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    “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:9-12.LIFIN 240.2

    This is the most solemn warning that the Bible contains. As the pen of inspiration has recorded this language for our instruction, it will be wise for us to listen and obey. It is certain that church history presents no testimony that this message has been heard in the past. And the fact that the first and second angels of this series apply to the present generation, most clearly establishes the point that this message does not belong to past ages. Said J.V. Himes, in 1847:LIFIN 241.1

    “But the fourteenth chapter [of Rev.] presents an astounding cry, yet to be made, as a warning to mankind in that hour of strong temptation. Verses 9-11. A denunciation of wrath so dreadful cannot be found in the book of God, besides this. Does it not imply a strong temptation, to inquire so terrific an admonition?”LIFIN 241.2

    It is proper that I should here notice three symbols employed in this message, namely, the beast, his image and his mark, and call attention to four other distinct points embraced by it. These are, the patience of the saints, the commandments of God, the faith of Jesus, and the penalty threatened.LIFIN 241.3

    1. The Beast. The familiar manner in which the Beast, the Image, and the Mark, are introduced in this message, shows that they are symbols which are elsewhere explained in the prophetic word; for when a symbol is first introduced into prophecy, specifications and particulars are given sufficient to lead the humble seeker after truth to an understanding of it. We find no such particulars in this message respecting the symbols here introduced, and therefore look for them in other portions of the book of Revelation. In chapter 13:1, and onward, we find a power introduced under the symbol and name of “a beast.” The time and manner of its use is given, its characteristics are pointed out, its work is described, the time of its duration is stated, and the termination of its career is foretold. That this is the beast mentioned in the third message is certain; for it is the only symbol in the book of Revelation which bears the unqualified title of “the beast.” In verse 11 of chapter 13, another beast is introduced, but after being once named as another beast, it is ever after designated by the pronoun he. This other beast makes an image to the first beast, and causes all to receive the mark of that beast. No other image or mark as pertaining to any beast are anywhere introduced; hence these are the ones referred to in the third message. Therefore the symbols before us are all described in chapter 13.LIFIN 241.4

    We now inquire, What power is represented by the beast? To learn this, we go still further back, to chapter 12, where we find a power symbolized by a great red dragon, which is the one next preceding the beast of chapter 13. The seven heads and ten horns upon both of these symbols, show that they represent two phases of the same power. By universal consent of Protestant expositors, the great red dragon is considered a representative of Pagan Rome. The next phase presented by Rome after the Pagan form was the Papal. Rome Papal succeeded Rome Pagan. The dragon gave his seat, power, and great authority to the beast. Hence the beast can represent none other but Papal Rome.LIFIN 242.1

    This is further shown by the identity that exists between this beast and the little horn of Daniel 7:8, 19-26, which Protestant commentators all agree is a symbol of the Papacy. If the reader will compare carefully the verses referred to in Daniel 7, with Revelation 13:1-10, he will see, 1. That both these powers are blasphemous powers, speaking great words and blasphemies against God. 2. That they both make war with the saints, and prevail against, or overcome them. 3. That they both have a mouth speaking great things. 4. That they both succeed the Pagan form of the Roman empire. 5. That they both continue a time, times, and dividing of time or 1260 years. 6. That both at the end of the specified period lose their dominion. Now here are points that prove identity; for when we have in prophecy two symbols, as in this instance, representing powers that come upon the stage of action at the same time, occupy the same territory, maintain the same character, do the same work, exist the same length of time, and at the same time, and at the end of that time meet the same fate, those symbols represent the same identical power. Now all these particulars do apply alike to the little horn of Daniel 7, and the beast of Revelation 13, conclusively showing that they both represent the same power. No more need here be said to show that the beast is the Papacy. Those who wish to pursue the argument more at length, will find it presented in works published at the Review Office.LIFIN 242.2

