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    1. Seventh-day Adventists have nothing to do with definite time, only to show that the prophetic periods served the design of the Author of prophecy in the first angel’s message, and that they terminated with the midnight cry in 1844. Having no definite time to which to look for the coming of the Lord, yet seeing from the signs of the times, and the fulfillment of prophecy, the great Advent movement thus far, that the event is at the door, they regard the present as emphatically the waiting, watching time. Their position since their disappointment in 1844 has been a trying one, requiring faith and patience to hold fast the Advent movement in the past, and to meet in a Christian spirit the opposition to the observance of the Sabbath of the Lord. Hence it is said of this time, and of this people, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Should we become weary of watching and waiting for the return of our Lord from the wedding, impatiently cast away our confidence in the great Advent movement, cease to keep the Sabbath, draw back, fall away, and crucify the Lord God afresh, it might then be said of us, Here is the impatience of the saints, (?) here are they that break the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.LIFIN 322.1

    2. We solemnly believe that it was the design of God that definite time should be proclaimed, and that the 2300 days reached to the Judgment, referred to in the words of the first angel, “Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his Judgment is come.” In the great Judgment of mankind there are two distinct parts; first, the investigative; second, the executive.LIFIN 322.2

    The investigative Judgment takes place prior to the second advent, and the resurrection of the just, that it may be known who are worthy of the first resurrection. Those who have part in that resurrection are first ascertained to be “blessed and holy.” Revelation 20:6. The executive Judgment, both in the reward of the righteous, and the punishment of the wicked, will be at the close of the great day of Judgment.LIFIN 323.1

    The grandeur of the sitting of the great court of heaven in the investigative Judgment is described by the prophet thus: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The Judgment was set, and the books were opened. I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.” Daniel 7:9, 10, 13, 14.LIFIN 323.2

    The best authorities give the words “cast down” just the opposite meaning. They render them “set up,” or “established.” Thus, Adam Clarke says: “The thrones were cast down] might be translated erected; so the Vulgate, positi sunt, and so all the versions.” Dr. Hales, in his “Sacred Chronology,” Vol. 2, p.505, renders Daniel 7:9, thus: “I beheld till the thrones were erected, and the Ancient of days sat,” etc. The Douay Version reads, “were placed;” and so Bernard, and Boothroyd and Wintle in the Cottage Bible. Matthew Henry in his Exposition renders it “set up.” Of the original Hebrew word, Gesenius, in his Lexicon says, “R’mah, (1.) To cast, to throw, Daniel 3:20, 21, 24; 6:17. (2.) To set, to place, e.g., thrones. Daniel 7:9; comp. Revelation 4:2.” The term used by the Septuagint is, which literally rendered, according to Liddell and Scott, would be, “the thrones were set.” Other authorities might be given. The Judgment scene here introduced opens with,LIFIN 323.3

    1st. The Judgment of thrones and the sitting in Judgment of the great God, amid the brightness of that glory, feebly represented by fire and flame, accompanied by the millions of his attendants.LIFIN 324.1

    2nd. The opening of the life-records of men, from which they are to be judged.LIFIN 324.2

    3rd. The Son of man approaches the Ancient of days, attended by multitudes of angels, here represented by the clouds of heaven, to receive dominion, glory, and a kingdom. This does not represent the second appearing of Christ to this world, unless it can be shown that the Ancient of days is here.LIFIN 324.3

    3. Seventh-day Adventists believe in the perpetuity of spiritual gifts. They believe that the spirit of prophecy was designed to be with the people of God in all ages, and that dreams and visions are a medium through which God has spoken to his people in past time, and through which he will speak, till faith is lost in sight. “If there be a prophet among you, I, the Lord, will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” Numbers 12:6.LIFIN 324.4

    They find no prophecy in the Old Testament pointing to the opening of the Christian age as the time for spiritual gifts to be removed from the people of God, and no declaration in the New Testament that the church would not need them, and that therefore they were about to cease. No, nothing of this kind appears upon the sacred page. But we hear the prophet of God say, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon 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. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Joel 2:28-32.LIFIN 324.5

    Notice, first, that the prophet points to the last days, as quoted by Peter. Acts 2:16-20. There can be no days later than the last, a period in which these things will be removed from the church; and, second, that he also points to signs and wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, in the sun and in the moon, to appear in connection with the manifestation of the spirit of prophecy. Third, he mentions the deliverance of those who call on the name of the Lord. This naturally applies to the deliverance of God’s people who will cry to him day and night in the time of trouble. Luke 18; Daniel 12. They will be delivered, according to the words of the prophet. And may not the “remnant” here mentioned be the same spoken of in Revelation 12:17? “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”LIFIN 325.1

