Events to Take Place Just Before the Seventh Trumpet Sounds.
Rev. 10:1-3, 8-10: “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth:
“And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open In the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.”
(We have omitted Rev. 10:4, as it deals with the seven thunders, a subject about which John was told not to write, and which remains unrevealed.)
This “mighty angel,” he who “set his right foot upon the sea, and his left on the earth,” and who instructed John to eat the book, has been long understood to represent the message which was proclaimed on both land and sea, world-wide, by William Miller and his associates, beginning in 1831 A.D. (The Great Controversy, p. 331), and culminating in the disappointment of 1844.
The surpassing joy with which the all-engrossing thought that Christ was coming in the autumn of 1844 A.D. possessed the believers then, was indeed as “sweet as honey” to them. But when the longingly awaited hour came, and failed their joyous expectations, the sweet of hope turned to the “bitter” of disappointment. It did so not only because they had still longer to remain on this cursed and hapless earth, sin-convulsed and death-weary, instead of entering into a land where there is “no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither...any more pain” (Rev. 21:4), but also because they were mocked by the wicked multitude, who hated the idea that the world was then coming to an end.
In this great joy of expectation and bitterness of disappointment was fulfilled the forecast: “it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” Rev. 10:10.
Chapter 10, verse 10, we see, has taken us back to the disappointment in 1844. Also we see that verses 10 and 11 are sequential. Obviously, the latter must therefore carry us on to the next great event which was to take place, and which was to bring light, hope, and courage to the then disheartened church of God. Says John, concerning the angel’s prediction of what was to follow:
Rev. 10:11. “And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”
To correct their misunderstanding on Daniel 8:14 the prophetic Word of God declared: “Thou must prophesy again;” that is, repeat the preaching of Christ’s coming to earth. But as His people were then greatly confused and unable to reconcile the Scriptures, God sent into their midst one, Ellen G. Harmon, seventeen years of age, to be His mouthpiece unto them. She was given a vision relative to the disappointment and the ingathering of the first fruits, the 144,000. (See Early Writings, pp. 13-20.)
By that time it was understood that the statement, “the sanctuary shall be cleansed,” did not mean that Christ was to cleanse the earth in 1844, but rather that in fulfillment of Daniel 7:9, 10, He was to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary. This is the very event which opened the seals and sounded the trumpets, and which, as we have seen, John was told would be “here-after.” (See Revelation, chapters 4 and 5.) Possessed of this understanding, a small group of believers, who later called themselves “Seventh-day Adventists,” organized into a body, and zealously moved on with the prospect in view of gathering in “the servants of our God” (the 144,000). This work appeared to them to be an overwhelmingly great task, and it met with ridicule on every side.
When the long-sought number (144,000) of living church members was finally reached in the year 1917, and the world had yet but barely been touched by the message, the leaders of the denomination became confused, but only because they lost sight of the truth that there were bad as well as good in the “net” (gospel church), as Christ had predicted:
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full [when the prospective number was made up], they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.” Matt. 13:47, 48.
The result was that they began to doubt and to question and variously to explain away their former position both as to the number to be gathered in, and the generation to witness the end, until today the subject of the 144,000 has become to them one of the most confused and mooted of Bible subjects.
But now the message of the 144,000 (who are to be without guile in their mouth), the appointed number of first-fruit servants to be sealed in the church, are to be separated from the unconsecrated. And the number to be sealed being much smaller than the number of the membership, it sadly reminds us that therein are many “tares.”
Inasmuch as the paramount purpose and hope of the S.D.A. denomination from its outset has been to gather the 144,000, it should be more conversant with this subject than with any other, “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh” “a reason” of its “hope.” 1 Pet. 3:15. Sadly, though, it is not; instead, it is more ignorant of who and what are the 144,000 than it is perhaps of any other known Bible truth. And what is still sadder, many of its teachers who are refusing to accept this “most startling revelation” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445), are now insisting that a knowledge of the subject is not essential to their soul’s salvation. And thereby they are saying that they are “rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,” thus implying that God has put a non-essential subject in the Bible! Thus they are self-doomed to remain wretched (unhappy), and miserable (troubled), and poor (in need of truth), and blind (benighted), and naked (without the righteousness of Christ), and consequently to reject the words: “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;...and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” Rev. 3:17, 18.
And sadder yet, even after our brethren are plainly shown that the 144,000 are only the “firstfruits,” and that the second are still to be gathered in, they refuse to be convinced, obstinately following on in the fatal steps which from the very beginning have led into the ditch every leadership at the revelation of a new message.
Failing, as a natural sequence, to grasp the fact that the “angel” said, “thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Rev. 10:11), but not before all, they blindly insist that they are commissioned and ready to “prophesy” before all; that is, to finish the work in all the world. And this, despite heir deplorable Laodicean condition!
