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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, May 31, 2019

Who is the beast that ascends from the bottomless pit?

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev. 11:7).

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:17).

This post will show that the opening of the bottomless pit is the common point of three separate prophecies in Revelation, and by linking them together we unfold the mysterious symbols of the larger vision of Revelation.

As a denomination, we need to revisit our stance on the fifth trumpet. This is a badly needed correction that is the only way to see where we are in relation to the closing events of earth’s history. We need the trumpets’ guidance to keep us encouraged for the difficult days ahead.

Because we see in Revelation 11:7 the bottomless pit open after the 1260 year papal supremacy, and again in Revelation 9:1 after the announcement of the sealing in Revelation 7:3, we are forced to conclude that the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit in the fifth trumpet is not the Saracens, as Uriah Smith understood. You will see in this post that the fifth and sixth trumpets have been progressively fulfilled since the Advent movement finished the Sabbath Conferences in 1850. This is a historicist interpretation. This is historicism.

“Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:3).

The trumpets have to do with the sealing, especially the 5th and the 6th trumpets. As we look at Revelation 13 and 17 we will see that the beast that ascended from the bottomless pit has been destroying the whole earth, initially Protestant America. This is so that, in the wake of the destruction of faith and morality, there may be a restoration of the old papacy, a beast with a vengeance, an Inquisition on steroids. It will have the New World Order for a society and government, and a New Age of Aquarius for its one world religion. It will be a fully Jesuit Vatican that will go into perdition, and drag the whole world down to confusion with it.
“Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” (Isa. 5:14).

I realize that it’s a lot to read, but please compare the actions of the beast in Revelation 13 and 17 and see how the seven trumpets fit into its restoration.

“Rev 13:1  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Rev 13:2  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

“Rev 13:5  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Rev 13:6  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

“Rev 13:3  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
Rev 13:4  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”

“Rev 13:11  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Rev 13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Rev 13:13  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Rev 13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Rev 13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Rev 13:16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Rev 13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Taking all that the vision prophesied that the first and second beasts would do, how that the second beast helped the first beast come back to life, so that the second beast could regain power over all the nations, now we will see the same again from another perspective. Its verse 8 bring together the two visions that we looked at above.

“Rev 17:1  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
Rev 17:2  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
Rev 17:3  So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Rev 17:5  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

“Rev 17:6  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
Rev 17:7  And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

Rev 17:8  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not [it received a wound by a sword but is revived again by the beast with lamblike horns]; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Rev 17:9  And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Rev 17:10  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Rev 17:11  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

“Rev 17:12  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Rev 17:13  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Rev 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Rev 17:15  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Rev 17:16  And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”

Now we will bring into the picture the trumpet prophecy of Revelation because our opening verse of the beast ascending from the bottomless pit was first spoken of in the seven trumpets of Revelation.

We need to revisit our stance on the fifth trumpet. The beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit in the fifth trumpet is not the Saracens, as Uriah Smith understood. The fifth trumpet has been progressively fulfilled since 1844.

“Rev 9:1  And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
Rev 9:2  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Rev 9:3  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Rev. 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”

Revelation 9:4 must be understood by the only other verse like it, and which introduced its concept of the sealing.

“Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:3).

Revelation 7:3 is a cry made immediately after the sixth seal has been fulfilled in Revelation 6:12-17, that is the last day signs in 1755, 1780, and 1833. Then comes the time for the Lamb’s judgment on the race of mankind that has become incurably wicked. But, the righteous are not yet sealed within the first six seals. In order to seal the righteous, a test must be given to the world, and especially to Protestant America during 
“the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Rev. 3:10).

This temptation divides the wicked from the righteous. Both groups will be tested by Satan’s temptations that God sends. Out of the test will arise the purified and holy children; and it will also single out the wholly wicked children. These believed the locust temptation that there is no God and no Judgment Day. The locusts devoured all their faith and fear toward their Reformation fathers’ God with whom their fathers made a covenant of peace for His land of refuge and its amber waves of grain. Their rejection of the God of their fathers opened their hearts and minds to do all the wickedness that Satan whispered to them. “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned [judged] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2Thess. 2:11,12).
Revelation 13:3, 13-15 and 17:8 confirm this. The beast of Revelation 17:8 “is not” because it has received the deadly wound by the Reformation sword of the Spirit. But it “shall ascend out of the bottomless pit” when the second beast brings it back to life and restores its power to terrorize the human race, and give it the mark of the beast.

“Rev 17:8  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not [it received a deadly wound by a sword]; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit[it is revived again by the beast with lamblike horns], and go into perdition [it places the abomination that makes desolate by putting its mark in the beliefs of “all the world”]: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder in [be in awe], whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

“Rev 13:13  And he [the second beast] doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Rev 13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Rev 13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

Please read my book on the trumpets, The Seven Trumpets and the Investigative Judgment, by David D. Burdick. Time is getting short, almost too late. My book is in print and e-book form. The e-book price is only about $10.

If the book seems difficult to follow, below is a concise overview of my book from a post I wrote dated TUESDAY, MARCH 05, 2019:

In several ways my book takes a different approach to The Revelation, compared to that of traditional Adventism. In particular it looks at the spiritual issues contained in the seven trumpets that are much deeper than our traditional interpretation of military conquests. The locusts of the 5th and 6th trumpets are afflicting us today. The deeper issues are that of the everlasting gospel, which is especially the case in the 5th and 6th trumpets. The sealing and the marking are the issues of the 5th and 6th trumpets that make up the language of the 3 angels’ messages.

And I see that, by the current pervasive rebellion in humanity against the Law of God, we are nearing the final end of the 6th trumpet. (It is almost time for the Revelation 10:11 pronouncement in heaven.)


Introduction
Revelation chapters 4 through 11 form the core storyline of the book of Revelation. The chapters that follow chapter 11 are brought in to expand and to add more details. The seals and trumpets drama are not optional to understand Revelation, they form the vital heart of the last book of the Bible.

Chapter 1: Revelation chapter 4
This scene shows the throne of God before sin began. Heaven was a holy place, a peaceful place, a joyful place. The praises to God concern creation only, His pleasure, His power, His honor, in creating. And no praise mentions a Redeemer, because in those eons before the great controversy, there was no need of redemption.

Chapter 2: Revelation chapter 5
Sudden change comes over the angelic atmosphere of heaven. It’s the same picture with God upon His throne, except that God has a mysterious book (a scroll) sealed up so tightly that only the crucifixion of the Son of God could authorize its opening. This book is the great controversy, the accusations against God and the issues over His Law. God is on trial. Has He been the proper leader? Has His government offered the best for the greatest happiness of the kingdom? Has He overreached His own Law and become a dictator? These were accusations that Lucifer brought against the Creator of heaven and Earth. Christ crucified is the only one able to clear God of His charges. Afterwards, the whole family of heaven and earth sing praises to Him who sat on the throne and to the Lamb. Those praises are now about redemption only.

