Participants: Dennis Smith
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000294
00:31 Welcome to Faith Chapel. I'm Dennis Smith,
00:34 Pastor of the New Haven, Connecticut,
00:36 Seventh-day Adventist Church.
00:38 Jesus gave a very significant morning in
00:42 Matthew chapter 7 concerning those living
00:44 in the last days. He spoke of individuals
00:47 that were apparently involved in some
00:49 very powerful ministries.
00:52 They told Jesus that they had prophesied
00:54 in His name, cast out devils in His name
00:56 and done many wonderful works in His name.
00:59 And then Jesus told them I never knew you.
01:04 In Matthew 25, Jesus also gave a parable of
01:07 Wise and Foolish Virgins.
01:10 Both group apparently felt they're ready
01:12 for the coming of Jesus, but to the
01:15 Foolish Virgins he said, I don't know you.
01:20 Knowing Jesus is crucial to our salvation into our
01:26 salvation through in these last days
01:27 and making it through the final crisis,
01:30 that's our subject for today
01:32 how do we know Jesus? Let us pray.
01:37 Our gracious Father, I thank you that you've
01:40 called us to know you and Jesus Christ your Son.
01:46 I thank you that you've given us the gift
01:48 to the Holy Spirit. And I pray Father that
01:51 through this message today you'll open our
01:55 understanding, may we hear your word
01:59 that we can know how we're to enter into an
02:02 intimate relationship with Jesus,
02:05 so that when He comes, we will not hear the
02:07 words I never knew you, but we'll hear the
02:10 words welcome my children inherit the kingdom
02:14 prepared for you from the foundation
02:16 of the world, in Jesus name I pray, amen.
02:23 Knowing Jesus will determine whether or not
02:27 we're prepared for the final crisis and Christ
02:31 second coming. You see, our salvation
02:36 and our preparation for last day events
02:39 is not a matter of what we know?
02:42 Now, I'm a Seventh-day Adventist Christian,
02:45 and my denomination which I love
02:47 very much and I, and I believe the doctrines of,
02:50 of my denomination, I believe are true.
02:53 I've had many years to prove that to myself,
02:55 but there is a danger for our Seventh-day Adventist
02:58 and any other Christians who are similar in having
03:02 strong doctrinal focus in the denomination.
03:05 And this is the danger that if we're not careful
03:08 we can find our self depending on the
03:11 doctrines that we know as our security in our
03:15 salvation and, and in our sense of preparation
03:18 for the final crisis and Christ second coming.
03:21 You see, I can be in danger of thinking that
03:26 well I know about death, I know what happens
03:29 when a person dies, I know about the second
03:32 coming of Jesus in the manner of His coming.
03:35 I know about the Mark of the Beast,
03:36 and what the Mark of the Beast is?
03:38 And the danger is, is that I can begin thinking
03:41 that my knowledge of these doctrines
03:43 will save me, they won't. It is not what we know,
03:48 but who we know. Remember it was tithe
03:52 paying, Sabbath keeping, health reformers
03:54 who crucified Jesus. Now, the doctrines are good.
03:58 I'm not against the doctrines at all
04:00 of my church. It's important to understand
04:03 them and if they involve lifestyle changes
04:05 that's important to bring into our life,
04:07 but those things in and of themselves
04:08 will not save us. It is only by an intimate
04:12 connection with Jesus Christ through the baptist
04:16 the Holy Spirit that I get to know Him.
04:19 And is only annoying Him that I have security
04:23 in being ready for the final crisis and prepared
04:27 for Christ second coming. There is also a danger
04:30 for those that maybe involved in,
04:32 in very active ministries that seem to be very
04:35 powerful ministries in service for the Lord
04:38 because as I mentioned previously
04:41 there were those Jesus spoke of, who said,
04:43 they would be involved, they were involved
04:46 in prophesying His name, casting out devils
04:48 in His name, doing many wonderful works
04:49 in His name and Jesus said, I don't know you.
04:53 So, again we may have great knowledge
04:55 of the doctrines. We need to be very involved
04:58 in ministry for Jesus, but if we don't know
05:01 Jesus neither of those things will bring
05:04 salvation to us. Neither of those things
05:07 will prepare us for the final crisis and Christ
05:10 second coming. Jesus pointed this out in
05:14 John chapter 17 and verse 3.
