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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour, we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us “From Glory to Glory.”

Welcome back, friends. Thank you for staying by. I appreciate the privilege of studying with you; and I have been praying earnestly that the Lord would guide and direct in this next study tonight. I was hoping to get a good deal further than we got with the materials that we’ve handed out, and what I think we need to do is begin another lesson, on the top of page 49. Write in there lesson number 23, “Let Him Be Holy Still.” {Rev 22:11} Lesson 22 was, “Let Him Be,” what? “Righteous Still.” Lesson 23 will begin at the top of page 49, and we’ll call it, “Let Him Be Holy Still.” I can’t leave this topic quite yet, because I want to define for you carefully from Scripture, and the Spirit of Prophecy what this holiness is. It is our essential fitness for heaven, but what constitutes this holiness? What kind of experience will God’s redeemed have at the close of probation that God can say to them, “He who is holy, let him be holy still”? So please, let’s turn our attention to that as we continue tonight. But before we proceed, what must we pause to do? …personally invite the Holy Spirit to be with us. Would you kneel with me? …and as you pray for yourself, please pray for your brother.

Father in heaven, once again we come and once again we ask – not because we think You need to be convinced, but because we need to be convinced. We are, oh, so prone to be self-sufficient. Forgive us for that. In asking, we acknowledge our need, and thereby exercise our will; and thereby make it possible for You to give us what You long to give us, but can’t unless we ask for it. Anoint us with Your Holy Spirit that our study of Your Word might be much more than just an intellectual exercise tonight. May it be a life-changing experience. We want, Father, not only to grasp the truth with the intellect, we want to embrace it with the affections, and, most importantly, we want to submit to it with our wills, that we might experience it in our lives. By the power of the Holy Spirit, as You bless me in leading out in this study, and as You bless my brothers and sisters as they study with me, may we be more like Jesus for having done so, is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Without holiness, no man shall see God,” {Heb 12:14} Scripture says; and my dear friends, when the Judge who is also our Advocate… By the way, isn’t that a wonderful deal? The Judge is our Advocate? That almost sounds unfair, but praise God, that’s the way it is. Our Judge is our Advocate! How can you go wrong when you’ve got a friend in court like that? …and He loves us so much that He gave His life for us. When the Judge says, “He who is holy, let him be holy still,” what experience is He ratifying? Remember, He says, “LET him be holy still…” This is not something that He makes us at that point. It’s something that He’s already made us, and He grants us forever thereafter. Are you following that? What is this holiness?

Well, please know that it has to, of course, deal with what goes on in the mind. Why? “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” {Prov 23:7} Therefore, if we are going to be holy, we’ve got to be holy where? …in our hearts, in our minds. We’ve got to be holy between the right and the left ear. This is why Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” {Mat 5:8} Do you want to see God? – we will soon… in unveiled glory, and my dear friends, if we’re going to do that, we’ve got to be what? …pure in heart. We’ve got to have holiness where it really counts, in our hearts, and this is our essential fitness for heaven; and Christ, when He says, “Let him be holy still,” is irrevocably declaring our fitness for heaven. How are we going to have such? …and what is involved in having such a fitness?

Colossians 2:9, and here is another verse, and we find them throughout Scripture, which tie inseparably together title and fitness – justification and sanctification. We noted it earlier, but note it again with me in this context, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete,” where? “in Him who is the head of all principality and power.” That is our right standing with God; that is our justification. But please – excuse me – please notice, that if we have that relationship with Him and are complete in Him, what will we also experience? Verse 11: “In Him you were also,” what? “circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ…” Oh, my dear friends, this is the holiness that we must have. We must have our hearts fully circumcised and separated from our unholy flesh nature. Did you follow that?

