TEXT FOR PRAYER
Outwit Satan In His Game For Souls
I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” page 55, beginning with paragraph two:
“Cares riches, pleasures, all are used by Satan in playing the game of life for the human soul. The warning is given, ‘Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him…’ He who reads the hearts of men as an open book says, ‘Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life.’ And the apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit writes, ‘They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’”
We are to pray for to overcome the love of the world and to remember that Satan is playing the game of life for the souls of God’s people; to be given grace to work and pray as never before; to overcome the wiles of the Devil; to know that he is no foe to be trifled with, and that Jesus is the Captain Who never lost a battle; that if we enlist His help He will see us through.
Our subject for today is found in Hosea, chapters one and two. The first and most important thing to ascertain about these chapters is the time in which their prophetic import unfolds. To find this out, we shall read:
Hos. 2:18 – “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.”
Up to this very day God’s people have never as yet experienced such a complete and absolute security and freedom as set forth in this verse of Scripture. It is, therefore, quickly seen that the subject of the chapter reaches even beyond our time. As we study the chapters verse by verse, the time element will appear still brighter and brighter.
Hos. 1:1,2 – “The Word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jereboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. The beginning of the Word of the Lord by Hosea.
And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.”
The prophet Hosea was commanded to take a wife of whoredoms for no other reason than to portray the sad and abominable condition which then obtained in Israel.
This marriage is, of course, only visionary just as is the prophet Ezekiel’s lying 40 days on one side, and 390 days on the other side (Ezek. 4:4-6).
Verses 3-5 – “So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel, in the valley of Jezreel.”
The first-born son of the prophet’s visionary marriage, you see, was named Jezreel in order to foreshadow that which was to befall the nation – predicting not only the termination of the kingdom, but also the very place in which its army was to be defeated – in the valley of Jezreel. And this destructive evil was to have come upon them for shedding the blood of Jezreel, but obviously not the Jezreel that had just been born and named. Who the slain Jezreel is, we shall see later in the study.
Verses 6, 7 – “And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.”
The ten-tribe kingdom, Israel, was spared until the birth of Lo-ruhamah, but the name of this second child certified that God was to have no more mercy upon the house of Israel, that its end had already come. However, He was to have mercy upon the house of Judah, the two-tribe kingdom, and was to deliver it by a miracle. And that is what happened: an angel slew 185,000 of the assyrian army, and thus God spared the house of Judah (2 Kings 19:35).
Verses 8, 9 – “Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not My people, and I will not be your God.”
The third child was named Lo-ammi to show that God’s mercies were to depart even from the house of Judah. But rather than to let them be subjugated as His people, He first rejected them, whereupon they were no longer His people. The Apostle Peter cites this verse of Scripture as referring to the unbelieving Jews; as a nation they were rejected after the crucifixion of Christ, and were thus no longer His people (1 Peter 2:9, 10). The individuals, though, who did believe in the Lord were reaccepted, and they became “the children of the Living God.” (See Rom. 9:26.)
Now note that this symbolism has thus far taken us prophetically and historically from the days of the house of Israel to the Christian era.
Verse 10 – “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”
“Yet,” that is, in spite of the fact that the children of Israel were to be scattered throughout the nations, and rejected, be no longer God’s people, yet in spite of all these, both the descendants of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah (all the children of Jacob) were to be multiplied as the sand of the sea by the time they are reaccepted and thus become the sons of the living God through the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
From this scripture you note that this multitude of sons of Jacob are not the identified Jews of today, but rather the lost descendants of Judah and Israel, of those who were assimilated by the Gentile nations and by the early Christian church by taking upon themselves the title “Christians,” of those who thus lost their racial and national identity. From all these, after having been scattered throughout the Gentile nations, and after having lost their identity, are to come the sons of God that are projected in this allegorical prophecy. Thus many of us who suppose to be of the Gentile nations may at long last discover that we are of the lost tribes of Judah and Israel, and of the apostolic Christian Jews. Though none of us really know our genealogy very far back, yet God Who knows even the number of hairs on one’s head has kept an accurate genealogical record of each of us. So He says: “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know Me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest Himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” Psa. 87:4-6.
