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From Eden to Eden

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    In his sermon at Athens, the apostle Paul said that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.” Acts 17:31. According to this, there was a time appointed for the judgment,—a definite day when it would come. In Revelation 14:6, 7, the hour of judgment is announced by an angel, of whom the prophet thus speaks:—FEE 178.1

    “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”FEE 178.2

    In regard to this, we notice:—FEE 178.3

    1. The importance of the message. It is called the everlasting gospel. Being a part of the gospel, whenever it is given it must be heeded. But it has been asked, How can a proclamation of the judgment be any part of the gospel? To this we offer two answers: 1. Every dispensation of God is gracious toward his people. But that which is gracious to the righteous may be everlasting ruin to the wicked. The Scripture says that when Noah and his family went into the ark, “the Lord shut him in.” Genesis 7:16. This assured the perfect safety of Noah; but when the Lord shut him in, by the same act he shut all the others out. The psalmist praised him who “overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea; for his mercy endureth forever.” Psalm 136:15. It was no mercy to Pharaoh and his host; they had forfeited the mercy of God. But it was mercy to the Lord’s people; it was necessary to rescue them, if their enemies were destroyed. And so, without the judgment, God’s people would never receive their reward. 2. The question is more fully answered by showing the order and nature of the judgment. It is in truth a part of the gospel—necessary to the perfect fulfillment of the purposes and promises of God. The gospel is revealed in Isaiah 61:1, 2. These verses read as follows:—FEE 178.4

    “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”FEE 179.1

    In Luke 4:16-21, we read that Jesus came to Nazareth, “and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and stood up for to read.” Opening the book of Isaiah, he began to read chapter 61, as quoted above, and read as far as to this sentence, “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” and there abruptly stopped. Had he read the next sentence,—“and the day of vengeance of our God,”—he could not have said, as he did in verse 21, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,” because the time had not yet come to proclaim the judgment. But by this we learn that the proclamation of the judgment is a part of the gospel—but a part that was not yet fulfilled in the time of our Saviour’s preaching. The apostles of the Lord took up the proclamation just as he gave it at Nazareth. Paul said, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2. But to Felix he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come—not is come. Acts 24:25. The preaching of the hour of judgment is come, was necessarily reserved to the last days, when the coming of Christ is near.FEE 179.2

    It has been seen, by the prophecy of the beast with two horns (Revelation 13:11-18), that we are in the last days, and that the last message, given just before Christ comes to reap the harvest of the earth, is based on the facts that are now transpiring. The question then naturally arises, Has the first message, of Revelation 14:6, 7, been given? Has a proclamation been made to the world of the nature of this judgment-hour cry. It surely has; a message in this very language was proclaimed to all the world between the years 1836 and 1844. It was very extensively preached in Europe and America, and also in Asia. Publications were sent to every missionary station on the globe. Those who preached it fully believed that it was a precursor of the coming of the Lord, as it really was. Yet they did not understand the nature of the messages connected with it, and immediately following it.FEE 179.3

    This message of Revelation 14:6, 7 is a message of time. It was preached as a message of time by those who proclaimed it. It is true, they overlooked the connection, and were therefore mistaken in the events that should succeed their work. But that mistake was altogether owing to the fact that they had wrong views of the nature of the judgment itself—the very same views that are even now held by the great majority of Bible readers. It is generally believed that the judgment does not take place until the Lord comes. But a reading of this chapter must convince everyone that that idea is not correct. Four events are presented in this chapter, which stand in this order: 1. The declaration that the judgment is come. 2. The cry that Babylon is fallen. 3. The warning against the worship of the beast and his image, called the Third Angel’s Message. 4. The coming of the Lord to reap the harvest of the earth. This shows that the judgment comes while men are yet here on probation, and that the proclamation of its coming must be made before time closes, that men may prepare for the time when Jesus shall close his priestly work of intercession. The common view that the judgment cannot begin until after Christ comes is certainly incorrect.FEE 180.1

