Insights #11 December 13, 2014
Fourth Quarter 2014 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Getting Ready for the Harvest"
For the week of December 13, 2014
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you."
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:11-19, NKJV.
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. James 5:7, NKJV.
It is the promise of God in the Everlasting Covenant that is the ground of the patient endurance of the remnant of Revelation 14:12. Because God Himself, as the heavenly husbandman, is so patiently waiting for the reception of the latter rain by his people, we can also patiently endure and wait for Him to fulfill His promise.
But we must lose our penchant for making promises and oaths of our own (James 5:12) in order to fully trust the promise of God. He has sworn with His oath - let all the earth keep silence before Him!
It is God's mind of patient endurance, revealed in and through Christ (God's makrothymeō - patience in bearing the offenses and injuries of others, mild and slow in avenging, longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish) that we must let be in us (Phil. 2:5) in order for our mind to exercise the same makrothymeō that He has.
The endurance (hypomonē) of James 5:11 is linked to patience (hypomenō), the root of which is menō, to remain or abide, the same root used in John 14:10 to describe the indwelling of the Father in Christ, doing the works, speaking the words.
Thus, being ready for and experiencing the latter rain means patiently living by this Faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:12 - pistis Iēsous).
We must so settle in to the truths of the Everlasting Covenant and the Faith of Jesus firmly experientially established in our hearts and minds (James 5:8 stērizō - to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix, render constant, confirm in one's mind) in order to carry the Loud Cry to the world.
Perhaps even now, as in 1887, we are again at the threshold of the full outpouring of the Latter Rain. Once again, we have more to fear from within our ranks, and within our own hearts, than from the events and forebodings of the world around us. May God so indwell and abide in us that prophetic word of the Minneapolis message will be given with clarity (James 5:10) so that the preparation to receive the Latter Rain may be complete!
God is waiting for His precious fruit.
A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow his blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it. Our Heavenly Father is more willing to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us his blessing. A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. While the people are so destitute of God's Holy Spirit, they cannot appreciate the preaching of the word; but when the Spirit's power touches their hearts, then the discourses given will not be without effect. Guided by the teachings of God's word, with the manifestation of his Spirit, in the exercise of sound discretion, those who attend our meetings will gain a precious experience, and returning home will be prepared to exert a healthful influence....
We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan's devices. RH, March 22, 1887.
My brethren and sisters, let us remember here is the evidence that God will work. You are not to trust in any power but that of the Lord God of Israel. But if you have enmity in your hearts, you cannot expect that God will let his blessing rest upon you. No one will enter the city of God with anything that defiles. We must get ready for the latter rain. The earth is to be lighted with the glory of the third angel,--not a little corner only, but the whole earth. You may think that the work you are doing now is lost; but I tell you it is not lost. When the message shall go with a loud cry, those who hear the truth now will spring to the front and work with mighty power. But you must have faith. It is no use to enter cities unless you have faith in God, and believe that a work is to be accomplished there. You must believe that it is Christ who is by our side, and is finding access to souls; and when you have done the best you can, you must believe, and commit it all to Jesus. RH, May 10, 1887.