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Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Parable Of The Tower

There was a man who thought God was angry with him because he had sinned by lusting after a woman. While he was repenting, he had a vision of a chair made of white wool and an old lady coming to him in a bright clothing. She told him that the Lord was not as angry with him for that as he was for letting his spouse and his children live however they wanted without reprimanding them. God had decided to show mercy and compassion on the man. The Lord said for him to not stop admonishing his wife and his children so that they would repent and be written into the book of life.

The old lady had a book in her hand and asked if he would listen to her read it. The man agreed to listen. He couldn't remember the first part of what she read because it was too harsh, but he remembered the last part that said, "Behold the mighty Lord, who by his invisible power, and with his excellent wisdom made the world, and by his glorious counsel beautified his creature, and with the word of his strength fixed the heaven, and founded the earth upon the waters; and by this powerful virtue established his Holy church, which he hath blessed. Behold he will remove the heavens, and the mountains, the hills and the seas; and all things shall be made plain for his elect; that he may render unto them the promise which he has promised, with much honour and joy; if so be that they shall keep the commandments of God, which they have received with great faith."

After she finished reading she asked the man if he liked what he heard. He responded that the last part of what she said was good, but the first part was severe. She replied that the last things she read were for the righteous and the first part of what she read were for the revolters and heathens.

About a year later, the man remembering the vision had a another vision. He was at the same place he was the year before. The old lady appeared to him again reading a book. She asked him if he could go and tell the things that she read him to the "elect of God". He told her that he couldn't remember everything she read, but if she would give him the book that he would copy it down. After fifteen days of fasting and praying, he finally understood what he had written down. The writing told him that his children had betrayed him and become even more wicked and lewd and his wife had not learned to refrain her tongue, but if he would reproach them with the words that were revealed to him, they would be forgiven if they would repent and remove all doubts out of their hearts.

The writing also told him that God had already determined a certain time and when that time comes the time for the righteous to repent will be up. That whoever denies His Son and Him because they are afraid for their life, God will also deny them the world to come. The man had gotten so caught up with his own righteousness that he neglected telling his family that they should repent and because of that he was having trouble. Because had not departed from God, he was going to be given eternal life, but his family would not unless the asked for forgiveness. God said for him to tell his family that there is a great trial coming and if it seemed good for them to go ahead and deny Christ again.

A young man asked this man what he thought of the old woman. The man replied that he thought she was a Sybil. The young man told him he was mistaken, the old woman represented the church of God.

He saw another vision while he was at home of his house and the old lady again. She asked him if he had gone and delivered her book to the elders of the church yet. He replied saying he had not which she said that was good because she had more to show him and tell him and when she was finished, the elect would clearly understand the words.

Later after following her instructions to go to a private place in a field at a certain time, he saw a bench with a linen pillow and over it was a fine linen. The man realized he was alone and began to pray. The old lady appeared with six young men. She lifted the man up and took him by the hand to the seat. She told the young men to go build and told the man to sit on the left side. Not understanding why he couldn't sit on the right side, she explained that the right side was for the people who have suffered for his name-sake. The man asked how they had suffered and she told him by wild beasts, imprisonment, beatings, crosses. She went on to say that the right side was reserved for them and for all others who will suffer because of their belief in the name of God and the left side would be reserved for the rest. The man was told that there was still a great deal for him to do before he would be ready to sit with them on the right side.

He asked the lady to show him the vision that she had promised to show him. She pointed to a tower built on a square on water with bright square stones. It had been built by the six men that she had brought with her. Thousands of other men brought stones to the men. Some of the men brought stones they had carried from the deep and some men brought stones that were carried from the ground.

All of the stones that were brought from the deep were polished and were a perfect fit to that there was no line or space between the stones where they joined so that it appeared that the whole tower was built of one stone. Some of the stones that were taken from the ground were used because the fit the building and some of them were rejected.

From the stones that were rejected, some of them were thrown far away from the tower, but some were left laying around the tower, but they were of no use for building. The stones that were thrown away from the tower he saw land on a highway and rolled into a desert. Other stones he saw fall in the fire and burn and others he saw fall near the water and look like they wanted to roll into the water, but couldn't.

The man begged the lady to tell him the meaning of the vision. He told her that if he understood then he could go and tell his friends so that they would rejoice and glorify God. She told him that some of them would rejoice, but other would cry, but if they would repent then they could rejoice too.

She explained that the tower that was being built was her, the church. He asked why the tower was built on water and she replied that the tower is built on water because your life is and will be saved by water. He asked for her to explain to him the condition of the stones and what they meant. She replied, "The square and white stones which agree exactly in their joints, are the apostles, and bishops, and doctors, and ministers, who through the mercy of God have come in, and governed, and taught and ministered holily and modestly to the elect of God, both they that have fallen asleep, and which yet remain; and have always agreed with them, and have had peace within themselves, and have heard each other". The stones that were drawn out of the deep and put in the building and left no spaces between the other stones that were already built, "are those which are already fallen asleep, and have suffered for the sake of the Lord's name". The stones that were carried from the ground and are not polished, "are those which God has approved, because they have walked in the law of the Lord, and directed their ways in his commandments. They which are brought and put in the building of the tower, are the young in faith and the faithful. And these are admonished by the angels to do well because that iniquity is not found in them".

The man then asked about the stones that were rejected and laid beside the tower. She said that the represented people who have sinned and are willing to repent and for that reason they are not cast far from the tower, because they will be useful for the building, if they will repent. If they will repent, they will become strong in faith, but only if they repent now, while the tower is being built. If they wait till the tower is finished, there will be no place for them to be put in.

She explained to him the meaning of the great number of other stones that laid around the tower, but were not used in the building. The ones that were rugged are people who have always known the truth, but never continued in it. The ones that had clefts in them were people who never found peace in their hearts. They acted like a Christian when they were around Christians, but when they were out in the world, they acted like the world. The white round stones were people that were rich and when they could have their riches taken away and be glad, then they will be of use in building the tower.

The stones that were rejected and cast away from the tower and landed on the highway are people that have believed, but because they doubted and thought they could find a better truth wandered away and are miserable. The ones that fell in the fire and were burned were people who had forever departed from God and who would never even think about repenting because they would rather continue in wickedness. The stones that fell by the water, but could not roll in the water are people that heard the word and were willing to be baptized, but because they didn't want to be different they changed their minds.

The man asked if any of the stones that were cast away would be allowed to repent. She said they could repent, but they would not be allowed to become part of the tower unless they truly repented and knew in their heart what they did wrong. If their hearts were hardened, they would not be able to be saved for any reason.

He then asked the lady if the end was near. She told him that when the tower is finished and built, then it will have an end and it will soon be accomplished. Search out the ones who are hungry while the tower is still being built.


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