Faith Chapel

Now Is The Time

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: L. Richard Walton


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000019

00:29 Hi, my name is Richard Wallton.
00:31 I'm originally from California.
00:33 And I'm currently a second year Law student
00:35 at Georgetown University
00:37 of Law Center in Washington D.C.
00:40 Let's open the word today to Isaiah 58 verse12.
00:45 Before we begin let's pause for a quick word of prayer.
00:50 Dear Lord, thank you so much for the blessings
00:54 You so bountifully bestow on us.
00:56 Thank you for Your word
00:58 and for the opportunity to study it together.
01:01 Now open our hearts and our minds,
01:04 we pray in Jesus name, amen.
01:08 Isaiah 58 verse 12
01:13 "And they that shall be of thee shall build
01:16 the old waste places, thou shalt raise up
01:19 the foundations of many generations;
01:22 and thou shalt be called, the repairer of the breach,
01:27 the restorer of paths to dwell in."
01:32 The restorer of paths to dwell in.
01:38 Three thousand years ago, Isaiah looked forward
01:41 in time and foresaw a people who would rediscover
01:45 old truths and rebuild a long forgotten dream.
01:52 They would be pathfinders for the world.
01:59 But what may I ask was the dream
02:03 they would rediscover.
02:06 Today let me post to you a question
02:08 once asked of John the Baptist.
02:11 If you would like to follow along,
02:13 you can turn to John,
02:14 the gospel of John Chapter 1
02:18 verses 19 and 22.
02:23 "Now the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests
02:26 sent Levites to ask John the Baptist who he was?
02:30 Finally they said who are you?
02:33 What do you say about yourself?
02:39 Two millennia ago, a great man of God
02:42 was at the place called "Bethabara"
02:45 that's a wide spot
02:46 on the east bank of the Jordan River.
02:49 John the Baptist was in fact the first voice of revolution
02:53 that would turn the world
02:54 upside down with an empty tomb.
02:58 He was a herald of the morning.
03:04 And at Bethabara just north of the Dead Sea,
03:06 he waited for time and history
03:09 to converge in for the Lord of creation
03:12 to make the 60 mile walk south from Galilee.
03:17 In another words, John the Baptist, was an Adventist.
03:24 But he was also an active Adventist
03:26 and he spent his time in waiting
03:28 proclaiming Messiah's soon arrival.
03:31 An example of one of his sermons was recorded
03:34 by Matthew in his gospel
03:36 which you can find at Chapter 3 and verse 2.
03:41 John the Baptist preached
03:42 "Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
03:48 His message naturally attracted attention
03:50 for Israel was at the time and occupied province
03:53 of the gigantic Roman Empire.
03:56 A tiny piece of Pax Romana enforced by the male
04:01 and armed might of the legions of Rome.
04:05 God's people were in captivity
04:09 and it was time for Messiah.
04:15 Soon word spread westward across the mountains
04:18 to Jerusalem about this wild hills man
04:20 proclaiming the arrival of the kingdom of heaven.
04:25 And as John's audiences grew, so did their questions.
04:29 Many thought he was the Messiah.
04:32 And so finally a group of government
04:34 and religious officials found John there
04:37 at Bethabara and they asked him two big questions.
04:43 Who are you really?
04:46 And what is it you have to say to us?
04:51 All of which bring me to you.
04:54 Two thousand years later another group of Adventists
04:57 in the wilderness waiting for time
05:00 and history to once more converge into something
05:03 called the second coming of Jesus.
05:06 We aren't here by accident.
05:10 We're not just another denomination focused
05:12 2,000 years in the past.
05:16 We're in time people within in time message.
05:21 We are heralds of the morning.
05:28 But what is the message you've to proclaim to the world.
05:39 What makes us unique as a people?
05:45 We rightly preach the Sabbath,
05:49 but we got that from Seventh-day Baptist.
05:53 We preach health reform,
05:55 but we share health reform with Mormons.
06:01 As to the Advent many denominations today
06:04 look for the soon return of Jesus Christ.
06:07 So what make us different?
06:11 In other words who are you?
06:14 And what is it you have to say to the world?
06:18 Well, let's open the word.
06:20 Please turn with me
06:21 if you will to the Book of Revelation.
06:24 Revelation Chapter 14 verses 6 and 7,
06:30 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,
06:34 having the everlasting gospel to preach
06:36 unto them that dwell on the earth,
06:39 and to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people,
06:43 saying with a loud voice,
06:46 fear God and give glory to him,
06:51 for the hour of his judgment is come".
