Under the Loud Cry Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. Isaiah 60:1, 2.
As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. Not having received the love of the truth, they will be taken in the delusions of the enemy; they will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and will depart from the faith. But, on the other hand, when the storm of persecution really breaks upon us, the true sheep will hear the true Shepherd’s voice. Self-denying efforts will be put forth to save the lost, and many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd. The people of God will draw together and present to the enemy a united front. In view of the common peril, strife for supremacy will cease; there will be no disputing as to who shall be accounted greatest. No one of the true believers will say: “I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas.” The testimony of one and all will be: “I cleave unto Christ; I rejoice in Him as my personal Saviour.”
As the third angel’s message swells into a loud cry, great power and glory will attend its proclamation. The faces of God’s people will shine with the light of heaven.
Many of the rulers are those whom Satan controls; but… God has His agents, even among the rulers. And some of them will yet be converted to the truth….A few of God’s agents will have power to bear down a great mass of evil. Thus the work will go on until the third message has done its work, and at the loud cry of the third angel, these agents will have an opportunity to receive the truth, and some of them will be converted, and endure with the saints through the time of trouble.
—-Please pray for Peter who has an EEG and an MRI this morning. Please pray that all goes well. Rose
In 1980, about a year after we lost everything in a fire, a certain lady started going to the church we attended. When she heard of our misfortune, she brought us a woolen blanket that had great sentimental value to her. Even though it was precious to her, she wanted us to have it. It had been woven from the wool of her brother’s own sheep. It was not dyed, but it was the strangest shade of black I’d ever seen. Her brother raised black sheep. Most wool feels prickly, but this blanket didn’t. It wasn’t soft, but it wasn’t irritating either. She loved that blanket, but she gave it to us because she knew we had need.
That blanket became very special to me because of the sacrifice that woman made. It became very special to Ronnie Jay too, because when he was old enough to sleep in a regular bed, that blanket became his. He loved that blanket and used it for many years. It was his comfort and warmth. Over the years, it began to unravel and got a few holes in it. I mended it and mended it, but in reality, it was too worn out. Still, we did not want to get rid of it because of Ronnie Jay’s attachment to it.
One day, while I was at work, Ron threw it away. Ronnie Jay was terribly upset and pleaded with his father to let him keep it. Eileen, knowing how much that wool blanket meant to her little brother rescued that blanket. She told her father of her plan. She would make him a quilt and use that blanket inside for warmth. He consented.
Eileen had never made a quilt before, but she had seen them, so she had a fairly good idea as to how they were made. She took our old clothes and cut them into pieces and sewed them together. She left pockets and zippers in the cut up pieces. Day after day she worked on that quilt whenever she had free time. This was no easy task with her vision problems, but hers was a labor of love.
Months later the quilt was completed. She gave it to Ronnie Jay for Christmas. He was thrilled when he found that he could unzip the zippers she had incorporated into the quilt and “visit” his well-loved wool blanket. He was delighted with the pockets that she had stuffed with candy and little toys. Each pocket brought a new discovery. It was truly a labor of love, and her little brother’s happiness was a great reward for all those many hours she had spent sewing it all by hand.
Our Loving Heavenly Father gives us gifts that have cost much more than that quilt ever did. He gave us His own dear Son. All Heaven was wrapped up in that Great Gift. He poured out all His Love, all His Care in His Great Sacrifice. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16,17 What wonderful love! It was the greatest sacrifice He could make! But Our Great Redeemer goes even beyond that Gift. He desires to dwell with us each moment of the day. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev 3:20 He wants to be our constant companion. He wants us to share our good times with Him as well as our times of trial and discouragement.
And if that isn’t enough, He promises, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:9-13
Beyond all these blessings, our Dear Saviour assures us, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3 Think of it! All Heaven is working toward our joining the great family above!
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Rev 21:1-7; 22:17, 20,21