FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
November 22, 2013
Are We Preparing for the Latter Rain?– Part VI
Calamities always seem to bring out the best and worst in men—heroic and magnanimous efforts in the former and shameless looting and opportunism in the latter. But they and many of us, too, still don’t get it, this late.
While Haiyan’s multi-dimensional devastation in the Philippines were and are still hot in the news feeds, the Chicago Tribune, Nov. 18headlined: “Deadly storm spawns more than 80 reports of tornadoes in Midwest.” An old ditty says, “Never on a Sunday.” But as the Tribune reports: “The scale of Sunday’s [November 17] deadly storm became clearer . . : 8 people dead in Illinois, hundreds of homes flattened and splintered, more than 8o tornadoes reported through the Midwest, 40 reports of large hail. Since 1986, there have been 194 tornado warnings issued on the month of November in Illinois : More than half of them, 101, were issued Sunday, according to the Chicago Weather Center . . . . WGN-TV metereologist Tom Skilling said it may go down as one of the most powerful to hit the region in decades.’. . . Hardest hit was Washington, a town of 15, 000 people . . . hit by an EF-4 tornado packing winds of 170-190 mph. ‘The devastation was just unbelievable,” said Mayor Gary Manier.’”
The (Philippine) National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s latest tally of Haiayan: 3, 976 deaths; 1598 missing; 18, 175 injured. Reuters reported earlier (November 16) that “The patchy initial response highlighted the need for international agencies and local governments to prepare for more frequent, more devastating natural disasters, said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. ‘This is a mindset change that must happen if we want to stand up to this trend,’ she told Reuters in Tacloban. MailOnLine reports (November 20) that Prince Charles, addressing business leaders and forestry experts at the Royal Society in Central London, warned that “extreme weather events such as Typhoon Haiyan are increasingly a direct result of man-made climate change.”
Expect to hear more of such language in the days ahead—a combination of commendable and lamentable superlatives, disbelief, brave words, and continuous record-breaking stats, persistently still called “natural disasters.” Earth’s wise men have looking at the wrong places, investing diminishing resources and yet have failed to come up this late into earth’s history on how to accurately predict these calamities (although great strides have been made, relatively speaking, to the science and technology of the 20thcentury). The cold fact is, in general, they are still reacting, recording, and coming up with profound scientific explanations and yet are still truly at a loss as to how to prevent them.
And while here on earth the nations can hardly cope with the onslaught of calamities, disasters, wars, crimes, financial crisis, moral degeneracy, and political strife, NASA launched November 18 “Dream Machine,” its newest robotic probe of our solar system’s Red Planet. Named MAVEN (Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution probe), its mission is “to investigate Martian atmospheric mystery.” MAVEN began a “10-month journey to look for clues about the evolution of Mars through its atmosphere.”
Clues about the evolution of Mars? How about looking not merely for “clues” but for the real answers that will not only clear befuddled minds but will fill hearts with genuine hope and peace even as we witness, and sadly for countless thousands more, actually experience these terrible things taking place before our eyes right here on terra firma? Who has the real answers? God’s faithful down through the ages to our very time have always turned to God, revealed in His Word, and were given explanations for their generation but more particularly, stupendous end-time revelations for ours!
“Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God [study God’s Word, and follow Christ’s self-denying, self-sacrificing life example] will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men . . . .
Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work.Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth . . . Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated . .
We, with all our religious [and spiritual] advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know . . . . As we near the close of this world’s history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. The last book of the New Testament Scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand.”- E. G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 116, 117.
Let’s fix this truth in our minds: “In the formation of our world, God was not to beholden to pre-existent substance or matter. ‘For the things that are seen were not made of the things which do appear.’ (Hebrews 11: 3]. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice, and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the hosts of them, the earth and the things that are therein, are not only the work of His hand, they came into existence by the breath of His mouth. [See Psalms 33: 6-9; Colossians 1: 16-18; Hebrews 1: 1-3, etc].
“The Lord had given evidence that by His power He could in one short hour dissolve the whole frame of nature. He can turn things upside down, and destroy the things that man has built up in His most firm and substantial manner. [See Job 9: 5, 6].
“The Lord gives warnings to the inhabitants of the earth . . . When God’s restraining hand is removed, the destroyer [Satan and his evil angels] begins his work. Then in our cities the greatest calamities will come . . . The Lord is slow to anger. This should inspire the heart with gratitude [Nahum 1: 3 quoted]. The Lord puts constraint upon His own attributes. Omnipotence is exerted over Omnipotence Himself. . . .
“Ere long there will be a sudden change in God’s dealings. The Lord is prepared to visit the earth, for the iniquity of men is swelling to terrible proportions. ‘Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily , therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil’ [Ecclesiastes 8: 11]. . . .
“The Lord is teaching men that there are limits to His forbearance. In fires, in floods, in earthquakes, in the fury of the great deep, in calamities by sea and land, the warning is given the God’s Spirit will not always strive with men. [See Gen. 6: 3, 5-7; Matt. 24: 37-51, etc.]. The times in which we live are times of great depravity and crime of every degree. Why?—because men, who God has blessed and favored, have reduced His law to a dead letter, making void the law of God by the traditions and inventions of the man of sin . . . In proportion as the commandments of God are despised and set aside for the commandments of men, which bear not the least sanctity, the appreciation of those who have come out of the world, and have separated from it, is strikingly developed. On the other side, Satan through his masterly power will seek to obtain the supremacy. It is the last of the great controversy and will end in his destruction. There is a point in the iniquity of men when it is necessary that God shall interfere, and this point is being reached; and those who are loyal to God’s commandments are more than ever bound to prize and love the law of God.”- E. G. White, Manuscript127, Nov. 22, 1897/LDE 211.
In The Introduction of The Great Controversy, 1911 edition, E. G. White wrote:
“For the believers at Ephesus the apostle prayed, ‘That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you theSpirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and . . . . what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe.’ Ephesians 1: 17-19. The ministry of the divine Spirit in enlightening the understanding and opening to the mind the deep things of God’s holy word [see 1 Cor. 2: 10 -14], was the blessing which Paul thus sought for the Ephesian church.
“After the wonderful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted the people to repentance and baptism in the name of Christ, for the remission of their sins; and said: ‘Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.’ Acts 2: 38, 39.
See Acts 1: 1-26; 2: 1-18. “In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of His Spirit. Joel 2: 28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel.
“The great controversy between good and evil will increase in intensity to the very close of time. In all ages the wrath of Satan has been manifested against the church of Christ ; and God has bestowed His grace and Spirit upon His people to strengthen them to stand against the power of the evil one. When the apostles were to bear His gospel to the world and to record it for future ages, they were especially endowed with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. But as the church approaches her final deliverance, Satan is to work with greater power. He comes down ‘having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.’ Revelation 12: 12. He will work ‘with all power and signs and lying wonders.’ 2 Thessalonians 2: 9.” (To be continued next week)