Remember, inspiration told us we can have holy hearts here and now, but we can’t have holy flesh here and now. {2SM 32.1} But please know that our hearts reside in a flesh nature; so how are holy hearts going to be such in unholy flesh? They must be fully circumcised. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} They must have all their attachments to the lusts of the flesh cut away. That is precisely what Paul is talking about in Romans 2:29, “…and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter.” You see, there is a typical circumcision that God’s people had in times of old, and they thought that that is what made them holy; but that was only a type of the spiritual circumcision that alone can make us holy, and that is the circumcision of the heart. Are you following this?

Now, this circumcision of the heart, my dear friends, is a cutting away from all of our attachments to any of the lusts of the flesh, even and especially at the level of our thoughts and feelings. Listen to how inspiration speaks of this; Review and Herald, April 24, 1900: “We must learn of Christ. We must know what He is to those He has ransomed. We must realize that through belief in Him it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects of character. We need not retain one sinful propensity…” “We need not,” what? “retain one sinful propensity.” Now, wait a minute. Remember our noting together – I think you have it on page 47, in fact – Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, up towards the top there – page 20. “There are hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil that must be overcome. Appetite and passion must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit. There is no end to the warfare this side of eternity.”

So then if we need not retain one sinful propensity, does that mean that we can be free of all sinful propensities this side of eternity? No. My friends, we don’t get holy flesh until when? …the second coming, “in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye,” {1 Cor 15:52} “…this vile body is changed and fashioned like unto His glorious body.” {Phil 3:21} That’s when we have holy flesh, and that holy flesh will have no longer any propensities or tendencies to evil; and I can hardly wait till I get that flesh. But our flesh nature this side of that moment will have sinful propensities. So what are we talking about here when we are told “we need not retain one sinful propensity…”? We are being told, please understand, that we need not cling to or cherish them in the realm of our hearts. Listen, that becomes very clear. I read on: “As a partaker of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the,” what? “character.” This is the circumcision of the heart. All of our natural tendencies to selfishness, we, by God’s grace, can learn to repulse instantly and consistently even in the realm of our what? …our thoughts. That is the circumcision of the heart, and that, my dear friends, is true holiness. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} “As we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine Teacher, daily partaking of His nature, we cooperate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. God works, and man works, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with the Father.”

Now, my dear friends, please understand that this circumcision of the heart is not an arduous and painful process. Yes, it may require self-denial, and it certainly requires diligent, persevering effort. But the point that I have to make and insist on, is that when we are motivated by the love of Christ, it is not so much a duty as it is a what? …a delight; and it is not so much a letting go of things that we hate to let go of, it’s a learning to cling to and wrap our hearts and minds and thoughts around Him whom we love more and more every day. Amen? …and as our hearts and minds, our thoughts and feelings, are attracted to Christ, we naturally let go of all the things of the flesh. Do you understand what I just tried to explain there? What does Jesus say? “And I, if I be lifted up will,” what? “draw all to Me.” {Jn 12:32} My dear friends, as we behold Christ crucified, as we contemplate His infinite love, He will become more and more attractive to us… Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} …until He becomes our magnificent obsession, and our hearts, our affections, our thoughts are all wrapped up around Him; and the more our thoughts and feelings are attached to Him, the less they will be attached to the lusts of the flesh, and the things of the world.

How does our theme song put it? “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow,” what? “…strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” You see, the more and more we become enamored with the glory, the character, of God, the less and less attractive the things of the world, and the things of the flesh are. So I want you to look at the positive side of this circumcision of the heart process. It’s not so much a painful detachment from the things of the flesh, and the things of the world, as it is a joyous attachment to Jesus. That’s when it really gets positive and beautiful.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ compels us…” You see, what is the motivating power in this circumcision of the flesh? …cutting away from all of our tendencies to indulge self and live for self? What is it? It’s the love of Christ! It’s the love of Christ. “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus, that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for,” whom? “…for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” But my dear friends, when we recognize how much Christ loves us, we love Him in return. In fact, that’s the only way we can love Him. “We love Him because He first loved us.” {1 John 4:19} But please understand that the more we understand how much He first loved us, the more we will love Him in return; and the more we love Christ, the less we will love sin. Did you follow that?

