This is the third part of a study about the first angel message.
Rev.14:6 The Eternal Gospel, the first angel message to be preached worldwide.
What is the gospel? 1Cor.15:1-5 Concerning Christ
Rom.1:3 Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Divinely, God revealed His salvation operations through Christ our Lord.
Christ as lamb – Sacrificial atonement.
Christ as Priest – Mediator for atonement in the heavenly sanctuary
Christ as King – To be our lord for total victory.
Why is the gospel message needed?
To have an answer regarding the wrath of God:
Numb.11:33 Wrath of God against Israel in the desert.
Deut.11:16, 17 Wrath of God in case of apostasy, serving other gods.
Psalm 106:39, 40 Wrath of God when following our own inventions.
Rom.1:18 Wrath of God against all unrighteousness, sin.
John 3:36 Wrath of God against unbelief
Adam:” Deeply he felt the wrath of God for his crime committed in Paradise”.
“The wrath of God still hung over Adam, but the execution of the sentence of death was delayed, and the indignation of God was restrained, because Christ had entered upon the work of becoming man’s Redeemer. Christ was to take the wrath of God, which in justice should fall upon man.” Con.19
In Christ we have the answer how God deals with His wrath and also how
Adam and his offspring can be delivered from the wrath of God
Christ the anti-dote to God’s wrath.
THE GOSPEL THROUGH CHRIST ADDRESSES FOUR MAJOR
ISSUES TO BE RESOLVED.
1.God’s wrath issue: This calls for a propitiation to solve the sin problem and it’s
result, Rom.3:25 (not in the same way as pacifying a pagan god)
2.Man’s slave issue: Sin enslaves, man needs redemption from sin slavery,Eph.1:7
3.Court issue: After redemption a declaration of freedom is needed,Rom.3:24
4.Separation issue: Sin separates(Isa.59:1,2) God provides reconciliation,2Cor.5:18
Sin is transgression of God’s law, breaking of relationship.1John3:4; Isa.59:1, 2
“Now, we want to understand what sin is – that it is the transgression
of God’s law. This is the only definition given in scriptures (FW. 56)
Sin causes: 1. God’s wrath
2. Puts man in slave house
3. Puts mankind under condemnation, (court issue)
4. Causes separation from the family of God.
“Closely related to God’s holiness is his wrath, which is in fact his
Holy reaction to evil” Dr.Stott in The Cross of Christ p. 122
“Charles Cranfield’s summary is that God’s ‘orge’ is no nightmare of an indiscriminate, uncontrolled, irrational fury, but the wrath of the holy and merciful God called forth by and directed against, men’s ‘asebeia’ (ungodliness) and ‘adikia’ (unrighteousness).
What is common to biblical concepts of the holiness of God and the wrath of God is the truth that they cannot coexist with sin. God’s holiness exposes sin, his wrath opposes it. So sin cannot approach God and God cannot tolerate sin.” ib.p.125
God’s wrath demands death, God’s love provides salvation.
Human wrath (anger) and love are not compatible,
God’s wrath and love are compatible.
God exercises justice not at the expense of His love and He does not love us at the expense of justice to be done.
“……there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die.”……………..”he told them that he had been pleading with his Father and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon:…” (SOP Vol. I. P.45)
This is the divine plan of restoration in Christ alone and only. This is the church’s
responsibility to present to the world in full. The eternal Gospel as stated in Rev.14:6
“Of all professing Christians Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world” (Ev.188-GW 156)
BUT ALL ESSENTIAL PARTS OF THAT GOSPEL MUST BE PRESENTED IN FULL.
There is virtue in knowing the time of His coming,
but greater virtue in knowing how to be ready.
A. A FOUR WALL SALVATION STRUCTURE or A FOURSQUARE GOSPEL
The plan of salvation as presented in the Gospel can be likened to a four wall sanctuary room.
Psalm.77:13 God’s way is in the sanctuary. Each wall representing something of the plan of salvation, the eternal Gospel of Rev.14:6. Within that sanctuary is safety outside we are lost.
According to OT sanctuary concept, atonement started in the outer court and continued into the sanctuary itself.
It involved four operations or activities, all representing Christ and His atoning ministry. Christ acts as Lamb, Priest, Judge, and King/Lord
1.Lamb – atoning-sacrifice, to offset God’s wrath.
2.Priest – taking the blood and making atonement, redemption.
3.Judge – declaring clean, justification.
