The Church Triumphant
and the 144,000
By Elder John L. VanDenburgh
Bible Explorations, Inc,
P.O. Box 10965
Terra Bella, CA 93270
Copyright © 2000 Bible Explorations
All Rights Reserved
The Most Thrilling of All Adventures
Be ye holy for I am holy.
Satan Will Make Music a Snare
Changes in theology with strange doctrines.
New forms of worship.
Will You Be Shaken In or Out?
The SDA Church will be judged.
Victory is coming.
Help in Time of Trial
Who make up the invisible church?
The sealing of God?s people.
Prophecy of Isaiah 3.
You Can Overcome Sin
Why is character so important?
Jesus came to break the power of Satan.
Total victory in Jesus.
Matthew 24 Matthew 24 gives an outline of what is to come upon the world.
John Paul II is a pope who is waiting...
Apostasy will be rampant among us.
Tide Changes to Favor the Righteous
Jacob?s trouble is over.
The wicked bow at the Saint?s feet.
The Church Triumphant & the Latter Rain
How can we obtain a perfect character?
New light is coming.
Gold Tried in Fire, White Raiment, and Eye salve
History and prophecy will be repeated.
Doctrine is part of the Latter Rain.
We have only the glimmerings of light that is yet to come to us.
What is this new light and where does it come from?
Continuing the Journey
I particularly want to thank Herschel (deceased) and Wilna Smith for their countless hours of research in Ellen White’s writings before the CD ROM became available. They provided me with hundreds and hundreds of pages of typed research materials at no cost. Their research provided the backbone of this book and pointed me in the right direction.
I gratefully acknowledge Richard and Melody Drake for the many hours of editing. They not only checked each quote for content, but read the paragraphs before and after checking context. Many thanks also to Barbara Pierce, Alan Bishop, and Lorrie Shepard for proofreading the materials and giving suggestions for improvements.
Appreciation is also extended to those who have enjoyed public seminars on this subject and have patiently waited for me to look up and answer their questions.
I am deeply indebted to computer program specialists David and Susan Thompson for their expertise in designing the book’s cover.
But most of all I appreciate and thank my dear wife, Clara, who at times felt lonely because of the many hours spent in my research and typing. Her loving support has been a constant encouragement.
Acts of the Apostles
SDA Bible Commentary
Counsels to Writers and Editors
Faith I Live By
Great Controversy, 1911 Edition
Great Controversy, 1888 Edition
Last Day Events
Manuscript Release, Vol. 1, etc.
My Life Today
Our High Calling
Prophets and Kings
Patriarchs and Prophets
Review and Herald
Review and Herald, Articles Volume 3
Selected Messages, Volume 1, etc.
Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 4
Signs of the Times
Testimonies to the Church, Volume 1, etc.
Testimonies to Ministers
This Day With God
Numbers before the initials represent the volume numbers. Numbers after the initials represent the page numbers.TOP
In ancient times, our heavenly Father designed that His people should live on a higher plane than did the rest of the world. The principles in Scripture show in a hundred ways that all through the ages He has expected His loyal adherents to live on that same high plane.
When the Advent movement was forming, Ellen White, in vision, was looking for today’s Israel. She found them on a higher plane.
"I turned to look for the advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me: ‘Look again, and look a little higher.’ At this I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the advent people were traveling toward the city. Behind them, at the beginning of the path, was a bright light which an angel told me was the midnight cry. This light shone all along the path, that their feet might not stumble. Jesus Himself went just before His people to lead them forward, and as long as they kept their eyes fixed on Him, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and said the city was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before. Then Jesus would encourage them by raising His glorious right arm, from which came a light that waved over the advent band; and they shouted: ‘Alleluia!’ Others rashly denied the light behind them, and said it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below." 1T
The important light that shone behind and all along the footpath of the higher plane was the 1844 message. Before the birth of the
The Day of Atonement includes the Judgment, but equally important it also includes a cleansing of the people associated with the Sanctuary. Yes, not only was the Sanctuary to be cleansed, but so also the people.
"For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD." Leviticus 16:30.
"And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation." Leviticus 16:33
Both the Church (Sanctuary) and the people were to be cleansed during that time. Now notice from John the Revelator that those who have truly and humbly allowed the Spirit of God to strengthen them in purity during the
"... he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11
In her vision, Ellen White saw church members losing sight of the 1844 Sanctuary message and falling from the path. The causes, events, and results of this experience make an exciting, timely, and practical study as we approach the Second Coming of Christ.
This book is not written to enlighten the reader regarding the various facets of the Sanctuary doctrine. Bible Explorations has two very detailed video studies on 1844 and the Sanctuary available. You will find them referenced later in the Appendix.
This book is written with Ellen White’s continuing statements from Early Writings in mind. She proceeded by referencing the pure and holy 144,000 saints who, in number, will hear the voice of God and witness the resurrection of the just. She then added the fact that they will recognize their risen friends who "had been torn from them by death." It will be shown that our Father does promise certain protection for the 144,000 and that salvation is promised to all who will yield to the Spirit’s direction.
This book is written so the earnest seeker can examine and understand the present call to holiness, and have the ability to respond. That call is being heard in the hearts of souls right now, and an exciting new challenge and new heights are being revealed. The path is indeed getting higher as we approach our heavenly home.
This book will show a list of horrendous events that will soon transpire around the
This book is not written to accuse, belittle, judge, or condemn. These things are not found in its spirit or in the spirit of its author. On the other hand, it is written to open the pages of prophecy and make things clear to the confused and somewhat discouraged church member, who is bewildered at the many changes going on, both in the world and in his church.
The author has taken the liberty to underline certain words and phrases of Scripture, Spirit of Prophecy quotes, and thoughts of his own for the sake of clarifying his subject.
It is believed that this book will provide the proper understanding of what is going on around us, and how it will all come out for the individual. It will also be a tremendous encouragement and give good direction to those individuals searching for enlightenment.
The greatest power given to man at Creation was the power of choice. Our Creator surely knew the awesome risk in granting so much power to humanity. The intent of the following pages is to increase your power of choice. This power comes with a knowledge of the issues. Watch as
The Most Thrilling of All Adventures
(Most underlining and italics are by this author)
Many years ago the early
"The members of the Church Militant who have proved faithful will become the Church Triumphant." EV 707, Letter 32, 1892; LDE 62.
To be faithful is an honor. The closer we come to the "Day of the Lord", the more of a contrast there should be between us and the world around us. The world today is anything but holy, but we must be holy. What is exciting is that we can be.
The Bible says: "Be ye holy for I am holy." 1st Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44.
The truth is, there is prophesied to be a holy people walking on a high plane just prior to the final consummation, and the good news is that you can be one of them. Read this next text very carefully and see that this very special group of people is sealed forever to be righteous and holy, after they already are righteous and holy.
"... he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11
Ellen White comments: "Since the Law of God is ‘holy, and just, and good,’ a transcript of the divine perfection, it follows that a character formed by obedience to that Law will be holy." GC88 469.
The problem is that these loyal and faithful holy ones will be in the minority as time goes on. They will comprise but a "little company" in the church. They will not only be in sharp contrast to the people in the world, but they will also be in sharp contrast to the majority in the church. This is to be expected since the majority in the church will appear to be little different from the world around them. Don’t be surprised or discouraged because of them.
"At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church because its members are doing after the manner of the world." 5T 209, 210; LDE 83.
"They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church." 5T 210
"Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ringleaders in apostasy and examples in indifference and in the abuse of God’s mercies." 5T 212
What will happen to these false teachers as the Church Militant becomes the Church Triumphant?
"At that time the gold will be separated from the dross. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it.
Many a star that we have admired for its brilliance will then go out in darkness." PK 188
This is a most sobering thought. Generally the word "many" is given in contrast to "few." The stars are made up of our spiritual leaders. Every faithful member should be appreciative of our leaders who
are yet heralding the Three Angels’ Messages: Give glory to God. Worship Him Who made heaven, earth, and sea. Judgment is come. Babylon is fallen. What is the mark of the beast, and how it must be avoided. The saints will keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
"Notwithstanding all their knowledge of the Word of God, all their light, and their position as expositors of Bible truth, many shall ‘stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.’ The ruin of this class is certain." RH 7/18/1907
Do you suspect your minister is preaching everything but the Three Angel’s Messages? What should be one’s attitude if he suspects a preacher of neglecting present truth and even possibly teaching error?
"When you think that the work is in danger, pray, ‘Lord, stand at the wheel. Carry us through the perplexity. Bring us safely into port.’ Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly?" 2SM 391; FLB 282; RH 9/20/1892
Will God answer such earnest prayer?
"There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. If the
matters need adjusting at the head of the work God will attend to that and work to right every wrong." 2SM 390; Maranatha 129; LDE 52
Praise God for the above help sent to our leaders; but to be successful, the leaders at the head of the work must be willing to be adjusted.
"I said further that before the end we would see strange manifestations by those who professed to be led by the Holy Spirit." 2SM 41
The indications are: The church will be in a state of depression. Some people, including some leaders, will bring in deceptions and changes, inferring that the Holy Spirit is with them in their
Chapter two will share with the reader some of the "strange manifestations" prophesied to be seen in our church while probation is closing on the Church Militant. You
will see that these manifestations will signal the formation of the Church Triumphant. Praise God!
Satan Will Make Music A Snare
"Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted." 2SM 38; LDE 159
"The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing ... The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time." 2SM 36; 21MR 128
In this case the church is the subject of the text. Here Ellen White agrees with the apostle Peter in that "Judgment begins at the house of the Lord." We shall see that from this very judgment will emerge 144,000 priests. At what time? Just before the close of probation on the church.
Miriam danced, David danced. What kind of
dancing? We’ll read what she means later.
Is this not what holds together the finest of
symphonies? All music has rhythm, and
percussion is often the best expression of it.
Even Jesus shouts. "For the Lord shall
descend from heaven with a shout and the
voice of the archangel."
Ellen White made it clear that Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. 2SM 38. She says music, "... if conducted aright would be a blessing." 2SM 36; LDE 159
The previous quote provides an exciting sign of
"Some (fanatics after 1844) would dance up and down, singing, ‘glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory’. Sometimes I would sit still until they got through, and then I would rise and say, ‘This is not the way the Lord works.’" 2SM 42
"No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kinds of representations were made. Men became excited and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God." Maranatha 234; 2SM 37
Good counsel is given in 2SM 16, 17.
"The Holy Spirit of God alone can create a healthy enthusiasm. Let God work, and let the
human agent walk softly before Him, watching, waiting, praying, looking unto Jesus every moment, led and controlled by the precious Spirit, which is light and life." Letter 68, 1894; 2SM 16, 17
It was not only in Indiana that Ellen White saw things that may be repeated in the last days. We must have our eyes anointed with eye salve. Not only were changes started in her day, but she told what was needed to correct them.
"A new order of things has come into the ministry. There is a desire to pattern after other churches, and simplicity and humility are almost unknown. The young ministers seek to be original, and to introduce new ideas and new plans for labor ...
