- The Third Angel's Message & Rev. 18 -
Letter 34, October 12, 1875
Letter 51, September 6, 1886
Letter 22, January 18, 1889
Manuscript 31, 1890
Letter 86a, January, 1893
Manuscript 32, 1896
Letter 73, October 12, 1896
Manuscript 91, July 17, 1898
Manuscript 92a, 1898
Manuscript 121b, October 1, 1898
Manuscript 172, 1899
Manuscript 175, 1899
Letter 28, February 17, 1900
Letter 74, May 20, 1900
Letter 86, June 18, 1900
Letter 92, July 2, 1900
Letter 121, August 13, 1900
Manuscript 60, August 20, 1900
Manuscript 135, October 31, 1902
Letter 210, September 21, 1903
Manuscript 122, October 9, 1903
Manuscript 53, May 11, 1905
Manuscript 31, April 2, 1906
Manuscript 39, 1906
Manuscript 75, September 20, 1906
Manuscript 37, May 30, 1909
While the false prophets are crying, "Peace and Safety," and are seeking to soothe the consciences of men, saying to the sinner, "Don't be alarmed. It shall be well with thee," the voice of God's servants must be heard to arouse them that are asleep, crying, "Sudden destruction cometh upon every soul of man who is not awake, watching and waiting for the appearing of their Lord in the clouds of heaven." The third angel's message in power will go forth and the earth will be lightened with his glory....The message of warning must be carried to every nation upon the globe....Satan is always astir to hedge up the way, we must be wise or he will prevail.
We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird....I tell you the truth, Elder Butler, that unless there is a cleansing of the soul temple on the part of many who claim to believe and to preach the truth, God's judgments, long deferred, will come.
I address you who shall have this epistle brought before you, who are leaders, who may be termed princes among the people. "Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord" [Isaiah 52:11]. Humble your souls before God. Jesus is in the Sanctuary. We are in the great Day of Atonement, and if the investigative Judgment has not already commenced for the living, it will soon begin.
I stated [at the 1888 General Conference Session] that...there was to be special light for God's people as they neared the closing scenes of this earth's history. Another angel was to come down from heaven with a message, and the whole earth was to be lighted with his glory. It would be impossible for us to state just how this additional light will come. It might come in a very unexpected manner, in a way that would not agree with the ideas that many have conceived. It is not at all unlikely, or contrary to the ways and works of God to send light to His people in unexpected ways. Would it be right that every avenue should be closed...?
The warnings and entreaties of the word of God and the fulfillment of prophecy in events daily taking place around us are but dimly comprehended by many who profess to believe the present truth. Satan would have men sleep, while he is actively at work sowing the seeds of error. Every eye in the unfallen universe is bent on the scenes unfolding before us,--the final scenes of the great controversy,--the consummation of the long struggle of evil against good, of hell with heaven. Satan with his miracle working power is to deceive the world of the ungodly. But Christ, the atoning sacrifice, will be a refuge to every soul that trusts in Him. In the cleft of the Rock we may hide, secure from all the power and arts of the wicked one.
Satan will take possession of every mind given to his control, and will work through every agency that he can secure, to further his plans. And the greater the necessity of shedding light into the darkness of the world, the greater and more varied will be Satan's efforts to intercept the light.
The Lord has revealed the perils that are around and before us. Through the agency of the Spirit of Prophecy, He has unveiled the delusions that will take the world captive, and has spoken to His people, saying, "This is the way; walk ye in it." Volume Four of The Great Controversy unmasks the deceptions of Satan; and we may expect that the enemy of all righteousness will put forth every effort in his power to keep away from the people that which unveils his arts.
By His Spirit the Lord has given the very instruction that is needed at this time. The special movement under the messages of Revelation 14, in its relation to the past and the future, the closing work of Christ in heaven and of His people upon the earth, has been unfolded. The Lord placed upon me the burden of bringing out these things, and in Volume Four (Spirit of Prophecy Series) I have presented them; I still feel a burden that the message shall go to the people. In that book are warnings to guard the people of God against the many errors that shall be promulgated as truth. Every family among our people should study it. The truths which it presents will arouse the conscience, and to many will prove a safeguard against deception. It will confirm their faith in the past work of the messages. The warning, reproof, and instruction given by the Spirit of God are needed by all. There is need of an awakening, a searching of heart, in the light that God has given.
The truths presented in Volume Four are needed by the people, and have been needed for years. The Lord bade me make no delay in bringing out these warnings, and I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. I have done all that I could do. Other agencies must act their part in giving the book the circulation it should have.
But since the General Conference of 1888, Satan has been working with special power through unconsecrated elements to weaken the confidence of God's people in the voice that has been appealing to them for these many years. If he can succeed in this, then through misapplication of scripture he will lead many to cast away their confidence in the past work under the messages. Thus he would set them adrift, with no solid foundation for their faith, hoping to bring them fully under his power. Let the attention of our people be called to the special work of the Spirit of God as it has been connected with the rise and progress of the three messages, and a blessing will result to the whole body. A revival of faith and interest in the testimonies of the Spirit of God will lead to the obtaining of a healthful experience in the things of God.
God has given the messages of Revelation 14 their place in the line of prophecy, and their work is not to cease till the close of this earth's history. The first and second angel's messages are still truth for this time, and are to run parallel with this which follows. The third angel proclaims his warning with a loud voice. "After these things," said John, "I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory" [Revelation 18:1]. In this illumination, the light of all the three messages is combined.
In Volume Four the Lord has revealed to us the coming crisis, which is almost upon us. He has warned us of the dangers that beset our way, in order that we may lay hold upon His strength, and get the victory over the beast and his image, and stand at last on the sea of glass to sing the song of everlasting triumph. But the Lord does not intend that we shall keep these warning to ourselves. The light He has given in Volume Four is for the world.
Today iniquity prevails, not only in the world, polluting it as in Noah's day, but it exists in the church. As a counter influence, the cross of Calvary must be lifted up, the atoning sacrifice must be kept before the people, that men may behold sin in its true hateful character, and may lay hold upon the righteousness of Christ, which alone can subdue sin, and restore the moral image of God in man.
