26. My Vision on Isaiah and Jeremiah Versus Solomon


September 30, 2010


http://omega77.tripod.com/isaiahjervssolomon.htm



The path of men who are placed as leaders is not an easy one. But they are to see in every difficulty a call to prayer. Never are they to fail of consulting the great Source of all wisdom. Strengthened and enlightened by the Master Worker, they will be enabled to stand firm against unholy influences and to discern right from wrong, good from evil. They will approve that which God approves, and will strive earnestly against the introduction of wrong principles into His cause.” {PK 31.3}


For a time, the apparent enigma of Solomon had been a mystery to me. Many are the times I have heard SDA leaders recite God’s patience with Israel as a rationale that He will be all as patient and long-suffering with us. Because many professing Seventh-day Adventists I know of are teaching that God will forgive the abominations of Adventist idolatry and ecumenical escapades with Babylon, because He forgave those of Solomon and Ahab, etc. God showed me that it is due to this cherished error that SDA leaders say God is too merciful to visit His people in judgment, 5T, 211. All of this is a peace and safety lie of grave magnitude.


I was shown that the same principles apply to all of the apostasies of Israel before the prophet Isaiah, after which, God changed the rules because He had given His people sufficient evidence by way of the lesson book of experience. God was very patient with Israel on many occasions before He instituted more harsh punishment for such violators and that punishment men bring upon themselves by removing God’s hedge of protection which is provided by obedience to His Word, which in turn drives away our protective angels and the Holy Spirit.


What some are teaching is in effect the teaching that because Solomon committed whoredoms with God’s enemies, and was thence forgiven, we can do the same thing. You will come to see in this document that this is tantamount to saying that because Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, we can do the same! It is the purpose of this document to show the important reason why we are not afforded the same longsuffering of God in these matters as was Solomon.


Time of Solomon’s Reign as King

Solomon (reigned ca. 965-ca. 925 B.C.) was a king of the ancient Hebrews. He rebuilt the city of Jerusalem and erected the first Hebrew temple there. His wisdom is proverbial.


The Time of Isaiah’s Prophetic Office

 

Authorship. The prophet Isaiah was the author of the book called by his name. The son of Amoz and a scion of the royal line, he was called to the prophetic office in his youth (5T 749), toward the close of the reign of Uzziah (Azariah, 790-739 B.C.” SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 83.

 

So keep in mind that Isaiah prophesied about 200 centuries later. These time progressions are of grave importance to what God showed me in this vision.

 

In Isaiah 8:9-16, we progress to a punishment of unpardonable sin for associating, counselling, girding and/or confederating with God’s enemies. Why? Because God’s people had the ensample of hundreds of years of such abominations in the earlier history of His people.

 

The Time of Jeremiah’s Prophetic Office

 

Jeremiah’s call to prophetic office came about 627 B.C. …” SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 344.

 

Why do I delineate these important time intervals in the dealings of God with His people? Because you will see a stark difference between the longsuffering God lent to Solomon in the early history of His people when they were first learning the lessons He deigned to teach them, compared to their idolatry after they should have learned the results of such violations of His instruction to them. When we come to Jeremiah chapters 7 and 11, we find that God instructed him not to even pray for that generation of Jews who had conspired (confederated) with His enemies. That meant unpardonable sin.

 

About a couple of centuries before Jeremiah wrote, Isaiah had prophesied God’s Word that is was unpardonable sin to come into association, counsel, girding and/or confederacy with His enemies. So when His people made this violation in Jeremiah’s day, the penalty came true. Read Jeremiah 11:9-15. And God has shown me that professing, new movement Seventh-day Adventists have done every act (in principle) cited in those verses. Ellen White prophesied that would happen:

 

COUNTERPART: "The Lord commanded one of his ancient servants, 'Pray not thou for this people [Jer. 7:16 and 11:9-15], neither lift up cry nor prayer for them neither make intercession to me for I will not hear thee.' The prophet thus describes the sins which had called forth this fearful denunciation: 'The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means and my people love to have it so and what will ye do in the end thereof?' 'From the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.' The apostles declare that this state of things will find its COUNTERPART in the last days. Many have a form of godliness, but in their daily life deny the power thereof. They have ceased to be convicted of their sins or alarmed at their state. They say in their hearts, 'The church is flourishing. Peace and spiritual prosperity are within her borders.' The words of the prophet may well apply to these self-deceivers, 'They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them." E. G. White, Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald,  11-07-82.

