Mothers and Fathers in Israel

By John Thiel, mp3

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk [therein].

Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

We are to enquire about the old paths and to walk in them. Who are we to ask? Our fathers and the elders to understand from them what those old paths are.

Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I [am] the LORD.

The Lord desires His servants today to preach the old gospel doctrine, sorrow for sin, repentance, and confession. We want old-fashioned sermons, old-fashioned customs, old-fashioned fathers and mothers in Israel. The sinner must be labored for, perseveringly, earnestly, wisely, until he shall see that he is a transgressor of God’s law, and shall exercise repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. –Undated Manuscript 111. {Ev 179.5}

What do we want? Old fashioned sermons. Old fashioned customs. Old fashioned fathers and mothers in Israel. Ask for the old paths.

  Faithful and picked men are needed at the head of the work. Those who have not had an experience in bearing burdens, and who do not wish to have that experience, should not, on any account, live there. Men are wanted who will watch for souls as they that must give an account. Fathers and mothers in Israel are wanted at this important post. {2T 467.2}

Fathers and mothers in Israel are wanted. Where? In the positions of leadership. We have grown up in abject darkness in these last days. We have become very unconscious of the significance of 2 Timothy 3:2. We feel that the extreme case of our present situation is what is here addressed. What is here addressed is relevant to a place earlier than this.

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

We have become conditioned to accept disobedience to parents. My generation was disobedient to their parents and the generation that we are disobedient to were also disobedient to their parents.

Boldness and saucy independence, are seen in the generation of youth now coming upon the stage of action. Children rule their parents, and parents submit to be ruled. {YI, March 1, 1873 par. 3}

What was the stage of action? What time? March 1 1873. 1873? Boldness? Saucy independence? What is the consequence of that transpiring with my great grandparents? They are the ones Sr White is writing about. Those youth that came to the scene in her time. What is written in reference to the consequences of this?

  An Index to the Future of Society.–The youth of today are a sure index to the future of society; and as we view them, what can we hope for that future? The majority are fond of amusement and averse to work. . . . They have but little self-control and become excited and angry on the slightest occasion. Very many in every age and station of life are without principle or conscience; and with their idle, spendthrift habits they are rushing into vice and are corrupting society, until our world is becoming a second Sodom. If the appetites and passions were under the control of reason and religion, society would present a widely different aspect. God never designed that the present woeful condition of things should exist; it has been brought about through the gross violation of nature’s laws. {CG 440.5}

This is speaking about the generation that constituted our great grandparents. That is what the above is addressing, the youth of Sr Whites time.

Wherever we turn, the battle goes on unceasingly. . . . Multitudes of the youth are swept away by the overwhelming tide of evil. In every earnest Christian heart the question rises, “Why, oh, why, in a land of Bibles and Christian teaching, can the adversary of souls exert over our youth a power so mighty, so unrestrained?” The reason is apparent. Parents are neglecting their solemn responsibility. {FLB 269.3}    If a field is left uncultivated, a crop of weeds is sure to appear. So it is with children. If the soil of the heart is uncultivated, Satan sows his seeds of anger and hatred, selfishness and pride, and they quickly spring up, to bear a harvest that parents reap with bitter regret. Too late they see their terrible mistake. {FLB 269.4}    One of the signs of the “last days” is the disobedience of children to their parents. {FLB 269.5}    The sin of rebellion against parental authority, lies at the very foundation of the misery and crime in the world today. {FLB 269.6}

Not today, but in her time. I have read these quotes many times in my youth and I thought where does it leave me if that was the case of our great grandparents? Where are we today in the light of this? I have had to ask myself very seriously in my youth, what I am learning from my own parents because they were the children of the great parents Sr White was talking about. What has been embedded in the psyche in my generation? What we regard as normal in children because it has been so long in its development.

Their whole religious experience is affected by their bringing up in childhood. The same self-will often appears; there is the same lack of self-denial, the same impatience under reproof, {CG 473.2}

Can you see the little children of today how do they react? They don’t want to be reproved do they? If that was the case in Sr Whites time, and the children then didn’t want to be reproved properly, then what do the adults display?

…the same love of self and unwillingness to seek counsel of others, or to be influenced by other’s judgment, the same indolence, {CG 473.2}

Do you like to be corrected by some human being? Where do you get that from? We have become conditioned haven’t we?

…shunning of burdens, lack of bearing responsibilities. All this is seen in their relation to the church. It is possible for such to overcome, but how hard the battle! How severe the conflict! How hard to pass through the course of thorough discipline which is necessary for them to reach the elevation of Christian character! Yet if they overcome at last, they will be permitted to see, before they are translated, how near the precipice of eternal destruction they came, because of the lack of right training in youth, the failure to learn submission in childhood. {CG 473.2}

If those in Sr Whites time by the grace of God came to see it, they would be given time to see how close to the precipice of destruction they actually were. This is all from Sr Whites time.

