Speaker: Vasko Belovski
The message for this morning is entitled “Barabbas, Another Jesus, Another Gospel”. What we’re going to do this morning, as, as it was presented already through the scripture reading, is go back to Matthew 27. To probably one of the saddest, if not the saddest event that took place upon this earth’s history. It was the time when Barabbas was chosen by the Jewish people over Jesus, that was called the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Now, I am sure that if we were to ask a Christian today and say, What would you have done? If you were to be back there in the crowd 2000 years ago? Would you have chosen Jesus? Or would you have also settled for Barabbas? I almost guarantee that 100% of Christians in today’s world would say that they would have never chosen Barabbas over Jesus. But what we’re going to do this morning is because obviously, we cannot travel back in time and physically be put into that situation; we’re going to take some of the spiritual lessons and in fact, focus particularly on one very particular subject.
Now, there are so many different ways in our lives that we might reject Christ and settle for a Barabbas. But what we’re going to do this morning in exam, is examine one particular way and what that is. So just a reminder, let us go back to Matthew 27. And there be reminded of the event that took place over two or nearly 2000 years ago. “And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, whom will ye that I release unto you? Jesus Barabbas; or Jesus, which is called the Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?” And what was the answer from the crowd? They said, Barabbas.” I don’t know if you noticed, but in the verse that I was reading previous to this, I read Jesus Barabbas. And I did so because when you, when we check some of the manuscripts, we find evidence that the first name of this thief called Barabbas, because Barabbas was his last name, was actually the name Jesus. Now it is found it not in every single Bible, but there are a lot of Bibles that put that translation there specifically with Matthew chapter 27. And I find that fascinating, because here in front of us, we are given two almost identical individuals that choose from both were called Jesus. And, in fact, the name Barabbas, translated from the Hebrew language, means Son of the Father. Abba, meaning father and bar son. So we have Jesus that was called Barabbas, the Son of the Father. And on the other hand, we have Jesus, also Son of the Father, called the Christ. These were the two options for the Jewish people in particular, back then to choose from. We know the story, and we know how everything ended.
So what we’re going to do today is examine a particular spiritual lesson found within this choice that was given to the Jewish people in order to make sure that we, unlike the Jews, or the majority of the Jews back then, do not make the same mistake. And again, I want to mention that there are so many different ways through which we might be settling for a Barabbas today, but there’s something very particular that is a foundational or fundamental with respect to the gospel. And we need to understand what it is in order to make sure that we have made the right choice that we have chosen Jesus that is called the Christ. As you can see here on on the slide we are presented with these two individuals. But though they looked identical at first glance because of their name, and what that signifies, there was a huge difference between these two individuals. One was a thief, or a sinner. The other one, the Bible calls Jesus Christ, the righteous. One was rightfully guilty. That’s why he was in prison, while the other man was innocent. One was an imposter. And the other, the Messiah, the Christ. Now you might be thinking, why would in the world, the Jewish people settle for the individual on the left? What is it that drove them to make that choice? There’s a statement in the Desire of Ages that deals with this, and gives us a little insight of what was going on back then at that time. On page 733, she said, she says: “The Roman authorities at this time held a prisoner named Barabbas, who was under sentence of death. This man had claimed to be the Messiah. And this is very important for us to understand Barabbas had made the claim that he was the Messiah, the one that the Jewish people have been waiting for. He claimed authority to establish a different order of things to set the world right. Under satanic delusion however, he claimed that whatever he could obtain by death and robbery was his own. He had done wonderful things through satanic agencies, he had gained a following among the people, and had excited sedition against the Roman government.” And we remember what was the situation with the Jewish people back then. They were under the rulership of pagan Rome. “Under cover of religious enthusiasm, he was a hardened and desperate villain, bent on rebellion and cruelty.”
