“UNTO TWO THOUSAND AND THREE HUNDRED DAYS; THEN THE SANCTUARY SHALL BE CLEANSED” DAN. 8:14
- “Soon grievous troubles will arise among the nations, trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes.” RH Nov. 24, 1904.
- “It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality: but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal.” GC 622.
- “The time of trouble is a fearful ordeal for God’s people.” GC 633
- “The coming struggle will be marked with a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed.” GC xi
- “There will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.” Ed 180.
- “The scenes to be enacted in our world are not even dreamed of.” RH Jan. 11, 1887.
- “Oh, that God’s people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities.” RH Dec. 10, 1903.
- “We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. … The hours of probation fast passing.” 8T 252.
- “Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation.” PK 536.
NOTE: 1844 IS THE LAST DATE IN BIBLE PROPHECY [One prophetic day equals to one literal year. Exe. 4 6 and Numbers 14: 34
"Soon grievous troubles will arise among the nations, trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes." RH Nov. 24 1904
A Preparation for the Coming of the Lord
Mrs. E. G. White RH November 24, 1904, Art. A
(Reading for Sabbath, December 10) RH November 24, 1904, Art. A
Sin is a hateful thing. It marred the moral beauty of a large number of the angels. It entered our world, and well-nigh obliterated the moral image of God in man. But in his great love God provided a way whereby man might regain the position from which he fell in yielding to the tempter. Christ came to stand at the head of humanity, to work out in our behalf a perfect character. Those who receive him are born again. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 1
Christ saw humanity, through the working of the mighty growth of sin, demoniacally possessed by the prince of the power of the air, and putting forth gigantic strength in exploits of evil. But he saw also that a mightier power was to meet and conquer Satan. “Now is the judgment of this world,” he said; “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” He saw that if human beings believed in him, they would be given power against the host of fallen angels, whose name is legion. Christ strengthened his own soul by the thought that by the wonderful sacrifice which he was about to make, the prince of this world was to be cast out, and men and women placed where, through the grace of God, they would regain what they had lost. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 2
What does the Lord require of his blood-bought heritage?—The sanctification of the whole being,—purity like the purity of Christ, perfect conformity to the will of God. My brethren and sisters, God requires this of us. Into the holy city there can enter nothing that defileth, or maketh a lie. God’s word to us is, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” “Ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” “Ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” He “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 3
We can, we can, reveal the likeness of our divine Lord. We can know the science of spiritual life. We can honor our Maker. But do we do it? O, what an illustrious example we have in the life that Christ lived on this earth! He has shown us what we can accomplish through co-operation with divinity. We are to seek for the union of which he speaks when he says, “Abide in me, and I in you.” This union is deeper, stronger, truer, than any other union, and is productive of all good. Those who are thus united to the Saviour are controlled by his will, and are moved by his love to suffer with those who suffer, to rejoice with those who rejoice, to feel a deep sympathy for every one in weakness, sorrow, or distress. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 4
Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for his children. He wants our minds to be clear, our tempers sweet, our love abounding. Then the peace that passeth knowledge will flow from us to bless all with whom we come in contact. The atmosphere surrounding our souls will be refreshing. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 5
But how few there are who are making determined efforts to reach this ideal. Satan is trying to keep the people of God dwarfed, feeble, un-Christlike. And too often he is successful. In our churches there are many who have not the spirit of the Master, many who act as if they were in the world merely to please themselves. They forget that the enemy is assailing all who profess to be children of God, trying to overcome them, so that they will disappoint and dishonor the Saviour. They forget that the purity and unselfishness that characterized the life of Christ must characterize their lives, else in the day of God they will be found wanting, and will hear from his lips the irrevocable sentence, “Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 6
I have been especially instructed in regard to the danger of drawing apart, and of evil speaking and contention. We need to bow before God in repentance because of our lack of love for one another, and for him who died for us. The gold of love and faith is not abundant among us. Many are holding on to the truth with but the tips of their fingers. The precious time that should be spent in speaking of the Saviour’s power to save, is being spent by many in carrying evil reports. Unless they make a decided change, they will be found wanting. Unless they have an entire transformation of character, they will never enter heaven. A deep, thorough work needs to be done in the hearts of those who profess to be children of God. Until they reveal the faith that works by love and purifies the soul, very little genuine work for God will be done in the world. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 7
Let our people take up their appointed work,—the work of soul-saving. Let them not think that upon them has been laid the burden of watching and criticizing the work of others. Those who put their whole souls into the work that God gives them will have no time to criticize the efforts of their fellow workers, no time to weaken the hands of those who are straining every nerve and muscle to advance the work. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 8
Let not any man or woman feel that he or she has been appointed to carry evil reports from church to church, and from conference to conference. I have been grieved beyond measure to see how easy it is for persons to spend precious time in this cruel work. The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages is now to be our burden. Those who spend their time in thinking and speaking evil are bringing to the foundation, material represented by hay, wood, and stubble, which will be consumed by the fires of the last days. They will one day see that their time has been spent in weakening churches, institutions, and conferences. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 9
God hates all such work. He will call to account all who engage in it. Let those who fear God and believe his word put a guard on their lips. Let them be determined not to speak words that will injure the cause of God, or give a wrong representation of the work being done in any of his institutions. Let them be careful not to speak words that will be a temptation to some one else to withhold the confidence and the words of courage that ought to be given to those who are severely tried, and who, perhaps, work early and late to fulfil the many calls of duty, until it seems as if mind and body would give way under the strain. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 10
Words of suspicion and distrust, like the thistle-down carried by the wind, are scattered far and wide, and can never be recalled. Un-Christlike speech lies at the foundation of nine tenths of all the difficulties that exist in the church. Satan’s agents are industriously trying to get professed Christians to speak unadvisedly. When they succeed, Satan exults, because God’s followers have hurt their influence. We have no time, in these solemn moments, to contend with one another. Those who give way to evil-thinking and evil-speaking do not realize how much time they cause others to lose. God’s servants have been called upon to settle difficulties between brother and brother, and time has been spent in this way that belonged to souls ready to perish,—time that ought to have been devoted to the fulfilling of the gospel commission. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 11
My brother, my sister, be afraid to find fault, afraid to talk against your fellow workers. You have enlisted to fight against Satan’s forces, and you have no time to fight against your fellow soldiers. The truly converted man has no inclination to think or talk of the faults of others. His lips are sanctified, and as God’s witness he testifies that the grace of Christ has transformed his heart. He realizes that he can not afford to talk discouragement or unbelief. He can not afford to be harsh or faultfinding. He has not received orders to punish the erring and sinful by heaping abuse upon them. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 12
Speak words of kindness, words of uplifting; for this is the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. Overcome all harshness. Eternity alone will reveal the harm that harsh words do to those who utter them, and to those who hear. Hold firmly to the One who has all power in heaven and earth, and although you often fail to reveal patience and calmness under provocation, by no means give up the struggle. Resolve again, this time more firmly, that you will be an example of Christian patience. Remember that those only will enter heaven who have overcome the temptation to think and speak evil. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 13
