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The laymen's movement in prophecy
"Precious light is to shine forth from the Word of
God, and let no one presume to dictate what shall or what shall not be brought
before the people in the messages of enlightenment that He shall send, and so
quench the Spirit of God. Whatever may be his position of authority, no one has
a right to shut away the light from the people. When a message comes in the name
of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of
its claims. No one can afford to stand back in an attitude of indifference and
self-confidence, and say: "I know what is truth. I am satisfied with my
position. I have set my stakes, and I will not be moved away from my position,
whatever may come. I will not listen to the message of this messenger; for I
know that it can not be truth." It was from pursuing this very course that
the popular churches were left in partial darkness, and that is why the messages
of heaven have not reached them." Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work p. 65.
"Different periods in the history of the church have
each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the
necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way
against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were
tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an
emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it?" Great Controversy p. 609.
"Opposition is the lot of all whom God employs to
present truths specially applicable to their time. There was a present truth in
the days of Luther,--a truth at that time of special importance; there is a
present truth for the church today." Great Controversy p. 143.
"Our responsibility is greater than was that of our
ancestors. We are accountable for the light which they received, and which was
handed down as an inheritance for us, and we are accountable also for the
additional light which is now shining upon us from the word of God." Great
Controversy p. 164.
The Laymen's Movement In Prophecy
The Lord employed the use of parables many times to portray
precious truths and to impress them upon the mind. ". . . Christ had truths
to present which the people were unprepared to accept or even to understand. For
this reason also He taught them in parables. By connecting His teaching with the
scenes of life, experience, or nature, He secured their attention and impressed
their hearts. Afterward, as they looked upon the objects that illustrated His
lessons, they recalled the words of the divine Teacher. To minds that were open
to the Holy Spirit, the significance of the Saviour's teaching unfolded more and
more. Mysteries grew clear, and that which had been hard to grasp became
evident." Christ's Object Lessons p. 21.
The Prodigal Son.
"In the parable of the prodigal son," (as recorded
in Luke 15: 11-24) "is presented the Lord's dealing with those who have
once known the Father's love, but who have allowed the tempter to lead them
captive at his will." Christ's Object Lessons, p. 198. In the parable of
the prodigal son are represented those who have backslidden from the faith.
According to the parable, the father's youngest son requested
his part of the inheritance. He then left for a far distant place. There he
lived riotously until all his money was wasted. Being penniless, he was forced
to find employment. However it was very difficult to find a job as there was a
famine in the land. At last he found employment with a raiser of hogs. His job
was to feed the swine. Evidently his pay was not even sufficient to feed himself
as the Scripture says: "And he would fain have filled his belly with the
husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him." Luke 15:16.
These circumstances brought him to his senses. He reasoned to
himself that his father's servants were faring better than he. He said: "I
will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son:
make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But
when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and
ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I
have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called
thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put
it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither
the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was
dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be
merry." Luke 15:18-24.
The Lord's heartrending plea to us today is: "Say unto
them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the
wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from
your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 33:11.
There is in the Bible another story holding virtually the
same lesson and encouragement as does the story of the prodigal son. It
illustrates the prodigal-like experience of God's church from the time of
ancient Israel to the present time. We find this in the prophecy of Hosea
chapters 1 and 2. Let us turn now to Hosea chapter 1.
Hosea's Prodigal Wife.
"The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of
Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in
the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. The beginning of the word
of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of
whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom,
departing from the Lord." Hosea 1:1-2
The prophet Hosea was commanded to take a wife of whoredoms
for no other reason than to portray the sad and abominable condition which then
obtained in Israel. This marriage is, of course, only visionary just as the
prophet Ezekiel's lying 40 days on one side, and 390 days on the other side
(Ezek. 4:4-6, See Study Titled--"Our Forty Year Wilderness
We know this could not have been a literal marriage as the
Lord would never command his prophet to marry an improper woman which would be
contradictory to His command to: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and
what communion hath light with darkness?" 2 Cor. 6:14. The Lord gave this
illustration or allegory for the sole purpose of illustrating the repulsiveness
of Israel's unfaithfulness to Him and the final outcome.
Many times the Scriptures refer to God's church as a woman.
See Jer. 6:2, 2 Cor. 11:2. In Hosea, chapter 1, the woman whom Hosea was told to
marry represents God's church in her youth---apostate Israel, and Hosea
represents God who is the husband of the church.
The Rejection Of The Ten-Tribe Kingdom.