05:18 "And this is life eternal, that they might know
05:21 thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ,
05:24 whom thou hast sent."
05:30 Knowing Jesus how do we get to know Jesus?
05:34 Well, there is another confusion that
05:35 we can have, we can confuse knowing things
05:39 about God with knowing God. We can confuse
05:44 with knowing, well I know God is creator,
05:45 I know the Father and His Son Jesus Christ;
05:48 I knew Jesus died on the cross for me.
05:50 We can know a lot of things about God.
05:52 And if we're not care for this, okay I know God.
05:54 No, we don't know God but the things about God.
05:57 God is a person. And we only know God by
06:01 getting to know Him personally in an
06:02 intimate way, knowing things about God
06:05 is not at all the same as knowing God.
06:08 We can also confuse religion and going through
06:13 the forms of religion with knowing God.
06:16 We can confuse, well I know the Ten Commandments,
06:18 so I keep the Ten Commandments therefore
06:20 I'm right with God or I go to church every week.
06:23 Therefore I know God and I'm right with God.
06:26 Those things and themselves again are not
06:28 necessarily an indication we know God.
06:31 If we know God, yes we'll be keeping God's
06:33 Ten Commandments by His grace.
06:35 And if we know God, yes we'll wanting in a,
06:38 we'll be wanting to get into fellowship
06:40 with fellow believers. And, and going to church
06:43 another activities where the Lord's word is taught,
06:46 but those things in and of themselves are not
06:49 necessarily evidence that we know God.
06:54 Jesus taught that there would be many in the
06:59 last days that would be professing His name.
07:02 In fact, in Matthew chapter 7 verse 21 to 23
07:06 we read. "Not every one that says unto me,
07:09 Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
07:11 kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will
07:14 of my Father which is in heaven.
07:16 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
07:19 have we not prophesied in thy name?
07:22 And in thy name have cast out devils?
07:24 And in thy name have done many wonderful works?
07:26 And then will I profess unto them,
07:28 I never knew you, depart from me,
07:30 ye that work iniquity."
07:32 Here we see very clearly that Jesus tells us
07:35 in the last days there would be many,
07:36 many professing His name. Many will say,
07:40 Lord, Lord and they've don't this,
07:41 and they've done that, and they believe this,
07:43 and they believe that, but the tragic words
07:46 I never knew you. Jesus also spoke along
07:49 these lines in the parable of the Wise and
07:52 Foolish Virgins in Matthew 25 in reading
07:54 in verses 1 through 4.
07:58 "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened
08:00 unto ten virgins, which took their lamps,
08:03 and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
08:06 And five of them were wise,
08:08 and five were foolish.
08:11 They that were foolish took their lamps,
08:13 and took no oil with them.
08:16 But the wise took oil in their
08:18 vessels with their lamps."
08:23 What we find here is that when Jesus
08:25 described the Wise and Foolish Virgins,
08:28 this is talking about again the professed people
08:32 of God just before Jesus comes 'cause as we read
08:35 on through the parable it talks about the coming
08:37 of the bridegroom. And we find here
08:39 there are two groups, the Wise Virgins brought
08:44 extra oil, the Foolish Virgins did not.
08:47 And then the Bible a symbol of oil is the
08:50 Holy Spirit. And what we find here the
08:53 Wise Virgins had the in filling of the Holy Spirit.
08:56 They would allow the spirit to manifest himself
08:59 in their life. They understood and had
09:02 experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
09:04 And Jesus was living His life out through them.
09:07 The Foolish Virgins did not have that experience.
09:11 Now, it's interesting to know the
09:13 Wise and Foolish Virgins they both had the lamps,
09:17 they both look very similar, if you're to look
09:19 at the external obedience and lifestyle
09:23 of the Wise and the Foolish Virgins
09:25 you couldn't see a difference,
09:26 they both look the same, but there was a very,
09:30 very significant difference because when Jesus
09:33 comes back He made a significant statement
09:35 to the Foolish Virgins.
09:36 In Matthew chapter 25 verse 12.
09:40 "But he answered and said,
09:42 Verily I say unto you, I know you not."
