Probation is Soon to Close

 

Audio mp3

This time is very clear in the scriptures, the time when the door is shut. In Luke it says when once the master of the house has risen up and has shut the door, then you begin to stand without. This event of shutting the door, the master of the house standing up is depicted in Daniel 12. The master, the archangel which is the master of angels; Michael stands up and then there will be a time of trouble such as never was. This time period is referred to in the Bible as the day of the Lord. It is not a twenty four hour period, but a day as in a time of the coming of the Lord. From the close of probation through to the seven last plagues being poured out; to the appearing of Jesus in the clouds is what the scripture shows is an event, the day of the Lord.

The Sudden Destruction

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 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.

The sudden destruction is the time of troubles such as never was. From the time it starts to the actual appearance of Jesus, is this Day of the Lord. That close of probation comes as a thief in the night. There is no marked event. When Jesus comes in the clouds, it is not as a thief in the night because everyone will see. Every eye will see Him. Not every eye sees the thief that comes in the night. From the close of probation which has no big bang about it, there is no spectacular happening that the whole world can notice. It is quiet when it happens. Then there will be some destruction and they will not escape. Who will escape?

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.

We see in this time period very clearly shown in prophecy which we are to expect. Christ has a message. This message is given right in the middle of this time of trouble such as never was. He has something to say about the Day of the Lord.

Naked

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Naked means to have no clothes on. Christ is simply saying that when probation closes, make sure you’ve got your clothes on. Make sure you are wearing something. Make sure no one will take your garment from you. Can you have your garment taken from you? Be careful not to have your garment taken from you. If someone takes your garment you remain naked. You will not have any clothes on. Of course this is symbolism.

The Parable about Garments

In this parable Christ likened the Kingdom of heaven to a king that made a marriage for his son. The king is God the Father and the Son is Jesus. Then there was a servant that was sent to invite guests and they made excuses.

Matthew 22:2-14 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and [my] fatlings [are] killed, and all things [are] ready: come unto the marriage. 5 But they made light of [it], and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated [them] spitefully, and slew [them]. 7 But when the king heard [thereof], he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

There are three excuses that Christ gives why they couldn’t come:

  1. Possessions. They had possessions
  2. Relationships
  3. They had things to do.

These three things, some have every reason why people don’t want to accept Christ. One of these categories falls into that we idolise, whether it is something that we want to achieve, our own plans like a business. Not that business is wrong in itself but it can be a source and a point of trying to accomplish our own projects. Our own ambitions can keep us from heaven.

Marriage

Is there anything wrong with getting married? Not in itself. It can be but in itself it is not wrong. It can be a source of losing salvation. If it is the reason why you don’t want to go to marriage it is fine. I have another relationship and I don’t want to sacrifice that relationship for the relationship of Christ. Not just marriage, but any relationship; whether it is your child, your pet or your friend. It doesn’t matter. You can sacrifice your relationship with Christ because of the relationship with something else. The last one is possessions. Like the rich young ruler, he loved his possessions. They were his idol. Houses, lands that I can call my own.

The interesting thing to think about possessions is that even though you may possess something, God owns everything. Everything you own is still owned over and above you by God. It is something to think about before we sacrifice God over our possessions considering it belongs to God anyway. We need to worship the giver not the gift.

The Jews’ Rejection of Christ

These three categories Christ comes with and then they reject him. This is primarily talking about the Jews rejection of Christ because when they rejected, what did the king do? Burnt up their city. What happened to Jerusalem? This is a prophecy of Jesus predicting the destruction of Jerusalem. The message went to the gentiles and you have a garment introduced. This garment is introduced and the king comes in to inspect the guests. This is reaching down to the time of investigation. The king comes to investigate each guest. On his investigation it says:

Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen.

He was speechless. He didn’t have any excuse. If I said to you; why aren’t you wearing that pink jacket? What would you think? What would you say to me? What pink jacket, I didn’t know about a pink jacket? This man was what? Speechless. Did he know about a garment? He could even had a garment. Every guest was given, it is a gift. The garment was the gift. He came in and what was the problem? He wasn’t wearing the garment. The fact that he was silent means that he had no excuse. He knew about it. If you don’t know about something, you’d honestly say, ‘I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t know about this garment. I didn’t know it was a requirement.’ Here this man is speechless which indicates that he knew about the garment and it is highly likely that he was given a garment.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Do you think this man lost his garment? Is it possible to lose that which Christ gave? The garment is simply the righteousness of Christ – Christ’s character, His temperament, His personality, His attributes which He holds. When you read the Life of Christ and see these beautiful gems of what type of person Christ is and what attributes He displays, you are looking at the garment.