"So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim;
which conceived, and bare him a son. And the Lord said unto him, Call his name
Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the
house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. And
it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the
valley of Jezreel." Hosea 1:3-5
The first-born son of the prophet's visionary marriage, you
see, was named Jezreel in order to foreshadow that which was to befall the
nation---predicting not only the termination of the kingdom, but also the very
place in which its army was to be defeated---in the valley of Jezreel. To break
the bow would mean to break the nation's military strength. The Jezreel of whose
blood ancient Israel was charged guilty was figurative of the prophets whom
Israel rejected and killed. Thus it is that ancient Israel---the ten-tribe
kingdom met defeat in the Valley of Jezreel, which by interpretation is the
valley of the slain prophets. See: 2 Kings 10:11 & Prophets & Kings p.
"And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God
said unto him, Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the
house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away." Hosea 1:6.
This child's name was to denote the complete destruction of
the house of Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom. This destruction, we know, was
accomplished by the king of Assyria, who scattered the people throughout the
cities of the Medes. The history of this is found in 2 Kings 18:11---"And
the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah
and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes:" The
Spirit of Prophecy in commenting on this says: "'The Reubenites, and the
Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,' with others of the inhabitants of
'Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali' (1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Kings
15:29), were scattered among the heathen in lands far removed from Palestine.
"The city and nation fell, and the broken remnant of the
ten tribes were carried away captive and scattered in the provinces of the
Assyrian realm." Prophets and Kings pp. 287. 291.
"But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will
save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword,
nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen." Hosea 1:7.
The Lord promised to spare the house of Judah from the
invasion of the king of Assyria. The history of this incident is recorded in 2
Kings 19:35-- "And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord
went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five
thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead
The Rejection Of The Two-Tribe Kingdom. "Not My
"Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and
bare a son. Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I
will not be your God." Hosea 1:8-9.
The name of the third child was to signify that though Israel
and Judah were God's chosen people, the day was fast approaching in which they
would no longer be called His people. The fulfillment of this phase of the
prophecy brings us to the Christian era when the Jews as a nation were rejected
because of their rejection of the Son of God.
The Christian Era.
"Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as
the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to
pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there
it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God." Hosea 1:10.
In spite of the calamities that were to overtake the children
of Israel, they were to become very numerous. And when they are thus greatly
multiplied, they are again to be called the sons of God. And so here we see a
prophecy of the rebellion of God's people and God's rejection of them, as well
as their repentance and re-acceptance by Him.
The Lost Tribes.
Let us here for a moment discuss the titles "Judah"
and "Israel." When superficially read these titles are as a rule
misconstrued and made to mean only the identified Jews. But we must not be
superficial readers and thinkers. Let us be deep Bible students. Now, everyone
knows that the identified Jews of today are but a handful-certainly not as the
sands of the sea. The innumerable children of Israel, therefore, cannot be the
unbelieving Jews of today. Besides, the identified Jews of today are not the
descendants of the ten-tribe kingdom, but of the two-tribe kingdom. Who, then,
is this multitude of people referred to in Hosea's prophecy?
We must not overlook the fact that the Gospel of Christ
divided the house of Judah into two sects---Jewish and Christian, that the
Christian church for about four years after the resurrection of Christ consisted
practically only of Jews. Plainly, then, the original Christians were
full-blooded Jews,---the Christian church is only a branch of the Jewish church,
but they and their descendants have, through the years, lost their racial
identity. Then, too, the descendants of both Israel and Judah who through the
years of captivity lost their identity as did the Jews who embraced
Christianity, according to prophecy, must also have greatly multiplied. Plainly,
then, many who are taken as Gentiles, are but unidentified descendants of
ancient Judah, Israel, and the Jewish Christians. The Christian church herself
is, as we have seen, a Jewish-Christian church.
These descendants of Jacob, who were assimilated by the
Gentile nations, therefore, were to multiply as the sand of the sea. They are
the ones who, after becoming Christians, are again called the sons of the living
Of those who first embraced the Christian faith, the Apostle
Peter speaks thus: "Which in time past were not a people, but are now the
people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."
1 Peter 2:10.
And the Apostle John says: "But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on
his name:" John 1:12.
Now we see that the prophecy of Hosea 1 begins with the house
of Israel and Judah, and brings us down through the stream of time to the
Christian era. Continuing with the same family illustration, and pointing to the
Christian era, the Lord commands:
Hosea 2:1--"Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your
Here we see that the names of the two children of chapter 1
are again mentioned, but the first two letters of each name have been dropped:
Lo-ruhamah has become Ruhamah, and Lo-Ammi has become Ammi As the letters lo -
mean "no mercy" and "not my people" (see Bible margin Hosea
1:6,9) we see here in chapter two the Lord's re-acceptance of His people, not as
a nation, but as individuals who accepted the Christian faith. Now the fact that
these are the brother and sister of Jezreel, bears out the truth that the one
whom the Lord commands to speak to them, is Jezreel, the firstborn of the three.
He is to deliver the message to his brethren, Ammi and Ruhamah. The names,
Ruhamah and Ammi, represent a brother and a sister (singular), but in
commissioning Jezreel to speak to them the Lord designates them in the
plural,---"brethren" and "sisters," embracing the entire
The Laymen's Movement.
