21. Unquestioning Obedience

Warning: This sermon has been misconstrued and is being referenced at two negative websites attacking this ministry. Please note John Thiel was speaking in the third person speaking of what God would say to us about obedience. It is not John Thiel telling people what to do. 

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

An aspect of the sanctuary on earth, which typified the heavenly sanctuary, was the ark of the covenant, where the shekinah glory, God’s glory, shone. And this represented His throne in heaven. In the sanctuary message there was the Day of the Atonement, which represented in type the beginning of the hour of God’s judgment.

Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 

Here is the beginning of the Day of Atonement in the heavenly sanctuary. Notice it says, I behold till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit. “The Ancient of days.” That is a very meaningful title to the Father. He is the one of entire experience, more than anyone else beside Him. He is the one who knows all things and who has the experience of all things. He is the one who is worthy of all worship, and most of all, in terms of the study of this moment, worthy of unquestioning obedience. In the work of the Day of Atonement in the heavenly sanctuary, God is at work to have a people absolutely pure before He finishes His judging. We are told that God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character in the sanctuary above, and He is comparing that photograph of our character with His law. He is revealing to us the things that mar our life, and is calling upon us to repent and turn from those things, so that when Jesus comes this may be true of us:

1 John 3:2 Beloved, 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.

This is the work of the Ancient of days together with the Son of man, according to the way it was written in Daniel (7:14) – the Son of man came to the Ancient of days. The work is to purify a people to be like Him. As it says, When He appears we will be like Him for we shall see Him as He is, and every man that has this hope in him purifies himself. God is at work, and man is at work to purify himself. As the names of God’s people come up in the books of the sanctuary, their names will be passed as being perfect. Those who are living in the time of the judgment are still purifying themselves even as He is pure.

As we examine ourselves in this time of judgment, we realize that there are still things that I must be purified in. I am not yet pure. But as we awaken to the reality of our lack of purity and perfection of His character, there is this troubling question that comes and says, How long are You going to wait, how long is this purification supposed to be going on for? How much longer?

The following statement is a very serious reflection on the fact that the judgment had commenced in 1844, and now we are in the year 2010. How much longer do we have?

The day is at hand. For the lessons to be learned, the work to be done, the transformation of character to be effected, the time remaining is but too brief a span. {Ed 184.2} 

That was written in E. G. White’s time. How much of a time span do we have now? Back there she was saying, It is but too brief a span. Therefore there is this serious question of the need of hastening the process, because time is nearly out. How much longer do we have? Too short a span. We are reflecting upon this work that we are involved in this time of the judgment.

I saw that those who of late have embraced the truth would have to know what it is to suffer for Christ’s sake, that they would have trials to pass through that would be keen and cutting, in order that they may be purified and fitted through suffering to receive the seal of the living God, pass through the time of trouble, see the King in His beauty, and dwell in the presence of God and of pure, holy angels. {EW 67.1}

In coming to the truth of the things that we are studying here – something which Adventist today are telling me, Oh, I haven’t heard these things before – as we now hear them, so many years after they were first presented, the reality of this statement becomes even more serious. We would have to know what it is to suffer for Christ’s sake. There would be trials to pass through that would be keen and cutting. This helps us to appreciate what happens to us every time we decide to move forward in the present truth. All of a sudden we meet this sort of negativity.

As I saw what we must be in order to inherit glory, and then saw how much Jesus had suffered to obtain for us so rich an inheritance, I prayed that we might be baptized into Christ’s sufferings, {EW 67.2}

What did Jesus learn by sufferings? He learnt obedience by the things which He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). This is the key of what this research is all about. We must look at Jesus who suffered to obtain for us such an inheritance.

I prayed that we might be baptized into Christ’s sufferings, that we might not shrink at trials, but bear them with patience and joy, knowing what Jesus had suffered that we through His poverty and sufferings might be made rich. {EW 67.2}

Through His suffering we might be made righteous, if we join in with Him.

Said the angel, “Deny self; ye must step fast.” Some of us have had time to get the truth and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. They will also have much to unlearn and much to learn again. (June 27, 1850) {EW 67.2}

This is the present message for us as we stand in the judgment hour. We are to be purified and if we haven’t made progress in the past, now it has to happen really fast.

Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. {COL 65.2}

Because sanctification is the work of a lifetime, the question that now poses itself is, Why is it generally the work of a life time? Why does it take so long? Why so much time is needed that it takes the work of a lifetime? The problem isn’t with God, it is with us. We can see what the problem is in Jeremiah 17:

Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah [is] written with a pen of iron, [and] with the point of a diamond: [it is] graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; 

We remember when we studied the sanctuary of our heart and of our body, we saw that there were horns there. There are the recordings of our habits, in the horns of our spinal cord and of our brain. They are embedded there and impregnated, as it were by the point of a diamond and written with a pen of iron. It is really entrenched in us, and to change is the problem. This is reiterated here in a different analogy:

Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? [then] may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. 

Accustomed is the key word. We are accustomed, or, as it says in the margin, “taught” from babyhood. We are conditioned to certain expectations because what is inscribed into the developing mind of a baby continues to grow and develop as we grow older. We are in a condition as the Ethiopian with his dark skin or the leopard with his spots, and to change that is an impossibility. Then, being accustomed to do something by force of habit, if that has to be changed and a new habit has to be developed, that is a slow process, even with God’s help, to alter the whole course of my makeup. We are a people who won’t budge unless convinced of something, we are a people who want to have proof before we change, and when we are convicted of something it takes time to even change after conviction. God knows this. In the little time span that we still have to be prepared for the finishing of His work in the sanctuary, does God leave us to this painstaking slowness when He knows He wants to get us ready fast? Can He show us a quicker way than the work of a lifetime? The scripture of Romans 9:28 is a very relevant one to the people living in these last days under the hour of God’s judgment. This is the announcement of what God will do in His closing judgment work:

Romans 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut [it] short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 

For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness. He will make a short work upon the earth, His work in righteousness. This scripture tells us that in the short span of time, which is too short to have the sanctification of a lifetime, the Lord is going to do a quick work, because we do not have a lifetime left. When God cuts short His work of sanctification, how does He propose to do it fast, with people like us, a people who wait to be convicted, who wait to understand before they can see that, Yes I’ve got to change this; a people waiting for that, and who even then have a hard time of realigning their habits? The key to this question, as to how He proposes to hasten the process, is found in Isaiah 1. God reveals to us the sins that mar our life, and calls upon us to repent and turn from sin. He gets into the work, He points this out to us. He doesn’t wait for us to discover it.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

You discover things about yourself that are really, brilliantly red. You see red, you see a hopeless state of condemnation, of sin and blood guiltiness. He says, Even though I’m reasoning with you and showing you the depravity of your state:

Isaiah 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]. 

This is the judgment that is to follow the examination. As He is examining us, He says, “Alright, I am going to convince you, let us reason together. I am going to show you, I am going to make a quick work with you, I am going to really reveal your dire condition, and as I reveal it to you, if you be willing and obedient, you will not be destroyed.” Here is the key. In our day to day life emergency revelations will come up before us in His orchestrations, and decisions need to be made that have to be very quick, decisions to do what God says, no matter how contrary it is to my Ethiopian nature, to my condition. What is the procedure if you are in an emergency?

Say you are on board the Titanic and the boat is sinking, there are orders coming from the captain, what is the procedure? Can you stop and say, “What is going on, do we really have to do this? I can’t see the ship sinking yet.” There is no room for discussion, it is just blankly obeying the orders for the emergency’s sake, to get out of the ship before it sinks. There is no time for discussion, no time for dialogue when an emergency is there.

Submission must be given to the most experienced – the captain of the ship – without long discussion. In this sinking ship in which we are, this earth, it’s just about over, it’s just about finished now, it’s just about to go gurgling down, and we can already see that the lurching is quite severe, the Ancient of days is reasoning with us. He says, If you be willing and obedient, follow the instructions. If you are willing and obedient we can hasten the process. You can escape before you drown. In other words, Trust me, saith the Lord, just do as I say, we will understand afterwards. I haven’t got time to understand anymore. Is there a scripture that actually suggest that? Do the right thing, and then you’ll understand afterwards?

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself. 

If any man will do His will, then he will know.

