That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
NOAH, DANIEL, AND JOB
"Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls, by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.
"If I cause noisesome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.
"Or if I bring a sword upon the land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beasts from it: Though these three were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves.
"Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver their own souls by their righteousness.
"For thus saith the Lord God; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisesome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
"Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings [their righteousness ] and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it.
"And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings ; and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord God." Ezekiel 14:13-23.
STUDY AIM: To show the present truth lesson of this verse, that we may understand and emulate the righteousness of Noah, Daniel, and Job — which is nothing less than the righteousness of Christ.
GEM THOUGHT: Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:20.
"If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: ... For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. ... What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ... faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. ... Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect ? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:8, 10, 14, 17, 20-24.
PRAYER THOUGHT: "The grace of God has been freely offered to every soul. The message of the gospel has been heralded, "Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17. But character is not transferable. No man can believe for another. No man can receive the Spirit for another. No man can impart to another the character which is the fruit of the Spirit's working. "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it [the land], as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness." Ezekiel 14:20. Christ's Object Lessons, p. 411. [brackets belong to quote]
Let us pray that we may have a clearer understanding of what it is that made these three men's lives worthy of commendation, and how we may emulate those things that we too may deliver our own souls by our righteousness in Christ.
The first saint we are called to consider is
It is written of him:
"Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. ... Noah was a just man and perfect [margin – upright] in his generation, and Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:8,9.
"Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him." Genesis 7:5.
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, preparing an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Hebrews 11:7.
From these testimonies we see that Noah believed God's promises of judgment and salvation, and moved out of reverence for God by doing what the Lord had commanded him in his generation. Noah and his believing family were a minority in that age. He was preaching, by word and example, "of things not seen as yet;" things for which he had no prior event to use as a lesson, for from the days of creation it had not rained upon the earth (Genesis 2:5) – he was preaching by true faith.
The second advent of Christ, with the attending judgment (harvest) and kingdom, is a promise of God. One’s realization of it is a product of active faith in the promise. The witness that Christ will come again in power and glory, as King of kings, Lord of lords, and not as a suffering servant, must be known wholly within a person before it can be expressed with the faith of Noah. The world today is in as much disbelief about the coming judgment and glory as was the world in Noah’s day. Our work must be as faithful as was his.
Noah earnestly went to work building the ark which was, by the fulfillment of a promise of God, to preserve the lives of the just people and of the animals. Ridicule and disbelief did not affect his work of faith. Noah responded to the love which God was bestowing upon him by setting God’s will first and foremost in his life. He and his loved ones were ready to enter the ark on time.
Jesus said, ”Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of heaven, the purified church, is the antitype of Noah’s ark. The kingdom is to be made up only of righteous people. Therefore, to work for the upbuilding of the kingdom means not only to make sure that you are worthy of the kingdom, but that others are also ready on time.
"And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took every clean beast, and every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” Genesis 8:20.
After seeing the fulfillment of God's judgment upon the wicked of the world in his day, and, likewise, seeing his own salvation assured, Noah, again, by faith, "offered burnt offerings." He freely chose to show forth the plan of salvation and the work of the coming Messiah by performing the typical service that God had ordained for that time, for that very purpose – "And the Lord smelled a sweet savour." Genesis 8:21.
May it be noted that Noah offered "burnt" offerings, not "sin," or "trespass" offerings. The "burnt" offerings symbolized the "consecration" provided by the righteousness of God – the sacrifice of Christ – which enabled Noah and his family to be saved. This was hundreds of years before Moses was born, and before he was called to write of the ceremonial law that had to be spoken (Exodus 20:19, “added” – Galatians 3:19) because it had been forgotten in Egypt. This also clearly shows that the typical ceremonial law was, at first, not intended to be confined to one tribe of the Jews (the Levites), but was to be performed by all who believe. The reason that only one of the tribes of Israel, that of Levi, eventually became the only ones able to lawfully offer sacrifice was that all of the other tribes proved to be unfaithful in a time of trial.
With “the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” Hebrews 7:12.
The priesthood of Christ, being “after the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:6, 10) rather than after the Levitical order, has its own means for keeping the sacrifice of Christ fresh in the minds of the church. The role of keeping the remembrance of the intercession of God fresh in the minds of the Israelites which was filled by the sacrificial animals, etc., has been changed by Christ to the bread and wine of the new Covenant, after the manner of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18). It may be noted that both Christ’s and Melchizedek’s examples provided only real meals for the partakers.
We, as was Noah, must be willing to show forth the sacrifice of Christ by God’s appointed means, and at His appointed times. There is much more to this than just a ritual remembrance; there is to be a true expression of the primary function of the gospel — love. More on this as we proceed.
The next saint we are asked to behold is
It is written of him:
"... Daniel had purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.... 'Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse [vegetables] to eat, and water to drink." Daniel 1:8,12. [brackets added]
The first thing that we are shown of Daniel's righteousness is that it exceeded that of the Mosaic law, for Moses only wrote of abstaining from unclean meats, not all meats. Daniel's actions were not taken for health reasons alone (Daniel 1:13-15), but also because the meat had more than likely been offered to idols, and Daniel did not want to seem to be countenancing idolatry. The same is true regarding the alcoholic wine which was the customary of the king. The dietary practices of the apostle Paul also exceeded the righteousness required by the Mosaic law (Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8:13). We are, today, called to this same high standard of separateness from the world.
