The Lord God does nothing without giving to his servants the prophets knowledge of his plans. Amos 3:7, N.E.B.
The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready.
As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. The last book of the New Testament scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand.
The solemn messages that have been given in their order in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God’s people. . . .
Precious time is rapidly passing, and there is danger that many will be robbed of the time which should be given to the proclamation of the messages that God has sent to a fallen world. Satan is pleased to see the diversion of minds that should be engaged in a study of the truths which have to do with eternal realities.
The testimony of Christ, a testimony of the most solemn character, is to be borne to the world. All through the book of Revelation there are the most precious, elevating promises, and there are also warnings of the most fearfully solemn import. Will not those who profess to have a knowledge of the truth read the testimony given to John by Christ? Here is no guesswork, no scientific deception. Here are the truths that concern our present and future welfare. What is the chaff to the wheat?
Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only?
Maranatha p. 160
—–my sister Ruby, she had an explosion from an aerosol can injure her eye. We’re praying for a full recovery. This, only a week after our Mom’s funeral. Tommie
Some years ago, we heard a sermon where the pastor was relating what had happened to him as a teen. It was his first experience living in a dorm. As he heard the students trying to outdo each other telling scary stories, he felt fingers of fear running up and down his spine.
One night, he came back to the dorm shortly after “lights out.” The stories he had heard came to his mind. The deserted hallway added to his mood. Quietly, he tiptoed to his room. He opened the door as noiselessly as possible. The sound of his roommates’ heavy breathing was all that he could hear. Not wanting to disturb them, he climbed into bed clothes and all and laid on top of the sheets.
He had not been in bed long, when he began to hear a strange noise coming from his closet. It sounded like fingernails scratching up and down on the inside of the door. Every nerve in his body was on edge. The hair on his head stood up from his fear. His breath was labored from fright.
Suddenly, there was a BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! coming from inside his closet. That was enough for him. Up he jumped and ran down the hall like a frightened deer. His yelling awakened the dean, who wanted to know what was going on. The man attempted to calm the terrified boy enough, so he would be able to explain the reason for this disturbance. He had his ideas as to the source of this noise.
The two of them trudged back to the young man’s room. The dean turned on the light. The roommates looked surprised to find this “visitor” in their room. The man walked over to the closet and opened the door. The frightened boy closed his eyes not wanting to see what might be inside that closet. Nothing unusual was in there, however, just clothes hung on the rod and the usual jumble of clothes, shoes, and stuff on the floor.
Walking to the room next door, the dean knocked quietly. No answer. He knocked a little louder. A sleepy voice answered, “Just a minute.” Moments later he was ushered inside. Three sleepy boys declared that they had heard nothing that sounded like scratching or any loud, booming knocks on the door.
The dean opened their closet door. He knew that the two closets joined back to back with only thin wallboard between them. Strangely, the boys’ clothes were shoved to one side and the other. Looking carefully, the dean discovered a small hole in the wallboard—a hole just big enough for a broom handle to be poked through and scraped up and down on the next room’s closet door or shoved in sharply to make a booming knock.
Even though this was only a trick by his roommates and the boys in the next room, not all unusual happenings are trickery. We have a very real enemy who will use any means he can to get us into his power. How careful we must be to shut every avenue that he can use to destroy us and our children. How vital to our future it is that we avoid movies, television, books, and stories that deal with the occult. This is not always easy for even the most harmless-appearing program often has references to mystics, wizards, ghosts, or horoscopes. Our language is so full of phrases that deal with such things that we hardly notice. Yet, all these tend to allow an opening for the evil one to enter in. Solomon advises, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Prov 4:23
Our Great Creator declares to us as He did too Israel of old, “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” “The soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” Lev 19:31; 20:6 “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD.” Deut 18:10-12
Indeed, it was their delving into the idolatry and spiritualistic practices of the heathen that caused Israel to go into captivity throughout their generations. Shortly after the death of Joshua and that generation, “they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. (1 Cor 10:20) And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so. And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.” Judges 2:12-19
Throughout the times of the kings, they did the same. When they had a good king, the people tended to be good (at least outwardly). When the king worshipped idols and practiced divination, so did the nation. Finally, Israel was taken captive by Assyria and Judah by Babylon. The reason is recorded. “For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.” 2 Kings 17:7-20
Let us remember what God said to those who dealt in the occult, “Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.” Isa 47:13, 14 Let us shut our eyes and ears to the occultish practices so prevalent around us. “Finally, brethren, 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
The Lord God does nothing without giving to his servants the prophets knowledge of his plans. Amos 3:7, N.E.B.