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The days of the voice of the 7th angel of revelation are upon us. Revelation 10:7 says that when he “begins to sound”, the Mystery of God “should be be finished”! What is this mystery? When will it be finished? Find out as Paul Chapman presents, “Finishing The Mystery of God”. Genre: Christian. Presented 13 July, 2013 in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Lets Go to Passover

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Transcript of a sermon preached Sabbath October 22, 1994 in Melbourne, Australia by Paul Chapman.

If this was your last day on earth, what would you be doing?

Where I used to work, my boss and I had a very good relationship.  He knew my faith and I put that question to him one day.  I said, “If this was our last day on earth, what would we be doing?” 

       “That’s a very good question,”  he replied.

      I said,”You know, if we were to ask that question to the majority of the world you’d probably come up with two different responses.  One group’s response would be making the most of the time they had left, doing all those things which they thought that they would never be able to do, and living life to the fullest in a temporal sense.  And the other group, well, that other group’s response would be very, very different.” 

      And my boss quietly replied, “You’re right, you know.” 

     We are encouraged in the Spirit of Prophecy to live as though this were our last day on earth.  And if it was our last day, this day, what would we be doing?  If your answer is something different than what you’re doing now, then perhaps you really need to think about the question more often in your life.

      I’d like to draw your minds back, back in time 150 years ago this day to North America, generally speaking to North America, where thousands of people thought that this day would be their last on earth.  Who were these people?  They were called Millerites–the Adventist believers.  And they came, as it brings out in Great Controversy 379, they came from all different denominations.  Reading some of their history, you’ll find they came from all different walks of life:  farmers, preachers, printers, teachers.  Yet each one of them thought this day would be their last day on earth.

      And what brought them to this conclusion, you might ask?  What led them to believe, that this would be their last day on earth?  What was it?  Someone said, A misunderstanding of the prophecy.  Which prophecy?  Daniel 8:14.  What does it say?  “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”  And this prophecy is declared to be, today, the foundation of our faith.  This is the foundation.  We must go back there to find out what the foundation is.  The brother here mentioned that they were mistaken in the understanding of this prophecy.  Mistaken as to what?  The time? No, the event.  We know that the common belief at that time in the Christian world right throughout Protestantism was that the sanctuary was this earth or someplace upon it.  William Miller an American farmer, and a man well respected in his community, had studied the book of Daniel and also the New Testament prophecies concerning Jesus Christ and his second coming.  And rather than Jesus Christ coming to this earth to set up a temporal millenium, what did he find the Scriptures declared Christ’s second coming to be?  And what would happen; and what would be the state of the earth?  Cleansed by fire.  Desolate, wouldn’t it?  Desolate.  The wicked would be lying all over the face of the earth.  You know that prophecy in Matthew where it says, wheresoever the carcass is, there shall–what?  The eagles be gathered together.  And that’s the conclusion to Christ’s chain of prophecy about the second coming.  Don’t get deceived by the rapture theory, and that one shall be left and the other taken.  The other left behind is going to be destroyed by Christ’s second coming.  There won’t be anyone coming here to set up a temporal millennium.

      So we see here then that Miller came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was coming, therefore, unto 2300 days to do what?  Cleanse the earth by fire and take His redeemed home.  And so, he came to the conviction to preach this message, and other’s who accepted united with him in preaching it.  I read a history of this movement at one time.  You know, they estimate there was 150,000 to 200,000 Protestant Christians preaching this message across North America.  One hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand Christians united in this Advent message, preaching that the coming of the Lord is unto 2300 days–in 1843-1844 Christ would come.

      So that day approached.  I won’t go into the details because I’d like to do that at a later meeting.  We plan to have future meetings and I’d like to go into detail on each one of these angels’ messages then.  But, just briefly. . . a few weeks beforehand, they were all expecting Christ to come.  Farmers failed to harvest their crops.  Others failed to plant crops.  And I was reading about one newspaper that was publishing the Advent message at that time.  It too thought that this would be the last newspaper it would ever publish.  And so in their last edition, the publishers appealed to the people, those that owe debts, to pay up to the newspaper; and if the newspaper owed anyone anything, then please let them know because they wanted to have a clear record before Christ would come.  And they published what would be their last newspaper, or what they thought was going to be it.  And they waited…And they waited…And October 22 came…

      What was their experience beforehand?  What was the experience of the people?  We find this in Great Controversy, page 369:

       “Sinners inquired with weeping: ‘What must I do to be saved?’  Those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty were anxious to make restitution.  All who found peace in Christ longed to see others share the blessing.  The hearts of parents were turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents.  The barriers of pride and reserve were swept away.  Heartfelt confessions were made, and the members of the household laboured for the salvation of those who were nearest and dearest.  Often was heard the sound of earnest intercession.  Everywhere were souls in deep anguish pleading with God.  Many wrestled all night in prayer for the assurance that their own sins were pardoned, or for the conversion of their relatives or neighbours.”

