Wake Up and Blow the Trumpet – An Appeal to Live the Truth and Share It

For weeks I have not been able to sleep after half past three o’clock. My mind is deeply exercised in regard to our condition as a people. We ought to be far in advance of any other people on the earth because we have greater light and greater knowledge of the truth, which lays us under increased accountability to advance that light and not only profess to believe the truth but to practice it. When we do practice the truth we are then following Jesus, who is the light of the world; and if we as a people are not constantly elevating, becoming more and more spiritually minded, we are becoming like the Pharisees—self-righteous—while we do not the will of God.

Less of Self

We must have a greater nearness to God. Much less of self and much more of Jesus Christ and His grace must be brought into our everyday life. We are living in an important period of this world’s history. The end of all things is at hand; the sands of time are fast running out; soon in heaven it will be said: “It is done.” “He that is holy, let him be holy still,” “he which is filthy, let him be filthy still.” [Revelation 21:6; 22:11].

Let our testimonies be sharpened up; let us have a firmer hold on God. I cannot refrain from prayer at one, two, and three o’clock in the morning for the Lord to work upon the hearts of the people. I think of all heaven being interested in the work that is going on upon the earth. Ministering angels are waiting about the throne to instantly obey the mandate of Jesus Christ to answer every prayer offered in earnest living faith. I think of how many who profess the truth are keeping it apart from their lives. They do not bring its sanctifying, refining, spiritualizing power into their hearts. I think how this grieves Jesus.

I think of His great sorrow as He wept over Jerusalem, exclaiming, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not.” [Luke 13:34]! God forbid that these words shall apply to those who have great light and blessings. In the rejecting of Jerusalem it was because great privileges were abused, which brought the denunciation upon all who lightly regarded the great opportunities and precious light that were entrusted to their keeping. Privileges do not commend us to God, but they commend God to us. No people are saved because they have great light and special advantages, for these high and heavenly favors only increase their responsibility.

Woe Unto Thee

The more and increased light God has given makes the receiver more responsible. It does not place the receiver in any safer position unless the privileges are wisely improved, prized, and used to advance God’s glory. Christ said, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” [Matthew 11:21].

When Jerusalem was divorced from God it was because of her sins. She fell from an exalted height that Tyre and Sidon had never reached. And when an angel falls he becomes a fiend. The depth of our ruin is measured by the exalted light to which God has raised us in His great goodness and unspeakable mercy.

Oh, what privileges are granted to us as a people! And if God spared not His people that He loved, because they refused to walk in the light, how can He spare the people whom He has blessed with the light of heaven in having opened to them the most exalted truth ever entrusted to mortal man to give to the world?

We are far from being the people God would have us to be, because we do not elevate the soul and refine the character in harmony with the wonderful unfolding of God’s truth and His purposes. “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” [Proverbs 14:34]. Sin is a disorganizer. Wherever it is cherished—in the individual heart, in the household, in the church—there is disorder, strife, variance, enmity, envy, jealousy, because the enemy of man and of God has the controlling power over the mind. But let the truth be loved and brought into the life, as well as advocated, and that man or woman will hate sin and will be a living representative of Jesus Christ to the world.

Needed—Real Bible Religion

The people claiming to believe the truth will not be condemned because they had not the light, but because they had great light and did not bring their hearts to the test of God’s great moral standard of righteousness. The people who claim to believe the truth must be elevated by living it out. Real Bible religion must leaven the life, refine and ennoble the character, making it more and more like the divine model. Then will the home be vocal with prayer, with thanksgiving and praise to God. Angels will minister in the home and accompany the worshiper to the house of prayer.

Let the churches who claim to believe the truth, who are advocating the law of God, keep that law and depart from all iniquity. Let the individual members of the church resist the temptations to practice evils and indulge in sin. Let the church commence the work of purification before God by repentance, humiliation, deep heart searching, for we are in the antitypical day of atonement—solemn hour fraught with eternal results.

Let those who teach the truth present it as it is in Jesus. Under the subduing, sanctifying, refining, influence of the truth of God they are as clean vessels. Let them be leavened with Bible religion, and what an influence would go forth from them to the world! Let the individual members of the church be pure, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the love of Jesus, and they will then be a light to the world. Let the men standing as watchmen and as shepherds of the flock proclaim the solemn truth, sound the notes of warning to all people, nations and tongues. Let them be living representatives of the truth they advocate, and honor God’s law by strict and holy compliance with its requirements, walking before the Lord in purity, in holiness, and a power will attend the proclamation of the truth that will reflect light everywhere.

Internal Corruption Brings Denunciations of God

God never forsakes people or individuals until they forsake Him. Outward opposition will not cause the faith of God’s people, who are keeping His commandments, to become dim. The neglect to bring purity and truth into practice will grieve the Spirit of God and weaken them because God is not in their midst to bless. Internal corruption will bring the denunciations of God upon this people as it did upon Jerusalem. Oh, let pleading voices, let earnest prayer be heard, that those who preach to others shall not themselves be castaways. My brethren, we know not what is before us, and our only safety is in following the Light of the world. God will work with us and for us if the sins which brought His wrath upon the old world, upon Sodom and Gomorrah and upon ancient Jerusalem, do not become our crime.

