The Everlasting Gospel

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By Ray Foster

 

Revelation 14:6 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

14:7 "Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

14:8 "And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

14:9 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

14:10 "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

14:11 "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

14:13 "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

14:14 "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud [one] sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle."

We are living in a very intense time. There is the everlasting gospel and the wine of Babylon that all are being invited to believe or are being made to drink. The great issue in the world at this time is worship. Babylon is making all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. God is saying with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." More than that God is also saying with a loud voice: "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

What is important for us to understand is the methods that each side employs. The love of God motivates the strongest warning and plea in Scripture. God does not want to lose one soul for eternity. God warns us:

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6

We are God’s people by creation, by redemption, and by profession. All are God’s people by creation and by redemption. God created everybody and has paid the redemption price for everybody. So this warning is not limited to us. God warns everybody that they are being destroyed for lack of knowledge. What knowledge is it that we are lacking that is destroying us? It is the law of God that is mentioned as being forgotten and the knowledge that is rejected. "Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6

So we see that God confronts us with His law. God’s law is a description of Himself – specifically His character. God’s law is also a description of reality. The reason God confronts us with His law is that He wants us to become like Him in character. We are changed into the same image of what we behold. We behold God in His law. We learn what is reality by looking at God in His law. The rejection of God in His law results in destruction because not knowing God and not knowing reality we are deceived by the wine of the wrath of Babylon that we are being forced to drink if we turn away from God and His law.

What method does Satan use to force us to drink of the wine of his fornication? Once we understand the choice and the reality of what is going on in the world as presented by God in Scripture, it becomes clear what method Satan is using to force feed the wine of his fornication. There are two gospels being presented to us in this world. The everlasting gospel says: "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come". This gospel also says: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen". This gospel gives the most fearful warning found in Scripture: "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation".

 

What does the other "gospel" say? "Celebrate"! What are we being forced to "celebrate"? There is something for every mind to celebrate. If you are a believer in God and Christ – you are made to celebrate the fact that your sins have all been forgiven on the cross of Calvary and that you are saved by the blood of the Lamb! If you are an atheist, you are made to celebrate the great progress in science, education, and politics – or whatever you are into – sports or whatever! What you celebrate is not important. That you celebrate is important! Celebration and preparation for the most terrible time of the world’s history are polar opposites!

But, has not God forgiven the sins of the whole world on the cross of Calvary? This is where the fornication part of the wine comes in. Fornication means joining together things that do not belong together. A half-truth is presented as a whole truth. A half or a partial truth is not the whole truth. The idea that a part is the whole is distorting or joining together what does not belong together. Presenting a half-truth as gospel, as the whole truth, is the characteristic of the wine of Babylon. The reason that God calls it "the wine of the wrath of her fornication", is because this mixture of half-truths ends in wrath. Man’s wrath is anger. The wrath of God is extreme reluctance and extreme disappointment in having to give up His children that refuse His law and refuse His will because they have become intoxicated with the pleasure of "celebration" of half-truths, all the while believing that they have the whole truth. Jesus has told us the end of the celebration story in these words:

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

"And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." Matthew 7:22 - 27

If "the fact that your sins have all been forgiven on the cross of Calvary and that you are saved by the blood of the Lamb" is a half-truth, what is other half that makes up the whole truth? The celebration in contrast to the real gospel is presented in this passage:

"Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

"Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them].

"And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

"Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

"But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]." Isaiah 1:13 - 20

"Celebration" implies that it is all over except for the rejoicing and making merry. This indeed is the way the "celebration gospel" is presented. Jesus accomplished everything at the cross. All that is left for us to do – according to this popular gospel – is to believe. If you believe you are saved!

