Greetings MOL Family!
When the psalmist counsels us to wait on the Lord, are we to do so in idle expectancy?
Then & Only Then
This does not mean there’s nothing for us to do. On the contrary, the waiting period is for a certain purpose, and God in Heaven will wait until we’ve done the thing the waiting time is for. What’s that? That’s receiving the counsel of the True Witness.
“Well”, someone says, “Haven’t we done that?” Well, let’s see. What is the counsel of the True Witness? I counsel thee to buy of me what? – Gold tried in the fire, that thou may be rich. And the gold is what? – Faith and love. Do you have faith and love? How much? Do you have enough to go through?
When we have the faith and love that Jesus is counseling us to buy, then we can give the straight testimony; then can come the Shaking; then can come the Latter Rain; then can come the Loud Cry; then can come the finished work; then can come Jacob’s Trouble; then can come the last, great Battle; and then, the appearing of Jesus in the clouds of heaven.
So, what do you say instead of being restless and wondering when God is going to do something, suppose that we listen to His counsel and take it to heart, what do you say?
We Need Love
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. – Revelation 3:19
This love then, is not some silly, foolish, sentimental thing. It’s a deep, earnest longing for our salvation. That’s the love of God. If we have it, we’ll have a deep, earnest longing for the salvation of others. That’s why we will give the straight testimony, when we have this love. But if we try to give this testimony without this love, God isn’t going to work with us. The devil will, and that’ll make a mess, I can tell you; whether it’s in the home, in the school, in the church, or anywhere else.
Now the 20th verse, what does Jesus say? Behold, I stand [where] at the door, and [do what] knock:
if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. – Revelation 3:20
Imagine Jesus standing at the door. Where should He be? – Inside; but He’s standing where? – At the door, and doing what? – knocking. What does He want? Do you want Him in? He wants to fill the heart with love. But that love that we studied [1 Corinthians 13; last week] suffers long, and is kind. It’s not provoked. Do you get provoked? “Oh”, you say, “I don’t until someone does something I can’t stand.”
That’s the point. What did we read? — Love bears all things, endures all things. I wonder, dear friends, if we should insist on going into the 2nd grade, until we’ve passed the 1st grade, what do you say? I think we ought to be busy with our homework, heart work, getting this what? — Love.
Many people are longing for power. But before power we need love, or else we wouldn’t know what to do with the power.
The following is an article that the servant of the Lord wrote in “The Review and Herald”, August 8, 1893. Most of this is in the little book, Our High Calling:
In this world we shall become hopelessly perplexed, as the devil wants us to be, if we keep looking upon those things that are perplexing; for by dwelling upon them, and talking of them, we become discouraged. In criticizing others because they fail to manifest love, we shall kill the precious plant of love in our own hearts. – Our High Calling, pg. 246
Oh, dear ones, if all I get out of this lesson today is to say, yes, that’s what’s the matter with the church. It’s so cold and lacking in love. Look how they treat me. If that’s all I get out of it, then what’s going to happen to any love that might be in my heart? It’s going to get what? – Killed. Who killed it? I killed it. Let’s read this sentence again:
In criticizing others because they fail to manifest love, we shall kill the precious plant of love in our own hearts. – Ibid
Well then, I want to ask you something friends, if we’ve been criticizing other for years, how much love do you think we have left? No wonder the True Witness stands at the door and knocks. He says, “I have something here you need.” But poor Laodicea says:
…I am [what?] rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing… – Revelation 3:17
Ah, dear ones, that God may anoint our eyes with eye salve that we may see; that we may see our need of this gold, this real love, true love; love that can endure, being lied about. And what is sometimes even more, love that can be endured having the truth told about us.
You know, sometimes having the truth told about you irritates more than a lie. Love can take both; real love can, and never get upset.
“Oh”, somebody says, “you’re talking about an angel, and there aren’t any angels on earth, they’re all in Heaven.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Do you think it will ever get done friends? Oh, I know it will. On the day of Pentecost, thank God, it happened.
