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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Don’t fixate on the coming tribulation

Warning: This is a long post, but a very important issue, and a good read. I hope you can follow it to its end.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14,15).

“I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Is. 14:23). “Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matt. 3:12). Let the fear of God sweep you into Jesus’ arms or you will attempt to sweep Jesus into your arms, and the alternative will be your destruction.

Listen to the word of the Lord to us today who are standing before a tidal wave of evil, this juggernaut of persecution and world regime rapidly moving toward us like the front of a horrendous storm. Jeremiah’s counsel is a message to the people of the remnant church today as well as to the whole world. “A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.” (Prov. 25:26). While this proverb tells us that we need not bow before the falsehoods of the swiftly coming Roman totalitarian church-state, yet neither must we physically fight it in self-defense. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25).

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim. 3:16,17). “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Cor. 10:11-13).

Since all of God’s word is eternal, then the following message from the Lord, which though, bore repeating in Jeremiah’s biblical book many times for emphasis; and the Lord’s counsel having stood true in his day is good for all time, and especially our day.

“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
Thus saith the Lord to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,
And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;
And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;
I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto Me.
And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.
And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.
But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in My name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste?
But if they be prophets, and if the word of the Lord be with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon.
For thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city,
Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;
Yea, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem;
They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.” (Jer. 27).

“The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, when king Zedekiah sent unto him Pashur the son of Melchiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, saying,
Enquire, I pray thee, of the Lord for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the Lord will deal with us according to all His wondrous works, that he may go up from us.
Then said Jeremiah unto them, Thus shall ye say to Zedekiah:
Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Behold,I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, wherewith ye fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans, which besiege you without the walls, and I will assemble them into the midst of this city.
And I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.
And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.
And afterward, saith the Lord, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.
He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.
For I have set My face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
And touching the house of the king of Judah, say, Hear ye the word of the Lord;
O house of David, thus saith the Lord; Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor, lest My fury go out like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the Lord; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?
But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the Lord: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.” (Jer. 21).

“The Lord shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the Lord, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
Then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.
For I will set Mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
And I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart.

And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.
And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.” (Jer. 24).

Trusting in guns instead of in the Lord will not profit. And if we try to use them we are only proving ourselves to be rotten figs. If we trust in human measures to survive the time of trouble, we are only fighting against God, who brings it to us for our glorification.

“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at My mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.
For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.
They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.
The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.
For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.
Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:
Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.” (Is. 30:1-13).

“For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.” (Jer. 37:10). “And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.” (Jer. 25:35).

Humbly accept the present and future trouble as punishment and badly needed discipline.

“Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying,
Thus saith the Lord, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.
Thus saith the Lord, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.
Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.
Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire.” (Jer. 38:1-6).

Accepting the chastening of the Lord is not a popular message. Yet, this is what we today need the most. “There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2Pet. 2:1,2). Many will stand up against the truth, feigning the power and great light from God, and multitudes will follow the wrong voices.

“And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon:
And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the Lord,
Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the Lord do so: the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord’s house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.
Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people;
The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.
The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.
Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it.
And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.
For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.
Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.
So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.” (Jer. 28).

“And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.…
And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant:
I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
And I will set My face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.…
And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.” (Lev. 26:6-8,15-17,36-39).

It is because Protestants have left God and His Law that our enemy has returned to destroy us. If the Protestants will accept God’s punishment via Rome and learn to rest in His discipline, to repent and return to Him in childlike obedience, then He will quickly come to our aid and prepare us for His second coming, and the end of Satan and sin.

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.
And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.
For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee.” (Is. 30: 15-19). If we do not rest in Christ, we are bound to flee from the enemy (and be caught).

After King Zedekiah heard the messages of Jeremiah to not fight against Babylon, even in a private meeting with the prophet, Zedekiah fought anyway and found himself fleeing and being brutally punished. When the king should have sought to learn faith and then be able to trust himself into the Lord’s hands, he listened to his unbelieving and unsanctified advisors and princes. His early years prior to Babylon’s invasion had not been filled with learning to surrender to the Lord.

“And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.
And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.
So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.
And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.” (2Ki. 25:2-7).

“And He said, I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend Mine arrows upon them.…
Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.” (Deut. 32:20-23,43).

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto Him.
Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (Ps. 32).

King Zedekiah never wrestled with God for peace and obedience, as did his fathers Jacob and David and Josiah. He joked and laughed in hilarity, hoping that the earnest warnings of Jeremiah were not true. Like many, many today under the Protestant umbrella, and including Adventism, he did not take seriously the stern message of heaven just for that time, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7). In uneasy chuckles the prince of Israel continued hoping upon presumption until his probation was used up. He squandered the peacetime, and now in the crisis he must do as he had trained his mind and heart—flee at the last minute and be tortured, after watching the mighty king of Babylon execute his beloved sons.

