The Wisdom of the Wise

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By John Thiel mp3

We have been realising the harvest of what has been sown and that is met in these last days. The end of this world has produced perils which come as a result of what has been sown. The seeds of dissension produced strife, confusion, and heartache. They produced a devouring of one another. This is what transpires in the last days, people doing this. In this time of harvest, in the end of the world, we are in need of being able to find our way through. The future studies will be the subtleties of Satan that are manifested in these last days and the bundling experience that is written of for the last days. As we go through these experiences as are written, we need wisdom to understand those subjects. We now recall the words of Daniel chapter 12 when Daniel stands in his lot just now. This is speaking about the total closing of the events of the end. There are a people standing there.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Who shall shine? Who shall be bright as a firmament? The wise. In reference to this perplexing time it says:

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

And there in the time of the end:

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

All our studies so far have been in the period of the end where the storms are violent, and God’s wise people will be purified and made white in that period of time. But the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. If the wise will be in understanding of what is happening around them, then we need to examine God’s word to know what is that wisdom. What is that wisdom that will help us to understand? We consider the wise as to what the wise will understand, because it simply says they will be purified made white and will be able to understand while the wicked will not understand. What do the wise understand?

James 3:13 Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Not just meekness, meekness of wisdom. Here is the question, who among you is a wise man who has this wisdom.

James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above

It is talking about the wise and there is a contrast between the wisdom of the wise and the wisdom of the foolish.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

For the people who are in the world who have envy and strife with the insinuations and the judging of motives, does that require wisdom? It’s a very smart sort of exercise. We scrutinise what is being said. We exercise capabilities which actually develop strife. This wisdom descendeth not from above. It is a wisdom but it is does not descend from above. It is earthly, sensual, devilish, for where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

But the wisdom of the wise who understands in this terrible time, that kind of wisdom is what? First pure. That carries a lot of dimensions; purity. There is no subtlety of hazing up corruptions with the truth, nothing whatsoever. It is pure. Then peaceable; it’s a peaceable thing where you feel a precious peace in that kind of exercise. Then there is a gentleness and an attitude of mind in that wisdom that is easily entreated and is full of mercy and good fruits. No partiality, no hypocrisy. It has everything to do with the righteousness of Christ. It is the fruit of righteousness which is sown in peace of them that make peace.

If there is confusion, if there is strife, what will we try to do if we are wise? We will try to put oil on the trouble waters.

But there is a wisdom that counters that and it will attack and will express negativities and things like that. For our benefit, let us explore that wisdom in broader dimensions. To consider the wise at the end it is well for us to look at the parable of Jesus of the ten virgins. We will make an interesting discovery as we explore it. Let us see how this wisdom actually functions. Jesus speaks in Matthew 24 of the very end where He warns to watch and pray that you don’t be caught by surprise. He says, then, at that time:

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five [were] foolish. 3 They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Jesus is speaking here about the people dwelling in this period of time when sudden impacts of nature, society, churches and of politics strike. At that time there are wise and foolish virgins. What is the wisdom that is here introduced to us? What did the wise have? It says that they have oil in their vessels besides in their lamps. The five foolish and the five wise had oil in their lamps, but the five wise had extra oil in their vessels. Examine diligently the lamp and the oil in the lamp. The foolish had that. But the wise, oil in the vessel. What does this mean? We know that the oil represents something. What does the oil represent? The Holy Spirit. In Zechariah 4:1-6, we see the oil that comes from the olive trees, the two olive branches and goes down into the pipes and comes up to light the lamps. Then the angel says, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. That is the scriptural explanation that the oil is the Holy Spirit. Now the lamps, what are the lamps?

Psalm 119:105 Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

These ten virgins were people who had their Bible. Why is there oil in the lamps?

