2. Light In A Dark Place of the Human Heart

By John Thiel, Light in a Dark Place Seminar, Study 2, mp3

The hymn Christ Is Knocking at My Sad Heart speaks of a natural condition that our heart is in. “Cold and proud is my heart with sin, dark and cheerless is all within.”  My heart is dark and cheerless. The words “light in a dark place” are recorded in 2 Peter 1, and we have taken them as a leading thought all the way through this series, showing us how prophecy illuminates our pathway.

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

I love this Bible text; it deals with prophecy and your heart. Who would have thought, with all the studies of prophecy that people have pursued, that that has to do with light in your heart? Prophecy, to many Adventists who have been brought up under prophetic teachings, has become very dry and factual. It is very exciting for the time to think that we can know the future, but what has it got to do with a light in my dark heart? The world in sin is always dark. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned darkness began to roll upon this planet. But there were certain times in the Bible that revealed extra darkness – darkness denser than before. These were the three dark areas of this planet earth:

  • The days of Noah;
  • The days prior to the first advent of Jesus;
  • And the days just prior to the second advent of Jesus.

The Time of Noah

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Apart from Noah and his family the planet was in darkness. Only evil imagination and thoughts continually. That was the darkness.

Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

So dark and so pitch-black was it that God said it can’t go on any longer than a hundred and twenty years. There, in the darkness, shone the message to Noah.

The Time of Jesus

At the first advent of Jesus Christ, when He first arrived on this planet to save humanity, there was a time of gross darkness.

Matthew 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, [by] the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

There was a prophecy that identified a very bleak, black and dark time, just as Christ came the first time. Just like in Noah’s time, the imagination of the heart was dark:

The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. {DA 22.1} 

The earth was dark through misapprehension of God.” How could it be so dark when the Jews were God’s church? What was the cause of the darkness?

As the Jews had departed from God, faith had grown dim, and hope had well-nigh ceased to illuminate the future. {DA 32.4}

Darkness, no hope. The Jews were departing, and had departed from God. Here is the darkness:

The words of the prophets were uncomprehended. To the masses of the people, death was a dread mystery; beyond was uncertainty and gloom. {DA 32.4}

…the Jews had sought to make a monopoly of the truth which is eternal life. They had hoarded the living manna, and it had turned to corruption. {DA 36.1} 

The very truths that God had given to the Jews were turned into corruption.

The religion which they tried to shut up to themselves became an offense. They robbed God of His glory, and defrauded the world by a counterfeit of the gospel. They had refused to surrender themselves to God for the salvation of the world, and they became agents of Satan for its destruction. {DA 36.1} 

Oh yes, the Jews were working, but they were working to create more gloom in the hearts of the people.

The ordinances which God Himself had appointed were made the means of blinding the mind and hardening the heart. {DA 36.2} 

Can you imagine the great darkness? The very things that God had given were aiding the darkness because of the way it was being handled.

God could do no more for man through these channels. The whole system must be swept away. {DA 36.2}

The deception of sin had reached its height. All the agencies for depraving the souls of men had been put in operation. The Son of God, looking upon the world, beheld suffering and misery. With pity He saw how men had become victims of satanic cruelty. He looked with compassion upon those who were being corrupted, murdered, and lost. They had chosen a ruler who chained them to his car as captives. Bewildered and deceived, they were moving on in gloomy procession toward eternal ruin,–to death in which is no hope of life, toward night to which comes no morning. Satanic agencies were incorporated with men. The bodies of human beings, made for the dwelling place of God, had become the habitation of demons. The senses, the nerves, the passions, the organs of men, were worked by supernatural agencies in the indulgence of the vilest lust. The very stamp of demons was impressed upon the countenances of men. Human faces reflected the expression of the legions of evil with which they were possessed. Such was the prospect upon which the world’s Redeemer looked. What a spectacle for Infinite Purity to behold! {DA 36.3}

I thought it valuable to see the description of this darkness that Jesus came to. How did the darkness come into existence? God’s own people, God’s own church, had so misconstrued God’s life-giving word that the people who were practising the very things that Jesus had given them, were in total darkness. Such was the case then, and Jesus then illuminates our time.