Children who have never learned to obey will have weak, impulsive characters. They seek to rule, but have not learned to submit. They are without moral strength to restrain their wayward tempers, to correct their wrong habits, or to subdue their uncontrolled wills. The blunders of untrained, undisciplined childhood become the inheritance of manhood and womanhood. The perverted intellect can scarcely discern between the true and the false. {CG 274.1}

Can you wonder why today’s society argues the point the way they do? The adults of today are the product of their great grandparent’s failure and their parent’s failure and what kind of training do these parents do for their children. It is a dreadful scope that is presented here so that in the discussion of topics that need to be understood, the old paths, the old fashioned religion is looked upon in such a way that the intellect can scarcely discern what the old way is. The true old fashioned ones were Sr White and her generation. They are the ones we are to revert back to when it says go back and look for the old paths. Are we conditioned to the prevailing disrespect of the younger generation to the older? Is it normal if this is the case? How can we benefit from our scripture reading to ask for the old paths, to ask our fathers and the elders?

Where are the elders and fathers today who can tell us the old fashioned way? This is the question that has occupied my mind for many years. If we heard old fashioned sermons and were subjected to old fashioned fathers and mothers in our generation, would we submit? We can hardly discern if our parents are really telling us the right thing let alone we discern what is right. Let us go through the counsel of God. As we are so poorly parented, where can you and I find our reference point? Can I find a reference point in my parents, grandparents, or great grandparents? Sr White has described all the leaders of the remnant church through history. David, Meshach, Abednego, Paul.

Such examples are not found in the Bible only. They abound in every record of human progress. The Vaudois and the Huguenots, Wycliffe and Huss, Jerome and Luther, Tyndale and Knox, Zinzendorf and Wesley, with multitudes of others, have witnessed to the power of God’s Word against human power and policy in support of evil. These are the world’s true nobility. This is its royal line. In this line the youth of today are called to take their places. {RC 127.3}

Have you got your reference point? Who are we to look to? We are to look beyond. We are to look to that line of royalty in the given generations. In today’s society we have our reference point to these people.

Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?– Review and Herald, May 25, 1905. {CW 53.2}

That is my reference point of those who have gone before us.

There are persons ready to catch up every new idea. The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation are misinterpreted. These persons do not consider that the truth has been set forth at the appointed time by the very men whom God was leading to do this special work. These men followed on step by step in the very fulfillment of prophecy, and those who have not had a personal experience in this work, are to take the Word of God and believe on “their word” who have been led by the Lord in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. These messages, received and acted upon, are doing their work to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. If we search the Scriptures to confirm the truth God has given His servants for the world, we shall be found proclaiming the first, second, and third angels’ messages. {2SM 111.2}

Who are my fathers and mothers in Israel? They are my reference point as they made a reference point to the royal line. There is my security because my mind is so confused. I have had wrong role models and so have you. Those who do take the words of our fathers beforehand, those who take this seriously and submit themselves to the judgement of God in reference to the revelation I have been reading, these people are obedient to their fathers and elders but they are very few in today’s society. To be a pliable submissive child we must take our word from those who are pliable to the Lord.

To be pliable is so difficult to do. To be an adult who has to listen to another adult when there is childish pride that is still in an adult of today. You see it. Adults are just children. It is said, these men are like grown up boys. They behave like children but put it in a frame work of adults. We have parents that we have to be obedient to even as adults. Those who have practised that are few in number today. Those who are in their ministry, how shall those of less experience than those who have done this, relate to these few in today’s dreadful circumstances. What shall we learn here in reference to Gods counsel to our predicament we are in when there are so few who have actually yielded themselves who are fathers and mothers in Israel. How shall we relate to them?

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and  be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Ask for the old paths and walk therein. What did they say? We will not. Exactly the problem. The Lord makes it beautifully clear in reference to this question;

The Lord has especially blessed some with an experience that has fitted them to be wise counselors. In our several callings there is to be a mutual dependence on one another for assistance. Of this, Peter says: {TM 491.1}  

You may recall a sermon about not leaning on the arm of flesh and we saw that when you rely on the Lord in the servant that he sends, you are not relying on the arm of flesh. This is the same here, those who have learnt to submit themselves to the mothers and fathers of Israel, can then be fitted as wise counsellors.

Be willing to take the advice and counsel of those who have experience{4T 368.2}

In gaining a preparation for the ministry, young men should be associated with older ministers. Those who have gained an experience in active service are to take young, inexperienced workers with them into the harvest-field, teaching them how to labor successfully for the conversion of souls. Kindly and affectionately these older workers are to help the younger ones to prepare for the work to which the Lord may call them. And the young men in training should respect the counsel of their instructors, honoring their devotion, and remembering that their years of labor have given them wisdom. {GW 101.1}

Here is the spirit of prophecy showing us under inspiration how to relate to those who have been in years of experience of submission to the whole program of Gods order in the last days. Those who are of less experience are to counsel with those who have had longer experience than their own.

