Christ, Calvary, and the Sanctuary

The Shining Laver

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Kameron DeVasher


Series Code: 16SCM

Program Code: 16SCM000006A

00:51 Welcome to 3ABN's Spring Camp Meeting:
00:57 Live from the 3ABN Worship Center.
01:01 Hello and welcome once again to Spring Camp Meeting:
01:06 Christ, Calvary, and the Sanctuary.
01:08 This has been already - would you agree?
01:12 something that has been truly spiritually moving
01:15 and we're really learning a lot.
01:17 We want to welcome all of those who are watching
01:20 by television or Internet or perhaps listening on the radio
01:23 as well as all of our live audience.
01:26 And we've had some wonderful sermons thus far,
01:29 but we're getting ready to have another one.
01:31 Our speaker for this hour is Pastor Kameron DeVasher.
01:35 And Kameron has been pastoring for over 15 years.
01:39 He's a graduate of Southern University.
01:42 But he has recently moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan.
01:47 He was in Fremont, and now the people there
01:52 are so upset because they've lost their pastor.
01:56 But he has taken a new assignment in Kalamazoo,
02:00 Michigan. And Kameron has a beautiful wife and 3 lovely
02:04 children. And what I have found about him
02:08 is he is so balanced.
02:10 I really like it when you're around someone who is balanced.
02:13 And he is a preacher of the truth with great spiritual
02:17 insight. So he's going to be presenting...
02:21 As we think about God's way being in the sanctuary
02:24 first piece of furniture we see is what?
02:27 The altar of burnt offering. What's next?
02:30 The shining laver.
02:32 So that will be Kameron's presentation.
02:35 But first we have our very own C.A. Murray,
02:38 pastor... you name it and he is.
02:43 But C.A. is going to be singing for us
02:46 a song titled Is It Any Wonder.
03:07 When I think how Jesus loved me,
03:13 how He waited patiently
03:17 even when I turned my back and walked away.
03:23 When He knew I wanted everything
03:29 this world could offer me
03:33 well I guess He knew the price I'd have to pay.
03:39 So He watched me stumble downward,
03:43 saw each compromise I made,
03:47 heard each lie I whispered just to get my way.
03:54 Still He waited there to hear me
03:58 when I cried to Him and prayed
04:03 then He saved my soul
04:06 and that is why I say:
04:10 "Tell me, is it any wonder
04:16 that I love Him
04:21 when you consider all He's done
04:25 for me?
04:28 And is it any wonder
04:32 that I long to do His will
04:36 and let His light shine out
04:39 for all to see?
04:43 And is it any wonder
04:48 that I praise Him
04:53 each time I think of how
04:56 He's made me free?
05:00 And is it any wonder
05:05 that I've given Him my heart
05:08 when Jesus freely gave His life
05:12 for me? "
05:27 When I think how Jesus loved me,
05:32 how He watches patiently.
05:37 How His arms are stretched to meet me when I run.
05:43 When I'm feeling down and lonely
05:48 how He's there to comfort me.
05:52 In the darkness He becomes my morning sun.
05:59 When I think of how He's healed me,
06:03 how He's touched me in my pain
06:06 how His gentle hands have wiped my tears away.
06:13 How He's taken every heartache
06:18 and drawn happiness again
06:22 oh I want the world to hear me
06:25 when I say:
06:28 "Tell me, is it any wonder
06:34 that I love Him
06:39 when you consider all He's done
06:42 for me?
06:46 And is it any wonder
06:50 that I long to do His will
06:54 and let His light shine out
06:57 for all to see?
07:00 And is it any wonder
07:05 that I praise Him
07:10 each time I think of how
07:13 He's made me free?
07:17 And is it any wonder
07:21 that I've given Him my heart
07:25 when Jesus
07:28 freely
07:30 gave His life
07:34 for me? "
07:50 Amen! Praise God!
07:54 I'm not sure I quite heard you. All the people said?
07:56 Amen! Amen!
07:58 Happy... Thursday, everyone.
08:05 As a preacher you walk out in front of a congregation
08:08 this time of the day... It's muscle memory that wants to
08:10 say "Happy Sabbath" but you know as you read the account
08:14 of the early believers in Acts chapter 2...
08:17 I almost said: "If you have your Bibles with you. "
08:19 Since you have your Bibles with you,
08:22 it says here of the new believers in Acts chapter 2
08:25 verse 46: "So continuing daily
08:28 with one another in the temple
08:31 and breaking bread from house to house, they ate bread...
08:33 they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart
08:36 praising God and having favor with all the people.
08:39 And the Lord added to the church daily
08:42 those who were being saved. "
08:43 So friends, it's good to be together in fellowship
08:46 praising, worshiping, and studying together
08:49 as the early believers did.
08:51 And I am firmly convinced that we need to learn
08:54 lessons from the Word of God and from those early believers
08:58 because God is looking for a generation of last-day believers
09:02 who will hasten the coming of Jesus and see Him soon
09:05 and very soon. So I am so appreciative of 3ABN
09:08 and the theme that has been chosen for Camp Meeting
09:11 this year. I love the sanctuary,
09:13 the services that go along with it,
09:15 and of course the significance of all of those pieces of
09:19 furniture... all of the symbolism and the richness
09:21 and fullness it can bring to our lives today.
09:25 The task I have been burdened with today is to discuss
09:28 and make application of the significance of the shining
09:32 laver. And I'll be honest... Well, I'm trying to take
09:36 that phrase out of my vocabulary.
09:38 To say "I'll be honest with you" implies I haven't been honest
09:41 up to that point, but... It was a bit of a challenge.
09:45 But as I began to study and dig deeper
09:48 I found triune blessing that I hope you will see
09:51 from the Word of God, from the Spirit of Prophecy,
09:53 as we seek to be God's people
09:55 in these last days of earth's history.
09:58 But before we do any study of God's Word
10:00 we of course need to begin with a word of prayer.
10:02 So if you would, please bow your heads.
