Promises For This Time
Well ask for and accept God's promise of wisdom through His Holy Spiritjust now as we claim this exciting promise:
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Everything? Can we do what His law asks? Evidently, in the strength of our Lord, we can. In heaven, Lucifer raised doubts about the fairness of God's government and laws, implying that God asks the impossible of His creatures. The same doubts are suggested here on earth.
Gods Answer: Jesus Came As A Human
God proved, through Jesus, that a human being relying on heavenly strength could do God's loving will, obey His laws and submit fully to God's authority. Jesus said:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." John 6:38
Just before the crucifixion, He said again:
"My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." ... He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
Gods Answer: He Chose To Die
God proved through Jesus that He was a God whose love for the creatures He had created was so great that He would die in their place. While His government and laws are changeless, He showed that, as Creator, He could create a solution to lawbreaking that combined mercy and justice. He would be our priest as well as our defense attorney and our judge. If we choose Him, He stands in our place as-a perfect substitute, taking our punishment even though He was innocent.
... but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy,, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. Hebrews 7:24-27
God Wanted To Do It
On earth during Old Testament days, the heavenly government's solution was represented symbolically in the sanctuary services and animal sacrifices. But the earth was shown God's government of love in its most complete sense when the punishment of God's broken law was accepted by God Himself. It was accepted willingly because Jesus knew there would be those who would respond to His love by looking to Him and, in His strength, choosing Him! He would then resume His place at the throne in the government of heaven.
Let us f ix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
At times, it would appear God has failed. On the cross it looked as though Satan had won and Christ had lost. Yet, God had won. Before Jesus comes back to this earth again, it will once more appear that God has lost. However, God has always been in control. He continues to treat the inhabitants of the universe intelligently, respecting His gift of the power of choice which He gave them.
God In Control
God had told Daniel of a timetable, a deadline of 490 prophetic days. (See Daniel 9:24 and number 13 of Powerful Promises.) During this time His chosen nation was to share with all the world information of His government's justice and mercy in the covenant plan of the symbolic sanctuary services pointing to the Messiah. God also revealed, as He promised in Amos 3:7, His overall plan. In this plan, 490 days (years) represented a time in which His powerful solution to the attack on His heavenly government (His sanctuary) would be vindicated in the eyes of the watching heavenly intelligences.
Christ came to this earth as the perfect Lamb sacrifice represented by the lambs in the Old Testament sanctuary services. He came with the responsibility of God's government resting on His shoulders.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. Isaiah 9:6
A government has law and decision-making power. The sanctuary contained God's law, and the sacrifices offered resulted in the powerful decision to forgive. God's sanctuary system represents to man God's government.
The Overall Timeline
He said to me, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be re-consecrated." Daniel 8:14
The King James Version says that the sanctuary would be "cleansed." Whether the word is translated "re-consecrated," "restored," or "cleansed," the picture in the Hebrew language is one that speaks of a vindication needed because of the attack that has gone on against God's government (sanctuary). It was to take place at the end of the 2,300 prophetic days. We can read in chapter 9 the agony Daniel felt about this vision. I n that chapter an angel was sent to Daniel, and an explanation was given about the government of God. Daniel was told of God's overall control of the world in spite of earthly kingdoms and worship that came and went. The angel then spoke of the first section of the 2,300 evenings and mornings-of 490 prophetic days (years) involving the symbol of God's government on this earth, with the sacrifices that pointed to the Lamb of God. The remaining years of that prophecy would include the special 1,260 years about which we have already studied in detail in Powerful Promises number 13.
The end of the overall timetable reached into the nineteenth century to the year 1844. Something was to happen in the vindication of the plan formulated by God's loving government before the creation of the world. The plan was to demonstrate to the universe that God's solution had worked. There would be humans who, if given another chance (and they were, by Christ's death) would choose Him and would be able to overcome the power of sin, by the creative power of Christ. He had not asked the impossible of His creatures. The laws of God's government could be kept. The proof would be the people whose names are found ready for sealing in the Lamb's book of life.
Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth-to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
Mark Of God: Freedom To Obey
God's solution promises that His loving sacrifice for us for the sake of His government will find those who choose to accept Him and His strength to keep His commandments.