Please, please recognize that if we have a fondness, then, for sin, the lusts of the flesh and the things of this world, that’s a bright red flag that tells us that we don’t really love Christ like we ought to yet. You see, you cannot love Christ and love the world at the same time. You can’t. Therefore, if you are going to be detached from all of your natural affections, for the things of the flesh and the things of the world, you have got to have your loving attachment to Christ strengthened every day, every day. Signs of the Times, July 8, 1897. Please be warned here: “‘…and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.’ The question is asked, ‘Why then are all not drawn to Christ?’ It is because they will not come; because they do not choose to die to self; because they wish, as did Judas, to retain their own individuality, their own natural and cultivated traits of character. Although they are given every opportunity, every privilege, yet they will not give up those tendencies which, if not cut away from the character, will separate them from Christ.” Please be warned! “If, continuing to cherish these traits of character, they were admitted to heaven, they would cause a second rebellion.” Whoa! There’s so much truth in that, my dear friends. Think about that with me, please.

First of all, recognize that if we do not have these attachments to fleshly lusts cut away from our character, our hearts… and remember it’s what goes on in the heart that makes us what we are, and that comprehends our thoughts and our feelings. So, if we don’t have, in the realm of our thought life all of our attachments to fleshly lusts cut away, if we cling to even one fleshly lust, we will disqualify ourselves for heaven. I’ve got to tell you this straight, my dear friends, please. You see, when God deals with sin this next time, He will deal with it in such a way as to ensure that it will never what? …rise again. {GC 504.1} Are we all together?

Now how does He see to it that sin will never rise again? Does He do that by re-wiring the human mind? …and taking away our free will? …and absolutely assuring that no one will ever choose to rebel against Him again because He makes it impossible for them to do so? Is that the way He makes it so that sin will never rise again? No, most emphatically no. My dear friends, the redeemed are just as free, in fact, they are freer than they ever have been. They have a free will, and technically, they could choose to rebel against God. They could choose to sin, but they never will. Why? Why? Because during probationary life, they have come to the place where they love God so much and hate sin so much that they would gladly rather what? …die than have anything to do with sin; and only such people are safe to entrust with eternity because though they technically could raise the ugly rebellion of sin again, they never will. Amen? {Amen} They never will; and by the way, please know that God is responsible for the happiness of all the unfallen, sinless beings in the universe; and they, I assure you, are concerned as to who He’s going to entrust with eternal life, aren’t they? So He can only take those to heaven who have their hearts fully circumcised. Does that make sense to you?

Because you see, when He comes, understand this: He is going to take away that lower, corrupt nature called the flesh, isn’t He? He’s going to change this “vile body, and fashion it like unto His glorious body.” {Phil 3:21} But, can He do that…? Can He remove that remaining lower nature called the flesh and replace it with a glorified body, if we are cherishing even one fleshly lust? Can He remove it without violating our free will? Do you see what I’m trying to illustrate here? If I’m hanging on to just one cherished sin – that’s all it takes, just one – if I’m clinging to that, when it comes time to have that vile body removed, “in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye,” can Jesus, can God take it away from me without violating my will? Can He? No, dear brother, dear sister, I am choosing to cling to it; and if you and I choose to cling to it, we will have to be destroyed with it. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Please, please be honest with yourself on this one. Don’t play games with yourself on this one. All it takes is the cherishing of one sin {COL 316.2} to make it clear to God that you don’t want to give it up, and if you insist on clinging to it, you have chosen to be destroyed with it. I know that may be a hard thing to swallow, but please understand that I’m telling you the truth. Please understand I’m telling you the truth.