    The woman is a symbol of the church, and the remnant of the church represents the Christians of the last generation of men living just prior to the second advent. The dragon makes war on these for keeping the commandments of God, Sabbath and all, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ, which according to the inspired definition of chap. 19:10, “is the spirit of prophecy.” Here, then, are the causes of the dragon’s warfare upon the remnant. They teach the observance of the ten commandments, and the revival of the gifts, and acknowledge the gift of prophecy among them. When the Devil got one foot upon the fourth commandment, and the other upon the gifts planted in the Christian church by Jesus Christ, then his satanic majesty was filled with revengeful delight. But when the remnant, whom God designs to fit for translation to Heaven without seeing death, “ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein,” then the dragon is wroth, and makes war on them.LIFIN 326.1

    The true spirit of the dragonic host, which is already being somewhat developed, is vividly described in Isaiah 30:8-13, as being manifested just prior to the sudden destruction of those who hate the pure testimony, and love smooth and deceitful things.LIFIN 326.2

    “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever [margin, ‘the latter day’]; that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord; which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits; get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.”LIFIN 326.3

    Mark this: In “the latter day” men will not hear the law of the Lord, the commandments of God; and they will say to the seers, those who have the spirit of prophecy, See not. They will receive neither. They war against both. See also Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:4-13; 1 Corinthians 12:1, 28; 13:8-12; 1:4-8; Revelation 19:10; 1 Thessalonians 5; Matthew 7:15-20; Isaiah 8:19, 20; Jeremiah 14:14; 23:16, 17; 8:10, 11; 5:30, 31. For a full exposition of the subject of the perpetuity of spiritual gifts, as held by Seventh-day Adventists, see their works upon the subject.LIFIN 327.1

    But it is objected that since the volume of inspiration was completed, spiritual gifts have not been needed. Who knows this to be the case? The disciples of Jesus had the law and the prophets, yet needed the manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We have both Testaments, and who knows that we do not also need the gifts of the Spirit of God?LIFIN 327.2

    The great design of the sacred Scriptures was to give man a perfect rule of faith and practice. God purposed that his people should follow this rule and by it develop characters perfect before him. Said Paul to Timothy, “Thou hast known the holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” There is no fault in the Scriptures that makes it necessary that the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be manifested. The necessities in the case exist in the imperfections of the people of God, in the fact that they do not follow their perfect rule.LIFIN 327.3

    We now see the gifts of the Spirit occupying their proper place. They are not manifested to give a rule of faith and practice. We already have a rule that is perfect in the Sacred Writings. But in consequence of the errors of God’s people, and their deviations in faith and practice from this perfect rule, God in mercy manifests the gifts to reprove their errors, and lead them to a correct understanding of the holy Scriptures. This is the position of the gifts. They were not designed to take the place of the Scriptures. And they are not given because the Scriptures are an imperfect rule of faith and practice. But in consequence of the errors of God’s professed people, in departing from the perfect rule, which he has given them, the gifts are manifested to correct the erring, and point them to the Bible as their lamp and guide.LIFIN 328.1

    God designed that his people should be one. This was the burden of the prayer of Jesus. John 17. Hear him as he prays in agony, “That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” Paul exhorted the Corinthians in the name of the Christ to be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment. Read 1 Corinthians 1:10; Romans 15:5; Philippians 2:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:8; 5:5. But do we see this unity in those who profess to take the Bible as their rule, and reject the gifts? We see divisions, and with many, confusion to the utmost. The fault, however, is not in the Bible. It is in those who fail to follow the teachings of the sacred Scriptures. And God in mercy and condescension infinite purposes to help them by the gifts. But many of them refuse to be helped in this way, because that in the Bible they have a perfect rule. If they obeyed the sacred Scriptures, and walked in unity, both among themselves, and with God, they would not need the gifts. But in their confusion, and their distance from Christ, while still rejecting the gifts, there is no help for them in God.LIFIN 328.2

    Again, I ask, Who knows that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have not been needed since the completion of the volume of inspiration? It is admitted that when completed it was a more perfect rule then when but a portion of it was given. But how does its completion take the place of the gifts? If they were given because of the imperfections of the people of God, their removal supposes perfection on the part of God’s people. Do we find perfection in the church since the days of Paul, to that degree as to need no special manifestations of the Spirit, reproving sin and correcting deviations from God’s perfect rule? The history of the church, setting forth her terrible apostasies and corruptions, her endless schisms, divisions and creeds, and her conflicting expositions of the plainest truths of the Bible, testifies too plainly of her imperfections. Her sad history and present wretchedness, show that necessity still remains, since the completion of the Book of God, for the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit.LIFIN 329.1

