Panorama of Truth

Volume One

Written Transcripts
of
EIGHT AUDIO TAPE/LETTERS

From reel-to-reel audio tapes, originally authored
from 1959-1961 by:

J. Wilfred Johnson (1915-1995)



PREFACE

  About 1933, a young Seventh-day Adventist anguishes over his inability to reconcile the scientific evidences he observes in natural law that support evolution, with the Genesis account of miraculous creation. 


  Yearning to be an honest-hearted member of God's remnant church, he turns to God, praying for wisdom that he might comprehend this great mystery, and after some seven years, (then confirmed by dramatic signs and coincidences,) God more than answers that prayer, as Brother Johnson states: "unfolding a panorama of integrated truth stretching from eternity in the past, right on through to the future."


Over the next fifty years, evidence after evidence, link after link, and pin upon pin continued to be shown to Brother Johnson, strengthening and supporting the pillars of this great panorama; illuminating and enlarging upon every major doctrine held by the remnant church. The eight reel-to-reel audio tapes, which comprise this book, were submitted (in audio form only) to the General Conference by the author, J. W.  Johnson, from 1959 to 1961. * (See footnote, bottom of page ii).

  Panorama of Truth, Volume One consists of written transcriptions of the above-mentioned 17 to 18 hours of the eight reel-to-reel audio tapes. Volume Two is comprised almost completely of written material. Both volumes were authored by the late J. Wilfred Johnson [1915-1995]. To those who prayerfully and patiently study the contents herein, will unfold not only his attempts to communicate from time to time to the General Conference the nature and scope of this "panorama" of new light, but messages essential to God's remnant people in this emergency hour.

  We feel it nigh impossible to over-emphasize the importance of the subject matter - for as Bro. Johnson states on page 112 of this book: "...this story is either the greatest unfolding of truth in the remnant church, or else it is the most astounding mirage Satan has succeeded in conjuring up on the horizon of expanding truth".

  From a letter dated May 26th, 1968 (found on pp. 180 & 181 of Panorama of Truth Vol. 2) to the Bible Research Department of the General Conference, Brother Johnson writes:

  "During the past twenty-five years [1942-1967], God has brought to me through His Word and the Spirit of truth, an expanded understanding of the everlasting covenant, its nature and its outworking. The keys to this understanding are to be delivered to the 144,000 saints in whom the Spirit of truth will integrate and confirm the truth of this covenant and fulfill its promises, thus sealing them... The demonstration of final victory will be accomplished in their lives."

  Unfolded on the ensuing pages is much concerning the mystery of the 144,000, and "The great temple rising so slowly through the centuries (The Great Controversy p.120), without the noise of hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron (I Kings 6:7).

  Pg. 195 (this book): "But these tapes contain only the bare outline of the great panorama of truth." Refer in this book also to pages 20,79; 86; 187.5 and 195.8 - 196.5; then in Vol. Two, page 87, as to why these volumes are so titled Panorama of Truth. (cf. also the abbreviated concordance at the back of this volume under "Panorama", page 334.

___________

* Footnote: The Publishers do not wish to infer in the above Preface, that The General Conference doctrinally approved or disapproved of the material contained on the eight reel to reel audio tapes submitted to them by J. W. Johnson from 1959 through 1961.

  Perhaps this matter can better be judged by the reader, especially as he reads letters written by Bro. Johnson to Robert Brinsmead, and also to the General Conference in Volume Two of this series. Also insightful are early experiences as briefly related by J. W. Johnson, on pages 14 through 33 of this book (Volume One).

  Quite possibly the eight reel-to-reel submissions comprising this volume, were cumbersome indeed for the General Conference or its appointed Committee to seriously study under that "audio only" format; and to follow the author's suggestion noted at the end of audio tape/letter #6 to "sift these tapes with a fine-tooth comb." (P. 214).

The Publishers

ii

This page intentionally left blank

iii

A Note to the Reader

  [The first three paragraphs are transcribed from a 1957 reel-reel tape by the late J W Johnson.]

  "It will also be impossible for me to present the panoramic views precisely as I saw them, for words are too clumsy a tool to portray the spontaneity of those experiences. But I shall endeavor faithfully to present the constituent parts of these complex integrations of thought, and insofar as it is possible, attempt to show the various relationships of the ingredients. Only the Spirit of God can reproduce these integrations, for they are the product of a creative process.

  "At any stage in the presentation, there will inevitably arise questions or objections which cannot be answered until sometime later when another matter or line of truth will be dealt with, which will qualify the former, and answer the questions. Thus it will be necessary to exercise patience in considering these matters, and to avoid jumping to conclusions before adequate opportunity has been given to present all the relevant information.

  "For the most part, this initial presentation will be rather general in nature, with no particular attempt to document the references alluded to. Should we attempt to give all the details and references during this initial treatment, we would become so engrossed in the individual topics, that we should lose ourselves in the details, and miss the significant relationships which are essential to obtaining a unified view. A more precise treatment may be worked out at a future time."

  [The next three transcribed paragraphs, also by the late J W Johnson, are from page 202 of this book:]

  "And will you permit me just a word about the structure of this original presentation, and the partial expansion of it? You may feel that in several places this material has been illogically arranged, that we have jumped from one item to another without adequate transition and coherence. There have been reasons for this.

  "It may also be significant that the evidences of nature reveal that a spiral method of education is fundamental. The human mind learns better by accepting "a line here and a little there ... precept upon precept." [Isaiah 28:9, 10]. Certainly God must have recognized this when He inspired the structure of the Scriptures.

iv

A note to the Reader (concluded)

  "Nor do we find the teachings of Jesus clothed in meticulous, formal organization. The mind itself has a way of interlacing and amalgamating the numerous independent thoughts which constantly bombard it; and it is highly probable that the synthesis of integrations of major thoughts or principles is accomplished more readily through a less organized infiltration of individual, but rather closely packed ideas."


  [Transcription from reel-to-reel audio tapes; formatting of this book; its title *Panorama of Truth, Volume One; most subheadings; Table of Contents; all square-bracketed material [ ]; indices and appendices have been supplied by: - The Publisher]

___________________
[* Note: The title for this book is drawn from the many references by the author, J. W. Johnson, in describing the "great panorama" which God unfolded to him over the years.] The Publisher

v

3


  WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/LETTER #1    

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES - THE SUBSTANCE.............................................................14 - 43
INTRODUCTORY - SAFEGUARDING OUR CHURCH UNITY ..................................................14
THESE TAPES CONTAIN BUT A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE GREAT PANORAMA SCENE ...........15
BACKGROUND AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES..................................................................16
TWO PRAYERS FOR WISDOM .........................................................................................16
ARRIVAL AT CANADIAN JUNIOR COLLEGE.......................................................................19
EXPERIENCES & COINCIDENCES CONNECTED WITH RECEIVING NEW LIGHT ....................19
TRIALS TO FOLLOW ......................................................................................................22
"STEMMING THE TIDE"..................................................................................................23
APPROACHING GOD FOR A DISTINCT SIGN ....................................................................24
THE SIGN FOR WHICH I CHOSE TO ASK WAS THE SYMBOL OF RAIN .................................25 
A MOST STRIKING EXPERIENCE......................................................................................28
DECISION IN 1958 TO PRESENT THE THINGS SEEN TO BRETHREN AT THE G.C. ................28

UNDERSTANDING THE MAJOR PHASES OF THE CLOSING WORK .......................................30
RESIGNATION FROM THE COLLEGE ................................................................................31
THE ORGANIZED CHURCH IS UNDOUBTEDLY GOD'S REMNANT CHURCH ...........................33
PRINCIPLES OF UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE ......................................................34
RESISTANCE TO NEW TRUTH ........................................................................................36
EXPANDING TRUTH AND THE ELEMENT OF INCOMPLETENESS .........................................37
THE SUBSTANCE ..........................................................................................................38
THE EXPERIENCE OF THE 144,000 ................................................................................39
THE 144,000 MUST INCLUDE THE APOSTLES .................................................................40
THE REGENERATION OF THE 144,000 ...........................................................................41
FOOTNOTE: ADDED TO THIS TRANSCRIPT BY J. W. JOHNSON ABOUT 1992......................43

WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/ LETTER #2

THE 144,000-SABBATH VERSUS SUNDAY - MAN'S MIND
...........................................44 - 73
WHO ARE THE 144,000?..............................................................................................44
LOOK BACK TO JESUS TO DISCOVER HOW THE 144,000 WILL REAPPEAR ........................45
THE GREAT CHRIST LAYS DOWN HIS LIFE IN THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY ......................46
PROPHECIES CEASED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK OF SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS ..........47
CHRIST HAD RELINQUISHED HIS HERITAGE - THE HOLY GHOST.....................................48
THROUGH NATURAL LAW JESUS WAS BORN AND GREW TO MATURITY............................49
THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT OF THE 144,000..........................................................50

4

CONTENTS

(Tape/Letter # 2 Continued)

SATAN IS COUNTERFEITING THE EXPERIENCE OF THE 144,000......................................50

THE RESURRECTION OF THE 144,000...........................................................................52
LUCIFER'S REBELLION AND ITS RELATION TO THE CREATION OF THIS EARTH ................54
THE PRINCIPLE OF VARIETY AND THE FREE WILL..........................................................55
CHRIST WISHED TO PROVE THE PURE NATURE OF HIS CREATION..................................57
THIS WORLD WAS CREATED DIFFERENTLY - IT WAS GREATLY ACCELERATED..................58
TREMENDOUS SIGNIFICANCE IN THE PRINCIPAL OF THE SABBATH.................................58
THE SABBATH AND ITS RELATION TO THE PRINCIPLE OF REGENERATION.......................60
SATAN'S METHOD OF CREATION...................................................................................61
SUNDAY WORSHIP - COUNTERFEIT OF THE TRUE SABBATH............................................63
PARADOX OVER THE SYMBOLS OF SABBATH AND SUNDAY..............................................65
SABBATH - SIGN OF FAITH IN CHRIST AS CREATOR OF NATURAL LAW............................67
THE SIN QUESTION AND THE LAW................................................................................68
ASPECTS OF MAN'S MIND AND ALSO HIS NATURE..........................................................69 
REWARDS FOR OBEDIENCE - PUNISHMENTS FOR DISOBEDIENCE....................................73


WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 3

THE SIN QUESTION – CHRIST’S IMMENSE SACRIFICE .............................................74-103
SIN, LAW, AND THE FREE WILL....................................................................................74 
TREE OF LIFE - SYMBOLIC OF THE PRINCIPLE OF ETERNAL FIXATION..............................75

PRINCIPLE OF ETERNAL FIXATION ENABLES THE 144,000 TO DESTROY SIN....................76
SIN IS WRITTEN DEEPLY INTO THE INHERITANCE MECHANISM OF MAN.........................77
SINS DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY VANISH........................................................................78
THE NEW TEMPLE OF GOD - COMPOSED OF THE 144,000 SAINTS...................................78
WHEN WE SIN - JESUS SUFFERS NOW..........................................................................79
THE VASTNESS OF THE GREAT SANCTUARY QUESTION..................................................79
THE SANCTUARY AND THE SHUT DOOR PROBLEM OF 1844............................................80
THE RESURRECTION OCCURS AT THE LAST TRUMP........................................................81
THE PART THE GUARDIAN ANGELS PLAY IN THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT..................82
DID WILLIAM MILLER MAKE A MISTAKE BY PREACHING ABOUT 1844?............................83
THE "TESTING TIME" OF NEW TESTAMENT CHARACTERS...............................................84
PLEA FOR PATIENCE - MORE EVIDENCE COMING..........................................................85
TWO GENERAL CLASSES OF PEOPLE TO BE SAVED........................................................87
HOW CAN MAN GAIN COMPLETE VICTORY OVER SIN?...................................................88

5                  

THE SIN QUESTION AND THE OLD & NEW COVENANTS.................................................89
A SERIOUS ERROR OF MAINSTREAM PROTESTANTISM...................................................91
AS PARENTS SUFFER WHEN THEIR CHILDREN SIN,
SO DOES JESUS WHEN WE SIN....................................................................................93
THE PRIVILEGE OF SUFFERING - PATH TO OBEDIENCE..................................................94
THE GREAT MIRACLE OF THE SPIRITUAL REBIRTH .......................................................95
JESUS - THE LINK BETWEEN THE ETERNAL CHRIST OF THE PAST AND THE ETERNAL
CHRIST OF THE FUTURE..............................................................................................97
CHRIST'S IMMENSE SACRIFICE - GATEWAY TO PROFOUND MYSTERY..............................98

THE ETERNAL LIFE OF CHRIST (HIS BLOOD) WAS SHED FOR HIS SAINTS........................98
HOW COULD THE ETERNAL CHRIST DIE WHEN HE HAD ETERNAL LIFE..........................100
THE LIMITATIONS OF JESUS IN HIS HUMAN TABERNACLE............................................101
THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB TO HIS 144,000 SAINTS.................................................101
THE NEW HABITATION OF GOD IS JESUS AND THE 144,000 ........................................102
COULD THERE BE A MORE WONDERFUL GOVERNMENT? ..............................................103

WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 4

SWEEPING TRUTHS - ELIJAH'S RETURN – MIRACLES ............................................104139
SWEEPING TRUTHS CONCERNING THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST, HIS ETERNAL
SACRIFICE, AND THE GOVERNMENT OF HEAVEN .......................................................104

APPROPRIATE NOW TO DEAL WITH A DIFFICULT LINE OF TRUTH................................105
GOD DELIVERED THE OLD COVENANT THROUGH MOSES............................................106
THE NEW COVENANT IS TO BE DELIVERED BY ANOTHER WITNESS..............................106
THE LAST PROPHECY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT TIES TOGETHER THE OLD  AND NEW
COVENANTS AND THE PERSONAL WITNESSES OF BOTH.............................................107

AS MOSES WAS A TYPE OF CHRIST SO IS ELIJAH A TYPE OF THE HOLY GHOST ...........108
ELIJAH AND JOHN THE BAPTIST...............................................................................109
HOW Will ELIJAH RETURN........................................................................................109
THE MAN WITH THE WRITER'S INKHORN, CLOTHED IN LINEN....................................110 
THE TWO WITNESSES AND THE GREAT SHAKING......................................................111

ALMOST INSURMOUNTABLE PROBLEMS RE THESE TAPE PRESENTATIONS....................111
PREJUDICE IS CERTAIN TO ARISE............................................................................112
THESE TRUTHS Will BE PROVED IN DUE COURSE OF TIME..........................................113
ELIJAH IS TO COME AND RESTORE ALL THINGS........................................................113
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH........................................................................................114
THE OLD COVENANT LAYS DOWN THE LAW - THE NEW WINS MEN'S HEARTS..............116

6

ILLUSTRATION OF FAITHFUL SISTER IN THE CHURCH...............................................116
FAITH - KEY TO SINLESSNESS.................................................................................118
ILLUSTRATION OF THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS DOCTOR....................................................119 
FOR MATURE PEOPLE THE LITERAL LAW IS INADEQUATE..........................................120
GOD'S GOVERNMENT IS ESSENTIALLY ALLEGIANCE BASED ON LOVE.........................121
ILLUSTRATION OF TWO BOYS PLAYING NEAR A DANGEROUS EXCAVATION................121 
MIRACLES - A 1958 CHAPEL TALK AT C. U. C. BY J. W. JOHNSON..............................122

WHAT ARE THE LAWS OF NATURE?.........................................................................123
OUR PHYSICAL BODIES ARE BUT THE TOOLS TO CARRY OUT OUR DECISIONS............124
HOW COULD THE SUN STANDSTILL IN JOSHUA'S DAY?.............................................124
THE NATURAL OR PHYSICAL LAWS OF GOD ARE LIKE MAN'S HABITS.........................125 
IS GOD BOUND BY THE LAWS OF NATURE WHICH HE CREATED? ..............................125

ILLUSTRATION OF GIRL WITH HER BICYCLE ............................................................125 
OCCASIONALLY (RARELY) GOD ACTS CONTRARY TO HIS HABITS (LAWS) ..................126

THE CREATION OF THIS WORLD WAS ONE OF THOSE RARE MIRACLES .....................127
SCIENCE SHOWS NATURAL LAW'S WAY IS SLOW EVOLVING GROWTH ......................127
IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SABBATH AND SUNDAY ....................................127
SABBATH - SIGN OF GOD'S PREROGATIVE TO ARBITRARILY CHOOSE .......................128 
THE MIRACLE OF ACCELERATED FUNCTION OF NATURAL LAW .................................129

THE SLAYBAUGH STORY ........................................................................................129
CHRIST'S MIRACLES ALL WROUGHT THROUGH THE AGENCY OF ANGELS ..................131
CHRIST USED NO POWER ... NOT FREELY AVAILABLE TO US ....................................131
STORY OF A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST PASTOR IN NORWAY ..................................132
STORY OF GODLY LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER ............................................................132
STORY OF THE FREEZING WIDOW IN ALASKA .........................................................133
THE MIRACLE OF COINCIDENCE ............................................................................134
WHEN SURRENDERED TO GOD. ANGELS CAN MODIFY OUR DECISIONS ....................136
THE HIDDEN MIRACLE OF PRESERVED HEALTH ......................................................136
NO SAFETY IN BASING YOUR FAITH ON MIRACLES IN THESE LAST DAYS .................137
PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN THE OCCULT OR SUPERNATURAL PHENOMENA..................138
TRUST GOD - SURRENDER YOUR LIFE PROGRAM TO HIM ........................................138
MIRACLES ONLY BECAME NECESSARY TO MEET THE EMERGENCY OF SIN..................139

7

WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 5 

THE PLAN OF SALVATION AND THE EVERLASTING COVENANT ..........................140-176
THE NEW BIRTH ..................................................................................................140 
A YOUNG MAN ASKED ME, "ARE YOU SAVED?" ........................................................141

TWO ASPECTS TO SALVATION ..............................................................................141
TWO KINDS OF LOVE ...........................................................................................142
FEAR - THE FIRST RESULT OF SIN .........................................................................143

LIFE FOR DEATH..................................................................................................143
A STARTLING THOUGHT.......................................................................................147
ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR TREASURE? .................................................................149
YOU STILL HAVE SIN IN YOUR SOUL TEMPLE DON'T YOU? ......................................150
THE GOVERNMENT OF HEAVEN BEFORE SIN ..........................................................151
MECHANICAL DOMINION .....................................................................................151
GOD LIMITED HIS OWN POWER OF CHOICE IN BESTOWING FREE WILL ...................152
CREATIVE GENIUS ARISES OUT OF FREE CHOICE ...................................................152
ANIMALS CAN CREATE NOTHING NEW ..................................................................152
SELF-DENYING LOVE IMPELLED GOD TO CREATE ...................................................153
FELLOWSHIP - THE GREATEST GIFT WE CAN RENDER TO GOD ................................153
VOLUNTARY ALLEGIANCE - THE VERY NATURE OF GOD'S GOVERNMENT ..................153
FREE WILL OPENS POSSIBILITIES FOR VAST EXPANSIONS ......................................154
ANNOYANCE SOON RIPENS INTO HATRED .............................................................154
CHRIST'S HUMILITY PREVENTED HIM FROM DISPLAYING HIS GREAT POWER............155
THE PRINCIPLE OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES........................................................155
DIFFERENCES PROVIDE FOR UNNUMBERED AND MAJESTIC POSSIBILITIES ..............156
DIFFERENCES ALSO PROVIDE FOR ENVY, JEALOUSY AND COVETOUSNESS ...............156
LUCIFER FAILED TO ACCEPT HIS POSITION ...........................................................156
CHRIST ALONE HAD THE PREROGATIVE OF CREATIVE POWER ................................157
SIN BEGAN WITH THE ONE WHO HAD THE LEAST REASON TO SIN ..........................157

THE EVERLASTING COVENANT - PROVISIONARY PLAN SHOULD SIN ARISE...............158
CHRIST OVER-STEPS HIS USUAL METHOD OF CREATING A WORLD .........................159
LUCIFER DESTROYED ALLEGIANCE TO GOD IN THE UNIVERSE ................................159
MAN WAS MADE AN EXPERIMENTAL CREATURE .....................................................160
SATAN AS A BIOLOGICAL CREATOR - AND HIS SUNDAY .........................................160
CHRIST'S GREAT BODY WAS LINKED WITH THE HOLY GHOST .................................161


8

CHRIST ORIGINATED THE PROPOSAL FOR THE EVERLASTING COVENANT .............. 162
WHAT WAS IT THAT CHRIST PROPOSED TO THE FATHER?......................................163

ENOCH, MOSES AND ELIJAH - TYPES OF THE DEITY ..............................................166
THE PLURALITY OF THE ELIJAH WORK ..................................................................167
IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE ELIJAH MESSAGE ....................................................168
THE 144,000 CONSTITUTE THE TRUE SANCTUARY OF GOD ....................................169

THE CLEANSING OF THE 144,000 - POWER TO EXPEL SIN ......................................170
UNCONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY BESTOWED ON THE SAINTS SO THEY CAN
 SURVIVE THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE ............................................................171
THE OLD AND NEW COVENANT EXPERIENCES ......................................................172

THE GOSPEL IN ITS GLORY - SINS FORGIVEN .......................................................173
THE NEEDFUL SUFFERING OF THE SAINTS ............................................................174
ONLY THE ANGELS CAN RELEASE THE SAINTS FROM SUFFERING ...........................174
UNFAIR SUFFERING COMES NOT AS A PENALTY - IT ISA BLESSING ........................175
THE RESTORATION OF UNIVERSAL ALLEGIANCE BASED ON LOVE ..........................176

WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 6

VOLUNTARY ALLEGIANCE - FOUNDATION OF GOD'S GOVERNMENT ..................177-214
WHY DID CHRIST ENDURE SUCH SUFFERING? ......................................................177
A WARNING TO PARENTS....................................................................................178
IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES AS OURSELVES?........................................178
OUR GREATEST ENEMIES WILL COME FROM THE RANKS OF OUR BRETHREN............179
THE SAINTS - PRIVILEGED TO SHARE IN THE BEARING OF SINS ............................179
THE FORMER AND LATTER RAIN PHASES OF THE NEW BIRTH ................................180
MAN CANNOT CHANGE HIS NATURE - ONLY THE HOLY GHOST ..............................180
ASPECTS OF THE CLOSING WORK AND THE THREE ANGELS' MESSAGE ...................181
THE SECOND ANGEL'S MESSAGE..........................................................................182
THE MIGHTY ANGEL OF REVELATION 18 DENOUNCES COMMERCIALISM .................183
THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE.............................................................................183
SIN IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF ALL WHO WILL BE SAVED ......................................184
KEY TO SALVATION ............................................................................................184
A VITAL TRUTH - VICTORY OVER SIN ..................................................................184

WE CAN BE EMPOWERED TO DISCONTINUE OUR SINNING ....................................185
CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING THE CLEANSING STREAM .......................................185

SUFFERING INTENSIFIES THE SAINTS' DESIRE TO CEASE FROM SIN.......................186

9

NEVER LOSE FAITH IN GOD'S FORGIVING POWER..................................................186
THINK ABOUT THIS .............................................................................................186
THE LATTER RAIN OUTPOURING ..........................................................................187
CHRIST THROUGH THE 144,000 WILL VINDICATE GOD'S LAW ...............................187
TWO DIFFERENT FORMS OF GOVERNMENT ...........................................................188
ADAM AND EVE LACKED CONFIDENCE IN GOD'S JUSTICE ......................................189

By THE ACT OF CREATION CHRIST OVER-STEPPED HIS SELF-ABNEGATION .............189
SATAN'S METHODS OF FEAR AND FORCE ..............................................................190 
GOD'S GOVERNMENT - ALWAYS VOLUNTARY ALLEGIANCE .....................................191
THE FINAL CONFLICT REVEALS THE TWO FORMS OF GOVERNMENT ........................191
THE LOUD CRY MESSAGE AND THE SABBATH ........................................................192
TWO EXTREME ERRORS .......................................................................................193
SYMBOLIC PROPHECIES OF HAGGAI 2, ZECH. 4, AND REV. 11 ................................194 
THE SIGNET .......................................................................................................194
THE VOICE OF GOD SPEAKING THROUGH MANY ....................................................195

THESE TAPES CONTAIN ONLY A BARE OUTLINE OF THE GREAT PANORAMA .............195
THE DETAILS OF THE PANORAMA WILL BE GLEANED FROM THE APOSTLES .............196
THE REMNANT SAINTS WILL POSSESS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY ...........................196

SOME FIELDS OF SCIENCE WILL YET CONTRIBUTE TO THE PANORAMA ...................197
REVIEW OF SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS COVERED SO FAR ON THESE TAPES..............197
THE SPIRAL METHOD - THIS IS HOW GOD TEACHES ..............................................202 
THE MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE .........................................................................203
DESPISE NOT THE DAY OF SMALL BEGINNINGS ....................................................203
A FUTURE WORK OF UNIFICATION AMONG GOD'S PEOPLE .....................................204
(1992- LEAVE ONE OR TWO SPACES HERE- REQUEST OF J. W. JOHNSON) ...............205
THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT ON THESE TAPES....................................................209
CHRIST DIED THE ETERNAL DEATH OF THE SINNER .............................................210

THE TIME WHEN 144,000 COLLECTIVELY RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST......................210
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT DELIVERED ..........................................................211

THE FIERY TRIAL COMING UPON THE PEOPLE OF GOD ..........................................211
PARTAKING OF THE STRIPES WHICH JESUS SUFFERED .........................................212
THE SHAKING -TIME OF GREATEST SUFFERING TO THE SAINTS ............................214
SIFT THESE TAPES WITH A FINE-TOOTH COMB ....................................................214


10

WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 7

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN THIS EMERGENCY HOUR ................................215-260
PREPARATION TO MEET THE CRISIS (A VESPER TALK BY J. W. JOHNSON) ............216
THE BATTLE WITH SIN IN THE SOUL ..................................................................217
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO EXHAUST EVEN ONE TRUTH OF THE BIBLE ..........................220
GOD'S TRUTH IS LIKE A DIAMOND .....................................................................221
“LET GO AND LET GOD" - DOES IT WORK ...........................................................223
NO SUCH THING AS A TRUE INTELLIGENCE TEST ...............................................225
EXERCISE YOUR MIND ......................................................................................225
GOD CAN GIVE WISDOM ..................................................................................227
GOD'S WORD IS EVER UNFOLDING ....................................................................228 
THE STORY ABOUT SALLY .................................................................................229
SIX CONDITIONS FOR CLAIMING GOD'S PROMISES .............................................232
READ THE BIBLE ..............................................................................................233
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON THE PREPARATION ................................................235

HOW TO STAND THROUGH THE TIME OF TROUBLE .............................................237
DISTINCTION BETWEEN CONFESSED SINS BEFORE 1844 AND AFTER 1844 ..........238
FORGIVENESS ALWAYS COSTS JESUS SOMETHING .............................................239
TASTING OF THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST .........................................................239
WE PARTAKE OF HIS SUFFERINGS IN ORDER TO LEARN .....................................240

WHAT IT COSTS HIM TO FORGIVE OUR SINS......................................................241
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS ..........................................242
THE ELIJAH PROPHETS ....................................................................................242
THE BIBLE PREDICTS A FAMINE FOR THE WORD OF GOD ...................................244
THE NEW COVENANT MESSAGE - CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS .........................245
DELIVERING THE NEW COVENANT ...................................................................246
LEADING SPIRITUAL ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT - MOSES & ELIJAH ..........................247 
GOD IS LEADING A PEOPLE - NOT JUST AN INDIVIDUAL ....................................249 
JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS THE FIRST OF THE ELIJAH WITNESSES .........................249
ELIAS TO RESTORE ALL THINGS .......................................................................249
THE SYMBOL OF RAIN AND THE LA TIER RAIN ...................................................250
REVELATION 11 AND THE LOUD CRY ................................................................251
THE INCARNATION OF THE HOLY GHOST & THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB ...........251
TRUE PROPHETS WILL PROCLAIM THIS MESSAGE ..............................................252
THE ELIJAH PROPHETS - SUPPLEMENT ..............................................................252
THE Two WITNESSES TAKE THE PLACE FROM WHICH LUCIFER FELL ....................252
MOSES AND THE OLD TESTAMENT ARE BUT ONE OF THE TWO WITNESSES ..........254 


11


ELIJAH ON MOUNT HOREB ....................................
...........................................255
BY ONE MAN .................................................
..................................................256
A MAN WITH A WRITER'S INKHORN ..............................
....................................256
ELIJAH WILL COME THROUGH THE PROCESS OF LITERAL REGENERATION ...........257
THE TWO PHASES OF THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT .......................................257
THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE ...................................
.....................................258
THE "FAITH OF JESUS" IN HIS SAINTS IS ALSO TO BE TESTED .......
.................... 258
A DANGEROUS AND SIFTING DOCTRINE ...............................
............................259
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT DELIVERED........................................................260


WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 8

HONORING GOD DURING THE DAYS OF THE FINAL CONFLICT......................261-297

FOUR GENERAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE TERM "PERFECTION" .......................261
THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST - KEY TO ATTAINING PERFECTION ................262
SELF-SACRIFICING LOVE MAKES THE BLOOD OF CHRIST MERITORIOUS .............263
LOVE VERSUS FEAR - SELFLESSNESS VERSUS SELF-CENTEREDNESS ...................264
JUDGE NOT THE MOTIVES OF ANOTHER'S ACTIONS ..........................................265
A MOST CRUCIAL MESSAGE ............................................................................265
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT IS ONE-SIDED ..................................................266
OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT A CONDITION OF ETERNAL LIFE .........................267

OBTAIN AN "EXPERIMENTAL" KNOWLEDGE OF GOD BY SHARING IN THE
 SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST ........................................
........................................269
GOD'S THREE BOOKS ...............................................
.......................................269
UNDESERVED PAIN GIVES A NEW CONCEPT OF LOVE .....................
..................270
THE TIME WHEN WE WILL FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTINUE TO SIN................271
How TO GAIN AN "EXPERIMENTAL" KNOWLEDGE OF GOD .................................272
THE BITTER CUP OF UNDESERVED SUFFERING .................................................272
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAITH AND WORKING OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION..273
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUFFERING AND VICTORY ..................................274
A WORD TO THOSE STRUGGLING WITH TEMPTATION .......................................275
LOVE - THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE ....................................276
A DANGEROUS MESSAGE ................................................................................277
JESUS' ACCEPTANCE RELEASES THE PENITENT FROM FEAR ...............................278
THEY WILL BE DELIVERED ..............................................
................................278

12

VICTORY OVER SIN ............................................
............................................278
THE HUMAN SOUL - COUNTERPART OF THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY ...................279
COME TO THE MOST HOLY PLACE ....................................
................................279
THE HUMAN SOUL TEMPLE TO BE CLEANSED FROM SIN ....................................280
BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE? .....................
..................281
A SPECIAL WORK OF GUARDIAN ANGELS .........................................................282
THE BOOKS WHERE THE RECORDS ARE KEPT ...................................................283
ETERNAL LIFE BY FAITH - IN WHAT .............................
....................................283
THE INCARNATION AND GROWTH EXPERIENCE OF JESUS .................................284
THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST REPRODUCED IN THE BOY JESUS...........................285
THE WORK IN THE FIRST APARTMENT ..................................
...........................286
THE TESTING OF PREDESTINED CHARACTERS ...........................
.......................286
THE OVERCOMERS FROM EACH ERA OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH ......................287 
THE 144,000 WILL UNDERSTAND AND COME FOR THE CLEANSING ....................288
THE RECEPTION OF THE KINGDOM AND THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB ...............289
THE SAINTS RECEIVE OF THE HERITAGE OF THE SON OF GOD ...........................289
THE "GHOST' OF THE BODY OF CHRIST BECOMES A PART OF THE 144,000 ..........290
SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT SINS CONFESSED SINCE 1844 ..........................290 
THE 144,000 - CLEANSED AND WITHOUT FAULT ...............................................291
CHRIST STAKED HIS ENTIRE LIFE FOR HIS SAINTS ...................
........................291
THE 144,000 - WHY PRIESTS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS? ..................
.................292
PROVIDENTIAL PROCEDURE AND PREDICTING THE COURSE OF FUTURE EVENTS.292
THE MAIN TRACK OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION..............................
....................293
THE MOST PROFOUND MYSTERY OF ALL AGES ......................
............................294
EARTHQUAKES AND GOD'S GREAT CLOCK OF TIME .....................
......................294
A MAN, BY DECISION, CAN MODIFY THE COURSE OF HISTORY ...........................295
GOD DOES NOT COMPEL WORSHIP ..................................
................................296
THE FINAL DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE AND FEAR .....................
........................296
BELOVED, ACCEPT GOD'S PROMISE OF HIS EVERLASTING COVENANT ................297


ADDENDUM ..........................................................299 INDEX OF NINETEEN (2 HOUR) BIBLE STUDIES ON CD'S,
BY J. W. JOHNSON IN 1976 ......................................299-300
 
13

He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward;...

- Matthew 10:41.

14

AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 1

 
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES - THE SUBSTANCE


  (This tape/letter is being addressed to the Brethren of the General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists at Washington, D.C. from J. W. Johnson of Lacombe, Alberta. It is being recorded during the month of September, 1959, although much of the content has been prepared previously.)


INTRODUCTORY - SAFEGUARDING OUR CHURCH UNITY

Dear Brethren;

  It is impractical for me at the present time to visit with you personally, and for that reason I am choosing to communicate with you in this particular manner.
 
  It is to be in harmony with the instruction given to us through the servant of God, for the safeguarding of our Church unity, that I have decided to place before you the things which I have seen during the past seventeen years [1942-1959]. This decision has taken several years to materialize, for the following reasons:

  First: I have wanted to be sure in my own mind, that in this day of rampant deception I have not been just another deluded soul.

  Second: I have recognized the inevitable fact that my past errors will be thoroughly utilized to discount any message of truth which God may have given me.

  Third: I am not without fault or shortcomings; and this condition is a serious deterrent to any messenger of truth.

  Fourth: The things which I have seen have always presented an element of incompleteness.

  Fifth: They have satisfied a personal need; but until the present time [1959], they have scarcely warranted a presentation to the Church. Indeed, even now, it may be expedient to delay a presentation of some of them.

  I have made this decision now to place these things before you because first, the structure of truth involved has reached such a magnitude that the impulse to share it with others is sometimes almost irresistible, despite the inhibiting factors. But to share it liberally with

15 

local friends and brethren is almost certain to give rise to contention and division; and this I would prefer to avoid, if it is possible to do so.

  Nevertheless, world events indicate that the hour for the final phases of God's work in the earth is close at hand, and the truths which I have seen do vitally concern those who shall remain unto the "coming of the Lord." Furthermore, my personal conflict with the powers of darkness concerning the matter of bearing the standard of truth before my brethren, has been so intense at times that I feel I can no longer delay that issue. I am in personal need of the succor of my fellow believers and pillars of the church in this matter.


THESE TAPES CONTAIN A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE GREAT PANORAMA SCENE


  At this point you may be thinking that here is just another one in the long line of self-styled messengers of truth, and that it is but a waste of your time to listen any further. If I were of the same opinion, of course, I would not now be communicating with you. But I have waited patiently for more than fifteen years [1942-1959], in order that I might be certain in my own mind, at least, whether I am a servant of God or a servant of the devil. My ultimate conclusion, that God has been my faithful teacher down through the years, and also the tremendous significance of the things which God has permitted me to see, I say, these things give me courage to encroach upon your congenial nature, and ask that you be patient enough to continue to give these tapes an audition. They will contain but a brief summary of the great panorama which God has permitted me to see.

  Now, I have not always been without temptation to doubt the validity of my experience. During the past few years there have been times when I have tried to discredit the things I have seen and have temporarily placed them "on the shelf." The condition of my health has sometimes made this necessary.

  I have, time and again, laid the whole matter at the feet of the Master with the plea that He would make plain to me, beyond a shadow of doubt, whether He were my Teacher, or whether I were merely a victim of deception. Each time He has never failed to bring me further evidences, through experience or additional light, to verify the former things. I have frequently tested them against my own spiritual condition and faith in God. And I cannot avoid discerning that I have been drawn closer to the Saviour.

16

  Nevertheless, I realize that the crowning test of any new truth is its harmony with the Word of God and with the foundations of our established message; and it is in this final test that I seek your counsel at this time.



BACKGROUND AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES


  Perhaps I can begin by giving an extremely abbreviated summary of the personal experiences leading up to the present situation:

  I was raised by a Christian mother, and during my early years she belonged to the Danish Lutheran Church in the city of Calgary. And for a few years before his death, when I was seven [in l922], my father also belonged to this church. After seeing the truth of baptism by immersion, mother joined the Baptist church. Then later, during my mid-teens [in 1931], we all as a family - that is, Mother and three boys, turned to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, following attendance at a series of evangelistic meetings.

   During my high school career, I took readily to the courses in science and technical work, and absorbed the general principles of scientific investigation and progress. It was at this time that the major problem of my religious life developed. I could not reconcile the Biblical account of creation, and of the miracles of Christ, with my observations of the workings of natural law. I did not believe in the six, literal-day creation, nor in the probability of miracles. Nevertheless, I was received into the fellowship of the church in spite of this handicap.

  My honesty in these convictions caused some concern to my Adventist friends, and particularly my mother. Frequently this conflict harassed me. I was uncomfortable in the knowledge of semi-hypocrisy; and I longed for a closer fellowship with the other young people of the church, through gaining a mutual understanding of the things we all professed to believe.

TWO PRAYERS FOR WISDOM

  Then came a day when I chanced to read the story of Solomon. Noting his simple but sincere prayer for wisdom, and the response he received from God, the thought occurred to me that if God could enlighten the mind of Solomon with wisdom to understand and judge correctly, then perhaps He could also open my mind to comprehend the mysteries of Scripture.

17

  I was filled with deep emotion the night I poured out my heart to God. I prayed as I had not prayed before, that He would make His Word so plain to me that I might honestly be able to say, "I see and believe." Though I was a doubting Thomas, nevertheless I was intellectually honest.


  God responded to that prayer, - at least I believe that God did; and while I was falling asleep that night, I had a sort of dream, which in beautiful symbolic form, portrayed to me the fulfillment of my fondest hopes. And within a few days, my attention was directed to several texts of Scripture which seemed to bear home to me a personal message. Now, whereas I am aware that some followers of Christ do not believe that specific texts of Scripture can be applied to one's personal experience directly, nevertheless the servant of the Lord bears out this possibility in one of her passages [cf. Great Controversy 93].

  The tenor of the message in the texts was that "the just shall live by faith." And that after having done the will of God, the promise would be fulfilled - "Though the vision tarry, wait patiently for it, because it will surely come." [Habakkuk 2:3]. In these Scripture passages, and in the dream (for to me they appeared to be tied together), I recognized a call to a holier way of life and a call to accept the word of God, by faith. But if the experience had ended there, I would, of course, have completely discounted it. At this time, I was about eighteen years of age [In 1933]. And during the next seven years or so, there was no major change in my religious status, unless it were an increase in the intensity of the conflict. Sincere doubt resulted in some degree of laxity in measuring up to church standards; yet respect for friends held me fairly close to the accepted code of conduct. I participated actively in church affairs, gave many talks, taught many Sabbath School classes, contributed to music, song, and social activities.

  And all the while I was more or less perturbed at my inability to accept wholeheartedly the doctrines I was teaching and professing to believe. Whereas my knowledge of the Bible increased, my understanding failed to follow. In some ways, I lived near the fringe of our message, though I did not become involved in any major sins.

  But the situation finally built up to an intense and serious crisis in the spring of 1941. I could no longer endure the conscientious torture of being a hypocrite. I was not lusting after the world; but I knew that by remaining a Church member, I was professing to believe things which I actually did not. I could not bring myself to believe doctrines

18

which I could not understand, and which appeared to contradict the evidences of nature. How I yearned for a clear understanding, that I might act intelligently. 


  One evening, while trying to ease my troubled spirit, by walking through the open fields and the grassy hillsides near the town where I was teaching, I was overshadowed by a conviction that I ought to turn wholeheartedly to God, trust Him, and follow His program. I remembered some experiences of previous years, on occasions when there had seemed to be some evidence that God existed, and that He was personally interested in my welfare.


  I recalled the apparently personal message in the texts of several years before..."that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise." [Hebrews 10:36]. But doubts swarmed into my mind, and all but choked the spark of faith.

  For some time I sat on a hillside and watched a most glorious sunset. As I contemplated the beauty of that brilliant panorama of glowing colors, I could not avoid the threatening conviction that a great Lover of beauty must somehow be responsible for such a magnificent display. Though I knew that the entire picture could be interpreted in terms of pure physical law, yet I felt myself reaching out to greet the unknown Person, whose magic paintbrush had so gorgeously touched that canvas of the sky.

  At length I brought myself to pray, the same intense prayer for wisdom which I had offered about seven years before. Then, while passing along a dark street nearing my apartment, I made a bargain with the unseen God. I promised Him, that if He would open up the truth of His Word to me, in a manner that I could grasp and appreciate, I would give my life to His service. I remember speaking to God something on this wise, which reflects the spirit of a teenage prayer:

  "Lord, if you exist and can hear me, please open up your Word to me. Make the things of the Bible plain to me; show me the sense in the doctrines of the Church, and I will surrender my life to your service. But I cannot surrender myself to a phantom, - I must have a tangible basis for service. If You will just show me the logic and the sense in our religion, I will go all out for You." This was a genuine and unconditional promise, contingent only on His clarifying the truth in my mind.

19

ARRIVAL AT CANADIAN JUNIOR COLLEGE

  Here was the second time I had asked God for this favor. This time I was apparently more ready to receive the answer; for almost immediately, things began to happen in my circumstances. Within a few weeks I found myself at Canadian Junior College, a school I had frequently vowed I would never attend, - with a secondary motive of continuing my education, and with a primary motive of becoming more definitely acquainted with the people and program of God.


  During this time, God also brought me an experience, strongly fortified by coincidences, which proved to me that events can go contrary to apparently established laws of science. And this gave me reason to believe that miracles were probably possible.

  My five years at Canadian Junior College brought me the happiest experiences of my life, as well as the most baffling dilemma. Within a few weeks of my arrival, the whole tenor of my outlook on life, and on the things of God, changed. I decided to give God a fair chance, by determining to accept His Word at face value, and by studying our doctrines with an open mind and an unbiased attitude. It was then that the Bible became a new book to me. To describe in detail all that happened, would be to attempt an impossibility. I will, however, do my best to portray the nature of the experiences which came to me, and will then proceed to elaborate on the principles of truth which were born in my mind.

  In the first place, I had a fairly general knowledge of the facts of the Bible. But my knowledge of the Testimonies For the Church and the other Spirit of Prophecy writings was pitifully small. I had not read any of Sister White's books.

  In contrast to this, I had a rather fundamental understanding of the general principles of physics, including astronomy, optics, sound, music, electricity, radio, mechanics, and several others. Besides this, I had been teaching in the public schools of Alberta for several years. I mention this here, because it probably has some relation to the background of the phenomenon which I am about to describe:

EXPERIENCES & COINCIDENCES CONNECTED WITH RECEIVING NEW LIGHT

  Experiences which became plentifully frequent during the winter and spring of 1942, and ever since, more or less frequent, were closely related to coincidences. My mind was generally in a state of alert

20

anticipation. Each experience and thought was noted and filed in the storehouse of memory. Among the items observed were frequent problematic ideas, ideas which gave rise to questions that were unaccountable or unexplainable in terms of my present background of knowledge. This in itself; of course, was not remarkable.


  But the significant feature about these problematic thoughts was the fact that within the course of a few hours, or at most a few days, a number of these apparently unrelated and divergent ideas would at some unexpected moment, swarm back into my consciousness, almost simultaneously, and I would experience an acute awareness, (somewhat similar to that in a dream), of many thoughts and ideas all at essentially the same time. The independent thoughts or memories of experiences would then integrate into a sort of clear-cut relationship, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle falling into place, to reveal the coherent picture, and I would see the meaning of each of the problems, the solution as it were, in the light of the overall integrated pattern. Generally the aggregate of thought contained from one to several connecting links with former knowledge or experience.

  The phenomenon of acute awareness would leave me momentarily unconscious of my environment, though usually not for more than a few seconds, and not in any way to create interference with my normal relationship to it. The panoramas of integration sometimes included points of truth stretching from eternity in the past right on through to the future; and the clarity of the relationships would captivate my intensely keen appreciation. Howbeit, no matter how strenuously I tried to retain the whole unit in my mind, so that I might study it in all its detail, it would stubbornly recede into oblivion within a few seconds, as unaccountably as it had appeared.

  Some time later, as I would attempt to recover and record what I had seen, the various parts of the panorama would usually return at a more leisurely pace. And as the days progressed, and I encountered various phases of doctrine, I would be able to clearly interpret those doctrines in the light of the panorama I had seen.

  These experiences occurred during my waking hours, and were usually triggered by some idea expressed by a minister, or a teacher, or some friend, or by a statement in the Bible, or the Morning Watch, or the Sabbath School lesson, or the Spirit of Prophecy, or by a circumstantial event, or just a plain passing thought. At the time, I accepted them as normal mental processes; and I presently believe that

21

they can be accounted for psychologically, though not everyone ordinarily experiences them in such a pronounced form, nor with such frequency. They are a phenomenon related to certain types of mentality. Some would even classify them as an evidence of a form of mental aberration or emotional illness. I would not quarrel with this view. I only know that God has sometimes used strange and unexpected means to further His ends.


  Another kind of experience which occurred fairly frequently during those weeks, and on several occasions since, was that of a series of consecutive coincidental happenings, not necessarily associated with an integration. An example might be as follows:

  I am sitting at ease, meditating about some specific problem or query, when unexpectedly, someone speaking on the radio just then, begins to talk about the identical problem and adds something in the way of enlightenment. If the coincidence ended there, I would think little of it. But hardly has he finished, than a member of the family brings in the newspaper for me, not having any thought in mind concerning the talk on the radio. And as I casually page through it, I'm arrested by an item in the corner of a page, dealing with the same idea, but in an entirely different setting, having no relation to the radio talk. This item contributes further to the concept. When I'm about to lay the paper aside the phone rings, and a friend asks whether I have heard about a certain man from somewhere who thinks such and such. And here again appears a different slant to the same problem, not having been previously discussed with the friend. Thus is a further contribution added to the rising structure of thought.

  I have known such a series of coincidences to build up to as many as eight or ten, within the space of a few hours. And in each case, there was distinctly no collusion among the separate instances. Granting the remoteness of chance in several such happenings occurring within a few weeks to one person, the significance becomes greater when I explain that the net outcome in knowledge resulted invariably to an improved comprehension of some phase of Biblical doctrine or problematic solution.

  During the two school years, 1941/42 and 1942/43, I was a student and part-time teacher at the College, [Canadian Union College] residing in the old East Hall, boys' dormitory. In the early part of this period, I took two Bible subjects: Bible Doctrines, and Spirit of Prophecy. Though some of the thoughts expressed in these courses

22

appeared to me at first to be rather weak or erroneous, I had previously decided to tentatively accept all points of doctrine in the hope that after acquainting myself with the complete structure, I might discover their truth. I was not disappointed.


TRIALS TO FOLLOW

  But the discovery and conviction of the truth of our doctrines did not result alone from my class studies. The experiences described above [in the last several pages] were almost entirely responsible for my enlightenment and understanding, resulting in conviction. This early period of abundant experience and discovery was perhaps the happiest of my life, for I was not yet aware of the trials to follow, and the fiery darts of the wicked one which would be directed at me, and bring me to the valley of fear, bitter frustration and nervous exhaustion.

  Had my understanding reached no farther than the established doctrines of our Church, my course in life might have been different, and my youthful zeal in voicing a testimony might have been tolerated as genuine. But the fact is, the understanding I received concerning many of the doctrines of our Church, reached beyond our present view of them. Many new relationships and new meanings were an integral part of my understanding of the established doctrines. And when I discovered this extended view, I began to question the experiences which I had undergone, and which I was still having; for I was not yet aware that Sister White clearly taught the ever-unfolding nature of truth. [cf. Panorama of Truth, Vol. 2, Sections 1 & 2, pp 54-91.]

  In answer to my prayer for guidance, I came across numerous statements from the Spirit of Prophecy, verifying advancement in understanding, and new views of old truths. In reviewing my past, I recalled that I had asked God on two occasions for a clear-cut understanding of His Word, that I might honestly surrender my life to Him, and serve Him in His program on this earth. I had not thought of receiving a comprehension going beyond that of our established Church order. And with this discrepancy in mind, I laid my dilemma before the Lord.

23

  He responded by directing my attention to the existence of a promise that before the close of earth's present history, "all things Will be restored," and the Holy Spirit "will guide the disciples into all truth." I also discovered that Sister White points out that there is still more to be understood about our doctrines. [cf. pages 145 thru 152 of Vol. 2]. I saw that the work of Elijah in restoring all things was not fully accomplished through John the Baptist, but was still a future prophecy.


  Not many weeks went by before I learned that my new and enlarging understanding of the Scriptures was not favorably shared by those who had been in the message for many years. For during the course of my new discoveries, I spoke with fellow students and staff members, and sometimes expressed myself in Bible Doctrines and Spirit of Prophecy classes. And my views were regarded with suspicion, and sometimes disdain, though there were a few of my friends who seemed to absorb some of them, to some degree.

"STEMMING THE TIDE"

  It became obvious to me that the understanding I was receiving concerning the doctrines, which I had heretofore been unable to comprehend, was reaching beyond that held by the leaders and workers in our cause. And I was accused of teaching false doctrine and of being deceived by the devil. My testimony to some of my fellow students in the dormitory soon brought repercussions through official channels. It was felt that I was rapidly becoming deluded by the devil, and unless something was done to stem the tide, much damage might be accomplished. In "stemming the tide," the chief method was that of indoctrination of the student body against my testimony, as being of the devil, and this indoctrination was accomplished through special talks in public meetings, and through private interviews with students. My own personal requests for studies with a Pastor or Bible teacher were squeezed, and eventually ignored.

  So, at that time, I had no choice but to go back to God. These things caused me great concern. I cannot describe how badly I felt over this situation, nor how puzzled I was about the whole matter. I had been rejoicing in the fact that God was finally honoring my prayer for wisdom, but somehow the devil was considered to be tied up with it. The whole thing was very confusing to me.

24

  Day by day, new thoughts and clearer concepts of truth were flashing into my consciousness. I was receiving answers to questions and problems which had been harassing me for years - questions which no one of our teachers or workers had answered to my satisfaction. And week by week, the marvelous, inherent glories of the Book of God were unfolding to my logical understanding. I had received scores of coincidental experiences which could hardly be regarded as less than unique, and by these I had come to quickly comprehend the doctrines which had been conundrums to me since my early youth. Wherever I turned in the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy, I found more and more gems of truth shining forth. My doubts and skepticism regarding the Scriptures and the Testimonies had melted away; and my attitude toward the things of God was rapidly mellowing and positively crystallizing.


  I could not see the work of Satan in this. Yet, I was advised that Satan could perform these things; that no other truth was to be given, and that I was speculating and delving into false doctrines. I was personally aware however, that I had not erred by delving into forbidden areas, for I had not methodically attacked each problem to attempt to find a solution. On the contrary, the solutions had come to me, all unexpectedly, in the normal course of my daily program and routine study.

  My life had become filled with coincidences, which often brought the solutions forcefully to my mind. Now, I was brought to consider the possibility that this was all a master plot of Satan, designed to lead me further astray by making me think I had the truth, when I was actually in error. I became acquainted with the fact that numerous proponents of supposed new truth had fallen by the wayside, or had become enemies of the truth over the years.

APPROACHING GOD FOR A DISTINCT SIGN

  Since my future course in life depended on my getting a correct grasp of my present situation, I laid the matter prayerfully before God. In fact, the thing was so critical, that I felt disposed to approach God for a distinct sign as had Gideon of old. I realized this was imposing upon God, and that it was an act not to be regarded lightly. Indeed, it was to me, far from trivial; and since I was teaching on the staff of the College, it was very important to me that the matter be definitely clarified so far as I was concerned.

25

  Meanwhile, I had asked God why it was that after asking Him for a better understanding of our doctrines, He had brought them to me in a manner which was not understood by those who had been His faithful servants for many years; and God had brought in response to that question, a line of truth which clarified the matter directly. But now, I was disposed to doubt even this. For if the first experiences were false, then, of necessity, this must also be false. So, more definitely than ever, my future life would hinge on the establishment of these experiences as genuine or false. It would be impossible for me to remain undecided for very long.


   Now, I would like to make plain right here, that I do not believe it is God's will that we should go asking Him for miraculous signs and symbols every time we are undecided about some matter. This is not God's usual way of dealing with His people. But there are occasions, there have been in the past, and there still are, when a man reaches a severe crisis, and under circumstances of great importance, God will honor a man's request for a definite evidence of His guidance. And this was a crisis! My whole future life hinged on whether Christ were my teacher, or the devil. I had to have some tangible evidence, some token of divine favor.

  I remembered that when Gideon had been faced with grave uncertainty, he had asked a sign of God. But how could I know that Satan would not answer my prayer for a sign, instead of God? - as good Christian men were saying he had already done. Would God give a stone to one who asks for bread? I had to be absolutely certain, for I could not consider building my future life and faith on a false foundation.

  It was then I discovered that Sister White says that Satan is not permitted to read our thoughts directly [Gospel Workers, p. 417], and that when we kneel in prayer, the devil flees. Thus I concluded that I could ask God silently for a sign which Satan could not even know. If it were then given, I would know that God had given it.

THE SIGN FOR WHICH I CHOSE TO ASK WAS THE SYMBOL OF RAIN

  The sign for which I chose to ask has a special significance which I did not fully understand at that time. The sign which I chose to ask God to give me as an evidence of His guidance was the symbol of rain. The significance of this request will be much better understood when I explain that it was, at this time, about the middle of December, going

26

on toward Christmas; and in this area [central Alberta, Canada], that is well on into the severe part of our winter. A rain storm at this season of the year would be, to say the least, an unusual event, and at the time I had not known of a rain storm to occur at that time of year, although later acquaintance with meteorological evidence would indicate that it has occurred on rare occasions. But the winter that year had been quite severe and there was no indication whatsoever of any change. So I asked God, that if He were indeed my Teacher, to show me a little token, by bringing a rain storm. I told no one about my prayer; and I prayed silently with my lips totally sealed. And I put my faith in God's word and in the testimony of His servant.


  Shortly thereafter, in the course of my reading, I came across the statement where God spoke to Moses at the Mount, in which He asked him to be ready against the third day, and He would come to him in the sight of all the people, in a cloud. I could not be sure that God was speaking to me personally through that text at that particular time, but in the light of all the previous coincidences I had recently [experienced], this seemed to be another one.

  It was at this time too, that I had recently come across many statements in the Spirit of Prophecy concerning the principles of health and diet reform, and I had been putting forth a strenuous effort to align my life with these principles. But during the weekend after offering this prayer, I recall giving evidence of weakness in this respect, even though my transgression was no more severe than is popularly being indulged in by God's people everywhere. Nevertheless, I felt keenly my weakness in this moderate indulgence of appetite, and I felt that I had let the Master down. Somehow I could hardly bring myself to believe that God would answer my special request, in the light of this weakness; and I resigned myself to having to find my way through this crisis without a definite sign. This too was an evidence of lack of faith, and reveals quite clearly that I did not at that time understand the plan of salvation, and God's great mercy and tenderness and kindness, as I do today.

  The third day came and went; and there was no rain. Again, I felt that God could not honor my prayer. I did not know what I was going to do - I was very much disturbed, but resigned myself to the fact that the sign could not be given.

  The next morning however, as I rounded the corner of the boys' dormitory on my way to the dining hall for breakfast, while it was still dark, I felt a distinct puff of warm, moist air on my face. And in a few

27 

seconds, two or three drops of rain fell on my bare head. God had answered my request with just a sprinkling of evidence. 


  But God wasn't going to leave it at that; He wanted to make sure that I saw this sign. Within a few minutes, it began to rain. And it rained steadily all that morning and on into the afternoon. I can distinctly remember one of the faculty members returning to school after lunch under an umbrella. And it wasn't just a little local shower around the hilltop by the school; it rained all the way from north of Edmonton clear down to the American border south of Medicine Hat, a distance of probably some three to five hundred miles across. The weather then quickly turned cold again, as we moved into the severest part of our winter. For a while I could hardly avoid feeling that this was an evidence of God's guidance and favor; that He was my Teacher.


  But after about three or four weeks, somewhere going down toward the middle of January, I began to feel somewhat doubtful whether these events were of any special significance, especially in the face of the criticism which I was receiving.

  Remembering that Gideon of old had asked God twice for His sign, I gained sufficient courage to again go before God and to ask for a repetition of the sign, now that we were right in the coldest part of our winter, and a rainstorm in the middle of January would indeed be an outstanding event. I felt that if God would give me the sign just once more, I could be completely confident in Him as my Teacher.

  Without going into all the details surrounding this second event, let me summarize by saying that the rain came, exhibiting the symbols of ice-crystal sun dogs in the western sky, and rainbow in the eastern sky, both within a few minutes of each other,
a most unusual coincidental phenomenon. The rain continued sporadically during the evening and on into the night. Then the weather quickly turned again, to give us the severest and longest cold spell of the season.

  I mention these experiences here, not as proof that God has given me a measure of truth, but to help you to understand something about the background of the experience which brought to me the truths that I am going to present for your study. And you will also discover in due time that these experiences have a direct relationship to some of the truths which will be presented, and I humbly solicit your patience until sufficient background material can be presented to enable you to gain a better and more complete understanding of the things which are to follow.

28

  Again I say, I do not believe that God is pleased to give outstanding, miraculous manifestations at every turn of our experience. But I do believe that there are times, during stress and crisis, when God will overstep the general rules of nature, or apparently do so, and give a little token of His personal favor to one of His trusting children. These natural phenomena could have been purely coincidental, and I believe they were. But it was the unique relationships among the various coincidences which was most convincing. God's complex mathematics, which defines the intricate harmonious co-ordination of the multitude of nature's laws, is perfectly adequate to produce whatever goal He determines to establish.


  Nevertheless, I do not base my faith solely on these manifestations.

  It is the profound and beautiful logic of the truths themselves which in the final analysis brings the conviction. And this too has been coupled with the favorable changes and development in my own Christian experience.

A MOST STRIKING EXPERIENCE

  Now, I realize that there are some faithful servants of God who place very little, or no stock at all in manifestations of this sort. But there are others who have had somewhat similar experiences, perhaps on a very rare occasion. And for the benefit of these, I wish to add before continuing, that God apparently chose the symbol of rain to be a continual sign in my personal experience, for there has never occurred any significant event in my life since that time, but what it has been clearly accompanied in summer by rain, and in winter by snow; and that now is almost eighteen years ago [January of 1941]. This has been a most striking experience.

  During those years, I cannot recall a single instance in which rain ever appeared in this area between the middle of December and the middle of January, as it did back there - not until this past winter.


DECISION IN 1958 TO PRESENT THINGS SEEN TO BRETHREN AT THE G.C.

  I have realized for some time that it would be my responsibility to present the things which I have seen to the Brethren of the General Conference for consideration and study. And that it would be necessary

29

for me to do this, in the light of the instruction in the Spirit of Prophecy, and in the light of my promise to God, many years back, that if He would just open His Word to me in a tangible fashion, I would give Him my life for service. And having seen the purpose of the revelations which He has delivered, I have known for many months what the task would be. But the handicaps and hindrances have been many. God has been patient; He applies no compulsion to His servants. And I have realized that He has been waiting until I could gain sufficient strength and courage to pursue this course of action, within the limits of His foreknown schedule.

  For some time I have been preparing various phases of this task, but it was not until just before Christmas last year, that I began to realize that it would be my responsibility now to make the move. And during the last week of the year 1958, I purposed in my heart to move forward during the year 1959.

  I did not expect God to give me any special tokens of His approval. The evidence of instruction in the revelations of the Spirit of Prophecy, I felt, would be sufficient. Nevertheless, I did ask God that, if He felt disposed to do so, I would appreciate any little token of His favor.

  It was just a few minutes before sundown, on the last day of l958, as the new year was about to be ushered in, that the course of our winter changed again. There was a severe rain squall which covered a considerable area; and as the night proceeded, it turned on into bitterly cold winter. God had again brought, in a coincidental way, the same token of His favor which He had given sixteen years before.

  Again I would point out, that this whole thing might be one grand, gigantic coincidence. It probably was. But sometime later we may have occasion to study a little further on the matter of coincidences, and perhaps discover some things that we had not thought of before. I am certain that there is much profound truth in the principle of coincidences. [cf. Pages 134, 136 and 295 & 296.]

  But now, back to the story, and we shall endeavor to quickly finish that phase:

  It was about this time that my attention was somehow directed to a statement of Sister White, explaining that God will make plain, to anyone who earnestly seeks Him, the work which He is to do [Vol. 6 of Manuscript Releases, number 362, page 119]. It occurred to me that the things God had been revealing to me must have some sort of

30

bearing on His plan for my life. Though I had already surrendered my life plans to Him, yet I did not know which direction He desired me to go. So I laid this matter before Him, asking for wisdom and understanding, according to my needs; and that if it were His will, to help me understand the direction which I should take in the work which I should plan to do.


UNDERSTANDING THE MAJOR PHASES OF THE CLOSING WORK

  It was then that He brought to me a general understanding of the major phases of the closing work in the earth, and the part that He was calling me to fulfill. I learned about the loud cry and the latter rain, about the meaning of the return of Elijah to restore all things, about the relation of Moses and Elijah to God on Mount Horeb; and of the Covenants, and the Plan of Salvation; about the symbolic relation of Moses to Christ, and Elijah to the Holy Spirit; about the sanctuary question; about the seal of God, and the 144,000; about the Sabbath, and numerous other relevant items. I did not specifically seek these things. They came to me in the course of my daily devotions and study. But the tremendous impact of this experience, coupled with the increasing misunderstanding by others, plunged me into a condition of profound perplexity and bitter discouragement.

  I found it practically impossible to discuss the doctrines of our people without bringing into the discussion some of the items which I had seen. For without them, it appeared to me, our doctrines did not make too much sense. But recognizing the confusion and perplexity that some of my remarks and statements were bringing to other students at times, I felt that it would be better if I did not reveal the things that I had seen, and in order to co-operate with the administrators of the school I tried to keep my experiences more or less to myself. But after repeated attempts to do so, I found it impossible.

  The revelations which I had seen were so closely tied in with all the various phases of our message that it became almost impossible for me to talk on any doctrinal subject without giving the added understanding which I had received.

  It would be unfair of me if I failed, at this point, to also reveal the mistakes which I made. I was young, and ignorant. There were many things that I had not yet learned, so I was over-zealous. And with the increased understanding, not only of our doctrines but of other matters,

31

  I passed through a period of over-confidence. There were times, I know, when I confused speculation with truth. And I did make some rather serious errors in things which I said and did. This was very unfortunate. Unquestionably, God used these erroneous experiences to teach me some valuable lessons, and I thank Him that I was able to survive those disciplinary experiences. But I am genuinely sorry for any damage which they may have caused, not only to our institution, but to some of its students.

RESIGNATION FROM THE COLLEGE

  It was about this time that the college was attempting to improve its accreditation. And as I was teaching subjects in the college [Canadian Union College], for which I hardly had correct credentials, (a sort of war-time extremity measure), it became obvious to me that it would be my duty to gain a little further education in order to fulfill my responsibilities at the school. But as the restrictions of the war were still in place, and it was impossible for me to go across the line [the Canadian/U. S. border] to continue in that field; and as I recognized the difficulties the administrators were having because of criticism concerning my service at the school, I realized that it would be the better part of wisdom to resign my post. And I am sure the administrators were very much in harmony with that course of action.

  Meanwhile, I was hopeful that God would permit me to remain in this local community, in order that I might "weather the storm" that I might be able to prove whether I were genuine or false, and not run away from the battlefield. And this God did permit me to do.

  I have now lived here in this community for the past thirteen years since leaving the college [1946-1959], and have been a member of our local church, serving in whatever capacities the Brethren felt I was suited to fulfill.

  During these years, my church brethren and sisters have been very kind to me. And in the light of many similar experiences which have occurred to other individuals in years gone by, experiences which have ended in disaster for those individuals, if not for our Church, I can readily appreciate that if I were not treated entirely as some other members might have been - that if I have been slighted in any way whatsoever, it is perfectly excusable. I am sure that I have been treated more kindly than I deserve.

32

  You see, Satan made many powerful, personal attacks upon my mental equilibrium. This he did through trying circumstances, misunderstandings, and false accusations. But my old nature of selfishness and self-confidence did also make spasmodic inroads upon my Christian experience, leading to errors of thought and expression. Periodic over-confidence in the genuineness of my experience resulted in self-constructed theories and deductions, which undermined the genuine truths. Youthful ignorance accounted for some mistakes, which were seized upon as negative evidence. And the net result of all this was a rather decided loss in prestige with many people, particularly with parents in the field, and others who were unfamiliar with the entire story. And this in turn resulted in serious personal injury and bitter emotional trial.

  And so, after five years at the college, as a student and as a teacher, I left [in 1946]. I was deeply hurt and deeply disappointed. But as I have mentioned, God did permit me to remain right here in this community. Nevertheless, the terrific impact of this whole situation with all its emotional ramifications was just a little more than my rather fragile nervous system was able to bear; and I was plunged into a condition of nervous exhaustion and deep emotional disturbance, greatly handicapping me in my work. My poor condition of health has been a heavy trial to my beloved family. And yet, God has always sustained me, and has always provided sufficient strength for the essential tasks.

