Spring Camp Meeting 2014

Close of Probation

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: David Shin


Series Code: 14SCM

Program Code: 14SCM000012S

00:38 Hello and welcome to 3ABN's Spring Camp Meeting!
00:41 And as you heard, we are talking about the second coming:
00:44 an in-depth look.
00:46 Are you ready for the second coming of Jesus Christ?
00:48 Amen! Amen! Amen! We have
00:50 wonderful folks that have joined us from different parts
00:53 of the United States. Anyone come from outside
00:56 the United States here? Anyone? Yes, we see a hand.
01:00 Maybe a couple... several! Praise the Lord!
01:03 We are glad that you're here and we are glad that all of you
01:05 are joining us throughout the world
01:07 as we hear messages from God's Word
01:10 that are going to help us prepare for the soon return
01:13 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
01:16 During this hour we will have a message from God's Word
01:19 with Pastor David Shin.
01:22 Pastor David Shin is happily married to his wife Tennille
01:25 and he has a Master's Degree in Historical Theology.
01:30 His passion is to bring God's Word to millions of people...
01:36 especially the young people at the university level.
01:39 And God has used him in a mighty way in times past
01:42 and we know that through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit
01:45 He will use him again during this hour. Amen? Amen. Amen.
01:49 We are blessed to have Pastor C.A. Murray with us
01:53 during this hour. He will be sharing a song,
01:56 a hymn, that will carry us to the throne of grace
02:00 and bring our thoughts, prepare our thoughts for the message.
02:03 The message in the song is Do You Love God?
02:07 Do You Love God? How many would say amen to that?
02:10 Amen! Amen. I hope those at home can also say the same.
02:14 The message is a message that should help us wake up
02:19 and realize that the end is soon to come.
02:23 It is entitled The Close of Probation.
02:27 The Close of Probation.
02:29 Some people perhaps are not acquainted with this topic
02:32 so we hope that you have your Bible with you
02:34 and something to write with because there is a definite
02:38 time when probation will what? Close. Close.
02:43 And everyone at that moment should have his decision made,
02:47 her decision made, as to who they want to
02:51 make their life with.
02:55 Either eternal life or eternal death.
02:59 There are only two choices: eternal life or eternal death
03:03 because the Bible says the wages of sin is? Death.
03:06 But the gift of God is what? Eternal life.
03:09 And so I'm happy that I'm among people
03:11 that are hoping for that eternal life. Amen? Amen. Amen.
03:15 Before we begin, we'd like to invite you to pray.
03:18 If you will please stand. Before we have the message in song
03:23 we will pray. Then after Pastor C.A. Murray
03:26 brings us to God's throne of grace we will hear
03:30 the voice of Pastor David Shin in the message for this moment.
03:34 Let us pray together. Our loving heavenly Father,
03:39 how grateful we are, Lord, for the holy scriptures
03:42 that are able to make us wise unto salvation.
03:45 We thank you, Lord, that we can approach Your throne of grace
03:49 with confidence to know that You will listen,
03:53 to know that You will hear, and to know that You will bless us
03:58 according to our needs.
04:01 Father, we approach Your throne of grace
04:03 in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
04:06 and we pray, Lord, that You will bless Pastor David Shin
04:11 with the Holy Spirit.
04:13 That You will use him once again to lead our thoughts
04:16 and help us understand the holy scriptures.
04:21 And help us to understand that the time will come
04:24 when probation will close.
04:27 And we ask You, Lord, to help us to be drawn closer to You
04:33 and to understand that Your love is beyond our comprehension
04:37 and that in You we can have security,
04:41 salvation, and hope through Jesus Christ.
04:44 We thank you, Lord, for this opportunity
04:47 and we ask You for these blessings in Jesus' holy and
04:50 blessed name, Amen, amen.
04:53 You may be seated. We leave you with Pastor C.A. Murray.
04:56 God's blessings upon you.
04:59 The Bible asks us for self-examination.
05:02 A very simple song. It asks the question: Do You Love God?
05:05 If you love God, how much do you love God?
05:08 And if you say you love Him a lot,
05:09 what are you prepared to do about it?
05:23 Do you love God more than anything?
05:29 Do you love God?
05:35 Do you love God more
05:40 than anything? Do you love God?
05:49 Love is all that He asks
05:54 in return
05:56 for all that He has given.
06:03 Love will be
06:06 the endless theme
06:09 through all the courts of heaven.
06:16 Do you love God more
06:19 than your car or home?
06:23 Do you love God?
06:28 And do you love God more
06:33 than all you own?
06:36 Do you love God?
06:42 Do you love God more
06:46 than your family?
06:49 Really really love Him?
06:53 If you do, just let the whole world know...
06:59 that's all He asks of you.
07:09 Do you love God more
07:13 than that car or home?
07:16 Do you love God?
07:22 And do you love God more
07:26 than all you own?
07:29 Do you love God?
07:34 Tell me... do you love God more
07:40 than your family?
07:42 Really, really, really, really love Him?
07:46 If you do, just let the whole world know
07:52 that you love the Lord. Come on...
07:56 let the whole world know...
07:58 let 'em know that you love the Lord.
08:02 Let the whole world know...
08:08 let the whole world know...
08:15 let the whole world know
08:22 that's all
08:25 He asks
08:30 of you.
