Candidates for the Church Triumphant

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

One of the subjects that I have been sharing through the conference we had in Africa is what is written in Revelation 12. We read of Gods people under the attack of the enemy and especially since the death of Christ;

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Although Satan has been overcome, it was written also that there would be woe to this earth but Gods people would overcome him. God’s people would overcome the devil how; by the blood the lamb and by the word of their testimony. To overcome an enemy there needs to be warfare to conquer. The blood of the lamb is an experience, not some sort of voodoo miraculous touch on a person’s mind. It is a battle to fight in which we apply the knowledge we have of Jesus Christ and his shed blood for us conquering together with him. They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony, something to talk about.

I want to spend time contemplating the people who will overcome, the church triumphant the church that has gained the victory. Candidates in such a church because we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy that the experience of Gods people in the last days will be according to Revelation 12.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Satan is not only wrath with the remnant of her seed but he is now making war with her. Who is he making war with; the remnant of the woman’s seed. That remnant of the woman’s seed is the church triumphant. It is the church that finally stands triumphant before the world and the universe and Jesus can come and take them home. In the study of the woman, the seed and the remnant is a description of God’s people going through the last experience of these last times. The wise will be purified and made white. In Daniel 12 an important description is chronicled in harmony with the subject I want to share with you.

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

To be part of the woman’s seed, this will be their experience. Purified, made white and tried.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

As I was sharing God’s word with our brethren in Africa, I showed them something they had not realised before, that we are right now at this present time in the transition experience from the woman’s seed into the remnant of her seed to the church triumphant. We are in this last experience if we are going to be part of the church triumphant of coming through from the different denominational confusions that exist today to stand as a company purified and tried. We need to understand that experience. We need to be in tune with the leading of God with those kinds of people. It is our choice if we will be part of that people, a church that stands faithful.

The Laodicean Message

Jesus speaks to the angel. He is speaking to the ministry of the people since 1844 and he tells them their condition.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Jesus tells these ministers this is their condition.

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Then comes a message to you and me past the ministers.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if(who? Angels?)any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

If Any Man

How personal do you want to get? He is not talking to the ministers, he is not talking to anyone else but he is talking to any man, whosoever. How personal does that become? Can you feel God speaking to you and saying, will you? Seeing these people are lukewarm and they are full of their own glory, their own self conceited way of thinking, if there is anyone that needs me, will you let me come in? Then comes the people of the church triumphant because once we let him in that is not the end. We must overcome. It is only by letting Him in can we overcome.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Over and above all the theological sermons you hear today, the voice of Jesus comes and says for you to be the church triumphant, for you to sit in my throne, you need to overcome. You need to be an overcomer and that is the people who are triumphant. They have overcome and it requires purification and trials to come forth triumphant.

The attitude of the Laodicean condition in this period of time is expressed in Jeremiah 7:4. This is what He said; you say you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. What does that mean in terms of Christianity?

Jeremiah 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, [are] these.

The problem with Israel is that they were very confident that they were God’s church. The problem with Laodicea is that they are very confident that they are rich and increased with goods and that they are God’s church. Here is a description of this mentality; the temple of the Lord are we. This mentality that we are Gods faithful people of we are the remnant church. We are in is his warning in Revelation 3; you say you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.

These people who have overcome will rely on what is written in the book Testimonies to the Church Volume 5;

At the very time when the acclamation is made, “The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these,” temptations come in, and darkness gathers about the soul–earthliness, selfishness, and self-glorification. There is a necessity for the Lord Himself to communicate His own ideas to the soul. What a thought!–that instead of our poor, earthly, contracted ideas and plans the Lord will communicate to us His own ideas, His own thought, noble, broad, far-reaching, always leading heavenward! {5T 485.3}

I can’t emphasise this strongly enough. We have our ideas, we have our conclusions that we draw but are they God’s ideas? They may be but they may not be. This is the greatest burden of my heart that we will rely not on our own perceptions because they are so easily deceptive.

