Select Page

Here you can download Lesson 29

If you wish, you can scroll the transcription and read it while watching the video.
If you interrupt your study at a certain minute and if you lost your place in the transcription, simply put in CTRL-F (APPLE-F) few words you just listened to. The search will bring you exactly there, right away 😉 Here is a link for smart phones where you can have subtitles in different languages.

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.”

Let’s press on. We are looking closely at the role of the will in overcoming temptation. We are studying carefully James’ remarkable illustration of how temptation becomes sin. James is using something from the natural realm, namely childbirth, to illustrate that which takes place in the spiritual realm, namely how temptation becomes sin. {Jas 1:12-15} And the favor that James has done us is that he is illustrating abstract, intangible, spiritual truth with concrete, tangible, physical truth; and there’s much we can learn if we carefully look at the illustration, and try to determine the spiritual equivalence to each stage in the natural process of birth. We’ve been trying to do that. We have identified five stages of the temptation process. Someone encourage me and tell me what those five stages are.

Number one, what? Seduction. Who’s seducing whom? The old man is seducing “Wilma;” and who’s Wilma? – the will, the governing power {SC 47.1} in the household of me. She runs the house, but she herself is under the authority of a husband. Who’s her natural husband? – the old man {Rom 6:6}, flesh, and she is a helpless, submissive slave to his tyrannical passions, and desires and appetites. She is bound to him, bound by law {Rom 7:2} to him until when? Death do them part. The only place that the old man dies is at the foot of the cross. Amen? …the foot of the cross; and as we accept by faith Christ’s death to sin as our own, we can reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin. {Rom 6:11} Reckon the old man dead and Wilma is free; she’s a widow. But please don’t leave her a widow.

What must you also say at the foot of the cross when you say, “I die” to the old man? You must also say what? “I do” to Jesus. “I do” enter into the holiest of wedlocks with You, Lord Jesus. I submit my will without reservation to You. She is Your blood-bought bride. She is Yours; take possession of her; and that’s how we get married to another, to use Paul’s terminology there in Romans 7. When that happens, my dear friends, and only when that happens, Wilma is motivated and empowered by the love of her Husband, and the Spirit of her Husband, to repulse the seductive advances of the old man. Because though he no longer tyrannizes her, he still hangs around in the household of me and tries to get her to cheat on her new Husband, doesn’t he? The flesh doesn’t reign {Rom 6:12}, but it still what? …remains, and that’s where temptation comes from. That’s the seductive advances of the old man, trying to get Wilma to what? …consent and thereby conceive. “…and when lust hath conceived,” temptation has become what? …sin; {Jas 1:15} and where does that happen? – in the privacy of the bedroom of the mind, where only you and God know what’s going on; and the moment Wilma says, “Yes, dear,” in God’s eyes we’ve what? We’ve sinned, we’ve sinned, and we have the embryo of sin.

Now it may be a long time before we actually give birth, maybe even more than nine months. You may, watch out for this, you may be able to keep it under wraps and disguise it for a long time. But sooner or later what are you going to do? Come on. Tell me mothers, what are you going to do? You’re going to give birth; you can only get so pregnant; and out it comes, in a moment of weakness when you think no one’s looking. How can we keep that from happening? Can we? Yes. There’s another very important spiritual truth, several very important spiritual truths that we need to continue to explore in this study; but before we can hope to be blessed by this study, spiritual things being only spiritually discerned {1 Cor 2:13-14}, what must we do? Personally invite God’s Spirit. Please, pray with me. Pray for me, pray for yourself, and I will pray for you.

