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The Legacy of Greatness

Richard Walton

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  • January 3, 2009
    10:00 AM
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who are you and why are you here today by thinking about that come with me far from this place across time is face the city of Jerusalem the city is a wonderland of wines from all over the world use of converged on the city for the shot hassle is a Thursday evening the city is lit by torchlight end lamplight the happy voices of thousands of pilgrims coming home but should not have a hobby ocean life it is very a blessing is used to close the Passover Seder prayer for Messiah next year injuries but on this Passover the Lord of creation is praying a very different our message today is entitled a legacy of great to think about who you are and why you're here I would like to share a few five vignettes five glimpses into the legacy each of us shares today vignette number one a praying Lord our first vignette starts where every Christian should start and that is with the Lord John chapter seventeen in verse one John chapter seventeen verse one these words saying Jesus is limited in his eyes that have said father the hour is come glorify thy son that thy son also need you may glorify the again Jesus glorified God well it was on this earth with his life he glorified God with his life to glorify the Lord Valley was on Mister what specifically was it about his life that glorified his father is into points healed May God in all things that he attributed that to go in all things excellent point any other thoughts as he revealed God 's character and how did he reveal God 's character while the best way to find an answer to that Scripture poses to usually the same way that we answer questions and tax laws mild tax professor like to save you the question about the tax laws you read the statute and you read on well reading statute let's continue reading on to verse four and the Lord himself will give us the answer as it's been said I have one RFID on the earth I have done what I have is instead finished the work which was you may need to do two points about what specifically it wasn't Jesus life that finish the work on a given him to do error to point out how to glorify God he finished the word God gave him to do member point number one God 's work Jesus did password not he is all will come back to that point in just a few minutes I want you all on the net thought it is very very important if you are going to do work to glorify God you do he is will not yours you have to do the nation you are given not the nation you think you are get number two I have finished I have finished the work which immediately noticed something unique about that passage particular given the point in which Jesus is bringing his prayer when is this prayer being prayed before Gethsemane but Christ speaks in what English folk I have finished and finished the proclamation of victory I have as of this moment present Victoria stands I have finished the work you gave me to do but the cross is still in the future is there any other place in Scripture where the Bible uses the present tense to describe something that has not yet happened that it says something that has occurred before the actual event I run the race I finished my course course at that point Paul was very close to the end of his life in an instant many ways echoes the sentiments of the mark where else in Scripture specifically where is a group of God 's people stated in the present victorious fans to have cleaning the work that God gave them to do it he had the second half of the Bible I just chopped off thirty three votes for you that you narrow the scope specifically let's go to the book of Revelation as additionally very very familiar to and as believers on the Sabbath morning Loma Linda California Revelation chapter fourteen and verse twelve here is what here is the patience of the saints here are they that keep what the Commandments all ten of them keep the commandments of God and have the what the faith of Jesus the only time I believe you will find in Scripture where God 's people are referred to in the present victorious senses having actually done something no other generation God 's people is ever done that is to keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus that is the other place in Scripture right and find a victorious proclamation and you know what it happens right before the second coming right before the time of trouble right before they are tested there is a group of people who got in say in the present stance have overcome and live the victorious Christian life and when they do that two verses later in Revelation fourteen fourteen BC the Lord return a legacy of greatness and a prophecy of victory though are these people who do God 's work and achieve what no other generation of gods people is ever done who are they what is the message they have to give the world if you look back again read the statute read on if you look back in Revelation just six verses you will see a perfect scarce seven steps that leads directly to the second coming if you want to know how to get the Lord here sooner read these six verses of Revelation fourteen starting with verse six and you will see leading upwards like a perfect stairstep all the way to the second coming the seven things that people must accomplish just before he returns let's start with the first one revelation fourteen verse six and everlasting gospel and I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth the everlasting gospel what is the everlasting gospel in a blanket of silence descends upon the room unfortunately unlike my law school classes I don't have a seating chart so I canceled call someone an subject wanted you to thirty minutes worth of badgering questions with yes we have a volunteer crisis in the hope of glory out if us was the everlasting gospel first Corinthians Christ was and I was buried rose again after three days in accordance with the Scriptures that is certainly a wonderful summary of price I guess them all away in the back for God so loved the world John three sixteen eighty his