The African people on relied very much on the white man and when the white man came there and they hung on the words of the white man and white man has deceived them. The independents have come across and really centred their focus on Africa and the Africans are scattered in their truth of Adventist doctrines as they have relied on the white man. I said to them don’t trust white man, he will deceive you. Trust in your personal reading of God’s word and trust God to guide you. It is precisely what I have read. There is a necessity for the Lord Himself to communicate His thoughts to the soul. If we are the remnant, what are God’s thoughts for us? Who are the candidates for his church triumphant? Who are they? You can discern it in the text in Revelation 3:20. The difference between the ministry that says we are enriched and have need of nothing in contrast with verse 20:

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

What is the representation of that picture of the church that claims to be rich with Jesus? It says I am outside, I am not inside. I have come to bring God down to you. The Holy Spirit will not only be with but shall be in you but to these people claiming to be the temple of the Lord, he is not even in the temple, He is standing outside. It is the people who will open the door to him that are candidates. What is a candidate? It is somebody who isn’t quite there yet but who is progressing to that point. That is Revelation 3:21, the overcomer. A candidate opens to Jesus letting Him into their heart and is a candidate for the church triumphant. It is this tha tI desire us to see that we are only candidates and not all candidates get there unless they pass the test.

Candidates for the Church Triumphant

The Lord has rich blessings for the church if its members will seek earnestly to arouse from this perilous lukewarmness. A religion of vanity, words devoid of vitality, a character destitute of moral strength,–these are pointed out in the solemn message addressed by the True Witness to the churches, warning them against pride, worldliness, formalism, and self-sufficiency. To him that says, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,” the Lord of heaven declares, Thou “knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” {5T 484.2}

That’s Gods thoughts in contrast to the sense of those who claim to be Gods church. You do not know your true condition. When you say the temple of the Lord are these, you are deceiving yourself.

But to the lowly, the suffering, the faithful, the patient, who are alive to their weakness and insufficiency, are given words of encouragement: {5T 484.2}

Who does God give words of encouragement to? Who are the candidates of the church triumphant?

But to the lowly, the suffering, the faithful, the patient, who are alive to their weakness and insufficiency,” {5T 484.2}

Who? Not we are the ones? But oh I am so weak, I feel my absolute unworthiness and I know that I am a sinful person like the publican in contrast to the Pharisee. As I know my weakness and I realise I am hopeless, there is the word of encouragement, behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice;

But to the lowly, the suffering, the faithful, the patient, who are alive to their weakness and insufficiency, are given words of encouragement: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” The True Witness says to all: “I know thy works.” This close scrutiny is over the churches in California. Nothing escapes His searching gaze; their faults and errors, their neglects and failures, their sinful departure from the truth, their declensions and shortcomings–all are “opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” {5T 484.2}

As we realise that God is seeing me, God knows what is going on, I can’t hide from Him. I can hide from human beings and give them an impression I’m a noble person, but not from God. As He knows everything about me He says, will you let me in? Can I come and help you to be a conqueror. That is what Jesus said to him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me on my throne. There is the connection to overcome as Jesus overcame with us. To be triumphant is to be part of Jesus in the battle.

It is this kind of humility that is going to prepare a people. This humility is a different one to Colossians 2:18. There is a humility that is rampant in many circles which again misses the mark.

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

There is humility even among church people that after you study if I’m going to be accepted with God I have to be humble and so I come to him in a voluntary humility. Don’t let any man beguile you of your reward by a voluntary humility. I can preach to you and tell you that you must humble yourself and you say yes brother I must humble myself and so you go and humble yourself voluntarily from your perspective. It is voluntary humility. It is a humility that will not qualify us for the church triumphant.

No man can of himself understand his errors. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. The lips may express a poverty of soul that the heart does not acknowledge. While speaking to God of poverty of spirit, the heart may be swelling with the conceit of its own superior humility and exalted righteousness.

