Our All Important Duty for this Time

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By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

What is the most important work that is upon our shoulders as God’s people that is upon the shoulders of every human being at this present time? The priority that should occupy the people of God just now?

The antediluvians were presented for 120 years with a most important message, a most important duty. What was it? What did Noah have to do? He had to build an ark so that the people could be saved. The building of the ark was important, but was that the most important?

Under Noah’s direction his carpenters built an ark, and they were impressed day by day with the unwavering faith, the unswerving integrity, of the messenger of God. Every blow of the hammer, every advance that was made, was a warning to the world of the flood that swept away the unbelieving and ungodly. Noah’s faith was a working faith; it was a saving faith, that moved him with fear, and led him to act in accordance with the word of God. This is the quality of faith that will save the soul. Is it yours?  {ST, April 18, 1895 par. 12}

What was the most important work in the days of Noah? Was it not a quality of faith that was to be developed in the light of the people who were listening to him, which he himself denoted to them? Was it not that the actions of building the ark were dependent on the most important duty which was to have a faith that was practical? There were people there who were building the ark as it said under Noah they were instructed to build the ark. Noah directed his carpenters.

There are those who will be like the men and women who helped to build the ark. They hear the truth; they have every advantage to become people of moral worth, yet they will not choose the good society, … although they act a part in the preparation of the truth that is to fit a people to stand in the day of the Lord, {CTr 95.5}

This is now talking about those who are doing their work today.

…they will perish in the general ruin like Noah’s carpenters who helped to build the ark. God help you that you may not be of that class.—Letter 36, 1887 (Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, pp. 260-262). {Ibid.}

As we meet the special duty of this time, we could be in the same position as Noah’s carpenters were. We could be active in the work on the external front but we could still miss out like those carpenters did because we didn’t appreciate the exact duty that had to do with the external work. What is the duty for our present time? When you go through the words of Revelation and you research it, and the history of Christ’s church and it takes you to the point in time now which is identified as the building up of the remnant people who are going to be ready for Jesus’ coming. It has to do with what Jesus talked about in Matthew 24 through the history to the point in time where He says there’s going to be a people who are going to be ready to meet Him and He warns them to be sure that they understand that. You study Daniel and it points you to the time in which we are living right now.

In Revelation 14 we have just such a delineation of the time in which we live now. The message that is so important just now. Now everyone knows, who is familiar with the message of this church these are the three angels’ messages? They are proclaiming the everlasting gospel in verse 6 calling upon people to give God the glory because the hour of His judgment is come. The eighth verse delineates the second angel as announcing that Babylon is fallen and proclaims how every nation is drinking the wine of the wrath of her fornication. Verse 9 to 11 identifies the message of the people who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark; they will be suffering under the wrath of God. In Verse 12 we have the identification of the people of God at such a time as that. In Verse 13 blessed are those who die in the Lord from that time onwards, as these angels’ messages are given.

Revelation 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

You know what that is referring to. Jesus’ coming. Reading the three angels’ message, it is self-evident that they are the message for the world just prior to the coming of Jesus.

The expression of the three angels’ message Babylon is fallen, anybody who worships the beast and his image will receive the punishment of God’s wrath etc. He expresses it powerfully:

Amos 4:12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: [and] because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

Because of what I have shared with you in the three angels’ messages, I am going to do something to this world and because I am going to do this to the world, prepare to meet thy God. Is that not the three angels’ messages’ basic message? Prepare to meet thy God.

We gain from inspiration an appreciation of this threefold message as it actually pertains to our experience now.  E. G. White writes about the three angels’ messages’ experience that she’s been in.

During the past fifty years of my life, I have had precious opportunities to obtain an experience. I have had an experience in the first, second, and third angels’ messages. {2SM 387.1}

She has had an experience in the messages.

The angels are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning, and having a direct bearing upon the people living in the last days of this earth’s history. No one hears the voice of these angels, for they are a symbol to represent the people of God who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven.  {2SM 387.1}

What are the three angels’ message people, in living reality? They are the people on earth who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven. What a high calling.

