The 2013 Pentecost message, which Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber gave us out of the fullness of his ministry, was: “Surely your salvation is coming!” (Isaiah 62: 11). This promise has accompanied us every day since then.
Some time has now passed since Pentecost 2013. One might even say that this event is already history. We find ourselves in the year 2014 and nothing major has changed since Pentecost 2013. Our salvation—which we all anticipate—has not yet come. Nothing has changed! Everything is as it has always been! And what has become of the promise? Nothing has changed.
Doesn’t this seem a little familiar? The Apostle who dealt with similar thoughts in his epistle gave a very clear answer to this: “Make no mistake! The Lord will come—and He will come as suddenly and as unexpectedly as a thief” (cf. 2 Peter 3: 9-10).
Take the account of the conquest of Jericho: the Israelites were camped outside of Jericho, but the city was sealed shut. No one came out, no one went in. The inhabitants had quite literally barricaded themselves inside. Then God told Joshua: “Have all your men of war walk around the city once, and do the same thing for six days.” And that is what they did. But nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. They walked around the city on the first day, on the second day, on the third, the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth—nothing happened. What must the citizens of Jericho have thought about this rather peculiar procession? Perhaps at the start they crowded around on top of the city wall, curious to observe the spectacle below: “Just look at that! What on earth do they hope to accomplish?”
On the second day it would have been the same story: “They’re still there! And they’re walking around the city again!”
The third day would have been exactly the same. Perhaps the first spectators would have gradually gone back home. After all, nothing was happening. Below, these odd strangers were making their rounds around the city again. Perhaps they just shook their heads and wondered: “How much longer do they plan on doing that? What do they hope to accomplish anyway?” (cf. Joshua 6: 1-14).
On the seventh day the Israelites walked around the city seven times. I often find myself contemplating this scene: even though nothing at all had changed in their situation over the past six days, they still carried on—and then at once their deliverance came: the walls crumbled!
“Surely your salvation is coming!” Even if nothing has changed since Pentecost, even if we have done a few “rounds” in the course of our faith since then, even if one or the other is disappointed and wonders: “How much longer will it be?”—we do not give up! We have been given the promise and we hold fast to it. Just like Joshua. It will be fulfilled. There is no doubt about it.
Unfortunately I cannot tell the people of God: “You only have to do two more rounds or three more rounds,” but out of the power of the Chief Apostle ministry I can assure you: the day of the Lord will come! Do not give up! Remain confident: your salvation is coming.
(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)