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

What is written in the Bible has been put there by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, the oil. Here is the oil in the lamp. The Holy Ghost is right there in the Bible. They all had their Bible and the light from the Bible was shining. They had a knowledge of scripture, and they had a knowledge in reference to the last days because they were people who were now living in the last days and they had the knowledge. But in having that knowledge they were waiting for Jesus to come. They knew He was coming. But there was a delay and so they fell asleep. Here we have something very interesting that is now coming into focus because we are trying to explore the wisdom of the wise. When it comes to the foolish and the wise, one company had knowledge and the other company had knowledge. But if they had all that knowledge, were they safe just because they had the knowledge? Let us explore in reference to knowledge versus wisdom. Here you read the interplay between knowledge and wisdom.

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding;

Notice the way he commences here. Receive my words, apply yourself to wisdom in those words to understanding.

Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

This is life eternal that you may know God and Jesus Christ. That we might know God, not just know about Him, but know God. We must have the wisdom and the knowledge that comes from the word and the understanding. Three facets; knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Then you will have the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: [he is] a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

Isn’t that a comfort? We want to be His saints and He must preserve us. But notice how this is all interlocked:

Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; [yea], every good path. 10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

What will keep you? What will preserve you? Knowledge? Discretion, understanding, wisdom is what is needed. That will keep us. The wise virgins were kept. The foolish were not. Did the foolish have knowledge? They did. Did the wise have knowledge? They did. But the foolish did not have wisdom, and therefore they were not preserved. Let us let the Scriptures distinguish for us the difference between knowledge and wisdom:

Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge
How?
Proverbs 15:2 …aright:

You can use knowledge a-wrong? Absolutely. The wise have knowledge as much as the foolish have. They can get all the information to you and spread it all in front of you, but how do they use the knowledge? That is where wisdom is needed. It comes from His word but what do we need to be able to get the wisdom from the knowledge of the word? The oil. The word is already there by the oil, and the word illuminates the path, but whether we have the oil in the vessel is another dimension.

Man must not only read the Word of God, supposing that a casual knowledge of this Word will bring about in him a reformation of character. {Ev 290.1}

Mark that; reformation of character. Remember character. To just read the word supposing that this knowledge of the word will bring about reformation of character is not correct.

This work [of reformation of character] only the One who is the way, the truth, and the life can accomplish. Firmly may certain doctrines of truth be held. Again and again they may be reiterated, till the holders come to think that they are indeed in possession of the great blessings which these doctrines represent. But the greatest, most powerful truths may be held, and yet kept in the outer court, exerting little influence to make the daily life wholesome and fragrant. {Ev 290.1}

Fragrant. I like that word. You come into a room and there is a fragrance into the room, and you smell it, ah, it’s nice here. But you come into a room where is stodginess, where there is an atmosphere and you smell, oh. Our life must be fragrant. Just because we know all the doctrines and all the truths and reiterate them again and again, does not mean that that is going to actually bring about such a thing. It says, again and again they may be reiterated. As we do this in the study of the Bible and get all the doctrines right we may think, now we have the blessings. Well it’s a blessing to know all the truth, isn’t it? But what is the truth meant to do? It must make our daily life wholesome and fragrant.

The soul is not sanctified through the truth that is not practiced. Letter 16, 1892. {Ev 290.1}

Remember again; reformation of character is the practice.

We must have more than an intellectual belief in the truth. {Ev 291.1}
Intellectual. We must have it, remember? Settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually (4BC 1161.6).
We must have more than an intellectual belief in the truth. Many of the Jews were convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, but they were too proud and ambitious to surrender. They decided to resist the truth, and they maintained their opposition. They did not receive into the heart the truth as it is in Jesus. {Ev 291.1}

They have the truth but they did not have it as it is in Jesus. Sister White makes a statement where she says that many people will make shipwreck because they had the truth but not as it is in Jesus. We don’t want to make shipwreck on those rocks in that terrible storm, do we?

When truth is held as truth only by the conscience, {Ev 291.1}

Isn’t the conscience important? But if it’s only held as truth in the conscience.
…when the heart is not stimulated and made receptive, only the mind is affected. But when the truth is received as truth by the heart, it has passed through the conscience, and has captivated the soul with its pure principles. It is placed in the heart by the Holy Spirit, who reveals its beauty to the mind, that its transforming power may be seen in the character.–Review and Herald, Feb. 14, 1899. {Ev 291.1}

If you follow carefully these thoughts as they are written, you are observing that our character is that part that must be formed in the image of Christ and it can’t be done simply by knowing the facts of truth. There is the need of the Holy Spirit that must come inside the vessel and let what is written in the Bible be translated and interpreted into living character change.
All the virgins knew the truth. In this world there are people who are wicked and there are people who know all the truth, but among them there is a split. the foolish versus the wise. So there are three classes in the world: the wicked, the foolish and the wise.

