The Review and Herald

910/1902

December 7, 1897

Words of Warning

EGW

“And as some [the disciples] spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 1

The world's Redeemer made this the occasion of giving the disciples some lessons of great consequence to them. As they looked upon the rich adornments of the temple, he spoke to them of the calamity that was to come upon it. And carrying their minds on, he spoke of the close of this earth's history, when not merely a nation, but the whole world, would be destroyed. In the words spoken at this time, Christ has left lessons that are especially applicable to our time. “They are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 2

“They asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived; for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.... Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 3

From those who thus boldly witness for Christ, men will hear truth who never heard it before. In some hearts the seed will take root. The converting power of God will win souls from darkness to light. Some of the very men on the judgment-seat—lawyers and jurors—will embrace the truth, and in their turn will confess Christ, and show their loyalty to all the commandments of God, especially the Sabbath command, which will be made, as it has ever been, the test question. RH December 7, 1897, par. 4

“And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.” Christ shows that the deeds of cruelty done to his people will be a repetition of the deeds done to him. “If the world hate you,” he declared, “ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 5

Christ shows that without the controlling power of the Spirit of God, humanity is a terrible power for evil, to hurt and destroy humanity. When men banish this Spirit, unbelief and hatred of reproof stir up satanic influence. Principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places, will unite in a desperate companionship. They will be leagued against God in the person of his saints. By misrepresentation and falsehood, they will demoralize both men and women who, to all appearances, believe the truth. False witnesses will not be wanting in this terrible work. But Christ gives the assurance: “There shall not a hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.” Christ will restore the life taken; for he is the Life-giver: he will beautify the righteous with immortal life. RH December 7, 1897, par. 6

After speaking of the end of the world, Jesus came back to Jerusalem, the city then sitting in pride and arrogance, and saying, “I sit a queen, ... and shall see no sorrow.” “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,’ he said, “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.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 7

How terrible it was for Christ, whose heart overflowed with love for those whom he had purchased with human agony, to see Jerusalem fast filling up the figures of the reckoning that is kept with nations and individuals. On another occasion, with tears in his eyes and voice, Christ exclaimed, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and [ye could not?—No] ye would not!” You would not yield up your determination to turn from the light. You resisted every measure which Heaven ordained for your peace and salvation. You have refused and rejected until mercy has exhausted her last resources. What more could I have done for my vineyard than I have done? I left no means untried in my efforts to lead you to repentance and to God, that you might live. But the arm strong to support, to shield, and to save will be found strong to execute the commands of a long-suffering God, who keeps mercy for thousands, “forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,” but who “will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Why?—Because they did the same wicked deeds as did their fathers. RH December 7, 1897, par. 8

The retribution to come upon Jerusalem could be delayed only a short time; and as Christ's eye rested upon the doomed city, he saw not merely its destruction, but the destruction of a world. He saw that as Jerusalem was given up to destruction, so the world will be given up to its doom. He saw the retribution that will be visited on the adversaries of God. The scenes that were transacted at the destruction of Jerusalem will be repeated at the great and terrible day of the Lord, but in a more fearful manner. RH December 7, 1897, par. 9

A world is represented in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the warning given then comes sounding down along the line to our time: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.” Yes, the sea shall pass its borders, and destruction will be in its track. It will engulf the ships that sail upon its broad waters; and with the burden of their living freight, these will be hurled into eternity. RH December 7, 1897, par. 10

There will be calamities by land and by sea, “men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” In just the same manner that he ascended, will he come the second time to our world. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 11

In this perilous time, who will be found traitors? Who will choose the friendship of the enemies of Christ? Who will accept the bribery of the world, at the expense of the principles of righteousness? Of such it will be said, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” O, if men would only hear the last call of mercy that God has sent to our world, warning them of temperance, righteousness, and judgment to come, truth and light and grace would be given them, to be given to the world. RH December 7, 1897, par. 12

But ministers and teachers have resisted the light, refused the grace which God has richly provided for them, and abused the opportunities he has graciously presented to them. He looks from his throne, and sees warnings despised, convictions set aside, and the truth buried beneath the rubbish of tradition. A “Thus saith the Lord” is counted as an idle tale. Fables are chosen before the truth of heavenly origin. Invitations to repentance and the convictions of the Spirit of God are slighted. RH December 7, 1897, par. 13

Confirmed impenitence is the result of refusing light and of walking in the sparks of our own kindling. Those who follow this course follow a path that leads to perdition. They are called upon to come out of the world, and be separate. But the strait and narrow path does not look attractive; it is hard to enter the strait gate, and their eyes turn with longing desire to the wide gate and the broad way. “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 14

Fatal hardness of heart! The peace, the mercy, the grace, the exceeding great reward of obedience, are now hidden from their eyes. The irrevocable sentence of condemnation must come from the divine lips. Christ declares, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 15

Angels are co-operating with human intelligences, watching and working to draw the world to Christ, as Christ worked to draw the Jewish nation to God. But “because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” The Lord wills not that any man shall perish, but that all shall come to him and be saved. But instead of his loving-kindness softening and subduing the soul, many of the objects of his love and mercy are encouraged to more obstinate resistance. O, that men would remember that there is a limit to the forbearance of God! They throw off all restraint, and make void his law; they establish their own perverted law, and try to force those who honor God, and keep his commandments, to trample his law under their feet; but they will find, too late, that the tenderness which they have mocked is exhausted. RH December 7, 1897, par. 16

The warning of Christ comes sounding down along the line to our time: “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” RH December 7, 1897, par. 17