79. My Vision on The 144,000 and Advanced Truth About the Godhead


March 19, 2014


http://omega77.tripod.com/myvisionmarch192014.htm

 


 Around 3 a.m. this March 19, 2014, I was given the following vision on the 144,000 and their knowledge of the Godhead. I was shown the following evidence which teaches that the 144,000 have a superior understanding and appreciation of the Incarnation sacrifice and the power provided by that sacrifice for curing sin.

 

There are some folk who just can’t seem to grasp advancing truth on the Godhead and the highest good, crowning gift that heaven can bestow. They can’t seem to understand the greatest sacrifice that was made in the heavenly sanctuary, above and beyond the cross, and provided a CURE for sin. Some can’t grasp how and why the Trinity Doctrine sweeps away the entire Christian economy. They can’t understand the simple fact that if there were three persons to the Godhead ETERNALLY, which is false, there would have to be four after God was manifest in the flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, whom Ellen White says is divested from and is an independent PERSON from His Holy Spirit Himself.

 

"Cumbered with humanity Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them to go to His Father and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself, divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit" E.G. White, (Manuscript Releases Volume 14 (No’s 1081-1135) MR No.1084.

 

"Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.

In the gift of the Spirit, Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow....

The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail....

It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon the church." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, May 19, 1904, vol. 5, p. 42.

 

In all ages the Saviour’s chosen have been educated and disciplined in the school of trial. They walked in narrow paths on earth; they were purified in the furnace of affliction. For Jesus’ sake they endured opposition, hatred, calumny. They followed Him through conflicts sore; they endured self-denial and experienced bitter disappointments. By their own painful experience they learned the evil of sin, its power, its guilt, its woe; and they look upon it with abhorrence. A sense of the infinite sacrifice made for its cure humbles them in their own sight and fills their hearts with gratitude and praise which those who have never fallen cannot appreciate. They love much because they have been forgiven much. Having been partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they are fitted to be partakers with Him of His glory.” {GC 649.1}

 

The above statement: A sense of the infinite sacrifice made for its cure…” implies that only the 144,000 will understand and accept the infinite sacrifice made for sin’s cure and the implications of that sacrifice, to wit:—the Incarnation sacrifice whereby the Son divested Himself from being DIVINE ONLY, to forever become God come in the likeness of sinful flesh, FULLY HUMAN as well as being FULLY DIVINE, in two separate, independent persons, with His Divine person being His Holy Spirit Divine Nature, the THIRD PERSON of the Godhead. The second person of the Godhead accrued when God was manifest in the flesh. The Trinity Doctrine fully thwarts this sacrificial process by teaching that the three persons of the Godhead were eternal. If there were three eternal persons to the Godhead, then God come in the flesh or the human nature of Christ would add a fourth person. Thus the Trinity Doctrine sweeps away the entire Christian economy by denying the sacrifice whereby a third person accrued and was adopted into the Godhead.

 

Christ had stooped to take upon Himself man’s nature; He was to bear an infinite weight of woe as He should make His soul an offering for sin; yet angels desire that even in His humiliation the Son of the Highest might appear before men with a dignity and glory befitting His character.” E.G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 313, 314.

 

If a more in-depth understanding of the experimental knowledge of the Incarnation is “as essential to sanctify daily as to redeem,” and the 144,000 reach the higher state of sanctity in that they are pronounced BLAMELESS and WITHOUT GUILE IN THEIR MOUTH, it follows that ONLY THEY have that deeper experimental knowledge and appreciation of the Incarnation sacrifice made as a cure for sin. And this is why we should not debate or try to force this issue on others who don’t understand it.

 

"But through the power of the incarnation of Christ, God manifest in the flesh, the strength of God is revealed in gentleness and beauty. To 'as many as received him, to them gave he POWER to become the sons of God.' By this POWER we may OVERCOME OUR EVIL TENDENCIES and so modify our imperfect dispositions that the will of God may be fulfilled in us."—Letter 79, May 7, 1903, to J.A. Burden and wife. The Upward Look, 141.

