Why Are We Still Here?

Date: 04/04/2021 
Why are We Still Here?
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Pastor Carlos: All right, [foreign words].

Congregation: Christ is coming.

Pastor Carlos: Christ is coming. Look at all of you soldiers for the Lord. Praise the Lord. Thank you for being here. So great to preach in front of people. Almost a year preaching to a camera. It's just exciting, so thank you so much for being here. When I was preparing this sermon, this presentation, I was debating how deep to go or just do an overview? Because most of my sermons include both, the overview and the deepness. That's why they last so long. It's interesting because in Spanish churches, there's no time limits. I love Sabbath afternoons when I was doing evangelistic series in Spanish territories. Because Sabbath afternoon, basically, you show up at three, four o'clock and there's no time limit. During the weeks, you got to, at least, try to stop early. But in the Sabbath afternoon, you could preach and I've preached for 2, 3 hours straight. Ask my wife, and nobody moves. That's what's most amazing about it.

So when I come to English speaking churches, it's a little bit challenging, especially, here because everything is so structured. But it's good, also I'm still learning. So it's only been a couple of years. I've only been doing this for about 7, and here for now my third year. I'm learning to stay within a timeframe. Amen. So pray for me. The question is, why are we still here? What is Jesus waiting for? It's been almost 2000 years, and he still hasn't returned. Why is it that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, why don't we go directly to heaven? Why are we still here? Now, this question has been challenging me for the last 2 years. The focus of my studies has been to try to understand this, and try to understand that.

I think this is probably the most important question that we, as a church, should be asking ourselves. That's why I titled it like that, why are we still here? What is the purpose? What is the reason? Now, I've compiled a long list of reasons why we are still here, Biblically, why we are still here. I'm going to share a couple with you. If we go to the Bible, it gives us probably the most profound and direct answer in regards to why we are still here. So, join me please in Matthew Chapter 24. This is what I think is the most important reason to understand why we are still here. Matthew Chapter 24. Everybody there?

Congregant: Yeah.

Pastor Carlos: Look at what it says in verse number 14. And this gospel of the kingdom will be what?

Congregation: Preached.

Pastor Carlos: Will be preached. In all the world as a what? As a witness. To all nations, and then what? And then the end will come. There's the answer. Why are we still here? It says here that the end will come when the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness, or better wording, is through our witness to all nations and then the end will come. The end hasn't come yet. Why? Because we have not been what? We have not been faithful witnesses to the gospel. That's the reason, we haven't been preaching. Now, how is the gospel preached based on this? It's preached through our witnessing. So don't get me wrong, you preach from a pulpit, and the pulpit is one of the instruments of God to get the gospel out.

But the main instrument that God uses is you and me. It's our life. We are a pulpit. We are a sermon. So, the reason we're still here is because what? The gospel has not been preached through us. People are not seeing it yet. But when that happens, then what's going to happen? Then the end will come. This is the same thing that happens in Revelation Chapter 7. Did you know that? What does it say in Revelation 7? That's another area we could study about why we're still here. It says that the 4 angels are holding back what? The 4 winds. That's God's mercy still on humanity. Still giving humanity until the very last minute. But God is not waiting necessarily for them, God is waiting for us. Because when we got on board with God's plan, then guess what? Then they will come.

The responsibilities are on our shoulders, and so what happens in Revelation 7? He says, "Hold back the 4 winds," until what? "Until I have sealed my people." So what is God waiting to let go of the 4 winds? He's waiting for the sealing, again, he's waiting for us. He's waiting for us to let him permit him finish the work of sanctification. Is everybody with me? That's exactly what it says in Christ's Object Lesson, page 69. Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of himself in his church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in his people, then he will come to claim them as his perfectly in line with what the Bible says and what spirit of prophecy is saying. God is waiting for that, and when that happens, my loved ones, then what? Then the gospel and the latter rain will fall and the loud cry will go out and then all of those that are in Babylon will come out.

