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03 The Harvest of Life

Mark Howard
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Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

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  • August 29, 2020
    4:00 AM
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But you know about or has while I pray Father in Heaven Father we do thank you again for your holy Sabbath day oh Lord we thank you for your long suffering and mercy toward us I pray Lord for more of the Spirit of Christ the Spirit of investigation a spirit of meekness and humility the spirit of a learner that we would each be kind to one another even in our disagreements and that underneath it all we would have a sincere desire to know what is truth so that we can practice what is true now Father you promised the Spirit of truth to guide us into all truth and so I ask for the Holy Spirit receiving You promised that when we ask for the spirit your more willing to give the spirit to us than we are to give good gifts to our children so I claim that promise and we pray these things in Jesus' name amen All right. Our message this evening again is the harvest of life and I want to pick up with the 3rd angel's message and I'm not going to go to Revelation 14 right at the moment but we talked about a little bit this of this earlier and I'm going to get back into it the essence of the 13 just message the essence of it the warning against the mark of the beast and what have you the essence of it is righteousness by faith and I like to put it this way and I'm going to share in a way a statement or probably familiar with in a moment the 30 inches message as a warning against receiving the market a beast but a warning is not the solution in other words if I tell you a storm is coming that isn't the solution to being prepared for the storm if the warning helps you but you might have to drive out of town might be the preparation for preparing for the storm and the storm that's coming with a mark of the beast there's only one way out and that only that way is the righteousness of Christ that's why the righteousness of of Christ's righteousness by faith is the essence of the 13 just message it is the solution to the problem. And White said in a review in herald of April 1890 several have written to me inquiring if the message of Justification by Faith is the 3rd angel's message and I have answered it is the 3rd angel's message in verity Now the interesting thing about the context of this is this was during the the aftermath of the 888 message and just a quick caviare here there are people who say that the 888 message came and went in 888 that and there was no transcript of the meeting like we had after after meetings and because of that we really don't know totally what the a.t.t. message was and then after that Wagner Jones went off the rails and so everything they said afterwards was erroneous you will not find that supported in the writings of Ellen White who repeatedly indorse the message of of Johnson Wagner into the 1906 and even when Jones apostatized she encouraged him to go back and read his own sermons that he presented at the 93997 general conference sessions that would get him back on track and she said those messages were of the Holy Spirit frame it was in the context of that as they were preaching this righteousness by faith of justification by faith message that people were writing to Ellen White and saying hey wait a minute this is this is we're to be should be talking about the last days we should be talking about present truths and so they wrote to her and asked her Is this the angels message it was almost a snarky way of saying these guys are preaching the wrong stuff and she responded by saying yes it is that there in just messaging verity it is the truth of that there it is the essence of the Rings message now she says the message of Justification by Faith Ellen White often used the term justification by faith rather than righteousness by faith although she used both. Both justification and righteousness come from the same root word in Greek so just so you know that and to clarify that a little bit further there's a a fascinating statement in the book faith and works now I want to pause here and say that if there is any book that 70 administrate need to read in these days it's the book faith and works it is a phenomenal book and it's one of those books that I go over myself and get it but it's a it's a thin book it's not one of these overwhelming like read this book where you should read this book but you know some big thick book so it's a concise and beautiful book on righteousness by faith about to faith and works and what have you in that book she says this page 14 many commit the error of trying to define my new plea the fine points of distinction between justification and sanctification Now listen into the definitions of these 2 terms they often bring their own ideas and speculations so she's warning against people trying to be too particular that justification is this and saying to the geisha is this even though she talks about them in different ways she cautions because she says that people tend to bring their own they to say oh justifications this and then they bring into their own ideas and they confuse people and she continues to ask why I try to be more minute than is inspiration on the vital question of righteousness by faith. An interesting aside from that is that I did this series I mentioned in the book steps to Christ and when I did it it was the 1st time this is 28 teen and it's the 1st time I realized as I did a word search that the word justification does not appear anywhere in the book steps to Christ. The word sanctification does not appear anywhere in the book steps to Christ I was surprised by that they were justify appears once I think and so and I think it's because Ellen White did not want to get targeted or or tagged out for using one of these terms that somebody read differently so she just explained what she meant without using those those words anyway kind of an interesting point to me so the 3rd interest message