My Father in heaven, I thank You so much for the privilege of spending time in the study of Your Word tonight. This can be a life-changing experience for everyone of us here, if You bless us with the power and the presence of Your Spirit in this study. I especially need that blessing. I don’t deserve this privilege to lead out in the study of Your Word, but I thank You that by grace You have granted it to me. I pray that by grace You would enable me to rightly divide the Word of Truth, to share the truth in a clear and understandable way; and I pray that what You’re able to communicate through me, You might bring home to hearts and minds to the point where it captures wills. Father, please, may the truth be so clear that it will convict the conscience, it will convince the mind, it’ll capture the heart, it’ll conquer the will, and it’ll convert the life. Please, may we have that experience with the truth tonight. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

If we conceive, we have sinned… even though no one but God and we ourselves know about it. But sooner or later, that embryo is going to grow, and we’re going to have to what? …give birth. Patriarchs and Prophets, page 459, towards the bottom of page 62 there: “A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin.” Please notice: “A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on,” where? “…in the heart before the Christian commits open sin.” Have you ever known a Christian who shocked everyone who knew him or her by committing some terrible sin? …and everyone was so surprised because they never dreamed that they were capable of doing such a deed? How? People ask how could they ever do such a thing? Answer: They’ve been doing it in the privacy of the mind for a long time; and they got themselves so pregnant that in a moment of weakness, what do they do? They gave birth… when they thought no one was looking. Back to our statement: “A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin. The mind does not come down at once from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him.”

More on that later… Practical applications of that are so significant. My dear friends, please know that if you are consenting in the privacy of your mind to any known sin, even if it’s only indulged at the level of your fantasies, you’re going to give birth sooner or later. But even if you should manage to keep it hidden from others, you can never hide it from God. You see, He knows what goes on in the bedroom of the mind. He knows whether Wilma has consented to the seductive advance of the old man; and the moment she does, in His eyes we have what? …sinned. Please know that.

When we conceive, are we absolutely bound to give birth? No. Why? Because, praise God, we can get an “abortion.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Now, my dear friends, I want you to know that I hate abortion. Okay? But if there’s one thing that is worthy of being aborted, it’s sin. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Praise God we can abort the birth of sin, even after we’ve conceived. How do you do it? 1 John 1:9, 1 John 1:9. How do you get an abortion? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to,” what? “forgive us our sins and to,” what? “…cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Praise God, my dear friend, that if we confess it, we can abort it. Now, someone might say, “Wait a minute, I never did it. Why do I need to confess it?” If anything like that went through your thoughts, you haven’t been listening, have you? Please know that in God’s eyes, you’ve sinned, even if you only consented up here; and if you’ve sinned, you’ve got to what? …confess it; and please do so before you give birth. You see, the sin gets worse and the guilt increases as we give birth because then it moves into a different realm, a public realm, and God is discredited and others are injured. But don’t think that it isn’t sin just because it’s up here behind drawn drapes and closed doors. Okay? It’s sin and you must, I must, confess it if it is going to be stopped in it’s tracks; and praise God, if we confess it, He’s faithful and just not only to forgive us, but to what else? …cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He does a “D and C.” Amen? He goes in and cleans out the womb of the mind and removes that embryo of sin, and we have a pure heart again. You’ve got to love a Lord like that, a Husband like that. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} So faithful and so forgiving when we are unfaithful to Him.

But please, before you casually yield to the seductive advance of the old man, ask yourself: “Do I really want to do this to my divine Husband, Jesus Christ?” You see, this is why, my dear friends, the love of Christ constrains us. {2 Cor 5:14} Amen? If you really love your divine, spiritual husband, you’re not going to be unfaithful to Him, are you? Because I assure you, just as with the unfaithfulness of a human spouse, and the acute pain that that causes, so it is, but even more so, the pain that we inflict on the heart of our divine spouse when we are unfaithful. Please think about that next time you’re being seduced…

Isn’t there a better way, though? Isn’t there a better way to keep from giving birth than to just getting one abortion after another? Come on now, isn’t there a more effective birth control? What is it? Abstinence. Do I hear an “amen”? Little quiet out there. Refuse to conceive, that’s the best birth control. Instantly and consistently repulse the seductive advances of the old man. Refuse to be unfaithful to your divine Husband, Jesus Christ; and please note, I said, “instantly” as well as “consistently” repulse the seductive advances of the old man. I cannot underscore how important it is to do it instantly. …to do it what, class? …instantly.

Listen, Testimonies, Volume 5, page 177: “An impure thought tolerated, an unholy desire cherished, and the soul is contaminated, its integrity compromised. ‘Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.’ {Jas 1:15} If we would not commit sin, we must shun its very,” what? “…beginnings. Every emotion and desire must be held in subjection to reason and conscience. Every unholy thought must be,” what? “…instantly repelled.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} There you have it, my dear friends, right there.