God will not take away your flesh nature, and replace it with a glorified body unless your heart is fully circumcised; and you, for the love of Christ, have allowed Him to cut away all your attachments to any fleshly lusts; and please note, that this circumcision of the heart, does not happen at glorification, it happens before glorification… precisely because of what I just explained. God cannot take away, “in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye,” which is what glorification is, that fleshly nature, unless we have already allowed Him to cut away all of our attachments to it – all of them. God’s Amazing Grace, page 243: “We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming.” I was hoping I’d hear an “amen” out there. I’ll give you a second chance: “We believe without a doubt that Christ is soon coming.” {Amen} Good. “This is not a fable to us; it is a reality… When He comes He is not to cleanse us of our sins, to remove from us the defects in our characters, or to cure us of the infirmities of our tempers and dispositions. If wrought for us at all, this work will be accomplished before that time. When the Lord comes, those who are holy will be,” what? “holy still.” “Those who have reserved their bodies and spirits in holiness, in sanctification and honor, will then receive the,” what? “…the finishing touch of immortality. But those who are unjust, unsanctified, and filthy will remain so forever. No work will then be done for them to remove their defects, and give them holy characters. The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process, and remove their sins and their corruption. This is all to be done in these hours of probation. It is now that this work is to be accomplished for us.” Amen, brother, sister? It is when? It is now. Glorification is only the what? “…the finishing touch.” It is the final confirmation of a life that has been changed from glory to glory to glory to glory: growing ever more fully into the character-likeness of Christ; learning to bring our thoughts more and more consistently into captivity to the obedience of Christ; and refuse to indulge the lusts of the flesh; even in the privacy of our imagination, until we are finally sealed; and then, “in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye,” glorified.

You see, as Isaiah 60 says, and this was a key passage for us earlier in this seminar. Verse 7: God says, “I will glorify the house of My…” what? “My glory.” Who is a candidate for glorification? It’s those who have allowed Christ’s character to be restored in them. You see, we were created to be the temple of God and to glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are His, correct? {1 Cor 6:19-20} …and as we learn, by grace, to be restored from glory to glory and to reflect His glory, to the fullness of our sin-damaged capacity in this body temple, we become the house of His glory; and He will what? He will glorify the house of His glory. He will finish the process, “in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye,” with the redemption of our body, and He will give us a body, a glorious body, like unto His own.

Oh, I long for that! Oh, I long for that. I don’t know just what kind of a body it’s going to be, but, you know, the servant of the Lord tells us that it will please Him. He will give us a body that will please Him {Mar 301.1}, and that thrills this man’s heart to the core, because my passion and my desire of my whole being is to please Jesus; and the prospect of having a body that He will give me that will please Him thrills me; it just thrills me. There’s a statement that I want to share with you. It’s a rather lengthy one, but it is so significant regarding this circumcision of the heart, and this holiness that we must have. I put the wrong one in. It’s found in Great Controversy, but not page 425; it’s found on page 623, and I want to share it with you. But just make a note of it there, Great Controversy, 623, and I’m going to read it out of the book. This is profoundly significant and it’s important to understand. Please listen closely; and I told you at the beginning of this study that we’re going to stick very, very closely to what saith the Lord, so that we make sure that we stay on the straight and narrow path of truth. I quote: “Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation.” “Not even by a,” what? “…a thought…” “Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished…” Pause. What’s the problem here? We aren’t circumcised in this area, are we? We are clinging to some fleshly lust. We haven’t been severed from it, for the love of Christ. We’re still loving sin; back to our statement: “Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself, ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.´ John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.”

Now, please understand, there is sin in us. There’s “inbred sin…” clear until when? “…glorification.” That doesn’t mean that there has to be sin in us that Satan can take advantage of. Because if our hearts are fully circumcised, even though we still have fleshly lusts that Satan will try to stir up; we will instantly and consistently repulse them, and bring our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ {2 Cor 10:5} for the love of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is victory; that’s consistent victory. Did you understand that? That, my dear friends, is the experience that we can and must have, coming to the place where we love Christ so much that we are instantly and consistently repulsing temptation, and bringing our thoughts into captivity to Him. I read on: “It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies, which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.” – end quote.