  These years have been years of stern discipline. I have been brought through the valley of the shadow, and self-aggrandizement has had to be crucified. There were months when it was practically impossible for me to engage in any amount of study of the Word of God, for a return to a consideration of these topics so rapidly drained my nervous system that I was left in a state of exhaustion. Therefore, I had to guard rigidly my limited health, and strictly abide by the principles of correct living in order to regain a measure of the strength which I had lost. This has taken several years to accomplish, and even now it is necessary for me to restrict my activities to such as come within the limits of my capacity.

  Nevertheless, it has not been possible for me to remain perfectly silent during these past thirteen years [1946 - 1959], since leaving the college. From time to time the cup has overflowed, and I have expressed some of the truths which are so clearly portrayed in my

33

consciousness. The public reaction to this has been a mixture of appreciation, sympathy, and even pity. Appreciation on the part of some, pity for my supposed deluded condition by others, but generally a cautious aloofness.


  Meanwhile, God has continued to bring me a clearer perception of many important truths. And the impress of these truths, their important relation to our present need, and my ever-growing conviction of the genuineness of this expanding panorama, impel me against all personal fear and caution, to present them to you at this late hour.

  While I recognize, only too well, that there have been times in the past when my thinking has not been too clear, I believe God has now enabled me to level off in my assessment of these matters; that sound logic prevails, and that the danger of sliding into radicalism, extremism, and fanaticism, has decreased to a tolerable extent. None of us is completely free from this danger, and that is why we must work together and counsel one with another. And your assistance in this matter, your co-operation and counsel, will be most deeply appreciated. It is my desire to remain faithful to God through thick and thin; to stand by Him and His people until the end. And this, I am sure, He will enable all of us to do, if we put our complete trust in Him.

  And so for the present, this very much abbreviated summary of the background experiences must of necessity suffice. If you feel that there is any merit in the truths which I shall present, and you would care to investigate further the details of the events leading up to these things, I shall be very happy to give them in a more complete form.

THE ORGANIZED CHURCH IS UNDOUBTEDLY GOD'S REMNANT CHURCH

  Meanwhile, I would like it to be understood at the outset, that it is not my purpose to discount the teachings of our church, nor to suggest the rise of a new movement. Our present organized church is undoubtedly God's true remnant Church; and through His people, He will finish His work. If anything I present fails to harmonize with, or build upon the old foundations, then it cannot be true. But that there is new truth to be built upon the old, we certainly cannot deny.*

_______________
* [cf. Christ's Object Lessons p. 127 - "In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation.... He who rejects the new, does not really possess the old. For him it loses its vital power, and becomes but a lifeless form."]

34

PRINCIPLES OF UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE


  Now, before going into a consideration of the specific truths in question, there are just a few miscellaneous items which I believe it would be well to mention at this time.


  First, a few words about the principles of knowledge and understanding. Understanding is partly a state of relationships between present knowledge and experience with past knowledge and experience. The ability to implement these relationships is known as reasoning power. But understanding is also a process of integration of several component parts of knowledge into a principle or concept.

  Understanding always involves several component facts or pieces of knowledge, gleaned over a period of time, and stored in the memory. But these stored facts do not in themselves constitute understanding or comprehension. Understanding is not present until two or more of these separate facts are brought together into a relationship, which relationship may sometimes be expressed as a law or a principle, a sort of always-is-or-happens-or-acts-this-way generality.

  A modification of the relationship of memories contains the idea of interdependence, or inter-relationship, or balance of condition, whereby a change or variation in one component will cause a corresponding variation, or corresponding variations, in one or more of the other components, according to a fixed relating formula or equation. But, in general, the principle relationship of memories involves the actual integration of separate parts into a new composite unit
a unit which can no longer be thought of entirely in terms of its separate parts, but rather as a newly created complex product. For example, common table salt can hardly be thought of entirely in terms of sodium and chlorine, which are both deadly poisons; but rather as the compound of sodium-chloride or common salt, which is edible.

  Many of our ideas are composed of several components. Children's ideas are rather simple in structure. But as maturity advances, the mental equipment becomes more highly organized and integrated into complex compounds of thought. In chemistry, the organic compounds have the most highly organized and complex molecules, containing many atoms. These compare to some of the spiritual ideas expressed in Scripture, ideas which can only be comprehended as the highly complex and delicate organization of the numerous atomic ingredients of thought become available to the consciousness spontaneously.

35

  Such spontaneous integration probably involves creative power of some sort, and is thus associated with the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit which "guides" into all truth. And so it is the highly organized mind, containing a wealth of ideas, which has the greater comprehension.


  On this basis, the first and primary requisite for intelligent understanding is the acquisition of knowledge and experience
that is, the building up of an adequate stockpile of memories from which to draw the ingredients necessary in the construction of complex thought or comprehensive understanding. Therefore, we have the admonition to "fortify our minds with the truths of the Bible," in order to acquire the knowledge necessary to meet the problems of the last great conflict.

  Some of the deeper principles of the Scriptures are integrations of such a wide variety of component parts that some minds may find it difficult to suspend them all in the region of consciousness at the same time, a feat which is essential to grasping the integration of the principle. Simple principles may be composed of only a few components; but complex ones, of many components.

  For example, the human being is a complex organism compared to the amoeba, because it has many more parts; and thus it is more difficult to understand and interpret. So we may need to recognize that there are some principles of truth in the Scriptures which some minds may not be able to grasp because of their inability to encompass a complex structure of ingredients. This, of course, may possibly hinge upon the capacity of the individual in respect of his inherent mental ability.

  It may also be impossible for some minds to comprehend the full meaning of a set of related knowledge facts because one or more of the required ingredients is missing,
there is an inadequate supply of the component parts of the concept. It is impossible to bake a chocolate cake without the chocolate. Unless we have the essential ingredients with which to build a structure, it is not possible for that structure to be totally integrated. But again, even if all the ingredients are available, if they cannot be assembled in the area of the consciousness at essentially the same time, and if the individual does not have the adeptness at integrating those thoughts, it will not be seen as a principle.

  In other words, it is possible to supply all the ingredients of a complex thought to some minds, without those minds being capable of grasping the integration. But the things which I am going to present

36

here, I fully believe it will be possible for any open and educated mind, which is willing to accept the ingredients without bias
I truly believe it will be possible for any such mind to grasp the things which will be presented.

  At the same time, I do know that it will require a great deal of patience, because it will take much time in order to provide all of the ingredients necessary to grasp the entire panorama. And while some of these things are being presented, there will unquestionably arise problems and difficulties, in your minds, which may cause you to stumble. But if it is possible for you to do so, leave those questions or problems "on the shelf," (perhaps jot them down), and in due time they will undoubtedly be dealt with, and be brought into relationship with all the other components. And if we should fail to do that, these questions will be welcomed and the problems will be dealt with separately.

RESISTANCE TO NEW TRUTH

  Now, here is another relevant thought which I feel should be expressed at this point, dealing with resistance to new truth. Any significant advancement in knowledge has nearly always made its way against criticism and opposition. Much of this resistance has arisen because of the uncertainties and incompletenesses associated with progress in knowledge. New discoveries are often partial in nature, and a few loopholes may remain to be explained by later research or discovery.

  Meanwhile, misconceptions arise because of the incompletenesses, and often the value of the new discovery is severely injured, if not completely destroyed, by reason of the misconceptions which exhibit glaring weaknesses. This "incompleteness" aspect of advancing knowledge is not only applicable to discovery in the natural sciences, but it is equally applicable to the expanding truths of the Scriptures.

  Resistance to new truth may furthermore be aggravated by reason of the unpalatable environment in which it is often discovered. One may, here and there, find among the philosophies and religions of our day, some gem of truth which is unfortunately so badly marred and confused with error, or so overshadowed by the undesirable nature of its proponents, that it is rejected purely on the basis of its unacceptable association. Rejection of truth on this basis may be a grave fault. We should learn to discern and evaluate truth, and to extract it from its

37

surroundings. It is often necessary to sweep the "dust of the floor" in order to find the "pearl of great price." 


  Numerous examples of the above principles could be given. In olden times, men thought the sun came up and went down, and that the earth was flat. For many years Newton's Law of Gravitation was accepted as precisely true. From 1832 to 1844 William Miller thought that Jesus was going to return personally to earth about 1844. The disappointment "loophole" had to be explained by the later discovery of a new and superseding principle of truth. Again, Jesus was born in a stable, and He came out of Nazareth. He did not have the social prestige which the elite leaders of Israel expected their Messiah to have. Therefore His message, though it was extremely powerful, was rejected by them.


  Nevertheless, the increase in knowledge is inevitable. Those who resist new light are fighting a losing battle, for the angel said to Daniel some three thousand years ago, that "at the time of the end, knowledge should be increased" [Daniel 12:4]. And the prophet Joel stated, that "in the last days the Spirit of God would be poured out, and men would see visions and dream dreams" (Joel 2:28, 29). And the greatest of all teachers and prophets also promised the "Spirit of truth" to His disciples, and the work of the Spirit was declared to "guide you into all truth." [John 16:13].

EXPANDING TRUTH AND THE ELEMENT OF INCOMPLETENESS

  Now, there is a fact of great significance in the principle of expanding truth. It is the element of incompleteness or discrepancy present in any discovery of new truth. It is this element which actually guarantees future advancement in knowledge, for if this element were not present, there could be no expansion of present truth. Indeed, it is actually an evidence of truth.

  And just one more thought here: The range between the most ignorant person in the world and the most enlightened one is enormous. Most people have no inkling of the vast area of comprehension which lies beyond their present scope of knowledge, an area which others, perhaps their associates, have already explored.

  Now, in harmony with your request, I am not going to present on these initial tapes a complete and detailed study of the various phases of truth. In the first place, if I were to attempt to do this, we would become lost in a maze of details and fail to bring together the various

38

elements into an integration. Rather, I shall on these initial tapes, present these truths in a more general way, constantly referring from one to another as we move along in order to attempt to build up the integration and not to lose the relationships. It will not be possible, of course, to do this completely at any stage of the presentation. And again I say, we will have to exercise a measure of patience until the complete panorama can be presented. Nor will I at all points give direct references to the Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy writings; but indirect references may often appear, in the understanding that you Brethren are already familiar with these passages; and it will save us much time if we can just simply refer to the thoughts contained in any passage. Many times the reference will not even be mentioned, because we recognize its familiarity.


  And finally, I would like to offer an apology for any evidence of weakness in organization in this presentation. The pressure of every day duties and circumstances have made it practically impossible for me to monopolize sufficiently long periods of time to prepare this in a well polished form. The urgency of getting this task accomplished, and the lack of time and even energy to accomplish it in a highly organized and finished form, I trust will be respected by you, and excused. We are primarily interested in presenting the messages of truth, and we shall reserve until a later time, if necessary, the more detailed and elaborate organization of the material. In any case, your preliminary counsel and advice in such a program would definitely be appreciated and, I feel, required. Please excuse then any irregularities in organization, and attempt to center your attention upon the items of truth.

THE SUBSTANCE

And now to the substance:

  I'm sure we are all aware that the most important truth in the Scriptures, is the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And we all recognize that this message of the gospel is intimately associated with the final loud cry of the third angel. We know that the gospel story is to be the great truth to encircle the globe, but before we can understand the expanded meaning of this gospel story, as it applies to this final generation, it will be necessary for us to consider a number of other topics surrounding it. And it is for that reason that I am not going to deal with the gospel story first.

39

THE EXPERIENCE OF THE 144,000

  One of the first things which was presented to me, back about seventeen years ago [1941-42], was the truth about the 144,000 and the experience which will be theirs. Now, I know that this is a touchy subject, and it is with some degree of reticence that I present it at the outset. But there are some very pertinent and significant features about this topic which I feel we should have in the background of our thinking as we progress through some of the other studies. And so, I shall present at this point what I saw concerning this group:


  The 144,000 are the overcomers from each of the eras in the history of the Church. [Acts of The Apostles, p. 585] These are the first-fruits unto God from each generation. These are they who have applied the principle of the gospel and its power to gain the victory over sin; for "the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, unto all that believe." And that is not only salvation from eternal death, but salvation from sinning. We could present a number of evidences in favor of this thought that appear in the Scripture, and evidences which appear in logical consideration. Our God is a God of logic
He is a God of fairness, and these matters do enter into an understanding of His truth.

  In the first place, the 144,000 are the living saints on the earth before Jesus comes. They are the only ones who are translated, as was Elijah and Enoch, directly, without seeing death at that time. And we are told in Early Writings [page 19] that the 144,000 are the only ones who can enter with Jesus into the temple on Mount Zion. These are the first-fruits unto God, and "they follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth" [Revelation 14:4].

  If the overcomers down through the years are not a part of the 144,000, then the overcomers cannot follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth, for they are excluded from the temple on Mount Zion. What more logical concept than that the overcomers from each of the eras of the Church's history [Ibid, p. 585], should live together on the earth during the final crisis and conflict, and together prove the merits of the power of the gospel? Should this privilege be reserved to those only who might live in the last generation? Should the disciples, the foundation of God's Church, and all the faithful overcomers down through those years be excluded from the privilege of inheriting "all things" according to the promise in Revelation [21:7], that "he that overcometh shall inherit all things?"

40

THE 144,000 MUST INCLUDE THE APOSTLES


  So the 144,000 must include the apostles, and they must necessarily be alive on the earth before Jesus comes in order to receive the promise to the overcomers. The apostle Paul may have recognized this principle when he said (as he had seen in vision), "Then we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, ... shall be caught up together with them in the clouds" - and so on; [cf. 1st Thessalonians 4:15-17]. The apostle Paul uses the pronoun "we", including himself among those who were alive at the coming of Jesus before the general resurrection. If Paul saw this in vision, could it have been an error? [Ellen White says in the Review & Herald, 09-28-97: "The Bible, just as it reads, is to be our guide."], - I am sure it was not an error.


  The apostle John was given the commission when he received his revelations to faithfully record what he saw and heard (Rev. 1.11). And John heard what the "seven thunders uttered", and he was about to fulfill his instruction to write what they said, but the angel stopped him (Rev. 10:2-4), and explained something about the truth and the little book, and then concluded: "thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues and kings." (Rev. 10:8-11).

  We now say that John did do that, through the book that he wrote, - and that's true; but that book does not contain what the seven thunders uttered, and it was in this connection that the angel said he must prophesy again. There is only one way that would seem reasonable for him to be able to fulfill that prophecy, and that is to be alive and present again in the last generation. This may not be the only correct interpretation, but if what we have said about the 144,000 is true, then John will be here before the second coming of Christ. And if John is here he will have his message, for he will have the same memory that he had before. And he will remember what the seven thunders uttered, because Jesus told His disciples that He would send to them the Holy Spirit, and He would bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever He had told them, and He would guide them into all truth. So John will have His prophecy.

  Further light is thrown on this by the statement of Jesus where, after His resurrection, He was instructing Peter to feed His lambs. And you will remember that Peter turned to John, and pointing to him asked Jesus, "What shall this man do?" Jesus politely told Peter that so far as he was concerned it wasn't of any consequence to him at the time;

41 

but that if Jesus would that John should remain until He came, it should make no difference to Peter. Now, Jesus didn’t say that John would remain alive until the second coming; but that was the saying which went abroad. Jesus simply implied that John could be alive on the earth before the second coming. [John 21: 21-23]

  Sister White tells us very plainly that all the statements of Jesus contain deeper significances beyond their unpretending surface meaning [cf. COL 110.3]. His words are not accidental. Sometimes we have to think a little more specifically on a statement in order to discover a gem of truth or a key to a mystery. If the Scripture is continually expanding in meaning, and if as we are told, "no human mind can exhaust a single passage of Scripture" [Education 171], then it must be true that any passage of Scripture, such as this, is capable of an expanded meaning. And what more logical expansion could come from this particular passage than the one which we have just suggested? Nevertheless, as we consider other topics on tapes to come, the real logic and significance and harmony of this particular view will be established.

THE REGENERATION OF THE 144,000

  Now, the question arises, how can the 144,000 be people who have lived before, when they are only born during the last generation? The answer is quite simple. They are born again. [cf. Testimonies to Ministers 243.2 re: the seed and resurrection of the body. Also COL p.87].

  Here we have once more, an example of an expanded meaning of a passage of Scripture. There is a spiritual rebirth, but there is also a literal rebirth as we shall see in due time. If, as our popular conception is at the moment, in its limited way, the 144,000 are completely new people, born in the last generation, and they are translated without seeing death; then they contradict the testimony of Scripture, which says "that all men must die; but after this the judgment:" [Heb. 9:27].

  However, if we accept the view which has been presented, then these men have already died, and are now born again to go through their investigative judgment in a literal, living demonstration on this earth; even as Jesus did in demonstrating a life of victory over sin, in the face of the greatest attempts of Satan
the accumulated attempts of all ages, to induce them to break faith with God. Just how they overcome their sin, and just how they live without sin, without guile and fault before God, is another topic which will be thoroughly considered at a later point in this presentation.

42

  Here we have, then, the 144,000 living saints, who have fulfilled the edict of Scripture, passing through the portals of the tomb, and living again in the final generation to experience direct translation; but only after they have demonstrated, before the entire universe, the merits of the plan of salvation from sin; and having lived on this earth without sinning, after the High Priest Mediator in the heavenly sanctuary has laid down His mediatorial robes, thus proving Satan's charges against the law of God to be totally false.


  Now, so far as the regeneration of the 144,000 is concerned; Jesus had promised His disciples that because of their faithfulness to Him, "in the regeneration they should sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel"
in the regeneration. There is a regeneration! [See footnote, p. 43, at end of this transcript of Tape/letter # 1]

  Generation is the original production, and regeneration is the reproduction. If we want to find how the 144,000 are raised from the dead to live again, and to be tested here on the earth as Jesus was, we simply have to go to the Sample, the First begotten from the dead, who was the Lord Jesus Himself. And the first-fruits of the resurrection will follow after
and they are the 144,000.

  If we study the experience of Jesus, we shall discover how the 144,000 will appear, for the 144,000 have the experience of the Lamb. Remember, they sing the song of Moses and the Lamb; and Sister White tells us that this is the song of their experience. The song of Moses was the song of deliverance from Egypt, which is victory over sin
coming out of Egypt. The song of the Lamb is the song of the experience of the Lamb; the experience which He had. [cf. LD E 268].

  He demonstrated a life without sin. And the 144,000 will do the same, but only through the merits of Christ's character of righteousness and the power of the gospel, as delivered through the shedding of His blood
which is another topic. They will have the experience of the Lamb. They will go through an experience whereby they shall be able to testify to the nature of the experience of Jesus; and we will consider this particular experience in some of its aspects, beginning with the next tape. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus we understand in a very tangible and literal manner; but this phase of Christ's experience is a revelation to us of a deeper experience which He underwent.

  The Spirit of Prophecy plainly tells us that the death of Jesus on the cross was but a revelation to our dull senses of the pain which entered the heart of God at the inception of sin. [cf. Education page

43

1263]. The suffering of Jesus did not begin in Gethsemane. The Lamb was slain "from the foundation of the world" (Revelation. 13:8]. There are some profound things in the Scriptures.


FOOTNOTE: ADDED TO THIS TRANSCRIPT BY J. W. JOHNSON ABOUT 1992.

  He promised them [the disciples], just before His ascension to heaven, that where He was going, they could not come with Him at that time; but later He would come and receive them unto Himself, that where He was, they could come also [John 14:3].

  The fact is, that at His ascension, Jesus went into the temple on "Mount Zion" where God dwelt, there to exercise His intercessory priesthood. But in her first vision, Ellen White saw Jesus at the door of the temple on Mount Zion in the new earth, where He paused to raise His voice to inform the retinue of saints. (whom He had just finished leading on a guided tour through the New Jerusalem and out to the temple on Mount Zion), that "only the 144,000 could enter this temple," the dwelling place of God. [cf. Early Writings, pg. 19].

  If the 144,000 are the "living saints" at the time of Jesus' second coming (and Early Writings definitely identifies that they are [cf. Early Writings, 15]), then Jesus would have to say to His disciples that they could not enter here with Him, since they had lived two thousand years before the final time of the final generation of living saints.

  If Jesus is to fulfill His last parting promise to His bereaved disciples, [John 14:3], that they could go with Him into the heavenly temple now transported to its new location on the new earth (as promised in the Scriptures,) God's dwelling place would be with His people on the new earth, (Mount Zion in the new earth;) then those disciples must be among the 144,000 living saints on the earth at the time of Jesus' second coming, to receive them to Himself. And to be among the living saints at that time, to demonstrate the full and flawless keeping of God's law before an observing universe, proving the devil's charge against that law to be totally false; they must have been previously resurrected in the "special" resurrection before the general resurrection.

  How this resurrection takes place will be reviewed at a later point in this series of manuscripts. [cf. Testimonies to Ministers 243].

[This concludes audio tape/letter # 1)

44

AUDIO TAPE LETTER #2


THE 144,000 - SABBATH VERSUS SUNDAY – MAN’S MIND


  This is the second in a series of tapes addressed to the Brethren of the General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists, from J. W. Johnson of Lacombe, Alberta. [This tape was prepared during the month of October, 1959].

Dear Brethren;

  On the previous tape I related a little of the background of personal experience which led up to the discovery of many expanded meanings of our doctrines. This narrative was very much incomplete and may fail to give too accurate an impression. A more complete chronology can be prepared at some future time if it is desired. I also began on this previous tape a consideration of the 144,000, and will continue now with this and related topics:


WHO ARE THE 144,000?


  We have often been cautioned not to spend our time trying to figure out who the 144,000 are, and in defense of this advice, a statement is quoted from the Spirit of Prophecy [cf. Volume 7 BC 978]. This is unquestionably sound counsel Nevertheless, it has been my observation that whenever this particular statement is quoted, only the first part of it is presented; the second part is generally omitted. The statement goes on to say that the 144,000 will know positively who they are, and that very soon. It has been quite a few years since that statement was written. Perhaps it is soon time for them to know who they are. If it were soon then, it must certainly be sooner now!

  We may not know at the present time who each individual member of the 144,000 is, but the identity of this group has already been revealed on the previous tape. The 144,000 are the overcomers from each of the eras of the church's history. [Cf. footnote, top of page 43].

  Revelation 20:4 may add a little further substantiation to this thought. Here John "saw the souls of them which were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and which had not

45

worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither received his mark upon their foreheads nor in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Regardless of what interpretation is placed upon this passage of Scripture, we know that its meaning is not exhausted, for Sister White does tell us that no human mind can exhaust a single passage of Scripture [Education 17l] Therefore an expanded meaning is always potentially forthcoming.


  In one of her passages Sister White also tells us that the mark of the beast is not received until some future time when the truth of God becomes a final test; that is, the receiving of the mark of the beast applies to the time just before the close of this present era's history. And we all know that at that time, those who do not receive the mark of the beast are the ones who will go forward to translation; namely, the 144,000 [cf. Early Writings p. 164; & The Day-Star 01-24-46]. How then could these have been beheaded for the witness of Jesus when they are to be translated?

  Now I say again there may be, and undoubtedly is, more than one translation or interpretation of this passage; but in the light of what has been said concerning the 144,000 on the preceding tape, this passage can be understood. For there will be those who have been beheaded for the witness of Jesus, in former generations, who will be among the 144,000, demonstrating the merits of the righteousness of Christ, through their refusal to accept the mark of the beast.

LOOK BACK TO JESUS TO DISCOVER HOW THE 144,000 WILL REAPPEAR

  But now let us look back to Jesus to discover how these 144,000 will reappear on the earth before the second coming. We are told that Jesus is the first begotten from the dead; that He is the first-fruits of the resurrection. Now if this applies only to His physical resurrection from the tomb, we encounter a serious problem; for we all recognize that others were raised before Jesus was - even permanently. Moses was raised and has been in the kingdom of glory since that time, many years ago. It would appear that Moses was the first-begotten from the dead, for we read of no resurrection prior to that time. But now the Scripture says that Jesus was the "First-begotten." We can come to only one conclusion: that there is a deeper meaning to this statement; that Jesus went through a different form of resurrection, a form of which He was the first to experience.

46

  Let us consider how Jesus came: Before the first advent, Jesus existed in the form of Christ, the Archangel, the only begotten Son of God, the Ruler of the universe. While in this state Christ was all powerful, all-wise, and had all knowledge. In His mind were recorded all events which had ever occurred, and He never forgot. Therefore His mind was a record of all things that had ever occurred. But anything which occurs is truth; therefore Christ was the record of eternal truth, - He was The Truth.


  When sin entered the universe it was recorded in the mind of Christ, and with it came the pain. As Sister White tells us, the cross is a revelation of the pain which entered the heart of God at the inception of sin. [Education, page 263]. Since the mind of Christ was eternal, since there could be no erasure of His eternal thoughts, He was doomed to a life of eternal pain unless He died. It was sin which caused the death of the Son of God. The “Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world" [Revelation 13:8]. With the progression of sin, came the increase in the intensity of the record of sin and its pain in the mind of Christ.

THE GREAT CHRIST LAYS DOWN HIS LIFE IN THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY

  Came the day when the great Son of God, in the heavenly sanctuary above, laid down His life. And His Spirit, that great eternal Spirit, returned to His heavenly Father who had given it.

  Now I know, as you do, that Christ was an eternal God. How an eternal God could die is a mystery; but the testimony of Scripture says that He died an eternal death. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that the death of the sinner is a death which is everlasting, from which there can be no hope of a resurrection [Early Writings, page 51], and it also tells us that Christ died the death of the sinner [cf. Desire of Ages, page 25]. So He laid down His life and He went to sleep, a sleep from which there could be no hope of a resurrection.

  But before He died, He made a covenant with His Father, and that covenant was simply that the Father should bestow the heritage of the Son, the great heritage of His eternal life, His eternal body, His eternal prerogatives - that the Father should bestow this great heritage on mankind, on those who should believe in Him as the eternal Son of God, and accept His sacrifice on their behalf - they only, should receive of that heritage.

  Now there are some aspects concerning this death of Christ which I cannot touch; but let me say at this stage, that in order for Christ to

47 

be relieved from the intensity of the sufferings of sin as an eternal component in His nature, it became necessary for Him to relinquish His attachment to the eternal memory of the past; and this He did. Before the appearance of the little seed in the womb of Mary, the Son of God had given up His life. [Phil. 2:5-11; refer also to DA 22.9&23 wherein it states "... He chose to give back the scepter..." etc.]. 

PROPHECIES CEASED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK OF SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS


  It may be significant at this point to note that for approximately four or five hundred years before the first Advent, no prophecies were forthcoming from the Son of God to the prophets of ancient Israel. And this would place the cessation of prophecies from Christ at approximately the middle of the week of earth's history of seven thousand years; and it was in the "midst of the week" that "Messiah should be cut off”. [Daniel 9:26]. Here again we may be viewing an expanded meaning of a message of Scripture. If Christ had not died before the first advent, then there would have been two Christs. This is untenable and unscriptural.

  So Jesus appeared as a little boy. Through the processes of natural law, whereby God functions, the only-begotten Son was born; and as He grew, He developed or reacquired the character of righteousness and the identity which had been His - for this was Christ.

  But He had no memory of His former existence while He was yet a lad. His knowledge of His divinity and His identity was obtained primarily through the teachings of His mother and the study of Scripture, and through a personal experience with His heavenly Father, as is available to every one of mankind.

  Here was the first example of the development of a righteous life in human form, or should I say, here was the first example of the proving of a righteous character; "the testing", the investigative judgment of character; for you will remember that the character of Christ had been challenged by Lucifer; and now God would prove the character of Christ from the ground up. And when Jesus' character had been completely tested, when He had been proved righteous before the eyes of all the universe, then He was baptized with the Holy Ghost, (the baptism of water being a symbol); and He became the Messiah. Hebrews 5:8 & 9 tells us that "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him."

48

CHRIST HAD RELINQUISHED HIS HERITAGE - THE HOLY GHOST


  The heritage which Christ had left with His Father, that great Spirit which He relinquished, was the Holy Ghost. There is a significance in the term "ghost,” for a ghost represents that which is left after one dies. The element of eternal life and of eternal truth is wrapped up with the Holy Ghost, and Jesus became the first partaker of this great heritage, according to the everlasting covenant; and He became the firstborn of every creature, the first-begotten of the dead, (Colossians 1:15,18; Revelation 1:5). Now Jesus could look back into the past and say, "before Abraham was, I Am," He could pray to the Father in truth, "glorify me now with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was;" He could say, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven;" - and He was telling the truth.


  It was after His baptism and anointing with the Holy Spirit that He received the eternal power that was the heritage of His previous Self; and He went into the wilderness for forty days to make His adjustment to this new phenomenal experience. And thereby is the significance in the temptations which Satan brought to Him near the end of those days; for as He looked upon the stone and suffered the pangs of physical hunger, He knew that He had the power to turn that stone to bread, a power which He did not have before His anointing; - and therein lay the temptation. But if He were to use this power in His own behalf, He would fail to prove the character of Christ which He had come to prove. The exact nature of this failure is subject for another topic. [See Desire of Ages, page 131, last paragraph - re: "risk of failure and eternal loss".]

  Again, He knew that He had the capacity to conquer the world, and Satan brought this temptation to Him. But Jesus knew that the kingdom of heaven was a different kingdom from this temporal kingdom with which Satan was tempting Him, and He refused to submit. He knew that He could cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple and that the angels of God would bear Him up. Here again, had He done so, He would have been demonstrating self-exaltation, a principle absolutely contrary to the character of God. Jesus used His divine power only in behalf of others. He committed Himself completely into the hands of His Father for His own self-protection; but we will deal more fully with this principle in the life of Christ at a later time.

49

THROUGH NATURAL LAW JESUS WAS BORN AND GREW TO MATURITY

  So I point you back to Jesus. Here was One who had been born of a woman, who had grown through the processes of natural evolution and development into a mature human being. He had proved a character of righteousness, and had received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and had become the union of divinity and humanity; and resulting from this union had evolved the existence of a complete personality who had lived before. In this way Jesus was the first begotten from the dead; He was the first one to be raised from the dead in this manner. Moses was raised into the same physical body which had fallen asleep. But Jesus was born; He was begotten; He was the First begotten, the only begotten Son of God.

  But this great experience which had become the possession of Jesus, He did not selfishly hoard for Himself alone. The privilege of partaking of the heritage, promised through the everlasting covenant; - this privilege He laid down to share with others. He invited all who would believe upon Him as the Son of God to share in this heritage, to become brothers and sisters of His, to become joint-heirs with Him. He offered the power of the Holy Ghost to all who would believe in Him - and this He offered as a gift. He said: "I will pray the Father and He will send you another Comforter, namely, the Spirit of truth ... But tarry ye in Jerusalem, until ye be endowed with power from on high" [cf. Luke 24:29].

  There are two aspects to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: the early rain, and the latter rain. The early rain experience was attained by the overcomers in each of the eras of the church's history, through the merits of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as delivered through the power of His shed blood and through the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the former rain, - I say this gift enabled those who purposed to take full advantage of the provisions that were made to overcome all sin and to attain, as it were, a character of righteousness.

  These became members of the 144,000 group; these became the first-fruits unto God; these became the joint-heirs with Jesus, the brothers and sisters. And in the last generation of mankind they will be born again. And in their physical bodies, their former characters will be reproduced as was the character of Christ in the boy Jesus. And as they grow to maturity, those characters will be tested, as was the character of the boy Jesus.

50

THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT OF THE 144,000


  This is the investigative judgment of the 144,000, and they prove, in actual physical demonstration, the efficacy of the gospel in their former lives for the development of a righteous character. And this character is now proved and tested in these reborn physical bodies in the last generation, before the eyes of all the universe, that all might know that these characters are righteous. And having proved this character, (this type of character), they too become baptized with the Holy Ghost - they become anointed, as was Jesus, with the power of the Holy Spirit.


  When this occurs as a final phase of the latter rain, then will come to pass the promise of the Saviour to His disciples that the Spirit of truth would guide them into all truth and bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever He had said unto them, something which was not completed in their first experience. This will bring to them the resurrection of their former mind, and they will remember who they were - they will know positively who they are. They will receive a "new name which no man knoweth, saveth he who receiveth it." [Revelation 2:17]; for no one can counterfeit another's memory. They are raised from the dead; they live again; they are born again, physically as well as spiritually. Hereby they go through an experience which is similar to that of Jesus, and therefore they can sing the song of the Lamb. This furthermore constitutes the genuine seal of God's people which cannot be counterfeited. But this phase will be dealt with at a future point because it involves another line of study as a background before it can be understood. [We suggest you research here the words "seal", "sealed" and "sealing" referenced on page 343 of this book.]

  And so, you see, the disciples of Jesus will follow Him withersoever He goeth; they will follow Him through a similar experience; and they will be with Him in the temple on Mount Zion.

SATAN IS COUNTERFEITING THE EXPERIENCE OF THE 144,000

  It may be appropriate at this point to call attention to the counterfeits which Satan has already attempted of this particular experience; for Satan is a deep student of prophecy and he anticipates the fulfillment of these things. And in order to throw God's people off their guard he invariably counterfeits the true experience before it occurs, associating it with unpalatable things and events. This gives it a color which makes it very unpalatable to God's people when the true

51 

revelation occurs. I'm sure you can discern how the forces of spiritualism will bring about a more powerful counterfeit of this experience than has yet occurred. While we recognize that in the institutions for mental illness of our land, we find many people who are Napoleons, and Christs, and Elijahs, and other great figures of history. Nevertheless, these 144,000 of whom we have spoken, will receive a genuine resurrection experience. And the apostle Paul will remember the experience he had on the road to Damascus; he will remember the many experiences of his missionary journeys; and he will remember the language in which he spoke. And herein we have a deeper significance to the term "talking in tongues"; for each of the 144,000 will have his former language restored and he will speak in his own tongue. But at the same time, he will be completely oriented in his present environment, having lived in it since the time of his birth.

  What more plausible, what more logical method could God have used to bring together the overcomers from all the eras of the church's history, and bring them together so that they would understand each other? that they would know each other? and that they would have a symbol of their genuine experience? The apostle Peter will know John, and they will converse together in their original tongue; and John will prophesy the things which the seven thunders uttered; and Paul will be present to remain with the 144,000 until the coming of the Lord. And they will all be perfectly united, having the same seal brought to them by the Holy Spirit of promise for the Scripture says, "you are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13). There is a relation between this sealing, and the principle of the Sabbath. [Refer in this book to pages 59 - 61; page 67; also page 200; - item "Thirteen"].

  And now, just before proceeding to the next topic, let us turn back to a quick consideration of the original question which we set about to answer on this tape. That question which comes to mind is this: How will these 144,000 saints appear on the earth in the last generation without inflicting terrible confusion? How can men from many different generations, and of many different tongues and languages, come forth from their graves to live together harmoniously in this modern environment? This question poses a very pertinent problem and a very practical one. Some would say, "why worry about such things when there are so many more important matters to take our attention?" I would reply first, that I do not and have not worried about this problem, and bring it up here only because the answer has

52

been shown to me; and secondly, that answer is very important to those who shall appear among this group; and their appearance is not too far in the future. 


THE RESURRECTION OF THE 144,000


  There is only one way in which the 144,000 saints who have lived before can appear on the earth in the last generation, and that is: they must be resurrected. Now our popular conception of the resurrection is one in which the bodies of the sleeping saints are re-composed in the graves, and the graves erupt, and the revitalized, recomposed bodies come forth fully clothed and in the same mind as was present when they went into the graves many years before. I'm not at this point going to take time to consider all the problems in connection with this concept of the resurrection, - (and there are many), but I will simply mention two or three, to show that this concept constitutes a very restricted and inadequate view and that it demands expansion, especially in the light of its imminent fulfillment. [Please refer again to Testimonies to Ministers page 243, concerning the lesson from the seed and the resurrection of the body.] *

  First: If the former body elements have been completely destroyed and absorbed into the surrounding soil, or if, as is true in many cases, the former bodies were completely annihilated through cremation or being devoured by wild animals; then why should it be necessary for a grave to erupt when there is nothing in it to erupt for?

  Second: If they come forth with the same current of thoughts with which they went into the grave (and Sister White says they do - Early Writings 293), then they will be completely disorientated and strange in this modern environment without knowledge of customs or language, but recognizing only their own immediate friends in the group, if indeed any of their friends attained to the same status and were numbered among them. Certainly they could hardly feel at home.

  Third: Clothed in their ancient diversity of garments and styles of grooming, they would present a strange spectacle indeed to be mingling with the modern inhabitants of the world.

  These may be minor points in themselves, but they do pose the need for an expansion of our present concept. There can be no doubt that a problem does exist. But our God is a practical God, and there is a practical solution.

* [This principal is also expressed in: 1st Cor. 15:35-38, and COL 87.

53

  And now let us take a look at that solution as we have presented it in brief form: The new physical bodies of the 144,000 will be raised up through the process of natural birth, which is God's normal method of creating an individual. And in these new bodies will be reproduced the personal character of each of these people, to be tested in a literal investigative judgment on the earth during the "testing time" which has been in progress since 1844. The testing is done by means of the testing truths for this time, and these truths are received in the face of all the opposition of Satan's forces, with the skills accumulated down through the ages. The testing truths for the investigative judgment were, in a large measure, delivered through the agency of the Spirit of Prophecy through the testimony of Sister White.


  After the characters of the 144,000 have been proved without fault, they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, even as Jesus had received it two thousand years before; and they are restored to their former status as individuals; - they are resurrected.

  This presents a very plausible and practical means of executing a resurrection. For here come forth 144,000 people from many different periods in earth's history, with vastly different languages, customs and tongues; yet they are all perfectly orientated. They speak a modern language but can also converse in their ancient tongue. The two aspects of their lives fuse into one harmonious pattern, even as the images received from our two eyes merge in the mind as one image. But as the two eyes, giving binocular vision, present a more genuine sense of depth and perspective, even so will their two lives present a clearer perception of the depth of time and experience. The memories of their former lives will merge, even as do the memories of the different years of anyone's past life. They will speak in tongues obviously; but it will not be an unintelligible gibberish, it will be the language of their first youth. The apostle Paul will be able to drive an automobile; and Peter will have no difficulty operating a telephone; while John can readily give his message to the nations over the radio.

  By their own experience they will understand more clearly the nature of the experience of Jesus, their Trail-blazer. The intervening years between the two episodes of their lives will be a long night of sleep; and when they awaken, they will already be endowed with the mental equipment necessary to establish them in the modern society. What more practical method could God use? It is in perfect harmony with the laws of nature, which are the tools of the Creator.

54

LUCIFER'S REBELLION AND ITS RELATION TO THE CREATION OF THIS EARTH


  We will now turn to a more detailed consideration of the nature of the rebellion of Lucifer and its relation to the creation of this earth.


  We must first recognize that the government of Heaven was different from the general concept of government as we see it about us today. The need for government arises when a group of free-will beings. live together in a community. Were there no free will, there would be no need for government; for all would obey instinctively the laws of nature and of their being. If God had created only automatons in His universe, that is creatures without free choices, then His whole universe would be founded on mechanics. Every detail would operate purely and precisely in accordance with the meticulous and unbreakable laws. Every outcome and event could be minutely predicted by anyone who understood the mechanics of those laws. There could be no sin, for there could be no transgression of laws since there was no free will. But looking into the ages of eternity, God could foresee the rising monotony of such a program. One such as God, who possesses a character of love, whose being is charged with selfless emotion, could not be satisfied with mere mechanical companions.

  He desired fellowship - fellowship with beings made in His own image, beings with emotions and personalities, beings with free wills, who could bring forth patterns of thought and action out of pure spontaneity by virtue of their freedom of choice; for the principle of creative thought and action and personality development is wrapped up in the principle of the free will. By creating beings with free wills, God opened up a vast and limitless area of new potential possibilities. He gave something of His own prerogative by endowing His creative beings with free wills. He shared His creativeness with others, and thereby unveiled the most priceless treasure of fellowship; - emotional fellowship, spiritual fellowship, intellectual fellowship and physical fellowship through association.

  The creation of free-will beings was a tremendous forward step; but every advancement brings its risks. By introducing the principle of free choice into the universe, God provided the possibility for sin, which is a transgression of the law of self-denial. Whenever two free-will beings exist together, there inevitably arises the chance that one will make decisions to satisfy himself, but at the expense of the happiness or welfare of the other.

55


Hence the need for the law of self-denial or consideration for others. This is basic.

  The moral law of God, pertaining to the relationships among the free-will beings in His kingdom, is summed up in the statements of Scripture; namely, "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself ... And whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you even so to them." Herein then, lies the possibility for sin. A free-will being is created with the potential to develop his own personality and character to a very large extent; but he may develop this character in harmony with the great principle of God's law, or he may choose selfishly to provide for his own indulgence and self-satisfaction. Happiness for all can only be maintained as the law of consideration for one's neighbor is respected and kept.

THE PRINCIPLE OF VARIETY AND THE FREE WILL
[cf. PAGES 155156, ALSO 198199]

  Another aspect of the government of Heaven lies in the principle of variety. Were God to create all His beings exactly alike, with equal endowments and talents and glory, a most terrible monotony would prevail; but the moment variations in talent and ability are introduced, there arises the possibility of envy and jealousy. One may feel that God had honored someone else more than himself, and consequently become envious. This again would transgress the basic law of the universe and would constitute sin. So, you see, the possibility of sin is a natural outcome of the expanding principles of free-will and variety. There is no excuse for sin; but the potential is present wherever inequality and individuality exist.

  Lucifer was the first created free-will being in God's universe, brought into existence through the agency of Christ. He was the "son of the morning". The morning is the dawn of the day and Lucifer was created in the dawn of the day of God's creation of free-will beings. He was the firstborn of this race, apart from Christ Himself The creation of Lucifer was a new step in the outworking of the principle of God's unselfish kindness; for in Lucifer, God gave of Himself and shared His prerogative. Here was one who could survive as an independent being with a free choice, - to act as an individual creature. He was provided with an environment in which he could exercise his decisions and manipulate the tools of nature. He could do things as an independent being outside, of, and apart from, the direct decision and control of God.

56

  Here was someone who could provide not only homage and worship, but fellowship and companionship, and could share in the operation and control of the universe. 


  In addition to this, by virtue of the freedom of choice resident in his makeup, Lucifer was permitted to share in the creations of new things, including new worlds. He sat in the councils with Christ and His Father in the planning of new worlds.


  The method by which Christ wrought creative works in the universe was through the agency of the natural laws established in the world of physics, chemistry, and biology. Many years were allowed for the development and production of new things, even as is evident in the course of nature today. This is God's normal method of creation. We are told in the Spirit of Prophecy, that if we would learn how God works, we should but look about us and see how He works today in His natural creation, through the laws which He has established. [cf. Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, page 92.]

  But in the course of time, as more and more creatures were brought into existence and more and more worlds were made, Lucifer's understanding of the workings of those laws, increased; his education and powers of judgment expanded, and he reached the point where he realized that he was able to do great and mighty things. God had entrusted him with enormous power; * and Christ, who was his superior, honored Lucifer with the privilege of being a great executive in the government, and in the progress of creation. By virtue of His own selfless character, Christ kept His supreme power and authority in the background. It was not His habit to display Himself as the Almighty; He was the Wonderful Counselor and the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

  Combined with his outstanding knowledge and wisdom, Lucifer's great beauty bestirred within him a sense of superiority and self-satisfaction. His heart became lifted up. The self-denying element in the law of heaven, restricted his desire for indulgence of self. He would gladly have the law of God changed a little, to make room for a measure of self-interest. And in future creations he felt the plans might include a bent toward this objective. The righteous character of Christ however, offered resistance to these ideas, and the seeds of independent action were born in Lucifer's heart.

__________________
*[God made Lucifer "as near as possible like Himself" - 4BC 1153].

57

  The principle of the free will was working out its direst possibility. Lucifer would act independently of Christ. He would draw with him the allegiance of the angels who honored and respected him; he would present plans which would be "better" than Christ's; he would become the supreme ruler and king, and manipulate the laws of nature to create things in his own way. And since all creation in those days was wrought through the normal processes of evolutionary growth, even as it is today, Satan fell into the erroneous conclusion that he could manipulate the laws of nature independently of Christ. He lost faith in Christ as the true Creator behind nature, and felt that he himself had every chance of eventually becoming the supreme creator. He said in his heart "I will exalt myself above the throne of Christ" [Isa. 14:12-14]

  Now if, as some people vaguely suppose, all creation had been wrought by instantaneous command from Christ, then Lucifer could never have been tempted to think he could become superior to Christ; for Lucifer could not create that way. The works of Lucifer's creation, as were all the works of creation at that time, were confined to the use of natural law. Mighty projects had to be methodically planned and inaugurated, and time was necessary to attain the ultimate fruition of those plans. Christ was the true Creator of all things, but He worked behind the laws of nature; He did not display Himself.

  The details of Lucifer's rebellion are dearly portrayed in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, and I shall not repeat them here. Let it be sufficient to say that Christ planned to create a new world to be a demonstration of the real facts in the matter. Through this new creation, the only-begotten Son of God would prove Himself, beyond a shadow of doubt, to be the true Creator.

CHRIST WISHED TO PROVE THE NATURE OF HIS OWN CREATION

  It would be a unique creation, such as had never been seen before nor ever would be seen again. It would be a once-and-for-all demonstration; and through the creatures on this new earth would be revealed the true nature of the battle between good and evil, and the two types of government would be dearly manifest. Lucifer would be given an opportunity to carry out his ideas about creation and his ideas about government; and at the same time, Christ would reveal the true nature of His own character on which His system of creation and government are based.

58

THIS WORLD WAS CREATED DIFFERENTLY - IT WAS GREATLY ACCELERATED


   In the planning of this world, Lucifer was not taken into counsel. Christ wanted to first prove the pure nature of His creation, and He could do so only if Lucifer had absolutely nothing to do with it. Then Lucifer would be given a chance to go ahead with his form of creation in the manipulation of natural laws; and the outcome of his choices would become evident.


  Thus, this world was created in six literal days, greatly accelerated over that of any other creation. When Christ spoke, it was done. Precisely how much of each day's 24 hours was used in the working out of each day's creation, we cannot tell for sure, but probably most of the day was required. It is highly improbable that the work was accomplished during the first second of each day, and then during the remaining 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds things lay idle. Such a view would detract from the significance of the seventh day, which was a day of rest at the conclusion of the six days' work. God's command requires that we labor six days and rest on the Seventh; not that we would labor only one second of each of those six days and then omit that second's worth of labor on the seventh day, to make it alone entirely a day of rest, - but this is hardly an important point.

TREMENDOUS SIGNIFICANCES IN THE PRINCIPLE OF THE SABBATH

  The important thing is that this world was created in six days, a thing Lucifer had never before seen. Here was a genuine proof as to the identity of the true Creator, and as to who had the real power of creation. Christ had direct control over the forces of nature, which Lucifer did not; and this fact was revealed by the six-day creation of this world.

  Since such a creation was contrary to the usual method of God, and since it would not occur again, God made a memorial of it which was to stand through all eternity. That memorial was the seventh-day Sabbath. This very memorial is an evidence that such a creation will never again occur, for we do not need a memorial of something which is already going to be perpetuated.

59

  There is a tremendous amount of significance in the principle of the Sabbath. We cannot begin to deal with it here. But some things we must point out in order to grasp the truth concerning other related topics, particularly of the resurrection of the 144,000, and their sealing.

  In the first place, the Sabbath was given as a sign of faith in the fact that the ultimate power of creation was the heritage of Christ alone. Any share which the creatures had in the works of creation was an endowment from the Giver of all good gifts. If Lucifer had recognized that all his talents were endowments from his Creator, Christ, he could hardly have fallen into such a fantastic rebellion. The Sabbath was given to be a safeguard against any future repetition of Satan's error. Honoring the Sabbath day is an acknowledgment of faith in Christ as the Creator of this world in six literal days.

  But the meaning of the Sabbath goes deeper than that. The creation of this world was accomplished in a manner contrary to that usually followed by Christ. In creating this world in six literal days, Christ was overruling His established habit in the operation of His fixed laws of nature. By an act of decision Christ superseded the established laws, and demonstrated that He was the Master of those laws. Thus the Sabbath takes on a significance associated with the free will. It recognizes God's privilege of over-ruling His own habits and laws.

  Nevertheless, if God should permanently change any of His fixed laws, He would be acknowledging, in a sense, that He had made an error in the first place in establishing that law. He would be admitting that the law was faulty. But none of God's laws is faulty. Herein lies the significance of the context in the last verse of the Old Testament. [cf. Malachi 4:5&6.]

  The Bible declares that the law of the Lord is perfect (Psalms 19:7). It was by virtue of granting His created beings the power of freedom to choose, that the way was open for the emergency of sin to arise. And it is in emergencies that the overruling power of a free choice becomes a saving necessity.

  The laws of God were adequate to handle any situation which might arise in a universe free from sin. But when sin entered, an uncalled-for emergency arose; and God had to make an arbitrary decision to overrule His usual habit of creating through the slow, evolving process of natural law, and resort to bringing forth a sudden creation.

60


  The Sabbath is a sign of faith in the prerogative of God to exercise His freedom of choice at His discretion, and to save His universe from a tragic consequence, caused by the wrong choices of His created freewill beings. It acknowledges faith in the reality of creation as an act of decision, an exercise of the free will.

  But the Sabbath has a further meaning: The highest evidence of divine power is the power of creation. This power was the heritage of Christ. Any creative power which may be vested in the creatures of God's universe is theirs by virtue of the selfless character of Christ, expressing itself through His sharing that power with them. They are but the tools in His great work of progressive creation. Lucifer could not have aspired to make himself equal with Christ unless he aspired to equal Christ in this respect also. Therefore, the most pertinent element in the rebellion of Lucifer surrounded creative power.


  The creation of this earth was a demonstration to specifically reveal Christ as the true Creator, and to provide the true perspective of Christ's position. The Sabbath is a memorial of this demonstration, designed to show that those who honor it do thereby acknowledge the true position of Christ; On this attitude the fruit of salvation depends. For only as one believes that Jesus Christ is "come in the flesh," and that this same Jesus is the only begotten divine Son of God in whom is vested all power and authority in heaven and earth, can one be the recipient of the gift of eternal life. For unless the subjects of a kingdom have respect for its government and its king, there can be no lasting harmony in that kingdom.

THE SABBATH AND ITS RELATION TO THE PRINCIPLE OF REGENERATION

  Lucifer failed to recognize Christ as the true Creator behind natural law. But the creation of this world proved that He definitely was! Hence the Sabbath, as a memorial of this world's creation, is a sign of faith in Christ as the true Creator behind nature's laws. Thus, while I personally came into this world through the process of natural birth and growth, and while my parents had a definite share in my creation, not only physically but educationally in shaping my personality; nevertheless, I still believe that Christ is my true Creator, that I am a product of His hand, even though He accomplished the task through the agency of others of His created beings, and through His laws of nature.


61

  This aspect of the meaning of the Sabbath is extremely important. It is related to the principle of regeneration, a principle of which we have long recognized the Sabbath as a sign.

  But there are two kinds of regeneration; physical as well as spiritual. As the cells of my skin are constantly dying, other new ones are created by regeneration. As the individuals in the world die off over the years, others are regenerated to take their places. While as yet we recognize only new individuals in this process of regeneration, I have already pointed out that Jesus was an example of a regeneration of an individual who had existed before. He was the first-begotten from the dead from One who had lived before. He was the first-fruits of the resurrection. Even so will the 144,000 be the re-creation, through regeneration, of individuals who have lived before. It is possible through the process of regeneration to not only replace elements and patterns which have been destroyed by death, but also to produce patterns which will develop into the identity of some which have existed before. This principle will be dealt with in a more scientific and mathematical way at a future time.

  Let it be emphasized here however, that the principle of regeneration is the principle which God is using and will use to overcome death and to restore that which has been lost through death. This process is going on continually in our human organisms, and it will reach its acme of triumph in the regeneration of the complete body, through a new birth. The blueprints of the individual human being are traced into the mathematical principle of genetic inheritance and reappear in a future generation. Herein lies the significance of the context in the last verse of the Old Testament [cf. Malachi 4:5,6].


  Another influence is also present in accomplishing this task, but it will not be dealt with here. But we have gone a little ahead of our story at this point.

SATAN'S METHOD OF CREATION

  Let us now return to notice how Satan was given the chance before the flood to try out "his" method of creation.

  When God made man and all the other species in creation, He asked them to be fruitful and multiply and to reproduce after their kind. But at that time, natural law was broad enough to take in the possibility of crossing the species; and through the control of Satan, the base crime

62

of amalgamation among the beasts, and of man and beast, went forward. The resulting creatures which were brought into existence, through the evolutionary processes, can only be described as grotesque. The prehistoric fossils of animals and man bear out the results of Satan's control of the forces of natural creation.


  In the St. George's Island Park in the city of Calgary may be seen life-sized models of several types of dinosaurs whose skeletons have been unearthed in the so-called "Badlands" of the Red Deer River Valley here in Alberta. Some of these creatures give remarkable evidence of the strange mixtures of reptile, beast, bird and fish; giant lizards with huge legs and scales and fins and armor and ribs, and even wings; almost every conceivable combination can be seen. And the unearthed skeletons of low-grade human beings give evidence of the degradation of the human race during this period. And as God looked down on this condition before the flood, He saw that it was enough to prove His point. The picture was disgusting. It proved what would inevitably happen when the counsels of the true Creator are ignored.


  And "it repented the Lord that He had made man." and He destroyed the world with a flood. The strange mixtures of the species which God had not created, but which were the product of amalgamation, did not go into the ark. They were destroyed by the flood.

  Since the flood, there has been some amalgamation among the beasts, and of man and beast, as is evidenced in the animal world, and in certain races of men. Some difference of opinion exists on the meaning of the statement of Sister White concerning amalgamation of man and beast since the flood; but there can hardly be any dispute about the meaning of this statement when we consider that only three sons of Noah and their wives, together with Noah and his wife, emerged from the ark. If the children of these should intermarry, it could hardly be construed as being the "base crime of amalgamation." In certain areas of the earth there are animals which in some respects resemble human beings, and it may be noted that in these areas the human beings have some characteristics which resemble those of these animals.

  But God has long since removed the possibility of inter-mixing the species to any appreciable extent; and herein lies a paradox: The evolutionist today would dearly love to find one single evidence that crossing of the species is possible, while the creationist Christian abhors the thought.

63

  On the other hand, the principle of evolutionistic growth, which is the normal way of creation in the vast universe of God, is rejected by the creationist Christian, who is thrilled whenever he sees the slightest evidence of dramatic overruling of the laws of nature on the part of God. But these evidences are generally misconstrued by the Christian, for while they may appear to go contrary to the laws of nature, in actual fact, they do not; they merely utilize those laws in a manner not yet understood by us. Even the miracles of Jesus were performed by the angels at His command [Desire of Ages 143], and these angels function under the processes of natural law just as you and I do.


  And that brings us to a very important issue. Satan is a great master of natural law. Through his manipulative interference, the course of nature has been substantially modified; and the annals of history are liberally dotted with tragedies and catastrophes. But more significant than this is the enormous program of counterfeiting which Satan has carried on down through the years, and which in these closing years will enlarge into an extremely powerful array of deceptions.

  There are certain basic lies which seem to be Satan's favorites. The most outstanding of these is the age-old statement made to Eve in the Garden of Eden, "thou shalt not surely die". Satan knows that miracles are accepted by men as certain evidence of divine or supernatural interference, and with his superior knowledge of the laws of nature, He has planned how to utilize those laws to give semblance of miracles and miraculous performances. By holding his manifestations over and beyond the understanding of man, he is able to command attention and reverence, and to pose as a power from heaven.

SUNDAY WORSHIP - COUNTERFEIT OF THE TRUE SABBATH

  Through this means he will function to perpetuate his lies. In the manifestations of spiritualism he corroborates the first and primary lie, that in death man does not really die but lives on. Through counterfeit visions and signs he proposes that the law of God has been changed and that Sunday is now the Lord's day, set aside for worship in honor of the resurrection, the regeneration of a new life - the re-creation, if you please. While the Sabbath was originally a sign of creation and also of regeneration or re-creation, now Satan would have men believe that Sunday is the token of belief in the re-creation.

64 

  But Sunday worship has a history. Sunday is the day of the sun, the day on which pagans worshiped the sun. They believed that all their life came through the agency of the sun; for was it not the sun which gave the earth heat and light and rain, and caused the plants to grow for food and for clothing and even for shelter? While they believed in the sun god as the primary force in these things, nevertheless the actual operation of the sun as a life-giver on earth is through the medium of the established laws of nature. And so, in a counterfeit manner only, Sunday worship represents the miraculous restoration of life through the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb - the belief in God as the primary force in the miraculous re-creation of the soul and of the body.


  To substantiate this, Satan will bring forward spiritualistic manifestations and miracles purporting to be of God, and men will say, "Here is the revival of the old time religion, as it was in the days when Jesus walked on earth; here is the evidence that those to whom these miracles are shown are favored of God." And their doctrine of the sacredness of Sunday as a day of worship and as a sign of the miraculous resurrection of Jesus from the tomb, appears to be vindicated.

  Through the increase in the catastrophes of nature, Satan will initiate a false reformation or turning to God. But this turning to God will be based on fear, and for the selfish purpose of attempting to earn acceptance with God. It is not a genuine repentance and sorrow for sin. Satan will himself respond to their efforts by affirming their decision and pointing out that the opposers of Sunday worship are the real cause of the trouble, because they are dishonoring the resurrection of Jesus.

  But notice here, that there is a much deeper and subtler significance in this program. The method whereby the 144,000 are resurrected is through regeneration. By means of the operation of natural laws, they reappear on the earth as fully acclimatized and orientated modern individuals. Satan knows this will occur. He has already counterfeited such an experience and has widely displayed it to be a hoax. He has done this through the medium of hypnotism. Thus scientific men will thoroughly discount any such experience.

65 

PARADOX OVER THE SYMBOLS OF SABBATH AND SUNDAY

  This counterfeit will be a serious blow to the prestige of the 144,000 who do undergo a real such experience; and this displays the paradox: The Sabbath is the true sign of faith in Christ as Creator. The 144,000 will be the only ones who ultimately will have this sign in their foreheads and in their hands; but as we have already pointed out, sometime previously, God's usual method of performing His creative works is through His established natural laws.

  The 144,000 will be a product of precisely this kind of creation. They believe in the genuineness of their experience even though no bold outward miraculous manifestation of erupting graves occurs in their resurrection. They each receive a new name "which no man can read, save he that receiveth it" [Rev. 2:17]; for no man can read or counterfeit the memory of another. These men will receive their former genuine memories - it will not be a hoax. While a man may keep the Sabbath outwardly, without being sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise in the literal regeneration of physical rebirth, the real seal of God cannot be counterfeited. I wonder if you can discern the subtleness of this most powerful, paradoxical, delusion?

  Satan will see to it that there will be plenty of cause to ridicule and persecute the saints. It can readily be seen how plausibly they will be classed as fanatics and mentally deranged people. Any informed person knows that in the asylums of our land are those who profess to be great figures in history. There are kings and Presidents and Napoleons, and even Elijahs, and Christs. In fact, it is not even necessary to go to the asylums to find such characters. So when the apostle Paul appears on the scene with John and Peter and others, it might be to their advantage not to display their private evidence of the true seal of God.

  But they will all be sealed and perfectly united. And the great truth which will unite the hearts of these dear waiting saints through the hours of their trial will be this same Sabbath truth. In the future ages of eternity, all the new creations of God will again be wrought through the agency of created beings and the processes of natural law; and the perpetual reminder of the true personal power behind all creation, the Lord Jesus Christ, will be the memorial of the greatest and most gigantic demonstration of all creative genius - the Sabbath.

66

  This Holy Institution will be kept throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity as a safeguard against a repetition of the error of Lucifer. Can you not see this deeper meaning? God grant that we may all be able to discover this vital truth, in order that He may go forward with the final phases of His work in the hearts of men.


  But that is not all. Satan, through the agencies of spiritualism and hypnosis and other forces, will bring about miraculous manifestations that will appear to be over and beyond the general course of nature, that will appear to be contrary to natural law; and these miracles will be heralded by many, many people as a sign of the return of the miraculous power of God to His final church. It is when this occurs that there will be no safety in placing one's trust in miracles. "Signs and wonders will follow the believers" (Colporteur Ministry p. 151); but these signs and wonders will be more confirmed to their own personal experiences, than to any outward manifestation.

  Even today we do not see too many manifestations of divine healing in our Church; but God is constantly exercising His healing power through the agency of His angels and His natural laws, to give health and strength to His people, that they may perform the tasks and duties before them. Through the manipulation of coincidental circumstances, God is often revealing His personal interest and care in the welfare of His children. The true people of God will have a quiet confidence in His protecting care, and will discern in their circumstances His protecting hand. Their faith will be based upon the written Word and the promises contained therein. They will not base their faith on divine manifestations. Their faith will be firmly fixed upon their understanding of the truth.

  And when the Holy Spirit brings to them the knowledge of their former lives, and returns to them the memory of their previous experience and existence, and when they remember the words of Jesus to them, as the apostles will remember, then will their hearts be firmly united in the knowledge and understanding of the great principle of creation which has occurred in their experience, and of which the Sabbath is an outward sign. Sunday will be kept by those who joined the ranks of the great false reformation, based upon miracles and the delusions of Satan. Sabbath will be kept by those who have the genuine experience, not only of spiritual regeneration, but of physical regeneration. These are marvelous truths.

67 

  After listening to the foregoing consideration of the symbolism of the Sabbath, I feel I should make one more attempt to express this paradox with greater directness:

  While Sunday was originally a symbol of sun worship, the belief in nature and natural laws as the source of life; and while this may have been embellished with a superfluous, fictitious sun-god; nevertheless Satan has succeeded in having this symbol adopted as a memorial of the miraculous resurrection of Jesus. And before the close of time, he will furthermore succeed in expanding the significance of Sunday worship to be a sign of faith in the spurious miracles which he will perform, as being genuine and of God. Men will point to the miracles as evidence that here is indeed the outpouring of the Spirit of God in the last days, as promised. Through the miraculous manifestations of spiritualism, the sanctity of Sunday will be corroborated.

  In direct contrast to this, the Sabbath was originally a sign of faith in the miraculous creation of this earth in six days, as opposed to the supposed long period (evolutionary creation), which theories are prominent today.

SABBATH - SIGN OF FAITH IN CHRIST AS CREATOR OF NATURAL LAW

  But in the last days there will be no safety in placing one's trust in miracles. The saints will have a quiet confidence in the ability of God to care for them through the forces of natural laws and the control of their circumstances. They will put their trust in the written promises of God's word, and will have no difficulty in recognizing the true Creator, behind the process of regeneration, in their own lives. Thus, while Satan counterfeits the Sabbath and makes Sunday the sign of faith in miraculous creation, the true Sabbath, which was originally the sign of miraculous creation, retires to the far more profound significance of faith in the true Creator behind the laws of nature, and of Christ, as the supreme power in the course of circumstances.

  A grasp of this truth is of paramount importance to the latter day saints, as will be recognized in due course of time. It involves a direct relation to the seal of God and the mark of the beast. It also involves another aspect which we have not as yet discussed to any extent, namely, the real motive behind a man's worship of God. It is this basic motive and fundamental attitude toward God that determines the sealing, and whether the law of God is written in the heart or whether it is merely on "tables of stone".

68

THE SIN QUESTION AND THE LAW 


  Perhaps we should now consider some of the elements surrounding this aspect. This brings us face to face with the question of sin, for sin is defined as "the transgression of the law'; and when we think of the law, we think always in terms of the ten commandments. We should, however, remember that the ten commandments are broader than a first glance would indicate. Jesus came to magnify that Ten Commandment law, and He pointed out that it was based fundamentally upon the principle of love to God and love to fellow men. This love which Jesus speaks about is a special kind of love, it is unselfish love or self-denying love.


  So there are really two phases to commandment keeping. First; the meticulous keeping of a set of regulations; and secondly, the reason or motive for keeping those regulations. These two phases we shall attempt to clarify as we consider further this question of sin:


  We all know that we need to be getting rid of sin; we all know that probation is closing. And as we look about us, we may well ask the questions: "where is the man without sin? when will we be ready? how can we get rid of our sins?" We're told that we are helpless; we need help. We're told that Jesus will help us. But how? Does He drag us bodily out of the sinner's den? Does He force our decisions? Does He frighten us into obedience? Many times we have heard the complaint, "I have asked God over and over again to help me gain the victory; but the harder I try, the worse it gets."

  It is obvious to anyone who has tried, that victory over sin requires a power outside of oneself. We have often been told to "let go and let God," But what does this mean? Nothing seems to happen. The same old urges and temptations keep coming back. Surely there is some tangible process whereby a victorious life is accomplished.

  It says that faith is the victory. Faith in what? - in victory? Merely believing that one is victorious does not make it so. Many have tried that and failed. What then? - faith in Christ? The devil has faith in Christ, but he's not getting any better. You say he does not try, therefore he does not improve. But we are told that our efforts are fruitless. Then why should we try? The whole thing is vague and confusing, especially to young people. This whole question of sin and sinfulness needs an extensive clarification if it is to be grasped in its relation to the sanctuary service and the gospel.

69

  True, it can be stated in simple terms, and it has been; we need not repeat it. But there are ways of viewing this thing which will at least make the plan of salvation in this area more coherent and logical. But before we can understand this sin question, we must know something about the structure of man's mind and nature.


ASPECTS OF MAN'S MIND AND ALSO HIS NATURE

  Now I don't intend to give a complete treatment of the various aspects of man's mind, which is a most fascinating study and a most useful one; but I shall merely touch upon some of the basic characteristics and functions of the mind, sufficient to help us to understand this question of sin and victory over it.

