The Sanctuary, The Better Sacrifice

J. Wilfred Johnson
July 7, 1986

Transcribed Nov. 5th, 2012

NOTE: This meeting is actually a small Sabbath School lesson given by Mr. Johnson at the College Heights Church Alberta, Canada. There are other groups meeting in the sanctuary at the same time as well as individuals talking among themselves. All of this background noise makes it nearly impossible to hear individuals addressing Mr. Johnson with their comments or questions.

(Wilfred) I wish we had two hours today; this is one of the most profound messages in Adventism. I hope that you at least look through the quarterly and get the details of the foundation of this thing because I would like to build on that today. I don’t want to spend too much time going through the details; I would like to give you the keys for understanding this lesson. Keys which I feel we are urgently in need of, but I haven’t heard them explained the way I find them in the books. I think that Satan is at work trying to becloud the minds of Adventists so they will not understand the message God gave to us to give to the world. And many of us are moving backwards; today I hope that we may move ahead.

What did God give all of these gruesome ceremonies to ancient Israel for? What was his point? Every time someone sinned they had to take an animal and slay it with their own hands and the blood flowed and the blood had to be used in certain ways and so what did He do this for? Day after day, week after week, year after year, that sanctuary must have been so polluted that it would be almost impossible to stand the stench. What was God doing? Lets have a quick look.

Now, let me give it to you. He was trying to teach those people the terribleness of sin, the gruesomeness of it. What did the animal represent?

(A woman in the group) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) It was Christ wasn’t it? Doesn’t it represent Christ? What was going to happen to Christ because of sin? Nothing would have to happen to Him except for the fact that God wanted to save sinners. If God didn’t care about sinners nothing would happen but God loves sinners, His love impelled Him. God wanted to teach those people the awfulness of sin and what it does to Him.

Sister White explains to us that the cross of Calvary is the revelation of the pain that entered into the heart of God at the very inception of sin and that pain has endured all down through those years. The hurt, and the cross was to reveal that hurt so that we would understand what God is suffering because He is tolerating this multitude of wicked children of his who are constantly doing mischief and paining his heart. You parents understand that don’t you, a little bit? When is the pain going to leave the parents heart?

(A woman in the group) Unintelligible

(Wilfred) When the children stop sinning. When they come in penance and repentance and say, oh, please forgive me I’ll never do that again. Well, what about the sinner? That’s what God wanted to teach those Israelites, don’t keep on sinning because it keeps on hurting, come out of it. And that’s why once a year they have the atonement service to remind them that there is a time when God is going to cleanse house, to cleanse the temple. And that’s another thing I want to touch on, the temple. The aim of the Gospel is to get rid of sin. The purpose of the creation of this world and it’s seven thousand year history, six thousand years in which the demonstration takes place and the seventh thousand year in which all the records are reviewed and they look it over and they say, “It is good”. That's what God did in the six-day creation, He made it in six days, the seventh day He looked at it and He said, “It’s good”. Now here is the real one, here is the real creation. The heart of the sinner is to be renewed there is to be a destruction, a cleansing of sin and a renewal of righteousness in the human heart. And Jesus was the first-born of the new temple of God, the head, and He showed us how it is to be done. And now He is calling for His people in this antitypical Day of Atonement; please come for the cleansing of the soul temple. And what were they to do on that day? They stood afflicting their souls, there were no sins brought to the sanctuary confessed individually on the Day of Atonement. No sin, they were not to sin on the Day of Atonement, they were to be afflicting their souls and this was the day when the cleansing would occur. Now, do you get the picture?

God today has called the Adventist church to present the Sanctuary Message and particularly the Day of Atonement which began in 1844 which some of our theologians are now discarding. Oh, Sister White predicted it. Listen Brother and Sister, we are in the final crisis, we’re in it, right now, and God says He is going to have messengers who are going to call His people, call the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. And Brother and Sister I am doing it right now, and God is raising people all over this denomination, little pockets here and there and they’re speaking out. And God is now taking the reins into his own hands because denominationally we haven’t yet got it done, have we? We have thought in terms of going to the world with the Gospel, and spread the Gospel and we have had a thousand converts per day for over a thousand days, the Loud Cry, don’t you realize that it is right in front of you? It’s happening, but what’s the purpose of the Loud Cry? To bring people in, but what is the ultimate goal? How long is God going to wait before He comes? It says very plainly that Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of the reproduction of his character, his perfect character in his people. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in his people, I am quoting, then He will come.