Do you notice, brothers and sisters, how we have a mixture here of truth and error; of something that seemed to be good on the outside but rather was being driven by satanic agencies. Barabbas claimed to be the Messiah, the exact same claim that belonged to Jesus Christ. I would like to propose to you this morning, that Barabbas was the very first antichrist. I say the very first antichrist, though the spirit of antichrist has been in this world from the very beginning, from the moment sin entered into this world, But Barabbas is the very first antichrist because at that time 2000 years ago, for the very first time, the Jewish nation had been given the choice to physically behold their Savior, and choose Him or choose somebody else in His place, because that is what the word antichrist means. The word antichrist means in the place of Christ, the antichrist is the adversary of the Messiah. And he does so by presenting himself to be Christ.
With these thoughts in mind of what we have witnessed, taking place back then, we want to look at what the applications for us are. Well, what better way to begin this spiritual examination, by going through the Bible and seeing truly who the Christ is, according to the Bible. Because these are our choices: Jesus called the Barabbas, Son of the Father, or Jesus called the Christ. When you look at that phrase, the Christ, there are about 19 references in the Bible, and we’re just going to go over a few of them. Because there’s something very particular that sticks out in all of these verses. We’re going to begin with Matthew, the 16th chapter, and He asks Peter, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ”, and then he defines who the Christ is. So who is the Christ? Who was that Messiah to be? “The Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou Simon Bar-jo-na: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” And we know what the context here is with respect to this rock, this rock is not Peter, as the Catholic churches made the claim. This rock upon which God’s Church was going to be built, was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
In the book of John, the 20th chapter, near the end of that book, John tells us why he actually wrote everything that he wrote in that epistle, in the entire epistle of John. What was the reason for John to pen down all of these chapters and put them together? He says, In John 20:30-31, and many other signs truly the Jesus did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that he might believe that Jesus is the Christ. And then he again tells us who the Christ is, the Son of God, and that believing he might have life through his name. Now, what life is john talking about here? Is he talking about this life that we have here upon this earth? Not at all, what john is talking about here is everlasting life. Having everlasting life comes as the result of believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. You see how important that is? If we don’t understand that Jesus is the Son of God, then what good is it for us to believe in Him? We are going to miss up on eternal life based on what we see here, john, presenting to us.
Now let’s let’s take up this idea of life and this idea of the sonship of Christ and learn a little bit more about his pre existence. Was Jesus, the Son of God, all throughout eternity? Or, in other words, was Jesus the Son of God before he came to this earth? The same writer in the 11th chapter of John in verses 23 to 27 says, Jesus said unto her, thy brother shall rise again. Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day, Lazarus had just passed away. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life he does believe it in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believing in me, shall never die. He’s talking about the exact same thing, as we saw in the previous verse. It is within Jesus, the Christ that we find eternal life. Believe is now this, Jesus asks Martha. And notice what her reply is. She said unto him, yea, Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. The Son of God, was to come into this world. This unequivocally demonstrates to us that Jesus was the Son of God, prior to coming to this world, else, he she was not going to use the language that she used here, and yet again, solidifies the fact that the Christ the Messiah, was indeed the Son of the Father, the Son of God, one of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible, that talk about this subject. And that put it into such a beautiful perspective, is 1 John chapter five. And yet so many people have used 1 John chapter five, to deny what we’re about to read here, which seems to be one of the most beautiful teachings of the Bible, a teaching an understanding of the Christ that links us to eternal life. The Bible says they’re starting on verse one. whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone that loved him that begat loveth him also that is the garden of him. By this we know that we love the children of God when we love God, and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments, and his commandments are not grievious. For whatsoever is born of God overcome with the world. How many of us this morning, want to overcome the world? I certainly do. But no, the only way for us to overcome the world and we’ll see it now as we go forward is by making the decision to choose Jesus, the Christ, over Barabbas. The Bible continues, and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.