Our Time

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

The darkness of Noah’s day is today. The darkness at the first advent of Jesus, is the darkness of today. The description of this darkness is also given in Isaiah 60:1-2, especially in verse 2:

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 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.  

What period of time is this talking about? The time that the prophet was looking at was here described as he looked into the sky; he says:

Isaiah 60:8 Who [are] these [that] fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

When Isaiah sees these structures flying up in the clouds, and coming down as birds to their windows; this is the period that this is talking about: gross darkness – when airplanes are flying, and coming down to their airports. We are living in gross darkness, in a dark place. What was involved in that? The heart of man is confused and bewildered. A sad comment in comparison to light. Not knowing which way to turn. Mental blindness. Let us examine the measure that Christ took to lift the darkness of His time. What did Jesus do with the darkness that He looked upon? His church was as sheep without shepherds:

Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Jesus had just been baptised, and upon His head lighted the dove, and there He was anointed at His baptism. That was A.D. 27. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” What was He pointing to? He was pointing to Daniel chapter 9, verse 25:

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  

From the time of the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 457 B.C. there would be “seven weeks, and three score and two weeks.” 62 + 7 = 69. They were so many days to the point of the Messiah. It was a prophecy. The word Messiah means “Anointed”. If you work out from 457 B.C. and add this figure [69 prophetic weeks=483 literal years], it takes you to A.D. 27, when Jesus was baptised. There He was the Messiah. He came back from the wilderness temptation and there He came by the illumination of prophecy and declared, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. All who would have studied prophecy would have had the light in the darkness. Messiah would have been risen in their hearts. There were only two people that knew – Simeon and Anna. They knew; the others did not. Two people knew who He was. The wise men from the east read their books, and they knew who He was. Prophecy illuminated the hearts of Simeon and Anna, and they praised the Lord. In the darkness of their old age they had light in their hearts. How did Jesus identify the kingdom of heaven? This is what He was saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. And the Jews expected the kingdom. They expected the Messiah to be a king with power. Yes, Jesus had plenty of power. But He described the kingdom of heaven in Luke 17. Here is the reason why they did not recognise the light in a dark place. The Pharisees, the leaders of the church were on His heel all the time:

Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with outward show [margin]: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 

The kingdom of God is at hand. Where is the darkness? Where is the light to shine through prophecy? We read in Peter that the daystar would arise in your heart. Here was the darkness: in the heart and mind. Prophecy was to illuminate the heart.

The kingdom of God begins in the heart. Look not here or there for manifestations of earthly power to mark its coming. {DA 506.2} 

Isn’t this always what we are looking for? Some sort of external, glorious manifestation by which we can recognise that this is the kingdom of God? No, don’t look here or there for earthly power to mark its coming.

“The days will come,” He said, turning to His disciples, “when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.” Because it is not attended by worldly pomp, you are in danger of failing to discern the glory of My mission. {DA 506.3}

We want to see a church with external pomp gloriously carrying the victories of more people in the church, of great external ceremonialism, and social joys. That’s what we want! That’s what the Jews wanted. And because we want that, it says, “You are in danger of failing to discern the glory of My mission.

You do not realize how great is your present privilege in having among you, though veiled in humanity, Him who is the life and the light of men. The days will come when you will look back with longing upon the opportunities you now enjoy to walk and talk with the Son of God. {DA 506.3}

Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God. {DA 509.4}

Everything else is not the real thing. What a let-down. That is why a lot of the disciples left Jesus. It wasn’t going to be grandiose. They thought He was going to be a Messiah with power, but He kept on disappointing them. Indeed even His disciples didn’t understand. What is described about this beautiful light, the daystar arising back then? What was the darkness that He came upon to illuminate? False concepts of mind kept them in darkness, although Jesus was right there.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

The darkness comprehended it not because the darkness expected external manifestation of glory. Where was the problem? In the heart. That is where the light had to break and illuminate. The daystar had to arise in the heart. The disciples were also included in this statement that, “the darkness comprehended it not.