  Briefly, a few definitions first:

1. INSTINCT. Instinct is the automatic response of man to certain stimuli from the environment or from the organism. For example, when something passes near the eye, it blinks. When the hand touches something hot, it recoils. When food enters the mouth, the salivary glands begin to secrete their juices. When a man runs, the heart and lungs increase the frequency of their cycles to supply additional oxygen for releasing energy by the combustion of fuel in the muscles. Many examples could be given of the instinct process. Instinct is written into the neuro-muscular and neuro-glandular structure of the brain and nervous system. It functions much as the thermostatic control on a furnace heating unit. Instinct is the quality which enables an animal to cope with its environment; and much of man's activities is also generated by instinct.

2. NEURO-MUSCULAR & NEURO-GLANDULAR ACTION is principally an electro-chemical process. Electrical energy is generated somehow in nerve or brain cells and is transmitted through nerve fibers to the muscles or glands where appropriate chemical responses occur. For example, muscles burn food as fuel to generate mechanical energy of motion, while glands manufacture and secrete chemicals which act as governors or regulators of the numerous body functions. The distribution of many of these electric currents to the proper response channels is governed by the instinct patterns. Certain connections are inherent. Others are built up through the basic growth structure of man, and these connections become like permanent connections on a telephone switchboard. Dial a certain number, and a specific phone is always connected. Similarly, receive a certain response from the environment, and a specific result follows consistently.

70


3. HABITS. When a man is born, he is equipped with a vast number of brain cells, capable of growing potentially to some ten billion. These cells are endowed with the capacity to link electrically with neighboring cells, thus providing a line of flow for the electric current. The precise pattern of connections, which can become extremely involved, determines the response to a given stimulus. There may be thousands of separate circuits built up. Those that are established by inherent growth are instincts, but many others which would not normally appear by instinct, may be built up by the decisions of the individual. Responses which are developed by the consistent and persistent choices of the individual constitute habits. When choices are inconsistent, no definite patterns are formed, or confused habit patterns may even develop. By far, the vast majority of any man's actions are the result of habits and instincts.


4. FREE WILL or DECISION. This is the power which makes man distinctly superior to animals and makes him closer akin to the image of God. By this power, man may create new electrical circuits or habit patterns, and may modify old ones. He may also to some degree change some of his inherent instinct patterns. Of course, there are some of these deeper instinct patterns which he cannot influence directly; and this is for his self-protection. For example, the heartbeat cannot be changed by a direct decision, but it may be changed indirectly by exercise or by emotion or by drugs. [Refer also to pages 124 - 127.]

  There is an element of creative power associated with the free will. By means of it, entirely new patterns of action may be created. It is this gift of man which enables him to build on his own personality over and above the inherited characteristics. By means of this power, he may also establish habits of choosing, and the sum total of all his choice habits in relation to the moral law of God is known as his character.

5. MEMORY. The fifth aspect of mind which we wish to briefly refer to is memory. Memory is that aspect or quality of the mind whereby the electrical circuit patterns tend to remain fixed, and an electrical impulse can be re-stimulated to traverse anyone of those patterns, and thus repeat the same thought or the same action. The degree of permanency of these patterns seems to depend somewhat on the strength of the original impression and on the number of repetitions. It may be compared to the driving of a car over a clean field of pasture land. The first time the car is driven over the route across the pasture, the track will show up because the grass has been bent down

71 

where the wheels traversed. But if the car did not repeat its tour across that particular track, it would not be too long before the grass would be restored and the path would be obliterated. If however, the car were to repeat its tour across that particular path or track consistently on the same route, it would not be too long before the grass would begin to decay and the path would become permanently marked, and eventually deep ruts would be cut into the soil, and we would have an old fashioned prairie trail. Also, if a very heavy vehicle such as a truck had been used instead of a car, it would not require so many repetitions to create the same depression or impression.


  In building up a habit of thought or action, the same thought or action must be re-stimulated or repeated many times consistently, and eventually the pattern of thought and action will reach an automatic stage and will require only an initial stimulus, and the train of action will go forward under its own initiative. And the speed or rapidity of the habitual action may be increased far beyond that which could be consciously controlled. This is beautifully illustrated in the learning and operating of a typewriter. At first every movement must be distinctly and accurately controlled and directed by a decision or choice, but after consistently performing the same actions many many times, the process will become habitual, and it is possible to go through a complete series of movements far more rapidly than they could be consciously controlled. Thus memory serves the purpose of a permanent recording system when it is diligently exercised.

6. CONSCIOUSNESS. Consciousness is a quality of mind whereby an individual is aware that he exists; and he is aware of things that are operating in his environment and in his own organism. Consciousness, along with many other aspects of the human being, is a complete mystery, but it is probably associated with the electrical patterns in the brain.

  A further and more complete treatment of many of these aspects may be given at a future time, but for the present let us simply state that there are different levels of consciousness. There is the upper level which is active when one is awake to varying degrees. There is a subconscious level where many mental activities are going forward, of which the individual is not immediately aware but which may be, under some circumstances, available to consciousness to varying degrees; and certainly these activities do influence the conscious direction and decision from moment to moment. And then there is the unconscious

72

area which is very deep in the mind and operates almost, if not entirely, independently of the consciousness and the decision or will. These are the very mechanical instincts of which we spoke a few minutes ago; and in this area we may also have a set of established habits which have reached the stage of complete automation, and have or may have become somewhat detached from the conscious area. Under some circumstances, however, it would probably be possible to bring these habit mechanisms back into the conscious area.


7. EMOTION. Emotion is an aspect of the organism, closely associated with the mind, which expresses itself in physical changes. Emotion is the fundamental driving force of all action. There would be no action without emotion. Emotion is the primary mover of the decision or the will. There are two principal emotions: love and fear. Of these two, love is the stronger. Love is the basic emotion of God, for God is love. It is a basic aspect in creation and it is a primary characteristic of all the moral law. In contrast to this we have the emotion of fear. Fear is one of the most powerful of all emotions, but it is second only to love; for the Scripture says that perfect love can cast out fear (1st John 4:18).

  Both of these emotions can activate a man's decision. For example, a man can decide to obey God because he is afraid of the consequences of disobedience; or he may decide to obey God because of his love and consideration for Him. These two aspects of motivation are basic in the conflict between good and evil, and are directly related to the two covenants in the plan of salvation. Satan has pretty well succeeded in "establishing the motive of fear of punishment as the basis of a man's worship of God. Throughout the Christian world today we hear the dynamic call, "to come to Christ, to serve God; or else meet hell-fire". On the other hand, God is vigorously attempting through His plan of salvation and through His Son Jesus, to bring about man's worship of Him through the motive of love. [See page 96: "the emotion of love ...” cf. also pages 179 and 180].

73

  And now with this extremely brief sketch of some of the aspects of mind and the functioning of it, we are brought to the point where we will consider more directly the principle of sin and the plan of salvation as it is worked out in the Course of human history and in the heart of man. I realize that for many people, a far more complete and detailed presentation of these basic facts would have to be given before they would be able to understand, but I am assuming that those who listen to these tapes are already in possession of a fairly thorough knowledge on these foundation principles. We will, of course, have a number of occasions to refer to these definitions or these aspects as we discuss these many topics more extensively.


REWARDS FOR OBEDIENCE, PUNISHMENTS FOR DISOBEDIENCE

  To understand then, God's dealing with mankind in the plan of salvation, we need to take a look at the situation which exists in the family - in the home, where children are being brought up. The little child is endowed with a stock of instincts upon which must be built a stock of habits; but because of lack of experience and ignorance, it becomes necessary for the parents to train the child, to direct its thinking and its actions - to educate it. During the early years of the child's existence, the parents must lay down the laws. Certain regulations and restrictions must be enforced for the good of the child. This will establish in the child's mind a set of correct and good habit patterns. The type of discipline applied during this stage is the one in which there are rewards for obedience, and punishments for disobedience.* The child does not understand too well, as yet, any other language. This is essentially the method which God used with ancient Israel under the terms of the old covenant. If Israel would choose to obey God, He would abundantly bless them; but if they would persistently disobey, He would permit their enemies to overtake them and punish them.

  This subject will be continued on the next tape. The foregoing tape was prepared during the month of October, 1959.

_______________________
* [Notice the last two, paragraphs on page 293, and that now, "God offers rewards without obedience and punishment without disobedience".]

74

AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 3

THE SIN QUESTION - CHRIST'S IMMENSE SACRIFICE

  (This is the third in a series of tapes addressed to the Brethren of the General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists, at Washington, D.C., from J. W. Johnson of Lacombe, Alberta. [This tape was prepared during the month of November, 1959]).

   SIN, LAW, AND THE FREE WILL

  On the previous tape we began a consideration of the question of sin and we shall continue with that topic here. Our present concept is that sin is a transgression of the law, and we equate the law to the Ten Commandments delivered to Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai. In addition to this we recognize the amplification of that law to include thoughts and motives. This amplification was given through Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. To what extent we apply this amplification I am not too sure, but at a later point the principle of justification by faith will be considered, and this aspect of sin is directly related to that topic.

  Our present concept also recognizes the necessity for law. Where there is no law there can be no sin, for sin is directly dependant upon the function of the will. Without a will - the power of decision, there could be no sin. But as soon as two or more individuals with free wills are put together in a society, there arises the possibility that one of these individuals might choose to satisfy himself at the expense of others, and in so doing, the happiness of the group is disturbed. Therefore a moral law or code of ethics governing the activities of the free will is necessary in order to guarantee the harmonious association and happiness of a group of free-will individuals.

  Law is necessary to protect the rights of individual citizens against each other and the group. But the very existence of a law circumscribes the free will. This is true in the sense that if complete freedom is given to the will to override the law, discord and unhappiness will result. Therefore the circumscription of the law is essential to guarantee the happiness and the harmony. Nevertheless, a freedom of the will may still exist, and an individual has the choice of transgressing the law and

75

accepting the consequences. Those consequences can only result in death, - and we shall now consider the justice of that penalty:

TREE OF LIFE - SYMBOLIC OF THE PRINCIPLE OF ETERNAL FIXATION

  In considering this aspect, let us return to a view of the situation as it existed in the experience of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Adam was created a fully grown individual with all the aspects that apply to human nature. He had a free will; he had a stock of instinct patterns which had been his endowment by his Creator, a stock which would enable him to adequately cope with the environmental situation in which he found himself. He had the privilege of communicating with angels, and with the Son of God, and of learning directly concerning the environment in which he was placed.

  By means of exercising his freedom of choice he could record in his habit nature patterns of righteousness - patterns which conform to the principles of right-doing and which would guarantee the happiness of himself, and his wife, and his posterity. Adam had the privilege of eating of the fruit of the tree of life. This tree was symbolic of the principle of eternal life or eternal fixation - that is, the opposite to death or destruction. By means of this principle it was possible for Adam to eternally fix into his habit nature the choices which he made, thereby establishing a system of patterns of behavior (habit behavior), upon which he could depend and exist in the future. Once he had solved a new problem and had made decisions and actions in respect to it, those decisions would become a permanent part of his response nature, and it would not be necessary for him to continually apply his conscious decision to similar problems in the future.

  We today experience a somewhat similar situation, for by persistent use of our decision mechanism, - by consistently choosing to do something in a specific manner, a habit may be developed, and it is then unnecessary for us to continue to make similar choices, - the organism will function automatically. But the difference between our experience and that of Adam lies in the fact that we no longer have had the privilege of eating of the fruit of the tree of life, and that the principle of eternal fixation is no longer as strong in our nature as it was in Adam's, for in the case of Adam, his habits would become eternally fixed by virtue of this principle.

76

  This has its advantage and it has its disadvantage.


  Had Adam always chosen correctly, he would have built into his nature only a righteous character, - a stock of righteous choices or choice habits. But because he sinned (that is, he chose to go contrary to the law of God), had he been permitted to continue to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, he would have become an eternal sinner because the pattern of his wrong choices would have become eternally fixed. Had this been permitted to occur, Adam would have had to endure eternal suffering, the result of his transgression. And therefore the principle of death was permitted as an act of mercy and a means of destroying the sinful pattern which had been written into his nature; - so he was removed from access to the tree of life.


  Nevertheless, the effects of the fruit of the tree of life were so powerful in the nature of Adam that his one sin, his one transgression of God's law, became so deeply ingrained into his nature that it could not be erased during his lifetime; but he would have to physically die to have it destroyed. And in addition to this, it was also written right down into the genetic principles of his nature, and was passed on to his posterity, to become the heritage of every man born into this world; and thus we are all born with sinful instincts. These we have inherited right down from the first man who lived on this earth, and by virtue of the fact that he had eaten of the tree of life.

  Thus by the act of one man, sin became recorded in the temples of mankind; and by the sprinkling of the blood of inheritance it has been transferred to every human soul born into the world. When Jesus appeared, He inherited this same sinfulness and in His own body, on the tree, He bore the sins of the world, also in this manner.

  And in the last generation of mankind, when the new temple of God will be born in the persons of the 144,000 saints, the sinfulness of Adam will again appear in their natures, being transferred to this temple through the sprinkling of the blood of inheritance.

PRINCIPLE OF ETERNAL FIXATION ENABLES THE 144,000 TO DESTROY SIN

  But, as in the experience of Jesus, sin was destroyed in the flesh because Jesus was privileged to partake of this principle of eternal life (eternal fixation), which principle He was enabled to partake of after His anointing with the Holy Ghost, - because of this, He was able to

77

destroy sin. In a similar manner, the 144,000 will also be endowed with the principle of eternal life - eternal fixation - and they will not die physically nor will they die mentally, for the eternal memory will again return to them. But this power, received from the fruit of the tree of life (symbolic in this sense), will enable them to destroy sin in the flesh.

  But this power will not be delivered to them in accordance with the terms of the everlasting covenant, until after their characters have been proved righteous, for should they receive this power before attaining a completely righteous character, they would but repeat the situation which existed under the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Hence, the investigative judgment must be completed in their lives before this outpouring of the Holy Ghost in this particular way is delivered. But we are a little ahead of our story here.

  When Adam was driven from the Garden of Eden and no longer had access to the tree of life, the principle of death began to overtake him. This death was not entirely confined to his physical structure, but to his mental structure as well. Now Adam had the ability to forget. Now, the patterns that had been traced into his memory by his decisions could fade, - not very much at first because of the potency of the power of the fruit of the tree of life, - but gradually the principle overtook him. It required several hundred years before his physical structure finally gave way and he died. In those days the sins of the forefathers were visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generations by virtue of this same principle of genetic transference of a man's decision patterns to his children.

SIN IS WRITTEN DEEPLY INTO THE INHERITANCE MECHANISM OF MAN

  But today, it is no longer possible for any man to transfer his own sinful choices, genetically and by inheritance, to his children. The sinfulness which the human race inherits today is not the result of the individual sins of recent forefathers; it is the far deeper result of the sin of Adam, which was originally written deeply into the inheritance mechanism of mankind. We inherit the sinfulness of Adam. It is true that a life of persistent debauchery and degradation will have its influence upon the potential capacities and strength of children; but any individual sin of a father is not genetically recorded to be transmitted to his posterity.

78

  When Jesus appeared on earth He bore the sins of the world. Since that time we are dealing primarily with individual sins. It is the individual sin which is confessed and transferred to the heavenly sanctuary. It is the individual sin which is taken care of by Jesus as High Priest. We are now in the period in which the application of the atonement principle is in force. Jesus no longer bears the sins of the world; He bore those once on the tree. But Jesus is "crucified afresh" when one who has known the way of life has sinned and has returned to Jesus to ask forgiveness of his sins. These sins are forgiven as individual sins and as the sins of an individual; and Jesus has a work [to do] in the heavenly sanctuary, in connection with these sins.


SINS DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY VANISH

  Let us not think for one moment that these sins automatically vanish. According to the instruction of the Old Testament ceremony, they are transferred to the heavenly sanctuary; and that heavenly sanctuary must be cleansed; and it can be cleansed only by the sprinkling of blood. This sprinkling of blood represents the life of the Son of God, for the life is in the blood.

  It is not the literal, physical blood of Jesus which was shed on Calvary that cleanses us from sin - this is a symbol. The blood which cleanses us from sin is the eternal life principle which Jesus Christ alone was possessor of. It was this life that He gave to man for his salvation. The sanctuary cannot be cleansed without the shedding of this blood and its sprinkling.

THE NEW TEMPLE OF GOD - COMPOSED OF THE 144,000 SAINTS

  But in the ultimate analysis, the new sanctuary or temple of God, is composed of 144,000 saints; and these saints have sinful bodies. Sin has been transferred to the sanctuary - to these sanctuaries (if we may put it in the plural). As a unit they comprise one sanctuary, but as individuals they are temples of the Holy Ghost; and sin has been transferred to these temples by inheritance. And through the influence of this inherited nature, they, by their own choices, have created sin in their own lives; and thus in these two ways sin has been transferred to these sanctuaries. But they must be cleansed; and the cleansing is accomplished on the antitypical Day of Atonement in which we are now living. The application of the blood will do the cleansing.

79

  This is a large topic and it may require further study of other topics before it can be clearly understood in this particular aspect.

WHEN WE SIN - JESUS SUFFERS NOW

  The point I wish to emphasize here is that, in a very literal way, Jesus suffers in a sense, the penalty of the transgression of His people; for when a sin is confessed it can only be forgiven at the expense of the suffering of Jesus. There is no such thing as a sin without a penalty - the law of God cannot be broken. The Scripture teaches that Jesus bears the penalty of our sins. Somehow we feel or have felt perhaps, that on the cross Jesus bore all of this - and He did!

  But I was not living then - I had not even sinned. What had my individual sins today to do with the suffering of the Son of God nineteen hundred years ago? It was the sins of the world, the general sinfulness transmitted through the nature of sin created by Adam, which Jesus bore on the cross. My individual sins, which had not been committed, were not at that time transferred directly to Him. My sins are transferred to Him now, when I confess them; and if I do not confess them they are not transferred to Him. He does not bear the sins that are not confessed, just as through the priests in the sanctuary, only confessed sins (through the sprinkling of blood, and the sacrifice), were transferred to the tabernacle - to the sanctuary.

THE VASTNESS OF THIS GREAT SANCTUARY TOPIC

  I realize that there are areas here which may be obscure - indistinct. It is impossible for me in a few words to portray the vastness of this great sanctuary topic, but with God's help, in due time, I shall endeavor to present the various aspects and details necessary to build up the structure of a panoramic view of this great truth.

  We must recognize that our present view of the heavenly Sanctuary and its service is still very limited; but this little illustration may help us to understand somewhat, how Jesus could suffer for the sins of His people today:

  Any parent suffers when his child continues to transgress in the full knowledge that his parent - his father or mother - is unhappy about his transgression. If the child continues in sin, after having received a knowledge of the desires of his parents, then his parents must suffer when that child continues to sin.

80

  If you are not a child of the family they would not suffer. But now, being a child of the family, they accept the penalty of the child's transgression, and the damage that the child does, they pay for. This is not a completely adequate illustration, but it may give us a little clearer understanding of the principle that the Lord Jesus is "crucified afresh" when those who have partaken of His great provisions for salvation continue in sin and confess those sins.


  But now, today, in order for man to record a choice in his permanent memory structure, it is necessary for him to repeat that choice consistently over a period of time in order to build up the habit. This is a blessing, for should he make a wrong choice, that choice will not be permanently fixed in his nature - at least it will not be deeply fixed in his nature; and it will gradually fade so that no habit pattern is produced.

  Thus man today is functioning under the principles of death and regeneration. By consistent choices, by regenerating (re-stimulating) a choice, a permanent habit may be established; not entirely an ultimately permanent habit, - there is the faint possibility of its destruction in the future if regeneration is discontinued. But the more deeply the pattern is fixed by consistent regenerating, the more permanently will that pattern remain.

  On the other hand, man is endowed with the blessing of death - the principle of forgetting; for should a wrong choice be made, that choice may be permitted to fade and not become a permanent part of his structure.

THE SANCTUARY AND THE SHUT DOOR PROBLEM OF 1844

  Now let us consider another phase of the sanctuary question which presents a further problem. There are two aspects to the sanctuary service: The daily work in the holy apartment, which in the antitypical sanctuary has been taking place since the time of Christ's ascension until 1844; and secondly; the work on the Day of Atonement in the most holy apartment, which has been taking place in the antitypical sanctuary since 1844. In the daily service sins are transferred to the sanctuary. On the Day of Atonement, the sins in the sanctuary are eradicated and the sanctuary is cleansed.

81

  We are now living in the time of the antitypical Day of Atonement, which is a day of judgment - that is, the investigative judgment has been going on, and a day of cleansing - that is, the sanctuary will be cleansed. But here we run face to face with a serious problem. For since 1844, we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy, the door to the holy apartment of the sanctuary was shut, and the door to the Most Holy was opened. [Early Writings 42].

  Now, if the door to the holy apartment was closed in 1844, then what has happened to the confessed sins of God's people since that time? - for they could hardly be transferred to the heavenly sanctuary through the service of the first apartment, when the door to that apartment has been closed.

  During the first few years since 1844 it was held that the day of salvation for sinners had passed, and in the light of this "shut door" doctrine, that would seem obvious. On the other hand, we recognize that there have been many sinners saved by grace since 1844, and this appears to be a most serious contradiction.

  A few years after 1844, our pioneers modified their view of this doctrine to mean that the day of salvation for sinners who had refused the 1844 message had passed. This apparently has been a satisfactory compromise and we have not concerned ourselves about this problem to any extent since that time, although I believe there have been some who have made an issue of this point.

  Now, I would like to present some thoughts which will harmonize this particular view in the light of the things which are presented in the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy, and some of which have been presented on these tapes. Let us begin first by considering the prophecy concerning the resurrection:

THE RESURRECTION OCCURS AT THE LAST TRUMP IN A SERIES

  The apostle Paul tells us that the resurrection will occur at the last trump [1st Thess. 4:16.] It should be obvious that the last trump must be the final trump in a series. There is only one series of prophetic trumpets, recorded in Scripture, and that series is found in Revelation; and according to our doctrine, the seventh or last of those trumpets began to sound in 1844 [cf. Volume 7A, Bible Commentary, p. 805-6.] If this be true, then in some way the resurrection was due to begin in 1844.

82

  But here we are faced with another problem, for our present concept of the resurrection is that it occurs in the "twinkling of an eye" just at the coming of Jesus personally, at the close of time. We will not be able to reconcile this contradiction until we consider Jesus as the firstborn and the first-fruits of the resurrection. And we have already explained this to a degree; and we will recognize that in the resurrection of Jesus, a number of years were required - His body being born and growing up to maturity, - and not until He was endowed with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and the return of His former memory and a knowledge of His former Self, was His resurrection completed. His investigative judgment occurred during the years prior to His anointing with the Holy Ghost.


  His character was on test before the entire universe. All heaven could see that His choices were righteous. This was His investigative judgment - the judgment of His character. This was what He came in one sense to prove, that the character of Christ was worthy to be that of the Son of God. Satan's claims to superiority could not be upheld in the light of this great demonstration!

THE PART THE GUARDIAN ANGELS PLAY IN THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT
(cf. ALSO PAGES 282 THRU 284)

  The investigative judgment of the characters of all mankind began in 1844, and they were conducted in a similar manner to that of Christ's. Their bodies were reborn; their characters were reproduced. And in this work the guardian angel has an important part, for the guardian angel is the only one who is conversant with all the thoughts and the intents of the individual mind. This is his charge. And the books are opened, - and the book of the individual life which is opened in the investigative judgment, is the mind of the guardian angel, where a faithful and undying record has been kept. [cf. Volume Two, p. 255].

  This character is superimposed in the body of an individual who has been born since 1844, even as the character of Christ was superimposed or incarnated into the body of the boy Jesus. This is a wonderful concept!

  After the character has been tested and proved righteous, or unrighteous, the decision has been made for eternal salvation or everlasting death. And since this judgment is taking place over a period of many years, those who have been judged have been laid to sleep to await their final resurrection at the second coming of Christ.

83

DID WILLIAM MILLER MAKE A MISTAKE BY PREACHING ABOUT 1844?


  The reason that no sins can be transferred to the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary since 1844 because the door is shut, is that the number of men and women in this world's history had been made up by 1844. Do you think for one moment that the preaching of the message of the second coming of Jesus by William Miller, and all his followers, during the years preceding 1844, was a big mistake? Do you think for one moment that God was not behind this message?

  There is great significance in the preaching of the message of William Miller; for by 1844 the day of judgment began. And whereas we have tended to think of these closing movements as being condensed into a very small fraction of time, they are nevertheless being carried on according to God's usual plan of time, and growth, and evolutionary development. This is a vital point! and I realize that it will be a stumbling block to many of God's people; but it must be recognized, there is no other solution.

  We have not covered all the points yet - let us continue: "Some men's sins are open beforehand, having gone before to judgment;..." [1st Timothy 5:24]. All the sins of the world, or should I say all the sins of God's people which have been confessed, have been recorded in the heavenly sanctuary prior to 1844. The work which is now going on since that time is the work of cleansing - the work of judgment rather; and the work of cleansing. And the sins which are being committed by people today are but the outcome of characters which have existed before. This is the great demonstration during this "testing time" during these closing days - of the characters which have been developed by men and women down through the ages until the close of time in 1844. (I say the "close of time" in a particular sense.)

  There are two phases to this investigative judgment which we will not understand too well until we have considered in greater detail the two covenants. But under the Old Testament, men were living according to a literal law; and those characters were judged since 1844, according to a literal keeping of the commandments of God. And to a great extent the truths - the testing truths - by which those characters were tested, were delivered to God's people through Moses, the servant who was endowed with the gift of prophecy. Those testing truths were given to God's people, and those characters of Old Testament days were tested according to those principles.

84

THE "TESTING TIME" OF NEW TESTAMENT CHARACTERS


  We are now living today in the "testing time" of the New Testament characters, whose characters were developed under the principle of the new covenant; and we will consider this aspect very shortly. The testing of these characters will ultimately climax in the victorious demonstration of 144,000 victors over sin. And because of the demonstration of these characters of complete righteousness and complete victory, there can be no more death; and these righteous characters will be endowed with the principle of eternal life, and they will not die - they will be translated. And they will be re-endowed with the principle of the fruit of the tree of life, and will be enabled to eternally fix their characters of righteousness.

  All those whose characters are righteous but who have not attained to the fullness of the stature of Christ, who have depended upon the substitutionary merits of Christ's righteousness to obtain their ticket to salvation, (they all have, for that matter, but in a different sense), those who have not attained to the complete fullness of the stature of Christ but who still manifest shortcomings and faults, but who nevertheless believe in the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour, and who are co-operative with the government of heaven; - I say these, whose characters have also been tested since 1844, are the great multitude who will be laid to sleep again but on whom the second death will have no power; for at the coming of Jesus they will be raised into the fullness of their former lives.

  They will again receive their characters and their memories. In the investigative judgment they received their characters but were unconscious of their former existence, having not received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the sense that the 144,000 will ultimately receive it.

  But among these there are those who have attained to the fullness of the stature of Christ, coming from each era of the church's history; and these characters will all be reborn and re-appear in a special resurrection just before the coming of Christ. And it is through this appearance that they receive the fullness of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the final phase of the latter rain, and are translated.

  It may be difficult for some to go along with the idea that people are partially raised, that characters are reproduced in human bodies since 1844 to go through a literal investigative judgment, and that they are

85

then laid to rest again, awaiting the day of the Life-giver. But this should not be too hard to understand; for every night when we retire to our beds our memories go to sleep, the upper functions of our organism go to rest, and only the essential life functions of the physical organism continue. This happens every day. Day after day we die mentally and reappear again in the morning. Is it such a difficult thought that perhaps our bodies should also go to sleep and reappear again in the morning more than once?


  What about the thought that we could have been in the kingdom long before now if we had been faithful? Had this occurred, I would not even have been here as the person that I am today. Therefore if I have existed, I must have been present previously. If I were to be saved, I must have lived prior to that time; otherwise, here I am a completely new person, and my sins cannot be transferred to the heavenly sanctuary if the "door is shut", - my sins must have been transferred before. But if I have not committed them before, how could they be transferred?

  I think I have explained that the sins which I commit today are but the result of the outcome of the character which I produced in my previous existence.

  Certainly it makes more sense to accept the thought that the number of God's people were made up by 1844. There is a finality to that - there is no haphazardness. And these bodies which are being prepared abundantly in this generation, are being used as the tools for the testing of characters and the reproducing of lives which have existed before.

  Take a look around at nature, in the world of plants and animals, and see the profusion which God makes in order to sustain the species of these various lines of life. As the various memories of the different days of my past existence merge, in any one day, into a complete fusion and I am an integrated person having lived through many days, - even so will the memories of these different life experiences merge into the fusion of one individual existence. This should not be too hard to grasp. It occurred in the life of Jesus; and it will occur in the life of His followers.


  FOR PATIENCE - MORE EVIDENCE COMING

  At this point it may be that some of you feel we have gone too far off the beaten path. If so, I would like to encourage you to be patient.

86

  It is impossible in one short preview to present all the details of the various aspects which are necessary in order to bring this thing together into a logical and coherent panorama. I will confess without hesitation, that there were times as God brought some of these points to me over the years, that I felt the same way; and I placed some of these thoughts into the icebox of my mind and left them there.


  But presently God brought further evidences in other fields, and further truths, which when brought together, made the entire picture very plausible. And in the light of many of the problems which at present exist in our concept of this thing, and in the face of the fact that these problems are ironed out with the added views which will be presented here, it should give us courage to continue to audit this material with an open mind, until such time as it will be possible for us to offer a sound and more comprehensive judgment.

  I am certainly aware that a partial knowledge of any subject is more dangerous than no knowledge at all; but it is physically impossible for me to present this entire panorama in one complete view. While there were times when God presented much of this material as a panorama in a few seconds of time to my consciousness, it is impossible for me to reproduce such an experience in the minds of others. The best I can do is to present the details, and leave it for the Spirit of God to bring about an integration such as I have seen. And on these initial tapes, I am endeavoring to reduce this into as compact a form as possible, simply to give you a general idea of the nature and scope of this panorama, and it will remain to a future time to bring out many more details which will improve the plausibility of this thing.

  A complete understanding of this is not possible without a reasonably adequate scientific background, and certainly a thorough Biblical background, and a knowledge of the Spirit of Prophecy. I am also fully aware that I do not have a complete knowledge of all Scripture and of all truth - my knowledge is limited. When I am finished with this project there will be many areas which will contain new problems. There will be new phases which are not explained. But this is as it should be, for were everything explained there could be no advancement in knowledge. God's truth is wonderful in this aspect, that as new things are discovered explaining old problems, new problems arise; and thus the expansion of truth continues - indefinitely.

87 

  May God help us then to be patient in analyzing these details until such time as a sufficient quantity has been presented to bring about a reasonable plausibility, and may He help each one of us, including myself, to recognize any errors or false points that may have crept into this presentation - for we are not infallible,

TWO GENERAL CLASSES OF PEOPLE TO BE SAVED

  On the remaining few minutes of this tape, I would like to discuss briefly the aspects of a righteous character.


  There are two kinds of people who are saved - two general classes: [[1] There are those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour as did the thief on the cross, but who, even having lived some years (the thief on the cross only a few minutes), but after having lived for some little time, have not had complete victory over all past besetments and sins - perhaps have not had opportunity to gain victory over these for some specific reason. There are people who trust in God and who are accepted of Him, whom He takes out of this world before they have attained to a complete victory over all sin. Certainly this must have been true of the thief on the cross, and of any deathbed repentance.

  These people are accepted of God on the basis of their faith, and God has reserved one thousand years for completing their education in His program of righteousness. During this one thousand years there will be no Satan to tempt them, and under these circumstances they are fully co-operative with God. Had they been permitted to live on in this world of temptation, they would have sinned again; but their sins would have been forgiven under the merits of Christ's righteousness, and thereby they are accepted.

  It is in connection with their education program during this thousand years, that the 144,000 function as kings and priests, for it says they do function even as priests for one thousand years, but no longer. For by the end of the thousand years, all will have attained to the "fullness of the stature of Christ." In their function as kings and priests the 144,000, in some sense, share the work of Christ.

  [2] The second kind of individual who is saved is precisely this kind of which the 144,000 are made up. This is made up of those who have taken full advantage of the merits and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and who have gained complete victory over all sin.

88

  These have attained to the fullness of the stature of Christ, and have undergone a great demonstration by way of testing the righteousness of their characters. And they have been permitted to live after the close of probation when Jesus has laid down His responsibility as High Priest; - that is, He is no longer officiating as such; and these people have lived before God without an Intercessor and they have lived without sin. They have refused to submit to the temptations of Satan.


  In this way they are the first-fruits unto God. They are His coworkers and co-heirs. They sit down with Him in His throne as He is set down with His Father in His throne. They share in His work as they have shared in His experience. These are without guile and without fault before God. These are they who become the kings and priests and officiate during the thousand years, while all the others who are saved are gaining the fullness of their education, so that by the time the one thousand years are finished, it will be safe for God to create the new earth and set up the new kingdom. There will be no more sin and no more errors. All will be in perfect harmony and co-operate with God and His government.

HOW CAN MAN GAIN COMPLETE VICTORY OVER SIN?

  And now, so far as the sin question is concerned, there still remains a study of how the sanctuary is cleansed. How does a person get rid of his sin? How can a man gain complete victory over sin? There is provision made in the gospel to do this, for it says that the gospel "is the power of God unto salvation to all that believe" (Romans 1:16); and this is not merely salvation from eternal death (that is, salvation from the penalty of sin), but it is salvation from sinningness, that is, a continuance in sin. God's people must be completely without sin, they must choose righteously. They must have an understanding of His law and how it is to be kept.

  It is one thing to keep the literal ten commandments, but it is another thing to keep them in the spirit of those commandments; for it is possible to outwardly keep the literal commandments and still be a big sinner. And it is also possible to apparently outwardly break one of the literal commandments, and yet be without sin.

  We shall reserve a consideration of these aspects for the other side of the tape.

89 

THE SIN QUESTION AND THE OLD & NEW COVENANTS

  On this side of the tape we will continue to consider further aspects of the sin question and the plan of salvation. There are two covenants revealed in the Scriptures: the old and the new. The old covenant was revealed primarily in the Old Testament, and was delivered in literal form through Moses on Mount Sinai where he met with Christ literally, and received the law engraved on two tables of stone, written with the finger of God. .... The participants of this covenant were the children of Israel and God - that is, Christ. God promised His people that if they would obey Him He would bless them, but if they disobeyed He would permit their enemies to overtake them and punish them; and the people promised to do all that the Lord commanded.

  Under this covenant, God dealt with the children of Israel as children. It was a very matter-of-fact arrangement and was quite mechanical in its function. Through the work or the workings of this covenant, God taught His people the importance of obedience. He laid down the law, as it were, to His children, and exercised a balance of discipline and mercy to encourage them to obey. But in the main, obedience was rendered on the basis of fear of consequences. When thoroughly frightened they turned to God and re-affirmed their intention to obey.

  But also at the time that this great covenant was delivered, God instituted a vast system of ordinances, designed to teach His people the seriousness of sin and to foreshadow to them the essentials of the remarkable new covenant, - to be more fully revealed in the New Testament. Israel learned that their sins could be forgiven; but they could only be forgiven through the shedding of the blood of an innocent substitute. When a man sinned, he had to take an innocent animal, one without blemish, one to which perhaps he had become very closely attached and had learned to love as the most beautiful of his flock - he had to take this animal, and slay it. Its blood had to be shed. This animal had to bear the penalty of his transgression before he could be forgiven.

  He learned that sin was not automatically destroyed, but that it had to be transferred to another where it stained the sanctuary of God; and that only through the shedding of blood could that sanctuary eventually

90

be cleansed. The whole picture of the animal sacrificial system of the Old Testament was a gruesome and revolting one. It portrayed the awfulness of sin and its terrible penalty; and that sinful man could live only through the substitutionary death of an Innocent One. Of course, we recognize that this animal was but a symbol or type of the real Lamb of God.


  But this covenant was found faulty. It was not faulty because of any failure on the part of God to set it up correctly in the first place; but it was faulty because man was a participant in it; and man failed to keep his part of the bargain. Each Israelite learned that he did not have the power in himself to keep the law of God. He learned that he could not earn his own salvation. Being found faulty, the covenant was ready to vanish away and be replaced by a new one. The old covenant has been discarded only in the sense that man was not able to keep his promise. The promise of God still holds.

  But under the new covenant two changes have been made: First - man is no longer a participant but is a recipient. This covenant was an agreement between God the Son and God the Father, not between God and man; and in this covenant God promises to do something at the request of His Son. And the second difference; the punishment for transgression does not fall upon the sinner, but upon Christ Himself.

  These are the two essential differences between the old covenant and the new. Let us take a closer look at this: The Lord says, "a new covenant will I make with them in those days." I will forgive their iniquity and "I will remember their sins no more"; I will put my laws within their hearts [cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34, and Hebrews 8:8-12].

  This is essentially the message of the gospel. It is the promise of forgiven sins and the gift of a changed heart. The penalty of transgression has been removed from the man who confesses his sins, and is placed upon the Sin-bearer, Christ, the spotless Lamb of God.

  Christ bears the penalty of eternal death and provides His eternal life for the benefit of the repentant sinner. And through this act of substitution, provision is made for man to be born into the family of God and thereby to inherit the righteousness, or rather the righteous character of Christ; and this character he receives through the sprinkling of the spiritual blood of inheritance. The character of Christ, which is inherited, is the character of self-denying love; and thereby he obtains the power to obey his Sovereign.

91 

  Under the new covenant, the law of God is expressed in a new commandment which Jesus gave to His disciples, namely: "That ye love one another; ... Love the Lord your God with all your heart, .... and your neighbor as yourself' [John 15:12; Matthew 22:37]. The heart is the seat of the affections - the emotions. Wherein the new covenant promises the law to be placed in the heart, it means that the law of self denying love will take possession of the man's heart. It will become the overruling emotion, and henceforth his actions will be motivated by this principle. Let us again take a look at this a little more closely:


  Under the old covenant, man usually attempted to obey God's laws because he was afraid of the punishment he would receive if he disobeyed. But God did not desire to have His creatures serve Him from fear. If He had wanted this, He could have avoided the painful plan of salvation, for He could have destroyed Lucifer in the very beginning, and all His remaining creatures would have served Him from fear of death. Service on this basis was not satisfactory as was shown through the experience of Israel.

  All parents prefer to have their children obey them out of respect and out of love, rather than out of fear of punishment. But in order to guarantee, without any question of doubt, that all God's people will serve Him out of love and not through fear of consequences, God did the only thing which would certainly guarantee this; namely, He removed the penalty of transgression from man. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, took upon Himself the punishment for man's transgressions, leaving man without condemnation. Man is now free from the penalty of the law under the provisions of the new covenant.

A SERIOUS ERROR OF MAINSTREAM PROTESTANTISM

  At precisely this point is where most of the popular Protestant churches of today make a serious error. They say that because the penalty of the law is removed from man when his sins are confessed, we need no longer keep the law of God, for sin is not imputed to us. In this fact itself they do not err, for our sins may be forgiven unto "seventy times seven" [Matthew 18: 21 & 22] - that is, indefinitely. But the error lies in their failure to recognize a very important contingent truth, which truth is, I believe, practically exclusive, - or practically an exclusive possession of Seventh-day Adventists.

92

  It is the truth about the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary service. For while man need no longer fear the penalty of the law which is eternal death, and hence need no longer worry about keeping the commandments in order to earn his salvation, nevertheless, there is a very definite condition under which alone he can receive the forgiveness of his transgressions of that holy law. And that condition is that he permit the Son of God to accept the penalty of his transgression in his place.


  Our Protestant brethren believe that Jesus accepted this penalty once for all, (for all mankind), on the cross; and we believe that too. But that places the penalty so far away from our present sins that somehow we do not see the importance of refusing to sin. Why should we worry about sin? If Christ has already suffered for our sins then a few more sins now will not change His suffering. He has completed His suffering; He has already died His eternal death, - what need for us then to keep the law? That may be the way that we hazily reason.

  The error lies in the recently contested issue of the atoning work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary. For while Jesus died on the cross once for the sins of the world, and made complete provision for the atonement of every sinner, nevertheless, the individual application of that atonement, the individual forgiveness of sins, and the individual victory over sin, is a work which is being accomplished through the ministry of the Son of God as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. This is one of the most pertinent points which will be presented on these tapes! It must be grasped or no sinner will gain a complete victory over sin in this closing hour of the cleansing of the sanctuary.

  The main reason we do not yet find among the people of God those who are without sin is our failure to emphasize this truth. And what is this truth? Listen while I state it in as simple and direct language of which I am capable:

  When a man confesses his sins and asks Jesus to forgive him, those sins are accepted by Jesus - they do not just automatically vanish. The outcome of those sins, the penalty of those sins, becomes the heritage of Jesus. He accepts the sinner's death and the sinner inherits His life!; and the death of the sinner which Jesus accepts is an "everlasting death, from which there can be no hope of a resurrection." [Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, July 10th, 1896.] This is a statement, founded on the direct testimony of the Spirit of Prophecy, which has not been fully absorbed.

93 

AS PARENTS SUFFER WHEN THEIR CHILDREN SIN - SO DOES JESUS SUFFER WHEN WE SIN

  Jesus has a work to do as Priest in the sanctuary, in the bearing of the confessed sins of His people. He suffers for those sins just as verily as any parent suffers when his children continue to transgress his commandments. He bears the penalty of those sins just as truly as a parent accepts the consequences of the transgressions of his children and pays for the damage.

  When one who has known the will of God deliberately transgresses that will, he can only receive pardon for that sin if he permits the Son of God to be crucified afresh; for as a parent accepts all the potential sins of his child when that child is born into his family, even so, does Christ. But the application of that provision for accepting the consequences of a child's disobedience - I say, the application to the individual acts of sin, remains for a future time as the child grows and develops and commits those sins.

  Again I say, let us look squarely at this thing. The motive for a man's refusing to sin cannot be selfish under the new covenant, for under this gospel of grace he earns his salvation, (his ticket to heaven), by simply believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Ruler of the universe, and as the Saviour of man. His salvation is a gift. He does not need to worry about transgressing the law, for he himself does not need to bear the penalty of that law; therefore his incentive to keep the commandments cannot, under any consideration, be selfish.

  If a man ever decides to discontinue to sin, it can only be because he does not want the Son of God to have to suffer further for his sins. His refusal to sin is out of consideration for Christ as his Sin-bearer. This can only be a selfless motive - one of love and consideration for Christ. [Desire of Ages, 200: "He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him."]. His allegiance to the commandments of God can only be based on selfless love, which is the law of life for earth and heaven, and the essence of God's character.

  Again I repeat: this doctrine of the sanctuary service, and the work of Christ in accepting the confessed sins of His people, is the doctrine which will inspire the work of the cleansing of the soul temple from every defilement. It is the message for this hour!

94

THE PRIVILEGE OF SUFFERING - PATH TO OBEDIENCE


  One more point here: What will make a man want to spare the Son of God further suffering? The Scripture says that a man will be made perfect after he has suffered awhile [1st Peter 5:10]; and that Jesus Himself learned obedience through His sufferings. [Hebrews 5:8]. Only as a man partakes of the sufferings of Christ will he come to realize what it costs the Son of God to forgive his sins. Suffering is the path to obedience. The suffering is not administered as a penalty of transgression.

  I repeat: The suffering is not administered as a penalty of transgression; rather it is permitted to grant the sinner the privilege of sharing in the sufferings of Christ for his own sins and for the sins of others, that he might learn to appreciate the meaning of Christ's love in forgiving those sins [cf. Desire of Ages page 225, last sentence].


  Even as a wise parent will permit his children to gradually assume a share in the consequences of his own transgressions, that he might learn the value of obedience, - even so, does Christ permit us to share in His sufferings, that we might learn the meaning of obedience.

  We will never appreciate Christ's sacrifice for us until we are permitted to share in His sufferings. We ought to be happy when we are privileged to share in these, for we do thereby know that He is leading us on to the only road to perfection and sinlessness.

  We are not released from suffering through obedience. Obedience does not inevitably earn release from suffering; nor is suffering inevitably a consequence of disobedience. In the final and ultimate consequence, the Sin-bearer stands ready to accept the penalty of eternal death for every confessed sin; but He permits the sharing of His sufferings until we learn the value of obedience in releasing Him from the inevitable consequence of our sins.

  Not until His people have attained the victory over all their sins and besetments, will it be possible for Christ to lay down His work in the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, for only then will His substitution be no longer necessary. His people will then be able to stand before their God and His unbreakable law without an Intercessor. Thus is a man saved by grace!

  It is through the forgiveness of his sins that man is placed in a position where he can overcome those sins. Were the penalty always to be hanging over his head, he could not gain the victory; but when the

95

pressure of the necessity to keep the law is removed from him, he can then voluntarily respond to the love of God and the love of his dear Saviour. It is the power of love that constrains a man to refuse to sin; "The love of Christ constraineth us" (2nd Corinthians 5:14).

  In the final analysis, sin is not magically removed from man, but man himself must make the decision to cease from sin. "The expulsion of sin from the life is an act of the soul itself." [Desire of Ages 466.] By a decision man created sin in his own life, and by a decision sin must be destroyed. Only by a paramount faith in this truth of the forgiveness of sins can a man be saved. We are saved by grace, through faith; - there is no other way.

  Again, I must acknowledge that there are areas in this recent presentation which require further treatment. It has been abbreviated here in order not to make this initial survey too unwieldy.

THE GREAT MIRACLE OF THE SPIRITUAL REBIRTH

  And now let us meditate for a few minutes on the great miracle of the spiritual rebirth:

  We have long believed that in order to see the kingdom of God we must be born again. The first time we were born of physical parents. Now, we must be born of God - born of the Spirit. But the Scripture also says that God is a Spirit and that God is love. Therefore, God is the Spirit of love; and to be born of God means to be born of the Spirit of love. This brings us right back to the question of receiving a new heart as per the promise of the new covenant, for the heart is the seat of the emotions; and the most powerful of all emotions, the one which is the essence of God's character, is the emotion of love.

  This love of God is however, a special kind of love. It is not selfish love; it is not puppy love; it is not sensual love. Rather, it is pure self-denying love, - love which reaches out to others and sacrifices self. Self-sacrificing love is the great principle of life in earth and heaven according to the statement in Desire of Ages [page 20].

  Thus to be born again of the self-denying love of the Spirit of God, means to receive the gift of the principle of a new life - or should I say, a new life principle - namely, the eternal life principle of which we have spoken somewhat previously.

  This ties in with the symbol of the "fruit of the tree of life." The eating of the fruit of this tree brings with it the power of eternal fixation

96

- the principle of eternal life. But we are informed that this new birth is brought through the agency of the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost. We have already expressed that the gift of the Holy Ghost to man is an outcome of the everlasting covenant between Christ and His Father, entered into before the Son of God gave up His life in the courts of the heavenly sanctuary, many years before His first advent.


  And before Jesus ascended into the courts of heaven after His resurrection, He promised His disciples that He would pray the Father to send this Comforter, even the Holy Ghost, to give them power. Power for what? - why power to become the sons of God, for "as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God," (John 1:12). That is, He gave them power to become born again into the family of God.

  But the Scripture says that he that is born of God cannot sin because he is born of God [1st John 3:9]. This would seem quite obvious in the light of what we have discussed; for to be born of God means to be born of self-denying love, and when this love becomes the supreme motive in a man's life, he cannot bring himself to transgress the law of God and heap further suffering on the beloved Son of God.

  The emotion of love is the most powerful motivating force in the universe. A man will do something for one he truly loves which he would not think of doing for anyone else. In the final analysis it is the emotion of self-denying love, which is the primary fruit of the indwelling Spirit of God, that empowers the man to implement his decision to cease from sin; and it is this eternal life principle which empowers a man to expel the nature of sin from his life - to cleanse his body temple, or sanctuary.

  It should be obvious that the agency of the rebirth is the Holy Ghost. This leads us once more to the consideration of the communion of the body and blood of Christ as portrayed in the communion service. At the last supper Jesus delivered to His disciples an emblem of the great sacrifice which He had made in the courts of heaven, and which He was again making now as He faced the cross. For while Jesus on earth had the privilege of regaining His former heritage and reserving it for Himself alone (He could have given up lost man at any time and returned to His Father), He now manifested the greatest demonstration of His self-denying character of love by laying down this privilege and making it available to all who should believe in Him as the Son of God and the Saviour of sinners.

97

  And He made it plain to His disciples that He himself would not again partake of it until He partook of it anew with them in the kingdom. And as He cried out on the cross; "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?", He experienced the everlasting death of the sinner - a separation from the gift of the eternal power and the eternal life of the Holy Ghost. His eternal Spirit returned to God who had given it at His baptism.

JESUS - THE LINK BETWEEN THE ETERNAL CHRIST OF THE PAST AND THE NEW CHRIST OF THE FUTURE (FROM HERE TO PAGE 106)

  When Jesus emerged from the tomb, His memory - that is, His past life - did not reach beyond the cradle. No longer did He share in the eternal heritage of His former life, for He had died the eternal death of the sinner from which there was no hope of a resurrection.*

  Henceforth, He was the One who was "alive and was dead, and behold He is alive forevermore," as the first-born of the new race, who gave His eternal spiritual body and blood to be eaten and absorbed, through the communion of the Holy Ghost by His new body temple of saints. Only through them would He ever again partake of this eternal heritage, for it is through the body structure and the circulation of the blood stream, that the head of the body receives its life.

  Jesus is the Head of the new body temple of saints, and He has exposed Himself to a bodily communion with those saints, and functions through them to receive the knowledge of all former things, [just] as any person receives his knowledge through the five senses of his physical body; and to execute His counsels through their body temples, as any person operates through the muscles of his own body.

  This experience of the communion with His saints is related to the marriage of the Lamb which occurs before Jesus leaves the sanctuary. He receives His inheritance, but He receives it through His saints, for His inheritance is in His saints. The literal man Jesus was the link between the eternal Christ of the past and the new Christ of the future; for the former Christ died in the heavenly sanctuary to be regenerated by the gift of the Holy Ghost in the man Jesus. But on the cross, that Christ died the second death, from which there is no hope of a resurrection [cf. Early Writings 218].

___________________________
** [DA 25: "In taking our nature, The Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken."]

98

  The resurrected Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6), and His saints are His new spiritual body temple through whom He functions. [cf. Volume 7 BC 931, column 2: "The Jewish tabernacle .... is Christ's body, and from north, south, east, and west He gathers those who will help to compose it. .... A holy tabernacle is built up of those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour."]


  The great former Christ of the pre-advent days is gone as a unit. He is now absorbed in the communion of the saints, and it requires 144,000 human body temples to make up the new structure of the great spiritual body of Christ. Christ was alive, He died, and behold He is alive forevermore in His saints [cf. Revelation. 1:18]. And Jesus is the Head of that body, and in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. But when He speaks through His new body temple, His voice, which is the voice of God, will speak "like many waters" - for waters are people [cf. Signs of the Times 03-28-00].

CHRIST'S IMMENSE SACRIFICE - GATEWAY TO PROFOUND MYSTERY

  But we have again slipped ahead of our story. This experience on the cross was a revelation to our dull senses of the pain which entered the heart of God at the inception of sin [cf. Education 263]. It was also a revelation of the real death which Christ, the former Archangel and Son of God, had experienced in the courts of the heavenly sanctuary.

  The Millerites of the pre-1844 movement made the error of considering this earth, (this earthly experience rather), as the only and complete experience of the death of Christ; and thus [concluded] that this earth was the sanctuary where the Lamb was slain. But this earthly demonstration, while it embodies all that has been taught concerning it over the years, is yet but the symbol or gateway to a far deeper and more profound experience which occurred in the tabernacle of heaven.

  I cannot, in this brief preview, portray the enormity of this great mystery - my speech is here inadequate! God has permitted me to catch a little glimpse of the tremendous sacrifice of Christ; and if this glimpse should ever expand into a brilliant image, I shall not be negligent in offering to share it with you.

THE ETERNAL LIFE OF CHRIST (HIS BLOOD) WAS SHED FOR HIS SAINTS

  But to get back to our main theme again - the new or everlasting covenant provided for the delivery of the heritage of the great spiritual

99

body and blood of the Son of God to the saints, through the Holy Ghost. And this new testament was in the blood of that former eternal body, for Jesus said "This ... is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." [Luke 22:20]. The covenant was ratified by the shedding of that blood. The very life of Christ was in that blood,* for the Scripture says that the blood is the life of the body. And the New Testament in that blood was the promise of the eternal life of Christ to His saints.

  But we have also known that the fruit of the tree of life is another symbol for the eternal life principle; and the eating of the fruit of the tree of life is but another way of expressing the communion of the body and blood of Christ. When Adam sinned he became separated from the attachment to this spiritual body, and he began to die. Not until man is restored to this eternal body and blood will he again receive the heritage of eternal life; and this he receives when he becomes born again of the Spirit of God's love, for this love is the principle of everlasting life; for he that is born again "hath everlasting life." [John 6:47].

  In the past few minutes we have covered quickly a generous number of ideas, and these ideas are subject to a large number of inter-relationships. And when these inter-relationships are seen in their true light, then an integrated concept will emerge, revealing a profound image of the great Christ, the eternal Son of God.

  His enormous sacrifice will be seen in a new light; the gift of eternal life will be more highly appreciated; the awfulness of sin will be more thoroughly impressed and despised; and the love of God will be far more brilliantly displayed.

  Again I am forced to confess that a superficial acquaintance with the relationships here implied, so inadequately, will not yield a clear-cut and plausible picture. A more thorough and painstaking treatment would be required to bring into sharp focus the impressive panorama which they actually reveal. But I will pause now, that we may each have an opportunity to meditate upon these most solemn and profound truths...

  Anyone who reviews carefully the material which is recorded on these tapes, will come up with questions, for there are a number of new problems which have arisen and which remain unsolved. Certainly one of these questions would be regarding the eternal death of Christ:

_____________________________
** [cf. Review & Herald, June 13th, 1899.]

100

HOW COULD THE ETERNAL CHRIST DIE WHEN HE HAD ETERNAL LIFE


  For instance, we may logically ask: how could the eternal Son of God die, when He was endowed with eternal life? The answer must lie in His autonomous power over all things; for if He had life in Himself, and at the same time had all power, it would conceivably be possible for Him to separate Himself from His eternal life - to lay it down. This is precisely what the Scripture teaches wherein it quotes Jesus as saying: "I have power to lay it down, and power to take it again" [John 10:18].

  It was in the courts of the heavenly sanctuary that He first relinquished His eternal life and lapsed into a sleep from which there would have been no resurrection, except through the action of God the Father in fulfilling His part of the everlasting covenant, - to deliver by the Holy Ghost that eternal heritage of Christ, namely, the great spiritual body and blood of the eternal One; and to deliver it to the family of mankind [cf. Desire of Ages 22 & 23, also p. 20 "gave back"].

  It was in fulfillment of this covenant that the entire plan of salvation, as evidenced in the New Testament, evolved, including the miraculous birth of the boy Jesus. Even as sinners who die the everlasting death are raised from their first death of sleep to experience later a second death from which there can be no hope of a resurrection, - even so, Christ was raised from His first sleep into the boy Jesus, only to experience His second death on the cross of Calvary. But the resurrection of Christ into the man Jesus, which occurred at the anointing of the Holy Ghost (as was verified by the voice from heaven), was not a full and complete restoration of the enormous structure of the former Christ; for it is impossible to embody into one human being the vastness of that incomprehensible spiritual body of Christ.

  We learn from the testimony of the Spirit of Prophecy that in the early morning hours of His prayer and devotions Jesus received His strength and His instructions for the day's tasks [Desire of Ages 208]. He was not at any one moment endowed with the fullness of all power and all knowledge - no single human body could contain this.

  "Divinity flashed through humanity" [Signs of the Times 04-18-92], but did not completely engulf it. Nevertheless, Jesus had access to the potential powers of that former body; but He exercised it only through the ministry and obedience of the angels. At no time did He use His eternal prerogative for self-gratification. [DA 24: "And He exercised on His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us"].

101

  Even His miracles were performed by the ministry and obedience of the angels [cf. Vol. 2 Spirit of Prophecy, 67]; and it was an angel who ministered to Him in the hour of His temptation in the wilderness. If he had needed protection, or rather if He had chosen to solicit protection against the soldiers in the garden of Gethsemane, He could have received it in the form of twelve legions of angels from His Father [Matthew 26:53]. He said nothing about having power in Himself to save Himself from these enemies. There may be a little difficulty here in reconciling these thoughts, but they must be reconciled.

THE LIMITATION OF JESUS IN HIS HUMAN TABERNACLE [REFER ALSO TO PAGE 285 OF THIS BOOK.]

  It should seem clear that Jesus, as the resurrected Christ, was subject to certain limitations because of His having accepted a human tabernacle in which to live. And as we have already pointed out, Jesus will not attain the fullness of His structure in the new body temple of Christ until He becomes married to the 144,000 saints; for the new body temple must be built up first [cf. Great Controversy 120 .... "rising slowly through the centuries", and from Acts of the Apostles last chapter, (p. 599) "...."but the structure is not yet complete."]

THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB TO HIS 144,000 SAINTS
[REFER ALSO TO: PAGES 104,165,204,209,251 & 289 OF THIS BOOK RE "MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB"]

  It must be raised to become an habitation of God through the eternal Spirit; and this body temple of saints must be endowed with the communion of the body and blood of the former heritage of Christ, which body was broken and divided for them to eat, and which blood was shed for them to drink. [John 6:53-58]. And then they must be married to Jesus, as the bride adorned in white linen to the Bridegroom. [Revelation 19:7-9]. Out of this union will emerge the fullness of the structure of the eternal Christ - the Son of God!

  The original temple of God, in His Son Christ, had to be destroyed because of the eternal record of sin transferred to it by the eternal blood - that is, by virtue of the fact that this body had direct sensory experience with all events transpiring in the universe, and also that its record of these events was everlasting and permanent. Hence, this record could only be destroyed by the death of the One who had that record in His Own spiritual body.

102

  The principle of eternal life was then applied to human temples, to regenerate in them only that which is righteous and true; and the first of these human temples to experience this was Jesus, the First-begotten. Thus, through the death and regeneration is sin destroyed, and righteousness preserved.


  I say again, the original body and blood of Christ was relinquished by Him, and He died. In the human body of Jesus, the principle of death, manifested through the ability to forget or erase the patterns of past sinfulness in His mental make-up, enabled Him by rejection of these patterns to destroy sin in the flesh. And then by His access to the principle of eternal life, delivered through the Holy Ghost, He could regenerate His righteous choices and cause them to become eternally fixed into His new nature. Thus He bore the sins of the world in His own body, and destroyed sin in the flesh through death, and at the same time proved that His character - the sum total of His choice habits - was righteous.

  In this process, the restoration of the memory of His former Self was adequate to identify Him. But in His daily routine work He was not constantly and unavoidably conscious of all His eternally past experiences in heaven, any more than we are, at any one moment, conscious of all our past experiences. The great former Christ, as a singular unit of eternal memory, had passed out of existence. He had died an eternal death!

THE NEW HABITATION OF GOD IS JESUS AND THE 144,000

  There could be no restoration of that identical structure into one single human body temple. If there had been, it could not be said that Christ had died a permanent death - the death of the sinner. It would merely have been a temporary death of sleep which is not the death of the sinner. This is one aspect of the permanent sacrifice of Christ, and of God's giving of His Son; for only as this original body and blood heritage of Christ was divided, and provided for His individual saints, would it be possible to build a comparable body temple structure. And while the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus, the fullness of the former body and blood of Christ in the Holy Ghost, dwells in His saints.

103

  It is now a co-operative unit of 144,000 human body temples. This is the new habitation of God! He dwells with them; He dwells in them; He sups with them; - it is the communion of the Holy Ghost. Henceforth, the telescopic decisions of Jesus, the Godhead, will be executed through His new body, the 144,000 saints who have eternal power. And henceforth, the telescopic sensory perceptions of Jesus, the Godhead, will be received through His new body structure - the 144,000 saints; for it is they whom the Holy Spirit will "guide into all truth." The record of "all truth" will be restored in them, and through them transferred to the Head.

  This puts Jesus in the humble position where He has placed complete confidence in the voluntary co-operation of His saints. Should they choose to sin, they could become eternal sinners and heap eternal suffering on their Saviour.

  Henceforth, there can never be any accusation made against the character of Christ, for it is placed on perpetual demonstration as the most humble of all. The character of Christ has been completely vindicated, and His worthiness of the position of supreme Law-giver, and Creator, and only-begotten Son of God, cannot be challenged ever again. He is now the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor - not the autocratic dictator.

COULD THERE BE A MORE WONDERFUL GOVERNMENT?

  Although He has vested all power in His saints, yet His saints serve Him from love alone. There can be no question about this now, for without their voluntarily co-operation He could not function as all powerful and supreme Ruler; for one cannot function except through one's body.

  This then is the government of Heaven. It is a government of allegiance completely based on voluntary submission and co-operation, prompted by the deep and sincere, divine and self-denying love of the subjects for their Creator and their Ruler. Could there be a more wonderful government?

  (We will continue this study on the next tape [tape/letter # 4]. This tape was prepared during the month of November, 1959.)

104

AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 4


SWEEPING TRUTHS - ELIJAH'S RETURN - MIRACLES

  This is the fourth in a series of tapes addressed to the brethren of the General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists in Washington, D.C. from J. W. Johnson of Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. [This tape was prepared during the month of November, 1959].

  On this tape we will continue a consideration of the eternal death of Christ which was begun on the preceding tape.

SWEEPING TRUTHS CONCERNING THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST, HIS ETERNAL SACRIFICE, AND THE GOVERNMENT OF HEAVEN
             
  Jesus made the same sacrifice on the cross as Christ had made in the heavenly sanctuary. For Jesus laid down His direct access to the former body and blood, and He will never partake of it again, except and until, He partakes of it in the kingdom with His disciples, - that is, after He receives this kingdom at the marriage of the Lamb at the close of His work in the most holy apartment of the sanctuary, when the new sanctuary of l44,000 body temples has been cleansed. I say, He will not partake of it until He partakes of it in the kingdom with His saints.

  For you see, He receives it through them; they are His body. Without His body He could not receive it. It comes through His body; His inheritance is in His saints. Had they failed to evolve into the fullness of the stature of Christ, the new body of Christ would never have appeared. Jesus did die an eternal death in the second death on the cross. He has access to the eternal memory of all past truth only through the 144,000 saints!  

  This is another meaning of the statement of Jesus regarding "raising up the temple in three days" (John 2:19); for the original body temple of Christ was destroyed, as it were, several hundred years before the first advent, in the midst of the week of seven thousand years. And now in the last generation of the third day of one thousand years [2nd Peter 3:8], the new temple is raised.

105 

  These are sweeping words. They portray sweeping truths concerning the incarnation of Christ, His eternal sacrifice, and the government of heaven. But does not Sister White tell us that these truths will be better understood?


  Recall the statement in Christ's Object Lessons, page 114 "When a man is willing to be instructed as a little child, when he submits wholly to God, he will find the truth in His Word. If men would be obedient, they would understand the plan of God's government .... The mystery of redemption, the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, would not be as they are now, vague in our minds. They would be not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated."

  And another statement on page 36 of Christ's Object Lessons - "All who come to Christ for a clearer knowledge of the truth will receive it. He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know the truth."

  And from page 129 [Christ's Object Lessons]: "If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Often there will come to us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch."

APPROPRIATE NOW TO DEAL WITH A DIFFICULT LINE OF TRUTH
(FROM HERE TO PAGE 114.3)

  And now, I believe, is an appropriate time to deal with a line of truth which will unquestionably be the most difficult for us not only to present but to accept. Not that it is so difficult of comprehension, but that it touches upon a human trait which has ever caused a high degree of bias and prejudice, because it involves the issue which was deeply rooted in the rebellion of Lucifer, and was also uppermost in the minds of the faulty disciples, even on the eve of the crucifixion of their dear Lord. But I cannot complete my testimony if I do not include this aspect of the prophecies of the inspired Book.

106

  The revelation of this truth places me in the position of accepting the greatest risk I have ever taken. But no significant progress has ever been made without a risk. Christ took a tremendous risk when He created Lucifer. And the price for the creation of this world and the salvation of man was His own eternal death; for "the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world." [Revelation 13:8]. If Christ, our Master, was willing to accept this for my sake, then I ought also to be willing to accept my risk for the sake of my consecration to God, and for the sake of God's remnant people - so I will proceed:


GOD DELIVERED THE OLD COVENANT THROUGH MOSES

  Back in the days of Israel, God delivered the old covenant to His people from Mount Sinai through His servant Moses. Moses was the mouthpiece, the voice of God to the people. He went up into the Mount and fasted forty days and forty nights. He met there with his God in a literal way; and while standing in the cleft of the rock, he saw with his own eyes his Creator. There also he received the two actual tables of stone on which God had written with His own finger the sacred precepts of His law. In great manifestations of power, by thunder and thick cloud, God displayed Himself to His people. Moses was the personal witness of the God of the earth who stood before him in the Mount.

  When the testimony of Moses to God's people was finished at the end of forty long weary years, God permitted His faithful servant to pass through the portals of the grave; but He did not suffer His beloved one to see corruption. Moses was raised from the dead and was taken to heaven, there to be a perpetual witness of the momentous things to transpire in the outworking of the plan of salvation.

