Reaching the Point of No Return – Has probation already closed for some individuals?

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By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

It has been stated to me several times over the past few years – while there is life is hope. This has been uttered in reference to souls who have turned away from the word and us in upholding the pure word. It is well true that probation ceases at death. Probation is closed for every individual who has died but is there such a thing as probation closing for those who continue to live? Is it is possible that a person has no more hope for the future or a person is absolutely sealed for the future to be saved? Is there such a thing as that happening while we are still living?

Has Probation Closed Already For Some?

Hebrews 6:4 For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.

This is speaking of someone who has been fully enlightened by the Holy Spirit in his life. Not only has he been enlightened but he has actually tasted of the heavenly gift and been made a partaker of the Holy Ghost with the Holy Ghost in him changing his personality and character. This person has tasted the good of the word of God and of the world to come and then he falls away into a state of antagonism to what he has once had. This person maybe living and probation has closed for him.

Cain

There was a man called Cain. He had been brought up by the pristine teaching of his father Adam. He knew precisely what the plan of salvation was as he had been under its influence. He came to worship God with his brother. They were both men now. As they came to worship Cain defied the very method of salvation by his deliberate action. He came to sacrifice his goods on the altar instead of the lamb. The things he worked for, the garden produce he came to sacrifice.

Genesis 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

God is illuminating Cain with the things that he knew already. As God had warned him sin is at the door, he defied what God had told him and he slew in his wrath his brother.

Genesis 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

What future did Cain have? He had a future on this planet earth and he continued to live. But what did future did he have with God?

Genesis 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

Did Cain’s probation close? Yes it did. There was life but there was no hope. In general that statement where there is life, there is hope is not necessarily true. In fact, spanning from the time of Cain right through to now there is a company of people who’s probation has closed.

Cain and Abel represent two classes that will exist in the world till the close of time. {PP 72.5}

There is also a class of people whose probation is closed and a classed who are secure in Christ.

One class avail themselves of the appointed sacrifice for sin; the other venture to depend upon their own merits; theirs is a sacrifice without the virtue of divine mediation, and thus it is not able to bring man into favor with God. It is only through the merits of Jesus that our transgressions can be pardoned. Those who feel no need of the blood of Christ, who feel that without divine grace they can by their own works secure the approval of God, are making the same mistake as did Cain. If they do not accept the cleansing blood, they are under condemnation. There is no other provision made whereby they can be released from the thralldom of sin. {PP 72.5}

The class of worshipers who follow the example of Cain includes by far the greater portion of the world; for nearly every false religion has been based on the same principle–that man can depend upon his own efforts for salvation. It is claimed by some that the human race is in need, not of redemption, but of development–that it can refine, elevate, and regenerate itself. As Cain thought to secure the divine favor by an offering that lacked the blood of a sacrifice, so do these expect to exalt humanity to the divine standard, independent of the atonement. The history of Cain shows what must be the results. It shows what man will become apart from Christ. Humanity has no power to regenerate itself. It does not tend upward, toward the divine, but downward, toward the satanic. Christ is our only hope. “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” “Neither is there salvation in any other.” Acts 4:12. {PP 73.1}

What do we see? A class of people who have locked themselves in a false teaching, their probation is closed. It has been that way all through history, that class of people.

The Pharisees

This distinct characteristic was mirrored by the Pharisees. They were in just such a position.

Matthew 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

They are the serpents brew. Probation had closed for them. In the time when Jesus was saying this there were people on the weighbridge or the scales of which way they would turn. Such was Judas.

Esau

Esau as brought up under faithful Isaac. This reveals to us the manner by which people close their probation. This is an example.

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Was Esau’s probation closed? Why? He found no place of repentance. In the margin it says he found no way to change his mind. This is probably the most clear explanation of what it means when probation closes. He wanted to change his mind as he knew that if he would have received the blessing he could have been saved but he lost his salvation and he cried bitterly as he couldn’t even change his mind. Repentance means being able to change your mind.

Was it God that said probation is closed you have no hope?

There was no arbitrary choice on the part of God by which Esau was shut out from the blessings of salvation. The gifts of His grace through Christ are free to all. There is no election but one’s own by which any may perish. {PP 207.4}

It was the choice he made that closed his probation.

God has set forth in His word the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life–obedience to His commandments, through faith in Christ. God has elected a character in harmony with His law, and anyone who shall reach the standard of His requirement will have an entrance into the kingdom of glory. As regards man’s final salvation, this is the only election brought to view in the word of God. {PP 207.4}

Esau closed his probation under the tuition of Jacob. He failed to do what Cain failed to do, to submit himself willingly by choice to all that God had stipulated to him.

