Is the Door of Mercy Shut?

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; ‘These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth.” Revelation 3:7.

The 2300 day-year prophecy of Daniel 8:14 was to end on October 22, 1844, with an event in the heavenly sanctuary. It was assumed that the event was the Second Coming of Christ. In order to prepare for the Second Advent, a call to repentance and soul searching was given. The Advent believers thought that probation would close on October 22 and no one could be saved after that time.

There was great agitation over the thought that probation would soon close, and it created much interest in the parable of the ten virgins, found in Matthew 25:1–12. Following October 22, 1844, many believed that the “door of Mercy” was shut and probation had closed for all mankind. This prompted many of the believers to study deeply.

“And while they [the five foolish virgins] went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut.” Matthew 25:10. This text may be divided into five natural divisions: 1. The buying of oil. 2. The coming of the Bridegroom. 3. The going in with Him. 4. The marriage. 5. The shut door.

  1. The buying of oil represents wasted effort on the part of the foolish virgins to obtain oil when it was too late. The virgins had some oil at the beginning, which produced light up till the coming of the bridegroom, but at midnight when the cry was made that “the bridegroom cometh,” the foolish virgins had run out of oil. But while they went to buy more oil, the rest of the group went in to the wedding and the door was shut.
  2. The definition of bridegroom is, one that either is married or is about to be married. In this parable the Bridegroom represents Christ, and all the scenes in the parable represent the giving of the bride to Christ. This brings to mind two questions: first what does the bride represent, and second where is the marriage to be solemnized?

“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” Revelation 21:9, 10. “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Galatians 4:26. These texts show that the holy city is the bride of Christ.

Second, where is the marriage to take place? “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he shall return from the wedding.” Luke 7:35, 36.

“He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” Luke 19:12. “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, And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.” Daniel 7:13,14.

These texts indicate that the receiving of the kingdom is compared to a marriage. It takes place before the Ancient of days prior to the bridegroom’s return from a far country, in one parable, and from the wedding in the other parable. The coming of the bridegroom, mentioned in these texts, is not Christ’s coming to the earth, but rather takes place “near before” the Ancient of days. We may understand from this that the coming of the bridegroom and the Second Coming are two distinct and separate events.

  1. The “going in with Him” in the parable indicates a change not only in the position of the Bridegroom but also His relationship with the church and world. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2. To come to a correct understanding of Christ’s work in the heavenly sanctuary Paul, in Hebrews chapters 8 and 9, points us back to the Aaronic priesthood and all connected with the sanctuary and its services.

There is plenty of authority in the Old Testament for a clear picture of the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses, and the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.” Luke 24:44.

“He expounded and testified the kingdom of God persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” Acts 28:23.

“Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.” Acts 26:22.

“Remember ye the Law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel.” Malachi 4:4. We are not only directed to the law of Moses but we are admonished strongly to remember it. Those ordinances are a positive representation of Christ’s priestly work in the sanctuary in heaven which is “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” It is clear from Hebrews 8 and 9 that Christ is officiating in a sanctuary that has two compartments with all the same furniture contained in the typical sanctuary of ancient Israel. (See Hebrews 9:2; Exodus 40:24–26; Hebrews 9:3–5; Exodus 26:33, 34.)

In the typical sanctuary, all the services that occurred in one year typified the services of Christ in the pattern in the heavens. Christ, the antitype, closed the antitypical daily administration in the first apartment and clothed Himself with the holy garments having on the breast-plate of judgment on which was inscribed the names of true Israel “they that were ready.” Then He passed into the Holiest of all before the Ancient of days on the mercy seat. They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage as He went to receive His bride, “and the door was shut.”

The cleansing of the sanctuary, blotting out Israel’s sins, and the sending away of the scapegoat in the type, were performed on the tenth day of the seventh month. They were shadows of the services Christ performed in the heavenly sanctuary after His ministration in the Holy Place closes.

  1. Marriage in Scripture, referring to Christ, is found three times in the Bible. The parable of the king’s son in Matthew 22:2–14, the ten virgins Matthew 25:1–12 and Revelation 19:7–9.

The marriage ceremony used in connection with Christ represents his receiving of the kingdom. “Thy land shall be married”(Isaiah 62:4), means that the territory of the kingdom is to be brought into close connection with the King of kings and Lord of lords. When the New Jerusalem with the saints as guests go in with Christ to the marriage, He then receives the capitol of His promised kingdom.

When God shall have judged the “great whore . . .avenged the blood of His servants at her hand . . . the voice of a great multitude,” “as the voice of mighty thunderings,” shall proclaim . . . “Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready . . . And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Then the subjects of the Kingdom become the bride and with Christ possess the Kingdom. (See Revelation 19:1–9.)

  1. A door indicates a change from one apartment to another. In the parable, it represents a change in the position of the bridegroom (Christ), revealing a change in His relation to the world. On the Day of Atonement, there was a change in the services to be performed on that day. The high priest washed himself, put on the holy garments and entered into a new work. He blotted out Israel’s sins and removed them from the altar and passed into the Most Holy Place. He bears upon the breast-plate of judgment the names of all who have confessed their sins through the blood of the sin offerings. The high priest officiated on that day only for those that had asked for forgiveness of sins.

Just as surely as the Aaronic priesthood is a type of Christ, the sanctuary and all connected with it are a type of the true sanctuary in heaven and Christ’s ministration there. This explains that a time would come when Christ’s daily priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary would end. Then He would enter into the Most Holy with true Israel inscribed upon His breastplate of judgment. He would go in before the mercy seat with a golden censor, offering the prayers of all saints wise virgins) before the throne. This happened on October 22, 1844.

Now He officiates in the Most Holy Place as a merciful high priest cleansing the heavenly sanctuary of all the sins of true Israel, placing them upon the head of the scapegoat (Satan). Following this He will remove His priestly garments, put on garments of wrath, come to the earth to gather His elect from the four winds and destroy the wicked.

In the opening text of Revelation 3:7, 8, a door was opened and another was shut. This text refers to the Philadelphia church period that includes the events around 1844. As a door was shut in the parable, so a door was shut in 1844. When the door to the Holy Place was closed, Christ entered upon His work of cleansing the sanctuary in the Most Holy Place.

“By the king’s examination of the guests at the feast is represented a work of judgment. The guests at the gospel feast are those who profess to serve God, those whose names are written in the book of life. But not all who profess to be Christians are true disciples. Before the final reward is given, it must be decided who are fitted to share the inheritance of the righteous. This decision must be made prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven . . . It is while men are still dwelling upon the earth that the work of investigative judgment takes place in the courts of heaven. The lives of all His professed followers pass in review before God. All are examined according to the record of the books of heaven, and according to his deeds the destiny of each is forever fixed.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310.

“In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period. ‘Judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel?’ 1 Peter 4:17.” The Great Controversy, 480.

“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.” Early Writings, 280.

“The idea that the door of God’s mercy is closed, or ever was to be closed to those who do not reject the offers of mercy is not found in the Bible. No such door is mentioned in Scripture. But that there has been a point, beyond which men may go, where, according to the plan of salvation, the intercession of Christ could not benefit them, is evident. The Jewish church, having rejected and condemned Christ, could not be benefited by His mediation in the Holy. The nominal Gentile church, as a body, having rejected the Second Advent, cannot be benefited by his intercessions in the Most Holy.” The Parable, (Matthew 25:1–12), By James White.

“And afterward came also the other virgins, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But He answered and said, ‘Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.” Matthew 25:11,12. The wise virgins had entered and the door was shut, but the foolish virgins came knocking at the closed door, expecting to enter. “When once the Master of the house is risen up and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without and to knock at the door, Saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.’ ” Luke 13:25.

The foolish virgins knocked at a literal door and this event Christ has shown to be a representation of Advent history. This experience of knocking, entreating and entrance is explained thus: “They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord; [a mediator for all the world, in the Holy Place] but they shall not find Him; He hath withdrawn himself [to the Most Holy] from them. They have dealt treacherously against the Lord, for they have begotten strange children; [apparent converts] now shall a month devour them with their portions.” Hosea 5:6, 7.

Those that expect to gain entrance to the shut door cannot enter because they refused to study the prophecy and learn where Christ had gone. Therefore they will not benefit from His atoning ministry in the Most Holy Place.

Some might say that those represented by the foolish virgins will not knock until Jesus comes. But as the foolish in the parable expected admission, so will those knock after the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door. At the Second Coming, the foolish will not seek entrance but will call for the mountains and rocks to fall upon them and hide them from His consuming glory. (See Revelation 6:16, 17.)

“For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the Advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision was given me. It was the light given me of God that corrected our error, and enabled us to see the true position. I am still a believer in the shut door theory, but not in the sense in which we at first employed the term or in which it is employed by my opponents. There was a shut door in Noah’s day. There was at that time a withdrawal of the Spirit of God from the sinful race that perished in the waters of the flood. God Himself gave the shut door message to Noah: ‘My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.’ There was a shut door in the days of Abraham. Mercy ceased to plead with the inhabitants of Sodom, and all but Lot with his wife and two daughters, were consumed by the fire sent down from heaven.

“There was a shut door in Christ’s day. The Son of God declared to the unbelieving Jews of that generation, ‘Your house is left unto you desolate.’ Looking down the stream of time to the last days, the same infinite power proclaimed through John: ‘These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.’

“I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels’ messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them.