Later on, after Daniel had come to notoriety in Babylon,
"Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, ... In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace ... Then was Daniel brought before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel ... I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck , and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. Then Daniel answered and said before the king, 'Let thy gifts be to thy self, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation." Daniel 5:1,5,13,16,17.
The wisdom that was given to Daniel was given him because he earnestly sought for it by word and deed (Daniel 2:20-23). The Holy Spirit was so evident in Daniel that the queen of Babylon said to the king, "There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the Spirit of the holy Gods; and in the days of thy father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the Gods, was found in him." Daniel 5:11.
It was from the study of the Holy Scriptures that Daniel, in his youth, had learned to appreciate the lessons of wisdom. It was from the book of Proverbs that Daniel learned that there are more valuable things that one can wear around one’s neck than chains of gold. He was quite familiar with proverbs such as:
"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck." Proverbs 1:8,9.
"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck." Proverbs 3:3.
"My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck." Daniel 6:21.
Though we are instructed to obey our earthly father and mother, there is a higher calling upon us from above. The law and instruction of our heavenly Father, and the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit (heavenly Wisdom – Proverbs, chapters 3 & 8) are to be an "ornament of grace" around our necks. Jesus said,
"Wisdom is justified of all her children." Luke 7:35.
The holy things of God's law were more important to Daniel than the things of the world – its fashions and prestige. Giving heed to all that the “holy Gods” have commanded is one’s integrity, which is more valuable than gold, and more fashionable than any neck ornament that man can devise. Therein is a key to Daniel's righteousness. Compared to Balaam, who could be bought for a price when he was a free man, Daniel could not be bought even as a captive. He certainly displayed the righteousness of Christ – that is, Christ's righteousness was not only imputed to his record in the books of heaven, but the evidence that the righteousness of heaven had also been imparted to Daniel, and had sanctified him, was quite apparent to all who had occasion to witness the works of the "holy Gods" in preserving him and in blessing him with divine inspiration. We, too, must have the witness of the “Testimony of Jesus” (the Spirit of Prophecy) in our lives.
"It pleased Darius [ruler of the Medes] to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; and over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. ... Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his window being open in his chamber towards Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." Daniel 6:7,10.
The jealousy of the leaders of Babylon towards Daniel and the "holy Gods" whom he served led them to devise this trap for him. Daniel didn't consider God's commandment concerning the appointed times of worship to be treated lightly. He didn't let his circumstances dictate his actions, but instead followed the Scriptural command, as have many both before and after his time.
"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." Psalms 55:17.
The psalmist well understood God's appointments, as did the apostles and disciples who followed on after both he and Daniel.
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they [the apostles and disciples] were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting, ... it [was] the third hour [the time of the morning sacrifice]. Acts 2:1,2,15.
" On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the house top to pray about the sixth hour [noon]." Acts 10:9.
"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour." Acts 3:1.
Evidently, Peter, John, and the other leading disciples did not consider the laws regarding the times of daily prayer and intercession as having been "nailed to the cross," as many today presume. They understood that it was their IOU's, their legal debts (sins – "the handwriting of ordinances that was against us") that were taken away by the sacrifice of Christ. They well understood that the daily times of communion with God were always for them, and never against them. The times of worship had taken on a new and fresh meaning in their lives – the sanctifying Lamb of God had risen in power and glory, never again to be crucified, and was entered into the heavenly sanctuary, there to officiate as their High Priest at the times pointed out in the symbolic service.
Daniel wrote of the time of his captivity in Babylon. As the temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, there was no place for the priests to lawfully offer sacrifice, so there was no daily burnt offerings taking place – no outward reminders of Christ’s daily intercessory righteousness. Daniel couldn't offer sacrifices himself, but he could still acknowledge the truth of what the sacrifices typified and symbolized (that is, the intercession of Christ) by acknowledging the intercessory times of God's appointment. Daniel knew that it is written,
“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalms 141:2.
Though the culture in which Daniel was captive had its own forms and times of worship (sun worship), which, in reality, were set up in opposition to God's plan, Daniel wouldn't forsake God's law and accept the popular religion and its attending lifestyle – he continued to follow the Creator's health laws, both literal and spiritual.
Today, with the fast pace of business and production, it takes a lot of love for God to cease from one’s ambitious pursuits (even if they be noble ones) to pause for prayer, praise, and refreshing according to God’s timetable. It takes a love motivated by pure principles, rather than by mere emotions, to be separate from the unbelieving world which feels no need for the rest and refreshing of daily worship.
This, then, brings us to the third, and last righteous man we are to consider; that is,
It is written of him –
"There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there was born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance was also seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of the all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus Job did continually." Job 1:1-5.
