Greetings MOL Family!
Last week, we looked at Earth’s last war – the enemy’s final attempt to become the king of this world. Praise the Lord that satan is and will remain a defeat foe! Now, let’s see the results on the other side…
The Two Suppers
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. – Revelation 19:17, 18
When this last battle is over, there’s going to be a great feast for all the vultures, all the buzzards, all the birds of prey. I don’t want to be at that supper. Do you? There’s another supper I want to look at in this same 19th chapter. You may think of Revelation 19 as the chapter of the two suppers. This ghastly, gory supper that we’ve just seen; where all the wicked dead are eaten by the buzzards. Now the 19th chapter and 6th verse:
…I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb… – Revelation 19:6-7, 9
You see friends, while the birds are picking the bones of all these who’ve confederated with satan and his rebellion against the law of God, the righteous will be in the city of God seated at the marriage supper of the Lamb, with Christ Himself coming forth and serving them. That’s the supper I want to be at, what do you say? That’s the supper of the survivors. Those that live through the 7 last plagues, those that live through all that the devil can do against them in Jacob’s trouble and welcome Jesus, saying “Low, this is our God, we have waited for him”.
I’m sure all of us are planning to be in that supper above, at the table there instead of at the table down here. But now watch, before the last battle can join, we must go through Jacob’s trouble. Before we can be prepared to endure Jacob’s trouble, we must be baptized with the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain.
Step By Step
We read this statement from Early Writings before. Perhaps we ought to read it again to refresh our minds. It’s a very important statement:
“At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.” – Early Writings, pg. 86
What must we have dear ones, to prepare us for Jacob’s trouble and the pouring out of the plagues? We must receive the Latter Rain. But what must we have to prepare for the Latter Rain? That’s what I want to spend some time discussing with you now. We’ll read a few words from Vol. 1; don’t miss a word:
God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next…. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pg. 187
Now, let’s look at that. How does God lead His people does this say? — step by step. Is that the way He’s led you? He’s led me that way for many years. The sorrow of my heart is that we’ve been so slow in letting Him take us from one step to another. Come now and think about it. Think of the steps you took in the few weeks and months before you were baptized, when you were looking toward membership in the remnant church. Think of how many changes came into your life. Did you change the day you observed as the Sabbath before you were baptized into this church? Or, did you make some changes in your diet? Did you make changes in your dress? Did you take off some adornments? Did you make changes in your amusement? Did you make any changes in the way you spent your money? I could go on with a long list friend, but do you know that’s a lot of changes to make?
Now, may I ask you another question? How many other changes have you made since you were baptized? It would be too bad to discover that some of us had made some changes that we were closer to the world now than the day we were baptized. That would be serious, wouldn’t it be friends?
If we’ve picked up any idol that we once had broken, and have mended it, and put it back upon the shelf and started to worship it that would be too bad. It is Heaven’s plan in getting us ready for the Latter Rain, which is to get us ready for Jacob’s trouble, which is to get us ready for the last battle and the coming of Jesus. It is Heaven’s plan that we shall keep taking steps. Those don’t stop when we’re baptized. They do not stop until we see Jesus coming in the clouds. Every day we’re to become more like Him, less like what we were, and more like what we shall be. It’s a challenge isn’t it?
God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pg. 187
Ah, it happens so many times. *A number of years ago, a dear woman and her daughter came to some meetings being held week after week, and the changes began to come. They began to keep the Sabbath. They joined my baptismal class. The jewelry came off. Oh, so many changes. They were just drinking in the truth and thanking God.
One night I noticed they weren’t there. You know what I found out? In the baptismal class before, the last one they attended; we had presented God’s plan in the tithe. That touched the pocketbook which lies close to the heart in many people’s anatomy.
And my dear friends, although they had accepted the Sabbath and made many changes other changes in their thinking and their life, and were drinking it all in; when the word of God touched that thing, that was the point where they stopped. They said, “This is as far as we go.” Of course, then they began to backtrack, and go down the steps instead of up.
It happens within the church as well as on the threshold of the church. Many a soul reading these books of the Spirit of Prophecy comes to some statement that if he would accept it at face value, would mean a decided change in his life, perhaps in his home. And he looks at that thing and he says, “My, does it say that?” He reads it again, does it say that? And unless his heart is heart to heart with Jesus in wanting to climb those steps and climb them fast, you know what he may do? — he may go to this one and that one and even to some preacher (God pity him) to try to find an excuse for evading that statement.
And may I promise you something? If you’ll look long enough and hard enough, you’ll find someone who will agree with you that it doesn’t mean what it says. That’s what you’ll find. It doesn’t make any difference what subject it is. Whether it’s on reading fiction, or the type of amusements you engage in, or worldly dress, or worldly music, or worldly education, or a hundred other points. When we come face to face with the counsel of the True Witness, oh how foolish it is to run to human counsel, to cancel out that counsel, my friends. This is the solemn testimony on which the destiny of the church hangs.
