|Revelation 6:12-14 |
12 Then I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the moon became like blood;2
13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts its untimely figs, when it is shaken by a mighty wind.3 [Christians that had produced the fruit of the Spirit, who were in the first stage of perfection, fell to temptation; their fruit had withered.]
14 And the heaven departed like a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
3 the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts its untimely figs, when it is shaken by a mighty wind. As Adam and Eve fell from paradise, as King David fell from the Old Testament's impermanent perfection, some of the successful early church Christians and some of the successful early Quakers fell from their prophecies, erred from the faith, the spirit, and the grace; and so became false prophets and false apostles preaching another gospel, which bypassed the necessity of self-denial and strict obedience to the voice of the Lord — the cross of Christ. Now if these men were "stars of the heavens," we can reasonably conclude that they had reached the first stage of perfection; but apparently they were not watchful enough, and so they fell to the then-certain-to-occur further temptations, (a mighty wind), becoming false prophets. Untimely figs refers to fruit that withers; these men had produced the fruit of the Spirit, (also a first stage of perfection occurrence), but their fruit withered. From the Word of the Lord within: "When the fruit withers, I remove the protection."
Ambrose Rigge wrote of this event:
"My heart and soul do earnestly breathe to the Lord, that grace, mercy, truth and love, may be daily increased, and abundantly multiplied, in and among you all; and that you may be preserved a peculiar people, and royal priesthood, daily increasing in fruits of righteousness, as trees of the Lord's own right hand planting. So shall his worthy name, by which you have been called, be glorified by you, and his high praises be in your mouths, and a two-edged sword in your hands, to wound the dragon and power of darkness, in all his appearances and transformings, which are and have been many and various in our day; so that some stars of heaven have been drawn down to the earth by his power, and have made great noises at their fall. But the foundation of God stands sure, and all who have continued upon it, have been preserved unmovable, not only through all storms which have arisen in the sea, but have escaped the baits and snares which have been laid covertly in the earth: glory and renown ascend to that worthy name, which has been our tower and safe habitation to this day; Amen, Amen forever."
Accidental sin can be repented, only causing a delay in advancement to the second stage of perfection. However, wilful, disobedient sin results in a dreadful happening for as Rigge stated, their fall made great noises. This is what the Lord stated in Matthew and Mark: "the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."
Let this be a significant warning to all of us who aspire to the kingdom: that we do not relax and let down our guard, but instead we double our watchfulness against the temptations that will be hurled against us to test our foundation. The devil's greatest tool to tempt us is with sexual immorality, so be intensely on guard against even wilfully imagining the commission of sexual immorality. Those of us who reach the first stage of perfection will likewise be severely tempted; but we can minimize our risk of falling if we remember to: 1) continue to obey any commands we have received in the past, and 2) reject anything that we want to do, only doing what we are ordered to do by the Lord. Should we fall, unless we wilfully disobey, we can still choose to repent as we walk in the light and the blood of Jesus that cleanses us of all sin. The less we fall, the sooner we attain the second stage and inherit the substance, Christ. Guard yourself against sexual immorality and all sin doubly now so that you are doubly ready to withstand the temptations then, the consequences of falling then being disastrous. By maintaining our watchfulness, we not only avoid delays or failure, but we advance to the second stage of perfection, which is a far greater reward and gives us permanent protection against ever falling to sin. May we be as Rigge wrote:
"But the foundation of God stands sure, and all who have continued upon it, have been preserved unmovable, not only through all storms which have arisen in the sea, (peoples and nations), but have escaped the baits and snares which have been laid covertly in the earth: glory and renown ascend to that worthy name, which has been our tower and safe habitation to this day; Amen, Amen forever."
This experience is compatible with the Lord's statement that all the end times prophecies of those books would be fulfilled before the generation of 2000 years ago died, (click here to see all).
From the Word of the Lord within: "Many fell and erred from the true faith. As wonderful is the crucifixion of self, you are to continue in the steps of faith until you hear or see the end."
I would submit the following additional admonitions to guard against falling to sin at this stage: