The Faith that Gets Me There

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

When Jesus paid the price for our sins and was resurrected and was about to leave, he left behind a most wonderful assurance to his followers. He had given the assurance before but now as he was on his way he gave it again so his apostles could remember.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.

Do you believe those words? During the past year of divine services we have looked in depth into the preparations that we need to enter into here on earth to fit us for a place in that heavenly kingdom. Jesus said I want you to be there, let not your heart be troubled. Why did we have to go such careful research in preparation? Why could we not just be rejoicing in the fact that Jesus just wants us to be there and be done with it?

But after his sin, he could no longer find joy in holiness, and he sought to hide from the presence of God. Such is still the condition of the unrenewed heart. It is not in harmony with God, and finds no joy in communion with Him. The sinner could not be happy in God’s presence; he would shrink from the companionship of holy beings. Could he be permitted to enter heaven, it would have no joy for him. The spirit of unselfish love that reigns there –every heart responding to the heart of Infinite Love –would touch no answering chord in his soul. His thoughts, his interests, his motives, would be alien to those that actuate the sinless dwellers there. He would be a discordant note in the melody of heaven. Heaven would be to him a place of torture; he would long to be hidden from Him who is its light, and the center of its joy. It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that excludes the wicked from heaven; they are shut out by their own unfitness for its companionship. The glory of God would be to them a consuming fire. They would welcome destruction, that they might be hidden from the face of Him who died to redeem them. {SC 17.2}

With our natural condition here on earth we need to become fitted to enjoy heaven because as we were passing through the different messages, we considered certain aspects where we really have to make changes in our life to meet up with the mentality that the society of heaven is governed by. Our previous studies encompassed;

  • The compassion towards a sinner that actuates heaven. We saw when there is a sinner around us we didn’t want to be in their presence. Jesus became a partner with us. Heavens mentality was to come close to the sinner.
  • True Sabbath keeping needed to be embraced in our life so the Sabbath rest and week after week in the heavenly realm will not be marred by us.
  • We saw the final crisis that will take place just before Jesus comes that if we are not in tune with his ways we will contribute to it.
  • We saw the music of heaven is not in harmony with ours. We needed to follow Jesus perfectly that we might be with him.
  • The imminent close of probation was of such a troubling effect that if we would not be prepared for it, we would be shut out.
  • We saw we need to diligently study the bible about stewardship.
  • Heaven must exist in my soul, family and church if we are going to have a place there.
  • We saw that male and female proprieties need to be taken into consideration if we would be taken to heaven.
  • We saw there are to be no rifts in the family to enter heaven. We need to submit ourselves to those who are rulers over us here on earth to be able to cope with having rulers in the heavenly realm as everyone has different positions. We need to be truly contrite if we are going to sit in his throne.
  • We must have true peace in our soul and true patience.
  • Fasting of the health reform was part of our preparation.

As we went through each meditation, after all that and taking a good honest look at ourselves and the home and church experiences we are making, how did you feel? Is there any appearance of ever getting there? Especially when Matthew 5:48 says we should be perfect.

We should be perfect

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

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.

As you take this in, do you become overwhelmed with a sense of anxiousness? Lord help me, I’m not displaying these things yet. All through our life as we are coming closer and closer to the coming of Jesus, do we sense we are making it? We must address ourselves to this anxiety. I have been strongly stimulated to share this message because while I was away, I was invited to watch a sermon preached in the Adventist church in Wahroonga on the internet where I used to attend. The minister was preaching in relation to righteousness by faith. He told a story of his own experience of a friend he had as a youth that he met in New Zealand. He was sharing a heart breaking story of his friend that he had been associating with closely that as he got older began to deteriorate while he was progressing in his experience with the Lord. This friend of his became a drug addict and really became belligerent in reference to what Adventism is meant to be, he lost his way.

Then this minister told that he heard that his friend had come to the message of the 1888 presentations of the independent Seventh Day Adventists and how this young man gave his heart to the Lord and turned away from the ways of his past and completely changed. As this man was preaching he walked one side of the pulpit and said first he was there and now he was on the other side extremely devoted to perfectionism. After a period of time he left a message to his mother, mother I have been trying to reach the standard that we have been taught and I can’t make it and he went and committed suicide in a most horrific way. As a consequence of this story this minister taught the way of salvation of righteousness by faith by saying there is nothing that we can do to reach that perfection and this message of 1888 is a false message as it brings people to such a condition that they will finally feel it is hopeless and I will never get there. I want to address this important subject now because how is it with you and me in the secret crevices of our soul?

