. To Introduction
Religious Events of the Future - Volume Three
The Last Warning
"[If] he heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning;
his blood shall be upon him.
But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul."
a series entitled
"Religious Events of the Future"
This volume is based on:-
Matthew 24:1-51; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:1-34.
It is recommended that you read these before you
read the book.
The language of the Scripture quotes has been
modernised for easier understanding.
Babylon the great
"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."
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues." Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.
This Scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organisations that constitute "Great" Babylon, since that message was first given.
A terrible condition of the religious world is here described. With every rejection of truth the minds of the people will become darker, their hearts more stubborn, until they are entrenched in an infidel hardihood. In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Ten Commandments, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred.
The result of the union
Christ will be set as nothing in the contempt placed upon His word and His people. As the teachings of spiritualism are accepted by the churches, the restraint imposed upon the carnal heart will be removed, and the profession of religion will become a cloak to conceal the basest iniquity. A belief in spiritual manifestations opens the door to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and thus the influence of evil angels will be felt in the churches.
Of Babylon, at the time brought to view in this prophecy, it is declared: "Her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." Revelation 18:5.
She has filled up the measure of her guilt, and destruction is about to fall upon her.
Gods people will be called out
But God still has some people in Babylon; and before the visitation of His judgments these faithful ones must be called out, that they partake not of her sins and "receive not of her plagues."
This is the reason for the movement symbolised by the fourth angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: "Come out of her, My people."
These announcements, uniting with the three angels messages, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.
A moment of truth
Fearful is the issue to which the world is to be brought. The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that "all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond" (Revelation 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death.
On the other hand, the law of God enjoining the Creator's rest day demands obedience and threatens wrath against all who transgress its precepts.
With the issue thus clearly brought before them, whoever shall trample upon God's law to obey a human enactment will receive the mark of the beast; he/she will accept the sign of allegiance to the power which they choose to obey instead of God.
A clear choice
The warning from heaven is: "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation." Revelation 14:9, 10.
But no one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his or her mind and conscience, and has been rejected.
All must be warned
There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light.
He who reads every heart and tries every motive will leave none who desire a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy.
The death decree is not to be urged upon the people blindly. Everyone is to have sufficient light to make his or her decision intelligently.
That one commandment!
The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially to be argued over. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law, will be an evidence of loyalty to the Creator.
While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, will receive the mark of the beast, the other, by choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, will receive the seal of God. Revelation 7:1-3.
Now it is certain
Before this those who presented the truths of the third angel's message have often been regarded as mere alarmists. Their predictions that religious intolerance would gain control in the United States, that church and state would unite to persecute those who keep the commandments of God, have been pronounced groundless and absurd. It has been confidently declared that this land could never become other than what it has been - the defender of religious freedom.
But as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, the event so long doubted and disbelieved will be seen to be approaching, and the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before.
A change of attitude
In every generation God has sent His servants to rebuke sin, both in the world and in the church. But the people desire smooth things spoken to them, and the pure, unvarnished truth is not acceptable.
Many reformers in other ages, in entering upon their work, determined to exercise great prudence in attacking the sins of the church and the nation. They hoped, by the example of a pure Christian life, to lead the people back to the doctrines of the Bible.
But the Spirit of God came upon them as it came upon Elijah, moving him to rebuke the sins of a wicked king and an apostate people; they could not refrain from preaching the plain utterances of the Bible - doctrines which they had been reluctant to present. See 1 Kings 17:1.
They were impelled to zealously declare the truth and the danger which threatened souls. The words which the Lord gave them they uttered, fearless of consequences, and the people were compelled to hear the warning.
A message with power
Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to His service. The labourers will be qualified rather by the inspiration of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions. Men and women of faith and prayer will be constrained by their love to go forth with holy zeal, declaring the words which God gives them.
The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the Roman Catholic power - all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred.
Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they will hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven.
As the people go to their former teachers with the eager enquiry, "Are these things so?", the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience.
But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain "Thus says the Lord," the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.
The warning spreads
As the controversy extends into new fields and the minds of the people are called to God's downtrodden law, Satan will be astir. The power attending the message will only madden those who oppose it. The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavour to suppress the discussion of these vital questions.
A church and state union
The church will appeal to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, Catholics and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the civil law will be invoked against commandment keepers.
They will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith.
But their steadfast answer is: "Show us from the word of God our error" - the same plea that was made by Luther under similar circumstances.
Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them will be led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God.
Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths.
Christians will be outlaws
Conscientious obedience to the word of God will be treated as rebellion. Blinded by Satan, the parent will exercise harshness and severity toward the believing child; the employer will oppress the commandment-keeping worker. Affection will be alienated; children will be disinherited and driven from home. The words of Paul will be literally fulfilled: "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12.
Traitors will arise
As the defenders of truth refuse to honour the Sunday-sabbath, some of them will be thrust into prison, some will be exiled, some will be treated as slaves. To human wisdom all this now seems impossible; but as the restraining Spirit of God shall be withdrawn from men, and they shall be under the control of Satan, who hates the divine precepts, there will be strange developments.
The heart can be very cruel when God's fear and love are removed.
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 will be prepared to choose the easy, popular side.
Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, will employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brothers and sisters.
When Sabbathkeepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates will be the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.
