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What is Present Truth?

Stephen Bohr

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Stephen Bohr

President/Speaker of Secrets Unsealed

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Recorded

  • June 6, 2015
    7:00 PM

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My father is in a retirement community near Oklahoma City. I go to visit him probably three or four times a year, spend a couple of days with him on the way to a commitment or on the way back from a commitment. I remember the first time that I that I went to the place where he is, Summit Ridge. He always asked me to preach when I go there, they have special meetings in the evenings and he insists. You know I'm the son, and sons have to be obedient so I always go and preach. He enjoys hearing his son preach. The first time I went, the elder that introduced me, his last name is Lawless. So I thought to myself, I'm going to really get this guy, so when I stood up to preach I said you know brother Lawless, you have a terrible name for a Seventh Day Adventist. Well, he smiled. At the end of my sermon when he got up for the benediction he said, Pastor Bohr, I want you to know that you have a terrible name for a preacher. Ever since then we've been very good friends.

Now time has flown by. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to be nice, concise and precise. I'm going to present the essential elements of the message and I trust that what we study will be a blessing and a benefit to all of those who are gathered here. So at this time I invite you to bow your heads reverently as we ask the Lord to be with us in our study.

Father in heaven, we're here for the last meeting of this camp meeting. We've enjoyed your presence. We’ve enjoyed the music, we've enjoyed the seasons of prayer, we've enjoyed the messages, We've enjoyed the fellowship. What a joy it is for your people to get together to study Bible truth and to fellowship together. Father, this evening as we reflect upon your Word for a few brief minutes, we ask that you will bless us with your presence as you have done in the previous meetings. We ask that through the Spirit and the ministry of the angels, you will be present here that you will speak to our hearts, you will speak to our minds and you will speak to our conscience. We thank you Father, because we can approach your throne boldly, and we do so with the assurance of your answer, because we ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

I want to begin by formulating a series of questions.

Why does the Seventh Day Adventist Church exist?

What makes our church unique?

Should we be preaching what other churches are preaching, or do we have a distinctively special message for this time?

Even our distinctive beliefs, by our distinctive beliefs I'm referring to doctrines such as the Sabbath, the law, the state of the dead, the sanctuary, health reform.

Most of these doctrines are held by one church or another in Christendom, for example;

The state of the dead is not unique to the Adventist church. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the dead are dead.

Our health principles are not unique to us. The Mormons are very careful with their health principals and with their family values.

Baptism is not unique because the Baptists baptize by emersion such as we do.

Our doctrine of the Sabbath is not unique because there are Seventh Day Baptists and various Pentecostal churches that observe the Sabbath.

But there is one doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventist Church which is a uniquely Adventist, which no other church has and that is our doctrine of the sanctuary. That is the one doctrine that makes us unique. That doctrine gives us our mission as well as our message and also our method.

What I'd like to do as we begin our study is to go through the sanctuary because we are supposed to follow Jesus through the sanctuary.

The sanctuary has an order. The sanctuary actually begins in the camp, where sinners live. Sometimes we make the mistake of starting the sanctuary in the court, but the sanctuary does not begin in the court.

After the camp we have the Court. The central piece of furniture there is the Altar of Sacrifice. After the altar of sacrifice in the court you have the Laver.

The altar of sacrifice represents the Sacrifice of Christ and the laver is the laver of regeneration. It represents the Resurrection of Christ.

Then we move into the Holy Place. And in the Holy Place Jesus performs a special work.

Then we move into the Most Holy Place and when the Most Holy Place ministry comes to its end, then Jesus moves outside to the court where the scapegoat, Azazel, is waiting to have all of the sins that are cleansed from the sanctuary to be placed upon his head.

So the sanctuary illustrates the movements of Christ in salvation history. What I want us to do is to take a look at the movements of Jesus through the sanctuary.

The first part of the sanctuary is, as I mentioned before, the camp. The camp is where sinners live. You know sometimes we emphasize the death of Christ so much that we forget that if it wasn't for his perfect life, his death would have been useless, because he had to be a victim without spot.

Let me ask you, where did Jesus live his perfect life? He lived his perfect life in our midst. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. In other words, the first step of Jesus through the sanctuary is not his death, the first step through the sanctuary is his perfect life in our midst. Tempted in our camp, in all things, yet without sin.

Now the question is, why would Jesus have to come to our camp and live a life without sin? By the way, you know that the Lamb had to be without a blemish before it was sacrificed. The lamb without blemish represents a perfect life of Christ and only after the priest determined that the lamb was without spot, then the sacrifice was offered and it was accepted. Now why did Jesus have to come and live a perfect life?

