175. My Vision on What Holds the Universe Together

and

God’s Final “Strange Act”

Part VI


June 1, 2018


http://omega77.tripod.com/myvisiongodsfinalstrangeactpt6.htm


The last message of mercy to be given to the world is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.”Christ's Object Lessons, 415, 416 (1900). {LDE 200.4}


 

My vision on this day of June 1, 2018 on God’s purification of His bride who gives the final Midnight Loud Cry Message to the world. I was shown the outline for this subject, and the great importance of the issues addressed herein. My vision led me to the following sources and commentary.

 

How God Purifies His Church and Makes His Bride Ready

 

Some poor misguided souls are teaching that God is going to bring persecution in the form of the spurious Will Ross statement which they say is the same thing as Ezekiel 9 destruction, in order to purify and purge the church. Then they say He is going to cause more death and destruction by way of the Seven Trumpets, in order to stop WW III so that the Loud Cry can be given. The mystery is: How does all that destruction help the bride in making herself ready? A better question is this: Did Jesus use Ezekiel 9/Will Ross like destruction to make His bride ready from A.D. 27-A.D. 70? The answer is an emphatic NAY! Did Ezekiel 9 destruction come upon the Jews in order to purify and purge them? Or did the destruction come 36 years AFTER they experienced Pentecost and were changed by the Holy Spirit? Ezekiel 22:17-31 further addresses this question.

 

Notice:

 

What did Jesus do to help make His bride ready in His day on this earth? He sent John the Baptist instructing God’s people to develop character by repenting of sin, did He not? Please indulge me. I gave this example recently, but I need to give it again to prove an extremely important point of truth. Remember as you read this short passage that we are looking to discover how Christ purified to Himself a bride in the case of the Jews, His first chosen people. What did He do?

 

Chapter 18


"He Must Increase"


[This chapter is based on John 3:22-36.]


For a time the Baptist's influence over the nation had been greater than that of its rulers, priests, or princes. If he had announced himself as the Messiah, and raised a revolt against Rome, priests and people would have flocked to his standard. Every consideration that appeals to the ambition of the world's conquerors Satan had stood ready to urge upon John the Baptist. But with the evidence before him of his power, he had steadfastly refused the splendid bribe. The attention which was fixed upon him he had directed to Another.


Now he saw the tide of popularity turning away from himself to the Saviour. Day by day the crowds about him lessened. When Jesus came from Jerusalem to the region about Jordan, the people flocked to hear Him. The number of His disciples increased daily. Many came for baptism, and while Christ Himself did not baptize, He sanctioned the administration of the ordinance by His disciples. Thus He set His seal upon the mission of His forerunner. But the disciples of John looked with jealousy upon the growing popularity of Jesus. They stood ready to criticize His work, and it was not long before they found occasion. A question arose between them and the Jews as to whether baptism availed to cleanse the soul from sin; they maintained that the baptism of Jesus differed essentially from that of John. Soon they were in dispute with Christ's disciples in regard to the form of words proper to use at baptism, and finally as to the right of the latter to baptize at all.


Page 179


The disciples of John came to him with their grievances, saying, "Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him." Through these words, Satan brought temptation upon John. Though John's mission seemed about to close, it was still possible for him to hinder the work of Christ. If he had sympathized with himself, and expressed grief or disappointment at being superseded, he would have sown the seeds of dissension, would have encouraged envy and jealousy, and would seriously have impeded the progress of the gospel.


John had by nature the faults and weaknesses common to humanity, but the touch of divine love had transformed him. He dwelt in an atmosphere uncontaminated with selfishness and ambition, and far above the miasma of jealousy. He manifested no sympathy with the dissatisfaction of his disciples, but showed how clearly he understood his relation to the Messiah, and how gladly he welcomed the One for whom he had prepared the way.


He said, "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice." John represented himself as the friend who acted as a messenger between the betrothed parties, preparing the way for the marriage. When the bridegroom had received his bride, the mission of the friend was fulfilled. He rejoiced in the happiness of those whose union he had promoted. So John had been called to direct the people to Jesus, and it was his joy to witness the success of the Saviour's work. He said, "This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease."


Looking in faith to the Redeemer, John had risen to the height of self-abnegation. He sought not to attract men to himself, but to lift their thoughts higher and still higher, until they should rest upon the Lamb of God. He himself had been only a voice, a cry in the wilderness. Now with joy he accepted silence and obscurity, that the eyes of all might be turned to the Light of life.