"The Old and New Testament Scriptures show us the only way in
which this work should be done. Repent, repent, repent, was the message run out by John the Baptist in the wilderness. Christ’s message to the people was, ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish’ (Luke 13:5). And the apostles
were commanded to preach everywhere that men should repent.
"The Lord desires His servants today to preach the old gospel doctrine, sorrow for sin, repentance, and confession. We want
It is evident that today there is a strong need for
During the time when the Church Triumphant is being sealed, those who take stock in what Ellen White wrote will be noticing
a new innovation in their worship services with a more rhythmic music and dancing. We will see a separation from the
CHANGES IN THEOLOGY
Concurrently with the changes in worship will be new beliefs. There will be changes in theology. One paragraph that speaks of the above music ends with the words:
"But the itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines." 2SM 38
"When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand." TM 112; LDE 177
"The enemy will set everything in operation to uproot the confidence of the believers in the pillars of our faith in the messages of the past, which have placed us upon
the elevated platform of eternal truth ..." 2SM 388
Second Advent of Christ EV 624
Sanctuary in Heaven EV 224
"Those (S.D.A.’s with means and abilities) who have any realization of what this warfare means will not turn their weapons against the Church
Militant, but with all their powers will wrestle with the people of God against the confederacy of evil." TM 51; RH Sept. 5, 1893
Yes, the devil has orchestrated a confederacy to change our church in several ways. Don’t be surprised. Don’t get discouraged. These things point to the fact that the separating time is actually under way.
Let’s enjoy a short recap of what we have read before we get into Chapter Three. Just before the close of probation on the Church Militant, and the establishment of the Church Triumphant, we may expect to see:
1.The Church in a state of depression
2.A new exciting form of worship
3.New theologies working through the church from some of the leaders on down
4.The Holy Spirit played up to be in support of these new adventures
5.Sincere members worried, concerned, even agonizing over it all
What a shame it will be that "Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ringleaders in the apostasy."
The Shaking and the Judgment
Now we will examine the shaking. Will you be shaken in or out of the faith? The truth is, some of us will be shaken deeper into the fold and some of us will be shaken out. Now is the time to be stable. Many have reason to believe the shaking has already begun. Regardless, there is precious little time left to get ready.
"I had an impressive dream last night. I thought that you were on a strong vessel, sailing on very rough waters. Sometimes the waves beat over the top, and you were drenched with water. You said: ‘I shall get off; this vessel is going down.’ ‘No,’ said one who appeared to be the captain, ‘this vessel sails into the harbor. She will never go down.’" 5T 571
"The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out – the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless, it must take place." 2SM 380
Satan will work to empty the ship in two ways. First, by convincing many members that the doctrines are changed, they will fall out easily when the time of testing comes. Second, a watering down of our standards and doctrines causes such disgust on the part of others that they will believe the
"To claim the
"But we have never had a message that the Lord would disorganize the church. We have never had the prophecy concerning Babylon applied to the
"The world has a light constantly shining upon them, because this people honor God in keeping His Commandments. How can we expect that a message would be true that would designate as Babylon the people for whom God has
done so much? Hell would triumph should such a message be received, and the world would be strengthened in iniquity. All the reproaches which Satan has cast upon the character of
Godwouldappearastruth,andtheconclusionwould be made that God has no chosen or organized church in the world. Oh what a triumph would this be to Satan and his confederacy of evil!" RH Oct. 3, 1893
"I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized orbroken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusion, and they will come to naught." 2SM 68, 69
"Those who have proclaimed the Seventh- day Adventist church as Babylon have made use of the Testimonies in giving their position a seeming support; but why is it that they did not present that which for years has been the burden of my
message – the unity of the church? Why did they not quote the words of the angel, ‘Press together, press together, press together?" RH Sept. 12, 1893; TM 56
Note: Lest we boast, there are recorded warnings and statements regarding a time when our church was not following the true counsel of God. As late as 1909 Ellen White wrote:
"How is the faithful city become an harlot! My Father’s house is ... a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!" 8T 250
At another time she announced:
"In the balances of the sanctuary the
infinite cost, has bestowed on her ... on her will be pronounced the sentence: ‘found wanting.’ By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." LDE 59
VICTORY IS COMING
No wonder sighing and crying goes on in the hearts of God’s people. They see friends they have loved no longer in unity with the special standards and truths of the original
"I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet." EW 271
"I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power ... I asked what had made this great change.An angel answered, ‘It is the Latter Rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the Loud Cry of the Third Angel.’" EW 271
There is more good news than bad. God lets us know the bad so we will not lose heart as these changes take place in our church family. He assures all who are faithful that they will enter Heaven at last, and in the meantime, He also assures them of a wonderful harvest of new members. There will be a change in church membership:
"In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world’s insignia; the other was led by the bloodstained banner of Prince Immanuel. Standard after standard was left to trail
in the dust as company after company from the Lord’s army joined the foe and tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the
The exciting drama described above takes place as the wheat is actually being separated from some of the chaff. In the sanctuary above, God had previously marked the wheat and chaff according to each person’s response to conflicting principles in the church. Notice:
"I asked the meaning of the shaking (of the church) I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans." EW 270; LDE 175
It seems obvious that the members are already sifted into one group or the other before the Sunday Law and its resultant time of trouble begins. Please note the following:
Just BEFORE we entered it (the time of trouble), we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds." 7BC 968
Notice that we (the Church) are sealed before entering the time of trouble. The brackets are supplied by Ellen White. Her sequence is correct. First, the Church is sealed; next a time of trouble; third the four winds blow; and then will come the time of Jacob’s trouble. Jacob’s trouble is mentioned in the following quotation:
"I saw that Jesus would not leave the Most Holy Place, until every case was decided either for salvation or destruction; and that the wrath of God could not come until Jesus had finished his work in the Most Holy Place ... I saw that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead, were separate events, one following the other
... when our High Priest has finished His work in the Sanctuary, He will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out. I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus’ work was done in the Sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues ... This was the time of Jacob’s trouble." RH 8/01/49; EW 36
In the context of the above statement she is addressing the seven last plagues. Before the seven last plagues fall, many dear people will hear the message for the first time. Thousands of them will be converted, even in the face of death. No wonder God must have a purified and sealed people to present the Loud Cry to them. The messengers bearing the last message to the world must be settled in their commitment before they witness to the world. Remember, the Church is judged first, before the world; hence the sealing of her members will also come first. The final witnesses will be well settled into the truth before they begin their final awesome work. Are you ready? Time is precious. Make everything right with God now.
Praise God for the shaking in the Church. It will illuminate the triumphant wheat over the tares, and their light will shine. Ellen White indicates that this is the very time when certain members of the Church Militant become the Church Triumphant. The Church Triumphant will have no tares. Friend, now is the time to make that final commitment by the grace of Christ to overcome all sin. Repent, and forsake all known sin, and commit yourself in full cooperation to "Him Who is able to keep you from falling."
"God has a church upon the earth who are His chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and one there, but a people. The truth is a sanctifying power; but the Church Militant is not the Church Triumphant. There are tares among the wheat." TM 61
"... all our zeal will not be successful in making the Church Militant as pure as the Church Triumphant." RH Sept. 5, 1893; LDE 61; TM 47
We will see more of the fact that there will be a pure church and a pure ministry to give the Loud Cry as we read on. For now, we have already evidenced the fact that the sealing in the Church will
be advancing at a time when music is conducted in a new manner, and changes in our old fashioned principles and beliefs are taking place.
Today, the primary theme of messages preached for God’s people must be repentance. Repent of every known sin. Repent of every evil thought. Make straight the way of the Lord. Clear the King’s highway!
We must put on the whole armor of God to resist sin in every way. We are in
a war, and if Satan can deceive us into lethargy we lose!
"Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones." EW 270
"The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it." EW 271 She continues to say: "... their places
were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks." Ibid.
If the angels of God have left these poor members in darkness, and their places are to be filled with other people, you can see why this experience equates with the close of probation for the Church Militant and the formation of the Church Triumphant.
Just as surely as the wicked among us will lose their angels, the faithful members will have their angels doubled. These two truths give reason for both rejoicing and weeping.
The question is, when certain members of the Church Militant become the Church Triumphant, and those of us to be sealed are sealed, what then is scheduled to happen to the insincere members who are not sealed at that time? Will they have further opportunity to repent during the Loud Cry, or will their opportunities be over? This may be according to each individual’s circumstance; however, the truth is, for a person to be anything but very sincere with God at this time is careless and risky.
"Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, ‘Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.’ I asked who this company were.
The angel said, ‘These are they who have once kept the Sabbath and have given it up.’ I heard them cry with a loud voice, ‘We have believed in Thy coming and taught it with energy.’"
The hardest thing that the lost
live in loyalty before your Maker. The Son of Man alone has made it possible for you to have a clean heart within you. Ask Him to cleanse it now with no reservations of your own. Yield every impure thought with repentance, and every transgression with sincerity.
"But I speak not my own words when I say it (God’s Spirit) will pass by those who have had their test and opportunity and have not distinguished the voice of God or appreciated the movings of His Spirit. There will be thousands converted to the truth in a day, who at the eleventh hour will see and acknowledge the truth." EGW 1888 Materials p. 754
Truly the places of those who have not returned to the old ways in repentance will be replaced by a new and grateful people who will take hold of the truth and come into the ranks. Are you ready to accept them?
God has been kind in providing plenty of signs to let us know when time will be running out on our opportunities to belong to the Church Triumphant. The more thoughtful members are storing ‘oil’ to help light their way through earth’s darkest hours. The promise is that their lamps will not go out and that their light will shine. Praise the Lord!
Our study has shown that there will be faithful brethren right up to the very end of this world; but it has also shown that there will be those who can no longer be called brethren. They can only be called "former" brethren. Plan now not to be classified as a "former" brother or sister. Do not allow yourself to have your beliefs diluted, only to find yourself sifted out of the structured church, to become a former member. Ellen White describes this class in GC 608:
"As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s
message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren." GC88 608; FLB 336
It is encouraging to note that even "former" brethren who drop completely out can be accepted back into fellowship under proper circumstances:
"After the meeting had been two or three days in progress, one who had been a member of the church, but who left it about two years ago, because of his opposition to the Testimonies, arose and said that he desired to take his stand again with the church ... He wished to be baptized again, and to be received as a brother by his former brethren and sisters. Many hearts rejoiced greatly that this brother was restored to the church." Bible Echo 6/1/93; RH 6/6/1893
The word "former" lets us know his status was that of a non- member of the organized, visible SDA church.
As the Loud Cry of the Third Angel is sounding, there will be four classes of Adventists: first, the faithful that will remain within our SDA structure; second, those unfaithful "former" stewards who will be sifted out of the SDA structure; third, the unfaithful members who will remain in the church structure to the very end. We are strongly warned about these "brethren" (not former brethren) that may make life difficult for faithful believers until probation finally closes on the entire world; and fourth, the faithful and true members who will be cast out from the SDA structure.
