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Seven angels with seven messages

Query for the Month


April 2011

Next up-date: May 1st 2011 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?


Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in.  Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )

In the meantime, try this site.    And here's one where you can read it online.


Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

Some of the comments on this page are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.


Why is it that when we teach about the angels of Revelation 14 we concentrate of the first three (with a passing reference to the fourth) but ignore the last three?  Shouldn’t we know the complete picture?



Let’s look at an overview of the seven.

Revelation 14:

The first:

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven . . . 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come . . .

The second:

8 And there followed another angel, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication . . .    

The third:

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead . . .

The fourth:  Chapter 18:

1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils . . .

The fifth:

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle, and reap: for the time is come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe . . .    

The sixth:

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle . . .    

The seventh:

18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe”.  

We are probably all familiar with the first three “angels” messages, and know that they are descriptive of warnings being given by God’s people, as a whole or a part thereof, on earth since 1844.  These messages are declared to be a part of “the everlasting gospel” which began in the Garden of Eden, for they HAVE it with them. Verse 6.  But the work of preaching the gospel has not been committed to angels, for it has been entrusted to men and women on earth in every generation.  Holy angels are depicted as directing this work, for they have been in charge of all the great movements for the salvation of men; but the actual proclamation of the gospel is performed by the followers of Christ upon the earth.  See note 1.  

The first message was dual in nature in that it called attention to a creator God in place of the “Natural Selection” of Darwin’s evolutionary theory which was soon to sweep the world, and then told us that the FIRST of three judgments had begun.  (This is when the names of the professed righteous of all ages were presented to the Father for His approval (or denial) of their resurrection at the second advent.) 

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down [placed], and the Ancient of days [the Father] did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand [angels] stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened .  .  . I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven [a group of angels], and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.  And there was given [confirmed to] Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed”.  Daniel 7:9-14.  See note 2.

Then the second angel warned that the professed Christian churches of the Reformation were actually wolves in sheep’s clothing, while the third prophesied that there would come a time when a copy of the old church and state system would arise in an entirely new area.  The fourth angel, as we have seen, is designed to add impetus to the first three by emphasising the danger of this and directing attention to the call of God to come out of those organisations quickly.  

(I won’t go into the fact that all three messages have another dimension also.)

Then in the text we have these words:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 14:

12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of [not IN] Jesus”. 

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the LORD from henceforth: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them [with a reward]”.

14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like to the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

***************(End Quote)   

The first verse describes the people of God in the last days who keep the Ten Commandments including the seventh-day Sabbath, and who follow in the footsteps of our LORD because they have the same faith that He had as a man while on earth.  “Then answered Jesus and said to them, ‘Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He does, these also does the Son likewise’.” [They acted in concert, as the disciples were to copy Christ.]  John 5:19.   He tells us, “.  .  .  because I live, you shall live also.  At that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you”.  John 14:19-20.   See note 3.

Then there is mention of a special blessing for those who have died in this faith since the messages began in 1844.  In this glorious vision given to John the beloved on the isle of Patmos, the prophet's attention was caught by “a voice from heaven” bidding him write: “Blessed are the dead which die in the LORD FROM HENCEFORTH: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13.  It is significant that in all the messages to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 1-3, the first mention Christ makes of them is of their works, for “faith without works is dead”!  James 2:20.  See note 4.

So what are the “works” of this group?

***************(Begin Quote)

Hebrews 4:

4 For He spoke in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, “And God did rest the seventh day from all His works”. 5 And in this place again, “If they shall enter into My rest”.

6 Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached [the wanderers in the wilderness] entered not in because of unbelief:

7 again, He limits a certain day [of opportunity], saying in David [in the Psalms], “Today”, after so long a time [from Moses]; as it is said, ‘Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” 8 For if Jesus [Joshua] had given them “rest” [when they entered the Promised Land], then would He not afterward have spoken of another day [of opportunity about 500 years later].

9 There remains therefore [today, to us in the New Testament times] a [Sabbath] rest to the people of God.  10 For he that is entered into His “rest”, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His.   

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that [spiritual] “rest”, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

***************(End Quote)  

These verses tell us that the 4th commandment is not just about Saturday-keeping, but is a request that we enter into Sabbath-keeping as a picture of our “rest” from our own works in attempting to gain salvation, and instead, accepting His righteousness as a gift, and then “working” as a result.   See note 5.

Wonderful words these, and especially when considered in the light of their setting at the close of the prophecy concerning a threefold message to be sounded preparatory to the end of the world and the second advent of Christ. 

But what is the blessing promised to the Sabbath-keepers who have the “rest”?

“And at that time shall Michael stand up [at the close of probation for the world], the great Prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time [the seven last plagues]: and at that time your [living] people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book [of Life].  And many [but not all] of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake [from their graves], some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt”. Daniel 12:1-2.

Just before the second advent we are promised that certain of the people of God, along with many of the great opposers of the LORD, will be specially resurrected from their graves to see the event!  Those who prayed, preached, and longed for the second coming while keeping the Sabbath of the LORD in its fullness after 1844 (Matthew 12:8) will see it, while some of those who hated and worked to discredit it, will also witness it.  

One of those latter will undoubtedly be Caiaphas the high priest who interrogated Jesus at His trial.  “And the high priest answered and said to Him, ‘I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You be the Christ, the Son of God’.  Jesus said to him, ‘You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven’.  Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, ‘He has spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses?  Behold, now you have heard His blasphemy’.”  Matthew 26:63-65.  Others are mentioned in another verse; “Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced [crucified] Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.  Even so, Amen”.  Revelation 1:7.

For this to happen they must be resurrected BEFORE the main resurrection, for that is highlight of the second coming.  They must be alive to see all that. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will [the Son of] God bring with Him [for He remembers their characters].  For this we say to you by the word of the LORD, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the LORD shall not precede them which are asleep.  For the LORD Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air: and so shall we ever be with the LORD.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words”.  1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. 

In the next verse of our query we are shown a clear picture of the second advent with the LORD holding “a sickle” as a sign that He has come to harvest (resurrect) all the remainder of the righteous Christians. The commandment-keepers are thus identified as the “first fruits”, harvested and dedicated BEFORE the main crop is reaped.  See note 6.

Each of the first four angels represents the people of God upon the earth, giving four separate and distinct messages to someone else.  In like manner, the fifth angel is and does the same – it is God’s people on earth speaking to the Son of God “coming in the clouds of heaven”.  (Therefore, the final two angel’s messages which follow in the chapter must apply AFTER that scene is observed.)

Here is the call of the fifth angel:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 14:

15  And another angel [the fifth] came out of the temple [the second apartment], crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in Your sickle, and reap: for the time is come for You to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe’.