Trust will be needed
In this time of persecution the faith of the Lord's servants will be tried. Luke 18:1-8. They have faithfully given the warning, looking to God and to His word alone. God's Spirit, moving upon their hearts, has constrained them to speak.
Stimulated with holy zeal, and with the divine impulse strong upon them, they entered upon the performance of their duties without coldly calculating the consequences of speaking to the people the word which the Lord had given them. They have not consulted their temporal interests, nor sought to preserve their reputation or their lives. Yet when the storm of opposition and reproach bursts upon them, some, overwhelmed with consternation, will be ready to exclaim: "Had we foreseen the consequences of our words, we would have held our peace."
They are hedged in with difficulties. Satan assails them with fierce temptations. The work which they have undertaken seems far beyond their ability to accomplish. They are threatened with destruction. The enthusiasm which animated them is gone; yet they cannot turn back.
Then, feeling their utter helplessness, they flee to the Mighty One for strength. They remember that the words which they have spoken were not theirs, but His who bade them give the warning. God put the truth into their hearts, and they could not forbear to proclaim it.
The faith of our elders
The same trials have been experienced by men of God in ages past. Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Tyndale, Baxter, Wesley, urged that all doctrines be brought to the test of the Bible and declared that they would renounce everything which it condemned.
Against these men persecution raged with relentless fury; yet they ceased not to declare the truth. Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.
The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it? He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls. Christ's ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences.
They must perform their duty and leave results with God.
The storm will get worse
As the opposition rises to a fiercer height, the servants of God will again be perplexed; for it will seem to them that they have brought the crisis.
But conscience and the word of God assure them that their course is right; and although the trials continue, they are strengthened to bear them. The contest grows closer and sharper, but their faith and courage rise with the emergency.
Their testimony is: "We dare not tamper with God's word, dividing His holy law; calling one portion essential and another nonessential, to gain the favour of the world. The Lord whom we serve is able to deliver us. Christ has conquered the powers of earth; and shall we be afraid of a world already conquered?"
Persecution in its varied forms is the development of a principle which will exist as long as Satan exists and Christianity has vital power.
No one can serve God without enlisting against themselves the opposition of the hosts of darkness. Satans evil angels will assail them, alarmed that their influence is taking the prey from their hands.
Evil men, rebuked by their example, will unite with them in seeking to separate the Christians from God by alluring temptations. When these do not succeed, then a compelling power will be employed to force the conscience.
Not all is lost even then
But so long as Jesus remains
man's intercessor in the sanctuary above, the restraining
influence of the Holy Spirit is felt by rulers and people.
It still controls to some extent the laws of the land. Were it not for these laws, the condition of the world would be much worse than it now is.
While many of our rulers are active agents of Satan, God also has His agents among the leading men of the nations. The enemy will move upon his servants to propose measures that would greatly impede the work of God; but statesmen who fear the Lord will be influenced by holy angels to oppose such propositions with unanswerable arguments.
Thus a few men will hold in check a powerful current of evil.
One final effort
The opposition of the enemies of truth will be restrained that the three angels messages may do their last work. See Revelation 7:1-3. When the final warning shall be given, it will arrest the attention of these leading men through whom the Lord is now working, and some of them will accept it, and will stand with the people of God through the time of trouble.
The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel's message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of worldwide extent and unprecedented power is here foretold. The advent movement of 1840-44 was the last glorious worldwide manifestation of the power of God; the first angel's message was then carried to every missionary station in the world, and in some countries there was the greatest religious interest which has been witnessed in any land since the Reformation of the sixteenth century; but this is to be exceeded by the mighty movement under the last warning of the third angel.
Like the beginning of Christianity
The work will be similar to that of the Day of Pentecost. Acts 2:1-8.
As the "former rain" was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the upspringing of the precious seed, so the "latter rain" will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest.
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come to us as the rain, as the latter and former rain to the earth." Hosea 6:3.
"Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He has given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain." Joel 2:23.
"In the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh." "And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:17, 21.
The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are "the times of refreshing" to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said: "Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus." Acts 3:19, 20.
Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. 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. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13.
Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.
The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God.
The arguments have been presented. The seed has been sown, and now it will spring up and bear fruit. The publications distributed by missionary workers have exerted their influence, yet many whose minds were impressed have been prevented from fully comprehending the truth or from yielding obedience.
Now the rays of light penetrate everywhere, the truth is seen in its clearness, and the honest children of God sever the bands which have held them. Family connections, church relations, are powerless to stay them now. Truth is more precious than all besides.
Notwithstanding the agencies combined against the truth, a large number will take their stand upon the Lord's side.
The fairness of the judgment
Therefore, O you son of man, speak to the house of Israel; Thus you speak, saying, "If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?"
Say to them, "As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?"
Therefore, you son of man, say to the children of your people,
The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver
him in the day of his transgression:
as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not
fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness;
neither shall the righteous be able to live for his
righteousness in the day that he sins.
When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die for it.
Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die;
if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
Yet the children of your people say, "The way of the Lord is not equal [fair]": but as for them, their way is not equal. When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet you say, "The way of the Lord is not equal."
O you house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
On to Volume Four - The Time of Trouble
For a Bible explanation of these events to come, read:-
Daniel and The Revelation made easy to understand.
(A printed copy A4 size, 175 pages, is available free from us.)
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