The Everlasting Covenant and a Transforming

 Knowledge of God

Part 2

  

Personal Reminiscence


By
J. W. Johnson

[The Covenant Delivered]

(Transcribed from a 1958 audio tape)
 
 
[The Personal Reminiscence tape was first recorded by J. W. Johnson about 1956 or 1957 on a two hour reel-to-reel audio tape, while on a bed of sickness at home. This was transcribed to written form about 1990, and was subsequently reviewed, then briefly edited by Bro. Johnson]


J. W. Johnson (1915-1995)
 
Taken from the book: Panorama of Truth, Vol. II, which is an assembling of the messages by J. W. Johnson, made by John Wells.
 
 
Personal Reflections on Early Experiences
 
When I first began this series of tapes, I had no intention of producing a series. I was merely intending to record a few personal thoughts for future reference, perhaps to be of value to someone, sometime, who might have occasion to listen to them. I did not have in mind preparing them for any specific purpose, but it seems that I’m just getting involved in a more complicated presentation as I proceed. And it occurs to me that perhaps I should continue and develop this into a series that will contain a record of the essential truths which I have seen, I believe, under the influence of the Spirit of God, down through the last seventeen years.
 
In the light of what has been said on previous tapes, it will be recognized that these truths are related to the experiences of God’s people in the closing hours of earth’s history.
 
It was while I was still back at the college (Canadian Junior College), when I first began to receive an understanding of our doctrines, that I asked God on one occasion why it was that I was obtaining an insight into some of our teachings which apparently went beyond that understood by our teachers. And it was at that time that God revealed to me the sweeping truth concerning the return of His prophet Elijah to deliver the everlasting covenant and it was practically impossible for me to grasp the entire significance of that statement, when I recognized that He was calling me to fulfil this prophecy.
 
It must still be recognized, not only by myself but by anyone who may become concerned with the matter, that I as an individual am but a pattern of electrical, biological, chemical, physical and other forces; that I am but dust of the ground, and that if I should turn my heart against God, refuse to become His servant, that this prophecy will not obtain its fulfillment in my experience.
 

God can create any number of human bodies into which He can implant the person, and nature, and character, and mind of His prophet Elijah. This again will not be easily accepted until it is understood in the light of some physical facts which I can present, and will probably do so later.
 
You will notice that on many occasions as I have been speaking, I have made references in a promissory way to some future topic which we will discuss. This gives merely an indication of the complexity of the problem of attempting to present these things in a manner that can be grasped and comprehended correctly, and fairly easily. I regret in a way that I do not possess the ability to command English in a manner that can reproduce the entire impression as a sort of panoramic picture or series of them, as I saw them.
 
In fact, speech is an inadequate tool to do that. At best, we can only present the various ingredients, and it will remain for the Spirit of God to fulfil the promise and the word, and guide you into all truth.
 
I think I’ll attempt now to present a phase of truth which is very pertinently related to the basic concept of the regeneration, and the unifying agency of the Sabbath; and to the general principles of salvation. It is the concept of creation.
 
Creation – A Personal Stumbling Block
 
In the early days of my teen-age, creation was the great stumbling block in my Christian experience. I found it impossible to accept a literal, six day creation in the light of evidences which I saw in the natural world, that all things appearing on this earth came through a process of growth and development. And it was not until I reached the College on that memorable year [1941], that I was privileged to receive an understanding of the harmony between nature and the biblical account of creation.
 
I would like to assure you that they do harmonize, and that the key to the harmonization gives a new meaning to the Sabbath; and that this new meaning is the one which is directly related to the sealing among the 144,000, and the regeneration.
 
It should be evident to any careful observer that creation in the universe of God normally takes place through the slow and quiet process of evolutionary growth. That’s how I got here.
 
A few years ago I did not exist. I was not in this world – and neither were you. And through the biological union of two tiny cells, containing marvellous patterns of development (inherited factors), I grew. The absorption of food materials by my mother under the influence and control of these inheritance factors, developed into the structure which is now my body. And through this body the intricate patterns of mentality developed, and I became a person. If this pattern of biological material is in any way seriously interfered with then I cease to exist as a person.
 
It is possible to modify various areas and not destroy the identity of my personality, but when the pattern is seriously interfered with, then my person becomes seriously modified. I could give a complete study on this subject, and there again will probably do so in due course of time.
 
Scientists Err When They Refuse to Accept Genesis
 
The various worlds which are in existence out in the universe are evolving through various natural processes. And some theories have been advanced as to how worlds might be created, and it is very possible that some of these theories approach the truth.
 
But there is one place where our scientists have blundered. Their observations may be very nearly correct in many fields. But when they fail to accept the clear-cut statements of the revealed Word of truth, they will fall into error. And this they have done – because they have refused to accept the simple statements in the first chapters of Genesis.
 
The world was created in six days. We believe that. But I did not believe it for a long time. And God finally opened my mind to understand the harmony that exists between the creation of this world, and that of other worlds, and I found it possible to believe, because it is the most logical concept in the light of the facts available. You see, in the days before the creation of this world, far back in the distant past. Christ, the Son of God, was the supreme Ruler. But He
manifested the character of God which was self-sacrificing love. And at no time was it His habit to display himself or to make a clear-cut issue of His great power. He was humble. He was the Creator, but He performed His works of creation through the natural processes of His laws, sometimes permitting His other created beings to share in the work, even as He does today.
 
For you see, God permitted me to have a share in the creation of my children, not only biologically, but in the molding of their very thinking through our child training program.
 
And thus God’s firstborn creature, I mean God’s first created creature other than His only-begotten Son, was the son of the morning – Lucifer.[1] You see, the morning is the first part of the day. Lucifer was the first created being. He was the most exalted; and apparently, Gabriel came next. And these two were the covering cherubs.
 