The next few pages will concentrate on the last two of the above groups. First, the study will focus on those wicked ones who will be in the structure; these are not "former" brethren, but will be still considered "brethren" until the close of probation on the world.
It will be demonstrated that Ellen White harmonizes with our Savior who declared that the wheat and tares will grow together until the harvest. At that time the angels will gather the wheat into the garner, and the wicked will be left in bundles to be burned.
It is this unfaithful group, the ones still referred to as our false "brethren," that we will address here.
"When the Law of God is made void, and the church is sifted by the fiery trials that are to try all that live upon the earth, a great proportion of those who are supposed to be genuine will give heed to seducing spirits, and will turn traitors and betray sacred trusts.
Look what happens to the great number of SDA’s!
They will prove our very worst persecutors.‘Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them;’ and many will give heed to seducing spirits. Those who apostatize in time of trial will bear false witness and betray their brethren, to secure their own safety. They will tell where their brethren are concealed, putting the wolves on their track. Christ has warned us of this, that we may not be surprised at the cruel, unnatural course pursued by friends and relatives. We shall find that we must let loose of all hands except the hand of Jesus Christ." Maranatha p. 197
Why? Because men "of your own selves" will rise up against you! They will betray you to secure their own safety. This is not talking about outside, disfellowshipped, or
"I saw some becoming weary; their eyes were directed downward, and they were engrossed with earthly things, and were unfaithful in watching. They were saying: ‘In the first watch we expected our Master, but were disappointed. We thought surely He would come in the second watch, but that passed, and He came not. We may be again disappointed. We need not be so particular. He may not come in the following watch. We are in the third watch, and now we think it best to lay up our treasure on the earth, that we may be secure against want.’ Many were sleeping, stupefied with the cares of this life and allured by the deceitfulness of riches from their waiting, watching position. Angels were represented to me as looking on with intense interest to mark the appearance of the weary yet faithful watchers, lest they be too sorely tried, and sink under
the toil and hardships made doubly severe because their brethren had been diverted from their watch, and become drunk with worldly cares and beguiled by worldly prosperity. These heavenly angels grieved that those who were once watching should, by their indolence and unfaithfulness, increase the trial and burdens of those who were earnestly and perseveringly endeavoring to maintain their waiting, watching position." 2T 192,193
In 1SM 122 we are told that we have more to fear from within the Church than from without. It appears false brethren in the Church will become more intense in promoting their false belief systems.
As the close of probation on the
world approaches, there will still be this
group of false brethren within the structured
Church. The next quotes show some of them
still in leadership positions and determined
to remove our landmarks. What does Ellen
White tell us about them?
"After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, ‘Lo, here is Christ; lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have a message from God, He has sent me with great light.’ Then there will be removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false Sabbath ..." 7BC 985; 3SM 406; Mar. 192
A removing of the landmarks of our faith can only be done from the inside. Near the close of probation on the world certain members will be opposing our landmarks and pillars, and even exalting Sunday. Notice:
"The Lord has a controversy with his professed people in these last days. In this controversy men in responsible positions will take a course directly opposite to that pursued by Nehemiah. They will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but they will try to keep it from others by burying it beneath the rubbish of custom and tradition. In churches and in large gatherings in the open air, ministers will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week." RH March 18, 1884
"The warning here given as to what the disciples would have to meet at the hands of their fellow men is a warning to us also. ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted,’ Christ said, ‘and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.’ These words will be fulfilled." RH April 19, 1898
The entire context of the above statement involves men within our Church. They will try to bury truth after truth beneath the historical trash heap of false and popular traditions. But all the while, God will be using another group of individuals in the Church that He can trust.
"Our Leader has all power in heaven and earth. He will use men as agents for the
accomplishment of his purposes whom some of the brethren would reject as unfit to engage in the work. Heavenly intelligences are combined with human instrumentalities in carrying forward the Lord’s work. Angels have their places assigned them in connection with the human agents on earth. They will work through every person who will submit himself to labor in Heaven’s ways; therefore, not one human being should be cast aside or left with no part to act." RH 7/9/1895
All of these things God tells us ahead of time that we might not be discouraged, and to let us know that the end is near. As the hymn goes, "We are nearing home."
SOME INNOCENT MEMBERS
There is yet an altogether different group developing. In this fourth group are faithful
"The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ, have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ." 1SM 406
"These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whosoever kills you will think that he offers
God a service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me." John
"Among many of the professing followers of Christ there is the same pride, formalism, and selfishness, the same spirit of oppression, that held so large a place in the Jewish heart. In the future, men claiming to be Christ’s representatives will take a course similar to that followed by the priests and rulers in their treatment of Christ and the apostles. In the great crises through which they are soon to pass, the faithful servants of God will encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred." AA 431
"Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at His word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." Isaiah 66:5
In the courts of heaven a record is taken of every deed that is done against His sheep. Nothing misses His
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my name sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:11, 12
"As thy days so shall thy strength be."
Help in Time of Trouble
"We will not be able to meet the trials of this time without God. We are not to have the courage and fortitude of martyrs of old until brought into the position they were in ...
We are to receive daily supplies of grace for each daily emergency. Thus we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and if persecution comes upon us, if we must be enclosed in prison walls for the faith of Jesus and the keeping of God’s holy law, ‘As thy days, so shall thy strength be.’ Should there be a return of persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to show a true heroism." OHC 125; EGW 1888 Materials p. 460
"The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of martyrs until such grace was needed." DA 354
The truth is we will be endowed with all the courage and fortitude we will need when the need arises. Praise God, amen!
"There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the word of God, and who are purified by it." 4SP 237 (Ellen White quoting Melancthon).
This is a strong message! In other words, if you aren’t striving with Jesus to overcome all sin in your life and to walk through the strait gate, then you have a problem with your relationship to God’s true Church; you are not a member of it. Ellen White makes it clear that ...
"The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the ‘true tabernacle,’ whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform." 7BC 931
This is the invisible Church, the holy tabernacle known only to Him. Next, Ellen White compares what does to what does not comprise His Church.
1."God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments." 17MR 81
The previous statement proves the church will never be made up of those who claim to love God while at the same time
2."‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.’ Where Christ is, even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church." 17MR 81, 82
3."... for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church." 17MR 81; The Upward Look p. 315
The word "constitute" means to appoint, to establish. For those who trust the words of Ellen White, all questions should be answered regarding who makes up His true invisible church and Who is its Leader. Here are their characteristics repeated in a simple list:
1.Faithful and loyal
2.Keep His Commandments
3.Gather in His name
4.The High and Holy One is their Leader.
The Spirit of Prophecy informs us that there will be many false brethren still in the
"Those who apostatize in time of trial will bear false witness and betray their brethren, to secure their own safety. They will tell where their brethren are concealed, putting the wolves on their track." RH Dec. 20, 1898; Mar. 197
There is truth in the saying ‘what goes around comes around.’ Please consider the past:
"For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus; for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men." 1 Thess. 2:14, 15
Last opportunity to be among the 144,000!
"And the remnant took his servants and entreated them spitefully, and slew them." Matthew 22:6
Our last opportunity for making a total commitment and being sealed into God’s holy church of the 144,000 is when ...
1.The SDA Church is in a state of depression.
2.We are experiencing a new exciting form of worship.
3.New theologies are working in the church through leaders and lay people, who are ready to lay our standards in the dust.
4.The Holy Spirit is played up in support of these new innovations.
5.Sincere members are worried, concerned, even tearful over it all.
THE SEALING OF GOD’S PEOPLE IN SCRIPTURE
"This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel." TM 445
"Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those ‘that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done’ in the church ...Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel." 3T 267; Mar. 232
The above quotes indicate that the sealing of the 144,000 will be similar to the scenes displayed in Ezekiel’s vision. Ezekiel, Chapter 9: Verses 1,2
"He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side; and they went in and stood beside the brazen altar."
Note: The six men are no doubt angels.
"To His angels He
The six men
gives the commission to execute
are six angels.
His judgments." TM 430
"The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man." TM 47
"The Lord forbids us to proceed in any violent way against those whom we think erring, and we are not to deal out excommunications and denunciations to those who are faulty. Finite man is likely to misjudge character ..." TM 47
In a LAST DAY SETTING we can only be looking into scenes to be accomplished in the heavenly sanctuary, which indeed "lieth toward the North" (see Isaiah 14:12, 13).
Verses 3, 4
"And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."
The text tells the destroying angels to "Go ye after him." It does not say how soon after. The Bible makes it clear the sword comes when the Saviour comes. See Revelation, chapter 19:1- 21; Matthew
with the slaughter weapons doing their work. The next chapter shows the power of the Holy Spirit falling on the Church, but the sword and slaying are still not mentioned. Most likely, the slaughter comes later - well after God’s 144,000 are sealed, the Latter Rain of God’s Holy Spirit falls upon His people, and the Loud Cry is given.
A."And the Lord said …" The Lord Himself is taking charge.
B."The Midst of Jerusalem" Not Babylon, not Egypt, but His people.This message is one of judgment on the Church.
C."Set a mark …" Only the faithful among God’s people are marked at this time.
In the book of Revelation, we see the same sequence in greater detail. In chapter seven, the
144,000 final witnesses are marked. The wicked receive their mark much later in chapter fourteen. The sword falls at the end of chapter nineteen.
"And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go ye forth. And they went forth and slew in the city."
1."Begin at My sanctuary." The apostle Peter agrees that the Church is judged before the world is judged.
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17
2.The ancient men in Ezekiel 9 are referred to as the spiritual guardians of the church. 5T 211 (Elders, deacons, Sabbath School teachers, etc.)
3.Apparently, those who are not sealed are scheduled for death at the Second Coming. Commenting on those who sympathize with sinners in the church, Ellen White says:
"They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons." 3T 267
4."Study the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled." 18MR 236
"And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, ‘Ah Lord God, wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?’"
Note: Here Ezekiel represents those who are marked with the writer’s inkhorn. Isaiah 4:3,4 may be referring to the same experience:
"And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord shall have
washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion ... by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning."
The judgment of the living Church is ominous. Indeed, the signs show it may well be under way in our Church now. The ones who remain faithful in God’s invisible true Church will be holy. How can we be one of them? By consistently overcoming. Never stop striving. Never sink back to fall into Satan’s arms. Never give ear to his fatal sophistry. "He is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his fatal sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome." GC88 489
"Those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths." 2SM 380; Mar. 32
"I asked the meaning of the shaking ...to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth ... All who truly receive it will obey it and be purified." EW 270
Of the 144,000 it is written: "And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God." Revelation 14:5. These are members of the Church Triumphant.
"Then said he unto me, the iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness, for they say, ‘The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not.’"
In Ellen White’s day she indicated that not one in twenty church members were faithfully walking with their Lord. Let’s do all we can, with God’s help, to better the numbers. A close walk with God is available to all who sincerely want it. Not one in twenty does not mean one in twenty, it means less than that. Not one in twenty! But praise our heavenly Father and His dear Son because you can stand among the chosen of God.
"And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head."
The Lord’s eyes personally see the ones marked holy and the ones left for slaughter. He sees the same things the angels see.
"And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, ‘I have done as thou hast commanded me.’"
This is the greatest verse of all. God’s people within the church are sealed and become the 144,000. Please note that the
144,000 are sealed during the close of probation on the church:
"Especially in the closing work for the church (not the closing work for the world), in the sealing time of the one hundred and
The 144,000 are sealed as probation closes on the Church.
"He (God) will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the Latter Rain." LDE 179; 3SM 385
You and I can successfully prepare for that experience.
"In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are
In the next few statements three separate experiences are discussed. First, notice what happens just before the time of trouble does begin; next, notice what happens when the time of trouble does begin; and third, notice what happens for the people who accept the message being presented during the time of trouble.
1.BEFORE the time of trouble the 144,000 are sealed:
"Just before we entered it (the time of trouble),
we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw
the four angels cease to hold the
four winds." 7BC 968; LDE 228
There will be
This sealing is described in
Revelation, chapter seven. The first four
unique trumpets (four winds) follow in
Will the false brethren be given time for repentance once the visible church has been judged? Will the door of salvation open again for them?
"The time of God’s destructive judgments (the four winds) is the time of mercy for those who had no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time." 7BC 979; 9T 97; LDE 182 (Parenthesis and underlining mine)
This last statement makes a strong case for the idea that judgment not only "begins at the house of the Lord," but that it also ends first at the house of the Lord, after which it moves forward pronouncing sentence and sealing those who are hearing and responding to the truth about God and His Commandments for the first time. Mercy is open for those who had never heard the truth, but closed to those who had previously received it, but did not love it. Second Thessalonians, chapter two, verses
"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians
Unrighteous, pleasurable thoughts must not be entertained in one’s mind. Now is the time to get rid of all such thoughts. You have the power in Christ to cast them out every time they surface in your thinking. To those who remain unrighteous in character, God shall send strong delusion that they should believe a lie. Why strong delusion? Because they have known the truth! It will take a strong delusion to move them firmly into the camp of the transgressors. But they will be moved!
2.WHEN the time of trouble begins, so also does the final
Loud Cry for conversions from the world.
"At the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God’s chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out, and endured the persecution with us." EW 33
Often the phrase "more fully" in the previous paragraph is interpreted to mean more extensively, but Ellen White uses the term to mean what it correctly implies. Notice how she uses it in Patriarchs and Prophets pages 310.
"The minds of the people … were not prepared to appreciate fully the
In the above paragraph, the "more fully" concept demands additional precepts. For more on this subject of the phrase "more fully" in connection with the Sabbath, see "An Innovative Approach to Holy History" page 19, by this author. The book is made available in the Appendix.
"By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers." GC88 612
3. DURING the time of trouble a great multitude of new converts are sealed, no doubt as they are gathered into God’s true Church through the ministry of the
144,000. The message will prove that the hour of His judgment of the living has come.
"Of the number of them that shall be sealed will be those who have come from every nation and kindred and tongue and people. From every country will be gathered men and women who will stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, crying, ‘Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.’" Maranatha p. 261
If we want to help in the "Loud Cry", what should we be expecting God to do for us now? How will God help prepare a member of the present Church Militant to become one of the 144,000 leaders in the Church Triumphant?
"That God who reads the hearts of everyone, will bring to light hidden things of darkness … that stumbling blocks … may be removed, and God have a clean and holy people to declare His statutes
and judgments … fitting them for translation, and leaving in the rear those … who are not willing to be led." 1T 333
What proof does Ezekiel give that those who are sealed will be given true Pentecostal power with which to present their message to the world?
"And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, ‘Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city." Ezekiel 10:2
We can look forward to another Pentecost experience. Cloven tongues of fire will fall on the "true" church. In Ezekiel’s prophecy, all those left in it (Jerusalem) receive the fire. It fell on those who were sealed, that had chosen to "remain" in Jerusalem. Praise God! Let us covenant to remain in the "true" Church appointed by God, and
The book of Revelation does predict this same sequence of events. First the 144,000 are sealed in the seventh chapter. Later in the same chapter, converts are seen that came out of "great tribulation." The 144,000 are given encouragement as they are shown a great multitude of their converts in heaven at last. What a tremendous promise of success! The very next chapters in Revelation show horrendous events on earth during their ministry. Then in chapters thirteen and fourteen the wicked of the world are sealed with the Mark of the Beast. They become the recipients of the seven last plagues in chapters fifteen and sixteen, and finally experience the sword of judgment in chapter nineteen. Tremendous events, in their order.
Notice the picture of a large group of people fitted for heaven during the time of trouble. This is a very encouraging picture from Revelation 7:9, 13, 14.
"And after this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."
"And one of the elders answered saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?"
"And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Revelation 7:9, 13, 14
It will be an exciting time when the Third Angel’s Message begins to close. The power of God will have been resting upon His people and they will have accomplished their work. They will have received the Latter Rain and given the final invitation. Those who receive their message are also sealed to forever live with the saved of all ages. Probation will close on the world and those remaining in wickedness will have rejected for the last time the message of repentance from all sin.
"I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven. An angel with a writer’s inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed. Then I saw Jesus, Who had been ministering before the ark containing the Ten Commandments, throw down the censer. He raised His hands, and with a
The Saints will fully experience the gift of salvation.
loud voice said, ‘It is done.’ And all the angelic host laid off their crowns as Jesus made the solemn declaration, ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’" EW 279, 280
It is now time to learn the issues in the prophecies and also to make everything right with God and with our fellow man. You can be fitted for the work of preparing the large group of people converted just prior to the close of probation on the world.
The deep consecration of everyone preparing to receive the mark of belonging to God’s family forever may well be expressed in this simple but powerful statement found in 1T 187.
"Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the Latter Rain, and thus be fitted for translation." 1T 187
One of the better prophecies regarding this
"... many who have strayed from the fold will come back to follow the great Shepherd." 6T 401
These dear souls will be coming back to the church they once knew; a church that preachedtheoldgospeldoctrine,sorrowfor sin, repentance, and confession; a church with
Are you holding up the banner in the
"In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually dead. The humble,
Idols are not always three- dimensional figures. There is more to idolatry than that. There are big idols and little idols. All are an abomination to the Lord, and are not all simply figurines.
"There are idols cherished in our families and in our churches today which have the same influence upon us as did the golden calf upon the Israelites. Will the people search themselves? Will the shepherds do their work as faithful sentinels of God? Will they see what idols they are cherishing? Will everyone that is in moderate circumstances consider that they are to be a people distinct and separate in their fashions of dress, their speech, their deportment, from the world? Will they see their idolatry in small as well as in large matters, and that it is separating them from God?" 7BC 941; MS 52, 1898
Ellen White comments on one worldly custom of dress in her day letting us know that following the outlandish, contemporary,
acceptable to dress modestly as it is not to. There is really no excuse to follow immodest fashions.
In the following paragraph, Ellen White points to Isaiah, chapter three, and applies it to the Church in our day. In this context she shows that the "filth of the daughters of Zion" is shown to be predominantly their haughtiness and jewelry. See Isaiah
"The prophecy of Isaiah 3 was presented before me as applying to these last days, and the reproofs are given to the daughters of Zion who have thought only of appearance and display. Read verse 25: ‘Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.’ I was shown that this Scripture will be strictly fulfilled." 1T 270
Although the haughty attitude of the women in Isaiah chapter three is obvious, Ellen White’s comment is on their appearance and display. Does she really mean that women who may be trying to influence a man by wearing attractive ornaments is actually leading him to a slaughter? Would a woman who truly loves her husband run such a risk? Is what one displays for appearance so important? Will little idols cost so much? For more on this subject I suggest the author’s booklet entitled A Special Message to the Little Flock. The booklet is listed in the Appendix. This subject could be more serious than many of us have realized.
way Which are you leaning?
As the Church drops some of her standards, and in their place accepts the customs and fashions of the world, which way will you be prone to lean? Which way are you leaning now? There are two ways to lean: the new, easy, popular way, and the way of repentance that looks rather narrow.
Sticking to the narrow way invites criticism and taunting from the careless "brethren." You may be considered very narrow- minded, old fashioned, and perhaps very dysfunctional to the Church around you.
Praise the Lord! Hang in there! The Church Triumphant will soon feel the presence of God. Remember, the narrow way is not only the right way, it is the only way.
1T 187 explains even more idols. Finally what is the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans? It is simply the fact that in Christ we CAN overcome every sin if we are willing to pay the price, be it what it may.
"Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the Latter Rain, and thus be fitted for translation." 1T 187
Having this kind of attitude and living as an overcomer of all known sin, will place a person in a position to be blessed with even greater perfection when God sends His Holy Spirit upon us in the Latter Rain.
"As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting Latter Rain." RH 3/2/1897; TM 509; LDE 187
You Can Overcome Sin
The true invisible church must separate true theology from false theology. Knowing this difference will give every sincere SDA Christian a decided advantage. That we can overcome and live victoriously in Christ is a very positive theology. Ellen White puts it plainly:
"Every besetting sin must be put away. Warfare must be waged against it until it is overcome. The Lord will work with your efforts. As finite, sinful man works out his own salvation with fear and trembling, it is God who works in him, to will and to do of His own good pleasure. But God will not work without the cooperation of man. He must exercise his powers to the very utmost." FE 134; RH 8/21/1888
"Through defects in the character, Satan works to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. Therefore he is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his fatal sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome." GC88 489
Did you catch that? It is Satan’s philosophy, a very fatal philosophy indeed, that you cannot overcome sin! True theology will always project that overcoming all known sin is within your grasp. Ask the True Witness for help to recognize and reject any other theology.
"God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:3, 4
Any other gospel is a false gospel and will no doubt be believed by false brethren.
"He (Christ) brings His divine power to combine with your human efforts, that through His righteousness appropriated to yourself, you can keep His Law." RH 7/29/1890
"He (Christ) knows that a demon power is struggling in every soul, striving for the mastery; but Jesus came to break the power of Satan and to set the captives free." ML 300
God can only bring the last generation church to so high and holy a position of honor if they give themselves totally to Him. We must not be willing to trade one step with Him for anything this world has to offer.
If you provide the commitment, God will provide the power. Like Jude, you can "praise the God that is able to keep you from falling." You can experience the fact that you can "do all things through Christ who strengthens us", and find yourself literally standing among those who are actually "keeping the commandments of God", and demonstrating before the entire world the "faith of Jesus" (See Jude 24; Phil. 4:13, Rev. 14:12).
"The commandments of God are not the dry theories and maxims growing on the trunk of Phariseeism. Every jot and tittle of the Law of God is a pledge of perfect rest and assurance in obedience.
If you will obey these commandments, you will find,ineveryspecification, a most precious promise. Take Jesus as your partner. Ask Him to help you keep God’s Law. He will be to you a safeguard and counselor, a guide that will never mislead." RH Jan. 26, 1897
"But though you may be weak, erring, and sinful, the Lord holds out to you the offer of partnership with Himself." 6T 438
Yes, partnership with Jesus. This is all the advantage over Satan and his angels a person will ever need.