“The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” Christ will be to his people all that these words express if they will heed the invitation to come to him. He will be to them life and power, strength and efficiency, wisdom and holiness. God calls upon us to live the Christ-life, to reveal this life to the world. When we do this, prejudice will vanish, and difficulties will adjust themselves. We shall gather about the great Missionary, our hearts filled with gratitude and love. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 14
My brethren and sisters, instead of spending your time looking for and talking of the shortcomings of others, give yourselves to the work that Christ did when in this world. How untiringly he labored! In the temple and the synagogues, in the streets of the cities, in the market-place and the workshop, by the seaside and among the hills, he preached the gospel and healed the sick. His life was one of unselfish service, and it is to be our lesson book. The work that he began we are to carry forward. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 15
Brethren and sisters, how much work have you done for God during the past year? Do you think that it is those men only who have been ordained as gospel ministers that are to work for the uplifting of humanity?—No, no! Every one who names the name of Christ is expected by God to engage in this work. The hands of ordination may not have been laid upon you, but you are none the less God’s messengers. If you have tasted that the Lord is gracious, if you know his saving power, you can no more keep from telling this to some one else than you can keep the wind from blowing. You will have a word in season for him that is weary. You will guide the feet of the straying back to the fold. Your efforts to help others will be untiring, because God’s Spirit is working in you. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 16
Have you told those with whom you have come in contact what banner you are serving under? Have they been able to see, by the Christlikeness of your words and acts, that you are a true follower of Jesus? O that our hearts may be deeply impressed with the importance of living holy lives, that the world may take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus, and have learned of him. Christian worth does not depend upon brilliant talents, lofty birth, wonderful powers, but on a clean heart,—a heart which, purified and refined, reflects the image of divinity. It is the presence of him who gave his life for us that makes the soul beautiful. It is not eloquent speakers that are needed so much as humble, earnest workers,—men and women who have a childlike trust in God. It is the men of prayer that are men of power. They will be enabled to lead sinners to the marriage supper of the Lamb. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 17
My brethren and sisters, do not allow trifling things to absorb your time and attention. Keep your mind on the glorious themes of the Word of God. A study of these themes will give you a strength that will carry you through the trials and difficulties of the last days, and bring you to where you will walk with Christ in white, because you are worthy. In the Word of God, studied and obeyed, we possess a spiritual guide and instructor by which the worst forms of evil in ourselves may be brought under the discipline of his law. If the teachings of this Word were made the controlling influence in our lives, if mind and heart were brought under its restraining power, the evils that now exist in churches and in families would find no place. Upon converted households the purest blessings would descend, and from these households an influence would go forth that would make God’s people a power on the side of truth. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 18
But there are many in our churches who know little of the meaning of the truth for this time. They have not searched for the truth with humble, contrite hearts. I appeal to the members of our churches not to disregard the fulfilling of the signs of the times, which say so plainly that the end is near. O, how many who have not cared for the salvation of their souls will soon make the bitter lamentation, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!” RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 19
O, that we would remember that it is court week with us, and that our cases are pending! Now is the time to watch and pray, to put away all self-indulgence, all pride, all selfishness. The precious moments that are now by many worse than wasted should be spent in meditation and prayer. Many of those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God are following inclination instead of duty. As they are now, they are unworthy of eternal life. To these careless, indifferent ones, I would say, Your vain thoughts, your unkind words, your selfish acts, are recorded in the book of heaven. The angels that were present at Belshazzar’s idolatrous revelry stand beside you as you dishonor your Redeemer. Sadly they turn away, grieved that you should thus crucify him afresh, and put him to open shame. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 20
“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hand from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks…. Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 21
On Christ’s coronation day he will not acknowledge as his any who bear spot or wrinkle or any such thing. But to his faithful ones he will give crowns of immortal glory. Those who would not that he should reign over them will see him surrounded by the army of the redeemed, each of whom bears the sign, The Lord Our Righteousness. They will see the head once crowned with thorns crowned with a diadem of glory. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 22
In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and his Son. The angels of heaven, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King, and those who are the trophies of his victory,—those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. A song of triumph will peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts accompanied by his redeemed ones, the witnesses that his mission of suffering and self-sacrifice has not been in vain. RH November 24, 1904, Art. A, par. 23
November 24, 1904
The Day of the Lord Is Near, and Hasteth Greatly
Mrs. E. G. White RH November 24, 1904, Art. B
(Reading for Friday, December 16) RH November 24, 1904, Art. B
An Impressive Scene
Not long ago a very impressive scene passed before me. I saw an immense ball of fire falling among some beautiful mansions, causing their instant destruction. I heard some one say, “We knew that the judgments of God were coming upon the earth, but we did not know that they would come so soon.” Others said, “You knew? Why then did you not tell us. We did not know.” On every side I heard such words spoken. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 1
In great distress I awoke. I went to sleep again, and seemed to be in a large gathering. One of authority was addressing the company, before whom was spread out a map of the world. He said that this map pictured God’s vineyard, which must be cultivated. As light from heaven shone upon any one, that one was to reflect the light to others. Lights were to be kindled in many places, and from these lights still other lights were to be kindled. The words were repeated, RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 2
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill can not be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 3
I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God’s Word was obeyed, and, as a result, there were memorials for him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 4
Then this map was removed, and another put in its place. On it, light was shining forth from a few places only. The rest of the world was in darkness, with only a glimmer of light here and there. Our Instructor said, “This darkness is the result of men’s following their own course. They have cherished hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. They have made questioning and faultfinding and accusing the chief business of their lives. Their hearts are not right with God. They have hidden their light under a bushel.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 5
If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might, ere this, have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 6
No Time to Lose
Soon grievous troubles will arise among the nations.—trouble that will not cease until Jesus comes. As never before, we need to press together, serving him who has prepared his throne in the heavens, and whose kingdom ruleth over all. God has not forsaken his people, and our strength lies in not forsaking him. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 7
The judgments of God are in the land. The wars and rumors of wars, the destruction by fire and flood, say clearly that the time of trouble, which is to increase until the end, is very near at hand. We have no time to lose. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. The prophecies of the eleventh of Daniel have almost reached their final fulfilment. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 8
