Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Ms 39, 1898

The Day of Reckoning


March 11, 1898

Portions of this manuscript are published in UL 84; 6BC 1100; 5MR 353-354; 8MR 348; 12MR 308; RH 11/22/1898. +Note

“When the Son of man shall come, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations.” [Matthew 25:31, 32.] Enoch, the seventh from Adam prophesied, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against them.” [Jude 14, 15.] 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 1

In His teachings Christ sought to impress human minds with the coming judgment and its publicity. This is not the judgment of a few individuals, or a nation, but of a whole world of human intelligences, of accountable beings. And that judgment must be held in the presence of the world, that the love, the integrity, the service of man for God may be glorified and honored on the largest scale. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 2

“The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” [John 5:22.] He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man. In His superadded humanity consists the reason of Christ’s appointment. God hath committed all judgment unto the Son, for without controversy He is God manifest in the flesh. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 3

God designed that the Prince of sufferers in humanity should be judge of the whole world. He who submitted to be arraigned before an earthly tribunal, He who came from the heavenly courts to save man from eternal death, He whom men despised, rejected, and upon whom they heaped all the contempt of which human beings inspired by Satan are capable, He who suffered the ignominious death of the cross—He alone was to pronounce the sentence of reward or of punishment. When every man shall be judged as his works have been, then the words spoken by [Him] in the judgment hall, “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God,” will appear before them as if written in letters of fire. [Luke 22:69.] 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 4

Under the inspiration of Satan, the Jews had chosen a robber and a murderer in the place of Christ, and with this company they had bound themselves for the judgment of the last day. Pilate had said, pointing to Christ, “Behold your King.” But with determined voice the chief priests and rulers cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him.” Pilate said, “Shall I crucify your King?” and the chief priests answered, “We have no King but Caesar.” [John 19:14, 15.] And Pilate delivered Him, in whom he declared he could find no fault at all, to be scourged—the most cruel, unmerciful punishment that can be given to a human being. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 5

But He who submitted to the humiliation and suffering of the cross here, in the council of God was to have the fullest compensation and ascend the throne, acknowledged by all the heavenly universe to be the King of saints. He had undertaken the work of salvation, and He showed before the worlds unfallen and the heavenly family that the work He had begun He was able to complete. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 6

The heavenly universe, and the fallen world, both saints and sinners, should recognize in Him who was crucified the Judge of all living. Every crown that is given to the saints of the Most High will be bestowed by the hands of Christ—those hands that cruel priests and rulers condemned to be nailed to the cross. The marks of those wounds will be as bright beams coming forth from His hands. It is Christ who gives men the grace of repentance. His merits were accepted by the Father in behalf of every soul that will help to compose the family of God. His bruised and wounded hands alone can give them the consolation of life, eternal life. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 7

A solemn time will be the day of final decision. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” [Revelation 20:11, 12.] Then is it not of tremendous importance to us individually that our works be right works? Probationary time is granted us, opportunities and privileges are given us, to make our calling and election sure. How we should prize this precious time, improving every talent God has given, that we may be faithful stewards over ourselves, keeping our souls in the love of God. We must have simple, increasing faith. We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, and the soul of man must depend upon God. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 8

We mingle with the busy activity of our cities, the multitude in the crowded thoroughfares; we enter marts of trade and business and walk the streets, and through all, from morning till evening, the people seem to act as if business, sport, and pleasure were all there is to life, that this world is all there is to occupy the mind. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 9

How few contemplate the unseen agencies. Men are acting their part wither for God or for Satan, the Prince of light, or the prince of darkness. All heaven is intensely interested in the human beings who seem to be so full of activity, and yet have not thought for the unseen. Their thoughts are not on the Word of God and its instruction. If they would appreciate the Word of God, they would be assured that there are agencies, good and evil, observing every word and deed. They are in every assembly for business transactions, in councils, and in meetings for the worship of God. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 10

There are more listeners in these public assemblies than can be seen with the natural sight, and every man has his work to do. Those unseen agencies are co-laborers with God or with Satan, and they work more mightily and more constantly than do man. Sometimes the heavenly intelligences draw aside the curtain that hides the unseen world, that we may have our minds withdrawn from the hurry and rush, and consider that there are witnesses to all we do and say when engaged in business, or when we think ourselves alone. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 11

The Lord would have our perceptions keen to understand that those mighty ones who visit our world have borne an active part in all the work which we have called our own. These heavenly beings are ministering angels, and they frequently disguise themselves in the form of human beings. As strangers they converse with those who are engaged in the work of God. In lonely places they have been the companions of the traveler in peril. In tempest-tossed ships [angels] in human form have spoken words of encouragement to allay fear and inspire hope in the hour of danger, and the passengers have thought that it was one of their number to whom they had never before spoken. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 12