    In 1 Corinthians 15:42-54, it is shown that the righteous are immortalized in the resurrection. They are raised incorruptible, glorified. In the very event of the resurrection, at the sounding of the trump of God, the change from mortal to immortal takes place, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. This refers to the righteous, for they alone have part in the first resurrection. Revelation 20:4-6 says the blessed and holy have part in the first resurrection; but the rest of the dead will not live again for the space of a thousand years. Now, inasmuch as the gift of God through Christ is eternal life, and Jesus brought immortality to light through the gospel, it is absurd to suppose that these blessings will be conferred before the judgment. It is surely absurd to suppose that the great boon of immortality and eternal life would be conferred on the saints of God, and that afterward they should stand to be judged. Again, Christ is specially the advocate of his people, and it is unreasonable to suppose that he would cease his work as an advocate, an intercessor, a priest, before the decision of the judgment was rendered, and leave them to pass through the ordeal of that awful event without a priest, without an advocate. Revelation 14 proves clearly that the judgment precedes the coming of Christ and the resurrection; and the resurrection of the righteous to glory and immortality is proof that the judgment has been fully decided in their favor, while the fact that the rest of the dead remain in their graves during the one thousand years, the fact that they are not raised when the righteous are, is sufficient proof that their cases have been decided against them. They have already been counted unworthy of eternal life, and will be raised to the resurrection of damnation to suffer the second death.FEE 180.2

    This again is strongly confirmed by Revelation 22:11, 12. At a certain time the Saviour will proclaim:—FEE 181.1

    “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”FEE 181.2

    This gives the same order; every case is decided and fixed before the Lord Jesus comes to reward everyone according to his work. As far as the righteous are concerned, the judgment is fully completed before the Lord comes. But not so with the wicked; they are rejected as being unworthy of eternal life; but what shall be the measure of the punishment of each individual—whether with few or many stripes—will be decided by Christ and the saints, during the thousand years in which the unrighteous remain in the graves. Compare Revelation 20:2-6; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 6:1-3.FEE 181.3

    2. The nature of the judgment shows that it is a part of the work of the gospel. In approaching this subject, we shall have to examine the question of the time on which the proclamation rests. This is a matter of prophecy in Daniel 8. It has been shown that chapters 2 and 3 of this prophecy are specially given to the outlines of the world, as presented under four great kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Of the fourth or Roman Kingdom chapter 2:40 says:—FEE 182.1

    “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things; and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.”FEE 182.2

    In chapter 7:7 the same power is thus described:—FEE 182.3

    “Behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.”FEE 182.4

    As before remarked, the first, Babylon, was the most glorious, and the fourth, Rome, was the strongest, even strong exceedingly. In chapter 8 is another vision of the kingdoms, beginning with the Medes and Persians. This kingdom has the symbol of a ram, while the Grecian is represented by a goat, which had a notable horn between his eyes, which was the first king—Alexander. The prophecy says:—FEE 182.5

    “When he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great.” Verses 8, 9.FEE 182.6

    In the interpretation it is said:—FEE 182.7

    “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” Verses 20-22.FEE 182.8

    Out of that kingdom stood up these four kingdoms: Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece or Macedon. The prophecy says that out of one of them came forth a little horn that waxed exceeding great. Out of the last-named of the above four, the Macedonian division, arose the Roman Kingdom, small in its beginning, not counted among the divisions of the empire, but it became exceeding great, just as was said of it in chapters 2 and 7. No other kingdom but the Roman could possibly fulfill this prophecy. But there is this difference between the little horn of chapter 7 and the little horn of chapter 8. The former represented papal Rome, while the latter was Rome in its entire history, in both the pagan and papal forms. This power magnified itself, not only against the host of Heaven, but against the Prince of the host. It cast down the truth to the ground, and practised, and prospered. Verses 10-12. The prophet heard a holy one ask another how long should be the vision, to give the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot. The answer was returned to Daniel, thus:—FEE 182.9

    “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14.FEE 183.1

    The truth concerning the cleansing of the sanctuary is the solution of this whole matter. This we find fully explained in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. To make this clear to the reader, we shall have to refer again to the work of the sanctuary. In Exodus 25 the Lord commanded Moses to take an offering of the children of Israel: “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Verse 8. It is not necessary that a full description of the sanctuary be here given. It was a tabernacle of two rooms; the first had in it the seven golden candlesticks, the table of show-bread, and the golden altar of incense. In this room called the holy, the priests ministered daily. In the inner apartment, called the most holy, was the ark containing the two tables of stone, on which were written the ten commandments. The covering of the ark was called the mercy-seat, upon which were the golden cherubim. The Lord commanded Moses, saying:—FEE 183.2

    “And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 25:21, 22.FEE 183.3

    Of the priestly work in the most holy, we have full description in Leviticus 16. After making an offering for himself, the high priest was required to take a goat for a sin-offering for the people. The order was then as follows:—FEE 184.1

    “Then shall he kill the goat of the sin-offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy-seat, and before the mercy-seat; and he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins; and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” Verses 15, 16.FEE 184.2

