Ellen G. White Writings

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The Review and Herald

November 23, 1905

The Time of the End

Mrs. E. G. White

(Reading for Sabbath, December 9)

The Lord is soon to come. Wickedness and rebellion, violence and crime, are filling the world. The cries of the suffering and the oppressed rise to God for justice. In the place of being softened by the patience and forbearance of God, the wicked are growing stronger in stubborn rebellion. The time in which we live is one of marked depravity. Religious restraint is thrown off, and men reject the law of God as unworthy of their attention. A more than common contempt is placed upon this holy law. David in his time saw the wickedness of the last days. He saw the law of God's kingdom trampled under foot, and in righteous indignation he exclaimed, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.”

Men are now passing the boundary line, and the Lord is permitting the enemy to do his will. We hear of floods, of earthquakes, of storms by land and on the sea, blotting out hundreds of lives in a moment of time; but the end is not yet. The tread of the Lord will be heard upon the land and upon the water. For his own honor's sake, God is now about to repress iniquity. He will soon, very soon, vindicate the claims of his law.

The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the Word of truth. In the prophecy uttered when sentence from God was pronounced upon the last king of Israel, is given the message:

“Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: ... exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”

The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, “It shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”

That time is at hand. Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour's prophecy of the events to precede his coming: “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.... Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”

The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the strained, restless relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they realize that something great and decisive is about to take place—that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.

Angels are now restraining the winds of strife, until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gathering, ready to burst upon the earth, and when God shall bid his angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.

“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof; ... because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate.... The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.”

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down.”

“Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”

“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”

To us who are standing on the very verge of the fulfilment of these great scenes, of what deep moment, of what living interest, are these delineations of the things to come—events for which, since our first parents turned their steps from Eden, God's children have watched and waited, longed and prayed!

At this time, before the great final crisis, as before the world's first destruction, men are absorbed in the pleasures and the pursuits of sense. Engrossed with the seen and the transitory, they have lost sight of the unseen and the eternal. For the things that perish with the using, they are sacrificing imperishable riches. Their minds need to be uplifted, their views of life broadened. They need to be aroused from the lethargy of worldly dreaming.

A moment of respite has been graciously given us of God. Every power lent us of heaven is to be used in doing the work assigned us by the Lord for those who are perishing in ignorance. The warning message is to be sounded in all parts of the world. There must be no delay. The truth must be proclaimed in the dark places of the earth. Obstacles must be met and surmounted. A great work is to be done, and this work has been entrusted to those who know the truth for this time.

Now is the time for us to lay hold of the arm of our strength. The prayer of David should be the prayer of pastors and laymen: “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” Let the servants of God weep between the porch and the altar, crying, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.” God has always wrought in behalf of his truth. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to his power and his overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the haters of his truth and his people can be turned aside, even as the waters of a river could be turned, if thus he ordered it. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep—the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of his people, if they will call upon him in faith. He will restrain all the forces of darkness, until the warning is given to the world, and all who will heed it are prepared for his coming.

God's people should make mighty intercession to him for help now. And they must put their whole energies into the effort to proclaim the truth during the respite that has been granted. As they consecrate themselves unreservedly to God's service, a convincing power will attend their efforts to present the truth to others, and light will shine into many hearts. My brethren and sisters, sleep no longer on Satan's enchanted ground, but arouse, and call into requisition every resource for the proclamation of the message of mercy. The last warning is to be given “before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”

My heart is often burdened because so many who might work are doing nothing. They are the sport of Satan's temptations. Every church-member who has a knowledge of the truth is expected to work while the day lasts; for the night cometh, wherein no man can work. Erelong we shall understand what that night means. The Spirit of God is being grieved away from this earth. The nations are angry with one another. Widespread preparations are being made for war. The night is at hand. Let the church arouse and go forth to do her appointed work. Every believer, educated or uneducated, can bear the message.

Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. What are we doing, what are we thinking of, that we cling to our selfish love of ease, while all around us souls are perishing? Have our hearts become utterly callous? Can we not see and understand that we have a work to do in behalf of others? My brethren and sisters, are you among those who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not? Is it in vain that God has given you a knowledge of his will? Is it in vain that he has sent you warning after warning of the nearness of the end? Do you believe the declarations of his Word concerning what is coming upon the world? Do you believe that God's judgments are hanging over the inhabitants of the earth? How, then, can you sit at ease, careless and indifferent?

