April, 2017

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Christ in You – What does it mean?

Christ in You – What does it mean?

It is very common for professed Christians to speak about Christ being in them or the Holy Spirit living in them or similar expressions.  But it is clear that there is no consistent understanding by all as to what is meant by such expressions.  In one case, it is meant that the character of Christ is in you while in the other case it is meant that Christ personally is inside of you.  We’ll examine both concepts.

The first idea is hinged on the view that Christ is a person with bodily form, who can be touched, as Thomas was told to touch Him and see that He is real.  Within this perspective, it is understood that Christ left and went back to heaven and has promised to return.  We await His return.  He has, however, sent the Comforter as His representative to minister to us through the constant companionship of our personally assigned guardian angel and other angels who go back and forth between us and Christ in heaven.  Christ is in heaven advocating on our behalf before His Father.   By our constant interaction with God and Christ through their representatives, we receive light, love and power that transform us so that we become like Christ in characterIn this sense, God and Christ dwell in us.  God, the Father, is referred to in Scripture as the eternal spirit and Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, is the express image of His Father’s person.

The second idea is hinged on the view that Christ is personally everywhere.  So, even though He has a body, His body is really just an image through which He chooses to manifest himself because he is simultaneously elsewhere in other bodies, speaking and acting personally.  This is a form of what is called pantheism.  This view is unscriptural, it makes the work of angels redundant, it makes the Father redundant and it promotes image worship.  There are some other issues that arise from this second idea and these will now be further discussed.

This second idea results in what the Bible describes as people having a form of godliness but denying the power to perfect Christian character.  It is felt that Christians cannot be perfect in character – that, only Christ can be perfect in character, and so unless He lives inside of us and acts through our bodies, no perfection of character can be manifested in us.  This makes our minds redundant.

This view, further, maligns Christ by associating Christ with our misbehaviour.  If Christ is personally inside of you, directing your behaviour then your misbehaviour is Christ’s misbehaviour.  If your misbehaviour is your own and not Christ’s then Christ is taking turns with you (or with Satan inside of you) in directing your behaviour – still maligning Christ.  The Bible says we should not be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).  But the truth is that Christ has no fellowship with evil, for If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6).

This second idea also sets the stage for idolatry.  If Christ is inside of you then what prevents someone from bowing down before you and worshipping Christ inside of you?  Why look to Christ in heaven?  If He is here, why not worship Him and look to Him here, where He is?

Another issue arises, if Christ lives inside everyone who asks Him then every professed Christian is saved.  But the Bible clearly teaches that many will take unto themselves the name of Christ and He will say to them that He never knew them (Matt. 7:20-27).

This error takes away our responsibility to live a holy life and places it on Christ.  Christ would have no moral authority to hold you accountable for your actions.  Once you say, take me Lord, live in me and make me righteous, either He is going to refuse and leave you unrighteous or He is going to accept your invitation and make you righteous.  You would have done your part.   So, in either case, any failure in you to be righteous would be Christ’s failure.

The Biblical truth is stated clearly as follows:

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (Titus 2:11-15).

We are further told:

“The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself.  True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.”Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pg. 465-466.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)


Do You Want Happiness?

Do You Want Happiness?

Suppose you were asked directly, “Do you want happiness?” by someone like Jesus who you know has the power to grant you your wish, what would be your answer?  Would you say, “No, thank you, I have it already!” or would you quickly say, “Oh Yes! Thank you, I most certainly do!”?  If your answer would be the second response or something along that line, I am inviting you to consider a few things seriously.

If you are not perfectly happy now, why are you not?  The Bible provides an answer, in one word, Sin!    The root of sin is selfishness, which leads to rebellion against God – which is ultimately what sin is.  “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4) – that is, disobedience to what God says.  Rebellion in heart ultimately manifests itself in disobedience to God’s instructions.

God is love!  His instructions are not for His sake.  They are for our sake – to provide for our happiness.  Selfishness creates unhappiness for others and hence unhappiness for all.  Happiness is possible in a continuous sustainable way only if selfishness is eliminated.

God’s plan is to eliminate selfishness.  The plan has the following elements:

  1. He will change our hearts and minds by showing us what it is like to love and be unselfish continuously and to have everyone else around us being similarly loving and unselfish – that revelation comes to us by an invitation to look at the life of Jesus, His only begotten Son. Imagine if you were loving and kind as Jesus was, in His life on earth, (of course He continues to be and has always been that way – which is why He lived like that here) and everybody around you was similarly loving, kind and unselfish!  No one would hurt anybody!  Nobody would be insensitive as to be trampling upon others in any ambitious attempt to get ahead.  Everyone would care about everybody else! This is the recipe for lasting happiness!
  1. He will cause sin and selfishness to be destroyed by bringing it all together in one space and circumstance where it will be destroyed. Fire will not only destroy the sinful and selfish (including Satan and his angels) but it will also purify the environment in preparation for the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.
  1. God will create a new heaven and a new earth and place those who have accepted Him and His principle of love to live there in peace and happiness forever. The location (or space) where sin and selfishness will be destroyed is right here on this earth ( 20:4-15).  Some people think that this old earth will continue indefinitely with improvements in human relations and protection of the environment.  But the old earth will not continue as it is to be replaced by a new.  Those who submit to God and His superior wisdom, as reflected in His law of love, will be taken out of the space before the destruction.

There is an open invitation to accept the principle of love, reject selfishness and be saved.  Accepting love means accepting Jesus Christ who came from heaven to earth to show us what love is.  The ultimate expression of love was Jesus giving up His life (into the hands of the wicked and selfish) in order to allow us to see what selfishness does ultimately (that is, destroys the good) and provide an opportunity for confirmation of God’s promise to us to raise us from the dead, by God’s raising Jesus from the dead (1 Cor. 15:12-23).

In the same way that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Gal. 1:1), God has empowered Jesus to raise us from the dead (John 5:21, 25, 26) and if we are alive at the second coming of Christ, to change us to immortality (1 Cor. 15:51-54).  When sin and selfishness are eliminated, God will place those who have accepted Him and His principle of love into a restored earth – the new earth (Rev. 21).

Will you accept the invitation?  Do you believe it?  This is the only assurance of continuous unending happiness.  Or will you vainly invest in seeking happiness here at all cost?  The truth is, even if we have times of happiness here, it is never sustained and it is always interspersed with sadness, disappointments, sickness, pain, death of loved ones and even uncertainties about our own lives.  The promise is real.  Let no one cause you to spiritualize away the reality of it.  Jesus is real.  God is real.  They are persons.  We will see them one day, hopefully, not for us to try to flee from them because we would have been rebellious, but hopefully to embrace them and find in their presence everlasting happiness because we would have believed and accepted the reality and submitted to God, His love and His infinite wisdom.  Believe and be saved!

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)



The Christian Gospel versus the Pagan Atonement Concept

The Christian Gospel versus the Pagan Atonement Concept

In a previous presentation, “What Hinders the Latter Rain?” I pointed out that there have been two major changes in the current beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church compared to the beliefs of the pioneers of the movement.  Firstly, the concept of God has changed in that the pioneers did not view God as a Trinity whereas the current beliefs represent God as a Trinity.  Secondly, the view of the atonement has changed.  Ellen G. White did predict that there would be a change in beliefs that would cause the “fundamental principles” to be accounted as error.  The 28 Fundamental Principles that were held by the church at that time were published in the 1889 Yearbook (see reference below*).  I have shared quite a bit in previous presentations about the first issue – the change in the concept of God.   In this presentation, the focus is on the second issue – the change in the concept of the atonement.   The atonement as understood by the pioneers is contrasted with the current view of the atonement, within a context of comparison of both with the pagan concept of atonement.

* http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/2017/02/15/adventist-pioneers-28-beliefs-in-the-seventh-day-adventist-yearbook-1889/).

Below, is the prediction that Ellen G. White made:

“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization.  Were this reformation to take place, what would result?  The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded.  Our religion would be changed.  The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error.” – Ellen G. White, Selected Messages Vol. 1, p. 204 (also in Special Testimonies, Series B, No.2, pp 54, 55).

Below, is Fundamental Principle number 2, as it was then, regarding Christ and the atonement:

“2.       That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the One by whom He created all things, and by whom they do consist; that He took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race; that He dwelt among men, full of grace and truth, lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only mediator in the sanctuary in heaven, where through the merits of His shed blood, He secures the pardon and forgiveness of the sins of all those who penitently come to Him; and as the closing portion of His work as priest, before He takes His throne as king, He will make the great atonement for the sins of all such, and their sins will then be blotted out (Acts 3:19) and borne away from the sanctuary, as shown in the service of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and  prefigured the ministry of our Lord in heaven.  See Lev 16; Heb. 8:4, 5; 9:6, 7; etc.*(see note in original).”

 “*Note.— Some thoughtless persons accuse us of rejecting the atonement of Christ entirely, because we dissent from the view that the atonement was made upon the cross, as is generally held. But we do nothing of the kind; we only take issue as to the time when the atonement is to be made. We object to the view that the atonement was made upon the cross, because it is utterly contrary to the type, which placed the atonement at the end of the yearly sanctuary service, not at the beginning (see scriptures last referred to), and because it inevitably leads to one of two great errors. Thus, Christ on the cross bore the sins of all the world. John said, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away [margin, beareth] the sin of the world 1” John 1:29. Peter tells us when he thus bore the sins of the world: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” 1 Peter 2:24. Paul says that “he died for all” 2 Cor. 5:14, 15. That which Christ did upon the cross, therefore, was done indiscriminately and unconditionally for all the world; and if this was the atonement, then the sins of all the world have been atoned for, and all will be saved. This is Universalism in full blossom. But all men will not be saved; hence the sins of all were not atoned for upon the cross; and if Christ’s work there was the atonement, then His work was partial, not universal, as the scriptures above quoted assert, and he atoned for only a favored few who were elected to be saved, and passed by all others who were predestined to damnation. This would establish the doctrine of election and predestination in its most ultra form, — an error equally unscriptural and objectionable with the former. We avoid both these errors, and find ourselves in harmony with the Mosaic type, and with all the declarations of the Scriptures, when we take the position that what Christ did upon the cross was to provide a divine sacrifice for the world, sufficient to save all, and offered it to everyone who will accept of it; that he then, through the merits of his offering, acts as mediator with the Father till time shall end, securing the forgiveness of sins for all who seek him for it; and that, as the last service of his priesthood, he will blot out the sins of all who have repented and been converted (Acts 3:19), the atonement not being completed till this work of blotting out sin is done. Thus Christ atones, not for the sins of the whole world, to save all, not for a favored few only, elected from all eternity to be saved, but for those who, as free moral agents, have voluntarily sought from him the forgiveness of sin, and everlasting life. And all for whom the atonement is made, will be forever saved in his kingdom. This view in no way detracts from the merit of Christ’s offering, nor from the value and glory of his atoning work for men. While on this line, we are not driven into Universalism on the one hand, nor into election and reprobation on the other.”

– Fundamental Principles of Seventh Day Adventists, Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook of Statistics for 1889, Review & Herald Publishing C., Battle Creek, Mich., 1889.

 In paganism, whenever the people displease the god, a sacrifice has to be made in order to appease the wrath of the god.  This was at the heart of the offering of human sacrifices.  Repeatedly, throughout the Biblical scriptures, the offering of such sacrifices has been condemned.  But the death of Christ on Calvary was not a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God.  It was God who made the sacrifice by sending His only begotten Son into the world.  It was evil men and Satan who killed Him.

In order to understand the plan of salvation we have to go back to the beginning and work our way forward.  When the first sin was committed by our fore-parents, Adam and Eve, God predicted exactly how salvation would come in Gen. 3:15 as follows:

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Gen. 3:15.

Satan had hoped to have humanity fully on his side but God said He would break up the alliance by causing humanity to hate Satan and his ways.  He would achieve this by sending His Son as the woman’s seed to bruise Satan’s head but in the process Satan would bruise the heel of His Son.

This was fulfilled at Calvary where, through death, Christ bruised Satan’s head by exposing him to the universe as a murderer while Christ’s heel was bruised by Satan, in that Satan took Christ’s life.  But for Christ it was only a bruising of His heel since His Father would raise Him back from the dead (Gal. 1:1).

This is substantiated by many scriptures that show:

  1. That man was Satan’s captive – example, Heb. 2:14, 15.
  2. That Christ delivered man by converting man or changing man’s mind – that is, causing man to believe in Him rather than believing Satan.  It is by believing we are saved – example, Luke 8:12; John 3:15; Acts 16:31; Rom. 4:3; Rom. 12:2.
  3. That Satan’s destruction is assured by the death of Christ – example, 1 John 3:8; Heb. 2:14, 15; Col. 2:14, 15.
  4. That those who believe in Christ will be given power to become sons of God (John1:12) – that is, power to overcome the devil (first and foremost) – Titus  2: 11, 12.
  5. That eternal life will be given to those who believe in Christ, at the second coming of Christ – example, Mark 10:30; Rom. 2:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:22, 23.

Finally, it should be understood that through His foreknowledge, God knows and declares what will happen but it does not mean that He manipulates people’s minds to make them do evil things.   He will even act, based upon His foreknowledge, in order to achieve a desired end, knowing what people will do, but He is not necessarily the one responsible for it being done or the one doing it.  Such is the situation with the death of Christ.  He yielded His Son.  But it was the devil and evil men who killed Him, thus playing right into God’s purpose of revealing the true nature of sin, which is enmity against God (Rom. 8:7) and a manifestation of a disposition to crucify the Son of God afresh each time it is committed (Heb. 6:6).

So, death remains an enemy, wholly a consequence of sin (1 Cor. 15:26; Rom. 6:23).  God is life and is not constrained to give life.  He quickeneth whomsoever He wills (John 5:21), whenever He wills, without needing death to take place as a precondition.

Christ came to reveal the Father and expose the Devil in order to win us back to the Father and break the Devil’s hold over us that has existed because of our belief in the Devil’s lies about God.

The truth to believe is that God is good, means us well, knows what is good for us and we should believe, accept and follow everything He says.  The Devil is a liar and a murderer and should be rejected.

Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who is exactly like God, His Father, in character, is the perfect manifestation and proof, in His life on earth, of God’s character.

By yielding himself to be killed by wicked hands, Christ has exposed Satan and his followers as liars and murderers whose words should be completely rejected and whose company should be shunned, thereby releasing us from Satan’s captivity in which we were held through our belief in Satan’s lies about God.

Even now Satan still holds many people captive under his deception by causing them to believe a distorted version of the gospel that still maligns God.  They believe that Christ died in order to pay a price that God demanded before He would forgive us.  According to this very popular view, the atonement is not a process whereby Christ intercedes on our behalf, pointing to our repentance as a basis for appealing to God for us to be forgiven of past transgressions.  Rather, it sees the atonement as an act that God accepts as being sufficient to make up for all transgressions.  So, the death of Christ is represented wholly as a requirement to satisfy God and has nothing to do with the Devil.  This is a distortion.  The distortion is reflected in the current 28 Fundamental Beliefs, number 9.  The current belief is as follows:

“The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ

 God sent Jesus, His Son, to live the perfect life we could not and die the death our sins deserve. When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice, we claim eternal life.

In Christ’s life of perfect obedience to God’s will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God’s law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The bodily resurrection of Christ proclaims God’s triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 22:1; Isa. 53; John 3:16; 14:30; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 2:15; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.)”https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/salvation/the-life-death-and-resurrection-of-christ/

The truth is that the death of His Son was the price that God had to pay in order to save us.  That is what it cost God to provide the basis whereby Satan’s hold on us might be broken.

