The Review and Herald

1404/1902

November 23, 1905

The Time of the End

EGW

(Reading for Sabbath, December 9)

The Lord is soon to come. Wickedness and rebellion, violence and crime, are filling the world. The cries of the suffering and the oppressed rise to God for justice. In the place of being softened by the patience and forbearance of God, the wicked are growing stronger in stubborn rebellion. The time in which we live is one of marked depravity. Religious restraint is thrown off, and men reject the law of God as unworthy of their attention. A more than common contempt is placed upon this holy law. David in his time saw the wickedness of the last days. He saw the law of God's kingdom trampled under foot, and in righteous indignation he exclaimed, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 1

Men are now passing the boundary line, and the Lord is permitting the enemy to do his will. We hear of floods, of earthquakes, of storms by land and on the sea, blotting out hundreds of lives in a moment of time; but the end is not yet. The tread of the Lord will be heard upon the land and upon the water. For his own honor's sake, God is now about to repress iniquity. He will soon, very soon, vindicate the claims of his law. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 2

The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the Word of truth. In the prophecy uttered when sentence from God was pronounced upon the last king of Israel, is given the message: RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 3

“Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: ... exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 4

The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, “It shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 5

That time is at hand. Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour's prophecy of the events to precede his coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.... Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 6

The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place—that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 7

Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid his angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 8

“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof; ... because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate.... The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 9

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 10

“Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 11

“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 12

To us who are standing on the very verge of the fulfilment of these great scenes, of what deep moment, of what living interest, are these delineations of the things to come—events for which, since our first parents turned their steps from Eden, God's children have watched and waited, longed and prayed! RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 13

At this time, before the great final crisis, as before the world's first destruction, men are absorbed in the pleasures and the pursuits of sense. Engrossed with the seen and the transitory, they have lost sight of the unseen and the eternal. For the things that perish with the using, they are sacrificing imperishable riches. Their minds need to be uplifted, their views of life broadened. They need to be aroused from the lethargy of worldly dreaming. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 14

A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance. The warning message is to be sounded in all parts of the world. There must be no delay. The truth must be proclaimed in the dark places of the earth. Obstacles must be met and surmounted. A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth for this time. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 15

Now is the time for us to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer of David should be the prayer of pastors and laymen: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” Let the servants of God weep between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” God has always wrought in behalf of his truth. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to his power and his overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the haters of his truth and his people can be turned aside, even as the waters of a river could be turned, if thus he ordered it. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep—the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of his people, if they will call upon him in faith. He will restrain all the forces of darkness, until the warning is given to the world, and all who will heed it are prepared for his coming. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 16

God's people should make mighty intercession to him for help now. And they must put their whole energies into the effort to proclaim the truth during the respite that has been granted. As they consecrate themselves unreservedly to God's service, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others, and light will shine into many hearts. My brethren and sisters, sleep no longer on Satan's enchanted ground, but arouse, and call into requisition every resource for the proclamation of the message of mercy. The last warning is to be given “before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 17

My heart is often burdened because so many who might work are doing nothing. They are the sport of Satan's temptations. Every church-member who has a knowledge of the truth is expected to work while the day lasts; for the night cometh, wherein no man can work. Erelong we shall understand what that night means. The Spirit of God is being grieved away from this earth. The nations are angry with one another. Widespread preparations are being made for war. The night is at hand. Let the church arouse and go forth to do her appointed work. Every believer, educated or uneducated, can bear the message. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 18

Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. What are we doing, what are we thinking of, that we cling to our selfish love of ease, while all around us souls are perishing? Have our hearts become utterly callous? Can we not see and understand that we have a work to do in behalf of others? My brethren and sisters, are you among those who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not? Is it in vain that God has given you a knowledge of his will? Is it in vain that he has sent you warning after warning of the nearness of the end? Do you believe the declarations of his Word concerning what is coming upon the world? Do you believe that God's judgments are hanging over the inhabitants of the earth? How, then, can you sit at ease, careless and indifferent? RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 19

Every day that passes brings us nearer the end. We are one year nearer the judgment, nearer eternity, than we were at the beginning of 1905. Are we also nearer to God? Are we watching unto prayer? Another year of the time granted us for labor has rolled into eternity. Every day we have been associating with men and women who are judgment-bound. Each day may have been the dividing line for some soul. Each day some one may have made the decision which will determine his future destiny. What has been our influence over these fellow travelers? What effort have we put forth to bring them to Christ? RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 20

Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance. They may be in such a condition of mind that a word in season will be sent home by the Holy Spirit as a nail in a sure place. Tomorrow some of these souls may be where we can never reach them again. May God help us to work while the day lasts. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 21

Unmistakable evidences point to the nearness of the end. The way must be prepared for the coming of the Prince of Peace. Let not our church-members complain because they are so often called upon to give. What is it that makes the frequent calls a necessity? Is it not the rapid increase of missionary enterprises? Shall we by refusing to give, retard the growth of these enterprises? Shall we forget that we are laborers together with God? From every church, prayers should ascend to God for an increase of devotion and liberality. My brethren and sisters, do not plead for retrenchment in evangelical work. So long as there are souls to save, our interest in the work of soul saving is to know no abating. Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can do the work waiting for them in their own neighborhood; and all can give of their means for the carrying forward of foreign missions. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 22

There are new fields to be entered, and we must have your help. Shall we ignore the commission given us, and thus forfeit the fulfilment of the promise accompanying the commission? Shall the people of God become careless and indifferent, and refuse to give of their means for the advancement of his work? Can they do this without severing their connection with him? They may think thus to economize; but it is a fearful economy that places them where they are separated from God. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 23

Let the Lord's people pay a faithful tithe, and let them, also, from parents to children, lay aside for the Lord the money that is so often spent for self-gratification. The Lord has made us his stewards. He has placed his means in our hands for faithful distribution. He asks us to render to him his own. He has reserved the tithe as his portion, to be used in sending the gospel to all parts of the world. My brethren and sisters, confess and forsake your selfishness, and bring to the Lord your gifts and offerings. Bring him also the tithe that you have withheld. Come confessing your neglect. Prove the Lord as he has invited you to do. “I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land.” RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 24

My brethren and sisters, it is too late to devote your time and strength to self-serving. Let not the last day find you destitute of the heavenly treasure. Seek to push the triumphs of the cross, seek to enlighten souls, labor for the salvation of your fellow beings, and your work will abide the trying test of fire. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 25

“If any man's work abide ... he shall receive a reward.” Glorious will be the reward bestowed when the faithful workers gather about the throne of God and of the Lamb. When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead. He was not able to endure the sight. But when the children of God have put on immortality, they will “see him as he is.” They will stand before the throne, accepted in the Beloved. All their sins have been blotted out, all their transgressions borne away. Now they can look upon the undimmed glory of the throne of God. They have been partakers with Christ in his sufferings, they have been workers together with him in the plan of redemption, and they are partakers with him in the joy of seeing souls saved in the kingdom of heaven, there to praise God through all eternity. RH November 23, 1905, Art. A, par. 26