Chapter 3: Revelation chapter 6
The Lamb takes the seals off of the scroll, one at a time. The first seal represents the church during its apostolic period, ending at 100 AD when John dies. The second seal (100-321 AD) represents a church period of intense pagan persecution until Constantine stopped the persecution and allowed the church to become the official religion of the Roman Empire. The third seal (321-538) represents the dying church period when it, in order to please its government employer, conformed its standards to paganism in order to let the pagans join the state religion, Christianity. The fourth seal (538-1517) represents the dead period as papal church continued its trajectory to kingly greatness and exalted itself higher than the kings of Europe. Satan possessed the Church that silenced anyone who cried out against its corruptions and wickedness, and its inbred spiritualism. Then Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation. The fifth seal (1517-1755) represented the aftermath of the Reformation. During the Counter-Reformation 900,000 Protestants were martyred. They are shown in the Revelation as sacrificial lambs laid on the altar. This period ends at the close of the sixth seal (1755-1844), which represented the short period that begins in an end-times conscious Protestant America and the Second Advent message by William Miller. Just prior to the seventh seal is removed from the scroll we see a scene of Christ’s second coming. This was not the actual return of Christ—it was the global Advent movement of the 1830s and early ‘40s. But, the people were not ready for His coming. Before He can return, His people must be sealed. The sealing will be the necessary preparation for the actual day that He visits His judgments on the Protestant nation and the world that it has protected from the Roman papacy.

Chapter 4: Revelation chapter 7
This chapter introduces the sealing. That is such a major issue that it pauses the removal of the seals from the sealed scroll pageant to explain who will stand when the Lamb comes and who will run in abject fear. The answer is: Whoever gets the seal in the conscience will go with Jesus, and leave this doomed world. And this chapter gives the first picture of how happily the great controversy will end.

Chapter 5: Revelation chapter 8
After the chapter 7 intermission, we need to come back to where we left off when the 6th seal closed. So, the Lamb removes the seventh seal. The sanctuary scene that follows is connected with the seventh seal. Since the 6th seal ended in chapter 6, and the seal of God is shown ascending from the east in 1844 in chapter 7, then, chapter 8 picks up after the foretaste of all the happy celebration throughout eternity. Silence divides the chapter 7 intermission from the chapter 8 sanctuary scene; the silence separates the previous rejoicing at the end of the controversy scene of chapter 7 from the solemn chapter 8 events to follow in order to set up a new mindset in the reader. It is a reminder that our celebration is promised, but not yet ours to have as Paul groaned for (Romans 8:23). We are the church militant against self that must first endure the rigors of the trumpet dangers yet to come. Through a special dispensation of faith by an abundant gift of His Spirit in the Latter Rain, Jesus gives us a way of escape so that we are able to endure the great time of trouble.

The Angel High Priest is in the Holy Place, ready to enter the Most Holy. But, first He casts His censer to the earth and the 1st trumpet blows. We can say that the 1st trumpet is connected with the previous sanctuary scene because the contents of the censer and His blood are what fall from the sky onto the earth during the 1st trumpet. The contents damage “the third part” of the trees and all the fields of grain. This signified the start of the Christ’s work of sealing by His sparing some of the trees (leaders of Protestantism), and His work of marking by God’s overthrowing the denominations and the worst of the Protestants who rejected the plain truth of the blessed hope of Jesus’ return. The Bible compares people to trees and grain.

The 2nd trumpet blew and Mt. Sinai is thrown into the sea and quenched, showing the churches abrogating the Law of God. Now most of the Protestants had no protection from Satan’s spells.

So, the 3rd trumpet blew and Satan is seen poisoning their hearts and minds, and their whole way of viewing this world and the providences of God. Faith, true, genuine faith leaves every American who would remain in the new lawless Protestantism. Now that God is fictionalized by the new Protestants’ rejection of His Law, this world is all that most of them can live for.

The 4th trumpet blew and the Sunday churches went totally dark spiritually, as institutions. But, the door of heaven was still open to them individually. Scripture shows that the darkened heavenly lights symbolize that the Bible is no longer understood by Protestantism, and the Bible’s central importance is lost to Protestants. Now that Protestant America has lost its only resource for a spiritual compass in God’s word, an angel flies over the earth, alarming the world of the three woes that come with the last three trumpets.

Chapter 6: Revelation chapter 9
The 5th trumpet blew. God looses Satan to ransack Protestantism and bring it, and the world it that has blessed, into subjection to the powers of hell. Every Protestant not being sealed, especially in Protestant America, is tormented with the same vexation of spirit that Solomon and King Saul experienced when they apostatized from the Lord. Christ forewarned his people of this in His Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, 29 curses. Specifically, Deuteronomy 29:18-22 speaks to the Revelation 5th trumpet, as does the 3rd angel’s message of Revelation 14:9-11. In fact, the 3rd angel’s message is all about the 5th and 6th trumpet plagues; the components of those two trumpets make up the message of the 3rd angel of Revelation 14—the torment and desolation of soul that comes from not fearing God as our Judge and not getting to know Jesus as our merciful Advocate, preparing for His judgment and His final return.

The ancient false religion that caused such havoc to Israel was Baal worship. But Baal was simply one face among the thousands of false religions around the ancient world as well as our modern world, all spawned from ancient Babel. It is a religion that dares to approach God with the worshipers’ own manufactured repentance and holiness. The modern counterpart of Baal and Ashtoreth worship is Spiritual Formation.  Spiritual Formation sets aside the Law’s reproofs, which bring us to need a Savior from sin. Before Christ can be a Savior, He must be a Prince who wields His glittering sword. God will have it no other way. But, Satan, stepping in between God and His people, offers a more comfortable redemption, without the messy humbling that God requires. By peace and flattery he has destroyed many since the days of Cain; and now he is doing the same in the Protestant churches and in the Advent movement. We are repeating the history of Israel at Baal-peor, and many Adventists are falling for it, including leaders. This is the message of the 3rd angel and it speaks of the 5th and 6th trumpet plagues.

The language of the 3rd angel’s message comes from the 5th and 6th trumpets—another reason to believe that the trumpets happen during the heaven-ordained Advent movement and investigative judgment that precede the antitypical Day of Atonement. It only makes sense that all the seven trumpets should blow during the Advent movement that awaited the heavenly sanctuary cleansing, since the typical feast of trumpets was connected with the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary.

There is a time period with the 5th trumpet—5 prophetic months, 150 years. I realize Ellen White seemed to say that there would be no more time prophecies after 1844. But, that is not what her statements actually say. She was speaking of time proclamations, as William Miller gave. She left no commentary on the seven trumpets. I believe she only communicated what Jesus wanted her to give us during the time of the 150 year time prophecy. If, in the 1800s, we had known we would be here another 150 years and beyond, we doubtless would have apostatized into pagan celebration a long time ago.

One thing is very clear, Revelation 9:4 (the 5th trumpet) and 7:3 (1844) are unarguably speaking of the same holy transformation—the seal of God in the forehead. So, my conclusion is that Revelation 7:3 introduces the sealing, and 9:4 explains how it is received (and, therefore, how the mark of the beast is avoided). Sr. White wrote volumes on every other subject, while she wrote essentially nothing about the seven trumpets, evidently because Jesus gave her no light on the trumpets. The time must wait until the prophecy was completed before He would bring its meaning to light. That time has arrived. I believe that the 5th trumpet time prophecy began as we were hammering out our fundamental beliefs in the Sabbath conferences. In 1849, the start of the 5th trumpet prophecy, the California Gold Rush altered the face of Protestant America. In 1999, 150 years later, another gold rush closed the 5th trumpet—the stock market gold rush of the late 1990s. These two gold rushes are the bookends for the 5th trumpet.

