Christian Development

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

FirstFruits and Wave Sheaf - A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection

"The latter rain fills out the “ears” of corn and ripens the grain for the righteous harvest (The Great Controversy page 611, The Loud Cry of the Third Angel page 15, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers pages 506-507)" [A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection pg. 6]."Christ is the best material, a Living Stone. Ancient Israel was disobedient as they failed to build their house on the best material, Christ, the Chief Corner Stone. 1Peter 2:7 reminds us that Christ is a Precious Stone; “the Head of the Corner”. Ancient Israel was caused to stumble, because they rejected, Christ, the best building material, a solid foundation. 1Corinthians 3:10-15 edifies that all other foundations will be unstable and shatter. The Chief Corner Stone can be trusted, as He has been tested and proven secure Ephesians 2:20, 1Peter 2:6). Gold, silver and precious stones are desirable and Christ has edified mankind that the fire of persecution will purify His remnant as precious stones Zechariah 13:9, Malachi 3:1-3, Titus 2:14" A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection pg. 96]."It is proven that God’s remnant are currently delaying the return of Christ (2Peter 3:12-14, Revelation 7:1-4, 19:11-16, Early Writings pages 36-38)"[A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection pg. 2. "Christ Jesus, OUR GREAT, MAGNIFICENT HIGH PRIEST is now at work, patiently cleansing His remnant’s sins from the Heavenly Sanctuary, a special work of purification Psalms 77:13, Hebrews 6:20, 8:3-4, 9:11-28. Henceforth, let us follow Christ’s directives, putting on His righteous robe, reproducing His perfect, divine Character, hastening His return to reap us as His sealed, righteous harvest Mark 4:26-29, 2Peter 3:12-14, Revelation 14:14-16.

Prayfully our persecution time will hasten so that we as the potential 144,000 will be purified by such forthcoming TRIALS and TRIBULATION, living to see Christ return as the FIRSTFRUITS, having "the Father's name written in their foreheads" Zechariah 13:9, Malachi 3:1-3, 2Peter 3:12-14, Revelation 14:1, Daniel and the Revelation pg. 628. As for the GREAT MULTITUDE, composed partly of those that will be raised from the grave, Christ will present them blameless and faultless as "tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming" 1Thessalonians 5:23, Jude 1:24-25, Desire of Ages pg. 834. "The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the Kingdom of God" (Desire of ages pg. 786). "Souls that are righteously sealed in death, guarded by heavenly angels, can not be resurrected until the 144,000, God’s remnant, are perfected in character, as “ is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept” 1Corinthians 15:20" A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection. 

Christ's Return Delayed by the Righteous Remnant

Quotations taken from the inspired writings of EGW:

"God had committed to His people a work to be accomplished on earth. The third angel's message was to be given, the minds of believers were to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people. The Sabbath reform was to be carried forward. The breach in the law of God must be made up. The message must be proclaimed with a loud voice, that all the inhabitants of earth might receive the warning. The people of God must purify their souls through obedience to the truth, and be prepared to stand without fault before Him at His coming. 

     Had Adventists, after the great disappointment in 1844, held fast their faith and followed on unitedly in the opening providence of God, receiving the message of the third angel and in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming it to the world, they would have seen the salvation of God, the Lord would have wrought mightily with their efforts, the work would have been completed, and Christ would have come ere this to receive His people to their reward. But in the period of doubt and uncertainty that followed the disappointment, many of the advent believers yielded their faith. . . . Thus the work was hindered, and the world was left in darkness. Had the whole Adventist body united upon the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, how widely different would have been our history! 

     It was not the will of God that the coming of Christ should be thus delayed. God did not design that His people, Israel, should wander forty years in the wilderness. He promised to lead them directly to the land of Canaan, and establish them there a holy, healthy, happy people. But those to whom it was first preached, went not in "because of unbelief." Their hearts were filled with murmuring, rebellion, and hatred, and He could not fulfill His covenant with them. 

     For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord's professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.--Manuscript 4, 1883" (Evangelism pages 695-696).