"The people of God must be prepared to withstand the wily foe. It is this resistance that Satan dreads. He knows, better than we do, the limit of his power and how easily he can be overcome if we resist and face him. Through divine strength the weakest saint is more than a match for him and all his angels." 5T 293; Mar. 60
So, "Being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Rom. 6:22
Remember, "The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Timothy 2:19
Shun any other theology that does not teach total victory in Jesus! Strive to be among the 144,000!
So far we have seen that the Church will be judged before the judgment of the living who are outside the Church. The invisible Church of the 144,000 is sealed before the Sunday Law. The rest of God’s people, now in the world, will be sealed as they hear and accept the final
FIRST COMES THE SIFTING
The sifting of the church comes as God separates a remnant out to do a great work. This may be a very painful process. Separations are seldom without pain and sadness. A larger proportion than we now anticipate will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (See letter 3, 1890 or EV 281, 360, 36).
The sealing of those to be holy unto God in the last days will be taking place while there are changes in the way music is conducted, theology is shifting to the right and left, and sighing and crying is coming from the hearts of a dedicated few from among millions in the Church.
These precious few are concerned with the changes in the world and in the Church and that the two are merging. The dedicated few are totally serious about becoming clean in mind and character. Praise our heavenly Father and His dear Son for these faithful
people. They will soon be used to present the final message of hope to a dying world. Pentecost will happen!
Nevertheless, "By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers." GC88 612
After the final warning is given, probation will close on the world. Satan will have his final fling, only to be stopped in his tracks at the great deliverance of God’s people by the voice of God. Soon after, Christ will come. Hallelujah!
World Events That Lead to the Development and Work of the
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple; and His disciples came to Him for to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world? "While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application in the last days." 5T 753; LDE 18
So now we can be sure of what is coming.
Perhaps the rest of the quote is pertinent, not only for the support of a true ministry, but especially to help in the presentation of the 24th chapter of Matthew "as an outline of what is to come upon the world."
"... He said: ‘When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation (the generation that saw the signs) [RH insertion] shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.’" RH Dec. 27, 1898
Though the fulfillment was not complete as it could have been almost 2000 years ago, or 150 years ago, Christ’s statement of truth still remains. Truly the generation of Christians that sees all the signs recorded in Matthew 24 will be alive when Jesus comes.
Note: At one time Matthew 24 was honestly considered two prophecies, but the last time around it is considered as one.
"Christ forewarned His disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs to take place prior to the Coming of the Son of man. The whole of the
the destruction of Jerusalem is used to typify the last great destruction of the world by fire." MS 77, 1899; LDE 18
"The prophecy which He uttered was twofold in its meaning; while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day." GC88 26
"The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow." GC88 37
"These lessons are for our benefit. We need to stay our faith upon God, for there is just before us a time that will try men’s souls ... ‘All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days." 5T 753
"This entire discourse was given, not for the disciples only, but for those who should live in the last scenes of this earth’s history." DA 628
This prophecy is especially for us!
Therefore, the remaining events of the chapter lead up to the destruction of the world.
Verses 4, 5
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."
"He had those in view who were living near the close of time, when He said: ‘Take heed to yourselves.’" 5T 10
"The same deceptions practiced prior to the destruction of Jerusalem have been practiced through the ages, and will be practiced again." DA 628
There have been several
If this chapter is an outline of what will surely come to pass, it will be wise to note carefully the sequence of events outlined for us in the next three verses.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake."
But remember, just before we enter into the time of trouble, the faithful will receive the Seal of God (7BC 960). Things are
coming to a head. Life is getting exciting. People just like you are closing their minds to worldliness, and instead are clothing their minds with righteousness. With God all things are possible. Wonder of wonders, we will be sealed forever and will do His bidding during the very last phase of this world’s history. Our converts may make tremendous sacrifices but the 144,000 march on. Are you ready?
"And it was commanded them (the evil ones) that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
"And to them it was given that they should not kill them ..." Revelation 9:4, 5 (parenthesis and
Reading the Matthew statement and the Revelation statement makes it obvious there will be a time coming when they can kill some of us and there will be a time coming when they cannot kill any of us.
"We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God’s people on every side." TM 116
"We will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who will be true to God and to duty will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will be betrayed both by parents and brethren, and kinfolks, and friends." Mar. 213; 5T 472. (Luke 21:16 ref.)
Make up your mind right now that no amount of peer pressure is going to change your beliefs. Even now it would be good to bow your head in prayer.
"Again and again the Lord has instructed that our people are to take their families away from the cities, into the country, where
they can raise their own provisions; for in the future the problem of buying and selling will be a very serious one." 2SM 141; LDE 99
"It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the permanent and stationary are blended. They will walk in light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect." 9T 16
Ellen White indicates above that a certain celestial glory is soon to be seen in the sky. She also describes a return of persecution during that same time.
Malachi Martin wrote that the present pope is also expecting a phenomenon of celestial glory and that it will escalate him to a renewed leadership role in world affairs.
"He (John Paul II) is a pope who is waiting. That is the essence of his action. And in the meantime, he is busy in all the highways and byways along which all the men of his age are moving ... to a new world order. He is waiting, rather, for an event that will fission human history, splitting the immediate past from the oncoming future. It will be an event on public view in the skies, in the oceans, and on the continental land masses of this planet. It will particularly involve our human sun, which every day lights up and shines upon the valleys, the mountains, and the plains of this earth. But on the day of this event, it will not appear merely as the master star of our
"Fissioning it will be as an event, in John Paul’s conviction of faith, for it will immediately nullify all the grand designs the nations are now forming and will introduce the Grand Design of man’s Maker. John Paul’s waiting and watching time will then be over. His ministry as the servant of the Grand Design will then begin." The Keys of This Blood, chapter title "In the Final Analysis," page 639.
"The Scriptures teach that popery is to regain its lost supremacy, and that the fires of persecution will be rekindled through the time- serving concessions of the
"Through the apostles, God gave the Jewish people a last opportunity to repent ... They were men of whom the world was not worthy, yet their judges pronounced on them the death sentence. They were not allowed to live and serve their God. By killing them, the Jews crucified afresh the Son of God. So it will be again. But it is over the Seventh- day Sabbath that the battle will be fought." RH Dec. 20, 1898
In verse nine of Matthew, chapter
"And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."
"The warning here given as to what the disciples would have to meet at the hands of their fellow men is a warning to us also. ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted,’ Christ said, ‘and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.’ These words will be fulfilled." RH April 19, 1898
"Many stumble and fall, apostatizing from the faith they once advocated. Those who apostatize in time of trial will, to secure their own safety, bear false witness, and betray their brethren. Christ has warned us of that." DA 630
"Those who forsake God in order to save their lives will be forsaken by Him. In seeking to save their lives by yielding the truth, they will lose eternal life." 9T 230; 3SM 401
"And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
"The word ‘many’ refers to the professed followers of Christ." 2T 346
"Many" refers to
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold ... Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal."
"There will be a shaking of the sieve. The chaff must in time be separated from the wheat. Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. It is the very time when the genuine will be the strongest." LDE 173
God is even now encouraging you to be among the genuine.
"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Note: There are three important events in the above verses.
2.Gospel of the kingdom
preached to all the world
3. Another end
This teacher does not believe these "ends" portray the end of the world since in both cases more events
follow. For now, please consider them as events in the middle of the prophecy where they are given. Eventually the prophecy does take us to the end of the world, but much later in verses 30 and 31.
In the verses preceding 13 and 14 the church is addressed. It seems logical to conclude that the first "end" is the end of the judgment of the Church, which is followed, as we know, by the preaching of the 144,000 (the Church Triumphant) "in all the world as a witness." This in turn is followed by the second "end" – the end of probation on the world.
These are the two "ends" mentioned. What is in between them? Extensive preaching! The Loud Cry of the Third Angel.
It is well known that the "Loud Cry" or final preaching of truth is soon to take place. We have seen enough evidence to know that those among us who are not prepared will be "left behind" while those who have "never heard" the truth may have opportunity to repent and be saved.
"I heard those clothed with the armor (of angels) speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their
husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it ... I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the Latter Rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the Loud Cry of the Third Angel.’" EW 271
After their witness to all the world is complete, probation is closed for the world; thus will come the end of all opportunity for salvation, which is the second "end" in the above verses. In verse 15 and 16 we’ll see what follows.
Speaking of the effects of the final Loud Cry soon to be given, Ellen White gives warning to us regarding carelessness and indifference. She clearly indicates that the careless and indifferent will be caught totally off guard and decidedly left behind in darkness. Sadly, in the second quote following, she makes it clear that many of our own previously trusted ministers will be left behind.
"Some had been shaken out and left by the way. Careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness ..." EW 271
"Many a star that we have admired will then go out in darkness."
You might wonder what will be the effects of the ‘Loud Cry’ on careless and indifferent church members? Will God’s true Church be left without members?
A few of our stars will be faithful to the end.
"... their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks." EW 271
The close of probation on the Church Militant does not mean the end of the Church. The Church Triumphant comes from the Church Militant. The name
To what length will the enemy go to combat the work of the Loud Cry?
"As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ ...the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come." GC 624
Some students apply Revelation, chapter nine, to this very experience:
Verse 6 "And in those days shall men seek death, and not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."
Verse 11 "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon."
(Some say Apollyon translates to mean "Destroyer." A gentleman from Greece told me that it can also interpret to mean "the Lost.")
So, to repeat wonderful news, just before the close of this world’s probation, the promise is:
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness."
With the help of angels the everlasting gospel will be preached "unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
"... and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14
In its context, this is not the end of the world, but the end of preaching the gospel for a witness unto all nations. This is only the end of the world’s probation. There
are yet more events prophesied to happen.
At the end of probation for the world there
are two things we can rejoice about. First, the
saved are forever secure for heaven. Second,
there will be no more martyrs. See GC 634
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand). Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains."
Why? Because with probation closed, there is no longer reason to keep witnessing or risking one’s life to witness.
"‘His place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given him; His water shall be sure.’ Is. 33:16 By this promise the children of
God will live. When the earth shall be wasted with famine, they shall be fed." DA 121
In the Old Testament, Daniel did prophesy of an Antichrist that would set up his throne in Jerusalem. At the same time a Heavenly Being stands up, no doubt ready to deliver God’s people. All these things Daniel, like Jesus, saw taking place while a severe time of trouble would be devastating the earth.
Daniel 11:45 – 12:1
Flight to the
"And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of the people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."
Daniel also pinpointed the location of the "holy mountain" mentioned in the above text. In his ninth chapter and the sixteenth verse he exclaimed, "Thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain."
The good news is that we will not be swept away in the devastation, but that we will be delivered. Now notice how Christ agrees with Daniel’s prophecy in the next four verses in Matthew.
"Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are
with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
"The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old." GC 614
"The world will then behold, as never before, the results of Satan’s rule." GC 37
Not to worry. During these very severe and horrific events, the saints will be delivered. See Daniel 12.
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened."
"When Jesus leaves the most holy, His restraining Spirit is withdrawn from rulers and people. They are left to the control of evil angels. Then such laws will be made by the counsel and direction of Satan, that unless time should be very short, no flesh could be saved." 1T 204
"Unless time should be very short." Yes, a short period of time is still remaining after the close of probation. It will be enough time for the following events:
Verses 23, 24
"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
In this final application of the prophecy, why is it impossible to deceive the very elect? Because they are sealed, probation is closed, and because they will only listen to Christ’s counsel. Those who love the truth will not fall for Satan’s deceptions but will take Christ’s counsel given in the next four verses.
"Behold I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; Behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together."
Do you wonder how active Satan will be in his work of deception?
"Even Him (Jesus) whose coming is after the working of Satan with ALL power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of
unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie." 2 Thessalonians
The True Witness repeats His earlier counsel saying, "Behold I have told you before." ("Before" was previous to probation’s close. See Matt. 24:4, 5) He repeats it now to reassure the saints that they should not be concerned with Satan’s strongest deception. Satan will still be trying to harass and deceive the saints after the close of probation. Why? Because Satan does not know that probation has closed!
"He numbers the world as his subjects; but the little company who keep the commandments of God are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. He sees that holy angels are guarding them, and he infers that their sins have been pardoned; but he does not know that their cases have been decided in the sanctuary above." GC 618
The True Witness once again reminds His people regarding His actual coming. "Wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together." (See again verse 28.) John the Revelator wrote of the same event.
"And the remnant were slain ... and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." Revelation 19:21
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken."
Verse 29 will be fulfilled immediately after the tribulation of those days (Satan’s reign of terror such as never was). These events may start the turning point in favor of the saints on planet earth.
The Bible, Ellen White, and the SDA Bible Commentary all support the signs in the sun, moon, and stars being repeated after the close of probation. What a tremendous morale boost this will be to the weary, misunderstood, harassed saints.
SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, pages
Re: Joel, chapter three:
"Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision." Joel 3:13, 14
Then the Commentary adds:
"It should be noted, however, that the decision here referred to is that of Jehovah as judge, and not that of the people who are being judged. In other words, their probation has already closed.
Then the Commentary continues:
"For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the LORD will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel
In other words, when these celestial signs are given in Joel, chapter two, they refer to a time before the close of probation when those who call on the name of the Lord can be saved. In Joel, chapter three, these same celestial signs are given after probation has closed!
The Sabbath School Quarterlies teach the same thing regarding the future application of these celestial signs:
"These signs in the natural world that already have occurred (the dark day, May 19, 1780; the falling stars, November 13, 1833; and others) will be repeated immediately before the Second Coming of Jesus." January – March, 1992 edition, p. 25
This truth is repeated in a more recent edition.
"The signs in the natural world were fulfilled in the past two centuries (Matt. 22:29). These signs will be repeated just before Christ comes." (Joel 3:15, Isaiah 3:9, 10; Rev. 6:12,13; Ezekiel 32:7, 8) Sabbath School Quarterly July – September, 1996
Ellen White tells us regarding Matthew 24:
"This entire discourse was given, not for the disciples only, but for those who should live in the last scenes of this earth’s history." DA 628
Astellar morale boost for the saints is a death toll for the wicked!
The Tide Changes to Favor the Righteous
Jacob’s Trouble is Over
"December 16, 1848, the Lord gave me a view of the shaking of the powers of the heavens. I saw that when the Lord said ‘heaven’ in giving the signs recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, He meant heaven ... the sun, moon, and stars will be moved out of their places. They will not pass away, but be shaken by the voice of God." EW 41
We have seen what happens when our High Priest leaves the Most Holy. Now notice what happens when He leaves the entire sanctuary.
"Then Jesus laid off His priestly garment and put on His Kingly robe, and took His place on the cloud that carried Him to the East, where it first appeared to the saints on earth – a small black cloud which was the sign of the Son of Man. While the cloud was passing from the Holiest to the East, which took a number of days, the synagogue of Satan worshipped at the saints’ feet." E. G. White and Her Critics, page 625; The Day Star 3/14/46
"The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious Star containing Jesus’ new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay
hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and the wicked would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another’s feet, and salute the holy brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshipped at our feet. Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of
Man." RH 7/21/51; EW 15
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven."
"Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Savior and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of Man." GC 640
"And He shall send His angels with a great sound of trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
"Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory." DA 631
"Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness; for God is Judge Himself." Psalms
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled."
SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 24
Jesus placed these things in the following order:
1.Deceivers come in His name
3.Nations rise against nations
4.An increase in famines, pestilence, and earthquakes
5.Persecution returns. God’s people are:
D.Betrayed by fellowmen
E.Harassed by false prophets
F.Harassed by coldhearted members rejecting sanctification
6.The end of the Church Militant
7.The Church Triumphant begins to function
8.Gospel preached one last time to the world
9.Final close of probation on the world
10.Sign of the desolator in Jerusalem
11.Flight to the mountains
12.Worldwide destruction worse than has ever been
14.An awesome display in the sun, moon, and stars
15.Sign of the Son of Man in the heavens
16.Second Coming of Christ with power and great glory.
17.Holy angels gather His elect
18.The wicked left as carrion for birds
The remaining verses on Matthew, chapter 24, are counsel to those who desire to be among the ‘elect." The next chapter in Matthew’s gospel has counsel for those who desire to be prepared for the soon coming close of probation on the Church. Both messages are very timely. "Study to show thyself approved unto God" is of paramount importance, as final events will be rapid ones. There is no legitimate reason for not being ready. The
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." Daniel 12:10
The Church Triumphant and the Latter Rain
Actually there are two parts to the rain storm ahead of us. The first part will give us a great deal more Bible truth than we have now, and the second will give us miraculous powers to aid in presenting a Loud Cry of a
We have seen that the 144,000 will be sealed just prior to the time of trouble. It is during the time of trouble that they will fill the Church Triumphant with "eleventh hour" converts. Praise God! You can be protected during that time.
"Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully." EW 71; Mar. 33
Don’t worry! You can reflect the image of Christ fully. Here’s how:
"Perfection of character is attained through exercise of the faculties of the mind (be careful what you think, clean up your mind, no negative thinking allowed), in times of supreme test, by obedience to every requirement of God’s Law." 2SM 161 (Parenthesis mine)
This is how
This next Scripture provides a clue indicating very strongly that the major battles are fought in the mind.
"But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (i.e., in his mind) Matthew 5:28
"Now is the time for us to let self die, to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts, to deny the cravings of appetite and passion. The minds of many are channels for impure thoughts. They do not have a realizing sense of the offensive character of sin. I call upon you to clear the King’s highway." ST 8/1/92
In connection with clearing the King’s highway, Ellen White wrote of a very special light that will come from a very special angel.
"If we would receive the light of the glorious angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory ..."
The glorious angel that shall lighten the earth with His glory is the angel of Revelation 18. He is the angel that will add light to the Third Angel’s Message. The first three angels’ messages are what we now understand. The truth is that we need the additional light. Notice how this light is
connected with the Latter Rain. Let’s read the entire quote:
"If we would receive the light of the glorious angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory, let us see to it that our hearts are cleansed, emptied of self, and turned toward heaven, that they may be ready for the Latter Rain." ST 8/1/11892
A PERSON CAN BE PURE
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the
only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 24, 25
Jude seems excited because God can keep us from falling, but we must do our part to cooperate with God.
"‘If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword.’ These words are true. Exact obedience is required, and those who say that it is not possible to live in a perfect life throw upon God the imputation of injustice and untruth." RH 2/7/57
This is one reason why we must not accept the "new theology." That is a continuous round of "sin and repent for the same sin". It is not necessary to continue in any known sin. Forget weakness and inability to overcome sin.
"We commit sin when we talk of our weakness and inability. It is an offense to God for His children to do this ..." RH Oct. 30, 1888
Friends, there is no such thing as "I can’t" – not with Christ! Take courage. The truth is, a holy people can and will triumph over all. Those who are striving with Him to develop characters like His will endure to the end.
"There is no necessity for thinking that we cannot endure persecution; we shall have to go through terrible times." RH 4/29/1890; Mar. 194
Those who are now developing characters like His will have a certain protection. (See pages 87 and Rev. 9:4, 5.) Will there be persecution in our world? Will Satan do his utmost to annihilate those who would be saved?
"The persecutions of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated, will be more than rivaled when Protestantism and popery are combined." 3SM 387; LDE 147; Mar. 194
HERE COMES THE LATTER RAIN AND ITS FINAL
"Theprospectofbeingbroughtintopersonal danger and distress need not cause despondency, but should quicken the vigor and hopes of God’s people; for the time of their peril is the season for God to grant them clearer manifestations
of His power." 2SM 370
"Many ... will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the Word of God, is as a fire
in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children are impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message from heaven. The Spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings, and, casting off all man’s machinery, his binding rules and cautious methods, they will declare the truth with the might of the Spirit’s power. Multitudes will receive the faith and join the armies of the Lord." Evangelism, p. 700
How many armies will they join? May I suggest twelve major armies? There will be twelve armies comprised of "144,000
of all the tribes of the children of Israel" to which will be added a great multitude of their converts "which no man could number." Today we must "strive to be among the 144,000."
NOTE: For excellent information regarding the 144,000 and the great multitude, I suggest reading a very exciting study by Elder Taylor Bunch. It is listed in the Appendix.
The above quote tells us what we will give to the world. What we will have to offer is more important than the miracles that will accompany us.
1.The light: e.g. spiritual illumination, truth, a set of principles, standards. (Webster’s 9th Dictionary)
3.Word of God
4.Words of the Lord
5.Message from Heaven
Actually it is from the above sources that we received the original "pillars of our faith" in the past. Right now might be a good time to review some of our pillars, and show a few references, and where you can find them. (Bible references can be found on page 101).
• Second Advent of Christ EV 624
•Third Angel’s Message EW 258
•Sanctuary in Heaven EV 224
•Baptism and the Lord’s Supper EV 273
•State of the Dead GC 644; Mar. 305
•Creation ST 2/28/84; ST 11/22/1899
•Perpetuity of the Law CW 77; 3T 202; GC 582
All of these glorious truths have been the pillars of our faith for many years. Every true evangelist polishes and gives them a brighter glow in every series of meetings.
Let’s look at it this way: First we must have a solid foundation for these pillars. Christ is the foundation. Without Him, they would be without value. He must be the very foundation of our faith. Once we have the right foundation, the above pillars can stand straight and tall as long as time should last.
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11
Here is the problem. If you can see the foundation and the pillars of truth standing tall and erect on the horizon, it will appear that something is lacking.
So, what do we lack? The roof! No way is our building complete! Our minds may have been heavily impressed that we do not need a roof to cap off our beliefs, but what does the Word say? Who says that we need more?