Let me explain, the law of God requires absolute sinless perfection. Do you believe that the law of God requires absolute sinless perfection? It gives no dispensations, it expects absolute obedience. It cannot allow one single deviation from its principles.

My question is, How many of us here can offer the law what the law requires? Is there anybody who can say, I can offer the law what the law requires? If you raised your hand, that would disqualify you, because you would be lying. That would perhaps be your first sin. The law requires absolute perfection. We cannot give the law what the law requires.

Jesus, who created everyone offered to come to our camp to live the life that the law requires from us. He came to live a perfect life in our place, and he lived it in place of every single human being who has ever drawn breath in the history of planet earth. He came to offer the law what we cannot offer the law. Absolute sinless perfection. If Jesus did not do that we could not be saved, because the law requires absolute sinless perfection.

Somebody might say, Well Pastor Bohr, Jesus didn't create me, I came from my mother. So I ask, okay where did your mother come from? Well she came from her mother. Where did her mother come from? If we go back, where does the process end? It ends with Adam and Eve. When Jesus created Adam and Eve he created everyone because we all descend from Adam and Eve. Only he who created all, could offer to take the place of all, and to live the life that the law requires from us, so that he would live a life that would provide absolute righteousness that could be credited to our account. But then we have another problem and that is that the law says, if you can't render me absolute perfection you must die, because the wages of sin is death. So how many of us deserve death? Every single one of us deserves death, because the Bible says, All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, no not one. And the wages of sin is what? Death. So we have a double whammy. Number one we cannot offer perfection to the law and number two because we can't, the law says you’ve got to die.

Jesus after living his perfect life, had to take all the sins of the world upon himself to suffer the death that all of the world should suffer. In other words, Jesus in the camp lived this perfect life, in the court when he died on the cross, represented by the altar of sacrifice. The Lord Jesus bore the sins of the whole world upon himself.

Now the work that Jesus did in the camp and in the court is for every person who has ever lived in the history of planet Earth. I know some of you are probably raising your eyebrows and your saying Pastor Bohr is teaching universalism. He is teaching then, if Jesus lived the life that all of us should live, and Jesus died the death and all of us should die, then everybody is going to be saved. Right? No, wrong.

What Jesus did in the camp and in the court was to provide the means for salvation, provides a way in which we could be saved, by the righteousness of Christ and His death being credited to our account so that we don't have to die, and he did that for everyone. However in the next step of the ministry of Christ, Jesus applies personally what he did in the camp and in the court. Jesus goes to heaven and he goes to intercede for us. By the way do you know that Romans 4:25 says 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. that Jesus was raised for our justification. Jesus did not justify people at the cross. That's a fundamental misconception.

By the way justification means the same as forgiveness. Ellen White says that justification and forgiveness is the same thing, only justification is the theological term.

We find that in the case of Jesus, Jesus dies on the cross. He lives his perfect life, and then he resurrects for our justification and where does Jesus go? What's the next step in his ministry? He goes into the Holy Place. Do you know why Jesus went to the Holy Place? Ellen White says it was to apply the benefits of his atonement. Do you know what the benefits are? His perfect life and his death for sin. Those are the benefits of his earthly life. For how many people are those benefits available? They're available for every single person who has ever lived in the history of planet Earth. Does Jesus in heaven intercede for everyone? No, Hebrews 7:25-26 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.  26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

He intercedes for those who come to God through Him. Now I know this sounds strange because we become evangelical in our theology.

Fernando Cannoli who retired from the seminary recently, wrote a phenomenal article where he showed that the Adventist Church has from its central core of theology, shifted from the sanctuary to Justification by Faith. Justification by Faith is taught in the sanctuary. But it is not the central doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventist church. The sanctuary is the doctrine that brings all of the message together in a whole. It explains the reason for our existence.

You know I ask questions sometimes, I say let me ask you this. Did Jesus forgive people sins at the cross? When I ask that question, immediately I get the answer, of course he forgave peoples sins at the cross. But that's not correct, that Jesus forgave sins at the cross. If that's the case, why did the apostle Peter in Acts 2:38 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. say fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, Peter says in his sermon, Repent and what? Be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, each one of you for the forgiveness of sins. When is it that their sins are forgiven according to that text? Repent and be baptized each one of you. That's individual right? Each one of you, in the name of Jesus. And then it says, for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the Holy Spirit.

