The Great Controversy
Between Christ & His Angels & Satan & his Angels
An easy to read and fast moving panorama of the Story of Redemption!
But notwithstanding all the persecution and the putting to death of the saints, yet living witnesses were raised up on every hand. The angels of God were doing the work committed to their trust. They were searching in the darkest places, and were selecting out of the darkness, men who were honest at heart. They were all buried up in error, yet God selected them as he did Saul, as chosen vessels to bear his truth, and raise their voices against the sins of his professed people. The angels of God moved upon Martin Luther, Melancthon, and others in different places, to thirst for the living testimony of the word of God. The enemy had come in like a flood, and the standard must be raised up against him. Luther was chosen to breast the storm, and stand up against the ire of a fallen church, and strengthen the few who were faithful to their holy profession. He was ever fearful of offending God. He tried through works to obtain the favor of God; but he was not satisfied until a gleam of light from heaven drove the darkness from his mind, and led him to trust, not in works, but in the merits of the blood of Christ; and to come to God for himself, not through popes nor confessors, but through Jesus Christ alone. O how precious was this knowledge to Luther! He prized this new and precious light which had dawned upon his dark understanding, and had driven away his superstition, higher than the richest earthly treasure. The word of God was new. Every thing was changed. The Book he had dreaded because he could not see beauty in it, was life, LIFE to him. It was his joy, his consolation, his blessed teacher. Nothing could induce him to leave its study. He had feared death; but as he read the word of God, all his terrors disappeared, and he admired the character of God, and loved him. He searched the word of God for himself. He feasted upon the rich treasures it contained, and then he searched it for the church. He was disgusted with the sins of those in whom he had trusted for salvation. He saw very many enshrouded in the same darkness which had covered him. He anxiously sought an opportunity to point them to the Lamb of God, who alone taketh away the sin of the world. He raised his voice against the errors and sins of the Papal church, and earnestly longed to break the chain of darkness which was confining thousands, and causing them to trust in works for salvation. He longed to be enabled to open to their minds the true riches of the grace of God, and the excellence of salvation obtained through Jesus Christ. He raised his voice zealously, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, cried against the existing sins of the leaders of the church; and as he met the storm of opposition from the priests, his courage did not fail; for he firmly relied upon the strong arm of God, and confidently trusted in him for victory. And as he pushed the battle closer and closer, the rage of the priests was kindled against him. They did not wish to be reformed. They chose to be left in ease, in wanton pleasure, in wickedness. They wished the church kept in darkness.
I saw that Luther was ardent and zealous, fearless and bold in reproving sin, and advocating the truth. He cared not for wicked men and devils. He knew that he had One with him mightier than they all. Luther possessed fire, zeal, courage and boldness, and at times might go too far; but God raised up Melancthon, who was just the opposite in character, to aid Luther, and carry on the work of reformation. Melancthon was timid, fearful, cautious, and possessed great patience. He was greatly beloved of God. His knowledge was great in the Scriptures, and his judgment and wisdom was excellent. His love for the cause of God was equal to Luther's. These hearts, the Lord knit together; they were friends which were never to be separated. Luther was a great help to Melancthon when he was in danger of being fearful and slow, and Melancthon was also a great help to Luther to keep him from moving too fast. Melancthon's far-seeing cautiousness often averted trouble which would have come upon the cause, if the work had been left alone to Luther; and the work would often have failed in being pushed forward, if it had been left to Melancthon alone. I was shown the wisdom of God in choosing these two men, of different characters to carry on the work of reformation.
I was then carried back to the days of the apostles, and saw that God chose as companions an ardent and zealous Peter, and a mild, patient, meek John. Sometimes Peter was impetuous. And the beloved disciple often checked Peter, when his zeal and ardor led him too far; but it did not reform him. But after Peter had denied his Lord, and repented, and was converted, all he needed was a mild caution from John to check his ardor and zeal. The cause of Christ would often have suffered had it been left alone to John. Peter's zeal was needed. His boldness and energy often delivered them from difficulty, and silenced their enemies. John was winning. He gained many to the cause of Christ by his patient forbearance, and deep devotedness.
God raised up men to cry against the existing sins of the Papal church, and carry forward the reformation. Satan sought to destroy these living witnesses; but God made a hedge about them. Some, for the glory of his name, were permitted to seal the testimony they had borne with their blood; but there were other powerful men, like Luther and Melancthon, who could best glorify God by living and crying aloud against the sins of popes, priests and kings. They trembled before the voice of Luther. Through those chosen men, rays of light began to scatter the darkness, and very many joyfully received the light and walked in it. And when one witness was slain, two or more were raised up to fill his place.
But Satan was not satisfied. He could only have power over the body. He could not make believers yield their faith and hope. And even in death they triumphed with a bright hope of immortality at the resurrection of the just. They had more than mortal energy. They dared not sleep for a moment. They kept the Christian armor girded about them, prepared for a conflict, not merely with spiritual foes, but with Satan in the form of men, whose constant cry was, Give up your faith, or die. Those few Christians were strong in God, and more precious in his sight than half a world bearing the name of Christ, yet cowards in his cause. While the church was persecuted, they were united and loving. They were strong in God. Sinners were not permitted to unite themselves with it; neither the deceiver nor the deceived. Those only who were willing to forsake all for Christ could be his disciples. They loved to be poor, humble and Christ-like.
Satan then consulted with his angels, and they there considered what they had gained. It was true that they had kept some timid souls through fear of death, from embracing the truth; but many, even of the most timid, received the truth, and immediately their fears and timidity left them, and as they witnessed the death of their brethren, and saw their firmness and patience, they knew that God and angels assisted them to endure such sufferings, and they grew bold and fearless. And when called to yield their own lives, they maintained their faith with such patience and firmness as caused even their murderers to tremble. Satan and his angels decided that there was a more successful way to destroy souls, and more certain in the end. They saw that although they caused Christians to suffer, their steadfastness, and the bright hope that cheered them, caused the weakest to grow strong, and that the rack and the flames could not daunt them. They imitated the noble bearing of Christ when before his murderers, and many were convinced of the truth by witnessing their constancy, and the glory of God which rested upon them. Satan decided that he must come in a milder form. He had corrupted the doctrines of the Bible; and traditions which were to ruin millions were taking deep root. He restrained his hate, and decided not to urge on his subjects to such bitter persecution; but lead on the church to contend, not for the faith once delivered to the saints, but, for various traditions. As he led on the church to receive favors and honors of the world, under the false pretense of benefiting them, she began to lose favor with God. Gradually the church lost her power, as she shunned to declare the straight truths which shut out the lovers of pleasure and friends of the world.
