Joshua and the Angel

By
J. Wilfred Johnson
March 31, 1976

Transcribed from C/Ds #39 & #40
August 20, 2012 thru Sept. 7, 2012


(Wilfred) We are pleased to have a few new faces with us tonight. We hope that we will not say something that you aren’t able to follow because we have discussed a lot of things in the past and we sort of take it for granted that everybody knows the background and I may just forget myself in spots, and if I do, I wish that you would let me know afterwards, or ask a question afterwards concerning any point that you were not able to pick up. I’m not saying that you are not intelligent as the rest of us; I am simply saying that unless you have the algebra you can’t do the trigonometry. And we have discussed some things that maybe you don’t have in your mind at the moment that we talk about them.

Before we go into the regular study for tonight I have a few miscellaneous things which I seem to be in the habit of picking up. And I’d like to share some of these things with you. I think I gave you on a previous occasion the one from Great Controversy page 598, which says; "With divine help we are to form our opinions for ourselves.” I am bringing it up again tonight because we have some folks that haven’t been with us and I would just like you to be sure that you understand that anything which we present, we endeavor to present it directly from the word of God or from the Spirit of Prophesy and we don’t expect you to take it just because we say so and sometimes I don’t always look up references because if we were to look up every reference for every sentence I spoke we wouldn’t get very far. And we take it for granted that some of the references you are familiar with. At the same time we would like you to feel that you really are obligated to check into the evidences on your own to make your own opinions, to form your own conclusions.

Now the statement, I’m not reading the whole statement; It says that we should be studying our Bibles diligently day by day. Secondly, we should be weighing every thought. And thirdly, we should be comparing scripture with scripture. And that also means; Spirit of Prophesy statement with Spirit of Prophesy statement. If we do those things then we're in a position to be able to form an opinion. Maybe not always but sometimes we don’t have sufficient evidence to make a solid conclusion so we just hold it in abeyance or we come to a tentative conclusion and as evidence continues to come in we modify our conclusion. We should also understand that there is no way of understanding the truth of God without the help of the Spirit of God. After all, the author of the Word of God is the Spirit of God. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and since the Holy Spirit is the author of the word, if we want to understand the Word we need to have the Spirit to interpret it. Sister White says that God’s Holy Educating Spirit is in His Word. And she also says that without that spirit we can’t understand it. Well, you know yourself that there are people who have read the Bible from cover to cover and have studied it as a book of literature and a book of history and what have you but they don’t understand the spiritual significance of it at all. So this can happen.

There’s one you might be interested in checking. 6th volume of The Testimonies for the Church, page 19.7; I don’t have the quote right here, I’m just giving the thought that is in it. Do you remember a statement that came in our Sabbath School lessons, Oh, sometime back, maybe several years ago which said something about the tree of life hanging over the wall and that the leaves were for the healing of the nations and these were the promises of the word of God that we could eat of and gain life. Well, here is a statement which speaks of the Word of truth as a tree of life and it has the same characteristics as the Edenic tree of life, the one that was in Eden. We can eat of this tree, everyone can eat of this tree she says and live forever. Wasn’t that what the one in Eden did? You ate of the tree of life and lived forever? Well, it’s an interesting statement. 6th volume of the Testimonies for the Church 19.7, you may want to read it for yourselves.

I’ll just take a few minutes here in case somebody else comes. We’ll not miss the beginning of the regular talk.

You remember the parable of the ten virgins? And five of them had oil for the lamps and five didn’t. What did the oil represent?

(John) The Holy Spirit.

(Wilfred) Oh, I thought you would say that. Let me read from The Review and Herald Feb. 11th 1896; “My mind was carried to the future, when the signal will be given. Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." But some will have delayed to obtain the oil for replenishing their lamps, and too late they will find that character, which is represented by the oil, is not transferable.”

Now, can any of you recall a precise statement where she says that it represents the Holy Spirit?

(A man in the audience) Christ's Object Lessons.

(Wilfred) I think you are right.

(A man in the audience) ...chapter of "The Ten Virgins".

(John) Then both are true.

(Wilfred) That’s right. Now, this brings out another point. And I’m bringing this in particularly for the benefit of those who haven’t been with us. The rest of us understand this, but you may not. There are many statements in The Spirit of Prophesy which appear the contradict or at least not harmonize and there are many passages in the Bible the same way. I can read you a statement from the Spirit of Prophesy for instance which says that if you are a guest at the wedding you cannot also be the bride. And I can read you another statement which definitely says that the church is the bride. And those two statements just directly contradict one another.

(John) Or, they appear to.

(Wilfred) Or, they appear to. Yes. And many people lose confidence in the Spirit of Prophesy when they bump into things like that. And they say; well, you can’t take everything she says. She had an experience that was expanding things. So you have to take the situation in which she said it and that’s true. And if she said it some years later one way and different sometime earlier you have to conceder the fact that she was growing and she may have made a mistake back there so you take the later statement. Don’t agree with that?

(Several voices from the audience) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) Well, I have heard this argument. Well, we won’t take time to reconcile all these statements tonight. But a number of these have already been reconciled during our studies.

Page 407 Christ’s Object Lessons, She says definitely, the oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Now, it is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and it also represents the character. So, if somebody says that the oil is the character and somebody else starts saying well it’s the Holy Spirit and they start an argument you’ll know that she says both. Ok?

5th volume, SDA Bible Commentary, page 1085, “As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of Heaven.”

Now, the previous statement said you cannot transfer character from one person to the other. But your character is transferred to the books of Heaven. She says, God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character. Nothing is going to be missed, every detail is going to be there and it’s going to be correct. And then I didn’t look this one up to bring you but I am sure you are familiar with it. What does she say about the character by the time you die.

(John) It’s fixed for eternity.

(Wilfred) It’s fixed for eternity. So what you make of yourself, she says in probationary time that you will remain through all eternity. Now, I hope you recognize then the value of each day that God lets you live. You cannot get oil at the last minute from somebody else. What you have developed in your own personal character is being accurately photographed and recorded in Heaven, and it will not be tampered with nor changed.

I've got a lot of gems in here that I would like to share with you, but we have another study to get on to tonight and I want to make sure we finish it.

Now, I think these thoughts, some of you may have heard me present before but some of you may not and I think I’ll repeat them at this point.

There is one here which deals with present truth. I think we need to be aware of this. (Counsels to Ministers) “That which God gives His servants to speak today would not perhaps have been present truth twenty years ago, but it is God’s message for this time. With the unrolling scroll of history the prophecy becomes more clear.” What she is saying here is that God’s truth is progressive, what’s present truth in one generation may not be present truth in the next generation. There are aspects of truth that are changing or are being added to. And I have read a number of statements in the past and I won’t read them tonight. But Sister White definitely indicates that in every generation there is a special truth and a special message for those people. And she also says that in an emergency God has a special message for His people. And I pointed out that we today are living in a different generation from Sister White’s day. In 1856 Sister White saw three kinds of people in a vision at a conference. Some were going to be food for worms, that means they were going to die and decay, some were to be subjects of the seven last plagues. That means that they were going to live on through to the end of time as being among the wicked, and some were going to... I don't think I gave the details exactly correct but it doesn't matter, some are going to go through to the end and be translated as among the righteous. All three groups she saw there at that conference in 1856 and there isn’t a one of them left. So here is another statement that doesn’t look like it is very true, right?

Now what is present truth today? Did Sister White make a mistake or is there an interpretation of the statement which is true today? We haven’t dealt with that in these meetings and maybe we will at some future time. That remains to be seen.

Do you remember that we talked about a statement which says Christ came forth from the tomb by a power that was inherent in Himself, remember that? My encyclopedia’s got it here (laughing, referring to John). While he’s looking it up here is another one from the little book; The Faith I Live By, it actually has another source but I didn’t look that one up. It’s in the book, The Faith I Live By page 50; “He," That was the Father, “Was bearing the sins of the world and His Father only could release Him.” Now that, I think has reference to His... I would have to look that up to get the total statement. I’m sure it had reference to His dying on the cross and his Father could release Him at that point. Only his Father could release Him at that point. But that wasn’t the one I thought I had.

(John) I found a statement. But this isn’t the exact statement that you wanted but I read this one this week and I wanted to bring it to you.

(Wilfred) Good.

(John) And it’s on the same things.

(Wilfred) Good.

(John) “The Spirit of Jesus slept in the tomb with His body and did not wing its way to heaven there to maintain a separate existence and to look down upon the mourning disciples embalming the body from which it had taken flight. All that comprised the life and intelligence of Jesus remained with His body in the sepulcher and when He came forth, it was as a whole being. He did not have to summon His Spirit from Heaven. He had power to lay down His life and to take it up again.” Volume 5 of The SDA Bible Commentary 1150-1151.

(Wilfred) Now, that statement of course contradicts some others. The bible says very plainly in many places that it was His Father that raised Him from the dead.

And here is one on page 50 of this same book. It says, “God himself was crucified with Christ.” Think about that one. “God himself was crucified with Christ. For Christ was one with the Father.” At the same time we read one about three weeks ago which said that divinity could not die, remember that? If divinity could not die, then God could not die. Then how was He crucified with His Son? The conclusion is that there must be something more to crucifixion than just the termination of life; the crucifixion of Christ has another meaning beside just the fact that He died on the cross. Do you see that point? Otherwise God had to die, but God didn’t die. Neither did the divinity of Christ die otherwise the Spirit of Prophesy is false.

Well I’m bringing to you some problems here; I just want you to realize that we don’t understand everything about the Spirit of Prophesy and the Bible yet. And we need to start digging in and getting some more of these pieces and getting them put together so we can get a concept of what is really going on and understand this thing, because the Spirit of Truth is going to guide us into about 75% of the truth before the Lord comes.

(Voices from the audience) All truth.

(Wilfred) Well, we don’t need to understand this do we?

(Another man) We won't know if...

(Wilfred) What was it given for? Do you think the Lord just gave it to Sister White just to keep her busy so she wouldn’t get into mischief or do you think He had a reason for giving it to her? Do you understand?

(John) Look at the book of Revelation and how little we understand it and yet it says over and over again, blessed is he that readeth and understandeth the words of this prophecy.

(Wilfred) And what is the rebuke to the Laodiceans?

(John) You think you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing you've got all the light you need.

