Probation closes at the end of the antitypical Day of
Atonement and the Investigative Judgment that begun at the
end of the 2300 days (Daniel 8:14) in 1844 (see The Great
Controversy, chapter 24). The service is presided over
by God the Father as the judge and the Son of God as the
mediator. Only the cases of the professed people of God are
reviewed in this first judgment, for “Judgment must begin at
the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). The judgment of the
wicked is after the close of probation and the saints sit on
that tribunal, for “Do
ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” (1
Decisions are based on the records. Daniel says: “the
judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:10).
John adds: "Another book was opened, which is the book of
life: and the dead were judged out of those things which
were written in the books, according to their works”
“A book of remembrance” is kept wherein are recorded the
good deeds of “them that feared the Lord, and that thought
upon His name” (Malachi 3:16). Nehemiah refers to this when
he says: “Remember me, O my God, . . . and wipe not out my
good deeds that I have done for the house of my God”
(Nehemiah 13:14). In the book of God’s remembrance every
deed of righteousness is immortalised. Says the psalmist:
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put Thou my tears into Thy
bottle: are they not in Thy book?” (Psalm 56:8).
Sins are also recorded. “For God shall bring every work
into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good,
or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Christ says:
“Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give
account thereof in the day of judgment. By thy words thou
shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be
condemned” (Matthew 12:36, 37). God “will bring to light the
hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the
counsels of the hearts” (1 Corinthians 4:5). “Behold, it is
written before Me, . . . your iniquities, and the iniquities
of your fathers together, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 65:6, 7).
Judgment is based on the law of God. Says the wise man:
“Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole
duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment”
(Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14). James adds: “So speak ye, and so
do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
As names come to review, names with sins on records,
unrepented and unforgiven, are blotted out of the book of
life. The Lord declared to Moses: “Whosoever hath sinned
against Me, him will I blot out of My book” (Exodus 32:33).
Due to unrepented sins, their good deeds are erased from the
book of God’s remembrance. Says Ezekiel: “When the
righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and
committeth iniquity, . . . all his righteousness that he
hath done shall not be mentioned” (Ezekiel 18:24).
All who have truly repented of sin, claimed the blood of
Christ as their atoning sacrifice, obeyed the law of God,
their sins will be blotted out, and they will have eternal
life. The Lord declares, by the prophet Isaiah: “I, even I,
am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own
sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25). Said
Jesus: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in
white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the
book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father,
and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5). “Whosoever
therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess
also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever
shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My
Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32, 33).
“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)” (The Great Controversy, p.
At the end of this antitypical Day of Atonement, when 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. After His service, Christ 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).
Before the close of probation, a dramatic style of music
will be brought into the Seventh-day Adventist church
worship. Drums will be a major part of this new music. “Let
all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians
14:40) is largely being ignored in Sabbath-keeping worship
services. Celebratory worship is on the increase.
Perversion of worship is manifest in shouting, with drums,
frivolous ditty choruses, dancing, clapping, jeering,
excitement and confusion. But “the Lord desires to have in
His service order and discipline, not excitement and
confusion” (Maranatha, p. 234). This perversion is
connected with the close of probation, as foretold.
things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the
Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of
probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There
will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses
of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot
be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the
moving of the Holy Spirit”
(Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 36). Sadly, this prophecy has
long been fulfilled in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The faithful leaders in the church are now calling for a true
reformation. Unfortunately, few Adventists are heeding the call,
but many are given to contemporary worship with its music and drums.
things which have been in the past will be in the future.
Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is
conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light
before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and
consider, and to take heed. Clear and definite instruction
has been given in order that all may understand. But the
itching desire to originate something new results in strange
doctrines, and largely destroys the influence of those who
would be a power for good if they held firm the beginning of
their confidence in the truth the Lord had given them”
(Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 38).
is just as much the worship of God in a religious meeting as
speaking, and any oddity or peculiarity cultivated attracts
the attention of the people and destroys the serious, solemn
impression which should be the result of sacred music.