 

The 144,000 understand more of the power and strength of God that is provided by the Incarnation of Christ. Thus they are more ready, willing, and able to receive MORE OF THAT POWER to overcome sin. That is why they are able to reach a higher state of overcoming to the point of being pronounced WITHOUT FAULT—BLAMELESS, Rev. 14:1-4.

 

"The DIVINE SPIRIT that the world’s Redeemer promised to send IS the PRESENCE and POWER of God." ST November 23, 1891, par. 1, Ye Shall Receive Power, p. 39.5

 

This privilege that is known, understood and accepted only by the 144,000, is why Ellen White said we should never debate the Godhead.

 

A Mysterious and Tender Presence


The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8. {FLB 54.1}


The greatness of God is to us incomprehensible. "The Lord's throne is in heaven" (Ps. 11:4); yet by His Spirit He is everywhere present. He has an intimate knowledge of, and a personal interest in, all the works of His hand. . . . {FLB 54.2}


It was the Maker of all things . . . who created the human soul, with its capacity for knowing and for loving. And He is not in Himself such as to leave the demands of the soul unsatisfied. No intangible principle, no impersonal essence or mere abstraction, can satisfy the needs and longings of human beings in this life of struggle with sin and sorrow and pain. It is not enough to believe in law and force, in things that have no pity, and never hear the cry for help. We need to know of an almighty arm that will hold us up, of an infinite Friend that pities us. We need to clasp a hand that is warm, to trust in a heart full of tenderness. And even so God has in His Word revealed Himself. {FLB 54.3}


     Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The carnal mind cannot comprehend these mysteries. . . . The worldly-wise have attempted to explain upon scientific principles the influence of the Spirit of God upon the heart. The least advance in this direction will lead the soul into the mazes of skepticism. The religion of the Bible is simply the mystery of godliness; no human mind can fully understand it, and it is utterly incomprehensible to the unregenerate heart. {FLB 54.4}

 

The nature (WHAT CONSTITUTES THE ESSENCE, SUBSTANCE OF GOD) of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them; but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.” {FLB 54.5}

 

The nature of the Holy Spirit refers to its essence, its substance. All we are told about that is that God is a spirit. Beyond that, silence is golden as far as what constitutes the nature of the essence and substance of God. But we are told much about the Holy Spirit as a person and the great sacrifice that He made as a cure for sin.

 

"The Bible is a treasure house of knowledge, and all who make this book their study, sinking the shaft deep into the mine of truth, will exclaim, 'I behold wondrous things out of thy word.' The INCARNATION of Christ is but dimly appreciated by many students who have studied long in our schools. This subject should be and will be better understood by all who in truth love Truth, and walk in the way of the Lord. The experimental knowledge of this is as essential to sanctify daily as to redeem." E.G. White, The Advocate, 05-01-99, pr. 03.

 

Godhead as a pillar doctrine -- Personality of God and of Christ Landmarks: "Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor." {MR760 9.5}

 

"You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself." EGW letter 300 1903. [Written to John H. Kellogg].

 

In light of the above statements, I asked my angel the meaning of the following:

 

Never allow yourself to be drawn into discussion regarding the personality of God. On this subject, silence is eloquence. . . .” {11MR 318.4}

 

I was shown that in light of the many statements lauding a knowledge of the personality of God, the above statement applies to more of a debative discussion, and NOT the avoidance of any discussion of the personality of God, because the alpha heresy regarded the personality of God and Christ, and the omega heresy was to involve the same, only on a much more comprehensive scale. Ellen White said that the personality of God and Christ are pillar, landmark doctrines, so we are obliged to discuss these important themes and have to repudiate all that is error relative to the alpha and omega heresies.

 

I was shown that we should never enter forceful discussion regarding the personality of God and Christ who is God in the highest sense (says Ellen White and Scripture) because those who are not called to be the 144,000 will not be as likely to understand, appreciate, and embrace the full truth about the Godhead and the Incarnation sacrifice that made possible the CURE for sin. The 144,000 are called by God to be the bride of His Son. God calls them because they manifest a greater desire for a deeper understanding of the Word.