So the greatest evangelistic movement after Jesus Christ that has ever come on this earth is going to be in the end. If we want to do evangelism and we want to get people into the church, what do we need to do? Surrender. We talked about that yesterday. We talk obey, obey, obey. Well, we can't obey, it's impossible for us to obey in the flesh. All we can do is surrender and let God do what he wants to do with us. He is the one that makes us and gives us the strength to be able to live according to his word, to live according to his promises. Amen. We talked about this, what is the gospel? We talked about this in the previous presentation. What is the gospel? In most Seventh-day Adventists, you ask, "What is the gospel?" They'll say, "The 3 angels' message." But as we studied already, and we saw, the everlasting gospel is not the 3 angels' message. You get your vegan heart attack again. The 3 angels' message is the end part, the last phase of the everlasting gospel.

The everlasting gospel has been preached throughout the whole all humanity. Amen. The plan of salvation has been presented from the very beginning until the very end, and the 3 angels' message didn't come around until 1840, the end. Lately, that's when it began. But it is part, Amen. It is part of God's love. It is part of God's righteousness, and what is the foundation? This is a very important question, and I think sometimes we get this wrong. Even I got it wrong. Don't get me wrong. I was even a little off on it. But it's important and part of the reason why is because maybe we have a half understanding of the gospel. We don't have a complete picture of the gospel. So we see certain things, but what is the foundation of the gospel? What is the basis of the everlasting gospel? We read this Romans 1:16-17, "For I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ," for it is what, "the power of God to save us." To save us from what? To save us from sin. Amen. For everyone who believes, who says Amen to that?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: For in it or in the gospel, what is the power? The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, and as it is written, the just shall live by faith. Amen. All of this is pointing to Jesus Christ. It's saying the gospel of Christ, the power of God that is being manifested to the world. What is that power that was manifested? The righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. Amen. Jesus never depended on his flesh, because if not, we would have no hope. He always, completely, totally, consistently surrendered his life to the Father, and it was the righteousness of God that was revealed through him. That's a picture to us. Amen. That's why it says, this is the beautiful part, that the righteousness of God was revealed from faith to faith into Jesus Christ. But it says, "And the just shall live by faith."

In other words, the righteous life of Jesus Christ will be reproduced and manifested among his people. Thank you. The life of Christ will be seen in us. If we have the mind of Christ, if we have the character of Christ, if we have the faith of Christ, then through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will live the life of Christ here on earth. It's hard to believe, but that's what the gospel says. He will reproduce his character. Amen. When we talk about the gospel, I'm going to share with you a gospel map. Now, this is my gospel map. This is basically what's a little bit into my head. I'm just going to share with you how I break down the gospel. The gospel map.

So here it is, number 1, you have the everlasting gospel, the great news. What is the everlasting gospel? The great news of what? The plan of salvation. Amen. The great news of the plan of salvation. Now, what is the plan of salvation? The plan of salvation is that humanity may dwell again with divinity. Why is it that we cannot dwell in the presence of God? Because of sin. Amen. The plan of salvation is going to do what? It's going to solve the problem of sin. Who says amen? How does God solve the problem of sin? He makes an everlasting covenant with who? With Jesus. Amen. He doesn't make it with us because he knows we can't hold up our part of the bargain. He knows that already, so he doesn't make a covenant with us. He makes it with his son. He makes it with Jesus. Now, we are beneficiaries. We receive the benefits of that covenant when we what? When we accept Jesus Christ. Amen.

We are partakers then of that covenant. Now, in that everlasting covenant, there are promises and conditions. Is everybody with me? Promises and conditions. Let's look first at the promises. 3 main promises in God's everlasting gospel covenant. What are they? Number 1, God was going to forgive us of our sins, number 2, God was going to give us victory or cleanse us from our sins, and number 3, God was going to eradicate and eliminate sin forever. Amen. Those are the 3 main promises that God is going to give humanity through the covenant that he made with his son. Who says Amen to that?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: Now remember those 3, because we're going to talk about those 3 today. This is part of the reason why we're still here. Because the promises have not been fulfilled yet. They have been fulfilled in Jesus, but not yet in his church. If it was the purpose of God just to manifest his character, his perfect righteousness through his son Jesus Christ, then as soon as Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, then it should have been over. But it's not. So that tells us something. God is not expecting just the perfection of his character in his son, he's expecting the perfection of his character in us. Because that's the condition to dwell in his presence. We have to have the image of God, we have to have the character of Christ again if we are to dwell, because that's why we were kicked out because we lost that character. Because we tried to say what? We got it.

