The Last Countdown

Originally published on Saturday, January 10, 2015 in German at www.letztercountdown.org

Last Sunday we received an email which had an interesting quote of Ellen White in it from the Great Controversy. It was used as an argument against our movement, along with various other anti-time-setting quotes that have already been treated in A Word of Advice. Do you think you can harmonize it and eliminate the apparent contradiction with the message of the Fourth Angel? I quote from the email exactly as it was presented:

The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state--men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above. {GC 491.1}

(How can this be, when we already know the date of the end of probation?)

Do you see why this quote is used as a counter-argument? How can it be that the decision has already been made in heaven (on the evening of October 17, 2015) and without knowing the time, the righteous still continue to plant, build, eat and drink? How can it be, if we (the 144,000) already know the date of the end of mercy and are the only righteous that exist in the time of the plagues? Can the righteous that Ellen White mentions here, be the 144,000? If not, then who does it refer to?

?

Obviously, the quote extends to the time of the plagues, because it is then that the investigative judgment is completed and the final decision has been made, revealing who are righteous and who are wicked. But haven’t we all been taught that only the 144,000 live through the plagues and will be alive to see Jesus return? And don’t we know from Ellen White, that the last martyr will give his testimony before the end of mercy? Aren’t those the only two groups of righteous who come from the judgment of the living?

Taken out of context

Surely you immediately got out the book The Great Controversy and verified what this quote is all about and what context Ellen White put it in. From the book, we immediately notice that this quote was taken completely out of context. Therefore, let us read a little more than just what this Franz “Kosher” throws in our face (I will talk about him again at the end of the article):

Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon--none know how soon--it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behooves every soul to heed the Saviour’s admonition: “Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” Mark 13:33. “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Revelation 3:3. {GC 490.1}

Making fun of NoahWhen the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: “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. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11-12. {GC 490.2}

The righteous and the wicked will still be living upon the earth in their mortal state--men will be planting and building, eating and drinking, all unconscious that the final, irrevocable decision has been pronounced in the sanctuary above. Before the Flood, after Noah entered the ark, God shut him in 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 Saviour, “shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:39. Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man’s destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy’s offer to guilty men. {GC 491.1}

“Watch ye therefore: . . . lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.” Mark 13:35-36. Perilous is the condition of those who, growing weary of their watch, turn to the attractions of the world. While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments--it may be in that hour the Judge of all the earth will pronounce the sentence: “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Daniel 5:27. {GC 491.2}

Did you notice that not even the whole paragraph was copied, but only a part of it? Only now do we see that Ellen White makes a direct comparison here with the seven days of Noah. As it was in the time of Noah, when a door of mercy closed and all who were outside the ark were doomed to die, so shall it also be in October. At that time there will be just and unjust people who continue to live as they did before, not knowing that the time of grace has ended, and neither group is in the ark—they must both die during the time of the plagues. Ellen White also tells us how long they will be ignorant: seven days according to the type of Noah. On the eighth day, i.e., on October 25, 2015 when the first plague will be poured out, it will probably become clear to those who didn’t yet know, that the final decision was made in heaven.

It is very interesting that these quotes always point to Revelation 3—one of our favorite places in the Bible. It urges you to be awake, precisely so that you might know the hour [the literal day]. We always refer to this place those who have accepted the Orion message as a whole and will ultimately belong to the 144,000. These are the ones who didn’t hear merely thunder and an earthquake, but accepted the time proclamation:

Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. {EW 14.1}

Obviously, the “righteous” whom Ellen White speaks of in the quote, do not have this time knowledge and it is up to us to find out who these other “righteous” are, and what characteristics they have.

Could they be martyrs?

The question is raised as to whether they could be martyrs. But the last martyr, who sacrifices his earthly life for the truth, does so before the door of mercy is closed. The martyrs have accepted the basic doctrines up to the 1888 triplet, as we explained in Genetics of Eternal Life. On the evening of October 17, 2015, the number of martyrs will be completed, and the hearts of the wicked will be completely closed, so that the testimony of even one more martyr would not lead anyone to turn their lives around.

