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Sabbath Rest

The shadows gently press themselves upon each tree and vine until they find the utmost reaches of these silent creatures of God. The woods are quiet now; no sound is heard but the distant music of the creek as it whispers its soft lullaby, stirring about each stone, each pebble, with its presence.

The creatures of the wood move about in safety now that nature's blanket securely wraps them in day's first sweet darkness. Be at peace and rest now, creation of God. No hunter will stalk these hallowed valleys this night, nor axman lay his steel against the coat of thy fair cedars.

There is no place on earth but here, nor time but now. Does not God's great love always make that true for us and rest our heads in His unfailing love?

For this is the time of Sabbath, which is, no matter what man's grand and scheming plans to break the silence; it remains as perfect now as when it first began.

Abiding In "What Is"

CHAPTER 19 - PART I

Thought: Those who abide, experience receiving all that Christ experienced receiving.

Word: John 15:7: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

Conclusion: Abiding in "what is" gives you "what is."

Webster defines "abiding" this way: "to remain, continue, stay; to continue a relationship, to endure; to accept without opposition or question; to submit to agree to remain faithful." That just about says it all. How can a man who abides do anything else? To bring this down to the level of most of us, how would we illustrate the experience? Let us imagine we would like to have some groceries. What do we do in the everyday life? We abide in a grocery store or in a garden or wherever we imagine groceries might be. If it is gasoline we want, then we abide where gasoline is. If it is power we want, we must abide where power is and that is in the divine mind. There is one power source of the universe and that is the divine mind. We come into this world with all our baggage and that includes everything. We come into this world with a few pounds of flesh and bone. Oh yes, we have a little blood too. That's it! That is all of it! We leave this world the same way; we leave it with a few pounds of flesh and that's it. Even the flesh we have finally shows us it does not belong to us, but it belongs to the earth who gave it. Our life returns to God who gave it and what do you know, nothing is left. The Bible says it clearly in Acts 17:28: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being...." The only truly alive man is one who abides in what is. All of the rest are what could be considered dead. This may be illustrated by a chicken who has just had his head cut off. Many times these chickens will run about as if they had something to do. At times they will appear to be chasing someone or something. Human beings who are not abiding are just like those chickens. They are running around looking like they have something to do, but in reality their spiritual heads have been cut off. They might fight wars or eat food or go to church looking as though they might be alive, but dead as the proverbial door nail.

In what way do we abide in what is? How is this done? Let us look at just one thing that is so and then discover how we might abide in that. Jesus said, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them." That is a simple enough statement to read and something everyone would like to experience. The truth is we all experience that statement all the time. Some of us never knew it. Imagine, for a moment, that we had a desire for something. We knew we needed it and we knew it was good for us and we wanted it. We begin to pray for that thing. After praying for a time, we finish our prayer and get up from our knees and think, "But what if God doesn't want me to have it?" It is true, we asked what we willed but we doubted the reality of it. We would be abiding in doubt and not the promise. In the spiritual world, doubt equals zero. To abide in the truth of the statement of what is, would be to abide in the truth of the statement. That is to say, knowing that the statement is true, period, without there being an untruth about it. We might begin to imagine that this is all some kind of a mind game. Whatever you might call it, it is the way it works; it is the way it has always worked and it is the way it always will work. It has always been to you according to your faith. That is the way the universe has been set up to operate. Someone might say, "But it doesn't look that way. I know a lady who...." It doesn't matter who you know. It is so, it always has been so, and it always will be so.

In another place Jesus said, "All things are possible to him that believes." You might also say, "Nothing is possible to him that believes nothing is possible." It is just the way that it is. While there are many things not revealed, there is no real mystery to what is required of us. The mystery is only there when you think it is not what it is. To abide in the divine mind, we rest immovable and with our face set like steel in that direction. We accept without any wavering that what the divine mind has said is so, is so, is so. It does not matter what things seem like or look like or feel like; we accept what is so because it is so. There is only one way a human being can abide and that is to abide. God does not do magic on you. He supplies all the power and wisdom for YOU to do what is. YOU must do the what is. A man can spend all his life on his knees praying, but until he abides and does it, all he will receive are calluses; they're free.

The universe has been designed to give you the intentions of your heart and the universe has never been tricked; so, your life is now a picture of what you believe in. You may like that or you may not, depending upon how you function in life, but it is so just the same. Jesus has stated what is true: "My peace I give to you;" "nothing shall by any means hurt you;" and "ask and ye shall receive." Abiding in that as the truth, gives you that as the truth. Most of us, however, believe in the lie. We wring our hands with worry whether we will lose our job or not. Will we be able to pay our taxes? Do we have enough medical insurance? Have we saved enough for retirement? What if it rains? What if it doesn't? We believe in all these things, so all these things are what we get. Worry never moved a gnat in any direction but being a gnat. If anything, worry will, as faith, produce the thing we have been worrying about. If we believe it, it is so. Job once said, "The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Why worry? You'll only get it.