The church is not the separate and peculiar people she was when the fires of persecution were kindled against her. How is the gold become dim? How is the most fine gold changed?
I saw that if the church had always retained her holy and peculiar character, the power of the Holy Spirit which was imparted to the disciples would be with her. The sick would be healed, devils would be rebuked and cast out, and she would be mighty, and a terror to her enemies.
I saw that a very large company professed the name of Christ, but God does not recognize them as his. He has no pleasure in them. Satan seemed to assume a religious character, and was very willing that the people should think they were Christians. He was very willing that they should believe in Jesus, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. Satan and his angels fully believed all this themselves, and trembled. But if this faith does not provoke to good works, and lead those who profess it to imitate the self-denying life of Christ, he is not disturbed; for they merely assume the Christian name, while their hearts are still carnal; and he can use them in his service better than if they made no profession. Under the name of Christian they hide their deformity. They pass along with their unsanctified natures, and their evil passions unsubdued. This gives occasion for the unbeliever to throw their imperfections in the face of Jesus Christ, to reproach him, and to cause those who do possess pure and undefiled religion to be brought into disrepute.
The ministers preach smooth things to suit carnal professors. This is just as Satan would have it. They dare not preach Jesus and the cutting truths of the Bible; for if they should, these carnal professors would not hear them. Many of them are wealthy and must be retained in the church, although they are no more fit to be there than Satan and his angels. The religion of Jesus is made to appear popular and honorable in the eyes of the world. The people are told that those who profess religion will be more honored by the world. Very widely do such teachings differ from the teachings of Christ. His doctrine and the world could not be at peace. Those who followed him had to renounce the world. These smooth things originated with Satan and his angels. They formed the plan, and nominal professors have carried it out. Hypocrites and sinners unite with the church. Pleasing fables are taught, and readily received. But if the truth should be preached in its purity, it would soon shut out hypocrites and sinners. But there is no difference between the professed followers of Christ and the world. I saw that if the false covering could be torn off from the members of the churches, there would be revealed such iniquity, vileness and corruption, that the most diffident child of God would have no hesitancy in calling them by their right name, children of their father, the Devil; for his works they do. Jesus and all the heavenly host looked with disgust upon the scene; yet God had a message for the church that was sacred and important. If received, it would make a thorough reformation in the church, revive the living testimony that would purge out hypocrites and sinners, and bring the church again into favor with God.
See Revelation 3:14-22.
I saw that God sent his angel to move upon the heart of a farmer who had not believed the Bible, and led him to search the prophecies. Angels of God repeatedly visited that chosen one, and guided his mind, and opened his understanding to prophecies which had ever been dark to God's people. The commencement of the chain of truth was given to him, and he was led on to search for link after link, until he looked with wonder and admiration upon the word of God. He saw there a perfect chain of truth. That Word which he had regarded as uninspired, now opened before his vision with beauty and glory. He saw that one portion of scripture explained another, and when one portion was closed to his understanding, he found in another portion of the Word that which explained it. He regarded the sacred word of God with joy, and with the deepest respect and awe.
As he followed down the prophecies, he saw that the inhabitants of earth were living in the closing scenes of this world's history, and they knew it not. He looked at the corruptions of the churches, and saw that their love was taken from Jesus, and placed on the world, and that they were seeking for worldly honor instead of that honor which cometh from above; ambitious for worldly riches, instead of laying up their treasure in heaven. Hypocrisy, darkness and death he could see everywhere. His spirit was stirred within him. God called him to leave his farm, as Elisha was called to leave his oxen and the field of his labor to follow Elijah. With trembling, William Miller began to unfold the mysteries of the kingdom of God to the people. He gained strength with every effort. He carried the people down through the prophecies to the second advent of Christ. As John the Baptist heralded the first advent of Jesus, and prepared the way for his coming, so also, Wm. Miller and those who joined with him, proclaimed the second advent of the Son of God.
I was carried back to the days of the disciples, and was shown the beloved John, that God had a special work for him to accomplish. Satan was determined to hinder this work, and he led on his servants to destroy John. But God sent his angel and wonderfully preserved him. All who witnessed the great power of God manifested in the deliverance of John, were astonished, and many were convinced that God was with him, and that the testimony which he bore concerning Jesus was correct. Those who sought to destroy him were afraid to again attempt to take his life, and he was permitted to suffer on for Jesus. He was falsely accused by his enemies, and was shortly banished to a lonely island, where the Lord sent his angel to reveal to him things which were to take place upon the earth, and the state of the church down through to the end; her backslidings, and the position the church should occupy if she would please God, and finally overcome. The angel from heaven came to John in majesty. His countenance beamed with the excellent glory of heaven. He revealed to John scenes of deep and thrilling interest concerning the church of God, and brought before him the perilous conflicts they were to endure. John saw them pass through fiery trials, and made white and tried, and, finally, victorious overcomers, gloriously saved in the kingdom of God. The countenance of the angel grew radiant with joy, and was exceeding glorious, as he showed to John the final triumph of the church of God. John was enraptured as he beheld the final deliverance of the church, and as he was carried away with the glory of the scene, with deep reverence and awe he fell at the feet of the angel to worship him. The angel instantly raised him up, and gently reproved him, saying, See thou do it not; I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus; worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. The angel then showed John the heavenly city with all its splendor and dazzling glory. John was enraptured and overwhelmed with the glory of the city. He did not bear in mind his former reproof from the angel, but again fell to worship before the feet of the angel, who again gave the gentle reproof, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them that keep the sayings of this book; worship God.
Preachers and people have looked upon the book of Revelation as mysterious, and of less importance than other portions of the sacred Scriptures. But I saw that this book is indeed a revelation given for the especial benefit of those who should live in the last days, to guide them in ascertaining their true position, and their duty. God led the mind of Wm. Miller into the prophecies, and gave him great light upon the book of Revelation.
If Daniel's visions had been understood, the people could better have understood the visions of John. But at the right time, God moved upon his chosen servant, who with clearness and in the power of the Holy Spirit, opened the prophecies, and showed the harmony of the visions of Daniel and John, and other portions of the Bible, and pressed home upon the hearts of the people the sacred, fearful warnings of the Word, to prepare for the coming of the Son of man. Deep and solemn convictions rested upon the minds of those who heard him, and ministers and people, sinners and infidels, turned to the Lord, to seek a preparation to stand in the judgment.