…If the blood of Christ’s faithful witnesses [144,000] were shed at this time [in the time of the plagues], it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed sown to yield a harvest for God. Their fidelity would not be a testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more. {GC.634.1}

Therefore the “righteous” in the quote under consideration cannot refer to the martyrs, because after the door of mercy closes, there will be no more martyrs. They will not die by the hand of the enemy on account of keeping the Sabbath.

Can they simply be “good people” from other religions?

We should know who is righteous in God’s eyes and when they are regarded as such, but it doesn’t hurt to hear it again. It will help us to understand who this group of righteous people must be, who continue to live into the time of the plagues, and yet still die. Consider a few Bible verses that have to do with both the “righteous” and judgment.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)

Which judgment is the apostle John talking about here? Is it the investigative judgment, or another? Besides Adventists, does anyone else today know anything about the investigative judgment? Having not always been Adventist, I can assure you that the idea is peculiar to Adventists, and no one else officially uses it, even though it is true. If Jesus says here that the one who believes in Him does not come into judgment, then it cannot in fact be referring to the investigative judgment, but it must be the 1000-year judgment in heaven when the saints will judge the ungodly and unrighteous dead. In order to know who is worthy to be raised up in the first resurrection and received at the second coming of Jesus on October 24, 2016, there must have been a previous investigation: the investigative judgment.

JudgmentBy the king’s examination of the guests at the feast is represented a work of judgment. The guests at the gospel feast are those who profess to serve God, those whose names are written in the book of life. But not all who profess to be Christians are true disciples. Before the final reward is given, it must be decided who are fitted to share the inheritance of the righteous. This decision must be made prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven; for when He comes, His reward is with Him, “to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12. Before His coming, then, the character of every man’s work will have been determined, and to every one of Christ’s followers the reward will have been apportioned according to his deeds. {COL 310.1}

It is while men are still dwelling upon the earth that the work of investigative judgment takes place in the courts of heaven. The lives of all His professed followers pass in review before God. All are examined according to the record of the books of heaven, and according to his deeds the destiny of each is forever fixed. {COL 310.2}

The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God. Jesus bade His disciples: “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luk 10:20. Paul speaks of his faithful fellow workers, “whose names are in the book of life.” Php 4:3. Daniel, looking down to “a time of trouble, such as never was,” declares that God’s people shall be delivered, “everyone that shall be found written in the book.” And the revelator says that those only shall enter the city of God whose names “are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Daniel 12:1; Revelation 21:27. {GC 480.3}

When does someone enter the service of Jesus? This is very important to understand! Someone familiar with the Christian faith, who is reading the Bible, or perhaps has a special experience with God, one day comes to the conclusion that he desperately needs Jesus and His sacrifice, and desires to be baptized. Remember the example of Philip and the eunuch? In the moment of baptism, a person consciously enters into the ministry of Jesus, and by this act, his name is written in the book of life.

And now it gets interesting! In the investigative judgment, it is decided whether or not all these professed servants of God, both dead and living, are truly worthy to be caught up at the second coming of Jesus in October, 2016.

These righteous who live through the end of mercy, therefore, must be professing Christians, and therefore all those are excluded who believe in Allah, Buddha, Shiva, etc., but deny the only name that means “salvation.” Also consider what Paul is talking about regarding those who by nature do “the work of the law”:

For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Romans 2:11-16)

This verse is often misunderstood, and many are of the opinion that the Gentiles mentioned here are saved. But Paul used those nations as an example against the Jews, because they thought that they were holier, being circumcised in the flesh. In the very next chapter, Paul comes to the point and states that there are “none righteous, no not one” and that no one is justified by works, but all need “the righteousness of God.”

Have the Jews or Far Eastern faiths accepted the sacrifice of Jesus? No, unfortunately not! None of them are in the investigative judgment. Although they may be decent people who do not steal, do not kill, are generous and not jealous, honoring their parents, etc., who blesses their marriages? And do they really know who their true Creator is and what He did for humanity and the universe?

The investigative judgment is divided into two parts: the judgment of the dead and the judgment of the living. The judgment of the dead reveals who is part of the first resurrection, which takes place at Jesus’ return. The judgment of the living concerns those—as the name suggests—who LIVE in time of that part of the judgment. It answers the question: who are declared righteous, once the judgment of the living concludes?

The righteous are undoubtedly all Christians: the 144,000 who will not die, the martyrs who all give their offering before the end of the judgment, and these ones cited by Ellen White in the aforementioned quote. But there are still more criteria...

Will they have accepted the Sabbath?

Ellen White answers this question:

But not one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his mind and conscience, and has been rejected. There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light. He who reads every heart and tries every motive will leave none who desire a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy. The decree is not to be urged upon the people blindly. Everyone is to have sufficient light to make his decision intelligently. {GC 605.1}

The question now, however, is whether everyone in the world desires a knowledge of the truth. The indication is that there will be some people who are lukewarm (Laodicea) or dead (Sardis). They will not have the desire to be enlightened, and therefore have already decided for the wrong side.

But the righteous in general will hear about the obligation of the Sabbath and will withstand the test in the little time of trouble before the plagues. They will all have accepted the third angel’s message. Thus, they are also part of the special resurrection. There is no doubt about it.

It was at midnight that God chose to deliver His people. As the wicked were mocking around them, suddenly the sun appeared, shining in his strength, and the moon stood still. The wicked looked upon the scene with amazement, while the saints beheld with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance. Signs and wonders followed in quick succession. Everything seemed turned out of its natural course. The streams ceased to flow. Dark, heavy clouds came up and clashed against each other. But there was one clear place of settled glory, whence came the voice of God like many waters, shaking the heavens and the earth. There was a mighty earthquake. The graves were opened, and those who had died in faith under the third angel’s message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace that God was to make with those who had kept His law. {EW 285.1}

Will they have to leave Babylon?

The problem that now arises is the question of how the “righteous” will die in the time of plagues. We have already ruled out that it can be done by the hand of the enemies of the Sabbath truth, because in that case, there would still be martyrs after the door of mercy closed, but their blood would be shed in vain, which is not possible.

This leaves the following options:

  1. Death by natural causes, e.g. due to illness, old age, or accident.

  2. Death due to the side-effects of persecution and the plagues, such as hunger and disease.

  3. Death by the plagues themselves!

Notice point 3 in particular. It probably accounts for the largest share of the causes of death for the “righteous,” but how is it possible that “righteous” suffer the plagues?

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)

Those who leave Babylon are promised that they will not receive the plagues of Babylon. Babylon is defined by the belief in the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness:

The wine of Babylon is the exalting of the false and spurious sabbath above the Sabbath which the Lord Jehovah hath blessed and sanctified for the use of man, also [it is] the immortality of the soul. These kindred heresies, and the rejection of the truth, convert the church into Babylon. Kings, merchants, rulers, and religious teachers are all in corrupt harmony. {2SM 68.2}

We have already seen that the “righteous” will keep the sabbath, and we may also assume that they will no longer believe or teach other Babylonian doctrines, otherwise they would hardly be “righteous.”

How then can they die by God’s plagues when the very opposite is promised? As always, our problem stems from a superficial reading of the Bible verse. To this group, it is only promised that they will not receive the plagues of BABYLON. It is not, as many believe, that they receive no plagues.

In fact, the seven last plagues are an anti-type for the 10 plagues of Egypt at the time of Moses. There were plagues that only fell on the Egyptians (the last seven), but some of the plagues fell on both the Egyptians and the Israelites (the first three).

Let’s look in the book of Revelation to learn which of the seven last plagues can be assigned directly to Babylon and connected with her false teachings in particular. These are the plagues that the “righteous” will not suffer, even if they die during the time when they fall:

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. (Revelation 16:2)

This plague affects only those who have accepted Sunday, and not a single righteous person will be in that group. This is also reflected in the fifth plague:

And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. (Revelation 16:10-11)

All of the other plagues fall, unfortunately, on the living righteous, with the exception of the 144,000—the Philadelphian church, which has special protection in the hour of trial:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

Which group do they belong to?

Let’s learn more about the pronouncement which is made on that unique day in October 2015, in the hopes that this will bring us closer to the solution:

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. (Revelation 22:11)

Thus far, we have only discerned two groups: the wicked and the righteous. But when we read more closely, we see that the verse actually speaks of four groups: There are the unjust and filthy, and on the other side, the righteous and the holy. The unjust stand opposite to the righteous, and the filthy stand opposite to the holy.

