Spring 2007 Magazine - Are You Listening?
Author: Victor Gill
Publish date:
We live in an hour of great danger. Satan has committed himself to destroy us one way or another. If no other way, he will submerge us in the lukewarm waters of indifference until we succumb to a state of Laodicean stupor. At the same time the True Witness will seek in vain to arouse us with a fervent message of repentance, revival, and reformation. Satan is trying to distract us so that we will not receive the impressions of the Spirit of God.

The world is too much among us. God has called His Church to be separate from the world:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:17).

God desires a Church that is “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
We cry out against liberalism and loose living, but are blind to the peril of lukewarmness. What was once a boiling passion for Christ becomes tepid and mild, lukewarm and complacent. The salt has lost its savor.

In vain we tune our formal songs,
In vain we strive to rise;
Hosannas languish on our tongues
And devotion dies.i

Consider the attitude of young Samuel. His words were, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:10). Over and over again in the Gospels we read the words, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (see Matthew 11:15, 13:9,43; Mark 4:9,23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:35).

It is quite obvious that everyone has ears and should hear, but Christ here refers primarily to spiritual attentiveness. I believe it becomes even more clear in the book of Revelation, where we read repeatedly, “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches” (see Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22; 13:9)

If you “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” and meditate upon the instructions given to them your ears will be closed to the folly and nonsense which surround you. You will neither hear and repeat these things, nor will you ever hanker after them. When Christ satisfies the soul hunger, these trivialities are to you distasteful and disgusting. You have no desire to feast upon them, but choose instead the bread of heaven (MS 92, 1901; SDA BC 957).

The fruit of the tree of life in the garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was an antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immorality. But through man’s disobedience, death entered the world. Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which he had been forbidden to touch. His transgression opened the floodgates of woe upon our race.

After the entrance of sin, the heavenly Husbandman transplanted the tree of life to the Paradise above; but its branches hang over the wall to the lower world. Through the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, we may still eat of its life-giving fruit.

Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the Light of men.” He is the fountain of life. Obedience to Him is the life-giving power that gladdens the soul.

Christ declares: ‘I am the bread of life; He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and He that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:57,63; Rev. 2:7b.)

Christ was the tree of life to all that would pluck and eat. The Word of God is to us the tree of life. Every portion of the scripture has its use. Christ is the source of our life, the source of immortality. He is the tree of life, and to all who come to Him He gives spiritual life (SDA BC, 988-989).

Are you listening?

I believe that God still speaks and has much to say to us today. But who’s listening? I hope you are. Many of God’s people today are like the ones we read about in Ezekiel 12:2: “they have ears to hear, and hear not.” In fact, some go so far as to stop their ears (Acts 7:57), and some turn their ears from the truth (2 Timothy 4:4).
Are you tuned in on God? It is said of John Burroughs, the naturalist, that he could walk along a busy, noisy street and overhear a cricket in the hedge. His ear was tuned to the little voices of nature.
Samuel was listening, and the boy who is listening today for God to speak, will hear Him, for God is looking for such children. David says in Psalm 85:8, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak.”
I would like to say with Micaiah of old, “As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak” (1 Kings 22:14).  I’m not here to speak my own words. My ear is tuned to His still small voice. My prayer is, “Lord, do for me as you did for Jeremiah” (see Jeremiah 1:9).

The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready (GC, 594).

Time is running out. Most prophetic truths of the Bible are already history. There are no more prophetic time periods predicted in the Word of God. There are no dates past 1844 (see Revelation 10:6). No definite amount of time separates us from the Second Coming of Christ.
Author Fernando Chaij says, “The few Prophetic details that still await fulfillment could occur within the space of a few weeks.”ii

But what really delays the Lord’s coming is a task. A task not only to reach the world, but also His Church:
 Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His Church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own (COL, 69).

We pause on the verge of eternity. The mighty angel of Revelation 10:7 announces, “the mystery of God should be finished.” The everlasting Gospel of Jesus will complete its miraculous task in our day, fully converting the people of God. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel will reach every nation, language, and people. The end will come whether we are ready or not (see 2 Peter 3:10).

Satan likes nothing more than false confidence that results from willful ignorance. He wants us to assume a careless mood and to close our eyes to the strategy he will follow in the spiritual destruction of thousands of God’s children (E. White).

It is crucial in warfare to know the enemy’s plan, explore his capability and power, and become acquainted with the traps, snares, and deceptions he employs. Not only in times of war but also in times of peace, armies and states have their spies.

In our Christian warfare, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” And since our enemies are much superior to us frail creatures of the dust, we desperately need to “Put on the whole armour of God,” and become fully acquainted with the strategy of so deceptive an enemy. Only then can we avoid defeat, and “be able to withstand in the evil day” (see Ephesians 6:10-17).

Only those who are diligent students of the scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusions that takes the world captive…To all the testing time will come (GC, 625).

Five great events will deeply affect the Church and its members:
    1. The Shaking
    2. The Reformation
    3. The Sealing
    4. The Latter Rain
    5. The Finishing of the Work

All five events will end at the close of probation and will develop more or less simultaneously.

God shook the Catholic world of the 16th century with the Protestant Reformation. He sifted the Protestant world and called out the Remnant people by the First Angels Message of Rev. 14 and the Millerite Movement of the 19th Century. Now in the 20th and 21st century, He is combing the earth and shaking the Remnant Church that He may gather the “gold tried in the fire” (Rev. 3:18), and “make ready a people prepared to meet their God” (Cry Aloud, 12).

A great crisis awaits the people of God. A crisis awaits the world. The most momentous struggle of all ages is just before us (5T, 711).

The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession (6T, 408).

Ere long we shall understand what that night means. The Spirit of God is being grieved away from the earth…The night is at hand (9T, 26).

The shaking time will cause some members to leave, while others will become more firmly established. Some will participate in the Reformation movement, others will cling to their sins and loose the opportunity God gives them to reform. While some will be receiving the seal of God, others will reject God’s leading.

Some will be prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the form of the latter rain, but others will be totally unprepared. Those who receive it will be used mightily as a living witness of God’s saving grace, and thousands upon thousands will be gathered in. The evangelistic work of the Church will be finished in a blaze of glory. All this will happen before the close of probation. All five of these events will end abruptly as the investigative judgment ends and the time of trouble begins.

Many look to the coming crisis and tremble, but it is time to look to Christ and be unafraid. Christ, not the crisis, is to be our focus. If we see Who’s coming, we won’t need to fear what’s coming. Jesus said, “I’ll never leave thee nor forsake thee.” We can say to Him, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Are you listening? Has He spoken to your heart today?

i Isaac Watts, “Come Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove,” Hymns and Sacred Songs (1707).
ii Fernando Chaij, The Impending Drama (Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1979): 6.
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