16 And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped [of the righteous].

***************(End Quote)  

The people of God are not physically in heaven at that time, because this is BEFORE the resurrection and the living ones are still on earth, but they have had their minds on Him in the temple for a long time.  They have passed through the “open door” with Jesus, by faith.  Revelation 3:7-8.  But, “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept”.  Matthew 25:5.  The followers of Christ are to “wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding”. Luke 12:36.  But they are to understand His work, and to follow Him by faith as He goes in before God in the second apartment.  It is in this sense that they are said to go in to the marriage. Matthew 25:10.  

We are told in another place, “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and you yourselves like to men that wait for their LORD, when He will return from the [business part of the] wedding; that when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him immediately.  Blessed are those servants, whom the LORD when He comes shall find watching: verily I say to you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat [the wedding supper], and will come forth and serve them”.   Luke 12:35-37.  

In a Jewish wedding at that time, the bridegroom met with his and the bride’s parents to discuss the business part of the marriage – the marriage contract.  That could take a few days, and when it was sorted out, he would leave his father’s house and journey to the bride’s house to escort her back to his house for the remainder of the wedding ceremony.  The whole group of ceremonies constituting the wedding would normally last seven days. 

In the same way, Christ and His Father handle all the legal aspects of redemption [the first judgment] before the redeemed arrive in heaven after the second advent. 

In this case, our LORD is expecting to hear from us before He leaves!!

We are NOT just waiting for Him – He is waiting for us!

From verse 14 above we should see that the LORD is waiting for something – a call from His living people on earth that the harvest is ready.  This was done in Old Testament rituals by presenting one sheaf of the harvest to God as a “first fruit”.  The Son of God told Moses, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the [high] priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the [ceremonial] sabbath the priest shall wave it”. [Then you may go out and harvest the remainder.]  Leviticus 23:10-11.

In my Bible the margin explains that the call from the fifth “angel” is that the last harvest is “dried”, which means ready and waiting!  Jesus told us about the faith of His people in the last days through the story of a woman who persisted, and in it described a waiting time. “And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night to Him, though He bear long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily [as quickly as He can].  Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith [like that, one that won’t give up] on the earth?” Luke 18:7-8.  That group of Christians are the 144,000 and they must go through the time of Jacob’s trouble before He can answer them, for that experience is the proof that the harvest is ready – that the controversy can be brought to a close.

***************(Begin Quote)

Genesis 32:

22 And he [Jacob] rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. 23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook [a picture of death], and sent over [all] that he had.   

24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a Man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when He saw that He prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with Him [Jacob suffered]. 26 And He said, “Let Me go [give up], for the day breaks”.  And he said, “I will not let You go, except You bless me [give me what I ask for][This was not a selfish request, but made on behalf of his family].

27 And He said to him, “What is your name [character]?”  And he said, “Jacob [a selfish person]”. 28 And He said, “Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but “Israel [the overcomer” of self]: for as a prince have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed”.

[“The LORD has also a controversy with Judah [His people], and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will He recompense him.  He took his brother by the heel in the womb [using man’s strength], and [but after,] by his [God-given] strength he had power with God: Yes, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication to Him [on behalf of others].  He found Him in Bethel, and there He [also] spoke with us; even the LORD God of hosts; the LORD is His memorial. Therefore turn you to your God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on your God continually [persistently]”.  Hosea 12:2-6.]

29 And Jacob asked Him, and said, “Tell me, I pray You, Your name [character”].  And He said, “Wherefore is it that you do ask after My name?” [Just curiosity, or because you want to be like Me?]

And He blessed him there [because he wanted to be like Him].

30 And Jacob called the name of the place “Peniel”: for [he said] “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved”. 31 And as he passed over Penuel [Peniel] the sun rose upon him, and he halted [limped] upon his thigh.

***************(End Quote)  

Here’s the prayer of the Jacob-like ones: “It is time for You, LORD, to work: for they [the rejecters of mercy] have made void Your law”.  Psalm 119:126.  In a parable Christ explained that this petition will be made by those who are also concerned about the length of time the sleeping (dead) saints have had to wait, and the purity of the (living) church.

“Another parable put He forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did not you sow good seed in your field?  From whence then has it tares?’  He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this’. 

The servants said to him, ‘Will you then that we go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; lest while you gather up the tares, you root up also the wheat with them.  LET BOTH GROW TOGETHER UNTIL THE HARVEST: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn’ . . . [They need to learn not to be worried by the behaviour of some in the church, but to do their God-given work.]

     “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘Declare [explain] to us the parable of the tares of the field’.  He answered and said to them, ‘He that sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  Who has ears to hear, let him hear”.  Matthew 13:24-42.

The Saviour does not point forward to a time when all the tares become wheat, but from this story we can see that the “wheat” is clearly identifiable at the second coming and can safely be gathered in while the “tares” are left to self-destruct.  However, the fifth angel’s request shows us that His people on earth must be aware of this too.  It is their prayer that allows Him to launch into the act of resurrection.

Of course, there have always been harvests to be reaped in every generation as time has gone by, for “Jesus said to them, ‘My meat [food] is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.  Say not you, “There are yet four months, and then comes harvest?”  Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reaps [now] receives wages, and gathers fruit to life eternal: that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together [at the end of time]”.  John 4:34-36.  But we are reading in our query about the final harvest.  See note 7.

Then we have this verse:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 14:

17 And another angel [the sixth] came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

***************(End Quote) 

Here is a group of humans described as coming out of the heavenly temple with the instrument of resurrection their hands!  What can that mean?  Only the Father, Son, and Spirit have this ability – why then show this as being in the capability of humanity?  Do you remember that the Christians are described as having the same faith as Jesus?

It is written, “Then answered Jesus and said to them, ‘Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He does, these also does the Son likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that Himself does: and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises up the dead [through Me now], and quickens them; even so the Son quickens whom He will [in the last days].  For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.  He that honours not the Son honours not the Father which has sent Him’.”  John 5:19-23.

We have no doubt that the Son of God can resurrect any and everyone, but here He is telling us that as a human on this earth (the Son of man) He had put aside that power and relied entirely on His Father on those occasions when He did bring people back to life.  He made that plain at the resurrection of Lazarus. “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.  And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me [in this matter].  And I knew that You hear Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that You have sent Me [for this resurrection]’.  And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth’.  And he that was dead came forth [in the power of the Father], bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin”.  John 11:41-44.

When we look carefully at the record in the Old Testament we find that other humans have also been the visible means of resurrection before the incarnation.  They have been used by God for a reason.

First there was Elijah:

***************(Begin Quote)

1 Kings 17:

18 And she [the widow] said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O you man of God?  Are you come to me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?”

19 And he said to her, “Give me your son”.  And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. 20 And he cried to the LORD, and said, “O LORD my God, have You also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?”

21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried to the LORD, and said, “O LORD my God, I pray you, let this child's soul come into him again”.