Lucifer unquestionably had the privilege of sharing in various works of creative art and other worlds. And as long as he was in harmony with the laws of God, everything went well. But Lucifer manifested a selfish characteristic, contrary to the character of Christ –much like our scientists today. Because he saw that creative works were performed through natural means, he felt that there was no need for Christ as the master Creator. In fact, if he had any idea that Christ really was the Creator, he could never have entertained the thought that he could become equal with God.
 
The temptation to become equal with God grew out of the fact that Christ had a character of self-renunciation and did not display Himself. And thus, Lucifer felt that he might possibly be able to institute a new system of government, and laws which would permit him to indulge his selfishness. And many of the angels favoured his ideas.
 
There was only one way that this controversy could be cleared up without risking allegiance of love. Allegiance to God’s government was purely on the basis of love. If Christ had destroyed Lucifer and those who sympathized with him, the rest of His creatures would have served Him because they would have been afraid of Him. It would have been an allegiance of fear – and thus the controversy began.
 

Demonstration by Creation of a Special World
 
In order to demonstrate that Christ was the true Creator, He prepared the plans for the creation of a special world; one in which He would demonstrate that He was the true Creator. Not with the idea of showing off, or making Himself prominent; but with the idea of saving the universe from destruction under the influence of Satan. Satan was not permitted to enter the councils concerning the creation of this world, and this made him all the more antagonistic.
 
When Christ was ready, He spoke this world into existence manifesting the enormous power which God had given Him as the only-begotten Son. There may be some question as to how long it took Christ to create each day’s work. There need hardly be any question about that. God labored for six days. It is not conceivable that He labored for one second on each of those days, and then rested for 23 hours and 59 minutes and 59 seconds.
 
Now, even as He expects us to labor diligently for six days and rest on the seventh, so He labored on each of those six days. And just how much time of those six days it took Him to create the various articles is not the important thing, but unquestionably it took the better part of each of those days. And just what it appeared like when man came on the scene, I cannot tell. But I rather suspect that man did not just suddenly appear, but that he grew in some fashion in a very accelerated manner.
 
Creation of This World Was by Acceleration of Natural Laws
 
The creation of this world was accomplished through the use of natural laws. But they were put to special tests, and the normal course was very much accelerated. This is perhaps something like what happens when a miraculous healing occurs. The healing process is greatly accelerated. Other factors, of course, also enter into it. Christ will never again make such an accelerate creation – it is not His usual method. This was a special creation, a unique one, designed to reveal who the true Creator was.
 

Then, lest mankind or the universe should ever forget, He instituted a sign of allegiance and HE hallowed the seventh day and honored it. And all those who remember the seventh day and honor it, are thereby recognizing that they believe in Christ as the true Creator, even though they may not see any more miraculous creation than did Lucifer before his fall.
 
A New Slant on the Sabbath
 
This puts a new slant on the Sabbath! It is the sign of faith in the natural processes of God’s creation. It is a sign that we believe that God created us, even though we are products of biological forces. We are all different. We teach our children that God made us. Do we believe it? If we do believe it, we believe in evolutionistic growth.
 
When I use the term “evolutionistic” I am aware that it may be misinterpreted. I’m not using it in the sense of “theories of creation.” I’m using it in the sense that variations and progressions occur through the use of natural law, and in this sense it is evolutionistic.
 
Mankind, as a human race, has evolved from the parents of Adam and Eve – they were not suddenly snapped into existence. They grew and developed. I think you will understand this sense.
 
As I have said, in the light of the reason for this creation and the reason for its method, it is obvious that such creation will never again occur in this fashion. If it would, or if it were going to, there would have been no need for the Sabbath. But now the Sabbath is here, and it will last forever. It will be a continuous safeguard against the error which Satan made in the first place. We will always know where creation starts.
 
How Will God Create All Flesh Anew?
 
Adam was the only one of the human race who was ever created directly from “the dust of the ground.” We are all created from the dust of the ground, but indirectly, through a complicated series or set of natural laws. And on the basis of this, it is perfectly obvious that the resurrection will not occur as a sudden appearance of bodies popping out of graves in which there were no bodies to start with. If we want to know how God will create all flesh anew, we merely have
to look to the sample of the resurrection, to the One who represents the first-born and the firstfruits of this great creation – and that is Jesus. He is the first-begotten from the dead. There is no place in all the Scriptures where we have any record of anyone coming to life without coming into a body which already existed, and which came into the world through natural birth.
 
Moses was raised while his physical body was still in existence and he was raised into that same physical body. So were all the others who were resurrected through the miracles of Christ.
 
Even Christ Himself, after His death and burial, came forth from the tomb in the same body. And the tombstone had to be removed before He could get out because He was a body of flesh and bones. And those who were raised as a token of the resurrection, at the time that He was raised, (it says that many that slept in the dust of the earth awoke . . . the earthquake cause the graves to open, it said) – these were people who had recently died and the bodies were still in the graves. Otherwise it would have been unnecessary for the earthquake to break open the tombs. If there had been no bodies in there, there would have been no need for an earthquake to break them open. These people could just have appeared without the graves opening. But it says the graves opened with the earthquake.
 
Had they been people who had lived a long time ago, whose bodies had been completely decayed, they would not have been recognized as dead saints. If they had been ancient men like Abraham or Isaac or Jacob, they would have been named. But now, it is easily seen that they were saints that were recognized or they would not have been called saints. And if they were saints who were recognized, they must have been saints who had lived in that age. If then there is going to be no unique creation in the future, if all things are going to arise in a manner in which they have during the past, it becomes clear, that the resurrection must occur in the same manner that it occurred with Jesus.
 