only begotten son that some of the world any other ideas what is the everlasting gospel God is love John seventeen three to stick your finger in John seventeen will be returning to it Christ himself puts it this way this is life eternal that they might know the the only true God in whom Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent so everlasting life it is the chance to live again the two continue goodness into eternity is achieved through knowing a truth about God without Jesus Christ this is a very very significant passage of Scripture because Christ says there is a a true God a true Jesus Christ there is a truth about all of members of the God that will be proclaimed by a judgment our people of a judgment our message right before Jesus returns what is the true nature of God in Jesus Christ what is the everlasting gospel that is proclaimed just before Christ returns God loved the world and wants to save it absolutely right there's more to I get my law students a problem I want and cannot just give me the right answer I want them to tell them I want them to look at the nuances that the elements the specific things of this case and in and in that case to distinguish the compare to become lawyers that learn how to work with words work with language drill down and discover the little tiny nuances that may make the difference between saving their clients life or condemning them to life in prison possibly degassing how do we parse this Scripture something very very profounder like trying to tell us right before he returns there is a truth about God and Jesus Christ be on what Christians had been preaching are almost two thousand years impossible message of salvation Christ died for the sins of all of these are wonderful things they are absolutely true but there is a further truth there is more to the plan of salvation that just before Jesus comes will put the entire gospel on what I like to think of as a sound legal footing as we figure out what that is we just keep reading the back to Revelation fourteen Revelation fourteen what is the everlasting gospel with the angel proclaims from heaven forever seven saying with a loud voice fear God and give glory to him for what the floor of his judgment is come step number two is a judgment hour message what is so important about the judgment and why is it important for Christians to rediscover this right before Christ returns simply put without this understanding the whole plan of salvation doesn't work think about it we as Christians believe Baptist Methodist present drinking Catholics we all go around and we talk about Christ dying for the sins of the world blood of the atonement this wonderful concept it did because Christ died we will all be safe and yet if you don't understand the legal process by which that happens if you don't understand the system if you don't understand a great truth about God and Jesus Christ that has up to this point in his new Christian theology you have denied the plan itself this is something so basic that every human criminal Court on earth is imperfect is our legal system is every human criminal Court on earth recognizes the need for this fundamental thing what is justice how do we get justice how do we as people know that justice has been done when O.J. Simpson was arrested in a hotel room tape recording of the guide here spewing profanities guys carrying guns how hard is it to figure out what happened did we instantly condemn him before there was condemnation there was what there was a trial what is the fundamental cornerstone of justice in any system of government including the Chinese incidentally in organizations was the final principle due process absolutely right due process you cannot convict anyone without a verifiable repeatable process whereby every person is judged by the same standard in any impartial outsider can look at it and say this was a fair trial we understand how it happened we understand why the person was either found guilty or not guilty you cannot have a plan of salvation that works if we leave to some abstract cosmic deity the unreviewable choice as to whether this person is saved or that person is lost as much as we love and trust God do you really think I know many of you here scientists literary fine scientist medical doctors and so forth do you really think I got it created in mutable unchangeable laws like gravity Bernoulli 's principle of things that we can go into a laboratory and repeat in due time after time after time let me to eternity the open question as to how he determined to was Satan who was absolutely not if you don't understand the true God a true Jesus Christ is the Lord says in John seventeen three you can not understand fully the plan of salvation without that I submit to you cannot have full assurance because you don't know the system in which you're being judged that is the everlasting gospel letters the good news that is the truth about God and Jesus Christ will be proclaimed right before he returned and I submit to you ladies and gentlemen it is Seventh-day Adventist is one absolutely unique contribution to Christian theology let me take you through it very quickly this is familiar territory for most of this but let's just that let's go through three basic principles of the good news the everlasting Gospel it would be rediscovered right before Christ's return point number one there would be a free and let me see if I got up highlighter back here that works a little bit better there would be a pre- academic judgment why is that important why do we care if it's posting again her pre- because when Christ returns the Bible paints a very very graphic word picture of what happens to the righteous and what happens to the wicked yes judgment is handed out if the execution of judgment is done prior to there being a trial there is no due process if O.J. Simpson walked into that Nevada courtroom and judges it yet we all know you're guilty thirty years in prison what is believed that none of us would've supported that even if we thought he was guilty because we wanted to see the evidence I went out to pre- Advent judgment the very wording of Revelation fourteen seven the hour of his judgment is come our