Do we think that this is our last day on earth?  What is our experience?  We read further over  on page 373, paragraph 1:

       “With unspeakable desire those who had received the message watched for the coming of their Saviour.  The time when they expected to meet Him was at hand.  They approached this hour with a calm solemnity.  They rested in sweet communion with God, an earnest of the peace that was to be theirs in the bright hereafter.  None who experienced this hope and trust can forget those precious hours of waiting.  For some weeks preceding the time, worldly business was for the most part laid aside.  The sincere believers carefully examined every thought and emotion of their hearts as if upon their deathbeds and in a few hours to close their eyes upon earthly scenes.  There was no making of ‘ascension robes’; but all felt the need of internal evidence that they were prepared to meet the Saviour; their white robes were purity of soul–characters cleansed from sin by the atoning blood of Christ.”

 Characters cleansed from sin by the atoning blood of Christ.  This was the robe they wanted the assurance that they were wearing at the time.  Do we have on the robe of Christ’s righteousness?  Are we wearing it, ready to meet our Maker?  From page 379, paragraph 3:

      “They came from different denominations, and their denominational barriers were hurled to the ground; conflicting creeds were shivered to atoms; the unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned, false views of the second advent were corrected, pride and conformity to the world were swept away; wrongs were made right; hearts were united in the sweetest fellowship, and love and joy reigned supreme.  If this doctrine did this for the few who did receive it, it would have done the same for all if all had received it.”

       We know that in the letters to the churches, Jesus Christ addresses the church of Philadelphia, and tell me, of those 7 churches, which are the ones without rebuke?  Philadelphia and Smyrna–in the days of fiery persecution.  To those who remained faithful in the days of persecution, Christ has no rebuke.  They had their gold tried in the fire.  And to Philadelphia there was no rebuke at all.  They were there ready to meet their Maker, and all those who accepted the Advent message up until October 22, 1844 experienced this blessed state of unity and love amongst them.  And they were prepared to meet their Maker.  But then came the great disappointment. 

        Midnight, October 22 passed, and oh, what wailing could be heard.  The wailing of the souls that had expected Jesus to come.  They’d left their churches.  Some had said their last goodbyes to unbelieving relatives.  Some had been cast out of their churches.  They had nothing left behind.  As I said before, the farmers had left their crops.  All was put aside.  All ready to meet Jesus.  And now the most bitter of reproaches.  They were to take up their daily burdens, as though it was all a mistake.  We see in Revelation 10, their experience was uttered by the seven thunders that utter their voices.  You’ll find that in 7 Bible Commentary on Chapter 10 that the 7 thunders when they spoke their voices, those 7 thunders were in fact giving the events that would take place under this disappointment.  We see there that this little book in the angel’s hand which was opened–what book was opened?  What book was unsealed?  Which book was closed up until this time, so to speak?  The book of Daniel, isn’t it?  It was sealed up to the time of the end.  Daniel 12 and verse 4:  “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.”  We find here this angel in revelation 10 standing upon the earth and the sea declares that there shall be time no longer.  Prophetic time has come to its end.  And in this time period the understanding of Daniel was opened.  And when the believers understood this truth, what did it taste like in their mouths?  Sweet as honey, sweet as honey.  But when the truth, the awful truth was digested, what was it like in their stomach?  Bitter.  Bitter.  None of us, any of us, I believe, can really understand the experience they went through.  We’d have to live through it ourselves to really understand.  Yet we are not to forget these things.  The greatest thing we have to fear is what?  That we forget the way the Lord has led us and His teachings in our past history.  And we find, therefore, that the Lord did not leave them in doubt.  For a certain time He tarried.  But then He gave them the correct light, so that they were not mistaken.  And that was that the sanctuary was not this earth.  Where was the sanctuary?  Heaven.  The sanctuary was in heaven and Christ was not coming to earth, but to where?  The second apartment of the sanctuary.  The Day of Atonement.  The work:  His ministerial work commences in the second apartment.  And that work, as we find in Leviticus, entailed the work of judgment of the house of God.  We find those words in 1 Peter 4:17 were fulfilled, at the house of God.  :”For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

