WHY DID CHRIST DIE?
Maurice M. Johnson
May 15, 1958 PM
John the 3rd chapter, 14th verse, a few verses, beginning at the 14th. And I'm going to directly ask you some questions, or one question anyway, and going to keep on until several have made some reply, if you do, and see if a similar condition is. brought out here as was brought out in one of the meetings back east here a few nights ago where I asked the same question. John 3:14,
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so Loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For clod sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh he to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Look at the last verse, 36,
he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Why did Christ die?
(answer from, audience.) That we might live.
Alright, that's one. Now don't any of you reply twice., please. Why did Christ die? Alright.
(answer from audience) To save us from eternal punishment.
(gap on tape)
... real good at all. Nothing effective and efficient was accomplished was it? So it's really just twinkle, twinkle little star to say that you believe that Christ died for your sins. That's really what it amounts to.
But when we ask this ... the other day ... now what you gave George is true, but the other night when different ones were answering, and some of them were thinking I think, especially as it went farther and farther, and l kept asking to go ahead. i said, "You're trying to make it difficult, and the answer's very simple, sublimely simple, revealed by God." 'When somebody said, "Because He loved us ... the world." I said, "Iím sure thatís true but let me illustrate. Suppose l tell you that, ''I just think a lot of you, and to prove it I'm going to go out here and climb a telephone pole." Say, "Well how's that prove you love me?" Now I said tell me why Christ's dying for us proved that He loved us? Howls that prove He loved us?
(answer from audience) Romans 5.
Romans 5, what part?
(answer from audience) "If one died then were, all dead. He died for us all."
That's 2 Corinthians 5. The same truth is brought Romans 5 though 2 Corinthians 5:I8 I believe is ... no, I4, "We thus judge if one died ... if all were dead ... if one died for all, then all were dead," 2 Corinthians 5. "We thus judge that if all were dead ... if one died for all, then all were dead."
(comment from audience) "That He died that we should live unto Him."
(comment from audience) "Greater love hath no man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends."
Yeah. Yeah, that's beautiful, but that still doesn't answer the question, why would that prove His great love? "Give His life, well I didn't ask Him to give His life for me. Why does that prove He Loved me?" Itís already been answered very specifically.
(comment from audience) Yes.
(comment from audience) So we wouldn't have to die.
That's precisely ... so we wouldn't have to die. Paul answered it, you answered it specifically, and the lady over here, because, "the wages of sin is death". And He ... the way to prove His love for us under the death penalty was to pay our penalty.
Now if I break the traffic ordinance, run through a few signals, and hit-and-run, and get arrested, and you hear that my case is cumin' up, and that probably they're going to give me so many days in jail, or hundred dollar fine. Now brother Arrington, in proving your regard and confirm for me, what you going to do? Offer to go up and cut my lawn? No. Please don't.
(comment from audience) Go to jail for you.
Go to jail for me, bud; that's right. That's the way to show your concern for me if I'm in that predicament. Get me out of the predicament. Oh itís so important for us to see this. The simple truth of it. It's at the basis of all of God's truth for today. And a failure to see it is at the bottom of Roman Catholicism, Seventh Day Adventism, every ism in religion. Herbert Armstrong would have nothing if all of his present day followers believed that Christ died for their sins. The Seventh Day Adventists would collapse like a balloon punctured with a sword if all the Seventh Day Adventists were to believe that Christ died for their sins. The "Jehovah's Witnesses" falsely so-called would just go out of existence if all of them believed that Christ died for their sins. It's just that simple. And every denomination under the sun would go out of existence if all the members believed that Christ died for their sins.
Now let's try to enlarge upon that a little bit. Christ died for our sins because "the wages of sin is death". "The soul that sinneth, it should die." You know it's growing on me, I may not be a I00f right in this but I believe I am, I know in my main contention, it's growing on me, the conviction, that one of the reasons I've been so confused in my thinking, and I believe the vast majority of professing Christians have been or still are, preachers especially, on the point: Christ died for our sins -- how does that show His love for us..?
One reason I think they're so confused and I've been is because we ... we do ... have not properly distinguished, and I don't believe we can perfectly, because I think there's an overlapping problem, but we haven't properly distinguished where we can between the things Christ suffered from brutal, murderous, ungodly men, and what He suffered from the Judge of the universe.
I had a good time the other night. Hob Thompson made an appointment for me to go out to a home of some folks that had been dyed-in-the-wool Campbellites, so-called "Church of Christ", water salvationists, the father and mother ... the mother and daughter, I5 year-old daughter, came with her ... with her sweetheart, she shouldn't be engaged to he married probably I think but she is, to about a 24 year-old Campbellite, a hard-headed, stubborn young fellow, (In they came every night, drove from Ft Worth out about 25 miles to the place where the joint discussions were. At the end of the first discussion, first night, this young girl, l thought she was about I8 probably, came up and I observed two people sitting by Bob, Bob was standing up [?]Ö came over, and she came up, and she said, "I want to shake hands with you, and thank
you for those wonderful things you gave tonight." Well neither of us dreamed she was a Campbellite. And she came every night and ... pray for them. As far as I know ... she said a little later that she was not going to marry this young fellow unless he accepted the truth of salvation and gave up that other. Well whether he wanted [ ? ]Ö or not I don't know but they were out all three
meetings the last Sunday I was there. Her father and mother came morning and afternoon, and then the young man and she came at night.
But at the home of the ... her parents, and she was there, the Saturday night
before where I had the privilege of being with Bob, l was talking about Christ died for our sins, and I brought out why. And I said, "Now ... because the wages of sin is death." And I said, "The Scripture nowhere says that the wages of sin is ... is being spit on by ungodly, uncouth, boorish men. Christ was spit on but that wasn't what was the wages of sin. Nowhere does the bible say that the wages of sin is to have your beard plucked out. But in the prophecy of Christ's suffering beginning in Isaiah 52 we're told His beard was plucked out. Nowhere that I know about in the Bible are we told that the wages of sin is to be crowned with thorns physically, and have a purple robe put on you in mockery, and have people get down before you and say, "Hail King of the Jews", and then take the reed that they put in your hand, signifying power, and strike you across the face. Nowhere do I read that the wages of sin is to have nails driven through your hands by a bunch of murderers, soldiers, with the Jews egging them on. Nowhere do I read in the Bible that the wages of sin is to be hated by more people than the number of the hairs of your head; but Christ was hated that.
Well what are the wages of sin? The wages of sin comes from the Judge of the universe. And He didn't spit on His Son, He didn't crown Him with thorns; He banished Him into spiritual death, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" What Christ suffered from His fellow man I believe we should take as primarily an exhibition of the sinfulness of sin. And then that He should say, now get this, now I believe He's turning from what He suffered from ungodly, vile, devil inspired, our kinfolk, what He suffered from the human family, He's turning from that when He says, "Father, forgive there, they know not what they do. My God, Ply God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" That was the penalty for sin. And He cried, "It is finished." And He went out in darkness, and He was separated from the Father three days and three nights.
You believe Christ died for your sins? Not with any Biblical intelligence or any saving faith unless you believe what the Bible says about the penalty for sin. "The wages for sin is death," not death from your fellow men, not death by a crown of thorns and a sword in your side, and nails in your hands and feet. But separation from God and all that's good and pure for eternity, that's the wages of sin.
Now Christ came out of the grave because He didn't deserve to die, and He could break the bonds of death and hell. You and l couldn't. And were we to die the penalty for our sins, there'd be no possibility of our ... our ever coming back, you see. And therefore, "Let him that's unjust be unjust still" we read in Revelations. "Let the ... he that be filthy be filthy still", and thank God, "Let him that is holy be holy stilt" too.
(comment from audience) What I was thinking about in Romans ... what I was thinking about is your illustration about him going to jail for you.
It's not a true statement in a way because you can come back out after it's all over, or you could. But Christ died for us because if we died for our own sins we'd stay dead.
That's right, that's right. And the penalty for sin is everlasting death because in the first place because the sinner, "Let him that's unjust be unjust still". You tell me any hint in the Word of God that when the sinner dies physically he quits sinning. You give me a hint in the Word of God that when an unjust man dies physically he ceases to be unjust.
(comment from audience)
I do too.
(comment from audience) Doesn't change his character.
Doesn't change his character at all.
But now, back again. I said awhile ago that if members of denominations in Christendom, Christians, as well as others, if they really believe intelligently, with Biblical intelligence I mean by that, I don't mean man's book larnin', I'm talkie' about what God teaches on the subject, if ... when people really believe that Christ died for their sins, and get it clear, I mean as clear as we should between the sufferings from brutal, murderous, ungodly, uncouth, devil-inspired humanity, it was a mob, a murderous mob, not a just court, but what Christ suffered from His heavenly Father was from the absolutely just court.
There wasn't a thing unjust about what God the Father did to His dear Son. It was absolute unmixed justice, without any picture, any admixture of mercy.
(comment from audience) Isaiah 53: 10 and 11.
Yes. Let's read it, Isaiah 53, that wonderful chapter, prophetic of Christ's suffering. "Who hath believed our report?" and so forth, starts out. Yes. Oh, this is so important. I told Richard and Bob and ... and James Cox as we were riding off together, I said, "Fellows, let's make more and more and more of the subject Christ died for our sins." And I went on into some things. I said, "I thought over and over again when I was listening in both to Bob and especially to Hathaway the Campbellite, those eight nights, and then Richard had two nights with a clever young Campbellite from Muskogee one night in Tulsa and another night in Muskogee, and Richard learned something, I think; I said, "Richard the fellow, he had, tentatively, agreed, the fellow had agreed to four nights and Richard let him squirm out. And I said, "Richard, I hope you've learned something," I said, I quit years ago ever agreeing to meet a Campbellite a few times, in public discussion. Because," I said, "those fellows are too crooked and foxy. We can't track them down in such a short time. And they can ask us more questions and ... ", but anyway, I sat in on those eight, and I got a little bit nervous once or twice wanting to get up you know. But anyway (toughing) you can imagine.
But I thought more than one time, "Why those fellows don't anymore believe that Christ died for their sins, it's just "twinkle, twinkle, little star". They don't anymore believe it, I mean believe the facts about it. Christ died for our sins because that was the sin. And the only way for Him to prove His love to us was to come to us in our utter helplessness and hopelessness and awful condemnation and guilt. Would you think a fellow was proving his wonderful love to you if you're hurt in an automobile, turned over in a ditch, and you hollered, "Help! Help! Help!" And fellow come up and say, "got a candy bar! Paid my last nickel for it. Here.", if you had any breath left much, "Say listen, lift the car up. Never mind the candy bar. You ought to prove, you ought to prove your friendship to me, meet me in my need! Meet me in my need! "I'm ... don't you thank God that Christ didn't come with a nice brand of perfume for poor lost sinners in the death cell of God's prison as it were. We were certainly marked for death, weren't we?
(comments from audience) Amen.
Death penalty. And Christ came to seek us in our need. Isaiah 53. What was the verse, 10, 11? Brother Ross?
(comment from audience) Yes.
Letís begin at the 6th.
All we like sheep have gone ...
No. We should read about that sufferings againÖ the 3rd verse,
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
We joined our fellow men.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken; smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are heated. All we like sheep have gone astray.
