The Sanctuary Ė The Better Sacrifice

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The Sanctuary Ė The Better Sacrifice




J. Wilfred Johnson

July 7, 1986


Transcribed from a C/D of the same title Nov. 5th, 2012




Steven Pond and Mary Savoy


I wish we had two hours today; this is one of the most profound messages in Adventism. I hope that you at least look through the quarterly and got the details of the foundation of this thing because I would like to build on that today. I donít want to spend too much time going through the details; I would like to give you the keys for understanding this lesson. Keys which I feel we are urgently in need of, but I havenít heard them explained the way I find them in the books. I think that Satan is at work trying to becloud the minds of Adventists so they will not understand the message God gave to us to give to the world. And many of us are moving backwards. Today I hope that we may move ahead.


What did God give all of these gruesome ceremonies to ancient Israel for? What was His point? Every time someone sinned they had to take an animal and slay it with their own hands and the blood flowed and the blood had to be used in certain ways and so what did He do this for? Day after day, week after week, year after year, that sanctuary must have been so polluted that it would be almost impossible to stand the stench. What was God doing? Letís have a quick look.


Now, let me give it to you. He was trying to teach those people the terribleness of sin, the gruesomeness of it. What did the animal represent?


(A woman in the group) Unintelligible (This meeting is actually a small Sabbath school lesson given by Mr. Johnson in what sounds like the sanctuary of the church. There are other groups meeting in the sanctuary as well as individuals talking among themselves. All of this background noise makes it impossible to hear individuals addressing Mr. Johnson with their comments and questions.)


(Wilfred) It was Christ wasnít it? Doesnít it represent Christ? What was going to happen to Christ because of sin? Nothing would have to happen to Him except for the fact that God wanted to save sinners. If God didnít care about sinners nothing would happen, but God loves sinners, His love impelled Him. God wanted to teach those people the awfulness of sin and what it does to Him.


Sister White explains to us that the cross of Calvary is the revelation of the pain that entered into the heart of God at the very inception of sin, and that pain has endured all down through those years. The hurt, and the cross was to reveal that hurt so that we would understand what God is suffering because He is tolerating this multitude of wicked children of His who are constantly doing mischief and paining His heart. You parents understand that donít you, a little bit? When is the pain going to leave the parents heart?


(A woman in the group) Unintelligible


(Wilfred) When the children stop sinning. When they come in penance and repentance and say, oh, please forgive me. Iíll never do that again. Well, what about the sinner? Thatís what God wanted to teach those Israelites. Donít keep on sinning because it keeps on hurting. Come out of it. And thatís why once a year they have the atonement service to remind them that there is a time when God is going to cleanse house, to cleanse the temple. And thatís another thing I want to touch on, the temple. The aim of the Gospel is to get rid of sin. The purpose of the creation of this world and its seven thousand year history; six thousand years in which the demonstration takes place and the seventh thousand years in which all the records are reviewed and they look it over and they say, ďIt is goodĒ. That what God did in the six-day creation, He made it in six days, the seventh day He looked at it and He said, ďItís goodĒ. Now here isóthe real one here is the real creation. The heart of the sinner is to be renewed. There is to be a destruction, a cleansing of sin, and a renewal of righteousness in the human heart. And Jesus was the first-born of the new temple of God, the head, and He showed us how it is to be done. And now He is calling for His people in this antitypical Day of Atonement: please come for the cleansing of the soul temple. And what were they to do on that day? They stood afflicting their souls, there were no sins brought to the sanctuary, confessed individually, on the Day of Atonement. No sin. They were not to sin on the Day of Atonement. They were to be afflicting their souls and this was the day when the cleansing would occur. Now, do you get the picture?


God today has called the Adventist church to present the Sanctuary Message, and particularly the Day of Atonement, which began in 1844, which some of our theologians are now discarding. Oh, Sister White predicted it. Listen brother and sister, we are in the final crisis, weíre in it, right now, and God says He is going to have messengers who are going to call His people, call the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. And brother and sister I am doing it right now, and God is raising people all over this denomination, little pockets here and there and theyíre speaking out. And God is now taking the reins into His own hands because denominationally we havenít yet got it done, have we? We have thought in terms of going to the world with the Gospel, and spread the Gospel, and we have had a thousand converts per day for over a thousand days, the Loud Cry, donít you realize that it is right in front of you? Itís happening, but whatís the purpose of the Loud Cry? To bring people in, but what is the ultimate goal? How long is God going to wait before He comes? It says very plainly that Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of the reproduction of His character, His perfect character in His people. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people. I am quoting. Then He will come.