      So they realized that Christ was now in a work of judgment, a work of investigating the house of God.  And this is the message we preach today, isn’t it?  Shouldn’t it be?  This message?  In understanding the 2300 days, preaching this message of the correct understanding.  And today we are living in which day?  What day is it today?  The Day of Atonement.  The day of final reconciliation for the house of God.  That was 150 years ago.  There has been a delay.  Why was there a delay?  Because of unbelief.  Did there need to be a delay?  Did there need to be?

      I’d like to share with you from the book First Selected Messages, pages 67-69:

       “God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth.” 

      It says there in Revelation 10, in the final verse, “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”  Their work was not yet finished.  And so it says here.

      “God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth.  The third angel’s message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people.  The Sabbath reform was to be carried forward.”

       Here as we look to the sanctuary, what do we see in there?  We see the ark of the testament, don’t we?  The ark of the covenant.  And in there, in that ark, is what?  The 10 commandments.  And now, shining out in clear rays to the Advent believers of that time was the fourth commandment, the Sabbath commandment.

      And so now they realized that they were to keep the Sabbath.  Mind you, who were the first Sabbath keeping Adventists?  Well, there were 2 actually.  We might as well say 2 because they both accepted each part of the message at the same time, I understand.  Who was that gentleman who was the first Adventist to keep the Sabbath?  What was his name?  Was it Bates?  Was it J.N. Andrews?  Or Loughborough?  It was a 7th Day Baptist that told a First Day Adventist about the Sabbath truth.  And that gentleman was asked, What’s the news today?  And he said, “The seventh day is the Sabbath?”  It was Joseph Bates.  And that seventh day Baptist had been around for 200 years before Seventh Day Adventists.

      And now in the context of the Advent Movement, in the context of Christ’s Second Coming, the Protestant world was to understand the obligation of the Sabbath commandment.  And so the Adventists had a work to do in warning the world.  They had a Sabbath reform to carry out amongst the Protestant world.  And they began on their work.  And it goes on to say here that:

       “The breach in the law of God must be made up.  The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning.  The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming. 

      Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith, and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward.”

       Friends, the message has gone on far too long.  The delay has gone on far too long.  After that great disappointment, had that company remained united in unity and love and accepted the light, they would have gone on to warn the world, to receive the power of the Spirit.  The Lord would have worked mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, Christ would have come and ere this the people would have received their reward–eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth, the city of God.  And yet none of us would ever have been here today, would we?  None of us would have ever been born, had they done their appointed work.  But how many millions have died as a result of them not doing their appointed work?  How many millions have died, have perished, without a knowledge of the truths which the world at that time could have had, could have had.  It says here the reason why was “in the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the disappointment, any of the advent believers yielded their faith.”  Instead of remaining together in that bond of perfection and in the love of the Spirit, they yielded their faith.  They began to doubt the light behind them.  It says here that:  “Dissensions and divisions came in.  The majority opposed with voice and pen the few who, following in the providence of God, received the Sabbath reform and began to proclaim the third angel’s message.”  And do you know, for many years, Seventh Day Adventists were well known as debaters and in debating the truth before 1st Day Adventists and others in the world.  And Sister White through her testimonies condemns this spirit–debating.  She says in Volume 1, in the experience of the early years,  Some souls when an evangelist preaches in his meetings, preaches in his meetings, some soul may be ready at that stage just to hear a correct understanding of the Sabbath in relation to the law versus Sunday.  And they may accept.  But the majority need more than just an argument.  The majority need the power of the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts.  And so the minister should not be preaching a service to convince the hearers of just what is right and what is wrong.  He should be preaching a service which will convict the hearts of the hearers, which the Holy Spirit can use to convict their hearts with the truth.  And he should be praying that the baptism of the Spirit will be upon him and upon the congregation.  The power of the Spirit might be manifested there to convert.  When Peter preached his first sermon, how many were converted?  3,000 in one day.  3,000.  And this was not an outward conversion, friends.  This was a heart and soul conversion.  And they received the power of the Spirit.  This is the type of preaching, the type of ministry we need to see today.