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:12
God had spelled out the correct time for worship in His commandments in the seal of His creative authority. He offers this for us to choose to obey in Christ's strength.
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Exodus 20:8-11
Some Choose Death
Choices have demonstrated whose spirit is in the life: that of Jesus, Creator/Redeemer, or the spirit of God's enemy. At one time, a person might have accepted eternal life and forgiveness of past sins, and even enrolled their names in the book of a church. But if, afterwards, they continually refuse the strength of God's Spirit to obey His laws, living contrary to His guidelines and continually rejecting His authority, they are choosing the government of His enemy. The judgment going on to vindicate God's plan would find them rejected as rebellious. They would be miserable in heaven, and a risk to the other inhabitants of the univqrse. Instead of being "participants in the divine nature, " they then would have chosen to be filled with the same seeds of rebellion that destroyed Satan. Their names would be removed from the book of life.
Some Choose Life
The opposite, however, is equally true. If we accept Jesus and eternal life, with forgiveness of present and past sins; if we accept His Spirit's strength to choose more and more often to submit to His laws, we will find ourselves receiving His victory and a new nature developing within. Through Christ we learn what it means to overcome.
I write to you, dear children,, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:12-14
All the time prophecies have brought us to this moment. The judgment in the heavenly sanctuary, which will vindicate God's government in His solution to the problem of rebellion, is soon to be finished. The defense is nearing completion. Christ's return is imminent. God has proven there are many like Job who, in Christ's strength, have so completely chosen God that they can say now, and throughout eternity:
"Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him." Job 13:15
Our Names Stay In His book Of Life
God will not destroy those who hope in Him. God will see His people through the hours of persecution when standing for God's authority will not be easy. The motto of God's people will be the same as the words of Peter long ago:
... "We must obey God rather than men!" Acts 5:29
And God's powerful promise is one of deliverance. As the angel said to Daniel,
"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end." Daniel 12:1-4
The return of Jesus is imminent. We are living in the time of the end. In the examination of the records of name after name, God's plan is to be vindicated before the heavenly intelligences. Christ has already died for everyone. Now those persons who choose to accept Him and His authority will have their sins blotted from the records and their choices sealed by His refreshing Spirit. His followers have been calling for a preparation forth is important event since the time of Peter.
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets."
The "Time Of The End" -- No Coverups
God's vindicating demonstration that man would respond to His plan, was set before the heavenly intelligences just as He promised. On earth, many people studying the prophecies had watched for Christ's return in 1844 and were disappointed. They studied, prayed, and searched, asking for His Spirit. They found the picture of His government in Heaven described in the book of Hebrews, and discovered the symbolism of the government of God-a sanctuary on earth-with its laws and mercy seat, its judgment Day of Atonement. They realized their God had cared enough about the choices of His rebellious human creatures to open before them His government. They saw a government so fair and honest it had no secrets to hide, no cover-ups. God poured out His Spirit to these searching Bible students. God had promised He would, when Daniel talked to the angel so long ago.
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My Lord, what will the outcome of all this be?" He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand."
Daniel 12:8.1 0
God continues to reveal details of His plan to His people. His plan was expressed in outline and symbols in Daniel and Revelation. It was expressed with love through Christ.
In Heaven And On Earth
On this earth the preaching of the heavenly investigative judgment, and the final vindication of God's government, went forward. God again revealed and exalted before all the universe in heaven and on earth, the ten commandment law of His government which Jesus had proved could be obeyed, and by which His subjects would be measured. He opened to view His covenant-as it had existed in ancient times in the Most Holy Place of the earthly sanctuary.
Right after the investigative judgment, Christ would return.
"The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great--and for destroying those who destroy the earth." Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant.
Revelation 11:18, 19
Jesus Meets The Standard
Jesus had already fully met, and flooded with light and love, the very Ten Commandment covenant law Satan had said was impossible to keep. He did it in our place.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven."
God's law, His covenant as Christ had fulfilled it, was to be honored once again during this judgment time. His government was being vindicated. From the beginning of this earth, humans would be found who had accepted Jesus and His plan.
God's solution works! Jesus' sacrifice will not be wasted.
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb."
Revelation 7:9, 1 0
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