Many, under different circumstances, have listened to the voices of the inhabitants of other worlds. They have come to act a part in this life. They have spoken in assemblies, and opened before assemblies human histories, and have done works which it was impossible for human agencies to do. Time and again have they been the generals of armies. They have been sent forth to cleanse away the pestilence. They have eaten at the humble board of families. Often they have appeared an weary travellers in need of shelter for the night. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 13

We need to understand better than we do the work of these angel visitants. It would be well for all who claim to be children of God to consider that words they speak are in the hearing of heavenly beings, and that they behold the works they do. Who would think that heavenly angels are co-operating with us in our work? But so it is, and thus earth is connected with heaven. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 14

In this little speck of a world the heavenly universe manifests the greatest interest, for Jesus paid an infinite price for the souls of its inhabitants. The world’s Redeemer has bound this world to heaven by ties of intelligence; the redeemed of the Lord are here. When man severs himself from his Keeper, he is unfit for any good. His light goes out in darkness and disorder. Israel might have remained in the light of God’s countenance, and, as a nation, been a bright shining light, but Christ was forced to say to them, Ye will not come within the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, that he may give you light. When men depart from obedience to God, they do not love to be in His light. It is this that makes their deeds evil. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 15

Said Christ, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” [John 10:27, 28.] Men talk of independence, of self-reliance, but they can have self-reliance with safety only in God. Man’s self-reliance is a miserable failure which takes him away from the divine Counsellor, in whom he lives and moves, and has his being. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 16

The Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven in His own glory, and the glory of His Father, and of all the holy angels. There will be no lack of honor and glory. In that day the law of God is to be revealed in its majesty, and man who has broken that law, and stood in defiant rebellion against its holy precepts, will understand that that law which they have despised, discarded, and trampled under foot is God’s standard of character. Every commandment-keeping soul, every transgressor will have placed before him the scene when the Sabbath was first given to man in Eden. When the foundations of the earth were laid, and all the sons of God shouted for joy, then it was that the Sabbath was instituted. This scene will be vividly brought before every mind. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 17

Those who have ministered in word and doctrine, who, by smooth words and fair speeches have taught men that the law of God is no longer binding, that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment was only given for the Jews; those who have educated their hearts to show contempt for the warnings sent by the Lord’s prophets and apostles and delegated servants, will have brought to their mind the scenes of Sinai with all their grandeur—God the Father and the holy angels, the blackness and darkness, the lightning’s blazing flash, the thunder, tempest, and earthquake, the sound of the trumpet waxing louder and louder, and the voice of God proclaiming the law which to a great degree had been lost sight of amid the abounding idolatry of Egypt. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 18

The glory and majesty, which attended the declaration of the law of Jehovah, has faded from the minds of those who ought to have kept it in remembrance; but when the transactions of the last great day take place, the law of God will assert its high authority, pronouncing every man who has disregarded a “Thus saith the Lord” guilty of transgression. Those who have had the light of truth presented before them, but have accepted the fables manufactured by the prince of darkness, will understand the words of Christ: 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 19

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19.] 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 20

Signs and wonders in the heavens were given to the wise men of the east who were searching for Christ. To shepherds who were keeping their flocks on the hills of Bethlehem, the angel host appeared. All heaven recognized the advent of Christ. Angels were present in the judgment hall, and when Christ was scourged with the cruel thongs, they could scarcely endured the sight. Angels of heaven were present at His death. The darkness that covered the earth at His crucifixion concealed the company of heaven’s powerful agencies; but the earth quaked at the tread of the heavenly throng. The rocks were rent; for three hours the earth was shrouded in impenetrable darkness; nature with her dark robes hid the sufferings of the Son of God. 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 21

And will Christ’s second coming be wanting in glory? No; He comes to triumph. At His death creation shrouded itself in darkness, and all nature sympathized with His sorrow and humiliation. And nature will testify her triumph at His second appearing. “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against them.” [Jude 14, 15.] 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 22

Many think lightly of Christ now. They despise and reject Him and say, “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning.” [2 Peter 3:4.] But we read, He shall come to judgment, and “every eye shall see him.” [Malachi 3:5; Revelation 1:7.] The same Jesus whose atonement has been rejected, whose followers have been despised and reviled, will be revealed from heaven “in flaming fire taking vengeance upon them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” [2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.] “Then shall all the kindreds of the earth wail because of him.” [Revelation 1:7.] 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 23

“I beheld,” says the apostle, “and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?” [Revelation 6:12, 15-17.] 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 24

Too well do the unprepared inhabitants of earth know what to expect. Satan cannot pay a ransom for their souls, and poor deluded, professed Christians, who have been content to let the ministers do their searching of the Scriptures, see that they will receive as their works have been. Those, too, who have wrested the Scriptures and taught for doctrine the commandments of men, see that they must answer for the souls of those whom they have led into error and apostasy. A wail of despair and agony reaches heavenward, but it is echoed back to earth. Louder, far louder than any human cry, is the last trumpet’s sound, and far above all is heard the voice of Omnipotence: “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 7:23.] 13LtMs, Ms 39, 1898, par. 25