by Nels Angelin
October is a special month for Adventists. It defines the history of the people of God for this very time. Daniel foretold the message as “running to and fro and knowledge shall increase,” (Daniel 12:4). Specifically, it was the study of scripture more than technology that opened the very “time of the end.” The mistake that had been so sweet was to attach “the event” of the return of Jesus to the date October 22, 1844. The event was correctly calculated, but the wrong event was attached to it. The message was then proclaimed – a loud cry, as it were – and heard around the world by several different faiths. It was preached boldly until the time calculated had passed and the passion became terribly crushed in bitter disappointment.
The beloved prophet Daniel longed to go home. Home for Daniel was Jerusalem. Home was away from the foreign land of exile. Gabriel consoled faithful Daniel in his distress. Daniel was weak from learning a bitter message that had a long time yet to endure. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, seal the book, even to the time of the end,” (Daniel 12:4). The time stayed sealed, but the knowledge of the vision did open – on time. The time of opening burst with excitement, but the misapplied event turned to utter disappointment when the passion, as preached, failed. Their passion had failed to connect what Jesus said: “That day and hour knoweth no man…but my Father only,” (Matthew 24:36).
The disappointment appears to have lingered in many of the churches. The same era included God sending prolific signs in the earth and the heavens which fueled their passion, yet the bitterness quelled the advent fervor, as noted by D. L. Moody as he lamented a dearth of hearing in sermons of the Lord’s return. He said, “I was in the church fifteen or sixteen years before I ever heard a sermon on it. A great deal is said of baptism. Paul speaks of it but 15 times while he speaks of the Lord’s return 50 times.”
Men do seem to like to be identified as knowing the unknown. Many times, we have seen predictions presented as though it can be found when Jesus will return. Oh, and scriptures are added to the claim to give it validity. Was Jesus really mistaken for what He said. No, you know better than that. You should not be surprised then. The Lord is specific on how to respond to surprise. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:2,4).
Listen well to what Jesus also said to us for this time: “Take heed [beware] to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [excessive indulgence] …so that day come on you unawares” (Luke 21:34).
The greatest glory of all time is for Jesus to come. It is not surprising that Satan attempts to deceive and make believable any distortion of God’s plan. God is the author of life, as He is the author of faith – to believe, and to be patient to trust and obey.
Prophetically we have an edge to know what is true. Truth comes with responsibility. The three angels’ messages have a strong connection to worship. Worship is what the enemy will distort and degrade.
The first angel directs where true worship must be found. “Fear God and give Him the glory… Worship Him who made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). That is the foundation built upon the Sabbath.
The second angel adds loud volume to a message that is a violation to the core of worship: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, who made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). That is the perversion of the foundation to change the true worship. The majority of churches have been counterfeited to forget what God made indelibly clear to remember. Worship must come back to the Sabbath of the Lord God – to separate from the tradition and commandments of men. The capstone of truth and faith belongs to God and must define who we are.
We must not forget what God has written in gold to underscore the message of the three angels. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
Here is the glory of God. Jesus is coming with glory that will fill the whole world. We are at that time when Jesus will come as He said. Does that mean 2028 is true? Is that “time” the entrance of the seventh millennium? No, we know better than to trip over stolen glory from the thief. We must be careful that our message and our body language will continue a firm grip upon the trust of faith. When the work of the gospel is complete, the end will come.
Preceding the return of Jesus, our country and the world are taking action to transform the nature of final events. Greater tribulation will continue to increase. The act of God will seal all with the close of probation. To be shut in or shut out. “Here is the patience of the saints…” Here is the glory of God that applies to all who will be living at that point. They will be marked or sealed. Look at it also a promise found on the last page of the Bible. This is how I hear God saying, “He that has failed to be justified by God, let him continue to be unjust. He that has not been cleansed of God, let him continue to be filthy. He that is consecrated to the righteousness of God, let him continue to be righteous still. He that has embraced the holiness of God, let him continue to be covered with the holiness of God” (Revelation 22:11).
Photos: Watch Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash / Bible Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash