Friday, March 24, 2017

The Work of the Holy Spirit

Sabbath School Today
With the 1888 Message Dynamic

The Holy Spirit and Spirituality
Lesson 12. The Work of the Holy Spirit

Implicit in the 1888 message is this: When we are first converted, we
confess all known sin to God, and in mercy He is faithful and just to
forgive us. But there still remain sins of ignorance; and unknown,
unconscious sins. In this time of the cleansing of the heavenly
sanctuary, the High Priest through the Holy Spirit brings these
unknown sins to our knowledge, and we become conscious of them.

If we are in heart-sympathy with Christ in his closing work of
atonement (that is what New Testament faith is), we shall welcome the
ever-deepening conviction of sin, and progressively confess and repent
of these sins. At length, after His people have cooperated with Him,
the work will become complete, and then the seal of God can be affixed
to the character in contradistinction to the mark of the beast, which
all who reject the seal of God, will accept.

However, there is a sense in which all true believers in Christ have
been "sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" since the world began
(Eph. 1:13); but this is not the same as that final sealing work of
Revelation 7:1-4. The final seal of God is contemporary with the final
mark of the beast, and the opposite of it.

Ellen White was overjoyed when she heard the message of justification
by faith from the lips of A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner. To her this
clear teaching was consonant with the message of the three angels:
"The hour of His judgment is come" and our Priest is cleansing the
heavenly sanctuary. What connection was there between justification by
faith and the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary by Jesus our High

The answer is that since 1844 Jesus has been performing the Day of
Atonement ministry--the final blotting out of sins. But before the
sanctuary could be cleansed in heaven the temple of His people on
earth must be cleansed. The source of sin pollution must be ended in
His people. The honor of God and the integrity of His covenant were at
stake. God has the solution to the problem of sin. The gospel of Jesus
Christ can forgive sins and His righteousness has the power by virtue
of the Holy Spirit to cleanse the soul temple. This God has promised
in His everlasting covenant (Jer. 31:33).

So when she heard this message she recognized in it the power and
force of the gospel which would prepare God's people to stand with a
pure character in the day of Christ's second coming. They would be a
living testimony for God through the crisis hour. They would be part
of the 144,000 who would be translated without seeing death at His
return. They would be a living testament to the power of God unto
salvation from sin. Living in sinful flesh, tempted, tried and
afflicted, the mystery of godliness would be revealed in them--"Christ
in you the hope of glory." Like a drumbeat over the course of several
weeks Ellen White wrote in the columns of the Review during 1890 of
her enthusiasm.

The Sunday-keeping churches had not followed Jesus by faith into His
most holy place work in 1844. Hence they were worshiping a god of
their own creation--Satan if you please. [1] To this day, for the most
part, they view the sanctuary message of Seventh-day Adventists as a
colossal error. It has been termed the greatest face-saving device to
explain away a mistaken interpretation of Scripture--Daniel 8:14.

But God's people have been given a unique understanding of
justification by faith in connection with the cleansing of the
sanctuary that is to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. This
is why the Lord gave it to His people to be proclaimed to the nominal
Christian churches of the world. They had initially rejected it in

Martin Luther didn't understand justification by faith in the light of
the sanctuary message. Protestants and evangelicals did not understand
it rightly. Of all people who should understand it, Seventh-day
Adventists should because they know about 1844 and the change of
Jesus' ministry from the holy place to the most holy place. They are
not to proclaim justification by faith by compromising with the other
churches and incorporating their message in order to be ecumenical in
spirit. This would be a rejection of Jesus leading His people into the
truth of His most holy place ministry. They would be following Satan
as did the nominal churches in 1844.

But in the historical context of 1890 Ellen White made an astounding
statement: "There has been a departure from God, and there has not as
yet been zealous work in repenting and coming back to the first love.
Infidelity has had a large place among us. It is the fashion to depart
from Christ, to forsake the Lord and accept skepticism. 'We will not
have this man to reign over us.' Luke 19:14. Baal will be the purpose,
the faith, the religion of a sorrowful number among us, because they
choose their own way instead of God's way. The true religion, the only
religion of the Bible--believing in the forgiveness of sins, the
righteousness of Christ, and the blood of the Lamb--has been not only
slighted and spoken against, ridiculed, and criticized, but suspicions
and jealousies have been created, leading into fanaticism and
atheism." [2]

When once the truth of justification by faith in connection with the
sanctuary is lost, Satan has won a great victory. He can lead his
followers into fanaticism and right out of the body of Christ into
atheism. Because self becomes one's idol--Baal worship--he follows his
own self-pleasing interpretations of Scripture and it results in
another god than the true God. Imperceptibly self becomes one's god.
The knowledge of the true God is rejected. Hence the result is

The conclusion of thirteen articles written by Ellen White in the
Review was entitled, "Repentance the Gift of God." She said: "Some of
our brethren have expressed fears that we shall dwell too much upon
the subject of justification by faith, but I hope and pray that none
will be needlessly alarmed; for there is no danger in presenting this
doctrine as it is set forth in the Scriptures. If there had not been a
remissness in the past to properly instruct the people of God, there
would not now be a necessity of calling especial attention to it. Some
of our brethren are not receiving the message of God upon this
subject. They appear to be anxious that none of our ministers shall
depart from their former manner of teaching the good old doctrines. We
inquire, Is it not time that fresh light should come to the people of
God, to awaken them to greater earnestness and zeal?" [3] She
portrayed the church as being in a lukewarm state. Jesus bid His
people repent--to buy of Him gold tried in the fire--faith and love;
to receive His white raiment which is the righteousness of Christ; and
the eye-salve of spiritual discernment, the baptism of the Holy

And then she made the defining statement: "Several have written to me,
inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third
angel's message, and I have answered, 'It is the third angel's message
in verity.'" [4]

Justification by faith in connection with the sanctuary cleansing is
the third angel's message in verity. This string of thirteen articles
clearly identifies what she meant by "in verity." It is the judgment
hour message, which prepares the way for the great and dreadful day of
the Lord. It prepares a people to stand in the hour of crisis and to
be translated without seeing death at the second coming of Jesus. It
was and still is the shaking message to the Laodicean church. It bears
with it all the prospect of the loud cry and latter rain of the Holy

--Paul E. Penno

[1] Ellen G. White, Early Writings (1882), p. 261.
[2] "To the General Conference" (1889) and "The Vision at Salamanca"
(Nov. 3, 1890), The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, pp. 444, 948.
[3] "Repentance the Gift of God," The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald
(April 1, 1890), p. 193.
[4] Ibid.

Pastor Paul Penno's video of this lesson is on the Internet at:

"Sabbath School Today" is on the Internet at:


Raul Diaz
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