What Crucified Jesus and His Disciples

By John Thiel, mp3

Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Can you see a startling element in this scripture? Among brethren who worship together, there are such who tremble at His word and there are others who worship God in the pride of their preeminence as God’s children. Those that tremble at God’s word are disliked by their brethren. There comes a point in time when their brethren will actually regard it as a favour done to God and something to glorify God with, that they shall put these people that tremble at God’s word out of their fellowship.

What crucified Jesus and His followers? What is it that crucifies Jesus? What is it that crucifies Him in the past, crucifies Him in His church today, and crucifies those who are the real followers of Jesus?

Isaiah 66:2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

This is the person to whom God looks, someone who is poor and of a contrite spirit and who trembles at God’s word. There’s another text that says that God dwells in a high and lofty place with him also that is of a humble and a contrite spirit (Isaiah 57:15). He lifts those people up who are humble and contrite and who tremble at His word. Obviously, among God’s people there are two classes. One class that has a sense of self-assurance, that know the truth and know what is right and have a deep understanding of God’s word, and they are self-assured because of that. There is the second class, those who are lowly, contrite, they have a sense of their own poverty and because they have a sense of their own poverty and a sense of God’s greatness they tremble when God speaks.

Two classes of Christians; and these two classes of Christians have been identifiable all through the history of God’s people in the Old Testament and in the New. It’s very comfortable to look back in the past isn’t it? We can say, oh yes, there is Judas, oh yes, there were the early church that had become corrupted and the papacy developed and we can say, yes, yes, yes, these are the ones that thought they knew it all and they had disfellowshipped the others. We go right through the history and we come up to 1844 and yes, there were the protestant churches that disfellowshipped the ones that were proclaiming the three angels’ messages, we wouldn’t do that would we? We see all that and it’s quite comfortable but the last church period is spoken of in exactly the same way, Laodicea.

What is written about the people of that period? Here God is speaking to the angel of the church of Laodicea. Who is the angel? The ministry. What does He say about them?

Revelation 3:17 …thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods,

Rich, increased with goods, with the goods of the kingdom of heaven. They are the teachers of the church just like the Pharisees were in the time of Christ.

Revelation 3:17 …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:

Self-assured. We have it all! We can teach other people and we can win every argument. Then, look at the way the Lord is leading us. We have such a resplendent property accumulation over the years. We are truly blessed, rich and increased with goods and yet, miserable, poor, blind and naked and not knowing it. Then here is the other company that God is looking to:

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man…

Is there any man that trembles at God’s word?

Revelation 3:20 …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.

Are you trembling at God’s word? Here is a serious statement that Jesus is making to the church. The church believes it’s rich and increased with goods and has need of nothing and yet they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked and if there is any man that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. I’m standing at the door and knocking. You who tremble at God’s word, are you hearing? Are you receiving what I want to impart to you? This is the message for our day, the Laodicean message.
Looking at the first class that Jesus is trying to help, those who are full of their self-confidence, how is Jesus trying to help them? What is He trying to tell them? God does not forsake the people who are full of self-confidence, He tries to reach them, He tries to help them. He doesn’t want them to be lost. Remember how long He spent with Judas? He was one of the twelve.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Here is the counsel of the Holy Spirit; you think you’re up there? You think that you have the answers? Tremble. Take heed. You’re ready to fall.

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

Here He tries to reach the people who know it and He says, if you think you stand, if you think you know and you’re full of smug self-confidence that you’ve got it all together, be careful, take heed lest you fall. Knowledge puffeth up. If you become proud of your knowledge, you do not yet know as you ought to know. Remember that God knows more than you, so you do not know as you ought to know. Jesus is trying to reach the self-confident know-alls.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

See how God is trying to reach the mind of the Laodicean? The one who’s got it all together, all through the ages all things have been written beforehand and are for our instruction, our guidance and our example, now we’ve got it all together, we’ve got the three angels’ messages all together and here they go full of knowledge, full of understanding and the Lord’s rich blessing. But be careful. Just because you know it, don’t be wise in your own eyes. Don’t become complacent with what has been shown you. Remember Lucifer, he was the greatest, he fell. Any chance that you mightn’t?