(Wilfred) And what is one of the most common things that Adventists used to do if they don’t do it so much now?

(John) We've got the truth.

(Wilfred) Every camp meeting somebody gets up and brags about what we have and what we’ve done, and where we are. Not so much any more. I wonder why not?

(A man in the audience) They’re starting to wake up.

(Wilfred) They’re starting to wake up. That’s right. There are some very strong denunciations in The Spirit of Prophecy against that type of thing. And I think a few of our people are beginning to find them. And the sword of the Lord, we have talked about it. And the sword of the Lord is going to come upon His Laodicean people pricking their hearts, cutting deeper, discerning the thoughts and the intents of the hearts. And those who are willing to be taught as a little child the Spirit of the Lord will enlighten them. That’s what it says.

Now, can I take time for one more? This is from page 49 of the same book; “Christ's humanity was united with divinity,” Tying this in with what we said before. “And in this strength He would bear all the temptations that Satan could bring against Him, and yet keep His soul untainted by sin.” That’s what happened to Jesus. He came in a human body with all the degeneracy of the race at that level, four thousand years from Adam. And in that human body He kept His soul completely pure in spite of all the temptations that the devil could bring to His soul through that fallen sinful body. Now some of you may question that Jesus came in a fallen and sinful body. But we read it. There are at least two statements that say it. He had the same type of body as we have, not the kind of body Adam had before he sinned. Don’t get caught on that one. That comes from, and dare I say it? The same source as this idea about the immaculate Mary the mother of Jesus who was different from all other woman and therefore the body that Jesus received was a holy body. Its not true doctrine and it’s not the truth. The truth is, He came with the same form of humanity that we have. In all points He was temped like as we are. If He had a perfect body like Adam had He could never have received the same temptations in His soul we get. Could He?

Now, let me read on. "And this power to overcome He would give to every son and daughter of Adam who would accept by faith the righteous attributes of His character." The same power that Jesus had to overcome all those temptations in his body, we too may have to overcome all the temptations in our bodies. If his body was different from ours, if He had an advantage over us then we would need more power than He had to overcome. Can’t you see that? What is the condition? We have to accept by faith the righteous attributes of his character. In other words we have to acknowledge that the attributes of his character are the right ones. They are the ones that ought to be. The devil questioned them. Therefore it is necessary that before God can provide us with the power to overcome temptations in our lives we must acknowledge that his character is correct, or what is the use of trying to build a character like it? Simple.

All right, the plan of salvation in a nut shell, Christ’s object lesson, page 250; “Grace in the covenant ordained our adoption.” I think we all got that. To ordain something means to set it up to make it to be. The Everlasting covenant ordained or provided for our adoption into the family of God. “Grace in the Saviour effected our redemption, our regeneration, and our exaltation to the heirship with Christ.” Now listen to what that means. Grace is unmerited favor. Favor that we don’t deserve. Grace is a means of revealing the true character of God. The character that we have to acknowledge is right, in order to get the power to overcome sin that I just read. Grace is a revelation of the love of God. You don’t show grace, you don’t practice grace if you don’t have love in your heart. There’s just no way, you just don’t do it.

Now, by the covenant this was ordained and by the Savior’s experience in his sacrifice, his life, his death, his resurrection, his priestly ministry, the whole bit, by all of these things, He is revealing the love of God. And that’s the key to salvation. Let me point it out by reading a statement from Desire of Ages, pages 761-762, This statement says that there is no provision for Lucifer’s salvation. And I wondered about that for quite awhile I couldn’t understand why the Lord made no provision to save Lucifer’s when He made a provision to save man. Here it is;
“Lucifer in heaven had sinned in the light of God's glory.” Where was Lucifer when he sinned? In the light of God’s Glory. Now what is God’s glory?

(John) His character.

(Wilfred) His character. And what is light?


(A man in the audience) Enlightenment.


(Wilfred) Enlightenment. That’s right. Understanding, with complete understanding of the character of God, Lucifer still sinned. That’s what it is saying. “To him as to no other created being was given a revelation of God's love." Isn’t that plain? Nobody else in the whole creation had a better understanding of the true nature of God’s love than Lucifer had. Yet, in spite of that, let me read it, “Understanding the character of God, knowing his goodness, Satan chose to follow his own selfish, independent will. This choice was final. There was no more that God could do to save him.” Did you get that? The reason that God didn’t do any more is because He had done it all, already. To Lucifer he had given a full revelation of his love. And He had nothing left to save him with because freedom of choice cannot be forced. The moment you force it, it is no longer free. So, no force. The only thing that God could do was to reveal his love. And it is through the drawing power of love that salvation comes about. But Lucifer had all that to start with and he sinned anyway. So God could not provide any further plan of salvation for Lucifer. There was nothing left. Now, this choice was final, there was no more that God could do to save him. “But man was deceived; his mind was darkened by Satan's sophistry. The height and depth of the love of God he did not know. For him there was hope in a knowledge of God's love. By beholding His character, that is by beholding God's character he (That is man) might be drawn back to God.” Did you get that?


Now, the plan of salvation has been an unfolding of the love of God to deceived mankind. From the beginning man was deceived by Satan and he has been living in deception ever since. But God has been gradually revealing His true character in opposition to the deceptions of Satan, the conflict has been going on, the great conflict. And now in this last generation God’s final move will be a full revelation of His love. A final message of mercy to the dying world, she says, is the revelation of the love of God. And the thing that reveals it is the cross. And that’s another big story in itself. After you have had a full understanding and revelation of the love of God as Lucifer had it and you make your choice, that choice is final. You’re in the same position as He was in. If you still decide to sin in spite of all that God has done there is nothing more He can do for you. You have made our decision.


Well, I’d better quit here or I won’t get through this. Those are just a few tidbits for you to be chewing upon during the week.


We’re taking our topic from Zechariah chapter 3 tonight. And I am going to read the commentary that appears in the fifth volume of the Testimonies for the Church, starting on page 467. If you do not have your commentary with you, you can follow through the Bible. You will find she refers to it a bit of the time.


(John) You mean the Testimonies or the Commentary?

(Wilfred) What did I say?

(John) You said Commentary I think you mean Testimonies.

(Wilfred) I meant the Commentary in the Testimonies. Sister White's commentary is what I meant.

(John) Oh I'm sorry.

(Wilfred) It's in the 5th volume of the Testimonies for the Church. I'm sorry my terminolorgy is lacking here. It is page 467 in here.

We have a picture here of Joshua who was the first high priest after the restoration. And he was standing before the angel of the Lord and that according to the SDA Bible Commentary this time, says that the angel that he was standing before was Christ. And Satan was standing at his right hand to accuse him or resist him. He was the adversary. And the Lord said unto Satan, "The Lord rebuke thee." Now, this was Christ saying, "The Lord rebuke thee." And as I understand it, that Lord is a different word from the other one. In other words he’s turning this over to the entire Deity, not handling it just on His own. "O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments and stood before the Angel. What was the matter with Joshua? Dirty garments, where did he get these from?


(John) He was a sinner.


(Wilfred) It goes a little deeper than that.


(John) He was bearing the sins of the people, as the high priest.


(Wilfred) Good! He was the high priest and he stood in behalf of the people, and the people were full of sin. And He answered and spake unto those who stood before him, saying; "Take away the filthy garments from him and under him." He said, "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." Who did this? The Lord did. And when he got a change of raiment what kind of person was he in the sight of God? Clean. “And I said, let them set a fair miter upon his head," And the commentary said that was some kind of turban. “So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments.” And the Angel of the Lord stood by. And the Angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua saying,” The word “protested” also paraphrased in the commentary, what does it say? Advised, counseled, enjoined. “Thus says the Lord of Hosts, If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." The point I would like you to notice there in verse 7 is; that after Joshua had received the change of garments and had been accepted as righteous, was at the end of the deal. No, it wasn’t. What was he supposed to do from henceforth? Keep the commandments. That’s right. And so we have people who preach righteousness by faith and they get so wrapped up in it that they fail to see that righteousness by faith is a means to an end, not an end in its self. To be absolved of your sins, and the quilt of your sins, and to be forgiven of all your transgressions, that’s one thing, you escape eternal death, you’re no longer under the penalty of death. But that’s not the end of it. The end of salvation is sinlessness. That is you do not go out and continue in sin. If you love Him you keep his commandments. We must not only be saved from the penalty of sin, we must be saved from sinning. And that’s what he goes on to say there.


Well let’s get on into the commentary. I’m reading now from the sixth volume of the SDA Bible commentary, page 1118, Only those who through faith in Christ obey all of Christ’s commandments will reach the condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his transgression. They testify to their love of Christ by obeying all his precepts.


My question is; do you think that this refers to a people on this earth or after the second coming?


(John) ...close to probation.


(Wilfred) It says, they testify to their love of Christ by obeying all his precepts. When is this testimony to be given?


(Several voices in the audience) unintelligible


(Wilfred) Well, on this earth it's to be given. And I can read you other statements for that. But if I take time to look them all up we won’t get through here. The point is; there are people who will reach a condition of sinlessness in which Adam lived before his fall.


Now, in Selected Messages volume 3, page 355.4 she says; “We cannot say, I am sinless until this vile body is changed and fashioned like unto His glorious body.” Now Adams body was created pure and holy. Before he fell it was pure and holy and he was sinless. But we can’t say that until this body is changed. When is it going to be changed?


(Several voices in the audience) At the second coming.


(Wilfred) At the second coming. Then how can we have a sinlessness body as Adam had it before he fell if our body isn’t going to be changed?

 
(A man in the audience) unintelligible


(Wilfred) Can you give me a proof that it is possible?


(John) Yes,


(Wilfred) What is it?


(John) The example of Jesus.


(Wilfred) Good for you! The example of Jesus tells us that it is possible. And if He is the example somebody else is going to do it. So, what’s the conclusion? We are not going to be sinless like Adam yet we are going to be sinless like Adam. Another one of these contradictions again. The conclusion is that there is a sinlessness spoken of in terms of the body, and a sinfulness, and there is a sinlessness and a sinfulness spoken of in connection with the soul. You can have a sinlessness as Christ had it in a sinful body. Got that? Now, God’s people are to attain to sinlessness of character and soul as Jesus did while still being in a sinful body. Are you agreed on that?