Men and women, enlightened by the Spirit of God and sanctified through the truth, proclaim the three messages in their order.  {2SM 387.1}

Men and women, what are they doing? They are proclaiming these three messages in their order, like E. G. White, she was part of that company. She was a woman, there was a man, there were other men. They were men and women working together as God’s people represented by the three angels’ messages.

The three angels of Revelation 14 represent the people who accept the light of God’s messages and go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth. {5T 455.2}

They represent the people that accept the light of these messages of three angels and they go forth to proclaim the three angels’ messages to warn the world of the impending doom and the invitation to be part of ‘here are those who have the patience of the saints, that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.’

When this message was first proclaimed and appreciated, they had that responsibility back there. As they tried to make sense out of the three angels’ messages, they made a few mistakes. One of the mistakes that they made is that they thought that the first angel’ message was that Jesus would be coming there and then in 1844. Of course they followed the doctrinal idea of the churches that the cleansing of the sanctuary meant the cleansing of the earth so they thought Jesus is coming. Of course, by that false understanding, they were disappointed. But then came the third angel’s message and it delineated to them what their work was.

The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary.  {EW 254.1}

What was the work of the angel? To point the people to the heavenly sanctuary.

The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. {Ibid.}

There are a lot of ignorant people whom God will make sure that they will hear this message. The third angel is at work.

After Jesus opened the door of the most holy, the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were tested, as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they would keep God’s law. I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones the way to the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary. As they by faith enter the most holy, they find Jesus, and hope and joy spring up anew. I saw them looking back, reviewing the past, from the proclamation of the second advent of Jesus, down through their experience to the passing of the time in 1844. They see their disappointment explained, and joy and certainty again animate them. The third angel has lighted up the past, the present, and the future, and they know that God has indeed led them by His mysterious providence.  {EW 254.2}

The third angel. We see then that under the three angels’ messages, there is a work that needs to be understood and put into action. Just like in the days of Noah, a work that must not just be externally done but internally done. The most important duty.

I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, “Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.” {EW 118.1}

Can you see the all-important duty for this time? What should engross your whole mind, your whole attention? According to this statement, he is the angel that is to separate the wheat from the tares. I hear Seventh-day Adventists today saying, oh, this is not the time for the separating of the tares, the harvest time is coming! Big mistake. The harvest time has started. Do you remember what the harvest is? The angels are the reapers. The angels are doing the cutting and the identifying and the bundling into bundles and the third angel is doing the bundling. How long has the third angel’s message been proclaimed? Ever since 1848. That’s when it started. How long has the angel been separating the wheat and the tares for? Can you see what she says, These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention? This is the all-important duty for this time.

As the angels point to the heavenly sanctuary and cause the people who occupy their mind with the three angels’ messages to see what is going on in the sanctuary above, we see from what we read in Amos 4:12, because He is finishing His work as it is written in Daniel 12:1, He will stand up and there will be a great time of trouble such as never was. Before He finishes His work He says, because I am going to open the floodgates of destruction on this earth, prepare to meet thy God.

Prepare to meet your God. What must you do to prepare to meet your God? What is this all-important message?

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Prepare to meet thy God. If you’re going to see God, and you are not prepared, you will not be able to see Him without Him destroying you, because the people who are not ready, they will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Why? Because sin cannot dwell in the bright light of God’s purity. It will demolish them. Prepare to meet thy God is the message of the three angels’ messages, it is the message that you must be holy at that time.

Here is the terrible time of God’s wrath that was announced by the third angel:

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Can you see the strong call, prepare to meet your God? If you and I are not going to stand without spot and blameless, what will happen to me? It says this is the manner of persons that we ought to be in all holy conversation and godliness, prepare to meet thy God.

If we are not yet holy and pure and perfect, here this beautiful statement brings to your attention, oh no don’t worry, you are cast out, but prepare to meet Him.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

He is talking about people who have accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour. You are now the sons of God as you believe and throw yourself entirely into Jesus’ care.

1 John 3:2 …now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

You have a hope that as a son of God you’re going to meet Him and you’re going to say, this is our God, we have waited for Him. That is what is our privilege. But what does it say? The hope that I have for His coming is woven into action just like Noah into the action of purifying myself so that I will meet Him in peace.