The least transgression of God’s law brings guilt upon the transgressor, and without earnest repentance and forsaking of sin he will surely become an apostate. You inquire in regard to the course which should be pursued to secure the rights of our people to worship according to the dictates of our own conscience. This has been a burden on my soul for some time, whether it would be a denial of our faith and an evidence that out trust was not fully in God. But I call to mind many things God has shown me in the past in regard to things of a similar character, as the draft and other things. I can speak in the fear of God, it is right we should use every power we can to avert the pressure that is being brought to bear upon our people. I know that were our people spiritualized by the truth the greatest love would be maintained.

Policy Does Not Save

[We are] not to provoke those who have accepted this spurious sabbath, an institution of the Papacy, in the place of God’s holy Sabbath. Their not having the Bible arguments in their favor makes them all the more angry and determined to supply the place of arguments that are wanting in the Word of God, by the power of their might. The force of persecution follows the steps of the dragon. Therefore great care should be exercised to give no provocation. And again let us as a people, as far as possible, cleanse the camp of moral defilement and aggravating sins. When sin is making its march upon the people who claim to be elevating the moral standard of righteousness, how can we expect God to turn His power in our behalf and save us as a people that did righteousness?

All the policy in the world cannot save us from a terrible sifting, and all the efforts made with high authorities will not lift from us the scourging of God, just because sin is cherished. If as a people we do not keep ourselves in the faith and not only advocate with pen and voice the commandments of God, but keep them every one, not violating a single precept knowingly, then weakness and ruin will come upon us. It is a work that we must attend to in every one of our churches. Each man must be a Christian.

Let the sin of pride be put away, let all superfluities of dress be overcome, and repentance toward God be exercised for the highhanded robbery toward Him, which has withheld money that should flow into the treasury to sustain the work of God in its mission fields. Let the work of reformation, of true conversion, be set before and urged upon the people. Let our works, our deportment, correspond with the work for this time, that we may say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Let us humble our souls before God by humiliation, fasting and prayer, repentance of sin, and putting it away.

The Trumpet Must Give a Certain Sound

The voice of the true watchman needs now to be heard all along the line, “the morning cometh, and also the night” [Isaiah 21:12]. The trumpet must give a certain sound, for we are in the great day of the Lord’s preparation. All the struggles to carry our appeals to the highest authorities in our land, however earnest and strong and eloquent may be the pleas in our favor, will not bring about that which we desire unless the Lord works by His Holy Spirit in the heart of those who claim to believe the truth. We may struggle as a mighty man in swimming against the current of Niagara, but we shall fail unless the Lord pleads in our behalf. God will be honored among His people. They must be pure, they must be divested of self, steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. The Lord will elevate the humblest soul that trusts in Him. He will unite His power with human effort if that man will honor Him as did Daniel. But as a people we need the beauty of righteousness, holiness, and truth. The most harmonious theory will not save us. The God that ruled in Babylon is the same God that rules now.

There are many doctrines current in our world. There is many a religion current that numbers its thousands and tens of thousands, but there is but one that bears the superscription and the stamp of God. There is a religion of man and a religion of God. We must have our souls riveted to the eternal Rock. Everything in God’s world, both men and doctrines and nature itself, is fulfilling God’s sure word of prophecy and accomplishing His grand and closing work in this world’s history.

We are to be ready and waiting for the orders of God. Nations will be stirred to their very center. Support will be withdrawn from those who proclaim God’s only standard of righteousness, the only sure test of character. And all who will not bow to the decrees of the national councils and obey the national laws to exalt the sabbath instituted by the man of sin to the disregard of God’s holy day, will feel, not the oppressive power of popery alone, but of the Protestant world, the image of the beast.

The Church—the Loyal and True

Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. We must be divested of our self-righteousness and arrayed in the righteousness of Christ.

The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy. All these, He says, “I have graven . . . upon the palms of My hands.” [Isaiah 49:16]. They are held in everlasting, imperishable remembrance. We want faith now, living faith. We want to have a living testimony that shall cut to the heart of the sinner. There is too much sermonizing and too little ministering. We want the holy unction. We need the spirit and fervor of the truth. Many of the ministers are half paralyzed by their own defects of character. They need the converting power of God.

Rendering to God

That which God required of Adam before his fall was perfect obedience to His law. God requires now what He required of Adam, perfect obedience, righteousness without a flaw, without shortcoming in His sight. God help us to render to Him all His law requires. We cannot do this without that faith that brings Christ’s righteousness into daily practice.

Dear brethren, the Lord is coming. Lift up your thoughts and heads and rejoice. Oh, we would think that those who hear the joyful news, who claim to love Jesus, would be filled with joy unutterable and full of glory. This is the good, the joyful news which should electrify every soul, which should be repeated in our homes, and told to those whom we meet on the street. What more joyful news can be communicated! Caviling and contention with believers or unbelievers is not the work God has given us to do.