THE NEW COVENANT IS TO BE DELIVERED BY ANOTHER WITNESS

  But, there is another covenant which is to be delivered to God's people in the last generation by the voice of God, according to the statement in Early Writings [on page 34]. God has two faithful witnesses who have borne His testimony for hundreds of years. These are the two witnesses of Revelation chapter eleven, - the Old and New Testaments. But these Old and New Testaments, as we have already mentioned, are related to the old and new covenants. For the Old Testament reveals the old covenant, and is the testimony of Moses and

107

of the prophets who recorded the outcome of Moses' testimony in the experience of Israel. The new covenant is predicted in the Old Testament, but is revealed in the New. The New Testament bears witness of the new covenant of grace, and the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of eternal life through the endowment of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Truth. Through the communion of the body and blood of the Son of God, which must be eaten and drunk in order to be raised up in the last day, (Gospel of John, chapter six), this, the great heritage of the Christ who died, becomes the heritage of the saints in the revelation of the witness of the New Testament.

  But as in the Old Testament Scripture, there was a personal witness who received the covenant from God through the Son and delivered it to God's people through the voice of his brother Aaron, even so there will be another personal witness in the New Testament who will receive the everlasting covenant from God, through the Holy Spirit, who reveals all truth. And he will deliver it to God's people through the voice of the saints (the apostles), who then become the voice of God like many waters. This will, of course, be in the nature of an inter-communication, for all the saints will not understand all the truth. There are twelve manner of fruits on the tree of life, and there are twelve tribes in the 144,000 body temple of saints. The twelve apostles will be present to build the temple of God, for they are the foundation of His church. It will be built upon them now, in its final form, under the latter rain, as it was also built upon them in its early form under the former rain.

THE LAST PROPHECY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT TIES TOGETHER THE OLD AND THE NEW COVENANTS AND THE PERSONAL WITNESSES OF BOTH

  In the last few verses of the Old Testament is recorded the last prophecy which Christ ever gave to His people before He died in the heavenly Sanctuary and came to this earth to assume the human body of Jesus. That prophecy ties together the old and the new covenants, and the personal witnesses of those two covenants, for it says:

  "Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" [Malachi 4:5 & 6].

108

  How significant that this prophecy should appear at the meeting place between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and should tie together these two covenants - the literal law on tables of stone, and the law of love in the hearts of men. And how significant that the name of the personal witness of the new covenant is here revealed; for this same Elijah also came to Horeb, the Mount of God, and fasted forty days and forty nights. He too stood in the cleft of the rock, in the cave, and met with his God. But again, significantly, Elijah did not meet with the literal God through Christ, nor did he see that God. The God of Elijah was not in the mighty manifestations of the wind, nor the fire, nor the earthquake, but in the still small voice of the Spirit of God, -- the Holy Spirit.


AS MOSES WAS A TYPE OF CHRIST, SO IS ELIJAH A TYPE OF THE HOLY GHOST

  As Moses was a type of Christ, the Son of God, even so is Elijah a type of the Holy Ghost, - the Spirit of truth. As Moses was a type of the old covenant saints who passed through death and are brought forth at the second coming of Christ, even so is Elijah a type of the new covenant saints who are translated without seeing death at the second coming of Jesus. For Elijah did not see death, but was translated and taken up to be with Moses, as the second of the two anointed witnesses who stand before the God of the earth.

  These two anointed witnesses take the place from which Lucifer fell, according to the testimony of the Spirit of Prophecy [cf. Prophets and Kings 188 & 189]. These two men have been alive in heaven for thousands of years and have seen with their own eyes the out-workings of the plan of salvation. These two conversed personally with the Son of God, and were instructed in the purposes of God and the details of the plan. Elijah heard Christ give that last great prophecy [Mal. 4:4-6] concerning the promise of His return to testify regarding the true nature of the everlasting covenant which he had witnessed. Elijah saw the death of Christ; and he saw the appearance of the boy, Jesus, on the earth some hundreds of years later. He has been with Jesus for nineteen hundred years, and has observed the work of the priesthood in the heavenly sanctuary.

  I say again; Elijah heard Christ give the prophecy concerning his return to God's people to "restore all things" [Matthew 17:11]. He received his instructions before Christ died; and on the Mount of Transfiguration he began to fulfill those instructions. There, with

109

Moses, he spoke to Jesus concerning His sufferings and death. It must have been a great comfort to Jesus to have the privilege of speaking directly with His two former, personal witnesses as He had known them in the kingdom, before He came to earth.


ELIJAH AND JOHN THE BAPTIST

  But now the disciples asked Jesus concerning this prophecy of the return of Elijah, and Jesus answered them by saying that Elijah truly should first come, and restore all things. [Matthew 17:11] But as He looked far down into the future when that prophecy should meet its final fulfillment, He knew that so far as the disciples were concerned, the Elijah messenger for their time had already come; and He spoke of John the Baptist. But when they had asked John the Baptist if he really were that prophet, he had denied it, saying, "I am not." This is, of course, but another example of a multiple prophecy.

  John the Baptist did not restore all things. It remains for the final return of somebody in the spirit and power of Elijah to fulfill that prophecy as a type of the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of the latter rain, to guide the disciples into all truth when they appear in the regeneration of the last days. We understand that our people fulfill the Elijah prophecy, in a sense; but this does not detract from the truth of the personal return of Elijah, which alone could adequately fulfill the prophecy and place him in the position of a true personal witness.

HOW WILL ELIJAH RETURN?

  But how will Elijah return to deliver the truth of the everlasting covenant, and bring about a restoration of all things? Will he come in a supernatural fashion as an angel of light from heaven?, or as the ancient bearded prophet in a mantle? No, he will not come in this fashion; for Satan could impersonate him and more easily bring his testimony to naught. He will come through the quiet agency of the Spirit of God, working a work of creation through regeneration, of which, in a sense, he is a symbol - the regeneration of the new birth of the Spirit. Elijah will be literally born on the earth as a human being, orientated in the modern environment. He will experience, personally, something similar to the incarnation of Jesus; for Jesus was the incarnation of Christ who had left heaven. Even so, will the Elijah prophet be the incarnation of the Elijah, who leaves heaven to return to

110

God's people, according to the last prophetic promise of Christ in the Old Testament. 


  Thereby, Elijah will become a first-hand witness of what the Saviour experienced - in type only; not as a saviour himself; and he will be able to bear witness of Christ through having shared in a similar experience. He will be able to "sing the song" of the Lamb which is the song of his experience. As in the early experience of Elijah in the days of ancient Israel, he was given the symbol of rain, (both its withholding and its abundance), even so, in his latter experience, will he be endowed with the same symbol - the symbol of the outpouring of the Spirit of God.


  According to Revelation eleven, the testimony will be "clothed in sackcloth;" and the Spirit will be withheld during those years. Not until the witnesses have been overcome and resurrected will the testimony be recognized in its full light; and glory will be given to God. It will also be noticed that the measuring of the temple of God occurs at the beginning of this chapter; but the court is not measured at this time. The temple as we have already pointed out, is the 144,000 saints. It is at this time that they are to be numbered and sealed.

THE MAN WITH THE WRITER'S INKHORN, CLOTHED IN LINEN

  A man clothed in linen (in Ezekiel 9), who goes through the midst of the city (the church), with the writer's inkhorn at his side, is none other than Elijah, who also must assume the robe of Christ's righteousness symbolized by the linen. It is he who places the mark through the deliverance of the specific truth which is the sign of the sealing by the Holy Spirit of promise, namely, the expanded meaning of the Sabbath and its relation to the regeneration of the 144,000 overcomers. In this way the Sabbath is proclaimed more fully as is predicted in Early Writings [pages 43 & 85]. This does not mean merely more extensively, but also with a fuller meaning.

  In this connection we may also profitably consider the message of Revelation eleven more thoroughly. Here we find the measuring of the temple, which refers to the same event of numbering the 144,000, who are the ingredients of that temple. These are numbered and made up during the sealing work. And in this connection it is also a renewal of the testimony of the two witnesses. With the expanded meanings given to the two Testaments of the Scriptures, through the medium of the

111 

Spirit of Truth in the persons of the Elijah witnesses and the twelve apostles, the saints will be guided into "all truth", and "all things" will be restored. (John 16:13).

THE TWO WITNESSES AND THE GREAT SHAKING

  The two witnesses will assume renewed importance in the last generation. They will again bear their testimony for three and one-half years, clothed in sackcloth. Again an attempt will be made to discredit their testimony; but out of their mouth will proceed, as it were, fire, which will devour or silence their enemies. These will also have power to shut heaven that it rain not on the earth during the days of their testimony; that is, there will be a dearth of the Spirit of God on the earth during those days.

  This symbol of rain being withheld for three and a half years, ties in with the experience of ancient Elijah, and history is here repeated; for in the days of Elijah the rain was withheld for three and one-half years from literal Israel; and now this same sign will occur again, in a spiritual way, in the days of spiritual Israel. Then again the two witnesses will be overcome by the dragon and slain, and men will rejoice over their destruction. But they will be called forth by the voice from Heaven, and will ascend up. Their testimony will do its appointed work. There will be a great earthquake (spiritually speaking), and a part of the church will fall, and the remnant will give glory to God. This is the great shaking. Herein is history repeated in the book of Revelation [cf. Testimonies to Ministers, p. 30], as the servant of the Lord says it will be. This is but another example of multiple application of prophecy.

  There is much food for thought in these words....

ALMOST INSURMOUNTABLE PROBLEMS RE THESE TAPE PRESENTATIONS

  And now brethren, some of you will be thinking that here certainly is another deluded soul who has been taken away in a most fantastic dream. I can hardly blame you for this. The problem confronting me seems almost insurmountable. What I have presented on these tapes is a severely compressed outline of a vast array of coordinated items containing many new slants or views of old truths. Two serious limitations are evident: First; the brevity of the presentation of the items, some lacking completely in explanation; and second; the inadequate specification of the interlocking relationships,

112

necessarily so, to prevent utter confusion through too wide an expansion of the parts. It is impossible to adequately clarify these relationships until a more thorough development of its parts is accomplished and until those parts are thoroughly learned so that they will spontaneously return to consciousness in full and vivid form, very quickly, as the numerous facts are rapidly traversed. Undoubtedly, if you should find it expedient to review these tapes thoroughly, many plausible expansions of the items will occur to you as you relate them to familiar passages of Scripture and of the Spirit of Prophecy.


  I assure you brethren, I am not beside myself - I am not confused. This thing is very plain and very plausible. I'm thinking clearly and soundly in these matters, even though this abbreviated survey may give a contrary impression. I am fully aware, perhaps more so than you are, that this story is either the greatest unfolding of truth in the remnant church, or else it is the most astounding mirage Satan has succeeded in conjuring up on the horizon of expanding truth.

  PREJUDICE IS CERTAIN TO ARISE

  Again I repeat: It will not be possible to judge this thing fairly until other features have been added to lend considerably more plausibility to the items presented. There are scientific and mathematical aspects which must be studied to fully appreciate some of these truths - especially the resurrection. More detailed and documented manuscripts should be prepared on a number of the doctrines mentioned. Only after this has been done will it be possible for some minds to follow the relationships.


  Meanwhile, prejudice is certain to arise. Satan has so colored the doctrines. over the years, and wrapped them in so much foolishness and fanaticism, that when anything true does appear, it is immediately regarded as but another angle in the large polygon of deception. I have no power to destroy this prejudice. Only before my Maker, I am telling the truth as I saw it and have tested it in my own experience. Should you succeed in proving that this story is nothing but one grand hoax, I will have no choice but to follow the counsel of the servant of God and let it humbly down. I will then have no foundation for my faith left, for my victory over the many pitfalls that have strewn my pathway over the years has been directly related to my faith in the hundreds of experiences which God has given me, proving His watch-care over me

113 

and my family, and in the scores of clear-cut revelations of truth in His Word and in nature, which have combined into a harmonious panorama of integrated logic.


  If you feel any areas in this initial survey merit a more comprehensive treatment, I will be glad to oblige by preparing such treatment. Until such further study has been given, it would seem to me that no fair and final decision can possibly be reached regarding these matters. Nevertheless, I am reluctant to encroach upon your time.

  In the light of what I have seen, I believe some truths I have presented are of vital importance to God's saints at this hour. But it is hardly my place to dictate procedures to our headquarters. Only if you feel that you can justifiably spend the time to investigate further some of the matters contained on these tapes, will I submit them for your study. Should you feel you cannot find it reasonable to spend this time, I will fulfill my obligation to God by recording these further studies and placing them on file for future reference, when they may be needed; for it is certain that I have placed myself on trial.

THESE TRUTHS WILL BE PROVED IN DUE COURSE OF TIME

  If these things are true, they will be proved true in due course of time; and should they be false, they will come to naught. If they should prove false, I am prepared to build my Christian faith from the ground up once more. God will have an enormous task on His hands should that be necessary; - but who am I to be worthy of such attention? Ere long, if what I have said is true, I will know positively who I am, even as did our predecessor, Jesus; and not I alone, but all those who are to come forth in the resurrection of the 144,000.


  ["Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand? This, those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question." Vol. 7 A, Bible Commentary, page 978.]

ELIJAH IS TO COME AND RESTORE ALL THINGS

  If what I have said is not true, then there must come forth another who will fulfill the prophecies of the infallible word of God; for the promise truly is given that Elijah will first come and "restore all things." The servant of the Lord tells us that "Somebody is to come in the Spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say, 'You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.'" [1st Selected Messages, 412].

114

  May God give us grace to fulfill His purpose in our lives, and wisdom to judge His truth aright; and may He bestow on each of us an abundance of His divine love, that we may fulfill all righteousness in His immutable law of self-denial.


  This completes the initial survey; and while I realize that all the points have not been mentioned which could be mentioned, sufficient has been given to present an overall picture.

"JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH"
{FROM HERE TO PAGE 122]

  And now on the remaining portion of this tape, I would like to give an example or two of how one or more of these points can be amplified and expanded. These will just be samples; many other points can and should be amplified in a somewhat similar way. The first one is entitled; Justification By Faith:

  We have previously noted that any one interpretation of a principle may not necessarily exhaust the meaning of that principle. This is probably true also of the principle of justification by faith. The familiar explanation is the one which portrays the repentant sinner as a faultless being before the eyes of the Father. This is possible through the covering robe of the righteousness of Christ.

  In some way the Father is able to view the sinner as though he had not sinned; He is able to do this because His Son has paid the penalty for the sin. It is, of course, necessary for the sinner to believe that his sins are forgiven; and therein is his faith. Unless he believes he is forgiven, he cannot be justified. He must believe that Christ's sacrifice on his behalf is sufficient to make him clean in the sight of God.

  I would like now to propose another viewpoint on this matter of righteousness by faith. In doing so, I do not by any means wish to cast a shadow of doubt on the foregoing interpretation; in fact, I am in full agreement with it. The above treatment, however, is so radically abbreviated that it presents little plausibility, and a more adequate treatment could and should be given to justify the view, though this will not be done just here.

  There are two aspects to the training of children, as there are to the training of sinners in the way of God. In the first place, any household, as any dominion, finds it necessary to have laws or regulations to define the conduct of its members. No two people with free wills can live in the same community without having some implied or written code of conduct; otherwise there would be times when one

115 

would encroach upon the rights of the other. With young children it is necessary to have specific regulations - a code of "do's" and "don'ts" - because their understanding of right and wrong is limited. But as the children grow up, these do's and don'ts may be modified to suit any particular situation. The basis on which the code is designed, is that of consideration for the rights of the other members of the household or the community. It is a matter of putting self aside in the interest of the needs and rights of the group. Now any parent knows that no set of rules can be designed to apply equally to all situations. There will be times when to apply a rule rigidly to any specific situation would be to oppose the spirit of the law - the principle of consideration for others. Thus the two aspects in the training of children are: First; laying down the law; and second; forgiving transgression of that law when such transgression is in harmony with the spirit underlying the law.

  Thus it is with the laws of God. All His rules are based on kindness or love toward others. The main reason He demands worship and allegiance from His subjects is not to bolster His own ego, but that He recognizes that only as His subjects have faith and confidence in Him can they obtain the best possible good for themselves; for only God understands the end from the beginning. His laws are designed for the benefit and profit of His subjects. But God can obtain the undivided, willing allegiance of His subjects only when they recognize His character of love - a character which guarantees His acts to be for the best good of His subjects. This is what Jesus came to reveal and teach.

  We note, then, that the first aspect in the training of the child is the laying down of the law. The regulations must be given. And since reason is largely lacking in the young, the necessary persuasion must take the form of inducement and punishment. This is what God did with His children in the Old Testament experiences - that is, the old covenant experience. At Sinai He proclaimed the law with loud manifestations of power. Punishment swiftly attended disobedience, and blessing followed obedience.

  But here He also showed the second phase of the training program: forgiveness of sins and relief from the penalty of the law through the vicarious suffering for sins. Here He taught them that someone else could pay the price and take the penalty for their sins. This is the phase which manifested more fully the fundamental characteristic of God - self-denying love.

116

  The love of God is made up of two parts - or perhaps we should say is manifested by two characteristics: justice and mercy. Both of these are an expression of His character, which is one of complete consideration for the interests of others. God lives to bless others - He lives to give. God knows that the only way a man can have complete peace and happiness in a society of many people is to learn the laws of love; justice and mercy.


THE OLD COVENANT LAYS DOWN THE LAW - THE NEW WINS MEN'S HEARTS

  The history of God's dealings with men on this earth reveals this training program. The old covenant lays down the law. The new covenant wins man's heart to God, plants the law of love in his heart, and gains his free-will allegiance to the government of God. After the knowledge of the law is obtained through the old covenant, and man learns that he cannot keep it in his own finite strength, then Jesus comes with the power of love, manifested through forgiveness of sins, which enables man to forsake sin. This is the outline of the plan of salvation.

  There comes a time when the literal law must be set aside in order to fulfill the spiritual law of love. The law of love is paramount. When a neighbor needs urgent help on the Sabbath day, I can fulfill the law of love by helping him - though I may transgress the literal law. If the motive of my action is selfless and designed entirely for the benefit of my neighbor, then I am justified in the sight of God - I am forgiven.

  I stand before God as though I had not sinned. My faith in the righteousness of Christ (which is the principle of selflessness) has saved me from condemnation. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin; but whatsoever is of faith, is not sin. The just shall live by his faith - that is, according to his faith. When he lives according to his faith, he is just - that is, justified; and there is no condemnation because he is walking after the Spirit.

ILLUSTRATION OF FAITHFUL SISTER IN THE CHURCH

  A faithful Sister of the Church is married to a husband who has no sympathy for her religious convictions. One Sabbath day he asks that she go with him on a business appointment at which he needs her help -- perhaps her signature. And he feels that it must be done on that very

117 

day, else he will miss a brilliant opportunity in a field that would mean a great deal to him personally.

  Here is a situation demanding analysis of motives. The wife could choose to rigidly refuse to break the Sabbath, even though her refusal would be a great detriment to her husband who does not understand the importance of the Sabbath. This would, supposedly, keep her clear in the eyes of the literal law, but it might or might not keep her clear in the eyes of God; for in God's sight all our actions are justified by our faith in the law of love. If her motive in refusing to accompany her husband contained any malice or spite toward him, or if it contained the idea of self-preservation, personal profit to herself, or if she were thereby attempting to gain favor in the sight of heaven to her own advantage at the exclusion of her husband's, - in fact, if in any way she had a self centered motive, then she would sin. If however, she could somehow justify her action in the sight of God on the basis of love for her husband, she would do righteously, though this would seem to me rather difficult to do.

  On the other hand, if she accompanied her husband, she might or might not sin, depending on her true motive. If she went with him because she feared retaliation from him, or if she were in some way endeavoring to protect herself and her own interest, then she would sin. But if she went with him in the genuine motive of doing him a kindness at her own personal expense - expense because of placing herself at variance with the literal law and subjecting herself to its condemnation, - I say, if she went with him in the genuine motive of doing him a kindness at her own personal expense, and with the ultimate motive of perhaps being able to arouse in him a deeper love and respect for her, that she might teach him the way of God, then her action would be justified by her faith in the righteousness of Christ, for the righteousness of Christ is the same kind of righteousness as is illustrated here.

  Christ took upon Him the sins of the world. He accepted the penalty of the law, and by His faith in the love of His Father was raised from the dead to be exalted to the throne above. The righteousness of Christ is the righteousness which comes by faith in the law of love as being supreme. Verily, God is love - that is His character. And righteousness comes by faith in that character of love, a faith that is proved by its works of love. It is a special kind of love however - a self-renouncing love; for selfishness is the root of all evil, law or no law.

118

  In a sense even Adam did something similar when he chose to sin because of love for his wife. It is significant that his sin was forgiven. Though he had to share in the sufferings of its consequences, he chose to partake of the penalty of sin because of love for his wife. Eve was deceived into sin; but Adam was not. Adam chose to sin, yet he was forgiven. Adam did not eat of the fruit because he lusted after it, he ate it because he loved his wife. I believe there is room for profound meditation here; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.


FAITH - KEY TO SINLESSNESS

  Then faith is the key to sinlessness - this gives us liberty. Paul speaks of this law of liberty, but he warns not to use it to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Only if the motive is righteous - self-renouncing love for others - can the act be justified. "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: ... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.... And if we offend one of these little ones, it were better that a millstone be hung about out necks and we be cast into the depths of the sea" (1st Corinthians 6:12; Matthew 25:40; Mark 9:42).

  The law of self-renouncing love is supreme. It is the very law of life for earth and heaven (cf. Desire of Ages 20.1), and on this law hangs all the Old Testament law and the prophets. One cannot live in the eternal kingdom of God without keeping this law.

  But to keep this law requires a change of heart. The love of God must be created in us. We must be born of God; that is, born of love, for God is love. "He that is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed, (love in this sense), remaineth in him and he cannot sin, ...." (1st John 3:9). To be born again means to be born of God, and that means to be born of love. When we are born again we keep the law of love; and it is by this law that we will be judged, for we are judged by the "law of liberty."

  Some further examples and illustrations might be given at this point. David ate the shewbread from the temple, which was not lawful; but Jesus said he was "blameless". Christ required ancient Israel to gather a double portion of manna on Friday so that none need be gathered on the Sabbath, but when Jesus was on earth He did not require that His disciples do that. They went through the field on the Sabbath day and gathered ears of corn to eat. Fish is not the diet of

119

heaven nor of those who are preparing for it in the final days; yet Jesus ate of fish even after His resurrection which was just prior to His ascension.

ILLUSTRATION OF THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS DOCTOR

   In our town we have a traffic speed limit for cars of 25 m.p.h.

  This law is designed to protect our citizens, particularly our children. It was laid down to provide a rule for those who do not have sense enough to determine what is a safe speed. But this law is entirely inadequate to meet all the situations which may arise.

  Perhaps we can illustrate this in the following manner: At 3:00 A. M. a self-righteous, law-abiding doctor in our town receives an urgent telephone call to come down to the highway intersection immediately, and attend to several people who are seriously hurt in a traffic accident. Being a dutiful doctor he promptly dresses, jumps in his car, and drives a legal 25 m.p.h. down the deserted main street. He would not dare drive any faster lest he should jeopardize his reputation as a law-abiding man. But by the time he reaches the scene of the accident at that leisurely speed, one victim who could have been saved a few minutes earlier has passed beyond recovery.

  As we mentioned, our doctor would not dare drive any faster than 25 m.p.h. lest he should jeopardize his reputation as a law-abiding man. But by the time he reaches the scene of the accident at that leisurely speed, one victim who could have been saved a few minutes earlier has passed beyond recovery. Now if our doctor had put his own self interest aside and broken the speed limit, he would have been guilty before the written law but he would have saved a life. To drive above 25 m.p.h. on a deserted street at 3:00 a. m. is not endangering the safety of the sleeping citizens, even though it might stain the formal integrity of the doctor and injure his self-righteous pride. Had he been willing to accept the penalty of the broken law in the interest of the dying traffic victim, he would have done something similar to what our Saviour did for us.

120

  Nevertheless, our local doctor would have had the advantage of being cleared before the citizens of our town on the basis of his self denying consideration for the victim. He would have been justified in breaking the speed limit, by his faith in the righteousness of the love motive.


  The ultimate of this principle is expressed by Jesus in the words: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." (John 15:13). He may do this by breaking the law to save his friend. This is the faith of Jesus which will be the possession of the remnant who keep the commandments of God.

  This same self-righteous doctor on his way home to lunch at high noon insists on driving 25 m.p.h. down the streets, which are crowded with children coming from school, because the law says he can go 25 m.p.h. Here he is endangering the safety of the children, and is breaking the fundamental principle underlying the very law which he I thinks he is so virtuously keeping. Does this not remind us of some of our people who go just as far as they can without breaking the literal law, and think that thereby they are keeping God's law?

FOR MATURE PEOPLE THE LITERAL LAW IS INADEQUATE

  When people become mature, the need for the literal law begins to fade, - in fact it is inadequate. It serves to point out sin to those whose understanding is limited. It is a "schoolmaster" to bring us to Christ, but it cannot be the giver of life or righteousness. In a mature society the law of love should rule supreme. The literal law, written on tables of stone, is necessary in the training of children, including the children of God. The principle of love cannot be learned nor understood except as the law points out the practical applications of that principle. The formal keeping of the law is designed to portray the outworking of the law of love, which is the very character of God; and thus the law is highly sacred.

  Nevertheless, it is virtually impossible to elaborate a set of minute regulations so extensive as to apply to every conceivable situation which may arise, for new situations are constantly appearing. All our circumstances are in a perpetual state of flux. Hence it is the basic principle underlying the ten commandments which constitutes the real law of God; and this is the principle which must eventually be understood. When this principle has been learned, the literal law on

121 

tables of stone is no longer required for it is then written in the tables of the heart. Then a man may walk after the Spirit, and his actions are actions of love; and he is justified in all that he does in the sight of God by his faith in the righteousness of the motive of selfless love, which is the righteousness of Christ. Christ was righteous or sinless because His character of love caused Him always to act in the selfless interest of others. The plan of salvation makes available to us the possibility of attaining a similar character - one which reflects His image perfectly. May God speed the day!

GOD'S GOVERNMENT IS ESSENTIALLY ALLEGIANCE BASED ON LOVE

  This then is the kind of government that God has instituted, an allegiance which is based on love. A man's actions are justified by his faith. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.... Charity covereth a multitude of sins." [John 13:34; 1st Pet. 4:8].


ILLUSTRATION OF TWO BOYS PLAYING NEAR A DANGEROUS EXCAVATION

  Many further illustrations of the principle of justification by faith could be given. We think of the little boy whose mother laid down the law that he was not to go near an excavation in the neighborhood which had become partially filled with water due to recent rains. With every intention of fulfilling this commandment, the little boy was outside playing. Suddenly he hears the cries of his little neighbor pal coming from the excavation where he had fallen in, and was unable to get himself out. Immediately, our little friend dashes over to the excavation, completely oblivious to the literal commandment, having only in mind the fact that he must get his little chum out of that excavation; and in doing so, he gets his own clothes terribly besmirched. When he comes home, his mother sees his dirty clothes. She asks him where he has been, and he says, "at the excavation."

  Now, he has obviously transgressed the law and is guilty before it. His mother, if she were unaware of the complete circumstance, would probably and justifiably administer whatever punishment she normally would administer. But when she learns of the circumstances surrounding the boy's action, she is immediately willing to forgive the boy and take the penalty of the transgression of her own law upon herself. She goes to work and cleans up the boy's clothes. She has to

122

wash them, she has to iron them and re-do them, and fix him all up again; and this penalty she is willing to accept because of the fact that her boy acted on the principle of self-denying love for others. Thereby he was justified in the sight of his mother. This illustration may be a little inadequate, but there is much in it to compare with the principle of justification by faith in the eyes of God. We must not forget that Jesus taught that if an ox fell into the pit on the Sabbath day, it would be natural that it should be relieved of its suffering, and that it ought not to have to remain until after sundown because of the rigid keeping of the Sabbath commandment on the part of its owner.


  The principle of love, I repeat, is the paramount principle and fundamental motive underlying the law of God; and this principle - "love your neighbor as yourself; love the Lord your God with all your heart," is the basis of these commandments; and all the law and the prophets hang on them. And it all boils down to the one thought consideration; kindness; self-denying love.

  So we conclude the subject of justification by faith; and it should again be pointed out that the above treatment does not exhaust the subject of justification by faith, by any means; it is but one phase of it.

  Following is a transcript of a recorded talk which was presented [by J. W. Johnson] at the Chapel Service at Canadian Union College on Monday, March 3rd, 1958:

MIRACLES
(THIS CHAPEL TALK ENDS ON PAGE 139).

  I propose this morning to talk to you about a subject which is soon going to have an increasing importance to the remnant people of God. I have chosen to speak about this subject because I feel it has not been given very much consideration during recent years, probably because it has not been too well understood. I would like to make very clear however, before I begin, that I cannot hope to cover this subject exhaustively in the space of half an hour or so. I could personally deal more extensively with it, and I am sure a whole book could be written about it. Therefore do not be surprised if there are questions in your mind which may remain unanswered by the time we get through. Your questions may be answerable, but it is physically impossible to deal with the entire subject in one short talk. I have condensed a great deal of material into this preparation and have purposely omitted many direct

123 

and indirect references to Scripture, and to the Testimonies; and in order not to be wasteful with words, I may have to stay pretty close to my script. I suggest too that you may have to keep rather close and continued attention if you wish to get all the points that are referred to. I'm going to speak to you about the matter of miracles:

  Whenever something occurs which contradicts our understanding of the physical laws of nature, we regard that occurrence as a miracle. When I was in my teen-age I did not believe that a miracle was possible, - I had never seen one. But I had seen and worked with many of the physical laws of nature, and I had found these to be consistent, permanent, and apparently immutable. I had concluded that nature's laws could be absolutely depended upon.

  For anyone to think that the physical laws of nature could be set aside to provide for a miracle appeared to me rather bold, if not ignorant presumption. I know that this attitude exists in the minds of many young people today, some of them Adventist young people. They are so taken up with the meticulous accuracy and reliability of the laws of nature that they find little room for accepting the credence of miracles. I hope I shall succeed in giving sound reason to question their doubts in this regard, for I firmly believe it will be to our advantage to understand this subject more clearly.

WHAT ARE THE LAWS OF NATURE?
(FROM HERE THRU PAGE 127)

  Let us begin by asking the question: What are the laws of nature? Probably no man has the complete answer to this. The late Albert Einstein, one of the greatest mathematicians of our century, has shown by complicated mathematical formulae the functional relativity of all the fundamental laws of physics. But this falls far short of interpreting them. Perhaps we could understand more than we do about this question if we would but comply with the conditions set forth in the following quotation from Christ's Object Lessons, page 125:

  "If the follower of Christ will believe His Word and practice it, there is no science in the natural world that he will not be able to grasp and appreciate. ... Natural science is a treasure house of knowledge from which every student in the school of Christ may draw."

  The laws of nature are the tools whereby God implements His decisions.

124

OUR PHYSICAL BODIES ARE BUT THE TOOLS TO CARRY OUT OUR DECISIONS


  Let us illustrate this, (that the laws of nature are the tools whereby God implements His decision), by reference to our body temple. My physical body is the tool whereby I am able to carry out my decisions. When I decide to raise my hand and scratch my head, I can do so only because the mechanism of neuro-muscular control is a part of my body structure. If the nerves leading to the muscles of my arm were severed, I could wish from now 'til doomsday to raise my arm, but it could not obey me. In a crude sort of way, I believe this describes the functioning of the laws of nature. They are somehow linked with the decision area in the mind of God. Through a decision God can cause the laws of nature to implement His thought - to do as He bids. When the sun stood still in Joshua's momentous day, it did so through a decision of God. I could elaborate further on this thought but will not do so this morning.

HOW COULD THE SUN STAND STILL IN JOSHUA'S DAY?

   This leads us to another phase in the concept of natural law. How could the sun stand still when that is contrary to the usual course of nature? Is nature basically a constant process? or is it at times unreliable?

  To answer this I would again refer to the neuro-muscular function of the human body. In the course of my education I have learned to operate a typewriter. In this activity I have developed a whole stock of manipulation habits. I have performed the many maneuvers on a typewriter keyboard so many times consistently - the same way, that they have become automatic motions with me. As my eyes read the words on a page, my fingers strike keys and spaces corresponding to those words. There is no hesitation to decide which finger should strike which key; it has become a mechanical motion - a habit.

  Now the fact that I customarily and habitually strike the space bar on my typewriter with my right thumb does not mean that I can do it in no other way. At any time I care to do so, I can consciously decide to interrupt the usual habit and, by an act of will, choose to strike the space-bar with the left thumb. I can change the habit by an effort of the will. This I might choose to do if my right thumb should happen to become injured.

125 

THE NATURAL OR PHYSICAL LAWS OF GOD ARE LIKE MAN'S HABITS

  The physical laws of God are like these habits. The laws of nature are not operating as self-propelled elements or automatons. The power of a personal conscious God maintains them. This is clearly taught in the testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy [cf. Education, page 131]. However it is hardly necessary for Him to consciously direct them at every moment. They function consistently as a sort of habit mechanism; and since God is from eternity, these habits have become deeply and firmly fixed.

  The reason they do not change is that when God chose to develop those particular habits of behavior in the first place, He chose the wisest and best way. If He were to change His laws, He would be acknowledging that He had made an error in His original choices.

  God has consistently chosen to abide by His original course of behavior in natural law. Therefore these functions of God are like long standing habits with Him. We may depend upon the constancy of His behavior. He always uses His right thumb on the space bar of His gigantic typewriter, with which He is writing the course of natural science.

IS GOD BOUND BY THE LAWS OF NATURE WHICH HE CREATED?

  Now it is important that we become aware of this next point if we want to grasp the plausibility of miracles:

  God is not bound by the laws of nature, any more than we may be bound by a habit. Through an act of conscious will, God may on occasion supersede a well-established law or set of laws. He can modify the course of nature to meet a special circumstance which may arise. This is what occurred in Joshua's day; and in the day of Hezekiah the sun-dial was turned backward ten degrees.

ILLUSTRATION OF GIRL WITH HER BICYCLE

  I would like to give an illustration at this point which I think will clarify this a little more. A tiny six-year-old girl has a bicycle which is kept inside the garage overnight. The little girl is unable to operate the large garage door to get her bicycle in and out; therefore daddy always puts it out in the morning when he goes to work, before the child is up, and he returns it to the garage in the evening after she is in bed. This is the regular program.

126

  Each morning the bike is out and each evening it is put in its place for the night. The little girl never sees her daddy put the bike out in the morning nor return it to the garage in the evening. She merely knows that it is always out and waiting for her each day, and that daddy said he looks after it. As time goes on, she learns to recognize this fact as a regular custom, or habit, or rule. Now just because the bicycle is always ready and waiting for her each morning, does that give her reason to believe that it goes in and out of the garage all by itself? If daddy should become sick some day and fail to get the bike out, she would have evidence that it does not operate by itself. But the continual care of a considerate father maintains the rule.


  It is in this same fashion that the rules of nature are maintained. The sun comes up and goes down each day. It is attended to by our Heavenly Father - He has made a habit of doing it.

  But on a certain day, when the rain is pouring down, daddy decides not to put the bike out, - the rule is interrupted. On another occasion there is an escaped tiger from the zoo at large in the neighborhood, and daddy again decides not to put out the bike. If these interruptions occurred very frequently however, pretty soon the child would lose confidence in the rule. It could not be depended upon.

OCCASIONALLY (RARELY) GOD ACTS CONTRARY TO HIS HABITS (LAWS)

  Thus it is with the rules of nature. Under special circumstances God may decide to act contrary to His regular habit and hold back the sun for awhile. But if He did this very frequently, man would lose his confidence in the laws of the sun's movements; he could not depend upon them. I wonder if I have made this clear?

  Now one more point here. How do you think the father would feel if the little girl came to the conclusion that he had nothing to do with seeing that the bike was always in its place each morning - that it was just some mechanical law functioning on its own momentum? How do you suppose God feels when we conclude that the course of nature is just some mechanical function, not requiring the personal care of a benevolent Father? I believe this is worth thinking about. We are dealing here with one specific type of miracle - one which involves an arbitrary decision of God somewhat contrary to His usual behavior. This type of miracle is a very rare one; but though it be rare, it can occur.

127

THE CREATION OF THIS WORLD WAS ONE OF THOSE RARE MIRACLES

  There is reason to believe that the creation of this world was one of these rare miracles. The natural course of creation in this world and in the outer universe is a process of long-range growth and development from infinitely small beginnings. Life on this earth is a process of growth, not only for the individual but for the world as a whole. This we readily observe on every hand. Even the kingdom of heaven is like a tiny grain of mustard seed, which in the proper environment grows into a huge tree where the birds build their nests.

  But the original father and mother of mankind were not born the way we are, nor did they require twenty-odd years for developing into maturity. They were created within twenty-four hours, contrary to the normal process of natural law.

SCIENCE SHOWS NATURAL LAW'S WAY IS SLOW EVOLVING GROWTH

  The study of several sciences indicates that nature's way of making a world is one of evolving growth through the interaction of numerous laws and forces. But this world was not made that way; and let no one be deceived in that fact! The world in which we live is the product of a unique creation.

IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SABBATH AND SUNDAY

  It was to prove to the universe that Christ was the only rightful Sovereign and true Creator in all of nature that this world was miraculously formed. Not until this world was so made did it become positively evident that Lucifer could not hope to compete with Christ in creative power. He had challenged the position of Christ as the supreme Ruler; but when he saw this world made, in its uniquely accelerated fashion, then he knew that his ambition to make himself equal to the Most High could not be fulfilled. He could not imitate this kind of creation.

128

  You see, this world was made to glorify God; that is, to put Him in His rightful place in the eyes of the universe. And then to forever memorialize that great demonstration of creative genius, God instituted the seventh-day Sabbath. If anyone ever tries to tell you there is no special significance in the Sabbath, let him contemplate these things.


  Sunday worship was originally worship in honor of the sun on the sun's day; for the sun appeared to be the natural author of all light, and heat, and life. Indeed it is that. Nevertheless, it is but the servant of God, delivering to man the bounties from his true Creator and Life giver. Natural law is but the channel of blessing from God to man. Sunday worship symbolizes nature worship; Sabbath worship symbolizes worship of the true Creator behind nature.

  Thus, Sabbath observance acknowledges the fact that God can supersede the normal course of natural law which He has established, just as any individual can choose to act contrary to his usual habit pattern. God proved this fact at the creation of the world, and the Sabbath memorializes it.

SABBATH - SIGN OF GOD'S PREROGATIVE TO ARBITRARILY CHOOSE

  Perhaps this is one reason that Jesus healed on the Sabbath day; for the Sabbath admits of the prerogative of the free will to make an arbitrary choice. The Sabbath command is the one, and only one, of the Ten Commandments which is purely arbitrary. That is why Satan could so successfully counterfeit it. Had I the time to do so I could make this much clearer; for you see, apart from the direct request of God, there is no reason why any other day could not do equally well as a day of rest. And thus to willingly reject the Sabbath, is to reject the prerogative of God to make an arbitrary decision, particularly one opposed to His usual habit.

  But now, should God do this type of thing very frequently, then natural law would cease to be reliable; and the Sabbath as a memorial of this type of miraculous creation would lose its memorial significance.

  One does not need a memorial for something which is already perpetuated.

129 

THE MIRACLE OF ACCELERATED FUNCTION OF NATURAL LAW

  Now I would like to consider another type of miracle which has occurred more frequently over the years. It is the kind of miracle which works by accelerated function of natural law.

  The healing process of the body normally takes place slowly. I have lost, by accident, the fingernail of my right index finger on two separate occasions. Each time it required approximately six months for the new nail to grow out. Slow, steady growth - this is nature's way of restoration. But this slow process of nature can be speeded up and can be made to enlarge its scope of normal activity.

THE SLAYBAUGH STORY

  Permit me at this point to refer to an example of this [above] form of miracle which occurred in a little town along the southern coast of Oregon just a few years ago. Brother and Sister Slaybaugh had recently been converted to the Advent faith, and had located in a town where there were no other Adventists, for the express purpose of doing missionary work.

  One day Brother Slaybaugh was all but killed in a tragic automobile collision. Two young escaped criminals were speeding down the road at 80 m.p.h. in an effort to elude the police. Rounding a bend in the road, they plowed into Mr. Slaybaugh's car, totally demolishing it.

  Mr. Slaybaugh was in critical condition. His skull was badly fractured, and the brain fluid was draining out. His left eye was smashed; his left ear almost completely severed from the head. His jaws were broken; his tongue so badly cut and swollen that it filled the whole mouth cavity. His face was terribly inflated, as to make him unrecognizable. He was, of course, completely unconscious. The doctor gave Mrs. Slaybaugh little hope for his recovery; but in case he should, glass eyes were available, plastic ears did not look too bad, and false teeth could be made to fit even a mutilated mouth.

  For more than two days he lingered between life and death, far beyond the expectations of the doctor and nurses. Then he slowly began to slip away. The signs of death were evident.

130

  Through her tired and confused mind, Mrs. Slaybaugh somehow recalled the instructions of the Scripture regarding prayer for the sick (James 5:14). With desperate haste, lest it be too late, she phoned for the pastor of a church some miles away. Then, more than three days after the accident, as the last flickering spark of life was fading from that rugged body, the circle of friends kneeled at the tragic bedside. While the minister prayed a simple but sincere prayer, Mrs. Slaybaugh held up her dying husband's ashy hands to heaven imploring God to restore life to them. Then the minister leaned over and anointed the small exposed part of Mr. Slaybaugh's forehead with oil, in the name of the Lord.


  Instantly he felt a sharp, electric shock, and the patient trembled violently for a moment; then relaxed. Mrs. Slaybaugh opened her eyes and saw the color of life flowing back into those two pale hands she was holding. She looked down at her husband; and even as she looked, the swollen face shrank before her amazed eyes, and there emerged the familiar features she had known for so many years. He opened his eyes, that is the one eye that was not bandaged - and gazed around the room with the inquiry, "where am I?"

  I'm sorry I cannot take time this morning to go into the details of this marvelous experience, much though I would love to. They are recorded in the little book by Mrs. Slaybaugh, "Escape from Death", which I'm sure is available here on the hilltop. So far as our present study is concerned, several things have happened to Mr. Slaybaugh. First; he had awakened without any sense of pain nor any knowledge of the accident. Second; his tongue had been healed and his jaws and teeth had been restored to working order. He crunched hard candy shortly afterwards. Third; his skull fracture had been mended. Fourth; he had received a new eye, later tested by the optometrist to be far superior in vision to the old one. And fifth; his severed ear had been replaced.

  This is just one experience of many, which have occurred from time to time over the years, manifesting the power of God to accelerate the course of nature, and also to overrule nature by restoring life. I'm sure that the creation of this earth and its inhabitants is related to this type of miracle; for the creation of this earth was greatly accelerated over that of other normal processes of nature. However the creation of this earth has other features which are different from pure acceleration of natural law - features which we shall not deal with this morning.


131  

CHRIST'S MIRACLES ALL WROUGHT THROUGH THE AGENCY OF ANGELS

  One interesting and noteworthy aspect of this type of miracle is that it is performed through the agency of angels. It is similar to the kind of miracles which Jesus performed while on the earth. (Incidentally, Mr. Slaybaugh saw the angel.) I have discovered that most people have the idea that Jesus actuated His miracles through a power which was unique to Himself as the Son of God; but they fail to recognize that the power was unique only in His ability to command its co-operation; for it was the angels who were the means through which He performed the miracles. It was they who obeyed His words. Let me read this to you from the book Desire of Ages, page 143:

  "The miracles of Christ for the afflicted and suffering were wrought by the power of God, through the ministration of the angels. And it is through Christ, by the ministration of His heavenly messengers, that every blessing comes from God to us."

  Thus it becomes obvious that the angels can use laws of nature which are as yet incomprehensible to us and unusable by us in any direct way. They were instrumental in turning the water to wine at the wedding of Cana; in healing the ten lepers; in raising Lazarus from the dead. These powerful beings obey the voice of the Son of God; and the marvelous truth is that this same Jesus sends these same angels to minister unto all those who shall be heirs of salvation. At least one angel of God stands by the side of every one of His servants with the express commission to help and to protect. Is this not a very comforting though?

CHRIST USED NO POWER NOT FREELY AVAILABLE TO US

  Sister White tells us that Jesus did not use any of His power which is not freely available to us in the battle against sin and temptation [cf. DA 24.5]; and it is certain that He did not use any of His divine prerogative to protect Himself. He committed Himself to the care of His heavenly Father. And this brings us to a third kind of miracle the visible manifestation of angels, in the form of men, who have revealed themselves in fulfilling their task by performing feats which would be unnatural for a normal man to do. A number of examples of this are given in Scripture; but more recently in our time, there are several examples available. I shall mention but three:

132

[1] STORY OF A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST PASTOR IN NORWAY


  I well remember the story which one of our ministers told in the Calgary church some years ago. At that time I did not believe it was true, and I can recall so vividly sitting in the choir and thinking how someone certainly got their wires crossed up on that story! It was about an experience one of our pastors in Norway had while ministering to the needs of two of our churches in that country.

  The pastor habitually took a service in one church on Sabbath morning and then traveled a number a miles over to the other church for an afternoon service. One Sabbath day while journeying over that lonely stretch of road between the two parishes, he became mired in the mud. Try as he might, he could not get the car out - it merely went deeper into the bog. Recognizing that he was not on this trip for his own pleasure, he turned the matter over to the Lord in prayer. He simply pointed out that if he were to meet his appointment that afternoon he would need help to get there.

  When he had finished praying he looked up and saw two men coming down the road. As they came nearer, he noted they were strangers to that part of the country, but he thought nothing more of that at the moment. Coming up to the car, one of the strangers asked if they could be of any help. Our minister replied that he thought the car could make its way out if they would just get behind and push at the same time. When he started up the car it was as though the whole machine was lifted right out of the mud, and after driving ahead a few feet to get on hard ground, he dismounted, intending to offer the men a ride. But to his surprise there was not a soul around; he was all by himself on that lonely road! Our minister met his appointment that day because the messengers of heaven were faithful to their task.

[2] STORY OF GODLY LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

  In the January 21st, 1958 issue of the Youth's Instructor is the story of a godly locomotive engineer who was piloting his train down the track of an eastern United States railroad one dark night. As the train sped down the line, he suddenly noticed a man climb up on the catwalk along the side of the locomotive and stand straight up, looking ahead into the darkness. Presently, the man gave the regular railroad warning signal, followed later by the stop signal. Again he gave the stop signal!

133

  At first our Christian brother thought it was just some hitchhiker catching a ride; but then he noticed that in spite of the high speed of the train, the man's coat was perfectly still and his hat did not blow off in the wind. Thus when the stranger finally gave the emergency signal to stop, the engineer slammed on the brakes and the train ground to a halt.

  Climbing down from the cab to investigate, the engineer found that just a few feet ahead of where the train had stopped was a washout. It would have caused a severe wreck had he neglected to obey the ominous signals. His unknown hitchhiker was nowhere around.

[3] STORY OF THE FREEZING WIDOW IN ALASKA

  In a recent Review and Herald was published the story of a widow in Alaska who had lost her son and was living alone in her cabin. One day she became so ill that she was unable to attend to the fire nor to administer hot water treatments which normally gave her relief. She knew that the cabin would rapidly cool and that if she did not receive help soon she would freeze to death. She laid the matter before God, and settled her affairs with Him. She was willing to submit to His plan for her; and if she was to die, she was willing to go.

  Presently the door opened and a young man, neatly dressed in black, entered with an armload of wood which he placed in the wood box. Without saying a word he set about starting a fire and putting on a kettle of water. Then he left, not so much as glancing at the woman.

  She had wanted to speak to him, but the incident occurred so unexpectedly that she had found herself unable to address this total stranger who had walked in unannounced. The thought had occurred to her that perhaps this was an angel; and while she was turning this over in her mind, the same man again entered with another armload of wood, with which he now filled the wood box.

  This time she made a strong effort to speak, wanting to ask him, "Are you an angel?" But somehow she could not get the words out. Then, even as she was thinking those words, the stranger turned toward her for the first time, gave her a most benevolent smile, and nodded. Without a word, he left.

134

  The excitement gave the woman a wave of extra energy, as excitement sometimes will do, and she made an effort to get up to verify her suspicions, that if this were indeed an angel, there would be no tracks in the fresh snow outside her cabin. She managed to reach the door, and looking down at the step she could find no trace of footprints in the snow, and the fresh snow on the woodpile along the side of the house was undisturbed. She turned back into the cabin to prepare the hot water treatment from the water in the kettle which was heated by the fire prepared by the hands of her visitor. Later, when friends from the community arrived, she learned that no strangers were in the vicinity and certainly no one dressed in a garb such as this man had worn.


  God expects us to do all that we can to meet the emergencies of the moment; but when we can do no more, He will often step in and give us that little extra lift which we need to carry us over the crisis. How careful we should be of our conduct, for we never know when we shall have the privilege of entertaining angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2).

THE MIRACLE OF COINCIDENCE

  The fourth type of miracle is more frequently encountered than any of the other three types, though it is closely related to the foregoing two kinds. This type I shall call the miracle of coincidence. By coincidence we mean the unique relationship of an intricate set of circumstances.

  There are coincidences which are not intricate, and we do not think of these as miracles. A simple coincidence would be illustrated by the path of a meteor and that of the earth intersecting at the same time. The meteor then collides with the earth's atmosphere and the collision generates enough heat to make the stray meteor flare into incandescence and usually disintegrate. Such a coincidence is the normal outcome of the relations between the laws of matter and motion.

  A more complicated coincidence would be the collision of two aircraft in a cloud-filled sky. In this instance the decisions of both pilots are involved; and even though neither pilot knows of the presence of the other in the same vicinity; nevertheless, their decisions to fly this way or that way definitely enter into the conditions leading up to the collision. It is through the decision mechanism of man that God often performs the coincidence miracle.

135 


  I'm sure you are familiar with this kind of incident: A man is about to cross the street and then for no apparent reason decides to turn and cross in the other direction. When he is halfway across the intersection, a crash occurs at the precise place where he would have been had he followed his original intention.

  A man tries to book passage on a certain airline flight but discovers that he will have to accept accommodation on the next following flight. Though this would inconvenience him, he decides to settle for the substitute tour. Later he learns that the plane he had intended to take crashed, killing all aboard.

  A family is down to their last dollar. They need $50.00 to pay the rent in order to avoid eviction. On the final day of grace a check for $50.00 comes in the mail from a debtor of ten years back who knows nothing of the financial plight of the creditor. The check just happened to come on the precise day it was so urgently needed. This type of miracle is unquestionably operated through the agency of angels who influence the decisions of the people involved.

  We are told in the Spirit of Prophecy that those who are not trusting in the divine protection of God are under the control of Satan. If Satan can control, he must have power to influence man's decisions, for it is through decisions that man functions. On the other hand, if angels can protect, they must do so through modification of a man's decisions, for it is certain we do not see the course of natural law changing every time one of these miracles occurs. We do not see cars on the street suddenly hopping off the ground and sidestepping us in order to avoid hitting us. But we do sometimes change our minds for no apparent reason and thereby avoid unforeseen accidents.

  I am convinced, on the basis of numerous personal experiences and observations in coincidental miracles, that this is one of the most common methods which God uses to work with and for His people. And it is also one of the most common methods whereby Satan and his evil angels effect their control over men. In some manner not understood by us, the ministering spirits of heaven and hell are able to influence our decisions. But there are bounds beyond which their power cannot reach. They cannot force us to go contrary to our will.

136

WHEN SURRENDERED TO GOD, ANGELS CAN MODIFY OUR DECISIONS


  It is when we are surrendered to God and request His protection and care that His angels will modify our decisions at times, for our own good. This does not involve a loss of will-power; it is merely a voluntary submission to the will of God for us. If, on the other hand, we do not ask for the protection of heaven and are not surrendered to God, - we may come under the complete control of evil angels; we may be in bondage to Satan. Sister White makes this plain. In vision she saw the angels of God dispelling the powers of darkness, (the evil angels), from around those who trust in Him. How thankful we should be for the wonderful provision God has made for our welfare.

THE HIDDEN MIRACLE OF PRESERVED HEALTH

  The final group of miracles which I wish to mention this morning is a group which is not seen nor observed but which nevertheless goes on. It is the hidden miracle of preserved health.

  When the children of Israel were going through the wilderness, God promised them perpetual health if they would follow and obey Him; even their shoes did not wear out. Today we think it is a great thing when someone is spectacularly healed by the miracle working power of anointing and prayer, as was Brother Slaybaugh; and indeed it is a great thing. But how many times do you think God has miraculously preserved the health of His people, preventing them from going down with diseases which, under normal circumstances, would have taken their lives long before?

  Perhaps at this very moment my body is undergoing changes which will lead to the development of a cancer; but God hears my daily prayer for health and strength to fulfill my duties, and He touches the infirmity before it ever gets a chance to blossom forth. I am miraculously healed before the disease is evident.


  This kind of unseen miracle of healing may be a greater honor to God in this hour of earth's critical history than would the demonstrated healing; for we know that the devil is going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, and he is out to deceive in his working of lying wonders. He too can heal the sick in certain limited ways, and many will be deceived by believing in his miracles.


137 

NO SAFETY IN BASING YOUR FAITH ON MIRACLES IN THESE LAST DAYS*

  Sister White tells us plainly that there will be no safety in believing in miracles in these last days; our faith must be based on something else. It must be based on a living experience in the things of God. We must have an experimental knowledge of the truth.


  Testimonies, Volume 9, page 16: " ... Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God's people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God's tried and tested people will find their power in the signs spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word 'It is written.' This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. Those who have broken their covenant with God will in that day be without God and without hope."

  The devil has already tried, in modified form to imitate the resurrection of the dead by having some people seemingly remember things which happened in the life of a former person who lived on the earth. The Bridie Murphy case is an example. This case was tied in with hypnotism, and we are plainly told that hypnotism is from beneath. Human beings should not yield their minds to the direct control of another. Of course we recognize that this episode was a hoax, but not everyone will be willing to acknowledge all the devil's efforts as hoaxes.

  We are also compelled to admit that a regeneration of memory must have occurred in the experience of Jesus, for while He was in the cradle of Bethlehem, He certainly had no memory of a previous existence. But after His anointing with the Holy Ghost at His baptism, He could truthfully say, "Before Abraham was, I Am"; for He was conscious that He had been with the Father before the creation of the world. Remember, in His prayer He said: " ... glorify thou Me ... with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (Mathew 17.5).

  One of the works of the Holy Ghost is to bring all things to remembrance, for He has the record of all truth, because He is the Spirit of Truth. This was the Agent who brought the word of truth

_____________________
* [Note: R & H, Sept. 28th, 1897 - "God does not generally work miracles to advance His work."]

138

down from heaven, and united with the man Jesus in that mysterious incarnation and union of divinity and humanity. If this experience occurred in the life of Jesus, is it not feasible that Satan should attempt to counterfeit some such thing as the restoration of memory of a former life?


PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN THE OCCULT OR SUPERNATURAL PHENOMENA

  What I want to impress upon you young people this morning, above all else that I have said, is this: We cannot put our trust in occult and supernatural phenomena in this day of rampant deception. Miracles are of no consequence in themselves; we cannot put our faith in them. We must be founded and grounded upon the sure word of prophecy. We must be clear in our minds on all the fundamental doctrines of our message, that we be not deceived in the day of trial. God may not be performing for us great and spectacular miracles for all the world to see, but He is surely performing the miracle of sanctification and regeneration through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  I wish I had time to continue on and talk to you about this greatest of all miracles - the miracle working power of the gospel. Too many of us fail to understand the real meaning of this power, and how it can save a man from sin. But I must close now with this appeal:

TRUST GOD - SURRENDER YOUR LIFE PROGRAM TO HIM

  Place your trust and your confidence in the power of God and His angels to protect you from evil and from danger. Surrender your life program to Him and to His cause of justifying the position of the Son of God before the eyes of the universe, and then your eyes may be opened to see the many ways in which He is indeed working miracles on your behalf to aid you in your rugged journey to the kingdom of heaven. Remember that God delivered Daniel from the lion's den, contrary to all the laws of fact. He delivered the three Hebrew servants from the fiery furnace, a thing completely opposed to the laws of physics - and He can deliver you!

139 

MIRACLES ONLY BECAME NECESSARY TO MEET THE EMERGENCY OF SIN

  When you think on these things you will find security and the serene peace of Jesus. The perfect peace of Jesus was based upon His undivided faith in God. And His remnant people will have this same faith of Jesus. It is an absolute trust in the ability of God to use the laws of nature, and the angels, in protecting and saving His people. It is a faith which also believes in the prerogative of God to overrule the laws of nature, if need be, in the interest of His loved ones. Natural law is normally adequate to meet every situation which may arise in a dominion free from sin. Only when men and angels exercise the free will to disobey God, does it become necessary for Him to supersede the laws of nature and work contrary to His usual pattern. Miracles became necessary, including the miraculous creation of this earth, in order to meet the emergency of disobedience.

  Listen to His words of promise: "Peace, I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled ... Ye believe in God, believe also in Me" (John 14:27 & 14:1).

(This tape was prepared during the month of November, 1959.)

[This concludes the early morning chapel service entitled Miracles, delivered by J. W Johnson to the students of Canadian Union College, March 3rd, 1958. Transcription of this talk starts back on page 122.6 of this book.]

140

AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 5

THE PLAN OF SALVATION AND THE EVERLASTING COVENANT

  (This is Tape/Letter #5, addressed to the Brethren of the General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists at Washington, D.C., from J. W. Johnson of Lacombe, Alberta.) [This tape was prepared during the last part of December, 1959.]

  In reviewing the series of the tapes I have already sent you, I feel deeply their inadequacy of treatment and lack of clear-cut organization. It is very difficult for me to think of letting the matter rest with those tapes. To partially remedy those weaknesses, I hope you will be tolerant with me in submitting this additional tape material which is designed to emphasize some of the more important aspects of the plan of salvation, and to clarify our position in the plan of salvation, and our relation to the closing work. Much of this has not been adequately treated on the preceding tapes.

  I am going to begin this tape with a copy of a talk which was prepared nearly two years ago on the subject of the rebirth; and then I plan to present a more or less chronological review of the plan of salvation from the inception of sin down to the final triumph, touching upon the outstanding features only, and giving such details as may be required to appropriately portray the meaning. In presenting this survey, emphasis will be given to relating it to the topics which have already been given on previous tapes, and also to bringing out some additional thoughts which have not been referred to so far. I will copy the talk on the new birth at this point:

THE NEW BIRTH
[THIS TALK ENDS ON PAGE 151.3]

  The following talk was delivered [by J. W. Johnson] at Canadian Union College during the student week of spiritual emphasis, March 16th, 1958 at 6:30 p.m.

  "Two weeks ago during the chapel period, we presented a condensed study on various types of miracles [This talk is transcribed on pages 122 - 139 of this book]. That study was incomplete in that it

141 

did not deal with two of the most marvelous miracles of all, one of which is the miracle of the rebirth into the family of God and everlasting life. I have been asked to continue that study this evening by going on to deal with the miracle of this new birth - or the miracle working power of the gospel.

  The word of God is literally full of texts and references which pertain to this subject, and there are numerous avenues of thought radiating from this central theme of salvation into related areas which should be explored in order to get a comprehensive grasp of this grand truth. But we cannot hope to do that tonight. I shall endeavor however, by selecting a few texts and references, to make this wonderful subject as simple and clear as possible; and I hope that no one will leave this house tonight without a practical knowledge of the miracle-working power of the gospel.

A YOUNG MAN ASKED ME, "ARE YOU SAVED?"

  A few years ago (about 1955) a young man walked up to me and asked: "are you saved?" I looked at him for a moment wondering just what answer I should give, and trying to determine in my mind just what he meant; and finally I replied, "well I hope to be." I've thought of that question many times since. Just what did this young man mean by being saved? Over the years as I have searched through the pages of the dear old Book, I have eventually come to some rather definite conclusions concerning this great issue.


  In the first place, I now know what this particular young man meant when he asked if I were saved, because I have learned something about the organization with which he was affiliated. What he meant was "are you going to escape the eternal torment of hell-fire, and live in the blissful environment of the new earth?" It was very thoughtful of him to be interested in my welfare to that extent, and although I cannot entirely agree with his views on this subject, I was, nevertheless, brought to seriously consider this great matter of salvation.

TWO ASPECTS TO SALVATION

  In the second place, I have concluded that there are two aspects to salvation. First; receiving the gift of eternal life and thereby escaping the penalty of sin which is eternal death, and second; getting rid of the habit of sin. I repeat these two phases in the process of salvation:

142

  One; being saved from the penalty of sin, and Two; being saved from the habit of continuing in sin. Let us consider the first of these aspects for a few moments: 


  The Bible tells us that we are all sinners - we're all transgressors of God's law and are therefore guilty and deserving of eternal death." .... all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The death of the sinner is an everlasting death, from which there can be no hope of a resurrection." (Early Writings, page 21 & 218). These references make the situation quite clear.


  You may ask, in what way can we be considered transgressors of God's law? have we murdered someone - have we stolen goods which do not belong to us? - have we borne false witness? Perhaps not. It is possible that we do not brazenly and willingly transgress the clear requirements of the Ten Commandments, but does that in itself mean that we are without sin, and not guilty before the law?

  The rich young ruler who came to Jesus testified that he had kept the commandments from his youth, and yet he asked, "what lack I yet?" Jesus answered, "go sell that thou hast and give to the poor." Keeping all the commandments was not adequate in this man's case because he was selfish at heart, and though the word selfishness is not written into the Ten Commandment law, it is nevertheless the basis of all sin. Self-centeredness is the cause of all evil.

TWO KINDS OF LOVE

  There are two kinds of genuine love: First; love for others, and second; love for self. The first of these is the law of life; and the second is the law of death. Let me read this to you - Desire of Ages, p. 20:

  "In the light from Calvary, it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which 'seeketh not her own' has its source in the heart of God." This is the law of life.

  And then from Review and Herald 1901, February 26th: "There are many, many professed Christians who are not cleansed from sin. They are selfish and self-sufficient. Their experience is Christless." And note what John says about a Christless life: "he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1st John 5:12). This is the law of death. These two are summarized in Matthew 10:39: "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake, shall find it."

143

  There's not one of us who does not have a self-centered motive in some of his actions, and any trace of selfishness is sin. That paints a pretty hopeless picture doesn't it? And it is hopeless. Man cannot change his nature of sinfulness any more than "the leopard can change his spots". This nature was traced into his inheritance from the time of Adam, and gave to him the instinct of fear and self-preservation.


FEAR - THE FIRST RESULT OF SIN

  The first result of sin in the experience of Adam was that he became afraid and hid himself. He lost his confidence in the love of God. Fear has subsequently brought to mankind a whole train of woes in its wake. We're all instinctively fearful of insecurity; and this leads us to do many things which may be hurtful to others. We're continually looking out for ourselves to the exclusion of others - we are self-centered. This is not the type of life which Jesus lived. Our fear, which is a lack of trust in the forgiving power and merciful protection of God, causes us to act selfishly in our own interest, and thus to transgress God's law of life, which is self-renunciation. We are consequently under the condemnation of eternal death.

  Is there no way that we can escape this penalty? Yes, there is. Escape from the penalty of sin is available "without money and without price" - free of charge. The only stipulation is that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31). "He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24). "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel, ... He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:15 & 16). "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1st John 1:9). We could multiply texts in this connection.

LIFE FOR DEATH

  Let us then be clear on this point: Eternal life is a gift of God, bestowed on all who accept the Lord Jesus as the supreme Ruler and Authority in the universe, and who acknowledge Him as the Saviour from eternal death. John 6:40: "And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

144

  It is an act of faith on the part of the sinner which places him in a position of adoption into the family of God. His transgressions are all forgiven; he is accepted as though he had not sinned, and as a child of God, his future life is provided for. Just as any normal parent provides for the welfare of his children, so does Christ provide for those who accept Him. If the sinner continues in transgression, he is but heaping an additional burden on the true Sin-bearer, just as any disobedient child heaps an additional burden of suffering on his sorrowing parents. But his sins will be forgiven "until seventy times seven," or as often as confession and repentance is made. (Matthew 18:22, and 1st John 1:9).


  This is a tremendous gift. It is entirely undeserved favor, and therefore it manifests the enormous grace of God. It is the gospel or good news of salvation. We are saved from the penalty of the law by the grace of God, through faith. In the gift of the heritage of Christ, we receive His life and He accepts our death; and the sinner's death is an everlasting death.

  Early Writings - 218: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die an everlasting death - a death from which there will be no hope of a resurrection; ... " This is the death which Christ accepted for us.

  Desire of Ages, p. 25: "Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His."

  Thus, all fear of eternal death is removed from us by the grace of God. We may now rejoice in liberty and life when we bow down to Christ as our Sovereign.

  It is not hard to accept Christ as your Saviour. All you need to do is to get acquainted with Him, find out what kind of person, what kind of character He really is, by reading His love letter to you - the Scriptures -, and by accepting the promises He makes to you. And when you see and experience the wonderful benevolence of His character, you will have no difficulty in accepting Him as your supreme Ruler, and in acknowledging the fact that He is the Giver of all life, and the Forgiver of all confessed sins.

  That is the only condition you have to fulfill in order to gain eternal life. Let us make no mistake about this!

145

  Salvation is not earned by obedience (Steps to Christ, page 66). But why did God do such a thing? For two reasons: First; He knew that we could not keep His law with a self-seeking motive, and if He should require us to keep it as a condition of eternal life, we would be endeavoring to do just that very thing - trying to live up to the requirements of the law in order to gain eternal life and escape hell fire, - a self-centered motive. The experience of ancient Israel gave ample demonstration that this old covenant did not work. It was found faulty. They had not the power to keep it without being forced (cf. Hebrews 8:7 &13).