Indeed that is what the ultimate purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ is really all about. The gospel of Jesus Christ is often held as a beautiful comfort that we are accepted with God because Jesus died for us. That’s only the very sharp beginning of the work of the gospel.

In the following scripture you have the all-encompassing picture of the work of the gospel. There again, is this picture of Jesus being the husband of His church and as the husbands have a responsibility over the wives, so Christ has a responsibility over His church. What is it?

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

To be part of God’s church, you are placing yourself under the tuition of Jesus Christ who is going to work through His church activities to produce a people that are going to be without blemish, that are going to have all their spots and wrinkles removed, totally. Then that will be the conclusion of the work of the gospel.

With the message of the three angels in our hands, the need is to engage in this priority. The three angels’ messages contain the very message that will produce a people who are going to stand perfect before God.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

What is the call? Because we have these precious promises; what were they? You are the sons of God! Jesus has bought you with a price. You belong to Him. Believe it. Trust Him. But because you believe it and trust Him, let Him cleanse you and purge you. Become  participant with Jesus’ work. What are you called to do? Cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. This is our work.

Remember what the third angel pointed us to? To the heavenly sanctuary.

Those who would share the benefits of the Saviour’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. {GC 488.2}

What is to be our all-absorbing message and activity? Our whole mind, our whole thought should be occupied with the third angel’s message. The third angel’s message points us to the sanctuary in heaven and if you would share the benefits of the Saviour’s meditation, you should permit nothing to interfere with your duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God.

The precious hours, instead of being given to pleasure, to display, or to gain seeking, should be devoted to an earnest, prayerful study of the word of truth. {Ibid.}

Have you found the Bible fascinating? Have you found it really interesting? Well occupy your spare time after you have worked for a necessary income, after you have been occupied in doing the necessary duties of the home life, after that, will you go along and say, I want to have some lovely time free to enjoy myself? Or will you enjoy yourself with the word of God, with the people of God that are pursuing a harmonious social activity and that are preparing for heaven? Yes, the precious hours must be given to an earnest prayerful study of the word.

The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. {Ibid.}

Why? Because they should be the three angels’ message people. What should they understand?

All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. {Ibid.}

You must understand for yourself the position and work of the High Priest.

Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time {Ibid.}

A faith essential for this time. It will be impossible for you to understand that if you do not know what Jesus is doing in the heavenly sanctuary with you at such an important time as this.

…or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. {Ibid.}

A position which God designs you should fill. Each one of us has a position to fill, and it will be impossible to identify it unless you are thoroughly equipped in the knowledge of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary, finishing His work there.

Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days. {Ibid.}

What is the important work? What is the most important duty for this time? What is it? To so be equipped with the knowledge of the message of the three angels’ that you can be the messenger and can be in the position of those who are helping others. You can stand one day, cleansed and purged from your sin. This is the all-absorbing point. You will need to exercise the faith with is essential at this time and to occupy the position that God desires them to fill. What are the people of the three angels? They are the people that are working in harmony with the universe. God wants us to fill that position

Nothing is to be permitted to hinder this work. It is the all-important work for time; it is to be far-reaching as eternity. The love that Jesus manifested for the souls of men in the sacrifice which He made for their redemption, will actuate all His followers. {5T 455.2}

It is the all-important work. The question is, why so intense? Why so important? Why become so totally absorbed? Why so? Jesus is coming, don’t forget. How easy is it for you to be perfect? Is it easy? Is it easy for you to be totally pure and holy? If it isn’t easy, can you see why we need to be intense?

There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. {GC 489.3}

There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. Why so intense? Because you have a nature, a human nature and flesh that has developed habits and characteristics of behaviour, a character that is very hard to change and there is earnest warfare to engage in.

We have today a Laodicean people proclaiming something that is very, very sleepy. Remember? It says, You think you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. In Adventist Home there is a statement which today stands in contrast to the theology of those who believe and claim to believe the three angels.

Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be transformed at the coming of Christ, but there will be no conversion of heart at His appearing. Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is the place for fitting up for the family above. {AH 319.2}

Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be transformed at the coming of Jesus. They are self-deceived. Our defects of character will not be removed at His coming, they must be removed beforehand. The people who know the three angels’ message will never proclaim such an idea. But that’s what you hear in the new theology of today.

Do we expect to get to heaven at last and join the heavenly choir? Just as we go into the grave we will come up, as far as the character is concerned…. Now is the time for washing and ironing…. John saw the throne of God and around that throne a company, and he inquired, Who are these? The answer came, “These are they which . . . have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”. Now is the time to receive grace and strength and power to combine with our human efforts that we can form characters for everlasting life. {HP 369.2-4}

If you don’t form a character, you will not have everlasting life. What is Jesus doing? He is saying, I am giving you the precious grace, strength and the ability, now it’s up to you what you do with it. It’s up to me to place my God-given strength to develop a character that is going to stand as a holy character when Jesus comes.

…now is the time for washing and ironing. It is the time to wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. {9MR 262.2}

How intense is our work here? There was a woman who came to Jesus and she needed cleansing from disease, how intense was she? She was being crowded out by the crowds and they all came and jostled up against Jesus and rubbed against Him and they were all going on in their own sweet way. But there was one woman trying to get to Him and she couldn’t get to Him but she was so intense, she felt that if she could touch Jesus she could be healed. How intense was she? If I could just touch the hem of His garment, and when she did she received healing. How intense are you? How intense are we, to spend our efforts to come very close to Jesus?

Many hold faith as an opinion. {DA 347.1}

Many hold faith as an opinion, as a doctrine. We can get caught up with beautiful explanations of all the doctrines, just like the carpenters of Noah’s ark were doing the work of building the ark, but they weren’t saved; just like the people that were pressing around Jesus touched Him, they weren’t blessed.

It was not through the outward contact with Him but through the faith which took hold on His divine power that the cure was wrought, not just having a faith as an opinion.

Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power. {DA 347.1}

How intense are you? Are you as intense as this woman who had kept on going to all sorts of healing, curing activities and nothing worked? Have you been through that? Have you been through all the curative ideas? As per the hymn, pure I am not, O wash me Thou. Lord I want complete cleansing! I need to stand before you. I want to be saved when you come. The intensity of an active, living faith is pictured here in this woman.

If you will do that and you will take this seriously, your impurity will be dealt with.

Do you believe that the end of all things is at hand, {Mar 58.2}

Do you believe it?

Do you believe that the end of all things is at hand, that the scenes of this earth’s history are fast closing? If so, show your faith by your works. A man will show all the faith he has. Some think they have a good degree of faith, when if they have any, it is dead, for it is not sustained by works. “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” Few have that genuine faith which works by love and purifies the soul. But all who are accounted worthy of everlasting life must obtain a moral fitness for the same. You must experience a death to self, and must live unto God. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Self is not to be consulted. Pride, self-love, selfishness, avarice, covetousness, love of the world, hatred, suspicion, jealousy, evil surmisings, must all be subdued and sacrificed forever. When Christ shall appear, it will not be to correct these evils and then give a moral fitness for His coming.  {Mar 58.2-3}

Did you notice what the evils are? Pride, self-love, selfishness, avarice, covetousness, love of the world, hatred, suspicion, jealousy, evil surmisings, how much of that do you do? How much of that do I do? Do you ever surmise? Do you ever surmise that this particular brother has got something seriously wrong and you don’t really know what the real facts are? That is evil surmising. I could go through each detail here. Do that for yourself.

When Christ shall appear, it will not be to correct these evils and then give a moral fitness for His coming. This preparation must all be made before He comes. It should be a subject of thought, of study, and earnest inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? What shall be our conduct that we may show ourselves approved of God?  {Ibid.} 

Your conduct? This should be occupying our whole mind, our whole attention, the third angel’s work.

When tempted to murmur, censure, and indulge in fretfulness, wounding those around you, and in so doing wounding your own soul, oh! let the deep, earnest, anxious inquiry come from your soul, Shall I stand without fault before the throne of God? Only the faultless will be there.  {Mar 58.4} 

What was it? Murmuring. You feel tempted to murmur? Quickly quench that. Censure, it’s so easy to come up to another person and censure isn’t it? Indulging in fretfulness, how many times do you become fretful with your circumstances, with your little children? Wounding those around and in so doing wounding your own soul. Then make this earnest, anxious inquiry, shall I stand without fault before the throne of God?

