The Second Angel's Message As Repeated In Revelation 18:1-4
by Joseph Dauda Yakwo
As philosophers would say, let us start from the known and gradually proceed to the unknown. First, we would assume an implicit faith in the Bible on the part of the reader. The Bible records the fall of man immediately after the creation of all things, including the first man and his wife. In Genesis 3:15, while declaring the punishment of the serpent which had beguiled the woman, God gave the first gospel message by prophesying the incarnation and death of the Messiah sometime in the future. Said He, ";. . . it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise his heel";. Even in these words, the final annihilation of the Devil is clearly seen. Later on, God tested Abraham by commanding the sacrifice of his son, Isaac, and then promised a faithful Abraham that ";. . . in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed";, pointing to the fact that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham at least humanly speaking — since it is only through Christ that all the nations of the earth are indeed blessed.
Still later, Moses was given the immutable law of God — the one written on tablets of stone by the finger of God — and also the law of ordinances, which pointed to Jesus Christ and captured various aspects of His life, beginning from His incarnation till His sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection, through its various ceremonies. A quick difference between these two laws may be perceived by the fact that the covenant containing the Ten Commandments and written by God was placed inside the ark, while the law of ordinances — written by Moses as directed by God — was placed beside the ark, that is, outside the box. (See Appendix)
Then came Daniel the Prophet, through whom God gave the longest time prophecy. It is noteworthy that Jesus Christ Himself alluded to this very prophecy when He began His ministry, by declaring that the "; . . .time is fulfilled . .";. Daniel had actually been shown the exact year of Christ's incarnation, death, and the time of the end of the Jewish probation, over 500 years even before the birth of Christ.
By and by, Jesus Christ was born; then, He became mature, and, at age 30, He began to preach. He was later killed unjustly to fulfill the Scriptures, and, of course, the will of God. But He resurrected according to His words, spoken before He was killed. Thereafter, He left for Heaven, having promised, on more than one occasion, that He would return for His people. It is almost 2000 years now since Jesus Christ left for Heaven and — at least to the best of everyone's knowledge — He is yet to be back. Very importantly, the church has gone through several vicissitudes between when Jesus Christ left and now. The question is whether Jesus Christ even knew, let alone told us, to expect these things, or whether they are wholly unexpected. If he knew about these things — and we know He does — then what exactly did He say? This is crucial, so we can decide which point we are as at today, and whether to expect more crises. The kind of issues referred to here are those as serious as the persecution of God's people in the years following Christ's departure to heaven, the Reformation of the 16th century, the Advent movement of the 19th century, etc.
The first thing the disciples of Jesus Christ were to expect after His ascension to heaven was the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, as prophesied much earlier by prophet Joel in Joel 2:28. Thereafter, they were to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. But Christ had earlier told these disciples that the world would hate them like it hated Him, and His words came ringing true when the Chief Priests and Pharisees began to lay hands on them. Things got extensive after the stoning of Stephen and the gospel was indeed taken to the uttermost parts of the earth, but amid misery, agony, blood, and tears. So effective were these early followers of Jesus Christ that Paul the apostle declared confidently a few years after he was enlisted into the army of the Cross, that the gospel had been "; . . . preached to every creature which is under heaven"; Col 1:23.
Christ had told Peter and his fellow disciples in Matthew 24 of the signs of His second coming, and one important marker that He was on His way down from Heaven was to be the preaching of the gospel ";. . . in all the world for a witness unto the nations . . . ";. Some disciples, no doubt, must have anticipated this glorious event and even gone about sharing their convictions with others and causing no small stir as the words of Paul in II Thes 2:1 — 3 suggests. It was true that the gospel had reached all the nations of the earth at that time, but Paul, speaking by the Holy Spirit, prophesied a ";falling away"; from the faith first, and the revelation of the man of sin, ";who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called god or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God";. But Paul's prophecy was actually only more or less a repetition of Daniel's prophecy about the same ";man of sin";, whom Daniel referred to as the ";little horn"; in Daniel 7. This man of sin will continue till the second coming of Jesus Christ because it is Jesus Himself that ";. . . shall consume him with the spirit of His mouth and destroy him by the brightness of His coming";. II Thes 2:8. A parallel to these prophecies is found in Revelation where John, the Beloved states — like Daniel — the first period of the domination of this power as 1260 days in some places, and 3 and ½ times in others, which all mean 1260 literal years. (See Appendix for details). A complement to these prophecies is found in Revelation 13, where John tells us that this power will suffer an injury but will eventually be healed; Rev 13:3. Without going into the exegesis and comparison with recorded world history, and in full knowledge of the words of God as recorded in James 4:17, Acts 17:30 etc, we simply state that this ";man of sin"; or ";little horn";, or ";leopard-like beast with seven heads and ten horns"; which receives power and sit and great authority from the dragon is the papacy, or, for less informed readers, the corporate entity known as the Roman Catholic Church. (See Appendix for exegesis and 10 Incontrovertible Evidence).
However, for the purpose of the key message of this book, it would be helpful to point out that the papacy is also the whore portrayed in Revelation 17, which was seen riding on a scarlet coloured beast. This whore announces her official prophetic name and office by an inscription on her forehead, namely ";Mystery, Babylon the Great, The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth";. In other passages of the Bible, she is called ";Babylon"; for short. (For Biblical Analysis of this Woman, see Appendix) Rev. 14:8; 18:2
Suffice to say that this little horn does not only persecute God's people, blaspheme God Himself and them that are in Heaven (Dan 7:21,25; Rev. 12:6,14 -17) but, and more crucial for the purpose of this book, is its character, captured in Daniel 8:12 "; . . .and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered";. Of course, the reader would do well to continue, if only to get a more solid assurance that the ";beast"; or ";little horn"; is what we say it is, in view of God's divine anger against all who worship this beast (Rev13:18; 14:9 -11)
In 1John 2:21b, we read that ";no lie is of the truth . . .";. Indeed, if something is true, then any other thing that presents itself as true — thereby opposing the real truth — is a lie. We would need to be this categorical if we must get a complete knowledge of the issues at stake in the world today. But before going too far in this, it would be needful for us to establish the Biblical concept of ";present truth";. It simply refers to the will of God for His people at different periods in the history of the church, since God started relating with humans. Before the flood and after God decided to overthrow the earth with water, any living soul that did not join Noah in building the ark was condemned. It is easy to see that sin was prevalent at this time; that to build with Noah presupposes an initial belief in his message — which must have contained an element of repentance and consequent commitment to the building project — and a possession of that virtue every follower of God must possess, namely, faith. During the time of the Israelites, circumcision was the sign of the covenant; when John came preparing the way for the revelation of Jesus Christ to the world through the Jews, his call for baptism as a sign of repentance from sin was God-ordained. Luke 7:30. Anyone who had thought to himself that circumcision, as taught by Moses was God-ordained and thereby despised John's call to repentance would have been choosing error in place of truth and excluding himself from the will of God for that season. The reason for this is certainly not that circumcision as taught by Moses was ordained by Satan, but that for ";prosperity"; in the faith, one needed to believe God's prophet. (See Appendix for an easy Identification List). As the Bible said, ";believe in the Lord, so shall ye be established; believe in His prophets, so shall ye prosper";. Since the opposite of prosperity is failure, disbelief of God's prophet — whether they are so called or not — is the easiest way to truncate one's walk with God. The ";establishment"; in the foregoing Scripture, refers to the basis; the foundation. God is the one we are seeking; belief in Him is what establishes us. But to succeed or build on that which is established, or to ";prosper";, the heralds of truth are not just necessary, but vital. Any contrary course of action puts even the foundation gained by believing God at risk.
After John's preaching and baptism, Jesus Christ began His work. At that time, following John the Baptist after knowing who Jesus Christ was would have been tantamount to rejecting the truth and falling out of the way. No wonder, John quickly faded out of the picture. In retrospect, one may say his incarceration was to allow for a smooth transition since his continued presence might have been a cause for concern among the unlearned disciples. Jesus Christ did not abolish water baptism by immersion, but has, as a distinguishing factor of His baptism and that of John, the additional baptism of the Holy Spirit to offer. A case is presented in Acts 19:1-7 to illustrate the validity of this concept of present truth. Living without present truth is as bad as a fellow slaying goats and rams on an altar as late as today, for the remission of sins! But let us note that, back in time, that exactly loathsome picture was of one faithfully carrying out God's perfect will. Time, is, then, a factor, in dealing with God. As a matter of fact, present truth — as in some cases in the Bible — may also be only a restoration of long forgotten truths (2Kings 22:8 -20; 23:1 -4; 1Kings 18: 36 -46; 1Sam 10:24 -27 etc)
If we take a critical look at the passage in Acts 19:1 -7, we would not fail to notice the readiness with which the 12 men received the words of Paul, once it was presented to them. To make the point we seek to now make, a hypothesis would be required. Suppose, for instance, that three of the 12 men had suddenly died before they were privileged to see Paul on the day recorded in Acts 19? We would have to agree that they had earlier responded accordingly to John's call for repentance and water baptism (19:3) and, all factors being equal, one would say they would have died in the Lord. But this is not inconsistent with Bible truth. In James 4:17, we read that ";to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin";. Knowledge is a precondition for sin. In one of his discourses, John the Beloved even defines sin as the transgression of the law, meaning that one who sins must first of all have known better. Cornelius — before Peter met and preached to him — was practicing what he believed to be true. The Bible says in John chapter 1 that ";this was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world";; and Paul also told Titus that ";the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto ALL men . . .";
The above cases are presented so the reader would be rest assured that all diligent students of the Bible share a belief that, though the truth must and should be told, condemnation is reserved for God only, who alone can know the ones who have beheld the light of truth in their hearts, for which He then proceeds to hold them accountable John 3:19. Cornelius was in error in thinking the way he did before Peter met him, but he did not know any better, so, God accepted him. To say the least, he must have been diligent in seeking God for God to have blessed him with the light Peter brought by preaching the gospel to him. Even the Old Testament teaches that ";ye shall seek me and find me when ye seek me with all your heart";. A usual thing with all children of God, even if for a time they may have believed a wrong thing, is the eagerness and joy with which they receive truth, once it is revealed to them. Cornelius and the 12 men in Acts are good examples of real children of God. But, again, this is not strange. Jesus Christ, in John 10:16, 27 said His sheep shall hear His voice and join the fold so that all will be in one fold. All these are good reasons why we would unequivocally present the truth in the following pages. There is no loss in doing this because the truth is a representation of Jesus Christ and thereby honours Him; the truth also gives children of God in wrong folds the chance and reason to come out, after hearing the voice of their Shepherd; again, the truth unmasks the enemy.
Simply put, the Roman Catholic Church is an edifice of falsehood. This is said bearing in mind the fact that many sincere seekers after God are currently worshiping God through the teachings of this church. Let us mention in passing that the time for being on the defensive is over. Let every practicing Catholic rise above the surging emotion of anger and consider diligently why one who appears to be a Christian would be so bold in referring to the Roman Catholic Church as the vicegerent, not of God as is claimed, but of the Devil, or Satan. This is not the time for indulging an unholy indignation and vindictive thoughts. It is a time for humility and study, even if only for the benefit of the doubt. A comparison of Biblical prophecy and world history — as presented in the Appendix — will convince any willing learner of the veracity of this assertion. However, the purpose of this book is not to restate what one may find in other materials. The history of the Reformation is there for any interested reader to read and consider the spirit behind those who burnt fellow human beings alive, fed them to wild animals, destroyed their property, banished them from society, and heaped every conceivable curse upon them, on the basis of these helpless victims either owning copies of the Bible, portions of the Bible, or teaching anything contrary to the Roman Catholic Church, which openly declares that its doctrines are formulated, drawing not only from the Bible, but the ";traditions of the fathers"; also. This is in flagrant disregard of the words of Jesus Christ that those who worship according to tradition in disregard of the Bible are worshipping God in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. But we are loath to continue on this path, else we be conveniently misconstrued. Other materials — and the appendix — make clear that Babylon is indeed the Roman Catholic Church. It would take a very determined effort on the part of any reader to argue with this. So many and valid are the evidences.
";Babylon is fallen . . . because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication; . . . and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication; . . . for all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication"; Rev 14:8; 17:2; 18:3. The Babylon referred to in these passages is spiritual Babylon; so also is the charge of fornication. It is spiritual, in this case, meaning a departure from the true God to the worship of other Gods. Indeed, Babylon is guilty of this sin, but more than this, has made all nations of the earth drunk with this polluted wine of her false doctrines. In the previous chapter, we expressed interest in a specific character of Babylon, namely that of upholding lies, for, says the Bible, ";it cast down the truth to the ground and it practiced and prospered";. Thus, the Bible declares the prosperity of Babylon to be based on practicing falsehood, for how can it cast the truth to the ground except a lie is brought in to modify or even completely replace it?
Because of the Reformation, we now know that so many of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church were borrowed directly from paganism, the religion of Rome before the Christian era. Doctrines such as transubstantiation, purgatory, selling of indulgences, the Mass, the Immaculate Conception, the Deifying of Mary, The use of the Rosary, Baptism by sprinkling, Infant baptism, Veneration of Saints, Observation of Holy Days, The Pope as Lord God, the Infallibility of the Roman Catholic Church, the worship of Images, the expurgation of the second commandment, the division of the ninth commandment, etc, have been renounced by the protestant churches since after the Reformation because they were seen to be only pagan beliefs cloaked with and garnished with the names of Jesus Christ, Mary, the Apostles, or the images of same. But the Bible says ";the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines ever brighter unto the perfect day"; Prov 4:18. In view of this, we would need to ask what further light has been received by God's people since after the Reformation. This question is answered by the Advent Movement, which began in the early 19th century and gave birth to a group protesting some doctrines of the Protestants, who themselves were children of reformers who had earlier protested against the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, declaring that the Bible and the Bible only should be the rule of faith.
As a matter of fact, when all the details are collected and arranged properly, one would not fail to see that the Reformation that gave birth to the Protestants was ordained by God. By the way, truth alone was the great battle axe of this great worldwide awakening. As truth is revealed, lies must be renounced, or the darkness of falsehood only gets thicker. It is the will of God for truth to initially be introduced gradually, or restored in the same manner. The truths that now separate the Protestants and the Catholics are not new. They were true when Christ walked this earth, and for a few centuries after He left, but mark the words of Paul in II Thes 2: 1-12 that the mystery of iniquity was to be experienced and was in fact already at work in his day. This mystery is a mystery because falsehood is cunningly made to appear as truth and righteousness, even though it is not so indeed, for it is a mystery of iniquity. By virtue of the fact that it exists in the church and yet is employed to oppose God, deception, then, must be the engine of this mystery. People bowing the knee to the man of sin often do so in ignorance, and, according to Acts17:30, God has been winking at this ignorance but is now urging men everywhere who hear this truth to repent. Martin Luther, Huss, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Baxter etc indeed discovered some truths. The Bible was their only source, with, of course, the insight of the Holy Spirit. What about the Advent Movement of the 1800s?
The Seventh-day Adventist Church claims to have light on the sanctuary service and declare that, beginning from the 21st of October, 1844, Christ entered the Holy of Holies for the final phase of His ministration in the heavenly sanctuary, equivalent to the yearly ";Day of Atonement"; observed by the Israelites in Old Testament days. This was the most solemn fast in Israel, and confirmed or denied a person the right to continue to belong to the people of God. It is a period of judgment, and the Adventists believe that their notable preaching of the judgment message was so planned by God to coincide with the entrance of Christ into the Holy of Holies, and they cite some Scriptures as support. Rev 14:6, 7 (For a detailed presentation of this pivotal doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, see Appendix).
The Seventh-day Adventist Church also categorically teaches complete obedience to the Ten Commandments of God and makes a Scriptural distinction between these and the law of ordinances, which they agree was nailed to the cross when Christ died. Their authority for obeying and teaching others to obey the Ten Commandments include the words of Christ in Matthew 5:17-20, where Christ avows the perpetuity of the law; others are John 14:15; James 2:10-12, etc. Since the Bible nowhere suggests any change in the Sabbath day — a fact corroborated by Protestants — the Adventists also keep the Seventh-day holy, as commanded in the fourth commandment Ex 20:8-11 (See Appendix for details). The prophecy of Daniel 7:25 that foretold an attempt by the ";little horn"; to change the times and the laws is also a crucial motivation.
Another point in which the Seventh-day Adventists believe light has been received is on the issue of the state of the dead. But it is curious that even Martin Luther the reformer believed — as do the Adventists — that the dead are asleep until awoken by the voice of Jesus Christ (John 5:28, 29), and not alive in either hell or paradise, as the majority of Protestants believe. In one of his writings, Luther argued for the truth that souls of the dead know nothing and will remain in the grave till they are called forth, relying heavily on the Book of Ecclesiastes. (See Appendix)
Already, the Roman Catholic Pontiff has issued partially veiled threats to the Adventist Church, saying the church needed to be ";evangelized";. One only needs to look at history to see what calls forth the indignation of the papacy — truth, or one may even say, a revelation of Jesus Christ.
It is remarkable that the most significant outward difference between Catholics and Protestants, on the one hand, and Seventh-day Adventists on the other, is over the separate days they observe as the Sabbath day. While the Adventists keep Saturday holy as the day of worship in line with Ex 20:8-11, the rest of the Christian world honours Sunday and continues to do so, in spite of the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has declared at sundry times, through formal publications and otherwise, that the change of the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday was effected by the church and also serves as the mark of her authority. In all modesty, it must be stated that this is a mystery. Why the Protestants fail to find the courage to uphold the slogan that marked their birth — the Bible and the Bible only as the rule of life and source of all doctrine — is indeed a mystery. The matter had at some point got so ugly that the Roman Catholic Church has used this fact to mock Protestants, saying they were inconsistent and unfaithful in disobeying the Roman Catholic Church — the Mother Church — on some issues, while still keeping Sunday instead of Saturday, an ordinance instituted by the church and having no scriptural authority. (See Appendix for Statements)
We shall now go back to the prophecies to learn more — in the next chapter — and prepare the ground, before delving into the key message of this book.
