Greetings MOL Family!
The time is fast coming when the controlling power of the labor unions will be very oppressive. 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
These Are The Survivors
Based on this quotation, what’s the way to get ready for this time of trouble ahead? — Get out of the cities, and do what? – Get into the country, and begin to do what? — Raise our own provisions.
Now, you may remember what we read from Early Writings, in a previous lesson. Let’s read it again:
Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will have to flee before infuriated mobs. 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. – Early Writings, pg. 56
Well, how do you put all this together? This says there won’t be any use to have houses and lands, or crops because they’ll be taken away from you. Then our opening uotation says get out, and get a place in the country where you can raise your own provisions, for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one. Is this a contradiction? No, it’s not contradiction at all. It’s just a question of the timing of things.
When the National Sunday Law is passed, then begins the short time of trouble. Inspiration speaks of it as a time of trouble. We read that here in Early Writings:
’The commencement of that time of trouble,’ here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or 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. – Ibid., pgs. 85-86
So, there’re two times of trouble, one merging in to the other of course. During this preliminary time of trouble, as the boycott is enforced, the saints will not be able to do what? — Buy or sell. Are they going to survive? Yes. They will be survivors. 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.
You can see, according to this, that it’s going to last more than a few days; because it takes time to grow some food, doesn’t it? It’s going to be long enough, my dear friends, to demonstrate that God has a way to preserve His people, just as Noah’s flood lasted long enough to demonstrate that those who obeyed God survived, and all the rest perished.
Will it make any difference when the crisis comes, whether or not we have done what God told us to do? Why, it will make a lot of difference. “Well” somebody says, “I thought that when the Sunday Law was passed was the time to move out.”
God’s Warning To Us
Let’s read what God says. It’s good to get all these reference together, and read them together.
It is no time now for God’s people to be fixing their affections or laying up their treasure in the world. The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains. And now, instead of seeking expensive dwellings here, we should be preparing to move to a better country, even a heavenly. Instead of spending our means in self-gratification, we should be studying to economize. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pgs. 464-465
Now, let’s look at this. When the National Sunday Law is passed, this will be a sign to us. It’ll be time to do what? – Leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains. You know, when an army is retreating, it’s a planned, orderly retreat. There are stages of retreat. The people of God are going to retreat. Now it isn’t a defeat, it’s a strategic retreat. The Mighty General has arranged it. He says that when the National Sunday Law is passed, that’s a sign to us to leave the large what? – The large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains. There’re at least 3 stages of the retreat spoken of here, you can see that. In other words, this is a gradual thing.
“Well”, says one, “there’s nothing for us to do until the National Sunday Law comes.” Oh, no. These other references say we should now begin to heed the instruction given us, over and over again – Get out of the cities into the rural districts where the houses are not crowded closely together, and where you will be free from the interference of enemies.
The Stages of Retreat
How does this all fit together? Perhaps I can illustrate it in a very simple way. Have you ever crossed the country, and ridden in one of these trains, these long trains where they have the Pullmans, and the coaches, and the dining cars? Have you ever heard the porter, the waiter come through and say, “First call to dinner!”? What can you do? You can go and eat, or you can sit there. You know you can go later if you want to. By and by he comes through again, and what does he say? — “Second call to dinner!” And again, you can wait, or you can go eat. But finally he comes through and says what? – “Last call to dinner!” That means that friends. If you’re going, you go now!
And so, in this call to get out of the cities, for over 100 years the message of God has been sounding to our people: Get out of the large cities, as fast as possible. Get into country locations where you can learn to grow your food. But the last call is this sign of the National Sunday Law. Oh, my dear friends, as I think of the many, many families of our people in these great cities; many of them in debt; many paying not only for their homes, but for furniture, and cars, and all kinds of things. I wonder how will they leave all that when the Sunday Law is passed? Do you see the mercy of God in sending us these preparatory messages to, as fast as possible, get out now?
There’s another reason for it friends. Noah built an ark to save as many (other) people as possible. It finally ended up that only his family, his sons and their family were in there with him; but others could have. If you and I understand what we’ve just been reading, would it be an act of love, as well as an act of faith, to get out ahead of the great swarm of refugees and prepare some places where dear people who are fleeing from the Sunday Law, and the labor unions, and the violence, and the crime, and the terrible difficulties in these cities could come and find a place of refuge? And if you and I are acting under divine direction, might not God lead us to do exactly that?
And remember, this is not a matter (I make it very clear) of storing up food to take us through the great time of trouble when the plagues are being poured out. We read from early writings that this will be of no use for the saints. It’ll be a miraculous provision that takes us through the time of trouble. But friends, would it be a good thing to follow this practical counsel and make provision for getting through the first time of trouble? Would it?
You see, there are 2 different ways here. The angels are going to feed us during the great time of trouble. If you find a reference that says the angels are going to feed us merely because we can’t buy or sell, show me the reference. That would be the easy way to just keep on doing what we’re doing and say, “Well, when we can’t buy or sell any more, the angels will feed us.” But this says the way to get ready for that time is to get out of the cities into the country, learn to raise our own provisions, for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one.
Now don’t misunderstand me friends, this doesn’t say that we’re to start next week to never buy anything anymore. Oh, no. You remember I mentioned previously; we doubtless need a weaning period. But in the light of this counsel, wouldn’t it be sensible to be learning how to depend less and less on the commercial channels and more and more on what God and man can do on the soil?
