EXPERIENCE IS THE DIFFERENCE

I think this will be my last post for this day, but when I read the following quotation, I knew there was something within which needed to be said.  You see, my friends, where some don’t believe God speaks to man today, I can attest for a fact, God speaks to me.  Show me in the words which follow any error typical of mankind?  And I make this statement even before writing one single word.

“Many will honestly search the Word for Light as those in the past have searched it; and they see light in the Word. But they did not pass over the ground in their experience, when these messages of warning were first proclaimed. Not having had this experience, some do not appreciate the value of the truths that have been to us as waymarks, and that have made us as a peculiar people what we are. They do not make a right application of the Scriptures, and thus they frame theories that are not correct. It is true that they quote an abundance of Scripture, and teach much that is true; but truth is so mixed with error as to lead to wrong conclusions. Yet because they can weave Scripture into their theories, they think that they have a straight chain of truth. Many who did not have an experience in the rise of the messages, accept these erroneous theories, and are led into false paths, backward instead of forward. This is the enemy’s design.”

This may sound incredible but I have to “thank” God for the experience of drug addiction!  You see, it wasn’t Him which led me into it, but it was Him which provided a way out along with it an experience unequal to any prior, plus, I’m able to see, by comparison, many other issues of life.  Consider this, when I was on my way out of addiction I recognized the difference between someone who was well-meaning in their help versus the one who was committed to helping because of their experience.  Someone who’s never experienced substance abuse cannot possibly understand nor appreciate what someone who has experiential knowledge.  Their ability to help comes from something which is not derived by books or a desire to assist those who are in addiction.  When I speak to those who suffer from addiction, they know by the core of their being this man, like them, have been there.  When I suffered, I wanted to hear from someone who was like I was, so I can become like you are, a “former” addict.

The same occurred with the Disciples of Christ.  They walked with Him while He was here.  They experienced those things He experienced and when He returned from the grave, the feelings, the thoughts, the love was so intense that anyone not having had this experience could not possibly begin to know and share in the manner the Disciples did.

The same is applied for those who lived during The Great Disappointment Day.  To have spent all those days, weeks and years agonizing over truths which were becoming more real daily then to undergo what they went through, having given up employment, homes, even family because of their belief to then go back over the Record (Bible) to see what went wrong to THEN get a clearer understanding of what the 2,300 day prophecy meant, nobody standing on the outside cannot possibly understand what they went through and the force of the ministry following up until this day.  This is why Adventist are so passionate about the Three Angel’s Message, the Sanctuary Service and the Sabbath.  This explains why those who stood on the perimeters cannot possibly grasp what it is we feel, believe and teach EXCEPT the Holy Spirit grant them, and He does, but so many refuse to entertain because it goes against their traditions and beliefs which they believe are founded on Scripture but doesn’t contain the experience given by this small group of people later to be known as Adventists.

This is why a testimony is so powerful.  When I counsel with young people or new believers who are on fire in wanting to share the Bible and witness for Christ, I caution them to stay away from doctrine until they’ve at least read the Bible once, cover-to-cover.  They’re going to run up against those who have some knowledge and just dangerous enough to cause them to be caught off guard and confused, even driving some away from their newfound love.  However, what one can do and should do is to give their personal testimony.  Nobody can refute this.  No one can take it away from you.  It’s yours and regardless of how others may respond, you KNOW that you KNOW and this is what makes the difference.  It is YOUR experience and nobody can tell YOUR story like you can.  This is why we are tasked with telling our story, our testimony, because our experience will be touched by others.  It will reach into the heart of others unlike any doctrinal presentation will do.

Those who’ve walked with God, like Moses, Daniel, John, and Paul can preach, teach and share unlike any who’ve written outside the Scriptures.  Today, it’s supposed to be you and I who take up the mantel of Elijah and go forward in the power of our testimony to reach those who are not yet able to have their own experience until they’ve learned to walk with Christ.  Many have something to say, but they’re not saying it with power and conviction because there’s nothing behind it but theories and misguided errors although they’re wanting and believing they are doing right.  This is why it will be a sad day when the Lord sets them aside and say, “I never knew you.”  Know Him today and receive the experience He offers, so what you say to others will be as if He’s speaking to them, because, He will!

 

November 13, 2014

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