  The second reason that God removed the penalty of the law from us is that He loved us. He loved us with so much unutterable love that He Himself, in the person of His Son, accepted the penalty of that just and immutable law, and "He suffered the death which was ours;" as we have already read. He paid for the damages of our naughtiness. John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

  Now you will surely ask: "Is God not taking upon Himself a tremendous responsibility by accepting us into His family while we are yet sinners?" What guarantee does He have that we will not take undue advantage of His wonderful grace and continue in sin, repeatedly claiming His forgiveness "unto seventy times seven"? Should we choose to do that, we would be casting new burdens of sin upon Him, for He suffers as does any loving parent whenever his children sin.

  What does Paul say about this? Romans 6:1 & 2: "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Notice here that Paul recognizes we must die to sin. This presents a new angle, and brings us to the second phase in the plan of salvation - the phase which produces the final result of a holy life, making us fit subjects for the kingdom of heaven. Let us now pursue this thought a bit:

  Shall we turn to Revelation, Chapter 21:21 & 27; and Chapter 22:14 & 15, and find out just what kind of people are going to inherit the kingdom of God? "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it" (the New Jerusalem), "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. ....Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have

146

right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs and sorcerers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." 


  It is very evident that no sinners will enter heaven. But you say, "how can this be?" You told us a few moments ago that all we have to do to escape the penalty of eternal death, is to accept Christ as our Saviour, and believe in Him as the Son of God. You said that the keeping of the law was not made a test of acceptance with God; that our sins are all forgiven as long as we acknowledge them. Yes, that is what I said because that is what the Scripture teaches. But here it says that no sinner will enter heaven. That must surely mean that we have to keep the law to enter heaven. No, it does not say that we have to. It merely says that we will be, - that no transgressor of the law will be there. It is a simple statement of fact. Everyone in heaven will be keeping the law. But not because he has to, - he is not compelled to obey.


  The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that the only form of allegiance acceptable with God is voluntary allegiance (cf. Christ's Object Lessons, 285). There will be no compulsion in God's government; no coercion, no force; - it is contrary to His character of love. We will all be keeping the law but we will be keeping it because we want to. It will be by our own voluntary choice, not because we have to.
                   
  Our keeping of the law will be an outcome of a certain aspect of the plan of salvation which brings about our voluntary allegiance. Do you know what that is? it is the grace of God, manifested in the giving of His Son to be the Bearer of our sins, to die our death, and to give us His life. We are not only saved from eternal death by grace; we are saved from sin by grace. Now listen carefully while I try to make this marvelous fact very plain:

  When the sinner sees the enormous sacrifice which Christ made for Him, when he recognizes the matchless love of the world's Redeemer, when he becomes acutely aware of the beautiful, selfless character of the Saviour, he will loathe himself for his iniquities. (cf. John 6:40; Ezekiel 20:41-43). And when he learns of the sufferings which his continuance in sin causes in the heart of Christ, he will determine to forever forsake Sin.

  By taking away the penalty of sin from the man who repents, God has removed the fear of death from over this man's head and has opened the door for love to come in. He has placed obedience to His law on

147 

the basis of voluntary respect and appreciation. It is by beholding His wonderful character of love that we become changed .. 2 Corinthians 3:17 & 18: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

  You see, we are compelled to forsake sin by the drawing power of love for Him. Love found a way. " ... perfect love casteth out fear" (1 John 4:18); "For the love of Christ constraineth us ... " (2nd Corinthians 5:14). "If a man love me, he will keep my words" (John 14:23). What is it then that motivates a man to keep the Commandments? It is his love for Jesus; - his appreciation for what the Lord has provided for him free of charge.

  [Pub. suggested insert: Patriarchs and Prophets 34 - "The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love - service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service." You see God gave the greatest gift He could give - His only begotten Son. Christ also gave the greatest gift He could give - His own life. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13).

A STARTLING THOUGHT

  The next statement which I'm going to read from the Spirit of Prophecy presents an extremely significant, if not startling thought. It is from the 5th Volume of The Testimonies, p. 214: "It is left with us to remedy the defects in our own characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement."

  What is that? - do you mean that I have to get rid of my own sin? Mrs. White plainly tells us that, "the expulsion of sin from the life is the act of the soul itself." (Desire of Ages, 466). "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, ... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12), that " ... everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2nd Timothy 2:19).

  But I always thought that if I gave my heart to Jesus and surrendered my life to Him, he would automatically cleanse me from

148

all unrighteousness. The Bible says He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness, but it does not say that the process is automatic. It is a promise; and every promise supplies the power for its fulfillment. [cf. 8th Volume of The Testimonies p. 10].


  Wherein then, is this power? Review & Herald, April 1st, 1890: "Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only One who can arouse in the natural heart, enmity against sin. He is the source of our power if we would be saved." You see, we do need a power to enable us to implement our decision to cease from sin - so there it is. We ourselves must choose to obey God. We must choose not to yield to the temptations of sin. The plan of salvation does not destroy the freedom of choice.


  But even as I cannot raise my arm if it is paralyzed, no matter how much I will to do it, neither can I overcome sin by choosing to do so in my own strength. I must receive a source of power. How can I obtain this power? Education page 126: "The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This Word imparts power; it begets life.... received into the soul, it brings with it, the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God." There it is young people, the creative energy that called the worlds into existence - that is the power which "transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God." It is found in His Word.

  And what is this creative energy? Christ's Object Lessons, page 38: "He who by faith receives the Word, is receiving the very life and character of God .... "The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life!" (John 6:63).

  Again we ask, what is the life and character of God which we may receive? Desire of Ages, page 20: "In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which 'seeketh not her own' has its source in the heart of God." 1st John 4:8: "God is love." This is the life and character of God; it is His self-denying love.

  When this life is received, it will provide the energy to reproduce the pure life of Christ in us. Christ's Object Lessons 38: "He who by faith receives the Word is receiving the very life and character of God .... Receive into the soul by faith, the incorruptible seed of the Word, and it will bring forth a character and a life after the similitude of the character and the life of God."

149

  Here then is the means whereby the character and image of God will be reproduced in His people. It is the message of the gospel of the grace and love of God, revealed in His Word and received into the soul by faith. When it is accomplished, He will come to claim them as His own (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 69). This everlasting gospel must go to every nation and kindred, and tongue and people, and then shall the end come (cf. Matthew 24:14). "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). I want that life, don't you? I want to have a character similar to the divine character of the lowly Jesus, don't you?


  Let me read it again from another passage - Christ's Object Lessons, page 114: "The experimental knowledge of God" - that is the experimental knowledge of His self-renouncing love, (for God is love), "and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe." This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching the Word of God. And this treasure may be found by every soul who will give all to obtain it."

ARE YOU SEARCHING FOR TREASURE?

  Are you willing to search for this treasure, and give all to obtain it? It will make you a son of God, and give to you the mastery in your life. But in your search for this treasure you must remember one thing: It is possible to read the word of God, to study it from cover to cover, and not obtain its priceless treasure. Listen to this quotation from Christ's Object Lessons, page 408: "Without the Spirit of God, a knowledge of His word is of no avail. The theory of the truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart." How then can we make sure that we get this Spirit? Review and Herald 1945, February 1st: "If God's Holy Spirit is asked for, if we plead as did Moses, 'Show me thy glory,' the love of God will be shed abroad in our hearts." Let me see thy glory, Lord. Let me catch a glimpse of Thy divine and holy character. Let me be filled with the knowledge of the beauty of Thy matchless grace, and then will come to pass the words of John 14:23: "If a man love Me, he will keep My words", because "the love of Christ constraineth us" (2nd Corinthians 5:14).

150

  Love is the most powerful force in all the universe. It will motivate a man to go contrary to all his selfish impulses. He will deny himself for one he truly loves. Love is the creative energy of God which brought the worlds into existence, and it is this same energy which will bring about the new creation in us. To be born of God means to be born of love. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." (1 John 4:7).


  And what is the result of being born again? "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1st John 3:9). "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." (Galatians 5:14). This is the completely self-denying love which has its source in the heart of God. This is the life and character of God.

YOU STILL HAVE SIN IN YOUR SOUL TEMPLE DON'T YOU?

  Do you want that love to be shed abroad in your heart tonight? Do you long to overcome all your sins and besetments, to be saved from your sins? Jesus will do it for you. For the promise is that "He shall save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21). You still have sin in your soul temple yet tonight, don't you? You've tried to get rid of it but couldn't, haven't you? Here is the answer to your problem. Search the living Word for the beautiful story of the gospel of God's love and grace. Ask for the Spirit of God, which is the Spirit of love, to be shed abroad in your heart; then you will be born again - born of love - and you cannot sin.

  And when this love of God enters your life you will discover yourself becoming more gentle, more kind, and more patient. You will find your heart going out in deeper sympathy for the welfare of others. When you see someone injured or going through a hard experience, you will not catch yourself saying, "serves him right - he deserves it." Instead, you will be filled with the spirit of forgiveness toward him. You will obtain your greatest happiness in making others happy. You will love your neighbor as yourself and thereby keep the law of God. You cannot resist this constraining power - you cannot sin.

  I need this Spirit of grace in my heart tonight. I long with yearning desire to be honored with this supreme love in my life - what about you? To be born of love is God's greatest miracle. Let us bow our heads in prayer:

151

  Dear Lord, we have caught a little glimpse of thy glory here tonight as we have studied thy word together. We long for the complete transformation of our characters into the likeness of thy divine image. Please work the miracle of shedding the Spirit of thy love abroad in our hearts just now, that we may go forth from this place with power to keep thy law, and to cleanse our soul temples from every defilement. Help us to love one another and to forgive one another in Jesus name, Amen."

[Conclusion of Chapel talk entitled The New Birth presented at Canadian Union College, March 16th, 1958, by J W. Johnson].


THE GOVERNMENT OF HEAVEN BEFORE SIN

  It will be noticed that in this [preceding] talk, some features about the new birth have been completely omitted, necessarily so, because of its brevity. The most serious omission is that of the principle of suffering as it is associated with the victory over sin. This feature will be dealt with at a later point, as we now attempt a survey of the plan of salvation:

  First, there are a few points concerning the government of heaven as it existed before the advent of sin on which we should be clear: Government is the exercise of the power of authority, through decisions, to make a set of regulations which administer control over the operations of a dominion.

MECHANICAL DOMINION

  There are two kinds of dominions: First - Mechanical- that is, dominion in which the objects or creatures do not have freedom of choice, and where all functioning is strictly according to the mechanical laws under which they operate. Before Lucifer was created this was the kind of dominion over which God ruled. His activities consisted of designing and creating laws of physics, chemistry and biology; and of manipulating these to create ever-increasing, new, and more complex patterns. These works of God constitute the establishment of the physical universe.

152

GOD LIMITED HIS OWN POWER OF CHOICE IN BESTOWING FREE WILL


  Second - The second kind of dominion involves the application of the principle of God's divine character of selfless love in creating living beings which were endowed with the principle of free choice or decision. In making such creatures, God actually gave something of Himself - something of His own prerogative; for in giving to others the privilege of free choice He was limiting His own choice, and was opening the door to the possibility that one of these free-willed creatures would choose to do something contrary to the choice of God.

  If indeed it were not possible for a free-willed being to choose to do something contrary to God's choice, then that being could in no wise be considered to have a free choice, but must of necessity be functioning according to predetermined mechanical laws.

CREATIVE GENIUS ARISES OUT OF FREE CHOICE

  By giving His creatures a free and independent choice, God was releasing a measure of His own autonomy, and sharing it with others. A creation of free-will beings was an outworking of the basic principle of God's character - self-renouncing love. Why should God want to do such a thing? The reason will be clear when we understand the nature of the free will, and the noble characteristics of God's personality. The free will has the attribute of creative power. It is by an autonomous choice that something entirely new - something never before existing, - can be brought forth. It is because individuals have free choices that creative genius arises.

ANIMALS CAN CREATE NOTHING NEW

  An animal cannot create anything new. All the activities of animals are brought about through the instinctive laws under which they function. They cannot create anything new. What new habits of behavior they stumble upon are but the outgrowth of their instincts in relation to the external environment. [cf. Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 1, p. 319]

  But not so with a free-will being. Such a being has the independent heritage of individual choice, over and above all instinct, and habit, and environment - even of God. If God should ever force an individual to go contrary to that individual's own choice, He would be effectually

153

depriving that individual of his freedom of choice. That is why God could not use force in implementing the plan of salvation. This is an important point!

SELF-DENYING LOVE IMPELLED GOD TO CREATE

  Now the attribute in God's personality which impelled Him to create free-will beings, was His supreme, divine love - His self-denying love. For God to live in a mechanical universe, manipulating only the mechanical structures of His own hand, would be a very self-centered and selfish existence. God's self-denying love impelled Him to crave fellowship.

FELLOWSHIP - THE GREATEST GIFT WE CAN RENDER TO GOD

  Fellowship can only be had with others of like characteristics. All the mechanical creatures would serve God without any question for they had no choice, - they could not do otherwise. But free-will beings would not have to serve Him - they could be independent. If they did serve Him, it would be because they chose to do so. And if they chose to do so they would bestow on God the greatest gift He could receive; the honor, respect, and worship - the fellowship, if you please, of His created beings.

  Only a voluntary homage could provide God with satisfaction. If the homage was from fear or from selfish desire, it could not serve its purpose of honoring God and providing Him with genuine fellowship; for certainly it is true that a free-will being could serve God for the loaves and the fishes. He could obey every desire of God because, by so doing, He might earn the favor of God and gain rewards for himself. But this is selfish in motive. It constitutes doing works of righteousness in order to gain favor with God. Such behavior is called self-righteousness in the Scriptures, and is as "filthy rags" in God's sight. It is not the kind of allegiance which God desires.


VOLUNTARY ALLEGIANCE - THE VERY NATURE OF GOD'S GOVERNMENT

  The only kind of service or allegiance from free-will beings, with which God can be happy, is voluntary allegiance based on adoration for His righteous character of self-sacrifice. God is glorified by the reproduction of His own righteous character of self-sacrifice in the hearts of His free-will beings. This is essentially the nature of God's government.

154

FREE WILL OPENS POSSIBILITIES FOR VAST EXPANSIONS


  Through the introduction of free-will beings into God's universe, He provided the possibility for vast expansions in the creation of new things; and these creations could be wrought through the spontaneous decisions of His free-will beings. What parent has not been delighted at the almost daily spontaneous innovations of new expressions and actions by his growing children? Through these new creatures, God could devise the grandest enterprises; but the success of these enterprises would depend upon the harmony of action among these creatures, and with their God. This is where the moral law of God comes in.

ANNOYANCE SOON RIPENS INTO HATRED

  Wherever a group of free-will beings exist together in a community, harmony can prevail only if these beings have a regard for one another, only if they consider each better than himself, only as each loves his neighbor as himself and is willing to deny himself for the benefit of his friends. As soon as any member of the group begins to think and act for the benefit of himself at the expense of his neighbors, then the harmony of their existence is destroyed. Love cannot survive under these circumstances. Annoyance begins, and annoyance soon ripens into hatred.

  The ultimate outcome of selfishness can be clearly seen in the history of this world; hence the law of life in the universe of God must, of necessity, be the law of self-denying love. This was revealed on the cross of Calvary, according to the statement in Desire of Ages. [p. 20]

  Lucifer was the first being created with a free will. He was the "son of the morning," the dawn of a new day in God's creation. Henceforth, Christ, the Son of God through whom God had performed all things and who was the outward manifestation of the person of God, - I say, henceforth, Christ could be supreme Ruler under only two circumstances: First; if Lucifer, of his own free will chose to serve and honor Christ as supreme Ruler, or second; if He forced Lucifer to obey Him by punishing him for disobedience.

  The former of these two circumstances was the one which prevailed in the government of Heaven.

155

  Christ shared with Lucifer the choice of working with the created laws and works of the universe. He shared with him the plans for great enterprises and the working out of those plans. He permitted Lucifer to share in the creation of new worlds. Lucifer saw and shared in the creation of the hosts of heaven, for these were all wrought through the functioning of the established physical laws of God, and many years were allowed to bring these things forth.


  As this thing grew, Christ shared with all His free-will beings the choice of creative work. They were permitted to use their freedom of choice to invent and produce new things. Lucifer, the wisest and most talented of all, became so wise in his understanding of the laws of nature that he began to feel highly independent. Christ had given him increasing authority, and the angels had learned to respect and admire him. The selfless character of Christ opened the door for Lucifer to yield to the temptation to be self-satisfied.

CHRIST'S HUMILITY PREVENTED HIM FROM DISPLAYING HIS GREAT POWER

  The great humility of Christ prevented Him from displaying His great authority and power lest His creatures should mistake Him for an autocratic, self-centered dictator. And because of the generous gifts which Christ so unostentatiously bestowed on Lucifer, the latter acquired such a degree of self-satisfaction and self-confidence that he actually felt he could manage the laws of the universe, as well as, or even a little better than Christ. He reached the place where he did not quite see the need for Christ's being the supreme Ruler. After all, did not the angels obey his suggestions - were they not loyal to him?

THE PRINCIPLE OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

  There are two principles which open the door to the possibility of transgressing God's law. The first one - the principle of the free-will, as we have already discussed; and the second - the principle of individual differences.

  Let us consider this second principle which paved the way for transgression. Had every creature which God created been exactly and identically like every other creature, there could have been no covetousness. No one could look at his neighbor and say, "I wish I were in his shoes - I wish I had been endowed with his talents, with his gifts, with his beauty, or with his position of honor." But if God

156

had created everyone exactly alike, what terrible monotony would have prevailed. Future possibilities would have been extremely limited had all beings been made precisely alike. 


DIFFERENCES PROVIDE FOR UNNUMBERED AND MAJESTIC POSSIBILITIES


  In His great wisdom and justice, God made each one of His creatures individually different and autonomous. By so doing, He provided for a vastly greater number of potential possibilities. With diversity of talents and abilities, with diversity of positions and organization, God foresaw the majestic things which were possible for the future.

DIFFERENCES ALSO PROVIDE FOR ENVY, JEALOUSY AND COVETOUSNESS

  But the moment individual differences appear, there arises the possibility of envy and jealousy and covetousness. One may be tempted to feel that he has been short-changed in the gifts and talents, which he did not receive, compared to his neighbor. The irony of this thing lies specifically in the fact that covetousness first arose in the heart of him who had been endowed with the greatest of all talents and beauty and honor and position; for Lucifer was the first of every creature in all of these, save only Christ, the Son of God. If anyone had just cause to complain about his lot, certainly it was not Lucifer.

LUCIFER FAILED TO ACCEPT HIS POSITION

  It would be well for us to remember the admonition of Scripture, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" [Philippians 4:11]. This makes clear the essential need for a moral law, requiring consideration and respect for others, and regarding one's own position with humility. All that we have is a gift of God; and we cannot attain a greater happiness than that which is possible through a consecration of our talents to the service of our Maker, using them in the way in which they were intended to be used to further His profound purposes. Were we to be placed in any other position than that for which our pattern of creation was designed, we could not attain our greatest happiness. The foot cannot serve very well as a hand, nor the ear as an eye; and in the body of Christ each member is designed for its particular function.

157

  It was a failure to recognize this which set Lucifer off on the wrong track. Basically, it was a loss of trust or faith in the justice of God, in honoring Christ above himself, which caused Lucifer to cherish the seeds of covetousness. And this loss of faith arose from his recognition of his own great superiority over the other beings of creation; - his great wisdom, his great beauty, his exalted position. In nourishing this pride in himself and in the allegiance which the other angels rendered him, he slipped into the temptation to covet the greatest position of all.

CHRIST ALONE HAD THE PREROGATIVE OF CREATIVE POWER

  There was one activity which was the exclusive right of Christ, and that was creation. Christ alone had the prerogative of creative power. But Christ shared this power with His creatures. All the works of creation in the universe were wrought and accomplished through the agency of His created beings. Of these, Lucifer was the superior. Lucifer was taken into the counsels in the planning of new worlds, and took an active part in executing those plans.

  Because of the unostentatious nature of Christ's character of self-sacrifice, He never made it a point to display His supreme position, though everyone was informed that Christ was the true source of creative power, operating behind those laws of nature through which the works of progressive creation were being accomplished.

  Because of this characteristic of humility in Christ, Lucifer concluded that maybe Christ was pulling the wool over their eyes. He began to doubt the word of his Maker, just as many scientists today, because of their knowledge and understanding of the laws of nature, feel that there is no need for a personal God behind those laws, to keep them in continual operation. They make God out to be a liar and deceiver.


SIN BEGAN WITH THE ONE WHO HAD THE LEAST REASON TO SIN

  Thus, we note that sin began with one who had the least reason to sin; and it began with a shifting of faith on the part of Lucifer from the true Creator to himself. It began with a feeling of utter independence and complete self-satisfaction - It began with loss of faith in the word of Christ as it proclaimed Him to be the true source of creation.

158

  Lucifer believed first; he could handle the physical laws of nature as well as Christ could, and thereby bring about future creations independently of Christ, and second; that he could change God's law of self-denial a little to make room for some self-indulgence. And if it were necessary on occasion to get things done, any creatures who were hesitant to obey orders, could be made to do so with a little force or punishment.

   THE EVERLASTING COVENANT - PROVISIONARY PLAN SHOULD SIN ARISE
[FROM HERE THROUGH PAGE 176]

  Christ foresaw the possibility of this transgression of His basic law before He ever made Lucifer, and provision was made through the everlasting covenant with His Father, to handle the situation. This whole process of the plan of salvation, designed to remedy the effects of sin, could have been eliminated had Christ been willing to dispense with the free-will principle in His creatures.

  But Christ considered the free-will principle of such tremendous value to His Father, that He was willing to sacrifice His own life in order to preserve it. God considered this principle of the free will so important that He was willing to give His only-begotten Son to preserve it. And this willingness on the part of God and Christ reveals the true nature of His character - self-renunciation.

  It was in the interest of sharing His own prerogative of independence and creative power, that God created beings with freedom of choice. This great heritage of independence which is ours, has been preserved for us only through the death of the Son of God, and His complete self-sacrifice.

  The plan of salvation involved the creation of a new world, (this earth), to be a proving ground to reveal the true nature of the two forms of government and the two kinds of character on which they were based. Lucifer was not consulted in the planning of this world - this world was created without him. This proved that Christ did not have to depend upon Lucifer to carry forward His plans. What share Lucifer had in them in the past was given him out of unselfish consideration by Christ.

159

CHRIST OVER-STEPS HIS USUAL METHOD OF CREATING A WORLD

  Furthermore, Christ did not bind himself by the established laws of evolutionary creation whereby Lucifer had operated in the past. Rather, Christ overstepped the usual method of creating, and made this earth and its equipment in six days - a most gigantic demonstration of creative genius such as Lucifer nor the rest of the universe had ever seen before.

  And having performed this great feat, contrary to the usual custom of His humble nature, and knowing that in consequence of His taking upon Himself the task of revealing His tremendous power, contrary to the law of His nature but for the ultimate purpose of saving the universe from destruction under Lucifer's rule, and knowing that because of this He must soon die the everlasting death, - He made a memorial of this unique creation to be a perpetual reminder of the fact that He was the true Creator behind the laws of nature; and that no one can create anything through these laws of nature without His (Christ's) personal power to implement it and sustain it.

  This same Sabbath memorial was given to be a safeguard forever against anyone ever again losing faith in Christ as Creator, and placing all confidence in the creatures and the laws of nature.

LUCIFER DESTROYED ALLEGIANCE TO GOD IN THE UNIVERSE

  Lucifer had destroyed the harmonious allegiance of the universe. As a result of his work, some doubted the justice of God and the true position of Christ. They questioned the right of Christ to be supreme Ruler, for Lucifer had suggested that Christ demanded homage and worship because He was self-centered, and that He was just pretending to be considerate in sharing with the rest of the created beings.

  The plan of salvation was designed to vindicate the character of God and His Son Christ, to prove that Christ was the rightful heir to the throne of God, to reveal without doubt that the character of God was one of self-denying love, and thus to win back the allegiance, (the willing allegiance and worship), of the free-will beings in the universe. This is summed up in the term "to glorify God", to show the true glory of God's character; - that is the purpose of the plan of salvation!

160

MAN WAS MADE AN EXPERIMENTAL CREATURE


  In order to do it, God made man on this earth to be a sort of experimental creature through whom the whole business could be demonstrated. (cf. Testimonies to Ministers 18). Satan was given a chance to prove his form of government, sidestepping the law of self-denial and replacing it with the law of self-indulgence, and eliminating the allegiance of love and substituting the allegiance of force and fear.

SATAN AS A BIOLOGICAL CREATOR - AND HIS SUNDAY

  It is not difficult to discern the results of Satan's work. Before the flood, he was given the opportunity to show what kind of biological creator he would make, for the principle of evolution of species was then possible. The giant, nondescript dragons, and frightfully mingled species, even including man, were so grotesque in the sight of God that He destroyed it all with a flood; but not until the universe had seen the kind of creation of which Lucifer was capable. Only a meager evidence of this episode in the history of the world still remains.

  Then, in connection with the moral law of God, Satan gave the lie to God's word. He inspired Eve to doubt God's word. He caused Eve to question the authority of God and His integrity, and instead to place her trust in one of the created beings of the Garden. This has always been Satan's trick, to inspire doubt concerning God's word, and to direct confidence to the creature and the physical laws of creation. Even his spurious sign of allegiance (Sunday worship) originally pointed men to the powers of nature through the sun.

  But as the Sabbath is the sign of miraculous creation, Satan will yet change the significance of Sunday worship to represent faith in the miraculous resurrection or re-creation of Jesus; and thus once more attempt to destroy the works of God by usurping the very meaning of the Sabbath symbol, and applying it to his own spurious symbol, as we have already pointed out on a previous tape. [Refer to pages 63 & 64 in this book]. There is a very subtle meaning in this scheme.

  The everlasting covenant was an agreement between Christ and His Father. This agreement can never quite be comprehended without a little understanding, at least, of the relationship between the Father and the Son. God the Father is the mysterious personal being who is the foundation and source of all things. Christ was His Son, born of Him and as "One brought up with Him" [Proverbs 8:30]. Christ was with

161

His Father from everlasting. Nothing was made except through Christ. Christ is the only personal manifestation of God the Father. All created works reveal the Father, - but only Christ reveals the personality of the Father. When the voice of God spoke, it was through the voice of Christ. Christ was One with His Father - The Father dwelt in Him. Christ sat on the throne of His Father. Christ was the God of heaven and earth. It was Christ who worked and spoke with Lucifer.


  It was Christ who had made Lucifer. It was Christ who made the world, who spoke to Adam in the Garden, who spoke to Moses at the burning bush, who followed Israel in the sanctuary, who spoke His words of truth to the prophets of old. But the things which Christ said and did, were but the expression of the will of His Father. The will of Christ was in perfect harmony with the will of His Father. It is in this same sense that the will of man is to be merged with the will of Christ, so that man in working out the purposes of his own will, is but working out the purposes of Christ; for they are in perfect harmony [cf. Desire of Ages, page 668.

  God the Father functioned through His Son, Christ. The heritage which Christ received from His Father was the great structure of His eternal body and blood. Christ, as an independent person, had the prerogative of wielding all power, of receiving all knowledge, and of exercising all wisdom. The mighty, omnipresent Spirit of the eternal God was His.

CHRIST'S GREAT BODY WAS LINKED WITH THE HOLY GHOST

  Every person can only function through a body. Through his own body a person has contact with his environment, and receives a knowledge of it, and of himself, through the sensory organs of the body. Similarly, one can operate and execute his decisions only through the body temple in which he dwells.

  The body in which Christ functioned was the great omnipotent body which was linked with the eternal Spirit of God. When Christ spoke at the creation of this world, it was the Spirit of God which moved upon the face of the waters. When Christ gave up the Ghost in His momentous death, it was the Holy Ghost; and this was the Spirit which returned to God. Through this original spiritual body, Christ received the knowledge of all truth, for He was conscious of all things which had ever happened and could ever recall these to mind. Through this great spiritual body, He could reach out to all parts of the universe

162

and execute His decisions - He had all knowledge and all power. And finally, there was no problem which could possibly arise in the universe which He was not able to solve, for through this great heritage of His eternal body He had all wisdom and judgment.


  If Lucifer had understood this enormous heritage of Christ, perhaps he might have had some justification for resenting the superiority of Christ. But if he had understood the true nature of Christ's character, he could never have questioned the justice of God in bestowing such a heritage upon His only-begotten Son, for the character of Christ is the noblest of any in the entire universe, and this fact is proved by the terms of the everlasting covenant, and brought forcefully home to our dull senses by the cross of Calvary.

CHRIST ORIGINATED THE PROPOSAL FOR THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
(FROM HERE THROUGH PAGE 165) l CP. ALSO EW, PP 149 THRU 150]

  It was to reveal this matchless character of self-sacrifice that the everlasting covenant and the plan of salvation were instituted. For only as this character was clearly seen by all the creatures of the universe could the accusations of Lucifer be forever silenced, and could the free-will beings return to unquestioned and implicit confidence in the justice of the character of their Ruler, and thus be able to serve Him purely out of reverence and love. And what was the everlasting covenant? It was an agreement which Christ proposed to His Father, out of His own volition, born purely from His own free choice, entirely independent of His Father.

  Had Christ not been a separate personality, He could not have thus acted apart from the decision of His Father. And while the decisions of Christ were always in harmony with the will of the Father, nevertheless, He could think and act independently, and make His own independent and autonomous decisions. This He did in proposing to make the everlasting agreement.

  It took an effort on the part of the Father to make His own decision to accept the proposal of the Son. It might help us to understand the significance of this independent decision on the part of Christ, if we realize first, that God the Father was not a crystallized, visible form as was the Son. The nature of the Father was a form over and apart from the outward form of His Son Christ, which was visible to the hosts of heaven. The Father was not visible to these [cf. Col. 1:15; 1st Tim 1:17; Heb. 11:27, John 1:18].

163

  In making the covenant with God, Christ communed with His Father in a somewhat similar manner in which we may commune with God at the present time; for through the merits of Christ, we today may enter boldly into the most holy apartment of the dwelling place of God, and "sup with Him." We too may make our covenant with God.


WHAT WAS IT THAT CHRIST PROPOSED TO THE FATHER?

  If we realize the tremendous faith it must have taken on the part of Christ to believe that His Father would accept and agree to fulfill His part of the proposal, we will have a greater appreciation of the price of this covenant. Even after His resurrection, Jesus refused His beloved friends the privilege of touching Him, until He had ascended to His Father, to ascertain whether the sacrifice had been accepted, and whether the Father would fulfill His part of the bargain. And what did Christ propose?:

  First: Christ proposed to create a demonstration world, and man, through whom the principles of the two forms of government could be revealed.

  Second: To reveal unquestionably that He was the true Creator by creating the world in six days, contrary to the usual method of slow, evolving growth through the manipulation of the physical laws of nature, and through the assistance of the created beings [Volume 3 of Spiritual Gifts, page 36].

  Third: To bless a seventh day as a Sabbath rest, to be a memorial of this unique creation forever; and to be a sign of faith in Christ as the true Creator, and a sign of belief that Christ has the prerogative of an individual, independent choice; and that by virtue of His position, He has the right to request His subjects to honor a specific request of His - even if for no other reason than that He asked them to do it, - thus demonstrating implicit faith in His supreme judgment.

  Fourth: Christ proposed to relinquish His exclusive heritage as Son of God - to lay down His eternal body and blood as an act of supreme self-sacrifice. He did this for three main reasons: (1) To permit the eternal record of sin, which would be recorded in His all-knowing body, to be eradicated through the death of the eternal memory which He had by virtue of that body; (2) To prove the true nature of the character of self-denial - ("Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"), and (3) To make provision for this heritage to be bestowed upon man.

164

  The Fifth Proposal: In exchange for this sacrifice on the part of Christ, He proposed that His Father accept man as a substitute for His Son, and bestow on man the heritage which had been His - to give to man the blessings of the eternal body and blood. If God would do this, it would be possible for man to sin, and yet receive eternal life through this heritage. But should He do so, man could become an eternal sinner.


  Six: To forestall such an eventuality, Christ proposed that God, through the Holy Ghost, first bestow the personal personality and character of His Son on One man, and permit this Son of man to grow up in the environment of sinful earth and prove the merits of that character in living without sin; and furthermore, permit this same Son of man to be the first partaker of the heritage of Christ in the form of the anointing of the Holy Ghost - to restore to Him a measure of the prerogatives of Christ, and by means of these to demonstrate that He would use these only for the benefit of others and not for Himself.

  Seven: Christ further proposed that God permit Him to accept the penalty of the transgressions of repentant sinners and bear the punishment of everlasting death for them, if in return, God would accept sinful man as though he had not sinned, and take him into the family of God as an adopted son. Christ proposed that He be permitted to be the eternal Surety for the sins of such men, - that if they should continue in sin He would be the one to bear the eternal sufferings for those sins.

  Eight: Christ proposed that in the revelation of this story of the everlasting gospel to man - the news of sins forgiven at the expense of Jesus Christ, and through the privilege of sharing in the sufferings of Christ, - men would desire to overcome their sins out of love and respect for the character of God, revealed through Christ.

   Nine: Christ proposed that when such men turn to God and repent of their sins, they be given a share in the former heritage of Christ through the baptism of the Holy Ghost, - that is, the eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ. By means of this heritage, man would receive the power to become a new-born son of God, to be born of love, and thereby be able to cease from sin.

  Ten: Thus, through the sacrificial death of Christ, man could be brought into harmony with the law of God, and inherit the eternal life of Christ. Christ Jesus would ever stand as surety for man's sins, and not until repentant man refused to sin any more would Jesus be released

165 

from the penalty of those transgressions, and be released from the eternal sufferings of sin, and the process of eternal death. This would provide the selfless motive for man, to enable him to overcome sin through his love for Jesus.

  Eleven: Jesus would stand as Intercessor and Mediator for man, preventing man from being destroyed as a consequence of his own transgressions; and He would stand in this position until such time as 144,000 human beings had reached the point of victory over sin. These "first fruits" unto God would constitute the new body temple of the Holy Ghost - the new body of Christ - and would be united with Jesus, the Head, as in a marriage union. And the fullness of the Holy Ghost would be bestowed on them, to make them the new tabernacle of God - the new Son of God. Each member a son of God - all sons of God - the new eternal body of Christ, with Jesus as the Head!


  ["Let us bear in mind that Christ is the great central heart from which the life blood flows to every part of the great body of humanity. He is the head from which extend the nerves that reach even to the utmost parts of the body. When one member of the body with which Christ is so mystically connected, suffers, the throb of pain is felt by our Saviour." Review and Herald, Oct. 16th, 1894].

  Twelve: Jesus would bear the sinfulness of all mankind in His own human body, and accept the eternal death of the sinner. By virtue of this, the gift of the Holy Ghost would have to be relinquished before the death of the cross, and He would suffer a separation from His Father. The personalities of the Father and the Son would have to separate because of the stain of sin borne by the Son. [cf. Vol. 7 A of The Bible Commentary, page 924 - "This sundering of the divine powers will never occur again throughout the eternal ages."]

  But in the kingdom, Jesus would again partake of the body and blood with His saints, for they receive that heritage through the terms of the everlasting covenant. And as Jesus becomes married to them, He again partakes of it through them. He is married to His kingdom; and His inheritance is in His saints. This was the position of humility proposed by the Son of God in the everlasting covenant.

  These then are the essential features of the everlasting covenant. The details involve the complete structure of the plan of salvation, and it is impossible for us to trace them all here.

166

ENOCH, MOSES AND ELIJAH - TYPES OF THE DEITY


  By faith in the self-denying character of His Father, Christ accepted His Father's approval. And in the history of this world, He chose one man to represent the merits of perfect righteousness and of walking with God. Such a man would not feel the penalty of death in any form. He would be like God. Thus, he was not; for God took him [Gen. 5:24]. Enoch was chosen to be a type of God the Father who is eternally righteous and never dies. Enoch is the only one of mankind who will never taste of death, even in the form of the death of temporary sleep.


  Christ also chose two other witnesses to bear witness of the outworking of the plan of salvation. These two were Moses and Elijah. The first of these was taken to heaven after passing through the death of sleep; but before his body saw corruption. He was raised into the same body as had been his during his earthly sojourn, although this body was no doubt glorified. He is a type of those who shall be raised from the dead at the second coming of Jesus [DA 421-2].

  Elijah on the other hand, was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire, without seeing death. He is a type of those who shall be translated at the second coming of Jesus. While Enoch was a type of God the Father who never dies, Moses was a type of Christ - the personal representative of God who bore the transgressions of his people. And Elijah was a type of the Holy Spirit, the universal agency of God. These three men are, in a sense, types of the three persons of the Deity; though this is undoubtedly in a limited sense only.

  As Christ and the Holy Ghost are the true Witnesses of God, so are Moses and Elijah the two witnesses of the covenants of Christ. These two have stood before Him and seen the program of salvation. For hundreds of years they have been personal witnesses of the outworking of the plan.


  Through the old covenant, delivered to Israel through Moses on Mount Sinai, God (that is Christ), set about to show that dealing with His people through the incentives of reward and punishment was not adequate to meet the requirements of the law. Even His faithful servant Moses, staggered under the load and fell prey to sin.

  While Christ promised rewards for obedience and punishment for disobedience, and the people "promised to do all that the Lord asked," yet they failed. The covenant did not work because man was a

167

participant and did not keep his part of the bargain. Man's respect for the character of God was not great enough to inspire the necessary motive of self-sacrificing love.

  Meanwhile, Christ instituted the sacrificial service, looking forward to the fulfillment of the everlasting covenant whereby man learned that his sin could be forgiven. But that forgiveness could only come through the sufferings and death of an Innocent One.

  In Our review of the plan of salvation, we are primarily concerned at this time with the outworking of the provisions of the new covenant, particularly as it applies to our present day; and because of this we shall omit many intervening features of the plan, features which, notwithstanding, are also very important.

  We have already noted the position of Moses as one of the personal witnesses of Christ who personally delivered the old covenant or Old Testament to ancient, literal Israel. And we have also noted the foreshadowing of Elijah as the second personal witness, who also went to Mount Horeb to meet with his God, and to learn that he was not the only one who was jealous of the covenant of the Lord his God. He was also to learn that the work of the Lord in the hearts of men would be performed through the provisions of the new covenant in the delivering of the Holy Ghost - the still, small voice of the Spirit of God.

THE PLURALITY OF THE ELIJAH WORK

  The work of Elijah in connection with the new covenant is a rather unique one, in that it has a certain plurality attached to it [cf. pages 194 thru 196 of this book]. It begins with the experience of John the Baptist and is, in a sense, the work of God's own people right on down through the New Testament history; and now, in this our day, it expands into the work of the remnant people.

  It is a work of preparation for the kingdom of Heaven through the preaching of the message of the True Witness. With all of this nevertheless, it re-focuses on the personal work which Elijah must accomplish as a witness of the terms of the everlasting or new covenant.

  This is the covenant which promises the gift of the Holy Ghost to "restore all things" to God's people, and to plant the law of self-denying love, which is the law of God, in their hearts. It is the covenant which promises the forgiveness of sins and their blotting out from the sanctuary, through the application of the eternal blood.

168

  It is clear that God's people are not yet ready for the close of probation. Now is the hour when this message must do its work! Let us now consider some of the important aspects of this work, and of this message:


IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE ELIJAH MESSAGE:

  First: It is the loud-cry message which calls God's people out of the confusion of doctrine in Babylon. This is obviously a necessary part in the preparation.

  Two: It is the message which reveals how the sanctuary of God is to be cleansed, for the Holy Ghost cannot dwell in a temple that is defiled. The final and complete communion of God and Christ through the Holy Ghost cannot occur until the preparation work has been accomplished in the hearts of the body temple of the Holy Ghost.

  Three: It is the message which reveals precisely what the power of God is, which is to give a man victory over his sins. It reminds us that the expulsion of sin from the life is not something which occurs mysteriously and automatically, but that the sinner himself must expel that sin from his life [Desire of Ages 466].

  Four: It is the message which explains the sufferings of Christ, and shows in what way suffering is necessary for victory over sin; and how it can be that"....he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin" [1st Peter 4: 1].

  Five: It is the message that reveals the true nature of the righteousness of Christ as a covering robe, and how this truth is instrumental in enabling the sinner to be victorious.

  Six: It is the message which opens to view the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary as Sin-bearer and surety for His erring people.

  Seven: It is the message which reveals the foundation of the new covenant to be the principle of self-sacrificing love, which principle - the very life and character of God, contained in the seed of His Word and the New Testament in His blood.

  Eight: It is the message which clarifies the everlasting gospel, which clarifies the confusion of doctrine in the fallen churches of Babylon, and which clarifies the nature of God's investigative judgment, and the significance of the Sabbath seal, and the mark of the beast.

These are the three angels' messages.

169

  Let us further elaborate to show how these features are fulfilled in this message: In this testimony we have shown that the apostles, who were the foundation of the Christian Church [cf. Desire of Ages 291, & Acts of the Apostles 595 & 596], which is the new body of Christ, did not completely fulfill the promises which were made concerning them in their initial former rain experience; but that they will be literally born again on the earth in the last day, and at that time the outpouring of the latter rain will complete the work of "guiding them into all truth," and "bringing all things to their remembrance;" that they will be the foundation of the new body temple of Christ, which is to be restored through the 144,000 saints. These 144,000 saints are born again in this last generation, which is known as the regeneration.


THE 144,000 CONSTITUTE THE TRUE SANCTUARY OF GOD

  We have shown that these 144,000 saints constitute the true sanctuary or temple of God which "is not made with hands," and that it is this sanctuary which must be cleansed of all sin, that it may become the spiritual habitation of God. We have shown that these saints are the first-fruits unto God. From each of the eras of the church's history, they are the overcomers spoken of in the messages to the seven churches of Revelation, chapters 2 & 3.

  Down through the centuries, this group of people has been made up from among those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour from sin. They have trusted God implicitly, and have accepted without question the fact of their sins forgiven. No temptation which the devil has ever been able to bring to them has made that faith waiver. They are righteous through the merits of their faith in the righteousness of Christ and the forgiveness by God of their sins. They believe that the death of Christ is accepted in the sight of God as the complete penalty for their transgressions; and they accept the gift of eternal life without the application of self-centered works of righteousness.

  The sole merit of these 144,000 saints, gleaned from the ranks of the historical churches [Acts of the Apostles, pages 585 & 586], lies in their faith in the substitutionary death of Christ for them, and the gift of His life to them. It is not that they have necessarily and completely ceased from all sin, and that they in no wise ever transgress the law of God. They are sorry for their sins; they have confessed their sins, they have

170

repented of their sins - and their sins are forgiven. They have had to go back to God many times to ask forgiveness. Should they have been privileged to live longer than they did, they would undoubtedly have sinned again. But one thing is certain - they would not have lost their faith in the fact that those sins would be forgiven. This is the primary condition of eternal life!


  In this last period of earth's history, and in this last generation, they are raised from the dead - the death of sleep - through the same stages by which Jesus was raised from the cradle of Bethlehem. A new body is born to them; and into this body is bestowed the righteous character of faithfulness which they did originally develop in their former existence. This character is tested in this modern environment by the testing truths, amplified through the testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy, and by the intricate temptations which Satan brings to bear upon them. Through it all, their faith in the forgiveness of their sins, and their righteousness in the sight of God, does not waver. When the testing of these characters is complete, when the investigative judgment is finished, the finishing of the work of imparted righteousness takes place. This is also accomplished by the preaching of the message of the True Witness in the revelation of the truths surrounding the everlasting covenant.

THE CLEANSING OF THE 144,000 - POWER TO EXPEL SIN

  The expansion of the three angels' messages in the loud cry will not only warn the world, it will do its work in the hearts of God's faithful ones. And in conjunction with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain, the sanctuary of l44,000 saints will be cleansed of all the sins which have been transferred to it through the sprinkling of the blood of inheritance. They are re-created in the image of God. They are given a new nature. Through the endowment of the principle of self-sacrificing love (which is the Spirit of God), their natures are transformed. They are re-created, and thereby given the power to expel sins from their lives.

  There are two aspects to the expulsion of sin from the life: The first is accomplished through the acceptance of the gift of the forgiveness of sin. This makes the sinner clear in God's record, for the blame is transferred to the Sin-bearer. This process places the sinner in the position where he is entitled to receive the second phase: namely, the

171

gift of the anointing of the Holy Ghost, which will bring about the new creation in his heart and change his nature, enabling him to refrain from future sin.

  Should this second gift be bestowed on the repentant sinner before his faith had been adequately developed and tested - that is to the point where he never under any circumstances, ever doubts the power of Jesus to obtain pardon for his sins - I say, should this gift come to him before such a condition of faith is reached, the risk of his again falling into sin would be too great, for he might then be in danger of becoming an eternal sinner, as would Adam if he had been permitted to continue to eat of the fruit of the tree of life.

UNCONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY IS BESTOWED ON THE SAINTS SO THEY CAN SURVIVE THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE

  Thus, the final outpouring of the Holy Ghost, giving to man unconditional immortality, will not occur until man has completed the work of strengthening his faith to the point where every defilement of the soul temple is cleansed - that is, cleansed by faith.

  In other words, he reaches the place where the influence of the Holy Spirit, in the former rain experience has, reproved him of every sin, and provided him with judgment to discern all these sins; and he has made a close work of expelling these sins from his life, through the "forgiveness" provision of the gospel. He is clean "every whit" before God, through the merits of Christ's righteousness. This is the minute work of preparation which is to be made by God's people to become ready to receive the "outpouring of the latter rain." This is the point which must be understood by God's people before they will survive the experience of Jacob's trouble!

  The body temple sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, in the last generation, is cleansed in two ways: by imputed righteousness; and by imparted righteousness. It is the cleansing of imputed righteousness which must be completed before the close of the door of probation in the individual sinner's life.

  The cleansing of imparted righteousness is accomplished after the sinner has been accepted by God, and has been given the gift of eternal life through faith. The cleansing of imparted righteousness is a voluntarily cleansing, performed through the will of the individual sinner out of love for his Saviour, to prevent his Saviour from having to stand good for any further sins on his part.

172

  It is by the choice of the individual sinner that his sins are expelled. But he cannot expel them until he receives the gift of the Holy Ghost in the latter rain, providing him with the power to implement his decision to cease from sin, and providing him with the new nature of imparted righteousness. Dear brethren and sisters; let us absorb these all-important truths! [cf. "Latter rain" in concordance, page 328].


THE OLD AND NEW COVENANT EXPERIENCES

  There are many aspects to this plan of salvation. Let us think a bit more about the old and new covenant experiences: Under the old covenant an attempt was made to crystallize the principle of the law of God into meticulous regulations to govern the lives of His ignorant and wayward people. They had no knowledge of sin, at least their understanding of the question of sin was too limited - so God gave them regulations. And by this law, was the knowledge of sin. But it is physically impossible to elaborate a set of rules and regulations to govern every conceivable situation which might arise in this ever expanding environment of society, in an ever-expanding universe. The old covenant law is definitely inadequate to meet the evolving program. Anyone who has dealt with regulations in any sort of social set-up, particularly a school setup, will be quick to acknowledge that there never is a regulation but what, under some special circumstance, it would be more just to overrule that particular regulation.

  So, for two reasons the old covenant was laid aside. First; it was inadequate; and second; the people could not keep the regulations without supernatural help. The old covenant was but a demonstration to prove that such a program of regulations was insufficient, and could not work, for two reasons: First; they could not possibly apply to all situations, and second; the nature of man's sinfulness prevented him from keeping them.

  And so let us turn to read the promise of the new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My

173 

law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

  There are several things we should notice here in this promise:

  In the first place, the old covenant did not work, because the people broke it. God proposed the covenant, and the people agreed to keep it; but they couldn't manage it.

  In the second place, the covenant was made in connection with bringing them out of the land of Egypt, which is a symbol of the bondage of sin. While Christ was very tolerant with them, they still could not bring themselves to co-operate with Him.

  Third, the new covenant promises that God will put the law into their inward parts, into their hearts; that He will be their God, and they shall be His people. Here is the promise of the law of self-sacrificing love to be given to the children of Israel. When they receive this gift, then God will be unto them a God; not just a God, but a God unto them, - their personal God, and they will be His people; serving Him, keeping His law.

  Fourth, they shall not teach each other to know the Lord, for they shall all know Him. Here is the promise of the revelation of the true character of God. His beautiful character of selfless love will be fully revealed to them. They will recognize His justice and His mercy, and every knee will bow to Him. They will not look upon Him as an autocratic tyrant, but as the kind and long-suffering God of love that He really is.

THE GOSPEL IN ITS GLORY - SINS FORGIVEN

  Five, the reason that they discover this wonderful character of God is that their iniquity is forgiven, and "their sins are remembered no more." Here is the gospel message in its glory!

  It is by the preaching of the gospel that the news of sins forgiven is proclaimed abroad, and the children of Israel learn about the character of God. The whole crux of the matter of salvation is the revelation of the true character of God - to silence forever the accusations of Lucifer, wherein he insinuated that Christ was unjustly in the position of supreme Ruler, and that His character was actually one of selfishness.

174

THE NEEDFUL SUFFERING OF THE SAINTS


  And how will the gospel bring about this revelation? Chiefly through the revelation of the truth that Christ suffered and died for our sins - that our sins could not be forgiven without the sufferings and death of Christ. For to fulfill the law of righteousness in an environment polluted by Satan's devilish works, would inevitably bring abuse and suffering; for the wicked, who respect not the law of God, will always take unfair advantage of the one who is humbly walking in the law of life. The righteous will be persecuted and tormented. They will be stepped on and used as doormats.

ONLY THE ANGELS CAN RELEASE THE SAINTS FROM SUFFERING

  Only as God sends His angels to release them from such treatment, will they be released. Even as Jesus did not raise a finger in His own defense, but committed Himself to the care of His Father and the angels, - even so will His followers suffer for righteousness sake, and commit the keeping of their ways unto the angels of God.

  When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and Peter attempted to protect Him from capture, Jesus rebuked Peter by saying that He could ask His Father for protection, and He would presently send twelve legions of angels to deliver them. In the sufferings of His trial and on the cross, He could have been delivered; but He did not raise a finger to deliver Himself. Neither will His followers. But why should they have to do this? Will God permit them to endure such suffering? And why should they have to endure this if Jesus accepted it for them?

  First, let us establish the fact that they do suffer:

  1st Peter 4:12 & 13: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;" and let us read on to see why they suffer so - 13th verse: "...that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

   Now the glory of the Lord is His wonderful character of righteousness. That is what He proclaimed to Moses. When the latter asked Christ to show him His glory, He stated the fact that the Lord was just and righteous and merciful and long-suffering. But how can suffering reveal this fact, and thus make them exceeding glad? It reveals it through the knowledge that such suffering was required on the part of Christ in order to forgive their sins.

175

UNFAIR SUFFERING COMES NOT AS A PENALTY - IT IS A BLESSING

  The suffering does not come to God's people as a penalty for their transgressions. Rather it comes as a blessing, to reveal to them the nature of the character which Christ must have had in order to accept such suffering to forgive man his sins. When the sinner learns by experience, a little of what it costs Jesus to purchase forgiveness for him, who was an enemy of Christ, when he realizes the tremendous fullness of that matchless, self-sacrificing love, which is the essence of Christ's character, and when he learns that his continuance in sin crucifies the Son of God afresh and he puts renewed, undeserved suffering upon Him; then, and only then, will he (the sinner) determine to forever cease from sin.

  It requires a personal revelation, a revelation by personal experience of the nature of Christ's love for the sinner, to make that sinner stop sinning. Thus it says in 1st Peter 5:10: "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus" - that is, called us to the likeness of His beautiful character, - "after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."

  And again in Chapter 4, verse 1: "...for he that has suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;..." "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." (1st Peter 4:19). "...and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts" (1st Peter 3:14 & 15).

  The true follower of Christ will partake of the sufferings of Christ. What kind of suffering did Christ suffer? Just the kind we have been talking about - undeserved suffering - suffering for the sake of someone else. Let us read it from 1st Peter 2:21-24: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps:"

  "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:"

  "Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously:"

  "Who His own self bare our sins on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

176

THE RESTORATION OF UNIVERSAL ALLEGIANCE BASED ON LOVE


  This is the revelation of the meaning of the everlasting covenant that it is designed to bring men into harmony with God's law through planting that law within men's hearts, through an experience of sharing in the sufferings of Christ; that man might learn by personal experience that the character of God is one of matchless self-denial. It is this revelation which regains the allegiance of the subjects to the supreme King and Ruler.

  That is why, in the promise of the covenant, God says He will be to them a God, and they shall be to Him a people. The harmony of universal allegiance, based on love, is restored. It is restored through a personal knowledge on the part of the sinner that his sins are forgiven, and that the price of this forgiveness cost the Son of God the sufferings of the cross for the sinner's sake.

  When they stripped Him of His robe and put a kingly robe upon Him, mocking Him, what did He do? When they slapped that crown of thorns on His head, what did He do? When they spat in His face, what did He do? When they slapped His mouth for telling them the truth - that He was the Son of God, what did He do?

177

AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 6

VOLUNTARY ALLEGIANCE - FOUNDATION OF GOD'S GOVERNMENT

(This is tape/letter #6, addressed to the Brethren of the General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists at Washington D.C., from J. W. Johnson of Lacombe, Alberta, [Canada]. This tape was prepared during the month of January, 1960).

  We will here continue the topic which was being discussed on the previous tape. The harmony of universal allegiance, based on love, is restored through a personal knowledge on the part of the sinner, that his sins are forgiven, and that the price of this forgiveness cost the Son of God the sufferings of the cross for the sinner's sake.

  When they stripped Him of His robe and put a kingly robe upon Him, mocking Him, what did He do? When they slapped that crown of thorns on His head, what did He do? When they spat in His face, what did He do? When they slapped His mouth for telling them the truth, that He was the Son of God, what did He do? Would He not have been justified in setting them straight on the matter, even if having to use force? Certainly He would have had the right to destroy those cruel tormentors with one breath, and to go back to His Father and His former glory. Why did He not revile again? Was it for His own salvation? When they taunted Him as He hung suffering in agony on the cross, could He not have saved Himself, as they were urging Him to do?

WHY DID CHRIST ENDURE SUCH SUFFERING?

  Yes, He could. With merely a thought He could have destroyed all His tormentors and been released from His terrible sufferings. Why did He not do this? - why did He endure such torture? He did it to reveal the merits of the character of His Father, so that man might learn the true nature of the God of the universe, and be brought again to respect and adore and worship that holy Being, voluntarily, without force. He did it so that man's sins might be forgiven, to give him a probation in which to bring himself into line with the government of heaven.

178

  For as He hung there on that cruel tree and looked down on His persecutors, He opened up the greatest revelation of His divine character by praying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34).


  This is our Saviour; this is His character. Lucifer was all wrong. When he derided the character of God he made the biggest mistake ever; and it will never be made again - not by those who have learned through experience what it cost the Son of God to teach them this. The plan of salvation will triumph through the power of love - the love of God.

  We learn a little of this in the experience of the home. It costs parents a great deal of material and personal self-sacrifice in order to bring up their children into a knowledge and understanding of correct adult behavior. Those parents who neglect such sacrifice, learn in later years to their bitter sorrow, that they have made a mistake.

A WARNING TO PARENTS

  But it also requires discipline. Parents who neglect to permit their children to share in the sufferings of their transgressions or to taste of the bitter penalty for disobedience, will later find that their children are incapable of proper self-discipline. Without a stern discipline of the will and a knowledge of the value of consideration for others, there can be no permanent happiness.

  But the principle of selfless love in the heart of God is not reserved for those who are friends only. It reaches out to include His enemies. This is the greatest revelation of the cross!


IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES AS OURSELVES?

  We may have wondered how it could ever be possible for us to reach such a condition of love. We find it hard enough even to love our friends and neighbors on an equality with ourselves. How can we possibly expect to love our enemies thus?

  This becomes possible only through our love for Jesus. We do not love our enemies for their own sakes; we do it for Jesus' sake, because He asks us to do it. We want to do it for Jesus. But since Jesus is not with us in person, we cannot show our love for Him in a directly personal way. Therefore He says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto me."

179

  Thus we show our love to Jesus by loving our enemies for His sake.
We learn to take all the abuse and suffering which these enemies can heap upon us because Jesus has asked us to. We partake of His sufferings, we share in His sufferings; and through these are made perfect (1st Pet. 2:19-22; 4:1, 2). This is the ultimate test of our love for God - if we can love and forgive our enemies.

OUR GREATEST ENEMIES WILL COME FROM THE RANKS OF OUR BRETHREN

  But who are our enemies? In the final trials our greatest enemies will come from among the ranks of our brethren. Perhaps the hardest trials to bear are those of taunting, and abuse, and misunderstanding from our own brethren and sisters. This may yet be difficult for us to comprehend; but as the closing movements advance, it will become more plain [cf. Desire of Ages 357].

  The highest and bitterest form of suffering is the suffering for righteousness sake. We can endure this suffering only through a supreme love for Jesus and a deep desire to champion His cause. Through a personal understanding of the nature of these sufferings of Christ, we are brought to co-operate with Him. Our appreciation and love are magnified to the place where we can endure, and where we can love our enemies for His sake.

THE SAINTS - PRIVILEGED TO SHARE IN THE BEARING SINS

  Nor will we ever learn to appreciate fully the work of Jesus in bearing our sins until we share in that work. Jesus is going to permit "His saints, in a limited way, to share in this work; for they will be priests during the thousand years. And their work will be in connection with those who did not attain the fullness of imparted righteousness, such as the thief on the cross. After this personal experience in sharing the work of the priesthood, they will be in a still more secure position from ever sinning against their Lord again.

  But what of the new birth and the miracle working transformation by the Holy Spirit? This is part of the picture. The Spirit of God's love is born in the sinner's heart as he encounters this great revelation spoken of above. Not until the deep emotion of selfless love takes over in the sinner's life, will he have the power to cease from sin. But when that love does take over, then he will be born of God, and then he will cease from sin.

180

  We read in 1st John 4:7 & 8: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; And every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." And again in 1st John 3:9: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."


THE FORMER AND LATTER RAIN PHASES OF THE NEW BIRTH

  There are two phases to the new birth experience. A sinner must first be born of the Spirit in the "former rain" experience, which gives to him the knowledge of his sinfulness and the faith to believe in the forgiveness of his sins, which brings to him the experience of genuine repentance and the desire to serve God. But the former rain experience does not complete the work of transforming the sinful nature of man. He is still left to struggle against sin and temptation, - he is not delivered from his sinfulness. He must still take advantage of the provisions of the gospel and ask forgiveness for recurring sins. The stain of sin in his body temple has not yet been cleansed, and will not be cleansed until the day of atonement.

  The second phase in the rebirth experience occurs at the outpouring of the "latter rain." At that time the sinner receives the gift of the principle of God's love to such an extent that he is empowered to resist all temptation and to activate his desire not to yield to sin. And ultimately, he receives the power, through persistent acts of choice, to erase the pattern of sinfulness embodied in his instinct and habit nature, and he becomes transformed into the image of Christ.

  This last phase involves a change in the electrical circuitry in the brain, and in the pattern of activity in the endocrine glands. Under present circumstances, man has little or no direct control over these, which could in any way result in a permanent change. But the overcomers will eventually have restored to them the power which Adam had - to change his nature.

MAN CANNOT CHANGE HIS NATURE - ONLY THE HOLY GHOST

  It is not through his own power that man will be able to change his nature, but through the power of the Holy Ghost which will be bestowed on him. But although he receives the power to become a "son of God," he himself must choose to utilize that power.

181

  Not until he has demonstrated his persistence in choosing to follow after righteousness will this crowning power be given to him [Acts 5:32; John 14:15-18]. When a man receives this power to be born into the family of God and partake of the sinless nature of Christ, he will no longer experience his former urges to sin. "For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world" (1 John 5:4). And "Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1st John 3:9).

  This becomes possible because the nature of the converted sinner becomes changed into the image of the nature of Christ, which is a nature of self-denying love. With this nature it is but "natural" for man to do the will of God and keep His commandments. He will not be circumscribed by a host of minute stipulations and regulations, but rather, he will be filled with the Spirit of God which has brought to him a penetrating knowledge of sinfulness, and of judgment, and of truth. This knowledge enables him to discern what is and what is not righteousness, in the ever-increasing complexity of evolving circumstances. The law of God is written in his heart, - his heart of self-renouncing love.

ASPECTS OF THE CLOSING WORK AND THE THREE ANGEL'S MESSAGE

  And now let us take another look at the picture of the closing work of the gospel: We hear much about the third angel's message and its swelling into a loud cry. This message is the message of the final judgment and of the mark of the beast. We understand this pretty well. It is given to make us sit up and take notice that the mercy of God has its limits with sinners who refuse to repent. It brings us face-to-face with the seriousness of life, and it ties our thinking to the climax of the great conflict between good and evil. And we will discuss these matters.

  But first, there is another part to the closing message: We learn from the Spirit of Prophecy that the three angel's messages are cumulative; that they will all be given in the final loud cry.

  The first angel's message is the message of the everlasting gospel. It is calling men "to fear God, and give glory to Him". That is a call to return to the worship of the true God by virtue of His glorious character. It is the message of the forgiveness of sins, for it is through this message that the glorious character of God is revealed. It is the gospel which is the power of God to save a man from sin. And men

182

will be saved from sin in these last days - thousands of them! Without the gospel it could not be done. 


  The message of sins forgiven and righteousness by faith will play a prominent part in the fulfillment of the last day prophecies. Not until a man takes full advantage of the provisions of the gospel will he be able to overcome his sins. Satan will mercilessly accuse the saints of their sins, - they will be discouraged at their failures. Their hope can only be renewed through the acceptance of the gospel and the application of its provisions over and over again.


THE SECOND ANGEL'S MESSAGE

  The second angel's message is the call to "come out of Babylon", which is the confusion of doctrine in the apostate churches. This call will go again during the loud cry, with the addition of the corruptions which have entered those churches since 1844. It is the message of the mighty angel of Revelation 18. The crux of this message is that the churches have become "the hold of every foul spirit, and the habitation of devils." This is, practically speaking, an acknowledgment of the acceptance by the popular churches of the supernatural manifestations of spiritualism. The saints become the habitation of the Holy Spirit, while the rest become the habitation of every foul spirit and of devils.

  The popular churches, as well as the world, have also become corrupted with the traffic of commercialism. The greed for gain has tainted the business transactions of the world. We are living in a terribly conflicting society from the time we were able to toddle, we have been taught to deny ourselves and to share with others - to always think in terms of others. And then as we have advanced through our education, in preparation for living, we have been taught that the successful man is the one who has been able to make a lot of money.

  Success has been measured in terms of position and salary. But positions and salary are nearly always obtained at the expense of others, and unless society voluntarily bestows these upon us, we obtain them by extraction from others. We have seen how that many who rise to heights of financial prestige, do so by contriving to direct a larger share of the community production to their own pockets, and those in control divert larger sums to their own interests. This is not God's form of government.

183 

  There are many in our society who cannot bear the strain of this festering conflict. They have a deep desire to succeed, but in doing so they find that they must "chisel' a certain amount of their success out of other people, and their conscience makes itself felt. The conflict between the desire to abide by their early training, versus their desire to succeed, creates a deep feeling of guilt at every advancing step, and this undermines their emotional stability. When the numerous pressures of modern fast living bear in upon them, they find the load just a little too heavy, and they succumb to some form of emotional breakdown or mental and perhaps physical illness. This of course is the devil's scheme.

THE MIGHTY ANGEL OF REVELATION 18 DENOUNCES COMMERCIALISM

  But this undue emphasis on commercialism and the profit motive, is a part of the denunciation of the mighty angel of Revelation 18. It has become a part of the corruption of the popular churches, and this evil will be exposed. Undoubtedly, this passage also has a spiritual application to the people of God. There has been a commercial traffic in the products of the church. Religion has been made a tool for gaining prestige and profit. The precious truths of the word of God have been bartered for gain. When the sacred doctrines of the church will be sacrificed for the sake of prestige and popularity, and union of creeds, then the Babylonish traffic in doctrines will have reached it's climax, and the message of the loud cry will contain the call to come out of Babylon.

THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE

  The third angel's message involves an understanding of "the mark of the beast." When the church solicits the aid of the state to enforce its dogmas, then the "image to the beast" has been set up; and when the church obtains the aid of the state to enforce the doctrine of Sunday observance, the "mark of the beast" has been set up. God's true followers will proclaim this message, they will broadcast this warning, they will unmask the great deceptions of the evil one, and reveal the delusions into which the churches have fallen.

184

SIN IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF ALL WHO WILL BE SAVED


  Meanwhile, the work of salvation will be going forward in their own lives. Every besetment and defilement is in process of being eradicated from their soul temples. We have already touched upon this subject [cf. Pages 170 thru 171], but we have not made it too clear; for the people of God are sinners, saved by grace. Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Sin is an integral part of all who will be saved.

KEY TO SALVATION

  The key to salvation is: first - repentance; that is, genuine sorrow for sin because of the injury it causes the Son of God - not sorrow because of the injury it causes to self; and second - faith in the forgiveness of sins by the God of Heaven, through the request of His dear Son, Jesus. God forgives our sins because Jesus asks Him to. It is God's love for His Son, and the righteousness of His Son which causes Him to overlook our wickedness and accept us into His family. He could not do this, (because He cannot look upon sin), except as His Son takes upon Himself the responsibility and the penalty of our transgressions. Only because the Saviour of the world has borne its sins and has accepted the transgressions of His repentant followers is it possible for the sinner to stand before his God "without fault."