Those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. No rivalry will mar the precious cause of the gospel. They will recognize that it is their work to proclaim, as did John the Baptist,


Page 180


"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. They will lift up Jesus, and with Him humanity will be lifted up. "Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isa. 57:15.


The soul of the prophet, emptied of self, was filled with the light of the divine. As he witnessed to the Saviour's glory, his words were almost a counterpart of those that Christ Himself had spoken in His interview with Nicodemus. John said, "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. . . . For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him." Christ could say, "I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me." John 5:30. To Him it is declared, "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows." Heb. 1:9. The Father "giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him."


Page 181


So with the followers of Christ. We can receive of heaven's light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. We cannot discern the character of God, or accept Christ by faith, unless we consent to the bringing into captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. To all who do this the Holy Spirit is given without measure. In Christ "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and in Him ye are made full." Col. 2:9, 10, R. V. Desire of Ages, 179-181.


That is how John prepared a bride for Christ. He taught repentance and obedience to Christ. He did not use Ezekiel 9/Will Ross slaughter to purge and purify the bride. He taught repentance and God’s character of love. Ellen White says that if that won’t work, NOTHING WILL! But that all-wise instruction is lost on some who are trying to motivate God’s people by fear of some Will Ross/Ezekiel 9 destruction, with the first four trumpets thrown in for good measure! That is supposed to purify a people to give the final message. However, Ellen White says THAT WON’T WORK, when she says that if love won’t win them, nothing will.


For decades I have witnessed the various fear mechanisms used. I know it just doesn’t work! I’ve watched the attempts to name the date of the final Jubilee! And some are at it again. But all who are motivated by such tactics will fall short of the grace (character) of God.


They may know all the signs of the impending doom, as did the man who roamed Jerusalem for seven years, crying its woes before it was destroyed in 70 A.D., but like him, they will be destroyed in the debacle they forecasted with fear and fervor because of one thing; they don’t develop Christ’s character of love by buying faith and love tried in the fire of obedience. You can always identify them by their spirit of vengeance that is without love. They know all the latest abominations, but they lack Christ’s indwelling Spirit of love that appeals to the soul.


The purpose in majoring in the study of God’s character of love, is so that we might better understand His great self-sacrificing love for us, and that we may develop a character that emulates His. Many are not familiar with the first steps to take in this process. God says His people perish for a lack of knowledge, and it is the knowledge of God’s character that His people lack.


In the message to Laodicea, we may learn a lot about the character of God’s love. God instructs us to buy gold tried in the fire. What is represented by gold tried in the fire? Does the SDA church believe God’s counsel to Laodicea? Is this counsel part of the great shaking issues? These are some of the questions we are going to answer in this study.


The Lord says, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 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.” Revelation 3:17, 18. The gold tried in the fire is faith that works by love. Only this can bring us into harmony with God. We may be active, we may do much work; but without love, such love as dwelt in the heart of Christ, we can never be numbered with the family of heaven.” {COL 158.3}

 

What does “tried in the fire mean?” What does faith that works by love mean?

 

The message to Laodicea is the 1888 message of righteousness by faith in a sentence. That message is still being rejected by the church today. That message teaches that we are to buy faith that works out of a motive of love for Christ and the huge sacrifice He made for all of us. Tried in the fire means tried in the crucible of obedience from a motive of love.

 

God’s law is spoken of as a fiery law:

 

Deu 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

 

So, faith that works by love for Christ, in obedience to all His commandments, is righteousness by faith or Gold tried in the fire. The love is tried by obedience, for Jesus said:

 

Deu 11:22   For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; 

Deu 11:23   Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. 

Deu 11:24   Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. 

Deu 11:25   There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you. 

Deu 11:26   Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 

Deu 11:27   A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 

Deu 11:28   And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. 

 

Pro 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Jhn 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Jhn 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

 

What is the curse all about? The curse is the automatic, built-in creation mechanism for causing sin to self-destruct before it would ultimately destroy all of God’s creation. The curse comes upon anything that does not support the very best welfare of everything that God created. Sin brings separation from God because He automatically recoils and withdraws from sin because it is destruction to all He made. It is the sustaining presence of God’s Spirit that maintains everything at optimum existence for the best of all His creatures. When and wherever sin ensues, God withdraws and the curse begins.

 

This curse factor works everyday in the lives of all of us. When we eat something that is bad fuel for our bodies, it kills us however slowly. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s test of their loyalty, they began to die, because of the fact that disobedience equals death however small the increments experienced. Want to speed your death process up? Then put more deadly fuel into your body.  You can truly increase the rapidity by which your body dies. That is your prerogative. By obedience to all God’s commands, you can greatly control the quality and longevity of your existence.