From all the countries of the world the Macedonian cry is sounding, “Come over and help us.” God has opened fields before us, and if human agencies would but co-operate with divine agencies, many souls would be won to the truth. But the Lord’s professed people have been sleeping over their allotted work, and in many places it remains comparatively untouched. God has sent message after message to arouse our people to do something, and to do it now. But to the call, “Whom shall I send?” there have been few to respond, “Here am I; send me.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 9
When the reproach of indolence and slothfulness shall have been wiped away from the church, the Spirit of the Lord will be graciously manifested. Divine power will be revealed. The church will see the providential working of the Lord of hosts. The light of truth will shine forth in clear, strong rays, and, as in the time of the apostles, many souls will turn from error to truth. The earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 10
Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents—the members of the church—to co-operate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you. So vast is the field, so comprehensive the design, that every sanctified heart will be pressed into service as an instrument of divine power. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 11
At the same time there will be a power working from beneath. While God’s agents of mercy work through consecrated human beings, Satan sets his agencies in operation, laying under tribute all who will submit to his control. There will be lords many and gods many. The cry will be heard, “Lo, here is Christ,” and, “Lo, there is Christ.” The deep plotting of Satan will reveal itself everywhere, for the purpose of diverting the attention of men and women from present duty. There will be signs and wonders. But the eye of faith will discern in all these manifestations, harbingers of the grand and awful future, and of the triumphs that will surely come to the people of God. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 12
Work, O work! keeping eternity in view. Bear in mind that every power must be sanctified. A great work is to be done. Let the prayer go forth from unfeigned lips, “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 13
Those who realize, even in a limited degree, what redemption means to them and to their fellow men will walk by faith, and will comprehend in some measure the vast needs of humanity. Their hearts are moved to compassion as they see the widespread destitution in our world,—the destitution of the multitudes who are suffering for food and clothing, and the moral destitution of thousands who are under the shadow of a terrible doom, in comparison to which physical suffering fades into nothingness. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 14
Make Christ the Refuge
Let church-members bear in mind that the fact that their names are registered on the church books will not save them. They must show themselves approved of God, workmen that need not to be ashamed. Day by day they are to build their characters in accordance with Christ’s directions. They are to abide in him, constantly exercising faith in him. Thus they will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ,—wholesome, cheerful, grateful Christians, led by God, step by step, into clearer and still clearer light. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 15
Those who do not gain this experience will be among the ones whose voices will one day be raised in the bitter lamentation, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved. Why did I not flee to the stronghold for refuge? Why have I trifled with my soul’s salvation, and done despite to the Spirit of grace?” RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 16
Among those to whom fearful disappointment will come at the day of final reckoning will be those who have been outwardly religious, who have apparently lived Christian lives, but who have woven self into all that they do. They have prided themselves on their morality, their influence, their ability to stand in a higher position than others, their knowledge of the truth. They think that these will win for them the commendation of Christ. “Lord,” they say, “we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.” “Have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 17
But the Saviour says, “I never knew you: depart from me.” “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 18
There is no discussion; the time for that is past. The irrevocable sentence has been pronounced. They are shut out from heaven by their own unfitness for its companionship. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 19
Those who have bowed to the idols of the world will gain no comfort from them in that great day when every one will be rewarded or punished according to his works. But Omnipotence will deal justly. Those who have made Christ their refuge will find that he lives, and that he is conqueror. He will be their defense. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 20
Encouraging Words—the End Near
“The great day of the Lord is near; it is near, and hasteth greatly.” Every hour, every minute, is precious. We have no time to spend in faultfinding and contention. All around us there are souls perishing in sin. Every day there is something to do for the Master. Every day we are to point souls to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 21
Be always ready; “in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Go to your rest at night with every sin confessed. Thus we did in 1844, when we expected to meet our Lord. And now this great event is nearer than when we first believed. Be always ready, in the evening, in the morning, and at noon, that when the cry is heard, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him!” you may, even though awakened out of sleep, go forth to meet him with your lamps trimmed and burning. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 22
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry.” Look up, look up, and let your faith continually increase. Let this faith guide you along the narrow path that leads through the gates of the city of God into the great beyond, the wide, unbounded future that awaits the overcomer. Heed the encouragement in the words, “Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 23
Let us be found “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.” The Lord has made every provision that we shall have strong hope. If we are true to our covenant with God, the blessing is certain,—as certain as God’s promise can make it. And so great is the blessing that it will be a full and sufficient reward for all the self-denial and self-sacrifice that for Christ’s sake we have shown here below. RH November 24, 1904, Art. B, par. 24
"It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation that in reality: but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal." GC 622
Those who exercise but little faith now, are in the greatest danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the decree to compel the conscience. And even if they endure the test they will be plunged into deeper distress and anguish in the time of trouble, because they have never made it a habit to trust in God. The lessons of faith which they have neglected they will be forced to learn under a terrible pressure of discouragement. GC 622.1
We should now acquaint ourselves with God by proving His promises. Angels record every prayer that is earnest and sincere. We should rather dispense with selfish gratifications than neglect communion with God. The deepest poverty, the greatest self-denial, with His approval, is better than riches, honors, ease, and friendship without it. We must take time to pray. If we allow our minds to be absorbed by worldly interests, the Lord may give us time by removing from us our idols of gold, of houses, or of fertile lands. GC 622.2
The young would not be seduced into sin if they would refuse to enter any path save that upon which they could ask God’s blessing. If the messengers who bear the last solemn warning to the world would pray for the blessing of God, not in a cold, listless, lazy manner, but fervently and in faith, as did Jacob, they would find many places where they could say: “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Genesis 32:30. They would be accounted of heaven as princes, having power to prevail with God and with men. GC 622.3
The “time of trouble, such as never was,” is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God. “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job” were in the land, “as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” Ezekiel 14:20. GC 622.4
"The time of trouble e is a fearful ordeal for God's people."GC 633
The precious Savior will send help just when we need it. The way to heaven is consecrated by His footprints. Every thorn that wounds our feet has wounded His. Every cross that we are called to bear He has borne before us. The Lord permits conflicts, to prepare the soul for peace. The time of trouble is a fearful ordeal for God’s people; but it is the time for every true believer to look up, and by faith he may see the bow of promise encircling him. GC 633.1
“The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy Maker; … and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of Mine hand.” Isaiah 51:11-16. GC 633.2
“Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: but I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.” Verses 21-23. GC 633.3
"The coming struggle will be marked with a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed." GC XI