judgment is come fully seven verses before the second coming an Angel is proclaiming that the judgment power has a right house we support that just turned back one book in the Bible to Jude is only one chapter in Jude Siletz the fourteenth verse with the excuse me the fourteenth verse of June I need it also the Senator Madame prophesied of these saying behold the Lord come up with ten thousand of his saints to do what to execute judgment upon all that something you could skim over multiple times and say well that one of the Lords to come back to second coming judges can be executed if you don't drill down a language like I asked my law students to do you miss the fact that the Bible uses the word execute execution of judgment occurs after a trial after the investigative phase once a verdict has been rendered then the judgment is actually executed Mister Simpson is remanded to the custody the Nevada Bureau of prisons where he will probably spend the rest of his natural life and you cannot have execution of judgment until a judgment has actually occurred so it is a pre- judgment number two this is I think so crucial to understanding what crisis talking that John Chapter seventeen verse three what is the true nature of God was the true nature of Jesus Christ in this heavenly trial on this this system that God has set up to illustrate for us the plan of salvation and to ensure that everyone 's due process rights are vindicated and protected who is the judge in Metro absolutely right John five twenty two the father judges no man but as committed all judgment unto the son and yet if you ask most Christians they would tell you it's God the father ate the true nature got the true nature of Jesus Christ revealed right before the second coming Jesus Christ is our judge talk about full assurance ladies and gentlemen as a criminal defense attorney I represent some people aren't very nice they stole a lot of money from the government it stole a lot of money from other people Dave betrayed the trust of their constituents and frustrated so a public officer or sell the influence that they have as a public official close individual art people that usually did what they are accused as their defense attorney my job is to look at that jury of twelve people I have to convince all I just have to find that one juror those two jurors who might believe there's a reasonable doubt and drill into them time and time again the problems with the government 's case until they no longer in clear conscience and convict how do I do that I tell him a story I tell the story of a human life that went wrong at some point someone made choices that they sincerely wish they had I point out mistakes with the government 's case I try to get them to empathize with my client CNN in the human courtroom the finder of fact the person ultimately decides whether your guilty or not know the is typically a jury all we can waive them and have a judge in the heavenly system the judge makes that call now think about the defense attorney pleading to the judge to understand what it's like to be human what it's like to be tempted what it's like to walk seventeen miles just to heal one for me estrogen to you think a good defense attorney could convince the very Lord who came here to save this world that there ought to be a reasonable doubt for acquittal point number three if there were such a thing as attorneys in this heavenly judgment would be out of work because your defense counsel the person that has the awesome responsibility of walking into the well of the courtroom when a human life the human future family livelihood liberty itself is in the balance this case eternal life or journal that the person that stands well that courtroom and stands up with the infused news says present for the defendant is none other than your judge and your Savior first John two one five oh children these things are right here is not that is wheezing and what an ad ticket with the father flings and gentlemen the Greek word used is Kirk Latah Eric lights on is the Greek word from which candidate or Spanish on the goggle is derived in the Latin correctly literally means a person is hired back before there were such a thing as lawyers a person is hired to go out and I to the debt on your behalf before the records before there were lawyers to people in a disagreement would line up with three shields and three swords each they would fight to the death and whoever won one the argument most time on things got slightly more civilized it seems a little unpowered served to wealthy landowners to sit there and give it out so they hired a higher guys to go out there and fight for money which ever hired for one of his party one that is where the concept of an attorney comes from Paraclete advocate hired fighter a person whose job it is to go into a ring and not walked out in Philly at a site is down for the that is your defense attorney the best news the whole gospel what's that the way by which we can say with full assurance yes Calvary is good news yes the blood of Christ does cover our sins is best illustrated through the judgment our message the judgment of Paris had been Jesus Christ is our judge in Jesus Christ is our defense attorney there is no better assurance on earth than that and yet number two a legacy of grapes like there's been a few moments this morning and say just a little bit about the extraordinary group of people who change the world with his truth they are your there is a Seventh-day Adventist and what may surprise you is the average age of that group was only twenty Darius Smith age twelve in eighteen forty four is critical of the founding of our publishing work when the first Washington hand printing press was purchased by the early Adventist church Mister Smith became one of the publishing works first workers in those days they can only print one page at a time is a hand crashing set the type but the page in ever living but paper in press down you had your page evenhanded polos pages out assemble them into a book stitched them up by handles selling on thread and then taken up at night and cut the margins of the page so they fit into the shape of the book Azariah Smith later recalled we