This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising. Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us… When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah. {COL 311.4}

We call that justification – impartation of righteousness. We call the wearing of the garment sanctification. The receiving of the garment is called justification and the placing of the garment on is called sanctification.

The problem is that I believe too many people try and define the two to make them two distinct things. Why ever would you have a garment that you don’t put on? This man who came to the wedding had no excuse whatsoever. He was silent. He had nothing to say. That simply is telling us he had a garment. Why aren’t you wearing the garment? I gave it to you, why aren’t you wearing it? What is this problem? Did he experience Christianity in any degree? Yes he did. His problem is he that boasted in justification to the neglect of sanctification. Isn’t that the case today? We can rejoice in the forgiveness of our sins and that Christ is offering to place on our account in the ledgers of heaven all His attributes. We think it is good and it is good, but unless those attributes become mine God will ask me a question, ‘excuse me. Why aren’t you wearing the garment I gave you?’

If you bought some clothing as a gift for a friend and then you found out that they never wore the gift, how would you feel? Just on an earthly level you’d feel as a waste of money and effort. They didn’t like it; but if saw them always wearing what you had purchased them and you’d know they liked it. Do you really like justification? If we like it we wear it. If we truly appreciate the gift of Christ honestly we will be sanctified. We can’t really separate the two. To try and separate the two and say ‘I don’t believe in living a holy life before Jesus comes’ is simply saying ‘I don’t really appreciate the gift of Christ. I don’t want to wear it because when the king comes in to inspect the guest he has one question to ask; why aren’t you wearing the garment I gave you? What will you say? You didn’t know about the garment or will you say nothing? There is no excuse at all. This is the scene here.

We can be given the garment, we can appreciate to a certain degree the gift of Christ and then it can be taken off us. That is why Jesus says in the time of trouble when probation closes the message to His people is make sure you’ve got your garments. Coming into the close of probation the message is make sure you’ve got your garment on, not in your hand but on you because if you don’t have your garment on, you are naked.

You either have your garment on or you don’t. There are only two classes. The Bible puts it in another way. It gives it another illustration. Not about garments but about a mark or a seal.

Revelation 13:15-18 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

There are two classes of people and two marks. Notice the mark of the beast – the number of his name. The mark of the beast represents the name of the beast. The seal of God is the name of God. It is about two names. There are only two groups. A lot of people are interested with the mark of the beast. What is the mark of the beast? All you need to be concerned about is what the seal of God is. If you get the mark as a seal of God, the Father’s name in your forehead, you can’t get the other. You either have one name or the other – one is the name of the man, its humanities mentality versus the divine mentality.

Which one will you have? One is being clothed and the other is being naked.

The Name of God

There are a lot of people that are getting involved in how to say God’s name the right way or how to spell it the right way or spell it without all the letters and making asterix and things in the middle so that you don’t actually spell it and then having their right pronunciation like the Jewish name. I believe strongly that is totally missing the point.

Exodus 3:13-15 And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations.

This includes today. What is the name? God is who He is. His name is more His character than the pronunciation of some Jewish words. It misses the point. Let’s not get side tracked with words. Let’s delve into the meaning, the inspiration that is behind them.

Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

What is more important than the name itself in itself letting? What is more important? What is magnified about it? His word. His word is who He is. In the beginning was the word. It is who He is. I AM who I AM. That is who I am. That is my name, the personage, the character traits that I am. The glory, Moses wanted to see the glory of God and He showed Himself to Moses. Moses knew who God was. He proclaimed the name of the Lord and he said, the Lord, gracious and merciful and kind and all these wonderful traits that balance justice and mercy perfectly in a being. That has to become our mentality.

