study notes for this page and Ellen White quotes

"Winds are a symbol of strife." {GC88 439.3}

 Dream I had On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 4:41 AM: Last night I had a dream of a coming tornado - in fact it just woke me up a little bit ago - a terrible one - but in my dream it was huge and waiting - it had already touched down, but was huge, and spinning, but waiting, not moving out of it's place, with terrible black and blue skies, waiting for me to gather my kids together before it let loose. Weird, but it was touched down and coming right were we were at - but still waiting - I was running to find my children - and found them eating at a restaurant - they hurried over the wall beside the outside eatery - and came with me. It was like they were right there too, but they could not see the storm. I believe these coming storms are why God is teaching us to trust Him now - so we will be ready - we can call on Him and He will save us - His will be done.

Probation Closes When the Sealing Is Finished

     Just before we entered it [the time of trouble], we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation, and the whole world was in confusion.--7BC 968 (1846).  {LDE 228.4}

     I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven. An angel with a writer's inkhorn by his side returned from the earth and reported to Jesus that his work was done, and the saints were numbered and sealed. Then I saw Jesus, who had been ministering before the ark containing the ten commandments, throw down the censer. He raised His hands, and with a loud voice said, "It is done."--EW 279 (1858).  {LDE 229.1}

     Only a moment of time, as it were, yet remains. But while already nation is rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom, there is not now a general engagement. As yet the four winds are held until the servants of God shall be sealed in their foreheads. Then the powers of earth will marshal their forces for the last great battle.--6T 14 (1900).  {LDE 229.2}

     An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received "the seal of the living God." Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands, and with a loud voice says, "It is done."--GC 613 (1911).  {LDE 229.3}

Probation Will End Suddenly, Unexpectedly

     When Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever decided. . . . Probation closes; Christ's intercessions cease in heaven. This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the truth are found sleeping.--2T 191 (1868).  {LDE 229.4}

     When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly--at a time when we are least expecting it. But we can have a clean record in heaven today, and know that God accepts us.--7BC 989 (1906).  {LDE 230.1}

     When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. . . .  {LDE 230.2}

     Before the Flood, after Noah entered the ark, God shut him in, and shut the ungodly out; but for seven days the people, knowing not that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure-loving life, and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. "So," says the Saviour, "shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:39). Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man's destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy's offer to guilty men. . . .  {LDE 230.3}

     While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments--it may be in that hour the Judge of all the earth will pronounce the sentence: "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting" (Dan. 5:27).--GC 490, 491 (1911).  {LDE 230.4}


Human Activity After Probation's Close

     The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state--men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above.--GC 491 (1911).  {LDE 231.1}

     When the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been pronounced, and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn, and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God.--GC 615 (1911).  {LDE 231.2}

     The wheat and tares "grow together until the harvest." In the discharge of life's duties the righteous will to the last be brought in contact with the ungodly. The children of light are scattered among the children of darkness, that the contrast may be seen by all.--5T 100 (1882).  {LDE 231.3}

      Christ declared that when He comes some of His waiting people will be engaged in business transactions. Some will be sowing in the field, others reaping and gathering in the harvest, and others grinding at the mill.--Ms 26, 1901.  {LDE 231.4}


Unbelief and Forbidden Pleasures Continue

     Skepticism and that which is called science has to a large degree undermined the faith of the Christian world in their Bibles. Error and fables are gladly accepted, that they may pursue the path of self-indulgence and not be alarmed, for they are striving not to retain God in their knowledge. They say, "Tomorrow will be as this day and much more abundant." But in the midst of their unbelief and godless pleasure the shout of the archangel and the trump of God is heard. . . .  {LDE 232.1}

     When everything in our world is busy activity, immersed in selfish ambition for gain, Jesus comes as a thief.--Ms 15b, 1886.  {LDE 232.2}

     When the professed people of God are uniting with the world, living as they live, and joining with them in forbidden pleasure; when the luxury of the world becomes the luxury of the church; when the marriage bells are chiming, and all are looking forward to many years of worldly prosperity--then, suddenly as the lightning flashes from the heavens, will come the end of their bright visions and delusive hopes.--GC 338, 339 (1911).  {LDE 232.3}


Men Will Be Wholly Engrossed in Business

     When Lot warned the members of his family of the destruction of Sodom, they would not heed his words, but looked upon him as a fanatical enthusiast. The destruction that came found them unprepared. Thus it will be when Christ comes--farmers, merchants, lawyers, tradesmen, will be wholly engrossed in business, and upon them the day of the Lord will come as a snare.--RH March 10, 1904.  {LDE 232.4}

     When ministers, farmers, merchants, lawyers, great men and professedly good men shall cry, "Peace and safety," sudden destruction cometh. Luke reports the words of Christ, that the day of God comes as a snare--the figure of an animal prowling in the woods for prey, and lo, suddenly he is entrapped in the concealed snare of the fowler.--10MR 266 (1876).  {LDE 233.1}

     When men are at ease, full of amusement, absorbed in buying and selling, then the thief approaches with stealthy tread. So it will be at the coming of the Son of man.--Letter 21, 1897.  {LDE 233.2}

Religious Leaders Will Be Full of Optimism

"When the reasoning of philosophy has banished the fear of God's judgments, when religious teachers are pointing forward to long ages of peace and prosperity, and the world are absorbed in their rounds of business and pleasure, planting and building, feasting and merrymaking, rejecting God's warnings and mocking His messengers--then it is that sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape."--PP 104 (1890).  {LDE 233.3}

     Come when it may, the day of God will come unawares to the ungodly. When life is going on in its unvarying round; when men are absorbed in pleasure, in business, in traffic, in money-making; when religious leaders are magnifying the world's progress and enlightenment, and the people are lulled in a false security--then, as the midnight thief steals within the unguarded dwelling, so shall sudden destruction come upon the careless and ungodly, "and they shall not escape."--GC 38 (1911).  {LDE 233.4}


Satan Infers That Probation Has Closed

     In the time of trouble Satan stirs up the wicked, and they encircle the people of God to destroy them. But he does not know that "pardon" has been written opposite their names in the books of heaven.--RH Nov. 19, 1908.  {LDE 234.1}

     As Satan influenced Esau to march against Jacob, so he will stir up the wicked to destroy God's people in the time of trouble. . . . He sees that holy angels are guarding them, and he infers that their sins have been pardoned, but he does not know that their cases have been decided in the sanctuary above.--GC 618 (1911).  {LDE 234.2}


A Famine for the Word

     Those who do not now appreciate, study, and dearly prize the Word of God spoken by His servants will have cause to mourn bitterly hereafter. I saw that the Lord in judgment will at the close of time walk through the earth; the fearful plagues will begin to fall. Then those who have despised God's Word, those who have lightly esteemed it, shall "wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord and shall not find it" (Amos 8:12). A famine is in the land for hearing the Word.--Ms 1, 1857.  {LDE 234.3}


No More Prayers for the Wicked

     The ministers of God will have done their last work, offered their last prayers, shed their last bitter tear for a rebellious church and an ungodly people. Their last solemn warning has been given. Oh, then how quickly would houses and lands, dollars that have been miserly hoarded and cherished and tightly grasped, be given for some consolation by those who have professed the truth and have not lived it out, for the way of salvation to be explained, or to hear a hopeful word or a prayer or an exhortation from their ministers. But no, they must hunger and thirst on in vain; their thirst will never be quenched, no consolation can they get. Their cases are decided and eternally fixed. It is a fearful, awful time.--Ms 1, 1857.  {LDE 235.1}

     In the time when God's judgments are falling without mercy, oh, how enviable to the wicked will be the position of those who abide "in the secret place of the Most High"--the pavilion in which the Lord hides all who have loved Him and have obeyed His commandments! The lot of the righteous is indeed an enviable one at such a time to those who are suffering because of their sins. But the door of mercy is closed to the wicked. No more prayers are offered in their behalf after probation ends.--3BC 1150 (1901).  {LDE 235.2}


