God's Message for This Hour

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Dear Reader,

The following is the teaching of John Wilfred Johnson, (now deceased) who was a teacher at Canadian Union College (now Canadian University College), and officiated as first elder of the College church for many years.. Mr. Johnson died a few years ago, but a wealthy man in the Canadian Union College SDA Church, by the name of John Wells, transcribed Mr. Johnson's teachings from taped recordings to written form, entitled Panorama of Truth, in two volumes. Mr. Johnson claimed to have an Elijah message for the SDA church, and he submitted that message to Church Headquarters in Washington, before his death. I was recently pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. Johnson had come to the same conclusions I had come to on the Godhead, and that my interpretation was of no private interpretation. Here is what J. Wilfred Johnson taught on the Godhead:

"The union of divinity and humanity is symbolized by the marriage. Sister White says this in Christ's Object Lessons [cf. COL 305]. And Christ will come into His temple to dwell. He promises this in the Laodicean message and in other parts of the Scripture. In the book of John He says: We will come to Him and make our abode with Him and abide with Him forever; and He says it will be through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. This all ties together. Here is the true communion of the body and blood of Christ -- that great body and that living blood which was His before He came to this world as a little seed in Mary's womb.

He [Christ] relinquished that former body. He gave up that Ghost -- that ghost of everlasting life. But before He did, He made His last will and testament. Paul tells us this in Hebrews. (cf. Heb. 9:15-20). A last will and testament is only made by one who is about to die, one who expects to die, and one who has a heritage, who has possessions; and Christ had all possessions! He had eternal life; He had an eternal body; He had the possessions of the entire Universe. These were all His. And He was about to die! How would He dispose of His treasures and His possessions?

In the everlasting covenant in which He appointed the Father to be the Executor and Administrator of His estate, He made the decision to bequeath His heritage upon His people. The Youth's Instructor, May 27, 1897: 'He stepped down from the throne of honor, laid off His royal robe and His royal crown, gave back into His Father's hand the scepter, and veiling divinity with humanity, humbled himself, and came to a world all scared and marred with the curse.' [E.G. White, Youth's Instructor, May 27, 1897]. And He came in the form of humanity to become the first-born of every creature, the first-begotten from the dead -- to become the Head of the new body of Christ; and His people were to become the members [body] in particular. [cf. Col. 1:15-18; Rev. 1:5; Eph. 5:12-32; 1 Cor. 12:27]. Christ did not die the everlasting death of the sinner, from which there is no hope of a resurrection (I quoted from Sister White (See EW 51 and 218), and then take back His eternal life in the same way that He had it before. He gave His life to His people. Did you get the point?

The First Death of Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary

In the heavenly Sanctuary, before He ever came to this world, He laid down His great eternal body and blood; He shed His life blood; He gave up the ghost -- the Holy Ghost! There was no Holy Ghost before that -- only the Spirit of God. He gave up the Spirit of life, the eternal Spirit which was His eternal life. (This is in the Spirit of Prophecy): 'Christ declared that after His ascension, He would send to His church, as His crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take His place. This Comforter is the Holy Ghost, the soul of His life!" E.G. White, Review and Herald, May 19, 1904). He gave it up; and He died a voluntary death -- in the court of the heavenly Sanctuary! And there were two witnesses who saw this -- two witnesses who had been called up from earth: Moses and Elijah. This was the first death of Christ, from which there was a resurrection!

At any time during His sojourn here on earth, in the person of Jesus, He could by a thought have returned to His former glory, received all His heritage again, and left man to die an eternal death. HE could have done this! He died here [in the heavenly sanctuary] the first death -- the death of sleep. He could have been restored.

The Irrevocable Decision of Jesus in Gethsemane

In Gethsemane He made the irrevocable decision to die the second death, from which there can be no hope of a resurrection! 'He suffered the death which was ours,' says Sister White, 'that we might receive the life which was His' (cf. DA 25). That's plain! In Gethsemane, He relinquished His eternal life; He relinquished His body and blood -- that former body and blood that represented His great eternal heritage -- His Word, and His Spirit, and all things that had been written into His creation, and the Spirit of eternal life! He relinquished them! And He cried, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?' (Mark 15:34). And He said to His disciples at the last supper: 'I will not again partake of this emblem until I partake of it anew with you in the kingdom.' (cf. Matt. 26:29). And in the kingdom, He will partake of it anew through the marriage ceremony, when He becomes united with the rest of His body in the marriage union with His bride -- the saints! [the 144,000].