Every day that passes brings us nearer the end. We are one year nearer the judgment, nearer eternity, than we were at the beginning of 1905. Are we also nearer to God? Are we watching unto prayer? Another year of the time granted us for labor has rolled into eternity. Every day we have been associating with men and women who are judgment-bound. Each day may have been the dividing line for some soul. Each day some one may have made the decision which will determine his future destiny. What has been our influence over these fellow travelers? What effort have we put forth to bring them to Christ?

Those with whom we associate day by day need our help, our guidance. They may be in such a condition of mind that a word in season will be sent home by the Holy Spirit as a nail in a sure place. Tomorrow some of these souls may be where we can never reach them again. May God help us to work while the day lasts.

Unmistakable evidences point to the nearness of the end. The way must be prepared for the coming of the Prince of Peace. Let not our church-members complain because they are so often called upon to give. What is it that makes the frequent calls a necessity? Is it not the rapid increase of missionary enterprises? Shall we by refusing to give, retard the growth of these enterprises? Shall we forget that we are laborers together with God? From every church, prayers should ascend to God for an increase of devotion and liberality. My brethren and sisters, do not plead for retrenchment in evangelical work. So long as there are souls to save, our interest in the work of soul saving is to know no abating. Not all can go as missionaries to foreign lands, but all can do the work waiting for them in their own neighborhood; and all can give of their means for the carrying forward of foreign missions.

There are new fields to be entered, and we must have your help. Shall we ignore the commission given us, and thus forfeit the fulfilment of the promise accompanying the commission? Shall the people of God become careless and indifferent, and refuse to give of their means for the advancement of his work? Can they do this without severing their connection with him? They may think thus to economize; but it is a fearful economy that places them where they are separated from God.

Let the Lord's people pay a faithful tithe, and let them, also, from parents to children, lay aside for the Lord the money that is so often spent for self-gratification. The Lord has made us his stewards. He has placed his means in our hands for faithful distribution. He asks us to render to him his own. He has reserved the tithe as his portion, to be used in sending the gospel to all parts of the world. My brethren and sisters, confess and forsake your selfishness, and bring to the Lord your gifts and offerings. Bring him also the tithe that you have withheld. Come confessing your neglect. Prove the Lord as he has invited you to do. “I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land.”

My brethren and sisters, it is too late to devote your time and strength to self-serving. Let not the last day find you destitute of the heavenly treasure. Seek to push the triumphs of the cross, seek to enlighten souls, labor for the salvation of your fellow beings, and your work will abide the trying test of fire.

“If any man's work abide ... he shall receive a reward.” Glorious will be the reward bestowed when the faithful workers gather about the throne of God and of the Lamb. When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead. He was not able to endure the sight. But when the children of God have put on immortality, they will “see him as he is.” They will stand before the throne, accepted in the Beloved. All their sins have been blotted out, all their transgressions borne away. Now they can look upon the undimmed glory of the throne of God. They have been partakers with Christ in his sufferings, they have been workers together with him in the plan of redemption, and they are partakers with him in the joy of seeing souls saved in the kingdom of heaven, there to praise God through all eternity.

November 23, 1905

Individual Consecration Needed

Mrs. E. G. White

(Reading for Thursday, December 14)

God chose a people for himself, and gave them the name of Christian. This is a royal name, given to those who join themselves to Christ. It is of this name that James is speaking when he says, “Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?” And Peter says, “If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

God expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent him in thought, word, and deed. Their thoughts are to be pure, and their words and deeds noble and uplifting, drawing those around them nearer to the Saviour.

In the life of the true Christian there is nothing of self. Self is dead. There was no selfishness in the life that Christ lived while on this earth. Bearing our nature, he lived a life wholly devoted to the service of others.

“Be ye therefore perfect,” is God's word to us. And in order that we might obey this word, he sent his only begotten Son to this earth to live in our behalf a perfect life. We have before us his example; and the strength by which he lived this life is at our disposal. In thought, word, and act Jesus was sinless. Perfection marked all that he did. He points us to the path that he trod, saying, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in this world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last message of mercy for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. What manner of persons, then, ought they to be?

