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1987 Jul -- XX -- 7(87) -- THE JEWISH EQUATION -- Part 4 -- The events of history testify to the fact that in 1967, the prophecy of Jesus as found in Luke 21:24 began to be fulfilled, and that in 1980, it was completed. Published Adventist literature concurs in noting the significance of 1967 in relationship to Luke 21:24. (See 20th Century Bible Course, Lesson 5; and Christ of the Revelation, pp. 71-72)

The question now comes - What does the fulfillment of this prophecy of Jesus mean in terms of a response? As Lesson 5 of the 20th Century Bible Course empasized in regard to the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem - "They [the Christians] watched for the sign that Christ had given and obeyed His instructions" - just so, there must be an obedient response to the fulfillment of this phase of the prophecy. Simply stated, we must ask ourselves - What is being said in the fulfillment of this prophecy? - and - What must I now do?

The most obvious significance of the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 is that the nations are no longer under the restraining influence of God. Their time is up. A concrete example of this can be found in our own recent history. At mid-century when President Harry S. Truman appointed General Mark Clark as the American ambassador to the Vatican, a storm of protest brought about the withdrawal of the nomination. Not so in 1984! Even though, protest was mounted against the appointment by President Reagan of an ambassador to the Vatican, the opposition was run over roughshod. The restraining power of God was missing. What is this saying? The nations of earth have been turned over to "the spirits of devils" to accomplish the fulfillment of Revelation 16:13-14 in gathering the nations of earth to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.

The realization that we have reached the end-times of all human history should evoke from us and in us a deep consecration, a devotion to the things of the Spirit which marked the Advent believers who expected to see their Lord on October, 22, 1844. What heart searching, what agonizing before God should mark our religious experience now.

p 2 -- A careful study of Luke 21:24 in the context of the whole chapter tells us more. As we noted in Part One (XX-4), Jesus gave three major signs which were to take place between His two advents:  1) The compassing of Jerusalem with armies;  2) Signs in the sun, moon and stars; and  3) Jerusalem no longer trodden down of the Gentiles. In all three accounts of this Olivet discourse, the parable of the "fig tree" is recorded with a lesson drawn - "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." And Jesus affirmed this statement with the word - "Heaven and earth shall pass, away: but my words shall nat pass away." (Luke 21:29-33) While it is true that He connected the "generation" concept with the advent of "the kingdom of God," we dare not loose sight of the fact that Jesus was answering questions which in the minds of His questioners were only one question. To them, at that point in their understanding, the destruction of Jerusalem was the end of the world. And the generation that saw the sign which marked the coming destruction of Jerusalem did not pass away until the event occurred. Further, the generation that saw the signs in the sun, moon and stars did not pass away till it was understood what those signs heralded - - the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven to the Ancient of days. (Daniel 7:13) Likewise, this generation which has witnessed the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 will not pass away till these final times be fulfilled. Again, the point is emphasized - the end of all things is upon us.

A closer look at the immediate context in which Luke places this prophecy of Jesus provides for us further insight of the times to which we have come. The signs in the heavens are noted, then "upon earth distress of nations." (Luke 21:25) The versification and translation as found in the KJV blocks a connection with Luke 21:24. Removing these barriers, we read:       Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the nations, until the times of the nations be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon earth distress of [those] nations, with perplexity.

We have understood the fulfillment of the signs in the sun, moon and stars, but when would the distress of nations begin? Answer:  When the times of the nations are fulfilled. Even as the signs in the heavens pointed to the beginning of celestial events connected with the final times of human history, just so, Christ gave a sign which would mark the beginning on earth of the final events.

The import of this can be better understood when we perceive the meaning of the words chosen to describe the distress of nations. The word, distress - sunoche - means "imprisoned, in the narrows, or straits." The added phrase - "with perplexity" (en aporia) - conveys the picture of nations unable to meet the demands placed upon them financially, and lacking the ability to solve the stress. (See The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament by Moulton and Milligan) A "well known Canadian financial expert" - wote in 1975 -      From all that I have observed of international [monetary] conferences since 1967 I do not believe any conference is going to come up with any workable answer. It seems the situation will just continue to deteriorate. ...

All brains are stunned. They see no answer - so now they begin to think no answer is necessary. Or at least they have decided there is no use thinking about it at all. Therefore I can only see as the end product, as I have said repeatedly in these letters - and especially after attending the big world meetings of the IMF - the answer is a total collapse.

Either the countries will have to go back to a system which will stablize the money, such as gold - or the social order, not only of the United States, but all of the industrial world, will disintergrate, and from this enormous confusion new governments will arise after much suffering and bloodshed, starvation and horror. These governments would be dictatorships.

Recently D'Estaing observed: "The world is unhappy. It is unhappy because it doesn't know where it is going, and because it senses that if it knew, it would discover that it was heading for disaster. ... The crisis the world knows today will be a long one. It is not a passing difficulty. It is actually the recognition of permanent change." (Myers' Finance & Energy, March 11, 1975, pp. 1-2)

In 1967, by an action of the U.S. Congress, the silver certificates - our paper money - were no longer redeemable in neither silver nor gold. In fact, the base upon which the Consumer Price Index is figured by the U.S Department of Labor is 1967=100. "Since 1967 the value of the dollar has declined 47.6 percent." (Newsweek, June 19, 1978, p. 21) And that was ten years ago! The economic distess today is worldwide. Since prophecy indicates that economics will be a factor in the final scenes (Rev. 13:16-17), the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 in relationship to the "distress of nations, with perplexity" only adds to the weight of evidence that we are in the final end-time of all human history. What manner of persons ought we then to be?

There is another significant factor in this context of Luke 21:24-25. Here is revealed in the prophetic transition that from events in the Heavens above, the action will move to earth. Even as the signs in the sun, moon and stars signaled the beginning of the pre-Advent judgment before the Ancient of days, just so, the beginning of the "distress of nations" signals the commencement of final events on earth in harmony with the divine objectives. A careful study of the typical Day of Atonement reveals this divine plan.       To be continued

p 3 -- LOOKING TO JESUS -- Whenever I see a new title for a book or a magazine the first thing I want to know about that article is: "Who is the author?" Many times I have read material only because I enjoyed the writing style of the author or believed that the author presented a message of truth that was needed. The author is the one who writes the script and decides what is to go into a story, book, etc. And yet there is a concept of authorship that many of us have overlooked; and that is Jesus as the Author of our faith. -      Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2.

Jesus is the author of our faith. He is not only the author, but the finisher as well. It is the author who starts a script, and it is the author who creates the conclusion. The Bible declares that Jesus will start the script concerning our faith, and that He will finish it. How often we look to others and not to Jesus. But Christ says, "Come unto Me." Matthew 11:28. We must look to Jesus and in Him alone is there help. When we look to the arm of flesh we will only grow weary as there is no strength in the arm of flesh. The Divine Physician through Paul by His Spirit gives us the cure for when we grow weary by looking to man. We are to look to Jesus, and when we do we shall not grow weary along the way. --       For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:3.

In Hebrews 12:1,2 we read that as we run the race that is set before us, we are to look to Jesus. In verse 3 we are told to "consider" Christ. What does this text tell us about the treatment that Jesus received from sinners? It says that He endured "contradiction of sinners." The word contradiction in the Greek is antilogian (antilogia) which means strife or, as translated in the New American Standard Bible, "hostility." Jesus endured much pain and grief during His years of ministry. We are admonished to look to Jesus and to "consider Him who has endured such hostility.... so that we may not grow weary and lose heart.." (NASB).

