3 Steps… 3 Tests…

In each sacred history – especially the histories of Christ, the Millerites, and the 144,000 – there are 3 tests, or steps, which test that generation, and each test is connected to a prophetic message. Prophecy has always tested the people of God for it is by God’s prophetic Word that we understand future events and then enter into the work of character preparation to prepare for the event at hand. Two classes of people are developed by the testing truths that are revealed to that generation – the wise, who obey the message and prepare for the coming event; and the foolish, who do not obey the message and fail to prepare their character for the coming event. Also, according to Jesus’ words in John 16:8, the Holy Spirit has a three-fold work to convince men of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Therefore, all true testing prophetic messages will also contain these three elements.In the history of Christ we have 3 steps, or messages which bring a test: John the Baptist, the first messenger who preaches the baptism for the remission of sins; Christ, the second messenger who brings everlasting righteousness; and then the disciples, who bring the third step in the messages which is a message of judgment – and, indeed, it was the disciples’ preaching that brought judgment and the close of probation upon Israel as a nation. In each history it is the third message which brings judgment.
So in the second history which we have mentioned: the Millerites. The first message which was unsealed in 1798 at the time of the end in regard to the little book of Daniel was a message brought by William Miller that the end of the world was at hand and that all men everywhere must repent. It is of great interest that Ellen White likens William Miller unto Elijah (EW 229, 233) just as John the Baptist was by Christ likened unto Elijah (Mt. 11:7-15). This is showing us that there is a parallel in these histories. The first angel’s message was then empowered on August 11, 1840, when Islam figured prominently in Bible prophecy and history as the second woe of Rev. 9 ended and the Ottoman empire collapsed. This event, which was predicted in advance by the Millerite preacher Josiah Litch, confirmed that Miller and his associates were correct in their interpretation of the Bible using the day/year principle. You can read about this event and how it empowered the message from 1840-1844 in Great Controversy, pages 334 and 335.
Before going any further, let us now compare this history of early Adventism with the history of end-time or modern-day Adventism. For us in this last generation at the end of the world the prophecies of Daniel have once again been unsealed – specifically, the last six verses of Daniel 11. Verse 40 of Daniel 11 brings to view the event of the King of the North (the papacy) coming against the King of the South (which is atheism, first manifest in France during the Revolution of 1793 and then later manifesting itself in global, atheistic communism embodied in the Soviet Union during the Cold War era) with horses and chariots (military power) and many ships (economic power). This prophecy was strikingly fulfilled in 1989 when the United States of America (then led by President Ronald Reagan) combined its economic and military might with the spiritual power and influence of the Papacy (then led by Pope John Paul II) to overthrow Communism in Poland and thus hasten the demise of the Soviet Union. And, indeed, in that very year President Mikhail Gorbachev went to the Vatican and politely greeted the Pope and acknowledged that the former global superpower of the USSR was at an end. Therefore, 1989 would be our modern-day time of the end when the first testing message of Daniel would begin to test our people.
You may be wondering why Daniel 11:40-45 is testing our people. The reason is this: when it is clearly understood that we are living in the fulfillment of verse 40 of this chapter, it then stands to reason that verse 41 will be next in fulfillment, and verse 41 of Daniel 11 spells out that the next event to come will be that the King of the North will enter the glorious land and that many will be overthrown. We have already illustrated that the King of the North is the Papacy. The glorious land is the United States of America. The Papacy will enter into the United States of America through the passing of a National Sunday Law. The passing of this law at the national level will spell the demise of this nation and its spiritual conquest by Rome. The many who will be overthrown at this time (the word countries in this verse is supplied and does not belong to the text) will obviously be Seventh-day Adventists – foolish virgins – who have not prepared themselves for this event. The next verse in Daniel 11 then indicates that the message of the third angel will go to others who have not yet heard – Edom, Moab, and Ammon – who will readily obey the call to come out of Babylon and to stand with the final remnant people of God.
So, 1989 begins the testing process in Adventism just as 1798 began the testing process for the Millerites. Then, in 2001, Islam came back into Bible prophecy thus fulfilling the beginning of the third woe just as Islam fulfilled the ending of the second woe in 1840. Therefore, we have been in the time period of the empowering of the first message since 9/11 just as the first testing message was empowered in 1840.
The next event in Millerite history was in 1842 when the various Protestant churches (who were God’s professed people of that time) began to shut their doors on those who believed and taught these testing prophetic truths and many Millerite Adventists began to find themselves ostracized, censured, and disfellowshipped from their local churches. This was a progressive period of opposition which culminated in the churches ultimately rejecting the message of Christ coming to His sanctuary in 1844, and thus the churches were also rejected of Christ, and in 1844 there was a shut door to the holy place and the churches could no longer enter in.