In between those years technology exponentially developed and drew the world-loving Protestant multitudes permanently away from God and His Law. And that separation from the Protestants’ God has tormented them like Jesus was tormented on the cross because His Father had left Him. During those 5 prophetic months, the Spirit of God had been leaving Protestant America and Satan had been moving in to fill the void, and bringing his bitter wormwood spirit with him. Largely through the earthly agencies of Rome and her Jesuit masters of deception temptations have stolen all the freedom and happiness that the original Protestant Reformers passed down to Protestants in America. The Jesuits and the Vatican are the locusts from the bottomless pit of the 5th trumpet (Rev. 9:3) (they are called “the beast” in Revelation 11:7). Satan, driving them across the earth, is the billowing black smoke.

The 6th trumpet blew. Now that Protestant Americans have departed from God and lived on His promised land of refuge with total forgetfulness of the God of Protestantism, He allows for their complete possession by the god they love so much, the god of this world. As the 10 tribes of Israel lived for Baal for 200 years until the Lord vomited them out of His land, so is He doing to Protestant Americans today. Soon, and very soon, Protestantism’s enemy from the Dark Ages will have conquered their empire by locusts filling the leading offices of their CIA, FBI, NSA, FDA, FEMA, AMA, the media, the Federal Reserve banking system, and the three branches of the U.S. Government. I won’t be surprised if the Vatican initiates the official desolation of free America when Protestantism is ended. By an official declaration and documentation, the union of church and state began at the healing of the Lutheran church and the Church of Rome on Protestantism’s 500th anniversary—Halloween 2017.

In the 6th trumpet, the locusts can do what they were forbidden to do during the 5th trumpet, that is, “kill” the soul. All of their torment until 1999 came from the work of separating the people from the one true God of their Reformation fathers. Now that the denominations are fully separated from the God of the Bible, they commit the unpardonable sin by returning to the spiritualistic, pagan Vatican; and they become a persecuting nation. This explains the unjust destruction of Muslims based on the false premise that Islamists caused 9/11. All the evidence of 9/11 points to specially placed and protected individuals within American government agencies—Jesuits—who choreographed the 9/11 black flag operation under the purview of Rome. (Dan. 8:12).

9/11 has set the stage for the coming tribulation of all nations. We are in the very end of time. God is almost finished scattering of the power of His holy people (Dan. 12:7).

When the seventh trumpet will blow, the 3rd woe will mean total world domination by Satan and his filling every heart with his mean anger. Then, the few who in reverence seriously received God, His Law, and His redemption will stand out from the demon-controlled crowds. Everyone who played off the Spirit of Prophecy counsels as unneeded during the 5th and 6th trumpets God will require it of them in the seventh trumpet. This we see at the end of Revelation 11.

Chapter 7: Revelation chapter 10
This chapter begins to show glory from the end of a long, dark, distressing tunnel of woe. It opens during the unconscionable desolations by the conscienceless world of the Revelation chapter 9 6th trumpet. Christ is seen clothed with a cloud of incense and glory. The little sealed scroll, which He took from His Father in Revelation chapter 5, is now opened after the trumpets have done their work of scattering the power of faith living in His Protestant people (which includes the SDAs, as will be seen in Revelation 11). Christ roars like a lion because His forbearing work as Lamb is finished, and it is time to judge the world and to end Satan’s controversy against God. With infinite thunder, God agrees with His Son.

So, Jesus swears by His Father that the delay of the 6th seal is all but complete—the sealing is almost finished—when He can finally come in power and glory. But, first He will give humanity one last opportunity to be saved, as He gave it the antediluvian world. He commands John to eat the scroll of the great controversy and to “prophesy again.” But, if we use scripture to interpret scripture, then this is not speaking of the Millerite Great Disappointment of 1844. It is speaking of an event within the final chapter of the seal/trumpet chronology, Revelation chapter 11.

When do we see any prophesying taking place since Revelation chapter 4? We don’t see any prophesying up to Revelation chapter 10. But, we do see it in the next chapter, almost immediately following the command of chapter 10 to prophesy again. We see it in Revelation chapter 11.

Chapter 8: Revelation chapter 11
This chapter concludes the seal/trumpet story that is the core of Revelation. The chapter introduces its intent to judge the church by John being given a measuring rod. The church is found guilty of apostasy, except for a very small remnant that defends the truth “in the days of their prophecy” (Rev. 11:6). The prophecy of that very small remnant sweeps through 2,000 years to include the apostolic church, the church in the wilderness, and the Reformation. The fire of truth shoots out of the mouths of God’s wilderness church champions of truth, and devours the enemies of His gospel, like their Master (Isa. 11:4; 2 Thess. 2:8). This campaign against Satan continues successfully until 1849 when the hosts of darkness fly out of an opened bottomless pit (Rev. 11:7). Then, the Lord’s witnesses are warred against, later are overcome, and eventually cease their prophesying. In the lengthy Revelation 11 prophecy, this victory over the prophesying witnesses by the beast from the bottomless pit is where the Revelation 10 scene occurs. Revelation 10 is giving the greater historical context of Revelation 9 when the locusts have desolated the mighty and holy people, and led them to repentance and the sealing. Thus, it is time for the mighty and holy people to prophesy again.

Satan cannot immediately kill the Advent movement while Ellen White lives. But, he first makes war (also seen in Rev. 12:17), then he overcomes, and finally he kills the Advent movement. We lay dead in the aisles of the church for a period of time that figuratively expresses judgment on God’s people (Luke 4:25; Jas. 5:17). Then, when God has accomplished our total humbling and all of our self-sufficiency is gone, then He resurrects His two witnesses, gives them the Latter Rain, and the earth is reaped. This ends the 2nd woe; and the seventh trumpet blows. Total chaos rules the world and the last we see is a Most Holy Place in heaven empty of a High Priest because Christ has left there to come and get His people. The mystery of God’s character of love and fairness, as written in the little scroll, is finished. His judgment is finished, and He is exonerated by His character perfectly reflected in His sealed children.

This ends the core of Revelation. I hope it wasn’t too hard to follow. The rest of the book of Revelation expands upon the main storyline of chapters 4 through 11.

I’ve heard much about chiasms in Revelation, which describe it as a tiered literary structure, the first vision being similar to the last vision, the second vision similar the second-to-last vision, etc., a ABCD…DCBA pattern. Centuries ago, the subject of chiastic structures in the book of Revelation began small and gradually grew in acceptance. I’ve looked at charts that show the chiasms of Revelation, and it all seems good. But, I see that the primary view of Revelation must be a concise storyline for the first half of Revelation, and detailed visions given afterwards to be fitted into the basic story. I see Revelation chapters 4 to 22 simply as basically two halves of one book. In the first half, we have the core first 8 chapters that give a bird’s eye view of the book, such as this overview does for my book. Then, the next 11 chapters give details that must be brought in at the correct places of the core storyline of Revelation, chapters 4 through 11.

The Spirit’s organization of the Revelation visions in a simple story format seems very wise. A simple storyline I can handle. But, chiasms are a little too complicated for me.