They used to read to us this statement here to prove that we could never be sinless before Jesus comes. It’s from the Review and Herald, May 6, 1862. It’s a long ways back. It’s quoted in the seventh volume of the SDA Bible Commentary page 947. It says; “As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome and there is no stopping place, there is no point to which we can come and say, we have fully attained.” So, we’re never going to be perfect before Jesus comes. Just cannot be. And I sat like a good little humble Seventh-Day Adventist and listened to that and soaked it all up and took it all in, but I couldn’t understand it because it didn’t seem to connect with some of the other passages in the Spirit of Prophesy and the Bible. How does it strike you?


(A woman in the audience) As long as Satan reigns.


(Wilfred) That’s correct! You have been with us before sister, I can tell that. Did you notice that condition there? It says, "As long as Satan reigns." Well how long does Satan reign? Well that’s easy, he reigns right up to the end, doesn’t he?


(Several voices at once in the audience) Unintelligible


(Wilfred) Ok. Let me read one now from Christ’s Object Lesson’s around 419, 420. “The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit.” .... What’s it going to take away?


(Several voices in the audience) Our sins.


(Wilfred) Our sins. Part of them?


(Several voices in the audience) All of them.


(Wilfred) All of them. And what’s going to come in its place?


(Several voices in the audience) The graces of the Holy Spirit.


(Wilfred) The graces of the Holy Spirit. Listen; “When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life.” When who reigns in the soul?


(Several voices in the audience) Christ.


(Wilfred) If Christ reigns in the soul, is the devil still reigning?


(Several voices in the audience) No.


(Wilfred) Not in God’s people. Now when this condition here occurs then Satan no longer reigns. Can you see that? And if Satan no longer reigns then that other statement does not apply.


(John) May I read a statement on this?


(Wilfred) Ok.


(John) Desire of Ages, 324, “The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan.”


(Wilfred) Excellent. And I have some others to compare it to but I think that is enough. I want to get through this tonight. You can always dig out some more, and you will come across some more on your own anyway. Sooner or later if you keep studying.


Now let’s read what she says here, and we will see exactly how it happens. Page 467, the 5th volume of the Testimonies for the Church "If the veil which separates the visible from the invisible world could be lifted the people of God could behold the great controversy that is going on between Christ and holy angels and Satan and his evil host concerning the redemption of man. If they could understand the wonderful work of God for the rescue of souls from the bondage of sin and the constant exercise of His power for their protection from the malice of the evil one. They would be better prepared to withstand the devises of Satan."
Did you notice that we have constant protection? Did you notice that? “Their minds would be solemnized in view of the vast extent and importance of the plan of redemption and the greatness of the work before them as co-laborers with Christ. They would be humbled, yet encouraged, knowing that all heaven is interested in their salvation. A most forcible and impressive illustration of the work of Satan and the work of Christ, and the power of our Mediator to vanquish the accuser of His people, is given in the prophecy of Zechariah. In holy vision the prophet beholds Joshua the high priest, "clothed with filthy garments," standing before the Angel of the Lord, entreating the mercy of God in behalf of his people who are in deep affliction.” In what condition are God’s people in? Deep affliction. Now if they are not in deep affliction they don’t qualify here. This is on the Day of Atonement incidentally. This applies on the Day of Atonement she talks about later. And on the Day of Atonement what were the people doing?

(John)
Afflicting their souls.

Wilfred) Afflicting their souls, this is the one day they must not sin. “Satan stands at his right hand to resist him. Because Israel had been chosen to preserve the knowledge of God in the earth, they had been, from their first existence as a nation, the special objects of Satan's enmity,” Now this applies to spiritual Israel too. Spiritual Israel today has been chosen to preserve the knowledge of God in the earth. “He could do them no harm while they were obedient to God;” This is Satan. Satan can do them no harm while they are obedient to God. Is that important to you? Is it? If you don’t want Satan to be able do you any harm, what’s your job? Obedience to God. “Therefore he had bent all his power and cunning” To do what? “Enticing them into sin.” That’s what he's trying to do. Now, he can’t force you into it but he can sure enough but a lot of barbed wire fences around and lollipops at the other end. “Ensnared by his temptations they had transgressed the law of God” Does that apply to His people today? Does it apply to you? “And thus separated from the Source of their strength,” What about that protection? Weakening. “And had been left to become the prey of their heathen enemies. They were carried into captivity to Babylon, and there remained for many years. Yet they were not forsaken of the Lord. His prophets were sent to them with reproofs and warnings. The people were awakened to see their guilt; they humbled themselves before God, and returned to Him with true repentance. Then the Lord sent them messages of encouragement, declaring that He would deliver them from their captivity and restore them to his favor. That promise is for you. If you are in captivity to sin he will restore you to his favor. “It was this that Satan was determined to prevent." And that’s why we have the rugged time we have sometimes. You know what I am talking about, some of you, don’t you? “A remnant of Israel had already returned to their own land, and Satan was seeking to move upon the heathen nations, who were his agents, to utterly destroy them.” Who was controlling the heathen nations?


(Several voices in the audience) Satan.

(Wilfred) Satan. But only as far as God permitted. “As Joshua humbly pleads for the fulfillment of God's promises, Satan stands up boldly to resist him.” Imagine the audacity of this fellow. “He points to the transgressions of Israel as a reason why that people should not be restored to the favor of God. He claims them as his prey” As he owned them, “And demands” Notice that word? Demands. Can you see the audacity reflected in some people that you know on this earth? You seen anything like that, around? I’ve seen some. Perfect tools of Satan. “And demands that they be given into his hands to be destroyed. The high priest cannot defend himself or his people from Satan's accusations.” And neither can you, there is no excuse for sinning, she says. “He does not claim that Israel are free from fault. In his filthy garments, symbolizing the sins of the people, which he bears as their representative,” That’s Joshua. “He stands before the Angel, That’s Christ. “Confessing their guilt, yet pointing to their repentance and humiliation, relying upon the mercy of a sin-pardoning Redeemer and in faith claiming the promises of God.” And that’s important, if you don’t claim the promises of God, you’re licked. You’ve got no other recourse. It is the only way out. “Then the Angel, who is Christ Himself, the Saviour of sinners, puts to silence the accuser of His people, declaring: "The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" Israel had long remained in the furnace of affliction. We talked about that, haven’t we? And listen, this is coming upon God’s people, you know that don’t you? And it is during this time that this furnace of affliction is tearing God’s people to pieces and purifying them and cleansing them. It's at this time that a declaration coming up a little bit later in the chapter is going to be made. And you will really appreciate it when it comes. But let’s follow it now. “Because of their sins they had been well-nigh consumed in the flame kindled by Satan and his agents for their destruction,” I hope some of you are reading and thinking and getting this. “Because of their sins” And you know your sins. “They had been well-nigh consumed in the flame kindled by Satan” See who’s doing it? “And his agents for their destruction,” Trying to just pull you to pieces. “But God had now set His hand to bring them forth.” He’s going to do it see? So just hang on. “In their penitence and humiliation the compassionate Saviour will not leave his people to the cruel power of the heathen. "A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench. As the intercession of Joshua is accepted, the command is given, "Take away the filthy garments from him," and to Joshua the Angel declares, "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." "So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments." His own sins and those of his people were pardoned. Israel were clothed with "change of raiment" — the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.” So you see what the raiment is? The righteousness of Christ. Imputed or counted in their favor. “The miter placed upon Joshua's head was such as was worn by the priests and bore the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord," signifying that, notwithstanding his former transgressions, he was now qualified to minister before God in His sanctuary.” And that applies to you. You can become qualified to function as a priest of God and minister in His sanctuary. And what is His sanctuary?

(John)
His church on earth.

(Wilfred) His church on earth. And He is looking for a people who will qualify to do the ministry. Did you get it? How many is He going to get?


(Many voices in the audience) One hundred and forty four thousand.

(Wilfred) And how long are they going to remain as kings and priests?

(Many voices in the audience) For a thousand years.

(Wilfred) For one thousand years it says. There is a reason God needs priests for a thousand years because there is going to be a lot of people coming up on the first resurrection who have not attained to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. That would be me if God took me tonight, I would be one of those. My father was another one. Now if I happen to make it maybe I could be given the privilege of being a teacher to my father and standing good for him until he grows up into the fullness of the stature of Christ. Don’t you get it? Now, the Bible says it, not me. God says He is going to have priests who will officiate for a thousand years. And if you want to know what a priest does go to the Bible it’s all in there, it tells you what priests do. Oh, you say, brother Johnson, you’re saying that there is going to be sin during the millennium. I didn’t say that. Don’t jump to conclusions. I didn’t say that at all. I said my father hadn’t grown up into the fullness of the stature of Christ.

(John) He had a lot of wrong ideas.

(Wilfred) He didn’t have the correct idea of the Sabbath and there were one or two other things he didn’t have correct but he was a genuine Christian before he died and God took him. And there are going to be a lot of genuine Christians today who are not going to go through to translation, They’re going to be resting in their beds. They are going to come up in the first resurrection. But God is going to have a hundred and forty four thousand who will go through and who will have the same experience that Jesus had. They’ll sing the new song, the song of Moses and the Lamb which no man can sing save the hundred and forty four thousand. She says that it is the song of their experience. They will not only be witness’s here on earth. And I can read you where they will be that. Testifying to the efficacy of the plan of salvation and the integrity of God’s word. They will prove that salvation is possible in sinful human flesh. They’ll prove it. Not themselves they won’t, they will surrender so God can do it. And I have talked to you about what surrender is and I won’t go over that again.

“After thus solemnly investing him with the dignity of the priesthood the Angel declared: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house,” Now do you see the hundred and forty four thousand in there? Do you? “And shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." He would be honored as the judge or ruler over the temple and all its services;” Who is honored as a judge and a ruler over the temple and all it’s services? 

(John) The priests.

