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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"The Word From the Lord"

In the darkest days of God’s people just before the horror of the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of Solomon’s Temple (586 B.C.), poor distraught King Zedekiah fetched Jeremiah the prophet out of his dungeon cell. “Is there any word from the Lord?” he pleaded. “There is,” he was told; up almost to the last moment, the king could have humbled his soul, gone out to the king of Babylon, humbled himself prostrate before him, and though he would not have saved his own life he would have saved the city and Temple and the people.
For King Zedekiah that would have been the conscious equivalent of his dying his second death. Such a move was the only recourse left that agape (the love of Christ) could have taken, had his heart been filled with agape. If King Zedekiah had read and understood Moses, he would have learned that most precious lesson, for Moses had sacrificed himself that way. In Exodus 32 he asks that his name be blotted out of God’s Book of Life so as to save his people Israel (vss. 30-32). King Zedekiah could have gone down in history as a hero. The lack of agape left him a hopeless coward.
The horror of contemporary daily news is reminiscent of those days before the fall of Jerusalem. Everywhere desponding leaders should be asking (in heart) if there is any word from the Lord. “There is,” says the Bible--the fall of Babylon, which is the key to the final outcome of world history.
But the fall of Babylon also requires another complementary development in world history--the proclamation of a message from heaven that must lighten the earth with glory (Rev. 18:1-4). The message will make sense of what “Babylon” is, and why it “falls.”
Also, there must be a people prepared to proclaim the message; they are identified as “the remnant,” the successors to the true church which Christ established on His apostles (12:17). They are distinguished as those who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” But no way can that truthfully be said of them unless they understand and believe “the everlasting gospel” of 14:6. It’s the pure, true gospel which makes them “obedient to all the commandments of God.”
Therefore, “the word from the Lord” just now while the world is in turmoil is that the Holy Spirit is revealing to God’s people the essence of that “third angel’s message,” which is “the everlasting gospel,” not everlasting legalism.
--Robert J. Wieland

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