Greetings MOL Family!
The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Have you noticed things around you changing? Without question, it is high time to awake out of sleep, for (more than ever) our salvation is nearer than when we believed…
Consider What’s Ahead
Let’s read something interesting from Early Writings:
The Lord has shown me repeatedly that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands and strangers would reap their fields. Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water shall be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger; for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary He would send ravens to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites. – Early Writings, pg. 56
Has God fed His people in special times of need before? Did He feed His people for 40 years when there were no stores to buy from, and no place to grow any food out there in the desert? Did they get along all right? Oh, yes. Did He fed Elijah out there by the brook? God fed him, but who did God send? – Ravens. When the brook ran dry so there was no more water, where did the Lord send him? — Over to that widow.
Imagine having to go to a widow’s home to get something to eat. When he got there how much did she have? Just enough meal to make one little meal, for the woman and her son, that’s all. But on that little bit, multiplied by the miracle working power of God, she and her family and the prophet lived for how long? – Read the story there. More than a few days; look it up, that’ll be good for you this Sabbath.
Because, dear friends, we‘re going through the experience of Elijah before we go through the final act in Elijah’s life. Do you remember the last thing that’s recorded of Elijah? He was translated to where? – Heaven, without seeing death. Is that the experience of the Remnant church? Won’t that be wonderful? I want to ask you something, friends: would you be willing to go through a time of famine and stress, as Elijah did, and be fed miraculously and not know where your next meal was coming from? Would you be willing to do that? Well, that’s what’s ahead of you, during this time of boycott as the persecution gets greater and greater.
Now turn over to Isaiah the 33rd chapter. If you note the preceding verses, it’s the time when the sinners in Zion are afraid, the devouring fire is at work, the everlasting burnings are manifest. But the 15th verse says that the man who walks righteously, turns from all sin, shuts his ears from hearing of sin, and shuts his eyes from seeing sin. The 16th verse:
He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. – Isaiah 33:16
Moffett translates it, “As in a stronghold on the cliff secure his bread provided and his water sure.” Has God promised us bread and water? Somebody says He hasn’t promised us ice cream and cake through that time. But we won’t need that, will we? He’s promised us our needs.
…my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
You see then, we have a promise of miraculous feeding here. Bread shall be given him, his water shall be sure; and notice it’s up in the mountains. He shall dwell on high his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks. This is the way the Waldenses went through the terrible persecutions of the Dark Ages. The Remnant people of God, some of them, will be brought into that time.
A Time of Preparation Needed
Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. It was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. – Early Writings, pg. 56
I want to ask you something: looking at this time of trouble when the plagues are falling, will it be possible for us to hold onto our houses and lands through that time, and use them to solve our economic problems? Why, no, it won’t. Some of you are thinking of other statements, we’ll notice them later.
But just now I want you to fix your eyes on this great time of trouble, during the time when the plagues are falling, just before Jesus comes when the wrath of all the world is against the Remnant church, and they’re attempting to force God’s people to take that mark. They’ve passed the death decree, and this economic pressure is increasing. Here is a very interesting message on this that I want to share with you. This is the letter that the Lord’s messengers, Sister White wrote to Elder Butler and Elder Haskell on January 20, 1884 – that’s a long time ago, isn’t it? Elder Butler was president of the General Conference at this time. Now pay close attention to these few lines as we read them:
“Friday night several heard my voice exclaiming, ‘Look, look, the time of trouble was upon us.’ I saw a people in great distress weeping and praying, pleading the sure promises of God while the wicked were all around us mocking us and threatening to destroy us. They ridiculed our feebleness. They mocked at the smallness of our numbers, and taunted with words calculated to cut deep. They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest of the world, and they had cut off our resources so that we could not buy and sell, and they referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition.”