We just identified voluntary humility. What was it? When we say oh God I’m such a sinner, I’m such a terrible sinner, unless you save me I’m lost. When I was in Africa I came across this condition. The Africans use their poverty and their religious knowledge to gain wealth. They gave the sense to the white man we need help and when the money comes they make themselves wealthy. There are people who use the orphanage cry to make themselves wealthy. They cry we have need and they do have need and when the Americans hear it they send the money and they use the money to build themselves houses. They give the impressions they have an orphanage and they don’t. As I listened carefully to the listened to the people over there who told me their stories, I said I came there with a message not money and few came. There was a nice company there but not thousands which usually gather when there are visitors from America or Australia.

The heart is so deceptive it will reach out for a greatness of voluntary humility. How can I know that my humility is of such a character that I can be among the church triumphant?

In one way only can a true knowledge of self be obtained. We must behold Christ. It is ignorance of Him that makes men so uplifted in their own righteousness. When we contemplate His purity and excellence, we shall see our own weakness and poverty and defects as they really are. {COL 159.1}

This is why the real Jesus is not wanted today. Because if you have the real Jesus you will see something you don’t want to see about yourself and you flee away from that kind of unveiling. They run away from the real Jesus who breathes upon them from another apartment. You read about it in the book Early Writings. Jesus left the first apartment and went into the most holy place and who remained in the first apartment? Satan himself. They plead to who they think is Jesus and Satan breathes upon them his spirit but the love is missing, the love of heaven. They really go into an ecstasy as they are receiving power but he the real Jesus when you really understand Him, we shall see our own weakness, poverty and defects as they really are. We shall see ourselves how; lost, hopeless and clad in garments of self-righteousness like every other sinner.

We shall see that if we are ever saved, it will not be through our own goodness but through God’s infinite grace. It is to see that for ourselves. It is not just to hear it being preached from the pulpit. The only way I can see it for myself is when I see Jesus as he really is. It is those who sup with him. To appreciate that more closely, as you see Jesus as he really is, you will see yourself as lost and hopeless. Does that sound an encouraging message? People like to hear a message that will make them feel saved and full of hope but when I look at Jesus I will see myself as lost and hopeless. The message of Jesus Christ for us today to be saved and to be among the church triumphant is a message that makes me totally dependent on the mercy and grace of the Father in heaven that Jesus needed when He was hanging on the cross. He was the son of God. He was crying, and what was He crying?

Psalms 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.

What does he say to God?

Psalms 22:3 But thou [art] holy, [O thou] that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I [am] a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

Do you think He was playing a game here? Do you think that was voluntary humility? Lip service? That came from the depth of his heart. He felt forsaken of God as all our condition was upon Him. I see him as a sinner crying out for mercy. You know it’s Him talking as verse 16 says;

Psalms 22:16 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.

This is Jesus speaking. As you see Him there and He says will you let me in? Knock, knock I want to come into your heart. If you let him in, you will experience His experience. You will sup with Him and He with you. What is that experience? God had made Him at the cross, Gethsemane and all the way through, to be sin for us and that is why He was crying the way He was.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus came and supped with us in our experience who feel that I am a sinner. I feel hopeless, I feel bereft of hope and a lost sinner and Jesus says if you let me in and I will feast with you. I will partake of your sin so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. What and exchange but the only way a person can participate in that is if he opens his heart to partake of the sufferings of Christ. The wicked won’t understand this to go through a trial with Jesus, the wicked won’t understand. That is what is written in Matthew 234. The wicked servant that says in his heart my Lord delays his coming. He will not understand. He is of that company that say I’m rich and included with goods and have need of nothing. They can’t find Jesus supping with them as they have encrusted themselves with an armour of self-righteousness. The angels arrows carefully aimed can’t penetrate their hearts.

Here are the candidates to be the triumphant people on earth;

As one with us, He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe. The Sinless One must feel the shame of sin. The peace lover must dwell with strife, the truth must abide with falsehood, purity with vileness. Every sin, every discord, every defiling lust that transgression had brought, was torture to His spirit. {DA 111.4}

I can understand these words better now than before. When I was in Kenya I experienced Kenyan life; horror. The roads, if I couldn’t rest in the arms of the Lord I would have had a heart attack. We were driving in a car overtaking and we nearly hit another head on and the other car swerved just in time and it happened again and again. The carelessness of life that is there is horrifying and this is what Jesus came to live amongst here, much worse.