10:04 Dear heavenly Father, I want to thank you so much
10:07 for this sunshiny, beautiful Thursday that we get to come
10:11 together in fellowship. And now, Lord, as we turn our
10:14 attention to the study of Your Word we would ask
10:17 that You would fulfill in our midst the promise that You gave
10:21 to send the Holy Spirit to be our teacher.
10:24 Lord, we don't want to just see these words written on paper.
10:26 We want these words written on our person...
10:29 in our very hearts. Teach us lessons today
10:32 so that we may be the people who see Jesus come
10:35 in our lifetime. For we pray it in Jesus' name, Amen.
10:41 Now the laver... the shining laver.
10:44 It's one of the least-mentioned articles in the sanctuary
10:49 and its services BUT it's actually of tremendous
10:54 significance and import to Christians - especially
10:57 those living in the very last days of earth's history.
11:00 We're going to study this out a little bit more.
11:02 But of the 20 or so times it is explicitly mentioned
11:05 in the Bible nearly all of the passages kind of
11:10 mention the laver in passing in a list of other items.
11:12 There's the altar, there's the curtains, there's the laver.
11:15 They kind of mention it. Others mention it...
11:18 how its construction was to be made, out of what material.
11:22 The dimensions of it. But only a couple of passages
11:26 speak specifically to the function of the laver
11:29 in the sanctuary service. So I want to begin with
11:31 studying out what it was there for. Let's go to the book of
11:34 Exodus and let's go to chapter 30.
11:37 Exodus chapter 30... just a few chapters after
11:44 the recording of God's instruc- tion to even have a sanctuary.
11:50 He outlines the pieces of furniture and specifically
11:52 the laver. We can find it in Exodus chapter 30 and we're
11:55 going to go to verse 17.
11:57 "Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying: 'You shall also make
12:00 a laver of bronze with its base also of bronze
12:05 for... ' What? 'washing.
12:08 You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting
12:11 and the altar and you shall put water in it.
12:13 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet
12:17 in water from it when they go into the tabernacle of meeting
12:21 or when they come near the altar to minister
12:23 to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord
12:25 they shall wash with water... ' Now look at the next 3 words:
12:28 'lest they... ' What? 'die. ' "
12:32 That's a pretty significant detail.
12:35 "So... " verse 21 says... "they shall wash their hands
12:38 and feet lest they die. " Again it's repeated.
12:42 "And it shall be a statute forever to them
12:44 to him and his descendants throughout their generations. "
12:47 That's the central passage on the function and import
12:51 of the laver. Once again, we go to Exodus chapter 40-
12:56 turn over to the right just a little bit more -
12:57 and we see basically the same thing repeated.
13:00 This time when the actual tabernacle - sanctuary -
13:03 furniture pieces were established and built
13:07 we see again the same instruction.
13:09 Exodus chapter 40. We're going to be looking at verses 30-32.
13:14 When Moses put together all these pieces
13:17 to build the Lord's tent. Said: "He put the laver
13:21 between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar
13:23 and put water there for washing.
13:25 And Moses, Aaron, and his sons would wash their hands
13:29 and their feet with water from it.
13:31 Whenever they went into the tabernacle of meeting
13:34 and when they came near the altar
13:36 they washed as the Lord had commanded them. "
13:40 Now it's interesting... I just found this interesting to me
13:43 as an English-only speaker
13:46 I had to think about what's a laver for? And oh,
13:49 it's for washing. Well I found out that in many languages...
13:52 you think of French and Spanish and Portuguese,
13:54 Italian... basically the word for wash is laver.
13:58 OK? So basically it's just a basin for the purpose of washing
14:03 with water. Such a simple tool...
14:06 such a simple function. Yet neglecting this step
14:10 in the sanctuary services would result in what? Death!
14:13 So clearly it's simple but it's significant, yes?
14:18 OK. Now... let's go even further.
14:21 There were two washings that the priests - you know, Aaron
14:25 and his sons - would undergo in their role as representatives
14:30 of God's people and priests to the Lord.
14:32 It says here... Let's go to Leviticus chapter 8.
14:35 You see the book of Exodus is primarily dealing with the
14:38 physical building of the sanctuary
14:40 and all of its furnishings.
14:42 The book of Leviticus outlines the services in the sanctuary
14:46 and the offerings and the ministerial rites that go
14:48 along with it. And in Leviticus chapter 8...
14:51 Leviticus chapter 8...
14:57 we find the setting apart of Aaron and his sons
15:00 for the work of ministry with a ceremonial washing.
15:05 Chapter 8, the scripture reads: "And the Lord spoke to Moses
15:10 saying: 'Take Aaron and his sons with him and their garments,
15:13 the anointing oil, a bull as a sin offering,
15:17 two rams and a basket of unleavened bread
15:19 and gather all the congregation together at the door of the
15:22 tabernacle of meeting. " The service itself: Moses was to
15:25 take Aaron and his sons and all the accoutrements of their
15:29 ministry and bring them to the door of the tabernacle
15:33 of meeting. " And it says: "And gather all the congregation
15:37 together at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
15:39 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him
15:44 and the congregation was gathered together at the door
15:47 of the tabernacle of meeting. And Moses said to the
15:50 congregation: 'This is what the Lord commanded to be done. ' "
15:56 Sorry, that was verse 6 not 16
15:57 if you're trying to clarify that. So it goes on:
16:02 "Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them
16:05 with water. " Several points I want to notice about this
16:07 initial washing. First of all, there is no mention of this
16:12 washing being limited to only the hands and the feet.
16:17 The implication here is this is a full-person washing
16:21 at their setting apart or consecration service
16:24 for their work in the earthly sanctuary.
16:28 Also note that this washing was explicitly to be done
16:33 publicly... in front of all the congregation
16:36 of the people. And finally, in this dedication service
16:41 for the priest and his work in the sanctuary
16:43 he had to be washed by someone else.
16:48 He was not to dedicate himself or consecrate himself
16:52 or appoint himself to this office.