These are days of categorical statements. The party is almost over and the curtain is soon to be drawn.
The only person that was speaking the truth in the world — including Israel — during the time of Christ was Christ Himself, and He was always with His disciples, except for that brief period when He sent them out among the 70, two by two. But this did not stop several other teachers in Israel — Pharisees, Priests, Sadducees, Rabbis — from teaching what we must say was either obsolete and thereby misleading, or plain falsehood. And yet, these ones were by far in the majority. During the reign of Ahab and Israel's great apostasy, Elijah felt so convinced that all Israel had forsaken God except himself, as he related to God in frustrated tones in 1Kings 19:10, 14. On the side of falsehood, there were 850 prophets at this time. But this ratio is only twice as worse as what we see during Micaiah's exploits, who alone could deliver the true oracles of God. In 1Kings 22:1-28 and 37, Micaiah stood alone against the flamboyant prophecies of 400 prophets, who were indeed prophets, only that they were false or declaring falsehood, at least in this Bible account. Many examples of the perpetual minority of true light bearers abound in the Scriptures. One fearful, sobering fact many may easily overlook, however, is that all this disturbing majority of false preachers were in Israel, the land God calls His chosen. If these events referred to above had occurred in Assyria or Egypt, it would have been understandable. But here, we are faced with an unfortunate reality, which is that, even among those called the people of God, the truth have been that scarce. And while we meditate upon this solemn matter, let us recall also that the people that hated Christ the most and would not sleep till He was destroyed were the official custodians of the Scriptures. Let us try and juggle our imaginations to see the counterparts of those teachers of the law and Rabbis and Sadducees in our day. As it was during Christ's time, the truth is hardly found in such places, but this fact is never obvious unless one truly seeks God and is enabled to see beyond the surface. As long as Christ's incarnation was yet to take place, everything looked peaceful on the surface in religious Israel, but this peace was such sustained by lukewarmness towards God and oppression on the part of the Jewish leaders, who exacted the people with laws having no higher authority than their corrupt minds; drove them to despair with frivolous superstitions, and directed their minds away from God to earthly pursuits in order for them to enrich and please their perceived teachers. But when Christ came, these corrupt leaders recognized the threat. They realized that His life alone was a scathing rebuke to their hypocrisy, which the people they had held bound for years, would not fail to understand. They saw in Christ the upholding of the law they had often perverted for their selfish ends. Yet, so impossible was it for them to change that, to placate their conscience and also preserve the dread of the people through their lies, Christ had to be sacrificed. None of those men could convict Christ of any sin. Their malicious accusations were nothing more than that — malicious accusations — and even a heathen Governor, after examining Him, declared Christ innocent.
As Jesus Christ often said, His lot would also fall upon His disciples, since they represented Him to the world. The same spirit that worked in the children of disobedience will work against Christ's faithful few, to mete out to them the same treatment meted out to their Lord. This will never change. Small wonder, Jesus Christ Himself says, ";The thing that is highly esteemed among men is an abomination towards God";. With a Christian spirit, one should never look at majority, fame, wealth, or worldly acceptance, in determining the true fold of God. If anything, those things should be a reason for extreme caution. The only criterion to be used should be absolute conformity to the revealed will of God. Without mincing words, Christ declared Himself as the way, the truth and the life, making it easier for His hearers to decide, and in fact, placing a demand for a decision upon them, even if by default. In imitating Christ, we wish to present some facts that make clear that the God who was behind the Reformation of the 16th century was also behind the Advent Movement of the 19th century, and that the oracles of truth are currently believed and being taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as the church armed with present truth for our time. As Jesus Christ said, he who has an ear let him hear. Everyone is responsible for the decision they make over this matter. But the main thrust of this book is the presentation of more truths, which will be news, even to members of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
Most of the prophecies pertaining to the last days paint a very bleak picture. II Timothy 3: 1-5 says perilous times shall come, and that God haters would appear to be genuine children of God, meaning they would attend church and probably partake in some godly ceremony, yet will be guilty of the most heinous sins. Another Scripture says men shall no longer endure sound doctrine, but "; . . .give ear to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils";. In the world today, no church can claim not to have it's own share of Judas, Jezebels, and Ahabs. And yet, the Bible gives us enough light to at least belong to the right fold, with its weaknesses and all. The Book of Revelation, which is one of the keys to understanding the last days, also presents a torchlight one may use in searching for the true remnant church in these last days.
Pivotal to finding the church of God is first, the recognition of the ";beast";, or ";antichrist";, or ";little horn";, or ";man of sin";, which all refer to that power that has opposed and will yet oppose God's people. The first hint in all of Scripture that the Devil will plant his agent right within the church and, through this agent, attempt to usurp God's authority, was given in the Book of Daniel. As shown in the appendix, the saints of God are given into the hands of the little horn for 3 ½ times, which is equal to 1260 literal years; (Dan 7:25). According to Scripture, this horn was seen ";making war with the saints and prevailing against them";. Indeed, history records how powerless the early Christians were to defend themselves against the wrath of this man of sin. We have already established from Appendix 6A that this period prophesied about in Daniel 7:25 was the 1260 between 538AD and 1798AD. By this latter date, the little horn or papacy, seemed to have been defeated. The Pope at that time was captured by the French General, Berthier, who was acting on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. This Pope was exiled and later died in exile. But there is something that happened in the early 20th century for which one may require some explanation. In 1929, the Italian government under Mussolini recognized Vatican City as an independent State. It bears mention for the sake of those who may not know, that Vatican City is the city from which the Pope administers the affairs of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. By recognizing this city as an independent State, the Pope had been made King once more. It means the Pope could then have ambassadors representing him in all the nations of the world. But Daniel, in Daniel 7:25 only prophesied that the little horn will persecute God's people and reign in the earth for 1260 years, which history records was between 538AD and 1798AD. So, is the Bible silent about the restoration of the papacy? As a matter of fact, the Bible is far from silent, for it has a faithful record of the foreknowledge of God in this matter, to the effect that this power will be present in the world until ";consumed"; by the brightness of the coming of Jesus Christ, according to 2Thess 2:9. To understand what is going on, we have to investigate the prophecy of John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God Almighty gave Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.
John's Prophecy about the leopard-like beast — which is the same as the power represented by the little horn of Daniel's prophecy — is recorded in several chapters of the Book of Revelation. The first is in chapter 12. Beginning from verse 13, where the dragon realizes he had been cast to the earth and the Child Jesus finally out of his reach because caught up to heaven (verse 5), the Bible says this dragon persecuted the Woman — that is, the church — which gave birth to the Child. ";But the Woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time, times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent";. This prophecy unmistakably points to the same period in Daniel 7:25, where, harassed by various forms of tortuous death, the Christians of that age found refuge in the wilderness and nether places of the earth, ";from the face of the serpent";. This was necessary because the serpent, or dragon, was bent on destroying the Woman -- or church -- completely. One only needs to read the documents signed by the Popes of that Dark period to reach this conclusion. But John expounded further on this chapter 12 prophecy right in the next chapter. After making clear that the leopard-like beast receives his power, throne and great authority from the dragon — spiritually referring to Satan but physically referring to pagan Rome — John says, ";And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed";. There, we have a prophetic insight into the restoration of the papacy and the authority of the Pope in 1929 by the Italian government. God knew all along that this was going to happen. Indeed, He is God.
But when we go to Revelation 12, we realize that the Woman which fled to the wilderness was indeed protected ";from the presence of the serpent";, meaning, she was safe in that wilderness. In desperation, the dragon spewed water out of its mouth to drown the Woman, but God overruled. ";And the dragon was enraged with the Woman and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ";. Let us note that the Woman was in the wilderness primarily to escape the persecution of the dragon (12:13). The dragon kept trying to do this until it downed on him that it will not be possible, since this Woman was helped by the earth to swallow even the water spewed from the dragon's mouth (12:15-16). The agent of this dragon is the papacy, and the Woman remained in the wilderness for the same period that this power reigned because it persecuted this Woman, which represents the true church of God (12:1). History says the Pope — and thereby the papacy — was dethroned after this same 1260-year period in 1798, and the Bible had this recorded almost two millennia before it actually happened! But the woman also remained in the wilderness this long. It means the dragon was not able to exterminate the church. Though historians put the number of martyrs of Jesus Christ during the Dark Ages when papacy held sway as over 50 million, this passage makes clear that some were still in the wilderness and this church obviously outlived the papacy, since the papacy's reign was interrupted in 1798. Rev 12:17 says, ";And the dragon was enraged and went to make war with the remnants of her seed";. The obvious implication, here, is that this war takes place only during the period of the healed wound. The dragon had no agent to persecute God's people in the worldwide manner the Roman Catholic Church did, after 1798, and yet, we hear the Bible saying the dragon went to make war with the rest of the Woman's seed. This war only takes place when the dragon again has the papacy or an alternative agent to employ; meaning sometime after the mortal wound, inflicted in 1798. Also, these remnants of the Woman's seed appear only after the 1260 years, that is, any time post 1798. The distinguishing feature of this remnant church is the keeping of the commandments of God and the possession of the testimony of Jesus Christ, Rev 12:17. So, the Bible is saying that there is going to be a war between the dragon and the remnant church, which keeps the commandment of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. This war must be in the future because we are yet to see the persecution of any group claiming to be the remnant church; at least, not anything near the scale the dragon, through the papacy, is known for.
But which is this remnant church, which appears in the world after 1798 and would have to engage in a war with the dragon? As already proved, the dragon's war with this church, though basically spiritual, is exhibited in the physical. The dragon would need an agent on the ground, and it is interesting to note that its faithful agent — the papacy — though mortally wounded, gets healed; Rev 13:3. But, does the dragon employs this same old agent in the war against the remnant church prophesied in Rev 12:17? We need to know the answers to this question because, right before our eyes, the glory and power of the papacy is being restored. With the drive for ecumenism gaining unprecedented momentum, Christians the world over will inevitably be united. In 1999, the Pope hosted the leaders of virtually all the religions in the world, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc. This convocation was held in Vatican City and some aspects of it were broadcast on international TV stations.
Apart from the prophetic insight granted to us who live in these time of the end so we would appreciate God's foreknowledge, Rev 13:1-7 is more or less the same prophecy found in Daniel 7. This insight, of course, concerns the restoration of the papacy, which the prophet figuratively describes as the healing of the mortal wound — a thing that we can say formally occurred in 1929 when Mussolini recognized Vatican City as an independent State, making the Pope King again, since the dethronement of that power in 1798. But, Rev 13:11 opens up another new angle to this worldwide drama. There, the prophet sees ";another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon";. As appendix 7A makes lucidly clear, this beast is the United States of America, which was rising to world fame at the time after the mortal wound was inflicted on the leopard-like beast, that is, post 1798. ";And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causeth the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed";. Again, we see a reference to the wounded beast, whose deadly wound was healed, and is referred to in this shocking prophecy as ";the first beast";. In other words, the United States of America shall exercise all the authority of the papacy. The ultimate act in this very wonderful achievement of the United States is recorded in Rev 13:16, 17, but the method for the fulfillment of this incredible prophecy is as recorded in verses 13 — 15 of the same chapter. What is important to note is that this two-horned beast — or the United States — first supervises the formation of ";an image to the beast that was wounded by the sword and live";. This third reference to the beast that was mortally wounded and yet lived is simply remarkable and should not fail to enjoy our attention. So, though the United States is credited with deputizing for the first beast, it does so primarily by hosting the formation of the ";image of the beast";. The punishment visited on those who will not obey the image of the beast by receiving the mark or name of the beast or the number of his name, is life threatening (Rev 13: 17, 15), and the Bible says in 13:8 that, ";all who dwell in the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world";. If all who dwell in the earth worship this beast, and yet beast worshippers do not have their names written in the Book of life, does it mean that all those who live during this period will be enemies of God? Would there not be a single person or group of persons whose names are written in the Book of life, and who consequently would not worship this beast? A great source of discouragement for those who will not worship the beast is the power of the image of the beast to sustain the threat of economic sanctions and even dare to kill (Rev 13:15,17).
Beginning from the last verse of this amazing chapter of this amazing Book, we see hope for a group that seems not to bow the knee to the image of the beast, choosing, rather, to suffer the wrath of the two-horned beast. ";Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666";. There would have been no need to hold up this sign in the sacred Scripture except to warn the faithful and help them avoid receiving this very dangerous mark. But apart from the fact that only those whose names are not written in heaven worship the beast, they are also the recipients of the worst punishment God would ever visit on mortals, because this punishment is poured out without mercy. This punishment is, in fact, to be declared by some people who actually live through this troublous period. It is reasonable to expect this people to be the only ones excluded when the Bible says, ";all who dwell on the earth shall worship the beast";. This message that would be declared by the faithful few is recorded in Rev 14:9. ";Then the third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, ";if anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation";. But if the Bible refers to this damning message quoted above as the third angel's, then what are the first and second angels' messages? The Bible calls the first beast so, because it receives its power directly from Satan, or, physically, from pagan Rome. When talking about the United States, it made clear that this was ";another beast";. Therefore, in the same manner, there is no reason for the Bible to talk of a ";third angel"; without there being a first and a second angel.
In this matter, we really do not have to look too far. Rev 14:6-8 declare that before the third angel there was a second, before whom there was a first, all having distinct messages. For now, all we need to note is the worldwide nature of these messages. Borrowing from the first angel, we see that the everlasting gospel it carries was preached ";to those who dwell on the earth — to every nation, tribe and tongue, and people"; Rev 14:6.
While presenting the history of the world — both past and future, as revealed in the Book of Revelation — we have allowed the reader wonder what this group is, whose members constitute the remnant church, against which the dragon makes war (12:17); have their names written in the Book of life, and do not, therefore, worship the beast. These also suffer the sanctions imposed by the image of the beast in honour of the beast (13:16, 17), and preach the three angels' message (14:6-10). The Bible states the character of this group — actually, it is a restatement — so clearly that it is easy to see who they are. After painting a picture of loyalty to the beast and rebellion against God and His anger against those who worship the beast — whose names are no written in the Book of life — the Bible soothes and comforts those who will surely suffer for their fidelity towards God during this time of near universal apostasy. In Rev 14:12, we read, ";Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus";. Who are those that keep the commandments of God but the ones against whom the dragon was enraged and went to make war with; who are these but members of the remnant church, which the dragon turned his attention to, after his determined struggle to exterminate the church failed even after 1798? Who are these comforted and told to have patience because of the tribulation they suffer under the image of the beast, in its attempt to force them to receive the mark of the beast? Who are these but the same remnants who also are alone against the world and are alone mandated to preach the three angels' message, part of which is the damning message promising the unmingled wrath of God against worshippers of the beast? Since it is time for identification of this remnant church, one more character of this group, unto which God's oracle have been committed is in place. In Rev 12:17, the dragon went to make war with the remnant church, which not only keeps the commandments of God, but have the testimony of Jesus Christ. In the restatement of the character of this group, they are said to keep the commandments of God and possess the testimony of Jesus. An interpretation of ";the testimony of Jesus"; is found in Rev 19:10. ";Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy";.
One very interesting method of identifying the remnant church of God that provokes the destructive temper of the beast and his agents — whether first beast, or two-horned beast, or image of the beast — is by identifying the mark of the beast. The relation of the remnant church to the mark of the beast casts it in bold relief as indeed the remnant church.
";He shall speak pompous words against the Most High; shall persecute the saints of the Most High; and shall think to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hands for a times and times, and half a time";. Dan 7:25. If a panel of judges were given an objective history of the reign of the Roman Catholic Church during the Dark Ages, and also given the true length of the prophecy of the ";time, times, and half a time";, they would find it very easy to say the papacy indeed is the little horn, even if none of them was a Christian. The matter is so plain that it cannot be argued. As already stated, the little horn is the beast, whose mark we now wish to determine, as a countdown to identifying the remnant church that it engages in a war. Dan 7:25 includes a statement that indicts the beast for thinking to change ";times and law";. As a matter of fact, the beast has already done this. In appendix 8A, we present the Ten Commandments, as written by the finger of God Almighty on the tablets of stone given to Moses and recorded in Exodus 20:1-17, and besides these, the ten commandments as contained in the Roman Catholic Church catechism booklet. A careful comparison between the two reveals the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel, which was given some 500 years before Christ's incarnation on earth. It would be noticed that the 10th commandment — as recorded in the Scriptures — is actually stated as two separate commandments, and yet, the number of commandments in this catechism booklet still remains 10. Well, the reason for this is that you may use a microscope to search, but you will never find the words of second commandment as recorded in Exodus 20:3, in the version of the ten commandments of the Catholic Church, as taught to her adherents. Thirdly, the fourth commandment in the Catholic document only mentions the Sabbath day — which is to be kept holy — but does not define which day is the Sabbath day, as the Bible does in Exodus 20:8-11. ";He shall think to change times and law";. The reason for the total expurgation of the second commandment in the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments is that there is no way paganism can function without bowing down to its gods, and, left with no option or no lie to explain the requirement of the second commandment forbidding image worship, the beast — or papacy -- imperiously expunged the law it could not alter. But alteration was possible with the fourth. By stating the law in part, the papacy was able to pull off one of greatest hoax in the history of the church, but nothing God did not already know about. What was this hoax?
