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15. The Cornerstone

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In this series we have been beholding the divine pattern of Father and Son as reflected in many aspects of our families, communities and churches. By simply beholding this divine pattern in faith through Christ we will be transformed into their likeness as the Bible states:

2 Cor 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.

While some members of society are given positions to copy aspects of the “Of Whom” role of the Father, all of us are to look to the Son of God as the chief “By Whom” pattern that all of us must copy to receive the blessing and life of the Father. The Son of God is therefore the chief cornerstone, the first born of all creation that we might pattern after Him. This is why the government was placed upon His shoulders in order that Christ might be the everlasting Father of all those who submit to the one true God – the Ancient of Days.

This is why God has:

Phil 2:9-11  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  (10)  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  (11)  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Since Jesus is the cornerstone of all creation, it is Satan’s studied effort to alter our perceptions of this cornerstone to cause us to pattern after a cheap worthless imitation that appears similar to the original Stone in many aspects but is really completely different.

In the first chapter we noted:

The rebellion of Satan introduced concepts and ideas that marred this divine pattern. The order of heaven meant that originally Lucifer was under the authority of Christ who was under the authority of His Father…The Scripture tells us how Satan wished to alter the divine pattern.

Isa 14:12-14  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  (13)  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  (14)  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

In this verse we see a being who does not seek to be under the protection and care of the divine pattern but rather seeks to be like, meaning to resemble, the Most High… Through a cunning process Satan has deceived the Christian world into making Christ exactly the same as the Father and by making the Christian world worship God through its various creeds, the person perceived as the Second person of the Godhead is actually a creation coming from the mind of Satan. And in seeking to present Christ as exactly the same as the Father in every way, the human mind becomes vulnerable to the law of indiscernibles, meaning that two things possess the exact same qualities so that they no longer can be discerned separately, they become one through their loss of individuality.

Satan has altered the cornerstone of Christianity from a Son who inherited all things from His Father as a separate and distinct being to a being that possessed all things from himself or by virtue of the fact that he is part of a three person yet one being God. The difference between these two can be summed up as a being that comes in His own name rather than coming in the name of His Father.

John 5:43  I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

The Biblical cornerstone looks to the absolute authority of His Father for direction, counsel and blessing. He does not rely on the inherited powers He possesses to guide Him but rather on the one who bestowed the inheritance. The counterfeit cornerstone stands shoulder to shoulder with the other divine persons resting in his own divine qualities and offering counsel, guidance and advice as much as he receives it. He works in a democratic manner of co-equal collaboration.

The Biblical cornerstone finds equality by the Word of His Father and that alone. He does not think it robbery to be equal with God because God commanded that He was to be equal with the Father. The counterfeit cornerstone finds equality in his age, his omnipotence, his power, his knowledge and his might. He needs no word from the other divine persons for he is already equal based upon his own resources.

Which cornerstone have many of us been patterning after all our lives? Do wives find equality with their husbands through the Word of the Father patterning themselves after Christ and like Christ willing serve in their appointed position? Men do you faithfully serve in your community and church knowing you are equal to other men as brethren yet serve in the appointed “By Whom” channel patterning yourself after Christ?

What cornerstone are you building upon? What is your house resting upon?

1Pe 2:6-7  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  (7)  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

Our Father has laid a chief cornerstone and it is from this Stone that we are to pattern ourselves. As the Scripture states:

1 Cor 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  

The Bible has declared emphatically that Jesus is none other than the divine Son of God by inheritance.

Mat 16:15-18  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  (16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  (17)  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  (18)  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Heb 1:3-4  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  (4)  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

John 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Notice how Jesus refers to the disciples who followed Him, see what cornerstone they had chosen.

Joh 17:8  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Yet this cornerstone is a rock of offense to many. They do not wish to build their house on a rock that looks to another being as an absolute authority over them. They would rather build upon a being that is equal by his power, his talent, his gifts and abilities. Notice the words of one Adventist scholar on this very point:

Shortly we shall see that the monarchical conception of the Trinity is reflected especially in the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church, where the pope acts as God’s official representative on earth, invested with special powers to govern the church. The outcome of this monarchical practice is the passive submission of believers who fail to exercise their spiritual gifts within the body of Christ. By contrast, the biblical view of the Trinity as perfect communion of the Three, gives rise to a community of believers with a variety of gifts that are valued and exercised as expressing the communion of the Trinity itself. Samuel Bacchiocchi - Endtime Issues Newsletter No. 147 – “The Importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity”

Did you see how the writer presented the notion of a hierarchical structure as Catholic and the idea of a being who is invested with power as simply papal? This is then contrasted with his understanding God who are/is a perfect communion of three and which value each other because of their variety of gifts. The correct cornerstone concept of invested power is merged with the Papal system as a means of casting aside the cornerstone in favour of the counterfeit that finds value in the variety of gifts possessed by the individual members.

This is the new cornerstone of Adventism. As the church seeks to pattern itself on this new perfect communion of three with a flattened relational structure, we see members forsaking the principle of submission and seeking to share their gifts in the church in order to be valued and appreciated.

If you are a simple labouring man and only hold a deacon’s position in the church then you will be appreciated far less than the man who is an elder that preaches and does Bible studies. And this man will be less valued than the man who has an international ministry preaching the gospel to all the world. Of course we can’t say those things openly! We only do these things for the love of the truth and therefore all our board meetings are sweet and filled with the spirit of submission and grace and there are never any power struggles – are there!

The new cornerstone of Adventism causes people to pattern themselves in a way to have an urgent need to be in some kind of ministry so that the world can be blessed by our gifts because this is how the counterfeit Jesus is valued by the Father and Spirit – because of his variety of gifts.

The Biblical cornerstone is a rock of offense to the spirit of this world. The Biblical cornerstone does not find value in His variety of gifts but only in the Word of His Father. Therefore Jesus is

1Pe 2:8 … a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

We as a people were appointed to believe on Jesus as the Son of God, but our church has stumbled at the word and become disobedient. Jesus stated:

Luk 20:17-18  And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?  (18)  Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Those who look to the begotten Son and fall upon this rock are having their hard hearts broken up and softened, changed and moulded into the image of the Divine Son. Those who refuse this Cornerstone will have that stone fall upon them and crush them to powder.

Let us build on the Cornerstone that inherited all things from His Father and learn like Jesus to rest in the Father’s blessed authority, protection and provision.