Friday Morning Manna November 23, 2018
Nathaniel Fajardo Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Second Half of the Seven Thunders: the Moral Fall of the Churches
This Thanksgiving, let’s thank God for religious liberty and helping us better understand what the “seven thunders” were–a delineation of clustered events and time prophecies that would be understood only after the events had accomplished their appointed work. These are:
(1) The commencement, in America, of the Advent movement that would swell worldwide—the antitype of the Exodus movement of ancient, literal Israel. This began with the proclamation of the first angel’s message starting in 1840 and on to the first definite time pegged for Christ to return, 1843, set in Charles Fitch’s prophecy chart as early as 1842. The first definite date pegged for Christ’s advent in 1843 also amazingly fulfilled the prophetic time of 1335 days of Daniel 12: 12. This first disappointment experienced by the earliest of the Millerite Adventists was God’s appointed way of testing and revealing the nominal from the genuine followers of Christ among the churches at that time (No Seventh-day Adventists yet). (2) The resulting first disappointment actually paved the way for the parabolic prophecy of the “tarrying time” and for the second angel’s message to be proclaimed. Note:
“The preaching of definite time [of 1843] called forth great opposition from all classes, from the minister in the pulpit down to the most reckless, heaven-daring sinner. ‘No man knoweth the day or the hour,’ was heard from the hypocritical minister and the bold scoffer. Neither would be instructed and corrected by those who were pointing to the year. . . .” E. G. White, Comprehensive Commentary on Revelation, Vol. 2, p. 913.
THE SECOND ANGEL’S MESSAGE: ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen’
“The churches that refused to receive the first angel’s message rejected light from Heaven. That message was sent in mercy to arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding, and to seek a preparation to meet their Lord. God has ever required His people to remain separate from the world [in heart and life] that they might not be allured from their allegiance to Him. He delivered the Israelites from to Egypt because He would not have them corrupted by the idolatry with which they were there surrounded. The children of this world are the children of darkness. Their attention is not directed to the Sun of righteousness [see Malachi 4: 2], but is centered upon themselves and the [perishable] treasures of earth. Blinded by the god of this world [2 Cor. 4: 4], they have no just perception of the glory and majesty of the true God.”- Ibid, Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 230.
“It was to separate the church of Christ from the corrupting influence of the world that the first angel’s message was given. But with the multitude, even of professing Christians, the ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth. Note: How about us today?
“Peter, writing as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, described the manner in which the message of Christ’s second coming would be received: ‘There shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of . . . ‘ [see on 2 Pet. 3: 3-7].
“Those who perished in the waters of the Flood had an opportunity to escape [within 120 years of Noah’s reaching]. All were urged to find refuge in the ark, but the multitudes refused to heed the warning. So when the first angel’s message was given, all who heard were invited to receive it, and share the blessings to follow its acceptance; but many scorned and rejected the call. . . .When the antediluvians rejected Noah’s words, the Spirit of God ceased to strive with them [Gen. 5: 3-7]. So when men now despise the warnings which God in mercy sends them, His Spirit after a time [individually determined] ceases to arouse conviction in their hearts. The light which He sends becomes darkness to those who disregard it. When the Spirit of God ceases to impress the truth upon the hearts of men, all hearing is in vain, and all preaching is also in vain.”- 4 SOP 232.
“When the churches spurned the counsel of God by rejecting the Advent message [first angel’s reaching to 1843], the Lord rejected them. Then the first angel was followed by a second proclaiming ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen’. . . .This message was understood by [Millerite] Adventists to be an announcement [not denouncement] of the moral fall of the churches in consequence of their rejection of the First angel’s message. The proclamation, ‘Babylon is fallen,’ was given in the summer of 1844, and as a result, about fifty-thousand [some estimates range from 75,000 to 100,000] withdrew from these churches.”- Ibid, pp. 231, 232.
Doubtless, this corresponds to and explains the “special blessing” pronounced on those who “waiteth and cometh to the 1335 days.” (Dan. 12:12). Such believers at that time would hear and participate in the powerful first angel’s Advent-judgment hour message and movement designed to “separate the church of Christ from the corrupting influence of the world” in preparation for Jesus to come, first expected in 1843. This was the first mini disappointment, but now we know was a necessary preparation for the test of their faith in the ensuing “tarrying time.”
The Two Babylons of Revelation: ‘Mother’ and Daughters’
“The term Babylon, derived from Babel, and signifying confusion, is applied in Scripture to
the various forms of false or apostate religion. But the message announcing the fall of Babylon
must apply to some religious body that was once pure, and has become corrupt. It cannot be
the Romish Church which is here meant’ for that church has been in a fallen condition for many
centuries. But how appropriate the figure as applied to the Protestant churches,
all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable
sects. The unity which Christ prayed for [in John 17] does not exist. Instead of one Lord, one
faith, one baptism [Eph. 4: 5], there are numberless conflicting creeds and theories. Religious
faith appears to be so confused and discordant that the world knows not what to believe as
truth. God is not in all this; it is the work of man,—the work of Satan.”- Ibid, p. 232.