Why was it that Jesus endured such hostility? In verse 2 we read: "for the joy that was set before Him." What joy was that? "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am. John 17:24. The great desire of Jesus is to be with those whom He has created, and no amount of pain or strife is going to stop the Saviour of the world from seeing His prayer answered. But why does Jesus want to be with mortals such as we? Because of His great love. It is His very nature to love. (See I John 4:8.) This love was what drove Him to the cross for you and me. A love that did not think of self, but of others.

God allowed me to catch a small glimpse of that kind of love about four years ago, and oh how I treasure the experience. I was working as a carpenter's helper for ar Adventist brother at the time. One of the jobs that was contracted was to put the tin sheeting on a large hip roof barn. The man that hired us had previously put up the rafters and had also nailed the wooden slats across the rafters to which the tin was to be nailed. The only problem was that the slats did not all reach from one rafter to another. One slat would be nailed to perhaps three rafters, but would not reach to the fourth. Anyone who has tried to nail to such an arrangement can attest that it is not easy to nail where there is no support underneath as was the case here. Needless to say, my inexperience led the hammer to hit my thumb more than the nails. After about the third day my thumb was quite black and blue. Finally it became so bad that the skin broke open about halfway around my thumb. Blood was pouring from the wound in direct proportion to the pain and I didn't see how I could continue to work further when I knew that I would be hitting my thumb more. After having the good farmer put his cure-all (horse liniment) on the thumb and wrapping some gauze around it I went back to work. Why? Because it was the only work I could obtain at the time and I had an expectant wife and a son at this time. Love for my family constrained me to keep working. Every time that I hammered away at my thumb I would say to myself, "I love my wife, I love my son." I endured much pain, but I kept going.

p 4 -- Love could find no other way! Jesus endured great "contradiction of sinners" because His love could find no other way! When we see the love of Jesus and experience it in our lives, then we will not need any motives of a selfish nature to inspire us into Christian service. "For the love of Christ constraineth us." 2 Corinthians 5:14. This love does not come except by looking to Jesus. And when we look to Jesus and consider Him we will be changed.       But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18.

The manifestation of God's power put forth to save man is called the gospel. In the book of Romans we read: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Romans 1:16. How often we unknowingly would pervert the gospel, and think that it is our power that brings about our salvation. As we depend upon ourselves, we fail to look to Jesus as the Bible instructs us to do.

Why else should we look to Jesus? The Spirit through Peter said, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. The word of God assures us that Christ is the only one through whom salvation may come. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. What do we see when we look to Jesus? We see "THE WAY!" In Matthew 7:13,14 we read the following:      Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

God presents a very strait path for the Christian to follow which leads to a very narrow gate. God cannot allow anything impure or spotted to enter into His kingdom. The servant of the Lord describes it thus:       The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God - candidates for heaven. Vol 5, p. 216 (Emphasis supplied.)

God cannot allow sin to enter into the court of heaven. If God was to allow us into His kingdom of love without a transformation of character, then the rebellion against Him would only continue. Yes dear friend, the way is terribly strait and the gate very narrow. The good news is that if we look to Jesus and trust in Him for our righteousness, though the gate be narrow, it is wide enough for every sinner who falls at the feet of the Saviour.

When I look to myself, I see only the finite and become discouraged because the way is far too strait for these "filthy rags" to be able to enter into. But when I look to Jesus and see Him in all of His loveliness, and consider the great depths to which He went to purchase my salvation, then the strait gate becomes sure as I walk through it with Jesus. -       Those who look within for comfort will become weary and disappointed. A sense of our weakness and unworthiness should lead us with humility of heart to plead the atoning sacrifice of Christ. As we rely upon His merits we shall find rest and peace and joy. He saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.

We need to trust in Jesus daily, hourly. He has promised that as our day is, our strength shall be. By His grace we may bear all the burdens of the present and perform its duties. Vol. 5, p. 200.

As we look to Christ, it will be our desire to lift Him up and to help others to "see" Him. In the greatest of gospel sermons Jesus said to Nicodemus: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14,15. When the crucified and risen Saviour is "lifted up" in all of His beauty, people will be drawn to Him. "And I, if I be lifted up....will draw all men unto me." John 12:32.

In order for people to be drawn to Jesus He must be lifted up, not man. Notice the council of God through His word: "Cease ye from man." Isaiah 2:22. "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man." Psalm 108:12. Why look to man where there is no help? "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5. Satan would have us look to man where there is no help because just as sure as we do our heart will depart

p 5 -- from the LORD. The problem of looking to man today is not new. Notice what Sister White wrote in 1895 concerning the events that transpired in 1888 and the time prior to the conference held in Minneapolis.      Now, it has been Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants (Elders Jones and Waggoner) a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines.

This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. Testimonies To Ministers And Gospel Workers, pp. 93,91,92, (Emphasis supplied.)

The view of Jesus had been cut off from the people by Satan. God in response "sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones." (Ibid., p. 91.) It has been well documented by Elders Wieland and Short that this "most precious message" has never been received by the church. If the message was sent so that our eyes could be turned off from man and onto Jesus, then a rejection of the message would mean that the eyes of our people are still on man. Yes, today there is need of this "precious message" just as in 1888, and for the same reason. Our eyes are on man. Some Seventh-day Adventists are even looking to the men at the General Conference to tell them when to flee to the mountains. Instead of looking to man, let us look to Jesus. "Our only hope is in 'looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.' There is everything in Him to inspire with hope, with faith, and with courage. He is our righteousness, our consolation and rejoicing." Volume 5, pp. 199,200.

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." I Corinthians 1:31. Jesus is every thing to us, and we must not at this late hour allow Satan to eclipse our view of Him. Sister White revealed that many rejected the light that was sent to them because they looked to man and were ignorant of the Scriptures. (See R&H, March 18, 1890.) May we each take time daily to study the Scriptures for ourselves so that we will not be deceived into looking to man instead of Jesus.

"Look " unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:22. In his autobiography, Charles Spurgeon tells of an experience when he was a young man of going to church and the minister failing to show up. An uneducated layman went to the puplit to preach and used Isaiah 45:22 as his text. Spurgeon related the story as thus:      He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. ... He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimpse of hope for me in that text.

The preacher began thus:  'Dear Friends, this is a very simple text, indeed. It says "Look." Now looking don't take a deal of pains. It ain't liftin' your foot or your finger; it's just "look." Well, a man needn't go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look....Anyone can look; even a child can look. But then the text says, "Look unto ME." Ay! said he in broad Essex, 'many of ye are lookin' to yourselves, but it's no use lookin' there. You'll never find any comfort in yourselves.

Then the preacher looked toward Spurgeon and said directly to him:      'Young man, you look very miserable.... and you will always be miserable, miserable in life, and miserable in death -- if you don't obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.'

Spurgeon then related what this personal encounter caused him to think:      When I heard that word, 'Look!' what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. C. H. Spurgeon, Autobiography, pp. 105-107 as quoted from First Things First, p. 373.

The twelfth chapter of John records that "certain Greeks" said to Philip, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." John 12:21 NASB. There will be times in our lives that people will come to us and say, "we wish to see Jesus." The only way that we will be able to help others to see Jesus is if we have had a personal encounter with Him.    --    A. Stump

p 6 -- FLATTERY (?) -- Inserted in the last issue we received of 1888 Message Newsletter was a "Thought Paper" by Elder R. J. Wieland. The words of the English poet, Nathaniel Cotton, flashed in my mind - "Imitation is the sincerest flattery." We are sure that Wieland does not intend to flatter the work.we have been doing over the past twenty years in sending forth regularly the "Thought Paper"- "Watchman, What of the Night?" in writing one of his own.