I want to ask you something friends, do you think there’s an air-conditioned Pullman between here and the Holy City? What do you think? Are there going to be some troublous times? Notice those last words: “Abject poverty and stricken condition.” I wonder what it’s going to be to go from expensive homes, lavishly furnished homes that have cost tens of thousands of dollars into an experience like this? I wonder what it’s going to be [like]? I wonder if we need a bit of a weaning period. I’m going to study that with you in future lessons. But just now, I’m looking at the ultimate, during this great time of trouble, when the plagues are falling.
“They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest of the world, and they had cut off our resources so that we could not buy and sell, and they referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition.”
Well, I wonder if we want to go that road, if that’s what’s ahead? I wonder. Those who love Jesus enough to make any sacrifice will want to go with Him to the end. You remember when the Savior was here, He selected John, and Peter, and Andrew; Matthew and Thomas, and the rest. He asked them to leave what they were doing and come and follow Him. One of them finally betrayed the Lord, but the other 11 followed Him all their lives. All but one of those died a martyr’s death. Peter was crucified you remember. James was beheaded. Others were killed in other ways. They filled up their lives with service for Jesus, then crowned the life of service with a death of suffering. Would you be willing to follow Jesus, if that’s what it means?
He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me. – Matthew 10:37-38
We may all sleep in comfortable beds tonight, but some of the last nights we spend in this world will be spent either on the cold floor of a dungeon, or out in the caves of the mountains of the desert. Do you want to go that road, or would you rather take a detour? We shall probably all have a good breakfast in the morning, with anywhere from a half dozen to 20 things to choose from. But at the last meals we take in this world, if we’re following the pathway of the Remnant, all we’re promised is what? — Bread and water.
I suppose most everybody today owns a car. Some own 2 or 3. But I want to tell you something, friend, the last trips we make in this world will not be in an automobile. They’ll be like the early church took their trips. How did Jesus get from Galilee to Jerusalem? – He walked. And how did the early apostles travel, as they went from city to city and nation to nation preaching the gospel and healing the sick, how did they get there? — They walked.
I ask again friends, I wonder if we need a period of preparation? To go from the soft, easy life – did I say easy? It’s certainly soft; some things about it are very hard. Because this soft life that most people are living now has a lot of worry and tension in it, doesn’t it? In the combination of the lack of physical exercise and the great increase of mental tension is causing ulcers, high blood pressure, coronary heart attacks, and many other conditions. And so, really, it isn’t the sacrifice that it seems when the Lord calls us away from that life of luxury and ease and softness. And warns us that we had better be getting ready for something more strenuous physically; and yet friends, a life in which we trust God.
Don’t you think we’ll need some trust in God to leave comfortable homes and take the trail for the mountain or the desert? Why, it would scare some people to death, wouldn’t it? Why would any sensible person leave a comfortable home and start for the wilderness? Ah, he would rather do that than take the mark of the beast. And you read there in Revelation 13, there is coming a time when the only people that will be allowed to buy or sell are those that what? — take that mark of the beast. And the message of God says, if you do that, then you turn your back on Jesus.
Oh friends, these are real things, these are practical things. I pray that every one of us will be among the survivors – those that win with Jesus, instead of going down in destruction with the enemy. For a short time, this world will seem to have things going their way. For a short time, the dragon and the beast, and the false prophet will seem to have everything cemented, and only a little Remnant, as a fly in the ointment. But that is but that dark hour that comes just before the dawn. Because, when the world thinks that it has settled the fate of God’s people, and condemned them all to death, then Jesus will appear, and He put an end to all the plans of satan.
When we resume this “survivor” study, I want to study with you God’s plan for the intermediate period. It is not the same plan as for the great time of trouble. We’ve seen, in today’s lesson, that the angels are going to feed us. Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure through that great time of trouble. But there is a preliminary time of preparation, with a different method of provision from the Lord…
Next week, we will be continuing on with our class rotation. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
Jesus told his disciples, “I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe” (John 14:29). There is a work of preparation needed at this time; for something great and decisive is about to take place… >> Learn More
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.