Because of their selfishness and earthliness, even the disciples of Jesus could not comprehend the spiritual glory which He sought to reveal unto them. {DA 506.4} 

What was their darkness? What is our darkness? Selfishness and earthliness.

It was not until after Christ’s ascension to His Father, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believers, that the disciples fully appreciated the Saviour’s character and mission. After they had received the baptism of the Spirit, they began to realize that they had been in the very presence of the Lord of glory. As the sayings of Christ were brought to their remembrance, their minds were opened to comprehend the prophecies, {DA 506.4} 

You see, prophecy is the big light, and they didn’t even comprehend the prophecy.

…their minds were opened to comprehend the prophecies, and to understand the miracles which He had wrought. The wonders of His life passed before them, and they were as men awakened from a dream. {DA 506.4} 

Can you identify what expectations we have naturally in our hearts? I know what mine have been – like theirs, a believer, but totally in a dream world. O that we would stop dreaming! Jesus is my Saviour, and I am dreaming when I am not doing what He is saying; when I don’t trust Him; when I don’t really put my whole weight upon Him. How can He be my Saviour then? So many people are dreaming, as the disciples were; dreaming of the Messiah who was with them. They recognised that He was the Messiah, but they didn’t know what He was about. They were dreaming; they were dreaming of pomp and ceremony, of Him being the King over Israel. How many dreamers are there today?

They realized that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. Christ had actually come from God to a sinful world to save the fallen sons and daughters of Adam. The disciples now seemed, to themselves, of much less importance than before they realized this. {DA 506.4}

What was the problem? They thought they were important, and they were the followers of Jesus; they were God’s church on earth. How important do we feel if we think we are God’s church? The disciples thought that, but now that they were illuminated by the Holy Spirit they “seemed, to themselves, of much less importance than before they realized this.

They never wearied of rehearsing His words and works. His lessons, which they had but dimly understood, now came to them as a fresh revelation. The Scriptures became to them a new book. {DA 506.4}

A herald had been sent from God to proclaim the coming of Christ, and to call the attention of the Jewish nation and of the world to His mission, that men might prepare for His reception. The wonderful personage whom John had announced had been among them for more than thirty years, and they had not really known Him as the One sent from God. Remorse took hold of the disciples because they had allowed the prevailing unbelief to leaven their opinions and becloud their understanding. {DA 508.1}

O brethren, I can identify with this. How many years I have had wrong concepts which, as they began to unravel in my mind according to the truth, I thought I was doing something wrong in believing that, because it was so contrary to the prevailing teachings.

The Light of this dark world had been shining amid its gloom, and they had failed to comprehend whence were its beams. They asked themselves why they had pursued a course that made it necessary for Christ to reprove them. They often repeated His conversations, and said, Why did we allow earthly considerations and the opposition of priests and rabbis to confuse our senses, so that we did not comprehend that a greater than Moses was among us, that One wiser than Solomon was instructing us? How dull were our ears! how feeble was our understanding! {DA 508.1}

They did not know. Why? Because of the unbelief of that time. Their own hearts were darkened. When was it that the daystar arose in their hearts? When did Jesus arise as the actual daystar in the darkness of their hearts?

As the disciples searched the prophecies that testified of Christ, they were brought into fellowship with the Deity, {DA 507.1}

When did they come into fellowship with the Deity? When they searched the prophecies that testified of Christ. The real Jesus was in front of them and they did not recognize Him, until they searched the prophecies. As you read this, think carefully of our time. Here are important principles.

…they were brought into fellowship with the Deity, and learned of Him who had ascended to heaven to complete the work He had begun on earth. They recognized the fact that in Him dwelt knowledge which no human being, unaided by divine agency, could comprehend. They needed the help of Him whom kings, prophets, and righteous men had foretold. With amazement they read and reread the prophetic delineations of His character and work. {DA 507.1}

Where did they read them from? The Old Testament. His character and His work were written in the prophecies.