Now, I think that in this sense weíll have to include some of the sufferings of man. The penalty for man's horrible treatment of Christ (now for me this is the only way I can ... understand ... up to now), the only way I can understand Christís stripes being for our healing, the healing of our souls ... Iím sure, an ultimately immortal body. But for the people to take Christ in His stripes He took ... or with His stripes He took for present physical healing, that's a horrible falsehood, a lie! Because my dear friends when you let God Almighty apply to your life what Jesus Christ did, it's a done business, it's finished, it's glorious. And if Christ's stripes were for my physical healing now, I would never die! 0 ... Jaggers is right in his horrible, silly, blasphemous false doctrine. He teaches that if you can have faith enough in Christ's atonement to get immortal life right now. And he said it's a sin to grow old. And he's just gone with it farther than the people who start with the program that Christ's stripes bring physical healing now. Just imagine receiving the finished work of God's dear Son, and just getting healed from a few diseases, and have your blood still polluted, and your nerves and all mortal, and be heading' for the grave.
It's like these "Christian Scientists", their reason, "all is good, all is God". "You believe that God is infinite?"" Yeah. "You believe that God is good?" Yeah. "You believe that God is holy and merciful?" Yeah. "Well then how could He create evil?" Now if I could reason all that out I'd be God myself. "His judgments are past finding out," We're told in the 11th chapter of Romans. But I look around at you "Christian Scientists" and I see you getting gray hair, having to buy false teeth, and having to wear a second pair o' eyes just like the rest of us. And your founder Mrs. Mary Baker Glover Eddy didn't die, but the undertaker took care of what's left just like people that die. She just passed on but then whether you label it passed on or not, some of us call it kick-the-bucket, you know, whether you want to refer rather coarseness to it. So an, it doesn't make any difference what you label it, but back to this now, Isaiah 53 please.
Oh I started to say, the only way I can understand how the sufferings that Christ endured from brutal men could be blended into the penalty is that the penalty for that horrible hatred and that murderous, merciless butchery that they did to Him, that had penalties attached to it, and He bore the penalty. So in that sense the suffering that He endured from them was a part of the penalty. He bore the penalty which was death. The penalty for those all those sins and all of man's sins of course, the penalty for that brutality, for that murder ... in other words, He suffered the penalty for the nails driven in the hand that they ... their driving the nails. But the driving the nails wasn't the penalty. But you see they're blended, because their driving the nails into Him was an evidence of their murderous heart, and when He died the penalty from heaven, He di... paid the penalty for their nail driving, He paid the penalty for their sword thrusting, He paid the penalty for their crown of thorns mashing, he paid the penalty for their spittle and their reviling and mocking. So you see, all of that and the penalty are so enmeshed, they kind of blended, in the sense we can't separate. Yes?
(comment from audience) In verse 4 there it says referring to [ ? ? ] maybe, "smitten of God".
Yes. "We did esteem Him stricken and smitten of God."" In other words, like they said on the ... said around the cross there, "Why, he said God was his father. Let him come down now if He'll have him." In another words ... and God didn't come down, in another words, "We're doing' what pleases God. He's back of us in all this." Just like Christ said the time's going to come when they will think they're doing God's service to kill you, see. "We did esteem him stricken and smitten of God." God was back of it. You know they were the religious gang, they were the religious leaders that did this.
All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord
not the murderous mob, but
the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
See, that's what I was trying to bring out.
The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his sheerers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
I love to use that from time to time with the 3rd chapter of Romans. I had two hours and a half at Bill Nichols' house the other night; Wednesday night, at Amarillo, with a Seventh Day Adventist preacher; been preaching for 31 years. One of Bill Nichols' employees named Trip is an ardent Seventh Day Adventist. And Bill talked to him over and over again, he didn't want to talk to Bill anymore. And so he ... Bill was telling me about it, and I said, "Invite him out tonight." Bill said, "Well I don't think he'd come." He said he wouldn't come anymore unless he'd bring a preacher. And I said, "Why don't you call him up and ask him to." So he did, and the fellow said, "Fine, Iíll do that." He brought his preacher. I had two hours and a half with him the other night.
And I thought over and over again as I turned to Romans... I said, "Let's go to Romans 3:20" (sic.), "Now we know that what things soever the law" (ten commandments) "saith, it saith to them that are under the law," what for? "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God." There never was... I asked him, I said, "Was there ever more than one person who has perfectly kept the ten commandments?" He said, "No." Well I said, "Good. You're right." And I said, "Now put that with Romans 3:20 ... 3:99, "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it's said to them that are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God. For by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified."
And oh how l love to use that ... haven't seen it very clearly like I do now, for very many months I'm ashamed to say. "No flesh" and I brought out to him the other night, l said to him, "The Scriptures say, "No flesh shall be justified by keeping' the law." That means the flesh of the unsaved and the flesh of the converted. "No flesh shalt be justified by the deeds of the law." And ... Now watch again, 3:99, the law shut the mouths of those under it. All but one man. And the only man whose mouth the law didn't shut stood like a lamb before his shearers and didn't speak. Isn't that beautiful? That's beautiful truth. The only one that had a right to speak was like a lamb before his shearers is dumb as He took our penalty. And the unsaved, especially the Seventh Day Adventists and all works people, they jabber, jabber, jabber, jabber, youkkety-youk, youk, youk, youk. I told that Seventh Day Adventist the other night, I said, "Your mouth should've been shut long ago my friend. It'll be shut one day. I wish it were tonight," I said, "and you'd stand guilty, dumb, speechless, but grateful by faith at the foot of the cross, and let God save your soul, and then open your mouth and give you something' worth saying. It'd be praises to God for saving your soul as a gift."
