Greetings MOL Family!
If someone said that they had the key to survival, and they were willing to show you how to gain access to it, what would you do?
Here’s The Key
Our study today begins with 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter presents in a wonderful way the key to survival. If we learn the lesson that the Apostle gives us here, we shall be among the survivors. If we fail to learn this lesson, we shall not.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [love], it profits me nothing. Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believeth all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-7
You see, here is survival. Love endures how much? — All things. Then if you have love, how much can you endure? — All things.
Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abides faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. – 1 Corinthians 13: 8-13
Yes, love is the key to survival. If we have it, we can bear all things and endure all things, and never fail. And believe me friends; we’re going to be called upon to endure all things, and to bear all things. If there’s anything you can’t bear, be sure that’s what you’re going to meet. If there’s anything you can’t endure, put it down, that’s what’s going to happen to you. I hope for your sake and Jesus’ sake, it happens before the final examination.
We must pass 100% in this examination on survival. Fortunately, the questions have been distributed. We can know exactly what the examination will ask us. But if you’ve made some reservations, if you have said, “Well, if they ask me that question, I know I’ll fail”, then be sure that question will come up.
Have No Fear
You see, there are 2 examiners in this examination on survival. One is God, and the other is satan. God is going to let satan ask any question he wants. He’s going to let satan test every one of us during the great time of trouble – Jacob’s Trouble. He’s going to test us in every way short of actually dying. And the death decree will be hanging over our heads, so we’ll go through that test too, even though we don’t actually die.
There’re some things harder than death; you know that, don’t you? But, there’s nothing to be afraid of… I mean n-o-t-h-i-n-g to be scared about.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: [that’s now] because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment [and doesn’t it friends?]… – 1 John 4:17-18
We’ve already studied in this series those words of Jesus, that in this last generation men’s hearts would be what? — failing them for fear, and for looking after those things that are coming upon the earth. If we look where they look, we will share their fears. But if we look to Jesus and receive His love, perfect love casts out all fear. Isn’t that wonderful, friends? You and I don’t have to be fearful. We don’t have to be worried. We don’t have to be scared.
…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
We know God loves us, and we know we love Him. If we should suffer for His sake, that’s a glory, and a joy, and a privilege. If we’re called to be martyrs for Him, to lose our lives, we join that wonderful band of Able, and John the Baptist, of Stephen, and Paul and Peter; and that line of holy men and women and children who, through the ages, will wear the border of red on their garments.
Oh friends, there’s nothing that can frighten the child of God, whose heart is filled with love; who knows that God loves him and who knows, he’s settled that he loves God. Do you have that love right now? Do you have that kind of love? Do you? Ah, let me tell you, if you say, even in your heart, “Yes, thank God, I do”, believe me the great enemy has a committee that’s going to test you – tonight, tomorrow, next week. He’s going to find out how much you can endure. And God will let him do it, to a point; He did with Job. That was the test with Job you remember.
satan had to get God’s permission just how far he could go. But finally, God let satan do anything to Job, except actually kill him. That’s what’s going to happen to the Remnant, just what happened to Job. The devil can do anything, except actually kill them. How did Job endure the test? His hope, at sometimes, went out. His faith, at times, trembled. But in love he said:
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him… – Job 13:15
…he knows the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. – Job 23:10
That’s the experience of the Remnant. The greatest survivor in history is none other than the Captain of our salvation, our Lord, Jesus Christ. His greatest test, His greatest battle was in Gethsemane and on the cross; as He went through those dark hours.
He Loved Me That Much
Faith and hope trembled in the expiring agonies of Christ… – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, pg. 210
But there was something that never trembled. You know what that was? — love, why, yes.
…although He had the most fearful conflict with the powers of darkness, yet, amid it all, His love grew stronger and stronger. – Ibid., pg. 212
Isn’t that wonderful? Why, yes there on the cross, as the devil said to Him, “If you give your life for men there’s not many of them are going to accept you anyway; and you’ll go down in separation from Your Father, and will never see His face again.” Faith and hope trembled. He could not clearly see through the portals of the tomb. But there was one thing that was settled. He loved me so much that if it meant eternal separation from His Father…; He loved me that much to pay my debt and opened the gate for me; even if it meant to close it for Him eternally. He would open the gate for me at the sacrifice of His life. Oh, friends that’s wonderful love, isn’t it?
We’re going to need as much of that love as our poor, little hearts can hold, to go through the great crisis ahead; that time of trouble that will soon begin, and wax worse and worse, harder and harder, deeper, higher, broader. Oh, that time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.
But love will take us through friends. For love bears all things, endures all things, love never fails. Do you have it? Oh, that God may give us an ample portion, everyone of us!
A Love Letter, From The Bridegroom
Because the Remnant church faces this tremendous ordeal, the True Witness has sent a message to us. Turn to Revelation 3. This is the Laodicean message. Note please, that it is a love letter from the heavenly Bridegroom. He longs for the day when He and His bride, His church, can be fully, and eternally united. It is for this that He prays day by day, at the mercy seat. And now from that Sanctuary above, He sends this message — This letter of love to you and me, down here in this world.
