Preparation For The Seal Of God

Preparation For The Seal Of God

An Awakening Call

to the

'PREPARATION FOR THE SEAL of GOD'

As adherents of the Three Angels Message and supporters of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, we greet you fellow brethren in the Name of our Loving Redeemer and Savior.  Having spent many years in earnest study of the Word of God, and with careful evaluation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that is so dear to our hearts, we would like to draw your attention to the subject of 'The Sealing' which you too will finally realize is one of the most urgent and critical issues at this time.  As serious as this matter is, only a few of us have even given this matter forethought.  We are very happy that you have taken the time out of your busy schedule to read this pamphlet.

 

Before we delve into the depth of this subject, I would like to remind ourselves of the nature of the spiritual conflict in which we are involved. 

 

The great controversy between good and evil will increase in intensity to the very close of time. In all ages the wrath of Satan has been manifested against the church of Christ; and God has bestowed his grace and Spirit upon his people to strengthen them to stand against the power of the evil one. When the apostles of Christ were to bear his gospel to the world and to record it for all future ages, they were especially endowed with the enlightenment of the Spirit. But as the church approaches her final deliverance, Satan is to work with greater power. He comes down "having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." Rev. 12: 12. He will work "with all power and signs and lying wonders." 2 Thess. 2:9. For six thousand years that master-mind that once was highest among the angels of God, has been wholly bent to the work of deception and ruin. And all the depths of Satanic skill and subtlety acquired, all the cruelty developed, during these struggles of the ages, will be brought to bear against God's people in the final conflict. And in this time of peril the followers of Christ are to bear to the world the warning of the Lord's second advent; and a people are to be prepared to stand before Him at His coming, "without spot, and blameless." 2 Pet. 3:14. At this time the special endowment of divine grace and power is not less needful to the church than in apostolic days.”  GC pg. IX, X.

 

In the great final conflict, Satan will employ the same policy, manifest the same spirit, and work for the same end, as in all preceding ages. That which has been, will be, except that the coming struggle will be marked with a terrible intensity such as the world has never witnessed. Satan's deceptions will be more subtle, his assaults more determined. If it were possible, he would lead astray the elect. Mark 13:22, RV”.  GC pg. XI.

 

No doubt every member of the church desires to be numbered with the elect.  I hope that we have just caught a glimpse of the battle that we will have to wage against  the prince of darkness so as to come out triumphantly.  For one to be a part of this elect, he/she must be more than a casual church attendee, must be walking daily with the Lord and have a zeal that is according to knowledge.  Let us now get a glimpse of how Heaven views this matter of the sealing.

 

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”  Rev. 7:1-4.

 

I saw four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and were on their way to accomplish it. Jesus was clothed with priestly garments. He gazed in pity on the remnant, then raised His hands, and with a voice of deep pity cried, "My blood, Father, My blood, My blood, My blood!" Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from God, who sat upon the great white throne, and was shed all about Jesus. Then I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, "Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads." 

 

“I asked my accompanying angel the meaning of what I heard, and what the four angels were about to do. He said to me that it was God that restrained the powers, and that He gave His angels charge over things on the earth; that the four angels had power from God to hold the four winds, and that they were about to let them go; but while their hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed on the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels and bid them hold, until the servants of God were sealed with the seal of the living God in their foreheads. EW pg. 38.

 

We see here that heaven is waiting with eager expectancy for the sealing of the saints to be completed, and then calamity, as we have never yet seen, would burst upon the world.

 

  • From where, and how many saints were sealed prior to the loosening of the four winds?  144,000 from the 'House of Israel'.
  • Is the House of Israel here mentioned referring to ancient Israel or modern Israel the SDA church? 

Let us now observe the following statement:

 

The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. "And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sighand that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."   3T pg. 266.   