    The gift of prophecy is by the apostle classed with the callings of the Christian church in Ephesians 4:11-13. He distinctly states their object: “And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” These were all given at the same time, all for the same purpose, all to cease at the same time. Do we recognize in the Christian church, evangelists, pastors, and teachers? Why not prophets? Does the church still need them? Why not the gift of prophecy? Will those continue till the church is perfected, ready to meet her descending Lord? So will the gift of prophecy.LIFIN 329.2

    Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, has spoken very definitely upon this subject of spiritual gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12:1, he says: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” He regarded this subject as one of the highest importance, and urges an understanding of it. In all he has said relative to it, he has not once intimated that the gifts were to cease before the perfect day of glory should come. But he does clearly point to the time when the gifts will cease. 1 Corinthians 13:8-12: “Charity [agape - love,] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.”LIFIN 330.1

    The apostle here contrasts the mortal state with the immortal; the present imperfect, with that which will be perfect; the cloudy present while we walk by faith, with the open glory of the life to come. Here, we only know in part, prophesy in part; there, that which is in part, will be done away. Here, we see through a glass darkly; there, face to face. Here, we know in part; there, we shall know, even as we are known. Charity, or love, will never end. Here, it is the highest Christian grace; there, it will be the crowning glory of immortals for ever and for ever. In this sense love will never fail. But prophecies will fail, tongues will cease, and knowledge will vanish away. The light of Heaven through the dim medium of these, and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit,is represented as being only in part, to be superseded by the perfect day of glory when we may talk face to face with God, Christ, and angels, as our first parents talked with God in Eden before sin entered. But when? This is the vital question. When were the gifts to be done away? Let Paul answer: “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” “And let all the people say, Amen.”LIFIN 330.2

    4. God has had a truth in every age, by which he has tested the people of that age. This was true in the days of Noah, and at the first advent of Christ. It is especially true at the present time, as God is preparing to visit the wicked with judgments and the righteous with salvation. All revealed, practical, truth ever has been, and ever will be, a test of man’s fidelity to God. He will have to give an account to the Author of truth how he treats it. If he obeys, he may be saved; if he rejects it, and violates its claims upon him, he must be lost.LIFIN 331.1

    But the law of God, in an eminent sense, is a test to man. It is the highest authority in all earth and Heaven. If God’s law is not a test, there is no such thing as a test. Seventh-day Adventists solemnly believe that God is proving and testing the people by his holy law. In point of sacredness and importance, they regard the fourth commandment equal to either of the other nine, and the sin of violating it, when as well understood, equal to that of breaking either of them. They believe that the present time, in the providence of God, during the proclamation of the third angel’s message, is the period for the sabbath reform, and that in the last message, the Sabbath of Jehovah is to be the special test in the law of God for the people. The great question to be decided before the wrath of God shall be poured out upon a guilty and ruined world is, Who will be loyal to the God of Heaven? Such, if washed from their sins by the blood of Christ, become heirs to the future inheritance, and receive a crown of unfading glory at the second appearing of Jesus. Says Christ, “If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments.”LIFIN 331.2

    Seventh-day Adventists are charged with making the Sabbath a test. And some will have it that we denounce and reject all who do not believe as we do. It is true that we teach that God is testing the people by his law. But we deny the charge that we denounce and reject those who differ from us.LIFIN 332.1

    Our course toward all men whom we can reach with our publications, our sermons and our entreaties, proves the charge false. We beseech all men, without respect to profession of religion, color, or rank in society, to turn from their sins, keep God’s commandments and live. And we manifest a zeal and earnestness in this matter somewhat in proportion to the importance of the testing message we bear. And because our testimony is pointed and earnest, condemning those who choose to pass along with the popular current, and violate the law of God, some are disturbed, and with feelings of retaliation, falsely charge us. It is not our work to test, condemn, and denounce, the people. It is not in our hearts to unnecessarily injure the feelings of any. But with our present convictions of truth and duty, we should do great violence to our own consciences, and sin against God, should we cease to declare to the people the purpose of God in testing the world by his law, just before the day of wrath.LIFIN 332.2