 

"Characteristics of True Reformers.—Here are given the characteristics of those who shall be reformers, who will bear the banner of the third angel's message, those who avow themselves God's commandment-keeping people, and who honor God, and are earnestly engaged, in the sight of all the universe, in building up the old waste places. Who is it that calls them, The repairers of the breach, The restorers of paths to dwell in? It is God. Their names are registered [written--Heb. 12:22, 23] in heaven as reformers, restorers, as raising the foundations of many generations." E. G. White, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, 1151, & Review and Herald, Oct. 13, 1891.

 

The bride reaches a higher understanding of the sacrifice that made possible a CURE for sin and she fully ascribes to “the highest good, crowing gift that heaven can bestow,” the gift of the Holy Ghost Spirit, the DIVINE NATURE of the soul of the life of Christ. She will not and should not try to force this upon others, but will kindly and lovingly hold forth the invitation to strive to be part of the bride of Jesus Christ. But in addition to the bride, the 144,000, there are the martyrs and a numberless multitude who are saved. Nearest the throne is the bride:

 

"Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs." E.G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 665.

 

How amazing that the bride, nearest the throne, was once zealous in the cause of Satan. She loves Jesus more, because she was forgiven more, while those who never were zealous in the cause of Satan are tempted to feel self-righteous and not as much need of the power that provided the CURE for sin.

 

A sense of the infinite sacrifice made for its cure humbles them in their own sight and fills their hearts with gratitude and praise which those who have never fallen cannot appreciate. They love much because they have been forgiven much. Having been partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they are fitted to be partakers with Him of His glory. {GC 649.1}

 

The words: “which those who have never fallen cannot appreciate” refer to those of other worlds who have not sinned at all. But the principle applies to all who have never been zealous in the cause of Satan. They are not humbled by a sinful past that involved being zealous in the cause of Satan, because they never were so inclined. Therefore, they don’t sense and appreciate the infinite sacrifice made for the cure for sin, which would humble them in their sin and fill their hearts with gratitude and praise—because those who have never so fallen CANNOT APPRECIATE that infinite sacrifice. Those who have imbibed sin to the point of once being zealous in the cause of Satan, love much because they have been forgiven much. That is an awesome and wonderful provision to those of us who were indeed once most zealous in the cause of Satan! Nevertheless, all are instructed to strive to become one of the 144,000. So it is possible! But it is more difficult for the self-righteous who have never done much wrong to desire, highly appreciate, and appropriate the POWER that has been given for obedience and apostleship, Romans 1:5.

 

According to Eastern custom, the bridegroom goes forth to meet his bride and bring her to his home. In the case of Seventh-day Adventists, this meeting and marriage of the bride occurred in 1844, pp. 426, 427 of The Great Controversy, to wit:

In the summer and autumn of 1844 the proclamation, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh," was given. The two classes represented by the wise and foolish virgins were then developed--one class who looked with joy to the Lord's appearing, and who had been diligently preparing to meet Him; another class that, influenced by fear and acting from impulse, had been satisfied with a theory of the truth, but were destitute of the grace of God. In the parable, when the bridegroom came, "they that were ready went in with him to the marriage." The coming of the bridegroom, here brought to view, takes place before the marriage. The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is the capital and representative of the kingdom, is called "the bride, the Lamb's wife." Said the angel to John: "Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife." "He carried me away in the spirit," says the prophet, "and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God." Revelation 21:9, 10. Clearly, then, the bride represents the Holy City, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. Revelation 19:9. If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride. Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of Days in heaven, "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom;" He will receive the New Jerusalem, the capital of His kingdom, "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Daniel 7:14; Revelation 21:2. Having received the kingdom, He will come in His glory, as King of kings and Lord of lords, for the redemption of His people, who are to "sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob," at His table in His kingdom (Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:30), to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb.


Note by Ron: The bride, the 144,000 is the earthly representative of Zion, the church in heaven, Hebrews 12:22, 23, of men made perfect:

Heb 12:22   But ye are come unto mount Sion [Zion], and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 

Heb 12:23   To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Heb 12:24   And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 

The firstborn are the 144,000. In Isaiah 62, it is Zion that is married. The bride is the barley, the first crop in the middle-east. The wave sheaf was barley. Then comes the wheat. The wheat are the wise virgin people of the church. They are guests at the wedding. If guests, they cannot be the bride, the 144,000. End note.