    2. The image. This is the image of the beast we have just been considering. An image is a representation, similitude, copy or likeness, of any person or thing. As the beast is the Papal church, a church having civil power to carry out its decrees, and execute whatever penalty it might affix to the crime of heresy, an image of this beast must be an ecclesiastical organization, possessing the same essential features and established upon the same basis. Do we anywhere see any room for, or any indications of, a movement of this kind? The power that forms the image, is the second beast of Revelation 13, called another beast having two horns like a lamb. Any inquiry respecting the image, properly calls for a previous examination of this two-horned beast symbol; but for this we have not space in the present work. A few propositions only can here be laid down; and perhaps this is all that is in the present case essential, as they will be found abundantly proved in other works. 1. The two-horned beast is a symbol of the United States of America. 2. Its two horns represent the two leading principles of this government, Republicanism and Protestantism. 3. It occupies the right territory to answer to the prophecy; for as it is another beast, it must be located outside of the territory occupied by the first beast and its ten horns. 4. It was seen coming up at the right time, the time when the first beast went into captivity, in 1798. This nation was then beginning to attract the notice of the world as a rapidly-developing and rising power. 5. It bears the right form of government, which, according to the prophecy, must be republican, not monarchical. 6. It is performing the work assigned it in the prophecy. In short, it most admirably fits every part of the prophetic description.LIFIN 243.1

    The formation of the image is yet future; but if we are right in the application of the two-horned beast, we are to look for it in our own country; and within a very short time; as the career of all earthly governments is soon to close in the ushering in of the day of the Lord. Let us then notice how the way is prepared and preparing for this last great act of the two-horned beast. Under the mild influence of one of the lamblike horns, the Protestant principle that all have liberty to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, which the government has thus far guaranteed to all its subjects, churches have multiplied in the land. But these churches have rejected light and truth, and as a body have met with a moral fall. A catalogue of twenty immoral features, with no good ones, is the photograph which Paul gives in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, of the popular churches of these last days. But many of the people of God are yet to be found in connection with these churches, and are yet to be called out. Revelation 18:4. And when this shall be accomplished, and the good have all left the nominal churches, when the saving influence of such is all withdrawn from their communion, then we shall have most fitting material for the formation of an image to the beast; for they will then be ready for any acts of persecution and oppression against the people of God, which Satan can induce those to enter upon who are led captive by him at will. And where could we more naturally look for an image to the mother of harlots, than to the daughters? We may be sure that the child will develop into a perfect image of its mother. Then let these fallen churches, from whom the good have all departed, and the grace of God is withdrawn, be formed into an ecclesiastical organization, and let the government grant it power (which of course it will not have till the government does grant it) to enforce its dogmas under the pains and penalties of the civil law, and what do we have? An exact image to the first beast, a church clothed with power to enforce its doctrines upon dissenters with fire and sword. That the churches in the condition to which these are fast tending, will be ready for such a work, history and analogy abundantly prove. And here would be an organization, separate from the government, constituting no part of it, yet created by it, and forming a most perfect counterpart to the prophecy of the image of the beast.LIFIN 244.1

    And now we ask, Do we see any indications of a movement of this kind? We answer, Yes, as the following extracts out of many that might be given will show. Let it be remembered that first it is “said” to them that dwell on the earth, the people of the nation, that they should make an image to the beast. The question must first be agitated, and the movement be recommended, before the public mind will be prepared for decisive action in the matter.LIFIN 245.1

    Dr. Lyman Beecher, as quoted by Lorenzo Dow, said:LIFIN 246.1

    “There is a state of society to be formed by an extended combination of institutions, religions, civil and literary, which never exists without the co-operation of an educated ministry.”LIFIN 246.2

    Rev. Charles Beecher, in his sermon at the dedication of the Second Presbyterian church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 22, 1846, said:LIFIN 246.3

    “Thus are the ministry of the evangelical Protestant denominations, not only formed all the way up, under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe, in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another General Council! A world’s convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!”LIFIN 246.4

    In a speech delivered in New York, Mr. Havens said:LIFIN 246.5

    “For my own part, I wait to see the day when a Luther shall spring up in this country who shall found a great American Catholic Church, instead of a great Roman Catholic Church; and who shall teach men that they can be good Catholics without professing allegiance to a Pontiff on the other side of the Atlantic.”LIFIN 246.6