09:47 A very similar statement made to those that
09:49 had been professing His name and involved
09:51 in many different ministries for him.
09:53 I don't know you. So, again it confirms the fact
09:57 that knowing Jesus is at the very heart of our
10:00 relationship with God. God is a person and
10:03 our relationship must be an intimate personal
10:06 relationship with Him, not simply had knowledge
10:08 about Him, not simply being active in ministry
10:12 for Him because our ministry for God
10:15 can become a substitute for our relationship
10:18 with God. Our knowledge of God and things
10:21 about God and the doctrines in God's word
10:24 can be a substitute for really knowing
10:28 Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
10:31 In Christ Object Lessons page 411,
10:33 Ellen White writes about the Foolish Virgins.
10:36 "The class represented by the foolish virgins
10:38 are not hypocrites. They have a regard for
10:41 the truth, they have advocated the truth,
10:44 they are attracted to those who believe
10:46 the truth; but they have not yielded themselves
10:49 to the Holy Spirit's working.
10:52 The class represented by the foolish virgins
10:54 have been content with a superficial work.
10:59 They do not know God. Their service degenerates
11:04 into a form." That's put quite clearly it's sad,
11:10 the Foolish Virgins have all the knowledge,
11:14 are involved in ministry, they like to fellowship
11:17 with God's people, but yet they do not have
11:20 the deep workings of the Holy Spirit in their life.
11:23 And so, their obedience to God is a formal
11:26 obedience, not an obedience from the heart.
11:29 Only those who know God intimately
11:32 and have Jesus living in them fully through
11:34 the baptist the Holy Spirit only they will
11:37 have the obedience from the heart motivated
11:41 and manifested through them by the Holy Spirit
11:43 through Jesus Christ living within them.
11:46 The Wise Virgins on the other hand,
11:48 they are filled with the spirit, they are filled
11:51 with the presence of Jesus and Jesus is
11:54 manifesting Himself in and through them
11:56 in their lives. In Second Corinthians
11:59 chapter 3 verse 3, we read about these Virgins
12:02 and their experience. "For as much as you are
12:06 manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ,
12:09 ministered by us, written not with ink,
12:13 but with the Spirit of the living God;
12:17 not in tables of stone, but in fleshy
12:20 tables of the heart."
12:23 That scripture gives us a very clear description
12:27 of the experience of those who receive
12:31 the Holy Spirit in fullness in their life.
12:33 What begins happening is that God's law begins
12:36 be written on their heart. It's interesting Paul
12:39 does used the phrase there were,
12:41 were written on our hearts by the
12:45 spirit of God. It's interesting parallel
12:48 when you look at the given of the
12:49 Ten Commandments originally.
12:51 The Ten Commandments were written on stone
12:53 Paul eludes to that there.
12:55 They were written on the stone
12:56 by the finger of God. And it's very significant
13:00 when you look at Jesus ministry,
13:02 when you compare a couple of Gospels,
13:04 in one place He says,
13:06 that I with the spirit of God cast out the devil.
13:12 And then in a parallel scripture in another
13:15 Gospel He says, I with the finger of God
13:18 cast out devils. So, Jesus equates the spirit
13:22 of God with the finger of God.
13:24 So, what we find here in this,
13:26 in the Old Testament about the love God
13:29 be on written on tables of stone by the finger
13:30 of God that actually was the Holy Spirit.
13:34 The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
13:36 was there. And the Holy Spirit was writing
13:40 the Ten Commandments on the tables of stone.
13:44 And it's that same Holy Spirit, when we receive
13:46 the baptism Holy Spirit and we allow him to come
13:49 into our life and start changing us.
13:50 And this is the promise of the New Covenant.
13:52 The Holy Spirit will come into our life and began
13:55 writing the law on our heart,
13:59 the Holy Spirit in that sense is the
14:01 finger of God, writing the law of God not
14:03 this time on tables of stone, but on the fleshly
14:07 tables of the heart that is the experience
14:11 of the Wise Virgins. The law of God has been
14:14 written in their heart. They're obeying God
14:17 from the heart. The Foolish Virgins
14:19 on the other hand, they've not received
14:22 the fullness of the spirit in their life that
14:24 make still have the same external obedience,
14:27 but it's not obedience motivated by the
14:30 law being written in the heart by the Holy Spirit.