16:53 Moses was to wash them.
16:57 In his tremendous book M. L. Andreasen wrote:
17:01 The sanctuary service... it's page 62
17:04 about this particular washing. Makes this note:
17:07 "God was teaching them that the purity
17:10 which He required was not something they themselves
17:14 could provide. Someone else must provide it for them. " OK?
17:20 So the washing is not something of self-regeneration
17:24 or self-purification. It's a reflection of the washing
17:27 that can only come from One who is Himself pure...
17:30 which is God. This was to be done publicly -
17:34 and fully - one time to set apart these priests
17:40 for their work. Now, only after that initial washing
17:45 of consecration to the sacred office
17:48 could a priest then administer the services of the sanctuary
17:52 which required the washing of his hands and feet.
17:56 This was done not as a singular ceremony then...
17:59 but frequently as part of his daily duties.
18:03 So you have the one-time full body washing
18:05 to consecrate and set them apart for service
18:07 then you have the ongoing washings
18:09 in the daily rounds of the rituals and ceremonies
18:13 where you wash your hands and your feet.
18:16 Now, Ellen White notes that
18:22 this ongoing washing of the hands and the feet
18:26 was not merely for personal purification.
18:29 You'll find this in Testimonies for the Church volume 2
18:33 page 613.
18:37 "The laver was placed between the altar and the congregation
18:43 that before they came into the presence of God
18:45 in the sight of the congregation they might wash their hands
18:48 and their feet. " She then asks rhetorically:
18:53 "What impression was this to make upon the people?
18:58 It was to show them - that is, the people -
19:02 that every particle of dust must be put away
19:06 before they could go into the presence of God...
19:09 for He was so high and holy
19:12 that unless they did comply with these conditions
19:16 death would follow. "
19:20 Now... I trust I'm not getting above the congregation here
19:25 when I assume that we all recognize
19:28 That Jesus Christ is now serving as our High Priest
19:32 in the heavenly sanctuary - Amen?
19:35 and thus the earthly priesthood that foreshadowed Christ's
19:39 ministry has long since ceased. Right?
19:44 We are told unambiguously... Let's go to the book of Hebrews
19:47 chapter 8. I'm guessing over this weekend you'll be exposed
19:50 to this passage more than once.
19:52 But I want to make sure that we see it right there in the Bible.
19:57 When we talk about a heavenly sanctuary
19:59 this is not just a Seventh- day Adventist construction.
20:01 This is a Biblical concept directly from the Word of God.
20:05 And as believers we're told to be able to give a reason
20:09 for the hope that is in us any time, right?
20:11 So we should be able to open up our Bibles and to have a
20:14 "Thus saith the Lord" about the truth of the heavenly sanctuary.
20:17 Hebrews chapter 8. Notice what the apostle Paul here says
20:20 in verse 1: "Now THIS is the main point of the things
20:24 we are saying... " So all the things about Christ's priesthood
20:27 he was leading up to through the first 7 chapters
20:29 he comes to chapter 8 and says: "Now this is the point. "
20:32 "We have... " present tense...
20:36 "a High Priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne
20:40 of the majesty in the... " What? "the heavens.
20:43 A minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle
20:48 which the Lord erected and not man. "
20:51 So when it says "a true tabernacle"
20:53 that's not to say that the others that we read about in the
20:55 Old Testament were false. It's not a construction of true
20:59 versus false. It's original versus shadow,
21:02 right? He goes on to explain.
21:04 Notice: "For every high priest is appointed to offer both
21:07 gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, it is necessary
21:10 that this One... " speaking of Jesus...
21:12 "also have something to offer. "
21:15 But friends, did He go into heaven with the blood of bulls
21:17 and goats? No! He went into heaven with
21:19 the blood of His own personal sacrifice.
21:23 "For... " it says in verse 4...
21:24 "if He were on earth... " If He were just another man
21:28 living here on earth... "He would not be a priest since
21:31 there are priests who offer the gifts according to law. "
21:34 But notice what it says about their service. Verse 5:
21:37 "who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly thing. "
21:41 So all of the rites, services, and furnishings
21:45 were shadows and copies of the original
21:48 that Christ is now our ministering Priest.
21:51 Goes on. "Who served the copy and shadow of the
21:55 heavenly things as Moses was divinely instructed
21:57 when he was about to make the tabernacle.
21:59 He said: 'See that you make all things according to the pattern
22:02 shown you on the mountain. ' But now... "
22:05 Notice the construction, verse 9: "Now He has obtained
22:08 a more excellent ministry
22:10 inasmuch as He is also mediator of a better covenant
22:14 which is established on better promises. "
22:17 Continuing in verse 7: "For if that first covenant had been
22:20 faultless then no place would have been sought for a second. "
22:24 Skip down to verse 13:
22:26 "In that He says a new covenant
22:29 He has made the first... " What's the next one?
22:31 "obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old
22:36 is ready to vanish away. " So the apostle Paul makes it
22:40 unambiguously clear that all the services,
22:42 all the sanctuary items and rites and rituals,
22:47 were fulfilled in Jesus Christ and are being fulfilled
22:51 even now today. So what we're talking about is type
22:54 versus anti-type, and Jesus Christ is the great original...
22:58 the real thing in heaven.
23:00 So... I want to be clear about this.
23:03 Paul here notes that the ceremonial services
23:05 of the sanctuary were fulfilled in Christ.
23:07 That does not, however, mean that the spiritual significance
23:13 of those former rites have no relevance
23:16 to New Testament Christians.
23:19 For instance, notice his sanctuary service language
23:24 and the accouterments of the sanctuary he employs when he
23:28 gave counsel to the church in Corinth.
23:31 Go to I Corinthians chapter 5.
23:34 I Corinthians chapter 5
23:38 speaking to the brethren there starting with verse 6
23:46 he gives them practical counsel and listen to the language
23:49 he employs, the symbolism he uses to teach spiritual lessons.
23:54 He says: "Your glorying is not good.
