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Seven Last Plagues

I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until JESUS’ work was done in the SANCTUARY, then the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES will be poured out. These PLAGUES enraged the wicked against the righteous, and they thought that we had brought the PLAGUES down upon them, and if they could rid the earth of us, then the PLAGUES would be stayed. {Ms2-1849}
I saw that Satan had the full control of this person, and that others beside Sister Hastings were affected by him. I saw his garments all covered over with the blood of souls. I saw that this person was a vessel of WRATH fitted for destruction, reserved for the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, if GOD can bear with him until that time. {Ms7-1849}
At the commencement of the Holy SABBATH, (Jan. 5,) we engaged in prayer with Bro. Belden’s family at Rocky Hill, Ct., and the Holy Ghost fell upon us. I was taken off in Vision to the most holy place, where I saw JESUS still interceding for Israel. On the bottom of his garment was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. Then I saw that JESUS would not leave the most holy place until every case was decided either for salvation or destruction: and that the WRATH of GOD could not come until JESUS had finished his work in the most holy place–laid off his priestly attire and clothed himself with the garments of vengeance. Then JESUS will step out from between the Father and man, and GOD will keep silent no longer; but pour out his WRATH on those who have rejected his TRUTH. I saw that the anger of the nations, the WRATH of GOD, and the time to judge the dead, were separate events, one following the other. I saw that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced. The nations are now getting angry, but when our High Priest has finished his work in the SANCTUARY, he will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES will be poured out. {Broadside2, January 31, 1849 par. 2a} {Ms2-1849} {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 14} {ExV 19.1 1851} {EW 36.1 1882} {LS 116.1 1915}
I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until JESUS work was done in the SANCTUARY, and then will come the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES. These PLAGUES enraged the wicked against the righteous, and they thought that we had brought them down upon them, and if they could rid the earth of us, then the PLAGUES would be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the SAINTS, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble. Then all the SAINTS cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the VOICE of GOD. Then the 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of GOD. Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters–thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting. I asked who this company were. The angel said,”these are they who have once kept the SABBATH and have given it up.” I heard them cry with a LOUD VOICE–“we have believed in thy coming, and taught it with energy.” And while they were speaking, their eyes would fall upon their garments and see the writing, and then they would wail aloud. I saw they had drunk of the deep waters, and fouled the residue with their feet–trodden the SABBATH underfoot, and that is why they were weighed in the balance and found wanting. Then my attending angel directed me to the city again, where I saw four angels winging their way to the gate of the city, and were just presenting the golden card to the angel at the gate. Then I saw another angel swiftly flying from the direction of the most excellent glory, and crying with a LOUD VOICE to the other angels, and waving something up and down in his hand. I asked my attending angel for an explanation of what I saw. He told me that I could see no more then, but he would shortly show me what those things that I then saw meant. {Broadside2, January 31, 1849 par. 2b} {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 14} {ExV 19.1 1851}
Then I was shown that the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES will be poured out, AFTER JESUS LEAVES the SANCTUARY. Said the angel–It is the WRATH of GOD and the LAMB that causes the destruction or death of the wicked. At the VOICE of GOD the SAINTS will be mighty and terrible as an army with banners; but they will not then execute the judgment written. The execution of the judgment will be at the close of the 1000 years. {RH, November 1, 1850 par. 4} {ExV 33.1 1851} {EW 52.1 1882}
This view was given in 1847 when there were but very few of the Advent brethren observing the SABBATH, and of these but few supposed that its observance was of sufficient importance to draw a line between the PEOPLE of GOD and unbelievers. Now the fulfilment of that view is beginning to be seen. {EW 85.3 1882} “The commencement of the TIME of TROUBLE,” here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the PLAGUES shall begin to be poured out; but to a short period just before they are poured out, while CHRIST is in the SANCTUARY. At that time, while the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, the nations will be angry, yet held in check, So as not to prevent the work of the THIRD ANGEL. At that time the “LATTER RAIN,” or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the LOUD VOICE of the THIRD ANGEL, and prepare the SAINTS to stand in the period when the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES shall be poured out. {ExV54 3.4 1854}
2. The view of the “Open and Shut Door,” [on pages 24-27,] was given in 1849. The application of Revelation 3:7, 8, to the HEAVENLY SANCTUARY and CHRIST’S MINISTRY, was entirely new to me. I had never heard the idea advanced by any one. Now, as the subject of the SANCTUARY is being clearly understood, the application is seen in its beauty and force. {ExV54 4.1 1854}
Thus the world is taken in the snare, and lulled to security; not to find out their awful deception, until the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES are poured out. Satan laughs as he sees his plan succeed so well, and the whole world in the snare. {ExV54 10.2 1854}
Said the angel, “Those who profess his name are not ready.” I saw the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES were coming upon the shelterless heads of the wicked; and then those who have stood in their way will hear the bitter reproaches of sinners, and their hearts will faint within them. {ExV54 41.3 1854}
