The Words of the Perrin Family
Recently I read the book of Malachi and was so inspired by what I read that I should like to share it with you in paraphrased form, and some thoughts that it aroused.
God is chastising the self-righteousness of the priests and their lack of obedience and respect for Him. He is angry because they have not offered pure sacrifices but have made a mockery of Him by their contempt. So poor is the quality of their sacrifice that not even the Satanic ruler, the Governor, would accept it. Yet they dare to question how they have offended.
God is both their Father and Master, but they do not obey Him as their Father by showing their gratitude or trying to please Him and they certainly do not fear and respect Him as their Master. However, the only reason God chose the sons of Levi to be priests was that Levi feared God, and was afraid before His name. Because he feared God the law of truth was in his mouth and he turned many away from doing evil.
The priests of Levi, however, only keep that part of the law which suits them, and thereby cause many to stumble. They have also wearied God with their words, pretending to be good and saying good things. They have not recognized that they are evil in their double-actions because of their self-satisfied and self-righteous lack of respect for God. God promises that He will destroy all evil doers and take away the blessing of the Levites if they do not take His warning to heart and change. Only those who fear the Lord and do good in the eyes of God will be remembered by Him and spared in the day of Judgment.
This book showed me again the importance of being whole-hearted in whatever we do, -- offering Father the best of what we have, and giving our 100% dedicated service and love. So many times we are not one-hundred-per-cent seeking to please, serve, and comfort Father, because we are self-centered, thinking of our own needs and comports first. If we really loved, respected, and feared God we would be unable to do this. Our natures are so Satanic, accustomed to thinking and acting in Satan's down-hearted selfish way that it needs a radical change to alter into Heavenly Father's pattern of what true men and women should be.
On occasions it is only the wholesome fear of God that gives us the impetus to change. This aspect of the Heavenly Father's nature, that implacably disregards anything but the pure. wholehearted offerings, has been so often overlooked in Christian teaching. Thus, for most of us Christians God is a loving old man who makes all things work out for good for those that love Him. As though it didn't matter whether your love is strong or weak! Or you don't have to go to too much trouble to merit God's protection! This approach is completely wrong, --nothing could be further from the truth. The only way that we can come into the direct dominion of God's love is to obey His laws and become the embodiment of the law. Heavenly Father is resolute in this Principle. In order to realize God's purpose for us by growing to perfection and becoming one Him, Heavenly Father purifies our natures by His chastisement as He casts judgment on the Satanic within us. But He wants us to create our own spirits as well, that we reach perfection by our own efforts and judgment.
Thus it is out of our twofold love for the Heavenly Father and our respect and fear of Him as our Master that we grow, that we are inspired to make efforts to change ourselves. Our oriental brothers and sisters are often closer to the Father in the expression of His nature in their lives, and in the depth of understanding His words of truth. This is not only because they want to experience the suffering heart of the Heavenly Father (which Westerners generally do not like to suffer), but also because they have a wholesome fear of Him, far more than we do in the West.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Ps. 15:33)
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul, making wise the simple." (Ps. 19:7)
It is by our love for God and our respect and fear of Him that our conscience become more sensitive, and so we know more and more whether we are at one with His "laws" or not: whether we are having give-and-take with the Heavenly Father or with Satan. So by this token if we set ourselves a condition which we break it is a serious sin. By our disrespect we separate ourselves from the Father, and our consciences become impurified, thereby stunting the growth of our spirits and causing the
Heavenly Father unnecessary grief. The justification of our wrong actions and the failure to recognize our evil ways and admit our wrong all lead us to the most insidious and despicable of sins; that of self-satisfied self-righteousness.
Such an attitude draws God's wrath, for people with such an attitude cannot be the Father's instruments and only hinder His work by causing others to fall instead of turning them from evil. Father vows to destroy all such people who do not change, yet such is His love even for sinful man that He promises that at the Day of Judgment He will purify all men through His Son.
In this way will delight be found in His children's offerings.
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any pain: for the former things are passed away. Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns." (Rev. 21:3-4)