       It says here, “Many who should have devoted their time and talents to the one purpose of sounding warning to the world, were absorbed in opposing the Sabbath truth, and in turn, the labour of its advocates was necessarily spent in answering these opponents and defending the truth.”  So instead of their labour being devoted to warning the world, their labour had been devoted primarily, of necessity, to answering these opponents of the truth.  “Thus the work was hindered, and the world was left in darkness.  Had the whole Adventist body united upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, how widely different would have been our history.”  Widely different.  Now, I think they say that there were roughly 30,000 First Day Adventists at that time.  I believe I got that figure from the Appendix to Early Writings.  But there were about 30,000 of the Advent believers at that time, First Day Adventists.  And do you know today we have 3 groups remaining today of significance.  Seventh Day Adventists, the Adventist Christian Church, and the Church of god Seventh Day.  The Church of god Seventh Day actually puts forward on of the same pioneers we hold to be the pioneer of the Advent Movement.  And they put him forward to be one of their pioneers.  The Church of God Seventh Day rejected the Spirit of Prophecy in Sister White’s time.  (CHANGED SIDES OF TAPE.  PART OF MESSAGE LOST HERE)  And the third group were 1st Day Adventists.  And so this is where we are today.

       She goes on to write here that, “It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed.  God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness.  He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and established them there a holy, healthy, happy people.  But those to whom it was first preached, went not in ‘because of unbelief’ (Heb. 3:19).  Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfil His covenant with them. 

      For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan.  The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan.”  “The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan.  In neither case were the promises of God at fault.  It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.”

       And you find that there’s another statement that the world would have been warned ere this had they accepted the message.  And that is found in Volume 6 of the Testimonies.

      So we see here that the delay is because of the unbelief.  Perhaps we’ve misunderstood why there’s been a delay.  Perhaps we think that the world events have to come onto the field.  That is, that the Papacy’s deadly wound needs to be healed; that the world needs to be in a state where it can enforce a one world economy in order to stop you from buying and selling.  Perhaps we think that the United Nations or the United States together with Europe must be in a position to enforce the Sunday law worldwide.  And, therefore, the United Nations has had to develop.  But we see here from this testimony that the Lord was waiting for none of these things, none of these things.  And today He is not waiting for any of these things.  Brothers and sisters, when we accept the light as it shines upon us from His Word and plead for the baptism of the Spirit, we will receive power to do our work.  And we will hasten that coming and the final events.  We aren’t to wait for a Sunday law crisis, friends.  We are to take the attitude of those early Advent believers, come back into that state of unity and love that was experienced there in their time and remain in that state and go on to give the message.

       We see that in Great Controversy, page 404, paragraph 1 that:

      “The earnest, sincere believers had given up all for Christ and had shared His presence as never before.  They had, as they believed, given their last warning to the world; and, expecting soon to be received into the society of their divine Master and the heavenly angels, they had, to a great extent, withdrawn from the society of those who did not receive the message.”

       Are we withdrawing from the Spirit and customs of the world, the society of those who haven’t accepted the message?  We need to be in the world, but I’m talking about the spirit and customs of the world.  Which world are we preparing for?  The world here today?  Are we planning for our future here in the sense of a life mission? 

      I remember a tape by Elder Santee a few years ago.  He said,”What are we doing?  Are we preparing our young people for a career or are we preparing them to be missionaries?”  What are we preparing them for?  When we think about our education, when we think about our tertiary education, are we thinking about how can I as a young person best witness for Christ in an occupation that I will occupy ’til Jesus comes?  If we take that attitude, the Lord will give those young people an understanding.  And the parents have a responsibility to guide them to this end.

      It’s interesting.  It says on page 405 of Great Controversy that:

       “The fruits of the advent movement, the spirit of humility and heart searching, of renouncing of the world and reformation of life, which had attended the work, testified that it was of God.  They dared not deny that the power of the Holy Spirit had witnessed to the preaching of the second advent.”

       The fruits of the Advent movement, the spirit of humility, of heart-searching, of renouncing of the world and of reformation of life, these things testified to them that this movement was of God.  They saw souls converted.  When William Miller preached the first sermon in 1830, 3/4 of the congregation were converted.  3/4 when he preached his first message.  They saw sincere conversions.  Sister White did not rest until every one of her friends was converted, as a little girl at 13 years old.