Only the faultless will be there. None will be translated to heaven while their hearts are filled with the rubbish of earth. Every defect in the moral character must first be remedied, every stain removed by the cleansing blood of Christ, and all the unlovely, unlovable traits of character overcome.  {Ibid.} 

Do you see why you need to have a living knowledge of what it means to wash your robes in the blood of the Lamb? People say, oh here Lord, please wash me and nothing happens, they’re still the same, because what happens? They do not know how to apply the blood to their sin-sick soul. We need to know the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the atonement, so that we can deal with our flesh through watching Him. This is the three angels’ messages. It was interesting when Waggoner and Jones proclaimed the message in 1888, all his message was entitled was The third angel’s message. If you look at the 1893 and 1895 General Conference sermons that he gave, it had to do with Christ and His atonement in the most holy place. Then we get some real down-to-earth applications where I know where I am so unChristlike and I need to know how to cleanse all that by the blood of the Lamb. We are in the washing and ironing time. That’s hot material, the iron on the character let alone being tossed around in the wash. Tough material.

What is it to be a light to the world?  {2SAT 52.3}

Remember the third angel’s people are to be the light of the world?

It is to recognize Christ as our example. It is to show Christian politeness, never to scold and fret, but to be in a condition where we can constantly carry the minds of others upward. This is the work of everyone who names the name of Christ. It is to depart from the works of iniquity; it is to wash our garments in the blood of the Lamb. We are in the washing and ironing time.  {2SAT 52.3}

Notice how many times this statement comes into place.

Now we are to have every sin and iniquity taken from us, and the white linen put upon us, the wedding garment.  {2SAT 52.3}

Yes, Christian politeness, never to scold, never to fret.

It requires earnest effort to overcome a long-established habit.  {RH, October 28, 1890 par. 6}

Intense? Earnest effort.

Ungraceful gestures and attitudes detract from the influence you could have for the truth; …I entreat you, both men and women, ministers and laymen, who are connected with the sacred cause of God, take time for close self-inspection; consider your habits, your language, and the influence you exert, and see if you do all things in a manner that will glorify God and exalt his truth. If you see in yourselves one habit of speech or language that will detract from the influence of the truth upon the minds of others, make determined efforts to overcome. A defective tone of voice, an ungraceful manner, or any other defect, will surely be reproduced in others. {RH, October 28, 1890 par. 6}

Do you like that? I’ve watched this happen.

…it is necessary that the embassador for God should cultivate grace of manner, and refinement of language. {RH, October 28, 1890 par. 6}

It’s all there. Perfect, without spot or wrinkle.

The Lord requires his followers to be his representatives. Christ came to the world to represent the character of God, and the Lord has sent his ministers to represent the character of the Father and the Son. {RH, October 28, 1890 par. 6}

You need not … be rough and uncouth, and use coarse language and slang expressions, thinking that in this way you will reach the uneducated classes. Look at the manner in which Jesus addressed the poor. His language was pure, but it was simplicity itself, and through the imagination and the heart he reached the hearts of the people. {ST, March 19, 1894 par. 4}

I have itemised, by reading from inspiration some important details of the wrinkles and the spots in our character. How do you feel? You notice it’s not me pointing at you, it is inspiration that points at me too. I’m sharing with you what has been the occupation of my life. I have been under the three angels’ messages now for over twenty years if not more, and I have come to realise how grotty I am. How did I come to realise that? How do you come to realise that?

God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph [of your character] He compares with His law. {5BC 1085.4}

What does it say then? He reveals to us the things that mar our life and calls upon us to repent and turn from sin. How does He reveal to you the little details? Does He say, look, you’ve got this fault and you’ve got that fault and you’ve got the other fault? We’ve read some of these here. But does He come to you in person and say, that’s you? Is that what He does? How does He do it?