“These might have a form of godliness, and profess to be followers of Christ, but having no living connection with God, they would be taken captive by the delusions of Satan. These two classes are brought to view in the vision—those who declared the light which they followed a delusion, and the wicked of the world who, having rejected the light, had been rejected of God. No reference is made to those who had not seen the light, and therefore were not guilty of its rejection.

“In order to prove that I believed and taught the shut door doctrine, Mr. C gives a quotation from the Review of June 11, 1861, signed by nine of our prominent members. The quotation reads as follows: ‘Our views of the work before us were then mostly vague and indefinite, some still retaining the idea adopted by the body of Advent believers in 1844 with William Miller at their head, that our work for the world was finished and that the message was confined to those of the original Advent faith. So firmly was this believed, that one of our number was nearly refused the message, the individual presenting it having doubts of the possibility of his salvation because he was not in the ’44 move.’ “To this I need only to add that in the same meeting in which it was urged that the message could not be given to this brother (J. H. Waggoner), a testimony was given me through vision to encourage him to hope in God and to give his heart to Jesus, which he did then and there.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 63, 64.

If God’s mercy was not still extended today to all who seek forgiveness and cleansing, there would be no need for this caution: “Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Revelation 15:15. Christ’s invitation is just as valid today as when He gave it. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30.


God Raises Up a Man to Meet a Crisis

From the time of Jeroboam’s death to Elijah’s appearance before Ahab the people of Israel suffered a steady spiritual decline. Ruled by men who did not fear Jehovah and who encouraged strange forms of worship, the larger number of the people rapidly lost sight of their duty to serve the living God and adopted many of the practices of idolatry.” Prophets and Kings, 109. [Emphasis supplied.]

Did you notice the italicized words above? When was it that the Lord raised up Elijah the prophet? What were the leaders at that time teaching the people who professed Ancient Adventism?

The above statement, found in Prophets and Kings, makes it clear that as a direct result of the leaders directing the people into strange forms of worship they lost sight of their duty and adopted many of the practices of idolatry. Many might be surprised to find out that you do not have to worship a figure carved from wood or stone to be guilty of idolatry.


Following is Webster’s Dictionary definition of an idol:

  1.  A representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly: a false god.
  2.  A likeness of something b: pretender, imposter.
  3.  A form or appearance visible but without substance.
  4.  An object of extreme devotion.
  5.  A false conception: fallacy.” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition. [Emphasis supplied.]


So brothers and sisters, an idol worshiper can be someone who worships a false idea or a concept, just as much as someone who bows down to a carving of a false god. If this is true, it certainly says something about leaders who encourage others into strange forms of worship—celebration—and those who are willingly ignorant or defiant concerning the true worship of God.

It also makes it very interesting to note that it is at this time that we are told that God would send the Elijah message one last time. It will have the same effect as it had so many years ago. We are told, during this time of Earth’s last moments, that the church (God’s true people) will appear as about to fall, but it will not fall. This statement should give us courage and confidence in our Lord’s ability to save us. But it should also be a warning to all that times are going to get very difficult, and only through God’s help and plan—not man’s—do we have any hope of salvation.

There was a parallel to this in Elijah’s day. In the time of Israel’s great apostasy, the tribe of Judah had a king who served God. King Asa had stood firm during his reign and had led his people away from idolatry and false worship. Many years after King Asa began to reign, Zerah, the Ethiopian, invaded his kingdom. This warrior brought with him a host of a million soldiers, and three hundred chariots. (See 2 Chronicles 14:9.) This army could have easily wiped out the tribe of Judah and King Asa knew it.

During the years of prosperity, King Asa did not waste his time in idle amusement and pleasure, but spent the greater part of his time preparing for just such an emergency as he was now facing. He had used the times of peace to train an army for the conflict, which was now before him. He had bent his energies into educating his people in the faith of the true God and encouraged them to put their trust and faith explicitly in Him. Now the test of battle and trial of their faith was before them.

Because the King and his people had remained faithful to the Lord in times of peace they could now, with confidence, call upon Him in a time of crisis. The odds were unquestionably against them by all appearance. Their army, though well trained, was much smaller than their opponent’s, but the kingdom of Judah could rightfully claim the Lord’s promises of protection and this they did.

Their prayer was given to every Christian as well: “The prayer of Asa is one that every Christian believer may fittingly offer. We fight in a warfare, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and against spiritual wickedness in high places. See Ephesians 6:12. In life’s conflict we must meet evil agencies that have arrayed themselves against the right. Our hope is not in man, but in the living God. With full assurance of faith we may expect that He will unite His omnipotence with the efforts of human instrumentalities, for the glory of His name. Clad with the armor of His righteousness, we may gain the victory over every foe.” Prophets and Kings, 111.

The God of the Remnant (Revelation 12:17) is the true God. We can have confidence in Him as long as we are truly cooperating with Him. In fact, the only way we can claim the promises of God is by our willingness to obey what He asks of us. The very good news for Adventism is not that we do not have to fight—that is a lie that most professors of Adventism want to believe—but the good news is that although we have a battle to fight we will win! Not we can win, not we might win, but we will win! This is tremendous news and we need to invest our whole lives in the fulfilling of this eternal promise.

Just as the Lord answered the prayer of righteous King Asa for the salvation of his people against a humanly unconquerable enemy, so today He will answer the same prayer for help to overcome the spiritual wickedness in high places.

It was through the influence of wicked rulers (Ahab and Jezebel), that a gross spiritual crisis had come to the majority in Israel. These two rulers had brought the spiritual worth of Israel so low that only the message of the prophet Elijah could bring revival and reformation. It was their only chance for salvation and salvation would only come to those who accepted the message, with the whole heart, no matter how severe it seemed.

“Alas, how had the glory of Israel departed! Never before had the chosen people of God fallen so low in apostasy . . . Nothing short of the miracleworking power of God could preserve the nation from utter destruction. Israel had voluntarily separated herself from Jehovah, yet the Lord in compassion still yearned after those who had been led into sin, and He was about to send them one of the mightiest of His prophets, through whom many were to be led back to allegiance to the God of their fathers.” Prophets and Kings, 116. [Emphasis supplied.]

It is amazing that the vast majority, even many who claim to continue in the historical paths, do not seem to realize that the Elijah message, with all its seeming harshness, is the chosen method of redemption for certain levels of apostasy. It is incredible that many who support historic Adventism still want to change the methods of God, and either water down the message or do away with it all together, calling and treating it as something sinful.

Our need to be honest with the Elijah message is paramount if we will ever have any hope for salvation. First of all we should admit that it is God who is calling for the Elijah message and not men who have nothing better to do than go around shouting at everybody. We must understand that it is God’s plan to use men to give this message, men of His own choosing. These men will not find the job any more agreeable than did the prophet whose name the message bears. The job is so disagreeable that God has a hard time finding anyone who will do it and that is why there have been so few throughout the earth’s history who have taken on the task. After we have properly analyzed these truths, we must ask God to give us the conviction and the courage to support the message and the messengers that God Himself has raised up to give His message. We must not find ourselves fighting against God while professing to serve Him. To continue to do this would lead to self-deception so deep and so dark that one becomes eternally blinded to the light before him. The role of Elijah is the one of a man who fights the depths of apostasy head on and in the very strongholds of hell. He does this because he has been equipped to do so by the God Who is the author of the message he gives and because he wishes God’s people to live and not die. The reason the love of these messengers is so easily misunderstood is because it is not based on feeling but an abiding principle that most people have rejected.

“As Elijah saw Israel going deeper and deeper into idolatry, his soul was distressed and his indignation aroused.” Prophets and Kings, 119.

“To Elijah was entrusted the mission of delivering to Ahab Heaven’s message of judgment. He did not seek to be the Lord’s messenger; the word of the Lord came to him. And jealous for the honor of God’s cause, he did not hesitate to obey the divine summons, though to obey seemed to invite swift destruction at the hand of the wicked King.” Prophets and Kings, 120, 121.

Even though the words of Elijah were coming true before Israel’s very eyes, they would not repent of their apostasy. But can we truthfully say anything different about present day Israel? Although much evidence continues to come forth explaining and bringing the apostasy of modern-day Israel into clear focus, how many have allowed themselves to judge honestly the truth set before them. How many have repented of their stubbornness or rebelliousness toward the God of truth? We are repeating the same history as our ancient counterparts.

Those in power, those who were encouraging the “New Theology” and “Celebration Worship” of their day, not only refused the invitation of the Lord to repentance but went further into the depth of their apostasy agenda—an agenda to ruin Adventism from the inside out. It would be advantageous for us to recognize that when Jezebel could not kill the Elijah message by seeking out and destroying the one who gave it, she then set out to kill all those who supported it. Dear friends, do you realize that the Lord has been most gracious by giving us this true story from history? Why do you suppose He wanted us to have it? Could it be because He knows that we are repeating the history of man from the inside of “the church” and we are on a course that will bring the same results.

God has given us all the power and moral right of personal choice in all these matters. But having the right to make a choice should not be understood as having the benefit of choice without its corresponding consequences. We can, and most do, choose to ignore or willfully disbelieve that God means what He says. We can choose to believe that God loves us “too much” to destroy us in our sins. But this choice totally ignores the fact that God loves us and everyone too much not to punish sin. God has proven His love in a myriad of ways, not the least of which is giving His Son to die and giving us the freedom to choose our own way. But those who think that God would ignore what has happened over the last six thousand years with the sin problem that has >brought devastation to heaven and this earth, and killed His Son, are covered with self so heavily that they either will not or cannot think logically. Why would God sacrifice the safety of the entire universe because He loves us “too much” to get rid of sin and sinners who refuse the better life of victory? The only reason we sin is because we love it more than we love God. So, in reality, it is not God’s love which is in question but who or what the sinner loves.