A VITAL TRUTH - VICTORY OVER SIN

  This truth is so vital that I feel it must be more thoroughly considered; for no man will ever gain the victory over his faults and besetments until he clearly understands this truth and appropriates its provisions. Ultimately, victory over sin can only be obtained at the expense of the sufferings of the Son of God. If you think you can gain the victory over sin without it costing the Son of God anything, you will be disillusioned. Sin can be forgiven only by the slaying of the sacrifice and the shedding of blood. When we fully realize that every time we sin we can regain our position of righteousness in the eyes of God, only at the expense of the sufferings of Jesus, our High Priest and Mediator, then and only then, will sin take on its real hideous character in our eyes; and out of love for Jesus we will be constrained to cease from sin.

185

WE CAN BE EMPOWERED TO DISCONTINUE OUR SINNING

  But before we are empowered to discontinue our sinning and to erase our sinfulness, we will find ourselves failing in our desires many, many times. We will be so disappointed with ourselves that we will be tempted to think God cannot put up with us any longer, that He cannot possibly forgive us again for the same old failures - surely there must be a limit to His endurance and His tolerance. But when we permit such doubt to enter the mind, we're on Satan's ground. That is precisely what he wants; for he knows that if we can fall prey to doubt, we are lost. Doubt is the opposite to faith, and salvation comes by faith but may be lost through doubt. Says the Scripture: "Faith is the victory." Only if we unfalteringly believe that our sins are forgiven, can the load of guilt be lifted from us; and unless that load is lifted, we can never expel sin from our lives.

CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING THE CLEANSING STREAM

  Yet again I say, that load can only be lifted as we are willing to permit Jesus to accept it. And it is His work, as High Priest, to plead the merits of His sacrifice and solicit the gift of the shed blood of His eternal, broken body, (that is, the Holy Ghost), to be delivered by the Father to the repentant sinner. Not until this gift is delivered and received in accordance with the terms of the everlasting covenant, will the sanctuary be cleansed from sin. And this gift cannot be purchased, it is not earned by works. Nevertheless, it cannot safely be given to anyone whose character has manifested unbelief or non-cooperation with the government of heaven.

  It is to those who believe in the merits of Christ's sacrifice and know that their sins are forgiven; it is to those who have gone through the time of Jacob's trouble, those who are truly sorry for the sufferings they have caused the Son of God by their sins and who are putting forth every effort to prevent further repetitions of those sins, in consideration of their Redeemer - I say, it is to these that the gift of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain is delivered. They receive the cleansing stream.

  There is no self-righteousness here. The motive is entirely selfless. These are willing even to transgress the literal law or commandment and accept its penalty, if by so doing they can fulfill the commandment of love toward their brethren. When they recognize the enormous, forgiving power of God toward one whose heart is surrendered to Him,

186

they will overcome their fear, and will even desire to accept the penalty for their own transgressions to relieve their Saviour of further suffering. But they will also realize that Jesus wants to save them, and that they can only be saved when they permit Him to be their Saviour, to accept the penalty of their transgression and to suffer for their sins. It hurts them so much to have to do this, that they bend every effort toward refusing to continue in sin.


SUFFERING INTENSIFIES THE SAINT'S DESIRE TO CEASE FROM SIN

  As they are permitted to partake of Christ's sufferings, they realize more fully what their salvation is costing the Son of God, and this only intensifies their effort to cease from sin. God cannot refuse to give these sinners the power of divine love, which they so deeply crave, to enable them to live without sin. He delivers to them the everlasting covenant.

NEVER LOSE FAITH IN GOD'S FORGIVING POWER

  No matter how long nor how deeply God's people continue in sin, they must never lose faith in the forgiving power of God through the merits of His Son's sacrifice, - never must they lose sight of this! It is those who have fallen deepest in sin "who will stand nearest to His throne to praise Him" for what He has done. [Steps to Christ, 35]. Can you believe this? If you cannot, you have not yet known the real struggle with sin. You have not yet gone through your time of Jacob's trouble", for Jacob's trouble was his fear that his sin could not be forgiven.

THINK ABOUT THIS

  Think about this: Not until after he [Jacob] had received the assurance that his sin was forgiven was he free to go forward to meet his brother - it was then that he conquered his fear. There is no room for self-righteousness in this philosophy. It is the righteousness of Christ, the character of self-denying love, resulting in them from the appreciation of the forgiveness of their sins on the part of their Saviour, which in the final analysis, places them in a position to become fit subjects of the kingdom of heaven.

187

  They become clothed with the robe of the righteousness of Christ when they continue to accept the forgiveness of their sins by faith in Christ's sacrifice. This robe is a gift. It involves a change in the heart - a turning of the heart. There is born in the soul a spirit of self-sacrificing love, planted there by the same Spirit of self-sacrificing love which was manifested in the conduct of Jesus; and this Spirit is tied in with the person of the Holy Ghost.

  It is the work of the Holy Ghost to initiate the new birth into the kingdom of God. The Holy Ghost initiated the physical birth of Jesus, and this is a fitting manifestation of His work in bringing about the spiritual rebirth of the saints. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God is self-denying love. When the Holy Ghost baptizes a soul, that soul becomes endowed with this same Spirit; and he is born of God - that is, born of love. In this condition he receives power to implement his decision to act in accordance with the law of God - love for God, and love for fellow men.

THE LATTER RAIN OUTPOURING

  The final outpouring of this Spirit is called the "latter rain". This whole process is charged with grace - the unmerited favor of God bestowed on the guilty sinner. We are saved by grace "through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God:" [Ephesians 2:8.] How I wish I had power to bring the scores of separate thoughts on the plan of salvation together into one grand comprehensive whole. I have seen this grand 'panorama of truth', but I find no power to portray it in words. May God help us to understand it sufficiently to meet the emergency of this crisis hour!

CHRIST THROUGH THE 144,000 WILL VINDICATE GOD'S LAW

  But now, let us consider a little further the nature of the third angel's message. Let us not forget that what Christ is trying to do through the lives of the 144,000 is to vindicate the character and law of God. He wants to prove that it is possible for a group of even sinful men to learn to respect and appreciate the character of God, and to voluntarily proclaim the righteousness of that character, showing that it is both just and merciful.

188

  God is trying to forever silence the accusations of Lucifer; and while Satan may still point the accusing finger at Joshua, deriding the filthiness of his garments, God will prove that the power of His divine love is great enough to draw men into worship and obedience.


TWO DIFFERENT FORMS OF GOVERNMENT

  Basically, it is a matter of proving the two forms of government. God's government always has been one of voluntary allegiance, an allegiance of worship based on admiration for His divine character of love. [cf. Patriarchs and Prophets 34]. While Christ was the supreme Ruler, rightfully so, because of His supreme character of self-sacrificing love, nevertheless Lucifer, because of his jealousy, insinuated that Christ was no more entitled to that position than anyone else, that Christ actually was demanding allegiance to satisfy His own ego.

  Lucifer failed to discern, or rather believe, that allegiance to Christ was necessary in order to guarantee harmony and happiness. He failed to recognize that Christ was in that position because He was the only One whose knowledge and understanding, combined with His spotless character, qualified Him for the position.

  Lucifer, in his great esteem for himself, failed to recognize that Christ's humility prevented Him from displaying the fullness of His personal power; and that it was that very same humility and spirit of self-sacrifice which impelled Christ to share with Lucifer, the pleasures of designing and creating, and guiding the affairs of the universe. In a sense, it was the completely humble nature of Christ's character which opened the door for Lucifer to become self-centered; though of all the beings in the kingdom of heaven, Lucifer was the one who least should have been dissatisfied.

  Now the evidence or mark of respect by any subject for its government or ruler is his acceptance of any decisions made by that government or ruler. But it is one thing to accept a decision or law by a government when one recognizes the reason for that law, and it's justice, - that is not a hard thing to do; but it is another thing to accept a decision or law by a ruler when one cannot see any reason for that law, and especially if its enforcement appears to indicate that the ruler is autocratic. A subject will accept such a decision nevertheless, if he has complete confidence in, and respect for the justice of the character of the ruler. Obedience to an arbitrary command is the greatest mark of respect for a ruler.

189 

ADAM AND EVE LACKED CONFIDENCE IN GOD'S JUSTICE

  It was such a test which Christ placed before Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. By transgressing that law of restraint, Adam and Eve displayed their lack of confidence in the justice of God and in His selfless love for them. They showed that they doubted that what God had done was for their own good, but rather that it was to enable God to remain so much above them - to be an autocratic giant, the only one having the knowledge of good and evil. They showed that they felt God was unfair in not permitting them to have this knowledge too. Of course it was Satan who plugged them with this idea. He was the one who was really demonstrating, through these two people, what he himself believed.

  But God chose a special symbol to be a perpetual sign of implicit confidence in Him, and in His right to make an arbitrary request; and that sign was the Sabbath. This is the only command which has no really basic reason for existing, so far as man's viewpoint is concerned; for actually any day of the week could serve equally well as a day of rest. And herein lies the significance of the counterfeit Sabbath. It is a Sabbath similar to the Lord's; but in this one respect of arbitrariness, it is different. It places the emphasis on the first day of the week.

BY THE ACT OF CREATION CHRIST OVER-STEPPED HIS SELF-ABNEGATION

  The Sabbath was a sign of the privilege of Christ to choose to do something of His own free will without consulting Lucifer or anyone else. It was a memorial of the unique, miraculous creation of this earth in six literal days - an act contrary to all previous types of behavior on the part of Christ! This was one time when Christ overstepped His usual characteristic of self-abnegation and humility, and of self-sacrificing and sharing. At the very core, however, He was still displaying His fundamental character; for He broke the usual outward manifestation of His humility for one reason only; and that was to save the creatures of the universe from eternal destruction.

  This could hardly be construed as a completely selfish motive. In fact, the cost of saving the universe through His own death, revealed that His act was truly one of supreme self-sacrifice. But now, the purpose of Christ's self-sacrificial acts in the planning of salvation was to restore allegiance without force, to restore it without endangering the freedom of the will. In this respect, the character of Christ was

190

absolutely opposite to the character which Lucifer developed through his persistence and disobedience. The character of Lucifer or Satan, is now one of complete selfishness, and allegiance to him is obtained through the principle of fear. This point could be greatly elaborated.


SATAN'S METHODS OF FEAR AND FORCE

  In every sphere of life today, allegiance to Satan and his principle of selfishness, is ultimately manifested through fear. The instinct of fear and self-preservation was the first result of the selfish act of Adam and Eve, and they hid themselves when they heard the voice of God in the garden. The development of greed, stealing in all its forms; hatred, murder and all the rest, is essentially the outworking of fear for self-abnegation, fear of the loss of personal security, fear of being pushed down - of having to take a lower position. The formation of labor unions, and other co-operative units, is but an effort to gain greater personal security, and is stimulated through the self-preservation instinct - the fear of loss of security. "More for self' is the slogan of unionism; and too often it is the slogan of patriotism.

  And while Christ cannot be happy with any form of allegiance except voluntary allegiance, (because of the nature of His character of love), Satan and his followers do not hesitate to exercise force in order to gain the allegiance of their followers. No selfish ruler can ever obtain the undivided allegiance of his subjects without introducing force, punishment, and fear.

  This is the essence of the principle expressed in the third angel's message. The message warns men not to worship the beast, which has attempted to change the principle of God's law, and has used the power of autocratic government to force allegiance to his own dogma; neither his image, (apostate Protestants soliciting the powers of government to force the same obedience to the same man-made dogma). And the dogma which is the point of controversy, and the mark of separation between the true followers of God and those of Satan, is the Sunday-keeping dogma, as opposed to the true Sabbath of the Lord.

191

  The reason this dogma is the point of controversy is that it is the one which is symbolic of the real principle at issue, in the great conflict between Christ and Satan. Christ has a free choice, and He has bestowed the same heritage on all His creatures. His character is a character of selfless love, which does not permit Him to exercise force in gaining the allegiance of His subjects. Through an act of free choice, overruling His regular habits, He created this world in six days to prove that very point; and He made the Sabbath to be a memorial of it.


GOD'S GOVERNMENT-ALWAYS VOLUNTARY ALLEGIANCE

  God's government is, and always will be, a government founded on voluntary allegiance. All His creatures will serve Him because of their love and adoration for His character. The plan of salvation was inaugurated to preserve this government by vindicating it in the eyes of the universe.

  Satan, on the other hand, is self-centered and proud of himself. His form of government is based on coercion or force, brought to bear through fear of consequences - that is, severe punishment for failure to pay homage to the government. This is the form of control which Lucifer has championed. It is an outgrowth of the selfishness of the ruler. Selfishness is the law of death; and coercive governments lead to death and destruction.

  On the other hand, the law of life is love - self-renouncing love. This is the true law of self-preservation, "for he that loseth his life for My sake, shall find it," said Jesus. This law leads to cooperation and peace.

THE FINAL CONFLICT REVEALS THE TWO FORMS OF GOVERNMENT

  The final conflict will reveal clearly the two forms of government.

  Even now they are seen in the world. The mark of the beast is the symbol of his self-claimed authority to change God's law, and to utilize the government (political power) to enforce this man-made dogma. It is a means of enforcing man to obey rules that may be contrary to his conscience. It is in this respect that labor unions may be objectionable. The seal of God on the other hand, is the compelling power of love. Allegiance to God is on a voluntary basis through the principle of true love and respect for the Ruler; and the sign of this allegiance is found in the keeping of the Sabbath-day commandment, as has been


192

previously explained. The servants of God are not compelled by force nor political power to keep the commandments, but they are compelled by the power of love. God does not use political power to persuade His people to follow Him and keep His laws - He uses the power of love. Thus you may discern that the true seal of God is an inward seal; we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (cf. Ephesians 1:13).


  God's people keep His laws because they love Him and want to please Him. Christ Jesus could have stepped down from the agony of the cross and returned to His glory in heaven - He did not have to suffer it. He did it because He loved man and wanted to save him, and because He wanted to justify the character of His Father. Neither do God's saints have to keep the law to be saved. They do it because they love God and man, and want them (their fellow men), to be reconciled to the glorious attributes of God's government of peace. Their demonstration of allegiance is purely and entirely voluntary. They have been accepted by God, and given their salvation without compulsory obedience.

THE LOUD CRY MESSAGE AND THE SABBATH

  You may be wondering how the loud cry message can fit in with the emphasis on keeping the Sabbath, and refusing the mark of the beast. If what has been said does not clarify this problem, I will make another attempt:

  There is more to it; for it is through faith that righteousness is attributed or imputed. Those who receive the mark of the beast deny faith. They resort to political power to enforce commandment-keeping, and thus they declare that obedience is necessary to earn the favor of God (an old pagan doctrine), and that force is necessary to make people obey. This kind of obedience is unacceptable to God. Rather, it is the mark of Satan's government. It is the mark of the beast, of which formal Sunday observance is an outward sign; hence the significance of Sunday legislation.

  The terrible times coming on the earth will frighten those who do not understand this truth. Under false teachers, and under the corroboration of spiritualism, they will turn to God to appease His wrath with formal obedience to the law (pagan), as changed by man (papal), and will use the government to compel all to conform (mark of the beast).

193

  Since plagues continue to fall, those who refuse the mark of the beast will be blamed for the plagues and be declared worthy of extinction. These faithful ones of God cannot violate their conscience, nor bear to disappoint their Saviour by failing to champion His righteous character, through the observance of the Sabbath sign.

  Can you not now discern the distinction between the saints and the unbelievers? The former are righteous through faith; the others are trying to earn righteousness through works of obedience. The latter doctrine is so dangerous that it leads to acceptance of the image and mark of the beast, the forcing by political power of all consciences to keep the law of God, so called. Professing Christians will be so anxious, that all should keep the formal law of God, prompted by the fear of their own destruction, that they will resort to force to make everybody do it. Their works of righteousness are motivated by self-preserving fear, the first and primary consequence of breaking confidence in the righteous character of God.

TWO EXTREME ERRORS

  So there are two extreme errors: First; The belief that keeping the law by force will gain favor and appeasement with God; and second; the belief that because we are under grace, the literal law does not exist any more. While the latter error is popular with a number of Protestant churches at the present time, nevertheless, the day is coming when all churches will support the enforcing of the law of God as they see it, and as they interpret it; and they will solicit the governmental authorities to enforce their views.

  The one precept of God's original law, which all agree upon, is the precept of the Sabbath; and this is the one precept which has been changed by the rebellious power to represent the miraculous resurrection of Christ, and the renewed manifestations of marvelous miracles, which the powers of darkness will perform to verify their false beliefs. The deception goes even deeper; for by their unbelief in the reality of the death of sleep, they discount the significance of the Sabbath as a sign of the regenerative power which restores the 144,000 to life again. For it is through the eating of the body and blood of the sacrificial Christ that life is restored to these, and eternal life is delivered to them. If their consciousness had always existed since the time of their former death, then the significance of this vital truth is destroyed. But this matter may not be understood by very many of them.

194

  The loud cry message, then, is a call "to come out of Babylon," which is the confusion of doctrine in the apostate churches. The message of Christ our righteousness - that is, righteousness by the outworking of the principles of faith and love, - this is the message which must clarify the gospel in the minds of God's people, and bring them out of the "hold of every foul spirit;" - that is, separate them from the deceptions of the spiritualistic manifestations which will infiltrate the apostate churches. I wonder if you can now see the relationships in these truths? Surely you will recognize the imminent importance of them to the chosen people of God!


SYMBOLIC PROPHECIES OF HAGGAI 2, ZECH. 4, AND REV. 11

  We have mentioned the plurality of the Elijah work [cf. p. 167 of this book]. Many years ago it was made plain to me that the work which God was calling me personally to fulfill was that symbolically forecast in Haggai 2:21-23; and Zechariah 4:6-10, also verses 11-14; and Revelation 11: 1-13.

  It was not until some time later that I understood how this could come about. God is not leading one, single individual in working out the Elijah message - He is leading a people. Here and there, someone will arise who will see, or has already seen, one or more phases of the things presented on these tapes. Perhaps no one person will have seen them all, but one sees a little here, and another sees a little there. Pieces of expanding truth are scattered about, and there remains a work of unification. Our people cannot be sure whether this or that one's message is true or not, - they can only wait upon the Lord.

THE SIGNET *
[FROM HERE THROUGH PAGE 196]
{REFER HERE ALSO ALL OF P. 256, OF THIS BOOK}

  But now, a signet is a personal emblem in the ring on a king's finger. And when the king wishes to establish that a document is genuine and has gone forth with his authority and approval, he places the seal of his ring on that document. Anyone reading the document will thereby know that this message has been sent forth with the king's approval and sanction.

______________
* [Re: Signet - Please also refer to page 256 of this book; under the sub-heading, "The Man with the Writer's Inkhorn."

195

  Now the signs which God gave to Moses, to enable him to prove that it was God who had sent him to lead Israel out of Egypt, were physical and literal plagues. But the signs which God will give the Elijah messengers [cf. 4 BC 1184], to prove to spiritual Israel that God has sent them to guide modern Israel out of the bondage of sin and prepare them to meet their God, and enter the heavenly Canaan, are not physical or literal plagues, but rather spiritual. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts .... "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth." (Note - "mouth" is in the singular. {Rev. 11: 5} - they speak as one harmonious voice.) "And if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed."

THE VOICE OF GOD SPEAKING THROUGH MANY

  It will be the Spirit of truth in the messages of the two witnesses that is, the word of God concerning the Old and New Testaments or Covenants - I say, it will be the Spirit of Truth in this word that will be the sign, and that will bring to silence all who try to oppose the clear message of the True Witness. And as the voice of God speaks through many of His servants, including the twelve apostles, who are the foundation of this new building, it will speak like "many waters;" for waters are people. Each of these is a son of God, sharing the kingship and priesthood of Christ for one thousand years.

  And as the voice of God speaks through His only-begotten Son - as the voice of the Son is indeed the voice of the Father - even so, will these sons of God, His new temple or dwelling, speak as the voice of many waters. And lest any should doubt the authenticity of their word, a reference to the message of Elijah will reveal how it fits the great master pattern of the panoramic display of truth - even as the parts of a jig-saw puzzle. In this way, the word delivered by Elijah will place the stamp of authenticity on the parts, as he has seen them in the integrated unit. Thereby his word is as a signet and acts as a unifying agent; and the temple is measured by the rod of his mouth.

THESE TAPES CONTAIN ONLY A BARE OUTLINE OF THE GREAT PANORAMA

  But these tapes contain only the bare outline of the 'great panorama of truth'. As these are audited, there will occur to some of those who have listened, passages of Scripture and statements from the Spirit of Prophecy which will verify, amplify, and clarify many of the areas

196

touched upon in these tapes. New and unexplored vistas of truth will appear, harmonizing beautifully with that which has gone before. Scores of Scripture references and quotations from the servant of God could be given, even now, to enlarge upon these things. This is a work which remains to be done.


THE DETAILS OF THE PANORAMA WILL BE GLEANED FROM THE APOSTLES

  It is not Elijah himself that personally restores all things, but rather the outworking of the covenant which he elaborates and makes clear. He has been a witness in heaven for hundreds of years*, and testifies to the things which he has learned. And it is through the apostles and disciples of the truth that all the details will be gleaned.

  And there are areas of the panorama which have not yet been proclaimed at all. It requires all the parts of a body to make the unit complete; and these saints are the members in particular of the new body of Christ.

THE REMNANT SAINTS WILL POSSESS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

  All the remnant saints will have the Spirit of prophecy; for is it not the sign of the remnant people that they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of prophecy? [cf. Revelation 12:17 & 19:10]. If each individual saint must have the commandments of God in his heart and be a personal fulfiller of those commandments, (for they are no longer written on tables of stone but in his heart), even so, it is not adequate merely to possess the Spirit of Prophecy on tables of stone - that is, on the pages of books; but it is necessary that they each, individually, have the Spirit of Prophecy in their hearts. Both signs will be a personal experience.

  The seal of God's people is an inward seal brought by the Holy Spirit of Truth; and this Spirit restores the gifts to all saints. While some will have certain gifts to a greater degree than others, even as the members of a physical body differ in function, nevertheless, they will all have a measure of personal understanding concerning the Spirit of Prophecy, even as the blood must flow to all cells in the body, whether they be muscles, nerves, glands or skin.
________________
* [Note - Elijah has been a witness in heaven of events transpiring on earth for over twenty eight hundred years (from 896 B. C. to 2003 A. D.)]

197 

SOME FIELDS OF SCIENCE WILL YET CONTRIBUTE TO THE PANORAMA

  Some fields which have not been touched upon to any extent in these tapes, but which are in fact necessary to get a comprehensive understanding of this thing, lie in the realm of science - particularly those of physics, psychology, psychiatry, and astronomy. Somewhere, God has men experienced in these fields who will yet contribute greatly to the structure of integrated truth. Much is already available but has not been dealt with as yet. Great things lie before God's faithful people!

  On these tapes then, we have presented solutions to a number of problems, and have provided answers to a number of questions which have arisen from time to time in the minds of some of the students of Scripture and of our message.

REVIEW OF SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS COVERED SO FAR ON THESE TAPES

  It might be profitable to recall some of these to mind, before concluding this basic presentation:

  First; we have shown how that Jesus can be called the "first-fruits of the resurrection" and the "first begotten from the dead", in spite of the fact that Moses was raised into eternal life, long before Jesus; and many others had been raised, (at least temporarily), from the dead.

  Second; we have shown how that the 144,000, who are the living saints on the earth at the second coming of Jesus and who are the only ones to enter the temple on Mount Zion, can still include the closest apostles of Jesus and the overcomers from all of the periods in the church's history; thus giving equal opportunity to all, and not excluding the apostles from going with Jesus, "withersoever He goeth." We have shown how that the statement of Jesus concerning John the Revelator can come to pass, and how that John can indeed "prophesy again before many nations," and reveal what the "seven thunders uttered." [Revelation 10:4 & 11].

  Third; we have shown that the crux of the whole matter of salvation hinges around willing allegiance to the government of heaven, which government is based on the law of God, which in turn is based on the character of God, which in turn is based on self-sacrificing love, which is revealed through His acts of justice and mercy.

198

  Four; we have shown how that voluntary allegiance to the government of heaven depends upon the principle of the freedom of choice, and that this principle is a heritage which pronounces every individual to be an independent and autonomous being, capable of rendering worship and fellowship. Without this free will, all creation would be purely mechanical. We have shown that the principle of creation is wrapped up in the principle of the free will, and that by giving to man this heritage, God is effectually sharing with man His great prerogative of creative power. In a sense then, God is sharing His Own autonomy, and places His great attributes at the disposal of His subjects; hence the urgent need for voluntary cooperation with the principles of His government, lest harmony should be destroyed.

  Five; we have shown how that the creation of this world, in a uniquely accelerated fashion, was an act of free choice over and above the habitual actions of God, proving His supremacy over the laws of nature which are His habitual behavior; and that this creation was performed to establish the sanctity of the free-will, - to restore allegiance without destroying the freedom of choice.

  Six; we have shown that the Sabbath was an act of arbitrary choice on the part of God, and was made to be a symbol of faith in the sanctity of this precious prerogative; that while all creation normally follows the course of natural development, through the application of choices in manipulating natural laws, nevertheless, Christ is the true Creator behind all these things, who designed and established those laws to be the tools of His - and of His created beings who share in His creative works. We have shown that the Sabbath was given as a safeguard against their ever forgetting their dependence upon Him, despite the autonomy of their own will. The Sabbath is the symbol of the autonomy of God's will, and a sign by those who keep it that they respect that autonomy of God. They keep the Sabbath for no other reason than that God asked them to, for the Sabbath is the only command which is purely arbitrary. As a day of rest, any other day could do equally well.

  Seven; we have shown that the conflict which arose in the government of heaven, centered around this very principle of respect for the Ruler of the universe, for His autonomous right to make an arbitrary decision over and above those of His created beings; for in exercising this prerogative, God chose to create all His free-will beings according to different formulas. Although He made certain distinct

199 

general classes or species, yet within these species every individual member differs from every other member. Inevitably then, some were superior to others in some respects, or they could not be different.


  Nevertheless, because of this principle of individual differences, established by the autonomous choice of God, the door was opened to the possibility of pride and envy, self-satisfaction and dissatisfaction. However, these conditions could only arise among the free-will beings, for without a free will they could not exist. Although Lucifer was next to Christ in supremacy, he was dissatisfied with his post. His dissatisfaction grew out of pride and self-satisfaction in his own relative superiority. Had either the principle of individual differences, or that principle of the free-will not existed, there could have been no sin.

  Eight; we have shown that the principle of the free will, manifested through individual differences, was so precious in the sight of God that he counted it worth the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son to preserve. Only through this sacrifice could the character of God be vindicated. Only through this sacrifice could it be proved that the character of God was one of self-sacrifice and not one of selfishness. Only through this sacrifice could it be proved that God was providing free wills and individual differences for the benefit of His created beings, and not merely for His own selfish benefit. One look at the advantages of individual differences in the outworking of progressive creation should convince anyone that this principle is above value. We have not shown on these tapes the mathematical basis of this principle, nor how it guarantees limitless possibilities in the future. This can and may be done elsewhere.

  Nine; we have shown that Lucifer invented a second form of government, the allegiance of which was based on force and fear; and that this world was created to be a demonstration or proving of the outcomes of the two systems of government.

  Ten; we have shown how Satan was given a chance to reveal what kind of natural creator he would be; but that this demonstration was so horrible that God destroyed it with the flood in Noah's day.

  Eleven; we have shown how that Satan will counterfeit the original symbolism of the Sabbath as it relates to creation, and make Sunday worship the sign of belief in miraculous creation by virtue of its popular significance in connection with the resurrection of Jesus. And we have shown how force, through political powers, will be applied to gain the allegiance of all, ostensibly to appease the wrath of an angry God, (an old pagan idea). This procedure is the mark of Satan's government.

200


  Twelve; on the other hand, we have shown how that the keeping of the Sabbath on a purely voluntary basis is the sign of allegiance to the government of heaven, where complete freedom of conscience prevails; and that this sign also bears a significance in the form of an unquestioned faith in Christ as the true Creator, working in and through the established laws of nature. Such has been His custom since the very beginning, interrupted only by the miraculous creation of this world in six days, of which the Sabbath is a fitting memorial.


  Thirteen; we have shown that the real sealing of the 144,000 saints by the Holy Spirit of promise, involves the completed work of that Spirit in reproving them of sin, and righteousness, and judgment, and of guiding them into all truth, and of bringing all things to their remembrance. We have shown that this involves the restoration to them of the memory of their former lives, and thereby receiving "a new name written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." [Rev. 2:17]; and that it also adds the gift of speaking in literal, intelligible tongues for the edification of the saints. This complete sealing by the creation through regeneration, of which the Sabbath is a sign, will be the great unifying experience in their lives to unite their hearts.

  Fourteen; we have shown that the investigative judgment is a literal demonstration of character, wrought out in the bodies of men and women since 1844, - similar in nature to the demonstration in the life of Jesus before His baptism.

  Fifteen; we have shown that, in a sense, the resurrection began in 1844, through the regeneration of bodies and characters; and that the resurrection of the 144,000 will take place in a manner similar to the incarnation of Christ in Jesus - that is, Jesus was raised up through the process of physical birth and anointing with the Holy Ghost to become the first-born Christ - the One who had lived in heaven, - even so, will the saints be raised from the dead, through a regenerated body and the anointing of the Holy Ghost. We have shown how such a resurrection will orient men from many different eras and locations into a harmony with the modern environment; and it will do this through the processes of natural law.*

______________

* ["He (Christ) lived out the character of God through the human body which God had prepared for Him. He blessed the world by living out in human flesh the life of God, thus showing that he had the power to unite humanity to divinity." (Vol. 7A, BC 924). {Pub. Insert}.]

201 

  Sixteen; we have shown that there are two covenants, and that each of these is delivered by a personal witness who has stood before God to receive it; and that the old covenant was delivered literally by Moses to ancient Israel, and that the new covenant will be delivered in a spiritual manner to modern Israel. We have shown that the old covenant was based on rewards and punishment, while the new is based on willing allegiance, through the power of love, which is the everlasting law of life.

  Seventeen; we have shown that the everlasting covenant involved the sacrifice of the great spiritual body and blood of the eternal Christ, and that this body was broken and given to man for the up-building of the new living temple for the indwelling of God, and that this blood was shed to provide the eternal life-giving Spirit, contained in the promise of the New Testament, which has power to cleanse the soul temples of the new living sanctuary of the record of sin.


  Eighteen; we have shown that the true sanctuary, or temple not made with hands, is the body of Christ, which will be united in a communion or wedding union with the 144,000 human body temples of the Holy Ghost, to become the new temple or habitation of God. This is why there is no temple in the New Jerusalem. The temple on Mount Zion is the temple of the 144,000 saints with Jesus as its Head.

  Nineteen; we have shown how that the sanctuary which is to be cleansed is the body temples of the saints, and that this is one phase of the sanctuary doctrine.

  Twenty; and finally, we have shown that these saints will be endowed with the prerogatives of the original body and blood of Christ; and they will share in the executive work of the universe, being priests and Kings during the thousand years, and operating with Jesus as any body operates with its head. This summarizes briefly what has been covered in these tapes. No doubt more could be said.

  And now brethren, I have fulfilled my promise to God. I have revealed the nature of the everlasting covenant, and the power of it's prophecies to "restore all things." I have delivered the message which was given to me in answer to my prayer for wisdom and understanding of the word of God and the doctrines of our church. This prayer was first offered about twenty-five years ago [In 1933, and again in the spring of 1941]. Twenty-five years [1933 -1959] seems like a long time, but in the annals of history it is but a moment.

202

  My main desire now is to prepare and present some additional* material which would add credence to a number of the items presented on these tapes. The main reason for this desire is to provide you with a more adequate basis for understanding these things and evaluating them. If you prefer, and with God's approval and help, I am willing to do this during the next few months.


THE SPIRAL METHOD - THIS IS HOW GOD TEACHES

  And will you permit me just a word about the structure of this original presentation, and the partial expansion of it? You may feel that in several places this material has been rather illogically arranged - that we have jumped from one item to another without adequate transition and coherence. There have been reasons for this.

  It may also be significant that the evidences of nature reveal that a spiral method of education is fundamental. The human mind learns better by accepting "a little here and a little there .... precept upon precept." Certainly, God must have recognized this when He inspired the structure of the Scriptures. Nor do we find the teachings of Jesus clothed in meticulous, formal organization. The mind itself has a way of interlacing and amalgamating the numerous independent thoughts which constantly bombard it; and it is highly probable that the synthesis of integrations of major thoughts or principles is accomplished more readily through a less organized infiltration of individual, but rather closely packed ideas.

  While I could organize these things better, it was not possible under the circumstances surrounding their preparation. Nevertheless, God may yet permit me to do this, for it is possible that in this hour of emergency, He will yet draw back the curtains surrounding His priceless treasures. Certainly I cannot feel that my personal responsibility has been fully discharged until a more comprehensive presentation has been made of at least a few of the major areas.* And furthermore, there are matters which have not been touched upon at all in these tapes - matters which would undoubtedly assist our understanding. And I must also confess that there are matters which I am not at liberty to present at the present time - matters which I have seen in a limited way, but which bear deep significance. Perhaps it is God's will that these be not disclosed until we reach the other shore.

____________
* [From 1967 to 1970, Bro. Johnson submitted 4 written manuscripts to the General Conf., now formatted in Volume Two, pp 54-162.]

203

THE MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGE

  But the most important message is here. It is the message of the gospel: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This is the message which John the Baptist preached. It is the message which Jesus proclaimed. It is the message which Jesus sent His disciples forth to preach. And it is the message which the remnant people of God are to preach. We may ask: How could John the Baptist preach that "the kingdom of heaven was at hand," when the new earth was not to be established for another three thousand years? The answer lies in the nature of the kingdom of heaven; for "the kingdom of heaven is within you."

  The kingdom of heaven is not a mere location, it is a principle of government. It is the spirit of God's law of self-sacrifice, which is revealed in the gospel message of the forgiveness of sins. This is the message which will prepare a people to meet their Lord. Shall we not proclaim it? That law of self-sacrificing love is to be engraved in the individual heart of each living member of the new body of Christ.

DESPISE NOT THE DAY OF SMALL BEGINNINGS
(FROM HERE TO PAGE 211)

  And now, on the remaining portion of this tape I would like to copy some extracts from a series of tapes which I prepared about two or three years ago [circa 1956-57], at one time when I was confined to bed with an illness. There are some matters on these tapes which I believe will be helpful to us. I shall copy them at this point.

  I've been thinking a little more about this idea that God's creative works begin from very small beginnings. It says that the kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed, and that's one of the tiniest of seeds. It springs up and grows into a tree in which the birds have their nests.

  It must have been quite a set-up in the original plan where Christ was the great King of the universe, and Lucifer, along with others, thinking that there was no need for Christ to be the great King. It must have been that Christ did not make a great show of His authority; and this would certainly line up with His character.

  But the interesting thing to me is the manner in which He went about to demonstrate the principle on which God's government rests; and how that from the tiniest seed in the womb of Mary, the great God of the universe grew up. Maybe you never thought of that. You know what it says in Isaiah 9:6? It says that this little Child, this little Prince

204

who was born, was to become the One on whose shoulders the government would rest, and His name would be called, "Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, and the everlasting Father." [Isaiah 9:6].


  There was a time when I hadn't noticed what that text said; but it says that this little Child shall become exalted, to receive the name of the everlasting Father and the mighty God. He would be honored with complete authority in the universe. This is the greatest example of God's method of bringing about the creation of His works. Who shall "despise the day of small beginnings"? Perhaps God will raise up other minds which will be able to clarify these matters more positively. Perhaps He has already raised up these minds, and the messages are available - somewhere; but I have not seen them. Of one thing I am certain. As God revealed to me many years ago; His Spirit was promised to His disciples and to His faithful followers, and this Spirit, which is the Spirit of truth, will "guide them into all truth".

A FUTURE WORK OF UNIFICATION AMONG GOD'S PEOPLE

  But the fulfillment of this prophecy was not completed under the outpouring of the early rain - we realize that. This prophecy will need to be fulfilled in our day, under the outpouring of the latter rain. And these apostles and all the faithful followers of Christ, who have by faith gained the victory over sin, will need to be present in this our generation, that the prophecy may be fulfilled in them. The 144,000 who are God's living saints in the last day - will collectively be endowed with an understanding of "all truth." What one does not see, another one will. And there is to be a work of unification among these people who are scattered throughout our church and other churches. There is to be a work of unification; there is to be a marriage union of Christ Jesus, the Head, to the members of His new bodies of saints, and they twain shall become one flesh [cf. Matt. 19:5; Ephesians 2:20-22; 4:8-16 & 5:22-32; also 7 BC, 985.9 & 986.1 & 2]. And the great truth which "will unite the hearts of these dear waiting saints," is the principle of the Sabbath. [cf. Early Writings 33, 85; Life Sketches 101; & Review & Herald 07-21-51.]

  I am convinced that the major doctrines which we have been teaching down through the years, insofar as we understand them to date, are correct. And any future understanding of these things, any expansion of understanding, must build upon the old foundations.

205 

  I am assuming that you understand that there are two groups who are saved: There are those who have gained the victory over all sin, "the 144,000 in number" who are translated; and there is also a "great multitude" which no man can number.

[J. W Johnson requested in 1992 that space be left blank here for future comment. Due to his health, this was never completed.]

  I have been interrupted a number of times in making these tapes. I'm still lying in bed, gradually recovering. I haven't attempted to make any flowery speech; it has been merely a rambling reminiscence of things that have passed through my consciousness many times during the past years. And I'm a little weary now; I think I shall leave this for awhile, - I don't know when I shall continue, - I may never have opportunity to complete this particular set. But the truth will be known. God has ways and means of bringing His messages to His people. And if these things are true, His disciples will learn of them, and understand them; and one day they will know what is, and what is not, the truth of God. Those things which we have known, the fundamentals of our message and our doctrines, are true beyond a shadow of doubt. But the message to the Laodicean people, (which is us), should make us sit up and take notice, and recognize that we do not know it all [cf. Revelation 3:17&18]. We have been very boastful over the years. Hardly a week goes by but what we don't do some bragging about what we have accomplished as a people. I do not think that God is pleased with this. Take heed, He says, for you think you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, but you're in a pretty bad condition. You're miserable - you're actually poor, and you're blind, and you're naked.

  That's a pretty strong denunciation - we must be in a pretty bad way. Don't you think it's time we got down on our knees and humbled ourselves before God? Maybe He can do something for us. This thing's been dragging on a long time. We were supposed to have been in the kingdom by now - and that's another matter that can be explained but we're not there yet.

  Oh yes, the work is expanding. So is the work in other churches. We're getting the message around the globe - some of it. People are responding. We're telling them how they have to keep the law. We're telling them about these different doctrines. But, you know, I've

206

worked with people day by day - mixed right with them - got to know them very well, better than some of our own brethren; people who make no profession of being servants of God. They don't make any profession of understanding the Bible; and yet they're good people. They're Christian people, if you use that term in the sense of Christ-like. And they've got more consideration and kindness, and love, and service in their make-up, (some of them), than many, many brethren that I have mixed with in our church. And I don't like the looks of that. It doesn't speak very well.


  There's only one thing lacking in these folks that I'm talking about, who don't make any profession, and that is they don't understand the meaning of the gospel of Christ. They don't know God, nor His Son Jesus. And how can they know, if no one has told them? But they know how to live in most respects. And yet there's only one way that a man can be saved, and that is that he acknowledges the Son of God, - for he must respect this King of the universe before he can fit in harmoniously in the government of heaven.

  We know these things. And yet our lives aren't telling the story. We tell it by mouth. We preach it; and we brag about winning souls whatever that means. We get them on the church books as fast as we can; and we publish it in the papers - especially when some important person comes in. And we keep as quiet as we can about those who go out the back door. We make sure the radio and the newspapers get the big figures.

  Now, I'm not being critical of our church - I'm a member of it; I'm included with it. But I'm ashamed of some of the things we do. I think we need a change. I'm not a reformer, I'm not an antagonist - I have identified myself with this people; I too am a sinner. But let's get together on this thing, Brother and Sister; let's do something about this thing - you and I. We need to. There are reformers all around us who are raising objections to everything we do. They're picking us to pieces. They find our faults. If these reformers were so much better than we are, maybe a lot of us would go to their ranks. But they're sinners too. We need to all realize it.

  We need to quit tearing each other to pieces. Let's quit tearing each other down. Let's not pull each other down in the mud. Let's get together and all pull in one direction - up! - we need to go up. We've lost sight of some of the basic principles of Christianity. We have a formal religion to far too great an extent. Everything must go

207 

according to the established, organized pattern. There's no room for individual thought. There's no room for individual work - not much. We must check in with headquarters.

  That's good. We have to stick together. We have to cooperate and acknowledge those who are in authority. But maybe those who are in authority sometimes need a little correction also.

  I'm not saying these things to pick faults with either our people or our leaders. I have a large number of friends, good friends, in this church. I like these people - they are my brethren and sisters. And we have many, many faithful, capable, devoted leaders in our work. But the extent of their work is limited sometimes by the restrictions and regulations that are placed about them by the necessity of organization. And perhaps these handicaps have been serious sometimes.

  But somehow they have done a good work; they have served God well. Many souls have been blessed by their ministry, many have come to know the truth through their work, and they have helped many a despondent soul. We need organization. But we must be careful not to let organization become so complicated, and formality so essential that we have no room for the Spirit to move.

  We speak much about the closing work, about the movement and it's going forward. And what we have mainly in mind is numbers. The more numbers we get, the bigger the movement. But the real work, the real closing work, is the work of the Spirit of God in the heart of the individual, preparing him to stand before his Maker, pure and holy. This is the work that you and I should be doing.

  It's high time now that we got some things straightened out in our lives. You still must acknowledge that you are not ready to stand before God without an Intercessor. And I have no hesitation in acknowledging it - but I'm not afraid of it. If I attempt to prepare myself to meet God because I'm afraid, I'll never make it. All those who come to God must fear Him, but not be afraid of Him. The drawing card to the heart of God is love, not fear. Love and fear are absolutely opposites says the Scripture. "Perfect love casteth out fear;" and the perfect love which Adam had in the garden was promptly destroyed when he sinned.

  The first consequence of sin was fear in the heart of man. And it's fear, the emotion of fear - lack of security, which is responsible for the major part, if not all the ills of mankind, including his sufferings and death. Fear has filled our hospitals with those who are ill; fear has made

208

people try to work out their own salvation, fear has made many a person keep the Sabbath outwardly. But preparation to meet God by keeping His commandments on the basis of being afraid will not work! We think we have an understanding of the truth, but the message of the True Witness says that we are "blind".


  And do you know what the last message to this world is going to be? Well, I don't need to tell you. You've preached it for many years. The last message to this world is the everlasting gospel. Think about it; it's the everlasting gospel, not the formal doctrines. And you know what the everlasting gospel is? - it's the power of God unto salvation, to all that believe; and it is the message of sins forgiven - that's what it is. It reveals the love of God for His people. There's no fear in that. I'm not afraid then - I should not be. And if I am afraid, it is an indication that I do not have sufficient faith in the integrity of my Redeemer, and Satan enters my life through doubt; and the moment I doubt, I become afraid.

  But now if I have perfect confidence in my Saviour, I will have no fear; for I am clean before God and God accepts me; and the matter of getting rid of sin is placed on an entirely different basis. I no longer have to "keep" the law to be saved from eternal death. And while I know that all people who enter the New Jerusalem will be clean people - will be pure people - will be people who are keeping the law of God and cooperating with Him, - while I know that, I still recognize that I do not have to keep the law. Those people will be keeping the law not because they have to, but because they want to. And when I get to the place where I want to keep the law for an unselfish reason, and not for a selfish one, then I will be able to keep it.

  But if I want to keep the law to save my own selfish skin, then I can't keep it. The reason I can't keep it is that it is based on self-renouncing love; and while I may keep the commandments outwardly, very methodically, like the rich young ruler, I still lack something. Keeping the commandments means living the life of self-sacrificing love, and this is the preparation that we need. We need the love of Jesus, the love of God, in our hearts; for when we are born of love, we will not sin; and we become sons of God. The new birth experience at conversion and manifested through the rite of baptism is but the beginning. We are born as infants into the family of God. Henceforth we must grow into maturity.

209

  A complete new birth is not accomplished until we are filled with the love of God and do not sin. And so my motive for trying to keep the law is not to save myself nor to gain favor with God, nor position; but my motive now is to keep the law of God in order to please my Saviour, and to spare Him the inconvenience and suffering that my sin will cause Him, since He has guaranteed to accept the full penalty of my transgression in order that I may have eternal life as a free gift, and remain a secure member in His family of saints. This life is mine; and now I keep the law as best I can, not for my own sake, but for His sake.

THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT ON THESE TAPES

  For when we continue in sin after having become a member of His new "body" of saints, we crucify to ourselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to open shame. We renew in His personal body, the sufferings of the cross. For He becomes "married" to His saints. He is the "Head" of His new mystical body. And all the aches and pains of the body register in the head. And this marriage occurs before the literal coming of Jesus in the clouds of heaven. Then the sins of any members of His new spiritual (eternal) "body" (of saints) register as pain in His heart and mind; even as do our physical body illnesses register pain in our head! [cf. R&H 10-16-94, Vol. 3, p. 194: "Let us bear in mind that Christ is the great central heart from which ... etc"].
 
  This is the most important point which I have talked about on these tapes! This is the everlasting gospel of the New Testament which will swell into a loud cry. It will finish God's work in the earth, not by bringing in numbers, but by saving a man from his sins; by cleansing the sanctuary for we are the new body temple of the eternal Son of God!

  Are you thinking about it? I hope you are. The work of the organized church has its place; but the final message and the final movements, which will be rapid, will be accomplished largely by laymen [cf. 5th Volume of the Testimonies, pp 80 & 81]. It will be the individual members who will finish the work of cleansing their soul temples of sinning. And it will be the work of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain - the eternal life blood which Jesus relinquished at the cross in dying the eternal death of the sinner - which Spirit of eternal life returned to the Father in the Most Holy of the heavenly Sanctuary at the time of the cross; to be administered to each obedient saint at the intercession of Jesus the high priest.

210

  The latter rain is the final delivering of the eternal life-blood of Christ to His "new" eternal body of saints, who now replace the original body in which He lived from eternity. He gave His original eternal body and blood as an eternal sacrifice, for his saints to eat and drink, whereby they obtain eternal life in themselves! (John 6:53,54).


  I could say much more - but why should I? Herewith I have given you the most important message. I've told you the things that God has made plain to me. But let me elaborate on Christ's eternal sacrifice:

CHRIST DIED THE ETERNAL DEATH OF THE SINNER

  On the cross, He died the eternal death of the sinner, from which there can be no hope of a resurrection, that we might receive the eternal "Life-in-Himself', which had been His. This eternal life was the entity of the Holy Ghost. A ghost is the image - the living spirit - of one who has died. At death, it returned to God who gave it. Christ was the eternal Son of God by virtue of the eternal Spirit of life which the Father had shared with His Only-begotten Son from eternity past. * [cf. John 5:26; also read reference at bottom of this page]. But He volunteered to die the eternal death of the sinner. And after presenting His disciples with His final profound lesson at the last Passover supper, explaining how He must die the eternal death of the sinner, and relinquish His eternal body and blood for them to eat and drink to obtain the eternal life which had been His, He went to Gethsemane and surrendered His life into the custody of His Father; and thus could die the eternal death of sinful humanity on the cross.

THE TIME WHEN 144,000 COLLECTIVELY RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST

  After His resurrection, He ascended to intercede (in the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary) for the Father to send His Spirit of eternal life, now called the Holy Ghost, to each one for whom He interceded. When 144,000 saints obtain perfect obedience, they will collectively receive the fullness of the Holy Ghost of the former Christ who had died the second death of the sinner, from which there is no hope of a resurrection. Repentant sinners live eternally by receiving the eternal life Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost, as a permanent gift.*

____________
* Publishers reference to above (two) Paragraphs: R & H, May 19th, 1904:

  "Christ declared that after his ascension, He would send to His church, the Comforter, who was to take His place. This Comforter is the Holy Ghost - the soul of His life, ... " [Partial bolding of quote done by the Publisher.]

211

THE EVERLASTING COVENANT DELIVERED


  Herewith I have delivered the everlasting covenant. I have revealed its message, its power. Much thought could be given to it, to elaborate upon it, to make it plainer; but it is all here. And I'm going to close this tape now because it is just about finished. Let's get down on our knees and ask for the Spirit of God's love to be shed abroad in our hearts; and we will be victorious for His sake.

  Remember, many of our brightest lights will go out. They will cling to the formality of our religion, be meticulous in keeping the Sabbath; but they will miss the bus. It must not happen to you. You are saved by faith; but you keep the law because you love the Saviour. Only thus can He be released from the renewed sufferings of sin. Please remember it. Let us worship God, who created heaven and earth. Amen.

THE FIERY TRIAL COMING UPON THE PEOPLE OF GOD

  Now just a word about the trial which is to come upon us as a people of God. We are admonished by Peter not to think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try us as though some strange thing happened unto us; but rather we should "rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;...." for "that, when His glory shall be revealed, we may be glad also, with exceeding joy. And if we be reproached, for the name of Christ, happy are we; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon us" (1 Peter 4:12-14).

  The reason for this suffering is clearly given in Chapter 4:1: "FOR AS MUCH then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;..."

  Sister White tells us that we must have an experimental knowledge of God, and of his Son Jesus, and that this is the knowledge which will transform us into His divine image. But a knowledge of God means a knowledge of His greatest attribute - His divine character of self-denying love. The only way an experimental knowledge of this character can be obtained is through a personal sharing of the kind of suffering which Jesus endured for our sakes. Only by such a personal experience, in partaking of Christ's sufferings, can we possibly discover experimentally what kind of character He really had.

212

  So in Chapter 5:10, Peter says: "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."


  Here it says we are called unto His eternal glory. But His eternal glory is His unchanging character of selfless love; and we are called to that same glory; that is, we are called to receive that same character, to reflect the image of that character perfectly. But we will not attain that perfection until after we have suffered awhile [cf. Christ's Object Lessons 69]. And this suffering, of which we must partake, is not suffering for our own transgressions. 1 Peter 4:15 - "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." What kind of suffering is it then? Verse 16: "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." And Chapter 2, verses 21-25: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered He threatened not; but committed himself unto Him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

PARTAKING OF THE STRIPES WHICH JESUS SUFFERED

  Here's the secret of obedience to God. We were going astray, but we are brought back to our Shepherd by partaking of the stripes which Jesus suffered; and His stripes were sufferings for righteousness sake. He suffered for the sins and mistakes of others. He took unfair abuse, criticism, and misunderstanding, which He did not deserve. He never reviled nor spoke back, nor raised a finger in His own self-defense. This is the example set for us.

  Look at Him in the garden, in the judgment hall, and on the cross. Meditate long and hard on this. Said He: "And I, if I be lifted up, .... will draw all men unto me." It is here that His character is revealed the suffering for righteousness sake, the giving to us of an example that we might follow to obtain the same character. It is revealed in the words, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." When

213

we sin, we crucify the Son of God afresh - we bring this reproach upon Him. Behold, there on the cross, the suffering which it costs Him to forgive our sins.


  And now, you yourself partake of this same kind of suffering so that by personal experience - by experimental knowledge of this truth of the forgiveness of your sins through the sufferings of Christ, you may gain an understanding of those sufferings. This knowledge will fill your heart with the love of God. The Spirit of God's love will encompass you. You will look upon the lovely Jesus and find it impossible to sin against Him. The love of Christ will constrain you. You cannot sin, for you are born of love. You have suffered in the flesh, and therefore you have ceased from sin. You cannot revile again, but you will offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. You cannot think of yourself alone any more; you must think of Jesus. You will see Him in His agony on the cross for your sin, and you will gladly accept your share of His sufferings.

  This is the knowledge, found in His Word and learned by experience, which will transform a man into the image of God. "It will give to him the mastery of himself," and deliver to him that same character of righteousness; for he will be born of the Spirit of God's love. And it is through this Spirit that the regeneration of the heart takes place.

  This is the fulfillment of the everlasting covenant, the new covenant of the law of God in the heart, working out obedience to the great principle of life in the universe - namely, self-denying love. And this restores willing allegiance to the government of heaven through a vindication of the character of God.

  1st Peter 4:19: “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."

  This text expresses complete confidence in Christ as Creator and as Protector; and this is the message which God's people need in facing the final crisis of this hour. The principles of the Sabbath and the time of Jacob's trouble are involved in this text.

  I wonder if we are not in a position now, to discern the coordination of these many segments of truth, to see the unification of these thoughts, and to catch a glimpse of the great panoramic integration of the majestic plan of salvation?

214

  I trust that the Spirit of God will be poured out upon us to enlighten our understanding in these matters, that we may see and behold our lovely Saviour in His true glory, - that He will be revealed to us in a manner that will be the transforming of our natures; "for by beholding we become changed" [Son's and Daughters of God, 337]. May our hearts be filled with this divine love of Jesus, that we may reflect His image perfectly. When this is accomplished, He will come to claim us as His own [cf. Maranatha 274].


THE SHAKING - TIME OF GREATEST SUFFERING TO THE SAINTS

  But let us not forget that the message of the True Witness will cause the shaking among God's people, and there will be a "fiery trial" upon us as a people. And the greatest persecution - the greatest suffering for Jesus sake, - will come from among our own ranks. This is a hard saying; but it is true. Let not one of us be guilty of implementing suffering upon God's faithful children. Let us rather humble ourselves before God. Let us "each esteem other better than himself." [The shaking will be the result of refusing the truth presented. cf. 2nd Vol. Selected Messages, page 13.]

SIFT THESE TAPES WITH A FINE-TOOTH COMB

  Much of the material on these tapes will have to be sifted with a fine-tooth comb in order to discover all the gems of truth which are assembled there. I sincerely trust that you will find it expedient to do this; and to offer your counsel concerning any matters that appear to be in error.

(This tape/letter was prepared during the month of January, 1960.)

[The first, draft transcription of audio tape/letter # 6 was completed about 1991 A. D. Then, in 1992, Brother Johnson reviewed this draft, correcting punctuation, and adding a few minor changes.

Only the sub-headings and square-bracketed material in this written transcript of tape/letter # 6 have been inserted by - The Publishers

215

AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 7

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN THIS EMERGENCY HOUR

  (This is tape number seven, addressed to the Brethren of the General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists at Washington, D.C., from J. W Johnson of; Lacombe, Alberta, [Canada]; April, 1960).

  Since forwarding to you my previous six tapes, it has become increasingly clear to me that the presentation on these tapes is in some ways inadequate to provide a reasonably complete comprehension of the vital phases of the message which applies particularly to God's people in this emergency hour. And it is important that these be made very clear, even on this initial survey.

  And for this reason I have added yet another tape on which to attempt to do this. While I realize that this is not the most suitable form in which to present material for detailed study, nevertheless, it is the most expedient means of portraying the general nature of a wide range of truth. I trust you will bear with me in this matter, and find it possible to audit this most important tape.

  I read in Christ's Object Lessons, page 78: "For His church in every generation God has a special truth and a special work." Every one of us knows that the generation of Sister White's day is past. We are living in a new generation and consequently, according to this statement, God has for us in this generation a special truth and a special work. As the original generation of ancient Israel, which came out of Egypt, was laid to rest and a new generation entered the promised land, even so today, has the first generation of the 1844 movement been laid to rest, and a new generation is now to be prepared for entrance into the promised land.

  I continue to read the statement [Christ's Object Lessons, 78]: "The truth that is hid from the worldly-wise and prudent, is revealed to the childlike and humble. It calls for self-sacrifice. It has battles to fight and victories to win. At the outset its advocates are few. By the great men of the world and by a world-conforming church, they are opposed and despised. See John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, standing alone to rebuke the pride and formalism of the Jewish nation."

216

  This has its counterpart in our day, and I sincerely invite your patience and tolerance in reviewing yet this, another amplification of this special truth and this special work. 


  On this tape, I shall endeavor to crystallize the essential features of the everlasting gospel as it applies to God's people in this emergency hour. And to begin with I shall copy a talk which was prepared on the subject of "preparation to meet the crisis". This talk does not cover the topic completely, but lays the foundation; and at the conclusion of it, I shall continue the subject further.


[Below, a worship or vesper talk (following week of prayer) delivered about 1958 to the students, at Canadian Union College, by J. W Johnson; entitled}:

PREPARATION TO MEET THE CRISIS
(FROM HERE TO PAGE 235.4)

  It is a pleasure for me to have the privilege of speaking to you tonight. At the same time, I consider it to be a deep responsibility. It has been my privilege to work with young people now for many years in regular day-school work, and I appreciate the importance of planting the right seed in the minds of young people, that it may bear fruit to eternity. So I have not come tonight prepared to entertain you. The things that I am going to talk about, I'm going to talk about in all seriousness. I believe we have a serious business at hand.

  I read in Testimonies, Volume 5, page 466 that: "It is a solemn thing to die, but a far more solemn thing to live. Every thought and word and deed of our lives will meet us again. What we make of ourselves in probationary time, that we must remain to all eternity."


  I think that's one of the most solemn statements that I have found in the Spirit of Prophecy. "Death brings dissolution to the body, but makes no change in the character. The coming of Christ does not change our characters; it only fixes them forever beyond all change." And so I say - we have serious things to think about tonight.

  You have recently had an inspiring week of prayer. Many of you have made decisions in favor of the program of God: Some of you have given yourselves over to the service of God for the first time. You've entered an experience which has proved very satisfying to you - You delight in the assurance that you're now one of God's children. You're now looking forward to a life of peace, and happiness, and security in the service of God.

217

  Then there are those of you too who have re-consecrated your lives to God. You've had shortcomings in your experience - you've had sin in your lives. There have been besetments which you've tried many times to overcome, but you've failed. And now during the week of prayer, you've re-determined to rid yourself of those things; and you're now at last going to be the kind of Christian you've always wanted to be, but somehow just couldn't make it. And since making this new consecration to God, you've been enjoying a new experience; and you're so happy - you're bubbling over with enthusiasm! You've been talking about it to your friends and you've been, as it were, almost walking on air. You feel that you have finally found the real thing in the Christian life. This is what the preachers have been talking about, and now you have it and how happy you are.

  Well, I have something to say to you people tonight. I'd like to tell you on the authority of God's word that your life will not continue to sail so smoothly, and perhaps you've already discovered it; for my Bible tells me that "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." There's more than one kind of persecution too. Most of us think that persecution is some form of social or economic, or even physical persecution - enforced suffering because of our faith; and that's certainly true.

THE BATTLE WITH SIN IN THE SOUL

  But there's another kind of persecution which is of a spiritual nature. It has to do with a battle with sin in the soul - the enduring of the fearful accusations of the evil one against us because we've failed to conquer all our sins. It's the battle with doubts and discouragements because of our repeated failures. I don't want to take the joy out of your Christian experience tonight - that's not my purpose. But I want to look this thing straight in the eye. And if you are due for a disillusionment, I'd like to know that you're prepared to meet it.

  You're going to have to fight the battle with self over and over again; for selfishness, I'm sure you recognize, is at the root of all evil. If this is your first surrender to God, you're not through with the conflict with sin. And if this is your umpteenth re-consecration, you're still not finished with the wiles of the devil.

218

  We're living in the most crucial time in earth's history, and God's people are facing a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation, nor ever will be again. And it's not just a time of physical trouble - for the saints are protected in some ways during that time, - but it's a time of spiritual trouble. There will be bitter anguish of soul; and the anguish will continue until the saints are finally delivered by the voice of God, - you may read that in the little book Early Writings [pages 34, 37, 273, & 289]. This anguish is tied in with the conflict of sin and the desire for assurance that one's sins are forgiven. And that, you will recall, was Jacob's trouble.


  If you've ever reached the place where you feel you can't make the grade, you've tried over and over again so many times and failed, and just when you thought you'd finally succeeded, (and possibly you did this during the week of prayer), there you went again! You found yourself sliding right down off the mountaintop into the valley of discouragement and utter defeat.

  Now, it will not be possible for us tonight to consider the entire solution of this problem. There just isn't time to do it. But I would like to at least show you where the answer is. I would like to set you on the path tonight that will lead you to the answer to this problem.

  I think it would actually be better for me not to tell you the solution to the problem, but rather to let you discover it for yourself. It means so much more to us when we discover things by ourselves so I'm not going to give you a direct answer to it. But I sincerely hope that before we're through tonight, this matter of preparation to meet the conflict in the soul against sin will be the most important thing - the uppermost thing - in your mind; that you will make it the first business of your life.

  I'd like to stimulate you to enroll in the most amazing course of study which was ever written, a course of study which contains the potential to prepare you to be the most outstanding witnesses this universe has ever seen; and to exalt and to vindicate the just and merciful character of our Saviour. And so, let us get on with the business:

  I read you a statement here, just a few minutes ago, to the effect that our character is formed in this life and that it will not change after death. This to me is an extremely solemn thought. And I'd like to ask the question, what kind of character - incidentally, if this is such an important thing that if our character will not change after we die, it is

219 

an extremely important thing that we find out what kind of character we ought to develop so that we'll get the right kind before our days are done. And so I would turn to Christ's Object Lessons, page 69, to get the answer to this: "Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own." There's the answer! The character which Christ is waiting for us to produce, or should I say reproduce, is His own precious character. Now the question is; if we're going to have to construct a certain character we're going to have to have a print - a blueprint. We're going to have to have a pattern - something whereby we can observe and note the various characteristics, and follow the pattern. And where will we find that pattern?

  I read this on p. 38 of the same book [Christ's Object Lessons]: "He who by faith receives the word" (that is the word of God), "is receiving the very life and character of God .... Receive into the soul by faith the incorruptible seed of the word, and it will bring forth a character and a life after the similitude of the character and the life of God." Is that plain enough? Where is the pattern of this character found? in the Word.


  I hope you will forgive me if I ask a few questions tonight. I don't expect you to answer them out, but you see I do this every day. I've been doing it for the past twenty-four years [about 1933-1959], and I just can't get out of the habit. Teachers have to ask questions. But if I ask questions, I'm asking them to cause you to think, to get the problem clearly in your mind, so that when the answer comes you will get it that much more clearly.

  So we find the character of Christ revealed in the Word. What do we see when we look into this word of God? Education, p. 171: "As we contemplate the great things of God's word, we look into a fountain that broadens and deepens beneath our gaze. Its breadth and depth pass our knowledge. As we gaze, the vision widens; and stretched out before us we behold a boundless, shoreless sea." You'd wonder how that could all be in that little book - but it's there.

  There is a tremendous amount of material in this little book. It's geared for all kinds of minds. There are things in this little book that can be understood by children - they can appreciate those things. And yet there are things in this little book that the greatest intellect this world has ever seen cannot fathom. And so there are many things in

220

this book. There are many views that we may see as we study this Word. 


  I'm going to read a number of quotations tonight because I feel that these have been expressed in so much better terms than I would be able to give them to you; and I hope that you don't tire of my pointing you to the source of this material. But here's another one I'd like a thought from - from p. 127 of Christ's Object Lessons: "Ever since the first promise of redemption was spoken in Eden, the life, the character, and the mediatorial work of Christ" (and that's what we're interested in), "have been the study of human minds. Yet every mind through whom the Holy Spirit has worked has presented these themes in a light that is fresh and new" (and there have been a lot of minds since that day). "The truths of redemption are capable of constant development and expansion. Though old, they are ever new,...." And if this be true, we may expect to find many different things as we read the word of God and these particular truths.


IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO EXHAUST EVEN ONE TRUTH OF THE BIBLE

  And so it says in Education, p. 171 that; "....it is impossible for any human mind to exhaust even one truth or promise of the Bible." That's a strong statement! Even one truth, or one single promise - it's impossible for any human mind to exhaust it. So that if one human mind is capable of seeing one thing concerning that truth or promise, another human mind is capable of seeing another thing. She says that "one catches the glory from one point of view, another from another point; yet we can discern only gleanings. The full radiance is beyond our vision."[Ibid].

  It's very much like viewing a city. You folks view the town of Lacombe from on the hilltop here day after day. You get familiar with the pattern of its structure. You see the different buildings and the landmarks, and you recognize the town of Lacombe. If you were to see a picture of this town from this particular view or angle, you'd immediately know that it was the town of Lacombe.

  But now suppose sometime you take a little ride in a car, and you circle around through the country, and presently you come back in from another road, perhaps out from the west. And you've never been out on that road before, and as you come up over the valley - the hill - you look down into the valley and there you see a town; and you say, what town is this? I don't recognize this town.

221

  At first glance you don't observe that it's the town of Lacombe. But as you study that just a little more closely, you notice certain landmarks that stand out, and you say, "oh yes, this is Lacombe - why look, over there is the Experimental Station, and up there is the College." And you recognize now, that this is indeed, the same town with which you are familiar - but you've never seen it from this particular view before.

GOD'S TRUTH IS LIKE A DIAMOND

  I think of the truth of God as a diamond. You know the value of a diamond lies in the way that it's polished. There are many surfaces on the diamond - "facets" they are called. And they are polished in different directions, at different angles; and that is the secret of the diamond's sparkling, because the light is reflected in different directions; and as the diamond moves, the light jumps from one place to another - or at least you see the reflection from one position and another, and the sparkling takes place.

  The word of God is much like that. You may view the diamond from one particular slant, or you may view it from another slant. But only as you begin to rotate the diamond, and see the sparkling from all the angles do you begin to appreciate its beauty.

  Well I must hurry on. - I have a number of things that I would like to lead you through and bring to a definite conclusion, and unless I am careful not to get too far off the track, we won't get through it.

  So then it's obvious that if we're going to develop a character after the divine similitude, we shall have to gain a knowledge of the Word of God; and that fact definitely is imperative! - there is no other way. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that only those who have fortified their minds with the truths of the Scripture, "will stand through the last great conflict." [Great Controversy 593]. And I want to tell you young people, you are going to go through the last great conflict unless God takes you out of the way.