MERCY’S sweet call is now sounding; but it will soon die away. PROBATION’S HOUR will soon be ended. The SEVEN LAST PLAGUES will fall, and then those who have chosen the pleasures of the world and rebelled against GOD, will cry for mercy when there will be none to answer their prayers. But a voice will be heard,–“Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.” And as they realize that they have no shelter from the dreadful storm of GOD’S WRATH, they will plead for one little PROBATION’S HOUR that they may again hear the sweet voice, inviting “every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” It will then fall upon the ear, in that dreadful hour. “Too late! too late!” “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh.” {YI, January 1, 1854 par. 5}
I saw that the slave-master would have to answer for the soul of his slave whom he has kept in ignorance; and all the sins of the slave will be visited upon the master. GOD cannot take the slave to heaven, who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of GOD, or the BIBLE, fearing nothing but his master’s lash, and not holding so elevated a position as his master’s brute beasts. But he does the best thing for him that a compassionate GOD can do. He lets him be as though he had not been; while the master has to suffer the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, and then come up in the SECOND RESURRECTION, and suffer the second, most awful death. Then the WRATH of GOD will be appeased. {1SG 193.1 1858} {EW 276.1 1882}
I then beheld the earth. The wicked were dead, and their bodies were lying upon the face of the earth. The inhabitants of earth had suffered the WRATH of GOD in the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES. They had gnawed their tongues for pain and had cursed GOD. The false shepherds were signal objects of JEHOVAH’S WRATH. Their eyes had consumed away in their holes, and their tongues in their mouths, while they stood upon their feet. After the SAINTS were delivered by the VOICE of GOD, the rage of the wicked multitude was turned upon each other. The earth seemed to be deluged with blood, and dead bodies were from one end of the earth to the other. {1SG 211.1 1858} {EW 289.3 1882}
You COMMIT SIN every time you speak and act impatiently to your children. You sin every time you correct them in anger. Never correct them until you can first reason with them and show them their wrong and sin. Then show them they have not only sinned against you but against GOD. With your heart subdued and full of pity and sorrow for your erring children, pray over them. Then your correction will not cause your children to hate you. They will love you. They will see that you do not punish them because they have put you to inconvenience, or because you wish to vent your displeasure upon them, but from a sense of duty for their good that they may not be left to grow up in sin and wickedness. Oh, how little of this work have you done! How little have you felt burdened and distressed on the account of your children! How little have you agonized with GOD in their behalf for their salvation. Can it be that you dare raise children as you have and then feel so little responsibility in regard to their religious training? Can it be that you are bringing children into the world to be destroyed by the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES? {Ms2-1860}
The young, as well as the older, will have to give a reason of their hope. But the mind designed by GOD for better things, formed to serve him perfectly, has dwelt upon foolish things instead of eternal interests. And that mind that is left to wander here and there, is just as capable of understanding the TRUTH, the evidence of KEEPING the SABBATH from the WORD of GOD, and the true foundation of the Christian’s hope, as it is to study the appearance, the manners, dress, &c. Those who suffer their minds to be diverted with foolish stories and idle tales, feed their imagination, but to such the brilliancy of GOD’S WORD is eclipsed. The mind is led directly from GOD; the interest in HIS PRECIOUS WORD is gone. Here is a BOOK given us to guide our feet through the perils of this dark world to Heaven. It tells us how we can escape the WRATH of GOD, and also tells of the SUFFERINGS of CHRIST for us, the GREAT SACRIFICE that has been made for us that we might be saved and enjoy the presence of GOD for ever. And if any come short at last that have heard the TRUTH, as they have in this land of light, it will be their own fault. They will be without excuse. The WORD of GOD tells us how we may be PERFECT CHRISTIANS, and escape the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES; but they took no interest to find this out. Other things diverted the mind, idols were cherished by them, and GOD’S HOLY WORD has been neglected and slighted. GOD has been trifled with by professed Christians, and when that HOLY WORD shall judge them in the last day, they will be found wanting. That WORD that they have neglected for foolish story books, tries their lives. It is the standard, and their motives, words, works, and the manner they use their time, are all compared with the written WORD of GOD, and if they come short, then their cases are decided for ever. {4bSG 12.2 1864} {1T 125.3 1855-1868}
Your children, I saw, could not be brought under a worse influence than they are now. They are forming characters to be cut down with the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES and their father will bear this burden, this fearful burden. Oh, what lessons for your children! What a shameful example! And the neighborhood are not in ignorance of your shameful course. You publish your own disgrace and yet you pretend to be Sabbathkeepers. Says the TRUE WITNESS, “I know thy works.” GOD will spue you out of His mouth. {Lt34-1868}
I saw that the FOUR ANGELS would hold the FOUR WINDS until JESUS’ WORK was done in the SANCTUARY, and then will come the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES. These PLAGUES enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the JUDGMENTS of GOD upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the PLAGUES would then be stayed. A DECREE went forth to SLAY the SAINTS, which caused them to CRY DAY and NIGHT FOR DELIVERANCE. This was the TIME of JACOB’S TROUBLE. Then all the SAINTS cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the VOICE of GOD. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the GLORY of GOD. Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, “Thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting.” I asked who this company were. The angel said, “These are they who have once kept the SABBATH and have given it up.” I heard them cry with a LOUD VOICE, “We have believed in Thy coming, and taught it with energy.” And while they were speaking, their eyes would fall upon their garments and see the writing, and then they would wail aloud. I saw that they had drunk of the deep waters, and fouled the residue with their feet–trodden the SABBATH underfoot– and that was why they were weighed in the balance and found wanting. {EW 36.2 1882} {LS 117.1 1915}
