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THE FINAL CRISIS
“At that time shall Michael stand up: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1
Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says. “It is done;” “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Rev. 21:6; 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death.
The righteous and the wicked will still be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced. Before the flood, God shut Noah in the ark and shut the ungodly out; but for seven days the people, knowing not that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure-loving life and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. “So,” says the Savior, “shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Mt. 24:39. Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man's destiny. “Watch ye therefore: ... lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.” Mk. 13:35, 36.
The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. The restraint which has been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great. final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.
Those who honor the law of God have been accused of bringing judgments upon the world, and they will be regarded as the cause of the fearful convulsions of nature and the strife and bloodshed among men that are filling the earth with woe. A decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment and giving the people liberty, after a certain time, to put them to death.
The people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, in the most desolate and solitary places. But many will be bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. Yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ; and angels will come to them, bringing light and peace from heaven.
Then God's judgments will be visited upon those who are seeking to oppress and destroy His people.
“There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.” The sea “became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” And “the rivers and fountains of waters... became blood.” “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.” Rev. 16:2-6.
In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun “to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.” Rev. 16:8, 9.
These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals.
The people of God will not be free from suffering; hut while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food, they will not be left to perish. Angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants.
“The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee.” “Thou shalt not be afraid, ... for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Ps. 121:5, 6; 91:5-10.
Yet to human sight it will appear that the people of God must soon seal their testimony with their blood as did the martyrs before them. The wicked exult, and the jeering cry is heard: “Where now is your faith? Why does not God deliver you out of our hands if you are indeed His people?”
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Created: 11/15/02 Updated: 05/31/04