Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Over a century ago, in a British magazine, The Present Truth, a thoughtful, almost unknown author wrote something that is still, sadly, "present truth" today. Ellet J. Waggoner had been discussing how God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be the greatest nation on earth (Gen. 12:2, 3), and that the promise had been fulfilled to Israel in the "dominion" of David and his descendants.
But the last to sit on his throne was King Zedekiah who had tragically abandoned the promise to Abraham, had disgraced the name of God before the world by "abominable idolatry," and "broke a solemn oath" in the Lord's holy name before international attention. Ezekiel had said that God will "overturn, overturn, overturn" that "dominion" which had been given to Israel, "and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him," thus pointing to the second coming of Christ (21:19-27, KJV).
Then the author reviewed the "three great revolutions" that had come as a consequence of Israel's tragic apostasy from her high calling--the rise of Babylon as a world empire: Medo-Persia, then Grecia, and lastly, the world dominion of Rome. None of these "dominions" would have been necessary in history had it not been for Israel's terrible failure.
Then came this obscure author's provocative statement: "It is not for us to know the times and the seasons which the Father has put in His own power; but we know that when all the professed church of Christ shall consent to be filled with His Spirit, the whole world will soon hear the Gospel message in the fulness of its power, and the end will come, when the groaning creation itself will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glory of the liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21; The Present Truth, Feb. 25, 1897).
Backwards from current popular thought, which has the church begging God to give His consent to give the Holy Spirit; instead it has God begging His church on earth to "consent to be filled with His Spirit." Revolutionary insight! God trying His best to give the gift while the church neglects her "consent" to receive it.
This particular author has long since gone to his rest. Could he have dreamed that over a century later that "consent" would still be pending?
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 15, 2003.
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