In the world today, Roman Catholics consider Sunday the Sabbath day, in total disregard of the Biblical Sabbath, which is defined as the seventh day of the week, or Saturday, as we now call it. Sunday is the first and not the seventh day of the week, and in case anyone is wondering if this matter is petty, let us consider that the Roman Catholic Church as an entity which we have unequivocally stated is the leopard-like beast of Rev 13:1 — claims that the change of the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday is a ";mark of her authority";. Daniel prophesied it and the church has defiantly fulfilled this prophecy, with no apologies to the Protestants, who they mock of paying homage to the Roman Catholic Church in spite of themselves, by observing Sunday as the Sabbath day. If the beast is the Roman Catholic Church and it says of itself that the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to the day more appropriate to the worship of the chief of the pagan gods — the sun god — is a mark of its authority, then, be it known unto all who have ears to hear that the mark of the beast is the change of the Sabbath day from the day commanded by God Almighty to that commanded by the beast. The matter may sound simple and even belaboured, but is nonetheless so profound to the extent of being a major reason for the writing of the Book of Revelation. In the foregoing statements, we are either wrong or right, for we have been categorical. The reader is responsible for reading thus far; whether to seek God and receive greater light or despise these words to his/her soul's damnation.
Many are the sins of Babylon — the Roman Catholic Church — against God and His people, but the war of the dragon, which was frustrated by the successful fleeing of the Woman into the wilderness, and which will, in these last days, enlist the image of the beast and the two-horned beast to fight against the remnant of her seed, will basically be over the issue of this mark, as recorded in Rev. 13, 14. But one may ask if God also has His mark, since the beast obviously has his. Actually, God's mark is called a ";seal";, and is indeed found within His law. Some reader has already inferred what it is. If the mark of the beast is a flagrant change of God's Sabbath from the seventh day of the week to the first day of the week, then the seal of God is simply obedience to the requirement of keeping this original Sabbath, that is, on the seventh day of the week.
So, while the Roman Catholic Church — the beast of Rev 13:1 — persecutes God's people for a period of 1260 years, blasphemes God, speaks against Him, thinks to change times and law, ";casts truth to the ground and practiced and prospered";, the remnant church receives the seal of God by obeying His Ten Commandments — including the Sabbath commandment — appears in the earth only after 1798, is a worldwide church; has the spirit of prophecy (which is the testimony of Jesus), and is set to suffer persecution, while declaring especially the third angel's message, which denounces the worshippers of the beast and assures them of God's judgment. As surely as the Roman Catholic Church exists right before our eyes today, so also does the remnant church, which will be seen to have the full complement of the identifying marks, as stated above. This church is none other than the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was established as a corporate entity in 1863; it keeps the seventh day as the Sabbath day; it also believes and teaches obedience to the whole Ten Commandments of God; it is a worldwide movement; it preaches the three angels' message; it has the gift of prophecy, or spirit of prophecy. In short, one would need to disagree with the Bible in order to disagree with the evidence all pointing to the fact that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy, as foretold in the Book of Revelation. But we are yet to present evidence of the church's possession of the spirit of prophecy, and intend to do so through the course of the remaining chapters of this book, while dealing with other equally crucial matters.
So far, we have been able to identify the beast, his mark, and the remnant church, which has the seal of God, contained in the commandments of God. We are yet to explore how one may receive the mark of the beast and would do so eventually. Let us now try to identify the image of the beast, which, as we have seen in Rev. 13, is actually the preferred agent of the dragon in part 2 of his war against the woman who fled into the wilderness. Of course, because she fled and was kept from the dragon's presence, this second part of the war, prophesied in Rev 12:17, is ";against the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus";. We also learnt from the same Rev 13 that the beast that was defeated in 1798 was restored — and recent history does confirm this officially happened in the early days of the last century, precisely in 1929. Yet, the Bible points -- as the agent of the dragon in this second part of the war against the church Jesus left behind when he left to heaven — the image of the beast, and not even the beast, though it has been restored by this time. But let us bear in mind the fact that this image of the beast is a creation of the two-horned beast, or the United States. ";And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and did live";. Rev 13:14.
The image of the beast is simply a creation having at least the fundamental character of the beast, but certainly not the beast itself. Just like the beast which ";wears out the saints of the Most high"; Dan 7:25 — a modest reference to a far more serious issue involving the exhibition of man's worst carnal passions in full swing as was witnessed during the Dark Ages — the image of the beast also ";causes as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed";, or ensures that ";no man may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name"; Rev 13:15,17. The original beast perverts the truth of God by polluting it with false doctrines, borrowed directly from paganism and does all humanly possible to seduce and then generally compel men to obey. It does not, like the Lord Jesus, say, ";whoever wills let him take of the water of life freely"; Rev 22:27. Rather, it forces men to follow its dictates in matters of religion. The penalty for noncompliance is always life-threatening. The image of the beast is not the beast but only its image. He who has an ear let him hear this. The image of the beast will be formed when the Protestants gain control of the civil government and become positioned to use their power to influence the government at their pleasure. In the beginning, the Roman Catholic Church was actually a church. It certainly did not become constituted in 538AD, but had been in existence long before then. But the Bible records the appearing of the little horn coinciding with this date, and the reason is that 538AD was actually when the Bishop of Rome — the Pope — became ratified by the Emperor of that time, as leader of the world church. When the Pope spoke from then on, he had the support of the Emperor behind his words, making it dangerous to disagree with his wishes. Not until this happened, the Roman Catholic Church was only a fallen church. The dragon has always relied on the support of civil powers to aid any of his agents. When the Protestants in the United States reach that abstract point in time when they can control the civil government, they would, like the first beast, be in a position to use their influence to further their ends. Those who disagree with them will easily be coerced or, if they would not, face severe sanctions. The real difference, then, between the first beast and the image of the beast is the denomination that takes control of the civil government and the civil government involved. The first beast was the Roman Catholic Church and it received power from the Roman civil government, during the reign of the very powerful Emperors; the United States — the two horned beast or second beast — gives backing to the Protestants to form the image of the beast. The basic difference between the two is that simple. Everything climaxes through this arrangement, in the punishment of ";heretics";. This is basically the message of Rev 13, as revealed by God. Of course, the image of the beast simply attempts to force all the nations of the earth and peoples and tongues and tribes to receive the mark of the beast. This event is still in the future, and since we have already identified the mark of the beast as the change of the Bible Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day by the beast — the Roman Catholic Church — when the image of the beast is formed and it commands all peoples in the earth to either worship on Sunday or face the sanctions prophesied in Rev 13, then, those who honour this law by obeying it — and in the process disobeying God's law — receive the mark of the beast. It is that simple.
Today is the 5th of January, 2005, but the above thesis — the one outlining the development of the image of the beast on the basis of Rev 13 — is actually a prophecy delivered to the world through the remnant church, well over a hundred years ago, by a prophetess, who, naturally, is a member of this remnant church. To appreciate the validity of this prophecy and aid us in believing that nothing but the Spirit of God is the giver of that prophetic insight, we need to have a brief picture of the world at the time this prophetess of God declared this message. America was just a little more than a hundred years old by this time; none of the world wars had taken place; the missionary societies were going round the world; there was ideal religious freedom in the United States, and the idea that its twin foundational ethics of Protestantism and Republicanism would at any date in the future be overthrown for the papal culture of religious persecution could only have been uttered by one insane — or moved by the Spirit of God. In fact, Protestantism appeared as the winner at this time, because, among other things, the healing of the mortal wound of the leopard-like beast — the Roman Catholic Church — was just beginning and, more, importantly, Vatican City was yet to be recognized as an independent State. The minds of people must have been repulsed by the idea that protestant America would one day use the engine of its government to force people to worship the beast. To be candid, there was no love lost between the Catholics and the Protestants, especially those of the United States. After all, the first generations of American settlers were actually Christians who were fleeing the persecuting power of the Roman Catholic Church. To think that America would in future be enlisted to further the glory — both spiritual and physical — of the power that Martin Luther had to conclude was the antichrist, was unthinkable. It was in this state that America was and it was at this period that Ellen G. White, the prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, made her startling prophecies.
Things soon began to change. 1929 came and the Pope became the King of the Vatican City; the Second World War woke men up from their sleep; the formation of the United Nations followed; the fall of the USSR and the consequent emergence of the United States as the single world power; the September 11 attacks, which analysts believe has changed the United States forever, etc. Amid, all these, prominent leaders in the United States have been making calls for the enactment of a Sunday law, claiming it would improve the morals of society. As a matter of fact, anyone just simply well informed and not necessarily an expert in international politics would hesitate to throw away the prophecies of Ellen White as a product of delirium now. The possibility now exists that the prophecy would come true. This book is being written at a time when it is clear to everyone that the separation of church and state — a fundamental and cardinal principle of the United States government since independence — now only exists on the pages of the constitution of the United States, but is not upheld in the political life of the nation, and especially so under the government of George W. Bush. In his first state of the union address, delivered after his victory in 2001, he made clear that his government would support ";faith-based initiatives";, meaning that tax payers' funds would be used to support social reform programs of religious groups. An important marker of God's true prophets is the fulfillment of their prophecies. But, equally important is the fact that a true prophet edifies the body of Christ, in the final analysis; 1Cor 14:3, 22. To say the least, this prophetess just referred to has done just that. Reputed as the female writer with the most published books in the United States ever, Ellen G. White wrote on health —giving Biblical insight on lifestyle medicine several decades before the world of modern medicine became aware of the concept. She wrote on the second coming of Christ and the state of the world before this; she gave Biblical insight into the life and times of Christ and experienced all the divine encounters of true prophets, as recorded in the scriptures. (See Appendix 9A). Seventh-day Adventists, in view of the Biblical basis of her prophecies, accept Ellen White's prophecies as of God, and this also serve as a mark of identification of the church as the remnant church of Rev 12:17, which must have the spirit of prophecy Rev 12:17; 19:10. Let this, however, not create the wrong impression that we think God has not blessed His people with invaluable insights from His word through other vessels. Yet, Ellen G. White has been so used of God more extensively than all with respect to the knowledge required by the people of God for these very last days. God often uses several different vessels for the same general purpose. For example, Apostle Paul is recognized, and he even avowed himself the apostle to the Gentiles. But that did not stop the Lord Jesus Christ from sending Peter — the apostle to the Jews — to preach the gospel to Cornelius, who was verily a Gentile.
The Bible teaches that God, being omniscient, is never really surprised. He knows the end from the beginning of all things. Jesus Christ knew that Peter was going to deny Him; that Judas was going to betray Him; that the other disciples were going to desert Him; that they were all going to be helpless as they saw their Lord and Master being crucified as a common criminal, etc, and yet He allowed these things to happen. Jesus Christ knew how deep the dismay of His disciples would be after His death. In John 17:20, He says, ";ye shall weep and lament . . . but your sorrow shall be turned into joy";. Even though this prophecy also applies to the joy of the saved at the second coming of Christ, it was spoken primarily as a prediction of the experience that awaited the disciples just a few days from then. So bad was the state of mind of two of Jesus' disciples that, on their way to Emmaus, they told Jesus — supposing Him to be a fellow traveler and not their risen Lord — that ";But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel . . ."; meaning He was no longer the one. And all these, in spite of the fact that they were privy to the words of Jesus Christ, predicting His shameful and unjust death at the hands of the Chief Priests and Pharisees; and the glorious climax of all these in a certain resurrection.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a direct product of the Advent Movement of the early 19th century. Some diligent Bible students were led to a study of the prophecies relating to the last days, after the fulfillment of the prophecies relating to the end time given by Jesus in Matthew 24 began to be fulfilled before their very eyes. On November 1, 1755, the world experienced what has come to be known in history as the Lisbon earthquake; then, there was the dark day and ";bloody moon"; event of May 19, 1780, and finally, the falling stars phenomenon, which took place on the 13th of November, 1833 (Matt 24:29-30). Coincidentally, an American named William Miller was led of the Spirit of God and through some personal experiences, to begin preaching what he had discovered after several years of study, namely that ";the sanctuary shall be cleansed";, or, according to him, that Jesus Christ would return to the earth. He had equated the cleansing of the sanctuary prophesied in Daniel with the coming of Jesus Christ to earth because of an assumption, which was that the sanctuary in the prophecy — recorded in Daniel 8:14 — referred to the earth. Thus, William Miller believed that the event foretold in the prophecy was the second coming of Christ. All of Christendom was astir as a result of this Advent message and different people in different lands joined the Movement, preaching and warning others to get ready to meet Jesus Christ on the 21st of October, 1844. This was after an initial date which was later shown to have been arrived at without taken all factors in the time estimation process into consideration. Every conceivable consecration was made before that day, but that day came and the sun did not seize its daily rise or the moon its monthly circles. This resulted in what is known in church history as ";The Great Disappointment";. Later, the near weary band of faithful Adventists received enough light from the word of God to realize that they had indeed been led of God, but that the event they had expected took place in heaven, as Jesus Christ went into the Holy of Holies in the heavenly sanctuary to begin the judgment of the church, or cleansing of the sanctuary. Several other hidden truths were rediscovered by these same diligent Bible students that were scathed with the sorrow of shame and ridicule and confusion and near despair. It was from this Movement that the Seventh-day Adventist Church emerged, from which the Sabbath and other pivotal but long forgotten truths — as taught by Jesus Christ and the apostles, and in fact, through all of sacred scriptures — were restored. A detail of the doctrine of the sanctuary is presented in Appendix 7A, but it is worthy of note that at this point that a comparison of the earthly sanctuary -- which God designed and communicated to Moses to build according to specifications — and the sanctuary in heaven — of which that of the earth is only a copy — brings to light several important truths. Key among this is the doctrine captured in the Day of Atonement, the most important of the sanctuary services, during the time of the Israelites. On this day — as recorded in the Pentateuch — the people of God afflicted their souls and repented for their sins, and the High Priest cleansed the sanctuary. It was a day of judgment and was held yearly. Every Jew who failed to observe the details of this solemn fast became effectively cut off from God's people.
The Bible says that ";for judgment must first begin in the house of God";, and this principle is seen in the sanctuary service of Old Testament times. Daniel was shown a vision of the future, beginning from many centuries before the birth of Christ to the exact day when Jesus Christ would — as the High Priest in Israel yearly did — go into the sanctuary to cleanse it of the confessed sins of God's people. It is a judgment period because, at the end of it, the number of God's people is made up. There is no any other atonement after this Day of Atonement. Indeed, this was the event that was kick-started in heaven on the day of the Great Disappointment in 1844. Dan 8:13,14.
Interestingly, all these happenings had been foretold in the Bible. After the tribulation of the 1260-year period in which the dragon — through the beast — persecuted the church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was born, according to Rev 12:17, which locates the remnant church sometime after 1798. Thereafter, the church began preaching the three angels' message of Rev 14:6-10 for the very first time in the history of the Christian church. Though they passed through the portals of the bitterness and anguish of deferred hope which sickens the heart, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a planting of God. Said the first angel, which also, of course, appears after the 1260-year period, ";Fear God and give glory to Him and worship Him that made heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water";. But rightly understood, these words are a call to Sabbath worship, for they only echo the Sabbath law of Exodus 20:8-11, where the Bible says, ";Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy . . . for in six days the Lord God made heaven,, and the earth, and the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day";. Dear reader, it is no coincidence that the restoration of the Sabbath commandment and the message of judgment were preached for the first time ever since the ascension of Christ, by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is indeed, a plan of God, hid through the ages. God Almighty knew about the experience of the Adventists and revealed it to John the Beloved almost 2000 years before it occurred. In Rev 10:8-11, a prophecy is presented that refers to none other than the experience that marked the birth of the remnant church in the 1840s. Note Rev 10:11. After this disappointment — recorded in the preceding verse — the prophet was still going to ";prophesy to many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings";. But let us now recall that the first angel's jurisdiction also encompasses ";those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people"; Rev 14:6. It is either all these we have been saying amount to fallacy or — because it is based on the Bible — the word of God. It cannot be any other, for the logic of God's foreknowledge, blending with cold, hard, historical facts, runs through these issues. He who has an ear let him hear. This is no coincidence, but the providence of God at work for the good of His children who, He knew, will have to live in these perilous times, when advanced deception is the order of the day.
The Roman Catholic Church is the little horn or the leopard-like beast, or the man of sin, or Babylon, pictured as a whore or unclean woman in Rev 17. The remnant church is pictured in Rev 12:1 as a chaste woman. This is also true of her seed, portrayed in 12:17. But what does prophecy have to say about the vast multitudes who are today Protestants? These ones are like a man fleeing disaster on the north side of a river bank, with the aim of getting to the south side for total safety, but getting caught up somewhere in the middle of the river. As already noted in earlier chapters, the Reformation that marked the birth of Protestantism was superintended by none other than God Himself. However, the refusal of the Protestants to respond obediently to present truth has bound them in a bond of sympathy with Rome because they still honour the false Sabbath instituted by the dragon for its own honour and glory. They also drink of the polluted wine of the doctrines of devils, such as man's natural immortality — in spite of the fact that God drove Adam and his wife out of the Garden of Eden to prevent their perpetual existence (Gen 3:24) — and other equally pernicious beliefs that rob God of His glory and promotes a wrong impression of His love, justice, benevolence, and mercy.
