The Wrath of God and the Close of Probation

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I believe Jesus is coming very soon. People can say that it has been said for years and years already, but the fact of the current condition of how many people don’t care, tells me that it is even closer.

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

The scripture in Matthew says they knew not until the flood came. They didn’t know and yet Noah was preaching for a hundred and twenty years and everyone knew the fact of what Noah was doing. It was a global happening of Noah building this boat. It was strange that Noah was a household name but yet the scripture says they knew not until the flood came.

Probationary Time

Probation closed for the antediluvian world before they knew it. They knew it after. Many Christians do not even believe in the close of probation. They say it is a Seventh Day Adventist term. Probationary time is a time for preparing and making adjustment to meet the Lord. Is there such a time where it is too late or finished? Is it biblical or is it a Seventh Day Adventist dogma?

It is Finished

Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

There is a time where there is no more shifting/transformation from a sinner to be converted into the kingdom of heaven. It is finished.

1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Do I have to explain and convince you that we are at the end in the end times? I don’t believe so. If you are in doubt, study the prophecies. It is so evident, when you go through the prophecies there are clear historical line-ups all the way through to our current day. The Apostle Paul doesn’t want to get into that detail and neither do I.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Is the day of the Lord come as a thief to His people? No. All through these scriptures Christ is saying watch and be ready.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak. There are so many statements that say ‘watch!’ Are you watching? Do we understand the time in which we live? If we don’t, it will come as a thief in the night. You will be snoozing away and while you are having your lovely dreams, your house will be damaged and you’ll not even know it until you wake up. The problem with this is that when you wake up, it is then too late. This is a very sobering thing about the message of Jesus’ coming. It is not about atheism – they don’t believe in God and so they will be surprised at what will take place, but even to Christians He comes as a thief. That is probably the most disturbing thing about the close of probation. People who are sleeping away, dreaming that they are in the kingdom of heaven to wake up and find they are not. The Apostle is saying you are not of those who are of the darkness. You know full well that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.

Daniel 11

There is only one prophecy in the whole Bible that pinpoints the time of the close of probation. It is Daniel 11. It is the only prophecy that will give you a mark in history to pinpoint when Michael stands up. I believe it is so important to know. People passed over and said Daniel 11 is really confusing, or there are too many arguments. It doesn’t really matter; but in the light of close of probation does it matter?

The purpose of this message is to show the importance of being ready before the close of probation because I don’t believe it is far. Even if it is further than we today anticipate. Is it wrong to be ready before hand? Is there a sin to be ready before Jesus comes? No. People criticise the Millerites saying, ‘they predicted Jesus’ coming and made this big thing but He wasn’t’ as if it was a waste of time. Is it ever a waste of time to be ready for Jesus to come? Even if it was five hundred years ago and they were ready for Jesus to come, did they waste their time? No. We scoff and laugh at them in our current generation and say, ‘they could have just lived on for a few more years as if it was something to be proud of that you can live in the world and then switch out at the last minute and be saved. That mentality is the worst mentality to have in the time which we now live. We need to be ready. The thief isn’t far away. To him he is not to be a thief. He is to be a Lord and Saviour.

Anyone who doesn’t believe that Michael in Daniel 11 is Jesus Christ, please look up a sermon that we’ve done on Is Jesus Michael the Arch Angel. You’ll see the line up there. It is repeating things that Jesus Christ indeed is Michael the archangel. That doesn’t make Him not part of the Godhead. That just means that He is the chief of angels. He is the archangel with the voice of the archangel, the Lord will come.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

Michael in Daniel 12 is the master of the house, the archangel. Christ is the master of the angels. They are making a claim to their Christian experience. You have eaten with us and drunk with us in our presence. We have had a meal together.

The Message to the Laodicean Church

The leadership of the church is being spewed out by its condition. 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. 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. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Christ is calling His professed people, the Laodicean people. If any man will open the door, I will come in and we are going to have a meal together. Here is a phase where Christ is saying; because you are lukewarm I will spew you out – speaking to the angel of the church. After that message of spewing out, then He goes to ‘any man.’ If any man will hear my voice and open up, I will come in and we’ll have a meal together. The key is not in having a meal with Christ, it is overcoming.