"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her sheerers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
The only one who had a right to talk. Brother Ross, don't you think the One who was ... was called the Word, capital 'W', had a right to talk? "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Brother Bear, don't you think if anybody in human form had a right to talk the Word did? The incarnate Word, think of it; who said, "I'm the way, the truth, and the life," and Truth's mouth was voluntarily stopped, as the liars opened up and youkkety, youk, youk, youk.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, and he opened not his mouth, and he's brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation?
Our heart should say, "I'll be one. I'll be one. I want to talk about Him. I want to talk about this ... this law fulfiller who laid His law-fulfilling life down for all lawless guilty sinners."
He was taken from prison and from judgment: who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he smitten [stricken]. And he made his grave with the wicked.
Thief on each side you remember. One of them didn't die a wicked man though.
And with the rich in his death.
Joseph of Arimathaea buried Him, got ... asked His body, and buried Him in his own sepulchre that had never been used by a corpse before. This is a ... wonder... these are wonderful prophecies that were literally fulfilled in detail later.
Made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him.
That's right. Brother Ross called our attention to these verses.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.
Some of you heard me bring out using the word "please", the Lord ... when the Lord had fulfilled the ten commandments for 30 years under it you remember, as He came out of John's water baptism, having said to John, "Go ahead and baptize me now. Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." And as soon as He came out of the water, the Bible says "straightway the heavens were opened", and the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove, and a voice from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased." Then later the Lord said, "I do always the things that please My Father". And yet we read here, "It pleased God to bruise Him." That seems a strange contradiction doesn't it. ''I do always the things that please My ... ". "I'm well pleased in this One; He's My Son," and then the Son says, "I do always please My Father." And yet on Calvary's tree, it pleased the Father to bruise Him.
Why? Because of His infinite love for you and me? I like to think first because of His infinite justice and absolute holiness. "God could by no means clear the guilty"; "the wages of sin is death"; "the soul that sinneth it shall die"; "every disobedience and transgression shall receive a just recompence of reward". And so when Jesus Christ the sinless Son of God's love gathered all our sins, and the Father laid them on Him, and He appeared before God, what could the Judge do? Just one thing. Execute, carry out the penalty. "And God spared not His Son but delivered Him up."
If you don't believe that Christ died under the sentence of God's judge ... court, then you're all mixed up as to whether Christ died because somehow or other He came down, he let them maltreat Him, and He sure must have loved me to suffered all that for me, and yet what, was it for me, and I guess l have to hold on faithful, and I guess I'm saved if l feel real good tonight, but if I slip tomorrow, and your eyes are clear off of the penalty of sin, and off of the finished work of God's dear Son, and off of the fact that when Jesus Christ took the penalty from heaven's court which was death, it made it absolutely impossible for God as the infinitely Holy Judge to ever call you in question again for your Adamic nature. God would be a monster of injustice if He would ever (now listen carefully, I'm speaking with a holy hush in my heart), God would be a monster of injustice if He would call Maurice Johnson Adam, that's my old nature, if he would call Maurice Johnson, Adam, before His judgment bar to accuse me of any sin. Because 1900-odd years ago outside the walls of Jerusalem, God Laid Maurice Johnson Adam's sins on His dear Son, and His Son died for my sins.
And I said the other night to that Campbellite home, the ... "I read in the Word of God, "the wages of sin is death", and I nowhere read, "the wages of sin is death in water baptism"". Going' home Bob said, "That's great. I don't want to forget that". I said, "I'd never thought of that in my Life until just before I said it and came to me". Nowhere in the Bible do we read the wages of sin is death in water baptism. Or death in holding on faithful. Or death in quitting something: Because when God set the penalty for sin He said, "death". And when God's dear Son taking our place appeared before His holy court, He got the penalty and it was death.
And God never ... God's not a ghoul, He doesn't rob graves: pick out a man that He's already sentenced to death and executed in the person of His Son, and bring up the corpse and put him on trial again. But most of the wizards and the witches that Paul refers to in Galatians do exactly that. And what ... what was the witchcraft? Saying', "Well after you begin in the Spirit, you've got to be made perfect by the flesh. You've got to take on something', and do and don't and do and don't and do and don't." So all they were doing was digging up the old man Adam and putting' him on trial again. And saying "the wages of sin is death and do and don't, and do and don't, and do and don't".
(Wilbur Johnson) He didn't say the wages of past sins up to that time.
No he didn't say the wages of past sins. But the wages of sin is death. A Seventh Day Adventist said to me when I ... didn't you go in there, I said that negro's house with Tedford that night to meet those two Seventh Day Adventist preachers? One of them agreed we'd have ...
(gap on tape)
"... Christ for penalty for our sins and receive Him as our savior. His blood washes all-l-l of the sins we've committed up to that time away."
(comment from audience)
And so he went on and he gave some other things, and then when he got through, I began. I said, "Now Mr. So-and-so said that the Seventh Day Adventists believe in the atonement of Christ, that they believe that when they penitently receive Christ as their savior the blood of Christ washes all-l-l the sins that they have committed up to that time away." Well I said, "I believe that, but I believe a whole lot more." I said, "I didn't need just to have my sins washed away that I'd committed up to that time I came to Christ, I needed to be washed away." And I said, "This sinner was washed away. This sinner was crucified." Oh he said, "Wiped out, wiped out." And I said, "I was wiped out. I'm the fellow that needed to be wiped out, and not just my sins." And I said, "I can say with Paul, "I'm crucified with Christ." the wages of sin wasn't the death of some sins, but the death of the sinner." So you believe that you have that ... that the sinner has died in heaven's court? Well can heaven put the same fellow to death twice so far as anything you know about? You think heaven's court can put the sinner to death twice? You try to find in the Word of God where heaven's court can put the sinner to death twice. Paul said, "You are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. If you then be risen with Christ, set your affection on things above where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. And when Christ who is our life shall appear we ..." Well now wait a minute now, that is if you confess all the rest of your sins as you commit them. Well now wait a minute, do you think that just because you received Christ as your savior and was born again once that that makes you safe? Colossians 3, "You are dead, and your life, your life is on trial for life." There isn't anybody in religion in Christendom who believes they can be saved today and lost tomorrow who believes that they died with Christ.