If we ever know the truth, it will be because we practice it. {CT 97.2} 

Do what you are told and ask questions after. That is what it boils down to. Then, there comes a fearful suggestion in today’s modern thinking that is challenged, Am I to obey blindly then? Can’t I understand before I obey? Again, Scripture tells us that we are to obey blindly.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

The evidence of things not seen. You can’t see it, but you do it. Noah built an ark, did he see rain? He blindly obeyed. It was impossible, there had never been rain, ever, he didn’t even know what rain was. He couldn’t see it, but he blindly obeyed. That is faith. The things we do at this time may not be sensible to all the sense of appearance. God tells us to do something and we just do it even though I can’t see the wisdom of it. This is what I often muse over as I communicate things without giving lots of Bible texts, but just principles that are gained from the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy, people are very quick to disagree. Then when we finally convince them of the statements by getting a whole lot of scriptures and statements together, then they still have a big struggle because it was so entrenched that they couldn’t see it. Here is what God is saying to us, Come now and let us reason together, you are in an emergency, you need to change quickly. The only way to change now is to blindly obey in an emergency. We haven’t got a lifetime to prepare for His coming. To follow blindly is a very scary experience. But who are you following blindly?

A vision was given to Ellen White where they were travelling along the narrow pathway. As they were travelling, it got narrower and narrower, and then it got so narrow that they had to take off their shoes, they had to take off their socks, and walk barefooted because it got so narrow. Then some cords were hanging from the top because there was a very sheer cliff wall on one side and the chasm on the other, and this narrow path was very easy to topple so they had these cords that hung from above, and they were able to steady themselves. But as they went on, the cords got thicker and thicker and the path got narrower and narrower, until finally they got to the end of it, and there was a huge chasm and on the other side was the heavenly Canaan. By now the cords were so big that they could actually put their arms around them, they were as thick as a man’s body. Before they got to the promised land, there was a total dependence on those ropes, and now was the big question, Do we have trust that we can actually have nothing under our feet anymore, and just swing across to the other side over that chasm of time which is before we enter Canaan, before we are ready for Jesus?

This is the imagery. It is a scary thing to simply obey without reason, to simply obey blindly. We have the evidence that those cords had been steadying us beforehand, but now they are so thick and we have to rely totally on them. What an object lesson for this study. To swing across and obey, just hanging on tight, We have hold from above, this is the term that was expressed in the vision. James White was the first one to swing over, and when the call came out, We have hold from above, he took hold of the rope and he swung across to the other side, and the others followed him. Who are we hanging on to? The Lord has given us enough evidence over a long period of time so that every question that we have has been answered, and He has given us plenty of proof. We have already been able to rely on Him, and now comes the point where we still have to rely on something that we can’t even see or sense, we can’t be convinced anymore, because we haven’t got enough time. We have to hang on tight, just blindly. We can blindly obey the one who has proven Himself to be trustworthy.

Jeremiah 32:18 Thou showest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, [is] his name, 19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes [are] open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: 

In all that we have seen through the studies of the sanctuary and of the three angels’ messages we have such evidence that we can trust this Mighty God who is great in counsel and mighty in work. He has already given us so much evidence to trust Him. In verse 27 He challenges us with this thought:

Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I [am] the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? 

God is going to cut short His work in righteousness and He says, Let me take over. If you be willing and obedient, then you will come through, you will eat the good of the land. What a fitting statement. Hang on to the rope, you will end up on the other side, just trust.

Psalms 48:14 For this God [is] our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide [even] unto death. 

He will guide. We can follow His guidance. He will tell us, Do this, do that; as a guide telling us what to do, we can trust Him. The most precious statement of them all is in Romans 8. Has he not proven Himself already?

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Ponder this scripture. Has God given us enough evidence to follow Him blindly? He spared not His Son. He’s only got one interest in mind, my sanctification, and He has done everything in giving His own Son to die, to perish with my sin, and to rise again, and now He is my Mediator in the heavenly sanctuary, and God is simply saying to me now in these last moments of earth’s history, Can you trust me? I didn’t even spare My own Son to help you to come to change. I have taken Him through the ropes so that you can learn how to obey by simple faith, simple obedience, without depending upon sight, but blindly, as Jesus did. There is a profound revelation in the Day of Atonement, of the atonement of Jesus Christ, that was given in 1888. There was the message of total, blind faith, depending on God because of the precious atonement, the nature of Christ’s experience for us to absorb.

