Evil on evil! says the Lord the Eternal–it is coming, the hour has come, the hour is striking, and striking at you, the hour and the end! Ezekiel 7:5, 6, Moffatt.
Fearful is the issue to which the world is to be brought. The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that all, “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” shall conform to the customs of the church by observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death. On the other hand, the law of God enjoining the Creator’s rest day demands obedience, and threatens wrath against all who transgress its precepts.
With the issue thus clearly brought before him, whosoever shall trample upon God’s law to obey a human enactment, receives the mark of the beast; he accepts the sign of allegiance to the power which he chooses to obey instead of God. . . .
The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty; for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of an allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.
Heretofore those who presented the truths of the third angel’s message have been often regarded as mere alarmists. . . . But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching, and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before.
Maranatha p. 215
—–update—Ginger has a couple of badly pinched nerves in her back. That are talking surgery, gonna try epidural first. Donovan
——update—Well, we are in labor…medically stalled at a 7. We could possibly stay that way for 3 weeks, but my contractions are steady. Praying we stay pregnant long enough for them to deal another steroid shot. Janell
Just before my tenth birthday, my mother married a man who was an alcoholic. While they had dated, Eddie seemed so nice, but after they were married, life became almost unbearable.
After nearly four years, I had had enough. I decided to run away the next day. I didn’t know where I would go, but I knew that I could endure it no longer. My Heavenly Father was watching over me although I didn’t realize it at the time. That very night, Eddie left taking everything of value in the house except my mother’s guitar and amplifier. He left a note saying that he was sure that the sheriff was catching up to him and he needed to flee.
What a relief it was to me to have Eddie gone, yet life became more difficult in some ways. My mother had no job and no prospects for getting one. She had to sell her guitar and amp so she could buy food. Our landlord, who was friends with Eddie, would not wait for the rent until my mother found a job. We finally found a very cheap apartment over a music store in a rundown neighborhood.
Even though we were in difficulty, God was near to us, watching over us, working all things out for good. He who inspired David to write, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psalm 27:10) knew that had I run away, my life would have been far worse than the situation Eddie’s departure had caused. He had kept that from happening.
Jesus, speaking of His Heavenly Father said, “for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt 5:45 God loves each person in this world whether they love Him back or not. His Spirit draws them, leading them into circumstances that will give them an opportunity to choose His way. He showers His blessings upon them even though they don’t know the Source of all blessings.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 How loving and kind He is to us. He not only makes us His sons, but He changes us into His image.
Through all of those trying times, I had a sort of shaky faith in God and just before bed every night prayed the “Now I lay me down to sleep….” prayer adding a few of my own words at the end. Our Merciful Redeemer accepted that tiny spark of faith and protected us. He helped my mother find work, even though she did not recognize it as a blessing from Him.
Finally we could move to a better neighborhood. Life was still a struggle, and there were many times there was nothing to eat in the apartment except a little flour. But through it all, God was there protecting us and longing for the time when we would come to Him.
A year or two later, I began to long to know God. I began reading the Bible and visiting churches trying to find the right one. Through a series of events, God led me to find it. Over the years, I have been able to serve Him in various ways in gratitude for His great love and care.
May we, each day, allow our Great Creator to will and to do of His good pleasure. All around us are those who need Him as much as I did so long ago. May we share His love with them that they, too, may accept His great provision for salvation is my prayer.