The Garment and the Investigative Judgement

That character traits, the perfect blend of mercy and justice in the personage of Jesus Christ as displayed in His life has to become our mentality. That is what it means to wear the garment. Not that Christ is my representative, He stands before me, He is kind and I am agro but it is okay because He is in front of me therefore I can be agro, nasty and mean because Christ is not. That is having the garment but not putting it on. If we don’t put it on in our practical life where we think His thoughts and our will is merged in with His will and live His life, the questioned will be asked ‘why aren’t you wearing that beautiful gift I gave you?’

What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity. {5T 216.1}

The mark of the beast is the worldly mould. They are getting moulded in a mentality. Can you see how our society is shoving a mentality across people, a certain way of thinking? It is the number of a man. It is the number of his name. It is the characteristic and it is in contrast with that of God. The garment is character. Your character is your habitual thoughts and feelings that you cherish that make your actions what they are. They govern your course through your life – those particular thoughts and feelings that you hang on to and cherish.

Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God–candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour. {5T 216.2}

Ezekiel gives another picture. Go through and put a mark on every person who sighing and crying for the abominations. Repentance and sorrow for sin is what should be characterizing our life. Not just repentance and sorrow for sin but worshipping and admiration of the character of Jesus.

When we see Christ in His character traits as we study His words, we are to search the scriptures for they testify of Jesus. As we look at them, what we could have the privilege of doing is seeing Jesus in action. Stopping and dwelling upon that, that mind occupation will affect us profoundly as we keep doing it.

Decision and Actions

The interesting thing about the close of probation is that it is more than just a choice. When you want to serve the Lord and be on the Lord’s side, you need to make a choice, a decision in your life for the Lord. There comes a time when a decision is too late. The decisions must be made with action.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Here came a time in Esau’s life when the decision was too late to make. A decision is only good if it can be carried out. Have you ever come to a point in your life where you can make a decision but you can’t do anything about carrying it out? Peter was in this situation. He needed divine help to carry it out.

Peter’s Decision

Matthew 26:33-34 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all [men] shall be offended because of thee, [yet] will I never be offended. 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Was that a firm decision of Peter? Do you think he honestly meant that decision? Did that decision change his course of character? It didn’t. What needed to take place was some working of divine intervention that was to profoundly impact him so he wouldn’t be offended. His mere decision was not enough. You need something else. Peter denies the Lord. Christ said before cock crows thou shalt deny me three times. The event takes place and Peter start denying the Lord three times. The third time the rooster was still crowing. Who controls the roosters?

What impact would that have made? Jesus said it before that he would deny Him before the roost crows. God knows when the roosters crow but He knows more about us. He said before the rooster crows you will deny me three times. I will never do that. Then as he does it and he looks to Jesus. What look does he get from Jesus? Love and pity. What is it that is going to change your character? Is it your mere decision of I will do this or is it gaining a glimpse of Jesus caring for you personally? That would change you more. It will make your decision doable if you get a glimpse of Jesus: But if you want to get a glimpse of Jesus, we must do it whilst we can see Him.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

We want to make our decision during the time when we can see Jesus when we can appreciate His love while there is mercy lingering. But if I make my decisions afterwards, my decision is nothing without being coupled with the love of Christ.

The Parable of Ten Virgins

Did they come a time that was too late? What is needed to go through the time of trouble such as never was? You need to wear a garment. The putting on the garment is the development of your character. The giving of the garment is the gift of Christ’s character is for you to behold and make your own. What the Bible is presenting to us is that, to survive the close of probation you have to have sanctification completed. Does it happen as quick as justification? We always refer to the thief on the cross. He was saved in a second on his death bed. Many people draw that and say they can do the same. When it comes to the close of probation, let him who is holy be holy still and him that is filthy be filthy still – that is not applicable because we need to live in the side of God without a mediator. We need to have the garment on. We need to have the attributes of Christ before probation closes. What a privilege to be able to have.

Just the mere decision of ‘I will put it on now’ can you do it? There is a time period that it is too late to develop. This statement says it is almost too late to develop character. This is not to be discouraging but this is a serious time in which we live. It is to awaken us to the sense of I need to occupy my mind on putting the garment on.