Angels of God accompanied Wm. Miller in his mission. He was firm and undaunted. He fearlessly proclaimed the message committed to his trust. A world lying in wickedness, and a cold, worldly church were enough to call into action his energy, and lead him to willingly endure toil, privation and suffering. Although opposed by professed Christians and the world, and buffeted by Satan and his angels, he ceased not to preach the everlasting gospel to crowds wherever he was invited, and sound the cry, Fear God and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.
See Daniel 8:14; Revelation 19:10.
I saw that God was in the proclamation of the time in 1843. It was his design to arouse the people, and bring them to a testing point where they should decide. Ministers were convicted and convinced of the correctness of the positions taken on the prophetic periods, and they left their pride, their salaries, and their churches, to go forth from place to place and proclaim the message. But as the message from heaven could find a place in the hearts of but a very few of the professed ministers of Christ, the work was laid upon many who were not preachers. Some left their fields to sound the message, while others were called from their shops and their merchandise. And even some professional men were compelled to leave their professions to engage in the unpopular work of giving the first angel's message. Ministers laid aside their sectarian views and feelings, and united in proclaiming the coming of Jesus. The people were moved everywhere the message reached them. Sinners repented, wept and prayed for forgiveness, and those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty, were anxious to make restitution.
Parents felt the deepest solicitude for their children. Those who received the message, labored with their unconverted friends and relatives, and with their souls bowed with the weight of the solemn message, warned and entreated them to prepare for the coming of the Son of man. Those cases were the most hardened that would not yield to such a weight of evidence set home by heart-felt warnings. This soul-purifying work led the affections away from worldly things, to a consecration never before experienced. Thousands were led to embrace the truth preached by Wm. Miller, and servants of God were raised up in the spirit and power of Elijah to proclaim the message. Those who preached this solemn message, like John the forerunner of Jesus, felt compelled to lay the axe at the root of the tree, and call upon men to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Their testimony was calculated to arouse and powerfully affect the churches, and manifest their real character. And as they raised the solemn warning to flee from the wrath to come, many who were united with the churches received the healing message; they saw their backslidings, and, with bitter tears of repentance, and deep agony of soul, humbled themselves before God. And as the Spirit of God rested upon them, they helped to sound the cry, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.
The preaching of definite time called forth great opposition from all classes, from the minister in the pulpit, down to the most reckless, heaven-daring sinner. No man knoweth the day and the hour, was heard from the hypocritical minister and the bold scoffer. Neither would be instructed and corrected on the use made of the text by those who were pointing to the year when they believed the prophetic periods would run out, and to the signs which showed Christ near, even at the doors. Many shepherds of the flock, who professed to love Jesus, said they had no opposition to the preaching of Christ's coming; but they objected to the definite time. God's all-seeing eye read their hearts. They did not love Jesus near. They knew that their unchristian lives would not stand the test; for they were not walking in the humble path laid out by him. These false shepherds stood in the way of the work of God. The truth spoken in its convincing power to the people aroused them, and like the jailer, they began to inquire, What must I do to be saved. But these shepherds stepped between the truth and the people, and preached smooth things to lead them from the truth. They united with Satan and his angels, and cried, Peace, peace, when there was no peace. I saw that angels of God had marked it all, and the garments of those unconsecrated shepherds were covered with the blood of souls. Those who loved their ease, and were content with their distance from God, would not be aroused from their carnal security.
Many ministers would not accept this saving message themselves, and those who would receive it, they hindered. The blood of souls is upon them. Preachers and people joined to oppose this message from heaven. They persecuted Wm. Miller, and those who united with him in the work. Falsehoods were circulated to injure his influence, and at different times after he had plainly declared the counsel of God, applying cutting truths to the hearts of his hearers, great rage was kindled against him, and as he left the place of meeting, some waylaid him in order to take his life. But angels of God were sent to preserve his life, and they led him safely away from the angry mob. His work was not yet finished.
The most devoted gladly received the message. They knew it was from God, and that it was delivered at the right time. Angels were watching with the deepest interest the result of the heavenly message, and when the churches turned from and rejected it, they in sadness consulted with Jesus. He turned his face from the churches, and bid his angels to faithfully watch over the precious ones who did not reject the testimony, for another light was yet to shine upon them.
I saw that if professed Christians had loved their Saviour's appearing, if their affections were placed on him, if they felt that there was none upon earth to be compared with him, they would have hailed with joy the first intimation of his coming. But the dislike they manifested, as they heard of their Lord's coming, was a decided proof that they did not love him. Satan and his angels triumphed, and cast it in the face of Jesus Christ and his holy angels, that his professed people had so little love for Jesus that they did not desire his second appearing.
I saw the people of God, joyful in expectation, looking for their Lord. But God designed to prove them. His hand covered a mistake in the reckoning of the prophetic periods. Those who were looking for their Lord did not discover it, and the most learned men who opposed the time also failed to see the mistake. God designed that his people should meet with a disappointment. The time passed, and those who had looked with joyful expectation for their Saviour were sad and disheartened, while those who had not loved the appearing of Jesus, but embraced the message through fear, were pleased that he did not come at the time of expectation. Their profession had not affected their hearts, and purified their lives. The passing of the time was well calculated to reveal such hearts. They were the first to turn and ridicule the sorrowful, disappointed ones, who really loved the appearing of their Saviour. I saw the wisdom of God in proving his people, and giving them a searching test to discover those who would shrink and turn back in the hour of trial.
Jesus and all the heavenly host looked with sympathy and love upon those who had with sweet expectation longed to see him whom their souls loved. Angels were hovering around them, to sustain them in the hour of their trial. Those who had neglected to receive the heavenly message were left in darkness, and God's anger was kindled against them, because they would not receive the light he had sent them from heaven. Those faithful, disappointed ones, who could not understand why their Lord did not come, were not left in darkness. Again they were led to their Bibles to search the prophetic periods. The hand of the Lord was removed from the figures, and the mistake was explained. They saw that the prophetic periods reached to 1844, and that the same evidence they had presented to show that the prophetic periods closed in 1843, proved that they would terminate in 1844. Light from the word of God shone upon their position, and they discovered a tarrying time. -- If the vision tarry, wait for it. -- In their love for Jesus' immediate coming, they had overlooked the tarrying of the vision, which was calculated to manifest the true waiting ones. Again they had a point of time. Yet I saw that many of them could not rise above their severe disappointment, to possess that degree of zeal and energy which had marked their faith in 1843.