Do you sometimes feel as you move along in this advancing message and it gets richer in its expectation of perfection and the more you follow this message the more it takes you down the drain inside of yourself that you think, I’m just not going to reach it, I can’t reach this perfection and there is a thought under there that I have no hope and the temptation to do what this man did has come across your mind? If it hasn’t come Satan will make sure it will come believe me. Follow carefully what the spirit of the Lord is going to show us now to eradicate that temptation. Do you believe John 14:2-3?

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.

Jesus said I want you to be where I am. Do you believe that? You need to. The scripture, I go and prepare a place for you, let not your heart be troubled, why did he say let not your heart be troubled? He knew that as we travel along and try to reach that position and high calling we will be troubled but he said I go and prepare a place for you that where I am you may be also. What do these words suggest to you? Something like John 17?

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

What is Jesus cry? What is he yearning for? He says Father I want them to be with me. I go and prepare a place for you, I want you to be with me. Can you pick up the yearning of God the Father and the Son for you and me to be with him? What is God’s preoccupation for the sinful world we are in and for us?

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

What is Gods preoccupation? He is waiting because he wants no one to be lost. His heart of love and compassion is ready to suffer long because he did not want anyone to perish and then the words of John 1:16 so easily rattled off. For God so loved the world, who did he love? The world, the whole human race, every single one of the wicked. He gave his only begotten son should not perish but have everlasting life. What is he yearning for? He wants everyone to accept Jesus Christ. Think of this sad story of this young man who had given up his drug world because he was attracted to this beautiful message and then was overwhelmed with the deep sense of his unworthiness he is never going to get there as perfection is required as that is what is taught in the true 1888 message. Perfection in the life, as he was reaching for that came to the conclusion thought it is impossible. He learnt all about it and thought it’s not possible and took his life. What did he miss out on in this beautiful message? I wonder if we have these beautiful messages streaming past us and we miss them. He must have missed something. I want you to think carefully what you and I may be missing in this beautiful message.

But this great sacrifice was not made in order to create in the Father’s heart a love for man, not to make Him willing to save. No, no! “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” John 3:16. The Father loves us, not because of the great propitiation, but He provided the propitiation because He loves us. {SC 13.2}

The word propitiation means gift. It is a gift to produce a love but he didn’t give that propitiation to produce love in him, no, he provided it because he loved us.

Christ was the medium through which He could pour out His infinite love upon a fallen world. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” 2 Corinthians 5:19. God suffered with His Son. In the agony of Gethsemane, the death of Calvary, the heart of Infinite Love paid the price of our redemption. {SC 13.2}

Jesus said, “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again.” John 10:17. That is, “My Father has so loved you that He even loves Me more for giving My life to redeem you. In becoming your Substitute and Surety, by surrendering My life, by taking your liabilities, your transgressions, I am endeared to My Father; for by My sacrifice, God can be just, and yet the Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.” {SC 14.1}

Can you see God saying I am so glad my Son has prepared to give himself as I wanted to justify all these people and I looked for some way out and my Son is prepared to do it for these people? Can you see what God is like? He is bending over backwards to make us citizens in his beautiful kingdom.

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Who did he die for? The ungodly. He loved them so much that he died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God is looking upon decrepit human sinners and thinking how can I deal with them to redeem them? He says, my lovely Son is prepared to come and do this so he can die while they are yet sinners but now that being the case.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

We are justified by what Jesus did while we were in hopeless depravity. Every hopeless case is justified already. There is not a sinner in this world who is not justified but the question is, will the sinner really trust this wonderful love? If we do then much more having reconciled while we were yet enemies how much shall we be saved by his life. Let it percolate into this dense head of ours and into the heart. I am saying this because while these messages are streaming from God, people will do what this man did, while some take their life, others just go mulling along in the dry salt lakes of this world not rejoicing in the pure comfort that Jesus and the Father in heaven have bound themselves to save us. With such a heart of love can you despair? Isn’t that what we were singing before?

“Jesus I my cross have taken, soul then know thy full salvation, rise over sin and fear and care. Rise above all that because of this full salvation. Think what spirit dwells within thee, think what Fathers smiles are thine, think that Jesus died to win thee, child of heaven canst though repine?”

But I’m such a sinner. That’s alright, how can you repine with the sense of your failures when you see God is so absolutely bent on saving you while we were yet sinners God gave himself in his son. What can he now do while we have been justified? Much more by saving us. How can I repine? As it was with Abraham so it must be with us. Abraham was given a promise and that promise looked impossible to take place. What has God promised? He has promised to save us and take us to heaven. He is preparing a place for us there. Can we take hold of that without repining as we are not going to make it? Abraham had no hope but believed in hope.

Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the Father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

This poor young man staggered. How many times do you stagger at the thought of the high expectations of your life and you look at it and say gulp, that is staggering.

Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

What is the first angel’s message? Fear God and give glory to him.

Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

If you stagger and think you are not going to make it and harbour that thought, are you believing God? Do you doubt he is able to perform what he has promised? Abraham did not doubt that even though he went through the test and he wanted to help God and it ended up in a mess but Gods way still went ahead. Remember that. You may want to help and you come short, don’t despair. How many times have you made a mess thinking I’m going to get there and work for it and you come crashing down? Then suddenly it dawns on you I’ve been trying to help God. It’s very close work, a co-partnership with God, helping God. Which way is it meant to be? We are to be co-partners with him and do our part but Abraham wanted to help God and it became a mess. It wasn’t until he implicitly that God would do that work and then it happened.

Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

That wonderful active love, do you believe it? Believe it when everything looks hopeless, believe it because what God has promised he is able to perform. Not weak in faith. What is the faith which operates in developing righteousness as its righteousness by faith. What is that?

When we speak of faith, there is a distinction that should be borne in mind. There is a kind of belief that is wholly distinct from faith. The existence and power of God, the truth of His word, are facts that even Satan and his hosts cannot at heart deny. The Bible says that “the devils also believe, and tremble;” but this is not faith. James 2:19. {SC 63.2}

Does that collate with the text those that tremble at his word? There are something’s in the Bible that are a bit hazy to us unless the Holy spirit really shows us.

Where there is not only a belief in God’s word, but a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith–faith that works by love and purifies the soul. {SC 63.2}

What is this faith? A submission of my will to everything God shows me even if it cuts across my past life. If you have faith you will submit yourselves to this will. Your heart will be yielded to him in every respect but not only that where the affections are fixed upon him that is where faith is. That is the faith that leads to righteousness by faith. Faith where the affections are totally wrapped up with my God and they continue and are fixed upon him. As soon as there is a temptation of the sinful nature, my affections in him are so great that no, I’m going to sacrifice here, this is going to lead me to reach the pure condition of heaven.

Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, “O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97. And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1. {SC 63.2}

As we see the amazing love of God it begins to work on my heart. When I study him, the more I see of him, the more my heart goes out to him and I keep my hearts affections fixed on him so that whatever he says I say thank you lord. The joy of the hope burning within me causes me to obey every small detail of his will. By the exercise of such a heart reality, there are two dimensions of salvation we are to secure. Many people want to hold on to the one and that is God will justify us because he loves us and many Christians want to stop there. We are saved by faith and you hear them say I’m saved. They have only done one dimension of that.

The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,–just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents,–perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperilled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized. {SC 62.1}

It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. {SC 62.2}

Are you fit for heaven? Yes you are, if you were to die today after you have received this wonderful truth, are you fit for heaven? Absolutely but most people stop there. Most preachers stop there.

More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So you may say, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. So Jesus said to His disciples, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matthew 10:20. Then with Christ working in you, you will manifest the same spirit and do the same good works –works of righteousness, obedience. {SC 62.3}

What we are beholding is our cooperation and to believe what Jesus has done. As you believe you will be justified and the past sins that you have confessed and cast on the altar are gone. Jesus has replaced your past with his perfect righteousness. Is that all there is to the story? Absolutely not as this work of keeping your affections fixed on him is going to make a change in your practical living and this is termed sanctification. This can never be gained unless we maintain a connection with Christ by faith and a continual surrender of your will to him. So long as you do this he will prepare you because he wants you to be there. Do you believe this? Is this your preoccupation? That’s the question. If it is then we read Luke.

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

God’s pleasure is to give us the kingdom. That thought if I believe this and I am preoccupied with it, I am assured that God is going to get me there. With Gods preoccupation and your determination to keep your connection with your personal saviour, him and you in the atonement, If you keep your affections fixed upon him making a continual surrender, if you are preoccupied with that doing your part, God will do his part. What doubts can engage your mind if you are doing that? Doubts?

With the rich promises of the Bible before you, can you give place to doubt? Can you believe that when the poor sinner longs to return, longs to forsake his sins, the Lord sternly withholds him from coming to His feet in repentance? Away with such thoughts! Nothing can hurt your own soul more than to entertain such a conception of our heavenly Father. He hates sin, but He loves the sinner, and He gave Himself in the person of Christ, that all who would might be saved and have eternal blessedness in the kingdom of glory. What stronger or more tender language could have been employed than He has chosen in which to express His love toward us? He declares, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” Isaiah 49:15. {SC 54.2}

Do you believe it? I minister among a lot of people across Australia and I know there are still struggles. I hear it, I get messages of this nature and I am terribly sad that this is still verbalised among us. Why do I fear that? Because I don’t want anyone to do what this man young did. We have such beautiful comfort. Why would we doubt if this is what God is preoccupied with for my salvation and all he wants is for me to be preoccupied with him.