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou may be rich; and white raiment, that thou may be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou may see. – Revelation 3:18
You know what the gold is, don’t you? It’s faith and love. – Just what we’re studying about today. Of those two, love is the most valuable. I counsel thee to buy of me what? — Gold. Now this is the counsel of the True Witness. Isn’t that what He says? The 14th verse, He’s the faithful and True Witness. The 18th verse, I counsel thee to buy of me gold.
Please get this clear, for in Early Writings we are told what the counsel of the True Witness will do, for those who accept it. This is the chapter on the shaking. As Jacob’s Trouble precedes the coming of Jesus, and as the Latter Rain precedes Jacob’s Trouble, so the Shaking precedes the Latter Rain (Early Writings, pages 269-271).
We see God’s people when they have received the latter rain, their countenances aglow with light and love, moving in exact order like a company of soldiers, and going out to give the loud cry and gathering in from Babylon all the true hearted, before the final pouring out of the plagues. That’s the latter rain, the loud cry coming during that short Time of Trouble. But now, this shaking time then precedes that. I want you to notice what it is that brings about the shaking:
I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. – Early Writings, pg. 270
What causes the shaking? — The straight testimony. What causes the straight testimony? — The counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. Now notice carefully, and you’ll see that – we have 2 causes, and 2 effects:
I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. – Ibid
Again, what causes the shaking? – The straight testimony. And what brings about the straight testimony? – The counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans.
This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people. – Ibid
Now let’s study this, for this is most vital. I wish everyone of you’d study that paragraph until you know it by heart. Not because you tried to memorize it, but because you’ve gone over it so many times you can’t help but remember. Study it on your knees.
Dear friends, if receiving the counsel of the True Witness will bring about the straight testimony, and if the straight testimony will bring about The Shaking, and if The Shaking will bring us on to the Latter Rain, and the latter rain will give us power to give the loud cry, and the Loud Cry will finish the work and prepare us for translation, don’t you think we ought to be interested in the thing that starts that chain reaction?
Are You Ready?
This is so important my friends, events come in order, we’re told. Anybody that knows anything about agriculture sows a crop if he expects to reap a crop, is that right? So we have it here. Receiving the counsel of the True Witness brings about the straight testimony. Giving the straight testimony causes what? — The Shaking. The Shaking leads us on to what? — The Latter Rain. And The latter rain gives power to give the loud cry and finish the work. Then we can go through Jacob’s Trouble and Jesus will come.
Now we’ve been hanging right at that point for a long time. As far as fulfilling prophecy is concerned, all around us in the world, there are tokens of the coming of the end. Yet things have been held back for decades. The closing scenes that could have been here long ago, they’re not here yet. Why not? — Because before Jesus comes, we must go through Jacob’s trouble. But if we’d go through it today, we’d all fail.
Before we can go through Jacob’s Trouble, we must have the latter rain. Well, why don’t we have that? — Because we’re not ready for it. What will prepare the church for that? – The Shaking, the straight testimony. But what will bring about the straight testimony? – Ah, this is the key, my friend, receiving the counsel of the True Witness.
May I tell you friends; here and there are individuals who are perfectly willing to give what they call the straight testimony. The question is, have they received the counsel of the True Witness?
Do you remember back in the days of David, that day when Absalom died, and Joab selected a young man and said, “Run and bear tidings to the king, tell him what you’ve seen.” There was another young man there. Do you remember what he said? “Let me run. I want to bear tidings.” No, the commander said, “You will not bear tidings today.” Oh, but he said, “Let me run.”
Finally, the commander did just what God sometimes does. He lets people do what they are determined to do. So, he said, “Alright, run.” Interestingly enough, he was so full of enthusiasm that he ran, and took a short cut, and got there before the messenger that the commander had sent. But you remember when he got there, he didn’t have much to say. He could not answer the questions that were put to him.
The king finally had to say, “Turn aside and stand here.” Then the chosen messenger arrived. He gave the king the word that the commander sent him with.
And so, my dear friends, as we studied in earlier lessons in the course, we need to learn to wait for God’s time in this program. All the shouting and the ranting, the writing of men, trying to point out the mistakes of the church, will not in itself bring the true shaking and the true latter rain. If their efforts, these human efforts, these self-appointed reformers; if efforts like that would have brought about the true shaking, and brought the true latter rain, we would have been in the kingdom long ago (for there has been a whole parade of self-appointed messengers). But every decade has seen some new star arise, blaze like a meteor, and then fade out in like manner.
No, my friends, as we must wait for the true Christ, as we must wait for the true Latter Rain, so we must wait for the true reformation.
He hath made everything beautiful in His time. Therefore wait, I say, in the Lord!
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.