      The spirit of humility and heart searching.  This is what is delaying the coming of the Lord.  In Testimonies, Volume 6 Pages 449 and 450, it says:

           “A flood of light is shining from the word of God, and there must be an awakening to neglected opportunities.  When all are faithful in giving back to God His own in tithes and offerings, the way will be opened for the world to hear the message for this time.”

When all, she writes, when all are faithful and giving back to the Lord His own in tithes and offerings–not just tithes, but offerings, freewill offerings–then the way will be opened for the world to hear the message for this time.  “If the hearts of God’s people were filled with love for Christ, if every church member were thoroughly imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice, if all manifested thorough earnestness, there would be no lack of funds for home or foreign missions.  Our resources would be multiplied; a thousand doors of usefulness would be opened, and we should be invited to enter.  Had the purpose of God been carried out by His people in giving to the world the message of mercy, Christ would, ere this, have come to the earth, and the saints would have received their welcome into the city of God.”  That’s the second statement I was referring to.  Selfishness is what is delaying us, the spirit of selfishness.

       We know this is the Day of Judgment.  Has anyone ever read the chapter in Volume 4 on the Judgment?  You’ll find there of all the sins, Sister White had a vision of the judgment.  She saw as if it was the end day.  It was the Great White Throne judgment, from indications there.  The Great White Throne judgment.  And those who have to stand before that throne with the deeds of their lives all open before the universe.  And in the vision she saw the book of records opened.  And there she saw a column of the sins of each individual laid out.  And the head of all sins was selfishness; one word–selfishness.

       I’ll just read a few thoughts from Volume 4 in the chapter on the judgment.  It starts on page 384.  She says, “Under the general heading of selfishness came every other sin.”  She says here that the sins which were here recorded were of those who profess the truth.  “Under the general heading of selfishness came every other sin.  There were also headings over every column, and underneath these, opposite each name, were recorded, in their respective columns, the lesser sins.”  There was covetousness, “falsehood, theft, robbery, fraud, and avarice; under ambition came pride and extravagance; jealousy stood at the head of malice, envy, and hatred; and intemperance headed a long list of fearful crimes, such as lasciviousness, adultery, indulgence of animal passions, etc. As I beheld I was filled with inexpressible anguish and exclaimed: ‘Who can be saved? Who will stand justified before God? Who robes are spotless? Who are faultless in the sight of a pure and holy God?”  If this were your last day on earth, what would you be doing?

       When we reason from the point of world events, we feel that perhaps the cup of iniquity needs to be filled up.  Who will that cup of iniquity be for?  In the world events?  When will it be?  Five Testimonies 208 brings out that God’s judgments will come when the world’s cup of iniquity is full. 

      7 BC 910 brings out that when Protestant America, the land which God had given the greatest blessings, and the greatest amount of light to, when that land shall turn from that light to such a degree where it rejects every principle of its Constitution, and it passes the Sunday law, then she will, as a nation, have filled up the cup of her iniquity.

      But as I mentioned before, this is not the problem.  That will come.  That will come, when the wicked are enraged at what they see in the lives of god’s professed believers.  The Sabbath reform, as it is going forward.  This is what will enrage them.  This is what brings about an awful time of trouble such as never was.  The problem is, brothers and sisters, we are not ready.  We are not yet ready to stand in the sight of God without a Mediator.  Who can stand in that day?  Who shall be able to stand?  We know that when Jesus leaves the Sanctuary, no longer will mercy plead for the saints.  The remnant will have to stand there without a Mediator in the sight of God. 

      We find in Early Writings, page 38, that Christ realizing this, appeals to His heavenly Father.  It’s a vision of the sealing, as depicted in Revelation 7, but it brings this out:

       “I saw that the four angels,” that is the 4 angels of Revelation 7, “holding the four winds.”  Now the 4 winds are winds of strife and warfare.  These are the winds of destructive judgments.  The winds of God’s final wrath.  This will all follow when America fills up the cup of her iniquity.  But the angels are holding back.  Until when?  It says here, in Early Writings, page 38,

       “I saw four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and were on their way to accomplish it.  Jesus was clothed with priestly garments.  He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised His hands, and with a voice of deep pity cried,’My blood, Father, My blood, My blood, My blood!’  Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus.  Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice,’Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.'”

       Until when are the winds of strife held back?  Until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.