 

"Shall the Lord be compelled to say, `Pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to Me: for I will not hear thee' [Jeremiah 7:16]? `Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain....Wilt thou not from this time cry unto Me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth' [Jeremiah 3:3-4]?...


We are to be judged by the light that has been given us, (159) and we can find no excuse by which to extenuate our course." Review and Herald, Vol. 3, p 69-70 (August 1, 1893). (Brackets by Ellen White)

 

There is the principal in one sentence: We are to be judged by the light that has been given us, and we can find no excuse by which to extenuate our course."

 

God showed me that all of the above are the reasons why He does not give His people 490 years of probation like He gave the Jews in Daniel 9. The way some SDA leaders and laity are reasoning about the apostasies of Israel, God would have to give us that long because He gave Israel that long a time of probation.


A Short Biography of Solomon http://www.answers.com/topic/king-solomon


The King's reign was a peaceful one. With consummate diplomatic skill he entered into numerous friendly alliances with the great powers of his time, often securing them through marriage. His most important marriage was with the Pharaoh's daughter. It secured peace on his southern border and kept the road open to Ezion-geber, site of his iron and copper refinery.


(flourished 10th century BC) Son and successor of David. Nearly all that is known about him comes from the Bible (1 Kings 1 – 11 and 2 Chronicles 1 – 9). Through the efforts of his mother, Bathsheba, and the prophet Nathan, Solomon was anointed king while David was still alive. On accession to the throne, he liquidated his opponents ruthlessly and installed friends in key posts. He established Israelite colonies outside his kingdom's borders, cooperating with such friendly rulers as the Queen of Sheba to increase commerce. Fortification of his far-flung empire necessitated a vast building program, the crowning achievement of which was the Temple of Jerusalem. He reorganized the nation into 12 tribes with 12 administrative districts. He is said to have had a harem of 700 wives and 300 concubines. After the ascension to the throne of his son Rehoboam, the northern tribes seceded and formed their own kingdom of Israel, bringing an end to Solomon's empire. His legendary wisdom is recorded in the Book of Proverbs, and he is traditionally named as the author of the biblical Song of Solomon. He was regarded as the greatest king of Israel.”

 

October 19, 1905

Lessons from the Life of Solomon--No. 6

The Gift of Wisdom


Mrs. E. G. White

 

     Solomon, in his youth, made David's choice his own. Pure and noble in character, he was named Jedidiah, the beloved of the Lord. Above every earthly good he desired a wise and understanding heart. Upon him there rested great burdens of state, which he felt unable to bear alone. Not only was he to strive to be a just ruler, but he was also to carry out the long-cherished plan of his father, by building a temple at Jerusalem. As he began to comprehend the magnitude of this special work, and of the duties connected with his kingly office, he sought the great Source of wisdom for divine guidance. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 1}

 

                          An Offering At Gibeon

 

     Early in his reign, King Solomon went with his chief counselors to Gibeon to offer sacrifices to God, and to reconsecrate himself to the Lord's service. In the time of Moses the Israelites were commanded to bring their sacrifices to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. During David's reign the ark of the covenant had been brought to Jerusalem, and set "in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it;" and there he "offered burnt offerings and peace-offerings before the Lord." The old tabernacle of the congregation was still at Gibeon. David left "Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon, to offer burnt offerings unto the Lord upon the altar of the burnt offering continually morning and evening, and to do according to all that is written in the law of the Lord, which he commanded Israel." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 2}

 

     With "the captains of thousands and of hundreds," "the judges," and "every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers," Solomon "went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness. But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. Moreover the brazen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur had made, he put before the tabernacle of the Lord: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it. And Solomon went up thither to the brazen altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 3}

 

     These sacrifices were offered by Solomon and his men in positions of trust, not as a formal ceremony, but as a token of their earnest desire for special help. They knew that they were insufficient, in their own strength, for the responsibilities entrusted to them. Solomon and his associates longed for quickness of mind, for largeness of heart, for tenderness of spirit. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 4}

 

                              A Noble Choice

 

     "In that night" "in Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream; . . . and God said, Ask what I shall give thee." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 5}

 

     Solomon answered the Lord with these words: "Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 6}

 

     "And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that can not be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 7}

 

     "And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 8}

 

     "And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet has asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king;" "behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honor," "such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 9}

 

     "And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 10}

 

     God promised that as he had been with David, he would be with Solomon. If the king would walk before the Lord in uprightness, and if he would do all that God commanded him, his throne would be established, and his reign would be the means of exalting Israel as the light of the surrounding nations,--as "a wise and understanding people." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 11}

 

     "And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 12}

 