(Wilfred) The priests. “He should walk among attending angels, even in this life, and should at last join the glorified throng around the throne of God. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at:" And we could dwell on that too but these people are going to be wonders. The whole universe is going to wonder after them. There are some that are going to wonder after the beast you know. The whole world is going to wonder after the beast, but believe me there are angels and intelligent beings on other worlds that are going to wonder after the hundred and forty four thousand. Joel talks about it too. Perfect harmony, a strong and mighty people such as there never has been. Joel chapter 2  “For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch." Now remember, he’s talking to these ancient Israelites. So He’s weaving into the prophecy like He does in so many places the thing that applies to them but also the thing that applies in our day. Don’t forget what the Bible says, that all these experiences were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world have come. And that just doesn’t mean the end of the world in terms of time it means on whom the ends, or purposes, or outcomes of the world are come. What is the purpose of this world, what is the outcome of this world?


(John) Salvation from sin.

(Wilfred) Salvation from sin. God created this world to be a laboratory in which He permits the demonstration between the two forces to be carried forward and be demonstrated. It’s a book being written for all time. “Here is revealed the hope of Israel.” Through the coming of Christ and we are looking for the coming of Christ today. They were looking for Him back there and John the Baptist came and proclaimed He was coming. Get ready, be prepared. Ok, He’s coming now, see? He’s coming first to his temple. The messenger of the covenant is coming suddenly to his temple. Remember that? And there is to be a work today which parallels the work of John the Baptist, proclaiming a preparation for that coming. “It was by faith in the coming Saviour that Joshua and his people received pardon. Through faith in Christ they were restored to God's favor. By virtue of His merits, if they walked in His ways and kept His statutes,” What’s that? By virtue of His merits, if they walked in His ways and kept His statutes, they would be "men wondered at. What’s the condition? If they walk in His statutes and His ways then they will be men wonder at. If they don’t walk in His statutes, by virtue of His merits they will not be men wondered at because they will not attain to the fullness of the stature of Christ. Do you get it? “Honored as the chosen of heaven among the nations of the earth. Christ was their hope, their defense, their justification and redemption, and He is the hope of his church today. As Satan accused Joshua and his people, so in all ages he accuses those who are seeking the mercy and favor of God.” That includes us. “In the Revelation he is declared to be the "accuser of our brethren," "which accused them before our God day and night." The controversy is repeated over every soul that is rescued from the power of evil and whose name is registered in the Lamb's book of life.” So everyone of you have been a center of controversy between Christ and Satan. “Never is one received from the family of Satan into the family of God without exciting the determined resistance of the wicked one.” We’ve had some recent believers baptized in the last few months and would you believe it, some of them are experiencing this very thing. Why? The devil wants them. He doesn’t want God to have them. And that’s the way it goes. “Satan's accusations against those who seek the Lord are not prompted by displeasure at their sins. No. He exults in their defective characters. Only through their transgression of God's law can he obtain power over them.” I repeat, only through their transgression of God's law can he obtain power over them. So then, obedience is the key to victory over the devils influence and controlling power. Obedience. Only through their transgression of God's law can he obtain power over them. “His accusations arise solely”, that means alone or only, from his enmity to Christ. Through the plan of salvation, Jesus is breaking Satan's hold upon the human family and rescuing souls from his power. All the hatred and malignity of the arch rebel is stirred as he beholds the evidence of Christ's supremacy, and with fiendish power and cunning he works to wrest from Him the remnant of the children of men who have accepted His salvation.” Brother and Sister you are going to be the target of the devils cleverest tricks and there is only one safety, perfect confidence in God and perfect obedience to His commandments.

Now you say, I can’t do it. Oh, yes you can. God never asks you to do anything that He doesn’t supply the power to do. But you may not be able to do it overnight. Sanctification is a growth. Children grow and you can’t expect them to lift weights beyond their ability at any level and neither does God. He does not expect you to be a 100% full replica of the full stature of Christ overnight. But He does expect you to put forth your best efforts and when you do that, what is the promise?

(A man in the audience) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) Yes, that’s right, He makes up for your deficiency with His own divine merit. “With fiendish power and cunning he works to wrest from Him the remnant of the children of men who have accepted His salvation.”

“He leads men into skepticism, causing them to lose confidence in God and to separate from His love; he tempts them to break His law, and then he claims them as his captives and contests the right of Christ to take them from him. He knows that those who seek God earnestly for pardon and grace will obtain it” The devil’s smart enough to know that. “Therefore he presents their sins before them to discourage them.” So you get qualms of conscience, see, you see how wicked you really are, how weak you are, how little progress you have made and you despair that you will never make it. That’s what the devil wants. That’s exactly what the devil wants. Don’t listen to him; don’t pay any attention to him. Even though you are weak as a kitten, tell the devil that my strength is in Christ. That’s all you have to do. Don’t pay any attention to his nonsense. “He is constantly seeking occasion against those who are trying to obey God.” And that is you and that is me. He is constantly seeking occasion against us because we are trying to obey God. I like that word “trying” in there, don’t you? That includes us all. “Even their best and most acceptable services he seeks to make appear corrupt. By countless devices, the most subtle and the most cruel, he endeavors to secure their condemnation. Man cannot meet these charges himself.” You can’t talk back to him. You can’t deny it. “In his sin-stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands before God. But Jesus our Advocate presents an effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance and faith have committed the keeping of their souls to Him. He pleads their cause and vanquishes their accuser by the mighty arguments of Calvary. His perfect obedience to God's law, even unto the death of the cross, has given Him all power in heaven and in earth, and He claims of His Father mercy and reconciliation for guilty man.” And the Father listens to the son. Because He has given the Son all power and He has agreed to the terms of the Everlasting Covenant, and that is one of the terms. And the Father is fulfilling His obligation. “To the accuser of His people He declares: "'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.' These are the purchase of my blood, brands plucked from the burning." Those who rely upon Him in faith receive the comforting assurance: "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." All that have put on the robe of Christ's righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and faithful and true.” What a promise. “Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of Christ." Is He ruling?


(The end of C/D #39 and the beginning of C/D #40)


Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of Christ. “Not one soul that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy's power.” Now if you don’t believe that promise you’re sunk. But if you believe that promise you’ve got it made. Sure He will permit the devil to sneak up on you like He did with Peter because you need to learn some things. Here’s the lesson book in this world, here’s the time to learn. Now is the time to make your mistakes. But He is never going to leave you there; did He leave Peter? No way! “His word is pledged: "Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me." The promise given to Joshua is made to all: "If thou wilt keep my charge, I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." Angels of God will walk on either side of them, even in this world, and they will stand at last among the angels that surround the throne of God.


The fact that the acknowledged people of God are represented as standing before the Lord in filthy garments should lead to humility and deep searching of heart” Don’t ever get proud of yourself because of your righteousness. “Those who are indeed purifying their souls by obeying the truth” - How do you purify your soul? Obeying the truth. And we have talked about that before. Although I could deal with it a bit more fully but I don’t think I’ll have time tonight. “Will have a most humble opinion of themselves. The more closely they view the spotless character of Christ, the stronger will be their desire to be conformed to His image, and the less will they see of purity or holiness in themselves. Now look, if you want to have a desire to be conformed to the image of Christ then you need to get a closer view of the spotless character of Christ. That’s what it says, and where do you find the spotless character of Christ?


(A man in the audience) In His word.


(Wilfred) In His word is a more complete answer. And what does His word consist of?


(A man in the audience) The written word.


(Wilfred) The written word, the book of nature, the book of experience, and God’s dealing with human life. And all of those are supervised by the influence of the Spirit. Every last one of them. And if you want to have a clearer view of the cross of Christ, by the way, it’s the cross that reveals the love. The word reveals the cross. It is in the third book, the book of experience that you are going to get your larger revelation of the cross. Your experimental knowledge of God is going to come through experience. You need the written word, the knowledge of the word. You need the book of nature to get a total concept of the written message of God. But you won’t understand that written message until you have an experience. And it’s the experimental knowledge that gives you the true vision of the love of God because it will give you an understanding of His sufferings. The sufferings of the cross, what He has been enduring because of sin for six thousand years, yes it's even more than that, on the account of man to give man a probation. He’s been hanging out and He will continue to hang out there and take the gaff until we quit. But He is going to permit you to share his suffering. That’s what the Bible says. And through sharing his suffering and through putting you through the furnace of affliction to get a vision of His love for you, you will be purified. It’s the power of love that cleanses the soul temple. I could read you that too. The key to the gospel is the love of God. That’s the key to the gospel. Everything centers around the love of God. Creation came from that, the law came from that, salvation and redemption came from that, the Everlasting Covenant, the plan of salvation, the total future life comes from that. It is the central core of God. God is love. “But while we should realize our sinful condition, we are to rely upon Christ as our righteousness, our sanctification, and redemption. We cannot answer the charges of Satan against us. Christ alone can make an effectual plea in our behalf. He is able to silence the accuser with arguments founded not upon our merits, but on His own.”


“Yet we should never be content with a sinful life. It is a thought that should arouse Christians to greater zeal and earnestness in overcoming evil. What’s our job?

(John) To overcome evil.


(Wilfred) To make a decision to quit sinning. That’s it. “That every defect in character, every point in which they fail to meet the divine standard, is an open door by which Satan can enter to tempt and destroy them;” What is? Every defect in character, every point in which they fail to meet the divine standard, that is an open door by which Satan can come in without a key to temp and destroy. “And, furthermore, that every failure and defect on their part gives occasion to the tempter and his agents to reproach Christ”. So he’s making fun of Christ. You’re a liar Christ. Your word isn’t true. I told you so. Christ is not true. He didn’t tell the truth. Do you see it? “We are to exert every energy of the soul in the work of overcoming,” Why? So that we can exonerate the charges of Satan against Christ that’s why. So that Christ can be released from Hs position as mediator, bearing our sins. Until such time as we quit, He’s got to stay there. He can’t lay down His priestly robes until we quit sinning. Because He has committed Himself to be our priest until the close of probation.


(A man in the audience) Forever!