Many today stand where Peter stood when in self-confidence he declared that he would not deny his Lord. And because of their self-sufficiency, they fall an easy prey to Satan’s devices. {5BC 1102.7}

I’m never going to deny my Jesus. I love Him! I’m prepared to stand faithful to Him. Here was Peter. Do you have such a conviction that you’re going to stand faithful like Peter, that you will never deny Christ? With this confidence within you, they fall an easy prey to Satan’s devices.

Those who realize their weakness trust in a power higher than self. And while they look to God, Satan has no power against them. But those who trust in self are easily defeated. Let us remember that if we do not heed the cautions that God gives us, a fall is before us. {5BC 1102.7}

What were the cautions? If we don’t take them seriously and tremble at the word, then a fall is before us.

Christ will not save from wounds the one who places himself unbidden on the enemy’s ground. He lets the self-sufficient one, who acts as if he knew more than his Lord, go on in his supposed strength. Then comes suffering and a crippled life, or perhaps defeat and death (MS 115, 1902). {5BC 1102.7}

Here is the word of God to those who are confident because they have so much, like Peter. He was walking with Jesus and He said, I’m never going to deny you! instead of saying, oh, Lord help me, if that’s what you’re saying, please help me, I tremble at the thought! But no, even if everybody else was to forsake you, I would never forsake you. Very full of assurance in himself. I get this many times from different people and as I’m realising their danger, I say to them sometimes, I’m sorry that you are in that situation and I’m really praying for you, you might just do down there. Oh, don’t worry about that, I can’t bear it. That’s the kind of answers I get, and when people speak to me like that, I tremble even more for them because I know Peter’s experience, because I know that when we think we are strong we are weak and we will fall, Satan will make sure of it. There is a fall for those who even believe they are very humble. There is a fall for those who are sure that they are coming to God upon their knees and are humbled before Him.

This kind of assurance is something which we need to study very carefully because we need to be safe and secure in the right kind of security.

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. {COL 159.1}

Can you see it? Even in humbling ourselves before God we can feel that we are very humble and the natural heart will deceive you to think that in your humility you are accepted with God. This was the characteristic of the Pharisees in the time of Christ.

But we must have a knowledge of ourselves, a knowledge that will result in contrition, before we can find pardon and peace. {COL 158.1}

Who does He look to? To those who are contrite? The only way you can be contrite is to have a knowledge of yourself.

The Pharisee felt no conviction of sin. The Holy Spirit could not work with him. {COL 158.1}

Why?

His soul was encased in a self-righteous armor which the arrows of God, barbed and true-aimed by angel hands, failed to penetrate. {COL 158.1}

This is interesting. God has arrows that are meant to strike at the heart and the self-righteous proud but humble person says, but I am so right. I encase myself in an armour that cannot be penetrated by God’s arrows of conviction and carefully aimed by angels hands. It struck me when I read this one. Angels are actually shooting arrows carefully barbed and aimed?

It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. We must understand our danger, or we shall not flee to the refuge. We must feel the pain of our wounds, or we should not desire healing. {COL 158.1}

Are you wounded? Do you feel bereft? Do you feel that you are worth nothing? Praise the Lord. That’s the way you should feel. It’s so contrary to the egocentrism that the world is training into our youth today. You’ve got to feel good! You’ve got to feel on top of the world! Then you are worth something! Not according to God’s word. When you feel crushed and broken because of the discovery of your own incompetence, God has won in your life and you are trembling at His word. Then you can be safe.

This class of people who are not heeding these carefully aimed shots at us, who are encasing themselves every time they hear the message that unveils them, that shows them as Jesus was trying to show Judas and Peter their plight and tried to prevent them from falling, they say, but no, no, no, that doesn’t mean me. How many times I have read God’s word in my own experience and I thought, no, that doesn’t mean me. I’m alright there and I came down. But when I walked patiently and quietly with my own bad feelings and acknowledged them that I’m no good, the Lord had different plans for me.

In one way only can a true knowledge of self be obtained. {COL 159.1}

We must know ourselves. But how can you know yourself?

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, {COL 159.1}

We are we to do then? Contemplate His purity and His excellence. What will you see? We shall see our own weakness and poverty and defects as they really are.