Then I saw that the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES were soon to be poured out upon those who have no shelter; yet the world regarded them no more than they would so many drops of water that were about to fall. I was then made capable of enduring the awful sight of the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, the WRATH of GOD. I saw that HIS ANGER was dreadful and terrible, and if He should stretch forth His hand, or lift it in anger, the inhabitants of the world would be as though they had never been, or would suffer from incurable sores and withering PLAGUES that would come upon them, and they would find no deliverance, but be destroyed by them. {ExV 52.2 1851} Terror seized me, and I fell upon my face before the angel and begged of him to cause the sight to be removed, to hide it from me, for it was too dreadful. Then I realized, as never before, the importance of searching the WORD of GOD carefully, to know how to escape the PLAGUES which that WORD declares shall come on all the ungodly who shall worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands. It was a great wonder for me that any could transgress the LAW of GOD and tread down HIS HOLY SABBATH, when such awful threatenings and denunciations were against them. {EW 64.2 1882}
Here is a channel wholly devoted to himself and under his control, and he can make the world believe what he will. The BOOK that is to judge him and his followers he puts back in the shade, just where he wants it. The SAVIOUR of the WORLD he makes to be no more than a common man; and as the Roman guard that watched the tomb of JESUS spread the lying report that the chief priests and elders put into their mouths, so will the poor, deluded followers of these pretended spiritual manifestations repeat and try to make it appear that there is nothing MIRACULOUS about our SAVIOUR’S BIRTH, DEATH, and RESURRECTION. After putting JESUS in the background, they attract the attention of the world to themselves and to their miracles and lying wonders, which, they declare, far exceed the WORKS of CHRIST. Thus the world is taken in the snare and lulled into a feeling of security, not to find out their awful deception until the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES are poured out. Satan laughs as he sees his plan succeed so well and the whole world taken in the snare. {EW 91.2 1882} {EW 265.2 1882}
Many have unsubdued, unhumbled hearts, and think more of their own little grievances and trials than of the souls of sinners. If they had the GLORY of GOD in view, they would feel for perishing souls around them; and as they realized their perilous situation, would take hold with energy, exercising FAITH in GOD, and hold up the hands of His servants, that they might boldly, yet in love, declare the TRUTH and warn souls to lay hold upon it before the sweet voice of mercy should die away. Said the angel, “Those who profess His name are not ready.” I saw that the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES were coming upon the shelterless heads of the wicked; and then those who have stood in their way will hear the bitter reproaches of sinners, and their hearts will faint within them. {EW 120.3 1882}
Then my eyes were taken from the glory, and I was pointed to the REMNANT on the earth. Said the angel to them, “Will ye shun the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES? Will ye go to glory, and enjoy all that GOD has prepared for those that love him, and are willing to suffer for his sake? If so, ye must die that ye may live. GET READY, GET READY, GET READY. Ye must have a greater preparation than ye now have, for the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with WRATH and FIERCE ANGER, to lay the land desolate, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it. Sacrifice all to GOD. Lay all upon HIS ALTAR, self, property and all, a living sacrifice. It will take all to enter glory. Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where no thief can approach or rust corrupt. Ye must be partakers of CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS here, if ye would be partakers with him of HIS GLORY hereafter.” {ExV 54.2 1851} {EW 66.2 1882}
Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were, until the SEALING was past, and the COVERING drawn over GOD’S PEOPLE, and they left out, without a shelter from the burning WRATH of GOD, in the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES. {RH, August 1, 1849 par. 10} {ExV 27.1 1851} GOD has begun to draw this COVERING over HIS PEOPLE, and it will soon be drawn over all who are to have a shelter in the day of slaughter. GOD will work in power for HIS PEOPLE; and Satan will be permitted to work also. {EW 44.2 1882}
But few children, even of those who profess to be religious, obey the FIFTH COMMANDMENT. This is the COMMANDMENT of PROMISE, and it is trampled upon and disobeyed almost as much as the FOURTH COMMANDMENT. The PROMISE of ETERNAL LIFE is only to those who do the FATHER’S COMMANDMENTS; and many children and youth who have professed to be Christians will be subjects of the LAST PLAGUES, because they will not obey these COMMANDMENTS. The angel with the writer’s ink-horn by his side will not put the SEAL of GOD upon any child who is irreverent, disobedient, and dishonors his parents. The destroying angel is commissioned to slay utterly old and young, both men and women and little children. If children are insubordinate and disobedient to their parents, they will be the same to GOD. {SSW, October 1, 1885 par. 2}
Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the SEAL of the LIVING GOD or be cut down by the destroying weapons. Already a few drops of GOD’S WRATH have fallen upon the earth; but when the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES shall be poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, then it will be forever too late to repent and find shelter. No atoning blood will then wash away the stains of sin. {5T 212.4 1882-1889}