Anything strange and eccentric in singing detracts from the
seriousness and sacredness of religious service.
exercise profiteth little. Everything that is connected in
any way with religious worship should be dignified, solemn,
and impressive. God is not pleased when ministers professing
to be Christ’s representatives so misrepresent Christ as to
throw the body into acting attitudes, making undignified and
coarse gestures, unrefined, coarse gesticulations. All this
amuses, and will excite the curiosity of those who wish to
see strange, odd, and exciting things, but these things will
not elevate the minds and hearts of those who witness them.
very same may be said of singing. You assume undignified
attitudes. You put in all the power and volume of the voice
you can. You drown the finer strains and notes of voices
more musical than your own. This bodily exercise and the
harsh, loud voice makes no melody to those who hear on earth
and those who listen in heaven. This singing is defective
and not acceptable to God as perfect, softened, sweet
strains of music. There are no such exhibitions among the
angels as I have sometimes seen in our meetings. Such harsh
notes and gesticulations are not exhibited among the angel
choir. Their singing does not grate upon the ear. It is soft
and melodious and comes without this great effort I have
witnessed. It is not forced and strained, requiring physical
(Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 333).
“Eternal things have little weight with the youth. Angels of
God are in tears as they write in the roll the words and
acts of professed Christians. Angels are hovering around
yonder dwelling. The young are there assembled; there is the
sound of vocal and instrumental music. Christians are
gathered there, but what is that you hear? It is a song, a
frivolous ditty, fit for the dance hall. Behold the pure
angels gather their light closer around them, and darkness
envelops those in that dwelling. The angels are moving from
the scene. Sadness is upon their countenances. Behold, they
are weeping. This I saw repeated a number of times all
through the ranks of Sabbath-keepers” (The Voice in
Speech and Song, p. 420). Must you make your guardian
Are you attending a celebratory worship service with drums
and frivolous ditty songs? If “the angels are moving from
the scene,” suppose ye that evil angels will hesitate to
come in? Can you develop a Christ-like character needed for
the final test whilst you attend worship without the pure
angels? Must you be indifferent to such perversion of
In the book Last Day Events (pp. 224-226), we are
told that Sunday keeping will become the mark of the beast
when the decree goes forth causing men to worship Sunday,
and that the enforcement of Sunday observance will be the
test. We are told that Sunday Law is to be the great test
for the people of God, by which their eternal destiny will
For many years now, “Men and women have confederated to
oppose the Lord God of heaven, and the church is only half
awake to the situation” (Evangelism, p. 363). As the
church remains ‘half awake,’ these confederacies cause a
state and religion unity, as a result of which freedom of
religious conscience is violated, and then these
confederacies demand a universal Sunday Law as a solution to
world peace. At first, God’s people are not compromising on
their faith, they refuse to worship on Sunday, and they are
met with religious persecution by those nations that have
united and religions that have confederated by putting away
As the shaking caused by the straight testimony from within
intensifies, and whilst the persecution from without
increases, the majority in the Remnant church who have not
developed a Christ-like character, shall get offended and
betray hitherto their brethren: “And then shall many be
offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one
another” (Matthew 24:10).
The Sunday Law is the great test that will reveal the true
character of those who profess to be the children of God.
Those who by their lifestyle have remained lukewarm will
betray their brethren. History repeats itself: Judas
betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:47-50), and we are told that, “we
have far more to fear from within than from without” (Selected
Messages, Vol. 2, p. 122). Those who get offended and
betray the brethren will have failed the great test.
We are told that, “As the storm approaches, a large class
who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but
have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth,
abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition.
By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they
have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when
the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy,
“Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in
the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls.
They become the most bitter enemies of their former
brethren. When Sabbath keepers are brought before the courts
to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most
efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them,
and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers
against them” (Great Controversy, p. 608).
Those “who have step by step yielded to worldly demands, and
conformed to worldly customs, will not find it a hard matter
to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject
themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and
death. The contest is between the commandments of God and
the commandments of men” (Review and Herald, 27 April
1911). They will not find it hard to obverse Sunday. They
will fail the great final test.