Let us have a look at the foolish to really appreciate according to God’s word the reality of these foolish people.
The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. {COL 411.1}

They are not like the Pharisees. The Pharisees were hypocrites. But the foolish virgins were not hypocrites.

They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; {COL 411.1}

Have you got that picture clear? They are apparently very valuable in the fellowship of the church. They love to be where the truth is. They have an affectionate relationship with truth. They have a regard for it. They have advocated it and they are attracted to those who believe the truth. But what’s the problem?

…but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up. This class are represented also by the stony-ground hearers. {COL 411.1}

It falls into their hearts and they grow. Beautiful. But then when difficulties arise, when the storm arises, they fall apart.

They receive the word with readiness, {COL 411.1}

What does that remind you of? Were the Bereans like that? They received the word with readiness of heart, yes. They do receive the word with readiness.

…but they fail of assimilating its principles. {COL 411.1}

There is such a thing as getting all the facts right and then defending the facts, but there is something more than the facts, there is the principle that is behind the fact. They do not assimilate the principles.

Its influence is not abiding. The Spirit works upon man’s heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. {COL 411.1}

It comes back to what it says in Proverbs, that with the wisdom and the understanding in connection with knowledge, they will come to know God. This is the problem with the foolish ones, they have not broken through those extra dimensions to actually know God.

They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form. {COL 411.1}

When something degenerates into a form, do you eventually get sick of it? Do we have to continue to follow this dress reform? Do we have to continue to follow this health reform? And after a while it becomes monotonous and I want to get free of this. This is the characteristic that I have seen with people when I was a minister in the reform. The strict reform principles while they were in the reform, they were all there dressed as they were taught and then once they walked away, the ladies with their long hair all of a sudden become short. It was too much of a bog. Their dress began to change and so on. This is when the truths and the principles of God’s word become monotonous.
“They come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.” Ezekiel 33:31. The apostle Paul points out that this will be the special characteristic of those who live just before Christ’s second coming. He says, “In the last days perilous times shall come: for men shall be lovers of their own selves; . . . lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. {COL 411.1}

A form of godliness. They are the five foolish virgins. They have a form of godliness. They are not hypocrites and they have a regard for truth. They love to be where the truth is being preached. But only five have in their vessels the oil. Only five yield themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working. At this time, as we are living in the time of the harvest, trials come upon us so severe that if we have all the knowledge of the facts, this will not see us through. Haven’t you been experiencing negatives in your experience where you are tempted to say, I don’t want any more of this, this is more than I can cope with? As we meet this, as we go through this experience of the truth that is actually meant to achieve the experience of God’s people as the wise virgins, in this time of harvesting, trials will reveal who has got the oil and who has not. Because the foolish virgins begin to come to the wise and say, hey , hey, we need something.

In the parable, the foolish virgins are represented as begging for oil and failing to receive it at their request. This is symbolic of those who have not prepared themselves by developing a character to stand in a time of crisis. {TMK 350.2}

Here is the character again. How are the wise able to survive? Because they have developed a character that can meet depravity and hardship and all sorts of things and keep on going. They don’t say, this is it, I’m out of here. They will persevere right through to the end because they have the character to do it! How did they get the character? We’ve just been describing it. In contrast to what the foolish did, the study of God’s word was not just precious to them, they absorbed the principles and permitted the Holy Spirit to take the word and interpret it to them in developing character.

It is as if they should go to their neighbors and say, Give me your character or I shall be lost. {TMK 350.2}

I admire your character! I can see that you can stand but I’m having real trouble, I can’t stand. Please, help me.

