POINTED TESTIMONYARSH July 31, 1860, page 84UrSe
IT is natural to love smooth testimony. Many professors become much opposed to plain and pointed testimony, although it may be in harmony with the word of God. But grace will overcome our natural feelings, and we may possess an undying love for the honor of God and the purity of the christian character, so as to love that testimony which pointedly rebukes sin, and points out the narrow way to life. When the professed followers of Christ lose their love for plain, pointed preaching, their condition is fearful. Sometimes difficulties arise in the church because the preaching is too pointed to suit some, and division follows. Some think the church is in a better condition than the preacher represents them to be.
But when preachers, through love to suit the people, lack of moral courage, or something else, lose their love for the pure testimony, and begin to complain of their brother preacher who takes the sword of the Spirit and cuts his way through, there is reason to fear the result. What a feeling gets up! This plain work will injure the cause! This brother takes too much upon himself! He will tear our church to pieces!
A difficulty of this character arose in the days of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Numbers 16:2, 3. “And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown. And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” Moses was faithful in all his house as a servant. Hebrews 3:5. His acceptance with God depended upon his faithfulness. Yet the princes of Israel, the famous ones, men of renown, rose up against him. This was a trying position for God’s servant. In his grief “he fell upon his face.”
The testimonies of the prophets of God were plain and pointed. They fearlessly rebuked sins without respect to persons, and for their faithfulness suffered the ire of those whom they in the name of the Lord reproved. They were even called upon to prophesy against false prophets. Says Jeremiah, “The Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name.” Chap 14:14. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Chap 6:14.
The spirit of the present time is clearly expressed by the prophet Isaiah. Chap 30:10-13: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits; get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
“Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon, therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.”
1 Thessalonians 5:3. “When they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them . . and they shall not escape.”
In this very time the servant of God is called upon to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1.
And at this very time the dreadful warning of the third angel, Revelation 14:9-12, is to be given. How plain, pointed and cutting this message! “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,” etc.
And, also, at this very time, when peace and safety prevails, and has even stolen over believers of the third message to an alarming extent, the testimony to the last of the seven churches must be given.
Revelation 3:15-20. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness, do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
The pointed testimonies for this time must live among Sabbath-keepers, or they will become as dead as a door nail. Ministers lay down the pure testimony, and lose their power with God, and with the people. The shaking is coming. A testimony will ripen in our midst that will shake everything that can be shaken, and the Lord will lead on a handful of valiant men and women to the victories of the loud cry of the third message ARSH July 31, 1860, page 84 – ARSH July 31, 1860, page 84.15
POINTED TESTIMONYARSH July 31, 1860, page 84UrSe