     "Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon," "to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace-offerings, and made a feast to all his servants." And Solomon "reigned over Israel." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 13}

 

 

                         An Understanding Heart

 

     The Lord imparted to Solomon the wisdom that he desired above earthly riches, honor, or long life. His petition for a quick mind, a large heart, and a tender spirit, was granted. He became the wisest of earthly monarchs, because God gave him superior wisdom and an understanding heart. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 14}

 

     "And all Israel . . . feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment." The hearts of the people were turned toward Solomon, as they had been to David, and they obeyed him in all things. Solomon "was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 15}

 

     For many years Solomon's life was marked with devotion to God, with uprightness and firm principle, and with strict obedience to God's commands. He directed in every important enterprise, and managed wisely the business matters connected with the kingdom. His faithfulness in carrying out the directions of God regarding the construction of the temple, resulted in the erection of the most magnificent building the world has ever seen,--a building that could not be excelled for richness, beauty, and costly design; and this caused his fame to spread among the nations everywhere. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 16}

 

     "God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 17}

 

     "And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 18}

 

     "And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom." {RH, October 19, 1905 par. 19}

 

     All nations acknowledged, and marveled at, Solomon's superior knowledge and wisdom, the excellence of his character, and the greatness of his power. Many came to him from distant parts of the world to see the manner of his government, and to receive instruction regarding the conduct of difficult affairs. The power of his understanding, the extent of his knowledge, the glory of his reign, commanded the wonder and admiration of the world.                                                              

{RH, October 19, 1905 par. 20}

 

Solomon’s Apostasy

 

Chap. 3 - Pride of Prosperity

 

     While Solomon exalted the law of heaven, God was with him, and wisdom was given him to rule over Israel with impartiality and mercy. At first, as wealth and worldly honor came to him, he remained humble, and great was the extent of his influence. "Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river [Euphrates] unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt." "He . . . had peace on all sides round about him. And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, . . . all the days of Solomon." 1 Kings 4:21, 24, 25. {PK 51.1}

 

     But after a morning of great promise his life was darkened by apostasy. History records the melancholy fact that he who had been called Jedidiah,--"Beloved of the Lord" (2 Samuel 12:25, margin),--he who had been honored by God with tokens of divine favor so remarkable that his wisdom and uprightness gained for him world-wide fame, he who had led others to ascribe honor to the God of Israel, turned from the worship of Jehovah to bow before the idols of the heathen. {PK 51.2}

 

     Hundreds of years before Solomon came to the throne, the Lord, foreseeing the perils that would beset those who might be chosen as rulers of Israel, gave Moses instruction for their guidance. Directions were given that he who should sit on the throne of Israel should "write him a copy" of the statutes of Jehovah "in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites." "It shall be with him," the Lord said, "and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel." Deuteronomy 17:18-20. {PK 52.1}

 

     In connection with this instruction the Lord particularly cautioned the one who might be anointed king not to "multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." Verse 17. {PK 52.2}

 

     With these warnings Solomon was familiar, and for a time he heeded them. His greatest desire was to live and rule in accordance with the statutes given at Sinai. His manner of conducting the affairs of the kingdom was in striking contrast with the customs of the nations of his time--nations who feared not God and whose rulers trampled underfoot His holy law.{PK 52.3}

 

     In seeking to strengthen his relations with the powerful kingdom lying to the southward of Israel, Solomon ventured upon forbidden ground. Satan knew the results that would attend obedience; and during the earlier years of Solomon's reign--years glorious because of the wisdom, the beneficence, and the uprightness of the king--he sought to bring in influences that would insidiously undermine Solomon's loyalty to principle and cause him to separate from God. That the enemy was successful in this effort, we know from the record: "Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the City of David." 1 Kings 3:1. {PK 53.1}

 

     From a human point of view, this marriage, though contrary to the teachings of God's law, seemed to prove a blessing; for Solomon's heathen wife was converted and united with him in the worship of the true God. Furthermore, Pharaoh rendered signal service to Israel by taking Gezer, slaying "the Canaanites that dwelt in the city," and giving it "for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife." 1 Kings 9:16. This city Solomon rebuilt and thus apparently greatly strengthened his kingdom along the Mediterranean seacoast. But in forming an alliance with a heathen nation, and sealing the compact by marriage with an idolatrous princess, Solomon rashly disregarded the wise provision that God had made for maintaining the purity of His people. The hope that his Egyptian wife might be converted was but a feeble excuse for the sin. {PK 53.2}

 

