The Need of Investigation
“God has precious light to come to His people ……… When new light is presented to the Church, it is perilous to shut yourself away from it. ……. To condemn that which you have not heard and do not understand will not exalt your wisdom in the eyes of those who are candid in their investigation of truth. And to speak with contempt of those whom God has sent with a message of truth, is folly and madness ……..
“……for God will glorify His Word, that it may appear in a light in which we have never before beheld it. ….. Light will come to every earnest seeker for truth, as it came to Nathanael ….. There should be liberty given for a frank investigation of truth, that each may know for himself what is the truth.
“…….if a message comes that you do not understand, take pains that you may hear the reasons the messenger may give, ….. for your position will not be shaken by coming in contact with error. ….. No one of those who imagine that they know it all is too old or too intelligent to learn from the humblest of the messengers of the living God.” – Testimonies On Sabbath School Work, pp. 60 – 66.
As every important incident, in connection with the church, is preceded by a message, and as every such incident has been foretold by the prophets, it is important for each to realize
The Need of Prophecy.
Never in the annals of the Christian church has there been a shaking the like of that which is rapidly increasing as a result of the circulation of The Shepherd’s Rod series of books and tracts throughout the rank and file of the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination. It presents a singular and perplexing problem which human wisdom is utterly powerless to solve. In this extremity, then, we must turn to divine wisdom. Both the struggle and its remedy must be found in prophecy. Gladly, therefore, we accept the challenge : “Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me.” – Isaiah 45 : 11.
Only when the church finds herself grounded on a reef of her own folly, with the fierce waves of divine retribution beating over her sides, is she in a position to realize her dreadful danger and her need of everything. And only when thus endangered and alarmed can she possibly be roused to the absolute necessity of having the gift of prophecy --- her most imperative need in her present predicament. ‘Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” Amos 3 : 7. “Desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophecy …….. He that prophesieth edifieth the church.” 1 Cor. 14 : 1, 4. “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” Rev. 19 : 10. Consequently, if she does not now awake to the fact that “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29 : 18), then she never will.
Emphasizing the importance of the gifts of the Spirit, Paul says : “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some , pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Eph. 4 : 11, 12. “After that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” 1 Cor. 12 : 28.
But while most of these gifts, especially those of tongues and of governments, are zealously sought after by the churches, the one that was despised by the Jews --- the gift of “prophets” --- is wholly rejected by almost all Christendom. Therefore the spirit that instigated the killing of the ancient seers at the hand of the Jewish leaders, is today doing virtually the same sort of destructive work through organized religion.
The Jews, while ascribing praise and honor to the dead prophets who were slain by the forefathers, rejected the living prophets, thus bringing upon themselves the Master’s mournful pronouncement :
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of he righteous, and say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” Matt. 23 : 29, 30.
Present-day Christians who despise the gift of prophecy and deny to the gospel dispensation the authority of the Old Testament Scriptures, thereby reject all the precept, though at the same time, they do them the lip service of acknowledging them as the servants of God. In giving such service, they are but building and garnishing the tombs of the prophets, as did the Jews, but when tested, they, too, will be found to be liars. Mere lip professions of believing in the whole Bible, are worse than no profession at all, and doubly so when the professors are at the same time teaching that all the laws and statutes, all the warnings and condemnations, apply only to the ancient Jews, whereas all the graces belong to the Christian church !
By following in this course, they have been led so far in perverting the gifts that their so-called gift of tongues is naught but gibberish, and is no more the Biblical gift than is Sunday the “sanctified” Sabbath day ! Perverted also is the gift of government, which is degenerated into an institution of prerogatives, formalities, goals, and the like, which, were they ever beneficial devices, are certainly, in their present low estate, nothing but agencies which in effect militate against the Truth, and neutralize the piety of the church. In this state of affairs, do the best of these professed Christians of today seem better than the worst of yesterday’s Jews ? Wherefore, O church of God, “Awake, awake” ! “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not the prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess. 5 : 19, 21. “Loose thyself from the (man-wrought) bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” Isa. 52 : 2.
As the gift of prophets is, according to the Scriptures, second in order of the gifts to the church, and the gift of governments and that of diversity of tongues are last, obviously, then, those who despise the gift of prophecy but exalt the gift of government and the gift of tongues, are pulling the cart from its rear end, and are going in the wrong direction. To such, Christ is saying : “Knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind, and naked.” Revelation 3 : 17.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa. 1 : 18.
This short article is quoted from the booklet entitled : THE GREAT PARADOX OF THE AGES -- by Victor T. Houteff..
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