The trumpet symbolism has now brought us up to the time of the ingathering of the “firstfruits” (the 144,000). First fruits predicate second fruits, for it is necessarily true that there can be no first where there is no second. Wherefore just as there is a prophetic commission for the ingathering of the firstfruits from “many nations,” so there must be one for the ingathering of the second fruits from “all nations.” There being, moreover, an important event and a message at the commencement of the ingathering of the “first-fruits” from many nations, since 1844, so must there be an important event and a message signalizing the commencement of the ingathering of the second fruits, the great multitude, from all nations. This logic leads us to Isaiah’s prophecy:
“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 send those that escape of them unto the nations,...that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.” Isa. 66:16, 19.
The action in verse 20 shows that the slaying in verse 16 effects the separation of the first fruits in the church. Indeed, were the church not the scene of the slaying, then those who escape from it, God could not send to the nations (the Gentiles), for they themselves would be heathen instead of Christians, and He would then be sending heathen unto heathen! And as the escaped are to go to the Gentiles to proclaim His fame to them the slaughter evidently takes place before the close of probation, and does not harm those who at that time know not His fame.
Verse 20 of Isaiah 66 also reveals that those who escape the slaying of the Lord will be sent, not to “many” but to “all nations.” And, too it reveals that instead of bringing 144,000 only the escaped ones will bring “all” their “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 Lord.” Isa. 66:20.
Rev. 11:1. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.”
Though the last verse (verse 11) of Rev. 10 brings us to the rise of the S.D.A. denomination, and to the commission to go to “many nations,” it does not disclose the message which the denomination was to proclaim. So the eleventh chapter being a continuation of the tenth, must disclose it.
During the period of the sixth trumpet there is no literal temple. Thus the measuring (Rev. 11:1) can refer only to a spiritual temple made up of lively stones (saints), as described in Ephesians 2:20-22, or to a figure of the heavenly temple. In either case, the clause “measure...them that worship therein,” must figuratively mean to number them, for worshipers are not measured but numbered. In view of this fact, we are compelled to conclude, unless otherwise shown that the temple, the altar, and the worshipers must each be figurative of a class of believers. And all three must be measured (numbered) after the disappointment in 1844 and during the time of the S.D.A. movement.
Considering that therein are “good” and “bad” members, then very obviously this measuring, or numbering, the worshipers is nothing more or less that a work of investigating and judging their fidelity to the truth. Hence it is a work of retaining in the books only the names of those who have endured to the end and measured up to the standard of the judgment —the character of Christ. Incontrovertibly, therefore, the measuring, or numbering, figures forth the work of an investigative judgment.
Thus the doctrine of the investigative judgment, along with the doctrine of ingathering and numbering the 144,000, comprises the present truth committed to the S.D.A. denomination in 1844. And these two great truths up to the additional message of today (Early Writings, p. 277), the S.D.A. denomination was to proclaim “before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”
“The investigative judgment” decides the cases of those who have professed faith in God, and who in consequence have had their names recorded in the books (Dan. 7:10), but some of whom have not endured to the end. It determines which names shall be retained and which shall be blotted out. So not until the investigation is completed, the sanctuary cleansed from unworthy members, will the books show the exact number of names that will be retained and accounted worthy of life eternal.
To Many But Not To All.
The Revelator also having been given a vision of these two movements (recorded in chapters 10 and 11), we direct the reader’s attention to the “little book” which he was asked to eat. In his “mouth” it was as sweet as honey, but in his “belly” it became very bitter. This rapt experience, in vision, of sweet foretaste turning into bitter disappointment, exactly foretells the 1844 experience of God’s people. Their sweet and all-consuming hope in the Lord’s promise, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3), was then expected to become a reality, whereas, instead, it turned into bitter disappointment.
Following this sweet-bitter experience, came the fulfillment of the angel’s words: “Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Rev. 10:11.
Here, too, as in Zechariah’s prophecy, the Movement was to “prophecy again” or to “cry yet”; that is, repeat its mission, showing that probation was not closed.
So on the authority of these scriptures, the movement was again, after the disappointment, to proclaim the gospel, but only to “many,” not to “all.” Accordingly, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in its 1844 commission, was to “prophesy” (teach), not to “all,” but simply to “many,” nations. Necessarily, then, it must receive another commission, one to go to “all nations.”
There is, therefore, another message; it is to join the Third Angel’s Message, just as stated by the Spirit of Prophecy:
“Then I say another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory.... This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844.” —Early Writings, p. 277.
“When light goes forth to lighten the earth,” says the Spirit of Prophecy, concerning the church’s reception of the message, and the way in which the Lord shall then work, “instead of coming up to the help of the Lord, they will want to bind about His work to meet their narrow ideas. Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands.” —Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300.