Now, what is it all about?---It is not too difficult to see.
The one to whom God speaks, Jezreel, represents God's messenger---His
mouth-piece. His brother and sister, Ammi and Ruhamah, can only represent the
church membership, both male and female. In actuality Jezreel must deliver God's
message to them. And here is the message:
"Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife,
neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her
sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts." Hosea 2:2
The fact that God Himself calls the prophet Hosea's wife His
own wife, reveals that she represents the church, that Hosea represents God, and
that while Jezreel represents the mouthpiece of God, Ammi and Ruhamah represents
the church membership. In childhood (Hosea 1), they represent the Old Testament
church, the Hebrews, but in their youth, having their names altered, (Hosea 2),
they represent the New Testament church, the Christians.
A Great Reformatory Movement.
Now that the laity, at the command of God are through a
messenger to plead with the church, therefore, the reformation here called forth
is sponsored by Inspiration and carried out by the laity. The servant of the
Lord years ago foretold of this glorious event when she said: "I have been
deeply impressed by scenes that have recently passed before me in the night
season. There seemed to be a great movement -- a work of revival -- going
forward in many places. Our people were moving into line, responding to God's
call. My brethren, the Lord is speaking to us. Shall we not heed His voice?
Shall we not trim our lamps, and act like men who look for their Lord to come?
The time is one that calls for light-bearing, for action." Life Sketches p.
This is the long expected revival and reformation to the
Laodiceans, and hence a laymen's movement called forth by the revived Spirit of
Prophecy. "There is hope for our churches if they will heed the message
given to the Laodiceans (MS 139, 1903)." 7 Bible Commentary p. 966, E.G.
The Reason for The Reformation.
According to this prophecy, the Lord is charging our
Denomination with "whoredom," with having illicit connections with the
world. This lewdness she must give up if she is to obtain favor with God. Being
charged with having illicit connections with the world is not implying that our
church is a part of Babylon (See: Testimonies to Ministers pp. 58-62), but that
she has become worldly.
"Who can truthfully say: "Our gold is tried in the
fire; our garments are unspotted by the world"? I saw our Instructor
pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid
bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how they
have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? 'How
is the faithful city become an harlot!' My Father's house is made a house of
merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For
this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.'" Testimonies, Vol.
8 p. 250.
"The time has come for earnest and powerful efforts to
rid the church of the slime and filth which is tarnishing her purity. The church
of Christ is called to be a holy, powerful people, a name and praise in all the
"The standard must be elevated. The work must have a
higher mold. There must be a coming out from the customs and practices of the
world and being separate. There must be a coming up upon a higher platform by
both ministers and people. There must be much more of Jesus and His meekness,
His lowliness, His humility, His self-denial, His purity, His true goodness and
nobility of character, brought into the experience and characters of all who
claim to be acting any part in the sacred work of God." Testimonies to
Ministers pp . 450, 451-452 .
"The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by
the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the
world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her
course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the
balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not
correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will
be found wanting." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 83. (See also Testimonies, Vol. 8
The servant of the Lord continues on with the sad comment of
our condition in these words: "I am filled with sadness when I think of our
condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course
of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and
love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or
condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the
general opinion is that the church is flourishing and that peace and spiritual
prosperity are in all her borders.
"The church has turned back from following Christ her
Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or
astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt, and even disbelief of the
testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan
would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it
thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light
has been shining from His word and from the testimonies, and both have been
slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and
devotion and earnest faith among us." Testimonies, Vol . 5 p. 217.
These are not man's words, you understand, but God's. And
should we not be grateful that He is doing everything He can to save us? The
church must repent, says the Lord:
"Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that
she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and
slay her with thirst. And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be
the children of whoredoms. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that
conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers,
that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my
drink." Hosea 2:3-5.
We sometimes boast of gain in membership, but God charges
that many of those brought in are illegitimate children! The Spirit of Prophecy
warned us of this danger many years ago: "While the Lord brings into the
church those who are truly converted, Satan at the same time brings persons who
are not converted into its fellowship. While Christ is sowing the good seed,
Satan is sowing the tares. There are two opposing influences continually exerted
on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of
the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God."
Testimonies to Ministers p. 46.
"Only when the Church is composed of pure, unselfish
members, can it fulfill God's purpose. Too much hasty work is done in adding
names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who
join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the
church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be
done is the work of reform. Pray with them, talk with them, but do not allow
them to unite with God's people in church relationship until they give decided
evidence that the Spirit of God is working on their hearts.
"Many of those whose names are registered on the church
books are not Christians. They have not a genuine experience. . . " Review
& Herald, May 21, 1901.