    The Northwestern Christian Advocate, of December 10, 1862, of the President’s message says:LIFIN 246.7

    “The Chief Magistrate sees in the dogmas of the quiet past, nothing equal to the stormy present. He sees that history must be made. He sees further, that the Union may be saved, if Christianity and statesmanship may join hands.”LIFIN 247.1

    There are movements already inaugurated to form a great union of the popular churches. Rev. J. S. Smart (Methodist), in a published sermon on the “political duties of Christian men and ministers,” says:LIFIN 247.2

    “I claim that we have, and ought to have, just as much concern in the government of this country as any other men.... We are the mass of the people. Virtue in this country is not weak; her ranks are strong in numbers, and invincible from the righteousness of her cause. Invincible if united! Let not her ranks be broken by party names.”LIFIN 247.3

    In a speech delivered in New York city, on “The Coming Conflict,” February, 1866, the speaker said:LIFIN 247.4

    “The time is coming when an attempt will be made to engraft a religion upon the laws of the country, and make adherence to a certain form of religion absolutely necessary for an applicant for office.”LIFIN 247.5

    An association has just been formed for the purpose of securing the adoption of certain measures for the amending of the National Constitution, so that it shall speak out the religious views of the majority, and, especially to enforce Sunday-keeping under the popular name of “Christian Sabbath.” It is called the “National Association,” and its officers are a long array of Reverends, D.D. ’s Honorables, Esquires, etc. In their address they say:LIFIN 247.6

    “Men of high standing, in every walk of life, of every section of the country, and of every shade of political sentiment and religious belief, have concurred in the measure.”LIFIN 247.7

    In their appeal they most earnestly request every lover of his country to join in forming auxiliary associations, circulate documents, attend conventions, sign the memorial to Congress, etc., etc.LIFIN 248.1

    In their plea for an amended Constitution, they ask the people to “consider that God is not once named in our National Constitution. There is nothing in it which requires an ‘oath of God,’ as the Bible styles it (which, after all, is the great bond both of loyalty in the citizen and of fidelity in the magistrate); nothing which requires the observance of the day of rest and of worship, or which respects its sanctity. If we do not have the mails carried and the post offices open on Sunday, it is because we happen to have a Postmaster-General who respects the day. If our Supreme Courts are not held, and if Congress does not sit on that day, it is custom, and not law, that makes it so. Nothing in the Constitution gives Sunday quiet to the custom house, the navy yard, the barracks, or any of the departments of government.LIFIN 248.2

    “Consider that they fairly express the mind of the great body of the American people. This is a Christian people. These amendments agree with the faith, the feelings, and the forms of every Christian church or sect. The Catholic and the Protestant, the Unitarian and the Trinitarian, profess and approve all that is here proposed. Why should their wishes not become law? Why should not the Constitution be made to suit and to represent a constituency so overwhelmingly in the majority? ......... This great majority is becoming daily more conscious not only of their rights but of their power. Their number grows, and their column becomes more solid. They have quietly opposed infidelity, until it has, at least, become politically unpopular. They have asserted the rights of man and the rights of the government, until the nation’s faith has become measurably fixed and declared on these points. And now that the close of the war gives us occasion to amend our Constitution, that it may clearly and fully represent the mind of the people on these points, they feel that it should also be so amended as to recognize the rights of God in man and in government. Is it anything but due to their long patience that they be at length allowed to speak out the great facts and principles which give to all government its dignity, stability, and beneficence?”LIFIN 248.3

    We offer these extracts simply to show the tendency of the popular agitation on this subject. It indicates what is in the hearts of leading ones in the popular churches, and what they are waiting to do, as soon as they shall have the power. It is corroborative evidence that the application we make of the two-horned beast, and the image, is correct.LIFIN 249.1