(Wilbur Johnson) They were just wounded.
Just wounded a little bit. Mutilated a little bit. Kind of like the Roman Catholics. They sacrifice really a whole lot. I love pork chops, and I just ate fish on Friday. (It was awfully good though.) And I... we've got to ... I'll tell you we Roman ... we've got to do something'." I believe we've just come through Lent. Who was it with me? Was it one of you younger that was with me some years ago when we were on a trip up north, and we went into Visalia, in a market, one of those big new... I think Safeway market. I think it was about maybe "Good Friday", what they call "Good Friday". We went into buy some groceries, and we were at the check stand, and there were two ladies in front of us, and one of tem that looked like she'd had probably 55, 60, 65 summers and a tot of pretty severe winters, but she was made up to look like an Easter bunny almost, and she said, "Well I'm so blankety-blank glad that this Lent will be over the day after tomorrow. I'm going to really eat a big meal." She had a crucifix hanging down, you know, and she'd been observing Lent; I'll tell you. She had added a whole lot to the death of Christ for ... making the scales you know, the penalty for sin, and her sins over here you know. "The wages of sin is death," the death of Christ and your doing and don'ting and doing and don'ting and doing and don'ting. What a monstrous farce. What a blasphemous characature of the death of Christ.
You believe Christ satisfied the claims of heaven's court against you? You believe Christ satisfied the claims of heaven's court? Why did He say, "It's finished"? And why did; listen -- why did He ever come out of the grave? We're told in John the 16th chapter that Christ said, "When the Holy Spirit's come He'll convince the world or convict the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment; of sin, because they believe not on me." Because the other sins have been taken care of. "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!" But He didn't take away the sin of deliberately rejecting Him. You deliberately reject Him, and there's no sacrifice for that sin. "If we sin willfully after we've received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for fiery indignation that'll devour the adversary." God's not going to let His Son die twice. And if the death of God's dear Son didn't fully settle ... satisfy the penalty of heaven's court against Adam, then there's no possible hope for any of us, unless, when we receive Christ as our savior, we walk 100% in the Spirit the rest of our life. Because, commit one single sin walking in the old man after you are converted, and you'd be hopelessly damned if what Christ did for you on the cross didn't save for you for eternity. If it didn't mean that in heaven's court your Adamic nature was crucified, Romans 6:6, "Knowing this that our old man is crucified with Him that the body of sin might be destroyed." In Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by...
(Wilbur Johnson) "the faith of the Son of God."
Whatever faith you choose to accept: the Methodist faith, the Baptist faith, the Presbyterian faith, the Roman Catholic faith; just any faith, just so you have faith. Pray about it.
You know I like to bring out about this prayer business, I mean when it's a substitute for God's Word. I believe in prayer, "Men ought always to pray." But several times this... back year; I've had in the last few weeks -- back east, I've had some spiritual fun in saying, "Let's have a special prayer meeting. I just have a great desire to know where Christ was born. Let's pray about it. Maybe He was born in London. Maybe we'll find He way born in Washington D.C.. ..."
(gap on tape)
"... Christ was born." I give it away already didn't I. "Let's pray about where Christ was born." Now why is it silly and profane and inexcusably ignorant to talk about praying where Christ was born?
(answers from audience)
Because He's already talked on that subject, hadn't He. Has He told us about the church?
(answers from audience) Amen.
Has He told us that every believer, every saved soul has been added ... is added by the Lord to the church? Has He told us that we're baptized by one Spirit into one body? Has He told us that in Christ we're complete? Has He told us, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens"?
(Wilbur Johnson) "It's plain enough that we need to be organized." (laugh) We have been organized.
Yes sir. "I can do all things through Christ." Has He told us that, "As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, even soÖ" walk in whatever church door you pray about and find..."
(comment from audience) No!
"As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, even so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith." "Let's pray about it." Has He told us, "Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus"?
Brother Ross, I sure am ashamed of you. I think you had a part in the prayer meeting in Glendale, praying about which name some of us folks would choose, and you finally chose after much prayer you chose Maranatha Tabernacle. Shame on you. Brother Lee Ivey, weren't you there, and have something to do with that?
(comment from audience)
I called them together. I called them together and we prayed about it. Oh we sure did pray. And you know we just as well said, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star". We didn't anymore get an answer from God my dear friends than Santy Claus is God the Father. It was impudence. God forgave us because we were ignorant and slow and ought. But listen, I would no more pray now about a name for a radio program. I said the other day over more than one radio station, to make a recording, I said, "The reason I don't name this [ ? ] broadcast is because Iím, not a religious butcher. And Iíd have to get out a sectarian butcher knife and try to cut part of the work of Jesus Christ off, and then name them. I said, "Everything I'm doing that's spiritual is vitally united to Christ and every other Christian in all the world. Imagine I say, "This is Bill Jones. This is Sam Hoffelstiffer. I prayed about it, and I named them."
"Now wait a minute. This is the work of Bill Jones? This is the work of Sam Hoffelstiffer? Say now, wait a minute. Is that your natural thing? Am I mistaken? A natural thing? Look like it's kind of vitally united?" Say, "Yeah, itís my finger. But we all got to have a name."
