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    CHAPTER X. SPIRIT OF PROPHECY RESTORED

    “It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law.” Psalm 119:126.SGOM 131.1

    In tracing the connection between the law and the gifts of the Spirit we quoted several texts from the New Testament which we must notice again, because they refer to the time of which we are now speaking, viz., of the last days, or the time immediately preceding the second coming of Christ.SGOM 131.2

    In Revelation 14:9-12, just before the Son of God is seen upon the white cloud to reap the harvest of the earth, a message of warning is given, ending with these words:-SGOM 131.3

    “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.SGOM 131.4

    The apostle says, in Romans 5:3, “Tribulation worketh patience.” Tribulation brings patience into exercise, and exercise perfects all graces. By this text, therefore, we are given to understand that tribulation will be the lot of those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, at the time to which it refers, viz., just before the earth is reaped in the great harvest.SGOM 131.5

    In Revelation 12 the church is brought to view under the symbol of a woman. In prophetic symbol the church is always represented by a woman. This chapter very briefly traces the history of the church from the birth of Christ, and the effort of the dragon, or the pagan Roman power, to slay him as soon as he was born, and his being caught up to God and his throne, through the long persecution of “a time, times, and a half,” or “a thousand two hundred and threescore days,” down to the last persecution of “the remnant of her seed.”SGOM 131.6

    The dragon was, not directly, but indirectly, the persecutor during this great tribulation of the Christians in the “time, times, and the dividing of time.” Pagan Rome had long persecuted the Christians unto death. When the empire professed to become the patron of Christianity it soon beheld a most unchristian strife progressing between the Bishops of different churches. It was another clamor for power, a revival of the question, “Who shall be greatest?” The parties entirely ignored the instructions of the Saviour, given to quell just such spirits. The Bishop of Rome, the most arrogant and overbearing, and of course the least a Christian, was favored by the empire. Favored, not because the most worthy, not because such self-exaltation was according to the spirit, the example, or the teachings of Christ, but because it was deemed most fitting that Rome should have the ascendency!SGOM 132.1

    Such we re the means and such the motives by which an unchristian, persecuting hierarchy was brought into existence. By the power of the dragon this vast machinery of error and of death was set in motion. The dragon power made itself responsible for the consequences which it could easily forsee, when it elevated an ambitious and arrogant church ruler to a position which Christ forbade his followers to occupy.SGOM 132.2

    The last persecution will be under “an image to the beast.” This image will cause men to worship the beast, the papal power, which received its authority from the dragon, the pagan power. See Revelation 13. And thus it is shown that the spirit of the dragon has descended down to our own times, and that it will be active in the last persecution. Of this last phase of dragonic power it is said:-SGOM 132.3

    “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.SGOM 133.1

    Having noticed the manner of the rise of the papal hierarchy, it may not be amiss to speak of the formation of the “image of the beast,” for it is through this image that the spirit of the dragon will be manifested in the last persecution.SGOM 133.2

    In the United States great efforts are now being made to secure a “Religious Amendment” to the Constitution, by which, its advocates say, “all Christian laws, usages, and institutions may be placed on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.” “All Christian laws, usages, and institutions” are supposed to embrace all Christianity, and when all these are legalized in the Constitution then Christianity will be established as the religion of the land by the United States government. And, of course, when controversy arises it will be for the courts to decide what are Christian laws and institutions. And this will be an exact “image to the beast,” when Christianity will be enforced by law, and matters of faith must be decided by the civil courts. This will, doubtless, be the manner of the fulfillment of this prophecy; and under such a state of things, with the history of past persecutions in the name of Christianity before us, it is not difficult to foresee how war may be made with those “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”SGOM 133.3

    This prophecy of Revelation 12:17, is easily located. “The remnant of the seed of the woman,” can mean no other than the last part or last state of the church. They keep the commandments of God, as do the saints of Revelation 14:12, and these behold the Son of God in his second advent. War also is made with them, which calls for patience, which is marked as a characteristic of those who live in the last days. And they “have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” An explanation of this is given in Revelation 19:10, thus: “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” This is an inspired and, of course, a decisive definition of the phrase.SGOM 134.1

    The reader may still better appreciate this definition by a comparison of this text and Revelation 22:9. The text just quoted reads, “I am thy fellow-servant, and [the fellow-servant] of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.” The other reads, “I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets.” The expression in one, “thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus,” is equivalent to this expression in the other, “thy brethren the prophets.” And it is made sure by the definition being immediately added, “The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” They who have the testimony of Jesus have the inspiration of the Spirit-the gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit-which spoke through the prophets. If further proof of this truth were needed it is furnished in the following scripture:-SGOM 134.2

