FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER FOUR & FORTY– Part XII
Four Angels still Holding Back the Four Winds: How long?
I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, . . . .saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Revelation 7: 2, 3, Authorized Version.
“Four mighty angels are still holding the four winds of the earth. Terrible destruction is forbidden to come in full. The accidents by land and by sea; the loss of life, steadily increasing, by storm, by tempest, by railroad disaster, by conflagration; the terrible floods, the earthquakes, and the winds will be the stirring up of nations to one deadly combat, while the angels hold the four winds, forbidding the terrible power of Satan to be exercised in its fury until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.” – Ellen G. White, Review & Herald (RH), June 7, 1887.
“Angels are holding the four winds, which are represented as an angry horse seeking to break loose and rush over the face of the whole earth, bearing destruction and death in its path.” – Ibid, Letter 138, 1897.
“A terrible conflict is before us. We are nearing the battle of the great day of God Almighty [the Battle of Armageddon, Rev. 16: 12-16]. That which has been held in control is to be let loose. The angel of mercy is folding her wings, preparing to step down from the throne and leave the world to the control of Satan. The principalities and powers of earth are in bitter revolt against the God of heaven. They are filled with hatred against those who serve Him, and soon, very soon, will be fought the last great battle between good and evil.The earth [not merely Palestine as taught by Dispensationalists and Rapturists] is to be the battle-field—the scene of the final contest and the final victory.”- Ibid, RH May 13, 1902.
“While [the four angels’] hands were loosening, and the four winds were about to blow, the merciful eye of Jesus gazed upon the remnant that were not sealed, and He raised His hands to the Father and pleaded with Him that He had spilled His blood for them. Then another angel was commissioned to fly swiftly to the four angels and bid them hold until the servants of God were sealed in their foreheads.”- Ibid, Early Writings, p. 38.
NOTE: This refers to the years 1888-9 when the Breckenridge and Blair Sunday Law Bills were introduced to Congress—watershed years in Adventist history whence the God-given message of righteousness by faith were also introduced to the delegates of the General Conference held in Minneapolis in 1888 by two “special messengers,” A. T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner. Their special message of Christ’s righteousness was “the beginning of the loud cry of the fourth angel of Rev. 18” was unfortunately aborted by its initial rejection. “The Holy Spirit was ridiculed” by the remnant by representation.
If it had been accepted then, “erelong” Jesus would have appeared sooner, rather than later in our time. Some say this delay allowed for the devastating World War II and all the lesser global but no less deadly conflicts following and continuing to this very moment. But the promised outpouring of the latter rain of the Holy Spirit before He fully withdraws from the earth as in the time of Noah when the 120 years of warning the antediluvians had run its course, is the empowerment of the fourth angel movement of Revelation 18, either immediately prior to or just at the enactment and enforcement of the prophesied mark of the beast, starting in America. Revelation 13.
This final global movement will not be aborted as in 1888. When it starts, and the ominous signs of times clearly announce its rapid approach, it will finally swell to the irreversible climax in the unleashing the four winds of strife previously restrained. “The final movement will be rapid ones.” Are we character-preparing for it?
“The purging and cleansing will surely pass through every church in our land that has had great opportunities and privileges, and has passed them by unheeded. More evidence is not what they want. They need pure and sanctified hearts to gather up and retain all the light that God has given, and then they will walk in that light.
“We need not say, ‘the perils of the last days are soon to come upon us.’ Already they have come. We need now the sword of the Lord [Eph. 6: 17] to cut the very soul and marrow of fleshly lusts, appetites, and [unsanctified] passions. May it cut and divide in a far greater degree than it has ever yet done [Heb. 4: 12, 13]. May all the proud be cast down. May the carnally secure be drawn from the refuge of lies [Isa. 28: 15-17] with which they have sought to deceive the people of God. May it cut away their self-righteousness and open the eyes of the [spiritually] blind, that they may see that they are not whole in the sight of God.”- Ibid,Testimonies to Ministers, p. 414.
“The angel who visited Sodom is sounding the note of warning. ‘Escape for thy life.’ The bottles of God’s wrath cannot be poured out to destroy the wicked and their works until all the people of God have been judged, and the cases of the living as well as the dead are decided [during the pre-advent, investigative judgment began 1844 at the termination of the 2300 day/years of Dan. 8: 14]. And even after the saints are sealed with the seal of the living God, His elect will have trials individually. Personal afflictions will come; but the furnace is closely watched by an eye that will not suffer the gold to be consumed. The indelible mark [seal or sign] of God is upon them. God can plead that His own name is written there. The Lord has shut them in [even as He shut Noah and his family in the ark of safety before and during the flood]. Their destination is inscribed—‘GOD, NEW JERUSALEM.’ [Rev. 3: 12]. They are God’s property, His possession.
The questions we should ask ourselves before attempting “save others”
“Will the seal be put upon the impure in mind, the fornicator, the adulterer, the man who covets his neighbor’s wife [or vice-versa]? Let your souls answer the question: Does my character correspond to the qualifications essential that I may receive a passport to the mansions Christ has prepared for those who arefitted for them? Holiness must be inwrought in our character.” Ibid, p. 446.
NOTE: Romans 5: 1, 9, 10 says we are “justified by faith” and “by His blood;” and “we shall be saved by His life.” Faith is not our Savior. It is faith in Christ’s perfect righteousness and all-powerful atoning sacrifice “offered once and for all” at Calvary as the sinner’s only substitute and surety that perfectly satisfied the unyielding demands of His own immutable law. It was wrought out by Him in His adopted flesh and blood humanity, not by His quiescent divine nature. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered. And being [thus] perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him.” Heb. 5: 8, 9.
He suffered “being tempted in all points like as we are tempted, yet without sin.” Heb.2: 10; 4: 15. Not once did He yield, even in thought, to any and all of Satan’s crafty temptations. (Matt. 4: 1-11). Justification, which is forgiveness or pardon full and complete, is Christ’s righteous merits imputedonly to humble, repenting sinners and only for past sins confessed and repented of. Absolution or forgiveness of future, premeditated sins that the doctrine of Indulgences grants its followers—which Martin Luther courageously exposed in his 95 thesis, sparking the Protestant Reformation—purchased by gold, currency, in kind, or merit-earning religious works and sacrifices, pilgrimages, etc., and joining bloody religious crusades against the church’s perceived enemies—Protestants in particular—who clung by faith to sola scriptura, “the Bible and the Bible only” versus the papacy’s enforced man-made decretals, traditions, and bulls.
Unnumbered millions lost their lives during the Dark Ages at the stake or much worse for “contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.” (See last week’s FMM). The Crusades’ equivalent is the Islamic jihad—condemned by mainstream Christianity while they laud the Crusades!
Justification is granted that instant we plead for forgiveness with a contrite heart, claiming God’s forgiving grace and merits—not any of our good works which are but “filthy rags” in the sight of a holy God. Justification is our passport to heaven. On the other hand, the lifetime process of sanctification—the continuous and progressive spiritual growth towards character perfection, is being fitted for heaven. It is purification from all that defiles the body, mind, soul, and spirit; the work of being made holy, character-wise, by God’s grace imparted through the Holy Spirit to the forgiven, meek, and humble sinner who “strives to walk the straight and narrow way.”
Together with the faithful of all ages, their desire is to “come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4: 13. Their “eye is single to God’s glorious ideal of character. By constantly beholding they become transformed from glory to glory, from grace to grace. This is Bible sanctification. Satan’s counterfeit is instant sanctification—“no need to overcome.” And multitudes who neglect God’s word are fearfully deceived.
“The central theme in the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden [Gen. 3: 15] to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Rev. 22: 4), the burden of every book and passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wonderful theme,—man’s uplifting,—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Cor. 15: 57. He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word.
“The science of redemption is the science of all sciences; the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Savior; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite—‘kept in silence through times eternal’ (Rom. 16: 25, R.V.); the science that will be the study of God’s redeemed throughout endless ages. This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage. As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul.”- Ibid, Education, p. 126.
“Through sin the divine likeness was marred, and well-nigh obliterated. Man’s physical powers were weakened, his mental capacity was lessened, his spiritual vision dimmed. He had become subject to death. Yet the race was not left without hope. By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised, and a life of probation [after Adam and Eve failed their first probation test in Eden] was granted. To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created [Gen.1: 26, 27], to promote the development of body, mind, and soul that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of [true] education, the great object of life.”- Ibid, pp. 16, 17.
Who will, and will not receive the Seal of the living God in their foreheads?
“The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the forehead of those onlywho sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land [Eze. 9: 4]. Those who link in sympathy to the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. . .
“Those that overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God. Those whose hands are not clean, whose hearts are not pure, will not have the seal of the living God. Those who are planning sin and acting it will be passed by. Only those who, in their attitude before God, are filling the position of those who are repenting and confessing their sins in the great antitypical day of atonement [ begun 1844], will be recognized and marked as worthy of God’s protection.
The names of those who are steadfastly looking and waiting and watching for the appearing of their Savior—more earnestly and wishfully than they who wait for the morning—will be numbered with those who are sealed. Those who, while having all the light of truth flashing upon their souls, should have works corresponding to their avowed faith, but are allured by sin, setting up idols in their hearts, corrupting their souls before God, and polluting those who unite with them in sin, will have their names blotted out of the book of life, and be left in midnight darkness, having no oil in their vessels with their lamps. ‘Unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4: 2).”- Ibid, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445.
(To be continued next week)