Those that were wise could not impart their oil to the flickering lamps of the foolish virgins. Character is not transferable. It is not to be bought or sold; it is to be acquired. The Lord has given to every individual an opportunity to obtain a righteous character . . . but He has not provided a way by which one human agent may impart to another the character which he has developed. . . . {TMK 350.2}
Are you seeing the message for these last days?
The day is coming, {TMK 350.3}

That was written back there.

The day is coming, and it is close upon us, {TMK 350.3}

That means, we’re here now.

The day is coming, and it is close upon us, when every phase of character will be revealed by special temptation. {TMK 350.3}

Do you remember the quote where Sister White says God has a perfect photograph of our character? He reveals to us the things that mar our character. He reveals to us the things that we would have done if we had opportunity (5BC 1085.4).Special temptations, special trials will be designed to reveal every phase of character in this time, not the day coming, it is now.

Those who remain true to principle, who exercise faith to the end, will be those who have proved true under test and trial during the previous hours of their probation, and have formed characters after the likeness of Christ. It will be those who have cultivated close acquaintance with Christ who, through His wisdom and grace, are partakers of the divine nature. But no human being can give to another, heart devotion and noble qualities of mind, and supply his deficiencies with moral power. {TMK 350.3}

Not even a preacher can do that, let alone God unless we work together with Him. There is a quote that says that not even God can change our hearts if we are not coworkers with Him (GW 477.2). God is not a magician. He wants us to understand the procedure that He wants us to be coworkers with.

What is the vessel? What is the receptacle of the oil? We read it in the beautiful words of Christ and we read it because we don’t just want to know the answer of the fact but we want to read it to absorb it in our system. That is why we read things again and again, not just to reiterate knowledge but to explore your living experience with it. We then come to the words of Jesus in reference to the vessel as a receptacle of the oil.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

You can have the Holy Spirit dwelling with you like Jesus was dwelling with them. But were they yet in character strength? Not at all. It’s not until the Holy Spirit came into them. He dwelleth with you, you can see Him, you can see Him working, it’s the Holy Spirit, but you must not only have it with you which is the lamp, the word, it must be in you. So the vessel is the human body.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you.

If the Holy Spirit is in you and He takes of Jesus and shows Jesus to you in you, where is Jesus? Very simple. We are exploring the concept of the oil in the vessel through the work of the Holy Spirit providing and developing character. Here is this beautiful Holy Spirit, this beautiful Jesus, the treasure, the pearl of great price:

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

What did the wise virgins have in their vessels, in their earthen vessels? Not in the lamp, in their earthen vessels. They had the living assimilation of the truth as it is in Jesus inbred into them so that the Holy Spirit, Jesus was actually inside. When the perplexities and trials come, they have made an experience of their own. While the foolish virgins had been with them and they had been studying God’s word together, the foolish virgins say, ah! I can’t, please! Can you help me?? Help me to get through this! I’ve stood there many times helpless. I’ve been through this several times in the ministry where I have had to watch people just go down. I couldn’t do a thing; and it feels like you have failed them. But I’m sorry, you can’t pass across the strength of character. You can’t do it. It’s every person’s acquirement in the absorption of the word in their own personal life. I’ve come very close to trying to help people to actually go over the material of the word to make it a living engagement with the hearers, but it can’t be done unless the hearers are actually tuning in. As Jesus said, he who heareth, let him understand. It’s up to us.

Christ in you, the hope of glory, that’s what the five wise had. In this time of reaping that which we have sown, only the reception of the grain of wheat within the heart by the Holy Spirit can carry us through. The actual beholding of Jesus as we beheld Him is the only way, as we engage with Him in that for us to have the internal fortitude to survive all the ugly situations of life. This scripture describes it very succinctly:

2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

In our vessel. The beauty of the contemplation of Jesus as it is given in His word is not just there to say, oh that’s beautiful isn’t it. It’s not just there to give you tears once in a while. It is something that is to entrench itself into our system so that the atonement of Jesus is everything to you in living experience. Always bearing about the old and the new covenant. What does the old covenant do? It shows me how miserable, wretched, poor, blind and naked I am and I die with Jesus. Then comes the new covenant of the gospel of Christ that resurrects me from the death of what the law has done to me according to Romans chapter 7. It is the application of the doctrine in living engagement. That is what the foolish virgins don’t have. They can explain it all to you. They can give you sermons on it. They can give the doctrine clearly. But the translation of it in the living experience is missing. The tests of human struggles of the terrible storms that we have been studying is going to show up whether we’ve got it. But don’t despair if you discover you haven’t got it because before probation closes there is still a way of recovery. Do it quickly before it’s too late.

