Greetings MOL Family!
As we shall see, there are quite a number of different winds spoken of in the Bible. In today’s lesson, the particular wind we will study is the whirlwind.
Whirlwind of Lawlessness
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. – Jeremiah 25:32-33
The whirlwind here, of course, is a vivid representation of death, destruction, and devastation in all directions. It says it is going to reach every part of the world. This, in its ultimate fulfillment, represents the great destruction which will be seen upon this earth during the time of trouble. And especially in the closing days of the time of trouble, as Armageddon bursts upon the earth and the nations who are seeking to destroy the people of God finally end up destroying one another. Then the rest are slain, as Jesus appears, and the brightness of His coming destroys them. Then, literally, as this says, the slain will be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. This destruction, this violence, this war that is going to end human history is represented by what? A whirlwind, a great whirlwind.
Have you ever been in a terrible whirlwind before; a tornado, in other words? If so, I am sure it was a fearsome sight, and a fearful experience. Well, this is a whirlwind that is going to reach all parts of the world, nothing safe, nothing secure. But thank God, His people will be hiding in Him. And so, Psalm 46 says:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. – Psalm 46:1-2
No matter what the storm that blows, no matter from what direction the winds come, God’s people will be safe and secure. I want to study this whirlwind with you, and what makes it. Let’s go to Hosea 8, and we will get the answer. If we can find the cause, it will help us in avoiding being moved by it. The prophet says:
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. – Hosea 8:7
The whirlwind then, that is coming bringing universal violence, universal war, and bloodshed, is the result of what? Sowing the wind. Now, the difference between the wind and the whirlwind is one of severity, intensity. God, in other words, is telling us here that the universal strife, the universal violence, the universal bloodshed that takes place in Armageddon is the result of something which has been going on previously. I wonder what it is.
Here is something interesting on this point from the book, The Great Controversy:
Those who teach the people to regard lightly the commandments of God sow disobedience to reap disobedience. – Great Controversy, pg. 585
What do they sow? Disobedience. What do they reap? Disobedience:
Let the restraint imposed by the divine law be wholly cast aside, and human laws would soon be disregarded. – Ibid
Is it a fact that for several generations now, the religious world has been more and more casting aside the law of God, and even teaching men that the law is no longer binding? Is that a fact? This is the wind. The whirlwind is coming. It is already beginning to show its tornado-like proportions and its devastating effects:
Already the doctrine that men are released from obedience to God’s requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an overwhelming tide. … The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and attentions as if they had attained an enviable distinction. … The press publishes the revolting details of vice. … Satan exults in the success of his hellish schemes. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order and degree, should arouse all who fear God, to inquire what can be done to stay the tide of evil. – Ibid., pgs. 585-586
Now, this whole chapter, “The Impending Conflict,” deals with the great fact that the religious world in setting aside the law of God, in order to get rid of the Sabbath, is responsible for the rising tide of crime, violence, bloodshed, riot, and revolution that we see in the world today.
In the 1960s, there was a report that came out called, “The Story of Crime in the United States” by FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover. Mr. Hoover, in one of the early paragraphs of his report to the nation on the crime situation here in our country, said:
“These statistics …”
Then he showed that there are serious crimes, seven every minute. Violent crimes, one each minute. There was a murder that took place every 43 minutes.
