Repairers of the Breach: God's End-Time People
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” – Isaiah 58:12
We can see by all that is happening in the world today that we are living in the end of time. The world is growing old like a garment, and society is disintegrating. There is a loss of urgency by many regarding the second coming of Christ. I speak directly to your hearts today, asking that you bear God’s burden to bring our people into line with heavenly instruction from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Are we ready today to finish His work? I believe that God is preparing us for the final days, and will outpour the Holy Spirit. That is why we call for revival, reformation, humility, and repentance, placing ourselves directly under God’s guidance.
How does God want us to live in these momentous times just before Christ’s soon return? What is our proclamation and lifestyle role as humble, faithful Seventh-day Adventists in this chaotic world?
Isaiah 58 gives us a bold key to unlock our role and ministry at the end of time. It opens to us our needy spiritual condition and our dynamic, designated role by God Himself in these last days of earth’s history. The introduction in verse one is straightforward and commanding. God intends for us to sound the alarm, beginning with His church and then to the entire world.
Welfare Ministry, a compilation of Ellen G. White’s writings, highlights that the kind of ministry that will bring life into the churches are mentioned in Isaiah 58: “The work of the gospel is to be carried by means of our liberality as well as by our labors. When you meet suffering souls who need help, give it to them. When you find those who are hungry, feed them. In doing this you will be working in lines of Christ’s ministry. The Master’s holy work was a benevolent work. Let our people everywhere be encouraged to have a part in it.”1
Moreover, the first verses of Isaiah 58 point out the wrongdoing of some members of the church. Verses 2 and 3 speak about people who are self-absorbed in their meaningless motions of artificially worshipping God. Verse 4 shows God reproving them for hypocritical outward godliness and fasting, telling them they are actually involved in taking advantage of others, debating, arguing, and ultimately fighting with people. In verse 5, God asks the question, “Is it a fast that I have chosen?” God is saying, “Why do you pretend to love Me, and at the same time you are hurting your fellow human beings?”
When we reach verse 6, God is saying, “Don’t be self-absorbed, self-centered, or self-focused. Take care of those around you who are in need. Help people who are chained to horrible habits. Bring relief to those who are weighed down with burdens. Help those who are enslaved to become free through Christ’s power. Remove the hurtful circumstances that keep people from their full potential. You have food, share it. You have a roof over your head, share it. You have clothing, share it. Stop pretending to know Me. Really show it by doing something for your fellow human beings,” as developed in Welfare Ministry, page 30.
We are to follow Christ’s example. Christ’s comprehensive ministry, which reflected His righteousness, helped people physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. His ministry involved teaching eternal truths and putting them into practical application, lifting people from degradation to see what He ultimately wanted for them: eternal life. The practical application of our acceptance of God’s truth is what profoundly tells those around us that we know Jesus. Does this mean that we are to simply preach a social gospel? Absolutely not.
We are to proclaim, with the Holy Spirit’s power, the spiritual and prophetic three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 and the fourth angel’s message of Revelation 18. The practical application of those profound prophetic messages is seen in the tangible things He does through us in fulfilling Christ’s ministry. People are longing to see the love of God shown in practical ways in our lives since we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, since we keep the commandments of God, and since we have the faith of Jesus. When they see the unselfish love of God manifested in our lives as a practical testimony, they will ask why we act this way. They will be driven to the foot of the cross, to Christ’s amazing grace, and to His changing power.
Back to our text, verse 8 explains the result of this practical application of God’s wonderful everlasting gospel. Verses 9 and 10 proclaim:
- We will call on the Lord, and He will answer, saying, “Here I am.”
- If we remove the heavy burden we place on others by our faultfinding and gossiping, and stop pointing fingers and criticizing others, but rather help them with their needs, then light like noonday will dawn in the darkness.
As a result, verse 11 indicates:
- The Lord will guide us continually;
- He will spiritually satisfy our soul in the spiritual drought;
- He will strengthen our bones;
- Because of our connection with Him as the Living Water, we will flourish like a watered garden with a spring of water that never fails.
Verse 12 calls us:
1 To build up the old waste places;
2 To raise up the foundations of the past;
3 For each of us to be called “the Repairers of the Breach” and “the Restorer of Streets or Paths to Dwell in.”
Ellen G. White says, “With the work of advocating the commandments of God and repairing the breach that has been made in the law of God, we are to mingle compassion for suffering humanity. . . . Love revealed for suffering humanity gives significance and power to the truth. It is only by an unselfish interest in those in need of help that we can give a practical demonstration of the truths of the gospel.”2
What a call to each of us to repair the breach, to restore God’s Holy Word, showing the world what God intends to do in each life through supernatural power, changing our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, thus glorifying God and bringing practical godliness to those who need to know Him. God calls us to lift up the Word of God, His everlasting truth and law. Let us respond to His call and be “the Repairers of the Breach.”
“What an amazing privilege to provide faithful stewardship support to God’s church during these last days of earth’s history. The dedicated use of our time, talents, abilities, and resources can be very instrumental in ‘repairing the breach’ of a fuller understanding of the Sabbath blessings and the fuller comprehension of Isaiah 58, with its strong emphasis on Comprehensive Health Ministry. God calls for all of us to engage in practical missionary work for others, thus showing the power and efficacy of His precious gospel message. As we practically live out the spiritual and eternal principles of God’s Word, we will be providing the Holy Spirit the opportunity to work marvelously through us in showing the restorative blessings of the Sabbath and the work of Comprehensive Health Ministry. Complete spiritual commitment to using our time, talents, and resources produces a wonderful potential for God to bring about revival, reformation, humility, and repentance as we point people to Christ and His soon coming. Christian stewardship is instrumental in God’s plans to bring the three angels’ messages, and particularly the third angel’s message, to the forefront as we approach the Lord’s return.”
Elder Ted N.C . Wilson
An abridged version of the sermon preached by ElderTed N. C. Wilson for the 2022 GC Annual Council. Watch the full sermon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P91YzAXSbJc&t=7282...
1 Ellen G. White, Welfare Ministry (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1952), 29.
2 Ibid., 32.