Brother Against Brother

By John Thiel

This time of our fellowship is focused upon righteousness by faith, the faith of Jesus and we need to understand this.  The crisis ahead of us is called the day of the Lord and is a horrible time for the people that live on this planet. The day of the Lord is when Jesus stands up after pleading for his people in the heavenly sanctuary.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

The day is at hand. For the lessons to be learned, the work to be done, the transformation of character to be effected, the time remaining is but too brief a span. {Ed 184.2}

The time remaining is too brief a span to develop a character to help us in the time of trouble. Where do we stand today? To understand what the day of the Lord really is we contemplated in our last study ‘Preparing for the Final Crisis’ that it was an experience described like this;

Zechariah 14:12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 

The terrible time of trouble, the day of the Lord, is where as in the days of Jehosephat where the army of the Assyrians came to attack to Jerusalem and the Lord sent a tumult among them and they turned upon each other.  Just like the Midianites In the time of Gideon in Jezreel they turned up on each other. Empires destroyed each other and those empires have continued but not as empires but as nations today.  These nations are reserved to destroy each other ultimately.

Isaiah 19:1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. 2 And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, [and] kingdom against kingdom.

Here is a double application the literal Egypt and spiritual Egypt where city is against city and kingdom against kingdom as Egypt was a kingdom but it’s going to be kingdom against kingdom in the spiritual Egypt.  This is the day of the Lord.  We contemplated that to avoid being part of that scene, we need to prepare for it by heeding the counsel of Zechariah 8. All who are antagonistic against each other will be brought to that final destruction.

Zechariah 8:16 These [are] the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: 17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD.

The counsel to prevent self destructive activities is that we are to speak the truth to each other.  We are not to imagine evil in our hearts against each other.  We must not let our imagination run by the things we see in each thinking we have a bad motive about each other.  We are not to have bad motives to each other.  This is what Jesus spoke about to the people he came to redeem, the Jews but they didn’t listen to this.  Only a few disciples followed it through. Here is the counsel to us if we will avoid the day of the Lord;

Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

You can see the counsel that will prevent us becoming embroiled in people fighting against each as we will love those who are fighting us.  We will not retaliate.  We will do what Jesus did when he was reviled, he reviled not again.  He simply committed himself to him that judges righteously and left it that. He didn’t repay them that were doing evil.  We are to do good to them that hate us.  While people hate and fight each other and become embroiled in the day of the Lord, God’s people do the opposite and will not become involved in that destructive force.  This will be Gods people working in company with each other.  What will we be doing to enter the courts of heaven?

Walk Uprightly

Psalms 15:1 A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 [He that] backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. [He that] sweareth to [his own] hurt, and changeth not. 5 [He that] putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these [things] shall never be moved.

Those who are in God’s company who fear the Lord, what will these people do?  They will honour each other.  They will not take up a reproach against each other.  what does that mean?  If someone gives you a report about another person’s wrong, say I’m sorry, I’m not going to take up that reproach.  You work that out with each other, I’m not part of that.  We are to talk together and solve the problem with each other but don’t take up a reproach against each other.  If we do that we will not enter that place but will consume each other.  This is transpiring in the experience of many people since the beginning of the end.

An Example of Jesus Counselling an Apostle

An apostle was doing the exact opposite to what Jesus said.  When they came to take Jesus when he was in the garden of Gethsemane.  The company came with Judas and Peter who said I will never forsake you came valiantly to Christ’s defense.  He took a sword and cut off a servant’s ear.  Jesus did what to his enemy that came to get him?  He healed the wound.  What did he say to apostle Peter? Put down thy sword  Herein lies the principle we have been considering;

Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

If I fight against my brother I will be consumed with my brother.  The sword is not just a physical thing by which we kill each other, we kill each other by the tongue.  That is what the faithful servant does to the unfaithful servant in Matthew 24.

Preparation for Us to Come Through Successfully

The truth should be presented with divine tact, gentleness, and tenderness.  {6T 400.1}

We may think we have to tell others the truth so I’m going give it to them!

It should come from a heart that has been softened and made sympathetic. We need to have close communion with God, lest self rise up, as it did in Jehu, and we pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting, that are not as dew or as the still showers that revive the withering plants. Let our words be gentle as we seek to win souls. God will be wisdom to him who seeks for wisdom from a divine source. We are to seek opportunities on every hand, we are to watch unto prayer, and be ready always to give a reason for the hope that is in us, with meekness and fear.  {6T 400.1}

As we meet the onslaughts of those against us many think they have a right to fight against those who are becoming apostate.  We have no right.  Jesus did not tell us to do that.  As the apostates came to get him, he submitted.  He told Peter no, you will be consumed by that.