(Wilfred) Forever. So when is probation going to close? When we quit sinning. It’s that simple. “We are to exert every energy of the soul in the work of overcoming, and to look to Jesus for strength to do what we cannot do of ourselves.” If we can’t do it for ourselves where do we get the strength? Christ. “No sin” Please note, No sin, not even a little white one. “Can be tolerated in those who shall walk with Christ in white.” I’ve marked that word “In” in red pencil. Because some people teach, even some in our denomination, that it is the work Christ does outside of us that is all meritorious, and not what He does in us. Now, can you not see that the goal of salvation is to get rid of sin in us? What’s the value of getting rid of sin outside of us and have us saved as sinners. Is God going to take a bunch of sinners to heaven? And constantly cover them with the merits of his righteousness throughout eternity. Is this what He’s going to do? Well, yes, partly. He is going to constantly cover them throughout eternity. But they of their own decision are going the refuse to sin. Who was it that brought sin into the world in the first place? Christ or Adam? Adam. Adam decided to sin. How is sin going to be removed? By us deciding not to sin. And she says that the expulsion of sin from the life is the act of the soul itself. That’s plain. Only we sin, not God. Only we can put sin out because sin is our decision not God’s decision. But we haven’t the power to do it. That’s where God comes in. The sacrifice of Christ was necessary to provide the motive power to enable us to make the decision and put it into effect. And what is that motive power?


(A man in the audience) Love.


(Wilfred) Love. That’s why He had to die, to reveal His totality of love, His law is self-sacrifice, self-sacrificing love. How could He reveal that he was a self-sacrificing God if he didn’t give all He had? Well, He could give a little bit. Do you know how much it takes to save a man from sin? A little bit? It takes all. And Christ did it. And that is what silenced the devil. He can never say again that God does not live up to His own law. What do you think we are going to have to give? Listen, if we are going to reflect the image of Christ fully, how much are we going to have to give?


(John) All.


(Wilfred) All. Now where did I get to? “The filthy garments are to be removed, and Christ's robe of righteousness is to be placed upon us." That’s not just imputed righteousness, that is also the imparted righteousness. Because she goes on to say, “By repentance and faith we are enabled to render obedience” To nine commandments? “All the commandments of God, and are found without blame before Him.” Do you see imparted righteousness there? “Those who shall meet the approval of God are now afflicting their souls, confessing their sins, and earnestly pleading for pardon through Jesus their Advocate.” That’s what we ought to be doing right now. “Their attention is fixed upon Him, their hopes, their faith, are centered on Him, and when the command is given, "Take away the filthy garments, and clothe him with change of raiment, and set a fair miter upon his head," they are prepared to give” Themselves all the glory for their salvation... 


(A man in the audience) To give Him all the glory.


(Wilfred) To give Him all the glory of their salvation. All right.
Now here comes a significant statement. “Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing up of the great Day of Atonement.” Where are we living today?

(John) In the closing up of the great Day of Atonement.

(Wilfred) In the closing up of the great Day of Atonement. So how does this apply to us today? With peculiar force. “The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire (Wrath) of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches;” Can we dispute that? At this particular time that statement will be true. “But here is a little company who are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel," Remember that? “So in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God. All will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law.” The mark of the beast. “Those who will be true to God and to duty will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed.” That means they will be closed in so they can’t do much, they can’t buy and sell, remember? “They will "be betrayed
by both.” By what? “Parents, and.” I hope that nobody here betrays somebody else that is here. But its going to happen. Brethren, and parents and kinsfolks and friends are going to betray Gods true people. Their only hope is in the mercy of God. What’s their hope? Have they any swords like Peter had in Gethsemane? No, no swords. Just trusting in God. Did Jesus have any sword that he could have used in Gethsemane? Why don’t you know, I could call to My Father and He would send me twelve legions of angels. Oh, He had a sword, did he use it? He trusted His Father, He committed Himself to Him that judges righteously, and that is what He asks us to do. When He was reviled He didn’t revile again.

Ok. “As Joshua was pleading before the Angel, so the remnant church, with brokenness of heart and earnest faith," You’ll recognize those conditions. And that’s the way you’ll feel about it. “Will plead for pardon and deliverance through Jesus their Advocate. They are fully conscious of the sinfulness of their lives, they see their weakness and unworthiness, and as they look upon themselves they are ready to despair.” I’ll never make it Mr. Johnson; I’ll never make it. I’ve heard that hundreds of times in the last thirty years. Honestly, I’ll never make it. I can’t make it. That’s a sign that you are in the right group, isn’t it? Isn’t that what it says about these people? That’s the way they are going to feel. So, you’re in the right group. I’ve heard other people who don’t say that. They are quite confident that they are the Lords people and one of these days the Lord is going come and take them home. Maybe He is and maybe He isn’t. But the people who are going through to translation, this is the way they are going to feel. That will be one of the signs that you will know the remnant. “The tempter stands by to accuse them, as he stood by to resist Joshua. He points to their filthy garments, their defective characters. He presents their weakness and folly, their sins of ingratitude,” Any of you folks felt ungrateful to God? Even rebellious once in a while. “Their unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer.” Have you felt like that? Well you’re in the right group. Who’s doing this, who’s making you feel like that? Satan. “He endeavors to affright the soul with the thought that their case is hopeless,” And can never make it. “That the stain of their defilement will never be washed away.” I’m just too wicked. Can’t clean me up. No hope, “He hopes to so destroy their” What?

(Several voices in the audience) Their faith.

(Wilfred) Yes. It isn’t that he hopes to destroy their sinlessness or their sinfulness, or anything like that, no, it’s their faith. What is the key then to getting through?

(Several voices in the audience) Faith.

(Wilfred) Faith in what?

(Many voices in the audience) Unintelligible

 (Wilfred) Yes, in His promise that He will do it. Faith in the promise of changing your raiment. Do you change your raiment? What do you do?

(Many voices in the audience) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) You decide to surrender your will to Him and what does that mean?

(No response from the audience)

(Wilfred) Come on.

(A few voices in the audience) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) That’s right. When God says do this, He says keep my commandments. You don’t feel like keeping His commandments. To surrender your will to Him means to keep His commandments. That’s what it means. You are surrendering your will to the will of God by keeping His commandments. That’s what he asked you to do.

(A man in the audience) But if it's not out of love you’re still not keeping them.

(Wilfred) You still do it.

(Same man in the audience) But it’s not obedience.

(Wilfred) That’s right. But that’s the best you can do until He changes the heart. You can’t change your heart, He has to do it, don’t you see? This is the difference between the Old and New Covenant, Brother. In the Old Covenant they said “We’ll do it” and they did it, as best they could. And I can imagine some of them managed to get by for quite a few months without having to bring one of those animals, because they didn’t like cutting those animals, especially when it was the best one of the flock. So they would do it. Understand? But the Lord had to teach them that there was no way that they could do it. Man cannot keep the law of God, because what is the law? Keeping the Ten Commandments? Is that the law?

(Same man in the audience)  No.

(Wilfred) What is the law?

(Several voices at once) Unintelligible.

(Wilfred) Keeping the law of self-renouncing love. And you cannot make your heart love by deciding that you are going to do it. No way. Love is something that comes spontaneously. And I can show you from the Bible that the love of God is a gift to you, and it comes through the agency of the Holy Spirit. And you have to ask for that, and He will give it. So you keep the commandments, but you’re not keeping them until the heart is changed, then they are acceptable. That’s why your righteousness which is your commandment keeping is like filthy rags in His sight, It’s unacceptable, it won’t do, because you are just doing it out of a sense of obligation, because you have to, because you want to gain some reward for doing it. That’s self-interest and totally contrary God’s law.

(John) I think the thing that’s bothering Larry and it’s bothered me, and again, it’s another one of these contradictions, and you just said to Larry; Well, it’s the best you can do and you must do it. But this statement which you often quoted yourself from Christ’s Object Lessons I would like to read. And its bothered me and maybe that’s why many of us who read this statement say, well, we’re not going to make it. “The man who attempts to keep the commandments of God from a sense of obligation merely because he is required to do so will never enter the joy of obedience.

(Wilfred) Ok, may I stop you just there, just a minute. You can easily see why he would not enter the joy of obedience if he is keeping them because he is obliged to keep them and doesn’t really want to. He’s not going to enjoy that. Ok.

(John) He does not obey, that’s the next statement, but notice; “When the requirements of God are accounted a burden because they cut across human inclination we may know that the life is not a Christian life.”

(Wilfred) Right. Correct.

(John) You see, I have read statements like this and that bothers me, and then in another place you read that every day in the life of the apostle Paul that he had to fight against inclination. So the requirements of God cut across inclination in his life.

(Wilfred) Don’t you see that we are engaged in a struggle between good and evil all the way through until we attain to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. We will never be able to keep God’s law without their cutting across our inclination. But it is a relative thing
as you continue to demonstrate to God that you are going to keep his commandments come hell or high water, what does He do?

(John) Changes the heart.

(Wilfred) He starts sending that Spirit and what happens?

(John) The things you used to think...

(Wilfred) Right. This is the transformation of the heart. This is the new birth experience. It doesn’t take place instantaneously. The new birth experience in its fullest sense is not completed until you attain to the fullness of the stature of Christ. You’re grown up. The actual new birth experience as an instantaneous thing so to speak is just a small portion of the total progression of the Christian growing up.

Yes?

(A man in the Audience) The thing I can’t understand, it seems like it’s suggesting, get into legalism until it gets to be a thing of love and I would think that you should get a vision of love first and then there would be a natural response to want to keep the commandments. But the way I’m seeing it right now, the way I’m getting it, is to get into the action of obedience, although it’s going against your grain, do it anyway.

(Wilfred) Right. Let me answer your problem here. How do you treat the kids? Do you say, Well look, you must love to do this, you’ve got to love to do these dishes or else you aren’t doing them. Is that what you think? You get those dishes done, or else. And that is what the Lord did back there with ancient Israel. You obey my commandments or else, didn’t He? Isn’t that what He did? Come on now, you’ve read your Bibles.

(A man in the Audience) Yea, He was supposed to do that, was He?

(Wilfred) Well, wasn’t He?

(A man in the Audience) Well, they still could...