The proclamation, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh," in the summer of 1844, led thousands to expect the immediate advent of the Lord. At the appointed time the Bridegroom came, not to the earth, as the people expected, but to the Ancient of Days in heaven, to the marriage, the reception of His kingdom. "They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut." They were not to be present in person at the marriage; for it takes place in heaven, while they are upon the earth. The followers of Christ are to "wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding." Luke 12:36. But they are to understand His work, and to follow Him by faith as He goes in [TO THE MOST HOLY PLACE] before God. It is in this sense that they are said to go in to the marriage.


In the parable it was those that had oil in their vessels with their lamps that went in to the marriage. Those who, with a knowledge of the truth from the Scriptures, had also the Spirit and grace of God, and who, in the night of their bitter trial, had patiently waited, searching the Bible for clearer light--these saw the truth concerning the sanctuary in heaven and the Saviour's change in ministration, and by faith they followed Him in His work in the sanctuary above. And all who through the testimony of the Scriptures accept the same truths, following Christ by faith as He enters in before God to perform the last work of mediation, and at its close to receive His kingdom--all these are represented as going in to the marriage.” The Great Controversy, pp. 426-428.


Christ’s Object Lessons pp. 405-421

"To Meet the Bridegroom"

[This chapter is based on Matt. 25:1-13.]


Christ with His disciples is seated upon the Mount of Olives. The sun has set behind the mountains, and the heavens are curtained with the shades of evening. In full view is a dwelling house lighted up brilliantly as if for some festive scene. The light streams from the openings, and an expectant company wait around, indicating that a marriage procession is soon to appear. In many parts of the East, wedding festivities are held in the evening. The bridegroom goes forth to meet his bride and bring her to his home. By torchlight the bridal party proceed from her father's house to his own, where a feast is provided for the invited guests. In the scene upon which Christ looks, a company are awaiting the appearance of the bridal party, intending to join the procession.


Lingering near the bride's house are ten young women robed in white. Each carries a lighted lamp and a small flagon for oil. All are anxiously watching for the appearance of the bridegroom. But there is a delay. Hour after hour passes; the watchers become weary and fall asleep. At midnight the cry is heard, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." The sleepers, suddenly awaking, spring to their feet. They see the procession moving on, bright with torches and glad with music. They hear the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. The ten maidens seize their lamps and begin to trim them, in haste to go forth. But five have neglected to fill their flasks with oil. They did not anticipate so long a delay, and they have not prepared for the emergency. In distress they appeal to their wiser companions saying, "Give us of your oil; for our lamps are going out." (Margin.) But the waiting five, with their freshly trimmed lamps, have emptied their flagons. They have no oil to spare, and they answer, "Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves."


While they went to buy, the procession moved on, and left them behind. The five with lighted lamps joined the throng and entered the house with the bridal train, and the door was shut. When the foolish virgins reached the banqueting hall, they received an unexpected denial. The master of the feast declared, "I know you not." They were left standing without, in the empty street, in the blackness of the night.


As Christ sat looking upon the party that waited for the bridegroom, He told His disciples the story of the ten virgins, by their experience illustrating the experience of the church that shall live just before His second coming.


The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith. By the lamps is represented the word of God. The psalmist says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto may path." Ps. 119:105. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Spirit is represented in the prophecy of Zechariah. "The angel that talked with me came again," he says, "and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof; and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? . . . Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. . . . And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? . . . Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth." Zech. 4:1-14.


From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God's presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God's people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path. "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." Zech. 4:6.


In the parable, all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ's second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ's near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him," many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit.


Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart. One may be familiar with the commands and promises of the Bible; but unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed. Without the enlightenment of the Spirit, men will not be able to distinguish truth from error, and they will fall under the masterful temptations of Satan.


The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit's working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up. This class are represented also by the stony-ground hearers. They receive the word with readiness, but they fail of assimilating its principles. Its influence is not abiding. The Spirit works upon man's heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form. "They come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness." Eze. 33:31. The apostle Paul points out that this will be the special characteristic of those who live just before Christ's second coming. He says, "In the last days perilous times shall come: for men shall be lovers of their own selves; . . . lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." 2 Tim. 3:1-5.