You're all acquainted with 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to, to what? forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

There is no universal justification for forgiveness. A person is forgiven when they claim what Jesus did personally and individually through repentance, through confession, and through faith and trust in Jesus Christ. So in other words, what Jesus is doing in heaven, simply, is that Jesus is receiving clients in the heavenly sanctuary. He's receiving people's repentance, people's confession and people's faith in Jesus. What Jesus does, he presents himself before the Father and he says, Father, such and such a person has just repented and confessed his sin and trusted in me, accepted me as Savior and as Lord. The Father looks at Jesus and he says, Oh so that person actually accepted you? Well then, I'll look at you and not at him. At that moment the Spirit of Prophecy tells us very clearly that, that individual is accepted in the Beloved and God looks at that person as if he or she had never sinned. Because God sees them in Christ, not in themselves. In other words, that person has claimed individually the benefits of Christ's atonement. Are you understanding what the benefits are? They have claimed the life of Christ in their place, and they have claimed the death of Christ in their place, and now Jesus takes his life and his death and he credits it to their account and God looks upon them as if they've never sinned, because now they are looked at, in Christ. That's the work of the Holy Place. We send our sins to Jesus and our sins are placed in the sanctuary, but we don't have to worry about that because they are placed in the sanctuary covered by the blood. As long as the sins enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus we don't have any problem.

You know there's this theory that Seventh Day Adventists can never have the assurance of salvation because they say, oh yes, all our sins are all up there in the sanctuary. Let me tell you this folks, if they are not up there through the blood of Jesus, they're here. So you had better make sure that your sins are sent up there through repentance, confession and faith or trust in Jesus. Because if you don't send them into the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, then they are upon you.

What happens with the sanctuary as the sins enter the sanctuary? See now the sinner doesn't have the problem, who has the problem? The sanctuary, and ultimately God. So at some point what has to happen? At some point all those sins that entered by the blood, still defiled the sanctuary because there's still sins, the sinner is forgiven and cleansed because it says in 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  We are the ones that are cleansed in the daily service. But now all the sins enter the sanctuary they are covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ but they are recorded or registered in the sanctuary. At some point, the sanctuary has to be what? The sanctuary has to be cleansed.

Now we go to the next step in the ministry of Christ. In 1844 Jesus entered the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. By the way he continues his work of intercession. Jesus does not suspend the previous step by taking the step of the investigative judgment. In fact we need to understand that each step of Jesus is fundamental to the next step. Let me ask you, is the perfect life of Christ foundational to what he does in the Most Holy Place? Sure, is his death for sin foundational to what it takes place in the Most Holy Place? Is his intercession for sinners’ indispensable for what takes in the Most Holy Place? Absolutely. So we're not downplaying his perfect life and his death for sin, his resurrection and his intercession for individuals who come personally to him to plead for forgiveness. What we're saying is that we need to focus on the ministry that Jesus is performing at any given moment. When Jesus in 1844 begins his work in the Most Holy Place, at that time we find that he continues interceding for individuals. Can people still come to Jesus in repentance and have his righteousness and his death count as their righteousness and their death? Of course, Jesus continues interceding for sinners. But now he takes on an additional function which while he's interceding He is also examining the cases as we studied. Remember? He examines the cases of the individuals who have claimed him as Savior and as Lord. As he examines them he says, well let's see if this individual was genuinely repentant or not. If the confession was really a confession or whether it was an admission whether that individual truly trusted in me or not.

By the way, the form or the manner in which you show that you really trusted in Jesus is by the fruit of your life. That's why the Bible says that were saved by grace through faith, but we are judged by works [Ephesians 2:8] because our works show if our faith is genuine or not. Works don't save us but they show or reveal if we are saved or not. So we can't put the cart before the horse. We have to recognize that we’re saved by grace through faith, for our good works according to Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. So Jesus beginning with Adam examined the records he said, Adam sinned, yes he has all these sins against him, but Adam repented, he confessed his sins, and he claimed the righteousness of Christ, and so when the case of Adam is finished, Jesus says to the heavenly jury, because the angels are watching this, what do you think? Should we bring Adam home when I go to get him? The heavenly jury says, yes, you can bring him home. So the sins of Adam are going to be what? Eventually they're going to be taken out of the sanctuary and they're going to be placed on the originator and instigator of sin. Now this process continues all throughout history from 1844 on, and it ends with whom? It ends with those who are alive. It's an awesome thing to be judged when your life history is closed. It's a much more awesome thing to think of our lives being examined and decisions being made concerning us, while we are still alive. The judgment of the living is the last event that Jesus performs in the Most Holy Place before a close a probation.

If I was to ask the question today, what is present truth? What would your answer be? How do we determine what is present truth? It's not rocket science. Let me ask you:

Would the work of Jesus in the camp be truth? Would that be truth? Yes. Is it present truth? No, because Jesus did that.