His body you see, is now divided; it is broken and given to His saints to eat -- to assimilate. And in the marriage union of the Lamb with His saints, the new body of Christ is restored -- it is restructured. And now Jesus is the Head of that body, but His people are the members. Anybody knows that the head would have a difficult time functioning without the body. Christ needs His new temple of saints, to function through them.!

This was the sacrifice He made; this was the gift He gave. His heritage should now be in them -- that they were to be His body through whom He would operate on a voluntary basis. No more could anyone challenge the integrity of Christ. Never could anyone say that He was the autocrat, the dictatorial ruler! He is now the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace. And if the hand refuses to do the bidding of the head, it is not done. Only by means of the hand can it be done. So when the head requires the hand or requests the hand to do a task, the 'hand' must voluntarily do it, if it is to be done. The kingdom of heaven will be based on voluntary allegiance; there will be no force. The drawing and constraining power of love for Jesus will motivate the active response!

When this enormous sacrifice of Christ is seen in all its glory, God's people will loathe themselves for their iniquities. They cannot ever again bring themselves to sin against their Redeemer. They know that He ahs declared them righteous forever, and that He ahs declared Himself their High Priest forever, and that if ever again they should sin, they would not jeopardize their eternal life; but they would jeopardize the peace and the freedom from suffering of their Saviour; for He is the one who must bear the consequences of such a sin!

Victory over sin, refusal to sin, is a voluntary thing. If it were made a condition of eternal life, then sinlessness would be motivated by selfishness; and that is a contradiction. For sin, basic sin, is selfishness; and sin cannot be eradicated until selfishness is destroyed and selfishness rules. And that could only be done as Christ would take the sinner's penalty forever; and the saint would voluntarily refuse to sin, because he knows that if he did sin, Christ would be the sufferer -- not he himself. Thus selfishness is placed on an entirely voluntary basis! I hop I have made my point.

The Marriage of Christ to His Saints Before Probation Closes

When Jesus came forth from the tomb, He came forth as the One who had been born in Bethlehem and who had grown up in Nazareth. And He will not again partake of the eternal heritage of His former body and blood, until He partakes of it through the marriage union with His saints, and the kingdom is restored.

This occurs before the close of probation (EW 280)! The marriage union is consummated and the new body of Christ is established, and the kingdom is restored. The allegiance of His people voluntarily to their Counselor, the Head of the new body, is restored; and Jesus again partakes of His former heritage through His saints. What a picture of humility! What a picture of self-sacrifice! There is no equal to it.

Christ died the Second Death at the Cross

It should be recognized that Christ did die the eternal death of the sinner. The death of the sinner is the second death which is an everlasting death from which there can be no hope of a resurrection [EW 218]. Christ died the first death in the heavenly Sanctuary before He came to this world in the form of Jesus. This was the death of sleep from which He awakened, and from which He had the privilege of going back into His former heritage. On the cross He died the second death; and this was a different death. There was no returning from this death, in the sense that He would never again be able to return to the position -- the status -- in exactly the same way that He had it before.

I recognize that we are dealing with a difficult problem here, that Christ died an eternal death from which there is no resurrection, and from which there can be no hope of a resurrection; and at the same time He lives. But Christ is eternal; and so we are dealing with a mystery. At the same time, He does not return to the identical conditions under which He existed prior to His incarnation. In the Old Testament, Christ was the great God -- the God of His people. It was Christ who created the world. It was Christ who spoke to Moses on the Mount, and whom Moses saw. It was Christ who walked with Abraham. He was God, and yet God the Father was operating through Christ. And here again we're dealing with a mystery. It is not my purpose at this point to move into this mystery; I am not able to solve it. There are thought that could be expressed, but we will leave them at this particular stage.

The Incarnation of the Holy Ghost in Christ's Saints

I simply want to point out that when Jesus came out of the tomb, He was the man who had walked the dusty roads of Galilee; and He would not again partake of His former heritage, His former body and blood, except as there would be men who would respond to His call to 'follow' Him. Only as His new body could be built up from the saints, and the incarnation of the Holy Ghost could take place -- only through this experience could the [original--pre-incarnation] body of Christ be reproduced.

The 'temple' that He said would be destroyed, He also said that in three days ' I will raise it up.' There is a deeper meaning in this statement. He spoke of the temple of His human body -- yes; but He spoke also of the great temple of His heavenly body. And each day is for a year. But each day is also for a thousand years with God, and a thousand years as one day. It was in the third thousand years that the new temple was to be restored in His people, and the incarnation of Christ through the Holy Ghost in His people, known as the marriage of the Lamb to His bride, was to take place.