“These statistics represent an epidemic of crime and violence which has effected virtually every segment of American society.” – “The Story of Crime in the United States,” J. Edgar Hoover, US News and World Report, 1969
When I read “epidemic of crime,” I thought I had read that somewhere before, and so I had. And I turned to Volume 9 and here is something:
There is coming rapidly and surely an almost universal guilt upon the inhabitants of the cities because of the steady increase of determined wickedness. We are living in the midst of an ‘epidemic of crime’ at which thoughtful, God-fearing men everywhere stand aghast. The corruption that prevails is beyond the power of the human pen to describe. Every day brings fresh revelations of political strife, bribery, and fraud; every day brings its heart-sickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 9, pg. 89
Every day brings fresh revelations of political strife, bribery, and fraud; every day brings its heart-sickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering; of brutal, fiendish destruction of human life. …
The cities of today are fast becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. – Ibid
Try to keep everyone of these points in mind, from volume 9, while I read you something from Mr. Hoover:
“These statistics represent an epidemic of crime and violence which has affected virtually every segment of American society” – “The Story of Crime in the United States,” J. Edgar Hoover, US News and World Report
This report was writing over 50 years ago. Imagine what the statistics are today, in 2020. Violence is increasing:
“A particularly tragic facet of the crime and violence problem in this country is the increasing involvement of young people. Last year forty-nine percent of those arrested for serious crimes were under eighteen years of age” – Ibid
Think of it! You might say every other person arrested for a serious crime today was under 18 years of age. Still reading Mr. Hoover:
“Violence is particularly prevalent today among young people in large metropolitan areas. Vicious juvenile gangs terrorize the slum sections which spawn them. The cost to society.”
“In dollars and cents, it is estimated at twenty-seven billion dollars a year.”
“This is merely the material loss. But the cost to society of the fear and anguish resulting from violence cannot be assessed.” – Ibid
Then he mentioned various organizations in this country – all shades of thought, but he said:
“Their common denominator is a distrust for law and order and a belief in force and violence.” – Ibid
I want to bring this closer home than the streets of our great cities. Because, my dear friends, God wants your home and your life to be one where these winds do not blow. He wants you to be safe from this wind of lawlessness. And if you won’t sow the wind of lawlessness, you will never reap the whirlwind of Armageddon. You will be safe when the whirlwind of violence and destruction sweeps over this planet, if every bit of lawlessness has been gotten out of your life. But believe me, if there is one bit of rebellion left, if there is one bit of restlessness left, if there is one bit of revolt against authority left, then you are a target for destruction when the whirlwind blows, just as sure as can be.
Going back now to Mr. Hoover’s report:
“It is my firm conviction that crime and violence are increasing, primarily, because there is a mass deterioration in the respect shown for the rule of law in our nation, and for some who enforce it.” – Ibid
What was/is the primary cause, based on this ex-guardian of the nation’s security? It is that, over the years, there is a breakdown of respect for law and order and authority and for those who enforce it. Is this true in the nation, in this day and age?
I want to ask you something: Is it true in the church? How is it with you? Do you respect law and order in the church, or do you murmur against it? Are you one of those who think it is smart to circulate literature which criticizes and condemns and undermines the authority of the leaders God has appointed in the Remnant church? What about it? If you are, you are sowing the wind, and you will reap the whirlwind. You won’t like the whirlwind.
What about in the home, my dear friends? Parents, do you require obedience? Or have you been taken in by this wind of permissiveness in household administration? If you have, you are sowing the wind, and you will reap the whirlwind. You will live to see your children in the riots and revolutions, the violence which will fill this world with blood.
The only security against the whirlwind of lawlessness and violence is to hide in Jesus Christ who is the law embodied. Christ and His law are inseparable. There is no such thing as tearing down the authority in the church, in the home, in the institution, in the government; there is no such thing as tearing down authority without sowing the wind, and you will reap the whirlwind.
I read on. Let me read this sentence again from Mr. Hoover:
“It is my firm conviction that crime and violence are increasing, primarily, because there is a mass deterioration in the respect shown for the rule of law in our nation, and for some who enforce it.” – Ibid
That is a sentence that ought to be put on the bulletin board in every school from the primary up to the university. It ought to be put in our homes. Every parent and every child should check his attitude by it.
“There is, unfortunately, a reluctance on the part of some of our citizens, to act positively in behalf of law and order. Police have been assaulted while spectators stood by, idly watching.” – Ibid
And then he tells that terrible experience in New York City, where a young woman was slain, while 37 people in the neighborhood watched the series of attacks on her, lasting over an hour, and not one of them went to her aid. In fact, only one witness went so far as to even call the police. Ah, my friends, a disregard for human life is a disregard for authority.
