1 Hear ye the word which Yahweh speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
The signs of the astronomical heavens have no terrors or tokens for those who submit to Jer. x. 2.
...What can man know of the immeasurable universe, or the objects of it nearest to him? He can know a little, but his knowledge-(dressed up in imposing technology)-is apt to seem great when it is small, and accurate when it is mostly a cloud of inference and speculation.
Intellectually, he goes off in a balloon till death brings him to the ground. If a man know God, he will know all His works by and bye. The little time and sense he has now is best bestowed in getting and utilising the knowledge which will prove the key of all knowledge and the secret of all wealth and means of all well-being and joy.
It is sometimes said: "Can't he get the other as well?" Answer: He can get a little. If he set himself to get much, he will neglect the knowledge of God, as revealed in the Scriptures (and there is no other knowledge, but merely inference). Experience shows this to be the case, as best proved by the question: "Where is the great man of science who is on terms of ardent and enlightened loyality with him who said, 'This is eternal life, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent?'"
So little does human knowledge tend in this direction, that enthusiasm for Christ is regarded by all scientific men as an amiable weakness, bordering on mental disorder. Get as much knowledge as you can, my aspiring friend; but remember this, there is a knowledge that is a mere feather in the cap at which mortal gawks may open their eyes, but which is of no value to you, and which you may pay all too dear for if it lead you to neglect the counsel of the Holy One of Israel.
The Christadelphian, Sept 1887
The Political Aerial, and the Signs thereof
He "whom Yahweh hath made both Lord and Anointed," or Christ, when executing the work of preaching "the gospel of the kingdom to the poor," upbraided the clergy of his day for their stupidity in not being able to discern "The Signs of the Times." They desired him that he would show them a sign from the heaven; upon which he exclaimed,
"Oh! ye hypocrites, ye know how to discern the face of the heaven, but the signs of the times ye are not able!"
Like the pagans, they sought an omen in the sky—an eclipse, a shooting star, a darkening, or something of the sort. They demanded this upon the principle that Yahweh's signs were in the constellations of the physical universe. True, it is written that God said,
"Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide between the day and between the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years."
Every astronomer, and navigator, agriculturist, and business man, knows practically the meaning of this. The use of them for these purposes of life, however, never suggests to them any thing connected with the things of the Kingdom of God, and of the name of Jesus Christ. They who are instructed in these things, would as soon look for their signs (and they have their signs) in a coal pit, where darkness may be felt, as expect to find them in the firmament, or atmosphere, that surrounds our globe.
The signs of the Son of man are not there; and as Jesus told the clerical hypocrites of his day, they who look for them in that direction are "a wicked and adulterous generation," of whose doctrinal leaven men should diligently beware. The heathen, and all whose principles are heathenish, look for signs in the sky as indications of the coming of the Son of man, of an approaching conflagration of the earth, and of a destruction of the world of nations!
"Christian Philosophers (!) are deeply embued with this folly; so that a comet of unusual length and brilliancy of tail will set them all agog for a collision, a shivering of the earth to fragments, and a fiery combustion of the rubbish!
And if the seducing spirits or demoniacs, as Paul appropiately styles teachers of this class, who profess and are generally accounted to be the wise, have such notions, what marvel that the people who have blindly surrendered themselves to their direction, should abandon themselves to the same foolishness.
Children are imbeciles, where men are fools; and they are fools, says Jesus, "who believe not all that the prophets have spoken;" for they have uttered the words of God.
Now, concerning signs in the sky, Yahweh hath commanded his people not to trouble themselves about them. In Jerem. 10:2,
"Thus saith Yahweh, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of the heavens; for the heathen are dismayed at them; for the customs of the people are vain."
An eclipse was enough to postpone an expedition, and to throw an army of veteran idolaters into a panic. ...When the children of Antichrist go stargazing for the signs of God, it is proof positive to all enlightened in the Scriptures, that they are ignorant of the principles of the oracles of truth.