(comment from audience) Got to organize.
Got to organize, have a name. You say, "Listen, thatís a part of Maurice Johnson wiggling, and this is a part of Maurice Johnson. And to name it separately, you shouldn't do it unless you can cut it off, and then it would be a separate thing, and then name."
Oh-h, when we think of those things. These are, these are sublimely beautiful. I'm not giving them beautifully but they're sublimely beautiful. Yes?
(comment from audience)
(comment from audience)
But where'd they get their answer?
(comment from audience)
Letís finish this in Isaiah 53, I mean a few of the verses here. Tenth verse again, 53:10.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed,
he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the
Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Let's take it out of His hands; what did you say. And invent an organization, and then name it. "Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all ...
(comment from audience) "in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Is there any spiritual power in that? Will that name comprehend and properly describe everything that we can do that's Christian? Just imagine. Say, "Well do you think that we Methodists don't ... what do you think we do, do you think that what we do we do in the name of the devil?" I do now, since I found Ďmethodeiaí in the Bible, "the wiles of the devil". The Greek word is Ďmethodeiaí, Methodists. I gave it this morning. "But now wait, do you think that we, the Church of the Open Door, do you think that what we do we do in the name of the devil?" "Well I know that you've got a name that rivals the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, because you're advertising what is a fact to you that you can't do the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in His name; Period. Don't say you do it in His name and, because you can't Ďandí the infinite one." Can you Ďandí the Alpha and Omega? The Alpha and Omega andÖ The beginning and the ending and... Wayne, did you ever try to add something to the ending? You try toÖ Isn't Christ named the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and ending. Try to add to the ending.
(comment from audience) "Add thou not to His word."
Yeah, yeah. And add not to the Word, capital Christ. But just think about that, adding to the end. Did you know that Christ isn't the Alpha or the Omega of any sect in religion. Man's the Alpha and death's the Omega. Omega's the ending see, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet used as names in Revelation. But Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the church which is His body. Isn't it? He's the beginning and the ending. We'll be with Him for all eternity. Those are beautiful things, huh?
(comment from audience)
They divide by adding alright. No doubt about that, adding to the Word of the Lord. The 11th verse now.
He shall see the travail of his soul,
God the Father, the judge, as a judge see the travail of the soul of His Son, and shall be satisfied. You know, probably one of the most horrible things in the lake of fire will be sinners realizing that they weren't satisfied with what satisfied the infinite and holy judge of the universe. "Say what a stupid damned soul I am and was when I rejected what the judge was satisfied with. When God's Son took my place on the accursed tree, and the judge said, "I'm satisfied." "I'll forgive Lawrence Hagerman of everything he ever did or was capable of doing in his Adamic nature. I'm satisfied. Iím satisfied with the trial of Lawrence Hagerman. So rub his name of the book in heaven; heís dead, through with him. Give him a new life. And that new life isn't on trial."
Oh-h thatís so beautiful to me. Why the new life I have isn't on trial. You got a boy, you got a grandson now, you got a boy up yonder in Fresno. How long since he's been on trial as to whether he was going' to be your boy?
(comment from audience,) Donít think he's ever been on trial as to that.
Not since he's born in your family. He's not on trial as to whether to be. your boy now was he? He's been on trial often as to whether held be the right kind of a son, obedient and courteous and all that sort of thing. But he's never been on trial to see if heed be your boy. But all over this country we got wizards and witches in religion that say, "I don't think that just because you been born again you're saved." I'd-d be afraid. I'd say you've got to hold on. In other words, "You're born again?" "Yes, amen." "You're a child of God through faith in Christ, Galatians 3[?]" Yeah? "But brother you've got to live it." "In order to have it?"
(comment from audience) You already got it.
"You've got to live it brother." Well my name's Maurice Johnson. I understood that when I was a little boy because my parents told me. One of them told me, "I'm your father." The other one said, "Iím your mothers" respectively. And they named me Maurice. And you know they never did teach me that I had to live a certain life to be Maurice Johnson. They said, "Thatís what the name of your life is, no matter how you live it." But they gave me reasons why I should want to please them, and later talked about Christ, my mother and all like that. But you know the manner of life Iíve lived as Maurice Johnson hasn't had a thing in the world to do with keeping me the son of those two particular people. When they're born children of incorruptible seed, children of God? Do we have to live it to be children of God? When we yield to His new life, mortifying the old Adamic flesh and let the Holy Spirit have His way, we live as we should as Christians. But we're not on trial for life.
(comment from audience) Thank God.
God help you to see that. For the simple reason that Christ died for our sins, and the wages of sin was death! That's death to the sinner! "If any man be in Christ, he's... "
(chorus from audience) "a new creature".
"He's a new creature." You believe it? "Old things are passed away; behold, all things become new."
All these truths, see what they do with the inverted pyramids of man-made religion. That poor Seventh Day Adventist the other night. I tried to cut him to pieces with the sword of the Spirit, and you should have seen like zig-zag, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." He didn't want to have a fight any longer. He said, I didn't come here to be the guest in Mr. Nichols' home, I didn't come here to try to get you people to believe what I believe." I said, "You didn't?!" I said, "How long you been preaching?" He, said, "Thirty years." "Well," I said, "are you telling the truth? When you preach don't you try to get people to believe like you do? unless you're a merchant." He said, "Well I think that is very unkind." Oh. he tried his best to be sweet, but when I'd use the sword of the Spirit something besides sweetness would come out. He said, "I ... I ... I ... I don't ... I didn't come over here to be ... to try to get ... make ... make you believe what I believe." "Well", I said, "why don't you? Why didn't you, unless you're a merchant?" I said, "My dear sir, I want you to believe what I believe."
(Wilbur Johnson) Amen.