In the great final conflict, Satan will employ the same policy, manifest the same spirit, and work for the same end as in all preceding ages. That which has been, will be, except that the coming struggle will be marked with a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed. Satan’s deceptions will be more subtle, his assaults more determined. If it were possible, he would lead astray the elect. Mark 13:22, R.V. GC xi.1
As the Spirit of God has opened to my mind the great truths of His word, and the scenes of the past and the future, I have been bidden to make known to others that which has thus been revealed—to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially so to present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future. In pursuance of this purpose, I have endeavored to select and group together events in the history of the church in such a manner as to trace the unfolding of the great testing truths that at different periods have been given to the world, that have excited the wrath of Satan, and the enmity of a world-loving church, and that have been maintained by the witness of those who “loved not their lives unto the death.” GC xi.2
In these records we may see a foreshadowing of the conflict before us. Regarding them in the light of God’s word, and by the illumination of His Spirit, we may see unveiled the devices of the wicked one, and the dangers which they must shun who would be found “without fault” before the Lord at His coming. GC xi.3
The great events which have marked the progress of reform in past ages are matters of history, well known and universally acknowledged by the Protestant world; they are facts which none can gainsay. This history I have presented briefly, in accordance with the scope of the book, and the brevity which must necessarily be observed, the facts having been condensed into as little space as seemed consistent with GC xi.4
"There will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture,"Ed 180
The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world, events that already are casting their shadows before, the sound of their approach causing the earth to tremble and men’s hearts to fail them for fear. Ed 180.1
“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof…. They have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate…. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.” Isaiah 24:1-18. Ed 180.2
“Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come…. The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.” “The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” Joel 1:15-18, 12. Ed 180.3
"The Scenes to be enacted in our world are not even dreamed of." RH Jan. 11, 1887
Our Present Duty and the Coming Crisis
By Mrs. E. G. White
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” The very atmosphere is polluted with sin. Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers. The promise is, “Them that honor me I will honor.” Shall we be less firmly attached to God’s law because the world at large have attempted to make it void?
Already the judgments of God are abroad in the land, as seen in storms, in floods, in tempests, in earthquakes, in perils by land and by sea. The great I AM is speaking to those who make void his law. When God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth, who will then be able to stand? Now is the time for God’s people to show themselves true to principle. When the religion of Christ is most held in contempt, when his law is most despised, then should our zeal be the warmest and our courage the most unflinching. To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few,—this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason. The nation will be on the side of the great rebel leader.
The days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and that he soon will thoroughly purge his floor.
The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing.
With unerring accuracy, the Infinite One keeps an account with all nations. While his mercy is tendered with calls to repentance, this account will remain open; but when a certain limit which God has fixed is reached, the ministry of his wrath commences. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading for mercy in their behalf.
The prophet, looking down the ages, had this time presented before his vision. The nations of this age have been the recipients of unprecedented mercies. The choicest of Heaven’s blessings have been given them; but increased pride, covetousness, idolatry, contempt of God, and base ingratitude, are written against them. They are fast closing up their account with God.
But that which causes me to tremble, is the fact that those who have had the greatest light and privileges have become contaminated by the prevailing iniquity. Influenced by the unrighteous around them, many, even of those who profess the truth, have grown cold, and are borne down by the strong current of evil. The universal scorn thrown upon true piety and holiness, leads those who do not connect closely with God to lose their reverence for his law. If they were following the light, and obeying the truth from the heart, this holy law would seem even more precious to them when despised and set aside. As the disrespect for God’s law becomes more manifest, the line of demarkation between its observers and the world becomes more distinct. Love for the divine precepts increases with one class, according as contempt for them increases with the other class.
The crisis is fast approaching. The rapidly swelling figures show that the time for God’s visitations has nearly come. Although loth to punish, nevertheless he will punish, and that speedily. Those who walk in the light will see signs of the approaching peril; but they are not to sit in quiet, unconcerned expectancy of the ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God will shelter his people in the day of visitation. Far from it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor diligently to save others, looking with strong faith to God for help.
The command is, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some who had been dishonoring God repented and humbled their hearts before him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel. Although many still continued the forms of religion, its power and presence were lacking.
In the time when his wrath shall go forth in judgments, the humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which will be expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honor and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls will be vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They will be powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they will be filled with grief and alarm. They will mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They will lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church.
The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions his messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.”
Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. This shows us that we must not look to men for example. We need to stay our faith upon God; for there is just before us a time that will try men’s souls. Christ upon the Mount of Olives rehearsed the fearful judgments that were to precede his second coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.” “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application in the last days.
John also was a witness of the terrible scenes that will take place as signs of Christ’s coming. He saw armies mustering for battle, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. He saw the earth moved out of its place, the mountains carried into the midst of the sea, the waves thereof roaring and troubled, and the mountains shaking with the swelling thereof. He saw the vials of God’s wrath opened, and pestilence, famine, and death come upon the inhabitants of the earth.
Already the restraining Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the earth. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. Men cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds that they may not blow until the servants of God are sealed; but when God shall bid his angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of his avenging wrath as no pen can picture.
We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all living. The controversies of the past are to be revived. New controversies will arise. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies. Those who are making so great efforts to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing the first day of the week little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us.
But God’s servants are not to trust to themselves in this great emergency. In the visions given to Isaiah, to Ezekiel, and to John, we see how closely heaven is connected with the events transpiring upon the earth. We see the care of God for those who are loyal to him. The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord; the world is not without a ruler. The Majesty of heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of his church, in his own hands.
Brethren, it is no time now for mourning and despair, no time to yield to doubt and unbelief. Christ is to us not a Saviour in Joseph’s new tomb, closed with a great stone, and sealed with the Roman seal. We have a risen Saviour. He is the King, the Lord of hosts; he sitteth between the cherubim, and amid the strife and tumult of nations he guards his people still. He who rules in the heavens is our Saviour. He measures every trial. He watches the furnace fire that must test every soul. When the strongholds of kings shall be overthrown, when the arrows of God’s wrath shall strike through the hearts of his enemies, his people have the assurance that they are safe in his hands. In patience they are to possess their souls.
