J. Wilfred Johnson
Sabbath School Lesson Dec. 9, 1989
Transcribed Jan. 12, 2014
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
are so many things that God has in this book that to try to condense
all the parts that fit together into a unit in twenty or thirty minutes
in any one lesson is a rather difficult thing to do and somehow I never
seem to manage to do it. The last two times a few weeks back I felt
very disappointed that certain aspects of each of those lessons that I
definitely intended to reach and just didn’t get to so what we do in
this world is imperfect but God can bless it, He can see to it that
those things that we really need we are inspired to bring. So I will
call your attention this morning to a number of things in this lesson
and I hope you will feel free to contribute what you may have found
that we are missing.
The King is coming. How many times does the king come?
(John) Five at least.
(Wilfred) John says five.
(Wilfred) How many do we usually think in terms of? Two. The first coming and
then the second coming. But He comes more times than that.
He came to Moses down on the mount and delivered to Moses the
principles of his Old Covenant and his law. The Old Testament
is filled with what God gave to Moses on mount Sinai. And it’s called
one of God’s witnesses, the Old Testament. And then He came to Abraham
and He came to a number of others in the Old Testament in a personal
way. But the major coming that was predicted in our lesson today and
sort of dramatized is the second coming. But the second coming would
never exist if He hadn’t come the first time, so we have his first
coming predicted. How can I condense this?
What was the propose of his coming the first time?
(John) To reveal God’s character.
(Wilfred) To reveal God’s character. Why was that necessary?
(John) Because it had been challenged and impugned in heaven by Satan.
(Wilfred) That’s true. The character of God as expressed through Christ
his Son who was the outward God, the only visible God that any of his
created beings had ever seen. The character of this person was one of
meekness, one of self-denial, did you ever think of that? It wasn’t one
of ostentation of bigness of important-ness. How do we know that? These
are important principles concerning the coming of Jesus. How do we know
that? Are you folks reading your Spirit of Prophesy? I hope you are
reading your Spirit of Prophesy. Get your hands on those books and read
them, the story is all in there.
The reason is, Lucifer rebelled and if God had been of a type and nature
in character such that there could be no question as to who He was and no
one else could ever challenge him, Lucifer never could have challenged
Him. He was a created being but you remember that Lucifer was created
as much like Christ as it was possible to make a created being our
prophet says. And because of the submissive, the humble nature of the
character of Christ He shared himself with Lucifer to the extent that
Sister White says that the some of the angels were not quite certain
with whom the final authority rested. Did you know that she said that?
Now how could that ever have happened if the Christ that lived in those
days was one who was a great big show of authority? Do you understand
what I am saying? For this reason it was possible for this intelligent
being Lucifer to get the idea that perhaps he could make a few
suggestions because Christ really wasn’t a strong leader you see. He
was sharing himself with his created beings his angels were his envoys
and the angels looked up to Lucifer, he had their respect. That’s how
he could draw one third of them after him.
(John) Ellen White said that Satan was seeking to reform the government
(Wilfred) That’s right. He thought that this law of God that wasn’t
really made a big do of, there were no ten commandments they weren’t
given until Sinai as ten commandments. The law of heaven, the law
of life for earth and heaven our prophet tells us is the law of
self-renouncing love and Christ was the perfect example of that law and
Lucifer took advantage of it. Lucifer didn’t like this idea of total
self-denial. Do you like it? Be honest now, do you really like it? Do
you like to renounce yourself on every occasion and let the other
person run all over you?
(John) I like it up here but down here there is a conflict. Because of
what I read in the Bible and I see it but yet there is a nature that is
opposed to it that I have inherited.
(Wilfred) We are torn between two aren’t we? I am aren’t you? There is
a conflict there.
Now Lucifer thought that that law wasn’t quite the way it ought to be.
There should be a little room for self-expression. In fact he didn’t
think that God kept his own law, he kind of challenged that too, God
doesn’t keep his own law.
here is the setting that necessitated Christ coming out in the open
and expressing himself and telling the truth. There is nothing wrong
with coming out in the open and telling the truth in an emergency
situation to set things straight. But how did He do it? Oh, He did it
in such a gentile fashion until it became necessary to step a little
bit like you parents with your children. He created this world all by
himself previously the world and the universe had come into being and
was expanding and still is from billions of years back through the
operation of the laws of nature which were controlled quietly,
silently, and mysteriously sometimes by the great power of God’s
Spirit. But God shared some of that with Lucifer and Lucifer was in on
the creation of other worlds, he had a share in those things. But
this time God decided that He would have to write a book to explain
everything to the universe so that they would understand. Do you know
what that book was that He wrote? It’s in the books here, it’s in our
prophet’s writings and it is in the Bible. This world was created to be
the great lesson book to reveal the totality of God’s government. And
it was created entirely by the Son of God. There was not anything that was made
that was not made through the Son of God, that includes the whole
universe too. But because of his character He never came out and blew
about it, He did it quietly. Who is giving new life? Who enables me
to move that finger? Tell me.