the essence of it is righteousness of righteousness by faith Ok the message of righteousness by faith is inseparably connected with Christ closing work in the heavenly sanctuary Ok the 3rd angel's message is in verity justification by faith and back to a statement we looked at earlier from earlier writings page 254 Ellen White says the 3rd angel's the 3rd into closes his message to Gus here is the patience of the saints here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus as he repeated these words he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary so the commandments of God the faith of Jesus the righteousness by faith justification by faith message of the 3rd angel is connected with the work of the heavenly sanctuary where the angel was point Ok And we're going to flesh that out in just a bit so when we're talking about the work of the heavenly sanctuary you can't be talking about righteousness by faith and not be connected to the work that Christ is doing right now for his people and again I'll elaborate on that a little further Now when we talk about righteousness righteousness is the essence of God's character righteousness is not just a thing or things we do the essence of righteousness is character we're talking about the righteousness of Christ we're talking about character not deeds not that there's not an association or connection with that. Again righteousness is the essence of God's character goodness you could say the same thing I think of the rich young ruler when he came to Jesus Mark Chapter 10 verse 18 he says good teacher and Jesus said Why do you call me good there is only one who is good and that is God. That's because only God is righteous man isn't righteous we don't have righteousness of our own the only righteousness we'll ever have is given to us by God through Jesus Christ Listen to this fascinating statement in the book thoughts from the mount of blessing page 18 it says righteousness is holiness likeness to God and God is love for is done for 16 it is conformity to the law of God So righteousness is holiness righteousness is likeness to God right and God is love so it's being loving like God is. Righteousness is conformity to the law of God for all the commandments are righteousness some $1172.00 and love is the fulfilling of the law says he always tying these things together righteousness is conformity to the law but it's also loving like God love you can't separate those things and then she goes on to say righteousness is love and love is the light and the life of God the righteous now don't miss this last part this is fascinating me the righteousness of God is embodied in Christ we receive righteousness by receiving Him Now listen justification does not come to a person who doesn't have the righteousness of God to be justified means you receive the righteousness of God but you don't receive the righteousness of God until you receive Christ and I had a minister ask me recently you know the whole idea of the heavenly sanctuary is confusing because he said how is God going over records of sin and how if there are records of sin in the sanctuary when the Bible says God cast our stand in the depths of the sea. And you know you've got different passages that are dealing with different things but I want I explained it to him this way. We god doesn't get rid of our sins God gets rid of how we were this we're crucified with Christ that's what happens to our sins we die Paul says I'm crucified with Christ I no longer live that's where my sins went and now Christ lives in me but if it any time I decide to choose to go my own way and choose not to follow Christ guess what I trade my new life with Christ for my old life that was done away with it's only that it's only in Christ that we have righteousness in it's only while we have Christ that we have righteousness he who has the son John says has life and so I thought it was a fascinating statement the righteousness of God is embodied in Christ we receive righteousness by receiving Him and in essence we receive his righteous character you'll see we're going with this just follow along now it's interesting that the New Testament word for righteousness is the Greek word assuming and this is this word is defined in the Strong's lexicon as integrity virtue purity of life rightness which you it is the root word of righteousness is its rightness according to God's idea not my idea and it continues by saying this correct this of thinking feeling and acting righteousness is it is correctness of thinking feeling and acting so it's not just outward It's deeply inward but I want you to take that concept for a minute you know the biblical word for righteousness is correctness of thinking feeling and acting now consider this statement in connection with that from testimonies volume 5 page 310. If the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character again if righteousness is correctness of thinking feeling and acting thoughts and feelings we're talking about righteousness as character Now why am I making this point why am I going to this length to tie in this you know the work in the heavenly sanctuary righteous by faith with character because the destiny that the. Message this evening is called the harvest of life in the book education page want to wait and I'm skipping a little down in the notes here Ellen White says the harvest of a life is character and it is of this that determines destiny both for this life and for the life to come the whole statement is a fascinating statement but I just took that little piece out to make to that point clear the harvest of life his character character determines eternal destiny it's not the case in a good deed or misdeed is all my says elsewhere character is what determines destiny what we were going to end up is determined by character in so the work of Jesus in the sanctuary above is a is a work of. Refining our characters perfecting our characters if you will now let's look at a couple passages on the 6 I want you to go to the Book of Revelation with me and I've covered all these things before in different ways and so perhaps you've heard it before but what