Even the Catholic Church calls itself the ";Mother Church";. Funny enough, the Bible concurs with the church, to the extent of calling it a Mother; Rev 17:5. But the Bible unmasks its false claim by describing just what kind of mother she really is. The above verse in Revelation says the Roman Catholic Church, or Babylon, is the ";Mother of Harlots";. Simply put, the various denominations of Protestantism are the children of this ";Mother Church";. The Bible — and especially prophecy — refers to any kind of spiritual infidelity as adultery. The various denominations of Protestantism, in refusing the light that shone in the world through the Advent Movement, became the harlots, which all belong to the ";Mother Church";. Typically, when the Mother Church speaks, they obey. Before the light broke forth, the worship of the protestant fathers on Sunday could not be classed as spiritual adultery. The light of the Sabbath was yet in the future in their day, and God, according to His word, winks at true ignorance and is the only one qualified to distinguish between that true ignorance and another the Bible describes as ";willful ignorance";. The Mother Church has said severally that through the tradition of the fathers and not any scriptural authority, she changed the Biblical Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. All her children gladly obey. Not until the Advent Movement, Protestants were the church of God on the earth, for the possession of the truth of God was the only source of Israel's true glory. God foresaw that lukewarm devotion and general backsliding of the Protestants would not allow a total acceptance of the Advent message. So, the prophecy was written, showing that the Roman Catholic Church would have many children. One wonders where the Roman Catholic Church finds the courage to invite the Protestants to return to the Mother Church, from which they broke away. And gradually, Protestants are stretching their hands. Many protestant leaders have made statements that confirm this step-by-step reunion with Rome. In case anyone thinks otherwise, the ecumenical movement is the star evidence for the validity of our position. Small wonder, then, that the remnant church has not been able to join the band wagon. Different spirits are at work in these persuasions. If they are right, then we are the worst and boldest liars the world has ever been unfortunate enough to host. But, as our position is based on the Bible, one must face the fearful and forceful and unapologetic truth -- falsehood is in the majority. But, once again, none of this is a surprise to our omniscient God. Knowing fully well that many of His children would ignorantly seek to worship Him through the false churches, the message of the second angel — which forms part of the three angels' message that has been and is being preached by the Seventh-day Adventist Church — is to be repeated with great power before the second coming of Jesus Christ, so that people of God in Babylon will come out.
";And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ";";come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues";";";. The remaining part of this book presents the stuff of the repeated second angel's message, as revealed by God. The time is near. It is so near, but the source of comfort for the child of God must be only in the final outcome, which, by the very word of God that cannot fail, will be victorious and filled with joy unspeakable. But the troublous times are here — well, almost.
The purpose of the remnant church of Revelation 12:17 that appears in the world after the 1260-year prophetic period is the preaching of the three angels' message, as recorded in Rev14:6-10. As has been shown, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which appeared after the 1260-year prophetic period, is the only church that, for the first time in the history of the world, and for the first time since the message itself was written, began to preach the three angels' message. This message is divided into three parts, each spoken, or preached, by a specific angel. The first addresses the whole world to fear God and worship Him because the hour of His judgment has come. The message in itself is proof positive that something new had started. ";The hour of His judgment has come";, simply means that, before this time, it was yet to begin. Anyone sound in the knowledge of the ceremonies of the earthly sanctuary — which we must be careful to always remember, is a copy of the sanctuary in heaven — knows that the Israelites passed through judgment once a year, during the Day of Atonement. Just like the Passover was celebrated once every year but was fulfilled by the death of Christ — once — so also, this Day of Atonement is observe once every year in ancient Israel and also approximates in meaning to what actually was planned by God to happen in heaven at the appointed time. At the time of the Israelites, this heavenly Day of Atonement was still in the future. Just as the High Priest went into the inner sanctuary to cleanse it on this Day of Atonement — judging the Israelites in the process — so Christ also, for the first and last time entered the inner sanctuary in heaven at the specified time when Daniel the prophet prophesied He would. According to Daniel, from the time the decree goes forth for the rebuilding of Jerusalem to this time when Christ enters the inner sanctuary, there would be 2300 years, which he prophetically referred to as 2300 days — Dan8:14. In Israel of old, the Day of Atonement meant a day of judgment, for one may only continue to be in the camp of God after this day, if he afflicted his soul, confessed, and repented on the day. It is no coincidence that the judgment message of the first angel (Rev14:6, 7) was never preached until Christ began the cleansing of the sanctuary, which, based on the 2300-year prophecy, began on October 21st, 1844. Worthy of note is the fact that this same prophecy foretold the year of Christ's incarnation, death, and the time when Stephen — one of the seven Deacons of the early church (Acts 7) — was stoned, which marked the end of the Jewish probation, given in the prophecy as 490 years and beginning also when the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given. The call to worship God — being part of this message — refers directly to the Sabbath law of Exodus 20:8-11 because it is the only commandment in the Bible that urges men to worship the God who made the heavens and the earth, the seas, and the fountains of water"; Rev14:6,7. Again, it is no coincidence that the message which the remnant church began to preach after Christ entered the inner sanctuary also included that of worshipping God on the Sabbath day, ";for the hour of His judgment has come";. It is the fulfillment of prophecy that the world was privileged to witness in those days of the Advent Movement.
";The second angel followed them saying, ";";Babylon is fallen is fallen because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication . . ."; Babylon is the Roman Catholic Church, and the term especially refers to her practice of teaching falsehood, for, says the prophet John, blasphemy is the hallmark of this Babylon, represented as a beast in the same prophetic Book of Revelation. The Apostle Paul, when warning Christians of his time not to expect the second coming of Christ too soon after His ascension to heaven says, ";that day shall not come except there come a falling away first";. This ";falling away"; simply refers to a departure from the original truth of the Bible, which sadly, had even begun in Paul's day. Of course, this is what Jude alluded to, urging the faithful servants of God to ";contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints";. For Jude to say ";once delivered";, shows that, even at this early date, there was already a need for restoration of original truths. This time was also very long before the worldwide domination of the beast — or papacy, or the Roman Catholic Church — which began in 538AD. Under the shadow of the beast's reign — 1260 long years — there was more than enough time to incorporate falsehood into Christianity so that the truth would have appeared strange and false when presented. Let us note through all these, that prophecy had foretold these things, referring to its success as a ";mystery";. It took God's direct intervention for the Reformation to take place, but the Reformation was not ordained of God to either preach the judgment message or the Sabbath message, since it did not produce the remnant church — whose appearance was still in the future — and Jesus Christ had not even entered the inner sanctuary to begin the atonement or judgment, which is the only reason why a mortal would proclaim the judgment message of Rev 14:6 and not incur the wrath of God as a false prophet. Indeed, any preaching of this message before 1844 would have been premature, thus wrong. But after this date, the message was due. Talk about the wisdom of God!
So, the Adventists proclaimed the first angel's message, beginning at a time after 1844. But they also proclaimed the fall of Babylon, which was not part of the first, but the second angel's message.
To be understood correctly, this ";fall"; of Babylon in the second angel's message should be reckoned as the same type of fall prophesied by Paul in IIThes 2, where he meant a departure from truth to upholding of lies, which we have seen, is the bedrock of Babylon. Therefore, ";Babylon is fallen";, as proclaimed by the second angel does not necessarily refer to the defeat of Babylon as is apparent, but is simply declarative that Babylon has replaced truth with falsehood. This message is never ripe for proclamation till the truths Babylon corrupted are rediscovered by the church of God. The mystery of Babylon is a mystery of falsehood where truth had existed. Not necessarily new truths, but restoration of truth, is what demands the preaching of the message, ";Babylon is fallen";. In all fairness, Babylon cannot be accused of not knowing new truths, and thus accused of being ";fallen"; when these truths are proclaimed after being discovered. But we see the denunciation of Babylon taking place in the wake of restored truths, and the reason is not to indict Babylon for being ignorant of these truths, but for being the main negative factor behind the need for the restoration of the truths in the first place.
As a matter of fact, the judgment message of the first angel is new, being proclaimed for the first time ever by the Adventists. But even in this judgment is the basis for the second angel's message. The requirement for worshipping the God whose ";judgment has come"; in the first angel's message is the keeping of the true Sabbath on the seventh day, a day that had been changed by the beast and upheld through her councils. So, one of the key reasons for the proclamation of the second angel's message by the Adventists is that Babylon is fallen because she had lied — she had taught the nations to honour the day of the sun god of paganism instead of the day of the LORD, who made heaven and earth . . ."; brought to light in the first angel's message. Babylon is fallen because the remnant church had rediscovered the truths Babylon perverted; the remnant church had rediscovered the Biblical Sabbath, among other relevant truths. This point is crucial to the whole message of this book — that it is the possession of truth — especially restored truth — that demands the proclamation that ";Babylon is fallen";.
Other truths rediscovered by the remnant church include the truth about the state of the dead. Babylon had taught her subjects the lie of several millennia; the lie that man is naturally immortal; the lie, which, in fact, is the first the dragon or serpent or Satan told humanity through Eve in the Garden of Eden. Related to this is the matter of God's justice system, which had been perverted to the point of becoming an income earner by the Roman Catholic Church — that is, Babylon — which taught the instantaneous passage of souls of the dead to a place of torment — if they died unprepared — or to a place of supreme bliss — if they died prepared. This, Babylon taught, in direct contradiction to the testimony of the Scriptures and the words of Jesus Christ that all the dead — both the righteous and the wicked — shall remain in their graves until He calls them forth. John 5:28,29; Acts 2.
Another truth rediscovered quite recently is the only Biblically sanctioned method of baptism, which, according to the synoptic gospels and the Book of Acts (as in the case of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch), is by immersion. It is no news that there are at least four different types of baptism practiced and taught by Babylon — the Roman Catholic Church — none of which is by immersion. The remnant church is qualified and has been mandated to preach the second angel's message, and the method was by giving light to the church through the word of God in order for it to dispel the darkness that had beclouded the world and even the church for unending centuries, under the direct supervision of the agent of Satan — Babylon.
Concerning the third angel's message, the prophecy given in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation makes clear that its proclamation will be due only in the future. According to this prophecy, the image of the beast commands that none can buy or sell except him that has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. There is hardly a place in the world where people have begun to suffer whatever kind of sanctions in these last days, for worshipping on Saturday, or refusing to worship on Sunday; in any case, not to the scale to be experienced during the days the mark of the beast would be the only means of survival, humanly speaking. Indeed, the change of God's Sabbath from Saturday — the seventh day — to Sunday — the first day — is the mark of the beast. Prophecy says people begin to receive this mark only after the law enforcing its observance — with its accompanying sanctions against defaulters — goes into effect. Those who receive this mark not only surely end up in hell fire and die the second death there, but also receive of God's wrath, poured out unmingled with mercy. This punishment is to be meted out to beast worshippers right here on earth.
With the above forming a background, we now consider the words of Rev 18:1-4. This message is proclaimed by an angel from heaven having great authority, whose glory lightened the earth, and who cried mightily with a loud voice. None of the two other angels of Rev 14:6-10 is depicted in this manner. To say the least, the world cannot be ignorant of the message of this angel. Such intensity, rapidity, power, and attention will accompany this message. Interestingly, this message is more or less a repetition of the second angel's message, which declares that Babylon is fallen. As we have been showing, nothing, but the restoration of truth demands that kind of declaration. The Advent Movement began and became accompanied by restored truth, necessitating the cry of the second angel's message. The repetition of that message in Rev 18:1-4 is in itself a prophecy that there is going to be a restoration of truths again in our day. But, since this second angel's message is followed by the third angel's -- which carries a note of finality — it can be seen that all the truths corrupted and hidden will be restored this time around so that God's people will come to believe all the things believed by the apostles of Jesus Christ in those days before the perversion began. Below is a presentation of the truths that will cause the proclamation of the second angel's message, as repeated in Rev 18:1-4. Each is presented under a special heading. These truths, in fact, represent the repeated second angel's message.
According to the Catholic encyclopedia, ";the sign of the cross, represented in its simplest form by the crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly antedates (came before) in both the East and the West, the introduction of Christianity. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization";. Consider the fact that many kinds of crosses are used in the Roman Catholic religion. The Catholic encyclopedia reports that not less than 40 different crosses are used, and yet all of these — including the so-called Calvary cross -- says a noted writer, can be traced to a period long before even the birth of Christ! The question, in view of all these, is whether Jesus Christ even died on a cross that includes a crosspiece. Even in the remnant church as identified — the Seventh-day Adventist Church — no statement has been issued condemning, discouraging, or advising against the use of the cross. No wonder, many faithfuls wear ties or use other adornments with the sign of the cross imprinted on them. Yet, this remains a source of amazement because of the assumption that these should know the purely pagan origin of the cross and the fact that the Greek word, ";stauros";, from which the word, ";cross";, is translated, does not require the meaning to be a cross of two straight lines at right angles to each other. How about Scriptures like Deut 21:22-23 that all talk of Christ having been tortured and crucified on a tree? Is a tree any similar to a cross? See the paganism tied to the cross and there will be small wonder that, like Sunday sacredness, which is a product of falsehood, apostate Christianity, paganism, and an apparent Scriptural support, the cross is also one of the vestiges of Babylon. Why is it still finding safe accommodation in the beliefs of many Protestants, including the remnant church, who are spiritually the archrivals of Babylon? (Eze 8:13-14). Still on the inconsistency of the remnant church on a related matter is the use of a certain picture of Jesus Christ in the Sabbath School Study Guide and many other church publications which is a strong source of irritation. Firstly, no one actually has the true picture of our risen Lord. Why should we join the throng is supposing that the face of a fairly handsome, bearded man with long black hair — covered in Arab style — and a calm visage, is the face or likeness of Jesus Christ? In the unlikely event that it actually is, I still feel, based on the scripture, the church may not be so innocent in this practice. (Eze 20:4,5)
How come almost everything the Roman Catholic Church believes in and practises have its roots purely in paganism and enjoy Scriptural support only after such unfortunate Scripture quotation has been conveniently misconstrued or deliberately misinterpreted? How come the remnant church still holds some beliefs in common with this certified merchant of falsehood? We should not discard beliefs simply because Catholics happen to believe them also, but we are doubly obligated to investigate especially shared beliefs to know our stand and not be guilty of conforming.
Is it a coincidence that this Friday-Sunday theory is the major argument employed to support the supposed change in the day of worship from Saturday (the seventh day) to Sunday (the first day)? Is it a coincidence that Sunday is the day of worship of pagan Rome, which is the source of Roman Catholicism as it is today? Is it a coincidence that this belief serves the purpose of the Roman Catholic Church whose authorities testify to being responsible for the change of the Sabbath to Sunday from Saturday? Is this rather not part of the mystery of iniquity?
In Matthew 12:38-40, Jesus Christ very clearly answered the Pharisee's request for a sign by telling them that none but that of the prophet, Jonah, would be given to that generation. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a fish, Christ would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what happened. There is no room for assuming that the "third day" used in other parts of the gospel with respect to this prophecy modifies the position here presented. The simple reason is that Christ described the ";third day"; as ";three days and three nights";. Besides, Gen 1:4-13 shows the ";third day"; could very well mean three days and three nights. See Luke 13:32,33; Matt 16:21; Mark 10:34.
Jesus died after 3pm on a certain day in the week (Matt 27:46-50) and His burial was completed by evening that same day (Mark 15:42-47; John 19:38-42). To know when He resurrected, let us realize first that a reasonable estimate of how long Christ must have stayed in the grave is at least 72 hours, going by Scriptures like Mark 8:31; John 11:9,10; 2:19, and Matt 12:40, and the fact that Christ's birth, anointing, ministry, and death were all events fulfilled according to prophecies based on time. With this in mind and the fact that Christ is recorded to have already resurrected even before very early on the first day of the week (Matt 28:1-6), we have no option but to realize that Christ died on Wednesday after 3pm, was buried just before evening, and resurrected on Saturday anytime after dusk. How else could 72 -- hours three days and three nights (John 11:9, 10) — have been fulfilled before very early on Sunday morning? Anyhow you look at it, Christ must have resurrected at sundown, not sunrise! Matt 28:1,6; John20:1.
One cogent reason for this appropriate conclusion is that if Friday is assumed as the day of Christ's crucifixion, Christ would be automatically pointed out as a false prophet or a common liar. Between Friday evening and before very early on Sunday morning could never be three days and three nights!
The fact that Christ is recorded to have died on a day before a Sabbath day does not permit us to carelessly suppose that the Sabbath referred to was the weekly Sabbath, making the day a Friday. In fact, Apostle John clearly stated and allowed no room for confusion when he informed us that Christ died on the eve of a ";high day"; Sabbath (John 19:31-33). Also, Christ is quoted in many epistles as our Passover Lamb. Anyone sound in the knowledge of the Old Testament knows that the Passover event was one of the Sabbath days, and that it was during this season that Christ was killed so that type would meet antitype and fulfill the real Passover. Let it be clear in our minds that ";while it was still dark";, that is, before dawn on Sunday, Christ had already risen (John20:1; Matt 28:1-6; Luke 24:1-2). A Friday crucifixion would mean Christ was in the grave only two nights and a full day! What then, would have been the purpose of Matthew 12:40?
To clear the issue of Friday not being the day referred to in John 19:31-33 — the one and only assumption that has brought about this great confusion — let us take a look at the accounts in Mark 16:1 and Luke 23:56. The latter Scripture says that Mary et al prepared spices before resting on the Sabbath day according to the commandment, that is, the weekly Sabbath Exodus 20";8-11. On the other hand, Mark 16:1 says these same women bought spices when the Sabbath was past. With these two apparently contradictory verses of scriptures, we know that there were two separate Sabbaths the week our Lord was crucified — the first, a Passover Sabbath to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, and the second, the weekly Sabbath, which is according to the commandment Ex 20:8. Christ died on Wednesday; Thursday was the Passover, so the women rested; Friday came and they were up again, so they bought spices (after the Sabbath on Thursday) prepared them, and rested on the Saturday Sabbath. Luke 23:56; Mark 16:1.
Peripheral Evidence: Considering Matt 27:62-66, a Friday crucifixion would mean the Pharisees came to see Pilate on the weekly Sabbath day and also made arrangements, sealed the tomb of Christ, and posted guards, all on the Sabbath day. This is very unlikely, considering the fact that these Pharisees were Jews of the strictest order. Also, note that the reason for bringing down the bodies of Christ and the two thieves was primarily because of a law concerning condemned criminals (Deut 21:23) and not necessarily for the sake of keeping the Sabbath, which was a Passover in this case, and could fall on any day of the week.
Clarifications: Mark 16:9. Even though this verse, as stated in the Bible, seems to suggest a Sunday resurrection, a proper placing of the comma would make clear that Sunday is mentioned only in connection with the appearance of Jesus Christ to Mary Magdalene. Whatever, suffice to say Saturday evening may well be rendered as ";first day of the week"; by a Hebrew writer, since they reckon a day as ";an evening and a morning"; in line with Scriptural definition; Gen 1:5.
Also, we read in Luke 24 the story of the disciples making their way to Emmaus. In verse 21, while they thought they were conversing with a stranger, they told Jesus, ";Besides all these, today is the third day since these things happened";. Since the issue being discussed at that material time was the death of Jesus, one may need more explanation to understand how the third day since Wednesday (crucifixion day) could be Sunday (the day the conversation took place), and not Saturday. When ";these things"; referred to by the speakers at Luke 24:21 is taken to mean Jesus' arrest, torture, death, and the sealing of the tomb and posting of the guards on Wednesday, any possible confusion seizes to exist.
Bible facts about God: a one and only true God (John 17:3; Isa 43:10; 44:6; Eph 4:4-6; 1Cor 8:6// spirit (John 4:24)// worthy of worship (John 4:23-24; Matt 4:10)//first and last (Isa 44:6)// had no beginning (Ps 90:2)//Omnipresent (Ps 139:7-12)// Omnipotent (Like 18:27)// the creator (Gen 1:1; 2:1-2)// Father of Jesus Christ (John 8:54)// has never been seen before (John 1:18)// is greater than Jesus Christ (John 14:28)// subject to none; above all (1Cor 15:28)// the Father (John 5:19; 16:27; Gal 1:1; IThess 1:1; 2Thess 1:1; Col 1:19; Philp 2";11; 1Cor 8:6; Eph 4:4-6)// The head of Christ (1Cor 11:3)// the final authority (Mark 13:32; Matt 20:20-23)// the God of Jesus Christ (IPet 1:3; John 20:17; Mark 15:34; Rev 3:12)// the IAM THAT IAM (Ex 3:14)// the one that resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead (Gal 1:1; Rom 8:11)// God Almighty (Gen 17:1).
As a matter of fact, God is God. The problem seems to be how to explain Jesus Christ as also God or exactly as or equal to God or a ";God the Son";, and the Holy Spirit as ";God the Spirit";, and yet all three as one God.
Bible Facts About Jesus Christ: the Son of God (I John 5:5)// the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16; 1:18)// the Mighty God (Isa 9:6)// is in the form of God (Philp 2:6)// is Omnipotent (Matt 28:18; John 17:2)// is Omnipresent (John 14:16-18; Matt 28:20; 18:20)// is immutable (Heb 13:8)// has life in Himself (John 5:26; 1:4)// is the source of all creation (Col 1:16; John 1:3)// forgives sin (Mark 2:5-7; Matt 9:6)// is one with the Father (John 10:30)// is the image of God (John 14:9; Heb 1:3; I1Cor 4:4)// is worshipped (Heb 1:6; Matt 28:17; Philp 2:10-11)// is from everlasting (Micah 5:2)// is God (John1:1)// is the Lord (Eph 4:4-6; Philp 2:11; 1Cor 8:6; ITim 1:1; IThess 1:1; 2Thess 1:1)// is the firstborn of God's creation (Col 1:15)// is the beginning of God's creation (Rev 3:14)// was with God before the world was created (John 17:5; Prov 8:22-31)// is subject to God (1Cor 15:24-28)// receives glory from God (Col 1:19; John 17:5; Heb 1:3)// confessed the Father as the only true God (John 17:3)// was brought forth by God (Prov 8:22; Col 1:19; Rev 3:14)// received life from the Father (John 5:26)// received authority from God (John 5:22,26,27; 12:49; Matt 28:18)// was seen before/after resurrection (John 1:14; 21:4)// is not the final authority (Mark 13:32; Matt 20:20-23)// the only one God created alone (John 3:16; 1:14,18)// confessed God is greater than Him (John 14:28)// is one with God (John 10:30)// is called King of kings and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:6)// is called the archangel Michael (Jude 9; Daniel 12:1)// is called Lord, to the glory of God, the Father (Philp 2:9-11)
Clarification Of Scriptures Apparently
Supporting Belief That Jesus Is God And
Equal With God.
Isaiah 9:6: Here, Christ is called ";Mighty God";. Does that make Him equal with the Father? Notice that God is called God Almighty (El Shaddai; Gen 17:1), a name reserved for Him alone. In the light of other scriptures, this verse in Isaiah is too insufficient for us to draw the obvious conclusion that Jesus Christ is the same as the Almighty God. See Jude 9; Dan 12:1, where Christ is called ";the archangel";. Certainly, Christ is more than angels, and, in fact, not of the same nature with them. Do we, for reasons less than logic, then use these verses to say that Jesus Christ is an angel? See also, Dan 2:37, where King Nebuchadnezzar is called king of kings. This, as we would readily agree, does not make him the same or equal with Jesus Christ in any way, though they share the same title, since Jesus Christ is also called King of kings. Jesus Christ is the image of God; a perfect representation of Him (Heb 1:3; I1Cor 4:4). See John 1:1; compare with John 1:18; 20:31; 6:46; Matt 16:16-17. Also compare John 20:28 with John 10:34-37, Ps 82:1-6. Concerning John 20:28, could Thomas have been exclaiming? See 1Cor 15:10a and Ex 3:14.
Micah 5:2: While some versions of the Bible make this appear like Jesus' years are from everlasting (eternity), others, like the New Revised Standard Version, render the verse as, ";. . . whose origin is from old, from ancient days";. See Ps 90:2, where God is shown with endless years. Which rendering of Micah 5:2, when compared with Ps 90:2, seem correct, in the light of Col 1:15; Prov 8:22, and Rev 3:14, where Jesus is shown very clearly to have a beginning, as the first of all of God's creation? These Scriptures allow for no contradiction on the correct rendering of Micah 5:2. See Heb 1:6a. Before the ";everlasting"; from which Jesus was brought forth was the One who brought Him forth Prov 8:23.
Matthew 1:23: In a bid to make Jesus Christ God — even though He declared truthfully that eternal life came from knowing the one and only true God, a being distinct from Himself (John 17:3) — some people take this verse to mean that Jesus Christ is God, just like the Father. But, how could such a conclusion be drawn, when verses such as the following are in the Bible? John 5:43; 10:36; 3:17; 17:18. Besides, the Bible also said, ";. . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself";. See Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38. Just like a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, so, Christ, through God's spirit, was God's representative, having God's full mandate John 7:16.
Names abound in the Bible similar to Immanuel, and, were the bearers of such names to receive the same treatment Trinitarians give Jesus Christ in order to prove that He is God, then, these, too, will be God for the same reasons often adduced.
For example: ";Eliathah"; means ";God has come";; ";Jehu"; means ";Jehovah is he";.
John 5:18: In this verse, the Jews misunderstood Jesus and He cleared the air in the very next verse. See John 5:19; 14:28.
By juxtaposing Rev 22:8,9 and Matt 4:10 with verses like Heb 1:6, Matt 14:33 and Matt 28:17, some hope to reach the conclusion that Jesus Christ, who is clearly distinguished from God by the title, ";Lord";, is the same as God, the Father almighty. Like had been earlier explained, let us now test these verses with others in the Scriptures to learn more.
Firstly, the Greek word translated ";worship"; in all these verses is proskyneo. Note that, like the English words, fast, brood, spell, etc, proskyneo has various meanings. This same Greek word also appears in the following verses, some of which reveal the word meaning the courtesy of bowing to the ground for someone of higher authority, or, just to show respect. Gen 22:5; 23:7; 1Kings 1:23; Matt 4:10. So, one may be too forward in presuming that the ";worship"; in the stated verses, where Jesus Christ was involved, is the same that is due to God. This caution is not so out of place in the light of Philp 2:11, where the name of Jesus Christ is declared greater than all others in heaven, in earth, and even under the earth; He is bowed to and called ";Lord";, but all to the glory of God, the Father. See 1Cor 15:28; John 4:23, 24; Col 1:19. Compare John 4:23, 24 with Luke 24:39.
Furthermore, study the verses below and see whether together, they pass any message. The chart highlights how angels and/or people and/or creatures and/or the twenty-four elders act toward God and Jesus Christ respectively.
|Rev 4:9-11 (fall down, worship and speak)||Rev 5:8-10 (fall down and sing)|
|Rev 5:13,14 (acclaim and worship)||Rev 5:11-12 (acclaim)|
|Rev 7:10-12 (acclaim and worship)||Rev 7:10 (acclaim)|
|Rev 7:13-16,17b (serve)||Rev 7:17 (be lead by)|
|Rev 11:15-17 (acclaim; fall down; worship)||Rev 11:15 (acclaim)|
|Rev 12:10 (acclaim)||Rev 12:10 (acclaim)|
|Rev 15:2-4 (sing; acclaim)|
|Rev 16:5-7 (acclaim)|
|Rev 19:1-8 (sing; acclaim; worship)|
|Rev 21:3-8 (God in charge)|
Titus 2:13: See IPet 1:3
John 8:58: See John 8:57. The context of the question whose answer is recorded in this verse shows clearly that age, and not identity, was the issue at stake. In all humility, I submit that the rendering of other versions would seem more correct, namely, ";. . . before Abraham was, I have been";. By putting ";I am"; — some versions use I AM — as the response of Jesus Christ, are we supposed to believe that He is God as a result? It may be that the pervading belief in the Trinity inspired that translation. Compare Romans 9:5 with 15:6; I1Cor 1:3; Eph 1:3, and Acts 20:28 with IJohn 1:7; Rev 1:4-6; John 3:16. Aslo, juxtapose Isa 43:11, Titus 1:3, and Jude 25, with Titus 1:4 and Acts 13:23, to see that, although both Jesus Christ and God are called ";saviour";, that does not make them the same, at least not the way the Trinity doctrine would have us believe. God is our saviour through Jesus Christ, just as He alone is our creator, through Jesus Christ; our Father, through Jesus Christ, etc. For ITim 3:16, see other versions to realize that Jesus Christ, and not God, was the one being talked about. Luke 24:51; IJohn 4:3.
Rev 1:11: In this verse of the Holy Scriptures, Jesus Christ, who later appears to John the Beloved in verse 13, is quoted to have declared Himself Alpha and Omega. But for the records, it is appropriate to note that some versions, -- notably the NRSV — completely omit these words, basing their action on the opinion of scholars, who boldly declare them spurious. Consider Rev 21:6,7, where God, and not Jesus Christ, is the one talking, because He calls God's people His children, a relationship we know does not apply to any other John 1:12; Heb 2:11; Matt 12:50; 25:40; Gal 3:26; 4:6
In any case, a title like ";king of kings was applied to both Jesus Christ and King Nebuchadnezzar; (Dan 2:37; Rev 19:16; ";apostle"; was used for Jesus Christ and His disciples (Heb 3:1; 1Cor 1:1); ";I am what I am"; — the revealed name of the almighty God -- was used by Paul (1Cor 15:10; see Ex 3:14). See Matt 5:14; John 8:12.
The highest and most appropriate, God-sanctioned, Scripture-backed, timeless and infallible revelation of Jesus Christ came through Peter. On this truth, Christ promised to build His church. What is this truth? It is this: Jesus is the Christ; the Son of the living God!
In Gen 1:26; 3:22 and 11:7, God is recorded as speaking to a Being other than Himself when the issue was as exalted as creation. He also refers to this being as His kind. However, rather than prove any multi-person God, these verses add voice to the fact of God's sovereignty. God created the world through Jesus Christ — the Word — and is it any wonder that He is telling Jesus Christ that They should do this or that? People need to understand that Jesus Christ has God's nature but there was such a time when only God, the Father, existed — before Jesus Christ was ";brought forth"; — and this unity remained unbroken until it was briefly interrupted at Calvary; see Prov 8:22-31; Col 1:15; Rev 3:14; John 1:18; 17:5; 3:16; 1:3; it was restored on resurrection morning.
Isa 48:16; 42:1: If not misinterpreted, these verses equate the spirit of God with the power of God and do not lend themselves as advocates of the doctrine of the Trinity. See Like 4:18; Acts 10:38; Luke 24:49; 1:35; Acts 4:31.
In the light of Eph 4:4-6, IPet 1:2 does not teach a Trinitarian Godhead as the God whom Jesus Christ referred to as the only true God. If it did, then, in fact, the Trinity would include faith, hope, baptism, and even angels! ITim 5:21.
IJohn 5:5:7: Like the opening sentence in Rev 1:11, part of this verse is believed to have been invented to aid the propagation of the doctrine of the Trinity. If not, why do some scholars also declare some words in it as spurious, making some notable versions of the Bible — like the GoodNews Bible (Today's English Version) and the New Revised Standard Version — omit the words, ";heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one";, so that the verse now reads: 7 ";There are three that testify. 8 the spirit, the water, and the blood, and these three agree.
I1Cor 13:14: Here, we read of the communion
of the Holy Spirit. But does that make the
Spirit God and a person, just like Jesus
Christ and God? All Christians have the
Spirit of God (Rom 8:9), and this is what
results in the communion of the spirit. Even
the dictionary helps one see clearly that,
simply because the communion of the spirit
is mentioned after the grace of our Lord,
Jesus Christ, and the love of God, the spirit
need not be construed to be a person. Eph
4:4-6. Compare Matt 28:19 with ITim 5:21.
When the following scriptures are juxtaposed, what do we see? Matt 1:2a// John 3:16a//Luke 3:38b//John 1:3, Col 1:16// Col 1:15, Rev 3:14, Prov 8:22.
Luke says Adam is the son of God; not the begotten son of God, but the ";son of God";. What is the implication of this?
Matthew says Abraham begot Isaac, meaning Isaac came directly from Abraham. This is different form saying David, the son of Abraham (Matt 1:1) where, though David is descended from Abraham, he is not begotten of Abraham, that is, he is not directly from him. So, David is indirectly from Abraham because Jesse, and not Abraham, fathered him. This, then, differentiates a son from a begotten son, at least in the parlance of the Bible.
So, Luke calls Adam the son and not the begotten son of God because someone else was involved. Adam, though created by God, came through a means that would not allow him to be rightly referred to as a begotten son of God. This is so because John 1:3; Col 1:16, etc, show that God created all things through Jesus Christ. But John 3:16; 1:14, 18 all call Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God. Does this refer to a Trinitarian ";God the Son";, or is the obvious interpretation correct, namely that Jesus Christ came directly from God? Compare John 1:12 with John 3:16.
What does the Bible say about this?
Col 1:15 says Jesus Christ is the firstborn of all of God's creation and Rev 3:14 concurs, calling Him the beginning of God's creation. Does this mean God created Jesus Christ by Himself and then through Jesus Christ created all things? Prov 8:22 and John 17:5 help us answer that question in the affirmative. Compare with Ps 90:2 and Isa 43:10, where God is made distinct from any other being and shown to be from everlasting — without a beginning — to everlasting — without an end. For correct Biblical status of Jesus Christ, see Col 1:19; Heb 1:3; I1Cor 4:4.
John 4:23,24 — where Jesus Christ signified who alone deserved worship — says God is spirit. In the interest of brevity, I would submit that there was such a time when only God existed (together with His spirit). This was before Jesus Christ was brought forth. However, this does not mean the spirit is a separate person, existing apart from God. The Holy Spirit is part of God's nature. Apart from being the source of God's power, the spirit carries God's presence — because God Himself is spirit — but not as a distinct person. The spirit indeed is impersonal, but like the spirit of man, it searches the deep things of God and thus is, in a way, God-in-action. There is no need to confuse the Holy Spirit as God or a person for the sake of keeping in line with the pagan philosophy of a Trinitarian Godhead, simply because its activities are sometimes personified. It is said to be a ";helper";, ";teacher";, ";witness";, ";hearer";, ";speaker";, etc, but this is not so odd, considering that, in the same Bible, Abel's blood is said to have ";cried out"; to God (Gen 4:10); water and blood are said to be witnesses (IJohn 5:6-8); sin and death are spoken of as rulers (Rom 5:14,21). See also, Luke 7:35. In all sincerity, the claim by some that the Holy Spirit is, in a way, God's active force can be substantiated, drawing from Scriptures alone, without recourse to strange interpretations. See Ex 31:1-5; Ps 104:30; Job 33:4; 34:14; compare with Rom 8:11; Luke 4:18; 24:49; Acts 10:38.
for Ps 139:7-10 and 1Cor 2:10,11; if these verses are proof that the Holy
a person apart from God, then, based on
1Cor 2:11, humans are made up of two
entities — their real selves and their
spirits. The truth here is obvious. See also
Col 2:5 and 1Cor 5:3, where Paul, who is
certainly not a spirit, talks as if he were
omnipresent, saying he would be somewhere
while his spirit would be in another place.
Does this mean that Paul was made up of
two persons? Can we pretend not to
understand that Paul meant he would be
there probably in mind (as some people say
";out of sight is not out of
mind";)? If Paul could be somewhere
his body was not — and Paul is one
person and also flesh and blood — is it
too wonderful that God — who is spirit
— can be everywhere through His
spirit, which does not necessarily have to be
a separate person?
In Philp 2:5,6, the Bible says, or, refers to Jesus Christ as being equal with God. Well, other reliable versions rather phrase it as ";. . . who, though in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped . . ."; In the light of John 14:28, and the context of Philp 2:5, 6, the latter version would appear to be more correct. Jesus, not proud and self-willed, agreed to take the form of a servant (man), not aspiring (like Satan), to be like God, but being obedient to the divine will. John 10:30 does not support the idea of Jesus being equal with God, as any sincere reader would agree, especially in the light of John 17:21, 22, and considering the fact that the same Greek word, ";hen";, is what is used in both scriptures and translated as ";one"; to mean the oneness of Jesus Christ and God, and the oneness Jesus Christ prayed for to be manifested in believers. Correctly understood, John 10:30 only further elucidates the truth that, though Jesus Christ and God are certainly different — the one subject to the other — they are one in purpose. Is everybody ignorant of this, or is it through willful misconstruction that this verse is often quoted to support the idea that Jesus Christ and God are equal?