The apostasy of ancient Adventists and modern Israel was and is so deep and so dark that the only way for people to have a real opportunity for life is through the Elijah message. If this were not so, then why would God choose it? It will serve its intended purpose, but far too many people look toward the unconverted among us and, because of a lack of response from the crowd, blame the Elijah message. This is not only a misguided conclusion but can be fatal if not discontinued. The apparent failure or division is never the fault of the truth, but of a rebellion against the truth! Even in the face of apparent failure, true faith dictates that the Elijah message will succeed.

“God had sent messengers to Israel, with appeals to return to their allegiance. Had they heeded these appeals, had they turned from Baal to the living God, Elijah’s message of judgment would never have been given. But the warnings that might have been a savor of life unto life had proved to them a savor of death unto death. Their pride had been wounded, their anger had been aroused against the messengers, and now they regarded with intense hatred the prophet Elijah . . . In the face of the calamity they continued to stand firm in their idolatry. Thus they were adding to the guilt that had brought the judgments of Heaven upon the land.Prophets and Kings, 127–128.

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.Testimonies, vol.1, 181.

Two things we can see in the above quotations for sure. The Elijah message, in the face of great spiritual darkness among God’s chosen people, and their hatred for truth, will fulfill its intended purpose. The Elijah message, the pouring forth of the straight testimony, will receive decided opposition from those that hate its exposure and this rebellion is what causes the shaking—not the truth.

Elijah was under a heavy burden for his people who he wished to see come to salvation. He did not want to see them die. He took on the terrible task before him because he knew that it was God’s message and not his own. He accepted the calling because he believed that the message would accomplish the purpose God intended it to and he was willing to leave the consequences with God.

Because God has seen fit to place this event in the written history of the Bible we can have confidence that He knows what He is doing. Just as the Elijah message met the crisis thousands of years ago it will have the same results today. There was nothing that anyone did or could do in the days of Elijah to stop the message given and today, when we find ourselves steeped in apostasy for one last time, is there anything that anyone can do to stop God from His work? It may be true that few who now call themselves Adventists will respond, and certainly the majority of those in the Adventist movement will end up being the most aggressive in seeing to it that the true and faithful are exterminated if possible. However, our faith must not be like that of the apostate or the half-educated infidel, but instead like that of the prophet who, with child-like faith, does what God asks of him even though it might be disagreeable.

Let us never forget that “we have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches, 196. Let us remember that Elijah is now in heaven and represents those who with his message will be translated without seeing death. Let us be wise unto salvation and press toward the mark of our high calling, with confidence in the Author and Finisher of our faith.


Food For Life — Healthy Blood

“The knowledge that man is to be a temple for God, a habitation for the revealing of His glory, should be the highest incentive to the care and development of our physical powers. Fearfully and wonderfully has the Creator wrought in the human frame, and He bids us make it our study, understand its needs, and act our part in preserving it from harm and defilement.

“In order to have good health, we must have good blood; for the blood is the current of life. It repairs waste and nourishes the body. When supplied with the proper food elements and when cleansed and vitalized by contact with pure air, it carries life and vigor to every part of the system. The more perfect the circulation, the better will this work be accomplished.

“At every pulsation of the heart the blood should make its way quickly and easily to all parts of the body. Its circulation should not be hindered by tight clothing or bands, or by insufficient clothing of the extremities. Whatever hinders the circulation forces the blood back to the vital organs, producing congestion. Headache, cough, palpitation of the heart, or indigestion is often the result.

“In order to have good blood, we must breathe well. Full, deep inspirations of pure air, which fill the lungs with oxygen, purify the blood. They impart to it a bright color and send it, a life-giving current, to every part of the body. A good respiration soothes the nerves; it stimulates the appetite and renders digestion more perfect; and it induces sound, refreshing sleep.

“The lungs should be allowed the greatest freedom possible. Their capacity is developed by free action; it diminishes if they are cramped and compressed. Hence the ill effects of the practice so common, especially in sedentary pursuits, of stooping at one’s work. In this position it is impossible to breathe deeply. Superficial breathing soon becomes a habit, and the lungs lose their power to expand . . .

“The lungs are constantly throwing off impurities, and they need to be constantly supplied with fresh air. Impure air does not afford the necessary supply of oxygen, and the blood passes to the brain and other organs without being vitalized.

Hence the necessity of thorough ventilation. To live in close, ill-ventilated rooms, where the air is dead and vitiated, weakens the entire system. It becomes peculiarly sensitive to the influence of cold, and a slight exposure induces disease . . .

“In the construction of buildings, whether for public purposes or as dwellings, care should be taken to provide for good ventilation and plenty of sunlight . . .

“So far as possible, all buildings intended for human habitation should be placed on high, well-drained ground. This will ensure a dry site and prevent the danger of disease from dampness and miasma. This matter is often too lightly regarded. Continuous ill-health, serious diseases, and many deaths result from the dampness and malaria of low-lying, ill-drained situations.” The Ministry of Healing, 271–274.

Isn’t God wonderful to have loved us, unworthy mortals though we be, and entrusted us with these Divine Love Letters to help us on our journey to the heavenly Canaan?

Oatmeal Pecan Crisps


2 c. oat flour

1 c. millet flour

1 c. chopped pecans

1/2 t. sea salt

1/2 c. Fruit Source

Nut milk for proper consistency


Spread out on cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 30–35 minutes. If you have no access to the Fruit Source, you may substitute date sugar.


The Little Time of Trouble

For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5–7.

God has not left us to wonder about the meaning of this Scripture, for the Spirit of Prophecy opens up the magnitude of this crisis. “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.” The Great Controversy, 622.

The little time of trouble occurs prior to the close of probation and will be experienced by all the living saints. When they receive the latter rain, they give the loud cry with divine power, warning all the inhabitants of the earth that they must make a final decision for or against God. Then probation will close and immediately the great time of trouble will commence. “And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.” Early Writings, 33.

There is no question. When the little time of trouble begins, the latter rain falls, the saints are sealed and the loud cry is given. This is made positively clear in the following quotation. “‘The commencement of that time of trouble,’ here mentioned, [on page 33] 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, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel.” Early Writings, 85.

When the national Sunday law is adopted by the United States of America, the papal power will be so in control of the New World Order that it will force all nations to immediately follow the Sunday law in America, making it a universal law. It will be accepted by all nations and falsely believed to be the beginning of the great millenium of peace that will lead the entire world to be converted to God.

“Papists, Protestants, and the worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a great movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millenium.” The Great Controversy, 588.

We know what the true results will be. “When the reasoning of philosophy has banished the fears of God’s judgments; when religious teachers are pointing forward to long ages of peace and prosperity, and the world are absorbed in their rounds of business and pleasure, planting and building, feasting and merrymaking, rejecting God’s warnings and mocking His messengers —then it is that sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 104.

The people of the world believe that the New World Order program will bring a millenium of peace in which everyone will be saved, but God will permit calamities to awaken the honest in heart to see the need to obey God or perish. “Calamities will come—calamities most awful, most unexpected; and these destructions will follow one after another. If there will be a heeding of the warning that God has given, and if churches will repent, returning to their allegiance, then other cities may be spared for a time. But if men who have been deceived continue in the same way in which they have been walking, disregarding the law of God and presenting falsehoods before the people, God allows them to suffer calamity, that their senses may be awakened.” Evangelism, 27.

Here again we see a picture of a loving God, who, as a loving Father, is not willing that any of His children should perish. This is why these disasters gradually get worse, giving time for the Third Angel’s Message to do its work.

“Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture . . .”A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance.” Evangelism, 704.

It is during this little time of trouble that God gives a last chance to the world to accept His law. “Soon strife among the nations will break out with an intensity that we do not now anticipate. The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element. And they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place, that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.” Maranatha, 174.

This is why we will finish the work under the most dire circumstances during this little time of trouble. “While the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. 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, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues will be poured out.” Early Writings, 85.

God has foreseen what is coming and has made the necessary preparations for us to be refreshed by the latter rain and with the power of the mighty angel to give the loud cry. Oh, it will not be long until the climax is reached and Jesus will come!

“Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land; in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast.” The Great Controversy (1888 edition), 589.

Satan’s purpose in such destruction will be to blame God’s faithful for these terrible judgments. “As men depart further and further from God, Satan is permitted to have power over the children of disobedience. He hurls destruction among men. There is calamity by land and sea. Property and life are destroyed by fire and flood. Satan resolves to charge this upon those who refuse to bow to the idol which he has set up. His agents point to Seventh-day Adventists as the cause of the trouble. ‘These people stand out in defiance of law,’ they say. ‘They desecrate Sunday. Were they compelled to obey the law for Sunday observance, there would be a cessation of these terrible judgments.’ ” Maranatha, 176.