Because I believe it. I believe it's the truth of God, and I want every one of you here to believe it too! That's why I'm preaching like this." I said, "What are you preaching for?! If you don't want people to believe what you believe, you're a hypocrite and a merchant." He said, "Mr. Nichols, I ... I don't want to be discourteous, I appreciate so much the hospitality of your dear wife, and if blah, blab-blah-blah-blah.-" I said, "Never mind all that sweet stuff," I said, "letís get down to the facts of can I teach now." All these poison peddlers, how sweet they can be, you know, when they began to ... begin to take the sweet stuff off their poison pills, you know, and they want ... Yes?
(comment from audience)
Sure. Since I mentioned it, let me tell you what I asked him. And that was a young Seventh Day Adventist that works for Bill there that arranged the meeting, see; both of them about thirty years of age. Very fine, earnest fellow; my heart aches for him. Said he's very zealous. He does personal work with all the employees whenever they come by where he's working. And he said he stops them on the company time; he'll do personal work. And I asked him the other night, I asked the preacher and then this fellow, I said, "Did you ever do six days work, six consecutive days -- work perfectly one six days in all your life?" I said, "I know you didn't." Bill told me the next morning, he said, "If he'd have spoken up," he said, I'd have said, "What about that whole kiln of wings that you ruined yesterday?" He said, "I'd have said, "0h, you didn't do such a perfect work."
But I asked the Seventh Day Adventist preacher, I said, "When a ... will there be one single human being that'll stand before God at the last judgment and say, "I have done the law perfectly. I'm justified by being a doer of the law.""
He said, "No." I said, "You get that?" I said, "That's the truth." He told the truth there. Been preaching' for thirty years, he said there wouldn't be one single human being stand before God at the judgment and say, "I have done the law, kept the ten commandments." He said there wouldn't be one, and I said, "You're right." Well I said, "How they going to have to be saved then? Only by grace." Well I said, "Why don't you teach that then, and don't ever again say that you're a law keeper. That's a Lie." I said, "Every time you Seventh Day Adventists preach you're breaking' the commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness".
"I do not think this is profitable. I do not think ... I did not come here to have arguments." I should say not. He came to ...
(comment from audience) It wasn't profitable to his cause.
It sure wasn't profitable to his cause. But look at ... back to this now. I don't want to get you away at all from the thought of glorying in Christ and what He's done for us. That's what I mean to be doing. "God the Father," 53:11,
He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall he satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteousness servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
He bore my sin and shared my iniquities, and gave me the privilege of bearing His name in the world that spit on Him and crowned Him with thorns. Let's not be ashamed of His name. Don't you know the god of this world that hates Christ, the devil, must pat himself on his hack, and the demons, in coming to Christians who in ... whom he couldn't stop from receiving Christ as savior and getting a new life, and he said, "Now that's fine. You want to do all the good you can don't you? You want to reach all the precious souls you can for Christ? Well take some name that will, you know, just any name that's suggested. Gideon, wouldn't that be a good name? You know Gideon was quite a fine fellow." And the Gideons are growing, oh they're growing wonderfully. Gideon of course was told to cut his army down from 30,000 to 300. But Gideon 'd be a good name, you know. Another name, similar name. Just any name but the undiluted, undecorated name, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The devil hates Christ. He doesn't hate you and me walking is the flesh. We're on his side. He hates us only as we are vitally related to Jesus Christ. Don't forget that. And so if he can just to hide the fact that we are dead, not on trial for Life anymore; we have the life of the death conquering, the devil defeating Christ. You think the devil doesn't hate the one that brokeÖ that ground his head in death. Christ in His physical death we're told in Hebrews 2:14, "destroyed him that had the power of death, that's the devil". You think the devil doesn't hate Christ who destroyed him? The word 'destroyed' just simply means 'render inoperative' as his capacity the one and the power of death. The word 'destroy' never means 'annihilate' you know in the Bible. I'm, I'm, I'm drawing' toward a close but to ... wide awake please now.
He shall see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied.
You know when we must read and believe it said, "Does that mean that God the judge was satisfied with what His Son did for me?" That's precisely what it means.. "Then God is satisfied with the penalty paid for my sins?" That's right. "Then I don't need to fear any more about being saved?" That's right, if you believe what God's dear Son did for you. You've heard me tell the story, Mrs. [?], a Roman Catholic, born and brought up. I met her and brother and sister B. D. Johnson's, father and mother in Ireland, riding in their car, we stopped on the edge of St. Louis to visit a lady who had written, gotten some literature and written several times, and she said, "Oh, I want my friend, and you ... can you be here a little while, I want my friend, just a babe in Christ," lived a few blocks away, "I want her to come. She's sent some of this literature, and I know she wants to meet you, and I want you to meet her." She came. And after a little while she said, "I want to tell you an experience I had the other day". She said, "Iíve been seeing about my salvation. I seem to just not be clear. I know I was saved. I believed I was, but I didn't have assurance it would settle." And she said, "We had company, and they went away, and didn't have any help. We had ... my sink was piled with dishes, and the time came I just had to wash them, and I had a terrible headache. And I went to start washing up, "Oh I can't do this. If I just had somebody to do this for me." And she said, "It flashed in my mind, "That's what it means "Christ died for my sins". If I had someone to wash these dishes for me, I wouldn't have to wash them. Christ died for my sins, and I won't have to die." And tears streamed down her cheeks and she said, "I haven't doubted my salvation since then".
Christ died for me, I won't have to die. Not physical death. That isn't the penalty for sin. Paul died, Mary the mother of Jesus died, Mary Magdelene died physically. The penalty for sin is separation from God, spiritual death. Physical death belongs to you and me as Christians we read in I Corinthians 3, you remember? Physical death belongs to us. It's not our enemy. Ruth Johnson over here, that was her maiden name anyway, Ruth knows that when her dear mother, and Wilbur's mother, when their dear mother ... how old was your mother Ruth when she went to be with the Lord?