06:58 Might I respectfully suggest we are a judgment our people
07:05 with a judgment our message.
07:09 The one unique doctrine
07:11 we have is the investigative judgment.
07:14 In fact I would like to propose
07:16 that the investigative judgment
07:17 is not just an interesting idea,
07:20 it's who we are as a people?
07:26 So for just a few minutes today you and me together,
07:29 let's ask two important questions about the judgment.
07:37 Is the pre-advent judgment biblical number one.
07:40 Number two, is it good news or bad.
07:46 Question one,
07:47 is the pre-advent judgment biblical?
07:52 You tell me it is, let's prove it.
07:55 The concept of a final judgment pervades the Bible.
07:59 Abraham was obviously familiar with it,
08:02 because during his intercession for Sodom,
08:04 he challenged God with the ultimate argument.
08:07 If you wanna follow you can turn
08:09 to Genesis Chapter 18 and verse 25.
08:13 Abraham is speaking,
08:14 he is pleading with God for the people of Sodom.
08:17 And he says, "Far be it from thee
08:19 to do such a thing as this,
08:21 to slay the righteous with the wicked,
08:24 shall not the judge of all the earth do right?"
08:30 The writer of Ecclesiastes echoes
08:32 and Ecclesiastes 12:14 for "God shall bring
08:37 every work into judgment with every secret thing,
08:40 whether it be good or whether it be evil."
08:46 Revelation actually describes the judgment scene.
08:49 "And I saw the dead, small and great,
08:51 standing before God, and the books were opened;
08:55 and another book was opened,
08:57 which is the book of life,
09:00 and the dead were judged
09:03 according to their works by the things
09:05 which were written in the books."
09:09 So the judgment is a biblical concept.
09:13 But how can we prove
09:14 that it occurs before the advent.
09:18 Take a look at Jude 1:14. Jude Chapter 1 verse 14
09:25 "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam,
09:27 prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh
09:31 with ten thousands of his saints,
09:34 to execute judgment upon all."
09:40 Execute, I am a second year law student
09:44 at Georgetown University Law Center
09:46 and that word is filled with legal meaning for me.
09:52 You see legal systems have several faces of trial.
09:59 First you have a bad thing,
10:01 somebody does something wrong and another person
10:04 having no sense of humor sues them for it.
10:08 Then the case goes to trial.
10:11 There is opening statements, examination of witnesses,
10:15 cross examination, closing argument,
10:18 that is the process were by the each side
10:21 gets to put on their evidence,
10:23 good and bad, try to destroy
10:25 the evidence of the other side
10:28 that is the first phase of trial,
10:30 it's called the investigative phase.
10:34 There is a second phase of trial
10:35 however that's where the jury files back
10:37 into their deliberation room
10:39 and they begin to go over the various accounts
10:41 of the facts which people have given.
10:45 They then decide exactly what happened?
10:50 They say, this is the set of facts
10:52 we find would have happened?
10:54 Based on our conclusion as the facts
10:56 applying those facts to the rule of law,
10:58 the judge has instructed us on we find for the defendant
11:04 or we find for the plaintiff.
11:06 That is entry of judgment sentences pronounced,
11:12 that's phase two.
11:13 Phase one investigation, phase two judgment,
11:17 but there is a third phase.
11:18 It called execution of judgment,
11:20 execution of sentence.
11:23 And if the person is found to be either guilty
11:25 or liable depending
11:26 on whether it's a o criminal or a civil case,
11:29 the court then carries out the judgment.
11:35 Thus when judgment is executed
11:38 as Jew describes it.
11:40 They're already has to have pinned a trial.
11:46 And the trial is the investigative phase
11:49 of the process just the way
11:51 Adventist pioneer described it.
11:54 And just the way Jude
11:56 described it in his little book.
11:59 So in legal terms execution is something
12:01 that takes place after judgment.
12:04 It happens after trial and entry of the verdict.
12:07 Hence if Christ at His coming is going to execute judgment,
12:11 the trial must all ready have taken place.
12:15 So it has to have happened before the advent.
12:21 So the concept of a pre-advent judgment
12:26 is quite biblical, but we can also see
12:30 God's endorsement of it in our own church history.
12:36 I recently had the privilege of guiding tours
12:40 to historic Adventist sites in Northern New York.
12:45 Among them was the Hiram Edson Farm,
12:47 where our sanctuary doctrine was first discovered.
12:52 Let me tell you what happened there.
12:55 And show you how closely God guided the people
12:59 who made the sanctuary discovery.
