TEXT FOR PRAYER
I shall read from Christ’s Object Lessons, beginning on page 130 with the second paragraph:
“This experience gives every teacher of truth the very qualifications that will make him a representative of Christ. The spirit of Christ’s teaching will give a force and directness to his communications and to his prayers. His witness to Christ will not be a narrow, lifeless testimony. The minister will not preach over and over the same set discourses. His mind will be open to the constant illumination of the Holy Spirit….
“When we eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood, the element of eternal life will be found in the ministry. There will not be a fund of stale, oft-repeated ideas. The tame, dull sermonizing will cease. The old truths will be presented, but they will be seen in a new light. There will be a new perception of truth, a clearness and a power that all will discern. Those who have the privilege of sitting under such a ministry will, if susceptible to the Holy Spirit’s influence, feel the energizing power of a new life. The fire of God’s love will be kindled within them. Their perceptive faculties will be quickened to discern the beauty and majesty of truth.”
Here we are told that old truths will be presented in new life; also that Bible symbolism will be revealed. This is the very thing we have now seen with our own eyes. We should pray that God’s people be able to recognize that the old truth is now set in a new light and that new life is being given to it.
I have been asked to give a study on current events, on the Palestine situation, and on the separation caused by the slaughter that is forecast in Ezekiel’s vision.
I wish that I could tell you all you want to know, but I cannot say how soon the separation, the purification of the church, (Testimonies, Vol. 5, pg. 80), will take place. God alone knows the time. All I know is that it cannot take place before we prepare the way, before our God-given work in connection with Ezekiel 9 is done. Then it will come to pass that the Lord will suddenly come to His temple (the church) and purify the sons of Levi, the ministry (Mal. 3:1-3). But those who receive not the mark will fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels as did the unfaithful “first born” in the night of the Passover in the land of Egypt.
I am, however, certain that God will not keep us ignorant of the things we ought to know. If it becomes necessary for us to know ahead of time the day and hour of the purification of the church, the antitypical Passover, we will be told. Yes, we shall know at least as much in advance as Moses knew about the Passover in his day. He did not know months ahead the day and hour of the events that were then to take place, but he was instructed of his and of the people’s duties and of what to expect from day to day. Neither did he know beforehand that they were to come up against the Red Sea, but as the cloud led them there, and as the Egyptians followed close behind, he was then told what to do. Moreover, at the time they crossed the Sea he did not know that they were to spend forty years in the desert nor that the grown-ups among them were to perish while on their journey to the Promised Land.
Thus must it be today, because “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deut. 29:29. God knows how to lead and how to save. I cannot, therefore, give you light beyond what inspiration makes known. I can only speak of the things that are revealed.
The most exciting current event that we know of is the presidential election which stands only two days in the future. As the nation sees it, this is now the biggest thing in the world, even though many will not get what they want, for each one of the different parties has named its own nominee on the presidential ballot, but only one president is to be elected.
All seem to think that peace and prosperity depend upon the man they put in the White House. Upon the authority of the Word, though, I stand to tell you that regardless who is put in office there will be no peace and desirable lasting prosperity, for God is left out of the plans which have been devised although He alone can give what we are after. And now how may we know that God is not taken into partnership? The clue that gives the answer is this:
If the church members themselves leave God out of consideration and go to men for counsel instead of to God, then how can one expect the world to go to Him? I have in my possession hundreds of letters from our own Denomination which prove this very thing! They give me this information by saying:
“I never read your literature, and never will; our ministers have investigated your teachings and they have found them to be false. We have all the Truth; we need nothing more. Take my name off your mailing list.”
Practically all of these brethren that are trapped by the Laodicean “having need of nothing” idea attempt to refute the message of present Truth by quoting from Sister White’s writings, in spite of the fact that their quotations are irrelevant to the subject and misconstrued in their own minds. All quote passages which the leading brethren have cunningly passed on to them in their brochures against us, and all of them sing the same Laodicean song which the leading brethren have put into their mouths.
These things again and again prove that instead of using their own God-given reason, the multitude are led by the minds of a few hostile brethren. Passages, though, such as the ones I am about to read to you, are kept away from them.
Let me now read these simple and to the point lines of inspired Writ which need no comments:
“Introduce nothing that will cause dissension, without clear evidence that in it God is giving a special message for this time.
“But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men, and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men, and accept the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.
“No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God’s people. The Lord will not tolerate this.” – Testimonies To Ministers, pp. 106, 107.
“We must study the truth for ourselves. No man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who he is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be subject one to another; but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us, in order to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions.” – Id., pp. 109, 110.
“God wants us to depend upon Him, and not upon man. He desires us to have a new heart; He would give us revealings of light from the throne of God.” – Id., pg. 111.
“…Whatever may be his position of authority, no one has a right to shut away the light from the people. When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims.” – Counsels On Sabbath School Work, pg. 28.
Does not the Denomination’s perverted trend in finding Heaven-revealed Truth prove to you that God is left out of consideration, that in His place are put those who are supposed to be His servants? What else can it be if man is consulted when the Spirit of God should be? Are we not told by the Scriptures that the Spirit Himself is to lead us individually into all Truth? that we are not to make flesh our arm by having someone else decide for us what is Truth and what is error? Are we not denying the Spirit and our connection with Heaven when we take a substitute? And still worse is it to go for advice to one who is already against that which you expect him to approve or disapprove. If God can teach the cattle individually to seek water in the lower lands, not on the top of the mountains and hills, and to search for a place of warmth where the wind does not strike, then why can he not personally show us what is Truth and what is error?
Were the founders of the church directed into Truth by the counsel of the priests and rabbis, or by the Spirit of God in their hearts? Are we not individually told: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” 1 John 4:1, 2.” Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess. 5:19-21.
Moreover, Amos by the eye of Inspiration looked down through the centuries, deep into the Christian era, and declared:
Amos 1:2 – “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.”
This scripture, you see, reflects the tragedy which took place on the top of Carmel in the days of Elijah. Here we are given the hint that there is to be another show-down between the prophet of God and the prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal in our day even boast that they are not inspired, that what they teach and preach is what they themselves discovered by deep study and research! They even sneer at those who claim to be inspired of the Lord! They seem to think that God has forsaken the earth; that He cares not to send His Spirit as in former time; that men are now so wise that what the Spirit can do for them, they themselves can do even better! The truth is, though, that if there ever was a need for inspired interpreters of the Scriptures, it is today while many winds of doctrines are blowing from all directions, bringing in confusion, dissension, and disaster everywhere. No one sees eye to eye!
Of this sad condition the Spirit of Prophecy warns:
“Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth can not receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask, Is it true, – in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas, that they will not examine the Scripture evidence, with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.
“The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits, – because it is truth.” – Testimonies To Ministers, pp. 105, 106.
The world has never seen a more religious group, nor a more praying and pious people than were the priests, scribes, and Pharisees in Christ’s day. Yet they were the very ones who protested against Christ’s teachings, who spread prejudice and confusion among the people and who kept them in darkness! Yes, they deceived a whole nation. Finally, if the Jewish Sanhedrin was not to be trusted at Christ’s first advent, then how do we know that the Christian’s Sanhedrin at Christ’s second advent is to be unquestionably correct? It was the Sanhedrins of the middle ages and down to this day that have fought against any Divinely led Reformation. And let me read to you of that which took place in the pioneering days of the Denomination:
“But the churches generally did not accept the warning. Their ministers, who as ‘watchmen unto the house of Israel,’ should have been the first to discern the tokens of Jesus’ coming, had failed to learn the truth, either from the testimony of the prophets or from the signs of the times. As worldly hopes and ambitions filled the heart, love for God and faith in His word had grown cold; and when the advent doctrine was presented, it only aroused their prejudice and unbelief. The fact that the message was, to a great extent, preached by laymen, was urged as an argument against it. As of old, the plain testimony of God’s word was met with the inquiry, ‘Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed?’ And finding how difficult a task it was to refute the arguments drawn from the prophetic periods, many discouraged the study of the prophecies, teaching that the prophetic books were sealed, and were not to be understood. Multitudes, trusting implicitly to their pastors refused to listen to the warning; an others, though convinced of the truth, dared not confess it, lest they should be ‘put out of the synagogue.’ The message which God had sent for the testing and purification of the church, revealed all too surely how great was the number who had set their affections on this world rather than upon Christ. The ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom, and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth.” – The Great Controversy, pg. 380.
If such has been the experience of the past, and if we all had to make up our own minds for or against the Advent truth in opposition to the decisions of the priests and ministers in our former churches, and if this was the only method of finding Truth then, why should it not be so now? Have we now become less capable than we were before becoming Adventists? Are our prayers now failing to bring results? Has the Spirit left us? or have we turned away from Him? There is but one honest answer that can be given:
The church is drifting with the world and she, too, is expecting the world’s great men, not the Spirit of God, to tell her what is Truth and what is error, whom to put in office and whom not to. “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.” Lam. 3:40.
The idea that we, as Seventh-day Adventists, have all the Truth we need, that we are “rich and increased with goods,” in need of nothing more, is the idea with which the Sanhedrin in Christ’s day indoctrinated the minds of the people, and to this day the Jewish nation has not recovered from the effects. Do not our Seventh-day Adventist brethren therefore stand in the same degenerating position of rejecting any light that God may send, if it does not agree with their ideas? And even if Christ Himself should bring it down, and if it disagree with theirs, would they not like the Jews of old be dangerously tempted to crucify Him if they could? O the great need for revival and reformation! And if such be the condition of the people in our own church, then what can be expected elsewhere? Return unto Me, for why should you perish? is Heaven’s cry.
These are some of the current events which show that humanity is drifting farther and farther away from God and drawing closer and closer to individual self. If we take God into partnership, we will have peace, security, and prosperity. But as it is now, we as a nation and as a people are headed for trouble and uncertainly at home, and for war abroad, while the church sleeps on.
Now as to what I think about the Palestine situation itself: I think the Jews need to have a place to go to, but I do not think God is leading them. If God drove the Jews from His land because of their wickedness, because He no longer could tolerate them, then it is certain that He is not leading them back to it now while they are of the same mind and just as hostile against His only Son as they were two thousand years ago. The Jews, therefore, are taking the land on their own responsibility, and when the “times” of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) end, the new State of Israel, as they call themselves, will then vacate the land much faster than they can now take, it, unless they take God into the land with them.
God is nevertheless to have a people there, but they will be the kind He tells of in the Scriptures, some of which I shall now read:
Jer. 30:18-22 – “Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto Me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto Me? saith the Lord. And ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.”
Jer. 31:6-10, 34 – “For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God. For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn. Hear the Word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock…. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
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.”
God will have a people in the land all right, but they all shall know the Lord. Those, therefore, who are now trying to establish themselves in Palestine are not that people. To learn who the people are that will inherit the land, read Tract No. 8, Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour.
But, you say, is there no prophecy concerning what the Jews are doing today in Palestine? Of course there must be a prophecy. Let me read it to you:
Zeph. 2:1-3 – “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”
These verses of Scripture, you note, are to meet fulfillment just before the “day pass as the chaff,” before the fierce anger of the Lord breaks upon the nation not desired. And while this undesired nation is gathering together, then it is that all the meek of the earth, those who have borne the Lord’s message “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (the church), are counselled to still seek meekness. There are, therefore, two peoples brought to view in these verses – the nation not desired and the meek of the earth.
Now in view of the fact that there is but one such undesired nation, the Jewish, and none other, that is hated by all nations, this scripture cannot possibly apply to another people. Also the fact that now while we are broadcasting the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the day before the day of the Lord’s anger, the undesired Jews world over are gathering together in Palestine–I say in view of all these things now contemporaneously taking place, the truth of the Scriptures boldly stand out, showing that the anger of the Lord is to fall upon the Jews unless they reform, and not they, but “the meek of the earth” are to inherit the land. And so according to Scripture, Jew and Arab alike are to go out of the Promised Land, and the meek of the earth to march into it.
How are they to get there, and who is to open the way? – The answer to these questions we shall find in Zech. 14:4,5
Isa. 11:11, 12, 16 – “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth…. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”
Isa. 27:12, 13 – “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
The Lord opens the way, and the Lord gathers His people.
