Question No. 47:
“I saw,” says Sister White, “that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead, were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced.”–“Early Writings,” p. 36. Could this “anger of the nations” be the “battle of Armageddon”?
While the vision makes plain that the first three events (the judgment of the dead the anger of the nations, and the wrath of God) follow one another in consecutive order, occupying three separate, distinct, and successive periods, it does not clear the time of the fourth event–Michael’s standing up.
The wrath of God, as commonly understood, is the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:1), and is visited during the period between the close of probation and the second coming of Christ. The judgment of the dead, as understood by at least all Adventists, covers two periods: the first in probationary time, immediately preceding the judgment of the living, and the second during the millennium. So with God’s wrath coming in the period from the close of probation to the second coming of Christ, the anger of the nations can only take place during the time of the judgment of the living–during the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message.
The anger of the nations cannot therefore be the Armageddon, for it takes place in the time of the sixth plague (Rev. 16:12-16), in the wrath-of-God period. The anger of the nations and the wrath of God are, as we must ever keep in mind, two “separate and distinct” events, “one following the other.”
Accordingly, rather than being the Armageddon, the anger of the nations is the “time of trouble such as never was”–the time in which Michael, taking the “reins in His own hands” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), stands up to deliver “every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1.
As the anger of the nations is in the time of the judgment of the living,–the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message,–the “anger” is obviously directed against God’s people, not against the nations themselves. Obvious is this fact, because the nations among themselves have always been angry, and are angry even today, although we are still in the time of the judgment of the dead.
“The anger of the nations” will follow upon the two-horned beast’s decree “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15); at the same time the notorious woman, Babylon the Great, will ride the scarlet-colored beast (Rev. 17) and rule the nations. This “same crisis will come up on our people in all parts of the world.”–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 395.
Concerning this anger of the nations, the world-wide confederacy against those who refuse to worship the beast and his image, the Lord predicted through the prophet Zechariah: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zech. 12:3.
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” Zech. 12:8. Then “clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness,” declares the Spirit of Prophecy, “the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.”–Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
“Those who have been timid and self-distrustful, will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church, will be as David–willing to do and dare.”–Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 81.
“Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.”–The Review and Herald, No. 19, 1908.