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    CHAPTER VIII. - PREPARATION TO ESCAPE

    WHO shall escape the battle and the destruction of that great day and of Armageddon?WGI 96.1

    For, though the kings of the earth and the whole world, and their armies, go to the battle, and though all the remnant of the nations will meet destruction in the awful earthquake and “with the brightness of His coming;” yet there will be those who will escape it all, and who in the midst of the terrors of universal upheaval and destruction will, in perfect Christian calmness, “sing for the majesty of the Lord,” and will gladly exclaim: “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”WGI 96.2

    Who, then, are these? Who are they who can be so sure of this safety and deliverance?—They are those, and only those, whose names are in the Book of Life. For it is written: “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time; and at that time, thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book.”WGI 96.3

    But we have found by the Scriptures that the seven last plagues are inseparably connected with that great day of battle and war; and with this “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” And we have found that these plagues begin, and give of them pass, before the kings of the East and of the earth and the whole world are gathered to that battle. Who shall escape the plagues? is therefore a question of equal importance with that of Who shall escape the battle and destruction of that great day?WGI 97.1

    Who then shall escape the plagues?WGI 97.2

    Notice that the first plague falls “upon the men that had the mark of the beast and upon them that worship his image.” Revelation 16:2. To escape the worship of the beast and his image therefore, is in itself to escape the plagues.WGI 97.3

    This is confirmed in the positive words of the Scripture in the world-wide message of the Third Angel of Revelation 14: “The third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.”WGI 97.4

    We have seen that the ending of the Ottoman Empire, and the preparing of the “way” of the kings of the East and of the earth and of the whole world to be gathered to the batter of that great day and of Armageddon, is near.WGI 98.1

    We have seen that since this gathering to the battle occurs under the sixth plague; and that since five of the plagues are past before this one comes; it, therefore, follows that the falling of the plagues is nearer.WGI 98.2

    And now, since the very first plague falls on them that had the mark of the beast and that worshiped his image, we see that the domination and the worship of the beast and his image is nearest of all.WGI 98.3

    Therefore the first question of all is, Who shall escape the worship of the beast and his image? for, whosoever escapes the worship of the beast and his image, escapes the seven last plagues, and whosoever escapes the seven last plagues, escapes the battle and destruction of that great day and of Armageddon. The battle and destruction of that great day and of Armageddon, is inseparable from the seven last plagues; and the seven last plagues and this battle and destruction are inseparable from the worship of the beast and his image.WGI 98.4

    Therefore, the first consideration of all, both in time and in importance, the nearest of all these things to us, is “the beast and his image,” their domination and their worship. And the first of all questions, both in time and importance, is, Who shall escape the worship of the beast and his image?WGI 99.1

    And to this all-important question, again the answer is, Only they whose names are in the Book of Life. For it is written: “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8.WGI 99.2

    But the worship of the beast and his image, is an enforced worship. The mark is an enforced mark: enforced by governmental power, under pains and penalties of imprisonment, confiscation of goods, and death. Therefore, to have our names in the Book of Life, just this one single item, is not all that there is of the story. The loyalty of all these to God and the Lamb will be tested to the uttermost. And while the worship of the beast and his image and and the receiving of that mark, is being enforced upon all, by all the force of governmental power and deceiving mira- cles, those whose names are in the Book of Life stand true and loyal to God and the Lamb by worshiping Him who made Heaven, and earth and the sea, and the fountains of waters and by keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. For the scripture that gives the world-wide warning against the worship of the beast and his image, tells also that those whose names are in the Book of Life of the Lamb, and who are faithful and true, getthe victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name,” and says of them, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”WGI 99.3

    In preparation, therefore, to escape the plagues and the battle and destruction of that great day and of Armageddon, the first of all things is a spiritual experience that knows that our name is in the Book of Life of the Lamb; and that manifests unswerving loyalty to God and Christ in the keeping of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, against all pressure and all penalties of all opposing powers.WGI 100.1

    But this preparation cannot stop here. The plagues strike the physical, as the false worship of the beast and his impage [sic.], which brings the plagues, strikes the spiritual. There must there- fore, be a preparation physically, as well as spiritually.WGI 100.2

    Anybody who will read Joel 1, 2 and 3:9-16, and Isaiah 24, with Revelation 16, can readily see that the seven last plagues are the last throes of the dying world,—everything on the earth is perishing, death is everywhere and in all things of earth. This, therefore, demands of everyone, such a physical preparation as shall cleanse flesh and blood from all possible impurity, excess of intemperance; and build up a sound, clean, healthy body, capable of passing safely through times of pestilence, dearth and death.WGI 101.1

    For in that time, of nothing that is of the earth will it be safe to eat; because death will be in everything earthly. Then it will be that those who are loyal to God shall be fed shall from Heaven as of old; for it is written: “He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” “When the poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water.... That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the holy One of Israel hath created it.” Isaiah 33:16; 41:17.WGI 101.2