Many in the church allow things of an earthly nature to interpose between the soul and heaven. They have not a right conception of the character of God. They do not perceive His matchless love; and faith and love die out of their hearts. Many minds are confused. They cannot discern spiritual things, and they are made unable to distinguish the voice of the true Shepherd from that of a stranger. How necessary it is that such should study the message that God has given, lest they be swept away by the overwhelming delusions of the enemy.
The whole world lieth in darkness. Darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people, and the Lord calls upon the members of the church to labor together with Him in awakening the world, if possible, to their peril. We cannot do this of ourselves. We must derive our efficiency from Christ. Jesus says, "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me" [John 12:32]. Here is the secret of power, of effectiveness; for though human instrumentalities are employed in the work of salvation, it is the light shining from the uplifted cross that alone can attract hearts heavenward. We must present the truth as it is in Jesus. The light and power of an indwelling Saviour must be ours, or we cannot draw others to Him. We must be imbued with the spirit of truth, the spirit of Christ. There is no power in humanity to draw humanity to Christ. We are as iron that cannot attract unless it be magnetized. We must be sanctified through the truth if we would have a sanctifying influence upon others. Jesus says, "Thy word is truth" [John 17:17]. It is through a sanctified knowledge of the word of God that we shall be able to overcome the powers of darkness and win souls for the Master.
I have felt to urge upon all the necessity of searching the Scriptures for themselves that they may know what is truth, and may discern more clearly the compassion and love of God. Yet there is need of carefulness and earnest prayer in the study of the Bible, that none may fall into error by a misconception of its teachings. There is one great central truth to be kept ever before the mind in the searching of the Scriptures:--Christ and Him crucified. Every other truth is invested with influence and power corresponding to its relation to this theme. It is only in the light of the cross that we can discern the exalted character of the law of God. The soul palsied by sin can be endowed with life only through the work wrought out upon the cross by the Author of our salvation. The love of Christ constrains man to unite with Him in His labors and sacrifice. The revelation of divine love awakens in them a sense of their neglected obligation to be lightbearers to the world, and inspires them with a missionary spirit. This truth enlightens the mind and sanctifies the soul. It will banish unbelief and inspire faith. It is the one great truth to be constantly kept before the minds of men. Yet how dimly is the love of God understood; and in the teaching of the word it makes but a faint impression.
When Christ in His work of redemption is seen to be the great central truth of the system of truth, a new light is shed upon all the events of the past and the future. They are seen in a new relation, and possess a new and deeper significance. It is thus that God by His Holy Spirit has opened these things to His people. From this stand-point Volume Four of The Great Controversy presents to our view the past experience of the church, and the great events of the future. In that book God has laid out before us in their true relation the events that are to take place upon our earth.
But Satan is constantly seeking to intercept every ray of light that God sends to prepare the people for what is before them. To those who should give the light to the world, he will present plans which appear to be for the promulgation of truth, but which will in reality hinder the work. These plans appear so plausible, however, that they are accepted, and thus his object is accomplished. This is why Volume Four has not received the attention it should have had....
If it is a book which the people need, if the Divine Watcher has therein condescended to unveil the scenes of the great contest in which every soul living will have a part to act, should there not be an earnest effort to circulate it? Should not the canvasser be encouraged to handle it? Should not our people be encouraged to do their utmost to bring it before the world?...
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world." Whenever a book is presented that will expose error, Satan is close by the side of the one to whom it is offered, and urges reasons why it should not be accepted. But a divine agency is at work to influence minds in favor of the light. Ministering angels will oppose their power to that of Satan. And when through the influence of the Holy Spirit the truth is received into the mind and heart, it will have a transforming power upon the character....
It is not the ability of the agent or the worker, but it is the Spirit of God moving upon the heart that will give true success.
Many of our brethren do not think but that other publications may be fully as effective in bringing souls to a knowledge of the truth as Volume Four.
There are some occupying positions of responsibility who have had little experience in the working of the Holy Spirit. They do not appreciate the light in warnings, reproofs, and encouragement given to the church in these last days, because their hearts and minds have not been receiving the Spirit of divine grace. These persons are disposed to conceal the fact that in connection with the work of the third angel's message the Lord through the Spirit of Prophecy has been communicating to His people a knowledge of His will. They think that the truth will be received more readily if this fact is not made prominent. But this is mere human reasoning. The very fact that this light coming to the people is not presented as having originated with human minds will make an impression upon a large class who believe that the gifts of the Spirit are to be manifested in the church in the last days. The attention of many will thus be arrested, and they will be convicted and converted. Many will thus be impressed who would not otherwise be reached....
I testify to the churches that Volume Four should have had just as wide a circulation as any other work we have published....But no one seems to feel that they have any special duty in the matter. Now I present it to you, my brethren, in the name of the Lord. I think that many of you do not know what it contains, and I ask you to study it carefully and prayerfully. Then you will see the force of my words; you will see the necessity of urging that it find a place in every family among us, and that it be carried to the world.
The results of the circulation of this book (Vol 4 Spirit of Prophecy) are not to be judged by what now appears. By reading it, some souls will be aroused, and will have courage to unite themselves at once with those who keep the commandments of God. But a much larger number who read it will not take their position until they see the very events taking place that are foretold in it. The fulfillment of some of the predictions will inspire faith that other predictions also will come to pass, and when the earth is lightened with the glory of the Lord in the closing work, many souls will take their position on the commandments of God as the result of this agency.
While this message [of Revelation 18] is sounding, while the proclamation of truth is doing its separating work, we as faithful sentinels of God are to discern what our real position is. We are not to confederate with worldlings, lest we become imbued with their spirit, lest our spiritual discernment becomes confused, and we view those who have the truth and bear the message of the Lord from the standpoint of the professed Christian churches.
The proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages has been located by the Word of Inspiration. Not a peg or a pin is to be moved. No human authority has any more right to change the location of these messages than to substitute the New Testament for the Old....The first and second messages were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are under the proclamation of the third, but all three messages are still to be proclaimed. It is just as essential now as ever before that they shall be repeated....There cannot be a third without the first and second. These messages we are to give to the world in publications, in discourses, showing the line of prophetic history the things that have been, and the things that will be...."And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" [Rev. 14:6-7].
This message, if heeded, will call the attention of every nation and kindred and tongue and people to a close examination of the Word, and to the true light in regard to the power that has changed the seventh-day Sabbath to a spurious sabbath. The only true God has been forsaken, His law has been discarded, His sacred Sabbath institution has been trampled in the dust by the man of sin. The [Sabbath] memorial, declaring who the living God is, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, has been torn down, and a spurious sabbath has been given to the world in its place. Thus a breach has been made in the law of God. A false sabbath could not be a true standard.
In the first angel's message men are called to worship God, our Creator who made the world and all things that are therein. They have paid homage to an institution of the papacy, making of no effect the law of Jehovah, but there is to be an increase of knowledge on this subject....
The message proclaimed by the angel flying in the midst of heaven is the everlasting gospel, the same gospel that was declared in Eden when God said to the serpent, "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" [Genesis 3:15]. Here was the first promise of a Saviour who could stand on the field of battle to contest the power of Satan and prevail against him. Christ came to our world to represent the character of God as it is represented in His Holy Law; for His law is a transcript of His character. Christ was both the law and the gospel. The angel that proclaims the everlasting gospel proclaims the law of God; for the gospel of salvation brings men to obedience of the law, whereby their characters are formed after the Divine similitude....
All who will search the scriptures for themselves will see that the law of God stands immutable, eternal, and His memorial, the Sabbath, will endure through eternal ages, pointing to the only true God in distinction from all false gods.
But if in one jot or tittle the law of God has been changed, Satan has gained on earth that which he could not gain in heaven. He has prepared his delusive snare, hoping to take captive the church and the world. Not all will be taken in the snare. A line of distinction is being drawn between the children of obedience and the children of disobedience; the loyal and true, and the disloyal and untrue. Two great parties are developed, the worshipers of the beast and his image, and the worshipers of the true and living God.
The message of Revelation 14, proclaiming that the hour of God's judgment is come, is given in the time of the end, and the angel of Revelation 10 is represented as having one foot on the sea and one foot on the land, showing that the message will be carried to distant lands; the ocean will be crossed, and the islands of the sea will hear the proclamation of the last message of warning to our world.
"And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and things that are herein, that there should be time no longer" [Revelation 10:5-6]. This message announces the end of the prophetic periods. The disappointment of those who expected to see our Lord come in 1844 was indeed bitter to those who has so ardently looked for His appearing. It was in the Lord's order that this disappointment should come, that hearts should be revealed.
Not one cloud has fallen upon the church that God has not prepared for; not one opposing force has risen to counterwork the work of God but He has foreseen. All has taken place as He has predicted through His prophets. He has not left His church in darkness, forsaken, but has traced in prophetic declarations what would occur, and through His providence, acting in its appointed place in the world's history. He has brought about that which His Holy Spirit inspired the prophets to foretell. All His purposes will be fulfilled and established.
God's law is linked to His throne and satanic agencies combined with human agencies cannot destroy it. Truth is inspired and guarded by God. It will live and succeed, although it may at times appear to be overshadowed. The gospel of Christ is the law exemplified in character. The deceptions practiced against it, every device for vindicating falsehood, every error forged by satanic agencies, will eventually be eternally broken, and the triumph of truth will be like the appearing of the sun at noon day. The Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth with healing in His wings, and the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.
All that God has in prophetic history specified to be fulfilled in the past has been, and all that is yet to come in its order will be. Daniel, God's prophet, stands in his place. John stands in his place. In the Revelation the lion of the tribe of Judah has opened to the students of prophecy the book of Daniel, and thus is Daniel standing in his place....
In history and prophecy the Word of God portrays the long continued conflict between truth and error. That conflict is yet in progress. Those things which have been, will be repeated. Old controversies will be revived and new theories will be continually arising. But God's people, who in their belief and fulfillment of prophecy have acted a part in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages, know where they stand. They are to stand firm as a rock, holding the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end.
A transforming power attended the proclamation of the first and second angels' messages, and it attends the message of the third angel....
Satan is working that the history of the Jewish nation may be repeated in the experience of those who claim to believe present truth....Christ's mission was misunderstood. The delusive hope for a temporal prince led to misapplication of Scripture....The very ones who ought to have been the first to welcome Jesus did not discern him. He was not the one their ambitious hopes desired. The false path they had entered, they continued to follow to the end. They became unteachable, self-righteous, and self-sufficient, fancying they possessed true light and that they were the only safe instructors of the people.
The very same Satan is at work to undermine the faith of the people of God at this time.... But these messages, (first, second, & third) received and acted upon, are doing their work to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. If we search the Scriptures to confirm the truth God has given His servants for the world, we shall be found proclaiming the first, second, and third angels' messages....
The work to be done now is that of sounding this last message of mercy to a fallen world. A new light is coming from heaven and taking possession of all of God's people. But divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and the tares grow up together for the harvest.
The work will grow deeper and become more earnest to the very close of time. And all who are laborers together with God will contend most earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. They will not be turned from the present message which is already lightening the earth with its glory. Nothing is worth contending for but the glory of God. The only rock that will stand is the Rock of Ages. The truth as it is in Jesus is the refuge in the days of error.
God has warned His people of the perils before them. John beholds the things that will be in the last days and he sees a people working counter to God. [Read Revelation 12:17; 14:10-12; and chapters 13 & 17]. John see a company who have been deceiving. He says, "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" [Revelation 16:13-15].
From those who have rejected truth, the light of God has departed. They did not heed the messages of the true Witness, "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see" [Revelation 3:18]. That message will do its work, and people will be prepared to stand without fault before God.
John beheld this company, and he says, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" [Revelation 19:7-8].
Prophecy has been fulfilling, line upon line. The more firmly we stand under the banner of the third angel's message, the more clearly shall we understand the prophecy of Daniel, for the Revelation is the supplement of Daniel. The more fully we accept the light presented by the Holy Spirit through the consecrated servants of God, the deeper and surer (even as the eternal throne) will appear the truths of ancient prophecy. We shall be assured that men of God spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. Men must themselves be under the influence of the Holy Spirit in order to understand the Spirit's utterances through the prophets. These messages were given, not for those who uttered the prophecies, but for us who are living amid the scenes of their fulfillment....
The everlasting gospel is to be proclaimed by human agents. We are to sound the messages of the angels, which are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, with the last warning to a fallen world. If we are not called upon to prophesy, we are called to believe the prophecies, and to cooperate with God in giving light to other minds. This we are trying to do....
Theories will be continually agitated to divert the mind, to unsettle the faith. Those who have had the actual experience in the unfolding of the prophecies that have made them what they are today,--Seventh-day Adventists,--are to stand with their loins girt about with truth and with the whole armor on...."Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" [Revelation 14:12].
Here we stand, under the third angel's message. "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, 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. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 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 18:1-5].
Thus the substance of the second angel's message is again given to the world by that other angel who lightens the earth with his glory. These messages all blend in one [and are] to come before the people in the closing days of this earth's history. All the world will be tested, and all who have been in the darkness of error in regard to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will understand the last message of mercy that is to be given to man....The great burden of every soul should be, is my heart renewed? Is my soul transformed? Are my sins pardoned through faith in Christ? Have I been born again? Am I complying with the invitation, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Do you count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus? And do you feel it your duty to believe every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God?
Men are taking sides, according to their choice. Those that are feeding on the Word of God will show this by their practice. They are on the Lord's side, seeking by precept and example to reform the world. All that have refused to be taught of God will hold the traditions of men. They at last pass over to the side of the enemy, against God, and are written--"Antichrist."
The people of God who understand our position in this world's history, are with ears open and hearts softened and subdued pressing together in unity--one with Jesus Christ. Those who will not practice the lessons of Christ, but keep themselves in hand, to mold themselves, find in Antichrist the center of their union. While the two parties stand in collision, the Lord will appear and shine before His ancients gloriously. He will set up a kingdom that shall stand forever....The time is now come when one moment we may be on solid earth, the next the earth may be heaving beneath our feet. Earthquakes will take place when least expected.
The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of the Lord. The pure in heart shall see God. It is those who are following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth that will receive the power from that angel that came down from heaven "having great power." The first message is to be repeated, proclaiming the second advent of Christ to our world. The second angel's message is to be repeated, "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. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" [Revelation 18:2, 3].
This prophecy will be fulfilled, and the earth will know that the Heavens do rule. Christ is coming with power and great glory. He will come with all the holy angels with Him. He will come with His own glory and with the glory of the Father. While all the world is plunged in darkness, there will be light in every dwelling of the saints. They will catch the first light of His second appearing.
What a day that will be, when the unsullied light will shine from His splendor, and Christ, the Redeemer, will be admired by all who have received Him. All who have served Him will catch the undimmed rays of the glory and brightness of the King in His majesty. In that day those who have been counted as the lowly ones will be the truly lofty.
[Matthew 25:1-13 quoted].
A special message has come to our world in the messages of the first and second angels [Revelation 14:6-8 quoted].
Under the proclamation of these messages, the midnight cry was made, and the believers in the messages were compelled to go out from the churches because they preached the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. The whole world was to hear that message, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him." Here is the parable of the ten virgins.
When the ten virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom, their lamps were trimmed and burning. Five of these virgins were wise. They anticipated delay, and filled their flagons with oil, prepared for any emergency. From those flagons their lamps were supplied, and not left to go out. But five of their number had not this foresight. They made no provision for disappointment or delay.
The second call is made, and the ten virgins are still watching for the bridegroom. Hour after hour passes. Their eyes are anxiously looking for the appearance of the bridegroom. But there is a delay, and the weary, watching ones fall asleep. But at midnight, at the very darkest hour, when their lamps are most needed, the cry is heard, "Behold the bridegroom cometh." The sleeping eyes are opened. Everyone is astir. They see the procession they are to join moving on, bright with torches and with music. They hear the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. The five wise virgins trim their lamps from oil in their flagons, and their lamps burn brightly.
"But five of them were foolish." These had made no provision wherewith to replenish their lamps, and when aroused from their slumbers they found their lights going out. Their flagons were empty.
Their first thought was to borrow of their neighbors, and they said to the wise virgins, "Give us of your oil, for our lamps are going out." But the answer comes back, "Not so; lest there be not enough for yourselves and for us. Go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves." And while they went to buy, the procession moved on and left them behind. The bridal train entered within the house, and the door was shut. When the foolish virgins reached the banqueting hall, an unexpected denial was given them. They were left outside in the blackness of the night. The door was shut.
All the Christian world is represented in this parable. The bride constitutes the church that is waiting for the second appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Some who have a nominal faith are not prepared for His coming. The oil of grace is not feeding their lamps, and they are not prepared to enter in to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The representation is such as to call forth our earnest study, that we may know what preparation we who are living in the last days are to make, that we may enter in and partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb. We are to accept the last message of mercy given to a fallen world: "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city" [Revelation 22:14].
There is a delay in the coming of the Bridegroom in order that all may have an opportunity to hear the last message of mercy to a fallen world. The first and second angel's messages are all united and complete in the third: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb."
John was shown these things in holy vision. He saw the company represented by the five wise virgins, with their lamps trimmed and burning, and he exclaimed in rapture, "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" [Revelation 14:13].
Many who heard the first and second angels' messages thought they would live to see Christ coming in the clouds of heaven. Had all who claimed to believe the truth acted their part as wise virgins, the message would ere this have been proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. But five were wise and five were foolish. The truth should have been proclaimed by the ten virgins, but only five had made the provision essential to join that company who walked in the light that had come to them. Many who went forth to meet the Bridegroom under the messages of the first and second angels, refused the third angel's message, the last testing message to be given to the world.
A similar work will be accomplished when that other angel, represented in Revelation 18, gives his message. The first, second, and third angels' messages will need to be repeated. The call will be given to the church, "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins." "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. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies....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 18:2-5].
Take each verse of this chapter, and read it carefully, especially the last two: "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth" [Verses 23-24].
The parable of the ten virgins was given by Christ Himself, and every specification should be carefully studied. A time will come when the door will be shut. We are represented either by the wise or the foolish virgins....There are those who hold the truth in unrighteousness, and these appear outwardly like the wise.
Said Christ, "Every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up....Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart: and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these things which defile a man" [Matthew 15:13, 18-20]....
[Matthew 7:15-23 quoted].