                                                         

We see here that the closing work for the SDA church is the sealing time of the 144,000.  This is not saying as we will see later, that when Christ returns He will find only 144,000 living saints.  These are just the First Fruits of the living.  The Great Multitude of verse 9, from Babylon will join them during the Loud Cry.   [See Rev. 7:9-14].  Elder Batchelor corroborates perfectly with the account published by the denomination in the Signs of the Times, June 20, 1950 by a former Conference President, Taylor G. Bunch.  To elaborate more on this controversial issue of the 144,000 we will now quote from the world renowned SDA Evangelist, Doug Bachelor.

 

DOUG BACHELOR’S COMMENT

How Many?

 

“Now let's address the next big question.  Is 144,000 a literal number?  Well, perhaps I should answer that question with another question.  Are the other numbers in Revelation literal?  Will there be 12 gates and 12 foundations in the holy city?  Are there really 12 different kinds of fruit on the tree of life?  Yes, of course.  Our understanding of the dimensions of the New Jerusalem is likewise based upon the assumption that these numbers are real.

 

“Even the numbers used to describe prophetic time periods in the book of Revelation are precise measures.  The numbers would be useless for reckoning if they were merely symbolic.

 

“Although the number of the 144,000 may be exact, it will be humanly impossible to identify the individuals who make up this special group.  When Jesus walked the earth, it was easy to determine His 12 most devoted followers.  But the 144,000 in the last days are spiritual Jews, scattered across the circle of the earth and leading out in a magnificent revival.

 

“Now some may be thinking, "How can you say that the names are symbolic but the number is literal?"  It's simple.  Jesus did.  He did not seem to care which tribes the 12 apostles came from, but He did purposely choose 12 of them.  Also remember that all of the numbers in Revelation depict a specific value, while all the proper names in Revelation are symbols (the Lamb, the Dragon, the Lion, Balaam, Jezebel, etc.).

 

“For these reasons and others, I believe the number 144,000 is a precise figure.  Just as there were actually 12 literal tribes in the Old Testament and exactly 12 apostles in the New Testament, there will be 12 times 12,000 spiritual apostles in the last days.

 

“Many have wondered, "If this number is not just a symbol, then will the 144,000 be the only ones saved in the last days? 

 

“Let's do some simple figuring.  The ratio of 144,000 to six billion (the approximate world population at the present time) would mean that one person in 41,666 alive would be saved if Jesus were to come today.  This statistic is much better than the odds offered by most state lotteries, but we would all agree that it's pretty slim for the hope of salvation. 

 

The Bible does not teach that the 144,000 are to be the only ones saved in the last days.  Immediately after listing the tribes of the 144,000, the prophet sees that "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands."  Revelation 7:9.

 

“In verse 13, one of the 24 elders asks John who these people are that are clothed in white robes, and from where they came.  Then in verse 14, he answers his own question:  "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

 

“Now the Bible speaks of two great tribulations in prophecy.  One was during the papal persecution of the Dark Ages, when millions of Christians were slain.  But the primary "great tribulation" must refer to the time just before Christ's second coming, as referred to in Daniel 12:1,2: "And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 

 

“In the last days, Jesus will use 144,000 (12 times 12,000) spiritual apostles, whose primary mission is to reach the world with the news of His second coming.  The great multitude spoken of in Revelation chapter 7 is converted by the influence and preaching of the 144,000 following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.

 

“The prophet Joel referred to both of these events when he wrote:  "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."  Joel 2:28, 29.

 

I believe it is also significant to note that Jesus chose the 12 apostles from the laity, not the priesthood.  In the same way, the 144,000 will not likely be composed only of ordained ministers.  Rather, I believe it will largely be made up of lay persons.”   (Elder Doug Bachelor, “Inside Report”  March 1996, pp. 6, 7).

 

Compare the following explanation by former Conference President Taylor Bunch published in the “Signs of the Times, June 20, 1950”.

 

The 144,000 are said to be “without fault” or “without blemish,” which is the language used in describing all first fruits.  They must be the “first” in both time and quality, the “best” and “chief” fruits of the field or vineyard.  The first fruits have been defined as “the fruit or product first maturedand collected in a season.”  “Matured” is from the Latin maturus, meaning “ripe, of full age, perfected by time or natural growth, brought to perfection, completed, prepared, ready.”  The 144,000 are the first to be brought to perfection of character in the gospel harvest of the last generation.  They reach mature spiritual growth and are sealed and given the Holy Spirit in “latter rain” showers, the purpose of which is to call the innumerable company of God’s people out of spiritual Babylon before God’s wrath is poured out upon the rejectors of His grace in the seven last plagues.”     SIGNS of the TIMES for  June 20, 1950.

 

The two above explanations are saying the same things—two reapings.  There will be two groups of living saints—144,000 first fruits from the SDA church and the Great Multitude from Babylon during the Loud Cry experience.  What they did not say is what will be the fate of those who will not be sealed.  That issue will be addressed later.    Let us now contrast another older view on this subject written by Uriah Smith in the book, “Thoughts on Daniel & the Revelation.”

 

“After the sealing was accomplished, John beholds a countless multitude worshiping God in rapture before His throne.  This vast throng is undoubtedly the saved out of every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue raised from the dead at the second coming of Christ, showing that the sealing is the last work accomplished for the people of God prior to translation.”  (Thoughts on “Daniel & The Revelation,”   p. 429).

 

THE SABBATH SCHOOL QUARTERLY COMMENTS

 

From every nation and people of earth.  The innumerable multitude includes the faithful of every age.  In one way or another they paid the price of fidelity.”  {Taken from:  “The Sabbath School Lessons” April, May, June, 1989, p. 63}.

 

Did you notice what the Quarterly and Uriah Smith say about the Great Multitude?  Both statements said that they are the redeemed of all ages including the faithful raised from the dead.  That is so far from the comments of the Spirit of Prophecy.  Let us now observe this inspired comment. 

 

“Very precious to God is His work in the earth. Christ and heavenly angels are watching it every moment. As we draw near to the coming of Christ, more and still more of missionary work will engage our efforts. The message of the renewing power of God's grace will be carried to every country and clime, until the truth shall belt the world. Of the number of them that shall be sealed will be those who have come from every nation and kindred and tongue and people. From every country will be gathered men and women who will stand before the throne of God and before the Lamb, crying, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Revelation 7:10. But before this work can be accomplished, we must experience here in our own country the work of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts.”  CT pg. 532.

 

The preceding statement clearly shows that the Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9-14 is brought into the church during the Loud Cry period.  We will draw your attention to another statement which shows that the Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9 are not the redeemed of the ages raised from the dead.

 

“Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs.”  GC, pg. 665.

 

Let us also examine the most wide spread view on the 144,000 published in our Sabbath School Lesson.

 

“The seven last plagues will not come until God’s people are sealed.  Thesymbolic number, 144,000, are redeemed from every nation.  Their robes are made white and pure by the blood of the Lamb.”

 

“John saw the 144,000 on `Mount Sion’ (Rev. 14:1) `before the throne’ (verse 3) after their redemption is complete.  Mount Sion is identified by Paul as `the heavenly Jerusalem’ (Heb. 12:22).  Revelation 7 depicts the `Great Multitude’ of the saved, including the 144,000 `before the throne, and before the Lamb’ (verse 9), serving Him `day and night in His temple’ (verse 15).  The multitude of the saved is then in heaven, not on this earth.   Although the mediatorial ministry of Christ is now complete in the heavenly temple (Rev. 8:3, 5), the millennial judgment takes place there (Rev. 20:4).  {Taken from:  “The Sabbath School Lesson” April, May, June 1989, pp. 55, 67}

 

In one breath the Quarterly is saying that the 144,000 is a symbolic number, and in another breath it is saying that the Great Multitude includes the 144,000.  Is there no distinctive truth concerning these two groups of saints?

