Friday Morning Manna
May 1, 2020
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God is Speaking. Do You Know Recognize His ‘Voice’?
Jesus said: “My sheep know My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10: 27.
And He continues:“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them [His lamb and sheep], is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hands. I and My Father are one.” verses 28, 29.
In these short verses alone, God in Christ, through the Holy Spirit in the written and spoken Word, is speaking volumes of present, testing truth to two classes of people in this moment of earth-time in the vicinity of the prophesied startling closing events leading to the end of earth’s six-thousand-year probation. Jesus was born four thousand years after the fall. We are now “living and moving and have our being” (Acts 17: 28) in the year 2020.
Planet earth is now on its six-thousandth year, reckoned from creation. That’s why the ages of the patriarchs, starting with Adam down to the time of Noah, the tenth patriarch of the righteous line, and the length of time of the Flood itself were recorded in Genesis, the book of beginnings. Adam died at age 930; Seth, 912; Enos, 905; Cainan, 910; Mahaleel, 895; Jared, 962; Enoch, 365 (but was the first man translated to heaven without tasting death; Methuselah, 969 (the oldest); Lamech, 777 and Noah (whose name means “rest”), 950. That’s the unconvoluted and simple way to reckon earth time, Biblically. God’s way is not only the best but the only way, if you haven’t yet found out.
How about Evolution? Not by the most strenuous stretch of the imagination “till the molecules pop, is Evolution, in any form, manner or creative compromise, the “significant other” of God’s creation; it is, in fact and truth, the grand counterfeit. “Spiritual things can only be discerned spiritually.” Evolution, “speaking in tongues” difficult to understand, in stark contrast to the language and explanation of Creation and the Gospel that even “a child can understand,” attempts to intellectually explain the origin of man but cannot “intellectually and spiritually” explain anything that answers and provides fallen man’s greatest crying needs of a “hope that does not disappoint,” “peace that passeth understanding,” love that is not only “excelling” but unconditional, the healing of mind, soul and body, the unexplainable, multi-dimensional and all-encompassing comfort and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and the courage and strength that arms and empowers the weakest sinner who, by faith in God’s Word, are enabled to surmount all the trials and tribulations of mortal life and give them victory over their sins that have enslaved them.
The process of Evolution, unlike the story of Creation, does not, for by its very nature and substance, contain a plan of salvation, and thus offers no real hope whatsoever for fallen mankind. So, with no apologies, I will leave this subject to those who choose to do so but with these reminders that are practical and spiritual, never evolutionary: “What we sow, we shall reap.” We are what we eat, physically and spiritually. “By their fruits you will know them.” Man is mortal and finite; God alone is immortal and Infinite. “The wisdom of man is foolishness to God, and the wisdom of God is foolishness to man.” Take your pick, but choose wisely. It is what will determine, not only your future but your eternal destiny.
Doubtless, what is transpiring now are already being archived globally and will go into what used to be hard-bound history books but now e-book and such, framed in different “upgraded” ways as seen through the eyes of the modern-day historian, super-enhanced by the algorithm age and technologically-parsed and analyzed by inanimate artificial intelligence (which is touted, again, as the next higher level and generation of men, following the failed evolutionary process
Isn’t it so incongruous, so ironical, so ego-deflating and too-obvious to all, that all kinds of erudite excuses, skilled deflections and denials are attempted in vain to explain to the “ordinary man on the street” or to “the fool on the hill,” who make up the great masses of humanity, how to satisfactorily reconcile these two conflicting things playing out before the global eyes, in language easily understandable and sounds valid. It is this:
Here are the vaunted “great and wise men of the earth,” boasting of having defied what was once eagerly consumed as a more intellectual entertainment of science fiction, and actually have “conquered space,” reaching the farthest reaches of our solar system, and beyond,—in search for the origin of life and to prepare to relocate plighted mankind to some “earth-like planet, rebuilding it to suit and please an “evolved race,” and have dug deep down to the core of the earth, not only in search for more oil, precious and rare metals but to discover, again, the origins of how earth formed—and yet, were mysteriously, and yes, ironically, unable to anticipate, detect and prepare for, with all the advanced knowledge and most sophisticated and latest cutting-edge technologies, including space-age DNA testing that has brought some closure to relatives of victims classed as cold-cases for years, this invisible yet deadly corona virus, on late, old planet Earth! Let’s talk about earth first before wasting billions of dollars more on this space-age quixotic adventurism. The Bible cuts to the chase. Our sinful, cursed earth, the only planet in rebellion against God and His law in the whole universe, will be replaced by the earth made new, in God’s way and time. Period.
The sobering fact that every imaginable, respected and even venerated human authority and expertise, spanning the whole spectrum and every level of human endeavor and transaction, were caught flat-footed, thus are still scrambling to cobble together, in heroic efforts, a learn-as-you-go formula, not “to stay ahead of the curve” but to somehow “flatten the curve” (mind you, the earth is not flat!) and quickly restore a corresponding “novel” order, rhyme, reason and normalcy (whatever that will look like in the days ahead) to mankind and to the earth itself. And to think that Earth Day was just recently “celebrated!” (I will wade “not dive into” this vital topic in the next issues as it is very much part of the third angel’s message. For starters, consider this key verse: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” Rev. 6: 7, K.J.V.).