Jesus Grew and Developed From a Tiny Seed
 
When Jesus left heaven He laid down His life – that should be clear. When He was but a seed in the womb of Mary He had no memory, He had no consciousness, He had no body. He had nothing but an identity written into the inheritance characteristics of the genes in the little cell. But He grew and He developed, and as it says in Hebrews 10:17 – “Lo, it is written of me in the volume of the book; I come. A body hast thou prepared me.” And it was not until Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit at His baptism that the regeneration of the person of Christ was as complete as it was going to be in His human nature.
 
In fact, it may be that it was still growing during His lifetime, even after His anointing. The extent of the return of His memory of former things must have been limited. If He had remembered all things, it would have been unnecessary for Him to have received instruction from His Father in the early morning hours of His devotions. And it would have been unnecessary for Him to receive instruction from Moses and Elias on the Mount of Transfiguration concerning His sufferings and death. [cf. DA, Chapter 46]. So it is obvious that He did not have a complete knowledge of His former Self as He existed in heaven before.
 
The former Christ of heaven knew all things. He had an eternal memory which did not fade. He had all power and all wisdom. Christ here on earth had these same characteristics in a measure. But we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy in the book Desire of Ages that even the miracles which Christ wrought, were wrought by the power of God through the agency of the angels (DA 143). In other words, it was the angels who obeyed His commandments, who obeyed His word, who performed those miracles.
 
When Christ existed in heaven above before, He had power over all things. Precisely what the difference was I am not prepared to analyze. It would almost appear that Christ originally was able to do anything He wanted to without the assistance of His created beings. But because of His self-renouncing love, He took His created beings into fellowship and shared with them the joys of working in His universe – in creative works and otherwise. But when He was here on earth, it appears according to this statement [DA 143.2], that
Jesus was dependent upon the co-operation of the angels in order to perform those miracles.
 
When Christ Left Heaven, He Left Something Permanently
 
This is a rather significant point, for it indicates that when Christ left His glory in heaven He left something permanently – that when He took upon Him human flesh when He enshrouded Himself in a human temple, He set strict limitations upon His nature and structure. The Divine nature flashed through the human nature. It could not completely enshroud it – and there may be reasons for this.
 
In the future world, it is evident through the testimony of the word that the saints will share His inheritance. He has laid it down and left it to be divided among them; for as He said: “His body was broken for you.” It was His great eternal body which constituted His inheritance. That was His heritage. It was through His body that He performed all. He received all knowledge through His body and He did all His works through His body. That’s the way we do it, and we’re made in His image.
 
We can learn nothing except through the physical senses of our bodies, and we can do nothing except through the physical muscles of our bodies. And thus, the new body of Christ will be His saints. And they will become partakers of the divine body; for they must “eat His flesh and drink His blood.” And as they do this, they become partakers of that body which was “broken for them,” “for them to eat,” and the blood “for them to drink;” that they might have eternal life – the eternal life that Christ laid down for them. It is a substitution. They receive it only by substitution – He has shared it with them. And thus, He is the Head of the body and they are the physical parts of the body, and HE operates through them. Through them, He receives; and through them, He gives.
 
On the “Temple on Mount Zion,” Jesus leads 144,000 to be its residents – only they are permitted to enter [EW 19.4]. This Sister White saw in vision, recorded in Early Writings. Since the 144,000 are the “living saints” before Christ comes (as she also saw) [Early Writings, p. 15], and are translated; it would appear that the apostles, those who were the foundation of His church, could not be members of this temple. This is illogical. There are many reasons for believing that the apostles will be among the 144,000; and in order for them
[thus] to be, they must be living on the earth at the time that Christ comes.
 
Acclimation to Modern Society – A Major Matter to the Saints
 
There is a special resurrection which occurs just before Christ comes. Some may feel that this is where they would be raised. But if they were to come forth in their original garb, with their bearded faces and their ancient language, it would be necessary for a miracle to occur in order to harmonize them, and to acclimatize them, and orient them in this modern environment. Some may feel that this is a minor matter.
 
I believe it is a major matter. Jesus did not come in that fashion. He came into this world in the natural way; and that is how the 144,000 will come. All the overcomers, down through the years of the churches’ history, including the twelve apostles who were its foundation – these will come forth through the process of regeneration, the growing up of human bodies in the normal way. But they will receive the anointing of the Holy Ghost as Jesus did; and this will bring to them “all truth” which will include the regeneration of the memory of their former selves.
 
Let us think about this just a little bit: Jesus gave the promise to the disciples back there, that when He had gone (and He said He must go away or the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth could not come to them) – this would indicate that there was some connection between Jesus and the Spirit of truth which made it impossible for the Spirit of truth to be delivered to the disciples until Jesus should lay some sacrifice on the altar.
 
You see Jesus became a partaker of the Holy Spirit Himself. But it was not in His hand to deliver it to the disciples, because He had laid down His original Spirit, which was the Holy Spirit – His body and blood, as a sacrifice! And through the covenant, the everlasting covenant with the Father, it was for the Father to deliver this heritage to His disciples. And so He said, “He would pray the Father” and the Father would send them the Spirit. This indicates His faith in the Fathers’ fulfilling of the covenant. And He promised the disciples that this Spirit of truth “would guide them into all truth” [John 16:13]. It did not do so in the early rain.
 
An Enormous Truth
 
Therefore, the promise was not fulfilled to the disciples in those days. It remains until the closing hours of earth’s history, and the regeneration of the apostles, to have the fulfillment of the outpouring of the Spirit of truth which will bring to them a knowledge of all truth.
 
It is the apostles with the 144,000 who will receive the heritage that Christ laid down. And there will be reproduced in their minds the knowledge of all things. This is an enormous truth!
 
It is only by means of this that the resurrection can take place. There can be no life, there can be no regeneration of the past, except through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
 
And so, the creation of man in the resurrection will be accomplished through the process of natural law in the form of regeneration, and through the union of the divine Spirit, which is the “Marriage of the Lamb.” Christ Jesus becomes married to His saints. And He compares the relation between Jesus and the church as the relation between husband and wife, or the Head of the body and the body – and that is, after the 144,000 have gone through their investigative judgment, their characters have been proved perfect through the merits of the gospel (power of the gospel) which enables them to do it, even as the character of Christ had been proved perfect before His anointing at His baptism.
 