John beheld an angel flying through the midst of heaven, warning men of the FINAL JUDGMENTS of GOD. He proclaimed the position of those who heeded his warning, and who would escape the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES. He announced them as GOD’S PEOPLE, and called attention to their peculiar character: “Here is the PATIENCE of the SAINTS: here are they that KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of GOD, and the FAITH of JESUS.” The time for the FULFILLMENT of this PROPHECY has come. We hear the sound of this very message calling the attention of men and women to the broken LAW of GOD, and demanding repentance and reform. {RH, January 31, 1888 par. 12} {RH, June 29, 1911 par. 3} {Ms143-1901}
The CHILDREN of LIGHT are to be as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid. The world will be condemned by the testimony of those who follow the light as it shines upon their pathway. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.” The SERVANTS of JESUS are to BEAR the PRECIOUS TRUTH to the world, and to present the CLAIMS of GOD to every soul, not pandering to custom, or lessening the responsibility of any soul, but declaring the WHOLE COUNSEL of GOD. {RH, January 31, 1888 par. 13}
….. The Lord said to the people of Israel, to gather their children into their houses with them and strike their door-posts with blood, that the destroying angel might not cut down their children. If they were found in the homes of the Egyptians, they would perish with unconsecrated idolaters. Now you are utterly at fault; you are letting the enemy take your children out of your hands in separating them from those who are connected with GOD, and allowing them to drift into the society of worldlings. “Consistency, thou art a jewel.” Unless you change, you will constantly erect barriers around your children to hold them away from CHRIST; you will bind them with the world, because it pleases their carnal minds. When the angel with the writer’s inkhorn shall place a mark upon those who LOVE JESUS and KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, another angel will follow with destroying weapons in his hand, and the commandment will go forth, “Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and BEGIN AT MY SANCTUARY. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Will you not carefully look at these things, and think upon them? Will you not, for the sake of your children, do the work for which GOD has made you responsible? I feel greatly burdened over these things. The children of Sabbath-keepers who have had their own way, and have been gratified in all their wishes, will, in consequence of their selfishness, idolatry, and unrighteousness, be unfit for heaven, but they will be fit for the LAST PLAGUES. Unless parents arouse from their present condition, and do their appointed work, they will perish with their children. {PH096 17.1 1890} {Lt10-1888}
But you who feel that you ought to have your own way, you will be among that company that will receive the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES of GOD. “Your way is not my way, neither are your thoughts my thoughts, saith the Lord.” GOD makes no compromise [with] the enemy. When you SURRENDER YOUR HEART to GOD, you will say, “A new heart hath He given me; a new song hath He put in my mouth,” and He will make melody to flow in your heart. {Ms14-1894}
The SEVEN LAST PLAGUES are about to descend upon the disobedient. Many have let the GOSPEL INVITATION go unheeded; they have been tested and tried; but mountainous obstacles have seemed to loom up before their faces, blocking their onward march. Through FAITH, PERSEVERANCE, and COURAGE, many will surmount these obstructions and walk out into the glorious light. Almost unconsciously barriers have been erected in the strait and narrow way; stones of stumbling have been placed in the path; these will all be rolled away. The safeguards which false shepherds have thrown around their flocks will become as naught; thousands will step out into the light, and work to spread the light. HEAVENLY INTELLIGENCES will COMBINE WITH the HUMAN AGENCIES. Thus encouraged, the church will indeed arise and shine, throwing all her sanctified energies into the contest; thus the DESIGN of GOD is accomplished; the lost pearls are recovered. Prophets have discerned this grand work afar off, and have caught the inspiration of the hour, and traced the wonderful descriptions of things yet to be. {RH, July 23, 1895 par. 5}
GOD calls for decided improvement to be made in the various branches of the work. The business done in connection with the CAUSE of GOD must be marked with greater precision and exactitude. There have not been close, decided, firm efforts put forth to bring about essential reform. Some connected with the cause are drawing near to the close of their lives, and yet they have not so learned the lessons of the BIBLE, as to feel the necessity of bringing them into their practical life. They have wanted opportunities, and gracious blessings have been unappreciated because they did not wish to make a change. My Guide said, “Elevate the standard in all school education. You must set up no lower standard. Discipline must be maintained. Teach the youth by precept and example.” There has not been too much strictness but too much laxness of action tolerated. But the workers must not despair.
Work with the SPIRIT of CHRIST, with the MIND of CHRIST to CORRECT EXISTING EVILS. Expect that the wrong-doers will have the sympathy of wrong-doers, but faithful shepherds of the flock have lessons to learn in order to keep on an ELEVATED STANDARD, and yet TEACH that the STAR of HOPE is STILL SHINING. Work on PATIENTLY; but REBUKE SIN FIRMLY, and give it no sanction. The refuge of lies for the covering up of sin must be torn away, in order that poor deluded souls may not sleep on to their everlasting ruin. The world is soon to be left by the angel of mercy, and the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES are to be poured out. Sin, shame, sorrow, and darkness are on every side; but GOD still holds out to the souls of men the precious privilege of exchanging darkness for light, error for TRUTH, sin for righteousness. But GOD’S PATIENCE and MERCY will not always wait. Let not one soul think that he can hide from GOD’S WRATH behind a lie; for GOD will strip from the soul the refuge of lies. The BOLTS of GOD’S WRATH are soon to fall, and when he shall begin to punish the transgressors, there will be no period of respite until the end. The storm of GOD’S WRATH is gathering, and those only will stand who are SANCTIFIED through the TRUTH in the LOVE of GOD. They shall be hid with CHRIST in GOD till the desolation shall be overpast. {Ms24a-1894} {Ms122-1899} {Ms24-1894} He shall come forth to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity, and “the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Let the language of the soul be,–
“Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on thee;
Leave, O leave me not alone!