Satan and his angels triumphed over them, and those who would not receive the message, congratulated themselves upon their far-seeing judgment and wisdom in not receiving the delusion, as they called it. They realized not that they were rejecting the counsel of God against themselves, and that they were working in union with Satan and his angels to perplex God's people, who were living out the heaven-born message.
The believers in this message were oppressed in the churches. Fear had held them for a time, so that they did not act out the sentiments of their heart, but the passing of the time revealed their true feelings. They wished to silence the testimony which the believers felt compelled to bear, that the prophetic periods extended to 1844. With clearness they explained their mistake, and gave their reasons why they expected their Lord in 1844. The opposers could not bring any arguments against the powerful reasons offered. The anger of the churches was kindled against them. They were determined not to listen to any evidence, and to shut their testimony out of the churches, so that others could not hear it. Those who dared not withhold from others the light God had given them, were shut out of the churches; but Jesus was with them, and they were joyful in the light of his countenance. They were prepared to receive the message of the second angel.
See Malachi 3; John 14:1-3; Revelation 14:6.
The churches would not receive the light of the first angel's message, and as they rejected the light from heaven they fell from the favor of God. They trusted in their own strength, and placed themselves by their opposition to the first message where they could not see the light of the second angel's message. But the beloved of God, who were oppressed, answered to the message, Babylon is fallen, and left the fallen churches.
Near the close of the second angel's message, I saw a great light from heaven shining upon the people of God. The rays of this light seemed bright as the sun. And I heard the voices of angels crying, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him!
The midnight cry was given to give power to the second angel's message. Angels were sent from heaven to wake up the discouraged saints, and prepare them for the great work before them. The most talented men were not the first to receive this message. Angels were sent to the humble, devoted ones, and constrained them to raise the cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Those entrusted with the cry made haste, and in the power of the Holy Spirit spread the cry, and aroused their discouraged brethren. This cry did not stand in the wisdom and learning of men, but in the power of God, and his saints who heard the cry could not resist it. The most spiritual received this message first, and those who had formerly led in the work were the last to receive and help swell the cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.
In every part of the land, light was given upon the second angel's message, and the cry was melting down thousands. It went from city to city, and from village to village, until the wait-ing people of God were fully aroused. Many would not permit this message to enter the churches, and a large company who had the living testimony within them left the fallen churches. A mighty work was accomplished by the midnight cry. The message was heart-searching, and led the believers to seek a living experience for themselves. They knew that they could not lean upon one another.
The saints anxiously waited for their Lord with fasting, watching and almost constant prayer. Even some sinners looked forward to the time with terror, while the great mass seemed to be stirred against this message, and manifested the spirit of Satan. They mocked and scoffed, and everywhere was heard, No man knoweth the day and the hour. Evil angels exulted around them, urging them on to harden their hearts, and to reject every ray of light from heaven, that they might fasten them in the snare. Many professed to be looking for their Lord, who had neither part nor lot in the matter. The glory of God they had witnessed, the humility and deep devotion of the waiting ones, and the overwhelming weight of evidence, caused them to profess to receive the truth. But they were not converted. They were not ready. A spirit of solemn and earnest prayer was everywhere felt by the saints. A holy solemnity was resting upon them. Angels with the deepest interest had watched the result, and were elevating those who received the heavenly message, and were drawing them from earthly things to obtain large supplies from salvation's fountain. God's people were then accepted with him. Jesus looked upon them with pleasure. His image was reflected in them. They had made a full sacrifice, an entire consecration, and expected to be changed to immortality. But they were destined to be again sadly disappointed. The time to which they looked, expecting deliverance, passed. They were still upon the earth, and the effects of the curse never seemed more visible. They had placed their affections on heaven, and in sweet anticipation, had tasted immortal deliverance; but their hopes were not realized.
The fear that had rested upon many of the people did not at once disappear. They did not immediately triumph over the disappointed ones. But as no visible wrath of God was felt by them, they recovered from the fear they had felt, and commenced their ridicule, their mocking, and scoffing. The people of God were again proved, and tested. The world laughed, and mocked, and reproached them; and those who had believed without a doubt that Jesus would then come and raise the dead, and change the living saints, and take the kingdom, and possess it forever, felt like the disciples of Christ. They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
See Revelation 14:8.
I saw a number of companies who seemed to be bound together by cords. Many in these companies were in total darkness. Their eyes were directed downward to the earth, and there seemed to be no connection between them and Jesus. I saw individuals scattered through these different companies whose countenances looked light, and whose eyes were raised upward to heaven. Beams of light from Jesus, like rays of light from the sun, were imparted to them. An angel bid me look carefully, and I saw an angel watching over every one of those who had a ray of light, while evil angels surrounded those who were in darkness. I heard the voice of an angel cry, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.
A glorious light rested down upon these companies, to enlighten all who would receive it. Some of those who were in darkness received the light and rejoiced; while others resisted the light from heaven, and said that it was deception to lead them astray. The light passed away from them, and they were left in darkness. Those who had received the light from Jesus, joyfully cherished the increase of precious light which was shed upon them. Their faces lighted up, and beamed with holy joy, while their gaze was directed upward to Jesus with intense interest, and their voices were heard in harmony with the voice of the angel, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come. As they raised this cry, I saw those who were in darkness thrusting them with side and with shoulder. Then many of those who cherished the sacred light, broke the cords which confined them, and stood out separate from those companies. And as many were breaking the cords which bound them, men belonging to these different companies, who were revered by them, passed through the companies, and some with pleasing words, and others with wrathful looks and threatening gestures, fastened the cords which were weakening, and were constantly saying, God is with us. We stand in the light. We have the truth. I inquired who these men were. I was told that they were ministers, and leading men, who had rejected the light themselves, and were unwilling that others should receive it. I saw those who cherished the light looking with interest and ardent desire upward, expecting Jesus to come and take them to himself. Soon a cloud passed over those who rejoiced in the light, and their faces looked sorrowful. I inquired the cause of this cloud. I was shown that it was their disappointment. The time when they expected their Saviour had passed, and Jesus had not come. Discouragement settled upon them, and those men I had before noticed, the ministers and leading men, rejoiced. Those who had rejected the light, triumphed greatly, while Satan and his evil angels also exulted around them.