That is the secret to real and consistent victory over temptation.

Every unholy thought must be what? …instantly repelled; and that thought must be brought instantly into captivity to the obedience of Christ. {2 Cor 10:5} Amen? If, if for the love of Christ {2 Cor 5:14}, and in the strength of the Holy Spirit {Rom 8:13}, we instantly repulse that unholy thought, have we sinned for having had it? No, praise God. Manuscript Release, Volume 2, page 343: “Temptation is not sin unless it is cherished.”

You know, let me bare my soul here, I think I can do that with you. You’re friends by now, aren’t you? {Amen} Okay. Can any of you identify with me on this? Sometimes I am actually shocked at the vileness of temptations that come to my mind. Now, I don’t know whether it’s Satan stirring up my perverted appetites and passions through my senses, or whether he has implanted something in my mind by whispering it into my ear. By the way, one of you discussed that with me: Satan implants thoughts by whispering them into our ears. I don’t know what the source of it is, but there are sometimes when I have been shocked and horrified at the at the grossness of temptations that come to my mind; and for the love of Christ {2 Cor 5:14} and in the power of the Holy Spirit {Rom 8:13}, I repulse them and I hate them. But I feel contaminated for even having had them. Are any of you with me on this? Do you understand what I’m trying to expose here? {Amen}

I take a lot of courage from this statement. Listen, Review and Herald, March 27, 1888: “There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused…” …and I would suggest to you we have both techniques here. Do you hear them? “There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan…” “Suggested,” that’s whispering it into the ear. “Aroused,” that’s stimulating it through the senses. Did you see those two? “There are thoughts and feelings…” What are we talking about, class? – thoughts and feelings? Character. {5T 310.1} “There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence.” I say, “Praise God.” What do you say? {Amen} Praise God! May God help us repulse them as hateful instantly. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} …instantly.

But that can only be done, my dear friends, in the power and the strength of our divine Husband {Rom 8:13}; and that can only be done for the love of our divine Husband, Jesus Christ. {2 Cor 5:14} You can’t do it in your own strength, and you won’t be sufficiently motivated to do it unless you love Jesus. You see, we’re back to the same key concept. It requires the love of Christ to gain victory over the opposition factor. It requires the love of Christ. We must respond to that love which draws us. “I, if I be lifted up will,” what? “…will draw.” {John 12:32} We need to respond.

We need to allow it to draw us every day to the foot of the cross, and every day we’ve got to start out by saying those two things. And dear friends, if you don’t remember anything else from this seminar, please remember those two things. What are the two things we say at the foot of the cross? What do we say first of all to the old man? “I die.” I die to the old man; and we’ve got to do that how often? – daily. {1 Cor 15:31} Daily we’ve got to come to the foot of the cross. Daily accept Christ’s death to sin as our own. Daily reckon our old man crucified with Christ. {HP 227.1-6} That is the only way, that is the ONLY way that we can be set free from the tyrannical bondage and enslavement to the old man that Wilma is naturally under. We say “I die” to the old man, but what else do we say with the same breath? “I do to Jesus.” “I do to Jesus.”

