The June 5th "Good News" announced Christ had put the Church back on the track of Bible organization. He NOW leads to AWAKE the Church from secular drift and to recharge our spiritual batteries.
GOD'S CHURCH has been in mortal DANGER! That danger was WITHIN OURSELVES — the fatal danger of drifting away from Christ spiritually. The danger of putting worldly politics into our midst. The DANGER of saying, "I am of Paul — or I am of Apollo — or I am of Cephas." This DANGER of trying to slide as close as possible — without falling off — into the abyss of Satan's secularism and worldliness. Some of us — brethren, TOO MANY of us — HAVE, PERHAPS NOT REALIZING IT, been led to want to let — little by little — more of THIS evil WORLD into our lives. Brethren, AWAKE! Satan is subtle. He DECEIVES — and a deceived person is not aware he is misled — else he would not be deceived. He may be wholly sincere — yet deceived! The battle cry now, within God's one and only TRUE CHURCH, is "BACK TO CHRIST!" He is the one and only HEAD of God's Church! Not any man — though He does call and USE humans as His servants — but so can SATAN mislead and deceive men into unknowingly becoming his servants. Brethren, my heart is heavy! We need to AWAKE to the FACT that we are now in THE LAST DAYS of this present evil world of Satan. We are in the time God says was to be a time of TRYING AND TESTING of His people.
The GOOD news
Our Philadelphia era of God's Church (Revelation 3:7-13) has the PROMISE of the living Christ that we shall escape the soon-coming GREAT TRIBULATION with TROUBLES in the world such as never happened before or will again (Revelation 3:10; 12:14). But the prophet Daniel warns us. "And at that time [of the end, Daniel 12:1] shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and THERE SHALL BE A TIME OF TROUBLE, such as never was since there was a nation even to this time..." (See also Matthew 24:21-22.) "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried..." (verse 10). There are plenty of warnings of this same time of trial and testing in the New Testament. Brethren, COME TO REALIZE WE are in THAT TIME. But our GOD is on His throne. And the living HEAD of this Church is also ON THAT THRONE. When frightening times of trying and testing come — and they have been coming tenfold recently — I have not the ability to outwit Satan — my refuge and deliverance is in the LIVING CHRIST! Not only is HE there on His Father's throne, but the archangel Michael is also STANDING UP AGAINST SATAN FOR US. Satan is now at the white-hot HEAT OF WRATH, knowing he has but a short time (Revelation 12:12). We are at the time when "there was WAR IN HEAVEN: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon [Satan]; and the dragon fought and his angels [demons], and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven." (Revelation 12:7-8).
CHRIST will prevail
Christ warns us, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." He IS seeking to devour YOU. "But", God continues "whom resist STEDFAST IN THE FAITH" (I Peter 5:8-9). We are now in the LAST DAYS — when "perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud... lovers of pleasures more than of God." Brethren, first let me tell you of a personal experience I had, just before Garner Ted was born. My wife was excessively anemic, lacking iron in her blood. The doctor feared having delivery of the baby at home and insisted she must go to the hospital. I had anointed and prayed for her healing, but the anemia had not left. I did not have the money to pay for the hospital bill — and the hospital bill for the delivery of my firstborn son, Richard David, had not been paid. The hospital would not admit my wife until that bill was paid. It was a frightful dilemma. I was helpless. I knew where to turn, however — to the living God. I began with fasting and prayer. It was a Sabbath morning. Taking no breakfast, I read the Bible for one hour, hoping to find the REASON my wife had not been healed of the anemia. Then I devoted the next full hour to prayer. The hour after that I just sat and meditated, asking God to show me where I had failed that her healing had not come. Then another hour of Bible study, followed by another full hour of prayer and then an hour of meditation. I DID NOT PRAY FOR HER HEALING — but rather, that God would show me what was wrong in my life that my prayer for healing had not been answered. This same rotation of an hour of Bible study followed by an hour of prayer and then an hour of meditation continued until bedtime, and then again on Sunday. About 1:30 that afternoon one of our daughters called out, "Here come Grandpa and Grandma driving up our driveway!" By this time God had shown me what was wrong with me. I had been drifting into having my mind more on our troubles and material problems. I had gotten away from that closeness to God needed to receive answers to prayer. But now I was back very close to GOD. Now I knew He would hear and answer my petition.
A quick prayer
I made a very quick prayer — perhaps not over 15 seconds. It flashed to my mind that other things were direly needed. I asked God again to heal my wife. I asked Him also to provide for the hospital bill. I asked Him to send us food — for we were completely out. And I asked Him to send wood for fuel (we then used wood for the kitchen cook stove and the living room stove). I told Him I was out of money and the house rent was due and asked Him to provide that. I asked Him to provide me with a new overcoat. It was late January, and all I had was a thin topcoat with a hole 4 to 6 inches wide on one side of the seat. Then quickly I said, "Lord, You say that You know what things we have need of before we ask You — so send also anything I have forgotten to ask. Then I closed that hurried-up prayer and went out to greet my parents. My father was lifting out of his Model-A Ford armloads of wood. He had removed the rear seat and filled the space with wood. Mother was carrying into our house a large covered pan with a big dinner ready to be warmed and eaten. The next morning on waking we discovered my wife's cheeks were rosy. The morning mail — the very first delivery since my quick prayer — brought a letter that her share of a will left to her mother would immediately take care of the hospital hill. The doctor was dumbfounded that morning, announcing that the anemia was gone. A new overcoat came to me during the Monday noon hour. Late that Monday afternoon the merchandising department of the Portland (Ore.) Oregonian asked me to conduct a survey for the Bisset Carpet Sweeper Co., and this covered the rent bill and other needs. But that wasn't all. A day later my youngest brother, Dwight drove over and said he wanted me to keep his car and use it — for in case I had to take my wife, Loma to the hospital during the night, I would have transportation. I had no car at the time. Thursday evening my sister came over. She said, "The strangest thing happened this afternoon. I was praying, and in my mind I heard a voice saying 'Take a robe over to Loma!' This was repeated. She was startled. She said to us, "I don't know why I was told to bring this robe to you, but here it is." "Oh." exclaimed my wife, "I had completely forgotten — but I do not have a robe, and I will need one in the hospital."
Value of prayer
Some of you brethren have heard this before — because I think it is an experience that needs telling to help others to know the value of PRAYER. Brethren of GOD'S CHURCH, our whole membership is SORELY IN NEED OF FASTING AND PRAYER. Therefore I am, as God's apostle, appointing Sabbath, June 24, as a day of SPECIAL FASTING AND PRAYER for the spiritual awakening and rejuvenation of the ENTIRE CHURCH, which is "THE BODY of the living CHRIST!"