"The accession of members who have not been renewed in
heart and reformed in life is a source of weakness to the church. This fact is
often ignored. Some ministers and churches are so desirous of securing an
increase of numbers that they do not bear faithful testimony against unchristian
habits and practices." Evangelism p. 319.
"The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the
truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who
were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these
unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the
God-given message which His people are to bear?" Testimonies, Vol. 6 p.
This same situation existed with the early Christian church
as the Spirit of Prophecy says: "To secure converts, the exalted standard
of the Christian faith was lowered, and as the result 'a pagan flood, flowing
into the church, carried with it its customs, practices, and idols.' . . . As
the Christian religion secured the favor and support of secular rulers, it was
nominally accepted by multitudes; but while in appearance Christians, many
'remained in substance pagans, especially worshipping in secret their idols.'
"Has not the same process been repeated in nearly every
church calling itself Protestant? As the founders, those who possessed the true
spirit of reform, pass away, their descendants come forward and 'new-model the
cause.' While blindly clinging to the creed of their fathers and refusing to
accept any truth in advance of what they saw, the children of the reformers
depart widely from their example of humility, self-denial, and renunciation of
the world. Thus 'the first simplicity disappears.' A worldly flood, flowing into
the church, carries 'with it its customs, practices, and idols.'" Great
Controversy p. 385.
"There is chaff among us and this is why we are so
weak." Testimonies, Vol. 1 p. 288.
The church has gone after the world because she mistakenly
thinks that her support comes from worldlings, from her "lovers."
"Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns,
and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths." Hosea 2:6.
Here we see that the church proposes, but that God disposes;
her plans do not work out as expected-she loses her way as does a ship without
chart or compass drifting at sea.
"The facts concerning the real condition of the
professed people of God, speak more loudly than their profession, and make it
evident that some power has cut the cable that anchored them to the Eternal
Rock, and that they are drifting away to sea, without chart or compass."
Review and Herald, July 24, 1888.
"Some power, it is declared, had cut the cable that
anchored the church to the Eternal Rock, and its members were drifting away to
sea without chart or compass. What situation could be more alarming than this?
What more convincing reason could be given to show the need of turning with all
the heart to Him who alone is able to hold us fast?" Christ Our
Righteousness, pp. 36,37.
"And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall
not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall
she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with
me than now." Hosea 2:7.
Again we see that trials and adverse circumstances are for
our good, for thus is the church brought to her right senses. The only way that
He can then save her and bring her back to Him, is to withdraw His helping hand
from her until she finds herself grounded on a reef of her own folly, with the
fierce waves of retribution beating over her sides. Then only will she respond
to His voice.
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that our church will actually
experience this as it says: "Unless the church, which is now being leavened
with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the
fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. When she resists the evil
and chooses the good, when she seeks God with all humility and reaches her high
calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith laying
hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. She will appear
in her God-given simplicity and purity, separate from earthly entanglements,
showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then her members will indeed be
the chosen of God, His representatives." Testimonies, Vol. 8 pp. 250,251.
"For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine,
and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine
in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her
nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and
none shall deliver her out of mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to
cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn
feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said,
These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a
forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them." Hosea 2:8-12.
From these verses we see that it was just such a departure
from God that caused the church in her early Christian era to lose her path and
all her possessions, including her feast days, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and
all her solemn feasts.
This is exactly what happened when the "Dark Ages"
of religion began. The Pagans in whose clutches the church fell were no more to
blame for the church's going into darkness than were the Chaldeans of destroying
Judah and her temple. The real blame falls on the church herself. And this
should be a lasting lesson to all of us, that we should never again have illicit
connection with the world, should never depart from the Lord. (See Great
Controversy pp. 384, 385. )
The Wilderness Experience.
Now, let us read what other experiences the church was to go
"And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein
she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her
jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord. Therefore,
behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak
comfortably unto her." Hosea 2:13,14.
This prediction was made over a thousand years before she
lost her vineyards, and before she "fled into the wilderness, where she
hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two
hundred and threescore days." Rev. 12:6. But while she was there in
fugitive retreat from her own I and, God spoke "comfortably unto her."
In other words, she, like the wayward prodigal, had to have a bitter experience,
longing again For home, before the Lord could do anything for her. Thus at the
end of her exile, His overtures of love and mercy were to strike in her a truly
Notice that the Lord visits the church not when she is in
good spiritual standing with Him, but when she is in her greatest idolatry.
Indeed, He could not visit her at a more opportune time, because only when she
is in greatest darkness can she possibly discern light. And her condition, you
know, can never improve unless He should call on her. Thus it was in John the
Baptist's day, also when the Protestant reformation came, and thus it is today.
God knows how to save. Saving is His chief concern.
We generally think of idolaters as somebody who bows down to
an image, but the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that even some Sabbath-keepers are
idolaters as it says: ". . .Modern Israel are in greater danger of
forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many
idols are worshiped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers. . . ." Testimonies,
Vol. 1, p. 609. An idol is anything we put before God.