Now look, what is holding up the second coming of Jesus? Is it getting the Gospel message to the world? We could do that in two weeks. With the facilities in the world today we could the Gospel message to the world in two weeks or maybe a month, Iíll give a little. Whatís holding up the coming of Christ? Seventh-day Adventists have backed off from their responsibility. They have been beclouded. They have become Laodicean. They are lukewarm. They think they are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. Am I too hard on us? Iím one of them. Is it true? What is the call? Repent, Repent. Buy of me gold tried in the fire.


Have you read Malachi chapter 3: 1? The messenger of the covenant is going to come suddenly to His temple to purify and cleanse the sons of Levi. Have you read that? When does he come to His temple? He came in 1844 to His temple, she says it. Shall I read these statements? Oh, it takes so long to read them but are you going to believe me if I donít read them?


Listen, The Great Controversy page 426. ďThe coming of Christ as our high priest to the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of Days, as presented in Daniel 7:13;Ē .... Thatís for the judgment you know. .... ďand the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, .... And she has just quoted Malachi 3 the one I just read to you. .... ďare descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage,Ē .... You can read about that in Early Writings, the marriage of the Lamb to His saints in New Jerusalem, the New City of God. These are .... ďdescribed by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins,Ē .... Now those are all one and the same thing. It started in 1844; it is not yet been because you and I have held off. What have we been doing that we shouldnít have been doing and what have we not been doing what we should have been doing? Oh, I wish I had two hours and I would read all this to you. The greatest work that can be done in our world is to glorify God by living the character of Christ. Thatís the greatest work that you can do. That is to live the character of Christ. How are you going to live the character of Christ? What have you got to live the character of Christ with? Youíve got your will power, thatís all, just your will power and you can decide from now until doomsday to go Godís route and obey all of His commandments and all that and youíre going to flunk time and again. Have you tried it? Well, if you havenít tried it, try it, and youíll find out. Whatís the matter? Well. The load is too heavy for us, but God says do it anyway and Iíll come to your rescue. And how is He going to come to the rescue? And that zeroes right in on our lesson. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.


Now Iím going to be bold and give you some keys here that you may not have heard before, some of you have but some of you may not have. But they are in the books and if I had the time I could read it right straight from the mouth of Godís prophet. The blood of Jesus Christ is the key to victory over sin, and I bet you donít understand that or do you? I have asked many people to explain it to me, and Iíll be honest I havenít had a single one in all the years that I have been an Adventist ever explain that to me. And in the lesson I think it says something about, well, this is one of the things we just accept, itís an axiom, just believe it. But that is not what God says. Godís prophet says that if you lack wisdom, ask God. Thatís what He says in the Bible. And she says that God, I am not sure I can quote this statement exactly, and all the conditions, because there are several of them and they overlap. But God will in response to our prayer and our surrender reveal to us His mysteries personally. She says that the mysteries of God are not mysteries because He wants to hide them, but it is because of our own weakness. Maybe we are not mature enough. You canít explain certain things to children because they are not mature enough, or ignorance she says. Now maybe the maturity we canít do a great deal about, although we can do something. Some people are more mature at the same age than others areóyou know. But we can do something about our ignorance. We can get into those books and find out what God says. And do you know what God says? God says that the blood is the life, thatís what He says. So when Jesus shed His blood He shed His life. Now what kind of life did Jesus have? Well Jesus explained It, He says; as the Father has life in Himself even so hath He given the Son to have life in Himself. Now He has shared His life with you and me, but the life which He has shared with us is conditional life, and when we die we give up the ghost, the spirit of life, and it returns to God who gave it. But listen, Christ the Son of GodóGod had shared everything with Him. He had given Him life in Himself even as God had life in Himself, and not a single thing in this universe, not an atom was ever created that was not created through the Son. The Bible says He created everything and without Him was not anything made that was made. Iím simply relaying what God says, those are not my words. Jesus said when one of them asked Him; show us the Father; Jesus said well, have you missed that point? Donít you really understand; that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. The Bible says God is a spirit and Jesus said a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have. The Bible says God is invisible He cannot be seen. Well, that stands to reason. I think there is more than one reason. I think He is too big to be seen for one thing, like an ant looking at the Empire State Building. The ant doesnít see the Empire State Building he sees just a little scratch on the wall down there at the bottom. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father.