How dimly had they comprehended the prophetic scriptures! how slow they had been in taking in the great truths which testified of Christ! Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood the mystery of His incarnation, the dual character of His nature. Their eyes were holden, so that they did not fully recognize divinity in humanity. But after they were illuminated by the Holy Spirit, how they longed to see Him again, and to place themselves at His feet! How they wished that they might come to Him, and have Him explain the scriptures which they could not comprehend! How attentively would they listen to His words! What had Christ meant when He said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now”? John 16:12. How eager they were to know it all! They grieved that their faith had been so feeble, that their ideas had been so wide of the mark, that they had so failed of comprehending the reality. {DA 507.1}

How did they comprehend the reality? By the Holy Spirit, in the study of the prophecies. In the prophecies they saw the Daystar arising in their heart. Is it any different for us? As I read this, and as I meditated upon it, once again the Lord illuminated my mind to reflect back on how I have been brought up in this generation. I took everything taught me as the reality, but then I discovered, Oh, was I in darkness. One glimmer after the other came into light, and the daystar arose when I was 16, in the study of the 1888 message by Waggoner and Jones. There was just the beginning, just the daystar. There was still darkness, but the daystar was there. When does the daystar arise? At the time of the night when it’s the darkest. There He arose in my heart, but I was still in terrible darkness. What I grew up with in the Seventh-day Adventist church was no different to what the disciples grew up with in the church of the Jews. Yes, they had the truth, but the truth was so contorted that you relied upon outward manifestation of the kingdom of heaven. They wanted to have big accessions to the church, big buildings, big public fairs, big public missions, and they claimed that this was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And people are still waiting for even greater demonstrations.

This is what we anticipate because when we read Revelation chapter 18, verses 1 to 4, it is written this way. So why shouldn’t it be this way?

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.

Oho! Isn’t that what we expect?

Revelation 18:2 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.  

Then Sister White’s statements come in and say that there is going to be a great revival, and thousands will leave the churches, and we imagine, “Ah, yes! Glory, power!” and that is what we are waiting for. We anticipate something different to the reality. Jesus said, The hour is come, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. It is time now. From 1888 to now, it is time; and it’s been coming, but not with outward show. As in His coming He was the Light of the world, is there anybody more light and bright than Jesus? The angel here, of Revelation 18, wasn’t Jesus as such, but he comes “having great power; and the earth” is “lightened with his glory.” Wasn’t Jesus the light? and how was the light received? The darkness comprehended it not. Yes, it covered the world, but persecution followed. The darkness did the same thing to the disciples as it did to Jesus. If that was the case back then, is it true that those descriptions are not going to be recognised in the darkness today either?

It is as true now as in apostolic days, that without the illumination of the divine Spirit, humanity cannot discern the glory of Christ. The truth and the work of God are unappreciated by a world-loving and compromising Christianity. {DA 508.4}

By what? Christianity – a Christianity that is comprising and world-loving. It will not appreciate the truth and the work of God. Examine yourself closely.

Not in the ways of ease, of earthly honor or worldly conformity, are the followers of the Master found. {DA 508.4}

Where is this angel?

They are far in advance, in the paths of toil, and humiliation, and reproach, {DA 508.4}

That’s where these angel people are. No glory that, “We are the church triumphant, look at us all.” Nothing like that at all. They are simply keeping their shoulder to the grindstone. “Not in the ways of ease, of earthly honor or worldly conformity;” no earthly honour, but rather, humiliation, reproach, toil. No celebration. You can hear it nowadays. It’s been going on for many years, “Come and celebrate.”

They are far in advance, in the paths of toil, and humiliation, and reproach, in the front of the battle against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:12, R. V. And now, as in Christ’s day, they are misunderstood and reproached and oppressed by the priests and Pharisees of their time. {DA 508.4}

What were the priests and Pharisees? They were the leaders of God’s church in the time of Christ. How are these faithful ones of today treated? They are misunderstood, reproached and oppressed by the priests and Pharisees of their time.

The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, but by the gentleness of the inspiration of His word, by the operation of His Spirit in the soul. His work in many places of the world would now be much farther advanced had not man interposed between the people and God, to do a work God has not appointed.–Letter 93, July 3, 1900, to Elder G. A. Irwin, president of the General Conference. {TDG 193.4} 

Think about it. For those that were working on the forefront, the work of God “in many places of the world would now be much farther advanced had man not interposed between the people and God, to do a work God has not appointed.” That was written to Elder G. A. Irwin (president of the General Conference) in 1900, because that is what the church did back then. And there is no new thing under the sun. To appreciate the preciousness of the Saviour as the disciples did after His ascension, ponder what they came to realise as they were looking through the prophecies. What did they come to realise?

