The time has come when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. We are in the shaking time. Be assured that only those who live the prayer of Christ for unity among His disciples, working it out in practical life, will stand the test.
The enemy will make most determined efforts to ensnare those who should be co-workers with Christ. All who seek to qualify themselves for the Lord’s work are the objects of Satan’s attacks. But the unity and love for which Christ prayed is an impregnable barrier against the enemy. When there is dissension, when each one seeks the highest place, the prayer of Christ is not answered. The enemy finds easy access, and there is weakness instead of strength in the Church. Those who exalt self place themselves in Satan’s power, and are prepared to receive his deceptions as truth.
The will of God in regard to His people is plainly expressed in the sixth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters of John. The divine antidote for the sin of the whole world is contained in the gospel of John. “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,” Christ declared, “hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:54.] He may die, as Christ died, but the life of the Saviour is in him. His life is hid with Christ in God. “I am come that they might have life,” Jesus said, “and that they might have it more abundantly.” [John 10:10.] He carries on the great process by which believers are made one with Him in this present life, to be one with Him throughout all eternity.
Sayings and Fables
There are those today who will present falsehoods as testing truths, even as the Jews presented the maxims of men as the bread of heaven. Sayings of no value are given to the people of God as their portion of meat, while souls are starving for the bread of life. Fables have been devised, and men are trying to weave these fables into the web. Those who do this will one day see their work as it is viewed by the heavenly intelligences. They choose to bring to the foundation wood, hay, and stubble, when they have at their command the word of God, with all its richness and power, from which they can gather precious treasures of truth.
The food that is being prepared for the flock of God will cause spiritual consumption, decline, and death. When those who profess to believe present truth come to their senses, when they accept the word of God just as it reads, when they do not try to wrest the Scriptures, they will bring from the treasure-house of the heart things new and old, to strengthen themselves and those for whom they labor.
There are those who say not only in their hearts, but in all their works, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” [Matthew 24:48.] Because Christ’s coming has been long foretold, they conclude that there is some mistake in regard to it. But the Lord says, “The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come.” [Habakkuk 2:3.] It will not tarry past the time that the message is borne to all nations, tongues, and peoples. Shall we who claim to be students of prophecy forget that God’s forbearance to the wicked is a part of the vast and merciful plan by which He is seeking to compass the salvation of souls? Shall we be found among the number who, having ceased to co-operate with God, are found saying, “My Lord delayeth His coming”?
Christ’s true followers will represent Him in character. They will turn aside from worldly policy, and every day will train themselves for service in God’s cause. In active service they find peace and hope, efficiency and power. They breathe the atmosphere of heaven, the only atmosphere in which the soul can truly live. By obedience they are made partakers of the divine nature. The doing of the living principles of God’s law makes them one with Christ; and because He lives, they will live also. At the last day He will raise them as a part of himself. He declares, “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” “This is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and
I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:57, 40.] Christ became one with us in order that we might become one with Him in divinity.
The Lord is soon to come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. Is there not enough in the truths which cluster around this event and in the preparation essential for it, to make us think solemnly of our duty? “The Son of man shall come in His glory; . . . and before Him shall be gathered all nations.” [Matthew 25:31, 32.] This subject should be kept before the people as a means to an end,—that end the judgment, with its eternal punishments and rewards. Then God will render to every man according to his work. Enoch prophesied of these things, saying, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all.” [Jude 1:14, 15.] And Solomon, the preacher of righteousness, when making his declaration and appeal, presented the judgment to come. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter,” he said; “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” [Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.]
We have an abundance of weighty, solemn truths to proclaim without spending time in devising fanciful theories to present as testing truth. What is the chaff to the wheat? The final judgment is a most solemn event, which must take place before the assembled universe. When God honors His commandment-keeping people, not one of the enemies of truth and righteousness will be absent. And when transgressors receive their condemnation, all the righteous will see the result of sin. God will be honored, and His government vindicated; and that in the presence of the inhabitants of the universe. Oh, what a change will then take place in the minds of men! All will then see the value of eternal life.