The Bible speaks clearly as to what sin is. Sin has been characterized as so many bad deeds. Sin is not bad deeds. A man once said, "I hope I die on a day when I didn't do anything wrong." Sin is a condition. Sin is the place you live when it is in non-abiding in what is so. Sin is the condition of death resulting from one not abiding in what is so. Sin may be viewed as doing a bad deed and, indeed, may reveal itself in that way, but the root cause of the bad deed was the experience of death that individual chose. A man who is in an abiding condition cannot "sin." In 1 John 3:9 we can see this truth. "Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." Sin is the experience of transgressing the divine law. Sin is the condition of transgressing the divine mind. To leave the divine mind is to die and this is why the wages of sin is death. Unplug the cord and the light goes out.

The Bible describes two conditions of the human mind. One is sin and the other righteousness. The first sin we read about was committed by Eve in the Garden of Eden. What was it that Eve did? Did she murder someone? Did she run off on her husband? Did she rob a bank? Nothing as minor as that. What she did was eat a piece of fruit. The shame of it. Just think about that for a moment. She ate a piece of fruit. Boy, if anyone doesn't go to heaven it will be her. Anyone who eats a piece of fruit ought to die. You can see clearly by now that her sin was not the fruit. We eat fruit all the time. Her sin was simple and it was the root of all the sins that have ever been committed. Eve did not believe what God said. That's it. That's all there is. Let's look at the other side of the coin now.

If sin is not believing what God said, what is righteousness? Righteousness is believing what God said. Gal. 3:6: "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." That's it. Why complicate things? Sin is unbelief in God's words; righteousness is belief in God's words. When we do not believe God, we will do things to protect ourselves that go against the divine mind. We may rob a bank to get money to eat on if we are hungry. We will steal from another because we do not believe and abide in the truth there is always enough. When we believe and abide, we see ourselves free to serve and do for others because we know and understand that we own it all and we need not worry whether we will eat or not. So, if a man abides, he will do things that "abiders" do (righteousness), and if we do not abide, we will do the things that "non-abiders" do (unrighteousness). The truth never has been difficult. It has always been uncomplicated.

The great love of God is experienced in His law which continually draws men to the experience of what is so. Jesus was the human being who abides. He was the true Son of the Eternal One. Jesus says of himself in Proverbs 8: 22,23: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was." This true Son of the divine mind came to this earth as man. He had flesh as a man and lived the life that man can live. He did not come to this earth to show us what a God can do, but what a man can do. The Bible says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." Phil. 2:5. Jesus, as a man lived always abiding in the divine mind. If we do as Jesus did, we, too, will have power to be the sons of God. The Bible again says, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4. These promises are simply what the truth is. They are what is so if you believe. Since they are only about peace and good and safety, the alternative to believing them is believing anxiety and evil and danger. If you believe that anxiety and evil and danger are true, they will be true for you but they will not be the truth. They are the lie that we can only believe if we do not abide in what is true. When we desire a lie we get a lie. In 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, we learn how this works. The law is what is and there are those who say "it isn't so." They say "the law is done away with," so God gives them that. "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

We can see that God will send them the lie they have believed because that is what they took pleasure in. Jesus came to show what God's attitude was in all this. He said, "0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Matt. 23:37. We can wonder at the mercy and patience that our Father shows to us. He continually draws us from the acts which would destroy us. We can only guess the times He has interceded lest we push the button that would destroy the earth. It will not always be so. Ultimately, God will give us the end of our desire. Those who have chosen to leave the place of abiding will get what that is, death. Those who have chosen to abide in what is true, that is God's law and promise, will get what they have always had, life.

Abiding is what men desire to do, but evil forces in the universe have caused us to think that abiding is evil. Who is it that does not want peace? That is the abiding experience. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27. We all want that. But the way in which that is attained is only by abiding. Let's put this all together again in Webster's definition of "abiding." Abiding is: "to remain, continue" and stay in God's law and promise; to continue this relationship enduring to the end; to accept this truth about God without opposition or question; to submit to Him and agree to remain faithful. If you abide you will get what that is; if you don't, you won't.

Perfection is a work few people like to talk about. It is not a new word or a difficult word to understand. When we go to buy a new car we expect it to be perfect. The salesman will not say, "Well, it's a pretty good car, but the engine doesn't run and we have to keep pumping up the tires and the transmission doesn't work; but, after all, nobody's perfect." How long do you think you would buy that story? Let us look at what being perfect is.

Our life is about struggle in this world. The whole problem with struggle is, and always has been, whether we rest in what is true or not. We can express it another way by saying, perfection is a state of resting in whatever God has said is so. By doing this we believe, accept, harmonize or "shift" into the being of the Word. When the Word is what is for us and that's all that there is for us, we experience perfection in that area of our life. A person who has found perfection in the life experience is the one who faithfully goes about finding perfection in every area that seems to present itself. That is to say, he goes about placing every situation in the light of the Word of God and adjusting those things perfectly in the truth of what is.