Those whom God employs as his messengers are not to feel that his work is dependent upon them. Finite men are not left to carry this burden of responsibility. In Ezekiel’s vision, God had his hand beneath the wings of the cherubim. This is to teach his servants that it is divine power that gives them success. He will work with them if they will put away iniquity, and become pure in heart and life. The heavenly messengers seen by Ezekiel, like a bright light going among the living creatures with the swiftness of lightning, represent the speed with which this work will finally go forward to completion. He who slumbers not, who is continually at work for the accomplishment of His designs, can carry forward His great work harmoniously. That which appears to finite minds entangled and complicated, the Lord’s hand can keep in perfect order. He can devise ways and means to thwart the purposes of wicked counselors, and those who plot out mischief.
Those who are called to responsible positions in the work of God often feel that they are carrying heavy burdens, when they may have the satisfaction of knowing that Jesus carries them all. We permit ourselves to feel altogether too much care, trouble, and perplexity in the Lord’s work. We need to trust him, believe in him, and go forward. The tireless vigilance of the heavenly messengers, their unceasing employment in their ministry in connection with the beings of earth, show us how God’s hand is guiding the wheel within a wheel. The divine Instructor is saying to every actor in his work, as he said to Cyrus of old, “I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.”
Men are not to take credit to themselves for the success of their labors. The clear, sharp thought, the wisdom to plan and execute, are of the ability that God giveth. God is the Master-worker; men are only the instruments in his hand. It is his mind that is working through all who yield themselves to his control. While we are to act our part by improving to the utmost every talent committed to us, we have nothing which we have not received of God, and we should give him all the glory.
The important future is before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require great faith, energy, and perseverance. But we may triumph gloriously; for not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the devices of the enemy. All heaven is interested in our welfare, and waits our demand upon its wisdom and strength. Neither wicked men nor evil spirits can hinder the work of God or shut out his presence from his people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim his promises. Every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, “not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” If the Lord had a company of workers who would rely wholly upon him, he would accomplish a great work through them. One could chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight. God is just as willing now as anciently to work through human efforts, and to accomplish great things through weak instrumentalities. We shall not gain the victory through numbers, but through full surrender of the soul to Jesus. We are to go forward in his strength, trusting in the mighty God of Israel.
In the time of trial just before us, God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those that have kept the word of his patience. If you have complied with the conditions of God’s word, Christ will be to you a refuge from the storm. He will say to his faithful ones, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” The Lion of Judah, whose wrath will be so terrible to the rejecters of his grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of cloud will speak terror and wrath to the transgressor of God’s law, but light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept his commandments. The Arm strong to smite the rebellious, will be strong to deliver the loyal. Every faithful one will surely be gathered. “He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Brethren, you to whom the truths of God’s word have been opened, what part will you act in this momentous time of the closing scenes of earth’s history? Are you awake to these solemn realities? Do you realize the grand work of preparation that is going on in heaven and earth? Let all who have received the light, who have had the opportunity of reading and hearing the prophecy, take heed to keep those things that are written therein; “for the time is at hand.” Let none now venture to tamper with sin, or remain in a state of lethargy and stupid indifference. Let not the destiny of your soul hang upon an uncertainty. Know for yourselves that you are fully on the Lord’s side. Let the inquiry go forth from sincere hearts and trembling lips, Who shall be able to stand? Have you, in the precious hours of probation mercifully granted you, been putting the very best material into your character-building? Have you been purifying your souls from every stain? Have you followed the light? Have your works corresponded with your profession of faith?
It is possible to be a formal, partial believer, and yet be found wanting, and lose eternal life. It is possible to practice some of the Bible injunctions, and be regarded as a Christian, and yet perish because you are lacking in essential qualifications that constitute Christian character. The destroying angels have the commission from the Lord, “Begin at my sanctuary.” And “they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” If the warnings which God has given are neglected or regarded with indifference, if you suffer sin to be cherished, you are sealing your soul’s destiny; you will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. Grace, peace, and pardon will be withdrawn forever; Jesus will have passed by, never again to come within the reach of your prayers and entreaties. While mercy still lingers, while Jesus is making intercession for us, let us make thorough work for eternity.
Torre Pellice, Italy.
"Oh, that God's people had a sense of the impending destruction of thousands of cities." RH Dec. 10, 1903.
Lessons from the Past
As Noah’s descendants increased in number, apostasy soon manifested itself. Those who desired to forget their Creator, and to cast off the restraint of his law, decided to separate from the worshipers of Jehovah. Accordingly they journeyed to the plain of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. Here they decided to build a city, and in it a tower which should be the wonder of the world. This tower was to be so high that no flood could sweep it away. Thus they hoped to secure their own safety, and make themselves independent of God.