Now look, what is holding up the second coming of Jesus? Is it getting the Gospel message to the world? We could do that in two weeks. With the facilities in the world today we could get the Gospel message to the world in two weeks or maybe a month, I’ll give a little. What’s holding up the coming of Christ? Seventh-day Adventists have backed off from their responsibility, they have been beclouded, they have become Laodicean they are lukewarm; they think they are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, I’m I too hard on us? I’m one of them. Is it true? What is the call? Repent, Repent. Buy of me gold tried in the fire.

Have you read Malachi chapter 3:1? How the messenger of the covenant is going to come suddenly to his temple to purify and cleanse the sons of Levi. Have you read that? When does he come to his temple? He came in 1844 to his temple, she says it. Shall I read these statements? Oh, it takes so long to read them but are you going to believe me if I don’t read them?

Listen, The Great Controversy page 426. “The coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of Days, as presented in Daniel 7:13;” That’s for the judgment you know. “And the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi," And she has just quoted Malachi 3 the one I just read to you. “Are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage,” You can read about that in Early Writings, the marriage of the Lamb to his saints in New Jerusalem, the New City of God. These are... “Described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins,” Now those are all one and the same thing. It started in 1844; it is not yet been completed because you and I have held off. What have we been doing that we shouldn’t have been doing and what have we not been doing what we should have been doing? Oh, I wish I had two hours and I would read all this to you. The greatest work that can be done in our world is to glorify God by living the character of Christ. That’s the greatest work that you can do. That is to live the character of Christ. How are you going to live the character of Christ? What have you got to live the character of Christ with? You’ve got your will power, that’s all, just your will power and you can decide from now until doomsday to go God’s route and obey all of his commandments and all that and you’re going to flunk time and again. Have you tried it? Well, if you haven’t tried it, try it and you’ll find out. What’s the matter? Well. The load is too heavy for us, but God says, do it anyway and I’ll come to your rescue. And how is he going to come to the rescue? And that zeros right in on our lesson. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Now I’m going to be bold and give you some keys here that you may not have heard before, some of you have but some of you may not have. But they are in the books and if I had the time I could read it right straight from the mouth of God’s prophet. The blood of Jesus Christ is the key to victory over sin, and I'll bet you don’t understand that or do you? I have asked many people to explain it to me, and I’ll be honest I haven’t had a single one in all the years that I have been an Adventist ever explain that to me. And in the lesson I think it says something about, well, this is one of the things we just accept, it’s an axiom, just believe it. But that is not what God says, God’s prophet says that if you lack wisdom, ask God that’s what He says in the Bible. And she says that God, I am not sure I can quote this statement exactly and all the conditions because there are several of them and they overlap. But God will in response to our prayer and our surrender reveal to us his mysteries personally. She says that the mysteries of God are not mysteries because He wants to hide them but it is because of our own weakness, maybe we are not mature enough, you can’t explain certain things to children because they are not mature enough, or ignorance she says. Now maybe the maturity we can’t do a great deal about, although we can do something. Some people are more mature at the same age than others are you know. But we can do something about our ignorance, we can get into those books and find out what God says, and do you know what God says? God says that the blood is the life, that’s what He says. So when Jesus shed his blood He shed his life. Now what kind of life did Jesus have? Well Jesus explained it, He says; as the father has life in Himself even so hath He given the Son to have life in Himself. Now He has shared his life with you and me but the life which He has shared with us is conditional life and when we die we give up the ghost, the spirit of life and it returns to God who gave it. But listen, Christ the Son of God, God had shared everything with Him, He had given Him life in Himself even as God had life in Himself and not a single thing in this universe, not an atom was ever created that was not created through the Son. The Bible says He created everything and without Him was not anything made that was made. I’m simply relaying what God says, those are not my words. Jesus said when one of them asked Him; show us the Father; Jesus said well, have you missed that point? Don’t you really understand? That the Father is in me and I am in the Father. The Bible says God is a spirit and Jesus said a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see that I have. The Bible says God is invisible He cannot be seen, well, that stands to reason. I think there is more than one reason. I think He is too big to be seen for one thing, like an ant looking at the Empire State Building. The ant doesn’t see the Empire State Building he sees just a little scratch on the wall down there at the bottom. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father.