was it we read by other James white this morning that the point of present tooth need to be repeated even to those who are well established in them and the people said Amen so we're going to go to Revelation 13 this last complet that we're heading into even as we speak here. Revelation 13 we're going to look at her 16 we're going to be begin their. The Bible says that he causes all both small and great rich and poor free enslaved to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads and that no 1 May buy or sell except one who has noticed this carefully one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name here is wisdom let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast for it is the number of a man his number 666 and the chapter breaks right there in the original We keep reading So notice what John's about to do John talks about these people who have the mark of the beast in their forehead now contrast and in chapter 4 you verse one he says then I looked and behold a lamb standing on Mount Zion in with him one 144000 having his father's name written on their foreheads and some translations say having his name and his father's name now here's the point that I want you to understand at the end of time you have to be opposing groups and they're identified by the marks that they have both of them have marks in the forehead and both of those marks contain names and that's very significant from a biblical perspective because in the Bible names were often synonymous with character or characteristics for example when we read the story of Jacob. We learned that Jacob was a name that meant the deceiver or the usurper it was it was a characteristic of Jacob that was assigned to him which is why when Jacob wrestled with the angel he was given a new name and the new name meant something entirely different it meant a prince with God or an overcomer with God and so names in the Bible often referred a character I like to you know bring up the story of Isaac the name Isaac if you do some study on this or maybe you have means laughter and it was because when both Abraham and Sarah heard that Sarah was going to have a child her old days when she never had a child before she laughed they both laughed at it and so the name of the child was laughter names are linked to something like that and when you come to the Book of Revelation and you see this final contest you know time doesn't permit us we can go into the tie in with the Sabbath and everything else but I want to make this clear knowing which day the Sabbath is is not going to avoid the mark of the beast for you what character you have developed is going to determine where your final outcome is and this is why this is is is alarming to me because there are many 70 Ad minutes that are not taking advantage of the opportunity right now of Jesus ministers in their behalf in the center in heaven to develop characters that will fit them to stand when it comes they think a knowledge of a few facts the Sabbath is on the 7th day of the dead are dead and hell doesn't burn forever is going to get them ready and it's not and so this is what we should be reading when reading about you know this this final conflict in the names in the forehead that it's a character issue that's going to determine the outcome. We talked about names and character God's name is synonymous with His glory and character as his law is also and you've heard that the law is a transcript of God's character you may say Well where do we get that from Scripture. We go to the Book of Exodus and if you go to Exodus 33 and again you may be familiar with this this is probably I'm sure this is not the 1st time I've covered this it had been hoped but in Exodus 33 Verse 18 Moses makes a request of God he says to God Please show me your glory Now notice how God responds verse 19 then he said God said I will make all my goodness pass before you wait a minute what did Moses ask to see has his goodness no he has to see His glory when God showing him his glory but glory is synonymous with goodness or character Now notice what else he says I will make all my goodness pass before you and I will proclaim the name of the Lord so both goodness and name are synonymous with glory and they all have reference to character God's glory is His character is his name now not every time you read glory in the in the Bible does it refer to God's character but often it does when you come to Revelation 14 and your 3 messages in the 1st angel says Fear God and give glory to him he's talking about reflecting his character that's what he's talking about you're going to see that as we go on so God's name is synonymous with His glory and character and of course a few verses later God when He God she proclaimed his name what he ended up doing in fact let's I don't want to skip over that So God told Moses he's going to show him declare his name has his goodness and his name. And he tells them in Chapter 34 Verse one the Lord said to Moses cut 2 tablets of stone like the 1st ones and I will write on these tablets etc and so Moses cut the tablets of stone came into God's presence it says in verse 5 now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord and the Lord passed before him and proclaimed the Lord the Lord God merciful and gracious longsuffering in abounding goodness and truth what he proclaiming his character but the Bible says He proclaimed the name of the Lord and what is most us walk away with the 10 Commandments so all of this is tied in the 10 Commandments are just a transcript of the character of God We see this from this at least this passage and so this is why you can read in the book Christ object lessons page 414 paragraph 2 Ellen way says the light of His Glory dash his character that is to shine forth in his followers So there she quits the glory of God with the character of God Again the final test is a test of character the the glory of God That's called for in the 1st angel's message is the character of God The character is going to determine the final outcome again from education want to aid the harvest of life his character and it is this that determines destiny both for