Still support and comfort me.
“Hide me, O my Saviour hide!
Till the storm of life is past:
Safe into the haven guide,
O receive my soul at last!”
{SpTA03 7.1 1895}
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, SEVEN ANGELS having the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES; for in them is filled up the WRATH of GOD. And I saw as it were a SEA of GLASS, mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the SEA of GLASS, having the HARPS of GOD. And they sing the song of Moses the SERVANT of GOD, and the SONG of the LAMB, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, just and true are thy ways, thou KING of SAINTS. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For THOU ONLY ART HOLY; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” {Lt48-1897} {Ms42-1899} {Lt251-1903}
The SEVEN LAST PLAGUES will come upon all that unite with the one who has made void GOD’S LAW. The point at issue is the OBSERVANCE of the SABBATH. Now these two parties are standing in opposition to each other. One company has the SABBATH SIGN, TESTIFYING their LOYALTY to GOD. They are a SMALL COMPANY, but LOYAL and TRUE, distinct from the world. {Lt118-1900}
“And there came unto me ONE of the SEVEN ANGELS which had the SEVEN VIALS full of the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the LAMB’S WIFE. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that GREAT CITY, the HOLY JERUSALEM, descending out of heaven from GOD, having the GLORY of GOD: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” {Lt236-1903} {Ms87-1909}
Re16.2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.
Re16.3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead [man]; and every living soul died in the sea.
Re16.4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
Re16.5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
Re16.6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
Re16.7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] thy judgments.
Re16.8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
Re16.9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
Re16.10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
Re16.11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
Re16.12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
Re16.13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Re16.14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Re16.15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Re16.16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Re16.17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
Re16.18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.
Re16.19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Re16.20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Re16.21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
1st Plague [Revelation 16:2]
Poured out upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.
2st Plague [Revelation 16:3]
Poured out upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead [man]; and every living soul died in the sea.
3st Plague [Revelation 16:4]
Poured out upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
4st Plague [Revelation 16:8]
Poured out upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
5st Plague [Revelation 16:10]
Poured out upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
6st Plague [Revelation 16:12]
Poured out upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
7st Plague [Revelation 16:17]
Poured out into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.
And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Some notes about the great river Euphrates:
The Euphrates is called “the great river” five times in Scripture. It was the eastern boundary of Israel’s inheritance (Deuteronomy 1:7; 11:24). To some extent the river provided protection for Israel because it was difficult to cross and a wilderness to the west separated it from Canaan, the Promised Land. It flows almost 2,000 miles toward Palestine before making its way southeast to the Persian Gulf. In the first century, when Revelation was written, the Euphrates divided East from West, and the kingdoms of China and India lay beyond it to the east.
For a time the descendants of Noah continued to dwell among the mountains where the ark had rested. As their numbers increased, apostasy soon led to division. Those who desired to forget their Creator and to cast off the restraint of His law felt a constant annoyance from the teaching and example of their God-fearing associates, and after a time they decided to separate from the worshipers of God. Accordingly they journeyed to the plain of Shinar, on the banks of the RIVER EUPHRATES. They were attracted by the beauty of the situation and the fertility of the soil, and upon this plain they determined to make their home. {PP 118.4 1890}
Here they decided to build a city, and in it a tower of such stupendous height as should render it the wonder of the world. These enterprises were designed to prevent the people from scattering abroad in colonies. God had directed men to disperse throughout the earth, to replenish and subdue it; but these Babel builders determined to keep their community united in one body, and to found a monarchy that should eventually embrace the whole earth. Thus their city would become the metropolis of a universal empire; its glory would command the admiration and homage of the world and render the founders illustrious. The magnificent tower, reaching to the heavens, was intended to stand as a monument of the power and wisdom of its builders, perpetuating their fame to the latest generations. {PP 118.5 1890}
The dwellers on the plain of Shinar disbelieved God’s covenant that He would not again bring a flood upon the earth. Many of them denied the existence of God and attributed the Flood to the operation of natural causes. Others believed in a Supreme Being, and that it was He who had destroyed the antediluvian world; and their hearts, like that of Cain, rose up in rebellion against Him. One object before them in the erection of the tower was to secure their own safety in case of another deluge. By carrying the structure to a much greater height than was reached by the waters of the Flood, they thought to place themselves beyond all possibility of danger. And as they would be able to ascend to the region of the clouds, they hoped to ascertain the cause of the Flood. The whole undertaking was designed to exalt still further the pride of its projectors and to turn the minds of future generations away from God and lead them into idolatry. {PP 119.1 1890}
As a pledge of this covenant of God with men, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, symbols of the divine presence, passed between the severed victims, totally consuming them. And again a voice was heard by Abraham, confirming the gift of the land of Canaan to his descendants, “from the river of Egypt unto the GREAT RIVER, the RIVER EUPHRATES.” {PP 137.2 1890}