If Christ is my Saviour, my sacrifice, my atonement, then I shall never perish. Believing on Him, I have life forevermore. Oh, that all who believe the truth would believe in Jesus as their own Saviour. I do not mean that cheap faith unsupported by works, but that earnest, living, constant, abiding faith, that eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God. I want not only to be pardoned for the transgression of God’s holy law, but I want to be lifted into the sunshine of God’s countenance. Not simply to be admitted to heaven, but to have an abundant entrance.

The Cause is One

Are we so insensible as a peculiar people, a holy nation, to the inexpressible love that God has manifested for us? Salvation is not to be baptized, not to have our names upon the church books, not to preach the truth. But it is a living union with Jesus Christ, to be renewed in heart, doing the works of Christ in faith and labor of love, in patience, meekness, and hope. Every soul united to Christ will be a living missionary to all around him. He will labor for those near and those afar off. He will have no sectional feeling, no interest merely to build up one branch of the work over which he presides and there let his zeal end. All will work with interest to make every branch strong. There will be no self-love, no selfish interest. The cause is one, the truth a great whole.

Well may the question be asked with earnest, anxious heart, “Is envy cherished, is jealousy permitted to find a place in my heart?” If so, Christ is not there. “Do I love the law of God, is the love of Jesus Christ in my heart?” If we love one another as Christ has loved us, then we are getting ready for the blessed heaven of peace and rest. There is no struggling there to be first, to have the supremacy; all will love their neighbor as themselves. Oh, that God would open the understanding and speak to the hearts of our churches by arousing the individual members.

The Lord appoints and sends forth ministers not only to preach, for this is a small part of His work, but to minister, to educate the people not to be fighters but to be examples of piety. There are workers in every department appointed to do their work. When Jesus ascended on high He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. Some have entered the work with a human commission rather than the divine. They have educated themselves as debators, and the churches under their care show the character of their work. They were not ready; they were not fitted for the work. Their hearts are not right with God. In short, they have a theory but not true conversion and sanctification through the truth. The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed, and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain.

Our prayer should ascend to the throne of grace with fervor for the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His vineyard. My heart aches as I look around upon the mission fields and see so feeble efforts to get the truth before the people. No censure can be attached to our leading men. I believe, brethren, you are one with me in heart, in sentiment, in regard to our great need, and in the earnest desire and earnest efforts to meet the mind of the Spirit of God in these things.

Wanted—Wide Awake Christians

Those who are at ease in Zion need to be aroused. Great is their accountability who bear the truth and yet feel no weight or burden for souls. Oh, for men and women professing the truth to arouse, to take on the yoke of Christ, to lift His burdens. There are wanted those who will not have merely a nominal interest but a Christlike interest, unselfish—an intense ardor that will not flag under difficulties or cool because iniquity abounds.

I want to speak to the ears of our people in America in every church. Awake from the dead, and Christ will give you life. Souls are perishing for the light of truth as it is in Jesus. We are standing upon the very borders of the eternal world. Fair-weather Christians will not be wanted for this work. The sentimental and tasteful religion is not needed for this time. There must be intensity brought into our faith and in the proclamation of truth. I tell you, a new life is proceeding from satanic agencies to work with a power we have not hitherto realized. And shall not a new power from above take possession of God’s people? The truth, sanctifying in its influence, must be urged upon the people. There must be earnest supplications offered to God, agonizing prayer to Him, that our hopes as a people may not be founded on suppositions, but on eternal realities. We must know for ourselves, by the evidence of God’s Word, whether we are in the faith, going to heaven or not. The moral standard of character is God’s law. Do we meet its requirements? Are the Lord’s people bringing their property, their time, their talents, and all their influence into the work for this time? Let us arouse. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” [Colossians 3:1].—Letter 55, 1886. (Written from Basel, Switzerland, to G. I. Butler and S. N. Haskell, December 8, 1886.)

[All emphasis supplied.]

Sound an Alarm! Build an Ark!

Friend, maybe it is said too much. Maybe you have grown weary with hearing it or reading about it, but when the Bible speaks of sounding an alarm or blowing a trumpet, there is a reason for it. We hear it from the pulpit and in Sabbath School class. We read it in our own studies, and we feel conviction from the Holy Spirit that there needs to be an awakening among God’s children.

The awakening is necessary because we have grown accustomed to the world and the things of the world, and we are somewhat asleep. That is very, very sad. It is not pleasant to be told repeatedly that we are in a sleepy state, but friend, we need to be reminded that an alarm must be sounded and preparation needs to be made. We need to be building an ark, because a flood is coming. Destruction is coming upon this earth.

As we reflect upon the Flood in Genesis, I am overwhelmed with what those people must have experienced, and what they must have witnessed. We have not seen anything like what they saw. If it is this message that applies to God’s last day people, then we need to be sounding an alarm as never before, and we need to be building an ark.

There may be an alarm being sounded to a certain degree, but I wonder if there are any arks being built. We can sound the alarm all we want, but unless we are building an ark—an ark of safety, an ark of faith, an ark of refuge—we are not going to be preserved. How many of us are building that kind of ark? Noah could have preached his 120 years and not have built the ark. What good would all that preaching have done him? It did very little good anyway. Today, we need to be preparing.