We shall see ourselves lost and hopeless, 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. {COL 159.1}

I hear people rattling this off, it’s not our goodness, it’s only by His grace. They rattle this off in my ears but they themselves do not see it! They communicate to me a spirit of “well, I know the answers, I even know this answer.” You’ve got to see yourself as you really are and all these things are rattled off in a theoretical appreciation but you touch with the word of God their personal life and look out, it’s a different story. You can have it all in theory, you can understand all the way it’s meant to be but we are still in dire straits.

There is a second class of Christians, of believers; people who see Jesus as He really is and they fall down in a total sense of contrition and brokenness of spirit and the other ones look down on them like the Pharisee did in the prayer of the Pharisee and the publican, Lord, I thank you I’m not like them. You have blessed me so much. We are so rich and increased with all this wonderful blessing of the Lord and here is this poor publican, thank you for not making me like him. Who did Jesus say went home blessed? The one who smote his chest and said Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. Seeing their poverty, what kind of blessing is theirs? Here was the opening sermon of Jesus when He first started His message. If they would have trembled at His word they would have known.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Poor in spirit. Not a spirited person full of energy and full of thrill about his capabilities. Nothing like that. Poor in spirit. He is of a broken heart because he sees his own defects. He shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

If you are already full can you be filled? Of course not. But if the Lord has filled you, the filling that He has given you gives you capacity to receive more. So although He fills you already you keep on realising, I don’t know yet as I ought to know! Fill me more! There is a constant sense of, I need you. Come nearer, come closer. And what you already know you don’t even feel as though you know. You don’t even feel that you can handle a problem and you’re going to the Lord and saying, please, help me! What will He do? It is such that He looks to, as we read in Isaiah 66, those that tremble at His word continually relying upon the word that’s going to fill them with the necessary fulfilment that they are looking for. The true source of the trembling is the hungering and thirsting for that which I do not have. Exactly like our Saviour when He was here on earth.

All the things that we read is what Jesus Himself felt. For instance, in Hebrew 5:7-9, in the days of His flesh, how did He feel? Did He feel rich and increased with goods having need of nothing? Did He feel that He was secure?

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Did He tremble? Indeed He did. He feared. What was He trembling at? His own personal sense of need. He was fleeing to the One that could help Him. Our Saviour, in the days of His flesh, had to cry with strong crying and tears unto Him that could save Him. This was a shock to certain ministers that I used to be with. I showed them this and they said, you are telling me that Jesus needed a Saviour? He was our Saviour! They didn’t understand. That’s what made Him our Saviour, because He came down to this earth and He placed Himself in a position of absolute need. Of course He could have called ten thousand angels. Of course He could have said, I’m finished with this, I’m getting out of here. He could have. But if He would have done that He would have spoiled the whole program and we would never have been saved. The program was to instil into us that we are hopeless and helpless without the constant inflowing of God’s grace and mercy upon us.

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

How could He be the Author of eternal salvation? By experiencing everything that you and I experience. The experience must be exactly the same so that I am crying, I am trembling at God’s word. Therefore, like our Saviour we will go through an experience of mourning and pleading and depending because Jesus did that. The very sermon of Jesus was the sermon of His experience, you who feel poor in spirit, you will be filled. You who are bereft of a sense of righteousness mourning over your condition, you will be comforted.

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness.

Because if you’re full of laughter, if you’re full of joy and you have need of nothing, will you be saved? You’re too full of self.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who came down, humbled Himself and was obedient even unto the death of the cross. When He gave Himself so utterly, then the Father lifted Him up higher than anybody else. The lower you go about yourself, the higher God can lift you up. As you think about yourself and you have no good sense about yourself and you become totally dependent on God, God will lift you up and your mouth will be open with praises of joy and rejoicing, not in yourself but in God’s wonderful grace.