Of yourselves you have not wisdom to bear responsibilities. At every step of the way you must seek counsel of God and of your brethren who have had experience, and who are true to the interests of His cause. It is your privilege to do this, and you should feel it such. Some of you do not feel right when anything you do is called in question. But this is wrong. All the workers in _______ need counsel from those who are governed by the truth. {MR311 24.1}

Of God only? Of God and your brethren.

These statements are very weighty. The characteristic of us today is to argue with those of longer experience. Have you ever found yourself doing that? Instead of arguing with their reasoning, ask them, please explain to me what is behind your suggestion. Our own pride outlook even in spiritual matters causes us as we hear another older person speaking to say no.

The Separation of the Ten Tribes

I will give you an example where this was done and the weighty action of it. Here is how the 10 tribes of Israel were separated. What was behind that event. Notice how clearly it is chronicled in the bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Rehoboam was Solomon’s choice of the next king. Jeroboam had a seed sewn into his mind that the kingdom was going to be split and he was going to continue with one section.

2 Chronicles 10:2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who [was] in Egypt, whither he had fled from the presence of Solomon the king, heard [it], that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying, 4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee. 5 And he said unto them, Come again unto me after three days. And the people departed. 6 And king Rehoboam took counsel with the old men that had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give ye [me] to return answer to this people? 7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou be kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, they will be thy servants forever. 8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him. 9 And he said unto them, What advice give ye that we may return answer to this people, which have spoken to me, saying, Ease somewhat the yoke that thy father did put upon us? 10 And the young men that were brought up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou answer the people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou [it] somewhat lighter for us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little [finger] shall be thicker than my father’s loins. 11 For whereas my father put a heavy yoke upon you, I will put more to your yoke: my father chastised you with whips, but I [will chastise you] with scorpions. 12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come again to me on the third day. 13 And the king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, 14 And answered them after the advice of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I [will chastise you] with scorpions. 15 So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word,

Notice that he listened to the counsel of the young men who were brought up with him. He listened to the counsel of the old men and said that is old fashioned. He forsook them and then went with the others, his buddies. He regarded their counsel as better than the elders.

Although Solomon had longed to prepare the mind of Rehoboam, his chosen successor, to meet with wisdom the crisis foretold by the prophet of God, he had never been able to exert a strong molding influence for good over the mind of his son, whose early training had been so grossly neglected. Rehoboam had received from his mother, an Ammonitess, the stamp of a vacillating character. At times he endeavored to serve God and was granted a measure of prosperity; but he was not steadfast, and at last he yielded to the influences for evil that had surrounded him from infancy. In the mistakes of Rehoboam’s life and in his final apostasy is revealed the fearful result of Solomon’s union with idolatrous women. {PK 88.2}

Solomon couldn’t mould the mind of his son and now his son came into power.

Dissatisfied, Rehoboam turned to the younger men with whom he had associated during his youth and early manhood, and inquired of {PK 89.3}

What sort of counsel could he get from them? Foolishness.

  Had Rehoboam and his inexperienced counselors understood the divine will concerning Israel, they would have listened to the request of the people for decided reforms in the administration of the government. But in the hour of opportunity that came to them during the meeting in Shechem, they failed to reason from cause to effect, and thus forever weakened their influence over a large number of the people. Their expressed determination to perpetuate and add to the oppression introduced during Solomon’s reign was in direct conflict with God’s plan for Israel, and gave the people ample occasion to doubt the sincerity of their motives. In this unwise and unfeeling attempt to exercise power, the king and his chosen counselors revealed the pride of position and authority. {PK 90.1}

Remember Nineveh and when God said this is going to happen to you? Nineveh turned the tide and Rehoboam could have as well.

Remodelling the Cause

The younger generation is remodeling the cause. What do we see in today’s generation of men? Precisely what we see in this example. Men who do not counsel with the old men and with those who were faithful pioneers and take their counsel on-board. Rather they new model the cause. Where do you and I stand today? In conflict with these men and the few men that are not in conflict with the original old ways appear as though they are not willing to the authority of the church that has been guarded by the younger generation. Let us return to the obedience of Gods counsel. Let us become old fashioned. Let us recognise the experience of old men and women who have the cause of Gods interest at heart. Let us be willing to except correction and do not be impatient with restraint.  Jesus Christ being the divine son of God came to this earth and was subject to his mother and father. He could have counselled them but he listened and was subject to them. Study how he reasoned as a child with those men the Pharisees asking them questions and then referring them to their father’s answers. There is a way in these last days where we can follow in Christ footsteps and be subject to Christ’s ways. As we see ourselves as helpless, sinful and totally dependent on God, as we fellowship and work together in these last days, forget not the counsel of the Lord. Respect the hoary head, not because it’s hoary, but because there is experience behind it. Be respectful to Gods ways.


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Posted on 31/12/2009, in Divine Service Sermons, Restoring Old Paths, Unity and Trust and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. More self affirmation, ‘listen to the elders of Israel and obey’…..That’s me! John Thiel! (and it’s OK to ignore the council of elders which is the entire GC of the IMS)

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