It is through the saints that Christ returns. He is to live in His saints -- 'His inheritance is in His saints,' says Paul (cf. Eph. 1;18). And herein again is the law of the universe, the law of heaven and earth, exemplified: he gave all, that He might receive all again. There is no way to receiving but by giving. If a man would have eternal life, he must lose his life for Christ's sake. Christ gave His life for the sake of His people, and it is through His people that His life is restored!

I am not herewith talking about His human life -- His life in humanity and the resurrection of His human body -- I am speaking of His great eternal and spiritual body which He exemplified or typified through the communion service -- this is what I am speaking of. And He himself said that He broke His body, and that the broken bread of the communion service represented His body, that it might be divided among the disciples for them to eat and assimilate.

He was not talking about His physical human body -- He still lives in that. Nor was He talking about the life of his physical human body. He was talking about the Holy Spirit, the Eternal Spirit of life, the Eternal Spirit of God, which is the source of all life that had been His in His great eternal body, as the God of the Old Testament and the God of eternity -- that is what He was talking about! It is in this blood; and this is the blood of His body, for it is the life of it. He gave up the Spirit of Life. He gave up the Ghost. And that great Ghost of His former body -- the Holy Ghost -- that great body with all its characteristics and qualities -- was divided for His disciples to eat and for them to drink. And it was in this Spirit of Life that the new testament or new covenant resided. HE said, 'This is the new covenant in my blood, the new testament in my blood; drink ye all of it.' -- all of it! [cf. Matt. 26:27 & 28; also 1 Cor. 11:24-28].

The Comforter is the Soul of Christ's Life

The abundant outpouring of the Holy Ghost is to come to the 144,000. Through them will be restored the body temple of Christ. Through them will God and Christ -0- in them will God and Christ come to dwell by the agency of the Holy Ghost. I wonder if you get the implications of this? 'This Comforter is the Holy Spirit -- the soul of His life. . . .' (EGW, Review and Herald, May 19, 1904).

And the promise to the Laodicean people who overcome is fantastic. It says (Revelation, chapter three): 'To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame,' -- the same way! -- 'and am set down with my Father in His throne.' Now get it! As Christ was set down with His Father in His throne (and the Bible says that all things were given into the hands of the Son -- all power) --this is how Christ is set down with His Father in His throne.

He was One with Him from eternity; and through Him was everything made that was made. This is the great God of the Old Testament, the great Christ, the Son of God. That is how He is set down with His Father in His throne. And He says that even as I am set down with my Father in His throne, even so will I grant that Him that overcometh (in the Laodicean period of the church's history) as I also overcome, will I grant to sit down with Me in my throne -- in that same way. (cf. Rev. 3:21).

The New Governing Body of the Universe

What a tremendous picture! Here is the new governing body of the universe: Christ the Head, and His saints the body; and as a unit they function and replace the great God of the Old Testament, Who is now in them, Who is now married to them; and they twain, says Paul, shall become one flesh. But this is a great mystery, he says; but I speak concerning Christ and His church. (Eph. 5:29-30). Is this not plain? He also says that 'the saints are built up an habitation of God through the Spirit." (cf. Eph. 2:20-22). It could not be made any plainer for anyone to see. Let's get the scales off our eyes. Let's anoint our eyes with eye-salve and take a look -- and see!

How can anyone who sees this picture refuse the call of Christ to take up His cross and follow Me; how can anyone refuse? It is not the reward -- it is a responsibility; it is not the reward -- it is a need on the part of Christ, who has given all. And He can regain His life only through His saints! I speak here of His former life. There is a difference; else He did not die the eternal death of the sinner.

The eternal life of Christ did not die; He relinquished it. He gave it up. He gave up the Ghost, and the Spirit returned to God who gave it! [cf DA 22 and 23]. And He prays the Father, that the Father would send that Spirit upon is children. That is the everlasting covenant. That is the agreement -- that the heritage that had been His, was to be bestowed upon His people. That is His last will and testament. And the Father is fulfilling the part of the Administrator and Executor of the will of Christ; and HE delivers the heritage, even as Christ had requested in His last will and testament!

That's how you get eternal life, my friend -- no other way. Your life is His life. I should say, your eternal life is not yours, it is His. He gives it to you. You could have it in no other way. 'He suffered the death which was yours,' says our prophet, 'that you might receive the life which was His.' (cf. DA 25). I know I am dealing here with a very deep mystery, and some will not see it. If you cannot see it, just leave it. Don't let it bother you. Take the Word of God by faith; accept what it says, and God will take care of the rest.