It is the word of God, the impartation of His life, that gives life to the seed; and of that life, we, in eating the grain, become partakers. This, God desires us to discern; He desires that even in receiving our daily bread we may recognize His agency and may be brought into closer fellowship with Him. {Ed 108.1}

By the laws of God in nature, effect follows cause with unvarying certainty. {Ed 108.2}

Character is very unforgiving. The character you develop when the door is shut is the character you will have. If it is not a good character, can we blame God? Has God given all the means for us to develop a good character? He’s given us the garment. We just have to put it on.

In Revelation there are two classes of people. One they wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb and make them white. The other to them are given garments. This marks the two segments of Christian development. One before the investigative judgment and one after.

We’ve all been given garments but this parable that Christ said was there was a time of inspection to see if it is on. In other words, God is expecting the garment to be worn by every single follower of His without exception. The only way to tell whether you are wearing it is whether you are wearing it. If you’ve got it on, you’ve got it on. If you don’t, you are naked. The question was; why aren’t you wearing it?

The harvest of life is character. The second coming of Christ is likened to the harvest. What we have is the first time in earth’s history all characters of our planet will be developed. You might think; how could that ever happen? The choices you make develop character especially on trials. When you are in a trial you always wish to get out of it. If you dodge all your trials you will have a deformed character. On the other hand, if you go through all the trials and come out of it victorious, you’ll develop a good character. In earth’s history, when has there been more trials than ever before? We live in a time that there are so many trials more than ever before. Why is that? It is because everyone’s character will be developed.

Christ watches the history of the earth over the six thousand years and right at the end He turns up the heat. All He has to do is pour more trials and that will develop people one way or the other. It is the summer heat of the harvest. The sun beats down upon the grain and it dries out. In other seasons it can’t do it. We have a mentality today that is designed to finish off people’s character quickly.

The harvest is a reproduction of the seed sown. Every seed yields fruit after its kind. So it is with the traits of character we cherish. Selfishness, self-love, self-esteem, self-indulgence, reproduce themselves, and the end is wretchedness and ruin. “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:8. Love, sympathy, and kindness yield fruitage of blessing, a harvest that is imperishable. {Ed 109.1}

The Apostle Paul says in the last days perils days will come, men will be lovers of their own self, boaster, proud, high-minded etc. The Apostle is saying in the last days it is going to be like that. In other words, according to the Bible we do live in a time where self-love, self-esteem and self-indulgence is at a height that has never been before. The events have always been there. Selfishness has always existed, but the height and the combination of it has never been there before. You can get pleasure really quick in our days, even in poor countries. All people have to do is pull out their mobile phones and look up some pornography or something and they’ve got the pleasure they want. That is what the world do just like that. Two hundred years ago how hard would it be compared to today? A lot harder. You would have to go through a whole lot more rigmarole to get the same sort of pleasure that you can in seconds today.

Character Development

The Apostle Paul was so accurate when he said in the last days perilous times will come. Men shall be lovers of their own selves. Character is developing at a fast pace today. Really fast pace. While that is true on the negative, how quick and easy can you get a glimpse of Jesus’ love through His word today? Can you pull out your phone and get a glimpse of His love by the scriptures, the Spirit of Prophecy database, communicating with brethren, fellowship much faster than you could to be able to talk with loved ones in a godly way? It is just as powerful on the positive as on the negative except men are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. The negative gets favoured far more than does the godly. It shouldn’t be amongst ourselves. We should love God more than we love pleasure.

There is a science of Christianity to be mastered–a science as much deeper, broader, higher, than any human science as the heavens are higher than the earth. The mind is to be disciplined, educated, trained; for men are to do service for God in ways that are not in harmony with inborn inclination. Often the training and education of a lifetime must be discarded, that one may become a learner in the school of Christ. The heart must be educated to become steadfast in God. Old and young are to form habits of thought that will enable them to resist temptation. They must learn to look upward. The principles of the word of God–principles that are as high as heaven and that compass eternity–are to be understood in their bearing on the daily life. Every act, every word, every thought, is to be in accord with these principles. {CT 20.1}

We are to do service for God in ways that are not in harmony with inborn inclination. Inclination is that which you tend to lean towards. Do you do that which you tend to like doing? It is so natural and human but is it divine? Even in missionary work, are we all comfortable doing certain things? Should sometimes we go out of our comfort zones to do certain things? You bet.