The death of Jesus on the cross, is that present truth? That is truth, and it's very important. But is that present truth? No, because Jesus did that in the past.

Is the work of Jesus in the Holy Place present truth? No.

If you want to know what present truth is, all you have to do is, determine where Jesus is, and what he's doing, and that's present truth.

So the question is where is Jesus today and what is he doing? That's what we should be preaching. Yes of course, in the light of His perfect life, without his perfect life none of the other functions can be performed. Without his death, Jesus could not present his blood in intercession unless he lived his perfect life and he died for sin and so all the preliminary steps are important, but present truth is the truth about what Jesus is doing right now and that's what needs to be preached.

Have you ever noticed that all of the distinctive doctrines of the Seventh Day Adventist Church are centered in the Most Holy Place? All of the doctrines that distinguish us from other Christians are found in the Most Holy Place. Let’s go through this quickly.

Where were the Ten Commandments? In the Most Holy Place.

What does the Christian world say about the Ten Commandments? You can't keep them, it’s impossible to keep them. The Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross, we’re not under law we’re under grace.

Why can't they see the binding nature of the law? Because they're not in the Most Holy Place.

Let me ask you, where is the Sabbath to be found? In the Most Holy Place. Isn’t it? In the center of the law in the Most Holy Place?

The Sabbath, what does the Christian world say about the Sabbath? Oh, the Sabbath was for the Jews. We’re not expected the keep the Sabbath. We honor Jesus on Sunday because he resurrected that day. So you Adventists are legalists because you keep the Sabbath.

Why can't they see clearly the importance of the Sabbath truth? Because they're in the Holy Place, they have not entered the Most Holy Place.

By the way do you know that Ellen White says that the Sabbath is going to be a test for God's people at the end of time?

Do you know that is in the Most Holy Place? You say where is that? Have you realized that in the Most Holy Place the Sabbath is enhanced and highlighted?

Remember Ellen White had this vision of a halo around the Sabbath commandment? Some people say well that's preposterous. Where is that in the Bible. The fact is that she's saying that the Sabbath commandment is enhanced.

How is it enhanced? You see not only is the Sabbath in the center of God's law but there was also a pot of manna. Why did God give the manna? You read Exodus 16 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. God says, That I may test Israel to see if they will walk in my law.

So does the Most Holy Place teach that the Sabbath is at test? Does it highlight the Sabbath? Yes, it highlights it by emphasizing it twice. First because it's in the Ten Commandments, and second because God tried to teach the observance of the Sabbath as a test through the manna. In the ark is a pot of manna according to The Spirit of Prophecy.

Do you know what else manna teaches? It teaches health reform. Do you remember in Numbers 11 how Israel said we're sick and tired of this vegan stuff. That's not exactly the way they said it. They said we’re tired of manna, all we do is eat manna. But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Oh, we remember when we were in the world. We remember when we were in Egypt, the flesh pots and the garlic and onions, by the way garlic and onions aren't necessarily bad but Ellen White says that they were eating rich foods they were accustomed to flesh foods in Egypt. They said, we want flesh. Ex 16.3 … Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

Let me ask you, did God give manna to teach Israel about a simple diet like he made at the beginning? Ellen White says yes.

What does the Christian world say about diet? Oh your prayer sanctifies your pork chop. [1Tim 5]For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  

That's what they say. The Kingdom of God does not consist in what you eat and what you drink. [Mt 6:25] It has nothing to do with the development of your character. And they actually use Bible texts, arise, kill and eat, [Deut. 12:15, Is 22:13] they say. They use that story about Peter, and they use 1Timothy 4  

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

where it says that they will come forbidding things that God created to be partaken of with Thanksgiving. God did not create pork to be taken with thanksgiving, that's the whole point, God is not going to bless what he cursed. Christians because they're not in the Most Holy Place don't understand health reform.

What else is centered in the Most Holy Place? How about the state of the dead? Do you remember that also within the Ark of the Covenant was a rod? What condition was that rod in? It was dead and by a miracle it sprouted life. That rod represents Christ. Jesus said I am the one who was dead and yet I am alive [Rev 1:18]. And how is that the Jesus was alive? Because he had an immortal soul? Or because he resurrected from the dead? Because he resurrected from the dead. And so contained in the Ark of the Covenant is the teaching regarding the state of the dead.

By the way, I preached a whole sermon on the relationship between the state of the dead and the idea of the judgement in the Most Holy Place. I hope you understood that. It shows that the state of the dead is centered in the Most Holy Place. Let’s face it folks. If Adam appeared before God's judgment seat in 1844 and Adam was in the grave that means that Adam wasn't alive. What was presented was the record of his life. In other words, Adam was dead, but he appears before the Judgment Seat of Christ through the record of his life.

