Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to our “Survival” series. Would you agree that we are living in some very serious times? More than ever, as we see the rapid fulfillment of prophetic events, we need to Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready!
The Narrow Way
While at Battle Creek in August, 1868, I dreamed of being with a large body of people. A portion of this assembly started out prepared to journey. We had heavily loaded wagons. As we journeyed, the road seemed to ascend. On one side of this road was a deep precipice; on the other was a high, smooth, white wall…As we journeyed on, the road grew narrower and steeper. In some places it seemed so very narrow that we concluded that we could no longer travel with the loaded wagons. We then loosed them from the horses, took a portion of the luggage from the wagons and placed it upon the horses, and journeyed on horseback.
As we progressed, the path still continued to grow narrow. We were obliged to press close to the wall, to save ourselves from falling off the narrow road down the steep precipice. As we did this, the luggage on the horses pressed against the wall and caused us to sway toward the precipice. We feared that we should fall and be dashed in pieces on the rocks. We then cut the luggage from the horses, and it fell over the precipice. We continued on horseback, greatly fearing, as we came to the narrower places in the road, that we should lose our balance and fall. At such times a hand seemed to take the bridle and guide us over the perilous way.
As the path grew more narrow, we decided that we could no longer go with safety on horseback, and we left the horses and went on foot, in single file, one following in the footsteps of another. At this point small cords were let down from the top of the pure white wall; these we eagerly grasped, to aid us in keeping our balance upon the path. As we traveled, the cord moved along with us. The path finally became so narrow that we concluded that we could travel more safely without our shoes, so we slipped them from our feet and went on some distance without them. Soon it was decided that we could travel more safely without our stockings; these were removed, and we journeyed on with bare feet.
We then thought of those who had not accustomed themselves to privations and hardships. Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change some were left behind, and those only remained who had accustomed themselves to endure hardships. The privations of the way only made these more eager to press on to the end… – Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2; pgs. 594, 595
Read the entire dream, it’s very interesting. But notice in what we have read, the different things. Starting out with what? — loaded wagons, wagons, and loaded wagons. Then finally reaching the place where the wagons had to be left. What did some people say? “This is as far as we’re going. We have to leave the loaded wagons? – No more for us.” But many went right on, on horseback with the horses carrying luggage. But finally, what did they have to do with the luggage? – Cut it off, and let it fall off of the precipice. Some said, “No luggage, we don’t go.”
They stayed there; at least they didn’t go up the trail any further. So, at each step, when the horses were left, because of the narrowness of the road (the trail), some said, “We can’t go on foot.” They stopped. And so with the leaving of the shoes and the stockings, as they looked at the barefoot pilgrims going up, and as you read on you’ll find there’s blood on the trail as it goes further. Some said, “No, we can’t take this.” Only those, it says, who had accustomed themselves to privations and hardships went on.
Now, in our last lesson, we were studying the problem of economic survival in the crisis that awaits the people of God. We noted that during the great time of trouble, when the wicked have cut off all our resources, we cannot buy or sell; and a death decree is hanging over our heads. Angels will feed us. Bread will be given us, our water shall be sure. But this does not mean that we will have all the comforts and conveniences and the great varieties of food that we have now. Oh, no. What is promised? — Bread and water, just the bare necessities.
Will you be there? Will you be among the people of God when they are out in the mountains or in deserts, in the swamps or in the dungeons, awaiting the coming of the Redeemer? Will your children be there? Are we preparing for this?
I raised the question before; will a life of ease and comfort best prepare us for that time? Is that a fair question? It’s a very important question.
You know, when Uncle Sam calls men into the army, and is preparing those men for combat, the government puts those men through a program of training that is designed to harden them. They’re put out into jungles, and deserts, and difficult situations. The government doesn’t say, “Well poor fellows, they’re soon to meet many difficulties. We’d better get them the best hotel in town and give them the very nicest meals, because when they go over there, they’re going to have such a hard time. Is that the program? – No. Real mercy and compassion means that the man who’s going into a hard situation will have some preparation for it. Is that reasonable?
It’s Time To Prepare!
Now will God, who sees the end from the beginning, leave His people without a plan of preparation today? No, He won’t. And before we reach the great time of trouble, we’re going into the little or short time of trouble. That’s when the boycott begins, and we can’t buy or sell. In that intermediate time, between now and the great time of trouble, we won’t be under a death decree, but we will be under the squeeze of economic pressure.
We found that the angels feed us during the falling of the plagues. But I have found no promise that the angels are going to feed us during those early stages of economic pressure.
Turn to Revelation 13, and let us review what we read in our last study, concerning this boycott, through which the mark of the beast is to be enforced. Then I want to raise the question: how are we going to live through that time?
…he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive [what?] a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark… – Revelation 13:16-17
What will you do? Now, somebody says, “The angels will take care of us.” The way the angels are going to take care of us is to give us some good sense to get ready for that time.
The time is fast coming when the controlling power of the labor unions will be very oppressive. [Are the labor unions among the agencies along with church and state that are going to bring this Sunday law? – Oh, yes] Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where they can raise their own provisions; for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. – Selected Messages, Book 2, pg. 141
Now here are some very clear instructions, plain as the English language can make it. Ahead of us, it says, is a very serious problem concerned with buying and selling. Did we read that in the Bible? – Yes. In anticipation of that time, the Lord’s messenger says that the counsel from Heaven is that our people are to do what? – move out of the cities and get in the country where they can do what? — Raise their own provisions, for in the future, the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. I could close this study right now, and we’d have enough to think about for a while. In fact, if we would take it seriously, some of us would make some changes in our plans. But let’s go a little further and read some references and meditate on this.
This is very practical, isn’t it friends? God’s message is very practical. Back in the days of Noah, the Lord sent a message that there’s a flood coming. Water is going to cover the whole earth. Did He say just preach and wait, and when the time comes the angels will carry you on their wings up above the rain, and you can be up there on the cloud until the flood is over? Did He? No. There was something very practical to do about it. Noah not only preached, he practiced; and in doing it, he did what God told him to. God told him to do what? –Build an ark. The ark, of course, was to float upon the water. Thus, those who entered it would be saved.
Now, we’re told that that storm was so terrible that the ark would not have been able to withstand its fury except by the miracle working power of God. Well, if God had to work a miracle to preserve the ark and those in it, why go to all the trouble of working 120 years to build it? Why not devote all the time to preaching, and save the time that was used in building the ark?
Couldn’t God have preserved them some other way? – Why, sure! But God delights to give His people a plan in which there’s something for them to do, to show their faith by their works. Faith is believing God. Faith is not inventing some method we think will take care of the problem. Faith is in humbly kneeling at the feet of Jesus and saying, “Lord, You see the future. What do You want us to do?
As we study the Bible and the Testimonies, here’s the blueprint. All that faith asks is, what has God said? If God tells us to do it, this we will do.
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.