Who persecutes the prophets? A prophet is never persecuted by the world as much as by the professed people of God. Of the professed people of God it is written, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee... Luke 13:34. Again, Stephen in his dying words, just prior to being stoned by the professed people of God, declared, Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Acts 7:51. And then he asked them this question, Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? Acts 7:52. Every prophet that ever lived on the face of the earth was persecuted by the professed people of God, when that prophet bore a living testimony to the people. A straight testimony is what Satan hates. He began his hatred of Truth in heaven; and as we near the close of time, his hatred becomes intense, and his attacks on the remnant in modern Israel is a cruel war of lies and spite. His spirit hates Truth and he knows that his time is short and getting shorter.
The remnant in modern Israel will have the Testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the Spirit of Prophecy. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep (to guard from loss or injury, to note, to fulfill, to hold fast) the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17. The Testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of Prophecy, consequently the most severe conflict that has ever been in the history of this world, is taking place with the remnant among the professed people of God, who are preserving this Testimony. Those who are spiritually and physically alive, and have to meet these attacks of Satan, will require the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,... Ephesians 6:13. They will require also an experience which recognizes their own need and unworthiness. Theirs is an experience of donning the whole amour of God. They will learn by practice to come to the throne of grace in humility, yet with holy boldness. CT 241.
The Spirit of Prophecy has been maligned in every age and yet ponder the fact that it is the exact same Spirit of Prophecy, regardless of the age. The very same spirit of prophecy that attended the dedication of the bay Jesus through Simeon, is fully revealed in the writing of Ellen G. White. Yes, the Spirit of Prophecy is the same in every age of the world and the response to it in ancient days is a mirror image or picture of the reaction to it in modern days. The condition of the world previous to the first appearing of Christ is a picture of the condition of the world just previous to His second advent. The Jewish people were destroyed because they rejected the message of salvation sent down from heaven. Shall those in this generation to whom God has given great light and wonderful opportunities follow in the trend of those who rejected light to their ruin? 6T 146. Yes, The Spirit of Prophecy is the living voice of God, through the prophet, that Satan hates. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. 1SM 48. The true people of God in modern Israel know by experience that the last work for the professed people of God (3T 266) is even now colliding and in controversy with this last deception of Satan (1XSM 48). This is simply because the living voice of the Spirit of Prophecy has always drawn the line in the professed church of God. And the same denials and the same objections have been brought into the conflict in every age of the professed church. As it was in the days of Christ, so it is now' the Pharisees do not know their spiritual destitution. To them comes the message, 'Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness to not appear.' Rev. 3:17, 18. DA 280. Thus, we see that the Pharisees' objection or the Laodicean objection is the same thing. That objection to the Spirit of Prophecy was not and is not because of the professed church does not believe in the prophet necessarily, but the Pharisees/Laodiceans do not believe in the particular reading of the testimony.
The princes in the professed church in Jeremiah 36 complained to Baruch because they couldn't believe the particular reading of the testimony saying, Tell us now, How didst thou write all these words at his mouth? Then Baruch answered them, He pronounced all these words unto me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book. Jeremiah 36:17-18. We see the reading of the testimony is denied because it is against pride and self, for the Lord's instructions to Baurch were, Take thee a roll of ta book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel... Jeremiah 36:2. It was the "proud men" that denied the reading of the testimony of the prophet, saying the reading was false. "Then spake...all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thous speakest falsely..." Jeremiah 43:2. Today, the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we are now covering the same ground as recorded in Jeremiah 36. This chapter is a record of historical events that will be repeated. Let all who desire to receive warning, read carefully. MS 65, 1912, or 4BC 1159.
The same difficulty of not believing and denying the particular reading of the testimony existed in the New Testament. The controversy was over Paul's inspired testimony. Here the proud men, called unlearned and unstable, wrested or changed the literal reading of Paul's testimony which was to their destruction. 2 Peter 3:15-16. Peter went on in inspiration to speak to you who know these things. He calls you, beloved. 2 Peter 3:17.
One thinks of another as beloved because they are worshipping the same God and for this they endure the same trials for the same reasons. Beloved in Israel, are you enduring pain for the Truth in modern Israel? You are historically special to the God of heaven! Take courage and be strengthened! Those who persecute the Lord and the prophets will find the same denials and the same identical excuses to persecute you. Press together! Beloved, learn to draw warmth from Laodicean coldness, because God has considered your persecution beforehand. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you... John 15:20.
Have you been persecuted by Pharisees/Laodiceans today, simply for sharing and practicing the words of life as found in the Spirit of Prophecy? Have you been thought of as a disturber of the people or as a trouble maker simply because you love and share the clearest statements from the Spirit of Prophecy? Beloved, have courage and draw strength! Please, notice what the professed Seventh-day Adventists or Pharisees/Laodiceans were saying about Sister Ellen White in her day: `What an easy, happy time we were having. The church was in a pleasant condition. We were doing well. But Lo! Here come Elder White and his wife, the disturbers of Israel. They always create a trouble whenever they come.' Ellen G. White Pamphlets In The Concordance, volume 1, (October 23, 1879), p. 481. Therefore, the Pharisees/Laodiceans think and say: (1.) they are having an easy, happy time; (2.) that their church is in a pleasant condition; and (3.) they are doing well. Oh, it is not you, beloved, that disturb them or create trouble. It is divine instruction! It is the words of life (5T 210) from the Holy Spirit that is doing the disturbing and the troubling!
Thus, we afflict our souls in pity and pray for those who persecute and know not what they do. And, with Peter, I pray for the beloved, who by their experience know these things, to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:17-18.
Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Michael O. Hodges
FORERUNNER, self-supporting ministries
Home church (since 1983)
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