Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James 5:11.
Not infrequently the minds of the people, and even of God’s servants, are so blinded by human opinions, the traditions and false teaching 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, even when the Saviour was with them in person. Their minds had become imbued with the popular conception of the Messiah as a temporal prince, who was to exalt Israel to the throne of the universal empire, and they could not understand the meaning of His words foretelling His sufferings and death. . . .
From their very birth their hearts had been set upon the anticipated glory of an earthly empire, and this blinded their understanding….
The experience of the disciples who preached the “gospel of the kingdom” at the first advent of Christ, had its counterpart in the experience of those who proclaimed the message of His second advent. . . .
Like the first disciples, William Miller and his associates did not, themselves, fully comprehend the import of the message which they bore. Errors that had been long established in the church prevented them from arriving at a correct interpretation of an important point in the prophecy. Therefore, though they proclaimed the message which God had committed to them to be given to the world, yet through a misapprehension of its meaning they suffered disappointment. . . .
With these believers, as with the first disciples, that which in the hour of trial seemed dark to their understanding would afterward be made plain. When they should see the “end of the Lord” they would know that, notwithstanding the trial resulting from their errors, His purposes of love toward them had been steadily fulfilling. They would learn by a blessed experience that He is “very pitiful, and of tender mercy;” that all His paths “are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
Maranatha p. 16
—– Need prayers for a family member, God knows. Thanks Kelly
When Eileen was three, we lived in a small community in Pennsylvania . It couldn’t be called a town as it consisted of a tiny gas station that had a few grocery items to sell, a bar, and about fifteen houses. We lived at the top of the hill a mile or two away. Occasionally we would walk down to the store to buy a needed item. I didn’t like to go down there without Ron as there was a stray dog that always terrorized anyone who walked along the road. He never bit anyone as far as I knew, but he looked and sounded very scary.
One day, we needed more items than usual at the store, so he took his backpack to carry things in. Eileen asked to go too. She has always been “Daddy’s girl.” Eileen loved to stand in that backpack and ride high on her daddy’s shoulders, so Ron let her take a ride in the empty pack. She looked so cute with her head peaking over Ron’s head and her arms outstretched sideways for balance.
About half an hour later, Ron came back laughing. When thy had gotten down to the bottom of that long hill and were passing the town’s bar, that stray dog came out from behind that dilapidated, wooden structure. He was growling and showing his teeth and acting as if he were going to attack. Suddenly, he stopped, looked surprised, turned around quickly, and went yelping in fright back behind the building. Ron was puzzled. Why the sudden change? Then he thought of how they would look from a dog’s point of view. That animal must have seen them as a whole—a man with two heads and four arms!
Sometimes we can feel as frightened and confused as that big mongrel dog had been. Often the voices vying for our attention are beyond our comprehension to discern. Jesus warns, “if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt 24:23-27
False Christs are easy to discern for most people. False prophets, however, are not so easy. Who are these false prophets? They are anyone who teaches truth with a little error mixed in. That type of person can be very dangerous. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matt 7:15
How much we need the discernment that comes only from Above. How much we need God’s guiding hand. Without His guidance we will surely fail for the subtle teachers who twist the Scriptures. Without relying upon the One Who knows the end from the beginning, we will make wrong decisions and follow the “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The Faithful and True Witness offers us the eyesalve of spiritual discernment that we may truly see and understand. (Rev 3:15-18) This gift is free for the asking. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isa 55:1
More than all of this, He has promised, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Ps 32:8 How does He guide us? Through a careful study of His Holy Word. “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa 8:19, 20 It’s only through the light of God’s Holy Word can we know the truth. David says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps 119:105
May we “study to shew [ourselves] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15 May we allow the Holy Spirit to change us into His image through beholding Jesus through His Word as Paul writes in 2 Cor 3:18 , “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.” May we follow the True Light all the way to His Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.