To him that overcometh will I grant the privilege of the rule of Laodicea. Is it possible to sup with Christ but fail in overcoming? When the master of the house is risen up – this is the time of Laodicea – He stands up and shuts the door. Those outside refer back and say, ‘hey, we had a meal together but we didn’t overcome.’ That is the most challenging concept to understand in our scenario today. We all understand the wicked will do wickedly and the heathens and the people far away from any knowledge of the truth. It is worse for those who have received such light and yet fail to be ready for the close of probation. The door was shut and they were surprised at the fact that they were outside. They’ll say, ‘excuse me, we’ve eaten with you, let us in.’ That is not the point.

Your religious experience has one purpose and that is to overcome sin. If your religious experience is not leading to that, you better make sure it does because this is the key. Once the man of the house has risen up and shut the door; that is it. The day of the Lord is not just one twenty four hour period but it is the time from the close of probation to the appearing of Jesus in the clouds and the seven last plagues that is known as the day of the Lord or the day of the Lord’s fierce anger and so many scriptures refer to it, it is a time period beginning with the close of probation and ending with the coming of Jesus in the clouds. If Jesus coming in the clouds was the only aspect, is it really a thief in the night? Of course there are so many calamities happening that even the non-Bible students will understand someone is coming. This thief aspect has to do with the close of probation. It is vital that we understand what it means to be ready for Christ to come.

When the work of investigation shall be ended, when the cases of those who in all ages have professed to be followers of Christ have been examined and decided, then, and not till then, probation will close, and the door of mercy will be shut. Thus in the one short sentence, “They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut,” we are carried down through the Saviour’s final ministration, to the time when the great work for man’s salvation shall be completed. {GC 428.2}

It is when the atonement is complete probation will close.

The Flood

Men cannot with impunity reject the warning which God in mercy sends them. A message was sent from heaven to the world in Noah’s day, and their salvation depended upon the manner in which they treated that message. Because they rejected the warning, the Spirit of God was withdrawn from the sinful race, and they perished in the waters of the Flood. In the time of Abraham, mercy ceased to plead with the guilty inhabitants of Sodom, and all but Lot with his wife and two daughters were consumed by the fire sent down from heaven. So in the days of Christ. The Son of God declared to the unbelieving Jews of that generation: “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:38. Looking down to the last days, the same Infinite Power declares, concerning those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”: “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12. As they reject the teachings of His word, God withdraws His Spirit and leaves them to the deceptions which they love. {GC 431.1}

It is not just saying that is true, we believe you Noah that there will be a flood. That is not the correct way to receive the message. You have to get in the ark. If the degree in which they believed was revealed by what they did, and if they really believed with all their hearts, soul and strength that there was a flood they would get in the arch.

When that door was closed and everyone is finally in the ark and the sky was still blue, people would have thought Noah made a mistake and wasted his time. Seven days later their mentality changed but it was too late. If our mentality changes by looking what is happening in the world, we’ve got a serious problem with that mentality. Sure we can see events in the world but they should not be the catalyst which makes us ready. They are by which we identify certain events taking place but they should not be the energy that makes us get ready. If that is the case why am I getting ready? Is it just to avoid punishment or is it that I really love Jesus? I guarantee if God opened that ark door after it started raining, they’d all be in there, that all of them will fit. Someone said to me God was not very kind because He didn’t made the ark so that all the population of the planet would fit in there. I said, if all the population of the planet would fit in there, they wouldn’t need to be destroyed so you wouldn’t need an ark if everyone was going to be saved. That is a bad way of thinking. If the door was open they would have hopped in. They tried to get in anyway. The same case goes with Sodom. They didn’t know what was going on. The next day the place was finished.

Jesus with the Jews

The Jews didn’t realise that their rejection of Jesus who they didn’t accept was the Messiah, was the Messiah. They thought someone else was still coming and that He was someone to overturn their church structure. They lost their salvation and they were surprised. In 70AD their city was finished.