The Valley Of Achor---Her Door Of Hope.
And what is God's promise now to His church?
"And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the
valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of
her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt."
This verse should clarify the truth concretely that Hosea's
wife represents God's church beginning with the Exodus movement "in the
days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the Egypt,"
and on down to the time of her complete restoration. This could not possibly be
Hosea's literal wife as this covers a period of several centuries.
The Achans Removed.
If the valley of Achor is to be a door of hope to her, what
else could it be but what is was in Joshua's time---the removal of the Achans of
today From her midst (Hos. 2:15)? Indeed, this is her only hope---in fact, even
more so than it was in the day of Israel's defeat at Ai, which was the gate to
the Promised Land.
The Spirit of Prophecy in commenting on this says: "I
was shown that the manner of Achan's confession was similar to the confessions
that some among us have made and will make. They hide their wrongs and refuse to
make a voluntary confession until God searches them out, and then they
acknowledge their sins. A few persons pass on in a course of wrong until they
become hardened. They may even know that the church is burdened, as Achan knew
that Israel were made weak before their enemies because of his guilt. Yet their
consciences do not condemn them. They will not relieve the church by humbling
their proud, rebellious hearts before God and putting away their wrongs. God's
displeasure is upon His people, and He will not manifest His power in the midst
of them while sins exist among them and are fostered by those in responsible
"Those who work in the fear of God to rid the church of
hindrances and to correct grievous wrongs, that the people of God may see the
necessity of abhorring sin and may prosper in purity, and that the name of God
may be glorified, will ever meet with resisting influences from the
unconsecrated. Zephaniah thus describes the true state of this class and the
terrible judgments that will come upon them:
"'And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will
search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their
lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do
evil." "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth
greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there
bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of
wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and
thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and
against the high towers.'" Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 270,271.
"If the presence of one Achan was sufficient to weaken
the whole camp of Israel, can we be surprised at the little success which
attends our efforts when every church and almost every family has its Achan?"
Testimonies. Vol. 5 pp. 157
"There is chaff among us, and this is why we are so
weak. " Testimonies, Vol. 1 p. 288.
"The sin must be removed before God's Spirit can come
in. I don't care where it is nor who it is, whether you have been a minister for
a score of years, or whether you are the sinner just being awakened to the
first-sense of guilt. Sin is sin everywhere; and it is sin that must be taken
away before God can come in;" General Conference Bulletin 1893 p. 188.
"I have been shown that God here illustrates how He
regards sin among those who profess to be His commandment-keeping people. . .
.If the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions,
His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held
responsible for those sins." Testimonies, Vol. 3. p. 265.
"Achans in camp are cowards in action, and the defeat of
All will surely follow.
"Now we can clearly see why there must be a sifting of
God's people before the loud cry can be given. The cause of weakness must first
be removed before valiant service can be expected in the field. A Gideon's band
is mightier than the hosts of Midian. God's people will never be prepared to
attack the sins of Babylon as long as the principle of Babylon is in their
hearts. Therefore the giving of the loud cry must be preceded by a message to
God's people. which will accomplish an entire separation from Babylon. . . The
messenger must unite the fervor of Jeremiah with the fearlessness of
Elijah." Review and Herald, Feb. 4, 1902 J.A. Brunson.
The Spirit of Prophecy describes this purging as a
"terrible ordeal, " as it says: "The church may appear as about
to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be
sifted out--the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible
ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been
overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be
found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in
their mouths." 2 Selected Messages p. 380.
The servant of the Lord left on record an account of just how
this purging is to be done. "He who presides over His church and the
destinies of nations is carrying forward the last work to be accomplished for
this world. To His angels He gives the commission to execute His judgments. Let
the ministers awake, let them take in the situation. The work of judgment begins
at the sanctuary. "And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher
gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his
hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by
his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar." Read
Ezekiel 9:2-7. The command is, "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and
little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and
begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the
house." Saith God. "I will recompense their way upon their
head."' Testimonies to Ministers pp. 431,432 Read also Testimonies, Vol. 5
The servant of the Lord goes on to tell us that it is
actually the angels that do the separating. "The time of the harvest will
fully determine the character of the two classes specified under the figure of
the tares and the wheat. The work of separation is given to the angels of God,
and not committed into the hands of any man." Testimonies to Ministers p.
"As we near the judgment, all will manifest their true
character, and it will be made plain to what company they belong. The sieve is
moving. Let us not say: Stay Thy hand, O God. The church must be purged, and it
will be." Testimonies, Vol. 1 p. 100.
For a more detailed explanation of this purging or cleansing
please review Study #4, Ezekiel 9, literal or Spiritual?
Mother And Father Reunited.