 

The only way we can keep God’s commandments is by abiding in Christ, by partaking of His nature. Ellen White says that due to the degradation of sin, it is now impossible for us to keep the commandments without the empowerment of Christ’s Holy Spirit which is given for obedience:

 

Rom 1:5   By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 

 

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

 

They must have His grace, the Spirit of Christ, to help their infirmities, or they cannot form a Christian character. Jesus loves to have us come to Him, just as we are—sinful, helpless, dependent.” Faith and Works, p. 38.

 

There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before man can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace [the Spirit of Christ] alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” (ST, May 28, 1902, par. 3).


Our Dispositions Unchanged

 

     If you would be a saint in heaven you must first be a saint on earth. The traits of character you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection. You will come up from the grave with the same disposition you manifested in your home and in society. Jesus does not change the character at His coming. The work of transformation must be done now. Our daily lives are determining our destiny. Defects of character must be repented of and overcome through the grace of Christ, and a symmetrical character must be formed while in this probationary state, that we may be fitted for the mansions above.--13MR 82 (1891).  {LDE 295.1}

 

The Glory that the Father gave to Christ is given to us: “Jesus is waiting to breathe upon all his disciples, and give them the inspiration of his sanctifying spirit, and transfuse the vital influence from himself to his people . . . Christ is to live in his human agents, and work through their faculties, and act through their capabilities. Their will must be submitted to His will, they must act with His Spirit, that it may be no more they that live, but Christ that liveth in them. Jesus is seeking to impress upon them the thought that in giving His Holy Spirit He is giving to them the glory which the Father has given Him, that He and His people may be one in God.” Signs of the Times, October 3, 1892, par. 4.

 

Christ gives them the breath of His own Spirit, the life of His own Life.” Desire of Ages, p. 827, par. 3.

 

The Holy Spirit is the breath of life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ.” Desire of Ages, p. 805.

 

The work of the holy Spirit is immeasurably great. It is from this source that power and efficiency come to the worker for God; and the Holy Spirit is the comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul. He who looks to Christ in simple, childlike faith, is made a partaker of the divine nature through the agency of the holy Spirit. When led by the Spirit of God, the Christian may know that he is made complete in him who is the head of all things. As Christ was glorified on the day of Pentecost, so will he again be glorified in the closing work of the gospel, when he shall prepare a people to stand the final test, in the closing conflict of the great controversy. The prophet describes the enemy’s plan of battle saying:” {RH November 29, 1892, par. 3}

 

 “They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit—the Spirit of Christ—is to bring unity into their ranks.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 189.

 

Our Security: “Christ has made every provision for us to be strong. He has given us His Holy Spirit, whose office is to bring to our remembrance all the promises that Christ has made, that we may have peace and a sweet sense of forgiveness. If we will but keep our eyes fixed on the Saviour and trust in His power, we shall be filled with a sense of security; for the righteousness of Christ will become our righteousness.” My Life Today, p. 45.

 

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

 

We learned that grace is the Holy Spirit, the Divine Nature of Christ that He has proffered us. By being born again and partaking of that Holy Spirit (Grace), we can be obedient to all the commands of God’s Word. It is indeed possible. All things are possible with Him. It is Christ’s Spirit that does the works in us, lest any man should boast.

 

How and Why Righteousness by Faith (the 1888 Message) is Still Rejected by the Professing SDA Church

 

The church has embraced the half gospel of the other fallen churches. Those fallen churches believe the following:

·       That Christ did it all for us on the cross.

·       That Christ had the unfallen nature of Adam before the fall, so He can overcome, but we can’t.

·       That thus it is impossible to overcome all sin this side of glorification, so one is consigned to a sin confess, sin confess existence in this life.

·       That grace means only PARDON, rather than PARDON AND POWER for obedience. Rom. 1:5. This is commonly referred to as “cheap grace,” or a half-gospel.

·       The gospel is what Christ did for us. A half gospel teaches that He did it all. He obeyed for us all so that we don’t have to obey, and what’s more, it is impossible for us to obey.


The truth is that Christ came in our sinful, fallen nature, WITHOUT HAVING SINNED HIMSELF, to prove that we can overcome as He did, by partaking of His Divine Nature Holy Spirit which empowers us in overcoming all known sin.


The 144,000 Conundrum for the Fallen Churches of Babylon


In addition to the above irrefutable Bible based knowledge, a lack of which God’s people perish, are the following facts that fly in the faces of all who claim that we cannot overcome sin this side of glorification.  God says that there will be 144,000 who will be WITHOUT FAULT.