23:57 Do you not know? "
24:00 And by the way, Paul uses that phrase: "Do you not know? "
24:05 oftentimes. "Do you not know that the saints will judge
24:08 the world? " "Do you not know? " he would say in other places.
24:10 Basically saying: "This is a fundamental
24:13 basic Christianity 101 teaching that I'm going through with you
24:17 here. " And he says: "Do you not know
24:19 that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
24:24 Therefore purge out the old leaven
24:27 that you may be a new lump since you truly are unleavened. "
24:31 So he's talking about unleavened bread, but he's not saying
24:34 the actual physical bread of the ceremonial.
24:37 He's talking about the appli- cation in the spiritual life
24:39 of the believer, right?
24:41 Goes on to say: "For indeed Christ our Passover... "
24:45 Notice he's talking about the fulfillment of those services
24:48 in Jesus Christ... "Christ our Passover was sacrificed
24:51 for us. Therefore let us keep the feast
24:55 not with old leaven nor with the leaven of malice
25:00 and wickedness but with the unleavened bread
25:02 of sincerity and truth. "
25:05 Right? So he takes the imagery of the sanctuary
25:08 and its services and its accoutrements
25:10 and he applies the spiritual significance to our lives today.
25:14 So while the type has met anti-type, the significance
25:18 is still applicable. Does that make sense? OK.
25:24 Similarly... Let's go back to our laver now...
25:27 What would be the modern-day, New Testament
25:30 significance of the washings
25:34 mentioned with the shining laver?
25:37 Similarly it is of more than passing interest to note that
25:41 in His establishment of the church that would bear His name
25:45 going forward Jesus Christ seems to have purposefully
25:50 integrated into the New Testament faith
25:53 the two washing ceremonies of the ancient sanctuary
25:57 and its laver. Once restricted to the representative
26:02 of the people and the priest himself
26:04 now they're extended to all believers.
26:08 Let's study it out a little bit more.
26:11 First, that initial washing.
26:17 Christ - both by explicit command and personal example -
26:23 established a full-body washing
26:26 of baptism as the signature demonstration
26:31 of faith in Him and connection with His body
26:34 on earth: the church.
26:35 Go to Matthew chapter 3. You're well familiar, but this
26:38 is the beginning of Christ's public ministry.
26:40 And He didn't just go and start preaching and start healing...
26:43 He first went and got baptized.
26:46 Matthew chapter 3 starting with verse 13:
26:50 "Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
26:53 to be baptized by him.
26:55 And John tried to prevent Him saying: 'I need to be baptized
26:59 by You and are You coming to me? ' "
27:01 Now you've got to understand: John was a preacher of
27:04 righteousness. He was trying to call people to repentance for
27:06 their sins, and here comes the Sinless One looking for baptism.
27:11 But Jesus wasn't getting baptized for remission of
27:13 His own sins but to set an example for the church
27:16 going forward. Notice what he says:
27:18 "But Jesus answered and said to him:
27:20 'permit it to be so now for thus it is fitting for us
27:24 to fulfill all righteousness. ' Then he allowed Him. "
27:29 He said: "It's not for Me, but it's still something we need
27:32 to do. " "When He had been baptized
27:36 Jesus came up immediately from the water and behold
27:38 the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God
27:40 descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
27:42 And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying:
27:45 'This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. ' "
27:49 This was the anointing of Jesus, the setting Him apart
27:52 for His public work of ministry as our sacrificial Lamb
27:57 who would become our Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
28:00 The initial washing. Now, go over to the gospel of John -
28:04 Matthew, Mark, Luke, and then John -
28:07 chapter 3
28:11 and Jesus speaks of this washing
28:14 of baptism
28:19 of particular significance to the Christian walk.
28:24 Here in John chapter 3 is the record of Jesus' midnight
28:27 interview with Nicodemus.
28:29 And we'll just skip down to verse 3 to get to our salient
28:32 point: "Jesus answered and said to him: 'Most assuredly
28:35 I say to you: unless one is born again
28:39 he cannot see the kingdom of God. ' "
28:43 Now you remember in the Old Testament services
28:45 to not be washed would be death.
28:48 Now Jesus employs it: "I say to you: unless he is born
28:52 again he cannot see the kingdom of God. '
28:53 Nicodemus said to Him: 'How can a man be born when he is old?
28:56 Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb
28:59 and be born? ' " And Jesus explains what He means
29:02 by the new birth. "Jesus answered: 'Most assuredly
29:05 I say to you: unless one is born of water and the Spirit
29:10 he cannot enter the kingdom of God. ' "
29:14 Cannot enter the kingdom of God.
29:16 Let's look at another example of this.
29:18 Mark chapter 16 on the other end of Jesus' ministry
29:23 when it was time for Him to return to heaven
29:24 and He was giving His final instructions to the believers
29:26 here on earth - those who would build the church in His name -
29:30 He gives instruction about baptism.
29:33 Mark chapter 16 after He says in verse 15
29:38 "Go into all the world and preach the gospel
29:40 to every creature" He then adds in verse 16
29:43 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved
29:49 but he who does not believe will be... " What?
29:52 "condemned. " So there's salvation or condemnation
29:56 And Jesus says: "He who believes and is baptized"
29:59 will receive the salvation.
30:01 Now... I want to be clear at this point.
30:05 Neither in the Old Testament's washing at the laver
30:09 or the New Testament washing of baptism
30:11 was it understood that the water itself
30:15 or the mere act of being washed had any inherent
30:19 value or magical properties. Right?
30:24 It was regular water in a regu- lar basin made by human hands,
30:28 right? Participation in the ceremony
30:32 was merely evidence of an inward experience.
30:37 That critical distinction
30:39 is exemplified by the experience of the thief on the cross.
30:41 Because we've had people... I could preach an evangelistic
30:43 campaign and people will come up and say:
30:45 "Do I have to be baptized? "
30:47 Somehow this rumor has festered in the Christian church
30:51 that the water itself, if you've been touched by
30:53 what they call holy water, sprinkled on or had this
30:56 process, as long as you go through the form
30:58 you're in. That the form itself is "salvific, " right?