    And God has greatly blessed such testimony. As a people, Seventh-day Adventists were heard of, as it were, but yesterday. As a people, they do not claim to be more than a score of years old. And yet in point of numbers and efficiency they have a little strength. And why? Because, when they have borne a pointed and earnest testimony, God has been with them, and added to their numbers and strength.LIFIN 333.1

    But if the Sabbath is not a test, it is not worth our while to be to the trouble of teaching and observing it in the face of decided opposition. If we can be as good Christians while breaking the fourth commandment, as while keeping it, should we not at once seek to be in harmony with the rest of the Christian world? Why be so odd as to obey the commandment of God, if one can be as good a Christian while living in violation of it? And there are frequent inconveniences, and pecuniary sacrifices, to be suffered by those who are so particular concerning the observance of the fourth commandment. If the Sabbath is of so little importance as not to be a test of Christian fellowship and eternal salvation; if men who break the Sabbath should be embraced in our fellowship the same as if they observed it; and if they can reach heaven as surely in violating the fourth commandment as in keeping it; why not abandon is at once, and cease to agitate the public mind with a question of no real importance which is so unpleasant and annoying.LIFIN 333.2

    Seventh-day Adventists believe that in the restoration of the Bible Sabbath, under the last message of mercy, God designs to make it a test to the people.LIFIN 333.3

    Hence many of them labor with earnestness to teach it, and are ready to make any sacrifices in order to observe it, and do their duty in teaching it to others. Convince them that it is not a test, and they will not trouble the people nor themselves longer with it. But should they give the people to understand that they regard the Sabbath of so little importance as not to be a test, “the sword of the Spirit’” on that subject at least, would become in their hands as powerless as a straw. They could not then convict the people upon this subject. Indeed their position before the people, in earnestly calling their attention to a subject that is of so little importance as not to constitute a test of Christian character, and which would subject them to a heavy cross, much inconvenience, sacrifice, and reproach, would be but little less than solemn mockery. With our present view of the importance of the subject, we have a sufficient reason for earnestly urging the claims of the fourth commandment upon our fellow-men.LIFIN 334.1

    The remarks of Elder J. N. Andrews in reference to the Sabbatarians of England in the seventeenth century, have so direct a bearing upon this subject that I give the following from his History of the Sabbath, pp. 335,336:LIFIN 334.2

    “The laws of England during that century were very oppressive to all dissenters from the established church, and bore exceedingly hard upon the Sabbath-keepers. Yet fine, imprisonment, and even capital punishment, would not have proved sufficient to suppress the Sabbath. It was in the house of its own friends that the Sabbath was wounded. In the seventeenth century eleven churches of Sabbatarians flourished in England, while many scattered Sabbath-keepers were to be found in various parts of that kingdom. Now but three of those churches are in existence. It was not the lack of able men among the Sabbath-keepers to defend the truth, nor the fierce assaults of their persecutors, that has thus reduced them to a handful. The fault is their own, not indeed for any disgraceful conduct on their part, but simply because they made the Sabbath of no practical importance, and lowered the standard of divine truth in this thing to the dust. The Sabbath-keeping ministers assumed the pastoral care of first-day churches, in some cases as their sole charge, in others they did this in connection with the oversight of Sabbatarian churches. The result need surprise no one; as both ministers and people said to all men, in thus acting, that the fourth commandment might be broken with impunity, the people took them at their word. Mr. Crosby, a first-day historian, sets this matter in a clear light:LIFIN 334.3

    “‘If the seventh day ought to be observed as the Christian Sabbath, then all congregations that observe the first day as such must be Sabbath-breakers... I must leave those gentlemen on the contrary side to their own sentiments; and to vindicate the practice of becoming pastors to a people whom in their conscience they must believe to be breakers of the Sabbath. ’”LIFIN 335.1

    The Seventh-day Baptists of America have done a good work in teaching the Sabbath. We should respect them, and regard them with peculiar interest for this. But had they been faithful to the sacred trust committed to them, their numbers and strength might have been a hundred-fold greater than they now are. They have had the reproach, the cross, and the inconvenience of the Sabbath, without that strength and force which teaching it as a test gives. For nearly two centuries, in their feebleness, they have been holding up the Sabbath, while, if they had been faithful in teaching it, in observing it, and urging it upon the consciences of the people, the Sabbath would have held them up, and been the strength of that people.LIFIN 335.2