Jeremiah faithfully gave his message amidst great physical torment by his brethren. He practiced what he preached, heeding his message to them, “Thus saith the Lord, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.” So Jeremiah left Jerusalem for the unprotected wilderness; but, through difficulty and capture and imprisonment by his own countrymen, the Lord protected him and he survived the confusion of the final Babylonian conquest of Israel.

Many are the historical annals that speak of men butchering others in God’s name. Jehu was one whom God sent, as well as Jeroboam, but who did not do as the Lord desired. “And [Jehu] said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” (2Ki. 10:16). We don’t need to be like Jehu. Neither do we need any more wicked Nimrods, who “was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Gen. 10:9).

We must learn to stop fighting in selfish anger and revenge if we will ever enter the heavenly country of the King of peace, which flows with milk and honey. Because he lashed out in anger in the name of the Lord Moses couldn’t enter the earthly land flowing with milk and honey, this being a lesson for all succeeding generations who have not let the Spirit of God cleanse them “from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2Cor. 7:1). The Protestants who think they must fight against Rome’s New World Order need to learn the lesson the Lord is teaching them through Moses. Jesus’ command was, “Flee unto the mountains.” (Matt. 24:16).

“Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!
And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?
And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the Rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth His water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as He commanded him.
And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the Rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the Rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and He was sanctified in them.” (Num. 20:1-13).

Grumbling and complaining about the New World Order instead of rejoicing–unbelief instead of faith. Let it not be said once of us. Rather, “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Lk. 21:28).

“The law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom. 4:15). We’ve been living in condemnation because Jesus has not been our main focus, which has made us grumblers and implacable. What we need are His acceptance and grace. Without Jesus, Christianity is no better than Judaism or secular hedonism. “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”, “without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…” (Eph. 2:3;Rom. 1:31).

Even if we are waiting for the Lord to come, if we don’t come to Jesus and learn of His meekness and lowliness so that He can put His Law into our heart and give us a new spirit, we do no different than the manservant in Christ’s warning parable who began “to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.” (Matt. 24:49). With Jesus and His love we discover that the Law is good and just and essential for peace with God. We also see that all “the prophets’ messages were of warning and hope.” SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 129, vs. 8.

Josiah had done many good works and instituted a great reformation in Israel in cooperation with Jeremiah. Yet, he failed to learn to stay behind the Lord and to heed the Lord’s messages to him of self-abnegation, which can come from any source—in his case, from Pharaoh. We all have the same difficult lesson to grasp, that the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and that we must leave God’s battles to Him and His holiness.

“After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.
But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy thee not.
Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.
His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.” (2Chron. 35:20-25). “In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s stead.” (2Ki. 23:29,30).

Once Josiah died, all of his reformations ended, and Jeremiah was left to battle the people alone without royal authority. Josiah’s death marked a rapid downward spiral for Israel. If he had let the Lord fight His battles, Babylon’s destruction would have been delayed. Let’s not fail out of the last great reformation, the Latter Rain, by getting caught up in earthly weaponry defending against the Babylon that is extending its power over the whole world today.

When Jesus quoted the great gospel mission to His home church, He skipped over the phrase: “The day of vengeance of our God.” He made no mention of it because it would have fueled the congregation’s thirst for self-glory and self-gratifying revenge on Rome. The Nazarenes didn’t like that message He gave that day or His biblical evidences He cited that they needed much repentance before God would ever fight for them. Today, discretion would be wisdom with regard to vengeance or even self-defense against a new regime coming today. Our first work needs to be beholding Jesus, repentance, and reformation. Once we are humbled and harmless as doves, then we are safe to do the Lord’s work and He is safe to cooperate with our efforts, “that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.” (Phil. 2:15,16).

Without this divine orientation toward Christ and this rebirth, our focus is dangerously self-oriented—self-exaltation, self-pity, self-indulgence, self-preservation.

“And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that He take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” (Num. 21:4-9).

Peter and the other disciples and Jacob were fighters just like the children of Israel Moses had to deal with, as is each member of the human race by nature. But the Lord will put an end to our self-preservation. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a Man with him until the breaking of the day.” (Gen. 32:24). “Peter said unto Him, Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.” (Matt. 26:35). Yet, the next thing they said was, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” (Lk. 22:38).

The end won’t come until the Lord’s people have put down their fists and guns, and He has taught them total and complete reliance on Him and His spirit. “I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when He held up His right hand and His left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” (Dan. 12:7).

Our catastrophes are the Lord’s punishment and discipline. We need to let them have their perfect work.

“And He said, I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend Mine arrows upon them....
Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.” (Deut. 32:20-23,43).

“At the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.
Thus saith the Lord, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.…
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn.…
I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the Lord my God.…
Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.…
For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul....
And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 31:1-4,8,9,18,21,25,26,28).

Notice Jeremiah’s response to this most wonderful promise to his people. “Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.” (vs. 26).

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him:
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” (Heb. 12:1-12).

We don’t need to fight to save ourselves. We are given many beautiful eschatological promises of God’s protection.

“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.
Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
For He bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, He layeth it low; He layeth it low, even to the ground; He bringeth it even to the dust.
The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
The way of the just is uprightness: Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
Yea, in the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for Thee; the desire of our soul is to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee.
With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.…
Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us.…
Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast
.” (Is. 26:1-9,12-20).

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him.” (Jer. 30:7,8).

“Or let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” (Is. 27:5). This is the “how” conversion and salvation get started—disregarding the past and boldly approaching God, taking hold of His life and death, even before we have peace with Him. Will we learn faith and come to Christ now while we still have time? “Surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto Him.” (Ps. 32:6).

Our God will fight for us.

“There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.
I will send My fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.
And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.” (Ex. 23:26-28). “The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.” (Prov. 21:12).

“And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction: and He smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.
Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.
So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.” (1Sam. 5:9-12).

The Lord’s arsenal: hornets, fear, hemorrhoids. Strange indeed, but very tangible and effective weapons! If we would trust the Lord to fight for us, we would not worry or stew in fear. Our current day-to-day battles are preparing us for the big ones ahead, if we return to the Savior every time we fail Him by lashing out at our perceived enemies.

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Ex. 14:13,14).

Do not forget the words of Christ, “The Father Himself loveth you.” John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. Pray more fervently; believe more fully. As we come to distrust our own power, let us trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise Him who is the health of our countenance. Steps to Christ, p. 64.

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.
And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
The Lord shall laugh at him: for He seeth that his day is coming.
The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.” (Ps. 37:1-15).

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:12,13).

The Holy Ghost and a mustard seed grain of faith of massively good quality are needed for God to fight for us, but we must be there with God and be praying to keep our hands off the Lord’s battles and to rest in Him. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13).

“Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation;
And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” (2Chron. 20:14-17). “Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.” (Ps. 91:8).

Elisha’s world view of faith and his servant’s. “When the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2Ki. 6:15-17).

Again, the Lord must fight, not us. If we fight, we have not learned sanctification.

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Ex. 14:13,14).

“Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire:
And His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel.
And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.
And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will He fight with it.
For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; He hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” (Is. 30:27-33).

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
Surely He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.…
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him My salvation.” (Ps. 91:1-7,9-16).

“After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1). A wonderful promise which Israel and the church of Christ would rarely learn.

What will it be for us? “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25).

We heard the first peals of thunder in the USA Patriot Act and U.S. Military Commissions Act, and most recently in the Senate NDAA 1031 National Defense appropriation bill that passed over Thanksgiving weekend. We see how the Protestant denominations’ history of unfaithfulness to God’s Law and gospel compares so closely with Israel’s disobedience to the everlasting covenant. We know what prophecy says about the end of Protestant America.

“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” (Rev. 13:12).

The first beast had the eyes of a man speaking blasphemies for Satan, and the second beast looks nice but speaks like the Serpent.

“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” (Dan. 7:8). “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” (Rev. 13:6). “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Rev. 13:11).

Who shall be able to stand and not cave in to fear for life? “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Is. 33:14).

“He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;” (Is. 33:15). By beholding Jesus we become changed into His same image. “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2Cor. 3:18).

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 3:16-19).

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8).

Sometimes we will have to hear evil reports. Sad, bad news is all part of the formula for our leaning the heaviest on Jesus and His good news. But, as Israel fixated on the serpents coming to bite them with burning venom, if we don’t maximize on the good news of Christ’s life and death, but fixate on the bad news, we won’t have the strength to bear up under the bad, scary news that we read or hear of when it comes. This is not to say we should ignore the bad news of coming tribulation. Like the snakes in the wilderness, we need to let them correct our distracted focus on Jesus. Nevertheless, we must finally be focusing on Christ..

Otherwise, we will become subjects of the grasshopper complex. (“But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”) Remember that Jehovah got very angry over this. (Num. 13:31-33;14:11).

When it comes to power and mental clarity to cope with bad times, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10). Jesus saw the cross coming but did not lose His grasp on God, the source of His strength. He endured the shadow of the coming crucifixion through reciting scripture and determined communion with His Father—“in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Ps. 16:11). His Father’s excellence was ever before Christ, who “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross.” (Heb. 12:2).

John the Baptist periodically and wisely kept his ear open for news of Rome’s advances in subjugating and controlling Israel, and evidence of the Messiah’s appearing. This was not wrong to do, and neither is it for us.

The life of John was not spent in idleness, in ascetic gloom, or in selfish isolation. From time to time he went forth to mingle with men; and he was ever an interested observer of what was passing in the world. From his quiet retreat he watched the unfolding of events. With vision illuminated by the divine Spirit he studied the characters of men, that he might understand how to reach their hearts with the message of heaven. The burden of his mission was upon him. In solitude, by meditation and prayer, he sought to gird up his soul for the lifework before him. Desire of Ages, p. 102.

While we watch and wait, let us “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” (Mk. 13:37;Rom. 12:15).

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