- Calamities -
Manuscript 127, November 22, 1897
Manuscript 134, October 19, 1898
Manuscript 139, October 21, 1898
Letter 21, February 16, 1902
Manuscript 89, October 22, 1906
Letter 12, December 23, 1909
Manuscript 13, August 8, 1910
In the formation of our world, God was not be holden to pre-existent substance or matter. "For the things that are seen were not made of the things which do appear" [Hebrews 11:3]. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice, and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things that are therein, are not only the work of His hand, they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.
The Lord had given evidence that by His power He could in one short hour dissolve the whole frame of nature. He can turn things up side down, and destroy the things that man has built up in His most firm and substantial manner. He "removeth the mountains," He "overturneth them in His anger," He "shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble." "The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at His reproof." "The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence" [see Job 9:5, 6].
The Lord gives warnings to the inhabitants of the earth, as in the Chicago fire, and the fires in Melbourne, London, and the city of New York. When God's restraining hand is removed, the destroyer begins his work. Then in our cities the greatest calamities will come....The Lord is slow to anger. This should inspire the heart with gratitude. [Nahum 1:3 quoted]. The Lord puts constraint upon His own attributes. Omnipotence is exerted over Omnipotence Himself. Notwithstanding the perversity of men who are cumberers of the ground, the Lord Jehovah bears with them because there are some in the wicked cities who are within the possibility of forgiveness and acceptance with God. It is something that makes my heart sore and sad and at times in an agony, that those who have great light and knowledge should abuse the mercies of God....
Ere long there will be a sudden change in God's dealings. The Lord is prepared to visit the earth, for the iniquity of men is swelling to terrible proportions. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" [Ecclesiastes 8:11]....
The Lord is teaching men that there are limits to His forbearance. In fires, in floods, in earthquakes, in the fury of the great deep, in calamities by sea and land, the warning is given that God's Spirit will not always strive with men. The times in which we live are times of great depravity and crime of every degree. Why?--because men, whom God has blessed and favored, have reduced His holy law to a dead letter, making void the law of God by the traditions and inventions of the man of sin....
In proportion as the commandments of God are despised and set aside for the commandments of men, which bear not the least sanctity, the appreciation of those who have come out from the world, and have separated from it, is strikingly developed. On the other side, Satan through his masterly power will seek to obtain the supremacy. It is the last of the great controversy and will end in his destruction. There is a point in the iniquity of men when it is necessary that God shall interfere, and this point is being reached; and those who are loyal to God's commandments are more than ever bound to prize and love the law of God.
It is a terrible thing for a nation to wear out the patience of God. Each century of profligacy has treasured up wrath for its iniquity against the day of wrath. Christ is now bidding the abandoned of our day to fill up the measure of their fathers in their iniquity. When that time shall come, and their cup of iniquity is filled up, it will be demonstrated that to wear out the patience of God brings tremendous consequences to the disobedient. The nations of earth will act upon a shortsighted policy. Through their own course of action the priests and rulers will restore the lost ascendancy of the man of sin.
Already the Spirit of God, insulted, refused, abused, is being withdrawn from the earth. Just as fast as God's Spirit is taken away, Satan's cruel work will be done upon land and sea. The air is filled with the poison malaria. Judgments by fire and flood will increase in fearfulness, for Satan claims his harvest of souls in the destruction.
Satan is working to the utmost to make himself as God, and to destroy all who oppose his power, and today the world is bowing before him....It seems that the whole human creation wondered after the beast. The kings and rulers of the earth, those who are called noblemen, think themselves altogether too great to submit to the yoke of Christ, but they are willing to bow at Satan's bidding.
Behold Satan's miracle-working power. Every object in the earth, in the air, and in the water has been employed to confirm his claims. Those who yield to these claims are alive with intense activity, one influencing and stimulating another by confirming the greatness and glory of their kingdom. See the activity, the restless surging of the masses in their determination to take and occupy the place of the throne of God. What eagerness, what rage they exhibit in their religious enthusiasm. Mark the defiant rebellion written in their countenances. Their warfare is against their Creator and Redeemer. How vast is the procession they form! How mighty they think themselves to be in their countless numbers.
But they do not see all things. The cloud of judicial wrath hangs over them containing the elements that destroyed Sodom. John saw this multitude. This demon-worship was revealed to him, and it seemed as if the whole world was standing on the brink of perdition. But as he looked with intense interest, he beheld a company of God's commandment-keeping people. They had upon their foreheads the seal of the living God, and he exclaimed: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs" [Revelation 14:12-20].
When the storm of God's wrath breaks upon the world, it will be a terrible revelation for souls to find that their house is being swept away, because it is built upon the sand.
Is it true that the end of all things is at hand? What mean the awful calamities by sea--vessels shipwrecked and lives hurled into eternity without a moment's warning? What mean the awful accidents by land--fire consuming the riches men have hoarded, much of which has been accumulated by oppression of the poor? The Lord will not interfere to protect the property of those who transgress His law, break His covenant, and trample upon His Sabbath, accepting in its place a spurious rest day. As Nebuchadnezzar set up an image in the plains of Dura, and commanded all to bow before it, so this false sabbath has been exalted before the world, and men are commanded to keep it holy....
The plagues of God are already falling upon the earth, sweeping away costly structures as if by a breath of fire from heaven. Will not these judgments bring professing Christians to their senses? God permits them to come that the world may take heed, that sinners may be afraid and tremble before Him.
The Lord permits calamities to come that men may understand the sinfulness of their course, and turn to the Lord with humble confession. Often men, who were in darkness have, through trying circumstances which the Lord has permitted, been awakened and turned to Him. They have become men whom the Lord can use in the proclamation of His truth....
They who will not seek to exalt themselves are the one whom God can most safely entrust with responsibilities.
Calamities are becoming more and more common, but every report of calamity by sea or by land is a testimony of the fact that the end of all things is near. The world is filled with iniquity, and the Lord is punishing [the world] for its wickedness. As crime and iniquity increase, these judgments will become more frequent and more marked, until the time shall come when the "earth...shall no more cover her slain" [Isaiah 26:21].
As we begin active work for the multitudes in the cities, the enemy will work mightily to bring in confusion, hoping thus to break up the working forces. Some who are not thoroughly converted are in constant danger of mistaking the suggestions of the enemy as the leadings of the Spirit of God....
Satan is at work with vehement power to divert the minds of the multitudes, so that they shall not understand and obey the truth. He will entangle with every snare that he can devise.... But his supreme effort is to ensnare and deceive church members who have had long experience, and ministers of the gospel of Christ. With all their ingenuity Satan and the armies under him are working with their superior knowledge to deceive, if possible, the very elect....
We must remember that though they have lost their first estate, the fallen angels are wise above the wisdom of earth, for they have been in the councils of heaven....He who is closely connected with Christ will be strengthened to withstand human and satanic devisings.