God had directed men to disperse throughout the earth, to replenish and subdue it; but these tower-builders determined to keep their community united in one body, and to found a monarchy which should eventually embrace the whole earth. Among the men of Babel, there were living some who feared God, although they had been deceived by the pretensions of the ungodly, and drawn into their schemes. These men would not join this confederacy to thwart the purposes of God. They refused to be deceived by the wonderful representations and the grand outlook. For the sake of these loyal ones, the Lord delayed his judgments, and gave the ungodly time to reveal their true character. But the great majority were fully united in their heaven-daring undertaking. They heeded not the counsel of the Lord, but strove to carry out their own purposes. This confederacy was born of rebellion against God. The dwellers on the plain of Shinar established their kingdom for self-exaltation, not for the glory of God. Had they succeeded, a mighty power would have borne sway, banishing righteousness, and inaugurating a new religion. The world would have been demoralized. The mixture of religious ideas with erroneous theories would have resulted in closing the door to peace, happiness, and security. These suppositions, erroneous theories, carried out and perfected, would have directed minds from allegiance to the divine statutes, and the law of Jehovah would have been ignored and forgotten. Determined men, inspired and urged on by the first great rebel, would have resisted any interference with their plans or their evil course. In the place of the divine precepts they would have substituted laws framed in accordance with the desires of their selfish hearts in order that they might carry out their purposes. But God never leaves the world without witnesses for him. At the time of the first great apostasy after the flood, there were men who humbled themselves before God, and cried unto him. “O God,” they pleaded, “interpose between thy cause and the plans and methods of men.” “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower [the great idol-building], which the children of men builded.” Angels were sent to bring to naught the purposes of the builders. The tower had reached a lofty height, and it was impossible for the workmen at the top to communicate directly with those at the base; therefore men were stationed at different points, each to receive and report to the one next below him the orders for needed material, or other directions regarding the work. As messages were thus passing from one to another, the language was confounded, so that material was called for which was not needed, and the directions received were often the reverse of those that had been given. Confusion and dismay followed. All work came to a standstill. There could be no further harmony or co-operation. The builders were wholly unable to account for the strange misunderstandings among them, and in their rage and disappointment they reproached one another. Their confederacy ended in strife and bloodshed. Lightnings from heaven broke off the upper portion of the tower, and cast it to the ground. Men were made to feel that there is a God who ruleth in the heavens, and that he is able to confuse and to multiply confusions in order to teach men that they are only men. God bears long with the perversity of men, giving them ample opportunity for repentance; but he marks all their devices to resist the authority of his just and holy law. Up to this time men had spoken the same language; now those that could understand one another’s speech united in companies; some went one way, and some another. “The Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth.” In our day the Lord desires that his people shall be dispersed throughout the earth. They are not to colonize. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” When the disciples followed their inclination to remain in large numbers in Jerusalem, persecution was permitted to come upon them, and they were scattered to all parts of the inhabited world. For years messages of warning and entreaty have been coming to our people, urging them to go forth into the Master’s great harvest fields, and labor unselfishly for souls. From Testimonies written in 1895 and in 1899 I copy the following paragraphs: “True missionary workers will not colonize. God’s people are to be pilgrims and strangers on the earth. The investments of large sums of money in the building up of the work in one place is not in the order of God. Plants are to be made in many places. Schools and sanitariums are to be established in places where there is now nothing to represent the truth. These interests are not to be established for the purpose of making money, but for the purpose of spreading the truth. Land should be secured at a distance from the cities, where schools can be built up in which the youth can be given an education in agricultural and mechanical lines. “The principles of present truth are to become more widespread. There are those who are reasoning from a wrong point of view. Because it is more convenient to have the work centered in one place, they are in favor of crowding everything together in one locality. Great evil is the result. Places that should be helped are left destitute. “What can I say to our people that will lead them to follow the course that will be for their present and future good? Will not those in Battle Creek heed the light given them by God? Will they not deny self, lift the cross, and follow Jesus? Will they not obey the call of their Leader to leave Battle Creek, and build up interests in other places? Will they not go to the dark places of the earth to tell the story of the love of Christ, trusting in God to give them success? “It is not God’s plan for our people to crowd into Battle Creek. God says: ‘Go work today in my vineyard. Get away from the places where you are not needed. Plant the standard of truth in towns and cities that have not heard the message. Prepare the way for my coming. Those in the highways and hedges are to hear the call.’ “God will make the wilderness a sacred place as his people, filled with the missionary spirit, go forth to make centers for his work, to establish sanitariums, where the sick and afflicted can be cared for, and schools, where the youth can be educated in right lines.” “It has been urged that there were great advantages in having so many institutions in close connection; that they would be a strength to one another, and could afford help to those seeking education and employment. This is according to human reasoning; it will be admitted that, from a human point of view, many advantages are gained by crowding so many responsibilities in Battle Creek; but the vision needs to be extended.” Notwithstanding frequent counsels to the contrary, men continued to plan for centralization of power, for the binding of many interests under one control. This work was first started in the Review and Herald Office. Things were swayed first in one way, and then in another. It was the enemy of our work who prompted the call for the consolidation of the publishing work under one controlling power in Battle Creek. Then the idea gained favor that the medical missionary work would be greatly advanced if all our medical institutions and other medical missionary interests were bound up under the control of the medical missionary association at Battle Creek. I was told that I must lift my voice in warning against this. We were not to be under the control of men who could not control themselves, and who were not willing to be amenable to God. We were not to be guided by men who want their word to be the controlling power. The development of the desire to control has been very marked, and God sent warning after warning, forbidding confederacies and consolidation. He warned us against binding ourselves to fulfil certain agreements that would be presented by men laboring to control the movements of their brethren.
AN EDUCATIONAL CENTER
The Lord is not pleased with some of the arrangements that have been made in Battle Creek. He has declared that other places are being robbed of the light and advantages that have been centered and multiplied in Battle Creek. It is not pleasing to God that our youth from all parts of the country should be called to Battle Creek to work in the Sanitarium, and to receive their education. When we permit this, we are often guilty of robbing needy fields of their most precious treasure.
Through the light given in the Testimonies, the Lord has indicated that he does not desire students to leave their home schools and sanitariums to be educated in Battle Creek. He instructed us to remove the College from this place. This was done, but the institutions that remained failed of doing what they should have done to share with other places the advantages still centered in Battle Creek. The Lord signified his displeasure by permitting the principal buildings of these institutions to be destroyed by fire. Notwithstanding the plain evidences of the Lord’s providence in these destructive fires, men have not hesitated to stand before their brethren in council meetings, and make light of the statement that these buildings were burned because men had been swaying things in directions which the Lord could not approve. Principles have been perverted. Men have been departing from right principles, for the promulgation of which these institutions were established. They have failed of doing the very work that God ordained should be done to prepare a people to “build up the old waste places” and to stand in the breach, as represented in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. In this scripture the work we are to do is clearly defined as being medical missionary work. This work is to be done in all places. God has a vineyard; and he desires that this vineyard shall be worked unselfishly. No parts are to be neglected. The most neglected portion needs the most wide-awake missionaries to do the work portrayed in the following scripture: “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, … and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” For his own name’s sake God will not permit the froward and the independent to carry out their unsanctified plans. He will visit them for their perversity of action. “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” But I am instructed to say that in his judgments the Lord will remember mercy. He declares: “I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him.” “The spirit of my people should fail before me,” saith the Lord, “if I were to deal with them in accordance with their perversity. They could not endure my displeasure and my wrath. I have seen the perverse ways of every sinner. He who repents and does the works of righteousness, I will convert and heal, and restore unto him my favor.” Concerning those who have been deceived and led astray by unconsecrated men, the Lord says: “Their course of action has not been in accordance with my will; yet for the righteousness of my own cause, for the truth’s sake, for the sake of those who have preserved their fear and love of God, I, who create the fruit of the lips, will put my message into the lips of those who will not be perverted. Although some may be deceived and blinded in their ideas of men and the purposes of men, I will heal every one who honors my name. All the penitent of Israel shall see of my salvation. I, the Lord, do rule, and I will fill with praise and thanksgiving the hearts of all who are nigh and far off, even all the penitent of Israel who have kept my ways.” “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
"We are living in the closing scenes of this earths' history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. ... The hours of probation fast passing." 8T 252
As I hear of the terrible calamities that from week to week are taking place, I ask myself: What do these things mean? The most awful disasters are following one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them God’s purpose may be read. They are one of the means by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.