This is the test. Those who are counted among the wise virgins will let their light burn in good works. There are many who will not remain at the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him. They have not a knowledge of His ways. Let none rest in the idea that baptism has saved them, while they give no evidence that they are conformed to the image of Christ, while they cling to their old habits, while they exert their influence on the side of the world, and weave their fabric with the treads of worldly ideas and customs. These have not kept the oil in the vessels with their lamps. They are not ready for the Bridegroom. The oil is the holy grace that is sent from heaven, and there must be an inward adorning with that grace, that they may be enabled to stand when He appeareth. The parable of the talents is given to represent the kingdom of heaven, and show the necessity of an accurate use of the endowments that God has entrusted to us. It is of the highest importance that we understand these parables and know wherein they have any bearing upon us individually. The ten virgins are represented as watching in the evening of this earth's history. They represent the church of professed Christians. This lesson should fill our minds with serious thought, and drive us to our Bibles, the Word of the living God. It should lead us to most earnest supplication that God will lead us into all truth.
Said Christ: "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it" [Matthew 7:24-27]....Those who are superficial in their piety may be willing to take the name of Christians, but they will not comply with the conditions laid down in the Word of God. They do not conform their characters to the Word of God and to the pattern He has given. All are hearers of the word. They comment upon that which they hear, but some, while they assent to the message sent by God to them, do not have the faith that will enable them to place the word of God in their hearts. God knows full well that if self does not die, it will become a controlling power in the soul. When the transforming power of God works upon the hearts of men, then they are represented by the wise virgins....
The five wise virgins represent those who have perfected a Christian character, who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. God's message to His people is: [Revelation 3:3-5 quoted].
A great price has been paid for the redemption of man, and none who are untruthful, impure, or unrighteous can enter the kingdom of heaven. If men do not make Christ their personal Saviour, and become true and pure and holy, there is only one course for the Lord to pursue. He must destroy the sinner, for evil natures cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Thus it is that sin, if not destroyed, will destroy the sinner, just as Satan designed it should.
As God made man, he was perfect, reflecting the moral image of God. He was left free to choose good or evil. If he should decide to choose the evil, he must have the evil. And man abused the high prerogative of his nature. Christ gave His life to make it possible for all to be wise virgins, partakers of the divine nature, that they might become complete in Jesus Christ, perfect without spot, and blameless. Thus through Jesus Christ human nature was placed on vantage ground with God, before the heavenly universe and the fallen world....
Christ has made it possible for man to rise in moral value with God. By resisting all wrong, by subduing the evil temper, selfishness, and pride, he may attain to the righteousness of Christ. Man is to become one with Christ in God. Sin is degrading, and there is no place for it in heaven. It is our privilege to have the power of self-control, and if we do not have it we reveal that sin still reigns in our mortal bodies. "Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me," He says, "and he shall make peace with Me" [Isaiah 27:5].
The ten virgins all claim to be Christians, but five are true and five are false. All have a name, a call, a lamp, and all claim to be doing God service. All apparently watch for His appearing. All started apparently prepared, but five were wanting. Five were found surprised, dismayed, without oil, outside the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. There are many who cry peace, when there is no peace. This is the most perilous belief for the human soul to entertain. Christ speaks to all who bear His name, who claim to be His followers, to eat His flesh and drink His blood, else they can have no part with Him. Be not like the foolish virgins, who take for granted that the promises of God are theirs, while they do not live as Christ has enjoined upon them. Christ teaches us that profession is nothing....Let no one take for granted that he is saved....
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem," Christ said, "thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" [Matthew 23:37].
In this lamentation over Jerusalem is given the assurance of protection to all who will come unto Christ. He will accept and protect them, poor, defenseless, dependent, even as the hen spreads her protecting wings over her brood.
What a touching figure is this! What an idea it gives us of the watchful care of Christ for all who trust in Him. Christ longed to gather Israel under His mediatorial wings....But Christ could not do for Israel all that He desired to do, because they would not respond to His invitations. "Ye would not," He said. Their will was stubborn and unyielding. His last words to the impenitent nation were, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" [Matthew 23:38, 39].
Unless those who can help are roused to a sense of their duty, they will not recognize the work of God when the loud cry of the third angel shall be heard. When light goes forth to lighten the earth, instead of coming up to the help of the Lord, they will want to bind about His work to meet their narrow ideas. Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning.
There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.
Health reform is to stand out more prominently in the proclamation of the third angel's message....It is the Lord's design that the restoring influence of health reform shall be a part of the last great effort to proclaim the gospel message. Our physicians are to be God's workers. They are to be men whose powers have been sanctified and transformed by the grace of Christ. Their influence is to be knit up with the truth that is to be given to the world. In perfect and complete unity with the gospel ministry, the work of health reform will reveal its God-given power. Under the influence of the gospel great reforms will be made by medical missionary work....
The message in regard to the fall of Babylon must be given. God's people are to understand in regard to the angel who is to lighten the whole world with his glory, while he cries mightily, with a loud voice, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen" [Revelation 18:2]. The solemn events which are now taking place belong to a series of events in the chain of history, the first link of which is connected with Eden. Let the people of God prepare for what is coming upon the earth. Extravagance in the use of means, selfishness, heresies, have taken the world captive. For centuries satanic agencies have been at work. Will they now give up without a struggle?
There are only two parties in our world, those who are loyal to God, and those who stand under the banner of the prince of darkness. Satan and his angels will come down with power and signs and lying wonders to deceive those who dwell on the earth, and, if possible, the very elect. The crisis is right upon us. Is this to paralyze the energies of those who have a knowledge of the truth? Is the influence of the powers of deception so far-reaching that the influence of the truth will be overturned?
The battle of Armageddon is soon to be fought. He on whose vesture is written the name, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, leads forth the armies of heaven on white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white. John writes: "I saw heaven open, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes are as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God.
"And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These were both cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse" [Revelation 19:11-21].
Satan's agents have not been sparing of the blood of the saints. Christ's true followers are kind, tender, pitiful. They will realize the meaning of the work of the angel of Revelation eighteen, who is to lighten the whole earth with his glory, while he cries with a loud voice, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen..." [Revelation 18:2]. Many will heed this call.
We need to study the pouring out of the seventh vial. The powers of evil will not yield up the conflict without a struggle. But Providence has a part to act in the battle of Armageddon. When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation 18, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field.
The Third Angel's message is to be given to our world in clear, distinct lines. Some have thought that it is best to gradually prepare the way for the presentation of the Sabbath question.
The Sabbath truth is the message to be proclaimed with a loud voice, as represented in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. And in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation we read, "The third angel followed them, "saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb" [verses 9, 10]. This message embraces the two preceding messages. It is represented as being given with a loud voice, that is, with the power of the Holy Spirit. The impression made by this message will be proportionate to the earnestness with which it is proclaimed.