Then I heard the voice of another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen! is fallen! A light shone upon those desponding ones, and with ardent desires for his appearing, they again fixed their eyes upon Jesus. Then I saw a number of angels conversing with the second angel, who had cried, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and these angels raised their voices with the second angel, and cried, Behold the Bridegroom cometh! go ye out to meet him! The musical voices of these angels seemed to reach everywhere. An exceeding bright and glorious light shone around those who had cherished the light which had been imparted to them. Their faces shone with excellent glory, and they united with the angels in the cry, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh! And as they harmoniously raised the cry among these different companies, those who rejected the light, pushed them, and with angry looks, scorned and derided them. But the angels of God wafted their wings over the persecuted ones, while Satan and his angels were seeking to press their darkness around them, to lead them to reject the light from heaven.
Then I heard a voice saying to those who had been pushed and derided, come out from among them, and touch not the unclean. A large number broke the cords which bound them, and they obeyed the voice, and left those who were in darkness, and united with those who had previously broken the cords, and they joyfully united their voices with them. I heard the voice of earnest, agonizing prayer from a few who still remained with the companies who were in darkness. The ministers and leading men were passing around in these different companies, fastening the cords stronger; but still I heard this voice of earnest prayer. Then I saw those who had been praying reach out their hands for help towards that united company who were free, rejoicing in God. The answer from them, as they earnestly looked to heaven, and pointed upward, was, Come out from among them, and be separate. I saw individuals struggling for freedom, and at last they broke the cords that bound them. They resisted the efforts which were made to fasten the cords tighter, and would not heed the repeated assertions, God is with us, We have the truth with us. Individuals continued to leave the companies who were in darkness, and joined the free company, who appeared to be in an open field raised above the earth. Their gaze was upward, and the glory of God rested upon them, and they shouted the praises of God. They were united, and seemed to be wrapt in the light of heaven. Around this company were some who came under the influence of the light, but who were not particularly united to the company. All who cherished the light shed upon them were gazing upward with intense interest. Jesus looked upon them with sweet approbation. They expected Jesus to come. They longed for his appearing. They did not cast one lingering look to earth. Again I saw a cloud settle upon the waiting ones. I saw them turn their weary eyes downward. I inquired the cause of this change. Said my accompanying angel, They are again disappointed in their expectations. Jesus cannot yet come to earth. They must yet suffer for Jesus and endure greater trials. They must give up errors and traditions received from men, and turn wholly to God and his word. They must be purified, made white and tried. And those who endure that bitter trial will obtain an eternal victory.
Jesus did not come to earth as the waiting, joyful company expected, to cleanse the Sanctuary, by purifying the earth by fire. I saw that they were correct in their reckoning of the prophetic periods. Prophetic time closed in 1844. Their mistake consisted in not understanding what the Sanctuary was, and the nature of its cleansing. Jesus did enter the Most Holy place to cleanse the Sanctuary at the ending of the days. I looked again at the waiting, disappointed company. They looked sad. They carefully examined the evidences of their faith, and followed down through the reckoning of the prophetic periods, and could discover no mistake. Time was fulfilled, but where was their Saviour? They had lost him.
I was then shown the disappointment of the disciples as they came to the sepulchre and found not the body of Jesus. Said Mary, They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. Angels told the sorrowing disciples that their Lord had risen, and would go before them into Galilee.
I saw that as Jesus looked upon the disappointed ones with the deepest compassion, he sent his angels to direct their minds that they might find him, and follow him where he was; that they might understand that the earth is not the Sanctuary; that he must needs enter the Most Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary to cleanse it; to make a special atonement for Israel, and to receive the kingdom of his Father, and then return to earth and take them to dwell with him forever. The disappointment of the disciples well represents the disappointment of those who expected their Lord in 1844. I was carried back to the time when Christ triumphantly rode into Jerusalem. The joyful disciples believed that he was then to take the kingdom, and reign a temporal prince. They followed their King with high hopes. They cut down the beautiful palm branches, and took off their outer garments, and with enthusiastic zeal spread them in the way; and some went before, and others followed crying, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! The excitement disturbed the Pharisees, and they wished Jesus to rebuke his disciples. But he said unto them, If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. The prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, must be fulfilled, yet, I saw, the disciples were doomed to a bitter disappointment. In a few days they followed Jesus to Calvary, and beheld him bleeding and mangled upon the cruel cross. They witnessed his agonizing death, and laid him in the tomb. Their hearts sunk with grief. Their expectations were not realized in a single particular. Their hopes died with Jesus. But as he arose from the dead, and appeared to his sorrowing disciples, their hopes revived. They had lost their Saviour; but again they had found him.
I saw that the disappointment of those who believed in the coming of the Lord in 1844, was not equal to the disappointment of the disciples. Prophecy was fulfilled in the first and second angels' messages. They were given at the right time, and accomplished the work God designed they should.
See Habakkuk 2:1-3.
I was shown the interest which all heaven had taken in the work which had been going on upon the earth. Jesus commissioned a strong and mighty angel to descend and warn the inhabitants of earth to get ready for his second appearing. I saw the mighty angel leave the presence of Jesus in heaven. Before him went an exceedingly bright and glorious light. I was told that his mission was to lighten the earth with his glory, and warn man of the coming wrath of God. Multitudes received the light. Some seemed to be very solemn, while others were joyful and enraptured. The light was shed upon all, but some merely came under the influence of the light, and did not heartily receive it. But all who received it, turned their faces upward to heaven, and glorified God. Many were filled with great wrath. Ministers and people united with the vile, and stoutly resisted the light shed by the mighty angel. But all who received it withdrew from the world, and were closely united together.
Satan and his angels were busily engaged in seeking to attract the minds of all they could from the light. The company who rejected it were left in darkness. I saw the angel watching with the deepest interest the professed people of God, to record the character they developed, as the message of heavenly origin was introduced to them. And as very many who professed love for Jesus turned from the heavenly message with scorn, derision and hatred, an angel with a parchment in his hand, made the shameful record. All heaven was filled with indignation, because Jesus was slighted by his professed followers.
I saw the disappointment of the trusting ones. They did not see their Lord at the expected time. It was God's purpose to conceal the future, and bring his people to a point of decision. Without this point of time the work designed of God would not have been accomplished. Satan was leading the minds of very many far ahead in the future. A period of time proclaimed for Christ's appearing must bring the mind to earnestly seek for a present preparation. As the time passed, those who had not fully received the light of the angel, united with those who had despised the heavenly message, and they turned upon the disappointed ones in ridicule. I saw the angels in heaven consulting with Jesus. They had marked the situation of Christ's professed followers. The passing of the definite time had tested and proved them, and very many were weighed in the balance and found wanting. They all loudly professed to be Christians, yet failed in following Christ in almost every particular. Satan exulted at the state of the professed followers of Christ. He had them in his snare. He had led the majority to leave the straight path, and they were attempting to climb up to heaven some other way. Angels saw the pure, the clean, and holy, all mixed up with sinners in Zion, and the world-loving hypocrite. They had watched over the true lovers of Jesus; but the corrupt were affecting the holy.
