TEXT FOR PRAYER
Cherished Sin Keeps Truth Out
C.O.L. p. 50 – “‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’ The gospel seed often falls among thorns and noxious weeds; and if there is not a moral transformation in the human heart, if old habits and practices and the former life of sin are not left behind, if the attributes of Satan are not expelled form the soul, the wheat crop will be choked. The thorns will come to be the crop, and will kill out the wheat…. If the heart is not kept under the control of God, if the Holy Spirit does not work unceasingly to refine and ennoble the character, the old habits will reveal themselves in the life…. Christ specified the things that are dangerous to the soul. As recorded by Mark he mentions the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things. Luke specifies the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life. These are what choke the word, the growing spiritual seed. The soul ceases to draw nourishment from Christ, and spirituality dies out of the heart.”
This reading commands us to pray that the seed sown in our hearts may fall in good soil, that it may take root; that we be free from the cares of this life and from sin, for no matter how impressive the Truth that goes into one’s ears, It will never reach the heart if there is any cherished sin therein.
The subject of our study is found in Revelation, chapters 10 and 11. We shall begin with–
Rev. 10:1 – “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.”
This angel has all the characteristics of a power that sends down “the latter rain,” and that causes the spiritual grain fully to develop, for that is what cloud, sunshine, and rainbow, indicate. As a rainbow never appears without rain, the angel is therefore the angel that brings the rain and the sunshine for the development of the final harvest.
Rev. 10:2 – “And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.”
There is but one book in the Bible that has had to be opened, and that is the book of Daniel (Dan. 12:4). And since the first thing which the angel did was to open the book, the analysis proves that he actually appears on the scene at the commencement of the time of the end, the time the book was to be opened. (Rev. 10:2).
You know that man naturally starts out with his right foot. Now, since the angel’s right foot was upon the sea and his left foot upon the land, the symbolism shows that he starts out on the sea, the province of Daniel’s beasts (Dan. 7), then on earth, the province of the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:10-18). His work, therefore, starts in the Old Country, and should include the very first truth that was disclosed from the book of Daniel. All in all his message and power prove to be world-wide – land and sea.
Rev. 10:3, 4 – “And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”
Here we see that there was another truth which could have been recorded, but John was told not to write it. We do not know how extensive a truth the Seven Thunders contain, but possibly as much as or more than the Seven Trumpets. Regardless, however, one thing stands out boldly, and that is that the omission of the Seven Thunders leaves a gap in the chain of Truth. And since the Seven Thunders are not recorded, the truth of them cannot be revealed by interpretation, for there is nothing written of them, and therefore nothing to interpret from. If, then, we are ever to know the truth of the Seven Thunders, it is to be shown to us perhaps by the same means as The Revelation was shown to John.
Rev. 10:5-7 – “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to His servants the prophets.” (At the beginning of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the Mystery of God is to be finished.)
What about the statement, “there shall be time no longer”? – The answer is found in Rev. 10:6, which in actuality proves that there shall be time no longer for the Mystery of God to be finished; that the remaining days of the sixth trumpet, the time to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, is the time for the Mystery of God, the Gospel of Christ, to be finished. In fact, the very first announcement of the seventh angel is that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, – that the Gospel work is finished.
Rev. 10:8-10 – “And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.”
To eat the book is, as it were, to “swallow” its sayings. The honey sweet must be the joy that comes from its promises, and obviously the bitter denotes inability to digest, to comprehend all, and thus a disappointment. These, you know met fulfillment in the days of the First Advent Movement, when through the study of the book of Daniel, they learned that the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) was to begin in the year 1844, but who misunderstood the cleansing to mean the end of the world and the return of Christ. The disappointment came after the set date had passed and after the expectation of the people failed to materialize.
Rev. 10:11– “And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”
After the disappointment they were commanded to prophesy again; that is, again to proclaim the cleansing of the Sanctuary. This work they were to do among many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings, obviously not to all.
Thus it was that the first Advent Movement was reorganized and renamed, Seventh-day Adventists. The Seventh-day Adventist organization, therefore, will not finish the work. Its message does not go to all people, to all nations, tongues, and kings. Consequently, the Church, too, is to be reorganized if the Gospel of the Kingdom is to be preached to all nations. “‘A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.’” – Christ Our Righteousness, pg. 121, 1941 edition.
How will the reorganization come about?–
“For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
“They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.
“And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.
“And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:15-17, 19, 20.