08:43 Amen.
08:51 Amen. Praise the Lord for the words of that song.
08:54 Thank you, C.A. I'd like to invite you
08:57 to bow your heads with me as we pray today...
09:00 this morning for this message.
09:02 Our Father in heaven, we thank you for
09:05 this privilege and opportunity
09:08 that we have to study Your Word.
09:11 We thank you for the promise of the second coming:
09:15 that one day the sky will split open like a scroll
09:19 and Jesus will come in the clouds of glory to take us home.
09:24 We pray that You would help us to be prepared
09:27 for the second coming. Help us to be faithful, to share
09:32 the good news of the eminent soon return of Jesus Christ.
09:36 So bless us as we open Your Word this morning.
09:40 Speak to our hearts. Hide me behind the cross.
09:43 May Jesus be seen. For we ask these things in Jesus' name,
09:47 Amen. Amen. Amen.
09:50 Our topic today is entitled The Close of Probation.
09:55 And I want to invite you to turn with me in your Bibles
09:58 to Hebrews chapter 3 verses 7 and 8.
10:01 I want to look as we set the stage for the topic
10:05 of discussion here this morning
10:07 at the relationship between character and the close of
10:11 probation. Hebrews 3:7-8.
10:15 And while you're turning there I want us to define
10:18 the definition of what we mean by probation.
10:21 Probation comes from the Latin word probare
10:24 which means to test. And I want to read a definition
10:28 of the word probation. In the Biblical sense it means:
10:34 the general doctrine of religion that presents life
10:38 is a state of probation for the future one.
10:43 That this present life is in a temporary state
10:47 of probation for a future one.
10:50 This is another quotation from a Christian author.
10:53 It says: "Everywhere the scriptures teach that in time
10:57 and life man is on probation with the power to choose
11:02 eternal life or eternal death. "
11:06 So when we talk about the concept of probation
11:09 it is the notion that this life - this existence
11:14 that we have here on planet earth - is not our home.
11:17 It is a temporary state which determines our eternal state.
11:22 It is a temporary time in which we have the opportunity
11:26 to choose where we're going to spend eternity.
11:30 When we think of the term probation, many individuals
11:33 think of it in a negative sense.
11:36 You think of a probation officer and when you hear the term
11:40 "close of probation" there is an implication of
11:43 fear that is many times aroused in the human emotion.
11:47 But I'd like to propose here this morning
11:51 that when we talk about probation it is really grace.
11:56 Amen. Amen.
11:58 Because if it was not for Jesus Christ
12:01 and the plan of redemption
12:03 there would be no probation.
12:05 Are you following me here this morning? Yes or no?
12:08 So the very fact that we have probation is grace
12:11 because Jesus came. And because of Jesus
12:14 we have this time to determine where we are going to spend
12:20 eternity. Eternal existence or eternal non-existence?
12:25 This is a solemn thought: that this is not our permanent place.
12:29 That this life is to determine our choice for or against
12:35 eternal life. Now let's look in our Bibles
12:39 to Hebrews chapter 3 verses 7 and 8.
12:44 Here Paul is establishing the reality of our heavenly
12:48 High Priest and the reality of the heavenly sanctuary.
12:51 And Hebrews chapter 3 verses 7 and 8 he actually
12:55 quotes a Psalm. And it's repeated three times
12:59 in the book of Hebrews: "There- fore just as the Holy Spirit
13:05 says, today if you hear His voice do not harden your... "
13:11 What? Hearts. "do not harden your hearts
13:14 as they did when they provoked Me in the day of trial
13:18 in the wilderness. " Now skip down to 4 verse 15
13:21 and it says: "While it is said today
13:25 if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts
13:29 as when they provoked Me... " And let's go to 4 verse 7.
13:33 He again picks a certain day - today - saying through David:
13:38 "After so long a time just as has been said before
13:43 today if you hear His voice
13:46 do not harden your hearts. "
13:50 Here not one time, not two times, but three times
13:54 Paul quotes Psalm 95. And he says: "Today
13:59 if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts. "
14:04 How do we hear God's voice?
14:06 The Holy Spirit. Through God's Word.
14:09 Through conviction. These are the ways that God
14:12 speaks to our hearts.
14:13 And the implication of this passage is that if you put Him
14:17 off today you will hear Him less tomorrow.
14:22 That is what this passage is saying.
14:24 And it says: "Today if you hear His voice
14:27 do not harden your hearts. "
14:32 When we look at the word harden it means to become firm
14:38 or solid. To solidify.
14:41 To become set; to calcify.
14:46 To become inflexible or unchangeable
14:50 or to become cemented.
14:54 Now when you look at this passage, the passage does not
14:57 say that God hardens our hearts.
15:00 It says that WE harden our hearts.
15:04 Now when you look at the relationship between God and
15:07 ourselves and the transmission of truth
15:11 this passage is telling us that God is unchanging.
15:15 God is always calling.
15:18 God is always seeking to save.
15:20 God is always reaching out.
15:23 The issue is that if we do not respond today
15:28 God does not change... we change.
15:31 Is that tomorrow we will be in a different state of existence
15:36 because we did not respond today.
15:39 That's why the Bible says: "Today if you hear His voice
15:42 do not harden your hearts... " Because you will be a different
15:44 person tomorrow. That is what this passage is saying.