22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

***************(End Quote)  

Then it was Elisha:

***************(Begin Quote)

2 Kings 4:

32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them two, and prayed to the LORD.

34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm [but he did not rouse].

35 Then he returned, and walked in the house [in the room] to and fro [praying to find the reason why there was only a partial revival]; and [after receiving further instruction] went up, and stretched himself upon him [again]: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

36 And he called [his servant] Gehazi, and said, “Call this Shunammite [the mother].”  So he called her.  And when she was come in to him, he said, “Take up your son”. 37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.

***************(End Quote)  

Even Elisha as a dead man:

***************(Begin Quote)

2 Kings 13:

20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. 

And [sometime after that] the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man [carrying him to burial], that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

***************(End Quote)  

This latter happening was because the LORD wanted His people to see that anyone and any THING can be used by Him as visible instruments of resurrection, for the power is not in them, but in Him!  So we should not be surprised that the humans in heaven after their resurrections can be used by God as the means of another resurrection!  These saints of God have obviously asked for this return of life just as Jesus, Elijah and Elisha had.  In actual fact, it will be the LORD’s voice that the rejecters will hear, but the resurrection awaits the saints’ request.

Jesus told us, “Verily, verily, I say to you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.  For as the Father has life in Himself; so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life [the first resurrection]; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation [the second]”.   John 5:25-29.   See note 8. 

But why would the righteous want to resurrect the rejecters?  Why not let them “rest in peace”?

Let’s read on:

***************(Begin Quote)

Revelation 14:

18 And another angel [the seventh] came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe”.

 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without [outside] the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even to the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs [a huge amount].

***************(End Quote)  

Even though the sixth angel has the sickle symbolising his desire to see the rejecters raised, he waits (as the Son of God did) for the signal from yet another angel, in this case, the seventh.  This last group of humans are described as coming out from the altar and having power over fire, and they ask for the resurrection of those who were to be trodden in “the great winepress of God’s wrath”.  Who could they be? 

It is written, “And when He had opened the fifth seal [of the Book of History], I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O LORD, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brothers and sisters, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled”. Revelation 6:9-11.

Here we are told of the martyrs of history up to that time (c. 1833) and shown them (in a vision) as being held tight and being comforted by their LORD under His altar of sacrifice.  They are pictured as speaking (they can’t really talk for they are asleep in Him and the dead know not anything), but in the vision they shown as asking, “When will You judge the earth?”  We know now that the judgment began on October 22, 1844, and so this vision of the unsealing of the Book applies before that time.  Then John was shown that they were given “white robes” in the judgment so it began soon after their query, and they were “blessed” as their names came up.  They were also told that they should continue to rest in their graves for a little while longer, for there would be more martyrs to join them in the last days.

It is reserved for this special group of those who gave their lives for Him to make the last plea for the resurrection of their former persecutors.  How do they feel about them after they have been in heaven for a while?  The same as they did when they died under their hands!  Let’s read the words of a typical one: “And they [the professed church of God] stoned Stephen, [who was] calling upon God, and saying, ‘LORD Jesus, receive my spirit’.  And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, ‘LORD, lay not this sin to their charge’. [“Please forgive them, for they know not [the seriousness of] what they do”.  Luke 23:34.]  And when he had said this, he fell asleep [he died in Christ]”.  Acts 7:59-60.

Now, one thousand years after their ascent into the joys of heaven, the righteous (but particularly the martyrs) all want to see their persecutors face to face and see why the LORD has not been able to help them, for they are to come up to go into the Lake of Fire!  (Called in our text, “the winepress of the wrath of God”.)

John tells us, “And I saw thrones, and they [the redeemed] sat upon them, and judgment [investigation] was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished”.  Revelation 20:4-5.

Yes, after a thousand years of searching the books on the lives of their persecutors those who have been redeemed want to see for themselves that the rejecters of mercy refused to be changed, and that they positively refuse to come to heaven.  This is the SECOND judgment and is convened by the saints with the Son of God’s guidance.  See note 9. 

After the second resurrection the choice of the rejecters will be clearly shown by their actions.  “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan [and his angels] shall be loosed out of his prison [of inactivity], and shall go out to deceive the nations which are [now] in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog [master and followers], to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city [in an effort to conquer them]: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them”.  Revelation 20:7-9.  They show their hatred of God, and also of their former relatives, friends and neighbours by this attempt to kill them.

The brightness of the LORD (the force field of energy which surrounds His presence), is the antithesis of sin.  When the two come into close contact, sin and sinful life disintegrates.  Added to that is that the rejecters lose all sense of reason and begin to kill each other in “the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb”.  Revelation 14:10.

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against [new] Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth [as the God of Life has to leave them to their choice].  And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour”.  Zechariah 14:12-13.  What a scene for the Lamb and His companions to have to see – how the tears will flow from their eyes!

But before this self-destruction comes this scene:

***************(Begin Quote)

Matthew 25:

31 When the Son of man shall come in His glory [at the THIRD advent], and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: 32 and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another [some in the city, some outside], as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: 33 and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. [Sheep like to congregate together, goats like to be independent.]

34 Then shall the King say to them on His right hand [explaining the situation], “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was a hungry person, and you gave Me meat [food]: I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me in: 36 naked, and you clothed Me: I was sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and you came to Me” [you did good works].

37 Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, “LORD, when saw we You a hungry person, and fed You?  Or thirsty, and gave You drink? 38 When saw we You a stranger, and took You in?  Or naked, and clothed You? 39 Or when saw we You sick, or in prison, and came to You?”

40 And the King shall answer and say to them, “Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you have done it to Me”.

41 Then shall He say also to them on the left hand, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was a hungry person, and you gave Me no meat [food]: I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and you took Me not in: naked, and you clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited Me not”. 44 Then shall they also answer Him, saying, LORD, when saw we You a hungry person, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?” 45 Then shall He answer them, saying, “Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me”.

46 “And these shall go away into everlasting [permanent] punishment [the Lake of Fire]: but the righteous into life eternal [the new Jerusalem]”.

***************(End Quote)   

This is the THIRD and final judgment which is presided over by the LORD alone on His great white throne.  “And I saw a great white throne [“without mixture” of mercy, Revelation 14:10], and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.   And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before [the Son of] God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works”.  Revelation 20:11-12. 

The first judgment (which commenced in 1844), was overseen by the Father while the persons on trial were absent (it was for the benefit of the angels) – the second (during the thousand years in heaven), was entered into for the benefit of the righteous while the rejecters were absent – but the third, which gives the “reward” for their actions to both righteous and rejecters in their presence, is presided over by the Son of man at the very end of time and is held on earth just before its renewal into a new world.  Thus it is written, “. . . we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, ‘As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God’.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God”.  Romans 14:10-12.