Our characters are now being moulded either for the mark of
the beast or for the seal of God. “Those
who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly
mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are
distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God
and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are
receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of
God in their foreheads” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.
214). The Sunday Law is the great test that will reveal the
true character of every professed Christian.
“The Lord has shown me clearly that the image of the beast
will be formed before probation closes; for it is to be the
great test for the people of God, by which their eternal
destiny will be decided. This is the test that the people
of God must have before they are sealed. All who proved
their loyalty to God by observing His law, and refusing to
accept a spurious sabbath, will rank under the banner of the
Lord God Jehovah, and will receive the seal of the living
God. Those who yield the truth of heavenly origin and
accept the Sunday sabbath, will receive the mark of the
beast” (SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 976).
Sunday Law decides our eternal destiny!
It could not be clearer: “for the people of God,” at Sunday
Law, “their eternal destiny will be decided.” It is now we
must be Christ-like, for
“the great final test comes at the close of human probation,
when it will be too late for the soul’s need to be supplied”
(Christ’ Object Lesson, p. 412). Just before the
close of probation, we will face this great final test.
Only those who have beforehand developed a Christ-like
character will pass the great final test.
Seventh-day Adventists have had great light, yet many remain
unconverted! “Of those who boast of their light and yet
fail to walk in it Christ says, ‘But I say unto you, It
shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of
judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum [Seventh-day
Adventists, who have had great light], which art exalted
unto heaven [in point of privilege], shalt be brought down
to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in
thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until
this day’” [The bracketed comments are by Ellen White] (The
Review and Herald, 1 August 1893).
As many Adventists desert Christ (John 6:66), a final call
is made to the Gentiles
“But I speak not my own words when I say that God’s Spirit
will pass by those who have had their day of test and
opportunity, but who have not distinguished the voice of God
or appreciated the movings of His Spirit. Then thousands in
the eleventh hour will see and acknowledge the truth.
‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman
shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him
that soweth seed’ (Amos 9:13). These conversions to truth
will be made with a rapidity that will surprise the church,
and God's name alone will be glorified” (Selected
Messages, Vol. 2, p. 16). Do not remain lukewarm!
that the people might know the time of their visitation!
There are many who have not yet heard the testing truth for
this time. There are many with whom the Spirit of God is
striving. The time of God’s destructive judgments is the
time of mercy for those who have had no opportunity to learn
what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His
heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out
to save, while the door is closed to those who would not
enter” (Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 97). Merciful God!
Sunday Law test will draw a distinction “between
the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God
and those who do not” (Malachi 3:18).
But whilst a large class of Adventists fail the Sunday Law
test, God’s people still in Babylon are called out.
John “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).
Virtually all churches admit in their official writings that
there is no Scripture support for Sunday sacredness.
Tragically, both Protestantism and Catholicism stand guilty
before the judgment bar of God for violating the Sabbath!
Many of God’s people are still in Babylon because they are
kept captive in Babylon for the want of truth. No longer
have the hosts of evil power to keep God’s people captive;
for “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city,” which
hath “made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication;” and to God’s people still in Babylon is given
the message, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her
plagues” (Revelation 14:8; 18:4). As the captive exiles
heeded the message, “Flee out of the midst of Babylon”
(Jeremiah 51:6), and were restored to the Land of Promise,
so those who fear God today are heeding the message to
withdraw from spiritual Babylon, and soon they are to stand
as trophies of divine grace in the earth made new, the
The message in Revelation 14 warns men against receiving the
mark of the beast or of his image in their foreheads or in
their hands. To receive this mark means to come to the same
decision as the beast has done, and to advocate the same
ideas, in direct opposition to the Word of God.