We want the publishers of 1888 Message Newsletter to know that we welcome this insert in their publication. Perhaps now, meaningful dialogue can be pursued over the issues involved in the present agitation of the 1888 Message. As the readers of this Thought Paper are aware, we sent to Elder Wieland a letter asking that the issues be discussed publicly, and then when no response from Wieland was forthcoming, we made it an "Open Letter." There has still been no response on the part of Wieland to this invitation; neither will he consent to sit down with other ministers and informed laymen to discuss the real meaning of the 1888 Message in the light of our Church history since he and Elder D. K. Short were sent as "messengers" to the Church in 1950. This attitude on his part is tragic, and reveals the uncertainty in his own mind as to the verity of the positions he is now setting forth.

Elder Wieland, however, did attend the Unity Conclave at Hartland Institute and sit in silence as the very teachings of Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner on the Incarnation were indirectly attacked by Elder T. A. Davis as he resurrects the Holy Flesh position on this doctrine. This only compounds the tragedy! We have yet to read, or hear an explanation as to why he sat silently by as this attack on a basic concept of the 1888 Message was made. Perhaps he will deal with this in an upcoming "Thought Paper". We hope so.

If the issue of this one "Thought Paper" signals the beginning of a series, then we can hope that the questions addressed in "The Open Letter" can be addressed, while not face to face as would be the most desirable, but at least via Thought Papers.

CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 5 -- Creation and Redemption One! --

Question Answer
1. Which command of God is related to creation? Ex. 20:8-11 (See Note 1)
2.Which day does the Bible call the Lord's day? Matt. 12:8; Isa.58:13
3. Whom was the Sabbath made for? Mark 2:27
4. What distinguishes the true God from false gods? Jer. 10:10-12 (See Note 2)
5. What work of God is closely related to creation? Col. 1:9-19
6. Whom is our redeemer? Rom. 5:8,9
7. What scripture shows that the creator is also the redeemer? Isa. 43:1
8. What scripture plainly states that it is creative power which transforms the believer? Eph. 2:10 (See Note 3)
9.  What is the Creator able to give to those without strength? Isa. 40:26-29 (See Note 4)
10. What would the Psalmist triumph through? Ps. 92:1-5 (See Note 5)
11. How is the eternal power and Godhead of the Lord revealed? Rom. 1:20
12. Besides creation, what is the Sabbath a sign of? Eze. 20:12
13. Is sanctification God's will for His children? I Thes. 4:3 (See Note 6)

 In Genesis 2:1-3 we read that the Creator rested,
since Christ is the Creator (John 1;1-3) then it was Christ that rested the first Sabbath.

2.  It is God's power to create that sets Him apart from all others. (See Jeremiah 14:22 and Revelation 14:6-10.) The Sabbath, being a memorial of His creation, is therefore the sign of God's authority and creative ability. .

3.  Read: Eph. 4:20-24; 2 Cor. 5:17; Ps. 51:10.

4.  God's "power is, in fact, the ability to create everything from nothing; therefore He can work wonders through those who have no strength, he can bring strength out of weakness." Christ Our Righteousness p. 37.

5.  Since God's works are seen in creation (God's power to bring something from nothing) the Psalmist was glad because that same power would create (from nothing) in him a clean heart.

6. Read: 1 Thess. 5:23,24; Matt. 5:48; Jude 24.

p 7 -- A CORRECTION -- By a Weekly News Journal -- In the January 12, 1987, issue of US News & World Report [Section, "Currents"] a news reporter wrote of Jerusalem as "one half of which is now controlled by Israel, and the other half by Jordon."

Several asked us about this inasmuch as we have published a detailed manuscript declaring plainly that Jerusalem is now fully under the control of the government of the State of Israel. (See, The Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled) We wrote to, US News & World Report about this statement. In their response, our attention was directed to "Letters to the Editor" in the January 26, issue. A reader had noted the same statement and wrote - "Jerusalem has been controlled by Israel since 1967." To this the editors added a note: - "The reader is correct."

Inasmuch as we are presently pursuing a series of studies on "The Jewish Equation," we believed it apropos to note the error in this respected news journal and their correction of the same.   --- (1987 Jul) --- End --- TOP

1987 Aug -- XX -- 8(87) ---THE JEW1SH EQUATION -- Part 5 -- This study may well be the most important treatise you will read this year in the Thought Paper. Be sure to have your Bible open before you, and carefully read each text given.

"The Hebrew sanctuary ritual as performed on the Day of Atonement, and the prophetic pre-Advent scene of the Judgment before the Ancient of days gives significant meaning to the prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21:24.

In Daniel 7, we are told that when the judgment convened before the Ancient of days - "the books [were] opened." (7:9-10) These books contain the complete life's record of every daughter and son of Adam. When the final sentencing is given from "the great white throne," the unsaved are to be "judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. 20:11-12) Both the decision in the pre-Advent judgment and the sentencing from the great white throne are done in the heavenly places.

The Hebrew sanctuary services cover but one phase of the judgment. God gave these typical services to reveal the provision He made for man to escape the condemnation of the judgment on sin. This fact is important in understanding the relationship between the prophecy given to Daniel and the typical services set up at Sinai under Moses. During the year, each believer in Jehovah God of Israel and Israel itself was provided a way whereby sins could be transfered either to a common priest, or to the sanctuary via the High Priest. This should be kept clearly in mind. We shall herewith outline this Divine plan in type by way of review:

p 2 -- 1)   If "the priest that, is anointed" (the High Priest) should lead the congregation of Israel into sin, or if the whole congregation were involved in guilt, the blood of the atoning sacrifice was brought into the holy place and finger printed on the Altar of Incense with the remaining blood poured at the base of the Altar in the court. (Lev. 4:3-7, 13-18) The result to the whole congregation was that they were forgiven. (Lev. 4:20).  2)  on the other hand, when a ruler or a common person sinned and sought forgiveness, his sacrifice was mediated by the common priest, and the blood was not brought into the sanctuary, but finger printed on the horns of the Altar in the court, and the balance was poured again at the base of the Altar. (Lev. 4:22, 24-25, 27, 29-30).  3)  However, in the atonement of forgiveness for the ruler and the common person, the officiating priest - not the High Priest - ate of the sacrifical victim. (Note: Lev. 6:25-26; 10:16-18)

[It must also be kept in mind that the category of "ruler" included the priests as individuals. Compare Numbers 3:32 with Leviticus 4:22. In the Hebrew, the same word is used for both "chief" and "ruler."]

Thus in the ministration of forgiveness to the individual the blood was not carried into the sanctuary, but the individual's hope of pardon on the Day of Atonement was carried by another.

In review and summary it must be clearly understood that the blood recording confession and bestowing forgiveness was to be found in only two places - on the horns of the Altar in the court, and on the horns of the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place. Only on the Day of Atonement was blood of a sin offering brought into the Most Holy Place. The High Priest offered a bullock which was "for himself" although the atonement covered his whole house. However, "for himself" is twice emphasized. (Lev. 16:11) This "sin offering" for the High Priest was in addition to the "sin offering" represented in the Lord's goat which was "for the people." (Lev. 16:9, 15) Interestingly, there is no record in Leviticus 16, where confession was made over either the bullock, or the Lord's goat, yet both are called "sin offerings." (Lev. 16:3, 9) However, hands were laid on the scape goat in transference, but this "live goat" is not referred to as a "sin offering." (Lev. 16:21-22) These facts of the type have been given little attention, or study.