Judas

This is what Judas did also. Jesus chose him. He offered himself to become a minister and Jesus took him through the ropes and said there is one of you who is a devil and Judas could feel the messages prompting him to make a better choice. He felt Jesus appealing to him but he turned against it. When Jesus was washing his feet there was a strong urge for Judas to repent right there but no and his probation was closed. He didn’t go on living as he took his own life because he knew there was no hope. Spanning from Cain to the coming of Jesus there is just such a company right through to now.

We must be intelligent worshippers of God as to what will destroy or give me life at the close of probation. It is not a decree that God says now your chances have finished.

All should be intelligent in regard to the agency by which the soul is destroyed. It is not because of any decree that God has sent out against man. He does not make man spiritually blind. God gives sufficient light and evidence to enable man to distinguish truth from error. But He does not force man to receive truth. He leaves him free to choose the good or to choose the evil. If man resists evidence that is sufficient to guide his judgment in the right direction, and chooses evil once, {6BC 1112.5}

He chooses evil once. Does that mean he is finished? No.

…he will do this more readily the second time. The third time he will still more eagerly withdraw himself from God and choose to stand on the side of Satan. And in this course he will continue until he is confirmed in evil, and believes the lie he has cherished as truth. His resistance has produced its harvest (MS 126, 1901). {6BC 1112.5}

What is the harvest? The close of probation. A person may go on living like Cain, Esau and the Pharisees but probation has closed. They are now the serpent’s seed. Speaking of that company in our time as we read, the serpent’s seed will be in the majority in the last days. There are people who have chosen not to submit themselves to the strong appeals of God in the pure truth for this time.

The Class of Cain

This is the description of people whose probation has closed.

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Why did Cain slay Abel? He despised him for his goodness.

2 Timothy 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

What should you do with them? Turn away. Why you are so judgmental people will say? I didn’t say this. This is not the decision of God’s word. It is very harsh but it only appears harsh as this is simply a reality. This is God dictating. This is a place of no return. If you try to work with these people that will not return, you are wasting your time. If you are trying to bring them to church, you will not succeed. If you want to have bible studies with them, you won’t succeed. How do you know their probation is closed? You will read it, you will know.

They are the class of Cain today but not because of any decree that God has sent out. Really? What was our scripture reading? A declaration. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, he that is filthy let him be filthy still. In this declaration he started with the people who have no hope. It sounds like a decree and that is the way people read it. It’s how I had it in my mind that God says that’s it, you have no hope now. This is not the close of probation. In our series of sermons ‘Preparation for the Heavenly Canaan’ why raise this subject? In this series and in this declaration there is another class who are sealing their future before they die.

Another Class

There is another class of people who come to a point where they are also in the path of no return as well. They are at that are at a point of no return that they will be saved.

Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

It is for us to know which side of the fence we are standing on.

Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads–it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved–just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. {4BC 1161.6}

Could Cain, Esau, Judas and the Pharisees be moved in the right direction? The Pharisees as in those who were different to the mind of Nicodemus? No. Here are a people who have settled so firmly in the truth both intellectually and spiritually they can’t be moved. Their probation is closed. Both parties arrive at a point of no return, a condition of being fit or unfit for the conditions of the end.

There is a company at the end of the just and the unjust locked in as they have been locked in the classes of generations of the past. The unjust are in an unfit condition at the end.

An Unfit Condition

Those who delay a preparation for the day of God cannot obtain it in the time of trouble or at any subsequent time. The case of all such is hopeless. {GC 620.2}

Can you see why we are studying this subject? In the day of preparation we must obtain it. The Lord is preparing people and if they are not doing it in the day of preparation, what will happen? When the day of trouble comes their case is hopeless. What will happen? Did Judas confess his sin? He did didn’t he?