Transfer of Character Not Possible

     The Lord is coming in power and great glory. It will then be His work to make a complete separation between the righteous and the wicked. But the oil cannot then be transferred to the vessels of those who have it not. Then shall be fulfilled the words of Christ, "Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." The righteous and the wicked are to be associated together in the work of life. But the Lord reads the character. He discerns who are obedient children, who respect and love His commandments.--TM 234 (1895).  {LDE 236.1}

     It is a solemn thing to die, but a far more solemn thing to live. Every thought and word and deed of our lives will meet us again. What we make of ourselves in probationary time, that we must remain to all eternity. Death brings dissolution to the body, but makes no change in the character. The coming of Christ does not change our characters; it only fixes them forever beyond all change.--5T 466 (1885).  {LDE 236.2}


Another Probation Would Not Convince the Wicked

     We are to make the best of our present opportunities. There will be no other probation given to us in which to prepare for heaven. This is our only and last opportunity to form characters which will fit us for the future home which the Lord has prepared for all who are obedient to His commandments.--Letter 20, 1899.  {LDE 236.3}

     There will be no probation after the coming of the Lord. Those who say that there will be are deceived and misled. Before Christ comes just such a state of things will exist as existed before the Flood. And after the Saviour appears in the clouds of heaven no one will be given another chance to gain salvation. All will have made their decisions.--Letter 45, 1891.  {LDE 237.1}

     All will be tested and tried according to the light they have had. Those who turn from the truth to fables can look for no second probation. There will be no temporal millennium. If, after the Holy Spirit has brought conviction to their hearts, they resist the truth and use their influence to block the way so that others will not receive it, they will never be convinced. They did not seek for transformation of character in the probation given them, and Christ will not give them opportunity to pass over the ground again. The decision is a final one.--Letter 25, 1900.  {LDE 237.2}




Numbers 15:31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity [shall be] upon him.

And those also who are dead in trespasses and sins demand our service. The man who is wholly absorbed in his countingroom, the man who finds pleasure at the gaming table, the man who loves to indulge perverted appetite, the frequenter of the theater and the ballroom, put eternity out of their reckoning. The whole burden of their life is, What shall we eat? what shall we drink? and wherewithal shall we be clothed? They are not in the procession that is moving heavenward. They are led by the great apostate, and if they continue in this path, they will with him be destroyed. All around us are souls perishing in their sins. Every year thousands upon thousands are dying without God and without hope of eternal life. The plagues and judgments of God are in the earth, and souls are going to ruin because the light of truth has not been flashed upon their pathway.

The heart of God is moved. Souls are very precious in his sight. It was for this world that Christ wept in agony; for this world that he was crucified. God gave his only begotten Son to save sinners, and he desires us to love others as he has loved us. He desires those who have a knowledge of the truth to impart this knowledge to their fellow men.

Now is the time for the last warning to be given. There is a special power in the presentation of truth at the present time; but how long will it continue?—Only a little while. If ever there was a crisis, it is now.

The proclamation of the third angel’s message is our work. We are to present the truth in regard to the Sabbath of the Lord. God’s memorial of creation has been torn down, and in its place there stands a false sabbath. Satan has led men to declare that this is the true Sabbath, and in the belief of this delusion millions are passing into eternity. And the people to whom God has given his truth are hiding their light under a bushel, allowing the cares of this world to engross the time and attention that should be given to the Lord’s work.

The Christian’s Privilege and Responsibility

It is an eternal law of Jehovah that he who accepts truth which the world needs is to make it his first work to proclaim this truth. But where are those who make the burden of perishing sinners their own? As I look upon the professed people of God, and see their unwillingness to serve him, my heart is filled with a pain that I cannot express. How few are heart to heart with God in his solemn, closing work. There are thousands to be warned, yet how few consecrate themselves wholly to the work, willing to be or to do anything if only they may win sinners to righteousness. Jesus died to save the world. In humility, in lowliness, in unselfishness, he worked and is working for sinners. But many of those who ought to co-operate with him are self-sufficient and indifferent.

Who can sympathize with Christ in his distress and anguish, as with quivering lips he exclaimed, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not”? Who can say with Jeremiah, “Oh that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people”?

Among God’s people today there is a fearful lack of the sympathy that should be felt for souls unsaved. Unless our hearts beat in union with the heart of Christ, how can we understand the sacredness and importance of the work to which we are called by the words, “Watch for souls as they that must give an account”? We talk of Christian missions. The sound of our voices is heard; but do we feel Christ’s tender heart-longing for souls?

Church members are trifling with their responsibilities, unfitting themselves for service. What shall we say, what can we say, to arouse those who know the truth, both ministers and lay members, to a sense of their responsibility? How can they be led to feel the need of imparting to others the truth that God has given them? O that they were awake to the purposes of God and to their individual accountability! Then would they use every gift, every talent, in the work of giving to the world the truth for this time. The number of laborers would greatly increase, and the work would grow in influence and extent. God’s people would be lights, shining amid the darkness of this degenerate age.

The work has extended so that it now covers a large territory, and the number of believers has increased. But there is still a great deficiency. A much larger work might have been done had the missionary spirit been shown that was shown in the earlier days. Our present numbers, the present extent of our work, are not to be compared with what they were in the beginning. We should think of what the work might have been had every worker consecrated himself, body, soul, and spirit, to God as he should have done.  RH August 5, 1902, par. 3

The Seven Last Plagues and the Wicked (The Great Time of Trouble, Part 1)


The Vials of God's Wrath Will Be Poured Out

     Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded; vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth.--3SM 426 (1890).  {LDE 238.1}

     The world is soon to be left by the angel of mercy and the seven last plagues are to be poured out. . . . The bolts of God's wrath are soon to fall, and when He shall begin to punish the transgressors there will be no period of respite until the end.--TM 182 (1894).  {LDE 238.2}


The Nations in Conflict

     Four mighty angels hold back the powers of this earth till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The nations of the world are eager for conflict, but they are held in check by the angels. When this restraining power is removed there will come a time of trouble and anguish. Deadly instruments of warfare will be invented. Vessels with their living cargo will be entombed in the great deep. All who have not the spirit of truth will unite under the leadership of satanic agencies, but they are to be kept under control till the time shall come for the great battle of Armageddon.--7BC 967 (1900).  {LDE 238.3}


The Whole World Will Be Involved in Ruin

     Angels are now restraining the winds of strife that they may not blow until the world shall be warned of its coming doom, but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.--Ed 179, 180 (1903).  {LDE 239.1}

     The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law.--GC 36 (1911).  {LDE 239.2}

     Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.--GC 614 (1911).  {LDE 239.3}


God Is Just, as Well as Merciful

     It is the glory of God to be merciful, full of forbearance, kindness, goodness, and truth. But the justice shown in punishing the sinner is as verily the glory of the Lord as is the manifestation of His mercy.--RH March 10, 1904.  {LDE 240.1}

     The Lord God of Israel is to execute judgment upon the gods of this world as upon the gods of Egypt. With fire and flood, plagues and earthquakes, He will spoil the whole land. Then His redeemed people will exalt His name and make it glorious in the earth. Shall not those who are living in the last remnant of this earth's history become intelligent in regard to God's lessons?--10MR 240, 241 (1899).  {LDE 240.2}

     The One who has stood as our Intercessor; who hears all penitential prayers and confessions; who is represented with a rainbow, the symbol of grace and love, encircling His head, is soon to cease His work in the heavenly sanctuary. Grace and mercy will then descend from the throne, and justice will take their place. He for whom His people have looked will assume His right--the office of Supreme Judge.--RH Jan. 1, 1889.  {LDE 240.3}

     In all the Bible, God is presented not only as a Being of mercy and benevolence, but as a God of strict and impartial justice.--ST March 24, 1881.  {LDE 240.4}