I read on from Mr. Hoover:
“The results of the flagrant disregard for law and order are evident in the widespread and purposeful violations of laws and regulations not to one’s personal liking.” – Ibid
Ah, that’s it. Someone says, “I don’t like this law, so I will break it. I don’t think this is a good law, so I will disregard it.” And ministers from pulpits are advocating just such stuff, my friends.
But how is it with you, child, whether you are six years old or 16, or older? Do you take it in your hands to decide whether the rules of the home, the institution, the church you are connected with, are what you want to obey or not?
“Ah,” you say, “this is a free country.” Does freedom mean that every man can break the law and set it aside as he wishes? If he does, he must meet the penalty, my friends. There must be a penalty in the home. It should be enforced. There must be a penalty in government. It must be enforced. Does God have a penalty in His law? Is it enforced? Sooner or later. The full effects of transgression may not be apparent today, but they are none-the-less certain, and every home, every church, every school should be teaching in this age of lawlessness, the importance, the great importance of the rule of law. This is our only security, my dear friends.
Now listen while Mr. Hoover puts his finger right on the point:
“An attitude of permissiveness is becoming more and more evident in our society today, leading to the progressive relaxing, and discarding of all forms of restraint and discipline. This attitude has actually been fostered, and in effect, promoted by too many educators, sociologists, clergymen, public officials, and parents.
“Its effect can be seen in the recent actions of some young people throughout the nation, with little or no respect being given for tradition or authority. Their actions have been undisciplined and unrestrained. The abrogation of responsibility on the part of those in authority, has developed among young people an “anything goes” attitude, in personal and collective moral standards, and has resulted in an alarming breakdown of the moral fabric of American society.
“Our increasingly affluent, materialistic, and permissive society has encouraged the growth of a psychology of lawlessness and violence. There exists a softness and tolerance toward those who violate laws.” – Ibid
There you have it, my friends. Oh, dear ones, is it going to get better? What does the Bible say? Evil men and seducers shall do what? Wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
So, while we honor the efforts of these men who are seeking to stem the tide, they are working against something which is stronger than they are. And as he said, many preachers, many educators, many politicians, and many parents are working hand in glove with the lawless element whether or not they know it. Why? How? By encouraging people, young and old, to take the law in their own hands, and decide what laws they will keep and what laws they will break. Where does it start, my friends? It starts back in the home. That is where it starts.
So I ask you, are you going to be one who is kept when this wind blows? Is it blowing now? But when the angels of Revelation 7 let those winds loose which they are holding to some degree now, we are told that there will be such scenes of strife as the pen cannot picture. This world will be just filled with hordes of assassins. Murder and every conceivable and unmentionable kind of crime will be rampant all over the world. And your boy, your girl, will be involved in it, unless they learn to obey father and mother in the home, unless they learn to respect authority in the institution and the church; unless they learn to respect the police, and all officers in authority in the state and nation.
This is what we are up against, my friends. And to think that men will stand in the pulpit and seem to side with the revolt and the revolution, and the riot and the spirit of restlessness. To think that men will seem to give sympathy to that, and to give the idea there is some excuse for it. God forgive us, my friends. God help us to rally to the side of loyalty to the commandments of God, and to the authority that God has given to men and women in the state, in the church, in the institution, in the home. What do you say? Are you settled on this?
Oh, let no young person with cynical smile think, “Oh, well, I think I will do as I please.” God help you, my dear young friend, before Armageddon breaks, to get fully involved with Jesus on the side of law keeping, not law breaking. And it matters not whether you evade the law or you defy it. And it matters not whether it is in the home, the institution, the church, or in the nation. If you are on the side of lawbreaking, you are numbered with satan and his hosts. They are going to Armageddon. They have sown the wind. They will reap the whirlwind. Your only safety is in coming to Jesus and hiding in that Rock of Ages; that dear Saviour whose heart was broken for you, because you had broken the law.