It sounds like a dream. A dream is a deception. You don’t usually know you are dreaming when you are dreaming. It takes waking up to realise what was going on.

But Christ still intercedes in man’s behalf, and light will be given to those who seek it. Though this was not at first understood by Adventists, it was afterward made plain as the Scriptures which define their true position began to open before them. {GC 431.2}

The close of probation is a biblical teaching and we’ll be foolish to regard it not. We’ll be foolish to tag it as an Adventist dogma. It is very biblical.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

As you seek the Lord while He is near and you call upon Him while He can hear, you will receive mercy. Does this suggests that there is a time when you can’t seek Him anymore and that you can pray unto Him and He will not hear you anymore? Then will you receive mercy? Not at all. This text is calling as the close of probation or even in some cases when a person dies.

We are joining it directly to the close of probation here that we are to seek the Lord while He can be found because I believe very soon He won’t be. People will run around looking where the oil is. People have oil in their lamps which is the Bible. They get a blessing out of the scriptures but they have no oil within themselves. They are relying on some other teachers, preachers or some external thing to make their scriptures illuminated but they don’t have it within themselves.

The parable that Jesus gave of the wise and foolish virgins was the time came when the scriptures went out. It will be that the Bible will start to mean nothing. It will get lower and lower in appreciation of the scriptures. That is happening around us. The Bible is going out. When it goes out, you try to rally some more oil that is the spirit of God within you and you realise that you can make it happen. You can’t make the scriptures illuminate like they did before. While they try to sort out this dilemma the door is shut. Those that were ready went in to the marriage. It is a parable that Jesus teaches in so many ways.

The Importance of being ready

When the close of probation happens, a cup of the wrath of God will be poured out. We are considering the close of probation and we must understand the time. We are going to understanding the time prophecy of when Michael shall stand up. We are considering the importance of being ready, not just by being scared of events of oh look, all these bad things are happening, I better get right with the Lord. Sure, if that is a catalyst to ignite it, good, but make sure you get the right motive. If it is done under fear and then you realise it wasn’t the case and you have wasted your time, and you could have gone back to your worldly ways again, you have totally the wrong motive of being ready.

So it was with how many of the people that were in Millers time? They were all ready for Jesus to come and what happened to the great majority of them after they realised He didn’t come? They went back to the world. What did that reveal to the mindset? There was only a few that did. A small number that were ready and they continued on with it all the way throughout their lives even to the day they died. Humanly speaking you would have been disappointed thinking, why am I still here? Nevertheless, admitting human disappointments they still followed the message and they will be greatly blessed of God according to Revelation 3.

Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

This is what Michael is saying. When Michael stands up there will be a time of trouble such as never was before since there was a nation. The Bible equates this to a cup and the cup is being poured upon the inhabitants of the world. This cup has everything to do with being ready for the close of probation. This cup that is referred to here has no mercy mingled with it but there is a cup that has a same content mixed with mercy. Jesus drank it.

Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

Ponder this: Here is Christ with His strong connection with the Father. He comes into Gethsemane and the Lord is giving Him a bitter cup. He became known as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. This cup symbolises grief and sorrow. Jesus needed to be strengthened in order to drink it.

Disciples’ Mentality

We often can get stuck into this mentality. I pray we can get out of it. In the close of probation, the world will experience the cup of bitterness, anguish and sorrow that has never been experienced by a planet before. Jesus Christ drunk the cup in Gethsemane but He had to be strengthened. As the disciples of Christ we have to be preparing for the close of probation.

Matthew 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

The disciples’ mentality of the cup portrays them as saying ‘we can drink it.’ Do you ever get that about the last events? It will be hard but it will be okay. We can do it. Christ says you don’t even know what you are asking. You have no idea of the depths of anguish and sorrow that I went through that you will have to go through.

Matthew 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but [it shall be given to them] for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Who is it in prophecy that will sit on His thrown with Him? It is the overcomer of Laodicea. Will the Laodicean have to drink of that cup in a way that others haven’t had it? It is a time of trouble such as never was.