Finally the Sunday violators will be declared to be the cause of all that is taking place in this little time of trouble. “Satan puts his interpretation upon events, and they [leading men] think, as he would have them, that the calamities which fill the land are a result of Sunday-breaking. Thinking to appease the wrath of God, these influential men make laws enforcing Sunday observance. They think that by exalting this false rest-day higher, and still higher, compelling obedience to the Sunday law, the spurious sabbath, they are doing God service. Those who honor God by observing the true Sabbath are looked upon as disloyal to God, when it is really those who thus regard them who are themselves disloyal, because they are trampling under foot the Sabbath originated in Eden.” Maranatha, 176.

Thus the entire world under the papal power will turn against God’s people. Sabbath-keepers will be hated and plans will be made to utterly destroy them. “The whole world is to be stirred with enmity against Seventh-day Adventists, because they will not yield homage to the papacy, by honoring Sunday, the institution of this antichristian power. It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth, in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed.” Testimonies to Ministers, 37.

Such wicked plans will draw the attention of the honest in heart, to the belief and teaching of God’s remnant church in such a way as is now thought impossible. In fact, the attention of the entire world will be riveted on our beliefs. “Every position of truth taken by our people will bear the criticism of the greatest minds; the highest of the world’s great men will be brought in contact with truth and therefore every position we take should be critically examined and tested by the Scriptures.” Evangelism, 69.


Study and Prepare


Now we seem to be unnoticed, but this will not always be. Movements are at work to bring us to the front, and if our theories of truth can be picked to pieces by historians or the world’s greatest men, it will be done. We must know for ourselves what the truth is and be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have with meekness and fear. (See 1 Peter 3:15.)

We are nearing the time when we shall stand alone to answer for our beliefs. But the strength of God’s remnant will be found in their obedience and knowledge of His word. “The powers of darkness will open their batteries upon us; and all who are indifferent and careless, who have set their affections on their earthly treasure, and who have not cared to understand God’s dealings with His people, will be ready victims. No power but a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, will ever make us steadfast; but with this, one may chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.” Maranatha, 217.

This is why we have been urged to study and prepare for what is sure to come. We will have to bear our testimony before courts and councils. “You know not where you may be called upon to give your witness of truth. Many will have to stand in the legislative courts; some will have to stand before kings and before the learned of the earth, to answer for their faith. Those who have only a superficial understanding of truth will not be able clearly to expound the Scriptures, and give definite reasons for their faith. They will become confused, and will not be workmen that need not be ashamed. Let no one imagine that he has no need to study, because he is not to preach in the sacred desk. You know not what God may require of you.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 217.

“The time is not far off when the people of God will be called upon to give their testimony before the rulers of the earth. Not one in twenty has a realization of what rapid strides we are making toward the great crisis in our history. There is no time for vanity, for trifling, for engaging the mind in unimportant matters.” Maranatha, 253.

“The Lord Jesus will give the disciples a tongue and wisdom that their adversaries can neither gainsay nor resist. Those who could not by reasoning overcome satanic delusions, will bear an affirmative testimony that will baffle supposedly learned men. Words will come from the lips of the unlearned with such convincing power and wisdom that conversions will be made to the truth. Thousands will be converted under their testimony.

“Why should the illiterate man have this power, which the learned man has not? The illiterate one, through faith in Christ, has come into the atmosphere of pure, clear truth, while the learned man has turned away from the truth. The poor man is Christ’s witness. He cannot appeal to the histories or so-called high science, but he gathers from the Word of God powerful evidence. The truth that he speaks under the inspiration of the Spirit, is so pure and remarkable and carries with it a power so indisputable, that his testimony cannot be gainsaid.” Maranatha, 252.




God’s people will be persecuted during this time of trouble. This will take place during the loud cry before probation closes. But thank God such persecutions will be limited. “Persecution in its varied forms is the development of the principle which will exist as long as Satan exists and Christianity has vital power . . . But so long as Jesus remains man’s intercessor in the sanctuary above, the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is felt by rulers and people. It still controls to some extent the laws of the land. Were it not for these laws, the conditions of the world would be much worse than it now is. While many of our rulers are active agents of Satan, God also has His agents among the leading men of the nations. The enemy moves upon his servants to propose measures that would greatly impede the work of God; but statesmen who fear the Lord are influenced by holy angels to oppose such propositions with unanswerable arguments. Thus a few men will hold in check a powerful current of evil. The opposition of the enemies of truth will be restrained that the Third Angel’s Message may do its work. When the final warning shall be given, it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand with the people of God through the time of trouble.” The Great Controversy, 610, 611.

“As Christ was hated without cause, so will His people be hated because they are obedient to the commandments of God. If He who was pure, holy, and undefiled, who did good and only good in our world, was treated as a base criminal and condemned to death, His disciples must expect but similar treatment, however faultless may be their life and blameless their character.

“Human enactments, laws manufactured by satanic agencies under a plea of goodness and restriction of evil, will be exalted, while God’s holy commandments are despised and trampled under foot. And all who prove their loyalty by obedience to the law of Jehovah must be prepared to be arrested, to be brought before councils that have not for their standard the high and holy law of God.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 7, 977.

This is not a very pretty picture. In the end time, corrupt judges will pledge themselves to uphold and honor the New World Order. “Those who live during the last days of this earth’s history will know what it means to be persecuted for the truth’s sake. In the courts injustice will prevail. The judges will refuse to listen to the reasons of those who are loyal to the commandments of God, because they know that arguments in favor of the fourth commandment are unanswerable. They will say, ‘We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.’ God’s law is nothing to them. ‘Our law’ with them is supreme. Those who respect this human law will be favored, But those who will not bow to the idol sabbath will have no favors shown them.” Maranatha, 195.

“Before the warfare shall be ended and the victory won, we as a people are to experience trials similar to those of Paul. We shall encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred . . . Persecutions will again be kindled against those who are true to God; their motives will be impugned, their best efforts misinterpreted, their names cast out as evil . . .God would have His people prepared for the soon-coming crisis. Prepared or unprepared, we must all meet it.” Sketches from the Life of Paul, 251, 252.

“There will come a time when, because of our advocacy of Bible truth, we shall be treated as traitors.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 394.

“Wealth, genius, education, will combine to cover them with contempt. Persecuting rulers, ministers, and church members will conspire against them. With voice and pen, by boasts, threats, and ridicule, they will seek to overthrow their faith.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 450.

“As the defenders of truth refuse to honor the Sunday-sabbath, some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments. The heart can be very cruel when God’s fear and love are removed.” The Great Controversy, 608.

“Throughout the land the papacy is piling up her lofty and massive structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions are to be repeated.” Testimonies for the Church, volume 5, 449, 450.

“The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution.” The Great Controversy, 564.

Furthermore, Protestants will also persecute the faithful. “The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and in this work, papists and Protestants unite.” The Great Controversy, 607.

Satan has planned every detail. Listen in as God tells us of Satan’s devices as he instructs his angels and his evil men. “We [Satan and his angels] led the Romish church to inflict imprisonment, torture, and death upon those who refused to yield to her decrees; and now that we are bringing the Protestant churches and the world into harmony with this right arm of our strength, we will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority.” Testimonies to Ministers, 473.

Former Seventh-day Adventists will join in the persecution of God’s saints. “Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbath-keepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.” The Great Controversy, 608.

Finally, this New World Order will determine to utterly destroy God’s faithful, just as Satan attempted in earlier centuries. “The decree which is to go forth against the people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews in the time of Esther . . . Satan instigated the scheme in order to rid the earth of those who preserve the knowledge of the true God. But his plots were defeated by a counterpower that reigns among the children of men . . . The Protestant world today see in the little company keeping the Sabbath a Mordecai in the gate. His character and conduct, expressing reverence for the law of God, are a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling upon His Sabbath; the unwelcome intruder must by some means be put out of the way.

“The same masterful mind that plotted against the faithful in ages past is still seeking to rid the earth of those who fear God and obey His law. Satan will excite indignation against the humble minority who conscientiously refuse to accept popular customs and traditions. Men of position and reputation will join with the lawless and the vile to take counsel against the people of God . . . By false representations and angry appeals they will stir up the passions of the people. Not having a ‘Thus saith the Scriptures’ to bring against the advocates of the Bible Sabbath, they will resort to oppressive enactments to supply the lack. To secure popularity and patronage, legislators will yield to the demand for a Sunday law. Those who fear God cannot accept an institution that violates a precept of the Decalogue. On this battlefield comes the last great conflict of the controversy between truth and error. And we are not left in doubt as to the issue. Now, as in the days of Mordecai, the Lord will vindicate His truth and His people.” Testimonies, vol.5, 450, 451.

“When this grand work is to take place in the battle, prior to the last closing conflict, many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth.” Maranatha, 199.

“As he [Satan] influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of the earth to destroy the people of God. Men will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. “Those who are true to God will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will be ‘betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends,’ even unto death.” Prophets and Kings, 587.

Such persecutions, during this little time of trouble, will bring the close of probation upon the earth. I praise God for the encouragement He has given for this soon-coming little time of trouble. “And if we are called to suffer for Christ’s sake, we shall be able to go to prison trusting in Him as a little child trusts in his parents. Now is the time to cultivate faith in God.” Our High Calling, 357.

We do not need the courage and fortitude of the martyrs of old until brought into the position that they were in. “Should there be a return of persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to show a true heroism.” Our High Calling, 125.

“The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of the martyrs until such grace was needed.” The Desire of Ages, 354. “When for the truth’s sake the believer stands at the bar of the unrighteous tribunals, Christ stands by his side . . . When one is incarcerated in prison walls, Christ ravishes the heart with His love. When one suffers death for His sake, Christ says, ‘I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore . . . and have the keys of hell and of death.’ Revelation 1:18. The life that is sacrificed for Me is preserved unto eternal glory.” The Desire of Ages, 669.


