In this parallel, we will study the fourth event in the ministry of Jesus that the Spirit of Prophecy states has a parallel with the second advent movement. Mark gives us this account of the event: “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it “a den of robbers.” ’ The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him . . . .” Mark 11:15–18, NIV.
The Spirit of Prophecy gives the following appraisal of the situation: “At the close of His [Jesus’] mission He came again to the temple, and found it still desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before.” The Desire of Ages, 589.
It is clear from this statement that the ministry of Jesus had no positive effect on the attitude of the priests, rulers, and people. The condition of the church was even worse at the close of His ministry. “In place of humble repentance of sin, they had multiplied the sacrifice of beasts . . . . He knew that His blood, so soon to be shed for the sins of the world, would be as little appreciated by the priests and elders as was the blood of beasts which they kept incessantly flowing.” Ibid., 590.
The priests and elders had no concept of Jesus’ mission to cleanse the heart from sin through the shedding of His blood. They did not perceive the deep spiritual significance of the sacrificial system they themselves were administering.
“He knew that His efforts to reform a corrupt priesthood would be in vain; nevertheless His work must be done; to an unbelieving people the evidence of His divine mission must be given.” Ibid.
It is interesting to note that Jesus did not expect any repentance or conversion on the part of the corrupt priesthood. They had gone so far in unbelief that they could not recognize the evidence that Jesus was the Lamb of God. But the evidence of His divine mission to cleanse their hearts from sin must be given to the people one last time.
We may ask ourselves, “How can such an event as this ever have a parallel in the second advent movement?” Let’s go back to a reference we studied earlier concerning the first parallel.
“When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Almost the last act of His ministry was to cleanse the temple again. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches; the second angel’s message [Revelation 14:8], and the voice heard in heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, . . . for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ [Revelation 18:4, 5.]” Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 725, 726.
A similar statement is recorded in the December 6, 1892, issue of the Review and Herald: “When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel’s message is, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ [Revelation 14:8.] And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message, a voice is heard from heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ [Revelation 18:4, 5.]”
Two Distinct Calls
In these two references, we are told that “two distinct calls” are made to the churches in the second advent movement and that they are parallel to the two cleansings of the temple.
The first distinct call:
- is the second angel’s message—Revelation 14:8.
- was given in the summer and fall of 1844.
- was given because the churches rejected the first angel’s message.
- is a parallel to the first cleansing of the temple.
The second distinct call:
- is the message of Revelation 18:1–5.
- is still future.
- will be given because the churches reject the third angel’s message.
- is parallel to the second cleansing of the temple.
A pathetic summary of the first advent movement is given in the following reference: “At the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who defiled it by their unholy traffic . . . . At the close of His mission He came again to the temple, and found it still desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before.” The Desire of Ages, 589.
Following are two solemn parallel statements that summarize the condition of the churches at the end of the second advent movement:
“This scripture [Revelation 18:1, 2, 4] points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844.” The Great Controversy, 603.
Here, again, we are given a picture of churches that are getting worse, during the time of the third angel’s message, even with the abundant availability of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.
“A terrible condition of the religious world is here described. With every rejection of truth the minds of the people will become darker, their hearts more stubborn, until they are entrenched in an infidel hardihood. In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue . . . . Christ is set at nought in the contempt placed upon His word and His people.” Ibid.
We see that as Jesus was unable to prevent the church from worsening, while He ministered to them, so the great proliferation of the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy is unable to prevent the church in the second advent movement from following the same path as the first advent church. Just as the priests and elders set about to kill Jesus when He cleansed the temple the second time, so in the second advent movement, Christ is set at nought in the contempt placed upon His Word by the ministers and people.
The Second Distinct Call
The next few statements are very clear as to the time when the second cleansing of the churches will take place in the second advent movement. This is called the “second distinct call.” We find eight more phrases in the Spirit of Prophecy that refer to this event. Four of these are found in this next reference.
“God still has a people in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments these faithful ones must be called out . . . . Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ These announcements, uniting with the third angel’s message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.” Ibid., 604.
The announcements that unite with the third angel’s message are referred to in a later reference as “the loud cry of the third angel.”
“Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6–12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world.” Ibid., 390.
Just as Jesus cleansed the temple a second time to remind the people that it was His work to remove sin from the heart, so the final call to come out of Babylon and to separate from her sins is the last message that will ever be given to the world.
“The latter rain is to fall upon the people of God. A mighty angel is to come down from heaven, and the whole earth is to be lightened with his glory.” Review and Herald, April 21, 1891.
In this reference, we see that the latter rain is during the time when the mighty angel of Revelation 18:1, 2 comes down from heaven and the time when the second cleansing takes place. Two more phrases are used in this next reference.
“I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’ ” Early Writings, 271.
We find one more descriptive phrase in the following reference.
“ ‘The commencement of that time of trouble,’ here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. . . . At that time the ‘latter rain,’ or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel.” Ibid., 85, 86.