Our lives should show steady spiritual growth. But I have seen that which makes me tremble—men and women dwarfed in character, possessing the Word of God, which tells them what they must do in order to be saved, yet unsanctified and unholy. They do not enjoy the strength provided for every Christian, because they refuse to be Christlike.

It is the purpose of God to glorify himself in his people before the world. He longs to make them channels through which he can pour his boundless love and mercy. But are we what God would have us?—No, we are not. The members of our churches in every place need to examine themselves closely, and surrender their lives unreservedly to God. They need to grasp the offered gifts of heaven, and live out their love and gratitude. Did they do this, they would regard time as too precious to be spent in faultfinding and criticism. When God's people bring the righteousness of Christ into the daily life, sinners will be converted, and victories over the enemy will be gained.

Let us come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Satan is working with intensity of purpose to enslave and destroy souls. Let us take a firm stand against him. He who is fully consecrated to the service of God will be made strong for the battle. He will be strengthened with “all might.” He who feels his weakness, and wrestles with God as did Jacob, saying. “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me,” will go forth with the fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. The atmosphere of heaven will surround him. He will go about doing good. His influence will be a positive force in favor of the religion of Christ.

God calls for light bearers, who will fill the world with the light and peace and joy that come from Christ. He calls for humble men, men who cherish a sense of their weakness, and who remember what the service of God demands of them—the propriety of speech and action which shows the power of the grace of Christ. Such ones will reveal in their lives the virtues of Christ's character.

There needs to be a deeper work of grace in the hearts of God's people. Less of self, and more of Christ, must be seen. Tests, close and sharp, are coming to all. The religion of the Bible must be interwoven with all that we do and say. Every business transaction must be fragrant with the presence of God.

The condition of things in this world bears unmistakable evidence that the end of all things is at hand. Men's hearts are filled with pride and selfishness. Theft and murder are common. And the world is not being warned as it should be. Thousands are perishing in sin, and the last message of mercy is yet to be proclaimed in the power of the Spirit. How little is being done in comparison with what must be done! Souls are perishing out of Christ. In the future men will be moved by the Spirit to leave their ordinary employment, and enter the fields in which the warning message has never been proclaimed. Many will be endued with power from on high. These workers will labor wisely, not expending means lavishly, but studying how souls can be brought to a knowledge of the truth. This work men and women can take hold of for the love of Christ.

Time is precious. The destiny of souls is in the balance. God is holding back his judgments, waiting for the message to be sounded to all. There are many who have not yet heard the testing message of truth for this time. The last call of mercy is to be proclaimed throughout the earth. Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents, the members of the church, to co-operate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you. So vast is the field, so comprehensive the design, that every sanctified heart will be pressed into service as an agent of divine power.

At infinite cost a way of salvation has been provided. Shall Christ's great sacrifice be in vain? Shall the earth be entirely controlled by satanic agencies? The salvation of souls is dependent upon the consecration and activity of the members of the church of God. The Lord calls upon those who believe in him to be workers together with him. While their life shall last, they are not to feel that their work is done. Until the time shall come when Christ shall say “It is finished,” the work for the saving of souls will not decrease, but will grow in importance. A thousand times more work for God might be accomplished if all his children would fully consecrate themselves to him. If they would improve every opportunity for doing good, doors for service would open before them. They would be called to bear greater responsibilities.

The same devotion, the same self-sacrifice, the same subjection to the claims of the Word of God, that were manifest in the life of Christ, must be seen in the lives of his servants. He left his home of security and peace, left the glory that he had with the Father, left his position on the throne of the universe. He went forth, a suffering, tempted man, went forth in solitude, to sow in tears, to water with his blood, the seed of life for a lost world.

In like manner his servants are to go forth to sow. The warning message is to be carried to all parts of the world. Our books are to be published in many different languages. With these books, humble, faithful men are to go forth as colporteur-evangelists, bearing the truth to many who would otherwise never be enlightened. Those who take up this line of work are to go prepared to do medical missionary work. The sick and suffering are to be helped. Many for whom this work of mercy is done will hear and accept the words of life.