14:32 Instead it's a form of religion, obeying because
14:37 the law says obey. Ellen White in
14:40 Desire of Ages page 668 makes a very pointed
14:43 statement about this.
14:46 "All true obedience comes from the heart.
14:51 It was heart work with Christ.
14:53 And if we consent, He will so identify Himself
14:57 with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts
15:01 and minds into conformity to His will,
15:05 that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying
15:08 out our own impulses.
15:11 The will, refined and sanctified,
15:14 will find its highest delight in doing
15:16 His service. When we know God as it is
15:21 our privilege to know Him,
15:23 our life will be a life of continual obedience.
15:28 Through an appreciation of the character of Christ,
15:31 through communion with God,
15:33 sin will become hateful to us."
15:37 That statement is so significant.
15:41 We're told here that if we allow the Holy Spirit
15:43 to come into our life, the Holy Spirit will write
15:47 the law in our heart so significantly
15:51 and it'll be such a reality in our life that
15:55 in due time and this is the process.
15:58 In due time as we continue to yield to the
16:01 Holy Spirit's promptings and we continue to deny
16:03 the flesh and the sinful nature.
16:05 And that continues to get suppressed more
16:07 and more in our life. And we keep yielding
16:10 to God's spirit prompting us; we keep choosing
16:12 to serve God under the power of the Holy Spirit.
16:16 We make the choice; the Holy Spirit gives
16:19 the power. As we continue to do that Jesus says,
16:22 our life will be life will become a life of
16:24 continual obedience, a life like Jesus.
16:29 And remember those ready to meet Jesus
16:31 will be just like Jesus.
16:36 If we allow the Holy Spirit to do the work
16:38 in our life sin will become hateful to us.
16:43 We won't want anything to do with it.
16:46 That is the high calling that God has given us.
16:48 And that is the calling God has given to
16:51 His people today to come out of Laodicea,
16:54 receive the baptize the Holy Spirit.
16:56 Let the law start being written on our hearts
16:58 by the Holy Spirit. So, the our obedience
17:01 becomes internal obedience and
17:04 not external, because the Foolish Virgins
17:06 has the external obedience,
17:08 the form of religion, but not obedience
17:11 from the heart. The Wise Virgins have the
17:14 internal obedience, the obedience from the heart
17:16 motivated by the Holy Spirit writing the law
17:19 on their heart. Let me illustrate this,
17:23 you might be want to, what do you
17:24 mean internal, external obedience?
17:26 Well, here's an example. Lets say my father
17:30 dies and I go to my good friend and I say,
17:34 you know John my, my, my dad died
17:37 and I'm his son, do you think I should
17:40 I mourn is death? Well, we talk it over
17:43 and John says, well you know, Dennis you,
17:45 you are his son and he is your father.
17:47 I think you should mourn his death.
17:49 So, I think about night, and so I go home
17:50 and I mourn. Let me ask you,
17:52 is that real mourning?
17:54 No, that's a form of mourning.
17:57 I mourning because I'm supposed to mourn
18:00 because I'm the son and he is the father
18:02 and he died and I'm suppose to mourn is death,
18:05 that's external mourning, external obedience.
18:10 You see, true obedience from the
18:11 heart I couldn't held but mourn,
18:13 if I have a relationship with my father
18:15 and he dies I cannot help but mourn,
18:18 it'll happen, it happens from within,
18:20 deep within. And it's manifested without,
18:23 that's the difference between internal
18:26 and external obedience. You see, external
18:29 obedience is one obeys because the law says,
18:32 obey. It's a legalistic obedience.
18:37 And it's an obedience that keeps record by the way.
18:41 Those that have external obedience can very
18:44 clearly and they're very at depth at listing
18:48 their obedience. They know all about their
18:51 obedience and they know all about the you know,
18:53 what's happened in the past and,
18:55 and by the way they keep an eye on your
18:57 obedience too. And they'll let
18:59 you know about it, they keep a record.
19:02 But those that have obedience from the heart
19:04 it happens, it's kind of like here in
19:08 Matthew again, when Jesus talked about the sheep
19:10 and the goats and He says, you know,
19:12 I was hungry you fed me, I was in,
19:14 in prison you visit me, and you listed a number
19:16 of things and those that were saved said,
19:18 when did we do that.