13:03 On the clear great dawn of October 23, 1844
13:07 most Millerite Adventist walked away
13:10 from a time prophecy that had accurately foretold
13:14 to the very year, the arrival of Christ
13:18 and to the very hour when He would be crucified.
13:24 Their hearts, their wallets,
13:26 and their lives had been broken
13:28 on the dream of seeing Jesus.
13:32 And as most turn their backs
13:36 on the most profound message
13:39 in the Bible, a few hung on.
13:46 They knew the prophecy was correct.
13:51 They knew the date was right.
13:53 And so they clung to nothing
13:55 but their naked faith pleading
13:57 like Job with heaven.
13:59 Why, what did we miss, what went wrong?
14:04 And one of those believers was named Hiram Edson.
14:10 I told, no doubt you've heard of him.
14:12 You might even heard about his cornfield.
14:16 Well, let me tell you what really happened there?
14:20 It's in greeted October 23 like all the other Adventist,
14:24 heart broken. He hadn't seen the Lord.
14:29 But he was one of the few that still believe
14:31 the date was right even if the event wasn't.
14:36 So we went to his granary to pray agonize
14:39 with the Lord in prayer.
14:40 Few friends were with him
14:42 and during prayer he felt strangely encouraged.
14:44 He felt his love, the clouds were beginning to part.
14:47 Now he didn't know why they were wrong yet,
14:51 he still believed that the prophecy was correct
14:55 and the God would reveal the answer to him.
14:57 And so he started out to go encourage
15:00 his neighbors and for some reason
15:02 he crossed his cornfield.
15:03 The most like reason is he wanted
15:05 to avoid ridicule from his neighbors.
15:08 You see a lot people back then who sang
15:11 about Jesus very loudly every Sunday
15:15 got just a little terrified at the thought
15:17 of actually seeing Him come back.
15:22 And so they would get the Millerite Adventist.
15:24 They would talk them,
15:25 in fact another Millerite Adventist,
15:29 James White was walking along a road
15:31 a few days after the disappointment.
15:33 And one of his former friends walked up to him
15:36 and said, oh, Brother White,
15:37 are you still in land of the living.
15:39 Well, James White perhaps being a little
15:41 thicker skin than Hiram Edson
15:42 was very quick with the comeback.
15:44 He said, no brother I'm in the land of the dying.
15:46 But when Jesus comes very soon
15:48 I will be in the land of the living.
15:51 So Hiram Edson wants to avoid this ridicule
15:55 that was so often heaped on Millerite Adventist
15:58 and he crosses his cornfield so as to avoid
16:00 earlier travelers on the road.
16:04 And as he walked through that field,
16:07 a text flashed through his mind.
16:08 It was Daniel 7 and he realized at that moment
16:12 that Jesus did go somewhere on October 22
16:16 but he didn't go to earth.
16:20 And finally at the end of the day
16:21 after visiting with other believers,
16:23 he came home sat down at a humble little table
16:27 that he'd made himself
16:28 on which was sitting a large Bible.
16:30 And while this may not be the preferred
16:33 method of Bible study.
16:34 He thought to himself well,
16:36 let's pray to the Lord
16:39 and let's ask Him to guide us to the text we need.
16:46 So they had earnest prayer
16:47 and they just let the Bible fall open
16:50 and would you like to guess what text it fell open to.
16:54 It fell open to Hebrews 8 and 9 Chapters
16:58 filled with symbolism from the sanctuary service
17:02 and from the judgment it foretold.
17:05 Take a look at Hebrews Chapter 9 verses 23 and 24.
17:12 "It was therefore necessary
17:14 that the patterns of things in the heavens
17:16 should be purified with these;
17:18 but the heavenly things themselves
17:19 with better sacrifices than these
17:22 for Christ is not entered
17:23 into the holy places made with hands,
17:26 which are but figures of the true
17:28 but into heaven itself,
17:30 now to appear in the presence of God for us."
17:36 Think about it.
17:37 What Hiram Edson needed to understand
17:40 was the truth of the heavenly sanctuary
17:43 and the text God guided him to are found in Hebrews
17:46 where the sanctuary is so clearly described.
17:51 Over the next several weeks
17:52 with earnest prayer and study.
17:55 Hiram Edson and a few believers discover
17:57 the mechanism by which God deals with sin.
18:02 And in so doing, he put
18:03 the whole gospel on a firm legal basis.
18:08 As most Christians today what happens to sin
18:10 once you've confessed it and given it to the Lord.
18:13 And they'll tell you, well praise the Lord.