    3. The mark and worship of the beast. The two-horned beast causes men to worship the first beast and receive his mark. The worship and mark are alike enforced by the two-horned beast. It is this worship and mark against which the third angel warns us. It becomes, therefore, a matter of solemn moment to inquire what is meant by these expressions, since the message levels against these things, whatever they are, a denunciation more terrific than any other threatening that can be found in the word of God. The sin must be one which is most presumptuous and Heaven-daring. What is it? Many are ready to assert that we never can know, and accuse us of prying into secret things, when we raise the question. But is this possible? If we cannot know what the mark and worship are, we are liable to receive the one, and perform the other, without knowing it. We then become subject to the terrible punishment threatened. But would God ever punish a person thus for sins which he did not know he was committing? Never. It would be contrary to the principles on which he has thus far dealt with mankind, and contrary to the justice of his own nature. And a special message, that of the third angel, is sent out to warn men, not against something they are never to know anything about, but against a plain and open act of disloyalty to God, which the two-horned beast is to require of them, and to which if they yield, they must drink of the unmingled wrath of God. We return to the inquiry, What is the mark of the beast?LIFIN 249.2

    The beast, as we have seen, is the Papacy. The two-horned beast which is to enforce the mark is our own government. What is the mark of the Papacy which this nation is to enforce? It must be something on which they occupy common ground, and in which both are equally interested. The mark of any power must be something to distinguish the adherents of that power. This none can dispute. And that which distinguishes the adherents of any power, must be some law, requirement, or institution of that power. It can be nothing else. The mark of the beast, then, must be some requirement, of course of a religious nature, which the Papacy has instituted, and to which it claims obedience from its followers, as a token of its right to legislate in religious matters. This is an unavoidable conclusion from the foregoing principles, which must be admitted as sound.LIFIN 250.1

    Again, the beast has been shown to be identical with the little horn of Daniel 7, and of that power it is said that he should “think to change times and laws.” What laws are these which the Papacy should think to change, but not have power to change? It must be divine laws, the laws of God; for all human laws may be changed by earthly powers. This power is again brought to view under the title of the “Man of Sin;” 2 Thessalonians 2:3; and of him it is said that he “exalteth himself above all that is called God.” How could he do this? There is one way, and only one, in which it could be done, and that is, to change the law of God by putting in place of some of its requirements an enactment of his own, and demanding obedience to that change, to the violation of the law of God.LIFIN 251.1

    In all these testimonies, the evidence tends with wonderful harmony to one conclusion, namely, that the Papacy was to promulgate some religious enactment, which would involve a change of the law of God, and obedience to which would stand as an acknowledgment of its supremacy in religious things. If we can find a Papal enactment of such a nature, this surely must be the mark of the beast. It may now facilitate our investigations of this subject to appeal directly to the Romish church for information. Among its claims and institutions do we find anything of this kind? We do; and it may surprise some Protestants to learn that it is the institution of Sunday in place of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Hear what that church claims on the subject of the change of the Sabbath:LIFIN 251.2

    “Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?LIFIN 251.3

    “A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; — she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change foe which there is no scriptural authority.” — Doct. Catechism.LIFIN 251.4

    “Q. How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts and holy days?LIFIN 252.1

    “A. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and, therefore, they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.LIFIN 252.2

    “Q. How prove you that?LIFIN 252.3

    “A. Because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the Church’s power to ordain feasts, etc.” - Abridgment of Chris. Doc., pp. 57 - 59.LIFIN 252.4

    These extracts are from standard Roman Catholic works, and clearly set forth the claim of that church. When a person is charged with a crime and confesses it, that is usually considered sufficient to settle the matter and preclude the necessity of any further investigation. The prophecy declared that the little horn should think to change times and laws; and here the Papacy claims to have accomplished this very work; and we must admit the claim or give up the prophecy as a failure; for no other fulfillment can be shown. What need have we of further evidence? Notice, also, how admirably this work of the Papacy answers to all the prophecies touching it. 1. It is a change of the law of God, such as the little horn was to accomplish; for the fourth commandment requires the observance of the seventh day as a memorial of creation, while this requires the observance of the first day for another reason. 2. It is a work by which it sets itself up above God, as the Man of Sin was to do; for it places its institution in place of that of Jehovah, and demands obedience to it on its own authority in preference to the requirement of God. 3. It involves on the part of those who understandingly yield to it, that worship which the beast, Revelation 13:8, was to receive from those that dwell on the earth. 4. It is in striking contrast with the commandments of God, which those are found keeping, Revelation 14:12, who refuse the mark and worship of the beast. 5. It is claimed as a token of the authority of the church to ordain religious institutions, just such as the mark of the beast must be intended to show; for, in so many words, the “very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday,” is claimed by that church as proof of its power to command feasts and holy days; and the observance of this institution is considered by them as an acknowledgment of such power. 6. Protestants have brought this error from the Romish church, and though they rest it on different ground, are equally tenacious of the institution, and equally zealous for its preservation. As above quoted from the address of the “National Association” for amending the Constitution, Catholic and Protestant are alike interested in this matter; and the Protestant will, of course, be ready to join the Catholic in upholding that which is to him equally dear.LIFIN 252.5