this life and for the life to come and it is the work of Christ in the sanctuary that is right now getting our characters from heaven that's what he's doing there so. For For many have been as we talk about the investigative judgment and even if you read some of. Facing Life's record in that controversy names are being brought up and checked off and what have you and want to have people walk away with this very. What I want to get a very almost an imprint of airy impersonal. Austere I don't know what were they and their words escaping me just this very cold and calculated that's what the judgment is but the judgment is about Christ trying to work with his people in harmony with them to fit their characters for heaven. We read this earlier in. The message this morning great controversy for 889 says the sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ work in behalf of men what work if the work we talked about this morning in Hebrews Chapter 10 where he's putting away the sin of his people well what but that talking about talk about developing character. It concerns every living soul every soul living upon the earth it opens to view the plan of redemption bringing us down to the very close of time and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin so there it says the work of Christ is is bringing us right down to this final conflict with the mark of the beast in the seal of God This. Final test of character that's the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. And when he finishes that work he will come this is where that statement in Christ uptick lessons page $69.00 comes in where Ellen White says and I'm quoting a piece of it this is a fantastic statement and I'm I can't tell you how tempted I was with a lot of these to just let's just read the chapter but I'm just picking a piece to make clarify where it is we're heading which we're still kind of heading there. But when we finish it's going to good. Page 69 says when the fruit element quotes from the Gospel of Mark when the fruit is brought forth immediately he put it in the sickle because the harvest is calm and I like a wording of that in light of what we just looked at from the book education the harvest of life his character the harvest has come and so he puts in the sickle Now notice how she comments Christ is waiting with a longing desire for the manifestation of himself in his church. I don't know how people don't get this I can't manifest Christ in me the manifestation of himself is the revelation of Himself in His church so we talk about Christ character in us that's not something I'm doing because I'm counting how many omens are on my plate at lunch or something like that that is and not that I don't have a part to play which we're going to see in a minute but it's the work of Christ he is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of himself in his church when the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced and I would add by Christ in His people then he will clot come to claim them as his own all that statements telling us commenting on the Gospel of Mark is that the work of Jesus in the heavenly century is a work of fitting our characters for heaven in when that is finished he will come his work in a century be done he lay aside the priestly garments and put on the king the robes as we see in other places in Scripture Now this is why I feel this is important I want to get into this a little you know we're talking about this. Maybe this isn't new to you but here's why this is so to me why this is so crucial. It's about how character is formed character is not formed as I said in this morning's message this is not a one way street psycho Ok I'm going to let go I'm not gonna sit back and he's going to do it all I'm going to what he said here and do whatever he's going to have to do it because I can't do anything well it's true we don't have any strength of ourselves that's why the Lord empowers us by His grace he says in the book of Hebrews Chapter 12 that God gives us grace that we may serve him acceptably but character is not formed in a moment and character is not formed without our effort. We must respond to Christ's promptings through the Holy Spirit and so character the formation of character is the result of a daily walk with Christ this is what the whole parable of the 10 virgins about you have these 10 virgins their virgins have a pure faith they're following Jesus there waiting for the bridegroom but and they all sleep the wise in the foolish own way it says these virgins are not hypocrites they're sincere but one group has enough oil to make it and the other group doesn't and that oil that extra oil has to do with character some of them have developed a character for the crisis. I always wondered when I read that parable it kind of bugged me that the the wise virgins were so snobby because in the foolish virgins they always go up in the like hey can you give us some of your oil now we're not giving you any more oil there would be enough for us something unselfish that's not Christ like but the point being conveyed in the parable is that that oil represents character and you can't give character to somebody I can't form character for you and you can't form it for me character is formed by our own choices and our own relation to Christ in the parable is telling us that these foolish virgins put off the formation of character Now what's interesting about this is it's in the context of this wedding and there's another wedding parable we're going to look at in just a minute that I think really brings a point home listen to the statement of the book Christ object lessons this is another one this Paul page a read just read the page of Christ object lessons 331 fantastic convicting and inspiring at the same time. It says Chris object lesson 331 paragraph one Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter we shouldn't get the idea we got no biblical reason to have the idea that it's easy Jesus said If you're going to follow him you've got to deny self I've got people who say hey when you accept Jesus then you'll naturally want to do good that is not Biblical