Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. Joel 2:23.
There is to be in the churches a wonderful manifestation of the power of God, but it will not move upon those who have not humbled themselves before the Lord, and opened the door of their heart by confession and repentance. In the manifestation of that power which lightens the earth with the glory of God, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears, and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their expectations and ideal, they will oppose the work. “Why,” they say, “should we not know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?” Because they did not respond to the warnings, the entreaties, of the messages of God, but persistently said, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”
Talent, long experience, will not make men channels of light unless they place themselves under the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and are called, and chosen, and prepared by the endowment of the Holy Spirit. When men who handle sacred things will humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, the Lord will lift them up. He will make them men of discernment—men rich in the grace of His Spirit. Their strong, selfish traits of character and their stubbornness will be seen in the light shining from the Light of the world. “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” If you seek the Lord with all your heart, He will be found of you.
There must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it.
Maranatha p. 219
—–update—I just learned directly from Abigail’s parents that the new application is being made by their lawyer before the court at 9:30 AM Mountain Time. Today, the parents are undergoing assessment. Please, please claim the promise of God -Exo 4:12 “Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”
Evidently, while still in hospital, Abigail was placed in foster care one week ago (a three year old without Mommy or Daddy’s visiting, hugs, healthful food, or Jesus songs). Please continue your prayers on behalf of this smitten family. “There but for the grace of God could be any one of us.” The times of persecution are here, and will soon be universal. Debby
—–update—Although his temperature is staying down, my great- nephew’s burns are worse than previously thought. He will be having skin grafts done today Wednesday, April 15th. Please continue praying for him. Thanks, Martha
—–Please pray for Lois who has been battling leukemia for a long time. Pray for family and friends as well. Rose
When Esther was six, she and Ronnie Jay loved playing in the field behind our house. There were lots of tall weeds in the field and they pretended they were in a jungle. It was not the best place for her to play, however. Because of having had meningitis a few months before, Esther could not see up close very well and was always getting prickers from those weeds in her eyes.
One time, the pricker had stuck into her eyeball. Try as I might, I just could not get that tiny straw-colored object out. By strong magnification, the doctor was able to see it and remove the offending object. Then the doctor gave me some ointment to put into Esther’s eye.
How she hated that ointment! Being only six, she did not really understand why she needed it. She just knew that it stung, so she hated it. Esther would hide from me whenever it was time to put it into her eye. It was quite a challenge to find her. She was very good at hiding. She could curl up into a tiny ball in some out-of-sight place, hold very still, and be very quiet. But even though she hid, she would eventually be found and have that miserable stuff put into her eye.
We are all in need of spiritual eyesalve even more than was Esther. How much we need that spiritual eyesalve! It is of utmost importance to know what is truth. Our whole future depends upon it. The True Witness counsels us to receive that eyesalve from Him, that we may have the discernment so needed when every wind of doctrine is blowing. He says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Rev 3:18 The eyesalve that He offers us does not hurt and sting our eyes like the medicine that Esther had to take. It gives us the discernment to detect the devises of the enemy of souls. It helps us to see the traps he lays for our feet. The devil attempts to counterfeit all the wonderful gifts that our Great Creator has provided for us.
Often times he uses others to lead us astray. Only with the Heavenly eyesalve can we turn from these deceptive influences. God tells us His feelings about those who lead His people into the wrong paths, “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them” Jer 23:32 Jesus warns us, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matt 7:15,16; 24:24
Jesus gives us the key to discernment, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God” John 7:17 And how can we do this? Just before going to the cross, Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through Thy truth. Thy Word is truth.” 17:17 David explains, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Ps 119:104 “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” vs. 11 “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Ps 19:7-11
May we ask our Great Redeemer for the eyesalve that He freely offers. May we read His Word and obey it that we may have that discernment necessary to stand in these last days. May we test all that we read, all that we hear with God’s Holy Word knowing that “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 8:20