Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to class! As we begin our study today, the question is asked – Do you really want to be a survivor…?
Endure… Unto The End
Let us review Matthew 24. As has been mentioned, this is a great chapter for those who wish to survive. That’s why Jesus gave this instruction. The whole chapter is focused upon the last generation. While it contains many things, which are designed for those who heard the Savior, and for those who would see the destruction of Jerusalem, yet the entire chapter focuses on this last generation.
Now in the 12th and 13th verses, we have the thought that I wish to begin our study with today:
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. – Matthew 24:12-13
These are the survivors, as you see. Those who do what? – endure. How far? — Unto the end.
Some years ago, I visited Florida for the first time; and a friend took me to a large orange packing shed. There were hundreds and thousands of oranges coming in from the groves. Well, they had to be sorted and inspected. They passed through a shoot, and as they went along on this long line, there were places where oranges could fall through into a receiving place below.
At first, the holes were very small; the purpose, of course, was to do what? — To sort out the very small oranges. Then, a little further along the holes were a little larger, and you know, of course what happened. The oranges that were small, but not quite so small as the first batch, they went in through, and so on. As I stood there looking at that. I thought, (if those oranges could think, there’s a medium-sized orange that said), “I’m not going to fall through. I’ve already been through this sorting place, and I didn’t fall through. I’ve already been through this net, this sieve, and I didn’t fall through; I’m going right on through to the end.” But will it? No. There is a place for it to fall through. God help us, as intelligent human beings, to know what’s ahead of us, and to be prepared.
… because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. – Ibid
This indicates people who were once on fire, warm with love for God, but gradually they cooled off.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. – Ibid
Oh, I hope everyone studying these lessons will be one of the survivors. You can be, by God’s grace!
Detect the Deceiver
In our previous study, we found that before the coming of Jesus in power and glory, satan is going to appear as Christ. He’s going to attempt to counterfeit the second coming of Christ. If you haven’t read about it lately, read the chapter on the time of trouble, in Great Controversy. Read the description of satan, as he appears in glory, traveling from place to place, appearing now here and there, healing the sick, and saying some of the same precious truths that Jesus did when He was here. And the whole world is going to be taken in this snare, except the little remnant that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. They will detect the deceiver, even in his disguise. They will not be led astray. They are the elect. They are the survivors. They go through that terrible time of deception, and not one of them fails.
So, when Jesus appears, they say, “Lo, this is our God. We have waited for Him. We didn’t listen to that anti-Christ. We paid no attention to the devil when he came appearing as “Jesus”. This is the One we’re looking for. We’ve waited for Him, and He will save us.”
My point is, before the true Christ comes, the false Christ appears. Before we can ever go through that experience, we must first receive (in its fullness) the glorious Latter Rain, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Last study, we noted that just as satan counterfeits the coming of Jesus before that event, so he counterfeits the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain, before the Latter Rain is poured out. We read that in Great Controversy; that there will be a great religious revival which will sweep the world; and is pictured in 2 Thessalonians, the 2nd chapter: satan and his agents will work with all power and signs and lying wonders. There will be, what is thought to be, a great religious interest. Mighty revivals, and all over the world, people will turn to God; so they think, so they say. And, in the name of Jesus, they will work many marvelous works. There will be false prophecy. There will be false miracles. There will be false revivals. This time is just ahead of us. We’re even now entering into it, my dear friends.
We looked at the story of “this wonderful healing” of a nun, in Naples, Italy. Where the spirit of the late Pope John, so they said, appeared and put his hand upon the stomach of this nun who had an open fistula draining; and she was cured immediately. The doctors came, x-rays were taken, her cancer was cured, and continued to fill her place as a nun. The Catholic Church is wide open to the miracles of spiritualism.
One of the greatest Protestant preachers of New York City would openly tell about the spiritualistic manifestations that he had witnessed, and the communications he had with some of his relatives. Another, one of America’s leading Protestant spokesman, would appear on TV, to champion this idea of communication with the dead.
So, we are right into this great false revival, with its miracles and its healings and all the rest. We’re right on the edge of it. We’re seeing some things; there will be a lot more. But you and I, I trust, will wait through (not wade through, but wait through) these false revivals, waiting for the true baptism of the Holy Spirit. We want the true Latter Rain, which comes from the Sanctuary; not this false spiritualistic manifestation, by whatever name it’s called, that comes not from Heaven, but from hell. It does not lead to obedience to the law of God. It leads rather to transgression of the law.
No Ordinary Time
As we continue with our study, we want to understand what precedes the Latter Rain. As the Latter Rain must precede the Time of Trouble, which fits us for translation, there is something which must precede the Latter Rain. This too will be counterfeited. Let’s study the true first, then we’ll note something about the counterfeit.
Let’s turn to Joel 2. We referred briefly to this before, in view of the approaching day of God. The prophet says it is time to:
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, [and Zion, of course, in the time in which we live means what? – the church] and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: … for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; [Now the 12th verse, watch carefully every word]. Therefore also now, says 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 repents him of the evil. Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him…? – Joel 2:1, 12-14
We need that blessing. The blessing is the blessing of the Latter Rain, as the 23rd verse shows. It is the blessing of the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, as the 28th verse shows. Now, what is it that the church is to do before the Latter Rain can be poured out? It is to come to the Sanctuary, and seek the Lord with all the heart, repent of sin, cleanse the camp, and make room for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
This is the work that belongs to the church in this solemn hour. This is the work that must precede the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. For decades, we have been in the time that God longs to pour out the Spirit, in Latter Rain power. There’s no question about that. It isn’t something in Heaven that is delaying this. It isn’t something in the world around us that is holding this back.
