The Faith of Jesus The Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith Fred Bischoff
Review of Study #4 The "faith of Jesus" is vital for Adventists, those living in the final day of Atonement just before Christ's second coming. This faith can be seen in each of the six messages that have come "in their order" to prepare for the end of this world's kingdoms, and the final establishment of God's everlasting kingdom.
Review of Study #4 The "faith of Jesus" is explicitly stated in the climax of the Third Angel's Message, on an equality with the commandments of God. In Advent history, this faith was overlooked and not understood. It was not presented with equal importance as the commandments, "the law and the gospel going hand in hand."
Review of Study #4 The Loud Cry message was given to unite the faith of Jesus with the commandments of God, but the light was resisted and to a large degree kept from the world. This faith is still Adventism's missing landmark, which alone will reverse the unbelief and insubordination that has delayed Christ's return.
Summary of Study #4 The faith of Jesus = Adventism Missing Landmark
Key Text Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Introduction Now as never before we need to keep the faith of Jesus, to see things as God sees them. Because His word is completely trustworthy, by flooding our minds with Scripture, interpreted by the Spirit, with our hearts sensitive and submitted to Him, we can come to grasp how God views us, His initiative, His purpose, His plans, His joy, His heart.
Introduction We have no hope of an eternal future without gaining this perspective. By beholding Him, by perceiving His faith working by love, we are changed into the same image. At this time in earth's history there is a special work Christ is doing to accomplish this goal, in a final way.
Introduction He has called everyone who has an ear to hear, to the glorious, joyful mission of spreading this word. Have you heard Him? Can you see what He sees? Have you entered into His joy? Let us spend some time listening and looking. He longs for us to do this more than we do.
Overview of Studies 1. "endured the cross" = gospel 2. "looking unto Jesus" = seeing 3. "for the joy set before" = future 4. "finisher of faith" = end-time 5. "endured the cross" = endurance
The Faith of Jesus 5. Enabling End-time Endurance
Purpose of Study #5 How did faith empower Jesus to endure? 12:2 says He "endured the cross" The cross was God's clear judgment against sin. Can we learn how to endure by the faith of Jesus the "hour of His judgment" in our day?
Purpose of Study #5 So how will this faith give us strength to: 12:1 "run with patience/endurance the race" during this Day of Atonement (noun form of verb in verse 2)? 10:36 have "endurance" (same noun)? 10:38 "live by faith" -- "not draw back"? The faith of Jesus results in enabling end-time endurance.
Faith During Judgment We have noted that each time the "faith of God" was mentioned (Mark 11:22; Rom. 3:3), it was in the context of judgment. We saw how Jesus counseled His disciples to have this faith to avoid the fig tree's fate.
Faith During Judgment We saw that in this judgment God's faith will be vindicated as effective as He is justified as true and faithful. We began to see that it is by keeping both the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus that those endure when the Three Angel's Messages are proclaimed during "the hour of His judgment."
Basics of Judgment In order to understand better how the "faith of Jesus" is the essential element for this final judgment, let's explore the basic elements of judgment. The pattern for judgment is seen first in Gen. 3, as God came to Adam and Eve after they sinned.
Three Phases 1. Questions (opening the books / investigation): Gen. 3:9 where?; 11 who?; 13 what? 2. Decision (verdict / sentence): 14 Serpent; 16 Woman; 17 Adam 3. Execution: 21 blood covering; 23, 24 out of garden
Judgment on City What is the city that is judged in Revelation that had fallen once in Bible history? Babylon What is the other city in Revelation that fell twice in Bible history? Jerusalem We considered it in the fig tree story in "Seeing as God Sees" study.
Jerusalem's Falls Just as 2 of the final 6 messages, so the story of Jerusalem's falls are for those people who have identified with God.
Jerusalem's Falls Daniel lived through the first fall of Jerusalem. John lived through the second fall of Jerusalem. Both understood what was happening.
Jerusalem's Fall #1 Recorded in 2 Chron. 36:12-21. Observe the 3 phases: 1. Mocked the messengers (who had opened the books on them) 12, 16 2. No remedy 16 3. King of the Chaldees, destroyed 17
Jerusalem's Fall #2 Recorded in Matt. 23:29-36; Acts 7:51, 52 1. Witnesses 23:31, 32; resist the Holy Spirit 7:51 2. Left desolate 23:38 3. (not recorded in Bible)
Why Jerusalem Fell In a spiritual sense, we could say that Jerusalem had identified with Babylon (Matt. 23:35; cf. Rev. 18:24; John 19:15), and that is what led to her fall.
Why Jerusalem Fell That which Babylon has come to symbolize (pride, self-exaltation, self-salvation, the confusion of mixing truth with error, the amalgamation of the truth with the lie), had so become the spirit of Jerusalem, God's own people, that Jerusalem fell.
Why Jerusalem Fell Jerusalem, the city whose very name means "the teaching of peace" and that was intended through her sanctuary and people to reveal self-sacrificing love, became filled with the strife, unrest and violence of self-exaltation, of self-love.
The Fall of Babylon In between the two falls of Jerusalem we find the history of Babylon's fall.