Rev 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. 

Rev 14:2   And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 

Rev 14:3   And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 

Rev 14:4   These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 

Rev 14:5   And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. 

 

The mockers who believe we can’t overcome sin this side of glorification, have another problem that they can’t satisfactorily explain: The Bible implies that God is waiting for His bride to make herself ready! READY FOR WHAT? If Jesus did it all for His Bride; if He kept the commandments and obeyed for her, WHAT IS HE WAITING FOR? WHY DOES SHE HAVE TO GET HERSELF READY?

 

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

 

And there is another conundrum! What does “made herself ready” mean if Christ did it all for her on the cross? These words imply that she had to have a part in making herself ready. She had to be born again and buy gold tried in the fire, the crucible of obedience. She has to obey. She must PROVE her love for Christ by HIS TEST, THE ONLY TEST FOR KNOWING THAT SHE LOVES HIM:

 

If ye love me, keep my commandments. If those commandments were nailed to the cross, Jesus would be contradicting Himself and would be ordering a totally unnecessary test. And without this TEST, there would be no evidence of love and loyalty but lip service, and God does not accept that.

 

Pro 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Jhn 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Jhn 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

 

In the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

 

Ronald William Beaulieu

 



Chapter 1 of Behold Your God by Fred T. Wright

On God’s Final “Strange Act” of Destroying No Man

 

Behold Your God


By F.T.Wright


[v]

Introduction


It is safe to say that three facts are common to us all.


The first is that we have, either consciously or subconsciously, a definite opinion about the character of God. Even though little direct thought or specific expression may have been given to the topic, it is true nonetheless.


The second is that our attitude toward God, our treatment of others, and our receptivity of truth are determined by these opinions.


The third is that all of us were born predispositioned to possess a false concept of God which in turn has been confirmed and extended by environmental educational influences. Unless delivered from this and initiated into a true knowledge of God, it will be impossible to enter into a full and perfect Christian experience, and the prospects of eternal life will be endangered.


If this seems to be saying too much, consider the proof of these words as provided in the history of the Jews of Christ's day.


When Christ first appeared working amazing miracles, proclaiming the kingdom, and proving that He carne at exactly the time specified in Daniel 9, He quickly became a very popular figure. Thousands followed Him, confident that He would re-establish the lost glory of Israel. The Jewish leaders studied the movement with increasing apprehension seeing in it the threat to their prestige and power. His following continued to swell until the feeding of the five thousand with the loaves and fishes. Then, when the enthusiasm of the people had reached its height and they were determined to crown Him king, the tide suddenly turned, the enthusiasm died away, and the crowds walked with Him no more. From that time every step led to the cross when those who had so ardently called for His crowning. screamed for His crucifixion.


What was the factor which caused this astonishing reversal?


The answer is not difficult to find.


They had a very definite but false concept of God's character, shaped by the educational processes in their environment. This factor was so fixed and powerful that it influenced them to reject the Saviour because He did not perform as their concept of God's character led them to expect and desire of Him. Thus the question of God's character became the most critical element in the mission of Jesus and the fate of the Jews. Had they correctly understood this, the history of His work on earth would have been very different.


Any careful study of the mounting conflict between Christ and the people leaves no doubt of the veracity of the above assertions.


A great and significant event in His early ministry was the sermon on the mount. Everyone who attended came anticipating important [vi] announcements about the coming kingdom. The Pharisees “Iooked forward to the day when they should have dominion over the hated Romans, and possess the riches and splendor of the world's great empire. The poor peasants and fishermen hoped to hear the assurance that their wretched hovels, the scanty food, the life of toil, and fear of want were to be exchanged for mansions of plenty and days of ease. In place of the one coarse garment which was their covering by day, and their blanket by night, they hoped that Christ would give them the rich and costly robes of their conquerors. All hearts thrilled with the proud hope that Israel was soon to be honored before the nations as the chosen of the Lord, and Jerusalem exalted as the head of a universal kingdom." The Desire of Ages, 299.


Because the devil had done his work well, the people believed not only that the Messiah would exalt them in this way but that He would do it by the use of the sword. They saw God as the vengeful, destroying One of the Old Testament. Their concept of the God of the Old Testament led them to believe that the God of the New would behave in the same way. But because their understanding of God's character was wrong, their expectations were to be disappointed.


"Christ disappointed the hope of worldly greatness. In the Sermon on the Mount He sought to undo the work that had been wrought by false education, and to give His hearers a right conception of His kingdom and of His own character." ibid.


