Friday August 16, 2013

 

The multi-generational patient, waiting, watching time is a severe trial for some. As I have watched people getting closer and closer to the grave, it’s as if they are striving to find the one doctrine that proves they will not die. My own father did such. I remember his thoughts about the wheat being harvested while it was standing, not fallen down, thus a person is not dead.

James White avows his conviction that he would be of that group that would watch Christ come in the clouds because he had seen the falling of the stars in 1833. He was correct that he would be a part of that group and that he would watch Christ come in the clouds of angels; he just did not know at that time that he would be called from the grave by the voice of the Father, and he would watch as Christ came in the clouds, and he would be a part of the 144,000.

Can Christ come this year? The correct answer is yes! We are going to look at some comments by James to get a better handle on this matter. We will be using some excerpts from Life Incidents.

Seventh-day Adventists have nothing to boast of. God has often reproved and chastised us for unfaithfulness. And when we have returned to him, and humbly and faithfully battle for the truth, amid reproaches and persecutions, he has greatly blessed us. Nothing is so much to be dreaded as that calm which is the result of tempering unpopular, testing truth to the ears of the people so as not to offend. Rather let the reproach come, and the storm rage, if it be the result of speaking the truth of God in love. p. 336, Para. 1, [LIFE].

As a people we have had our difficulties to surmount, our trials to bear, and our victories to gain. We are gathered from Methodists, Regular Baptists, Freewill Baptists, Seventh-day Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Worldlings, and Infidels. We are composed of native Americans, English, Welsh, Scotch, Irish, French, Germans, Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Poles, and others. To bring together a body composed of such material, affected more or less by the religious sentiments and forms of the several denominations, with all their national peculiarities, has called for much patient, and persevering toil. And it is by the grace of God that we are what we are. And let his name be praised that in our darkest hours, when we have humbled ourselves, he has ever come to our aid. p. 336, Para. 2, [LIFE].

From their past brief history Seventh-day Adventists may learn much as to their present work and future prospects. When in humility they have borne a decided testimony in the fear of God, their labors have been signally blessed. When they have been willing to bear the cross of present truth, and sacrifice time, convenience and means to advance the work, they have shared the approving smiles of Heaven. They have seen that nothing can keep the body in a healthy condition but the plain and pointed testimony. This will do the work of purification, either by purging their sins, or separating from them the unconsecrated and rebellious. Let the result be what it may, such testimony must be borne, or this people will fall as others have fallen. And terrible would be their fall, after having so clear light, and having had committed to them so sacred a trust as the last message of mercy to sinners. p. 336, Para. 3, [LIFE].

From the past we may also learn what to expect in the future, in the line of persecution. Satan has been angry because this people have been seeking for the “old paths,” that they might walk therein. He has been especially disturbed as they have plead for the restoration of the Sabbath, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If the people be taught that God is testing them upon the Sabbath, and that they should listen to the testimony of Jesus, in the spirit of prophecy, which reproves their sins, and calls on them to consecrate themselves and what they possess to the Lord, we may depend upon it, the ire of the dragon will be stirred. This we have witnessed and suffered in proportion to our faithfulness in the work. When we have borne a pointed testimony, we have been the especial objects of the wrath of the dragon; but with it have also shared largely the blessing of God. When we have been unfaithful, the dragon has been comparatively quiet, but we have suffered leanness of soul. And thus we may expect it will be for time to come. p. 337, Para. 1, [LIFE].

The position of suspense is not the most happy one. Those who wait for the return of the Lord in uncertainty as to the definite period of his second advent, are in danger of becoming restless. Hence the application of certain texts to this time, and to the people who are waiting for their Lord. “Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Heb. x, 36. “Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James v, 8. “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Rev. xiv, 12. p. 337, Para. 2, [LIFE].

In such a position, how natural the often-repeated inquiry, “How long before the Lord will come?” But no definite answer can be given to this inquiry. And it is best that this question cannot be definitely answered. Definite time has answered the purpose of God. It brought the Advent people to the waiting time, requiring great patience. Throughout this entire period of the patience of the saints, the only safe position is to keep the coming of Christ ever before us, and to regulate all our acts in full view of the terrible realities of the Judgment. To put off the coming of the Lord, and view that event in the distance, and enter into the spirit of the world, would be dangerous in the extreme. It is true that there are prophecies to be fulfilled, just prior to the coming of the Lord; but their fulfillment is of such a nature that it can be realized in a short time. Unbelief may suggest that as the time has continued longer than the waiting ones expected, it may still continue many years. But saving faith takes the safe position, and views the event at the door. This fact should ever be borne in mind, that while we have no means of showing that the Lord will come at an immediate definite point, no one can prove that he may not very soon come. And while it cannot be proved that the Lord will not very soon come, I call attention to the following facts which show that the second advent cannot be a distant event. p. 338, Para. 1, [LIFE].

More tomorrow.

God Bless your Study

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