“And He said to me, ‘Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust [not reborn], let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy [in his actions], let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous [reborn], let him be righteous still: and he that is holy [in his actions], let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last’.

[John adds] “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city”.  Revelation 22:10-14.  See note 10.




Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,

but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.


Next query. To be discussed from May 1st 2011,


Righteousness by faith

 Habakkuk 2:4:  

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Romans 1:17:

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, “The just shall live by faith”.

We can read in the Bible quite a few times that we are “justified by faith”. 

For instance; “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”.  Romans 3:28.  “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ”.  Romans 5:1.

But where does the phrase “righteousness by faith” come from, and what does it mean?  


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EGW comments:


Note 1:  The gospel ministry


{7BC 979.3} 

The time of God's destructive judgments [before the close of probation for the world] is the time of mercy for those who have 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 [by their choice].  Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time. (RH July 5, 1906).   

{AA 381.1-2}

In the closing proclamation of the gospel, when special work is to be done for classes of people hitherto neglected, God expects His messengers to take particular interest in the Jewish people whom they find in all parts of the earth. 

        As the Old Testament Scriptures are blended with the New in an explanation of Jehovah's eternal purpose, this will be to many of the Jews as the dawn of a new creation, the resurrection of the soul.  As they see the Christ of the gospel dispensation portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures, and perceive how clearly the New Testament explains the Old, their slumbering faculties will be aroused, and they will recognize Christ as the Saviour of the world.  Many will by faith receive Him as their Redeemer.  To them will be fulfilled the words, “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” [John 1:12.]      

         Among the Jews are some who, like Saul of Tarsus, are mighty in the Scriptures, and these will proclaim with wonderful power the immutability of the law of God.

{Review and Herald, Feb. 14, 1899.} 

When the power of the Holy Spirit is appreciated and felt in the heart, far less of self will be exhibited, and far more of the feeling of human brotherhood will be revealed.  Our part is not to exhibit self, but to let the Holy Spirit work in us.  Thus, self-deceived men and women may be rescued from delusion.   

     All, high or low, if they are unconverted, are on one common platform.  Men may turn from one doctrine to another.  This is being done, and will be done . . .   Yet they may know nothing of the meaning of the words, “A new heart also will I give you.” [Ezekiel 36:26.]  Accepting new theories, and uniting with a church, do not bring new life to anyone, even though the church with which he unites may be established on the true foundation.  Connection with a church does not take the place of conversion.  To subscribe the name to a church creed is not of the least value to anyone if the heart is not truly changed.   

     This question is a serious one, and its meaning should be fully realized.  Men may be church members, and may apparently work earnestly, performing a round of duties from year to year, and yet be unconverted . . . But when the truth is received as truth by the heart, it has passed through the conscience, and has captivated the soul with its pure principles.  It is placed in the heart by the Holy Spirit, who reveals its beauty to the mind, that its transforming power may be seen in the character . . .   

     With the great truth we have been privileged to receive, we should, and under the Holy Spirit's power we could, become living channels of light.  We could then approach the mercy seat; and seeing the bow of promise, kneel with contrite hearts, and seek the kingdom of heaven with a spiritual violence that would bring its own reward.  We would take it by force, as did Jacob.  Then our message would be the power of God unto salvation.  Our supplications would be full of earnestness, full of a sense of our great need; and we would not be denied.  The truth would be expressed by life and character, and by lips touched with the living coal from off God's altar.   

     When this experience is ours, we shall be lifted out of our poor, cheap selves that we have cherished so tenderly.  We shall empty our hearts of the corroding power of selfishness, and shall be filled with praise and gratitude to God.  We shall magnify the Lord, the God of all grace, who has magnified Christ.  And He will reveal His power through us, making us as sharp sickles in the harvest field.  God calls upon His people to reveal Him.

{4BC 1164.10}

When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ.  To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives.  What is the sign of a new heart? – a changed life.  There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.  (YI Sept. 26, 1901.) 

{AA 54.1 - 55.3}

On the other hand, there are some who, instead of wisely improving present opportunities, are idly waiting for some special season of spiritual refreshing by which their ability to enlighten others will be greatly increased.  They neglect present duties and privileges, and allow their light to burn dim, while they look forward to a time when, without any effort on their part, they will be made the recipients of special blessing, by which they will be transformed and fitted for service.

       It is true that in the time of the end, when God's work in the earth is closing, the earnest efforts put forth by consecrated believers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are to be accompanied by special tokens of divine favor.  Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God's church.  The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result.  To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.   

     But near the close of earth's harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man.  This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the LORD of the harvest “in the time of the latter rain.” In response, “the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down . . . the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain,” Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23.   

     But unless the members of God's church today have a living connection with the Source of all spiritual growth, they will not be ready for the time of reaping.  Unless they keep their lamps trimmed and burning, they will fail of receiving added grace in times of special need.   

     Those only who are constantly receiving fresh supplies of grace, will have power proportionate to their daily need and their ability to use that power.  Instead of looking forward to some future time when, through a special endowment of spiritual power, they will receive a miraculous fitting up for soul winning, they are yielding themselves daily to God, that He may make them vessels meet for His use.  Daily they are improving the opportunities for service that lie within their reach.  Daily they are witnessing for the Master wherever they may be, whether in some humble sphere of labor in the home, or in a public field of usefulness.    BACK



Note 2:  The first judgment


{GC 483.1 - 483.3} 

As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God [the Father].  Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living.  Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated.  Names are accepted, names rejected.  When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God's remembrance.  The Lord declared to Moses: “Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.” Exodus 32:33.  And says the prophet Ezekiel: “When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity,  . . . all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned.” Ezekiel 18:24.   

     All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. 

     The Lord declares, by the prophet Isaiah: “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25.  Said Jesus: “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.” “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.” Revelation 3:5; Matthew 10:32, 33.     

     The deepest interest manifested among men in the decisions of earthly tribunals but faintly represents the interest evinced in the heavenly courts [by the angels] when the names entered in the book of life come up in review before the Judge of all the earth.  The divine Intercessor presents the plea that all who have overcome through faith in His blood be forgiven their transgressions, that they be restored to their Eden home, and crowned as joint heirs with Himself to “the first dominion.”  Micah 4:8. 

       Satan in his efforts to deceive and tempt our race had thought to frustrate the divine plan in man's creation; but Christ now asks that this plan be carried into effect as if man had never fallen.  He asks for His people not only pardon and justification, full and complete, but a share in His glory and a seat upon His throne.   

{Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 261}  

The scenes which are passing before us are of sufficient magnitude to cause us to arouse, and urge the truth home to the hearts of all who will listen.  The harvest of the earth is nearly ripe. 

{Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 67}  

Christ crucified, - talk it, pray it, sing it, and it will break and win hearts.    BACK


Note 3: The faith of Jesus


{AA 184.1}    

In this dark and trying hour the company of Lystrian believers, who through the ministry of Paul and Barnabas had been converted to the faith of Jesus, remained loyal and true.