Within the church of professed believers who have this exercise to engage in, the ones who do not heed the counsels and the warnings of God like Peter and Judas didn’t, the ones who are totally bereft of self-confidence, as they walk along together, what will transpire? What will transpire in the church? Those that cling to the armour of their self-righteousness, of their good feelings, refusing to be penetrated by the arrows of God, barbed and true-aimed by angels’ hands, what will they see in Jesus and His followers? What will they see? They don’t want these barbed arrows to strike them. They’re full of self, full of the comfort of their own egotism. What do Jesus and His followers pose to them? Maybe a threat? What is the threat that will be experienced by these who are so confident within themselves? What will be the experience of those who are not listening to the careful work of identifying their weakness?

The Pharisees were filled with a frenzy of hatred against Him, because they could see that His teaching had a power and an attractiveness of which their words were utterly devoid. {CTr 234.2}

Can you see the threat? As the power of God’s word is infiltrating the life of the one who trembles at His word and he is filled with His word, he will speak in all humility the wonderful power of the word; and the ones who are so filled of self they realise, whoa, I could never speak like that. I could never communicate the word like that, but I am in a high position. He is a threat, look at how the people are following him. Look how people are paying attention to him, and they’re not paying attention to us who have some sort of sense of self-worth and are not getting comfort from what I am doing for them. Can you see the threat? These Pharisees were filled with a frenzy of hatred over that. Here was the source of their antagonism against Jesus Christ. Those who like Jesus are given what in their poverty they humbly asked when they sensed their internal poverty and humbled themselves to receive the beautiful inflowing of God’s power into them, they will be met with exactly the equal response. They will be ridiculed. They will be attacked. Not because there’s any justification of it but because the people who ridicule and attack them are feeling exactly the same that the Pharisees felt in the presence of Jesus.

The Pharisees were filled with a frenzy of hatred against Him, because they could see that His teaching had a power and an attractiveness of which their words were utterly devoid. {CTr 234.2}

Let us see what Jesus foreshadowed for this time of Laodecia. This is the time just before He comes and here are a people who are trembling at God’s word and are proclaiming it with the power that comes from God. This is just before chapter 25, the parable of the ten virgins, it’s all connected.

Matthew 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

The real spiritual power.

Matthew 24:46 Blessed [is] that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

What was the servant doing? He was humbling himself. He was crying to God for mercy. He was crying to God for the spiritual provender that he needed so much to be able to pass on to others. He didn’t see himself as rich and increased with goods. He saw himself as helpless, miserable, poor, blind and naked, because He saw Jesus. This is the man to whom I will look He says.

Matthew 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

Where does he say it? In his heart. His heart is not with his words. He’s preaching the message of Christ’s coming, he is proclaiming all the things but his heart is full of self. And in his heart he says, oh never mind, it’ll be a while yet. What does he begin to do?

Matthew 24:49 And shall begin to smite [his] fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

Who are the drunken? Those who are spiritually feeding on human philosophy intermingled with God’s word, because the wine of Babylon is just that. What will happen to this servant? We read it in Isaiah 66:5. Those who tremble at God’s word will be dismissed from among the ones that don’t, their brethren. They will dismiss them from amongst themselves but the Lord will come for the salvation of those that tremble, and those that do not will be ashamed.

Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What a horrifying contrast. The smiting of the evil servant is exactly the same as the Pharisees smiting Jesus. I could read you quote after quote from Sister White that the same Jesus that was rejected back in Galilee and in Israel has been rejected again and again throughout the generations, and it’s going to do it again today. No different today than in the time of the Pharisees.

As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience. {DA 232.2}

Here is the reality. The source of the persecution upon Christ and His followers has been taking place ever since He was here, and it doesn’t stop at the end; it goes on, as we read in Matthew 24. They smite their fellow servants. Why? Because they observe that the power and attractiveness of their words is something which the others don’t have. There lies the true motive of their crucifixion of Jesus.

Christ came to this world just as the Old Testament Scriptures foretold that He would come, but notwithstanding this, He was misapprehended and misjudged. {CTr 234.2}

The mindset of those who are full of their philosophy and understanding will cause them to misinterpret and misjudge Jesus’ words.