What do Christians say about the dead? They say oh, when you die if you were good you go to heaven. It's interesting, I've never been to a funeral where anyone has been committed to hell. Everybody goes to heaven at funerals, and you don't really know whether that person is going to go to heaven at all. You will hear the sermon say, oh our dear sister Jones is up in heaven enjoying the time with the Lord. Listen carefully folks. If that's the case, let's not cry, let's have a party. If our relative is in heaven, enjoying the bliss of heaven hey, let's just have a great time. Let's have a cake with little candles on it and sing joyfully because our relative is in a better land, but people don't, all they do is cry.

The Christian world says that the dead aren’t dead. Why? Because they don't understand the judgement and because they don't understand what is represented by Aaron's rod in the Most Holy Place. All of the distinctive truths of the Seventh Day Adventist church are centered in the Most Holy Place.

There's another doctrine that is centered in the Most Holy Place and that is the Judgment, the Investigative Judgment.

Let me ask you this, in ancient Israel, when was the Most Holy Place opened? It was opened on the Day of Atonement when the sanctuary was going to be cleansed.

Does the Seventh Day Adventist Church teach that the Most Holy Place was opened in 1844 and that is the Great Day of Atonement? Yes, because the Sanctuary’s Most Holy Place is opened on the Day of Atonement. Our pioneers were definitely correct when they said that the Day of Atonement began in 1844.

But now let me share something else with you. Why would God need a judgment? Does God need to inform himself about who's going to be saved and who's going to be lost? No, so why a judgement? We have Adventist scholars that are saying this is ridiculous that there's going to be a judgment, God already knows who is going to be saved and who's going to be lost.

Well let me explain the reason why are all individuals who profess Christ genuine Christians? No.

Does God know who is genuine and who isn't? Yes.

Does the heavenly universe know who is and who is not? No, because they're not omniscient.

In the church are there wheat and tares? Yes, do both wheat and tares claim to believe in Christ? Yes.

In the church are there wise and foolish virgins? Yes, do they all claim to be Christians? Yes, the lamp represents the Bible and all of them have a portion of The Holy Spirit.

In the church are there good fish and bad fish? Absolutely. There's good fish and bad fish.

What we do is preach the gospel, the throwing out of the net is the preaching of the Gospel.  

Jesus said, I will make you fishers of men. The fish are the men, we are the fisherman, and the net is the preaching of the Gospel.

So we throw out the net and when we throw out the net, low and behold, only good fish are caught in the net! No, good and bad fish are caught.

Listen, when I was a child living in Caracas Venezuela where I grew up, my parents would take a vacation on an island state in Venezuela called Isla de Margarita, Margarita Island. At that time it was pristine. It’s been ruined now, there are hotels everywhere and there's a duty free zone. There's crime and everything there. But at that time you know the beaches had no hotels, it was really a wonderful place to go on vacation. One place that we really enjoyed visiting, was a beach called El Terano, which in English is The Tyrant, I don’t know why they called it that. We would have to go at about four o'clock in the morning to watch the fisherman come in. There were several boats and they had this great big net that covered almost the whole bay. They would draw the net towards the shore and when the net got to the shore, you would not believe what that net had. It had little sharks, it had catfish, it had starfish, and it had everything under the sun, all different kinds of marine animals. Then what they would do is take what was savable and put it in certain baskets, classified according to the type of fish, and that which they couldn't use they would place in other baskets to discard. In other words they made a separation between the good fish and the bad fish.

Is that what Jesus is doing in heaven? Yes, let me ask you. Are all the fish in the boat? Sure there are. When you bring in the net, they go in the boat. Does that mean that every fish in the boat is a good fish? Absolutely not. Let me ask you, are there Christians that say Lord, Lord, and Jesus says I never knew you. Do they claim Jesus if they say Lord, Lord, we did miracles in your name, we cast out demons in your name, we prophesied in your name. They claim the name of Jesus. And Jesus says, oh yea, because you use my name, you are mine. No, Jesus says, I never knew you, depart from me you workers of lawlessness. By the way that word lawlessness, anomia, is the same word that is translated in 1John 3:4 transgression of the law. In other words that could be translated, depart from Me you transgressors of the law, and yet they claim to follow Jesus.

Let me ask you, in the church are there individuals who have the form of godliness, but don't have the power of godliness? Absolutely. So what needs to be done? A separation has to be made to reveal to the universe who is a genuine believer and who is a counterfeit believer.