    Why was an atonement to be made for the holy place? It could commit no wrong. The answer is in the order; it was because of the uncleanness of the people; because of their transgressions. But how came the sanctuary to be defiled with the sins of the people, seeing that the people were forbidden under the penalty of death to approach unto it? See Numbers 3:10. Answer—The high priest represented the people; the Lord said that the high priest should bear their judgment. Exodus 28:30. The wages of sin is death, and the law demands the life of the transgressor; therefore the Lord said that the blood was given to make an atonement, because the life is in the blood. Leviticus 17:11. The blood that was sprinkled on the mercy-seat, in the immediate presence of God, represented the life of the transgressors; in it was borne the sins of the people. Thus the entering of the high priest with the blood of the sin offering, caused him to bear their judgment, and the most holy was defiled. As he did in the most holy, so was he required to do in the holy; he was to anoint the altar of incense, “and he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” Leviticus 16:18, 19.FEE 184.3

    All this was to take place on the tenth day of the seventh month, which was the day of atonement. Leviticus 16:20-31; 23:27. Making the atonement, blotting out the sins from the presence of the Lawgiver, was called cleansing the sanctuary. See Ezekiel 43:20-22.FEE 184.4

    This completed the yearly service of the sanctuary; and the service of each year represented the complete priestly work of the Saviour. The nature of the sanctuary service in the law of Moses, is shown in Hebrews 8 and 9. After discoursing of the priesthood of Christ, after the order of Melchizedek, a kingly priest, the writer says:—FEE 185.1

    “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices; wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law; who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle; for, See saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:1-5.FEE 185.2

    Here we learn: 1. That the sanctuary, and the priestly work of the earthly priests, were examples and shadows of things in Heaven, 2. That Christ could not be a priest on earth, for the earthly priests were types of him. 3. That his is a kingly priesthood on the throne of his Father. 4. That there is a true sanctuary or tabernacle in Heaven, of which that on earth was a figure. In this book we learn also that Christ is a Mediator, not only for sinners under the new covenant, but also for those under the first covenant. Chapter 9:15. This proves that Jesus is a Mediator before the same law that God spoke to Israel on Mount Sinai, and wrote on the tables of stone. That law stands against their transgressions, until Jesus blots them out with his own precious blood.FEE 185.3

    But a question of great interest and importance will here arise: Does the heavenly sanctuary need to be cleansed from the sins of the people, even as the pattern and example did? To this we have a clear and decided answer in Hebrews 9:23, 24. After speaking of the efficacy of the blood of Christ, in contrast with the blood of bulls and goats, which was offered under the old covenant, and of the necessity of shedding blood in order to remission, the writer says:—FEE 185.4

    “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the Heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”FEE 186.1

    And why should not this be so? Is not our High Priest in the sanctuary in Heaven? Does he not bear our judgment? Does he not present our sins in the presence of God? Does he not present his own blood, the better sacrifice, in that sanctuary? It is for this reason that the heavenly things need to be purified. If they did not, there would have been no necessity for the patterns—the shadow and example; they would have been without meaning.FEE 186.2

    That there are indeed two holy places in the sanctuary above, we learn not only in Hebrews 9:23, 24, but also in the book of Revelation. In chapter 4:1-5, John had a vision of the open temple in Heaven, and of the throne, and he said “there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.” The seven lamps were in the holy place. But in a vision of the heavenly things very near to the close of the dispensation, under the seventh trumpet, when the time to judge the dead had come (Revelation 11:15-19), the prophet said: “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” The ark of the testament was in the most holy place, which was opened only on the day of atonement, when the sanctuary was to be cleansed from the sins of the people. This is the last part of the priestly service. It is the judgment. At the time when this part of the sanctuary is opened it is declared that the time of the dead, when they should be judged, has come. Verse 18. This coincides with the time of the first message of Revelation 14, verses 6, 7: “The hour of his judgment is come.” Then the time is come when the sanctuary in Heaven shall be cleansed.FEE 186.3

    And this clearly shows that the proclamation of the judgment is gospel preaching; for the beginning of the judgment is the work of the priest in the most holy place in the sanctuary in Heaven,—the blotting out of the sins of the saints. To the people of God it is a most important part of the gospel work. To the impenitent it is the time of deciding that they shall never see eternal life; the time to determine when he that is unrighteous shall remain unrighteous still.FEE 186.4

    But time does not close with that announcement. Another message of warning is going forth to the world, while our High Priest is engaged in judging the dead. Still there is opportunity to make our calling and election sure. But we must not presume on the mercies of the Lord. Remember his own warning: “Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Matthew 24:42. To all those who do not watch, that day will come as a thief. But to the waiting ones, the Scripture says, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4.FEE 187.1

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