The Review and Herald

503/1902

November 5, 1889

God Warns Men of His Coming Judgments

EGW

Just before us is a time of trouble such as never was, and those who are weaving the principles of truth into their practical life will soon understand what the wrath of the dragon means. Every soul who loves God will be tested in regard to his sacred law. Christians must stand on the elevated and holy ground which advanced truth has given them. The light shining forth from the Scriptures for these last days, will qualify those who walk in it, to stand before magistrates and rulers, and will enable them to lift up the true standard of religion by their intelligent knowledge of the word of God. The word of God has been neglected, but it is high time to wake to the necessity of diligent and prayerful study of the Scriptures. God would have us study the history of his dealing with men and nations in the past, that we may learn to respect and obey his messages, that we may take heed to his warnings and counsels. RH November 5, 1889, par. 1

God tested the world when he sent, through Noah, a message to the antediluvians. He sent warning after warning that the world would be destroyed by the waters of the flood; but the wise men of the age despised the message, and showed contempt for God's messenger. They had so far separated themselves from God that they trusted to the imaginations of their own hearts, and cared not to know the will of God. But the unbelief of great and intelligent men did not prevent the fulfillment of God's pronounced judgments. The judgments came as God had declared by the word of his prophets that they would come. Only faithful Noah and his family entered into the ark, and were saved when the deluge engulfed the world. The days of Noah are pointed to as an illustration of the unbelief that will prevail at the end of the world. Says the Saviour, “But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” RH November 5, 1889, par. 2

If a similar condition of things is to exist in our day, we should be intelligent concerning it, and have sanctified judgment, that we may not take a course like the course of those who perished in the flood. We should be so instructed that we will not follow a multitude to do evil. God has sent reproofs and warnings that men might repent of their transgressions, and forsake the evil of their ways, and so escape his threatened judgments. God has always made a refuge for those who have repented of their sins, believed in his love, and hoped in his mercy. RH November 5, 1889, par. 3

Heavenly messengers visited Sodom, and told Lot of the impending destruction, and he was permitted to warn his relatives and friends, and to invite them to seek the protection of God. Lot earnestly besought them to believe his words. He knew that their destiny for life or death depended upon their decision to obey or reject the warning. But they had corrupted their ways before God, and Lot's message seemed to them but folly and madness. They mocked at his agonized entreaties. He tarried long with them, so loth to give them up to their own unwise decision, that the angels had to take him by force and hurry him out of the city with his wife and daughters. The angel gave the command, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee.” But notwithstanding the warning, Lot's wife, whose heart was in the city devoted to destruction, did not obey, but turned to look behind her, and was changed to a pillar of salt in the way. She did not appreciate the mercy that God had shown her, and was left as an example of warning for future generations. RH November 5, 1889, par. 4

When Christ came to the world, his own nation rejected him. He brought from heaven the message of salvation, hope, freedom, and peace; but men would not accept his good tidings. Christians have condemned the Jewish nation for rejecting the Saviour; but many who profess to be followers of Christ are doing even worse than did the Jews, for they are rejecting greater light in despising the truth for this time. RH November 5, 1889, par. 5

When Jerusalem was to be destroyed, the followers of Christ were warned of its impending doom. Christ had told his disciples what they were to do when certain things should come to pass. He said, “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” All who believed in the warning of Christ, escaped from the city, and not one perished when Jerusalem was overthrown. By the destruction of Jerusalem is symbolized the last great judgment of God that is to come upon the world. RH November 5, 1889, par. 6

We are living in the last days, and the generation that is to witness the final destruction has not been left without warning of the hastening judgments of God. Says the apostle, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.... And I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” RH November 5, 1889, par. 7

Through the warning that God has sent to the world, an opportunity is given to all to escape the general ruin that is threatened to fallen Babylon. The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of this message, and hearts and minds will be prepared by its reception, for the coming of the King of kings. RH November 5, 1889, par. 8

But this gracious message will be as generally rejected by the professed Christian world, as was the message of the Messiah by the Jewish nation. Only a few will receive the testimony of truth, for every influence that Satan can bring to bear against the reception of the truth of God will be employed. In these last days the agency of the evil one will be hidden under a cloak of godliness, so that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. The word of God declares that Satan will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” His miracle-working power will be displayed to its utmost. But none who wish to know the truth need be deceived. God has promised to give to his people the Spirit of truth, to guide them into all truth. RH November 5, 1889, par. 9

There are persons who claim to be guided by the Spirit, and yet they are led contrary to the commandments of God. The spirit by which they are directed is not the Spirit of truth. For the word of God declares, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we that we are in him.” It is not enough to give a nominal assent to the truth. Its principles must be interwoven with our life and character. And we may well be afraid of those who make exalted professions, but who do not obey the words of God. There is safety alone in taking the Scriptures as our guide of life and action. Says the prophet, “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Martin Luther exclaimed, “The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the foundation of our faith.” It is the work of the people of God to hold up the Bible as the standard of religion and the foundation of hope. RH November 5, 1889, par. 10

Those who have had living faith in the messages of God for the time in which they have lived, and who have acted out their faith in obedience to his commands, have been accepted of God, and have escaped the judgments that were to fall upon the disobedient and unbelieving. The word came to Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me.” Noah obeyed and was saved. The message came to Lot, “Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.” He placed himself under the guardianship of the heavenly messengers, and was saved. Those who obeyed the warning of Christ in marking the sign of the coming ruin, and in fleeing from Jerusalem, were not involved in her destruction. The message comes in our own time, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.... Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Those who obey this message will escape the terrible plagues that will surely be visited upon her. RH November 5, 1889, par. 11

The sins of the world will have reached unto heaven when the law of God is made void; when the Sabbath of the Lord is trampled in the dust, and men are compelled to accept in its stead an institution of the papacy through the strong hand of the law of the land. In exalting an institution of man above the institution ordained of God, they show contempt for the great Lawgiver, and refuse his sign or seal. The question of most vital importance for this time is, “Who is on the Lord's side? Who will unite with the angel in giving the message of truth to the world? Who will receive the light that is to fill the whole earth with its glory?” Those who cherish the light that they have, will receive more. Increasing light will shine about the souls who yield to the softening, subduing grace of Christ; and those who love the light, will be saved from the delusions of Satan. He will strive with intense energy to exhibit, through his miracle-working power, signs and wonders that will seem to eclipse the work that God will do in the earth. And all will be deceived except those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. We need light now at every step, lest we be swept away with the error of the wicked. RH November 5, 1889, par. 12