Now let us go back to Hosea, chapter 2, and see what happens
to God's church after the Achans are purged out:
"And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou
shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali." Hosea 2:16.
So it is that after the hypocrites and sinners are taken out
the way, the church shall no longer call the Saviour Baali (Lord), but she shall
call him Ishi (Husband). The significance is that then He will truly be her
husband, she will not be following after her other lovers-the world. Today the
church as a body does not have that close relationship to Him as a bride does to
her husband. It is more like a relationship that one has to some great
personality. Yes, rather than be her lord, God is indeed to be her husband, for
one can have lords many, but only one husband.
Names Of Ballim Forgotten.
"For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her
mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name." Hosea 2:17.
The names of Baalim are significant of persons possessing
selfish characters such as Balaam's teachers of religion, prophets who would
rather curse Israel than lose the opportunity of monetary gain, or of some other
foolish, selfish promotion that exalts and flatters. Such shall then no longer
be known by their lordly, high and exalted titles.
When the Church is thus purged of all her idols, then will
she find eternal peace. Then the church militant, will become the church
Triumphant. (See Testimonies to Ministers pp. 45, 47.) "The work is soon to
close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become
the church triumphant.-- Letter 32, 1892." Evangelism p. 707.
Peace Restored In The Home Again.
"And in that day will I make a covenant for them with
the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping
things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out
of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee
unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in
judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto
me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. And it shall come to pass in
that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall
hear the earth; And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil;
and they shall hear Jezreel." Hosea 2:18-22.
The Spirit of Prophecy in commenting on these verses says,
"In the last days of this earth's history, God's covenant with His
commandment-keeping people is to be renewed. "In that day will I make a
covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven,
and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the
sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.
And I will betroth thee unto Me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in
righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will
even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.
"And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear,
saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the
earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear
Jezreel. And I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her
that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people,
Thou art My people; and they shall say, Thou art my God." Verses 18-23.
""In that day" "the remnant of Israel,
and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, . . . shall stay upon the Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, in truth." Isaiah 10:20. From "every nation,
and kindred, and tongue, and people" there will be some who will gladly
respond to the message, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of
His judgment is come." They will turn from every idol that binds them to
earth, and will "worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and
the fountains of waters." They will free themselves from every entanglement
and will stand before the world as monuments of God's mercy. Obedient to the
divine requirements, they will be recognized by angels and by men as those that
have kept "the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Revelation 14:6,7,12." Prophets and Kings pp. 299-300. See also Rev. 7:9.
The Earth Shall Hear God's Voice.
These verses (Hos. 2:18-22) plainly show that God's presence
will in that day be in His church, that even the heavens will-be listening to
God's voice while He speaks to His people here on earth. The earth shall also
hear the "corn, and the wine, and the oil;" that is, the earth shall
hear the Truth---Truth that satisfies the soul as does wholesome, and nourishing
Other Scriptures point out this same glorious truth.
"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14.
During the time of the Loud Cry the Scriptures portray the
earth as being full of light: "And after these things I saw another angel
come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his
glory." Rev. 18:1.
"The Loud Cry. --During the loud cry, the church, aided
by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the
knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light will be communicated to every
city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So
abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the
intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing
everywhere.-- Review and Herald, Oct. 13, 1904." Evangelism, pp. 694.
Moreover, not only the corn, the wine, and the oil---the
whole Truth---but Jezreel, too, shall the earth hear. Plainly, all these
promises are to be fulfilled during probationary time, for they cannot do the
earth any good after probationary time is exhausted.
God's People Multiplied.
Now for the last verse of Hosea, chapter 2.
"And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will
have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which
were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my
God." Hosea 2:23.
The promise, "I will sow (multiply) her unto me in the
earth," bears further substantiation that there is to be an ingathering of
souls after the purification. Hence Jezreel's message accomplishes all this
before the final close of probation---that for the world.
This evidence upon evidence makes clear that after the
144,000 are sealed and separated from among the tares in the church, God
"will send . . . them unto the nations," where "they shall
declare" His "glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your
brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations. . .in a clean vessel
into the house of the Lord." Isaiah 66:19,20 (see also Rev. 7:9.)
Thus in the closing work for the world, when the last great
harvest shall be gathered in---during the time of the Loud Cry---the church will
be " . . . 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army
with banners" . . . she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and
to conquer." Prophets and Kings p. 725.
Let us now review our study by following the chart on pp. 16,
17. Here we see Jezreel, Lo-ruhumah, and Lo-ammi as little children pictorially
representing the kingdom of Israel and Judah in their calamities, a complete but
brief history of the Old Testament church and her people.