Verse 11 – “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”
Here we are definitely told that in the latter days, God’s saints, without a sinner among them, are to be gathered together from the four corners of the earth, and be organized into a Theocratic government, of which antitypical David is to be the king. Thus it is that “…in the days of these kings [not after their days] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and It shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:44, 45.
In another allegorical prophecy, in connection with this one, we are again told:
Hos. 3:4, 5 – “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”
Here again the promises are as plain as words can make them that after the dispersion and captivity, the “many days,” God’s scattered people are then to return to their homeland, and are then to seek the Lord their God, and David their king. Hence, these sons of God are not the identified and unbelieving Jews of today who are trying to make a permanent national home in the Promised Land.
Christians have for centuries preached the Kingdom of God, but it is not as yet clear to most of them whether It is to be as tangible as the earth itself, or whether It is to be something foamy, something floating in space, or what? Inspiration, however, clearly declares that the Kingdom of Christ (the church purified – cleansed, Dan. 8:14) is to be as real as any of the kingdoms of earth.
Now we shall continue our study through Hosea chapter two, because, as I said before, its contents are the continuation of those in chapter one.
Hos. 2:1-3 – “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not My wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.”
Let us remember that the first chapter brought us down through the stream of time, down to the Christian era. Now, in chapter two our attention is again directed to Hosea’s visionary children, but the prefix “Lo” has been omitted from the names Loruhamah and Loammi so as to change the meaning from no mercy, and not My people, to “mercy,” and “My people.”
Here in this unique symbolism, fashioned years before the Christian dispensation, Inspiration foreshadowed the grace that was to be given to the people in the Christian era, and that rather than continue to be called Jews, they were to be called by another title – Christians: Mercy, and My people.
The command, “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah,” in itself explains that God is speaking to Jezreel, (Ammi’s and Ruhamah’s brother), and that Jezreel in turn is to speak to Ammi and to Ruhamah. And the fact that God calls Hosea’s visionary wife His Own wife, the subject becomes still clearer: Hosea, you see, represents God, and Hosea’s wife represents God’s church; Jezreel, the one God speaks to, represents His mouth piece, a prophet, and Jezreel’s brethren, Ammi and Ruhamah, represent the members of the church, both male and female. Now, as Ammi and Ruhamah represent the laity, it is obvious that the mother represents the ministry, those who bring forth converts into the church. Here we have a complete representation of the household of God.
The fact that Jezreel is to urge his brethren, the laity, to plead with the mother (with the ministry, to those who bring forth converts), that she put away her whoredom, the truth clearly stands out that this revival and reformation does not come to the laity through the ministry, but to the ministry through the laity.
The laity is to explain that if the ministers fail to reform, God is to strip them naked – as naked as in the day they were born.
Verses 4, 5 – “And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.”
These verses set forth God’s meaning of grace: that if the “mother” fails to reform, fails to cease from her whoredoms with the world and its practices, then not only the mother but also her sympathizing children will forever fall from grace.
The mother, here we are told, imagines that her unlawful lovers are the ones who supply her with the temporal things of life, and it is her excuse for having anything to do with them.
Moreover, we are again told that while she is thus playing the harlot, she is bringing forth illegitimate children, untrue converts. Here is a warning which in no uncertain terms demands a reformation or else the whole church family, except for those who reform, will be destroyed as completely as ancient Jerusalem was destroyed some years after the crucifixion of Christ.
Verses 6-13 – “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and take away My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof, and will recover My wool and My flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of Mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the Lord.”
These verses explain God’s way and power to save: Before He calls for reformation He prepares the way: He brings His church to trying and perplexing circumstances from which she can not easily disengage herself. He brings her to a situation similar to which He brought the prodigal. He does this in order that she might be brought to realize where her support in reality comes from, to know for certain that it does not come from her lovers. Then, and then only, may she do the very thing the prodigal did when he came to himself.
In fulfillment of the prophecy contained in verse eleven, God permitted the little horn of Daniel seven to change times and laws, and permitted the saints of the Most High to be in his hand until “a time and times and the dividing of time.” Dan. 7:25.
Verses 14, 15 – “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”
Having brought her into as strait and embarrassing circumstances as one can be in, God promises to allure her, and to bring her into the wilderness, there to speak comfortably to her. Specifically speaking, having emerged from the “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world” (Matt. 24:21), God brings her, not into her vineyard, not in the Promised Land, but into the “wilderness” (into the lands of the Gentiles), there to speak comfortably to her, and to help her reform. After this comforting meeting takes place she is to have her vineyards from thence, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope; there she is to sing and rejoice as in the days of her youth, and as in the day she came out of Egypt.
