28. The Close of Probation

By John Thiel

Audio: Close of Probation

God said in Genesis the day you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall surely die. Eve saw the tree and that it was good. That was the beginning of the terrible demise of human character.

Job 33:24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

The everlasting gospel has provided a ransom. The human race has hope because of the ransom. Anyone that chooses to embrace the ransom and enters into a covenant relationship with Jesus can commence a path that he who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. That was the beginning of eternal life by believing in the everlasting gospel in the ransom.

Isaiah 61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted , to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

Through the ransom and the wonderful activities of the Godhead the remnant can launch out into practical progress which is identified that they shall build the old waste places.

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

The dawning of the day and the birth of a little baby is something that commences and grows. Righteousness becomes more and more developed.

However imperfect and sinful we may be, the Lord holds out to us the offer of partnership with Himself, of apprenticeship to Christ. He invites us to come under the divine instruction, that, uniting with Christ, we may work the works of God. {DA 297.1}

This is what the impact of the ransom is all about. The covenant, the everlasting gospel produces a people that can now progress. The progress is not something that you feverishly wear yourself out doing. You place yourself under Gods tuition.

Imperceptibly to ourselves, we are changed day by day from our own ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of his character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect his image. {RH, April 28, 1891 par. 2}

Our own evil will changes to the will of Christ. This we have to keep on remembering as we don’t feel we are changing.

Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing

This process, this growth development of adding character trait to character trait and the evil traits dropping off, all this is chronicled in heaven in the books of record that a person is registered into. There is another book of deeds that a person is doing. All is recorded in heaven as the person is developing. There is the registry of the book of remembrance and the registry of the sins. To examine the work and the justice of the master tradesman over his apprentices is what Revelation 14 addresses – fear God and give him the glory. The apprentice has the privilege of proceeding through the experience of learning and developing righteousness so they know they are heading for the day of graduation in which God will be glorified as he has trained them. In turn he will be glorified.

The angels and millions of inhabitants of the universe are watching how he has trained these apprentices so well. Their development and growth was our last our study ‘The Books of Heaven’ which God compares. As the books in which the growth of the person is identified and are being examined, God is working on us to show us where we are still not measuring up according to the picture of our life to the book of Gods law.

The books of heaven record the sins that would have been committed had there been opportunity. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. By His law He measures the character of every man. As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin (ST July 31, 1901). {5BC 1085.4}

The books record everything as the person’s life in the apprentice life is growing. In this apprenticeship, God is keeping records and he’s showing us you’ve got this that and the other to attend to. As the apprenticeship continues, point by point is dealt with. By understanding this principle under the three angel’s messages we can rejoice the Lord will take us through. You can either feel condemned or say thank you for showing me. We’re under an apprenticeship and we don’t need to feel miserable. This needs to be remembered so we can continually move on.

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: “God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.” Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: “They are joined to their idols, let them alone,” and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. {1T 187.1}

That is the work of the master tradesmen as he leads his apprentices to the final graduation. The grand final graduation is illustrated in the three angel’s messages story. Here under the third angel, is the expression of the graduation ceremony.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

There is the declaration, a righteous people. Those who have died in the process of the apprenticeship, blessed are they. They will be part of the graduation ceremony in which when they are perfected.

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.

This is when the graduation has been completed. His return depends upon the apprentices having reached their condition for graduation. He will lead them on point by point. Those who will stand every test will receive the latter rain and thus be fitted for translation.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye thereof re, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

They will be repairers of the breach. They are going to be the people that have repented of all their sins because of the ransom. As they are led step by step, when the work is completed, Jesus can come back.

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}

The character of Christ that he has been training us to achieve. The activity under the first, second and third angel’s messages is that Gods people are called to arise and participate.

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

This work of Jesus is echoed through out the scripture that the glory of God in the darkness of the perilous times in which we live will shine because of his tradesman capability. He will bring forth his righteousness in us. This is none other than Revelation 18. This angel’s work, this ministry is identified by which the glory of God will cover the whole earth.

Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Notice the earth was lightened with his glory. Here are a people that are to stand before the world to lighten it with Gods glory. This work, this proclamation, comes to a crescendo as we read in Isaiah – the earth was lightened with his glory. When this glory is seen, there is another voice from heaven that repeats the message. This is repeated from Isaiah where we read that those who have taken hold are again identified.

Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Babylon is fallen, the sins are laid open. What do they do as this powerful message is given? They say that they seek God daily. It talks about a people who think they are alright. Here is this message that you’re not alright. As the message you’re not alright is proclaimed by the people that are called upon to rise and shine, they restore old paths.

Isaiah 58:12 And [they that shall be] of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. 13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].

Right there at the very end are the people like we read in Revelation 14. They are crying aloud, they are the ones that are repairing the breach and demonstrating to the world not only by what they are saying but by their actions also as they will speak louder than their words. Here is the scenario of the period just before Jesus comes. The books in the heavenly sanctuary are being examined. The work or blotting out the sins and the progressive character building until such a people are carrying out the work. They may have been sinners in the past, but because they have continued the work and the books of heaven are cleared of their sin.

Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 18:22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

These are people who were unrighteous but they have turned away from their sins, kept his law and done his works and now all their sins will not be mentioned anymore. All the record of the sins that were once against him are no longer against him.  Those apprentices that did not participate are also addressed.

Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

The work of the apprenticeship is to take the apprentice to the point where they are as though they have not sinned.  The books concept and the sins that are blotted and not blotted out are identified.

Exodus 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

The Close of Probation

When the apprentices have been worked with, those who have done what God has taught them, their sins will be blotted out and their sins will not be mentioned. However, there are some who have not listened and who have continued to sin and have not progressed in their work.

Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and un-forgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. The Lord declared to Moses: “Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.” Exodus 32:33. And says the prophet Ezekiel: “When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, . . . all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned.” Ezekiel 18:24. {GC 483.1}

All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. The Lord declares, by the prophet Isaiah: “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25. Said Jesus: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.” “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.” Revelation 3:5; Matthew 10:32, 33. {GC 483.2}

This is the deep interest manifested in the amazing work of the judgement. As God works through the books there comes a point in time when each individuals name being examined finally closes. The sins of the righteous have all been blotted out and there is no more time. Those who will cherish and hold onto idols without repenting, the time comes when those people will be blotted out of the book.

Exodus 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

When he has covered every human being, we come to where the books are all clearly marked;

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. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

That’s when probation has closed and then Jesus can come. Behold I come quickly. When that declaration has been made, then he comes.

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Until two thousand and three hundred evenings [and] mornings: then shall the sanctuary be vindicated.

The blotting out of the sins of those repented is completed. All the bad traits are removed.

Deuteronomy 32:32 For their vine [is] of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes [are] grapes of gall, their clusters [are] bitter: 33 Their wine [is] the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. 34 [Is] not this laid up in store with me, [and] sealed up among my treasures?

Among Gods beautiful treasures in the sanctuary are the records of those things there. When probation has closed all those things are cleansed. The people whose names are in the heavenly sanctuary have been dealt with and measured. When they have been measured in the books of heaven, then probation closes.

Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months

The only things recorded in heaven are of the people who worship therein. Those who are worshipping in the name of Jesus Christ have their name written there. By the time we arrive at the close of probation, all things must be blotted out.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 [It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Like the earthly sanctuary had to be cleansed every year on the Day of Atonement we see Jesus now appearing in the holy place to remove and purify.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

That is why when everything has been restored then he can come. When all the people of God have had their sins confessed then he will return without sin. Before, he appeared with our sin but then without. When he is finished, his sin experience and the sin experience of the people is not there anymore.

Summary

Probation closes when the apprenticeship of believers is completed. Those who have died before Jesus started the second apartment work, their names come up first. The people after 1844 are being sealed and are settling into the truth until they cannot be moved. Those who come up from 1844 onward but who die along the way, probation closes at their death, as their work is completed. All sins are revealed and repented of. The careless that pass by all that work, are also dealt with and blotted out.

The books, the living records are erased of everything that is impure including the sinners that have remained. All that is left is purity in heaven. That is the close of probation. The blotting out of the records in heaven means no more books being opened. There are records that will come up after the 1000 years. The sanctuary is cleansed of the sins of the righteous only. After the 1000 years the wicked will be dealt with.

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: “God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.” Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness {1T 187.1}

Amen.

Posted on October 6, 2009, in 1st Angels Message, The Close of Probation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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