The coming of Christ is nearer than when we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. The judgments of God are in the land. They speak in solemn warning, saying: “Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:44.
But there are many, many in our churches who know little of the real meaning of the truth for this time. I appeal to them not to disregard the fulfilling of the signs of the times, which says so plainly that the end is near. Oh, how many who have not sought their souls’ salvation will soon make the bitter lamentation: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved”!
We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works: “My Lord delayeth His coming.” Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields to tell the unconcerned and indifferent to seek the Lord while He may be found. The workers will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth and will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ.
"Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation."PK 536.
As the wheellike complications were under the guidance of the hand beneath the wings of the cherubim, so the complicated play of human events is under divine control. Amidst the strife and tumult of nations He that sitteth above the cherubim still guides the affairs of this earth.
The history of nations speaks to us today. To every nation and to every individual God has assigned a place in His great plan. Today men and nations are being tested by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. All are by their own choice deciding their destiny, and God is overruling all for the accomplishment of His purposes.
The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.
Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour’s prophecy of the events to precede His coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…. Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Matthew 24:6, 7.
Daniel 8:13-14King James Version (KJV) 13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. 7 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
Revelation 14:6-7King James Version (KJV) 6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Yet we should never be content with a sinful life. It is a thought that should arouse Christians to greater zeal and earnestness in overcoming evil, that every defect in character, every point in which they fail to meet the divine standard, is an open door by which Satan can enter to tempt and destroy them; and, furthermore, that every failure and defect on their part gives occasion to the tempter and his agents to reproach Christ. We are to exert every energy of the soul in the work of overcoming, and to look to Jesus for strength to do what we cannot do of ourselves. No sin can be tolerated in those who shall walk with Christ in white. The filthy garments are to be removed, and Christ's robe of righteousness is to be placed upon us. By repentance and faith we are enabled to render obedience to all the commandments of God, and are found without blame before Him. Those who shall meet the approval of God are now afflicting their souls, confessing their sins, and earnestly pleading for pardon through Jesus their Advocate. Their attention is fixed upon Him, their hopes, their faith, are centered on Him, and when the command is given, “Take away the filthy garments, and clothe him with change of raiment, and set a fair miter upon his head,” they are prepared to give Him all the glory of their salvation. Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing up of the great day of atonement. The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God. All will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who will be true to God and to duty will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will “be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends.” Their only hope is in the mercy of God; their only defense will be prayer. As Joshua was pleading before the Angel, so the remnant church, with brokenness of heart and earnest faith, will plead for pardon and deliverance through Jesus their Advocate. They are fully conscious of the sinfulness of their lives, they see their weakness and unworthiness, and as they look upon themselves they are ready to despair. The tempter stands by to accuse them, as he stood by to resist Joshua. He points to their filthy garments, their defective characters. He presents their weakness and folly, their sins of ingratitude, their unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer. He endeavors to affright the soul with the thought that their case is hopeless, that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away. He hopes to so destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations, turn from their allegiance to God, and receive the mark of the beast. Satan urges before God his accusations against them, declaring that they have by their sins forfeited the divine protection, and claiming the right to destroy them as transgressors. He pronounces them just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favor of God. “Are these,” he says, “the people who are to take my place in heaven and the place of the angels who united with me? While they profess to obey the law of God, have they kept its precepts? Have they not been lovers of self more than of God? Have they not placed their own interests above His service? Have they not loved the things of the world? Look at the sins which have marked their lives. Behold their selfishness, their malice, their hatred toward one another.” The people of God have been in many respects very faulty. Satan has an accurate knowledge of the sins which he has tempted them to commit, and he presents these in the most exaggerated light, declaring: “Will God banish me and my angels from His presence, and yet reward those who have been guilty of the same sins? Thou canst not do this, O Lord, in justice. Thy throne will not stand in righteousness and judgment. Justice demands that sentence be pronounced against them.” But while the followers of Christ have sinned, they have not given themselves to the control of evil. They have put away their sins, and have sought the Lord in humility and contrition, and the divine Advocate pleads in their behalf. He who has been most abused by their ingratitude, who knows their sin, and also their repentance, declares: “‘The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.’ I gave My life for these souls. They are graven upon the palms of My hands.” The assaults of Satan are strong, his delusions are terrible; but the Lord's eye is upon His people. Their affliction is great, the flames of the furnace seem about to consume them; but Jesus will bring them forth as gold tried in the fire. Their earthliness must be removed that the image of Christ may be perfectly reflected; unbelief must be overcome; faith, hope, and patience are to be developed. The people of God are sighing and crying for the abominations done in the land. With tears they warn the wicked of their danger in trampling upon the divine law, and with unutterable sorrow they humble themselves before the Lord on account of their own transgressions. The wicked mock their sorrow, ridicule their solemn appeals, and sneer at what they term their weakness. But the anguish and humiliation of God's people is unmistakable evidence that they are regaining the strength and nobility of character lost in consequence of sin. It is because they are drawing nearer to Christ, and their eyes are fixed upon His perfect purity, that they so clearly discern the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Their contrition and self-abasement are infinitely more acceptable in the sight of God than is the self-sufficient, haughty spirit of those who see no cause to lament, who scorn the humility of Christ, and who claim perfection while transgressing God's holy law. Meekness and lowliness of heart are the conditions for strength and victory. The crown of glory awaits those who bow at the foot of the cross. Blessed are these mourners, for they shall be comforted. The faithful, praying ones are, as it were, shut in with God. They themselves know not how securely they are shielded. Urged on by Satan, the rulers of this world are seeking to destroy them; but could their eyes be opened, as were the eyes of Elisha's servant at Dothan, they would see the angels of God encamped about them, by their brightness and glory holding in check the hosts of darkness. As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, “Take away the filthy garments” from them, and the encouraging words are spoken, “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” The spotless robe of Christ's righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb's book of life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the deceiver; they have not been turned from their loyalty by the dragon's roar. Now they are eternally secure from the tempter's devices. Their sins are transferred to the originator of sin. And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honored. “A fair miter” is set upon their heads. They are to be as kings and priests unto God. While Satan was urging his accusations and seeking to destroy this company, holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them the seal of the living God. These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father's name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Now is reached the complete fulfillment of those words of the Angel: “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth My servant the Branch.” Christ is revealed as the Redeemer and Deliverer of His people. Now indeed are the remnant “men wondered at,” as the tears and humiliation of their pilgrimage give place to joy and honor in the presence of God and the Lamb. “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem.”