Brothers and sisters, I would like to propose this morning, that unless our faith is based on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, we are not going to be able to overcome the world. Why? Because it is only Jesus that could help us to accomplish that. And if we set her for a counterfeit for any imposter, though he might look very close to what the true Jesus is the true Messiah, the true Christ, that imposter is not going to be able, spiritually speaking, the strengthens, we are denying Christ’s and Christ said that whoever denies him, he will also deny before his father, the Christ, the Messiah, according to the Bible, is the Son of God. And those that believe that Jesus is that son of God, are going to overcome the world. But what happened back then, when the Jewish people chose Barabbas, they settled for an imposter, they settled for that which we call the very first antichrist.
Now, who is the Antichrist according to the Bible? Well, the Antichrist power is the Roman Catholic power. That is something that the Protestant world has known for centuries, though many today are starting to forget about that. So what we’re going to do right now is examine what it is that Rome presents present with respect to Jesus, because remember, it is the Antichrist, that is the imposter of Jesus Christ. When we take the word any Christ in the Bible, we’re only going to find four references with respect to that phrase, the Antichrist. And we think those four references, there are two particular warnings, given the first one given by john, actually, both are given by john with respect to what this imposter with respect to what barabas, the one who would present himself to be the true Messiah would look like. And we’re going to compare that with what we have read thus far through the Bible. Please come with me to first john chapter two. And there verse 22. The Bible says, who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He’s antichrist, that denieth the Father, and the Son. Now, let me ask you a question. Does the Roman Catholic Church deny that there’s God the Father? Absolutely not. Does the Roman Catholic Church deny that? there’s a there’s a father and a son? No, they claim that there is a father and a son. But what the Roman Catholic Church does deceitfully is to deny the real relationship between between the Father and the Son through the doctrine of the Trinity. Rome doesn’t believe that God is a literal father. And Rome doesn’t believe that Jesus is a literal son. You see, things are not that easy to detect, at a first glance. Why because the difference between Jesus and Barabbas is not that easily detectable. They’re both called Son of the Father. They both claim to be the Messiah. But yet we know that the Bible teaches that the true Christ as we just examined in the previous several verses, is the Son of the living God and Rome denies that through the doctrine of the Trinity. And it isn’t only Rome.
You see the doctrine of the Trinity also has many different variations. And that is why today Seventh-day Adventists make the claim that you know what, our understanding of the Trinity is not the same as that of the Roman Catholic Church. And they’re absolutely right. Their understanding is slightly different from that of the Roman Catholic Church. Now, mind you depends on who you ask. But in general, that is a true statement, there is a little bit of a difference. But you know, what is the same? The principle, the principle of that doctrinal understanding, still contradicts what the Bible tells us, the Seventh-day Adventist Church today, just as it would be with all Roman Catholics, then I that Jesus is the Son of God. He’s not the literal, only begotten Son of God, but rather, he is a son, playing the role of a son. You see, it’s not that easy to see it at the first glance. But when we allow and take the Bible, as it reads, and compare what people are teaching, we see that unfortunately, all throughout Christendom, all those different individuals who and denominations and movements who have settled for a Christ, that is not the only begotten Son of God, have actually chosen Barabbas. And when you choose Barabbas, Jesus is not going to be able to help you. But as I mentioned, that is not the only way that the Antichrist is presented in the scriptures.