Paul’s sanctification was the result of a constant conflict with self. He said: “I die daily.” 1 Corinthians 15:31. His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did God’s will, however crucifying to his own nature. {8T 313.3}

You often think of Apostle Paul, he was just like this person who wanted to do God’s will every second. He just bounded out of bed thinking, ‘I will obey God and do everything’ and he went ahead and did it. That is how we picture him; but here the Apostle Paul who displays and presents the gospel as we know it today. He says ‘I die daily’ which means his will, his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God.

Self is Dead

When it says that self is dead, do you know what that actually means? It doesn’t mean that the canal nature is no longer active, it means that it no longer has ruler-ship. The position of ruler-ship is dead. I die daily. Here we can see that the Apostle Paul has this battle between his own inclination and that of the will of God. What is going to be the master? In the life of Paul, what was the master? God was. That is equated with self dying. The next day, did he have any problems? He had to do the same thing. When we read in Hebrews where it talks about mortifying the body and so on, some people have a belief that when you reach conversion something is eternally dead as in you never have any more internal battles within and the sinful flesh is not active anymore, it is actually killed and once it is dead, it is dead. That is a false teaching. The mastery of the flesh is dead. Yes, it is crucified. It’s position as ruler-ship in my life is being killed and tomorrow I have to do it again. That is forming character. If we only do things we want to do, we will never form a right character.

No other science is equal to that which develops in the life of the student the character of God. Those who become followers of Christ find that new motives of action are supplied, new thoughts arise, and new actions must result. But they can make advancement only through conflict; for there is an enemy who ever contends against them, presenting temptations to cause the soul to doubt and sin. There are hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil that must be overcome. Appetite and passion must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. There is no end to the warfare this side of eternity. But while there are constant battles to fight, there are also precious victories to gain; and the triumph over self and sin is of more value than the mind can estimate. {CT 20.2}

It is a science of how to get dressed. How to put the garment on is a science.

When Christ gives you that garment, those new thoughts like loving your enemy, is a totally different way of thinking. It sounds impossible and we go back to hating our enemies. If we have these new motives and new thoughts arise, then new actions must result.

How do you Form a Character?

It is your thoughts processes and the things that you cherish. How can I put the garment on? How does this happen? The following passage is often used by people to teach that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding but it teaches the exact opposite if it is studied carefully and prayerfully:

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.

Have you ever heard the term that you could be the only Bible someone will ever read? Have you ever heard that if you judge someone, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover? What are you equating a person to? A book; here this statement is comparing the Ten Commandments which are written on stone. The Ten Commandments are to be lived in living principle and that you are known and read of all men. In other words, people can be reading the Ten Commandments without reading the Ten Commandments. They can see your life and they will be learning the lessons of the Ten Commandments and they don’t even know they are reading Exodus 20 in your life. Scriptures are to be ingested into our lives.

2 Corinthians 3:12-18 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 And not as Moses, [which] put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [veil] is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

What the Apostle Paul is saying is that the Jews misunderstood the Bible. They didn’t get the point. They read it, saw the words of it but the thought processes that came from it were wrong.

When Moses was on Mount Sinai he asked to see the glory of God in character and he saw it. After he heard the glory of God, the physical face of Moses shone really bright and he came down to the Jews in the camp and his face was so bright that they couldn’t look at it. They had to turn their head away until he put a veil over his face. That was typified of how they read their Bible. What did Moses get? The character of God from the Bible. He saw:

“The Lord is gracious, merciful, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth but will in no wise clear the guilty or visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children and children’s children to the third and fourth generation to them that hate me.”

That is what he got a glimpse of – the balance between mercy and justice and he saw it perfectly. When the Jews read the Old Testament, did they get the balance right? Were they merciful? Not at all. Even today, people don’t understand the Old Testament properly. They still think there is a God of the Jews and the Christian God and there is the Jews dispensation and Christian dispensation and that there are two different ways of getting salvation; one is by works and this one is by faith. All these doctrines that come out is all a result of the same Jewish error of reading the Old Testament wrong. What is it all about? It is all about the character of God – how you view God. That is so important. That is essentially the key to putting on the garment.

The veil is done away in Christ. Every time I read the Old Testament, I need to come out with an attribute like displayed in Jesus’ life when He was on earth. If I am coming out with something different, I am reading it wrong. I am not seeing the broader picture. I am stuck on a few little words that will trip me up. It is a veil, a stumbling block that people trip over.