You remember that song? “Anybody here wanna live forever, say ‘I do.’ Anybody here wanna walk on golden streets, say ‘I do.'” Remember that? You know, I used to think that is such a lightweight song. Why in the world would you ask people if they want to live forever? Of course, we all want to live forever. But then I began to think, and it helps. There’s a profound message there. Do you want to live forever? You’ve got to go to the cross and get married to the Bridegroom. You’ve go to say “I do” to Jesus. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} …and you’ve got to do that every day, my dear friends. Jesus is coming; behold the Bridegroom cometh. {Mat 25:6} But if we’re going to be ready to go home with Him, we’ve got to be part of the …bride. Amen? The body of Christ, the church {1 Cor 12:27}, is the bride of Christ {Is 54:5}, Scripture is very clear on this. We must have entered into that holiest of wedlocks if we’re going to be ready to go home with the Bridegroom and attend the marriage supper of the Lamb. {Rev 19:7-9} If you want to live forever, you’ve got to make that daily pilgrimage to the cross {RH, Dec 2, 1890 par. 15} and say “I die” to the old man, and what? “…I do” to Jesus; and those who have done that, they have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Please notice you can’t be Christ’s unless you have died to the old man. Why? Because Jesus will not share Wilma with another husband. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} That would be adultery. Jesus will never enter into an adulterous relationship with us. Are you with me, my friends? Therefore, before we can ever get spiritually, legitimately married to Jesus, what have we got to do? We’ve got to die to the old man; we’ve got to die to the old man; and that’s what Paul is saying here: “And those who are Christ’s…” Those who are His blood-bought bride, what have they done? They “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Adventist Home, page 127: “We are commanded to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? No; but put to death the temptation to sin. The corrupt thought is to be expelled. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. {2 Cor 10:5} All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul. The love of God must reign supreme; Christ must occupy an undivided throne. Our bodies are to be regarded as His purchased possession. The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness.”

You see, my friends, when you come to the cross and give your will to Jesus, you become His in entirety, everything you are is His; you are His, body, mind and spirit. Everything you are is His. 1 Peter 4:1-2, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the,” what? “…the will of God.”

You see, when you submit Wilma to your divine Husband, His will becomes your will; and that law – that law of the husband – understand this please: What is the law of the husband? Your desire shall be for him and he shall what? …rule over you. {Gen 3:16} That law is a curse or a blessing dependant upon what husband you’re married to. Are you with me? If you’re married to the old man, the law of the husband is a what? It’s a curse. But when you come to the cross and you die to the old man and you get married to Jesus, then the law of the husband is a blessing. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Your desire shall be for Him and He shall rule over you; and I promise you, He rules with love, and there is no greater joy than to be under the benign, benevolent Lordship of Him who is love. And there is perfect freedom and happiness in perfect submission to the Lordship of Jesus because His love motivates your heart, and you delight to obey Him. Do you understand that? Have you experienced that, bless your hearts? If you haven’t, I want with my whole heart for you to experience that. You must experience that if you’re going to be ready to go home with the Bridegroom when He comes.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ constrains 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 themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” You see, it’s love that motivates us to stop fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and start consenting to the desires of the Spirit. Are you with me? Love alone is a sufficient motivation to bring about that change; and I want to consider a very, very precious truth with you tonight. I don’t know how far we’ll get in this study, but please understand that the title of this study, “You Shall Know the Truth,” {Jn 8:32} is precisely the opposite of the title of the last study, “When Desire Has Conceived.” {Jas 1:15} I’ll say it again: The title of this study, “You Shall Know the Truth,” is precisely the opposite of the title of the last study, “When Desire Has Conceived.” What do I mean?

Work with me; please understand this. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall,” what? “…make you free.” {Jn 8:32} “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Now that word, know, in the Greek language, in the Hebrew language, and yes, obviously, as we will see in the English language; means more than just to know with the mind. It is the word that we use in reference to the most intimate knowledge that we can have, and that is the oneness that results in fruit-bearing. Genesis 4:1, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…” What’s the word? Adam “knew” Eve. Now, obviously this is more than just, “Oh, I know who you are, you’re my wife.” Isn’t it? Obviously. This is the most intimate knowledge that brings what? …fruit as a result. Are we all together? In the New Testament, we have the same concept when Scripture tells us that Mary did not “know” Joseph and yet she what? …conceived. Conceived by whom? …the Holy Spirit. {Lk 1:34-35; 2:21}

Remember, again, those three stages in the temptation… in the knowing of truth to the point of freedom? We must first of all what? Grasp it with the intellect. Number two, what? Embrace it with the affections, and as we’ve said from the very beginning, most importantly, number three, what? Submit to it with the will. It is not until we take that third step that we really know the truth. Are you following this? It is not until Wilma yields herself to Him who is the Truth… that we will fully be liberated from our natural bondage to sin, self and Satan… and kept free from our natural bondage to sin, self and Satan. How important it is, then, to know the Truth in the fullest, deepest sense of the word. How important it is to know the truth to the point of not only being able to stop bearing the fruit of sin and death, but to start bearing the fruit of the Spirit. Did you follow that? That’s so important.