That's what Adam and Eve did, right? "No, don't worry, God, we got it. We don't need you." God said, "Okay." We're not going back there anymore. Amen. What are the conditions? Perfect obedience, that's the condition. Perfect obedience to the law. Now, we can't do that. We already know that. We can't obey God's law, but Jesus did. Now through Jesus' righteousness, through his perfect life, guess what? We become partakers of the divine nature and we are what? We are inserted into Israel. Now, what's our part? Complete surrender and believing. That's called faith. That's it. It's hard to believe, I know, but through faith, God will reproduce his character in us and we will be able to live according to his word, according to his will. Who says amen to that?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: The everlasting gospel, my loved ones, the everlasting covenant is God's remedy to sin. Its work, therefore, must be to bring us back into harmony with his presence, with his law. Amen. To cause or to make the workings of the righteous law to be manifested in our lives. When that happens, my loved ones, guess what? Then it's over. Look at this, all of this is explained in detailed where? In the sanctuary. Everything is explained in the sanctuary. That's why it's such a big deal for us, Seventh-day Adventist. Because it's all there. You don't need to be a rocket science. You don't need to study chemical engineering. It's right there broken down. Now, I have a question, when you go inside of the sanctuary, when you come in through the first door and go in, how much of that work depends on us? Plan of salvation is being carried out inside of the sanctuary, my question is, when you pass the first door into the outer court, how much of that work is on us?

Congregation: None.

Pastor Carlos: None. Nobody went in. Only the Priest ministered in the sanctuary. What was God's people supposed to do? Afflict their soul and belief. That's it. Confess sins, repent, and then they said, "Go, sin no more." Amen. The sanctuary is showing us the righteousness of God. The sanctuary is screaming, "God loves you so much that through the sanctuary he is serving you." He is serving us, it's not we're serving him. No. He is showing us how he serves us, how much he loves us, and how much he cares about us, and he's showing us how he is going to reconcile us back into his presence. All we need to do is what? Surrender and believe and walk in that faith. Amen. We talked about this in the last presentation, this is the new covenant experience. God would've wanted this to have been over a long time ago, but it's our fault.

Do you think God wanted this situation with Adam and Eve to happen? No, of course not. But it happened. So God adapts to the situation. Remember we talked about that? Do you think then God wanted to wait so long for the first coming of the Messiah? Of course not. Everything that took so long is because what? Because of us. We continue to postpone and he is continually adjusting the calendar for us. Do you think he's been wanting to wait so long to come back for his second coming? Again, who is he waiting for? Us. But God is not going to wait forever. The Bible says that there's going to come a time when it's going to come to an end, so stop playing with the mercy of God. Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: Now, how many services were there to cleanse sin in the sanctuary? 2 main services, how many? 2. A daily and a yearly service. It's interesting, we don't have time to get into this, but at the end, I'm going to give you some information where if you want to go deeper into this most Holy Place experience, you'll be able to go to. But it's interesting because the daily services had to do with the individual sins. But the most Holy Place services had to do with the corporate sins. He's trying to tell us something. God is trying to tell us something about what his plan is. Amen. We talked in the previous presentation about the first cleansing of the sanctuary. When Christ comes in John Chapter 2, and he begins that cleansing process. Amen.

Notice, again, it's making reference to this daily cleansing. Remember, for 3 and a half years, Jesus Christ came to show us what it means to live by faith in the new covenant. That's what he did for 3 and a half years. He cleanses the sanctuary, representation of the daily, and then for 3 and a half years, he says, "I'm going to show you how to live by faith. I'm going to give an example to you. I'm going to model to you how it is." Amen. We saw that in the previous presentation. We saw these 7 attitudes or these 7 insights into the mind of Christ, into the character of Christ, and we went through each piece of furniture. My mind is going like a hundred miles per hour. Each piece of furniture is showing us a different aspect of the mind of Christ, the attitudes of Christ, the character of Christ towards his Father, amen, and towards humanity. Showing us that victory over sin in fallen nature is possible, accessible, and expected.