    Seventh-day Adventists have nothing to boast of. God has often reproved and chastised us for unfaithfulness. And when we have returned to him, and humbly and faithfully battled for the truth, amid reproaches and persecutions, he has greatly blessed us. Nothing is so much to be dreaded as that calm which is the result of tempering unpopular, testing truth to the ears of the people so as not to offend. Rather let the reproach come, and the storm rage, if it be the result of speaking the truth of God in love.LIFIN 336.1

    As a people we have had our difficulties to surmount, our trials to bear, and our victories to gain. We are gathered from Methodists, Regular Baptists, Freewill Baptists, Seventh-day Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Dutch Reform, Disciples, Christians, Lutherans, United Brethren, Catholics, Universalists, Worldlings, and Infidels. We are composed of native Americans, English, Welsh, Scotch, Irish, French, Germans, Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Poles, and others. To bring together a body composed of such material, affected more or less by the religious sentiments and forms of the several denominations, with all their national peculiarities, has called for much patient, and persevering toil. And it is by the grace of God that we are what we are. And let his name be praised that in our darkest hours, when we have humbled ourselves, he has ever come to our aid.LIFIN 336.2

    From their past brief history Seventh-day Adventists may learn much as to their present work and future prospects. When in humility they have borne a decided testimony in the fear of God, their labors have been signally blessed. When they have been willing to bear the cross of present truth, and sacrifice time, convenience and means to advance the work, they have shared the approving smiles of Heaven. They have seen that nothing can keep the body in a healthy condition but the plain and pointed testimony. This will do the work of purification, either by purging their sins, or separating from them the unconsecrated and rebellious. Let the result be what it may, such testimony must be borne, or this people will fall as others have fallen. And terrible would be their fall, after having so clear light, and having had committed to them so sacred a trust as the last message of mercy to sinners.LIFIN 336.3

    From the past we may also learn what to expect in the future, in the line of persecution. Satan has been angry because this people have been seeking for the “old paths,” that they might walk therein. He has been especially disturbed as they have plead for the restoration of the Sabbath, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If the people be taught that God is testing them upon the Sabbath, and that they should listen to the testimony of Jesus, in the spirit of prophecy, which reproves their sins, and calls on them to consecrate themselves and what they possess to the Lord, we may depend upon it, the ire of the dragon will be stirred. This we have witnessed and suffered in proportion to our faithfulness in the work. When we have borne a pointed testimony, we have been the especial objects of the wrath of the dragon; but with it have also shared largely the blessing of God. When we have been unfaithful, the dragon has been comparatively quiet, but we have suffered leanness of soul. And thus we may expect it will be for time to come.LIFIN 337.1

    The position of suspense is not the most happy one. Those who wait for the return of the Lord in uncertainty as to the definite period of his second advent, are in danger of becoming restless. Hence the application of certain texts to this time, and to the people who are waiting for their Lord. “Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36. “Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:8. “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.LIFIN 337.2

    In such a position, how natural the often-repeated inquiry, “How long before the Lord will come?” But no definite answer can be given to this inquiry. And it is best that this question cannot be definitely answered. Definite time has answered the purpose of God. It brought the Advent people to the waiting time, requiring great patience. Throughout this entire period of the patience of the saints, the only safe position is to keep the coming of Christ ever before us, and to regulate all our acts in full view of the terrible realities of the Judgment. To put off the coming of the Lord, and view that event in the distance, and enter into the spirit of the world, would be dangerous in the extreme. It is true that there are prophecies to be fulfilled, just prior to the coming of the Lord; but their fulfillment is of such a nature that it can be realized in a short time. Unbelief may suggest that as the time has continued longer than the waiting ones expected, it may still continue many years. But saving faith takes the safe position, and views the event at the door. This fact should ever be borne in mind, that while we have no means of showing that the Lord will come at an immediate definite point, no one can prove that he may not very soon come. And while it cannot be proved that the Lord will not very soon come, I call attention to the following facts which show that the second advent cannot be a distant event.LIFIN 338.1

    1. The three messages constitute a solemn warning to the world to prepare for the coming of Christ. The closing division of this great warning is a test to the world and ripens the harvest of the earth. Those who receive the warning and prepare for the coming of the Lord, are ripened by it for immortality. Those who reject it, are ripened for the day of slaughter.LIFIN 339.1

    2. The warning given by Noah, the manner his message was treated, and the wrath of God in a flood of water, illustrate the closing events of the present state of things. “As the days of Noah were, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.” God did not call this preacher of righteousness to warn the next to the last generation before the flood, but the very last. The very generation which drank the waters of the flood, saw Noah build the ark, and heard his warning voice. How absurd the supposition that Noah built the ark, and gave his warning message in the time of next to the last generation, so that those who heard his message and saw his work, passed into the grave, and the ark went to decay, and their children came upon the stage of action to witness unwarned the terrors of the flood.LIFIN 339.2