We are all under one or the other of two great captains. One, the Creator of man and of the world, is the greatest of all. All owe Him the allegiance of their whole being, the devotion of their entire affection. {OHC 80.2} 

If the mind is given to His control, {OHC 80.2} 

The mind under His control. Are you to give your mind?

If the mind is given to His control, and if God has the moulding and developing of the powers of the mind, new moral power will be received daily from the Source of all wisdom and all strength. Moral blessings and divine beauties will reward the efforts of everyone whose mind is heaven bent. We may grasp revelations–heavenly beauties– that lie beyond the short vision of the worldling, that outshine the imagination of the greatest mind. {OHC 80.2} 

This is the answer. We can become God-possessed, or devil-possessed. A person who is devil-possessed does blindly just what the devil tells them to do. We can choose which one. Once you have chosen the devil, that’s it, he won’t let you go. But with God, you have to choose every day, because He never forces us. But if I choose to be willing and obedient, the mind must be given to His control, and that means, to blindly obey. The mind is just going to do what He tells the mind to do. If God has the moulding and developing of the powers of the mind, then He can cut short His work in righteousness very fast, because now He has my full submission to simply obey what He says. No reasoning like, Oh but. Nothing like that at all. “Oh, if I do this I’m going to miss out on this, and if I do that I’m going fail in something else.” None of that. Only do it and then you will see it was the right thing to do.

The mind is to be given to His control, to God’s moulding and developing of the powers of the mind. If I reason about this or that I will miss out on this and that and fail. There mustn’t be any of that reasoning. Only do it and you will see it was the right thing to do. The mind is to be given to the control of God. When you think that you are too weak and you can’t do it, if you resign entirely, you will then receive the power. That is where God wants us to be in the hour of God’s judgment: Implicit, unquestioning obedience from the heart. This will hasten our readiness for Jesus to finish His work in the sanctuary.

We are in the time of the messages of the three angels and the Revelation 18 angel. We have all the instructions as given in the past. What used to be upheld we have it all, and all we have to do is obey. If we haven’t heard the old Seventh Day Adventist message and we hear it the first time, we have the answer to the problem, Obey. If we don’t obey, we fall under the pall of Satan’s control. These messages of the three angels’ are meant to achieve our eternal security.

What Are the Three Angels’ Messages For?

It is not just becoming acquainted with the three angels’ messages; they are given for a particular purpose.

God has called His church in this day, as He called ancient Israel, to stand as a light in the earth. By the mighty cleaver of truth, the messages of the first, second, and third angels, He has separated them from the churches and from the world to bring them into a sacred nearness to Himself. {5T 455.2} 

That is what the three angels’ messages are for: To bring us into a sacred nearness to Himself so that He can come close to us. Our great need in these last days is to be brought very near to God.

He has made them the depositaries of His law and has committed to them the great truths of prophecy for this time. Like the holy oracles committed to ancient Israel, these are a sacred trust to be communicated to the world. 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. Christ declares to His followers: “Ye are the light of the world.” To every soul that accepts Jesus the cross of Calvary speaks: “Behold the worth of the soul: ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’” {5T 455.2} 

Did you notice the obedience concept? He tells His people to go forth as His agents to sound the warning throughout the length and breadth of the earth. Go ye into all the world and preach.

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} 

We will be actuated. He who spared not His own Son wants us to be actuated by that story, so that we will come into such a sacred relationship to Him that we will be representatives of Him every step of the way and nothing will be permitted to get in the way. It is a blindness to everything that would be in the way and an absolute obedience to what He says. The message of the sanctuary is a message of total submission to the Ancient of days who sits on His throne. The Lord is asking us today, “If you be willing and obedient, I’m not asking you to reason with Me the standards of life, I’m asking you to reason with Me if you can trust Me, if you be willing and obedient. Stop looking at yourself, just reason with Me. Can you trust Me implicitly? Don’t seek to ask the reason of the things. If I have to explain to you all the reasons for what I am saying to you, it will slow down the process.”

Do As God Says

In reference to all the standards and practices that are outlined for this church of the three angels, God says:

“I am asking you to simply obey.”