You see, Wilma has a two-fold role; understand this, my dear friends. Please concentrate with me. Wilma has a what? …a two-fold role. She must not only say “no” to the seductive advance of the old man, say “no” to the lusts of the flesh, but what must she also choose to do? Say “yes” to the desires of the Spirit {Gal 5:16-17}, and choose to consent to, and thereby conceive, the desires of the Spirit, the desires of her new Husband, Jesus Christ… Are you following this? And when she consents to the desires of the Spirit, what is there in the womb of the mind? – the embryo of the… fruit of the Spirit; and now she can bear fruit to the what? …to the glory of God; and what is the fruit? It’s a Christ-like character. Amen? {Amen} What is the fruit of the Spirit? It’s a Christ-like character. Do you see how all this relates to Christian character development? So key, so crucial, the role of the will.

Now, this truth that we must know in the fullest, deepest sense, grasp with the intellect, embrace with the affections, and submit to with the will; what is this truth we must know? Well, Psalm 119:142, “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is,” what? “…truth.” “Your law is truth.” So if we are going to know the truth to the point of freedom, we need to yield our wills without reservation to the law of God. Amen? {Amen} But my dear friends, that has got to be a willing, love-motivated submission; and that will only be as we come to love the Law-giver; and when we love the Law-giver, then obedience to His law is no longer a duty but a what? …a delight, and we say, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God, yea, Thy law,” is where? “…within my heart.” {Psalm 40:8}

What else is the truth that we must know if we’re going to be set free? John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” The Word of God has such profound and precious truth within it, my dear friends, but if we’re going to experience the liberating power that it affords us, we have to do more than just intellectually grasp it. Amen? {Amen} We need to affectionately embrace it, and then, most importantly, willingly submit to it; and then we experience its liberating, sanctifying power in our lives. It changes us from the inside out, makes us a new creature. The law is truth; the Word is truth. But what is ultimately the Truth? Who is ultimately the Truth? Jesus is the Truth. Why? Because He is the law personified and the Word made flesh. {Jn 1:14} Therefore ultimately, He is the Truth. Listen to Him state that in so many words. John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.'”

My dear friends, do you know Jesus? Do you know Jesus tonight? …and you know I’m not asking you, “Do you know who He is?” You all know who He is. I’m not even simply asking you, “Do you love Him?” I’m asking you something more significant than that. “Do you really know Him?” If you know Him aright, you will be able to love Him aright; and if you love Him aright, you will delight in unreserved submission to His Lordship; and you will know the truth to the point of freedom, and you will be sanctified by it. Listen to the relationship that He desires to have with you, my dear fellow members of the bride of Christ. Hosea 2:19, “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving-kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.” Wow! Now in the context of betrothal, which is a legal, binding engagement, what does He mean when He says, “And you shall know the LORD”? This is the intimate knowledge that will bring forth fruit in your life; and my dear friends, that is precisely why He wants us to know Him. John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and,” what? “bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.” Why does He want us to know Him? – that we might in that union, in that relationship, be fruitful. Amen? {Amen} Be fruitful.

But we cannot be fruitful until we know the Truth to the point of letting it take full possession of our will. Review and Herald, March 15, 1892: “The truth is to,” what? “…take possession of the will…” Who is the Truth? Jesus. What are we to allow Jesus to do? Take possession of Wilma. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} She is His blood-bought bride. Please give her to Him without reservation.