 

John said, “I heard the number” (Rev. 7:4), and he also saw the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion with the Lamb.  How can you doubt something after you heard, and seen it?  How vital is a proper understanding of this truth concerning the sealing of the 144,000?  Some of our brethren have absolutely no interest in this matter.  Let us hope the following statement may catch our attention.  “Strive to be in the 144,000.”    How can you strive to be among a group of the redeemed if you do not want to know nothing about them?  Then we have those who want to know, but do not know what to believe amid the many conflicting ideologies.  Please bear the following statement in mind as we continue our quest for truth.

 

“The fact that there is no controversy or agitation among God's people, should not be regarded as conclusive evidence that they are holding fast to sound doctrine. There is reason to fear that they may not be clearly discriminating between truth and error. When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves, to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition, and worship they know not what.

 

“I have been shown that many who profess to have a knowledge of present truth, know not what they believe. They do not understand the evidences of their faith. They have no just appreciation of the work for the present time. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others, who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested, they knew not their great ignorance.

 

“And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe, but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith, and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth. Certain it is that there has been among us a departure from the living God, and a turning to men, putting human wisdom in place of divine. 

 

“God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe His word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures, and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold.”  GW pg. 299.

 

 

If one believes that the Great Multitude are the resurrected dead, then it is difficult to believe that when Christ returns He will find only 144,000 living saints.  Consequently, to give hope to many, the 144,000 is said to be a symbol of all living saints when Christ returns.  But if it is rightly understood that the 144,000 and the Great Multitude are all living saints then one can easily believe exactly what the Bible says, that the 144,000 are only the first fruits from Israel (the SDA church) and the Great Multitude from the Protestant churches and the world.

 

In support and preparation of this Pentecostal climaxing of The Three Angels message, we quote from the Spirit of Prophecy:

 

“It is with an earnest longing that I look forward to the time when the events of the day of Pentecost shall be repeated with even greater power than on that occasion.”  (RH, July 20, 1886).

 

Satan is very familiar with the above statement in conjunction with God’s plan. He will try every possible means to keep God’s people in darkness concerning this.

 

There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out his Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. If Satan had his way, there would never be anotherawakening, great or small, to the end of time. But we are not ignorant of his devices. It is possible to resist his power. When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come."  {RH, March 22, 1887 par. 7}

 

Do you now realize why the promotion of this truth results in such controversy as you may have witnessed yourself.  In continuing, we will now go to Early Writings. 

 

"I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God's dear, waiting saints. I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it.  And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully……………The commencement of that 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.”   EW pgs. 85, 86.

 

Did you catch the same two-phased truth again?  The prepared ones receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, who in turn preached to the Gentiles who did not see and keep the Sabbath.  It is from this spirit-filled evangelistic effort that the Great Multitude will be brought in.  Another supportive statement is as follows.

 

The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel's message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory……    

 

“The work will be similar to that of the Day of Pentecost. As the "former rain" was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the upspringing of the precious seed, so the "latter rain" will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest.  The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close.   GC pgs. 611-612.

 

Before going any further let us determine what are these four winds that are being held back.   We will now quote the following:

 

The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a decisive time for God's children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.”  5T pg. 152.

 

Seeing that it is now clear that the holding back of the four winds represents God's restraining the enforced 'mark of the beast,' then the seal is a form of protection for the saints as they go through that terrible ordeal.  Let us now connect this thought with E.W. p. 15.   In vision Sister White saw the following.

 

The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another's feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet.”   EW pg. 1.

 

The 144,000 being invulnerable to death after they are sealed, will then be capable of taking the final warning even into forbidden countries without fear of death during the 'Time of Trouble'.  What greater privileges can one aspire to in this closing work for the church, -being sealed, invulnerable to death, able to speak other languages, heal the sick and cast out demons.  Surely it will be great for those who are sealed but dreadful for those who are not prepared to receive the seal. 