Don’t tell God you don’t fully understand. If He says to you:

“You must follow the dress code as studied in the sanctuary…”

That is it. Don’t ask why, just do it. It’s the dress code. When it comes to the health message as studied, vegetarianism, don’t ask why. Just simply know that God is asking you to fast, that’s why.

When it comes to modesty, fashion and vanity, and the worldly pastimes, God wants you to lay them aside. Don’t ask why. Just do as God says because you trust Him. In regards to your worldly friends and your unbelieving relatives, and how you relate to them, just do as God says. He wants to cut short the work in righteousness.

Do you remember Lot’s experience? What did God say to him? Get out of the city.  Lot stopped and asked the Lord, Can I go into another city? Why should I run to the mountains? I don’t want to get uncomfortable there, take me to another city. He reasoned with God, and what was the result? By this delay of reasoning with God his wife was influenced by his attitude of ease, and she lost her life over it. He lost those that he could have taken with him by being prompt and saying, Right, let’s go. The angels had to take him by the hand. That was the whole problem. Instead of him promptly responding the angels had to take him out with his relatives. His wife turned back her head. Perfect obedience to the message for this time is required. The result of waiting to understand is fatal.

Here is an example of today’s situation that has gone worse. In Sr. White’s day the theater and the novel reading was their pastime. Today we have television and the computer with all the entertainment on it. We are confronted by people saying, Why are you so singular? Come on, partake of the mass media, it’s good, there’s nothing wrong with it.

The pernicious practice of story reading is one of the means employed by Satan to destroy souls. The mind that is occupied with exciting stories loses all relish for solid reading. {OHC 275.3}

That’s the mild exercise of reading story books. What is it in reference to the theater, and television, and the media, and so on? It says, The pernicious practice. Do you know what pernicious means? The word is used to define a condition in the body, for example, a pernicious anemia, and the reason it is called a pernicious anemia is because it is an anemia that is very hard to reverse. It has locked itself into a condition that it can’t get out of. The irreversible practice of story reading is a means of Satan to destroy souls. The mind is occupied by exciting stories and it loses all relish for solid reading. In other words, what you install into the mind of a baby, if you install excitement, that is a pernicious influence that makes all solid reading of the Bible and of the messages of the Bible, insipid, uninteresting. You lose relish for it. What comes from that?

I am acquainted with many sad examples of the evil effects of this baneful practice…. The more they indulged the appetite for this kind of mental food, the greater was the demand. The imagination constantly craved its accustomed stimulus, as the inebriate longs for his wine or tobacco. Their mental and moral powers were weakened and perverted. They lost their interest in the Scriptures, and their relish for prayer; and they were as truly ruined, mentally and spiritually, as is the liquor drinker or the tobacco devotee. Novel readers are mental inebriates; and they need to sign a pledge of total abstinence as verily as does the victim of any other form of intemperance. {OHC 275.3}

Think about it. People think that, Oh it can’t be so bad. So the concept of waiting to understand is going to catch them out. It becomes a pernicious stranglehold. If you wait to understand to be convinced of this, you are caught and you will find it difficult to straighten out again. It takes a strong decision to actually sign a pledge and to stand true to that pledge. People have tried to stop smoking and have discovered that it is just about impossible. The only way to achieve it is by opening the heart to the Lord. It may be possible to achieve it but it is very difficult. God can give us strength but the point is, Don’t question, just do it, because it is what God knows, as we don’t often know the cause to effect situation, but God does. We don’t wait to understand, we simply do. There is only one thing to settle in all this, and it is this, Is this what God has said? And whatever God has spoken, I will obey. That is the only thing to settle. If God has said it, then we do it, no matter what. Then, after we have settled that, it will be a terrible thing to have to unlearn things firmly entrenched in my system. You will have to know what it means to suffer to simply obey. If I know that He has spoken and that settles that, it is very hard for people to accept. As I am sharing this, it looks like it’s just beyond intelligence, but the point is, we have lost our intelligence by involving ourselves in something else than the kingdom of heaven, and He is trying to get our heavenly intelligence back again.

Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him]; 4 God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? 