The people did not hear what they had come to hear in the sermon on the mount, but they did not reject the Saviour just then. He did not directly attack their errors, and they were left with the vague hope that somehow He would yet assert His power and use it according to their ideas of God's character.


Their servitude to the Romans had placed that proud people in a desperate plight. They needed great help, and they knew it. Their understanding of the prophecies had led them to pin their entire hopes on the Messiah as the answer to this predicament if He should fail them, they would have nowhere else to turn.


Christ had not come to fail them. He knew exactly what their true needs were, and He had fully purposed to supply those needs. But the answer did not lie in the use of the weapons of force. It lay in the changing of their characters into the likeness of His own. But so intent were they on their long cherished ambitions that there was no room to consider the alternative He offered.


The climax came at the feeding of the five thousand. Throughout the long day, He had thrilled their hearts with the wonder of His teachings. The sick had been healed and the multitude fed. As the day wore on ". . . they said one to another, 'This is of a truth that Prophet that should come into the world.'


"All day the conviction had strengthened. That crowning act is assurance that the long-looked-for Deliverer is among them. The hopes of [vii] the people rise higher and higher. This is He who will make Judea an earthly paradise, a land flowing with milk and honey. He can satisfy every desire. He can break the power of the hated Romans. He can deliver Judah and Jerusalem. He can heal the soldiers who are wounded in battle. He can supply whole armies with food. He can conquer the nations, and give to Israel the long-sought dominion.


"In their enthusiasm the people are ready at once to crown Him king. They see that He makes no effort to attract attention or secure honor to Himself. In this He is essentially different from the priests and rulers, and they fear that He will never urge His claim to David's throne. Consulting together, they agree to take Him by force, and proclaim Him the king of Israel. The disciples unite with the multitude in declaring the throne of David the rightful inheritance of their Master. It is the modesty of Christ, they say, that causes Him to refuse such honor. Let the people exalt their Deliverer. Let the arrogant priests and rulers be forced to honor Him who comes clothed with the authority of God." ibid., 377, 378.


They could see that Jesus loved them and that He had all the power necessary to give them all that they could desire. The only kind of character they knew and understood was the kind which used the possession of mighty power to achieve their selfish ambitions. They could not see and were unwilling to be taught that Christ did not have this kind of character. He loved the Romans as much as He loved the Jews, neither was it His way to use force to accomplish any desired objective. Therefore, in harmony with His character, He would not permit Himself to be made king by them, nor would He use His mighty powers to advantage one class of those whom He loved, above another. With an authority which none could disobey, He dismissed disciples and multitude alike.


The bitter complaint of the apostles against Him then was, "Why did not He who possessed such power reveal Himself in His true character, and make their way less painful?" ibid., 380.


The truth was that Christ was living out His character to perfection. It was because of what He was, that He did what He did. In their failure to understand His real character, they expected an altogether different line of behaviour. When He did not do what they believed that He should do, they felt cheated and betrayed.


So it was with the multitude. The next day after closely questioning Him, they came to see that He would never use His power as they expected Him to. For this reason they left Him forever. "If He would not devote His power and influence to obtaining their freedom from the Romans, they would have nothing to do with Him." ibid., 391.


Thus it was that their misunderstanding of the character of God in Christ led them to expect from Him a complete deliverance from the Romans and their exaltation to the heights of material grandeur. He was a Jew like they were. He was sent as the Messiah to the chosen and favoured [viii] people. He had the power. Therefore, they reasoned, it was His duty to use that power to favour them. If He refused to do it, then He was nothing short of a traitor to His own. They found Him guilty of treason and determined to be revenged. Because they possessed the character which they believed He had, they did to Him with the power at their command, what they believed He should have done to the Romans. To accomplish this, they accused Him before the Romans of seeking to make Himself to be what they had actually tried to make Him—the king of the world. This was a totally false accusation which, though it enabled them to wreak vengeance on Him whom they believed had betrayed them, opened the floodgates of woe on the nation. Few people, if any, have suffered as the Jews have since that terrible time. Theirs is a fate which none would care to share.


If only they had understood the character of God so perfectly revealed in Christ, or at least been willing to be taught it, they would not have expected of Him what they did, nor would they have rejected and vengefully crucified Him. Thus the question of the character of God and Christ was the most critical element in His mission and in the fate of the Jews.