The atonement of cleansing for Israel on the tenth day of the seventh month was three-phased: 1) In the Most Holy Place; 2) In the Holy Place; and 3) In the court at the Altar there. Not until the three phases were completed was the "live goat" brought into the picture. (Lev. 16:20-21)

[Note: As you read Leviticus 16 in the KJV, the "holy place" ("place" is a supplied word) refers to the second apartment of the sanctuary, or Most Holy Place. The "tabernacle of the congregation" is the terminology designating the Holy Place. The "altar" stands for the Altar of the Court, or the Altar of Burnt Offering.] ;

Let us now take a careful look at the three phases. First, the atonement of cleansing was begun in the Most Holy Place. But during the year no record of forgiven sins was ever recorded there, yet the "uncleaness of the children of Israel" extended to there. In passing, but without comment, it should be noted that the atonement of cleansing began where sin began - in the presence of God enthroned between the cherubim as far as the type is concerned. There is a reconciliation involving "things in heaven." (Col. 1:20)

The second phase was the atonement for the Holy Place. (Lev. 16:16b) But here was to be found only the record of confessed corporate guilt of either the nation of Israel or Israel as "the church in the wilderness." Sadly, through the history of Israel either as a nation or a church, there was very little confession of guilt. Likewise the nations and churches of all time!

The last phase of the cleansing had to do with the confessed and forgiven sins at the Altar in the court. (Lev. 16:18) This concerned all individuals - whether a ruler or a common person. When did the cleansing reach the individual living on any particular Day of Atonement? Answer:  Only after all corporate confession had been taken care of in the Holy Place! Thus the prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21:24 which signaled the times of the nations - corporate bodies - as fulfilled, tells us when the judgment of the living commenced. We have reached that hour! The Jewish Equation rightly solved supplies the answer. Further, when the "abomination of desolation" (papal phase) "shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain," then we may know the judgment of all living has been determined, and the time has come for Michael to "stand up." (Dan. 11:45; 12:1)

How then should one understand this hour - "the judgment of the living"? Primarily for Seventh-day Adventists, it means that the prophecy given through Ellen G. White in

p 3 -- 1903 is now fulfilled. She wrote - "In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed." (8T:247) The context clearly indicates this is speaking of the church as a corporate body. By carefully noting the conditions set forth by which the determination was to be made, one can know the decision rendered if he has any knowledge at all of our church history since the SDA-Evangelical Conferences of 1955-56. In the light of what has taken place, there was only one decision that God could render - "Found Wanting." There is no record of any confession made, but only a continued expression of Loadiceanism -- "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." (Rev. 3:17) The fact is that the hierarchy through committee have rejected the whole idea of a call to corporate repentance. (See article - "Wieland and Short in Crisis," p. 5)

We must ask, do we have any guidelines for this hour of "the judgment of the living"? Yes. The experience of the Jewish Church as a corporate body contains lessons for us today. They rejected the living Truth committed to their trust. They rejected the final warning given to them in the appeal of Stephen. (Acts 7:51-58a) The probation of Israel as a corporate body was up - she had fulfilled her times, the 490 years of Daniel 9:24. But the individual was to have an extended opportunity, - until "the abomination of desolation "(pagan phase) would stand in the once "holy place."

Why was this? The individual member of the Jewish Church had no voice in either the murder of Jesus Christ, nor in the stoning of Stephen - the ultimate outworking of the hierarchy against those who "speak out" for truth against the system. All was the decision of the General Conference of the Jewish Church. Thus the individual member of the Jewish Church would be given an opportunity between 34 A.D. and 66 A.D. to choose between Jesus the crucified, and the leaders who crucified Him. And this was the message starting with the Day of Pentecost.

The "devout" Jews were charged by Peter, speaking - filled with the Holy Spirit - on the Day of Pentecost with the murder of Jesus because of their corporate involvement in the Jewish Church. (Acts 2:5, 36) When Paul went forth on his missionary tours, he began in the synagogues with a message to the "man in the pew" for a decision between Jesus the Messiah, and what the Jewish hierarchy had done to Him. (See Acts 13:27-28, 38-41;18:4-8; 19:8-9)

We today face similar questions. Did the individual member of the Adventist Church have a voice in the compromises of the SDA-Evangelical Conferences? Did the individual member of the Church have a voice when the doctrine of the final atonement was denied in the adoption of the new Statement of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980? The answer is clearly - NO! But corporately every member of the church was involved before God. God has now rendered His decision on the corporate body. The decision rendered on the individual, "the atonement at the Altar" in the court (on earth), will be determined as to whether he can say "Amen" to God's decision on the church corporately, or whether he will continue to consent to the betrayal of truth by the hierarchy.

Basically, this is the righteousness by faith issue. Abraham is called the father of the faithful. (Rom. 4:16) His seed includes all the faithful of the Jewish Church as well as those who be Christ's. (Gal. 3:29) The faith of Abraham is simply defined: He "believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness." (Gen. 15:6) The word, believe, in the Hebrew, is amin, from which our word, "Amen" is transliterated. We concur in God's decisions, and in Christ pass the judgment.

Fearful is this hour; momentous the issues at stake. But through Jesus we were given the answer in the Jewish Equation.     (Concluded)

"People generally think that to believe is nothing more than to nod assent. But believing the Lord is much more than this. It is to count that word as the surest thing in the universe, since it is that which upholds the universe, and to rest the whole soul, and all the hopes upon it, even though everything appears contrary to it. It is to walk where there seems to be nothing, provided the word of the Lord is there, knowing that it is a firm foundation. The poet Whittier has thus expressed it:       "Nothing before, nothing behind: The steps of faith fall on the seeming void, and find the rock beneath.'"

p 4 -- CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 6 -- Christ The Lawgiver --

Question Answer
1. To whom has all judgement been given and why? John 5:22, 23
2.Besides Judge, what other title belongs to the LORD? Isa. 33:22
3. By what name did God reveal himself to Moses at the burning bush? Ex. 3:14
4. Who is the "I AM" God? John 8:48-58
5. When the children of Israel became disocuraged, who did they speak against? Num 21: 4-6
6. Who does Paul say the children of Israel tempted? 1 Cor. 10:9
7. For whom did Moses leave the treasures of Egypt?

Heb. 11:26

8. Who was "the Rock", that led Israel durng the 40 years of wondering in "rocky Arabia"? 1 Cor. 10:4
9.  Who spoke the 10 commandments at Mt. Sinai? Ex. 20:1, 2 (See note 1)
10. Who spoke using parables? Matt. 13:34, 35
11. In the prophacy of Psalm 78 that Matthew quotes, what does the speaker of parables ask the people to "give ear"? Ps. 78:1,2 (See note 2)

1. "Who spoke these words? The One who brought them from Egypt. And who was the Leader of Israel from Egypt? It was Christ. Then who spoke the law from Mount Sinai? It was Christ, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His Person, who is the manifestation of God to man. It was the Creator of all created things, and the One to whom all judgment had been committed." Christ Our Righteousness, pp. 43-44.

2. "The fact that Christ is a part of the Godhead, possessing all the attributes of Divinity, being the equal of the Father in all respects, as Creator and Lawgiver, is the only force there is in the atonement. It is this alone which makes redemption a possibility. Christ died ' that He might bring us to God' (1 Peter 3:18); but, if He lacked one iota of being equal to God, He could not bring us to Him. Divinity means having the attributes of Deity. If Christ were not Divine, then we should have only a human sacrifice. ... The sinner's surety of full and free pardon lies in the fact that the lawgiver Himself, the One against whom he has rebelled ... is the One who gave Himself for us." Ibid, pp-45-47.

p 5 -- WIELAND AND SHORT IN CRISIS -- The June, 1987, issue of the "1888 Message Newsletter" announced a revision of 1888 ReExamined, to be off the press in time for the Third National 1888 Message Conference at Andrews University in August. A revision of any manuscript, document, or book, already in print is either cosmetic or substantive. A cosmetic revision merely smooths out the flow of thought, and rewords only for clarification; but leaves unaltered the basic premise and the stating of that premise. An example of this type of revision can be seen by comparing the 1888 edition with the 1911 edition of Great Controversy. On the other hand a substantive revision alters the basic thrust; dimishes the impact of what was written originally; and, if a controversial publication, seeks to increase its acceptance by a compromise or watering down of its original thesis. The full documentation of the difference between the original 1888 Re-Examined and the revised edition cannot be made until the release of the new publication.

