DECEMBER 3

 

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth—Rev. 3: 10.

 

This is the special reward of those who are running the race with patient endurance in the present time, in the Laodicean period. While it was not our privilege to escape the hour of temptation, it is our privilege to have a counter­ balancing special blessing as a result of living in the time of our Lord's parousia (presence). We may have His fellowship, His instruction, His dispensing of spiritual food which is now "meat in due season," in a manner and to a degree in which none of the faithful of past periods enjoyed these. But as we might expect, this greatest favor is correspondingly offset by the subtlety and severity of the trials of this hour of temptation coming upon the whole world. If ever patient endurance was necessary it is necessary now.

 

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It is called the hour of temptation because throughout its duration great tests involving the whole human race, particularly the Church, real and nominal, have prevailed. To the nominal and real people of God these temptations have been severe, especially along six general lines, i.e., No-Ransomism, Infidelism, Combinationism, Reformism, Contradictionism and Revolutionism. While the Philadelphian Church was spared these particular trials, the Laodicean Church has had to meet them. To His Laodicean faithful, however, the Lord has given special help in the light due in the Lord's Parousia and Epiphaneia. The Revolutionism feature of the hour of temptation has been operating coincident with the Epiphany, the "bright shining." It is bringing it and many other things to light.

 

Parallel passages: Rev. 1: 9; 13: 10; 14: 12; Matt. 6: 13; 26: 41; 1Cor. 10: 13; Eph.  6: 13; 2Pet. 2: 9; Matt. 24: 24; Isa. 24: 17; Dan. 12: 10; Jas. 1: 12; 1Pet. 4: 12.

 

Questions: What were this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? In what did they result?

 

THE TRIAL HOUR

 

Ephesians 6: 10-18.

 

THE "hour of temptation" hath come to the

Church,

The time of her testing is here,

And storm clouds of ominous portent roll up,

Betokening the tempest is near.

 

The carnage grows fiercer 'twixt error and truth,

The hosts of the foe press around,

As the day waxes late, and the shadows grow long,

And their tauntings and boastings abound.

 

And many who fought in the ranks by our side,

Have been pierced by the enemy's dart;

Their "shield" and their "helmet" lie prone in the

dust,

And the "arrow" hath smitten their heart.

 

Their arm lost its cunning in wielding the "sword,"

Their "breastplate" was loosed from its place,

The "helmet" was lost, and the shafts of the foe

Smote them down, and they sank in disgrace.

 

O, dear fellow-soldiers! O, brethren in Christ!

Let us gird up our "armor" anew!

Let us heed the sure Word of our Leader and "Head,"

And be loyal and steadfast and true.

 

The night hastens on—only one hour to fight;

No thought now of wavering or fear;

Our captain calls "Onward!" Then close up the

ranks,

For the hour of our victory is near.

 

Courage, comrades! The banner of truth waves

aloft;

No such banner was ever unfurled!

We will follow its lead, e'en thro' carnage and blood,

For by it we shall conquer the world.

 

Tho' feet may grow weary, and hearts throb with

pain,

Let us never give up in the fray;

Our Captain is strong, and can know no defeat,

And will guide to the end of the way.

 

Soon the fight will be over, the conflict be past,

And the "roll-call" will sound thro' the sky;

Will you answer your name? Shall I answer to

mine?

Can we gladly respond: "Here am I?"

 

O, God of the battle, our Father, to Thee

With strong supplication we cry!

The conflict is deadly, and wily our foe,

Yet we know that deliverance is nigh.

 

And Thou who has guided and led all the way,

Wilt guide till the victory is won,

Till the night is all spent and the glad day hath

dawned,

And we hear Thy sweet plaudit, "Well done!"

 

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