(Wilfred) Yes, they had a choice and so do your kids, they either wash the dishes or not. If they don’t wash the dishes then comes the rod. And when they didn’t obey the Lord, and He was long suffering and patient with them, let's not get this twisted. But ultimately, what did God do when they persisted? He lowered the boom. Why, because he loved them and wanted them to grow up into characters that He could put into His Kingdom and give eternal life. That’s why. But listen, now you say, we need to start on the love and that’s right, she has a statement to that effect, we need to start with the heart, But, you can’t start with the heart because you can’t make yourself love mustard if you don’t like it. All you can do is make yourself eat it, in spite of the fact you don’t like it. But you can do that, I’ve done it. But I don’t persist with mustard because mustard is not good for me anyway and I don’t care to build up a desire for mustard. But, I didn’t like rolled oats once and we were in a predicament where mother was in the hospital, no father and three boys and no money and we had to eat and oatmeal was the cheapest thing you could buy. So we bought oatmeal and I was the cook. And I hated oatmeal and it just about came up every time I put a spoonful down. And I said to myself, I’m going to eat oatmeal if it kills me because if I don’t eat it I’m going to get killed anyway. And I cooked oatmeal a little different from what mother used to cooked it; I thought I could improve on things. I eat oatmeal no matter how I felt about it. I had to start with my decision, not with my heart. If I had started with my heart I wouldn’t have eaten the stuff. You know what happened after a while? I like oatmeal today. I love oatmeal porridge, and oatmeal cookies, and oatmeal everything.

(John) Sister White had the same experience with whole wheat bread...

(Wilfred) Right, now you cannot start with love excepting as God gives it to you. And you are correct up to a point. Let me show you. What starts the process of repentance in the first place? You or God? God. How does He do it?

(John) The Spirit.

(Wilfred) He gives you the full out-pouring of the Spirit all at once? No He doesn’t, He gives you a little sprinkle and starts to draw you. Then you have to make a decision to respond, no matter how you feel about it. You have a little inclination but all the things of the world are pulling you the other way. Are you going against the grain? Does His desire cut across the grain? Yes, it does. But what decision do you make? Go to the world or go to God? Well, that’s up to you. But if you go to God what happens?

(A man in the Audience) A little more Spirit.

(Wilfred) A little more Spirit. Don’t you see? It builds up. And as you grow He can give you more. As your children grow you can give them more responsibility, more power, bigger guns or whatever.

(John) Can’t we ask God when we have an unregenerate heart in some area, saying, Look Lord I am going to obey because I know I’m doing the wrong thing even though I feel like doing the other thing and ask Him to change our hearts and He will if we are sincere about it. As we participate in obedience doesn’t He give us His Spirit to change that heart and to empower us to...

(Wilfred) Yes He does. And there are times when He does in the spiritual realm what He sometimes does in the physical realm. One of my good friends, some of you may have known him. Avey Farnsworth, remember him? One of the Farnsworth boys from Castles. Their father or was it grandfather, I forgot. Claimed to be the first Seven-Day Adventist. Anyway, He was diagnosed with cancer and was scheduled for an operation. And normally of course with cancer it’s downhill, you know? But he was getting to be an elderly man and felt he couldn’t make it and if he had to go through that operation it would be the end of him. I mean, that was his feeling. So he committed himself to the Lord and said, Now Lord if you have anything more for me to do in this life you’re just going to have to step in and pull me through that because I don’t think I can make it. Well, when He finally got a place in the hospital and they took him in to get x-rays to know exactly where to operate and what all to do, there wasn’t any cancer there, it had all disappeared. Now the Lord does that sometimes. And there was Slaybaugh, he was all banged up too. He would have been months in the hospital if he had lived under severe pain and dope to pull him through. And he lay, was it about four days unconscious and then when they anointed him with oil, and one the few people there was Wymer. Remember the Wymers, they used to live out here in the valley. Clyde Wymer went to India, China, or Japan as a missionary. Anyway he was back on furlough at the time and the old Wymers were living down there on the west coast of Oregon. Well that’s a big story, there’s a whole book written on it, probably most of you have read it anyway. But what happened to slaybaugh? When they touched that little part of his forehead that wasn’t bandaged there, woooof! Sparks and energy went through that fellow and he shook like a leaf and the whole bed trembled and the minister had to pull his hand away from the spark. And that one eye that wasn’t smashed, Slaybaugh opened it up and looked around, and said, where am I? No pain, no pain at all. His jaws were all smashed, his teeth broken, his tongue all mangled up, one ear cut off, just hanging by a thread, one eye smashed, just smashed it, no sight in it at all, scalp cut open, brain fluid oozing out, just a mess, and he was dying, definitely dying, no question about that. Mrs. Slaybaugh was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to get the minister there soon enough before he went. There he was, he said I’m hungry and they called a nurse in and she ran out screaming and when they got her calmed down a bit she came back with some candy, you know this Christmas candy, that hard stuff? She figured that he could put that in his mouth and it would melt and he could suck on it, you know, and get a bit of nourishment that way. Because she knew his jaws were all broken and he couldn’t chew on anything. He just crunched it to powder. I guess that was when she went out screaming. I guess I got that twisted. Anyway, the doctor came in, pulled the bandage off the eye and there was a brand new eye, he took the one off the ear and there was the ear tacked back on. Slaybaugh went to the optometrist just to get an eye test, and didn’t tell the optometrist anything about his experience. The optometrist just happened to check this eye first, the new one that he got. And he said, Slaybaugh, you’ve got the eye of a young fellow, yet, tremendous.

(A man in the audience) 20/20 vision.

(Wilfred) He never bothered to check the other eye, which was the old one. Look, the Lord can do it, see? He’s not limited. And there are some fellows who come to the Lord with a terrible craving for tobacco and he says Lord please take it away from me, and the Lord takes it away. And it’s gone in an instant. But that is not the normal thing. The normal thing is a process, a scientific process. She calls it the science of salvation. You make the decision then the thing will heal. The old pattern will fade out the new pattern will be created. There is power in the gospel to overcome every hereditary and cultivated tendency to sin. But He doesn’t guarantee that it will happen instantaneously. You get the point? He can do it, but He doesn’t always do it. Now, some of you know why He doesn’t do it. Tell these folks who haven’t heard it before.

(A man in the audience) To enable you to build a character.

(Wilfred) To enable you to build a character. Character is built by making a decision against a resistance of the flesh. When you decide to obey God’s law contrary to your feelings, you are building the muscle of your willpower just like I build a muscle in this arm when we were kids, we used to do that and you put it through a stretch just as hard as you can pull it and then you completely relax. Then you give it another shot, then you completely relax, maybe ten times the first day, and that’s all. Then you wait for a whole twenty-four hours before you do it again. Then you give it another shot. And pretty soon you can pull twenty times. Then pretty soon you’re to have to put an extra elastic band on that thing. You see? You’re building a muscle by putting it to the stretch. That’s the way you build willpower. And by building willpower you are implanting character. You are building a strong character that will enable you to stand firm when tremendous resistances show up. God can depend on you, you will never budge. You’ve got a character. Now that is your job in probationary time. And God in His mercy permits you to face up against those resistances to let you build that character. So, when you ask the lord, Lord I can’t take it. He says ok, I’ll not suffer you to be temped above what you able to bear. If you can’t do it, that’s find with me. But what happens to you? You keep your weak muscles.

(John) You keep your weak character that will limit your possibilities in heaven.

(Wilfred) And your character will not change a bit. What you make of yourself, "WHAT YOU MAKE OF YOURSELF", I’m quoting, “IN PROBATIONARY TIME, THAT YOU WILL REMAIN THROUGH ALL ETERNITY.  Now, I don’t know whether I have answered it adequately or not but let it simmer for awhile. Before we take a crack at it again. I could give you two references on this too, but I don’t have them on my mind right now.

(John) In another place brother she says, we do not appreciate the power of the will God has given to us.

(Wilfred) That’s right. God has given us the power and the strength to do much more than we think we can do. But it’s his power, his strength, He gave it to us, we must acknowledge that.

(A man in the Audience) Along with that though in Steps to Christ...in over coming sin... Unintelligible

(Wilfred) Without the strength God gives us. But He gives you a measure to start with. And He doesn’t give the same measure to everybody. Like talents, some He gives ten, some five, some two. Some people have a strong willpower to start with, they are just giants when it comes to willpower.

(John) The strength of the will lies in the surrendering of the will, that’s brought out in Steps to Christ too. She says that everything hinges on us understanding this point of surrendering the will.

(Wilfred) She’s even more specific than that, John, she says that when your will is lined up with the will of Christ and that means when you are deciding to do what He asks you to do, that’s what that means. So when you decide to do what God asks you to do regardless of how you feel your will is lining up with the will of Christ. Then you get infinite power.

(A man in the audience) The fact that I love my wife and I make a decision to want to go buy her some roses it doesn’t go against my grain. Ok? That’s the principle that I work on, so it’s not something that goes across my grain because my nature has changed to loving her.

(Wilfred) Perfect. That’s exactly it. And that’s what God wants to restore in his people relative to his total law. And I could read it to you. That’s what He’s going to restore. But you’ve got to go through the process. You’ve got to..........

(A man in the Audience) To be changed.

(Wilfred) That’s right. And you have to surrender your will to his will, which means, do his will.

(A man in the Audience) Well, what do we do with the statement where it says, by beholding we become changed?

(Wilfred) That’s where the transformation comes in. It is the love of Christ revealed to you that causes the transformation. We think in terms of Him giving us this power sort of in a miraculous way, it’s also scientific. What was it that made you do those things for your wife? Did you do that before you ever knew her?

(A man in the Audience) Absolutely not.

(Wilfred) No. You had to get to know her before you got to love her. And that is the way it is with God. To know Him is to Love Him. That’s why the knowledge of God is so important, When you get to know what God is really like, you spontaneously love Him. Because you will see his love. She says, love begets love. It’s all there in a nutshell. It is as scientific as it can be. Just one step after the other, it’s tremendous what God has done.

Well let me finish this, I’ve got another two pages and I must get through. We are coming up to the most important part.

“He hopes to destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations, turn from their allegiance to God,” What will they do? “Turn from their allegiance to God and receive the mark of the beast.” That’s what the devil wants. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.    
 
“Satan urges before God his accusations against them, declaring that they have by their sins forfeited the divine protection,” He says Lord, you can't protect those people, look at what they are doing. They’re mine. “And claiming the right to destroy them as transgressors. He pronounces them just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favor of God." He says Lord; you can’t take those people in anymore than you can take me in. If you can’t take me in you can’t take Wilf Johnson in. He’s just as bad as I am. That’s the devils accusations. What does the Lord do? "Are these," he says, "the people who are to take my place in heaven and the place of the angels who united with me?” I made the statement once that the saved in the last generation are going to replace the devil, Satan, Lucifer, and the angels that fell. And somebody challenged me on it. Well, there it is. The devil knows it. Somebody’s going to replace Lucifer. That’s what it says. “While they profess to obey the law of God, have they kept its precepts? Have they not been lovers of self more than of God?” Check yourself on it. “Have they not placed their own interests above His service?” Check yourself on it. “Have they not loved the things of the world?” Haven’t you? Now honestly, haven’t you? “Look at the sins which have marked their lives. Behold their selfishness, their malice, their hatred toward one another."

“The people of God have been in many respects very faulty. Satan has an accurate knowledge of the sins which he has tempted them to commit, and he presents these in the most exaggerated light,” You see, he has a recording system and he knows exactly what he has temped you to do and he knows exactly what you did. And so he declares "Will God banish me and my angels from His presence, and yet reward those who have been guilty of the same sins?” Very good argument isn’t it? “Thou canst not do this, O Lord, in justice. Thy throne will not stand in righteousness and judgment. Justice demands that sentence be pronounced against them." That’s the devil. Now look.

“But while the followers of Christ have sinned, they have not given themselves to the control of evil." See they slipped. They’ve fallen. But they have not given themselves over to evil. It’s not their general pattern, they want righteousness. “They have put away their sins, and have sought the Lord in humility and contrition, and the divine Advocate pleads in their behalf. He who has been most abused by their ingratitude, who knows their sin, and also their repentance - He declares: "'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.' I gave my life for these souls. They are graven upon the palms of my hands." And if they are graven upon the palms of His hands. Can you ever get rid of those gravens there on the palms of your hands? No. And Jesus said, nobody can pluck you out of His hand. That’s what He says. He says, my father is greater than I am and nobody can pluck you out of My Fathers hand. Then how can you get lost? By your own decision, only. You can walk away. But as long as you stay in that palm you’ll get through.

“The assaults of Satan are strong, his delusions are terrible; Now I want to point out to you that here is a description of the great and dreadful day of the lord spoken of by Joel as it occurs before the close of probation in the lives of God’s people. That great and dreadful day continues on through after the close of probation and comes upon the wicked. But the great and dreadful day of the lord comes first upon His people, what for?

(John) To try them.

(Wilfred)
To try them and to?

(John) To purify them.


(Wilfred) To purify them.

(John) To separate the most...


(Wilfred) Yes, that’s the shaking. The assaults of Satan are strong; his delusions are terrible; that’s exactly what Joel said. “But the Lord's eye is upon his people. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but Jesus will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire.” .... There’s your Laodicean reference again. "Their earthliness must be removed that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected;” Are they going to get the perfect reflection of Christ’s image? Yes sir. “Unbelief must be overcome; faith, hope,” And What? Read it again. You know what patience is?

(A man in the Audience) No.

(Wilfred) Well, you’d better start finding out. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. And we always quote the last two and leave the first one off, don’t we? We say, here are they that keep the commandments of God. Here are they that have the faith of Jesus. That’s the way we say it. We forget about the first one.

Ok, “The people of God are sighing and crying for the abominations done in the land.” Now what is that a reference to?

(John) Ezekiel chapter 9.

(Wilfred) And what is that?

(John) The shaking and the sealing.

(Wilfred) The sealing and shaking, both. I think I’m going to deal with that more specifically next week. I’ve gone over some of that before but I’ve never done a complete job of it. And I think I may do that next week. There is a whole chapter in the Spirit of Prophesy dealing with it.

“With tears they warn the wicked of their danger in trampling upon the divine law,“ How do they feel about warning the wicked? Very deeply, don’t they. With tears. “And with unutterable sorrow they humble themselves before the Lord on account of their own transgressions.” Have you reached that place yet? Have you humbled yourself with unutterable sorrow? Well, that’s still coming up then. “The wicked mock their sorrow, ridicule their solemn appeals, and sneer at what they term their weakness.” Look at these silly weak people. Crying their hearts out for the Lord to help them. Such nonsense. “But the anguish and humiliation of God's people is unmistakable evidence that they are regaining”, the what? “The strength and nobility of character lost in consequence of sin.” Here is the restoration of the image of God coming about and the strength that they lost. When Adam sinned they could not overcome sin, now their getting it back and what is the sign that they are getting back? Their anguish and humiliation and unutterable sorrow for their sins. That’s a sign that you are getting close to Jesus. Good. “It is because they are drawing nearer to Christ, and their eyes are fixed upon His perfect purity.” What are they looking at? His perfect purity. “That they so clearly discern the exceeding sinfulness of sin.” See, it’s the contrast. One’s black and the other is white. “Their contrition and self-abasement are infinitely more acceptable in the sight of God than is the self-sufficient, haughty spirit of those who see no cause to lament, who scorn the humility of Christ, and who claim perfection while transgressing God's law.” There are people who claim perfection through imputed righteousness and they say we don’t have to keep the law any more, it’s gone. And I’ve said the same thing and I still say it. You don’t believe that? You want to keep it. God is going to make you want to keep it. Not have to keep it. If you have to keep it, you’re still down on that elementary stage. You're still floundering around in self-interest. Don’t you see?

Well, it’s true and it’s not true. It’s one of these conundrums. I lost my place again. “Who claim perfection while transgressing God's holy law.” She talking here I think about nominal Christians who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They talk about Jesus, come to Jesus, come to Christ and they have a vague philosophy about it, and somehow or other you’re saved. But the law doesn’t come into it at all.

By the way Larry, you said something about “Do we have to start on this legalistic bases? Do you realize that the Seven-Day Adventist Church from 1844 to 1888 was legalistic to the point that Mrs. White says; we preached the law until it was as dry as the hills of Gilboa.

(Larry) Was she pleased with it?

(Wilfred) Was she pleased with it?

(Larry) No, of course not. So we must be on the wrong step if we’re starting out on legalism.

(Wilfred) Oh no. But they were, they did. The message of imputed righteousness, as we know it today, as a means to an end was not understood.

(Larry) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) Partially. You dig through those old books, and I haven’t found it. You may find somebody who had it pretty close. But as a church it was not understood. And even today as a church I’m dubious about how well it is understood, just a little dubious. Anyway that certainly is a part of the message that will be understood by the one hundred and forty four thousand, no question about it. Because you are never going to reach perfection until you understand it.

Ok.

 
“Meekness and lowliness of heart are the conditions for strength and victory. The crown of glory awaits those who bow at the foot of the cross. Blessed are the mourners, for they shall be comforted.” We are coming up now to the most important part. We're just about through.

The faithful, praying ones are as it were, shut in with God. They themselves know not how securely they are shielded.” They don’t realize it. “Urged on by Satan, the rulers of this world are seeking to destroy them; but could their eyes be opened, as were the eyes of Elisha's servant at Dothan, they would see the angels of God encamped about them, by their brightness and glory holding in check the hosts of darkness.” But these people don’t see it. Now listen! “As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, "Take away the filthy garments" from them, and the encouraging words are spoken, "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." The spotless robe of Christ's righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb's book of life,” What has happened?

(John) They’re ... of the judgment.

(Wilfred) They’re judgment is fixed. Their names are retained in the Lamb’s book of life. “Enrolled among the faithful of all ages, they have resisted the wiles of the deceiver,” They did float in there; they had some resisting to do. “They have not been turned from their loyalty by the dragon's roar. Now they are eternally secure from the tempter's devices.” How long are they secure from the tempter's devices? Does Satan reign in their hearts? No he does not. Now do you see that the door is open for perfection of soul and character? Do you see that? God has now eternally accepted them. They are eternally secure. They will never be rejected. Not even if they sin.

(John) And Christ is still in the sanctuary.

(Wilfred) And Christ is still in the sanctuary as the mediator and the high priest ready to step in if He’s needed. But He steps out, why? To prove to the universe that the plan has worked. If He didn’t step out the devil would say, well, sure, they still got you there. So He steps out, He says, Ok, Just like the tumblers, you know, they put that little youngster way up to the top rung there, see. And no spotters around, the spotters disappear. And what if she falls? What if she falls? Do you see the demonstration? But Christ will always be there. Always. And if ever you sin again He’s the one who takes the gaff. And that is an eternal guarantee that your allegiance to God and your sinlessness is based upon selflessness. Did I make that plain? Look, if your eternal life depended on your perfect commandment keeping how could you prove that your motive was selfless? You couldn’t do it. God had to take away from you the condition of your perfect commandment keeping for your eternal life. He had to take it away. Because if He hadn’t taken it away He couldn’t have proved that you were keeping the law perfectly, which is self-renunciation, out of love for Him, not out of self-interest. But He took it away and He says, now look, I’m giving you eternal life, I am declaring you to be eternally righteous forever and ever and ever.

Now if you love me won’t you please be my witness at my trial and prove the devil false? And what can you say in return to that? What can you say? If you have the love of God in your heart there is only one answer. Just one. I will never let you down. The kingdom of God is based on self-denying love. The whole bit. That’s God’s kingdom. And I’m glad it’s that way, or I wouldn’t want to go there. When God made that plain to me I said, Ok Lord, that’s it, I am yours I don’t care what happens. I don’t care what anybody calls me, or what they say to me, or what they do to me, I will stick by you as long as I am in my right mind. And if ever I go out of my mind or you let something happen to me that I can’t use my decision you will take me anyway. I have confidence enough to believe that, because you know what I wanted to do. Does that sound reasonable?

And what about you? How do you feel about it? Are you willing to go with God through this ordeal that’s coming up very fast now on God’s people? It’s going to burst upon the world as an overwhelming surprise. It’s going to come overnight. All of a sudden you’re plunged into it. I’m telling you, it’s either up or down. And God said He’s not going to send that day upon his people before He gives them a warning. He says that in the last verse in Malachi. He told us that. And the warning is coming now, it’s coming now. God is working on minds in this denomination who are tumbling to the real meaning of the plan of salvation. We’ve had a glimpse of it before, yes; we’ve had a glimpse of it. But we’ve been floundering around for a hundred and thirty years when we should have been there a long time ago, and letting Him down, and keeping Him in that position where He has to take all that dirt from the devil that we’ve just been reading about. And He’s waiting for you and me to stop it, by our decision. If we say, Ok Lord, I’m with you, I’ll stand on those commandments because I believe they are just and fair and true like you say they are. I’ll stay loyal to you; I will not turn from my loyalty, that’s what it said here. Because I believe you are fair, just, and merciful and true and longsuffering and patient, just as you said you were and declared to Moses and I believe it. And I’m going to stand firm for you. Now, do one thing for me, purify my heart. That’s what they pled for and He’s going to do it. But before He does it do you see what He does? They’re pleading for purity of heart, what does He do? He declares them righteous. Because you cannot have a pure heart until that’s done. Really, how can you demonstrate that the heart is changed until that happens?

