Love Under Fire


Companies of Angels Watch

God stations angels around those who have kept Christ's command to persevere. They have witnessed the faithful ones’ distress and heard their prayers. They wait for word from their Commander to snatch them from their danger. But they must wait a little longer. The people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism (Matthew 20:20-23). Yet for their sake the time of trouble will be shortened. The end will come more quickly than people expect. LF 254.1

Though a general decree has set the time when commandment-keepers may be killed, in some cases their enemies will rush ahead of the decree and try to take their lives. But none can pass the guardians stationed around every faithful believer. Some are attacked as they flee from the cities, but the weapons raised against them break like straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of soldiers. LF 254.2

In all ages heavenly beings have taken an active part in human affairs. They have accepted hospitality in people's homes, acted as guides to confused travelers, opened prison doors and set free the servants of the Lord. They came to roll away the stone from the Savior's tomb. LF 254.3

Angels visit the assemblies of the wicked for the same reason that they went to Sodom, to determine whether they have passed the boundary of God's leniency. For the sake of a few who really serve Him, the Lord restrains disasters and prolongs the peace of the population. Little do sinners realize that they are indebted for their lives to the faithful few whom they love to oppress. LF 254.4

Often in the councils of this world, angels have spoken out. Human ears have listened to their appeals, human lips have ridiculed their counsels. These heavenly messengers have proved themselves better able to plead the cause of the oppressed than their most eloquent defenders. They have defeated and stopped evils that would have caused great suffering to God's people. LF 254.5

With earnest longing, God's people wait for the approach of their coming King. As the wrestling ones plead with God, the heavens glow with the dawn of eternal day. Like the melody of angel songs the words fall on the ear, “Help is coming.” Christ's voice comes from the gates ajar: “Lo, I am with you. Do not be afraid. I have fought the battle on your behalf, and in My name you are more than conquerors.” LF 254.6

The precious Savior will send help just when we need it. The time of trouble is a fearful ordeal for God's people, but by faith every true believer may see the rainbow of promise encircling him. “The ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 51:11). LF 254.7

If the blood of Christ's witnesses were shed at this time, their faithfulness would not be a witness to convince others of the truth, because the stubborn heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they do not come any more. If the righteous were now to be killed by their enemies, it would be a triumph for the prince of darkness. Christ has spoken: “Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” (Isaiah 26:20, 21). LF 255.1

How glorious will be the deliverance of those who have patiently waited for His coming and whose names are written in the book of life! LF 255.2