      It goes on to say, that she had asked the meaning of what she had seen, and her accompanying angel said to her that it was God that restrained the powers.  And He gave the angels charge over things on the earth.  But the angels had power from God to hold the 4 winds.  They were about to let them go, but while their hands were loosening and the 4 winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed.  In Present Truth, in the publication of 1849, it says that the remnant that were not all sealed.  The sealing had begun.  The remnant were not all sealed. 

       “…and He raised His hands to the Father and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them.  Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads.”

       God is drawing a covering over His people.  Early Writings, page 43, paragraph 2 says:  “Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth and to cause them to waver.  I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.”

      The saints needed to be covered.  And we need to be covered with this covering of the Almighty to stand in that day.  This covering, brothers and sisters, is the righteousness of Christ.  The white robes of purity of heart and life, purity of character.  This is the covering we need to be sealed with.  It is manifested in the outward observance of the Sabbath truth.

      In Volume 6 of the Testimonies, page _____, Sister White writes if we truly keep the Sabbath holy, we will keep the rest of the commandments.  If we understand what it means to keep the Sabbath holy, then we will keep the rest of the commandments.  It says there, Keep the Sabbath day holy.  If you’re not holy, can you keep the day holy?  Brothers and sisters, it points to a New Birth experience, a conversion.  To be holy men unto God.  Except ye be converted.  Ye shall be holy men unto me.  He said to the Levites.  We need to be holy.  That holiness that comes from the impartation of the Holy Spirit, purifying our hearts and lives.  This is what it means to keep the Sabbath holy.

      In Great Controversy, page 425, in the chapter on the investigative judgment, Jesus is there investigating the lives of all the righteous dead.  Perhaps we seem to feel that it’s taken Him 150 years to go through each case of each individual since Adam.  Perhaps it’s taken Him this long to go through all their life history and to declare whether they are clothed with the righteousness of Christ.  But as we have read earlier, had the Adventist believers done their work, the judgment would have been over, would it not?  So all the righteous dead would have been judged.  Christ hasn’t been spending 150 years judging all the righteous dead.  He’s been spending the majority of His time waiting, and pleading,  “My blood.  My blood.  My blood.”  For the remnant are not sealed.

       In page 425 of Great Controversy,  “Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator.  Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling.  Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil.  While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.  This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.”

       So there is to be a purification.  A special work of purification.  Every sin, every spot and stain is to be removed from the character.  We find this in the chapter on the sealing in Volume 5, pages 213 and 214.  Every spot and stain is to be removed from the character.  What really causes the spots and stains in our characters?  What is the root of the spots and stains?  Selfishness, isn’t it?  It’s selfishness.  Now selfishness is really self-centeredness.  Those things which we know belong to us by birth, by right.  We want to cling to.  We don’t want to give up the human nature.  We don’t want to give it up.  The natural man doesn’t want to give it up.  Because when he’s giving it up, he’s giving up everything he has.  And that’s the hardest thing in the world to do–give up everything you have.  The hardest thing to do.  But this is what God requires if we are to enter into the experience of salvation.

      There was a sermon preached by W W Prescott in the 1903 General Conference.  And you’ll find it in the General Conference Bulletin of 1903 on page 50.  The whole sermon is almost 5 pages.  Just a couple points.  You see up until 1844 the gospel that was being preached to the world was the gospel of Martin Luther.  The gospel of the Reformation.  Which was, we have forgiveness not through a priest in a sanctuary.  We have forgiveness through Jesus Christ in heaven, who stands as our Advocate.  That’s who we have forgiveness through.  And so the people were invited to have forgiveness through Christ.  And so the gospel was preached in this context.  Forgiveness through Christ.  And the Holy Spirit is received to enable a person to walk in the light.  John Wesley came across this great truth.  He had a misunderstanding on salvation by works, but the Lord gave him a conversion experience and Wesley preached justification by faith.  And sanctification by faith.  And he understood this point.  But the forgiveness all came through Jesus Christ.  But today in the context of the Third Angel’s Message, we are talking about a blotting out of sin.  Now tell me.  Today, thank God, we have a Saviour.  Thank God, Jesus has not given up on us.  Today He’s pleading His blood for us.  Crying before the Father.  That blood that cost Him so much, He’s pleading before the Father.  My blood, Father.  My blood.  My blood.  My blood.  And when we make mistakes, if we are true in following on to know the Lord, we will hate the sins that crucified the Saviour.  And we have an Advocate with the Father.  But this was a concept of the 1888 message which perhaps we may have missed somewhere.  And that was this:  That Jesus forgives our sins and removes them from record, covers them with His blood, while we confess them.  Now, tell me.  If we have no more sins to confess, then what will Jesus have, up there in heaven to confess before the Father?  Nothing.  When we have reached the point where sin has been purified from our heart and life, when we’ve been filled with the Spirit (and we’re not talking Holy Flesh here), I’m talking about a purity of heart and life so that no matter what, no matter what the world offers to us, not matter what Satan entices us with, Sister White brings out, we would rather die than commit a sin against God.  This is the experience that we are to have.  We would rather die than commit a sin against God.  Why?  Because we understand what it cost.  We understand that that one sin–it was only a little bite of the fruit, wasn’t it? And it was only one bite, wasn’t it? But what do we have today as a result?  One sin.  Jesus Christ would have went through all that suffering and anguish for one sin.  And so too that one sin.  Sister White brings out that to be almost by not wholly saved is to be not almost but wholly lost.