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with good, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and
that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see." Revelation
As we continue you will see more and more how Ellen White relates the above text to the Latter Rain or the absence of it. What "roof" might the Latter Rain bring? Read on. You will find the building materials for a solid roof in the middle of the next chapter.
Gold Tried in the Fire,
White Raiment, and Eye Salve
"Our Redeemer sees the situation, and he counsels all to buy of Him gold tried in the fire; which is true faith, and genuine love, the grace that will not be destroyed by fierce temptations." RH 12/06/81
Perhaps we should carefully read the context to see at least one way that "true faith and genuine love" can be expressed.
"We have each an individual responsibility. No friend or neighbor can be a criterion for us. Jesus is the only safe pattern. Have you not, my sisters, given to the world a wrong example in your dress and in your selfish indulgence? Will you not have to render an account to God for the influence you have exerted in favor of needless adornment and display? Our faith must be tested in this world. Christ overcame in our behalf, and thus made it possible for us also to overcome. We must endure trial and temptation here, and then, if faithful, we shall receive the crown. ‘Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive a crown of life.’ We shall be exposed to manifold temptations, but these, if rightly borne, will refine and purify us, even as gold is purified in the fire. Yet when exposed to the allurements of the world, that which we had thought to be gold, proves to be but dross. Our Redeemer sees the situation, and he counsels all to buy of him gold tried in the fire; which is true faith and genuine love, the grace that will not be destroyed by fierce temptations." Ibid.
Little things mean a lot in any love affair. Our love for God must be preeminent. Today there is strong temptation to wear the wrong gold. We cannot afford to be gullible.
White raiment: This has to do with purity of character.
Purity of character shines in one who confesses, forsakes, and overcomes his sins. God pleads, "Be ye holy for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16). John the Revelator writes:
"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will
not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Rev. 3:4, 5
Eye Salve: There may be a lot more to the truth regarding God’s Law and the prophecies than we know. Notice what the Spirit of Prophecy says about enlarging our interpretations of prophecy.
"When we as a people understand what this book (Revelation) means to us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not understand fully the lessons that it teaches ..." TM 113
"When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience." TM 114
"The solemn messages that have been given in their order in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God’s people." 8T 302; Mar. 160
"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." 17MR 11; 2SM 109
One of many specific statements of prophecy being repeated is found in her statement regarding Revelation 11. It was written well after the events of the French Revolution. Notice how tightly the next statement ties Revelation 11 to the future.
"Let all who would understand the meaning of these things read the eleventh chapter of Revelation. Read every verse, and learn the things that are yet to take place in the cities. Read also the scenes portrayed in the eighteenth chapter of the same book." 21MR 91; LDE 95
Revelation 18 describes the fourth angel that lightens the earth with His glory. Now we are getting into the Latter Rain. Ellen White is definitely tying the final Loud Cry message to the detailed scenes recorded in the eleventh chapter of Revelation. (A video entitled "The Two Witnesses" is offered in the Appendix.) We will not discuss a future interpretation of Revelation eleven at this time, but we will read about the fourth angel’s message that is to lighten the earth with his glory. We find it in Revelation
"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." Revelation
We were given a great head start getting the original pillars and our understanding of the prophecies. It is also true that any added light
will not alter or detract from anything we have already known and believed, but I also see that Christ has been standing for a long time at the door of this Church, wanting to come in and give us the rest of the story.
Let’s get into the Bible to learn more of what the outpouring of the Spirit of God is about. Now we will discover just what must be expected by the chosen few.
"Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the Latter Rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain; to every one grass in the field." Zechariah 10:1
Is this the only text that compares people to grass? No, not at all. I will mention one more.
"The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the Spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass." Isaiah 40:6, 7
Picture the world as the field and yourself as a blade of grass. Does it make you feel very small or does it excite you that our Heavenly Father carefully watches over each blade of grass? Let’s continue.
"My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." Deuteronomy 32:2
Don’t we already have the light? Why do we need more doctrine? Why will doctrine fall as part of the Latter Rain? Are not the pillars
of our faith all sufficient to carry us through to the end?
"When God’s people are at ease and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favor them. It is His will that they should be ever moving forward to receive the increased and
So, according to the above statement, will you be favored or
Is the light we learned when we took Bible studies, studied in classrooms, and listened to crusades sufficient for the final generation Adventist? Not according to our prophet. In fact we shall
soon see that it is not even close! Fellow Adventists, lend me your ears. Here comes the truth. I’m not going to water it down, for fear that you will miss the point.
"We must not for a moment think that there is no more light, no more truth, to be given us. We are in danger of becoming careless, by our indifference losing the sanctifying power of truth, and composing ourselves with the thought, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." (Here, the Laodicean message of Rev. 3:17 is associated with more truth!) While we must hold fast to the truths which we have already received, we must not look with suspicion upon any new light that God may send." GW 310 (1915)
Friends, our present doctrines were all secured by 1915! At that time Ellen White was very positive about more light to come. She also says if we don’t realize there is more light coming we will lose out on sanctification!
This is important. Our subject may be the most important
We have the best, but the best is not enough.
"Although we have in trust the grandest and most important truth ever presented to the world, we are only babes, as far as understanding truth, in all its bearings, is concerned." CW 29
What does she say about our basic doctrines? Our doctrines are the grandest and most important truths ever presented to the world, but they are just a childlike start!
But how much truth do they contain? Enough to satisfy babes. The question is, will baby food carry us through to the end?
Do you know why many people leave the truth? Because they are tired of baby food. Not only that, but a normal growing child needs more than baby food. Growing children get fussy without stronger food.
"The question has been asked me, ‘Do you think that the Lord has any more light for us as a people?’ I answer that He has light that is new to us, and yet it is precious old light that is to shine forth from the Word of truth. We have only the glimmerings of the rays of the light that is yet to come to us." 1SM 401
Please notice four important points:
1.Ellen White did not know what the new light was. It was "yet to come." It would be unfair to judge her for not having it.
2.When it does come, it will be entirely new to us.
3.In reality, it is something that was recognized in God’s Word in "olden times."
4.We already have the "glimmerings."
•Second Advent of Christ EV 264, 1st Thessalonians 4:16
•Three Angel’s Messages of judgment EW 258, Rev.
•Sanctuary in Heaven EV 224, Hebrews 8:1, 2
(their final judgment)
• Baptism and the Lord’s Supper EV 273, Matthew
• Creation ST 2/28/84; ST 11/22/1899, Gen.
•Perpetuity of the Law. CW 77; 3T 202; GC 582, Ex. 31:18, Deut. 10:4, 5, Rev. 11:19
But the Spirit of Christ told Ellen White that these "glimmerings" are not all the gems we should have!
"Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed. The diligent, prayerful seeker for truth will find precious rays of light yet to shine forth from the word of God. Many gems are yet scattered that are to be gathered together to become the property of the remnant people of God." GW 35
The following diagram should help to clarify some of the statements we have already enjoyed. While looking at it, try to visualize the fact that our Creator has many gems of new light for us
that is really old light, yet to shine forth from the Word, and that all we really have are the glimmerings of the light that we should have. So, let’s begin hunting for gems.
The brilliance of all the gems added to the light of our present truth will be spectacular. Think of it. It will include our pillars, plus the light from the fourth angel of Revelation Eighteen! This will be the greatest light of truth the world has ever seen. Get ready! Get ready! Get ready!
"Questions were asked at that time. ‘Sister White, do you think that the Lord has any new and increased light for us as a people?’ I answered, ‘Most assuredly. I do not only think so, but I can speak understandingly. I know that there is precious truth to be unfolded to us if we are the people that are to stand in the days of God’s preparation.’" (Underlining mine) Ellen White 1888 Materials, p. 219, 3SM 174
To turn this into the negative for emphasis it would read, "If we do not receive this new light, we will not stand in the last days on this earth." Our subject is very important! It is doubly important because of the date it was written. More about this date later.
Does the Spirit of Prophecy point us in a right direction to let us know which of our doctrines may direct us toward this greater light?
"Said my guide, ‘There is much light yet to shine forth from the Law of God and the gospel of righteousness. This message, understood in its true character, and proclaimed in the Spirit, will lighten the earth with its glory." 2MR 58
The date of this writing was November 1, 1888. There is no question this was a part of the 1888 message. In fact it was addressed to "Dear Brethren Assembled at General Conference."
We already had the Ten Commandments at the time of her writing. In the above reference she is letting us know that there is much more to the Law of God than that. She promised a time would come when all the light from the Law would be made known. Notice she also connects this new light with Revelation 18 that will "lighten the earth with its glory."
The key phrase left to us of the 1888 fiasco was "righteousness by faith." This is supposed to answer all questions regarding the 1888 controversy, but it doesn’t. Righteousness by faith means different things to different people. During the Reformation it meant one thing to the Roman Catholic and something entirely different to the Protestant.
Even today in Adventism, it means different things to different people. On one side it means a person can sin and repent, sin and repent, until Christ comes, because Christ will cover us with His righteousness anyway. On the other side it means, by faith in Him, a person can overcome sin.
(Ellen White agrees with the latter in numerous writings).
Regardless, one important clue we have about the new light is that it is to shine forth from the Law of God and the gospel of righteousness. We also know that The Law of God and righteousness are complementary. Notice:
"My tongue shall speak of Thy word; for all Thy commandments are righteousness." Psalms 119:172
1888 MESSAGE LOST!
I personally believe the messages that Jones and Waggoner wanted to present at that 1888 meeting in Minneapolis have been swept too far under the carpet to be found. However, I believe they will be given again, and that they are surfacing anew.
Perhaps some of you may not realize how drastic the situation really was at that General Conference meeting. Let me share a statement that might help.
"An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through Brethren Waggoner and Jones. By exciting that opposition, Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enmity prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted (the fourth angel), and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world." Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, page 1575 (Parenthesis supplied by Author), 1SM 234
Should we be so blessed of our Heavenly Father as to receive another chance at the light that was given at Minneapolis more than 100 years ago, what will be the attitude of paid conference personnel today? Will it be any different? How sad, but definite, to report that the answer is No.
"In the manifestation of that power which lightens the earth with the glory of God, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears, and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their expectations and ideal, they will oppose the work. ‘Why,’ they say, ‘should we not know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?’ Because they did not respond to the warnings, the entreaties, of the messages of God, but persistently said, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.’" Maranatha, p. 219
Once again we see the Laodicean message as a general rejection of the light that accompanies the Latter Rain, but yet some individuals in the Church will step up to receive it. In fact, some of them will be among the least expected to become leaders among us. Perhaps this is why she refers to the fact that men and women who are not
"Under the showers of the Latter Rain the ...
Holy Spirit will speak through the living human agent, with convincing power. No one then will watch to see if the sentences are well rounded off, if the grammar is faultless. The living water will flow in God’s own channels." 2SM 58, 59
The implication is that God will use chosen agents, whether they speak good grammar or not. Amen? The implication is that God’s own channels may not be university educated. This new light, this truth, may not come down the channels of human rank and file at all.