Let us first consider the group of “holy.” The Greek word for the “holy” is “hagios” (G40), meaning “set apart for ceremonial service.” They are those who are “set apart” for a ceremonial temple service. This brings us directly to the verse that describes the seal of the members of the church of Philadelphia (the 144,000):

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Revelation 3:12)

Ellen White also describes the 144,000 with special reference to the temple:

And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, “Only the 144,000 enter this place,” and we shouted, “Alleluia.” {EW 18.2}

ONLY the 144,000 are set apart for the “ceremonial” service during the plagues. They are set apart to witness without an intercessor for the entire time until the coming of Jesus. All of the other righteous people will sooner or later fall during the plagues, and it is therefore determined by God to lay them to rest. Their death, therefore, is merciful, no matter what its cause!

Only the 144,000 are willing to sacrifice their eternal lives in their witness for the Father, and therefore they are the only ones who will have enough Holy Spirit for the entire time of the plagues, and will ultimately escape death:

Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. (Luke 17:33)

They are the true priests of God’s people and preside over them. They are the wise teachers of the others, for they accept the Fourth Angel’s Message from Orion in its entirety:

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12.3)

Now it becomes clear who the opposing group is for the “holy”—the filthy. They are the leaders of the professed people of God who taught false doctrines, refused the message of the Fourth Angel, and thereby defrauded the people of their opportunity to receive the truth. They are unclean and thus forever excluded from entering the temple (and heaven). They had great responsibility as leaders and have proved unworthy of the priesthood.

Before coming to the group of “righteous,” it must be clearly seen that we present unmistakable biblical proof that there are two saved groups of people living during the plagues: the “righteous” and the “holy.” Thus, the whole argument against our movement using the initial quote from Ellen White has already been invalidated, since both the 144,000, who know the time very well, as well as the “righteous,” who do not know the time, are both living on the earth during the plagues.

The verse of the first plague actually makes it quite clear who these righteous are, who will not receive the first plague:

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. (Revelation 16:2)

Thus, this means they are all those (besides the 144,000), who have not received the mark of the beast and have not worshiped his image. This is the large group of Christians who meet all the criteria we have identified previously. In contrast to the “holy,” they were not and are not designated leaders, but are the common people.

The group opposite them are the unjust, who are precisely identified by comparison. These did not serve as leaders, and kept Sunday sacred. They chose the broad way of Satan’s foot soldiers.

One could interpret the groups as having different levels of sanctification, depending on how much light they had received and what their reaction to it was.

  1. The “holy” 144,000 will have received the Fourth Angel’s Message, and they gladly accept it and testify with their eternal life for the Father.

  2. The “righteous” never entirely received the Fourth Angel’s Message, but still testify for the Father by refusing to accept the mark. So they are at the level of the light of the third angel, and even live partly into the time of plagues.

  3. The “filthy” leaders of the apostate churches know the Fourth Angel’s Message very well. They have been fighting it actively since 2010. Many of them know that it is the truth, but they do not admit it. They have all committed the sin against the Holy Spirit and have led many astray.

  4. The “unjust” hear very little or nothing of the Fourth Angel’s Message, because their leaders prevent them. However, they will know the Third Angel’s Message through the witness of the martyrs, but they will have chosen Satan’s side and Sunday observance and will have received the mark of the beast.

When will they be resurrected?

If we want to describe our special group of “righteous” exactly, then we have to take a look at the resurrection of the just.

  • The 144,000 will pass through the plagues alive and see Jesus return without tasting death as a mortal.

  • The dead of all ages who were found righteous through the examination of the judgment of the dead will be resurrected on the Last Great Day.

  • Those who have died under the Third Angel’s Message, including the martyrs of the repeated fifth seal, will be resurrected seven days earlier and alongside the 144,000 will witness the coming of Jesus in the clouds.

  • This special resurrection also includes those who pierced Jesus, who will die again at His coming, for no one who is unrighteous can see God.

Now the question arises: which group do the “righteous” belong to, who live during the plagues and die naturally before taking part in the resurrection?