When I was over there I felt like was in Africa. I wanted to get out of there, this is horror. That is what I wanted but to stay and be cared for by the Lord took faith. For me to come out of that experience back to Australia I saw what Jesus saw in this hole of a planet and now He wants us to come and be translated, to emigrate from this planet. It was so sweet to be on that plane coming back home. It feels like it was a dream that I was in Africa. The picture of Jesus suffering with us on our planet is very vivid to me. I hope and pray that each one of us can open our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ and understand what He suffered. He suffered annihilation from the joy of heaven. He could not see through the tomb. He couldn’t see what I could hope for that I would get back to Australia again. He couldn’t see hope. He was bogged down in the mud.

Psalms 69:1 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, [A Psalm] of David. 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.

Weary of his crying in the mud.

Psalms 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. 6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.

You can see him. He is our priest and he is pleading our case and He is expressing my sins are not hid from thee. Whose sins were they? Were they His? It felt as though they were His. The Lord had laid on him the iniquities of us all. They were wreathed in him. They came up upon his neck as though they were His own as He had heredity genealogy as they were in his genes. Some say that it is just me or the African way but the African way is not God’s way neither is the white mans. We want God’s ways. We want to learn a different world out there. We want freedom from sin.

If I am not prepared to die and know I’m a hopeless sinner, how can I know it? Only as I look upon Jesus. Without a vision of Him you will not know how naked, poor blind and naked you are. When you see Him and you say what? As I show the people the message of God and Christ of righteousness and the condition of Jesus in sinful flesh they deny it. Why; because to think that Jesus received the sins that I have experienced in myself is an indictment to human pride. People can’t stand to hear it and that is the reason why they reject it. I was talking to one young lady a while back and she was finally convinced what Jesus did and she said why would God do a thing like that for me?

I knew what she was crying out, it was too hard to accept. This poor soul continued down the drain because she couldn’t accept that God could do such a thing to send part of Him down to suffer with our depravity. Behold I stand at the door and knock says Jesus. Will you open your heart to the full sense of the true condition we are in that Jesus came to sup with us? In that bitter cup of the suffering of Jesus conquered by faith He broke through those terrible oppressive experiences.

2 Corinthians 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

If we want to live with him, if we want to be conquerors, if we want to be part of the church triumphant then we need to sup with Jesus. We must suffer together with Jesus if we want to overcome sin. I have come to suffer with you, I have suffered in the flesh;

1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

They are purified, made white and tried. If we will but open our hearts to that we are candidates to be part of the church triumphant.

What broke through the darkness while Jesus was hanging upon the cross? The father didn’t appear to hear him. He felt separated from Him.

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.

It was faith in His Fathers mercy that broke through the darkness. The people of God that have the faith of Jesus will break through their darkness. Jesus says can I come and sup with you? Can I come and drink the bitter cup with you so that as I drink it with you, I rise again with you. I believed in my Father through the darkness if you will believe together with me as I did, then you will gain the victory.

For us to be part of the church triumphant we are going to go through the same darkness as Jesus did. There are many people that are going to be saved who have not gone through our darkness. They will be cared for by the death and resurrection and death of Jesus according to the light they have but for the church triumphant Jesus said to them, you must overcome as I overcame. You will go through the time of Jacob’s trouble and that is going to be of a nature that is my trouble that I went through at the cross, a total living hell. You thought you have gone through some living hell so far? You have still seen light at the end of the tunnel but this one is none but faith and it is the faith of Jesus.

May God grant us to be faithful candidates for the church triumphant which wipes every item of human joy and of dependence upon visual comforts from our sense, leaving a dependence upon the hope alone of the true story of Jesus our Lord and Saviour. May God help us and rejoice in the wonderful comfort that is found as each one of us opens our heart to that relationship with Jesus that suffers with sin -whether we expect and understand it or not.

God grant this to us that we might be faithful candidates of the church triumphant.

Amen.

 

Posted on September 25, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel, The Church Triumphant and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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