Do you know what, dear friends? Right here, right here we have the reason why God’s remnant church is still here and not with the Bridegroom in the Kingdom, which she could have and should been a long time ago. {Manuscript 4, 1883. Ev 696.2} The problem is not that we don’t have the truth, the problem is that we haven’t let the truth have us. We have kept it at arm’s length, we have kept it in the realm of the intellectual; and yes, maybe some have brought it into the realm of the emotional, and they get “warm fuzzies” when they think about certain aspects of the truth. But my dear friends, the truth has to come into the realm of the volitional and take full possession of the human will before we will be ready for Jesus to come; and before we, in the meantime, will be able to help anyone else get ready. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen}

You see, you and I don’t have a living testimony {Rev 12:11} – we can’t be living epistles {2 Cor 3:3} – unless we really have spiritual life on account of our intimate union with Jesus. {AA 452.1, DA 359.2} Are you following me? You can’t bear genuine fruit of the Spirit unless you know Jesus. You may be able to do things that look like the fruit of the Spirit. Hear me! If you were to come to my house and go out the back door, you would see some beautiful red apples; and every time I see them, I start salivating they are so beautiful. I’m always tempted to pick them up and take a bite. But the first time I saw them, and my wife didn’t tell me what they were, I picked it up and it was light, and I turned it over and there was a little sticker that said, “Made in Taiwan.” Need I apply the illustration? It’s possible to have plastic fruit of the Spirit, isn’t it? “Made in Tennessee.” My dear friends, if you and I are going to have real fruit, we’ve got to have a real union with Jesus. You’ve got to let Him take possession of your mind, your heart, and most importantly, your will… most importantly your will.

I have a question for you tonight, my dear friends. Who are you married to? Who are you married to? I don’t want you to answer this publicly, but I plead with you to ask yourself privately: who are you married to? …and, of course, you know I’m not talking about any human marriage. I’m talking about the most important marriage: Who are you spiritually married to? All of us, without exception, in this room start out married to whom? …the old man {Rom 7:1-6}; and unless we’ve made that pilgrimage to the foot of the cross, we are still married to the old man. Did you hear what I said? And we may have made that pilgrimage once, but if we fail to make it daily {RH, Jan 21, 1902 par. 14}, though we may have been married to Jesus for a little while, we have slipped back under the tyrannical husband called the old man; and you know, my dear friends, the thing that’s frightening is that it’s not all that easy to determine who we’re married to. What is the basic rule though? Matthew 7:20, “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” But watch out; there’s plastic fruit. Are you with me? Who are you married to? Don’t just analyze the behavior, the fruit of your life. Please, with the anointing of the eye-salve of the Holy Spirit {Rev 3:18}, look deep down inside. Who do you really love supremely? Is it Jesus? Or is it yourself? Why do you do the good things you do? Why do you avoid doing bad things? Is it so you will look good? So you will be admired and respected? So that you will be able to keep your job, because if you misbehave, you could get fired. What are the reasons?

You see, if we’re married to Jesus, we do the right things for the love of Christ. Amen? We keep the first four commandments because we love God supremely, and we keep the last six because we love others unselfishly; and because of love, we don’t even find obedience a big issue. We don’t have to go around gritting our teeth and keeping from lying, and stealing, and being unfaithful to our wife because we love – and love is the fulfilling of the law. {Rom 13:10} Amen? {Amen}

Who are you married to?

Bless your hearts; don’t resent me for probing a bit tonight. You see, I want you to be ready when the Bridegroom comes. I want you to be ready when the Bridegroom comes; and if you’re going to be ready, you’ve got to get married to Him now! You’ve got to know Jesus now! If you really know Him, what’s the fruit of your life?

Galatians 5:19-23, give both classes of fruit. The first is the fruit of the union with the old man. If Wilma is still under the tyrannical authority of her natural husband, what’s the fruit of that relationship? “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness,” by the way, all of this can be going on only where? …between the right and the left ear. Don’t overlook that please. You can have this all happening behind the drawn drapes and closed door of the bedroom of the mind; and only you and God know it’s going on. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I told you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” What a miserable bunch of offspring that is, but that is the product of the union of Wilma with the old man. Please, if there’s any indication of any of that going on, even in the privacy of the bedroom of your mind, please, for your sake and for Christ’s sake, don’t delay. Flee to the foot of the cross, and cry out, “I die” to the old man and “I do” to Jesus… please! As you submit your will to Him, and know Him, what will the fruit of your life be? Verse 22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

1 John 2:3-5, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we,” what? “keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” If we keep His commandments. But please don’t forget, love is the fulfilling of the law. {Rom 13:10} You’ve got to do more than just comply with the letter. You’ve got to comply with the spirit {Rom 7:6} if you’re really keeping the commandments. Are you with me?