But He is looking for a people; He is calling for individuals who are willing to stand up and be counted, and through whom He can perform His work of purification and complete salvation from sin. That is what He is looking for! That is what He is calling for: that is what He is inviting you to do! Are you willing? Are YOU willing?

The Baptism of Suffering

In order to do it you must enter the fire, the fiery furnace of purification. He will come suddenly to you as a member of His temple to 'purify and cleanse you.' And what is the nature of that fire? What is the nature of that cup? What is the nature of that baptism? It is the sufferings which He endured because of your sin. He is going to let you taste it. He is going to let you partake of it so that you will know [by experience] what it cost Him to prepare the way for you to be saved.

He did not have to bear your affliction; he did not have to learn obedience through suffering for His own sake. He did it for your sake, that He might be your Example, that He might lead the way and you 'would follow His steps, who did no sin.' That's why He did it. And He's going to let you find out what it was like. He's going to give you a little taste of it. You'll feel it. You'll wonder in amazement how He did it. But you' get only a taste of it. He took it for a long, long time. And when you have that experience, you will loathe yourself for continuing in sin; and the expulsion of sin from your life will be an act of your own soul. (Desire of Ages, page. 466).

In other words, you have to make the decision to stop! And you will -- after you have suffered a while. But Peter says He'll make you perfect, strengthen and stablish you. (cf. 1 Pet. 5:10). Are you willing to do it? Do you really want to be purified?

There is no way to purify gold except by heat. 'I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire;' and the gold is faith and love. [cf. DA 280]. You get your imputed righteousness (salvation from eternal death), by faith in the substitutionary merits of Christ and His sacrifice; and it'll need to be tried, that faith will. It will be tried, and it must stand the test. Bu He will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able to bear, but will make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it. But He'll gradually increase the dose until slowly, but steadily, your faith will be strengthened until it attains to the faith of Jesus, because that's what the remnant will have --the faith of Jesus!

God's 144,000 Commandment-keepers

But the goal of this painful procedure is to provide the saints with a level of motivation sufficient to enable them to adequately keep the law of God's kingdom. And they will attain this goal; they will keep the commandments of God. This is the second part of the gold that is tried in the fire -- faith and love. You will be imbued with love through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the self-denying love of Christ. And it will be tested --- that love will be tested! 'If you love me,' He says, 'keep My commandments' {John 14:15]. And according to the love, so will e your commandment-keeping. And until you have the perfect love which will cast out fear, you will not be able to keep the commandments perfectly.

But the promise is sure. It can be done, and it will be done! But you have the choice as to whether you will be one through whom God will do it. He is calling you. If you are willing to surrender to Him, tell Him that you will do it, that you will strive with all your might to go along with Him. He will perform it. He's waiting for 144,000 people to do it!

God's Message for This Hour is on These Tapes

The message which you are hearing on these tapes is the message for this hour. It is the call to the disobedient to turn to the wisdom of the just, and to make ready a people prepared for the Lord to come. First He is to come to His new temple of saints by His Spirit; and secondly: He is to come in His personal glory. He will not come in His personal glory until He has come to His people in the marriage union, and the kingdom structure of government has been restored. The sudden coming of the Spirit to His new and living temple of 144,000 saints is the coming of the messenger of the covenant, who writes God's law on the tables of their hearts. He is to come! First He comes to the 'Marriage' of the Lamb, to His victorious body of saints in the abundant outpouring of the latter rain. Then the Head of that victorious body of saints -- the personal Lord Jesus of Nazareth -- recovers His sovereignty over His 'body' via the channel of voluntary allegiance!

This message will go forth before the coming of the 'great and dreadful day of the Lord,' (See Malachi chapter 4, the last verses of the Old Testament, which is the last message that Christ ever gave to His people before He died the first death, the death of sleep, in the heavenly Sanctuary). It is an important message, and it is reaching your ears right now~ God is uttering His voice; and He utters His voice through His servants who are willing to do His bidding. The message that He give them, they will speak; and I am speaking to you now, the message which He has given to me to deliver to you.

Not until you have a revelation of the love of God for you, will you be imbued with the power -- the motivating force -- of self-denying love to implement your decision to cease from sin. This is the power of the gospel whereby a man is saved from sinning. Self-denying love is the essence of God's character. That's why He died the eternal death of the sinner, from which there can be no hope of a resurrection!