A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 25:31.
For six thousand years the great controversy has been in progress; the Son of God and His heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the power of the evil one, to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men. Now all have made their decisions; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The time has come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. Now the controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. “The Lord hath a controversy with the nations”; “He will give them that are wicked to the sword.”
The mark of deliverance has been set upon those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done.” Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given: “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.” Says the prophet: “They began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezekiel 9:1-6. The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people. The false watchmen are the first to fall. There are none to pity or to spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together.
“The Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Isaiah 26:21. . . . In the mad strife of their own fierce passions, and by the awful outpouring of God’s unmingled wrath, fall the wicked inhabitants of the earth–priests, rulers, and people, rich and poor, high and low. “And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried.” Jeremiah 25:33.
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—– Urgent Prayer Request: our family and those close to us. Nicole
—–Please pray for the people in Idaho who are in the path of the wildfires. Pray that it rains soon and hard enough to put the fires out.
June and I had gone to school together first in kindergarten, then in fifth and sixth grades, and the last time in tenth grade. (We still keep in touch through email.) It was always nice to be in the same class with my friend. Because our last names began with the same letter, we got to sit together in those classes where the teacher assigned seats alphabetically. That’s also why we could be lab partners in high school chemistry class. I looked forward to lab because while we were doing the various experiments, we could talk and laugh together as long as we did it quietly.
One day as we were doing an experiment, June was pouring some acid into the beaker I was holding. Since she was a little unsteady pouring it, some of it got onto the back of my hand. Reacting quickly, I turned on the water faucet that was located within inches of us and rinsed the caustic liquid off. Because of my quick reaction, I had no lasting effects. The back of my hand was a little swollen and turned yellow and dry for awhile, but in a few weeks it was back to normal.
How much like the effects of acid is toying with temptation. If we stop to listen to the devil’s whisperings or look at the bait he uses in his trap, we will get burned. When faced with temptation, we should react even quicker than I reacted that day. We must immediately send a prayer Heavenward and turn away from that temptation, or we will fall into sin. Sometimes that temptation is strong and almost overwhelming, but we can claim the promise, “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.” 1 Cor 10:13 How kind and loving our Creator is! He makes a path for us to take to flee from the temptation of the evil one.
Peter advises, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith. “Now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1Pe 5:9, 10; 1:6, 7
James also shares another aspect on this subject. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” James 1:13 Many times we are so attracted to sin that we become our own tempter. Strange infatuation! Often we get ourselves into a situation where the temptation to sin is so very strong that we fall. We are like the child who sees a beautifully decorated cake on the kitchen table. The mother says, “Do not touch, that cake is for tomorrow’s dinner. We are having company.” Instead of going into the other room and playing with his toys, that child lingers nearby. Soon he decides to get closer so he can smell the fluffy frosting. Before long, he reaches out his fingers and takes just a bit of the frosting around the edges. That tasted so good! Then he notices that the place where he took the fingerful of frosting is plainly visible. Instead of stopping right then and confessing to his mother, he decides to even it out a bit by taking a fingerful on the other side, then another and another. Soon the cake is not fit for company.
Job declares, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28 The Psalmist adds, “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Ps 34:12-15 Paul tells us, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” “The Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Tim 2:19; 2 Thes 3:3 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12
Let us deny “ungodliness and worldly lusts. Let us live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Let us look for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:12-14