Even children can understand the simple core storyline of Revelation. Of course, the symbology is a deeper subject, and that makes the Bible a challenge for adults. But, I’m thankful that Revelation is much more understandable than most people think because of the way it was laid out as a simple story by the Spirit of God.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The third angel’s message

“To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” (Isa. 66:2).

Jehovah, are You a God of only stern justice? Or, do You truly go to the uttermost to save the chiefest of sinners?

God, what is Your judgment against me? Why do you remain so silent when I need guidance the most? Why does it seem that Your word condemns me of sin, but the measures I take from Your word don’t seem to remove my condemnation? And then when I reach out to others for their guidance they condemn my measures as fanatical, but I understood them from Your word? Are my measures wrong, or are my peers wrong? Are they joined unto idols and to this world and this life, or am I? Certainly I must be the guilty party. Why do I so often suffer grievous condemnation, while others seem never to suffer any?

“I will say unto God my Rock, Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” (Ps. 42:9). Is Christianity nothing but a religion of condemnation? Is my Jesus only a Jesus of condemnation?

These are questions that have plagued people in all ages. And Jesus has given us the answer. The disconcerting sense of Jesus’ absence is His expected response to the high standard, and a foretaste of greater condemnation to come.

“    I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them….
      I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth.…  
     …This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.”  Early Writings, p. 269.1, 270.2, 270.3.

“The straight truth”, “…pour forth the straight truth….” Does this sound strangely like the phrase “the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture” of the third angel’s message?

“The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation….” (Rev. 14:10)?

And what is the result of pouring forth the straight truth? In some it causes humility and self-recrimination, poverty of soul and contrition, “strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God”, “countenances … pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle”, “firmness and great earnestness … expressed in their countenances”, “large drops of perspiration [falling] from their foreheads”. And this results in “God’s approbation”. In others it causes a rising up against it, and a rejection by God. Therefore, for some it gives the seal of God and His eternal peace. But, in others it gives the mark of the beast and no rest day nor night.

“The same shall drink of the wine of the 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 [the demonic 5th and 6th trumpet plagues from the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:1-18)] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night.” (Rev. 14:10,11).

What this all boils down to is that the condemnation and humbling that the people in the vision experience is coming due to the affects of “the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans,. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard.… This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.” Early Writings, p. 270.2.

One thing we read in the above paragraph is that the “counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans” comes from the seventh letter to the seven churches Revelation 3:14-22. “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.” (Rev. 3:14).

The seventh letter continues:

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:15-18).

Finally, the rebuke ends with beautiful promises:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Rev. 3:19-22).

But, Revelation 3:14-22 being the “counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans”, what then is “the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans”? What is “the straight testimony” that the seventh letter calls for? Isn’t it the Spirit of Prophecy, the Testimony of Jesus, “the solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs”, and the third angel’s message of Revelation 14:9-11? Is it not the counsels of Ellen White “called forth” by Christ’s solemn message to the Laodiceans, Laodikeus, “the people of judgment”, God’s last holy movement in human history—the Seventh-Day Adventist church. And how have we done with her little read books? What has been our disposition toward the voice of Jesus? Do we hear His great and precious voice, or only her voice?

“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; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.” Early Writings, p. 270.3.
  
“The destiny of the church hangs” on all who will receive the Spirit of Prophecy counsels with deep repentance, who will obey it, and be purified by it. They have been shaken by the stern voice from the Spirit of Prophecy books by Ellen White. All of their Ashtoreth mirth is shaken out of them and replaced by a solemn reality of soon-coming judgment upon the earth. They own deep repentance and humility. Then they will be constrained to pour forth the straight—un-watered down, unvarnished—truth, truth with grace unadulterated with smooth sayings and deceitful prophecies. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” (Isa. 58:1). They will pour forth the straight truth, but their testimony will not be cold-hearted. It will be like their Lord’s.

“As a child, Jesus manifested a peculiar loveliness of disposition.… He manifested a patience that nothing could disturb, and a truthfulness that would never sacrifice integrity. In principle firm as a rock, His life revealed the grace of unselfish courtesy.” Desire of Ages, p. 68.
    
“Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth, but always in love. He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity; but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, which refused to receive Him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with the tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save.” Steps to Christ, p. 12.

They have wrestled, and have been mightily shaken by reading and heeding the solemn message to the last church era, the Laodicean church. To those humbled servants that last message that they must give to people will be bitter in their bellies. They will know their own failings, but will find the high standard sweet when they first received it with repentance. Therefore, only they will be qualified by God to pour forth the straight truth with mercy and understanding. And their pure testimony will cause a shaking in the larger church and later in the world.

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.” Early Writings, p. 270.2.
  
We should expect condemnation from God, as our Schoolmaster-Principal. It’s that “solemn testimony”, which “will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver”. It alone can lead us to Christ and Him crucified for His repentance, then for His justification of life, and then His preparation for the Latter Rain, and His later personal, visible, audible, physical return.

We cannot manufacture repentance. Therefore, we must have God’s condemnation. We must have the powerful, wonderful, solemn testimony from God through Christ, through His designated representative, Ellen White. Will we receive Christ’s serious corrections into our heart? Will we wrestle with His denunciations of our darling sins through her, and receive His resolution toward it? Will we obtain “the victory”, which will call forth “from [us] the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy” Early Writings, p. 270.4? Will we be purified by the truth, and thus be chosen by God to pour forth the straight truth in the power of the fourth angel of Revelation 18? Will we receive “‘the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel’” Early Writings, p. 271.2?

Or will we be among the group that “had been shaken out and left by the way. The careless and indifferent, who would not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it”, who “did not obtain it, and…were left behind in darkness, and their places…immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks” Early Writings, p. 271.1?

“For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.” (Isa. 10:22,23).

Will we be among the world that will reject the powerful testimony of the 144,000 who will give the “witness unto all nations” (Matt. 24:14)? Will we be the unsettled, unresting, wicked for whom there is no peace with God? Will we be foolish virgins? Will we receive the third angel’s message wrath of God and the sense of being lost that it gives sinners, after there is no more opportunity to learn to trust in His Son’s mercy so that it is too late to resolve its lostness with His loving kindness?

“And they 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).

“The nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:18). “They were all astir. The zeal and power with the people of God had aroused and enraged them. Confusion, confusion, was on every side.”  Early Writings, p. 272.1?

“For this shall every one that is godly pray unto Thee in a time when Thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto Him.” (Ps. 32:6).

“And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.
Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.” (Isa. 28:18-23).

We know this will happen to somebody because prophecy says so. But will it be me?

God forbid.

If we haven’t already, let us begin now to struggle with the straight truth from the true last days prophet, and receive the “strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God.” Let us receive countenances that are “pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle”, “firmness and great earnestness” expressed in our countenances, with “large drops of perspiration [falling from our] foreheads” because the “testimony [worked into us] deep repentance”, we “truly [received] it [obeyed] it and [were] purified”.


Amen.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The three shakings

“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me? and where is the place of My rest? For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” (Isa. 66:1,2).

A casual reading of Ellen Whites vision of the shaking can end in a jumbled understanding of it. It needs some analysis in order to understand it rightly. For that purpose I want to break it down for an easier comprehension of her vision, which Jesus gave to her to faithfully give to us, a very solemn message “upon which the destiny of the church hangs”.