 

In the book Testimonies Vol. 5, is written a whole chapter on "The Seal of God."  Let us quote the very first two paragraphs to see another phase of the subject

 

"He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand."  And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 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."    

 

“Jesus is about to leave the mercy seat of the heavenly sanctuary to put on garments of vengeance and pour out His wrath in judgments upon those who have not responded to the light God has given them.  `Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.’  Instead of being softened by the patience and long forbearance that the Lord has exercised toward them, those who fear not God and love not the truth strengthen their hearts in their evil course.  But there are limits even to the forbearance of God, and many are exceeding these boundaries.  They have overrun the limits of grace, and therefore God must interfere and vindicate His own honor.”   5T pgs. 207, 208.

 

Did you notice that brethren?  Ezekiel 9 is first quoted under the topic of the Seal.  Very obviously the sealing of Rev. 7 is associated with the marking mentioned in Ezekiel 9. 

 

Reference to this is made in Testimonies to Ministers, page 445.  The subject is about the sealing of the 144,000 (the 144,000).  We quote:

 

"This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision  John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation.” TM pg. 445.

 

Now if the sealing of the 144,000 of Revelation 7, is the same as the marking of Ezekiel 9, in order to find the kind of sealing it is, we must do an in-depth study of Ezekiel 9:1-9.  (Please read now, Ezekiel chapter 9, verses 1 – 9).

 

“The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. "And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."   3T pg. 266.

 

Have you seen the clear connection of Ezekiel 9 with the sealing of the 144,000?  Let us now hear Isaiah’s version of this same remarkable truth.

 

"`For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.... And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.  And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LordIsaiah 66:15,16,19, 20.

 

The coming of the Lord mentioned in Isaiah 66 is not the second coming of the Lord, because at His second coming He pleads with no one.

 

With these solemn words the Lord warns that the slaughter (the antitypical Passover -- Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 505, 211; Testimonies, Vol. 1, pp. 190, 198) is to take place among those who are of the household of God, the church, for the escaped ones are sent to the Gentiles who as yet have not heard of God's fame and His glory. Obviously the angels who execute this slaughter are to take away from the church the unrighteous -- those who are figuratively depicted in one instance as bad "fish" and in another instance as "guests" not having "the wedding garment" on.

 

Here, let every serious-minded reader pause to ponder what Inspiration says: Isa. 66:19 and 20 explain that those who escape the slaughter of Isa. 66:15 and 16, are to be sent as missionaries to the Gentiles, who as yet know not God.  Hence these escaped (remaining) ones are God's remnant, His first fruits of the harvest, His guileless servants, the 144,000 -- the elect.  And only they, none others, the Scriptures declare, shall bring all their brethren from all nations, in a clean vessel, into the purified house of the Lord -- His White House.  What is more, no right-thinking mind can even begin to conceive of the possibility that with any less holy and formidable an agency than such a mighty ministry -- one escaped from sin, sinners, and judgment -- can and will the Lord ever "finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness" (Rom. 9:28), thereby saving His people from the terrible tempest that is now about to break upon the earth and lash it length and breadth.

 

Satan grimly knows this.  He knows his time is short and growing fearfully shorter.  He knows that this faithful ministry is soon to be disclosed to view, and to take the field against him.  He knows that will be his Waterloo.  Hence his supreme effort now to eliminate them.  Finding out at last, though, that he cannot do so, his consequent aim will be to bring the time of trouble such as never was (Dan. 12:1), in hope of destroying all.

 

 Although the newly revealed light of Truth now shining on the subject is new to all of us, it is not, of course, new in the Bible.  To keep us wide awake and on the alert to progressive unfoldment of Truth, the Spirit of God has through the years signaled our attention in the ensuing statements:

 

"`Wonderful possibilities are open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God's word.  There are glorious truths to come before the people of God.  Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them.  As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God." -- Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 322.

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