Ark of Safety

Contemplate some important facts in Genesis 7 to see whether or not you are building an ark in your life. You are either building an ark or you are destroying the one that was made to preserve you. This is the ark of safety. In Genesis 7:1, it says, “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” How sad that was, in the sense that, as God looked over the face of the whole world, He looked at Noah and said, “In thee I see the righteousness.” Of all that He had done and all that He had provided for His children, He could not find any righteous.

I guarantee you, friend, that there were many that were professing. I guarantee that there were many that were saying, “We are Christians. Yes, we are prepared. We are a part of the family of God, and we understand things are going to happen.” I hear all the time, “I am doing the very best I can do.” The best you can do on your own is to be totally lost! The very best that you can do is as filthy rags. (See Isaiah 64:6.)

You and Your House, Come

I like what the Lord said to Noah before destruction came. As He looked at Noah, He said, “I want you and all your house to come.” That would be wonderful to hear today! Oh, friend, if God said to you, “You and your entire house, come,” do you realize what a blessing that would be?

At the time of the Flood, I do not believe God took any into the ark that were not ready, were not willing, or did not believe. He did not take unbelievers into the ark. The people who were in the ark wanted to be there. They believed what dad was preaching! Today, children often do not believe what their parents are teaching or what they stand for in the home. They have their own thoughts and their own ways. But it was a real blessing for Noah’s family to have believed their dad. As Noah preached, they did not grow weary; they stayed right in there with him.

So God told Noah, “Come on, all your house, come on into the ark.” Verse 13 says, “In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.”

No Youth

Did you notice that there were no children, no youth, and no teenagers who went into the ark? There were only adults. Of all the people on the face of the earth, there were no young people who went into the ark.

I do not claim to have an answer for this, but I was astounded as I thought of it. Was it possible that the parents had not instilled within the youth reverence and respect for God? Were others too young to make the choice on their own to go into the ark? Did mom and dad, through their witnesses, influence what the children did or did not do? Can you possibly think of all those babies—the little ones in the arms of the moms and the grandmas and grandpas? Were the parents asleep, or dead in trespasses and sins, losing all sense of their accountability to God?

Oh, friend, where were the young people? Were they out partying and having a “good time”? Something was going on, because they did not show up. But then, Scripture tells us that they lived in a time of partying. The young always wanted to be active—interacting with people of their own age, having fun, going places and doing things. None of them were ready to go into the ark. After all, that was a dismal, old place. Who wanted to go on an old boat where there was only one, little window? Who was going in some stinky ark with all those smelly animals? They would rather be with their friends.

You can weigh that however you want to today, but we need to look at it closely. It is very difficult to blame the children, because training and accountability start in the home with mom and dad. Ellen White wrote, referring to the sins of Eli’s sons (1 Samuel 3:11–14): “Such is the fearful reaping of the harvest sown when parents neglect their God-given responsibilities,—when they allow Satan to pre-occupy the field which they themselves should carefully have sown with precious seed of virtue, truth, and righteousness. If but one parent is neglectful of duty, the result will be seen in the character of the children; if both fail, how great will be their accountability before God! How can they escape the doom of those who destroy their children’s souls?” Review and Herald, August 30, 1881.

Yes, children may stray, go their own way and make their own decisions as they become older, but “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. He or she may stray, but if you have fulfilled your responsibility as a parent, praise God! Your child has that truth. “Our first work is to bring our families to understand their accountability to God.” The Signs of the Times, December 3, 1885.

Prison or a Haven?

Noah and his family entered the ark that same day, and when it began to rain, the waters rose “fifteen cubits upward,” above the highest mountain peaks on the earth at that time. (Genesis 7:20.) Verse 24 says, “And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.” That does not mean that the experience was over. Genesis 8:13 tells us that “it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth,” and verse 14 says, “in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.” From this we can calculate that Noah was shut in the ark 365 days, for he entered the ark the seventeenth day of the second month, in the six hundredth year of his life. (Genesis 7:11, 13.) A year! For a year Noah and his family were in the ark. Who would want to be in there for that long?

Who wants to go through what you are going through today? If you are preparing for heaven, you are going to have to go through some things. It will be very uncomfortable at times and, may I say, stinky at times.

It may have seemed they were imprisoned, because they had not shut the door, and they could not open it. The unbelievers looking at it from the outside probably considered it somewhat of a prison, but the believers inside looked at it as a haven. They were thanking God the door was shut, because they believed it was going to rain, and if the door was open, the ark would flood and they would drown. “And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 7:18.

Do you realize that after it began to rain, it was too late to have started building a shelter? Many tried to build their own little boat while there was a deluge coming down; it did not work. Many tried to beat and bang and saw and hack their way into the ark; their efforts were in vain. I can only imagine the screams and the pleadings for help, as the water was rising. The bodies of little ones began to float on the water, as their parents lost their grasps on them and they drowned. The people began to climb up the highest peaks in an attempt to save themselves.