Following the correct rendering of Philp 2:5, 6, one would not fail to see that Jesus Christ is said to be in the form of God. This is a clear statement that helps us understand that Jesus Christ is one of a kind with God. In other words, there is no other being in the universe that shares God's nature, except Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:39-41). With the foregoing in mind and a recourse to the initial submission made — with the inference that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God — let us take a close look at the following verses. Together — with the writer's highlights — they may present interesting truths.
Gen 1:27 says that God created man in His image and man — or humankind — was male and female. See the table below.
|Subject to . . .||God; 1Cor 15:28; 11:3 (God is His head)||Man; 1Cor 11:3 (Man is her head)|
|The image and glory of . . .||God; I1Cor 4:4; Heb 1:3; Col1:19||Man; 1Cor 11:7b; Gen 2:23|
|From . . .||God; Col 1:15; Prov 8:22; Rev 3:14; Heb 1:6a||Man; 1Cor 11:8; Gen 2:22, 23b|
|For . . .||God; Prov 8:30; Col1:19||Man; Gen 2:18|
In the light of the above, how excruciating the agony of giving Jesus Christ to the world would have been for God, the Father, and Jesus Christ Himself. Only Jesus Christ has God's nature among all beings and He alone can relate with God in a particular manner, and yet, God gave Him away to redeem mankind, who had been created in Their image. Looking at Prov 8:31 — where the fact that the sons of men are a real source of delight to Jesus Christ is brought to light — and also realizing that all things were created for Him (Col 1:16b), one sees the longing to salvage man that must have filled Christ's heart and aided Him in treading that tortuous path of leaving the adoration of heavenly beings, putting on the fallen nature, suffering temptation, scorn, and real loneliness, and finally dying the death that is our lot. Besides, Jesus Christ is now forever partly a member of the human family. As for man, his lot has been bettered, because, unlike Adam's nature that was mortal, man now receives immortality — a preserve of God alone — at the glorious revelation of Jesus Christ, when He returns to earth a second time. This, and nothing less, is the hope of glory. (Rom 8:17, 19, 23, 25).
Foretelling the rise of the antichrist or beast — referred to as the ";little horn"; in Daniel 7:8 — the Bible says that three of the ten horns of the beast representing the Roman Empire in prophecy, were plucked up by the roots before it came up. This knowledge was communicated through Daniel who was shown in a vision the rise and fall of subsequent empires yet to arise in his day. In the vision referred to, Daniel had been shown how this forth beast is preceded by a third, explicitly identified as the Grecian Empire. Without doubt, and with the active collaboration of even secular world history, this fourth beast represents the Roman Empire, which split into the ten tribes and are in turn represented by the horns of this beast. Of interest to us is the prophecy that ";three of these horns"; — in other words, three of these ten tribes of the divided Roman Empire — would be plucked up by the roots to make way for the reign of the little horn, which we have since identified as the Roman Catholic Church. Well, history records, as a complement to this remarkable prophecy, that, indeed, the Vandals, Heruls, and Ostrogoths were rooted out by the papacy before its full dominance of the nations of Europe in those days. One wonders whether something more than the apparent politics was involved in this enmity of the little horn against these tribes, which God considered important enough to be included in this seminal prophecy. In all modesty and a sense of responsibility, we boldly declare that religion was the undertone of the campaigns against the Heruls, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths. These three tribes were Arians, a term that referred and still refers to those who hold to the strict monotheistic (belief in only One Sovereign God) teaching of the Bible, without accommodation in their minds for the doctrine of the Trinity! Only truth has been known to invoke the wrath of the papacy and in the light of the restoration of God's truth, we now see with clear eyes the real reason for the extermination of these tribes, which would have made it impossible for the papacy to practice her falsehood, in view of the central position of the falsehood of the Trinity to the propagation of the religion of Rome. (In the appendix, a presentation is made that shows the real source of virtually all the doctrines and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and their remarkably pagan origin, including an insight into the several Church Councils that superintended the mixture of Christianity and paganism to form the amalgam, which is the Roman Catholic Church). But this method of dealing with a serious problem is not strange in the thinking of the papacy. It was readily employed to deal with the inconvenience to the Christianized paganism posed by the requirement of the second commandment. In that commandment, God commands Israel of all time not to bow before graven images, but as it is near impossible for the religion of Babylon to thrive without bowing to her gods, the papacy imperiously expunged this law from its own version of the Ten Commandments, as can be seen from even a glance at the catechism booklet used to teach young adherents of the Roman Catholic faith. It is only because supplanting was not possible for the fourth commandment enjoining the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath that this law was spared and corrupted instead of being completely expunged. But as was done to the second commandment because it was too categorical for its requirement to be explained away by pretentious prelates who lord it over God's heritage, the Heruls, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths had to be sacrificed so that the idea of the Trinity may be propagated to replace the truth of the Bible, which for ages has been that the LORD our God is one Lord; Deut 4:6. This event — the uprooting of believers in the one and only true God -- was included in the prophecy given to Daniel that we of these days might see and understand and perceive just to what length the papacy would go to sustain falsehood, and the enmity with which light bearers would be greeted when they choose the path of fidelity towards God. But for God and His power to save and cut short the days of the time of trouble, the fate of the Heruls, the Vandals and Ostrogoths await the remnant church.
The Bible says that ";the soul that sinneth, it shall die";, and even though David said, ";in sin was I conceived";, -- meaning we are all sinners primarily for being sons of Adam and secondarily for committing our own sins (Wise King Solomon had said ";for there is no man who does not sin";) — Jesus Christ, certainly not a sinner and not a son of Adam, died. Though He was born as a man, He did not sin. He was born, but not of Adam, for it was the Holy Spirit that implemented the Incarnation. So, what happened will best be understood by stating it as ";unfair";. Christ had not sinned, so, why should He die? We know it was God, as it were, that ";killed"; Christ. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ had prayed fervently for the cup — referring to His suffering and death — to pass. Securing no acquiescence, He submitted to the will of God and drank the cup; He suffered and bled and died. In God's court of justice, we might say there had been injustice in this case, for death was only for the ";soul that sinneth";. But the deed had been done. Christ had died, and even though He rose again, He was not supposed to have died, for He did not sin and is not Adam's descendant, all of which are sinners because they were conceived in sin (Ps 51:5) and also sinners by nature Rom 3:23; 2Chron 6:36.
Let us say that God — holy and true — owed Christ life, for He sniffed Christ's life out ";unjustly";, as it were. To pay Christ back for His life and balance His ";unfair"; death, Christ presents sinners who deserve to die, to God. The argument or mediation goes something like this: ";These men (and women) have sinned, and Your word says they should die. But You ";killed"; me ";unjustly";. For taking my life, let these men (and women) be a source of compensation; let them live and not die, though they have sinned. Let that death I went through atone for them and Your word need not have been broken, though they are spared";.
But that is not all. Man, according to Gen 1:27, is ";male and female";. God is God, the Father, and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. In eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the man had failed through disobedience. That group (or race) was finished because, as far as God is concerned, the race as a whole is Adam. No wonder, Paul said that death passed on from one man unto all men, arguing that so also will the obedience of Christ bring life unto many. The truth of the matter is that there are no second chances with God, and no man ever gets a second chance. What happens is that every child of Adam, beginning from Adam himself, will be destroyed without remedy. The reason is that God had told Adam — who represents the human family — that ";in the day you eat of it you shall die";. Dying is the destiny of all men, for the disobedience of Adam gained him a ";vile body"; (Philp 3:21). This is why Jesus Christ told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that ";except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God";. As a matter of fact, these words are eternal and we would do well to analyse them.
Note that John the Beloved had said in John 1:12-14 that children of God are born, not of the will of man, but of God. In other words, they do not have earthly parents. Let us not forget that God is spirit. Jesus Christ, in explaining the meaning of being ";born again"; to Nicodemus, concurs with John when He says, ";that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit";. This means that every child of God is born because Jehovah, the LORD God of the children of Israel, agrees to have such a one as a son (or daughter). But a son under what being-group? Every being in the universe is under a specific group: God; angels; man; etc. 1Cor 15:39-41
It may be a wonder to some, but man, since his group had lost its opportunity for life, had to be grafted into one of the existing groups, and which group was this? We know that Adam sinned and Adam was made a free moral agent by the will of God. Every other man, beginning from Cain, was born by the will of man. But Jesus Christ said some people out of this fallen group (man) will go to heaven or see the kingdom of God because they would be ";born again"; by the will of the Father. John 1:12-14; 3:3-6. Recall that the Bible says Christ is the head of the Church and the Church is the body of believers. Recall, also, that the Bible says that we shall be like Him, referring to Christ. Paul said He shall fashion our mortal bodies to be like His glorious body. (Philp 3:21) .The Bible also talks of God alone possessing immortality, yet the people of God are promised this same immortality at the coming of Christ. By the way, Christ also rose from the dead with this incorruptible body. Paul said Christ cannot die again, having risen. From all these points, it is obvious that it was into the ";God"; group that man was grafted. No wonder, Ellen White always makes it a point of saying that Christ is forever a member of the human family. Truth is, man will be grafted into the ";God"; group. God is the head of Christ; Christ is the head of His body — the Church — and the ";man"; group is no more because the ";man' group had sinned and must die and not live. This is why we must be born again.
As has been posited earlier, Christ is the creator of all things in the universe, but only by the will of God. It always takes the will of God and His word to create (See Genesis account of the creation) and, as we know, Christ is the Word of God. Note also, that, just as the angels have no sex, or else are ";males"; (or original and single, if you like, so also shall the people of God be in the kingdom of God. The sexes is something God utilized to sustain mortality and demonstrate His relation to Jesus Christ, the Word. In heaven, there will be no sexes for, in Christ — as the Bible records — there is no male or female, Jew or Greek, bond or free, but we are all one. Procreation will also not go on in heaven, for it is also just one of God's tool for sustaining mortality and a source of exhibition of man's creative quality, as a being created in God's image. The fact that humans urinate, defecate, grow nails and hair that must be cut periodically, perspire, etc, are all tools to sustain mortality and evidences of the vile body, which Christ inherited but which no one can take into the kingdom. Philp 2:7-8; 1Cor 5:50.
So, Adam was made a mortal being, whose life depended on consistent obedience (Gen 3:22), but what we inherit as children of God is being an integral part of Christ's body and admittance into the ";God"; group. In the new deal, without the Church, Christ is not complete, and without Christ, into what will the Church be grafted so as to live and not die according to the word of the LORD? Furthermore, it requires nothing less than recreation for any man to be saved, but that presents no problems. Because God owes Christ life for ";killing"; Him though He had not sinned, God gives Him the life back — or concludes the compensation for that — by recreating as many as Christ would present to Him to be part of His body, which He had truly given to the human family. The idea is that He cannot live without His body and this body has been given to the ";man"; group. Christ's body is made up of recreated men and women who necessarily share the incorruptible nature because so is Christ's nature, of which they are a part of. A giant leap from Adam's nature.
Unlike man (male and female) it would appear that the angels are ";single"; creatures, so that when you have say, ten angels, the sin of one does not affect the destiny of the others. They also were obviously directly created by God, not procreated through a Father-Mother angel(s). The redeemed saints are going to be recreated in this mode. Up till then, however, man is Adam, Eve, and all their descendants put together. Jesus Christ is not ";man"; in that strict sense. He needed a body, which was prepared while He lived in Mary's womb, but that was where the similarity ended. No wonder, the Bible calls Him ";a second Adam";. It is like saying another group emerged; a fusion of a member of the ";God"; group and the ";man"; group, and redemption was the only reason for this complex arrangement, which God had predetermined together with Christ even before the foundation of the world was laid. (Eph 5:30-32). Even in recorded Biblical history is evidence of God's penchant for grafting, as expounded by Apostle Paul in his treatise, recorded in Romans chapter 11.
Gal 3:28, Luke 20:34-36; Mark 12:24-25; Matt 22:29-30
Truth is, ";God alone hath immortality . . ."; This, in view of the past presentations, means that, until His resurrection, Jesus Christ was not immortal, but rather received life from God on a constant basis. If not, there is no way He could have die, for immortality means that ";one cannot die"; Rom 6:9. Ab initio, God was, before Christ was brought forth. The analogy of ITim 2:13 is borrowed from this fact. In the order of things, it would appear that God brought forth Christ and only through Christ could He create anything, for, in the order of things, nothing could be created without the Word, and Jesus Christ is that Word. In a mysterious way, we would say, God tied up His ability to create anything whatsoever with the Word He had to speak, but (in a manner humans may not comprehend) this Word is a person — that is, Jesus Christ, who was so-called only as an incarnated Being. Recalling the fact that it was not a drama or trick that God played through the plan of salvation when He gave His only begotten son, it will be seen that, in giving Jesus Christ to the world — with all the grim possibilities of His failing to measure up — God was putting His ability to create anything further on the line. This, then, was the true nature of God's sacrifice. His only begotten son whom He gave is the word ";without whom nothing was made that was made";; through whom, ";God made the worlds";; ";by whom God made the worlds";, etc. John 1:3; Col 1:16,17.
From God's angle, Jesus Christ, whose name was the Word until the incarnation, is the source of all His creation, very much like a man can procreate only through his wife. Suppose a man only had one wife or, let us say, there was only one woman in the world. Through this single woman, a nation could be born, but if she died before giving birth to any child, we might say the man — who will now be left alone — will be powerless to procreate. God tied all His ability to create in Christ. The Bible says, ";Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God"; (1Cor 1:24); but it also says Christ is the Word of God. So, we see that God is really God strictly — it would appear — because it is only by His will that everything is done. It will appear He does this ";everything"; through Jesus Christ. Let us not forget that ";God is spirit";. John 4:24.
When Christ was ";brought forth"; as the Word by God and made a Person, He was given life in the divine order, but this life derived from God. Let us imagine God deciding to go back to the state He was before Christ was ";brought forth"; as the Word. This hypothetical case means that Christ would cease to exist. The Person that cannot ever cease to exist is God, the one ";who alone hath immortality";. Angels who did not join in the rebellion of Lucifer may have lived for millions of years. But this — as we would agree — does not mean that they are immortal. Rather, they receive life and live as a gift from God. That is the only reason why it is possible for the Devil and his angels to be destroyed. Though they may have lived for a 100 million years with God, they had forfeited this privilege to live by choosing to violate the law of God. This is the same situation Adam found himself.
The point is that, even Christ Himself lived because God was still interested in Him living. While a day may come when Christ might cease to exist, it is totally different with God. He is the only One who cannot die. Somehow, no being was allowed to enjoy this quality. It could only be attained after perfect obedience to the will of God.
Let it be known that because He was ";brought forth"; and was a person, Christ, like all other intelligent creatures, had the privilege of choice, although in the form of God. His similarity to God can be perceived by recalling that, while Adam was made of dust and the breath from the nostrils of God, Eve was made out of Adam's ribs. It is like eating herbs by eating an herbivorous animal. Christ shares God's nature in a certain manner, but He is a distinct being, begotten of God and subject to God — living through obedience. Christ's obedience appears automatic but, in fact, it is not. Rather, it is something that had happened for so long that it now appears so. Christ always has the privilege of choice, for He is a Person. But, like a woman to her husband, we may say Christ empathizes 100% with the desires, attributes, plans, counsel, nature, etc, of God.
When the issue of the great controversy came up, Christ came down to earth in the form of a man — who was now a fallen being — and had to obey God through the 33 ½ years He walked the earth. One could say that for the eons He had lived with God, Christ had never been tempted to sin, so that, even to Him, obedience to God was somewhat automatic. Taking the form of a man, Christ ";learned obedience through the things He suffered";. If Christ had taken up an unfallen body — like Adam initially had — it would have been business as usual. But the body He was given was one with a natural inclination against the will of God. Oh, how Christ agonized to check this body of sin, which had sufficient potential to destroy Him! It was tortuous — the life of Christ on earth — and filled with incomprehensible watch care. Only after Christ — as it were — had an opportunity to sin and resisted it and proved His obedience to God that the Devil could be shown for who he really was. God's only begotten son had obeyed God even in a vessel as degenerated as that of man and there was none in the whole universe who could raise a head to falsely accuse God of having laws that are unjust. This is because His only begotten son had been shown to uphold it — with the possibility of great loss to God Himself.
Only after Christ showed such obedience was He given the immortal body — which cannot die. Paul said that ";seeing that Christ ever liveth";, alluding to the fact that He cannot die. On the other hand, the human race has been elevated by the fall. May be God has plans to grant immortality to the angles who did not rebel — the Bible does not say so — but every man may now enjoy immortality, like the only begotten son of God now enjoys. But, like Jesus Christ before us, the path is only through obedience. No wonder, ";Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren";. ";We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is";. God has made us His sons/daughters through Christ. For, in the order of things, man has been grafted into the ";God"; group.
What will happen is that, because man fell, the ";man"; group will be wiped put. Man can only live in the kingdom of God as the ";body of Christ";. Recall that Christ Himself is the head of His body — the Church. So, it will still be God and His only begotten son, at last. It is just that the son is now divided — as it were — into head and body. Indeed, Jesus Christ is the son of God and the son of man!
