From Here to Forever


Chapter 20—Love for Christ's Coming

A great religious awakening is foretold in the first angel's message of Revelation 14. An angel is seen flying “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.” “With a loud voice” he proclaims: “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6, 7. HF 221.1

An angel represents the exalted character of the work to be accomplished by the message and the power and glory that were to attend it. The angel's flight “in the midst of heaven,” the “loud voice,” and its promulgation “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” give evidence of the rapid, worldwide extent of the movement. As to the time when it is to take place, it announces the opening of the judgment. HF 221.2

This message is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come. That part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal “to the time of the end.” Daniel 12:4. Not till this time could a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on a fulfillment of these prophecies. HF 221.3

Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day. Not till after the great apostasy and the long reign of the “man of sin” can we look for the advent of our Lord. See 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The “man of sin”—also “the mystery of iniquity,” “the son of perdition,” and “that wicked,”—represents the papacy, which was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The coming of Christ could not take place before that time. Paul covers with his caution the whole of the Christian dispensation down to the year 1798. This side of that time the message of Christ's second coming is to be proclaimed. HF 221.4

No such message has ever been given in past ages. Paul, as we have seen, did not preach it; he pointed into the then far-distant future for the coming of the Lord. The Reformers did not proclaim it. Martin Luther placed the judgment about 300 years into the future from his day. But since 1798 the book of Daniel has been unsealed, and many have proclaimed the message of the judgment near. HF 222.1