I want you to absorb this powerful testimony:

The Christian’s life is a strangely mingled scene of sorrows and joys, disappointments and hopes, fears and confidence. {TDG 62.3}

It’s all strangely mingled together in the Christian’s experience.

There will be much dissatisfaction with self, as he views his own heart so deeply stirred, surged with passion that seems to bear all before it, and then follows remorse and sorrow and repentance, followed by peace and deep hidden joys, because he knows, as his faith grasps the promises that are revealed in God’s Word, that he has the forgiving love of a longsuffering Saviour. And that Saviour, he seeks to bring into his life, weave into his character. {TDG 62.3}

Did you just pick up how you can become a wise virgin? Your life will be a scene of sorrows and joys, of disappointments and hopes, of fears and confidence. As you go through that experience you discover yourself, and that is what is described by the old covenant experience, where ultimately the person, in making a promise to God, discovers, this is terrible. There is a dissatisfaction with self.

…as he views his own heart so deeply stirred, surged with passion that seems to bear all before it, {TDG 62.3}

Have you ever gone through that experience? You can’t stop your passion, it just surges on and you go, ah, I’m never going to be saved. This is too much, the passions just gets too strong. As he goes through that surging passion, then in that surging passion he has made serious mistakes, he falls.

…and then follows remorse and sorrow and repentance, followed by peace and deep hidden joys, because he knows, as his faith grasps the promises that are revealed in God’s Word, that he has the forgiving love of a longsuffering Saviour. {TDG 62.3}

That experience, always bearing in the body, that experience, the dying and the rising of Jesus, that’s exactly what we have just described. The dying of Jesus with my sins and the rising again, because there is a faith that grasps the promises. This is the manner in which he brings the Saviour into his life and weaves Him into his character.

The living engagement is what is needed. The knowledge to get the experience is given in theory, but the engagement is the exercise of the wisdom and the understanding; and that’s the Holy Spirit’s work.

It is these revealings, these discoveries of God’s goodness, that make the soul humble and lead it to cry out in gratitude, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). We have reason to be comforted. Severe outward trials may press around the soul where Jesus lives. Let us turn to Him for the consolations He has provided for us in His Word. The nether [lower] springs of hope and comfort may appear to fail us, but the upper springs which feed the river of God are full of supply and can never be dried up. God would have you look away from the cause of your afflictions to Him who is the Owner of soul, body, and spirit. He is the lover of the soul. He knows the value of the soul. He is the true Vine and we are the branches. We shall have no spiritual nourishment only as we draw it from Jesus who is the life of the soul. {TDG 62.4}

That last bit is the instruction and the first bit that I read is the living experience.

We hear it time and time again, you must have Jesus in you. It’s a wonderful suggestion but the how and the practicality of it is still very poorly understood. But the wise understand because the Holy Spirit is within, bringing that into a reality.

As God is at work identifying in the time of the harvest the wheat among the tares, the wheat will be opposed by the tares down into the debate and conflict of position. This is the problem when the truth is debated rather than taken as a living activity. When we’ve got the truth – and in the Adventist faith we have the truth, it’s a platform of truth – we don’t have to debate the truth anymore. We are now at work to absorb the truth and make it my experience. No debate. In debate there is envy, jealousy, evil-surmising and gossiping even to the point when we question each other’s salvation. But the wise will cling to the wisdom from above. What was that? The wisdom from above does not behave like the wisdom from beneath. Let us return there. Because we have just explored the living entity of this and as we open our hearts to this, here is the wisdom:

James 3:13 Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

This is the wisdom from within that comes through the Holy Spirit. The meekness of wisdom, the meekness of Jesus.