     For a time God in His compassionate mercy overruled this terrible mistake; and the king, by a wise course, could have checked at least in a large measure the evil forces that his imprudence had set in operation. But Solomon had begun to lose sight of the Source of his power and glory. As inclination gained the ascendancy over reason, self-confidence increased, and he sought to carry out the Lord's purpose in his own way. He reasoned that political and commercial alliances with the surrounding nations would bring these nations to a knowledge of the true God; and he entered into unholy alliance with nation after nation. Often these alliances were sealed by marriages with heathen princesses. The commands of Jehovah were set aside for the customs of surrounding peoples. {PK 53.3}

 

Note: Commensurately, SDA leaders have reasoned that ecumenical alliances with fallen Babylon would bring these peoples to a knowledge of God. Why did God later make such alliances unpardonable sin via the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 8:9-16)? Because His people had living proof of the results of such sin. That is why we cannot commit the same sin today because we have the example of Solomon. Finally, through His prophet Isaiah, after Israel had opportunity to prove or disprove God’s instructions to them, such alliances would meet with only one result—broken in pieces, unpardonable sin. End note.

 

     Solomon flattered himself that his wisdom and the power of his example would lead his wives from idolatry to the worship of the true God, and also that the alliances thus formed would draw the nations round about into close touch with Israel. Vain hope! Solomon's mistake in regarding himself as strong enough to resist the influence of heathen associates was fatal. And fatal, too, the deception that led him to hope that notwithstanding a disregard of God's law on his part, others might be led to revere and obey its sacred precepts. {PK 54.1}

 

     The king's alliances and commercial relations with heathen nations brought him renown, honor, and the riches of this world. He was enabled to bring gold from Ophir and silver from Tarshish in great abundance. "The king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the vale for abundance." 2 Chronicles 1:15. Wealth, with all its attendant temptations, came in Solomon's day to an increasingly large number of people; but the fine gold of character was dimmed and marred. {PK 54.2}

 

     So gradual was Solomon's apostasy that before he was aware of it; he had wandered far from God. Almost imperceptibly he began to trust less and less in divine guidance and blessing, and to put confidence in his own strength. Little by little he withheld from God that unswerving obedience which was to make Israel a peculiar people, and he conformed more and more closely to the customs of the surrounding nations. Yielding to the temptations incident to his success and his honored position, he forgot the Source of his prosperity. An ambition to excel all other nations in power and grandeur led him to pervert for selfish purposes the heavenly gifts hitherto employed for the glory of God. The money which should have been held in sacred trust for the benefit of the worthy poor and for the extension of principles of holy living throughout the world, was selfishly absorbed in ambitious projects. {PK 55.1}

 

     Engrossed in an overmastering desire to surpass other nations in outward display, the king overlooked the need of acquiring beauty and perfection of character. In seeking to glorify himself before the world, he sold his honor and integrity. The enormous revenues acquired through commerce with many lands were supplemented by heavy taxes. Thus pride, ambition, prodigality, and indulgence bore fruit in cruelty and exaction. The conscientious, considerate spirit that had marked his dealings with the people during the early part of his reign, was now changed. From the wisest and most merciful of rulers, he degenerated into a tyrant. Once the compassionate, God-fearing guardian of the people, he became oppressive and despotic. Tax after tax was levied upon the people, that means might be forthcoming to support the luxurious court. {PK 55.2}

 

     The people began to complain. The respect and admiration they had once cherished for their king was changed into disaffection and abhorrence. {PK 56.1}

 

     As a safeguard against dependence on the arm of flesh, the Lord had warned those who should rule over Israel not to multiply horses to themselves. But in utter disregard of this command, "Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt." "And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands." "Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem." 2 Chronicles 1:16; 9:28; 1 Kings 10:26. {PK 56.2}

 

     More and more the king came to regard luxury, self-indulgence, and the favor of the world as indications of greatness. Beautiful and attractive women were brought from Egypt, Phoenicia, Edom, and Moab, and from many other places. These women were numbered by hundreds. Their religion was idol worship, and they had been taught to practice cruel and degrading rites. Infatuated with their beauty, the king neglected his duties to God and to his kingdom. {PK 56.3}

 

     His wives exerted a strong influence over him and gradually prevailed on him to unite with them in their worship. Solomon had disregarded the instruction that God had given to serve as a barrier against apostasy, and now he gave himself up to the worship of the false gods. "It came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites." 1 Kings 11:4, 5. {PK 56.4}

 