John beholds the loyal people of God, and he exclaims, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" [Rev. 14:12]. Babylon is represented as holding a wine cup in her hand, from which she makes all nations drink. The nations commit spiritual fornication by divorcing themselves from God and trampling on His commandments. The time in which the saints live is a trying one for those who refuse to receive the mark of the beast and his image. But through it all the saints show their patience. They continue to be steadfast in the faith, even should their firmness cost them their lives.
We know that now everything is at stake. The third angel's message is to be at this time regarded as of the highest importance. It is a life and death question.
The eighteenth chapter of Revelation reveals the importance of presenting the truth in no measured terms, but with boldness and power. There must be no toning down of the truth, no muffling of the message for this time. Satan has devised a state of things whereby the proclamation of the third angel's message shall be bound about. We must beware of his plans and methods. The third angel's message is to be strengthened and confirmed.
John writes, [Revelation 18:1-5 quoted]. This call is similar to the call made by the first and second angels. By the third angel the call is again repeated, "Come out of her, my people."
Satan will so mingle his deceptions with truth that side issues will be created to turn the attention of the people from the great issue, the test to be brought upon the people of God in these last days. From the light God has given me, I know that the gospel message for this time is being turned aside...and the work of preparing people to stand amid the perils of the last days will never be done....
Tell the people that the Lord is coming in judgment, and that neither rulers or kings, wealth nor influence, will be able to stand against or ward off the judgments soon to fall. In many places these judgments are already falling, yet by their attitude worldlings and church members say plainly, "We want none of these rebukes. We want none of your warnings. We will not hear." There are only two parties upon the earth--those who stand under the bloodstained banner of Jesus Christ and those who stand under the black banner of rebellion. Those who stand under Christ's banner bear the sign of obedience spoken of in Exodus 31;12-18. Please read this Scripture carefully.
In the twelfth chapter of Revelation is represented the last great conflict between the obedient and the disobedient. "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" [Rev. 12:17]. "I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which has the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" [Rev. 13:11-17].
Satan will work miracles to deceive those who dwell upon the earth. Spiritualism will do its work, by causing the dead to be personated. Those religious bodies who refuse to hear God's message of warning will be under strong deception, and will unite with the civil power to persecute the saints. The Protestant churches will unite with the papal power in persecuting the commandment-keeping people of God. This is that power which constitutes the great system of persecution that will exercise spiritual tyranny over the consciences of men.
"He had two horns like a lamb, and he spake like a dragon." Though professing to be followers of the lamb of God, men become imbued with the spirit of the dragon. They profess to be meek and humble, but they speak and legislate with the spirit of Satan, showing by their actions that they are the opposite of what they profess to be. This lamb-like power unites with the dragon in making war upon those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. And Satan unites with Protestants and papists, acting in concert with them as the god of this world, dictating to men as if they were the subjects of his kingdom, to be handled and governed and controlled as he pleases.
If men will not agree to trample underfoot the commandments of God, the spirit of the dragon is revealed. They are imprisoned, brought before councils, and fined. "He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads." "He had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the beast should be killed." Thus Satan usurps the prerogatives of Jehovah. The man of sin sits in the seat of God, proclaiming himself to be God, and acting above God.
There is a marked contrast between those who bear the seal of God and those who worship the beast and his image. The Lord's faithful servants will receive the bitterest persecution from false teachers, who will not hear the word of God, and who prepare stumbling blocks to put in the way of those who would hear. But God's people are not to fear. Satan cannot go beyond his limit. The Lord will be the defense of His people. He regards the injury done to His servants for the truth's sake as done to Himself. When the last decision has been made, when all have taken sides, either for Christ and the commandments, or for the great apostate, God will arise in His power, and the mouths of those who have blasphemed against Him will be forever stopped. Every opposing power will receive its punishment. [Jeremiah 25:30-33 quoted]....
Now is the time to give the Third Angel's message.
The day of woe, of wasting and destruction, is upon all who do unrighteousness. Especially will the Lord's hand fall upon the watchmen who have failed to place before the people in clear lines their obligation to God, who by creation and by redemption is their owner....
The third angel's message, embracing the messages of the first and second angel, is the message for our time. We are to lift the banner on which is inscribed, "The Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" [Revelation 12:17]. This is not the time to put out of sight the great issues before us. The work to be done is solemn and important....
Opposition we shall have as we voice the message of the third angel. Satan will bring up every device he possibly can to make of none effect the truth once delivered to the saints. "Many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" [2 Peter 2:2, 3]. But, in spite of opposition, all are to hear the words of truth.
The message must go from east to west, and from west to east again. A great shaking must come up. The professed believers in the truth for this time are asleep. They need to awake because the light of truth has not only flashed upon them, but rightly done its work. God will have representatives in every place in all parts of the world.
The message of the angel following the third is now to be given to all parts of the world. It is to be the harvest message, and the whole earth will be lighted with the glory of God. The Lord has this one [last] call of mercy to [give to] the world, but the perversity of men diverts the work from its true bearing, and the light has to struggle amid the darkness of men who feel themselves competent to do a work that God has not appointed them to do.
The last message of mercy is to be given in clear, simple lines. The message of truth, lifting up the downtrodden Sabbath, is to be translated into different languages. In no one place is all the time and money and talent to be abundantly and exhaustively absorbed....He [God] wants His servants to voice the first, second, and third angel's messages. Thus the churches are to be prepared for the coming of another angel from heaven [who is] to lighten the earth with his glory.
Influences of various kinds and order will come in to sway the people of God from the saving tests for this time....There will be brought in a vast amount of man-made tests that have not the least bearing upon the work given us of God to prepare a people to stand with the whole equipment of the heavenly armor on, without leaving off one piece.
The Word of God and His downtrodden law are to be made prominent in so marked a manner that men and women, members of other churches, shall be brought face to face, mind to mind, heart to heart with truth. They will see it superiority over the multitudinous errors that are presented and are pushing their way into notice to supplement, if possible, the truth for this time. Every soul is taking sides. All are ranging themselves under the banner of truth and righteousness or under the banner of the apostate powers that are contending for the supremacy....
