Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words" (Prov. 1:20,21).
There is, indeed, valuable wisdom to be gleaned from this great literary work: The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. That is so, even if you consider it only in the sense of every day life. However, the book of Proverbs is also "the Word of God," and as such, it is prophetic (Matt. 11:13).
Proverbs 1:20-33 is a prophecy which speaks specifically of the day in which we live. It concerns the "Midnight cry" of Matthew 25, where the wise and foolish virgins hear the announcement of the coming of the Bridegroom. Once today's Christians wake up enough to realize that the time of the coming of our Lord is at hand, they will have a small window of time in which to "search the scriptures to see whether the message is true," and to go in to the wedding before the door is shut.
Lift up your eyes and look. The Bridegroom is coming, and the time has come for the Bride to "make herself ready." No doubt, God has already picked a place for the wedding, and you can be sure, from the words of the parable of The Marriage of the King's Son (Matt. 22:2-14), that it will take place upon the Earth. How else could anyone get in without a wedding garment?
However, Christians are facing a forbidding obstacle which our adversary has thrown in between them and the truth. It is the promotion that the preaching of the gospel should be kept very simple, even simplistic. The result being that any minister, who ventures to declare the prophetic reality of what God is doing and is going to do, is ostracized, berated and vilified. When such a prophet dies, he is not forgotten; as in the case of two of the greatest prophets in the twentieth century: A. J. Tomlinson, who caused the growth and development two great Pentecostal churches, the Church of God, and the Church of God of Prophecy, and Grady R. Kent who fulfilled the prophecies of the flying prophet: the "Voice of the Bird of the Air," in Eccl. 10:20, and Ezekiel 10:1-7. To this day these two prophets are repeatedly maligned by the progeny of those who smote them with their mouths when they were still living.
These men of God, as well as others, were bold to preach the fulfillment of the prophetic truth of their time. Oh, they zealously preached the simple truth of redemption, of sanctification and the gift of the Holy Ghost, but they managed to avoid the pitfall of preaching only one facet of scriptural truth. They also preached the testimony (prophecy): the proof of the Messiahship of Jesus, and the certification of His Elect. Jesus clearly showed us, in John 5:39, that it is very important that we "Search the scriptures; for in them (we) think (we) have eternal life, and they are they which testify of (Jesus)." Jesus came boldly proclaiming His place, and that of John the Baptist, in the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Likewise, today, there is a volume of prophecy which we will surely fulfill (Heb. 11:39-40), because the scriptures cannot be broken.
Solomon told us, in Ecclesiastes 3:15, that God will do nothing in the grace age that is not written in the law and the prophets. And the Apostle Paul shows us, in his epistle to the Hebrews, that that includes prophecies of both good men and bad, saying, "The law casts a shadow of good things to come" (Heb. 10:1). And further, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears" (Heb. 12:14-17; see also Deut. 29:18 and Gen. 27:1-40). Esau received a blessing, and an inheritance from God by the words of Isaac. It was not what he was originally in line to receive, but it was good. Unfortunately, many Christians today are about to experience a similar situation, having ignored the admonition of Heb. 4:1, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest any of you should seem to come short of it."
There are several places in the Holy Scriptures which prophecy of the glory of God being manifested to the world in a group of holy men and women who have rejected the iniquity and idolatry of this world. There are, likewise, many passages which foretell of the wrath of God being poured out upon His disobedient children in "The Day of the Lord," immediately preceding the resurrection of the righteous.
Proverbs 1:20-33 is one of those prophecies which God has spoken against the stiff-necked Christians in this day. Herein we see how that God has extended mercy to us, and is now extending mercy to us, and will do so yet for a while; until the time to find repentance is past, and the time of wrath has come.
God begins these words of wisdom in verse 22, saying, "How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
"Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."
More than two years ago, just about 9 years before the return of our Lord, at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, we began to send words of Counsel and reproof the House of God (The Churches of God), but no man regarded, not a bishop, not a pastor, not a member. We did receive some response, mocking our message and our efforts. One pastor in California even sent me an E-mail, telling me that they had many wise men in the Church of God, and that God would never send anyone such as me to tell them anything. Well did Isaiah say concerning them, "Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid (Isa. 29:13,14).
We might like to apply all of these prophecies to natural Israel, but not only did Paul explain that "he is a Jew which is one inwardly," but the very essence of the passage, beginning in Isaiah 29:11 requires that we apply it to the days of the fulfillment of the prophecy which is called "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." And so it is with this book of prophetic proverbs by King Solomon.
Most Christians today are professing to be the people of the Most High God, but are walking in their own way, having not read, or refusing to accept, the words of the Most High God. However, God has now sent forth a group of ministers to counsel and reprove, with all longsuffering and gentleness. We are trying to find the people who are wise and have understanding, who will respond in the spirit of Proverbs 13:1, "A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke."
Today, God is setting before us good things. If we respond positively, we will reap those good things. If we do not, we will soon find ourselves in the predicament which was prophesied in the parable of the ten virgins. The foolish virgins (Christians) went to buy oil, but, by the time they returned, the door was shut. That does not mean that all the people who don't get to go in to the wedding will be lost, any more than all of the people of God who didn't get on the Ark with Noah were lost (1 Peter 3:19,20). It simply means that the Christians who do not get the point before the door to the wedding is closed will, though not appointed unto wrath, find themselves caught in the wrath of the Almighty God with the spiritual tares who are appointed unto wrath. That man who got in to the wedding chamber without a wedding garment found himself in the same terrible situation when they cast him out into the "outer darkness," which speaks of the time when darkness is on the seat of "the beast." There shall indeed be weeping and gnashing of teeth, as God's errant children "shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. If by any means we might save some. And that knowing the time, that now it is high time to wake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.