    “Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that ye come behind in no gift.” 1 Corinthians 1:6, 7.SGOM 134.3

    By this we learn that the confirmation of “the testimony of Jesus” in a church is the establishing or manifestation of “the gifts of the Spirit” in their midst. And thus are we brought to the unavoidable conclusion that the remnant, the last part or last generation of the church of Christ, who heed the last warning given to man, who keep the commandments of God, who live to see the Son of man appear on the white cloud to reap the harvest of the earth, have the testimony of Jesus Christ-the spirit of prophecy-among them; that is, the gifts of the Spirit will be restored before the Lord comes. These heed the injunction given to those who “are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord,” that they should “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”SGOM 135.1

    In drawing toward the close of our argument we will call the attention of the reader to some points which we think are established by sufficient proof:-SGOM 135.2

    1. The unimpaired authority of the commission which our Saviour gave for the preaching of the gospel and the baptism of believers.SGOM 135.3

    2. The perpetuity of spiritual gifts which were promised in the commission “unto the end of the world,” and also promised to the faithful in the first public sermon under that commission on the day of Pentecost.SGOM 135.4

    3. The continued existence of the gifts, not only among the immediate successors of the apostles, but among the Reformers, and the early Methodists, and even to our own age.SGOM 135.5

    4. That in view of the coming time of trouble, the ending of the priesthood of Christ, and the plagues of God’s wrath soon to fall upon the world, God’s people must have a special preparation both in a higher Christian life and by the outpouring of the Spirit, to meet the Saviour in peace at his coming.SGOM 136.1

    5. That in the last days Satan will work through false christs and false prophets who will resist the truth by counterfeiting the work of God, showing great signs and wonders, thereby leading to a denial of Christ and the Father. And this is now being fulfilled in “Modern Spiritualism.”SGOM 136.2

    6. Many will also do wonders in the name of Christ, or claim to work miracles by the Spirit and power of Christ, who are workers of iniquity. This is literally fulfilled in the Mormon delusion; as the Mormons, while making the highest professions, have been the vilest in practice of any body of professed Christians who have arisen for many centuries.SGOM 136.3

    7. That the true people of God will prepare for the Lord’s coming by keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus; and they will have the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of prophecy.SGOM 136.4

    We have remarked that if one instance of the manifestation of the direct power of the Spirit can be found this side of the apostles, then the inference that that power was withdrawn at the death of the apostles is shown to be unjust. The candid reader will hardly deny the evidence of the power of the Spirit with the Reformers, with Wesley, and in the instances of Eld. Finley, Dr. Bond, and others.SGOM 136.5

    And we might quote still more striking examples from the experience of Mrs. Ellen G. White, but we forbear, as any notice we could give of her experience in our brief limits would not do justice to the facts, and the inquiring reader can find them fully set forth in works published by herself. We have no sympathy with the course of any who, as the Mormons usually do, thrust such facts before the public in a self-sufficient manner, at all times and under all circumstances, and offer them as the evidence that they are the people of God. They are not evidence of themselves, as we have proved in our examination of Matthew 7:21-23. But when we find a people who in meekness and humility are keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ, and are striving to perfect themselves in the Christian graces, that they may be prepared to meet their coming Lord, we shall find, as the promises of the Scriptures are true, that God will manifest himself to and with them by the power of his Holy Spirit. See James, chapter five, entire.SGOM 137.1

    And for the truthfulness of our conclusion we appeal with all confidence to the reader. This conclusion is based on our assurance of the faithfulness of God’s promise, and of the certainty of the fulfillment of prophecy. We have seen that three classes are plainly brought to view in the prophetic Scriptures which speak of the last days. 1. False christs; deniers of Christ, working miracles to deceive. These are found in the Spiritualists. 2. Workers of wonders in the name of Christ, who are also workers of iniquity. These are Mormons. 3. Those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of prophecy; and these constitute “the remnant,” who are looking for the coming of the Son of God to redeem his people from death and the grave. This prophecy must be fulfilled. Not one jot or tittle of the word of God can fail of its fulfillment, and such a people must arise in the last days as surely as the other classes, the Mormons and the Spiritualists, have arisen.SGOM 137.2

    These cannot be a popular people. The expression of the prophecy that war will be made against them, shows that they will receive opposition from the world, which they would not if they belonged to any popular religious body.SGOM 138.1

    The harmony between the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus has been considered in Chapter V. The commandments of God are not fully kept while any one of them is rejected or neglected. This company is pointed out because they keep them all-the fourth not excepted. “The faith of Jesus” covers the entire remedial system, the gospel, and includes all doctrines and duties peculiar to the gospel. “The testimony of Jesus” is more restricted; it is a part of the gospel system,-it “is the Spirit of prophecy;” it pertains to the gifts which were set in the church for the accomplishment of the work of the gospel. And as the commandments of God are not kept while one of them is violated, for no one is a keeper of law who breaks even one law, even so the faith of Jesus, the gospel, is not honored while one part of it is dishonored. And above all we should honor the gifts of the Spirit of God, remembering the warning of our Saviour, that a word spoken against the Spirit may place us beyond the reach of forgiveness. And the occasion on which he gave this warning shows that they spoke against the Holy Spirit by speaking against its works.SGOM 138.2

    We have the utmost confidence that these prophecies of “the remnant” will not fail. Even now there is a people in the earth in whom these prophetic declarations are receiving a fulfillment. We hope that prejudice will not prevent the reader examining their position and claims with candor. A want of patient, candid examination was what prevented the Jews accepting Christ; this also led them to take that most dangerous position of ascribing the work of the Spirit of God to Beelzebub.SGOM 139.1

    The Seventh-day Adventists have, from their beginning, maintained these two unpopular ideas, of keeping all the commandments of God, and all the faith of Jesus, not rejecting the “Spirit of prophecy.” By this gift they have been preserved from many evils and errors, and to it they are indebted for that extraordinary state of union which has thus far characterized them, and been the great means of their wonderful prosperity. They fully believe in the gifts of the Spirit as the appointed means to perfect the church, and to bring to the unity of the faith, and to preserve the unity of the Spirit. Assured that they have a message for the times-present truth-they have shown a willingness to sacrifice all of earthly joy and hope to spread the knowledge of the saving truth. “Before many nations, peoples, tongues, and kings,” is the third angel’s message of Revelation 14:9-12 to be preached, and its light is fast spreading to the nations now. It is destined to call out a people who will stand for the truth of God in its purity, who will be a witness against the corruptions of the last days, and who will stand secure in the favor of God when the plagues of his wrath are poured out upon a guilty world.SGOM 139.2

    The view we have advocated in these pages makes Christ, not only the burden of the prophetic word, but the giver, the inspirer of all prophecy. Christ, the Son of God, has ever been with his Church. He was the Angel of the Covenant; he preached to the world in the days of Noah; he held converse with the patriarchs; he instructed and led Moses in all the journeyings of Israel; he was Captain of the Lord’s host when Joshua led the children of Israel into Canaan; he “held” with Daniel in the future destiny of his people, as “Michael your prince,” or “Michael the archangel,” the chief over all the angels. Peter says it was the Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets, which testified aforetime of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. It is a great mistake to endeavor to confine the work of Christ to the present dispensation. He is and has been our Saviour-the only Saviour-since the fall of man. Ever since man separated himself from God by sin, it has been true that no man cometh to the Father but by his Son.SGOM 140.1

    And now the world, even the “Christian world,” seems determined to commit another great error, even to separate Christ from his church in the present dispensation. He who said, “I am with you alway, even to the end of the world,” has devised the means to fulfill his promise. It is the duty and privilege of the church to claim the power from on high, to receive the heavenly anointing, to walk in the strength of an ever-present Saviour.SGOM 140.2

    When Jesus left his disciples, to return to his Father, they had to be endued with power from on high before they were permitted to stand as his witnesses. And when they gave their testimony it was with power to convert the heart, for they were “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” On that day of Pentecost he showed to the world the triumph of his grace, in a church strong in his own strength. The “falling away,” the rising of “that man of sin,” dimmed the radiance of the light of the church and obscured her glory; but we are assured she shall come from the wilderness “leaning on the arm of her Beloved.” We believe that when Jesus comes again-when he has finished his work of intercession and mediation, having sealed his servants for immortality and withdrawn the offer of mercy from the impenitent-he will not find his people in darkness; he will not receive a worldly, careless, fallen church, but will present “to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.”SGOM 141.1

    But this can never be accomplished without Heaven’s own means “for the perfecting of the saints,” namely, the gifts of the Spirit. Without these, the church may have the form of godliness but she will lack the power. With these, we “may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”SGOM 141.2

    There are degrees or stages of glory for the church to attain unto in this life; and of course the higher we rise in the divine life, the more we shall glorify God, and the more will the world feel the force of our testimony. The church justified, but with little experience, is “fair as the moon;” with a growth in Christian graces she becomes “clear as the sun;” but it is only when endued with power from on high by the gifts of the Holy Spirit that the world trembles at her testimony, and she is truly as “terrible as an army with banners.”SGOM 141.3

    May the Lord in mercy to his chosen hasten the time when his servants shall all be perfected in their obedience to the commandments of God-and the faith of Jesus, and have the testimony of Jesus confirmed in them so that they come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.SGOM 142.1

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