You see, friends, as I said a little while ago, Christ and His law are inseparable. He came to this earth to show us how to live. He said, “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” And because men have broken that holy law, He died to pay the price of transgression. But that price was never paid so that men and women might continue in lawbreaking.
The Whirlwind of Sin
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. – 1 John 3:4-5
What is sin? Transgression of the law. The New English Bible translates it, “Sin is lawlessness.” That is exactly what it is—lawlessness. And what did He come for? He was manifested to do what? Take away our sins. Can He do it? Can He change your heart and mine so we love the law instead of hate it? Can He do something to these minds of ours so we find our delight in obedience instead of evading the law? Can He fix up children so they love to obey their parents? Can He fix up helpers in an institution so they love to cooperate with their supervisors and the administration? Can He fix up members of the church so they love to cooperate with the leadership of this movement? Can He? Can He fix up you and me so we find no pleasure in evading or defying the laws of the government?
Now, I recognize there is coming a time when the laws of the land, in some points, will go contrary to the law of God. But then, we will simply be obedient to the higher law. We won’t be taking the law into our own hands. So you see, friends, it is loyalty all the way through.
Let’s go back now to Isaiah 32. Let us claim this wonderful promise:
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind. – Isaiah 32:1-2
Who is this man, I ask again? Jesus. What is He? A hiding place. A hiding place from what? From the wind. Is He a place of refuge from this whirlwind of violence, friends? Can He save us from the wind of lawlessness? Oh, if we will enter that cleft in the Rock, the broken heart of Jesus, if we can begin to feel something of the pain that sin brings to Him, we will never find any fun in breaking the law, whether it is in the home or the church or the nation. We will never find any pleasure in it.
Do not think, oh, do not think, that you can meet God at judgment with one bit of disloyalty. God is going to have a people who are distinguished in a world of lawlessness by the fact that they keep the commandments, Revelation 12:17; Revelation 14:12. Is that right? This is what sets them apart.
We are to be peculiar in this world of violence and law evasion and defying of law. We are to be peculiar not because we get out and demonstrate against the law, but because we quietly and earnestly and deep in our hearts respect the law, and show it by our outward acts. What is your attitude toward law? Do you love the One who died to take away lawlessness? Do you love the Saviour who gave Himself for you? Ah, friends, if you do, then hidden in the cleft of the Rock, you will be safe and secure when the great whirlwind breaks in fury over this world; when those who have sown the wind of lawbreaking reap the whirlwind of universal violence.
I wonder as we close this lesson if there is somebody reading that says, “God allowed me to go through this lesson for a purpose, and I see that I need a change in attitude toward law.” Perhaps it is in the home, perhaps it is in the institution, perhaps in the church, perhaps in the government. “But I see that I need a change of attitude, and I am asking Jesus to change my heart and life on this point, and hide me in Him so I will be safe from this wind of lawlessness.”
Oh, friends, if you have said or done anything against the church or if you have put your influence on the side of criticism or undermining the leadership of the church, God help you to confess it and get it out of the way. If your problem has been in the home or some other place, get that out of the way.
If you need a love for law, you will find it, in Jesus:
A man shall be as an hiding place from the wind [of lawlessness]. – Isaiah 32:2
Oh, I hope that everybody that has had a problem on this matter will get the victory, friends. There are some other winds I want to talk to you about in future lessons, but this is the wind we are dealing with now, this wind of lawlessness, this wind of violence.
Let me tell you something: If you are willing to break the law today, whether in the home, the school, the institution, the church, or the nation, you will come to the place very soon, where you would kill anybody in your road rather than give up your own selfish ways. You think I am talking strongly, just give me the opportunity to give you the evidence. This is the time we are living in, friends. Get rid of this thing, while there’s a chance…
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.