{Christ Triumphant 349.6} 

John saw this multitude.  This demon worship was revealed to him, and it seemed as though the whole world was standing on the brink of perdition.  But as he looked with intense interest, he beheld a company of God’s commandment-keeping people.  They had the sign of the living God upon their foreheads, and he exclaimed, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and [have] the faith of Jesus.”  Manuscript 122, 1898. 

{Review and Herald, Jan.  24, 1893}    

With pen and voice proclaim that Jesus lives to make intercession for us.  Unite with the great Master Worker, follow the self-denying Redeemer through His pilgrimage of love on earth.

{PK 133.1}

Through the long years of drought and famine, Elijah prayed earnestly that the hearts of Israel might be turned from idolatry to allegiance to God.  Patiently the prophet waited, while the hand of the Lord rested heavily on the stricken land.  As he saw evidences of suffering and want multiplying on every side, his heart was wrung with sorrow, and he longed for power to bring about a reformation quickly.  But God Himself was working out His plan, and all that His servant could do was to pray on in faith and await the time for decided action.   

{AA 238.2}  

In that age of caste, when the rights of men were often unrecognized, Paul set forth the great truth of human brotherhood, declaring that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” [Acts 17:26.]  In the sight of God all are on an equality, and to the Creator every human being owes supreme allegiance.  Then the apostle showed how, through all God's dealings with man, His purpose of grace and mercy runs like a thread of gold.  He “hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.” [Acts 17:26-27.] 

{COL 74.3-4} 

The tares closely resembled the wheat while the blades were green; but when the field was white for the harvest, the worthless weeds bore no likeness to the wheat that bowed under the weight of its full, ripe heads.  Sinners who make a pretension of piety mingle for a time with the true followers of Christ, and the semblance of Christianity is calculated to deceive many; but in the harvest of the world there will be no likeness between good and evil.  Then those who have joined the church, but who have not joined Christ, will be manifest.   

      The tares are permitted to grow among the wheat, to have all the advantage of sun and shower; but in the time of harvest you shall “return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God and him that serves Him not.” Malachi 3:18.   Christ Himself will decide who are worthy to dwell with the family of heaven.  He will judge every man according to his words and his works.  Profession is as nothing in the scale.  It is character that decides destiny. 

{Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 26}  

Some will work in one way and some in another, as the Lord shall call and lead them.  But they are all to strive together, seeking to make the work a perfect whole.  With pen and voice they are to labor for Him. 

{EW 254.1} 

The third angel closes his message thus: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” As he repeated these words, he pointed to the heavenly sanctuary.  The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place [the second room], where Jesus stands before the ark, making His final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God.  This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living.  It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God's commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.     BACK



Note 4:   Blessed are the dead 


{MH 230.3}

There are cases where God works decidedly by His divine power in the restoration of health.  But not all the sick are healed.  Many are laid away to sleep in Jesus.  John on the Isle of Patmos was bidden to write: “Blessed are the dead which die in the LORD from henceforth: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13.  From this we see that if persons are not raised to health, they should not on this account be judged as wanting in faith.   

{1SM 55.5} 

Abundant light has been given to our people in these last days.  Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as long as time shall last.  My writings are kept on file in the office, and even though I should not live, these words that have been given to me by the LORD will still have life and will speak to the people.  But my strength is yet spared, and I hope to continue to do much useful work.  I may live until the coming of the LORD; but if I should not, I trust it may be said of me, “Blessed are the dead which die in the LORD from henceforth: Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).  

{GC 425.1 - 425.2}   

Says the prophet: “Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2, 3. 

     Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator.  Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. [See “The red heifer” Numbers 19.]  Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil.  While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God's people upon earth. 

     This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.   

     When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing.  “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” Malachi 3:4.

     Then the church which our Lord at His coming is to receive to Himself will be a “glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Ephesians 5:27.  Then she will look “forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” Song of Solomon 6:10.    BACK



Note 5:  Resting in Him


{3SM 391.7 - 392.2} 

And the religious world too, is to be terribly shaken, for the end of all things is at hand . . . All society is ranging into two great classes, the obedient and the disobedient . . . The so-called Christian world is to be the theater of great and decisive actions.  Men in authority will enact laws controlling the conscience, after the example of the papacy.  Babylon will make all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.  Every nation will be involved.  Of this time John the Revelator declares:   

     “The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.  Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.  How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow”  (Revelation 18:3-7).   

{EW 55.1}    [My emphasis]

I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down.  Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him.  I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness.  Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way.  Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying, “WAIT HERE; I am going to My Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself.” [See Luke 12:36.] Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was.  He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat.  There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father.  On the hem of His garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate.  Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray, “My Father, give us Your Spirit.” Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost.  In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.   

{EW 33.2}  [My emphasis]

I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath.  They have not rejected the light upon it.  And at the commencement of the time of trouble [just before the close of probation], we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and PROCLAIMED THE SABBATH MORE FULLY.  This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists [Adventists in name only], 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.  I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land.  The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments upon them, and they rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed.   

{3SM 391.1} 

When Christ shall come the second time, the whole world will be represented by two classes, the just and the unjust, the righteous and the unrighteous [Sabbath-keepers and Sunday-keepers].  Preceding the great sign of the coming of the Son of man, there will be signs and wonders in the heavens .  .  .    

{GC 437.1-2}

Concerning the Sabbath, the Lord says, further, that it is “a sign . . . that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20.  And the reason given is: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17.   

     “The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God”--because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. 

      “The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this.  The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures.  This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten.”-- J.  N.  Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. 

         It was to keep this truth ever before the minds of men, that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden; and so long as the fact that He is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial.

{Christian Experience & Teaching 187.4 - 188.1}    

When this time of trouble comes [the seven last plagues], every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent.  The seal of the living God is upon His people. 

     This small remnant, unable to defend themselves in the deadly conflict with the powers of earth that are marshaled by the dragon host, make God their defense.  The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death.  May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance!  [This requires Sabbath “rest”!!]  BACK



Note 6:  The special resurrection


{GC 636.2 - 637.1} 

In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: “It is done.” Revelation 16:17.   

     That voice shakes the heavens and the earth.  There is a mighty earthquake, “such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great [the last plague]” Verses 17, 18.  The firmament appears to open and shut.  The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through.  The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side.  There is a roar as of a coming tempest.  The sea is lashed into fury.  There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction.  The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea.  Its surface is breaking up.  Its very foundations seem to be giving way.  Mountain chains are sinking.  Inhabited islands disappear.  The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness are swallowed up by the angry waters. 

      Babylon the great has come in remembrance before God, “to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.”  Great hailstones, every one “about the weight of a talent,” are doing their work of destruction.  Verses 19, 21.  The proudest cities of the earth are laid low.  The lordly palaces, upon which the world's great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. 