Christ had actually come from God to a sinful world to save the fallen sons and daughters of Adam. The disciples now seemed, to themselves, of much less importance than before they realized this. {DA 506.4}

That is what the disciples came to realise – they attributed far less importance to themselves. The disciples did not discern what Jesus was really about. Why? Because they were so full of themselves. When did they realise who Jesus was? When they realised that they were so small in their own eyes.

The only way in which we can gain a more perfect apprehension of truth is by keeping the heart tender and subdued by the Spirit of Christ. The soul must be cleansed from vanity and pride, and vacated of all that has held it in possession, and Christ must be enthroned within. Human science is too limited to comprehend the atonement. The plan of redemption is so far-reaching that philosophy cannot explain it. It will ever remain a mystery that the most profound reasoning cannot fathom. The science of salvation cannot be explained; but it can be known by experience. {DA 494.4} 

What is the experience?

Only he who sees his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour. {DA 494.4} 

Who only? Who will see the preciousness of the Saviour? Who will see the light in a dark place? He who knows the darkness of his heart, he who knows and sees his own sinfulness. Say, are you encouraged? How many times has it come to your attention what a sinful person you are? How many times have I heard from every member in this church, It’s too big, I’m too bad; and all the rest of it. Rejoice! You can discern the preciousness of the Saviour. “Only he,” and he alone, “who sees” himself, “his own sinfulness can discern the preciousness of the Saviour.” We have reason to come out of this divine service today with rejoicing in our hearts, whilst the rest of the Christian world is full of self, saying, “We are the church! we are the ones!” They are full of self, just like the disciples. They cannot see the Revelation 18 angel. He may be right amongst us all, the Spirit of God may be falling on hearts all around us, and it is not discerned. Why? Because they don’t see their sinfulness. Only when you know the true nature of your own heart, its gross darkness, does Jesus’ incarnation become alive and His glory vivified in your heart. The Pharisees couldn’t; they were too proud. The leaders of the church can’t see it! The moment that you have position in God’s church, tell me, those of you who have gained positions in the church, look back at when you gained that position, what sort of sentiments were going through your system? I saw it enacted in front of me: we begin to tell members what they should know because I know. That is what position does to the natural heart. You get it wherever you go with people in position, like the Pharisees.

But we must have a knowledge of ourselves, a knowledge that will result in contrition, before we can find pardon and peace. The Pharisee felt no conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit could not work with him. His soul was encased in a self-righteous armor which the arrows of God, barbed and true-aimed by angel hands, failed to penetrate. {COL 158.1}

Have you ever felt it? You didn’t want to hear it, did you? The word of God came as an arrow, and you had an armour on, “No! that doesn’t belong to me.” That is what the Pharisee did. It was barbed, “How cruel, how dare the preacher say that!” when you knew full well it pointed directly at you. It was carefully aimed by angels at your heart. But the Pharisee puts on the armour and says, That doesn’t belong to me.

It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. {COL 158.1}

Rejoice, brethren and sisters. Let the Lord strike you. Let Him dig deep with that barbed arrow, because then you can be saved. You can’t be saved any other way.

He came “to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18. But “they that are whole need not a physician.” Luke 5:31. We must know our real condition, or we shall not feel our need of Christ’s help. We must understand our danger [and this frightens you], or we shall not flee to the refuge. We must feel the pain of our wounds, or we should not desire healing. {COL 158.1}

Is the Lord at work in your life? Is He creating wounds? Is He doing barbed-attacks on your personality, on your high opinion of yourself? Brethren and sisters, He is doing it to me all the time; and I thank Him for it, because I know He is saving me. When I see people squirming and distressed around me because they don’t like what’s being done to them through the word, I pray, Lord, please, help them to acknowledge and to give over, rather than to keep on resisting it.