Those professed Christians who come up to that last fearful conflict unprepared will, in their despair, confess their sins in words of burning anguish, while the wicked exult over their distress. These confessions are of the same character as was that of Esau or of Judas. Those who make them, lament the result of transgression, but not its guilt. They feel no true contrition, no abhorrence of evil. They acknowledge their sin, through fear of punishment; but, like Pharaoh of old, they would return to their defiance of Heaven should the judgments be removed. {GC 620.3}

Examine Your Own Soul

It is the work of Jesus in this work of preparation for us to have an abhorrence of evil. This is an examination of your own soul in these the days of preparation. Do you make mistakes in sinning? Yes, so do I. As I make those mistakes and when the next opportunity comes to do the same thing again, what do I do? How many times have we sinned and confessed? Because I haven’t yet come to a proper confession yet. I haven’t come to a proper brokenness of spirit over the terrible thing I have done. I’m still attracted to something there. I still do the thing I know I shouldn’t be doing but it feels good so I’m going to do it. If that isn’t broken and a person doesn’t feels hateful to that which they are doing, in the time of trouble it’s the same thing, they break their heart and say I’m terrible sinner but if the judgment went past they’d do it again. We are learnt through Jesus the painful thing that the sin has done, I feel so bad about that sin I will turn away from it as it has crucified my Lord and I hate the sin and the wrong but not the punishment for the wrong. A person who hates only the punishment for the wrong will never plunge into the death and resurrection of Jesus. The death of Jesus is the death of my own desire of doing something wrong. That is very unpleasant to the human nature so we keep on dilly dallying and we are in preparation for Jesus to come.

I Must Be Among the Just

Pharaoh gave us an example. He submitted to God when the pressure was on but when it was off he went back to his old decision. That is the see-sawing that comes to a point of no return. Here are a people who have been doing the message of God and proclaiming it when everything was rosy and sweet;

God’s Spirit, moving upon their hearts, has constrained them to speak. Stimulated with holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they entered upon the performance of their duties without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord had given them. {GC 608.3}

They have not consulted their temporal interests, nor sought to preserve their reputation or their lives. Yet when the storm of opposition and reproach bursts upon them, some, overwhelmed with consternation, will be ready to exclaim: “Had we foreseen the consequences of our words, we would have held our peace.” They are hedged in with difficulties. Satan assails them with fierce temptations. The work which they have undertaken seems far beyond their ability to accomplish. They are threatened with destruction. The enthusiasm which animated them is gone; yet they cannot turn back. {GC 608.3}

They have reached a point of no return because all the time before they were just solidly looking at the uplifting of the pure word of God in their own lives. They didn’t count on anything as severe as the time of trouble. When it comes their enthusiasm is gone but not only their enthusiasm. They say if they knew they wouldn’t have opened their mouth but why did they do it? Jesus was everything to them. As they are going through this time of preparation they can’t turn back anymore. Why not?

Feeling their utter helplessness, they flee to the Mighty One for strength. {GC 608.3}

It’s an attitude of being. They know when they get in tight situations they have an experience of fleeing to the Lord.

They remember that the words which they have spoken were not theirs, but His who bade them give the warning. God put the truth into their hearts, and they could not forbear to proclaim it. {GC 608.3}

Neither can they return to stop proclaiming it. They are sealed, their probation has closed, they have come to the point of no return.

Preparation for the coming of Jesus must be complete before he comes. Reaching a condition of no return and as Jesus our high priest in the sanctuary above looks upon the people of this time, he will terminate his ministry when he beholds it among his people. When he beholds what? When he beholds that they have reached a point in their life of no return when he sees the people on the earth, these two classes coming to their final fruition.

One class of Cain and the other class of Jesus. He says well there is no more left, he who is unjust let him be unjust still, he who is righteous, let him be righteous still and Jesus finishes his work in the sanctuary. To us who are preparing for the coming of Jesus comes the words of Jesus. He says watch and pray for you know not the day when he cometh as he will be like a thief. What it is it? Watch and pray to see intelligently and spiritually your condition. Because when the day comes probation has closed you have been put in a position where you can’t return. You can’t be moved in the wrong direction. The other ones can’t be moved in the right direction even if they wanted to as they won’t want to miss out on heaven but their condition is not right.

You Know Not The Day Of His Coming Is Referring To What?

The meaning of this is not the visible coming of Jesus in the clouds, no.

What time is here referred to? Not to the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven to find a people asleep. No; but to His return from His ministration in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, when He lays off His priestly attire and clothes Himself with garments of vengeance, and when the mandate goes forth: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” {2T 190.1}

When Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever decided. This is the time of reckoning with His servants. To those who have neglected the preparation of purity and holiness, which fits them to be waiting ones to welcome their Lord, the sun sets in gloom and darkness, and rises not again. Probation closes; Christ’s intercessions cease in heaven. {2T 191.1}

They have no hope anyway. Jesus doesn’t have to spend another moment in intercession, they have had their preparations thoroughly covered and Jesus says that’s it, I can now cease my intercession.