In God’s inspired Word, there is very practical counsel on not making foolish and haphazard, and rash moves. I suggest that you study very carefully this chapter if you’re contemplating a change, in Selected Messages, Book 2, beginning on page 360, “Guided by God’s Providence.” There are some things we ought to act immediately on. If a rattlesnake is in the path, we’d better get out of his way right now.
But this particular subject we’re studying today calls for calm counsel and careful planning – Read what it said here. Sometimes people have read something about getting out of the cities and they’ve hastily, without knowing what they were going to do, rushed out of the city into the country; and they’ve come back with their heads hanging weeks or months or years later, and said, “We tried it and we nearly starved to death and so we’re back where we were.” Did you ever hear of anything like that? It happens every now and then. If we’ll read the whole counsel of God, friends, we wouldn’t need to do foolish things.
But now back to what we were studying in the beginning of our lesson, last week. Do you remember that dream of the trip? The people of God in this dream started out with what? – Loaded wagons. My, that wouldn’t be enough today would it? You’d have to have a station wagon and a trailer loaded. But the road finally got so narrow that the wagons were what? – Left behind. And finally the luggage, and finally the horses, and finally traveling barefoot on the blood-stained path with bleeding feet.
Ah, friends, let us ask God to give us such a love for Jesus that we will choose the path of sacrifice. Do not misunderstand me, I do not mean to leave the impression that we should get off our comfortable beds tonight and sleep on the floor, just to show we can take it. But I do mean friends that we should be willing to follow the opening providences of God, and not turn down His leading merely because it calls for more sacrificial life. What do you say?
If God is leading you, will He be leading you to an even richer, more expensive standard of living? If God is leading you, when you move from one home into another; and then from that to another, will the home cost more, and the furniture cost more, and it’ll be a step-up in the equipment, the automobiles and all that? Or is the picture that we have read from inspiration one in which the people of God learn to do more and more with less and less? Do you see what I mean?
Do you know we are in a society where your status depends upon how much you spend? Even among the professed people of God, there’s far too much of this. You can buy a new car every year and get a classier one, a richer one with more equipment on it every year. Well, you must be doing pretty well, even if you’re paying interest on the debt. And so, in all the other things that go to make up what is called life today; concerning it all it is written:
There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. – Proverbs 14:12
Oh friends, soon these cities will be destroyed whether it be by atom bombs or by internal violence; whether it be by mob and riot; or whether it be by earthquakes or tidal waves; whatever the method, which ever one of the judgments of God, these cities are marked for destruction. They are citadels of sin – modern Sodom. This world is an awful place.
We’ve been studying the matter of economic survival, and in our last “Survival” lesson for this year, we’re going to study something far more important than economic survival. The survival of the home. Will your home survive? Will your marriage survive? Will the relationship of parents and children survive? – That I want to study with you our next lesson. This is important, to know how to survive the breakup of society, the breakdown of the home.
We’re living in the time of Sodom and Gomorrah brought up to date in the 21st century. But God has a way for your home to survive. You can have a happy home, a successful home through the terrible scenes of the present, and tomorrow.
Now back to our lesson today. I’m so glad that God has been good enough to tell us what the facts are concerning the economic problems of today and tomorrow – aren’t you friends? He’s given us a blueprint. It’s not to judge others, it’s not to reproach others or criticize them, the way they spend their money. That’s a personal matter between them and God. But you and I, if we’re willing can get down in the secret place of prayer and say: “Lord every dollar I have is yours; let me not waste a nickel in trying to keep up with appearances, keep up with the Joneses. Lord, the strength with which to earn money is Yours. The time with which to earn money is Yours. Lord, do You want me to use all my time and strength just in making money? Or have You something for me to learn; and how to use at least part of my time more and more in directly working for Jesus to win souls? All these are solemn and yet glorious, and joyous questions to study alone with God.
If you recognize that this lesson means a challenge to you, that it means that there are probably some changes that God wants to make in your life personally or in your family; if you’d like our prayers that God will help you to find Heaven’s answer to your problem, and you’d like our prayers that God will help you to fit into His plan; if you know that you’re facing a problem over these matters and would like prayer, please let us know, in the comment box, below.
Now dear friends, let me assure you, you can have help. God has organized Heaven to give you help in these matters. All the angels are enlisted.
…they [are] ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? – Hebrews 1:14
Their main desire is to help you walk that upward, narrow, ever narrowing trail. They’ll help you to keep from falling off the precipice as the way gets more narrow. Shall we go or stay? Do you want to stay with the wagons, or shall we go on up the trail? Do you want to stay with the horses, or shall we go on, on foot? Oh, God, give us the spirit of the pioneers. The days of the pioneers are not over. Wonderful things are ahead for those who have the faith and love to venture out with Jesus.
Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for the narrow way, the upward way, the rugged way. We see that there are marks of blood on the pathway, and we know that the feet of our blessed Lord have opened up this way for us. And oh, my Father, we shall not murmur when we remember that He has asked us to endure nothing but what He has already suffered for us. Give us a holy contempt for the luxury, and lavish way of living that is popular in this world today. Give us a love for something more infinitely richer – Fellowship with Jesus. Spoil this world for us; fill our hearts with a home-sickness for Heaven that shall get us going on the trail that leads upward. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Next week, we will be continuing on with our class rotation. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… Maranatha!
The last and final call will soon be made; and we certainly see the world preparing to pass the National (then International) Sunday Law. There’s another ark to build >> Learn How
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.