When we consider that the procedure of salvation was not a drama but the real thing, several truths will become obvious. As was posited earlier, God treated Christ ";unfairly"; for man's sake. Of course, Christ accepted to be so treated, but God is a just God who ";abounds in goodness and truth . . .";. It has already been shown that the way open for God to be just was to allow as many as Christ presented to Him to live, though they deserved death. Interestingly, this ";injustice"; of God against Christ was done basically by allowing Christ take up the ";vile body"; of fallen man. Whether or not Christ was killed, the fact that He had been given a vile body meant He could die — either naturally due to old age, or by being killed through murder. The simple reason for this is that the body of Adam — which we all posses — is a mortal body. It can and does die. The only way it escapes death is through the impartation of immortality. Recall that, though Lazarus was resurrected from the dead, he still degenerated with time and died, like he ought to. Since Christ's soul was put in the vile body of Adam — which is usually formed in a woman's womb — it means that when He died, He was really and truly dead. Because His existence had become dependent on the body He was given, He could not be alive a second longer once that body ceased to function. No wonder, Christ had to sleep, could get hungry, and could grow, etc, because His existence had become dependent on the body He inherited. If this were not the case, He would not have needed to be subject to the functionalities of the normal human body, some of which were just listed above. Truth is, if Christ had lived up to 120 years, He would have died of old age, since the body He had — though very healthy because of adherence to a healthy lifestyle and not His divinity — was subject to degeneration and eventual death. Obviously, there was no need for such a long life, so, Christ died at His prime. He had a mission to fulfil and it was not God's will that He should be kept a day longer than necessary in the earth after He had exhibited total obedience to God and complete surrender to His will, suffering for sin He did not commit.
Furthermore, we ought to realize — from all these — that, since Christ was really and truly dead through the three days and three nights He was in the tomb, God showed that He could exist apart from Christ. If Christ were a fundamental part of God as believed by Trinitarians, it would follow that there was no God throughout the period Christ laid dead in the tomb. Rather, what happened in those three critical days is, in a very significant way, a replay of that which occurred in that time before the beginning, when only God was. God ";brought forth"; Christ at a time when He alone existed, much in the same way His spirit resurrected Christ — dead for three days and three nights — from the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. According to Romans 8:11, it is this same spirit of God that would impart immortality to all the children of God. (By the way, there is no need to modify verses that refer to children of God as ";sons of God";. The modifiers of such Scripture may ever be so gender-sensitive, but they may also have forgotten that there will be no sexes in heaven. Indeed, we are all ";sons of God"; in the right meaning of the word. We shall be like Christ; we shall be like the angles, ";who neither marry nor are given in marriage) IJohn 3:1,2; John 1:12; Rev 21:5-7
The Holy Spirit of God — not an entity apart from God, for God is spirit — came upon the lifeless form of Jesus Christ and imparted immortality on Him, arming Him with a body that shall never die. Bible students will readily agree that it is this same spirit that resurrected Lazarus, but because God's will was not to impart immortality in this case, Lazarus only had the breath of God restored to his decaying body and his life's functions reactivated. Indeed, God's will controls the working of His Spirit for this spirit is the vehicle for implementing His will. This same spirit resurrected Christ. This spirit also ";brought forth"; Christ, by the will of God, in those days before the beginning. Apart from the object lesson taught on this matter by the resurrection, the creation of the world presents another. Gen 1:2 says, ";. . . and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters";. Gen 1:3 says, ";And God ";said"; . . ."; In the gospel according to John, we are told that everything that was made was made through the word. In speaking light into being in Gen 1:3, God utilized the word, which is Jesus Christ, and there, you have an interesting analogy of what happened before time was — in the beginning of beginnings. The order is: God alone with His spirit before the beginning of beginnings; then Christ, through God's spirit in the beginning. We must accept the fact that, while the existence of Christ is dated from a certain ";beginning";, the Bible presupposes God's existence before this beginning. Says John, ";In the beginning was the Word . . .";. But Genesis also says that ";In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. As every Bible student will agree, the beginning of John 1:1 predates that of Gen 1:1 as surely as the existence of Christ also predates the creation of the world, but let us not lose the idea behind this comparison, which is to show that, though a cursory reading may suggest Christ's existence coinciding with the creation of the world, the real case is such as to make such a supposition invalid. Another idea behind the comparison is, of course, to show the fact that the Bible takes for granted that the existence of God predates the ";beginning";, but this ";beginning";, as John in John 1:1 makes lucidly clear, coincided with the ";bringing forth"; of Christ, which also predates the other ";beginning"; referred to in the creation account of Genesis. According to Psalm 90:2, God's case is clearly different from this.
According to Gen 1:27, God created man ";male and female";. This is why the product of man could be male and female, who also had the potential of producing yet other males and females, drawing from the original male and female make-up of man. Also, every male or female or male and female brought into the world was so brought by the will of man. From only one man — Adam — and only one woman — Eve — which the Bible referred to as ";man"; in Gen 1:27, billions of "males and females"; have resulted.
As the ";second Adam";, Christ also brings up offspring, but by the will of God, in so much as males and females were brought up by the will of Adam, or the will of the descendants of Adam. But just like Adam and Eve could only replicate what they already were — male and female — Jesus Christ, through God's will, only replicates beings like Himself — males, or, more correctly, people with a spiritual ";singularity in sex";. This is why there will be no ";females"; in heaven. We would all be like Christ. (It is obvious from the quotes bounding the words ";males"; and ";females";, that they are used for convenience. Just like eye has not seen nor ear had, nor any mind been able to conceive what God has in store for them that love Him, we, on this side with limited sight, can only relate with eternal truth with reference to our reality).
On the cosmic level, the death of Christ was to uphold God's law; to show that it is good and holy and just and that it can be obeyed and should be obeyed by all created beings in God's universe. The last two reasons makes clear that if Christ were God, then, on the earth, He would just have been obeying laws which He Himself had made, and that would not in any way satisfy Satan's accusations — that the law of God is arbitrary. Satan, while in heaven, understood that Christ was the son of God in a way different from himself and the other angels. But Satan knew God was definitely the creator and Christ seems to be too close to this sovereign LORD. His connection was a source of worry to Satan (Matt 5:7). God sent this same Jesus Christ to live on the earth as a man and obey the will of God which Satan — as an angel — refused to submit to. It is only in this manner that the law was upheld; that a being with a free will -- so close to God, so greater than Satan — should choose to obey and keep them, even while having to dwell in the vile body of sin, in which there dwells ";no good thing";. No point will be made if God put off His nature and lived in another form and obeyed His own law. In that case, there would be a selfish reason to abide. Real obedience is in keeping to a rule that one did not formulate. No wonder, God has nobody to obey because there simply is not such a being to whom He might defer; but this is not so with Christ; 1Cor 15: 24-28. And, that, exactly, is why the Devil understood his doom in the coming of Christ and that is how the serpent was judged because he is now without excuse. As long as the Devil had an excuse, God decided that He would not punish him. Apart from redeeming man, the life of obedience and eventual death of Christ finally put the Devil to shame and convinced all intelligent creatures that he, in his rebellion, had hated God without a cause. He might and should now be destroyed and the angels would still regard God and sing to Him, ";. . . just and righteous are Your ways, O God";. Rev 16:7; IJohn 3:8b; John 12:31.
The relationship between the first and the second angel's message with respect to time is this: the first angel's message began in 1844 after the commencement of the judgement in heaven, and is being preached to ";every nation and kindred and tongue and people";. As it reaches the last nation and kindred, tongue and people in the earth, the second angel's message, provoked and sustained by the restoration of the remainder of the true doctrines of the Bible, begins to be preached. The ";second"; in the second angel's message, in other words, has a time element. Not until the complete broadcast of the first, will the second angel's message be due. From the point of descent of the second angel, his great power, mighty cry, strong voice, and worldwide illumination by his glory, it is obvious that, compared to the first angel who was seen flying in the ";midst of heaven and speaking with a loud voice";, this second angel's message shall have unsurpassed worldwide coverage and enjoy a rapid and intense spread. It promises to stay as a front burner issue in the whole world as long as it lasts. None can ignore its presence.
Simply put, the effect of the preaching of the message contained in this book will be the unity prayed for by Jesus Christ in the few hours He spent with His disciples before His arrest, torture and crucifixion. This prayer is recorded in the 17th chapter of the gospel according to John. All those worthy of life in all the present religious persuasions in the world would respond to this message. In fact, sceptics have a last chance to behold the hand of God behind this message as they see a great shaking in the world, to be witnessed once this message is made public. Many Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, pagans, etc will be seen leaving their dearly held beliefs to respond to this message. It is only after this unity that the latter rain of the Holy Spirit will be poured out, and, power, as was witnessed during and after Pentecost, will be experienced by the Church. As students of prophecy know, this latter rain is God's last ditch effort to reap the last grains in the earth. The close of the age follows immediately, to be preceded only by the time of trouble. But this ";time of trouble"; is understood to mean the period of persecution that the Bible teaches will last, but not long enough to cause the lost of any saint, for, says Jesus Christ, ";except those days are shortened, none of the elect should be saved";, meaning God does providentially intervenes to save His people, not from the trouble, but through the trouble. The acceptance of the truth that causes the unity of the people of God in the entire world also causes enmity against them from those who will not accept the message. The whole world would then be divided into only two camps, due to the nature of the issues involved in this matter. Then, since both camps will claim to have the truth of God, there would be serious conflict, as has been since the time God drove Adam out of the Garden of Eden with his wife, Eve. This is what results in the persecution of the saints. In these days, Romans 9:28 will need to be borne in mind due to its crucial importance in this ";time of trouble";. God, indeed, would cut short the time, else, none would survive. If the saints ever forgot this, they would be overwhelmed. ";Whosoever saves his life shall lose it . . .";
There is something worrisome, however, in all of these. In the first week of October, 2004, I received a word of understanding to the effect that President George W. Bush will be the leader to sign the Sunday law. This is understood in Adventist circles to mean the law that represents the mark of the beast and, since I got no contrary understanding, have accepted this to be the case. In other words, the understanding I received from God was that President Bush will be the President to supervise the setting up of the mark of the beast. As a normal human being, this revelation was a source of great concern to me, and I had several misgivings because of the obvious implication of the fulfilment of such a thing. I realized at the time that President Bush was even struggling to hold on to power and fight for his second term in office, which was to be decided only a month away from that time. The polls were anything but in his favour and I was wondering if I did not formulate a crazy thought and put the force of my conviction behind it, and I was afraid. Yet, the understanding would not depart, hard as I tried to rationalize that I was the source. A couple of days later, the final debate for the presidential elections took place and, in this, President George Bush's rating only plummeted, yet, so impressed was I about the veracity and validity of what I had heard from God that I was led to send the following message to CNN's OPEN FORUM.
";I received divine insight that President Bush will most certainly have a second term in office, and even some. He has a job to do, which he started doing after September 11. But mark this: the eventual twist of this worldwide drama will be so ironic and shocking and would signal the nearness of the end of time. George Bush is no ordinary leader and the whole world would soon be convinced — and engulfed";.
I would not know if that message was even received let alone broadcast, as is usual with contributions made to the CNN Open Forum, but I would say I did my beat. I got to understand that the signing of the law referred to will take place sometime after the second tenure of the present administration has expired and here again, sceptics of this message have another opportunity of determining its veracity and validity when these things come to pass — or in the event they fail to come to pass. The whole of this message has been put on the line and everyone now has an intelligent way of relating to it because part of this message is the foretelling of events yet in the future, like the fact that President Bush will rule the United States of America beyond the 20th of January, 2009. As a small encouragement to me personally, at least, President George Bush is still President today, in spite of the fact that many prophesied a Kerry victory. I remember vividly reading from the papers on the eve of the elections, statements credited to several prophets in my country, which were all the same: Senator John Kerry would be in the White House. I also remember that I did not even for a moment believe those predictions because the One who spoke to me gave me a token to understand and accept the fact that President George Bush has a date with destiny even beyond his current tenure. I also had to live with the reality of the nearness of the second coming of Christ and the end of the age, which are some of the immediate implication of this message concerning President Bush.
Equally important is the understanding I got to the effect that the protracted stay of President Bush will be in connection with some emergency he will be required to tackle. That is, there will be some crisis before the official consummation of his second term, and Americans will see him as the only one equipped with the guts to deal with it. However, what this situation that will develop is was not communicated to me.
Furthermore, based on the fact that the church that the dragon is wrought with and goes to persecute is the last church recorded in the Bible; and because this church ";keeps the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus";, there is no fear that the ";Whole Truth"; message would split the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This understanding was given as an answer to fears expressed on the issue, with Rev 12:17 as Scriptural basis.
Philosophy of the Warning Message
Considering the fact that God has been chipping away at the great edifice of falsehood represented by the papacy —through the reformation, Advent Movement etc — it is appropriate to infer that he will finish this work before probation closes and Jesus Christ comes. In fact, this is an aspect of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. The saints are to be restored to the original doctrines of Jesus Christ before probation closes.
There is a direct and inseparable connection between the cleansing of the sanctuary and the close of probation. This link is thus: An aspect of the cleansing of the sanctuary is understood to be for the purpose of cleansing the defilement which must have been perpetrated by God's enemies. As a matter of truth, the falsehood of Babylon effectively accomplished this defilement in the heavenly sanctuary and one clue to knowing when the end of probation takes place is to determine when all the lies of Babylon are exposed — or the sanctuary cleansed at least of this aspect of its defilement — which coincides with the cleansing or completion of the work of atonement, or the removal of the confessed sins of God's people from the sanctuary. As has been posited, the second angel's message, contained in the ";Whole Truth"; message of this book, brings to completion the truths of God as intended to be believed by the children of God; but this at the same time also puts an end to the reign of falsehood in the minds of the children of God and equates to the cleansing of the sanctuary of defilement by the enemies of God. From a practical standpoint, probation closes as the last living saint gets sealed, which is equal to hearing and accepting the whole truth; which is equal to knowing all the false doctrines of Babylon; which is equal to the cleansing of the sanctuary of defilement by the little horn. The catch is that nobody can know exactly when this happens.
As a matter of truth, if a person who has all this while been disobedient to the truth is told that Jesus Christ is coming in a month's time and given sufficient proofs to substantiate the claim, that alone will not cause the power of the flesh, sin and Satan to let him go. The case will be the same if Jesus Christ were coming back in a week or even the very next day. A human being may not despise the grace of God today with a shallow plan to accept it subsequently. The spirit of God is directly responsible for the state of mind necessary before grace is imparted. Based on this, as the message of the second angel — which illuminates the whole earth and is uttered in a mighty loud voice — is preached, those who reject it will be kissing God and their only last opportunity for salvation an unfortunate goodbye. The reason is simple. The message urgently calls God's people to come out ";lest they receive of the plagues . . ."; If God's people who refuse to come out will automatically set themselves up to receive the mark of the beast, what will be the fate of those who have never desired God? Remember that the whole waiting and holding of winds (Rev 7) is all about God's people. The case is such that, as the second angel's message is preached and the call to come out of Babylon is made, every child of God will recognize the voice of his/her Master in the message and come out. These ones will also live through the tribulation, for that alone is the reason for the special seal they receive in obedience to the second angel's message, which contains the official seal of God — the Sabbath commandment. Probation closes for the world as the last saint receives the second angel's message, which — in one dash — cleanses the sanctuary in heaven of the dregs of falsehood perpetrated by Babylon over the centuries, and also signals the conclusion of the case of the last dead saint, among other sanctuary-cleansing activities, as codified by the Day Atonement in ancient Israel.
Some people have heard all about the Advent theology and have come up what they consider a shrewd plan: while hoping that they will not die, they are planning to stiffen their will and refuse to work on Sabbath days when the mark of the beast is eventually enforced by law. These people understand that only those who receive the mark of the beast will be doomed, and this knowledge, rather than lead them to commitment now, emboldens them in mediocrity in their Christian walk, fills them with carnal pride that seeks to obey God by the human will only, and causes them to enjoy a false assurance about their eternal destiny. But He who is wiser than the wisest will discover their craftiness. None who shuns the message of the whole truth will survive the delusions and temptations to receive the mark of the beast. All these will be swept away — against their carnal will — into the rank of beast worshippers. This is a solemn matter and all should take heed. The child of God — used to obeying His voice — has nothing to fear. He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it in them. The faith to resist the law to worship the beast cannot be developed when the image of the beast is already set up. No wonder, the sealing of God's people precedes all these beast talk! Even practising Adventists are not immune to this thinking. To many of them, the matter is simple: they would live as they please now and then, whatever it would cost, they would refuse to break the Sabbath when the Sunday law is past. This is a human strategy for outsmarting God by playing truant now and hoping to circumvent the consequences. But the case will be such that those who do not receive God's seal during the sealing of God's people will not be able to stand. So, they helplessly receive the mark of the beast, fulfilling in a way the doom of those portrayed in 2Thess 2:10-12. If God does not seal you, the beast will have power to do so, no matter what plans you have to honour God belatedly!
I do not know whether some people will receive the message of the whole truth and — because they are not honest in God's eyes and thereby unsealed — later renege and worship the beast. If this is the case, then we would never know until that time; but if not, then it appears the acceptance of the message will equate to the receiving of God's seal. It is also unclear to me whether some will receive the message superficially and later renege and receive the mark of the beast. In any case, it would mean such ones did not receive the seal of God in the first place, since God searches the heart before placing His seal on people.
In fact, some people who erroneously believe that the mark of the beast is a literal number — 666 — are planning on refusing it at all costs, while living as they please now: a smart if difficult move to heaven. These ones — together with the Adventists portrayed above — have been deluded because they would not accept the truth they hate. They would reach their ultimate condemnation as surely as it was the Lord who inspired the words of 2Thess 2:10:12. It is a principle in the Bible that the Lord reserves a testing truth for every significant phase in the journey of the Church. This whole truth message is what will test saints that eventually see Jesus Christ descend from heaven in His second coming to the earth. It completes and brings us to the original doctrines, as delivered by Jesus Christ to the apostles.
Note that today, there are people keeping the Sabbath; yet these ones do not need the special seal of God, or rather, do not get it now. This is because some of them, of course, would sleep in the Lord. But those who would live through earth's last hours would require this special seal, and they are the ones to be sealed, along with the ones to be reaped through the propagation of the second angel's message, which is carried through with the force of the latter rain and is said to illuminate the whole earth. In like manner, those refusing the Sabbath message today do not get the mark of the beast or at least, not yet. Some would simply die in their sin. Recall that whoever receives the mark of the beast does not die naturally but endures God's cup of unmingled wrath. By the time the third angel's message begins to be proclaimed, it will not be a call to repentance — that is what Rev 18:4 is all about — but to declare the judgment of those who worship the beast. In fact, repentance will be too late at this point. Adventists beware!