It is not learned, eloquent workers that are needed now, but humble, Christlike men and women, who have learned from Jesus of Nazareth to be meek and lowly, and who, trusting in his strength, will go forth into the highways and hedges to give the invitation, “Come; for all things are now ready.”

Not all can go as missionaries to foreign fields, but all can live the Christlife where they are. All can give of their means for the support of workers in foreign fields. And all can engage in home missionary work. Let not parents forget the great mission field that lies before them in the home. In the children committed to her, every mother has a sacred charge from God. “Take this son, this daughter,” God says, “and train it for me. Give it a character polished after the similitude of a palace, that it may shine in the courts of the Lord forever.”

The light and glory that shines from the throne of God rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil.

Church-members, let the light shine forth. Let your voices be heard in humble prayer, in witness against the intemperance, the folly, and the amusements of the world, and in proclamation of the truth for this time. Your voice, your influence, your time—all these are gifts from God, to be used in winning souls to Christ.

My brethren and sisters, you have a voice, you have reason, you have capabilities, and the Lord calls upon you to make known his truth. Visit your neighbors, and show an interest in the salvation of their souls. Arouse every spiritual energy to action. Tell those whom you visit that the end of all things is at hand. The Lord Jesus Christ will open the door of their hearts, and will make lasting impressions upon their minds.

Strive to arouse men and women from their spiritual insensibility. Tell them how you found Jesus, and how blessed you have been since you gained an experience in his service. Tell them what blessing comes to you as you sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn precious lessons from his Word. Tell them of the gladness and joy that there is in the Christian life. Your warm, fervent words will convince them that you have found the pearl of great price. Let your cheerful, encouraging words show them that you have certainly found the higher way. This is genuine missionary work, and as it is done, many will awake as from a dream.

The gospel commission is never to lose its force on the minds of the people of God. Into the darkness of sin the light of truth is to shine, that the darkness may be expelled. Those who reflect light will receive more light to reflect. New power will be brought into the church.

Let companies of Christian workers unite to help the needy and to proclaim the truth for this time. As they labor with self-sacrifice, for the sake of others denying themselves of that which they have heretofore enjoyed, but have not really needed, they are God's helping hand.

The Lord calls upon his people to arouse out of sleep. The end of all things is at hand. When those who know the truth will be laborers together with God, the fruits of righteousness will appear. By the revelation of the love of God in missionary effort, many will be awakened to see the sinfulness of their own course of action. They will see that in the past their selfishness has disqualified them to be laborers together with God. The exhibition of the love of God as seen in unselfish ministry to others will be the means of leading many souls to believe the Word of God just as it reads.

God desires to refresh his people by the gift of the Holy Spirit, baptizing them anew in his love. There is no need for a dearth of the Spirit in the church. After Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the waiting, praying, believing disciples with a fulness and power that reached every heart. In the future, the earth is to be lightened with the glory of God. A holy influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God, and showing them to men.

The message of salvation is not to be proclaimed in a few places only, but throughout the world. Those who know not the gospel are in the darkness of unbelief. They know not God. Why is the church so indolent, so selfish, so weak? Why do the members not make earnest efforts to proclaim the message of mercy, that others may know the joy of salvation through Christ?

Ye churches of the living God, study the promises of the Saviour, and think of how your lack of faith, of spirituality, of divine power, is hindering the coming of Christ. If you would go forth to do the Lord's work, angels of heaven would go before you, preparing hearts to receive the gospel. Were every one of us a genuine missionary, the message for this time would be proclaimed speedily in all lands, to every nation and people and tongue. Are you individually workers together with God? If not, why not?

The kingdoms of this world are soon to become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. “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 forever and ever.” There is to be a rapid and triumphant spread of the gospel.

“The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple.... Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Soon every man will be judged according to his deeds.

My brother, my sister, I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Day by day cast the love of the world out of your hearts. Understand by experience what it means to have fellowship with Christ. Prepare for the judgment, that when Christ shall come, to be admired in all them that believe, you may be among those who will meet him in peace. In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and the Son. The angels, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King and his trophies of victory—those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. A song of triumph will peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts, accompanied by his redeemed ones, the witnesses that his mission of suffering and sacrifice has not been in vain.

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