15:48 In regards to the notion of the close of probation
15:52 is the reality that God does not close probation on us;
15:56 we ultimately close it on ourselves.
16:00 Is that God closes probation on us when we through our own
16:03 choices and decisions have brought ourselves to a state
16:08 of solidified - of fixedness,
16:11 of a solid, cemented state -
16:13 so that we can no longer hear the voice of God.
16:16 This is what this passage is saying.
16:18 That's why today is so important...
16:21 because you will be a different person tomorrow.
16:25 I've seen this so many times in Bible studies
16:28 as I pastor at the University church.
16:30 I sit down with an individual and they are sold
16:34 on the Sabbath. They see it in scripture.
16:37 They say: "Pastor, it is so clear!
16:40 I need to keep the Sabbath, but...
16:43 I don't want to respond today.
16:46 Let me think about it a little more. "
16:48 And it's fascinating what happens.
16:50 I sit down with them the next week and they say:
16:54 "Pastor, I just don't see the Sabbath any more. "
16:58 What has happened? Has God changed? No!
17:02 Has the Word of God changed? No!
17:04 They have changed. Because they did not respond today
17:08 the next week they are in a different mental state.
17:12 They are in a different framework.
17:15 They are not able to decide what they were able to decide
17:18 the previous week because their hearts have become hardened.
17:23 The reality is that our choices every single day
17:27 in a moral sense are changing us spiritually.
17:33 You will never have a better opportunity to respond to the
17:37 Holy Spirit's conviction than today.
17:41 At the moment that you hear the Holy Spirit speaking to
17:45 your heart the Bible says respond.
17:48 Because just in the reality of not responding
17:52 you will be a different person tomorrow.
17:56 "Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts. "
18:02 I want to read this quotation from Review and Herald
18:05 November 2, 1886, Ellen White writes:
18:12 "If the voice of Jesus is not heeded at once... "
18:18 At what? "at once
18:21 it becomes confused in the mind with a multitude
18:27 of other voices. The world's care and business
18:32 engross the attention and the conviction dies away. "
18:37 What does it say? "the conviction dies away. "
18:41 Why? Because they did not respond at once.
18:44 "The heart becomes less impressible and lapses
18:50 into a perilous unconsciousness
18:54 of the shortness of time and of the great eternity beyond. "
19:00 So this is what happens.
19:02 God calls. We don't respond.
19:06 We become hardened.
19:09 God calls again. We don't respond.
19:13 We become hardened.
19:15 And through a lifestyle of choices,
19:19 through a lifestyle of not heeding the voice of God,
19:23 we become set.
19:27 We become fixed.
19:29 We become solidified.
19:33 This is a scary nature of our characters in relationship
19:37 to the close of probation is that ultimately
19:41 God closes probation on us when we, through our own decisions,
19:47 have closed it on ourselves
19:50 and have, through out choices and decisions
19:53 of not heeding the Holy Spirit,
19:56 have come to the place that even though God may be calling
20:01 we cannot hear His voice any more.
20:06 Some people ask: "I'm afraid I've committed the unpardonable
20:09 sin. " Well probably if you're asking that question
20:13 you haven't committed it because the person that is in
20:16 that solidified state just does not care any more.
20:20 They're apathetic to the Spirit's voice.
20:25 When we talk about the stages of character development
20:28 and the close of probation, the reality
20:31 is that our characters are like cement.
20:36 Now when I was in academy I worked with cement
20:40 when I went on a mission trip to Central America.
20:43 And the fascinating thing about cement is that there are
20:46 essentially two stages that you can divide cement into.
20:51 When you pour the cement there is that stage of cement
20:54 when it is still soft and pliable.
20:57 It is called the forming stage
20:59 for the sake of our illustration.
21:01 You can still form it. You can put it in forms
21:03 and then you can mold it to the direction that you desire.
21:07 So it's up to the individual to form the cement
21:11 during the forming stage. But during the process of time
21:15 as the cement starts to react with carbon dioxide
21:20 it starts to set.
21:23 It starts to solidify and after a certain stage
21:27 you can no longer form the cement because it has become
21:31 solid. It is impossible to form after a certain stage.
21:37 The same way with our own characters.
21:41 Our characters are really in two stages just like cement.
21:46 You have the forming stage:
21:49 the time that the character still can be impressed
21:53 and formed and shaped and molded.
21:58 Then you have the fixed stage.
22:03 The fixed stage is the stage
22:06 when you are so set in your ways.
22:10 Have you heard that term before?
22:12 The character has become so settled
22:16 through a lifestyle of decisions
22:18 that you are crafted in a certain direction
22:23 that it can no longer be formed any more.
22:27 That is the implication of this verse:
22:30 "Today if you hear His voice harden not your hearts. "
22:32 The implication is that one day through a series of decisions
22:36 you will arrive at a set stage
22:39 that you can no longer hear the Holy Spirit's voice.
22:42 This is the warning of this passage:
22:44 "Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts. "
22:50 Now I want to invite you to turn with me in your Bibles
22:53 to Revelation chapter 20 and verse 9.
22:55 This is after the millennium.
22:57 Revelation is the last book of the Bible.
22:59 Revelation chapter 20 and verse 9.
23:02 The wicked are raised.
