wants to tell you His secrets (Deuteronomy 29:29).

When you sit in services at the Feast of Tabernacles, or any of the holy days, and you understand the messages from the Bible, that understanding is a precious gift from God that shows He loves you. It is as if God goes to you personally and says, "Do you want to know a secret? I don't reveal this to most people, but I am revealing it to you because you are my friend" (James 2:23).

Jesus said, "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you" (John 15:14-15).

Daniel prayed, and God revealed secrets to Daniel (Daniel 9:1-3, 20-23, 10:1-3, 12-14), and also God called Daniel a man greatly beloved (Daniel 10:11). The revealing of secret knowledge to Daniel was an expression of God's love towards him. He showed him secrets because He loved him. It was God's intent to reveal these things to the Church through the prophets, but He chose Daniel as a tool for revealing the things in the book of Daniel.

Look at the secrets God has revealed to us. We know about the coming Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord that will bring this world's civilization to ruin in a few years. We know that Christ will return to rule the earth and the saints, the few, the "little flock," will be resurrected to rule with Christ. We know that Satan is the spiritual ruler of this world, but he will be put away after the return of Christ. We know Christ and the saints will rule the earth and bring happiness for a thousand years. We know God will resurrect the billions after the thousand years so every person who has ever lived can be saved if he or she believes God and repents - no one left out because of circumstances of birth. We know that the soul of man is mortal, and those who refuse to believe God and repent will be destroyed, put out of their misery forever, but that the righteous will live forever as children of God, because God's purpose is to reproduce Himself in man!

Anyone can occupy a seat at the Feast of Tabernacles and hear these things or read our booklets yet not understand, unless God has called him. But if you understand, it is because God has opened your mind to share His secret knowledge with you, because He wants to share His life with you, because He loves you.

Something to think about in times of trial.

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