SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW)

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Chapter 18

1 (ch. 14:9-12; Habakkuk 2:14; see EGW on Acts 2:1-4). The Angel of Revelation 18— The prophecies in the eighteenth of Revelation will soon be fulfilled. During the proclamation of the third angel's message, “another angel” is to “come down from heaven, having great power,” and the earth is to be “lightened with his glory.” The Spirit of the Lord will so graciously bless consecrated human instrumentalities that men, women, and children will open their lips in praise and thanksgiving, filling the earth with the knowledge of God, and with His unsurpassed glory, as the waters cover the sea. 7BC 983.9

Those who have held the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end will be wide awake during the time that the third angel's message is proclaimed with great power (The Review and Herald, October 13, 1904). 7BC 984.1

(2 Timothy 2:14-16; see EGW on ch. 16:14-17.) Message Prepares for Translation—Amid the confusing cries, “Lo, here is Christ! Lo, there is Christ!” will be borne a special testimony, a special message of truth appropriate for this time, which message is to be received, believed, and acted upon. It is the truth, not fanciful ideas, that is efficacious. The eternal truth of the Word will stand forth free from all seductive errors and spiritualistic interpretations, free from all fancifully drawn, alluring pictures. Falsehoods will be urged upon the attention of God's people, but the truth is to stand clothed in its beautiful, pure garments. The Word, precious in its holy, uplifting influence, is not to be degraded to a level with common, ordinary matters. It is always to remain uncontaminated by the fallacies by which Satan seeks to deceive, if possible, the very elect. 7BC 984.2

The proclamation of the gospel is the only means in which God can employ human beings as His instrumentalities for the salvation of souls. As men, women, and children proclaim the gospel, the Lord will open the eyes of the blind to see His statutes, and will write upon the hearts of the truly penitent His law. The animating Spirit of God, working through human agencies, leads the believers to be of one mind, one soul, unitedly loving God and keeping His commandments—preparing here below for translation (The Review and Herald, October 13, 1904). 7BC 984.3

(Jeremiah 30:7; Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23; Zechariah 10:1; Ephesians 4:13, 15.) Refreshing of the Latter Rain—As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, “the time of Jacob's trouble,” they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of His Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attend the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory. It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel (The Review and Herald, May 27, 1862). 7BC 984.4

(Isaiah 61:11.) Not to Wait for Latter Rain—We must not wait for the latter rain. It is coming upon all who will recognize and appropriate the dew and showers of grace that fall upon us. When we gather up the fragments of light, when we appreciate the sure mercies of God, who loves to have us trust Him, then every promise will be fulfilled. [Isaiah 61:11 quoted.] The whole earth is to be filled with the glory of God (Letter 151, 1897). 7BC 984.5

Revelation of the Righteousness of Christ—The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth (The Review and Herald, November 22, 1892). 7BC 984.6

No Time Specified for Outpouring—I have no specific time of which to speak when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will take place—when the mighty angel will come down from heaven, and unite with the third angel in closing up the work for this world; my message is that our only safety is in being ready for the heavenly refreshing, having our lamps trimmed and burning (The Review and Herald, March 29, 1892). 7BC 984.7

1-5 (chs. 13:11-17; 14:6-12; Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; see EGW on Revelation 6:9; 17:1-5). Every Power of Evil Will Work—As God called the children of Israel out of Egypt, that they might keep His Sabbath, so He calls His people out of Babylon, that they may not worship the beast or his image. The man of sin, who thought to change times and laws, has exalted himself above God, by presenting a spurious sabbath to the world; the Christian world has accepted the child of the papacy, and cradled and nourished it, thus defying God by removing His memorial, and setting up a rival sabbath. 7BC 984.8

After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, “Lo, here is Christ; lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have the message from God, He has sent me with great light.” Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified. This false sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law. 7BC 985.1

Satan and his angels are wide awake and intensely active, working with energy and perseverance through human instrumentalities to bring about his purpose of obliterating from the minds of men the knowledge of God. But while Satan works with his lying wonders, the time will be fulfilled foretold in the Revelation, and the mighty angel that shall lighten the earth with his glory will proclaim the fall of Babylon, and call upon God's people to forsake her (The Review and Herald, December 13, 1892). 7BC 985.2

(Ch. 14:8.) Part of a Series of Events—The message in regard to the fall of Babylon must be given. God's people are to understand in regard to the angel who is to lighten the whole world with his glory, while he cries mightily, with a loud voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” The solemn events which are now taking place belong to a series of events in the chain of history, the first link of which is connected with Eden. Let the people of God prepare for what is coming upon the earth. Extravagance in the use of means, selfishness, heresies, have taken the world captive. For centuries satanic agencies have been at work. Will they now give up without a struggle (Manuscript 172, 1899)? 7BC 985.3

(Matthew 15:9; 21:11, 12; John 2:13-16; see EGW on Revelation 6:9.) Two Calls to the Churches—[Revelation 18:1, 2 quoted.] This is the same message that was given by the second angel. Babylon is fallen, “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” What is that wine?—her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false sabbath instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the falsehood that Satan first told to Eve in Eden—the natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” 7BC 985.4

When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel's message is, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” And in the loud cry of the third angel's message a voice is heard 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” (The Review and Herald, December 6, 1892). 7BC 985.5

Three Messages to Be Combined—The three angels’ messages are to be combined, giving their threefold light to the world. In the Revelation, John says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” [Revelation 18:2-5 quoted.] This represents the giving of the last and threefold message of warning to the world (Manuscript 52, 1900). 7BC 985.6

1-8 (see EGW on ch. 14:9-12). Danger in Worldly Alliances—[Revelation 18:1-8 quoted.] This terrible picture, drawn by John to show how completely the powers of earth will give themselves over to evil, should show those who have received the truth how dangerous it is to link up with secret societies or to join themselves in any way with those who do not keep God's commandments (Manuscript 135, 1902). 7BC 985.7

3-7. See EGW on 1 John 2:18. 7BC 985.8