And thus their investigative judgment being completed, their character being proved adequate; it is possible for Jesus then to leave the heavenly sanctuary. He is no longer needed as an Intercessor, and He then enters this union which is portrayed as the “Marriage of the Lamb.” And it is then that the 144,000 take over the priesthood, and they become priests and kings for 1,000 years. This is another great subject!
 
  The 144,000 are the Only True Overcomers
 
The 144,000 are the only true overcomers, the only ones who have reached the fullness of the stature of Christ, who have availed themselves fully of the power of the gospel. Many others have accepted Jesus; they are true and faithful followers of His, but they have not attained unto the stature of perfection.[2]
 
God has set aside 1,000 years for a work of priesthood on the part of the 144,000. A period in which all those who will come forth in the general resurrection, who have not attained to the fullness of the stature, will have an opportunity to study the records of all mankind, and specific records of those who have not entered into the glory of the first resurrection. And during this time the 144,000 will officiate in the service of the priesthood; and not until the 1,000 years are finished will they no longer be needed in this capacity.
 
For by the end of the 1,000 years, everyone who has come up in the first resurrection, and that includes all those who have accepted Jesus as the King of the universe and as their Saviour – all those who have come up, will have had an opportunity to grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ. They would not have come up in the first resurrection if they had not been faithful in their allegiance to Christ. But some have died before they have reached perfection. Many have lived an entire lifetime and have still “not attained.” They are saved by faith – it is a gift of God.[3]
 
The Danger of Refusing to Acknowledge Jesus as King & Ruler
 
Only those who refuse to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the King, the Ruler – only those will not come up in the first resurrection.  For it would be impossible to operate the government of heaven without the willing allegiance of its subjects. It is the investigative judgment which proves whether one is worthy on the merits of his faith to come forth in the first resurrection. And this judgment occurs before the first resurrection occurs.
 

The investigative judgment is actually a literal test in human bodies on the earth since 1844. Characters of people who have lived before are superimposed on human bodies, even as the character of Christ was superimposed on the boy Jesus. And these characters regulate the actions of the individuals through whom they are being tested. And when the test has manifested itself and is complete, then it is known who shall be resurrected in the first resurrection, and who shall not.
 
Guardian Angels Identify With the Thoughts and Motives
 
The guardian angels play an important part in this judgment; for only the guardian angel has had complete identity with all the thoughts and motives of the individual’s life. And since the memory of the guardian angel is an eternal memory (it does not fade, not having been subjected to sin); the record of every man’s life is kept in the mind of the guardian angel. And it is the angel who opens the books in the judgment.
 
And the book which is opened for any individual, is the mind of the angel. The angel reveals the truth that has been recorded in his mind. He is the only one who can reveal it. He is the only one who has the record. And therefore, the angels have a specific part in the investigative judgment. The angels also have a specific part in the resurrection. Precisely what part they play, I am not prepared to expose at this time.
 
Revelations Concerning the Communion Service
 
The communion service – I say, the communion service, is rather revealing concerning the body and blood of Christ. Jesus indicates that He lays His body down and breaks it for the disciples “to eat” and He divides the blood for them “to drink.” And He told them that unless they ate this body and drank that blood (that’s in the 6th chapter of John), they could have no eternal life. But if they did eat it, they would have eternal life and He would raise them up at the last day. He also said that the New Testament was in His blood.
 
The New Testament is the everlasting Covenant, which is the everlasting gospel of salvation, through the sacrifice of Christ. I know this just sounds like so many words, but it is tangible, if I could just make it clear the way I can see it. These literal terms are symbolic of spiritual things. The body and the blood are not literal ones. We do not become cannibals and eat literal flesh and drink literal blood, which is forbidden.
 
This is a spiritual thing. The body is symbolic of the Word of truth, the everlasting truth. And that would include the memory of things that have occurred – those things which have been recorded as fact. The blood is symbolic of the life, for it says that “the life is in the blood.” You shed the blood – you shed the life.
 
And we recognize through the help of the SOP, that the life of God, the life and character of God, is His self-denying love. It is the principle of self-denying love which is the essence of God. It is the Spirit of God. It is this principle which is symbolized by the blood.
 
Now it says the new testament is in His blood, but the new testament is the new covenant, and this is the gospel. The new covenant then, is tied in with the blood. But the blood is the emblem of His self-sacrificing love. Therefore, it is the self-denying love, the principle of self-denying love, which has its source in the heart of God, and that is the principle of the everlasting gospel which is to put the law of God in the heart of man.
 
Now, we are told that the law of life, for earth and heaven, is self-sacrificing love. Therefore, it all ties together – The New Testament, the new covenant, the blood of the communion service, the character of God (which is love), and the Spirit of God which is love. And those who are born of God cannot sin. And to be born of God means to be born of love. And so love is tied in with victory over sin.
 
Now let’s take a good square look at it. You’ve had your battles with sin haven’t you? There have been some things in your life and you’ve made up your mind you’re going to get rid of. And so you started in. And, the harder you tried, the more confused you got. Just about the time when you thought you’d made the grade – bingo, you went again! You haven’t gained complete victory over every sin that you have struggled against, have you? And yet it says that “if you’re born of God, you cannot sin.” You see, to be born of God means to be born of love. Alright?
 
We know that sin is the transgression of the law. There are ten commandments in that law. Jesus said A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another. And He said if you love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself; all the ten commandments hang on these two, and you’re keeping the law. The law of God is self-sacrificing love. It is the principle of self-denying love which is revealed in the ten commandments.
 