       And so W W Prescott preaches here on page 53 of the 1903 GC Bulletin:  “There is a difference from the gospel being preached for the forgiveness of sins and the gospel being preached for the blotting out of sin.  Always, and to-day, there is abundant provision for the forgiveness of sins.  In our generation comes the provision for the blotting out of sin.  And the blotting out of sin is what will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord; and the blotting out of sin is the ministry of our high Priest in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary; and it makes a difference to the people of God to-day in their ministry, in their message, and in their experience, whether they recognize the change of the ministry from one apartment to the other, or whether they recognize and experience the fact of the change.”

       So whether you recognize in theory that Christ has changed, and yes, is judging the righteous dead, one day soon, we know not when, the judgment of the living will begin.  We can believe this in theory.  But what about preaching the blotting out of is in our experience?  This is the context the gospel is to be preached in today.

       It goes on to say on page 54,  “Now that should be distinctly brought out in the third angel’s message; and with that, of course, will come the clearest revelation of the gospel ministry for this time, the blotting out of sin in this generation, thus preparing the way for the Lord.”

      Further over he says, “And when those truths are preached in the light of advent history and advent prophecy, they will save people from sin and from sinning now.  They will prepare a people to stand in the hour of temptation that faces us, and will prepare a people to meet the Lord in the air, and so to be ever with the Lord; and that is the message to be preached in this generation.”

       Jesus Christ is about to leave the sanctuary, friends.  The world is soon to have no Saviour there to confess their sins to.  And we are soon to have no Saviour to confess our sins to.  Friends, we must come to a point in our experience where we would rather die than commit a sin against God.  And when we reach that experience, the remnant will have no more sin to transfer to the sanctuary.  And then the way for Jesus to come will be prepared.  Then He will cast down the altar of incense to the earth.  Then He can utter the sentence, “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.” 

      How may we hasten His coming?  (If you don’t have an idea by now), I’d like to share a few thoughts further just on this.  In 2 Peter 3:9-12 it says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise.”  Friends, Jesus is coming; do you believe it?  He’s coming.  He’s not slack concerning His promise, “as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  He wants all to come to repentance.  Prophecy indicates not all will.  In fact, when Jesus comes, He declares in the gospel of Like, shall He find faith on earth?  How many souls went into the ark, brothers and sisters?  What was the population of the world at that time?  I read Rene Norbergen’s book, Secret of the Lost Races.  In that book he gives a conservative estimate based upon the lifespan of the generation in those times, based upon the lifespan and years of giving childbirth.  He puts a conservative estimate.  He says the most conservative estimate is 1 billion people.  One billion.  He put the figure at about 990 odd million.  Almost a billion.  That’s a conservative estimate.  The least conservative.  Eight to a billion.  What is the population of the world today?  5 1/2, nearly 6.  Eight times 5, 8 times 6, let’s say.  48.  The Lord wants more than 48 people to enter into the ark.  Friends, He will have.  He will have.  But this message must be taken to heart for Him to have them. 

      It says here in verse 11, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”  If you do a word study on that word, “:conversation,” it’s a broadly-based word meaning behaviour.  Not just in our words, but in our entire behaviour, all of our life.  So in all manner of behaviour and godliness, what manner of persons ought you to be in view of all these things that are happening around us?  And Peter goes on to say,  “Looking for and hasting,”  hasting,  “unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, the elements shall melt with fervent heat”.