(answer from audience)
Eighty-six. Stayed on several years after her husband, their father, died, brother B D. But I know that I in writing sister B D not long before she died, she said, "Brother Maurice, pray for me that the Lord will take me home." This was her attitude. She said, "I'm not good for anything. I'm just a burden now." Of course Ruth didn't think that, nor did the sons think that, and some other daughters. But anyway, "I'm just a burden now. And it can't be long. Pray that if it be the Lord's will He'll take me home." Was death an enemy in her eves? I should say not. It was a kind of key to unlock and let her loose from this tenement of clay. "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." Death was hers. She believed her Lord had the keys of hell and death.
Death ... physical death isn't the penalty for sins. That's another thing we get mixed up because of Christ's physical sufferings. I've heard preachers talking' about the cross of Christ, they go into great gruesome detail trying to describe how Christ's flesh quivered when they drove the nails, point first went in opening the skin, and how when those thorns begin to get through the skin on its tender parts of those nerves you know, and I've had them, people, almost shudder as they went into a Lot of gruesome details about the sufferings Christ got from murderous men! ' and never touch in some cases whatit meant when Christ said, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani" which being interpreted is, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" That's the suffering for the penalty for sin. To be God-forsaken. To be God forsaken. And in a very definite sense, to be God damned. When the Father spared not His Son, but delivered Him up.
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.
Does your heart say, "I'm satisfied too. I'm satisfied with the work of Godís dear Son in my place. Oh Father forgive me for doubting that what Christ did for me satisfied Thy court." So the justice and Holiness of God was perfectly satisfied for my sins when His Son died for them, and now God's free to act in mercy and love and grace.
"Oh-h," I said back east several times, I said, "Oh I preach it more and more, the fact that we can't appreciate the love of God, and the death of Christ for our sins unless we appreciate the justice and holiness of God. Who believes that it's indescribably wonderful that Christ would die for us, and that God would let His Son cry out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?", who believes that that's wonderful unless they know something of the holiness of God and justice of God. It's because God couldn't deal with sin without the death penalty being inflicted, that Christ died for our sins. God couldn't show His mercy to you and me until the penalty was paid. God couldn't be tender and gracious to me and you until His holiness and justice was upheld! We're told righteousness and peace have what?
(answers from audience) "kissed each other."
"Kissed each other." "The work of righteousness shall be peace," see? How could God give peace to you and me until righteousness ...
I close with a word now. In Romans the 5th chapter, the last two verses, three, four verses, "where sin abounded," from the fall of Adam: sin of Adam, through his family, "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that like as sin had reigned until death, so now righteousness should reign..."
(gap on tape)
You know these are great spiritual truths that liberate us! "You shall know the truth!" it didnít say you'll have a good warm feeling in your solar plexus, "and will make you free. You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Say, "Iím free! because Christ took my place. He ... and God the judge saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied." And then say, Iím satisfied with the work of Godís dear Son. Now I want to live in a manner to please my heavenly Father. To honor my blessed savior." You believe Christ died for your sins? Why? because itís the wages of sin. It's the penalty for sin. And He loved me, and that's the way to show it, to get me out of my horrible, hopeless, but deserving predicament. Then the verse, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man should Lay down his.. life for his friends." Well why Lay down His life for His friends, unless His friends were headed for a horrible death from which they couldn't escape.
Now that being clearly revealed ... here we were in the death cell awaiting the execution, "Depart from Me you cursed into everlasting darkness," and somebody came in and cried, "My God, My God, why past Thou forsaken Me?" And God said, "That's enough now. I'm satisfied [ ? ] ." Ross, if youíll just admit your sins, you admit that penalty that My Son took, and that I gave to Him. Iím satisfied with what He done for you. Are you satisfied?" And finally one day Ross said, "Yes Lord, I'm satisfied." Imagine waiting. I love that song (sings),
There's a stranger at the door, Let Him in;
He has been there oft before; Let Him in;
Let Him in, ere He is gone, Let Him in the Holy One,
and so forth. Let him in. The day's going to come when He wonít knock again at anybody's heart door. The day of grace will be over and justice will get back on the bench. And the dead and the grave and hell, the unsaved, will be raised and stand before God at the white throne judgment, and theyíll cry for the rocks and mountains to fall on them to hide them from His face, when absolute justice without any mixture of mercy will be meted out to those who've "trampled the blood of God's Son under their feet, and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith they were set apart, sanctified, an unholy thing, and have done despite to the Spirit of grace. It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Aren't you glad you're saved?
(chorus from audience) Amen.
And stand on something far better than feelings. You think I don't have feelings about these things? You think my soul isn't warm as I [ ? ] on these things? But the feeling came as a result of the glorious facts. It's these great facts and then my heaven-born, Bible-born faith in the facts, and then feelings. Wonít turn around and say, "brother, do you feel you're saved?" "I just don't feel like I'm saved." Maybe you haven't any right to feel like you're saved. Maybe if you did you'd be a hypocrite. It would be a lying feeling. If you know you're saved, that will produce the right kind of feelings. (laugh) No I have feelings? I feel like I'm saved! this evening, Lee, because I know I am.
(comment from audience) It's the only way you can feel it.
I feel it with a ... that's not a mirage, fooling me and making me come on, hoping I can slake my thirst someday. And that mirage stays ahead of me: the faster I drive, the faster it runs. And I starve to death chasing that miserable mirage. But I quit chasing', ''This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles." I know I'm saved.
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