31:05 But think about the thief on the cross, friends.
31:09 Luke chapter 23 records the experience.
31:13 "But he said to Jesus: "Lord, remember me
31:16 when You come into Your kingdom. '
31:18 And Jesus said to him: 'I would if you had been baptized. ' "
31:23 Friends, if you have a Bible that says that, what you have
31:26 is not a Bible, all right? OK?
31:29 "He said: 'Assuredly -
31:30 with assurance - 'I say to you today
31:33 you will be with Me in paradise. ' "
31:35 Now the thief on the cross died before had an opportunity
31:39 to be baptized. Therefore we can clearly deduce
31:43 from the lips of Jesus Himself that baptism itself -
31:46 the water and the washing form -
31:48 does not save. Salvation is through faith
31:52 in Jesus Christ alone.
31:55 Let's go back to Mark 16. You notice that's actually
31:57 in there. Sometimes we breeze past that.
31:59 But go to Mark 16 again... verse 16.
32:03 After He said: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel
32:05 to every creature, " notice the distinction in verse 16.
32:08 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved. "
32:13 But then notice: "But he who does not... " What? "believe. "
32:18 It does not say: "He who does not believe
32:20 and is not baptized. "
32:22 What is clearly the active agent in the salvation
32:25 exchange here? It's the belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.
32:29 Baptism is simply evidence of that belief
32:32 that you do because of an inward experience.
32:35 Is that making sense? OK.
32:37 Jesus would say it this way in John chapter 3 and verse 36:
32:42 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life.
32:46 And he who does not believe the Son shall not see life
32:49 but the wrath of God abides on him. "
32:52 Friends, the life and death issue in salvation is belief in
32:55 Jesus Christ. Putting yourself by faith
32:59 in the hands of the Savior.
33:01 Now, other people take that and say: "Oh good, that means
33:03 I don't have to be baptized. " Slow down.
33:11 Though we've established that the active agent in the
33:14 baptism is not the water but the faith - OK -
33:18 having said that we all clearly understand that true
33:20 faith is always manifest in obedience.
33:24 Jesus would say very simply - John chapter 14 verse 15-
33:28 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. "
33:32 We should never go into anything that Christ has said and try to
33:36 look for a 50% discount.
33:39 We should not look for a way around it.
33:47 I John chapter 5 would say this, verses 2 and 3:
33:50 "For by this we know we love the children of God
33:54 when we love God and keep His commandments.
33:56 For this is the love of God:
33:59 that we keep His commandments. "
34:00 And then he adds: "And His commandments are not
34:03 burdensome. "
34:07 God's not asking you to climb a mountain or cut yourself
34:09 or do any kind of other thing.
34:12 He's asking something simple but deeply significant.
34:18 So baptism was established not to be merely a hollow form
34:21 but a ceremony denoting genuine conversion
34:25 to a new life in Jesus Christ.
34:27 When the preaching and baptizing ministry of John the Baptist
34:30 became popular, many began to request baptism merely as a fad
34:36 devoid of the experience of genuine change,
34:40 genuine repentance, genuine conversion.
34:42 Look at Luke chapter 3. Look how the Baptist - John the Baptist -
34:48 dealt with these individuals.
34:52 Verse 7. I've never seen an evangelist in my life do this.
34:56 "Then he said to the multitudes that came out to get baptized
34:59 of him: 'Brood of vipers! ' " Wouldn't it be a great problem
35:04 to have that so many people want to be baptized
35:06 you have to sort them out the genuine vs. the false here?
35:09 But that's what John the Baptist experienced.
35:11 It became so faddish, became so popular
35:13 may were coming to him. Multitudes the Bible says.
35:15 And he had to call them out
35:16 on their superficial understanding.
35:20 "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from
35:22 the wrath to come? Therefore, bear fruit
35:25 worthy of repentance and do not begin to say to yourselves
35:29 'We have Abraham as our father. '
35:30 For I say to you that God is able to raise up children
35:33 to Abraham from these stones.
35:34 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.
35:37 Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit
35:40 is cut down and thrown into the fire. "
35:42 Friends, the fruit of baptism:
35:46 it stems in the root of conversion, right?
35:49 Looking for the root issue.
35:52 Romans chapter 6 speaking of baptism
35:55 and the Christian life.
35:57 The apostle Paul would teach it this way,
36:02 starting with verse 1: "What shall we say then?
36:05 Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
36:07 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin
36:12 live any longer in it?
36:13 Or... " And here's this phrase again:
36:15 "do you not know? " This is common-sense Christianity.
36:20 "do you not know that as many of us as were baptized
36:24 into Christ Jesus were baptized into His... " What?
36:28 "death. Therefore we were buried with Him through the
36:31 baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from
36:34 the dead by the glory of the Father
36:36 even so we also should walk in newness of life. "
36:43 Goes on to say: "For if we have been united
36:45 together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also
36:48 shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.
36:49 Knowing this: that our old man was crucified with Him
36:53 that the body of sin might be done away with
36:55 that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
36:58 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
37:01 Now if we died with Christ,
37:03 we believe that we shall also live with Him.
37:06 Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead,
37:08 dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
37:12 For the death that He died He died to sin once for all.
37:17 But the life that He lives He lives to God.
37:20 Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead
37:24 indeed to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. "
37:29 It's an entire transformation.
37:33 It's not merely a hollow transaction...
37:36 it's a full-life transformation that's intended.
37:42 This is why, by the way,
37:45 infant baptism is not a Biblical concept.
37:48 People must understand their need of a Savior
37:53 and by their own personal faith commit to a new life in Him.
37:59 But let's dig even deeper into baptism.
38:01 I want to show you something that's often overlooked
38:04 in the study of baptism.
38:08 Beyond the symbol of personal conversion, baptism
38:13 like the dedication of the priests in the Hebrew sanctuary,
38:16 is also a setting apart for service.