19:21 They weren't awar of the obedience.
19:23 You said, of course you did it to one of the
19:24 least things and my brother did to me.
19:26 You see, internal obedience happens,
19:30 it happens. How can I know if the law is being
19:34 written on my heart then?
19:35 And that I'm having internal obedience.
19:39 Well, let's take another example;
19:40 say I'm watching the television program.
19:42 And let say it's a very, very good story line
19:45 and as I watch that program I'm really
19:47 enjoying the program you know
19:48 there's murder on it, there is adultery on it,
19:52 there is lying on it, but it's a good story line
19:55 and I'm having a little tension here now.
19:57 You know, I really like to keep watching it,
19:58 but now there's some of that stuff on I know
20:00 I shouldn't be watching as a Christian.
20:02 So, I have a struggle should I, should I not,
20:05 if that's what going on that's external.
20:09 Sometimes I may turn it off, sometimes
20:11 I may not. You see, the struggle I'm having
20:14 is external I see and I know externally
20:17 in my mind, well I shouldn't be watching
20:18 adultery and I shouldn't be watching murder,
20:21 and I shouldn't be watching lying.
20:23 And so, I make choose to turn it off.
20:25 Now, that's the Foolish Virgin.
20:27 The Wise Virgin on the other hand,
20:29 they'll turn it off, but they turned it off
20:31 for different reason. They'll turn it off
20:32 because they're repulsed by what they see.
20:35 When they see sin acted out before them
20:37 because the laws on their heart they don't like it,
20:39 they don't anything to do with it;
20:41 it's a natural response to it.
20:44 And so, they will choose to turn it off.
20:46 Now, they can always choose to watch and resist
20:48 'cause they're still the sinful nature,
20:51 but they have the desire in the heart,
20:53 why do they repulse? Because Jesus is
20:55 living in him through the baptism
20:56 of the Holy Spirit. They are developing
20:58 the likes of Jesus and the desires that Jesus has.
21:01 They love the things He loves;
21:03 they hate the things that He hates.
21:05 And so, Jesus living with in them is manifesting
21:08 himself through them. And so, started living
21:10 a life in obedience to Jesus 'cause it's Jesus
21:12 in them through the Holy Spirit manifesting
21:14 their life. And that's why Ellen White said
21:16 in that previous quote; their life becomes
21:19 a life of continual obedience.
21:22 They're becoming more and more like Jesus.
21:25 And that is the high calling God is giving
21:28 to you and me and every Christian living this day.
21:32 Ellen White describes the contrast of the
21:34 Foolish Virgins in Review and Herald
21:37 August 19, 1890. "The name 'foolish' virgins
21:42 represents the character of those who have
21:47 not the genuine heart-work wrought
21:50 by the Spirit of God. The coming of Christ
21:53 does not change the foolish virgins
21:56 into wise ones. The state of the church
21:59 represented by the foolish virgins,
22:02 is also spoken of as the Laodicea condition."
22:09 Very significant statement.
22:12 The Foolish Virgins do not have the work of
22:16 the Holy Spirit in their heart.
22:19 The Foolish Virgins also describe the
22:23 Laodicean Church. So, I guess you could say
22:27 in one sense we're all foolish, but yet God
22:31 now is calling that last generation to come out
22:35 of Laodicea to become Wise Virgins,
22:39 to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
22:41 So, the Holy Spirit can begin writing the law
22:43 on our heart. And we know in the last days
22:46 God's law will an issue, a significant issue.
22:49 And only if the law is in our heart will we be
22:51 able to successfully remain faithful to God.
22:54 It is only through the baptism of the
22:55 Holy Spirit that we will be prepared for
22:58 the final crisis. In Letter 15 1899 to a
23:03 Dr. Berk, Ellen White wrote,
23:07 "Nothing but the baptism of the Holy Spirit
23:09 can bring up the church to its right position,
23:12 and prepare the people of God for the fast
23:15 approaching conflict."
