The Home Missionary, vol. 9

The Home Missionary, Vol. 9 (1897)


April 1897

“The Dangers of Riches Vs. the Blessings of Poverty” The Home Missionary, 9 Extra, pp. 4-6.


“Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,” “for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” The more the Bible is studied, the more it will be seen how much of it is written with reference to the times of the end of the world. There is more written of the events of the last week of the Saviour’s life than of all the rest of the three and a half years of his ministry. And when the record is carefully studied, it will be seen that this is so because the events of the last week of his life are simply a miniature of the last days of the whole world; and whoever would be prepared to pass through the perils of the last days, up to the end of the world, must have this experience of the last days of Jesus in the world, graven upon his heart and woven into his life. HOMI April 1897, page 4.1

When the prophecies are viewed in the light of the fact that they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come, they will be found to be freighted with the deepest meaning for the world as it is to-day. This is true also even of the Pentateuch, for the times of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt are but a picture, in relation to both Israel and Egypt, of the times that are now upon the world, and are further to come upon the world. So that it is strictly true that though the Bible in all its parts is blessed truth for people in all times, yet the great object of the writing as a whole is for the admonition of those upon whom the ends of the world shall come. HOMI April 1897, page 4.2

With this in view, the books of the Kings and Chronicles are found to be no less fresh, vivid, and living present truth than any other portions of the Bible; for these books are the record of the perishing of the two kingdoms into which Israel was divided after the death of Solomon. The last days of the ten tribes—the kingdom of Israel—is a prophetic picture of these last days; and the last days of the kingdom of Judah, even to its destruction and the leaving of the land desolate, is a picture of the last days, even to the destruction of all kingdoms and the leaving of the land desolate. And this record is thus written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come. HOMI April 1897, page 5.1

To be fairly understood, these books must be read in connection with the prophets who prophesied in the last days of these kingdoms. Amos and Hosea, particularly, prophesied in the very last days of Israel; Ezekiel and Jeremiah, in the very last days of the kingdom of Judah; and the careful reading of the later portions of Kings and Chronicles, with Amos and Hosea, and Jeremiah and Ezekiel, will give as clear a view of the times which are now upon the earth, and which are yet to come, as is given even in Daniel and Revelation. Whoever gives to these books the careful study that they deserve, will see that they are certainly written for the present time, and are present truth as really as are the books of Daniel and Revelation. HOMI April 1897, page 5.2

All through the Bible there are treasures of truth, of wisdom, and of warning, put there for the people who are living to-day but who have not yet found them, and are allowing precious time to pass unimproved in the finding of them. O, let every one who professes to be waiting for the coming of the Lord, search diligently and delve deep into this mine of truth, which by the Holy Spirit will be opened wide to the earnest, prayerful, student. HOMI April 1897, page 5.3

Here is a striking lesson from the last days of Judah. When the time came that the city was completely overthrown, the temple destroyed, and the whole people, with their wealth, and the treasures of the temple of God, were all carried captive to Babylon, it was written, “But Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.” HOMI April 1897, page 5.4

Thus it is seen that it was a special benefit and favor at that time to be poor, and have nothing; for such ones escaped captivity, and were allowed to remain in the land. HOMI April 1897, page 5.5

It was not alone at that particular moment that it was a benefit to be poor, and have nothing; it had been so for years before. Through all the last days of Judah it was so; also in the last days of Israel; because violence of all kinds was so rife in the land, both among the people who dwelt in the land, and from those who invaded the land to pillage and carry captive, that all who were rich, and indeed those who could not be counted especially rich, but were only moderately well off, were objects of prey, and were robbed and carried captive. So that, through all those times, even up to the final consummation, it was a special blessing to be poor and have nothing. To accumulate and lay up means was only to cause themselves constant unrest and perplexity, for fear of having it taken away by violence; and the times were so uncertain, and all things of the government were so unsteady, that no oue [sic.] could tell when they might or might not be robbed of all that the had. HOMI April 1897, page 5.6

Now every one of us knows to-day what times of unrest and perplexity are already upon every land, and that this is deepening daily. All know what unrest and perplexity there is in the business world, the labor world, and the political world. All know the violence that is brewing; and the threats that are being made to divide the spoil and distribute among all, the wealth that is owned and hoarded by the few. And just as certainly now, as in the last days of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, it is a danger to be rich—that is, it is a physical, literal, worldly danger. HOMI April 1897, page 5.7

Of course it always has been a spiritual danger to be rich. For “they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts.” But now it is danger of another sort, for the last days of Israel and Judah are being repeated, and they that have means where it can be gotten at by the violent, will be the subjects of violence and robbery and every evil work. Therefore it is now true with especial emphasis, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rush doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.” HOMI April 1897, page 5.8

The man who has all his wealth in the hands of God, invested in the work of God, and thus safe in the heavenly treasury, and, so far as it can appear to this world, is poor, and has nothing,—of all people in this day, and even to the end of the world, from every possible point of view, will be freest, happiest, safest. And then when the time of crisis comes and the world is carried away with the great destruction, those who thus, so far as this world can see, are poor, and have nothing, will escape, and by the mighty Captain of the heavenly guard, will be given full possession of the land “which is the glory of all lands,” where they can “dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.” HOMI April 1897, page 5.9

O, that every one who professes to be a Seventh-day Adventist, who professes to be looking for the coming of the Lord, would consider these precious books of the word of God that are written especially for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come! O, that all might see that now is the time, and that the only safety, whether spiritual or physical, whether heavenly or earthly, is in putting into the work and cause of God all our trust, all our hope, all our strength, and all the fruits of our strength! Such a course now means both earthly and heavenly advantage, and only in such a course, can we find either earthly or heavenly advantage. HOMI April 1897, page 6.1

The Lord does not want any Seventh-day Adventist to be robbed, plundered, or spoiled, in the times of violence that are at the doors, and that are increasing daily. He has therefore written out instructions full and complete by which every one may be perfectly safe from all such things through all these times. Will you study the instructions which he has given? Will you believe him? Will you trust him? Will you put your means, be it little or much, where it will be absolutely safe? HOMI April 1897, page 6.2

Are you willing to have it appear to the world, and to have it indeed true so far as the world can see, that you are poor, and have nothing, yet at the same time know for yourself that you have eternal riches? Will you make to yourself “friends of the mammon of unrighteousness” that when ye fail, and when everything fails, “they may receive you into everlasting habitations”? HOMI April 1897, page 6.3

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in the much.” Will you be faithful to yourselves, to your profession, and to the Lord in these things to-day, whether it be in that which is little or in that which is much, in order that when the world shall be carried away with the mighty captivity of the enemy and the great destruction, you may be left among those who shall inherit the land, and dwell forever in quiet resting-places? HOMI April 1897, page 6.4