Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 12 (1897)


Ms 88, 1897

“As It Was In The Days of Noah.”


August 20, 1897

This manuscript is published in entirety in 19MR 179-184.

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 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.” [Matthew 24:36-39.] “Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, ... but the Father. Take ye heed, watch the pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at cock crowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.” [Mark 13:32-37.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 1

In the days of Noah the world was so full of wickedness that the Lord declared that He would not bear with it longer. Such a state of things will exist prior to the second appearing of Christ. But though the wickedness of the world was so great, yet the Lord gave men one hundred and twenty years of probation, in which, if they would, they could repent. But notwithstanding the forbearance of a good and merciful God, the people did not improve their opportunities. For a little time they were awed, and afraid to go on as recklessly as they had done. Then, depraved habits prevailed over restraint. In proportion as the people resisted conviction, their discernment was clouded, and their desire to follow a course of ungodliness strengthened. Jude describes the condition of things then existing. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 2

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s person in admiration because of advantage.” [Jude 14-16.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 3

This picture the inspired servant of God has traced for the instruction and warning of all who shall live in the last days of this earth’s history. There are men who see the truth, and who should stand fast in their integrity, because they are responsible before God for the influence of their words and actions, yet who say to those who are doing their work in the fear of the Lord, striving to prepare a people to watch and be sober, “We cannot controvert your evidence, your reasons are logical, but should we work contrary to the legislative councils, we would lose our position. We will have to go where the leaders go.” 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 4

How closely this resembles the words spoken of some during Christ’s life on earth. “Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be children of the light. ... But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 5

“Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. ... Nevertheless among the chief priests also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” [John 12:35-40, 42, 43.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 6

Why were the eyes of the people blinded, and their hearts hardened? As they listened to Christ’s words and witnessed His miracles, they were convinced of His divinity. The Spirit of God impressed their hearts, leading them to say, This is indeed the Messiah, the One for whom we have looked, the Desire of all nations. But they hardened their hearts, and refused to accept Him. To a great degree, the priests and rulers were responsible for the people turning away from the truth to the maxims of men. And today the preachers of the people are following the footsteps of the priests and elders of the Jewish nation. When conviction is trampled on, the light that has shone into the chambers of the mind grows dim, and the darkness of error takes the place of the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The result of this is shown in the following verses: 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 7

“Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud; for the Lord hath spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret for your pride; and mine eyes shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive. ... Lift up your eyes and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail? ... Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil. Therefore I will scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the Lord; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.” [Jeremiah 13:15-17, 20, 21, 23-25.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 8

“Woe is me for my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is a grief, and I must bear it. My tabernacle is spoiled, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth of me, and they are not; there is none to stretch forth my tent any more, and to set up my curtains. For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord; therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.” [Jeremiah 10:19-21.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 9

This lamentation is made for backsliding. When Christ the Majesty of heaven, came in person to His vineyard, that He might receive the first fruits thereof, they said, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.” [Luke 20:14.] Christ’s lamentation over Jerusalem is the lamentation of a breaking heart. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thee together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” [Matthew 23:37.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 10

The message of warning comes to us as it came to Noah. We are to warn all that the Lord is at the door. We are to urge those who are disloyal to God to repent, and render obedient to his law. Man was created in the image of God, but in him this image has been sadly disfigured. The traces of God’s love in the human soul have been nearly obliterated. Men have chosen darkness rather than light. Obedience to God’s commands wins eternal life. Disobedience places man on Satan’s side of the question. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 11

From beginning to end, God’s requirements set forth His eternal truth. His law is the test of character. His covenant with man declares the immutability of His counsel. God is truth. He declares that He will not alter the thing that has gone out of His mouth. [Psalm 89:34.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 12

We are not left in blindness and deception as to God’s requirements. The third angel is represented as flying through the heavens, proclaiming a message to the world. “The third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” [Revelation 14:9, 10.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 13

It is for the interest of all to understand what the mark of the beast is, and how they may escape the dread threatenings of God. Why are men not interested to know what constitutes the mark of the beast and his image? It is in direct contrast with the mark of God. “The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak ye also unto the children of Israel saying Verily, my sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations: that ye may know that am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you. ... Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy unto the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath to observe the sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh he rested and was refreshed.” [Exodus 31:12-17.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 14

The Sabbath question will be the issue in the great conflict in which all the world will act a part. “They worshiped the dragon which gave power to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemy; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” [Revelation 13:4-8.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 15

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” [Verse 9.] This warning is given to every son and daughter of Adam; and it is repeated over and over again. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 16

“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity; he killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.” [Verse 10.] This entire chapter is a revelation of what will surely take place. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. ... And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the number of the beast, or the number of his name.” [Verses 11, 15-17.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 17

Christ died to save sinners, not in their sins, but from their sins. The warning given in Revelation shows us the terrible consequence of transgression. By lips that will not lie, God’s law is declared to be holy, just, and good. Our duty to obey this law is to be the burden of the last message of mercy to the world. God’s law is not a new thing. It is not holiness created, but holiness made known. It is a code of principles expressing mercy, goodness, and love. It presents to fallen humanity the character of God, and states plainly the whole duty of man. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” This command contains the principles of the first four precepts. “And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” [Mark 12:30, 31.] Upon these two great principles, the Word of God declares, hang all the law and the prophets. [Matthew 22:40.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 18

These principles are made known by the third angel’s message, which declares that the Creator had always required and always will require obedience to His royal law. But this law has been disregarded and transgressed, and is now being ignored by the churches. Human enactments are placed where God’s law should be. Sunday, a child of the Papacy, has taken the place where God’s law should be. Sunday, a child of the papacy, has taken the place of God’s holy Sabbath. As Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image, and set it up to be worshiped by all, so Sunday is placed before the people to be regarded as sacred. This day bears not a vestige of sanctity, yet it is held up to be honored by all. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 19

By doing this, men are doing just what Satan wished them to do. When those who claim to love God refuse to obey His Word as plainly stated in the fourth precept of the Decalogue, and accept a common working day as their sabbath, they show respect to a day exalted by the enemy of God. But notwithstanding this, God’s law still stands firm. The man of sin has thought to change this law; he has thought to do it; but not while God holds the throne will he be able to change one jot or tittle of His law. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 20

He who made the world in six days, rested on the seventh, sanctifying and blessing that day. The Sabbath command designates God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work. ... For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” [Exodus 20:8-11.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 21

“Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever.” [Exodus 31:16, 17.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 22

But these explicit directions have been disregarded and forgotten. A common working day has been presented to the churches by the Catholic authority, and has been accepted. God gave the Sabbath to man as a memorial of the work of creation; and the Lord of heaven will not hold him guiltless who sets aside His commands, and teaches others in their place. He will reward every one according to his works. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 23

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” [Revelation 14:12.] In vision John beheld the contrast between those who worship the beast and his image, and those who worship God. We are living under the message of the third angel; and the warning is now to be given by all who are loyal to God’s government. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 24

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the doors of thine house, and upon thy gates. That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them as the days of heaven upon the earth. ... Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day; and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” [Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28.] 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 25

“And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee but to fear the Lord thy God to walk in his ways, and to love him, and serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” [Deuteronomy 10:12.] “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people. ... 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 26

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love them and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.” [Deuteronomy 7:6, 7, 9-11.] A thousand generations is a long time. Before it ends, the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven, and His faithful people will be in His kingdom, keeping His commandments faithfully. 12LtMs, Ms 88, 1897, par. 27