Ellen White wrote: “Some clung to the ark until they were borne away by the surging waters, or their hold was broken by collision with rocks and trees. . . .

“The beasts, exposed to the tempest, rushed toward man, as though expecting help from him. Some of the people bound their children and themselves upon powerful animals, knowing that these were tenacious of life, and would climb to the highest points
to escape the rising waters. Some fastened themselves to lofty trees on the summit of hills or mountains; but the trees were uprooted, and with their burden of living beings were hurled into the seething billows. One spot after another that promised safety was abandoned. As the waters rose higher and higher, the people fled for refuge to the loftiest mountains. Often man and beast would struggle together for a foothold, until both were swept away.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 100.

Oh, friend, we do not realize the magnitude of what went on at that time. The earth was literally torn apart. Many of the people wanted to find salvation, but they were searching for it with a wrong motive. How are your motives today? Why do you serve Jesus? Are you looking for Him today?

Genesis 8:4 says, “And the ark rested.” That is wonderful to know. Inspiration and the Bible tell us that that boat was beaten violently in the wind and the rain. “The massive ark trembled in every fiber as it was beaten by the merciless winds and flung from billow to billow. The cries of the beasts within expressed their fear and pain. But amid the warring elements it continued to ride safely. Angels that excel in strength were commissioned to preserve it.” Ibid.

Test of Faith

God preserved that ark, but for five months, day in and day out, 24 hours a day, it was twisting, rocking, and creaking. You know there had to have been creaks! How would those creaks have affected you? Would some doubt have started creeping into your mind? Would you have begun to wonder if it was going to sink, if something was going to give way, if it was really made the way God wanted it to be made? Or would you have said, “I know it is going to hold up. This ark was built exactly the way God said to build it. We did the very best we knew how to do, and God will do the rest.” I wonder; where would our faith be?

Five months! We have a problem if we experience rough waters in our lives for an hour or two, but five months! God’s watchful eye and hand were on that ark. “As the waters began to subside, the Lord caused the ark to drift into a spot protected by a group of mountains that had been preserved by His power. These mountains were but a little distance apart, and the ark moved about in this quiet haven, and was no longer driven upon the boundless ocean. This gave great relief to the weary, tempest-tossed voyagers.” Ibid., 105.

When the drying up period began, God called up the wind to blow on the face of the earth. “[God] caused a powerful wind to pass over the earth for the purpose of drying up the waters, which moved them with great force—in some instances carrying away the tops of the mountains like mighty avalanches, forming huge hills and high mountains where there were none to be seen before, and burying the dead bodies with trees, stones, and earth. These mountains and hills increased in size and became more irregular in shape by collections of stones, ledges, trees, and earth, which were driven upon and around them.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 80, 81. I cannot even imagine such a forceful wind. How frightening that would have been, but Noah and his family were safe in the ark, resting in the protected area God had provided for them. Do you think God does not care?

The Animals

Have you ever thought about all those animals that came into the ark? We generally consider it to be a children’s story, but it is awesome. God sent out angels to collect the animals and gather them into the ark. The people who were around the ark heard and saw the animals. They thought that it was the strangest thing they had ever seen, and they knew something miraculous was taking place. The animals came in such an orderly fashion—by twos and by sevens. They appeared in pairs, a male and a female of every species.

During the time before the Flood, there was an occurrence called amalgamation that we find in the world today. Of all the animals in the ark, not one of them was “man-made.” God was preserving His own creations. Inspiration tells us that “Every species of animals which God had created was preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the Flood. Since the Flood, there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.” Ibid., 78. The angels were not sent for the “confused species,” because such were not of God.

As the people saw this miraculous loading of the animals for seven days, they could not understand it, but it did not change their minds. “Philosophers were called upon to account for the singular occurrence, but in vain. It was a mystery which they could not fathom. But men had become so hardened by their persistent rejection of light that even this scene produced but a momentary impression.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 98. Can you comprehend how many animals were loading for seven days into a boat that was three stories high? But still the people did not believe.

Seven days before the rain began, the people witnessed the glory of the angel closing the door of the ark. They saw that massive door being closed and locked and still they tried to reason it away. They did not want to believe. Then it was too late.

Patience a Virtue

“And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.” “But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters [were] on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” Genesis 8:6, 9. After seven days, Noah sent out the dove again. That time she returned with an olive leaf. No one in the ark knew that the waters were abated off of the earth.

Imagine not being able to look out and see what was going on. What faith that must have taken.
I would have wanted to peek! I would have wanted to get out of that place! But God had told Noah when to go into the ark, and Noah was going to wait on God to tell him when to go out of the ark. What a lesson for us today!

Compare the experience of these eight individuals to your own Christian experience. What we sometimes think is brutal and a curse, friend, can actually be a haven. They considered the ark to be a haven, a protection. They understood what was going on out in the elements. It was awful out there, and they were afraid to be out there. They wanted to be under the care of the Lord.

Waiting on the Lord

What joy for the ark occupants to know that the water was abated, but verse 12 says that they stayed yet another seven days. I would have been ready to get out as soon as I saw the olive leaf, but they patiently waited seven more days. “And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.” Verse 13.