The early rain, the Pentecostal power, didn’t come until they were all of one accord, in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind, and filled all the house where they were assembled. And 3,000 souls joined that little band that day. Would you like to see that? It’s going to happen. Will you have a part in it? Every bit of criticism must come out of your heart. Every bit of gossip must be cut out of your tongue. Every bit of fault-finding must leave your brain.
Oh, what a standard! But would you want it any less than that? It was murmuring and complaining that started the problem in Heaven 6,000 years ago. There was nothing to complain about, but Lucifer began to spread that virus of murmuring and fault-finding.
Did you ever suffer from it? “Oh, yes. There are a lot of people that murmured about me, and complained about me, and found fault with me.” That’s not what I’m talking about. I say has that virus ever affected you? Has your tongue ever passed on a bit of gossip? Oh, you didn’t call it gossip, but if God called it that friends, it went down in the books the way God calls it, not what you did; not what you called it.
Have you complained, murmured, found fault in the home? Children, do you murmur and complain about your parents? “Ah”, but somebody says, “You don’t know the father and mother I have – you’d complain too.”
I wonder why God gave you the parents He did? Did He make a mistake? Did He know where to put you? I want to tell you something friends: There are some children and young people who, if their parents are so good that there’s nothing to complain about, God may arrange for them to have a training somewhere else where there will be something to complain about; and they won’t complain.
And example of what I mean is Joseph. Did Joseph have anything to complain about his father? – Not a thing. Joseph loved his father, and his father loved him. When he was 17 years old, God said, “It’s time for this boy to meet some real problems.” You remember? His brothers sold him as a slave, and he landed down there in Egypt. He never got a letter from the church pastor. He never had a visit from the church elder.
He didn’t have anybody to pray with or encourage him. And after 10 years of the most faithful service under those discouraging circumstances, he was falsely accused, cast into prison, and there, base ingratitude kept 2 years longer than he should have been there. What did Joseph have? He had faith and love. Hope sometimes trembled and dwindled as the dreary days went by. But faith and love grows stronger and stronger under the test.
Oh, my dear young friends, children and young people: will you learn the lesson to accept the assignment of God’s providence in the home, in the institution, in the church, wherever God’s providence leads you? Will you let God give you such love that you will not murmur or complain?
Church members, how about it? Do you complain about the church elder? Do you complain about the pastor? Do you complain about the Sabbath School superintendent? Ah, someone says, “If you knew what we had to put up with, you’d complain too.”
Well, if I would, friends, then I’m not ready for the latter rain. I’m not ready to give the straight testimony until I can learn Heaven’s way of love. I’m not ready for any of these wonderful, solemn, and glorious events that lie ahead. I wouldn’t survive. I’d go down and out. Read the lesson in Early Writings in this chapter (on “The Shaking”).
Those who do not enter into a prayer experience and plead with God for this gift of love will grow indifferent and careless. They will rise up against the straight testimony when it is given. And eventually be sifted out of the church in the days of persecution that comes just before the close of probation.
Now is the time to lay in a stock of gold – love; faith and love.
The sad thing is that too many think that the way to get God’s work done is to take the sword out and start chopping. Peter tried that in Gethsemane; aimed for a man’s head and cut off his ear. Jesus had to stop and heal him, rebuke Peter for his foolish zeal. Peter got offended and ran away.
Oh, there are thousands in the church today that would rally, oh so fast, to the call to get the sword on, and get busy, and clean up the church. But they do not know how to go to the secret place of prayer, and there plead with God, until love melts their heart and gives them what is needed to change things in Heaven’s way.
What will you do as the Master knocks? Let Him in. Oh, I wish that somebody studying this lesson would lay down the sword of criticism and fault-finding. I wish that somebody would become a non-combatant. I wish somebody would put the sword in its sheath, and never let it out again, to pierce a brother or a sister.
