TEXT FOR PRAYER
Turn From Debate; Present The Truth
I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons”, beginning on page 40, the last paragraph—
"Instead of discussing erroneous theories, or seeking to combat the opponents of the gospel, follow the example of Christ. Let fresh truths from God’s treasure-house flash into life. “Preach the word.” “Sow beside all waters.” “Be instant in season, out of season.” “He that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.” “Every word of God is pure. . . .Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."
We should pray this afternoon for the ability to follow the example of Christ in teaching. We should also pray that we shall remember that we are instructed not to engage in debate with those who disagree with us; that Christ did not debate, and neither must we if we are to win; that God will supply us with fresh truths to bring to the people; that if such truths do not convince the opposers of the "everlasting gospel," nothing will, even if the dead should arise for a witness against them; that we exalt the Bible above all other books; that we measure all else with the Bible yardstick, and forever break all other measuring sticks.
Minister of D. Seventh-day Adventists
Sabbath, September 6, 1947
Mt. Carmel Chapel
The text of our study this afternoon is Isaiah 25 and 26. In order properly to orientate ourselves to the subject matter, we shall begin with the sixth verse of chapter twenty–five. Afterwards we shall study the first five verses.
Verse 6—And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
First of all we should find the truth of this figurative mountain. For this information we must go to the last verse of the twenty–fourth chapter, because the story of the twenty–fifth chapter begins with the previous chapter. We shall read these verses connectedly:
Isa. 24:23; 25:6—Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously. And in this mountain (Mount Zion) shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
Here you see that "Mount Zion" is the mountain on which the Lord will prepare a feast for all people, a feast of tempting things. There will the people gather together.
Verse 7—And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covenant cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
When the covering under which the nations now stand, rolls away, then shall they find themselves in the open—vulnerable to "wind" and "storm." Yes, when the veil which now hangs over all peoples of earth, is pulled down, then shall they see that which they cannot now see. And what then?
Verses 8-10—He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, 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. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under Him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.
To make these great events possible, not only the ones who at that time rule the land, but Moab, too, we see, shall be trodden down. And who could Moab be if not the Arabs who now lay heavy claim to the land of Palestine? Soon the world will find that God has not forsaken the earth, and that God is master of the situation.
Verses 11, 12—And He shall spread forth His hands in the midst of them, as He that swimmeth spreadeth forth His hands to swim: and He shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall He bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.
These verses hold the fact before us that it matters not what kind of fortification men may devise, such shall nevertheless be brought down as a straw when the Lord manifests His power. Having now clearly seen this wonderful Bible Truth, let it be you to say:
Isa. 25:1—O Lord, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Here we are shown that as a result of this revealed Truth, some will truly accept the Lord of the Bible as their God, and will pledge to exalt Him and ever to praise His wonderful name because they see that He has done wonderful things. His counsels of old will they not turn down because they will know from experience that His counsels are faithfulness and Truth. They will from personal experience know God’s power and say:
Verses 2,3—For Thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify Thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear Thee.
The city of this verse must be the one first mentioned in Isaiah 24:
"The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.
"They [those who are not shaken down] shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea. From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous [as a result, there shall be converts made from the four corners of the earth].
"But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth." Isa. 24:10-17.
The following quotation from the Spirit of Prophecy adds light to these verses:
"I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God’s word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world."— Testimonies, Vol. 9, pp. 28 and 29.
Isa.26:1-In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
The song for the majesty of the Lord is therefore to be sung in the Promised Land, and there will the saints have a city that cannot be shaken down, for it is to have salvation for walls. Then it shall be said:
Verse 2—Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the Truth may enter in.
Here is taught that all this takes place in a day of salvation, in a day that the gates can be opened for a righteous nation to enter in. Yes, a whole nation, of such as should be saved, not a sinner among them, shall then respond to the call, "Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Verses 3,4—Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusted in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
Although throughout the years of history nations have developed great power, yet not one has retained that power forever. But we are here reassured that those who trust in the Lord Jehovah shall have eternal peace and everlasting strength.
Verses 5-10—For He bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, He layeth it low; He layeth it low, even to the ground; He bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the just is uprightness: Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for Thee; the desire of our soul is to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee. With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
These verses plainly tell us that when the judgments of God fall upon the earth, the righteous minded will learn righteousness; but the unrepentant sinners will not learn righteousness regardless what is done for them. And this is why they are to be barred from the congregation of the righteous. The righteous, however, even now feel the Lord’s mighty hand and painfully they declare:
Verse 11—Lord, when Thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of Thine enemies shall devour them.
Indeed, when God’s hand is lifted up to deliver His people, the wicked will not see it. But after the righteous are delivered, the wicked will clearly see and envy, but it shall be to their shame and too late to do them any good. Even now while "the latter rain" is falling, the self—righteous who imagine that they have need of nothing, are either running away from it or pulling their raincoats over their heads. The seekers of righteousness, though, come out in the open. Thus they learn to say—
Verse 12—Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us.
This can be said only by those who allow the Lord to perform His work in their hearts, so that they may praise Him:
Verses 13-16—O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us: but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name. They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, Thou hast increased the nation: Thou art glorified: Thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. Lord, in trouble have they visited Thee, they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them.
These verses declare that Israel of the promises, not the unbelieving Jew, have increased in number since having been removed from their land, since having been scattered to the ends of the earth. While this chastening (being driven away from their land) is still upon them, they pour out prayer and say:
Verses 17, 18—Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in Thy sight, O Lord. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
Here is shown that the eyes of the penitent are to be opened; they are to see themselves as God sees them, and confess that they have heretofore failed in their efforts, that they have travailed, have been in pain, but have brought forth only "wind," as it were, while the impenitent think that they themselves are rich and increased with goods, are doing a great deed, and are in need of nothing.
Yes, the church may now boast of her achievments, of her so-called large membership, but not long hence will she, too, discover that she has failed to finish her work, that the world is still destroying the earth, that her people are unsaved and that rather than having brought forth salvation, she has brought forth nothing but "wind."
"In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor." —Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80.
Verse 19—Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Not only the living, but the dead also shall be gathered into the "strong city." We already hear the Lord pleading with us all, saying:
Verse 20—Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
This plea shows that we are approaching the time of trouble and that God is anxious to have us undercover. The wise will hear Him and will accept the chambers, the protection He provides for them.
Verse 21—For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
All these truths which God is now bringing to our attention, point to one thing: That the great and terrible day of the Lord is at hand, that He is soon to manifest His power and shake the earth so that everything that cannot be shaken may stand. Are you not glad, Brother, Sister, that God is giving you first opportunity to get ready for the day of God, to hold fast to His ever-increasing Truth?