There are three groups that get shaken:

1)      Individuals subdivided into three groups. a) Those who initially heeded “the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans” “the testimony of the True Witness”, the inspired counsels of Jesus through Ellen White; b) some of whom “did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading”. Even though they were studying the Spirit of Prophecy’s high standard, they were “indifferent and careless”, and never obtained the victory over their sins; c) and “others” from other Protestant denominations who, like the first individuals, were pleading for victory over sin. Here is a quote from the vision that includes all three sub-groups. “b) The careless and indifferent, who did not join with a) those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, b) did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by c) others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks
2)      The churches and nominal Adventists. Everyone in the churches who hear the first group “exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people”.
3)      The world. “I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it.… An angel answered, “‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’”

Here is the full vision:



The Shaking


     I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God's approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them.  {EW 269.1}
     Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness.  {EW 269.2} 
     As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones. I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.  {EW 270.1} 
     I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people.  {EW 270.2} 
     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; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.  {EW 270.3} 
     Said the angel, “List ye!” Soon I heard a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard, seeming to be 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, who were mightily shaken. I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. 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. They had obtained the victory, and it called forth from them the deepest gratitude and holy, sacred joy.  {EW 270.4} 
     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 perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks. Evil angels still pressed around them, but could have no power over them.  {EW 271.1} 
     I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. 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.”  {EW 271.2} 
     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 the company who had the light and power of God. Darkness thickened around them; yet they stood firm, approved of God, and trusting in Him. I saw them perplexed; next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Day and night their cry ceased not: “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 around about us. They have appointed us unto death; but Thine arm can bring salvation.” These are all the words which I can bring to mind. All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance.  {EW 272.1} 
     Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy, desired to go to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. He said, “The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.”  {EW 272.2} 
     Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon the company, who, a short time before, were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked! All marks of care and weariness were gone, and health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men; they could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company were changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory. And the graves were opened, and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying, “Victory over death and the grave”; and together with the living saints they were caught up to meet their Lord in the air, while rich, musical shouts of glory and victory were upon every immortal tongue. {EW 272.3}


Now, we will dissect the vision of the shaking. My thoughts will fall between the inspired paragraphs of the vision, but when inserted into the quotation of Early Writings my thoughts will be in brackets ():


“I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale…”

Before we get far into this I want to clear up a possible misconception. The setting of this vision is not yet the biblical “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) when “all faces are turned into paleness” (vs. 6) because in Ellen Whites vision the Latter Rain comes later than this introductory sentence and also because Jacob’s trouble follows the Latter Rain, which she also refers to later in the vision. This introductory sentence refers to the first shaking that results from the Spirit moving upon some who have been suffering from a darkness that is coming over the world and from Jesus being hidden from their faith. Yet they have been watching the unfolding signs of the end, studying the Spirit of Prophecy in order to have peace with God, and striving to be ready for Judgment Day.

Continuing the vision:

“...Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them. 

“     Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him.” Early Writings, p. 269.

This last sentence seems to refer to the experience of the children of Israel near the end of their wilderness wandering when the snakes bit them. For these 144,000 murmuring against God would lead to disastrous results.

“And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.” (Num. 21:4-6).

“Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness.
     As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones. I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.” Early Writings, p. 269.2-270.1.

Notice the phrase, “trying to help themselves”. A few decades ago, a most precious message was given to the Advent movement through a preacher by the name of Morris Venden. Elder Venden preached about righteousness by faith, or salvation by faith. His presentations came as a boon of health to many Adventists, and still remains a potent message over many SDA minds. He had much to say against, “God helps those who help themselves.” He was against doing some act of human merit to help God in His work of our salvation. But, he was not against dependence on Jesus in order to help oneself. He did not stray from the inspired counsels from Ellen White. That was Elder Venden’s main thrust, and that is what this vision is about. But, his message was barely grasped by experience before he passed away.

“    I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen [shaking of the “…some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God.”] and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans [Since this straight testimony precedes their later, verbal straight testimony, this straight testimony must be the powerful truth of the writings of Ellen White that they were wrestling over and that others were indifferent and careless toward]. This [the written straight testimony from Ellen White] will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people [This second shaking is His judgment upon the indifferent and careless ones].

“    I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded [The Spirit of Prophecy counsels. “I was shown three steps-- the first, second, and third angels messages. Said my accompanying angel, ‘Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received.’” EW 258.3]. 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; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.

“    Said the angel, “List ye!” Soon I heard a voice like many musical instruments all sounding in perfect strains, sweet and harmonious. It surpassed any music I had ever heard, seeming to be full of mercy, compassion, and elevating, holy joy. It thrilled through my whole being. [Is this the angelic hosts joining the 144,000? “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.” (Rev. 14:2)] Said the angel, “Look ye!” My attention was then turned to the company I had seen, who were mightily shaken [This, the first shaking, was the “some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle”].

“    I was shown those whom I had before seen weeping and praying in agony of spirit [Is this from the deep repentance which will result in the blotting out of their sins? “This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.” “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. 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” (Rev. 14:4-6)]. The company of guardian angels around them had been doubled, and they were clothed with an armor from their head to their feet. 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 “deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle”, now shone 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” Early Writings, p. 270.1-4. [This is the 144,000 singing a new song before God after the Revelation 13:15-17 overspreading of abomination. “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” (Rev. 14:3)].

“    The numbers of this company had lessened. Some had been shaken out and left by the way [Two shakings. The first shaking from the persistent, agonizing ones, and the second shaking caused by the uninterested and careless ones, and from their rising up against the poured forth truth from the earnest, praying ones (who were soon to be sealed and who later got the victory)]. The careless and indifferent, who did not join with those who prized victory and salvation enough to perseveringly plead and agonize for it, did not obtain it, and they were left behind in darkness, and their places were immediately filled by others taking hold of the truth and coming into the ranks. [These who take the place of the rebellious ones must be the 11th hour Protestant, “true followers of Christ in these churches” spoken of in Great Controversy, page 464. They are also referred to as “God’s chosen” in Early Writings, p. 33 and 85.

“‘Notwithstanding the widespread declension of faith and piety, there are true followers of Christ in these churches. Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.’ Great Controversy, p. 464.

“‘At the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God’s chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments upon them, and they rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed.’ Early Writings, p. 33.

“‘On page 33 is given the following: “I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we (‘we’ must include the shaken remnant Advent movement and the newly joining 11th hour earnest, overcoming Protestant keepers of the seventh-day Sabbath who will supplement the earnest, overcoming Sabbath-keeping Adventists) were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully (to reap the true children of God in the pagan world and among the pagan Protestants).
     This view was given in 1847 when there were but very few of the Advent brethren observing the Sabbath, and of these but few supposed that its observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the people of God and unbelievers. Now the fulfilment of that view is beginning to be seen. “The commencement of that time of trouble,” here mentioned does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary. At that time…”’ Early Writings, p. 85.] Evil angels still pressed around them, but could have no power over them.  

