OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT
I shall read two paragraphs from page 188 of “The Mount of Blessing.” The first paragraph elucidates on the statement, “Seek, and ye shall find,” the second on the words, “Knock, and it shall be opened unto thee.”
“‘Seek.’ Desire not merely His blessing, but Himself. ‘Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace.’ Seek, and you shall find. God is seeking you, and the very desire you feel to come to Him, is but the drawing of His Spirit. Yield to that drawing. Christ is pleading the cause of the tempted, the erring, and the faithless. He is seeking to lift them into companionship with Himself. ‘If thou seek Him, He will be found of thee.’
“‘Knock.’ We come to God by special invitation, and He waits to welcome us to His audience-chamber. The first disciples who followed Jesus were not satisfied with a hurried conversation with Him by the way; they said, ‘Rabbi, where dwellest Thou?... They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.’ So we may be admitted into closest intimacy and communion with God. ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.’ Let those who desire the blessing of God, knock and wait at the door of mercy with firm assurance, saying, For Thou, O Lord, hast said, Every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
Not only that we are invited to seek the Lord but we are assured that our seeking shall not be in vain. Our very desire to come to Him, is the prompting of His Spirit. To this drawing we must yield.
Let us now pray for unwavering faith in His promise that if we seek, we shall find: if we knock, it shall be opened to us.
Today we are to continue our study of the book of Isaiah, beginning with the first verse of the fourth chapter.
Isa. 4:1 – “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by Thy name, to take away our reproach.”
The first thing we need to know is the time indicated by the term “in that day.” The antecedent of the words “that day” is found in verses 13 and 14 of the preceding chapters of which the fourth chapter is a continuation. These verses point out that “that day” is the Judgment day, the day in which the sanctuary (the church) is cleansed – the harvest day. So, pointing to the day in which we are now living, to the Judgment day, the scripture figuratively reveals that all (for that is what the Biblical number “seven” indicates) the churches have arrived at the place where by their actions they are in reality saying to the Lord: “We want nothing from you but Your name. Just let us be called Christians is all we want from You. We want Your name because it takes away our reproach; that is, if we be called Christians, then what we do can be blamed on You; You get the credit for it.”
Accordingly, the world has reached the day when God, in order to save the Church, is finally compelled to do something as great and as revolutionary as brought about by the first Advent of Christ. And what could that be? – The remaining verses of the chapter give the answer.
Verse 2 – “In that day [when seven women take hold of one man] shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.”
This verse shows that the time is now ripe for this glorious revolutionizing of the church and of the world. Let us remember that history repeats, and that a dark cloudy day is always followed by a bright one. So this great apostasy is to be followed not by chaos, but by glorious revival and reformation, by glory and prosperity for all the saints who escape the vengeance of a great God. The faithful shall reap a harvest of souls as did the Apostles on and after the Pentecost.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days [in the Christian era] Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jer. 23:5, 6.
This very message, therefore, is the message of “Righteousness by Faith” to them that believe. In the day the “righteous branch” is raised, Judah and Israel shall be saved, and they shall dwell safely.
Yes, the day is here when God’s vengeance is to fall upon His adversaries, and the once trodden-down kingdoms of Judah and Israel are to rise to prominence and power. “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” Jer. 23:7, 8.
Plainly this is the final harvest of the earth, the gathering of the people from all countries. It is the day in which to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This is to be the second and last Exodus Movement. So great will it be that it will entirely eclipse the Movement of Moses’ day. Do we, then, realize that we are on the verge of a new day? – a great day for the faithful and a dreadful one for the unfaithful?
Verse 3 – “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.”
This verse clearly shows that while none of the wicked in the church will survive the purification, yet none of the righteous will perish. Indeed, all that are left, will be called holy, and will enjoy even greater security than did His ancient people at the time they left Egypt.
“Behold,...the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal. 3:1-3.
Verses 4-6 – “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.”
“For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.” Zech. 2:5.
Anyone who knows the Bible can see that all these events are premillennial. So it is that this present apostasy is to bring forth the “Lord’s fruitful branch”; that the wicked who are among God’s people are to be taken out of the way, and the faithful, those that escape, are to be the servants of God and reap a harvest of souls, of “such as should be saved,” that the day of vengeance is already at the threshold of the house; that His faithful ones are to be raised to prominence and power; that the greatness and the glory of the movement is to cause the wonders of the Exodus Movement and of the early Christian church to fade into insignificance.
Brother, Sister, are you prepared to abide the day of His coming? Will it be to you a great and glorious day? or will it be a dreadful day? Will you find yourself at His right, or at His left? Will it be said to you “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world?” or will it be said unto you, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels”? Will your garments pass His inspection? or will you find yourself cast into outer darkness, there to gnash your teeth?
These are solemn questions that each of us must now answer to himself. If we do not answer them now, then we will have to answer by standing speechless before an angry God. May every one of us be able in that day to say “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isa. 25:9.
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