Unfortunately, these events have begun to find their parallel today in 2012. In March of this year, believers in the testing prophetic truths for our day began to also be ostracized, censured, and officially disfellowshipped from their churches for simply believing and teaching the messages of Daniel 11:40-45, 9/11, and kindred other truths. The message that Christ has once again come to His sanctuary in the judgment of the living has been ridiculed and derided as fanatical and extreme even though the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy teach this truth as essential to understand, for it will be the 144,000 living saints who have their sins blotted out “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” and thus be fitted up to give the final loud cry to the world at the Sunday Law crisis and to stand during the plagues when there will be no more Mediator to blot out sin. Acts 3:19, 20. This message of judgment must first begin at the house of God and then go to the rest of the world since it is the church that will first feel the stroke of God’s wrath (GC 435, 436, 485; 5T 207-216; 1 Pe. 4:17). As a result of rejecting the prophetic messages for our day, our churches are setting themselves up to be the foolish virgins and to ultimately be rejected of God.
In the history of Christ, those who rejected John’s message (the first message) set themselves up to reject Christ’s message (the second message), and thus they could receive no benefit from Pentecost when the disciples would begin to preach (the third message). Thus judgment fell upon the Jewish nation.
“I was pointed back to the proclamation of the first advent of Christ. John was sent in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way of Jesus. Those who rejected the testimony of John were not benefited by the teachings of Jesus. Their opposition to the message that foretold His coming placed them where they could not readily receive the strongest evidence that He was the Messiah. Satan led on those who rejected the message of John to go still farther, to reject and crucify Christ. In doing this they placed themselves where they could not receive the blessing on the day of Pentecost, which would have taught them the way into the heavenly sanctuary. The rending of the veil of the temple showed that the Jewish sacrifices and ordinances would no longer be received. The great Sacrifice had been offered and had been accepted, and the Holy Spirit which descended on the day of Pentecost carried the minds of the disciples from the earthly sanctuary to the heavenly, where Jesus had entered by His own blood, to shed upon His disciples the benefits of His atonement. But the Jews were left in total darkness. They lost all the light which they might have had upon the plan of salvation, and still trusted in their useless sacrifices and offerings. The heavenly sanctuary had taken the place of the earthly, yet they had no knowledge of the change. Therefore they could not be benefited by the mediation of Christ in the holy place.”  {EW 259.1}
The same thing happened in the Millerite time period. Those who rejected the first message then rejected the second message, and when the third message came in 1844 the churches who rejected the former prophetic truths were unable to enter into the most holy place but were rather left outside and rejected by God.
“I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels’ messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit which attended the proclamation of the message from heaven, and who afterward renounced their faith and pronounced their experience a delusion, thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them.”  {1SM 63.9}
And it is true for our day. Those who have been rejecting the prophetic truths for our day are placing themselves in a position where they will be rejected by God when the National Sunday Law shall be passed and the Loud Cry will begin. The wise and foolish virgins are now being developed and will demonstrate their characters during the Sunday Law crisis. There will be a shut door upon the foolish virgins in Adventism at this crisis which will test men’s souls.
“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.  {ChS 56.2}
“It is in a crisis that character is revealed. When the earnest voice proclaimed at midnight, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” and the sleeping virgins were roused from their slumbers, it was seen who had made preparation for the event. Both parties were taken unawares; but one was prepared for the emergency, and the other was found without preparation. So now, a sudden and unlooked-for calamity, something that brings the soul face to face with death, will show whether there is any real faith in the promises of God. It will show whether the soul is sustained by grace. 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.
The ten virgins are watching in the evening of this earth’s history. All claim to be Christians. All have a call, a name, a lamp, and all profess to be doing God’s service. All apparently wait for Christ’s appearing. But five are unready. Five will be found surprised, dismayed, outside the banquet hall.”  {COL 412}
“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, popular side. 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 Sabbathkeepers 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.”  {GC 608.2}
How important that we earnestly enter upon the work of character preparation! God is now sending prophetic truths to His people in order that we might know and understand the work that is now going forward in the heavenly sanctuary. We must enter upon the work of sanctification during this final sealing time in order to be fitted up as messengers to give the loud cry. The oil is freely being given to all who will earnestly seek and ask. We are told to “ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; [so] the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Zechariah 10:1.
I hope that this has helped to answer your questions, or at the very least has stirred you up with a desire to be a more earnest student of prophecy. I encourage you to study and see whether these things be so, and to stay faithful and true to Christ our Savior and to our great God and Father in heaven. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask. May God richly bless you is my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
On the Walls of Zion as a Watchman,
PR. Emiliano L. Richards
Director/Speaker: Restoring the Old Paths

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