So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
KJV Romans 10:17
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After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:
and the first voice which I heard was
as it were of a trumpet talking with me;
which said, Come up hither,
and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
And immediately I was in the spirit:
and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone:
and there was a rainbow round about the throne,
in sight like unto an emerald.
KJV Revelation 4:1-3
The rainbow spanning the heavens with its arch of light is a token of "the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature." Genesis 9:16. And the rainbow encircling the throne on high is also a token to God's children of His covenant of peace. As the bow in the cloud results from the union of sunshine and shower, so the bow above God's throne represents the union of His mercy and His justice.
As the bow in the cloud is formed by the union of the sunlight and the shower, so the rainbow encircling the throne represents the combined power of mercy and justice. It is not justice alone that is to be maintained; for this would eclipse the glory of the rainbow of promise above the throne; man could see only the penalty of the law. Were there no justice, no penalty, there would be no stability to the government of God.
It is the mingling of judgment and mercy that makes salvation full and complete. It is the blending of the two that leads us, as we view the world’s Redeemer and the law of Jehovah, to exclaim, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” We know that the gospel is a perfect and complete system, revealing the immutability of the law of God. It inspires the heart with hope, and with love for God. Mercy invites us to enter through the gates into the city of God, and justice is sacrificed to accord to every obedient soul full privileges as a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King.
If we were defective in character, we could not pass the gates that mercy has opened to the obedient; for justice stands at the entrance, and demands holiness, purity, in all who would see God. Were justice extinct, and were it possible for divine mercy to open the gates to the whole race, irrespective of character, there would be a worse condition of disaffection and rebellion in heaven than before Satan was expelled. The peace, happiness, and harmony of heaven would be broken up. The change from earth to heaven will not change men’s characters; the happiness of the redeemed in heaven results from the characters formed in this life, after the image of Christ. The saints in heaven will first have been saints on earth.
The salvation that Christ made such a sacrifice to gain for man, is that which is alone of value, that which saves from sin—the cause of all the misery and woe in our world. Mercy extended to the sinner is constantly drawing him to Jesus. If he responds, coming in penitence with confession, in faith laying hold of the hope set before him in the gospel, God will not despise the broken and contrite heart. Thus the law of God is not weakened, but the power of sin is broken, and the scepter of mercy is extended to the penitent sinner (Letter 1f, 1890).
God loves His obedient children. He has a kingdom prepared, not for disloyal subjects, but for His children whom He has tested and tried in a world marred and corrupted by sin. As obedient children, we have the privilege of relationship with God. “If children,” He says, “then heirs” to an immortal inheritance.... Christ and His people are one (Letter 119, 1897).
~ To Be Like Jesus; EGW
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus:
and great grace was upon them all.
What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Savior were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. The hearts of the disciples were surcharged with a benevolence so full, so deep, so far-reaching, that it impelled them to go to the ends of the earth, testifying, God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. BLJ 270.2
As they proclaimed the truth as it is in Jesus, hearts yielded to the power of the message. The church beheld converts flocking to it from all directions. Believers were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. Those who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions.... The only ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character, and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.... BLJ 270.3
Under their labors there were added to the church chosen ones, who, receiving the word of life, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that had filled their hearts with peace and joy. Hundreds proclaimed the message “The kingdom of God is at hand.” They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them, and wherever they went, the sick were healed, and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. So mightily can God work when human beings give themselves up to the control of His Spirit. BLJ 270.4
To us today, as verily as to the first disciples, the promise of the Spirit belongs. God will today endow men and women with power from above, as He endowed those who on the day of Pentecost heard the message of salvation. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and who will take Him at His word. BLJ 270.5
Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” The Spirit of Him who died that sinners might live animated the entire company of believers.—(Australasian) Union Conference Record, June 1, 1904. BLJ 270.6
~ In Heavenly Places; EGW
The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
It was in the time of greatest weakness that Christ was assailed by the fiercest temptations. Thus Satan thought to prevail. By this policy he had gained the victory over man. When strength failed, and the will power weakened, and faith ceased to repose in God, then those who had stood long and valiantly for the right were overcome. Moses was wearied with the forty years’ wandering of Israel, when for the moment his faith let go its hold upon infinite power. He failed just upon the borders of the Promised Land. So with Elijah, who had stood undaunted before King Ahab, who had faced the whole nation of Israel with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal at their head. After that terrible day upon Carmel, when the false prophets had been slain and the people had declared their allegiance to God, Elijah fled for his life before the threats of idolatrous Jezebel. Thus Satan had taken advantage of the weakness of humanity.... HP 256.2
Whenever one is encompassed with clouds, perplexed by circumstances, or afflicted by poverty or distress, Satan is at hand to tempt and annoy. He attacks our weak points of character. He seeks to shake our confidence in God, who suffers such a condition of things to exist. We are tempted to distrust God, to question His love. Often the tempter comes to us as he came to Christ, arraying before us our weakness and infirmities. He hopes to discourage the soul and to break our hold upon God. Then he is sure of his prey. If we would meet him as Jesus did, we should escape many a defeat. By parleying with the enemy we give him an advantage.... HP 256.3
Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by the apostle He says to us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). We cannot save ourselves from the tempter’s power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but “the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name. HP 256.4
Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Verses 3 - 5
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?
or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Verses 5 - 9
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Verses 15 - 18
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof:
but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.
He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye,
and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
Verses 1 - 9 ~ 14 ~ 20 - 22
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.
Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity:
for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
For riches are not for ever:
and doth the crown endure to every generation?
Verses 1 - 2 ~ 5 - 6 ~ 9 - 10 ~ 17 - 18 ~ 23 - 24
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
Whose hatred is covered by deceit,
his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
Verses 20 - 26
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him:
for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
Verses 11 - 13
Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul:
when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward,
and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
Verses 3 - 9 ~ 13 - 14
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?
for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
Speak not in the ears of a fool:
for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.
Verses 1 - 9
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,
and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.
Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge. For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the LORD will plead their cause,
and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.
Verses 1 - 2 ~ 17 - 23
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
Verses 2 - 7 ~ 15 - 17 ~ 20 - 21
Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.
Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
Verses 10 - 15
House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.
He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied;
he shall not be visited with evil.
Verses 14 - 23
Through desire a man, having separated himself,
seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.
It is not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.
A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Verses 1 - 10 ~ 23 - 2 4
Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.
A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.
He that covereth a transgression seeketh love;
but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.
Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water:
therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Verses 7 - 17
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!
and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.
The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb,
sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Verses 16 - 24
A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
Verses 21 - 33
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Verses 21 - 27
The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Verses 6 - 14
Verses 15 - 22
Verses 1 - 6
The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Verses 14 - 23