Ms 112, 1901

1901

Ms 112, 1901

“Make Ready a People Prepared for the Lord”

NP

November 3, 1901

Portions of this manuscript are published in 5BC 1077, 1115. +Note

In every stage of this earth’s history God has had His agencies to carry forward His work, which must be done in His appointed way. John the Baptist had a special work, for which he was born and to which he was appointed—the work of preparing the way of the Lord. Ms112-1901.1

The mission and the work of John the Baptist were specified by the angel of the Lord, as recorded by Luke: “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” [Luke 1:17.] The Holy Ghost was to be upon him. Ms112-1901.2

In response to Zechariah’s words of doubt, “Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years,” the heavenly messenger declared, “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” [Verses 18-20.] Ms112-1901.3

Concerning the promised son the angel said: “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost” from his birth. [Verse 15.] In this statement temperance is taught from a Christian standpoint. John was to be consecrated to God as a Nazarite. Ms112-1901.4

In the time of Moses, the Nazarites were instructed not to use wine or strong drink: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord: he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.” [Numbers 6:1-4.] Ms112-1901.5

This instruction was repeated to the mother of Sampson. An angel came to the wife of Manoah, saying, “Behold, thou shalt ... bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from his birth to the day of his death.” [Judges 13:7.] For the sake of her unborn child, lest her appetite should be transferred to him, the mother was restricted in her diet. Ms112-1901.6

John’s work was clearly mapped out: “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.” [Luke 1:16.] In the fulfillment of his mission he was to prepare the way of the Lord. His wilderness-ministry was a most striking, literal fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah had foretold his work as “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” [Isaiah 40:3.] Ms112-1901.7

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. ... But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” [Matthew 3:1-3, 7.] The Pharisees were very strict in regard to the outward observance of forms and customs, and were filled with haughty, worldly, hypocritical self-righteousness. The Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead and the existence of angels and were skeptical in regard to God. This sect was largely composed of unworthy characters, many of whom were licentious in their habits. By the word “vipers” John meant those who were malignant and antagonistic, bitterly opposed to the expressed will of God. Ms112-1901.8

John exhorted these men to “bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” [Verse 8.] That is, Show that you are converted, that your characters are transformed. “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree that bringeth not forth fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” [Verses 9-11.] Ms112-1901.9

Neither words nor profession, but fruits—the forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God—show the reality of genuine repentance <and true conversion>. Ms112-1901.10

Christ said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. ... Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. ... As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” [John 15:8, 4-7, 9-11.] Ms112-1901.11

“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. ... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” [John 14:14, 15, 21, 22.] Ms112-1901.12

Let all have ears to hear the answer from the divine Teacher: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” [Verses 23-26.] Ms112-1901.13

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:13-17.] Ms112-1901.14

What encouragement for every believer there is in these words! In Christ is the only hope of salvation. All who believe in Him, obeying His commandments, are accepted in the Beloved. Ms112-1901.15

In God’s work of preparing a people for Christ’s second appearing, “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:” for history is to be repeated, “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Ms112-1901.16

“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!” [Isaiah 40:4-9.] Ms112-1901.17

The Lord sends plain, decided messages to His people: “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. Ms112-1901.18

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.” [Hosea 14:1-9.] Ms112-1901.19

By the rebellion of the Jewish people against God, by their neglect to search the Scriptures as His messengers entreated them to, they reached a point where it was impossible for them to be convinced. Therefore God saw fit to draw a line, placing them on the side of the disloyal, fallen angels who rebelled against Him in the heavenly courts. If after receiving sufficient evidence and light the sinner does not change his attitude of stubborn resistance, he is numbered with transgressors for time and for eternity. He brings upon himself his final ruin. Ms112-1901.20

In all the fallen churches God has a people. His call to them is, “Come out of her, my people.” [Revelation 18:4.] This means a renunciation of falsehoods framed by the enemy, which must be faithfully delineated by the servants of God, that the humble in heart may hear and understand. There is a plain way, a path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord, in which all the loyal, as they follow on to know the Lord, will find sure footing. Until the truth is made plain from the Scriptures, those who have accepted error for truth are not condemned by the Lord for not returning to Him. But if they are not convinced by a plain “Thus saith the Lord,” Satan takes possession of mind and heart and leads them in a path of self-deception. “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.” [Proverbs 6:10.] Ms112-1901.21

The churches are called to search the Scriptures. Those who hear the voice of God, and return to their allegiance, are armed with invincible strength. God accepts them as they unite with His church. He allows them to act a part in His great work by standing in defense of the truth. Their example and works are in harmony with God, with Christ, and with angels. Ms112-1901.22

But all will not accept the truth. In the fight against the truth, opposition against God will reach a satanic height of zeal, because men imbued by satanic attributes will lose true courtesy, Christian politeness, and meekness. Oh, if they only knew, if they only understood, that there is a mighty power of infinite resources, an Eternal One, to meet the agencies opposing the purposes and commandments of God! Over this world and all earthly potentates God rules with supreme power, and in His own time He will subject every opposing force to humiliation. Ms112-1901.23

The world has led those who are in the churches today to become transgressors of God’s law. When they discern that they have trespassed and sinned because they have broken the law of God and disdained the terms of His covenant, He will not leave them to stumble on in wrong paths. He is ever gracious. Looking upon the churches who today are represented in the fifty-eighth of Isaiah, the Lord sends to them His message so distinctly expressed in this chapter. By His messengers He is ever entreating His erring children in every church to return to Him by hearty repentance and confession, that they may find mercy. Obedience to His commandments is the basis of the covenant of peace between the Lord and His people. Ms112-1901.24