To His Son the Father has committed all judgment. Christ will declare the reward of loyalty. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son . . . and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.” [John 5:22, 27.] Christ accepted humanity, and lived on this earth a pure, sanctified life. For this reason He has received the appointment of judge. He who occupies the position of judge is God manifest in the flesh. What a joy it will be to recognize in Him our Teacher and Redeemer, bearing still the marks of the crucifixion, from which shine beams of glory, giving additional value to the crowns which the redeemed receive from His hands, the very hands outstretched in blessing over His disciples as He ascended. The very voice which said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,” bids His ransomed ones welcome to His presence. [Matthew 28:20.] The very One who gave His precious life for them, who by His grace moved their hearts to repentance, who awakened them to their need of repentance, receives them now into His joy. Oh, how they love Him! The realization of their hope is infinitely greater than their expectation. Their joy is complete, and they take their glittering crowns and cast them at their Redeemer’s feet.
What Might Have Been
When sinners are compelled to look upon Him who clothed His divinity with humanity, and who still wears this garb, their confusion is indescribable. The scales fall from their eyes, and they see that which before they would not see. They realize what they might have been had they received Christ, and improved the opportunities granted them. They see the law which they have spurned, exalted even as God’s throne is exalted. They see God himself giving reverence to His law.
What a scene that will be! No pen can describe it! The accumulated guilt of the world will be laid bare, and the voice of the Judge will be heard saying to the wicked, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:23.] Then those who pierced Christ will remember how they slighted His love and abused His compassion; how they chose in His stead Barabbas, a robber and murderer; how they crowned the Saviour with thorns, and caused Him to be scourged and crucified; how, in the agony of His death on the cross, they taunted Him, saying, “Let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.” “He saved others; himself He cannot save.” [Matthew 27:42.] They will seem to hear again His voice of entreaty. Every tone of solicitude will vibrate as distinctly in their ears as when the Saviour spoke to them. Every act of insult and mockery done to Christ will be as fresh in their memory as when the satanic deeds were done.
They will call on the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. “The wrath of the Lamb,”—One who ever showed himself full of tenderness, patience, and long-suffering, who, having given himself up as the sacrificial offering, was led as a lamb to the slaughter, to save sinners from the doom now falling upon them because they would not allow Him to take away their guilt.
By the Law
The judgment will be conducted in accordance with the rules God has laid down. By the law which men are now called upon to obey, but which many refuse to accept, all will be judged. As by it character is tested, every man will find his proper place in one of two classes. He will either be holy to the Lord through obedience to His law, or be stained with sin through transgression. He will either have done good, cooperating in faith with Jesus to restore the moral image of God in man, or he will have done evil, denying the Saviour by an ungodly life. Christ will separate them from one another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right hand, and the goats on His left. Then men and women will see that their course of action has decided their destiny. They will be rewarded or punished according as they have obeyed or violated the law of God.
Are not these subjects of sufficient moment to present to the people? Should we not call upon the members of our churches to take their Bibles and study them, realizing that their eternal interest is at stake?
Let us remember that there will be no second probation. Some flatter themselves with the thought that the Lord will give them another opportunity. Fatal delusion! Just now, day by day and hour by hour, we are building for the judgment. We are trading on our Lord’s goods, and at His coming He will reckon with us. He will expect results from every one. Let us arise and shine, because the glory of the Lord has risen upon us. Our reward will be proportionate to the work we have done. “My reward is with me,” Christ declares, “to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:12.] Let all who can, go forth to work with wisdom and in the love of Christ for those nigh and afar off. The Master calls upon us to do according to our ability the work He has intrusted to us.
Review and Herald, June 18, 1901.
Ellen G. White (1827–1915) wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. She is the most translated woman writer in the entire history of literature, and the most translated American author of either gender. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Mrs. White was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world’s attention to the Holy Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ’s second advent.