if that were true how could Jesus say in the Gospel of Luke that if anyone wants to come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross daily it's a daily thing where's the denial if it's my natural desire if it's my natural desire to follow Jesus there's no self-denial needed anymore but Jesus this is what she's saying Christ is given no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter a noble all round character is not inherited it does not come to us by accident a noble character is earned now you. Listen to how it said stated here is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ Ok so I'm not meriting anything if she says it's firm but individual effort all she's saying is we have to make individual effort but where do I find the strength to make the effort the Bible says we have no natural strength we get it from Christ so we can't claim any credit for this but we do have to act on it because Christ is not going to force us I hear this all the time a god is too much of a gentleman to force us and yet for some in some way we were waiting for God to force us to be holy It's like well I get to heaven I'm not going to sin anymore How's that going to happen if it can't happen here how's it going to happen there what he's good just going to make it happen and I guess people think that if I didn't my biggest problem is my sinful nature and if that was taken away I wouldn't sin anymore but that's not true because my character would still determine what I'm going to do and God has to listen in eternity God's not forcing us there either. And so if I could be induced to sin here because we sin by choice we're told to say to him self can't force us to sin then what's going to keep me from choosing there I'll tell you what's going to keep me a character like Christ's that is totally some totally submitted to God and so Ellen White says a noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ God gives the talents the powers of the mind right there not mind I thought if the strength comes from him but I have to choose to use it God gives the talents the powers of mind a we form a character it is formed by hard stern battles with self and many of you know just what that is talking about I fight those battles my friends I'm not free from those battles and I wish I could say my character was just like Christ and when I tell you this I don't get discouraged about it well I do get discouraged about it sometimes because I want to be like him but like my trust is in Jesus I keep my eyes fixed on him and I trust that he's going to do what he said but I've got to cooperate with him I can't just go my own way it's formed by hard stern battles with self complicates after conflict must be waged simple point here being that character is not formed in a moment and it's not formed without our own effort Gaza not going to force you to form character we've got to make choices this is why. People say I don't like the writings of Ellen White because they're full of all these things we have to do Have you ever read the epistles I mean the whole New Testament is instruction to the church on what they should do in which if they should stop doing. Because it's following that instruction looking to Christ for help that develops that character we're going to see that morning moment go with me to Romans Chapter 5 Verse one Romans Chapter 5 and starting in verse one 0 I love this passage. The Apostle tells us here and notice the context Romans fivers one therefore having been justified by faith so we already have been justified given our lives to Christ and now it begins to happen having a justified we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and notice this last part and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God No Paul says later in Romans that a man only hopes for what he doesn't have right you don't hope for what you do have you already have it so you're looking forward to something we're hoping for something notice what he says we hope for we hope we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God was the glory of God We looked at it it's the character of God God's people rejoice in the hope that one day they will be like him not like him like we will be little gods but we will have a character like Christ we rejoice in that hope now notice how that that hope comes to us he says and not only that verse 3 but we also glory in tribulations hardships right knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance character and character hope so it's as we face the tribulations and we've by the grace of God persevered through those and those experiences develop character. And character leads us to hope that God will continue to further that character to be like Christ's verse 5 Hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has given to us and like Paul says in Philippians 16 he has started a good work by the Holy Spirit will finish that work we rejoice hope doesn't disappoint because we already have as the Apostle says in the book of effusions the earnest the prepayment the down payment of that character we already have evidences in our lives of the working of God and he's not going to stop he's not going to leave us he's is not going to leave us abandoned if we continue to look on to him so it's interesting the Apostle talks about this process of the development of character in Romans 5 and a couple of the passages you know he talks about how it comes through pain tribulation it's interesting in Romans 8 in verse 18 Paul says something similar he says for I consider that the sufferings of this present time now let's not talk sufferings as just oh people were being mean to Paul people were and they were becoming to Paul more so than to us but sufferings also include the sufferings in the strivings we go through. What I mean by that is in reading through some of these things and talking about character perfection. Recurring theme is people saying yeah I remember when I used to try to be perfect and I still don't know what that entirely means. Like. So you tried not to cheat on your wife and you used to and so now you don't try anymore I mean you