Oh, brother, sister, please don’t delay in getting your hearts circumcised. Please don’t! Yes, circumcision will cause some pain, but my dear friends, I assure you that the joy that you will experience by allowing Jesus to sever all of your attachments to the things of the flesh and the things of the world, will make the suffering of the circumcision so relatively insignificant that you won’t even remember it. You see, “the suffering is not worthy to be compared with the,” what? “…glory.” {Rom 8:18} Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} …and what’s glory? – “character,” right? …and as we work with Christ, for the love of Christ, in the strength of the Spirit of Christ, and learn to bring our thoughts and feelings, our character, more and more consistently in compliance with the spirit of the law, and learn to more and more instantly refuse to indulge the lusts of the flesh, yes, it might require some suffering and self-denial and sacrifice, but the suffering is not worthy to be compared with the glory, and I’m not just talking about the glory hereafter. I’m talking about the joy and happiness of holiness here and now.

Please know that the only way any of you are going to be happy is to learn to be holy! …and holiness has got to be gained up here. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” {Prov 23:7} So yes, there’s a certain amount of suffering and discomfort in denying self, but I assure you, it will be more than compensated both in time and eternity, with the joy and happiness that comes through holiness and likeness to God. Please know that; please know that. The goal: the goal of the gospel is to bring us to the place where our hearts are fully circumcised, my friends. All of our thoughts and feelings are cut away from their natural attachment to the things of the flesh and the things of the world, and they are all wrapped up and absorbed with, and enamored with, and obsessed with, Jesus Christ. That’s the goal of the gospel, to transform us by the renewing of our minds, {Rom 12:2} to take people who naturally love sin and hate God, and make them people who supernaturally hate sin and love God. Amen? That’s what the gospel does.

It’s “the power of God unto salvation.” {Rom 1:16} It saves us not only from the penalty of sin, but it saves us from the power of sin as well, and we must experience that power in our lives. 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not,” what? “sin.” That’s the goal, that we stop sinning. That’s why the whole gospel is written, and John who pens this is the one who writes the most beautiful of the gospel stories, in the book of John – in my estimation anyway; I love the book of John – …and he says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you,” what? “you may not sin.” {1 John 2:1} The whole purpose of the gospel is to set us free from our tyrannical bondage to sin, and self, and Satan. But notice what he adds, graciously, “…and if anyone sins, we have,” a what? “…we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” and in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is,” what? “…faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

But my dear friends, please understand something here. You and I must experience so fully the transforming power of the gospel that we will come to the place where we would rather die than sin. Why? Because we will not always have a High Priest to whom we can confess our sins and receive forgiveness. This is an important concept to understand. You see, when Jesus Christ ceases His High Priestly ministry, there is no longer anyone to whom we can confess willful commission of sin. Are you with me? This is why, my dear friends, that we must come to the place where we are through with willful commission of sin, and we must come to that place before Jesus ceases His High Priestly ministry. Selected Messages, Volume 1, page 343-344; Please understand the significant truth here: “Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the altar, momentarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. The atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the,” what? “constant commission of sin.” Why is the atoning sacrifice essential on an ongoing basis? …because of the what? “…constant commission of sin.”

My dear friends, Jesus Christ must have a people who, for the love of Him, are no longer committing known sin. When He has such a people, He can set aside His high priestly robe, and come to take us home. Do you see that? God help us be such a people. Jude 24, “Now to Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” Our High Priest wants to do more than just forgive us for our stumbling and falling. He wants to help us no longer stumble and fall, even. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} You see, we noted earlier, as John says, “Whoever is born of God does not,” what? “sin.” {1 Jn 3:9} But in the Greek, that’s in the present active tense. That is literally saying: “Whoever is born of God does not,” what? “go on continually sinning.” But those who are born of God still, at times, commit sin. They stumble and fall because of want of watchfulness and prayer. That in the Greek is in the aorist tense, and that’s what John is saying when he says, “If we sin, we have a,” what? “an Advocate with the Father.” {1 Jn 2:1} If we get caught off guard and stumble and fall, because, you know, we don’t really love Jesus as much as we should, or we’ve taken our eyes off of Him, or, you know, we’ve been caught off guard, then, praise God, we have an Advocate; we can confess that.