Contained in their history is a sober warning which none can treat lightly. The character of God is still the most critical issue in the mission of Christ. As were the Jews, so too have all of us been subjected to an erroneous education in respect to God's character. But God will not leave us in this darkness without the opportunity to escape from it. When that light is presented to us, there is the terrible danger that we will repeat their history by rejecting the message because it does not conform to our already established ideas and does not suit our personal ambitions and dreams.


Let none repeat the fearful history of the Jews by rejecting God's truth on this basis. The outworking of such decisions have implications too terrible, final, and eternal to contemplate. Rather let there be an earnest, prayerful pleading with the Lord to open the eyes of our spiritual understanding to see God as He really is.


May the message of this book be a mighty aid in knowing God, whom to know is life eternal.

 

And this is life eternal,

that they might know Thee

The only true God,

and Jesus Christ,

Whom Thou hast sent.

John 17:3.



Contents

1. An All Important Theme ........................................................... 1

2. Avoid Speculative Theories ....................................................... 7

3. The Character Of God in Relation To The Great Controversy... 13

4. The Character Of God And

The Ending Of The Great Controversy ....................... 26

5. Isaiah's Wonderful Prophecy ..................................................... 41

6. Approaching The Study Of God ................................................ 48

7. The Constitution Of The Government Of God .......................... 53

8. A Perfect Law ............................................................................ 69

9. God's Principles Under Test ..................................................... 87

10. A Summary ............................................................................... 93

11. Contrasting Statements ............................................................. 96

12. Statements And Principles ........................................................ 106

13. God Does Destroy—But How?.................................................. 119

14. The Supreme Revelation ........................................................... 134

15. Urged To Destroy ..................................................................... 147

16. Magnifying The Law ................................................................ 158

17. Go The Second Mile ................................................................. 169

18. The Mystery Of Iniquity—Satan's Masterpiece Of Deception .. 180

19. The Mystery-Unfolding Cross ................................................... 192

20. The Way Of The Cross .............................................................. 202

21. God Is Not A Criminal .............................................................. 220

22. Rods And Serpents .................................................................... 228

23. The Upraised Rod ...................................................................... 240

24. The Showing Of God's Power ................................................... 248

25. The Flood .................................................................................. 259

26. Great Changes ........................................................................... 275

27. Concepts Revised ...................................................................... 281

28. Sodom And Gomorrah .............................................................. 291

29. An Execution ................. ........................................................... 315

30. The Ever-Loving, Saving Father ............................................... 328

31. God Goes The Second Mile ...................................................... 345

32. The Consistency Of God

........................................................... 356

33. The Wars Of Israel .................................................................... 364

34. An Eye For An Eye ................................................................... 373

35. Difficult Statements .................................................................. 378

36. The Seven Last Plagues ............................................................ 391

37. The Brightness Of His Coming ................................................ 396

38. The Final Showdown ................................................................ 401

39. In Conclusion ............................................................................ 413


[1]


Chapter One


An All Important Theme


The study pursued throughout this book is not merely one of great importance. It is of the highest consequence involving issues of eternal life and death. It is very much the author's burden that this be realized from the outset and perceived increasingly as the theme is developed.


Jesus said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent." John 17:3.


The full, forceful significance of this Scripture cannot be grasped by reading it in isolation. Other inspired statements must be read along with it so that the meaning becomes powerfully clear. When such comparisons are extensively and carefully made, it will be seen that the truth expressed in this verse is an equation. It is saying that life eternal is the knowledge of God; therefore the knowledge of God is life eternal.


The converse of this, then, is that the lack of a true knowledge of God is death eternal and, therefore, death eternal is the lack of a true knowledge of God.


The Amplified Bible renders this verse thus: "And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, Whom You have sent." John 17:3.


This version presents a clearer rendition of the verse. It states that life eternal means a knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, so without that knowledge, we can only know eternal death. This is confirmed by the following statements.


"The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. It is the knowledge that works transformation of character. This knowledge, received, will re-create the soul in the image of God. It will impart to the whole being a spiritual power that is divine." Testimonies for the Church, 8:289.


Knowing God is life eternal, and life eternal is knowing God.


This statement does not merely say that all who are saved would be well advised to have the knowledge of God. They must have it. It is essential, indispensable. Yet, the statement does more than emphasize the truth of this. It proceeds to reveal the reasons for its being so. In order to attain to eternal life, the character must be transformed and recreated into the image of God, while to the whole being must be imparted a power that is divine. Knowing that to come into possession of eternal life necessitates the acquisition of these blessings, it becomes the seeker's prime interest to know by what means it can be received. [2]


The answer is not hidden.


It is "the knowledge of God as revealed in Christ."