Now about the war as it stands today. Tract No. 14, War News Forecast, which came out several years ago, tells the truth concerning World War No. 2 and its outcome. The Tract gets its light from Nahum’s prophecy. The war there predicted, the prophet declares, is fought in the day of the automobile, in the day men “run to and fro,” while the “chariots…rage in the streets,…justle one against another in the broad ways…while [running] like the lightnings,” – in our time. That war, the tract’s appendix – Time and Chance Solve Mysteries – proves, is World War No. 2. The prophet saw one that dasheth in pieces (Hitler) daring his enemies to prepare against him. Then the prophet saw the worthies of him who dasheth in pieces (Hitler’s worthies) stumble in their walk (fall by mistake in their march for victory). And so it came to pass that after Hitler opened his guns against the nations around him, and started breaking everything to pieces, the allies went to prepare for war.
Hitler caused his worthies to stumble by waging war against Russia while in war with Great Britain, and by going after Greece and Egypt rather than crossing the English channel when England, unknown to him, was almost to give up. Thus his worthies stumbled and never rose again. Finally, Hitler disappeared and hostilities ceased. But according to Nahum’s prophecy, and also according to current events as broadcast by news reports everywhere, the war is still on; it has not actually ceased, but is only making a turn for the worse, yes, and it is only a matter of time before it will become even hotter than it was previous to Hitler’s disappearance.
Moreover, there has been no official declaration as yet that the war is over. No complete settlement with the powers which fought in the war has as yet been reached. Anyone can see that the world is fast getting ready to resume the war with a mightier and final blow if possible. Anyone can see, too, that the war was not won for the good of Great Britain, but for Russia, and that following the cessation of hostilities conditions have caused the world to consolidate into two great and hostile blocks, – the Western and the Eastern blocks, – not to mention the wars and rumors of wars all around us. This happened because Great Britain allied with atheistic Russia, a government that is against God and His church. Thus Great Britain put greater trust in God’s enemy than in God Himself, and that is why the war is yet to be fought.
And now while the cold war between the east and west is on, the churches, too, by the Amsterdam confederacy, are enlarging the size of each block. Both radio broadcasts and newspapers declare that all the churches except the Roman and the Russian orthodox churches did send representatives to the Amsterdam assembly. The Russian orthodox church, you know, is the Greek orthodox church. And why do you suppose the church that is in Greece joined the confederacy, but the church that is in Russia did not? Only because of fearing the “block” they are in. The churches, too, are taking sides with their respective block – Eastern or Western. (What will the Roman church do? She, too, will of necessity eventually join the Western block.)
Does it not look to you as though the world is getting ready for a church and state government? I have repeatedly pointed out that the world is unwittingly making a mighty effort to saddle the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation 17 and to mount there on BABYLON THE GREAT. We are headed for the church and state government which BABYLON THE GREAT symbolizes while riding the scarlet-colored beast, and when the war gets “hot” again, Babylon may then replace the United Nations thereafter. So it is seen that the world in its attempt to overcome the obstacles with which it is confronted, is as it were jumping out of the fire and falling into the frying pan, only because it is not taking God into partnership.
The world sees communism as a hydra-headed monster behind a bush, and the nations are already, so to speak, smiting their knees one against the other while they look at it. Their safety, however, does not depend on fear and armament, nor on the man we elect for president, but on God, on Him Who holds the earth in space, and Who still rules the affairs of mankind. From the dawn of history till today the great nations that have fallen, fell when they were best armed and most independent of God. This should be a great lesson to all, but who realizes it!
God, therefore, for the sake of His own will puts in the hearts of the communists, or communist-like powers (the ten horns of the scarlet-colored beast who hate the woman, hate religion, as does communism) to “give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Rev. 17:17.
Now, the statement to “give their kingdom” implies that they have a kingdom to give. In verse 12, however, we are told that they “have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” When both statements are put together then the statements say that communism could have a kingdom, could rule the world, but “God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” They, therefore, only receive power as kings one hour with the beast, after which they destroy the woman, the church and state system, and take the kingdom to themselves (Rev. 17:17). (For a detailed exposition of the seventeenth chapter of Revelation, read Tract No. 12, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, pp. 30-33).
Just how this is to come about, I do not know; but I do know that the greatest of all wars is to be fought about the holy land; “Behold,” says the Lord, “the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zechariah 14:1, 2.
This prophetic statement, “God hath put in their hearts…to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast,” proves true what I tried to say awhile ago: That when any nation became great and on its own, without God, built a gigantic war machine for defense and aggression, then it was that that nation came to naught. The tranquility and prosperity of any nation and people, therefore, depends on their stand with God, not on their military strength.