…when the light from Christ shines into our souls, we shall see how impure we are; we shall discern the selfishness of motive, the enmity against God, that has defiled every act of life. {SC 28.3}

How does that happen? When you look upon the light that comes from Jesus.

Then we shall know that our own righteousness is indeed as filthy rags, One ray of the glory of God, one gleam of the purity of Christ, penetrating the soul, makes every spot of defilement painfully distinct, {SC 29.1}

If that happens with one ray, what if all the rays of His perfection come upon you? How bad do you feel when you suddenly discover how wretched you are? Your heart just about stops, doesn’t it? I’ve gone through that, oh, no, O Lord, I’m too wicked, I feel like dying. That’s one ray. Can you see why if we are not perfect when He comes, it will be so overwhelming that we will drop dead? Our hearts will take us into a heart-attack because the shocker is so severe. That’s what killed Jesus wasn’t it? Wasn’t it that which broke the heart of Jesus? All the sins that came upon Him in His bright knowledge of purity, it killed Him. So it will kill you and me. But He says little bit by little bit, I don’t want you to die. It’s just a little bit here I’m showing you now and then get that one right with me, understand how to deal with that, then the next little bit, until in this work of washing and ironing we are going to deal with the entirety of your character so that it will not consume you and destroy you as I work with you.

This is the way God works, the beauty of Jesus is laid out before my mind’s eye and I see His glory. There are people that see His glory and they quickly look away. I don’t want to look anymore, I feel too terrible; so they look away. But if they don’t look away, something will happen, because not only will they see how sinful they are, they will also see by looking upon Him that they will be changed into the same image.

As you permit the Lord to show your wickedness to you and you keep on looking to Jesus, the healing rays will begin to burn away the rubbish and heal the sickness out of your life.

Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character.  {COL 331.2}

It’s too hard, isn’t it?

If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life.  {COL 331.2}

If you say, no, I’m never going to make it! That’s a decision. If you come to that decision you will never be saved.

The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you can not overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God.  {COL 331.2}

To help us to fall under the control of God, Jesus stands there and says, butI died for you. As He shows His glory to you, He shows His mercy to you, and by beholding you will catch the looks, you will catch His beautiful love.

Here is this beautiful statement, which is a gem to my understanding. It is so necessary that when we see the light of Jesus and we become overwhelmed by the glory that shines upon Him showing my evils and revealing to me the things that mar my life, that we continue.

As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself serious defects; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees the necessity for radical changes in his life. Still he studies with a desire to become like his great Exemplar.  {6BC 1098.6}

He doesn’t look away. He continues to study.

He catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master. By beholding, by “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,” he becomes changed into the same image. It is not by looking away from Him that we imitate the life of Jesus, but by talking of Him, by dwelling upon His perfections, by seeking to refine the taste and elevate the character, by trying–through faith and love, and by earnest, persevering effort–to approach the perfect Pattern. By having a knowledge of Christ–His words, His habits, and His lessons of instruction–we borrow the virtues of the character we have so closely studied, and become imbued with the spirit we have so much admired.  {Ibid.}

You can’t change yourself, you know that. You can try as hard as you like, you know that. Then stop that effort. Start to make an effort to look at Jesus. Be so intense about Jesus. Look upon His manners, His beautiful character, and talk about it. Continue to occupy your mind with it, and what will happen? Yes, you will see yourself as you really are, but at the same time the constant beholding and enlarging of Jesus’ beautiful nature will have an effect on your character that will change you. You will no longer hold on to those grotty little things that have such a strong impact in your life.

By engaging in this most important duty, we will be inadvertently the people that are working in harmony with the universe. Doesn’t that make sense? If you are engaged in this three angels’ message story, you will be engaged in the three angels’ messages because you can’t keep that to yourself. You’ll be talking about Jesus, you’ll be talking about His character, you’ll be talking about His soon coming, you will be talking about all that He is doing in our society today, you will be upholding before the people of the world everything that has to do with the three angels’ messages. You will be doing it.

What is Jesus waiting for? When will He come?

Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. {COL 69.1}

What’s He waiting for? What’s our most important duty? Shall we hasten that event?

Amen.

About The Typist

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Posted on February 9, 2014, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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