Everything in Heaven, and everything in the world around us, is ready for the final, rapid movements that will usher in the day of God. There is just one thing that waits: The church of God, the people of God. It is a marvel to me, but it is the marvel of divine love that all Heaven waits while you and I go on in our usual vocations and avocations, as if this were an ordinary time. All Heaven is astir. The universe is looking on and waiting for the church of God to recognize that this is the Day of Atonement, not an ordinary time. This is the Day of Judgment, no ordinary hour.
This is not the time to be busy with the usual things. It is the unusual which should occupy our attention, at this time. Note the verse again, the 12th verse:
Therefore also now, says the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart.
It has become fashionable to be lukewarm. It has become fashionable to be not very bad, but not too good. It has become fashionable to be in conformity. People would rather be dead than out of fashion. And that relates to more than dress. As the result, we move along in a Laodicean condition, while the One who gave His life for us knocks at the door and says, “Will you not open, and let Me in?”
Until we do that there is no way for the Latter Rain to fall. All our wishing, and all our hoping, and all our wondering why things don’t happen, will never bring it. We must repent, and repent with all our heart. We must turn from the worldliness in pride, following fashion in dress, in education, in music, in reading, in association, in recreation, and in every other phase of life. We must accept these points which the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy has given us that change the lives. We must, through earnest prayer, discover what is wrong with our lives, and put these things away. We must, by earnest prayer, seek Jesus for His righteousness, and receive it to the point where we cease to break the law of God. The Latter Rain is coming only upon those who obtain the victory over every besetment.
Perhaps we should read that in plain words here in the book Early Writings:
I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. – Early Writings, pg. 71
Oh, that God may help us now to do that. On this page, the prophet tells us she saw some waiting for the time of the Latter Rain, and looking forward to that as the time when they would receive the preparation. This is all out of order. It won’t happen that way. The time for the preparation for the Latter Rain is before the Latter Rain falls.
Let me illustrate it. Suppose we have some land out here that needs something done to it before the rain falls. Perhaps it needs to be seeded. Perhaps the ground needs to be prepared. Shall we wait until the rain falls in copious showers and then try to get out there and work with it, to put in the seed? You can see how foolish that would be. Let us, in faith that the rain will fall, do the preliminary work which God has given us. What do you say?
While some may have responded, and even said “Amen”, may I say friends: the place to say Amen is every morning in our closets, alone with God. And may I be very practical? The reason there is so little early morning communion with God is that the devil has invented a hundred things to keep people up late at night, so that they’re so sleepy-eyed in the morning, that they have to wait until the last minute, and then run around to snatch a bite of breakfast, and off to work or school, or whatever they’re doing.
Do you know what I’m talking about? The place to begin to change this is in the evening. Night is the time for sleep. It’s not the time for midnight snacks. It’s not the time for late parties. It’s not the time to raid the icebox. It’s not the time for ice cream and cake. It’s not the time
for viewing TV into the wee hours. Neither is it the time to catch up on all the things we couldn’t get done in the day light. Night is for sleep. That’s what the Bible says.
And if God could help us on this one thing, of taking the evening to get close to God, and lay down the cares of the day; if at the family altar we could lay the evening sacrifice of confession and praise and at an early hour go to bed, some of us could get up in the morning with a rest of soul, and a joy of heart that we long since missed. Let’s get ready for the Latter Rain. Let’s have time in the early morning to seek the Lord. Let’s get to bed at an early hour, so that we can awake refreshed and seek the Lord.
Therefore also now, says the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. – Joel 2:12
You know that fasting is the health reform that God has given His people. We can’t live on a complete fast in the absolute sense of no food. But we can if we’ll take Ministry of Healing and the book Counsels on Diet and Foods, and do what those books tell us, we can be on a continual fast, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. That’s not our subject now, but if you want a reference on that I’ll give it to you.
Dear friends, the health reform isn’t just to keep us from lung cancer and coronary attacks. The health reform is primarily to get our blood in shape, so our brain can be in shape to think the thoughts of God. That’s the great purpose of it. And we can defeat that not merely by eating the flesh of dead animals, but by filling up on all these artificial sweets that are flooding the stomachs and the bloodstream of American people, filling their teeth with cavities, and their blood stream with those things which raise the blood pressure, deposit cholesterol, and all the rest. God wants His people to come into line in these practical things of life.
My point is, if we’ll get down on our knees in the early morning hour, and study the books that God has given us, we’ll come into all this light. Then, if instead of running around to find somebody who’ll tell us that doesn’t mean what it says, if we’ll be just simple minded enough there on our knees to say, “Lord, if there’s something here you want to change in my life, give me the grace to do it. Give me the righteousness of Jesus that I may have power to meet the enemy, oh, friends, you and I can soon be ready for the Latter Rain.
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
-Continue on to the next study-
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.