No one can keep the ten commandments unless he has the principle of self-denying love in his heart. And so, the new commandment involves the birth in the heart of man of the motivating power of self-denying love. This is the only power that is strong enough to enable you or anybody else to quit sinning.
 
You Cannot Fit Yourself for Heaven by Just Trying
 
If you’re trying to keep the commandments of God so that you can get to heaven, you won’t make it. You’re trying to do it by works of righteousness; you’re trying to fit yourself for heaven. But you don’t get to heaven on the basis of your keeping of the commandments. Let’s remember that! You get to heaven on the basis of your faith! If you accept Christ as your Commander and your Saviour; thats your ticket. And when you do that, He accepts the penalty for your transgression. He is the One that takes the responsibility for your mistakes. He’s the High Priest. He carries the burdens. He has to fix up the mess of your sin.
 
And anytime you sin after you’ve accepted Him and you’ve linked yourself with Him as a member of His family – anytime you sin and confess your sins, you are actually causing suffering in His Heart, just like any naughty child does in the heart of a parent when it continues to transgress. And thus, victory over sin on your part cannot possibly be a selfish motive. If you’re trying to get rid of sin, because you think that by doing it you’ll gain your ticket to heaven, that’s a selfish motive and you just can’t do it. Try it and see!
 
Love is the Most Powerful Force in the Universe
 
On the other hand, if you are filled with love for Jesus because of what He has done for you, and because the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of all your sins (and there may be a lot of them) – if you realize the value of that gift. And you appreciate it to its fullest extent, you can’t help but love Him for what He’s done for you. And when you love Him, you want to do something that pleases Him. And He says: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” And He says: “If a man love me, he will keep my words.” There’s the motive. It is the love of Christ that “constraineth us.” You can’t keep them on any other basis.
 
Love is the most powerful force in all the universe. It is the force which initiated the creation of this world and which initiates all creation. And it is the force which will enable man to overcome His sin, to quit sinning. If you love a person enough, you’ll do anything for them. If you love Christ enough, you’ll stop sinning. You’ll stop transgressing His commandments. But in order to do it, you’ve got to have that love – and where are you going to get it from? That’s a gift too.
 
Not until you partake of Christ’s sufferings (and that’s a privilege) will you ever understand what He went through for your sake. He learned obedience through the things which He suffered; and thus became the “author of eternal salvation.” And you are going to learn obedience through the things which you suffer. You don’t have to obey. You’re not forced. But if you are permitted to partake of His sufferings, then you will discover what He went through for you – voluntarily! He could have quit at any time. And when you discover that, you will feel like a heel, to cause Him continued suffering. And don’t think for one minute that He doesn’t continue to suffer when you sin.
 
He suffered once for the sins of the world. But He still suffers when the sins of His children are taken upon Him. There is a difference between the sins of the world and the sins of His people which are confessed, and which He takes as a substitute – that is, as a priest. And this is the gospel – believe me, friend, it is the gospel!
 
And this is the gospel which is the “power of God unto salvation.” This is the gospel which will save a man from his sins. Sin is not automatically wiped out. Mrs. White tells us plainly that “the expulsion of sin from the life is an act of the soul itself.” [DA 466]. It is up to us to get rid of sin. But we can’t do it in our own strength.
 
Not until the New Testament, the new covenant, becomes our possession – not until the Spirit of God’s unselfish love, is born in our hearts through the experience of learning to know Jesus and what He did for us, (partly learned through a partaking of His sufferings) – I say, not until then will we have sufficient strength, sufficient motivation to cease from sin. And we will voluntarily cease from sin.
 
Victory Over Sin is the Result of the Right Action of the Will
 
Victory over sin is the result of the will, the right action of the will. We decide not to sin; and we can make ourselves quit sinning only when we receive the fullness of the power of the love of God in our hearts. And this is the law of God which is planted in the heart of flesh, according to the promise of the new covenant.
 
The law of God is the law of love and this love is planted in the heart. And it is not on tables of stone; and we keep the commandments by reason of the motive of this love. We do not need the tables of stone. We do not have to have the law laid down on tables of stone.
 
As I illustrated in the family, we lay down the law to children. We are now grown up. We live according to the “law of liberty.” “All things are lawful to us, but not expedient.” We live on the basic principle of self-denying love—service (voluntary service), obedience to the will and wish of our Creator. This is a wonderful truth. This is the message which must be delivered to God’s people!
 
And when they understand the principle of this love, they will get victory over sin, if they co-operate.
 

The Sabbath Symbolizes Creation Through Natural Law
 
And one more thing before the end of [this side] of this tape; It is the principle of creation through natural law which the Sabbath was instituted to symbolize. In this last day, the devil will perform all sorts of miraculous things as a counterfeit of what God has done in the past. And the real true method of God’s functioning in this last day is through natural law, which in the past has been considered to be evolutionistic and non-godly.
 
This is a paradox! The Sabbath is the sign for those who believe in God as their Creator. And they see how He works through these natural methods, and how the Spirit of truth reveals all truth to His disciples in this manner; and how that the creation of the regeneration and the resurrection of the 144,000 occurs in this manner, and they believe that it is of God. It cannot be counterfeited! No one can counterfeit the restoration of a memory of a former life. And thus this meaning of the Sabbath becomes a unique possession of those who are sealed, and none others.
 
Belief in God as Creator Through His Natural Laws, Enables the 144,000 to Accept
   Their Unique Experience as of God

 
The literal Sabbath-keeping is but an outward sign. The inner belief in God as the true Creator through His natural laws is the one which enables the 144,000 to accept their unique experience as of God. And they are sealed completely when they receive the memory of their former lives.[4] And when the Apostle Paul will remember in these last days that he lived with the early church, he will be able to recognize the fulfillment of his own prophecy – that he would be among those who are living when Christ comes. [1st Thess 4:15 & 17].
 