blistered our hands in the operation and often the Druze were not half so squaring through as the that often the tracks were not half so squaring through as the doctrines they presented Uriah Smith also new adversity when the publishing work started and so little money that the best diet that the workers could afford was these which they ate a day in and day out until again Uriah Smith was joked to a friend that he had no philosophical objection to eating beans three hundred and sixty five times in succession but when it came to making the regular diet he would protest of Annie Smith Andy Smith 's sister was fifteen turning sixteen in eighteen forty four is a talented songwriter and poet and in fact had a great secular job at writing poetry for for different popular magazines of the time but I returned to something that I pointed out to you in the Lord 's prayer in John seventeen that was not her nation that was not permission reconnect that thought Justin got instead called to also assist with the early publishing work and she contribute number forty five literary pieces to our early publications and ten of her songs are still and not your current Seventh-day Adventist dental John Nevins Andrews I just turned fifteen eighteen forty four except the Sabbath at seventeen by the end of his life he could say with all modesty that he spoke seven languages fluently and could recite the entire New Testament for memory he was our first missionary and took his family to Europe prior to which he lost his wife and while in Europe he lost his beloved daughter Mary Stilley soldiered on and today we remember him by naming our flagship seminary after James White was twenty two turning twenty three the extent of the Adventist message lived through one of the worst disappointments one can and your expectation of seeing Jesus and being disappointed of his colleagues elders fish and the stock one died days before October twenty two when they and their families expected to see Jesus why because they had been baptizing people in a frozen New England late expecting that the Lord was coming it didn't matter they push themselves beyond the limited human and your and their families buried in just days before they thought the Lord call them know so on the morning of October twenty three James White stepped out of his house to face a world turned upside down is walking down a road of a fellow Christian who for some reason terrified at the thought of seeing the Lord that he sang about every Sunday saw James Wightman couldn't resist a little big elected and he said well brother wipes are used on the land of the living or cause only games like you do Mister White responded and said no brother I'm in the land of the dying but sin Jesus will come and then I'll be in the land Ellen Harman who they would Mary was sixteen turning seventeen we get a frail she answered God 's call on the divine insights she gave the world in the Scripture to health and the last thing I thence continue to guide inspire us we sit today in burden home on the campus of one of the finest teaching hospitals in the world I never had the privilege of attending this fine institution but my grandfather had tested my uncle as did my mother I'm very proud that she is in the audience this morning I am however privileged to teach at USC school of Law and just a few months ago I was dining at the faculty club it up roundtable with professors there and the name of Loma Linda University came the table grew quiet with respectful comments in one of the professors confided that he had been coming here to be treated what is it Scripture said about a city on a hill in King 's coming to the brightness of its rights were blessed to be students and workers faculty and staff in an institution that is recognized for its excellence anywhere it seems so was John Burton Reno noted that it was responsible for buying this place is the one who purchased the land upon which this institution since it was a great man of God my grandfather was privileged to hear and speak he said that whenever overburden got up to speak the Holy Spirit was so thick in the room he had either given a get out the Mister Burton could have done that without online support and encouragement in my eighteen oh five she told John burden two secure the property by all means this is the very property we ought to hair do not delay was is why frequently but around funds and the work that sacrifices something that was common among the early pioneers Hiram Edson who discovered the sanctuary treated as our truly unique gift to Christian theology was the old man of this group of thirty eight he sold one of his farms to purchase our first training press when the whites needed to travel to attendance at the sanctuary conference he sold a flock of sheep his wife sold half of her wedding silver to publish the truth about the sanctuary that Mister Ensign discovered list goes on that is your legacy of faith and action the Seventh-day Adventists as your legacy of greatness here I asked if each of us gave half the time and money to the work that these pioneers the could Jesus have already come our heritage is a judgment our people with a judgment our message let's go back to the word Revelation chapter fourteen verse seven by the other truths that lead to the second coming saying a loud voice fear God and give glory to him and worship him that made heaven and earth the sea and the fountains of waters now what is John and revel later talking about when he incorporates this language where else in Scripture do you find this language and see your the fourth commandment absolutely right they held but very very recognizable as part of in time people message is the Sabbath why because the Sabbath drive they stayed in time in history if you understand the Sabbath you will not be led astray by things like evolution by things like communism and do away with the very beginning of this earth and make clear there is a creator and he is on the throne point number four verse eight there followed another angel saying Babylon 's fall is all that great city because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication what was the significance of them this is fascinating