The announcement gives some indication of the nature of the revision. It states that both Elders Wieland and Short have spent a year in "painstaking" revision. The new manuscript "has been reread and revised and prayed over with tears by the authors and some of their friends." Then a clue is given. To prepare the way for the reception of this new revision, the promoter's "urge" the reading of Wieland's 1986 publication - As Many As I Love - which is deceptive. There can be only one pre-publication conclusion: - the revision is to be substantive in nature. This brings Wieland and Short to a second crisis as called "messengers" in 1950 whether they are willing to admit it or not.

Was the original 1950 manuscript in error that a revision must be made now as the centennial of 1888 nears? If so, then Wieland and Short have an accounting to make - a repentance of their own for souls who have been deceived by their 1950 manuscript. Brinsmead relied heavily on the message it contained. He wielded it like a two-edged sword even as it should have been wielded by Wieland and Short and it wasn't. In fact, Wieland was given a specific dream on this point, but misinterpreted the dream. Others having read the manuscript, placed their professional lives on the altar because ol what was taking place in the Church. All this time Wieland and Short were doing missionary work in Africa under a "vow of perpetual silence" (That is, until their retirement was secure at full remuneration). Now they come out with a revision, a revision which will say, at least, their emphasis was too strong. The forthright and plain speaking of the original manuscript was as "gall" to the hierarchy, and for this cause., they rejected it. Wieland likes to speak from the book of Jeremiah. Has he now forgotten what the Lord told Jeremiah when instructed to speak "in the court of the Lord's house" - "diminish not a word." (Jer. 26:2) Or, does he know that to do so, he would not be allowed to "speak in the court of Andrews University." Will this new revised manuscript verify the word coming out of Takoma Park via Union leadership, that Wieland has altered his original position sufficiently that he is no longer a threat to the hierarchy.

There are also some other serious questions which must be answered by both Wieland and Short. In 1950, had they not accepted "the vow of silence", but rather placed their professional lives on the altar of sacrifice even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, would the apostasy which engulfed the Church during their silence been averted? Only God knows, but this they must face in the judgment. But now what is even more critical in any substantive revision is that they are saying - "We were not right.in 1950. We approached the hierarchy in a wrong manner, and this is why they rejected the Lord's message sent by us." But if they were right in 1950 - and many still believe they were - what they are doing now becomes a deception to snare God's professed people who do not have all the facts of history since 1950. Further, it is painfully evident that neither Wieland and Short want the laity to have them, and they do not face up to them either.

During the time of what is known historically as the "Brinsmead Awakening", A. L. Hudson presented a collection of documents to the North Pacific Union Conference committee in connection with a motion asking that the Union Conference "provide for an

p 6 -- open, proper, and just and sufficient examination" of the allegations made by Wieland and Short in 1950. This collection was published under the title - A Warning and Its Reception. It contained not only the original manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined - but also three responses of the General Conference to the manuscript, plus Wieland and Short's reply to the "Second Appraisal" of that mansucript. The final document was a letter to Elder W. R. Beach, then Secretary of the General Conference, in which Wieland and Short renewed their "vow of perpetual silence" stating:      Whatever may be our mistake, we wish to state herewith our desire to leave this matter, to drop it henceforth and to continue as in the past to refrain from any agitation whatsoever or the pressing of our view upon the General Conference or the church. (A Warning and Its Reception, p. 396, emphasis ours)

This letter bore both signatures. What does this pledge mean? What does "henceforth" mean? Since their retirement at full remuneration they have been "pressing" their view upon the church. Are they now giving it a substantive change so they can say we are keeping our word - what we are saying now is different than what we wrote in 1950!

It is also of interest to note that in the General Conference appraisals of the manuscript, the hierarchy stated:      The solution proposed [by Wieland and Short], of the denomination making confession of the mistakes of men made in the 1880's and the 1890's and of a denominational repentance is not possible nor would an attemptto do so be of value. (Ibid, p. 259)

Are Wieland and Short totally unaware of what is written in the book of Hebrews. There it states:      For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to open shame. (Heb. 6:4-6)

Who can honestly demonstrate that the apostasy of the decades starting with the 1955-1956 SDA-Evangelical Conferences culminating with the Dallas Statement of Beliefs in 1980 was not crucifying the Son of God afresh by the very ones who had been entrusted with the greatest light ever bestowed upon mortals? (See 9T:19) To seek now to "renew them again unto repentance" when they have declared they cannot repent is patently deceptive.

There is another picture to this bold deception being perpetrated upon the professed people of God. In revising the manuscript 1888 Re-Examined, Wieland does not want published the other documents found in A Warning and Its Reception which reveal the refusal of the hierarchy to repent. We asked Hudson for the use of his plates to reprint this section. Wieland demanded of Hudson that he not release them to us. However, the Board of Directors of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Arkansas has voted their publication, and by God's grace it will be done. God's people need to know what has transpired in the past decades, and is being done in the present by men whom God once called as His "messengers."

FREEDOM FROM BONDAGE -- It was the last evening of the Feast of Tabernacles. In the center of the temple's court rise two large lampstands of great size. After the evening sacrifice, all the lights are kindled shedding their light over Jerusalem. This ceremony, which commemorated the pillar of light that guided Israel in the desert, also pointed to the coming of the Messiah. "At evening when the lamps were lighted, the court was a scene of great rejoicing. Grey-haired men, the priests of the temple and the rulers of the people, united in the festive dances to the sound of instrumental. music and the chants of the Levites." (Desire of Ages, p. 463) Early the next morning Jesus delivers a woman who is in bondage to the sin of adultery and then
declares, "I am the light of the world." (John 8:12) What an imperfect symbol were
the lighted lamps. The sun "which His own hand had set, in the heavens was a truer representation of the glory of His mission." (Ibid ) As the sun rises and shines on the gold of the temple Jesus declares Himself to be the light of the world. It was with this background that Jesus entered into a dialogue with some of the Jewish leaders as recorded in John 8:31-40.

[Note: Please take time to read these verses going further in this study. Pay close attention to verses 32 and 36 as you read. Notice who and what is to make you free.]

The words of verses 31 and 32 were spoken to hearers who were drawn to Jesus by faith. However, the Pharisees were offended and responded as found in verse 33. They disregarded the nation's bondage to the Roman yoke. (Ibid., p. 465, 466) These leaders were still determined to destroy Christ. (John 5:1-16; 7:1-24) Their thoughts were bent on revenge and murder. Why, did the leadership of that day seek to destroy the Messiah? It was because they were not under the control of God, but rather under the control of their "father the devil." "Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power." (Ibid., p.466)

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness." (Romams 6:16) How is it then that we escape the control of Satan and bondage to him? It is by giving ourselves wholly to God. We must totally yield ourselves to Him "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Romans 6:13) Christ came to break the devil's power over the sinner and set him free from sin. "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:2)

"In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom." (Ibid., emphasis supplied) Just how opposite is the plan of the prince of darkness. We cannot free ourselves from his grasp, but by yielding our lives to Christ, He will break the yoke of bondage that Satan has put upon us and set us free. "The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible, is that of becoming one with Christ." (Ibid.) Not only

p 7 -- does Jesus tell us: "The truth shall make you free" (John 8:32) - but Jesus is "the truth." (John 14:6)

When can we have freedom? Whenever we can be one with Christ, whenever we have the righteousness of Christ put upon us. When can that be?       But now the righteousness of God.... is by faith of Jesus Christ.... Being justified freely.... To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness. (Romans 3:21-26) When the soul surrenders to Christ .... when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God. (Ibid., emphasis supplied.)