I believe it pertinent at this time to repeat one very exciting paragraph.
"Many ... will be seen hurrying hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to bring the light to others. The truth, the Word of God is as a fire in their bones, filling them with a burning desire to enlighten those who sit in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, now proclaim the words of the Lord. Children are impelled by the Spirit to go forth and declare the message from heaven. The spirit is poured out upon all who will yield to its promptings, and, casting off all man’s machinery, his binding rules and cautious methods, they will declare the truth with the might of the Spirit’s power. Multitudes will receive the faith and join the armies of the Lord." EV 700
Look at the added clues we have regarding the Latter Rain. Not only did we read that it would shine forth from the Law of God, but it is also:
3.Word of God
4.A message from Heaven
Now we can also clearly see two things. The Scriptures show the Latter Rain adding doctrine, and Ellen White indicates it is more light shinning from the Law of God.
"My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." Deut. 32:2
This also explains a mysterious phenomenon. When I thought the Latter Rain was only the gift of miracles I wondered how it could be that the folk around us wouldn’t see it. Notice:
"But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the Former Rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it." TM 507
If I called for the healing of a deaf and blind person, and suddenly that person could see and hear, everybody would be electrified with praise and excitement.
People would be talking and cell phones would be buzzing. However, such a manifestation of the Spirit’s power could not apply to the above quote that says, "It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it."
On the other hand, if the Latter Rain first falls to give new light, I can see that many folk will not "discern or receive it." Evidently the first part of the Latter Rain involves the new light.
THE FORMER RAIN
"But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the Former Rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have will receive greater light." TM 507
Here the Spirit of Prophecy equates the "Former Rain" with the light we already have – the pillars of our faith.
Let’s go back to the Scriptures to gain more insight:
"Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He hath given you the Former Rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the Former Rain, and the Latter Rain in the first month." Joel 2:23
The "Former Rain moderately" is our former doctrines, i.e. the pillars of our faith.
Our pillars (the glimmerings) will be joined to new light shining from the law, the full truth about righteousness, the Word of God with the missing heavenly message. I’m getting excited! Let’s read it again:
"Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the Former Rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the Former Rain, and the Latter Rain in the first month." Joel 2:23
The fact that the new light will be "shining forth from the law with its corresponding gospel of righteousness", and the fact that it is old, forgotten truth coming into vogue, are two good revelations; but a further revelation is found in the works of Brother A.T. Jones.
Quoting the Catholic magistrates, he wrote:
"We have also gratifying intelligence to communicate to you relative to unity of judgment on the subject of the most holy feast of Easter ...
for this point also had been happily settled through your prayers; so that all the brethren in the East who have heretofore kept this festival when the Jews did, will henceforth conform to the Romans and to us, and all who from the earliest time have observed our period of celebrating Easter." The Two Republics. A.T. Jones p. 383 quoting Socrates’ Ecclesiastical History, Book 1 (1891).
What you are seeing is that he was very likely preaching the above historical facts during the famous 1888 Conference. His book was available just three years later. It surely took him longer than three years to write and publish it. As an example, my Holy History book is about 1/3 the size of his book. It took me four years with the advantage of a computer and word processor. So, no doubt, A.T. Jones was writing and preaching this truth of God’s commanded Feasts in opposition to the popularized Roman feasts in 1888.
For more on the modern return of this argument, and the importance of it, read the book Holy History, by this author.
A.T. Jones wrote another book and repeated the same thing. He was coming down pretty hard on a certain substituted and Christianized pagan holiday. Evidently it was a strong issue, in his mind. Carefully read the following quote:
"The first Christians being mostly Jews, continued to celebrate the Passover in remembrance of the death of Christ, the true Passover, and this was continued among those who from among the Gentiles had turned to Christ. Accordingly, the celebration was always on the Passover day – the fourteenth of the first month. Rome, however, and from her all the West, adopted the day of the sun as the day of this celebration. According to the Eastern custom, the celebration being on the fourteenth
day of the month, would of course fall on different days of the week as the years revolved. The rule of Rome was that the celebration must always be on the Sunday – the Sunday nearest to the fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish year. And if the fourteenth day of that month should itself be a Sunday, then the celebration was not to be held on that day, but upon the next Sunday. One reason for this was not only to be as like the heathen as possible, but to be as unlike the Jews as possible; this in order not only to facilitate the ‘conversion’ of the heathen by conforming to their customs, but also by pandering to their spirit of contempt and hatred of the Jews. It was upon this point that the bishop of Rome made his first open attempt at absolutism." The Great Empires of Bible Prophecy, p. 383, by A.T. Jones (1898).
I once thought the pope’s first attempt at absolutism was the Sunday/Sabbath issue. Evidently it was over the Passover/ Easter issue. For more pertinent information on the Passover/Easter controversy, you will enjoy reading Holy
History, page 37 (see Appendix).
But what about Pentecostal miraculous
power? When does it come? The answer is
Later. It comes after Joel 2:23. It comes after
the new doctrine. Notice verses
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions;
"And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. (See Rev.
"And it shall come to pass, that whosever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." Joel
It is God’s true remnant that will preach this deliverance message! That message will contain both the old truth and the new truth. A great multitude will hear the combined message and call on the name of the LORD, Yahweh.
Friends, are you ready for the Lord to show you a new message? Would it frighten you? Would you buckle under preconceived ideas, peer pressure, or cowardice? Or would you rejoice to be worthy of such an honor even if the educated men who have been in the work a long time should mock you, call you and your message dangerous, something to arouse fears, and flat out reject it? That was the reaction the first time this message came in 1888, and it is prophesied to be the same reaction now.
The Lord will call those who are cleansing their minds of all filthiness of the flesh, forsaking their pride and whatever big or little things that separate the soul from God; who are preparing themselves to receive a very important doctrine, a doctrine that is new to them, but was known by Israel in ancient times.
The last verse of our text, verse 32, above, shows a great multitude of folk delivered because of the remnant whom the Lord shall call. I believe it proper to put this in the present. A great multitude of folk will be delivered by the witness of the remnant that God is now enlightening.
It would be great if the new light would come down through the proper channels - the Biblical Research Institute, the Conference Review Committee, the Review and Herald, and our local pastors. This is the way we would all like it best. But ...
"... 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 from heaven with a message, and the whole earth was to be lightened with his glory. It would be impossible for us to state just how this additional light would 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." Letter 22, 1889; 13MR 334
"God designs that the plan of redemption shall come to his people in the Latter Rain; for they are fast losing their connection with God. They are trusting in man, and glorifying man, and their strength is proportionate to the strength of their dependence. Some matters have been opened before me,
which will be fulfilled ere long. We are to know more than we do at the present time. We are to comprehend the deep things of God. There are themes to be dwelt upon which are worthy of more than a passing notice. Angels have desired to look into the truths which are revealed to the people who are searching God’s word and with contrite hearts praying forwisdom, forgreaterlengths and breadths and heights of that knowledge which God alone can give." The Ellen G. White, 1888 Materials, p. 1690
OUR PRIORITIES MUST BE STRAIGHT
Friends, no amount of innovative techniques to improve our worship services, no matter how helpful they may be, will make up for the rejection of "present truth." The extreme would be to believe that our people perish for a lack of entertainment. But it is much more Biblical to realize that our people will perish from a lack of knowledge! What is considered worse than a lack of knowledge? The rejection of knowledge, even as it was rejected in 1888 and is prophesied to be rejected again. How sad!
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me; seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6
So I conclude with three thoughts. First, that the 144,000 priests will find "much light yet to shine forth from the Law of God and the gospel of righteousness"; and even if they are mocked, derided, resisted, rejected, and their message thought dangerous to the faith, still they will be true to their calling. Second, if A.T. Jones was correct, they will honor the times of the Law, rather than the times of Roman origin. In all respects they will give glory only to God. They will present the Elijah message as it has never been presented before.
"Remember ye the Law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
"Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD;
"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Malachi
For more information on this text enjoy the video entitled "The Three Elijahs", offered in the Appendix.
The third thought has also to do with a plain, easy to understand, but lightly regarded, seldom
believed, but often quoted Bible truth:
"But the path of the just is as
the shining light, that shineth more
and more unto the perfect day."
than we do
The truth is, "We ought to know far more
than we do." The question is, "Why would
the ‘new light’ emanating from the Law of God be a problem for the people of God? "First, there are many of our brothers and sisters who fear a term called legalism. They already believe we have too many laws and regulations and will certainly be closed to any "new light yet to shine forth from the Law of God and the gospel of righteousness."
Second, there are many of our brothers and sisters who fear any additional light beyond what is seen in the original pillars of our faith, even if it is precious old light hidden in the Scriptures for centuries, and just beginning to shine. They would see such light as a threat and as dangerous. Because there has been a recent questioning of our standards, these folk have been helpful in stabilizing the Church. But they are also very steadfast in watching the pillars, and it is very unlikely that they will see or accept anything new. The attitude of this group seems to be, "If the pioneers didn’t have it, it’s not worth having."
The third group that will have a difficult time with any new light will be the leadership in the Church. Since I consider myself one of them, I sympathize completely. It will be difficult, for the
very reasons clearly outlined by the Spirit of Prophecy, earlier in this book.
This is not to say that all of the folk in the above three paragraphs will miss the very light that heaven is sending, but it will obviously be difficult for most of them to accept.
So who will be most prone to accept the messages coming from heaven? Very likely the same class of individuals that accepted the message that came from the lips of the Messiah in His day. A few from all three groups, but mostly it will be accepted by the humble, sincere, disciples who are praying in the pews. In Christ’s day it was mostly the fishermen and carpenters.
"My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee, so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest afterknowledge, and liftest up they voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver and searchest for her as for hid treasurers; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs
One of the beautiful things about this study is the verification of the predictions by Ellen White. It is no wonder so many people consider her writings collectively as "the Spirit of Prophecy." How could anyone almost 100 years ago know what would be happening in the Church near the end of time? What she has written definitely grants the power of choice to the reader. The question is Are you ready for more?
Praise God as you continue your exciting adventure! The following items listed in the Appendix will provide exciting steps in your ongoing journey.
CONTINUING THE JOURNEY
If you would appreciate exploring additional studies by the same author, we encourage you to take advantage of the following items. Many people believe that these items contain ‘gems’ from God’s Law that have been missing since ‘olden times.’
DVD STUDIES BY THIS AUTHOR:
•The Three Elijahs (1 hour)
•The 144,000 with the Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments (Three –
•A Fresh Study of Colossians Two (1 hour)
•The Sanctuary Doctrine (Two –
•A Christian’s Passover (1 hour)
•Two Witnesses of Revelation Chapter Eleven (1 hour)
BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR:
•The Church Triumphant, New Light, and the 144,000
(call toll free for quantity discounts on books)
•A Special Message to the Little Flock
(a booklet explaining
ARTICLE BY TAYLOR BUNCH:
•The Sealing and the Latter Rain
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