Now look, I can read a statement here which says, and maybe Iíll do itóthat Jesus is the temple of God. We talk about the sanctuary you know, and itís got to be cleansed and all that. Godís prophet says that Christ is the true temple. Shall I read it? Incidentally, that is what He wanted those Israelites back there to become, listen: The Lord covered Him with His own glory, thatís Moses, that he might see the pattern and according to it all things were made. Listen, it wasIsrael whom He desired to make His dwelling place. Remember John chapter 14, where He says if you love me keep my commandments and Iíll pray the Father and He will send you another comforter which is the Holy Ghost. We will not leave you comfortless. We will come to you and make our abode with you and abide with you forever. Do you remember that? He wants His people to become His dwelling place as Christ was the dwelling place of the Father, and through Him all things were done. Christ gave up His life that it might be shared with His people. Listen, Iím going to read it.


So to Israel, whom He desired to make His dwelling place, He had revealed His glorious ideal of character. The pattern was shown him on the mount when the law was given on Mount Sinai. And the Lord passed before Moses and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy with thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression of sins. Listen now, Israel had chosen their own ways they had not builded according to the pattern. Now, is he talking about the literal sanctuary, did they not build that according to the pattern? Yes, they built the sanctuary according to the pattern, but what building is it talking about that they had not built according to the pattern? They had not builded according to the pattern [Christ]. They had chosen their own ways. But Christ, the true temple for Gods indwelling, molded every detail of His earthly life in harmony with Godís ideal. Did God dwell in Christ? Where was the temple in which God dwelt? Christ! Christ was the temple. Listen, so our characters are to be builded for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Thatís a quotation from Ephesians chapter 2. It says the building is fitly framed together and framed to be built up for a habitation of God through the Spirit. Do you get the picture? What I am trying to show you is the true temple and unless we apply the lesson that is in the Quarterly here, unless we apply that to our personal situation today what profit is it that we study it at all?


God is waiting, longing to prepare you to be a member in His new temple, the new temple in which Christ was the temple originally, the soul temple of God. He laid down His eternal life, or else He could not have died, He laid it down and I believe He did that in the heavenly sanctuary before He came to this world because He didnít exist as Christ in heaven after He came here, did He? Was He still living up there? He left the glories of heaven. What did He do? He relinquished His eternal life. He voluntarily shed His lifeblood, the eternal Spirit of God that gave Him life in Himself, do you get it? Or do you not? I can read you statements that directly equate the blood of Christ to the life of Christ. When you shed the blood you shed the life. When Jesus relinquished the eternal Spirit of His eternal life He went to sleep just as you and I do when we give up the ghost, but He gave up the eternal ghost and it went back to the father who gave it. Thatís why when He said to His disciples I will pray the Father and He will send you what? The Holy Ghost. Do you know what else she explains? She says, Christ dwells in us by His Spirit, It is the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us. The Holy Spirit of Christ is the life of Christ; I can read that to you. I can read that. The Holy Spirit is the life of Christ and that is what He prays the Father to send to you and me in His intercession, thereís your sanctuary. What does He want to send down the Holy Spirit for? Because He wants you to become a member in the new temple of which He is the head. But the head canít function very well without the body can it? And that is where He is setting right now; waiting for you and me to respond. Now, how do we respond? Cleansing the soul temple, the temple has to be cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit, and if you donít cleanse it, He canít come because He canít dwell in an impure temple.


Oh, Iíve got so many statements here I donít know where to start.


Listen to this one. Review and Herald April 25th 1893. ďIt is through the mighty agency of the Holy Spirit that the government of Satan is to be subdued and subjected. It is the Holy Spirit that convinces of sin and expels it from the soul by the consent of the human agent.Ē .... Wonít do it without your consent. Let me read on. .... ďThrough the merits of ChristĒ .... And that is another thing that needs explaining. ....Ē man may be able to exercise the noblest powers of his being.Ē .... Thatís his freedom of choice .... ďAnd expel sin from his soul.Ē


Note by rwb: Is it part of the merit(s) of Christ that He gave His eternal life, His Holy Spirit, the soul of His life, the highest good, crowning gift heaven can bestow, to indwell us, in order that we might overcome all sin and be regenerated back into the image of God we were created in? Notice:


"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 Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.

In the gift of the Spirit [HIS LIFE--THE SOUL OF HIS LIFE], Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow....

The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail....