know in what's written for the fastening is not I've had people dialogue and there's no like yeah man it just makes for a legal istic you're always miserable and everything else yet the very same people I'm going to tell you I have my 54th birthday just this past week I work out at least 3 days a week and I do squats and I do deadlifts and I know I'm not a big bulky guy never was never will be for whatever reasons but it's hard work especially for 54 year old and yet I do it and I persevered and I'm not always downcast by it and I know other people who do with their exercise like I don't feel like running but I'm going to go do it I'm going to and we can persevered and knock ourselves out and apply ourselves and try hard and and keep going forward in just about any area of life looking for that promotion looking for that you know getting that degree but then we come to our Christian lives and say oh no I mean we can't really strive at that or that would be legal istic what in the world is that legalism is motive legalism is not what you're doing legalism is thinking you're earning something by doing it and yes if you think you have to be getting a 10 out of 10 on the scales before God loves you and accepts you then yeah that's miserable but the Gospel tells us that the whole reason we come to Christ is because we couldn't do it and he accepted us and so now we've got to be able to look to him to finish what he started So Paul says the sufferings. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us and he goes on to say the whole creation is looking forward to that time when the glory of God is revealed in humanity much like Jesus waiting for the time when his care it was talking about the character of God revealed in humanity all that we have more time for that 1st Corinthians as a 1st 2nd Corinthians Chapter 4 were 17 he says something again very similar 2nd Corinthians 417 you puzzle says for our like the flick Sion light affliction he calls it whatever struggles we have on this earth compared to where you see what he says there are light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding any turn all weight of glory while we do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen we get a look with eyes of faith so all of this it we rejoice in the hope of glory God are looking forward to the glory of God in and and yes we strive and we endure hardships because that's part of the development of character but we know that God is in control and that the power crisis working in our behalf ministry of healing Listen to this one this is an incredible statement. Again aunt on how the character is formed minister healing page 487. Paragraph 2 says day by day and year by year we shall conquer self doesn't happen in a moment does it day by day and year by year write though the same because of the work of a what of a lifetime day by day and year by year we shall conquer self and grow into a noble heroism this is our allotted task but it cannot be accomplished without help from Jesus resolute decision unwavering purpose continual watchfulness and unceasing prayer each one has a personal battle to fight now listen to this last part not even God can make our characters noble or our lives useful unless we become Co-workers with him simply stated he's not going to force us and she did this statement I love the same and those who declined the struggle lose the strength and joy of victory and I said you don't win the game from sitting on the bench yet you get on the field and it's hard and you might get some bumps and bruises but you're never going to taste victory otherwise and so people say yeah but when I have to strive in the Christian life it can be overwhelming well quit looking at yourself and look to Jesus and know that you by His grace will soon know the strength enjoy victory in it doesn't it isn't in the by and by it doesn't we can gain victories every day and I know that many of you that are viewing have taken those to heart don't say why game this victory but how is he going to give me this victory because that's what we do. For some reason we understand that he was able to give us victory one place but there's another place we just like that's too hard for Jesus nothing's too hard for Jesus. Amen so those who decline a struggle lose the strength enjoy a victory now I want to turn our attention as we close to the parable of the wedding garment and this is in Matthew 22 and I think this point will be clear when we look at this Matthew $22.00 starting in the 1st verse and actually I'm not going to for sake of time go through the whole parable because he talks about an image it will a poster started Matthew 22 verses one and Jesus answered spoke to them again by parables and said The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding and they were not willing to come and so you have this and it's a whole parable of the Jewish nation this 1st part and they rejected in the invitation was given to the Gentiles that's what this is about with the idea is that the King of Heaven is like the certain king is God the Father the Son is Jesus Christ and God invited them to the marriage this is a fascinating study when you understand the symbolism of marriage and how it connects with Christ's work and I have my sanctuary it's I need to do a message on that sometime it's fast I've done them before but I can't for you to what the titles are what have you but it goes on to say that the you know the 1st group didn't accept the invitation now let's just be clear here that God the Father is sending out an invitation to the marriage of his son what is that what is that invitation What is it an invitation to I think we would agree that it's an invitation to salvation that God is offering salvation to his son to be united with his son marriage with the church in the 1st group rejected which was the Jewish nation so he sent out another round of invitations. And guests came into the wedding hall the Bible says the banquet hall in fact verse 10 so those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found both bad and good and the wedding hall was filled with yes but when the king came in to see the guests he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment so he said to him friend how did you come in here without a wedding garment and he was speechless and the king said to the servants behind him in hand and foot take him away and cast him into outer darkness there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth now this. There's a maiden sitting in the bank in the in the in the banquet hall or sitting there in the wedding hall the king The sees him and he goes up to him now you have to understand that the invitation is the invitation to salvation so if we draw the connect the dots here this is a person who he showed up so he accepted at least his own mind he accepted the invitation to salvation so he's sitting there in the wedding hall feeling like he has every right to be there because he accepted the invitation Ok However when the king comes he sees that he doesn't have a wedding garment now apparently a garment was sent to him and the man was supposed to put it on also evidently And if you look at this a little further in the scripture and in the writings about why this man knew full well about the wedding garment which is why he speechless when the king asked him Hey why don't you have the wedding garment on he didn't say were you talking about wedding garment I don't even know what you're talking about he was speechless because he knew about the wedding garment but for whatever reason he felt it wasn't important for him to wear it now I'm going to make an application here and you can take it how it how you like but I think it's pretty spot on this is a person who has accepted the invitation of salvation. And they learned that it was important to have on the wedding garment the robe of Christ's righteousness the character of Christ but for some reason perhaps they talk to their friends in the church their minister in the church their favorite theologians whatever and they said oh it's no big deal as long as you've accepted the invitation that's what counts and so here this man is and he feels like he has every right to be there he's perfectly satisfied to be there and when that King comes and asked about the wedding garment he realizes that he made a big mistake but it's too late to change it this is this is this is the this is what I'm getting at there are far too many avenues who have bought the idea that it's not important how we live what matters is your relationship with Jesus that's what we say today well that's true but there are different kinds of relationships with Jesus the devil has a relationship with Jesus and it's a bad one you need to have a saving relationship with Jesus and that only comes with cooperating with what Jesus is doing in say in the sanctuary above in fitting our characters for heaven but there are people who have are putting that out it doesn't matter how you live it really doesn't matter what you do it doesn't matter which drink it doesn't were sinners anyway and what's happening is they're putting off the preparation they're not putting on the robe of righteousness they're not developing the character they're cut and partly they're going to come into that banquet hall that wedding feast thinking they have every right to be there thinking God's going to come up and say boy glad you came and the King is going to come up and say where's the wedding garment and it will be too late. And they will be cast out into outer darkness where there's weeping and gnashing of teeth and I used to wrestle with that weeping in it what does that expression mean I think I learned it in my 1st district in ministry I had bought a new certified Honda and if you know anything about the certified cars that means they extend the warranty in that warranty is extended to 70000 I'm sorry 7 years or 100000 miles for major mechanical components Well my car was at about 98000 miles and I started getting this clunk when I went out of my driveway out of the rear of the car and I thought man a need to take it in well this went on for probably a month and a half and I'm $99800.00 like I've got 200 miles left so I need to get a current in I remember taking my car in and they checked it out and there was a suspension part they said Going to $250.00 and I said what bridge should be you know I've I've got the warranty on and they said oh yes should be covered let me look at it they're going to give you a look at up and they said oh you know your warranty expired 2 weeks ago and I want to tell you there was weeping and gnashing of teeth that day and I think I learned with that statement you see I could have taken the car in and keep in mind it was 7 years or 100000 miles I was just focusing on 100000 I thought I had time but my time was up and had I taken it in the 1st time I noticed it it would have been Ok but the something it would have been different if I could have done anything different if I couldn't have changed that the situation but I could have and I didn't and to me the weeping and gnashing of teeth comes when people realize that they had every opportunity to develop characters for heaven by cooperating with Christ but they put it off until it was too late and friends I don't I don't know. In part I don't care where your theology is the nuances of your theology are if you're actively pursuing a Christ like character for heaven cooperating with him with his work in the heavenly sanctuary element comments on this robe of righteousness and he says in Christ object lessons $311.00 Christ was obedient to every requirement of the law he said himself I'd like to do that will my God gave the laws within my heart some 40 or say when on earth he said to his disciples I have kept my Father's Commandments John 1510 by his perfect obedience he has made it possible for every human being to obey God's commandments when we submit ourselves to Christ the heart is united with his heart the will is merged in his will the mind becomes one with his mind the thoughts are brought into captivity to him listen we live his life we don't become perfect because of us we become perfect when Christ wells in us we live his life lesson this is what it means to be clothed