The Valley of Achor, you note, is her door of hope – it is the only way out of her predicament. The valley has but one significance: it stands for a thorough purging, for destroying the sinners that are in her midst before possessing the land – her only hope of becoming a decent, respectable wife of God.
It was in the Valley of Achor that Joshua stoned the last of the sinners in Israel – Achan and his household. Then it was that the Israelite nation was permitted to take the promised land, the vineyard. Just such a purging as this is the church’s only “door of hope,” says Inspiration, her only escape from her present plight. Then she is to return to her former position and grace. Then she is to receive the promised blessing as verily as ancient Israel received hers. That remarkable incident in the Valley of Achor is now seen to typify the purging for the repossession of the promised land – typifying the Judgment for the Living, the gathering of the saints, and the destruction of the sinners – the separation of the wheat from the tares, the goats from the sheep, the good fish from the bad fish. The “barn” (Matt. 13:30), connotes the Kingdom here projected as does the Lord’s right, and as do the vessels.
Verse 16 – “And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shalt call Me no more Baali.”
Yes, rather than be her lord, God is indeed to be her husband, for one can have lords many, but only one husband.
Verse 17 – “For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.”
The names of Baalim are significant of persons possessing selfish characters such as Balaam’s – teachers of religion, prophets who would rather curse Israel than lose the opportunity of monetary gain, or of some other foolish, selfish promotion that exalts and flatters. Such shall then no longer be known by their lordly, high and exalted titles.
When the Church is thus purged of all her idols, then will she find eternal peace.
Verses 18-22 – “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfullness:
These verses plainly show that God’s presence will in that day be in His church, that even the heavens will be listening to God’s voice while He speaks to His people here on earth. The earth shall also hear the “corn, and the wine, and the oil”; that is, the earth shall hear the Truth – Truth that satisfies the soul as does wholesome, and nourishing food. Moreover, not only the corn, the wine, and the oil – the whole Truth – but Jezreel, too, shall the earth hear. Plainly, all these promises are to be fulfilled during probationary time, for they cannot do the earth any good after probationary time is exhausted.
The Jezreel of whose blood ancient Israel was charged guilty, you see, was figurative of the prophets whom Israel rejected and killed. Thus it is that the prophet-hating house of Israel met defeat in the Valley of Jezreel, which by interpretation is the valley of the slain prophets.
Verse 23 – “And I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, Thou art My people; and they shall say, Thou art My God.”
To “sow her unto Me in the earth,” means to multiply her children in God’s order after she receives all these promised blessings. Then she will truly have God’s mercy, such great mercy as she has never before obtained. So to those to whom it was said, “Ye are not My people,” it shall then, in grand and thou shalt know the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.”
Now that the whole truth of these chapters is disclosed for the first time since the prophet wrote them, and since no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation, not by the will of man, but by the will of the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20, 21), the fact is that God had us in mind (us to whom these chapters are unfolded) when he caused these things to be written. Moreover, since the first verses of the second chapter bring us down to the time of a revival and reformation taking place in our own time, sponsored by God Himself and brought to light through Jezreel, then carried to the church by the laity, is a work that fulfills itself only in this layman’s movement that is now sweeping throughout the Seventh-day Adventist world. This Truth, therefore, stands as high as a mountain that God is now at work, that things are to move according to His Divine purpose. So it is that “they shall hear Jezreel,” and that God Himself shall say to them, “Thou art My people,” and they, too, shall say, “Thou art our God.”
Inspiration thus shows that our efforts with this message are absolutely certain to effect the greatest reformation of all time; that the children’s rebuke to the mother is surely to bring peace and happiness to the household of God. We, therefore, have every reason to be as positive of winning and as anxious to work, as was ancient David when he faced the giant Goliath. Clear it is that children (laity) born to a lewd woman (church) bring peace and happiness in the family of God. You must, therefore, not fail to whole-heartedly and actually join this mighty layman’s movement for revival and reformation throughout Laodicea and to finish the gospel work with a church, “‘…Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” – “Prophets and Kings,” p. 725. You cannot afford to lose out.