       Prison walls are rent asunder, and God's people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free.   

     Graves are opened, and “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth . . .   awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2.  All who have died in the faith of the third angel's message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law.  “They also which pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient. 

{EW 285-286}

As God [the Father] spoke the day and the hour of Jesus' coming, and delivered the everlasting covenant [the Ten Commandments] to His people [the living, and the specially resurrected], He spoke one sentence, and then paused, while the words were rolling through the earth.  The Israel of God stood with their eyes fixed upward, listening to the words as they came from the mouth of Jehovah and rolled through the earth like peals of loudest thunder.  It was awfully solemn.  At the end of every sentence the saints shouted, “Glory! Hallelujah!” Their countenances were lighted up with the glory of God, and they shone with glory as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai.  The wicked could not look upon them for the glory.  And when the never-ending blessing was pronounced on those who had honored God in keeping His Sabbath holy, there was a mighty shout of victory over the beast and over his image.   

{1SM 76}

I have not the slightest knowledge as to the time spoken by the voice of God.  I heard the hour proclaimed, but had no remembrance of that hour after I came out of vision.  Scenes of such thrilling, solemn interest passed before me as no language is adequate to describe.  It was all a living reality to me, for close upon this scene appeared the great white cloud, upon which was seated the Son of man.

{DA 632.4 - 633.1} 

But the day and the hour of His coming Christ has not revealed.  He stated plainly to His disciples that He Himself could not make known the day or the hour of His second appearing.  Had He been at liberty to reveal this, why need He have exhorted them to maintain an attitude of constant expectancy? There are those who claim to know the very day and hour of our Lord's appearing.  Very earnest are they in mapping out the future.  But the Lord has warned them off the ground they occupy.  The exact time of the second coming of the Son of man is God's mystery.   

     Christ continues, pointing out the condition of the world at His coming: “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Christ does not here bring to view a temporal millennium, a thousand years in which all are to prepare for eternity.  He tells us that as it was in Noah's day, so will it be when the Son of man comes again.   

{EW 15.2 -16.1} 

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.  We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud.  The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man. 

      His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders; and upon His head were many crowns.  His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle; in His left, a silver trumpet.  His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through.  Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness.  Then we all cried out, “Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?” Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke: “Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; My grace is sufficient for you.”

      At this our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart.  And the angels struck a note higher and sang again, while the cloud drew still nearer the earth. Then Jesus' silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire.  He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, “Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.” [Compare Isaiah 26:19.]  Then there was a mighty earthquake.  The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality.  The 144,000 shouted, “Alleluia!” as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.     BACK


Note 7:  The fifth angel’s call to resurrect the righteous


{COL 69.1-2}

“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” [Mark 4:29.]  

     Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church.  When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.   

     It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin).  Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel.  Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.   BACK


Note 8:  Reaping the harvests


{AA 44.3 - 45.1}   [The past]

The Jewish leaders had supposed that the work of Christ would end with His death; but, instead of this, they witnessed the marvelous scenes of the Day of Pentecost.  They heard the disciples, endowed with a power and energy hitherto unknown, preaching Christ, their words confirmed by signs and wonders.  In Jerusalem, the stronghold of Judaism, thousands openly declared their faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.   

     The disciples were astonished and overjoyed at the greatness of the harvest of souls.  They did not regard this wonderful ingathering as the result of their own efforts; they realized that they were entering into other men's labors. 

      Ever since the fall of Adam, Christ had been committing to chosen servants the seed of His word, to be sown in human hearts.  During His life on this earth He had sown the seed of truth and had watered it with His blood.  The conversions that took place on the Day of Pentecost were the result of this sowing, the harvest of Christ's work, revealing the power of His teaching.   

     The arguments of the apostles alone, though clear and convincing, would not have removed the prejudice that had withstood so much evidence.  But the Holy Spirit sent the arguments home to hearts with divine power.  The words of the apostles were as sharp arrows of the Almighty, convicting men of their terrible guilt in rejecting and crucifying the Lord of glory.   

{GC88 380.1 - 380.2}    [The present]

But the [Protestant] churches generally did not accept the warning [given in 1833-44].  Their ministers, who as “watchmen unto the house of Israel,” should have been the first to discern the tokens of Jesus’ coming, had failed to learn the truth, either from the testimony of the prophets or from the signs of the times.  As worldly hopes and ambitions filled the heart, love for God and faith in his Word had grown cold, and when the Advent doctrine was presented, it only aroused their prejudice and unbelief.  The fact that the message was, to a great extent, preached by laymen, was urged as an argument against it.  As of old, the plain testimony of God's Word was met with the inquiry, “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed?” And finding how difficult a task it was to refute the arguments drawn from the prophetic periods, many discouraged the study of the prophecies, teaching that the prophetic books were sealed, and were not to be understood.  Multitudes, trusting implicitly to their pastors, refused to listen to the warning; and others, though convinced of the truth, dared not confess it, lest they should be “put out of the synagogue.” The message which God had sent for the testing and purification of the church, revealed all too surely how great was the number who had set their affections on this world rather than upon Christ.  The ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward.  They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom, and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth.   

     In refusing the warning of the first angel, they rejected the means which Heaven had provided for their restoration.  They spurned the gracious messenger that would have corrected the evils which separated them from God, and with greater eagerness they turned to seek the friendship of the world.  Here was the cause of that fearful condition of worldliness, backsliding, and spiritual death which existed in the churches in 1844.   

{AA 54.2 - 55.1}    [The future]

It is true that in the time of the end, when God's work in the earth is closing, the earnest efforts put forth by consecrated believers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit are to be accompanied by special tokens of divine favor.  Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God's church.  The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result.  To the end of time the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.   

     But near the close of earth's harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man.  This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest “in the time of the latter rain.”  In response, “the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain.” “He will cause to come down . . . the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain,” Zechariah 10:1; Joel 2:23.     BACK



Note 9:  The second resurrection 


{GC 662.3 - 665.1}   

Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, whence, after His resurrection, He ascended, and where angels repeated the promise of His return.  Says the prophet: “The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee.” “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, . . . and there shall be a very great valley.” “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.” Zechariah 14:5, 4, 9. 

     As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling splendor, comes down out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and made ready to receive it, and Christ, with His people and the angels, enters the Holy City.   

     Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy.  While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy.  He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans.  The wicked are Satan's captives.  In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader.  They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. 

     Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan.  He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him.  He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. 

      The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims.  He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy.  He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God.  With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.

 . . .

    Satan consults with his angels, and then with these kings and conquerors and mighty men.  They look upon the strength and numbers on their side, and declare that the army within the city is small in comparison with theirs, and that it can be overcome.  They lay their plans to take possession of the riches and glory of the New Jerusalem.  All immediately begin to prepare for battle. 