Notice this verse, 2 Corinthians 13:4, "For though he was crucified in weakness," like it says in the book of Hebrews Chapter 4, it says, "He had our weaknesses." He knew what it meant to be living in this fallen body. "He was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by the power of God." Did Jesus Christ not live by the power of God? Here's the gospel. Now watch this, I want to jump, "For we also are weak," are we not? "But in him. When we are weak in him, we shall live with him by the power of God." That's the gospel. That same power, that same righteousness, God is going to reproduce in you and me, and that's what God is trying to say. That my loved ones is the new covenant experience. Who says Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: But there was a second cleansing. After Jesus is finishing his 3 and a half years ministry, he comes back to the sanctuary and there is a second cleansing. Now, if the first cleansing was representative of the daily, what do you think the second cleansing was representative of? The yearly. This is so much fun. He comes and he cleanses the sanctuary again. Remember, what does the sanctuary represent? Everybody represents what? Our bodies and our heart. The Ark of the Covenant, remember I said, look at it as our heart. After he cleanses it this day, he stayed there. And for almost a day, from that day and then the following day, he does what? He's teaching, he's healing, he's doing his last work. His last cleansing work, last evidence to his people. But it's only a day, first cleansing, 3 and a half years, second cleansing a day. That should tell us something.

That should tell us that it's not going to take 2000 years to come back, because he's already in the most Holy Place. That's a short period of time. Amen. He does what? He preaches. He's giving them the last chance. He's telling them, "This is your last opportunity. I gave you 3 and a half years, now I'm going to give you 1 more day and I'm going to break it down." In Matthew Chapter 23, he goes to the 7 woes, to the scribes and Pharisees. He just breaks them down. It's hard language that he speaks about. Then in Matthew 23:38, when they, again, reject it, what does he say? "Behold, your house is left desolate." The Shekinah glory has left. The sin against the Holy Spirit has been committed to them. No more, that it's. Probation is over for those that were there and listening and had been listening to him during those times. To those that rejected it, of course.

Then in Chapter 24, Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple, and that's the second abomination of desolation in the Year 70. Is everybody with me? Now, what temple was destroyed? Now, don't think old covenant, think new covenant. What temple was destroyed? The body. Because when we reject the message, when we say no more, God says, "Okay, it's your problem because I'm going to come dwell with humanity. And if you're not ready, if you're not cleansed, then you're going to be destroyed." Not because God wants to, but because there could be nothing unclean in the presence of God. So that all of this time, again, is pointing to God is what? He's giving us a chance to let him cleanse us, so that he can dwell with us.

It's not about him wanting to destroy humans. He's giving us a chance. He's doing it because he says, "I want to dwell with my children and I'm going to do it. If you're not ready, I'm sorry. I gave you enough opportunity. I gave you enough chances." Is everybody with me? So we see then it is most Holy Place intercession of Jesus in that second cleansing. Now some people say, and some people accuse us, and say, "You Seventh-day Adventist say that Jesus did not make full atonement on the Cross of Calvary." Have you heard that before? "Oh, you Seventh-day Adventist, he's in the most Holy Place. Where do you get that stuff?" From the Bible.

Now, so did Jesus make atonement? Says in Acts of the Apostles, "Christ's sacrifice on behalf of man was full and complete." The condition of the atonement had been fulfilled. Amen. Yes, the condition of the atonement had been fulfilled, but what happened? Only a partial application of that full atonement could be made from the cross. Are you following me? There had to be a full and complete application, and what day was the full and complete application of atonement presented? On the Day of Atonement? Are you catching me? So the plan of salvation, my loved ones, is what? Let me put it this way, is the cross the plan of salvation? Based on the sanctuary, it's not. The cross is the beginning of the plan of salvation. The cross is that thing that when you come into the doors, the first thing you confront, the plan of salvation is laid out throughout the whole sanctuary.

It's the whole process. That's just 1 element of it, but Jesus is not only a lamb, he is also the Priest. So, both parts needed to be there. Are you catching me? Both elements needed to be in it. And so remember that the veil was there, and during the whole year, what happened? During the 359 years, the blood would be placed where? On the veil. Sprinkled towards the Ark of the Covenant, but it would be where? It would be on the veil, and then what? Now, those sins were confessed, amen. Confessed sins were there. But God then said what? I'm going to cleanse the sanctuary. First he cleanses us and then he cleanses the sanctuary. Now on the Day of Atonement, that all those sins, and it's beautiful what it says there, because God tells us, "Bring me your filth and I'm going to throw it on myself."