Those whose hearts burned with a longing, intense desire to see Jesus, were forbidden by their professed brethren to speak of his coming. Angels viewed the whole scene, and sympathized with the remnant, who loved the appearing of Jesus. Another mighty angel was commissioned to descend to earth. Jesus placed in his hand a writing, and as he came to earth, he cried, Babylon is fallen! is fallen! Then I saw the disappointed ones again look cheerful, and raise their eyes to heaven, looking with faith and hope for their Lord's appearing. But many seemed to remain in a stupid state, as if asleep; yet I could see the trace of deep sorrow upon their countenances. The disappointed ones saw from the Bible that they were in the tarrying time, and that they must patiently wait the fulfillment of the vision. The same evidence which led them to look for their Lord in 1843, led them to expect him in 1844. I saw that the majority did not possess that energy which marked their faith in 1843. Their disappointment had dampened their faith. But as the disappointed ones united in the cry of the second angel, the heavenly host looked with the deepest interest, and marked the effect of the message. They saw those who bore the name of Christians turn with derision and scorn upon those who had been disappointed. As the words fell from the mocker's lips, You have not gone up yet! an angel wrote them. Said the angel, They mock God.
I was pointed back to the translation of Elijah. His mantle fell on Elisha, and wicked children (or young people) followed him, mocking, crying, Go up thou bald head! Go up thou bald head! They mocked God, and met their punishment there. They had learned it of their parents. And those who have scoffed and mocked at the idea of the saints' going up, will be visited with the plagues of God, and will realize that it is not a small thing to trifle with him.
Jesus commissioned other angels to fly quickly to revive and strengthen the drooping faith of his people, and prepare them to understand the message of the second angel, and of the important move which was soon to be made in heaven. I saw these angels receive great power and light from Jesus, and fly quickly to earth to fulfill their commission to aid the second angel in his work. A great light shone upon the people of God as the angels cried, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. Then I saw those disappointed ones rise, and in harmony with the second angel, proclaim, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. The light from the angels penetrated the darkness everywhere. Satan and his angels sought to hinder this light from spreading, and having its designed effect. They contended with the angels of God, and told them that God had deceived the people, and that with all their light and power, they could not make the people believe that Jesus was coming. The angels of God continued their work, although Satan strove to hedge up the way, and draw the minds of the people from the light. Those who received it looked very happy. They fixed their eyes up to heaven, and longed for the appearing of Jesus. Some were in great distress, weeping and praying. Their eyes seemed to be fixed upon themselves, and they dared not look upward.
A precious light from heaven parted the darkness from them, and their eyes, which had been fixed in despair upon themselves, were turned upward, while gratitude and holy joy were expressed upon every feature. Jesus and all the angelic host looked with approbation upon the faithful, waiting ones.
Those who rejected and opposed the light of the first angel's message, lost the light of the second, and could not be benefited by the power and glory which attended the message, Behold the Bridegroom cometh. Jesus turned from them with a frown. They had slighted and rejected him. Those who received the message were wrapt in a cloud of glory. They waited and watched and prayed to know the will of God. They greatly feared to offend him. I saw Satan and his angels seeking to shut this divine light from the people of God; but as long as the waiting ones cherished the light, and kept their eyes raised from earth to Jesus, Satan could have no power to deprive them of this precious light. The message given from heaven enraged Satan and his angels, and those who professed to love Jesus, but despised his coming, scorned and derided the faithful, trusting ones. But an angel marked every insult, every slight, every abuse they received from their professed brethren. Very many raised their voices to cry, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, and left their brethren who did not love the appearing of Jesus, and who would not suffer them to dwell upon his second coming. I saw Jesus turn his face from those who rejected and despised his coming, and then he bade angels lead his people out from among the unclean, lest they should be defiled. Those obedient to the messages stood out free and united. A holy and excellent light shone upon them. They renounced the world, tore their affections from it, and sacrificed their earthly interests. They gave up their earthly treasure and their anxious gaze was directed to heaven, expecting to see their loved Deliverer. A sacred, holy joy beamed upon their countenances, and told of the peace and joy which reigned within. Jesus bade his angels go and strengthen them, for the hour of their trial drew on. I saw that these waiting ones were not yet tried as they must be. They were not free from errors. And I saw the mercy and goodness of God in sending a warning to the people of earth, and repeated messages to bring them up to a point of time, to lead them to a diligent search of themselves, that they might divest themselves of errors which have been handed down from the heathen and papists. Through these messages God has been bringing out his people where he can work for them in greater power, and where they can keep all his commandments.
See Matthew 25:6; Revelation 3:14-16, 18:1, 22:14.
I was then shown the grievous disappointment of the people of God. They did not see Jesus at the expected time. They knew not why their Saviour did not come. They could see no evidence why prophetic time had not ended. Said an angel, Has God's word failed? Has God failed to fulfill his promises? No: he has fulfilled all he promised. Jesus has risen up, and has shut the door of the Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary, and has opened a door into the Most Holy place, and has entered in to cleanse the Sanctuary. Said the angel, All who wait patiently shall understand the mystery. Man has erred; but there has been no failure on the part of God. All was accomplished that God promised; but man erroneously looked to the earth, believing it to be the Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the prophetic periods. Man's expectations have failed; but God's promise not at all. Jesus sent his angels to direct the disappointed ones, to lead their minds into the Most Holy place where he had gone to cleanse the Sanctuary, and make a special atonement for Israel. Jesus told the angels that all who found him would understand the work which he was to perform. I saw that while Jesus was in the Most Holy place he would be married to the New Jerusalem, and after his work should be accomplished in the Holiest, he would descend to earth in kingly power and take the precious ones to himself who had patiently waited his return.