4.King/Lord- restoration, reconciliation, a welcoming back into the
family of God – sanctification
These four functions of Christ settle:
a. the divine wrath problem,
b. man’s slavery to sin and living in sin,
c. lifting condemnation
d. bridging the gap of separation from God.
The four standards surrounding the sanctuary, the four living beings of
Eze. 1 and 10, Rev.4and5, and the four gospels all may well be representative
of this four part gospel operation.
The triune God and the four gospel operations multiplied, 3×4, gives us the figure of 12.The number 12 is found in God’s OT Israel of the 12 tribes and in NT 12 Apostles foundation. Multiplied 12×12 gives us the figure 144 and when we add to the 144 the figure of 1000 and 144×1000 gives us 144000.
This is the symbol number of God’s final covenant, remnant church of victory. The size of the earthly Most Holy place of the desert tabernacle was 10x10x10 = 1000 This was the place where the ritual of the annual Day of Atonement took place, type of the anti-typical Day of Atonement, the era of the 144000 people.
The figure 144 is also found in the size of New Jerusalem, Rev.21:17 as well as the number 12 for the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles, ib.vs.12, 14
(This is just a play and how you may understand the symbolic figure of 144000 in Rev.7 and 14)
THE FOUR IN DETAIL.
1. Divine wrath and How God deals with it.
God’s wrath is not less a part of His divine character than His love.
God’s wrath demands condemnation, His love presents a way of salvation.
A vicarious sacrifice was the only way to redeem the sinner..
Hebr.9:22 without shedding of blood no remission. (Lev.17:11)
“Blood was sacred inasmuch as through the shedding of the
blood of the Son of God alone could there be atonement for sin”.
(ST July 15, 1880)
God’s wrath is stayed until mankind has fully accepted or
rejected His offer of love through faith in the vicarious sacrifice
Abraham’s hand was stayed: 1.In Isaac’s sacrifice we see God sacrificing His son.
2.We also see the staying of a death penalty, replaced by a ram.
The execution was stayed in the Garden of Eden and substituted by the death of animals whose skins were used to cover Adam and Eve, representing God’s or Christ’s righteousness, we all need to cover our sin nakedness.
2.THE SLAVE HOUSE.
Sin puts us in a slave house. Rom.6:16, 17 (NKJV)
We are in need of redemption.
It is impossible to redeem ourselves.
It is self-inflicted slavery by choice and by the direction of our will.
Our first parents tried to shift responsibility away from them, Gen.3:12, 13
a.” The wife you have given me”
b. “The serpent deceived me”.
But the real cause is, our choice, direction of our will, to whom do we listen, to
whom do we give our consent.
Once in the slave house we are in need of help, rescue, and redemption.
Eph.1:7 The blood of Christ provides that most needed redemption out of the slave
1Pet.1:18, 19 not by silver or gold but by the blood of Christ.
“For every human being, Christ has paid the election price. No one need be lost.
All have been redeemed. To those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour will
be given power to become sons and daughters of God………….The Saviour has paid
the redemption price for every soul.” (SDABC 7a p. (388) 944)
3. THE COURT HOUSE, CONDEMNATION.
Once set free, redeemed, being cleansed, an act of the court has to take place.
Sin is like leprosy. It makes us unclean, condemned from society, separated.
In Mark 1:44 Christ cleanses a leper and tells him to go to the priest to be declared
clean, according to Lev.14:2-32.
The lord provides a vicarious sacrifice to answer the demand of the law.
The Lord provides a redemption price (Matt.20:28) to get our freedom from sin.
The Lord provides also a declaration of justification. See Rom.3:26
As the priest declares the healed leper clean, so God declares the redeemed
sinner clean, declaring our justification, even before we have done any work
in order that nobody can boast. Eph.2:8-10; Rom.3:24-26
“As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ’s
atonement in his behalf, and accepts this atonement as his only
hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This
is justification by faith”. (Faith and Works. page 103)
Rom.3:26 God is the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.
He declares the sinner clean, justified, as the priest declared the
healed leper clean, justifying him to be a part of the family again.
It is not a self-declared justification, but a divine declaration. That gives it
the credibility needed.
This takes away fear for the courthouse, fear for the judgment, because the
judgment will be in favour of such ones. Dan.7:22 (NKJV).
Rom.1:6, 7 Those called of Christ are now called saints
Rom.8:1 No condemnation for those who are in Christ
1Cor.1:2 Those who are sanctified in Christ are called to be saints.
4.THE SEPARATION ISSUE
Sin separates Isa.59:1, 2
Adam and Eve separated from Paradise.