23:04 The righteous are inside the city of the New Jerusalem.
23:07 Satan goes out to deceive the multitude
23:09 and they go to attack the city.
23:12 Now imagine for yourselves...
23:15 Maybe this is not a good thing to imagine, but imagine
23:17 for yourselves that you're outside of the city.
23:19 Now let's say that I am outside of the city.
23:21 I pray that I'm not... But if I arise on the outside
23:25 of the city and I see that I'm on the wrong side...
23:30 I look next to me... I see the devil.
23:33 I see other people that I know that I should not be
23:37 in their company. And then I look inside of the city
23:40 and I see Jesus and the righteous.
23:42 Automatically from this vantage point
23:45 living in 2014 I would hope and I would think
23:48 that in my own mind I would say: "Lord, I need more time. "
23:54 "I need more probation
23:56 because if I just had a little bit more time I would have
24:00 made the right decision and I would not be here.
24:02 You didn't give me enough time! "
24:04 That's what I would think I would say.
24:06 I get up on that resurrection day and I'm 1,000 years too late
24:10 and I get up and I say: "Oh no! Please give me more time.
24:14 I need more probation. " But notice what happens in
24:17 Revelation chapter 20 verse 9.
24:20 "And they came up on the broad plain of the earth
24:24 and surrounded the camp of the saints
24:27 and the beloved city. And fire came down
24:31 from heaven and devoured them. "
24:35 The reality is that the wicked that are outside of the city
24:39 are there trying to take the city.
24:43 They are trying to storm the city.
24:46 They are trying to capture the city
24:48 meaning that the characters have become fixed.
24:53 Meaning that even if probation were to be extended
24:59 the people will still choose to make the exact
25:03 same decision because the character has been set.
25:08 The character has been fixed.
25:11 The issue is no longer time or the duration of time.
25:15 The issue is that every decision that has been made
25:18 is the final answer and the final decision.
25:23 I want to read this statement from the book Great Controversy
25:27 663.
25:30 Ellen White comments on this.
25:33 Talking about at the end of the millennium.
25:37 It says: "They are to have no new probation
25:42 in which to remedy the defects of their past lives. "
25:48 Now listen to this next sentence:
25:51 "Nothing would be gained by this. "
25:55 How much? Nothing.
25:57 "A lifetime of transgressions
26:00 have not softened their hearts. "
26:03 Now notice the language here.
26:05 "A lifetime of transgression has not softened their hearts.
26:08 A second probation were it given them
26:14 would be occupied as was the first:
26:17 evading the requirements of God and exciting rebellion
26:23 against Him. " The implication is that at the millennium
26:28 when the dead are resurrected, the wicked are resurrected,
26:31 is that they - even if they were given a million years
26:35 or a billion years - they would still make the same
26:39 exact decision. That is the implication of what is happening
26:44 here at the end of the millennium.
26:47 Now I want to invite you to turn with me to
26:49 Revelation chapter 22 and verse 11.
26:51 And here we have a familiar passage where Jesus
26:56 stands up and makes the final proclamation
26:58 at the end of what we call the Investigative Judgment.
27:02 Revelation chapter 22 and verse 11.
27:06 It says: "Let the one who does wrong still do wrong.
27:11 And let the one who is filthy still be filthy.
27:16 Let the one who is righteous still practice righteousness
27:21 and the one who is holy still keep himself holy. "
27:27 This is talking about the character.
27:29 Notice that not only are the wicked are in a two-phase
27:35 or a two-stage of development when it comes to character -
27:39 the forming and the fixed -
27:40 but it's also the same for the righteous.
27:42 For the righteous it is in the same way.
27:44 We are forming our characters and there will be a time when
27:47 our characters have matured and become solidified
27:51 and become fixed. Here is a universal proclamation
27:55 of the close of probation in which every character
27:59 whether for good or for evil will be fixed.
28:05 Will be set.
28:07 Will be solidified.
28:10 Now I would venture to contend here this morning
28:15 that this proclamation by Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary
28:19 is not an arbitrary proclamation.
28:24 Rather it is a proclamation of the reality on planet earth
28:29 that every decision has been made, every character has been
28:34 matured, and Jesus then closes probation.
28:38 There is the forming stage and the fixing stage.
28:42 When we talk about the concept of our character,
28:46 character development - the forming and the fixing stage -
28:50 responds and interacts with the proclamation
28:56 or the knowledge of light.
28:59 The accelerant that takes us through the forming stage
29:04 and the fixing stage is in direct proportion
29:08 to the amount of light that you and I have been given.
29:13 Now that's a scary thought because we as SDA's
29:16 have been given a lot of light.
29:18 It's an accelerant because every time you're
29:21 presented with light and you respond to that light
29:24 you are forming your character
29:28 toward a trajectory of becoming fixed in character
29:33 through your own decisions and through your own response.
29:38 In the book of Revelation - Revelation chapter 18-
29:40 it says "the whole earth was lit with the glory of God. "
29:44 Meaning that in the end of time right before Jesus comes
29:48 planet earth will be given a revelation of light,
29:51 a revelation of Jesus Christ, that has never been given
29:55 in human history. That is a good thing!
29:57 That is a wonderful thing.