Having revealed the true character of God, His Father, through the life that He lived on earth, and having discredited Satan by exposing him as a liar and a murderer, Christ now invites us to believe the truth and be saved (Acts 16:31; Rom 4:3; John 17:3).  Otherwise, we’ll believe the Devil’s lies and be damned (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

In closing, I’ll leave with you the following description of the death of Christ from the pen of Ellen G. White in the book Desire of Ages (DA), for your thoughtful meditation:

But God suffered with His Son. Angels beheld the Saviour’s agony. They saw their Lord enclosed by legions of satanic forces, His nature weighed down with a shuddering, mysterious dread. There was silence in heaven. No harp was touched.” DA 693.

 “Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. The archapostate had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles. They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion”. DA 758.

“Heaven viewed with grief and amazement Christ hanging upon the cross, blood flowing from His wounded temples, and sweat tinged with blood standing upon His brow. From His hands and feet the blood fell, drop by drop, upon the rock drilled for the foot of the cross. The wounds made by the nails gaped as the weight of His body dragged upon His hands. His labored breath grew quick and deep, as His soul panted under the burden of the sins of the world. All heaven was filled with wonder when the prayer of Christ was offered in the midst of His terrible suffering,–“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Yet there stood men, formed in the image of God, joining to crush out the life of His only-begotten Son. What a sight for the heavenly universe! 

 The principalities and powers of darkness were assembled around the cross, casting the hellish shadow of unbelief into the hearts of men. When the Lord created these beings to stand before His throne, they were beautiful and glorious. Their loveliness and holiness were in accordance with their exalted station. They were enriched with the wisdom of God, and girded with the panoply of heaven. They were Jehovah’s ministers. But who could recognize in the fallen angels the glorious seraphim that once ministered in the heavenly courts? 

Satanic agencies confederated with evil men in leading the people to believe Christ the chief of sinners, and to make Him the object of detestation. Those who mocked Christ as He hung upon the cross were imbued with the spirit of the first great rebel. He filled them with vile and loathsome speeches. He inspired their taunts. But by all this he gained nothing. 

 Could one sin have been found in Christ, had He in one particular yielded to Satan to escape the terrible torture, the enemy of God and man would have triumphed. Christ bowed His head and died, but He held fast His faith and His submission to God. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Rev. 12:10.      

Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ’s brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken”.  {DA 759 -761}

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)

The Latter Rain Angel and the Holy Spirit (Pt 2)

The Latter Rain Angel and the Holy Spirit (Part 2)

This presentation may be considered a continuation of the previous one on “The Latter Rain Angel and the Holy Spirit”.  The significant thing to note, however, is that this presentation will be exclusively, a reproduction of Ellen G. White’s account of the events as she was shown in vision.  The presentation comprises three short chapters (chapters 58, 59 and 60) from the book The Story of Redemption.  The same three chapters are also in one of the earliest publications of Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, Volume 1, chapters 34, 35 and 36.  The chapters cover The Loud Cry, The Close of Probation and The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.  Here goes:

The Loud Cry

I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere, as he cried mightily, with a strong voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Revelation 18:2. SR 399.1

The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry. And the people of God are thus prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet. I saw a great light resting upon them, and they united to fearlessly proclaim the third angel’s message. SR 399.2

Angels were sent to aid the mighty angel from heaven, and I heard voices which seemed to sound everywhere, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4, 5. This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844. The glory of God rested upon the patient, waiting saints, and they fearlessly gave the last solemn warning, proclaiming the fall of Babylon and calling upon God’s people to come out of her, that they might escape her fearful doom. SR 399.3

The light that was shed upon the waiting ones penetrated everywhere, and those in the churches who had any light, who had not heard and rejected the three messages, obeyed the call and left the fallen churches. Many had come to years of accountability since these messages had been given, and the light shone upon them, and they were privileged to choose life or death. Some chose life and took their stand with those who were looking for their Lord and keeping all His commandments. The third message was to do its work; all were to be tested upon it, and the precious ones were to be called out from the religious bodies. SR 400.1

A compelling power moved the honest, while the manifestation of the power of God brought a fear and restraint upon their unbelieving relatives and friends so that they dared not, neither had they the power to, hinder those who felt the work of the Spirit of God upon them. The last call was carried even to the poor slaves; and the pious among them poured forth their songs of rapturous joy at the prospect of their happy deliverance. [Note.—That there will be slavery at the time of the second advent is made clear by the prophet John in Revelation 6:15, 16, in his vivid description of “every bondman, and every free man” calling for the “mountains and rocks” to fall on them and hide them “from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne.”—Compilers.] Their masters could not check them; fear and astonishment kept them silent. Mighty miracles were wrought, the sick were healed, and signs and wonders followed the believers. God was in the work, and every saint, fearless of consequences, followed the convictions of his own conscience and united with those who were keeping all the commandments of God; and with power they sounded abroad the third message. I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry. SR 400.2

Servants of God, endowed with power from on high, with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven. Souls that were scattered all through the religious bodies answered to the call, and the precious were hurried out of the doomed churches, as Lot was hurried out of Sodom before her destruction. God’s people were strengthened by the excellent glory which rested upon them in rich abundance and prepared them to endure the hour of temptation. I heard everywhere a multitude of voices saying, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. 402 SR 401.1

 The Close of Probation

I was pointed down to the time when the third angel’s message was closing. The power of God had rested upon His people; they had accomplished their work and were prepared for the trying hour before them. They had received the latter rain, or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and the living testimony had been revived. The last great warning had sounded everywhere, and it had stirred up and enraged the inhabitants of the earth who would not receive the message. SR 402.1

I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven. An angel with a writer’s inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed. Then I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the Ten Commandments, throw down the censer. He raised His hands, and with a loud voice said. “It is done.” And all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11. SR 402.2

Every case had been decided for life or death. While Jesus had been ministering in the sanctuary, the judgment had been going on for the righteous dead, and then for the righteous living. Christ had received His kingdom, having made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The subjects of the kingdom were made up. The marriage of the Lamb was consummated. And the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to Jesus and the heirs of salvation, and Jesus was to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. SR 402.3

As Jesus moved out of the most holy place, I heard the tinkling of the bells upon His garment; and as He left, a cloud of darkness covered the inhabitants of the earth. There was then no mediator between guilty man and an offended God. While Jesus had been standing between God and guilty man, a restraint was upon the people; but when He stepped out from between man and the Father, the restraint was removed and Satan had entire control of the finally impenitent. SR 403.1

It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the sanctuary; but as His work there is finished, and His intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation and hated reproof. In that fearful time, after the close of Jesus’ mediation, the saints were living in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the most holy place were placed upon Satan, the originator of sin, who must suffer their punishment. [Note.—This suffering of Satan is in no sense a vicarious atonement. As indicated in a previous chapter: “As man’s substitute and surety, the iniquity of men was laid upon Christ.” (See p. 225.) But after those who accept Christ’s sacrifice have been redeemed, it is certainly just that Satan, the originator of sin, should suffer the final punishment. As Mrs. White has said elsewhere, “When the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels, and the host of the redeemed, the sins of God’s people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit.”—The Great Controversy, 658.—Compilers.] SR 403.2

Too Late! Too Late!

Then I saw Jesus lay off His priestly attire and clothe Himself with His most kingly robes. Upon His head were many crowns, a crown within a crown. Surrounded by the angelic host, He left heaven. The plagues were falling upon the inhabitants of the earth. Some were denouncing God and cursing Him. Others rushed to the people of God and begged to be taught how they might escape His judgments. But the saints had nothing for them. The last tear for sinners had been shed, the last agonizing prayer offered, the last burden borne, the last warning given. The sweet voice of mercy was no more to invite them. When the saints, and all heaven, were interested for their salvation, they had not interest for themselves. Life and death had been set before them. Many desired life, but made no effort to obtain it. They did not choose life, and now there was no atoning blood to cleanse the guilty, no compassionate Saviour to plead for them and cry, “Spare, spare the sinner a little longer.” All heaven had united with Jesus, as they heard the fearful words, “It is done. It is finished.” The plan of salvation had been accomplished, but few had chosen to accept it. And as mercy’s sweet voice died away, fear and horror seized the wicked. With terrible distinctness they heard the words, “Too late! too late!” SR 404.1