    In that time, when the wine and the strong drink have grown bitter and altogether undrinkable, what will those do who have been accustomed to those fiery drinks.WGI 102.1

    In that time, when flesh-meats have become only disease-breeding and death-dealing, what will those do who are accustomed only to a flesh dietary?WGI 102.2

    In that time when only water will be fit to drink, or can be drunk, and this even only from the hand of God, as to Elijah, what then will those do who simply “must have” tea or coffee?WGI 102.3

    Ah, in that time all these will do exactly as did the “mixed multitude” that left Egypt: they will murmur against God, and also will be cut off as were they. All those having made no preparation, and having no faith nor heart in any such thing, could not endure the change from the “flesh pots of Egypt” to the bread and water, even though it were fresh from the hand of God. They murmured, and rebelled, and “fell in the wilderness.”WGI 102.4

    And all these things were “written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” And this means really us now; for we are in the very presence of the events with which comes the end of the world: and that end so near that we can see straight through to it.WGI 102.5

    Another evidence that thinking men of the world are seeing these very things, is found in a recent article by Professor Bunge of Basel, in the following forcible words:—WGI 103.1

    “Let us not forget that we are the last of the reserve forces. When the Roman Empire fell, there were barbaric nations of the finest race, ready and fit to enter upon the inheritance of culture—but it is not so with us. If we go down we leave only inferior physiques for our heirs, who will be unable to lift themselves up on our shoulders, and to carry forward the work of civilization. And if, in spite of this, men still give themselves up to habits of drink, and thus further the work of degeneration, they can but be urged to it by that most unworthy of principles—‘apres nous le deluge!’”—“after us the deluge.”WGI 103.2

    It must not be forgotten that it was by intemperance that the world-empires of the past brought themselves to ruin. It was Belshazzar’s feast that finished the career of Babylon: that feast which the king made “to a thousand of his lords,” when the king himself “drank wine before the thousand.” The luxury and resulting intem- perance of Babylon was already so well known that the invading nations made it an element in their calculations for victory. In Cyrus’s address to his army he said: “Do you know the nature of the enemy you have to deal with? They are soft, effeminate, enervated then, already half conquered by their own luxury and voluptuousness: men not able to bear either hunger or thirst, equally incapable of supporting either the toil of war or the sight of danger: whereas you, that are inured from your infancy to a sober and hard way of living; to you, I say, hunger and thirst are but the sauce, and the only sauce, to your meals; fatigues are your pleasure, dangers your delight.”WGI 103.3

    Intemperance was the secret of Babylon’s loss of empire, and of her awful fall. This is no less true in the case of the other world empires; even though in the history of the others the ending may have been not so dramatic. And while it was by intemperance that each of the world empires failed and fell, it was by temperance that the kingdom and power of the world was in each case taken by the new people in succession. Of the Persians it is written: “The only food allowed either the children or the young men was bread, cresses, and water: for their design was to accustom them early to temperance and so- briety besides, they considered that a plain, frugal diet, without any mixture of sauces or rag-outs, strengthen the body, and lay such a foundation of health as would enable them to undergo hardships and fatigues of war to a good old age.WGI 104.1

    This splendid characteristic of the Persians was also set well known amongst the nations that it was a distinct element in their councils respecting war with them. When Crœsus, king of Lydia, was contemplating war with them, one of his counsellors said: “O, prince, why do you think of turning your arms against such a people as the Persians, who, being born in a wild, rugged country, are inured from their infancy to every kind of hardship and fatigue; who, being coarsely clad and coarsely fed, can content themselves with bread water; who are absolute strangers to all the delicacies and conveniences of life; who, in a word, have nothing to lose if you conquer them, and everything to gain if they conquer you; and whom it would be very difficult to drive out of the country if they should once come to taste the sweets and advantages of it! So far, therefore, from thinking of beginning war against them, it is my opinion we ought to thank the gods that they have never put it into the heads of the Persians to come and attack the Lydians.”WGI 105.1

    Of the Spartans who led all Greece we read: “To go barefoot, to lie on the bare ground, to be satisfied with little meat and drink, to suffer heat and cold, to be exercised continually in hunting, wrestling, running on foot and horseback, to be inured to blows and wounds so as to vent neither complaint nor groan—these were the rudiments of education of the Spartan youth.” In addition to this, there were the great national games of the Greeks, in the preparation and training for which “at first they had no other nourishment than dried figs, nuts, soft cheese, and a coarse heavy sort of bread. They were absolutely forbidden the use of wine, and enjoined continence.”WGI 106.1

    And of the Romans when they were rising to the power and dominion of the world, we read in the account of an embassy sent to Egypt and the East 136 B. C.: “The first place which they came to in the discharge of their commission being Alexandria in Egypt, they were there received by the king in great state. But they made their entrance thither with so little that Scipio, who was then the greatest man in Rome, had no more than one friend Panastius the philosopher, and five servants in his retinue. And, although they were, during their stay there, entertained with all the varieties of the most sumptuous fare, yet they would touch nothing more of it than what was useful, in the most temperate manner, for the necessary support of nature, despising all the rest as that which corrupted the mind as well as the body, and bred vicious humors in both. Such was the moderation and temperance of the Romans at this time, and hereby it was that they at length advanced their State to so great a height.”WGI 106.2

