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Son of Thunder to a Son of God

Posted Oct 31, 2017 by Adrian Ebens in Testimonies and Stories
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Son of Thunder to a Son of God  - A path of deepening repentance

Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 

Heb 12:6-8  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  (7)  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  (8)  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards (sons of a female slave – [Hagar] old covenant) and not sons.

What is justification by faith? -- It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. When they begin to praise and exalt God all the day long, then by beholding they are becoming changed into the same image. What is regeneration? -- It is revealing to man what is his own real nature, that in himself he is worthless. (Series A, No. 9, 1897), pages 61, 62. 

The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to "go on unto perfection;" to grow up "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Says the apostle Paul: "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13, 14. And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained: "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. . . . If ye do these things, ye shall never fall." 2 Peter 1:5-10.  {GC 470.1} 

Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One.  {GC 470.2} 

In 1985 I was brought to the foot of the cross with a burden of sin on my shoulders. I experienced wonderful freedom, peace, and joy in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The work of sanctification began. I am by nature a son of thunder. In my early years I have been impulsive, loud, brash and typically selfish. As I have had a weakened constitution from birth, my nervous system caused me to feel things quite deeply and intensely. Being therefore sensitive in nature, I had to become hard to the taunts and ridicule of life. It was like a mental analgesic; in order to endure the emotional pain and sorrows of life, it seems natural to harden yourself to survive. You must learn to laugh at suffering and pain in order for the pain you witness and experience not to overwhelm you.

As I began to grow in Bible knowledge through a deep sense of love for Christ there should have been a repentance matching that growing knowledge. With some things I did repent but with other things I would simply marvel at how other people did not see this precious light. I did not realise it then but there was a natural process of when I came into truth rather than repent I would be shocked at the refusal of others to come into this light. The process of accepting truth without repentance leads to a pharisaical life of comparing ourselves with others. After a number of years the Lord was able to reveal to me some significant weaknesses in my character to the point I felt like giving up ministry around the year 2000. Instead the Spirit of God helped me to repent and accept the grace of God. I had a series of events prior to this showing me my performance based nature and other things. Yet my security in Christ as a son of God did not allow me to accept the deeper truth of the extent of my human depravity.

In 2001 our Father in heaven gave me a broader appreciation of His love for me through my relationship with my son. This gave birth to the Identity Wars theme which ultimately led me to the truth of the Begotten Son of God late in 2006. The truth of Father and Son was deeply impressed on my heart and I felt a deep shame that I had dishonoured the true God of the Bible and worshipped a lie. To see myself as an Idolater was humiliating but through the assurance of my sonship in Christ I did not despise the chastening of my Father in heaven and I confessed this sin before God and man. My confidence in my ability concerning the Scriptures sent me back to my knees to ask the Lord for guidance and grace that I might read things correctly. I still struggled with being shocked about other people refusing to see this obvious light. This became a constant temptation to look at others blindness rather than my own idolatry from the past and simply walk humbly with my precious Father and His Son.

In 2014 after much study I came to the startling realisation that the final message of mercy to go to the world would include a call to remember the Law of Moses with the statutes and the judgments, Mal 4:4. I spoke to a group of feast keepers in the USA and confessed to them my sin of not remembering the Law of Moses. I invited others to join me in this confession but the response was stifled by expressions on how to deal with those who can’t see this truth. At that time I felt a sadness that I had not seen blessing in our Father’s statutes and judgments but the deeper reality was that I had taught men to break some of God’s commandments through applying the moral and ceremonial law framework incorrectly. It is in this year of 2017 I am becoming more aware of this verse:

Matt 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.     

I had been teaching people not to worry about some of the statutes in the Law including the feasts of the Lord. This is a very serious thing. After my realisation about my failure with the Father and Son and the need to focus on repentance, I have prayed earnestly that I would not express surprise and shock when others can’t see what has been clearly shown to me in Scripture. Understanding the statutes and judgments correctly was a greater struggle for me than understanding the Father and Son and so I have prayed the Lord would help me not to become irritated and surprised at other’s refusal to accept the spiritual blessings in the feasts, statutes and judgments.