The Pharisees were filled with a frenzy of hatred against Him, because they could see that His teaching had a power and an attractiveness of which their words were utterly devoid. They decided that the only way to cut off His influence was to pass sentence of death upon Him, and therefore they sent officers to take Him. {CTr 234.2}

The officers were sent to smite Him:

But when these officers came within hearing of His voice, and listened to His gracious words, they were charmed into forgetting their errand. {CTr 234.2}

What a power that the word of God comes across in such a way that people who have got a certain aim in mind are actually charmed out of their mind. So they came back to the Pharisees empty-handed. This is the power of God’s truth in the lips of those who tremble at His word. Don’t let anybody hoodwink you into thinking that this is the power and the attractiveness that is mesmerism, because mesmerism is very close to the right one. It’s just that one works on the emotions, the other one works on purity of truth. It’s so close. As the charming effect of the truth at the lips of one who is really crying for God to fill him are felt, they will turn around and say, careful of that person! He will catch you, because they have failed to catch them. Why? They want to get people to really follow them, and there are these people following this and that one, look how they’re doing it, they’re using a power that we haven’t got. Oh, that must be of the devil. That’s what the Pharisees said to Jesus, you are doing these things by the power of Beelzebub. Here the Pharisees now turn around to these officers:

“Are ye also deceived?” the elders asked. {CTr 234.3}

Now comes Nicodemus because he already had a dialogue with Jesus:

Nicodemus saith unto them, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” {CTr 234.3}

Observe the intrigue.

The lesson that Christ had given to Nicodemus had not been in vain. Conviction had fastened upon his mind, and in his heart he had accepted Jesus. Since his interview with the Saviour, he had earnestly searched the Old Testament Scriptures, and he had seen truth placed in the setting of the gospel. {CTr 234.4}

Truth placed in the setting of the gospel, which is, humbling ourselves.

The question asked by him was wise and would have commended itself to those presiding at the council had they not been deceived by the enemy. {CTr 234.5}

Who is deceived here?

But they were so filled with prejudice that no argument in favor of Jesus of Nazareth, however convincing, had any weight with them. The answer that Nicodemus received was “Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look; for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” {CTr 234.5}

What are they saying? Jesus came from Nazareth, He came from Galilee. He couldn’t be a servant of God because nothing good comes out of Galilee.

The priests and rulers had been deceived, as Satan meant them to be, into believing that Christ came out of Galilee. Some who knew that He had been born in Bethlehem kept silent, that the falsehood might not be robbed of its power. {CTr 234.6}

Can you see the intrigue? Can you see the deliberate action that when a person is full of self he will snap at anything that will make self feel comfortable, even lies, or when you could tell the truth it’s not laid out.

The facts were plain. There was no dimness of the light. But the work of Christ was interpreted by different ones… {CTr 234.7}

How?

…in accordance with the state of their minds. {CTr 234.7}

This is the thing that gets me every time. I show a plain statement of God’s word and the people say, that’s your own interpretation; we don’t read it that way. Of course not. The set of your mind affects the way you read the Bible. Very serious. What is the mindset that you must have so that you will not misinterpret the Scriptures? Tremble at His word. If we do not tremble at His word, if we are full of our self-confident mind to actually correctly read something, we will misread it. That’s what the Pharisees did. These Pharisees were not fools in their intelligence. They were intelligent human beings! Let’s not deride them. They were honourable men. They were sitting in the seat of Moses! But what were they full of? That when they read the Scriptures they were not trembling at the word. They were handling the Scriptures as competent, intelligent self-assured men. Here lies the danger of misinterpreting Jesus Christ Himself and His servants.

The Prince of Peace came to proclaim truth that was to bring harmony out of confusion. But He who came to bring peace and goodwill started a controversy that ended in His crucifixion.—Manuscript 31, 1889. {CTr 234.8}

It’s the most horrible thing that I’ve experienced in the ministry. I only desire for everything to run beautifully and praiseworthy to God’s glory, and you start a controversy every time. And you wish you wouldn’t. You don’t want to have any controversy. I’ve been through controversy after controversy with simply upholding the beauty of God’s word, and it goes contrary to what I desired. Where did controversy come from? It is because the people who do not tremble at God’s word have got their own opinion and they read the Scriptures from the source of their own self-opinionated mind. That is what crucified Jesus and that is what crucified the disciples of Jesus all the way through the centuries, and it’s going to happen exactly the same at the end. No different.

