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The Tree of Life:


Exposing Sensuality for Judgment

Chapter 1. The outstanding feature of this prophecy is a plague of locusts. The palmerworm, locust, cankerworm and caterpillar are different names for the same insect. From the root meanings of the words they might be translated the shearer, the swarmer, the lapper and the devourer. The locusts go in myriads, they darken the sunlight, they proceed like the rushing of the wind, enter every home, and consume everything in sight. They cut off the meat for man, and beast, and the drunkard too. They also "withhold the meat offering and the drink offering from the house of God." It is a piercing picture of the devastating and demoralizing effect of sensuality. The plague of the heart is the swarm of thoughts that invade the mind of the debauchee, depriving him of all interest in religion, the only interest that can place the pleasures of life where they belong—last, and not first (Genesis 6:12).

2. "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion: for the day of the Lord cometh." Conscience is aroused to search the heart whence spring these voracious thoughts for the gratification of selfish pleasures in life. When called in question, how quickly they rush through the mind, assume the appearance of sound reasoning, and destroy every inclination, or intention, to exercise restraint or self-compulsion. The day of judgment must come. "Rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. . . . Fear not. . . . rejoice in the Lord your God . . . and he will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, . . . and ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied. . . . Afterward, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh." Every conquest brings visions of greater heights yet to be scaled, greater sorrows to be relieved. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered . . . in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."

3. And now for the judgment, a process independent of time, yet always in time when called for. The time here is when we are in a deep depression—the valley of Jehoshaphat—"Jehovah judges"—the valley of decision. We sometimes know better, yet do worse; we "scatter the goods and truths of the Church," bartering them for inferior values. It should not be so. We pride ourselves in knowledge without making any practical use of them, and shun the teaching of the church that upbraids us. Conscience raises fierce issues within. "Multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near." We are greatly in the dark, but in the midst of great commotion, the Lord makes his presence felt, teaches us the Word, and corrects our false interpretations of it. "Then the Church will be the Lord’s, and from the Word."


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