As I look at the events of 2014 I see that I still failed in attempts to navigate through this process of responding to the call to remember the Law of Moses with the statutes and the judgments. The mistreatment I and others received and witnessed from those who opposed the feasts made me very frustrated inside. Some of the things that were done around September and October of 2014 amongst those who have been called to proclaim the Father and the Son caused me much frustration and disappointment. It was easy to focus on their human weakness and frailty rather than allowing the Spirit of Jesus to deepen my own repentance for breaking and teaching others to break the commandments of God found in the Law of Moses. This caused my witness for the festivals to be tainted with self because of my disappointment with the behaviour of others. If I had remembered that I myself was a Law breaker forgiven by the grace and mercy of God then I would have been able to be much more gracious to others in my spirit. Let me be clear that I avoided as much as possible exchanges with others and asked the Lord to help me avoid any engagement that would make my actions hostile. Yet, it is not enough to simply restrain yourself from speaking aggressively towards others. It is what is in your heart that must be subdued. The spirit of frustration I felt caused me to simply withdraw from those who were constantly attacking the feasts. If I had had a deeper repentance experience regarding the statutes I might have been able to remain in their presence longer and be a blessing to them. I can’t say for sure but I could not endure their accusative statements and harsh expressions in my state of mind and so I withdrew my online presence and deactivated my facebook account and started a new one. I also did this because of many accusations circulating about my character which were not correct around the time of Passover in 2016. I do not take on myself the actions of others but I know I could have had an easier experience if my repentance regarding the statutes of the Law had been deeper than it was. I want to apologise to all those who felt hardness in my spirit between 2014 and 2016. I recall a number of occasions where I felt a spirit of frustration and annoyance at the actions of others. Such feelings can’t be completely hidden and I am sure that they have affected people wrongly and so I want to apologise for any hardness that people felt from me during that period. I know that each person makes their own decisions but my wrong attitudes even unexpressed can affect the decisions others. I am challenged by these thoughts.

The influence of every man's thoughts and actions surrounds him like an invisible atmosphere, which is unconsciously breathed in by all who come in contact with him. This atmosphere is frequently charged with poisonous influences, and when these are inhaled, moral degeneracy is the sure result. {5T 111.1}

I know that others have inhaled the atmosphere of my thoughts that were not anchored in the grace of Christ alone and for this I am sorry to any that have been adversely affected.

When I came to a knowledge of the loving character of our Father what joy and relief came into my soul. I can’t express to you fully the joy I have received in knowing our Father keeps His own commandments and that Jesus fully revealed His Father while here on earth. For nearly 40 years I had believed that God would reluctantly burn alive those who refused to repent. I had believed until I was 47 that God directly destroyed people in the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah and it was His wish to slaughter the Canaanites for the Israelites. When I realised that this was not correct I wondered how thinking this way for so long had affected my mind. I now knew that I had some thoughts about our Father that were so wrong concerning His character. I trembled at the thought of its impact on my character. It is certainly true that I had believed that God was loving, merciful, gracious and kind and I focused on these aspects of the character of God. Yet I also believed that He personally executed people and this had an effect on my character. This belief allowed me to feel very negative towards those I considered wicked.

The opposing nature of these two ideas about God allows you to see our Father with great and tender mercy embracing a lost child caught in sin and when this precious child of God then refuses to follow God and does wickedly then God turns around and orders this precious child to be put to death even commanding swords to be run through them. The opposing nature of these thoughts does terrible damage to the mind. Once again to think of our Father reaching out in infinite love to a wayward child and promising them His love and then after period of time there is no response then at the end God will turn and physically burn them alive and inflict on them pain that causes such intense agony of mind and body. If a person tries to put these two views together it causes such conflict in the mind. In order to cope with the conflict, you have to block out the negative thoughts in relation to yourself but believe them about others. This causes a separation between self and others.

I am trying to take in the thought that for 40 years of my life I had these thoughts that God ordered the killing and personally will kill billions of people. I try to comprehend how much this pains the heart of my Father to believe this about Him when loves me so infinitely. I think of how Christ came to this earth to show what the Father is really like.

The Son of God came to this earth to reveal the character of the Father to men, that they might learn to worship Him in spirit and in truth. CT 28.2

Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God, and was constantly engaged in service for God and man.  {8T 286.4} 

After all that the Son of God has done here was I for 40 years believing something different. I try to comprehend the suffering this has caused  Him. I know He does not condemn me at all for this but this does not stop the pain that He has felt and the pain He felt for me being under the incredible delusion of believing that our Father burns people and orders them put to death with the sword.

I have not yet been able to appreciate the suffering I have caused our Father and Lord Jesus in believing and also at times teaching this idea. I believe that it is the sense of the suffering this causes Him that I have subconsciously tried to distance myself from the sorrow this has caused him. How have I done this? It has come out in my forceful expressions of the absurdity of believing that God kills people.

In the past few days I have had some close friends appeal to me about some of the expressions I have used when speaking about the terrible idea of God killing people. At times my language and gestures have been loud and forceful as I have tried to reveal how terrible this idea really is. I have expressed in words such as the horror at the thought of God barbequing people, roasting them or hacking them to death. I have expressed the idea with intensity that to believe that God Passovers the Israelites covering them with one hand while putting to death the Egyptians with his other hand is Schizophrenic. The principle is true but the expression of it is too harsh.  I checked with some other people I trust as to whether they felt this way. Some saw nothing wrong, others told me that because they know me that they understood what I was saying and did not have a problem. Yet some others did feel the language was a little extreme and too intense.

