YAHWEH, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, IS WITH US!
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins ...
The Shaking of —
Reading: Revelation 3.
Heaven & Earth!
To tempt means to "persuade, or try to persuade (especially into doing
something wrong or unwise)." A temptation, moreover, is "an attractive
inviting offer to do something wrong or unwise." In fact if the offer is not
attractive, it is not a temptation. Temptation has been with mankind since
time began. It is not a new thing. That is why the Saviour taught to pray:
||"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For
thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
This Sabbath, however, I wish to speak about a special time of
temptation, quite apart from the standard temptations that men and women face
throughout life. It is called the Hour of Temptation! It is a particular
temptation which will face the whole world - all mankind - at the same
time - the Hour of Temptation. What is this temptation that will
come upon all mankind at the same time? Will you stand up to it? Will I stand
up to it? Who will withstand it? What is this special temptation anyway?
Before any believer can hope to stand up to this particular temptation
surely we ought to know what it is. Yes we should know. Hopefully this
Sabbath we will find out what the Hour of Temptation is. But first a
few examples of great believers, every one of them as great, if not greater,
than any one in this audience - including Max Mader. When we consider
these examples, let us remember that not one of them had the faintest idea
that he would fall when the temptation struck.
2. Bible Examples of Temptation
|2 Kings 5:20
||"But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said,
Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not
receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD
liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him ..."
||"But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto
him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went
no whither. And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with
thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is
it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and
oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants,
and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall
cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from
his presence a leper as white as snow."
|2 Samuel 11:2
||"And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose
from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from
the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very
beautiful to look upon ..."
||"But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD."
|2 Samuel 12:9-12
||"Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the
LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the
sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the
sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall
never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast
taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the
LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house,
and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy
neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and
before the sun."
The Apostle Peter
||"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath
desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art
converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him,
Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day,
before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me."
||"And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto
him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went
out, and wept bitterly."
The Patriarch Job
||"So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote
Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. And he
took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among
the ashes. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine
integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest
as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at
the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job
sin with his lips."
||"And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed
for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."
Joseph, son of Jacob
||"And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife
cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused,
and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is
with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my
hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept
back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then
can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"
||"And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a
one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh
said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is
none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house,
and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the
throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,
See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off
his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him
in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And
he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried
before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of
Yeshuah the Messiah (Jesus Christ)
||"And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan,
and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days
tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when
they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him,
If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him
up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the
world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this
power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto
me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship
me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get
thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy
God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to
Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him,
If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is
written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And
in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot
against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou
shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all
the temptation, he departed from him for a season."
||"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All
power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
3. Temptations come to all
Temptations come all men, women and children: and they come in
many forms. Ignorance can be an avenue through which Satan can make
you fall: so study Yahweh's word. Ill health can cause you to wonder if
God exists: or if He does, is He interested in us humans. Riches can lead a
person into great temptation. Poverty, persecution and many other
pressures bring their own brand of temptation. Here are some texts that
spell out these temptations.
||"They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the
word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe,
and in time of temptation fall away."
||"And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not,
nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ
|1 Timothy 6:9
||"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in
destruction and perdition."
|2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
||Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye
be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor
by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at
hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall
not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of
sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
All these temptations are common to mankind. Everyone experiences one
or more of them. But the Almighty will never allow a person to be tempted
over and above his/her ability to bear up. In other words, no matter how
sore the temptation or trial, spiritual help is available to overcome
temptation. The Bible says:
|1 Corinthians 10:13
||"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common
to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted
above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a
way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
4. The Shaking of Heaven and Earth
These temptations, however, which we humans encounter throughout our
lives are not the subject of this sermon. The subject of this sermon is the
Hour of Temptation that is coming upon the whole world. It is a special
time unlike anything in human history. It is an Hour of Temptation that
will overtake all the inhabitants of the earth at the same time. Thank God it
lasts only a short time: not that it is just 60 minutes, but it is a relatively
short time nonetheless; a few months at most.
The Hour of Temptation will be preceded by the shaking of heaven
and earth. When the Almighty reveals His power things begin to shake.
Mountains quake and smoke, angels shield their faces and even holy men
shake in terror. Very few things can withstand Yahweh's holy presence
without trembling. Were it not for His Spirit we would all collapse in terror
at His presence: so holy and awesome is Yahweh the God of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob. The Hour of temptation will begin soon after the
shaking of the heavens and the earth: probably with the opening of
Seal of Revelation.
||"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo,
there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of
hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell
unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is
shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when
it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of
their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the
rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every
bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the
rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall
on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and
from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come;
and who shall be able to stand?"
||"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they
escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not
we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying,
Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven"
||"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in
the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea
and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for
looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the
powers of heaven shall be shaken."
||"And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in
heaven shall be shaken."