Once a person is forgiven, can their forgiveness be revoked? If it's discovered that their repentance was not genuine, can their forgiveness be revoked? Yes, Jesus taught that. Because some people say, oh no, no, once your sins go into the sanctuary, that's it. You are saved, once saved always saved.

Do you remember a parable that Jesus told about the two debtors? There was then one debtor that owed 10,000 talents. It was a sum that could never be paid. It was too large to be paid. This individual had embezzled the money from his master. The master calls him and says, render me an account. That is the judgment, by the way. Render me an account, you are not going to be able to be my servant anymore. So this individual who had embezzled the money, now who is before his master and he can't hide what he's done; He starts crying out, Oh I’m so sorry for what I did. I should have never done it. Please, please give me time and I'll pay it. The Master says, Are you kidding? You couldn’t pay that in 10,000 years. He continues crying, Oh please, please forgive me, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Moved to mercy, the Master said to him  I’m doing you one even better, your debt is forgiven.

Why? This individual is elated, he says, Just like that? It's forgiven? Yeah, and the master says, because you cried out to me for mercy, I've given you mercy. But then this individual who has been forgiven big, who had really crocodile tears, goes out and he finds someone who owes him 100 denarii, which is the equivalent of a hundred days of work at that time. Was that a payable debt? You could pay in installments, of course. It was a debt that could be paid. He meets this individual and he says pay me what you owe me.

The individual does the same thing. He says, oh please give me time and I'll pay you. What do you mean give you time and I’ll pay you. He grabbed him by the neck and he started choking him, and he said pay me right now.

Well his master heard about what he had done to this individual. You remember the Bible says forgive us our debts as we, as we, forgive our debtors? Did this individual really understand the depth of the forgiveness of his master? No. If he had understood it, he would have said, man, I was forgiven so big, why wouldn’t I be able to forgive this guy, so small?

So the Master brings him and says, what is this I hear about you, that you took this individual and shook him by the neck until he paid everything? Don't you remember that I forgave that huge debt that you had? Shouldn’t you forgive this individual who had a small debt? And his forgiveness was revoked. Was it not? His forgiveness was revoked because it was discovered that he was not truly sorry for what he had done. He was sorry because of the consequences that his sin caused, but not because of his sin. How was it revealed that he wasn't sorry over his sin? By the way that he treated his fellow human beings, his works showed that he really did not love his master.

So forgiveness, during the investigative judgment. If God finds an individual who claimed Jesus, who claimed the Lord, but it is discovered that there are sins that have not been repented of, or have not been confessed and an individual has presumptuously claimed the righteousness of Christ while that person still doesn't want to let go of sin, that individual's name will be placed aside, and Jesus will say this individuals case we're going to examine later during the millennium and after the millennium.

Listen, when this process ends, when the dead have been judged, and the living have been judged, probation will close and Christ's kingdom will be made up.

Daniel 7 says that Jesus went into the Most Holy Place to get his kingdom. What does that mean? Is that talking about geography? Well Jesus went in to get the kingdom. He went to get the earth. No, he didn't go to get the earth. What is Christ’s Kingdom? Ellen White identifies it, Christ’s Kingdom is composed of the people that belong to it. So as soon as it's been revealed in the judgment who belongs to Jesus, His Kingdom is complete. Because His Kingdom is complete, now His people are ready for the battle during the time of trouble. And they're ready for the coming of Jesus at the conclusion of the time of trouble. It brings all of the doctrines with it.

You see the Sabbath has to be understood within the context of the sanctuary, the law has to be understood within the context of the sanctuary, health reform has to be understood. The judgment has to be understood. The State of the dead has to be understood. All the doctrines of the Seventh Day Adventist church are centered in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary.

So what is Present Truth? Present truth is everything related to the Most Holy Place.

Isn't it sad that in many Seventh Day Adventist pulpits today, all you hear is evangelical sermons? Oh yeah Jesus died for you. It's the cross, the cross, not that I'm going to demean the cross. The cross is vitally important, but its one step in the ministry of Christ, and it took place in the past as a foundation for what he's doing now.

Allow me to read you a couple of statements from Ellen White on this particular point in Early Writing page 63 she says, “There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is “present truth” that the flock needs now.” There are many truths in the Bible but what do we need? Present truth. She also calls it the truth for this time, or the higher truths. She has different ways of expressing it. Then she warns pastors, she says, “I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here”, in other words, leading them to preach things that are not urgent right now, “Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.”

So a preacher can be preaching truths, but if he's not preaching present truth, he can do damage to the cause.

