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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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Friday, September 23, 2016

A voice in the midnight

“At midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” (Matt. 25:6).
 
“As Christ sat looking upon the party that waited for the bridegroom, He told His disciples the story of the ten virgins, by their experience illustrating the experience of the church that shall live just before His second coming.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 405, 406.
 
The unnamed cry in the midnight will be the same as John’s anonymous cry in the wilderness.
 
“And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not [that is, he was not Elijah literally, but he was prophetically, anti-typically]. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No [‘that prophet’ being prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:18, who was Christ].
Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.” (John 1:19-24).
 
A question has plagued me for some time. What or who does Matthew 25:6 represent? What or who will wake up the sleeping saints by a cry in the darkest of nightfall? Christ is not specific. “There was a cry made…” A cry comes out of nowhere. Would it be an angel? Will it be the 144,000 waking up start the Latter Rain? Will it come by Christ’s roar in the Most Holy Place, as we see in Revelation 10:1-3 after the darkness of the 6th trumpet has ruined Protestant America in Revelation 9?
 
Maybe through studying the Spirit of Prophecy or reading of others’ study many already see the meaning of the midnight crier. What I see is that the solitary cry will be the Elijah message to bring the sleeping Adventists back to their original mandates given from 1844 to 1915.
 
“In the closing work of God in the earth, the standard of His law will be again exalted. False religion may prevail, iniquity may abound, the love of many may wax cold, the cross of Calvary may be lost sight of, and darkness, like the pall of death, may spread over the world; the whole force of the popular current may be turned against the truth; plot after plot may be formed to overthrow the people of God; but in the hour of greatest peril, the God of Elijah will raise up human instrumentalities to bear a message that will not be silenced. In the populous cities of the land, and in the places where men have gone to the greatest lengths in speaking against the Most High, the voice of stern rebuke will be heard. Boldly will men of God’s appointment denounce the union of the church with the world. Earnestly will they call upon men and women to turn from the observance of a man-made institution to the observance of the true Sabbath.” Prophets and Kings, p. 186, 187.
 
“Among the mountains of Gilead, east of the Jordan, there dwelt in the days of Ahab a man of faith and prayer whose fearless ministry was destined to check the rapid spread of apostasy in Israel. Far removed from any city of renown, and occupying no high station in life, Elijah the Tishbite nevertheless entered upon his mission confident in God’s purpose to prepare the way before him and to give him abundant success. The word of faith and power was upon his lips, and his whole life was devoted to the work of reform. His was the voice of one crying in the wilderness to rebuke sin and press back the tide of evil. And while he came to the people as a reprover of sin, his message offered the balm of Gilead to the sin-sick souls of all who desired to be healed....” Conflict and Courage, p. 205.
 
“God calls for men like Elijah, Nathan, and John the Baptist—men who will bear His message with faithfulness, regardless of the consequences; men who will speak the truth bravely, though it call for the sacrifice of all they have.” Ibid., p. 208.
 
“John separated himself from friends and from the luxuries of life. The simplicity of his dress, a garment woven of camel’s hair, was a standing rebuke to the extravagance and display of the Jewish priests, and of the people generally. His diet, purely vegetable, of locusts and wild honey, was a rebuke to the indulgence of appetite and the gluttony that everywhere prevailed. The prophet Malachi declares: ‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.’ Here the prophet describes the character of the work. Those who are to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ are represented by faithful Elijah, as John came in the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for Christ’s first advent. The great subject of reform is to be agitated, and the public mind is to be stirred. Temperance in all things is to be connected with the message, to turn the people of God from their idolatry, their gluttony, and their extravagance in dress and other things. The self-denial, humility, and temperance required of the righteous, whom God especially leads and blesses, is to be presented to the people in contrast to the extravagant, health-destroying habits of those who live in this degenerate age.” Testimonies for the church, vol. 3 p. 62.
 
“It was believed also that before the Messiah’s advent, Elijah would personally appear. This expectation John met in his denial; but his words had a deeper meaning. Jesus afterward said, referring to John, “If ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, which is to come.” Matthew 11:14, R. V. John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, to do such a work as Elijah did. If the Jews had received him, it would have been accomplished for them. But they did not receive his message. To them he was not Elijah. He could not fulfill for them the mission he came to accomplish.” Desire of Ages, p. 135.
 
“As John the Baptist...called their attention to the Ten Commandments, so we are to give, with no uncertain sound, the message: ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’ With the earnestness that characterized Elijah the prophet and John the Baptist, we are to strive to prepare the way for Christ’s Second Advent.” Maranatha, p. 22.
 
In other words, the midnight cry of Matthew 25:6 will be another Elijah and another similar John the Baptist cry in the wilderness. It will be another Ellen White, this time in the darkest moral night our world has ever seen. The people of the Lord will be completely asleep to their task of warning the world of the gross darkness plaguing the earth, and completely unready to receive their Lord when He leaves the Most Holy without the sin of His people and ready to award full salvation from sin. But there will be a remnant among the remnant whose eyes will be locked onto Jesus through His precepts and promises. “Unto them that look for [Christ] shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:28). They will hear the voice of a John or a Paul crying out in the midnight, and they will shake out all the cobwebs from their heads and will jump to follow his lead.
 
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Dan 7:13,14).
 
“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire:…
And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when He had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.…
And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up His hand to heaven,
And sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.” (Rev. 10:1-7).
 
Those words will be passed throughout heaven that will make its way to the hearts of those who have remained faithful in the dark immorality and impiety. Their sighs and cries have gone up at the abominations sweeping the earth. And their sighs and cries have been heard. “Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7,8).
 