(Wilfred) How do you know? He didn’t tell me that. He didn’t come up
here and say; Look Wilf Johnson you can’t move that finger can you?
And I said no I can’t move it. And He said I’ll make you move it, move
it. And I said I can move it now. That’s not the way He does it. He has
given me and trusted me with twelve billion brain cells or there about,
some times I think I have fewer than that, but He has done that and He
has placed complicated mechanics of chemistry and electricity and what
have you up in there. And we are just beginning to learn a little bit
about how all this works. Because God is enabling human minds to
understand the mechanics of these things now. And we have great big
computers that can do amazing things, we never had those for six
thousand years, now we have them. Why? Because God is coming to the
last class in his school. We are going to be graduating one of these
days. So his coming to the complicated, the higher types of learning, and He
is revealing it to his people so we can understand a little more about
how things are working. He came out in the open Christ did and He said;
Let there be Light. And there was light. He said let there be this and
let there be that and in six days there it all was and two perfect
people, complete. Can you see Lucifer standing there? Watching this with
his mouth open. He had never seen anything like that before.
(John) And the whole universe.
(Wilfred) And the whole universe. But God had to do it to squash the
rebellion. In a sense He went contrary to his own nature, do you see
that? He came out in that conflict, Why? Because He had to do it and what
was the price he had to pay for it?
(John) The death of his only son.
(Wilfred) His death.
(Another man) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Oh yes.
(John) It was in the Story of Redemption the rebellion started prior to
the creation of this world but when it came to open rebellion and Satan
was cast out. When he was cast out it says God consulted his Son to....
(Same man) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) It is pretty clearly displayed in the Spirit of Prophesy. That
point does not distract from the total plan so we won’t get hung-up on
it. I don’t think it’s one that matters much.
But here was Lucifer now, there was no question who the creator was and
that Lucifer had no power to work in it at all without the power of
Now, who created me? It’s a loaded question.
(Same man) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) That’s true.
(John) Your parents.
(Wilfred) What mechanism did God use to get me here? Did He not share
the creative power of human life with my parents? Did He not do that?
Oh, there are so many things I want to say here but I haven’t time to
say them. Let’s move on. The King cometh, what does the King come for?
Well He came out in the open at the time He created this world and He
did it in six days and rested the Seventh-day He made that memorial of
it like a birthday. Because it had never been done before and He never
wanted anyone ever to forget who He was because Christ was
going to go back to his normal character and not come out and display
himself like some big one again. Do you understand what I’m saying? Who
is He going to share the creative power with? He’s already done it in
(John) With his people.
(Wilfred) With his people. Who is going to be the new temple in which
He is going to dwell forever? A building? Oh, the Bible is very clear,
his church is built up a holy temple to the Lord, right? He is going to
be indwelling in his people throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.
Who is He going to share the power of operating the universe with
throughout eternity, this universe that is just constantly expanding and
expanding and expanding?
(John) To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.
(Wilfred) Even as I also am set down with my Father in his throne. The
Father did nothing without the Son. That’s what my Bible says. Without
Him was not anything made that was made. Jesus said, don’t you know
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
I know I am talking principles here and we are not getting the details
of the lesson, but listen, you folks are supposed to go through all
those details during the week and if we just go ahead through all those
details again here in class how much further are you along, why bother
coming to Sabbath School? You want to try to get the context, the
significances, the meanings. Why did Jesus permit, in fact He instituted
the idea of sending those two disciples to get that donkey, I don’t
like that other word I’d rather use donkey, It has better connotations
and it’s the same meaning, to get that donkey with it’s colt. And when
it came they put their garments on it and He sat on that donkey and
they spread their garments on the ground and He rode as a King into
Jerusalem. Our lowly Jesus let these people do all this to Him. The
king is coming to Jerusalem, Jerusalem is his saints, his people, how
did He do that? Does that sound like Him? Is that the way He normally
(A woman speaking) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) Why did He do it? It’s not like Him.