How does prophecy reveal our condition in God’s church militant today? We read it in Revelation 3. The message is addressed “unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans.” Who is the angel? The Pharisees of today, the leaders of God’s church. The True Witness says to them, You do not know that you are wretched, miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. You don’t know it; you are in the dark. He is appealing to them like He appealed to the Pharisees. The reality of the Laodicean period of the three angels and the Revelation 18 angel in prophecy, demonstrates to us that:

Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. {FLB 333.6}

This is the Laodicean declaration. This beautiful message to Laodicea is being blunted and blocked like it was in the days of Christ; and He will be rejected again.

When you feel totally overwhelmed, when you feel totally broken down within your heart by the darkness of sin in your heart, and you sink in the mire of your sense of separation from God, then consider the prophecy of Jesus Christ. Read these prophecies (Psalms 40, 22, 69). They are the prophecies of Jesus’ character and sufferings. The description that is given in Psalm 40 is the description of your and my sinfulness. That was the prophecy of Christ. This is the purpose of our study of God’s word, that when we see ourselves as we really are, and we feel totally depraved, totally black in the heart – when I can feel it, when I can see that I am wounded – I may behold Him:

Psalm 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

Jesus is speaking.

Psalm 40:11 Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. 12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.  

Has your heart ever got very close to failure as you considered your condition? Here is Jesus in the dark. This is the prophecy of Christ’s experience. What is your heart like? How do you feel when you are overwhelmed with the condition of your sin?

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. … 6 But I [am] a worm, and no man;

Is that how you feel when you are overwhelmed with a true understanding of your condition? Don’t resist it. That is where God wants you, so that you can see yourself with Jesus.

Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.  

Can you see the daystar arising in your heart? As this prophecy is studied, the true sinner sees Jesus shining in his dark heart.

Psalms 69:1 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto [my] soul. 2 I sink in deep mire, where [there is] no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. … 5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

Have you ever talked like that? Have you ever felt like that?

Psalm 69:14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters. 15 Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me. … 20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked [for some] to take pity, but [there was] none; and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Is Jesus arising in your dark heart? Brethren, these scriptures I had never heard of before until I was 16 years of age. I had never heard people preach to me that these scriptures were pointing to Jesus. When I preach this now, people look at me all funny, and say, You can’t apply those scriptures to Jesus. Well, if we don’t we will not be saved, because when the reality of my sinfulness comes fully to my appreciation, if I do not see Jesus there with me, I have no hope. In my dark heart Jesus the Daystar wants to arise. He has come right there into my dark heart’s experience. Ever since 1888 Waggoner and Jones presented Christ our Righteousness, which was the beginning of the Revelation 18 angel. Who today embraces these realities? Who today realises everything that was proclaimed through these scriptures at the hand of these men whom God had sent to the church? In my experience it is like a dry desert of souls and ministers preaching this subject. It doesn’t come out. Only a very small remnant are taking hold of this message in all its beauty. It has been spread across the world and the darkness comprehended it not; they rejected it. Why? Because it penetrates into the heart, and the heart doesn’t want to know about it. I do not want to know how desperately sinful I really am. I don’t want to know it. Do you? Be honest. None of us do. But if we will not resist it, then, as the message of 1888 is showing me my true condition, as the Holy Spirit is revealing my earthliness and selfishness, as the angels shoot those barbed arrows and strike directly at our areas of life that we still cling on to with dear strength; if we don’t resist, it will destroy that, and it will be painful. But as it shows me what I am, I will see Jesus in my heart. Those who tremble at His word, the little remnant, they will benefit from this light:

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

What are we carrying in our body? The dying of the Lord Jesus. What is that? Psalms 69, 40 and 22. We are always carrying that. What does that mean? I will always know my sinfulness; I will always be aware of my depravity, and I will see Jesus right there, in the very dying and resurrection again, constantly and effectively doing its work. God grant us the steadfastness and the decision to be included among that remnant.

Amen.

Posted on October 8, 2009, in Divine Service Sermons, Light in a Dark Place of the Remnant Church and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great sermon. I believe we are close to His second advent, don’t you? I’m praying for his return regardless. Thanks for sharing your message with us.
    Blessings,
    Mark

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