  We are living in a time when all the signs of the coming of Christ are culminating. There can be little doubt in the minds of any observer of these things of God, that the day is at hand when Jesus is going to return. There's only one thing He's waiting for, and I've already read that to you. Are you going to hasten the Lord's coming, or are you going to delay it? She [Ellen G. White] tells us that we have that choice. [cf. DA 633, LDE 39, AA 600, COL 69, Ev 696 etc.]

222

  We're told that the outpouring of the latter rain is to prepare the saints to "stand through the last great conflict", and the seven last plagues [GC 593-4]. Well then is this not reasonable? - for is not the outpouring of the latter rain the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? And is not the outpouring of the Holy Spirit the outpouring of the Spirit of Truth? And is not the work of the Spirit of Truth to "guide you into all truth?" The truth of God is in His Word, and the Holy Spirit will guide us into it. ["God's holy, educating Spirit is in His word ML 44"].


  There are two kinds of knowledge. Let me read this from Messages to Young People, p. l40: "Many of our youth understand the theory of the truth, but how few understand by experimental knowledge the practical bearing of the truth upon their every action." There you see the two kinds. It's possible to have the theory of the truth - to know all there is to know about the message, as it were. I shouldn't say it just that way because we can never know all there is. But it is possible to know the message - the theory of the truth - and yet not have an "experimental knowledge" of it.

  Now this is important. For she says in Special Testimonies No. 32, page 29 [5 Testimonies, 273] that "great changes are soon to take place in the world." - and this was written many years ago. Those great changes are upon us; "and everyone will need an experimental knowledge of the things of God." Why do we need it? To prepare us to stand through the last great conflict.

  I don't want to spend much time talking about the conflict - there is a great deal could be said about it. But the Spirit of Prophecy indicates quite clearly, that so far as the people of God are concerned, the conflict is the conflict between good and evil. It's the conflict between allegiance to God and allegiance to Satan; and this conflict takes place in the heart of the individual. This is the great conflict; this is where the anguish comes in - it is the battle with sin!

  How do we manifest our allegiance to God? - how do we show it? If we really have faith in God, if we really love God, what will we do? If we respect His government, what will we do? Why, keep its laws, won't we? We will keep His commandments. And that brings us face to face with this question of sin, for sin - the transgression of the law; and that's the thing I want to talk about.

  I've asked many people this question: "Are you ready for the door of probation to close? Have you gained the mastery over every besetment and over every sin?" And do you know what the invariable

223

answer is? “No; we are not ready for the door of probation to close." Let's admit it. Now what are we going to do about it? - how are we going to get this thing straightened out?

  Oh yes, I have heard the message preached for years and years; I have struggled with sin time and time again. I have tried to overcome all these different points that we are taught we must overcome. And just about the time I think I've got one of them licked, what do you suppose happens? Well, there's another one pops its ugly head upon the horizon of the landscape of my experience, and I have to start battling with him. And so it goes. When are we going to get through with this thing?

"LET GO AND LET GOD" - DOES IT WORK?

  Would you like to find out where the answer to this problem lies? Oh you say, "I've heard the answer. Lots of times they've told me that I must just "let go and let God, and everything will be fine". That's what I did too; and it didn't work. I still have a little difficulty - do you? Now let me read this, I think you'll catch something here that maybe you haven't noticed before. Maybe you'll catch one of the reflections from one of the sides of that diamond that you just didn't notice.

  Here it is: - Christ's Object Lessons, p. 114: "The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent," - (the experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent,) - "transforms man into the image of God." Transformation! a change - something turns around; there's a new pattern; and what is it that does it? - "The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent." 

  Listen: "It gives to man the mastery of himself,..." Well, that's what I want - that's what I've been after. I want to get control of myself; I just don't seem to be able to do it. "Bringing every impulse and passion under the control of the higher powers of the mind." [Isn't] that a wonderful promise? Listen: "It makes its possessor a son of God..." We hear a lot about being born again, don't we? - about becoming a child of God? What is it that brings this reality about? "The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ...It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich


224

treasures of the universe." [Ibid]. I tell you that's a wonderful promise - that's a wonderful promise! 


   Then she says: "This is the knowledge, which is obtained" - (now get it!) - "by searching the word of God." Are you doing it? How many people can find it? You say, 'I've searched, I've looked, but I haven't got it'. "And this treasure may be found by every soul who will give all to obtain it." There, maybe that's the secret. Maybe we haven't given all. Maybe we have held back.


  You know it says in this little book, over here in 1st John 3:9, remember, this experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, will make its possessor a son of God? Listen to what it says: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin" - why not? "... because he is born of God." I wonder if I'm making this thing plain? What is the answer - what is the answer? Where is the knowledge found that will transform the nature, and make its possessor a son of God? where's it found? In the Word of God! How many people can obtain it? "Every soul who will give all to obtain it." But I must go on.

  Now we think of the word of God as the little book, don't we? The little black book - that's the word of God. But we're going to have to modify our view just a little bit, and get a little reflection off one of the other facets of this diamond, because the word of God is a little broader than that. Let me read it to you - Christ's Object Lessons, p. 125: "The great storehouse of truth is the word of God - the written word, the book of nature, and the book of experience in God's dealing with human life." I'd better read those again - "the written word, the book of nature, and the book of experience in God's dealing with human life. Here are the treasures from which Christ's workers are to draw."

  Now some folks feel that they shouldn't study other things except the Scriptures, that this should be their main study - and it should be their main study. But we must not confine ourselves to merely the study of the written word of God. We will not get a complete understanding of God's word if we confine ourselves to that. I could read other statements which will verify it, but I can't bring all these statements in tonight - there just isn't time. But here we have the three books. It is imperative that we also study the book of nature! — scientific investigation, she calls it in another place.

  It is imperative that we study the book of experience in God's dealing with human life! And this is not only written in the word of

225

God, it is written in the books of history. "Every man and every woman should feel that obligations are resting upon them to reach the very height of intellectual greatness." [4 T 414].

 
  Did you know that God expects you to possess more intelligence, and keener discernment, than the worldling? I'll read you that Fourth volume of the Testimonies, p. 545: "The Christian should possess more intelligence and keener discernment than the worldling. The study of God's word is continually expanding the mind and strengthening the intellect." It gives you the answer right there. You can improve your intelligence - you can improve your discernment.

NO SUCH THING AS A TRUE INTELLIGENCE TEST

  We hear a lot about intelligence tests nowadays - measuring the IQ to see how smart we are. Some of us show up - well, fairly well, and some of us don't show up so well. We have an IQ - a sort of a measurement of our intelligence; but you know, there is no such thing as a true intelligence test. I haven't yet found an intelligence test that tests pure intelligence. It always is mixed in with knowledge. How can you test intelligence without getting a little knowledge mixed in with it? And there are people with low intelligence - and I'm going to give you an illustration later on, if I have time, - there are people with low intelligence that far surpass those with high intelligence according to IQ tests. And God says through the word of the Spirit of Prophecy, that it is possible to develop and expand the mind [cf. 4 T, p. 545].

  So those of you who didn't make too well on these examinations this past week (I understand you had some), don't get too discouraged. Maybe there's an answer here in the word of God for your problem. She says: "There is nothing that will so refine and elevate the character," (and that's what we're after), "and give vigor to every faculty, as the continual exercise of the mind to grasp and comprehend weighty and important truths." 4 Testimonies, p. 545.

EXERCISE YOUR MIND

  Let me ask you; how do you develop a muscle that's weak? You exercise it, don't you? How do you develop a mind that isn't up to par? Exercise! Exercise - don't sluff off. Don't sit back and say, "I can't do this - I wasn't blessed with a high enough IQ;" - don't say that! You'd be surprised what a low IQ can do.

226

  You know that this may be the problem with some of us; [4th Vol. Testimonies, page 54]: "The human mind becomes dwarfed and enfeebled when dealing with commonplace matters only,..." What kind of things do you like to read? What's the first thing you pick up when you have a spare moment? What kind of reading is it, "...never rising above the level of things of time and sense to grasp the mysteries of the unseen?" Oh I know, there are some people who tell us we're not supposed to delve into mysteries, and there's truth in that; but it’s - a limited truth, and I'll try to show you what that is.


  The Spirit of Prophecy here tells us that unless we do grapple with some of these things we can't understand too well, we'll never let the mind get exercise enough to grow. How do we develop the muscle by light exercise over a long period of time? - Oh no! You develop muscles by strenuous exercise for short periods of time, that's how they grow.

  It reminds me of when I was going to high school, we used to take pride in our muscles - I've lost all that now - but we used to take pride in our muscles, and we used to do these exercises so that our muscles would get bigger and we could pull each other over, and do all sorts of things - fifty push-ups you know, and that type of thing. Well we learned how muscles develop. Now God is telling us how to develop the intellect.

  Do you know that there is not a single science in the natural world that you cannot understand? I'll read it to you. "If the follower of Christ", (there's a condition), "will believe His word and practice it, there is no science in the natural world that he will not be able to grasp and appreciate. There is nothing but that will furnish him means for imparting the truth to others. Natural science is a treasure house of knowledge, from which every student in the school of Christ may draw... And as we study its lessons, ... there will come to us new perceptions of truth. But, it is in the written word, that a knowledge of God, is most clearly revealed to fallen man." I think that gives us the perspective. And so she says: "To the really wise, scientific research opens vast fields of thought and information. The ways of God as revealed in the natural world and in His dealings with man constitute a treasury from which every student in the school of Christ may draw." 8 Testimonies, page 325.

  Well you say, Brother Johnson, that all sounds good - I like to listen to that, but I don't think it'll work. I don't think there's much

227

hope for me ever understanding much about the Word of God - I have an awful time. I study my Sabbath School lesson - I come to Sabbath School class, and I think I have an answer; but everybody else has a better one.

  You know when I was your age, I can recall very distinctly that there were certain major doctrines of the Scriptures that I couldn't grasp. I didn't have too much trouble understanding the things in my school studies and the scientific things, but I just could not grasp some of these Biblical things; and I couldn't understand what was the matter; and I did what Christians are supposed to do. I didn't know whether it would do any good or not, - but I did it anyway; I asked God about it!

GOD CAN GIVE WISDOM

  I discovered the story about Solomon where it says that he felt like a little child. He didn't think he had wisdom enough to handle the judgment of Israel, and he went to God; and God gave him wisdom. And I thought, "well I'm no Solomon, but if God could do it for Solomon maybe he'd think about giving me a little bit." And then I came across a text in the Scripture, and I'd like you to turn to read it if you have your Bibles, and if you don't, I'll read it for you anyway.

  It's found in the 1st Chapter of James, verses 5-7. You know, unless we're going to stand on this Word - unless we claim these promises of God, we will not benefit from them. We've got to believe these promises, and then they work. This is what it says: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him" - do what? Say it! - "ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;" - and what will happen? - "and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." I think that's self-explanatory isn't it? Claim that promise take that promise and claim it!

  Oh, God has many other promises in the Word too. You know He says in Matthew 7:7 & 8: "Ask, and it shall be given; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" And he says again, If ye ask of your Father bread, will He give you a stone? Well, if you fathers (as he speaks, earthly fathers)" ... being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give good gifts to them that ask Him" [Matthew 7:11].

228

  Let's not get too discouraged too easily though. We may have to wait a little while. Sometimes God can't give us everything we ask for right away, because you see, we're developing. We can't explain things to little children in the same terms that we explain things to adults it isn't possible. God can't explain some of His mysteries to us in their broad terms because we don't have the capacity to understand them. Let me read that to you:


GOD'S WORD IS EVER UNFOLDING

  Education, pages 170 & 171: "God intends that to the earnest seeker the truths of His word shall be ever unfolding." There's no stopping - you never get to a dead-end street. “While ‘the secret things belong to the Lord our God, those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children.' The idea that certain portions of the Bible cannot be understood has led to neglect of some of its most important truths. The fact needs to be emphasized" - (the fact needs to be emphasized, and I'm emphasizing it right now) - "... and often repeated, that the mysteries of the Bible are not such because God has sought to conceal truth, but because our own weakness or ignorance makes us incapable of comprehending or appropriating truth." And what do you do if you've got a weak muscle? Exercise. What do you do if you have a weak mind? Exercise! What do you do if you're ignorant? Study, learn! "The limitation is not in His purpose, but in our capacity." Oh, I could read you much more, but I must hasten on.

  "If the followers of Christ were but earnest seekers after wisdom, they would be led into rich fields of truth as yet wholly unknown to them. He who will give himself fully to God will be guided by the divine hand. He may be lowly and apparently ungifted;..." - does that fit you? - "yet if with a loving, trusting heart he obeys every intimation of God's will, his powers will be purified, ennobled, energized, and his capabilities will be increased." [Acts of the Apostles 283-4]. I wonder if you believe that? Do you believe that? How many of you believe that the Testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy and these things that I have been reading are really true? Don't put your hand up if you don't believe it. - Yes, most of us do.


  I'm not going to ask the next question for you to answer; but how many of you have proved that they're true? Don't put your hand up I won't ask you to do that. But you ask yourself - have you proved

229

these promises? Have they become a reality in your life? Do you know what the experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ as revealed in His word really means? "As he treasures the lessons of divine wisdom, a sacred commission will be entrusted to him; he will be enabled to make his life an honor to God, and a blessing to the world." And so I say, the mental powers can increase; and the key to unlock one mystery may unlock many others.

  Just a little thought from this statement - I'm not giving you the references here - I guess I'm just forgetting - but if any of you want them, I have them. Gospel Workers (1915), p. 167: "Two valuable victories" - I'd better read a little before that. I better read a little more here: "Search, study, and pray; face every difficulty manfully and vigorously; call the power of will and the grace of patience to your aid, and then dig more earnestly till the gem of truth lies before you, plain and beautiful, all the more precious because of the difficulties involved in finding it. Do not then, continually dwell upon this one point, concentrating all of the energies of the mind upon it, constantly urging it upon the attention of others, but take another subject and carefully examine that. Thus, mystery after mystery will be unfolded to your comprehension."

  "Two valuable victories will be gained by this course. You have not only secured useful knowledge, but the exercise of the mind", (which we talked about), "will increase your mental power. The key found to unlock one mystery, may reveal also other precious gems of truth heretofore undiscovered." Gospel Workers 280.

  "Let the student take the Bible as his guide and stand firm for principle, and he may aspire to any height of attainment. And the natural powers are enlarged because of holy obedience. From the study of the word of life, students may come forth with minds expanded, elevated, and ennobled. If they are like Daniel, hearers and doers of the word of God, they may advance as he did in all branches of learning. Being pure-minded, they will become strong-minded. Every intellectual faculty will be quickened." Ministry of Healing 465-6.

THE STORY ABOUT SALLY

  I want to tell you the story about Sally: Sally is a student down at our school [Lacombe Composite High School]. She first came into my classes pretty nearly three years ago [1955] from grade nine. Sally took the tests for mental ability as all the other grade nines do, and for

230

reading ability. And Sally was positioned on the scale - you know with all the other students who wrote - and she didn't come out so well. As a matter of fact her writing and reading ability was way down here - number nine. She had ninety-one above her and eight below out of every hundred students. And her IQ was just a little worse. She was right down here - number four. She just had three people below her, and she had ninety-seven or ninety-eight above (I can't figure in my head, I've always had to use a pencil). But anyway you get the picture, don't you?


  Now you won't understand this too well until I tell you that not very many students below thirty come into high school. We get a few in the twenties, and a very few in the teens, but we practically never get anybody below ten. Why not? Well, they just aren't the type that can make out - they can't do it. But Sally was there.

  Sally wasn't good enough to go into the academic course, so she landed in my commercial subjects. And we commercial people are very well blessed with folks who can't get into the academic program. But you know, there's an education for everybody - and it's a challenge. And here was Sally sitting in my shorthand class trying to learn shorthand and trying to learn typing. She didn't do so well. And it wasn't long before I discovered that what she did do wasn't all her own work. You know what I mean, - she got it from her neighbors.

  I didn't say anything to Sally, because every year I find some students who come into my classes who haven't quite overcome this tendency to dishonesty, so I let it go. But during the course of the year I always give a few thoughts on various characteristics that budding stenographers must develop before they can go into the office; and honesty is one of them. And I thought that perhaps Sally, with a reasonably good - well, in fact, a very good home background, would probably make out alright. She passed the first year - she passed. I don't know whether she passed entirely honestly or not; but I rather think she did. But her marks weren't very good. They were pretty low; but I was glad to see that she made the grade.

  She came into the second year (grade eleven) last year. She wasn't doing too well; but I thought that Sally was overcoming the habit of dishonesty, - I hadn't noticed her cheating anymore, and I thought she was through with it. And then one day, along with a lot of other typing papers, she turned in her typing paper. It was a time test and she had figured it out, and she laid it along with the rest on my desk. And I

231 

marked those papers, and when I came to Sally's paper and I came down so far, all of a sudden I knew that what was below that was typed after the bell went, before she handed it in. And I won't explain just what procedure I carried through in doing this, but it was possible for her to do it, and she did it! But I knew it. You can't be marking typing papers for twenty years without discovering a few things, and I knew she'd done it. But I didn't know how I was going to tackle her on it.

  One of the hardest things for me to do is to face a problem like that. I thought, "maybe Sally will come around herself - tell you what I'll do: - I'll pass all the papers back except Sally's - I'll just keep hers; and maybe she'll catch on, maybe she'll come and acknowledge that there was something wrong." And so I did that. Sally never let on, there wasn't a sign. Everything just went on as usual. So I knew I had to face the problem. I felt that in another year she would be looking for work and I would have to recommend her; and I couldn't recommend a girl like that, even though I might want to.

  It took me three days and a considerable degree of prayer before I finally mustered up enough courage to tackle this thing, because there was some other things involved in it that made it difficult. You see, I knew why Sally was cheating. Can't you guess why she was cheating? The other students didn't have to work nearly so hard, and they got better marks; and Sally just couldn't take it.

  Well, I must shorten this up. I called her up to my desk after a bookkeeping class - not a typing class; after a bookkeeping class. And all the students had gone out, and I took this paper out of my desk and I placed it on that table that I have standing beside my desk for a demonstrator of my typewriter. And I placed it down on the desk there, and she was standing over on the other side. And I turned it around and I said, "Sally, what does this mean down here?"

  And that's all it took. And I never saw anyone so broken up – I don't think - in my life. She took it terribly hard, and I got to the bottom of that thing. She just let go and she said, "I'm no good - I'm no good! I haven't got anything; I can't do anything right!"

  Well I never felt so sorry for anybody that I can remember. But she was too broken up to do anything at that time, and so I let her go. But a day or two later, when she calmed down a little, I called her in and we had a nice long chat together - and I'm not going into the details of that. I checked with the home, and I made it a point to work with this girl and see if I couldn't help her get over this terrible handicap.

232

  To make a long story short because my time is slipping away, on the last report card - she's now in grade 12 down here at school - on the last report card that she had, these are her marks: English 30 - B; Social Studies 30 - A; Bookkeeping 30 - A+; Office Practice 20 - H; Typewriting 30 - B; Psychology 20 - A; Economics 30 - A. Intelligence so low that anybody even higher than her never makes more than Cs, and rarely a B. There they are!


  She's as happy as a lark because of those marks. But she has her problems. She works! She studies! She has taken these promises of God's word at their face value, and she's proving them.

  And I'm sorry I took quite so much time to tell you that. There are many other things I would like to say, but I'm going to have to skip over them now and bring this to a head.

SIX CONDITIONS FOR CLAIMING GOD'S PROMISES

  But here are a few of the conditions under which you can claim these promises of God. Can you bear with me just long enough to get these?: "When a man is willing to be instructed as a little child" that's condition #1. "When he submits wholly to God" - that's condition number #2, - "...he will find the truth in His word." "If men would be obedient" - that's condition #3, - "they would understand the plan of God's government."

  "Human beings would be altogether different from what they now are, for by exploring the mines of truth, men would be ennobled. The mystery of redemption, the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, would not be as they are now, vague in our minds. They would be not only better understood, but altogether more highly appreciated. He will make plain His word to all who seek Him in sincerity of heart" that's #4. ''Those who study the word of God with hearts open to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit" - that's #5 - "will not remain in darkness as to the meaning of the word."

  "All who come to Christ, for a clearer knowledge of the truth" that's #6, you've got to come for it - "will receive it." "He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know the truth." [Christ's Object Lessons, 36].

233

  Here's one of the most precious promises I have read. Christ's Object Lessons, page 129: "If we keep the Lord ever before us, allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in the religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk to a friend." Have you ever done that? "He will speak His mysteries to us personally." Do you realize that you can have a personal relationship with God, that you can have a conversation with Him as you can talk with a friend; that He can reveal His mysteries to you personally even things that may be mysteries to you? There's the promise.

  "Often there will come to us a sweet joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch." You know, we must have that same experience that Enoch had before we can go through the last great conflict and be translated. If we're going to be translated as Enoch was translated, we must have the experience of communion with God as Enoch had it.

  But now, let's not get disturbed about this thing nor even tangled up. Let's get a correct balance on this: Review and Herald 1897, September 28th, she says: "God has appointed that through the study of the Bible, important truths shall be communicated to His human agents .... God does not generally work miracles to advance His truth." Sometimes we feel that God has to do something terrifically big or great or miraculous before we can catch a hold of anything. That is not His appointed way. His appointed way is through the study of the Bible.

READ THE BIBLE

  Now there's a little secret to this thing - there is a point here which I think we should get. If we want to really take advantage of these precious promises of the Word of God as given to us through the Spirit of Prophecy, we must get a hold of this thought [from 7th Volume of the Testimonies, page 205]: "Let the truth of God be the subject for contemplation and meditation. Read the Bible, and regard it as the voice of God speaking directly to you."

  When you find something in here and you say, "Oh, that just fits Mrs. So and So, she ought to read that;" or, "that's exactly what Mr. So and So needs, he sure gave it to me the other day and I just felt like giving it back to him. Now I've got something to hang over his head."

234

  No, no! "Regard it as the voice of God speaking" - to whom? "directly to you." Listen: "Then will you find inspiration and that wisdom which is divine." Ibid. Did you get it, - did you get it? "Then will you find inspiration and that wisdom which is divine." Well, there's much more I could give....


  Sometimes we may wonder whether we're having a genuine experience or not. It says: "If you love the word of God, searching it as you have opportunity, that you may come into the possession of its rich treasures,... then you may be assured that Jesus is drawing you to Himself." [Messages to Young People, p. 274].

  And if you're wondering whether the things that you are understanding out of the word of God are good or not; here's a test: "When the doctrine we accept kills sin in the heart," (and that's what we're after), "purifies the soul from defilement, bears fruit unto holiness, we may know that it is the truth of God." [Mount of Blessing p. 146]. And so we may know, as we study God's word, whether God is our teacher or not.

  And she says that God has given to every man his work, and that if we each wait on God He will teach us how to work, and what work we're best fitted to do. And it says, "Your duty is not, cannot, be shifted to another. No one but yourself can do your work. If you withhold your light, someone must be left in darkness through your neglect" [5th Vol. of the Testimonies, p. 464].

  And so in your gathering of understanding of God's word, God hath set it forth, and how you can best perform it, and you can't transfer your duty. It's your duty and God would like you to do it.

  Oh friends, from the 8th Volume of the Testimonies [page 322], we're told that there are "wonderful possibilities open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God's word. There are glorious truths to come before the people of God. Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them. As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God."

  I'm through now. Do you want to share in the promises that I have been reading about? Would you like to take advantage of the things that are there in God's word for you? Do you long to understand the things in this Book, to gain an experimental knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ? - And incidentally, that's another whole subject - I haven't explained it tonight.

235

  Do you long to gain a knowledge and understanding of this thing so that you can gain the mastery of yourself? - so that you can prepare yourself to meet the last great conflict? Do you care to have your mind fortified with the truths of the Bible so that you can stand? Is that your desire? Do you really want it? Are you willing to give all to obtain it? Are you willing to make this thing the most important thing in your life - not to the exclusion of other things - but the most important thing? Then you will be prepared to meet your God. You will be ready for Jesus to come.

  "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). May God bless us to this end.

  And now, I would like to add a few thoughts to this [foregoing] study on The Preparation:

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON THE PREPARATION

  I'm quoting from Sister White as printed in the Review and Herald, November 22nd, of 1892, and reprinted in the 1st Volume of Selected Messages, pages 362 and 363: "Let everyone who claims to believe that the Lord is soon coming, search the Scriptures as never before."


  This passage again verifies that it is necessary "to search the Scriptures, even as never before" in order to prepare for the soon coming of Jesus. And what for? Quoting again: " ...for Satan is determined to try every device possible to keep souls in darkness, and blind the mind to the perils of the times in which we are living." This is one reason for searching the Scriptures. It will enable us to discover things which will open our minds to the perils of these times.

  "Let every believer take up his Bible with earnest prayer, that he may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit as to what is truth, that he may know more of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent" [1st SM 362]. Here is the same truth again expressed - that we must study the Bible to discover more about God and about Jesus Christ; and also that our understanding of the Scripture will be accomplished through the agency of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of truth; and He will guide us into "all truth."

236

  Quoting again: "Search for the truth as for hidden treasures, and disappoint the enemy." There are many people who study the Bible but they do not search as they would for hidden treasures. Unless we search the Scriptures as we would search for hidden treasures, we will not succeed in disappointing the enemy.


  Quoting again: "The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer." Here the servant of the Lord brings us right down to the keynote of the message for this hour. We're to prepare for the coming of Jesus by searching the Scriptures, to discover the perils of our times, to become enlightened by the Holy Spirit, to learn more of God and of Christ, and to search for these truths as for hidden treasures. And then she brings us right down to the direct truth which applies in this time - the truth of the loud cry of the third angel which has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer:

   "This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth. For it is the work of everyone to whom the message of warning has come, to lift up Jesus, to present Him to the world as revealed in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelations of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples and in the wonderful miracles wrought for the sons of men. Search the Scriptures; for they are they that testify of Him." [1 SM 362]

  So we see that in bringing forth this truth of the righteousness of Christ, she points us directly to Jesus and the things surrounding Him. These are the things which we must present. There is something about the life of Jesus, about the character of Jesus, about the work of Jesus, which is portrayed in these symbols and shadowed forth in these types that we are to understand. And so she says again: "If you would stand through the time of trouble, you must know Christ." This ties in directly with the statement from: COL 114.

  Christ's Object Lessons, page 114: "The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God." Thus we see there is some kind of knowledge about

237

God and Jesus Christ which we can experience, in a personal way, that will effect a transformation of our characters into the image of God. "It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe." Is this not the keynote in the preparation to meet Jesus? Is this not the essential message which will enable us to live after probation closes, without sin? This is the thing which we have been looking for, and it is tied in with the study of the Word, for I continue the quotation: "This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching the word of God. And this treasure may be found by every soul who will give all to obtain it."


  I could say more about this quotation but I think it is self-evident.

HOW TO STAND THROUGH THE TIME OF TROUBLE
[FROM HERE TO P. 242.8]

  Going back then to the original quotation from the Review and Herald [Nov. 22nd, 1892], I continue: "If you would stand through the time of trouble, you must know Christ, and appropriate the gift of His righteousness which He imputes to the repentant sinner." Here we discover that the thing that we particularly need to know about Christ, which will perform this transformation, is the appropriating of the gift of His righteousness which He imputes to the repentant sinner.

  There is only one thing which will enable us to stand through the last great conflict and to live without sin after probation closes, to be without fault before God; and that is a thorough understanding and a thorough acceptance of the great truth of the imputed righteousness of Christ - that is, the forgiveness of sins. For it says in 1st John 2:1 & 2: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins:"

  In the final conflict with sin many will feel that they have sinned so often and so much that they have passed the boundaries of mercy - that they have sinned against the Holy Ghost. Many will feel that Jesus cannot forgive their sins - they have sinned too often. These people must accept this message! There is no other way. We cannot be saved, except as we believe in the message of the forgiveness of sins. It is by faith that salvation becomes ours.

238

  I quote from the Review and Herald, March 27th, 1888: "There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence."


  Satan has a certain amount of guilt in the sins which we may commit, when in the heart we do not care to commit these sins; but we find ourselves falling under the weight. And Satan will bear the responsibility for this thing. Let us make no mistake about what is said in Spiritual Gifts, Volume 1, page 199. Quoting: "As Jesus moved out of the Most Holy Place, ... every case was decided and every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly Sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the Most Holy Place, He placed back upon the originator of sin, the Devil. He must suffer the punishment of these sins."

DISTINCTION BETWEEN CONFESSED SINS BEFORE 1844 AND AFTER 1844

  There is a distinction between the sins which have been confessed since 1844, and those which have been confessed prior to 1844. And in the light of what has been said on previous tapes*, this may be better understood; for as we realize that the door to the holy apartment was closed in 1844 and the one to the most holy was opened, we should recognize that some difference must, of necessity, exist. And the key to an understanding of this difference is given in this quotation which I have just read [cf. 1st Volume, Spiritual Gifts, 199 quoted above].


  We must understand that the penalty for our transgression is taken care of, that we need no longer fear this penalty. This is the only way that God could guarantee that the service which He obtained from His subjects, (from repentant sinners), was on the basis of love for Him and His character, and not for their own self's sake.

  It brings to light the same old issue of force versus love. God desires all His creatures to worship Him because they love Him. He desires true fellowship and true love. He cannot get this from sinners if He forces them to keep His commandments - that is, to cease from sin. It would be a forced allegiance, and the free will would be curtailed. To guarantee that service is based on willing allegiance, He removed the penalty of the transgression.
 
___________
*[Reference is made here to pages 80 - 88 of this book; Also, following up, refer to pages 290 - 292].

239

  But we must accept this truth - we must appropriate this truth! When we sin, we must recognize that our sin is forgiven when it is confessed. When it is in the heart to obey God, He forgives the sin. We do not then continue in sin that grace may abound. If we sin, we sin because we have been tempted by Satan, and we have fallen.

  But our heart is with God - we want to co-operate with Him. We yearn to show our allegiance to Him and to co-operate with Him and His government; but we are still in our sinful flesh, and so the battle goes on. And this is the conflict, - this is the great conflict, which is going on in the heart of the individual; and it will reach its greatest intensity near the close of time. And we are living in that time today.

  There is only one message, I say again, which will enable us to triumph over the accusations of Satan; and it is the acceptance of this message which we have just been speaking about. We must believe that our sins are forgiven! But there's more to it:

FORGIVENESS ALWAYS COSTS JESUS SOMETHING

  Not until we realize that forgiveness of sins costs the Son of God something, will we respond completely. For, you see, if it did not cost Him anything, we could just continue in sin and have sins forgiven indefinitely and there would be no incentive to refuse to sin. But now as we realize that He bears the burden of our sinfulness ("by His stripes we are healed"), when we recognize that He suffers as we sin, that to forgive our sins costs Him something, - we will not continue to insult Him, we will refuse to insult Him - we will refuse to cause Him to be "crucified afresh" because we love Him.

TASTING OF THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST

  There is no power which is as strong as the motivating power of love, and it is through this power that we shall overcome our sin. It will be the love of Christ that will constrain us. But the Spirit of God's divine love will be shed abroad in our hearts only as we experience as we partake of those sufferings; for how can we understand what it cost Him unless He permits us to taste of that suffering? [cf. Our High Calling 312; The Great Controversy 425].

240

  So we do not suffer directly because of our own transgressions. The eternal penalty has been transferred; but He permits us to share in the type of suffering which He suffered, so that we will know what it costs Him to forgive our sins. And our incentive will then be so much stronger to refuse to sin, because we do not want to heap this kind of thing upon the Sin-bearer.


  And what is this kind of suffering? It is given to us in the Epistle of Peter. There are many verses in there which will explain this. His suffering was an unjust suffering - it was unfair. He did not have to bear it, but He bore it for our sakes - He took it unfairly. This is the kind of suffering in which we must share. That is why God brings us these many trials in our experience. We are misunderstood, we are misjudged; we are talked about in the wrong way - things that are not true. But the Bible says that we should be happy when we are persecuted for righteousness sake. We are sharing His sufferings; and the Bible says that after we have suffered awhile, He will make us perfect - and again it says: "He that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin." (1st Peter. 4:1).

  Should I read again some of these pertinent texts? Here is one - 1st Peter 2:21-25: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered" (not for Himself, but) "for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:" I wonder how many of us are able to do that? is this the plan that we follow?

  Continuing: "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but now are returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

  Then in the 3rd Chapter, verses 8 and onward: "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." You see, we are called unto this experience. "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you With meekness and fear:

241

  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil-doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, than for evil-doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: ... For As Much then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: For He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; ... Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

  This is the glory of Christ - His self-denying character. And it will be revealed to us as we partake of His sufferings, for we will then realize how much He really loves us, and how much it costs Him to forgive our Sins.

  Continuing: 1st Peter 4:15 - "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." In other words, we ought not to continue in sin; that we should suffer for our own sins. Vs. 17: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

  Verse 19: "...Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator." There is much more that I could read, but I think this makes it clear.

WE PARTAKE OF HIS SUFFERINGS IN ORDER TO LEARN WHAT IT COSTS HIM TO FORGIVE OUR SINS

  We partake of His sufferings in order to learn what it costs Him to forgive our sins. And the refusal to continue in sin is based upon our respect, and love, and adoration for, and understanding; and a knowledge of His divine, matchless, self-denying character. This character is revealed to us as we study the Word of God and learn the experiences that Jesus went through for us; and it is further revealed as we partake and share in those experiences.

242

  This is the experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent which will transform us into the image of God, and make us a son of God, and give us the mastery over our sins. This is the life and character of God, of which we partake when we study the Word. I read the quotation again from Christ's Object Lessons, p. 38: He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God."


  Brethren, on this tape I have revealed the means for victory over sin, for we are told "that the expulsion of sin from the life is an act of the soul itself." [DA 466]. It is up to us to refuse to sin; and herein has been given the secret of victory over sin!

    We cannot do it ourselves - it is through the grace of God. It is not until we understand the meaning of the forgiveness of sins in a personal way, will we receive that power of divine love which will enable us to implement our decision not to continue in sin. And it will be constrained by our love for Jesus. Is this not clear? This is the message for this hour!

THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS

  And as we continue in sin through the temptations of Satan and the power of our natures of evil, we continue to look to Jesus for forgiveness. This is the only way we will be victorious. If ever our faith should fail in the forgiving power of Jesus, if ever we should doubt that our sins will continue to be forgiven, Satan will be victorious over us. Faith is the victory, - There is no other victory! There is no other message which will enable us to conquer, than the message of the forgiveness of sins. This is the gospel message - this is the great truth which is to be heralded to all the world in the loud cry message. Let us not forget it! And now, I want to give another study, which is pertinent to this hour. It is entitled:

THE ELIJAH PROPHETS
(FROM HERE THROUGH PAGE 252)

  The question has often been raised; Will there arise other prophets in these last days to supplement the work of Mrs. E. G. White? A consideration of this question could lead into a number of radial avenues of thought, and I would like to explore some of these at this time.

243

  We may begin by reading the text in Joel 2:28 which says: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:" Here it says that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and our sons and daughters shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. It should be noted that the text does not say that in the last days one woman shall see visions; but that our sons (plural), and our daughters shall see visions. It may be argued that the seeing of visions here does not refer to visions of the type which Sister White received.


  But when the prophetic message was uttered by God's servant [Joel], he was speaking in the terms in which the people of his day would understand it; and seeing visions in his vocabulary meant only one thing - "seeing visions". There is no doubt however, that this passage may have an expanded application as do many other passages of Scripture; but these expanded meanings cannot, and do not, detract from the basic meaning of the text.

  Now let us look at another angle: The characteristic of the remnant church, or rather the characteristics of the remnant church are given in Revelation 12:17. Here we find the remnant people of God keeping the commandments, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ. A comparison of Revelation 19:10 and 14:12 reveals that the "testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." But there are two aspects to the keeping of the commandments of God.

  In the first aspect, the commandments are written on tables of stone, and are kept in a methodical and perhaps mechanical manner - a literal keeping of a literal law. However, under the terms of the new covenant, the law of God is to be written in the heart. The commandments are not to be kept as a mechanical routine, but the keeping of them is to spring from an emotion of love for Jesus and for fellow men. The remnant people of God do not just keep the commandments as an organization, and have them written in the books of the church; but commandment-keeping is to be a part of every individual heart. It is to be a personal experience.

  Similarly, the remnant church has the "testimony of Jesus" which is the Spirit of Prophecy. Here also, it is not merely to have this Spirit of Prophecy on tables of stone (that is in the pages of books as a denominational heritage); but this Spirit of Prophecy is to become a personal experience in each individual heart.

244

THE BIBLE PREDICTS A FAMINE FOR THE WORD OF GOD


  Let us pursue another line of truth which will make this clearer. Consider more ultimately the experience of ancient Israel. Here is the great lesson book wherein we may read the presaged experience of modern, spiritual Israel in a spiritual way. Because of a famine, His [God's] people were forced into Egypt - a symbol of sin. This may compare to a famine for the word of God (spiritual food), which is predicted for the last days, and which will be responsible for God's people being in bondage to sin, as ancient Israel were in bondage to Egypt.

  This can be understood in the light of the statement which we read, that an experimental knowledge of Jesus Christ and of God, which is found in the word of God by studying it, and through experience, - it is this I say, which will transform man into the image of God, and give him the mastery of himself, and make him a son of God. And a son of God does not sin; for it says that "he that is born of God cannot sin." (1st John 3:9). Thus, essentially, it is a famine of the word of God which keeps us in bondage to sin.

  God's people are yet scattered about throughout the churches of Christendom. And they're still not victorious over sin, because of a lack of understanding of the Word, and particularly the message of righteousness by faith.

  Then God called Moses who, was miraculously preserved and educated in the midst of the land of Egypt, and later this education was supplemented by the education of heaven in the wilderness of Midian. Moses was sent to deliver God's people from the bondage of Egypt. Through the manifestations of the power of God, he led them out.

  Because of their depth of ignorance however, acquired during the years of slavery, God had to take them under His wing and educate them before He could establish them in the promised land. To do this, He called their leader Moses up into the mount, where he fasted for forty days and nights, and then met personally with his God.

  God, in the person of Christ, came before the people in great manifestations of power so that the people were frightened and asked that Moses go up to meet with God in their place; and Moses did. God spoke with Moses face to face, and gave him His law, written with His own finger on tables of stone. Here were the commandments of God which they were to keep. Here God laid down the law. He let them know what He wanted them to do.

245 

  In addition to the moral law, He gave them numerous civil laws and judicial laws to help bring them back into a position of understanding and responsibility. And He asked them to build Him a sanctuary where He could come and meet with them and dwell with them. He came in a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. This entire experience was the great lesson book of the old covenant, containing the shadow of things to come in the new covenant. Let us get this clearly in mind!

THE NEW COVENANT MESSAGE - CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

  After Moses had finished his task, and brought the children of Israel to the very brink of the promised land, he passed through the death of sleep. Then he was raised to everlasting life and taken to heaven, where he has been a first-hand, personal witness of the outworking of the plan of salvation for hundreds of years.

  But now, there is a new covenant. Under the terms of the new covenant, the law is to be placed not on tables of stone, but in the tables of the heart (Jeremiah 31:31-34). "They shall not teach every man his neighbor, ... saying, Know the Lord" - as was done in the Old Testament times - "but they shall all know Him, from the least to the greatest. And He will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sins no more." Don't you see here the message of Christ our righteousness
the same message? This is indeed the new covenant message! Read it in Jeremiah 31. Here indeed, is the application of the everlasting gospel of sins forgiven, and the acquisition of a new heart. The principles involved in this covenant are dealt with in another study. [Read Section 3, pp 92-131 in Volume Two of this series].

  God promises to deliver this covenant to His people; and He began to do this in the days of the first advent. But the deliverance will not be completed until now in our time, just before the coming of Jesus literally, in the clouds of heaven. It is now in this our time, that the temple of God made up of the human bodies of His saints, is to be cleansed from all its sinfulness; and the sins of His people, which have been confessed since 1844, are to be laid on the scapegoat. The cleansing of the sanctuary is accomplished through the application of the blood of the sacrifice; but this too is dealt with elsewhere. [cf. Great Controversy 623: "Now while our great High priest is making the atonement for us, ... peril to their souls." Also cf. R & H, Oct. 16, 1894; "Let us bear in mind ... pain is felt by our Saviour."]

246

  But let us find the parallel, and see how God will deliver this covenant. We can learn much from discerning the similarities which exist in the old and the new, for God speaks in similitudes. (Hosea 12:10). There are lessons in ancient Israel's experience with the old covenant which portray truths concerning modern Israel's experience with the new covenant.


Note: Moses was God's anointed witness to deliver the old covenant to ancient Israel.

  God called this servant up into Mount Horeb and gave him the covenant for His people; and Moses stood in the cleft of the rock to see the glory of the Lord pass by. He saw a part of God (that is, Christ) literally, and his face became radiant or luminescent. But it is interesting to note that it is not the physical appearance of God which is the important thing to man, and therefore man does not see it. The important thing is God's character; for when Moses asked God to show him - to reveal Himself to him, to let him see Him, to reveal His glory; God proclaimed His character - His great and wonderful character of love, and justice, and mercy.

DELIVERING THE NEW COVENANT

  As God called Moses to deliver the old covenant to His people of ancient Israel, even so He has called another to have a part in delivering the new covenant. God called another servant up into that same mount; and after fasting forty days and nights, this other servant also met with his God, there in the mount. He too stood in the cleft of the rock, in the cave, to see his God.

  But Elijah did not see God in a literal way. God was not in the great manifestations of the wind which rent the rocks, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire; but behold, "a still, small voice." This was the voice of the Spirit of God, "for not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." By the still small voice of His Spirit would the Lord bring His spiritual Israel out of Egypt, and prepare them for the heavenly Canaan.

  It is through the Spirit of truth that the truth of God is revealed to us. It is through the Spirit of truth that the latter rain comes to prepare us to stand through the last great conflict. It is an understanding of the word of God in an experimental way - and particularly the message of His character and His righteousness - I say, it is this message that will come to us through the experience of the latter rain.

247

  It is through a study of the word of God that this revelation of truth will appear to us. And it will only come to us as we receive of the anointing of the Holy Ghost.

LEADING SPIRITUAL ISRAEL OUT OF EGYPT - MOSES AND ELIJAH

  Let me repeat: It is only as we receive the expanded understanding of the pertinent truths of God's word which apply particularly to this our day, that we will be prepared to "stand through the last great conflict." [cf. Great Controversy 593 & 594]. This is the way that God will lead spiritual Israel out of spiritual Egypt or sin. Can you not see the parallel?

  Moses was a figure or type of Christ, for the Scripture says of him that the Lord would raise up a prophet "like unto Him;" - and he was speaking of Jesus. Moses' experience was a literal one; his meeting with Christ was literal. The law was literal, on literal tables of stone, and God met with His people in a literal tabernacle. Moses was a type of the literal, personal Christ who came in the form of Jesus.

  But this all has its parallel in the experience of modern, spiritual Israel, as Elijah, who was also called to be a witness to stand before his God in the mount, is a type of the Holy Spirit, [just] as Moses was a type of the personal Christ. For as Christ was about to leave this earth after the completion of His earthly ministry here, He promised His disciples that He would not leave them comfortless, but that He would come to them in the form of the Holy Ghost.

  Instead of coming to meet with them in a literal tabernacle in a pillar of cloud or fire, He would come to them through the still, small voice of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit would be the communicating agent and guide them into "all truth." He would bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever Christ had said. He would reprove them of sin and righteousness and judgment. He would come to dwell with them in the new temple of God, not made with hands - the temple of the bodies of the saints. For the saints are the new temple of God - His habitation (Ephesians 2:20-22).

  And in the message to the Laodicean Church we hear of the knocking on the door of the heart, and Christ says: "If any man will open the door, He will come in and sup with them;" and this is through the Holy Spirit. This Messenger of the covenant (that is the everlasting covenant), "will come suddenly to His temple." (Malachi 3:1).


248

  But He cannot dwell in an impure temple - the temple must be cleansed. (Malachi 3:1-3). There must be a work of preparation for the coming of Christ. This work of preparation is embodied in the Elijah message. (Malachi 3:1; compare Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:3; Matthew 11:9,10, & 14).


  At the end of the Old Testament in the last few verses, delivered by Christ to His people before He left the heavenly home to come to this earth as a human being, we have the expression of the two covenants, and the two figurative deliverers of those covenants.

  Malachi 4:5 & 6: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." [Read 1st SM 412: "The Jews tried..." etc]

  Here we have the two men who were chosen to stand before God in Mount Horeb (which was also known as the mount of God,) - the two men who were chosen to be taken to heaven to stand before the God of the earth, and be personal witnesses of the outworking of the great plan of salvation; the two witnesses who came to commune with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, and represent before the three disciples, the coming of Jesus in His glory and kingdom.

  And in this connection, we should not forget that a kingdom operates through its laws; and the kingdom of God is within us, and the law of God is to be within us; and the operation of God's kingdom is to function through His law in our hearts. Through a voluntary allegiance, based on love, the kingdom of God operates. And so in this passage of Scripture also [Malachi. 4:4-6], we have the two covenants tied together. And it may be significant that this is the last prophetic message ever given by Christ to His people, before He left His original body and His heavenly heritage, to come to earth in humility and human form.

  As the work of Moses on the Mount was to receive and deliver the old covenant to literal Israel and preach a message which was to prepare those people to enter the promised land, even so is the work of Elijah to receive and deliver the new covenant to spiritual Israel, and proclaim a message which is to prepare them for translation into the promised land. The work of Elijah is a work of "turning the hearts". It involves the establishment of the law of God in the hearts of men. It is a work of delivering the new covenant.

249 

GOD IS LEADING A PEOPLE - NOT JUST AN INDIVIDUAL

  But in this work of preparation for the kingdom, God is not just leading one individual - He is leading a people. The work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men is not a work to be accomplished only in the person of Elijah, even though he is the symbol or type of this. It is to be accomplished in many people.

JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS THE FIRST OF THE ELIJAH WITNESSES

  The first one of the Elijah witnesses to appear in fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi was John the Baptist. Here was one who came in the spirit and power of Elijah to proclaim the gospel message of deliverance from sin. Maybe you failed to notice that the message of the everlasting covenant promises the forgiveness of sins. Jeremiah 31:34: "...for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." This was the message of John the Baptist.

  The message of Elijah also proclaims "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Now a kingdom operates through its government; and the government operates through the establishment of laws. The kingdom of heaven of which John the Baptist was speaking (and later Christ and His disciples) was not a literal kingdom among the Jews on earth, but Jesus said: "the kingdom of heaven is within you." Here's just another way of stating the same old truth of the everlasting covenant. The law of God will be placed in the hearts of His people.

  God's government operates from the inside out. Obedience to His law is prompted on the motive of selfless love, which is the essence of God's character. This is His law, and this law comprises the basis of His government. That is how the kingdom can be within His people, - it is the laws of the kingdom which operate from within. Does that not make sense? And so John the Baptist preached this message. It is the Elijah message. It is the message which is to restore allegiance to the government of Heaven.

ELIAS TO RESTORE ALL THINGS

  The justice of this government was first challenged, and respect for it was partially lost through the rebellion of Lucifer, thousands of years ago. But it is to be restored. Hence the significance of the statement of Jesus in Matthew 17:11: "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all

250

things." The primary thing which had been lost was the willing and loving allegiance of His subjects; and in Jesus' statement this included the allegiance of man. This kingdom of harmony, peace, and love must be restored; and it is to be restored by the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of Prophecy - given to the Elijah witnesses and delivered to His people.


  By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit the gifts are to be delivered. It is this agency that makes effective the provisions of the plan of salvation. The gifts of the Spirit were made available through the eternal sacrifice of Christ in the everlasting covenant. It is the revelation of the applied meaning of the everlasting covenant, through God's chosen witnesses, which constitutes the fulfillment of the prophecy of the return of Elijah.

  There have been Elijah witnesses in every generation, faithfully preaching the message of the gospel of the forgiveness of sins. And now in our day, which is the last day spoken of by the prophet Joel, one of the most prominent of these messengers is Sister White. Of this experience she wrote:

  "The Jews tried to stop the proclamation of the message that had been predicted in the word of God; but prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says, 'Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord' (Mal. 4:5). Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say, 'you are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to preach your message.’” [R & H, Feb. 18th, (17th,) 1890; also 1st SM 412].

  But the work of Elijah is not yet finished. He is yet to appear in the final outpouring of the latter rain, and the proclaiming of the loud cry, for this will be but an expansion of the Elijah message - the everlasting gospel.

THE SYMBOL OF RAIN AND THE LATTER RAIN

  As Elijah's experience was noted for the symbol of rain, so will that of the remnant be associated with the meaning of that symbol, the latter rain - the coming of Christ to His new temple through the Holy Spirit; for the real Messenger of the covenant who comes to His temple is the Holy Ghost. (Ephesians 2:21 & 22; 1st Corinthians 3:16 & 17; and chapter 6:19).

251 

  And as the rain was withheld for three and one-half years from literal Israel, so will the Spirit be withheld from spiritual Israel until the days of the testimony of the two witnesses be accomplished (Revelation 11:6). But as the rain fell after Carmel, so will the Holy Spirit fall after the days of this testimony (Revelation 11:11 & 12).

REVELATION 11 AND THE LOUD CRY

  The anointed witnesses in Revelation 11 are the Old and New Testaments. But these testaments are the revelation of the old and new covenants, which message will swell into a loud cry and circle the earth. Through the message of Elijah, the knowledge of sins forgiven will be proclaimed; the message of righteousness by faith will be brought home; the love of God will be born in the hearts of His people, and they will be enabled to cleanse their soul temples from every defilement. Victory will be theirs - they will overcome their sins. They will be delivered by the voice of God which "sounds like many waters," or people. And the voice of God, Brethren and Sisters, is the voice of His word. He speaks through His Word!

THE INCARNATION OF THE HOLY GHOST & THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB

  It is then that the final episode in the incarnation of the Holy Ghost into the new temple of God occurs. This is the ultimate meaning of the communion service - of the communion of the body and blood of Christ - remembering His death till He comes through His new temple and lives again in them. This is the meaning of the marriage of the Lamb to His kingdom!

  The inheritance of the Lamb is His saints (Ephesians 1:18). The inheritance of the Lamb is in the saints, for they too inherit all things. He shares the inheritance with them (Revelation 21:7; Romans 8:17; Colossians 1:12, 13 & 15). They are all one in sharing the heritage - joint-heirs with Him. They inherit the kingdom together (Revelation 3:21), for Jesus said He would not again partake of the heritage of His former body and blood until He partook of it anew with them, (His disciples), in the kingdom (Matthew 26:29).

  And the receiving of this kingdom and this heritage by Jesus, occurs before He leaves the heavenly Sanctuary. First volume of Spiritual Gifts, p. 198: "JESUS had blotted out the sins of His people. He had received His kingdom, and the atonement had been made for the

252

subjects of His kingdom. While JESUS had been ministering in the Sanctuary, the judgment had been going on for the righteous dead, and then for the righteous living. The subjects of the kingdom were made up. The marriage of the LAMB was finished. And the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to JESUS, and the heirs of salvation. And JESUS was to reign as KING of kings, and LORD of lords." And as it says, "He is the husband, and they are the bride."


TRUE PROPHETS WILL PROCLAIM THIS MESSAGE

  So there will be true prophets who will proclaim the message, for when the Spirit of God comes to His new temple, He will bring with Him all the attending gifts of the Spirit; and one of these gifts is the Spirit of Prophecy. But let us not unduly anticipate this day, for Satan is on every hand to deceive, and delude. Many false prophets and false Elijahs have arisen, and will yet arise. We can easily be led into deception. The great and powerful delusion which will almost engulf even the very elect, is the manifestation of Satan as an angel of light but this is another study.

  And now, here is a supplement to the preceding study, [started back on page 242,] entitled:

THE ELIJAH PROPHETS - SUPPLEMENT
(FROM HERE TO PAGE 260)

  There is more to the Elijah prophecy than what we have heretofore said. Elijah, along with Moses, was taken literally to heaven where he has been a personal witness of the outworking of the plan of salvation for hundreds of years [over 2,900 yrs.]. Moses and Elijah are the two anointed witnesses, in personal form, spoken of in Zechariah 4, and in Revelation 11. Nevertheless, while this is true, those prophecies are not exhausted by this interpretation, for as we have already noted they refer [also] to the Old and New Testaments.

THE TWO WITNESSES TAKE THE PLACE FROM WHICH LUCIFER FELL

  But Sister White tells us that the anointed witnesses who stand before the God of the earth are the ones who take the place from which Lucifer fell. It would be rather difficult to substitute the Old and New Testaments for the anointed witnesses in this statement. She could hardly be referring to the Scriptures as replacing Lucifer.

253
 
  Since Lucifer was a person, his replacement could hardly be less than a person. But Moses and Elijah did stand before their God in Mount Horeb, and at the transfiguration; - and the latter was a representation of the coming of Jesus in His kingdom. This replacement will make more sense when we notice what the work of Moses and Elijah was and is.

  Originally, Lucifer was the one who stood highest in the order of heaven; and he understood more clearly than any other, the law of God. He delivered to others the things which his superior intellect and knowledge had enabled him to comprehend. But this superiority and talent had been delivered to him as a gift of God. He really owed all his wisdom to Christ; and it was not until he began to repudiate this truth that his steps turned toward his downfall.

  Because God originally performed His works through the normal functioning of His natural laws, the literal, superior position of Christ was not constantly demonstrated. In fact, such display would have been contrary to God's character. It was His custom to deliver to each of His created free-will beings an independent autonomy, whereby he might function as of himself, but in harmony with God's laws of self-denial.

  It is precisely in this thought that the significance of voluntary allegiance to God arises; for it is by reason of God's reluctance to boldly display His supremacy, and His desire that His creatures should recognize of their own selves His kindness and consideration in providing them with such autonomy, to operate and perform many wonderful things through the utilization of natural laws, which He has also provided for their exercise.

  Lucifer lost sight of God's position as Benefactor through Christ, - he saw no need for Christ as the Supreme Ruler. The keeping of the Sabbath today is a symbol of one's faith in Christ's true position, for there is no earthly reason for keeping one particular day of rest in preference to any other, apart from the specific request of God to do so.

  Thus, keeping this particular day holy acknowledges one's faith in the superior prerogative of God; and a belief that God is the real Creator of all things, working in and through His established laws, without self-exalting, ostentatious display. Through the quiet outworking of natural evolution, we see the creative works of God. We do not literally see God standing by the hospital bed, proudly announcing Himself as Creator of the new-born child. He permits the

254

father and mother to assume the role of parental creators, while in their hearts they may, at their own discretion, acknowledge their faith in Him as the underlying Benefactor. It is on this basis that true believers honor the sign of allegiance to the Creator - namely, the Sabbath.


  As many men today have drifted away from this loyalty, even so did Lucifer; and by so doing he lost his position as deliverer of the law to the hosts of heaven. No longer could he stand before the God of the earth (that is the universe), and "seal up the sum" [Ezekiel 28:12]. So we notice that Moses was chosen of God to assume a position similar to that with which Lucifer had been honored. In guiding God's people out of the bondage of Egypt (sin), he was called to stand before his Maker in the Mount of God (Horeb), and there to receive personally the law (the Old Testament) from the hand of his Maker. Moses delivered the old covenant to ancient Israel.

  The entire Old Testament was either written by Moses, or by men who were inspired by God to write concerning the things contained in, and related to the old covenant, and the relation of His chosen people to this covenant. Thus, while the Old Testament was one of the two witnesses or anointed ones, Moses, personally, was the one who was chosen to be the literal witness to occupy a position similar to that vacated by Lucifer [cf. pg. 108.6 of this book & also Great Controversy page 623: “Now while our great High Priest .... time of trouble."].

MOSES AND THE OLD TESTAMENT ARE BUT ONE OF THE TWO WITNESSES

  Yet, Moses and the Old Testament are but one of the two witnesses. There is also a New Testament, and someone to deliver it. As the voice of God delivered the old covenant to ancient Israel through the personal witness Moses, even so will the voice of God deliver the new or everlasting covenant to spiritual Israel before the close of time. And the personal witness who will stand as the voice of God in the last day to deliver this covenant, is the one who stood with Moses on the same mount of God. This is clearly prophesied in the inspired Word [cf. Malachi 4:4-6, also 1st Selected Messages, p. 412].

  The work of Moses in delivering the old covenant was mainly to restore allegiance to the Creator, to vindicate the character of God, and to bring back His erring children into alignment with the government of heaven. The old covenant however, was but one phase of this great plan of restoration.

255

  The second phase was to be accomplished through the delivering of the new covenant. And the one who was to come to prepare for this restoration was promised in the closing words of the Old Testament Scriptures, and in the interpretation of that promise by Jesus (Malachi 4:5 & 6; Mark 9, verse 12).

  Let us consider for a bit how Elijah fits into this picture. As with Moses, he also fasted forty days and then met with his God in Horeb. He too stood in the cleft of the rock (the cave), and communed with his Maker. But while with Moses, Christ was present in literal person and spoke in great manifestations of power, delivering the law on literal tables of stone - nevertheless, Elijah did not see his literal God. God was not in the great wind or mighty earthquake, nor in the fire; but behold "a still, small voice," - the voice of the Spirit of God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." In the new covenant experience, the law is to be placed in the heart through the agency of the Spirit.

ELIJAH ON MOUNT HOREB

  It was on Mount Horeb that Elijah first began to learn this lesson concerning the nature of the everlasting covenant. Here too, he learned that God was not just leading one individual, as Elijah had thought that he alone was left faithful [1st Kings 19:10, 14]; but that God had many faithful in Israel, - a lesson which will have a significance of special importance in the last day. For while Elijah in person will be instrumental in bringing the covenant to modern Israel, nevertheless there will be many, led by the Spirit of truth, who will proclaim the message of the covenant.

  Moses and Elijah deliver respectively, the messages of the old and new covenants; and the final deliverance of the new covenant will be by the voice of God which speaks like "many waters" - that is, through many people. And this occurs when God's people are delivered from their enemies, during the final crisis; and their greatest enemy is sin.

  The message of the everlasting covenant will be instrumental in their deliverance from sin. And at this same time God will pronounce the "never-ending blessing" upon His people, and they will realize that the gift of eternal life is now theirs, that they are now joint-heirs with Christ, kings and priests, sharing the throne of Jesus. They are sealed and saved!

256

BY ONE MAN


  As the kingdom of God begins like a tiny grain of mustard seed, so do all the phases of the work of building the new temple of God. By one man sin entered the world. By one man the Old Testament was delivered. By one man the way was prepared for the first coming of Jesus. By one man the Advent message was renewed in the Millerite movement. By one prophet was the testimony brought to the remnant church after 1844. And by one man will the message of the final deliverance of the everlasting covenant to God's remnant be verified. As Elijah personally went into heaven, so will he personally return, according to the last prophecy of the Old Testament.

A MAN WITH A WRITER'S INKHORN

  It is a man with a writer's inkhorn that goes through the midst of the city of Jerusalem (the church), and places a mark in the foreheads of "all who sigh and cry for the abominations that be done in the city." (Ezekiel 9:4). And Sister White uses the singular, personal pronoun "he" in predicting that somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah [1st Volume of Selected Messages, 412]. The impact of this truth should be obvious.

  But God is leading a people, not just an individual. Nevertheless, as there are many diverse members in a body, so in the body of Christ there are many different people. Each one does not receive all the light and truth personally, but one receives a little here and another receives a little there. Not until all the parts of the body are brought into unification and harmony - not until the temple is built, can it be said that they have all the truth. And the one who is to act as the signet [cf p. 194, this book], and place the mark of genuine authority on the contributions of the diverse parts of the body, is the one who has the "writer's inkhorn," and who speaks the words of the everlasting covenant in its final revelation to the remnant.

  As Moses was the voice of God to the people of ancient Israel, so is Elijah the voice of God to final Israel. The message of the true witness will be taken up by the servants of God, and they will all speak as the voice of God - that is, "the voice of many waters." The Holy Spirit is to guide God's people into all truth; and Elijah is to come to "restore all things" (Matthew 17:11; John 16:13, Mark 9:12). [Also cf. P. 194 of this book.]

257

  But how will Elijah appear to fulfill this prophecy? Will he descend from heaven in literal form with his beard and ancient mantle? No, he will not come in this manner. Jesus told the Jews, if one should appear from the dead, you would not believe him; and should Elijah come in this manner, great confusion would result. Many of the righteous would regard this as but a great delusion of Satan. He will not come in this way.


ELIJAH WILL COME THROUGH THE PROCESS OF LITERAL REGENERATION

  Elijah will come through the process of literal regeneration. As a true personal witness of the experience of Christ, he will know what it means to leave his former body and life in heaven - to lay it down, to relinquish it, and appear on this earth as a little child growing up in the modern environment.

  As Jesus was endowed with the character of Christ, so will Elijah be endowed with his former character. The character incidentally, is the only permanent thing which can pass beyond the tomb; and this character is reproduced in a new body. As this character of Christ was tested in the young man Jesus, so will Elijah's character be tested during this investigative judgment period, to prove before the universe for all time, that God has made the right selection in raising the righteous.

  This character will be tested in the new physical body into which he is born, even as was the character of the great eternal Christ tested in the body of the young man Jesus. Elijah will receive personally the new birth experience under the New Testament provisions - a thing which was not possible under the old covenant in the days of ancient Israel. He will be born again, physically and spiritually.

THE TWO PHASES OF THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT

  There are two phases to the literal investigative judgment since 1844: The first phase is the judgment of the Old Testament characters who were tested on the basis of a literal keeping of a literal law; and Sister White was used primarily to bring these laws to light and to the attention of God's people through that period.

  Then there is the second phase of the investigative judgment, testing the characters of the New Testament saints, which is based on faith. It is faith which is being tested in characters today - by faith we are saved.

258

  As Satan brings to bear upon God's people the greatest temptations he has ever devised, as the degeneracy of their natures comes to the fore in this last great conflict, they will fall under sin. They will sin many times, - they will have to come back for forgiveness many, many times. Their faith will be tested.


THE TIME OF JACOB'S TROUBLE


  They will go through the time of Jacob's trouble wondering whether their sins are forgiven, being afraid of the penalty of their transgression. They must receive the never-ending blessing - the everlasting blessing, the promise of sins forgiven, and the inheritance of eternal life. This they must receive - this must come home to their hearts! This is the faith which will be tested in God's people during these closing hours. This is the investigative judgment of character.


  Will their faith stand? Will it stand the test? Will they believe, without question, the message of the righteousness of Christ? Will they believe that their sins are blotted out? Will they believe that Satan will bear the responsibility for these sins, and that their allegiance to God is based entirely on their own willingness and on their love for Him? that they need not fear their sins anymore, that these sins are gone, that they are wiped clean, that they are forgiven?

  I wonder, dear brethren, whether these things have not been made plain enough that you can recognize the tremendous significance of the truth involved in them? This is indeed the message which God's people will need as they face the final conflict. There is no other truth which will enable them to go through. These truths are founded on the pure word of God. These truths exemplify the character of God, and glorify the gospel. Could there be any other message more pertinent to the needs of God's children today?

THE "FAITH OF JESUS" IN HIS SAINTS IS ALSO TO BE TESTED

  "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" [Rev. 14:12). The keeping of the commandments was tested during the Old Testament or old covenant period of the judgment since 1844, during the "testing time" spoken of by Sister White. And now the faith of Jesus will be tested during this the New Testament or new covenant period; for only as the saints possess the faith of Jesus will they be able to stand.

259

  The New Testament is in His blood, - but it is the principle of life which is in the blood. Therefore, the New Testament or new covenant contains the principle of everlasting life which is delivered to the saints; and this principle effects the final cleansing from sin.

  For as Adam, by a sinful choice, was able to change his nature into a sinful one by virtue of his having eaten of the principle of eternal life in the fruit of the tree of life, even so, will the saints be given the power, through a choice, to become sons of God - that is, to transform their natures into the image of Christ by virtue of their receiving the gift of the never-ending blessing - the privilege of partaking of the fruit of the tree of life. The power to change their natures is restored to them after their characters have been tested and proved worthy.

  The "faith of Jesus" is the unshakable faith in the just and merciful character of God to forgive sins, and to accept sinners regardless of how far they have fallen. It is the faith which believes that Jesus is the permanent surety for all repentant sinners. Through bitter experiences with sin, as we have already mentioned, this faith will be tested.

A DANGEROUS AND SIFTING DOCTRINE

  The real message of the permanently imputed righteousness of Christ is a dangerous doctrine to all formal, commandment-keeping people, for it will sift them out. This message of the True Witness will shake out the chaff. When they learn the truth of the new covenant message, that they are no longer under the penalty of the law for their transgressions, any heart which is selfishly inclined will take unfair advantage of the grace of God, and sport with sin.

  While on the other hand, those whose characters are transformed into the image of Christ's selfless character through the experimental knowledge of Him, obtained through the written Word and through the book of experience in sharing Christ's sufferings, and who have the law of God's selfless love in their hearts, - I say, these will rejoice in the knowledge of their deliverance from the penalty of sin, and will go forward, voluntarily, to exercise themselves by obedience to the desires of their Saviour. They love Him, therefore they keep His commandments.

260

  They know they do not have to keep these commandments for their own sakes to gain eternal life. They keep them because they love the Saviour for all that He has done for them. They cannot help themselves - they are constrained by love to obey God. They have received the never-ending blessing, which is the knowledge of their permanent acceptance by God into His family, and a permanent disposition of their sins. Their sinlessness now becomes a matter of voluntary choice!


  Thus is the allegiance to the government of Heaven, on a free-will basis, finally restored.