Look up, you that are doubting and trembling; for Jesus lives to make intercession for us. Thank God for the gift of His dear Son and pray that He may not have died for you in vain. The Spirit invites you today. Come with your whole heart to Jesus, and you may claim His blessing. {SC 54.3}

I love that many that I have laboured for and have come to this message of Christ our righteousness and I have baptised some of you of your joy of what you’ve experienced in the Lord. You smiled under it.

There are those who have known the pardoning love of Christ and who really desire to be children of God, yet they realize that their character is imperfect, their life faulty, and they are ready to doubt whether their hearts have been renewed by the Holy Spirit. {SC 64.1}

That’s what I hear. Not only do I hear it, I see it that people drop and their faces are long and they come to church with long faces whereas they should be smiling and rejoicing to meet each other. When you have a wrinkled forehead you are not trusting. When you come along with your burdens to church and you are carrying a heavy load and you spread the stink of that and it affects others. We have no reason for sour facedness’s.

To such I would say, Do not draw back in despair. We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus (not in front of the church) because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Said the beloved John, “These things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. And do not forget the words of Christ, “The Father Himself loveth you.” John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. Pray more fervently; believe more fully. As we come to distrust our own power, let us trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise Him who is the health of our countenance. {SC 64.1}

The closer you come to Jesus, the more faulty you will appear in your own eyes; for your vision will be clearer, and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to His perfect nature. This is evidence that Satan’s delusions have lost their power; that the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God is arousing you. {SC 64.2}

Rejoice instead of saying I’m such a wretch, weep at the feet of Jesus but thank God he is helping you to see it. Rejoice.

No deep-seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not realize its own sinfulness. The soul that is transformed by the grace of Christ will admire His divine character; but if we do not see our own moral deformity, it is unmistakable evidence that we have not had a view of the beauty and excellence of Christ. {SC 65.1}

If you see him so vividly and wonderful and you see yourself so horrible in contrast, rejoice that you have seen it and rejoice to come to him in total trust that he will finish the work.

The less we see to esteem in ourselves, the more we shall see to esteem in the infinite purity and loveliness of our Saviour. ASC 65.2}

Do you look for something to esteem inside of you? I’ve heard you say it, I’m good at this and not so bad at that. You are esteeming something in yourself. When you don’t see it, you think I’m useless, I can’t do anything right and you go around moping as no one appreciates your good. Do you do that? I’ve seen you do it.

A view of our sinfulness drives us to Him who can pardon; and when the soul, realizing its helplessness, reaches out after Christ, He will reveal Himself in power. The more our sense of need drives us to Him and to the word of God, the more exalted views we shall have of His character, and the more fully we shall reflect His image. {SC 65.2}

Unconsciously

I will not be conscious that I’m showing beautiful characteristics, all I can feel is my decrepitude. I’m decrepit, I can’t do anything but I’m relying on the Lord and his wonderful love. Isn’t he a wonderful God and when we come to church we will not be thinking of what this or that person says we will be rejoicing to share the joys of what Jesus is doing. That will preoccupy us. Righteousness by faith yet so elusive to our sin polluted attitude. Don’t occupy your mind with its theory. Don’t occupy your mind with the theory of righteousness by faith. Occupy your mind with Jesus. Just open your heart to the Fathers love and permit him to possess your soul. I nearly fell into a trap as a preacher where there are so many errors being taught on the subject of righteousness by faith and I want to clear the error by upholding the truth. By doing that I nearly lost my focus on Jesus as you can become very proud that you have the subject right and you may have it right but you haven’t got it in life. Is it not the problem of the church members to claim that we have got it right, only the watchman in the house of Israel has that responsibility.

All that you have to concentrate on and that I have to concentrate on while I have to get it right, is that I get it right because I am in love and my affections are centred in God. That is our occupation. So when God exercises the measures of his purification then we receive it with gratitude. May God help us to study and go over all that we have done in preparation for the coming of Jesus and reflect it all in the eyes of this message that we have shared. It is the righteousness by faith in Jesus to redeem me from my sinful self by replacing my sinful self with his righteousness and with my heart rejoicing in that I will continue to submit to his guidance and let him purify my life. Unconscious to myself that will happen.

Amen.

Posted on November 26, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel, The 1888 Message and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. thanx Ari. I have enjoyed the ceremony

  2. thank you very much,for posting the word of God to me.be blessed

  3. thanx you for posting, your sermons teach me new things each day.happy sabbath

  4. you explained a lot of info that I had gotten wrong or missunderstood.

    thank you
    you have saved my life more ways then you will ever now.
    Bob

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