“His Servants must Vigilantly Watch”

Image result for Joshua finding Achan

Many of us are familiar with the trials and lessons of Joshua. One of the foremost is the lesson of Achan. This lesson is very important for us present truth believers because today of all times in history Satan is on the attack as never before. In fact, the Lord instructed His final messenger to our church to say the following.

“And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his  tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the Valley of Achor.

   “And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us?  The Lord shall trouble thee this day.  And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.” Josh. 7: 24, 25.

   At that solemn time, Achan was the only sinner in the camp, but because of his sin the whole nation was about to fall and thus God’s great  name be dishonored in the eyes of the heathen.

   The Lord’s dealings with Joshua reveal that His servants must vigilantly watch that no evil enter into their ranks, and that His words through His prophets be feared as though He Himself were speaking directly to the people…. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,  upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he  fall.” 1 Cor. 10:11, 12. (Tract 4, p.30-31)

What a powerful counsel! Yet as we look out in the present truth vineyard, we see few servants “vigilantly” watching that ” no evil enter their ranks”. We sometimes wonder like the Lord did  “I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled that no one assisted..” ( Isaiah 63:5)

Let us look at some current applications of our Joshua lesson today.

First, as we mentioned Satan is on the full attack to infiltrate the movement that will soon destroy him. Why? Because He has diligently studied God’s word and knows that when His last prophesied prophet “Elijah” comes and gives the final message to God’s church, his final hours of the clock begins. The message describes his last actions —

” …we must remember that when the last prophet comes he will have the greatest opposition to meet, for Satan well knows that if he loses now, he loses forever.  What makes Elijah’s work especially hard is that Christendom has long been drilled in the idea that no prophet is to come, that there is no necessity for one, that it has enough revealed Truth to carry it inside the Pearly Gates. It is therefore only to be expected that the predicted Elijah will be denounced as a false prophet, perhaps even as the anti-Christ, offshoot, or what not.

   Moreover, the old Devil has already put all his forces to work, piping pleasing tunes to lure Truth seekers to climb aboard his golden bandwagon.   Its glittering tinsel of truth is already beguiling many with his wares while his captains and generals are to the top of their voices shouting their “Hallelujahs,” “Holy Ghost,” “gift of healing,” “gift of tongues,” “gift of miracles,” and all the rest, although the entire fanfare is devoid even of a spark of life.  Every wind of doctrine will be blowing, false revivals and reformations will be at their peak.  Everything that can be done will be done to distort the Truth and thus distract and dishearten believers and draw their attention to something other than the message of Elijah.

   Thus will be the Devil’s deal while the day of God is approaching, and while Elijah is making the announcement of it as the scroll unrolls and while the prophecies concerning the day of God are being unsealed.   His work and his interpretation of the prophecies for the great day will identify him as the promised Elijah the prophet (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475), and this will enrage the Devil as never before.  Nevertheless, one’s only safety will be in the teaching of Elijah, for there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn.  Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition.” (GCS, p.6-8)

We know that His final message, as stated, will be under attack. But our all-knowing God has not left us without counsel in what to do in watching that “no evil enter into their ranks”. Let us read —

“If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed..” (2 John 1:10)

Quite powerful indeed! To put this into perspective into today’s terms, for example, our Facebook group “Truth Tellers” has often had to deal with some who come in, who then start to promote a counter message of the Lord’s Rod message. We follow counsel and warn. If they continue to post alternative messages to that of the Lord’s Elijah message, we take action and remove them. Remember that His final message says — “..there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn.  Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition.”

“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him..” (Titus 3:10)

This group of people often are not outsiders but insiders. Those who claim to be present truth believers yet at every opportunity they lamblast His organizations, stirring up division and confusion among the brethren. This situation is perhaps the most insidious, as they have the most damaging effect on some. Again, we do not hesitate to warn, and if needed–remove. As we do that we see a decided lessening of the contention, as Scripture says —

Cast out the scorner and contention shall go out; yes strife and reproach shall cease. (Proverbs 22:10)

The Spirit of Prophecy has warnings as well on our subject —

“I saw that many souls will sink in darkness because of their covetousness. The plain, straight testimony must live in the church, or the curse of God will rest upon His people as surely as it did upon ancient Israel because of their sins. God holds His people, as a body, responsible for the sins existing in individuals among them. If the leaders of the church neglect to diligently search out the sins which bring the displeasure of God upon the body, they become responsible for these sins. But to deal with minds is the nicest work in which men ever engaged.

All are not fitted to correct the erring. They have not wisdom to deal justly, while loving mercy. They are not inclined to see the necessity of mingling love and tender compassion with faithful reproofs. Some are ever needlessly severe, and do not feel the necessity of the injunction of the apostle: “And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.”

There are many who do not have the discretion of Joshua and who have no special duty to search out wrongs and to deal promptly with the sins existing among them. Let not such hinder those who have the burden of this work upon them; let them not stand in the way of those who have this duty to do. Some make it a point to question and doubt and find fault because others do the work that God has not laid upon them.

These stand directly in the way to hinder those upon whom God has laid the burden of reproving and correcting prevailing sins in order that His frown may be turned away from His people. Should a case like Achan’s be among us, there are many who would accuse those who might act the part of Joshua in searching out the wrong, of having a wicked, fault-finding spirit. God is not to be trifled with and His warnings disregarded with impunity by a perverse people.”  (Testimonies , vol.3, p.269-270)

The above is truly packed with far-reaching counsel! Let’s review the points —

1 ) The Body of believers are held accountable when sins exist among them, that are not addressed. We are talking about PUBLIC sins, not private. Those are dealt with individually with God.

2 ) The leaders have a responsibility to deal with the sins among them.

3 ) Some leaders go the opposite extreme and are unnecessarily severe in dealing with sinners.

4)  Many do not deal promptly with sins. Worse yet some try to hinder those that do because they cannot relate to the work God has given them to reproof.

5 ) Perversely, many even accuse the faithful workers of God of doing harsh and unnecessary work of reproof and correction. These have a wicked spirit.

So we see that those of us who have a work to do have to be closely connected to our King, because not only Satan and his angels but even those among the brethren will try and tear down the faithful watching and reproving that keeps God’s wrath withheld. A tough job indeed if we are not on connection to the Most High! Prayer, supping, and living His word is a MUST for those called for service in this special calling.

“When Satan can bring his craftiness to bear on human minds, deceptive influences are received as from heaven. If his deceptions are allowed to enter, many souls will be ensnared by them before it is seen that they are not from God, but from the enemy of all righteousness.” (Manuscript Releases, 37, 1903) 

SOP concludes this report with faithful pointed counsel —

“He who has placed upon men the heavy responsibility of leaders and teachers of His people, will hold the p[eople accountable for the manner in which they treat His servants. We are to honor those whom God has honored.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.36)

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