The Certainty of God's Judgments

     God's love is represented in our day as being of such a character as would forbid His destroying the sinner. Men reason from their own low standard of right and justice. "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself" (Ps. 50:21). They measure God by themselves. They reason as to how they would act under the circumstances and decide God would do as they imagine they would do. . . .  {LDE 240.5}

     In no kingdom or government is it left to the lawbreakers to say what punishment is to be executed against those who have broken the law. All we have, all the bounties of His grace which we possess, we owe to God. The aggravating character of sin against such a God cannot be estimated any more than the heavens can be measured with a span. God is a moral governor as well as a Father. He is the Lawgiver. He makes and executes His laws. Law that has no penalty is of no force.  {LDE 241.1}

     The plea may be made that a loving Father would not see His children suffering the punishment of God by fire while He had the power to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before his fellow man. Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him, but God drowned the vast world. Lot would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons-in-law, but God would do it in strict justice.  {LDE 241.2}

     Who will say God will not do what He says He will do?--12MR 207-209; 10MR 265 (1876).  {LDE 241.3}


Judgments Come When God Removes His Protection

     I was shown that the judgments of God would not come directly out from the Lord upon them, but in this way: They place themselves beyond His protection. He warns, corrects, reproves, and points out the only path of safety; then, if those who have been the objects of His special care will follow their own course, independent of the Spirit of God, after repeated warnings, if they choose their own way, then He does not commission His angels to prevent Satan's decided attacks upon them.  {LDE 242.1}

     It is Satan's power that is at work at sea and on land, bringing calamity and distress and sweeping off multitudes to make sure of his prey.--14MR 3 (1883).  {LDE 242.2}

     God will use His enemies as instruments to punish those who have followed their own pernicious ways whereby the truth of God has been misrepresented, misjudged, and dishonored.--PC 136 (1894).  {LDE 242.3}

      Already the Spirit of God, insulted, refused, abused, is being withdrawn from the earth. Just as fast as God's Spirit is taken away, Satan's cruel work will be done upon land and sea.--Ms 134, 1898.  {LDE 242.4}

     The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one.--GC 614 (1911).  {LDE 242.5}


At Times Holy Angels Exercise Destructive Power 

[THE SINNER MUST HIMSELF BEAR FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PUNISHMENT THAT IS METED OUT TO HIM. ELLEN WHITE STATES, "GOD DESTROYS NO ONE. THE SINNER DESTROYS HIMSELF BY HIS OWN IMPENITENCE." 5T 120. SEE FURTHER THE GREAT CONTROVERSY, PP. 25-37.]

     God's judgments were awakened against Jericho. It was a stronghold. But the Captain of the Lord's host Himself came from heaven to lead the armies of heaven in an attack upon the city. Angels of God laid hold of the massive walls and brought them to the ground.--3T 264 (1873).  {LDE 243.1}

     Under God the angels are all-powerful. On one occasion, in obedience to the command of Christ, they slew of the Assyrian army in one night one hundred and eighty-five thousand men.--DA 700 (1898).  {LDE 243.2}

     The same angel who had come from the royal courts to rescue Peter had been the messenger of wrath and judgment to Herod. The angel smote Peter to arouse him from slumber. It was with a different stroke that he smote the wicked king, laying low his pride and bringing upon him the punishment of the Almighty. Herod died in great agony of mind and body, under the retributive judgment of God.--AA 152 (1911).  {LDE 243.3}

     A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians and filled the land with mourning. When David offended against God by numbering the people, one angel caused that terrible destruction by which his sin was punished. The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere.--GC 614 (1911).  {LDE 243.4}


The First Two Plagues

     When Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark (Rev. 14:9, 10), will be poured out. The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel, were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of God's people. Says the revelator, in describing those terrific scourges: "There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image." The sea "became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea" [Rev. 16:2, 3].--GC 627, 628 (1911).  {LDE 244.1}

     The plagues were falling upon the inhabitants of the earth. Some were denouncing God and cursing Him. Others rushed to the people of God and begged to be taught how they might escape His judgments. But the saints had nothing for them. The last tear for sinners had been shed, the last agonizing prayer offered, the last burden borne, the last warning given.--EW 281 (1858).  {LDE 244.2}


The Third Plague

     I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them and that if they could rid the earth of us the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance.--EW 36, 37 (1851).  {LDE 245.1}

     And "the rivers and fountains of waters . . . became blood." Terrible as these inflictions are, God's justice stands fully vindicated. The angel of God declares: "Thou art righteous, O Lord, . . . because Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy" (Rev. 16:2-6). By condemning the people of God to death, they have as truly incurred the guilt of their blood as if it had been shed by their hands.--GC 628 (1911).  {LDE 245.2}


The Fourth Plague

     In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun "to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat" (Rev. 16:8, 9). The prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time: "The land mourneth; . . . because the harvest of the field is perished. . . . All the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men." 

"The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate. . . . How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture. . . . The rivers of water are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness." "The songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence" (Joel 1:10-12, 17-20; Amos 8:3).  {LDE 245.3}

     These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals.--GC 628, 629 (1911).  {LDE 246.1}


The Fifth Plague

     With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens, and seems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested. Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of God's covenant, and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness. . . .  {LDE 246.2}

     It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement on the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance.--GC 635, 636 (1911).  {LDE 246.3}

God's Law Appears in the Sky

     There appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. Says the prophet, "The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself" (Ps. 50:6). That holy law, God's righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment. The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire. The words are so plain that all can read them. Memory is aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy is swept from every mind, and God's ten words, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, are presented to the view of all the inhabitants of the earth.--GC 639 (1911).  {LDE 247.1}

The Lost Condemn Their False Shepherds

     Church members who have seen the light and been convicted, but who have trusted the salvation of their souls to the minister, will learn in the day of God that no other soul can pay the ransom for their transgression. A terrible cry will be raised, "I am lost, eternally lost." Men will feel as though they could rend in pieces the ministers who have preached falsehoods and condemned the truth.--4BC 1157 (1900).  {LDE 247.2}

     All unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. "We are lost!" they cry, "and you are the cause of our ruin"; and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most, will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels, will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God's people, are now employed to destroy their enemies.--GC 655, 656 (1911).  {LDE 247.3}

     Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men [Eze. 9:6], those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust.--5T 211 (1882).  {LDE 248.1}

     God's Word is made of none effect by false shepherds. . . . Their work will soon react upon themselves. Then will be witnessed the scenes described in Revelation 18 when the judgments of God shall fall upon mystical Babylon.--Ms 60, 1900.  {LDE 248.2}


The Sixth Plague

     The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of heaven.--GC 624 (1911).  {LDE 248.3}

     The Spirit of God is gradually withdrawing from the world. Satan is also mustering his forces of evil, going forth "unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world," to gather them under his banner, to be trained for "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" [Rev. 16:14].--7BC 983 (1890).  {LDE 249.1}

     After John's description in Revelation 16 of that miracle-working power which was to gather the world to the last great conflict, the symbols are dropped and the trumpet voice once more gives a certain sound: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" [Rev. 16:15]. After the transgression of Adam and Eve they were naked, for the garment of light and security had departed from them.  {LDE 249.2}

     The world will have forgotten the admonition and warnings of God as did the inhabitants of the Noatic world, as did also the dwellers in Sodom. They awoke with all their plans and inventions of iniquity, but suddenly the shower of fire came from heaven and consumed the godless inhabitants. "Thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" [Luke 17:30].--14MR 96, 97 (1896).  {LDE 249.3}


The Last Great Battle Between Good and Evil

Two great opposing powers are revealed in the last great battle. On one side stands the Creator of heaven and earth. All on His side bear His signet. They are obedient to His commands. On the other side stands the prince of darkness, with those who have chosen apostasy and rebellion.--7BC 982, 983 (1901).  {LDE 249.4}