In these verses we see a slaughter taking place, a slaughter which takes away the transgressors of the Truth. Those that escape the slaughter of the Lord are sent to the nations who have not seen God’s glory, or heard His fame, and they are to bring all their brethren out of “all nations.” Plainly, then, the slaughter is in the Church, for those who escape are sent to preach to the Gentiles that know nothing of God. Sending the faithful to the nations, after the slaying of the unfaithful, presupposes a reorganization. And the commission at last is to go, not to many nations, but to all nations. If they are to bring all their brethren out of all nations, then they must be the last, the ones to finish the work, “the Mystery of God,” to bring probation to a close and the world to an end.
Rev. 11:1 – “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the Temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.”
The measuring of the worshipers is in reality the numbering of them. And so you see that following the Seventh-day Adventist Movement there is to be a numbering of its people. And as there is but one numbered company, the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3), the first fruits (Rev. 14:4), the servants of God (7:3), it follows that they are the ones who are numbered, who escape, and also who are sent to the nations. Yes, they are the ones who finish the Mystery of God as they bring all their brethren out of all nations (Rev. 7:9), the second fruits.
Verse 2 – “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”
The worshipers, the members of the church, the tribes of Israel, are to be numbered, but those who are to fill up the court, those of the Gentiles, are unnumbered: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Rev. 7:9.
Seven times seven, forty-nine, determined the year of Jubilee, the liberation of the people and of the land, the type of the Kingdom complete. Besides any other significance, the forty-two months being only six sevens, it signifies that the holy city, Jerusalem, will not be “trodden down” all the way up to the time of the antitypical Jubilee, – the Gentiles are to be driven out of it before the Mystery of God is finished, before the seventh angel begins to sound.
Verses 3, 4 – “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”
When the prophet Zechariah asked what the olive trees of his vision symbolize, the angel answered, “the Word of the Lord.” Zech. 4:6.
The two olive trees, then, are figurative of the Old and New Testaments, the Bible (The Great Controversy, pg. 267). As to the symbolization of the candlesticks the Lord Himself points out that they are figurative of the churches (Rev. 1:20). The two candlesticks in connection with the olive trees are therefore figurative of the Old and New Testament churches, the churches which gave us the Bible.
Verse 5 – “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.”
From this we see that though the Bible is the best friend to Its friends, It is a terrible enemy to Its enemies. When Truth cannot save, it kills.
Verses 6-11 – “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of Life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.”
I need not say more on these verses, for you will find a detailed explanation of them in Tract No. 2, The Warning Paradox, pp. 47-48, revised edition.
Verses 12, 13 – “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
The Bible points out that but one bottomless pit was opened, the pit out of which the locusts came (Rev. 9:2), and it was the heavenly Star that opened the pit to let out its captives, – the locusts who were to hurt only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads. Since the locusts were capable of knowing who had and also who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, and since they were friends to God’s sealed people, the truth is obvious: The Star that liberated them from the pit is Christ, and the locusts are the Christians, the people that were rescued from apostate Judaism.
Moreover, the fact that the Angel of Revelation 20:1 (Satan’s great enemy), is the One Who has the key of the bottomless pit, it follows that the Angel of Revelation 20:1 and the Star of Revelation 9:1 are the same, for the One to Whom the key was given, is the only One that could have it.
Now we may ask who is the beast of the bottomless pit? If the Star that came from Heaven and opened the pit is Christ, and if the locusts that came out of the pit are the Christians, then there is no way of escaping the conclusion that the beast which came out of the bottomless pit is symbolical of Christendom. Thus it is that the Lord was crucified there.
Now that the city is spiritually called Egypt, it denotes that it is holding God’s people in slavery. The name Sodom denotes that God’s true people will have to be rescued from it as was Lot.
A tenth part of the city must represent the Lord’s part, the tithe, so to speak. The earthquake therefore represents a shaking in the church of God. The remnant who give glory to God, can only be the faithful who survive the shaking. Thus is the church purified. This earthquake, then, is symbolical of the slaughter of Ezekiel nine, and coincides with Isaiah 66:16.
Moreover, the fact that the Mystery of God is finished when the seventh angel begins to sound, and also the fact that the shaking is here shown to take place during the sounding of the sixth angel, the Truth stands out that the shaking takes place before the Gospel work is finished. The Spirit of Prophecy in our day also foresaw this shaking:
“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.” – Early Writings, pg. 270.
Verses 14-19 – “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.
“And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
“And the Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
If you wish to study the eleventh chapter of Revelation in all its details, read the Tract, “To The Seven Churches.”