He that is feeble among them - shall be as David - Here is a marked difference between Judaism and Christianity. So clear, full, and efficient shall be the salvation of believers under the Gospel that the feeblest among them shall be as strong, as full of courage, and as successful as David when he went against Goliath. The least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than John the Baptist.
And the house of David - as the angel of the Lord - The family the Church of the true David, the Lord Jesus, shall be as the angel of the Lord; shall stand in the Divine presence like Gabriel; for Christ hath said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." So "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed from glory into glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord." Thus the house of David, the true Christians, shall here walk with, after, and before God.
In that day the Lord shall defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble, rather, he theft stumbleth among them, shall be as David - The result of the care and the defense of God is here wholly spiritual, “the strengthening of such as do stand, and the raising up of such as fall.” It is not simply one feeble, but one “stumbling” and ready to fall, who becomes as David, the great instance of one who fell, yet was raised. Daniel says of a like trial-time, “And some of those of understanding shall stumble, to try them and to purge and to make them white, to the time of the end” Daniel 11:35. Ribera: “Such care will God have of protecting the sons of the Church, when it shall be infested with persecutions, that he who shall have fallen through human infirmity, either deceived by heretics or overcome by fear of tortures, shall arise the more fervent and cautious, and with many tears shall make amends for his sins to God, as did David. “He who stumbled shall be as David,” because the sinner returneth‘ to repentance. This is not said of all times, nor of all (for many have stumbled, who never rose) but chiefly of the first times of the Church and of people of great sanctity, such as were many then.”
And the house of David shall be as God - They who stumbled became really like David; but he, though mighty and a great saint of God, though he once fell, was man. How then could the house of David be really like God? Only fully in Him, who, “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” Philemon 2:6; who said, “He who hath seen Me, hath seen My Father also” John 14:9; “I and the Father are one” John 10:30. And this the prophet brings out by adding, “as the Angel of the Lord before them,” that is, that one Angel of the Lord, in whom His very Presence and His Name was; who went before them, to guide them (see “Daniel the prophet” pp. 519-523). Else, having said, “like God,” it had been to lessen what he had just said, to add, “like the Angel of the Lord.” Our Lord prayed for those who are truly His, “As Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they may be one in Us; that they may be one as We are one, I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfect in one” John 17:21-23; and Paul saith, “Christ is formed in us” Galatians 4:19; “Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith” Ephesians 3:17; “Christ liveth in me” Galatians 2:20; “Christ is in you” Romans 8:10; “Christ is our life” Colossians 3:4; “Christ is all and in all” Colossians 3:11; “we grow into Him which is the Head, even Christ” Ephesians 4:15; “we are in Christ” Romans 16:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 1:22; and Peter, we are “partakers of the divine nature” 2 Peter 1:4; and John, “As He is, so are we in this world” 1 John 4:17. Then in a degree the glory of Christ passeth over to those who dwell in Him, and in whom He dwells by the Spirit, as Paul says; “Ye received me, as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus” Galatians 4:14.
What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. As the disciples proclaimed the message of redeeming grace, hearts yielded to the power of this message. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Backsliders were reconverted. Sinners united with believers in seeking the pearl of great price. Some who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions. The prophecy was fulfilled, “He that is feeble ... shall be as David; and the house of David ... as the angel of the Lord.” Zechariah 12:8. Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ's character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom. AA 48.1
“With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33. Under their labors were added to the church chosen men, who, receiving the word of truth, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that filled their hearts with peace and joy. They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them, and as they went from place to place, the poor had the gospel preached to them, and miracles of divine grace were wrought. AA 48.2
So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit. AA 49.1Read in context »
The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ's righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness. 5T 81.1
When trees without fruit are cut down as cumberers of the ground, when multitudes of false brethren are distinguished from the true, then the hidden ones will be revealed to view, and with hosannas range under the banner of Christ. Those who have been timid and self-distrustful will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church will be as David—willing to do and dare. The deeper the night for God's people, the more brilliant the stars. Satan will sorely harass the faithful; but, in the name of Jesus, they will come off more than conquerors. Then will the church of Christ appear “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” 5T 81.2
The seeds of truth that are being sown by missionary efforts will then spring up and blossom and bear fruit. Souls will receive the truth who will endure tribulation and praise God that they may suffer for Jesus. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” When the overflowing scourge shall pass through the earth, when the fan is purging Jehovah's floor, God will be the help of His people. The trophies of Satan may be exalted on high, but the faith of the pure and holy will not be daunted. 5T 82.1Read in context »
The success of the meeting depends on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. For the outpouring of the Spirit every lover of the cause of truth should pray. And as far as lies in our power, we are to remove every hindrance to His working. The Spirit can never be poured out while variance and bitterness toward one another are cherished by the members of the church. Envy, jealousy, evil surmising, and evilspeaking are of Satan, and they effectually bar the way against the Holy Spirit's working. Nothing else in this world is so dear to God as His church. Nothing is guarded by Him with such jealous care. Nothing so offends God as an act that injures the influence of those who are doing His service. He will call to account all who aid Satan in his work of criticizing and discouraging. 6T 42.1
Those who are destitute of sympathy, tenderness, and love cannot do Christ's work. Before the prophecy can be fulfilled, The weak shall be “as David,” and the house of David “as the angel of the Lord” (Zechariah 12:8), the children of God must put away every thought of suspicion in regard to their brethren. Heart must beat in unison with heart. Christian benevolence and brotherly love must be far more abundantly shown. The words are ringing in my ears: “Draw together, draw together.” The solemn, sacred truth for this time is to unify the people of God. The desire for pre-eminence must die. One subject of emulation must swallow up all others—who will most nearly resemble Christ in character? who will most entirely hide self in Jesus? 6T 42.2
“Herein is My Father glorified,” Christ says, “that ye bear much fruit.” John 15:8. If there was ever a place where the believers should bear much fruit, it is at our camp meetings. At these meetings our acts, our words, our spirit, are marked, and our influence is as far-reaching as eternity. 6T 42.3Read in context »
Then the glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost bounds of the inhabited world. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Believers were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. The prophecy was fulfilled, The weak shall be “as David,” and the house of David “as the angel of the Lord.” Zechariah 12:8. Every Christian saw in his brother the divine similitude of benevolence and love. One interest prevailed. One object swallowed up all others. All hearts beat in harmony. The only ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ's character, and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom. “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.... With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:32, 33. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:47. The Spirit of Christ animated the whole congregation; for they had found the pearl of great price. COL 120.1
These scenes are to be repeated, and with greater power. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the former rain, but the latter rain will be more abundant. The Spirit awaits our demand and reception. Christ is again to be revealed in His fulness by the Holy Spirit's power. Men will discern the value of the precious pearl, and with the apostle Paul they will say, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Philippians 3:7, 8. COL 121.1Read in context »