with the garments of his righteousness I want to tell you there's a lot of folks today the say oh the garments of righteousness that just covers up your sins no it's not from the outside it's from the inside it's a development of a Christ like it's receiving the character of Christ the life of Christ the essence of Christ. This is what it means to be close to the garments of his righteousness then as the Lord looks upon us he sees not the fig leaf garment not the nakedness and deformity of sin but his own robe of righteousness which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah and my friends this is the very work that Christ is accomplishing for us in the sanctuary even as we sit here right now he intercede for you and me to guarantee us a place in heaven but we have to be willing to cooperate with him Ellen White says that there are many who aren't going to be saved not because they couldn't be saved but because they refused to be saved in crisis point of way and I'm afraid that's the case for too many right now now my encouragement is this some people say man if I have to fight the daily fight of faith and everything else it can be discouraging it's true it's true that's why Ellen White says in the book steps to Christ that there are many times we have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because our shortcomings the mistakes but we're not cast off them for saken by God we need to turn our eyes haven't work this is why Paul when he talks about the perfection of character and. Hebrews 10 we're relooking this morning when he was 11 he gives us that that history of all the men and women who struggle just like us but who have overcome in the name of Jesus the in the hall of faith there and then he begins he was Chapter 12 1st one by telling us that we should be looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith this is my friends he started to work in you cooperate with him he will bring it to fruition we need to keep our eyes on Jesus in early writings 254. Ellen White tells us I saw the 3rd angel pointing upward showing the disappointed ones the way to the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary listen carefully as they by faith enter just like we're to do by faith we can enter in because we know it Jesus is doing there he's doing it for us as they by faith enter the most holy they find Jesus and hope and joy spring up a new oh me we find Jesus in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and me that in fact let me look at the next statement as we conclude. Again in early writings 256 just a couple pages later she talks about the 3rd angel he says the 3rd angel was pointing them to the most holy place and those who had had an experience in the past messages were pointing again she's talking about people that were discouraging confuse the 13 just pointing them to the most holy place and those who had an experience in the past messages were pointing them to way to the heavenly sanctuary my friends salvation is not just for you and me there are others out there who need to know the work Jesus is doing for them. They were pointed to the way the heavenly sanctuary says many saw the perfect chain of truth in the angel's messages and gladly received them in their order and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly sanctuary Listen to this next sentence these messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God Now that caught my attention when I read it this time because that's exactly what the Apostle Paul that says in Hebrews 619 when he refers about Christ work in the most holy place that is an anchor to the soul sure instead fast these messages that point us to what Jesus is doing is our anchor there are a lot of people looking for assurance in these last days and how they feel and me and human experience is fickle and up and down but Jesus is constant He is the same yesterday today and forever and as we look come to Jesus the author and finisher a face may we have the confidence May the Lord give us the confidence to know that what the Lord has started for us he will certainly bring to fruition Well I hope that this has in the words of the Apostle Peter stirred up your pure minds by way of remembrance given you a desire to study maybe a little more deeply and inspired you my friends there is no other you understand there's no other church that that has the message we have of a present work of a present Jesus in a present sanctuary ministering right now for us to guarantee us a place in God's Kingdom What a glorious message and we can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God Well again I want to thank you for joining us this weekend and. I want to finish by praying that God bless us all as we continue to study and seek to know Jesus better and to trust him more fully until we have completely yielded our lives into his hands. And his character shines forth through us let's pray together Father in heaven Oh Father I I do thank you so much for this wonderful anchor to our soul the work that Jesus is doing for us even at this moment but Lord it's not a work just for those of us who know it Jesus is working in behalf of all humanity in our multitudes who need to know that there is a savior that stands at the right hand of God and intercede for them and that salvation is is. Openly full and free to them if the only they hold of it but Lord many don't know in the not going over that a preacher and I pray that you would help us to proclaim that message to those we in our sphere of influence bless us in our own personal study as we seek to know you better in Jesus Christ whom you have sent and fall father pray that you that you would help us to not lose confidence that you will finish the work in us and that Jesus will finish the work in us which he has started help us keep our eyes fixed on him. And to cooperate with him and follow him wherever he goes we ask Him previous things in Jesus name. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio 1st if you would like to listen to more sermon pleaded visit w w w dot audio Verse dot org.

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