God says that this celebrating is an offense to Him while our "hands are full of blood". Having "hands full of blood" means that we are still sinning. Having "hands full of blood" means that we accept the blood of Jesus but do not forsake and turn away from sin. In the medical world it means that we do not want to stop what is causing our disease, we just want to be relieved of the symptoms! What God wants us to do is "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow." The everlasting gospel brings a change in our lives. The change is brought about by death to sin and self by entering into the experience of the cross with Jesus by faith. When self is put on the cross we have ceased from sin and are able to "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." With Jesus on the throne of our hearts, we are empowered by God’s Spirit, to "put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well". Isaiah 1:16,17

The "celebration gospel" takes the forgiveness Jesus has to offer but makes little of the overcoming power of the gospel, which is also necessary for salvation. The promises of God are made to the overcomers. What about the seven promises to "whosoever believeth"? (John 3:16,17; 12:46, Acts 10:43, Romans 9:33; 10:11, 1 John 5:1) "Celebration belief" is often mental assent only. Belief to the point of putting self on the cross leaves the "celebration" mode of a "completed gospel" and moves to the everlasting gospel that is not fully consummated until the close of probation when the announcement of fact is made:

"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:11,12

Jesus also addressed the "whosoever believeth" concept with the story of building on the rock meaning that God’s works are the result of true faith and building on the sand is hearing and giving mental assent to the truth but not doing God’s will.

God has amplified this idea in these words:

"The mind must be educated and disciplined to love purity. A love for spiritual things should be encouraged; yea, must be encouraged, if you would grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Desires for goodness and true holiness are right so far as they go; but if you stop here, they will avail nothing. Good purposes are right, but will prove of no avail unless resolutely carried out. Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians; but they made no earnest effort, therefore they will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. The will must be exercised in the right direction. I will be a wholehearted Christian. I will know the length and breadth, the height and depth, of perfect love. Listen to the words of Jesus: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Ample provisions are made by Christ to satisfy the soul that hungers and thirsts for righteousness. {2T 265.2}

The everlasting gospel will endure the close of probation and the judgment. The "celebration gospel" and the "completed at the cross gospel" will not make it into the everlasting city of God because they are partial gospels that teach that a part is the whole. Telling a half-truth is not the whole truth. A half-truth presented as the whole truth, is a whole lie.

The first proclamation of the everlasting gospel was in Eden, within the gates. We can read about this first presentation in Genesis 3:15 "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." God has promised in the everlasting gospel to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves – give us a hatred for sin and for Satan. If we cherish this hatred for sin that God promises us in the everlasting gospel, God will give us, in addition to the hatred for sin, a love to do His will as stated in His law. Psalms 40:8 "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart."

The everlasting gospel was illustrated in the sanctuary service in the wilderness as having three phases.

Phase 1 of the everlasting gospel is illustrated by the courtyard service of the earthly sanctuary. It is to come to Jesus by faith, take hold of His merits, place our sins on Jesus, and accept His pardon. This is illustrated in the courtyard phase of the sanctuary service. This service in the courtyard was carried out morning and evening every day of the year. We need to "die daily" in coming to Jesus by faith as long as we are on this earth. In eternity we will still need to come to Jesus, not by faith, but by sight, and cast our crowns at His feet and ask Him to be the Lord of our lives for this day and for eternity. The big mistake Lucifer made was in thinking that He did not need God. We were created dependant on God for life. Even when given eternal life, that does not change our need for and dependence upon God. Even in eternity when we have everlasting life – it is Jesus that we have. Jesus is the One who has everlasting life in Himself – because he was begotten with eternal life in Himself – even the same life that was in His Father. Reality does not change in heaven and in eternity. 1 John 5:12 "He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

Phase 2 of the everlasting gospel is illustrated in the Holy Place in the earthly sanctuary. Having come to Jesus by faith, having taken hold of His merits, having placed our sins on Jesus, and having accepted His pardon we follow Jesus by faith into the Holy Place and partake of His flesh illustrated by the unleavened bread on the table of shewbread. We are filled with the Holy Spirit illustrated by the seven-branched candlesticks opposite the table of shewbread. We yield our lives and wills to be filled with the Holy Spirit daily. We pray daily as illustrated by the altar of incense in front of the vail that covered the Most Holy Place. We will never progress beyond the need for the courtyard or for the Holy Place experience in terms of discarding them. However, there is more to the everlasting gospel than the courtyard, and the Holy Place daily experience.