    Here, then, we have an institution of the Papacy which admirably answers to every specification of the prophecy, and which singularly enough, this nation, though Protestant, is taking steps to make a national institution, and will soon be ready to enforce by the civil arm. For proof that Sunday-keeping has no foundation in the Scriptures, but is an institution of the Papacy, as Romanists claim, see History of the Sabbath, and other works, published at the Review Office.LIFIN 253.1

    If, then, the keeping of a counterfeit Sabbath, and one so long and generally observed as the first day of the week, constitute the mark of the beast, the question will doubtless arise in many minds, if the good of the past ages who have lived in the observance of this institution, have borne the mark of the beast, and rendered worship to that antichristian power; and if the many Christians of the present time who are still keeping the first day, are worshiping the beast, and wearing his mark. By those who wish to raise a blind prejudice against the views of S.D. Adventists, we are uniformly represented as so teaching. But it is purely a misrepresentation. We do not so teach; nor does such a conclusion follow from our premises. It has already been noticed that the mark and worship of the beast are both enforced by the two-horned beast. Now, in view of this fact, there can be no worship nor reception of the mark, such as is contemplated in the prophecy, till it is enforced by this power. The great majority of Protestants who have kept the first day of the week as the Sabbath, although it is an institution of the Papacy, have not had the remotest idea that it had any connection whatever with that false system of worship. Have such been worshiping the beast, while they have been keeping Sunday without a thought of that power, honestly supposing they were keeping a Bible institution? By no means. Have they had the mark of the beast? Not at all. The denunciation of the third message is against those who knowingly keep Sunday as an institution of the beast. It speaks of those who are enlightened in the matter, and of those alone. And for a person thus enlightened, knowing what God requires and what the beast requires, to basely yield to the requirements of the beast, to avoid persecution, turning away in a cowardly manner from what he knows God requires, from motives of worldly interest, - this is what makes his sin so presumptuous and Heaven-daring in the sight of God; this is what calls forth the terrible threatening uttered by the third angel. But the good of past ages have not kept the day with any such understanding of the matter, nor from any such motives.LIFIN 254.1

    Just so with the mass of Protestants now living. But the third message is sent forth to warn us in reference to an issue yet future. The people of God are coming up to translation. They must be freed from Papal errors. The truth is to be agitated; and the antagonism between the requirements of God and those of antichristian powers, is to be set in a clearly-defined light before the people. The issue is to be met understandingly, the two-horned beast demanding from its subjects the reception of the mark, and the performance of the worship of the first beast, on pain of death, and God commanding us to refuse the mark and worship of the beast, and keep his commandment, on pain of drinking his unmingled wrath. With this issue before them, those who yield to his requirements instead of the requirements of God, will worship the beast and receive his mark. Thus seeking to save their lives by avoiding the wrath of earthly powers, they will lose them by becoming exposed to the wrath of God. Till this issue is upon the people, under the enactment of civil law, we accuse no one of worshiping the beast or receiving his mark. And the third message is sent forth to warn men to put away their errors and receive the truth, that they may be prepared to stand when this fiery ordeal shall come, and, at last, having gotten the victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and the number of his name, to sing the victor’s song upon the sea of glass.LIFIN 255.1