But He wants to bring us to the level of maturity where we are so in love with Him and so dependant upon Him, that we allow Him to keep us from even stumbling and falling. Amen? {Amen} He is able to keep us from even stumbling and falling! Do you believe that, my friends? I pray that you do, and that is the experience, the level of maturity that we must have. That’s the level of maturity we must have. Testimonies, Volume 5, page 53: “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel.” That’s a sober statement, my dear friends! I know that some of these things might not be very readily or positively accepted by some here, but I’ve got to share it anyway. “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel.”

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, {Rom 1:16} to save us not only from sin’s penalty but from its power, and if you refuse to let the gospel set you free from the power of sin, you’re refusing to let the gospel deliver you from the penalty of sin. You neutralize the power of the gospel by cherishing even one sin. Reading on: “The prevalence of a sinful desire shows the delusion of the soul. Every indulgence of that desire strengthens the soul’s aversion to God. The pains of duty and the pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan binds men in his snares. Those who would rather die than perform a wrong act are the only ones who will be found faithful.” But what does Satan use to keep us from that experience? “- the pains of duty and the pleasures of sin.” But my dear friends, please know that Satan’s powers, using the pains of duty and the pleasures of sin, to keep us in bondage to sin, are broken as we come to love Jesus Christ. Because you see, the more we love Him, duty is not a duty any more, it’s a what? It’s a delight. It’s not the pains of duty and the pleasures of sin; it’s the delight of duty and the pain of sin. Do I hear an “amen”? Because you see, the more you love Christ, the more you want to please Him, and the more you delight in so doing; and the more it hurts you to hurt Him, and you know that sin hurts Him! So sin becomes painful to you because it hurts Jesus. Does that make sense to you? But this is all our experience only as we grow in love with Jesus. If you try to have your heart circumcised without really loving Jesus, it’s an extremely painful process. Actually, it won’t happen; it can’t happen. You’ve got to grow in love with Jesus.

Now there’s another concept that I want to develop here quickly, regarding this close of probation concept and the cessation of Christ’s mediatorial role. There’s much we can learn from Noah’s experience. Indeed, what did Jesus say? Matthew 24:37, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Now you remember, don’t you, that Noah and his family went into the ark, and after they were in, what happened? The door was shut. Did they shut the door themselves? No. The door was shut by whom? By God. {Gen 7:16} Now, please understand something. After they went in, the door stayed open for a while. What was God doing? He was lingering mercifully, waiting for anyone else who might choose to come in. Are you following this? But when it became very clear, that absolutely no one else wanted to come in, what did God do? He shut the door. Is that significant? Oh, that’s powerfully significant, my dear friends. You see, the door of probation is about to close, but God graciously lingers, and leaves it open. Why?

Peter tells us: “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” {2 Pet 3:9} Now, understand that when, however, the human race comes to the place where they are so hardened to the drawing love of Christ and resistant to it, and so attached to the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, that they will never come to repentance, no matter what God did, short of force, and God will never force, then because of their own final, irrevocable choice God will what? …close the door; God will close the door.

You see, I want you to understand that the close of probation is not some arbitrary thing that God has established, and just at a given point in time He’ll say, “Okay, probation’s closed,” and if He’d waited five minutes longer, someone would have come to repentance and been converted. I used to think that, but my dear friends, that’s incompatible with the fact that “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should,” what? “…come to repentance.” {2 Pet 3:9} Because when probation closes, anyone who’s not in the ark is going to what? …is going to perish, and the world’s not going to be cleansed this time with water, it’s going to be cleansed this time with fire. {2 Pet 3:10-12} So when that door closes, everyone who’s not inside is going to perish, and since “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” I insist that when the door is closed, it’s because no one will ever come to repentance if it were left open forever. Are you following that? That’s why the close of probation is not an arbitrary thing. It is determined by the human race when everyone, please know, everyone has irrevocably made up their minds.