2 Corinthians 3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. 6 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Does that mean we have a veil on? We are not to have a veil on when reading the Bible. Is there any loss of image in a mirror? No. When we are reading the Bible, we are looking at the mirror. We are beholding in the Bible and we are to see as clearly as you would see someone’s face in the mirror, you are to see God in the Bible as displayed in the life of Christ.

When you want to put a piece of clothing on, what do you call that? I’m going to get changed. In the investigative judgement God wants to know why you didn’t get changed. There is only one reason why we’ll never be changed, it is because we didn’t look without the veil. We are changed into the same image from glory to glory. It is the process from glory to glory.

The Ten Commandments

Christ re-gave the Ten Commandments in the sermon on the mount of blessing. He touches the Ten Commandments. You can find all of them in that sermon. He begins His sermon after the Beatitudes. He says, think not that I have come to destroy the law. I have come to fulfil. I have come to take the veil away from reading Exodus 20 and I will tell you again in Mathew 5-7. He expounds what He always intended the Ten Commandments to deliver. How does it read in Matthew? Love your enemies, bless those that persecute you. If you want to bless someone who persecutes you, you first need to be persecuted. If no one is persecuting you, you can’t bless them. You need a trial in order to develop that character.

For you to be able to fulfil God’s character, somebody has to use you. Do you like being used and abused? It is not that we open ourselves to be walked on like a mat, but life has these things in it and they will increase more and more. How shall we deal with it? Are we going to dwell on the negativity or are we going to go to the Bible and gain God’s character displayed in my circumstance? Whatever you are suffering, find the Bible example and look at it long enough to see God’s love in it.

Matthew 7:21-27 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

He says at the end of the sermon after expounding on how to act in your life and how to put the garment on, He says that everyone that hears these words and does it, whoever puts that garment on will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. He said earlier people come to me and just because they say ‘Lord, Lord’, they won’t enter into the kingdom of Heaven. He that does the will of my Father will enter in. He is talking about the completion of sanctification.

Probation is soon to Close

Probation is soon to close and we need to be saved. Many things look good in this world. Many people look like good Christians. We may esteem people and think they are what I call true Christians and they may trick us. We can’t afford to trust in mankind for a display of righteousness. We need to study the scriptures because they testify of Jesus Himself. We need to get that image so clearly that we are looking in the mirror of Jesus. You are mistaken if you study the Bible without the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will take the veil off and you will see in the scriptures the beautiful character traits that are applicable in your life.

If you study the Bible just to exemplify your character traits, a lot of people do – they will make God their main trait. You will get a religion, sometimes the Baptists are very hell-fire and brimstone so they will show God in that way. You will get others that are very happy clappy and charismatic and they will present Christ in a charismatic way. People can stage God in relation to how they see themselves. That is called idolatry. It is where you make God into the figure you want Him to be and then worship it. Whereas if we come to the Bible and say, Lord, I don’t actually know who you are. I know who I am and I am a mess and I don’t want me. I don’t want the character traits that I have. I just want to start again and we come to the Bible wanting to see Jesus for who He is, not for who I want Him to be, then when I study the bible that way, I will the correct picture of Jesus.

If I tend towards being in bigotry and I want to find Jesus in all His bigotry ways and capitalize on anything there I will find it if I want. If I want to be super liberal and show how Jesus doesn’t care about the Ten Commandments and just wipes it off the board, I can find that too if I want. Is that putting the garment on? Is that reading the Bible with a veil? It is. We need to come to the Bible and say, ‘Lord, I want you to show me your glory, just like Moses. Show me your glory and I want to behold it. As I look at it and as I keep looking at it, I will get a change – change of raiment and change of mind.

Malachi 3:16-18 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

It is not about how you spell His name, it is about who He is. They think upon who He is because that is His name, I AM who I AM. For those who think upon who He is, the I AM God will say to these people ‘they are mine.’

Malachi 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

The Ultimate Test

Your character displayed in the time of trouble will be the proof of your walk with God. Nothing else can prove it. May the Lord help us to keep our garments on so that we will not be naked and we can have the privilege of appreciating the garment He has given us by wearing it.

Amen.

Posted on September 21, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath, The Close of Probation. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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