Then we see that the letters "Lo" are dropped from
the names Ruhamah and Ammi, denoting a change of names-Jews called
Christians,---meaning "mercy" and "My people" instead of
"no mercy" and "not My people." Jezreel's name though,
remains the same, and as he represents God's messengers in all times, this shows
that they are the descendants of Jacob and therefore we must hear and obey them.
The family as little children representing the people of the
Old Testament church, and as youth representing the New Testament church, show
that spiritual growth has been made through the stream of time, as was shown in
the prophecy of Ezekiel 4, concerning the truths that were restored during the
reformation (see Study #12, "Our Fourth Years Wilderness Wanderings"),
that these children are now grown, able to take "strong meat," and
truly to be the reformers to the church, and the missionaries to the world.
We also see that the same mother and the same father, along
with the same children, represent both the Old and New Testament churches; that
the descendants of Jacob in reality are the old olive tree (Rom. 11:24), that
the only way the Gentiles can get into the kingdom is for them to be grafted
into the old olive tree. Jew or Gentile, all must join it if they are to be in
the kingdom. This can be done only by our own consent and action now while the
Spirit is pleading with us, and while the Lord stands ready to do the work. No
one need be excluded. No one need remain a lukewarm Laodicean unless he so
chooses. Our hope is that all will chose life rather than death.
Next we see that the church as portrayed in Hosea's prophecy
is composed of a Father, a mother, and of sons and daughter, that the Father is
God; that the wife is the ministry (those who bring in converts); that the
children are the laity. We see also that the church (woman) was married to the
Lord in her youth, "in the day she came up out of the land of Egypt",
as the Spirit of Prophecy says: "Soon after the encampment at Sinai, Moses
was called up into the mountain to meet with God. . . Israel was now to be taken
into a close and peculiar relation to the Most High---to be incorporated as a
church and a nation under the government of God." Patriarchs and Prophets
From What Walk Of Life Would We Expect This Antitypical
Jezreel (God's Mouthpiece for Today) To Come From?
"God never selected as a prophet either the high priest
or any other great personage; but ordinarily He chose low and despised men, once
even the shepherd Amos. In every age, the saints have had to reprove the great,
kings, princes, priests, and wise men, at the peril of their lives. . . ."
Great Controversy pp. 142,143.
"But the Holy Spirit will, from time to time, reveal the
truth through its own chosen agencies; and no man, not even a priest or ruler,
has a right to say, You shall not give publicity to your opinions, because I do
not believe them. That wonderful "I" may attempt to put down the Holy
Spirit's teaching. Men may for a time attempt to smother it and kill it; but
that will not make error truth, or truth error." Testimonies to Ministers
Elder A.T. Jones made this statement in 1893: "That,
(the 1888 experience) however, is but a sample. There will be things to come
that will be more surprising than that was to those at Minneapolis,---more
surprising than anything we have yet seen. And, brethren, we will be required to
receive and preach that truth. But unless you and I have every fiber of that
spirit rooted out of our hearts, we will treat that message and the messenger by
whom it is sent, as God declared we have treated this other message."
General Conference Bulletin, 1893 p. 185.
From the foregoing facts we must conclude then that the
knowledgeable student of the Scriptures would not be expecting the-Jezreel of
today to come from the generally expected channels.
Why Doesn't The Lord Generally Choose Men Of Learning &
High Position To Lead Out In Reform Movements?
"The reason why He does not oftener choose men of
learning and high position to lead out in reform movements is that they trust to
their creeds, theories, and theological systems, and feel no need to be taught
of God." Great Controversy p . 456.
"Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent
will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with
the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be
entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged.
They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord
has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to
view." Testimonies. Vol. 5, pp. 80,81.
Upon What Principle Should We Accept Any Truth?
"Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the
reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of
Scripture is presented, many do not ask, Is it true--in harmony with God's word?
but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that
pleases them, they do not accept it.
"The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He
surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while
He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should
come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits--because it is
truth." Testimonies to Ministers pp. 105,106.
"No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our
hearts to receive it with the meekness of Christ. But many do not do this. When
a controverted point is presented, they pour in question after question, without
admitting a point when it is well sustained. O, may we act as men who want
"The Lord sends light to us to prove what manner of
spirit we are of. We are not to deceive ourselves." Gospel Workers, pp.
One who entrusts to another the investigation of a message
from the Lord, is making flesh his arm, and thus is foolishly acting as without
a mind of his own. And "the mind that depends upon the judgment of others
is certain, sooner or later, to be misled." Education p. 231.
Why Can We Not Put Explicit Trust In Anyone when It Comes To
Matters Of Eternal Interest?
"We must not trust to others to search the Scriptures
for us. Some of our leading brethren have frequently taken their position on the
wrong side; and if God would send a message and wait for these older brethren to
open the way for its advancement, it would never reach the people.