This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the truth are found sleeping. They became weary of waiting and watching; they became indifferent in regard to the coming of their Master. They longed not for His appearing, and thought there was no need of such continued, persevering watching. {2T 191.1}

Some will become weary of waiting for Jesus to come saying he hasn’t come yet and it’s nice and cosy here I think I’ll just go along and enjoy myself and not occupy myself with getting ready. Some say in 20 years he’ll come so in 2 years I’ll get to it. Sorry, it’s what you do now that forms a developmental condition. As that condition is developed you come to the point when you don’t listen anymore. You don’t want to hear anymore and you just settle down in what you doing. Where do you stand personally? Is Jesus still waiting for you at the hearts door? The appeal in the last moments of preparation are as intense as Judas’s was when Jesus washed his feet and he was being driven to repent and confess. If he would have done that he would have been saved.

How is it with you? Are you are convinced about something or you are dilly dallying with that thing? It tells you have not faith. I know your works says the one who loves. I love you therefore I will rebuke you and do all manner of painful things to you to prepare you. His voice is still to be heard. Can you still hear it? The intense appeal. We are in these last moments and its been asked how do I know when my probation is closed? Is it finished already? You can answer for yourself.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)

Have you felt that? That God is really appealing to us like he appealed to Judas. If your probation were closed you wouldn’t feel anymore pangs.

Do you get pangs of conviction within yourself and you are loathe to do something about it? Preparation means to take it seriously and say right I don’t want to be on the other side, I want to be with those who are holy. I’m going to make my decision now. I’m going to break the fetters that hold me. Where are you?

Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

If you don’t hear his voice it’s too late. We are up against the heavenly Canaan. We are right against Jordan and can reflect on the Hebrews. They were being painstakingly led and all the way along they were murmuring and complaining and eventually he said alright then die in the wilderness and their children came along and have that memory.

The Adventist circles are dying in the wilderness. Where will you be? The intensity of the appeal of the Lord is so severe and as I hear him crying to me from such turn away. Don’t continue to walk with those people who are not walking with you in the beautiful truth. They don’t want what you believe. Are you hearing it? You can keep on dilly dallying and if you keep doing that you will harden your heart. Move according to the conviction of what the Lord Jesus shows you. Don’t stop and say wait Jesus I still want to do this and that. This is the last cry as it was to Judas in these last moments of earth’s history.

How do I know if Jesus has pleading my case? I can feel him, he is still there, when that is gone it’s gone. I’m still on that side of the fence. When the heart responds in its sleepy indifference and says I’ve heard all this before, but I will just pass on again after a powerful conviction that strikes me I go back to my old way. Jesus is there watching this going on and as the heart listens to his last call and its responded to by I’ve heard that before, he can cease his pleading for you. What does it say in the bible? Ephraim is joined to his idols leave him alone!

Are you joined to your idols? What are they? Your strong self-opinion, your children who don’t want to follow the Lord and the friends and relatives you like to spend time with or some of the pleasures that you know are not the pleasures of God. These and many others are idols and if I’m joined to my idol there is a point when Jesus says I can’t force you, I know what you are deciding with all my appeals, I will leave you alone.

I know what that feels like. As the Lord prods me to be a minster in his service and as I study with certain people I feel those who resist that and I don’t have any drive from the Lord left in me to go and seek them out because if I go and seek them out they squirm and carry on that they don’t really want that.

We can think we are doing missionary work with people who don’t want to hear you. If they don’t want to hear you don’t go to them. If they are interested they will say what about this and that. You will see there is smoke there. Jesus never quenched the smoking flax or broke the reed that was bruised as there are people that are still on the weighbridge and they are the ones you have to look for but not the ones who you have appealed to come. When they have said you are a fuddy duddy don’t bother them, leave them alone. Ephraim is joined to his idols leave them alone.

When the heart responds with zealous endeavour and you hear the voice I really love the Lord I’m hungering and thirsting for righteousness and there is resolute purpose to obey all of Gods ways. Jesus can say he that is doing this is righteous, let him be righteous still. As they go through the time of trouble it will be tough and hard but they can’t turn back as they have consolidated their position. He that is holy let him be holy still. Let us resolve to be ones at the last end of the declaration. This is what I want to finish with at the end as we want hope. God’s word is distinct and clear when he says probation is closed. Make a resolve today and renew it every day so it becomes habit and character and we will not turn back.

Posted on October 5, 2009, in The Close of Probation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Just wondering where I find the last 2 under: See also, it’d be good if there was a link.
    Thank you for the info, it was informative.

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