23:19 That's the only answer folks, there is no other,
23:24 there is no other option, there is no
23:26 multiple choice. It is only as we understand
23:29 and experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit
23:32 that we will have that extra oil that will be
23:35 coming out of Laodicea will be start becoming
23:38 like Jesus, having the law of God written
23:41 in our heart. And our obedience will become
23:44 obedience from the heart that is what God
23:47 is calling us to. And that's why I'm convinced
23:50 the coming of Jesus is very soon 'cause
23:52 I see God taking this message on the baptism
23:55 Holy Spirit to His people around the world,
23:58 He is calling them out, it's our choice whether
24:01 or not we choose to respond to the message
24:03 and receive the in filling of God's spirit.
24:06 A living connection with Jesus will result
24:09 from daily seeking the baptism of Holy Spirit.
24:12 In Review and Herald, April 5, 1892
24:16 Ellen White wrote, "We must have a living
24:19 connection with God. We must be clothed
24:22 with power from on high by the baptism of the
24:26 Holy Spirit, that we may reach a higher standard;
24:30 for there is help for us in no other way."
24:35 I cannot emphasize to you strong enough,
24:39 I cannot appeal to you with enough passion,
24:43 it is essential, there is no other option,
24:46 there is no other way. The baptism of the
24:48 Holy Spirit is the only means we have to
24:51 have that living connection with God.
24:53 It is the only means we have to have that
24:56 obedience from the heart and to serve our
24:58 Lord faithfully through the end.
25:01 It is urgent, it is necessary.
25:04 The baptism of the Holy Spirit prepares us
25:06 for that final crisis and, and brings in our lives
25:09 the experience of the Wise Virgins.
25:11 Ellen White describes those Wise Virgins in
25:14 Six Testimonies page 86,
25:20 "Impress upon all the necessity of the
25:22 baptism of the Holy Spirit, the sanctification
25:25 of the members of the church, so that they will
25:26 be living, growing, fruit-bearing trees
25:28 of the Lord planting."
25:31 These words described the experience of
25:34 the Wise Virgins, they will be experiencing
25:37 sanctification, they will be living, growing,
25:40 fruit-bearing trees of the Lord's planting.
25:45 When we experience the in filling
25:48 baptism of the Holy Spirit changes start
25:51 happening within us, the law of God is written
25:54 in our heart, we come to the point that
25:56 we hate sin. And those who are living
25:59 when Jesus comes, we would rather die
26:03 then hurt their Lord. You notice I didn't say
26:06 they rather die then sin. The Foolish Virgins,
26:11 when they sin and they make a mistakes,
26:13 oh! I sinned, I shouldn't have done that,
26:15 that might keep me out of heaven,
26:16 that might make me not ready for Jesus coming.
26:18 The focus is on the act because the Lord says,
26:21 don't do it. Where the Wise Virgins,
26:25 when they sin they're broken hearted because
26:27 they hurt the Lord, they let the Lord down?
26:31 And that's why in Psalm 51, David said,
26:32 in his Prayer of Repentance. Again thee,
26:34 the only God have I sinned. You see the,
26:38 those that are being filled with the
26:40 Holy Spirit, their relationship with Jesus
26:41 becoming very close, very personal,
26:44 very intimate. And those living when Jesus comes,
26:49 when they're faced with the temptations
26:51 and the trials and the pressures going on them?
26:53 The reason they can stand, is that they love
26:57 their Lord with all their heart.
26:59 They have come to the place in their live,
27:01 if they're struggling with the temptation of sin
27:04 and as they're praying to their God,
27:05 they're willing to say Lord let me die,
27:07 if tonight, if I'm gonna dishonor you tomorrow.
27:11 The relationship with God is that intimate
27:13 and that meaningful to them.
27:15 And in the end they'll be faithful to God
27:18 because they're filled with the Holy Spirit.
27:21 They'd love the Holy Spirit to write the law
27:23 in their heart. They're obeying God because
27:26 they want to obey Him, not because they have
27:29 to obey Him. They woul rather die then dishonor
27:35 their Lord through disobedience to Him.
27:38 That's how close and how meaningful their
27:41 relationship is with Jesus Christ.
27:44 That is the experience that God is calling
27:47 each of us too, He is calling you too.
27:49 And I pray that you'll say, yes to His call
27:52 in your life today to be filled with His spirit.