There remains only one possibility: namely, that they are part of the special resurrection, because they come from the judgment of the living and were faithful to the Sabbath of the Third Angel’s Message. Consequently, they died “under the Third Angel’s Message” and also have the right to see their great hope fulfilled in the appearance of the small, dark cloud at the coming of Jesus.

Who really are these “righteous”?

We have now identified many characteristics of this group of “righteous” people, and it still seems strange or unbelievable to us that there are some righteous in the plagues who must still die. At least it seems strange to those who were brought up as Adventists, believing that the 144,000 would be the only ones in the great time of trouble. It might seem even more strange to those of other faiths who believe in a pre-rapture, because they do not even believe that the 144,000 will still be on the earth when the plagues fall. But that is what the Bible says, and it won’t be otherwise.

Why have we always overlooked this group? There must still be something wrong or incomplete in our way of thinking.

Until now, our line of thought has been:

  1. The 144,000 are the wise teachers who have received the entire Fourth Angel’s Message. They testify with their eternal lives for the father and continue alive until Jesus comes. Their sealing is completed shortly before the beginning of the 6th trumpet of the trumpet cycle.

  2. The 144,000 teach the martyrs, who then testify with their physical life for the Father. Their “sealing” through their death is completed shortly before closing the door of mercy for all mankind.

The martyrs, therefore, are the spiritual “children” of the 144,000. And at this point, our current understanding ends. For us, there were only 144,000 who were “righteous” during the plagues.

From a simple consideration, we could have discerned long ago that this thinking must not be true...

Let’s consider the last martyr and compare his destiny with the quote we noted earlier from Ellen White:

…If the blood of Christ’s faithful witnesses were shed at this time, it would not, like the blood of the martyrs, be as seed sown to yield a harvest for God. Their fidelity would not be a testimony to convince others of the truth; for the obdurate heart has beaten back the waves of mercy until they return no more. … {GC.634.1}

The fidelity of the last martyr would not be a testimony anymore. He couldn’t gather another member of the 144,000 since they were all completely sealed before the 6th trumpet, nor could he convince another martyr of the truth, because he was already the last martyr to accept the truth.

Think through that example of the last martyr to the end... By definition, he would not be a martyr, because the seed of his blood could not bring anymore fruit. But that means that his predecessor would have been the last actual martyr. Yet he could not be for the same reason—that after him, there would be no more martyrs. If you continue that reasoning to its end, there would actually be no martyrs at all anymore.

Isn’t it a wonderful paradox? But unfortunately, that is what it is. Something must be wrong here!

No matter how far you push the paradox forward, the last martyr in every case would have died in vain, but that is not true according to God’s word.

For whom, then, does this last martyr—the representative of all the martyrs—die? There must be a group of people for whom his “fidelity would be a testimony to convince others of the truth.” We speak of precisely our group of “righteous,” who will have accepted the witness of the martyrs and sided with the Sabbath-keepers in the last great battle before the door of mercy closed for humanity. These are those who will be saved “so as by fire.”

If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss [the plagues]: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:14-15)

Now it makes sense! The martyrs will have spiritual children... the “righteous” who will still be counted among God’s people before the door of mercy closes, but will not die as martyrs like their spiritual parents and “teachers.”

The SheepNow we can estimate the size of this group and understand that they will be a very large group. We had believed that the only spiritual children of the 144,000 were the martyrs, and we already considered them to be a group of millions of people. But how large must the group of “righteous” be, who will be the spiritual children of the millions of martyrs and spiritual grandchildren of the 144,000? It is really an innumerable multitude that comes out of the great tribulation period of the plagues and not just the 144,000:

After this [after the sealed 144,000] I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands….And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:9-14)

It has been very difficult to harmonize this Bible verse with “only the 144,000” because we believed that they were the only ones who could come out of the great tribulation. Now we know better.

The many “righteous” have never, or only partially, heard the Fourth Angel’s Message, and yet they will make up the majority of the saved in these last days. Thus, for them, time is never again to be a test, as Ellen White predicted. But it will be the test for belonging to the 144,000. Everyone who has come in contact with the Fourth Angel’s Message and rejected it has no affiliation with the 144,000, and has even committed the unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit, too!