The Wedding Garment

The parable of the wedding garment opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence. By the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity; the wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding.

To the church it is given “that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white,” “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Ephesians 5:27. The fine linen, says the Scripture, “is the righteousness of saints.” Revelation 19:8. It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Saviour.

The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.

This is what the transgressors of God’s law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover the nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins, and make themselves acceptable with God. But this they can never do. Nothing can man devise to supply the place of his lost robe of innocence. No fig-leaf garment, no worldly citizen dress, can be worn by those who sit down with Christ and angels at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us meet to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul. “I counsel thee,” He says, “to buy of Me . . . white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” Revelation 3:18.

This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising. Christ in His humanity wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us. “All our righteousness are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6. Everything that we of ourselves can do is defiled by sin. But the Son of God “was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.” Sin is defined to be “the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:5, 4. But Christ was obedient to every requirement of the law. He said of Himself, “I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Ps. 40:8. When on earth, He said to His disciples, “I have kept My Father’s commandments.” John 15:10. By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.

The guests at the marriage feast were inspected by the king. Only those were accepted who had obeyed his requirements and put on the wedding garment. So it is with the guests at the gospel feast. All must pass the scrutiny of the great King, and only those are received who have put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness. Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine.

It is not enough for us to believe that Jesus is not an impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. We may believe that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby man may be saved, and yet we may not through faith make Him our personal Saviour. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth. It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church roll. “He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” “Hereby we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.” 1 John 3:24; 2:3. This is the genuine evidence of conversion. Whatever our profession, it amounts to nothing unless Christ is revealed in works of righteousness.

He who becomes a partaker of the divine nature will be in harmony with God’s great standard of righteousness, His holy law. This is the rule by which God measures the actions of men. This will be the test of character in the judgment . . .Satan had claimed that it was impossible for man to obey God’s commandments; and in our own strength it is true that we cannot obey them. But Christ came in the form of humanity, and by His perfect obedience He proved that humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of God’s precepts.

Taken from Christ’s Object Lessons, 307, 310–314.


Messages to the World

While the judgment hour of Revelation 14 is passing, two solemn proclamations are made to men still in probation. And the judgment scene of Daniel 7 is for the very purpose of closing our Lord’s priesthood, and of crowning Him King of kings. But the closing work of Christ as priest pertains to the acquittal of His people at His Father’s tribunal, the blotting out of their sins, and the decision accounting them worthy of that world and the resurrection to immortality. Our Lord cannot do this for people in a state of probation. His first work must therefore relate to the righteous dead. And while their cases are severally passing under examination and decision, the living righteous are being prepared for the close of their probation, and for the decision of the investigative judgment by the proclamation of the third angel. This work being accomplished, and the living righteous being accounted worthy to escape the things coming upon the earth, and to stand before the Son of man, our Lord is crowned King, and takes His seat upon the white cloud, with a crown of pure gold upon His head.

The priesthood of Christ began when He presented Himself before the Father at His ascension as our Advocate. It cannot terminate till He has secured the acquittal of His people, and the blotting out of their sins in the investigative judgment. Then His enemies, at His request, will be given Him to destroy. His Father shall crown Him king upon His throne, saying to Him, “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” Psalm 110:1, 2; Daniel 7:9–14; Psalm 2:6–9; Acts 3:19–21; Isaiah 44:22, 23. His entrance upon the priesthood was marked by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. John 16:7; Acts 1:4; 2:1–4, 16–18. The blotting out of sins, which terminates His priesthood, brings the people of God to the refreshing, from the presence of the Father, which precedes His act of sending His Son from heaven. Acts 3:19–21.

As a priest our Lord presents the merits of His blood in behalf of all who come to God through Him. Hebrews 7:25. Even the cases of the people of God who lived during the period of the Old Testament, have to be acted upon by Christ as priest. Hebrews 9:15. They can only have redemption through His blood; and the blotting out of their sins can only be effected through His priestly work. Hebrews 9, 10.

The whole multitude of the redeemed appear before the throne in raiment that has been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:13, 14. The work of our High Priest in behalf of His people involves an immense number of individual cases. He has not only borne the sin of all these, but He makes intercession for them, and finally obtains the blotting out of their sins on showing from the record that they have completed the work of overcoming. Our Lord does not continue in His priestly office to all eternity. When He comes again it is without sin unto salvation. But He does not leave His work unfinished. He brings every part of this immense work to a conclusion before He lays it down. The following proposition is both reasonable and scriptural:

There is a period of time at the close of this dispensation devoted to the finishing of the work of human probation, i.e., to the completion of Christ’s work as priest, and of His gospel as the means of salvation. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7. The mystery of God is defined in the following passages:

“How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ); which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” Ephesians 3:3–6.

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory; whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 1:26–28.

The mystery of God is therefore seen to be the work of salvation for fallen man through the gospel of Christ. It is that which unites Jews and Gentiles in one body as fellow-heirs, having Christ in them the hope of glory. The finishing of the mystery of God is the accomplishment of the work of the gospel. This must have a twofold bearing: 1. Upon the priesthood of our Lord, to bring it to a close by completing all its immense work. 2. Upon the preaching of the gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, in causing the proclamation of its final closing messages of warning.

This work is not closed instantaneously, for a space of time is devoted to its completion. And the finishing of this work pertains both to heaven and to earth; to the priesthood of Christ, and the proclamation of His gospel to men. But the priesthood of Christ, as we have seen, is finished at the time when the Ancient of Days sits in judgment; and it is while that judgment is in session that the latest messages of warning are addressed to men. Revelation 14:6–14. We do therefore understand that the period of time devoted to the finishing of the mystery of God is precisely that space occupied by the Father in the work of the investigative judgment.


Mystery of God Finished


It is not stated that the mystery of God shall be finished when the seventh angel begins to sound; for this would denote instantaneous completion. But it is said, “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound,” etc. This shows beyond dispute that a period of time is devoted to this work. The days of this prophecy are prophetic days, i.e., years, as are those of the fifth and sixth angels. Revelation 9. These years, which are devoted to this finishing of human probation, begin with the sounding of the seventh angel. They are the earliest years of his voice. The sounding of the seventh angel begins, therefore, with the opening of that investigative judgment that finishes human probation, that determines the blotting out of the sins of the overcomers, that accounts them worthy of the world to come, that terminates the priesthood of Christ, and that witnesses the completion of the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God.

But is not the last trumpet of John’s series of seven the same as Paul’s last trump? The reasons, which forbid their identity, are perfectly conclusive. The seventh trumpet is the last of a series, not one of which is literally heard by the inhabitants of the earth. It is the accomplishment of certain events that indicates the transition from one of the seven angels to another. The seventh is like each of the preceding six in that it is the trumpet of an angel, and in that it is a symbolic and not a literal trumpet. Revelation 8, 9, 10, 11. But the trumpet, which awakens the dead, is not blown by an angel, but by the Son of God Himself. It is not a symbolic trumpet, for it is literally heard by the inhabitants of the earth. Matthew 24:31; Zechariah 9:14–16; 1 Thessalonians 4:14–17. It is called the last trump because when the Almighty descended upon Mount Sinai, in glory and majesty, like our Lord’s second advent (Exodus 19:16–19; Hebrews 12:18–27; Matthew 16:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8), the trump of God was heard, as it will be once more when the dead are raised. 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52.

The commencement of the seventh angel’s voice, as we have seen, is the signal for the opening of the investigative judgment; and human probation continues for a term of days, i.e., years, after that voice begins. But the trump of God is not sounded till after that investigative judgment has determined the cases of all the righteous; for when it is heard, everyone that has been accounted worthy of a part in the resurrection to immortality, is, in an instant, made immortal. We conclude,therefore, that the seventh angel begins to sound before the advent of Christ, and that the first years of his sounding are devoted to the finishing of the work of human probation.

The events under the sounding of the seventh angel, though not given in chronological order, are, from their nature not difficult to be arranged in the order of their occurrence.

  1. In the days, i.e., years of the beginning of the voice of the seventh angel, the work of human probation is finished. Revelation 10:7. This, as we have seen, involves the closing up of the immense work of our High Priest. It also requires the proclamation of the final warnings to mankind.
  2. The most holy place of the temple in heaven is opened. Revelation 11:19. This is the place where our Lord’s priesthood is finished, and as we shall hereafter see, is the place where the Ancient of Days sits in judgment.
  3. While Christ is finishing His priesthood at the tribunal of His Father, in the holiest of the heavenly temple, the judgment of the righteous dead takes place. Revelation 11:18.
  4. The coronation of Christ is announced by the great voices in heaven, and by the words of the twenty-four elders. Revelation 11:15–17. This succeeds the close of His priesthood. When Christ begins His reign, He is invested by the Father with that power which Satan usurped from Adam the first. The reign of the second Adam is the re-establishment of the empire of God in this revolted province. Christ does not take His own throne to rule His enemies with a rod of iron till He has closed up His priestly office at His Father’s right hand.
  5. The wrath of God comes upon the wicked when Christ begins to rule them with the iron scepter of His justice. It comes in the seven last plagues. Revelation 11:18, 19; 14:9–11; 18:20; 15:16; 19:11–21.
  6. The anger of the nations comes in consequence of the work of the unclean spirits under the sixth plague, who incite them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Revelation 11:18; 16:13, 14; 19:19–21.
  7. The giving of rewards to the servants of God is at the resurrection of the just. Revelation 11:18; Luke 14:14; Matthew 16:27.