     On the southern eminence of the Mount of Olives, opposite Mount Moriah, where stood the beautiful temple of Jehovah, Solomon erected an imposing pile of buildings to be used as idolatrous shrines. To please his wives, he placed huge idols, unshapely images of wood and stone, amidst the groves of myrtle and olive. There, before the altars of heathen deities, "Chemosh, the abomination of Moab," and "Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon," were practiced the most degrading rites of heathenism. Verse 7. {PK 57.1}

 

     Solomon's course brought its sure penalty. His separation from God through communication with idolaters was his ruin. As he cast off his allegiance to God, he lost the mastery of himself. His moral efficiency was gone. His fine sensibilities became blunted, his conscience seared. He who in his early reign had displayed so much wisdom and sympathy in restoring a helpless babe to its unfortunate mother (see 1 Kings 3:16-28), fell so low as to consent to the erection of an idol to whom living children were offered as sacrifices. He who in his youth was endowed with discretion and understanding, and who in his strong manhood had been inspired to write, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12), in later years departed so far from purity as to countenance licentious, revolting rites connected with the worship of Chemosh and Ashtoreth. He who at the dedication of the temple had said to his people, "Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God" (1 Kings 8:61), became himself an offender, in heart and life denying his own words. He mistook license for liberty. He tried--but at what cost!--to unite light with darkness, good with evil, purity with impurity, Christ with Belial. {PK 57.2}

 

     From being one of the greatest kings that ever wielded a scepter, Solomon became a profligate, the tool and slave of others. His character, once noble and manly, became enervated and effeminate. His faith in the living God was supplanted by atheistic doubts. Unbelief marred his happiness, weakened his principles, and degraded his life. The justice and magnanimity of his early reign were changed to despotism and tyranny. Poor, frail human nature! God can do little for men who lose their sense of dependence upon Him. {PK 58.1}

 

     During these years of apostasy, the spiritual decline of Israel progressed steadily. How could it be otherwise when their king had united his interests with satanic agencies? Through these agencies the enemy worked to confuse the minds of the Israelites in regard to true and false worship, and they became an easy prey. Commerce with other nations brought them into intimate contact with those who had no love for God, and their own love for Him was greatly lessened. Their keen sense of the high, holy character of God was deadened. Refusing to follow in the path of obedience, they transferred their allegiance to the enemy of righteousness. It came to be a common practice to intermarry with idolaters, and the Israelites rapidly lost their abhorrence of idol worship. Polygamy was countenanced. Idolatrous mothers brought their children up to observe heathen rites. In the lives of some, the pure religious service instituted by God was replaced by idolatry of the darkest hue. {PK 58.2}

 

     Christians are to keep themselves distinct and separate from the world, its spirit, and its influences. God is fully able to keep us in the world, but we are not to be of the world. His love is not uncertain and fluctuating. Ever He watches over His children with a care that is measureless. But He requires undivided allegiance. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24. {PK 59.1}

 

     Solomon was endued with wonderful wisdom, but the world drew him away from God. Men today are no stronger than he; they are as prone to yield to the influences that caused his downfall. As God warned Solomon of his danger, so today He warns His children not to imperil their souls by affinity with the world. "Come out from among them," He pleads, "and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. {PK 59.2}

 

     In the midst of prosperity lurks danger. Throughout the ages, riches and honor have ever been attended with peril to humility and spirituality. It is not the empty cup that we have difficulty in carrying; it is the cup full to the brim that must be carefully balanced. Affliction and adversity may cause sorrow, but it is prosperity that is most dangerous to spiritual life. Unless the human subject is in constant submission to the will of God, unless he is sanctified by the truth, prosperity will surely arouse the natural inclination to presumption. {PK 59.3}

 

     In the valley of humiliation, where men depend on God to teach them and to guide their every step, there is comparative safety. But the men who stand, as it were, on a lofty pinnacle, and who, because of their position, are supposed to possess great wisdom--these are in gravest peril. Unless such men make God their dependence, they will surely fall. {PK 60.1}

 

     Whenever pride and ambition are indulged, the life is marred, for pride, feeling no need, closes the heart against the infinite blessings of Heaven. He who makes self-glorification his aim will find himself destitute of the grace of God, through whose efficiency the truest riches and the most satisfying joys are won. But he who gives all and does all for Christ will know the fulfillment of the promise, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22. With the gentle touch of grace the Saviour banishes from the soul unrest and unholy ambition, changing enmity to love and unbelief to confidence. When He speaks to the soul, saying, "Follow Me," the spell of the world's enchantment is broken. At the sound of His voice the spirit of greed and ambition flees from the heart, and men arise, emancipated, to follow Him. {PK 60.2}

 

In the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

 

Ron Beaulieu

 

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