This statement reveals that this short time of trouble is associated with the latter rain that occurs just before probation closes. This short time of trouble intensifies into the time of trouble when the plagues are being poured out following the close of probation.
Time Period of Second Cleansing
We see, now, that there are nine terms that all apply to the time period of the second cleansing of the churches just before probation closes. Let’s review them.
- The second “distinct call.”
- The angel coming down from heaven.
- The call to “Come out of her, My people.”
- “The final warning.”
- The last message to the world.
- The latter rain.
- The refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
- The loud cry of the third angel.
- A short time of trouble.
I am not aware of another event leading up to the close of probation that receives as much attention in the Spirit of Prophecy as the warning to the world of the second cleansing of the second advent churches.
We have already seen that these nine phrases refer to the time just before the close of probation, and accordingly, they have been placed in that position on the time line. Notice that this fourth parallel is the last event before the close of probation.
The references in the Ellen G. White 1888 Materials and the Review and Herald of December 6, 1892, both say that the two distinct calls are the last work for the warning of the world. At the time of the second cleansing of the churches, that is, during the latter rain, there are only two groups left in the world—the faithful people of God and all the rest who have rejected God’s grace. When the latter rain begins, denominational distinctions such as Protestants, Catholics, Seventh-day Adventists or independent Seventh-day Adventists become meaningless. These two groups are clearly defined in the following references.
“Servants of God . . . will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. . . . Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” The Great Controversy, 612.
“Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and laws of men. Here the dividing line will be drawn. There will be but two classes. Every character will be fully developed; and all will show whether they have chosen the side of loyalty or that of rebellion.” The Desire of Ages, 763.
“The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not.” The Great Controversy, 605.
The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty. It will be the point of truth that will draw the line of distinction between these two groups shown on the chart. This is the period of time in which the second cleansing of the churches takes place.
We listed nine terms that apply to this same time period. One of the phrases used was the call to “Come out of her [Babylon], My people.” Revelation 18:4. From this, we know that the disobedient group is also called Babylon.
The Laodicean Church
There remains a group of people who do not fit into either of these two groups; that is, they do not fit with the obedient people of God nor are they called Babylon. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy identify them as the Laodicean church.
“I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God’s people at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts. . . . The heart must be purified from sins which have so long shut out Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 186.
We need to understand that Laodiceans are Seventh-day Adventists who have rejected the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy counsel to put away sin and come into unity with Christ during the time of the second and third parallels in the second advent movement. The third parallel is still being acted out at the present time. These Laodicean Seventh-day Adventists, because they fail to meet the conditions, are included with the disobedient group.
Come Out of Babylon
We must realize that the call to come out of Babylon does not go to Seventh-day Adventists. There are two reasons:
- Those who have rejected the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy are not called Babylon; they are called Laodicea, so the call is not for them.
- The call goes only to those who have not heard and rejected the Three Angels’ Messages.
The next two statements provide some important information concerning this subject.
“The light that was shed upon the waiting ones penetrated everywhere, and those in the churches who had any light, who had not heard and rejected the three messages, obeyed the call and left the fallen churches. . . . Some chose life and took their stand with those who were looking for their Lord and keeping all His commandments.” Early Writings, 278.
Notice, the call to come out of Babylon is for those “who had not heard and rejected” the Three Angels’ Messages. They now leave the fallen churches (Babylon) and join with those who are keeping all the commandments, those who have put away every sin and have received the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the latter rain.
Put Away Every Sin
We see, in this next reference, a hopeless situation for those who reject the counsel in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy requiring them to put away sin and unite with Christ at the center of the church.
“The time of God’s destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have no opportunity to learn what is truth. . . . His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time.” Review and Herald, July 5, 1906.
This statement makes it clear that the character preparation to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ends when the latter rain begins for those who have heard the Three Angels’ Messages. They have either completed that preparation by accepting and obeying the instruction in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy to put away sin and come into unity, or they have rejected it. If they are living in obedience to this counsel, they now receive the Holy Spirit and go forward, calling a people out of Babylon. If they have rejected this counsel, they remain as Laodiceans, and their probation is now closed. We will study the instruction concerning this preparation in greater detail in the next parallel.
Dear people of God, do you want to be among the “servants of God” during this final warning? Then we must obey the instructions of the early rain character preparation that we might receive the Holy Spirit when the latter rain begins. It is impossible to be a “servant of God” during the latter rain and still have one sin remaining in the life. You cannot call people out of sin if you are in sin yourself. We must put away every sin now. Then we can be among the servants of God who hasten from place to place to give the final warning.
God has given us clear instruction as to what we must do to prepare our hearts for the final outpouring of His Spirit. In our next study, we will review God’s instruction in reference to the early rain character preparation that is needed if we would receive the latter rain.
Maurice Hoppe is Director of Revelation Ministry, which is dedicated to helping people prepare for the soon coming of Jesus. His special emphasis is the closing scenes of this earth’s history, the parallels between the first and second advents, and the need for unity among the people of God. He may be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at: P. O. Box 184, Days Creek, OR 97429.