NOTE - "Now" - "At this time" - "When the soul surrenders to Christ"- "When we desire to be set free from sin" - We may have the righteousness of God now, if we believe now.

Besides the bondage of sin, Satan wishes us to be in bondage to the slavery of man. In John 8:33 the Pharisees claimed to be children of Abraham. Jesus freely admitted that they were Abraham's seed, but because they were trying to kill Him, Jesus told them that spiritually they were not Abraham's children. Concerning this we find a most interesting comment in Desire of Ages:      The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. Jesus told them that this claim could be established only by doing the works of Abraham. The true children of Abraham would live, as he did, a life of obedience to God. They would not try to kill One who was speaking the truth that was given Him from God. In plotting against Christ, the rabbis were not doing the works of Abraham. A mere lineal descent from Abraham was of no value. Without a spiritual connection with him, which would be manifested in possessing the same spirit, and doing the same works, they were not his children.

This principle bears with equal weight a question that has long agitated the Christian world, - the question of apostolic succession. Descent from Abraham was proved, not by name and lineage, but by likeness of character. So the apostolic succession rests not upon the transmission of ecclesiastical authority, but upon spritual relationship. A life actuated by the apostles' spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of apostolic succession. This is what constitutes men the successors of the first teachers of the gospel. (Ibid., emphasis supplied)

If this last paragraph were being written today, could it read?      This principle bears equal weight upon a question that that has recently agitated the S.D.A. church, - the question of remnant succession. Descent from James and Ellen White, Joseph Bates, and other pioneers is proved, not by name and linkage, but by the likeness of character. So the remnant succession rests not upon the transmission of General Conference authority, but upon spiritual relationship. A life actuated by the pioneer's spirit, the belief and teaching of the truth they taught, this is the true evidence of remnant succession. This is what constitues men the successors of the pioneers of the everlasting gospel.

Notice who sets one free from the bondage of sin and man: Jesus Christ - "The word" - "The way, the truth, the life." Who set Europe free from popery in the 15th century? The same who will set those in bondage free today. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the incarnation of truth.

The teaching that is becoming common in the church today that organization is truth rather than a vehicle for the proclamation of truth has its roots in the very spirit of Catholicism and Pharisaism, both of which receive their nourishment from the "mystery of inquity." What saddens me is that some of the largest propagators of this Catholic doctrine are advocating the 1888 message. We
are instructed to put one arm around Christ while keeping the other arm around anti-christ. Let us ever remember that, "the righteousness of Christ.... is pure unadulterated truth." (Testimonies To Ministers, p. 65) It is truth, the Truth alone that sets us free from bondage. May God's people "
be stirred by the Spirit of God to break every shackle, and assert their liberty in Christ Jesus." (R.&H. July 23, 1895) A.S. --- (1987 Aug) --- End --- TOP

1987 Sep -- XX -- 9(87) -- ANOTHER COMFORTER -- Part One -- The designation of the Spirit of truth as "Another Comforter" reveals as no other name could, His relationship with Deity, and His work and ministry in the Plan of Redemption. But much study must precede the significance of this name since this designation was not given the Holy Spirit till one of the last books of the New Testament was written.

In reviewing the Seminar studies presented on the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit at the Adventist Laymen's Annual Fellowship, the reader needs to clearly understand the preparation behind the presentation. We adopted the approach of William Miller as he began his study of the Bible. Sylvester Bliss in his Memoirs of William Miller quotes Miller's own explanation of how he began his investigation of the Scriptures. Miller stated:          I determined to lay aside all my prepossessions [presuppositions], to thoroughly compare Scripture with Scripture, and to pursue its study in a regular and methodical manner. I commenced with Genesis, and read verse by verse, proceeding no faster than the meaning of the several passages should be so unfolded as to leave me free from embarrassment respecting any mysticisms or contradictions. Whenever I found anything obscure, my practice was to compare it with all collateral passages; and, by the help of Cruden, I examined all the texts of Scripture in which were found any of the prominent words contained in any obscure portion. Then, by letting every word have its proper bearing on the subject of the text, if my view of it harmonized with every collateral passage in the Bible, it ceased to be a difficulty. In this way I pursued the study of the Bible, in my first perusal of it, for about two years, and was fully satisfied that it is its own interpreter. (p. 69)

After having read every text in the New Testament where the word, "spirit" or "Holy Spirit" is found, we determined that "spirit" is applied to different beings and forces at work in the world, and within man. Angels are designated as "ministering spirits." (Heb. 1:14) Demons are noted as "unclean spirits." (Rev. 16:13-14) A deep human emotion is based in what is termed, "spirit." (Mark 8:12)

The perception of one's presence, though the person is not present, is noted as being present in "spirit." (I Cor. 5:4)

p 2 -- This study was approached with one vital presupposition:  -         The "form of God" in which Jesus existed prior to Bethlehem was SPIRIT for God is Spirit. (John 4:24) This SPIRIT exceeds that of angels for they are only "ministering spirits." (Heb. 1:14) This SPIRIT is immortal, eternal, and indestructible.

In noting each reference in the New Testament which referred to the Holy Spirit, we arranged the books of the New Testament in the chronological order in which they were written. [This review will not necessarily follow that format] This was done for two reasons:    1)    The revelation which God gives is progressive; and    2)     God in giving revelation limits Himself and the fullness of that revelation to the perceptive capacity of the human instrument who is willing to be the medium of revelation.

We asked ourselves why so little is known of the "nature" of the Holy Spirit? Then we asked ourselves why so little was perceived as to whom Jesus was until after the coming of the Holy Spirit? The answer to the second question helped us to perceive the answer to the first. Jesus came not to do His own will, but the will of God. (John 6:38) He came to glorify the Father. (John 17:4) He did not even come in His own name. (John 5:43) His was a life of selfless projection of the Father's glory - grace and truth. (John 1:14) Likewise the ministry of the Holy Spirit - He would not speak of Himself. He would glorify Jesus and the work which Jesus accomplished. (John 16:13-14)

For one to better understand the problem faced in the study of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, one needs to realize the two extreme views held within the Adventist community. The mainline Adventist follows and usually without question - the Trinitarian Statement of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980. It reads - "There is one God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons." (Church Manual p. 32, 1981 edition) The first part of this statement is a direct quote from the Constitution of the World Council of Churches and reflects Papal doctrine. The other position is the confused Gotha Statement which is the basis of the Reformed Movements which formed in Europe following World War I. This statement reads:   -   We believe that the Holy Spirit is the representative of Christ upon the earth. (John 14:16) Without Him it is impossible to comprehend and live according to the will of God. Also, it is impossible to rightly interpret the divine Word without the aid of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:11). He is a power from the Father and the Son, and is active also through human beings (2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Pet. 1:11). (Principles of Faith, p. 3, Emphasis supplied)

The very first New Testament reference written in regard to the Holy Spirit clearly declares the Holy Spirit as distinct from a "power," per se. It reads:   -   For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit. (I Thess. 1:5)

This same distinction is also seen in I Cor. 2:4. [We shall use the word "Spirit" in place of "Ghost" in all quotes from the Bible.]