I’m talking about us here, friends; I’m not talking about the Gentiles. I’m not talking about Babylon. I’m talking about you and me. This is one of the greatest barriers that stand between us and the Latter Rain. This sin (I cannot call it anything less) of talking about the faults of our brothers and sisters, high and low, near and far.
Let nothing but kind, loving words fall from your lips concerning the members of your family or of the church. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, pg. 437-438
I hear people even talking about their families: husbands, wives, parents, children, brothers, sisters — Talking about one another. Oh, Jesus weeps over all such.
“Ah”, but someone says, “Look what they say about me.” What did Jesus do when He was reviled? He reviled not again.
Will you put down the sword? Is there somebody studying with us who will put down the sword? That will see this wicked thing of fault-finding, and criticism, and talking about the mistakes of others; will see if for what it is – The devil’s barrier that stands between us and the Latter Rain, and the finishing of the work. Will you put it down, my friends?
Will you accept the gold of love? Believe me, if a man has enough love, he’s not going to talk about somebody. I know that. You could try every way you could, and you couldn’t get my wife to say things bad about me. It isn’t because she doesn’t know a lot of my faults either. She knows them better than anyone in the world. I don’t think you could get her to say a word of fault-finding, or criticism, or murmuring, or complaining. And it isn’t because she has such a wonderful husband. It’s because the Lord has put into her heart love.
That’s it, that’s all it takes; but it takes all of that my friends. And if you love the church you won’t be criticizing it. If you love the leaders, you won’t be finding fault with them and spreading reports of their mistakes. And in the home, husbands, wives, parents, and children, brothers, and sisters, if you have love you’ll want to cover the multitude of sins.
That’s what it takes; it takes all of that. Would you like to seek for it? Oh, I wonder if there’s anybody that the arrow from God’s quiver has reached your heart? If you recognize that this is your need, and by God’s grace you’re going to do just what He says, seek Him with all the soul, for this love, which will set things to moving for the finishing of the work. Is anybody like that, today?
Talk to God personally, individually. Open the door, and plead with Him for that gold of love. Tell Him you mean business. You’re laying down every bit of that criticism, fault-finding, circulating reports, telling about the faults of others; you’re going to get that love which will cover the multitude of sins — Then and only then will God give you a commission to give the straight testimony. Then and only then will you be equipped to have a part in the finishing of the work.
Heavenly Father, in our great need, we come to Thee, asking Thee for the love without which all our efforts are indeed like sounding brass, and tinkling cymbals. We pray for the melting love, the tender love, the forgiving love, the enduring love.
Oh, we pray for love that will enable us to survive today, that we may get ready to survive tomorrow. We pray for love that will enable us to go through the little times of trouble we’re having now, that we may be ready for the great Time of Trouble ahead.
We pray that we shall never again cover with sanctimonious words, or attitudes, this wicked spirit of gossip, criticism, faultfinding, murmuring, and complaining. Whether in the home or the institution, or the church, banish it from our lives we pray – forever Lord.
May we lay this down like the cigarette slave lays down his package of tobacco. May we put it away like the whiskey slave breaks his bottle, and lets the alcohol flow out. Lord, by Thy grace here at Thy dear pierced feet, we lay down this bundle of self, which has stood between us and the power of the latter rain in all these many years.
Forgive us we pray; help us in the home, in the institution, and the church, to make right where we’ve hurt others and wounded others. And oh, may the humbling of self that this involves be part of the cure of this thing. May we never again take up weapons of carnal warfare.
May we determine that no matter how much we are misunderstood, we shall not speak evil of others. May we be determined that Thy love shall fill our hearts, so that we will want to shelter others, want to cover others, want to protect others.
Lord, this is impossible for us, but not for Thee. Work the miracle of Thy love, just now. We thank Thee in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Next week, we’ll be continuing on with our class rotation. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… Maranatha!
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.