Those who come up to every point and stand every test, and overcome be the price what it may, have heeded the True Witness. They will receive the Latter Rain and thus be fitted for translation. Let me tell you friend, when God gets His army ready, it’s going to be a wonderful army. We’re in the training period now. While we have little skirmishes as it were with the devil and his hosts; the real battle lies ahead. God’s people are getting ready. God is getting His people ready. But God is going to have an army so fully committed to obedience to Him that anything He tells them to do, they will do it at once. We need to foster that spirit of prompt obedience, what do you say?
Come Up To The Help Of The Lord
Now there’s another point in this matter of getting ready. I want to notice in Early Writings, pages 269-271, we are given a view of the shaking which is the experience of the church as it receives the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness. You’re familiar with this chapter; you will remember that as the result of this shaking many are shaken out, but others will come in from the world and join the remnant church. God’s going to have a full army. It isn’t going to be just a few scattered individuals here and there that engage the devil. He’s going to have an organized triumphant church — This church, the Seventh-day Adventist church.
Now the picture here in Early Writings is a thrilling one. The prophet says it thrilled through her whole being, as she saw it:
My attention was then turned to the company I had seen who were mightily shaken…The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. – Early Writings, pg. 270
No wonder it thrilled the prophet. For years her heart was burdened and sorrowful over the failure of this one and that one to carry out the Lord’s instruction. Her heart bled over the schisms and divisions and criticisms and fault-finding. When in holy vision she saw the remnant church moving in exact order like a company of soldiers, it thrilled her whole being. Friends, if we’ll get the vision, it’ll thrill us too. What do you say we come into line? Vol. 8: Oh this is one of the most thrilling views of the closing conflict that I know of anywhere:
In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world’s insignia; the other was led by the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe… – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, pg. 41
Brother, sister, have you let down any of those standards? Has some banner that God committed to your hands been left to trail in the dust? Then God pity you and help you to awake and arise before it’s too late.
“Standard after standard was left to trail in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe. and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God.” – Ibid
In this battle in which we’re going into there’s going to be people changing sides. There’s going to be deserters both ways. Sad to say, members of the remnant church are going to desert God’s standard and join the enemy as the pressure and persecution increases. But praise the name of the Lord, the faithful ones scattered all through Babylon are going to leave the fallen churches, and leave the godless world and take their stand with the remnant people of God. This is a triumphant movement.
An angel flying in the midst of heaven put the standard of Immanuel into many hands, while a mighty general cried out with a loud voice: Come into line. Let those who are loyal to the commandments of God and the testimony of Christ now take their position. Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters. Let all who will come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.’ – Ibid
Read the whole page, it’s wonderful friends; now to Joel the 2nd chapter. This is the trumpet call for this hour. This is Heaven’s invitation, nay, urgent command to prepare for the Latter Rain, and the power for the finishing of the work.
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand. – Joel 2:1
…also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. – Joel 2:12
Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD… – Joel 2:15-17
The 18th verse, the Lords going to hear, and He’s going to do something. The 23rd verse, He’s going to pour out the glorious Latter Rain in double power. The 28th verse: He’s going to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. Where are we now? Are we in that last attack of the enemy just before the coming of Jesus? No, we haven’t gotten there yet. Are we in Jacob’s trouble? Are the plagues being poured out around us? No, we haven’t arrived at that yet. Are we in that short time of trouble just before probation closes when the loud cry is sounding and the miracles are being worked, mighty miracles? Is that the time we’re in? No, we haven’t come to any of those times yet.
We are in this period of preparation, step by step, which will lead us at last into the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We are in the early half of Joel 2. We’re in the time when God is summoning us to let ordinary things be left behind while we unite at the Sanctuary to seek God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Shall we respond? Or shall we simply go on trying to keep up with the Joneses, making more and more money to spend more and more on fine cars, expensive furniture, expensive homes, and all the equipment, and gadgets and gimmicks that call for money, money, money; which in turn calls for work, work, work, work, work; just to keep up our status? I know we have to live. But I’ll tell you it’s a pity to pour most of our time into that which will last such a short time.
Who will be survivors? Who will be survivors?
A friend of mine was telling me about an experience that happened a number of years ago. A vessel was coming back from Alaska. Many of the passengers were men who had gathered gold in the gold rush up there. They were coming back to San Francisco, they had their gold. On the way a storm came, and the ship was wrecked.
As they were abandoning ship, there was one of those men that had filled his belt with gold dust. He had that belt buckled around him. He was a rich man with what gold he had. But as he looked at those waves he unbuckled the belt and threw it down. He picked up a couple of little oranges that were there, and secured them so that he wouldn’t lose them, and plunged into the sea, and swam ashore.
Ah my dear friends, what are you hanging on to? That which will sink your soul in this last, closing hour? Or are you learning to take hold of those things which will fit you physically, mentally, and spiritually for the greatest ordeal of the ages, and enable you to come off triumphant, singing the song of victory with the remnant church? May God grant us good sense in this hour of decision.
Again, the question is asked: What are you hanging on to?
Next week, join us, as we continue on with our class rotation. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.