Turning again to the “more sure word of prophecy,” in search of the commission to all nations, we also find that
Before the Gospel Goes to All Nations, a Great Slaughter Takes Place.
“For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” Isa. 66:16.
Here we see that very thing —a great slaughter; and that by the Lord Himself. But what the reader is naturally most concerned to know is where and when this destruction is to take place. Verses 19 and 20 state that those who escape the slaughter, the Lord shall send to all nations that have not as yet heard of His “fame, neither have seen” His “glory.”
From the commission to the great world-wide missionary movement which is here brought to view, and which necessarily takes place before the close of probation, the slaughter is plainly seen to have been executed before the “gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and...the end come.” Matt. 24:14. “And they [the escaped ones] shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations...in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:20.
Remember that those who escape the slaughter are the ones who do this soul harvesting. The slaughter, therefore, is the destruction of the “tares” who are among God’s people —the church. Should it be of the heathen (those outside the church), then those who escape would have to be heathen themselves. And such could not either proclaim His glory and His fame or bring all their brethren into the house of the Lord. Neither could there be any nation left to which the escaped ones could go!
Couple with this the fact that those who escape the slaying are they who go to all nations and bring all their brethren (all who are to be saved) into the Lord’s house, and you have an unbreakable sequence of evidence that this destruction takes place just before the gospel goes in its final surge to all the world.
Though this engrossing subject is but briefly treated herein, yet for lucidity, harmony, and logic, the truth of it stands peer to any. It gives a prophetic outline of church history from Miller’s time to the present day, showing the opening and closing of each Movement, also its work and destiny: that is, the mistake attending the Millerite Movement (understanding the cleansing of the “sanctuary” to be the of the earth); the limited commission of the Seventh-day Adventist Movement (authorizing it to go, not to “all” nations, but simply to “many”); its purification (removing the tares from its midst); its being launched as a new, a purified, movement, presenting the church of Christ worthy of His blessed name for the first time since apostolic days. At last a light unto all the world, it proclaims the gospel with a loud cry “for a witness unto all nations:” then comes the finale —the inevitable end (Matt. 24:14).
This composite pictorial revelation of gospel work and workers, contributed to by the prophets, discloses a church that keeps “the commandments of God” and has “the testimony of Jesus Christ.” It is “clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness,...’fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,...to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” —Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
On one hand, the light of Present Truth now enables the eye to see both the work of William Miller and that of Sister White deeply rooted in the “more sure work of prophecy.” On the other hand, it lays open the spiritual poverty and nakedness of their critics. The Lord’s voice is also heard saying against them: “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.” Jer. 23:21.
The eyes of the Lord, piercing everywhere throughout the earth, failed not to foresee these uncalled workers who, notwithstanding His sounding far and near the solemn warning that “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” is here, are in blind defiance trying to out-din the voice of Truth with their mounting cry of “peace and safety.” Let us, my brethren, turn our ears from the multitude of voices devoid of the Holy Spirit, and diligently give heed to
The Lord’s Final Plea.
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise Me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard His Word? who hath marked His Word, and heard it?” Jer. 23:16-18.
“Behold,” answers the Lord Himself, “a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until He have executed, and till He have performed the thoughts of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” Jer. 23:19-22.
Obvious it is that the opposition is engendered and nurtured by self-appointed leaders who avowedly laying no claim to “inspiration” are thereby unwittingly crying out that the Lord has not sent them! Yet neither they nor their adherents perceive either the irony or the folly of their position! Hence “sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!” —Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 337.
When they find themselves face to face with either the “overflowing scourge” (Isa. 28:18) of the final visitation of “the wrath of God” (Rev. 15:1), they will be stabbed with the tragedy of futile realization. That which now from a distance appears to them, mirage-like, an ocean of grace, will then inescapably engulf them in abysmal ruin —eternally!
“For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.
“Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. Give ye ear, and hear My voice; hearken, and hear My speech” (Isa. 28:21-23), lest your hope of grace “be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.
“Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” Isa. 29:8-12.
“Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!” —Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 337.
“Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening...churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus.” —Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217.
Brethren, because the Lord loves you, and because he is loath to make of you a vessel of dishonor, He addresses this tract to you. We, too, are heart-sick that you have, as the Jews of old, deeply involved yourselves in a war against the Spirit of Prophecy —a war which you cannot win. In rejecting heaven-sent messages, in ignoring the wise counsel of the learned Gamaliel (Acts 5:34-39), and in persistently trying to support with scriptures your questionable interpretations of the Bible, as do Sabbath-breakers in evading the Sabbath truth, you are following in a course which, if persisted in will lead you to commit the sin against the Holy Ghost.