The final destruction of them that corrupt the earth is at the end of the one thousand years, in the second death. Revelation 11:18; 20:7–9.

The events of the seventh trumpet do therefore extend over the whole period of the great day of judgment. The mighty proclamation, which ushers in the seventh angel and the investigative judgment and the work in the second apartment of the heavenly temple for the completion of our Lord’s priestly office, we will not consider.

We have learned that there is a space of time at the beginning of the voice of the seventh angel, which is employed in closing up the work of human probation. During this period the living righteous conclude their probation, and are accounted worthy to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36. This is the time of the dead that they should be judged, i.e., the time when the righteous dead are accounted worthy of a part in the first resurrection. Luke 20:35, 36; Revelation 11:18. It is when the Ancient of Days sits in judgment that Christ is crowned King; and this same event takes place under the sounding of the seventh angel. Daniel 7:9–14; Revelation 11:15–17. This shows that the judgment scene of Daniel 7 is in the days of the seventh angel, and that the judgment of the dead here brought to view is at the Father’s tribunal. Two things next claim our attention: 1. The mighty proclamation which heralds the investigative judgment at the beginning of the voice of the seventh angel. 2. The opening of the most holy place of the heavenly temple for the session of the judgment.


Second and Third Woes


The second and third woes come in consequence of the voices of the sixth and seventh angels. Revelation 8:13. There is a short space of time between the second and third woes, and hence such space must exist between the close of the sixth angel’s voice and the commencement of the seventh. Revelation 11:14. The termination of the hour, day, month and year of the sixth angel marks the conclusion of the second woe, August 11, 1840. Revelation 9:15.

At the close of the sixth angel’s voice a mighty angel descends from heaven to herald the sounding of the seventh trumpet. He has a little book open in his hand; and he places his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cries with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth. The seven thunders utter their voices, but John is forbidden to write what they utter. The angel, having made proclamation to the inhabitants of the earth, lifts his hand to heaven, and swears that time shall be no longer, but that in the days of the beginning of the seventh angel’s voice the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets. Revelation 10:1–7.

His act of placing one foot upon the sea, and one upon the land, implies that his proclamation pertains to all the dwellers upon the globe. He cries with a mighty voice like the roar of a lion, but it is a voice that gives instruction and warning to mankind; for he has a little book open in his hand, a fact which indicates that its contents form the subject of his proclamation. When he has finished his announcement, he confirms it with a solemn oath. The words of this oath give a definite idea of the nature of his proclamation.

  1. That it relates to the definite time of some grand event.
  2. That this event is the sounding of the seventh angel.
  3. That this proclamation is based upon the prophets.

The book of Daniel contains the prophetic periods which mark the very events of the seventh angel’s voice. Among the earliest of these events are the opening of the second apartment of the heavenly temple (Revelation 11:19), the judgment of the righteous dead (Revelation 11:18), the finishing of the mystery of God (Revelation 10:7), and the coronation of Christ for the destruction of His enemies (Revelation 11:15–19; Psalm 2:6–9). The prophecy of Daniel reveals this very session of the investigative judgment, at which Christ is crowned King upon His own throne (Daniel 7:9–14), and the final work in the sanctuary of God for the closing up of human probation (Daniel 8:14), and marks the very time for the beginning of this grand work.

The book of Daniel must therefore be that book out of which the angel makes his proclamation of definite time; for this book alone contains the prophetic periods, unless, indeed we add the book of Revelation, which is but a second edition of the prophecy of Daniel. Now it is a remarkable fact that the book of Daniel was by divine direction closed up and sealed till the time of the end, when the wise were to understand. Daniel 12:4–10. The same power, which placed the seal upon it, must be employed to take it off. It was by the agency of the angel of God that this book was closed up; and it is by the same means that the seal is removed. And hence when the angel descends to herald the work under the seventh trumpet, that prophecy which reveals the very events of that trumpet, and marks the time of their commencement, is open in his hand. Having made his announcement there from, he swears that time shall be no longer, i.e., that the events predicted shall occur where he then stands—at the end of the periods contained in the little book.

The time to the finishing of the mystery of God must be the burden of the proclamation of this mighty angel; for the oath, which he utters to confirm his proclamation plainly indicates its nature. He swears that time should be no longer, but that the mystery of God should be finished in the days at the beginning of the seventh angel’s voice. The time, therefore, to which he swears must be the time contained in the little book, which reaches to the events of the seventh angel’s voice.

That this oath uttered by the angel with the open book relates to prophetic time, is further evident from the record of the oath which was uttered at the time when that book was sealed up; for the man clothed in linen, standing at a time when the prophetic periods all lay in the future solemnly attests with an oath the time contained in the sealed book. Daniel 12:6, 7. But the angel of Revelation 10, having the book open in his hand, first proclaims their termination and then swears to the truth of his announcement. His oath marks the end of the time in question. It certainly does not mark the end of time considered as duration, measured by days, or years, for the closing words of the oath speak of days yet future under the seventh angel; nor does it mark the end of human probation, for the words of the oath place this also yet future under the sounding of the seventh angel. Verse 7.

Moreover, after the eating of the book by John, who in this personates the church at the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy, he was bidden to prophesy again before many peoples and nations—a clear proof that there is a message of mercy and of warning to men after the oath of the angel that time shall be no longer. Verses 7–11. We must therefore conclude that this oath has reference to the time, which the angel had announced from the book open in his hand. This oath is the complement of that in Daniel 12. In that, the man clothed in linen swears to prophetic time yet to be; in this, the angel having made solemn proclamation from the open book, lifts his hand to heaven and swears to the accomplishment of the time.


The Everlasting Gospel


What has been said is quite sufficient to show that the work of the mighty angel of Revelation 10 is of the same nature with that of the angel in Revelation 14:6, 7. His message is uttered while the living are yet in probation. It is termed the everlasting gospel, because it is that which contains the good news of the coming kingdom of God. Like the mighty proclamation of the angel of Revelation 10, which pertains to all the dwellers upon the globe, this also is addressed to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. As the angel of Revelation 10 proclaims definite time connected with the seventh angel’s voice, so this angel says with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” There must be definite time to mark the proclamation of this angel; and as men are addressed while yet in probation, that time must be the prophetic periods of the Bible. And herein have we a parallel to the case of the angel of Revelation 10 with the open book in his hand, swearing to the fulfillment of time. That relates to the sounding of the seventh angel and the finishing of the mystery of God; this relates to the session of the investigative judgment, which, as we have seen, is the same work. As a further work of prophesying remains after the angel of Revelation 10 swears that time shall be no longer, so in Revelation 14, after the angel has announced that the hour of God’s judgment is come, the like work remains to be performed.

The period designated as the hour of God’s judgment, or the days when the mystery of God is to be finished, is not therefore ushered in by the advent of Christ, for its work is preparatory to that event. But it is announced to the inhabitants of the earth by a solemn proclamation, based on a definite time and confirmed by an immutable oath. The time must therefore be given rightly.

Whenever, in fulfillment of Revelation 14:6, 7, the announcement is made, “The hour of His judgment is come,” the time must be truthfully given. And certainly when the angel of Revelation 10 swears to the fulfillment of time, that time must there expire. Yet in each case there is a further work of prophesying or proclaiming truth to the children of men.

These Scriptures can never have their fulfillment by a succession of time messages, each disproving the truth of its predecessor, and each being in turn disproved by the one which succeeds it. When God gives these announcements, they will be rightly given, though they are to be followed by the proclamation of other truths before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Those time movements which follow the genuine, and which repeat themselves again and again in the persistent effort to fix the time of Christ’s advent, never can be in fulfillment of the solemn announcement, “The hour of His judgment is come,” or of the solemn oath that time should be no longer; for these later time movements are but a succession of efforts made to fix the definite time of Christ’s advent, though that is not revealed in the Bible, and though each movement is based upon the failure of all which have preceded it. But the genuine is given for the purpose of announcing the investigative judgment, and its truthfulness being attested by the oath of the angel, it will never be retracted to make way for successive announcements of the time of Christ’s revelation. The opening of the heavenly temple and the final work therein we will now consider.

The investigative judgment, the finishing of the work of human probation, the close of Christ’s priesthood, and His coronation upon His own throne, are events which transpire in the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he begins to sound. They precede the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven and are preparatory to that grand event. The field of vision during this closing period of human probation is not simply the earth, where, indeed, the fierce battle between truth and error is being fought, but the temple of God in heaven is opened to our view, and becomes the theme of prophetic discourse. Revelation 11:19; 15:5.

We have learned that the priesthood of Christ must continue till He has secured the acquittal of His people at the tribunal of His Father, where their sins are blotted out, and themselves accounted worthy of eternal life. It is at this very time and place that the Saviour changes from His priestly to His kingly office. Hence, wherever our Lord closes His priestly office, there must be the place of the judgment session described in Daniel 7.


Children’s Story — Julia Make Someone Happy

Several years ago there was a third grade class of about thirty students that was not very happy with their teacher. It seemed as if their teacher almost never smiled, and they thought she was very grumpy. They talked among themselves and complained. What could they do besides complain?