“In Revelation chapter 17, Babylon is represented as a woman, a figure which is used in the
Scriptures as the symbol of a church. A virtuous woman represents a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church. Babylon is said to be a harlot; and the prophet John beheld drunken with the blood of saints and martyrs. The Babylon thus described represents Rome, that apostate church which has so cruelly persecuted the followers of Christ. But Babylon the harlot is the mother of daughters who follow her example of [spiritual/doctrinal] corruption. Thus are represented those churches that cling to the doctrines and traditions of Romeand follow her worldly practices, and whose fall is announced in the second angel’s message.”- Ibid, p. 233.
“God sent His professed people [of that time] a message that would have corrected the evils which separated them from His favor. A state of union, faith, and love had been produced among those who from every denomination in Christendom received the Advent doctrine [the brief Philadelphia stage of the church]. Had the churches in general accepted the same truth, the same blessed results would have followed. But [this particular ‘Babylon’] scornfully rejected the last message which Heaven had in reserve for her restoration, and then, with greater eagerness she turned to seek the friendship of the world .“- Ibid, p. 236.
“In the days of the Reformation, the gentle and pious Melanchthon [Luther’s partner] declared, ‘There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the word of God, and who are purified by it.’ Adventists, seeing that the churches rejected the testimony of God’s word, could no longer regard them as constituting the church of Christ, ‘the pillar and ground of the truth’ [1 Tim. 3:15] ; and as the message ‘Babylon is fallen’ began to be proclaimed, they felt themselves justified in separating from their former connection. “- Ibid, p. 237.
“Since the rejection of the first angel’s message, a sad change has taken place in the churches. As truth is spurned, error is received and cherished. Love for God, and faith in His word, have grown cold. The churches have grieved the Spirit of the Lord, and it has been in great measure withdrawn. The words of the prophet Ezekiel are fearfully applicable: ‘[Eze. 14: 3, 4 quoted]. Men may not bow down to idols of wood and stone, but all who love the things of the world [1 John 2: 15-17] and take pleasure in unrighteousness have set upidols in their hearts. The majority of professed Christians are serving idols set up in the sanctuary, and her holy places are polluted. Anciently the Lord declared to His servants concerning Israel [Jer. 5: 31; 6: 13 quoted]. . . .”- Ibid, p. 238.
“At the proclamation of the first angel’s message, the people of God [the Protestant churches at that time] were in [spiritual] Babylon; and many true Christians are still to be found in her communion. Not a few who have never seen the special truths for this time[which I am trying to share here] are dissatisfied with their present position, and are longing for clearer light. They look in vain for the image [moral character] of Christ in the church. As the churches depart more and more widely from the truth [since first angel’s message was given] and ally themselves more closely with the world, the time will come when those who fear and honor God can no longer remain in connection with them. They ‘that believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’ will be left to receive ‘strong delusion,’ and to believe a lie.’ (2 Thess. 2: 11, 12). Then the spirit of persecution will again be revealed. But the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord still in [this] Babylon and finally ‘Babylon the great’ of Revelation 18], will heed the call ‘Come out of her my people.” – Ibid, p. 240.
“When the year 1843 entirely passed away unmarked by the advent of Jesus, those who had looked in faith for His appearing were for a time left in doubt and perplexity. But notwithstanding their disappointment, many continued to search the Scriptures, examining anew the evidences of their faith, and carefully studying the prophecies to obtain further light.”- Ibid, p. 241.
THE TARRYING TIME
“When the year 1843 entirely passed away unmarked by the advent of Jesus, those who had looked in faith for His appearing were for a time left in doubt and perplexity. But notwithstanding their [first] disappointment, many continued to search the Scriptures, examining anew the evidences of their faith, and carefully studying the prophecies to obtain further light . . . The believers could not explain their disappointment, yet they felt assured that God had led them in their past experience. . . . .”- Ibid, p. 241.
“In the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25, the experience of the [Millerite] Adventists is illustrated by the incidents of an Eastern marriage. ‘Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened into ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.’ ‘While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.’ The widespread movement of the proclamation of the first angel’s message, answered to the going forth of the virgins, while the passing of the time of expectation, the disappointment, and the delay represented by the tarrying of the bridegroom. After the definite time had passed [in 1843], the true believers were still united in the belief that the end of all things was at hand; but it soon became evident that they were losing, to an extent, the zeal and devotion, and were falling into a state denoted in the parable by the slumbering of the virgins during the tarrying time.” – Ibid, p. 242.
(To be continued next week)