Now what is present truth? Ellen White understood it, she says, “But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.” The sanctuary, The 2300 days, The Commandments of God, the Faith of Jesus, in other places she says the Sabbath. Let me ask you, Are these the issues that are going to cause problems for God's people? Is the law going to cause problems for God's people? Is the Sabbath going to cause problems for God's people? How about the state of the dead and spiritualism?

There are churches in the Adventist church that are dabbling in spiritualism without knowing it, without realizing it. It will come back to bite them. This idea for example, of a contemplative prayer or spiritual formation. The idea that you need to empty your mind so that you can hear the voice of Jesus, is dangerous because the Bible never tells us that we're supposed to empty our mind; we’re supposed to fill it with scripture. Our mind should be engaged and active when we pray. It has to be engaged and active when we're studying scripture. This thing about sitting and doing a Christian Yoga, type thing, where you just sit and, some are even saying, that if your mind gets distracted you repeat a word over and over again.

You don't say like with yoga say, om, om, om, om, you say Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ. That’s the same thing. There is no room for that type of spirituality in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The Seventh Day Adventist Church is a church of the Book. It's our truth in the Bible. It's not our experience that tells us what is right and what is wrong, it is the Bible that is what we need to trust.

By the way Ellen White says in Early Writings page 256 speaking about the Three Angels' Messages that are related with the sanctuary, she says, “These messages were represented to me as an anchor to the people of God. Those who understand and receive them will be kept from being swept away by the many delusions of Satan. You want not to be deluded? Make sure you understand, study and assimilate the Three Angels' Messages in connection with the sanctuary.

I want to deal with one final point, and this is the most important point, I've left until last, listen carefully.

Sometimes we have focused so much on what Jesus is doing in the Most Holy Place in heaven, that we have forgotten what we're supposed to be doing on earth.

Let me ask you, what was it that Israel did on the Day of Atonement? You know it is described in Leviticus 23, while the high priest was inside cleansing the sanctuary, what were the people doing? They were cleansing their lives, they were doing a parallel work to the work that was being done by the high priest in the Most Holy Place. The Bible tells us that they gathered around the sanctuary, that's why it was a day of rest, it wasn’t a day of work. Everybody had to gather around the sanctuary. The high priest had bells around the bottom of this garment so they could hear his movements in the sanctuary, so they could follow Him by faith, what he was doing. They had to afflict their soul, according to the Bible on the Day of Atonement. It was a day of fasting. It was a day of repentance, it was a day of   afflicting the soul and searching for sin because nothing that contaminated the life would be cleansed from the sanctuary. While the sanctuary was being cleansed, Israel needed to cleanse their lives in parallel fashion. That's what we should be doing these days, not trying to justify sin, saying, “Well you know human nature is just weak.”

Do you know, when people use the sinful nature card, when they say, well you know, the problem is, we’re only human. We've got a sinful nature. So they say, we're going to continue sinning until Jesus comes.

When you say that your sinful nature is too strong to overcome, what you're really saying is that God is not powerful enough to give you victory over sin. It's not that you are weak, it's that God is not strong. You know that text in the Bible that says I can do most things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do some things through Christ, NO, I can do all things, except overcome sin, through Christ who strengthens me. No.

We can be more than overcomers through Jesus Christ. You see the Most Holy Place teaches sanctification. God is going to have a holy people when Jesus comes. He who is holy will be holy still, he who is righteous will be righteous still. And by the way it says he who was unrighteous will be unrighteous still and he who is filthy will be filthy still. Why will they be filthy? Because their sins were not cleansed from the sanctuary. The word filthy connects with the Most Holy Place. Let me read you just a couple of statements from Ellen White on what should be taking place now during this time. This is in the book Maranatha page 249, it is a devotional book several years ago, she says, “From the Holy of Holies, there goes on the grand work of instruction.” What's taking place in the Holy of Holies, a grand work of what? Instruction. “The angels of God are communicating to men.” So who are the instructors? The Angels are the instructors. What are they instructing us about? I continue reading. “Christ officiates in the sanctuary. We do not follow Him into the sanctuary as we should.” Was Israel's mind focused in the sanctuary, did they live by faith? Of course, she says, “Christ and angels work in the hearts of the children of men. The church above united with the church below is warring the good warfare upon the earth.” Listen carefully now. “There must be a purifying of the soul here upon the earth, in harmony with Christ’s cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven.” There has to be what? A purifying of the soul on earth while Jesus purifies the sanctuary in heaven, because Jesus is not going to purify anything there that has not been purified here.