No one "taught of God," looks for his signs among the Pleiades, Orion, Arcturus, and his bands. It is not in the signs and constellations of the universe; but in the sun, moon, and stars of the heavens politic, that he has placed his signs.
And this is both rational and scriptural. It is rational, that the signs of a great political revolution should be manifested in the political heavens. The coming of the Son of man is a great political event, and the necessary occasion of a complete overthrow of the existing constitution of the world. If he were merely coming to lead forth his chosen from their graves, and to fly away with them to a transkyanian country, no disturbance of things political need ensue; and no signs political would be seen.
But the resurrection of the saints is only an incident, though an indispensable incident, indeed, of the situation formed. The Son of man comes to settle the celebrated "Eastern Question," which becomes a knot too difficult for the horns of the Gentiles to untie; and which their swords even are not sharp enough to sever.
... He comes to expel the Gentiles out of the country covenanted to Abraham and his Seed; and to set up there a kingdom, that in the hands of its rulers shall subdue Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, in short, all the kingdoms and empires, republics and principalities of the habitable; and overrule them, in all the departments of their affairs, to the glory of the God of heaven, and the benefit of the world.
Such an apocalypse, or revelation, of the Son of man, is therefore a grand political phenomenon; and as its manifestation is made consequent upon the formation of a special and well-defined situation of the political heavens and earth, the signs given of the times of this notable crisis are not in Ursa Major, or Orion's Belt, or over the land of Puritan fanaticism, but in the Political Aerial of the European World
—a world that has its sun, moon, stars, air, earth, mountains, hills, fountains, rivers, and sea; with thunders, lightnings, earthquakes, hailstorms, and tempests; trees, grass, vines, wild beasts, and so forth.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1860
23 O Yahweh, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
As we view the state of the world, in this age of so much cleverness and so little wisdom, so much mechanical accomplishment and so little true living or understanding of life, we are deeply and sadly and thankfully impressed with the crying need for divine guidance and instruction.
Brother Growcott - She openeth her mouth with wisdom.
We need - and we should earnestly desire - specific, detailed "instruction in righteousness," for we are by nature totally ignorant and foolish, no matter how good-intentioned.
We must realize that by nature we are absolutely ignorant. We are stupid. The flesh can never of itself rise above its native stupidity. Unaided from above, we can never think or do right. The Bible plainly tells us this, and accepting it is the first step in the way of wisdom and life.
Before we can do God's will, we must first learn what it is. It will not come to us naturally (though so many presumptuously assume that if they do what they think is right, then God must surely be pleased). But the natural thoughts of our blind flesh are the very opposite of God's holy thoughts. Jesus said-
"That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination with God" (Lk. 16:15).
"The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them."
Bro Growcott - What Doth Yahweh Require of Thee?
Man, by nature, is out of the way of understanding. His inclinations and predelections are sinwards. Apart from divine guidance the mind of man inevitably works in a way baneful to himself and displeasing to God.
"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Man is a strange phenomenon. Though wonderful in his construction, and endowed with high moral faculties, he is the cause of all the evil that obtains. God made man upright, but he has "sought out many inventions." Through rebellion at the outset of his career he became mentally and physically deranged, and alienated from divine favour and intercourse.
In his present condition the scriptures define him as unclean, unsanctified, unjustified, unholy, dead in sins, as without
"hope, and without God in the world" (1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 2:5-12.)
And in this condition he must remain unless he avail himself of God's loving and merciful means of reconciliation, viz., union with Christ, the appointed
"fountain" for "sin and for uncleanness" (Acts 2:38, 39; Eph. 2:13; Gal. 3:26, 29).
There is no middle ground, a man must either be in Christ or without Christ. If the latter, then his position is that described in the terms just quoted-a position to which the statement (uninspired, but true) applies,
"God heareth not sinners, but if any man be a worshipper of God and doeth his will, him he heareth."
Bro AT Jannaway - Worship in relation to the Alien