Phase 3 of the everlasting gospel is illustrated by the Most Holy annual service of the earthly sanctuary. In the Most Holy Place, the Law of God was centrally placed inside the ark. This law is to be written in our hearts. God has promised to do that for us. God cannot write His law in our hearts without our daily co-operation and effort. God does not write His law in our hearts in a moment. It is a daily writing involving the first two phases of the everlasting gospel. When Jesus said "It is finished" on the cross of Calvary, It was phase 1 that was completed or finished through His perfect life and His uncondemned death. Then He entered into phase 2 of the everlasting gospel in ascending to the heavenly sanctuary and ministering our prayers and forgiving our sins in the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. This went on day after day for 2 thousand years up until October 22, 1844, when Jesus left phase 2 to begin phase 3 of the everlasting gospel. Phase 3 of the everlasting gospel is the experience of maturity in following Jesus. Having daily come to Jesus by faith, having daily taken hold of His merits, having daily placed our sins on Jesus, and having daily accepted His pardon, we follow Jesus by faith into the Most Holy Place and experience the blotting out of sins from our hearts and minds. This is the "cleansing of the sanctuary" in heaven and on earth. The plan of salvation and the everlasting gospel has an end point. The end point is that Jesus, having "saved His people from their sins," (Matthew 1:21) now blots out their sins so that they do not exist in His people any more. The confessed and forsaken sins have been transferred in type to Jesus, the Lamb of God, in the daily service. Jesus has earned the right to cover our sins and to forgive our sins and to represent us as He ministers in the Holy Place. On the Day of Atonement, once a year in type, the sins were transferred from the sanctuary onto the scape goat that represents Satan. Satan was then led into the wilderness "by the hand of a fit man" (Lev. 16:21). There the scape goat was let loose to die in the wilderness. There is coming a time when Jesus will stand up and say:

"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Revelation 22:11,12

How did the holy get holy? They followed the Lamb by faith from Calvary, into the Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven and after October 22, 1844, into the Most Holy Place and by faith went all the way with Jesus writing His law in their hearts. They became holy like Jesus is holy by daily beholding Him and daily denying self, and daily taking up their cross and following Him in doing His will, and not their own will. The holy become holy be following the blood-stained pathway that Jesus trod when He was on earth. When this experience has gone on long enough that every sin is hated and confessed and put away, and every grace of Jesus is valued and loved and by His grace followed in the life, then the body temple has been cleansed. Then the heavenly sanctuary can be also cleansed. This will happen at a point in time known only to God. We can hasten that event by following Jesus all the way by faith into the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven.

The cleansing of God’s people on earth will be signaled by the outpouring of the latter rain. Then will come to pass what God has told us about:

"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:1 - 4

"Mighty miracles were wrought, the sick were healed, and signs and wonders followed the believers. God was in the work, and every saint, fearless of consequences, followed the convictions of his own conscience and united with those who were keeping all the commandments of God; and with power they sounded abroad the third message. I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry.

"Servants of God, endowed with power from on high with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven. Souls that were scattered all through the religious bodies answered to the call, and the precious were hurried out of the doomed churches, as Lot was hurried out of Sodom before her destruction. God's people were strengthened by the excellent glory which rested upon them in rich abundance and prepared them to endure the hour of temptation. I heard everywhere a multitude of voices saying, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."" Early Writings 278, 279

Then will come the close of probation and the last severe, terrible, time of trouble "such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." Daniel 12:1

The everlasting gospel will survive the time of trouble. The celebration and the "completed-at-the cross gospels" will not stand in the coming time of trouble. I want to stand with the everlasting gospel as it is in Jesus. I do not want to celebrate now – but follow the Lamb into the Most Holy Place, and wait to celebrate at the marriage supper of the Lamb which takes place after the marriage that is taking place now. I want every day and every day to be married to Jesus and be part of His bride, the church which has the everlasting gospel.