The Lord, in His mercy, is very hard at work to save us Laodiceans. He wants to save us Laodiceans out of our self-deceived state. How is He doing it?

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.

You want to read statements from Sister White in enlargement of this. She says that the eye-salve is something that stings your eye. Your eye is the sensitivity of your inmost soul and if it stings that’s exactly what’s meant to happen. Ask for it.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Humble yourself under my hand.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:

Will you surrender to this selflessness that I experienced? I’m standing at the door, I want to sup with you the word of God. I want to tremble together with you at the word, and I want to implant in you the uplifting experience by which I was uplifted. Let us sup together. I’ll come in.

Revelation 3:20 …I will come in to [you], and will sup with [you], and [you] with me.

How does He do it?

God will prove His people. Jesus bears patiently with them, and does not spew them out of His mouth in a moment. {1T 186.2}

This is the Laodicean’s message that Sister White is talking about.

Said the angel: “God is weighing His people.” If the message had been of as short duration as many of us supposed, there would have been no time for them to develop character. {1T 186.2}

The message of Laodicea stirred them up. Back there it started already, in the Testimony Volume 1 period, 1856-58. That’s. when the first message of Laodicea was given to them.

Many moved from feeling, not from principle and faith, and this solemn, fearful message stirred them. It wrought upon their feelings, and excited their fears, but did not accomplish the work which God designed that it should. {1T 186.2}

What was the work He designed?

God reads the heart. Lest His people should be deceived in regard to themselves, He gives them time for the excitement to wear off, and then proves them to see if they will obey the counsel of the True Witness. {1T 186.2}

How does He do it?

God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. {1T 187.1}

If you are encased, can He do it? It’s calculated to barb you.

Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: “God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.” Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. {1T 187.1}

Can you see the barbed arrow? It gets you, a cherished idol. God is trying to show us our cherished idols and He brings us point by point.

Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. … Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. {1T 187.1}

In this experience, only those who are actually letting God show them all of their defects and are not incased in the self-righteous robe will come through victorious.

There are many who claim to be followers of Christ, whose names are enrolled on the church books, who have not been a strength to the church. They have not been sanctified through the truth… It is not receiving the truth simply, but practicing the truth, that sanctifies the soul. Let those who would be sanctified through the truth search carefully and prayerfully both the Old and New Testaments that they may know what is truth. Those who are truly converted to Christ [must] keep on constant guard lest they shall accept error in place of truth. {CTr 235.3-4}

Those who think that it matters not what they believe in doctrine, so long as they believe in Jesus Christ, are on dangerous ground. {CTr 235.4}

I cannot emphasise that enough. I hear it so frequently in my ears. Don’t tell me the details of those doctrines, I love Jesus and that’s all that counts! Oh, dangerous ground.

There are some who think that they will be just as acceptable to God by obeying some other law than the law of God—by meeting some other conditions than those He has specified in the gospel—as if they obeyed His commandments and complied with His requirements. But they are under a fatal delusion, and unless they renounce this heresy and come into harmony with His requirements, they cannot become members of the royal family. . . . {CTr 235.4}

Is it vivid and clear to us? Let us concentrate of focusing our attention on Jesus Christ, not merely about Him, but the practice of the truth as it is in Jesus, and let Him unveil your practices that are not in harmony with Him, and cease doing what the Pharisees or the brethren in Isaiah 66 did. Here is something we can do this as brethren:

Every soldier engaged in the spiritual conflict must be brave in God. Those who are fighting the battles for the Prince of life must point their weapons of warfare outward, and not form a hollow square and aim their missiles of destruction at those who are serving under the banner of the Prince Emmanuel. We have no time for wounding and tearing down one another. How many there are who need to heed the words that Christ spoke to Nicodemus, . . . “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” {CTr 235.2}

To point our arrows at each other that we will think that we have to deal with this person or that because they do not meet up with our expectations and shoot at them as the Pharisees shot at Jesus, be careful that we do not form that hollow square and wound each other. As a brother often says, the Christian church is the only army that uses its weapons against itself.
God grant us the understanding of what it was that crucified Jesus. That we will take it to heart and that by what we have learned out of His word we will be among those who tremble at His word.

Amen.

Posted on April 12, 2014, in Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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