     A terrible conflict is before us. We are nearing the battle of the great day of God Almighty. That which has been held in control is to be let loose. The angel of mercy is folding her wings, preparing to step down from the throne and leave the world to the control of Satan. The principalities and powers of earth are in bitter revolt against the God of heaven. They are filled with hatred against those who serve Him, and soon, very soon, will be fought the last great battle between good and evil. The earth is to be the battle field--the scene of the final contest and the final victory. Here, where for so long Satan has led men against God, rebellion is to be forever suppressed.--RH May 13, 1902.  {LDE 250.1}

     The battles waging between the two armies are as real as those fought by the armies of this world, and on the issue of the spiritual conflict eternal destinies depend.--PK 176 (c. 1914).  {LDE 250.2}


All the World Will Be Gathered on One Side or the Other

     All the world will be on one side or the other of the question. The battle of Armageddon will be fought. And that day must find none of us sleeping. Wide awake we must be, as wise virgins having oil in our vessels with our lamps. The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us and the Captain of the Lord's host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle.--3SM 426 (1890).  {LDE 250.3}

     The enmity of Satan against good will be manifested more and more as he brings his forces into activity in his last work of rebellion, and every soul that is not fully surrendered to God and kept by divine power will form an alliance with Satan against heaven and join in battle against the Ruler of the universe.--TM 465 (1892).  {LDE 251.1}

     Soon all the inhabitants of the earth will have taken sides, either for or against the government of heaven.--7T 141 (1902).  {LDE 251.2}


The Seventh Plague

     We need to study the pouring out of the seventh vial [Rev. 16:17-21]. The powers of evil will not yield up the conflict without a struggle. But Providence has a part to act in the battle of Armageddon. When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field.--7BC 983 (1899).  {LDE 251.3}

     The battle of Armageddon is soon to be fought. He on whose vesture is written the name, King of kings and Lord of lords, leads forth the armies of heaven on white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white [Rev. 19:11-16].--7BC 982 (1899).  {LDE 251.4}

     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. . . . 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.--GC 637 (1911).  {LDE 251.5}


The Seven Last Plagues and the Righteous (The Great Time of Trouble, Part 2)

The Great Time of Trouble Begins After Probation's Close

When Christ shall cease His work as mediator in man's behalf, then this time of trouble will begin. Then the case of every soul will have been decided, and there will be no atoning blood to cleanse from sin. When Jesus leaves His position as man's intercessor before God the solemn announcement is made, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). Then the restraining Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth.--PP 201 (1890).  {LDE 253.1}

God's People Are Prepared for the Trying Hour Before Them

When the third angel's message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received "the latter rain," "the refreshing from the presence of the Lord," and they are prepared for the trying hour before them.  {LDE 253.2}

     Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received "the seal of the living God." Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. . . . Christ has made the atonement for His people, and blotted out their sins. The number of His subjects is made up; "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven," is about to be given to the heirs of salvation, and Jesus is to reign as King of kings, and Lord of lords.--GC 613, 614 (1911).  {LDE 254.1}

Terrible Beyond Comprehension

     The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger--a faith that will not faint, though severely tried. . . .  {LDE 254.2}

     The "time of trouble such as never was," is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess, and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal.--GC 621, 622 (1911).  {LDE 254.3}

     When Jesus leaves the most holy His restraining Spirit is withdrawn from rulers and people. They are left to the control of evil angels. Then such laws will be made by the counsel and direction of Satan that, unless time should be very short, no flesh could be saved.--1T 204 (1859).  {LDE 255.1}

Many Laid to Rest Before Time of Trouble

     It is not always safe to ask for unconditional healing. . . . He knows whether or not those for whom petitions are offered would be able to endure the trial and test that would come upon them if they lived. He knows the end from the beginning. Many will be laid away to sleep before the fiery ordeal of the time of trouble shall come upon our world.--CH 375 (1897).  {LDE 255.2}

     The Lord has often instructed me that many little ones are to be laid away before the time of trouble. We shall see our children again. We shall meet them and know them in the heavenly courts.--2SM 259 (1899).  {LDE 255.3}

                 

Satan's Goal: Destroy All Sabbathkeepers

     Says the great deceiver: . . . "Our principal concern is to silence this sect of Sabbathkeepers. . . . We will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority."--TM 472, 473 (1884).  {LDE 255.4}

     It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed.--TM 37 (1893).  {LDE 255.5}

     The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects. He has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God.--9T 231 (1909).  {LDE 256.1}

Arguments Used Against God's People

     I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus' work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed.--EW 36 (1851).  {LDE 256.2}

     When the angel of mercy folds her wings and departs Satan will do the evil deeds he has long wished to do. Storm and tempest, war and bloodshed--in these things he delights, and thus he gathers in his harvest. And so completely will men be deceived by him that they will declare that these calamities are the result of the desecration of the first day of the week. From the pulpits of the popular churches will be heard the statement that the world is being punished because Sunday is not honored as it should be.--RH Sept. 17, 1901.  {LDE 256.3}

     It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state, ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. The same argument eighteen hundred years ago was brought against Christ by the "rulers of the people." . . . This argument will appear conclusive.--GC 615 (1911).  {LDE 257.1}

Death for All Who Do Not Honor Sunday

     A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance.--EW 36, 37 (1851).  {LDE 257.2}

     As Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed, so a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death. . . . Let all read carefully the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, for it concerns every human agent, great and small.--14MR 91 (1896).  {LDE 257.3}

     The time of trouble is about to come upon the people of God. Then it is that the decree will go forth forbidding those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord to buy or sell, and threatening them with punishment, and even death, if they do not observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath.--HP 344 (1908).  {LDE 257.4}

     The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that "all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond" (Rev. 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death.--GC 604 (1911).  {LDE 257.5}

     Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.--PK 512 (c. 1914).  {LDE 258.1}

Death Decree Similar to That Issued by Ahasuerus

     The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God's people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.--PK 605 (c. 1914).  {LDE 258.2}

     I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time, to put them to death.--EW 282, 283 (1858).  {LDE 258.3}

     If the people of God will put their trust in Him and by faith rely upon His power, the devices of Satan will be defeated in our time as signally as in the days of Mordecai.--ST Feb. 22, 1910.  {LDE 259.1}

The Remnant Make God Their Defense

     "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book" [Dan. 12:1]. When this time of trouble comes, 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.  {LDE 259.2}

     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!--5T 212, 213 (1882).  {LDE 259.3}

God's People Flee the Cities; Many Imprisoned

     As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government, and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. . . . But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons.--GC 626 (1911).  {LDE 259.4}

     Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.--GC 631 (1911).  {LDE 260.1}

     The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself.--4BC 1143 (1908).  {LDE 260.2}

     The faith of individual members of the church will be tested as though there were not another person in the world.--7BC 983 (1890).  {LDE 260.3}

Houses and Lands of No Use

     Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. . . .  {LDE 261.1}

     I saw that if any held on to their property, and did not inquire of the Lord as to their duty, He would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able. . . . But if they desired to be taught, He would teach them, in a time of need, when to sell and how much to sell.--EW 56, 57 (1851).  {LDE 261.2}

     It is too late now to cling to worldly treasures. Soon unnecessary houses and lands will be of no benefit to anyone, for the curse of God will rest more and more heavily upon the earth. The call comes, "Sell that ye have, and give alms" [Luke 12:33]. This message should be faithfully borne--urged home to the hearts of the people--that God's own property may be returned to Him in offerings to advance His work in the world.--16MR 348 (1901).  {LDE 261.3}

Like the Time of Jacob's Trouble

     A decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment, and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World, and apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts. The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time of Jacob's trouble.--GC 615, 616 (1911).  {LDE 261.4}

     To human sight it will appear that the people of God must soon seal their testimony with their blood, as did the martyrs before them. They themselves begin to fear that the Lord has left them to fall by the hand of their enemies. It is a time of fearful agony. Day and night they cry unto God for deliverance. . . . Like Jacob, all are wrestling with God. Their countenances express their internal struggle. Paleness sits upon every face. Yet they cease not their earnest intercession.--GC 630 (1911).  {LDE 262.1}

