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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    L. T. NICOLA


    Brief mention has been made of some of the leading features of the present situation, and it becomes fitting now to raise the question which heads this article. Indications are multiplying daily that the coming of our Lord is near at hand; doors stand open on every side for the truth to enter; but God’s people are not coming up to the help of the Lord! they are letting his work suffer for want of necessary support! What does such a state of things call for on our part? Surely the answer is not difficult to find. The solemn time in which we live, and the serious situation which confronts us, call for humbling of soul and earnest seeking of God on the part of every believer. It is not only the financial question that is involved. Something must be wrong with our spiritual condition. Where is the love of the truth which prompted those early pioneers in this movement to give their all toward its support? Let us be persevering in prayer, and not rest till we are sure of our acceptance with God.GCB April 1, 1896, page 688.9

    Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger. Zephaniah 2:1-3.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.1

    Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him. Joel 2:12-14.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.2

    Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:8-10.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.3

    These scriptures are to the point. They exhort us to seek the Lord, to humble ourselves, to cleanse our hands, and to purify our hearts. This we can do by confession of sin and turning to God with all our heart. We must cease to be double-minded. The lukewarmness and stupor that is over the church is terrible; we are in the greatest danger of being spewed out as abominable, unless there is a decided change.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.4

    The Laodicean message applies to us at this time, and should be taken to heart. It describes a sad condition of things indeed, and calls for a thorough reformation; but even it does not leave us without hope. The True Witness counsels us, “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.”GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.5

    God stands ready to do great things for his people; his offers are free and large. He says:—GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.6

    Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices; but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou has wearied me with thine iniquities. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. Isaiah 43:24-26.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.7

    Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Ezekiel 36:25-27GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.8

    What more could the Lord offer us? He has opened wide the door of mercy. Brethren, will you go in? He has freely offered forgiveness. Will you accept it of him? A new heart also he wants to give you. Will you take it? His spirit is freely bestowed on all his children. Are you prepared to make room for its indwelling in your heart?GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.9

    O for that hunger and thirst after righteousness that will not be satisfied till full salvation is realized! Brethren, let us awake and bestir ourselves ere it is too late. We are treading on dangerous ground. So many do not realize this; they neglect to watch, and are caught in the bewitching snares of the world.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.10

    The state of things that existed in the days of Noah is repeated in our time, in fulfillment of our Saviour’s words:—GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.11

    For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:38-39.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.12

    To us he addresses the warning:—GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.13

    Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Luke 21:34.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.14

    These are momentous times. Great light has been given us as a people. Again and again the Spirit of God has spoken to us in earnest words of entreaty, warning, and encouragement. The dangers and perils of the last days have been faithfully placed before us, and still we do not sense the situation.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.15

    We are living in the most solemn period of this world’s history. The destiny of earth’s teeming multitudes is about to be decided. Our own future well-being, and also the salvation of other souls, depends upon the course which we now pursue. We need to be guided by the Spirit of truth. Every follower of Christ should earnestly inquire, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, with fasting and prayer, and to meditate much upon his word, especially upon the scenes of the Judgement. We should now seek a deep and living experience in the things of God. We have not a moment to lose. Events of vital importance are taking place around us: we are on Satan’s enchanted ground. Sleep not, sentinels of God; the foe is lurking near, ready at any moment, should you become lax and drowsy, to spring upon you and make you his prey. — “Great Controversy.” p. 601.GCB April 1, 1896, page 689.16

    The time of Jacob’s trouble is right upon us. It is described in the following words:—GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.1

    For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble: but he shall be saved out of it. Jeremiah 30:5-7.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.2

    The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger, — a faith that will not faint, though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all who prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God’s promises as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for his blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God - how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch! When waves of despair which no language can express, sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God. — “Great Controversy,” p. 621.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.3

    O how terrible the stupor that has come over so many of God’s people! We are passing enchanted ground. Fearful dangers threaten us; we walk, as it were, on the verge of a steep precipice, and yet with giddy heart and thoughtless step.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.4

    Long has the warning message been calling to us; and if we still sleep on, soon the words which Christ addressed to the sleeping disciples in Gethsemane will be said to us, “Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come.” While Christ struggled in the garden, the disciples slept. Twice he waked them, and bade them watch. But when he came the third and last time, and found them sleeping, he told them to sleep on and take their rest. The time which should have been used in earnestly seeking God for strength had been left unimproved, and the hour of temptation came upon them wholly unprepared. Christ had tried in different ways to prepare the disciples for this very hour, but their minds were so wholly engrossed with other questions that they failed to comprehend what was before them.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.5

    The Lord is doing the same with us. Message after message of warning and admonition has come to us to prepare us for what is before us. Will we repeat the history of the disciples of old, and, like them, be so absorbed with personal and worldly matters that we do not give heed to obtaining the preparation necessary for us to stand in the great day.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.6

    In that terrible hour of agonizing prayer and seeking of God in the garden, our Saviour received strength for the trying scenes through which he had to pass; but the disciples were unprepared, and fled; and Peter, with cursing, denied his Lord. Beloved brethren and sisters, we call upon you in the name of the Master to awake. There is yet help for those who will turn to the Lord with all the heart, but soon - yes, very soon - it will be forever too late. We are entering the closing struggle with the powers of darkness, but while you may, like Peter, James and John, enter the garden with Jesus, will it be to watch and pray and conquer with him, or to sleep as they slept? May the Lord help us to sense the gravity of the situation, and give earnest heed to the messages of warning and instruction so often sent us.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.7

    The chapter on The Shaking, in “Early Writings,” will bear careful reading at this time. It contains most important instruction.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.8

    We entreat our brethren and sisters to make earnest work of seeking the Lord. It is not the outward show, but the earnest heart-work, that will tell. It is not the rending of the garments but the deep moving of the heart, that is acceptable with God. It is sin that separates from him. Pride, worldliness, selfishness, covetousness (which is idolatry), — all these have been cherished in many a heart. Petty jealousies, evil surmisings, talebearing, are also entertained, and drive the Spirit of God from us. Many are robbing God in tithes and offerings, thus depriving themselves of the blessings that would come from the faithful performance of these duties; and withholding from the Lord’s treasury the means necessary for his work. All these are sins which God cannot approve, and in our turning to the Lord these must be put away, if we are to see of his salvation. Just before the ascension, our Saviour said to his disciples: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Great power and activity characterized the church under the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thousands were converted in a day, and the gospel was carried to all the world.GCB April 1, 1896, page 690.9

    We are now in the time of the latter rain, when the last warning message is to go to all the world with great power. Are we giving it with no uncertain sound? Not simply in words; but do our lives show that we are looking for the soon coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven? This is a solemn question. O let every heart go out to the Lord in earnest supplication for the gift of his spirit in richer measure!GCB April 1, 1896, page 691.1

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