The truth for this time, the third angel's message, is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, meaning with increasing power as we approach the great final test. This test must come to the churches in connection with the true medical missionary work, a work that has the Great Physician to dictate and preside in all it comprehends. Under the Great Head we are to present God's word requiring obedience to the system of Bible truth which is a system of authority and power, convicting and converting the conscience. The demand of the Word to obedience is a life and death question.
The present truth for this time comprises the messages [given us to proclaim]--the third angel's message succeeding the first and the second. The presentation of this message with all it embraces is our work. We stand as the remnant people in these last days to promulgate the truth and swell the cry of the third angel's wonderful, distinct message, giving the trumpet a certain sound. Eternal truth, which we have adhered to from the beginning, is to be maintained in all its increasing importance to the close of probation. The trumpet is to give no uncertain sound....Faith, eternal faith in the past and in the present truth, is to be talked, is to be prayed, is to be presented with pen and voice.
The Third angel's message in its clear, definite terms is to be made the prominent warning. All that it comprehends is to be made intelligible to the reasoning minds of today. While we bind ourselves to the development of the truth in the past angels' messages, we are announcing the message of the third angel and of the other angel's that follows the third, the second time proclaiming the fall of Babylon.
We are to give the message, "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....Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" [Revelation 18:2, 4]. This message is to come to the churches. We are to consider the best plans for accomplishing this. The message must be so presented as to command the attention of reasoning minds....There should be no striving for recognition by worldly men in order to give character and influence to the work in these last days....The truth in all its bearings is to be acted, showing the consistency of faith with practice. The value of our faith will be shown by its fruit....
As the last conflict with Satan will be the most decisive, the most deceptive and terrible that has ever been, so also will his overthrow be the most complete. The final resurrection to judgment will complete on the one hand the triumph of Christ and His church, and on the other will be the destruction of Satan and his followers.
In this age of the world the masses of the people have turned away their ears from hearing the word of the Lord, lest they should be disturbed by His plainly specified requirements....
The prevalence of sin is alarming. The world is being filled with violence as in the days of Noah. Would the world be in this present condition if those who claim to be the people of God had reverenced and obeyed the law of the Lord? It is the rejection of the truth, man's dispensing with the commandments of God, that has produced the condition of things which now exists. God's Word is made of none effect by false shepherds....
It is coming now to be seen that the false shepherds have turned men away from the laws of the kingdom of God to exalt their own theories and suppositions....Their work will soon react upon themselves. Then will be witnessed the scenes described in Revelation 18, when the judgment of God shall fall upon mystical Babylon.
Then will be seen the fulfillment of the word of the Lord by the prophet Hosea: "There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish...."My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee....Seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against Me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of My people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. And there shall be, like people like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their doings" [Hosea 4:1-3, 6-9].
The third angel's message increases in importance as we near the close of this earth's history....God has presented to me the dangers that are threatening those who have been given the sacred work of proclaiming the third angel's message. They are to remember that this message is of the utmost consequence to the whole world. They need to search the Scriptures diligently, that they may learn how to guard against the mystery of iniquity, which plays so large a part in the closing scenes of this earth's history.
There will be more and still more external parade by worldly powers. Under different symbols, God presented to John the wicked character and seductive influences of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of His people. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation speaks of mystic Babylon, fallen from her high estate to become a persecuting power. Those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus are the object of the wrath of this power....
John writes: [Revelation 18:1-8 quoted].
This terrible picture drawn by John to show how completely the powers of earth will give themselves over to evil, should show those who have received the truth how dangerous it is to link up with secret societies or to join themselves in any way with those who do not keep God's commandments.
[Revelation 13:11-13 quoted.]
Religious powers, allied to heaven by profession, and claiming to have the characteristics of a lamb, will show by their acts that they have the heart of the dragon, and that they are instigated and controlled by Satan. The time is coming when God's people will feel the hand of persecution because they keep holy the seventh day. Satan has caused the change of the Sabbath in the hope of carrying out his purpose for the defeat of God's plans. He seeks to make the commands of God of less force in the world than human laws. The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, and who has always oppressed the people of God, will cause laws to be made enforcing the observance of the first day of the week. But God's people are to stand firm for Him, and the Lord will work in their behalf, showing plainly that He is the God of gods....
The message given man to proclaim in these last days is not to be amalgamated with worldly opinions. In these days of peril, nothing but obedience will keep man from apostasy. God has bestowed on man great light and many blessings. But unless this light and these blessings are received, they are no security against apostasy and disobedience. When those whom God has exalted to positions of high trust turn from Him to human wisdom, their light becomes darkness; and how great is that darkness! Their entrusted capabilities are a snare to them. They become an offense to God. There can be no mockery of God without the sure result. There always has been, and till the conflict is ended there always will be, a departing from God.
The closing scenes of this earth's history are near at hand. The unfulfilled predictions of the book of revelation are soon to be fulfilled. This prophecy is now to be studied with diligence by the people of God, and should be clearly understood. It does not conceal the truth; it clearly forewarns, telling us what will be in the future....
The Lord himself will call men, as of old He called the humble fishermen, and will Himself give them instruction regarding their field of labor and the method they should follow. He will call men from the plow and from other occupations to give the last note of warning to perishing souls.
The prophecies of the eighteenth of Revelation will soon be fulfilled. During the proclamation of the third angel's message, "another angel" is to "come down from heaven, having great power" and the earth is to be "lightened with his glory" [Revelation 18:1]. The Spirit of the Lord will so graciously and universally bless consecrated human instrumentalities, that men, women, and children will open their lips in praise and testimony, filling the earth with the knowledge of God, and with His unsurpassed glory, as the waters cover the sea.
Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide awake during the time that the third angel's message is proclaimed with great power. During the loud cry, the church, aided by the providential interpositions of her exalted Lord, will diffuse the knowledge of salvation so abundantly that light shall be communicated to every city and town. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of salvation. So abundantly will the renewing Spirit of God have crowned with success the intensely active agencies, that the light of present truth will be seen flashing everywhere.
The saving knowledge of God will accomplish its purifying work on the mind and heart of every believer. The Word declares: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes" [Ezekiel 36:25-27]. This is the descent of the Holy Spirit, sent from God to do its office-work....All who have not received the light will be convicted. All who will turn unto the Lord with full purpose of heart will confess their sins.