I would say, “Come on, let’s go,” but not Noah. He waited almost the entire next month (verse 14)—almost two months after he saw the ground—before he left the ark. Do you realize how long those two months must have seemed?

What was Noah doing? In Genesis 7:1, we read, “And the Lord said unto Noah, come into the ark.” In Genesis 8:15, 16, we read, “And God spake unto Noah, saying, Go forth of the ark . . . .” Noah was waiting on God’s instruction and direction. When God says to you, “Go and do,” do not do anything different until God tells you to do something different—not even if you see the ground and it looks dry. Noah never questioned God nor, evidently, did any of his family.

Thank You

“And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord . . . .” Verse 20. The Bible continues that the burnt offering was a sweet smell, a welcome fragrance, as it were, in the nostrils of God. There is something exceedingly beautiful and interesting to know that the first act of this devout patriarch was to return thanks for the signal instance of mercy and goodness, which he and his family had experienced. He was grateful to the Lord for preserving their lives.

Friend, how many of us, when we have come through a terribly difficult situation, first give God praise and honor and glory? Many times we do not. How many times has God shown mercy to you over the years? If it were not for His mercy, none of us would be here. The devil is beating at us with a tempest that we could not endure if it was not for God’s hand over us. The psalmist tells us to “give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.” Psalm 136:2. Mrs. White wrote: “Every manifestation of His mercy and love toward us should be gratefully acknowledged, both by acts of devotion and by gifts to His cause.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 106.

Devotion is prayer time, piety in our hearts. Loyalty is what it really means or, in other words, deep affection. We want to give God deep affection, and we want to give Him our hearts and our minds. We want to spend more time with Him. Every blessing that we receive means we need to spend time on our knees, thanking God.

Then Mrs. White said we need to do one more thing. We need to deny self and show that we are really grateful by giving a gift to His cause. Friend, if we did that every day, the coffers would be full. For every act of His love, His graciousness, and His goodness, these two things—devotion and a gift—are to be given. One will not suffice.

God daily preserves our lives in His ark of safety. There is still opportunity for others to enter into this ark. The door is still open, but soon it will shut forever. That day is just upon us. “The picture which Inspiration has given of the antediluvian world represents too truly the condition to which modern society is fast hastening.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 102. The world has become so vile and so violent. It is worse than it was at the time before the Flood. We need to daily show our devotion to God and acknowledge His goodness by giving a gift to His cause.

We have all passed through violent storms—loss of health, of material goods, of businesses, of dear friends and loved ones—but we still have numerous blessings to count. God still loves us and cares for us, and He has prepared a haven for us. We need only to follow His instruction, to wait upon His direction and obey it.

Pastor Kenny Shelton is speaker for the television ministry of Behold the Lamb in Herrin, Illinois. He may be contacted by e-mail at BTLM@GTE.net or by telephone at 1-800-238-2856.

The Mystery of God and the Seventh Trumpet

There is an announcement concerning the mystery of God to be accomplished in Revelation 10:7 which connects with the blowing of the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15–19. These two references are as follows:

“But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished.” Revelation 10:7.

“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.’ Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant.” Revelation 11:15–19.

John the Revelator describes two times that the temple of God in heaven was opened. These two times are clearly defined in The Great Controversy.

“As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven, he beheld there ‘seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.’ Revelation 4:5. He saw an angel ‘having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.’ Revelation 8:3. Here the prophet was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the ‘seven lamps of fire’ and ‘the golden altar,’ represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth. Again, ‘the temple of God was opened’ (Revelation 11:19), and he looked within the inner veil, upon the holy of holies. Here he beheld ‘the ark of His testament,’ represented by the sacred chest constructed by Moses to contain the law of God.” Ibid., 414, 415.

The time of the opening of the temple, as described in Revelation 11:19 is clearly explained in the following statement:

“The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament. Revelation 11:19. The ark of God’s testament is in the holy of holies, the second apartment of the sanctuary. In the ministration of the earthly tabernacle, which served ‘unto the example and shadow of heavenly things’ [Hebrews 8:5], this apartment was opened only upon the great Day of Atonement for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Therefore the announcement that the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of His testament was seen points to the opening of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 as Christ entered there to perform the closing work of the atonement. Those who by faith followed their great High Priest as He entered upon His ministry in the most holy place, beheld the ark of His testament. As they had studied the subject of the sanctuary they had come to understand the Saviour’s change of ministration, and they saw that He was now officiating before the ark of God, pleading His blood in behalf of sinners.” Ibid., 433.

The date for the beginning of the judgment is established in Daniel 7 and more especially or particularly in Daniel 8. It is established by the termination of the 2,300 year time prophecy recorded in Daniel 8:14 and confirmed by this statement in The Great Controversy, 328:

“The seventy weeks—490 days—having been cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days were still to be fulfilled. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844. At the expiration of this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, ‘the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’ ” Ibid.