There is one very important aspect of the Antichrist teaching that we need to understand this morning. And this is what we’re going to spend time doing right now because it is essential for us to understand. The next passage that we’re going to examine is found in first john chapter four, first one to four. And there The Bible tells us with respect to the Antichrist, and what the Antichrist will teach, with reference to Jesus Christ. It says, beloved, believe, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are going out into the world. Here by know ye, the Spirit of God, every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is coming, the flesh is of God, and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. And this is that spirit of antichrist, that is that spirit of barabas wear off, he has heard that it should come, and even now already, is it in the world, er of God, little children and have overcome them, because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. What is the context here of 1 John, chapter four, what is John trying to present to us? When we go forward into the book of Colossians, chapter one, we find the following statement that I think it helps us to understand the idea that john was trying to present here. in that passage, Paul says that were off I made a minister according to the dispensation of God, which is given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God, even the mystery which had been hid from ages and from generations, but now he’s made manifests to his saints, to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Now, the word glory here is in reference to character. And Paul tells us, that Christ in us is our only hope of glory, it is our only way to attain that that which we would call a Christian character, because that is the glory that the Lord wants to see, lighten up this world with and now we need to take a step back and go back into the Bible and understand how was it possible or how is it possible for Jesus today to help you and I to attain that glory, what was necessary for the Christ to take place in order for him to be able to To help you and to help me to aid us to assist us in reaching the glory that the book of Revelation talks about in chapter 18. You see, there are two aspects of Jesus’s saving work. And that’s what we’re dealing with this morning. The first one is the fact that Jesus is the divine only begotten Son of God. And we need to accept that as it is presented in the Bible. Why is that necessary for the plan of salvation, because due to the fact that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, we are able to receive forgiveness for our sins, that is what his death on the cross did for us. If Jesus were not divine, we would not be able to be forgiven for us since only a divine being could pay the ransom.
But there’s something else aside from aside from his divinity, that is intertwined in his person, and that is necessary or was necessary for Jesus to achieve in order for him to be able to help you and I. You see, in order for Jesus to be able to bestow grace upon us, he had to come and overcome like you and I, so that he can a present a righteous life in substitute of your and my unrighteous lives, but also, at the same time, be able to aid us in the fight against sin. Because the complete gospel of the Bible deals with our fight against sin, not only our fight or justification of our past sins, but our fight against a sin today, and tomorrow, and the day after, we have a fight against temptation, and only through the help of Jesus Christ, for he was to be formed within and lead us that that hope of glory, can we ever be successful in that fight?
Let us go now to Hebrews chapter two. And in the book of Hebrews, the very first chapter Paul opens up by describing who Jesus Christ is on his divine sight. He again tells us that Jesus was the Son of God, he calls him God, why, because in nature, that who Christ is he’s a fully divine being. He also tells us in chapter one that Jesus was the, or is the express image of his father’s person, just as divine as his father’s. But then as we move into chapter two, Paul focuses on something else that is very important for us to understand. And there he says, starting on verse 14, for as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death, he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetimes subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore, in how many things in all things in behoove him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, for you that he himself had suffered being tempted, he’s able to sucker or to aid to help them that are tempted.
The book of Hebrews here gives us an explanation as to how or why Jesus was to be able to be formed within us. The only reason why Jesus was to be a high priest, the only reason Jesus was to be was going to be able to aid or to assist or to help you and I and everybody else that has had to fight against temptation is so that is by him being suffered or being tempted in the exact same way that you and I are being tempted. And the focus that we want to take here from this passage is because as I mentioned, we’re examining barabas this morning, we’re examining what is the difference between the true Christ and the Antichrist? What is the difference between these two figures spiritually speaking, or we might even use the word doctrinally speaking today So that we make sure that we do not settle for a spiritual barabas but rather keep our eyes upon Jesus. The Bible says in verse 16, there in Hebrews chapter two, that the For verily, he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. And then the Bible repeats that same idea in two other passages that I would like to share with you. The first one is found in Romans chapter eight, verse three, where it says that for what the Lord could not doing that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
And then in Philippians 2:7, we read: “But made himself” speaking of Christ, “of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,” a servant, “and was made in the likeness of men.” What does that mean? What does it mean for Jesus to be made in the likeness of men? As you can see here, again, back to Hebrews chapter 2, verse 16. What Paul is doing is he is giving you a comparison between angels and between human beings. But he uses two different phrases that mean one and the same thing. In the very first sentence, he says: “For verily he took on him not the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” In other words, the phrase, the seed of Abraham, means that Jesus took the nature of Abraham. And what kind of a nature did Abraham have? Well, nature, Abraham had the exact same nature that you and I have. There are different variations, or there are two primary understandings in the Christian world. Though, today there might be three, but two of them are more or less the same. These two understandings of the Christian world deal with the nature that Jesus Christ took upon Himself when He became the Son of Man, when he was born in Bethlehem. The one understanding that we’re going to see just in a little bit where he comes from, deals with the fact that Jesus did not actually take the nature of fallen men, but rather Jesus was born with a nature that was the same nature that humanity possessed before the fall of Adam. Now another variation of that understanding is that Jesus did take this corrupted or corrupt body upon Himself. But His mind, the mind that He possessed in Himself, when He was born a babe in Bethlehem, was actually not the mind that you and I are born with; but rather the mind that was in Adam before the fall. As I mentioned these two are one and the same teachings, though there’s a little bit of variation between them. And just as we saw earlier, that happens a lot in the Christian world with many different teachings, including the Trinity. Not every Trinity is the same. There are variations when it comes to the Trinity. But at the core, the principle is still the same.
