Amos 5:10

Amos rebuking

As we look at the above picture, we see the farmer turned prophet, Amos, rebuking his people for their sins. In Amos 5:10 we read, “They hate the one who rebukes at the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.” 

It is indeed a true saying of God, those who rebuke or admonish are not, nor ever been, liked or appreciated by the majority of God’s professed people. Few realize the great love behind God’s words of warning brought by His servants. Let us look at this necessary “act of love”.

The word “rebuke” in the dictionary means, “express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.” But as true Christians we obviously would not rebuke someone unless the situation calls for it. In other words, as a caring brother or sister, we would first try to warn gently any clear sinning going on “in the midst”. Then if that doesn’t seem to reach them, next time the firmer step of rebuking may be necessary.

Most of us remember as young children, our parents giving us strong medicine. You know, that yucky stuff that we just hated. Yet, most of us found ourselves well within a short period of time. An analogy can be made about giving words of warning to our brethren. It’s often “tough to take” yet if we digest it slowly and dwell upon the healing effects, we’ll be all the better for it.

The Spirit of Prophecy says, “To the obedient, he will give rich blessings; to the transgressors, a curse. Every man who bears the message of truth to our churches, must do his duty by warning, educating, rebuking. Any neglect of duty which is a robbery toward God, means a curse upon the delinquent.”(Special Testimonies, No. 7, p.22).

A few months ago I happened to be surfing SDA YouTube videos and came across a unique ministry for the Lord. As I watched, God’s words as brought by Amos came to mind. The lady with her children were protesting unholy music and abortions within the S.D.A church.

Sadly, the majority ignores them, or worse, some men in “responsible positions” send police to confront them as troublemakers. Yet, the woman was “sighing and crying” for the abominations taking place within our church and conference. Abortion, lack of proper dress, unholy music and a list of other abominations is their cry. To view their videos click here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owdoa6yVMk8

Brother Houteff announced in his very first book , on the very first page, concerning the Lord’s “Elijah”message the following, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”(Isaiah 58:1).

On the next page he continued, “It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7, but the chief object of this publication is  to bring a reformation among God’s people.” (Shepherd’s Rod, vol. 1, preface).

We noticed the word “chief”. In other words the message of Elijah is first and foremost to convert and reform THEN we can learn and know all the Truths found within the Lord’s last message. Obviously we do not learn to run before walking. So too, we must learn to walk upright before the Lord,  in our daily actions.

So before we can rebuke at the gate, we must know that our own life is “cleaned up” and we ourselves are walking in the light as best we can. If this is not the case we fall under the Lord’s striking rebuke–

“Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:5)

As we study the past prophets, we notice another “rebuker at the gate”, the prophet Nehemiah. After giving the people the warning not to come into the camp on the Sabbath, selling and buying, he says, “So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after Sabbath….Then I warned them, ‘Why do you spend the night around the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you!””(Neh.13:19)

Wow! Not only was the prophet a rebuker of their sins, he was a ready enforcer! How deep the love for God’s honor! How deep the understanding of sin!

This is what “rebuking at the gate” is all about. A true desire to show people their sins in order to help steer them right and to stay on that “straight and narrow” road.

The Elijah prophet confirmed our duty as faithful servants today.

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE WHO BEAR THE MESSAGE

   Since Ezekiel represents those whose hearts the message has reached, then to them the Lord is speaking when He says:

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.  When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because  thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezek. 3 :17-21.)

   Because of the unfaithfulness of the former watchmen, the Lord makes the antitypical Ezekiel — he and she who “sigh and cry for the abominations  that be done in the midst thereof” (the church) — a “watchman” (Ezek. 3:17) in their stead.  Be careful, therefore, Brother, Sister, lest you also betray your trust and find yourself thrust out.  “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12. (Tract 1, p.41-42)

So the Lord through His Elijah prophet, gives us specific instructions that we are to be a “watchman”. One who carefully warns the sinners in ‘the midst” that sinning will lead to destruction.

In closing let’s look at the Spirit of Prophecy’s counsel to be as faithful as Amos, Nehemiah, Ezekiel and brother Houteff was, in “rebuking at the gate” —

“The prejudice which has arisen against us because we have reproved the wrongs that God has shown me existed, and the cry that has been raised of harshness and severity, are unjust. God bids us speak, and we will not be silent.

If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty.

In vision I have been pointed to many instances where the displeasure of God has been incurred by a neglect on the part of His servants to deal with the wrongs and sins existing among them. Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in disposition, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therefore they avoided it.

The spirit of hatred which has existed with some because the wrongs among God’s people have been reproved has brought blindness and a fearful deception upon their own souls, making it impossible for them to discriminate between right and wrong. They have put out their own spiritual eyesight. They may witness wrongs, but they do not feel as did Joshua and humble themselves because the danger of souls is felt by them.

The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God.

Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God’s professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet’s illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand.

One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side. “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”(Testimonies, vol. 3, p.266-267)

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3 Responses to “Amos 5:10”

  1. wilfred Says:

    It is interesting to find the very people of God with unrestrained hatred for the very message meant for them!never the less the true messengers wont back down on the message simply because the beneficiaries are unwilling!Elijah was tasked with the responsibility of warning God’s people about their apostasy,otherwise it would not amount to apostasy,had it not been that initially they were in possession of the right understanding of God’s charge on them!Let us not be filled with hatred to the messengers,the message is from God,for He alone has an issue with us.The message bearers are innocent!,and the prophet is only an instrument for the Lord!

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Well said, thank you brother.

  3. rene Says:

    Amen.

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