18:15 God throws it into the depths of the sea
18:18 which is certainly true,
18:20 but if you stop there
18:21 you're only getting half the story
18:24 and until you go on you cannot understand
18:27 how the plan of salvation works.
18:29 Let me illustrate.
18:31 Suppose you're coming home one day from happy hour,
18:35 you had one to many you're seeing two lanes
18:37 when they should only be one
18:38 and you tip on the young father
18:40 in the intersection on his way home from work.
18:43 He dies, you sober up next morning
18:46 and you are very sorry for what you've done.
18:49 You ask God to forgive you and certainly He can,
18:52 but the effect of that sin doesn't go away.
18:57 You see somewhere
18:58 in the large city that evening,
18:59 there is a young mother going to be explaining
19:01 to her kids why daddy isn't coming home anymore.
19:06 The effect of sin even forgiven sin
19:09 does not just go away.
19:13 Something has to happen to it.
19:15 Our entire world operates on laws,
19:17 the law of gravity.
19:18 If I jump off the Empire State building,
19:20 I know I'm committing suicide,
19:22 because gravity will certainly
19:23 pull me down to the bottom.
19:26 If I commit a sin something just assuredly
19:31 will have to die as a result.
19:35 There are two great mysteries which the Lord says,
19:37 "We will never understand,
19:38 one is godliness, the other is sin."
19:41 And so the Lord does exactly
19:43 what I would do if I were arguing the case
19:45 to you and you are on a jury.
19:47 He goes and he draws you a picture.
19:50 Say its real simple there is a couple of rooms here,
19:52 there is a courtyard, there is some furniture.
19:55 If you follow the pageantry
19:56 of this service you can understand,
19:59 you can at least grasp how ideal was sin.
20:03 You don't have to die
20:04 through the pageantry of the sanctuary service.
20:08 I can transfer your guilt
20:10 to the person responsible for.
20:13 That is the beauty
20:15 of the heavenly sanctuary message.
20:17 That is the best news in the whole gospel.
20:20 And folks, if anybody ever tells you
20:26 that believing in the heavenly sanctuary
20:28 makes Satan your savior.
20:29 My response to that is if you can believe that,
20:33 you can believe it watching my uncle
20:34 drink himself to death makes me a drunk.
20:36 It just doesn't work that way.
20:39 All right, Jesus takes my sin.
20:43 I give my sin to God
20:44 what He does with it, is His business.
20:48 So an answer to our first question
20:50 is the pre-advent judgment biblical,
20:52 the answer is absolutely.
20:55 Something happened on October 22, 1844.
20:58 It obviously was not the second coming,
21:01 because here we still are.
21:03 But as Edson and a few other discovered October 22
21:07 was the beginning of the pre-advent judgment,
21:10 which brings us very briefly to question number two,
21:13 is the judgment good news or bad?
21:17 Let's open the book of Daniel,
21:18 Daniel Chapter 7 verses 9 and 10.
21:22 "I beheld till the thrones were cast down,
21:24 and the Ancient of days did sit,
21:26 whose garment was white as snow,
21:28 and the hair of his head like the pure wool,
21:33 his throne was like the fiery flames,
21:34 and his wheels as burning fire.
21:37 A fiery stream issued and came from before him,
21:40 thousands, thousands ministered unto him,
21:42 and ten thousand times ten thousand
21:44 stood before him the judgment was set,
21:47 and the books were opened."
21:50 Now Daniel is unmistakably describing a courtroom.
21:54 All the necessary actors are present.
21:56 A presiding officer, court attendance,
21:59 even a formal gathering and books which are obviously
22:03 transcripts containing evidence.
22:06 As we saw earlier, it is one of the most
22:08 the Bible's most obvious truths
22:10 that one day there will be investigative judgment
22:13 in which every human life will be reviewed.
22:17 Unfortunately having grasped the concept of judgment,
22:21 most Christians become terrified of it.
22:25 Portrayed as an acting tyrant seeking to fuel hell
22:28 with anybody who deviates from the law in anyway,
22:31 God has been slandered by the very people
22:34 who claim to preach His word.
22:36 And in the process Christians have complicated
22:39 the obvious and trivialize the momentous
22:42 and the real loser is our Lord Himself,
22:44 whose wonderful ministry on our behalf
22:47 is lost in the process.
22:50 But as Hiram Edson and the few believers
22:52 rediscovered Daniel's view of the judgment
22:55 is the most powerful argument
22:57 against such an interpretation,
22:59 because Daniel focuses us on who the judge really is?