The first thing we see is a judgment taking place. In this judgment some will be rewarded and others will be declared guilty. The following statement gives the time when the investigative judgment is to begin:

“In the typical system, which was a shadow of the sacrifice and priesthood of Christ, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the last service performed by the high priest in the yearly round of ministration. It was the closing work of the atonement—a removal or putting away of sin from Israel. It prefigured the closing work in the ministration of our High Priest in heaven, in the removal or blotting out of the sins of His people, which are registered in the heavenly records. This service involves a work of investigation, a work of judgment; and it immediately precedes the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; for when He comes, every case has been decided. Says Jesus: ‘My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.’ Revelation 22:12. It is this work of judgment, immediately preceding the second advent, that is announced in the first angel’s message of Revelation 14:7: ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’

“Those who proclaimed this warning gave the right message at the right time.” Ibid., 352.

Another announcement of God’s temple being opened in heaven is couched in the vision of the four beasts coming up out of a stormy sea and the rise of the little horn that attacked the ministry of Jesus in the sanctuary of the new covenant in heaven. This prophecy tells us what God is going to do near the end of Satan’s war against the sanctuary and God’s people during the 1,260 years. Over 2,000 years ago Christ made this announcement of a judgment to take place at the closing of the mystery of God. The announcement is found in Daniel 7:9, 10:

“As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.”

The Ancient of Days is God the Father. He is seen coming into the courtroom and taking His seat as the great Judge of the universe in the court of heaven. As soon as He is seated, the witnesses, thousands upon thousands, ten thousand times ten thousand, come into the courtroom and are seated. Then the books are opened. Everything is in place for the judgment to begin.

In verse 13, we see a representation of Christ, the great High Priest of the faithful believers, coming into the courtroom to represent the cases of God’s people. Daniel’s description of this scene is as follows:

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.”

We understand the “clouds of heaven” to be a symbol of the great number of angels that are accompanying Jesus when He enters the courtroom. We see in these verses in Daniel 7:9, 10, and 13 a description of the opening of the judgment announced by the first angel’s message in Revelation 14:6, 7 and by the angel blowing the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:15–19. There is an account of this event in The Great Controversy.

“ ‘I beheld,’ says the prophet Daniel, ‘till thrones were placed, and One that was Ancient of Days did sit: His raiment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.’ Daniel 7:9, 10, R.V.

“Thus was presented to the prophet’s vision the great and solemn day when the characters and the lives of men should pass in review before the Judge of all the earth, and to every man should be rendered ‘according to his works’ [Matthew 16:27]. The Ancient of Days is God the Father. … It is He, the source of all being, and the fountain of all law, that is to preside in the judgment. And holy angels as ministers and witnesses, in number ‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ [Revelation 5:11], attend this great tribunal.

“ ‘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’ (Daniel 7:13). … The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies and there appears in the presence of God to engage in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man—to perform the work of investigative judgment and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.” Ibid., 479, 480.

This is the same judgment that was announced by the first angel.

The Philadelphia church is another announcement about the mystery of God that is to be accomplished. Revelation 3:7, 8 says,

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

The Philadelphia church represented the period of church history at the time of October 22, 1844, and following. We also know that Jesus is the One who is giving this message to the Philadelphia church for He is the One “who is Holy and True, who holds the key of David.”

In the message to the Philadelphia church, we are told that He (Christ) opened a door that no one could close. It was this open door to the Most Holy Place that the Ancient of Days, who is the Judge, Christ, who is our High Priest and Mediator and the heavenly host as witnesses entered to begin their investigation of the books, as described in Daniel 7:9, 10, and 13.

The door that Jesus closed at this time was the door to the Holy Place. The following statement is a clear explanation of the open and closed doors in the sanctuary of the new covenant in heaven:

“But clearer light came with the investigation of the sanctuary question. Now was seen the application of those words of Christ in the Revelation, addressed to the church at this very time: ‘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 know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it’ [Revelation 3:7, 8]. Here an open as well as a shut door is brought to view. At the termination of the 2300 prophetic days in 1844, Christ changed his ministration from the holy to the most holy place. When, in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary, the high priest on the day of atonement entered the most holy place, the door of the holy place was closed, and the door of the most holy was opened. So, when Christ passed from the holy to the most holy of the heavenly sanctuary, the door, or ministration, of the former apartment was closed, and the door, or ministration, of the latter was opened. Christ had ended one part of his work as our intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work; and he still presented his blood before the Father in behalf of sinners. ‘Behold,’ he declares, ‘I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.’ ” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 268, 269.

Another description of this judgment is found in Hebrews 8:1, 2 and 9:15, 24–28.

“The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2.

Paul wrote the book of Hebrews during the time of his ministry, not long after the time Jesus ascended to heaven. Paul taught that when Jesus ascended, He opened the sanctuary in heaven.

When Jesus ascended to heaven, He was inaugurated as a High Priest and began to serve in the sanctuary of the new covenant as our mediator. We can read the story of that inauguration in Revelation, chapters four and five. There is a description of this same event recorded in The Desire of the Ages, 830–835.