The kingdom of Israel had now reached in extent the fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham, and afterward repeated to Moses: “Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the GREAT RIVER, the RIVER EUPHRATES.” Genesis 15:18. Israel had become a mighty nation, respected and feared by surrounding peoples. In his own realm David’s power had become very great. He commanded, as few sovereigns in any age have been able to command, the affections and allegiance of his people. He had honored God, and God was now honoring him. {PP 716.2 1890}
The destruction of Babylon pictures to some degree the final destruction of the world, of which the prophet writes, “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Destruction came upon Babylon while the king and his lords were engaged in feasting and revelry. Cyrus and his army marched up the bed of the RIVER EUPHRATES; for trenches had been dug, and the river turned from its course, so that there was no obstruction to their entering the city, provided the gates were opened. The guardsmen were indulging in merriment and revelry, and the city was left without defense. Before the officers were aware, the enemy had entered the city, and escape was impossible. Those in one part of the city were slain or captured before those in another part knew that the city was invaded. No alarm was sounded, no cry could be raised to warn the people that the forces of Cyrus were upon them. {ST, December 29, 1890 par. 2}
“If ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations, and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the RIVER EUPHRATES, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you, for the Lord your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.” {Lt9-1898}
“Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the RIVER [EUPHRATES] unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life. . . . He had dominion . . . over all the kings on this side the RIVER [EUPHRATES: and he had peace on all sides round about him. {RH, August 17, 1905 par. 4}
The apostle John in vision heard a loud voice in Heaven exclaiming, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” [Revelation 12:12.] Fearful are the scenes which call forth this exclamation from the heavenly voice. The wrath of Satan increases as his time grows short, and his work of deceit and destruction reaches its culmination in the TIME of TROUBLE. God’s long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected his mercy, despised his love, and trampled upon his law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation, and the Lord withdraws his protection, and leaves them to the mercy of the leader they have chosen. Satan will have power over those who have yielded themselves to his control, and he will plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the ANGELS of GOD cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old. {4SP 440.3 1864}
A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians, and filled the land with mourning. When David offended against God by numbering the people, one angel caused that terrible destruction by which his sin was punished. The same destructive power exercised by HOLY ANGELS when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when he allows. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere. {4SP 441.1 1864}
Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world. Rulers and subjects will be alike deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ, and claiming the title and the worship which belong to the world’s Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing, and will profess to have revelations from Heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures. {4SP 441.2 1864}
As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, SATAN HIMSELF WILL ATTEMPT TO PERSONATE CHRIST. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the SON of GOD given by JOHN in the REVELATION. [Revelation 1:13-15.] The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air, “Christ has come! Christ has come!” The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands, and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed his disciples when he was personally upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, HE CLAIMS TO HAVE CHANGED THE SABBATH TO SUNDAY, and COMMANDS ALL TO HALLOW THE DAY which he has blessed. HE DECLARES THAT THOSE WHO PERSIST IN KEEPING HOLY THE SEVENTH DAY ARE BLASPHEMING HIS NAME by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying, This is “the great power of God.” {4SP 442.1 1864}
But the PEOPLE of GOD will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SCRIPTURES. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image,–the very class upon whom the BIBLE declares that God’s unmingled wrath shall be poured out. And, furthermore, SATAN IS NOT PERMITTED TO COUNTERFEIT THE MANNER OF CHRIST’S ADVENT. The SCRIPTURES teach that “as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be;” [Matthew 24:27.] that he “cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him;” [Revelation 1:7.] that he will “descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God;” [1 Thessalonians 4:16.] that he will “come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him,” [Matthew 25:31.] and will “send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect.” [Matthew 24:31.] Those who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the TESTIMONY of the SCRIPTURES they will detect the deceiver in his disguise. {4SP 443.1 1864}
To all, the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation, the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the PEOPLE of GOD now so firmly established upon HIS WORD that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the BIBLE, and the BIBLE only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life, and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief. {4SP 443.2 1864}
Satan will continue to act a double part. Appearing to be the dispenser of great blessings and divine truths, he will, by his lying wonders, hold the world under his control; and at the same time he will indulge his malignity by causing distress and destruction, and WILL ACCUSE GOD’S PEOPLE as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men which are desolating the earth. Thus he will excite to greater intensity the spirit of hatred and persecution against them. God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan will employ the most cruel measures to control the consciences of men, and to secure worship to himself. And this work of compulsion is always in favor of human creeds and laws, and in defiance of GOD’S HOLY LAW. {4SP 444.1 1864}
