FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
November 13, 2015
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE – Part XXIII
WHAT IS THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF REVELATION 16: 12-16? (The Threefold Union in the Battle of Armageddon (Continued)
As we drive down the highway of divine prophetic chronology, we see all sides along the busy route getting more crowded, cluttered, and raucous with competing and confusing sounds of wars and rumors of wars, lilting swan songs, flashing colored lights of various virtual yet really fantasies, alluring peace-and-safety messages cranked out by religious charlatans, the promise of earthly honor, pomp, and prosperity offered by a thousand and one deceived-turned-deceiver purveyors of error, and encounter all manner of wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.
And yet all these affirm that we are entering the long-looked-after final stretch of the prophetic journey mapped out by the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8: 14. The sudden and strange turn of events in the current political cycle in America (more of this later!), the groaning of our tired, abused old earth and its polluted atmosphere manifested in the so-called natural and man-made (never Satan-caused!) catastrophes etc., all speaking of the approach of the most momentous time of earth’s history.
Though at first blush all these are bad and disheartening news as human casualties are mounting daily, it is really good news only in the sense that we are on course and on schedule, according to “the prophetic word made more sure, which you would do well to take heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Pet. 1: 19, NKJV). Yes, as the familiar hymn has been saying all these years: “We know not the hour of the Master’s appearing but signs all foretell that the moment is nearing.”
The prophet Joel prophesied of the days ahead we are certainly facing: “Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.” Joel 1: 15. This is the real Lord’s day! See also Zephaniah chapters 1-3.
Satan’s masterpiece of deception is based on spiritualism
Referring to the above prophecy and others like it, E. G. White wrote [words in brackets mine]:
“The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages, and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced in the pages of history, and we may be assured that all that which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.
“Today the signs of the times declare that we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Savior’s prophecy of the events to precede His coming. ‘Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars . . . Nation shall rise against nations, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places.’
“The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority [or those currently seeking nomination, then election to occupy the highest public office of POTUS such as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and especially, Dr. Ben Carson—the first Seventh-day Adventist in the history of America and the SDA Church to get this far and high in the political arena), thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place around us [especially the whirlwind visit of the first pope, Francis, to address the joint U.S. Congress and members of the Supreme Court; the celebration of the 50th anniversary, last October 28 of the Nostra Aetate, meaning, ‘In Our Time,’ the one-paged declaration made 50 years ago as one of the most important documents to emerge from the Second Vatican Council, 1962-1965, in which the Roman Catholic Church officially rejected the notion that the Jewish people should be held responsible for the death of Jesus!]. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations [where one is an ally this year and a national enemy the next, etc.] They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place—that the world in on the verge of a stupendous crisis.
“The Bible and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world. . . .the sound of their approach causing the earth to tremble and men’s hearts to fail them for fear.
“Today men and women are being tested by the plummet in the hand of Him who make no mistake. [See Isa. 28: 17] All are by their own choice deciding their destiny, and God is overruling all for the accomplishment of His purposes.
“Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts.” – Maranatha (Devotional), p. 68.
John the Beloved, writer of the Revelation, warns all in his epistle: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4: 1. Of this passage E. G. White warned in Maranatha, pp. 166, 167:
“Many will be ensnared through the belief that spiritualism is merely human imposture; when brought face to face with manifestations which they cannot but regard as supernatural [which is becoming more popular every day], they will be deceived, and will be led to accept them as the great power of God. As the teachings of spiritualism are accepted by the churches, the restraint imposed upon the carnal hearty is removed, and the profession of religion will become a cloak to conceal the basest iniquity. A belief in spiritual manifestations opens the door to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils [1 Tim. 4: 1], and thus the influence of evil angels will be felt in the churches.” GC 603-4
“Satan has been long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden [Eve is the first type of the church]: ‘You shall not surely die. In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, know good and evil.’ Genesis 3: 4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time [during the sixth plague]. Says the prophet: [Rev. 16: 13, 14 quoted]. Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.”- Ibid, Maranatha, 166.
“The miracle-working power manifested through spiritualism will exert its influence against those who choose to obey God rather than men. [Acts 5: 29]. Communications from the spirits [devils] will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God. They will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday [instead of the bold transgression of God’s law]. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony.” GC 590, 591.
“Those who oppose the teachings of spiritualism are assailing, not men alone, but Satan and his angels. They have entered upon a contest against principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high places [Eph. 6: 12]. Satan will not yield one inch of ground except as he is driven back by the power of the heavenly messengers [the holy angels]. The people of God should be able to meet him, as did our Savior, with the words: ‘It is written.’ [Matt. 4: 1-11]. Satan can quote Scripture now as in the days of Christ, and he will pervert its teachings to sustain his delusions. Those who would stand in this time of peril must understand for themselves the testimony of the Scriptures.” – Ibid, 167.
SPECIAL NOTE: Those who are inclined and now are in the habit of “speaking to” or of the deceased loved one or friend as though they were alive and listening during their funeral or memorial services, need to consciously remind themselves not to get carried away by the grief of the moment and the moment of grief in the effort to give words of comfort to the bereaved by adopting popular lines of those who do not know or refuse to accept the Bible teachings regarding the nature of man and death. The best of intentions do not turn error into truth. We don’t want to become unwitting propagators of the first lie and final masterpiece of Satan’s deception that will take the whole world captive!
“Many will be confronted by the spirits of devils personating beloved relatives or friends and declaring the most dangerous heresies. These visitants will appeal to our tenderest sympathies and will work miracles to sustain their pretensions. We must be prepared to withstand them with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything [Eccl. 9: 5, 6, 10-12] and that they who thus appear are the spirits of devils.” GC 559-60.
“Satanic agencies in human form will take part in this last great conflict to oppose the building up the kingdom of God. And heavenly angels in human guise will be on the field of action [praise the Lord for this assurance!] The two opposing parties will continue to exist till the closing up of the last great chapter of this world’s history.” Ibid, RH Aug. 5, 1909
We pause here for essential reminders, a review and refresher for all who have been diligently studying the vast field of prophecy, the enlightening nature of the plan of salvation of the gospel detailed in the sanctuary doctrine, and the great controversy between Christ and Satan covered in the three successive, combined, and unified final warning messages of Revelation 14: 6-13, which warn and prepare the world and the churches for the glorious second Advent of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven as earth’s final harvest. verses 14-20.
Though so precariously near the closing events of the grand finale of the race for immortality and the final dash to eternity, to a large majority, even among Bible-reading Christians, this is startling new revelation although it is right there in their Bibles. The problem is that these truths have been studiously avoided by religious leaders, teachers, and spiritual guardians of the people who themselves do not understand it or are fearful of what it plainly reveals, and that if they truly studied and fully expounded on these unpopular truths as they do other doctrines of the Bible, they will quickly will lose their popularity, followers, and their support.
So it isn’t surprising that many remain clueless as to the origin and the nature of the final conclusion of the great controversy between Christ and Satan and the latter’s three main agencies warring against Christ, His law, and His true church—the first event taking place as mankind’s last test before the close of earth’s probation in “the early time of trouble.” These three are “the dragon, the beast, and the image of the beast.”
After the close of probation, which no one knows when, not even Satan nor even notices when it does, comes the great “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan. 12: 1) in the outpouring of the seven last plagues. It is during the sixth plague that we are shown the last and final tripartite powers of thedragon, the beast, and the false prophet in desperate confederacy, waging their last war in vain against Christ and His hosts in the Battle of Armageddon immediately before Jesus takes charge over the seventh plague with His thunderous voice that says, “It is done,” causing the mighty earthquake that opens up the graves for the special or partial resurrection. This time is when “the strange (“awesome,” “unusual”) act of God (Isa. 28: 21) or “the mysterious wrath of the Almighty God and the Lamb” (Rev. 6: 16, 17; 14: 10, 1915: 1, 7; 16: 1, 19; 19: 15) are poured out only upon all who “worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hand.” (To be continued next week.)