While Jesus is pleading for the subjects of His grace, Satan accuses them before God as transgressors. The great deceiver has sought to lead them into skepticism, to cause them to lose confidence in God, to separate themselves from His love, and to break His law. Now he points to the record of their lives, to the defects of character, the unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer, to all the sins that he has tempted them to commit, and because of these he claims them as his subjects. Jesus does not excuse their sins, but shows their penitence and faith, and, claiming for them forgiveness, He lifts His wounded hands before the Father and the holy angels, saying: I know them by name. I have graven them on the palms of My hands. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17. And to the accuser of His people He declares: “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” Zechariah 3:2. Christ will clothe His faithful ones with His own righteousness, that He may present them to His Father “a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Ephesians 5:27. Their names stand enrolled in the book of life, and concerning them it is written: “They shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.” Revelation 3:4. Thus will be realized the complete fulfillment of the new-covenant promise: “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” “In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found.” Jeremiah 31:34; 50:20. “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 4:2, 3. The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out until after the judgment at which their cases are to be investigated. But the apostle Peter distinctly states that the sins of believers will be blotted out “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ.” Acts 3:19, 20. When the investigative judgment closes, Christ will come, and His reward will be with Him to give to every man as his work shall be. In the typical service the high priest, having made the atonement for Israel, came forth and blessed the congregation. So Christ, at the close of His work as mediator, will appear, “without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28), to bless His waiting people with eternal life. As the priest, in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confessed them upon the head of the scapegoat, so Christ will place all these sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin. The scapegoat, bearing the sins of Israel, was sent away “unto a land not inhabited” (Leviticus 16:22); so Satan, bearing the guilt of all the sins which he has caused God's people to commit, will be for a thousand years confined to the earth, which will then be desolate, without inhabitant, and he will at last suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires that shall destroy all the wicked. Thus the great plan of redemption will reach its accomplishment in the final eradication of sin and the deliverance of all who have been willing to renounce evil.
Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the priest entered the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration. On the Day of Atonement two kids of the goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and lots were cast upon them, “one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.” Verse 8. The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people. And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The blood was also to be sprinkled upon the altar of incense that was before the veil. “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.” Verses 21, 22. The scapegoat came no more into the camp of Israel, and the man who led him away was required to wash himself and his clothing with water before returning to the camp. The whole ceremony was designed to impress the Israelites with the holiness of God and His abhorrence of sin; and, further, to show them that they could not come in contact with sin without becoming polluted. Every man was required to afflict his soul while this work of atonement was going forward. All business was to be laid aside, and the whole congregation of Israel were to spend the day in solemn humiliation before God, with prayer, fasting, and deep searching of heart. Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner's stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people. Such was the service performed “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” And what was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary. After His ascension our Saviour began His work as our high priest. Says Paul: “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 9:24. The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, “within the veil” which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension. It was the work of the priest in the daily ministration to present before God the blood of the sin offering, also the incense which ascended with the prayers of Israel. So did Christ plead His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners, and present before Him also, with the precious fragrance of His own righteousness, the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven. Thither the faith of Christ's disciples followed Him as He ascended from their sight. Here their hopes centered, “which hope we have,” said Paul, “as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever.” “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 6:19, 20; 9:12. For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ's work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work—to cleanse the sanctuary. As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12. Thus those who followed in the light of the prophetic word saw that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to His coming. It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. When the high priest, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, removed the sins from the sanctuary, he placed them upon the scapegoat. When Christ, by virtue of His own blood, removes the sins of His people from the heavenly sanctuary at the close of His ministration, He will place them upon Satan, who, in the execution of the judgment, must bear the final penalty. The scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, never to come again into the congregation of Israel. So will Satan be forever banished from the presence of God and His people, and he will be blotted from existence in the final destruction of sin and sinners.
Every case had been decided for life or death. While Jesus had been ministering in the sanctuary, the judgment had been going on for the righteous dead, and then for the righteous living. Christ had received His kingdom, having made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The subjects of the kingdom were made up. The marriage of the Lamb was consummated. And the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to Jesus and the heirs of salvation, and Jesus was to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. EW 280.1
As Jesus moved out of the most holy place, I heard the tinkling of the bells upon His garment; and as He left, a cloud of darkness covered the inhabitants of the earth. There was then no mediator between guilty man and an offended God. While Jesus had been standing between God and guilty man, a restraint was upon the people; but when He stepped out from between man and the Father, the restraint was removed and Satan had entire control of the finally impenitent. It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the sanctuary; but as His work there is finished, and His intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation and hated reproof. In that fearful time, after the close of Jesus’ mediation, the saints were living in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the most holy place were placed upon Satan, the originator of sin, who must suffer their punishment. EW 280.2
Then I saw Jesus lay off His priestly attire and clothe Himself with His most kingly robes. Upon His head were many crowns, a crown within a crown. Surrounded by the angelic host, He left heaven. The plagues were falling upon the inhabitants of the earth. Some were denouncing God and cursing Him. Others rushed to the people of God and begged to be taught how they might escape His judgments. But the saints had nothing for them. The last tear for sinners had been shed, the last agonizing prayer offered, the last burden borne, the last warning given. The sweet voice of mercy was no more to invite them. When the saints, and all heaven, were interested for their salvation, they had no interest for themselves. Life and death had been set before them. Many desired life, but made no effort to obtain it. They did not choose life, and now there was no atoning blood to cleanse the guilty, no compassionate Saviour to plead for them, and cry, “Spare, spare the sinner a little longer.” All heaven had united with Jesus, as they heard the fearful words, “It is done. It is finished.” The plan of salvation had been accomplished, but few had chosen to accept it. And as mercy's sweet voice died away, fear and horror seized the wicked. With terrible distinctness they heard the words, “Too late! too late!” EW 281.1
Those who had not prized God's Word were hurrying to and fro, wandering from sea to sea, and from the north to the east, to seek the Word of the Lord. Said the angel, “They shall not find it. There is a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of the Lord. What would they not give for one word of approval from God! but no, they must hunger and thirst on. Day after day have they slighted salvation, prizing earthly riches and earthly pleasure higher than any heavenly treasure or inducement. They have rejected Jesus and despised His saints. The filthy must remain filthy forever.”
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