“    I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. Many had been bound; some wives by their husbands, and some children by their parents. The honest who had been prevented from hearing the truth now eagerly laid hold upon it. All fear of their relatives was gone, and the truth alone was exalted to them. They had been hungering and thirsting for truth; it was dearer and more precious than life. 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.” Early Writings, p. 271.1,2.

“    Great power was with these chosen ones [This is not when the three angels’ messages is given. They were given over the past 150+ years. This is the fourth angel that lightens the earth with its glory. It causes the third shaking among the pagan world.] 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 the company who had the light and power of God. Darkness thickened around them; yet they stood firm, approved of God, and trusting in Him. I saw them perplexed; next I heard them crying unto God earnestly. Day and night their cry ceased not: “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 around about us. They have appointed us unto death; but Thine arm can bring salvation.” These are all the words which I can bring to mind. All seemed to have a deep sense of their unworthiness and manifested entire submission to the will of God; yet, like Jacob, every one, without an exception, was earnestly pleading and wrestling for deliverance.  

“    Soon after they had commenced their earnest cry, the angels, in sympathy, desired to go to their deliverance. But a tall, commanding angel suffered them not. He said, “The will of God is not yet fulfilled. They must drink of the cup. They must be baptized with the baptism.” Early Writings, p. 272.1,2.

“     Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. Buildings were shaken down on every side. I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear. I looked upon the company, who, a short time before, were in such distress and bondage. Their captivity was turned. A glorious light shone upon them. How beautiful they then looked! All marks of care and weariness were gone, and health and beauty were seen in every countenance. Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men; they could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones. This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company were changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory. And the graves were opened, and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying, “Victory over death and the grave”; and together with the living saints they were caught up to meet their Lord in the air, while rich, musical shouts of glory and victory were upon every immortal tongue.” Early Writings, p. 272.3.

Let’s all get shaken and cleave to our only Mediator, Advocate, and Intercessor who lives to make intercession for us.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

The revelation of God

The book of Revelation is frequently introduced as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1).

But, this isn’t a true representation of the last book of the Bible, neither is that opening phrase a true representation of that opening verse, as its context plainly attests.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him…” (Rev. 1:1).

By this last clause we must begin to see, not a showcase of Christ, but a delegation of truth, a dissemination of truth beginning at the Source of all truth, and passed down through a second in Deity power in a chain of command linked all the way down to the prophet. “…and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” (Rev. 1:1).

And the chain of command doesn’t end with John, because he then disseminates it to the church, who give it to the world. Not for a showcase of Christ is Revelation given, but a showcase of God. The Father originated the Revelation, so He gets the glory. And that indeed is what we see.

In the beginning, God.
“Behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Rev. 4:2,3).

“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:8-11).

In the beginning no word of sadness tainted their praises. All was happiness and loving service “to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever”—God, the Father. We have done a great disservice to this first scene by changing the original lyrics of Hymn 73, “Holy, Holy, Holy”, in our first hymnal, which we used while our prophet lived among us, when we disdained the Trinity heirloom from the papal Dark Ages. We have robbed God of His original glory by substituting a Trinity of Gods for “the only true God” (John 17:3). God, the Father alone was the focus of Revelation 4’s wonder-filled scene of the eternal kingdom of heaven.

This opening scene of Revelation revealed the eternal kingdom before the sin problem began. All was perfect order and obedience. Everything was right. All was light and joyful. All was life and song.

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” (Ps. 48:1,2).

From the beginning of our specially created planet God has used it and its inhabitants to represent Himself to His heavenly hosts and His unfallen worlds. Through our sin-racked world He has revealed His throne, His kingdom, and His difficult history.

“   ‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:16. His nature, His law, is love. It ever has been; it ever will be. ‘The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity,’ whose ‘ways are everlasting,’ changeth not. With Him ‘is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.’ Isaiah 57:15; Habakkuk 3:6; James 1:17.  
     Every manifestation of creative power is an expression of infinite love. The sovereignty of God involves fullness of blessing to all created beings. The psalmist says:

       ‘Strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.
        Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne:
        Mercy and truth go before Thy face.
        Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound:
        They walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.
        In Thy name do they rejoice all the day:
        And in Thy righteousness are they exalted.
        For Thou art the glory of their strength: . . .
        For our shield belongeth unto Jehovah,
        And our king to the Holy One.’

     The history of the great conflict between good and evil, from the time it first began in heaven to the final overthrow of rebellion and the total eradication of sin, is also a demonstration of God’s unchanging love.
     The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.’ John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. His ‘goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.’ Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.... When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.’ Proverbs 8:22-30.” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 33,34.

The Father was not alone in the governance of His kingdom. All of His will was channeled through His associate, His Lieutenant, His only begotten Son, Him to whom “all power is given” (Matt. 28:18), the everywhere present, all-powerful, all-knowing Seven Spirits of God.

“And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.” (Rev. 4:5).

“‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him’ Proverbs 8:22-30.”

“The only true God, and Jesus Christ” (John 17:3), “the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God”, sat on the throne of the everlasting kingdom.

Revelation 12:7-9 gives us a clear description of the great controversy in heaven. But, likewise as clearly do Revelation chapters 4 and 5. After the beautifully peaceful picture of heaven in Revelation chapter 4, Revelation chapter 5 shows us a dark and dreary picture of heaven.

“And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.” (Rev. 5:1-4).

What caused John to weep so abundantly, with all heaven? The Father imprisoned infinitely and eternally. Although He never abdicated His throne, the Father could not have the perfect atmosphere of love and trust from His hosts of heaven that had ever reigned there. Therefore He was essentially in a courtroom where Lucifer reigned as both plaintiff and judge. Thus, all of the heaven mourned sorely.

But the terrible situation of God turns brighter. The problem gets finally resolved. What problem? The problem of sin and Satan that had infected the throne of God, and afterward spread to our planet. God was locked up in house arrest. Why? How? Lucifer’s accusations of Jehovah and his aspirations to be the King, all brought the peace of heaven to an end. Nevertheless, the crucifixion of the Son saved His Father and Their family in heaven and earth.

“One of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.…
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:5,9,10).

Having represented His Father perfectly, His inerrant, immaculate, infallible example of righteousness, while in sin-weakened human flesh, He exemplified His Father’s character. No mortal could ever accomplish what Jesus did and come close to the mark of either Father and Son. “For all [Jews and Gentiles] have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23).

This is a fantastic revelation of the great war against God and His throne. But the Bible shows this war by other events in Earth’s sacred history.

Absalom, David, and Solomon also reveal the great controversy drama. We see the king have to rebuke his eldest son, Absalom. Absalom had done evil and deserved punishment. But he skirted his punishment by whispering in the ears of a multitude that his father King David was not running the government right by not showing pity to every dissatisfaction raised against his throne. Absalom promised the people of his city that if he were elected king then he would fix all of his father’s faulty laws and wrong governance. All of this mirrors the original usurpation of the heavenly throne by Satan.

We again see the great controversy with Jesus Himself allowing Judas into His inner ring of twelve disciples. We see Him seeking every opportunity to gently woo to unselfish service the heart of His most influential disciple who was so naturally bent to self-aggrandizement. And we finally hear Christ’s first rebuke to this proud and increasingly brazen destroyer when he murmured at Mary Magdalene’s gift of love to Jesus and then He had to defend her.