Let me now remind you what Inspiration has to say of the association of nations and peoples according to current events. For light on the subject we turn to the eighth chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy. Time will not permit me to re-study with you the whole chapter, and I do not think it is necessary, for we studied it not long ago. You remember that the chapter unveils a confederacy which ancient Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom (the church), made with ancient Syria, a sovereign power of the world, to war against Judah, a sister kingdom (church). Inspiration makes a type of that church and state confederacy, and by it definitely points out the trend which the nominal churches and the sovereign powers of the world are to take now in the antitype. It makes known, moreover, that they will not prosper in it.
I shall now read to you what God Himself thinks of it:
Isa. 8:8-10 – “And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.”
According to St. Matthew, chapter 1, verse 23, the name Immanuel belongs to Christ, and by interpretation it means “God with us.” Plainly, then, the exclamation “O Immanuel,” shows that Inspiration is speaking to Christ. And since He could not be thus addressed before He was born of a woman and received the name Immanuel, it is obvious that this association of peoples is to be found in the Christian era, in the era in which Immanuel lives.
Now the statement “Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us,” plainly says what I tried to tell you – that the nations, including the churches, have left Immanuel, “God with us,” out of their plans, that what they are trying to do they are doing on their own initiative and resources for the words “God is with us” coming from one who is not with the assemblies of the people, clearly implies that Immanuel is not with them, and that therefore their work shall come to naught.
From these scriptures it is seen that the current events brought about by the two opposing blocks, the east and the west, are not going to work out according to human planning, that the plans made by the confederation and people are to come to naught except they consult God and take Him into partnership. Let us now hear what the Lord would have us do, the stand He would have His people take:
Verses 11, 12 – “For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.”
The fear which the people fear is not to be our fear; neither are their plans to be our plans. Our duty is to–
Verse 13 – “Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”
To sanctify the Lord is to be all for Him, to have no one else in His stead, to put your entire trust in Him, not making flesh your arm, for He alone is able to see you through. And though you should be the only one in all the world to take such a stand, He will not fail you. If such be your case, you will then become Heaven’s greatest hero.
Verse 14 – “And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
This truth, you note, will now, just as has any Divinely-revealed truth at any time in the past, become a rock of offense and a snare to many – yes, as Christ Himself became such to the Jews – because rather than taking their stand firmly for Divine truth, they are becoming as hostile against it as were the Jews in Christ’s day. Since the prophecy continues through the ninth chapter, we shall read–
Isa. 9:20, 21 – “And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.”
Such will be the results of rejecting God and His counsel. All who take their stand with the multitude against God’s people will find themselves in the same predicament as the Midianites found themselves in Gideon’s time – as the light breaks out they will kill one another, but the faithful will be delivered. This, however, is not all:
Isa. 8:15 – “And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.”
According to this scripture many of them will find “the rapture” not to their liking and not according to their teaching of it. The Lord’s command is:
Verse 16 – “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.”
A “disciple” is one who follows Christ on and on in Divinely-revealed Truth which he accepts not because others do, or do not, but because the Father which is in Heaven has through His Spirit personally convinced him of it (Matt. 16:17) – because independent of what others do or say he is personally persuaded by the Spirit. And the “testimony” is His living Word passed on by His chosen and Spirit-filled messengers – “the Spirit of Prophecy” at work (Rev. 19:10). Hence to bind up the testimony among His disciples is to confirm “the Spirit of Prophecy” among them and them only. And to seal the law among them is to have the law authorized and fortified by Truth, to have them see the necessity of keeping it, and to have them calmly say–
Verse 17 – “And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him.”
Verse 18 – “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion.”
Soon it will be seen that those who take a firm stand on the side of Truth will be for signs and wonders.
Verse 19 – “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?”
Here the world is shown to give greater attention to Spiritualism than to a “thus saith the Lord.”
Verse 20 – “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.”
God’s people will know that those who take a stand other than the one which Truth here sets forth, are so doing because the Spirit of Truth is not dwelling in their hearts. And let us remember that to make flesh your arm, to consult man when God should be consulted, is every bit as bad as to consult the spirits of Darkness.
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.” Joel 2:12, 13.