Sabbath, May 15, 2010

“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water; therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.” Proverbs 17:14.

The seventh trumpet

l. What happened in heaven when the seventh trumpet sounded? When did the sounding begin?
Revelation 11:15-17 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

“The kingdoms of this world have not yet become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ. Do not deceive yourselves; be wide awake and move rapidly, for the night cometh in which no man can work.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 414.

“From the fifteenth verse to the end of the chapter, we seem to be carried over the ground three distinct times from the sounding of the seventh angel to the end. In the verses here quoted, the prophet glances forward to the full establishment of the kingdom of God. Although the seventh trumpet has begun to sound, it may not yet be a fact that the great voices in heaven have proclaimed that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, unless it be in anticipation of the speedy accomplishment of this event. But the seventh trumpet, like the preceding six, covers a period of time, and the transfer of the kingdoms from earthly powers to Him whose right it is to reign, is the principal event to occur in the early years of its sounding. Hence this event, to the exclusion of all else, here engages the mind of the prophet.” –Uriah Smith, The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, Revised (1944), pp. 543, 542.

According to Uriah Smith, “….The third woe occurs under the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which began in 1844.”

Preaching the message of hope

2. What message has been proclaimed by the Advent Movement?
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

“As the disciples went out preaching, ‘The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand,’ so Miller and his associates proclaimed that the longest and last prophetic period brought to view in the Bible was about to expire, that the judgment was at hand, and the everlasting kingdom was to be ushered in.” –The Great Controversy, p. 351.

“The commission given to the disciples is given also to us. Today, as then, a crucified and risen Saviour is to be uplifted before those who are without God and without hope in the world. The Lord calls for pastors, teachers, and evangelists. From door to door His servants are to proclaim the message of salvation.… Not with tame, lifeless utterances is the message to be given, but with clear, decided, stirring utterances. Hundreds are waiting for the warning to escape for their lives. The world needs to see in Christians an evidence of the power of Christianity.” –Gospel Workers, p. 29.

3. According to the inspired word, who will be proclaimed King?
Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Revelation 22:20 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

“Every case had been decided for life or death. While Jesus had been ministering in the sanctuary, the judgment had been going on for the righteous dead, and then for the righteous living. Christ had received His kingdom, having made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The subjects of the kingdom were made up. The marriage of the Lamb was consummated. And the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to Jesus and the heirs of salvation, and Jesus was to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.” –Early Writings, p. 280.

The kingdom of heaven

4. According to the words of the King Himself, where is this kingdom? By what three messages have people been called to be subjects of that heavenly kingdom?
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Revelation 14:6-12 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. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 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 for ever 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.

“The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. ‘The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is to be given to ‘the people of the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:27. They shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them ‘from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34. And Christ will take to Himself His great power and will reign.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 108.

“This warning is brought to view in Revelation 14. Here is a threefold message represented as proclaimed by heavenly beings and immediately followed by the coming of the Son of man to reap ‘the harvest of the earth.’” –The Great Controversy, p. 311.

“Christ is coming the second time, with power unto salvation. To prepare human beings for this event, He has sent the first, second, and third angels’ messages. These angels represent those who receive the truth, and with power open the gospel to the world.” –(Letter 79, 1900) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, pp. 978, 979.

5. What characterizes the subjects of that holy kingdom?
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Whom alone do they follow in thought, word, and action?
Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

“I was shown that the third angel proclaiming the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, represents the people who receive this message, and raise the voice of warning to the world to keep the commandments of God and His law as the apple of the eye; and that in response to this warning, many would embrace the Sabbath of the Lord.” –Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, p. 87.

“Who are the subjects of the kingdom of God? All those who do His will. They have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The members of Christ’s kingdom are the sons of God, partners in His great firm. The elect of God are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a holy nation, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are living stones, a royal priesthood. They are in copartnership with Jesus Christ. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth….” –Testimonies to Ministers and Bible Workers, p. 422

Anger and the work of the enemy

6. Who is extremely angry at the transfer of the kingdoms of the world to the Saviour? What does he know?
Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Revelation 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.

“Every manifestation of God’s power for His people arouses the enmity of Satan. Every time God works in their behalf, Satan with his angels works with renewed vigor to compass their ruin.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 168.

“Fearful are the scenes which call forth this exclamation from the heavenly voice. The wrath of Satan increases as his time grows short, and his work of deceit and destruction reaches its culmination in the time of trouble.” –Maranatha, p. 275.

7. What means is he using to distract the nations’ attention away from Christ’s coming?
Revelation 11:18, first part And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged,…

When was this wrath seen for the first time during the seventh trumpet?

“Beginning with the spontaneous outburst of revolutions in Europe in 1848, the anger of nations toward one another has been constantly increasing. Jealousy and hatred among nations has been the rule rather than the exception. Particularly has this been manifested in the two world wars of the twentieth century, when it seemed that men would be willing to annihilate whole nations in the heat of their anger.” –Uriah Smith, The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 543, 545.

“The wrath of the nations is mentioned as a first act of all that was due to happen when Christ would take possession of the dominium over the world,… Who cannot see that this wrath of the nations is increasing? Since 1848, the so-called storm year, everything is boiling and fermenting more and more among the nations and awakening the fiercest feelings.” –L.R. Conradi, Seers and the Future, p. 525.

8. What does Satan try to achieve through the war? What is his every effort directed at undermining?
Revelation 22:12, first part, 20 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,… He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

“Satan delights in war; for it excites the worst passions of the soul, and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another; for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.” –The Great Controversy, p. 589.