And John the Revelator will be here and he will remember what the seven thunders uttered, “and will prophesy again before many nations.” And the statement of Jesus that He might, “remain till He come,” will be fulfilled. These are marvellous truths and great mysteries!
 

Satan has used Sunday worship as a sign of the literal resurrection of Jesus. The counterfeit in this symbol should be obvious in the light of what has been said.

 
[The original reel-to-reel audio Tape was turned over at this point to side “B,” a transcription of which starts on the next page].  A wealthy friend of Mr. Johnson, by the name of John Wells, had all of his tapes transcribed into two books entitled Panorama of Truth, Vol’s I and II.
 

[*Note: The following side “B” of this audio tape was incorporated by the author into audio tape/letter #6, now appearing in the written transcriptions. This other transcript may be found under the sub-title “Small Beginnings” from pages 203-210, of Volume One of the companion book entitled: “Panorama of Truth.” Subheading and paragraphing, by the Publishers varies somewhat between the two transcriptions. The reason for this is that Brother Johnson briefly edited “Small Beginnings” as found in Volume One, shortly before his demise].
 

Who
Shall Despise the Day of Small Beginnings

 
Here we are again – another side of a tape. It’s been a couple of days now since I first began talking to you. I’m still not sure who you are. But I’m going to keep on talking to you now anyway.
 
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 seeds that springs up and grows into a tree in which the birds have their nests.[5]

A Mustard Tree
 
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 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 Counsellor, the Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father.
 
There was a time 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?
 
Now I would like to bring a few other thoughts to light. And some of these may be thoughts that we haven’t thought about in this particular way before either.
 
It says that the antitypical Day of Atonement began in 1844. It was at that time that our high priest Christ entered into the Most Holy of the heavenly sanctuary, and the door to the holy apartment was shut, and “no man could open it;” and the door to the Most Holy apartment was opened, and “no man could shut it.” Now there’s a great deal of content in this. But the work of the high priest in the Most Holy apartment on the Day of Atonement was instrumental in bringing about the cleansing of the sanctuary. And you know what the sanctuary had to be cleansed of don’t you? The sins of the people had been transferred to the sanctuary through the sacrificial services, and the sanctuary was contaminated, and it had to be cleansed.
 
The Saints Comprise the New Tabernacle of God
 
We could discuss a number of aspects in connection with this, but I want to suggest one: The sanctuary is identical with the temple. In the wilderness, the children of Israel had a portable sanctuary that when they reached their promised land, the sanctuary was replaced by the temple. But the services were continued in the temple as they had been in the sanctuary. The sanctuary, or temple, is the dwelling place of God, the place where He meets with His people.
 
We have already mentioned that the dwelling place of God is, in His saints; for it says that we are built up an habitation of God. Your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost. Christ is to dwell in His people through the Holy Ghost.
 
God’s church is the body of Christ. This is a great tabernacle or temple, the place where God meets with His people. He will meet with them in their hearts. According to the old covenant, the law was in the Most Holy Apartment and that was where the Shekinah glory hovered above the mercy seat. In the new covenant, God no longer dwells in a tabernacle made with hands; but He with His pure character of love, which is the origin of the law, will dwell in the hearts of His people.
 

He promises to come and make His abode with us. But God cannot dwell in a defiled temple, a temple in which sin has been recorded. This temple must be cleansed. The sanctuary must be purified, and the thing that purifies it is the administration of the blood of the eternal Sacrifice. In the strictest sense, the tabernacle of God into which He will dwell after the wedding of the Lamb, is His 144,000 saints. These are the pillars in that new temple [Rev. 3:10-12]. These all live in the days after probation closes.
 
In what way can it be said that the sins of the people have been transferred to this tabernacle? This has been accomplished in the same way that they were transferred to the physical tabernacle of Jesus when He was here on earth. Jesus never sinned; and yet He bore in His own body the sins of the world. His body received these sins through the transmission of the inherited characteristics of the human race.
 
Before the days of the fall in the Garden of Eden, Adam had the privilege of partaking of the fruit of the tree of life. The fruit of this tree made Adam’s life eternal. The thoughts that were his were permanent. The memories of experiences which occurred were permanent. There would be no death in Adam as long as he was partaking of the fruit of the tree of life. When he established a righteous habit, that habit would remain his possession forever. But as soon as Adam sinned, he set the pattern for an unrighteous habit. He set a train of action going in his mind which would eventually end in destruction of the processes of life – that is, the life of happiness.
 
For with the entrance of sin into Adam’s nature, there could be no result but pain and suffering. And had God permitted him to continue to eat of the tree of life, then his physical life would have been preserved, but his mental and spiritual nature would have been subjected to an eternity of increasing suffering. This is something similar to the eternal hell-fire torment which is taught by some Protestant denominations today – a situation in which a sinner is pictured to be suffering throughout eternity. This situation would have prevailed had Adam continued to eat of the tree of life, but now the tree was removed from his reach.
 

The 144,000 Will Have in Their Bodies the Inheritance of Sin
 
But the pattern of sin had been fixed in his nature and it could not be erased except through death. The pattern of sin had been transmitted to the characteristics of inheritance which would be passed on to his children and his children’s children. In this way the sins of Adam (the sinful nature which he had created by his own choice), became a permanent possession of the human race. And when Jesus was born, the characteristics of this sinfulness were in His body as they were in every other human body. And Jesus bore in His body, the sinfulness of mankind.
 
In the same way, the 144,000 body temples of the Holy Ghost will have in their bodies the inheritance of sin. They constitute the sanctuary which will be the dwelling place of the Holy Ghost. But in their bodies is the record of sin which has been transferred through the medium of the inheritance characteristic. It is “in the blood,” as it were. And thus is the significance of the sprinkling of the blood, and the transference of sin to the sanctuary.
 