This shaking of heaven and earth will bring the whole of civilization to a
standstill. Every nation and all peoples will know that something terrible is
taking place. This unimaginable shake-up will introduce the Hour of
Temptation: when the whole human race will be compelled to choose
between obeying the commandments of the Almighty God or rejecting
them. The commandments that will become the point of issue are the
Sabbath and Festival commandments of Yahweh the god of the
Hebrews. After the shaking of heaven and earth all the world will be
compelled to accept or reject them. In Bible prophecy this is called the
Sealing Time. (See AVITW's online booklet
Understand the Revelation for
details of this timetable.)
5. The Hour of Temptation
The Hour of Temptation will be a unique test of faith and obedience
which will come to the inhabitants of the whole world - at the same
time. It will be similar to the Day of Temptation which came to ancient
Israel in the desert of Sinai: when they rejected the leadership of Yahweh
and pleaded to go back to Egypt. They didn't believe He was able to take
them into the Promised Land, the land of rest which was symbolized by
the seventh day Sabbath.
||"Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of
temptation in the wilderness: ...
||"So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
||"For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this
wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And
in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing
therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to
whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
||"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God For he
that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own
works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter
into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of
||"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These
things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of
David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no
man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee
an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little
strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say
they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to
come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved
thee. 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.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man
take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the
temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write
upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God,
which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from
my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
When the Antichrist arrives on the world stage, he will pose as God and
command earth's inhabitants to celebrate his bogus festivals. (Daniel 7:25)
He will attempt to abolish Yahweh's sacred Sabbaths and in their place
institute festivals of his own choosing. These festivals constitute his mark -
the mark of disobedience, the Mark of the
Beast! All who refuse to obey the Antichrist will not be allowed to buy or
sell. (Rev.13:16-17) That will
be the Hour of Temptation. Will you stand at that time? Do you honestly
believe that Yahweh is able to sustain you without the need to visit
the market place each week or month? It will be a test of faith every bit as
great as what ancient Israel went through on the Day of Temptation in
the desert. How will you stand at that time?
6. Watch and Pray
The Saviour's advice is perfectly clear: Watch and Pray. If you do not
watch and pray you will most certainly fall in the Hour of Temptation.
People watch many things. I have listed a few in order of importance.
- Watch your speed.
- Watch your budget.
- Watch your diet. Watch your weight.
- Watch your Entertainment ...What are you watching on TV? ...What
are you reading?
- Watch the company you keep.
- Watch for the Antichrist. His coming
will introduce the Hour of Temptation! Bear in mind that no one will be able
to buy and sell
unless they accept his rulership and mark. For those who reject his
authority there will be no work, no electricity, no visits to the
supermarket, no fuel and no help from society. At that time the whole
human race will have a choice of two alternatives.
- Worship the Beast and receive the benefits of his system.
- Worship Yahweh and keep His commandments.
- Watch world events that show that the Saviour's return is near.
||"Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall
find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and
make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third
watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants."
Pray because the flesh is weak. Any believer can fall; just as surely as
anyone, young or old, can slip and fall on an icy path. Some of the best
believers (Gehazi, David, Peter) fell when tempted. Beware! To withstand
the Hour of Temptation a believer will require special preparation,
special prayer - now! We must prepare for that hour now! Failure to do so is a
sure way to defeat. We must pray!
||"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the
spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
In other words, pray that you will be able to stand in the Hour of
Temptation. The vast majority of the Christian church, which have already
rejected the commandments of God, will not stand! Most will not believe
that the Almighty is well able to keep us during the terrible Hour of
Temptation. The time to prepare is now. Because when that hour
comes, the time for preparation will have passed!
7. The Reward of Overcomers
No one can imagine the wonder and glory of the reward to the overcomers.
Words may give us some idea; but I am certain the reality will be infinitely
better than our wildest dreams. The Bible says:
|1 Corinthians 2:9
||"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither
have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath
prepared for them that love him."
||"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is
tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath
promised to them that love him."
||"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of
life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
||"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second
||"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden
manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new
name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Power over the Nations
||"And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end,
to him will I give power over the nations:"
Clothed in White Raiment
||"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will
confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."
Resident of the New Jerusalem
||"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my
God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the
name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new
Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I
will write upon him my new name."
High Court Judge
||"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my
throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father
in his throne."
Inherit All Things
||"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son."
It is absolutely impossible to appreciate the value of promises of this
magnitude. They are heaven's finest gifts and they are reserved for the
overcomer: to those who have obeyed Yahweh's law in the face of the
most fearsome odds. The Hour of Temptation is almost upon us. How
will it find you; prepared or unprepared? Remember that your present
performance will determine whether or not you are divinely kept from
falling during that dreadful hour!
"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 ..."
To help you prepare for the Hour of Temptation go to the
following pages. They contain information which you cannot afford to miss!
In The Son's Name For The Father's Glory
Elder: Max W. Mader