     Jacob's experience during that night of wrestling and anguish represents the trial through which the people of God must pass just before Christ's second coming. The prophet Jeremiah, in holy vision looking down to this time, said, "We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. . . . All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it" (Jer. 30:5-7).--PP 201 (1890).  {LDE 262.2}

The Righteous Have No Concealed Wrongs to Reveal

     In the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins have gone beforehand to judgment, and have been blotted out; and they cannot bring them to remembrance.--GC 620 (1911).  {LDE 263.1}

     God's people . . . will have a deep sense of their shortcomings, and as they review their lives their hopes will sink. But remembering the greatness of God's mercy, and their own sincere repentance, they will plead His promises made through Christ to helpless, repenting sinners. Their faith will not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered. They will lay hold of the strength of God, as Jacob laid hold of the Angel, and the language of their souls will be, "I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me."--PP 202 (1890).  {LDE 263.2}

In the ancient Near East marriages were always arranged. In ancient Israel the marriage covenant (b'rith) was part of the civil law, and there were legal papers that were drawn up which defined the rights of the husband and wife. The wedding ceremony (Chuppah) was all about bringing the bride to the bridegroom's house. The ceremony itself would last 7 days, sometimes longer. There would be great rejoicing and celebration late in the evening on the streets, and also when they arrived for the feast at the bridegroom's house. Once they entered the doors were shut and the wedding ceremony began. The bridegroom would spread the tip of his upper garment over her, then they would proceed to the wedding chamber, then to the feast. There were many friends and relatives, some would travel long distances. The fall was an ideal time for a marriage because it was after the harvest.
Marriage in Biblical Times

Betrothal

In the ancient Near East betrothal took place before the actual marriage and it was considered as binding as marriage. In ancient Israel a woman who was betrothed was considered the "wife" of the man she was betrothed to, and she was bound to be faithful. The betrothal (kiddushin) period lasted usually 6 months and sometimes 1 year, and it was a binding promise between the bridegroom and bride to marry. Deuteronomy 20:7 mentions the betrothal, stating that a man is exempt from military duty if he is betrothed. Once a woman was betrothed she was considered already married, and if she had sexual intercourse during this period she was considered an adulterer and was to be stoned to death. If she was not caught in the actual act and was found not to be a virgin, the husband could dissolve the marriage quietly and sign a bill of divorce. According to the civil law the virgin was purchased for a certain sum of money, this was paid to the bride's father. Later in Israel's history she was given a gold ring, or some other valuable thing, and the bridegroom would declare, "See by this ring (or token) thou art set apart unto me, according to the law of Moses and of Israel." Many times the betrothed woman would not see her betrothed husband until the marriage ceremony began.

The Friend of the Bridegroom

The bridegroom chose a loyal friend to prepare the bride for the wedding. He would accompany her throughout the betrothal period, and help her get prepared. Once the ceremony commenced and the friend heard the bridegroom's voice, he would know that he did his job in preparing the bride to receive the bridegroom. John 3:29 describes John the Baptist as the "friend of the bridegroom" who rejoiced because of the bridegroom's voice, when he heard about Jesus preaching.

The Procession

When the wedding day finally arrived the bridegroom would dress himself in festive garments, wearing a crown of gold, or silver, or flowers. He would proceed with his friend and other attendants from an unknown place at an unknown time to the bride's father's house. The virgins of Israel would be outside waiting along the way in the evening with their oil lamps lit, until the loud warning cry, "Behold the Bridegroom Cometh, Go Ye Out to Meet Him," and they would meet him and proceed with him to the entrance of the bride's father's house.

Meanwhile the bride would have been bathed, purified, perfumed, richly clothed, and adorned with many jewels, and would receive the blessing from her family and friends. She was also completely covered with a veil as she waited for the bridegroom. When the bridegroom finally showed up at the entrance of the house there would again be a loud cry, "Behold the Bridegroom Cometh, Go Ye Out to Meet Him." The procession would begin from the bride's father's house to the house of the bridegroom. It began with great celebration, the bridegroom, the bride, the friend, the virgins, musicians, and many other friends and relatives would walk and dance, and cast flowers, and sing songs, with "every demonstration of joy and gladness." The bride was crowned and carried by the crowd on a piece of furniture through the streets to the bridegroom's house.

The Wedding Ceremony

The ceremony itself was called the Chuppa, which means "canopy", and the bride and bridegroom would go under the canopy for all to see. They would then proceed to a room where she would remove her veil and they would physically become one in their marriage covenant with God. Afterward they would place the bloodstained garment out the window of the room, for all to see that she had been a virgin.

The Wedding Feast

The doors were shut and the feast began with great dancing and celebration lasting seven days at the bridegroom's house. All guests were given special garments, clothing of festivity. The bridegroom and bride were treated as king and queen, they also wore garments of celebration and did no work, they would watch the festivities, drink wine, and even join in the dancing. The ruler of the feast was responsible for all preparations and benedictions.

Illustration of the Wedding Canopy

Wedding Canopy Illustration
Modern Illustration of the Chuppah

A Type of Christ and the Church

The church is the bride, beautiful, clothed, and richly adorned. Christ will come at an unknown hour to claim His bride.

Marriage in Smith's Bible Dictionary
1. Its origin and history. --The institution of marriage dates from the time of man's original creation. Ge 2:18-25 From Ge 2:24 we may evolve the following principles: (1) The unity of man and wife, as implied in her being formed out of man. (2) The indissolubleness of the marriage bond, except on; the strongest grounds, Comp. Mt 19:9 (3) Monogamy, as the original law of marriage (4) The social equality of man and wife. (5) The subordination of the wife to the husband. 1Co 11:8,9; 1Ti 2:13 (6) The respective duties of man and wife. In the patriarchal age polygamy prevailed, Ge 16:4; 25:1,8; 28:9; 29:23,26; 1Ch 7:14 but to a great extent divested of the degradation which in modern times attaches to that practice. Divorce also prevailed in the patriarchal age, though but one instance of it is recorded. Ge 21:14 The Mosaic law discouraged polygamy, restricted divorce, and aimed to enforce purity of life. It was the best civil law possible at the time, and sought to bring the people up to the pure standard of the moral law. In the Post-Babylonian period monogamy appears to have become more prevalent than at any previous time. The practice of polygamy nevertheless still existed; Herod the Great had no less than nine wives at one time. The abuse of divorce continued unabated. Our Lord and his apostles re-established the integrity and sanctity of the marriage bond by the following measures: (a) By the confirmation of the original charter of marriage as the basis on which all regulations were to be framed. Mt 19:4,5 (b) By the restriction of divorce to the case of fornication, and the prohibition of remarriage in all persons divorced on improper grounds. Mt 5:32; 19:9; Ro 7:3; 1Co 7:10,11 (c) By the enforcement of moral purity generally Heb 13:4 etc., and especial formal condemnation of fornication. Ac 15:20  Read Full Article

Marriage in the ISBE Bible Encyclopedia
With the Hebrews married life was the normal life. Any exception called for apology and explanation. "Any Jew who has not a wife is no man" (Talmud). It was regarded as awaiting everyone on reaching maturity; and sexual maturity comes much earlier indeed in the East than with us in the West--in what we call childhood. The ancient Hebrews, in common with all Orientals, regarded the family as the social unit. In this their view of it coincides with that, of modern sociologists. Of the three great events in the family life, birth, marriage and death, marriage was regarded as the most important. It was a step that led to the gravest tribal and family consequences. In case of a daughter, if she should prove unsatisfactory to her husband, she would likely be returned to the ancestral home, discarded and discredited, and there would be almost inevitably a feeling of injustice engendered on one side, and a sense of mutual irritation between the families (Jdg 14:20; 1 Sam 18:19). If she failed to pass muster with her mother-in-law she would just as certainly have to go, and the results would be much the same (compare customs in China). It was a matter affecting the whole circle of relatives, and possibly tribal amity as well. It was natural and deemed necessary, therefore, that the selection of the wife and the arrangement of all contractual and financial matters connected with it should be decided upon by the parents or guardians of the couple involved. Though the consent of the parties was sometimes sought (Gen 24:8) and romantic attachments were not unknown (Gen 29:20; 34:3; Jdg 14:1; 1 Sam 18:20), the gift or woman in the case was not currently thought of as having a personal existence at her own disposal. She was simply a passive unit in the family under the protection and supreme control of father or brothers. In marriage, she was practically the chattel, the purchased possession and personal property of her husband, who was her ba`al or master (Hos 2:16), she herself being be`ulah (Isa 62:4). The control, however, was not always absolute (Gen 26:34; Ex 2:21).
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Marriage in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Marriage was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen. 2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4; 22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record. It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23, 25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change.   Read Full Article