The Battle of Armageddon

This is what the wicked will receive. You’ve got to drink of it anyway. You either drink it mingled with mercy, or you drink it not mixed with mercy. It says poured out without mixture. There is no mercy in it. There is no salvation that results to it. There is a saying that if a trial doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. It’s true when we go through trials with Jesus Christ; but the trial of the close of probation for the wicked will kill them. There is nothing good about it. Often we can learn good things in trials. Some of our greatest trials can be our greatest blessings. We can be happy through negativities. There is nothing happy for anyone outside of Christ to go through the time of trouble recorded after the probation closes. There is nothing beneficial to it all. There is no mercy at all mingled with it. This last day cup is recorded.

Babylon

Babylon has this cup.

Jeremiah 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.

You have to ask the question; should I go through some anguish and sorrow now while the Lord is near, while He will hear me when I cry? To put our head in the sand and think nothing bad will happen, peace and safety is not a solution at all. Putting your head in the sand won’t help because the sand will melt with fervent heat. You end up getting caught up.

Cup Mingled with Mercy

Isaiah 51:22 Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God [that] pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, [even] the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: 23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

Here someone is talking and He is saying, I am the person who is pleading for you. I am standing in court for you. It sounds like Michael who stands for the children of those people in Daniel 12:1. Here is Michael speaking to us. It is speaking of an afflicted people, people that are trodden on. They are simply dirt. People walk over them, rub their feet over them, kick them while they are down and keep walking on. Have you ever felt like that in life where you are down and people still beat you while you are down? As we call out to the Lord, that experience of being down, having trials and being rubbed in the dirt and treated so badly just like Jesus was treated on the cross is the cup that we are talking about.

In whatever form this anguish and sorrow appears, as we plead to the Lord the promises are taken off you and you won’t have to drink it anymore. But now I will have to give it to the people who just stepped on you and they will drink it. Can you see the picture the Bible is painting? When does the transfer happen from this cup switching hands? It is the close of probation that it is switched at. From the close of probation onwards the transfer from God’s people having their afflictions turning around to the world having their afflictions and God’s people being saved out of it. The cup is now out of their hands and they get to have the glory of heaven is what happens from our experience before probation closes switching over to the close of probation when the wicked receive the cup of God’s wrath.

How Do You Prepare to Meet the Lord?

Preparation to meet the Lord is in drinking the cup. If you drink it while there is mercy which is on this side of the close of probation, then when probation closes it will come out of your hand and go to the hands of the enemy. It will be a turning of events. I am not saying that the day probation closes you will never have a trial again, but there will be the changing of the circumstances of the deliverance of God’s people from the close of probation.

Preparing for the Close of Probation

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

What does Christ say to the people who expect to go into heaven and don’t? I don’t know you. His suffering was the cup. He said, Father if it be possible take the cup away from me. I don’t like it but not my will but yours be done. If that is what you want then give it back to me. I’ll drink it. Can you relate to that experience at all? We need to be relating to this experience. We will relate to this cup more and more as we head to the close of probation. If we keep turning away from the cup, we get it and go no, I don’t want that Lord. You know it when push something away. Others might not know it. It may not be an external action that you do where people can say you are rejecting the Lord. Your walk with the Lord brings something across your path and you get challenged to the core about it. You may try to think of changing the doctrine to make yourself more comfortable or get a deception in your head that the thing the Lord is communicating to you is not right or walking away or you can say Lord, give it to me, it strengthens me because it harder than I think.

This is what it means to be ready for the close of probation – fellowshipping of His suffering and being made conformable unto His death. Study it out and you’ll see it. Go through your experience and then study it out. Then it becomes even deeper.