This is the class that in time of peril are found crying, Peace and safety. They lull their hearts into security, and dream not of danger. When startled from their lethargy, they discern their destitution, and entreat others to supply their lack; but in spiritual things no man can make up another's deficiency. The grace of God has been freely offered to every soul. The message of the gospel has been heralded, "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17. But character is not transferable. No man can believe for another. No man can receive the Spirit for another. No man can impart to another the character which is the fruit of the Spirit's working. "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it [the land], as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness." Eze. 14:20.


It is in a crisis that character is revealed. When the earnest voice proclaimed at midnight, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him," and the sleeping virgins were roused from their slumbers, it was seen who had made preparation for the event. Both parties were taken unawares; but one was prepared for the emergency, and the other was found without preparation. So now, a sudden and unlooked-for calamity, something that brings the soul face to face with death, will show whether there is any real faith in the promises of God. It will show whether the soul is sustained by grace. The great final test comes at the close of human probation, when it will be too late for the soul's need to be supplied.


The ten virgins are watching in the evening of this earth's history. All claim to be Christians. All have a call, a name, a lamp, and all profess to be doing God's service. All apparently wait for Christ's appearing. But five are unready. Five will be found surprised, dismayed, outside the banquet hall.


At the final day, many will claim admission to Christ's kingdom, saying, "We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets." "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?" But the answer is, "I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me." Luke 13:26, 27; Matt. 7:22. In this life they have not entered into fellowship with Christ; therefore they know not the language of heaven, they are strangers to its joy. "What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." 1 Cor. 2:11.


Saddest of all words that ever fell on mortal ear are those words of doom, "I know you not." The fellowship of the Spirit, which you have slighted, could alone make you one with the joyous throng at the marriage feast. In that scene you cannot participate. Its light would fall on blinded eyes, its melody upon deaf ears. Its love and joy could awake no chord of gladness in the world-benumbed heart. You are shut out from heaven by your own unfitness for its companionship.


We cannot be ready to meet the Lord by waking when the cry is heard, "Behold, the Bridegroom!" and then gathering up our empty lamps to have them replenished. We cannot keep Christ apart from our lives here, and yet be fitted for His companionship in heaven.


In the parable the wise virgins had oil in their vessels with their lamps. Their light burned with undimmed flame through the night of watching. It helped to swell the illumination for the bridegroom's honor. Shining out in the darkness, it helped to illuminate the way to the home of the bridegroom, to the marriage feast.


So the followers of Christ are to shed light into the darkness of the world. Through the Holy Spirit, God's word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory--His character--is to shine forth in His followers. Thus they are to glorify God, to lighten the path to the Bridegroom's home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the Lamb.


The coming of the bridegroom was at midnight--the darkest hour. So the coming of Christ will take place in the darkest period of this earth's history. The days of Noah and Lot pictured the condition of the world just before the coming of the Son of man. The Scriptures pointing forward to this time declare that Satan will work with all power and "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." 2 Thess. 2:9, 10. His working is plainly revealed by the rapidly increasing darkness, the multitudinous errors, heresies, and delusions of these last days. Not only is Satan leading the world captive, but his deceptions are leavening the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. The great apostasy will develop into darkness deep as midnight, impenetrable as sackcloth of hair. To God's people it will be a night of trial, a night of weeping, a night of persecution for the truth's sake. But out of that night of darkness God's light will shine.


He causes "the light to shine out of darkness." 2 Cor. 4:6. When "the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep," "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light." Gen. 1:2,3. So in the night of spiritual darkness, God's word goes forth, "Let there be light." To His people He says, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa. 60:1.


"Behold," says the Scripture, "the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee." Isa. 60:2.


It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.


This is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words, "O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him." Isa. 40:9,10.


Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, 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.


The light of the Sun of Righteousness is to shine forth in good works--in words of truth and deeds of holiness.


Christ, the outshining of the Father's glory, came to the world as its light. He came to represent God to men, and of Him it is written that He was anointed "with the Holy Ghost and with power," and "went about doing good." Acts 10:38. In the synagogue at Nazareth He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18, 19. This was the work He commissioned His disciples to do. "Ye are the light of the world," He said. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matt. 5:14, 16.