    4. The patience of the saints. The chronology of the third message is distinctly marked as being the period of “the patience of the saints” which follows the proclamation of the two former messages. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Verse 12. And this period of the saints’ patience is marked by a most important fact, namely, the keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. We have seen that the first angel’s message refers to the solemn proclamation of the immediate second advent, consequently the period of patience here brought to view must be the same as that which in many scriptures is located immediately preceding the second advent. A few texts must suffice as examples.LIFIN 256.1

    “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience; that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:35-39.LIFIN 256.2

    “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold the Judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” James 5:7-10.LIFIN 256.3

    “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:10, 11.LIFIN 257.1

    “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:9.LIFIN 257.2

    5. The commandments of God. The period of the saints’ patience is distinguished by the fact that they are keeping the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. It should be distinctly noticed that the commandments here brought to view, are not the commandments of Christ. There may be a certain sense in which all the precepts of the Saviour may be called the commandments of God; that is, if viewed as proceeding from the sovereign authority of the Father; but when the commandments of God are spoken of in distinction from the testimony or faith of Jesus, there is but one thing to which reference can be made, namely, the commandments which God gave in person, the ten commandments. See John 15:10. “If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” And thus we find the law of God which he proclaimed in person referred to in the New Testament as “the commandments of God,” or as “the commandments.”LIFIN 257.3

    “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother, and Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 19:17-19.LIFIN 257.4

    “And they returned and prepared spices and ointment; and rested the Sabbath day, according to the commandment.” Luke 23:56.LIFIN 258.1

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19.LIFIN 258.2

    “Honor thy father and thy mother (which is the first commandment with promise), that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:2, 3.LIFIN 258.3

    “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother: and he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15:3-6.LIFIN 258.4

    “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7.LIFIN 258.5

    6. The faith of Jesus. This term is used in distinction from the commandments of God. It does not refer to a particular degree or kind of faith which the Saviour exercised in the performance of his miracles; for it appears that he wrought these by the power which he had already received from his Father. Matthew 8:2, 3; Mark 1:40, 41; Luke 5:23, 24. The world itself was made by him. John 1. He had ample power, therefore, to perform every miracle which he wrought. There is but one other thing to which this term can refer, namely, the precepts and doctrines of our Lord as recorded in the New Testament. Thus “the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27) must refer to the precepts and doctrines of the gospel. The faith to which a multitude of the priests were obedient (Acts 6:7), which was committed to the apostles for the obedience of all nations (Romans 1:5), which Paul testifies that he had kept (2 Timothy 4:7), and which is to be earnestly maintained, as once delivered to the saints (Jude 3), must refer, we think, to the precepts and doctrines of the everlasting gospel. That the faith of Jesus is used in this sense in Revelation 2:13, we think cannot be denied. “Thou holdest fast my name,” says Jesus, “and hast not denied my faith.” That this is the sense in which it is used in Revelation 14:12, is further evident from the fact that it is spoken of as kept in the same manner that the commandments of God are kept.LIFIN 259.1

    “Here are they that keep the commandments of God [the Father], and the faith of Jesus” [the Son]. This excludes alike the blind Jew, who makes his boast in the law and rejects Jesus, and also the Christian who professes faith in Christ while he breaks the commandments of God. It embraces Christian commandment-keepers only.LIFIN 259.2

    7. The penalty threatened. The fearful penalty connected with the warning of the third angel consists of two things: 1. The wine of the wrath of God, poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. 2. The torment with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and of the Lamb. Let us carefully consider each in order.LIFIN 260.1

    What is the wine of the wrath of God? The next chapter clearly explains this point. “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever.” Revelation 15:1, 7. It follows therefore that the wine of the wrath of God is the seven last plagues. This fact will be further apparent as we proceed to show that these plagues are future. That the plagues pertain to the future, we think can be established beyond controversy.LIFIN 260.2

    1. The wrath of God as threatened by the third angel, is poured out in the seven last plagues; for the first plague is inflicted on the very class that the third angel threatens. Compare Revelation 14:9, 10; 16:1, 2. This fact proves that the plagues must be future when the third angel’s message is given; and it also proves the identity of the wrath of God without mixture, and the seven last plagues.LIFIN 260.3