     "At the commencement of the holy Sabbath, January 5, 1849, we engaged in prayer with Brother Belden's family at Rocky Hill, Connecticut, and the Holy Ghost fell upon us. I was taken off in vision to the most holy place, where I saw Jesus still interceding for Israel. On the bottom of His garment was a bell and a pomegranate. Then I saw that Jesus would not leave the most holy place until every case was decided either for salvation or destruction, and that the wrath of God could not come until Jesus had finished His work in the most holy place, laid off His priestly attire, and clothed Himself with the garments of vengeance. Then Jesus will step out from between the Father and man, and God will keep silence no longer, but pour out His wrath on those who have rejected His truth. I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished His work in the sanctuary, He will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out. 

     I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob's trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God. Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, "Thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting." I asked who this company were. The angel said, "These are they who have once kept the Sabbath and have given it up." I heard them cry with a loud voice, "We have believed in Thy coming, and taught it with energy." And while they were speaking, their eyes would fall upon their garments and see the writing, and then they would wail aloud. I saw that they had drunk of the deep waters, and fouled the residue with their feet--trodden the Sabbath underfoot-- and that was why they were weighed in the balance and found wanting.

     Then my attending angel directed me to the city again, where I saw four angels winging their way to the gate of the city. They were just presenting the golden card to the angel at the gate when I saw another angel flying swiftly from the direction of the most excellent glory, and crying with a loud voice to the other angels, and waving something up and down in his hand. I asked my attending angel for an explanation of what I saw. He told me that I could see no more then, but he would shortly show me what those things that I then saw meant. 

     Sabbath afternoon one of our number was sick, and requested prayers that he might be healed. We all united in applying to the Physician who never lost a case, and while healing power came down, and the sick was healed, the Spirit fell upon me, and I was taken off in vision.
     I saw four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and were on their way to accomplish it. Jesus was clothed with priestly garments. He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised His hands, and with a voice of deep pity cried, "My blood, Father, My blood, My blood, My blood!" Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus. Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, "Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads." 

     I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He said to me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that He gave His angels charge over things on the earth; that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let them go; but while their hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads" (Early Writings pages 36-38). 

1888 Message of Righteousness by Faith

Review and Herald September 3, 1889
Compiled by Dionne Sabbay Thompson (All Direct Quotations)

"The present message--justification by faith--is a message from God; it bears the divine credentials, for its fruit is unto holiness. Some who greatly need the precious truth that was presented before them, we fear did not receive its benefit. They did not open the door of their hearts to welcome Jesus as a heavenly guest, and they have suffered great loss. There is indeed a narrow way in which we must walk; the cross is presented at every step. We must learn to live by faith; then the darkest hours will be brightened by the blessed beams of the Sun of Righteousness" (Review and Herald, September 3, 1889 paragraph 10).

"There is great need that Christ should be preached as the only hope and salvation. When the doctrine of justification by faith was presented at the Rome meeting, it came to many as water comes to the thirsty traveler. The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, seemed a precious thought" (Review and Herald, September 3, 1889 paragraph 12).


"The Message of Justification by Faith The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. [SEE APPENDIX.] This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne, to dispense the priceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him. John could not express that love in words; it was too deep, too broad; he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleading for the church in the heavenly courts above, pleading for those for whom He paid the redemption price of His own lifeblood. Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice. The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ.  The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits. As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat, while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ's atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour's character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take away sin and save the sinner. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove. This faith is the life of the church. As the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, and all that had been bitten by the fiery serpents were bidden to look and live, so also the Son of man must be lifted up, that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."   Unless he makes it his life business to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus. Now, it has been Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines. John's words are to be sounded by God's people, that all may discern the light and walk in the light: "He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

Christian Perfection through Yeshua

"A spirit of solemn and earnest prayer was everywhere felt by the saints. A holy solemnity was resting upon them. Angels were watching with the deepest interest the effect of the message, and were elevating those who received it, and drawing them from earthly things to obtain large supplies from salvation's fountain. God's people were then accepted of Him. Jesus looked upon them with pleasure, for His image was reflected in them" (Early Writings page 239).