"A great work is to be done, and God sees that our
leading men have need of more light, that they may unite with the messengers
whom He sends to accomplish the work that He designs shall be done. The Lord has
raised up messengers, and endued them with His Spirit, and has said, "Cry
aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their
transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.". . . Let no one run the
risk of interposing between the people and the message of Heaven. This message
will go to the people; and if there were no voice among men to give it, the very
stones would cry out." Gospel Workers pp. 303 304.
"But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great
danger with our people has been that of depending upon men and making flesh
their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for
themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept
the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends
to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.
"No one should claim that he has all the light there is
for God's people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said, "I have set
before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." Even if all our leading
men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord
will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time."
Testimonies to Ministers pp. 106-107.
"In the manifestation of that power which lightens the
earth with the glory of God, they will see only something which in their
blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears, and
they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work
according to their ideas and expectations, they will oppose the work.
"Why," they say, "should not we know the Spirit of God, when we
have been in the work so many years?" Review and Herald, Dec. 23, 1890.
What Was One Of The Greatest Arguments Against William
"To William Miller and his co-laborers it was given to
preach the warning in America. . . .
"There were comparatively few ministers, however, who
would accept this message; therefore it was largely committed to humble laymen.
Farmers left their fields, mechanics their tools, traders their merchandise,
professional men their positions; and yet the number of workers was small in
comparison with the work to be accomplished." Great Controversy pp. 368.
"The fact that the message was, to a great extent,
preached by laymen, was urged as an instrument against it. As of old, the plain
testimony of God's word was met with the inquiry: "Have any of the rulers
or of the Pharisees believed?"' Great Controversy pp. 380.
"Light must come to the people through agents whom God
shall choose, who will give the note of warning, that none may be in ignorance
of the purposes of God or the devices of Satan. At the great heart of the work,
Satan will use his hellish arts to the utmost. He will seek in every possible
way to interpose himself between the people and God, and shut away the light
that God would have come to his children." Advent Review and Sabbath
Herald, Dec. 24, 1889.
May we as God's remnant church be willing to accept truth
through whatever channels the Lord shall choose.
Whom Will The Lord Choose To Finish His Work?
"Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed.
As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work
through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves
to His service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His
Spirit than by the training of literary institutions." Great Controversy p.
"But the Lord will use in the accomplishment of His work
means that we do not now see. He will raise up from among the common people, men
and women to do His work, even as of old He called fishermen to be his
disciples. There will soon be an awakening that will surprise many. Those who do
not realize the necessity of what is to be done, will be passed by, and the
heavenly messengers will work with those who are called the common people,
fitting them to carry the truth to many places. Now is the time for us to awake
and do what we can." The Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters, pp.
"God will move upon men in humble positions to declare
the message of present truth. Many such will be seen hastening hither and
thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to give the light to those in
darkness. The truth is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning
desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated,
will proclaim the word of the Lord. Children will be impelled by the Holy Spirit
to go forth to declare the message of heaven. The Spirit will be poured out upon
those who yield to His promptings. Casting off man's binding rules and cautious
movements, they will join the army of the Lord.
"In the future, men in the common walks of life will be
impressed by the Spirit of the Lord to leave their ordinary employment and go
forth to proclaim the last message of mercy." Testimonies, Vol. 7 pp.
It is not our intention to cast reflection upon the present
leadership of the church as we are well aware of the fact that the Lord has His
faithful people among the ministry as well as the laity. However, we must not
fail to conceal any of the truths that the servant of the Lord has left on
record for us.
What Truly Makes One Great In God's Sight?
"Only those who have a personal connection with the
Source of wisdom are able to understand or explain the Scriptures. Men who have
little of the learning of the schools are sometimes called to declare the truth,
not because they are unlearned, but because they are not too self-sufficient to
be taught of God. They learn in the school of Christ, and their humility and
obedience make them great. In committing to them a knowledge of His truth, God
confers upon them an honor, in comparison with which earthly honor and human
greatness sink into insignificance." Great Controversy p. 456.
"Time is short, and what you do must be done quickly.
Resolve to redeem the time. Seek not your own pleasure. Rouse yourself! Take
hold of the work with a new purpose of heart. The Lord will open the way before
you. Make every possible effort to work in Christ's lines, in meekness and
lowliness, relying upon Him for strength. Understand the work the Lord gives you
to do, and, trusting in God, you will be enabled to go on from strength to
strength, from grace to grace. You will be enabled to work diligently,
perseveringly, for your people while the day lasts; for the night cometh in
which no man shall work." Testimonies, Vol . 9 p . 200.
The Lord's heartrending plea to His church today is:
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy
first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do
the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy
candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." Rev. 2:4-5.
How glorious it is to know that God will have a remnant from
His church that will return to their first love, and this revival and
reformation brought forth by this laymen's movement shall accomplish its given
work. And as a result the purified church of God shall live happily in peace and