(Another man) Unintelligible
(Wilfred) The lesson book, the lesson book. You can’t teach children
without dramatization up to a certain point. You’ve got to show them
don’t you? Jesus came here to show the universe that God had anointed
Him to be the King. And it was the Father that instructed Jesus to do
this, don’t overlook that. He says, I do always the will of my Father,
always. And we are one. That is, we think the same, we operate the
same, and even to the extent that we are in each other, and I can’t
understand that, I can’t explain it, I have some ideas but He said; Don’t
you know that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.
And I want to bring this out before that piano goes because I’m not
going to get anywhere near the end of this lesson. Jesus promised that
He was going to come to his temple of saints under a certain condition. We’d
better read it, John
chapter 14 to make sure we get it right. John 14 I think this is one of the most important chapters in the entire Bible. If it
isn’t the most important it is one of the most. And if you look down
there at about, well the whole chapter, we should read the whole
chapter but it would take us an hour or two to do it. I think we can
start down here at verse 15 “If ye love me,” Then what? “Keep my
commandments.” Now don’t listen to those people who say you don’t
have to keep God’s commandments, He’s taken care of it all for you, He
keeps them, you’re all clear. Up to a point that is true. But listen to
this now, “If ye love me keep my commandments” Then what is
going to happen? “I will pray the Father,” There is your
intercessor, that’s the intercessory work of Jesus. He prays the
Father. Why does He have to pray the Father? Well, to understand that
I’d have to go back and show you how Jesus gave up all that He had
before He became a little baby in Bethlehem He was no longer the
authority, He couldn't even make a decision. He made his last will and
testament, his everlasting covenant with his Father before He died and
incidentally He died before He came to this world in the sense that He
went to sleep. Because when He was that little baby there He had no
memory of his former existence it was totally gone. You know the death
He died on the cross? What death was it? It was the second death, the
eternal death of the sinner from which there is no hope of a
resurrection. Well, if He died the second death on the cross He must
have died the death of sleep sometime before that or it couldn’t have
been the second death could it? Before He left heaven you see, He went
to sleep and when He came out as the little baby Jesus He was sound
asleep, there wasn’t another Christ in heaven, there wasn’t two of
them. I’m I right or I’m I wrong? I could explain that, there is
more to it. It’s terrific; it’s a fantastic study. Well anyway He grew
up with the specific purpose of showing that when you have a
combination of divinity, which he got from his Father, the Holy Spirit,
and humanity which He got from his mother, a combination of divinity
and humanity, sinful humanity with all the inheritance of fallen Adam
it is possible to live without sin. That’s what He came to show. He
came to reveal the character of God before the universe. He came to
show that it was fair and just that God had anointed Him to be the
Messiah and to be his Son, to be his eternal high priest forever. He
came to prove that. Sister White says in Desire of Ages
that He came to
show that when we partake of the divine nature when we become born
again, born of the Spirit, which He made available through his
sacrifice on the cross incidentally, That’s what He gave up, He gave up
his eternal life blood not just the physical blood because we have to
drink that blood we don’t drink his physical blood. His eternal
life-blood that is the symbol of his existence, his very life and
Sister White is very clear in telling us that it is the Holy Spirit. She
tells us plainly He relinquished it. That’s why He prays the Father for
you and me, Father send them my Spirit. Here in chapter 14 it says that
15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 I will pray the Father,”
And what will He send you? “Another Comforter,” And what does it
say further down? “Which is the Holy Ghost.” He says you have got
to eat my flesh and drink my blood or you have no life in you. Now that
is a symbol of the Word and of the Spirit. You understand that don’t
you? I’m not getting very far here but that’s what he came to show. And
God has promised you and me that if we keep his commandments to the
best of our ability and He will make up for the deficiency with his own
divine merit, she tells us that so don’t get discouraged. Do what He
says and He will pray the Father and He will send the Spirit. And you
know there is going to be a tremendous outpouring of that Spirit one of
these days just as soon as we fulfill the conditions, but we haven’t
fulfilled the conditions yet. Many in our denomination today say you
don’t have to keep the commandments, do you wonder why the later
rain hasn’t come? It’s just as plain as the nose on my face why it
hasn’t come. Let’s get busy and do it, then Jesus is going to come the
third time so to speak. He’s going to come at his second coming when He
a people who will demonstrate that they can live without sin before a
holy God without an intercessor. When you do that then He can come she
says and claim them as his own. That’s what He is waiting for. We talk
about why He delays, Brother and Sister it’s you and me. It’s my fault;
have not kept all the commandments to the best of my ability. So God
can’t give me that Spirit, He can’t trust me with it. How about you?
Why don’t we get together and get busy on this thing. One of these days
it’s going to happen. The King is going to