In the last conflict the SABBATH will be the special point of controversy throughout all Christendom. SECULAR RULERS AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS WILL UNITE TO ENFORCE THE OBSERVANCE OF THE SUNDAY; and as milder measures fail, the most oppressive laws will be enacted. It will be urged that the FEW WHO STAND IN OPPOSITION to an institution of the church and a law of the land ought not to be tolerated, and a DECREE WILL FINALLY BE ISSUED denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment, and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, TO PUT THEM TO DEATH. Romanism in the Old World, and apostate Protestantism in the New, will pursue a similar course toward those who honor the divine precepts. {4SP 444.2 1864}
The PEOPLE of GOD will then flee from the cities and villages, and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. Like the Christians of the Piedmont valleys, they will make the high places of the earth their sanctuaries, and will thank God for the “munitions of rocks.” But MANY OF ALL NATIONS AND ALL CLASSES, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, WILL BE CAST INTO THE MOST UNJUST AND CRUEL BONDAGE. The BELOVED of GOD pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them help. {4SP 445.1 1864}
GOD’S JUDGMENTS will be visited upon those who are seeking to oppress and destroy HIS PEOPLE. His long forbearance with the wicked emboldens men in transgression, but their punishment is none the less certain and terrible because it is long delayed. “The Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, HIS STRANGE ACT.” [Isaiah 28:21.] To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” [Ezekiel 33:11.] The Lord is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” “forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Yet he will “by no means clear the guilty.” “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” [Exodus 34:6, 7; Nahum 1:3.] By terrible things in righteousness he will vindicate the authority of his downtrodden law. The severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor may be judged by the Lord’s reluctance to execute justice. The nation with which he bears long, and which he will not smite until it has filled up the measure of its iniquity in God’s account, will finally drink the cup of wrath unmixed with mercy. {GC88 627.1 1888}
When CHRIST CEASES HIS INTERCESSION in the SANCTUARY, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, [Revelation 14:9, 10.] will be poured out. The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel, were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of GOD’S PEOPLE. Says the Revelator, in describing these terrific scourges, “There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.” The sea “became as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul died in the sea.” And “the rivers and fountains of waters became blood.” [Revelation 16:2-6, 8, 9.] Terrible as these inflictions are, GOD’S JUSTICE stands fully vindicated. The angel of God declares, “Thou art righteous, O Lord, . . . because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. [Revelation 16:2-6, 8, 9.] By condemning the PEOPLE of GOD to death they have as truly incurred the guilt of their blood, as if it had been shed by their hands. In like manner Christ declared the Jews of his time guilty of all the blood of holy men which had been shed since the days of Abel; for they possessed the same spirit, and were seeking to do the same work, with these murderers of the prophets. {GC88 627.2 1888}
In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun “to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.” [Revelation 16:2-6, 8, 9.] The prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time: “The land mourneth;. . . because the harvest of the field is perished.” “All the trees of the field are withered; because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” “The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate.” “How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture. . . . The rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.” “The songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God; there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.” [Joel 1:10-12, 17-20; Amos 8:3.] {GC88 628.1 1888}
THESE PLAGUES ARE NOT UNIVERSAL, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals. All the judgments upon men, prior to the close of probation, have been MINGLED WITH MERCY. The pleading BLOOD of CHRIST has SHIELDED THE SINNER from receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final Judgment, wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy. {GC88 628.2 1888}
In that day, multitudes will desire the shelter of GOD’S MERCY which they have so long despised. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the WORDS of the LORD. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the WORD of the LORD, and shall not find it.” [Amos 8:11, 12.] {GC88 629.1 1888}
Though the PEOPLE of GOD endure privation, and even suffer for want of food, they are NOT LEFT TO PERISH. While GOD’S JUDGMENTS are visited upon the earth, and the wicked are dying from hunger and thirst, ANGELS PROVIDE THE RIGHTEOUS WITH FOOD AND WATER. Said Jesus, in his lessons of faith to his disciples: “Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them; how much more are ye better than the fowls?” [Luke 12:24.] “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” [Matthew 10:29-31.] {4SP 446.1 1864}
“Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls;” yet shall they that fear him “rejoice in the Lord,” and joy in the God of their salvation. [Habakkuk 3:17, 18.] {GC88 629.3 1888}
“The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul.” “He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. BECAUSE THOU HAST MADE THE LORD, which is my refuge, even THE MOST HIGH, THY HABITATION; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” [Psalm 121:5-7; 91:3-10.] {GC88 629.4 1888}
Yet to human sight it will appear that the PEOPLE of GOD must soon seal their testimony with their blood, as did the martyrs before them. They themselves begin to fear that the Lord has left them to fall by the hand of their enemies. It is a time of fearful agony. Day and night they cry unto God for deliverance. The wicked exult, and the jeering cry is heard, “Where now is your faith? Why does not God deliver you out of our hands if you are indeed his people?” But the waiting ones remember Jesus dying upon Calvary’s cross, and the chief priests and rulers shouting in mockery, “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” [Matthew 27:42.] Like Jacob, all are wrestling with God. Their countenances express their internal struggle. Paleness sits upon every face. Yet they cease not their earnest intercession. {4SP 446.2 1864} {GC88 630.1 1888}