The first thing that the Holy Spirit chose to reveal about this saint is that he, like Abraham (the father of our faith), was one who "ordered his house." He, as the family priest, sought God's intercession, by the then appointed means (burnt offerings), for unknown sin – sin that might be "in their hearts."
Job, when defending the works of the Holy Spirit in his life, said to his friends, "If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or caused the eyes of the widow to fail; or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof ; ... If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate; Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone." Job 31:16,17,19-22.
The evidence of Christ's righteousness in the life of Job was the extension of his ministry of love to those outside of his immediate family and friends. Job could honestly say, "He [God] knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, His way I have kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips, I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food." Job 23:10-12.
It may be noted that Job lived before the time the law was written down at Mt. Sinai, for he offered burnt offerings, something which was confined to the tribe of Levi from the time of the Exodus. As with Noah, Job chose to show forth the plan of salvation – the intercession of Christ – through the typical memorial service. "Thus did Job continually [Hebrew, tamid, daily]." Job 1:5.
The main thing of note in the lives of these three righteous men is that they all chose to acknowledge and show forth the plan of salvation regardless of what anyone around them chose to do. Noah and his family were the only people on earth right after the flood. There was no "peer pressure," one way or the other, upon Noah when he made his decision to offer burnt offerings. Job was prosperous in all things in life when he offered the daily typical sacrifice. Daniel, though he was a captive in Babylon, and later in Media/Persia, and, also, at the same time, was one who held one of the most prominent positions in those societies, counted the privilege of acknowledging the plan of salvation according to God's law greater than fame and fortune, and even life, itself. The customs and traditions of ungodly men were of no consequence to these men.
Their acknowledging and showing forth of the plan of salvation was not without personal rewards. They each were blessed with the very personal presence of the Lord of glory whereby they were sanctified and sustained in their daily walks. The blessings they thereby received were the living testimonies that God was truly with them and was rewarding them for their faithfulness. They well understood the truth that is revealed in the following Scripture:
"Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD." Jeremiah 9:23, 24.
"If ... perfection were by the Levitical priesthood [and the law of types], for under it the people received the law, what further need was there that another priest [Christ] should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed [not obliterated], there is made of necessity a change [not an obliteration] of the law." Hebrews 7:11,12.
Under the typical priesthood, the services that were provided to keep the plan of salvation fresh in the minds and hearts of the people supplied both spiritual as well as some physical nourishment for the partakers thereof. That is, though many of the sacrifices were wholly consumed on the altar, some, after a portion of it was dedicated to God, was eaten by the presenter and his friends.
So, in the true ministration of the gospel (good news), the daily agape (love-feast – Supper of the Lord), with its attending worship time and memorial thanks giving becomes the prominent feature in the missionary outreach to those who are physically and spiritually poor and needy, as well as those of the household of the faithful.
The followers of Christ who were obeying His commandment to love one another as He had loved them (that is, with a loving righteousness which exceeded the scribes and Pharisees), after having come into unity on the truth of Gospel, “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:42-47.
"In this life we must meet fiery trials and make costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the reward. There has been so little self-denial, so little suffering for Christ's sake, that the cross is almost entirely forgotten. We must be partakers with Christ of His sufferings if we would sit down in triumph with Him on His throne. So long as we choose the easy path of self-indulgence and are frightened at self-denial, our faith will never become firm, and we cannot know the peace of Jesus nor the joy that comes through conscious victory. The most exalted of the redeemed host that stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, clad in white, know the conflict of overcoming, for they have come up through great tribulation. Those who have yielded to circumstances rather than engage in this conflict will not know how to stand in that day when anguish will be upon every soul, when, though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, they could save neither son nor daughter, for everyone must deliver his soul by his own righteousness.
"No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions.
"Oh, for a living, active faith! We need it; we must have it, or we shall faint and fail in the day of trial. The darkness that will then rest upon our path must not discourage us or drive us to despair. It is the veil with which God covers His glory when He comes to impart rich blessings. We should know this by our past experience. In that day when God has a controversy with His people this experience will be a source of comfort and hope.
"It is now that we must keep ourselves and our children unspotted from the world. It is now that we must wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual slothfulness. It is now that we must awake and make determined effort for symmetry of character. "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." We are in a most trying position, waiting, watching for our Lord's appearing. The world is in darkness. "But ye, brethren," says Paul, "are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." It is ever God's purpose to bring light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, and rest out of weariness for the waiting, longing soul.
"What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.
"Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God--candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p.215-6.
"The "time of trouble, such as never was," is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God. "Though Noah, Daniel, and Job" were in the land, "as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness." Ezekiel 14:20.
"Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself: "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." John 14:30. Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father's commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.
"It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God's providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. The Lord is ever setting before us, not the way we would choose, which seems easier and pleasanter to us, but the true aims of life. It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls." The Great Controversy, p. 622-3.
Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8.
For those who understand the present truth teaching on this verse – that is, that this coming is not Christ’s coming in the clouds, but rather, that it is the time of His coming to his church for purification and judgment, for at the time of His coming the clouds there will be great faith (a great multitude – Revelation 7:9) – the standard is raised. Love will triumph!
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41.