One girl, whom we will call Julia, got to thinking about how the teacher did not smile very much. What could she do to help make her teacher smile? Should she give her an apple or how about some flowers? “Maybe,” she thought, “if the class surprises the teacher with a party she will smile!” Julia was excited at the thought of it. Surprising people was something Julia loved to do. She started dreaming and planning. She called one of her friends, Karlin, and they talked it all through.

Julia soon talked to the school secretary and told her about the surprise party she wanted to have for her teacher. Julia would need to talk to the whole class about the project while the teacher was not in the room. The secretary was very helpful. She called the teacher out so Julia could talk to the class.

After the teacher left the room, Julia got up and talked to the class about the surprise party. The school secretary paged Julia and told her the teacher was coming back to the classroom, but Julia continued talking to the students. The teacher walked back into the room while Julia was still talking.

How surprised the teacher was to see Julia up out of her seat talking to the class. How surprised Julia was that the teacher returned so quickly. Julia did not think that the teacher heard about the party, but there was a rule that no students were to get out of their seats while the teacher was out of the classroom. So, Julia had her name written on the chalkboard. That meant that she could not play during all of the recess time, but since she was doing something nice for the teacher she did not really mind too much.

Before recess, the teacher called Julia over and asked her why she had been up in front of the class. Julia smiled and said she could not tell. Evidently the teacher thought that Julia had a good reason, because she let Julia play during recess.

Julia and her friend, Karlin, called all the students and asked them to bring some kind of food for the party. After all of the planning, the day of the party finally came. Some mothers of the students came to help warm the food and organize the meal. The food arrived at the classroom on a big metal cart.

Do you think that the teacher smiled? Yes, she did. The surprise party for the teacher worked! It helped to make her happy. Do you know who else smiled? Julia smiled, maybe even more than the teacher, because she had helped to make the teacher happy.

Next time you see someone that does not seem to be very happy and does not smile often, will you be able to think of a way to make them smile? Pray about it. There are many ways to cheer other people, even if it is just giving them a smile of your own. The Lord will help you to make others happy. While you help make others happy, you will find happiness yourself.

No Time to Celebrate, part 2

In this article, we will review the first five points concerning central features of the Three Angels’ Messages that we looked at last month, and further develop number six:

  1. The Three Angels’ Messages are special messages to the last generation. When Jesus comes, the people who are lost are the ones who rejected the Third Angel’s Message, received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image.
  2. The Three Angels’ Messages lead men to keep God’s law. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Those are the distinguishing marks of God’s people in the last days. To help you understand who and what Babylon is, God gives twenty-five identifying marks so you will not miss it. But with God’s people it is straightforward: they keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus.
  3. The whole world, in the last days, will reject the Three Angels’ Messages. That is clear in Revelation 13:14–16; 16:12–14; 18:23, 24; 19:18, 21. Since the Third Angel’s Message is the most awful threatening and warning in the Bible, the question is why would the whole world reject a threatening and warning so plain, clear and strong?
  4. They will reject this strong, plain warning because of the great deceptions that the unclean spirits will bring upon the world. “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:13, 14. The reason the world rejects the message is because they are deceived. As we said in part one, if your faith is based on miracles, the chances are one hundred percent that you will be deceived.
  5. The result of rejecting the Three Angels’ Messages is that you will receive this mark, and drink of the wine of the wrath of God. What has the wrath of God seen in it? The seven last plagues, according to Revelation 15. If you reject the Three Angels’ Messages, you will receive the plagues. That is Revelation 15 and 16. Revelation 17 is about the great worldwide confederation that will oppose God. Revelation 18 is about the destruction of the people that oppose the Three Angels’ Messages. And Revelation 19 is about their final destruction when Jesus comes before the millenium.
  6. The devil will work miracles, specializing in a certain kind of miracle. This miracle is the impersonation of our dead loved ones, famous people of the past, the Virgin Mary or the apostles. Before it is over according to Great Controversy, 624, the devil is even going to personate Jesus Christ.

Ellen White says that some of the same gracious words that Jesus spoke, the devil will speak. He will appear more glorious than anyone mortal eyes have ever beheld. The people of this world will fall down and worship him as Christ. He is the great antichrist.

Ellen White says that the devil can impersonate your dead loved ones perfectly. The form, the shape, the voice, the accent, information that no one but you and that person knew, he can duplicate perfectly. The devil will deceive people through ministers, even through Seventh-day Adventist ministers. Selected Messages, vol. 2, 380 says, “Many of the ministers are half paralyzed by their own defects of character. They need the converting power of God.” If a minister is half paralyzed by his defects of character, can he preach to you about overcoming your defects of character, gaining perfection and overcoming sin? Not unless he wants to be a hypocrite; and if he does, he will shake in his boots the whole time. How can you talk to someone else about something that you yourself are not experiencing? You cannot preach about overcoming smoking if you are smoking.

I used to wonder why no one was preaching about perfection of character, sanctification, overcoming and forsaking sin? I read about these topics all the time in Ellen White’s writings, but rarely heard them preached from the pulpit. Now I understand why so few ministers preach it. It is because they themselves have never experienced these things. You cannot preach about overcoming sin if you are not in your own closet going through an experience with the Lord and overcoming. That is one of the ways the devil deceives people. They never hear about the necessity of forsaking and overcoming sin. The preachers do not preach about it because they cannot.

We talk about how the devil uses religion to deceive people. Ellen White says that he will come to the last generation in the “livery [that is the cloak] of heaven.” (See Testimonies, vol. 3, 456.)What is that talking about? He will come in a religious guise, seeking to gain control of the world.The devil will come to Adventists in church.

The devil will cause heresy to be preached. “Every conceivable message is coming to counterfeit the work of God, and always bearing the inscription of truth upon its banner. And those who are prepared for anything new and sensational, will handle these things in such a manner that our enemies will charge all that is inconsistent and overdone upon Mrs. E. G. White, the prophetess . ..There will be counterfeit messages coming from persons in all directions. One after another will rise up, appearing to be inspired, when they have not the inspiration of heaven, but are under the deception of the enemy. All who receive their messages will be led astray.” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 404.

“Delusions and deceptions will come in among us and will multiply as we near the end.” 1888 Materials, 1243. We are living in the time when these delusions and deceptions are multiplying.

Here is another way the devil deceives people. “Those who feel at liberty to question the Word of God, to doubt everything where there is any chance to be unbelieving, will find that it will require a tremendous struggle to have faith when trouble comes. It will be almost impossible to overcome the influence that binds the mind which has been educated in the line of unbelief, for by this course the soul is bound in Satan’s snare and becomes powerless to break the dreadful net that has been woven closer and closer about the soul.” Last Day Events, 68, 69.

If you sow unbelief, questioning and doubting, that is what you will reap. The time will come when you will be so steeped in unbelief that there will be no way to reach you. There are a lot of people in that condition all around us today, even in the church. There is one more deception we have not looked at: “The warfare against God’s law commenced in heaven. Satan was determined to bring God to his ideas, his way, to force Him to change the law of His government. This was the cause of the war in heaven. Satan worked upon the sympathies of the angelic host by his deceptive attitude.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 37.

Can you have sympathy without any feeling? Sympathy has to do with the way you feel toward another person. The devil was successful in getting a third of the angels on his side by working on their sympathy. He still knows how to do that. The devil uses this technique to get control, not only of individuals or families, but of whole churches and conferences in the Adventist Church.


The Way of the Transgressor is Hard


God created human beings to be happy. But He says there are certain conditions under which you cannot have happiness. The Bible says that “in Your [God’s] presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever more.” Psalm 16:11. “Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.” Proverbs 13:15. For those who follow the Lord there is peace and joy, but not for the wicked. ” ‘There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’ ” Isaiah 48:22. Paul clearly describes what it is like for the wicked:

“As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one; There is none who understands. There is none that seeks after God. They have all turned aside. They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Romans 3:10–19.

Paul says for sinful men, “Destruction and misery are in their ways, the way of peace they have not known.” There is no chance for them to have joy and happiness. They will experience destruction and misery. That is what the Bible teaches from the beginning to the end.

The Bible says that if you sin and try to cover it up, you will not prosper. “He who covers his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13. But for six thousand years the devil has been trying to convince people that you can sin and still have joy and happiness. The Bible says, “No, you cannot!”

During the time of the children of Israel, the Lord gave them a special service once a year called The Day of Atonement. On this Day they were to afflict their souls. “For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day he shall be cut off from his people. And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.” Leviticus 23:29, 30.

“This shall be a statute for ever for you; in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins.” Leviticus 16:29–31. God’s plan is to get rid of your sins. If your sins are forgiven and forsaken, then you will be happy. That is one of the central points of the whole ceremonial service.

“It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.” Verse 31. The old covenant Day of Atonement came once a year. The new covenant Day of Atonement began in 1844. We are living in the anti-typical Day of Atonement. Right now, the Lord is reviewing the records of every individual.


Search for Hidden Sins


“In this great day of atonement our work is that of heart-searching, of self-abasement, and confession of sin, each humbling his own soul before God, and seeking pardon for himself individually . . . If each will search and see what sins are lurking in his own heart to shut out Jesus, he will find such a work to do that he will be ready to esteem others better than himself.” Historical Sketches, 213.

We have to go to the Lord and say, “Lord, is there anything in my life that is wrong and needs to come out.” If you ask the Lord that question, you will be surprised how fast He might answer your prayer! The Holy Spirit will put His finger right on something and say, “How about this?”