29:59 The world will see a witness of Jesus Christ as never before
30:02 in human history. But the problem with that
30:05 if I were to say that there is a problem
30:08 is that the proclamation of unprecedented light
30:13 means that the forming and the fixing of human character
30:18 is accelerated. Is what? Accelerated.
30:22 Remember Pharaoh's heart was hardened? Why was it hardened?
30:26 Because he had been given unprecedented evidence
30:30 of the power and the grandeur of God in the 10 plagues
30:36 so it accelerated his forming and fixing of character.
30:40 In the same way in the end of time
30:43 as the proclaiming of the witness of Jesus Christ is given
30:47 every character on planet earth
30:51 will be accelerated
30:54 from the forming to the fixing stage
30:58 to the maturation of character to the point
31:03 that Jesus says: "You're solidified.
31:08 Whatever through your choices and through your decisions
31:13 you are right now you will continue to be. "
31:19 It's a scary thought.
31:21 Scary thought when we think about the nature
31:25 of the close of probation.
31:28 Every character will be fully matured.
31:33 Then Christ will make the pronouncement:
31:37 "He that is just let him be just still.
31:41 He that is holy let him be holy still.
31:46 He that is filthy let him be filthy still. "
31:51 At this point I want us to transition a little bit
31:55 as we talk about the close of probation
31:58 and ask this fundamental question
32:02 as we talk about the forming and the fixing of character
32:05 and we're headed toward that trajectory, I believe
32:08 in the very near future when
32:10 Jesus will stop His intercession,
32:13 stop His work in the Investigative Judgment
32:16 and make that pronouncement... And right now every one of us
32:20 are in a trajectory toward one of those two areas.
32:24 Toward righteousness or unrighteousness.
32:28 And I want to ask this question:
32:30 why hasn't God closed probation?
32:37 What is Jesus waiting for?
32:42 We are here 2,000 years
32:47 after the cross, after arguably
32:53 the greatest revelation of God - I would say the greatest,
32:56 not even arguably - the greatest revelation of God
32:59 hanging upon the cross - "God is love" -
33:02 and yet Jesus has not come. Two thousand years!
33:06 We're not talking about a hundred years or 200 years.
33:09 We're talking about two millenniums after the cross
33:13 and we have to ask ourselves why.
33:16 Why are we still here?
33:19 Paul himself wrote in the New Testament
33:23 that the gospel had been preached to every creature
33:26 under heaven during his day.
33:29 How much longer will this go on?
33:32 Why hasn't Jesus come? And we don't have the time
33:36 here this morning to go through all the nuances of
33:39 the answer to this question because it relates to what
33:41 Christ is doing in the Investigative Judgment
33:44 in the heavenly sanctuary.
33:45 It also has to do with issues in the great controversy.
33:48 But I want us to look at one aspect of what heaven
33:52 is waiting for and why probation has not closed immediately
33:58 after the cross. And I want to invite you
34:00 to turn with me in the book of Revelation, Revelation chapter 6
34:03 and verse 14. Revelation chapter 6 and verse 14.
34:08 What is Jesus waiting for? Why hasn't He come?
34:12 Why are the doors of probation still open?
34:16 And why is Jesus still inter- ceding in the heavenly sanctuary
34:21 for us and has not said those final words:
34:24 "Let him that is filthy be filthy still.
34:26 Holy be holy still. " Revelation 6:14.
34:30 "Then the sky was split apart like a scroll when it was
34:33 rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of its
34:36 place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men
34:40 and the commanders and the rich and the strong
34:43 and every slave and every free man
34:45 hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains
34:49 and they said to the mountains and rocks:
34:52 'Fall on us and hide us from the presence
34:55 of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb
35:00 for the great day of His wrath has come
35:03 and who shall be able to stand? ' "
35:06 Judgment Day has come.
35:08 Jesus is coming, and there's a group of people
35:10 that are not ready for Jesus to come, and they're crying for
35:13 the mountains and the rocks to fall on them.
35:14 We could preach a whole sermon on this.
35:16 But I want you to notice the words that come out of their
35:19 mouths in verse 17. It says: "The great day of His wrath has
35:24 come... " And what is the last part of that?
35:26 "And who shall be able to stand? "
35:29 The question that arises in the mouths of the wicked
35:32 when Jesus is coming in the clouds of glory
35:34 "Hide us from the face of the Lamb...
35:36 Who shall be able to stand? "
35:40 The answer to this question is actually found in chapter 7.
35:44 Chapter 7 gives the answer of who will be able to stand
35:49 when Jesus comes. Chapter 7 verse 1: "After these things
35:54 I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth
35:57 holding back the four winds of the earth
35:59 so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea
36:01 or on any tree. And I saw another angel
36:04 ascending from the sun having the seal of the Living God.
36:08 And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels
36:12 to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea
36:15 saying: 'Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees
36:19 until we have sealed the servants of our God
36:23 on their... ' Where? 'on their foreheads. ' "
36:26 So this is what's happening. What's happening is that John
36:30 sees in the heavens there are four angels standing at the
36:32 four corners of the earth, and they're holding back
36:35 the four winds. Bible students tell us
36:39 and scholars believe that the 4 winds are the winds of strife.
36:43 These are the final judgments.
36:44 And when those four winds are let go, it brings into a
36:48 series of events that closes probation
36:51 and Jesus is soon to come.
36:53 But they are holding back these four winds.