The events before, during, and after the Great Disappointment of 1844 and the worldwide nature of the Advent Movement gave prominence to the three angels' messages, which began to be heralded by the faithful few. But the lead angel bearing the first of this tripartite message is only seen flying ";. . . in the midst of heaven . . . and saying with a loud voice . . ."; Compared to this, the repeated second angel's message will be unprecedented in its rapidity, power, authority, glory, and effect, and would approximate or even exceed the days of the former rain, which was poured at Pentecost, a few days after Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in a cloud. See Rev 18:1,2,4. God has promised no second chances to those who receive not the love of the truth. The only thing they should expect is the delusion that qualifies them for condemnation. God will allow His message reach all. The people of God — those sheep which Jesus Christ promised to call into the fold — will respond to the call to come out. Those that remain announce their identity as goats. Let us keep in mind that, for God's people, this is the last warning because the message is ";come out, lest you partake of the plagues";. The third angel's message does not convert any. It is merely declarative and those waiting for it before they repent will understand their loss only as they endure the pushing and shoving of that numberless multitude without the City Gates upon who fire fall from heaven in the final judgment.
From a practical standpoint, anyone who has the privilege of listening to the Advent message as it is today and still refuses to accept it for reasons that have nothing to do with sufficient understanding, has virtually received the mark of the beast. If they die in their sins, they still are condemned; but if they live till the tribulation period, then, they will most likely receive the mark of the beast. There is no special disobedience required for one to receive the mark of the beast, since the same principle actuates those who love not the truth either now — before the Sunday law is passed — or then — when it is passed. Many are today sealing their destinies by their everyday choices. Let us not imagine that one may live inconsistently today and suffer any less retribution than one living in same manner during the time of trouble. Whether they receive the mark of the beast or not is only a function of time — from the human vantage point — but all sinners shall be doomed. Therefore, there is no need to be too apologetic about the fact that people do not receive the mark of the beast till the Sunday law is passed. Anyone who has the matter clear before him/her today has reached his/her own crossroads. A decision for or against God must be made and is usually made, whether the one concerned has the courage to admit it or not. The only real difference — it would appear — between those who disobey God now and those who commit the same sin then is that the latter group will be doing so at a time when repentance is impossible, since probation would have closed; the former group have between now and that dangerous close of probation. The point is that, now, before the mark may be received, many are as surely sealing their doom; they either die or beat back the wave of God's mercy long enough to qualify for the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, at which time repentance will be impossible — like after the close of probation — because conviction is impossible.
Based on Rev 13:16,8, we know that virtually all the earth shall worship the beast, meaning only a few would stay faithful to God. This matter alone — not forgetting that even this few will be spread around the whole world, will try the child of God in no small degree because the fear of probably being wrong will haunt them and be the greatest source of temptation.
The great crossroads for the people of God is in Rev 18:4. In fact, this message seals the people of God, though some may now be still in Babylon — having already sealed the ones that believe the ";whole truth"; message in the remnant church — and those who ignore it shall be powerless to resist and will eventually receive the mark of the beast.
";If any man worships the beast and his image and receive his mark on his forehead or in his hands, the same shall drink of the wrath of God . . . "; This message — the third angel's — only comes after the image of the beast begins to enforce the mark of the beast. Recall that the method of enforcing this mark is by oppressive enactments in favour of the false Sabbath. In view of this, it is obvious that to survive without worshipping the beast at this period will require a person to have been sealed by the seal of God. Since the sealing of God's servants is accomplished by part ";b"; of the second angel's message — that is the repeated version, as recorded in Rev 18:4 -- which calls God's people to come out of Babylon, this third angel's message does not result in the repentance of any of the people who had earlier refused to heed the great light of the angel from heaven, who spoke with great power and lightened the world with his glory. (Rev 18:1,2). When the third angel's message begins to be proclaimed, people have already started receiving the damning mark of the beast. The legislation that enforces the keeping of the false Sabbath and sanctions those who keep the true is the mark of the beast. There will only be two groups over this issue. Those who receive the mark to escape the sanctions — these are doomed for life — and those who, because they would rather die than disobey God, would go on obeying God, even in full knowledge and experience of the sanctions. The second angel's message would have popularized the Sabbath truth. Those who, after the legislation enforcing Sunday is passed, obey that legislation, have already received the mark of the beast. Mercy does not plead at this point because they are doomed for life, by the sure word of the LORD. The only way of surviving after that fearful legislation is passed is by receiving the mark of the beast, which is, honouring the false Sabbath. The only group that would keep the true Sabbath and dishonour Sunday in the process — even if only by default — will be those who had already made that decision during the period of the great light of the second angel's message, which contains the whole truth. God does not consider that a person worshipping wrongly now when the image of the beast has not attempted to enforce the mark has received the mark. But God will count any worship after the legislation is passed, as reception of the mark of the beast. This is why all will be fully informed before ever the legislation that enforces Sunday worship or forbids Sabbath worship — which gives people the mark of the beast — is passed.
If, say, the legislation enforcing the worship of the beast is passed on the first day of January 200X, it means that those who obey the details of that law — which, for example, may include not going to church on Saturday and also making it compulsory to go to church on Sunday — after that date, have very simply albeit unfortunately, received the mark of the beast. This is why before this happens, the issues will be plain before everybody. The case will not be such that some people will unknowingly first start obeying the beast by obeying the legislation and then later get to know better before attempting to receive the seal of God. The process will be neater than that. The seal of God first -- as people are called to come out -- and then, the mark of the beast. When the image of the beast — Protestant America in league with civil authorities — influence the passage of legislation to enforce Sunday worship and force men to trample God's Sabbath, prophecy defines that tool as the mark of the beast; the one set up by the image of the beast, against whose adherents the wrath of God is poured. Anyone who obeys this legislation also receives the mark of the beast. God ensures that none will receive the mark unwittingly. How? By giving worldwide prominence to the second angel's message, because, by the time the third angel's message begins, the mark is with us and people will have to quickly obey or disobey within — for practical purposes — one week!
Furthermore, imagine a preacher moving around and proclaiming the third angel's message today, namely ";. . . if any man worships the beast . . ."; That preacher would be wrong for several reasons. Firstly, the image of the beast — whose worship is being condemned — has not been formed (Rev 14:9,10; 13:14,15). Secondly, the mark of the beast — which is Sunday legislation by the image of the beast (that is, Protestant America) -- is not yet a reality. It becomes a reality only when, on pain of economic sanctions, people are commanded to worship the beast by receiving its mark; this command being, not by the beast, but by its image Rev 13:15-17.
Our hypothetical preacher's message would also be premature for another important reason. At the moment, it is impossible to heed his words because these verses in Revelation relating to these issues are prophetic, with their fulfilment located at specific seasons. They are such that they can not be influenced by a single man's decisions or feelings. It is right, today, to preach the first angel's message because the judgment is in session in heaven. The repeated second angel's message in Rev 18 is yet to be ripe for preaching and will only be appropriate when its season comes, and its season is almost here. But the danger is that, by the time the second angel's message runs its course — together with the call to come out — everyone on earth would have had opportunity to hear about the whole truth — which includes that about God's Sabbath. The ones that refuse to obey God's message have no choice but to start receiving the mark of the beast, as soon as it is ready. This is because a day after the mark of the beast is ready, ones continued survival would depend upon strict obedience. The other option is to suffer. The point is that only those who have made up their minds and are already obeying God — prior to this enactment — will be willing to endure the inconvenience of refusing the mark of the beast. They declare the message of the third angel only as a witness to the disobedient of the judgments of God in store for them. If the enactment is made before everybody on earth has opportunity to sufficiently receive light on the Sabbath message, it follows that, by the time the mark of the beast is ready, some still do not know about it. If this were the case and survival after the enactment is only by obedience to the Sunday law, then surely these ones will inadvertently receive the mark of the beast — at least they would have to in other to stay alive — before knowing subsequently that the law they had obeyed to ";buy and sell"; was equivalent to receiving the mark of the beast. If this were the case, these people will then be expected to stop obeying the beast after already receiving his mark, as enforced by its image. But, the truth is that no such confusion will be permitted by God. As at today, if a man, in full knowledge of the Sunday law and its origin, on the one hand, and God's true Sabbath and its restoration, on the other, disobeys God, and goes on keeping the false Sabbath, what he commits is simply a sin. If he has not sinned against the Holy Spirit — meaning he has not exhibited so much impenitence to the extent of stifling forever the voice of the spirit — then this fellow, if alive, may change his mind at a later date and begin keeping the Lord's Sabbath, along with other commandments. Let there be no wonder that such a man, by the grace of God, may end up in God's kingdom. But, the mark of the beast — according to Bible prophecy — is the obedience a man renders to the image of the beast, in these latter times, over the issue of worship in which case, dishonouring God's Sabbath to uphold the false Sunday Sabbath. If the mark of the beast begins to be enforced before people have sufficient light on the matter, it follows that multitudes who might have been willing to suffer the consequences of refusing the mark will receive it inadvertently since that is what will be required of them to ";buy and sell";; they would do this before finding out the truth and then choosing to obey God. But the Bible explicitly states that those who receive the mark of the beast ";shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God . . ."; It follows that the mark of the beast does not begin to be enforced until all have come to a knowledge of the truth; until all God's people have come out of Babylon; until those who will not come out in spite of full knowledge have, by their refusal to obey God, displayed their willingness to obey Satan. Since this is the case, it follows that probation closes, since all men would have made their decisions in the way they respond to the second angel's message — including the call to come out of Babylon — which precedes the third angel's message. Recall that saints that would die before Christ returns to earth a second time do not need this special seal. Those that require the seal of the living God — as opposed to the mark of the beast — are those that live to see Jesus Christ return. The above is without prejudice to the fact that all who obey God's Ten Commandments today also keep the fourth, which contains His seal. Since the saints sealed live to see Jesus Christ and they get sealed during the days of the repeated second angel's message, it follows that by the time that message has reached the whole earth and the number of the sealed is complete, none of these saints would die again. They will all witness the great tribulation and overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimonies. If the saints get sealed by this repeated second angel's message which is followed by the setting up of the image of the beast and enforcing of the mark of the beast — whose receivers will also live till Christ comes since they are billed to drink the cup of God's wrath — then, we can see that at the end of the propagation of the repeated second angel's -- a time no man can know — the last of God's servants is sealed, probation closes; and all those who have not been sealed eventually receive the mark of the beast. The principle is as that revealed in the parable of the wheat and tares. The good is first gathered before the rubbish is burnt. No saint will first worship the beast and later get to know better. Rev 13:8. They shall all be called out first before the mark is ready. It is a Biblical principle that one does not need to choose darkness; by rejecting light one has already done that.
Rev 13:15 does not mean that any actually gets killed after all by the image of the beast. The saints that witness this period of persecution have been sealed by the second angel's message and they were so sealed because they will live through this period. In fact, this seal is for their divine protection against the plagues, which, though subsequent to the period depicted in Rev 13:15, is sure to come. See John 10:31; 8:59 and compare with the wording of John 10:33. The latter Scripture seem to suggest that the Jews actually stoned Jesus Christ, but the Scriptures preceding it show that they only attempted to do that. This is exactly the case in Rev 13:15. The image of the beast will indeed attempt to kill the sealed saints after failing to secure their homage through economic sanctions (banning them to buy and sell etc) but will be divinely prevented from this by the descending and destroying King of kings and Lord of lords, whose brightness and spirit consumes, not only the beast and the false prophet that will be working miracles for him, but also them that must have been worshipping the beast to stay alive. 2Thess 2:8; Rev 19:20,21.
The prophecy of Paul the apostle as recorded in 2Thess 2:3-12 is an end-time prophecy. Beginning from verse 10, he says that those who perish will first be condemned because they would believe lies. But this delusion will be achieved through the display ";of power and signs and lying wonders; and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness";. But the reason for this pathetic state of affairs is that these people initially ";received not the love of the truth";. In Revelation 13:8, John the Beloved says that ";all that dwell upon the earth shall worship the beast";, but gives a clue as to the strategy for this in verse 14 of the same chapter, where he says the two-horned beast ";deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast";. Obviously, these prophecies are similar, and interestingly, they uphold a principle of Scripture voiced by our Lord Himself, namely that, after light is rejected, darkness will eagerly be received, and not until light is given is a person guilty for receiving darkness. John 3:19; James 4:17 and Acts 17:30 are all valid ways of expressing this valid truth. In view of the above, before ever the mark of the beast is set up — at which time its prompt enforcement would mean people have to have made up their minds either by rejecting or accepting light — everyone on earth is to be brought to a knowledge of the truth. Everyone will have two options: Option (a) will be to believe the whole truth and start keeping the Sabbath, thereby receiving God's seal; option (b) is refusing to believe or accept the repeated second angel's message, which, in its final effect, is as good as receiving the mark of the beast. Let us note this: those who receive not the love of the truth have virtually received the mark of the beast because of the prophecy of 2Thess 2:10-12. Because they will be deluded as surely as night follows day. But let us note when their most important decision was made. Some think God will allow the mark of the beast to be set up and then people will have the privilege of deciding whether to worship or not, but that is not going to happen. The most important decision of those who eventually worship the beast is made by rejecting the light about the seal of God, which is given based on ones response to the repeated second angel's message, which this book claims to contain! This has been the rule of God in His dealing with men, since the fall. Reject Jesus Christ, then you have chosen Satan; refuse to build the ark with Noah, then you have as surely chosen to swim in the deluge; love not the truth, then you must eagerly accept the lie. None would be able to blame it on a mistake. God first gives a man pardon before ever taking him to court! It is the rejection of the pardon granted that seals the doom of the sinner and confirms him in his guilt.
In consonance with His gracious character, surely the Lord will attempt to seal all the inhabitants of the earth so that they will not only go through the troublous time unhurt, but also be counted worthy to escape the second death. ";I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he should turn from his wicked ways and live";. The Lord will indeed make every effort to seal all the inhabitants of the earth — as He attempted to save Noah and his fellows — but most will respond with plain disobedience and even sacrilegious scorn, and others, while deceiving themselves, will choose to be wilfully ignorant. This is exactly why the repeated second angel's message will reach every soul in the earth. Only after this is done — when all who would are sealed — that God permits the mark to be set up and enforced. When Nebuchadnezzar's agents made sounds from the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, only the three Hebrews — who had already chosen the LORD above all other gods — could resist bowing. None was unaware of the penalty — death after a regimen of excruciating pain, to be administered by the furious furnace flames. The mark of the beast will begin to be enforced only at a time when refusing it will be very dangerous to ones continued existence. The point is that none will risk hunger and ostracism except if, prior to the enactment of this law of the image of the beast, they had accepted Jesus Christ, His message, and thereby, His seal. If God does not ensure that every soul hears the message that seals His people, He will not also condemn them, though they worship the beast by obeying the religious enactment of the image of the beast. But God has already declared that ";. . . and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name"; And again, ";. . . if any man . . . receive his mark . . . the same shall drink of the . . . wrath of God";.
In view of the fact that the repeated second angel's message says that ";Babylon has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird";, the call to come out will be eagerly welcomed by God's people still there. Note the phrase ";. . . has become. . .";, meaning that the process was gradual and has now culminated. This means that saints still in Babylon are daily getting perplexed. The spirit of God within them at war with the foul spirits within the churches causes them to be in a sort of crisis mood. Presently, their hearts are weighed with questions, but like a traveller greeted with cold water, they would know relief when their eyes finally become opened. None would remain. It shall be, for them, a liberating experience. But even now, the magma of doubt is getting heated, gradually approaching the eruption pressure.
God, in His infinite mercy, has reserved this testing truth for the close of earth's history. This is very usual, in the light of Bible history, and, in view of the truth that it is the judgment of the Church that is currently going on, it is clear that this judgment does not go on beyond the call of Rev 18:4, but ends with it, as the last saint makes up his/ her mind to believe and accept the message and is consequently sealed.
Jesus Christ left for heaven, the
apostles had the unadulterated truth to
comfort them. It was in this state that they
received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
This is to be repeated. After the falling away
as prophesied by Paul in 2Thess 2, the truth — the whole truth — has never
been fully restored. But it will be restored
before the latter rain falls. It is, indeed, a
precondition. The sealing of God's
people in this end time would also be when
they come once again into complete harmony
with the whole truth. These saints would not
see Jesus Christ while still habouring some
false doctrines in their hearts. And this all
agrees with the philosophy behind the
cleansing of the sanctuary. Following the
repeated second angel's message
which restores all God's truth to His
people is that which calls saints in Babylon
to come out. All those who heed this
message are sealed because they would live
through the tribulation and indeed see Jesus
Christ face to face and not taste death. All
others, by implication, receive the mark of
the beast; but note that anyone who receives
this mark also experiences God's
unmingled wrath. This implies that, at the end
of the second angel's message and
the Rev 18:4 call, there will no more be death
in the earth — at least till Jesus Christ
appears to destroy the wicked — and
probation would have closed. Another way
of expressing this matter is by saying that all
those who do no receive the message
containing God's restored truth and
thereby do not get the seal — which is
made up of God's whole truth
including the Sabbath law — will
eventually receive the mark of the beast. It is
just that this happens after the sealing of
God's people, when God then
permits the ";winds";
prophesied in Rev 7, and the image of the
beast is set up, forcing all to worship the beast.
Also read IN DEFENCE OF THE MESSAGE CONTAINED IN THE BOOK:THE SECOND ANGEL'S MESSAGE AS REPEATED IN Revelation 18:1-4
—; Joseph Dauda Yakwo —