“Every man is required to afflict his soul before God. Every heart is required to be in harmony with the divine will.” Review and Herald, August 12, 1884. “Investigate the motives of every action and know that the eye of God reads all, searches out every hidden thing.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 124. I am to ask myself, “What are my motives?” That is afflicting my soul.

“An effort was made to arouse them by presenting our true position in the anti-typical day of atonement, when every man should afflict his soul before God, when sins should be confessed and go beforehand to judgment that when the times of refreshing shall come, they may be blotted out.” Review and Herald, October 21, 1884. “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment . . . and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” 1Timothy 5:24, 25.

There was another special occasion on the Jewish calendar, which was very different from the Day of Atonement. “The Feast of Tabernacles was the great holiday of the nation.” Review and Herald, July 7, 1896. The Feast of Tabernacles represented the great celebration that the saints will enjoy when the Lord takes them to heaven. We believe in celebrating! We are getting ready for the biggest celebration of all time, but it will take place in heaven after the Day of Atonement that we are still in now.

The Day of Atonement prepares you for the great celebration. The devil’s trick is to get people celebrating when they are not ready to go to heaven. They are not ready to have their sins blotted out. He knows that they are headed straight for hellfire if they do not get sin out of their lives.

Do you want to celebrate a few years down here and then go to hellfire? Or do you want to celebrate up there forever. “The Feast of Tabernacles was the great holiday of the nation. This feast was preceded by a Day of Atonement, which occurred on the tenth day of the seventh month, when everyone was to afflict his soul by confessing his sins, both to the Lord and to his brethren. This humiliation was to prepare the way for the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles.” Ibid.

The Lord says, “If you desire to have joy, peace and happiness, sin has to come out of your life.” And the devil says, “No, it does not. You can have a celebration right now!” That is deceptive. But the Christian world is falling for it. A large part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is falling for it. The Adventist Review took a random survey of 1738 Adventists (printed in the October 30, 1997 edition); twenty-nine percent of those polled said they attend celebration churches right now.

I want to show you from the Bible how serious this is. It is impossible for me to state it too strongly. If you are going to a celebration church, you had better repent and get out of there or you will commit the unpardonable sin and go straight to hellfire. I will read it to you right now in the Bible. “You are full of noise, a tumultuous city, a joyous city. Your slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle . . .Therefore I said, ‘Look away from me, I will weep bitterly; Do not labor to comfort me because of the plundering of the daughter of my people. For it is a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity by the Lord God of Hosts in the valley of vision—breaking down the walls and of crying to the mountain . . .He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the house of the forest . . .You also saw the damage to the city of David that it was great. You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses you broke down to fortify the wall . . .And in that day the Lord God of Hosts called for weeping and for mourning, for baldness and for girding with sackcloth.” Isaiah 22:2, 4, 5, 8–10, 12.

There is a time when it is not appropriate to sing, dance, wave our hands and have a good time. Do you laugh at a funeral? A funeral, the Bible says, is for mourning. The Lord tells us in verse twelve that it is time to weep and mourn. Why? Because a large percentage of Seventh-day Adventists today are going straight to destruction.

A man came along in the seventies by the name of Desmond Ford, saying you cannot find the investigative judgment in the Bible. That is not true. But people did not and still do not want to hear about the judgment. They want to feel good and to say, “Our sins are forgiven and it is all right.” The Lord says the opposite: “Search your heart, examine your life, look at your motives and ask Me to help you get sin out.”

It is time to pray, to weep between the porch and the altar and plead for God’s people. It is not time to cover up sin and to have a good time. That kind of a good time will not last. When God called for weeping and mourning, the people did not do it. “But instead, joy and gladness, slain oxen and killing sheep, and eating meat and drinking wine: Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Verse 13.

They said, “we will not weep and mourn. We will celebrate and have a good time. We will tell the people, Be joyful and happy!” If you are joyful and happy when you are living in sin, you insult the deity and God will respond to that insult.

The Lord said, “It is time to afflict your soul. It is time to search your heart.” They said, “Oh, no, we will have a good time.” The God of heaven is a loving God. He loves us all very much, but He is not to be trifled with. Soon it will be impossible to save the rebellious. Jesus is coming in the clouds of heaven. He will tell us that there is no more sacrifice for sin. If there is sin on your record at that time, you will be lost forever. There will be plenty of gnashing of teeth when the Lord comes. Jesus said that when He comes there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, no celebrating then, because the people have not overcome their sins.

While there is still time, the Lord says, “You need to afflict your soul. You need to search your heart.” Neither the preacher, the elder nor the Sabbathschool teacher can do it for you. You have to do it for yourself. You have to go to your closet and pray saying, “Lord, is there anything in me that needs to come out so I can be ready to meet Jesus in peace?”

The people said, “We will have a good time.” The Lord said, “Yes, you will have a good time, but look what will happen to you.” “Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of Hosts, ‘surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you, even to your death,’ says the Lord of hosts,” Verse 14. This means you have committed the unpardonable sin. People say, “Oh, it does not matter. You can worship any way you choose!” But according to Isaiah 22, when God says, “It is time to weep and mourn,” the decision you make to obey or disobey, has eternal consequences.

I am to go to my closet and say, “Lord, are my motives right? I may be doing good things, but are my motives right? Is there secret sin in my life, Lord? If so, I want it to come out now while there is time and not after probation when it is too late.” If I do that now, the time is coming when I will go to a great celebration! It is likened to the marriage supper of the Lamb. It will be the happiest time in my life and it will never end.

Ellen White said, “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 [celebrate?] sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.’ [Ezekiel 9:4.] These sighing, crying ones have been holding forth the works 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, His power and presence were lacking. In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is 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.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 210.

The sin that is all around is going to send these people to destruction. The day of salvation is almost over. She talks about two classes: The people who are not grieved over their sins and the people who are sighing, crying, mourning, weeping, lamenting, reproving and counseling others to get sin out of their lives.

The people who receive the seal of God are those who look at their lives and ask, “Lord, is there anything in me that needs to be changed so that I will be ready for heaven?” If all Adventism decides to stomp their feet and clap their hands, wave, have drums and music, sing, dance, play and be joyful, I will not do it!

We are now in the preparation time. The only people who attend God’s great celebration are the ones whose robes of character have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. All the wrinkles are removed, and they are ready. When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, the saints will ask only one question, “Is my garment spotless? Are all the wrinkles out?”

I have visualized in my mind over and over again what it will be like to see the cloud coming and know that I am either saved or lost. There will be no changing then. The time to make your calling and election sure is now.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout . . . and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. What a celebration!


Editorial — When Christians Work for the Devil

It has often been the case that the most dedicated Christians end up working for the devil! We rarely glimpse our own weaknesses and narrowness of mind. We can feel it when we are on the receiving end of some other “Christian” doing the work of the devil, but rarely do we have the gift to see ourselves as we are seen (and felt).

It took Servetus three hours to die, by burning (with green wood), and this was instigated, at least in part, by John Calvin. Melanchthon wrote to the instigators of this murder, and said that “the church will always owe a debt of gratitude to you for putting the heretic to death!”

If we are going to heaven we must repent and quit doing the work of the devil. Don’t you agree A transformation must come in our speech and actions. Ellen White said about this subject: “Do not strive to have your own way. If other people do not agree with you, do not make a mountain [out] of a mole-hill and feel that you can no longer be united with them in the Lord Jesus. Do not lose your affection and love for those who do not wholly agree with you. Let not the little differences that arise be made an occasion to break up the unity that should exist among brethren. This is the work of Satan. When you quarrel with your brethren, when you are selfish and are jealous if you do not get your own way, you show that you are not meek and lowly.

“Do not allow your individuality to become prominent. If differences arise, do not insist on having your own way, thereby creating strife. Let your individual preferences be unexpressed, when you see that they would create discord. “Unless some question of vital importance is involved, be ready to yield your own opinion rather than to create a dispute. Even though you may by argument gain your point, yet you may place a burden upon someone else, far outweighing the advantage you think you will gain. It is hard to heal the wounds caused by harsh words.

“Often you may preserve peace by guarding the tongue. Never introduce into your conversation matters that will create strife, hurting your own soul and the souls of others. Keep your differences to yourself. Tell them only to God.

“Do not let Satan mold and fashion you. He ever stands ready to put evil insinuations into your mind. He seeks to justify himself in his course of rebellion against God, by demonstrating that human beings upon the earth can no more keep the law of God than could he and his angels in heaven.

‘Ye are not your own.’ The Lord Jesus has a right to your wholehearted and faithful, persevering energies. ‘For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. “The home is a school, where all may learn how they are to act in the church. When all are members of the royal family, there will be true politeness in the home life. Each member of the family will seek to make it pleasant for every other member. The angels of God, who minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, will help you to make your family a model of the heavenly family. “Let there be peace in the home, and there will be peace in the church. This precious experience, brought into the church, will be a means of creating a kindly affection one for another. Quarrels will cease. True Christian courtesy will be seen among church members. The world will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. What an impression the church would make upon the world, if all the members would live Christian lives.

“Much may be gained by self-discipline in the home life. If the husband and wife show respect for each other, a healthful, wholesome atmosphere will pervade the home. Let each make life as pleasant as possible for the other. Cultivate respect in the speech. Preserve unity and love. Satan will have no power over those who fully control themselves in the home.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 67–70.