The martyrs know the first, second and third angel’s messages, they keep the biblical seventh-day Sabbath, and they know obedience through righteousness by faith (see HSL triplets to 1888). They have no knowledge of the later triplets of the Fourth Angel’s Message. They give their physical lives out of love and obedience to God because of their knowledge of basic Adventist doctrines. They neither know the time message, nor do they know the high calling of the 144,000. Therefore, they cannot know when the door of mercy will close.

Their children, the “righteous,” will have at most that same level of knowledge, but might not even have the Adventist framework. They certainly will not know the time of the end of mercy or the coming of Jesus. During the seven days of Noah, when the 144,000 are already closed in the ark, they will not know that the door of mercy is shut. They will be surprised by the plagues along with the wicked.

(We have often been asked if it is necessary or possible in the short time that remains to teach the people about the health message. Some have asked specifically whether all of the righteous must stop eating meat. The answer is to look at the triplets of the HSL up to and including 1888. Is there mention of the health message for the martyrs? No. The 144,000 on the other hand, must respect all of the counsel from the Spirit of Prophecy (triplet 1915), which also includes the health message, since they are “holy” priests. The “righteous” of the great multitude, probably will not even understand the fundamental Adventist doctrines, let alone all of our various health rules. They must go through the great test of the Sunday laws without the help of God, which gives us a clear mind and a non-carnal heart, before—and partially into—the time of plagues. It is highly recommended that each one be educated in at least the basic rules, like a vegetarian diet, if circumstances allow.)

Woe to the shepherds!

What will happen to the professed people of God, who had so much light, but did not want to accept it—let alone share it? And what will happen to the shepherds of God’s people, who did not take care of their flocks and withheld the light of the Fourth Angel’s Message from them?

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. (Ezekiel 34:1-4)

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Jeremiah 23:1-6)

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:36-38)

The GoatsUnfortunately, the “shepherds” in the SDA church did not do their job conscientiously enough, as we have painfully recognized. Their door of mercy is already closed. God will hold them accountable and He Himself will save the scattered sheep with compassion primarily “by His Spirit.” They know that the Lord is their righteousness and they are holding to it.

The leaders and teachers of Adventism—such as Franz “Kosher,” the writer of the email that led to this article—will suffer the following fate along with their families:

Many of the wicked were greatly enraged as they suffered the effects of the plagues. It was a scene of fearful agony. Parents were bitterly reproaching their children, and children their parents, brothers their sisters, and sisters their brothers. Loud, wailing cries were heard in every direction, “It was you who kept me from receiving the truth which would have saved me from this awful hour.” The people turned upon their ministers with bitter hate and reproached them, saying, “You have not warned us. You told us that all the world was to be converted, and cried, Peace, peace, to quiet every fear that was aroused. You have not told us of this hour; and those who warned us of it you declared to be fanatics and evil men, who would ruin us.” But I saw that the ministers did not escape the wrath of God. Their suffering was tenfold greater than that of their people. {EW 282.1}

Hopefully, the leaders of the other churches, where there are still people of God, will be smarter and together with their churches, will leave Babylon (Sunday churches) and carry the banner of Emmanuel.

I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the [little] time of trouble [just before closing the door of mercy], we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God’s chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. {EW 33.2}

Two armies

The Armies of the Good and the BadIn the time of plagues, these unclean “shepherds” and the large group of the rank and file of the unjust, stand opposite the two armies of God, who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and against whom their weapons are useless: the 144,000 and the great multitude of the righteous.

Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.--GC 631 (1911). {LDE 260.1}

King Solomon, who was allowed to build the temple of God, sang about these two armies in his declaration of the love of God for His people:

I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded. Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib. Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies. (Song of Solomon 6:11-13)

It is wonderful to know that at this time, when the loud cry to the “sheep in other folds” is made, that the Lord has not sought in vain for fruit from His vine.

One thing is certain: the Lord loves and cares for all His sheep. He is just and does not leave alone those who remain blameless through the last major test by the Sunday laws. It is great to realize that there is another multitude that we have thus far overlooked, with whom we will stand side by side in the great tribulation.

Thank God that He has once again worked out a seemingly bad thing for our good!

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:28-31)

< Prev                       Next >

Our New Website!