“I knew that the lord had not forsaken His people, but that their sins and
iniquities had separated them from God”. (1T596 (A Battle Creek issue.)
From the vicarious sacrifice we receive redemption, justification and the crowning
act of reconciliation. See 2Cor.5:18.
The wall of separation is pulled down. We are restored into the family of God,
and placed upon the road of sanctification towards full glorification.
MAN’ s OPERATIONS or ACTIVITIES.
In the plan of salvation God acts, but man also has to act. But only God’s activities
are meritorious, man’s activities do not carry any merit, not even his faith, they
supply only evidence of what God has done and accomplished in the life of
the redeemed sinner.
Does man has to play a part in his/her salvation?
Are we only observers not acting in the whole process?
Is it faith-in only, without content or substance?
Does man make a contribution or is he/she required to do something towards
salvation, or is there a divinely formulated response as a non meritorious condition?
How do we get access into the four walled sanctuary room?
Ages long questions and debate. They will last till the end. But must have answers
from the beginning. They must be settled individually on God’s terms, not on human terms and no room for pluralism. There is only one way by which we may enter.
FIRST: Salvation is a complete divine gift.
Lev.17:11 The blood on the altar, God’s gift.
John 3:16 God gave
Matthew 20:28 Jesus gave His life
“Our ransom has been paid for by our Saviour” (SDABC 7a p.(467) 671)
That price equals our freedom, nothing can be added to makes us more free.
However it is not a royal general pardon of amnesty, setting the prisoners free regardless.
SECOND. The aim of the gift is man, and an appropriate response is expected.
a. There is a call to be answered: Isa.55:1 Come buy without price
Matthew 11:28 Come unto Me to get rest
Rev.22:17 Three times “Come”.
Isa.1:18 Come let us reason
Come to the altar of sacrifice. Leave your sins there and
accepts God’s gift of forgiveness and grace.
b. Believe, have faith: Hab.2:4 Live by faith
Rom.1:17 Habakkuk quoted by Paul
,, 14:23 What’s not of faith is sin.
Mark 11:22 Have faith in God.
Margin: Have the faith of God-(Jesus).
This is not a confessional faith or profession, so-called historic-faith, but
saving faith, that believes God, trust Him unconditionally.
c. This includes the next step of repentance, conversion.
Mark1:15 Christ’s call is repent and believe.
Acts 2:38 Peter’s call, repent
Rom.2:4 God’s goodness lead to repentance.
What is God’s goodness? It is God’s gift of Christ. John 3:16, when we see
Christ on the cross we realise how ugly sin is and that will lead us to
repent, as the other one on the cross did, who asked Christ to be remembered.
Repentance without conversion is not valid.” But repentance for sin alone cannot work salvation
of any soul……for this would place all heaven in jeopardy and make possible a second
rebellion”. ST 30.12.1889.
Repentance and conversion must take place because of having seen the
goodness of God.
“Repentance for sin is the first fruits of the working of the Holy
Spirit in the life. It is the only process by which infinite purity
reflects the image of Christ in His redeemed subjects”. SDABC 7a p.(292) 1068
Acts 3:19 Call to repentance for the last days, and be converted.
Cruden‘s p.110 “Literally, a turning, the word is used to mean, theologically
the spiritual or moral change which accompanies the turning
of a sinner from his sins to God. Psalm.51:13
d. Conversion followed by Sanctification
The final part in the chain of salvation, the four wall sanctuary room, is a new life
restored in the family member, living a sanctified, reconciled life.
Not a self declared standard of legalism or liberalism (which is a different
kind of legalism), but a life of obedience energized by the blood of Christ.
Acts 26:18 Sanctified by faith in Christ
Eph.2; 13 New life in Christ, made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Titus 2:11-13 Accepting grace as teacher of holiness
1Peter 1:22 Obeying the truth through the Spirit
1John 1:7 Walking in the light as He is in the light.
Hebr.10:10 All sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.
1.God’s-divine operations- in the Gospel message are full and complete, taking the
initiative. They provide:
a. A complete vicarious sacrifice to offset God’s wrath.
b. Provides the price for our redemption
c. Declares our justification, being made clean
d. Re-unites us with His family, reconciliation.
2. To access this sanctuary chamber of salvation, man must:
a. Answer the call to come.
b. Accept the free gift of God
c. Have faith in God and keep trusting God.
d. Repent, based on a complete conversion.
e. Turn into a sanctified life of obedience by a renewed relationship.
Pastor Jan T Knopper
Edited September 2010
Revisited August 2013