Therefore, it is truly spoken that the knowledge of God is life eternal, and life eternal is the knowledge of God.


The full force of these verses will not be appreciated unless there is a correct understanding of what the grace and peace of God are. Let each now be considered in turn.

God's grace is not merely an attitude maintained on His part toward the undeserving sinner. Rather, it is "the regenerating, enlightening power of the Holy Spirit . . . ." The Great Controversy, 393.[394? Check]


Therefore, the grace of God is God's power working to regenerate and enlighten the willing and obedient. Defining the grace of God as being the power of God, sets it apart as the supreme force in the universe. It is the one element emanating from a creating and re-creating God which lifts the lost from damnation to glorification, and without which there would be no hope. Understandably then, the Holy Spirit spoke through the inspired Peter the desire that such grace should be multiplied to the believers. Assuredly, those who received such multiplied supplies of grace would be blessed with eternal life. Observe the media through which It would come to them. It would be theirs through the knowledge of God.


Likewise, the peace of God is much more than merely a mental persuasion on God's part whereby He maintains a kindly or even indulgent attitude toward those who believe in Him. A careful comparison of Romans 8:7 and 5:1, considerably expands the concept of what the peace of God is. The former tells us that the carnal mind is enmity against God, while the latter confirms that to be justified is to have peace with God.


Therefore, both enmity against God, and peace with God are states of being. The presence of the carnal mind does not merely produce enmity, for it is enmity. By contrast, it is the presence of the very life of God within the person which is the peace of God. These two cannot co-exist. The former must be removed in order to make room for the latter. Only the mighty power of God can accomplish such splendid results.


The Holy Spirit through Peter, was concerned that the believers be filled with this peace for its presence in them was that of eternal life. As with the grace or power of God, it came to them through the knowledge of God. How earnestly and lovingly the Lord seeks to impress upon the dull, slow, human mind that it is through the revelation of the character of God that eternal life is made available to the needy.


To know what God will do for us is very important. But It will still not bring to us eternal life unless we understand how we can receive these blessings. Consequently, the following statement stresses the question and supplies the answer.


"By sin the image of God in man has been marred and well-nigh obliterated; it is the work of the gospel to restore that which has been lost; [3] and we are to co-operate with the divine agency in this work. And how can we come into harmony with God, how shall we receive His likeness, unless we obtain a knowledge of Him? It is this knowledge that Christ came into the world to reveal unto us." Testimonies for the Church, 5:743.


Let careful note be taken of the question raised in this statement. "How can we come into harmony with God, how shall we receive His likeness, unless we obtain a knowledge of Him?"


No direct answer is provided for none is needed. The question admits only one answer. Search for an alternative as he might, the reader will find none, the conviction being thus strengthened that it is impossible to come Into harmony with God and receive His likeness without obtaining a knowledge of Him.


To come into harmony with God and to receive His likeness is to be justified, because "being justified by faith, we have peace (or harmony) with God." Romans 5:1. To be justified is to have life eternal. But to achieve this is Impossible without a true knowledge of God. He must be known as He is. The more fully, intimately, and accurately He is known, the richer and more glorious will be the transformation into His likeness.


"Brethren and sisters, It is by beholding that we become changed. By dwelling upon the love of God and our Saviour, by contemplating the perfection of the divine character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are to be transformed into the same image." Testimonies for the Church, 5:744.

This chapter could be greatly extended by gathering and presenting all the evidences available beyond those already given that emphasize the vital importance of having a true knowledge of the character of God and Christ, but what has been given is evidence enough to make this point.


To know God is life eternal. Life eternal is to know God.


From this we must rightly conclude that there is a direct relationship between the extent of our knowledge of God, and the level, warmth, and power of our personal Christian experience. The better we know God, the more vital and effective our experience will be, while the more poorly and inaccurately we know Him, the feebler our witness will be.


Paul, in Romans 1:18-32, described the incredible depth of iniquity to which the unbelieving world had sunk and more. He traced the situation back to the reason for this condition.


To those people, adequate revelations of God had been provided, as Paul wrote.


"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them."


"For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:19, 20.


In the face of such a revelation of truth, what did these people do? [4]

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."


"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. " Verses 21, 22.

For men to glorify God as God, His character must be in them and be reflected from them. Men think that they glorify God today when they sing hymns and thank Him for the blessings which they want Him to give them. But they glorify God as if He were a man like themselves, not as God. There was a time when original man was blessed with a true knowledge of the character of God, but he elected not to glorify God according to what He was. He substituted another view of God, a view according to his own vain imaginations. That constituted a first downward step toward ultimate ruin. Inevitably, worse was to follow.


