Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: A Bright Future for God's Work

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

A beautiful experience is on the program of coming events, unique in history. Zechariah, Christ-centered prophet of last-day events, tells us that there will come to the last-day church and its leadership a heart-response to Calvary that will completely transform the church. Speaking of the final events, the prophet says:

"And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; and they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, ... In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness" (Zech. 12:10-13:1).

Who are the "inhabitants of Jerusalem"? Jerusalem is a "city" of Abraham's descendants, the organized body of God's people. In Zechariah's day, Jerusalem meant a distinct group of people called to represent the true God to the nations of the world. Jerusalem was a corporate, denominated body of professed worshippers.

"The Spirit of grace and supplication" is not to be poured out on scattered individual descendants of Abraham, but on the inhabitants of the "city," a visible body of God's denominated people on earth. It is implied that no descendant of Abraham choosing to dwell outside Jerusalem can share in it. Those Jews were indeed lost to history who chose to remain in the nations where they were scattered, refusing to move back to the ancestral nation in Palestine.

Who is "the house of David"? It was anciently the government of the denominated people of God. Zechariah refers to the leadership of the last-day church, or "the angel of the church," or "the king and his nobles," to borrow Jonah's terminology. They are "the men of Judah" whom Daniel distinguishes from "the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (Dan. 9:7). "The house of David" includes all levels of leadership in the organized church.

Does it seem impossible that a spirit of contrition shall be poured out on a leadership congested by organizational complexity? The more involved the church becomes with its multitudinous entities, the greater is the danger of its huge collective self choking the simple, direct promptings of the Holy Spirit. Each individual catching a vision is tempted to feel that his hands are tied--what can he do? The great organizational monolith, permeated with formalism and lukewarmness, seems to move only at a snail's pace. Aside from this "Spirit of grace and supplication," the nearer we come to the end of time and the bigger the church becomes, the more complex and congested is its movement, and the more remote appears the prospect of repentance.

But let us not overlook what the Bible says. We need to remember that long before we developed our intricate systems of church organization, the Lord created infinitely more complex systems of organization, and yet "the spirit ... was in the wheels" (Ezek. 1:20). Our problem is not the complexity of organization; it is the collective love of self. And the message of the cross can take care of that!

--Robert J. Wieland

From: "As Many As I Love": Christ's Call to Laodicea, 1986.
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