That’s why, by the way, there are only two verdicts. “He who is unrighteous, or unjust, let him be,” what? “unjust still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him be righteous still. He who is holy, let him be holy still;” and He does not say, “He who is undecided, let him be undecided still.” Does He? {No} Why not? – because no one is undecided. Everyone has irrevocably made up their minds, and that’s precisely why everyone either has the seal or the what? …the mark. Do you understand what I’m explaining to you here? Is it clear? The seal is being so settled into the truth that we would rather die than knowingly sin. The mark is being so settled into sin that we would rather die than obey; and God will have to let us finally get our choice; and the door will what? …close. Please, I want you inside the ark when that happens, brother, sister. Please, make sure you’re inside the ark when that happens. The ark is Jesus Christ.

Conflict and Courage, page 39: “Mercy had ceased its pleadings for the guilty race. The beasts of the field and the birds of the air had entered the place of refuge. Noah and his household were within the ark, ´…and the Lord shut him in.´ The massive door, which it was impossible for those within to close, was slowly swung to its place by unseen hands. Noah was shut in, and the rejecters of God’s mercy were shut out. The seal of Heaven was on that door; God had shut it, and God alone could open it. So, when Christ shall cease His intercession for guilty men, before His coming in the clouds of heaven, the door of mercy will be shut. Then divine grace will no longer restrain the wicked, and Satan will have full control of those who have rejected mercy. They will endeavor to destroy God’s people, but as Noah was shut into the ark, so the righteous will be shielded by divine power.” Amen?

Oh, brother, sister, please, when probation closes, we are locked into Christ and Christ is locked into us and we are inseparably one with Him, inseparably one with Him; and when we are in the ark, we are safe; and I tell you, my friends, it’s going to be absolutely imperative to be in the ark when probation closes. Because when probation closes, the power, the restraining power of God, through His Holy Spirit’s influence on planet earth, is going to be what? …removed, and literally all hell is going to break out on planet earth; and instantly we will see what has happened to human nature, in it’s raw, hideous, ugliness. There will be no more restraining influence, and by the way, God gives us, I believe, God gives us little glimpses of this in things that happen in places like Rwanda, like Yugoslavia, where man’s inhumanity to his fellow men is exposed and you see men, demon-possessed, hacking each other to death. My dear friends, those are just little snapshots of what the whole human race is going to be like when probation closes, and the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from planet earth; …the whole human race; and we will all of the sudden recognize how incredibly in debt we have been to the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, when it’s removed; and I tell you folks, it’s going to be really, really important to be in the ark when that happens.

Early Writings, page 43: “Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering,” praise God! “I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble; and every soul that was decided on the truth and was pure in heart was to be covered with the covering of the Almighty.” He’s still for us. Amen? Yes, He’s ceased His High Priestly ministry, but He’s still protecting us. You see, He’s no longer interceding as far as our sins and confession of sins are concerned, because, for the love of Christ, we’re through with that. We’re not committing any known sin any more. We’d rather die than do that, so He doesn’t have to continue that aspect of intercession. But I’m here to tell you that He’s still interceding for our protection, …for our protection. That’s why Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He,” what? “…ever liveth to make intercession for us;” and that next statement points out how He ever lives to make intercession for us.

Oh, brothers, sisters, I plead with you, for your own sake and for Christ’s sake, during these lingering moments, these lingering days of probationary time, for the love of Christ, let Him circumcise your heart, let Him cut you away from all of those attachments to the flesh, and let Him make you holy, that He might say of you not only, “He who is righteous, let him be righteous still,” but He might also be able to say, “He who is holy, let him be holy still.” Shall we pray?

Father in heaven, I thank You so much that Your grace is sufficient, not only to justify, but to sanctify; not only to account us righteous, but to make us holy; not only to give us a title to heaven, but help us gain a fitness for heaven; and I pray Father, that we might be found, at the close of probation, with a fully circumcised heart, and have a holiness of character that will enable Christ to say of us, “He who is holy, let him be holy still.” This is my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen. God bless you, dear friends; thank you so much.


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