      Skillful artisans construct implements of war. 

      Military leaders, famed for their success, marshal the throngs of warlike men into companies and divisions.     

     At last the order to advance is given [it takes a long time to prepare], and the countless host moves on – an army such as was never summoned by earthly conquerors, such as the combined forces of all ages since war began on earth could never equal.  Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van, and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle.  Kings and warriors are in his train, and the multitudes follow in vast companies, each under its appointed leader.  With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth's broken and uneven surface to the City of God.  By command of Jesus, the gates of the New Jerusalem are closed, and the armies of Satan surround the city and make ready for the onset. 

     Now Christ again appears to the view of His enemies.  Far above the city, upon a foundation of burnished gold, is a [white] throne, high and lifted up.  Upon this throne sits the Son of God, and around Him are the subjects of His kingdom.  The power and majesty of Christ no language can describe, no pen portray.  The glory of the Eternal Father is enshrouding His Son.  The brightness of His presence fills the City of God, and flows out beyond the gates, flooding the whole earth with its radiance.   

{EW 292.1} 

Then Jesus and all the retinue of holy angels, and all the redeemed saints, left the city.  The angels surrounded their Commander and escorted Him on His way, and the train of redeemed saints followed.  Then, in terrible, fearful majesty, Jesus called forth the wicked dead; and they came up with the same feeble, sickly bodies that went into the grave.  What a spectacle! what a scene! At the first resurrection all came forth in immortal bloom; but at the second the marks of the curse are visible on all.  The kings and noblemen of the earth, the mean and low, the learned and unlearned, come forth together.  All behold the Son of man; and those very men who despised and mocked Him, who put the crown of thorns upon His sacred brow, and smote Him with the reed, behold Him in all His kingly majesty.  Those who spit upon Him in the hour of His trial now turn from His piercing gaze and from the glory of His countenance.  Those who drove the nails through His hands and feet now look upon the marks of His crucifixion.  Those who thrust the spear into His side behold the marks of their cruelty on His body.  And they know that He is the very one whom they crucified and derided in His expiring agony.  And then there arises one long protracted wail of agony, as they flee to hide from the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords.   BACK



Note 10:  The last judgment 


{GC 662.1- 662.2} 

At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth.  He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels.  As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom.  They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea.  What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty.  The wicked bear the traces of disease and death.   

     Every eye in that vast multitude is turned to behold the glory of the Son of God.  With one voice the wicked hosts exclaim: “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!” It is not love to Jesus that inspires this utterance.  The force of truth urges the words from unwilling lips.  As the wicked went into their graves, so they come forth with the same enmity to Christ and the same spirit of rebellion.  They are to have no new probation in which to remedy the defects of their past lives.  Nothing would be gained by this.  A lifetime of transgression has not softened their hearts.  A second probation, were it given them, would be occupied as was the first in evading the requirements of God and exciting rebellion against Him.   

{GC 663.1} 

Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan's captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him.

        He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.

{GC 666.1 - 673.2} 

In the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth and heaven the final coronation of the Son of God takes place.  And now, invested with supreme majesty and power, the King of kings pronounces sentence upon the rebels against His government and executes justice upon those who have transgressed His law and oppressed His people. 

     Says the prophet of God: “I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:11, 12.   

     As soon as the books of record are opened, and the eye of Jesus looks upon the wicked, they are conscious of every sin which they have ever committed.  They see just where their feet diverged from the path of purity and holiness, just how far pride and rebellion have carried them in the violation of the law of God.  The seductive temptations which they encouraged by indulgence in sin, the blessings perverted, the messengers of God despised, the warnings rejected, the waves of mercy beaten back by the stubborn, unrepentant heart--all appear as if written in letters of fire.   {GC 666.2} 

     Above the throne is revealed the cross; and like a panoramic view appear the scenes of Adam's temptation and fall, and the successive steps in the great plan of redemption.  The Saviour's lowly birth; His early life of simplicity and obedience; His baptism in Jordan; the fast and temptation in the wilderness; His public ministry, unfolding to men heaven's most precious blessings; the days crowded with deeds of love and mercy, the nights of prayer and watching in the solitude of the mountains; the plottings of envy, hate, and malice which repaid His benefits; the awful, mysterious agony in Gethsemane beneath the crushing weight of the sins of the whole world; His betrayal into the hands of the murderous mob; the fearful events of that night of horror--the unresisting prisoner, forsaken by His best-loved disciples, rudely hurried through the streets of Jerusalem; the Son of God exultingly displayed before Annas, arraigned in the high priest's palace, in the judgment hall of Pilate, before the cowardly and cruel Herod, mocked, insulted, tortured, and condemned to die--all are vividly portrayed.   {GC 666.3} 

     And now before the swaying multitude are revealed the final scenes - the patient Sufferer treading the path to Calvary; the Prince of heaven hanging upon the cross; the haughty priests and the jeering rabble deriding His expiring agony; the supernatural darkness; the heaving earth, the rent rocks, the open graves, marking the moment when the world's Redeemer yielded up His life.   {GC 667.1} 

     The awful spectacle appears just as it was.  Satan, his angels, and his subjects have no power to turn from the picture of their own work.  Each actor recalls the part which he performed.  Herod, who slew the innocent children of Bethlehem that he might destroy the King of Israel; the base Herodias, upon whose guilty soul rests the blood of John the Baptist; the weak, timeserving Pilate; the mocking soldiers; the priests and rulers and the maddened throng who cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children!”- all behold the enormity of their guilt.  They vainly seek to hide from the divine majesty of His countenance, outshining the glory of the sun, while the redeemed cast their crowns at the Saviour's feet, exclaiming: “He died for me!”  {GC 667.2} 

     Amid the ransomed throng are the apostles of Christ, the heroic Paul, the ardent Peter, the loved and loving John, and their truehearted brethren, and with them the vast host of martyrs; while outside the walls, with every vile and abominable thing, are those by whom they were persecuted, imprisoned, and slain.  There is Nero, that monster of cruelty and vice, beholding the joy and exaltation of those whom he once tortured, and in whose extremest anguish he found satanic delight.  His mother is there to witness the result of her own work; to see how the evil stamp of character transmitted to her son, the passions encouraged and developed by her influence and example, have borne fruit in crimes that caused the world to shudder.   {GC 667.3} 

     There are papist priests and prelates, who claimed to be Christ's ambassadors, yet employed the rack, the dungeon, and the stake to control the consciences of His people.  There are the proud pontiffs who exalted themselves above God and presumed to change the law of the Most High.  Those pretended fathers of the church have an account to render to God from which they would fain be excused.  Too late they are made to see that the Omniscient One is jealous of His law and that He will in no wise clear the guilty.  They learn now that Christ identifies His interest with that of His suffering people; and they feel the force of His own words: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40.   {GC 668.1} 