Many references in the New Testament which mention the Holy Spirit speak of His work in making effective for the believer the salvation provided alone in Jesus Christ. Examples of this can be found in II Thess. 2:13; I Cor. 6:11 and Titus 3:5. Further the Holy Spirit is set forth as a Teacher who searches the deep things of God. (I Cor. 2:10, 13) He bestows "gifts" as "He wills." (I Cor. 12:4, 11) He is the builder of the Church. (Eph. 2:22) He speaks. (I Tim. 4:1) He can be grieved. (Eph. 4:30) He can be insulted. (Heb. 10:29) He can be lied to. (Acts 5:3) All of these statements in regard to the Holy Spirit indicate not a power, nor a mere influence, but rather a Person.

The fourth book written of the New Testament canon (Chronologically) closes with a three-fold benediction - "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." (II Cor. 13:14) Language cannot be clearer that the Holy Spirit is as much a Person as are either God or the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet in this same letter, Paul emphatically declares - "The Lord is that Spirit." (II Cor. 3:17) In this third chapter, Paul is contrasting the ministration of the letter under Moses, and the ministration of the Spirit under Christ. While declaring that the Lord is that Spirit, Paul differentiates between Lords in verse 18. Note it carefully using the margin which gives the literal Greek rendering. It thus reads:   -   But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord [Jesus] , are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Lord the Spirit. (3:18)

p 3 -- The close identification between "the Lord Jesus Christ" and "the Lord the Spirit" is seen elsewhere in the New Testament. Paul declares that Isaac was born "after the Spirit." (Gal. 4:29) Yet in noting the Old Testament account, the "Lord" who appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre said - "I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son." (Gen. 18:10) It was repeated a second time by the same "Lord." (18:14) In Hebrews, it reads - "The Holy Spirit saith" (3:7) - "the Holy Spirit...said before." (10:15) - yet both quotes are from the Old Testament. Gabriel told Daniel that the only One who held with him in "the scripture of truth" was "Michael your prince." (10:21) This is further illuminated in the Epistles of Peter. There we are told that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (II Peter 1:21) But in his first letter, Peter indicates that these holy men - prophets - "searched dilligently...what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify." (I Peter 1:10-11) Thus the New Testament closely identifies the Holy Spirit - the Lord the Spirit - with Michael the "Lord" of the Old Testament.

Paul tells us that God sent forth TWO into the world. "God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law." "God [also] hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son" that we might understand Him as "Father." (Gal. 4:4, 6) This same duality and relationship appears in the symbolism of the book of Revelation. When the door was opened in heaven, John beheld the Throne of God, and before the Throne were "seven lamps of fire" which are declared to be "the seven Spirits of God." (4:5) Yet when the Lamb "as it had been slain" is introduced from"the midst of the Throne" with "seven horns (fullness of power) and seven eyes (complete omnipresence)", - these are declared to be "the Seven Spirits sent forth into all the earth."(5:6)

In the book of Romans, the setting forth of the Holy Spirit is concentrated in Chapter 8. The message there has been largely ignored. We have contrasted this chapter with Romans 7, and ended the contrast with 8:16, as if an entirely different subject began. While the first part of Romans 8 speaks of "the sons of God" resultant from the leading of "the Spirit of God" (8:14), there is yet another "manifestation of the sons of God." (8: 19) In this the Spirit has an important part to play. Though we have "the first fruits of the Spirit" (8:23), we still have the fallen sinful nature. This, the Spirit helps - our "infirmities." This is the same word as found in Matthew 8:17, designating what Christ took in taking upon Himself our humanity. It is also the same word as found in Hebrews 4:15 which tells the why of the compassion of the great High Priest, Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit that is to make intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Until "the redemption of the body" at the second coming of Jesus Christ, the saints can know they will have an intercessor at the Throne of God - the Lord the Spirit. While the Man Christ Jesus steps aside (Compare I Tim. 2:5 & Rev. 15:8), the Holy Spirit continues His ministry until the living saints are translated.

In the synoptic Gospels - Matthew, Mark and Luke - the Holy Spirit is pictured in direct relationship to Jesus Christ in two experiences - His birth and baptism. The conception is spoken of as "out of the Spirit." (Matt. 1:18, 20b: "of " is the translation of the Greek preposition, ek, literally, "out of.") Luke records the announcement to Mary by Gabriel of God in "flesh appearing." Gabriel stated:        The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy [spirit] which shall be born of thee shall be called the God. (Luke 1:35)

The word, "thing" is supplied in the KJV because the adjective "holy" is in the neuter gender. But this adjective is the same as the adjective describing "Spirit" in the same verse, and thus the missing word to be modified could likewise be the word, "spirit. " This concept is well stated in the Writings:       "He (Christ) united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh." (4BC:1147) That "divine spirit" dwelling in a temple of flesh was called "the Son of God."

In Mark, there is a key reference to the Holy Spirit in relationship to the final witness. In Jesus' prophetic discourse, He stated:        When they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit. (Mark 13:11)

p 4 -- So fully will God's witnesses be infilled with the Holy Spirit at that hour, that when they speak, the voice which comes forth will be the Holy Spirit. It will be the"manifestation of the sons of God" as foretold in Romans 8:19. And Jesus gives the time when this shall occur - "the gospel must first be published among all nations." (Mark 13:10) He also tells us where this witness will be given - in councils, in churches, and before rulers and kings. (13:9)

The book of Acts could well be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit. In this book, the Holy Spirit is presented as One in full command of the Church, and its spokesmen, and as One functioning as the Vicegerent of the Lord Jesus Christ. The very introduction sets forth the role of the Spirit as the Vicegerent. Afer Jesus was taken up into heaven, "He through the Spirit" continued to give "commandments unto the apostles." (Acts 1:2) These apostles and others as "spokesmen" were "full of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 7:55; 11:24; 13:9)

The Book of Acts presents the Spirit as in full command of the Church and its spokesmen. He speaks to Philip - "Go near and join thyself to this chariot." (Acts 8:29) Philip obeys, and another witness is born into the kingdom of God, the Ethiopian eunuch. Then the Spirit transports Philip to another place. (8:39) To Peter, as he meditated on the unusual vision he had received, the Spirit said, "Behold three men seek thee ... I have sent them." (10:19-20) To the leaders of the church in Antioch, the same Holy Spirit said - "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." (13:2) And Paul on his second missionary tour desired to go to certain areas to preach the gospel, but was "forbidden of the Holy Spirit." (16:6-7) Thus, the Spirit is pictured as functioning in His own right, as a Person directing the Church of the Living God.

The Book of Acts also reveals an experience which sets forth the Holy Spirit as God. When two members sought to deceive the Apostles, Peter said they lied "to the Holy Spirit." Then he explains the extent of that deception - "Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." (5:3-4) The Holy Spirit is not of the order of the created - men nor angels - but of the Uncreated - God.      (To Be Continued.)

Christ our Righteousness -- Lesson # 7.

The Righteousness of God --

1.   What does Jesus say is the first thing to be sought for in life? Matt. 6:33
2.   What Constitutes the righteousness of God? Ps. 119:172
3.   What is in the heart of those who know the righteousness of God? Isaiah 51:7
4.   How long will God's righteousness endure? Ps. 111:3
5.   What is unrighteousness? I John 5:17
6.   What does the Bible declare sin to be? I John 3:4 (See note 1)
7.   What law is it, which obedience to is righteousness, and disobedience to is sin? Romans 7:7
8.   What did the Psalmist love and meditate on? Ps, 119:97
9.   What attributes does Paul give to the Ten Commandment law? Romans 7:12
10.   How did Christ show the spirituality of the law? Matt. 5:27-28 (See note 2)
11.   What is the whole duty of man? Eccl. 12:13-14 (See note 3)
12.   Who shall be justified? Romans 2:13 (See note 4)
13.   How many of the commandments of God are important and to be kept? James 2:10-12

Since unrighteousness equals sin, and sin is the transgression of the law, then unrighteousness equals the transgression of the law. However, this is in negative terms. The inverse of the statement would express it in a positive way: RIGHTEOUSNESS EQUALS OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW OF GOD.