Today I have been praying and pondering why I have done this. The answer comes to me that I deep in my heart I am the prodigal son:

Luke 15:21  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 

The intensity of my expression betrays a layer of sorrow that I would have believed such a thing and that I am not worthy of forgiveness. Of course there is another part of me that clings to the assurance of the love of my Father but my forceful expressions reflect a deep disappointment in myself for ever believing in this. Today I realise that the only way for me to be free of the danger of speaking extremely to the negative side of believing in a God that kills people is to believe that our Father truly forgives me for ever believing this.

I can say in my head that I know my Father forgives me but without going through a deep process of realisation of the pain it has caused our Father, the heart is never truly free. I try to comprehend how I would feel if my children attributed to me horrendous acts of violence that I never committed and every time I saw the fear in their eyes from believing this lie it would pierce me because it would have caused a wall of separation. There can’t be true reconciliation until the pain of the lie believed, and the separation it caused, is understood. I know I am wrestling with this reality of believing my Father in heaven would engage in very violent acts to punish transgressors. The thought that I have believed this causes me grief. At the same time I know there is a deeper valley to walk with this.

In the meantime, I want to say sorry to everyone for all the times I have expressed myself in a very forceful manner when talking about the false idea of God killing people. I see that I partly am projecting this forceful language towards myself because I believed it for so long. I feel identified with the prodigal. I am not worthy to be called a son of God for believing such terrible things about my Father. Yet I hang on to the faith of Jesus who clung to His Sonship. In Christ I know I am forgiven and loved. It is more than ironic to me that the very character I was seeking to distance myself from was manifesting in my character when speaking about what I did not believe. Even more ironic is the comments that I have received from some quarters of those who believe that God kills people is that I am the aggressor and I am the destroyer. The God they believe in is projected onto me. And yet this was easy to do because of my manifested behaviour that still reflects this idea.

I know this article is providing some deep introspection but the feedback I have received has provided me the opportunity in the security I have in Christ to really question myself. I want to examine myself to see whether I am in the faith. I want so much more to be like Jesus. I want to be more gentle and loving. My personality is intense and passionate in its expression and I believe this is being used for much good but I am vulnerable to misusing these traits in the case I have just described above.

For those who have been blessed by my ministry I ask you to pray for me when I speak that I only speak in the Spirit of Christ. I trust my Father forgives me and yet I know this repentance must deepen for this forceful expression in my soul to be put to rest. I know that He who has begun a good work in me with complete it and perfect that which concerns me. For those of you who don’t know me and have been offended by my manner of speech I am truly sorry and ask you to forgive me as I work through trying to come to grips with having once believed something so false about my heavenly Father.

For the small few who have attacked me in words, video, social media and print on this point, you probably have seen the speck in my eye (a speck to you and a log to me!) I would say this. The first time I heard an Adventist say to me that Jesus is not the literal son of God it shocked me so much that it made me tremble. The reality of what I had once believed presented so directly in my face made me tremble. You present so directly the killing character of the God I once served. It causes me grief to hear these things expressed across the internet and satellite. Is this the message that shall lighten the earth with its glory? Shall telling people that God has and will put billions to death encourage them to love Him more deeply and believe that can rest safely in His hands of mercy? Does sharing these things in this manner give you joy and freedom in the gospel? Are your hearers and readers excited about this wonderful God you serve that kills billions of people violently. I am deeply saddened at the thought of these things. I need a much deeper sense of my Father’s forgiveness for ever believing anything remotely like this before I could sit calmly with you and listen to such terribly things expressed. This is my failure towards you in that I have not fully believed I am forgiven of believing these things so that when I hear them from you it causes me sadness, frustration and increases my forceful expressions when I speak. By the grace of the Lord Jesus that stops today. I am sorry for failing you in not reflecting back the perfectly calm love of Jesus.

Zech 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.   

I know I have pierced the Son of God by believing such terrible lies about him. I believed in the mystical three in one God and this pierced Him. I trampled on the statutes and judgments of my Father and this pierced Him also and I disbelieved that our Father keeps His own commandments and that Jesus came to reflect this to the earth. These are terrible crimes against heaven. I trust my Father forgives me for them yet I know in order to be sealed that I must behold the suffering Son of God and in the full realisation of the suffering I caused Him still believe I am forgiven. I believe this shall be done for me and I shall receive grace and the spirit of supplication to pass through this valley.

I thank you Lord Jesus for this revelation and I trust you will deliver me from self-doubt and disbelief. I know you are the Son of God, you are Lord of the Sabbath and you are indeed the full revelation of the Father.