Marriage in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
(ADAM) The charter of marriage is Genesis 2:24, reproduced by our Lord with greater distinctness in Matthew 19:4-5; "He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain, shall be one flesh." The Septuagint, and Samaritan Pentateuch reads "twain" or "two" in Genesis 2:24; compare as to this joining in one flesh of husband and wife, the archetype of which is the eternally designed union of Christ and the church, Ephesians 5:31; Mark 10:5-9; 1 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 7:2. In marriage husband and wife combine to form one perfect human being; the one is the complement of the other. So Christ makes the church a necessary adjunct to Himself. He is the Archetype from whom, as the pattern, the church is formed (Romans 6:5). He is her Head, as the husband is of the wife (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Death severs bridegroom and bride, but cannot separate Christ and His bride (Matthew 19:6; John 10:28-29; John 13:1; Romans 8:35-39).  Read Full Article Source: 
http://www.bible-history.com/biblestudy/marriage.html

Are we living in the last days? Is the end really near? When is the World going to End? Who knew when Jesus was going to be born in Bethlehem? WISE MEN who studied the Bible and prayed for discernment!

  • OIL = HOLY SPIRIT The oil is the Holy Spirit, which works out a righteous character in the life of the believer 1 Samuel 16:13: - “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”
  • 17. COL 408 - 411“In the parable, • all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. • So with the church that lives just before Christ's second coming. • All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. • All have heard the message of Christ's near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, … many are unready. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit.” {COL 408.
  • 18. COL 408 • “Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. • The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart. • Unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed. • Without the enlightenment of the Spirit, men will not be able to distinguish truth from error, and they will fall under the masterful temptations of Satan.” {COL 408.3}
  • 19. OIL = Heavenly grace of God. R. & H., Book 4, p. 110: - “The oil is the holy grace that is sent from heaven; and there must be an inward adorning with that grace, if we would stand when he appears.” {RH, October 31, 1899 par. 13} Definition: Titus 2: 11-12
  • 20. OIL = Communications of the Holy Spirit R. & H., Book 4, p. 490: - “The golden oil represents the grace with which God keeps the lamps of believers supplied. Were it not that this holy oil is poured from heaven in the messages of God's Spirit, the agencies of evil would have entire control over men.” {RH, February 3, 1903 par. 5}
  • 21. OIL = Communications of the Holy Spirit “God is dishonored when we do not receive the communications that he sends us. Thus we refuse the golden oil which he would pour into our souls to be communicated to those in darkness.” {RH, February 3, 1903 par. 6}
  • 1884 Great Controversy, p. 340: 1884 Great Controversy, p. 340: - “I will also have unbelieving ones present, who will express doubts in regard to the Lord's messages of warning to his church. Should the people read and believe these admonitions, we could have little hope of overcoming them. But if we can divert their attention from these warnings, they will remain ignorant of our power and cunning, and we shall secure them in our ranks at last. God will not permit his words to be slighted with impunity. If we can keep souls deceived for a time, God’s mercy will be withdrawn, and he will give them up to our full control.” {4SP 340.2}
  • Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 414 Matt 25: 5 – 7 - “ … they all slumbered and slept. … Then all those virgins arose “The coming of the bridegroom was at midnight--the darkest hour. So the coming of Christ will take place in the darkest period of this earth's history. Special Test., Series B, No, 7, 56 & 57:- “One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,-- the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout.” {SpTB07 57.1}
  • 34. Special Testimonies Special Testimonies, Series B, No, 7, 56 & 57:- “One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,-- the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout.” {SpTB07 57.1} Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p. 14: - “At this time the Laodicean message is to be given, to arouse a slumbering church.” {SpTB02 14.3}
  • 35. R. & H., Book 2, p. 419 “The name "foolish virgins" represents the character of those who have not the genuine heart-work wrought by the Spirit of God. The coming of Christ does not change the foolish virgins into wise ones. When Christ comes, the balances of Heaven will weigh the character, and decide whether it is pure, sanctified, and holy, or whether it is unclean, and unfit for the kingdom of heaven. Those who have despised the divine grace that is at their command, that would have qualified them to be the inhabitants of heaven, will be the foolish virgins. They had all the light, all the knowledge, but they failed to obtain the oil of grace; they did not receive the truth in its sanctifying power.” {RH, August 19, 1890 par. 8}
  • 1884 Great Controversy, p. 266 “The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigative Judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem his people; for when he comes, his reward is with him to give to every man according to his works. [ REV22:12.] ” {4SP 266.1}
  • 39. 1884 Great Controversy, p. 315 "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief; and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." [REV. 3:3.] How perilous is the condition of those, who, growing weary of their watch [like the foolish virgins perhaps? - the compiler], turn to the attractions of the world. {4SP 315.1}
  • 40. 1884 Great Controversy, p. 315 While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure-lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments,--it may be in that hour the Judge of all the earth will pronounce the sentence, "Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” {4SP 315.1}
  • 41. 1884 Great Controversy, p. 266 • The Bridegroom comes while the foolish virgins attempt to get the oil; • the wise being ready go into the marriage, with the Bridegroom, who then shuts the door. • This must be the door of probation that is being closed. • All this takes place AFTER the Midnight Cry has been given.
  • 42. Note The coming of the Bridegroom is referring to Christ’s coming to Judgment, and NOT to his 2nd coming in the clouds of heaven!
  • 43. 8T 247 “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh- day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged.” {8T 247.2}
  • 44. The Foolish virgins = Laodicean state R. & H., Book 2, p. 420: - “The state of the Church represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean state.” {RH, August 19, 1890 par. 10} R. & H., Book 3, p. 483: - “Those who would be ready to meet their Lord must keep their lamps filled with the oil of grace. It was a neglect to do this that distinguished the foolish virgins from the wise. They had lamps, but no oil; their characters could not stand the test.” {RH, July 20, 1897 par. 4}
  • Character not Transferable R. & H., Book 2, p. 104: - “Each one individually must do the work, and determine through personal efforts to have the grace of God in the heart. I cannot form a character for you, nor can you for me. It is a burden that rests upon every one individually, young or old.” {RH, January 4, 1887 par. 10}
  • 47. Too Late , Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 412: - “It is in a crisis that character is revealed. When the earnest voice proclaimed at midnight, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him," and the sleeping virgins were roused from their slumbers, it was seen who had made preparation for the event. Songs of Solomon 1:8-10 , 5:2-6
  • 48. Too Late , Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 412: Both parties were taken unawares; but one was prepared for the emergency, and the other was found without preparation.
  • 49. Too Late So now, a sudden and unlooked-for calamity, something that brings the soul face to face with death, will show whether there is any real faith in the promises of God. It will show whether the soul is sustained by grace. {COL 412.1}
  • 50. Too Late The great final test comes at the close of human probation, when it will be too late for the soul's need to be supplied.” {COL 412.1} The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the great test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided. . . . [Revelation 13:11-17 quoted.] . . . {7BC 976.2} This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed. All who proved their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to accept a spurious sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord God Jehovah, and will receive the seal of the living God. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and accept the Sunday Sabbath, will receive the mark of the beast (Letter 11, 1890). {7BC 976.3}
  • 51. Matt 25: 5 - 12 There is a mysterious procession that is accompanying the Bridegroom, who give the Midnight Cry, which arouses all ten of the sleeping virgins. Please note, the wise do NOT give the Midnight Cry. The best that they can do, is to join this mysterious procession which goes in with the Bridegroom into the festal hall. While the foolish virgins are left behind to try and buy the oil of the Holy Spirit when it is too late.
  • 52. RH, October 31, 1899 par. 5 “At the call, the sleeping eyes are opened, and every one is aroused. They see the procession they are to join moving on, bright with torches and glad with music. They hear the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. The five wise virgins trim their lamps, and go forth to meet the bridegroom.”
  • 53. RH, October 31, 1899 par. 6 “The foolish virgins made no provision for their lamps; and when aroused from their slumbers, they found that their lights were going out. ... But while they went to buy, the procession moved on, and left them behind. The bridal train entered the house, and the door was shut. When the foolish virgins reached the banqueting hall, they received an unexpected denial. They were left outside in the blackness of the night.”
  • 54. RH, July 20, 1897 “While the foolish virgins awoke to find their lamps burning dimly, or going out in the darkness, the wise virgins, with their lamps burning brightly, entered the festal hall, and the gates were shut. Greatly rejoicing at the sound of the bridegroom's voice, they joined the bridal procession.”
  • R. & H., Book 2, p. 530 “Compassion beamed from his [that is, Christ – compiler] countenance, and his conduct was characterized by grace, humility, truth, and love. Every member of his church militant must manifest the same qualities, if he would join the church triumphant.” {RH, November 17, 1891 par. 12} This procession which the wise virgins have to join, is described by the Testimony of Jesus, as being “the company that walked in the light given to them.” - R. & H., Book 4, p. 109 - {RH, October 31, 1899 par. 10}
  • 59. R. & H., Book 4, p. 109 “This procession which the wise virgins have to join, is described by the Testimony of Jesus, as being “the company that walked in the light given to them.” - {RH, October 31, 1899 par. 10}
  • 60. R. & H., Book 4, p. 109 NOTE: - A simple summary may be helpful to bring out the historical precedent concerning the procession who gives the Midnight Cry to the sleeping virgins:
  • Has God no living church? He has a church, but it is the church militant, not the church triumphant. We are sorry that there are defective members, that there are tares amid the wheat. . . . Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world that is polluted and demoralised by sin. {FLB 305.2}
  • 68. The church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counselled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows His supreme regard.-- TM 45, 49 (1893).
  • 69. There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port.--2SM 390 (1892).
  • 70. The bulwarks of Satan will never triumph. Victory will attend the third angel's message. As the Captain of the Lord's host tore down the walls of Jericho, so will the Lord's commandment-keeping people triumph, and all opposing elements be defeated.--TM 410 (1898). The Lord has made us the depositaries of His law; He has committed to us sacred and eternal truth, which is to be given to others in faithful warnings, reproofs, and encouragement.--5T 381 (1885).
  • 71. Seventh-day Adventists have been chosen by God as a peculiar people, separate from the world. By the great cleaver of truth He has cut them out from the quarry of the world and brought them into connection with Himself. He has made them His representatives and has called them to be ambassadors for Him in the last work of salvation. The greatest wealth of truth ever entrusted to mortals, the most solemn and fearful warnings ever sent by God to man, have been committed to them to be given to the world.--7T 138 (1902).
  • 72. In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import--the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.--9T 19 (1909).
  • 73. The Lord has not given you a message to call the Seventh-day Adventists Babylon, and to call the people of God to come out of her. All the reasons you may present cannot have weight with me on this subject, because the Lord has given me decided light that is opposed to such a message. . . .{LDE 51.2}
  • 74. Babylon has been fostering poisonous doctrines, the wine of error. THIS WINE OF ERROR IS MADE UP OF FALSE DOCTRINES, such as the NATURAL IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, the ETERNAL TORMENT OF THE WICKED, the DENIAL OF THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF CHRIST PRIOR TO HIS BIRTH IN BETHLEHEM, AND ADVOCATING AND EXALTING THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK ABOVE GOD'S HOLY AND SANCTIFIED DAY. These and kindred errors are presented to the world by the various churches, and thus the Scriptures are fulfilled that say, 'FOR ALL NATIONS HAVE DRUNK OF THE WINE OF THE WRATH OF HER FORNICATION.' It is a wrath which is created by false doctrines, and WHEN KINGS AND PRESIDENTS DRINK THIS WINE OF THE WRATH OF HER FORNICATION, THEY ARE STIRRED WITH ANGER AGAINST THOSE WHO WILL NOT COME INTO HARMONY WITH THE FALSE AND SATANIC HERESIES WHICH EXALT THE FALSE SABBATH, AND LEAD MEN TO TRAMPLE UNDERFOOT GOD'S MEMORIAL. {TM 61.3}
  • 75. I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganised or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be.-- 2SM 63, 68, 69 (1893). The message to pronounce the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon, and call the people of God out of her, does not come from any heavenly messenger, or any human agent inspired by the Spirit of God.—Ibid., 2:66...ELLEN G. WHITE: VOLUME 4—THE AUSTRALIAN YEARS: 1891-1900, BY ARTHUR L. WHITE, PAGE 85
  • 76. I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organised body through whom He will work. . . . When anyone is drawing apart from the organised body of God's commandment-keeping people, when he begins to weigh the church in his human scales and begins to pronounce judgement against them, then you may know that God is not leading him. He is on the wrong track.--3SM 17, 18 (1893).
  • Not Revealed to Just One or Two.--God has not passed His people by, and chosen one solitary man here and another there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with His truth. He does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body. In every reform men have arisen making this claim. Paul warned the church in his day, "Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." The greatest harm to God's people comes through those who go out from among them speaking perverse things. Through them the way of truth is evil spoken of. {CW 45.2}
  • 80. NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW CLOSE OF PROBATION1844 AD CHURCH MILLITANT CHURCH TRIUPHANT THE WHEAT AND TARES MUST GROW TOGETHER! JESUS SEPERATES THE WHEAT FROM THE TARES! PREPARATION TIME HARVEST TIME Testimonies to Ministers pg.45- 46, Last Days Events Chapter 12, Matt. 13: 24-30
  • 81. The Church Militant Is Imperfect The church militant is not the church triumphant, and earth is not heaven.The church is composed of erring, imperfect men and women, who are but learners in the school of Christ, to be trained, disciplined, educated, for this life and for the future, immortal life. --ST Jan. 4, 1883. {LDE 61.2}
  • The Father loves His people today as He loves His own Son. Someday it will be our privilege to see Him face to face. "We should remember that the church, enfeebled and defective though it be, is the only object on earth on which Christ bestows His supreme regard. He is constantly watching it with solicitude, and is strengthening it by His Holy Spirit . . . . Trust to God's guardianship. His church is to be taught , Enfeebled and defective though it is, it is the object of His supreme regard." Selected Messages, vol. 2p. 396. (2 COR. 12:9)
  • 84. "God has a church upon the earth, who are His chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and one there, but a people.The truth is a sanctifying power; but the church militant is not the church triumphant. There are tares among the wheat. 'Wilt thou then that we . . . gather them up?' was the question of the servant; but the master answered, 'Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.' The gospel net draws not only good fish, but bad ones as well, and the Lord only knows who are His.”TM, p. 61.
  • 85. WHEN IS THE HARVEST The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time. {COL 71.3} There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God. {TM 46.1} The tares represent a class who are the fruit or embodiment of error, of false principles. {COL-71} The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the test for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will be decided... This is the test that the people of God must have before they are sealed . All who prove their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to accept a spurious Sabbath, will rank under the banner of the Lord God Jehovah and will receive the seal of the living God. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and accept the Sunday Sabbath, will receive the mark of the beast. (BC 7A -976) Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. {5T 214.2} I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, "Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention." {EW-118} The Church Triumphant.--The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant.-- Letter 32, 1892. {Ev 707.1}
  • 86. Harvest Time The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time. {COL 71.3}
  • 87. his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. The tares represent a class who are the fruit or embodiment of error, of false principles. {COL-71} There are two opposing influences continually exerted on the members of the church. One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God. {TM 46.1}