Remember, we saw the veil represents the flesh of Jesus Christ? God is saying, "I love you so much. I'm going to take your unfilthiness, your unrighteousness, and I'm going to place it on me. And I'm going to place on you my righteousness." So on the Day of Atonement, what happens? Go with me to Leviticus Chapter 23. Watch this. This is where I share with my brothers and sisters from other denominations about what is atonement? We're not making this up, this is Biblical. Leviticus Chapter 23:27. Everybody there?

Congregation: Yes.

Pastor Carlos: Watch this. "Also the 10th day of the 7th month shall be the Day of Atonement." The day of what? Atonement. Reconciliation, day of judgment. It shall be a holy complication for you. "You shall afflict your souls and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, and you shall do no work on that same day. For it is a Day of Atonement." Now notice here, to do what? "To make atonement for you before the Lord." When was atonement completed? When was the process of atonement completed? On the day of? On the Day of Atonement. That's when the last decision of reconcile. In Spanish, it says, "Now, on the Day of Atonement, you shall be reconciled to God." Again, that points to what? The Cross of Calvary began the process of reconciliation. But the process of reconciliation ends when? On the Day of Atonement. Amen.

That's when that final reconciliation is carried out. Now why was it carried out? Why was it fulfilled? Why was it finished or completed on the Day of Atonement? Very simple, go with me to Leviticus 19:30, and this is the answer to why we are still here. Leviticus 19:30, or part of the answer. I'm sorry, Leviticus 16:30, my bad. Leviticus 16:30. Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: And it says here, "For on that day, the Day of Atonement," Chapter 16, the whole day is about the Day of Atonement. "For on that day, the Priest shall make reconciliation for you to cleanse you that you may be cleansed from some of your sins." All of our sins. For there to be complete reconciliation then, God needs to cleanse us from what? From all of our sins. Is everybody with me? Who is the Priest that does the cleansing so that we can be cleansed from all of our sins? Jesus Christ ministering in the most Holy Place. Amen. He's finishing that work, that deep cleaning, that finishing. Going through those edges, because sometimes we think, "Oh, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do this, I don't do that, I don't curse anymore. I'm good to go." That's a Holy Place experience.

Good start. Don't get me wrong, but that's not where Jesus wants to take us. He wants to go deep down. The motivations, the intentions, you could do good things for wrong reasons. He wants to go deep into the heart, into the soul, and see where are those motivations? What are those intentions behind what you're doing? He wants to cleanse us completely. Why? So that we can dwell in his presence again. Amen. What would God's people be doing on the day? Afflicting their soul. Afflicting the souls [foreign words]. That means to surrender, to humble, to give completely in, and that's what they did. If they didn't afflict their souls on that day, they would be cast out. That's just talking to us, now is a time of what? Of complete surrender.

Lord, is there anything in my life that is not permitting me to have a closer walk with you? Is there anything in my life that is not permitting me that your will can be fulfilled in my life? Is there anything in my life that is impeding me from growing and from completing and fulfilling the mission and the purpose that you have brought me here? The reason God has created you is not to condemn you. The reason God has created us is for His glory. He wants that. He's giving us that chance. That's what he did. Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: He wants to reveal himself. Look at what it says in 1 John 1:19. Amen. I'm sorry. 1 John 1:9. There's no 19. Watch this. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful," and just to what? "To forgive us of our sins." That's the daily, but it doesn't stop there. "And to cleanse us from some unrighteousness, all unrighteousness." That's the most Holy Place experience, my loved ones. Amen. That's it right here, it explains, and it says, "God is faithful." Faithful in what? In what? In forgiving us of our sins and uncleansing us from all of our sins. God is not calling you to sanctify yourself. God is not calling yourself to try to do better. God is not calling on you and me to try to cleanse ourselves. God is calling on us to surrender ourselves, to trust in him, and let him do the work of cleansing and sanctification.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: We talked about that. When you try to do it on your own, old covenant experience. Is everybody with me? Look at what it says in Great Controversy in page 478, "While the investigative judgment is going forth in heaven, and while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin among God's people on earth." Amen. That's what it's about, my loved ones. The blotting out of sin in the last phase of Jesus as our high priest, is to what? Is to prepare his people for the close of probation. It's to prepare his people to be able to stand here when there will be no more intercession. Because that time is coming, and that's what it says in Revelation. There's going to be a time when probation is closed. Let the just be just, let the filthy be filthy. No more.