The Bible is rife with illustrations as to how it all works. We have in the Old Testament the story of how the children of Israel in the wilderness were seeking the new land. It is something like getting to go to heaven. Here was the land of their rest. Here is the completion of all their pain and sorrows. Now they will have a home they can call their own and their land is flowing with milk and honey. This is just what they always wanted. Not only that, but God said He was going to give it to them. Their hopes were high and they could hardly wait. There was just one problem. They sent spies into the land to look it over and the report came back that there were giants there. Now they had a choice to make. Were they going to enter into what is and go into the promised land on the word of what was true, or were they going to believe in giants? They chose to believe in the giants and that was the cause of the loss of all they possessed. They all got to die in the wilderness which was just what they wanted. Numbers 14:2: "And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!" God gave them the desire of their hearts, and that was to die in the wilderness.

We do the same today or worse. The promises of God are before us: "all things are possible for you," "nothing shall hurt you," and "I will give you what you ask for." Instead of entering into "what is true," we believe the lie and fill our drawers with insurance policies, medicine and vain hopes for success. We invest millions hoping to get rich and have something to retire on. Instead of believing the Word, we say, "Would to God we had died in the hospital with all the tubes coming out our nose and mouth, would to God I had died in an accident so my family could collect double insurance and be rich." Why do you wish that? Your wife will just marry someone else and they will spend the money and live happily ever after. These are the results of living an incomplete life out of the will of God and for self-destructive ends.

The Bible again gives an illustration of what happened. In Hebrews chapter three, verse ten, the Lord records His complaint: "They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways." He is saying here, they do not know how I have set things up to work and they continually make mistakes about that. In verse 12: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." In verse eighteen: "And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?" Verse nineteen reads: "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." Over and over again they could not enter into their "heaven" only because of unbelief and nothing else. The only reason we do not enter into that perfect rest of God in fulfilling His promises for our life, is unbelief only and nothing else. As we go on farther in the book of Hebrews, we find in chapter four that this experience is still available. Heb. 4:1: "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." Verse two: "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." To the Israelites was the gospel or good news of God's deliverance and perfection preached, but it did them no good not being mixed with faith. The truth is worthless and a lie to us if we do not mix it with faith.

God still holds the promise open to us. In Hebrews 4:6 and 9, we can see this promise. "Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief....There remaineth therefore a rest, to the people of God." In verse nine the "rest" mentioned here is "sabbatismos" meaning Sabbath rest. The Sabbath or seventh-day rest was given to the Israelites as a sign of their entering into a rest relationship with God. This relationship was to be a relationship of perfect acceptance of what God says as being what is so. They refused. Many Christians today have also refused to accept God's word as dependable. They believe that things can hurt them, directly contrary to the Word. They also believe that things are impossible for them especially living without sin and, finally, they believe if you ask in faith believing, God will not always give it to you. As a symbol of this unbelief there has been created a day symbol for that experience which is Sunday sacredness. The Lord's Word said what is so is Sabbath or the seventh day as a symbol of those who believe what I say. Sunday, which has no word of God authority, is the symbol of the works of men and represents unbelief in what God says.

In Revelation 7:3, the Lord speaks of sealing His servants: "...Hurt not the earth neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads." Being sealed in your forehead is being sealed in your mind. That is the sealing of God's Word in the mind so that those individuals cannot be moved. This experience is the Sabbath experience of ceasing from your own works. Heb. 4:10: "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." When we cease from our own works and our own words we enter into God's rest which is to enter into His works and words. God is holding back the plagues and curses with a hedge until His people can be sealed in what is so. Those who do not choose this experience will simply get what that is, and that is plagues and curses. If we will not enter into the promised land by faith, we will die in the wilderness which is just what we want.

Revelation 13 describes a mark of the beast. We have just looked at the mark of God. The mark of the beast is not a great mystery. If the mark of God is accepting His word as what is so, the mark of the beast is to not accept God's word as what is so. The mark of the beast is to accept the works and plans of man as what is so. The Word guarantees a world of curse and plague for those who do this and it is all quite according to law. If God says He gives us according to our faith, and our faith believes in curses as the newspapers describe, what is it that we may expect to receive? If, on the other hand, we believe in joy and peace as described in the Word, that is what we will receive. We simply receive according to the way we think it is. If we choose curses, trouble and pain, guess what? If you believe in victim, accident, disease and unrest, that will be so for you.

As we search a little further into Scripture, we can see the evidence that God gives us what we desire. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12: "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." We can see again that there is the truth and the lie. If a person does not accept what is true, the lie is all that there is left. If a person cannot believe the word of safety from God, all there is left to believe is the word of danger and disaster.

We can look again at what our whole duty is: "Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man." If we meet these conditions we will reap the predictive results: obedience to God's law brings in its effect a multitude of blessings. Rebellion against His law brings as many disasters. When we love, that's what we get. When we hate, that's what we get. When we experience guilt because of broken integrity, illness and accident is what we get. So, what is our goal? Enter into completion. Enter into perfectness. Enter into God's rest. Enter into the experience that what He has said is what is so. Enter into that abiding place.


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