How few have any conception of the anguish which rent the heart of the Son of God during His thirty years of life upon earth. The path from the manger to Calvary was shadowed by sorrow and grief. He was the Man of Sorrows, and endured such heartache as no human language can portray. He could have said in truth, “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow” (Lamentations 1:12). His suffering was the deepest anguish of the soul; and what man could have sympathy with the soul anguish of the Son of the infinite God? Hating sin with a perfect hatred, He yet gathered to His soul the sins of the whole world…. {TMK 66.2}

This was the case with the disciples. Christ said, can you drink the cup that I am drinking. They said, yeah we can do it. They didn’t have any idea but they ended up getting the idea. Do we have any idea? Not like we should, but we will. Let us do it on this side of probation and not the other because the whole world will get an appreciation of the cup that Christ drank when the wrath of God was poured upon the sins of the world as He died on the cross. He received it. I am glad He did because this is the way that we could drink with Him and sup with Him.

Do you ever get it where you have been touched by the gospel of Christ and you love the Lord and you love to follow Him but your flesh where all the sins we’ve done in the past has the clamouring of the carnal nature and there is a huge battle between the thing I hate and the thing I love? I might think it is funny because if I hate it, why is it a big battle? It is because of the carnal nature that it is a big battle. If you take away the carnal nature, it is battle at all. When we are converted, when we receive the mind of Christ in our hearts and minds we still have the carnal nature.

The mind of Christ has the power to conquer every single aspect of the carnal nature. How do we know that? It is because He did. Christ says be of good cheer I have overcome the world. It says in another scripture, all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Christ overcame the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. That is what the mind of Christ can do but it is not a walk in the park. It is a strait gate. As we engage in this experience, we are drinking the cup but it is mixed with mercy. This is how we get ready for the close of probation.

Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 3 Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth.

Here is this experience of following the Lord and at the hand of the Lord, they’ve received being torn up and being smitten. They say, let us return to God even though we’ve received this very difficult scenario from following God because He will heal us again. When you enter the Christian walk it is not all roses. There are some challenges to meet and will be challenged just like the rich young ruler. The rich young ruler came to the Lord and asked, Master, what do I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus struck at the root of his idol – covetousness. It is like the Lord came and broke the idol in the rich young ruler. Could the rich young ruler have returned to Christ and said, I will follow you. You’ve hurt me totally. I am humiliated, you’ve showed my sins, you’ve showed me how bad I am and I thought I was a good Christian person but I will come back to you. Would Jesus then heal his wounds? Yes, He would.

Hosea 6: 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

This sounds like the resurrection of Christ. Paul says to have fellowship with His sufferings being made conformable unto His death as in the form is the same. To conform to something is to allow the form to mould you. Here is what that means. That means we come to the Lord, the Lord tells us a way to go, live or do and we don’t want to do that at all. Yet we still come to Him and say, Lord I will still follow you even though what you told me to do has challenged me to the core, it has revealed my idol and I will just lay to you and you can break it now. I will still follow you.

After a period of time, two days is the symbolism – you will live in His sight. If we have fellowship with His sufferings and are made conformable to his death, we will be saved among the hundred and forty four thousand. When Michael stands up, He will deliver those who are written in the book. Those who are living during that time will be delivered and they will literally live in His sight in the side of a Holy God without a mediator. This is the process.

Jesus said to those Christians who expected to enter in, I don’t know you. You cannot know Jesus Christ unless you go through the sufferings of Christ. When you go through the sufferings of Christ, then you’ll get to know Him and your joy will be so full. My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you. Christ’s peace didn’t come by a lack of trial, it came in the midst of trial. Christ was in Gethsemane wrestling with God with great anguish, sorrow and grief struggling between what He naturally wanted according to the human nature and what God was calling Him to do according to the divine nature. He yielded. When He yielded, peace was upon Him. When He went to Caiphas, Pilate and Herod, He had peace. That is the result of taking the cup with Jesus. When we are in a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, the hundred and forty four thousand can have peace though it all. God’s people who will be living during that time will have peace.

I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of “refreshing” and the “latter rain” to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. {CET 112.3}

People are waiting for some external event and some marker. The problem is when that obvious thing appears, it will be too late. We are waiting for the whole church to be converted. The Lord says that time will never come. Even the misunderstanding in Daniel 11 will lead people to miss time, the close of probation if you get the prophecy wrong.

Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets, and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. Before this time the awfully solemn declaration has gone forth, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” {CET 112.4}

The Hewing Process

Solomon’s temple was built without noise. It was putting together of stones that were perfectly fitted together for the temple but they were measured, cut to size in the quarry away from the temple. Then they were carried and the time came when all the stones could be put in their spot and they were all made to fit. That hewing process was that here is the clump of stone and it is the wrong shape or it is too much of self in this rock and so it has to be cut, hewed and squared and made exactly for its purpose.

What means does this object lesson take place in our lives? It takes place by the prophets. How many people get annoyed with the writings of prophets that were big, straight and cut the idols against us? We don’t like it. God has given us the last days’ prophet that indeed hews people and many people have rejected the writings purely because they don’t like to be hewed. This should make us understand that we are not ready for the close of probation whenever we reject the writings. Whenever we reject any prophet of God, we miss out on being ready. God doesn’t waste His time. He doesn’t tell us more than He has to. He doesn’t give us extra burdens just because He wants to. He is doing things that are necessary for our salvation. God does not inflict pain upon us without it being a benefit to us in the long term. When the close of probation happens, then it is totally a different story because there is no mercy anymore.

We need to follow on to know the Lord.

I saw that none could share the “refreshing,” unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord, and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy, and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence. {CET 113.1}

“Again and again I have been shown that the people of God in these last days could not be safe in trusting in men, and making flesh their arm. The mighty cleaver of truth has taken them out of the world as rough stones that are to be hewed and squared and polished for the heavenly building. They must be hewed by the prophets with reproof, warning, admonition, and advice, that they may be fashioned after the divine Pattern; this is the specified work of the Comforter, to transform heart and character, that men may keep the way of the Lord. . . . {LS 323.2}

This is the work of the Holy Spirit – warning, reproof, advice and admonition. Do you like being advised in a different way that you want to go? Do you like being reproved when you are doing something wrong? We don’t naturally and we need to come to the Lord and submit to His words and the writings of the prophets.

Paul Preparing the Church

Apostle Paul was preparing his church in Thessalonica to be ready for Jesus to come. We need to be ready too. It is never a waste of time even if there is another million years to go to be ready for Jesus to come today. It is irrelevant if we are waiting for the event to ignite us as we will miss out because that is what happened to the antediluvian world. They all wanted to get back on when the rain started dropping from the sky but there is time before hand that when the master of the house has risen up and has shut the door then it is finished.

1 Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.

Here the Apostle is comparing dreaming to reality. Don’t dream like the rich young ruler dreamt that he was a good person. All these things I have done from my youth up, I am really not a bad person. That is a dream. Be sober and allow the gospel to comfort you in all of your realisation of your condition. Allow the comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ to warm your heart that when you realise you are a sinner then realise you’ve got a friend in Jesus the friend of sinners.

1 Thessalonians 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. [And] be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].

God did not want us to have this cup without mixture. He intended us to have the cup with mercy and not without mercy. The Lord does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked.

Here the Apostle is talking in the context of the close of probation and he is saying let us not fight amongst ourselves. Let us respect people who labour in doctrine, who deliver the teachings. The Bible is saying respect them highly. Don’t fight about it. Be ready within yourself for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a hard time getting along with some people maybe because of who they are but here it says we esteem them highly for their work sake and be at peace amongst yourselves.

I pray that the Lord can give us this mentality of patience and of love and respect to one another. God is calling us to have that we can drink the cup with Christ, know Him thoroughly and allow His character to be manifested amongst us so that when the probation closes it will continue to a wider field of trial. So we can exercise what we’ve learned in the school of Christ in the open arena of the whole universe when God’s people are demonstrating His character before wicked men. Even after the close of probation, you will still love your enemies even if there will be no hope for them of ever being saved. The way Christ dealt on the cross, He said, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Many of these people were never converted and yet this is an expression of His yearning and love to those people. This is the result of drinking the cup with Christ. Not becoming bitter but becoming sweet out of the experience.

It is my prayer that we can be ready, not just get ready but be ready for the coming of the Lord. I don’t believe it is far away. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Posted on September 12, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath, The Close of Probation, The Time of Trouble and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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