Now look, I can read a statement here which says, and maybe I’ll do it. That Jesus is the temple of God. We talk about the sanctuary you know and it’s got to be cleansed and all that. God’s prophet says that Christ is the true temple, shall I read it? Incidentally, that is what He wanted those Israelites back there to become, listen, The Lord covered Him with His own glory, that’s Moses, that he might see the pattern and according to it all things were made. Listen, so to Israel whom He desired to make his dwelling place. Remember John chapter 14, where He says if you love me keep my commandments and I’ll pray the Father and He will send you another comforter which is the Holy Ghost. We will not leave you comfortless, We will come to you and make our abode with you and abide with you forever, do you remember that? He wants his people to become his dwelling place as Christ was the dwelling place of the Father and through Him all things were done. Christ gave up his life that it might be shared with his people. Listen, I’m going to read it.

So to Israel whom He desired to make his dwelling place He had revealed his glorious ideal of character, the pattern was shown him on the mount when the law was given on Mount Sinai. And when the Lord passed before Moses and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy with thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression of sins. Listen now, Israel had chosen their own ways they had not builded according to the pattern. Now, is he talking about the literal sanctuary, did they not build that according to the pattern? Yes, they built the sanctuary according to the pattern but what building is it talking about that they had not built according to the pattern? They had not builded according to the pattern they have chosen their own ways. But Christ the true temple for God's indwelling molded every detail of his earthly life in harmony with God’s ideal. Did God dwell in Christ? Where was the temple in which God dwelt? Christ, Christ was the temple. Listen, so, our characters are to be builded for a habitation of God through the Spirit. That’s a quotation from Ephesians chapter 2. It says the building is fitly framed together and framed to be built up for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Do you get the picture? What I am trying to show you is the true temple and unless we apply the lesson that is in the Quarterly here, unless we apply that to our personal situation today what profit is it that we study it at all?

God is waiting, longing to prepare you to be a member in his new temple, the new temple in which Christ was the temple originally the soul temple of God. He laid down his eternal life, or else He could not have died, He laid it down and I believe He did that in the heavenly sanctuary before He came to this world because He didn’t exist as Christ in heaven after He came here, did He? Was He still living up there? He left the glories of heaven, what did He do? He relinquished his eternal life, He voluntarily shed his lifeblood, the eternal Spirit of God that gave Him life in Himself, do you get it or do you not? I can read you statements that directly equate the blood of Christ to the life of Christ, when you shed the blood you shed the life. When Jesus relinquished the eternal Spirit of his eternal life He went to sleep just as you and I do when we give up the ghost but He gave up the eternal ghost and it went back to the father who gave it. That’s why when He said to his disciples I will pray the Father and He will send you what? The Holy Ghost. Do you know what else she explains? She says, Christ dwells in us by his Spirit, It is the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us. The Holy Spirit of Christ is the life of Christ; I can read that to you. I can read that. The Holy Spirit is the life of Christ and that is what He prays the Father to send to you and me in his intersession, there’s your sanctuary. What does He want to send down the Holy Spirit for? Because He wants you to become a member in the new temple of which He is the head. But the head can’t function very well without the body, can it? And that is where He is sitting right now waiting for you and me to respond. Now, how do we respond? Cleansing the soul temple, the temple has to be cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit and if you don’t cleanse it He can’t come because He can’t dwell in an impure temple.

Oh, I’ve got so many statements here I don’t know where to start.