My friends, there’s a precious truth enfolded in the second commandment. It used to bother me when I first became aware of it, many years ago as a child. “…For I, the LORD your God am a,” what? “…jealous God…” {Ex 20:5} Jealous? I used to think, “That doesn’t sound good. God shouldn’t be jealous. That’s a bad thing.” But now it’s one of my favorite concepts. God is jealous for His bride. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} He doesn’t want to share her with anyone. He wants her exclusively for Himself. My dear friends, I encourage you to take advantage of God’s jealousy for you. And when you are being seduced, cry out to Him to help you remain faithful to Him; and I promise you, He will empty all of heaven, if necessary, to keep anyone or anything from laying a filthy finger on His precious, blood-bought bride. Praise God, we’ve got a jealous God. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} He’s jealous for you. He’s jealous for you. Take advantage of that, and I promise you that that jealous love that only has your best interest in mind, you can count on from here for eternity; and nothing, NOTHING but your own will can separate you from Him. Did you hear what I just said? Nothing but your own will can separate you from Him. Romans 8:38, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers,” what does that include? Satan and all of his kingdom. “nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” But Wilma can break the union any time she wants, can’t she? You see, this divine Husband does not force you to remain married to Him. He drew you by love and He will keep you by love, but if you want, you can reject that love and you can go your separate way; but I plead with you, don’t make that choice. I can’t think of any more foolish choice than that one. My dear friends, behold the Bridegroom cometh. {Mat 25:6} Please go out to meet Him.

You know why most Seventh-day Adventists aren’t really all that eager for Jesus to come? Honestly, deep down in their hearts, they aren’t really all that eager for Jesus to come because they’re married to the old man; and they’re so busy enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season {Heb 11:25}, that they’re not at all sure they want that to come to an end. But I promise you that if you really love Jesus, your whole soul will long for His return; and you will give all of your time, and your energy, and your resources, to hasten that return… and your life will ratify what your mouth claims, or not. Do you really want Jesus to come? It’s easy to say, but are you living it? We say: “This world is not our home, we’re just a-passing through, our treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” We sing it – heartily – and yet what do we do? We work and sweat and invest so that we can have a comfortable retirement. Build up a big bank account. Come on, folks, don’t you see a little bit of inconsistency there? God help us be a people that don’t plan on retiring here. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} God help us be a people who will put absolutely everything into getting the job done so we won’t have to retire here. We can go home with Jesus!

God help us be that kind of people; and when Jesus comes, my friend – my brother, my sister – I pray with all of my heart, that He will not have to say to anyone in this room, or anyone watching in their living room or wherever… I pray that He might not have to say to any of us, “Depart from Me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.” {Mat 7:23} And now you know what He really means, don’t you?

“I never knew you.”

And those who have been playing church, pretending to be a part of the bride for umpteen years will stagger back and they’ll say, “Well, wait a minute, I did so many good things in Your name. What do you mean? You’ve got the wrong person.” Please understand that even good deeds done for anything other than the love of Christ, in His eyes is iniquity, it’s lawlessness – because love is the fulfilling of the law. {Rom 13:10} If you do good deeds motivated by selfishness, it’s lawlessness. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Please don’t find that out when it’s too late. Please don’t find out that your fruit has only been plastic. Please find out now, if you need to find out, and then come to the cross and get married to Jesus; and when He comes, you’ll be ready to go home and glorify Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. My dear friends, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh.” {Mat 25:6} Get ready, get ready; be ready is my prayer. Shall we stand?

Father in heaven, I thank You so much for helping us better understand what it really means to know the truth. Help us, I pray, to allow the love of Him who is the truth to draw us to the foot of the cross; and may we from the depths of our soul say, “I die” to the old man and “I do” to Jesus. Come Lord Jesus, be one with us that we might be one with You; and help us to bear the fruit of the Spirit that we might reveal Your character, and that when You come You will be able to say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful. Come and be My bride forever.” May that be what the Bridegroom says to each one of us is my prayer in His name. Amen.



Your Cart