36:56 Another - a fifth angel - arises out of the East
36:59 and he has in his hand the seal of the Living God.
37:02 And he cries out to the four angels and he says: "Look,
37:05 hold them back. Continue to hold them
37:08 until we have sealed the servants of our God
37:11 in their forehead. " The rest of chapter 7
37:13 talks about the 144,000.
37:16 We don't have time to get into that here this morning,
37:17 but the 144,000 is a group of people
37:21 that are alive when Jesus comes. They are translated
37:24 without seeing death just like Enoch was translated
37:27 without seeing death.
37:29 Now the important word that I want us to look at
37:32 in this passage is verse 3.
37:37 There's a very important word that I want us to highlight
37:40 here this morning.
37:42 "Saying: 'Do not harm the earth
37:46 or the sea or the trees... '
37:48 What does your Bible say?
37:50 'till... ' Right? Or my Bible says: 'until
37:55 we have sealed the servants of our God
37:58 on their foreheads. ' "
38:01 The implication of this passage
38:04 is that God is not waiting for final events.
38:11 God is not waiting for more earthquakes,
38:15 for more tsunamis, for even what the beast power is doing.
38:21 The implication of this passage
38:24 is that God is waiting for His people.
38:28 That's what the verse is saying.
38:31 The verse is not saying
38:33 "You know, until church and state unite... "
38:36 Or "until national Sunday law... "
38:39 Or "until we have this beast power arising... "
38:43 The Bible is telling us in this passage
38:46 that God is holding back the four winds
38:49 until the servants of God are sealed on their foreheads.
38:53 God is waiting for His people!
38:56 That is what this passage is saying.
38:58 When we talk about the seal, in ancient times the seal was
39:02 a signature. After a document was written
39:06 many times the rulers or these individuals would have a seal
39:10 that they would impress onto the document
39:13 and it was the signature of the document.
39:16 In Revelation chapter 22 verse 9 it says:
39:18 "They shall see His face, and His name shall be
39:20 on their foreheads. " So you have the seal on the forehead.
39:23 You have the name on the forehead.
39:25 It's the exact same concept.
39:28 The exact same notion that we are talking about here
39:30 in Revelation chapter 7.
39:32 The seal IS the signature.
39:35 When we talk about a signature
39:38 most of the time when we write a letter
39:43 when do you sign your signature? Before you've finished it?
39:47 Or after you've finished it?
39:49 After, right? You never sign...
39:51 At least most of the time I don't...
39:53 It's very rare. I would say 99% of the time
39:57 or 100% of the time when I write a letter
39:59 after I have edited the letter,
40:01 after I have looked over the letter,
40:03 after I have completed the letter that is when I say:
40:06 "Look... I'm going to sign it now.
40:09 I can stand behind this document. "
40:13 After I have created the document I place my signature,
40:17 I place my seal, upon it.
40:20 In Genesis 2:2-3 the Bible tells us
40:23 "Then the earth and the heavens and all the host of them
40:26 were finished and on the seventh day
40:29 God ended His work which He had done.
40:32 And He rested on the seventh day
40:34 from all His work which He had done.
40:37 Then God blessed the seventh day
40:40 and sanctified it because in it He rested
40:43 from all His work which God had created and made. "
40:48 After God creates His masterpiece...
40:53 He takes the earth - which is without form and void -
40:57 and creates the beautiful creation
41:01 in six literal, contiguous, 24-hour days...
41:08 Can you say amen? Amen.
41:09 All right? So God creates the earth
41:11 from this without form and void in six literal days.
41:17 He's finished and He says: "This is VERY good. "
41:22 He places His signature upon it.
41:26 It is the Sabbath. That is the signature of creation.
41:31 That is His seal. After He has completed it
41:36 just like when you're writing a letter, after you've completed
41:38 the letter you place your signature upon it.
41:41 "I stand behind this. " In the same way
41:43 God creates the earth in six literal days
41:45 and places His signature upon it.
41:48 It is a sign of creation.
41:50 And in Ezekiel chapter 20 verse 12 it says:
41:52 "Also I gave them My Sabbaths as a sign between us
41:56 so that they might know that I the Lord make them holy. "
42:02 This is the reality is that when God took David Shin
42:08 from the depths of degradation and sin
42:13 and He builds me up. Not only does He forgive my past
42:16 but He gives me victory in the present
42:19 over my addictions, my habits, and re-creates in me
42:22 the image of God and the character of Jesus Christ.
42:25 And as He takes me through the process of sanctification
42:30 that at some point God can look down from heaven
42:33 and say: "I have re-created David Shin. "
42:39 Amen! Amen. "In My image
42:43 to reflect the character and the love of Jesus Christ. "
42:46 And when He has done this He places His signature upon me.
42:52 That is the reality of the gospel.
42:55 Friends, the gospel is not just cleansing our past
42:58 but victory in the present. The gospel is to take us back.
43:02 It is restoration of man back to the image of God.
43:07 That is the concept of salvation. That is the
43:11 concept of the Sabbath: it is a seal.
43:16 When a painter finishes his masterpiece...
43:20 Many times after he has completed it
43:24 what does he do?
43:26 He signs it.
43:29 God is the painter; we are the canvas;
43:35 and the painting is His character.
43:39 Let me say that again. God is the canvas...