"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."


Next, they "changed the glory [character] of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds. and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." Verse 23.


Thus, the true revelation of God's character was replaced by a false one. whereupon the deterioration in morality became most pronounced.


"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts. to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:


"Who changed the truth of God into lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever Amen.


"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature;


"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly. and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.


"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge. God gave them over to a reprobate mind. to do those things which are not convenient:


"Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers,


"Backbiters, haters of God. despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,


''Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection implacable, unmerciful:


"Who knowing the judgment of God. that they which commit such things are worthy of death. not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Verses 24-32


Human beings cannot enter into a worse state of wickedness than that described here. Let it be remembered that Paul by inspiration declares that [5] all this is the outworking of the rejection of the knowledge of God. That rejection was the root. The unbelievable wickedness was the sure and certain fruit.


Thus It will ever be. Exactly to whatever degree a wrong or poor concept of God's character is held, will the level of morality be. What was true in their experience is true in every age. Effect follows cause with predictable certainty.


"The meager views which so many have had of the exalted character and office of Christ have narrowed their religious experience and have greatly hindered their progress in the divine life. Personal religion among us as a people is at a low ebb. There is much form, much machinery, much tongue religion; but something deeper and more solid must be brought into our religious experience. With all our facilities, our publishing houses, our schools, our sanitariums, and many, many other advantages, we ought to be far in advance of

our present position." Testimonies for the Church, 5:743.


The narrowed religious experience and seriously retarded progress in the divine life which was the sad lot of the Advent believers in the nineteenth century was directly attributable to "the meager views which so many" had "of the exalted character and office of Christ." Problems are only solved by firstly determining the cause and then correcting that. Therefore, the adherents to the Advent faith of the last century could not possibly come into a rich and fulfilling religious experience without greatly enlarged and corrected views of the character and office of Christ.


Such a relating of cause and effect should instantly command the interested attention of all today who are aware that their experience is far from what it should be and who long for spiritual enrichment. At present, apart from those who are miserable, poor, blind, naked, self-satisfied Laodiceans, happy to believe that their experience is rich when it is poor, are there any true Christians who are truly satisfied with their character attainment and fellowship with God? While on the one hand there is a deep thankfulness for what God has done, there is a consciousness that much is yet to be achieved so that the Christian's continual quest is for that character excellence which will bring him into communion with God and present his life as a telling witness for the divine.


How can this be?


It can only be by coming into a much clearer and deeper understanding of the character of God and Christ.


Such a knowledge is not acquired in a moment or by feeble intermittent efforts. Nor is the work all of a positive nature. It is a matter both of learning and unlearning.


Not only have the concepts of God's character been meager, dim, and uncertain, but in many respects, quite inaccurate. The inaccuracies have been so serious as to be exactly opposite from what God really is. More than we realize, the devil has clouded our minds with his false representa- [6] tions. Never was he more successful than just before the first coming of Christ, and again during the Dark Ages. We have not yet fully escaped the effect of that midnight period. We have not yet come all the way out of Babylon.


So serious were the misrepresentations of God's character which dominated the minds of men, that Jesus had to give a revelation of God exactly opposite from that which they had. "He presented to men that which was exactly contrary to the representations of the enemy in regard to the character of God . . ." Fundamentals of Christian Education, 177.

As we again approach the midnight darkness of the last days, the same misrepresentations of God are held by mankind throughout the world. Tragically, they are shared to some extent even by God's people.


What is needed, and must be given again for the final time, is a presentation to men which will be "exactly contrary to the representations of the enemy in regard to the character of God."


Therefore, there is much unlearning to be done as well as learning. This book is designed to assist in both directions. Old concepts will be challenged. Many things will be presented about God which will be exactly opposite from what has been believed in the past. For some there will possibly be severe struggles. Old concepts will strive for the mastery. In too many cases they will win, and darkness will settle upon the defeated.


For those who patiently and prayerfully examine the evidences, there will come such a revelation of God's character as will clear away the fog of the past, re-create the soul in the image of God, transform the believer into the likeness of God, and provide the fitness for a place in eternity.


All such will know that to know God is life eternal and life eternal is to know God.


Therefore, a clear, accurate, and comprehensive knowledge of the character of God is essential to those who would be saved. Never was this more needful than at this time when darkness is covering the earth and gross darkness the people.


Let this great theme of God's character become the chief and all- absorbing subject of our attention, our meditation, our conversation, and our witness, for this is life eternal.


End Chapter 1

6