So what we’re going to do in the next few passages is go through the Spirit of Prophecy, and allow the Spirit of Prophecy to confirm what we read in these verses, Hebrews chapter two, and then Romans eight and the book of Philippians; and see how the Spirit of Prophecy make it, makes it so clear for any Bible studying Christian to understand that what the Bible says is literally what it means; just as it is with the Sonship, or the divine Sonship of Christ. The first one is found in Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Two, on page 39, where she says: “It was an order of God that Christ would take upon himself the form and nature of a fallen man, that he might be made perfect through suffering, and himself endure the strength of Satan’s fierce temptations that he might understand how to succor those who should be tempted.” She’s here quoting Hebrews, chapter two. You see that was essential for the plan of salvation. If this had not taken place, Jesus was not going to be able to help you and to help me to attain to that glory that the Bible calls for us to attain to. In the next statement, she says: “He assumed human nature with its infirmities, its liabilities, its temptations, human nature tempted.” Every man is drawn by the lust of his own flesh, the Bible says, but temptation is not sin. Where are these temptations coming from? According to the Book of James, they’re coming from the lust of our own flesh. She goes on to continue: “Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren. He was in all points tempted, like as we are. He exercised in his behalf, no power, which man cannot exercise. As man he met temptation and overcame in the strength, given him of God.”
We’re back to Spirit of Prophecy, Volume Two. She says: “His human nature was created. He did not even possess the angelic powers.” Again, she’s referencing that comparison between the nature of angels and the nature of human beings, being of the seed of Abraham. “He was passing over the ground where Adam fell. He was now where, if He endured the test and trial in behalf of the Fallen race, He would redeem Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall, in our own humanity.” Jesus Christ became the literal Son of Man, just as He is the literal Son of God. He was a man like you and I, and He had to face the exact same things you and I have to face. Why? So He can then come and help us to become that which He is, an overcomer.
But just so that we eliminate any room for misunderstanding, when it comes to the word nature, because, you know, when we look up the word, when we study the word nature; then the word nature could mean several different things. The word nature inside could mean character. And we find that in the writings of Ellen White. She also applies the word nature to the lower and higher natures that we find within the human mind; the limbic system, right? The frontal lobe, that’s how she refers to them, the lower and higher natures in the human mind. But when we’re talking about human nature, she’s talking about something in particular, as it is found here, in this quote; she gives us the following explanation as to what it is that human nature is or the nature of man. She says, the nature of man is threefold. And the training enjoined by Solomon comprehends the right development of the physical, intellectual, and moral powers. So in other words, when Jesus took of the seed of Abraham, when Jesus became the Son of Man in Bethlehem, when Jesus took upon Himself fallen human nature; He took the physical intellectual, He took the same physical, intellectual and moral powers that you and I have when we are brought into this world, as well. She says of Christ, “A human body and a human mind were His.” What kind of human body and human mind? The same human body and human mind you and I have when we come into this world. He was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He was subjected to poverty from His first entrance into the world. He was subject to the disappointment and trial in His own home among His own brethren. He was not surrounded as in the heavenly courts with pure and lovely characters. He was compassed with difficulties. He came into our world to maintain a pure, sinless character, and to refute Satan’s lie, that it was not possible for human beings to keep the law of God. That was the purpose of the plan of salvation, to prove Satan wrong, and to demonstrate to the entire universe the love of God in giving us His only begotten Son.
