“Press together, press together, press together.” (2sm pg 374). I have often wondered about this quote. What does it really mean? I mean, it seems obvious on the surface what this would imply, but it has always bothered me, as I have never taken the time to deeply study this subject. The most astounding thing about this, is that I think our understanding and application of this is directly related to how soon Jesus will come! That makes it quite important to me, how about you? I hope and pray that we will take the challenges presented to us in the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy. Here is the context for the quote above. “Oh, how many times, when I have seemed to be in the presence of God and holy angels, I have heard the angel voice saying, ‘Press together, press together, press together.’ Do not let Satan cast his hellish shadow between brethren. Press together; in unity there is strength.” Strength in unity! I want strength to overcome, strength to be a witness, and more. It is in perfect unity that we find perfect strength! Here is a quote from ‘Counsels to Teachers, Parents and Students,’ pg 555; “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come, -- the end of suffering and sorrow and sin! How soon, in place of a possession here, with its blight of sin and pain, our children might receive their inheritance where ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever’; where ‘The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick,’ and ‘The voice of weeping shall no more be heard.” An army of youth? It is interesting to note that armies are united, and close knit. If they weren’t, they would utterly fail, as ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ Are we as a church even close to that? But what can youth do? Look at this quote! It is from ‘Messages to young people,’ pg 197; “Even though pastors, evangelists, and teachers should neglect the seeking of the lost, let not the children and youth neglect to be doers of the word… Let young men, and women, and children go to work in the name of Jesus. Let them unite together upon some plan and order of action. Cannot you form a band of workers, and have set times to pray together and ask the Lord to give you His grace, and put forth united action?… Will our young men and women who believe the truth become living missionaries?…”
Will we? It appears that we must be united! This has got to be one of the most exciting quotes that I have read in the spirit of prophecy. Why? It just makes you want to get out and do something! But wait. Armies can’t just go out and fight off the enemy, without a leader. That is where John chapter 17 comes in. “That they may be one, even as we are one.” Who is the ‘We’? The Godhead! How are they one? Verse 17: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” God’s word is how we are going to be united. It should be one of the most inspiring things in the Bible, that the main thing that Jesus had on His mind, right before He was taken to the cross, is our unity as a church! If it is that important to Jesus, should it be important to us? As we look around us at the world today, with its immorality and Godlessness, we should long for that unity which Christ prayed for, as our only hope. Look at this quote from ‘Testimonies to Ministers,’ pg 30; “As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.” This further illustrates John 17:17, that the truth will be what unites us. There is only one truth, and our opinions just don’t count! Here are several quotes from the book ‘Counsels for the church,’ pg 43-46; “It is the purpose of God that His children shall blend in unity. Do they not expect to live together in the same heaven? Is Christ divided against Himself? Will He give His people success before they sweep away the rubbish of evil surmising and discord, before the laborers, with unity of purpose, devote heart and mind and strength to the work so holy in God’s sight?… Let us not make it possible for Satan to point to our church members, saying: ‘Behold how these people, standing under the banner of Christ, hate one another. We have nothing to fear from them while they spend more strength fighting one another than in warfare with my forces.’… But the early Christians began to look for defects in one another. Dwelling upon mistakes, giving place to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the saviour and of the great love he had revealed for sinners. They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory of the faith, more severe in their criticisms. In their zeal to condemn others they forgot their own errors. They forgot the lesson of brotherly love that Christ had taught. And, saddest of all, they were unconscious of their loss… Little differences dwelt upon lead to actions that destroy Christian fellowship… When Christ’s prayer is fully believed, when its instruction is brought into the daily life of God’s people, unity of action will be seen in our ranks.” So, some may be wondering at this point where I am headed with all of this. It is obvious that we need unity, right? The ecumenical movement has been stressing that for years! The reason I am talking about this, is that we are still in this world! That in itself is a terrible witness against our unity, and witness for Christ. So, what’s wrong? We are obviously not doing it right! Look at the early Christians, along with the disciples. They were ‘With one accord,’ and spent much time in prayer, right before the miraculous happenings at Pentecost! (Acts 1). If we put that much effort into seeking God, and putting away our differences, Christ would come, as we saw in the ‘Army of youth’ quote. Okay, so say that we were able to put away our differences, and become a strong, united people, what next? Look at this quote from ‘Messages to young people,’ pg 200; “The fashionable religion of the time has so molded character that youth who make a profession of Christ scarcely mention His name to their associates. They converse of many subjects, but the precious plan of redemption is not made a theme of conversation. Suppose that as practical Christians we should change this order of things, and ‘show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.’ If Christ is abiding in the heart by faith, you cannot keep silent.” Wow! What a challenge and a rebuke to me! First, I have not kept Christ in my conversation as I should, and second, that means that I am not a real Christian. This is an excellent start! Here is another quote, from page 203 of the same book; “The most successful toilers are those who will cheerfully work to serve God in small things.” Small things? God is as happy with small things as He is with big things! Here is a final quote. It is from page 207 of the same book; “Let those who desire to work for God begin at home, in their own household, in their own neighborhood, among their own friends. Here they will find a favorable missionary field. This home missionary work is a test, reveling their ability or inability for service in a wider field.”
So, all of that being said, what are we going to do about it? Seriously! Our time in this world is directly related to it! I challenge all of us, especially youth, to ‘Unite upon some plan and order of action’! Maybe gathering together weekly, daily, or whatever, for special prayer. Maybe starting a community outreach. Or mentioning Christ in our conversations. Maybe just starting a major missionary effort, based from your bedroom, with your home as the missionary field! (But please don’t just stay there!) Whatever we do, we must get serious, because the world is coming to an end, whether we are ready or not. Will you join the army with me? (The army of youth!) Let me know what God inspires you to do! We should encourage each other, as that is our purpose here! May God bless, as we strive to follow Him with all our hearts!
Your fellow soldier