I was then shown what did take place in heaven as the prophetic periods ended in 1844. I saw that as the ministration of Jesus in the Holy place ended, and he closed the door of that apartment, a great darkness settled upon those who had heard, and had rejected the messages of Christ's coming, and they lost sight of him. Jesus then clothed himself with precious garments. Around the bottom of his robe was a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate. He had suspended from his shoulders a breastplate of curious work. And as he moved, it glittered like diamonds, magnifying letters which looked like names written, or engraven upon the breastplate. After he was fully attired, with something upon his head which looked like a crown, angels surrounded him, and in a flaming chariot he passed within the second vail. I was then bid to take notice of the two apartments of the heavenly Sanctuary. The curtain, or door, was opened, and I was permitted to enter. In the first apartment I saw the candlestick with seven lamps, which looked rich and glorious; also the table on which was the shew-bread, and the altar of incense, and the censer. All the furniture of this apartment looked like purest gold, and reflected the image of the one who entered that place. The curtain which separated these two apartments looked glorious. It was of different colors and material, with a beautiful border, with figures of gold wrought upon it, representing angels. The vail was lifted, and I looked into the second apartment. I saw there an ark which had the appearance of being of the finest gold. As a border around the top of the ark, was most beautiful work representing crowns. It was of fine gold. In the ark were the tables of stone containing the ten commandments. On each end of the ark was a lovely cherub with their wings spread out over it. Their wings were raised on high, and touched each other above the head of Jesus, as he stood by the ark. Their faces were turned towards each other, and they looked downwards to the ark, representing all the angelic host looking with interest at the law of God. Between the cherubim was a golden censer. And as the prayers of the saints in faith came up to Jesus, and he offered them to his Father, a sweet fragrance arose from the incense. It looked like smoke of most beautiful colors. Above the place where Jesus stood, before the ark, I saw an exceeding bright glory that I could not look upon. It appeared like a throne where God dwelt. As the incense ascended up to the Father, the excellent glory came from the Father's throne to Jesus, and from Jesus it was shed upon those whose prayers had come up like sweet incense. Light and glory poured upon Jesus in rich abundance, and overshadowed the mercy-seat, and the train of the glory filled the temple. I could not long look upon the glory. No language can describe it. I was overwhelmed, and turned from the majesty and glory of the scene.
I was shown a Sanctuary upon earth containing two apartments. It resembled the one in heaven. I was told that it was the earthly Sanctuary, a figure of the heavenly. The furniture of the first apartment of the earthly Sanctuary was like that in the first apartment of the heavenly. The vail was lifted, and I looked into the Holy of Holies, and saw that the furniture was the same as in the Most Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary. The priests ministered in both apartments of the earthly. In the first apartment he ministered every day in the year, and entered the Most Holy but once in a year, to cleanse it from the sins which had been conveyed there. I saw that Jesus ministered in both apartments of the heavenly Sanctuary. He entered into the heavenly Sanctuary by the offering of his own blood. The earthly priests were removed by death, therefore they could not continue long; but Jesus, I saw, was a priest forever. Through the sacrifices and offerings brought to the earthly Sanctuary, the children of Israel were to lay hold of the merits of a Saviour to come. And in the wisdom of God the particulars of this work were given us that we might look back to them, and understand the work of Jesus in the heavenly Sanctuary.
At the crucifixion, as Jesus died on Calvary, he cried, It is finished, and the vail of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom. This was to show that the services of the earthly Sanctuary were forever finished, and that God would no more meet with them in their earthly temple, to accept their sacrifices. The blood of Jesus was then shed, which was to be ministered by himself in the heavenly Sanctuary. As the priests in the earthly Sanctuary entered the Most Holy once a year to cleanse the Sanctuary, Jesus entered the Most Holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by his mediation, and to cleanse the Sanctuary.
See Jeremiah 3:14; Hebrews 9; Revelation 3:8, 4:1, 21:2.
As the ministration of Jesus closed in the Holy place, and he passed into the Holiest, and stood before the ark containing the law of God, he sent another mighty angel to earth with the third message. He placed a parchment in the angel's hand, and as he descended to earth in majesty and power, he proclaimed a fearful warning, the most terrible threatening ever borne to man. This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, and show them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, yet they must hold fast the truth. The third angel closes his message with these words, Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. As he repeated these words he pointed to the heavenly Sanctuary. The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the Most Holy place where Jesus stands before the ark, making his final intercession for all those for whom mercy still lingers, and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This atonement is made for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. Jesus makes an atonement for those who died, not receiving the light upon God's commandments, who sinned ignorantly.
After Jesus opened the door of the Most Holy the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were to be tested and proved, as God proved the children of Israel anciently, to see if they would keep his law. I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones the way to the Holiest of the heavenly Sanctuary. They followed Jesus by faith into the Most Holy. Again they have found Jesus, and joy and hope spring up anew. I saw them looking back reviewing the past, from the proclamation of the second advent of Jesus, down through their travels to the passing of the time in 1844. They see their disappointment explained, and joy and certainty again animate them. The third angel has lighted up the past, present and future, and they know that God has indeed led them by his mysterious providence.
It was represented to me that the remnant followed Jesus into the Most Holy place, and beheld the ark, and the mercy-seat, and were captivated with their glory. Jesus raised the cover of the ark, and behold! the tables of stone, with the ten commandments written upon them. They trace down the lively oracles; but they start back with trembling when they see the fourth commandment living among the ten holy precepts, while a brighter light shines upon it than upon the other nine, and a halo of glory is all around it. They find nothing there informing them that the Sabbath has been abolished, or changed to the first day of the week. It reads as when spoken by the mouth of God in solemn and awful grandeur upon the mount, while the lightnings flashed and the thunders rolled, and when written with his own holy finger in the tables of stone. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. They are amazed as they behold the care taken of the ten commandments. They see them placed close by Jehovah, overshadowed and protected by his holiness. They see that they have been trampling upon the fourth commandment of the decalogue, and have observed a day handed down by the heathen and papists, instead of the day sanctified by Jehovah. They humble themselves before God, and mourn over their past transgressions.
I saw the incense in the censer smoke as Jesus offered their confessions and prayers to his Father. And as it ascended, a bright light rested upon Jesus, and upon the mercy-seat; and the earnest, praying ones, who were troubled because they had discovered themselves to be transgressors of God's law, were blest, and their countenances lighted up with hope and joy. They joined in the work of the third angel, and raised their voices and proclaimed the solemn warning. But few at first received the message, yet they continued with energy to proclaim the warning. Then I saw many embrace the message of the third angel, and unite their voices with those who had first proclaimed the warning, and they exalted God and magnified him by observing his sanctified Rest-day.
Many who embraced the third message had not an experience in the two former messages. Satan understood this, and his evil eye was upon them to overthrow them; but the third angel was pointing them to the Most Holy place, and those who had an experience in the past messages were pointing them the way to the heavenly Sanctuary. Many saw the perfect chain of truth in the angels' messages, and gladly received it. They embraced them in their order, and followed Jesus by faith into the heavenly Sanctuary. These messages were represented to me as an anchor to hold the body. And as individuals receive and understand them, they are shielded against the many delusions of Satan.
