The Review and Herald


November 22, 1898

The Day of Reckoning


“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations.” Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of this event: “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.” RH November 22, 1898, par. 1

In his teachings, Christ sought to impress men with the certainty of the coming judgment, and with its publicity. This is not the judgment of a few individuals, or even of a nation, but of a whole world of human intelligences, of accountable beings. It is to be held in the presence of other worlds, that the love, the integrity, the service, of man for God, may be honored to the highest degree. There will be no lack of glory and honor. The Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven with his own glory, with the glory of his Father, and the glory of the holy angels. The law of God will be revealed in its majesty; and those who have stood in defiant rebellion against its holy precepts will understand that the law that they have discarded, and despised, and trampled underfoot is God's standard of character. Vividly before the mind of every commandment-keeper, and before every transgressor, will be brought the scene when the Sabbath was first given to man in Eden. Those who have ministered in word and doctrine; who by smooth words and fair speeches have taught that the law of God is no longer binding, that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment was given for the Jews only; who have educated their hearers to show contempt for the warnings sent by the Lord's prophets and apostles and delegated servants, will have brought to their minds the scenes of Sinai in all their grandeur,—God the Father, and the holy angels, the blackness and darkness, the lightning's blazing flash, the thunder, the tempest, the earthquake, the sound of the trumpet waxing louder and louder, and the voice of God proclaiming his holy law. RH November 22, 1898, par. 2

The glory of this scene has faded from the minds of those who ought to have kept it in remembrance; but when the transactions of the last great day take place, the law of God will assert its high authority, pronouncing guilty of transgression every man who has disregarded a “Thus saith the Lord.” Those who have had the light of truth presented before them, but have accepted the fables manufactured by the prince of darkness, will then understand the words of Christ: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” RH November 22, 1898, par. 3

In this speck of a world, the heavenly universe manifests the greatest interest: for Jesus paid an infinite price for the souls of its inhabitants. The world's Redeemer has bound earth to heaven by ties of intelligence; for the redeemed of the Lord are here. Yet we come in contact with the busy activity of our cities, we mingle with the multitude in the crowded thoroughfares, we enter marts of trade and walk the streets; and through all, from morning till evening, the people act as if business, sport, and pleasure were all there is to life,—as if this world were all there is to occupy the mind. How few contemplate the unseen agencies! RH November 22, 1898, par. 4

All heaven is intensely interested in the human beings who are so full of activity, and yet have no thought for the unseen, whose thoughts are not upon the word of God and its instruction. If men would appropriate the word of God, they would be assured that there are agencies for good and evil observing their every word and deed. These are in every assembly for business, in councils, and in meetings for the worship of God. In these public assemblies there are more listeners than can be seen with the natural sight. These unseen agencies are co-laborers with God or with Satan, and they work more mightily and more constantly than do men. Sometimes the heavenly intelligences draw aside the curtain that hides the unseen world, that our minds may be withdrawn from the hurry and rush, and consider that there are witnesses to all we do and say, when engaged in business, or when we think ourselves alone. RH November 22, 1898, par. 5

The Lord would have us understand that these mighty ones who visit our world have borne an active part in the work which we have called our own. These heavenly beings are ministering angels, and they frequently disguise themselves in the form of human beings, and as strangers converse with those who are engaged in the work of God. In the lonely places they have been the companions of the traveler in peril. In tempest-tossed ships they have spoken words to allay fear and inspire hope in the hour of danger. Many, under different circumstances, have listened to the voices of the inhabitants of other worlds. Time and again have they been the leaders of armies. They have been sent forth to cleanse away pestilence. They have eaten at the humble board of families, and often have they appeared as weary travelers in need of shelter for the night. RH November 22, 1898, par. 6

We need to understand better than we do the work of these angel visitants. It would be well for us, as children of God, to consider that heavenly beings hear our words, and behold our works. Heavenly angels are co-operating with us in every good work, and thus earth is connected with heaven. RH November 22, 1898, par. 7

“The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” “He hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” In his super-added humanity consists the reason of Christ's appointment. God has committed all judgment unto the son, for without controversy he is God manifest in the flesh. RH November 22, 1898, par. 8

God designed that the Prince of sufferers in humanity should be judge of the whole world. He who came from the heavenly courts to save man from eternal death; he whom men despised, rejected, and upon whom they heaped all the contempt of which human beings, inspired by Satan, are capable; he who submitted to be arraigned before an earthly tribunal, and who suffered the ignominious death of the cross,—he alone is to pronounce the sentence of reward or of punishment. He who submitted to the suffering and humiliation of the cross here, in the counsel of God is to have the fullest compensation, and ascend the throne acknowledged by all the heavenly universe as the King of saints. He has undertaken the work of salvation, and shown before unfallen worlds and the heavenly family that the work he has begun he is able to complete. It is Christ who gives men the grace of repentance; his merits are accepted by the Father in behalf of every soul that will help to compose the family of God. RH November 22, 1898, par. 9

In that day of final punishment and reward, both saints and sinners will recognize in him who was crucified the Judge of all living. Every crown that is given to the saints of the Most High will be bestowed by the hands of Christ,—those hands that cruel priests and rulers condemned to be nailed to the cross. He alone can give to men the consolation of eternal life. RH November 22, 1898, par. 10

A sign in the heavens was given to the wise men of the East who were searching for Christ. To shepherds who were keeping their flocks on the hills of Bethlehem, the angel host appeared. All heaven recognized the advent of Christ. Unseen angels were present in the judgment-hall. When Christ was scourged with the cruel thongs, they could scarcely endure the sight. Angels of heaven were present at his death. The darkness that covered the earth at his crucifixion concealed the company of heaven's powerful agencies; but the earth quaked beneath the tread of the heavenly throng. The rocks were rent. For three hours the earth was shrouded in impenetrable darkness; nature with her dark robes hid the sufferings of the Son of God. RH November 22, 1898, par. 11

And will Christ's second coming be wanting in glory?—No; he comes to triumph. At his death, creation shrouded itself in darkness, and all nature sympathized with his sorrow and humiliation. At his second appearing, nature will testify her triumph. Many think lightly of Christ now. They despise and reject him, and say, “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning.” But we read, “He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him.” The same Jesus whose atonement has been rejected, whose followers have been despised and reviled, will be revealed from heaven “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” “And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” RH November 22, 1898, par. 12

Solemn will be the day of final decision. In prophetic vision the apostle John describes it: “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Then is it not of tremendous importance to us, individually, that our works be right works? Probationary time is granted us, opportunities and privileges are given us, to make our calling and election sure. How we should prize this precious time, and improve every talent God has given, that we may be faithful stewards over ourselves, keeping our souls in the love of God! We must have simple, increasing faith. We must depend upon God; for we “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” RH November 22, 1898, par. 13

The apostle says: “The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” RH November 22, 1898, par. 14

Too well do the unprepared inhabitants of earth know what to expect. Satan can not pay a ransom for their souls; and poor, deluded, professed Christians, who have been content to let the ministers search the Scriptures for them, see that they will receive as their works have been. Those, too, who have wrested the Scriptures, and taught for doctrines the commandments of men, see that they must answer for the souls of those who have been led into error and apostasy. A wail of agony and despair reaches heavenward, but it echoes back to earth. Louder, far louder, than any human cry, is the last trumpet's sound; and far above all is heard the voice of Omnipotence: “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” RH November 22, 1898, par. 15