One of the most glaring inconsistencies facing the Seventh-day Adventist church has to do with its highly varied views on last day events. This situation has arisen as church leaders and laity alike find no need for further light (inspiration) to guide them and choose to reject the plain evidences coming straight from the Holy Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy just because it comes from the Shepherd’s Rod message which many blindly reject without careful investigation to know where they stand. One case in point has to do with Christ’s work as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Based on a passage from Early Writings page 36 most S. D. A.’s believe that Christ will only stand up once and remove His priestly garments at the close of probation for the world and then the next event will be the pouring out of the seven last plagues (for example, see a post by T. R. Gallegos on the “Our Sword” blog, http://oursword.blogspot.com/2011/08/last-day-events-seal-then-destruction.html).
“I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus’ work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God.”–Early Writings, p. 36
Many attempt to use this passage to refute the Rod’s teaching that the blowing of the four winds in Revelation 7 represents the mark of the beast system (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 152) and that the 144,ooo must be sealed (marked, Eze. 9:4) before the four winds are let loose. Intimately coupled with the marking or sealing of the 144,000 is the commencement of the judgment of the living which necessitates that Christ stand up at the completion of His work for the judgment of the dead and make an unexpected coming to cleanse/purify the S. D. A. church from its tares before the latter rain can be poured out and the Loud Cry begins. Adventists who are still content in their Laodicean slumber blindly insist that there is only one sealing report and then come the seven last plagues whereas the Bible shows that their are two sealing reports, one for the S. D. A. church and one for the Great Multitude who will be called out of Babylon during the Loud Cry. The Rod clears the apparent difficulty with the passage in Early Writings as revealed below.
WHEN WILL HE LEAVE THE SANCTUARY?
Question No. 38:
“The Shepherd’s Rod” seems to say that Jesus will leave the Most Holy place at the execution of the slaughter of Ezekiel 9, while “Early Writings,” p. 36, seems to say that He will leave the place after His work in the sanctuary is done, and then will come the seven last plagues. How do you reconcile the two?
Though the author of Early Writings says that Christ will not leave the sanctuary before His “work is done,” yet elsewhere she writes: “They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, ‘until,’ said the angel, ‘the Lord Jesus shall rise up from his mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary, and shall clothe himself with the garments of vengeance, and surprise them at their unholy feast; and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”–Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 690.
Viewing the question in the light of both statements, we see that Christ leaves the sanctuary at a certain time in the “unrolling of the scroll.” Coming to the church, He finds her not spotless and ready to meet Him, but deep in sin, yet self-complacently feeding upon the errors, faults, and mistakes of others.
Now the problem before us is not to harmonize the Rod with Early Writings, but Early Writings with the Testimonies. These are automatically harmonized when it is understood that Christ leaves the sanctuary more than the one time: Once after “the closing work for the church” (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), and again after the closing work for the world.”–Answerer Book, No. 2, p. 67
For some more information about these two sealing reports and Michael standing up twice, please download a brief study excerpted from Tract No. 1, pp. 19-25.
WHAT IS THE ANGER OF THE NATIONS?
Question No. 47:
“I saw,” says Sister White, “that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead, were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced.”–”Early Writings,” p. 36. Could this “anger of the nations” be the “battle of Armageddon”?
While the vision makes plain that the first three events (the judgment of the dead the anger of the nations, and the wrath of God) follow one another in consecutive order, occupying three separate, distinct, and successive periods, it does not clear the time of the fourth event–Michael’s standing up.
The wrath of God, as commonly understood, is the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:1), and is visited during the period between the close of probation and the second coming of Christ. The judgment of the dead, as understood by at least all Adventists, covers two periods: the first in probationary time, immediately preceding the judgment of the living, and the second during the millennium. So with God’s wrath coming in the period from the close of probation to the second coming of Christ, the anger of the nations can only take place during the time of the judgment of the living–during the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message.
The anger of the nations cannot therefore be the Armageddon, for it takes place in the time of the sixth plague (Rev. 16:12-16), in the wrath-of-God period. The anger of the nations and the wrath of God are, as we must ever keep in mind, two “separate and distinct” events, “one following the other.”
Accordingly, rather than being the Armageddon, the anger of the nations is the “time of trouble such as never was”–the time in which Michael, taking the “reins in His own hands” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), stands up to deliver “every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1.
As the anger of the nations is in the time of the judgment of the living,–the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message,–the “anger” is obviously directed against God’s people, not against the nations themselves. Obvious is this fact, because the nations among themselves have always been angry, and are angry even today, although we are still in the time of the judgment of the dead.
“The anger of the nations” will follow upon the two-horned beast’s decree “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15); at the same time the notorious woman, Babylon the Great, will ride the scarlet-colored beast (Rev. 17) and rule the nations. This “same crisis will come up on our people in all parts of the world.”–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 395.
Concerning this anger of the nations, the world-wide confederacy against those who refuse to worship the beast and his image, the Lord predicted through the prophet Zechariah: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zech. 12:3.
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” Zech. 12:8. Then “clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness,” declares the Spirit of Prophecy, “the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.”–Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
“Those who have been timid and self-distrustful, will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church, will be as David–willing to do and dare.”–Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 81.
“Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel's Message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.”–The Review and Herald, No. 19, 1908.”–Answerer Book, No. 2, pp. 91-93