    Yet these nations all knowing so well the inestimable value of the principles and the practise of temperance, by which they gained the kingdom fo the world; each in turn, when it had gained the dominion, threw it all away and plunged to the depths of ruin by intemperance. And now, as compared with the world-empires of the past, how stand the world empires of to-day? Can it be in any sense said that in the recognition of the principles, and much less in the practise, of temperance the great world empires of to-day can be compared with the Persians, the Greeks, or the Romans, when they arose to the dominion of the world? On the contrary, must it not be confessed that every one of the world empires of to-day is far more like the other empires were at their fall?WGI 107.1

    It is only the sober truth to say that the nations of the present day are even now indulging intemperance in more things, and in far more fiery and vicious things, than were ever indulged in by the people of the great world-kingdoms of history. No Babylonian, no Median, Persian, Grecian, or Roman, ever drank—they had not even a chance to drink—a drop of whisky, or of brandy, or rum, or gin, or champagne—every one of which, in many kinds, is indulged in to a wickedly intemperate degree by the people of the greatest, the most powerful, and the most influential of the nations that to-day hold the dominion of the world.WGI 107.2

    This being so, how can it be possible for these empires to escape the ruin that overtook the world empires of the past? Those ancient empires knew only one kind of intoxicantwine, the fermented juice of the grape. Yet, with only that one intoxicant and its accompanying vices, those powers sunk themselves in such intemperance as to end only in annihilating ruin. How much more then and how much more speedily must the great nations of to-day sink themselves, in the ruinous indulgence of their many intoxicants; all of which are more fiery and more fierce than was the single one that was known to the ancients?WGI 108.1

    Yet more: No Babylonian, Persian, Greek, or Roman ever used tea, coffee, or tobacco: all of which are vicious stimulants and narcotics—intoxicants—and all of which are excessively indulged in by all the nations of to-day to say nothing of the more deadly poisons, opium, morphine, arsenic, absinthe, cocaine, and hashish. For “from tea to hashish, through hops, alcohol, tobacco, and opium we have a graduated scale of intoxicants which stimulate in small doses and narcotize in larger. The physiological action of all these agents gradually shades into each other: all producing or being capable of producing successive paralysis of the various parts of the nervous and vascular systems.”—Encyclopedia Britannica, ArticleDrunkeness.”WGI 108.2

    Again it must be asked, How can the nations of to-day survive the intemperance which they are indulging in all the things of this double list of vicious intoxicants, when the ancient nations all so easily and so effectually destroyed themselves in the indulgence of only one—and that one not the most vicious nor the most destructive?WGI 109.1

    And there are no new nations to take the place of these that are already indulging ruinous intemperance. And since there are no new nations to rise up and take the kingdom as in all the crises of the past, it follows that those who shall take the kingdom must be gathered out of the nations, tongues, kindreds and peoples that now compose the kingdoms and dominion of the world. But the kingdom and dominion of the world has never yet been taken except upon the principles and practise of temperance. It follows therefore, that to all the nations and peoples of the world there must now be given from God as to Babylon of old by Daniel and his brethren, a call to temperance: and to such temperance only, as shall enable them to take the kingdom.WGI 109.2

    Therefore, of all the things that were ever justified in this world; of all the things that ever in this world had a sound and tangible basis in truest physical and spiritual things; the system that embodies the principles of health, of temperance, of a pure dietary, and of simple and plain Christian living, that is advocated and illustrated in the Battle Creek Sanitarium and affiliated sanitariums the world over, is the one. Of all the things that people can least afford to despise or ignore, this is the one. Instead of its being an invention or a fad of some man, it is God’s saving truth, yea, his “saving health,” for this time.WGI 110.1

    God has revealed the awful events of the Eastern Question, as that world’s question culminates in the battle of that great day and of Armageddon. He has revealed the wicked work and worship of the beast and his image and the awful judgments of the plagues that are the judgments that are the consequence. And shall He reveal no way of escape from all these terrible things?WGI 110.2

    He has revealed the way of escape: and this way of true temperance and Christian living is that way. This is the way, and the only way, to be prepared and “counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” when He shall appear in his glory in that great day. This is the way, and the only way to that “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord,” and which must be attained by all who shall live to meet Him in that great day.WGI 111.1

    “Having therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world. But be ye transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”WGI 111.2

    “God be merciful unto us, and bless us: and cause his face to shine upon us; that thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations.”WGI 111.3

    “Righteousness, Temperance, and Judgment to come” was the message of God to mighty Rome to save her from the ruin that was impending in her own excesses. Acts 24:24, 25. Righteousness, Temperance, and the Judgment at hand, is not the Message of God to all the nations to save them and whosoever will be saved from the ruin to which they are being swept as all the empires before.WGI 112.1

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