How will the manifestation of Christ's righteousness among us affect those who love the truth? Isa. 52:7-9.
Deliverance and peace are a joyful message. The deliverance mentioned in these verses was first for literal Israel from their oppressors. But such liberation also represents deliverance from sin, deliverance through the Messiah. The good tidings referred to thus become the gospel story, the triumph of which proves that God, not Satan, reigns.
What time is it? "The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Those who have not been living in Christian fellowship will draw close to one another. One member working in right lines will lead other members to unite with him in making intercession for the revelation of the Holy Spirit. There will be no confusion, because all will be in harmony with the mind of the Spirit." - Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 251.
The result will be the outpouring of Heaven's blessings on the church-in "good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over" (Luke 6:38, NIV).
How will this same revelation affect the rebellious in the church and the world? Luke 3:16, 17 (compare Isa. 17:4-6, 12, 13). John the Baptist uses the common sight of sifting and shaking grain to symbolize a spiritual shaking. But it is a shaking professed Christians can meet with confidence as long as they are clothed with Christ's righteousness.
"Chaff like a cloud will be born away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ's righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness." - Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 81. Study Luke 3:16, 17 in relationship to verses 7-14. What do verses 7-14 tell us about the nature of Christ's righteousness? How do verses 7-14 inform us regarding the basis of the sifting referred to in verse 17?
What steps can you begin taking now to be sure that the shaking will consolidate your relationship with Christ?