After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. Revelation 18:1.
The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel’s message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of world-wide extent and unwonted power is here foretold. The advent movement of 1840-44 was a glorious manifestation of the power of God; the first angel’s message was carried to every missionary station in the world, and in some countries there was the greatest religious interest which has been witnessed in any land since the Reformation of the sixteenth century; but these are to be exceeded by the mighty movement under the last warning of the third angel. . . .
The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. . . .
Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand. . . .
The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience. Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides. Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number take their stand upon the Lord’s side.
Maranatha p. 20
—–Please pray for Michael and Jan’s family as they adjust to life without Jan. Rose
My mother was blessed with an excellent memory, but she did not put it to good use. Until the last few years of her life, she could remember things that happened to her from the time she was just a toddler. Because of this, she remembered all of the things people did to her or said about her, all of the heartaches, all of the slights, all of the unhappiness of normal life. What most people forget because it is unimportant or too painful to remember, was a fresh memory to her. Things we “forgive and forget” were like an open wound to her. Even when her memory failed in her mid-eighties, she could remember little except the painful memories and would feel the hurt and anger all over again. How sad to live life in that manner.
As I think of the years of sorrow and pain that she had caused herself by not forgiving, it reminds me of a story in the Bible. One day Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” He continued to explain, “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Matt 18:21-35
Our Dear Saviour “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace,” loved us so much that He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Eph 1:7 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor 5:21 As the Creator of this world allowed Himself to be nailed to the cruel cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 During the entire time He hung upon that cross, suffering the most severe agony, He, “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” that we might be forgiven. Heb 12:2 What complete forgiveness! What wondrous love!
We all are in need of that forgiveness for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23 All have said of done things that have caused someone sadness and pain. David prayed, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Ps 130:3,4;86:5
Just as our Dear Father in Heaven “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,” so He desires us to do the same. 1 John 1:9 In fact, our future depends upon it. Jesus admonishes, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:24-26 Fearful warning!
May we daily pray for the power to forgive freely, that we may be forgiven. May we “put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another…even as Christ forgave [us]. Col 3:13,14 May we “[forget] those things which are behind, and [reach] forth unto those things which are before, [pressing] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.