Summer 2003 Newsletter: God's Love Revealed
Author: Victor Gill
Publish date:
 
 
In the councils of heaven (Zechariah 6:13), before this world was created, when the plan of salvation was put in place, God decided to use signs in the heavens and judgments on the earth to convict men and women. I don’t know about you, but ever since 9/11 people ask me questions like, “Where was God when this happened?” “Where is the love of God in all of this?”

It has concerned me so much that I’ve begun to search for answers. Genesis 1:14 tells us that when God put the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens, He wanted them to "be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (emphasis added). Now, we know that they are for seasons, for days, and years, but have you thought that when God put them in the heavens He put them there for signs? In Luke 21:5, we read, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars” (emphasis added).

It seems that those people who do not know God are not affected by these kinds of signs, as they effect little lasting change in their lives:

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).


Only the wise and spiritual minded are going to interpret these signs:

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:10).


The judgments of God are prepared for the scorner, the unconverted person. “Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools” (Proverbs 19:29). This verse is specifically referring to the judgments of God in the earth.

From the Bible Commentary (SDA BC 4: 203, 204), we read this:

Whether men realize it or not, the inner cravings of the heart can be supplied only by a knowledge of, and a communion with, God. Without God there is always something lacking in the heart and life that nothing in this world can fully supply. The judgments of God impress all but the hardened sinners.


There are a lot of sinners in the world, but they are not hardened sinners. When the judgment of God is brought upon the land, these sinners are impressed. And by the judgments of God, many will be turned away from the path of evil into the way of righteousness.

These judgments can actually help us to see another facet of God’s love that maybe we did not understand before. There are those that become so engrossed with the things of this world that nothing but the judgments of heaven will arouse them to see their peril. Proverbs 19:29 shows us that God is reaching out even to the hardened sinners, to try to arrange circumstances in such a way so as to get their attention in some way. Isn’t it a wonderful God we serve?

…for when judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9).

There are some who wouldn’t learn righteousness any other way. They would not give it another thought unless it was a severe judgment that was passed on the earth.
 
After 9/11, the churches were full of people on Sunday. People that hadn’t gone to church for years turned their hearts back to God. “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I see thee early” (Isaiah 26:9). When God sends his judgments upon the earth, people will seek the Lord like never before.
 
I remember the story of my uncle in 1929. A major title wave hit the southern shores of Newfoundland. A mighty earthquake occurred on the island. My uncle was coming back from the grocery store, when the earth beneath him began to shake and tremble. He began to shake and tremble, it was a terrible ordeal for this hardened sinner, this drunkard. He dropped his groceries in the middle of the road. He prayed that God would save him, saying that he would dedicate his life to Him if he survived.

You see, it’s that type of experience that brings people to their knees. I believe that one day by the grace of God I will see my uncle on the sea of glass. He loved the Lord, the last thing he did before he died was read his Bible at the table.

Because of the judgments of God, people will turn to the Lord. David said this:

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word…It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes…I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75).


Sometimes, God sends affliction our way so that He can save us and help us, and that’s exactly what Isaiah 26:9-10 is telling us:

With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favor be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.


Some think, "as long as things are going well, why do I need God?" But when the earth begins to shake beneath our feet and the judgments of God are seen in the land, He gets our attention. Judgments are therefore merciful, in that they force recognition to God and pave the way for the renunciation of sin. He wants the world to know He is the Sovereign Lord.

That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth (Psalm 83:18).


God wants us to recognize that He is the sovereign God, and that He is who He says He is. The Bible is clear, “for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Why? “And they shall see the Son of God coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:26-27).

Sometimes God has to do something drastic to get people’s attention. And I don’t know what He’s going to have to do, but I fear He’s going to have to do something drastic in North America. Haggai 2:6-7 says, “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Of course we know that this prophecy speaks primarily of the first coming of Christ and the glory that filled the house when Christ came to the second temple. I believe we can also give this end time application as well. I believe the time will come when a lot of people are going to turn to God like never before.

And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come (Joel 2:30-31).


We say that that’s already happened, but maybe it’ll happen again. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). We know the things of this world are going to be burned up, but a lot of people don’t. They think this world is going to go on forever.

The people of God in the various religious denominations that are out there are now becoming so closely allied to the world and drifting further away from grace and salvation. They are to be called out and united with this company that will be waiting for the Lord to come. There are many Christians out there today in other churches that love the Lord as much as we do. If they were to die today, they would have salvation. But let me say this, that the last generation to live in this world has to be a different generation. Because if these dear Christians are living when the closing scenes of this world’s history are taking place and Sunday laws are being implemented, if they don’t know the truth about Three Angel’s Message, they will accept the mark of the Beast. They’ll think they are doing God’s will, but they will receive the seven last plagues and eternal damnation. God has entrusted this church with special understanding of eternal truth for these last days to help these people see what’s coming and be prepared. They need to be watching and waiting as well. They need to understand what we take for granted, but they don’t know. Who’s telling them?

They have to be called out from the world and worldly assemblies. We as a people need to cry with a loud voice, “And show my people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins.” Transgression is not necessarily wilful sin. In this case I believe it is more a sin of ignorance than wilful sin. God’s people in these churches are unknowingly trampling on His holy day. And their attention has to be called to it because their loyalty has to be tested before they can receive the Spirit of God, which they will receive without measure.

They are going to be tested as just how loyal and faithful they are to Jesus. That’s the bottom line. They have to be prepared for translation. Jesus is coming soon. They need to be brought to a knowledge of the saving truth. And they need to understand that God has given us the Sabbath as a sign between Him and us.

Ezekiel 20:12 says, “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them” (emphasis added). The Sabbath is a sign of sanctification. That’s what the Bible is telling us. And we are saved by the sanctification of the spirit and the belief of the truth. We are told in Hebrews 12:14 that without holiness no one can see God.

In His mercy God is sending judgments upon the world to get people to start thinking, to get people to become serious about the Word and the changes they need to make to bring their lives into harmony with the Lord. Do you not see how important it is, that we need to tell our neighbours, our friends and those around us? If we don’t, we will be considered unfaithful stewards!

With what joy heaven looks upon these blended influences! All heaven is watching those agencies that are as the hand to work out the purpose of God in the earth, thus doing the will of God in heaven. Such cooperation accomplishes a work that brings honor and glory and majesty to God. Oh, if all would love as Christ has loved, that perishing men might be saved from ruin, what a change would come to our world (Testimonies for the Church Volume 6, 457).

It is no time now for God’s people to be fixing their affections or laying up their treasure in the world. The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation in the decree enforcing the papal Sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains. And now, instead of seeking expensive dwellings here, we should be preparing to move to a better country, even a heavenly. Instead of spending our means in self-gratification, we should be studying to economize. Every talent lent of God should be used to His glory in giving the warning to the world. God has a work for His colaborers to do in the cities. Our missions must be sustained; new missions must be opened. To carry forward this work successfully will require no small outlay. Houses of worship are needed, where the people may be invited to hear the truths for this time. For this very purpose, God has entrusted a capital to His stewards. Let not your property be tied up in worldly enterprises, so that this work shall be hindered. Get your means where you can handle it for the benefit of the cause of God. Send your treasures before you into heaven (Testimonies for the Church Volume 5, 464-465).

Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city (Revelation 22:14 NKJV).


This is the last and most precious promise found in Scripture. I pray that you and I will be there and have many others with us to enjoy that everlasting life that God has granted us. May we not take it for granted, but may we let our little lights shine.
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