But that's not when he comes back yet. He comes back later. That's in Chapter 15 when probation closes. But then it's not until Chapter 16 that the 7 plagues fall. The Battle of Armageddon. What is God trying to do? He's proving, he's showing the accusation of the enemy in the Great Controversy saying, "I told you I could make fallen man love me and serve me and believe completely in me." Now, pay attention to this. It's very risky to leave fallen human beings without an intercessor. Because if they sin, no intercession. So if Christ is going to do this, he must trust us because he's seen, in our lives here on earth, that he can trust us. If he can trust us with the little, he can trust us with the big. Similar to what happened with Job. You see Job? Go ahead. He's not going to blaspheme me. He's going to stay.

Now, he had some struggles, don't get me wrong, but God trusts those in the end. God sealed people so much that he's saying, "I can leave them without intercessor, and they're still not going to surrender. They're still not going to give into temptation. They love me so much and they want their purpose. The main focus of them is to vindicate my name. And they would prefer to die," as Daniel Chapter 3 shows, "they would prefer to die than disobey my law and my commandments." Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: It is finished. My loved ones, the everlasting gospel, the everlasting covenant is God's remedy for sin. Amen. So, at that moment, he will bring us in harmony with his law. With his righteous law, it will be manifested in us. That's, my loved ones, are the 3 promises, I will forgive your sins, I will give you victory with sin, and I will what? And I will eradicate and eliminate sin forever from this universe. On the cross, Jesus said, "It is finished." Forgiveness of sins, the covering of sins, Christ has paid the price. Amen. But in Revelation 16:17, go with me. Watch this. Revelation Chapter 16, this is after the Battle of Armageddon. Look at what it says in verse number 17. This is during the Battle of Armageddon, I'm sorry. "Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven from the throne," saying what, "it is done."

He's pointing to the earth and he's saying it is done because there are they that persevere. There are they that have that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus Christ. The angels rejoice in seeing that there is a people on this earth. Because that was always God's plan, he wanted a holy nation, a holy people. And on that day, he says, "Here they are. Here is the evidence, Satan, that you were wrong, and that I am faithful to my promises and that I am faithful to show the universe I made a promise and I am keeping it, and there are my children. They are living the faith of Jesus Christ. They're keeping the commandments of God." The reason they're keeping the commandments of God is because they have the faith of Jesus Christ. Because without the faith of Jesus Christ, it is impossible to keep the commandments.

You can try, but you're not going to do it. It's only through faith that we're able to keep the commandments of God. That's what's going to be the manifestation of it. He's going to save you right there. Now, what is sin? Transgression of the law. If sin is breaking God's law, then what is keeping God's law? It's not sinning, it's righteousness. So he's saying, "There they are, they have trusted, they are living the faith of Jesus Christ." Amen. God has been vindicated, and so my loved ones, there is that gospel map. My loved ones, the promises of God have been fulfilled in his people. He's revealing and declaring to the world what he's preparing us right now for that moment. Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: His work involves the complete cleansing of our soul temples. The blotting out of sin, complete blotting out. Amen. Sins were forgiven in the daily, sins were blotted out on the Day of Atonement. God will take them out and they will not harass you anymore, they will not persecute you. Do we not have persecuting and harassing thoughts of our past lives? It happens to me all the time. God says, "No, I'm not going to let that happen anymore. I'm going to blot it out completely, and you will be in the faith of Jesus Christ, a righteous child of God." That's the promise.

So in Genesis 3:15, the covenant, the gospel covenant was prophesied. At the birth of Jesus Christ, the gospel covenant was initiated. At the baptism of Jesus Christ, the gospel covenant was declared. At the death of Jesus Christ, the gospel covenant was ratified. At the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the gospel covenant was confirmed. At the ascension of Jesus Christ, the gospel covenant was accepted and celebrated. And in Jesus' ministerial work, when he entered into the Holy Place, when he entered into the sanctuary, his gospel covenant is ministered to the church. But when he goes into his last phase of ministry, the gospel covenant is what then? Is then sealed and finished. Reconciliation is guaranteed, they can come and dwell in my presence.