Why am I presenting all of these things this morning? Well, it is because brothers and sisters, we have to make sure that when we are presented with Jesus, or Barabbas, today, we settle for Jesus that is called the Christ and not for the imposter. Now let’s go and see what it is that the imposter, or the Antichrist, teaches with respect to this particular subject that we have examined thus far from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. What is it that, or what kind of nature did Jesus Christ came, took upon Himself? Because remember, John told us that the Antichrist or the spirit of antichrist will deny that Jesus is come in the flesh. Well, in order for Jesus to come in your flesh, and in my flesh, He had to first come in human flesh. Why? So He can then succor all of us, help all of us; He had to experience what we experience. So let’s see now what it is that the Antichrist teaches with respect to the kind of flesh or the kind of nature that Jesus had upon Himself.
And here’s an article by the St. Catherine of Sienna Roman Catholic Church. And there’s just one particular passage I would like us to focus on. The article is titled: Why are we born sinners? Rome says they could not pass on to their offspring what themselves, speaking of Adam and Eve, Adam and Eve could not pass on to their offspring what they themselves no longer possessed. So all their descendants, except for Jesus and His mother, and we’re going to see in a second, have been born with a deficiency, a defect, a disorder, that we call Original Sin. So in other words, Why are we born sinners? Why is every single person upon this world born a sinner? And here they tell us why. It is because of something they call Original Sin. Well, let’s go to the Catholic catechism and quickly look at what Original Sin is. And here’s what Rome tells us. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin. But this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is by the transmission of a human nature, deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why Original Sin is called sin only. In an analogical sense, it is a sin contracted, and not committed; a state and not an act.
So in other words, the Roman Catholic Church teaches and believes that all of us are born sinners, except, did you catch that part in a previous quote, except for Jesus and His mother. So all of us are born with one and the same nature. But Jesus, Jesus, He could not have been born a sinner like you and I. He could not have been born with the same nature. He could not have come into this world in the same state of being that you come into. He needed to be born different. There had to be some difference between the way you’re born and the way we are born, or the way He is born. There has to be some difference between the nature that you possess at birth and the nature that He possesses at birth. And that what takes us to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. You see, the doctrine of Original Sin and the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, always go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. And as I mentioned, even this teaching within Protestantism alone has so many different variations.
For example, some Protestants believe just like Catholics do, that we are born sinners and condemned to eternal fire. This is why the Roman Catholic Church baptizes infants. Other Protestants believe that we’re just born sinners because of the nature that we have, without the guilt that comes with it. And if you go on desiringGod dot, I believe it’s .com, you will see a famous Baptist preacher mentioning all of these things. But the bottom line is that the principle, just as it is with the doctrine of the Trinity, is still the same when we talk about Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception. There are two primary principles that these teachings that come from the Antichrist power have in common; and that is, all of humanity are born sinners, except for Jesus who was born different than the rest of humanity. And here is what the Immaculate Conception teaches. Being that is, that is as it may, for many the root issue is that Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the teaching that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived without sin. Through the retroactive merits of Christ, the church found the doctrine necessary, I think, for two fundamental reasons. First, Christ needs sinless human flesh, for He cannot be a sinner. Why? Because according to Rome, according to their understanding of sin, you are automatically a sinner the moment you assume fallen human nature. So Jesus could not have had fallen human nature because that would deem Him a sinner just like you and I. And second, He must take His flesh from His mother, really, and truly if He is to be fully human. The Immaculate Conception actually deals with Mary that’s why she is such a predominant figure in the Catholic faith because it was actually Mary, who was born with that kind of nature so that she can then on pass this nature on to her Son that was going to be Jesus the Christ.