The Fall of Babylon Dan. 5 very clearly outlines these same 3 elements or phases of judgment in describing the fall of Babylon. Recall the story--Daniel did not immediately interpret the handwriting! 1. opened the books (history) 18-23 2. verdict & sentence (handwriting) 24-28 3. execution (Belshazzar killed; Darius took kingdom) 30, 31
The Fall of Babylon This is why Dan. 5 is so important to our proclaiming effectively the Second Angel's Message and its context. We must explain the issues and the process of judgment--tell and demonstrate the missing, essential dynamic.
Faith of Jesus Stands Since we are studying what it is that enables end-time endurance, in other words, what empowers us to stand and not fall, it is vital that we understand that the "faith of Jesus" is the opposite of the spirit of Babylon.
Faith of Jesus Stands As revealed to us in Jesus Christ, this faith is the spirit of self-sacrificing love. Those "that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" are those who have come out of Babylon, who have allowed God to take Babylon out of their hearts. It is only those who will endure, and whom God can use to proclaim these final messages of mercy.
Who is Judged The first and the last of these six judgment-hour messages are explicit regarding who is being judged. Now it is not just a local city in Chaldea (Babylon) or a local city in Palestine (Jerusalem). The message is to go to "every nation, kindred, tongue, and people" (First Angel's Message)--"the earth" (Loud Cry).
Advent Mission Phase 1&2 Adventism's mission is to preach the everlasting gospel, thus explaining what will stand everlastingly, and what will fall. God has raised up messengers to begin proclaiming phase 1 & 2 of judgment against the global system that has developed as the final incarnation of Rome.
Why Babylon Falls This system is called the 4th kingdom in Daniel and Babylon in Revelation. The Advent Movement mission is to show that it is falling as did Babylon of old and due to the same issues that caused the fall of Jerusalem twice.
Why Babylon Falls These issues, which manifest an absence of the "faith of Jesus," can be summarized as: 1. Did not humble the heart 2. Resisted the Holy Spirit
Fall Out of the Circuit Patience, Endurance, Stand (Saints) God Keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus God's faith working by love. Did not humble the heart We Resisted the Holy Spirit Fall (Babylon)
Judgment in Messages In this light of understanding the core character issue of sin, and how God uses these three phases of judgment to deal with sin, we see that the 4 angels (Rev. 14 & 18) which picture the final messages to the world are all involved with declaring parts 1 & 2 of this 3-phase judgment on the final Babylon:
Judgment in Messages 1. The First Angel's message announces the hour of judgment, and opens the books back to Gen. 1, revealing God's faith working by love from the very beginning. He is declared worthy: fear Him and worship Him!
Judgment in Messages 2. The Second Angel's message declares the verdict on Babylon and opens the books on her, showing the absence of the faith of Jesus and its resultant law-keeping.
Judgment in Messages 3. The Third Angel's message explains the sentence against the final human phases of Babylon. It is in the context of this message that the endurance resulting from the faith of Jesus is highlighted to John. The burden of this message is to highlight a people who avoid the sentence against Babylon.
Judgment in Messages 4. The Loud Cry ("of the Third Angel" per our SDA pioneers) repeats the 2nd Angel's message in an entire chapter, declaring again the verdict and opening the books on Babylon by describing at length her spirit of self-glorification (vs. 7) with its oppressive merchandising (vs. 13) and violent coercion (vs. 24), and the executive judgment that comes against such faithlessness.
Who will Stand? 6th seal: Rev. 6:17 "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" And so in our day, God is preparing a people to stand in the "great day of His wrath" when the devil will throw everything he can at them, and they will stand.
How Will They Stand? And God Himself will hide His face from them for a moment, and they will stand. And God will bring judgment against great Babylon which falls all around them, and they will stand. How does this happen? It is not a miracle saved just for some future end-time crisis.
How Will They Stand? He is now restoring to the human race the understanding and experience of how He designed them to function. The description of that ideal is law, and the method of restoration is gospel, revealed to us in "the faith of Jesus."
How Will They Stand? Those who: -receive these two gifts (law & gospel) that have been given at infinite cost -keep them -cherish them -internalize them by the Spirit, come what may, -- It is those who will endure. (Rev. 14:12)
How Will They Stand? They have received the two judgment-hour messages given especially to the messengers--
Judgment for Messengers Midnight Cry-- They have received abundantly of the oil of the Spirit, becoming wise virgins (cherishing His way of seeing and doing)
Judgment for Messengers Laodicean Message-- They have purchased from the True Witness (not from other merchants like the foolish virgins did) the gold tried in the fire (which clothed them with His perfection and enabled them to see what He sees).
Endurance for Mission It is with such an endurance that the messages of enduring love and falling self-love are proclaimed to the world. Consider again this endurance connected to the final preaching of "this gospel." Matt. 24:14 is frequently quoted, but the context is ignored.
"This Gospel" "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." What is meant by "this gospel"? We need the previous two verses-- "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."
"This Gospel" The self-sacrificing love of many will sadly wax cold as the demands increase of iniquity (lawlessness resulting from self-love). But those who endure (those who choose to continue to express faith working by love in the face of abounding lawlessness) to the end will give a witness to the entire world of this gospel; they will be saved. Then the end will come.