 "As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ" (Maranatha page 241).

“Christ is the great pattern; His character must be our character”. “All excellence is in Him” (1Selected Messages page 362). Character perfecting is essential, as the Messiah’s character, must be our character, and all excellence is found in Him, as we “...endeavor to keep pace with the third angel’s message” (Manuscript 10,1889, 1Selected Messages page 362)" [A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection pages 85-86].

The Spirit of Beneficence:  “God is the source of life and light and joy to the universe. Like rays of light from the sun, like the streams of water bursting from a living spring, blessings flow out from Him to all His creatures. And wherever the life of God is in the hearts of men, it will flow out to others in love and blessing” (Steps to Christ page 77). Hebrews 1:1, 2, 3 edifies that Christ is the image of God, the image of His majesty, manifesting His outshining glory, the Character of God (Exodus 20). Christ came to this sin darkened earth to reveal the light and love of God (1John 4:8, 16). By dwelling on earth with mankind, Jesus revealed the love of God to man and angels. Christ is the Word and Wisdom of the Godhead made audible (John 1:1). The glory shining in the presence and face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love, the light from Calvary, the law of Heaven and life (Exodus 33:18-23, 1Corinthians 13:4-8). Love is kind, patient and forgiving; doing no ill to neighbors, fulfilling the essence of Christ’s perfect righteousness. 1John 4:8, 16, 19 edifies that God is love, and if humans love Him they will keep His Commandments (Exodus 20, John 14:15). 1Corinthians 13 speaks of agape, unselfish love. Romans 13:10 edifies that God’s love is harmless. God is in the business of saving souls. God gives life, seeking to preserve souls, while sin causes destruction and death (James 1:15). Functionally, it is sin that produces destruction, killing humanity and causing the second death. God’s wonderful purposeful grace is the mystery of Divine redeeming love, revealed at Calvary (Romans 5:20). The Spirit of Beneficence involves the law of life, unveiling God’s self-sacrificing, loving nature (Romans 5:5, 1John 4:8,16,19, The Desire of Ages page 21, Steps to Christ pages 77-80, The Acts of the Apostles pages 546-554). Christ was manifested in human form on earth, dwelling in the light of the glory of God. The Most High’s character is revealed in His Son, Christ Jesus. Overcomers will search the scriptures, learning about eternal life (Revelation 3:21). Overcomers must understand the truth about the love of God, as He is patient, kind, generous, humble, courteous, selfless, good-tempered, guileless and sincere (Galatians 5:22-23, 1Corinthians 13:4-8, 2Peter 1:3-8) [A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection page 57].

"Revelation 14:1-5 speaks of individuals who will manifest the perfected character of Christ (1Peter 2:9). Romans 1:16, 17, 20 is the message of the Everlasting Gospel that will righteously empower the production of this character of Christ within His people, 144,000 in number. God’s remnant can not be perfected without the Everlasting Gospel which is God’s righteous and wise power. It required all of the righteous Power of the Godhead to create the earth, bringing something out of nothing. Similarly, it will take something within the righteous power of God to bring sinful man from a state of less than nothing, to “having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1). Isaiah 40:17 states that as man is sinful, they are less than nothing. Thus, it takes God’s righteous power to recreate, revive and reform mankind (Malachi 4:5-6, Matthew 3:2-3, 11:9-15). 2Corinthians 5:17 edifies that if any man be in Christ, they are a new creature. This is why the Gospel was given by God. Finally, Revelation 14:14-16 edifies that when God’s people are perfected, then God will return to claim them as His own. The righteous remnant, God’s harvest, must be ripe: His character must be fully reproduced within them, leading into His speedy return to claim them as His own (Mark 4:26-29, 2Peter 3:12-14, Revelation 14:14-16). Overcomers must not fixate only on the Three Angels’ messages but they must also focus on producing the complete character of Christ, found in Revelation 14:1-5, maintaining guileless mouths and unblemished garments" (A Soul Sealed at Character Perfection pages 21-22).

The Sin Virus
A Philadelphian Condition