43:42 God is the painter;
43:45 we are the canvas;
43:48 the painting is His character.
43:53 And the sealing process is allowing God
43:58 to make us like Jesus in character.
44:04 That is the sealing process, friends.
44:07 is that God is looking down from heaven for a group of people
44:10 that will allow Him to place His image,
44:14 His stamp, His character upon us.
44:18 That is what God is waiting for.
44:19 That is why God is holding back the winds of strife.
44:21 He says: "Hold them back till I can place My signature
44:24 upon them. But I can't place My signature upon them
44:27 until I have a group of people that will surrender their lives
44:30 to me to allow God to be the painter
44:33 to paint the character of Jesus upon us. Amen!
44:37 That is the reality of why probation is still not closed.
44:41 That is the reality of why Jesus has not come.
44:45 Because the character of love of Jesus
44:49 still has to be reproduced in you and me.
44:55 We are His creation,
44:58 and when we have matured and allowed Jesus to place
45:02 His image upon us, He's placed His signature,
45:06 His seal... the sign symbolized by the Sabbath.
45:12 I want to invite you to turn with me in your Bibles
45:14 to Matthew chapter 24 and verse 14.
45:17 Matthew 24:14. We know this; it's familiar.
45:22 Here Jesus is looking down toward the end of time.
45:25 He's giving the signs of the end, and in Matthew 24:14
45:29 this is the pronouncement by Jesus Christ
45:33 talking about the end.
45:37 Matthew 24:14.
45:40 "And this gospel of the kingdom
45:44 shall be preached in all the world
45:48 for a witness unto all nations
45:51 and... " What does your Bible say?
45:53 "and then shall the end come. "
45:58 The word then is very important. It is just like
46:01 the word until in Revelation chapter 7.
46:04 The Bible here is saying that the gospel of the kingdom
46:08 must be preached in all the world "and then shall
46:11 the end come. " This is the condition that must be fulfilled
46:15 for probation to close and for Jesus to come.
46:19 But when you look at this passage it says that the gospel
46:22 shall be preached in all the world for a... What?
46:26 For a witness.
46:28 Now the preaching of the gospel is not just the proclamation
46:32 of the gospel in words.
46:36 That is an important component,
46:38 but I would argue that the words do not mean a lot
46:44 unless it is coming from a character witness.
46:48 Isn't that right? Amen! The character speaks as much
46:52 or if not more than the words.
46:54 What makes the words so powerful is that it comes from
46:57 the character. Desire of Ages says "No man
47:00 spoke like Jesus spoke because no man lived like Jesus lived. "
47:04 So we must not come under the impression
47:08 that we just need to go out there preaching the gospel
47:10 and not live the gospel.
47:12 So when we talk about this witness it is not only the
47:15 preaching of the gospel in the words but in the life. Amen!
47:21 Which means that we must not only preach the words of Jesus;
47:25 we must have the character of Jesus. Amen.
47:28 So that just like the apostles they say: "These people are...
47:31 have been with Jesus. "
47:33 That was the power of the witness.
47:35 So what God is looking for in the end of time is not just
47:38 the preaching of the gospel in the words but in the life.
47:41 A group of people that have allowed Jesus to reproduce
47:45 His character in you and I.
47:48 The character of Jesus and the character of love.
47:52 Ministry of Healing 470 says this:
47:54 "The strongest argument in favor of the gospel
47:59 is a loving and loveable Christian. "
48:04 Let me read that again.
48:08 The strongest... the most powerful...
48:14 "The strongest argument in favor of the gospel
48:19 is a loving and loveable Christian. "
48:26 The character of Jesus Christ,
48:29 the character of love, being reproduced in you and me
48:35 by the Master Creator
48:38 is what God is waiting for.
48:42 That is the witness.
48:44 There is going to be a revelation of Jesus Christ
48:47 in the end of time unprecedented in human history.
48:51 There will be a group of people that will reflect
48:55 the character of love of Jesus as never before.
48:59 By the grace of God people will be able to say
49:02 "I see Jesus in you. "
49:06 "I see the character of Christ being reproduced in you. "
49:12 God is holding back the winds of strife.
49:16 God is holding back the close of probation
49:20 waiting for a people who allow Him to imprint
49:26 the character of Jesus upon you and me.
49:32 This is what heaven is waiting for.
49:35 This is what Jesus is waiting for.
49:38 He's waiting for individuals that will say: "Lord,
49:43 I surrender. I surrender to the process of justification,
49:49 sanctification, and by the grace of God ultimate glorification
49:55 by the grace of Jesus. "
49:58 I want to make this practical here this morning.
49:59 How do we become like Jesus?
50:02 How do we allow the painter to paint His masterpiece -
50:08 the character of Jesus - upon you and me?
50:10 In II Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18
50:13 I want to read this to you: "But we all with unveiled face
50:16 beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord
50:19 are being transformed... "
50:22 It's a process. It says: "Are being transformed
50:25 into the same image from glory to glory
50:29 just as by the Spirit of the Lord. "
50:33 This is a principle of character transformation.
50:36 It does not happen overnight.
50:38 Justification happens immediately.
50:40 The moment that you accept Jesus, ask for the forgiveness
50:43 of sin, it is done... it is immediate.
50:47 Sanctification is the process of a lifetime.