God’s plan is first to get at the heart. Speak the truth, and let Him carry forward the reformatory power and principle. Make no reference to what opponents say, but let the truth alone be advanced. The truth can cut to the quick. Plainly unfold the word in all its impressiveness.  {6T 400.2}

As trials thicken around us, both separation and unity will be seen in our ranks. Some who are now ready to take up weapons of warfare will in times of real peril make it manifest that they have not built upon the solid rock; they will yield to temptation. Those who have had great light and precious privileges, but have not improved them, will, under one pretext or another, go out from us. {6T 400.3}

What will happen as trials thicken?  Separation and unity as people interact with each other.  How will they go out from among us?  Those who have this spirit of taking weapons of warfare, fighting against the opponents, whether the tongue, or holding truth up against error with an un-Christ like spirit is all killing.  When man begins to take the truth and does the cutting God can’t help him.  When the real time comes, people will be embroiled in destruction of each other.

How it actually transpires

This is for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.

The work that men have done faithfully will be disparaged and underrated, because apparent prosperity did not attend their efforts. By misrepresentation, these men will be clothed in the dark vestments of dishonesty, because circumstances beyond their control made their work perplexing. They will be pointed to as men that cannot be trusted. And this will be done by the members of the church. {UL 177.4}

Haven’t we seen some of this?  What will happen? Can you see the consuming from within?  That is what will cause as trials thicken as weapons of warfare are taken up, it creates this. It then describes the destructive force of this activity within the church;

Destruction within the Church

Now is our time of peril. Our only safety is in walking in the footsteps of Christ, and wearing His yoke. Troublous times are before us. In many instances, friends will become alienated. Without cause, men will become our enemies. The motives of the people of God will be misinterpreted, not only by the world, but by their own brethren. The Lord’s servants will be put in hard places. A mountain will be made out of a molehill to justify men in pursuing a selfish, unrighteous course.  {UL 177.3}

This is the day of the Lord where there will be infighting and destructiveness.

The future is before us, and unforeseen events will surely take place, changing the present aspect of things in the world. Lust and greed are striving for the supremacy. Oppression and hatred will be exercised to destroy. Inspired by a power from beneath, Satan’s instrumentalities will work with intensity to carry out his will. “The wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10). Every truly converted soul will put on the whole armor of God, and will bravely face the unseen foe. God’s servants will realize the necessity of partaking of the divine nature. . . .  {UL 177.2}

We are heading right into this and allot of the wicked don’t know what they are doing.  They don’t understand.  It happened in the first and second world war.  Before the first world war already that unforseen events  were coming and now is our time of peril and this self destructive force.  What happened in World War 1?  Adventist brethren turned against each other.

Every truly converted soul will put on the whole armor of God, and will bravely face the unseen foe. God’s servants will realize the necessity of partaking of the divine nature. {UL 177.3}

The message of righteousness by faith was given in 1888 and it sourced a conflict within Adventism and it has gone on ever since.

God’s servants must arm themselves with the mind of Christ. They must not expect to escape insult and misjudgment. They will be called enthusiasts and fanatics. But let them not become discouraged. God’s hand is on the wheel of His providence, guiding His work to the glory of His name.  {UL 177.4}

As the infighting takes place, don’t become discouraged, stand on the divine mind, divine nature, concentrate on that and leave God to deal with the rest as he is going to let the people destroy each other.  He is going to orchestrate that.

God calls upon His people to be bright lights in the world shining amid the darkness of sin. Living the life of the Life-giver brings its reward. He went about doing good. This, every true follower of His will do, filled with a sacred sense of his loyalty to God and his duty to his fellow beings. Through the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, Christians are to grow in grace, constantly drawing nearer perfection of character.–Manuscript 156-b, 1901, “The Signing of Agreements.”  {UL 177.5}

For us to survive, why do we need to have perfection of character?  If my character is not perfect, where will I be?  I will be embroiled in the destruction of the day of the Lord.  This has become so thrilling to me why we must be perfect and that we must be perfect because if we are not perfect we will be self destructing.  We are seeing it in front of our eyes are we not?  How much longer are we waiting to see the day of the Lord before us?  Are we not living in the demonstration of it now?

Now is our time of peril. Our only safety is in walking in the footsteps of Christ, and wearing His yoke. {UL 177.3}

Have we seen these things?  Are we aware of what is going on around us?  Are we determined to press together and shut out the unseen foe?  We are not battling against each other but an unseen foe.

Satan Puts His Glasses on Your Head

Satan puts his glasses over your eyes so you see things the way he wants you to see them so you become antagonistic over your brother and sister.  We are to have a mind to absorb the message of 1888.  We are to fellowship and contemplate this.

Amen.

Posted on March 31, 2010, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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