So let us take a quick or do a quick recap of what we have seen between Jesus called the Barabas and Jesus called the Christ, based on what the Bible has presented to us. Barabas, spiritually speaking, is someone who though called the Son of God is actually the second co-eternal person in the Trinity. Why, because that is what antichrist, the Antichrist power teaches. Jesus the Christ, on the other hand, is the literal only begotten Son of God. Barabas, although called the Son of Man, because Rome has never denied that there was a human being that walked upon this earth called Jesus Christ. Right? They still believe that he was fully God and fully man, they still recognize him as the Son of Man; but that Son of Man is actually a human, with a nature different than the rest of humanity. On the other hand, Jesus the Christ, the Savior, the One who was going to become our high priest, in order for Him to be able to be our high priests, in order for Him to be able to bestow grace upon us and to succor, help and assist; came, as the Bible said, from the seed of Abraham, from the nature of Abraham, a nature that is identical to the rest of fallen humanity.
Now, what is the main difference between these two individuals, when all of these teachings are embraced? Well, ultimately, Barabbas was a sinner, he was a thief. And as I mentioned earlier, Jesus, on the other hand, was called the Righteous. You might be thinking, well, this is just doctrine. Why is it so important for us to understand these differences? And how is that going to impact us today? I don’t know how many of you have gone, probably a lot of you have bought a house, right? Many of you have live in a home or have had at one point or another, needed to buy a home. And when we go and we look at a home, and it looks good, we like it. We like the way the exterior is finished. We like the way the roof is laid out, beautiful windows, a lot of light coming in. But as soon as you purchase a home, there’s something very vitally important for you to do. And that is to get an inspector, and go and make sure that everything in that home is right. The most important thing in a building, though it is not, the very first thing we see is the foundation of that building. And the Bible talks a lot about that. There are two kinds of foundations in the Bible. There’s that which can be built upon rock. And there’s that which can be built upon sin. What we’re examining this morning, brothers and sisters are the two kinds of foundations of the Christian economy that are found between that which Barabas represent, represents, and that which Christ represents. If we settle for Barabbas, we’re going to settle for the wrong foundation of the gospel. But if we settle for Christ, and if we choose Christ, we’re going to be able to build on that solid Rock because who is that Rock? It is Jesus Christ. And just like He told Peter, upon this Rock, upon this foundation, upon the Person that I am, I’m going to build My church. And most importantly, it is upon this Rock. As long as we stay up on that Rock, that the gates of hell are not going to be able to prevail against us and against His people.
What I shared with you this morning, brothers and sisters, is so essential, because though we might not be back there in the crowd 2000 years ago, the Lord is still presenting to us two options today. If we don’t set our feet on a sure Foundation, we’re never going to be able to give the third angels message with a loud cry. I say that because what we have talked about this morning is the foundation of the third angels message. And it doesn’t matter what preachers talk about: righteousness by faith. Just as it doesn’t matter with the building that we saw earlier, unless that building is built on sure Foundation, it might look great on a first glance. But if the foundation is wrong, if the person that is presenting it to us, has stepped or settled himself for a Barabas, then in one way or another, we’re not going to be able to give the third angels message in its purest form, and clarity.