    2. We have shown that the plagues, and the wrath of God without mixture, are the same. And wrath without mixture must be wrath with nothing else; that is, wrath without mercy. God has not yet visited the earth with unmixed wrath; nor can he while our great High Priest ministers in the heavenly sanctuary, and stays the wrath of God by his intercession for sinful men. When the plagues are poured out, mercy has given place to vengeance.LIFIN 260.4

    3. Hence it is that the seven angels are represented as receiving the vials of the wrath of God, the seven last plagues, after the opening of the temple of God in Heaven. If we turn to Revelation 11:15-19, we shall find that the opening of the temple in Heaven is an event that transpires under the sounding of the seventh angel. And that account concludes with a brief statement of the events of the seventh vial or last plague. Now if we turn to chapter 15:5-8, 16:1-21, we shall read an expanded view of the facts stated in chapter 11:15-19, and shall find that the two accounts conclude in the same manner, namely, with the events of the last plague. These scriptures show that the seven angels do not receive the vials of the wrath of God to pour out upon the earth until the temple in Heaven is opened. That temple is opened under the voice of the seventh angel. The third woe is by reason of the voice of the seventh angel. Chap. 8:13; 9:12; 11:14. The seven plagues are poured out under the sounding of that angel, hence the plagues are future, and constitute the third woe.LIFIN 261.1

    The foregoing reasons establish the fact that the plagues are future. We see no reason why they will not be similar in character to those poured out on Egypt, while their consequences will be far more terrific and dreadful. May God count us worthy to escape the things coming on the earth, and to stand before the Son of man. The seven last plagues are poured out on the living wicked; but the second part of the penalty affixed to the warning of the third angel, is not afflicted until the end of the thousand years, when all the wicked are raised and suffer it together. This part of the penalty I will now consider.LIFIN 261.2

    “He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever,” etc. The final perdition of ungodly men, in the lake of fire, is without doubt the subject of these awful words. That we may rightly understand this text, we call attention to several important facts.LIFIN 262.1

    1. The punishment of the wicked will be inflicted upon them on this earth; for the final conflagration of our globe is to constitute the lake of fire in which they are rewarded, each according to his works.LIFIN 262.2

    “Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth; much more the wicked and the sinner.” Proverbs 11:31.LIFIN 262.3

    “But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7.LIFIN 262.4

    “But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8.LIFIN 262.5

    “For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” Malachi 4:1.LIFIN 262.6

    “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them.” Revelation 20:7-9.LIFIN 262.7

    2. The prophet Isaiah (chapter 34) describes the final conflagration of our globe in language which is a complete parallel to that of the third angel in describing the punishment of the wicked. Those who contend that Isaiah refers only to ancient Idumea, must admit that the period of time described in this strong language, must finally come to an end. And those who admit that Isaiah, in the language we are about to quote, refers to the conflagration of our earth, will find in what follows ample proof that that scene will finally close.LIFIN 263.1

    “For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.” Chap. 34:8-10.LIFIN 263.2

    3. But this terrific scene of final conflagration is not to last throughout unlimited duration. For the earth having been burned, and all its elements melted, new heavens and new earth are to follow, as the present earth succeeded to that which was destroyed by water. And in the earth thus made new the righteous are to be recompensed.LIFIN 263.3

    “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also; and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness; looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter 3:10-13. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Revelation 21:1.LIFIN 263.4

    4. Thus however dreadful and long-continued the punishment of the wicked will be (for each is to be punished according to his deserts), that punishment will finally result in the utter destruction of all transgressors. All the wicked will God destroy. Psalm 145:20. They shall die the second death. Revelation 21:8; Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4, 20. They shall perish, being consumed into smoke. Psalm 37:10, 20, 38. They shall be punished with everlasting destruction, being burned up in unquenchable fire. 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Matthew 3:12. And thus having been consumed, root and branch, they shall be as though they had not been. Malachi 4:1; Obadiah 16.LIFIN 264.1

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