50:49 When we look at the process of character transformation
50:53 this is the principle: that by beholding you become changed.
50:57 By what you think about, what you meditate upon,
51:00 what you choose to listen to and to allow into your consciousness
51:05 is the thing that is changing you from one character
51:10 to another character.
51:12 And this is the reality:
51:14 that in the end of time there will be two master artists.
51:21 There will be two creations.
51:25 One will look like Jesus Christ
51:29 and the other would look like antichrist...
51:32 ultimately the devil.
51:34 And when we look at this process
51:36 we have to come to the recognition that there are also
51:40 two signatures. You have the seal of God -
51:44 those that are re-created in the image of God -
51:46 and you have the mark of the beast which is really the mark
51:50 of Satan... and that will be the signature.
51:54 Before Jesus comes a second time there will be a group of people
51:58 that will be like Jesus in character.
52:02 But there will be another group of people
52:05 that will be just like Satan in character.
52:10 This is a solemn thought, friends.
52:12 When we recognize that in the end of time there will be
52:15 the maturation of two types of character.
52:18 One that is like Jesus Christ and one that is like the devil
52:21 and antichrist.
52:23 They will have matured to a certain point
52:24 that God can say: "These are My people. "
52:26 He places His seal; He places His signature.
52:29 There's another group of people that will be just like the
52:32 antichrist and the devil and he'll say:
52:34 "These are my people. I'm going to mark them;
52:36 I'm going to place my signature upon them. "
52:38 And in the presence of these two characters
52:43 that have become pronounced and matured
52:45 in the end of time, in the context of the great controversy
52:50 before the universe every decision will be decided
52:53 and every character will be fixed.
52:57 And the process of forming and fixing of character
53:01 is this principle of beholding and becoming.
53:06 What you behold you will become.
53:10 I want to talk a little bit about the media before we close.
53:14 The things that are coming down the airwaves:
53:18 cable television, the Internet,
53:20 online, the movies,
53:24 Hollywood. I would say the vast majority of these things
53:30 are the programming of the devil - Amen! -
53:34 to prepare a group of people
53:38 that will become what they behold
53:42 and will form and become fixed
53:46 to reflect not the character of Jesus
53:49 but the character of the devil.
53:51 God has His operation as well.
53:55 I praise the Lord for 3ABN!
53:58 I praise the Lord for online resources
54:01 that we have access to and we have the proclamation
54:05 of the gospel going on as never before.
54:06 And this is why, friends, we need to be in our Bibles
54:09 as never before. Because the devil has the airwaves
54:13 so covered and there is a maturation happening right now
54:17 before our eyes... There is a group of people
54:20 becoming like the devil and there's a group of people
54:22 becoming like Jesus. And the question that I have for you
54:25 here this morning: which program are you in today?
54:30 Which track are you in?
54:32 You just have to ask yourself: where do I spend the majority
54:36 of my time? In the Word of God
54:38 or on the television? Or on the Internet?
54:41 Or at the movies? Just by default you are becoming
54:46 what you behold. And there will come through a series of events.
54:50 You think to yourself: "Oh, one day I'm going to change. "
54:52 "One day I'm going to... When I hear about the Sunday law
54:56 or when I hear about this I'm going to change. "
54:58 But by that time it will be too late
55:00 because through a series of decisions your character
55:03 has become set. It has become cemented.
55:07 It has become solidified.
55:09 Not that God has arbitrarily closed His probation upon us
55:13 but that we through our own decisions
55:17 have come to a place that we no longer hear the voice
55:20 of God. Which program are we in?
55:24 The programming to become like Jesus?
55:27 Or the programming to become like the devil?
55:32 In the end, every character will be fixed.
55:36 Every character will be set.
55:38 Every case will be decided.
55:44 "Keep your Bible with you... " Christian Education 582:
55:47 "As you have opportunity, read it. Fix the text in your memory.
55:52 Even while you're walking the streets you may read
55:54 a passage, meditate upon it and fixing it in the mind. "
55:58 Now is the time, friends, that we have the opportunity
56:02 to allow God to form our characters after the character
56:06 of Jesus Christ for "by beholding we become... "
56:10 Now is the time to spend time in the Word of God
56:15 as never before. Now is the time to get up early
56:20 in the morning to spend time with Jesus Christ
56:23 so that you do not become in the image of antichrist.
56:29 We are seeing a time of unprecedented light
56:32 and unprecedented evil.
56:35 And we must choose today who we will serve...
56:41 whether it be God or Satan.
56:45 And I want to appeal to you here this morning.
56:47 How many of you want to say: "Lord, by the grace of Jesus
56:51 help me to spend time in my morning devotions? "
56:56 Amen? Amen! You know, the spirit is willing but
56:58 the flesh is weak. Amen? But God can help us.
57:01 And by raising our hands we can say: "Lord,
57:04 work in me both to will and to do of Your good pleasure. "
57:07 Because now is the time.
57:08 "Today if you hear His voice
57:12 harden not your hearts. "
57:14 And the Holy Spirit is speaking to us, friends.
57:16 And by the grace of God it's my prayer here this morning
57:20 that when Jesus comes in the clouds of glory
57:24 that we will say: "This is our God;
57:27 we have waited for Him and He will save us. " Amen!


Revised 2022-04-07