Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Revelation 7:3.
Angels are belting the world, refusing Satan his claims to supremacy, made because of the vast multitude of his adherents. We hear not the voices, we see not with the natural sight the work of these angels, but their hands are linked about the world, and with sleepless vigilance they are keeping the armies of Satan at bay till the sealing of God’s people shall be accomplished.
John sees the elements of nature–earthquake, tempest, and political strife–represented as being held by four angels. These winds are under control until God gives the word to let them go. There is the safety of God’s church. The angels of God do His bidding, holding back the winds of the earth, that the winds should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree, until the servants of God should be sealed in their foreheads.
The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place–that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.
Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture. . . .
A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance. The warning message is to be sounded in all parts of the world. . . . A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth for this time.
Maranatha p. 266
—–Please pray for Tammy whose sister-in-law passed away. Pray also for the congregations of the churches who have been burned. Rose
Our Great Redeemer commands, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.” Lev 19:16 Everyone has times been a part of repeating gossip never realizing how damaging it is to the person who is the object of their talebearing. We all have had times when we have been or are being treated unfairly and our lives are changed because of talebearers. These rumors that circulate can be totally false, but that does not stop them from being repeated. As these rumors travel around, they grow with the telling. It is hard to bear. Being the object of gossip leaves scars. These scars ard worse when the ones spreading gossip are fellow church members.
When someone very dear to me was a teen, she became the object of gossip and being misjudged due to a former friend became jealous over some minor matter. This friend’s talebearing has caused her untold grief and pain over the years. Since this is an experience that we all go through from time to time, I thought I would share the letter that she wrote a week or two ago concerning how the Holy Spirit has helped her deal with unfair gossip. She wrote:
“I was reading through the book of Matthew today and when I reached the 13th chapter, I found something that made me understand some of the people within the church who have caused me so much trouble over the years. Many times I have questioned in my heart as to why God would allow people without God’s love to remain in leadership roles in His church—especially when they were hurting so many people. I thought that this couldn’t possibly be God’s plan because my God is loving and kind. I have struggled with this for years and I know this struggle is shared with each of you. I have found peace this morning and it is my prayer that at the close of this letter, you will find peace and forgiveness flowing through you!
“Yes, chapter 13 is the parable of the wheat and the tares. It wasn’t the beginning that struck me, but the end: “Then He put another parable before them. ‘The kingdom of Heaven,’ He said, ‘Is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. What the crop came up and ripened, the weeds appeared as well. Then the owner’s servants came up and said: ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did all these weeds come from?’ ‘Some enemy has done this to spite me,” he replied. ‘Do you want us then to go out and pull them all up?’ said the servants. ‘No,’ he returned, ‘if you pull up the weeds now, you would pull up the wheat with them. Let them both grow together till the harvest. And at the harvesttime, I shall tell the reapers, ‘Collect all the weeds first and tie them up in bundles ready to burn, but collect the wheat and store it in my barn.’” Matthew 13:24-30 IME
“I know that you have read this story many times—but more can still be found! I realized that just as the weeds could not be removed for fear of pulling up some wheat in the process, the unloving, cruel people are allowed to remain for fear of losing some of the loving. God knows that if He removed the bad people in the church, some of the sincere might, no—-would, become discouraged and be lost.
“Like it or not, the people that have hurt us are helping others in one way or another and it is better that they remain for those few souls. Perish the thought—they could be lost.
“Our trials have not been in vain, and the Lord did not allow us to weaken and die, but instead these experiences strengthened us! Praise the Lord!! “For if you forgive other people their failures, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you will not forgive other people, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your failures.” Matthew 6:14-18
“This is a very strong warning to us that we must heed. Our eternal life and forgiveness is at stake! Please accept God’s power to forgive those who have hurt us, for we fail too. Who is to say they are worse than we are?
“God says, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Heavenly Father” Matthew 5:44 I pray that you will find forgiveness so you will find peace.”
Let us determine never to judge another, for the Great Judge, Who is also our Dear Saviour, has commanded, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matt 7:1-5 Let us, when confronted by gossip, determine not to repeat it, for when we repeat it, we are contributing a part that can change someone’s life forever. Let us remember, “he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” 1 Peter 3:10-12