38:21 Look in the same passage... continuing in the same passage
38:23 the apostle Paul makes it clear what he means when he says
38:26 an individual is now "alive to God. "
38:29 What does he mean by that? Look at verse 13.
38:31 I'm sorry... he goes on to say...
38:36 "Do not present... " I'm sorry. Romans chapter 6... yes.
38:38 Verse 13. "And do not present your members as instruments of
38:43 unrighteousness and sin but present yourselves to God
38:47 as being alive from the dead and your members
38:51 as instruments of righteousness to God. "
38:55 You are now a baptized member of the body of Christ
39:00 to be used by God in His service.
39:06 As Christians we must always stay cognizant of the fact
39:10 that Jesus Christ is not merely our Savior but He is also
39:12 our Lord. He is our boss - Amen -
39:17 and He fully expects us to work for Him.
39:21 I've heard it said this way: "We've not been saved to sit
39:26 but saved to serve. "
39:29 Notice what happened in Acts chapter 2 when those 3,000
39:32 were baptized on the Day of Pentecost.
39:33 Watch what happens here. Acts chapter 2 and verse 38.
39:38 We'll start with verse 37 to get a little more context.
39:40 Ah... go to verse 36. Let's just read the whole thing.
39:44 By the way, the apostle Peter was teaching about Jesus' work
39:47 in the heavenly sanctuary. He's ascended into heaven
39:50 at the right hand of the Father and He's poured out what you now
39:52 see and hear. Verse 36:
39:55 "Therefore... " What's the practical application of Christ
39:58 now in this heavenly sanctuary? Peter says:
40:01 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly
40:03 that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified... "
40:06 You've got to think of the context. This is only 50 days
40:09 after the crucifixion. These are the same people
40:11 that just less than 2 months earlier were chanting
40:13 "crucify Him. " And now the conviction that they killed
40:16 their own Messiah lands squarely on their shoulders.
40:21 He says: "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly
40:24 that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified
40:26 both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this
40:28 they were... " What? "cut to the heart
40:31 and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: 'Men and
40:33 brothers: what shall we do? '
40:34 Then Peter said to them: 'Repent, and let every one of
40:39 you be... ' What? 'baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
40:42 for the remission of sin. ' Notice: for the remission of sin
40:45 'AND you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ' "
40:50 So it's not just your personal remission of sin
40:53 there's a gift of the Holy Spirit that God expects to be
40:56 used by His people.
41:00 I Corinthians chapter 12.
41:02 The apostle talks about these gifts of the Spirit.
41:06 And notice the language he uses
41:11 starting with verse 4.
41:15 He says, verse 4- and look for the parallelism here -
41:20 "There are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. "
41:24 "There are differences of... " What? "ministries
41:29 but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities
41:34 but it's the same God who works all in all. "
41:37 Notice that there's a parallel, an equivalent, between the gift
41:42 of the Spirit and ministries and activities
41:45 to be done for God.
41:49 It's little wonder then that in I Peter chapter 2 verse 9
41:53 the apostle would say to the baptized believers
41:56 "But you are a chosen generation,
42:00 a royal priesthood,
42:02 a holy nation, His own special people
42:04 that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you
42:09 out of darkness into His marvelous light. "
42:11 We've been set apart not just for our own personal redemption
42:17 but also to work for the redemption of others.
42:21 Ministry of Healing page 102:
42:23 "Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God
42:27 as a missionary. No sooner does he come to know the Savior
42:31 than he desires to make others acquainted with Him.
42:34 The saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up
42:36 in his heart. He who drinks of the living water
42:39 becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver.
42:43 The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert
42:47 welling up to refresh all and making those who are ready
42:49 to perish eager to drink of the water of life.
42:52 In doing this work a greater blessing is received
42:55 than if we work merely to benefit ourselves.
43:00 It is in working to spread the good news of salvation
43:03 that we are brought near to the Savior. "
43:06 Friends, every single converted and baptized member of the
43:09 body of Christ is called not only to an ongoing personal
43:13 walk with Jesus but a public work FOR Jesus.
43:17 There is an entire series worth of sermons I could preach
43:20 right now, and I'm very tempted not to because we have the
43:22 tyranny of the clock. BUT...
43:26 let me just say this: in the Seventh-day Adventist church,
43:29 God's last-day remnant people commissioned to give the
43:33 three angels' messages to the world
43:35 the word member should mean missionary.
43:40 We have too many watchers and not enough workers.
43:44 Brothers and sisters, the great- est need in our church today
43:47 is not more pastors, not more institutions,
43:52 not more administrators,
43:54 and not even more money.
43:58 Yes... I said it! Amen... Amen!
44:04 What is most needed
44:07 is a personal investment in the Great Commission
44:10 by each and every member.
44:13 If we have any hope of finishing the work,
44:16 we'd better start getting to work even now. Amen!
44:21 Told you we could preach...
44:23 but we have to keep going. So baptism - the New Testament
44:28 full washing at the beginning of our walk with Christ -
44:31 is our dedication and our epiphant experience
44:34 and our dedication to service just like the priests
44:36 in the ancient times. Are we good with that?
44:38 Now... as you recall there were two washings
44:43 of the priests that the laver was designed to facilitate.
44:47 The first was that full-body washing done only once
44:50 when consecrated to the office of priest.
44:52 The other was done regularly in the daily services
44:56 of the priesthood. Now in the New Testament church
45:01 everyone who commits his or her life to Jesus Christ
45:04 and His work is washed once:
45:06 buried by immersion in the waters of baptism.
45:09 In addition, however, to the washing of baptism
45:14 Christ also established for us - just like He had with the
45:17 priests in the earthly sanctuary -
45:19 a smaller repeated washing ceremony.
45:22 The foot washing service or the ordinance of humility
45:27 as it is often called is an oft repeated
45:32 recommitment to God shared between fellow believers.
45:36 And just like baptism Jesus established this service
45:40 by His own personal example.
45:43 In John chapter 13 you read the story.
