Friday Morning Manna
December 13, 2019
The Listless Unconcern Over Another Gift from Heaven
Generic church and specific denominational histories clearly reveal that the remnant people or chosen ones of the last days identified at the tail end of the long prophetic chain that began in Genesis and ends in Revelation are: (1) “they that keep the commandments of God and faith of Jesus” and (2) “have the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev. 14: 12; 12: 17; 19: 10.
Ah, the “spirit of prophecy” and the “spirit of Christmas!” It is to the latter distinction of “the spirit of prophecy” and as a natural extension of our running topic on the mystery of the incarnation and the nature of Christ— the Gift of all gifts, that we refer to as we address this 2019 Christmas season—where “gifts, gifts and more gifts” are in all lips, whether good or bad. And what gifts are appreciated or ignored.
As everybody knows, though some will not admit, it goes without saying that it is likely nine times out of ten that the best ones, meaning, those that our all-loving, all-wise, always-giving divine Benefactor has pre-determined are for our temporal good as well as eternal salvation that are set aside, ignored and unappreciated. Worse, even ridiculed and rejected.
Common sense, unschooled laymen’s logic and the honest heart will naturally ask, Why should and how can these things be? All would be much better off asking these questions for the answers come quick and simple, according to Bible of course: Because of man’s fallen, sinful, carnal nature. It is only when the “heart of stone is changed into a heart of flesh” and the “carnal mind in changed into a spiritual mind,” the “mind of Christ,” can this trend be reversed. “The things which are seen are temporary but the things which are seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4: 18. “Spiritual things can only be “discerned spiritually.” 1 Cor. 2: 14, 10-16.
One can love man without loving God. That is the love of man. But man cannot love God without loving his fellowmen if the living God of love is truly dwelling in him. Such love begets the love of God. The love of man for man alone is only as “great” and “eternal” as the farthest elastic limits that his mortal, temporal and carnal nature allows and is capable of. By these inescapable natural limitations, such human love is naturally fallible, so easily-influenced, sensually dependent on feelings, fluctuating passions and changing circumstances and environments, thus unreliable, fickle, ephemeral, myopic, short-fused, selfish, self-centered, self-promoting and indulges self-pity.
But God’s all-seeing, “seven eyes” of love, through the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit, sees inside out of man as well as the measureless expanse of His universe and the eternal time of eternity. This is what that love that is unconditional includes and of which only God possesses. Meaning, even when either His early judgments are in the land to awaken the careless and wicked to repent, or when the terrible judgments unmingled with mercy in the final seven last plagues are falling on the finally-impenitent, His love divine, which the carnal mind cannot comprehend and therefore misinterprets, is at work and manifested. The humble righteous understand. The proud and wicked do not.
There is a distinction between God’s divine love and mercy, which is based on His justice and righteousness. God’s love is constant and unconditional. That’s’ why the mercy seat in the ark of the testimony located in the most holy sat on top of His law, as its foundation. His mercy is granted and assured to the sinner who, in contrition, confesses and pleads for undeserved mercy and pardon each time he falls into temptation. He receives it instantly. Justification is instant because it is Christ’s perfect righteousness imputed. It is one’s title to heaven.
Not so with sanctification, which is a process of one’s lifetime, not matter how young or old, short or long.
God’s mercy is specially assured, on the same grounds, to the obedient, truth-loving, truth-preserving, commandment-keeper who sometimes slips and arms of faith sag in weariness “fighting the battles of the Lord where the champions are few” so that they can become even more thankful, intellectually and spiritually settled into the truth, stronger and mightier overcomers in the Lord and in the power of His might! They become “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8: 37, 35-39.
His righteous indignation and judgments fall on the impenitent sinner who persistently rejects heaven’s invitation to repent and turn away from their sins and iniquities—which is what He specifically “hates with perfect hatred” for it is what “separates God from His people.” Isa. 69:2. In justice, God’s mercy and righteousness will “kiss each other” at a given point. This truth and principle are clearly embodied and taught in the second commandment. “Visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those that hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands [of generations] of them that love Me and keep My commandments.” Exo. 20: 5.