As long as you still have that condition of your keeping the commandments to gain eternal life there is no way your heart can be proved pure. Self-denial. No way. So God says, All right, the time is coming when the Lord is going to declare you eternally righteous. I have read it. It’s here in black and white. And the devil is no longer going to have a part in you, you are eternally secure. What a tremendous gift is this anyway. It is a fulfillment of God’s promise, He said, that if you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, you are born of God. He says, if you believe in me you have eternal life. Now, to believe in Him is to accept Him. To believe in Him means to believe that He is what He says He is. And if you believe what He says He is, you will respect His law. But if you do it, you have eternal life not that you are going to have it. My beloved Brethren and Sisters, right now you have the assurance of eternal life. Right now. You are eternally accepted by God, right now. This passage can apply to you, right now. The only way you will ever lose it is to do what Jesus did to give you this life. He voluntarily laid down His eternal life in Himself or He could not have died. Do you get that? When the Lord gives you eternal life, He gives it to you for keeps. When the judgment is finished, and we are in the time of the judgment now, aren’t we? The only way you can lose that is for you to voluntarily reject it, it’s the only way you can lose it.

Now there are some things I haven’t touched on. And I am going to leave them because it’s getting late. And I think you need to let this simmer for a while.  You are going to run into things that you'll question. You’ll find passages that maybe you think contradict, and I wish that you would make a note of them and bring them to us so we could discuss them.

(John) Brother Johnson, may I make this comment? That it is obvious that this paragraph on page 475, volume 5 of the Testimonies for the Church is definitely referring specifically to the one hundred and forty four thousand only.

(Wilfred) It is! I’m coming to it on the next page.

(John) Oh.

(Wilfred) We’ll be through in just a few minutes here. Please be patient. I’m long winded I know. These things are worth their weight in gold to people today, there are people who have lived in this world in all generations who would give their eyeteeth to be sitting here tonight and leaning about what God is doing for His people today. You don’t believe that? Yes, you’ll find it out when you're up on the other side.

Well, let’s finish it.

I thanked God for this prophet so many times, I couldn’t count the times. And how it is that some people in our church reject the messages that she has brought. I cannot understand except as she explains it. They have given room for the devil to come in and seed it with tares. Don’t ever doubt the Spirit of Prophesy. If you don’t understand it, don’t doubt it. Accept it. I can assure you that I have doubted many things she said in times gone by. Questioned them, and year-by-year these are dissolving. And some of these things that were the hardest to understand, that seemed to be the most contradictory are the most important things in bringing together the truth to give you a clear understanding of what it’s all about. So don’t bypass any statements she makes and say, Well, that can’t be right, just can’t be right She must have made a mistake here, just hang on for a while and you'll probably find out she did not make a mistake. Even that statement in 1856 where all those people are dead. That statement is still true. Just take... Well don’t take my word, but mark my word you'll find that that’s true. The Lord didn’t deceive her. Neither was William Miller wrong when he said that Christ was going to come in 1844. He wasn’t wrong. That was God’s message, God doesn’t make any mistakes.

Well, let’s finish this. I’m getting sidetracked again.

“Now they are eternally secure from the tempter's devices." Do you know what happens to their sins? “Their sins are transferred to the originator of sin.” In Great Controversy she says, “That just before He leaves the sanctuary He places on the head of the scapegoat all the sins that have been confessed by His people since He entered the most holy apartment”. When was that?

(Several voices in the audience) Since 1844.

So He makes a distinction between the sins that were confessed since 1844 and those that were confessed before 1844. And that’s something else for you to chew on. “And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honored. "A fair miter" is set upon their heads. They are to be "What?" As kings and priests unto God.” And the Bible says for a thousand years. “While Satan was urging his accusations and seeking to destroy this company, holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro,” And what were they doing?

(John) Placing upon them the seal of the living God. This was before the close of probation.

(Wilfred) Right. And do you realize then what’s going to happen to you before the close of probation? You are going to know that you are eternally accepted; you are going to know that you are one of the one hundred and forty four thousand, positively. Do you realize that? She says it. Not only here, she has another statement on it. “These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father's name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” As plain as it can be. "These are they which follow the Lamb” How far?

(John) Whithersoever He goeth.

(Wilfred) So they get to the fullness of the stature. “These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God” The Bible says the last shall be first and the first shall be last. “And to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile:” That’s exactly what they said of Jesus. “For they are without fault before the throne of God."

Now is reached, "The partial fulfillment of those words?" The complete fulfillment of those words of the Angel: "Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch." The complete fulfillment of that passage that she has just quoted is now accomplished. So that passage is comparing these people to the Branch.

(John) They seem to be part of it.

(Wilfred) They are part of the Branch. They have the same experience as the Branch, Now you understand that from what we talked about before, don’t you? That the saints are going to be the new body of Christ. And He is going to be the head, and there is a marriage union in which they twain become one flesh so to speak. Paul says this is a terrible mystery. I know you won’t understand it. Then he says, I am talking about Christ and His Church. We become sons of God, joint heirs with Christ. Don’t you see? So, the prophecy that applies to Christ, in the sense that He becomes perfected in humanity, watch what I say now, closely. The prophecy that applies to Christ in so far as He became perfected in humanity is going to be duplicated in a hundred and forty four thousand people. And in that sense they qualify under that prophecy. “Now indeed are the remnant "men wondered at," as the tears and humiliation of their pilgrimage give place to joy and honor in the presence of God and the Lamb." In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful” Now that branch is a small letter not a capital, did you notice that? “The branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth”  Who is that?

(Several voices from the audience) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) Mankind. The saved of men, the first fruits of men, they are the branch. “Shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” Now, there is a significance in that. Them that are escaped of Israel. But I won’t touch that tonight. It has to do with the way our work is going to be finished and how the Church is going to fold up. And that is coming fairly soon. “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion,” Where is he left?

(A man in the audience) In Zion.

(Wilfred) “And he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem." Tremendous chapter. Just a tremendous chapter.

I’m sorry I took so long.

(Several people in the audience speaking at once) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) But how do you really get anything out of this unless you take time? You scan through it, you read through it, how much do you get? If you read this over again you’ll probably get something more than what we have brought out of it tonight. I hope that it will do something for you. If it doesn’t, we’ve wasted our time, I suppose. If it doesn’t, if nobody responds, I repeat, if nobody responds, and you want to know what happens? Read the last verse in Malachi, the very last words. Do you want to read it?

(A man in the audience) He’s going to smite the earth with a curse.

(Wilfred) He’s going to smite the earth with a curse. What else can He do? He cannot save you against your will. You can fail. So can Jesus. But I want to get you a note of encouragement. You won’t. You won’t. Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross. He could have failed but He knew that He was going to come through. He told His disciples, I am going to meet you in Galilee. Didn’t He? Where I go you can’t come, but you can come afterwards. Didn’t He say that? Didn’t He say that the Son of Man would be killed of these rulers and on the third day He would rise again? Didn’t He say that? What did He say about the hundred and forty four thousand and the Bible many, many years ago? He revealed it to John.

(A man in the audience) They’re going to be victorious.

(Wilfred) They’re going to be victorious. So, it’s going to happen. But you make the decision as to whether it will happen in you! You can either go with Him or not. If you don’t go He’s going to wait until He finds somebody who will. And do you know how He’s going to get it? Do you know how He can guarantee that it’s going to happen? Because the world is going to get worse and worse and worse until finally somebody is going to say it’s time we quit. And that’s what’s going to happen to us. He’s going to put the squeeze on. He’s going to do like you do to the youngster that refuses to wash the dishes. That’s what the Lord’s going to do. It’s in the Bible. It’s in the Laodicean message. Who the Lord loveth He...

(John) Chastens.

(Wilfred) And He says in the Laodicean message, how does He put it? “As many as I love, I rebuke; and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” What’s the purpose of the rebuking? And the chastening? To cause you to repent. And what is the outcome of this? He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” And we went over to John to find out what it means when He comes to us. Does Jesus come down from Heaven and come inside me? If He does, how can He get inside you?

(John) It’s the Holy Spirit.

(Wilfred) It’s the Holy Spirit. It is Christ’s soul, the very soul of His life. That’s what it is. That’s what He sacrificed. That’s what He relinquished, before He ever came to this world, He did this. And on the cross He died the second death, where He made that irrevocable decision and sealed it with His blood. And He told his disciples before He went to the cross, just the night before, just a few hours before He went. He said, now look, This is my body and this is my blood. And it’s in the New Covenant and He says, You eat this, My body’s broken for you and My blood is shed for you. What was the body?

(A man in the audience) His Word.

(Wilfred) His Word of truth. And there is more to it than that. What was the blood?

(A man in the audience) The Spirit.

(Wilfred) The Life, which is the Spirit. And He made available a more abundant outpouring of that Spirit so that you could become transformed into his image. If He hadn’t done that His sacrifice on the cross would have been to no avail. She says that. It’s the Holy Spirit that comes in the latter rain to write the law of God in the heart. Oh yes, it’s been doing it all down through the years, but in a different way. The total transformation has not taken place because the Day of Atonement had not come. It’s on the Day of Atonement that the sanctuary is cleansed. And what is the sanctuary?

(A man in the audience) His Church. 

(Wilfred) His Church. So it’s on the Day of Atonement that the sanctuary will be cleansed. Well, there is much more. That Bible is just chucked full of stuff. It is a tremendous book! May the Lord add his blessing to this study and I trust that it will be of some profit to you and I hope that you will not be confused and if you do find some things that are confusing put them on the shelf, the day will come when they will be clarified.

Do you want to close, or maybe some people want to go and if anybody wants to stay and discuss something then...

(John) Well, maybe we could have prayer, then those who want to leave can leave and we can answer some questions.


(The end of this two C/D series on Joshua and the Angel)


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