They are ready. Why? Because they showed it here on Earth. They've proved it. That they want to live by faith. That they want to honor me in all their ways. That's the most Holy Place experience. If that's our heart, and what's inside of the Ark of the Covenant? What? The 10 Commandments. 10 Commandments have 2 components to it? Love God, and you know if you're living in the new covenant experience, you know if you're living in the most Holy Place experience. You know how? Because the 2 things that motivate you and drive you more than anything is to love and honor God and to serve others.

But we're not there yet, because we're still in the self-centered Christianity in the old covenant. Hopefully, most of us have hit the turn by now. But if not, there's still time. But stop playing with the grace of God. God's love is eternal with all his creation. Amen. But his mercy is not. The Bible shows that the mercy of God has limits, and we see it throughout the whole Bible. God is giving us this time, not just for you and me to prepare to be dwelling in his presence, but more importantly, for us to be able to be instruments of light to others. So that they can see the gospel, that they can see the covenant, that they can see the righteousness of God. They can say, "That's a God that deserves to be served. That's a God that deserves to be honored. That's a God that deserves my surrender. That's a God that deserves my time, my money, my thoughts, everything."

I surrender it and put it all at your feet, Lord. Where do you want me? What do you want me to do? That's the attitude, my loved ones. That's the focus. So, this great controversy that is being carried out, this great battle that is being carried out, my loved ones, is with one purpose. Go with me now, Ephesians Chapter 5, it's to vindicate God's character. Amen. But for him, it's also to save his children. Nobody said amen.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: For us, vindicating God's character. For Jesus, vindicating God's character. For God, saving my children.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: This is just a beautiful thing. Go with me to Ephesians. I'm going to give you why we're still here. Ephesians Chapter 5. I could keep on going, but I know time is up. I'm telling you, just preparing, especially, the previous presentation, I have a whole prayer week. Exciting. These Bibles. If it was my Spanish Bible, I could just flick it and it'll go there. Ephesians Chapter 5, here we are. Everybody with me? Pay attention to this. This is beautiful. "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her." Amen. You want to be a good husband? What do you need to do? Love your wife. Jesus gives us that example, yes or no? Again, Jesus is showing us how to live in the new covenant. He loved his wife, he loved his church.

Now, look, "That he might sanctify and cleanse her," talking about the church, "with the washing of water by the word." That's so powerful, "That he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." God is wanting, not just one person, that's why the most Holy Place experience is a corporate experience. It's a personal individual aspect, but it's coming together as 1.

Because if it would've been just with Jesus Christ, it would've been over. But God is not just wanting that. The purpose of Jesus Christ is to fulfill those promises in us. To God show the enemy, "You're wrong, I am a God of love. I am a God of righteousness." How does he reveal it? Through you and through me. He already showed it with Jesus. The universe is fine. The universe got it. God is love. But there's 1 place in the universe where God's character has not been vindicated yet, and where is that? Right here. Jesus isn't here. We can't expect them to walk through and millions follow after him. That's what we are for. That's why he said, "You shall do greater things than this."

Not that we were going to do greater miracles than he was doing, is that it was going to be reproduced in his children throughout the world, and that was going to be a boom. The power, the dunamis of God, the dynamite of God is that people were going to be blown away just like they were with the life of Jesus Christ. They were going to see him in us. As multitudes, first he went searching for them. Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: Then when he ministered to their needs, then they came searching for him. When we go out and serve our communities, when we go out and minister to their needs, then those same people are going to become instruments of God too. They're going to tell everybody, "Come here. Come here, here's where we're being fed. Here's where the word of God is." And people will come as they came to Jesus. Amen. That same experience that Jesus Christ has, the Bible says, will be reproduced in you and in me. That's why he says Revelation 14:12, "Here are the perseverance of the saints. Here are those that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, the faith of Jesus Christ." Amen. It's the same thing, the testimony and the faith.

What does it mean to live by faith? What does it mean to live the faith of Jesus Christ? I'm going to share with you a small testimony, an example of what it means to live the faith of Jesus Christ. Now, I'm not pretending to be there. Amen. Like Paul says, "God has not perfected my character yet. I have not let him finish yet." Let's put it clear. But I proceed, I keep on going. Amen. I keep on striving. I keep on having the battle of faith. What is the battle of faith? The battle with self. The battle to surrender completely, totally, consistently surrender to God. What does that look like, is the question. I'm going to give you a small testimony.