I don’t know about you. But most everything today, that the people themselves complain of, is practically artificial—to the things we use, wear, implant, eat, and yes, act, called out by many as “pretense,” worse, hypocrisy. Simply put, “not real but synthetic or plastic.” We not only see but experience its results, so much so we hear the plaintive pining “for the good old days,” “the days of yore,” “the once-upon-a time” when the days seemed like weeks and the weeks like months and even years. But all these are earth-bound, even if stored and processed by “clouds” in the air, that space known as the “first heavens,” earth’s atmosphere, created on the second day of creation week, called the “firmament” (Gen. 1: 6-8, KJV). The “second heavens” is that space called “the starry heavens” where the sun, moon, stars and other planets are. The “third heavens” is the home of the angels, the “Father’s house where there are many mansions.”
In tender, Shepherd-like tones, God is still speaking “in a still small voice” to those with undefiled or “unseared” consciences, conscience being defined as “the voice of God, heard amid the conflict of human passions” (E.G. White, 5 T 120) of those who claim or profess to be His lambs and sheep, members of “His flock,” the true church of the last days described as “they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14: 12). They are, like the rest of the world, going through a dark and foreboding stretch of the wilderness, infested with spiritual “fiery serpents,” predatorial institutional “beasts” and robbers waiting to waylay their souls, not necessarily empty their pockets. He is not only reminding, but warning them, as He did to backsliding ancient Israel (emphasis in italics mine):
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore, I was angry with that generation, and said, they always go astray in their heart [not in appearance or profession of faith], and they have not known My ways. So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest. [see Ps. 95: 7-11]. Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Heb. 3: 7-13, N.K.J.V.
The gentle Shepherd has now pivoted to His stern, yet benevolent office and Person as The Prophet-Teacher. As the prophesied Prophet (Deut.18: 15,18;Acts 3: 22, 23), He speaks in tones and demeanor appropriate to the office and task of One who warns, and, as the Master-Teacher, He teaches with divine authority with all nature at His disposal and command and also personally prepares extraordinary tests and administers them in extraordinary times. His “still small voice” is still speaking while the Holy Spirit is still doing His appointed work as Christ’s vicegerent on earth. But the very fact that earth is experiencing one calamity after another, increasing in frequency and intensity to this moment, is the evidence that the Holy Spirit is already gradually withdrawing from the earth, and therefore that “still small voice” will grow fainter and fainter until it is heard no more. That point is reached when men finally decide to choose to listen and follow the “voice” of the counterfeit shepherd.
God, at this very time, has resorted to speaking in thunderous tones through this Covid-19 global pandemic because “the people who are called by His name,” in spite of Him patiently pleading with them “in a still small voice, since after 1844, the times of prosperity to these closing hours of earth’s probation,” have stubbornly refused “to humble themselves, and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways” (2 Chron. 7: 14)
To the unbelieving world, the Savior of the world and of sinners is speaking in a language they understand and in a manner they are familiar with, and therefore, usually respond to: adversity, not prosperity; calamity, not times of peace; the specter of death, not the boon of life. These are the times when “there are no atheists in a foxhole,” where and when desperation sets in because there is simply with no one to turn to, and the last reliable ones standing also failed them. Inordinate fear literally drives them to “call upon God” as a last resort when He should have been the first and only One!
This deadly Covid-19 pandemic disease, while not a “clone” or twin of death, is indeed looking like a “novel” “great equalizer.’ As to how we—-whether a professed member of “the little flock,” or the greater body of mainstream Christianity, or the other religions and faith communities of the world, or those who do not currently believe in God or any religion (for various reasons)—view what is happening to the world, and to us personally in this current Covid-19 global pandemic, and what we make out of it in the time remaining, for how long no one knows, will either be a most wonderful blessing in disguise, or, an even more devastating and damning curse.
To those who profess to be members of “the little flock” of the gentle Shepherd, and caught yourself, or the Covid-19 caught you so unprepared like the five foolish virgins so that one could hardly tell the difference in their reflex reactions to that of the unbelievers and the rest of the world around them, it is time to ‘’fess up.’ Let’s go back to what the Shepherd guaranteed to those who “know His voice” and He knows them, too. He, who is the “way, the truth and the life,” said: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them [His lamb and sheep], is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hands. I and My Father are one.” Verses 28, 29.
If your and I are so fearful and paranoid of dying of this Covid-19, please read these verses again until it becomes part of you, going forward! No one, not death nor anything can “snatch us away from the joint hands of Jesus and the Father! He said, “I and My Father are one.” This promise applies only if we are in, not out of His hands! So “make your calling and election sure” by knowing what it means and takes to be in His hands! (To be continued next week, God w