Message For Today
The message we bear must be as direct as was the message of John. He rebuked kings for their iniquity. He rebuked the adultery of Herod. Notwithstanding his life was in peril, the truth did not languish upon his lips. And our work in this age must be as faithfully done. The inhabitants of the world at this time are represented by the dwellers upon the earth at the time of the Flood. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the old world is plainly stated: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God became weary of these people whose only thoughts were of pleasure and indulgence. They sought not the counsel of the God who had created them, nor cared to do His will. The rebuke of God was upon them because they followed the imagination of their own hearts continually; and there was violence in the land. “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth”
There are special duties to be done, special reproofs to be given in this period of the earth’s history. The Lord will not leave His church without reproofs and warnings. Sins have become fashionable; but they are none the less aggravating in the sight of God. They are glossed over, palliated, and excused; the right hand of fellowship is given to the very men who are bringing in false theories and false sentiments, confusing the minds of the people of God, deadening their sensibilities as to what constitutes right principles. Conscience has thus become insensible to the counsels and the reproofs which have been given. The light given, calling to repentance, has been extinguished in the clouds of unbelief and opposition brought in by human plans and human inventions.
It is living earnestness that God requires. Ministers may have little learning from books; but if they do the best they can with their talents, if they work as they have opportunity, if they clothe their utterances in the plainest and most simple language, if they are humble men who walk in carefulness and humility, seeking for heavenly wisdom, working for God from the heart, and actuated by one predominating motive—love for Christ and the souls for whom He has died—they will be listened to by men of even superior ability and talents. There will be a charm in the simplicity of the truths they present. Christ is the greatest teacher that the world has ever known.
John had not learned in the schools of the rabbis. Yet kings and nobles, Pharisees and Sadducees, Roman soldiers and officers, trained in all court etiquette, wily, calculating taxgatherers, and world-renowned men, listened to his words. They had confidence in his plain statements, and were convicted of sin. They asked of him, “What shall we do?”...
Does anyone suppose that the messages of warning will not come to those whom God reproves? The ones reproved may rise up in indignation and seek to bring the law to bear upon God’s messenger, but in doing this, they are not bringing the law upon the messenger, but upon Christ, who gave the reproof and the warning. When men endanger the work and cause of God by their own wrong course of action, shall they hear no voice of reproof? If the wrongdoer only were concerned, and the work reached no farther than him, he alone should have the words of warning; but when his course of action is doing positive harm to the cause of truth, and souls are imperiled, God requires that the warning be as broad as the injury done. The testimonies will not be hindered. The words of rebuke and warning, the plain “Thus saith the Lord,” will come from God’s appointed agencies; for the words do not originate with the human instrument; they are from God, who appointed them their work. If a suit is instituted in earthly tribunals, and God suffers it to come to trial, it is that His own name may be glorified. But a woe will be upon the man who gives himself to do this work. God reads the motives, whatever they may be. I pray that the Lord will teach our brethren to be straightforward, and make no compromise in the matter. The cause of God has been bruised and wounded by any such men connecting with it, and the sooner they are separated from it, the better...
~ 2 SM, page 150-151