"The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth." – Review and Herald, Nov. 22, 1892.
Almost alarming in character are the statements in the foregoing paragraph. They have a very important bearing on the work which Seventh-day Adventists are carrying forward, and therefore are of the greatest interest to all who are connected with the work of proclaiming the third angel's message. Let us reread the paragraph from an analytical standpoint:
1. The time of test is just upon us.
2. The loud cry of the third angel has already begun.
3. It began in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ (the message of 1888).
4. This marks the beginningof the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth.
The events mentioned in this paragraph are the same as those brought to view in Revelation 18:1, 2: “After these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”
The explanation of this scripture, as given by the Spirit of prophecy, should be carefully noted:
“I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfilment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere, as he cried mightily, with a strong voice.... The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel's message, as it swells to a loud cry. And the people of God are thus prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet. I saw a great light resting upon them, and they united to fearlessly proclaim the third angel's message." – "Early Writings," p. 277.
The panorama of events presented in the foregoing paragraph is so extensive and so full of meaning that it may be helpful to note each event separately:
1. A mighty angel comes down from heaven to earth.
2. The work of this angel is:
a. To unite his voice with the third angel.
b. To give power and force to the third angel's message.
3. Great power and glory were imparted to this angel:
a. The earth was lightened with his glory.
b. The light penetrated everywhere.
4. The work of this mighty angel comes in at just the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel's message.
5. As a result of the coming of this mighty angel, the message swells into a loud cry.
6. The power attending this mighty angel prepares the people of God to stand in the hour of trial.
7. This preparation is recognised by heaven in the bestowal of “a great light” to rest upon God's people.
8. The culmination of all these events is a united people, fearlessly proclaiming the third angel's message.
Inseparably connected with this program of great events is the visitation of the “latter rain” upon the remnant church. Note the following paragraph:
“While the work of salvation is closing, trouble will be coming on the earth, and the nations will be angry, yet held in check so as not to prevent the work of the third angel. At that time the 'latter rain,' or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out.” – "Early Writings," pp. 85, 86.
This places the latter rain visitation with the loud cry, the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, and the flooding of the earth with the light of the third angel's message.
This is a program of truly thrilling events. It was outlined by the Spirit of prophecy at the very beginning of our movement. And then, to awaken and arouse us to its serious import, a most solemn and impressive message regarding the same events was given us following the memorable Conference of 1888. The following vital statements taken from that message will give emphasis to the subject under consideration:
1. An Eventful Period of Time. "The days in which we live are eventful and full of peril. The signs of the coming of the end are thickening around us, and events are to come to pass that will be of a more terrible character than any the world has yet witnessed."
2. The "Loud Cry" Begins. "The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the
angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth."
1. The Essential Preparation to Stand in the Time of Trouble. "If you would stand through the time of trouble, you must know Christ and appropriate the gift of His righteousness, which He imputes to the repentant sinner."
2. The Message to Be Preached. “A work is to be accomplished in the earth similar to that which took place at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the days of the early disciples, when they preached Jesus and Him crucified. Many will be converted in a day; for the message will go with power.”
3. "The theme that attracts the heart of the sinner is Christ, and Him crucified. On the cross of Calvary, Jesus stands revealed to the world in unparallelled love. Present Him thus to the hungering multitudes, and the light of His love will win men from darkness to light, from transgression to obedience and true holiness. Beholding Jesus upon the cross of Calvary arouses the conscience to the heinous character of sin as nothing else can do."
4. "Christ has not been presented in connection with a law as a faithful and merciful high priest, who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He has not been lifted up before the sinner as the divine sacrifice. His work as sacrifice, substitute, and surety, has been only coldly and casually dwelt upon; but this is what the sinner needs to know. It is Christ in His fullness as a sin-pardoning Saviour, that the sinner must see; for the unparallelled love of Christ, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, will bring conviction and conversion to the hardened heart."
5. The Power That Gives Efficiency to the Preaching. “The work of the Holy Spirit is immeasurably great. It is from this source that power and efficiency come to the worker for God; and the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, as the personal presence of Christ to the soul."
When the earth is lightened with the glory of God, we shall see a work similar to that which was wrought when the disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the power of a risen Saviour."
"The revelation of Christ by the Holy Spirit brought to them [the disciples] a realising sense of His power and majesty, and they stretched forth their hands unto Him by faith, saying, 'I believe.' Thus it was in the time of the early rain; but the latter rain will be more abundant. The Saviour of men will be glorified, and the earth will be lightened with the bright shining of the beams of His righteousness." –
The foregoing five quotations are from the Review and Herald, Nov. 22, and 29, 1892; article entitled, "The Perils and Privileges of the Last Days."*
* See Appendix, pp. 122-128.
It will be seen that all these events are associated together to be in operation at the same time. Placed in their natural order, they stand as follows:
1. The revelation and appropriation by faith of the righteousness of Christ.
2. The bestowal of the latter rain.
3. The impartation of great power to the receivers.
4. The swelling of the third angel's message into the “loud cry.”
5. The enlightening of the earth with the "bright shining of the beams of righteousness."
It is evident that the beginning, or opening, of all these events is at the same time. The appearance of one is a signal for all to appear.
And now mark the positive declaration:
"The loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth." – Review and Herald, Nov. 22, 1892.
This was declared in 1892. What marked the fresh, or new, revelation of the righteousness of Christ and the beginning of the loud cry? As the statement itself points out, it was "the revelation of the righteousness of Christ" as set forth at the Minneapolis Conference.
Now these important manifestations are ordained of God for the finishing of His work in the earth. When they began, they marked the starting point for that closing work. That place, that hour, was reached in 1888.
This is a tremendous conclusion, but what other conclusion can be reached with all the statements before us? Why should this conclusion be thought incredible? We believe the statements to be true. We have looked for their fulfilment. Our waiting for the fulfilment has been anxious and long. The fulfilment will be witnessed by someone. Why may we not see it and be in it?
Should we not seek most seriously and earnestly to know what may be hindering the fulfilment in all its power? And why should we not pray for a yearning desire to co-operate fully with the Lord in hastening His work to its close?