23:03 Now in Daniel's heavenly courtroom scene
23:06 all heaven is assembled.
23:08 The ancient of days glittering
23:09 host of angelic officers who await
23:11 his orders even the records.
23:14 But somebody hasn't arrived yet,
23:17 the judge is not there.
23:19 Most people think that God the Father,
23:21 is our judge but it just isn't so.
23:25 You remember John 5:22, Jesus is the judge,
23:29 "The father judgeth no man,
23:31 but hath committed all judgment unto the son."
23:36 And in Daniel 7:9 and 10 Jesus hasn't arrived yet.
23:41 He doesn't arrive until 3 verses
23:43 later in Daniel 7:13.
23:46 We see him arrive in the heavenly courtroom
23:48 accompanied by a cloud of angelic attendance.
23:52 "I saw in the night visions, and behold,
23:54 one like the Son of Man
23:56 came with the clouds of heaven,
24:00 and came to the Ancient of days,
24:02 and they brought him near before him."
24:04 Quite obviously Jesus does go somewhere
24:07 in the vision of Daniel 7 just before judgment begins.
24:12 So something did happened on October 22,
24:15 Jesus went to begin purifying the sanctuary,
24:19 but not the earthly one as William Miller thought.
24:22 He went to begin purifying the sanctuary in heaven.
24:26 So what the investigative judgment says to us
24:28 is that Jesus our divine human brother
24:31 is also our judge.
24:34 Now is that bad news or good.
24:37 Of course it's good news.
24:38 We're being judged by somebody
24:40 willing to die for us.
24:43 You think the news can't get any better than that.
24:46 Well, I got news for you, it does.
24:48 Not only is Jesus our judge,
24:50 He is our defense attorney.
24:52 First John 2:1, "My little children,
24:55 these things I write to you,
24:57 that ye may not sin, but if anyone sins,
25:01 we have an advocate with the Father,
25:04 Jesus Christ the righteous.
25:07 " What's an advocate?
25:08 An advocate a lawyer
25:10 and the Bible does something
25:11 that no legal system on earth has ever done,
25:14 except the Hebrew system itself.
25:17 It combines the offices
25:19 of judge and defense attorney.
25:21 In another words the same individual
25:23 judging us is also arguing our case,
25:27 the judge is committed to obtaining our salvation.
25:33 Now you think about it.
25:35 How can a person have any fuller assurance
25:38 of salvation than that?
25:41 Folks, you can't lose the case
25:42 like that unless you make the ultimate mistake
25:45 and fire your lawyer.
25:48 So on the morning of October 23, 1844,
25:52 Hiram Edson sense the truth that would open up
25:55 the whole concept of the heavenly judgment.
25:58 In Daniel 7:9 to 13, we see
26:01 Jesus commencing a judgment
26:03 that is some of the best news in the Bible.
26:08 He is our great cosmic lawyer
26:09 will defend our cases so completely,
26:12 that even the lowest of sinners
26:15 can have hope, think about it.
26:18 David as wile a sinner has ever lived
26:22 who can take his faithful general's wife
26:25 and then commit a murder to cover his sin,
26:28 could find forgiveness so complete
26:30 that he repeatedly begs God to hasten his judgment.
26:35 You can find it in Psalms 7:8,
26:37 26:1, 35:24 and 54:1. Hiram Edson sense
26:44 just how good the news was and decided
26:46 it was worth everything he had.
26:48 Without going into details I can tell you
26:51 he sold both his farms
26:53 one of them had interest in his father's farms
26:55 for one dollar because Jesus was coming.
26:57 He sold two more farms for $2,200 and $3,500
27:04 to help advance the work.
27:06 That's the level of the commitment
27:07 we find in our pioneers.
27:09 That's our heritage as Adventist
27:12 and that's why a tiny denomination grew
27:14 so rapidly that within a couple of generations,
27:17 we had per capita of the most extensive system
27:20 of mission work in the protestant world.
27:24 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,
27:26 having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them
27:29 that dwell on the earth, to every nation,
27:31 and kindred, and tongue,
27:32 and people saying with a loud voice,
27:35 fear God, and give glory to him,
27:37 for the hour of his judgment is come."
27:42 And so today in response
27:43 to the Millennia old questions
27:45 asked of John the Baptist, who are you?
27:46 And what you have to say to the world?
27:49 And I respectfully suggest you are heralds
27:51 of the morning with the best news
27:53 in the gospel judgment has already began.
27:56 And you have a friend at the throne.


Revised 2014-12-17