This is the work which the prophet Isaiah describes when he says, "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward." Isa. 58:7, 8.


Thus in the night of spiritual darkness God's glory is to shine forth through His church in lifting up the bowed down and comforting those that mourn.


All around us are heard the wails of a world's sorrow. On every hand are the needy and distressed. It is ours to aid in relieving and softening life's hardships and misery.


Practical work will have far more effect than mere sermonizing. We are to give food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and shelter to the homeless. And we are called to do more than this. The wants of the soul, only the love of Christ can satisfy. If Christ is abiding in us, our hearts will be full of divine sympathy. The sealed fountains of earnest, Christlike love will be unsealed. God calls not only for our gifts for the needy, but for our cheerful countenance, our hopeful words, our kindly handclasp. When Christ healed the sick, He laid His hands upon them. So should we come in close touch with those whom we seek to benefit.


There are many from whom hope has departed. Bring back the sunshine to them. Many have lost their courage. Speak to them words of cheer. Pray for them. There are those who need the bread of life. Read to them from the word of God. Upon many is a soul sickness which no earthly balm can reach nor physician heal. Pray for these souls, bring them to Jesus. Tell them that there is a balm in Gilead and a Physician there.


Light is a blessing, a universal blessing, pouring forth its treasures on a world unthankful, unholy, demoralized. So it is with the light of the Sun of Righteousness. The whole earth, wrapped as it is in the darkness of sin, and sorrow, and pain, is to be lighted with the knowledge of God's love. From no sect, rank, or class of people is the light shining from heaven's throne to be excluded.


The message of hope and mercy is to be carried to the ends of the earth. Whosoever will, may reach forth and take hold of God's strength and make peace with Him, and he shall make peace. No longer are the heathen to be wrapped in midnight darkness. The gloom is to disappear before the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The power of hell has been overcome.


But no man can impart that which he himself has not received. In the work of God, humanity can originate nothing. No man can by his own effort make himself a light bearer for God. It was the golden oil emptied by the heavenly messengers into the golden tubes, to be conducted from the golden bowl into the lamps of the sanctuary, that produced a continuous bright and shining light. It is the love of God continually transferred to man that enables him to impart light. Into the hearts of all who are united to God by faith the golden oil of love flows freely, to shine out again in good works, in real, heartfelt service for God.


In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven's resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit.


It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour's love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.


Christ has made every provision that His church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Emmanuel. It is His purpose that every Christian shall be surrounded with a spiritual atmosphere of light and peace. He desires that we shall reveal His own joy in our lives.


The indwelling of the Spirit will be shown by the outflowing of heavenly love. The divine fullness will flow through the consecrated human agent, to be given forth to others.


The Sun of Righteousness has "healing in His wings." Mal. 4:2. So from every true disciple is to be diffused an influence for life, courage, helpfulness, and true healing.


The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.


Christ does not bid His followers strive to shine. He says, Let your light shine. If you have received the grace of God, the light is in you. Remove the obstructions, and the Lord's glory will be revealed. The light will shine forth to penetrate and dispel the darkness. You cannot help shining within the range of your influence.


The revelation of His own glory in the form of humanity will bring heaven so near to men that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells. Men will be captivated by the glory of an abiding Christ. And in currents of praise and thanksgiving from the many souls thus won to God, glory will flow back to the great Giver.


"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa. 60:1. To those who go out to meet the Bridegroom is this message given. Christ is coming with power and great glory. He is coming with His own glory and with the glory of the Father. He is coming with all the holy angels with Him. While all the world is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of His second appearing. The unsullied light will shine from His splendor, and Christ the Redeemer will be admired by all who have served Him. While the wicked flee from His presence, Christ's followers will rejoice. The patriarch Job, looking down to the time of Christ's second advent, said, "Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger." Job 19:27, margin. To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts.


With uplifted heads, with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shining upon them, with rejoicing that their redemption draweth nigh, they go forth to meet the Bridegroom, saying, "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us." Isa. 25:9.


"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 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 he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." "He is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful." Rev. 19:6-9; 17:14.


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

 

Ronald William Beaulieu

 

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