     The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven.  They have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them.   {GC 668.2} 

     It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death.  The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion.  The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears.  “All this,” cries the lost soul, “I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me.  Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair.” All see that their exclusion from heaven is just.  By their lives they have declared: “We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us.”  {GC 668.3} 

     As if entranced, the wicked have looked upon the coronation of the Son of God.  They see in His hands the tables of the divine law, the statutes which they have despised and transgressed.  They witness the outburst of wonder, rapture, and adoration from the saved; and as the wave of melody sweeps over the multitudes without the city, all with one voice exclaim, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3); and, falling prostrate, they worship the Prince of life.   {GC 668.4} 

     Satan seems paralyzed as he beholds the glory and majesty of Christ.  He who was once a covering cherub remembers whence he has fallen.  A shining seraph, “son of the morning;” how changed, how degraded! From the council where once he was honored, he is forever excluded.  He sees another now standing near to the Father, veiling His glory.  He has seen the crown placed upon the head of Christ by an angel of lofty stature and majestic presence, and he knows that the exalted position of this angel might have been his.   {GC 669.1} 

     Memory recalls the home of his innocence and purity, the peace and content that were his until he indulged in murmuring against God, and envy of Christ.  His accusations, his rebellion, his deceptions to gain the sympathy and support of the angels, his stubborn persistence in making no effort for self-recovery when God would have granted him forgiveness --all come vividly before him.  He reviews his work among men and its results--the enmity of man toward his fellow man, the terrible destruction of life, the rise and fall of kingdoms, the overturning of thrones, the long succession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions.  He recalls his constant efforts to oppose the work of Christ and to sink man lower and lower.  He sees that his hellish plots have been powerless to destroy those who have put their trust in Jesus.  As Satan looks upon his kingdom, the fruit of his toil, he sees only failure and ruin.  He has led the multitudes to believe that the City of God would be an easy prey; but he knows that this is false.  Again and again, in the progress of the great controversy, he has been defeated and compelled to yield.  He knows too well the power and majesty of the Eternal.   {GC 669.2} 

     The aim of the great rebel has ever been to justify himself and to prove the divine government responsible for the rebellion.  To this end he has bent all the power of his giant intellect.  He has worked deliberately and systematically, and with marvelous success, leading vast multitudes to accept his version of the great controversy which has been so long in progress.  For thousands of years this chief of conspiracy has palmed off falsehood for truth.  But the time has now come when the rebellion is to be finally defeated and the history and character of Satan disclosed.  In his last great effort to dethrone Christ, destroy His people, and take possession of the City of God, the archdeceiver has been fully unmasked.  Those who have united with him see the total failure of his cause.  Christ's followers and the loyal angels behold the full extent of his machinations against the government of God.  He is the object of universal abhorrence.   {GC 670.1} 

     Satan sees that his voluntary rebellion has unfitted him for heaven.  He has trained his powers to war against God; the purity, peace, and harmony of heaven would be to him supreme torture.  His accusations against the mercy and justice of God are now silenced.  The reproach which he has endeavored to cast upon Jehovah rests wholly upon himself.  And now Satan bows down and confesses the justice of his sentence.   {GC 670.2} 

     “Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.” Verse 4.  Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy has now been made plain.  The results of rebellion, the fruits of setting aside the divine statutes, have been laid open to the view of all created intelligences.  The working out of Satan's rule in contrast with the government of God has been presented to the whole universe.  Satan's own works have condemned him.  God's wisdom, His justice, and His goodness stand fully vindicated.  It is seen that all His dealings in the great controversy have been conducted with respect to the eternal good of His people and the good of all the worlds that He has created.  “All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.” Psalm 145:10.  The history of sin will stand to all eternity as a witness that with the existence of God's law is bound up the happiness of all the beings He has created.  With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare: “Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.”  {GC 670.3}

     Before the universe has been clearly presented the great sacrifice made by the Father and the Son in man's behalf.  The hour has come when Christ occupies His rightful position and is glorified above principalities and powers and every name that is named.  It was for the joy that was set before Him--that He might bring many sons unto glory--that He endured the cross and despised the shame.  And inconceivably great as was the sorrow and the shame, yet greater is the joy and the glory.  He looks upon the redeemed, renewed in His own image, every heart bearing the perfect impress of the divine, every face reflecting the likeness of their King.  He beholds in them the result of the travail of His soul, and He is satisfied.  Then, in a voice that reaches the assembled multitudes of the righteous and the wicked, He declares: “Behold the purchase of My blood! For these I suffered, for these I died, that they might dwell in My presence throughout eternal ages.” And the song of praise ascends from the white-robed ones about the throne: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.” Revelation 5:12.   {GC 671.1} 

     Notwithstanding that Satan has been constrained to acknowledge God's justice and to bow to the supremacy of Christ, his character remains unchanged.  The spirit of rebellion, like a mighty torrent, again bursts forth.  Filled with frenzy, he determines not to yield the great controversy.  The time has come for a last desperate struggle against the King of heaven.  He rushes into the midst of his subjects and endeavors to inspire them with his own fury and arouse them to instant battle.  But of all the countless millions whom he has allured into rebellion, there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy.  His power is at an end.  The wicked are filled with the same hatred of God that inspires Satan; but they see that their case is hopeless, that they cannot prevail against Jehovah.  Their rage is kindled against Satan and those who have been his agents in deception, and with the fury of demons they turn upon them.   {GC 671.2} 

     Saith the Lord: “Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.  They shall bring thee down to the pit.” “I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire . . . I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee . . . I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” Ezekiel 28:6-8, 16-19.   {GC 672.1} 

     “Every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.” “The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter.” “Upon the wicked He shall rain quick burning coals, fire and brimstone and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.” Isaiah 9:5; 34:2; Psalm 11:6, margin.  Fire comes down from God out of heaven.  The earth is broken up.  The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth.  Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm.  The very rocks are on fire.  The day has come that shall burn as an oven.  The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up.  Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10.  The earth's surface seems one molten mass - a vast, seething lake of fire.  It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men - ”the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isaiah 34:8.   {GC 672.2}

     The wicked receive their recompense in the earth.  Proverbs 11:31.  They “shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1.  Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days.  All are punished “according to their deeds.” The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God's people to commit.  His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived.  After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on.  In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch--Satan the root, his followers the branches.  The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah.   {GC 673.1} 

     Satan's work of ruin is forever ended.  For six thousand years he has wrought his will, filling the earth with woe and causing grief throughout the universe.  The whole creation has groaned and travailed together in pain.  Now God's creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations. 

     “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they [the righteous] break forth into singing.” Isaiah 14:7.  And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole loyal universe.  “The voice of a great multitude,” “as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings,” is heard, saying: “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Revelation 19:6.   {GC 673.2}    BACK