“And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on Me.
For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but Me ye have not always.
She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying.” (Mark 14:6-8).

“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.
But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death.” (John 12:9,10).

“Mary’s act was in marked contrast with that which Judas was about to do. What a sharp lesson Christ might have given him who had dropped the seed of criticism and evil thinking into the minds of the disciples! How justly the accuser might have been accused! He who reads the motives of every heart, and understands every action, might have opened before those at the feast dark chapters in the experience of Judas. The hollow pretense on which the traitor based his words might have been laid bare; for, instead of sympathizing with the poor, he was robbing them of the money intended for their relief. Indignation might have been excited against him for his oppression of the widow, the orphan, and the hireling. But had Christ unmasked Judas, this would have been urged as a reason for the betrayal. And though charged with being a thief, Judas would have gained sympathy, even among the disciples. The Saviour reproached him not, and thus avoided giving him an excuse for his treachery.  
     But the look which Jesus cast upon Judas convinced him that the Saviour penetrated his hypocrisy, and read his base, contemptible character. And in commending Mary’s action, which had been so severely condemned, Christ had rebuked Judas. Prior to this, the Saviour had never given him a direct rebuke. Now the reproof rankled in his heart. He determined to be revenged. From the supper he went directly to the palace of the high priest, where he found the council assembled, and he offered to betray Jesus into their hands.” Desire of Ages, p. 563, 564.
 
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.” (Matt. 26:14-16).

“The priests were greatly rejoiced. These leaders of Israel had been given the privilege of receiving Christ as their Saviour, without money and without price. But they refused the precious gift offered them in the most tender spirit of constraining love. They refused to accept that salvation which is of more value than gold, and bought their Lord for thirty pieces of silver.  
     Judas had indulged avarice until it overpowered every good trait of his character. He grudged the offering made to Jesus. His heart burned with envy that the Saviour should be the recipient of a gift suitable for the monarchs of the earth. For a sum far less than the box of ointment cost, he betrayed his Lord.” Desire of Ages, p. 564.

Unquestionably Jesus represented God the Father and Judas represented Satan. All throughout the Saviour’s 3½ year ministry to the multitudes of Israel, and His teaching the heavenly realities of godliness and unselfishness to His twelve closest followers, Judas constantly worked behind Him to undo all His efforts and lessons. All of this reveals what Satan labored to remodel in the long ago in heaven before the first human was created.

But, there is another object lesson of the great controversy between God and Satan. It involved Cain and Abel, Adam and Enos.

After Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit at the temptation of Satan speaking through the serpent, “the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:14,15).

This warning threat of infinite punishment to the serpent did not phase the brazen Satan, but the warning gave hope to the humbled man and his wife who heard it. They knew they had greatly destroyed their communion with the Creator and His wonderful hosts of heavenly visitants; they knew that the light of God that had clothed them with joy and righteousness had been replaced with animal skins, and its joy had been displaced with their constant struggle to keep back self-preservation, hatefulness, anger, and bitterness. But they had no conception of how deeply they had imbibed the laws of Satan’s kingdom and how widely they had opened their hearts to his spirit. Therefore they believed themselves ready for full redemption, and that their first son would be the means to open the gates of paradise again to them.

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” (Gen. 4:1). Their fondest hopes were focused on this newborn babe. To the best of their ability they would train him up to be the messiah of their dreams. But their faithful upbringing could never stem the nature born in him that urged him into a character of murmuring and envy. He verbalized his discontent against the prohibition to live in the Garden of the Lord. They must live outside Eden and worship the Creator at the its gate, witness its beauty and peace, but never enter inside. A powerful angel bore not his sword in vain against any attempt to trespass that most holy sanctuary where the Lord God’s Spirit still resided.

The complaining and discontent in the heart of Cain led him to hate God. Cain interpreted the Creator’s rebuke as rejection, and the bold heir to king of Earth decided that if God rejected him, he would reject God. He would despise God and His sacrificial system that He had given to his parents. Cain would offer a different sacrifice, one that pleased his hardened heart.

“And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.” (Gen. 4:3).

Little did the arrogant son of Adam realize that he was becoming the puppet of Satan. He was doing the will of another for his total and life-long apostasy and overthrow of God’s earthly kingdom through His Son, through Adam. The rebellion of Cain began long before he made an inanimate, expressionless offering for sin that Jesus had not prescribed. But each offering of hay and chaff and stubble that Cain made, which did nothing to break his self-sufficient heart, strengthened his resistance to the Lord’s Spirit. Without a dying and suffering lamb to crack his stony heart, Cain opened himself wider and wider to the demons’ spirit of bitterness and madness, until a legion of evil cherubim heavily trafficked Cain’s soul. The idea of God’s rejection grew increasingly apparent to Cain as the presence of Christ went silent to his violent conscience and He would not send fire to receive His child’s offering. Insolence and contempt of God became a permanent fixture in Cain’s heart. He would not repent of his wrong course despite Jesus’ final remonstrance and audible visit with a personal warning to him.

“The LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his [Abel’s] desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” (Gen. 4:6,7).

But Cain’s offerings, empty of all power to lead him to repentance and conversion, stubbornly continued until the faithful reproof and instruction of the Lord God was fulfilled in the unpardonable sin, and murder.

“Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee.” (Eze. 28:18).

The hardened heart of Cain could not bear his brother repeat a similar remonstration that he had already heard from Jesus, who spoke through Abel’s earnest, yet kind, heart and his loving spirit. The legion of angels that excel in strength broke the last fiber of Cain’s morality in a sudden inspiration of rage that could not be restrained until his brother lay lifeless before him. With zero remorse his bold speech to the Spirit of Christ resulted in the mark of the beast in his conscience.

At the death of Abel Adam and Eve were suddenly thrust back to the first day of their fall when their hearts were crushed by the death of the first lambs for their clothing and the wilting flowers that would forever plague their memories. The murder of their precious, holy Abel by the hand of their equally precious but aggressive first-born, their wistfully prospective messiah, was more than they could accept. Adam and Eve remained unsurrendered to the resurrected rebuke of God during five generations of Cain’s rebellious lineage. Over a period of probably 190 years the new world saw an unrestrained rebellion in Cain’s progeny. And the spacious camp at the eastern gate of Eden was heard unrestrained agony in Adam and Eve similar to the grief of mind felt by Rebekah in the Hittite wives of Esau, Beeri and Bashemath, when Rebekah mourned to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?” (Gen. 27:46).

A similar anguish must have been experience by Noah and Shem at the apostasy led by Ham’s grandson, Nimrod. But Esau’s, and even Nimrod’s, examples of ungodliness were exponentially milder than the strength of lust known to Cain’s descendants, as his offspring’s closer proximity to Adam’s original perfect creation gave their lust much greater strength. The double pain of Adam’s and Eve’s responsibility for sin bequeathed to all their progeny, and the murder of Abel left them in a spiritual tailspin that they could not pull out of. But, this was meant to be because of their grievous heart stab that they gave their God and His only birthed Son, their immediate Begetter, the divine Mother of all living.