2.   "He (Jesus) showed that even a look or a thought may be a violation of the law, and that it is indeed a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart," (Christ Our Righteousness, p. 52)

3.   "The judgement passes upon every secert thing; the law of God is the standard in the judgement, - it determines the quality of every act, whether good or evil; therefore the law of God forbids evil in thought as well as in deed." (Ibid., P. 53)

4.   "To justify means to make righteous, or to show one to be righteous." (Ibid., p. 54 Emphasis his.)

p 5 -- RIGHTEOUSNESS - for WAGES? - or a FREE GIFT? --   Many people today want to know the answer to the question that our title asks. They say to themselves: "Is righteousness really a gift of God or isn't there at least some of my works that are needed for my acceptance with God?" As I pondered this question I decided to see how many texts that I could list on a piece of paper that would present the Bible answer. Now I must admit that I had already drawn my conclusion before I started to list the texts. However, as I asked for the Holy Spirit to bring to my mind what He would have me to know, text after text came to my mind. One of the clearest passages that came to mind was Romans 6:23. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Here in this text are many lessons that we as Christians need to explore. Only two will be briefly examined here. The first part of the text tells us that death is something that is earned because it is the "wages of sin." When we sin, we are in effect working for Satan. The wages that he pays for those in his service is death. (Also see Rom. 6:16)

The rest of the text never mentions "wages". Why? Because God wants us to understand that we can never receive eternal life based upon any works that we may do except one! When Jesus was asked by the people, "What shall we do that we might work the works (plural) of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work (singular) of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." (John 6:28-29) The Bible teaches that eternal life is "the gift of God."

The Bible declares that righteousness is a "gift" (Romans 5:17). Many today would read John 3:16 to say, "For God so loved the world, that he sold his only begotten Son, that whosoever would do many good works could be saved." What a perversion that is! The Son was not sold, or lent, but He was given to us. Well did Isaiah write of Him:  - "Unto us a son is given." Christ was given to the whole human race, not to just a special few, but to all that believe. These thoughts brought me to Romans 10:6-9 (quoted below). But how could the true relationship of saving faith be best expressed for the readers of the Thought Paper in connection with the good works that the Scriptures plainly teach? Such an example is Ephesians 2:8-10. Frequently we quote verses 8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." However, we fail to quote verse 10: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

As I pondered this, the still small voice brought to my mind an article written by Dr. E. J. Waggoner first published in the Aug. 1 , 1890 issue of Bible Echo. This article came to my attention in the book Lessons on Faith where the article was reprinted. As I thought of this article entitled "SAVING FAITH" I felt that perhaps the words of Dr. Waggoner could best express what I wanted to convey. Therefore, that article is here reproduced for your study and consideration.      A.S.

Saving Faith   --  "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above); or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach: that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:6-9.

May we accept these words, especially the statement in the last verse, as literally true? Shall we not be in danger if we do? Is not something more than faith in Christ necessary to salvation? To the first of these questions we say, Yes; and to the the last two we say, No; and refer to the Scriptures for corroboration. So plain a statement cannot be other than literally true, and one that can be depended on by the trembling sinner.

p 6 --  As an instance in proof, take the case of the jailer at Philippi. Paul and Silas, after having been inhumanly beaten, were placed in his care. Notwithstanding their lacerated backs and their manacled feet, they prayed and sang praises to God at midnight, and suddenly an earthquake shook the prison, and all the doors were opened. it was not alone the natural fear produced by feeling the earth rock beneath him, nor yet the dread of Roman justice if the prisoners in his charge should escape, that caused the jailer to tremble. But he felt in that earthquake shock a premonition of the great Judgement, concerning which the apostles had preached; and, trembling under his load of guilt, he fell down before Paul and Silas, saying, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Mark well the answer; for here was a soul in sorest extremity, and what was sufficient for him must be the message to all lost ones. To the jailer's anguished appeal, Paul replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:30, 31. This agrees exactly with the words which we quoted from Paul to the Romans.

On one occasion the Jews said unto Jesus, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Just the thing that we want to know. Mark the reply: "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." John 6:28, 29. Would that these words might be written in letters of gold, and kept continually before the eyes of every struggling Christian. The seeming paradox is cleared up. Works are necessary; yet faith is all-sufficient, because faith does the work. Faith comprehends everything, and without faith there is nothing.

The trouble is that people in general have a faulty conception of faith. They imagine that it is mere assent, and that it is only a passive thing, to which active works must be added. But faith is active, and it is not only the most substantial thing, but the only real foundation. The law is the righteousness of God (Isa. 51:6, 7), for which we are commanded to seek (Matt. 6:33); but it cannot be kept except by faith, for the only righteousness which will stand in the Judgement is "that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Phil. 3:9.

Read the words of Paul in Rom. 3:31: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we extablish the law." Making void the law of God by man is not abolishing it; for that is an impossibility. It is as fixed as the throne of God. No matter what men say of the law, nor how much they trample upon it and despise it, it remains the same. The only way that men can make void the law of God is to make it of none effect in their hearts, by their disobedience. Thus in Num. 30:15, a vow that has been broken is said to have been made void. So when the apostle says that we do not make void the law through faith, he means that faith and disobedience are incompatible. No matter how much the law-breaker professes faith, the fact that he is a law-breaker shows that he has no faith. But the possession of faith is shown by the establishment of the law in the heart, so that the man does not sin against God. Let no one decry faith, as of little moment.

But does not the apostle James say that faith alone cannot save a man, and that faith without works is dead? Let us look at his words a moment. Too many have with honest intent perverted them to a dead legalism. He does say that faith without works is dead, and this agrees most fully with what we have just quoted and written. For if faith without works is dead, the absence of works shows the absence of faith; for that which is dead has no existence. If a man has faith, works will necessarily appear, and the man will not boast of either one; for by faith boasting is excluded. Rom.3:27. Boasting is done only by those who trust wholly in dead works, or whose profession of faith is a hollow mockery.

Then how about James 2:14, which says: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" The answer necessarily implied is, of course, that it cannot. Why not? - Because he hasn't it. What doth it profit if a man say he has faith, if by his wicked course he shows that he has none? Must we decry the power of faith simply because it does nothing for the man who makes a false profession of it? Paul speaks of some who profess that they know God, but who deny him by their works. Titus 1:16. The man to whom James refers is one of this class. The fact that he has no good works - no fruit of the Spirit - shows that he has no faith, despite his loud profession; and so of course faith cannot save him; for faith has no power to save a man who does not possess it.

p 7 --  WHAT IS MAN? -- "And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [living creature]."

Like the beasts, he was taken from the ground. He is but "dust and ashes." He cannot boast at all, not even over the beasts that are placed under him; for it is simply by the power of God, who can make of the same clay a vessel to honor and one to dishonor, that he is any different from them. The earth is the source whence all animate creatures spring. "All are dust, and all turn to dust again." After death and decomposition the dust of the prince cannot be distinguished from the dust of the pauper, not even from that of his dog. If at the last he does not share the fate of the beasts, and go into oblivion, it is only because he has had humility enough to accept the wisdom that comes from God; for "man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish."  "Oh, why should the spirit of mortal man be proud?"

Man is made from the dust, that he may remember that he is nothing in himself; but also in the image of God, that he may know the infinite possibilities before him - association with God Himself; of himself having no more might than the dust upon which he walks, but capable of the greatest things through the power and goodness of God. And strange as it may seem, his capabilities are the greatest when he is most sensible of his weakness. "When I am weak, then am I strong." (The Gospel in Creation, pp. 137-138) --- (1987 Sep) --- End ---

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