Those who had not prized God’s Word were hurrying to and fro, wandering from sea to sea, and from the north to the east, to seek the Word of the Lord. Said the angel, “They shall not find it. There is a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of the Lord. What would they not give for one word of approval from God! but no, they must hunger and thirst on. Day after day have they slighted salvation, prizing earthly riches and earthly pleasure higher than any heavenly treasure or inducement. They have rejected Jesus and despised His saints. The filthy must remain filthy forever.” SR 404.2

Many of the wicked were greatly enraged as they suffered the effects of the plagues. It was a scene of fearful agony. Parents were bitterly reproaching their children, and children their parents, brothers their sisters, and sisters their brothers. Loud, wailing cries were heard in every direction, “It was you who kept me from receiving the truth which would have saved me from this awful hour.” The people turned upon their ministers with bitter hate and reproached them, saying, “You have not warned us. You told us that all the world was to be converted, and cried, Peace, peace, to quiet every fear that was aroused. You have not told us of this hour; and those who warned us of it you declared to be fanatics and evil men, who would ruin us.” But I saw that the ministers did not escape the wrath of God. Their suffering was tenfold greater than that of their people. 406 SR 405.1

 The Time of Jacob’s Trouble

I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst. Then I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death. But in this hour of trial the saints were calm and composed, trusting in God and leaning upon His promise that a way of escape would be made for them. SR 406.1

In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them. Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High, but Jesus bade His angels watch over them. God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him. SR 406.2

Soon I saw the saints suffering great mental anguish. They seemed to be surrounded by the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Every appearance was against them. Some began to fear that God had at last left them to perish by the hand of the wicked. But if their eyes could have been opened, they would have seen themselves surrounded by angels of God. Next came the multitude of the angry wicked, and next a mass of evil angels, hurrying on the wicked to slay the saints. But before they could approach God’s people, the wicked must first pass this company of mighty, holy angels. This was impossible. The angels of God were causing them to recede and also causing the evil angels who were pressing around them to fall back. SR 407.1

The Cry for Deliverance

It was an hour of fearful, terrible agony to the saints. Day and night they cried unto God for deliverance. To outward appearance, there was no possibility of their escape. The wicked had already begun to triumph, crying out, “Why doesn’t your God deliver you out of our hands? Why don’t you go up and save your lives?” But the saints heeded them not. Like Jacob, they were wrestling with God. The angels longed to deliver them, but they must wait a little longer; the people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism. The angels, faithful to their trust, continued their watch. God would not suffer His name to be reproached among the heathen. The time had nearly come when He was to manifest His mighty power and gloriously deliver His saints. For His name’s glory He would deliver every one of those who had patiently waited for Him and whose names were written in the book. SR 407.2

I was pointed back to faithful Noah. When the rain descended and the Flood came, Noah and his family had entered the ark, and God had shut them in. Noah had faithfully warned the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, while they had mocked and derided him. And as the waters descended upon the earth, and one after another was drowning, they beheld that ark, of which they had made so much sport, riding safely upon the waters, preserving the faithful Noah and his family. So I saw that the people of God, who had faithfully warned the world of His coming wrath, would be delivered. God would not suffer the wicked to destroy those who were expecting translation and who would not bow to the decree of the beast or receive his mark. I saw that if the wicked were permitted to slay the saints, Satan and all his evil host, and all who hate God, would be gratified. And oh, what a triumph it would be for his satanic majesty to have power, in the last closing struggle, over those who had so long waited to behold Him whom they loved! Those who have mocked at the idea of the saints’ going up will witness the care of God for His people and behold their glorious deliverance. SR 407.3

As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked, who sought to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God’s people broke and fell as powerless as straw. Angels of God shielded the saints. As they cried day and night for deliverance, their cry came up before the Lord. 409 SR 408.1

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

  • Zerubbabel (Zech. 4:6)