Recently baptized, 2008, I moved back to New York City from Puerto Rico, and I get a job. The market has crashed, the Great Recession of 2008. Puerto Rico is in shambles, God told me to go back to New York City. So, I went back to New York City and I got a job teaching. They were going to pay for my master's degree. It's a special program because they had high need situations in the city, and so they were going to pay for my master's degree and then at the same time, I was going to be teaching. So they throw you right in the classroom, they give you like a summer training course, boom, go, and then you're doing your masters at the same time.

It's overwhelming. It's overbearing, the work, classroom, all the administrative and the bureaucracy of teaching. And my classmates get together, it's about 15 of us. We're all doing the master's program together in education, and they say, "You know what, this work, we can't." Everybody was going crazy, and they say, "We need to do is we need to get together 1 day and everybody do homework. Well, let's all do the work together." What a beautiful idea, and I'm thinking, "That's a great idea." We only have 2 days, Saturday and Sunday. I'm thinking, what? Sunday's the day. That's beautiful. Guess what they all choose? Saturday. Brand new Christian, just coming into the faith. Lord, what are you doing? Lord, what are you doing?

This is just at the beginning. It's a 2-year process. That's when I look at Isaiah 41:10, "Carlos, do not fear for I am with you. Carlos, be not dismayed. for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will always help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." And who's at the righteous right hand of the Father? And I said, "God, I don't know how you're going to do it because this is overwhelming. I can't take it. None of us can take it. But you have promised that if I am faithful to you, you'll deal with the consequences. So I promise you today, God," just looking at that verse because I had nothing. That's why that verse is so important to me, I have nothing on to hold on. I had that 1 verse staring at me and I said, "God, I'm going to hold onto this promise. I'm not going to do any work on the Sabbath day. I'm not going to join the day everybody studying together. I'm going to keep the Sabbath day for you."

2 and a half years of hell. But my vitiligo, that vitiligo that I had, and you probably don't see it because I'm on treatment, started because of the stress. It was over the second year, I could not bear it and I learned to love the Sabbath. Because I said, "The Sabbath is here. Praise the Lord." And I could let go of everything. I did it. Every Sabbath day, I kept it for the Lord. I graduated with the highest GPA of my class, 3.8.

Congregation: Amen.

Pastor Carlos: Praise God. Praise God. That's what it means to live by faith. That's what it means to live the faith of Jesus Christ. Even when you don't see how it's going to end, even when you don't know how God is going to do it. You say, "I don't know, but God said walk. Believe in my promises, believe in me, and I will fulfill them." Amen. Now, it's learning to do that, what happened to me? Learning to do it daily, consistently, consecutively, all the time like Jesus did. Every decision, every moment, always consulting the Father, always looking for what does the Father say in his word? Always being guided by the Holy Spirit. That's the faith of Jesus Christ, and that's what he wants to see in you and me. My question to you is, do you want to live the faith of Jesus Christ? Do you want to live the life of Jesus Christ at the power, the gospel, the glory, the righteousness of God may be revealed in your life and that others may be in awe with the power that is coming out of you?

If that is your decision, stand up in the name of Jesus Christ and say, "God, I'm tired of this half and half." Why hasn't Christ not returned? Because we're not ready. He has not returned because we're not ready. He's waiting for us to fulfill that promises. If he were to come, if he were to end intercession and we were to be without an intercessor, and our characters are the way they are, we would all be lost. He's waiting for us, and when that happens, when we have completely surrendered, the latter rain will fall. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, the loud cry will go out and then all of those in Babylon will come. That is the bride of Christ with those that resurrect in the end. Amen.

Let's pray. Father, thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for this blessing. Thank you for your guidance. Thank you because you're so patient and loving and you want and yearning, desiring that the faith of Jesus Christ may be manifested in each one of us. Thank you, Father, but we know this time is going to end soon. There's a war that is brewing. You're preparing an army, and Father, we ask that whatever you need to do to shake us out of our sleep, to waken us up so that we can prepare, we give you permission to do it, 100%. Whatever you need to do, Father, to show us where we are, our condition, let us have that most Holy Place experience so that now our sins might not only be forgiven, but they may be blotted out. And we may live in complete and total peace in faith as Jesus did. Thank you for the blessing, Father, and we ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.


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