    3. The last great warning was to be given to the last generation of men. The very ones who hear it, receive it, obey it, and are waiting for the Lord, will exclaim, as the Son of man shall return with his angels down the blazing vault of heaven, “Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us.” And the very men who reject the warning, and justly merit the wrath of God, will also witness the second advent in flaming fire with terror and anguish. This warning is not given to next to the last generation, but to the very last. Then, as certain as the great warning, illustrated by the three messages of Revelation 14, has been, and is being given in our day, just so certain the generation that has heard the warning will witness the day of wrath, and the revelation of the Son of God from Heaven. One of two things is certain; either Seventh-day Adventists are wrong in the application of the messages, or Christ is very soon coming. If they are correct in their application of the great warning, then the very men who hear it will witness its terrible realities.LIFIN 339.3

    “Verily I say unto you,” says Christ, “this generation shall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:34, 35. We do not believe that the word generation marks any definite number of years. The Lord designed to teach that the people who should live at the time of the fulfillment of the last sign mentioned, (falling stars of 1833,) and should hear the proclamation of the coming of Christ, based partly upon the fulfilled signs, should witness the scenes connected with his coming. God has raised up men to give the solemn warning to the world at the right time. The signs were fulfilled at the right time to give force to the warning. And the very generation of men that live after the three great signs are fulfilled, and who hear and reject the warning message, will drink the unmingled cup of the wrath of God. And those of this very generation who receive the message, suffer disappointment and endure the trials of the waiting position, will witness the coming of Christ, and exclaim, “Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him.”LIFIN 340.1

    Dear reader, if watchful and faithful to duty, we shall very soon enter the harbor of eternal rest. Keep a good look-out. Oh, be not deceived, and overcome by the world, the flesh, and the Devil. True faith forbids your looking into the future, and laying plans for the benefit of the next generation. It shuts you up to the present. But it is to be feared that those who are employing their physical and mental forces to accumulate wealth for their children, while they are neglecting their duty to the cause of present truth, and do not give themselves and families time to seek and serve God, are making a terrible mistake. They not only fail to help the cause, and fail to walk with God, and fail to exert the best influence in their own families, but their influence in professing so solemn and definite a position as that the present is the period for the third and last solemn warning, while in works they deny their faith, is decidedly against the cause.LIFIN 340.2

    The world exhibits madness in grasping for wealth. A spirit of insanity has taken hold of men upon the subject of worldly gain; and many who profess present truth are more or less imbued with it. With those who do not fear God and keep his commandments, and are not looking for the soon coming of his Son, this is what might be expected. But with Seventh-day Adventists there is no excuse. With them it is insanity and madness. Why should they accumulate wealth for their children? Should the Lord remain away a hundred years, wealth handed down to them would be their almost certain ruin. Look to the history of truly good and great men. Have they sprung up amid wealth? Or have they come from families trained in the school of poverty and want? Read the histories of the early lives of Martin Luther and Abraham Lincoln. Both were poor boys. But they both became great men, by facing want, grappling with poverty, and overcoming those obstacles ever lying in the path of want. Such a struggle in early life gave them experience, and was the safeguard of their purity. While the names of these good men are embalmed in the memory and affection of the people, those of hundreds, who received riches from their parents, have rotted, because money was in the way of their doing what they should have done, and being what they might have been. Setting aside the coming of the Lord, there is no more certain ruin to the children than for them to look to, and lean upon, their parents’ wealth.LIFIN 341.1

    But what can be said of the influence of those brethren who profess to believe that the last great warning to the world is being given, yet devote their entire energies to accumulating wealth for their children? What can be the influence upon their children? Is it not to lead them to love this world? to put off the coming of the Lord? to neglect the necessary preparation? Are they not taking a course directly to shut them out of the kingdom of Heaven? And is there any hope of the salvation of either parents or children while pursuing such an inconsistent course? Without the faith of the soon coming of the Lord, they are pursuing a course to deny it in work, they are making that ruin certain.LIFIN 342.1

    The short period of probation remaining should be improved in laying up treasure in Heaven, and seeking that preparation necessary to its enjoyment in the next life. Parents, I entreat of you, live out the precious Advent faith before your children. Lead them to Jesus, and teach them by your faith and works to secure a preparation for his coming. Let your influence in favor of truth and holiness extend to all around, that it may be said to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.LIFIN 342.2

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