It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon the church." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, May 19, 1904, vol. 5, p. 42.


ďChrist had stooped to take upon Himself manís nature; He was to bear an infinite weight of woe as He should make His soul an offering for sin; yet angels desire that even in His humiliation the Son of the Highest might appear before men with a dignity and glory befitting His character.Ē E.G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 313, 314.


It should be recognized that the heavenly Sanctuary sacrifice involving His HIGHEST GOOD, CROWING GIFT that heaven can bestow, was/is best and most efficacious sacrifice made on manís behalf. That ETERNAL sacrifice paid the penalty for the wages of sin, which is eternal death, as well as providing the CURE for sin. The sacrifice of the Son of Man involved exceedingly more than His second death on the cross and three days and nights in a tomb.


ďSatan was exulting that he had succeeded in debasing the image of God in humanity. Then Jesus came to restore in man the image of his -38- Maker. None but Christ can fashion anew the character that has been ruined by sin. He came to expel the demons that had controlled the will. He came to lift us up from the dust, to reshape the marred character after the pattern of His divine character, and to make it beautiful with His own glory.Ē {DA 37.3}


"While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still by HIS SPIRIT the minister of the church on earth" (DA p. 166, par. 2), "Jesus is waiting to breathe upon all His disciples, and give them the inspiration of HIS SANCTIFYING SPIRIT and transfuse the vital influence from HIMSELF to His people. They must act with HIS SPIRIT, that it may be no more they that live, but CHRIST that liveth in them. Jesus is seeking to impress upon them the thought that in giving HIS HOLY SPIRIT He is giving to them the glory which the Father hath given Him, that He and His people may be one in God" (MR vol. 2, pp. 36,37), "Christ gives them the breath of HIS OWN SPIRIT, the life of His own life" (DA p. 827, par. 3) End note by rwb.


Donít tell me that you cannot expel sin from your soul. If you tell me that, youíre calling Godís prophet a liar! But you canít do it without the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. And what is the blood of Christ? What does it represent I should say? His Spirit, His life. And I have other statements to show that His life is His love. And when the Bibles says, when the Holy Spirit is received it sheds the love of God abroad in the heart. Love is the motive power of this universe. Love is the essence of the power of God. God is love. Everything that was ever created was created by the power of love. Now, I wonít go into the scientific details of that thing because I donít understand them all. But one thing I know is that there is no power in the human heart greater then love to cause a person to do something. He will do things that he doesnít want to do and never would normally do when love takes hold, Am I right? And until the love of God fills our hearts brothers and sisters, we are never going to submit to the cleansing of the soul temple by cooperating with God and expelling sin from our soul. I have the power to decide to stop sinning, I can do that, I am not tied, unless the Lord removes His protection and permits me to be overcome by Satan. But He promises He wonít do that. He said He would rather send every angel in Heaven to protect us than to permit one of us to be overcome by Satan. If you donít want to be overcome by Satan brother and sister you donít have to be. Exercise your will. Sometimes He puts us to the test. Why? Because the only way you can build willpower and develop strong character is like you do with a muscleóyouíve got to put it to the stretch and exercise it, and that is how willpower and character are built. But if you put your character to the stretch, your willpower to the stretch, God has promised that He will pray the Father, and when He sees His people there in one of those visions of Early Writings, He sees them there not ready, and things are closing in, and that is right now, He pleads with His Father. He says Father, My blood, My blood, My blood, My blood, four times and a bright light comes from the Father to Jesus, and she explains that Jesus receives from the Father to give to you every blessing from heaven that comes through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Iíve got the statement right here. Are you really interested in following through with what God has planned for this Day of Atonement; the day in which we become one with God; the day in which we become united with Him? The marriage is consummated before the close of probation. Thatís in Early Writings. The head and the members are going to be married. The latter rain of the Holy Spirit brings the full outpouring of the life of Christ to His people and there will be one hundred and forty four thousand survivors after this holocaust who will live without sin and stand before God without a mediator. And thatís a demonstration; donít get mixed up on that, thatís a demonstration because the devil accused God of having a law that couldnít be kept. So Jesus came and proved that in simple humanity that it was possible to live His law with the aid of the divine nature which God gave to Jesus to give us an example of how it is done. And Jesus said, follow Me, take up your cross, follow Me. And how many voices do we have in our church today that say it canít be done; it doesnít mean that?