Now, it is through the sprinkling of blood that the sanctuary is eventually to be cleansed. The blood which will cleanse the sanctuary is the same blood which we spoke about before on another tape, or on the other side of this one – (I don’t recall). The blood contains the life. And the life of God and of His son Jesus, is self-renouncing love. This is the great principle of life and creation. Let us fix that thought firmly in our minds!
 
It is through the sprinkling of the spirit of love that sin is removed from the life. When Jesus, as seen in vision by Mrs. White, was looking down upon His faithful saints before the hours of probation had closed – when He was looking down and saw saints not yet sealed, He turned to His Father and pled: “My blood, Father, my blood, my blood, my blood.” And there was a bright light that left the Father and speeded its way toward the earth. This is the gift of the Spirit of God’s love which will be bestowed upon God’s people, which will be sprinkled in their hearts. And this is the Spirit which will motivate their expulsion of sin from the life.
 

It is not within the power of a man to change his nature. He can create a habit; he can even destroy a habit with great patience. It is not in his power to completely change his nature of evil – and this is where the blood comes in. With the application of the blood of Jesus – the spiritual blood, it becomes possible for one who has exercised himself in the ways of God to implement his decision to cease from sin. He no longer will have to struggle against sin. His sinful nature will be changed. This is a miraculous occurrence. It takes place inside, in the man’s very spiritual heart. It is a change that is not clearly manifest on the outside by any written form of evidence.
 
The only evidence that this miracle transpires is in the sealing effect that it has upon the life of the individual. He will not be moved. There is no more temptation for him to sin. He has become victorious over all sin, and the sinful nature which had been his, has gone. He has been delivered from sin. All traces of sinfulness are foreign to his nature. This is what it means when it speaks of the “cleansing of the sanctuary.” And when this sanctuary is finally cleansed, the work of the High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, the most holy apartment which is in a sense symbolic of this temple not made with hands (this temple of living beings) – when that work is finally finished, He will leave that sanctuary and He will become married to His saints.
 
You think these things are farfetched? I acknowledge there are areas that are not explained. There are discrepancies that seem obvious. In the light of past experience I can unhesitatingly say, that any discrepancies in these things will sooner or later be explained by an understanding of greater, and more comprehensive and superseding panorama of truth.
 
I’d like to tell you just a little more here: After Adam had been driven from the Garden, the effects of his eating of the fruit of the tree of life still clung for many generations after. His life span was almost 1,000 years. But as time went on, the power of that everlasting life principle depreciated until it eventually reached a place where any decisions made by a man might become habitual in his own self. But that habit would not be transmitted to his posterity. And consequently, it would be impossible for a man to create a sinful nature in himself which could be transmitted to his posterity. But the sinful nature that Adam created, runs like a thread right on down through the human race.
 

The only way that sin can be expelled from the life is for the power of that fruit of the tree of life to be restored to him. God cannot restore mankind to the eating of the fruit of the tree of life until man has completely demonstrated that he will not misuse that power, and re-create sin.
 
The 144,000 Will Receive Power to Expel Sin From the Life
 
And thus it is, that after the 144,000 have passed through their investigative judgment just before the close of probation, and have proved beyond all doubt that their characters will withstand all the temptations of the evil one, that they are anointed with the power of the Holy Ghost, and again partake of that everlasting life principle, which is in the blood of Jesus Christ. And having partaken of that blood, that New Testament which is in the new covenant, they receive power to expel sin from the life. They can neutralize the power of evil. They can create new, righteous habits that will be everlasting.
 
I know this may be difficult for some people to follow. I wish I might be able to explain it more clearly with more details, but I have not the present capacity. 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.
 
The 144,000 Will Collectively Understand “All Truth”
 
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.” But the fulfilment of this prophecy was not completed under the outpouring of the “early rain” – we realize that.
 
This prophecy will be fulfilled in our day under the outpouring of the latter rain. And as these Apostles and all the faithful followers of Christ who have gained the victory over sin will be present in this our generation, the prophecy will be fulfilled in them. The 144,000, who are God’s saints in the last day will collectively be endowed with an understanding of  “all truth.”
 

A Future Work of Unification Among God’s People
 
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 His members of His new bodies of saints, and they twin shall become one flesh (cf. Eph. 2:20-22; 4:8-16; & 5:22-32; also see vol. 7a of [The] SDA Bible Commentary, 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.
 
There is another phase concerning the 1844 date which I would like to think about for a few minutes. We are told that the resurrection occurs at the last trump. This is quite specific. We are also told that there are seven trumpets to sound, and that the seventh trumpet began to sound in 1844 [cf. Rev. 11:15, 18 & 19 {research also “last trump”}]. This would indicate that in some way the time for the resurrection to occur began in 1844.
 
I would ask you to hold in abeyance any temptation to regard this thought as ridiculous until such time as you have had opportunity to consider all the related aspects. At the outset I will say that the general resurrection has undoubtedly not yet occurred. But if the seventh trumpet began to sound in 1844, and if the resurrection occurs at the sounding of the seventh trumpet (and some may questions this), then it is plain that the time for the resurrection may be due. [cf. Volume One, p. 81.9 – 82.5].
 
Let us look at another phase: We note, in the early writings of Sister White, that the door to the Holy apartment of the sanctuary was closed in 1844, and that Jesus moved into the Most Holy to officiate there. It should seem obvious that if the door to the Holy apartment is closed, the services associated with that apartment, which consisted of the transferring of sins to the sanctuary, must be completed. While the service is going on in the Most Holy, there is no service going on in the Holy. The Day of Atonement was not designed for the transference of sins to the sanctuary, but for the cleansing of sins out of the sanctuary.
 

The Reproduction of Character Who Have Gone Before
 
If then, no further sins can be transferred to the sanctuary during the officiating in the Most Holy, what would become of the sins which would be confessed by people who are born since 1844?
 