Could men see with heavenly vision, they would behold companies of ANGELS THAT EXCEL IN STRENGTH STATIONED ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE KEPT THE WORD OF CHRIST’S PATIENCE. With sympathizing tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress, and have heard their prayers. They are waiting the word of their Commander to snatch them from their peril. But they must wait yet a little longer. The PEOPLE of GOD must drink of the cup, and be baptized with the baptism. The very delay, so painful to them, is the best answer to their petitions. As they endeavor to wait trustingly for the Lord to work, they are led to exercise faith, hope, and patience, which have been too little exercised during their religious experience. Yet for the elect’s sake, the time of trouble will be shortened. The end will come more quickly than men expect. The wheat will be gathered and bound in sheaves for the garner of God; the tares will be bound as fagots for the fires of destruction. {4SP 447.1 1864} {GC88 630.2 1888}
The HEAVENLY SENTINELS, faithful to their trust, continue their watch. In some cases, before the time specified in the decree, enemies will rush upon the waiting ones to put them to death. But none can pass the MIGHTY GUARDIANS STATIONED ABOUT EVERY FAITHFUL SOUL. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall as powerless as a straw. Others are DEFENDED BY ANGELS in the form of men of war. {4SP 447.2 1864} {GC88 631.1 1888}
In all ages God has wrought through HOLY ANGELS for the succor and deliverance of HIS PEOPLE. Celestial beings have taken an active part in the affairs of men. They have appeared clothed in garments that shone as the lightning; they have come as men, in the garb of wayfarers. ANGELS have appeared in human form to MEN of GOD. They have rested, as if weary, under the oaks at noon. They have accepted the hospitalities of human homes. They have acted as guides to benighted travelers. They have, with their own hands, kindled the fires of the altar. They have opened prison doors, and set free the servants of the Lord. Clothed with the panoply of Heaven, they came to roll away the stone from the Saviour’s tomb. {4SP 447.3 1864} {GC88 631.2 1888}
In the form of men, ANGELS are often in the assemblies of the righteous, and they visit the assemblies of the wicked, as they went to Sodom, to make a record of their deeds, to determine whether they have passed the boundary of GOD’S FORBEARANCE. The Lord delights in MERCY; and for the sake of a few who really serve him, he restrains calamities, and prolongs the tranquillity of multitudes. Little do sinners against God realize that they are indebted for their own lives to the faithful few whom they delight to ridicule and oppress. {4SP 448.1 1864} {GC88 631.3 1888}
Though the rulers of this world know it not, yet often in their councils ANGELS have been spokesmen. Human eyes have looked upon them; human ears have listened to their appeals; human lips have opposed their suggestions and ridiculed their counsels; human hands have met them with insult and abuse. In the council hall and the court of justice, these HEAVENLY MESSENGERS have shown an intimate acquaintance with human history; they have proved themselves better able to plead the cause of the oppressed than their ablest and most eloquent defenders. They have defeated purposes and arrested evils that would have greatly retarded the WORK of GOD, and would have caused great suffering to his people. In the hour of peril and distress let it never be forgotten that “the ANGEL of the LORD ENCAMPETH ROUND ABOUT THEM THAT FEAR HIM, and DELIVERETH THEM.” [Psalm 34:7] {4SP 448.2 1864} {GC88 632.1 1888}
With earnest longing, GOD’S PEOPLE await the tokens of their coming King. As the watchmen are accosted, “What of the night?” the answer is given unfalteringly, “‘The morning cometh, and also the night.’ Light is gleaming upon the clouds above the mountain tops. Soon will there be a REVEALING of HIS GLORY. The SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS is about to shine forth. The morning and the night come hand in hand,–the opening of endless day to the righteous, the settling down of eternal night to the wicked.” {4SP 449.1 1864} {GC88 632.2 1888}
As the WRESTLING ONES urge their petitions before God, the vail separating them from the unseen seems almost withdrawn. The heavens glow with the dawning of eternal day, and, like the melody of angel songs, the words fall upon the ear, “Stand fast to your allegiance. Help is coming.” Christ, the almighty victor, holds out to HIS WEARY SOLDIERS a CROWN of IMMORTAL GLORY; and his voice comes from the gates ajar: “Lo, I am with you. Be not afraid. I am acquainted with all your sorrows; I have borne your griefs. You are not warring against untried enemies. I have fought the battle in your behalf, and in my name you are more than conquerors.” {4SP 449.2 1864} {GC88 632.3 1888}
The precious Saviour will send help just when we need it. The way to Heaven is consecrated by his footprints. Every thorn that wounds our feet has wounded his. Every cross that we are called to bear, he has borne before us. The Lord permits conflicts, to prepare the soul for peace. If we had no storms, no shadows, we could not appreciate the sunshine. The TIME of TROUBLE is a FEARFUL ORDEAL for GOD’S PEOPLE; but it is the time for every true believer to look up, and by FAITH he may see the BOW of PROMISE encircling him. {4SP 449.3 1864} {GC88 633.1 1888}
“The REDEEMED of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am he that comforteth you; who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy Maker; . . . and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared. The Lord of hosts is his name. And I have PUT MY WORDS IN THY MOUTH, and I have COVERED THEE in the shadow of mine hand.” {4SP 450.1 1864} {GC88 633.2 1888}
“Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted and drunken, but not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again. But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.” [Isaiah 51:11-16, 21-23.] {4SP 450.2 1864} {GC88 633.3 1888}
The EYE of GOD, looking down the ages, was fixed upon the crisis which HIS PEOPLE are to meet, when earthly powers shall be arrayed against them. Like the captive exile, they will be in FEAR OF DEATH BY STARVATION OR BY VIOLENCE. But the Holy One who divided the Red Sea before Israel, will manifest his mighty power and turn their captivity. “They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” [Malachi 3:17.] IF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST’S FAITHFUL WITNESSES WERE SHED AT THIS TIME, IT WOULD NOT, LIKE THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS, BE AS SEED SOWN TO YIELD A HARVEST FOR GOD. Their fidelity would not be a testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more. If the righteous were now left to fall a prey to their enemies, it would be a triumph for the prince of darkness. But Christ has spoken: “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. FOR, BEHOLD, THE LORD COMETH OUT OF HIS PLACE TO PUNISH THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH FOR THEIR INIQUITY.” [Isaiah 26:20, 21.] Glorious will be the deliverance of those who have patiently waited for him, and whose names are written in the book of life. {4SP 451.1 1864} {GC88 634.1 1888}