There are two books that were written by the gentleman that the Lord used in the year 1888, to present the message of “Righteousness by Faith” to His people, and we hear that term a lot. You know, constantly, people talk about righteousness by faith, righteousness by faith. But 99% of people that talk about righteousness by faith, have chosen Barabbas. In one way, or another. What you, what you see before you is the different chapters that are found in a book titled “Christ And His Righteousness” that was penned by E.J. Waggoner. The very first five chapters of that book, of the third angels message, because that is the book that deals with the third angels message and what Christ and His Righteousness really means, deal with the identity of Jesus Christ. The very first five chapters deal with what we have talked about this morning. Why? Because that brother realized how important it is for the foundation to be set right. Because if you don’t have a sure foundation, then as you continue building upon the subject, the subject of righteousness by faith, you’re not going to be able to have ultimately a sound structure when storm and tempest come. He talks about who Jesus was prior to coming to His earth. And I would like to share a statement with you with respect to that. And then he goes on to talk about who Jesus Christ became when He was born of Mary. Notice what Waggoner says about Christ and His divine identity or His pre-existence before Bethlehem. What is that? He says: “the Scriptures declare that Christ is ‘the only begotten Son of God’. He is begotten, not created. As to when He was begotten, it is not for us to inquire, nor could our minds grasp it if it were told.” But the point is that Christ is a begotten Son, and not a created subject. He has, by inheritance, a more excellent name than the angels. He’s a Son over His own house. And since He is the only begotten Son of God, He’s of the very substance and nature of God, and possesses by birth all the attributes of God. E.J. Waggoner, as well as all the rest of the Seventh-day Adventists in that time, set as a foundation of the third angels message the fact that Jesus Christ, as the Bible says, is indeed the divine only begotten Son of God. Not a Barabbas but the true Jesus, the Christ.
In a companion book, written by A.T. Jones, called The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, we see the exact same thing as Waggoner. The first eight or nine chapters of that book, the book that presents the subject of righteousness by faith. The first eight or nine chapters of that book talk about what we have discussed this morning. They talk about Jesus’s divine identity as the Son of God, His, and he talks about His human identity as the literal Son of fallen man. Why, because A.T. John’s, just like E.J. Waggoner, understood that in order for anybody to come to a complete understanding of righteousness by faith, they have to be set on a sure foundation. And that foundation is Jesus Christ, the Rock. And only a proper understanding of who He is, of what His identity is, with respect to His divinity and His humanity will allow us to come to a complete revelation and understanding of the third angels message.
I’ll just quickly share in closing here a quick quote from his book that deals with the sonship of Christ, His human sonship. And what that meant to him. In one of his sermons on the third angels message, he has the following statement that I would like to share with you. Again, the 16th verse, he’s quoting the book of Hebrews here. “Verily, he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the nature of Abraham, but the nature of Abraham and of the seed of Abraham is only human nature. Again, “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren,” In how many things? All things. Then, in His human nature, there is not a particle of difference between Him and you.
Why? Because it isn’t human nature, that determines whether we’re going to be victorious or not, but rather our relationship with Jesus Christ. Human nature, in and of itself, is not sin, as Rome teaches. Why, because human nature tempts us. But it is only when we allow these temptations to come out and be manifested, be it only in our mind, or in something visible from the outside. Only then does it become sin. We have a Savior, the Creator of the universe, who humbled Himself, to be born a baby in Bethlehem, to face the same temptations, whether it be from without, or from within. Why? So He can then assist you and I in our own fight against sin and temptation. That is the foundation of the third angels message. And if we want to finish the work in these last days, we have to make sure that we place our feet upon this Foundation, because this is who Jesus the Christ is; this is the true Messiah of the Bible. Any other doctrinal distortion of one of those two points, be it His divine Sonship, or His human sonship would lead people to choose Barabas over Christ. So my question for all of us this morning is: Will you choose Jesus as the Christ today? Will you let go of all these uncertain or complicated and mysterious unbiblical teachings that come from Rome? Ultimately, that’s where everything comes from. And choose Christ as the Rock upon which you would want to stand, and continuing learning and studying about the third angels message. My prayer is that all of us choose Him. Because unless we set these feet on that Rock, the third angels message will ultimately not be properly understood. And if not properly understood, we’re going to continue to stay in this world for a longer time. And I am tired of seeing what is taking place around the world. We live in a world filled with sin. And I want us to go home, and my prayer for all of you is that you would also go home and that all of us collectively can make sure that we never choose Barabbas so that Jesus does not ever deny us before his Father.