45:49 You probably know it well.
45:51 Everyone was waiting for someone else to serve
45:53 while they argued about who would be the greatest.
45:56 And Jesus Christ used this opportunity to teach them
46:00 the significance of the washing.
46:03 He takes off His outer garments and puts on the garb
46:06 of a servant. Takes a basin with water
46:10 and begins to wash their feet.
46:14 Interestingly, in the story there in John chapter 13
46:19 scripture records that He came to Simon Peter, and Peter said
46:22 to Him: "Lord... are You washing my feet? "
46:25 "Jesus answered and said to him: 'What I am doing
46:29 you do not understand now but you will know after this. '
46:33 Peter said to Him: 'You shall NEVER wash my feet. '
46:40 And Jesus answered him: 'If I do not wash you,
46:46 you have no part with Me. ' "
46:49 "Lest they die... "
46:54 "Simon Peter said to Him: 'Lord, not my feet only
46:58 but my hands and my head. ' "
47:00 Give me the full wash, right?
47:04 You've gotta love Peter. He's a man of extremes, is he not?
47:07 "No washing. " "ALL washing. " And Christ says: "Calm down. "
47:11 "Jesus said to him: 'He who is bathed need only to wash
47:17 his feet but is completely clean.
47:21 And you are clean but not all of you... '
47:24 for He knew who would betray Him.
47:25 Therefore He said: 'You are not all clean. ' "
47:27 So in that room there was a mixture. Most were sincere
47:31 but sometimes misguided and tempted and falling individuals.
47:36 But there was one man who had set his heart on open rebellion.
47:40 He said: "Look you're all clean. Well, almost all of you. "
47:44 He was talking about the cleansing of their hearts...
47:47 that re-dedication.
47:49 These disciples of Jesus had all been converted,
47:52 baptized, and enrolled in the training school of Christ
47:55 to become fishers of men. All of them, with the notable
47:58 exception of course of Judas, had good intentions
48:02 and were not in open rebellion to God.
48:04 Yet each of them still had fallen natures
48:08 and from time to time gave in to pride and anger
48:12 and other such temptations.
48:15 They were not spiritually filthy head to toe,
48:18 but in their walk with Christ their feet had gotten dirty.
48:23 Thus Christ explained he who is bathed needs only to wash
48:26 his feet. You notice that here, as with the Old Testament,
48:32 there's an emphasis on cleanliness.
48:36 You've heard the statement "Cleanliness is next to...
48:38 godliness. "
48:40 So I'm guessing we all probably heard it when our...
48:42 when we were a child and our room was messy
48:44 and our parents used that as a teachable moment.
48:48 But in the service of the ancient sanctuary,
48:50 the ministering priests were not only to be washed once
48:53 for their consecration to office
48:54 but were also to wash their hands and feet each time
48:56 they approached the Holy Place or administered the sacred
48:58 duties. These priests had already undergone
49:03 an initial full-body washing
49:05 and they were set apart for service.
49:07 Surely they physically cared for their own hygiene
49:10 before they went to the office, if you will, that day
49:13 to serve in the tabernacle.
49:15 And furthermore, just as Moses and Joshua had been commanded
49:18 to take off their shoes when they were standing before God,
49:20 the priests in the temple ministered with bare feet.
49:24 So the question needs to be asked: if they were ceremonially
49:26 washed at first, physically washed before their daily duties
49:30 and even removed their shoes before going into the sanctuary,
49:35 why did they need to wash their hands and feet again?
49:41 Well, I'm going to come back and say it was not
49:43 primarily a washing for physical cleanliness
49:46 but rather a demonstration of the spiritual cleanliness
49:48 and attention to detail that God expects from His people.
49:53 Testimonies for the Church Volume 12 page 612 again
49:58 Mrs. White further explains: "There was to be nothing
50:00 slack or untidy about those who appeared before Him
50:03 when they came into His holy presence.
50:05 And why was this? What was the object of all this carefulness?
50:10 Was it merely to recommend the people to God?
50:14 Was it to merely gain His approbation?
50:18 The reason that was given me was this:
50:22 that a right impression may be made upon the people. "
50:28 Think about this: the cleansing, the ritual ceremony
50:30 of cleansing of the priest at the basin, at the laver
50:34 was not so much for them but for those who would be
50:38 watching them. "If those who ministered in sacred office
50:43 should fail to manifest care and reverence for God
50:47 in their apparel and their deportment,
50:49 the people would lose their awe and their reverence for God
50:52 and His sacred service.
50:53 If a priest showed great reverence for God by being
50:57 very careful and very particular as they came into His presence,
51:00 it gave the people an exalted idea of God
51:04 and His requirements. It showed them that God was holy,
51:08 that His work was sacred, and that everything in connection
51:11 with His work must be holy. That it must be free from
51:14 everything like impurity and uncleanness
51:17 and that all defilement must be put away
51:19 from those who approach nigh to God. "
51:22 Later in the same passage the servant of the Lord
51:24 draws practical application of the daily washing
51:27 of the priests at the laver to the lives of ministers
51:29 and church members alike
51:31 when she continues saying: "The Lord requires His ministers
51:34 to be pure and holy, to rightly represent the principles
51:37 of truth in their own lives and by their example
51:40 to bring others up on a high level. "
51:42 Now you're going to say: "Yes! That's what the pastors need. "
51:46 It's true... but it's not limited to those here.
51:53 Both the ministry and the membership God wants to see
51:57 clean. Amen!
51:59 She continues: "God requires all who profess to be His chosen
52:02 people, though they are not teachers of the truth,
52:04 to be careful to preserve personal cleanliness
52:07 and purity. Also cleanliness and order in their houses
52:10 and upon their premises.
52:12 We are examples to the world,
52:15 living epistles known and read of all men.
52:19 God requires all who profess godliness,
52:22 and especially those who teach His truth to others,
52:24 to abstain from all appearance of evil.
52:31 Friends, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament
52:33 the Bible makes it very plain
52:36 that God's people are a spectacle to the world...