He is taking us back to the Old Testament where angels were speaking, and if the people didn’t obey that, what did they suffer? And how much more are we going to suffer if we don’t listen to the word that is spoken by the Lord? Angels spoke and it was obeyed. Now we have the gospel enlargement of Jesus, how can we escape if we neglect the impact of the gospel and His work in the heavenly sanctuary and we don’t follow it through?

God has supplied witnesses of signs and wonders, hasn’t He? If you study the 1844 message, you see the signs and wonders that were given beforehand. He gave the earthquake (1755), the darkening of the sun (1780), the falling of the stars (1833), He gave it all as a proof, and then He gave the gospel of the atonement. He gave everything under these three angels’ messages. He gave it all, as He did in the past:

Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

As you ponder these words, you see a field of reasoning coming from this statement. I know that God has spoken and given us His Son Jesus Christ. He has made Him a little lower than the angels, like us. What a thought. He has made Him the captain of our salvation. He has given us full proof, right now, in the heavenly sanctuary, as He is finishing His work, and your precious Lord was not afraid to call us brethren, He sanctified Himself and all that is behind the request to obey. All this subject of God’s wonderful grace in giving us Jesus Christ is behind the request, “Can you just blindly obey now? I have given you all the evidences. I have given you the signs and wonders; I have given you this story of Jesus.”

A Final Reluctance

There is one final reluctance which needs to be addressed. Because we have been conditioned by the past exciting ingredients with which we have fed our brain, by novel reading, or TV watching, or computer excitement, etc., everything else becomes boring and doesn’t meet up with that exciting ingredient, and because we have been excited by all the modern things around us, there comes a problem, If I am going to obey everything that God says, how am I going to occupy my mind? Is it just obedience and I don’t reason, etc.? How am I going to occupy myself? Is it going to be so boring?

Children are a good example to illustrate that. “Do I have to do what mum and dad say? Boring!” That is how they respond. “Do I have to do what the church says, through the angels? That represents a tedious, boring life to me.” “I have to put away all those things that made my life meaningful. And then, to do it not only for one day, but all the way through until Jesus comes.” As I was studying with someone recently, someone who was eating flesh, drinking wine and drinking beer, to him that was all enjoyable. Now he is called upon to fast, as in the Day of Atonement, and he said, “I have to put away all the things I enjoy.” What now? Am I going to live a boring life? How do we deal with that, to put away that which we enjoyed? It’s a problem, isn’t it? This scripture now bring to focus something higher than the enjoyment which we have had before:

Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore. 

This is the psalmist. He has discovered something in the presence of God, in drawing near to Him, he has found fullness of joy. It is the repayment, the replacement of one kind of pleasure with another. It is a matter of discovering in God’s presence a joy that transcends any previous joy, so that I can give everything up and obey implicitly as the God of the universe is filling and fulfilling my life.

The God of the universe? Think about it. As you look out into the cosmos, there, the God of that realm is the one in whose presence I can explore exciting situations, much better than the excitement of this world.

While the worldly wise is skimming along the surface, grasping the things of sight and sense, the one who fears and reveres God is reaching into eternity, penetrating the deepest recesses and gathering the knowledge and riches that are as enduring as eternity. Justice, honor, love, and truth are the attributes of God’s throne. They are the principles of His government. . . . These are jewels to be sought after and cherished for time and for eternity. . . . {OHC 80.4} 

We have something far greater, do we not? Everything else on earth is just skimming along the surface. It may appear in obedience to God that there will be some dry moments, some fasting, and removal of pleasure; however, in its place we are going to embrace jewels that are eternal. There needs to be nothing left for us to argue and think, I don’t know if I will be happy to obey God. I don’t even have to retain a thought like that. We have all the evidence and comfort and joy that God is offering us. God is saying to us, I want to finish My work with you, I want to hasten and cut it short, stop doing your own thing. By that we will be purified and made white and ready for Jesus to finish His work in the sanctuary. That is the importance of the sanctuary study, that we learn to be obedient to the Ancient of days.

Everything that we study in the sanctuary has to do with the discovery of what God wants us to do and to simply do it in simple obedience. That is the importance of the sanctuary, and its presiding power over our life. God help us to let Him cut short that work in righteousness.

Amen.

Posted on August 17, 2010, in Sermons by John Thiel, The Sanctuary Series. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. A very good post – as usual! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s