How did Elijah come out of nowhere? A Tishbite from an insignificant spot in Israel suddenly showed up to the king to rebuke him for allowing his pagan wife to lead the people of God into spiritualistic worship. Out of Elijah’s work Elisha was made ready to complete the work of Elijah. After his elderly parents died, John lived in the wilderness outside of everyone’s purview. Suddenly he stood up and began a preaching that took ears by surprise, and gave a stern message that shook the nation.
 
But, “the work of John was not sufficient to lay the foundation of the Christian church. When he had fulfilled his mission, another work was to be done, which his testimony could not accomplish.” Desire of Ages, p. 181. Therefore, out of John’s revival Messiah was baptized and presented to the people who were earnestly seeking the Lord. Anointed by His Father, Christ quickly took the reins of the revival and brought the revival of godliness to heights that John could never take it.
 
Out of nowhere once more a voice will be raised, a voice in the midnight, to call the people to reform.
 
“Christ ... told His disciples the story of the ten virgins, by their experience illustrating the experience of the church that shall live just before His second coming.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 406.
 
Will the midnight cry come from those who have left the cities before the darkness swept the earth? Will it come from those who have already come out of Babylon before the freedom to leave was curbed? Will the point when the night has gotten the darkest cause the breaking point in their souls, giving them cause to act and speak God’s bidding? Or, will the breaking point be a recognizable event that shakes the world, such as an economic collapse? Or, will both be the cause, as God sends the collapse due to the midnight darkness in the hearts of men? Will that collapse come from God’s punishment on the worldwide wickedness blanketing the globe? Or will the economic collapse begin the dark night, growing so dark that the sighers and criers can’t take any more, and God recognizes genuineness in their cries?
 
Then they will receive the power of Christ’s Spirit to give a loud cry that the whole world hears. The last great work will begin inside the church before it goes to the great world outside the church.
 
“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen. I was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the true Witness to the Laodiceans. It will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver of the testimony, and it will lead to him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. This straight testimony some will not bear. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.
     I saw that the testimony of the true Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs, has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance, and all that truly receive it, will obey it, and be purified. 
     Said the angel, List ye! Soon I heard a voice that sounded like many musical instruments, all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard. It seemed to be so full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. Said the angel, Look ye! My attention was then turned to the company I had seen before, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping, and praying with agony of spirit. I saw that the company of guardian angels around them had doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, firm 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, shone now with the light and glory of heaven. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude, and holy, sacred joy.
     The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out, and left by the way. The careless and indifferent who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to agonize, persevere, and plead for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their numbers were immediately made up by others taking hold of the truth, and coming into the ranks. Still the evil angels pressed around them, but they could have no power over them.
     I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth in great power. It had effect. I saw those who had been bound; some wives had been bound by their husbands, and some children had been bound by their parents. The honest who had been held or prevented from hearing the truth, now eagerly laid hold of the truth spoken. All fear of their relatives was gone. The truth alone was exalted to them. It was dearer and more precious than life. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth. I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, It is the latter rain; the refreshing from the presence of the Lord; the loud cry of the third angel.
     Great power was with these chosen ones. Said the angel, Look ye! My attention was turned to the wicked, or unbelievers. They were all astir. The zeal and power with the people of God had aroused and enraged them. Confusion, confusion, was on every side. I saw measures taken against this company, who were having the power and light of God. Darkness thickened around them, yet there they stood, approved of God, and trusting in him. I saw them perplexed. Next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Through the day and night their cry ceased not. I heard these words, Thy will, O God, be done! If it can glorify thy name, make a way of escape for thy people! Deliver us from the heathen round about us! They have appointed us unto death; but thine arm can bring salvation. These are all the words I can bring to mind. They seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness, and manifested entire submission to the will of God. Yet every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading, and wrestling like Jacob for deliverance.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 184-186.
 

[Who is the “true Witness to the Laodiceans” who will call forth the straight testimony which will cause the shaking that Ellen White saw? The faithful and “true Witness to the Laodiceans” is none other than Jesus Himself, divested of humanity and independent thereof. See Revelation 3:14. Jesus will send the Latter Rain of His Spirit, and will prompt it by those who will first receive His straight testimony. If they are sanctified by His straight testimony then He will strengthen them to give it.]

“The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.—Selected Messages, bk.2, p. 380 (1886).  
     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.—Great Controversy, p. 608 (1911).” Last Day Events, p. 180.
 
“The Lord has faithful servants who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster. —Testimonies for the church, vol. 5, p. 80, 81 (1882).” Last Day Events, p. 181.
 
“This message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry. Servants of God, endowed with power from on high, with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven.
     Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great Day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the Word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest. On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence.” My Life Today, p. 63.
 
“The whole force of the popular current [are being] turned against the truth; plot after plot [are being] formed to overthrow the people of God.” The mysterious cry in this world’s moral midnight will come by a lone voice or by voices who have been studying Jesus in the Law of God, the Bible, and the Spirit of Prophecy. By that unique spirit and power of John and Elijah among the multitudes of the church indulgent in the prevailing false religion with spiritualism’s Spiritual Formation and “do as you please” practices, its celebration and free-lovism, individuals will speak out as did Elder William Miller, Dr. Joseph Wolfe, and priest Lucunza.
 
One star and then two in the dusky heavens, then three stars and more will foretell the approaching plethora of the galaxy that will appear in the midnight sky. May ours be one of those few John the Baptist stars calling for glory to God, men and women who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.

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