The devotional book, The Upward Look page 344. “Satan is constantly alluring away from faithfulness and thoroughness in the essential works of preparedness for the great event that will try every man’s soul. The work in the heavenly sanctuary is going forward. Jesus is cleansing the sanctuary. The work on earth corresponds with the work in heaven. The heavenly angels are at work constantly to draw man, the living agent, to look to Jesus to contemplate and meditate upon Jesus that he may, in viewing the perfection of Christ, be impressed with the imperfections of His own character. The promised Comforter, Christ... declared, “shall testify of me.” This is the burden of the message for this time....”

So maybe we focus so much on what Jesus is doing in heaven that we've forgotten that a parallel work needs to take place here on Earth. You say, Pastor are you saying that we can gain total victory over sin? The first question that people ask is, well, are you perfect? And my answer would be, Yes, in Christ I am. But all of us know that we're still struggling with sinful tendencies. We're still struggling with a sinful nature. But I firmly believe that when probation closes, victory will have been won over the sinful nature. That's traditional Adventist theology, total victory because we will have to live during the time of trouble without an intercessor because Jesus will have ceased his work as the High Priest, as the intercessor. That's very clear in the Spirit of Prophecy.

So you say Pastor Bohr, how do we do it? Well let me just give you maybe one suggestion, quit watching so much television. You know what happens when we listen to worldly music and we watch television and we relish in watching all the fashions of the world? We become like the world because we are what we watch and what we listen to. It's a psychological principle, by beholding we are changed into the image of what we behold.

Do you suppose that if we dedicated that hour a day that Ellen White talks about, that thoughtful hour a day, to contemplate in the life of Christ. Do you think that we would be awed by the perfection of Christ by the beauty of this character? Of course.

When we see the beauty of Christ character, by that thoughtful hour and throughout the course of the day, we say man, I am a miserable sinner, I am so stained, He is so perfect. The closer we get the Jesus the less perfect we consider ourselves. That's why I have problems with perfectionists, because they think they're pretty perfect. That's because they're not close to Jesus. Because when you get close to Jesus, you will be clearly aware of your imperfections, and so you see the contrasts and you see the beauty of Jesus in the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy and you say, Wretched man or woman that I am, who I shall deliver me from this body of death? The answer comes, Jesus says, I will. But I see more when I come to Jesus, I not only see a beautiful Jesus who lived a life without sin, totally spotless. Then I go visit the cross and I see Jesus on the cross. I hear him in Gethsemane crying out “Father, if the cup of your wrath”, because I’m buried in the sins of the world, “if the cup of your wrath can depart from me, let it be so. Nevertheless not my will be done but yours.” He prayed that prayer in an agonizing fashion, three times. The Bible says that he sweated drops of blood because of his agony and then we follow him to Calvary and we hear him crying out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and then I look at Jesus and say, Jesus, why did this happen? You were so perfect and beautiful. Why did this happen to you. And Jesus says because of your sin, do you think I look at sin differently now? You better believe it. I say, I hate sin. Look at what sin did to Jesus. It led Jesus to cry out in agony and led Jesus to suffer. Sin is a monster. I hate sin, and I love Jesus. So it's by beholding the life of Christ, his beautiful perfection, and we will see our imperfection, and then contemplating the great sacrifice that Jesus made to save us from our sins, that will break our hearts and will make us want to be more like Jesus.

The reason why we are not gaining victory over sin is because we are not dedicating time with Jesus. While Jesus is cleansing the sanctuary above, we should enter by faith and follow him and cleanse through the power of the Holy Spirit the temple of our soul.

That's what the message for this time is, present truth. Along with it goes everything else in the Most Holy Place. The Sabbath, the state of the dead, health reform. Because let me tell you when you practice health reform you're going to have a healthy body, and you're going to have a good brain in the body, that will give you better willpower to be able to overcome sin. How many of you have tried to give it a Bible study to a drunk? Have mercy. It's a lost cause because their mind is affected. Why do you suppose the devil is leading people into drinking alcohol, marijuana, drugs etc.? Because he doesn't want them to be in control of the mind, because he knows that through the mind is the only way that we can have communion with God. So folks, health reform is an integral part of us having a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. A clear mind in a strong body because we’re practicing the health principles that God has given us.

So folks my appeal as we bring this camp meeting to a close is that we commit. That we are going to get serious about the Lord and we're going to take that quality time to dedicate it to our devotional relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm not talking about in-depth study, theological studies, that's important, that's good. I'm talking about that feeding our soul by contemplating Christ, His perfection, his beauty and contemplating what sin did to him. Is that what you would like? Would you like to make that commitment? Do you want to stand if you want to make that commitment? Jesus is coming soon. This is the time to do it, this is the time. I believe everything in the world shows that Jesus is even at the door. We’ve got to be ready,

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