THE EVERLASTING COVENANT DELIVERED

  And it is restored through the delivering of this everlasting covenant by the one whom God promised to send to His people, to "turn their hearts." And it is sealed in the hearts of God's people by the agency of the Holy Spirit of promise. The receiving of the everlasting covenant and the never-ending blessing, is the understanding and acceptance of the truth of their permanent acceptance with God, through faith in the righteousness of Christ, come what may; and that the faith of Jesus stands as permanent surety for this acceptance. Thus has been delivered the message of the everlasting covenant. Read this message from Jeremiah 31: verses 31-34; Chapter 32: verses 37-40; and Chapter 33, verses 7 & 8.

  The application of this message to our everyday experience is material for further discussion.

261 

AUDIO TAPE/LETTER # 8

HONORING GOD DURING THE DAYS OF THE FINAL CONFLICT

  This Tape is being prepared by J. W. Johnson, and is addressed to all those in the Christian faith who are looking forward to honoring God during the days of the final conflict with sin, and to obtaining the victory over it, and to meeting their Lord, as He comes in the clouds of heaven the second time. [This tape was made during the month of May, 1961.]

FOUR GENERAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF THE TERM "PERFECTION"

  It would be difficult to completely dismiss certain problems which arise in the current [spring of 1961] concept of some of our teachings. Perhaps the most pressing of these is related to the doctrine of perfection. A major difficulty in discussing such an item lies in the vagueness and even confusion of definition. Our connotations of the term used, vary too widely. When the term "perfection" is considered, for instance, one person conjures up one idea and another person receives an entirely different idea; hence, in a discussion of the concept, misunderstanding arises. Our first task then is to define the term "perfection".

  There are four general understandings of this word as used among our people:

  First; acceptance of the sinner in the sight of God by virtue of the substitutionary merits of Christ, provided through His sacrifice and obtained by an act of faith. The sinner is cleared in the sight of God - is perfect before Him, no matter how sinful a man he may have been. His actual sinful state still remains, but the guilt and responsibility are assumed by Christ, and the sinner goes free. This is sometimes referred to as "imputed righteousness".

  Second; this idea is similar to number one but with the added proviso that the sinner must make every effort to meet the requirements of the law, doing the best he can to cooperate with God, and then divine power will be provided to enable him to overcome. Yet at each stage in the lifelong process he is regarded as being perfect, even as a rosebud may be perfect before it becomes a flower in full bloom.

262

  The third, and more specialized understanding of the term is applied to the experience of the 144,000 who are regarded as attaining an ultimate perfection, consisting of complete conformity to God's law. Nevertheless, in this behavior they may still be subject to the struggle with temptation, though they never yield nor make a mistake.


  The fourth concept is similar to number three, but with the added triumph of complete release from the nature of evil, an ultimate cleansing of the sinful nature and record of sin having transpired.

  There can hardly be any doubt that under specific circumstances each of these concepts may have its individual application. My contribution is that a clearer understanding of the means of attaining perfection will tend to dissolve the inconsistencies in the various concepts of its definition. Let us see how this develops:

THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST - KEY TO ATTAINING PERFECTION

  It has been generally recognized that the sanctuary and its service contains an allegorical description of the process of forgiveness of sins and cleansing from sin. Various treatments of this topic have been written in the past, and their content need not be repeated here.

  The key to this whole business however, is the body and the blood of Christ. It was by the sprinkling of blood that the record of sin was transferred to the sanctuary, and it was by the sprinkling of blood that the sanctuary was cleansed.

  There are meanings in this symbolism which require a degree of clarification, and in pursuing the meaning of this symbolism, we are compelled to accept the fact of multiple interpretation of some passages of Scripture. If we insist on one meaning only for any single passage of Scripture, we set a limit on its supply of truth.

  Yet, we are informed by the Spirit of Prophecy that no human mind can exhaust a single passage of Scripture [cf. Education, page 71]. The meaning of Scripture is capable of constant expansion and development. An understanding of the symbolism, is wrapped up in a new application of the symbols.

  The blood represents the principle or law of life. This derives from the statement that the blood is the life of the being, or that the life is in the blood. The blood of Christ is His life - but life is a broad term. We must find some specific aspect of life which applies to this particular aspect of theology. In doing this let us think first of the "cleansing"

263

aspect of the blood. This is the aspect which applies particularly to the saints at this time of preparation for the closing events in the coming of Jesus.


  The Scripture tells us that "the blood of Jesus Christ ... cleanseth us from all sin." (1st John 1:7). It is one thing to read this text - it is another thing to see sense in it. It's impossible that the physical blood of Jesus could literally wash away our sins, for this blood was spilled on the ground at Calvary and there decayed. Hence, there must be some symbol involved in the blood. The key is found in the text where it states that the blood is the life of the being. The children of Israel were forbidden to eat, (that is drink), the blood of an animal because the blood was the life of it [Leviticus 17:10-14].

  I am Sure there are many details involved in the chemistry of blood which are related to various functions of the living organism, and it is possible that each of these has its symbolic counterpart in the spiritual blood of Jesus, and its function in the spiritual body of Christ - that is, the saints. I cannot attempt here such a detailed analysis. Our concern is more of a broad and basic nature.

SELF-SACRIFICING LOVE MAKES THE BLOOD OF CHRIST MERITORIOUS

  The prominent aspect of life in the blood of Christ is the principle of self-sacrificing love as revealed in the experience of the cross of Calvary. The primary characteristic of God is His love. God's love is the essence of His character, the foundation of His law of life for earth and heaven. But God's love is a special kind of love - self-sacrificing. It is this principle which makes the blood of Christ meritorious and unique.

  The love of the natural man is a self-centered love; - Divine love is self-denying. To be cleansed then by the blood of the Lamb, means to be transformed by the power of divine love. We will understand this better when we recognize that the motivating force, initiating and implementing all conscious decisions, is emotion. Every conscious choice is made with a feeling in view. We eat when we are hungry because it makes us feel better. We work to earn money because we derive a feeling of satisfaction from what it can buy. Satisfaction, which is the end product of a feeling or an emotional experience, is the goal of all conscious activity. [cf. Page 72 on "EMOTION".]

264

  Emotion, which is desire or urge or initial feeling, is the motive force or energy implementing the action. The activities of one who is completely apathetic are purely mechanical, hereditary, and habitual. It has been established scientifically that emotion is a form of energy, that it manifests itself in the human organism in various ways. But the fact is there that emotion is an energy source. Sin is a conscious choice, hence it comes under the influence and jurisdiction of emotion.

LOVE VERSUS FEAR - SELFLESSNESS VERSUS SELF-CENTEREDNESS

  It was the desire for greater self-satisfaction which motivated Eve to sin. It was Adam's desire and love for Eve which motivated his decision to sin and thus share her fate. It is the emotion of fear, resulting from an awareness of the prospect of personal insecurity or danger, which motivates multitudes of distasteful and self-centered social and economic actions. We cannot separate conscious choice from emotional drives.

The two basic and most powerful emotions are love and fear.

  Divine love is ennobling - selfish love breeds fear and is degrading. The one who has no regard for self is without fear. The first symptom of the sinful acts of Adam and Eve was their fear - they hid themselves.

  There is only one antidote for fear - perfect love. The Scripture says "perfect love casteth out fear" (1st John 4:18). But perfect love is love without fault, and there is only one love that qualifies - God's love. But God's love is self-denying, and this is the aspect which makes it divine love. Only this kind of love can neutralize fear. The peace of God is a corollary of His self-denying love. The heart can have true peace only when it receives the fullness of divine love.

  But now, to the essence of our subject: A choice to transgress God's law is motivated by the unholy emotion of self-love, and this self love may be manifested in anyone of a number of its tributaries such as fear, hatred, covetousness, etcetera. A choice to keep God's law can succeed only if motivated by divine love.

  And here is a very important point: Most Christians are attempting to keep God's law from the motive of self-centered love - that is, they are attempting to keep it in order to gain some advantage for themselves, some personal satisfaction. As long as this self-centered element remains in their motivation, they will end with failure. God's law cannot be kept on this basis. This is the very reason man cannot save himself from sin - his heart is self-centered.

265

  God's holy law is itself directly opposed to this principle of self-seeking. If we would be Godlike we must be self-denying. The principle of self-seeking is related to self-preservation, but is not identical with it. Acts of self-preservation may be motivated selfishly or unselfishly. One may seek to preserve oneself in order to gain personal advantage. This is selfish. On the other hand, one may seek to preserve one's health and life for the sake of others who love him and depend upon him.

  No man can accurately evaluate the motive of another. Indeed, I have known those who have desired to die in order to be released from personal suffering (that is self-interest), but have maintained the rules of self-preservation for the sake of performing duties and service for others. Here, self-preservation is antagonistic to self-seeking.

  In all however, the law of God says "Love thy neighbor as thyself." God does not ask that we love others more than ourselves, as in many instances this would defeat the purpose of preservation and the honor of life. Nevertheless, there may arise circumstances wherein it could be expedient "that a man lay down his life for his friend." Jesus said of this, "greater love hath no man." This is the ultimate in self-denying love, and this is what Jesus did for us. And He did more, - He died not just for His friends, but for His enemies.

JUDGE NOT THE MOTIVES OF ANOTHER'S ACTIONS

  Since the law of God, the law of life, is self-sacrificing love, it is obvious that the commandments which are based on this principle cannot be kept without a primary motive of selfless love. Oh yes, the form can be kept after a fashion - in fact, quite meticulously; but the power energizing such keeping may not be the power of God. It may be self-centered love, which is the fundamental power of evil. Here again, no one can adequately judge the motives of another's actions.

A MOST CRUCIAL MESSAGE

  God has designed a way to be certain that His people are keeping His commandments with a correct motive. This is to be demonstrated in the closing scenes of earth's history. The demonstration will hinge on the simple device of proclaiming the everlasting gospel, and delivering the everlasting covenant to the saints. And what is this gospel and this covenant?

266

  Herein lies the crux of the whole matter: In the re-emphasized application of the message of the gospel, which follows on this tape, will emerge the key truth which will guarantee the correct motive in keeping the commandments, and which will ensure the vindication of God's justice and mercy. This is a most vital and most crucial message! - let us approach it with reverence...


  In the normal process of activity a man is rewarded according to his choice and effort. Nevertheless in this world, because of sin, "the best laid plans o' mice and men gang aft agley." If a man plans and builds a house he lives in it and enjoys it. If he is too indolent to provide one for himself he must get along without one, or accept the hospitality of someone else. If he plants a vineyard he eats the fruit thereof - this again of course, as we've noted, barring the interference of sinful behavior.

  Now the laws of God are established in the interest of the created beings. It is in man's best interest to keep God's commandments. Thus, a man is rewarded for obedience. This establishes a merit in good works; but the merit is highly flavored with self-interest. Under such a circumstance, a man's motive for attempting to keep the commandments can hardly be proved selfless; and thus his righteousness is undetermined. If a man keeps the law with the idea of gaining personal advantage, such as eternal life, (for it is necessary to keep the law to enter into life), he is acting self-righteously. Self-righteousness is as filthy rags in God's sight. [Isaiah 64:6].

THE EVERLASTING COVENANT IS ONE-SIDED

  There's only one way that God can prove for certain, when a man is serving Him without a self-centered motive, and that way is to remove from man the ultimate penalty of transgression, and to offer him eternal life without the immediate requirement of perfect obedience to the commandments. It is difficult for many believers to accept such a proposition because it appears so one-sided; but brethren, the everlasting covenant is one-sided!

  Somehow they feel that they must attain, or at least try to attain, obedience in order to place themselves in a position where they can receive the gift of eternal life, and escape the penalty of eternal death. But this view is essentially that of the old covenant relationship rewards for obedience, - punishment for disobedience.

267

  There is some merit in this view, but it cannot be the criterion of salvation for two reasons: First; because of his sinful nature man cannot comply with its requirements. Second; it would fail to reveal conclusively man's true motive for endeavoring to comply with its provisions.


  In the new covenant promise, the stage is set on which can be demonstrated that: first; a power is provided for man to enable him to obey, and second; man's motive for obedience is definitely unselfish. How is this done? Precisely as we have stated above - by removing the ultimate penalty of transgression, and providing eternal life free of charge.

  There are two stages in the fulfilling of this covenant. First - When the sinner accepts this promise and believes in his heart that Jesus has made the provision for its fulfillment, he is immediately in possession of the gift of eternal life. He has escaped from eternal death since his sins are all forgiven. This is a most amazing situation and is made possible only because of the enormous self-denying love of God. This experience is known as the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christ accepts the penalty for the sinner's forgiven transgressions and gives the sinner a share of His eternal life. The sinner is born into the family of God, and as a member of such, inherits the possessions of the family. Again I say, some find it hard to believe that this can be true; and it cannot be true for them unless they do believe it! Salvation is received on condition of faith. This is the only "work" required.

  Unless this first stage is accepted completely and thoroughly, the second stage cannot be attained. Since keeping the commandments is a condition of eternal life, providing eternal life free of charge means providing the wherewithal, the power, to keep those commandments. The words of the new covenant as given in Jeremiah 31:31-34, contain this knowledge.

OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT A CONDITION OF ETERNAL LIFE

  And so we come to the second stage: The second stage is the outworking of the new covenant in the reception of the power to keep the commandments - that is, to cease from continuing in sin. Nevertheless, let it be understood that this second stage is not a requirement of eternal life so far as the sinner is concerned. Let us be extremely careful not to misunderstand this point!

268

  It is Christ's righteousness, that is, His perfect commandment-keeping, which qualifies us by substitution for His eternal life. His perfect keeping of the commandments, (that is, His righteousness), is accepted in place of our failure. Our commandment-keeping (that is, our righteousness), is not a condition of eternal life. Better listen to that again: Our commandment keeping, that is, our righteousness, is not a condition of eternal life! The repentant thief on the cross proves it; he never kept the commandments, yet he received eternal life.


  Let this be firmly established then: It is not necessary for us to keep the commandments of God in order to inherit eternal life. We inherit life by virtue of our being accepted into the family of God. This is a most essential point and must be grasped in all its fullness, and in its full significance, or else the second stage of the process of salvation cannot be accomplished. The second stage again, is salvation from sinning. The first stage was salvation from the penalty of sin - eternal death.

 
  And now we undertake to clarify the second phase in the outworking of the everlasting covenant. This phase contains the most glorious manifestation of the power of God - His selfless love. The true keeping of the commandments is based wholly and entirely on self-denying love. Here we meet with an expanded meaning of the new birth. To be born of God means to be born of love, for God is love. God's love is the self-denying variety - it is Divine love.

  To be born of love means to have a new heart, for the heart is the seat of the emotions. To receive a new heart from God means to receive a new nature of self-denying love.

  When this new heart is received, the primary motive of all conscious decision and action is self-denying love - but this is the law of life in heaven and earth. It is the life and character of God - it is His righteousness! His righteousness becomes ours by personal possession. It is imparted to us - it is now ours. Here is the indwelling Christ; here is the reason that our will is merged in His, and that in choosing our way we are but choosing His way. It is the motivating emotion that harmonizes the decisions.

  The gift of a new heart comes through the agency of the Holy Ghost. All gifts come through Him. If God's Holy Spirit is asked for, the love of God will be shed abroad in the heart, says the servant of the Lord. [cf. Signs of the Times, 08-22-92]. Nevertheless, there is a process whereby this is accomplished. And this brings us to another phase of study, namely, the sharing in the sufferings of Christ:

269

OBTAIN AN "EXPERIMENTAL" KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
BY SHARING IN THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST
(FROM HERE TO PAGE 275.)

  You see, we cannot become a son of God in this second sense until we obtain an experimental knowledge of God and His Son Christ. It is one thing to have a knowledge of God, but another thing to have an experimental knowledge.

  Let me read at this point, a quotation from Christ's Object Lessons, page 114: "The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe. This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching the word of God."

  Several important points are brought out in this passage. Perhaps we should point them out again: First, that we need an experimental knowledge of God and Christ, and that it is this experimental knowledge which transforms us into the image of God and gives us the mastery of ourselves, bringing the impulses and passions under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It also makes us sons of God and heirs of heaven. It brings us into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to us the rich treasures of the universe; and finally; that this knowledge is found in the word of God.

GOD'S THREE BOOKS

  Well now, the word of God is three-fold; and I read this from page 125 of the same book [Christ's Object Lessons]: "The great storehouse of truth is the word of God - the written word, the book of nature, and the book of experience in God's dealing with human life." There are these three phases of the word of God; and the third phase, the book of experience, will have its prominent place in the particular experience involved in victory over sin.

  The knowledge of God revealed in this word does not concern [itself with] the details of His physical appearance, for though we might recognize these if we knew them, we could not gain an experimental knowledge of them. The knowledge of God which is vital to us is that of His glory, - His matchless character of love.

270

  While we may read in the word of God about this love, and see how it was manifest in the experience of Jesus, yet, we cannot by reading only, gain an experimental knowledge of this wonderful characteristic. An experimental knowledge can be gained only by experience.

  But now it is evident that the experience in the life of Jesus which revealed His unselfish love, was His vicarious sufferings. There are two kinds of suffering; deserved and undeserved. Jesus deserved no suffering; He suffered only vicariously, taking upon Himself the penalty of our transgressions. It was for us, in our stead, that He suffered - and how He suffered! We will not elaborate here upon this aspect.

  The servant of the Lord admonishes us to spend much time contemplating especially the closing scenes of Jesus' life [cf. Desire of Ages 83] - His most intense period of suffering. We will emphasize only one feature about these sufferings, the one feature which makes them different from normal suffering; - the fact that they were entirely undeserved and vicarious, the product of His willingly assuming the chastisement which we deserve.

UNDESERVED PAIN GIVES A NEW CONCEPT OF LOVE

  We can never really know what the character of Christ is like until we partake of a share of His suffering. Having tasted of it, we will learn by experience the kind, (that is His kind), of suffering our sins place upon Him. Thus, we learn by experience the kind of character He must have had in order to willingly endure such undeserved pain. We get a new concept of His love, and it is this knowledge, obtained by experience, which transforms us into His likeness and gives us the mastery over ourselves. It does this through the power of the love that is born in our hearts, as we are brought to an experimental knowledge of what it cost Jesus to forgive our sins.

  The cross of Calvary is but an outward demonstration to "our dull senses, of the pain that entered the heart of God at the inception of sin." [Education 263]. The sufferings of Christ were not confined to the literal cross of Calvary, nor did they end there. If we continue in sin, after having come to a knowledge of the truth and have partaken of the grace of God, we do crucify the Son of God afresh [cf. Hebrews 6:6]. This can only mean that in persisting in sin, we can have forgiveness only as the Son of God accepts renewed sufferings.

271

  The apostle says it is impossible to continue in sin because it brings Christ into open shame. The impossibility is not really absolute, but lies in the forbidding nature of the consequences.

THE TIME WHEN WE WILL FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTINUE IN SIN

  We all know that we have continued in sin after having received forgiveness and partaken of the grace of Christ, and we all know that we've been forgiven again. But when we learn by experience - and this is important - when we learn by experience what it costs Jesus to continue to forgive those added sins - the renewed sufferings of the cross and open shame, - then, we find it impossible to continue in sin. Why? because "the love of Christ constraineth us". We can learn this only by partaking of His sufferings. And then out of consideration, out of admiration and love for Jesus, and in order to spare Him the added abuse, we think twice before permitting ourselves to become enticed again into sin. This is the selfless motive for victory, the only motive that will ultimately triumph!

  In the light of the above thoughts, let us read again this passage from Christ's Object Lessons [pa. 114], which says: "...that the experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God." I say again, this is related to the emotion of love.

  It is the power of love which does the changing. It gives a man the mastery of himself, "bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind." In other words, a man can implement his decision to cease from sin - he has received the power to do it; and the power that he has received is the power of selfless love, which is the love of God. This is what it means to be born again, to be born of love - for God is love. And thus, it makes its possessor a son of God. He is born again, born a son of God and an heir of heaven, and so on.

  Here then, we see the true motive for keeping the commandments of God. We receive our eternal life as a gift. Our righteousness, our law-keeping, has nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, the keeping of the law is a condition of eternal life; but it is not our keeping of the law which is the condition! It is His keeping of the law, for He is the only One that kept it perfectly; and we are accepted in God's sight on the basis of His keeping of the law - that is, His righteousness.

272

  And the second phase, the phase in which we are transformed into the image of God and become sons of God, and gain the mastery and the victory; and are enabled and given power to keep the commandments of God, is based entirely upon selflessness. Since we have no more incentive to keep the law in order to gain eternal life or any favors, there can only be one other incentive - unselfish.


  You see, God has guaranteed through this method - through this great and wonderful plan, and this marvelous gift, - He has guaranteed that all who keep His commandments in the eternal kingdom, will be keeping them from a purely voluntary basis, a basis founded on love for someone else, - that is, love for Christ. We keep the law because we want to spare the precious Son of God further abuse for our sakes; we cannot bring ourselves anymore to sin against Him. We have been transformed into His image through the power of His love.

HOW TO GAIN AN "EXPERIMENTAL" KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

  And how do we get this love - how do we get it? Through an experimental knowledge! How do we get an experimental knowledge? - through experience. And what knowledge is it of Jesus that we need - a knowledge of His physical form? No! - a knowledge of the glory of His character of selfless love. How do we get it? I say again, by experience. And the only way we can get it by experience is to be brought into situations where we are made to suffer unjustly, suffer for others, suffer not for our own sakes. And so sharing the sufferings of Christ means: not sharing in suffering as a penalty for our transgressions - No, we would all deserve that, but suffering for things we did not do, and things of which we were not guilty - suffering for His sake. When we get an experience of this nature we will have a first-hand knowledge, an experimental knowledge, of what Jesus went through for our sakes.

THE BITTER CUP OF UNDESERVED SUFFERING

  We will never experience the deepness of that bitter cup. But when the two disciples were vying for the top positions in the kingdom, Jesus replied they were not His to give. But He immediately pointed out to them the essentials of reaching a high position in the kingdom of heaven, and He said "Are you able to drink of the cup that I will drink of?" [Matt. 20:22]. And this is the cup: undeserved suffering for the

273

sins of others. Oh, we do not suffer vicariously - the reason we suffer is that we may gain a knowledge of Christ firsthand. And this will transform us by the power of love. Herein is the final fruit of the everlasting covenant.

  In order for that covenant to bear its fruit, it must be delivered to God's people. The message of the covenant must be seen in all its glory, or the feeble efforts of the saints to perfect themselves will only end in failure!

  And what is the glory of that covenant? It is the revelation of the love of God which will give to the repentant sinner a new heart through an experimental knowledge of God and His Son Christ, and transform him into a son of God, and give him a mastery over himself, through the creation of the correct and only motive that can prosper – self-denying love. It is the blessed assurance of all sins forgiven and the gift of eternal life purely through the faith in the substitutionary merits of Christ's righteousness - His perfect obedience in place of our failure. Should we not accept it?

  Oh how many of us have accepted this? By word of mouth we say we believe it; but how many of us have really acted upon it? And when we sin we have an Advocate. We may take advantage of the grace of God, but every time we do, let us remember that Jesus is the One who bears the penalty. Let us cease from sin for His sake!

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAITH & WORKING OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION

  It has been a few days since the preceding portion of this tape was recorded, and as I have just finished auditing it, I am made more fully aware that some of our brethren will be unwilling to accept the gospel in its simplicity as it has been presented. They will feel that it is necessary to obey and work out our own salvation through fear and trembling. This indeed is true, but in this sense only: Eternal life, so far as we are concerned, is obtained by faith; it is a gift of God. We must work out our own salvation from continuing in sin. We cannot work out our own salvation from eternal death by obedience. We work out our own salvation from eternal death by faith.

  But we do work out our own salvation from continuing in sin; for as it was a choice of Adam which transformed him into the nature of sinfulness so it will be our choice to discontinue sin. It is by an act of the soul itself that sin is dispelled from the life [cf. DA 466]. 

274


  In this sense we work out our own salvation by obedience. But we do this because we want to release our Lord from the necessity of continuing to be our Mediator; - and not until we have expelled sin from the life can we stand before God without an Intercessor. This it would seem to me should be quite plain. But now we have not presented much in the way of Scriptural evidence for what we have said, having assumed that those who audit the tape will be familiar with the Scriptures that deal with these aspects, and with the statements in the Spirit of Prophecy.


  This task however, is being accomplished in written form, and if God continues to spare my life and continues to provide me with limited health, it will be accomplished. [Probably refers to Sections 1 through 4 in, Panorama of Truth, Volume Two, pages 54-162].

  Meanwhile, perhaps two or three references here may be in order: 1st Vol., Selected Messages, page 364 - (Some will read this passage which says): "man cannot be saved without obedience", and on the basis of this statement will say that what we have recorded on this tape cannot be true. Nevertheless, I would continue with the next portion of the sentence which says: "but his works should not be of himself."

  In other words man's obedience, man's works, are not the ones which will qualify him for salvation. Of this we should be certain! It goes on to say that "Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure." On page 337 of the same book it says that "Christ abiding in the soul exerts a transforming power,..." But we know that Christ does not abide in the soul literally and physically. What is it about Christ - what aspect, what attribute is it that exerts this transforming power? Just a little further down, I read it: "...we drink in the love of Christ, as the branch draws nourishment from the vine." This is the secret of the transformation of the soul.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUFFERING AND VICTORY

  And now, just a word about the relation between suffering and victory over sin. I would point you to the book of 1st Peter, and suggest that you read this book through very closely and carefully, particularly toward the end of the second chapter, then on down through the third and fourth chapters, and verse ten of the fifth chapter. Here we are plainly told that it is a privilege to partake of the sufferings of Christ, and that only as we do so, will we cease from sin. May I read just one or two verses of these?:

275 

  In the 4th Chapter [1st Peter], verse 1: "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." And in Chapter 5, verse 10: "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His Eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye hath suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."

  And then I find a passage in the Spirit of Prophecy from Christ's Object Lessons, p. 175 which says this: "The Lord permits trials in order that we may be cleansed from earthliness, from selfishness, from harsh, unchristlike traits of character. He suffers the deep waters of affliction to go over our souls." Why? " ... in order that we may know Him and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, in order that we may have deep heart longings to be cleansed from defilement, and may come forth from the trial purer, holier, happier. Often we enter the furnace of trial with our souls darkened with selfishness; but if patient under the crucial test, we shall come forth reflecting the divine character."

  It seems to me that this passage contains the entire story in a nutshell. It clears up the matter of suffering, pointing out that the reason for suffering is that we may have a purified character, that we may see God, and His Son Christ, as they really are; and that by beholding, we become changed. In the light of what has been said previously on this tape, I think this passage can be better understood.

A WORD TO THOSE STRUGGLING WITH TEMPTATION

  And now in closing, just a word to those who may be struggling with temptation. We will have to fight the battle with self over and over again. Many, many times we will have to come humbly and penitently to the feet of Jesus, acknowledging our sinfulness and our continuance in sin, and feeling very discouraged and down-hearted; and feeling very bad because of the injury we are continuing to cause to the Son of God. But let us accept the grace that is manifest in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Without doing this, we will not gain the victory.

  It is Satan who accuses us. It is he who makes us feel that we cannot have our sins forgiven any more, that we have sinned too often and too long, that Jesus cannot look upon us any longer - this is Satan's temptation.

276

  Jesus is able and willing to accept the penalty of our continued transgressions. Oh yes, He suffers; but He will stand the test - He has proved it. We may be assured of forgiveness of sins. This is the gospel brethren; this is the promise of the new covenant. He says "I will forgive their iniquity." Why not accept His Word? Let us believe it. And if we sin, "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous." [1st John 2:1]. That is then settled. If we fall into sin we may have that sin forgiven; we may still have eternal life. We need not fear the penalty of eternal death and everlasting punishment.


  But now, as we come to Jesus, we must have the full realization of what it costs Him to forgive those sins. He loves to do it; but there is a pain attached to it. We cannot sin and have the sin forgiven without the Lord Jesus Christ suffering anguish. I am not prepared to say exactly what the nature of this anguish is, but we can read the terribleness of it in the cross of Calvary.

  The apostle Paul clearly states that if we continue to transgress, the Son of God will be crucified afresh, and brought to open shame [Heb. 6:6]. This is the deterring factor in our continuing in sin. And we will not appreciate the benign and wonderful love of Jesus to its full, nor to an extent necessary, to give us victory over sin, until we have shared in the sufferings of Christ. Not until we have had the privilege of drinking the cup and being baptized with the baptism, - to know by experience what it means to accept the penalty and the suffering, unjustly and unfairly, - not until, I say, we have experienced a share of this, will we be free from sin!

  This is what Peter is attempting to say; for as we are tempted to sin, we will behold the lovely Jesus and His character. This will be imprinted upon our minds; it will be in our hearts because we have experienced it. And thus the new covenant promise is delivered to us in a personal and in an experimental way. We do receive a new heart. The law of God is placed in our minds. We have a completely new and deeper awareness - a more acute awareness - of the meaning of the forgiveness of sins, and of the lovely character of Christ.

LOVE - THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE

  We cannot continue in sin under these circumstances. We just cannot do it! The power of love compels us to cease from sin. We feel like a heel many times when we have to continue to come back to Jesus for forgiveness of our continued sins.

277

  We reach the place [where] we cannot bear it any longer - our love for Him is just too great.


  Love is the most powerful force in all the universe. Love is at the basis of creation, and it is at the root of re-creation and regeneration, both literally and spiritually. When we finally see ourselves as the terrible sinners we really are, (and we will as we continue in sin and find that we cannot overcome these temptations), we will get down on our knees and plead with God as did Jacob for a blessing. We will plead for deliverance, not only from the penalty of our transgressions, but also from our transgressions. We will plead for release from the power of evil. We will plead for power to overcome our weaknesses and our sins. And when we do this our prayer will be answered.

  If we persist with God as did Jacob, we will receive the answer, we will receive the blessing. And the blessing will come to us in the form of a revelation of the character of God, through sharing His sufferings. This will be the answer. And this will be the "time of Jacob's trouble." This will be the time when we will be crying for deliverance. It is at this time that one of the phases of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will transpire in our individual lives.

  We will receive an infusion of the love of God, and this will be the energizing, - the motivating power which will enable us to implement our decision to cease from sin. We will finally be cleansed from all unrighteousness. The righteousness of Christ will be imparted to us, and we will be empowered to live His life. Christ will live in us, and He will live out His righteousness through us. His mind will be our mind; His life will be our life.

A DANGEROUS MESSAGE

  Let us not be discouraged then, but let us plead with God for the outpouring of His Spirit according to the promise, for the transformation of our hearts and lives, for the gift of His righteousness; that we may be able to be saved from our sins. This is the message of the everlasting covenant which is to be brought to God's people at this time!

  But it is a dangerous message. It is a message that will sift the chaff from the wheat, because when one realizes that sins can be forgiven, that we need not keep the literal commandment law in order to be saved so far as we are concerned; that if we can have our sins forgiven, we are free to continue in sin.

278

  Herein is the separating power of this message. For those whose hearts are still centered in self, will continue to sin and will continue to take advantage of the forgiveness of sins; but they will not gain the victory over sin! And the day will come as they continue in sin, that the power of Satan in his temptations will eventually overrule. We cannot gain the fullness of the blessing that Jesus has for us if we have no penitence in our hearts.


JESUS' ACCEPTANCE RELEASES THE PENITENT FROM FEAR

  On the contrary, this message will release those who are penitent in heart from their fear of eternal death, from their fear of injuring the Son of God. As they see His matchless love they will realize that He will never forsake them, that they are safe in His arms, and that He is simply waiting patiently for them to respond to His love. Their sorrow will be a sorrow at their inability to measure up to what they would like to do for their Lord - and He accepts them!

THEY WILL BE DELIVERED

  As they plead with Him and wrestle with Him in prayer, they will be delivered. This is the promise of the delivering of the everlasting covenant to God's people, as given in Early Writings and in Great Controversy [cf. EW 34, 285, & GC 640]. May God help us, each and every one, toward this end, - that we may soon reflect the image of Jesus fully, and that He may come to claim us as His own. This is my prayer.

(THIS MATERIAL IS BEING RECORDED DURING THE MONTH OF MAY, 1961.)

VICTORY OVER SIN
[FROM HERE TO PAGE 292]

  I would like to say something further along the line of victory over sin at this time. Much is being said among our people at the present time, about the matter of the cleansing of sin from the life, and its relation to the work in the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Some are teaching that there is a relationship between the work of the sanctuary in heaven, and the work in the soul temple of the individual saint on earth.

279


THE HUMAN SOUL - COUNTERPART OF THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY

  That the heavenly sanctuary, and all its significances, has its counterpart in the human soul temple, is a thought which I have previously recorded on other tapes, and have personally held for many years. God says in His word that He teaches and reveals His truth by similitudes. There can be no question it seems to me in our minds, that the sanctuary service has a meaning in each of its phases that applies to the individual personal experience in the matter of gaining victory over sin. I do not feel that this limits the significance of the sanctuary service, for I believe that there are many meanings to these things. I do not think that the sanctuary service is limited to one interpretation only.

  A sanctuary, or temple, is a dwelling place of God - a temple is the place where God meets with His people. The Bible speaks of our bodies as temples, that we are an habitation of God, and that our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost. This would imply that our bodies too are dwelling places of God, that they too are temples.

  Undoubtedly there is a parallel between the outer court of the tabernacle, the first apartment, and the inner apartment, with the environment of the human body, the mechanical structure of the body itself, and the inner mind - but it is not our purpose on this tape to investigate these things. Rather, we would like to comment briefly upon some of the thoughts that are being presented from place to place at this time, by various individuals who are, or have been, faithful members in our church.

COME TO THE MOST HOLY PLACE

  The chief burden of the message which is being preached seems to be that it is now time for us to come to the Most Holy apartment of the heavenly Sanctuary, and to be cleansed from sin. This would seem quite obvious. Exactly how this is accomplished is not being proclaimed by these brethren, and it is in this connection that I would like to say a few words here:

  Any message which God sends to His people is designed to fulfill a definite purpose. God does not always send a complete message by one messenger. But He may send preparatory messages by various messengers; and then He may send concluding messages by other messengers [cf. Evangelism 336 & 337]. The Bible itself is a compilation of many messages of truth given through many messengers.

280

  We realize as we read through the Spirit of Prophecy writings, that the door is wide open for further developments of truth. Nevertheless, the basic elements of truth, the foundation principles of the message have been given and are sufficient and adequate to bring us through to the kingdom of God. But that we should receive clearer meanings as time goes on, and expanded understandings - this I think, is clearly taught in the Spirit of Prophecy.


  For many years we have been teaching our doctrines as separate and distinct individual units of theological dogma - and this is good. It is impossible to build a structure until all the component elements are at hand with which to do the building; and I feel that our message is something like this: that we have been gathering over the years, the various building blocks that are to go into the final structure of all truth.

  Certainly, we must recognize as a people, that we do not have all the truth. Perhaps we have prided ourselves just a little too much in the message which we have had to give to the world - a message which is exclusive to this people. For God did send, many, many years ago, a warning to us in that He said, " ... take heed, you think you have need of nothing. You think that you are increased with goods." But He said that we do appear in His sight, to be naked and to be blind; and He admonishes us "to buy of Him, gold tried in the fire," and so on. And we have something to repent of, and there is a cautious warning that, if we fail to do this, He will "spew us out of His mouth." Perhaps we should take notice of this message [from Revelation 3:14- 22].

THE HUMAN SOUL TEMPLE TO BE CLEANSED FROM SIN

  But now, briefly to some of the problems presented or brought to light through the message which is being presented by a number of people throughout our churches at the present time. We are brought to realize that now is the hour when the temple, (the human temple, the soul temple,) is to be cleansed from all unrighteousness; from all sin. And I think we can go along with this.

281

BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE?

  But now, if this message applies to our people at the present time, - that we are now to come to the sanctuary and to receive the final cleansing, we cannot help but wonder; what about those who have gone before? What about those who lived before the final day of atonement and who died at that time, not having come to the day of atonement when the cleansing was to be completed? This would present a most serious problem to the mind of any clear-thinking theological student.

  The answer to this problem has been recorded on preceding tapes, but I shall briefly check into some of the points here in case some have not reviewed those tapes, or in case they have been forgotten. It has been pointed out that the work up until 1844, represents the work in the holy apartment of the sanctuary. It is a work of transferring of sins to the sanctuary, through the daily sacrificial service. A sinner can be forgiven his sins by accepting the substitutionary merits of the sacrifice of Christ, and Christ assumes the responsibility for those sins.


  And here I'm deeply tempted to sidetrack into some thoughts about the transferring of these sins, and the temple itself, and what this represents. But in order to avoid too elaborate a confusion - or should I say too elaborate a discussion and the danger of confusion, - perhaps I should let that rest.

  Then comes the end of the ministry in the holy apartment in 1844, and the transferring of operations to the Most Holy; the beginning of the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement is a day of judgment and a day of cleansing. This, I think, we as Adventists understand, having taught it for many years.

  We have spoken freely about the recording of sins in the sanctuary records above, and that during this period of time now, those records are to be opened, and they are to be brought to light, and judgment is to be passed. And opposite each name will be written pardon, or otherwise, depending on whether the record of these sins - or should I say, the sins that are recorded here, have been confessed and properly taken care of. This is a very mechanical way of looking at the picture, and I have no objection to this view, except to say that it is an elementary view.

  While we teach things to young children we must be careful to speak of them in terms of very tangible and clear-cut pictures or images,

282

that the young child can understand. And God is a great teacher, and He has certainly followed this plan. But now as we reach maturity, we may begin to think more in abstract terms - terms that are not seen in literal objects, for spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned.


Some may have wondered precisely what these records {Heaven's books of record} are like.

A SPECIAL WORK OF GUARDIAN ANGELS
(FROM HERE THRU PAGE 283.4)

  I think we are all agreed that the guardian angel is the one who is responsible for making the record of the individual in his charge, for we understand through reading of passages of the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy, that it is impossible for every angel to read the thoughts of every individual. It is not the privilege of a man to be able to read the thoughts of another man; nor is it the privilege of every angel to be able to read the thoughts of every other individual. [cf. Our High Calling, page 88].

  But one angel has been assigned to a specific task on behalf of each individual person, and that angel has access to all the motives and all the thoughts, and can carry the prayers of the individual to Jesus. [Refer also to the bottom - of page 82 in this book.} Thus, if the angel's mind is identified with the individual person's mind, the record of the individual's motives and thoughts and actions and all told, is recorded in the mind of the guardian angel. [See statements re: Angels of God can read our thoughts, motives intents, purposes, etc: 1st Testimonies 544; 2nd T 87, 181; and 4th T 63, 4th T 589 & 590; also 7 BC 987].

  Whether the guardian angel reproduces or re-records this record in some tangible way, is a matter which I do not think is particularly important. I would have no objection to accepting a view that this angel does - other than perhaps this thought: that such a task would be an enormous and almost prohibitive thing, and that if all these records in tangible literal writing were to pass personally before Jesus since 1844, up until the present, in view of the fact that people are being born at such a rapid rate, it would be a physical impossibility (Jesus being in a physical form as we are definitely told), - I say, it would be a physical impossibility to carry through a detailed analysis of every thought and motive of every individual person who had ever lived since the world began, in this period of time. Some may object that I am becoming too literalistic in my thinking. As I have said before, I will not object to this view - I am merely pointing it out.

283

THE BOOKS WHERE THE RECORDS ARE KEPT


  A more satisfactory view, it would seem to me, is that the guardian angel opens the book of his own mind where the record of the individual's life is kept; and that the opening of this record is not a literal opening of a literal book and a literal scrutinizing of every detail at this particular time, but is rather a judgment of the individual's merits toward eternal life. The thing that is to be judged at this time is simply this: Does this man merit eternal life, or eternal death? This is the thing which must be decided, and I believe this is the thing which is going forward in the investigative judgment - that the case of every individual is being decided for life or for death. The details of every individual's thought and motive throughout his entire life, it would seem to me, is a work that is still for the future [cf. Pages 82; also p. 255 in Vol. Two]. {Read also page 987 of the Bible Commentary}.

ETERNAL LIFE BY FAITH - IN WHAT

  But now, on what basis is a man to receive eternal life? This is what we have discussed on the preceding side of the tape (cf. pages 266 thru 268). We shall amplify it just a little here: A man is saved by faith. It is a man's faith that determines whether he is to live or to die. But now, faith in what? What is it that is important concerning the existence of an individual, in the kingdom of heaven?

  The thing which made the plan of salvation necessary, was transgression of the law - that is, sin. No government can operate successfully without adherence to the laws of its kingdom, and no one is going to keep the laws of a kingdom, willingly and of his own volition, without resentment, unless he is fully convinced that those laws are just, and that the Giver of those laws is justified in giving them.

  This is exactly where things went wrong in the days of Lucifer - he lost respect for the Leader of the government. No one can truly cooperate in a government unless he has respect for that government. Only when every citizen of a country has complete confidence in the government can there be complete happiness and harmony in the operation of that government in the country.

  The plan of salvation is essentially designed to vindicate the justice of God's law and government, that all might come to acknowledge Him as just and true and righteous, and worthy to be honored. The Bible dearly teaches this, - that all will bow eventually, and give honor and


284

glory to God. This is the basis - this is the fullness - this is the outcome of the plan of salvation. So a man is judged on this one thing: Does this man honor and accept Jesus as the King of the universe? Is he willing to acknowledge that the character of Christ is worthy of the honor of the top position in the government of heaven? If a man accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and as his King and as his Governor, without question, - he is saved. It seems to me the Bible is very specific in this thought. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."


  Do you believe that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? If you don't "you are none of His" says the Scripture. If you do, you are His, and you are born of God. No one can say this except he is born of God. One must come to recognize, whether it be in a mild way or in a deep way, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Saviour of the world. We do recognize this in different stages, at different times in our lives, and the final stage is the one which has been described on the preceding side of this [audio] tape [pages 261-278], - the one in which we see the character of Christ to such an extent, that we find it impossible to permit ourselves to sin against Him. We cannot sin because we are born of God - that is, [born] of His love.

  But now how can a man's life, a man's decision, a man's faith shall I say, be tested in this investigative judgment so that all the universe will acknowledge that Christ is justified in saving this man? This is a long story, and to get the answer you will have to review the previous tapes which have been given - but I will summarize it here: The individual, person and character, which has been recorded faithfully in the mind of the guardian angel, is reproduced in the body of a man or a woman since 1844.

THE INCARNATION AND GROWTH EXPERIENCE OF JESUS

  This is a similar experience - not identical, but similar - to what took place in the experience of Jesus. He was the first one to follow through with this plan. For He left the courts of glory and the only thing He took with Him, as He went to sleep from His former existence and came into this world in the form of a human being, was His character and His person - that is all He had. He came into a new body - a body was prepared, and He came into it. He came in the form of nothing - just a tiny seed which grew in the womb of Mary,

285

and was born. In a manger, He lay in Bethlehem, helpless - no knowledge of His former existence, no power of His former body. He [Jesus] was now a new being.

THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST REPRODUCED IN THE BOY JESUS

  Nevertheless, He was Christ; and He contained in His being, in His body, the potential for the reproduction of the former character which He possessed in heaven. This was His heritage - this is what He inherited. He was Christ - He was no other person. He had the character of Christ - He had no other character. It was reproduced in the human flesh. And in the face of all the inherited tendencies to evil which He had in His body by virtue of His being born a human being - I say, this character which was His gift, His heritage, proved itself capable of overcoming all sin under the deepest and hardest of circumstances. It went through its investigative judgment. It proved faith in its Heavenly Father; for Jesus manifested complete faith and trust and confidence in God, and this He taught.

  When that character had been adequately proved before the eyes of all the universe, then He was anointed with the Holy Ghost and baptized, and He became the Messiah. To what extent He was endowed with His former heritage, we cannot say for certain. It would appear that it was impossible for the entire knowledge and wisdom and power of His former body to be focused into one human frame. There are many reasons for believing that this was impossible. One is, that Jesus went in the early hours of the morning to commune with His Father and to receive instructions for the work of the day [cf. Desire of Ages, page 208]. Another is, that the miracles which He performed, were performed by God through the agency of the angels [Ibid, page 143]. Another is, that He said of Himself, He could do nothing, that it was "the Father who did the works." [cf. also p. 101 of this book].

  This would indicate that Jesus made a supreme sacrifice when He came to this world by taking upon Himself human nature - that He did not have the completeness and fullness of His former body and blood, which contained the fullness of His life and His power. He did not have a complete eternal memory when He was in human form. He did not have complete and eternal power, [but] only as He received it through the co-operation of His angels and His Father.

286

  In this state of humiliation He proved Himself worthy and honorable. He demonstrated the character of God, and His own character which was identical to it. He verified His selfless love in going straight to the cross. No one, observing this great demonstration, could possible say that this character is unworthy to be the Governor of the Universe. This is just a brief analysis. It would be understood far better if we took time to analyze it in more detail.


THE WORK IN THE FIRST APARTMENT

  And now, the work in the first apartment began when He ascended to heaven. The saints were called from each of the generations of the eras of the church's history, and the promise was given to the overcomers in each of these. And now we come to the last period - the Day of Atonement since 1844.

  On the Day of Atonement the door to the holy apartment was shut, and the door to the Most Holy was opened. This would clearly indicate that the work of the Holy Apartment was completed, and that the transferring of sins to the sanctuary was finished; and that now the work was one of judgment and cleansing of sin out of the sanctuary. But if this be true then, how can the sins of those who are born since 1844, who are born into the Day of Atonement, be taken care of? If there is no ministry in the holy apartment, obviously there is a change in the setup.

  The answer to this again will only be understood as it is given in detail, and this has been done, more or less, on preceding tapes, and we will summarize here: Those who are born since 1844, are born as bodies into which the potential character and person of one who has lived before 1844, appears. In other words these men and women today are demonstrating, as Jesus did before His anointing, the character of one who has lived before. And this is being done through the agency of the guardian angel who now identifies himself and operates through, in this particular capacity, the one who is now living.

THE TESTING OF PREDESTINED CHARACTERS

  In a sense, those who live today are predestined characters, even as Jesus was predestined, for we are now living in the time of the regeneration, and the judgment of the saints. We are living in the time when the characters of all those who have come to Christ are being proved, they are being tested. They must prove worthy or unworthy!

287

  None can be raised from the dead in their final complete and full sense, until the character has been vindicated in the eyes of the universe. For those who come in the first resurrection are the righteous; and those who come in the second resurrection are the wicked. And therefore it must be determined, before the resurrection is completed, who will come in the first one. This can only be determined by the investigative judgment; and the character is to be proved under the circumstances existing in the world at this time.


  The Bible says that those who are first shall be last; and it is significant that the overcomers will be the ones who will come forth last, whose characters will attain to perfection, who will prove their righteousness through their complete faith and trust in Christ the Saviour, having the faith of Jesus, and keeping the commandments of God. And these are they who shall be anointed with the Holy Ghost as Jesus was, and who will come into a knowledge and understanding of their former existence. They will be raised from the dead in this, the special resurrection, performed through regeneration; and they will be translated without seeing death, at the second coming of Jesus.

  Now the Bible says that all must die, and "after this the judgment:" [Hebrews 9:27]. If, according to our present limited view, the 144,000 saints who are translated, appear for the first time in the last generation, they do not fulfill this passage of Scripture. If, on the other hand, these are the characters of those who have lived before, who are now being tested in the judgment - they have already died. And now they are being judged; and then they will be translated and completely fulfill all passages of Scripture in relation to them.

  You will remember the apostle Paul speaks of being "with them" who are alive - not with those who are raised from the dead at the second coming [cf. 1st Thess. 4:15-17]. And the apostle John was to "testify again before many peoples and nations and tongues" [Revelation 10:11], concerning things that were not revealed in his writings; and that Jesus said of him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to thee?" [John 21:22].

THE OVERCOMERS FROM EACH ERA OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

  Thus, in the lives of these, the overcomers from each of the eras of the churches' history, who are now regenerated in the last generation - I say, in the lives of these, complete victory over sin will be manifest. This will be done through the element of faith. The item by which they

288

are judged is their faith. And their faith will hold no matter how deeply they fall into sin; - and incidentally, Sister White says that those who have fallen deepest into sin will stand closest to His throne to praise Him for what He has done [Steps to Christ 35 & 36]. And there is no doubt that the 144,000 will stand closest to Him at His throne, for they, and they alone, enter with Him into the temple on Mount Zion. [cf. Early Writings, pages 19,25, 79 & 80].


  They are a part of the new body structure of Christ of which Jesus is the Head. They are now the new habitation of God, - the dwelling place of God. He says to the Laodiceans in the promise to them, that if they open the door, He will come in and sup with them; and they are to be the new habitation. This is the temple of the Holy Ghost; and God and Christ come to this temple through the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.

THE 144,000 WILL UNDERSTAND AND COME FOR THE CLEANSING

  And so in line with the teaching, which is prevailing at the present time [1961] to a large extent, that it is now time for us to come to this 'most holy apartment' of the sanctuary for the final cleansing - I say, in line with this teaching, there are 144,000 saints living on the earth today, who are to come through to this experience. And while many will not understand it, (many will not understand it), they are not a part of this temple in this sense; there will be those who will understand, and who will come and receive this final cleansing! [cf. Pages 266 thru 278 of this book.]

  We have explained on the other side of this tape, and on other tapes, how this cleansing will be brought about, - that it is through the delivering of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the everlasting covenant attached to it - I say, it is through this message, that an understanding of the final victory over sin, and an accomplishment of it, will be made.

  The other technical parts of doctrine concerning the sanctuary and the regeneration of the saints since 1844, to go through the investigative judgment and so on - these are not the essential things. There may be disharmony and discord in an understanding of these. But the essential thing is the message of the gospel, - forgiveness of sins, and the meaning of the everlasting covenant, and the final victory over sin, and cleansing of the soul temple. We have not covered it in complete detail here, but the essential points are available.

289

THE RECEPTION OF THE KINGDOM AND THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB

  There is involved in the work of the most holy apartment, the reception of the kingdom by Jesus, and the marriage of the Lamb. It is doubtful whether this is too well understood, but undoubtedly, the marriage of the Lamb to His kingdom refers to His receiving back (cf. Desire of Ages 22) the authority which in a sense He lost under Satan's challenge many, many years ago. He is now to be acknowledged the supreme Ruler of the universe, and this is going to be done by even the 144,000 saints on the earth. They will champion His cause here on earth 'midst the most forbidding of circumstances.

  These are the saints, these are the bride of the Lamb, for it says that His kingdom is His saints, or His kingdom is in His saints. It is through them that He obtains His power once more.

  This is so, because they constitute the new body temple or structure of the habitation of God. Christ humbled Himself and gave up His former body and blood (this is true doctrine), and He came into a human temple which was to become the fullness of the Head of the new body structure; "for in Him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily." [Colossians 2:9]. And His saints constitute the rest of the structure. To these He is married - they become one flesh.

THE SAINTS RECEIVE OF THE HERITAGE OF THE SON OF GOD

  The saints are to eat the flesh of the Son of God and drink His blood. Of course this is not literally - this refers to receiving the heritage of His former body and blood which He broke for them, and which He spilt for them. And Jesus told His disciples, ere He went to heaven, that "He would not again partake of this Himself" - (He told them this clearly at the last supper), - "until He partook of it with them in the kingdom." This should be plain: - that as the marriage union takes place between Christ and His saints, the new structure is brought into one complete unit. It is unified - it is married - it is fused; and the new governing unit of the universe is born, so to speak. Christ is in His saints. They are His body. And Jesus is the Head, and the head operates through the body.

  No sensory experience is available to the mind except as it comes through the channels of the physical body. No executive operation or muscular activity of the body is possible except - (or should I put it this way) - no decision of the mind can be executed, except as it is

290

executed through the muscles and glands and the physical structure of the body temple. This is the new set-up. 


  Never again can Jesus Christ be accused of assuming a superior position arbitrarily, and dictating to His subjects; for all will go through His new body of l44,000 saints. These are the only ones that enter into the temple with Jesus; and this is the ruling body. [cf. Early Writings, page 19].


  But the saints love their Saviour. They have gone through the deepest experience. They admire Him. They will not do anything [which would wound their Lord and Saviour]. They have proved on this world, in this earth, during the last closing conflict, that they will refuse to sin, to transgress, to injure their Lord under any circumstances.

THE "GHOST" OF THE BODY OF CHRIST BECOMES A PART OF THE 144,000

  It is not until after this has been proved that the anointing takes place, and the Holy Ghost - the Ghost of the body of Christ which existed before - will become a part of the 144,000 saints. They will be the temples of the Holy Ghost. He will come to dwell with them. But their temples will be pure, for He cannot dwell in an impure temple. I wonder if this is not plain?


  These are big words, these are big thoughts; but these are not delusions. These are thoughts which are clearly portrayed in the Word of God; and those who would come to God for a clearer understanding of His truth will receive it. This is His promise.

  Let us build, brethren, on a firm foundation. Let us accept the basic doctrines which we have taught for many years, and let us build on [them] from there. With the help of the Spirit of God, with humility, a willingness to learn, and a willingness to obey, God will honor and bless us with a deeper understanding of His truth.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT SINS CONFESSED SINCE 1844

  Then, at the close of the ministration of Christ in the sanctuary above, as He is about to leave, He pauses a moment to place upon Satan the confessed sins of His people since 1844. This would indicate there is something particularly different about the sins which have been confessed since 1844, than those which were confessed before 1844. In the light of what I have said previously, I think it may be understood. The former sins were transferred to the sanctuary, and there recorded.

291

  The sins since 1844 are but the manifestation or the continuation of characters which have been previously formed; and these sins have been taken care of through the acceptance by faith in Christ, and the transference of the sins to the sanctuary. And as the saints are judged in the regeneration period since 1844, these sins no longer need to be transferred to the first apartment of the sanctuary. Oh no, they are already there - these sins have gone beforehand! ["...going before to judgment;..." 1st Timothy 5:24]. These are but the outworking and continuation of the pattern that had been previously set.


THE 144,000 - CLEANSED AND WITHOUT FAULT

  But in this generation, the character is to be proved victorious over sin. In the former generation, they were overcomers by faith - that is, they believed in the forgiveness of their sins, and were thus accepted. But had they continued to live they would have continued to sin. Even Moses, the champion of the old covenant experience, would manifest that.

  But now we're under the new covenant experience. We're now under the Day of Atonement when the sanctuary is to be cleansed, and sin is to be expelled from the life. This is the demonstration which is to take place in the lives of the 144,000, - that they will gain the victory over their sins and be cleansed, that their soul temples will be purified, that they will be without fault before the throne, that they will be able to stand before God without the Intercessor.

  Only after this test has been completed and demonstrated, can the marriage union of Christ be completed, and can they be trusted to form a part of the governing body of Christ. Should they sin in the future, that sin would be registered in the head of the body - which is Christ. [cf. R&H 10-16-1894, (volume 3 of the R&H articles, p. 642, column 1.5)]. He will forever remain the Surety for sin; and He will become an eternal sufferer. But the saints will never sin. Sin will not arise a second time!

CHRIST STAKED HIS ENTIRE LIFE FOR HIS SAINTS

  * Christ has staked His entire life, on the principle of His self-sacrificing love - that this principle would triumph in the hearts of His saints, that it would win out in the long run, that it would guarantee

_______________
* Desire of Ages 131 - He took" ...the risk of failure and eternal loss."

292

that they will never let Him down. He has placed Himself on trial by faith in such a way, that He can never again be accused of maintaining His top position arbitrarily. ["The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His word unto us." - Christ's Object Lessons 148].


  The saints will have no other choice of a Ruler. They recognize their inefficiencies, their inabilities, their weaknesses. They recognize that their victories and their strength have all been given to them through the power of Christ's love. They will never let Him down! Never again will they choose to sin; and sin could only arise if they did [so] choose. Because sin is a choice, they will never [so] choose. The power of self-sacrificing love in their hearts will constrain them to obedience throughout eternity.

THE 144,000 - WHY PRIESTS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS

  These 144,000 will be the priests during the thousand years, and during this time the details of all the lives will be considered. And there will be those like the thief on the cross who will come up in the first resurrection who, had they continued to live in this world, would have continued to sin. There will be many of these. These all must be educated; these all must learn.

  They must be dealt with patiently, and for one thousand years they will have 144,000 priests to assist them in their education. And finally, after the earth has been completely cleansed by fire at the end of the thousand years, and all those who have come up in the first resurrection have been grown up into the fullness of the stature of Christ, the new earth will be established. May God speed the day!

This concludes the topic Victory Over Sin in this Message Survey

PROVIDENTIAL PROCEDURE AND PREDICTING THE COURSE OF FUTURE EVENTS

  And now, just a few words about providential procedure: The question sometimes arises; to what extent is God aware of the decisions which a man is going to make? Does God purposely direct the thinking in a man's mind to cause him to fulfill divine plans? If so, then what significance could there possibly be to the principle of free will? What would be its purpose? If not, then how could it be possible to predict the course of events when free choices are involved?

293

  If choices can inevitably be predicted, then there is no individual autonomy in the will, and it must operate by pre-determined law. It is then no longer free, but mechanical. This is an important issue, for sin cannot exist without a free choice!

  Sin is an act of the soul - a decision of the will - and if God is not its author, then there must be an autonomous independence associated with the will. It is free to choose independently and apart from God. This should be obvious. But if the will is independent and free, then its decisions are unpredictable on the basis of mechanical law. An understanding of all the mechanical laws of the universe would still not make possible, a prediction of the precise choices any man would make, for the man could choose independently of those mechanics. If he could not - his will is not free! This conclusion poses a problem.

THE MAIN TRACK OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION

  How can God guarantee that all the prophecies, involving man's decisions, will be fulfilled? Could not man decide to choose contrary to God's prediction? Yes, he could; and if he did, God's plan would be thwarted. Thus, the only way God can be sure that man will choose to fulfill His purpose is to apply - or rather to have in reserve - a force or motive power which, if necessary, would compel or constrain man to conform to the predicted course. We are here on the main track of the plan of salvation.

  To use force, would be to destroy freedom of choice. But this has been done, to some extent, under the old covenant relationship. Rewards are offered for obedience and punishment for disobedience. Parents use this method with immature children for their own good, and so does God. But under the new covenant relationship God does not apply any mechanical force; rather, He offers rewards without obedience, and punishment without disobedience.

  Under this scheme a man may voluntarily surrender his will, (that is his choices), to the requests of his Sovereign, entirely apart from any associated reward or punishment. Should he do this, it would obviously be done independent of any mechanical force. This would present a dangerously slim chance of success. But God found a way to ensure its accomplishment, to gain the voluntary allegiance of His subjects without mechanical force, and to ensure the ultimate fulfillment of His predictions. What is that method?

294

THE MOST PROFOUND MYSTERY OF ALL AGES


  The answer is simple; and yet it is the most profound mystery of all ages! God revealed His divine love through His Son; and the power of this love, when seen and experienced by man, constrains him to surrender and to obedience. Through the simple expedient of inspiring his admiration and worship, man is brought into harmony with God, "for by beholding he becomes changed". Herein is the glory and the righteousness of Christ revealed unto salvation.

EARTHQUAKES AND GOD'S GREAT CLOCK OF TIME

  We believe that God is cognizant of all the processes transpiring and prevailing in His universe, and that He uses these to serve His purposes. On a number of occasions recorded in Scripture, there occurred an earthquake at a precisely coincidental moment, notably at the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Earthquakes are normally produced by a slow process of developing contrary strains in the earth's crust, which are suddenly relieved when the breakdown point at the critical area of strain is reached. A portion of the crust will then collapse or shift, giving rise to tremors and shock waves which radiate rapidly in all directions, shaking everything along the way. The strains may be developed by chemical change in large masses of rock such as the dissolving of salts in water to leave caverns, or they may be created through internal thermal changes, not very well understood.

  There are at least four ways in which God may have accomplished the precise timing of significant earthquakes:

  First; He could have deliberately manhandled the massive rock in the earth's crust at some location in the vicinity of the significant scene. We do not normally observe God behaving in this sort of fashion, and it is very unlikely that He used this method.

  Second; throughout the Scripture record, and in observable experience, we note that God operates by the agency of His created laws and through His created beings. Therefore, He could have requested His angels to manhandle the massive rock and cause an earthquake. This would call for an enormous quantity of strength, on the part of the angels, but could probably be done.

  Both of these two methods would pre-suppose overriding the normal current of events - that is, without deliberate interference from external sources, the earthquake would not have normally occurred.

295

  Third; it is also conceivable that the entire sequence of events of history is totally dependant upon the unerring and inviolate progress of natural laws, as established and ordained by an omniscient God. Inherent in the planning and establishing of these laws, may have been the total pattern of all events. This is extremely unlikely, for it would effectually destroy all possibility of the operation of a free will; and all God's created beings have free wills by which they can utilize the laws of nature, including those governing their own beings, to modify the course of events. And God Himself has a free will.

  Four; God may have foreseen the intricate train of events in human history and in physical process, and planned a unique coincidence to occur in the far distant future. But as long as free-will beings existed, provision would have to be made to modify events or influence decisions, else could the predicted pattern easily be disrupted. If it were planned, He could have either established modifying laws to generate the correct conditions for the coincidence, or He could have sent angels to influence the thinking of the men involved in the events surrounding the coincidence, thus leading to the correct timing.

A MAN, BY DECISION, CAN MODIFY THE COURSE OF HISTORY

  In the case of Jesus, God determined the precise moment of the beginning of His life on earth; and God could also restrain or modify the events leading to Jesus' crucifixion, so that it would occur at the approved time when the earthquake was scheduled. This method allows for the operation of the free will, and is in harmony with the expressed purpose of God to have His children share the kingdom and sit down with the King of kings in His throne. This can only mean that power is given to all to make independent decisions which can modify the course of history.

  It is pertinent however, that these decisions be in harmony with the principle of God's great immutable moral law, for should they differ from or oppose this principle, the harmony of the universe would be jeopardized. Essentially, the plan of salvation is designed to obtain the willing co-operation of all the free-will creatures of the universe, in making decisions always in harmony with this paramount law of God. Were there no free will, the mechanical laws of nature could alone serve to unerringly predict all future events, and no plan of salvation would be necessary, for no sin would be possible. [cf. Daniel l0:12 & 13].

296

  Sin is a free choice made entirely independently of God. The heritage of the free will is the privilege to choose independently of God. God does not choose with man to sin. It is man alone who chooses to Sin.


  This proves that the power of choice is an autonomous gift of God to man; and since it exists, it is impossible to unerringly predict the exact sequence of events on the basis of mechanical laws alone. If such prediction is made - and sometimes it is - then it is based on the premise that some power will be applied which will constrain the choices to be made in harmony with the prediction. The case of Cyrus is a comparatively simple example.

  The obvious conclusion is that the occurrence of significant coincidences and events fulfilling prophecy is based on two things: One; the predictable sequence resulting from normal functioning of natural law; and Two; the constraining influence of God operating through angelic forces to modify the decisions of men. [cf. Dan. 10: 12-14]

GOD DOES NOT COMPEL WORSHIP

  There is, nevertheless, one area in which God will use no other force to influence the decisions of men except His divine self-sacrificing love, and that is in the area of their salvation. He will never compel anyone to serve Him nor to worship Him. If anyone ever does reach the place where he surrenders his total allegiance to the humble Galilean, it will be through the compelling power of love, and not by any other force. Any who propose to serve God for fear of hell-fire, or for those things which are coming on the earth, will find no security in their worship.

THE FINAL DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE AND FEAR

  The final demonstration will prove that God's children will serve Him in spite of the hell-fires of persecution and torture, while those whose hearts are not melted by the love of Christ will refuse to acknowledge and serve Him until the time of trouble frightens them into panic. It is too late then to turn to God, for no heart can be favorably transformed by panic.

297

  Fear is the primary result of selfishness, but the humble heart which loves the Saviour will manifest no concern for self; and it will endure the pain of persecution in true appreciation that this pain is but a sample of what it cost the Saviour to save him from sin and from eternal death.

  Our patient, loving, long-suffering God will not close the door of probation until His beloved are imbued with the power of His love. This is the gift which is bestowed on them after they have been judged in the most holy apartment of the sanctuary. It is the love of God which is shed abroad in their hearts when His Holy Spirit is asked for. This is what brings about the final transformation and cleansing of the sanctuary - the cleansing of the soul temple!

BELOVED ACCEPT GOD'S PROMISE OF HIS EVERLASTING COVENANT

  Beloved, let us prove to God that we believe the message of His Word, and let us accept the promise of His everlasting covenant namely, the forgiveness of sins and the gift of a new heart, a heart born of love, the fruit of His Holy Spirit in the latter rain. This is what prepares us to stand through the final trials - this is what empowers us to cease from sin. May God help us to understand this message!

  This concludes the tape. It should be pointed out however, that a number of things on this tape have not been adequately explained - they have merely been referred to. They have been mentioned mainly, for the purpose of showing certain relationships, and it should be definitely borne in mind that further explanation is warranted.* A number of things herein contained, represent merely a first stage, or first stages of the argument, and much more is to be added.* Until this is done, it is to be hoped that what is contained on the tape will be a blessing to those who care to study the contents.

_________________
* [The publishers feel that the entire contents of Panorama of Truth Volume Two, will be a blessing to the reader, assisting in Brother Johnson's above-stated desire that; "further explanation is warranted" - and that, "much more is to be added."]

The Publisher


298
 
" ...Write the Vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

- Habbukuk 2:2, 3.


Back Cover


SIGNS OF THE TIMES, Feb 14th, 1900

  "The Jewish Tabernacle was a type of the Christian church.... The Church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the "true tabernacle," whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform.

  This tabernacle is Christ's body, and from north, south, east, and west He gathers those who shall help to compose it.... A holy tabernacle is built up of those who receive Christ as their personal Saviour.... Christ is the minister of the true tabernacle, the high priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour. "

Ellen G. White



Previous
Home
Top of Page