After the great disappointment in 1844, Satan and his angels were busily engaged in laying snares to unsettle the faith of the body. He was affecting the minds of individuals who had a personal experience in these things. They had an appearance of humility. They changed the first and second messages, and pointed to the future for their fulfilment, while others pointed far back in the past, declaring that they had been there fulfilled. These individuals were drawing the minds of the inexperienced away, and unsettling their faith. Some were searching the Bible to try to build up a faith of their own, independent of the body. Satan exulted in all this; for he knew that those who broke loose from the anchor, he could affect by different errors and drive about with winds of doctrine. Many who had led in the first and second messages, denied them, and division and scattering was throughout the body. I then saw Wm. Miller. He looked perplexed, and was bowed with sorrow and distress for his people. He saw the company who were united and loving in 1844, losing their love for each other, and opposing one another. He saw them fall back into a cold, backslidden state. Grief wasted his strength. I saw leading men watching Wm. Miller, and fearing lest he should embrace the third angel's message and the commandments of God. And as he would lean towards the light from heaven, these men would lay some plan to draw his mind away. I saw a human influence exerted to keep his mind in darkness, and to retain his influence among them. At length Wm. Miller raised his voice against the light from heaven. He failed in not receiving the message which would have fully explained his disappointment, and cast a light and glory on the past, which would have revived his exhausted energies, brightened up his hope, and led him to glorify God. But he leaned to human wisdom instead of divine, and being broken with arduous labor in his Master's cause, and by age, he was not as accountable as those who kept him from the truth. They are responsible, and the sin rests upon them. If Wm. Miller could have seen the light of the third message, many things which looked dark and mysterious to him would have been explained. His brethren professed such deep love and interest for him, he thought he could not tear away from them. His heart would incline towards the truth; but then he looked at his brethren. They opposed it. Could he tear away from those who had stood side and shoulder with him in proclaiming Jesus' coming? He thought they surely would not lead him astray.
God suffered him to come under the power of Satan, and death to have dominion over him. He hid him in the grave, away from those who were constantly drawing him from God. Moses erred just as he was about to enter the promised land. So also, I saw that Wm. Miller erred as he was soon to enter the heavenly Canaan, in suffering his influence to go against the truth. Others led him to this. Others must account for it. But angels watch the precious dust of this servant of God, and he will come forth at the sound of the last trump.
See Exodus 20:1-17, 31:18; 1Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 14:9-12.
I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, and would give no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps -- one, two and three -- the first, second and third angels' messages. Said the angel, Woe to him who shall move a block, or stir a pin in these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received. I was again brought down through these messages, and saw how dearly the people of God had purchased their experience. It had been obtained through much suffering and severe conflict. Step by step had God brought them along, until he had placed them upon a solid, immovable platform. Then I saw individuals as they approached the platform, before stepping upon it examine the foundation. Some with rejoicing immediately stepped upon it. Others commenced to find fault with the laying of the foundation of the platform. They wished improvements made, and then the platform would be more perfect, and the people much happier. Some stepped off the platform and examined it, then found fault with it, declaring it to be laid wrong. I saw that nearly all stood firm upon the platform, and exhorted others who had stepped off to cease their complaints, for God was the master builder, and they were fighting against him. They recounted the wonderful work of God, which had led them to the firm platform, and in union nearly all raised their eyes to heaven, and with a loud voice glorified God. This affected some of those who had complained, and left the platform, and again they with humble look stepped upon it.
I was pointed back to the proclamation of the first advent of Christ. John was sent in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way for Jesus' coming. Those who rejected the testimony of John were not benefited by the teachings of Jesus. Their opposition to the proclamation of his first advent placed them where they could not readily receive the strongest evidence of his being the Messiah. Satan led on those who rejected the message of John to go still further, to reject Jesus and crucify him. In doing this, they placed themselves where they could not receive the blessing on the day of Pentecost, which would have taught them the way into the heavenly Sanctuary. The rending of the vail of the temple showed that the Jewish sacrifices and ordinances would no longer be received. The great Sacrifice had been offered, and had been accepted, and the Holy Spirit which descended on the day of Pentecost carried the minds of the disciples from the earthly Sanctuary to the heavenly, where Jesus had entered by his own blood, and shed upon his disciples the benefits of his atonement. The Jews were left in complete deception and total darkness. They lost all the light they might have had upon the plan of salvation, and still trusted in their useless sacrifices and offerings. They could not be benefited by the mediation of Christ in the Holy place. The heavenly Sanctuary had taken the place of the earthly, yet they had no knowledge of the way to the heavenly.
Many look with horror at the course the Jews pursued toward Jesus in rejecting and crucifying him. And as they read the history of his shameful abuse, they think they love Christ, and would not have denied him like Peter, or crucified him like the Jews. But God who has witnessed their professed sympathy for his Son, has proved them, and has brought to the test that love which they professed for Jesus.
All heaven watched with the deepest interest the reception of the message. But many who profess to love Jesus, and who shed tears as they read the story of the cross, instead of receiving the message with gladness, are stirred with anger, and deride the good news of Jesus' coming, and declare it to be delusion. They would not fellowship those who loved his appearing, but hated them, and shut them out of the churches. Those who rejected the first message could not be benefited by the second, and were not benefited by the midnight cry, which was to prepare them to enter with Jesus by faith into the Most Holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary. And by rejecting the two former messages, they can see no light in the third angel's message, which shows the way into the Most Holy place. I saw that the nominal churches, as the Jews crucified Jesus, had crucified these messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the move made in heaven, or of the way into the Most Holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there. Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left, and Satan, pleased with the deception of the professed followers of Christ, fastens them in his snare, and assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, and works with his power, his signs and lying wonders. Some he deceives in one way and some in another. He has different delusions prepared to affect different minds. Some look with horror upon one deception, while they readily receive another. Satan deceives some with Spiritualism. He also comes as an angel of light, and spreads his influence over the land. I saw false reformations everywhere. The churches were elated, and considered that God was marvelously working for them, when it was another spirit. It will die away and leave the world and the church in a worse condition than before.
I saw that God had honest children among the nominal Adventists, and the fallen churches, and ministers and people will yet be called out from these churches, before the plagues shall be poured out, and they will gladly embrace the truth. Satan knows this, and before the loud cry of the third angel, raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest, and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and every one of the honest ones will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.
See Revelation 22:16-21.