James 3:17 …the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

That is the wise virgin experience. In the midst of the shaking and the bundling of the harvest.

Proverbs 16:21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

The wise in heart, the wise virgin shall be called prudent in that period of time. When you are met by the wicked they will call you a “prude”. The word prude is short for prudent and they will hate you for it. Smarty, that’s the way they talk to you. If you stand and have to defend something or give something and they don’t like it, that’s what comes up there. The prudent are those who have the wisdom in the heart. I am here talking of the terrible storm in which these people live.

Proverbs 22:3 A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

What is that talking about? Come and hide thyself in the time of the indignation. Go and hide yourself in your chambers. The prudent will hide themselves from the destruction of their own sins that they have sown and they will come to Jesus and hide in the Rock and He will protect them by His beautiful sacrifice; whereas those who are foolish will be punished because they will meet the consequences of their sins and be destroyed. This is a beautiful summary of that. In this period when this is happening, the following scripture is again the expression of the prudent, the prudent who are the wise virgins. They have wisdom in their hearts and they are prudent.

Amos 5:10 They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

You dare to speak uprightly today with the marriage of same sex people and all that kind of thing, they will hate you if you rebuke that. That’s just an extreme. But that’s the case all the way along.

Amos 5:10 …and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

You’re prude. That’s how they express their abhorrence.

Amos 5:12 For I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate [from their right]. 13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it [is] an evil time.

In the time in which we live at this present moment, this is our call. Because no use expatiating your righteousness. No use trying to convince people of the wisdom that is within you. It’s no use. You will be ridiculed. You will be called a prude. You will be called “know-it-all”. You will be called all sorts of things. Silence. Don’t say a word.

Can we see the time we are living in? Can we change the course of the foolish? Can we? How much time does it take to change character? It’s the work of a lifetime?

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}

So how can we deal with the foolish? You can’t change a fool in this time. If you can’t change the character of the foolish in this period of time, what are we preaching here? Hopelessness? Awful is his mission! Who? The third angel that is binding. It’s a horrible, serious matter here in this time in which we live. But there is ray of hope isn’t there? God can cut His work short in righteousness in the life of every one of us if we will respond to the earnestness of this time. Here is the note of hope but it requires something within us that we are going to be like Jacob, I will not let you go unless you bless me.

As I saw what we must be in order to inherit glory, and then saw how much Jesus had suffered to obtain for us so rich an inheritance, I prayed that we might be baptized into Christ’s sufferings, that we might not shrink at trials, but bear them with patience and joy, knowing what Jesus had suffered that we through His poverty and sufferings might be made rich. Said the angel, {EW 67.2}

Here is the answer:

“Deny self; ye must step fast.” Some of us have had time to get the truth and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. {EW 67.2}

This is not just the discovery of the truth. It’s the living reality of what we’ve been studying.
But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. They will also have much to unlearn and much to learn again. Those who would not receive the mark of the beast and his image when the decree goes forth, must have decision now to say, Nay, we will not regard the institution of the beast. {EW 67.2}

But remember, the institution of the beast is not just the Sunday, it is everything connected with it. It’s to do with the terrible storm we are surrounded with. So it is that we still have hope. Please do not come away from this sermon and say, John has given me no hope. The fact is that this is going to be a horrendous experience to be purged and purified as it says, the wise are made white and purified. We’re going through the purifying stages before probation closes, and for the character to change in a short time, it requires a tenacity and it requires a diligent study of God’s word that is different to the foolish virgins. Here we have it laid it out before us that not one of us need to be a foolish virgin, not one of us. It’s up to us. And yes, grit your teeth, hang on tight and be prepared to make changes to your own personal reaction to the circumstances of human beings rubbing shoulders together with all the terrible senses and experiences that we make even within the church. Don’t let go. We have the truth but we must have the truth as it is in Jesus.

Let the words of the apostle enter into our hearts. This is what we need to diligently and relentlessly pursue. What is apostle Paul’s whole purpose?
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

How frequently? I die daily, always carrying in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus. May we brace up and do it.

Amen.

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Posted on April 10, 2014, in Facing Last Day Perils and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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