  • 88. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing-up of the great day of atonement . . . .” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 89. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “As Joshua was pleading before the Angel, so the remnant church, with brokenness of heart and earnest faith, will plead for pardon and deliverance through Jesus their Advocate ...” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 90. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “They are fully conscious of the sinfulness of their lives they see their weakness and unworthiness, and as they look upon themselves they are ready to despair.” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 91. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “The tempter stands by to accuse them, as he stood by to resist Joshua. He points to their filthy garments, their defective characters...” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 92. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, ‘Take away the filthy garments from them’, and the encouraging words are spoken:” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 93. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “'Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 94. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “The spotless robe of Christ‘s righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God.” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 95. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world.” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 96. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “Their names are retained in the Lamb's book of life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the deceiver: they have not been turned from their loyalty by the dragon's roar.” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 97. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “Now they are eternally secure from the tempter's devices. Holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them the seal of the living God.” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 98. Observation 1. The setting is the antitypical day of atonement. 2. God’s people afflict their souls in full consciousness of their sinfulness. 3. Jesus takes away “the filthy garments” and seals His people. Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 99. Prophets and Kings pgs. 725 “ [not 'filthy garments'], the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners’. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God
  • 100. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “I was shown those who . The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet.” [Compare description of Joshua and the Angel Zac.3; 5T .472-475] Early Writings pgs. 271
  • 101. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. Their countenances expressed the severe conflict which they had endured: the agonizing struggle they had passed through Yet their features, marked with severe internal anguish, now shone with the light and glory of heaven.” Early Writings pgs. 271
  • 102. the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy sacred joy . . . evil angels still pressed around them, but could have no power over them . . . I asked what had made this great change.” Early Writings pgs. 271
  • 103. Early Writings pgs. 271 the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “An angel answered,
  • 104. Observation 1. The Remnant Clothe in Christ Robe of Righteousness 2. The Remnant having received the Latter Rain, proclaim the Loud Cry message going forth to conqueror Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475; Early Writings pg. 271
  • 105. Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 214 the experience that will bring God's people the seal of God “Not one of us will ever receive the while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters; to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement . . . .”
  • 106. Observation 1. “Filthy garments” must be removed 2. Then receive the seal of God 3. Then God bestows HIS Latter Rain Testimony to the Church Vol. 5 pgs. 472-475
  • 107. GOD'S PEOPLE DO NOT SIGH FOR ABOMINATIONS IN THE CHURCH DURING THE LATTER RAIN
  • 108. Proposed order of events for God‘s people are as follows: 1 . The Shaking; 2 . The Latter Rain/Loud Cry; 3. The Sealing. To realise the fallacy of placing the sealing of God's people after the latter rain and loud cry, please consider three simple and straightforward propositions: 1. The Condition of God's people Immediately Prior to Being Sealed. 2. The Thoroughness of the Shaking. 3. The Glorious State of the Church During the Latter Rain which Follows the Shaking.
  • 109. The Condition of God's people Immediately Prior to Being Sealed “Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty- four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God will they [the true people of God] Testimony to the Church Vol. 3 pgs. 266-267
  • 110. Testimony to the Church Vol. 3 pgs. 266-267 The Condition of God's people Immediately Prior to Being Sealed “Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a , are those that for all the abominations that be .”
  • 111. Testimony to the Church Vol. 5. pgs. 209-211 The Condition of God's people Immediately Prior to Being Sealed
  • 112. Testimony to the Church Vol. 5. pgs. 209-211 The Condition of God's people Immediately Prior to Being Sealed
  • 113. Testimony to the Church Vol. 5. pgs. 209-211 The Condition of God's people Immediately Prior to Being Sealed
  • 114. The Thoroughness of the Shaking “In the soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.” Testimony to the Church Vol. 5. pgs. 80
  • 115. Testimony to the Church Vol. 1. pg. 190 The Thoroughness of the Shaking “Oh, that every lukewarm professor could realize the clean work that God is about to make among His professed people.”
  • 116. Testimony to the Church Vol. 1. pg. 431 The Thoroughness of the Shaking
  • 117. The National Sunday law separates wheat from tares! As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel's message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbath-keepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them. {GC88 608.1}
  • 118. The time is not far distant, when the test will come to every soul. . . . In this time, the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy, will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ's righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.--Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 80,81.
  • 5. “The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect In His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life. Jesus was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of man; yet He was the blameless Son of God, He was God in the flesh. His character is to be ours. The Lord says of those who believe in Him, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people,’ “Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome. . by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His humanity He reaches us. He bids us by faith In Him attain to the glory of the character of God. Therefore are we to be perfect, even as our ‘Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ “Desire of Ages, 311:2-312:0.
  • 126. The Church Triumphant Will Be Faithful and Christlike The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant.--Ev 707 (1892). {LDE 62.1} The life of Christ was a life charged with a divine message of the love of God, and He longed intensely to impart this love to others in rich measure. Compassion beamed from His countenance, and His conduct was characterized by grace, humility, truth, and love. Every member of His church militant must manifest the same qualities, if he would join the church triumphant.--FE 179 (1891) {LDE 62.2}
  • 127. CHURCH MILLITANT CHURCH TRIUMPHANT Little Time of Trouble Country Living Growing own Food Death Decree Armageddon The Day & Hr. CHURCH VICTORIOUS Trouble Coming Upon the Earth Trouble Continuing I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully. {Early Writings page 71.1} "Said the angel, "Deny self; ye must step fast." Some of us have had time to get the truth and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. They will also have much to unlearn and much to learn again. Those who would not receive the mark of the beast and his image when the decree goes forth, must have decision now to say, Nay, we will not regard the institution of the beast.{Early Writings page 67.2} "Time is almost finished. Do you reflect the lovely image of Jesus as you should?" Then I was pointed to the earth and saw that there would have to be a getting ready among those who have of late embraced the third angel's message. Said the angel, "Get ready, get ready, get ready. Ye will have to die a greater death to the world than ye have ever yet died." I saw that there was a great work to do for them and but little time in which to do it. EARLY WRITINGS PAG 64
  • 128. The Church Triumphant.--The work is soon to close. The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant. And still our General, who never makes a mistake, says to us, "Advance; enter new territory; lift the standard in every land. 'Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.'" The time has come when through God's messengers the scroll is being unrolled to the world. The truth contained in the first, second, and third angels' messages must go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; it must lighten the darkness of every continent, and extend to the islands of the sea. There must be no delay in this work. Our watchword is to be, Onward, ever onward! Angels of heaven will go before us to prepare the way. Our burden for the regions beyond can never be laid down till the whole earth is lightened with the glory of the Lord. {Ev 707.1-4}
  • 129. “By Implanting In their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory −His character −is to shine forth in His followers. Thus they are to glorify God, to lighten the path to the Bridegroom’s home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”-Christ’s Object Lessons, 414:2. “In the future, the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God, A holy influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God and showing them to men.” -9 Testimonies, 40:2.
  • . When every other trust fails, then it will be seen who have an abiding trust in Jehovah. And while the enemies of truth are on every side, watching the Lord’s servants for evil, God will watch over them for good. He will be to them as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The Acts of the Apostles by Ellen G. White page 431 paragraph 2 God desires His people to prepare for the soon-coming crisis. Prepared or unprepared, they must all meet it; and those only who have brought their lives into conformity to the divine standard, will stand firm at that time of test and trial. The Acts of the Apostles by Ellen G. White page 431 paragraph 2 When secular rulers unite with ministers of religion to dictate in matters of conscience, then it will be seen who really fear and serve God. When the darkness is deepest, the light of a godlike character will shine the brightest. The Acts of the Apostles by Ellen G. White page 431 paragraph 2
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