      Friends, we know that statement in the Testimonies that says the Lord will cut short His work in righteousness.  He’ll cut short His work in righteousness.  Cut short His work in righteousness.  If you turn to Malachi 3, we have here a prophecy concerning this Day of Atonement, the commencing of the Day of Atonement.  Malachi 3, starting with verse 1:  “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” 

      Now, Sister White brings out, if you study that text in her writings, she brings out that this was applying in particular to the third Angel’s Message, to the beginning of the Day of Atonement, where the Lord shall suddenly come to His temple to begin a work of judgment.

      We read further, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”

      Do you know, in Leviticus 23, on the day of atonement, the priest was to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.  And that symbolized the offering and righteousness that was to be made in these last days for the Lord.  And that offering and righteousness will be an offering that His people will give to Him in the last final movements of this world’s history.  An offering made by fire.  An offering that’s made by a covenant of sacrifice to the Lord. 

       In Christ’s Object Lessons, page 340:  “When those who profess to serve God follow Christ’s example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life,; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbour as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world.”  Christ Object Lessons, 340.

       In Review and Herald, 6 October, 1896,   “When the latter rain is poured out, the church will be clothed with power for its work.”  So this, the power spoken of in Christ Object Lessons, I believe, is the Latter Rain power.  And when the Latter Rain is poured out, the church will be clothed with power for its work.  “But the church as a whole,”  and this is what we’re looking for, as a whole, “will never receive this until its members shall put away from among them envy, evil surmisings and evil speakings.”  This needs to be put away from us. 

       There was an experience in 1st Selected Messages that brings out together with Volume 9 page 48, why God does not reveal, manifest, His power in its greatness amongst us now.

1 SM 151–“The Lord is at work and will work, as fast as we prepare the way for Him that He can safely reveal His power in our behalf.”  So, as fast as we prepare the way before Him, and how do we do that?  By receiving the light as it shines upon our path.  This is what they should have done, the Advent believers in those early years.

       In Great Controversy 379 and paragraph 2, we read, “If God’s professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes, ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’  ‘There is,’ he says, ‘one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.'”

       So if God’s people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His Word, they would reach the unity for which Christ prayed.  Friends, what is the Spirit of Prophecy?  The testimony of Jesus.  Is it the testimony of Ellen White?  No, friends.  It is the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Perhaps we lose the significance of the actual words written there that have been published for our enlightenment.  When we say Spirit of Prophecy, what happen        TAPE CUT OUT.  THEN CHOIR

       The reference regarding pride and humility shutting out the manifestation of God’s power is found in 5T page 50 and 51 and briefly, it just says that  “Few receive the grace of Christ with self-abasement”–that is, with humility–“with a deep and permanent sense of their unworthiness.  They cannot bear the manifestation of the power of God.  For this would encourage in them self-esteem, pride and envy.  This is why the Lord can do so little for us now.”

       CLOSING PRAYER–Our dear loving and gracious heavenly Father,

We come before Thee, Lord, with nothing but our unworthiness to plead the name and blood of Jesus in our behalf.  And thank Thee, dear Father, for this opportunity that we’ve had this afternoon to meet together in the praise and the worship of  Thee and the study of Thy Word.  And we ask, dear Father, that these thoughts that have been presented may not pass by unheeded, but that we will each one realize the great need before us, the need of subduing self, of overcoming sin in our own hearts and lives.  For only in this way can we hasten Thy coming and the Day of Atonement will be finished for us, in us, and through us, Lord.  And so we appeal to Thee to be merciful to us, Father, to bear with us, and to give us of Thy grace so we can carry forward the work here on earth.  We thank you again for all that you’ve done for us and are doing for us in the name of Jesus.  And we ask, dear Father, that you will continue to work for us greatly, that we might see great things in Thy behalf.  And as we see the world events around us, may it impress us with the nearness of time.  But to ever realize that the angels are holding back the 4 winds until we are ready.  So we pray, dear Lord, that each one of us might be a part of that final company that stands in that day when Jesus finishes His mediation for us.  So may this be our experience as we go forth from here.  We thank you and praise you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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by Paul Chapman

 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”    (John 5:39 KJV)

Christ is revealed through every part of the scriptures, and in every doctrine of truth.  The following thoughts are presented not as a lifeless theory, but as a brief overview of the Gospel message through the light of the Sabbath truth.

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