Oh brother and sister weíre in the time when Sister White predicts that we are going to give up our major doctrines; we are going to apostatize, and the destruction of Jerusalem she says that took place back there, she says thatís going to be repeated and whatís Jerusalem today? Oh, I donít like to say this, but what is Jerusalem today? His Church! His church. The day is coming very soon now when the work of our church is finished. God cannot use it any more; itís done all that it can do as a church. And it will be an individual experience and there will be little companies in isolated places, thatís what the books say. And we are a lot closer then most of us realize. Oh I wish that somebody would get something into our papers to wake our people up, but everything is still Laodicean. Iím speaking the truth? I wonder, have you watched your television in the last few weeks, the news I mean? Weíre there, weíre there, and when it hits itís not going to be easy, itís not going to be easy, but you will either go up or down.


Now God says that these old ceremonies, these rituals, some of which we perform in the church services and so on, we have our communion service and all the rest of it, and I wonder how many people really understand what that communion service is all about, where we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. I wonder what we understand about it. Do you know what she says? The true manna which came down from heaven when He was talking about that, she was commenting on John chapter 6 where Jesus talks about this you know, and so many left Him, and they couldnít swallow it when He said that they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood or they wouldnít have any life in them, they didnít like that so they left Him. She says the true manna which came down from heaven is the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit. You must absorb the life of Christ which He relinquished which went back to the Father and now Jesus went to the cross and died the second death, the eternal death of the sinner from which there is no hope of a resurrection. He forever closed the door to regaining that eternal life that he had before. He could have picked it up any time in His lifetime here on earth but in Gethsemane He made His final decision. Thatís why He sweat those great drops of blood, He forever gave His life to you and me. And unless you and I respond and come to build up the new temple He is left out there in the cold. He is waiting for His body temple to be built so that the marriage can take place and the new body of Christ is complete. Now He dwells in His saints. The Father and the son the eternal life Spirit of God will be in His saints. Donít you believe it? Listen, the promise is to the Laodicean overcomers, and thatís you and me here, if we want to be. To Him that overcometh will I grant to set with Me in My throne. What a promise. Even as I also overcame and sit down where? With My Father in His throne.


Do you realize whatís in that lesson today? Do you realize whatís in there? I hope that the Spirit of God will touch your thinking and some of the things I have said are only a tenth of what I could have said, will inspire you to come clean with God and to share your faith with others that we may soon find one hundred and forty four thousand people who understand what God is doing and is willing to go with him so that He can finish it off.


May the lord bless us to this end be my prayer. In His name, Amen.



May you be richly blessed by this transcription is our prayer


Note by Ron: I canít thank Steven Pond and Mary Savoy enough for transcribing these thoughts on how we may obtain eternal life from tapes to the written word. May God bless them in all that they do for His cause, is my prayer.


Follow on to Know the Lord, November 9 (This Day With God)


Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Acts 9:6.


ďThose who are striving to be overcomers will be pursued by the temptations of the enemy. Satan will tempt them to corrupt the principles which all must maintain who would reach the high standard that God has set before them. Satan rejoices when he can lead souls to follow mistaken ideas, until their names are blotted out of the book of life and recorded among the names of the unjust. We can overcome only in the way that Christ overcameóby wholehearted obedience to every commandment of God. True religion is obedience to all the commandments of God.


Every soul who is saved must surrender his own plans, and follow where Christ leads the way. The understanding must be yielded up to Christ for Him to cleanse and refine and purify. This will always be done when we receive aright the teachings of Christ. O, how much we need a more intimate acquaintance with Him! We need to enter into His purpose, and to carry out His will, saying with the whole heart, ďLord, what wilt thou have me to do?Ē...


The child of God is to reach out for higher and still higher attainments. He is to confess every sin, that by his example others may be helped to confess their sins and cherish the faith that works by love to purify the soul. He is to be constantly on guard, never standing still, never turning back, but ever pressing on to the mark of the high calling of God in Christ....


We should keep ever before us the fact that time is short. Iniquity is increasing on every hand. The righteous are set as lights in the world. Through them the glory of God is to be revealed to the world. Keep ever before you the solemn events of the futureóthe great review of the judgment and the coming of Christ. You with your family are to prepare for that day....


Follow on day by day to know the Lord, rejoicing that it is your privilege to say at His coming, as you stand with His faithful, waiting children, ďThis is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: ...we will be glad

and rejoice in his salvationĒ (Isaiah 25:9).óLetter 92, November 9, 1911, to a husband and wife.




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