The following is an interesting statement about these two verses in Hebrews 8:

“Turning again to the book of Hebrews, the seekers for truth found that the existence of a second, or new-covenant sanctuary, was implied in the words of Paul already quoted: ‘Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary’ [Hebrews 9:1]. And the use of the word ‘also’ intimates that Paul has before made mention of this sanctuary. Turning back to the beginning of the previous chapter, they read: ‘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.

“Here is revealed the sanctuary of the new covenant. The sanctuary of the first covenant was pitched by man, built by Moses; this is pitched by the Lord, not by man. In that sanctuary the earthly priests performed their service; in this, Christ, our great High Priest, ministers at God’s right hand. One sanctuary was on earth, the other is in heaven.” The Great Controversy, 413. (Emphasis author’s.)

“The sanctuary in heaven, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy.” Ibid., 414.

“The term ‘sanctuary,’ as used in the Bible, refers, first, to the tabernacle built by Moses, as a pattern of heavenly things; and, secondly, to the ‘true tabernacle’ in heaven, to which the earthly sanctuary pointed. At the death of Christ the typical service ended. The ‘true tabernacle’ in heaven is the sanctuary of the new covenant.” Ibid., 417.

Paul’s account of Jesus and His ministry in the sanctuary of the new covenant in heaven is in the following verses of Hebrews 9:15, 24:

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. … For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.”

Jesus never ministered as a priest in the sanctuary on earth. The priests that ministered in the sanctuary on earth were all of human descent.

Notice this explanation given in The Great Controversy, 420:

“And what was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary. After His ascension our Saviour began His work as our high priest. Says Paul: ‘Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.’ Hebrews 9:24.”

Continuing in Hebrews 9, we read verses 25, 26, 28:

“Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. … so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

So the evidence is very clear that the apostolic church had a clear understanding of the sanctuary of the new covenant in heaven and the ministry of Jesus in that sanctuary beginning at the time He ascended.

Let us take a closer look as to what is taking place in the courts of heaven at the present time.

“Every man’s work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the books of heaven is entered with terrible exactness every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel. …

“Jesus will appear as their advocate, to plead in their behalf before God. ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.’ I John 2:1. ‘For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.’ ‘Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.’ Hebrews 9:24; 7:25.” The Great Controversy, 482.

“The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out until after the judgment at which their cases are to be investigated. But the apostle Peter distinctly states that the sins of believers will be blotted out ‘when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ.’ Acts 3:19, 20. When the investigative judgment closes, Christ will come, and His reward will be with Him to give to every man as his work shall be.” Ibid., 485.

When the work of the investigative judgment is finished, Christ will come.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New International Version.)

Maurice Hoppe is retired and volunteers at Steps to Life. His primary responsibility is working with the Training Program for Ministers and Church Leaders and the Training Program for Lay Workers. He also conducts a Bible Correspondence School from his home with emphasis on Bible prophecy. He may be contacted at: mauricehoppe@stepstolife.org.

Keys to the Storehouse – Pool of Voices

When it comes to spiritual matters, many tend to walk through life like an ostrich with their heads in the sand, believing they should not be blamed for their ignorance. The modern philosophy is to believe that no matter what you believe or do, it is okay! But how can a real Christian, not just one who makes a profession, believe that? Inspiration reveals the opposite.

“A special signal was first given by the trumpeters to call the attention of the people. Then all were to be attentive and obey the certain sound of the trumpets. There was no confusion of sound in the voices of the trumpets, therefore there was no excuse for confusion in movements. The head officer over each company gave definite directions in regard to the movements they were required to make. None who gave attention were left in ignorance of what they ought to do. If any failed to comply with the requirements God gave to Moses, and Moses to the people, they were punished with death. They had no excuse to offer that they knew not the nature of these requirements, for they would only prove themselves willingly ignorant, and would receive just punishment for their transgression. If they did not know the will of God concerning them, it was their own fault. They had all the opportunity of knowing that others had, therefore their sin was regarded by the Lord the same as if they did hear and then transgressed.” The Signs of the Times, July 29, 1880.

The high points of this statement are:

    • There was no confusion of sound in the voices of the trumpets.
    • There was no excuse for confusion in movements.
    • None who gave attention were left in ignorance of what they ought to do.
    • If any failed to comply with the requirements God gave they were punished with death.
    • They had no excuse to offer that they knew not the nature of these requirements, for they would only prove themselves willingly ignorant and receive just punishment for their transgression.
    • If they did not know the will of God concerning them, it was their own fault.
    • They had all the opportunity of knowing, that others had.
    • Their sin was regarded by the Lord the same as if they did hear and then transgressed.

The “you’re okay, I’m okay” syndrome does not fit into the Christian life. God’s word sounds the trumpet revealing both what is and is not okay. Do not be soothed to death by the devil; reach out to God right now and listen for His voice through His word to direct your path.

O Father, Your Word clearly tells me that I am not okay and that I need Jesus. Thank you for sending your only Son to show me the way, and I ask in His name that my heart be cleansed that I may walk with Thee. Open my ears heavenward so that I can discern the false and know Your voice only. Save me Lord from the devil’s lies. Amen.