Amidst the confusing cries, "Lo, here is Christ! Lo, there is Christ!" will be borne a special testimony of truth appropriate for this time, which message is to be received, believed, and acted upon....The eternal truth of the Word will stand forth free from all seductive errors and spiritualistic interpretations, free from all fancifully drawn, alluring pictures. Falsehood will be urged upon the attention of God's people, but the truth is to stand clothed in its beautiful, pure garments as the Spirit of truth....
As men, women, and children proclaim the gospel, the Lord will open the eyes of the blind to see His statutes, and will write upon the hearts of the truly penitent His law. The animating Spirit of God, working through human agencies, leads the believers to be as one mind, one soul, unitedly loving God and keeping His commandments--preparing here below for translation....
Let not one believer, in the day of trial and proving, listen to the devising of the enemy. The living Word is the Sword of the Spirit. Mercies and judgments will be sent from heaven. The workings of Providence will be revealed both in mercies and judgments. The judgments will sometimes follow.
There will be many voices to divert the minds of the people of God from the true issues, and Satan is leading them, disguised as an angel of light. Beware of those who would bring in false theories and would deceive, if possible, the very elect....
There is soon to be tremendous crisis. It is making its way with mighty strides, while the men who ought to be catching the life-giving message from the Word of Life, and sounding the last warning to a fallen world, have put out their spiritual eyesight and placed themselves with the deceivers. "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, 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. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" [Revelation 18:1-4].
The whole of the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of Revelation will surely be fulfilled. The Bible, the precious Bible, has become to some a cunningly devised fable, because Satan is deceiving them as an angel of light. There are those who have so long resisted the counsel of God that the Lord will soon give them up to cunningly devised fables. They will proclaim these fables with all their fraudulent influences.
The truth that we are to proclaim is that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This truth is to be developed in the closing scenes of this earth's history....
Those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour will stand the test and trial of these last days. Strengthened by an unquestioning faith in Christ, even the illiterate disciple will be able to withstand the doubts and questions that infidelity can produce, and put to blush the sophistries of scorners.
The Lord Jesus will give the disciples a tongue and wisdom that their adversaries can neither gainsay nor resist. Those who could not by reasoning overcome satanic delusions, will bear an affirmative testimony that will baffle supposedly learned men. Words will come form the lips of the unlearned with such convincing power and wisdom that conversions will be made to the truth. Thousands will be converted under their testimony.
Why should the illiterate man have this power, which the learned man has not?--The illiterate one, through faith in Christ, has come into the atmosphere of pure, clear truth, while the learned man has turned away from the truth. The poor man is Christ's witness. He cannot appeal to histories, or to so-called high science, but he gathers from the Word of God powerful evidence. The truth that he speaks under the inspiration of the Spirit, is so pure and remarkable, and carries with it a power so indisputable, that his testimony cannot be gainsaid....His faith in Christ is his anchor, holding him to the Rock of Ages....
Satan brings all his powers to the assault in the last, close conflict, and the endurance of the follower of Christ is taxed to the utmost. At times it seems that he must yield. But a word of prayer to the Lord Jesus goes like an arrow to the throne of God, and angels of God are sent to the field of battle. The tide is turned....
God calls upon His people to prepare themselves for the scenes of severe conflict. Take up your duties in a meek and lowly spirit. Ever face your enemies in the strength of Jesus....In the trials of these last days, Christ will be made unto His people wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Christ is to be formed in His people, the hope of glory. They are to develop an experience that will be a convincing power in the world.
The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the earth, and drunkenness, insanity, revelry, and crime are rapidly increasing. There is before us a terrible crisis. The lives of many will go out in darkness....
The last great conflict is before us, all about help is coming to all who love God and obey His law; and the earth, the whole earth, is to be lighted with the glory of God. "Another angel" is to come down from heaven. This angel represents the giving of the loud cry, which is to come from those who are preparing to cry 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 18:1, 2].
We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, "Unify, unify." But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. With our hearts sweet and kind and true, we are to go forth to proclaim the message, giving no heed to those who lead away from the truth.
The fullness of iniquity will be reached when piety and the truth of the Word of God are ignored, and when the words of David are appropriate: "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law" [Psalms 119:126].
Any fallacy is likely to be received by a people who make void the law of God. There is a crisis just ahead of those who are acting on a shortsighted policy. The rulers of the land will take their position above the great Creator of the world. The claims of a false sabbath will be brought to the front, and the rulers and the people will act upon the principle of a shortsighted policy. The false sabbath, the first day of the week, will be accepted, and the rulers will unite with the man of sin to restore his lost ascendancy. Laws enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath will bring about a national apostasy from the principles of republicanism upon which the government has been founded. The religion of the papacy will be accepted by the rulers, and the law of God will be made void.
When the fifth seal was opened, John the Revelator in vision saw beneath the altar the company that were slain for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. After this came the scenes described in the eighteenth chapter of Revelation, when those who are faithful and true are called out from Babylon. "And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lighted with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of ever foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 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 18:1-5].
Every feature of the third angel's message is to be proclaimed in all parts of the world. This message is a much greater work than many realize...."Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" [Mark 16:15]. In this work we are to study simplicity. This message is a testimony message. Received into honest hearts, it will prove an antidote for all the world's sins and sorrows. No conditions of climate, of poverty, or ignorance, or of prejudice can hinder its efficiency, or lessen its adaptability to the needs of mankind.
The proclamation of the great gospel message is the work of the disciples of Christ. Some will labor for this in one way, and others will carry on another branch of work, as the Lord calls and directs them individually. Not all have the same line of work, but all may unite in their efforts....
All are to hear the last message of warning. The prophecies of the book of Revelation, chapters 12 and 18, are being fulfilled. In the eighteenth chapter is recorded the very last call to the churches. This call is now to be given. In the nineteenth chapter, the time is pictured when the beast and the false prophet are taken, and cast into the lake of fire. The dragon, who was the instigator of the great rebellion against heaven, is bound, and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years. Then follows the resurrection of the wicked and the final destruction of Satan and all the wicked, and the final triumph and reign of Christ on this earth.
The remnant people of God must be a converted people. The presentation of this message is to result in the conversion and sanctification of souls. We are to feel the power of the Spirit of God in this movement. This is a wonderful, definite message. It means everything to the receiver, and it is to be proclaimed with a loud cry. We must have a true, abiding faith that this message will go forth with increasing importance till the close of time.