There may be some solutions to this of which I am not aware. But there is one possibility which presents itself to my mind, and that is this: That since 1844, the investigative judgment began, and the investigative judgment is a judgment of characters which is worked out in actual human bodies living on this earth. We have mentioned something about this before.
 
If that is true, then these who have come to maturity since 1844 are in reality but reproductions of characters that have gone before, and their sins have already been taken care of. And at the present time they are going through their investigative judgment; and the sanctuary is being cleansed.
 
It would be clear then, would it not, that no new sins would be entering the sanctuary? The work is one of judgment, analysis, and cleansing. It is by reason of their choices, brought about through the super-imposition of the righteous character which was developed in their former existence, that their sins are overcome. (That is not precisely the way I wish to express it.)
 
What I mean is: It is through the merits of this character which has been built up and is now being tested, that they are enabled to make the proper choices in relation to the temptations which befall them during this “testing time” since 1844.
 
This period is specifically called the “testing time” in the writings of Sister White. And it is the period of the investigative judgment as we have already known. This view would tie together the idea of the testing, and the idea of the investigative judgment. And it would be obvious that the universe could observe which people living since 1844 would be worthy of the first resurrection, and which would not.
 
The first of the saints down through the eras of the church – that is, those who have attained to perfection, will come last in the investigative judgment. And there will be the 144,000*, who will live on after probation, right on through the second coming of Christ. And they are to be translated!
 
*[Consider 1st Timothy 5:24: “Some men’s sins are open beforehand; going before to judgment, and some men they follow after.”]
 

And so, in a sense, the resurrection began in 1844. The resurrection occurs according to the natural processes of God’s laws. And these generally function over a period of time. So we have the restoration of characters in human bodies, and the testing of the investigative judgment.
 
The complete resurrection of all parts of the individuals, including their bodies, and their consciousness, and their memory of their former life – the complete unit, will not take place until Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven. But when this does occur, in the light of the things that we have said, it should seem clear that the resurrection will come into human bodies which are living and which are grown up in this world.
 
There will not be a mass destruction of all the human bodies that are existing in the world at that time, and the reappearance of a completely different set of bodies out of no place. Those who shall come forth from the graves, will come forth into the bodies of those who are living or who have recently lived. There are aspects about this resurrection which I do not understand yet.
 
But I am convinced that the 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 foundation.”
 
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, who are translated. Then there is also a great multitude which no man can number.
 

[Space Reserved in 1994 by J. W. Johnson for Further Comment]
 
Well, I’ve 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! 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 have need of nothing,” but you’re in a pretty bad condition. “You’re miserable, you’re actually poor, 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 that they have to keep the law. We’re telling them about these different doctrines.
 
But, you know, I’ve 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 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 professions; 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 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. 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. [Remember that these reminiscences were written about 1955-1956]. I’m included with it. But I’m ashamed of some of the things we do. I think we need to 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 are 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 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 co-operate and acknowledge those who are in authority. But maybe those who are in authority sometimes need a little correction.
 
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. We have many, many faithful, capable, devoted leaders in our work. 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 am 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 [respect] 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 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’re 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 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 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. 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 co-operating 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 for my own selfish – to save my own selfish skin – 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. And 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. The 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 penalty of my transgression in order that I may have eternal life as a free gift. 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
 
This is the most important point which I have talked about on these tapes! This is the Everlasting Gospel 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!
 
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 movement, which will be rapid, will be accomplished largely by laymen. [cf. 5T 80 & 81]. It will be the individual members who will finish the work of cleansing their soul temples from sinning.
 

And it will be the work of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain – the eternal 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 in the latter rain, [that] 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 body and blood as an eternal sacrifice, for His saints to eat and drink, whereof they obtain eternal life in themselves! (John 6:53, 54)
 
I could say much more, but why should I? I have given you the most important message. I’ve told you the things that God has made plain to me.
 
Christ’s Eternal Sacrifice
 
But let me elaborate on Christ’s eternal sacrifice:
 
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;[9] and thus could die the eternal death of sinful humanity on the cross.
 
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. Please, remember it. Let us worship God, who created heaven and earth. Amen.
 

End of quoting from Panorama of Truth, Vol. 2.

 
* * * * * * * * * * * *
 
[Note: The foregoing recording, Personal Reminiscence, was first put into written form during the month of September, 1990. It was transcribed from the original reel-to-reel audio tape which was recorded by J. W. Johnson in 1957 or 1958. The transcription was reviewed by Bro. Johnson, in 1994, at which time He did some brief editing, adding several paragraphs, particularly concerning the sacrifice of Christ.
 
However, the inter-locking truths spoken of on this tape had been revealed to Bro. Johnson in 1941-1942 in answer to his original prayer for wisdom (about 1933), when he was but seventeen or eighteen years of age].
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 

The following is from Panorama of Truth, Vol. 1, on Regeneration of the 144,000:
 
 

The Work in the First Apartment
 
And now the work in the first apartment began when He (Christ) 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?[10] If there is no ministry in the holy apartment, obviously there is a change in the set-up.
 
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. 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 [Heb. 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 fulfil 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 fulfil 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 death 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” [Rev. 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 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. [cf. SC 35 & 36].[11] 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. EW 19].
 
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 Cleansing
 
And so in line with the teaching, which is prevailing [1961] at the present time 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!
 
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.
 
The Reception of the Kingdom & 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 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.” [Col. 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
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 144,000 saints. These are the only ones that enter into the temple with Jesus; and this is the ruling body.
 
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 circumstance.
 
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 [Divine Nature Only] 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 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
 
And 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.
 

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 of 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 before! [“. . . going before to judgement;” 1st Timothy 5:24]. These are but the outworking and continuation of the pattern [of character] 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 an 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 that they will never let Him down. By faith He has placed
Himself on trial 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.” – COL 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!
 
 
End of J. Wilfred Johnson’s Treatise.


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