52:39 both to men and to angels.
52:43 Giving instruction to the children in the Old Testament
52:45 Deuteronomy chapter 4 verses 5 and 6 says:
52:49 "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments
52:51 just as the Lord my God commanded me that you should
52:54 act according to them in the land which you go to possess.
52:57 Therefore be careful to observe them
53:00 for this is your wisdom
53:04 in the sight of all the people who hear all these statutes
53:10 and say: 'Surely this great nation is a wise
53:12 and understanding people. ' "
53:14 Why were they supposed to be so careful and so exact
53:17 in their keeping of the statutes of God?
53:20 It wasn't necessarily for their own connection with God.
53:23 It's supposed to be for their witness for God to other people.
53:26 Imagine if you will... You've been studying the sanctuary
53:30 and they've got the Most Holy Place and then the Holy Place
53:32 and the courtyard and around that there's a space
53:34 and then the whole camp. Which by the way, the whole camp
53:37 was laid out... I don't want to give away anything
53:38 but the whole thing was supposed to be a reflection
53:40 of heaven on earth.
53:43 The organization of Israel was a beautiful reflection of
53:46 God's order and organization... His government.
53:51 And the people were supposed to be living representatives
53:55 of that law of God
53:57 so that if someone wandered over the hill
54:00 the very first thing they would see is structure and order.
54:02 You have nearly two million people all living in just
54:07 a well organized system of community...
54:13 and that would get their attention.
54:14 Then they would wander into the camp and they would meet
54:16 the people. And the people would be living demonstrations
54:22 of the God who put them in that order.
54:25 Think about a community of people
54:29 where everyone kept the law of God.
54:33 No crime... no divorce.
54:37 Everyone keeps the Sabbath.
54:41 You know, you imagine coming into... You wanted to
54:44 work for a Hebrew at that time or one of the children of Israel
54:46 and they said: "Now look, you have to take every seventh day
54:49 off. " "Fine by me. "
54:52 "And in addition, we want you to take, in fact you have to
54:56 take, every seventh year off. "
54:59 "Where do I sign up? "
55:01 "I don't know much about your God, but your people
55:05 are pretty impressive. "
55:08 These laws... this is your wisdom in the sight...
55:10 And friends, Jesus said to the believers in the New Testament
55:13 "You are the light of the world. "
55:17 And He says: "Let your light so shine before men that they
55:19 may see your good works and glorify your Father
55:22 who is in heaven. "
55:25 In fact, in Ephesians chapter 3 the apostle Paul says:
55:28 "To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God
55:32 may be made known by the church to the principalities
55:35 and powers in the heavenly places. "
55:37 Friends, we are to be in our carefulness and cleanliness
55:43 both physically and of course spiritually
55:46 a representative of the God that we serve.
55:49 God's Amazing Grace page 56 as we bring this to a close.
55:53 "The people of God are His representatives on the earth,
55:55 and He intends that they shall be lights in the moral darkness
55:58 of this world. Scattered all over the country
56:00 in the towns, cities, and villages they are God's
56:03 witnesses, the channel through which He will communicate
56:05 to an unbelieving world the knowledge of His will
56:07 and the wonders of His grace.
56:09 It is His plan that all who are partakers of the great salvation
56:12 shall be missionaries for Him.
56:14 The piety of the Christian constitutes the standard by
56:17 which worldlings will judge the gospel. "
56:19 I'm going to say that one again 'cause I know you didn't
56:21 catch it. "The piety of the Christian
56:25 constitutes the standard by which worldlings
56:29 will judge the gospel. " Amen!
56:33 "Trials patiently borne... "
56:35 They're watching you. You know that?
56:39 No road rage among Christians. Amen!
56:42 Right? Amen.
56:45 And it's not just because you're trying to stay right with God
56:48 but you're trying to do a work FOR God.
56:51 "The piety of the Christian constitutes the standard
56:53 by which worldlings will judge the gospel.
56:55 Trials patiently borne, blessings gratefully received,
56:58 meekness, kindness, mercy, and love
57:01 habitually exhibited are the lights that shine forth
57:04 in the character before the world. "
57:08 Friends, I pray... First of all let me ask this question:
57:10 has the presentation today been clear? Amen!
57:14 Friends, each of us needs to have that individual
57:16 washing of baptism. And I want to appeal to you and
57:19 if you're watching on television let me appeal to you right now.
57:21 If you have never committed your life to Jesus Christ,
57:23 don't wait another day. Amen! Come to the water
57:26 and be baptized. Amen!
57:28 Now friends, if you have experienced that washing,
57:30 don't sit back and say: "Once done... I'm done. "
57:32 Keep washing. Every day come to the laver.
57:36 Let Jesus take care of even the little things.
57:40 Every day... the daily matters.
57:42 No so you can earn your way to heaven but through your witness
57:46 others can see Jesus. Amen!
57:49 Let's bow our heads for a word of prayer.
57:50 Heavenly Father, I want to thank you
57:52 for the truth of the shining laver.
57:55 Lord, each one of us needs to be washed
57:59 in the blood of the Lamb.
58:00 Each one of us needs that regeneration
58:03 that comes only through repentance and conversion
58:06 in Jesus Christ.
58:08 So Lord, I pray if there's anyone listening today that
58:11 has not made that commitment
58:14 that the Holy Spirit would not leave them alone
58:16 until they have been converted
58:19 and given their lives to Jesus Christ in baptism.
58:22 But beyond that, Lord, for those of us who have
58:25 may the washing continue even now.
58:29 Let even in our daily lives, the minor matters,
58:33 help us to be a living demonstration of the principles
58:36 of God and the law that He wrote.
58:40 So Lord, make us Your people.
58:43 I pray today that You would, yes, keep us faithful
58:46 but more than that, Lord, make us useful for You
58:49 until we see Jesus come. And WHEN He comes
58:53 let not one be missing.
58:56 For we pray it in Jesus' name, Amen.


Revised 2019-12-03