old story these idiots who thought they could build a tower a late heaven but not bad what is the significance of Babel confusion will build a tower laid him or think they were going to buy the because of the flood of what God said iMac and ascend another fly the big mistake of Babylon is failure to believe in God what is the message that in time church proclaims believe in God and his promises number five verse twelve here is the one the patient's of the Saints patience to wait for God patients to let him do it on his timetable not ours the patients of the saints here are they that keep the Commandments step number six the Commandments of God not just nine of them not aid but all tend the sick the seventh day Sabbath message it in time church that rediscovers all ten of the commandments and lastly the last step before he reached the second favorite Jesus what was the faith of Jesus I feel more vignettes for you as you think about vignette number three a serving more I now return to the question I've asked you hold in your mind about Annie Smith an affirmation about Christ always following the mission God gave him to do what is our mission Andy Smith was writing secular poetry is anything wrong with that absolutely not each of us can serve in the way that best suits us in medicine in writing and business in law even in public office Alan White one of the kids who change the world promised each of you that if you keep your eyes on the end there is no limit to what you can achieve in whatever field of service you may find she wrote these messages to young people what is the aim and purpose of your life do you have thought you dare not express you may one day stand at the summit of intellectual greatness and help to enact laws for the nation there is nothing wrong with these aspirations you may every one of you make your mark aim high and spare no pains to reach the state the message I would maybe do this morning is don't get stuck serving in the wrong place turn with me to John chapter five very quickly time grows short but I just want to share this this little view of the life of Christ with you now there is a Jerusalem John chapter five verse two there is a Jerusalem by the sheet marketing pool which is called the best they are late ate what they want now sleep at their ate what they are impotent folk of linehaul weathered waiting for the moving of the water person joined out a certain season in the pool in trouble the water whosoever then first after traveling to the water stepped in was made old and verse five eight one again on three one two three eight a certain man was there which had an infirmity thirty and eight years this is the ultimate Hollywood story for the Lord of creation the mission was a man one of my air Lord walks up those steps past what a begin a a great multitude of the sick the infirm just to get to this one out was a Jesus mission on earth to heal the sick absolutely he spent much of his ministry on this earth healing the sick making them whole but when his nation was one man he walked past people who were suffering people who may have needed him more may even have deserved it more he went to the one place he was supposed to go because that was God 's mission for him that day don't ever be beguiled and the missing the nation that God has for you even if the path you are following seems to be right and justified to do the work got a century vignette number for the faith of Jesus a die will what is the faith of Jesus doing your mission it is staying on course but is also trusting him when there is nothing left in the last few moments on the cross price said two things that illustrate graph more clearly than anything I can say today with the faith of Jesus remaining Matthew twenty seven forty six he screams out my God my God why have you forsaken me where have you gone and he let every one of us know that at this moment the very end of his life when he has a choice to hang on her to let go he can no longer see through the other side of the tent God himself is better than and yet having admitted he can no longer see the father react to sizes and demonstrates faith edits ultimately praised to the God can no longer see the twenty three forty six father into thy hand 's I commend my spirit in Christ translucent life and drops of the unknown trusting that somewhere in that black void are the fathers are at the very end of time God 's people will face a time of trouble such as never was and just before Jesus returns they will have to stay focused on the real mission they will have to trust absolutely in God 's love even when they can no longer see the generation that people can do that he will return then yet number five who I leave you with this morning a returning revelation fourteen verse fourteen I was in the whole of white cloud on the clad one set like the Son of Man having on his head a golden crown and in using a sharp sickle that is where our eyes should be this morning and for every morning to come a legacy of greatness prophecy of victory heritages sacrifice who are we how do we get there there is one last thing yet for you we close the story of troubled times of economic hardship and war in the Middle East a terror such as the world had never imagined suicidal fanatics with possible access to nuclear weapons a time when even the greatest nation on earth scenes as if default I'd love to play the rest of the story but he that opinion is up to you for it is your story and you alone can finish their Lord this morning we lift our hearts to you thank you for reminding us we are a judgment our people with a judgment our message make us worthy of our legacy give us the courage to do your work well and remind us always the words of our heritage watch the stealthy approach of the watching install habits and inclinations lest they assert themselves drive them back and watch watch the thoughts watch the plans lest they become selfish and self-centered watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation watch over the souls in Christ has purchased with his own blood watch for opportunities to do then watch lest coming suddenly he find us sleeping

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