The forehead represents the mind, and the hand is a symbol
of work. “On the hand” and “between the eyes” are
consistent symbols in Scripture for a person’s thoughts and
actions (Exodus 13:16; Deuteronomy 6:8; 11:18). A person
will receive the mark of the beast in his forehead by
choosing to believe that Sunday is a holy day in spite of
Bible truth. A person will be marked in the right hand by
working on God’s Sabbath or by outwardly keeping Sunday laws
for convenient reasons – such as a job or family.
When you obey the decree that commands you to cease from
labour on Sunday and worship God, while you know that there
is not a word in the Bible showing Sunday to be other than a
common working day, you consent to receive the mark of the
beast, and refuse the seal of God.
Those who refuse the laws of the Antichrist and obey the law
of Christ will suffer persecution. Those who try to remain
neutral will be counted for Antichrist, for Christ said, “He
who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather
with Me scatters” (Matthew 12:30). There is no middle
ground: you pass the final test and get the seal of God or
you fail and get the mark of the beast. To pass the great
final test, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in
Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
The winds of strife are yet held back until God’s people are
sealed, after which there will be a time of trouble. We are
told, “Just before we entered it [the time of trouble], we
all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four
angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine,
pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation, and the
whole world was in confusion” (SDA Bible Commentary,
vol. 7, p. 968).
Before probation closes, there is a sealing time. The
sealing time is the present time. Sealing is the settling
into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so that
you cannot be moved. There are changes to be made in a
person, intellectually and spiritually. These occur through
the ideas and doctrines we adopt. These modify our faith
and practice. While truth sanctifies, error corrupts. This
is why sound doctrine is important. To him that will be
sealed, Paul admonishes, “Take
heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them:
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them
that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:16).
To be sealed is to be settled in the testimony and the law
of God; when we both know and love it, then the Lord will
declare: “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my
disciples” (Isaiah 8:16), and “never suffer the righteous to
be moved” (Psalms 55:22). For every doctrine we must appeal
to “the law and to the testimony, if they speak not
according to this word, it is because there is no light in
them” (Isaiah 8:20). For the law of God is the one unerring
rule, by which all doctrines are to be tested.
We must be settled in the truth so “that we henceforth be no
more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with
every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians
4:14). The law and testimony represent “the hope of the
gospel” preached to us, in which we must be “grounded and
settled, and be not moved away from” (Colossians 1:23). The
seal is therefore the pure mark of truth.
another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of
the living God” (Revelation 7:2) to place on the servants of
God. This seal is “a settling into the truth, both
intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved” (SDA
Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1161).
To be sealed, we must depart from iniquity. “Nevertheless
the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The
Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that
nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy
To those that are to be sealed, sin must “become exceeding
sinful” (Romans 7:13). Even others’ sin must grieve those
that are to be sealed. “The Lord said unto him, Go through
the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and
set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that
cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst
thereof” (Ezekiel 9:4). We must no more be indifferent to
We are told,
“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our
characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left
with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse
the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain
will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples
on the Day of Pentecost” (Testimonies to the Church,
Vol. 5, p. 214). Note that the conditions for the sealing
and for the latter rain are here the same. John tells us
that those who receive the seal of God are holy: “And in
their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault
before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:5). To be sealed
therefore we must by the grace of God overcome sin.
The Christ-like character, a prerequisite for the sealing,
must be developed now. Seventh-day Adventists cannot with
impunity reject the warning which God in His mercy has sent
them through the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy and therefore
fail to develop a character that is worthy of the seal of
God and hope to develop such a character amidst the panic
and fear of enacted Sunday Law. We are told: “As the storm
approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the
third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through
obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the
ranks of the opposition” (The Great Controversy, p.
When the last decision to enforce universal Sunday law has
been made, when all have taken sides, either for the Sabbath
or for Sunday law, when all have received either the seal of
God or the mark of the beast, probation will end suddenly
When all the people in the world have taken sides, an
irrevocable declaration is pronounced: “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). The date of that declaration we do not
know, but probation will close.
Again, we do not know exactly when probation will close, for
that date and time God has not revealed it to mortal man.
