Jumat, 30 Januari 2009
God's Last Message Of Mercy
GOD’S LAST MESSAGE OF MERCY
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).
All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. (see Isaiah 43:25)….
We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life, should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart...The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups...Everyone must be tested and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. (1)
While the false prophets are crying, “Peace and Safety,” and are seeking to soothe the consciences of men, saying to the sinner, “Don’t be alarmed. It shall be well with thee,” the voice of God’s servants must be heard to arouse them that are asleep, crying, “Sudden destruction cometh upon every soul of man who is not awake, watching and waiting for the appearance of their Lord in the clouds of heaven.” (2)
There is a great work to be done. The last message of mercy is being given to the world. Everything in the political world is stirred with agitation. There are wars and rumors of wars. The nations are angry...
A most solemn and important work is to be done in our world by God’s people. This work is represented by the third angel flying in the midst of heaven. The third angel’s message is preceded by the messages of the first and second angels. The first angel’s message proclaims the hour of God’s judgement. The second declares the fall of Babylon. (3)
THE FIRST ANGEL’S MESSAGE: (Rev 14:6-7)
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgement is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
THE SECOND ANGEL’S MESSAGE: (Rev 14:8)
“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
THE THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE: (Rev 14:9-12)
“And the third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
John (the Revelator) beholds a people distinct and separate from the world, who refuse to worship the beast or his image, who bear God’s sign, keeping holy His Sabbath. Of them the apostle writes, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12).
THE FOURTH ANGEL’S MESSAGE: (Rev 18:1-5)
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lighted with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich with the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her (all apostate churches), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
WHAT IS SIN?
What is sin?—“the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). God denounces Babylon, “because she made all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). This means, that she [the churches] has disregarded the only commandment that points out the true God, and has torn down the Sabbath [Saturday], God’s memorial of creation.
God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh, sanctifying this day, and setting it apart from all the others as holy to Himself, to be observed by His people throughout their generations. But the man of sin, exalting himself above God, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself to be God, [has] thought to change times and laws. This power (Catholic church), thinking to prove that it was not only equal to God, but above God, changed the rest day, placing the first day of the week where the seventh should be. And the Protestant world has taken this child of the papacy to be regarded as sacred. This is called in the Word of God, her fornication.
GOD HAS A CONTROVERSY WITH THE CHURCHES!
God has a controversy with the churches today. They are fulfilling the prophecy of John: “All nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” They have divorced themselves from God by refusing to receive His sign. They have not the spirit of God’s true commandment-keeping people. And the people of the world, in giving their sanction to a false sabbath, and in trampling under their feet the Sabbath of the Lord, have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
God set the seventh day apart as the day of His rest (see Exodus 20:8-11). But the man of sin has set up a false sabbath, which the kings and merchants of the earth have accepted and exalted above the Sabbath of the Bible. In doing this, they have chosen a religion like that of Cain’s, who slew his brother Abel. Cain and Abel both offered sacrifice to God. Abel’s offering was accepted because he complied with God’s requirements. Cain’s was rejected because he followed his own human inventions. Because of this he became very angry that he would not listen to Abel’s entreaties or God’s warning and reproofs, but slew his brother.
A SPURIOUS REST DAY
By accepting a spurious rest day the churches have dishonored God. The people of the world accept the falsehood, and are angry because God’s commandment-keeping people do not respect and reverence Sunday. God says, “Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her” (Revelation 18:5-8).
God declares, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God” (Revelation 14:9-10). God will punish those who attempt to compel their fellow men to keep the first day of the week. They tempt them to deny their allegiance to God. They accept the fruit of the forbidden tree, and try to force others to eat of it. They will try to compel their fellow men to work on the seventh day of the week and rest the first. God says of them, “They shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation” (verse 10).
“Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep,” the Lord says, “for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you” (Exodus 31:13). Some will seek to place obstacles in the way of the Sabbath observance, saying, “You do not know what day is the Sabbath;” but they seem to understand when Sunday comes, and have manifested great zeal in making laws for its observance, as though they could control the consciences of men.
GOD’S SABBATH: A SIGN AND TEST OF LOYALTY
God has given men the Sabbath as a sign between Him and them; as a test of their loyalty. Those who, after the light regarding God’s law comes to them, continue to disobey, and exalt human laws above the law of God in the great crisis before us, will receive the mark of the beast. The prosperity of God’s people is dependent on their obedience. The Lord declares: “And it shall come to pass, if ye hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish from off the good land which the Lord giveth you” (Deuteronomy 11:13-17).
In His dealings with ancient Israel God has given us an illustration of the result that will follow an unrighteous, disobedient course. He will punish all who make His glory to be reproached, even as He punished the children of Israel. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, even as Jerusalem, by her own course of action, was humiliated and brought low. Her people chose Barabbas, and God left them to their choice. They would not submit to God’s way, and He permitted them to have their own way, and to carry out the purposes of their unsanctified hearts.
Christ warned the Jews of their danger, and entreated them to return to God, and they were too proud to accept His overtures of mercy. They persisted in a course of rebellion, and as a result the protection of God’s heavenly intelligences was withdrawn from them…
Those who think they are pleasing God by obeying some other law than His, and by performing works other than those the gospel has enjoined, are mocking God. They are insulting the Holy One of Israel…
When Christ saw in the Jewish people a nation divorced from God, He saw also a professed Christian church united to the world and the papacy. And as He stood upon the Mount Olivet, weeping over Jerusalem till the sun sank behind the western hills, so He is watching over, and pleading with sinners in these last moments of time. Soon He will say to the angels who are holding the four winds, “Let the plagues loose. Let darkness, destruction, and death come upon the transgressors of My law.” Will He be obliged to say to those who had great light and great knowledge, as He said to the Jews, “O that thou hast known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” (See Luke 19:42). (4)
CHRIST’S RETURN -- NEARER THAN MANY THINK
We have no time to lose. The powers of darkness are working with intense energy, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a wolf taking his prey…
The coming of the Lord is nearer than we first believed. The great controversy is nearing its end. Every report of calamity by sea or land (or by air) is a testimony to the fact that the end of all things is at hand. (5)
A HEAVEN TO WIN AND A HELL TO SHUN
Let us be ready, alert, and faithful, in obeying the whole law, and be receptive of the Divine grace. Let us “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). We have a God who is loving and just, patient and long suffering, but let us not exhaust His patience by our stubborn, selfish, ease-loving behavior. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, so let us “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).
1. Great Controversy, p 483, 489-90.
2. Last Day Events, p 64 (Letter 34, October 12, 1875).
3. Last Day Events, p 126 (Letter 98, July 10, 1900).
4. Last Day Events, p 126-28 (Letter 98, July 10, 1900).
5. Review & Herald, November 12, 1914.