Their regrets were so indomitable and dogged that having no more children must be their only recourse. They would fast in celibacy until death. Life was not worth living anymore. Their hearts fainted of every hope for escape from the world of sin that they had created. For 144+ years (my best guess of time frames and Adam’s ages are explained in the table below) they bore the punishment of their great infidelity. Being cursed above all the animal kingdom plagued their days and nights. The never-ending message kept preaching in their ears that they were never to enter their old home and again be worthy to eat of the tree of life. “Thou shalt surely die” sounded long and hard, and eternal life no longer possible. For 144 years all joy fled their hearts, and only judgment from God was their portion. The rebuke of God weighed heavily upon them.

“In the morning [their thoughts were], Would God it were even! and at even [their thoughts were], Would God it were morning!” (Deut. 28:67). There was no escaping the acknowledgment of God’s displeasure and their doom. His promise that they would surely die for their disobedience would, all during their lifetime, be truly an on-going, present reality.

Finally, the stormy darkness broke, and surrender and deep repentance flooded their hearts, and soiled their sheepskins. They fell on the Stone broken, and the relentless grinding to powder ceased. Surrender and agonized sorrow for sin swept away their deep roots of Satan’s proud spirit, and their former resolve to remain celibate dissolved. They could praise their Creator with all their hearts.

“And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Gen. 4:25,26).

Age of Earth

Adam’s agony
Holy lineage
Cain’s lineage
30 years

Fall into sin, Adam 30 years old?

Birth of Cain


Adam 31 years old?
Birth of Abel



Adam  61 years old?
Cain’s Offering Cain 30 years old?



Adam 61+ years old?
Cain slew Abel



Adam 71 y.o.?


Birth of Enoch


Adam 101 y.o.?


Birth of Irad


Adam 131 y.o.?


Birth of Mehujael

99 years after Cain’s birth
Adam 130 y.o.
Birth of Seth



Adam 161+ y.o.?

Birth of Methusael


Adam 191+ y.o.?

Birth of Lamech
Adam 235 years old
Adam 205 y.o. after the fall.

Adam 174 y.o. after death of Abel? Adam’s double agony is finished. “Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Gen. 4:26). Isaiah 40:1,2 applies to the first parents' pummeled souls: “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.”
Birth of Enos, Seth 105


Adam 221+ years old?

Birth of Jabal, Jubal
Adam 325 years old
Adam 295 y.o. after the fall
Birth of Cainan



The father of our world, his first joys, and his eternal pains and harsh work environment because of sin, have manifested the Father in almost every detail. All was peace and prosperity while sin remained unknown to His universal abode, as it had to Adam in glorious Eden. In the Father’s kingdom righteousness resulted only in the purest love. He made self-sacrifice the guarantee of eternal longevity, individually and corporately. He commanded that the Law of service given freely to others would constrain others to freely serve in return. Happiness untold, thankfulness expressed repeatedly and abundantly, could never fully reveal the almighty Spirit from God imbuing and exuding every soul in His house of love.

But, something went awry. Brotherly love and filial kinship began to supersede the healthier love toward the greatest object of love—He, who through His only Begotten daily revealed a love to all of His creatures in a depth incomprehensible to them, no longer held the center of every heart’s thankfulness. Another’s “love” intruded into that most holy place, not only among the energetic, Jehovah-perfection exacting angels. The intruder embedded himself deeper in a more precious place than the most holy place of the angelic hearts—that of the beautiful, unassuming Christ-deference built into the human heart.

These great losses created an anguishing circumstance that must harass the God of almighty love days without number. The murders of His prophets broke Him over and over, as Abel’s fatal witness had done Adam. God’s Co-worker, His Help-meet Michael, also knew the breaking as His Father had.

But, as the birth of Seth began the restoration of hope to Adam, in the great controversy hope came again to the Father from a “seed” of the lineage of Adam built into his genetics by the Son, whose Spirit would continue the first pair’s earnest agony and repentance. The still suffering Father saw that Spirit of the Seed, not “seeds, as of many; but as of one, …which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16), who gave second birth to many of Adam’s seeds—as in bushel bags of humbled and penitent seed!—“the seed [that] should come to whom the promise was made…all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (vs. 19, 26). Those seeds: righteous Noah and his holy wife, godly Abraham and jealous for God’s honor Sarah, joyful Isaac and other-centered Rebekah, patient Jacob and enduring Leah, honest Judah and persistent Tamar, loving Salmon and brave Rahab, mature Boaz and believing Ruth, merciful David and innocent Bath-sheba, just Joseph and victorious Miriam, and many other children of Adam, all poked their heads above the many more seeds of sacred history, all orchestrated by “the Seed”, as a wide-spreading plant runner pops its many sprouts above the moistened dirt clods. All of these seeds came from and ended in the one Seed, “which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

As Seth signified the coming of Enos because of whom “then began men to call upon the name of the LORD” (Gen. 4:26), likewise the incarnation of the Spirit brought an end of the harassment to the Father.

“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” (Isa. 53:2).

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isa. 9:6,7).

“The Seed” became “a Branch” (Isa. 11:1).

“There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of His roots:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears:
But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.
And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isa. 11:1-6).

After a full, busy life of perfect exemplification of the Law of the kingdom which He would be given authority to bring about, “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth”. (Mat 28:18).

“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them” “it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them,” “and carried up into heaven” “He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51).

There the Son of God stood before His Father, both of Them in infinite victory not yet to be fully realized until They had sealed Their partially unsettled angelic guard, and Their precious fallen race.

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.
And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:5-10).

As the restored angelic hosts cooperate with Christ to bring again Adam’s remnant to its first dominion, ultimately a redeemed race will walk in the light of the King’s love. His grief finished, joy restored to His kingdom of righteousness, His Son safely in His bosom and all of His Son’s children gathered safely into Their bosom, then the eternal kingdom can resume its original course before its seven millennium interruption. Only this time it is more secure than before it was tested, that is, before the King tested it and before His almighty Help-meet cooperated with Him in this grande finale of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.

“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:11-14).

From, “‘God is love.’ 1 John 4:16. His nature, His law, is love” at the beginning, until the end when “the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love”, our race weakened by sin have somehow been used by the almighty and all-knowing Self-existent One to open to us the mystery of the great controversy. Revelation is the revelation of God, “the UNKNOWN GOD” (Acts 17:23), His captivity with hardly any visitation from His Earth-bound children. Revelation is the revelation of His torments and His tormenters, “Yea, Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of My bread, hath lifted up his heel against Me” (Ps. 41:9). “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matt. 6:6), “the Ancient of days” (Dan. 7:9), the Admiral of the universe, returned to His most ancient throne.

“The revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” (Rom. 16:25).

“To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 3:9).

“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints.” (Col. 1:26).

“There the redeemed shall know, even as also they are known. The loves and sympathies which God Himself has planted in the soul shall there find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together ‘the whole family in heaven and earth’ (Ephesians 3:15)—these help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed. 
     There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body.
     All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God’s redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flight to worlds afar—worlds that thrilled with sorrow at the spectacle of human woe and rang with songs of gladness at the tidings of a ransomed soul. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings. They share the treasures of knowledge and understanding gained through ages upon ages in contemplation of God’s handiwork. With undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation—suns and stars and systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Deity. Upon all things, from the least to the greatest, the Creator’s name is written, and in all are the riches of His power displayed. 
     And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise….
     The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” Great Controversy, p. 677,678.