We are simply told: “Take
ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is”
We may die before or we may live to the close of probation.
We must now be ready lest the close of probation find us
Probation closes when Christ ceases pleading for men. “When
Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever
decided. Probation closes. Christ’s intercessions cease in
heaven. This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those
who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the
truth are found sleeping” (Testimonies, vol. 2, p.
We are also told, “When probation ends, it will come
suddenly, unexpectedly – at a time when we are least
expecting it. But we can have a clean record in heaven
today, and know that God accepts us” (SDA Bible
Commentary, vol. 7, p. 989). Probation is ended a short
time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of
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.
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).
When probation closes, “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” (The Great Controversy,
We are told, “When the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary
has been pronounced, and the destiny of the world has been
forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it
not. The forms of religion will be continued by a people
from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn, and
the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire
them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will
bear the semblance of zeal for God” (The Great
Controversy, p. 615).
Those who do not now appreciate the truth, and dearly prize
the Word of God spoken by His servants will have cause to
mourn bitterly hereafter. After close of probation, the
fearful plagues will begin to fall (Revelation 16). Then
those who have despised God’s Word, those who have lightly
esteemed it, shall “wander from sea to sea, and from the
north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek
the Word of the Lord and shall not find it” (Amos 8:12). A
famine will be in the land for hearing the Word.
We should now be making the best of our present
opportunities. There will be no other probation given to us
in which to prepare for heaven. This is our only and last
opportunity to form characters which will fit us for
translation at Christ’s second coming.
All will be tested and tried according to the light they
have had. Those who turn from the truth to fables can look
for no second probation. There will be no temporal
millennium. If, after the Spirit of God has brought
conviction to their hearts, they resist the truth and use
their influence to block the way so that others will not
receive it, they will never be convinced. They did not seek
for transformation of character in the probation given them,
and Christ will not give them opportunity to pass over the
ground again. The decision is a final one.
In The Great Controversy, page 615 onwards, we read:
When God’s presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish
nation, priests and people knew it not. Though under the
control of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and
malignant passions, they still regarded themselves as the
chosen of God. The ministration in the temple continued;
sacrifices were offered upon its polluted altars, and daily
the divine blessing was invoked upon a people guilty of the
blood of God’s dear Son and seeking to slay His ministers
So when the irrevocable decision of the sanctuary has been
pronounced and the destiny of the world has been forever
fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will know it not. The
forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom
the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the
satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them
for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear
the semblance of zeal for God.
As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy
throughout Christendom, and religious and secular
authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the
Sunday, the persistent refusal of a small minority to yield
to the popular demand will make them objects of universal
execration. It will be urged that the few who stand in
opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the
state ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them
to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion
The same argument was brought against Christ by the rulers
of the people, that “it is expedient for us,” said Caiaphas,
“that one man should die for the people, and that the whole
nation perish not” (John 11:50). This same argument will
appear conclusive; and a death decree will finally be issued
against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth
The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of
affliction and distress described by the prophet as the time
of Jacob’s trouble: “Thus saith the Lord: We have heard a
voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace … All faces
are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so
that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s
trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:5-7).
The time of Jacob’s trouble will end with the appearing of
Christ. “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, everyone that shall be found
written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). Final probation has
long closed, the great controversy is finally ended, and
God’s people are forever saved.
During the Sunday Law persecution “many will be martyrs for
Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth” (Maranatha,
p. 199), for the slain souls of old have hitherto waited
“… until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that
should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled”
(Revelation 6:9-11), for in obeying the truth, “they loved
not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
Probation closes when Christ ceases pleading for men; He
makes a solemn announcement: “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). Probation has now closed.
The wicked turn against the
hundred and forty-four thousand who are preserved as “the
first fruits” (Revelation 14:4) – it is the “time of Jacob’s
trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7)! The plagues begin falling upon
the wicked, they receive no water but blood, “For
they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou
hast given them blood to drink” (Revelation 16:6). Christ
returns at the end of the plagues.
Finally, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole
duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).