None can clearly see or discern spiritually if the eyes are blinded by “the love for the world” and the sparkling “things of this world” (1 John 2: 15-17) that glitter, dazzle, tinkle and razzle more brightly and more loudly and garishly during man’s holidays like the Thanksgiving that blew by (sadly referred to as “Turkey day)” swallowed up by the shopping madness of “Black Friday,” and now, Christmas,— if we don’t know or forget the profound significance of the incarnation in the birth of Christ.
This Christmas 2019, the admonition the remnant people need to seriously heed is taking for granted the special gift of the spirit of prophecy!
The remnant became the remnant not because they claimed to be the one but because the testimony of the Scriptures, particularly the longest and most comprehensive time prophecy of the Bible, which could not be altered by man, declared so.
In determining truth, which is openly under national siege at this very moment of America latter-day history according to Revelation 13, God Himself made it plain as to how it is to be arrived at, which is definitely not “he said, she said” or “my church, past0r or priest said,” but “Thus says the Lord,” “It is written,” “To the law and the testimony, if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light [of truth] in them.”
Notice the great intensity taking hold of the human family today? It is permeating everything upon the earth. History will soon be repeated! See John 6: 53-56. To “eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ” means to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” and satisfy those needs by diligently “studying to show oneself approved to God by rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2: 15) and bearing the heavy cross of self-denial, daily, following after Christ’s example as a true and faithful disciple. (Luke 9: 23).
In the Bible, truth is no truth to those who do not practice it. To profess, preach and even successfully indoctrinate others with the truth yet do not strive to practice its precepts and principles in our daily lives, is self-deception and hypocrisy. That certain “man from the land of Uz, whose name was Job,” and was “the greatest and richest of all people of the East” at that time, “was blameless and upright, one who feared God and shunned evil,” was tested like none of the other godly patriarchs and heroes of the Bible were tested. That’s why the book of Job was written. Here’s what he declared under severe duress, “I have treasured [esteemed, KJV] the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 1: 1, 3; 23: 12, KJV.
Now see what happens, specifically by way of prophecy and its fulfillment to the faithful, including children in the last days of earth, who are of a kindred spirit with the patriarch Job and others of his ilk, the faithful prophets of old and the disciples and apostles of the Christian era:
“Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men. We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in rapid succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. . . . Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated. We, with all our religious advantages ought to know FAR MORE today than we do know! Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to a people who, with contrite hearts are searching the Word of God and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give [no longer “milk” but “meat” or solid food, Heb. 5:12-14). As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. Revelation is full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded the minds of many so that they have been glad of any excuse for not making the Revelation their study!” – Testimonies to Ministers, p.116.
History will be repeated
Prophets wrote more for our time than theirs. The people of prophecy and the sanctuary have no more excuses whatsoever if they repeat the sad history of the chosen people of the past! Notice:
“Even the prophets who were favored with the special illumination of the Holy Spirit, did not fully comprehend the import of the revelations committed to them. The meaning was to be unfolded from age to age, as the people of God should need the instruction therein contained.
“Peter, writing of the salvation brought to light by the gospel, says: ‘Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” 1 Pet. 1: 10-12, N.K.J.V.
“Yet while it was not given to the prophets to understand fully the things revealed to them, they earnestly sought to obtain all the light which God had been pleased to make manifest. They ‘inquired and searched diligently,’ ‘searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.’ What a lesson for the people of God in the Christian age, for whose benefit these prophecies were given to His servants! ‘Unto whom it was revealed that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister.’ Witness these holy men of God as they ‘inquired and searched diligently’ concerning revelations given them for generations that were yet unborn. Contrast their holy zeal with the listless unconcern with which the favored ones of later ages treat this gift of heaven! What a rebuke to the ease-loving, world-loving indifference which is content to declare that the prophecies cannot be understood
“Though the finite minds of men are inadequate to enter into the counsels of the Infinite One, or to understand fully the working out of His purposes, yet often it is because of some error or neglect on their own part, that they so dimly comprehend the messages of Heaven. Not infrequently, the minds of the people, even of God’s servants, are so blinded by human opinions, the traditions and false teachings of men, that they are able only partially to grasp the great things which He has revealed in His word. Thus it was with the disciples of Christ, when the Savior was with them in person! Their minds had become imbued with the popular conceptions of the Messiah as a temporal prince, who was to exalt Israel to the throne of the universe! [the same error being held by the politically-active Christians today!], and they could not understand the meaning of His words foretelling His sufferings and death.” – Great Controversy, pp. 344, 345.
(To be continued next week)