Listen to this one. Review and Herald April 25th 1893. “It is through the mighty agency of the Holy Spirit that the government of Satan is to be subdued and subjected. It is the Holy Spirit that convinces of sin and expels it from the soul by the consent of the human agent.” Won’t do it without your consent. Let me read on. “Through the merits of Christ” And that is another thing that needs explaining. "Man may be able to exercise the noblest powers of his being.” That’s his freedom of choice. “And expel sin from his soul.” Don’t tell me that you cannot expel sin from your soul, if you tell me that you’re calling God’s prophet a liar. But you can’t do it without the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. And what is the blood of Christ? What does it represent I should say? His Spirit, His life. And I have other statements to show that His life is his love. And when the Bibles says, when the Holy Spirit is received it sheds the love of God abroad in the heart. Love is the motive power of this universe. Love is the essence of the power of God. God is love. Everything that was ever created was created by the power of love. Now, I won’t go into the scientific details of that thing because I don’t understand them all. But one thing I know is that there is no power in the human heart greater then love to cause a person to do something. He will do things that he doesn’t want to do and never would normally do when love takes hold, I’m I right? And until the love of God fills our hearts Brothers and Sisters we are never going to submit to the cleansing of the soul temple. By cooperating with God and expelling sin from our soul. I have the power to decide to stop sinning, I can do that, I am not tied, unless the Lord removes his protection and permits me to be overcome by Satan. But He promises He won’t do that, He said He would rather send every angel in Heaven to protect us than to permit one of us to be overcome by Satan. If you don’t want to be overcome by Satan Brother and Sister you don’t have to be. Exercise your will. Sometimes He puts us to the test. Why? Because the only way you can build willpower and develop strong character is like you do with a muscle you’ve got to put it to the stretch and exercise it and that is how willpower and character are built. But if you put your character to the stretch, your willpower to the stretch God has promised that He will pray the Father and when He sees his people there in one of those visions of Early Writings, He sees them there not ready and things are closing in and that is right now, He pleads with his Father, He says Father, My blood, My blood, My blood, My blood, four times and a bright light comes from the Father to Jesus and she explains; That Jesus receives from the Father to give to you, every blessing from heaven comes through the agency of the Holy Spirit. I’ve got the statement right here. Are you really interested in following through with what God has planned for this Day of Atonement? The day in which we become one with God. The day, in which we become united with Him, the marriage is consummated before the close of probation. That’s in Early Writings. The head and the members are going to be married. The latter rain of the Holy Spirit brings the full outpouring of the life of Christ to his people and there will be one hundred and forty four thousand survivors after this holocaust who will live without sin and stand before God without a mediator. And that’s a demonstration; don’t get mixed up on that, that’s a demonstration because the devil accused God of having a law that couldn’t be kept. So Jesus came and proved that in simple humanity that it was possible to live his law with the aid of the divine nature which God gave to Jesus to give us an example of how it is done. And Jesus said, follow Me, take up your cross, follow Me. And how many voices do we have in our church today that say it can’t be done, it doesn’t mean that, Oh Brother and Sister we’re in the time when Sister White predicts that we are going to give up our major doctrines, we are going to apostatize and the destruction of Jerusalem she says that took place back there, she says that’s going to be repeated and what’s Jerusalem today? Oh, I don’t like to say this, but what is Jerusalem today? His Church! His church. The day is coming very soon now when the work of our church is finished, God cannot use it any more it’s done all that it can do as a church. And it will be an individual experience and there will be little companies in isolated places, that’s what the books say. And we are a lot closer then most of us realize. Oh I wish that somebody would get something into our papers to wake our people up but everything is still Laodicean. I’m I speaking the truth? I wonder, have you watched your television in the last few weeks, the news I mean? We’re there, we’re there and when it hits it’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be easy, but you will either go up or down.

Now God says that these old ceremonies, these rituals, some of which we perform in the church services and so on, we have our communion service and all the rest of it and I wonder how many people really understand what that communion service is all about, where we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. I wonder what we understand about it. Do you know what she says? The true manna which came down from heaven when he was talking about that, she was commenting on John chapter 6 were Jesus talks about this you know and so many left Him and they couldn’t swallow it when He said that they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood or they wouldn’t have any life in them, they didn’t like that so they left Him. She says the true manna which came down from heaven is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit. You must absorb the life of Christ which He relinquished which went back to the Father and now Jesus went to the cross and died the second death, the eternal death of the sinner from which there is no hope of a resurrection. He forever closed the door to regaining that eternal life that he had before. He could have picked it up any time in His lifetime here on earth but in Gethsemane He made His final decision. That’s why He sweat those great drops of blood, He forever gave his life to you and me. And unless you and I respond and come to build up the new temple He is left out there in the cold. He is waiting for his body temple to be built so that the marriage can take place and the new body of Christ is complete. Now He dwells in his saints. The Father and the son the eternal life Spirit of God will be in his saints. Don’t you believe it? Listen, the promise to the Laodicean overcomers, and that’s you and me here, if we want to be, to Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne. What a promise. Even as I also overcame and sit down where? With My Father in His throne.

Do you realize what’s in that lesson today? Do you realize what’s in there? I hope that the Spirit of God will touch your thinking and some of the things I have said are only a tenth of what I could have said, will inspire you to come clean with God and to share your faith with others that we may soon find one hundred and forty four thousand people who understand what God is doing and is willing to go with him so that he can finish it off.

May the Lord bless us to this end is my prayer. In his name, Amen.

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